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Topics - Ub3rgames

1
Greetings,
From what we've gathered, many agree that the addition of upkeep is objectively good and should exist, and even agree on the calculations that lead to determining the current upkeep costs, but despite that some have felt a negative impact on motivation.

More details on calculations in spoilers:
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

We would like players to keep an open mind to see if it can generate activity,
However, we still want to start the discussion to get to a point where holdings ownership feels as a positive as much as it "reasons" as a positive.
Essentially, we're trying to address one of the historic flaw of Darkfall: Holdings can be felt as a burden to defend.

A reason why we've introduced upkeep costs at the same time as vulnerability windows is that one abstractly pays for the other, meditation representing time your character does things when you're offline.
The feeling that has been expressed to us regarding this change is that while protection is an improvement, holdings generally still have a feeling of "why bother?".
This is compounded by being in InDev, but it is a general issue too.

Our approach so far has mostly focused on that safety aspect. Time windows, watchtowers, making walls useful and so on.
We assumed that being a starting point for a taxation area, having monsters/clan nodes nearby and being a home would be sufficient if ownership wasn't so risky.
But perhaps we are missing a crucial point?

Should holdings, regardless of a large watchtower network, be a net positive by themselves?

The risk here is that if that is the way we go about it, there is a risk of widening a gap between haves and have not, which is why we haven't considered it yet.
But then again, hoarding of multiple holdings should be much rarer when local banking comes into play combined with upkeep costs, so there would be more targets of various strength levels to pick from.
It would make for a more reasons to wage war over maintaining the status quo.

We believe that anything that would make the showdown and early wars more intense is something of value to our release's success.
We can't help but remember the initial launch when players believed that they were fighting over and building up holdings for a reason.
2
Patch 3.13 - The Great Magic Overhaul

The Great Magic Overhaul:
 This is the meat of this patch. We have reworked nearly everything about the magic system to have the secondary effects of spells also scale with magnitude.

Historically, secondary effects were only tied to the level of spells, increasing step by step every 25 levels. Now, Area of effects, graphical effects, displacement effects, duration and blind effects will all be tied to the same factors affecting damage calculations.
The status quo of what spells used to do at level 75 is set around using a basic bone armor with a medium speed medium rank staff. Anything above is buffed, anything below is nerfed.
The only exceptions to this are blinds and wall of force, which are nerfed with encumbrance but have not been buffed beyond their previous values.
The way encumbrance and gear affects secondary effects is different than for damage.
Encumbrance is frontloaded for secondary effects, meaning that there isn't much difference between high end leather and metal armors, but a large difference between magical gear and physical gear.
Magical traits are also more impactful for secondary effects, which is another relative nerf to naked characters. Wearing even low rank robes should have benefits.
These changes lays a good framework for us to impact the utility of magic schools with titles, and in the short term give a valuable niche to magical characters in group fights.

Feedback request: As an experiment, we've added a lesser version of the stormblast displacement to  lightning strike, air magic's r50 spell. This is a test if it could be a potential flavor for air magic. To us it felt roughly equivalent but different to fire's knockup, with some self-displacement utility.

 
New Village control point capture mechanics:
 After experimenting with multiple new systems, we've landed on something that felt genuinely fun to us in testing.
We're essentially going with a true king of the hill mechanic, with a capture zone clans have to spend the most time within to score capture points.
There are also higher stakes for a fight over a village control point as ongoing ownership and recaptures will now be rewarded, but so will breaking another clan's capture chain.
The intent of the whole system is to have groups of players try to stay in the capture zone of a village control point, and push out other clans.
The variation in the duration of a capture is meant to give potential opportunities to come back for all clans involved, putting emphasis on survival and giving value to each death on each sides.
Everyone involved gets rewarded with meditation, with winners receiving more immediate rewards on top of being the only ones with ongoing rewards.
The more a village is contested, the more value it holds to everyone.

