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Old 04-21-2005, 09:50 PM   #1
disru

 
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This is a short, general history of modifications that have been made to ShamanMystic since beta. Some dates may not be totally accurate since im only listing Live Updates and some of the things mentioned occurred in between LU's. I have only included things that soley effected mystics, not things that benefitted or effected everyone (such as the implementation of Training, etc) Nerfage in bold, enhancements underlined, enhancements that didn't really enhance anything or caused mystics be be less effective in italics. Pre-Launch: Heal upon expiration effect removed from wards. 1/6/05 - LU#1: Fixed Umbral Fortitude to buff the proper amount of divine mitigation 2/1/05 - LU#2: Broke Stamina debuffs! 2/17/05 - LU#3: Increased mitigation of Heavy and Light armor effectively reducing the efficiency of wards even further. 3/8/05 - LU#4: Stamina debuffs fixed. 3/21/05 - LU#5: Wards now absorb DoT damage, Fading Spirit's anti-hate proc fixed to fire every hit, broke Mourning Soul! 4/6/05 - LU#6: Shadowy Attendant looked at and supposedly fixed... Field of the Grey fixed, Mourning Soul fixed, Oberon made a little better but still crap, Avatar Nerf! can now only be kept on 1 person at a time. 4/20/05 - LU#7: Keening/Howling Haze butchered into uselessness, Ward of Shadows fixed? (didn't know it was broken outside of the way wards are broken in general) Feel free to add anything that I missed.
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Old 04-21-2005, 11:43 PM   #2
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Let's not forget the history of broken promises regarding priest balancing and Mystic fixes that Moorgard has been promising.  I've culled his various posts on these subjects from the past couple of months: 3/6/05
We neither seek to keep players in the dark nor to protect information on what will or won't be fixed. While I can understand that not seeing something fixed that you consider important is upsetting, please don't be so quick to assume we have some sort of illicit motive or evil agenda. Our team takes communication seriously, and we are going to work harder at making it more consistent.   We'd love for everything in the game to work perfectly, and more than that, for every feature to be met with approval by all our subscribers. Of course, the latter in particular is an unrealistic desire. Even if there wasn't a single bug in this game, players would still disagree about whether aspects of the game were "right" or not based on their personal beliefs and desires.   There are often posts about how frustrating it is that bugs end up in the game, even after our QA department and external testers go through the features or content. We do work very hard to test new things added to the game, yet we can't test every possible case or circumstance that hundreds of thousands of players might uncover. That said, when bugs happen it is our responsibility, and we strive to fix them as soon as possible. Look through every one of the notes from our Live Updates (and most of the smaller hotfix updates as well) and you'll see that we address numerous issues on a regular basis.   We realize that some classes are upset about balance issues that haven't been addressed since launch. There are legitimate concerns, and while we have made progress in this area, many elements still need to be looked at. The community team gathers your class issues and feedback on a daily basis as part of our reports to the team, and I (along with Blackguard and Faarwolf) spend a lot of time with members of other departments discussing bugs, opinions, and ideas expressed on these boards and other community sites.   One of the things we've realized is that it's nearly an impossible task for a handful of people (i.e. the community team) to respond to every bug or issue that gets posted. That's why you're going to see more members of the EQ2 team (specifically, the ones who fix a bug or address balance issues) posting about what they're doing. We really do want to improve the way communication flows from the team to the players.   A big topic that will never go away (just see any EQ board for proof of that) is class balance. This is true not only because the game evolves, but because players develop an emotional investment in their characters. That attachment can make it hard for some players to objectively separate real issues from gut reaction.   Our initial approach with class balance has been to first look at issues on the archetype level. Changes to agility and strength, for instance, were necessary to bring scouts and fighters more in line with where we want them to be. Secondly, we've been fixing bugs with spells and combat arts, because you can't judge the full potential of a given profession if their abilities are not functioning correctly. At the same time, we've addressed some clearly broken aspects of particular classes that simply couldn't be ignored. In the case of berserkers, this meant a reduction in potency; in the case of wizards and warlocks, this meant a considerable increase.   Among the balance issues we'll be looking into now and in the near future:     * Summoner pets, including the usefulness of various types of pets and the overall DPS and utility of mages.     * Priest balancing, including: wards vs. reactives vs. regens, both for effectiveness and aggro generation; warden vs. fury balance, etc.     * Evaluating melee damage to ensure that scouts outdamage fighters.     * Giving every artisan profession new and useful things to make, as well as ways to make their existing goods more desirable. (If I didn't list your class or issue above, please don't assume we are ignoring you. Those are just a few of the big-picture balance issues we're looking at, not a comprehensive list.) And yes, we will continue to fix bugged spells and arts. But keep in mind that even when we get to the point where nearly every ability functions correctly, there will still be people on the boards who feel that particular aspects of their class are broken or imbalanced. That's simply a fact of MMO life: there will never, ever be a massively multiplayer game of this complexity in which every subscriber feels all aspects are balanced. Because, at the end of the day, balance is not a matter of numbers, but one of perception. These games are not math equations, no matter how many calculations lurk below the surface. They're living, breathing microcosms into which thousands and thousands of players make varying degrees of emotional investment. Our job, then, is not just "find bug A, fix bug A, report bug A is fixed," but rather to respond to you on a personal, direct level. It's something we continually strive to do better, both on the community team and as a company. At the same time, we know that ultimately the proof comes not in our words, but in our actions. That's why we will keep on doing what we're doing: adding new stuff, making fixes, expanding the game world. We'll make mistakes, but we'll work hard to fix them. Hopefully if we keep on doing that, more and more of you will see that we're serious about making EverQuest II the best game we possibly can. Your feedback is a crucial part of that process, and it makes a difference in the development of this game every single day.
3/28/05
Priest balancing is a part of Live Update #6, hitting Test server this week. Not only are we addressing healing, but also damage output. I'll post full details when the spell guys are finished compiling the changes into a readable format. Most priests should be quite happy with these changes, as everyone gets some nice upgrades out of it. Wardens are having some spells reduced in effectiveness because they have some heals that are simply way too powerful. I have a feeling a lot of people are aware of that already. There are some code changes on the horizon that will better balance the way the different types of healing generate aggro, but those may be in Live Update #7 instead of this one. As part of that, we'll also be looking at the effectiveness of taunts, so it's a fairly involved process.
