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=DF= July 31st Design Notes: Reimagined: Swamps, Shields, and Fire

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7/31/2020 23:04:02   

DragonFable & MechQuest


Reimagined: Swamps, Shields, and Fire

Hey there, heroes!

This month's Reimagined release is here! This month, we have new art and organization for the town of Sulen'Eska, and Guardian and Pyromancer revamps.

First up, Sulen'Eska has had an overhaul! Dracelix has created new art for the entire town and the Vind. Head over to check out their new swamp-tree base!

We wanted to Reimagine the quest "Rescue of Elanee" this week as well, but unfortunately, with Dove on break, the quest turned out to require a bit more work than we had hands for. Also, please note that this is not the final update to the town of Sulen'Eska. We have many ideas for additional new dialogues and interactions.

Next, Guardian has been reworked.

Guardian now has a new passive ability: Servant of the Avatars.

Whenever you use an element locked Guardian skill (does not include trinket skills or weapon specials), your next basic attack will receive +75% damage and +50 Bonus, as well as inheriting the element of the empowering attack.

For example, if you use the Energy skill Mega Shock, your next basic attack will be empowered with Energy.

Guardian has also received a bunch of other changes.
  • Guardian Dragon
    • Empowers with Bacon.
    • If foe has >50% Max HP, gain bonus crit chance.
    • If foe has <50% Max HP, apply +50 health resist for 2 turns.
  • Guardian Rage
    • Now seeks weakness instead of using a random element.
  • Health Drain
    • Empowers with Water.
    • Damage increased by 50%
    • Cooldown reduced to 7, from 9.
  • Mana Drain
    • Empowers with Ice.
    • Damage increased by 50%
    • Now attacks HP instead of MP (although it still recovers MP).
  • Ray of Light
    • Empowers with Light.
    • -Bonus increased to -75, up from -50.
    • Duration of effect reduced to 2 turns.
  • Guardian Shield
    • Avoidance buff increased to 180, up from 125.
  • Breath of Limkragg
    • Empowers with Fire
    • DoT damage increased to 75% base damage up from 50%.
  • Mega Shock
    • Empowers with Energy.
    • Cooldown reduced to 1, from 4.
  • Keen Edge
    • Cooldown reduced to 8, from 12.
  • Guardian Heroes
    • Empowers with Darkness.
  • Decay (Previously Nightbane's Fury)
    • Empowers with Nature.
    • Now applies "Decaying", a -25 All, +25 Health debuff for 3 turns.
  • Vortex
    • Empowers with Wind.
    • Now does two hits of 75% base damage along with previous effects.
  • Awethur's Power
    • Now does 500% base damage even to specific foes that resist it.
    • Cooldown reduced to 7, down from 15.
Those are the Guardian changes! To note, we are aware of some issues with its art, animations, and its weapon special animation. Unfortunately these aren't quite able to be fixed this week.

Finally, Pyro rework changes! Pyromancer was in a fairly decent spot before, but lacked some power. With the stat reworks, it was also odd that it benefitted more from DEX than INT. These changes hope to address that.
  • Magefire Passive
    • A pyromancer always keeps a flame alight. When you start a battle, you'll have the "Healing Magefire" buff on yourself. This will heal you for .75% of your HP each turn.
    • However, a pyromancer controls fire, and can use it to burn their foes. If you use the basic attack button, your Magefire will become "Consuming Magefire" (Or back to Healing Magefire if you already have Consuming Magefire)!
    • Consuming Magefire passively increases the critical hit chance of your Pyromancer skills by 15% per Pyromancer DoT on your foe, up to a maximum of 60% crit chance.
  • Conflagration
    • Pyromancer is now back to being locked to the Fire element. Why? Because it's a Pyromancer
    • However, with enough heat, most things can burst into flame. The "Warmth" skill has been replaced with "Conflagration".
    • When you use Conflagration, you will suffer a -10 All resistance debuff (Note this increases your healing by 10%!), but your Pyromancer skills will use your chosen weapon's element instead of Fire.
    • When this skill is off cooldown, you can use it again to remove the debuff and return to Fire.
    • Each time you use Conflagration you will recover a small amount of HP and MP.
  • Triflame
    • Triflame now no longer applies a 1 turn stun.
    • Triflame now applies a DoT effect.
With these changes, Pyromancer is now very potent with INT, being able to burst foes into flame with critical hits, as well as being able to survive the harshest attempts to blow it out.