 Details:
- Villages will become vulnerable every 23 hours and 45 minutes.
- To start capturing a vulnerable village, players have to enter and remain in a radius of 12.5 meters around the Village Control Point (VCP).
- Players and their clan will then be "engaged" in combat for this village.
- VCPs store capture progress per engaged clan.
- Looking at a VCP shows the player's clan capture progress, and those of the 3 clans having made the most progress in their capture.
- A player and his clan gets engaged with a VCP when:
    - He enters the VCP capture zone.
    - He damages/debuffs/heals/buffs someone part of a clan that is engaged with the VCP within the VCP lawlessness radius.
   - He is damages/debuffs/heals/buffs someone part of a clan that is engaged with the VCP within the VCP lawlessness radius.
- For each clan engaged the capture time for all clans is increased, with diminishing returns.
- For each player of a clan engaged in a capture, the capture time remains constant and will require more players in the zone.
- Before any modifiers, the base meditation reward for participating in a VCP fight is 6 000 meditation points.
- For each player engaged with the VCP, the base reward is increased in a diminishing returns curve that starts at +10% per player and bottoms out to 1% per player at 25 players and beyond.
- Every player engaged with a VCP upon its capture will receive a percentage of the base meditation reward equal to its clan's capture progress.
- Rewards are further modified by the overall scaling of the current fight.
- The winning clan's members gain:
    - an additional 2 000 meditation points.
    - an additional physical reward in their inventories.
    - ongoing meditation rewards of 500 meditation points per hour.
    - ongoing gold rewards similar to pre-patch values.
- Capturing and recapturing a villages starts and increases an ongoing modifier:
    - Ongoing modifiers increase by 1% per hour of owning a village.
    - Ongoing modifiers are visible by everyone on the world map.
    - When the village changed hands, the ongoing modifier is reset to 0.
    - Instant rewards for a clan that is not the previous owner increase by the ongoing modifier of the previous clan.

 
 
Clan meditation pool and holdings upkeep
The clan meditation pool is something we've wanted to implement for a while now, as it opens up for a lot of future features like clan quest rewards, temporary clan buffs, and any form of maintenance costs where work/time should be abstracted.
We've implemented it in the form of a tax system so that clan leaders have a vested interest in having active members that participate in group activities like village control points or dungeon quests.
We're hoping that this can lead to a mutually beneficial relationship between clans and newer players, with veteran members teaching the ropes of more efficient meditation gains to newer members, helping them experience a smoother progression.
The first use of the clan meditation pool will be to have a maintenance cost for holdings, as an added logistic constraint to owning large empires. We're starting with low amounts, which we'll increase after player feedback.
The intent is to have holdings be reserved to active clans only, and to funnel players towards the most time efficient meditation sources for groups: village control points.
Of course, we've added a way to abandon holdings for clans, which should also serve as a way to trade holdings until a better system can be implemented.
- Clan members will now be taxed 10% of their meditation gains.
- A clan can stockpile up to 75 000 meditation points.
- When the cap is reached, members are no longer taxed and keep 100% of their meditation.
- A city will cost 5 000 meditation points per day to maintain.
- A hamlet will cost 2 500 meditation points per day to maintain.
- Upkeep costs will automatically be taken from the clan's meditation pool once every 24h.
- A clan can be in debt for 10 days before its holdings go neutral. There will be 10% interest per days in dept.
- When a holding goes neutral, the bank will be destroyed and any clan can capture it with a clan shard.
- Supreme generals and generals can abandon a holding as an option for the "alternate use" menu of bindstones.
- A flag is shown on top of the bindstone, similar to house taxes, showing if upkeep costs have been paid.

Clan prime time and vulnerability windows
One of the most attrition inducing factor we've witnessed in Darkfall's history are off-hour sieges. This is our attempt at solving the problem.
The intent is to give defenders control over when they can be attacked, while still leaving some leeway for the attackers.
This coincides with the upkeep additions, as the drawback for this system.
- A day will now be cut in 3 windows:
    - Invulnerability window:
        - Lasts 12 hours.
        - Holdings cannot be sieged.
     - A vulnerability window:
        - Lasts 6 hours.
        - Sieges behave as pre-patch.
- A soft vulnerability window after the vulnerability window:
        - Lasts 6 hours.
        - Siege wagers are increased.
  
- Clan leaders can set their prime time, which will be the start of the vulnerability window in the main menu's conquest window.
- By default, the start of a clan's prime time is set at 6PM GMT.
- Prime time can be changed only once per week.
       
This is a starting point, but we are looking at tweaking values based on feedback.