3/28/05
After further discussions today, we've decided to hold back the priest revamp until Live Update #7. The reason is that LU7 will contain significant balance changes which could necessitate further healing tweaks. Rather than introduce a new system and possibly change it again two weeks later, we'd rather roll it out all at once. While this is still subject to change, plans for LU7 include:     * Priest healing/DPS improvements     * Conjurer/Necromancer pet/DPS improvements     * Illusionist/Coercer DPS improvements     * Changes to the effectiveness of skill buffs like Defense And as I mentioned, this will allow us to work on healing aggro and taunt as well. Sorry for getting your hopes up for priest changes making Live Update #6, but I think it's worth the wait to ensure a more stable game all around.
4/13/05
Because significant changes to combat will be arriving on the Test server with our next update, we have decided to delay Priest balancing and changes to Summoner pets until we are confident the combat system is where we want it to be. While this will disappoint some of you, we feel it's best to have our mechanics team focused on the new combat changes rather than spreading them out across multiple systems.   Please note that the changes to combat will be watched closely. We may or may not deliver them to the live servers with Live Update #7; we want this to be done right, and we are not going to rush anything. Though nobody likes delays when they're looking forward to something, ultimately it's better if we take longer to ensure it's stable and fun.   Combat and healing are naturally intertwined, and it doesn't make sense to introduce healilng [sic] changes until the fundamentals of combat are sound and stable. Once the combat system is ready, the healing changes will be on the way.
4/14/05
- Mages and Priests no longer receive the Parry skill. It temporarily still shows in the Skills window, but these archetypes will no longer have any chance to parry.
4/14/05
I posted this several times already, but let me do so again to be clear: The combat changes currently on Test will not be part of Live Update #7. Combat will remain the way it currently is on the live servers until we can also introduce additional spell changes, including adjusting the healing and damage numbers.   Look, I want healing to be balanced too, and I want the other mages to get attention (and yes, scouts too). I talk about it every single day to Cao, to Scott, to the mechanics guys, and various random people I corner in the hallways. I would love to be able to snap my fingers and have everything be done, but it isn't that simple.   MMOs are complex things. Every change you make touches something else, and when you peel back the layers of a significant change you find other things that are affected.   The changes to defense are necessary to keep the game from becoming trivial. We want to preserve the challenging aspects of gameplay, because an easy game ultimately becomes boring. We want soloing to be fun, grouping to be fun, and raiding to be fun. None of those things are fun if they don't present a challenge.   There are invariably complaints when we change something about the game to make it easier to understand or more accessible in some way. "Stop dumbing it down, SOE!" But when we make changes to increase the things we feel should be challenging--like combat and raiding--we hear "You're making the game too hard!" The truth is that people don't like change, at least when they don't see a direct and quantifiable benefit from it.   The changes to combat are necessary for the long-term health of the game. They may not be immediately popular, because in general you don't see a lot of posts saying "Woohoo, I get hit more!!!" But that doesn't mean they don't need to be made.   As part of this, we are also looking at the damage that NPCs do. After all, if NPCs can hit more often, we need to take a close look at what they're hitting for. And if NPC damage changes, it is a natural conclusion that we need to look at the efficiency of healing. Since that may need adjusting too, it wouldn't do a lot of good to spend time introducing balance changes now only to find we should redo them in a month.   We're also looking at ways to streamline the spell system itself. It has a lot of complexity because spells have several ways they can increase in potency, and it causes odd situations in how upgrades happen. We'd catch bugs and inequalities across tiers a lot sooner if we make some programmatic changes rather than adjusting data time and time again.   These aren't easy changes, and they can't be done quickly if they're going to be done right. They will go live when we're satisfied that they achieve our goal of making the game stronger and more fun.
4/18/05
The reason this [Haze nerf] wasn't listed yet in the notes for the Test server version of Update #7 is that we (as in, those of us who compile the notes) thought it was going to be part of a subsequent update rather than the initial one. As it turns out, it did make it onto Test, so our apologies for not including it in the original notes. There was nothing intentionally "stealth" about it, and the change will appear in the notes for the live server version of the update. That said, this is an intentional change. These debuffs were able to drop the target about 6 levels in effectiveness, which is simply too great an amount for balance purposes. They're still useful for weakening the target, just not to the extreme that they had been. Because of the dramatic impact the Haze spells can have on all kinds of encounters, the change needed to be independent of other changes to the Priest classes.
4/19/05
I've been researching this subject, and here are the facts of the matter. This was a change meant for Live Update #7. It was always intended to be listed as one of the changes for this update; there was no intention to hide anything. There's no way to hide major spell changes anyway, so it would provide no benefit for us to try. It was indeed pushed live sooner than intended because a single file that controls both spells was checked into the wrong directory. It was an error on our part, and a very rare one, but it happened. Please understand that in putting together an update we touch thousands of files every week, with multiple branches of code and data. I wish I could say that there is zero chance of mistakes being made, but ultimately we're just human beings. The effect of the change is a separate issue. I will state again that these spells were broken. It's our fault for introducing broken abilities into the game, but it's also our responsibility to fix them. The ability to drop a target six levels in effectiveness is not something we should have put in the game. We're sorry that we gave Mystics an overpowered ability in the first place, but that error does not mean we shouldn't fix the issue. You can't always balance upward, because sooner or later you run out of room. Yes, we could have waited and bundled this fix along with the overall changes to combat and spells. But the fact of the matter is that the change was made, and in so doing eliminates one way in which encounters are broken. There will be other changes as part of this process that won't be popular, but that doesn't take away from the fact that they need to be made. Our main focus has to be on the long-term health and fun factor of the game, even if we have to weather some short-term complaints. Again, I'm sorry for the manner this came about in that the change went live sooner than expected. But broken stuff needs to be fixed, and whether it happened last week or tomorrow as part of Live Update #7, these spells were going to be changed.
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Old 04-21-2005, 11:54 PM   #3
Zav

