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Developer Notes: Storm King's Thunder - Part 2

Di Andy (StrumSlinger) | mar 02 ago 2016 12:10:49 PDT

Well met, adventurers,

We’re back with another round of developer notes and comments from the Preview forums. This time, there are additional changes to classes coming from Chris Matz, Maze Engine updates from Sean McCann, and system changes from Robert Gutschera and Panderus.

It also may help to read the first round of developer notes here.

Tune in for our developer stream with Sean McCann this Friday on August 5 at 3PM PT. More info here.

Hunter Ranger Balance (Preview thread)

Hey all - I know you're still waiting for the previous set of changes to hit preview, but here's another set. Note that they won't be in the build that should be hitting "soon(TM)" but in the NEXT built that goes to preview.

  • Hunter Ranger: Feat: Battle Crazed: Now grants bonus melee damage with every stack as well. Duration increased to 6s, up from 3s.
  • Hunter Ranger: Feat: Hasty Retreat: Now also increases your movement speed by a small amount at all times, in addition to the existing proc effect.
  • Hunter Ranger: Feat: Unflinching Aim: Aimed Shot now reduces the CD of your currently recharging Encounter powers (no longer just Ranged powers) by 0.2/0.4/0.6/0.8/1.0s (up from 0.1/0.2/0.3/0.4/0.5s).
  • Hunter Ranger: Feat: Longshot: Damage dealt by this feat increased to 20/40/60/80/100% of Weapon Damage, up from 10/20/30/40/50%. In addition, this is now actually Piercing damage, instead of having an undocumented feature of behaving somewhat like Piercing damage.
  • Hunter Ranger: Feat: Scoundrel Training: No longer affects the damage displayed on the tooltips of your At-Will powers.
  • Hunter Ranger: Feat: Lucky Blades: When Lucky Blades is triggered, it now also increases your Encounter power damage by 3/6/9/12/15%.
  • Hunter Ranger: Feat: Lucky Blades: Tooltip properly reports a 6s duration, instead of listing 4s.
  • Hunter Ranger: Aimed Shot: Charge time further reduced by 0.5s, down to 1s at Rank 4. Damage of the actual hit reduced slightly, but damage per cast time increased ~23%.
  • Hunter Ranger: Aimed Shot: It should now be easier to chain other powers after casting Aimed Shot.
  • Hunter Ranger: Aspect of the Falcon: Now also increases your Ranged powers damage based on the distance to your target. Damage is increased by 1% for every 5' away you are from your target.
  • Hunter Ranger: Aspect of the Falcon: Rank 4 now properly increases your range by an additional 3'.
  • Hunter Ranger: Cordon of Arrows: Now generates an appropriate amount of AP, instead of a very small amount.
  • Hunter Ranger: Feat: Predator: This Feat is no longer half as effective against players.
  • Hunter Ranger: Feat: Warden's Courage: Now also reduces the damage resistance penalty of Throw Caution by 1/2/3/4/5%.
  • Hunter Ranger: Hindering Shot: Now generates an appropriate amount of AP, instead of a very small amount.
  • Hunter Ranger: Split Shot: The AoE targeting FX now more accurately represent the area that will be hit.
  • Hunter Ranger: Thorn Strike: Damage increased ~33%. Damage reduction for striking more than 1 target reduced to 5% per target, down from 7.5%.
  • Hunter Ranger: Thorn Strike: Recharge time reduced to 8s, down from 14s.
  • Hunter Ranger: Throw Caution: Damage resistance debuff reduced by 10% (now 15% at Rank 4, down from 25%).
  • Hunter Ranger: Throw Caution: Now deals damage to a single target in addition to its existing effects. Animation/FX updated to match this new functionality.
  • Hunter Ranger: Throw Caution: Recharge time reduced to 12s, down from 20s.


Also, we're getting really close to the end of the time when I can make changes to this module. I'm already making producers look at me funny putting so many changes in so late. We've still got a bit of time to fix any large issues, but anything else will probably be waiting until after this module goes live. It's gotta get off to approvals and translations and all that fun stuff.

Thank you guys so much for all of the feedback and discussion we've had about the Hunter Ranger, it's been an immense help.



Guardian Fighter Balance (Preview thread)

Howdy ya'll, more upcoming patch notes. These should hit preview next week sometime.

