For the 2.7.0 update, we have mainly concentrated to change the mechanic of Sacrifice spells, which are causing major imbalances in PvM and PvP.
The Sacrifice spell allows the Sacrier to suffer damage that would normally be taken by their allies, and while doing so, take their ally’s position as well.
We see several major problems with this spell:
It allows a team to focus all of their protective abilities on a single character which is then shared with all members of the team, making the team nearly invulnerable over many turns.
The use of this spell in combination with some classes offer a team that uses a Sacrier combos that are far too powerful and surpass the efficiency of teams that do not exploit these particular Sacrier combinations in both PvP and PvM.
The rapid exchange of positions can be chaotic, and the number of position swaps that are possible for a very low AP cost reduces the importance of positioning and tactical combat.
Therefore, we have decided to modify the operation of these sacrificial spells so that they no longer allow the caster to swap positions with the targets and concentrating protection spells on Sacriers to protect an entire team is no longer an option.
In the 2.7.0 update, we’re adjusting this spell so that the resistances and protections on the character that is targeted by an attack will be taken into account to determine the damage that is taken by a Sacrier who has sacrificed a character.
We also changed this spell to give it more flexibility. The AP cost has changed to 2 at all levels. The duration of the spell is now 2 turns at all levels. The cooldown has been changed to 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, and 3 at levels 1 throught 6 respectively. The spell’s range has been increased with a minimum range of 0. The area of effect has been increased for levels 1 through 4. We want to increase the flexibility of this spell to make it easier to use and less dangerous now that it is no longer effective to concentrate a team’s protection efforts on the Sacrier.
We realize that the Sacrifice spell is at the center of many team techniques in dungeons, especially among players who use a static team of characters, and this change will conequently reduce the effectiveness of those tactics.
However, it is not desirable for a single technique to surpass all others and at the expense of the difficulty of game content. By changing the operation of the Sacrifice spell, we want to restore a better balance between various team compositions and content like dungeons should be better balanced.
If it appears that any specific dungeon is now too difficult to win with this change to Sacrifice, we will reduce that dungeon’s difficulty accordingly.
At the moment, we are observing that level-appropriate teams are able to pass through the dungeon without using the old mechanics of the Sacrifice spell and combining all of the team’s protective efforts on the Sacrier, so we have not yet found it necessary to reduce the difficulty of any dungeons at this time. However, we would welcome specific feedback based on real, concrete examples (not speculation or theories, please) about the difficulty of dungeons after this change to the Sacrifice spell on the test server forum.
We have also redesigned the Enutrof’s Living Bag so that it does not allow for a similar tactic as with the Sacrier’s Sacrifice - summoning the bag, then focusing all of the team’s protection on that bag. In version 2.7.0, the Living Bag’s Sacrifice spell will have the same function as the new Sacrier Sacrifice spell: the resistances and protections of the target will be used to determine the damage taken by the bag and it will no longer trade positions when its sacrificial target takes damage.
We realize that this spell was used by Enutrofs to move and avoid being “trapped” by locks or areas of the map, but we believe this weakness of the Enutroff class should not be erased, but made more exploitable (and offset by increased strength in other areas, if necessary). The Enutrof class has a number of spells that allow them to keep their opponents at a distance and not be easily trapped. One of the goals for characters fighting against an Enutrof may be to catch them and lock them, while the Enutrof may need to work at staying at a safe distance from their enemy without getting caught. The swapping of position that the Living Bag made possible was too powerful an asset to the Enutrof in an area where they are meant to have a weakness.
As a compensation for this change, the Living Bag will now have more hit points, better resistances, an increased range, and a change of AI that will cause it to cast its Sacrifice spell before it moves, in order to allow its summoner total control over who will be targeted by the Bag’s Sacrifice.
Swap and Karcham :
The number of casts per target per turn has been changed to 1 since both of these spell provide some protection each round by hiding behind the monsters, and then easily returning to the original position after attacking. This technique makes it too easy to manage certain groups of monsters by exploiting a weaker monster (or an allied summon) and prevents the character from ever being exposed.
Although we do want to encourage players to utilize the terrain and the weaknesses of monsters as a gameplay element, these two spells allowed them to be over-exploited, which is why we are introducing this limit.
Sacrier’s Foot and Assault :
We have reviewed both of these spells.
Sacrier’s Foot now steals Earth damage in a perpendicular area (the same AoE as a staff) and the agility debuff has been replaced by a dodge debuff to the target. The AP cost of this spell has been changed to 3 at all levels and the number of casts per turn has been changed to two.
Assault now has a low Air theft element with a maximum of 2 casts per target per turn and a limit of 4 casts per turn. The AP cost of this spell is now 3 at all levels.
We have adjusted these spells to make Earth and Air Sacrier builds more viable and improve the gaming experience of beginning Sacriers (who are not Fire or Water) and who lose a lot of hit points during each fight. This adjustment to the Sacrier’s offensive spells is intended to make the class less dependent on weapons.
The elemental resistances and hit points of this summon have been increased. The sword now has 6 MP at level 6, and the AP cost of this spell has been changed to 3 at all levels. The new maximum range of the spell is 4.
We have changed this spell to give it more flexibility, especially because it will no longer be possible to exchange position with his Flying Sword by exploiting the Sacrifice spell.
Transposition and Cooperation :
The AP costs for both of these spells is now 3. This will help increase their flexibility and will compensate for the loss of position changing that Sacrifice once allowed.
We do not want to drastically reduce the mobility of the Sacrier class, but we did want to change the Sacrifice spell to reduce the chaos it can create (as well as its power, frequency and difficulty to counter). So to help support the Sacrier’s movement abilities, we have improved the effectiveness of these spells to encourage position manipulation in a way that we feel is more balanced and interesting.
We have no intention of merging these two spells into one spell (with a reduced cooldown) because the current operation of these two separate spells seems more interesting. It requires the Sacrier to make more choices and it demands tactical execution considering the cooldowns.
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