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The idol system is a new concept that allows players to increase their XP and loot rewards by increasing combat difficulty. It will be introduced in the 2.29 update.
 
 

Choosing game difficulty

Over the years, the question of how the difficulty level in DOFUS should be managed has become an increasingly thorny issue, as we need to continue producing new content at all player levels, make sure the game is accessible to new players and also ensure the game has fresh challenges for veteran players who are continually improving both their characters and their expertise in the game.

The gap between beginners and veterans has become larger and larger because, as the game becomes more complex, the game mechanics become more involved and greater in number. It is therefore more and more difficult for us to fulfil the expectations of every one of our players with each single addition of content.

This is why we have been working on a system that allows players to set game difficulty, in order to be able to use the same content to target multiple different player profiles. Idols will also be used as a starting point from which to address issues related to Wisdom and Prospecting.

 

Observations about Wisdom and Prospecting

We are generally not satisfied with the way Wisdom and Prospecting works in terms of the game’s levelling and resource acquisition mechanics for the following reasons:
  • The Wisdom and Prospecting system forces players to sacrifice character effectiveness for better XP and loot gains.
  • This sacrifice isn’t usually much fun. It makes fights longer and less interesting, because Wis/Prospecting characters struggle to play a decisive role in combat.
  • These sacrifices makes creating teams more difficult, as lower-level recruited characters have not always been optimised for effectiveness in combat, but instead tend to be optimised for maximum individual gain.
  • The current XP formula doesn’t encourage players to take risks and opt for fights posing a real challenge (often it’s more profitable for players to swiftly and easily defeat low-level mobs rather than fighting monsters their own level or higher).
  • The effects of this system encourage players to create ‘mule’ characters who are able to level up in-game much too quickly and in a not particularly enjoyable way (these characters don’t really get actively involved in fights).

We have no intention of majorly altering the way Wisdom and Prospecting works with the introduction of these idols, but we do want to offer an alternative to maximising these two characteristics.

 

Our goals

Here are the goals we aim to achieve with this new system:
  • Provide an alternative to Wisdom and Prospecting as a way to level up.
  • Offer an enjoyable way of altering the difficulty level between fights (idols will be able to modify gameplay as well as rewards).
  • Increase incentive for risk-taking via better rewards.
  • Allow players to increase their rewards without compromising character effectiveness.
  • Idols shouldn’t make fights last too long or directly reduce character effectiveness; usually, the opponents will become more dangerous.
  • The system should improve the tactical aspect of combat, as the restrictions introduced should encourage players to think and should rejuvenate their gameplay experience.
  • The system should allow the introduction of enough additional difficulty to make low-level content difficult enough for higher level characters to find it challenging.
  • Increase incentive for players to fight monsters that are their own level (or higher).
 

How it will work

Each character has 6 idol slots, and it will be possible to use between 0 to 6 idols at the same time. Players can choose which idols to activate for a fight via a dedicated idol collection interface. Idols can be changed between fights and can also be modified outside of combat and during the preparation phase.

Idols will appear in one’s inventory and can be swapped between characters. The idol collection interface will help players manage idols. This interface will allow you to see every idol that exists in the game and therefore will help you identify those your character doesn’t have yet.

It won’t be possible to equip the same idol several times. Idols may interact with each other differently via modifiers. These modifiers allow the balancing of some idol combinations that may be too overpowered or detrimental when combined.

Each idol modifies combat by introducing a rule or additional effect that makes combat tougher in exchange for added XP or loot. Unlike Challenges, you can’t decide in mid-combat whether or not you want to accept these additional restrictions; you can indeed choose which idols to use, but you have to stick with them for the duration of the fight.

Here are some examples of idols (their names and characteristics are arbitrary and not definitive):
  • Reflector: Opponents reflect back 20% of received damage. +50% XP and loot bonus.
  • Churlish: Contact damage from opponents increases to 100%. +40% XP and loot bonus.
  • Catalyst: When one enemy dies, the other enemies gain 2 MP.  +50% XP and loot bonus.
  • Quell: Opponents’ damage increases by 200% and then decreases by 20% per game turn. +50% XP and loot bonus.
  • Proximity: On attacking an enemy, allies in a 3-cell radius surrounding the attacker receive 100% of the damage. +60% XP and loot bonus.