As with all reworks and balance changes, feedback is important, and changes are still possible. We'd love to hear your thoughts on these changes!

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< Message edited by Peachii -- 7/31/2020 23:05:04 >
DF AQW  Post #: 1
7/31/2020 23:50:41   
Primate Murder

Guardian was the first non-base class that I leveled, so I've always had a soft spot for it. Glad to see it updated.
AQ DF  Post #: 2
7/31/2020 23:56:39   

Suleneska is looking really great now, props to Dracelix for the amazing visual update.
DF  Post #: 3
7/31/2020 23:56:52   


Ray of Light
Empowers with Light.
-Bonus increased to -75, up from -50.
Duration of effect reduced to 2 turns.

NUUUUU! I'm gonna miss the loopable blinds , really helped me in certain bosses and Inn challenges before buying a DA


Decay (Previously Nightbane's Fury)
Empowers with Nature.
Now applies "Decaying", a -25 All, +25 Health debuff for 3 turns.


Guardian Rage
Now seeks weakness instead of using a random element.


Guardian Shield
Avoidance buff increased to 180, up from 125.


Awethur's Power
Now does 500% base damage even to specific foes that resist it.
Cooldown reduced to 7, down from 15.

Ahh that's pretty hot!

Will test all of these later, really appreciate the changes for Guardian!


Just a couple of questions :
1) Is there a turn expiry to the empowered Attacks after using the ele-locked skills?
2) Will the element empowerment override effects of , say the Exalted Unity/Penultima shown effect?

< Message edited by RageSoul -- 8/1/2020 0:27:57 >
AQW Epic  Post #: 4
8/1/2020 0:33:49   

this all looks really cool. though the pyromancer's megafare is gonna be a bit weird to handle.
DF AQW  Post #: 5
8/1/2020 0:43:19   

These changes are cool but am I wrong in expecting a little more for Guardian? Technomancer was similar to Guardian and its update catapulted it to one of the top classes in the game.
AQ DF MQ  Post #: 6
8/1/2020 0:43:44   
Primate Murder


Suleneska is looking really great now, props to Dracelix for the amazing visual update.

Yeah, now that I've checked it out, it really is great. I barely recognized the city!

Also, the whirlwind directly to Mritha/Kara is very nice, thanks.
AQ DF  Post #: 7
8/1/2020 0:53:00   

The new changes for Sulen'Eska is really good, no longer feeling too tight walking around it
AQW Epic  Post #: 8
8/1/2020 0:59:16   

To be fair, Guardian isn't a class many people have access to. It's probably intended that it isn't too strong.

I'm loving the new Sulen'Eska. It's absolutely beautiful, and everything is so consolidated and accessible now. It didn't take me long at all to get used to where all the NPCs are.
Post #: 9
8/1/2020 1:10:37   

Oh boy, this was an exciting release. I have some thoughts on the class revamps I'd like to share.