  • Guardian Fighter: Anvil of Doom: Should have an easier time hitting targets at steep angles.
  • Guardian Fighter: Combat Superiority: Should no longer be prevented from proccing if you have 5 ranks in the Feat Tactical Superiority.
  • Guardian Fighter: Desperate Survival: Will no longer make you have negative Deflection chance.
  • Guardian Fighter: Feat: Balanced Shield Fighter: Now properly states "Aggravating Strike" instead of "Stab."
  • Guardian Fighter: Feat: Brawling Warrior: Now works with Rank 4 Knight's Valor.
  • Guardian Fighter: Feat: Grit: Now properly triggered by Crushing Surge and Fighter's Recovery.
  • Guardian Fighter: Feat: Powerful Strikes: Should now actually reduce the cooldown of Line Break Assault.
  • Guardian Fighter: Feat: Staying Power: Improved tooltip wording.
  • Guardian Fighter: Feat: Wrathful Warrior: Reworked implementation to be much more reliable.
  • Guardian Fighter: Into the Fray: No longer locks you in place during activation.
  • Guardian Fighter: Knight's Challenge: Now only increases your damage against other player by 50%, instead of 100%. Unchanged against critters.
  • Guardian Fighter: Line Breaker Assault: Activation time has been reduced to 0.7s, down from 1s.
  • Guardian Fighter: Line Breaker Assault: Now Dazes targets for 2s.
  • Guardian Fighter: Villain's Menace: Activation time reduced from 1.8s down to 1.6s, and it can now combo into other powers 0.4s early. This means if you cast Villain's Menace and immediately start activating other powers, you will be able to start them as early as 1.2s after activation.
  • Guardian Fighter: Weapon Master's Strike: Reverted the changes that increased damage to the primary target and caused you to lock on to the primary target.


On other topics - thanks again for all of the feedback everyone. There are some great ideas in here, many which align with our plans, but not all of those plans will be enacted this module. We have longer term plans to help with some of the larger disparities between specs (both Paragon Path, and Feat tree), but they're bigger than what will go into this module. While I can certainly understand that fixing everything right now would be preferable, the reality is that changes are going to be somewhat incremental.

For this module, the intent is to move things in the right direction, not arrive at "all better now."



Scourge Warlock Balance (Preview thread)

OK all, here's another set. Nearing the end of what we'll be doing before this module goes live. We still have some time for emergency fixes and such, but... anymore than that, and I'm gonna get some serious glares from our producers. That doesn't mean no changes will ever happen again, but the builds gotta get all the approvals and translations and blah blah blah. Anyhow, here they are:

  • Scourge Warlock: Arms of Hadar: Prone time is now 1 second, instead of ending almost immediately.
  • Scourge Warlock: Artifact Class Feature: Deadly Curse: Now deals the damage it states in the tooltip, instead of considerably less.
  • Scourge Warlock: Artifact Class Feature: Prince of Hell: Now increases Damage Resistance by 5%, instead of Defense Rating.
  • Scourge Warlock: Artifact Class Feature: Snuff Out: Now causes Snuff Out to have a 50% chance to grant an additional Soul Spark when a target dies within range, instead of granting 150 Life Steal Rating.
  • Scourge Warlock: Dreadtheft: The stacks generated by Curse Synergy with Dreadtheft now cap at 3, down from 5. However, the amount of Damage Resistance granted by each stack has been increased.
  • Scourge Warlock: Eldritch Blast: Increased the damage of the first hit of this combo by ~33%.
  • Scourge Warlock: Flames of Phlegethos: Damage increased ~40%.
  • Scourge Warlock: Gates of Hell: Activation time further reduced to 1.9s, down from 2.2s.
  • Scourge Warlock: Gates of Hell: Prone time is now 1.5 seconds, instead of ending almost immediately.
  • Scourge Warlock: Hellish Rebuke: DoT damage increased another 50%.
  • Scourge Warlock: Hellish Rebuke: The damage reflect component of this power can now be triggered on each target once per second, up from once per 2 seconds.
  • Scourge Warlock: Infernal Spheres: No longer attacks enemies that get near you. Instead, sends a sphere out to targets that attack you.
  • Scourge Warlock: Infernal Spheres: Now regenerates a sphere every 5s while the power is active. Running out of spheres will cause the power to deactivate. Alternatively, you may activate the power again to cause all remaning spheres to explode, dealing damage around you.
  • Scourge Warlock: Killing Flames: Minimum damage increased ~67%. Maximum damage is unchanged, but damage ramping has increased, such that maximum damage is now reached when the target is at or below 25% HP, instead of at 0 HP.
  • Scourge Warlock: No Pity, No Mercy: In addition to its current effect on Combat Advantage, this power now changes the way Hellish Rebuke functions. With this Class Feature slotted, Hellish Rebuke no longer deals damage over time. Instead, the initial hit of damage and any damage reflects caused by Hellish Rebuke deal 50% more damage.
  • Scourge Warlock: Soul Sparks: No longer display the words "Soul Spark" whenever you gain one.
  • Scourge Warlock: Soul Sparks: No longer immediately consumed when combat ends. Instead, one is consumed every 0.5s you are out of combat. This means at full stacks (30) it will take 15 seconds for them all to be consumed. If you re-enter combat, the passive consumption of Soul Sparks will stop.
  • Scourge Warlock: Warlock's Curse: No longer grants less of a benefit when on multiple targets.


