I thought I would try the modded classes for Slay the Spire. I’m only a few in, but so far nothing has been great. All of them, even the one I’ve found that I like (the Slimebound), seem to suffer from wild swings in card quality. There are overpoweringly great cards and fairly awful cards, without a lot of “pretty good” in between. When I want a meaningful decision in selecting cards, I want tension between which option would be better for me; right now, I am only seeing that when I have multiple “I win” cards to choose from, otherwise it seems like “all crap” or “obviously pick that one.” This might average out to balanced, but at least as likely it leads to wild swings between “easy wins” and “I didn’t get any good cards.”
Player mods may not come out looking good compared to the base game, which has been tested against thousands of players for millions of hours. They may do neat things, but they have had less than scrupulous balancing applied.
Evaluating player mods is difficult and time consuming in a rogue-like. A few playthroughs is not enough to see everything, less evaluate it. Did I see only the lousy cards or the overpowered ones? Did I get the wombo combo early or never? Am I really willing to spend hours digging through poop in hopes there is a pony in there?
Special shout out to mods with cards that are straight-up better or worse versions of existing cards. The exact same effect with a different cost, or the same effect with a different number, is either an argument against the original game’s balance or a sign they didn’t even notice it. Maybe the different numbers make sense in the context of the new class, given its other mechanics and cards, but probably not.