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Developer Posts: Storm King's Thunder

By Andy (StrumSlinger)
Fri 22 Jul 2016 12:30:00 PM PDT

Well met, adventurers,

Our developers are hard at work on Storm King’s Thunder and are over on the Preview forums interacting with the community. I’ve compiled updates for the class balance changes, which Chris Matz has responded with. He’s done a great job in getting feedback from the community and making additional changes due to comments in the thread.

I’ve also included links to other feedback threads created by the developers from the Preview forums. Take a look and hop on Preview to help them out!

Hunter Ranger Balance (Preview thread here)

Hey guys, quick update. Here are some more changes you'll see hitting preview... soon. I don't have an exact date.

  • Hunter Ranger: Binding Arrow: The secondary shot from this power should work properly again, instead of not firing if you are too far from the primary target.
  • Hunter Ranger: Binding Arrow: Will properly applied Thorned Roots again, instead of only applying Strong Grasping Roots when you have the Thorned Roots Feat.
  • Hunter Ranger: Blade Storm: Damage dealt by this Power no longer receives double benefit from damage buffs.
  • Hunter Ranger: Commanding Shot: Reverted the changes to the debuff effect and duration, and fixed bugs with its application, leading to the following patch note:
  • Hunter Ranger: Commanding Shot: The debuff should no longer fail to work in certain situations.
  • Hunter Ranger: Feat: Predator: Now increases damage against your Prey by 50%, up from 40%.
  • Hunter Ranger: Forest Meditation: Can once again be cancelled via the Shift power.
  • Hunter Ranger: Hawk Shot: Damage further increased by ~37%.
  • Hunter Ranger: Hawk Shot: This power should now work better when targeting on angled ground. Note that, when trying to hit multiple targets on angled ground, aiming for the target that is further from you will help the power draw a better line.
  • Hunter Ranger: Hawkeye: Damage dealt by this Power no longer receives double benefit from damage buffs.
  • Hunter Ranger: Longstrider Shot: Damage further increased by ~45%.
  • Hunter Ranger: Oak Skin: The tooltip now properly reports the total amount this power heals you for over the duration of the buff.
  • Hunter Ranger: Steel Breeze: No longer has charges, reverted back to standard recharge time. AoE reverted back to 20'.
  • Hunter Ranger: Steel Breeze: Recharge time reduced to 14s, down from 16s.
  • Hunter Ranger: Feats: Blade Hurricane: Now affects the next 2 melee At-Will attacks, instead of just 1.
  • Hunter Ranger: Feats: Fluid Hunter: Now also increases your Crit Chance by the same amount as it increases your Deflect Chance.
  • Hunter Ranger: Feats: Piercing Blades: Now deals 10/20/30/40/50% bonus damage as Piercing Damage, up from 8/16/24/32/40%.
  • Hunter Ranger: Feats: Scything Blade: Now causes you to deal an additional 1/2/3/4/5% more melee damage at all times, in addition to the existing bonus damage based on nearby foes.
  • Hunter Ranger: Plant Growth: The first hit of damage this power deals is now considered melee damage, instead of a DoT. This means it can now proc Blade Storm, and is affected by various Feats that only affect melee damage.
  • Hunter Ranger: Rain of Swords: No longer procs Blade Hurricane/Flurry on every tick of damage, just the initial hit.
  • Hunter Ranger: Thorned Roots: Updated the tooltip to make it clear that it deals damage based on your Main Hand weapon.


Again, these changes are not on preview yet but should hopefully be there with our next build pushed to preview.

As for some other topics:

Regarding Hindering Strikes and Thorned Roots – Thorned Roots is a separate power, that deals damage on its own. There is no melee version of Thorned Roots or ranged version of it, just 1 Thorned Roots that doesn’t care if it was applied via melee or ranged powers. It uses the Main Hand damage as the basis for its damage, because it is the higher of the 2. We could switch it to always use the melee version, and then change the coefficients, but the net damage would be the same. I’ve updated the tooltip for Thorned Roots to make it clear that it uses the Main Hand weapons damage.

Aspect of the Pack, Rank 4 – Looks like a patch note got missed, this was fixed. Updating the patch notes.

  • Hunter Ranger: Aspect of the Pack: Rank 4 now properly increases the range of the power, instead of decreasing it.


Nature’s Enhancement – What makes you think it isn’t working? When I have it and switch into melee stance, I see the buff Icon appear, my Deflect Severity increases in my character sheet, and our internal debugging shows that my deflect severity has increased. That isn’t to say this isn’t a weak Feat, but it does appear to be functioning.

Plant Growth/Blade Storm: Technically, Blade Storm procs when you deal melee damage, and Plant Growth is not considered melee damage. You don’t hit anything with your swords, you are casting a spell. However, this is a very unclear distinction, I’ll see what I can do.

Also, real quick on animation speeds. Unfortunately, this is a difficult issue. Our animations are hand timed, so reducing them requires rebuilding the animation. This takes a lot more time than just simply tweaking a number. We are discussing changes here, but they certainly won’t be in for this review.

Again, thanks for all the awesome feedback everyone. I really appreciate when we can keep it constructive.



Guardian Fighter Balance (Preview thread here)

The blog was written before any of these changes went to the preview forum. It was intended to come out alongside the changes, but was delayed.

I have about... two dozen things I'm looking into based on the feedback from this thread, so thank you guys very much for what you've provided so far. I'm glad that, for the most part, the feedback has been constructive, and I hope it continues to be so.