Some idols whose effects only work with allies or with multiple enemies have a criterion known as ‘Team’. The effects and bonuses for these idols only count when a battle includes at least 4 monsters and 4 player characters (including Sidekicks).


Some idol images.

 

A specific XP and loot formula

One of our objectives for using idols was to provide an alternative to Wisdom and Prospecting.

Therefore the bonuses applied by idols will not be impacted by Wisdom and Prospecting (they are additive and not multiplicative to those applied by Wisdom and Prospecting).

You can therefore sacrifice all of your Wisdom and Prospecting in order to maximise the effectiveness of your character and focus on using idols for boosting your XP and loot gains.

The formula used to calculate XP and loot bonuses takes into account the gap between the highest character level and the average level of the monsters for each fight. The way this works significantly rewards fighting against monsters whose level is similar to the player’s level and reduces XP earned from monsters of too low a level. Thanks to this system, idols can offer substantial bonuses while at the same time minimising the risk that they will be used to exploit content of too low a level. Monsters that have specific levels (such as Peki Peki, Tynrils, etc.) will be handled specifically in the calculation of the level gaps between player characters and monsters.

Universal bonuses (such as stars, Almanax, secondary characters, Challenges, server bonuses, etc.) will remain multiplicative and will apply to XP and loot gains added by idols.

The potential XP rewards from idols will be visible in the mobs overview via the XP reward preview. 

The way this formula works allows players to continue using Wisdom and Prospecting if they wish without incurring any penalties, while offering a true alternative to these through the use of idols.

We aren’t happy with how Wisdom and Prospecting works currently, but we feel that the community isn’t ready for an overhaul of these systems, which has been in place since DOFUS was launched.

We are therefore favouring a more gradual approach, which consists of proposing a very sound system that is compatible with our expectations, of which idols are only the first phase. We intend to support the idol system over the course of future updates to encourage its adoption among players, so that we can potentially modify the way Wisdom and Prospecting works in the long term without disturbing the gameplay habits of those players who make use of Wisdom and Prospecting too much.

 

Multiplayer

Idol effects will apply to all combat and for all the characters in a fight.

If these characters are not in a group, it will be the character who starts the fight who sets the idols for the fight (they will be visible in combat).

If all the characters in the fight are from the same group, the idols set for the group will be taken into account. The group leader will be able to change the idols used for the group outside of combat (via a dedicated interface), and will have access to all of the idols from all of the inventories of the player characters in that group. This means you can combine idols from several characters when you play in a group (though you’re still limited to a maximum of 6 active idols) and you can use your allies’ idols even if your character doesn’t have those particular idols.

You will able to check the idols set for the group before starting a fight, as the group idol management interface will be accessible from the group interface. 

By default, the idols set for the group are those belonging to the group leader. If a character from the group starts a fight without the group leader, that character’s idols will be set for the fight. A character can’t lend their idols to others if that character isn’t in the fight.

This multiplayer idol management might seem a bit complex, as it involves good organisation and cooperation between players, but it is essential in order to allow players to share their idols securely.

 

Acquisition

It will be possible for players to craft their first idol in-game in Incarnam, during the professions tutorial.

Artificers (formerly Shield Smiths) will be able to craft idols, and players will not be able to get them any other way.

The simplest idols will have a low equipment level and will require resources that are easy to obtain. More complex idols will have a much higher equipment level and recipes that are difficult to craft. In order to craft them, nearly all idols will require Dungeon keeper essence.

Idols aren’t consumables, so players won’t need to craft the same idol several times for one character.

 

Scores and Achievements

Each idol will confer points that will be added up at the end of a fight in the form of a score (the more difficulty applied by an idol, the greater the number of points).
Achievements will be created for each Boss and family of monsters, and will require getting specific scores for a fight.

These new Achievements won’t award Boss resources, but will give players XP and Achievement Points.

These Achievements won’t require specific idols to be used; the players themselves will be free to decide and choose which idol combinations are best suited for completing the set objectives. This means they can be completed in different ways.
 

