Game Update 57 could be a big update, based on some notes already posted in the Test forum, and hints of other changes coming down the wire. The biggest change thus far is the removal of certain group spells from the various player classes from levels 1-20. Because level 1-20, and especially levels 1-10 are considered solo play, those spells which are only useful in groups are being postponed to later levels.
These changes are PART (notice the emphasis on the word “part”) of a bigger change that wasn’t fully rolled out to the Test Server.
As you’ve probably guessed, these changes are part of a package to make the game more approachable to new players. There were many spells and abilities that were either useless or made no sense at such a low level.
We can also expect some changes to the default User Interface (UI) appearance of spells and combat arts. Of course, these will be customizable by installing third party UIs. Again from Rothgar:
I’d ask that you wait until you see the other changes that are going with it (to the default layout). Then decide if it fits or not for you.
You’re seeing some new changes on Test right now. We’re doing a bunch of revamping, some of it to make the game a lot faster when you play it, and a bunch more to make the game more intuitive and cool when start playing for the first time.
The skill progression for the lower levels was a) drowning new players in skills that they didn’t understand, and b) often giving players certain skills way before they needed them. Also, some classes just simply weren’t getting enough useful skills in order to have fun. So we’ve shuffled things around. Details of that shuffling are listed below.
After the jump, the changes to class abilities (mostly from levels 1-20) which have been submitted by Xelgad:
- Evade 1 was removed from the Auto-Grant list because you do not need a detaunt at level 6.
- Murderous Design 1 and Primal Reflexes 1 were removed from the Auto-Grant list because you do not need a hate transfer or reduction at level 11.
- Villainy and Hunter’s Instinct were lowered to 11 to fill the gap caused by removing the hate spells. This also improves their soloability at lower levels.
- Hilt Strike was added to level 6. Hilt Strike is a second stun for predators and will help them solo and get behind the enemy to do back/stealth attacks.
- Mug and Double-Cross were lowered to 6 to smooth out progression.
- Tarven’s Crippling Crescendo and Vexing Verses were lowered to 6 to smooth out progression.
- Intercept 1 was removed from the auto-grant list because you do not need an Intercept spell (absorbs damage for someone else) at level 6. You will be soloing.
- Mock 1 and 2, Provoke 1 and 2, Enrage 1 and Shout 1 were removed from the auto-grant list as you do not need taunts before level 15. The odds of grouping before then are pretty low.
- Shield Bash (now Bash) and Body Check no longer require a shield. This lets players get an extra damage ability while they are dual wielding weapons or using a two hander.
- Wall of Rage and Hunker Down no longer snare the warrior, allowing them to move while their defensive buff is active. This helps them while soloing and grouping at all levels.
- Reckless Aide and Stand Firm were raised to 21 to smooth out progression and because they are a bit more complex to use than the other spells gained.
- Destructive Rage and Battle Tactics were lowered to 18 to smooth out progression.
- New versions of Body Check and Raging Blow were added to levels 2 and 3 to help Berserker soloing at the start and match the guardian skill progression.
- Bash II, Body Check II were lowered to 8 to smooth out progression and increase soloing at lower levels.
- Overpower II and Rupture II were lowered to 6 to smooth out progression and increase soloing at lower levels.
- Both offensive stances were lowered to the same level as the defensive stances, as it is more useful to use offensive at low levels.
- Clarion 1 and 2 were removed from Paladins as they do not need taunts before level 15.
- Hateful Slam and Heroic Dash no longer require a shield or a symbol to be able to use them.
- Devious Evasion and Resolute Faith were raised to 21 as they are a bit more complex than the other spells gained.
- Unholy Strength and Crusade were lowered to 18 to smooth out progression.
- Both offensive stances were lowered to the same level as the defensive stances.
- Silent Threat I and 2, Slurred Insult I and II, Challenge and Abuse were removed from the auto-grant list because they do not need taunts before level 15.
- Tranquil Vision and Shrug Off were raised to 21 as these are complex spells not needed unless grouping.
- Both offensive stances were lowered to match the defensive stances.
- Summon Food and Water was removed from the Auto-Grant list as the effects were extremely weak. It was replaced with…
- Wrath, added at level 6, which is a scaling damage attack that increases with the level of the priest.
- Soothe was moved up to level 30. Soothe is a bit complicated to use correctly and isn’t needed at very low levels.
- Dispel Magic is now Absorb Magic and, in addition to dispelling magic, now also drains some power from the target and returns it to the caster. This makes the spell more desired to use throughout all the level ranges and on all targets, rather than a very, very few amount.
- Bind Sight is no longer automatically granted and is now a fun spell you can buy cheaply from a merchant. This spell had no benefit to be used in gameplay, it was only used for fun.
- Ice Spears and Vacuum Field are gained at level 4. This increases the power of the spells dramatically and smoothes out the spell progression at low levels.
- Vital Transfer and Void Contract now cost less health below level 40, when they’re more difficult to use.
- Nullify and Cease were not needed at level 10 so they were removed from the auto-grant list. They are detaunts like Evade.
- Shift Mana and Extract Mana now require less health to cast below level 40.
- Mesmerize and Entrance are no longer granted at level 1. They’ll get the Mesmerize spells a little later when they’re easier to use and understand, about level 10.
- Aqueous Stone is now just a spell that gives water breathing, rather than one that gives you a water breathing item that you need to activate to get water breathing.
- Vampire Bats has had a new, level 10 version added to make soloing easier with an extra damage spell.
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