Where to begin.
An Opening note:
1: Unless you have tested these systems on PvM both Open world and in Dungeons, DO NOT COMMENT! Your assumptions are not something the adjustments should be based off. Objective testing to gather material results and data is the only logical way to come to a conclusion. A Hypothesis without conducting science is just a guess without fact.
2: I am fully aware that these changes are not finalized, and are able to be changed. In fact, that's my intention here, is to disclose where we are currently, not a final conclusion! This is a post to influence where changes are felt to be needed based on my personal testing in the current phase, to the next phase of testing. Not an opinion as a final result before live services!
Again, I am fully aware this is a test server and so is anyone who actively participates in it's investigation, there is no need to use that as a rebuttal.
Also, if you're not going to read this post in it's entirety AND test collecting results of your own [orientated in PvM as that what these conclusions are deduced from], to not believe for a moment that I will entertain your objections to my results simply based on perception.
Part 1: Change over from Static Flat Values to Influenced Percentages.
I feel this is not only acceptable, but a very good move towards Dynamic game-play. I've long since had a love-hate relationship with the current system as it allowed me to be both ungodly strong in some situations [like low leveling areas and fighting hordes of minion class monsters] while being arguably futile when using the status' against High level targets like other players and Bosses.
Judgement: This new feature in it's singularity is good.
Part 2: CHA and Class Stat influence on Status Up, Status Down.
I'm not detecting a massive change here, and the implementation of dynamic percentages makes the system adaptable while simultaneously nearly impossible to determine it's effect. In short, it's such a small change that I cannot determine either way if it's a good change or bad change.
Part 3: Status Down Duration.
I cannot get behind this entirely. Some status downs were indeed needing a reduction to duration. That being said, some very vital or defining status downs have been rendered significantly less useful. While still being useful, they no longer represent utility's that a proper build consideration can take full advantage of.
Not to single out any one status effect, as this applies to many of them, a look at the before and after effects of the Magician skill 'Soul Electric' sheds some light on what I'm referring to.
On the live server system the current status effect is ' Accuracy Down' for a Duration of '20 seconds' on 'Single Target', with a cool down time of '8 seconds'.
On the Pegasus test system, the status effect of the skill is 'Accuracy Down' for a Duration of '8 seconds' on 'Single Target', with a cool down time of '18 seconds'
So what compounded impacts do those changes have?
- The single can no longer be used consistently to maintain a status. Not only that, the skill was a dual effect of damage and status, where both figures were 'reasonable' for a Lightning Magician i terms of the damage amount and the status amount inflicted.
- The effect can no longer be used to consistently control 2 to 3 enemies in reducing their chance of hitting you very slightly, ultimately reducing it's usefulness. Given that a Lightning Mage's focus is Dodge, Mana, Accuracy Down, Stuns and Finally Damage, this is entirely contrary to the class role. The skill now causes the player to question it's viability as a solid utility, and more of a side effect that build consideration should no longer play a part in.
- The cool down having been increased by 144% enforces that this skill is situational, non-reliable, and at best lacks any consideration. It simply becomes another skill that lacks any significance. Now, I have a problem with this global increase to skill cool downs, but that's an entire different story.
Judgement: Where these discrepancies appear, I absolutely do NOT approve of this as a consumer. Given so many instances of this are now in view, it is imperative that it be corrected before being released to the live server services. These adjustments should be based on reason and conjecture by both staff and players, post testing.
Part 4: Stat Buffs.
The change over that Stat Buffs are locked to a set value of 10 isn't entirely unwarranted, and I in fact see where the reasoning was to drastically reduce these buffs potency. However, I feel that completely cutting out CHA and Class Stat influence is too drastic.
What I'd like to see put in place, is the same modifier system, but replace the scaling effect to be closer to 105 CHA = +1, and 210 Class stat = +1.
At max effect, the system should be balanced to where the Class Stat Buffs should be a total of approximately +20 [Via a break down of "10 + 10" at max effect].
Judgement: Hesitant. I see how it is justified, but feel it could be made to still allow for team supporting characters to maintain a build to influence their contribution to their team, just in much more managed totals.
Part 5: Global Increase to Skill Cool Downs.
No, no, what the hell are you thinking?? I'd apologize for being so stern on this but are you insane?!
The current meta is already 100% melee classes. Why on earth would you even consider adding 144% to 320% increase to Skill Cool Downs?
For Example, let's look at Knights.
The Role for them is communicably accepted as 'team supporter and defender, dealing moderate damage, withstanding significant damage and providing aggro support for allies'.
Key Features when it comes to Active* role [not inherited by passives], is moderate damage, and 'actively supporting team using aggro control [ie taunts]'.
This means AoE control and Single Target control via Taunts. So let's take a detail on the 4 Available AoE's a Knight has in the Live Service and on the test realm as a single example of how these changes impacted their ability to maintain their role as Aggro support.
[Live][ Sweeping Strike: Cool down "5 seconds" [side benefit small move speed reduction]
[Test] Sweeping Strike: Cool down "12.5 seconds" [side benefit small move speed reduction]
Difference: +250% Original CD Time.
[Live] Crushing Impact: Cool down "4 seconds"
[Test] Crushing Impact: Cool down "12 seconds"
Difference: +300% Original CD Time.
[Live] Swords of Divinity: Cool down "6 seconds"
[Test] Swords of Divinity: Cool down "18 seconds"
Difference: +300% Original CD Time.
[Live] Impact Wave: Cool down "8 seconds" [Applies Taunt / / / NOTE Signature Skill for TEAM support!]
