I know it's been a while since the last update, but we've been fairly busy. After discussion with our German counterparts, I discovered that they were essentially waiting on us to give the go ahead to get the design world Zion running again. Zion was still host to outdated Caledonii server information, which meant we couldn't use it as a design world without overwriting everything on Darkveil. I didnt realize they were waiting on us to get Zion set up otherwise I would have given it as soon as I returned months ago. But what's done is done, and Darkveil's information has been copied to Zion. This changes nothing for our players, Darkveil is still the live game world. But having Zion running allows us designers to modify larger swaths of the game at a time before doing a data transfer from Zion to Darkveil to copy over changes. This also means slightly longer time in between news updates, but we also won't have to be changing stuff on Darkveil and potentially breaking stuff for players along the way.
In further news, we also have the Encyclopedia up and running again! Myself and my helpers (designated with the Helper permission) are hard at work updating and fixing the Encyclopedia for the player base. You can find the link to the Encyclopedia under the Library tab on the sidebar, right below the Invite tab.
As a final bit, Alchemists rejoice! The class has now joined the other healers with their own initiative skill: Rapid Response. While Alchemists have always been powerful healers, they also lag behind the other healers because other healers all possess initiative skills while Alchemist did not. The goal here is to make Alchemists a little more desirable compared to say, a Rashon Priest who offers heals, group heals, mana regen, and a wide variety of buffs like the Alchemist does. There was very little reason to play an Alchemist over a Rashon Priest when Alchemists were always towards the end of the initiative turn order before they would get a chance to heal or buff. Rapid Response uses Dexterity primary and Willpower secondary; the goal of this attribute setup is to make alchemical potion Alchemists a little bit faster (since they use Willpower attribute) and First Aid Alchemists quite a bit faster (since they use Dexterity). My goal here is also to make First Aid Alchemists a little more desirable than it currently is. Alchemical potion Alchemists have more powerful heals, but their potions have few uses and need restocked more often. First Aid Alchemists don't have to restock consumables as often in exchange for weaker heals compared to potions. Let us know how this seems to go!
The design team has thought long and hard about areas the Hunter is lacking in as a class compared to other melee, ranged, and supportive classes. We narrowed the overall shortcomings of the Hunter to two main areas: Zealot offering better poison buffs despite those skills being secondary skills for the Zealot thanks to a few improved Talents, and a lack of ability to survive on the flanks or while ambushing as a melee Hunter. To that end, here are the final redesign notes for the Hunter class:
1). Poison weapon has been decreased from level 10 to level 6. Part of a Hunter's kit has always been its ability to provide extra damage to its party members, but they have to wait 10 levels before being able to do so. Reducing the levels required for this functionality will allow Hunters to start to come into their own power sooner than before. Further, it now affects 2+25% hero level allied targets in an effort to put it more in line with the buffs other classes provide. The skill will always buff at least two targets provided they are in the same position.
2). To ensure that Poison own weapon is still utilized and isn't something that gets ignored once a Hunter reaches level 6 for regular Poison weapon, Poison own weapon now offers a 1+50% skill level to the effect of Poison weapon. This will directly improve the outgoing damage of anyone in a party that has poison applied to them.
3). The Master of the Forest talent line has been slightly redesigned. Master of Nature is no longer a talent and instead is a regular Scare skill that can be learned at level 15; it has nothing to do with the the use of poisons or other Herbal Arts skills. Replacing Master of Nature as a level 23 Talent is Talent: Nature Lore. Talent: Blessing of the Arrow remains at level 26, while Talent: Master of Poison has taken Talent: Nature Lore's place at level 29. This is the Talent that really made Zealots more powerful in the poison department, so now it has been brought over to the Hunter. The goal isn't to make the Zealot unable to be an effective poison buffer, but Zealot should also not be better at the primary niche the Hunter has had for years.
4). Melee Hunters should rejoice, as they have also received a new skill at level 10: Camouflage. This skill is designed to be beneficial to both ranged and melee Hunters, with the greatest bonus of course the melee and ranged defense for those Hunters who are on the flanks of their group or actively using Ambush to get behind their enemies. It is the hope that this new skill interacts well with the Ranger specialization, in particular Talent: Stealth at level 26.
5). This last one isn't so much of a change to the Hunter class as it is to both Poisons and Herbs. All Poison and Herbs will be changed so that their effects are immediately visible upon the consumable for ease of determining what a specific bonus a Poison or Herb applies. This means no more crawling through potentially outdated forum posts for what a Poison or Herb provides. Further, at least two new damage types for Poisons will be created: Acid, and Lightning. The consumables for these damage types are not yet created and ready to be dropped, but be on the lookout for them in the coming weeks. Lastly, pot of moonmilk will be simplified to only do psychological damage instead of the randomized amounts of fire, ice, lightning, and poison damage it currently provides.
I ask that you keep in mind that while these changes are largely final, the numbers are not. The team and our helpers are testing out the hopefully improved Hunter as quickly as we can, and if it seems like some of the changes end up being a little too powerful in relation to the buffs other classes provide expect some minor number adjustments downward.
As always, thank you for your love and support of the game.
Ended up catching a bit of Covid that had me out for about a week and a half, but now that I'm recovering I'm back working on getting stuff done. I have a couple things to announce.
Firstly, the team is looking to its players to provide suggestions on what exactly they'd like to see for specific classes. All class forums have now been decently cleaned up. Any topics from 2019 and older have been closed so that newer, more recent topics will automatically get sorted before the older topics. Head on over to the Hall of Heroes and don't be afraid to create a new topic containing your ideas. We're basically looking for a common theme between the suggestions for our players so that we can look at where a class might be struggling in compared to another class that performs a similar role. For newer classes that are still "in testing" (ones like Muse, Lightbringer, etc) most don't have their own dedicated forum yet and so are going to be temporarily precluded from this plea for suggestions.
Secondly, at this time the team cannot modify stuff like dungeon timings. I know that I had been receptive to changing it before, but doing so requires a data transfer from the developer world in order for it to take effect on Darkveil. The issue is that the developer world has not been used since Caledonii at least, which means that it doesn't have ANY data from Darkveil within its database. Initiating a data transfer from the developer world would result in losing EVERYTHING the team has done on Darkveil so far. We have previously been in discussion with the Germans about cloning Darkveil and moving that clone to the developer world, but so far nothing has emerged from those talks. So at the moment we're stuck in regards to dungeon timings and backpack increases. I offer my apologies.
Sorry about the wall of text, but figured another update was probably due to keep players appraised of where the team is currently standing. Over the next couple of weeks I'll be releasing a couple more polls for various topics and decisions, and I'll keep you posted on when those are live. That's all from me for now.