crowd control

City of Titans is bringing the control lifestyle back, baby

Raise someone else’s hand up if you have fond memories of playing a Controller in City of Heroes. The concept of a crowd control class has sadly gone by the wayside in most MMORPGs, but it looks like it may come roaring back for City of Titans.

Not only will the City of Heroes spiritual successor have a full class — the Operator — devoted to mezzing, but the dev team promises that several other classes will contain similar elements in their secondary power sets. One thing that players will discover is that City of Titans’ crowd control powers, such as charm, sleep, or fear, will be “more persistent” and of a “noteworthy duration.”

“Since controls are going to be such a significant part of the game, our staff had to design them with great rigor to achieve a desirable game play experience. We also had to balance the mechanics for both PvE and PvP. Our goal for this and all of our mechanics is to make using them between the two types of play as seamless as possible,” the developers promised.

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Albion Online has big balance changes planned for the next season of GvG

Sandbox Interactive has a new dev talk video out on Albion Online’s upcoming balance overhaul, specifically for the 5v5 GvG meta, group fights, and the crowd control builds that pretty much, as SI puts it, “reign supreme” in that game mode. Nature builds are definitely due for a nerf, while a number of weapons (bows and staves in particular) are getting buffs.

Buzz on the official forums and Reddit is relatively tempered, though there are definitely some folks annoyed with their perception that Sandbox is fixing only the most glaring problems with the metagame and not focusing on weapon balance overall.

Meanwhile, the devs have updated their doc on the upcoming third season of GvG play, which technically begins on June 23rd, though functionally the killing doesn’t start until the 26th. Have fun!

The whole dev talk is down below.

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Black Desert’s weekly patch continues PvP and class rebalance with Karma penalties and crowd control tweaks

Lahn was already live in Black Desert, but when the game returns from its extended maintenance today, she’ll be reunited with her absolute skills. Kakao is also ushering in two new events today and tomorrow: the Lauren Family Gift event, in which players complete challenges to collect coins, and the Valencia Hunt-a-thon.

“Defeat each of Giant Mountain Goat, Giant Lioness, and Giant Lion with [Hunting] Matchlock during the event period and get the great rewards as your trophies! Participation Rewards are given out to all adventurers who participate in this event and the Special Rewards will be given out to the selected participants who get lucky from a draw.”

Meanwhile, Pearl Abyss’ promised PvP (and PvE too) balancing changes continue, despite the cries of doom on the forums and Reddit. This week’s leg of the rollout nerfs experience for negative Karma players, removes crowd control effects from defense-effect skills in PvE, adjusts some Awakening skills to not apply crowd control effects in PvP, and creates a fixed time schedule for world boss spawning. PvP will also be disabled for 15 minutes after a world boss appears. (No, people aren’t happy about this.)

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You can roll (but not play) Lahn in Black Desert today – there’s even a contest to enter

Lahn isn’t live in Black Desert today, but she’s the next best thing: pre-customizable. When she officially launches next week, she’ll be BDO’s 16th class, though she’s the first to use the Noble Sword and Crescent Pendulum weapon. And players can dive in and roll one up right now.

“All players who create their Lahn class before regular maintenance on May 23rd will receive the following rewards: Horse Flute (7D), Item Collection Increase Scroll x3, Gold Bar 100G,” Kakao notes. There are even more rewards for those who sign up for the newsletter. If you’re really great at tinkering around in the character creator, you can even try your hand at the Lahn customization contest for even more chances at sweet, sweet loot.

Don’t care about Lahn? You might care about the latest round of class balancing changes coming in today’s update as more crowd control, evasion, and skill tweaks flow into the game as part of Pearl Abyss’ huge overhaul.

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Black Desert developer Pearl Abyss has even more rebalancing plans for PvP, debuffs, and crowd control

Yesterday’s Black Desert patch apparently caught some backlash from the community, particularly in regard to the crowd control changes, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The Pearl Abyss team has now responded to the feedback on Kakao’s forums with even more balancing plans for the future.

