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Old 09-29-2006, 01:30 AM   #1
Gallenite

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As is usually the case when you see me posting about EverQuest II and how it all works internally, for the most part my direct involvement is at the conceptual level.  The "whats" of what we're going after and the "why."  The down and dirty "how" is usually the much more difficult part. It's easy to help identify a problem and write a sentence.  It's sometimes an excruciating amount of work to make that sentence come true and then communicate it in a way that's relevant to the intended audience.For the detailed plans, the implementation, as well as the detailed explanations given below, I wanted to make sure that the distinction was made.  What you see below is, as with most of the things I post about, the result of a lot of hard work of some amazingly dedicated people, with whom I'm exceedingly proud to be working.The message below is something we'll be making a large part of our beta testing for Echoes of Faydwer.  It will eventually impact everyone and it solves a number of issues that people have with combat and progression in EverQuest IIWe wanted to make sure the goals and details were made public as soon as possible, as they answer a number of ongoing questions regarding the state of combat in the live game. In addition to being a part of our beta testing for Echoes, these improvements will also be available on the Test Server, prior to the launch of Echoes of Faydwer.  Rest assured that whether or not you get into EoF beta, you will be able to see these changes firsthand on Test.- Scott Combat System and Statistic Cap Improvements for EoF launchWhile working on Echoes of Faydwer, as well as observing and participating on both the Standard and Player vs. Player servers, we’ve spent time over the past months evaluating many elements of combat in EQ2, with an eye on two things:
  • What isn’t working, both from the point of view of the players as well as that of the devs?
  • What can we do about them in a way that will enhance the EQ2 experience?
There are many cases where players and devs have been in agreement about what would benefit the most from improvement.  We’d like to talk about some changes coming to a number of these elements, across all zones, not just those in Echoes of Faydwer.For those who might be a nervous when seeing the words “combat” and “changes,” used in the same sentence, we’d like to assure you that that this is nothing of the scale of what occurred last year where some systems were replaced wholesale and class abilities changed significantly. What you’ll be reading about below are extensions and improvements to existing systems, and our sincere desire to be as open and forthcoming about them as possible.Our overall goal is to enhance the long-term enjoyability of the game both for PvE and PvP players alike.  This post will provide a brief summary explaining “what” will change, as well as detailed sections for those who prefer to dig into the “how” and “why.”In Summary: “What are the goals?”Here are the high-level issues and complaints that we’re looking to address.
  • For many moderate players and beyond, the combination of spells and items in EQ2 has led people to reach stat caps early on and then not see improvement from upgrading buffs and equipment, which many view as unsatisfying.
  • As people leveled up beyond 50, primarily in groups and raids, the disparity in survivability between plate classes and everyone else progresses in a way that leads to considerably un-fun one-shot death for many classes.
  • Caster skill improvements are not as much fun as they could be and do not have as much practical use as they should.
  • The PvE issue of NPC mitigation dovetailed with the persistent issue of casters vs. melee on the PvP servers, and both can be addressed with the same system changes.  Mitigation is the word that we use when we refer to both Armor Class and Resistances.  They’re both mitigations, just against different types of damage.
In Detail: “How are they changing?”    Damage Mitigation and Resistance
  • Maximum mitigation/resistance numbers for current level has been increased from [ Level * 80 ] to [ Level * 150 ]
  • Damage mitigated now has diminishing returns, with the break-even point set at 4000 for level 70 players
    Stat Caps
  • All stat cap maximums have been increased from [ 7 * Level + 20 ] to [ 15 * level + 20 ]
  • Stat benefits are now on a diminishing returns curve
  • The maximum benefit that each stat provides, including power pool size, has been increased
  • Classes that use multiple stats for power pools have had their maximum power possible increase by up to +25% if they are high enough in both stats. This is to offset the difficulty of having to increase multiple stats
