game balance

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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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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Path of Exile updates fans on the state of Fall of Oriath’s beta

The sixth week of beta testing of Path of Exile’s next expansion is kicking off, and the good news is that the developers still aren’t planning any wipes for the beta. It’s humming right along, and the wave three patch is right around the corner. This patch brings changes such as the previously discussed Pierce/Chance to Pierce shifts, along with several under-the-hood performance improvements that ought to help in the future. Game balance in general continues to be closely watched and addressed.

More work is also being done on early tutorials as well as the Labyrinth, which has fairly little time to be tested and thus is something the development team is very interested in hearing feedback on. The next wave of beta is currently slated to take place within 10-15 days, so if you’re invested in doing the work to test the expansion beta, you should get in there and offer some feedback sooner rather than later.

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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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