Nightsister Zombie Rework: Begone Paper, Hello Fat

CG_TopHat
61 posts SWGOH Dev Team
edited September 25
Hello Holotable Heroes!

We recently announced our intention to rework Nightsister Zombie during our changes to prevent the “Critolyte” strategy in the Sith Triumvirate Raid. Our decision to change Zombie is to prevent an investment/gameplay strategy referred to as “Paper Zombie”. For those not familiar, Paper Zombie is a strategy in which Nightsister Zombie is purposefully left underinvested (gear primarily) so that she will be defeated much more frequently and easily (in both PvP and PvE contexts). Being defeated frequently is made all the easier since Zombie taunts a lot. In being defeated more often, Zombie is able to activate Asajj Ventress’ Unique, Rampage, more often, giving Asajj a tremendous amount more Offense and Turn Meter, and consequently results in Asajj doing a lot more damage.

At its core, this strategy primarily breaks a core tenant/rule of the game - investing more deeply in a character should always be better in terms of gameplay outcomes; more health, more damage, more functionality, etc. This is a game about strategic resource management and you should be rewarded for strategically investing in a character. People who did this investment were then punished, because there is no way to “level down” a character. This doesn’t always perfectly hold up, but we do our best to hold to the spirit of that core pillar as much as we possibly can.

We’ll also say, we realize we waited too long to make this change. Initially, we found the Paper Zombie strategy novel and an interesting use of the mechanics in the game. We love it when the players find something we hadn’t considered as long as it isn’t game-breaking. But over time, we’ve gotten more and more requests to do something about Zombie. “Reset my Zombie.” “Fix Zombie.” “Respect my investment.” So we need to act. Sorry it’s taken us so long to fix her. We believe we’ve done her justice. As a final note, per our previous communications, we will be removing the Old Daka Zeta from all players that have her Zeta’d. We are aiming to refund the Old Daka Zeta from all players that have her Zeta’d in the next update, but we will confirm in patch notes when it goes live.

How She’s Changed
Below is the revised ability kit for Nightsister Zombie. We’ve made no changes to her core stats.
Changes are Highlighted in Green.

Basic: Blight Touch
Base: Deal Physical damage to target enemy and inflict Tenacity Down for 2 turns.
  • Upgrade 1: +5% Damage
  • Upgrade 2: +10% Damage
  • Upgrade 3: +5% Damage
  • Upgrade 4: +10% Damage
  • Upgrade 5: +5% Damage
  • Upgrade 6: +10% Damage
  • Upgrade 7: +15% Damage
Final Text: Deal Physical damage to target enemy and inflict Tenacity Down for 2 turns.

Special 1: Feed
Base: Deal Physical damage to target enemy. If Nightsister Zombie has full Health, Dispel all debuffs on her. (Cooldown 3)
  • Upgrade 1: +5% Damage
  • Upgrade 2: +10% Damage
  • Upgrade 3: +15% Damage
  • Upgrade 4: +5% Damage
  • Upgrade 5: +10% Damage
  • Upgrade 6: +15% Damage
  • Upgrade 7: +All Nightsister allies recover 20% of Nightsister Zombie's Max Health
Final Text: Deal Physical damage to target enemy. If Nightsister Zombie has full Health, Dispel all debuffs on her. All Nightsister allies recover 20% of Nightsister Zombie's Max Health. (Cooldown 3)

Unlocks at Gear Level 2
Unique: Endless Horde
Base: At the end of her turn, Nightsister Zombie gains Taunt for 1 turn. When Nightsister Zombie is defeated while any other Nightsister allies are active, she is revived with 40% Health, which can't be prevented.
If Nightsister Zombie survived damage from an enemy attack since her last turn, she gains 50% Speed (stacking) at the start of her turn. When Nightsister Zombie is defeated, she loses 50% Speed (stacking). These effects are neither buffs nor debuffs and combine for a maximum of +100% Speed or a minimum of -100% Speed. If Nightsister Zombie is defeated while at -100% Speed from this effect, she cannot be revived.
  • Upgrade 1: +10% Heal
  • Upgrade 2: +10% Heal
  • Upgrade 3: +10% Heal
  • Upgrade 4: +10% Heal
  • Upgrade 5: +10% Heal
  • Upgrade 6: +10% Heal
  • Upgrade 7: Nightsister Zombie gains Taunt for 1 turn at the start of each encounter
Final Text: At the start of each encounter and at the end of her turn, Nightsister Zombie gains Taunt for 1 turn. When Nightsister Zombie is defeated while any other Nightsister allies are active, she is revived with 100% Health, which can't be prevented.
If Nightsister Zombie survived damage from an enemy attack since her last turn, she gains 50% Speed (stacking) at the start of her turn. When Nightsister Zombie is defeated, she loses 50% Speed (stacking). These effects are neither buffs nor debuffs and combine for a maximum of +100% Speed or a minimum of -100% Speed. If Nightsister Zombie is defeated while at -100% Speed from this effect, she cannot be revived.

