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=DF= January 8th Design Notes: Arena at the Edge of Time: The Weight of Life

 
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1/8/2022 17:27:06   
  Peachii

Clairvoyant!
DragonFable & MechQuest


quote:


Verlyrus:
Arena at the Edge of Time: The Weight of Life

Hey there, heroes!

It's the start of a new year! And to begin, we have an end! The Dreamspace 2 arena board finale has arrived!



Do you have what it takes to face the overgrown feline and tree hybrid Junipurr?

Can you balance the weight of life and death against the Adjudicator?

Or will you be overwhelmed by the onslaught of The Goose (Extreme)?

The Dreamspace 2 board has come to a close with some fantastic new challenges to face!

Head over to the Inn at the Edge of Time to face the first challenges of the new year!



Also this week, the new January Dragon Coin special has arrived! Welcome to 2022!



Created by Archidamos, the Nova Phoenix gear is here, and available from the Book of Lore!

Also, as a note, the December specials and the Frostval storybook will be remaining for the month of January.

Later in the month, the Phoenix Helion gear will be available in a new Dragon Coin package!





Finally, as you may have noticed, snow has come to Book 3 Falconreach! Yay!

And that's all for this week!

Have feedback about recent releases? Have any crazy theories or ideas? Want to discuss all things DragonFable?

Join the discussion on the official forums!

Want to play DragonFable without using an internet browser?

Check out the Artix Games Launcher!

Follow us on Twitter for sneak peeks and updates (and feel free to tweet us your fan art and feedback too!)

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Tags: #Verlyrus
DF AQW  Post #: 1
1/8/2022 22:29:51   
Laeon val Observis
Member
 

Junipurr falls beneath DmK in just one run, while Adjudicator is Khasaanda nightmares again and will take a little while for data to be acquired for instinctive annihilation. Well, it should be since the reward for clearing their column is a BiS offensive belt rivaling Grimoire of the Lich (GotL is best for players who need something for Pyro-like plays, while this one is for non-discriminate offensive bolster at the expense of a bit of END).
spoiler:

The cat tree will give you a take on what it feels to be on the receiving end of EPL's draining roots. Once HP halves, it gains a mean lifestealer, so you better blitz it or the regeneration can easily overwhelm whatever damage you have.
Adjudicator has me in the delay on what it does, all that I know right now is that it gets a variety of buffs, and shifts between two states that also affect the landscape. From what I've noticed, Good mode renders it DoT damage only, while Evil mode is the other way around.

As for Goose EX, didn't really do anything after seeing that it will start by wearing its ribbon. Looks like Verly heard how relatively easy a slot machine the original is, so we'll have to work our behinds and luck off if we ever hope to fully unlock our furry tog's full potential.


As for the monthly DCs, nice additions for eye candy. And for those who missed them, a scythe with an on-hit DoT has come back alongside a cosmetic disco ball of a cape.

EDIT: Still have to strategize how to off Adjudicator, but Goose EX is definitely a terror. Mechanics are:
spoiler:

1. As stated earlier, its first action is normal attack then equip ribbon. That means the freaking avian (yep, no -30 resist from Corruption still) will be brutal from the get go.
2. Honk is faster at charging.
3. Klepto has at least 3 known variations on top of 3 bonus defensives: 60 +All/-Health, DoT invincible, and direct damage invincible. Unknown if they roulette on top of the already RNG berserk mode arsenal.
4. Disarming is same old, with the added bonus of purging the defensives mentioned.
5. Still retains the bizarre anti-Dragonslayer auto-Null beam mechanic.


< Message edited by Laeon val Observis -- 1/9/2022 2:49:11 >
DF AQW  Post #: 2
1/9/2022 13:37:29   
Kurtz96
Member

For Adjudicator:
spoiler:

Good mode: only DoT damage, Evil Mode: only direct damage. And there are 2 scales (a pop up appears before each attack). The corrupting scale is how many crits you (player has) and the decaying scale increases as part of the rotation. Is the difference between the 2 scales is 2 or more then Adjudicator has buffs. Is corrupting scale is higher, +20 All resist per difference. If Decaying is higher, +20 Boost/Bonus per difference. Suggest using magi sentinel helm to lower crit when you don't want to increase corrupting scale counter.