    Avoidance Skill
  • Skill caps have increased from [ 1 * Level ] to [ 1.5 * Level ]
  • Base Parry chance has been lowered from 10% to 5%
  • Base Deflection chance has lowered from 30% to 25%
  • Increases to avoidance skills now have diminishing returns similar to the changes made for mitigation/resistance. Players experience more gains in avoidance when further away from the cap, and less gains as they reach closer to the cap
    Casting Skill
  • Skill caps have increased from [ 1 * Level ] to [ 1.5 * Level ]
  • Uses a diminishing returns curve similar to avoidance skills
  • Actual hostile spell resistance modification has increased from -10% to -20% at maximum
  • Beneficial spells that use casting skill, mostly affecting ministration, have their power costs reduced with increased skill
  • Fizzle nevermore! The entire Fizzle mechanic has been removed
    Focus Skill
  • Skill caps have increased from [ 1 * Level ] to [ 1.5 * Level ]
  • Focus has a maximum 20% instead of 10% to prevent damage interrupts
  • Focus Skill also mitigates the chance of spell based Interrupts, Stifle, and Stun Effects from interrupting a spell that is already casting
    Attack Skill
  • Skill caps have increased from [ 1 * Level ] to [ 1.5 * Level ]
    Attackspeed/DPS
  • Attack speed and DPS caps have increased to 200%
  • Uses a diminishing returns curve to determine the actual amount of attackspeed and DPS modification, which caps out at 125% actual modification when reaching the cap
    Creatures will have their damage values adjusted to account for the changes to mitigation.In Detail:  “Why these things?”
  • Cap issues for avoidance skills, casting skills, mitigation, stats, and haste:
    Many players spend most of their time with maxed out stats and skills.  This creates a few problems:
  • The game is not as satisfying to play when there is a diminished sense of progression as people gain new and more powerful items and spells.
  • Equipment doesn’t feel as interesting when it’s “just a different way to hit the cap I’m already at.”
  • Encounters have needed to be designed with the expectation that caps are always reached
  • Increases in Mitigation and Avoidance as one comes closer to the cap cause characters in that range to become exponentially stronger
This created a huge gap between the well-equipped and poorly equipped characters, where small increases in mitigation and avoidance had little impact on the lower end of the spectrum, but made huge leaps in power at the higher end. This causes several other problems:
  • It contributed to the effect that getting better gear does not make much difference in success.
  • It forced raid encounters to have incredibly high damage,output along with special abilities that overcome all mitigations to negate those large gains. This leads to a lot of one-shot kills against classes with low mitigation (mages primarily).
  • It forced named raid encounters to have increased melee attack skills, which unfairly affected classes that rely more on avoidance.
  • Cloth and Leather armor wearers were effectively double penalized because increasing their mitigation values gave less benefit per-point than did Chain/Plate.
  • Casting Skill bonuses were not balanced in relative benefit that is granted through Melee and Avoidance Skills
Casters did not have as much incentive to increase their casting skills as melee classes because they did not receive as much benefit when reaching their caps. This resulted in bonuses to skills that favored melee classes much more than casters, which is more apparent in raid situations and fighting overcon encounters. Some of the specifics:
  • Offensive casting skill increases were only half as beneficial as the increased chances to hit offered by melee skill increases.
  • Debuffing casting skill was also only half as effective as debuffing melee skills.
  • The Fizzle mechanic filled a gap where beneficial spells did not need a resist check, so Fizzle became a ‘beneficial resist’ chance that could be mitigated with increased skill. It ended up being more of an annoyance than adding any interesting gameplay.
  • Focus skill had very little impact on damage interrupt rates, and the sources of most interrupts were unavoidable in the form of spell interrupts, stifles, and stuns.
  • PvP combat became heavily skewed towards melee classes because of non-damage interruptions, fizzles, and resist mechanics.
To address many of these issues, we re-evaluated how mitigation, avoidance, stats, and other systems could be modified for better progression and game balance. Some of the general changes are listed below:
  • Most caps have been increased by 50% to 100%
