The designers behind Fortnite’s Battle Royale mode have plans. What are those plans? You’ll need to go on a dangerous mission to retrieve them by sneaking into the… oh, never mind, you can just read them right here. That was straightforward.
Whether or not you’ll like what you read is a different discussion. Most players will probably like the prospect of 60 FPS on console versions of the game, west coast servers, and new character skins, but the game is also tossing regular submachine guns into the Vault (i.e. a metaphorical box from whence items cannot be pulled out and used). In short, it’s yanking the weapon from the game for the moment.
This isn’t to say that they’re bad, just that this balance change is meant to encourage using other weapons and to shake up the game’s metagame balance; in the future, other items can also be added to the vault and removed as time requires. There are also new social features and limited-time game modes planned, so on a whole the roadmap has lots of cool stuff to look forward to. It’s just slightly less if you love submachine guns.
Throughout its almost 15-year lifetime, EVE Online
has walked a fine line between developing new features and iterating on existing gameplay. Development has to push forward on new features to keep the game fresh and attract new players, but balance issues can emerge in existing gameplay that equally make the game stale or less enjoyable. CCP Games
hasn’t always responded to these issues in a timely manner, at times leaving known balance issues in the game for months or even years because development resources weren’t available to tackle those specific issues.
This strategy has been challenged recently by Council of Stellar Management member Jin’taan in his article “Balance is not optional,” in which he argues that CCP shouldn’t even be making balance changes compete for development time with other features. Player Capri Sun KraftFoods followed up with a look at EVE‘s modular item attribute system, arguing that almost any balance change can be implemented quickly and easily just by tweaking the right attributes. Could it be that easy to iterate on EVE‘s frequent balance issues, or does the nature of the game necessitate caution?
In this edition of EVE Evolved, I break down the case for quicker iterative updates on balance issues, look at some of the challenges with balancing a game like EVE, and look at CCP’s new balance team.
The next update for Just Survive is up for testing, and it’s all about raiding bases. Not just in the sense of encouraging you to do so, though; the patch improves construction mechanics by adding another tier of materials and allowing you an easier time building things. It also makes it harder to besiege and destroy structures, so it’ll take more effort for people to break down your walls and blow up your hard-built structures.
Construction costs have also been reduced, along with several other balance changes meant to improve the overall raiding environment. You’ll also have an easier time fueling your raiding ventures with craftable Yeast to lead into plenty of Ethanol. Check out the full list of changes on the test server on the official site, which should force more of a risk-reward analysis when setting out to raid the structures of other players within the environment.
Let’s just start with the good news here: Destiny 2
screw over players by pretending it had reduced experience gains while actually increasing requirements this time! That’s what appeared to have happened
, and that’s what players were initially up in arms about; it looked at a glance like the XP requirements for Bright Engrams had gone up to 240,000 instead of being reduced to 120,000. But it turns out that this was an error with the API and one that was relatively quickly fixed.
The official response also contains an apology for the display issue and an admission that really, no one could be blamed for assuming that Bungie secretly increased requirements while claiming otherwise.
While Diablo III is getting a bit long in the tooth, there’s still plenty of space for the game to have its balance tweaked. The latest patch is all about adjusting the balance of class skills and class sets, nudging the performance on several sliders to make the weaker class options feel a bit more useful. Barbarians in particular have seen numbers boosted on several legendary items to make the effects on those items feel more pronounced in play.
Visual effects have also been toned down on abilities and passives that tended to hit large numbers of enemies, and some abilities have been redesigned to avoid strange gameplay quirks (like forcing Necromancers to refresh Skeletal Mages while already full). There are also the usual bug fixes and improvements, making for a patch that doesn’t add any new content but should make the process of hacking through familiar content slightly more pleasant.
Good news, MMO fans! You’re getting to redesign your favorite MMO’s entire combat system. The bad news is that you’re doing so by removing one character option and that’s it. One class from World of Warcraft, one job from Final Fantasy XIV, one profession from Guild Wars 2, one ship type from EVE Online. You get the idea. There’s no adding; there’s just removing one thing and possibly giving some of its abilities to other classes.
And no, you can’t remove a role or drastically rearrange how roles work, either. If there are a dozen DPS options, you can remove one. That’s it.
So what would you pick and why? You can’t completely rewrite the game’s balance, but you can remove one thing from the game. What character option would you remove from your favorite MMO to revamp the combat? And do you think it would make enough difference for a major revamp to the game’s mechanics?
When EVE Online
added its free-to-play alpha clone account option
, it felt more like an infinite trial than a truly viable free tier. Alpha clone players are currently limited to a single faction’s ships, can only fly tech 1 cruiser sized ships and below, train skills at half the normal speed, and have access to only about 5 million skill points worth of skills. CCP Games
initially expected there to be a section of the playerbase who would play alphas exclusively and never upgrade to a full account, but the options proved to be far too limiting and internal stats showed that most people upgraded to Omega quickly or quit.