“We want to provide a more fair and fun PvP environment for our Adventurers,” PA explains. “Therefore, we want to decrease class imbalance by adjusting crowd control effects (Freezing, Knockdown, Grapple, Knockback, etc.) and defense effects (Super Armor, Invincibility, Frontal Guard, etc.).” To counter this particular design creep, Black Spirit’s Rage Absorption effects will change for all classes and only the first hit of skills will trigger debuff effects.

That last bit in particular contributed to “class imbalance and favoritism to certain classes with successive crowd control skills,” hence the fix. “This will pave the way to giving you a fairer chance against debuffs in PvP. However, if the general rules of evasion are kept the same we think that efficiency of evasion will skyrocket, and we will have no choice but to change it as well. From now on attack damage only will be affected by evasion stats, and debuff effects will only be affected by debuff resistance effects.”

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Black Desert’s weekly patch adds new events, combat tweaks, and ent world boss as Kakao deletes guild forts to save them

Tree bosses are all the rage this spring in MMOs, and Black Desert’s got one too. Oh, did I say tree boss? I meant terrifying runic entish-behemoth from the deepest, darkest bowels of the earth.

“A new world boss Mirumok Destroyer Offin has been added” and will appear on regular servers on Fridays, Kakao says. “A world message will be shown notifying the appearance of Mirumok Destroyer Offin and the actual boss will come out 30 minutes after the message. After the world message of the appearance of Mirumok Destroyer Offin is displayed, it is not possible to interact with Offin using the Ancient Contract: Mirumok Watcher.” You’ll have to defeat him within 15 minutes of spawn or he’ll become even more powerful (womp, womp). And yes, there’s gobs of loot for everyone, with even more reserved for the top 30 finishers.

Today’s update also adds several events – this is Black Desert we’re talking about, after all – including “Time is Gold and Brings You Treasure” and “It’s Raining Enhancements.” The former begins tomorrow rather than today; the latter is intended as a catch-up mechanism for newer players.

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Grim Dawn begins formal testing of major engame revamp and new kraken boss

Grim Dawn players and tentacle fans should point their eyeballs at Crate’s official forums today, as the studio says update 1.0.6.0 is now officially in testing. What’s in it? For starters, a creepy kraken. “Kra’vall, the Ancient of the Waters, has stirred within Ugdenbog and awaits daring new morsels. Beware, as its lair is heavily guarded by local Slith, which are certain to defend their aquatic ‘god.'”

Crate also says it’s pumping out new armor sets, putting Nemesis bosses on the minimap, tweaking pet skills, rebalancing boss resists, and making “over 60 changes to items in addition to adjustments to every mastery.” But maybe the most useful bit is the sweeping overhaul for endgame.

“The Crucible’s end-game has stagnated a bit and we’re going to give it a nice big boost, with significant balance changes that should bring new playstyles into the fray,” the studio explains. The devs aim to cap defense (effectively nerfing defensive ability stacking), buff Tributes, reduce trash spawns, tweak crowd control, reduce inbound damage, and buff celestial blessings.

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Impressions of Project Gorgon from an Asheron’s Call player

It’s finally time for me talk about Project Gorgon as a released product. As you might have guessed, I was avoiding the game prior to launch. I’ve spoken out against early access a lot and have realized that, at this point in my gaming/career, playing games I’m passionate too early can be a threat to both work and play. I wanted a relationship with PG, but I didn’t want to rush into anything pre-release. I wanted it as complete as possible.

MJ’s streamed it a bunch of times, including the day before launch. Eliot’s comments from his pre-release CMA feel spot on still post-release. However, as the resident old-man Asheron’s Call fan with a review copy, I think I can add a few comments about how Project Gorgon compares to AC1&2, plus how developer Eric Heimburg’s infused PG in AC-esque ways.

