Development Update 19

This time, we have some really exciting gameplay news. After quite a lot of testing (and feedback) we felt that it is time to make some more substantial gameplay changes. The most important drive for new changes are specializations. We wanted to make them more unique, so each specialization is not just a small niche but almost feels like a new class. The other drive was to make things simpler for new players and combat more fluid.

We will showcase those changes but not that some aspects are still not visually complete and all of them are missing sounds. So let us go through the changes class by class.

Fighter Changes

Fighter swings more fluid now because Bash and Rend reset auto swing timers. This means if you activate them when not swinging, they are executed immediatelly (otherwise they are queued right after autoswing). Default fighter’s weapon is now two-hander in all specializations. We made healing reduction modifier Bleed (applied by Bash) flat 40% healing reduction instead of stacking. Fighters should use it tactically now instead of spamming it on cooldown.

The biggest change was complete rework of Weapon Swap. It now changes to specialization’s specific weapons; Sellsword retains the two-hander and applies slow with generators, Assasin wields faster, one-handed weapons for duration of Weapon Swap, and Templar transfers 50% of damage from nearby allies to self.

Mage Changes

Mage’s slow on energetic sphere is now flat 45% instead of stacking. This should promote using Energetic Sphere in all specializations to slow targets and then focus on damage with Cosmic Shards and Fire Ball. We made damage over time (DoT) ticks of Fire Ball twice as powerful and twice as short. We wanted to remedy the situations when player’s felt DoTs did not do enough damage (while in fact they were a very significant and annoying damage dealing source).

The most substantial improvement was simplification of spirits spawned by Possess and Spirit Explosion. The spirit is now based of your specialization and not current attunement. We also made spirits more powerful. The Elemental Spirit is very simple now (I don’t want to explain what it did before …); it periodically fires damaging projectiles at target. Stargazer spirit replicated 70% of Mage’s damage and really provides a huge burst opportunity, while Oracle spirit slows all targets around him and explodes at the end, dealing damage and immobilizing targets.

Healer Changes

Healer is one of the hardest class to test as it always needs a team to function properly. One of the things that was pointed was that microplays, like dispelling slows and DoTs, while cool, were targeted too deeply at some specializations and really annoying for opponents. We therefore removed this skill and replaced it with Empower. Empower is targeted at healer only as we wanted to make his dueling better without empowering allies. Devout can make himself immune to movement reducing effects (slows), Hermit can knockback target around himself and Spiritualist gain a magic barrier that reduces damage by 50% and explodes for significant damage.

Sum Up

Those changes inheritely broke balance a bit but we feel that we are still very close. We already made a few tweaks, like increasing health pool to 13000 due to increased damage those changes bring. We also know that we still need to improve all those changes visually but we feel we are on a right track with these changes. One of the really good benefits of more diverse specializations are more different playstyles and also more balancing opportinities as we can tone up/down specialization specific abilities or classes to achieve balance.

We look forward to testing those changes with you in the Arena!