For Junipurr:
spoiler:

the first attack in its rotation (the vines from the ground) give you a debuff. While this debuff is on you, its second attack will heal 10% hp. If you avoid the debuff or purge it, the heal is only 2.5%. And the nuke is auto-hit.


< Message edited by Kurtz96 -- 1/9/2022 14:06:55 >
AQ DF MQ  Post #: 3
1/9/2022 22:02:28   
TFS
Helpful!


I really like Junipurr. Because there are multiple conditionals for the effect you want to avoid (Grasp has to connect, Grasp has to still be up, the vamp move has to connect), you have other options for stopping its healing besides just shielding Grasp - you can purge Grasp to lower its healing, and you can shield or blind the vamp move if your shield isn't strong enough to beat Grasp's +Bonus. I really like bosses like this that give you a defined problem and multiple ways to solve it, rather than just railroading you into doing one specific thing - there are several ways to approach it and that takes advantage of the meaningful variety of skillsets players have access to. I also just, like, really like the actual monster design.

I really want to like Adjudicator - balancing how much you crit and shield is both tons of fun and can indirectly serve as an upside to using low-hitcount classes without just softbanning high-hitcount classes. However, it uses a mechanic I'm really not a fan of - direct attack immunity. Most classes in DragonFable only have 1 DoT skill, if they have one at all, and after you inflict it you just sit around for 6 turns being completely unable to interact with the boss, which I don't think is super fun (especially since he can't actually kill you if you respect the fun part of the fight, so the challenge here is minimizing how much time he wastes). Being railroaded into using indirect damage (read: using Necromancer) would be more interesting in a game where direct and indirect attacks are more evenly weighted, but DragonFable generally only puts one DoT move on players' skillsets and doesn't really have other sources of indirect damage (while reflection effects exist, the ones the player has access to have all been either patched out or nerfed to the point of near-uselessness, so they probably aren't 'meant' as a primary option). It's a bit puzzling, too, because having to meter your crits is already a great way to incentivize/reward using DoT damage without being forced - and the boss already does that! This was still a really cool boss and having to balance your offense and defense was a neat way to fit the theme, but this one specific mechanic hampered my enjoyment and I (personally, at least) hope it doesn't become overused in the future like the reactive shields a while back.

Not a big fan of Goose EX - while all the things I liked about original Goose are still here (using the different weapon specials, an actual use for stuns, simply just being funny), the part I wasn't a fan of (RNG reliance) has been made worse by the stun cap. There's not really any counterplay to the goose just spamming BoA/Uragiri until you either run out of stuns or can no longer stun him - and he will eventually get lucky, considering the massive HP pool and conditional +60 All you're indirectly punished for removing. The answer is to just 'try again and get luckier' instead of 'react to his moves better,' as is the case for bosses with more evenly-weighted RNG splits you can reasonably react to (such as Drahr'Dolaas or even the Doomed Destroyer).
Of course, the goose is still downright trivial if you just use a class with high burst and low stun cooldowns (read: calendars!) simply because you can ignore the RNG and the fight isn't difficult without luck reliance, but if you don't have a class as strong as calendar/DoomKnight it isn't very pleasant to lose to factors outside of your control.

I'm a big fan of the reward belt too. Just like the Lich belt, a non-seasonal 10 All belt is great for making endgame builds more accessible, while the missing mainstat means there's still an incentive to grind DMs while there's a war up.
DF  Post #: 4
1/10/2022 0:47:09   
AstralCodex
Member

As usual for recent inn releases, I think the DF team really knocked the visuals and music on this release out of the park. The Adjudicator's fluid motion and its changing arena really make for a nice visual spectacle (albeit a laggy one). I don't really "get" Juniper's design, but the Adjudicator more than makes up for it in my opinion.

I also really appreciated the release of the first non-cosmetic Inn reward in 6 months (the 10 all Ourobouros Root Belt). (The last one was Unending Empire's Grimoire of the Lich back in July of 2021.)

As for the mechanics, I'm a bit mixed on all three bosses. As TFS said above, Junipurr's Grasp Mechanic hits the sweet spot of both having multiple points of interaction (you can dodge the Grasp debuff, purge it, block the draining moves, or even inflict +health res), while also being powerful enough that you have to respond to it (3 1.4k heals every 5 turns is way more than all but the most offensive classes can output). However, I dislike the use of massive hidden bonus on its scaling nuke - I feel like hidden bonus on nukes is one of the least intuitive mechanics for players, and feels most like a gotcha. Hidden bonus on nukes both mean that you can't really figure out how much +Bonus it has without a ton of trial and error, and also greatly limit the range of interaction with the nuke for many classes. In this case, because the nuke scales up so quickly, it also forces you to kill Junipurr first in the duo, which limits strategic flexibility.