  • The use of diminishing returns curves has been added instead of using a linear progression. This provides greater benefits at the low end and slows down as the player nears the cap.
  • There was a re-evaluation of what casting skills affect.
  • Characters that have mitigation, stat, or skill values that are around 40% of the new cap will not experience much change for that particular system. That is the typical break-even point where the old linear line and the new diminishing returns curve intersect. Players above the break-even point are often raid equipped and will see less benefit initially, but the new maximum caps yield the potential for achieving even greater benefit than before.
A diminishing returns curve is not a ‘soft cap’ because there is no point on the curve where there is a sudden shift in how much benefit is returned. The break-even point can be used as a reference to how these changes will affect your character.Example:  Mitigation and LongevityTo illustrate how diminishing returns help solve the problem of linear progression for mitigations, take a look at the benefits of two level 70 characters that increase their mitigation by the same amount in the old system:Player A increases their mitigation from 2000 to 2600. A change of +600, or +8.5% mitigationPlayer B increases their mitigation from 5000 to 5600. A change of +600, or +8.5% mitigationEven though it looks like Player A and B received the same amount of benefit, Player B gained more than 3 times as much effective benefit with that same amount. How is that possible?The change of mitigation Player A experienced granted them 13.6% more length of time to live, which we will refer to as Longevity. The change of mitigation Player B experienced granted them 42.9% additional longevity than they previously had. This is because Longevity is determined by the equation: [ 1 / ( 100 - Mitigation% ) ]What results is that players that are very well equipped grow exponentially stronger than those that are not as well equipped. This causes these very well-equipped players to solo heroics with relative ease, and raid encounters must be designed to deal incredible amounts of damage that often one-shot kill other players in an area effect that do not have a minimum amount of mitigation for that encounter, especially mage classes.  Cloth-wearers obviously won’t be tanking, but we don’t want them to get crushed if they take a single hit.Using a diminishing returns curve for mitigation balances it in such a way that players that are further away from the cap receive more benefit per point of mitigation than does a player that is near the cap.Another way of looking at this from the perspective of a level 70 player after these changes:A player below 4000 in a mitigation type will experience more benefit than they did before, and a player above 4000 in a resist type will experience smaller gains in their damage reduction than before. 4000 is the level 70 break-even point where the old linear line and the new diminishing returns curve meet that returns the same benefit before and after the changes.
  • Player A increases their mitigation from 1000 to 1600. A change of +600, or +9.75% mitigation
  • Player B increases their mitigation from 2000 to 2600. A change of +600, or +6% mitigation
  • Player C increases their mitigation from 5000 to 5600. A change of +600, or +2.15% mitigation
  • Player A = 15.4% increase in changed longevity (this benefits mages a lot more than before)
  • Player B = 9.6% increase in changed longevity
  • Player C = 6% increase in changed longevity
Generally speaking, 40% of the new cap is roughly the break even point on most of these graphs for all of the new diminishing returns graphs for resists, stats, and skills.Finally...We hope that this background is useful, both for communicating our thoughts on the huge subject that is “Combat in EverQuest II,” and also useful a tool by which you can gauge the changes and continue to provide feedback on what it is that’s coming to the Test Server, in Beta, and beyond.As always, we look forward to your feedback and assistance and thank you for playing EverQuest II. - The EverQuest II Development Team
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Old 09-29-2006, 01:36 AM   #2
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WOW!
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Old 09-29-2006, 01:41 AM   #3
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LOTS of info SMILEY
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Old 09-29-2006, 01:44 AM   #4
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Finally!As long as "SCALED BY TIER OF MOB" Avoidance does not go away, same problems will occur again and again. If a player has 70% avoidance, seeing it as 30% against a lower level heroic fight in parses at end of fight is not fun.

