Update 1.3 Design Notes - Part 2

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Update 1.3 Design Notes - Part 2

Postby Lord_Venan » Thu Apr 12, 2012 5:32 pm

Well now that you know what's coming in store for equipment, I thought it would be good to segue into another system that's gotten a heavy dose of the revision stick - stats! We've made a number of changes to the numbers that power your hero doing all their hero things. Once I breeze through that bit of light-hearted reading, I'll delve into changes with our Hero Store, or lack thereof. Ack, what does that mean! Read on for more details.

Numbers, Numbers and More Numbers

If you don't really care about how our lower level systems work (this is pretty dry stuff), I'd skip to the bottom.

So, here is a dirty little secret - I've never been particularly happy with the way our stat system turned out. It initially started with a two-tiered system that used traditional RPG attributes like Strength, Dexterity, etc. and then derived stats off of those that were used for combat. But we thought about it quite a bit and decided that having a layer of obfuscation between putting points into stats, and getting some sort of desired output (do more damage, have more HP, etc.) wasn't really a good thing - just one of those things that everyone else seemed to do, so we were to.

While I feel that was a good decision, the implementation was a bit wonky. We ran into two competing issues - the scale of the numbers on the stats page, and also the scale of the numbers on your enchantments. Basically, did we want all the enchantments to show numbers in the same range of values and be consistent across all enchantments, or did we want the numbers on your stats page to all be consistent, despite having different effective ranges for their output? There's a bit more to it, but I think that gets the point across.

If you've played our game since the beginning, we actually have had both those systems. The first version tried to make the enchantments consistent, the second the stats. Both of them "work" but I think are confusing and could be done a lot better. So with this next patch, we finally got our act together in terms of finding a good system model that is more consistent, and also fits with our new Augment Gem system.

So the first big difference is all the stat numbers will be in the same range. That doesn't mean that they will all be the same, but their range of possible values will be consistent. In addition, the enchantments will also be in the same range - courtesy of the new equipment system. But even old equipment will have new numbers on them that are now consistent. The effectiveness hasn't changed, but the meanings of those numbers have, so they have all been recalculated to work in this new system.

Next up are changes to the way Melee and Spell stats work. This system is a bit more complex, and has to do with our underlying mechanic of diminishing returns. What this means is that a particular rating, say 750, may give you 25% dodge at Level 10, but only 12% at Level 20. This helps prevent runaway inflation and keeps gear meaningful, otherwise that Level 1 +50 helmet would work as well against Rath'een as it does against Ice Lord Vallus. Pretty much all your more recent MMOs and RPGs use a system like this.

While that system makes sense, what got a bit wonky was that we decided to implement Melee and Spell bonuses as a multiplier against damage. Because of the diminishing returns, it lead to a counter-intuitive result - when you raised a level, your damage scale would decrease and you would actually do less damage than you did previously. This decrease was cleverly hidden because enemy damage resistance would also decrease and you'd get a slight bump for level-up, but in general this seemed very messy. So now, instead of scaling damage, Melee and Spell are just going to add a flat value to your attacks and that's it. The amount it adds will get factored by weapon speed or casting time (so fast actions aren't overpowered), but in general you'll get the desired behavior of just "getting better" at combat.

Besides that, the other big stat changes were to clarify the roles of Armor, Physical and Magical Resistance.

There is now an Armor stat (instead of defense) and Armor will be used as the first level of damage mitigation to all attacks (Physical or Magical). This is similar to how Defense works now, but just clarifies the terminology. In addition to Armor, there will also be two new stats, Physical Resist and Magical Resist, that each provide a second level of mitigation to attacks of the appropriate type. So instead of Armor adding to defense, and +Defense adding to Defense, Armor will add to Armor and +Physical Resist will add to Physical Resist. Your total mitigation percent will be the sum of these two values e.g. if your armor mitigates 20% and your Physical Resist stat 15%, then you'll mitigate 35% of the damage from a melee attack.

Magic Resistance is a catch-all for the four previous resist types, streamlining it down to one stat instead of four. These still exist in the game for monsters, but for the player all magic damage will be resisted equally. I don't think anyone liked having to deal with four sets of resistances, so that is now gone. If you have equipment with a particular type of resist on it, it will be converted to Magic Resist instead once the update is out.

That's a pretty good overview of what's changed in stat land. There were also some changes to how we calculate some of our curves but that is really boring. So now let's discuss the fate of the Hero Store and what we're doing.

Farewell Hero Store!

The Hero Store is gone. Bye. Kaput. Daedalus has closed his shop windows for good, and decided that rather than provide bonus goods for heroic feats, instead he will do something much more valuable. Train them!

Going forward, Hero Tokens will be used for one thing and one thing only. Stat upgrades. All the major player stats can now get leveled independently by turning in Hero Tokens for training. These stat bonuses are, effectively, limitless (there is a limit but it's REALLY high). This change not only gives everyone something worthwhile to spend those Hero Tokens on, but it also addresses one of the big complaints we have - which is that there are no more levels after 20 (soon to be 25) and nothing else to do to make your characters better. Now you can continue to play the game and improve your character.

Along with this change, we are also making Daily Quests easier so they are less tedious, and adding new ways to earn Hero Tokens. Exactly how much and where is still being worked out. But for players who want to really customize their stats and make themselves better, you'll now have a way to do that.

That's it for our notes this week. Next up - Guilds! We love reading your comments, so let us know what you think.
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Re: Patch 1.3 Design Notes - Part 2

Postby WarLord_1349 » Thu Apr 12, 2012 6:07 pm

Really can't wait for this update I love this game can't stop playing. after this update I'll have no life ha
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Re: Patch 1.3 Design Notes - Part 2

Postby edward » Fri Apr 13, 2012 12:59 am

[quote="after this update I'll have no life ha[/quote]

SECONDED. not sure I had much of one to start with but hey :D
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Re: Patch 1.3 Design Notes - Part 2

Postby Bj_Knows » Fri Apr 13, 2012 3:39 am

Lord Venan wrote:Well now that you know what's coming in store for equipment, I thought it would be good to segue into another system that's gotten a heavy dose of the revision stick - stats! We've made a number of changes to the numbers that power your hero doing all their hero things. Once I breeze through that bit of light-hearted reading, I'll delve into changes with our Hero Store, or lack thereof. Ack, what does that mean! Read on for more details.
. . .



There were also some changes to how we calculate some of our curves but that is really boring.


Me: Wow. wow. I hope you guys are setting an alarm clock so you remember to *go to sleep*! That is an insane amount of work.

Researcher Me: [sulking/ teasing] No one appreciates well built curves anymore.[end sulking/ teasing] Time to buy a new pad of paper and start over.
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Re: Patch 1.3 Design Notes - Part 2

Postby Th8rgoddess » Sat Apr 21, 2012 6:23 pm

Magic Resistance is a catch-all for the four previous resist types, streamlining it down to one stat instead of four.


What are the other resist types? Fire, Ice, Nature & Spirit? So if you're a War Mage Battling a Frost bat their resistance to Ice will be the same as Fire?
Smile!! It confuses people!

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Re: Patch 1.3 Design Notes - Part 2

Postby Lady_Katy » Mon Apr 23, 2012 10:31 am

To clarify on the resists portion of the notes, the player will have two types of resist - physical and magical. The individual enemies will still have the different types of magic resistance (fire, ice, nature, spirit). This way, we can still keep the interesting weaknesses per enemy and simplify the player's gear so you don't have to have 4x each slot for a full magical resistance set.
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