game balance

Guild Wars 2 previews upcoming PvP/WvW skill splits

A skill is going to have the same general effect in all arenas of Guild Wars 2, but there are a lot of things to be tweaked for the game’s PvP and WvW arenas. The development team has posted a roadmap of the upcoming skill splits and rebalancing, including several changes happening just for PvP and others for both PvP and WvW. Said roadmap also explains the goals with all of these skills, with an emphasis on greater build diversity, fewer passive effects in PvP, and less burst efficiency on instant-cast spells.

Naturally, the player community has looked over these changes, and there’s a debate currently running about whether or not several of the skill changes listed would also be hugely positive for the game’s PvE side as well. Whether or not this is accurate is something for the team to debate, but there have been responses from the devs that these buffs may also be applied to underperforming skills on the PvE side as well. So you might want to look through the full rundown even if you avoid PvP.

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EVE Online balances ships and adds the Monitor to its March patch

Even if you’re not familiar with how battles work in EVE Online you can probably still guess at what “headshotting” means for the game’s large-scale battles. Command ships offer major benefits for fleets working with them, and trying to take out that command ship can often end the fight right then and there. The next patch is adding a new sort of ship designed for combat to prevent headshots, the Monitor. It fits no weapons or drones and can only fit a few modules, but it’s incredibly durable for its size and features several options to elude pursuit. It’s not the only option for commanding a fleet, but it should serve as an excellent way to mix up strategies.

The various other balance changes should also mix things up by extending the lock range on tech 1 battlecruisers and giving attack battlecruisers more maneuvering ability with micro jump drives, along with several specific balance shifts for specific ships. Check out the full rundown to see if you’ll need a new strategy for the ship you’re flying when the March patch lands. Whether or not this will address the game’s current enormous bot problem is another story altogether.

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Fortnite outlines a new roadmap for Battle Royale and removes submachine guns

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.

Source: Official Site via VG24/7

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Just Survive brings construction improvements to the test server

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.

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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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Armored Warfare deep-dives the role of Armored Fighting Vehicles

The latest development diary on the Armored Warfare site is trying to answer a remarkably unclear question: What are Armored Fighting Vehicles? It sounds like a pretty strange question to ask, but that broad designation could include everything from tank destroyers to light tanks in a real-world context. Here, however, the AFV family consists of vehicles whose primary purpose is using their increased mobility and special ability to designate targets to serve as scouts and spotters across the battlefield.

AFVs are further divided into light and heavy categories; the former is faster and has an easier time serving as a pure spotter, while the latter is a bit more oriented toward fighting and works well at killing the former. In all cases, AFV players will need to make use of their mobility to stay alive, avoiding drawn-out gunfights in favor of zipping in, spotting, and zipping back out. Check out the full rundown for more on the battlefield role and several minor planned improvements for the AFV class in the future.

There’s also a trailer for the next episode of the game’s storyline campaign below. That’s unrelated aside from the fact that you may be exploring it in an AFV, but it’s still relevant.

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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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Destiny 2: Console sales numbers, 1.2M concurrent, and future content

So hey, Destiny 2 launched for consoles, and a lot of you bought it, if the 1.2 million concurrent player mark is any judge. We haven’t seen formal numbers from Activision yet, and though Bungie was talking about Destiny 2 preorders ahead of launch, sales so far in the UK haven’t surpassed Destiny 1’s as expected, in spite of topping the charts for the year.

Console players, meanwhile, will see the Leviathan raid unlocking on September 13th, Trials of the Nine starting up on September 15th, and many other challenges being presented in a slow roll for the next few weeks. So don’t worry if you’ve already plowed your way up to the top in the game right after release, you’ll have more to do soon.

The developers are also hard at work investigating known issues, working server queues in when necessary, and releasing the game’s official soundtrack. So it’s full steam ahead for Destiny 2 fans, there’s more on deck for the next several weeks, and you can count on some bugfixes incoming as well. Relax, listen to a soundtrack, and enjoy the ride. Or enjoy the wait, depending on your platform of choice.

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World of Warcraft’s Argus hasn’t got flying – and it never will

So, had you been hoping that at some point World of Warcraft would let you fly in the final zone of Legion? Best give up that hope. The official word is in from community manager Oryx that there will never be flying in Argus. Not now, not in the next expansion, not in a decade, never. Oryx also points out that this isn’t unusual, as things were the same on the Isle of Quel’danas, the Timeless Isle, and the Isle of Thunder.

Unlike all of the above, of course, Argus is not an island. But Oryx still stresses that the point of the zone is to feel dangerous even to players who can soar through the Broken Isles, hence keeping it dangerous for players who are stuck on the ground. Whether or not that argument holds any water for you is down to personal preference, but at least it’s not the entire expansion that’s been cut off from flight.

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Master x Master is devaluing one currency to improve another

Have you found yourself playing Master x Master and thinking that the game was just too darn generous with currency? Probably not, but then, you aren’t NCsoft and thus trying to derive a profit from the game. A new post on the official site explains that the studio believes the game was giving out too much SOL (the currency earned just from play) and not offering enough advantage to players using X-Coins (the currency bought for real money). So the economy is changing.

Nightmare mode will no longer cost SOL, X-Coin prices on unlocking Masters will go down, and SOL costs for most Master items will go up. The stated reason is that players were earning too much progress for free and there was a severe imbalance, but the Reddit thread in response is full of players who feel unlocking Masters is already expensive and making their items more expensive just limits the game for no player benefits.

However you feel about the changes, you’ll want to spend your SOL before September 13th, when the changes are set to roll out to everyone regardless of opinion.

Source: Official Site, Reddit; thanks to Anon for the tip!

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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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Albion Online alters resource respawns and rune rewards

Resources matter in Albion Online, and major changes to the respawn rates of resources is going to shake up the game’s economy significantly. The latest patch to the game (live today) doesn’t get a new name, but it does significantly alter the respawns of all higher-tier resources. Tier 2 and Tier 3 resources have had their respawn rates reduced to pre-launch numbers, while Tier 4 resources have rates slightly above the original resources. That’s going to alter the game’s makeup pretty significantly.

Of course, players are also going to be dealing with runes and souls dropping from chests at five times their previous rates, so that’s going to alter things even further. The patch also will prevent people traveling to the Outlands and then teleporting right back from retaining any region or portal locks; you’ll have to remain there for at least a minute. Add in the usual array of bug fixes, and voila, you have a small patch that will probably have significant effects upon the game as a whole.

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