Message Edited by selch on 09-28-2006 03:11 PM

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Old 09-29-2006, 01:46 AM   #5
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Does this mean youll be scaling Bard buffs to even out these percentages?  I mean 200% DPS/Haste cap and our max buff increases it by 26%.  So does this mean youll finally scale buffs/debuffs correctly?
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Old 09-29-2006, 01:48 AM   #6
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thx sir.

/goes and takes a nap.

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Old 09-29-2006, 01:50 AM   #7
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I don't understand why if you're going to increase all of our caps, and then adjust the mobs in relation to this, what the benefit is.  If you make us more capable, and the mobs more capable, aren't we where we started?Also, I'm concerned that the haste/dps increase will further increase melee DPS leaving casters even farther behind.Laslty, I would love to see a post like this come from the art depatment, as a huge population of your players really want to know what you guys are doing regarding art.
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Old 09-29-2006, 01:58 AM   #8
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Hmm this makes me wonder how useful will skill debuffs be after this change as in maddening swarm for furies for instance debuffing all casting skills?

Hope this debuff will be somewhat useful now in pve.

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Old 09-29-2006, 02:06 AM   #9
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Jida wrote:
WOW!



+1

Thanks for finally posting the current stat cap formula of level *7 +20, i grew tired of telling people daily what the formula was.

here were a things I posed when I wrote to my fellow wizard bretheren,

intelligence will now be capped out at 1070, and have diminishing returns over 40% of the cap,  which puts it at 428 for the old cap (meaning if your at 510 now your going to receive the same benefit after the changes plus some more) which will make that int gear much much more desireable.  and may actually prompt me to wear the wrist reward from claymore with +30 to all stats, in a raid setting.This also will have an effect on spell damage, and will we all be getting additional dps? (as will everyone else) for int over 428 up to the new 1070 cap, we'll just have to wait and see how much of a bonus it is, but I'm going to assume its double than what it is now from 428 to 1070, since that seemed to be the trend in that post of doubling effectiveness.

what it sounds like is the new cap will be 455 for skills, and once you reach that cap you will have a -20% resist modifieyer added to your casts, so in effect making a adept 1 damage spell hit as often as a m1 spell, and a m1 spell have a 60% resist check on it.

 

another point came up that with this increased damage, the sorceror issue concearning the amount of hate we accrue with be even more visible.  Are there any current plans on assisting the sorceror subclass with our hate management, because I can see that as one approaches the new caps our damage will begin to increase at an even larger disparity than the tank's dps, and that will widen the gap on hate than it currently sits now.  I know this topic is probably something that will not be discussed in this thread but I wanted to bring awareness of this, just mull it over a few times.

Message Edited by IllusiveThoughts on 09-28-2006 03:14 PM

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Old 09-29-2006, 02:10 AM   #10
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My head hurts......does this mean its going to get harder for fabled raid equipped people and easier for the average joe like me in all xegonite, save for a few legendary pieces?
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Old 09-29-2006, 02:12 AM   #11
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Rats! No more fizzles SMILEY lol JK!
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Old 09-29-2006, 02:13 AM   #12
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ironman2000 wrote:My head hurts......does this mean its going to get harder for fabled raid equipped people and easier for the average joe like me in all xegonite, save for a few legendary pieces?
It means Fabled player will have closer difficulty than an Legendary geared player in "group combat", rather than soloing it. Simply making gap not enlarge more and more as level tiers go up...

Message Edited by selch on 09-28-2006 03:14 PM

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Old 09-29-2006, 02:17 AM   #13
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with the mitigation/resist/skill changes, how will debuff be changed? and is there a way to overcome the resist check on debuff?
 
for example, a character is getting resisted on his poison spell, but when he tries to debuff that particular resist, even that debuff itself get resisted due to debuff being a spell of the same element too, could debuff be made to have higher chances to stick compare to normal spells? or having a special element? (currently, there isn't really much of a difference between a resist check on debuff and normal spell)
 
as debuff IS use to assist in overcoming mitigation/resist/skill, if the debuff itself can't stick, then what is the point of it?
 
and will resistance/mitigation/skill/power pool/power regen Buffs be changed due to the changes on max powerpool/int cap etc.?

