Our Balancing PolicyIn 2.10, we've decided to keep working on several class projects that we started a few updates ago, mainly by balancing the individual spell levels in order to make any spell viable even at level 1. We've gone even further by generally removing the reduction of AP costs between levels 5 and 6 (sometimes by increasing the AP cost of the level 6 spell, sometimes by decreasing the AP cost of the spell in levels 1 through 5).
We've come to realize that decreasing the AP cost of a spell as it levels is somewhat backwards, because characters themselves increase their AP stats as they gain levels and get better gear. These modifications also make low-level and medium-level characters more flexible by allowing them to execute more actions per turn and try more combinations.
We've also decided to go for a broad but "simple" adjustment to many classes rather than doing intense, in-depth changes to a small number of classes. Some of these minor, wide-scale adjustments are much faster to execute than a complete change of spells, game mechanics, or even class roles (as the case may be) while still being effective.
We haven't forgotten that some classes (Fecas and Xelors) are still waiting for deep modifications to their game mechanics, but these changes take a long time, and we're not ready to impliment them yet (we haven't found appropriate solutions to all of the problems we've encountered during our redesign projects for these classes) and we don't want to ignore other simpler changes to other classes just because they're not as technically difficult.
We're also tackling the problem of unavoidable MP theft and AP buffs that are too powerful. These two class tricks are overused in some team compositions against DOFUS bosses. Large and undodgable MP theft prevents most of the monsters or bosses in the game from using their offensive potential. We do approve of tactics that involve immobilizing bosses and monsters, but the MP theft system was meant to make it more difficult to steal MP as the total amount of MP increases, but this is too easy to avoid by using undodgable spells.
Overpowered AP buffs give certain teams far too many options and greatly increases their offensive potentional. Of particular concern is the problem of weapon spam (which is not limited at this time), allowing characters to turn extra AP into a great deal of damage, often allowing players to kill monsters before they even have a chance to play an offensive role. We acknowledge that this problem is largely due to the power of weapons and the absence of limits on their use, but even the use of spells plus AP buffs is very powerful and often lacks a counterbalance. That's why we're adding some new constraints to these spells.
We won't list every change to every class in this devblog (if you would like to see the comprehensive list, you can find it in the changelog). Our goal in this article is to explain our main decisions. So if there is a particular change that you don't understand that isn't mentioned here in the devblog, we invite you to come discuss it with us on the beta server. We also haven't included sections for the classes that have only been slightly modified (Iop, Pandawa, Rogue, and Masqueraider).
CraThe spell Bat's Eye now shows the location of invisible objects within its area of effect to give more classes the tools to reveal traps and detect invisible characters, but it is very limited (by a small AOE and cooldown).
EcaflipFor the Ecaflip class, we tried to reduce the random behavior of some spells when it wasn’t possible to develop a tactic around these spells. We want the Ecaflip to be a surprising class during battles that pushes players to rethink their tactics and actions every time the Ecaflip influences the battle’s parameters. We’ve also modified the element of some offensive spells in order to reinforce some elemental builds and make these other builds more viable and balanced.
Heads or Tails has been modified: the damage and healing differential between allies and enemies has been accentuated (the spell now does more damage on enemies, less on allies; less heals on enemies, more on allies) in order to make the spell more useful for characters who want to use it to attack enemies and heal allies.
Feline's Leap is no longer a teleportation spell. Instead it converts 1 AP to 1 MP. Considering that Ecaflips are largely an offensive class that shouldn't get off scott-free when they're trying to escape an enemy's tackle zone. This way, the spell allows Ecaflips to maintain their ability to quickly close with an enemy or quickly escape an enemy, as long as they haven't entered that enemy's tackle zone.
The area of effect of the Perception spell has been reduced to 5 cells. The old zone was far too large and allowed an Ecaflip to easily discover all traps and invisible characters within the vicinity, making the invisibility of Sram nigh useless versus an Ecaflip, which was neither interesting or balanced.