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Black Desert Korea is letting players date (and vie for) NPCs

If yesterday’s Black Desert patch in the west didn’t grab you, maybe a peek into what Korea’s getting will. Daum’s official patch notes over on the Korean site lists some of yesterday’s changes here, including the PvP and crowd control tweaks, but it also has some fun new bits, including “a new system where you can date an NPC.” Wait, what?

“After establishing an intimacy with a specific NPC and succeeding in confession, you can become a lover with that NPC. Also, when you become a lover, you can get special title.”

Inven Global’s translation is better than Google’s here; it refers to an “amity” pool and a “confession” of love to pick up that NPC as a girl/boyfriend. You can also send gifts to your new beau in a system that looks a lot like the one in Star Wars The Old Republic – except that in this system, everyone’s vying for the same NPCs instead of lugging around a copy with eyes only for one PC.

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Black Desert’s latest update is for the birds; includes renown, gear purification, and PvP tweaks

This week’s Black Desert update is officially upon us. Its key feature is a new guild boss, the Ahib Griffon, plus “several new Balenos Hunting Quests and Monsters for players to engage in the pursuit of fame and glory.” The Gear Purification NPC is also brand-new today.

“Revisions to the gear enhancement system are underway, the first to arrive is the much anticipated Gear Purification NPC, allowing players to downgrade equipment for a nominal fee. In addition to this, the recently introduced Renown Score system has been included, granting a variety of new bonuses to work towards. To make finding your equipment even easier, we’ve added the ability to view all individual storages at each city from local Storage Keepers.”

Players should also expect the new “renown score,” new titles, storage conveniences, new dailies, new baddies, easier guild kicks, a big boost to PvP damage and crowd control skills, and bird meat for you folks who fancy eating seagull.

Source: Official site, patch notes. As for the title, I regret nothing.

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Here are all of the class nerfs and buffs coming with SWTOR’s 5.9

Just like a certain farmboy looking wistfully up at twin suns and thinking of his future, Star Wars: The Old Republic fans are looking ahead to next month’s Update 5.9 and the changes that it will bring. Among those will be the continuing effort to balance and adjust the game’s many class builds.

So what, exactly, is on the docket for class changes with 5.9? Tanks need to brace themselves for a nerf “across the board,” as BioWare says that they are doing too much damage. On the upside, tanks will get more threat generation to help in their role. Many non-tank builds are due for some utility changes to improve their survivability in combat encounters.

The team also called out Marauders and Sentinels for special changes, as they are “overperforming” according to the devs. While they’ll be getting a nerf to two of their combat skills, two other skills are being tweaked to reduce damage in a crowd control situation.

Source: Dulfy, #2, #3

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Neverwinter AMA gets into the specifics of system design

The Neverwinter system designers were on hand this week for an Ask Me Anything on Reddit about the title. Naturally, it drew a crowd interested in the nitty-gritty of specific systems and balance issues, and naturally, it elicited a lot of “we’ll take a look at that, we don’t know when that will be addressed.”

One interesting question had to do with Neverwinter’s decision to shy away from crowd control in dungeons by making the mobs immune to CC. “[Crowd control] currently just creates fights that are trivial and you generally don’t even need a build dedicated to controlling for enemies to be locked down,” the team said, going on to mention that no CC rework is planned for the future.

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Ashes of Creation shows off 52 minutes of pre-alpha gameplay

Open world dungeons, node tending, and other pre-alpha adventures were all part and parcel of Ashes of Creation’s developer livestream last week. The team showed off 52 minutes of uninterrupted gameplay that included exploration, various features, and a ton of action combat.

The team answered many community questions on the livestream, including how the current build was tailored specifically for testers: “We wanted people who were coming in to test to actually be able to kind of do stuff solo. So, it’s not what it was really built for. All the group content right now is just in our dungeons. And that’s totally going to change when we go live.”

Other topics discussed was Ashes of Creation’s stealth system, account-bound player housing, caravans, diminishing returns on crowd control, animal husbandry (woo), and cosmetics. Check it out below!

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