Unlocks at Gear Level 10
Unique: Undying Sacrifice
Base: Nightsister Zombie can revive after being defeated at -100% Speed from Endless Horde. The first 2 times another Nightsister ally is defeated by an enemy attack, they are revived, recover 15% of Nightsister Zombie's Max Health and Nightsister Zombie is defeated.
When Nightsister Zombie is defeated by this effect, she loses all Protection, dispels all negative Speed effects from Endless Horde and revives with 50% Turn Meter. This effect does not trigger Endless Horde's Speed reduction.
  • Upgrade 1: +10% Heal
  • Upgrade 2: +10% Heal
  • Upgrade 3: +10% Heal
  • Upgrade 4: +10% Heal
  • Upgrade 5: +10% Heal
  • Upgrade 6: +10% Heal
  • Upgrade 7: +25% Heal
Final Text: Nightsister Zombie can revive after being defeated at -100% Speed from Endless Horde. The first 2 times another Nightsister ally is defeated by an enemy attack, they are revived, recover 100% of Nightsister Zombie's Max Health and Nightsister Zombie is defeated.
When Nightsister Zombie is defeated by this effect, she loses all Protection, dispels all negative Speed effects from Endless Horde and revives with 50% Turn Meter. This effect does not trigger Endless Horde's Speed reduction.


Examples of Endless Horde
Frame 1 - Two positive stacks of Endless Horde: Nightsister Zombie is at +100% speed, acting twice as often.
Frame 2 - Zero stacks of Endless Horde: Nightsister Zombie is at normal speed.
Frame 3 - Two negative stacks of Endless Horde: Nightsister Zombie is at -100% speed and will not take a turn. Additionally, if she is defeated in this state and has not unlocked Undying Sacrifice, she will be unable to revive.
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Commentary on Changes
The first, and easiest, change to notice is that we’ve made her special ability, Feed, provide a mass heal to the Nightsisters. Coupled with some of the other changes, we wanted to help make up for some of the power that the Paper Zombie strategy provided for Asajj in the Sith Triumvirate Raid, so we added the heal to help bring the team up as a whole.

Next, we’ve altered Endless Horde. We left Zombie’s constant taunting and reviving intact, but we’ve added some new mechanics to it. Endless Horde is now a way for Nightsister Zombie to gain speed and lose speed. If Zombie is damaged and lives, at the start of her next turn she gains a stack of Endless Horde and goes 50% faster. If Zombie is defeated, she loses a stack of Endless Horde, goes 50% slower, and resets the damage counter for purposes of gaining a positive stack. If Zombie has two negative stacks of Endless Horde (-100% speed) and is defeated, she cannot be revived.

This was the first step in dismantling Paper Zombie - make constantly dying result in a useless Zombie. Now, we needed to make a reason to go deep on investing in Zombie.

We’ve created a new Unique ability for Zombie called Undying Sacrifice. This ability unlocks at Gear Level 10. At its base level, the ability prevents the perma-death in Endless Horde - Zombie can now be revived after being defeated at -100% Speed. Additionally, we wanted to add a way for Zombie to clock up a few extra deaths, so Undying Sacrifice allows Zombie to die in place of another Nightsister twice. This does two things: 1) Adds some more defeats to fuel Asajj a little bit more and 2) resets Endless Horde’s negative effects, allowing Zombie to take a turn and taunt again. To prevent her new unique from adversely affecting her, being defeated by Undying Sacrifice does not reduce her speed via Endless Horde. Do note that if Zombie has “revive charges” left on Undying Sacrifice and all of her allies, including herself, are defeated at the same time, no one will revive and the battle will end.

PvP Experience Changes
If the Nightsisters were difficult to deal with previously, they will have become even more difficult to defeat now that we’ve updated Zombie. Teams that used to have an easy time beating them in the past will have a much harder time and in some cases even lose their ability to defeat the Nightsisters. Additionally, once Undying Sacrifice is unlocked, Zombie will be able to get out of Fracture, Isolate, and Buff Immunity whenever her new Unique triggers. This will keep her taunting throughout the match and properly protecting her allies no matter who she faces. In general, the Nightsisters' PvP presence has been improved, and we think they will return to the meta, although not to the previous dominance they originally enjoyed.

PvE Experience Changes
The PvE experience is likely to be the most varied amongst players. For those players that were using Paper Zombie in the Sith Triumvirate Raid, they will see their scores drop fairly precipitously. Paper Zombie teams will no longer be able to solo Nihilus in Phase 4 of the Heroic Sith Triumvirate Raid. Paper Zombie is dead. For those players that had invested in Zombie (Tanky or Fat Zombie) and invest in Undying Sacrifice, they may see some increased difficulty in setting up the perfect attempt in Phase 3, but should see their scores improve in Phase 4. They should also see Zombie taking a more active role in contributing to the team, rather than acting solely as a passive means of boosting Asajj’s stats.

We think that this should resolve the Paper Zombie issue moving forward. We look forward to your feedback on these changes.

<<MEGATHREAD>>
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