So Pyromancer is still basically the same as it was before. The buffs to Chains as well as the DoTs are a welcome addition, but the passives are pretty low-impact and don't really alter the way the class is used at all.
The HoT is really small, to the point where it's not really noticeable over the other (significantly larger) chip heals you'll get from showing a healing weapon or using Malcifer; it's a great addition but not a super relevant one.
The additional +Crit is pretty pointless and not worth trading the HoT for - the vast majority of Pyromancer's damage comes from its reflect and DoTs, neither of which is affected by an increased crit chance. And even if you ignore the DoTs, you'll find that all of Pyromancer's skills do ~120% damage, slightly more than just mashing the attack button; an additional crit chance on low base damage is really just a drop in the bucket.
I also don't really get the idea behind Conflagration; escaping an ele-lock isn't a huge deal and not worth spending a turn or debuffing yourself on, unless you, like, thought it was a good idea to bring a class literally called Pyromancer to fight monsters that resist or are immune to fire. The small heal it provides is also kinda pointless because the extra damage you'll take from -10 All will immediately counteract it lol.
There's also a bit of lingering weirdness leftover from Pyro's original skillset too, namely the Enkindle skill that just grants +25 Boost on, again, a class that primarily deals damage without direct attacks and therefore cannot make good use of +Boost. I've also seen people express disdain for its stall-y, turtle-y playstyle, but that's subjective - defensive classes can exist and some people (like me) can enjoy more drawn-out fights.

That's not to say that Pyromancer is bad or anything; again, it hasn't changed much and that's not a bad thing because it was always a really solid class. The question was never whether or not Pyromancer was weak, it was whether it was worth spending DCs on if that's a thing that matters to you - and barring fashion there's nothing it can do that non-DC classes like Necromancer can't do better. A full heal, while one of the best things the class has over its competitors, isn't even a unique niche anymore because any class can just use Seaweed or Rotten Hardtack.
The concern I have is that a revamp was an opportunity to make this often overlooked class a bit more unique, and that wasn't something that was realized with the addition of these largely-negligible passives. Something that meshes well with the class's playstyle, like empowering the DoTs or something, would have been a better use of a passive IMO.
I enjoy using Pyromancer and greatly appreciate the buffs, but multiple pointless passive effects that could theoretically have differentiated it from other turtle classes just kind of seems like a waste.

Guardian is definitely leagues better (and more interesting / unique) than it was before - empowering the basic attack is something we've seen before with Archivist, but one-at-a-time damage empowerments is a completely different take on it. My initial thoughts are that having all the empowerments do the exact same thing but with different elements under-explores the concept, IMO - maybe a Light-empowered attack could inflict a small blind, or a Fire-empowered attack could inflict a weak DoT. Maybe instead of just being a one-and-done damage boost, elemental empowerments could linger until a different element is used or another skill consumes them, making the mechanic a bit more of the focus of the class. Empowering the basic attack with different elements is a really, really cool idea and I'd love to see more done with this!
The class still seems pretty weak overall, though. Not to mention that its biggest flaw is still alive and well - Guardian Dragon is an incredibly punishing skill because the dragon still feels the need to assault you with interent memes from 2006. Also I hate Awethur it's still terrible please no more 10% procs

Overall, really exciting release! There was a lot to play through and digest here, and I loved it! I really enjoyed seeing both of these classes get buffed and they're both undoubtedly better than they were prior.

< Message edited by TFS -- 8/1/2020 1:16:35 >
DF  Post #: 10
8/1/2020 3:20:11   

Didn't see an update like this coming. Nice!

Sulen'Eska is definitely a big improvement. The wind elevator is extremely convenient, and the area looks much better overall. The last version always made me think that people were just kinda standing around in a swamp not doing anything. This version reminds me of the Surewould Rose Fort. A clearly organized base of operations but within a natural setting. It is a nice reflection between the rivaling groups.

Pyromancer... I don't know about this update. I was pretty excited to read about the changes but in practice it doesn't feel all the different. I agree with TFS here, the Pyromancer was never really a bad class, it's just not very interesting. Especially since so many other classes have received unique and interesting gameplay changes over the years. I had a conversation with a friend who was getting into DragonFable not too long ago, and he wanted some advice on what DC class to get with his first batch of DCs. First thing that came to mind was that he is generally a fan of fire themed weapons / classes in games, so I would recommend Pyromancer. Then I quickly realized that Pyromancer feels way more generic than most other 1,800 DC classes, so I had to downplay that suggestion.

