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RE: =DF= Design Notes November 3: Blood Moon Challenges, SWoT DA testing, and more!

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11/4/2017 2:19:49   
Dark Lord Urmi

oh dear god..you regen 17 mana with the basic attack....you will always have enough for an umbra!

i love this class so much.

that said is the 1000 turn persistent cooldown for the right side ultimate really necessary to carry over? let's be honest i just logout and log back in to get rid of them.

ah looks like the 1000 turn thing was a glitch.

< Message edited by Dark Lord Urmi -- 11/4/2017 3:01:00 >
AQ DF AQW  Post #: 76
11/4/2017 2:28:51   

Trying to change your weapon's elements during a fight, especially with the Ultimate Dragon Scythes of Elements and variants, feels like a boss battle with the UI.

With the current changes to defenses, I was really hoping that Penumbra got some sort of Bonus To Hit buff considering that you're essentially 'peeking' to make sure your enemy is still where they are. Because really, I'm still confused as to how one can even 'see' anything when they're essentially inside a well made of shadows looking up at the world.

Other than that, I really like the feel of this class. More than Avatar of Time, surprisingly.
I love how their themes feel like complete opposites too.

One comes down from on high to rain down Chronological Retribution on the unworthy while the other waits and watches from the shadows, judging the accused until the final verdict is passed. Sorry. My brain has been in a story-writing mood.

I am so glad I managed to order my calendar for this year.

EDIT: I just noticed that using either Umbra or Antumbra reduces your cooldown by one each use. I was wondering where the 'turn-skip' theme went for this Chronoclass. It's pretty much a 2-turn free cooldown if you wanna waste one charge. Have other people noticed this as well yet or not?

< Message edited by Skullkyopi -- 11/4/2017 3:19:57 >
DF MQ  Post #: 77
11/4/2017 3:20:45   

I think I'll reserve my final say on the SWoT for when the class is out of testing. Seems fairer that way.

For now, let me list a pair of...what I guess to be "oversights", rather than bugs.

I was playtesting SWoT in the Calamity quest because I love it when I noticed two things;

A. Using Doomsday Clock while there is a Guest in Slot B will result in them remaining there when the screen fades to black to perform the attack. This happened with Artix during the fight with Caitiff, and I thought it might have been a one-off, but the same thing happened with Guest Dragon in the following fight with True Caitiff.

B. Ending a fight in Umbral Mode causes you to not appear occasionally in certain shots in cutscenes, and will show the "Exit Umbral Mode" animation when they enter their "Battle Stance". Not so noticeable or out-of-place when beginning a second fight soon after. Very much so in cutscenes. This isn't such a huge thing, but I thought it was worth pointing out.
DF  Post #: 78
11/4/2017 3:21:14   
Vanilla Icecream

I'm trying it out and changing elements on the Dragon Scythe of Elements is a nightmare.... Maybe if we had hidden buttons like with the SW, it would be easier?
Otherwise, this class is amazing! Hope I can get the calendar before it gets sold out :)

Oh, and a minor bug: if you hide your weapon, the weapon in the back doesn't change to the default weapon.

< Message edited by Vanilla Icecream -- 11/4/2017 3:56:32 >
DF  Post #: 79
11/4/2017 5:57:35   

Love the SWoT class and it has the full skillset!! It was totally worth the wait! Thanks a lot Dove and Verly! :))

My only complain would also changing the elements on the Dragon Scythe of Elements. However I would still love to keep the weapon rotation that just looks really awesome.

I also love that the Auto Attack has mana regeneration, I mean SWoT has for some skills low CD. SWoT uses quite some Mana, I'm really glad to have that here.

The class feels not too strong, but also not too weak. It's very well balanced and enjoyable to play.

@Dove and @Verlyrus

There are three request I have.

