balance

Diablo III’s latest patch tweaks class balance and set balance

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.

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The Daily Grind: What one character option would you remove from your favorite MMO?

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?

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EVE Vegas 2017: EVE Online’s free-to-play option is getting a huge boost

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.

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SWTOR plays the nerf-and-buff game with Assassins, Shadows, Sages, and Sorcs in 5.5

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, 2) via Dulfy

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Blade & Soul is revamping crafting in the Rise of the Gunslinger patch

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.

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Neverwinter is going to refine the art of refinement

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.

Source: Refining Refinement, Technical data, feedback thread; thanks to Jon for the tip!

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Kritika Online patches Starhenge adjustments and Green Leaf damage decreases

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.

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Wisdom of Nym: The numbers game in Final Fantasy XIV

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.

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Final Fantasy XIV details some of the balance changes coming to the game on Tuesday

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.

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EVE Evolved: The controversy over EVE Online’s capital ship nerfs

EVE Online players have been up in arms this week over sweeping nerfs that are about to hit to high-end farming gameplay styles in the player-owned nullsec territories. It started when CCP Games announced that the Excavator drones used by Rorqual capital industrial ships would be getting a sizeable mining yield reduction and that a respawn delay would be added to ore sites in nullsec. As players were still reeling from that unexpected news, developers then announced a surprise general nerf to fighter damage with the goal of making carriers and supercarriers less effective in PvE and PvP. This significant balance change was just announced on Friday 9th June and goes live on Tuesday 13th, prompting outcry from the community over the lack of feedback-gathering on such a significant change to capital ship balance.

These nerfs both seem to be reactions to the latest few Monthly Economic Reports, which showed that the total money supply in the game economy is over a quadrillion ISK and rising rapidly. The detailed breakdowns of economic activity in the reports tell a more complex story, with ISK supply from bounty prizes roughly doubling over the past year and mining in the Delve region shooting off the scale in the past few months. It seems that a large number of nullsec players are spending more time farming and building up resources, and it’s the scale and efficiency of the top-tier farming setups that has CCP worried.

In this edition of EVE Evolved, I discuss the upcoming Rorqual and fighter nerfs, look at the economics of farming, and explain why this trend could be a more serious indicator than CCP realises.

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Wisdom of Nym: Words of caution about speculating on Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood’s balance

Whew. All right. Last week had a big old release of news about Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood, and now I’m far more relaxed because I can actually talk about all of the things I saw. This has been gnawing at me since I got back from San Francisco, and while there’s a certain amount of fun in knowing things other people don’t, it’s much more fun to talk about how utterly cool pretty much everything looks. Even the jobs which I’m not specifically more excited about look like they’re getting lots of cool toys along the way.

Unfortunately, we’ve already started seeing people crying that the sky is falling and that Stormblood will be the worst thing ever, because now we know about the abilities. And… yeah, that’s downright bad.

Look, you all know how much I love speculating about things. I speculated about which abilities various jobs were losing or getting compressed (and wound up at about 65% accuracy, which I think is pretty good), I’ve speculated about what we’d hear at the various fanfests, I’ve speculated about jobs we’re likely never to get. But there’s good speculation and bad speculation, and your speculation about what the jobs will look like in terms of performance at 70 right now? It’s bad. Let’s talk about why.

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Shroud of the Avatar unveils its patch notes for release 42

The end is coming to Shroud of the Avatar. The next patch for the game, release 42, allows players who have succeeded at the quests for the paths of Love, Courage, and Truth to begin walking the Path of the Oracle. This is the culmination of the game’s storyline, so if you’ve been waiting to see how it’s all going to turn out, the next patch is your time to shine.

Of course, there’s a lot more in the patch than just that. Players who are just getting into the game can enjoy more polish passes on the new player experience, for example, and players of any experience level can enjoy the new combat balance changes to make the game a bit more balanced and fun. There’s also the in-game mail system and improvements to enemy AI, so no matter where you are with the story, you’ll find something to do. It’s just worth noting that the people waiting to see the Oracle are finally going to get their payoff.

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