I think the Adjudicator's scales mechanic is really dang cool, but am a bit torn as to its implementation. I do really like the fact that this is a very interactive mechanic. The player can always reduce their own crit with items such as Magi Sentinel Helm or the new Snow Repose IX if the scales need to be tilted toward Decay, or use shields/trinket skills to tilt the scales toward Corruption. However, I think the implementation could be a lot cleaner. For example, why does it update after each hit? Why do only some of the good/evil hits count toward his corrupting scales? It felt quite confusing when we were trying to reverse engineer the boss on Discord yesterday. I also share TFS's frustration as to the inclusion of damage immunity on this boss. Of the 8 bosses released since last September, 6 of them have some variant of damage immunity (mainly from how phase changes are implemented). The mechanic feels saturated or even overused, and I'm personally quite tired of seeing 0s over bosses.

I didn't enjoy Goose Ex much. It shares the Uaanta problem of feeling straightforward when RNG goes your way (read: you don't roll many of the +All, Damage Immunity/Heal, or "cut your health in 8" items), while owning most classes if it rolls many of the Damage Immunity+Heal/Cut your health in 8 items. The 5 stun cap further reduces counterplay. It also has the *other* Uaanta problem of being quite straightforward for Calendars/some DC classes/DoomKnight, while being a lot more annoying for other, nonpaid classes. For example, I beat it first try with DoomKnight without knowing mechanics, got owned twice in a row to repeated bad RNG, then beat it two times after. In none of the times I won did I feel like I deserved my win via tight play and careful maneuvering, in the none of times I lost I felt like I lost through my own fault. My victories over it with other classes such as Technomancer or Epochs felt similar.

That being said, I enjoyed this release overall, mainly due to 1) the nice graphics and music on the Weight of Life fights, 2) the challenge posed by the Weight of Life duo fight, and 3) the release of new BiS items in the year after a half-a-year drought.
DF  Post #: 5
1/10/2022 3:17:44   
Flabagast
Member

I really like the Adjudicator! I felt pretty stuck at first, seeing no rhyme or reason to the offensive and defensive buffs it was applying to itself, or how the damage negation worked. But I felt pretty pleased when I (mostly) had it figured out and was able beat it first try. Waiting out the Good phase wasn't too bad for me as I had my dragon to apply DoTs with Outrage and Tail Lash, and Paladin could take the damage in the mean time. I'm a big fan of it's design too.

Junipurr will be a bigger challenge for me, I think. At least in terms of beating her with a realistic chance of staving off the Adjudicator at the same time.

And I don't dare approach the Goose EX. I'm already intimidated enough by the regular version, to say the least...
AQ DF MQ AQW  Post #: 6
1/11/2022 13:30:40   
Dratomos
Helpful!


The music in these fights just keeps surprising me. It's so good.

As for the fights, they were fine. Took me a while to understand Adjudicator but managed to beat it after that. It's not that threatening, just takes time. As for the Juniper, it was interesting. Nice to see some nature hitting foes after so long.

And Goose Ex? I beat it, but it might have too much RNG for non-Calendar classes to defeat without frustration. Sure Epoch manages to defeat it, but others might have more trouble if Uragiri appears more.

Edit: It seems that BDL still is the official Goose Champion.

< Message edited by Dratomos -- 1/11/2022 15:48:20 >
DF  Post #: 7
1/11/2022 15:32:21   
Fire alandry
Member

Managed to beat Adju and Juni with CW (didn't try the due, though. I suspect it won't work). A bit stall with Adju- not too difficult with CW, actually, if you don't Gambit. Then super easy kill when it enters Evil state. Juni was down before the second nuke IIRC- I farmed and upgraded Uaanta's blaster (Ama) and combined its effect with the +health Empower, but I think it was completely unnecessary. CW can outdamage the heal.
Outdamage, shield the debuff or the drains, +health, purge... You must deal with the mechanic, but each class can do it in its own way.