1.) The final skill when you are in Shadow Mode. Make it so that it can't be used in the first 5 turns, rather than carrying it over battles. However keep the 40 turns CD for the battle you are in.
2.) As some else mentioned here, the CD of the healing skill is seriously high. Now I know that the healing skill is very powerful, however it would maybe be better if this class had a healing skill like the TimeKiller class.
3.) Could the preview of SWoT be uploaded now with full skills, like in design notes of October we just have a preview with not the full skills.

< Message edited by doomtown -- 11/4/2017 7:19:29 >
Post #: 80
11/4/2017 7:13:00   

Will the swot be available for DC like its aqw counterpart?
Post #: 81
11/4/2017 7:25:10   

I doubt it only because IIRC the SWoT being available for ACs on AQW was like a test or something along those lines.

Post #: 82
11/4/2017 7:44:07   

It would kinda feel bad if they made it available for DC, cause I had to buy a calander for it. But it would be ok if they plan to do it for the 2018 calendar class. I still got ten thousands of DC rotting anyways xD
Post #: 83
11/4/2017 7:52:28   
Sun Wukong

I think SWOT's multi animation is too slow. Nice class anyways!
Post #: 84
11/4/2017 9:19:50   
Sakurai the Cursed


EDIT: I just noticed that using either Umbra or Antumbra reduces your cooldown by one each use. I was wondering where the 'turn-skip' theme went for this Chronoclass. It's pretty much a 2-turn free cooldown if you wanna waste one charge. Have other people noticed this as well yet or not?

Any skill like that will cause CDs to go down, because that's just how they work, mechanically; you're still using a turn to use the skill, it just skips the enemy's turn(s) afterwords. Using Antumbra removes all charges though, best only to do that with 1 charge so you don't waste them if for some reason you need -2 CD on something on the left side.

< Message edited by Sakurai the Cursed -- 11/4/2017 9:20:01 >
AQ DF MQ AQW Epic  Post #: 85
11/4/2017 9:51:49   

@ Sakurai the Cursed

Oh, hmm. I just encountered an odd bug; I built up 2 charges so I could use Gear of Time then Eternity Ray, but after using Gear I went back to normal form and had 0 charges on my next turn... I'm not sure what happened, I didn't get stunned or anything, but I definitely lost a charge somehow.

I have been encountering this bug as well. It doesn't happen every time I use Gear of Time, and it seems like this never happens with any other Umbra skills. Gameplay wise, this is a rough glitch. Gear of Time is one of the essential damage boosting skills needed for an effective combo, and having it kick you out of Umbra early can completely ruin that combo. Especially if Eternity Ray is the skill next in line to be used.
Post #: 86
11/4/2017 11:24:13   
S Prime

Lots of talk about the Shadow Walker of Time, yet very little about the fact that the Necro Paragon Helmet is better than my Pumpkin face. *Pout*

In all seriousness though, I am grateful for them in a sense, as that helmet was a much needed upgrade and not particularly hard to get. The cloak, not so much, Aika Backguard looked better when I compared them.

Overall, those two challenges felt a lot easier than the previous ones, which is probably a good thing. Might have been because I took advantage of my beast master stats and guests this time around. Bubble still hits like a truck though, as she should.

Now for them to figure out how to make us fight the five of them at once, could add a whole new dimension to the game, despite the fact enemy turns would take forever.

The Great Pumpkin

< Message edited by S Prime -- 11/4/2017 11:25:20 >
DF  Post #: 87
11/4/2017 13:13:16   
King of Zards

I encountered some bugs. I equipped SWoT and went to play "Storming the Castle" as a test. The monsters before the boss dealt damage normally but Valtrith's attacks all dealt 0 damage, not just to me but to my 2 guests as well. Also, during the cutscene after the battle there appears to be multiple Valtriths standing in the background.
Post #: 88
11/4/2017 13:23:15   

Not accounting whatever bugs were already listed, my only real complaints were how long the cooldowns for some skills are, specifically the healing skill. I know the class is supposed to be a glass cannon but being able to sustain yourself and use your actual nukes pretty much once every battle or two is a little painful, especially for a glass cannon.
DF AQW  Post #: 89
11/4/2017 13:44:51   

Just defeated the Oratath challenge, Jack and his GGoD, and the Cauldron Sisters a few more times with SWoT. You are all probably tired of hearing me talk about the class by now, but I've got some more to say.

