Skill Tables…

Work continues on the skill system overhaul. Progress is definitely being made but there are a TON of systems this touches that need to be accounted for. When all is said and done, we hope to have a core system that allows the editing and creation of skills dynamically through the skills database. The vast majority of players skills and essentially all monster skills will exist in this new system. A small subset of skills will remain “hard coded” due to their complexity or unique nature, but these are also skills unlikely to ever be changed.

I am hoping by next week we have at least a fully implemented change pushed and are into the testing phase, but that may be wishful thinking. ¬†Once we do have it in place, I’ll do an in depth post explaining the changes in detail and what they mean from a development standpoint as well as a player experience standpoint.

Feel free to ask any questions you can think of, or if you have ideas you would like to share. I check the blog frequently and am always happy to provide more information or consider your requests.



8 thoughts on “Skill Tables…

  1. Puddles says:

    “I am hoping by next week we have at least a fully implemented change pushed and are into the testing phase, but that may be wishful thinking.” Quote of the day.

    Does the previously mentioned, “testing”, mean us testing or you testing? Remember, we want to blow shit up, too.

    Having the skills work properly is tantamount in balancing the classes. NC spent decades creating and balancing things as they put them into the game. Change one thing just a little bit, and two things can happen. The first is nothing. The second is total chaos because it is way to powerful. I do not envy your jobs in getting all these things to match up and work in harmony. Also, you have to learn to filter through player input. A lot of it will involve corrupted opinions of people trying to get their chosen class more powerful, bad systems from other servers, both private and live servers. Error on the side of caution. Example, be very careful with illusionists. Increasing their swing speed, even a little bit, will cause severe problems down the line. There is a reason they don’t miss.

    That being said, good job with the post, cannot wait for more information on how things are shaping up.

  2. GMLegends says:

    We hope to never have to “reduce” a skill or effect. We are erroring on the side of caution and making things more underwhelming than over. Its better to boost something a little over time, than take away.

  3. Unfortunately the “testing” means internal testing. This is less about changing skills and more about converting their back end code, so testing is easier since it’s just a question of “does it still do what it did before?”. Actual balance testing will happen further down the line, and that is where we will look to bring in testers to assist us. We want the game and content to be functional at that point, with testers focusing more on random bugs and providing data for balance purposes.

    While NCSoft put a lot of work into the game, they had a tendency to let old stuff fade away. This is extremely common in the entire MMO market, as shiny new content draws players a lot more than keeping existing content viable. There are a LOT of skills that were at one point in time good, but were made obsolete or downright nonfunctional over time. In many of these cases we hope to at least use the opportunity to give things purpose. The Illu and DK are also good examples of classes that don’t really feel finished. On live I am sure they are fine, but the clients we have those classes are relatively new and lack the established years of development other classes have. This leaves them with buggier skills, poor itemization, and ultimately low levels of use. While I think it’s absolutely possible some of the changes we are making might swing the power curve too far for a class, I ultimately feel that the end goal justifies the means so to speak. There will need to be many balance tweaks during our open beta, as long as we are responsive to the general state of things I think it will be ok in the end. That said, Illu won’t be getting brave attack speed at this time. They are getting some other tweaks that I’ll talk about later, but they are more designed around functionality, not buffing the classes power curve.

  4. Boom says:

    What are some of your thoughts on Elf spell’s/Stuns landing? Personally Elves should not have a better chance at landing spells because of erase and knight stuns sometimes tend to be a bit too long.

  5. I don’t really want to dive too deep into balance in a comment (or at this stage of development) but for the most part I believe that “Element” based spells should be harder to land on people with resistances to that element. A player wearing earth rings should be harder to Ebind, a player with wind rings should be harder to wind shackle, etc.

    The “pure” spells that have no elemental affinity will probably be tweaked a bit. Erase magic on some servers is far too easy to land. Expect these in general to be lightly affected by MR and moderately affected by level difference. You will likely never be able to become “immune” to these spells, definitely not through MR or items.

    We’ve spoken a bit about stuns. They are a very important part of PVP. As such, the current plan is to have each stun have a min and max duration. As your level difference increases, the higher level player will successfully stun more often and his stun min will increase (max remains the same). The lower level player will stun less often and his stun max will decrease (min remains the same).

    Here is an example. These numbers are completely hypothetical, I don’t have the actual ones in front of me.

    Two Knights, one level 60 and one level 80.
    Stun prob base is 50%. Scales 2% per level.
    Stun duration has min .5sec and max 5sec. Scales .2 per level difference

    60 knight tries to stun 80.
    -20 level difference = 40% reduction in chance. 50% – 40% = 10% chance to stun.

    .2 * -20 level difference = 4 seconds removed from max. Stun is for .5-1 seconds.

    80 knight tries to stun 60.
    +20 level difference = 49% increase in chance. 50% + 40% = 90% chance to stun.

    .2* +20 level difference = 4 seconds added to min. Stun is for 4.5-5 seconds.

    Again, that’s a very rough example just to show the mechanism. The numbers themselves are not important. The gist is if you are higher level, you will stun more and your stuns will be more consistently long. If you are lower level, you will stun less and you stuns will be more consistently short.

  6. Puddles says:

    First thing I am going to do is kill all the knights on the server. They will need a reason to use their OP stun on me later.

  7. Puddles says:

    @Legends I firmly believe that if those changes are made to an Illusionist, then you might double the people that play them to two. Illusionists are amazing at pve. They are fun early on, you know, pre 50. But later on when you are getting aggro on things like DK or Phoenix and you die in one skill/spell, well, its when people start over as a dragonknight or a knight. Way toooo squishy late game. Its apparent early game. Its just how they are. Great idea for a new class, the illusionist was. But it just didn’t pay off. Still, funny when I clicked on the picture….. BALANCE!

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