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Devs say.....

The pen is red, no wait it's blue.

Red, red, red ok it's red.

No it's blue.

Players say....

What color is the pen?

Devs say....

The pen is working as intended.

Players get no further response on pen color.

 

it's an analogy

Message Edited by Zavit on 04-21-2005 12:55 PM

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Old 04-22-2005, 04:10 AM   #4
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"There is no spoon..."
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Old 04-22-2005, 05:33 PM   #5
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Be the ball.
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Old 04-22-2005, 09:06 PM   #6
ume

 
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Great posts guys.

The first post show's that there really is no awareness of the mystic class on the dev's part.  Or probably more likely, they realized we are so pooched, that they don't even know where to start.  We will probably be molded to be more like templars when they get to priest balancing so they've probably been analyzing templars this whole time.

Looking at all of his MG's comments in chronological order meant something to me.  They are trying to "even out" or "baseline" the game.  They will first make it so no one has any power and combat is flatlined.

This will give them an environment where they can effectively measure combat aspects, then move on to the healing aspects and how they effect combat, then move on to dps changes for pets and such.

This makes great sense to me and I hope it works out well.  Maybe when they get a good grasp of how combat, healing, and dps work and tune it, we will see some great improvements.  Perhaps they will even tweak it so some classes can once again have a powerful spell or two.  Breaking us down to an archetype level is a good first step in balancing.

The only problem I have with this. is...

THIS SHOULD HAVE BEEN DONE IN THE F'n BETA...but more problably WHEN THEY DESIGNED THE F'n GAME.

The emotional attachment I've gained by playing my Mystic for 4-6+ hours per day has kinda outweighed my patience.  I am not terribly happy that they need to redesign the game by ruining many things I love about my toons then rebuild the game again...
 
Maybe it will work out well and less people will get 50 in a couple months, get bored, then leave the game.  Then give soe some more time to actually add some nice content.  Which will in turn provide more revenue to soe by re-attracting original and new subscribers.  Thus, increasing the "long term health" of the game/soe's pockets.
 
I just miss the uber-factor I guess.
 
Sorry for stealing this term from other folks, its the first time I used it, but welcome to Pay to Play Beta.
 
I'll be on my necro if anyone needs me.
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Old 04-23-2005, 01:23 AM   #7
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You did forget one good thing SOE did for Mystics on 4/16 . . . The managed to unite the entire Mystic community.  Nice work there, I sure couldn't have forseen that one.
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Old 04-23-2005, 03:50 PM   #8
ume

 
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HA.  The haze nerf is the equivalent to the 9/11 terrorist attack which united the county...

soe should be on the terrorist watch list.  lol.

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