All or Nothing has been modified: the water damage is dealt on the first turn and the heal is dealt on the second turn. We wanted to modify the completely random behavior of the spell by giving it a predictable behavior that could be exploited by both teams. For example: using the spell to finish off an enemy before they're able to benefit from the second turn's heal or to benefit from a protection buff on the first turn to maximize the healing effect on the second turn.
The kitten summoned by Summoning Claw has been modified, we have modified its very random behavior with a more consistent mode: It now possess two spells that may be cast once per turn. The first spell deals damage to an enemy and the second spell heals an ally. The kitten now has a very limited number of MP. The Ecaflip can thus choose to summon its kitten near himself while staying far from an enemy to get only the heals; or choose to summon the kitten near an enemy while staying at range to only benefit from the bonus damage dealt by the kitten; or summon it near the enemy while staying at close range to benefit both from damage to the enemy as well as heal given to its master. Essentially, to fully benefit from this little guy, the Ecaflip will need to get in melee range and take some risks.
Smell has been modified to have a behavior that leaves less to chance, it now gives a MP bonus and a AP debuff on the first turn, then a AP bonus and a MP debuff on the second turn. This behavior allows both teams to build viable tactics when the spell is cast.
The behavior of Claw of Cengal has been modified. The loss of AP is now dodgeable and increased but only triggers (thrice at maximum) if the targets is healed (by allies or enemies) in the same turn. This spell now deals Air damage. The Ecaflip can thus trigger AP loss of the spell multiple time if it use a healing spell on the target. It is also a spell that can penalize an enemy team that would want to heal its allies and thus deter healing.
The behavior of Fate of Ecaflip has been modified, it now attracts the target 4 cells (the range is now 5 cells at maximum) then push it back 4 cells (on both normal and critical hit) while dealing damage. The MP loss of the spell has been raised but is dodgeable and only triggers if the target is dealt pushback damage during the turn. The spell does not deal damage or MP loss to allies. This new behavior allows the Ecaflip to obtain a ranged displacement spell where the distance between the Ecaflip and its target when the spell is cast modifies the result of the spell: when cast at maximum range, the target will come back to the same position they started, cast in melee range, the target will be pushed 4 cells. It is a spell with a very important displacement and MP removal potential, but that requires a very good management of obstacle on the field to correctly use.
Felintion now deals water damage (life steal) and the spell is less random. The Earth element was too prevelent in the Ecaflip spells, we've decided to reinforce the water build.
The AP bonus of the spell Stimulating Word now lasts for 3 turns at all levels. The spell's cool down is now 8, ,7, 6, 5, 4, and 3 at levels 1 through 6, respectively. We've reduced the duration of this bonus to discourage Enis from using this spell at the start of combat and having it last until nearly the end of the fight. From now on, it will be necessary to re-cast the spell on the team more frequently to take advantage of this spell's effects. We see this as a relatively small constraint compared to the overall power of this spell.
Regenerating Word's operation has changed, it's heals are now indexed to the maximum vitality of the target and is no longer dependent on the intelligence stat of the caster (or their +heals bonus). This change allows Eniripsas to sacrifice some Intelligence or +heals bonuses in favor of elemental damage or explore builds with lower Intelligence values while maintaining some skill in healing.
Word of Silence can now detect invisible objects within an area of effect where the spell is cast. This change will give a greater number of classes the tools to counter traps and invisibility spells, although this particular spell will be very limited (small zone of detection and cooldown).
Word of Recovery now heals 100% of the target's maximum vitality, and is no longer affected by Intelligence stats or +heals bonuses. This change has the same objectives as the change made to Regenerating Word.