Dynamic Tombstones and monster death polish
For this patch we spend quite some time trying to polish one of the early immersion breaker for new players: Monsters sliding after death.
And while we were redoing monster deaths, we also added some much requested quality of life for looting/skinning.
- Monster graves will now show their status to players:
    - They will no longer glow when empty.
    - They will transform into a small bag on the ground when they have been skinned.
- Monsters should no longer slide or have a hitbox after their death, and graves should appear and disappear instantly.
- When a monster is dead but still in its death animation, its health bar should look empty to reduce confusion.

Rework of armor durability losses
Historically, durability losses were quite random, with some items never losing any durability.
We have redone the system. Now, all armors will lose durability in proportion to the amount of paperdoll slots taken.
Durability damage is constant and spread on the equipped items, which means that being close to naked will make individual items last less and balance out risk/rewards a bit better.

Collision system improvements
This change is probably the most grueling one in this patch.
We've spent well over a month investigating the physics and collision engine to start addressing the geometry exploits that are prevalent in Darkfall.
This ranges from how entities are spawned, to handling rotations and movement near geometry.
We know we have not fixed yet all issues, but what worries us more is that players might get stuck now when they would not have before.

So please, stay on the lookout, and if you notice geometry bugs that have not been addressed yet, please send them our way.
We should now be able to fix/address these type of issues much faster now that we have a good understanding of the whole system.

Performances and stuttering
This is the final performance patch we'll do during InDev, and judging by the effects it had on our setups, it may be the most noticeable one.
In addition, we believe we've found the most probable cause of stuttering and fixed it. Hopefully, those that have had that issue should see an improvement.
If you had, or if you knew anyone with performances issue, please let us know.

Miscellaneous and bug fixes:
-The new leather and cloth resources we've added now have in-inventory graphics.
-Hunt quests have received a new calculation formula. Gone are the days of OP rewards, they should now be more in line with Dungeon dailies and VCP rewards.
- Operation screenshakes: Screenshakes will now occur only on the player being hit or very close to it.
- Power hour and general levelling should now impact secondary skills as intended.
- Siege stones will not spawn close to a monster spawn or NPC guard towers.
- Siege stones and strongboxes should now require more room around them before spawning.
- Map markers in holdings should now be correct.
- All linked spawns have been removed from the game.
- Draw distance can now be increased much further in video options.
- Fall damages will start at lower velocities in a more granular way.
- Velocity should now properly be reset when mounting/dismounting.
- When a holding changes hands or goes neutral, all characters bound should properly be kicked.

3
Greetings,
Here is a warning to all clans leadership, should you need time to organize sieges or a comeback prior to 3.13.
QA has validated that holdings upkeep and invulnerability windows are functionally good to go for the next patch.
We're still tweaking the details of both features, but the core functionality is validated.

This means that should you not be active enough as a clan after 3.13, your holdings will return to being neutral.

There will be a way to release holdings, we just haven't decided on the form yet.
The upkeep cost will be a flat amount of meditation per day, with the possibility to be in debt for 10 days before the holdings become neutral.
Clans will gain meditation by taxing a percentage of the meditation gains of their clan members.

The intent is to synergize with the VCP changes to really test the new mechanics with meaningful fights.
We're starting with low upkeep costs to test the mechanic, so depending on the group size, participating in a VCP once every one or two days should be enough for a holding.

More details will come later, but please spread the word so that there are no bad surprises.
Have a nice day.

Discussion thread.
4
Greetings,
Here is a warning to all clans leadership, should you need time to organize sieges or a comeback prior to 3.13.
QA has validated that holdings upkeep and invulnerability windows are functionally good to go for the next patch.
We're still tweaking the details of both features, but the core functionality is validated.

This means that should you not be active enough as a clan after 3.13, your holdings will return to being neutral.

There will be a way to release holdings, we just haven't decided on the form yet.
The upkeep cost will be a flat amount of meditation per day, with the possibility to be in debt for 10 days before the holdings become neutral.
Clans will gain meditation by taxing a percentage of the meditation gains of their clan members.

The intent is to synergize with the VCP changes to really test the new mechanics with meaningful fights.
We're starting with low upkeep costs to test the mechanic, so depending on the group size, participating in a VCP once every one or two days should be enough for a holding.

