The Undermountain expansion brings a lot of changes with it to fix balance and progression in Neverwinter. This extends to the core math of the game and we wanted to give some insight into how that math is different than what it was before.
On live, the rating formulas had hit a point where they were maxed out by endgame players (100% crit, lifesteal, deflect, etc.). This presented a couple of options. We could have taken the standard approach and adjust all of the curves down, which would nerf all player by default but give us more room for growth. That type of fix has a very finite lifespan and must be done every couple of years to keep the game healthy and is a nerf every time it happens.
That wasn’t an approach we wanted to take as we wanted a longer lasting change with fewer disruptions over the years.
Opposing rolls simply means that you have a rating, such as Critical Strike, and an opponent has an opposing rating such as Critical Avoidance. These two ratings are compared to figure out how effective you are against that opponent.
In other words, harder opponents are more skilled and therefore you are less effective against them than you would be against a weaker opponent who had lower ratings.
This approach allows the game to continue growing without the need to keep adjusting the curves down every time players max them out. Neverwinter also already has one set of opposing rolls, Defense and Armor Penetration.
Here is how opposing rolls work in Neverwinter:
% gain = (Rating –OpposingRating) / 500
Which is simply saying that for every 500 rating points you are above your opponent’s opposing rating gains you 1% to a stat.
Let’s look at an example where you have 10,000 Critical Strike and the opponent has 7,000 Critical Avoidance.
Critical Chance = (10,000 – 7,000) / 500 = 6%
The final results cannot go negative. If the opponent in the above example had 20,000 Critical Avoidance, your chance to critically strike would be 0%.
With the change to an opposing rolls system, new stats needed to be added to act as the opposing ratings. While making these additions we also removed a few stats to improve the balance of the game.
Utility Stats: - these stats don’t have ratings and instead receive boosts to their direct percentage
Stats removed from Neverwinter:
The removal of the Lifesteal and Recovery ratings are the two most significant. Lifesteal was problematic in that it invalidated most sources of healing and created a situation where a player’s health bar was typically in one of two states: full, or dead. For this reason Lifesteal was removed as a rating and there are only a couple of specific sources of lifesteal in the game going forward.
Recovery was problematic in the fact that Encounter and Daily powers had become used almost as frequently as At-Will powers could be. That left us with two options when fixing the balance: Drastically reduce the damage of Daily and Encounter powers, or make it so that Daily and Encounter powers would be used less frequently, but be much more meaningful. We went with the latter of the two options and that meant recovery needed to be removed. As with lifesteal above, there are fewer and more specific sources of AP Gain and Recharge Speed going forward.
Enemies will have the same value for all of their ratings, and all of the enemies in a given zone/dungeon will all have the same rating values. To use the first area of Undermountain as an example, all of the enemies have 16,000 for all of their ratings (this number could change before live as we continue to adjust numbers from feedback and testing).
Critical Strike gets a bonus 5% chance by default. My example up above showed how any given set of opposing ratings work, but since Critical Strike gets a 5% bonus, the player would actually have an 11% chance to crit instead of a 6%. Critical Strike is now capped at 50%.
Deflect also now caps out at 50%
Combat Advantage Bonus gets a 10% boost by default and caps out at 100%.
This is a lot of change to take in within a single blog post. If you have any questions or concerns make sure to visit the forums and post them so that they can be answered or discussed.
Lead Systems Designer