We have quite a lot of balance changes on their way this week, so I wanted to highlight some of the major ones and discuss why we're making them so it doesn't come as a big, overwhelming shock.
Most of the changes fall under three major areas that we want to address. They are:
- Battle duration
- Energy flow
- Followup balance for the new skills
In general we feel that battles are ending a little too quickly, especially in 1v1. With so few turns available in the average fight, strategic options become limited, and certain events in battle such as critical strikes and blocks have a bit too much impact.
In order to help extend the duration of battle, we're making a couple of key changes:
- Increase the amount of health players have.
- Decrease base damage in a couple of key areas, especially on weapons.
- Reduce the effect of critical strikes
The goal here is to both increase Health pools and lower some of the free damage everyone does to slow the pace of battle down, putting less emphasis on each individual turn. Every turn you take should carry weight, but currently we feel it's a bit too much.
Each individual change is relatively small, but we hope that the cumulative effect will be a noticeable improvement.
With recent updates adding energy costs to cores, and reworking passive skills into useable skills, energy management has become much more important. We feel that this is an important aspect to managing the pace of a fight, but certain things are a little out of line, so we want to review the system in general to make it fit better with the updated skills.
The major changes here include:
- Increasing the amount of Energy players have.
- In general, lowering the impact of energy draining effects. These have become much stronger now that Energy is a more important resource, so they just need a little nudge to bring them in line.
- Adjusting energy gain on each class. Examples include giving Bounty Hunters a reliable way to generate energy, reducing Tech Mage energy generation, and adjusting Static Smash to be more useful.
Nearly every energy-affecting class skill has been adjusted in some way. We hope that this will improve the strategies around Energy management and help push the pacing of battle into a more interesting direction.
One other change I'd like to cover is the removal of the Energy gain effect from Reflex Boost. We want to change skills that have odd sets of effects that don't really make sense together. Reflex Boost currently gives you a stat that makes you take less damage, then gives you energy based on damage taken. The two effects are counter-productive and make the reason to cast the skill unclear. "Do I want this for extra Dexterity, or for extra Energy?" We want each skill to have one clear primary goal, and to accomplish that goal well. Now that the classes that use Reflex Boost have more reliable ways to generate Energy, we feel that this effect can be comfortably removed.
BALANCING THE NEW SKILLS
There has been a lot of great feedback regarding the new skills, and you have highlighted a couple of clear areas where we can improve them.
Some of the planned changes here include:
- Increasing the amount of defenses given by the Armor skills. They will also no longer be affected by buffs or debuffs. The intention here was to create some gameplay around buffing yourself, further improving your defense, but the real result was that in too many cases a debuff would make the skills not worth casting. Finally, a bug was causing the duration of these skills to be 3 turns instead of 4. In short, these skills should be much stronger than before.
- Lowering the Energy cost of Mark of Blood. This should make the skill feel worth casting in more situations and lessen the drain on the relevant classes' energy pools.
- As partially covered in the previous section, we're also lowering the Energy gain from Battery Backup.
- Not directly affecting any one skill, but relevant to the removal of passives, NPCs got a bit harder in the last update. Part of this was due to a bug in the Bloodlust values on them that was giving them twice the intended amount of lifesteal (Oops!). But they also needed to deal a bit less damage, so we're lowering their base weapon damages across the board.
There are a few other balance changes coming this week that weren't covered here, but since there are so many I wanted to cover some of the major ideas and explain our reasoning behind them.
I'll be happy to answer questions or concerns you have, but I might not be able to delve too deep into specifics since things are liable to change before the update. I also might not be able to respond tonight, but I'll be around tomorrow so I'll make sure to address what I can then!