[Test] Impact Wave: Cool down "20 seconds" [Applies Taunt / / / NOTE Signature Skill for TEAM support!]
Difference: +250% Original CD Time.
Average Difference: +275% Original CD Times.
End result, drastic cut to a Knight ability to maintain aggro of monsters.
And this is just 1 style, of many options, of many classes.
Not only is this completely contrary to actually making Skill Casting based classes evenly proportionate to Melee/Auto attacking classes, but it actually pushes Melee classes FURTHER ahead. I can justify this by the fact that most* Attack Speed benefits were cut by half [-50%] Yet, across the board, active damage skills have been reduced in usage by anywhere between 100% to 300%!
I holistically, CANNOT, and WILL NOT support this move in any capacity. The disproportionate relationship between Melee/Auto Attack heavy classes and Skill Heavy classes is already too great where the ladder leads significantly. Upon initial look, I was not pleased with this change. However; being objectively bound as an Anarchist and as a respected beta tester, I still tested these changes without bias. My conclusion was as I suspected it would be. This change only griefs Skill Classes, and thrust Melee Classes out of Reach of Skill Classes giving them functional superiority.
Judgement: NO! Re-evaluate these totals before allowing to the live service, as is this is absolutely going to cause grievances, frustration and imbalances.
Part 6: Elemental System.
From my initial expectation of the description of this system, it was to be looked at as an optional utility. One that can be used to your advantage, or used against you if you chose to not take it into build account for your character.
However, testing this is incredibly hard. Every class that does not have any Element assigned to their skills, or the lack of elemental imbuement onto your weapons makes testing the effects of positively building to take advantage of this system impossible.
Not only is it impossible for those classes to 'get a taste' of what they can gain, the system defensively on monsters is causing penalties in extreme excess.
Take for example our tests in Cave of Ulverick.
(Basic Attack) vs (Poison Defense) = -35% Damage Dealt [ie only dealing 65% total damage]
(Basic Defense) vs (Poison Attack) = +10% Damage Taken [ie Poison monsters hit you for 110% original damage]
Now, this is the Exact set up in Caves of Ulverick.
We as players do not yet have the ability to Imbue an Element to our Standard Weapons / Skills. We also lack the ability to do the same for our Defenses.
What this scenario resulted in was the utter feeling of being punished or disparaged our previously hard earned work. I mean, this is coming from an ELITE team of Dungeon regulars. We've completed this particular Dungeon undeniably over a thousand times! And we've never, EVER felt so powerless. Our Knight was taking so much damage we needed to actively heal it even when it was not facing a laughable amount of enemies. And never mind the melee damage on Ulverick. It already takes approximately 5-7minutes to kill him. The Knight contributing roughly 1.5-2.2k Damage per Melee Hit. However, the lack of Imbuement on the Knight Weapon, and it being (Basic Offense) vs (Poison Defense) took that previously decent 1.5-2.2k all the way down to 800-1.3k. I can't say if this is laughable, or just degrading and a grossly punitive result of lacking support for this system yet.
Now, I fully understand that we don't have the full system in place. But there ARE ways for us to test the Positive impact of properly using an Element vs Another one. Those instances felt decent, appreciable and respectable.
What I did not feel was appropriate, is the massive punishment effect the reductions had. Losing 35% of your final damage [Element has already been told is the final consideration, even above enhance damage] is too much.
My previous understanding was this would be an optional utility, something that you could use to benefit yourself, or skip and risk it being used against you. However, these massive resistance cuts and proc'd Immunity [A level 230 mage hitting a lvl 45 moldie and it generating 'immune' is beyond degrading..] does not make it feel optional. It makes it feel and play out as very much mandatory. Whether or not that's something the community will conclude is acceptable is up to them, my personal conclusion is as follows.
Judgement: Potentially a good system, punishment should not be so severe for lacking or optionally not participating. Elemental Reductions should be set to a maximum of -20%, but idealy -15%. Currently, I feel system is vastly too incomplete to definitively come to a conclusion but initial inspection says punishments are too severe.
This is my conclusions thus far.
I hope these results will positively affect the next set of patches applied to Pegasus, as a long of mental considerations and physical testing was done to come to them.
============== UPDATE 10/2 2015 ===================
----:::: Skill Procs ::::----
With the massive increase to cooldowns, skill based procs are now completely out of whack. The ones I can note off the top of my head are.
Scout: Ice, Fire, Wind Arrows are all very VERY heard to keep up, let alone build to their maximum potentials.
- - -Preferable Fix: Increase the % Chance to Proc by a factor of 3, OR Keep as is and a proc results in full amount for Water + Wind, Fire Procs 5 stacks
Raider: All stacks based on aspeed are STILL useless for Skill Casting, and the reduction to over-all aspeed has made it that much more impossible to use these on a skill build.
- - - Preferable Fix: Add Proc mechanics to Skills for these Effects!
- Triple Strike = 5 Stacks of Adrenaline Rush [increase Triple Strikes Cooldown to 15 seconds to prevent permanent uptime]
- Flame Falcon = 10 Stacks of Critical Impact on use.
- Screw Attack = 5 Stacks of Critical Weakness on use.
Mage: Water, Wind, Fire Mastery's are now 'wishy washy' on getting their effects to maximum and keeping them there while remaining in combat, let alone moving from one section to another.
- - - Preferable Fix: Increase the Proc Rate of these skills proportionately to the Active Damage Skills CD's increase.
I'm still awaiting my DG team to log on so we can further test these effects in Dungeons. and will update it after that.
Edited by Feuer, 02 October 2015 - 09:59 AM.