Fighting about the Fighter Rebalance

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Commentary, Game Updates & Maintenance

The fighter rebalance in GU51 is coming, whether we want it or not. There is a lot of “The Sky is Falling” responses about it both Pro and Con.

Here are some useful quotes:

Originally posted by Aeralik:
Prior to this change, tanks relied heavily on hate transfers and hate gain/hate reduction while dpsing to gain aggro. Now the emphasis is more on the tank achieving this with their abilities…

Originally posted by Flaye:
NOBODY should be getting a “set it & forget it” hate transfer, if we’re ALL supposed to be playing more intelligently, paying more attention, & working to help our tanks hold aggro.

Originally posted by Kordran:
Once GU51 hits, the only parse for tanks (particularly plate tanks) that will matter is TPS, threat-per-second. That’s it. They’re going to be there to hold aggro and control the encounter, and that’s it. The era of offensive tanking and high DPS is coming to a close with this update; if you’re a fighter who wants to parse high, then you’re going to have to be in your offensive stance, and that means you’re going to be near the bottom of the threat list for the mob. Ironically, in offensive stance, fighters now have some of the best detaunts in the game (e.g.: Rescue will shed something like 12K hate and lower your threat position by 4). Although they’ve otherwise been nerfed heavily, the only plate tank I can think of that could really “stance dance” effectively is the Paladin, because Holy Ground + Restitution gives them the snap aggro that would be needed to (nearly) instantly put them back at the top of the hate list.

And, as another poster pointed out, in this new paradigm, tank auto-attack damage — which used to be significant, and a critical part of generating enough hate through DPS — is now a small minority of the overall threat generation. The great bulk of their threat is going to be generated through taunts and CAs which generate additional threat, not through the damage itself. Abilities which are going to be important for tanks will no longer revolve around damage output, but in things like increasing the base threat of taunts and the percentage chance for taunts to critical. I imagine we’ll also start seeing tank gear, either new or revamped, which has additional threat bonuses tied to it, instead of increases in double attacks or critical hits (e.g.: +2 to base threat, +3 to critical threat, +50 threat, etc.)

Originally posted by Kordran:
A tank will be a tank because of the damage they can take and the threat they generate, not the damage that they inflict. That’s not to say a fighter class can’t take a DPS role, they can. But it will be in offensive stance, and in that stance they have no real chance to hold aggro against any T1 DPS class because not only are their taunts turned into detaunts, many of their CAs will have a detaunt component to them (e.g.: high damage attacks with threat reducers tied to them, somewhat like scouts).

With GU51, a fighter can either be a meatshield or T2 DPS. They can’t be both.

Test Update 51 Notes

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Game Updates & Maintenance, Grouping

As scheduled, the Test Update #51 notes have been posted. Substantial changes to Tanking and Hate Generation are included. Test Update #51 is promised to run on the test server for 3+ weeks to allow adequate time for feedback.

GAMEPLAY

  • Taunts and detaunts can now critical similar to how melee and spell criticals work.
  • Threat output and hate position changes will now be displayed to the chat windows. You can find it under Combat in the Hate Adjustment category.
  • Hate gain mods will no longer affect taunt adjustments.
  • Area of effect spells and combat arts will no longer spread hate to encounter members when damage is applied.
  • Auto-follow:
    • Your character will now swim up and down to follow the target underwater.
    • Characters on auto-follow will always turn to face their target when auto-attacking.
    • Players on auto-follow now follow up and down climbable walls.
    • You may now /camp (and, incidentally, sit) while on auto-follow. If the person you’re following moves (causing you to follow) your camp will be interrupted.
    • The camera will now re-center on the person you’re following only when you’re moving.

ACHIEVEMENTS

  • Bountiful Harvest should no longer displayed a combined harvest on root and foresting nodes. Instead you should see two harvests similar to how other node type work.

Warrior

  • Executioner’s Anger now has a chance to increase your taunt critical chance instead of the player’s hate gain.

Crusader

  • Idolic Axe has changed to increase the base amount of the crusaders taunts and gives them an additional chance to critically taunt an enemy.