More details will come later, but please spread the word so that there are no bad surprises.
Have a nice day.
5
Patch 3.12

Timed blocking:
- Starting to parry will interrupt your current attack
- When you start to parry, there is a 0.5s window where you will do a "timed" block/parry with maximum damage mitigation.
- Starting to parry costs 4 stamina and keeps the character parrying for 0.3s.
- After the perfect parry window, there is a 0.5s period where damage mitigation progressively lowers down to regular parrying values.
- Perfect blocking a melee attack with a shield will cost stamina to the attacker proportionally to the damage mitigated.
- Damage mitigation values are as follows:
   - One handed and shield: 80% timed, 50% regular.
   - Two handed weapons: 65% timed, 35% regular.
   - One handed alone: 50% timed, 25% regular.
- Disabling blow and disabling shot:
   - Can only be done on a character that is parrying or has been parrying in the last 200ms.
   - Lasts 2 to 4 seconds and has a cooldown of around 8 to 10 seconds depending on weapon attack speed.

Character progression:
- All skills, sub skills and non-linked abilities are now part of the meditation system.
- The meditation timescale has been reworked to be linear to encourage active gameplay over disconnecting at low to medium level.
- Meditation cost per hour increases based on skill level, to reward participating in openworld activities as the player becomes more advanced.
- Wisdom can no longer be meditated, and wisdom no longer impacts max mana.
- Harvesting skills will provide attributes other than wisdom at half the rate.
- Archery will now level endurance.
- Archery's leveling speed has been reduced by 20%.
- Melee weapon leveling speed has been increased to match Archery's leveling speed, with tweaks to take attack speed and damage into account.
- This should increase the leveling speed of strength, vitality and quickness.

Distances based harvesting evolution:
Fishing, chaos chests and treasure maps are now part of the distance base mechanic.
The calculation of the distance has been reworked to be a more accurate heatmap of how "civilized" a location is.
A location surrounded with many banks and guard towers will be lower, while a location close to only a single wilderness bank will be better, even if closer to the bank.
The center area of the map is now considered a wasteland that isn't appealing for harvesting.

New map marker icons:
A new icon system has been implemented for each type of point of interest on the map. Some markers can now be "qualified" with a main marker and a smaller addition on top of it.
Additionally, performances should be improved with map markers activated.

Balancing:
- Spells have had their damage frontloaded. The most noticeable aspect is that there are no longer 25 levels increments and no surging system anymore. Secondary effects will come in the next patch.
- In that process, we have changed the scaling of level, gear and staves to be felt more. This increases slightly the average magic damage, especially on bolt which used to scale very little.

- The mana burn effect of hasten spells has been divided by two.
- Physical debuff duration has been slightly increased.
- Increased casting speed of all buff others by 60%. This should make them much easier to use in the flow of battle.
- Toggle buffs are now instant and have their mana cost reduced to 3 mana.
- Exhaust, undeath and burden now have the same duration as spellchanting hymns.
- Monsters can now be debuffed just as much as players.

- Rays power discrepancy has been reduced. Unholy caress hasn't changed but the other rays were brought in line with it.
- Impale does piercing damage and meteor strike does bludgeoning damage now.
- Bolts now cost only one reagent, the reagent of the school.
- Rays now cost one reagent when instant, two when charged up.

- Beacon and smoke signal now have a cooldown of 10 seconds, a cast time equivalent to a bolt and a reach increase from 40m to 70m.
- Reflect spell has been changed to be used reactively: base stats are 500ms cast time, 10 second cooldown and lasts 2 to 3s.
- Blast damage over time component has been reduced and has had its mana cost increased.

Miscellaneous:
- Performances changes have been made which should improve FPS stability for some configurations.
- Stackable loot set at 100% probability will now always drop a stack.
- You can now interract from the comfort of your mount with the following objects:
   - Banks
   - Players
   - Corpses
   - Dynamic chests
   - Strongboxes
   - NPCs
- Battlehorns get in the way at some angles.
- You can hold on an auto cast spell to charge up a ray. You can also cast an instant ray bellow 30 mana.
- Deleting multiple items will not reset your deletion confirmation window.
- Forced mount graves should no longer have collisions.
- Players climbing on a mount have their personal velocity reset.
- Mounts should have less tendencies to go in submarine mode.
- Telekinesis does small arcane damage.
- Infliction ward no longer has an aoe.
- Rays should no longer be the best way to level a magic school.
6
Greetings,
Let's start a new discussion here for combat balancing.
Some of the few important topics for us to get feedback on:
- Charge up ray balance.
- AoE drop off balance.
- Look out for leather armors.