First of all, if anyone feels like the class is struggling defensively, I would like to suggest trying the Soul Purifier Trinket. It is DA only, so that may not be useful for everyone once the class goes live. But for those who can test the class right now, I suggest you try it out and see if the extra healing and slight defense helps the class survive a little longer. If you don't know where to get it, go to the Necropolis and complete the Memory-Demons quest. It may take you a few tries, but it isn't a very hard drop to get.

As for the class itself, I am starting to feel like the majority of the Umbra skill set is unsatisfactory. Mostly because of the current bugs that still need to be patched, but there is a bit more to it than just that. I think I will just go through the Umbra skills one by one and give my opinion on each of them. (Excluding Umbra itself, I think I'll explain a bit more on how I feel about that and Antumbra later on, once all the bugs are ironed out.)

Penumbra: Currently bugged, so I can't say anything definitive about it right now. When it is fixed, I still feel like it may be good to throw in a critical chance or accuracy booster along with the critical damage boost, because in its current sate it would only be guaranteed useful for the final skills. But, once the skill is fixed and I can try it out, my opinion may change.

Chronic Lock: I've already given my thoughts on this and how that it, along with Doomsday, are ineffective stuns. Right now, I feel like this stun is boring to throw out and a total waste of a shadow charge against anything that may be able to avoid the stun. As a defensive skill, I don't expect it to be great, but it just isn't good enough to use a charge on.

Phantom Hit: This is suppose to be the main damage dealer of the Umbra skill set, right? If that is the case, then I really think it needs a damage boost. If it was on the Antumbra skill set, this would feel more fitting as a way to build up shadow charges and inflict damage. But it is not a good skill to use a shadow charge on unless it is for filler. Sakurai the Cursed suggested swapping the effects of Decay and Phantom Hit, and I think that would be one good way to fix this. Earlier I had suggested making it a guaranteed crit, and that should help when combined with a fixed Penumbra, so maybe that is also a good solution. Whatever is done, this skill is close to being useful, but it just isn't doing enough right now.

Gear of Time: That glitch about it kicking you out of Umbra form early needs to be fixed, but other than that, this skill is VERY useful. Currently the only skill that can actually help improve combos since Penumbra is not working. I don't see any changes needed.

Impaling Hands: I could pretty much copy and paste what I said about Phantom Hit. This skill is close to being good, but it just isn't powerful enough to warrant using a shadow charge on except for as a filler. I would suggest that the DoT is drastically increased, allowing the class to deal some high damage each turn, even during down time or while building charges. It could be something where you go into Umbra form to cast a charge on the DoT, then return to Antumbra to build up charges for other things, such as healing or preparing for heavier combos. This skill has potential to be a strategic key for many different situations, but it needs a buff first.

Eternity Ray: That damage is insane, especially after getting buffed by Gear of Time. I can only imagine the damage a properly working Penumbra can deliver with this skill. That said, waiting for such a long cool down that carries over between battles just feels unnecessary. Doomtown suggested that you can not use Eternity Ray until 5 turns into the start of the battle, followed by a 40 turn cool down, but the cool down does NOT carry between battles. I really like this idea. It would allow it to be more accessible throughout a single quest without being totally overkill against every fight. If this is going to happen, I would also suggest increasing the mana cost of the skill. I think this shouldn't be a one use every quest skill, it should be a one use per battle with huge costs for huge damage.

