Legendary Sidhe of Order
As I'm sure you've noticed Melee and Ranged weapons have received a considerable buff. Initially I'm going to be talking about what it was intended to achieve, and then Aelthai will be talking about some of the ongoing tweaks you can expect as well as some related changes that will be happening in the future.
The short answer of what it was intended to achieve is to move no (or low) intelligence builds closer in power to high Intelligence builds.
The long answer concerns how we're trying to balance the builds in the long term and as such numbers follows, I've tried to keep things simple but there's no way to not involve maths in this, so you've been warned.
What we're trying to do is set things up so that non-intelligence weapon using builds and intelligence using builds are equal over a set of encounters without healing either 2 standard encounters of 10 turns each or 1 boss encounter of 20 turns. In order to achieve this while keeping Intelligence builds different to play than weapon-based non-intelligence builds we decided to take a Melee weapon using character with Strength and Dexterity as our baseline for damage, the damage this person does with a standard weapon of their level, with standard stats for their level in a standard armor of their level is considered 1 Turn of Damage.
Working from this base line we needed a way to differentiate Intelligence using builds, so we decided that spells should do more damage, while their weapons should do less, for our baseline for this we picked a spell and magic using Intelligence and Dexterity character. Looking at pre-existing spells we decided that spells should do 2 Turns of Damage (since this avoided nerfing most existing spells), this means that we had 2 issues to deal with, 1) spells needed to be a finite resource, something you could run out of over the course of 2 standard encounters and 2) Magic weapons had to be weak enough that our Melee weapon using character would catch up over the course of 2 standard encounters. Since our Intelligence build had Dexterity we couldn't make magic weapons excessively weak, or we would either have to make Ranged weapons useless to non-Intelligence builds or our standard character would switch to Ranged weapons and the non-Intelligence build would then not being able to catchup.
We eventually decided that magic weapons should do 75% of Melee/Ranged weapon damage, and that the the damage from statistics that Ranged attack get should be changed so that they would be no better than a magic weapon for our Intelligence build while still being as good as Melee weapons for those with the appropriate build. After we had decided this we needed to work out how many spells an intelligence should be allowed, so what we had is 20 Turns of 1 Turn of Damage from our Melee Build verses X Turns of 2 Turns of Damage and Y Turns of 0.75 Turns of Damage, with X + Y = 20, so we solved the simple equations and found out that mages needed to be able to use 4 turns of spells over the 20 turns.
So what did this actually mean for existing weapons ? Since Magic and Melee and Ranged weapons were pretty much exactly the same at the time it meant we needed to find a way to make Magic weapons do only 75% of the damage of Melee.Ranged weapons, there are obviously 2 ways of ding this 1) nerfing magic weapons or 2) buffing melee/ranged weapons. For various reasons we decided that buffing Melee weapons was the way to go, so we had to change melee weapons to that magic weapons would be 75% as powerful, this means we had to increase Melee weapons by 33% (since 4/3 is the inverse of 3/4), and thus you have this boost to Ranged and Melee Weapons. However this still wasn't quite enough and we did have to nerf Intelligence a little bit to keep things easily understood, in order for spells to be twice as powerful as melee attacks they needed twice the bonus damage from stats, and so we had to reduce the magic damage from stats to 75% of the bonus from Melee weapons, in this case we couldn't just increase the Melee Stat bonus since it would throw of other formulas (for Pets, Guests, Ranged Weapons, etc) so we changed the Intelligence bonus.
If any of you are wondering about Lucky Strikes and why they behave so oddly, I'll go into that, Lucky Strikes essentially work as bonus stat damage so we couldn't have spells or weapon type effecting Lucky Strike bonus (since if we did a Mage build could switch to Ranged Weapons and gain the Ranged Weapon Lucky Strike Stat Bonus and the Spell Lucky Strike Stat Bonus, so what we did was decide that all players attacks get the same Lucky Strike bonus, whether they are Spells, Magic Weapons, Melee Weapons or Ranged Weapons , otherwise we'd be back with having to make Ranged weapons useless to non-Intelligence builds in order to not have Intelligence builds end run the system while using Ranged weapons, this is why we ended up with the Intelligence bonus to Magic Weapons and Spells being different so that we could keep all the Lucky Strikes the same.
Since Aelthai will very shortly be talking about future tweaks, I'm also going to introduce something that we're currently working on that will be needed to understand some of the upcoming tweaks. We've noticed that lately people have been talking about how unpredictable damage is since Random damage ends up being much higher than Base damage, so I got out the spreadsheets and looked at the formulas and decided that the best way to deal with this would come in 2 parts
1) Change things so that Base damage and Random Damage contributed equally to the average damage on weapons and spells, (this means that the base line weapon is more like 8-24 rather than 6-26
At low levels this makes things more predictable since there is very little stat damage but at high levels this makes things less predictable since previously we'd intended to make base more important than Random at high levels, so we needed to do something about that, and what we've decided on is making stat damage more predictable so we come to:
2) Change stat damage so that instead of getting Str/8 "Random" Stat Damage you instead get Str/32 "Base" Stat Damage and Str/16 "Random" Stat Damage , this means that while things work out the same on average you'll never get no bonus from your stats and it also reduces the maximum damage that can be done, this means that your damage will be consistently closer to the average.
Since stats are much more important at higher levels this means that damage will be more stable for everyone.
On this topic we've been talking about what to do with Lucky Strikes, so I'd like to hear some feedback, currently Lucky Strikes occur 10% of the time and add Luck/2 "Random" Stat Damage when they occur, even with the above change Lucky Strikes would still be very random happening 10% of the time and doing Luck/8 to 3Luck/8 damage, which is still a large range, so maybe you'd prefer to see Lucky Strikes more often but with a smaller multiple (such as 20% of the time and doing Luck/16 to 3Luck/16 damage), or on the other hand perhaps you like the Random heavy Lucky Strikes it does suit their "Lucky" nature well and would prefer they didn't get any base damage, let us know how you feel about this.
I've also attached a spreadsheet that spits out the stats for an Average Weapon/Spell of a given level, which should help explain some of the future tweaking.
I believe I've covered everything I wanted to, so I'll hand things over to Aelthai now and she'll be explaining about upcoming tweaks and future plans.
Head Knight of Order & AdventureQuest Coder
< Message edited by Kalanyr -- 4/21/2010 14:02:01 >