Thank you in advance, and have fun!
7
Patch 3.11:

Mount Inventory Step 1:
- Mounts can now carry inventories for their owners:
   - Bluetails can carry 300kg.
   - Racial mounts can carry 600kg.
   - Battlehorn can carry 1000kg.
- A mount can be in several states:
   - Unattached and empty:
      - When a mount dies, it doesn't drop a grave.
      - When the owner presses alternate use, he gets the options to: unspawn, open inventory and attach.
      - If you are not the owner, you cannot open the inventory nor attach the mount.
      - For now, the option to force the inventory is always visible to non-owners to "bluff".
      - Non owners receive a new alternate use option to "force open" the saddlebag. It will take 60 seconds and warn the owner mid screen every 10s.
      - This option is always available for now to keep uncertainty. Later it will be tied to the presence of a saddlebag.
   - With inventory (later will be with a saddlebag equipped):
      - A mount with an inventory cannot be unspawned.
      - When the inventory is forced, its content is available to all with a looting timer.
      - Inventory forcing can be canceled by damaging the thief, the mount or opening the mount inventory.
      - Even when a mount is rode by a different player, the inventory will remain owned by the original player.
      - When a mount is killed it drops a grave that behaves like a strongbox: The mount grave is locked to all but the owner and needs battlespikes to be forced open.
      - When a mount is killed and the saddlebags has been forced, the mount grave is not locked.
      - Note that the grave model is a placeholder.
   - Attached (later will be with a magical leash attached) :
      - When attached, no one can ride or unspawn a mount, not even the owner.
      - It takes 5 seconds to attach a mount, and 5 seconds to detach it for the owner.
      - It takes 60 seconds for a non-owner player to detach a mount. The owner will be warned every ten seconds this is occurring.
      - When attached, a mount is magically protected and gains 50% reduction for all damage types except impact.
      - When the mount is damaged, the owner of the mount will be warned.
- Coming later:
   - Mount thieving will be integrated into the alignment system.
   - Negative sum aspects will be implemented in a general "economy sink" patch.
   - Saddlebags and leashes may become craftable items with a variety of tiers once we get into more crafting improvements.

Charge up rays:
- Formerly instant rays are now charge up rays:
   - Dragonbreath
   - Impale
   - Frostbite
   - Litghtningbolt
   - Unholy caress
- Charge up rays can be used instantly or by holding down the attack button.
- Charge up time is dependent on quicken casting skills and equipment.
- Charge up impact:
   - Damage will increase with charging.
   - Mana and stamina cost as well.
   - Shared cooldown will be of 0.5s or equal to charge up time if held longer than 0.5s.
   - Anything bellow 0.5s of charging will be treated as an instant cast.
- The spell effect is proportional to the final magnitude of the spell. Most noticeable for impale.

Balancing:
- AoE damage drop off formula for projectile based spells has been reworked:
   - 20% of the area remains at full damage instead of 30%.
   - Damage will drop off down to 15% of base damage instead of 42%.
- Toxic rain has had its damage lowered to be equivalent to other field AoEs when hitting average armor.
- Bolts, r50 and r90 spell damages have been lowered to have a more satisfying TTK versus average armor.
- Metal armor magical protections have been lowered to match the above reduction and keep a similar TTK to pre-patch.
- Archery base attack speed has been increased by 6%, with the quickness curve smoothed out to have smaller steps.

Map:
- The worldmap now has a directional arrow for the player, just like the mini map.
- There is now an option to no longer search as you type but only when you press enter. This should lower lag for those having issues with the map.
- Clearing the search field should clear markers better.
- Map markers should no longer disappear upon a loading screen.

Miscellaneous and bugfixes:
- Corrected tutorial typos.
- Crafting tooltips should be updated.
- Fixed one of the root causes of inventory desynchs, especially with weight.
- Fixed a source of local settings corruption.
- Refined detection for when to interrupt looting.
- Buff icons should no longer behave weirdly with toggle buffs and enchants.
- When drowning, you shall now truly sleep with the fishes.
8
Hello all. We'll be using this unique thread to reply to all other threads and redirect the discussion towards improvements.
After a night and a day of letting the feedback received and our observations mature, here is a starting point for the next step.
As we've said, we're still in a phase where we're studying the weight of each attributes, each time refining our mental charts.

