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EE 14

Bob
Bringslite-Dominion Soldier
Here is a problem: There are only a few voices speaking up. It is dangerous to make changes in that circumstance. The only thing that I really am concerned about is Wizards leaving the game the way that many Archer characters did when range was "adjusted".
If it is an attack that is spammed, ammo cost just might put it somewhat in check.

Balance changes do often arise out of complaints, but we've always avoided making them unless we look into them and find there really are underlying issues that need to be rebalanced. In this case, Devourer's Caress definitely has some issues that the balancing equations don't take into account at this time. In particular, it's very easy for the same character to apply, maintain and repeatedly exploit the conditional that makes its cure so powerful. Cooldowns are the bluntest tool for dealing with the "repeatedly" part of that problem. Ammo will also help a bit with that, since repeated use will get expensive, but many of a wizard's other options also use ammo, so it will have a limited effect.

A 4-second cooldown should be just long enough to get wizards to throw 1-2 other attacks into the mix between uses of Devourer's Caress, but not so long as to prevent wizards from using the combo to give themselves significantly better durability at melee range. That's all I'm really looking for, just taking this out of the "two-attack combo with no point in varying it up at all" category. Once we try it out on our internal servers and on Zog, it'll be easy to dial things back if the cooldown kills the combo completely.
Flari-Merchant
Bob
Bringslite-Dominion Soldier
Here is a problem: There are only a few voices speaking up. It is dangerous to make changes in that circumstance. The only thing that I really am concerned about is Wizards leaving the game the way that many Archer characters did when range was "adjusted".
If it is an attack that is spammed, ammo cost just might put it somewhat in check.

Balance changes do often arise out of complaints, but we've always avoided making them unless we look into them and find there really are underlying issues that need to be rebalanced. In this case, Devourer's Caress definitely has some issues that the balancing equations don't take into account at this time. In particular, it's very easy for the same character to apply, maintain and repeatedly exploit the conditional that makes its cure so powerful. Cooldowns are the bluntest tool for dealing with the "repeatedly" part of that problem. Ammo will also help a bit with that, since repeated use will get expensive, but many of a wizard's other options also use ammo, so it will have a limited effect.

A 4-second cooldown should be just long enough to get wizards to throw 1-2 other attacks into the mix between uses of Devourer's Caress, but not so long as to prevent wizards from using the combo to give themselves significantly better durability at melee range. That's all I'm really looking for, just taking this out of the "two-attack combo with no point in varying it up at all" category. Once we try it out on our internal servers and on Zog, it'll be easy to dial things back if the cooldown kills the combo completely.
Fair enough for me, Bob. I suppose that I should have known you had looked into it or you wouldn't be sharing your immediate solutions with us. That is my bad.
"I buy Azoth for 5sp/ea. I will trade Enchanting or other rare materials/anything for Azoth. Contact me if interested. GET YOUR COIN EASY!"
uotopia@msn.com
Bob
Bringslite-Dominion Soldier
Fair enough for me, Bob. I suppose that I should have known you had looked into it or you wouldn't be sharing your immediate solutions with us. That is my bad.

The catch-22 of trying to be responsive is that from the outside it looks pretty much the same as being purely reactive (or even overreactive). I do take feedback very seriously, digging through the various different points of view raised in forum posts, customer support emails, support tickets, and of course Lisa's "you're probably going to nerf me but I should really tell you about this issue" feedback, both to prioritize which issues deserve a closer look and to point me in the right direction for deeper analysis. I admittedly don't always explain that deeper analysis, in part due to my tendency to focus on describing the changes accurately rather than risk confusing my explanation with too much talk about the reasons behind the changes, but sounds like I should reconsider that tactic. For future posts, I'll see if I can put more of that in without getting too long-winded and confusing. And, of course, always feel free to ask for more explanation if I don't provide enough upfront, or to challenge my reasoning if it doesn't feel right for some reason.
Paddy Fitzpatrick
Another balance question.

So for T3 specifically, I noticed that the first keyword is not a general one like the first T2 keyword. It is specific to the wand and attack type. So it's good to force wizards to vary it up but doesn't that make using necro wants pretty much pointless? You can't use other wizard combos because at T3 it is going to be a significantly less powerful attack (would it even be a T3 attack?).

So again, before taking the nerf bat, think about buffing other things as well. Perhaps Nerf the other armors a bit and buff heavy armor. Find other ways to make wizards more squishy, like getting rid of their energy resistance and put it on the heavy armor. Just tossing out ideas here but this is the core issue. It's not just that one particular class or combo is op, it's that many other things just aren't worth taking. Nerfing just the one thing without buffing other things to make more playstyles viable won't make anything better. You just make everyone suck.
Paddy Fitzpatrick - Rí Ruírec of Fianna, roaming bands of noble warriors!
Member of the Kathalpas Coalition and home of bandits, privateers, and anyone looking to get away from the shackles of law.
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Bob
Paddy Fitzpatrick
So for T3 specifically, I noticed that the first keyword is not a general one like the first T2 keyword. It is specific to the wand and attack type. So it's good to force wizards to vary it up but doesn't that make using necro wants pretty much pointless? You can't use other wizard combos because at T3 it is going to be a significantly less powerful attack (would it even be a T3 attack?).