Assassin

  • Frontload will no longer cause poisons to cancel when it is toggled off or expires.

Berserker

  • Perserverance is now a buff and works in a similar fashion to Reversal with a hidden spell that can only trigger once every 15 seconds.

Brawler

  • Crane Twirl has been changed to increase the brawlers chance to aoe auto attack
  • Eagle Spin now increases the threat of the brawler with their enemy.
  • Eagle’s Talon now increases the chance of the brawler to critically taunt and increases the amount of threat applies by taunts.
  • Monkey Dodge now increases the brawler’s defense and parry skill.

Shadowknight

  • Enchance: Anguish will now increase the base damage of the combat art appropriately.

SPELLS

As a result of spell changes, the triggered effect on Charm’s Way has been changed to be upfront and target enemies in the area of effect.

Fighter

  • Kick has been moved to level 3 to fill in a gap caused by spell consolidation

Guardian

  • The Hold The Line spell line has been merged with the defensive stance lines.
  • The Iron Will Spell line has been merged with both the offensive and defensive stances.
  • The Battle Tactics line has been merged into the Call to Arms line of spells.
  • The offensive stance line will now increase damage done to the guardian and also has a damage based proc while also reducing the hate gain of the guardian.
  • The defensive stance will now also increase the amount of taunts and increase the hate gain of the guardian.
  • The hate reduction of the allay line has been reduced.
  • The Assault line now grants additional threat gains.
  • Reduced the recast of the Shout line.
  • The Kick line now generates additional threat.

Berserker

  • Berserk has been incorporated into the defensive and offensive stances.
  • The Battle Chant line has been merged into the Bloodlust line.
  • The Bullying Defense line has been merged into the defensive stance line.
  • Uproar has been moved to level 2 to fill in a gap created by the ability mergers.
  • The Growl line is now 10 second reuse and more powerful.
  • The Offend line has increased threat.
  • The Whirl line now has a threat component.
  • Reactive taunt strength of the Insolent Gibe line has been increased slightly.

Paladin

  • The Redemption line now greatly increases your threat with the target instead of siphoning hate.
  • The Incite line now increases threat initially instead of overtime.
  • The Charge line now has a hate component.
  • The Divine Circle line now has a hate component.
  • The Blessing of the Penitent and Blessed Weapon lines have been merged into the offensive and defensive stances.
  • The Blinding Rays line has had its reuse time reduced.

Shadowknight

  • The Dark Caress and Unholy Weapon lines have merged into the offensive and defensive stances.
  • Defensive stance line will lower damage but increase threat output.
  • Offensive stance boosts damage slightly but reduces hate gain.
  • Sickening Circle will also increase threat now.
  • The Kick line now has a threat component.

Bruiser

  • The Roughhouse and Dodge and Strike lines have been merged into the bruiser’s stances.
  • The Brag line is now more potent.
  • The Kick line now has a threat component.
  • The Blazing Strikes line now has a threat component.
  • The Impose line has faster reuse speed now.

Monk

  • The Martial Focus and Dragon stance lines have been merged into the monk’s stances.
  • The Stare line increase threat by more.
  • The Kick line now has a threat component.
  • The Cobra Circle line now increases threat to any targets it hits.
  • Beckon has had its reuse time lowered.

Swashbuckler

  • The Swarthy Distraction line of spells has changed to be a short duration buff which greatly increases or decreases their target’s hate.

Assassin

  • The Shadows line has changed to trigger a hate reduction effect.

Ranger

  • The Reconnoiter line has had its hate reduction effect removed and has a chance on any hit to reduce the rangers hate.

Predator

  • The Stalk line is now faster casting and lower recovery time.

Scout

  • The Evade line no longer has any recovery time.

Sorceror

  • Concussive is now faster casting and quicker reuse time.

Dirge

  • Hyran’s line has reduced hate gain modifiers but also increases the threat amount.

GUILDHALLS

  • Guild Hall Fuel Merchants will now buy back tier 1 fuels.
  • The guild hall mender will now correctly remember the new coverage setting after it is changed.