EnutrofFor the Enutrof class, we mainly tried to replace the effects of some spells that had become obsolete or irrelevant. We've also removed the +20 prospecting "birth bonus" of this class. Originally, this prospection bonus was included to compensate for the low power of the Enutrof class in combat compared to others (their low power was a trade-off for more loot). Gradually, we've allowed the Enutrof class to become more efficient as fighters through gradual buffs and spell changes. Now they are, in general, as relevant and interesting in combat as other classes. This means that a bonus to their base prospection is no longer necessary. Similarly, in the long term, it is likely that we'll be removing the additional loot bonus from the Living Chest altogether when we make this summon more efficient in combat (although not with this update).
Fortune has been changed, it now gives a dodge bonus on the turn when it is case, and follows up with a power bonus on the next round. This spell gives an Enutrof a temporary window of escape when locked by an enemy, followed up with a burst of damage in the next turn.
Pandora's Box is now a straightforward healing spell, indexed to the maximum vitality of the target and independent of Intelligence stats or +healing bonuses. However, it is followed up with a debuff to the caster's MP theft on the following round. We've adjusted this spell to remove its randomness and making it a viable healing spell, but with a penalty for the caster to encourage thoughtful and tactical use.
Prime of Life is changing to an earth element spell and its MP theft is being replaced by a dodge debuff. With this change, we are attempting to strengthen the Enutrof's earth elemental build and replace the MP theft with a debuff that has more synergy with the other spells of this element.
Greed's intelligence and strength bonuses have been replaced with a slightly lower +power bonus to make the spell more usable for builds of all elements.
Unsummoning now deals fire damage to enemies as well as summons (although the damage is increased on summons). This change strengthens the Enutrof's fire elemental build and makes the spell more useful.
Bribery's healing values are now indexed to the maximum vitality of the target, but the amount of healing is different depending on the target (be they ally or enemy). This modification makes Bribery a viable healing spell to use on an ally, no matter which element an Enutrof choses for their build, and makes the spell less powerful against bosses at the end of a fight. We believe that this constraint reinforces the balance of this spell and created a true compromise for the players.
Living Chest now detects invisible objects and characters every turn in a 3-cell area of effect. This change allows more classes to counter traps and invisibility, but keeps their detection skills limited (the spell has a small AOE and can be unpredictable due to summon AI).
FecaFor the Feca class, we have mainly added global cool downs to the spells Immunity, Spell Reflection, and Truce so that teams with multiple Fecas cannot maintain permanent invulnerability.
We continue to believe that the Feca class' synergy with nearly all other classes is too strong, due to their armor spells. Fecas should be able to enjoy an important role beyond just protecting their allies.
Therefore, we are investigating the following possibilities for the Feca class for future updates (this list is not definitive or exhaustive and may be subject to change):
- Consolidate all the armor spells into two spells. These spells would protect from all elements, but one would only protect the target from close-combat attacks while the other would protect from only ranged attacks. These two spells would not be stackable, and casting one on a target would disable the effects of the other. These spells could be cast frequently to allow Fecas to change their protection style based on the context of the fight. This would offer Fecas flexibility, but always leave a loophole that could be exploited by opponents.
- Reducing the amount of protection that armor spells give to allies. At the moment, Fecas protect their allies nearly as well as they can protect themselves, which tends to make Feca teams too powerful and robs the Feca of their role as the team's tank. Reducing the amount of shielding that the armor spells give allies could create more balanced teams and makes it easier for the Feca to be the most resistant character on their team.
- Changing glyph behavior: allow glyphs to be triggered when they are traversed by a character to give them better deterrent utility.
- Give the class a zone management role: in combination with the previous possibility, adding glyphs with different shapes could allow Fecas to create hazardous or protective areas and gain a tactical advantage by influencing the placement of allies and enemies.
We have already been running simulations of these possibilities for several months. Some of them are quite complex from a technical point of view and most of the others require a great deal of testing.
We're not satisfied with many of the spells in the Feca class (the armors, Spell Rebound, Glyph of Repulsion, and others). The Feca class is often too powerful in team play, but lacks uniqueness and alternative roles. Unfortunately, we cannot provide this class it's major overhaul in version 2.10 or provide a date for when this overhaul will take place at this time.