The future

We greatly hope that this new system will potentially supply a practical alternative to the Wisdom and Prospecting system while allowing for a gradual and voluntary transition. If the system works as intended, we will add other idols in-game to vary the challenges and opportunities on offer to the players. We intend to construct other game systems around idols (by using the end-of-combat score system for example) but before we can begin any of these projects, we first need to be sure that the idol system works well in the months to come.

By allowing players to adjust combat difficulty, idols may also potentially enable us to more easily create content that is accessible to the majority of players while at the same time offering a much greater challenge to those who want one.
 

Q & A

 

Will there be any idols that make fights easier?

We have no plans for making idols that will make fighting easier. We feel that the overall difficulty of the game is fine as it is currently. We want to allow players to adjust the difficulty level of the existing content so that they can rediscover and find new challenges in content they already know.

For players who feel that the current content in DOFUS is too difficult, the idol system will allow them to tackle simpler content that they already know while gradually increasing its difficulty in order to increase the rewards gained from it.

Idols aren’t solely intended to increase the game’s maximum difficulty level; they can also be used at every level of content. For example, if you think that the later dimensional dungeons are too difficult for your character, idols will help you practice on the first dimensional dungeons or other lower level dungeons by increasing their difficulty and the rewards you earn from them.

In addition, the Achievements in DOFUS have been carefully designed to offer a specific and much-valued challenge for players who complete them. We don’t want to devalue Achievements by allowing players to reduce the current difficulty of these challenges. And we don’t want the rewards from certain content or Achievements to become too easy to generate via reduction of their difficulty level.

 

Will the loot bonuses from idols work with resources that were ‘easily’ gathered from Achievements?

We felt that we needed to offer a viable alternative to Prospecting, and the loot bonuses conferred by idols will play this necessary role.

A significant number of resources have lost their value during the course of content addition. This is a normal process as new content gets added and the most sought-after resources and items change over time.

However, we don’t see that as inevitable, and through the course of several updates we’ve been actively working on restoring value to numerous resources dropped by monsters in order to revalue the importance of loot.

It’s a very long process that involves the creation of new recipes and the implementation of effective destruction mechanics (such as the rune generation system, for example), in order to ensure ongoing demand for resources.
We want to continue gradually restoring the value of resources dropped by monsters, so the loot bonuses offered by the idol system still appear relevant to us.

 

Isn’t it possible you will further simplify XP gains?

We feel the speed of progression is much too great in certain extreme cases, when a character’s effectiveness is sacrificed for their Wisdom bonus and when characters are levelling up in a situation where they aren’t really involved actively in fights (read: the infamous "Wisdom mules," no surprise). Among other reasons, this is exactly why we want to eventually reduce the impact of Wisdom and Prospecting. 

However, we don’t feel that progression in DOFUS is currently too simple for those players who level up in the traditional manner, that is to say, through discovering the game’s mechanics, without using secondary character bonuses, and without benefitting from item gifting or significant outside help.

Idols will help increase XP and loot gains, but this will be majorly compensated for by the increase in the difficulty level of the fights.

We don’t want to significantly increase the speed of character progression; instead we want players to level up in a different way. We want to reward risk-takers and increase the variety of challenges offered.

 

Why don’t idols apply individual effects and bonuses in group combat?

Idols apply effects and bonuses to the entire group because we want to avoid the issues experienced with the individualistic system that is Wisdom and Prospecting, which results in some players doing all the fighting while others sacrifice their character’s effectiveness for the sake of bigger bonuses.

 

How will very low-level content be balanced if it is played using a large collection of idols?

If the level gap is too great between monsters and players, then a penalty will be applied to the idols’ XP and loot gain characteristics. We want low-level content to bring new challenges (thanks to the idol system) to players who already know this content well, but we don’t want this content to compete too strongly with content adapted to the current level of their characters.

 

When are you going to reduce the impact of Wisdom and Prospecting?

We have no date for this yet. We’re waiting to be able to judge the impact of idols on the game and to what extent these are used by players. If we manage to make idols into a major game mechanic for regulating XP and loot gains, we will then be able to alter more swiftly the way Wisdom and Prospecting works. For us it’s a potential, long-term project. We already have some ideas about how we will reduce the impact of Wisdom and Prospecting, but we want to go about this carefully so we don’t upset the community’s behaviour in terms of these two characteristics.
Category: Developement