On June 21, 2012, Dave "Smokejumper" Georgeson (Executive Director of Development) discussed the upcoming Game Update 64, specifically PvP, Battlegrounds, and Fighter changes with Akil "Lyndro" Hooper (Lead Designer), Mike "Xelgad" Ganz (Associate Game Designer), and Brian "Omougi" Ferguson (Associate Game Designer).
Game Update 64 will be hitting the Test and Test Copy servers next Tuesday.
NOTE: Make sure you've got your volume turned down as the video opens with a loud throat clearing.
Dating back to the Rise of Kunark expansion (initially only on top-end raid gear) Class Focii are effects present on the seven main armor pieces (gloves, boots, chest, etc.) appropriate for your class.
Over the years, these effects have trickled down from the top Raid gear to easier x4 raid gear, then x2 (12-person) raid zones. With Destiny of Velious, some of these effects appeared on Ry'Gorr group gear. Finally, with GU63: Skyshrine, these effects made it into solo quest gear.
With Game Update 64, the Racial Traits/Character Attributes tab is undergoing a radical change. Instead of a shopping list of Health and Power Regeneration, Attribute Pools (Strength, Stamina, Intelligence, etc.), and Resists, you will be able to start picking Class Focii at level 9, and those health/power regeneration, attributes, and resists will all be rolled into those Class Focii.
More Choices: We're getting more choices of Class Focii. Instead of each class having just one effect per piece of armor, you'll be able to choose In-combat Run Speed for example.
It had reached a point where players just expected to have their Class Focii on all their armor, so moving this to the Character Attributes tab will allow players to always have them. At level 90, you will have access to all the Class Focii choices, and they will remain in effect regardless of what gear you choose to wear. And you will be able to Respec your Class Focii choices just as you can now with your Racial Traits and AA tabs.
Shard Refunds: Some Class Focii have had to be purchased over the years with Marks of Manaar, Void Shards, or Pure Primal Velium Shards. When players login after GU64, these adornments will vanish, and players will be refunded the appropriate number of shards.
With Game Update 64, a new window has been added where you can view any and all active effects and benefits you are receiving from Achievements, Class Focii, etc.
Recklessness -- A new fighter stance available to all fighters at level 20. Extreme offense-based High DPS 'attack' stance. Your agro generation and ability to take a hit are greatly reduced. Most raids only have slots for a Main Tank and Off-Tank, so this change is intended to allow additional fighters in a raid and not feel the slot is "wasted".
Strikethrough Immunity changes -- When fighters cast a Strikethrough immunity, their avoidance will actually go up and they'll actually be able to avoid the Strikethrough.
Fighter Heals Going Percentage-based -- Instead of fixed hitpoint amounts, fighter heals are becoming percentage-based. This will allow these heals to keep pace with increases in health due to gear inflation.
PvP / Battlegrounds
Details of the PvP and Battlegrounds changes in Game Update 64 can be found in the GU64: PvP and Battlegrounds Announcement.
- Shared PvP/PvE stats. Ever since PvP stats were separate from PvE stats, players have been asking for this change to be undone.
- Over 1,000 new PvP items are being created, and both Battlegrounds and open PvP (Nagafen) can buy this armor with the same tokens.
- The Frozen Tundra battleground is being removed -- it wasn't fun and player feedback has been overwhelmingly negative. We will bring it back after a substantial rework.
- Changes to the existing 3 Battlegrounds to make them less gimmicky and more fun.
- Bonus tokens for Kill Streaks, ending another player's Kill Streak, etc.
- Tokens -- Instead of 5 tokens for winning and 2 tokens for losing, tokens are now dynamically calculated based on the duration of the match. This should encourage players to pick any Battleground, instead of just the shortest battles.
- Level Agnostic Battlegrounds. Level 30-89 players will now all play in the same Battlegrounds and have access to a shared Lobby. Real-time calculations adjust your incoming and outgoing damage to give all players a fighting chance.
- Battlegrounds Leaderboards window -- Changes to this window with more information. Also, new voiceover has been added to announce the progress of battles.
These changes, as well as the Qeynos Revamp, a slight revamp of the art and quest rewards of Darklight Woods, Quest NPC Targeting, and being able to use Quest items from within the Quest window all come to the Test server next Tuesday, June 26th, 2012.
Q&A? There was no Q&A segment in this week's SOE Community Webcast.