When I use Pyromancer, it just feels like a fire themed Ninja. Stacking a lot of DoTs, putting up defenses, it is a fairly slow "Wither down the enemy" type of class. It gets the job done but many other things are just more interesting. Unfortunately, this update doesn't address the issue that Pyromancer isn't particularly special. Maybe the class would be more fun if the playstyle revolved around applying DoTs and various debuffs that could all be consumed at once for an increasingly more powerful nuke? That sounds like a good thing to attune Conflagration to instead of a small heal and largely irrelevant element switch. No matter what happens, there should be something more to make the class feel like a worthy investment when compared to other DC classes.

Guardian on the other hand, I really love what was done here! I get this sense of satisfaction when hitting an enemy with as many different elements as possible. Guardian being a type of elemental battle mage fits that satisfaction nicely, and now it has a neat new gimmick to boot. However, while chaining skill effects and mixing in powerful Attacks makes for a fun class, I think Guardian is still a bit too weak. TFS has a good idea, having a sort of "enchanted blade" that applies small effects depending on your last elemental Attack would add even more interest and versatility to the class. That being said, a straight damage boost to some skills would make the class flow better as well. There is also Awethur's Power being the same old unreliable joke it always has been. I managed to get a lucky roll once so far while testing it, and I do not see myself rolling for it ever again. I get that it is suppose to be the gamble skill, but it is rarely a gamble worth taking. From what I understand Guardian isn't suppose to be a super overpowered class, so I won't expect it to be, but a little more firepower would do it wonders for general questing and boss fights.

Overall, this is an unexpected yet exciting update. I don't know if I am sporting an unpopular opinion about Pyromancer, but I strongly believe that it still needs some tuning. Guardian just needs a small buff somewhere. Both of these classes could be extremely nice to use even if they aren't slaughter machines. Regardless of my complains, I appreciate that you still look for ways to improve these older classes, and I'm sure that they will end up in a comfortable spot before too long. And of course, amazing Sulen'Eska update. No complaints there. Looking forward to seeing what comes next!
Post #: 11
8/1/2020 4:00:36   

Never really cared about Pyro, since that was always among the weaker classes and possibly the weakest of DC classes (pre-CW) among things like enTropy, Ancient Exosuit and Kathool. Cannot really understand people who like that class either, now that it also has 1 healing skill gone in exchange for another DoT - something that there is already abundance of.

But Guardian changes are very welcomed for me, since that class felt like T2.5.
DF  Post #: 12
8/1/2020 4:29:21   
Primate Murder

The new guardian seems like it would be really good for early game. You just need one powerful weapon (destiny, maybe?) and use the appropriate elemental skill. Guardian Rage, in particular, seems pretty nifty for all the elemental fights.
AQ DF  Post #: 13
8/1/2020 4:44:09   

Wow, Sulen'Eska looks amazing. Wasn't expecting that.

And the class revamps are always nice. It is good that Guardian is getting buffed, but I agree with @TFS, it would be nice if every element would give an unique boost to basic attack. Light gives a little heal, wind avoidance, fire small DoT, etc...

Pyromancer on the other hand got a little buff, but I still isn't on the same level as other DC classes. Defensive classes are enjoyable as CW and that is what Pyromancer is, but it still is almost the same as it was before the buff. Playstyle you had with the class doesn't really get changed at all, only what stats you are going to train with it.