Balancing approach:
We saw a divide between people on this subject but we are strongly convinced that we need to balance 1v1 as a foundation for the open world PvP aspect of the game. No one should be at a disadvantage when meeting someone else based on gear, and we cannot prevent 1v1 from happening in Darkfall.

We should then work on force multipliers as engagement size scales, but that's more about utility skills and chaos management.
For example, mages in higher scale have aoes and are good at healing/team play abilities. Higher protection scales better when more people hit you, and as chaos increases melee becomes more effective.

Titles and armor:
Titles and armors serve two different specialization purposes: Titles are a skill cap where armors are an attribute cap.
Armors are indeed a foundation to build titles on, and they need to be balanced before titles are coming.

Where armor are about power, titles will be more about functionality.
We'll be increasing the impact of magnitude on utilities, so armors will also have some impact on functionality, and titles will provide some boosts of power too but that's secondary to what they will really be doing.

Titles will change the matrix of abilities you have, with the ones you've titled in becoming stronger, and the opposite being weaker.
Titles will also unlock the school flavors we've talked about. This means that a title will change the way you play more than the power of what you are playing with. We can add new spells in titles and more effects.
Another advantage of placing power on armors is that it can be seen from the onset, while titles are "hidden".

This is why it is so important that we have the physical/magical/survival split and that we balance armors separately from titles.
You could use a necromancy title with leather armor to have a longer lasting piercing/slashing debuff. You could use a healer title with metal armor to be a sustainable support. Or you could go first degree and stack synergies.

So to sum it up, titles will be more functional than power, and armors are more power than functional.
Both combined should work out for a better potential variety down the line.

Our assumptions going into development of patch 3.10:
From the feedback we condensed while working on the patch, here was our set of assumptions:
- Robes were best 1v1, melted leather and won against metal. Which is why we removed arrow protection from them.
- Metal was judged underwhelming, with leather being superior to it. Which is why we increased its physical protections.
- Bones did not work out well, and was redundant with leather without offering actual hybrid mage mix and match potential.

At the core, our mistake was to try out to balance full sets against each other, whithout enough mix and matching testing.
We checked how a ranged fight or a melee fight would go leather vs metal, but we didn't look at bones against metal in melee.

The existing difference in damage are due to balancing from the top rather than from the average.
For example, we increased arrow and piercing protections on metal armors and it worked well against an equivalent leather armor, but it leaves in the dust any non pure combinations.
We've also looked mostly at the high end gear, but the intent in the long run is to have the day to day gear be r30-r50, and these would be left in the dust too if anyone came out with a full dragon set as it stands.

Going in after the patch, we expected robes to still be the top end, because magic has a few changes needed still, which is why we believe they are melting leather. We knew that removing their archery protections wasn't sufficient:
- R90s and potentially r50s have not enough drop off on their aoe damage. Which makes them have easy damage that is too high.
- Rays can be spammed mid actions, which makes their DPS way too high for leather where is is bearable for metal.

Potential solutions:
Long story short, here is a bullet point list of what we think we should change to improve the balance:
- Review arrow protections independently from other physical protections.
- Lower physical protections from metal armor to be balanced against a medium/mixed set instead of a top set.
- Review the aoe damage drop off so that mages aren't easy mode against leather.
- Implement the charge up rays which should lower a mage's overall single target DPS, balancing them further.
- Lower metal magical protections accordingly.
- Increase in priority the work on timed blocking, or at least implement the planned nerfs to perma blocking.

This should mean that medium range sets in terms of ranks, but also hybrid sets like bones, will be able to pressure metal users.
Reducing the damage discrepancies reported by the community.

As a general note, the more we progress, the more we realize that protection has too much weight in general.
This confirms our reasoning behind removing back hit reduction. Pure damage mitigation means the armor is working instead of the player. So we will experiment with the lowering protections in general, but keeping the health regen on metal.
The idea is that a metal wearer should still be bursted down promptly, either by a good combination of debuff+hits or by a focus fire. But if the user manages to evade and actively gain time i na context where he can still be pressured, only then will he benefit from his armor. It gives the control in the hand of the player.

On parrying, we know it is an issue now more than ever.
While we do believe a magical disable should exist, that's not the solution to the current problem. We need the mechanic to change so that turtleing is draining. Later, when we add the timed blocking, it will then reward good reaction from a player trying to charge with his shield out.