OsamodasFor the Osas in version 2.10 we tried to reduce the amount of summon "spamming" that's necessary to play the class, and we've also modified the constraints associated with their buff spells for both summons and allies.
The bonus spells have been generally increased in power and flexibility, but in return, we've put some constraints on them (adjusted range and cooldowns to be precise) to encourage Osas to be more careful when playing a supporting role in combat. Now, in order to play a support role, Osas will have to make some compromises (particularly by getting closer to the heart of battle in order to be able to buff their allies and re-casting their buffs more frequently).
The effect of the Whip spell has changed. It's AP cost has been increased and now requires line-of-sight to be cast. It now also has different effects according to its target. When cast on an enemy (player or summon), it now does earth damage. When cast on an allied summon, it kills the summon. We changed this spell due to two concerns with its operation. Whip was so good against enemy summons that the class that was most effective against an Osamodas was another Osamodas, effectively canceling each other out. We are gradually trying to introduce a rule into our class balancing efforts that no class should be its own perfect nemesis.
Additionally, the ability to easily kill a summon at any time (due to no line-of-sight barrier and low AP cost) encouraged summon "spam" because any summon could be replaced quickly. We think it would be more tactically interesting for Osas to pay attention to the summons they select and be aware of their summon limit to make sure they have the ability to summon a monster more suited to the situation of the moment. We have also adjusted several summons to make their longevity more interesting.
The Natural Resistance spell has been changed. Its vitality bonus is now indexed to the vitality of the target. This modification allows the vitality of different summons to be more balanced, as there are some summons that are not intended to have uber hit points, and these summons will gain fewer hit points, while those meant to have a longer life will gain more vitality.
The length and amount of the Animal Blessing buff has been reduced to discourage summoning too many monsters simultaneously in a fight.
SacrierThe AP cost of Swap has changed to 2 at level 6 and the cooldown of the spell has increased to 5, 4, 3, and 2 turns at levels 1 through 4. The number of casts per turn has been changed to 1 at level 5 and 2 at level 6. We have reduced the effectiveness of this spell because we believe that the mobility of the Sacrier class has become too dependent on this spell, which allowed a Sacrier to maximize their damage too easily, as well as evading locks when in the midst of combat too easily.
Punishment's damage has been reduced at all levels, its cooldown has been increased at levels 1 through 5, but its cost has been reduced to 4 AP. We have reduced the damage of this spell because it has become too powerful thanks to the introduction of new equipment that allowed for certain combinations that maximize not only the damage of the spell, but also the duration of the phase of battle where the Sacrier could maintain about 50% of their HP.
SadidaFor this class, we have also sought to reduce the amount of summon spam by increasing their cooldown time and increasing the resistances of the Sadida's summons to compensate for this impairment. Our goal with this change is to make summons more important in battle. They may still be "disposable" and temporary, but their presence or absence of the field will have a stronger impact on the course of combat.
Dolly Sacrifice has had its function changed. This spell now causes water damage when used against enemies (while retaining its original use). This change makes the spell more desirable.
The elemental resistances of the majority of Sadida summons have been adjusted to limit how much they can be used as a source of HP for the Sadida.
The Sacrificial Doll's function has been changed. It must now wait until the turn after it was summoned to explode, and its maximum cooldown is now 3 turns at levels 5 and 6. However, the summon now does more damage and has more HP. We modified this spell because it was often used as a direct damage spell. We found that this was not as interesting as the theme of the spell should be. Now it is much more dangerous to the enemy and more difficult to remove, but opponents will have the opportunity to move away or try to get rid of it before it explodes.
We have not adjusted the functions of Poisoned Wind or Earthquake in version 2.10, but these are spells that we would like to review in the long term. These spells are not often used in team play and are used almost exclusively in combination with Sylvan Power to defeat monsters without needing to fight.
For the Sram class, we've tried to introduce a third elemental path (Fire) to diversify the possibilities of Srams as a whole and allow more viable build varieties.