About the pet... I am confused. Currently, the Dragon almost always is better. Not only it's more versatile (Elements, skills), you can choose what it'll do and when.
On one hand, the game is called Dragon Fable. The dragon is your companion, and it does take 600 days to feed it. On the other hand, why we can't have more options? At the least, a pet that can compete with Draco's damage output (without any other skill- no heal, shield, DoT, stun...). A pet I'll consider using on my questing. It feels so underwhelming to earn a pet with max damage lower then Draco's attack.
DF  Post #: 8
1/11/2022 15:50:01   
Dratomos
Helpful!


quote:

About the pet... I am confused. Currently, the Dragon almost always is better. Not only it's more versatile (Elements, skills), you can choose what it'll do and when.
On one hand, the game is called Dragon Fable. The dragon is your companion, and it does take 600 days to feed it. On the other hand, why we can't have more options? At the least, a pet that can compete with Draco's damage output (without any other skill- no heal, shield, DoT, stun...). A pet I'll consider using on my questing. It feels so underwhelming to earn a pet with max damage lower then Draco's attack.


Don't all these pets deal quite high damage? At least with 200 CHA, Baby Chimera and Doom Figmini can deal 150 easily and The Tog can deal up to 300. I would say that is on par with our Dragon's base.
DF  Post #: 9
1/11/2022 18:07:09   
TFS
Helpful!


^CHA pets both require you to give up half of your stat points and are still strictly worse than CHA Dragon regardless.
While they don't require two years of dailies (or just 4500 DCs), Dragonless CHA builds (and the only 2 classes that'd actually want to use them) are still just gimmicks strictly worse than a normal mainstat/END build + 3-point Dragon + 0 CHA Chimera in any existent situation. Players who are already handicapped by the lack of Dragon are more likely to be interested in the most effective solutions, rather than further handicapping themselves for the sake of a gimmick. Probably.

The real reason you should be getting these CHA pets is just because they're cute.

< Message edited by TFS -- 1/11/2022 18:15:34 >
DF  Post #: 10
1/11/2022 19:12:33   
Dratomos
Helpful!


quote:

^CHA pets both require you to give up half of your stat points and are still strictly worse than CHA Dragon regardless.
While they don't require two years of dailies (or just 4500 DCs), Dragonless CHA builds (and the only 2 classes that'd actually want to use them) are still just gimmicks strictly worse than a normal mainstat/END build + 3-point Dragon + 0 CHA Chimera in any existent situation. Players who are already handicapped by the lack of Dragon are more likely to be interested in the most effective solutions, rather than further handicapping themselves for the sake of a gimmick. Probably.


Yeah, that's correct but didn't we just talk about normal questing? And not Inn challenges? Don't know about @fire_alandry, but I assumed he meant that. Because in normal questing, I would say having 200 CHA build is worthwhile and maybe having your dragon as a guest.

In normal questing there isn't any reason to use normal mainstat/END build over CHA build.
DF  Post #: 11
1/11/2022 20:16:05   
TFS
Helpful!


^My point was that you can't really compare 200 CHA on another pet to 0 CHA on Dragon. CHA affects Dragon as well, and it'll be better than every other pet regardless of your CHA level.

In normal questing you won't ever fail your goal and it doesn't really matter whether your pet does 1 damage or 300 damage (unless you're attempting to farm/optimize, in which case you're better off with no pet), so I'm not sure why that'd be a reason for or against using whatever pet you like. @Fire_Alandry implied that what they wanted to use was the strongest pet, which is always going to be Dragon.
DF  Post #: 12
1/11/2022 23:47:44   
AstralCodex
Member

Also keep in mind that at 200 CHA, your Dragon does around 250 DPT, on top of having a 2/16 200 MPM shield and a 2/9 12% heal.
DF  Post #: 13
1/12/2022 3:56:11   
Dratomos
Helpful!


Maybe I wrote my first post badly because I wasn't saying that a 200 CHA Inn pet is stronger than Dragon.

When @Fire_alandry said

quote:

At the least, a pet that can compete with Draco's damage output (without any other skill- no heal, shield, DoT, stun...).


I tried to say that with 200 CHA, Inn pets can compete with Dragon on DPT. When not counting Dragon's DoT, shield, heal, stun, etc....