Current shield protections seem to be making sithras, and perhaps even 1h weapons, work out in melee exchanges, so we want to keep them as is to see if they can create a few playstyles around 1h weapons.

A few questions:
- Mainly, about toxic rain and cooldowns:
Regardless of cooldowns, we believe that toxic rain is contextually over powered. Even with a title, it will still be a better option for its armor penetration aspect. It should follow the same logic as arcane did early in 2009: lower damage, but it goes through armor.

We've setup the current cooldowns to keep the same frequency as Darkfall used to have.
The idea is that we want to keep the game just as dynamic, even if you have only a single school. Increasing field aoe cooldown would mean lowering the frequency to one lower than past Darkfall.
Would this really be acceptable? Wouldn't that be a step down in the fast pace nature of the game compared to 2012?

We're also not very fond of cooldowns as means of balancing, they simply make the problem less frequent per individual rather than remove it in large scale. it doesn't add counter play either, no opponent can impact your cooldowns.

After placing toxic rain at an equal point with other damage oriented field aoes, if field aoes are judged too prevalent, we could increase cast time instead.
This would impact frequency, but more importantly, the opportunity cost of their cast. The opponents will be able to react, perhaps push you and punish you for trying to get easy damage out. At a larger scale, when you see the whole team against you start casting for a long time, it gives an opportunity to spread out, push through or just whatever reaction the better players will find.

The issue we see here is that, if toxic rain is nerfed, would people still use field aoes in small scale?
Isn't the cast time long enough already to serve as an opportunity cost?

- About stamina:
Did the change to sprinting cost impact the tournament or was it the high quality stamina efficiency enchants used that did?
How is "normal gear" day to day combat impacted? Do you feel stamina is more manageable now or still is too much?
9
Patch 3.10:
New Player Experience:
As some our new team members observed, especially the more graphically oriented ones, the interface and game is rather "mute", it neither explains nor informs the player.
To improve that aspect, we have implemented a new pop up framework in the user interface which can be triggered by any sort of event, be it movement, opening a window, gaining a new item or a certain level of a skill.
The goal being to make the game much more hospitable for newer players and to have a solid foundation to build upon when we'll need to explain more advanced concept. In this first iteration, we have covered the basics.
In the same effort we have continued our work on providing feedback to the player and letting him obtain contextual information by looking at the world.

- The game now has a new series of tutorial windows and contextual popups that will explain the movement, interface and a few key points in the life of a new player.
- We've continued to add new information to the interface and improve messages so that all players can know more about what is happening in the game. Especially when something isn't.
- An area bellow the cursor will now give additional information on objects observed in the world, similar to the extra information window but with less clutter.

Distance based harvesting:
As one of our first tool to allow for a more localized world, we have implemented our distance based harvesting system.
The objective is two fold, to make harvesting a more engaging activity through risk and reward, but also to start valuating locations in the world differently.
This first iteration focuses on regular harvesting and distance rules, but in the long run, the goal is to have more and more dynamic harvesting system.

- Now, mining, woodcutting and herb gathering nodes scale based on the combined distance to the closest bank and closest racial guard tower.
- The amount of harvestable resource has been lowered to 20 item per node, with odds of rare loot lowered.
- As you get further in the wilderness, the total amount per node is increased, alongside the amount per harvest and the odds of rarer material.
- Harvesting failures have been removed.

General changes:
- Stamina will now regenerate even when sprinting.
- Keen and magnitude enchants now operate outside the traditional crafting damage cap.
- Selecting any skill will unsheathe your weapons.
- You should now see your party members on the minimap even with labels turned off.
- Loot scaling should no longer apply on equipment.
- Damage based Xp gains have been readjusted to better follow the new damage cap.
- Mount sprint is now slower.

Armor Balancing:
- Metal armors:
   - Have had their physical and lightning protections increased,
   - their health regeneration strongly increased,
   - but have lost the back protection trait.
- Robes:
   - Have received a minor increase in physical protections and an increase in mana regeneration,
   - but have lost their arrow protection, relying only on piercing protection now.
- Leather:
   - Have their encumbrance increased to be up to 49 with a full exarch,
   - but have their trait reduced to be at most 15-18%.
- Bones:
   - Bone armors have lost all physical traits,
   - but have increased magical traits going up to 15-18%.
- Encumbrance change:
   - Armored casting, armored archery and armor profficiency have been removed and made baseline.
   - Encumbrance values of individual items now follow the same ratio as the traits and protections.