We've introduced new spell effects to several other classes that allow them to dectect hidden traps and invisible characters to improve the balance between the Sram class and others. We've rebalanced the Ecaflip's ability to detect invisiblity in a way that we believe will make battles more interesting and tactical. We've also removed the Sram's ability to detect traps and invisible characters. This is in line with the rule we introduced earlier in this blog, to prevent a specific class from becoming their own best nemesis.
Tricky Blow is changing to a Fire elemental spell, and now does 2 squares of pushback at levels 1 through 5. It does 3 squares of pushback at level 6. With this change, we introduce the new Fire elemental build for the Sram and give the class a placement adjustment spell.
Location now causes fire damage in a cross area of effect around the caster while attracting enemies and stealing some intelligence from them. This further compliments the Fire build and establishes this build as one that is more adept at enemy placement with this minor attraction ability.
Chakra Concentration has been modified, and can be cast on an enemy to steal hit points with Fire damage every time the enemy triggers a trap while Chakra Concentration's effect is active. This completes the trilogy of new Fire spells and offers a new synergy between Srams and their traps. Since this spell's effect only lasts one turn, Srams will need to plan ahead to maximize the spell's potential regeneration ability.
Trap of Slience's AP theft has been replaced by an Air life drain based on the amount of AP used per turn. This modification reinforces the "glass cannon" aspect of the Sram class (very dangerous, but also fragile). The Sram will no longer be able to drain their enemies' offensive potential with undodgable AP theft, but they can bolster their own longevity. To us, this spell seems more interesting to to play against enemies.
FoggernautsWe're tried to make this class more flexible with a few minor modifications.
The range of the Harpooner's spell has been increased by 1 at all levels and its damage against allies reduced at all levels to make the turret more competitive with other offensive spells and other turrets.
The initiatl cooldown of 1 turn on the Evolution spells has been removed to allow Foggers to set up their game with greater speed.
XelorIn our opinion, the Xelor class is similar to the Feca class: it needs major changes that we couldn't implement with the 2.10 update.
We think that stealing large amounts of AP is not desireable to the balance of the game in general because not only is it too frustrating for the enemy targeted by the theft, it's also boring for Xelors themselves. During a battle, the most efficient choice for a Xelor is to steal as much AP as possible from each enemy because there is literally nothing else in their arsenal that stands as a sufficiently effective alternative. It's also difficult to balance against bosses and monsters because the line between stealing an insignificant amount of monster AP and stealing an amount that renders the monster completely inert is often razor thin. This is why we have come to believe that the Xelor's role in combat and its possible combat choices will need to be reviewed and revised.
Here are the possibilites we are considering at this time (this list is not exhaustive or definitive):
- Create the role of "Time Agent" using more spells like Rewind and Rollback. This would give the Xelor more placement abilities, based on an original and effective control of time.
- Reduce the potential for massive AP theft in favor of the "Time Agent" by (for instance), replacing spells that reduce AP theft dodge, which are uninteresting to play and become too powerful towards the end of combat.
- Overhaul spells that only steal AP; we would like AP theft to be a bonus for the Xelor class - an ability that can break an opponent's combos, but not the primary objective for neutralizing an opponent or opponents completely.
- Buff existing elemental builds that have a limited range of offensive spells (for example, Water and Earth).
- Create a "Telefrag" mechanic for the Xelor's movement spells by triggering additional effects when the Xelor is able to swap places with an ally or enemy (via "time" travel).
These are options that we have been exploring for several months already. Some of them are quite complex from a technical point of view and most of the others require a great deal of testing.
Leek Pie's range can no longer be increased. It's damage has been icnreased at all levels and the maximum time this spell can be cast is now 4 at all levels. We modified this spells because some classes were able to avoid their inate constraints to ranged combat too easily. A class that is supposed to be weak from a distance shouldn't be able to easily compensate for this with the loophole of an elementary spell.
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