DF  Post #: 14
1/12/2022 10:37:58   
Fire alandry
Member

Let me clarify. In the Inn, pet dragon is almost always the best choice. There are some mechanics which can be dealt better with other pets: Stan, palachilly, etc. But mostly, the high damage and the veriety of useful skills are the best option. I'm not really expecting anything else.
Also, I know that during "regular" quests you don't have to optimize.
Saying that, I do want pets I'll consider as option. Right now, the dragon can do about 500 damage with Nova, 2 200 skills (outrage, primal) and easily above 100 after that.
Meanwhile, the new tog has a average of 30, so its "nuke" should do about... 145? Didn't test it, though (have to beat Honk Extreme first).
My point is: pets already weaker then dragon. They'll never compete the ability to choose Element, which skills they have and when to use them. So why not buff them? It won't hurt the balancing of the game.
I would like to see more niche pets, with some rare skills like purge or +health (there is one, but you can't choose when it uses it:/)
Till then, I just wish the damage was better.
DF  Post #: 15
1/13/2022 0:11:55   
AstralCodex
Member

The tog's nuke does around 250 damage, and occurs ~50% of the time, with 200 CHA. Then (again at 200 CHA), there's a 25% chance it does ~120 damage and a 25% chance it does ~180 damage. This gives it 200 DPT with 200 CHA, which is still lower than Dragon with 200 CHA.

Keep in mind that Chimera does ~180 DPT with 200 CHA, and also gives a BPD shield.
DF  Post #: 16
1/13/2022 2:48:43   
Fire alandry
Member

I was talking about 0 CHA build.
DF  Post #: 17
1/13/2022 3:41:08   
Laeon val Observis
Member
 

^Nonetheless, just using simple mathematics:
Min. Damage:
D=67
EFTEX=41-81*
Max. Damage:
D=87
EFTEX=48-96*

EFTEX nuke range= 122-144
*These numbers are assuming you are at 90% or less HP (easy to achieve unless you are a more defensive player) and that you take into account whether it uses multi-bite (minimum of range) or beam (maximum).

The only thing that a 0 stat dragon has to be proud of is consistent dmg output. But otherwise, EFTEX can put a run for our scaly companion's money in terms of raw damage. Perhaps, though, there might be room for improvement if the devs think it is time. For now, our dragon is still on top ala dmk. Remember that this is a game wherein the smallest figure can mean the difference between balance and imbalance. Case in point: why do you think gearsawpping to Dropbear+Hidebehind is a thing?

< Message edited by Laeon val Observis -- 1/13/2022 3:49:57 >
DF AQW  Post #: 18
1/13/2022 17:36:27   
AstralCodex
Member

Tog EX will nuke 0% of the time with 0 CHA, so it does the same damage as 0 point dragon at 0 cha. A 200 point Fighting 200 Magic dragon easily demolishes the tog in terms of DPT regardless of your CHA investment.
DF  Post #: 19
1/13/2022 17:42:21   
Laeon val Observis
Member
 

^uhh, notwithstanding the 200 FIT/MAG part (once again, OP is on a thought experiment wherein the dragon in concern is a flat zero across its stats and in the casual arena, so just entertain that even if it is weird. Especially so that he does understand the power of a trained dragon), wouldn't the CHA from items be taken into the equation if I am not mistaken? That would mean that there will be a small chance to nuke even at zero trained CHA unless of course your items don't bolster the said stat (that would be odd even if it's just one digit) or runs it into the negatives. Unless of course the one time I tested EFTEX on a 10k training dummy and it nuked was a glitched run (I used my default equips on top of EFTEX).

< Message edited by Laeon val Observis -- 1/13/2022 17:50:24 >
DF AQW  Post #: 20
1/16/2022 14:47:43   
Fire alandry
Member

Just beat the Extreme Goose. I opened the Endgame-Wiki page right after I entered the quest, you can imagine how surprised I was to find out there is another change except the weapon-rotation... But, I enjoyed the bell mechanic. The boss actually forced me to take care of myself! Very nice.

So, I got the Tog. And with 50 CHA (39 from items +11 from build), it was pretty underwhelming. The nuke is somewhere at 200 fight' lash, not more. Now, is the only point of pets is temporary alternative for dragon, until you train it ? Or just being cute?
If not... Well, reimagine every pet is too much, of course. But create the new ones better (they are better than past pets, but wayyyyy below dragon) is possible. A little more damage, maybe adding their skills to the new skill-bar. The devs usually like to give the player many good options, even when one is slightly better. Look at the last year belts, for example.
What do you think?
DF  Post #: 21
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