Magic changes:
- Toggle buffs now toggle at a speed equivalent to a r50 spell, cost as much mana as a bolt but have a longer cooldown.
- Protection shields and stoneskin now give a stronger protection value.
- Medium and slow staves have had their magnitude reduced by 25%.
- Buff others and debuffs:
   - All buff others have an increased reach equivalent to the spell sacrifice.
   - Have a much shorter duration, going from 8s to 28s depending on level and gear.
   - Debuffs have the same duration as buff others, going from 8s to 28s.
   - Spell chanting attribute buffs last longer, with a duration of 12s to 45s.
- Bolts have had their mana cost and damage reduced by around 20%, depending on gear and skills.
- The necromancy and arcane bolts have been normalized damage wise, but still impact all three resources.
- r50 have had their mana cost reduced by about 15%.
- Pungent mist's mana cost has been reduced by 30%.

Bugfix:
- Parry should no longer lock the default attack.
- Power hour should now survive a relog even if it is off cooldown.
- Mirdain females should now have bones boots and gloves.
- Some leftovers from the legacy item recovery system have ben taken care of.   
   
As a general note on balancing:
This patch was mostly based on player feedback and we believe that it gets us much closer to the Truth regarding the balance between the various armors, and by extension, playstyles.

We still have work to do though, so keep in mind the following points:
We expect that medium and slow staves will still be a topic to monitor due to magnitude no longer being bound by the crafting cap.
Magic still has a few changes coming, especially charge up rays, improved damage drop off on aoes, and of course, non damage effects being impacted by magnitude.
All three of which are being worked on and we should see results in not too long.
   
We have high hopes for this week end's player tournament, we will be watching and we hope that it also serves as a testing ground to how the current situation is balance wise.
Have a nice week end and have fun.
10
A grand tournament is held this Sunday March 19th.
Check out the video for more details, or the announcement thread, and see you then!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SDVqk0JLwnY
11
General Discussion / A gift from GM Roger
Greetings,

Here is a sneak peak of what is going on in the background.
We're expecting this to only become useful in a while, for Patch Cycle 4, but we've just validated a proof of concept of technology.
This is a good step forward for watchtowers and siege camps, and later traps and pre-fight battlefield preparations.




It is rare that we work on things that can easily be shown via screenshots, so we figured that it was worth sharing.
There is of course a lot of the other aspects to build the full feature, but we have validated all the technical pieces we just have to assemble to complete.

Have a nice day!
12
Announcements / Patch 3.9 - The Armor Patch
Greetings,
We have just deployed patch 3.9 - The Armor Patch to our InDev server.
You may read the news and Patch notes here

We have also opened up a few threads to direct feedback:
Economy and regionalization in Patch 3.9
Combat balance in 3.9
General discussion thread

We hope you enjoy the patch, and have a nice week end!
13
Greetings,
We have just deployed patch 3.9 - The Armor Patch to our InDev server.
You may read the news and Patch notes here

We have also opened up a few threads to direct feedback:
Economy and regionalization in Patch 3.9
Combat balance in 3.9

We hope you enjoy the patch, and have a nice week end!
14
Greetings,
In this patch we have added new resources and are using existing ones for the recipes of our new items.
We've been experimenting with various styles of scarcity and distribution and we would really need people to share how they feel about what is going on.
What we've done in the patch is what we consider a good start to then tweak based on feedback.
Of course, take into factor spawn scaling and other aspects.

Some of the specific questions we would like answered:
- Crafting costs, do they feel fair?
- How do you feel about the various new items and their regionalization?
15
General Discussion / Discussion: Combat balance in 3.9
Greetings, this thread will be dedicated to discussing some of the balancing aspect of this new patch.

Some of the questions where we need the most feedback are:
- Look out for Destroyer, the perk may now be an issue. We're prepared to remove it promptly should it be needed.
- Encumbrance of items may need to be looked at. Perhaps front load its impact? Remove the armored archery/magic/proficiency?
- Helmet balances: Hoods are statistically balanced, but may be less interesting than wearing a helmet. Opinions?

Of course, we're looking for any other kind of feedback or testing reports.
Have fun!