Message Edited by Mordion89 on 09-29-2006 07:28 AM

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Old 09-29-2006, 02:18 AM   #14
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looks interesting, but some more information on how the changes make avoidance tanking a viable option for epics would be nice. Making mitigation for tanks worth less over 4k closes the gap i guess but not sure how lowering the base parry AND deflect is going to help much seen as a raid buffed guardian for example still has close to the avoid of a raid buffed brawler. 
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Old 09-29-2006, 02:19 AM   #15
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selch wrote:

ironman2000 wrote:
My head hurts......does this mean its going to get harder for fabled raid equipped people and easier for the average joe like me in all xegonite, save for a few legendary pieces?


It means Fabled player will have closer difficulty than an Legendary geared player in "group combat", rather than soloing it. Simply making gap not enlarge more and more as level tiers go up...

Message Edited by selch on 09-28-2006 03:14 PM



So, you're saying that it closes the gap between Fabled geared players and Mastercrafted/Legendary geared players?  I'm trying to get this in the simplest terms I can, because I have to explain it to my guild and if i'm not exactly getting it, I don't know if anyone else will.
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Old 09-29-2006, 02:21 AM   #16
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This sounds awesome!

Can't wait to see how my Wiz holds up.

 

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Old 09-29-2006, 02:22 AM   #17
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Halfway home guys.. please address the same issues regarding debuffing of mobs.  While you are at it, use the fact that not everyone will be capped to add fun difficulty to encounters.  The game overall is very fast at top end due to huge player DPS, and huge mob dps.  This is the main reason you guys have problems creating encounters that in between 'trivial - yellow' and 'extremely difficult - orange'.
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Old 09-29-2006, 02:22 AM   #18
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While there are certaintly some long awaited changes coming, I fail to see how this balances the Fighter classes. The whole "all tank equally but different" that was the mantra for a while during pre-release beta and a good six-12 months after release. There's glaring imballances between Warriors vs Crusaders vs Brawlers for end game tanking, yet I don't see anything in the proposed changes that will solve this issue.I also don't really see how this is going to help mages in PvP, or any non-DPS Scout and non-brawler classes when hunting in solo/duo, especially if nothing changes if you're in the "sweet spot" for mitigation/resists.
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Old 09-29-2006, 02:27 AM   #19
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omg!!! :smileysurprised:i LOVE you.. Marry me!
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Old 09-29-2006, 02:27 AM   #20
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Thank you, thank you, thank you.
 
Its about time SMILEY
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Old 09-29-2006, 02:30 AM   #21
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Gaige wrote:
Thank you, thank you, thank you.
 
Its about time SMILEY

QFE!

Message Edited by wyoung on 09-28-2006 05:31 PM

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Old 09-29-2006, 02:30 AM   #22
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Jezekiell wrote:
While there are certaintly some long awaited changes coming, I fail to see how this balances the Fighter classes. The whole "all tank equally but different" that was the mantra for a while during pre-release beta and a good six-12 months after release. There's glaring imballances between Warriors vs Crusaders vs Brawlers for end game tanking, yet I don't see anything in the proposed changes that will solve this issue.

I also don't really see how this is going to help mages in PvP, or any non-DPS Scout and non-brawler classes when hunting in solo/duo, especially if nothing changes if you're in the "sweet spot" for mitigation/resists.



from what i got brawlers who are at 4K mit will **edit** receive a higher benefit to mitigation**edit** this will probably overpower them as raid tanks because their avoidence and mit will now be substantially higher.

Message Edited by IllusiveThoughts on 09-28-2006 03:33 PM

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Old 09-29-2006, 02:33 AM   #23
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I have to agree with Kat, please please look in to debuffs, offensive debuffs that is being more effective. As effective as the mitigation etc. debuffs are.