That is all I have to say for now. Once some of these glitches are patched, I think I'll go throughout the entire skill list and talk about how I feel each skill can mix into each other. There is a lot to work with here, and I LOVE how many options I have to get the class to work. Really, the major problem with this class at the moment (other than bugs) is that a lot of the skills just aren't quite good enough to use except for as filler, or in very specific situations. In a nutshell, this feels like a perfect strategy class, but it is not a very good class cannon.
Post #: 90
11/4/2017 15:38:44   
Meloette Wells

While going through the first half of the war boss fights, I found using the umbra stun to extend the first stun to be a useful method to step up a quick combo and 2x charge for some umbra moves. Sure you're wasting a charge on the second stun, but you can also sneak in an effect umbra skill like chain to reduce their defenses for the next few rounds* of charge time.

Another rotation I found useful was blowing 3 charges for the crit and chain, then using either final attack. (When I was doing it on the guitar boss earlier, my chain took my 2 remaining charges, but the other final builds up a charge, so the damage there was minimum since the crit buff and resistance nerf both last longer than the turns needed to get a charge and use the umbra final.)

< Message edited by Meloette Wells -- 11/4/2017 15:40:01 >
AQ DF MQ  Post #: 91
11/4/2017 16:33:18   

SWoT animations are amazing. I truly love them. The multi attack animation is a bit much. You can actually add more animation to the healing/mana potions intake during battle and use the first set of shadow spike for the multi attack. I wasn't feeling the shadow charge synergy at first until I tried fighting enemies without 200 resistance to stun then I really saw it working together. Also the umbra state changes to me standing in regular animation after using the lock attack. Idk if theres a way to change that or not but its happening to me when I play it. Also I would greatly appreciate the difference in animation between being hit and the attack missing me thru parry, blocking, or dodging or just a regular miss. These are things Ive noticed when I was playing with the class. Besides what I have listed the class is amazing. I'm excited for the official release.
DF MQ  Post #: 92
11/4/2017 16:48:07   
jesse aike

i am SO happy that they let us test the SWoT class... i have the chest of time and shadows at the ready... and if they release it next week... OHHH BOY im gona have to switch from ancient exosuit to this class cause that heal is GREAT.. i had 134 hp... i poped that heal with 3 stacks and BOOM 950hp THANK YOU DOVE AND VERL ... i cant wait to start tanking blows and killing foes
AQ DF MQ AQW Epic  Post #: 93
11/4/2017 19:03:01   
Sakurai the Cursed

So, I've done lots of general questing and I've beaten every Inn challenge except for Triple Trouble and Elemental Chaos with SWoT now (and all on my first try, so it's certainly not a bad class), and I'd like to update my thoughts. First, I sort of agree with Bamzalot's feeling that some Umbral skills aren't rewarding enough, in that I rarely ever used Phantom Hit or Impaling Hands and when I did it didn't even really matter because they're only slightly stronger than most other skills you've got if you're in Umbral anyway; perhaps they could do with a bit more damage, or maybe added effects like a bit of -bonus on Hands or something? That aside, other than Umbra and Antumbra, Gear of Time and Shade Spikes were my most used skills for sure, whenever I didn't need to stun or have a final available to buff and use I'd go with one of those, and otherwise I generally used Attack to help with MP sustain or simply used Umbra/Antumbra to reduce cooldowns. Gear of Time in particular is fantastic, it's generally the most damaging of the Umbral skills except Eternity Ray since it buffs itself with its -All on 5/6 hits, so any time it's available I use it ASAP, unless my finals (or stuns, on an enemy with Immob. resist) are close but not quite ready to use, because of course it hugely buffs the rest of the skills' damage too. There's definitely a really nice feeling of synergy between Gear and the rest of the kit, choosing when to buff your other skills and planning how you're going to build and use charges accordingly. I don't personally have any problems with Chronic Lock either, I think it works just fine in conjunction with Doomsday Clock; sure, it's only one hit so it's not always a guaranteed stun, and I wouldn't complain if it was given more hits, but I didn't ever feel like it needed to be better, perhaps in part because it does good damage too unlike most stuns.