Cantrips do get split in half at T3, and I believe your suspicion that not matching the T3 keyword would leave your attack as T2 is correct. However, there are a lot of cantrips available for both wand and staff, and wizards should have a fair number of options available for either weapon when compared to the choices for other weapons.

Paddy Fitzpatrick
So again, before taking the nerf bat, think about buffing other things as well. Perhaps Nerf the other armors a bit and buff heavy armor. Find other ways to make wizards more squishy, like getting rid of their energy resistance and put it on the heavy armor. Just tossing out ideas here but this is the core issue. It's not just that one particular class or combo is op, it's that many other things just aren't worth taking. Nerfing just the one thing without buffing other things to make more playstyles viable won't make anything better. You just make everyone suck.

There are certainly other feats that need some more rebalancing, including many that need to be powered up a bit. For example, as I was rebalancing, I looked at some feats that had previously been pointed out as having somewhat redundant effects and found that they needed some boosting to take that redundancy into account. I fixed several similar feats when I noticed them, but I'm sure there are other similar issues that will get steadily fixed as they get noticed. This particular combo was so obviously problematic, and has a pretty short list of appropriate solutions, so it's easy for me to tackle during this rebalancing pass. For some of the other issues you've mentioned, I suspect their solutions are going to be more complicated, so I'm going to need to find a good chunk of time before being able to tackle them properly.
Edam
Bob
Cantrips do get split in half at T3, and I believe your suspicion that not matching the T3 keyword would leave your attack as T2 is correct. However, there are a lot of cantrips available for both wand and staff, and wizards should have a fair number of options available for either weapon when compared to the choices for other weapons.

That is not right. The T3 advanced keyword at level 6 of an attack on staffs and wands is intelligent which you get on every T3 staff/wand regardless of staff/wand type.

A feat trained to level 6 will always be a T3 attack on a T3 staff/wand regardless of staff/wand type or level.

That said, their are serious issues with the choices available to wizards. The quickening staff for example only has 4 cantrips available, 3 secondary and just one primary.
Duffy Swiftshadow
Bringslite-Dominion Soldier
Here is a problem: There are only a few voices speaking up. It is dangerous to make changes in that circumstance. The only thing that I really am concerned about is Wizards leaving the game the way that many Archer characters did when range was "adjusted". If it is an attack that is spammed, ammo cost just might put it somewhat in check.

Well it's not like we can poll everyone so you really only get the voices speaking up about a topic as feedback to look into. But honestly here's what I think is about to happen: Ranged is gonna be OP again unless ammo ends up being a limited resource, which means ranged attacks cannot reasonably be a primary attack option, they are relegated to secondary status. Which is kind of okay for bow users, but doesn't really work for casters as it looks like all their weapon attacks will use charges.

So I guess my question for Bob is: Are you assuming people will run out of ammo and therefore lose their inherent ranged advantage in a particular encounter or fight? If you aren't, then how is having ranged damage and melee damage be similar ever balanced against the inherent advantage of range? Especially with most cases of rooting going away. If you are assuming they will regularly run out of ammo, then are you assuming that all ranged characters will also have to be proficient in a melee weapon but not necessarily melee characters (in reality many melee usually have a bow or focus secondary right now anyways)?

In terms of just acquiring ammo it will be trivially easy, sure it's still a "tax", but its not a serious detriment unless ammo becomes rare, but since it seems to appear that ammo will be common enough to use ranged attacks as your sole source of damage, how is paying some coin cost in town really balancing the encounter out in the field? If I always have ammo to fight melee characters, how is that a balance factor?
Flari-Merchant
I still think that ammo that is significantly better than melee will be much more difficult to produce and so will be used sparingly.

Ammo that is on par with melee and the lapse of some of the "stationary" mechanics from some attacks is the danger. Ranged attacks should have to exchange distance and power and mobility with a few things. They should be a bit slower so that a long ranger toon can get off 2-3 attacks(3 being dangerous) before a melee toon could catch him. Ranged should be just about useless when you are toe-to-toe with a melee guy.

If you have a ranged toon laughing and leading a pissed bull in circles while the ranged toon slowly kills the bull with dartboard worthy missiles, something is wrong.