A couple of these are pretty big changes to the feel of powers. The new way Soul Sparks and Infernal Spheres work feels pretty awesome in the play tests we've been doing. Hopefully these changes work out well for you all, it's been awesome working with you guys to get these to you.



Maze Engine Update (Preview thread)

Hi everyone,

We've had some talks internally based off of everyone's feedback regarding the length of the new quest. Here are the next set of changes we'll be making:

1. We'll be changing the repeatable so it will give you one instance OR one of the overworld tasks, but not both. This will cut the quest time down noticeably to match what it is on live, with the exception of the overworld quest, which had the extra component added to them.

2. We will be slightly increasing the XP given by the daily quest, "Supporting the Factions". Together, "Supporting the Factions" and "Defending the Sword Coast" will give players the equivalent experience that completing the currently daily once per day on live gives you. "Defending the Sword Coast" will have its XP remain the same. Our reasoning for this is the Maze Engine campaign already gives pretty great experience from its directed quest and campaign completion tasks. Since "Defending the Sword Coast" can be repeated as many times as you want, we did not want its experience to outshine other sources from the 60-70 path.

3. Regarding "this fashion isn't here", etc., just to re-iterate, we're aware that we didn't catch all of the transmutes people wanted. I'll be making a list of everyone's feedback here regarding missing transmutes and talking to our production team to discuss when we can get time to put in transmutes. This won't happen for Module 10, given how close we are to release.

Thanks again for all of your feedback, the changes I mentioned in #1 and #2 will be coming Soon.

-Commander Ander


Invocation Changes (Preview thread)

Just to confirm, there is not reset time on the bonus AD, there is a limit that can be stored which should not be able to be hit with a week of only invoking or more. Again, if you play "normally" you should be able to claim more AD from this than you would have previously. It really should only affect characters who ONLY invoked and did nothing else.


Invocation changes: I think Panderus has hit most of the points, but let me just clarify:
* There is no "expiration" of the bonus. It won't ever go away. As long as you are actively playing the character, the new system should not leave you any worse off.
* In fact, the new system leaves you better off (again, if you are playing the character) by about +20%, because it just gives you that much more AD (at L70 -- slight variations at lower levels, just due to rounding).
* There is supposed to be a UI treatment that makes this all clear. Looks like that isn't in yet :(. But it basically looks like a glory boost, if you've ever used one of those. It's a buff icon that tells you how many more points of +50% earn rate you have left.
* There is a cap on the total boost value you can get (all numerics in any game need some kind of cap, computers don't like infinities), but it's super-big. It's set to 100,000 AD, which is about a month's worth of boost. So you could invoke all day every day for a month (ok, 27 days to be precise) and still not lose a thing (again, in fact you get +20%). Past a month, and you'd hit the cap if you invoked the full amount every day that month but never played anything that earned you AD.
* Characters that you never play with -- only invoke -- are the only ones that lose out. Which was the intention: more rewards for playing, less for characters you don't play.



Stay tuned for more updates from the devs!



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