ZONES

Veeshan’s Peak

  • Milyex Vioren’s engineer should no longer occasionally become unkillable

Palace of Ferzhul

  • Ferzhul should no longer fail to unlock his portion of Varsoon’s portal if players kill all of his adds before killing him.

Village of Shin

  • Merchants in the Village of Shin will now buy as well as sell items.

Moors of Ykesha

  • Spotting a business opportunity, a new fuel merchant has recently set up shop in Firmroot Moot near the mender.
  • It should now be slightly easier to avoid the blood gorgers in the entry passage to Grobb, if you are careful.

ITEMS

  • Overloaded heal procs will now trigger properly from reactives and wards.
  • The Ferocious Presence spell from Stormbringer’s Bulwark of the Unstoppable will suspend if the shield is no longer equipped.

QUESTS

  • Knight-Captain Santis will complete the quest, “Bog Sludge Hunt”.
  • Zoning into the Nasin’s Library on Chapter 4 of The Shadow Odyssey should now automatically zone in a full party, regardless of whether all members have the quest.

MACROS

  • You can now drag equipment from your appearance slots to the macro window.

GROUPS

  • Group members can now use the /invite command to request that the group leader invite a player to the group. Just type /invite {playername}

GU51: Fighter Rebalance Part II — Coming to Test

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Commentary, Game Updates & Maintenance

According to Kirstie, Game Update #51 will be coming to the Test Servers on or around January 7th. [link]

What should we expect in GU51? Here are some quotes from Aeralik:

The focus of part 2 is looking at the different ways players gain ( or lose ) hate and putting more emphasis on player responsibility. You will likely see the numbers scale up on taunts a lot and hopefully fighters will start to look more at their threat per second while tanking and less so on the raw dps output we see now.

With the changes offensive and defensive stances become more meaningful. You will want to use offensive stance if you are in a dps mode and switch to defensive stance when you expect to tank. We are also combining some of the fighter self buffs so that they are used in the correct combinations they were meant to be used rather than say a guardian running offensive stance while still having the bonuses of hold the line up.

The offensive stance is your dps oriented stance and improves damage but at the cost of hate gain and threat while defensive stances lower dps but increase your hate generation and threat. Also, with the changes everyone will have a new blue aoe taunt tied to one of the blue aoe lines.

The gu51 changes are going to make you choose a stance based on what you expect to be doing. If you want to be high on the hate list so you can pick up aggro quickly then using defensive stance and riding just below 100% on the threat meter is probably better than using offensive stance. Offensive stance is more for soloing or plowing through trash when you know you won’t be tanking.

The reductions in the new stances are pretty minor. It never made sense to keep reducing them linearly which in some cases made lower level stances better. Besides in a raid or group situation someone should be debuffing defense anyways which helps to make sure everyone hits better including the tank.

Thanks to CriticalOverload for catching all of those quotes and putting them in one place.

Game Update 52 Preview!!

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Game Updates & Maintenance

Game Update 52 Notes from Timetravelling:

As a New Year’s Resolution (a few days early, admittedly), we pledge to create within a few months (aka GU52):

  • A brand new two-group instance with 9 bosses—over half of whom drop Void Shards—balanced for players in legendary gear
  • A very challenging brand new four-group raid instance
  • Brand new tradeskill instance in the Void
  • A Lavastorm revamp
  • Brand new areas added to Lavastorm with level 80 solo content
  • A new faction with gear to gather from the new Lavastorm content
  • 12 new armor sets
  • All of them with brand new armor appearances
  • Including a brand new robe model in which the Helm and Shoulders and Legs are all visible, separate pieces from the Chest
    • And it looks rad *cough* See also: Varsoon *cough*

The Shadow Odyssey News Rollup

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Art, Appearance, Housing, Daybreak Live (SOE Live/Fan Faire), Expansion News, Game Updates & Maintenance, Grouping, Itemization, Live Events, Raiding, Tradeskill

The Shadow “of” Odyssey
Marketing department added the “of” in Shadow Odyssey. Many jokes made by SOE about it. Marketing dept was surprised that a EQ2 expansion didn’t have “of” in the middle. :)