In short: lots of ways to interrupt, relying on ranged when being chased/charged = bad idea, prohibitive cost for the "best" ammo.
"I buy Azoth for 5sp/ea. I will trade Enchanting or other rare materials/anything for Azoth. Contact me if interested. GET YOUR COIN EASY!"
uotopia@msn.com
Duffy Swiftshadow
Bringslite-Dominion Soldier
I still think that ammo that is significantly better than melee will be much more difficult to produce and so will be used sparingly.

Ammo that is on par with melee and the lapse of some of the "stationary" mechanics from some attacks is the danger. Ranged attacks should have to exchange distance and power and mobility with a few things. They should be a bit slower so that a long ranger toon can get off 2-3 attacks(3 being dangerous) before a melee toon could catch him. Ranged should be just about useless when you are toe-to-toe with a melee guy.

If you have a ranged toon laughing and leading a pissed bull in circles while the ranged toon slowly kills the bull with dartboard worthy missiles, something is wrong.

In short: lots of ways to interrupt, relying on ranged when being chased/charged = bad idea, prohibitive cost for the "best" ammo.

I agree that ideally a stark difference (mobility for example) between the capabilities of a ranged and melee character is a way to offset the differences while keeping their theoretical damage numbers aligned, however this is a build you own character game which puts a bit of a spanner in the works. Don't get my negativity wrong, balancing (and not the simple version of making everything homogeneous) is super difficult and almost never right on the first couple tries. And I'm fine with trying it out when it's released, but my current expectations is that it will be just like before the great ranged nerf with the slight caveat that maybe people wont waste ammo on easy kills they can just melee with some secondary weapon, but you really shouldn't balance for the weakest example anyways. Either way I'm mass producing ammo :-P
Edam
Duffy Swiftshadow
Well it's not like we can poll everyone so you really only get the voices speaking up about a topic as feedback to look into. But honestly here's what I think is about to happen: Ranged is gonna be OP again unless ammo ends up being a limited resource, which means ranged attacks cannot reasonably be a primary attack option, they are relegated to secondary status. Which is kind of okay for bow users, but doesn't really work for casters as it looks like all their weapon attacks will use charges.

So I guess my question for Bob is: Are you assuming people will run out of ammo and therefore lose their inherent ranged advantage in a particular encounter or fight? If you aren't, then how is having ranged damage and melee damage be similar ever balanced against the inherent advantage of range? Especially with most cases of rooting going away. If you are assuming they will regularly run out of ammo, then are you assuming that all ranged characters will also have to be proficient in a melee weapon but not necessarily melee characters (in reality many melee usually have a bow or focus secondary right now anyways)?

In terms of just acquiring ammo it will be trivially easy, sure it's still a "tax", but its not a serious detriment unless ammo becomes rare, but since it seems to appear that ammo will be common enough to use ranged attacks as your sole source of damage, how is paying some coin cost in town really balancing the encounter out in the field? If I always have ammo to fight melee characters, how is that a balance factor?

Bear in mind rebalancing is in essence about PvP.

The fact that some players are obsessively trying to recreate that very short 150 years of history when knights and heavy armor were a thing or are obsessively competitive in PvE is totally beside the point. It is about PvP first and foremost.

Looking at the changes and PvE versus PvP:

PVE effect of changes

Player X feeling his favorite iconic build which is awesome in other games is substandard in PvE versus player Y using the "magic sword of OP awesomeness" is fairly irrelevant to a rebalance exercise. PvE is a co-operative activity and most people are happy to have anyone along that helps the party. It is not normal to hear a player say "Please leave Joe out as his character is too good and it makes me feel pathetic when he plays", more commonly it will be "Invite Joe, he rocks we will get heaps more done".

In the current game a yes a good T2 party needs a few wizzie and attack cleric types and maybe some cleave/whirlwind melee fighters for AoE smack down. However a T3 party is different. No one can tank T3 without healing of some type and stacks are critical to taking down high HP critters, hence an effective T3 party (one that can take down a gathering in 4 to 6 hours) needs clerics and rogues first and foremost. Wizards currently can substitute for cleric tanking to a limited extent against small mobs with minimal ranged and a very well played Melee fighter can also be useful in T3 parties but only after you have the cleric and rogue slots covered. That will all change shortly however I suspect with what BoB proposes we will see even more clerics and rogues as the core with a lot less wizards and no effect on fighter numbers.

PvP effect of Changes

However that is all irrelevant to the rebalance where PvP must always be the prime consideration. As we all know cost is not a significant limiting factor in PVP builds so the expense of the good ammo is not really all that relevant. The only thing that is going to limit the effectiveness of the new higher powered charges in PvP is running out of them. My guess is we will have to stop and reload quite often for the rebalance to actually work correctly in PvP and any nuisance/danger that arises as an unfortuante side effect in PvE is simply soemthing that will ahve to be put up with.
 
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