The next build that will hit preview has already been pulled, and won't have any additional GF changes in it. The next next preview build should, and I'll let you know what they'll be when they're ready.



Scourge Warlock Balance (Preview thread here)

Hey guys - 

Another round of changes incoming with another preview patch... soon. Here's the list:

  • Scourge Warlock: Arms of Hadar: Damage increased ~40%. (This overrides the previous damage increase of ~14%)
  • Scourge Warlock: Blades of Vanquished Armies: No longer toggles off when you are Stunned or Dazed.
  • Scourge Warlock: Feat: Creeping Death: Updated tooltip to match the new changes.
  • Scourge Warlock: Feat: Gatekeeper's Empowerment: No longer affects Flames of Empowerment. Instead, now increases the DoT damage of Hellish Rebuke by 5/10/15/20/25%.
  • Scourge Warlock: Feat: Murderous Flames: Damage dealt by this Feat no longer receives double benefit from damage buffs.
  • Scourge Warlock: Feat: Power of the Nine ****: Now extends to the new Damage Resistance buff, in addition to the Damage buff.
  • Scourge Warlock: Fiery Bolt: Damage increased ~33%.
  • Scourge Warlock: Fiery Bolt: Reduced base recharge time to 12s, down from 14s. (This overrides the previous CD change)
  • Scourge Warlock: Flames of Empowerment: No longer increases your damage when your AP is full. Instead, applies a debuff to your target when you hit them with an At-Will power. This debuff increases the damage you deal to the target by 2% (+1% per rank, to a max of 5%), and stacks up to 3 times.
  • Scourge Warlock: Harrowstorm: Damage increased ~50%.
  • Scourge Warlock: Harrowstorm: Reduced base recharge time to 12s, down from 16s.
  • Scourge Warlock: Hellish Rebuke: No longer refreshes the duration of the debuff when the target attacks you. Instead, deals another blast of damage equal to the initial damage dealt by the power. This additional damage can only be dealt to a target once every 2 seconds.
  • Scourge Warlock: Lesser Curse: Should no longer fall off immediately after applying in certain circumstances. This was most noticeable with the new version of Accursed Souls, and should no longer occur.
  • Scourge Warlock: Pillar of Power: This power has had a slight rework. Now always casts under your feet, instead of needing to be placed. Recharge time now starts as soon as you cast it instead of when the effect ends, and has been reduced to 10s, down from 15s. You may only have 1 Pillar of Power active at a time, so recasting it while it is still active will move it to your current location. The effects of the Pillar have changed, as well. In addition to increasing your damage, it now also grants you damage resistance while you stand within it. The Pillar no longer builds up and explodes when an enemy enters it. Instead, it lowers the enemies damage and damage resistance, and deals damage to them.
  • Scourge Warlock: Prince of Hell: No longer increases your Armor Penetration stat by 10%. Instead, directly increases your Resistance Ignored and Life Steal Chance by 5%, plus 1% per rank.
  • Scourge Warlock: Shadow Slip: Increased speed by 15%.
  • Scourge Warlock: Shadow Slip: Now provides damage immunity for 1 second after activation, and loses 20% damage resistance per second while it is active, down to a minimum of 40% (this timer persist through rapid reapplications).
  • Scourge Warlock: Tyrannical Curse: Fixed an issue that caused the "damage link" portion of the power to not work in many cases.


Again, these changes are not on preview yet but should hopefully be there with our next build pushed to preview.

As for some other topics:

Temptation still needs love, that we won't really be able to give it with this review. We have plans for it that require bigger changes than we can make right now. I don't want to talk about them beyond that, as plans can change, and I don't even have a concrete timeline for when they will come. I realize that won't be everyone's favorite answer, but hopefully it is better than none.

We'd like to get Hellbringer into a much better place with this module. It's one of the least use Paragon Paths in the game, and hopefully some of the most recent changes can help fix that.

I read through your concerns and suggestions about Shadow Slip - they're interesting, though we've been discussing how difficult it is for classes without any damage immunity from there Shift powers to survive in our splat heavy end-game, so we still want to see how this plays. That doesn't mean it will make it live - and even if it does, if it ends up causing problems we can't foresee, we will reevaluate.

Also want to just post a reminder of our intent - our intent with these changes is not to nerf the Scourge Warlock. While they have a few outstanding powers, overall, they are underperforming, and we want to bring up the class as a whole while making the "crutch" powers like Tyrannical Threat not an absolute must-have for the class to function.



The Maze Engine Changes (Preview thread here)

The Maze Engine daily quest now involves doing 1 random instance quest along with 1 overworld quest. A new task has been added to the overworld quests. 

Players can re-run the Maze Engine daily quests as much as they would like. Each time the daily quest is taken, it will give a random instance and overworld quest to do.

The daily quest now gives out “Alliance Supplies”. This is a currency that can be exchanged for transmute items from the Maze Engine campaign store. 

Items that can be purchased from the Maze Engine campaign story are account-bound until equipped. They are broken down into the following categories:

- Cloaks, which are repeat purchases.
- Main hand/off-hand weapons, which are also repeat purchases.
- Armor sets. These are one-time purchases. Once purchased and opened, the armor set can be reclaimed for free.



Bryn Shander (Preview thread here)

Ostorian Relics (Preview thread here)

Storm King’s Thunder Campaign (Preview thread here)


We hope this helps understand the thought process behind Storm King’s Thunder. The Preview forums are the home to our developers, filled with information straight from their very fingers. If you’re interested in helping them out, hop on over to the Preview shard and test away!



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