The Shadow Odyssey

New lvl 77+ overland zone.
20 dungeons

  • Najena – A very large dungeon. Very tall (4 story stairs and just really cool). Very organic, wood, ropes, not the current stone boxes. Najena’s forge is the new place to go to craft various master weapons, etc. taking the place of the existing Solusek Ro forge.
  • Nuroga
  • Guk – “upper” and “lower”
  • Befallen
  • Most dungeons scale 50-80 — depends on the adjoining overland zone.
  • Lvl 50, 60, or 70 groups going into the new scaleable dungeons will get scaled down loot. All loot designed for 80.
  • All dungeons are located “where you expect them to be”
  • Dungeons are smarter. Puzzles in dungeons ala some of the raids and VoeS.

Raids

  • 4 new x4 raids

Avatars

  • (new) Rodcet Nife
  • Avatar loot for Rodcet Nife is all new and loot tables for the existing 12 avatars will eventually be updated. basically, if you like a loot item on avatars now, don’t miss any opportunity since it might change. Might add loot to Tangrin.

Quests

  • 1 new Signature quest — good and evil versions. Long but not repetitive.
  • No new epics or heritage quests. Epics took 3 months to develop for Kunark.
  • 5 new heritage quests! (thanks for the comments!)

Dieties

  • 2 new dieties
  • One of the two dieties being added will behave differently. Must be unlocked on each server. Featured on the Shadow Odyssey box art.

New Travel

  • Airships — Live event to build airships and build docks.

Achievement Experience
New Achievement Experience page.
60 points of AA.
There will be limits preventing you from respeccing and moving over, say, 60 of your current 140 points and getting those rewards right away.

1- General
2- Archetype (Priest/Mage/Fighter/Scout)
3- Class (Cleric/Summoner/etc)
4- Subclass (Warden/Ranger/Assassin/etc.)

Instead of a “tree” that forces you to take AA items you don’t want, AA lines are straight across and you just pick what you want. End of line reward for each level.

“Boost taunt” is one of the possible fighter AA lines so crusaders (shadowknights) and bruisers can catch up and match the damage of current weapons. Came up in QA. Taunt has been a linear progression but dps from weapons has gone up faster due to crit, etc.

Tradeskill Harvesting AA increase # harvests per node.

Missions System

  • 1 mission per dungeon, 1 per day
  • Loot scales 50-80 and tokens are rewarded for completing missions which can be spent on legendary and “low” fabled items.
  • Tradeskill Missions — 3 at launch. no combat.

Balance & Itemization

When asked about Itemization — “We have a plan.” Raiders should not need legendary items.

Combat xp in 70-80 will be improved. The pendulum “swung too far in favor of soloing and hurt groupers”.

Bard, Crusader, Cleric specific armor. Less archetype specific. No more templars running around with chain or leather.

PvP Bone
Big news! PvP will now allows all classes in all cities. Existing unhappy classes can complete betrayal to whatever class they want. This will reduce the requirement of Exile PvP guilds.

Miscellaneous
Asymetrical armor pieces if you want one big shoulder, one small shoulder. :)

More From Q&A
Basically if it got any kind of acknowledgement beside the standard “we can look into that” which is a big fat “NO!” I put it here.

Torch slot or maybe more items with light effect. No more 80s running around with lightstone. On the flipside perhaps an option to auto-hide light sources on stealth. Maybe too easy? :)

Some existing and new zones might auto mentor the group down so the content is not trivial, rather than either lockout or requiring a low level to mentor. They’d like to make mentoring more rewarding include AA.

Warden asked about having to cast 14 wards on every death. SoE might allow more than 2 non-combat buffs to trigger in a macro.

Critical errors in raids will name the culprit ala VS. Right now you can’t tell at a glance who messed up on Trakanon.

May reconsider caster resists because there aren’t enough spell critical items.

Would like to do bard instruments but not in current plans.

No x2 epic zones ready but maybe after expac.

When asked about Itemization — “We have a plan.” Raiders should not need legendary items.

Combat xp in 70-80 will be improved. The pendulum “swung too far in favor of soloing and hurt groupers”.

Bard, Crusader, Cleric specific armor. Less archetype specific. No more templars running around with chain or leather.

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