 

 

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Old 09-29-2006, 02:37 AM   #24
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These changes seem to favor the melee classes more then casters. Alot more.

My survivability when I pull agro is probably up from 5% to 7%. With the changes.

My DPS will probably decrease due to no longer reachign the int cap.

Melee aucto attack DPS will incease, since the DPS/Haste cap is so easy to reach as it is currently.

So please remember all classes when making the changes. With exeption to the LU that you fixed level 30-50 spells, every combat change has slowly nerfed the caster's.

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Old 09-29-2006, 02:39 AM   #25
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  • Classes that use multiple stats for power pools have had their maximum power possible increase by up to +25% if they are high enough in both stats. This is to offset the difficulty of having to increase multiple stats
  • Is there any guidance with regards to how high in both stats would "qualify" for the bonus?Why was the fizzle mechanic removed? I won't miss fizzles, but I was just wondering how it fit into the problems you were trying to address.
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    Old 09-29-2006, 02:39 AM   #26
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    *blink*No. More. Fizzles.*faints*I do hope, though, this will lead to having bard song progression from upgrade to upgrade and quality to quality a lot better.The Master I of a T5 spell should not be -identical- to the adept III of a T7 (I think that was the DPS one.. 26% does seem familiar).If bard buff songs for T6+, especially T7, get improvements because this change I will be a very happy dirgy.  But... not fizzling on rezzes or CoB will also help phenominally.
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    Old 09-29-2006, 02:41 AM   #27
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    Thank you for the info. I can't wait to see these changes in effect =D.
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    Old 09-29-2006, 02:41 AM   #28
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    Ok, I can understand the linear versus non-linear curves. But I do not fully understand what is being communicated by the "Break-even". Do you just mean the point where the "old line" and the "new curve" intersect?If so , the real question I have. On current mobs(solo, group and raid), if I am maxed out now in stats... are my current master 1 spells going to do the relative same % damage to the mob's total health? or has the capabilities I have now being maxed on stats, been moved to the point on the graph of the new max limit.Are all mobs being adjusted?If I get to the new max..will it feel like 510 int now does in regards to effectiveness vs current mobs or do better?Is the new limit just the old limit given a new number and a non-linear progression to that number? Or is the new limit represent an higher effective capability against current content.What was the balancing design choice?
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    Old 09-29-2006, 02:41 AM   #29
    selch

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    IllusiveThoughts wrote:from what i got brawlers who are at 4K mit will **edit** receive a higher benefit to mitigation**edit** this will probably overpower them as raid tanks because their avoidence and mit will now be substantially higher.

    Message Edited by IllusiveThoughts on 09-28-2006 03:33 PM


    No worries, their numbers are probably less than your fingers per server as mitigation. On the other hand, if you have read all the text, same rules for higher avoidance as well, so you won't be seeing "super mitigated" plate, nor "super avoidance" brawler, let alone both at same time.

    Message Edited by selch on 09-28-2006 03:43 PM

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    Old 09-29-2006, 02:43 AM   #30
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    Posts: 4
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    I understand all the changes based for other classes on the new mitigation system.  But even in the current system, plate tanks, with the exception of guardians, are almost worthless., in #group encounters...  Now you grant a diminishing rewards system, and our _basis_ for tanking and taking damage is going to be dramatically changed, in perspective to other classes. especially with our low DPS, this only hinders us.  I dont disagree that something needed to be done about the 1-hit kills.  Perhaps the end-game mitigation should be re-looked at, or perhaps even the plate classes themselves, I think they are all in need some work.  I lie frustrated as a time-limited non-raiding paladin, and here I see just another reason why a swashie will be tanking my groups more than already happens... While this system sounds great for most players in the world, i think it will make a dramatic difference in the end-game encounters as far as tanks are concerned.  I really hope this gets tested thoroughly, and possibly a little pally love thrown in for us under-used holy knights.  SoE keep up the good work, I don't mean this to be deconstructive.
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