As for Eternity Ray, it's obviously very strong on its own, but... Well, to put it in perspective, Ascendant can do just as much damage (700% with no added crit, which is about 980% on average for me; Eternity for comparison is 500% which for my crit damage comes out to 985% total) every 4 turns, and that's without using a single Boost skill, just Scythe>Wand. With 2 out of 3 Boost skills for the full loopable 4-turn rotation, Wand does 1,568% (1,813% fully buffed, but that's not sustainable) which dwarfs Eternity Ray, again every 4 turns if you're forgoing defenses. Once Penumbra is working, assuming it works how I think it will and with Gear active as well, Eternity Ray will be doing ~2,044% or so, however that's assuming the enemy had no weaknesses to start out with, making Gear give a full +50% damage which in practice doesn't actually happen very often, and includes a turn of 0 damage from using Penumbra so is actually very skewed in Eternity Ray's favor. Either way though, even with that ideal, unrealistic number, it's still only moderately stronger than Wand but can only be used once per quest, if even that. Now, I know not every class is going to be the ridiculous offensive powerhouse that Ascendant is, but Ascendant also has an almost-loopable blind so it's also better off defensively, against single targets at least. I'm honestly not trying to say that SWoT should be better or even just as good as Asc in terms of damage or anything else, but what I am saying is that I don't quite understand the drastic penalties SWoT (and AoT for that matter) gets for having high-tier damage, when higher top-tier damage classes have no such things... In any case, just to weigh in on the suggestions given, I would definitely be okay with a charge-up time as Doomtown said, if that would allow it to get rid of the carry-over, because it certainly feels good to use this skill when it's available but that's basically going to be once per play session for most people. Alternatively... with the epic feel of the skill I might even like it better if you kept the CD and carry-over and instead made it suitably more powerful, with the charge-up added even if that's necessary. :P Nothing DmK-level or anything of course, but something to make it worth 10 times the cooldown and carry-over and possibly charge-up.

I'd also like to comment about the charge system in general and how my usage of it has evolved, due to both the scarcity of appealing options outside of Umbral as mentioned in my first post and the lack of interest in Hit/Hands mentioned above in this one. So, to begin with I figured the idea was to build up charges and then unload all of your super strong Umbral skills and repeat, right? But, as time went on and I grew accustomed to the class, I found myself stocking up on charges less and less, as turns spent gaining charges are turns spent doing low damage unless you've got Shadow People or Doomsday Clock available, and the payoff outside of Gear or Eternity isn't that large. So instead, my strategy evolved into something rather more unorthodox but I think more effective; rather than, say, build up 3 charges and use Gear>Hands>Hit or something like that, I'd simply use Shade Spikes (or Shadow People or Doomsday Clock, if they were available) to build up one charge, then use Gear of Time if available or Chronic Lock if a stun was needed, otherwise I'd just use Umbral>Antumbral to trade that charge for reduced cooldowns and use Spikes again, all in one turn (on a side-note, this makes the class very good at multi battles aside from its somewhat substandard shield, as it lets you use the strong 175% multi every turn). It's a little less damage than going with Hit or Hands, but it combats the problem the class has with long CDs and I found it to be much more effective because of that. I'm not sure if that sort of strategy was intended or desired, hell I'm not even sure whether I like or dislike it. Certainly it's a very unique playstyle, letting you lose 3 turns of CD on many turns instead of 1, but it definitely helps devalue Decay, Hit and Hands even further and I do find myself wishing I had more reason to use all the skills, as I'm not a fan of "wasted" skill slots. I think my aforementioned suggestion of switching the effects on Decay and Phantom Hit would probably help with this by giving another attractive skill outside of Umbral, although I wonder if I'd just replace Spikes with Decay then and still play the same... Though if Decay and Hit were switched and Hands was given -bonus or something else to make it more attractive, then I think that would definitely be a more appealing setup (while still allowing for the CD-reduction focused playstyle as an option), but that's just my personal take on it.