At EVE Vegas 2017, CCP announced that EVE Online‘s free option is getting a massive boost this December after the Lifeblood expansion. Alpha clones will soon be able to fly battlecruisers and use tech 2 small and medium guns, allowing them to fly many of the common ships used in nullsec fleets and removing most of the power gap between alpha and omega pilots in those roles. They’ll also be able to fly battleships and train for all 4 races of ships, which has the side effect of allowing powerful pirate faction and cross-faction ships such as the Machariel and Stratios.
Read on for a brief breakdown how the new system will work for new and current players.
The latest set of class changes for Star Wars: The Old Republic
are like the circle of life. Deception Assassins and Infiltration Shadows? You’ve been overperforming
! Enjoy losing damage and critical hit chance on several of your abilities so that you are closer to your expected DPS target. If you were enjoying have all of that damage… well, that’s too bad, you were doing too much.
On the other hand, Telekinetics Sages and Lightning Sorcerers? You weren’t doing enough damage. So you… also lost potency? On one attack, though; you also got a bigger damage boost for targets suffering a status ailment and you got a fixed bug to improve your overall damage. So you’re still doing better, although losing some damage when you were underperforming feels weird even if it makes perfect sense. But that’s the circle of balance, isn’t it?
Expect the changes coming in GU 5.5.
Source: Official Site (1
) via Dulfy
What are you expecting for Blade & Soul’s
Rise of the Gunslinger patch? Probably mostly gunslinging, possibly a strained Stephen King reference or two? But the patch has more than just guns and the slinging thereof, as you’ll also have the option of jumping in with a new set of crafting revamps
. Players will be able to have three tasks for each guild and be able to reach level five for each guild, complete with several streamlined recipes alongside many new ones.
This also goes hand-in-hand with removing the gathering guilds from the game and making gathering a more direct task. Quartz and Spring Water are also being removed from the game to further streamline matters. If you’re uninterested in all of that and just want to sling some guns, don’t worry, there’s a collection of additional gunslinging-related screenshots just below. It’s almost like a craft.
Are you a fan of Neverwinter’s
current system of refinement? The developers certainly aren’t, which is why the system is being massively overhauled from top to bottom and streamlined
. No more doubled refinement weekends, no more managing a huge system of items in your inventory just to manage what you’ll need for refinement, no more making Bonding the be-all and end-all of refinement. Now the system will use one unified currency, the item requirements have been vastly reduced, and doubled refinement weekends are going away forever.
The complete list of mechanical changes can be looked at here, as well. Player feedback has already brought up that this might impact the ability of players to really manage alts as well as the amount of bank space many players bought just to keep up with refinement; the changes to Bonding having less overall uptime have also been sharply negative. Of course, none of these changes is live yet, so you can feel free to join in the feedback thread to voice your own opinions.
Sometimes you go a bit too far. It happens. Kritika Online
made some changes to Starhenge with its last patch to make the content harder on a whole, but those difficulty increases wound up overshooting the mark. By a lot
, unfortunately. But it’s easy to fix that; the most recent patch for the game
has dropped boss shield gauges, increased rewards, and reduced the challenge across the board in Easy, Normal, and Hard modes. Insanity mode will remain where it is, but for most players this makes the content much more forgiving
Meanwhile, the game’s Green Leaf weapons also turned out to be tuned a bit too high, allowing players to clear Arena content faster and more reliably than planned. No punishment is going out to players who used the weapons, as it wasn’t the fault of players, but the weapons have been adjusted to the correct level. Check out the full list of patch notes for the fine details.
It’s not really hard to figure out the best stats for melding in order to do the maximum damage in Final Fantasy XIV
. You have, ultimately, only a few real options, and with the removal of Accuracy as an option, none of them is actually going to make or break important points. The problem is that asking “what can I meld to do maximum damage” is perhaps not always the right question to ask.
The matter of stat weights and best-in-slot gear has already been attracting ferocious debate in various parts of the community, and you know the debate has gotten to a fever pitch when Yoshida actually addresses one of the stupider new customs in a live letter. (That would be tanks wearing 270 STR accessories, for the record.) So I think it’s well past the point to talk about the issue of tank damage, tank scaling, and numbers in general. They may not carry the allure of story sequences, but they’re still important.
The next patch for Final Fantasy XIV
arrives tomorrow, and everyone who has been following the game knows that it’s bringing the new weekly Allagan Tomestones of Creation into the game. But it’s also bringing some other stuff in the form of balance adjustments, something detailed in the most recent Letter from the Producer LIVE
with producer (and director!) Naoki Yoshida
. All healing jobs are seeing some adjustments, with Scholar singled out for some far-ranging changes like reworks to Excogitation and Indomitability and the re-introduction of Miasma II.
Yoshida also discussed changes coming to tank jobs, Black Mage, Machinist, and Dragoon. He also discussed some of the game’s upcoming content, such as plans to implement a new Alliance Raid roulette for content such as Crystal Tower and Void Ark and new separations of congested areas in the open world. You can check out the full letter for more hints about the future, but you can also just wait until tomorrow; a lot of this will be in patch 4.05, after all.