But this was still an enjoyable release. Guardian class is now much more usable and Dracelix did great work with Sulen'Eska.
DF  Post #: 14
8/1/2020 8:28:28   

I feel the same way as the others about Pyro, his passive doesn't really fit. I know Verlyrus' intention is to make INT more attractive to Pyro but it really wasn't. Perhaps it is better to give a similar treatment to the Ranger, where investing in both INT and DEX brings some unique benefit to the Pyro. I also liked Bamzalot's idea of using the various DoTs to boost a powerful nuke (perhaps with the auto-crit effect after certain other effects coming from the DoT's being together, thus also making the investment in INT worth more), and maybe this idea can even be expanded and the "nuke" have a different effect if other types of DoT's are active, maybe even become a defensive skill? Offensive and defensive in the same skill depending on certain criteria, it would be interesting in my opinion.
DF  Post #: 15
8/1/2020 14:28:43   
DragonFable Boxcat

I do have my own ideas for Pyro, some of which coincide with some suggestions from players. But I hope it does become more interesting and fun to play when it's all done.

As for improving Guardian empowerment, I think the idea of small effects on empowers has merit. I don't think they would be terribly strong- for example Light applying an additional small blind for a turn, or fire
adding a small 2 turn DoT. Just an additional thematic bonus that is nice, but should still feel optional. I was also planning on increasing the damage of empowered attacks, and adjusting some cooldowns and damage numbers.
AQ MQ  Post #: 16
8/3/2020 0:55:28   
Primate Murder

I'm leveling guardian on my lvl 34 alt, and wow is it great for questing. The mana drain ability alone gives you +50% damage attack, restores a noticeable amount of mp and gives your next basic attack a free 50% damage bonus.
AQ DF  Post #: 17
8/3/2020 3:48:17   

For what I have to say about the Guardian revamp, I would agree the damage output is lacking, but I think something to keep in mind as well, is to not get carried away and demand it's damage output be on chaosweaver level which I think is silly and not the right mindset to go about fixing Guardian not being great offensively. Then again it begs the question how powerful does it deserve to be at compared to the rest of the classes that exist in the game.

Even if the damage is still not great or up to people's standards. I'd be more than okay settling for a variety class that is enjoyable to play.
Post #: 18
8/3/2020 10:31:05   
Alm Nullamors

@^: I've personally maintained that it should be somewhere on par with Dragonlord, since Guardian is effectively its AQC counterpart. Both of them do explicitly require you to upgrade an account.
AQ DF MQ  Post #: 19
8/5/2020 23:39:50   

I also wanna say my thoughts on Pyromancer.

I would say the crit passive isn't useless BUT only if you invest in having additional crit via Equipment and the LUK stat to capitalise on the passive. Without the additional crit it's not really that good, you'll crit more often regardless with just the passive alone, but I wouldn't say it's enough so for the INT stat to feel impactful to Pyro.

When you have a high amount of crit though plus the 60 crit from the passive, then the high amount of INT really does start to come through. You'll crit like 9/10 times, a non crit might sneak itself somewhere but that's more than fine. The damage becomes pretty good, it's a decent step up from how it used to be for Pyro in the early days for this class but it's not massive damage like chaosweaver before anyone gets there hopes up.

Then again I will say, I don't expect anyone to invest in LUK or try to build around Pyro's crit passive by having more crit. For me personally I still rather prefer having decent MPM at the cost of less crit, and having more END/WIS over more LUK.

Overall i'm still keen to see what Verly and the staff can do with Pyromancer, whatever changes that may happen even if the crit passive gets thrown to the side, I'd be fine with it.
Post #: 20
8/6/2020 19:32:43   

I really excited that Pyro is getting some attention I remember being really hyped for it when it came out and enjoyed the phoenix properties of the class. I like the new passives the healing is cool but maybe it can work like death knight of switching between HoT and DoT. Though I do enjoy the crit as I like running high luck but agree that it's a bit out of character for the concept. I do agree with the fire only skills but I don't see the use of switching to weapon element because honesty if the quest is heavy fire resistant I'd just change class maybe just have couple do energy damage or something instead ( Though I might be fact I just re watched avatar the last air bender so I'm like fire benders have lightening too)
Another spin could be of a draconic skills set dragon breath that could be varied elements?
Post #: 21
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