Anyway, with all that being said, nothing that I mentioned above is class-killing or anything, it's still a fun class to use at least for the time being, I like the strategic feel it has to it and as I said before it's a solid class for farming normal quests and certainly decent for challenges too given that I didn't die trying all of them (though I already know it will fail completely at Triple Trouble and Elemental Chaos so I haven't bothered). I suppose in the end I'm being a bit of a perfectionist here, as a lot of classes have "wasted" skills that I never end up using, but to be fair I don't find myself wanting to use many of those classes. I guess the main reason I'm giving all this detailed feedback is that I feel like once the novelty of the class and infatuation with the aesthetic wears off, I'm not sure the playstyle and effectiveness alone will keep me using the class and I'll end up gravitating back to the 2-3 classes I've been using for years. But well, it's not the end of the world if so, not every class is going to end up being used by everyone. :P

Edit: Oh, I almost forgot! I have something of a weird question/request for you, Dove. Would it be very troublesome to alter the animation on Shadow People very slightly, to make it so the two weapons are flipped in opposite directions while shooting the beams? That is to say, have one weapon upright and the other upside down while they're being held stationary in front of us and the beam is shooting. I dunno if it would be annoying to do or if anyone else feels the same, but I've been using Death's Royal Scythe and the Judgment Wheel with this class and I feel like it'd be a pretty cool little detail for most any scythe and even the default weapon, so it doesn't look like the two weapons merged into one or something.

< Message edited by Sakurai the Cursed -- 11/5/2017 2:45:02 >
AQ DF MQ AQW Epic  Post #: 94
11/4/2017 19:09:44   
Meloette Wells

So, I saw that the gear stopped eating all your charges. I was like "Oh hey, it been fixed!" Now, I just tried the crit boost and learned the gear bug just hopped over to it instead

edit: and I just got hit with the random gear eating again.

I've also noticed this mainly happens when I start umbra at 2 charge, vs 1 charge or a full 3

edit2: @below Oh, thank you for clarifying how the status with the bug is so far.

< Message edited by Meloette Wells -- 11/4/2017 19:16:07 >
AQ DF MQ  Post #: 95
11/4/2017 19:12:05   
Sakurai the Cursed

^Well it was never as simple as Gear always eating more charges than it should, it was sporadic and it actually happened first to me with Penumbra as well I believe, but I stopped using it upon realizing that the buff was bugged and did nothing so I can't say if it's something common to that skill too. Definitely not just Gear though.
AQ DF MQ AQW Epic  Post #: 96
11/4/2017 19:14:03   
EST OverLord

on the cauldron sisters challenge the health potion doesnt heal some of the time
AQ DF MQ AQW  Post #: 97
11/4/2017 19:34:05   
Da Awesomancer

That's an effect one of the sisters can inflict on you. I think it's called negate heal, and it renders your heal skills worthless for a little while.
DF AQW  Post #: 98
11/4/2017 19:43:58   

@sakurai the cursed

i can honestly say, i agree with a lot of the things you've said about the class, and i really like the strategy you came up with. honeslt, i feel like actively switching between umbral mode and regular mode fits the class better, as it's like you're hopping between shadows, while attacking them the whole time(attacking both FROM the shadows, and while jumping out into a new one). doing it like that can produce some really interesting situations where you still have the advantage, even if you DO spend time building up shadow charges, especially since you can do some really good healing on the fly if necessary(and using the defensive skill to give you just that little bit more breathing space), while keeping mana almost maxed out with the attack button.

honestly, SWoT really does already feel like a complete and powerful class, some of the skills just need a tad bit of polishing and touching up.
DF  Post #: 99
11/4/2017 19:49:30   

When using Antumbra to end Umbra early, is it intentional for your remaining charges to vanish?


A Rampant AI~
AQ DF  Post #: 100
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