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Characteristics softcaps for the majority of classes have not changed since the game came out in 2004, and they generally suffer from balancing issues: it’s more worthwhile to invest points in certain characteristics, and other characteristics are neglected because the investment isn’t nearly as profitable. For example, it’s easier for a Feca or an Eniripsa to invest points in Intelligence, while a Iop or Ecaflip would be better off investing in Strength.
 
 



Softcaps were created with a purpose: it seemed more logical for an Eniripsa to have less natural physical ability than a Iop! However, these constraints no longer fit with our current vision for the classes. If possible, we don’t want the classes to have a predetermined or imposed elemental build; instead, we want each character to be able to invest points in different characteristics. We don’t want to dictate an obvious optimal choice via softcaps, which is the problem we’re having currently with some classes and their unbalanced characteristic softcaps.

We’ve used this approach to balance the characteristics softcaps of new classes or classes that have been heavily modified during recent updates. Now we're going to use this approach in version 2.30 to modify the characteristics levels of all classes that haven’t been able to enjoy this level of flexibility yet.
 

Summary of modifications:

  • Review of characteristics levels:
    • 1 for 1 in Vitality
    • 3 for 1 in Wisdom
    • 1 for 1 up to 100, 2 for 1 up to 200, 3 for 1 up to 300, and 4 for 1 the rest of the time for Agility, Chance, Strength, and Intelligence
  • Review of spell Critical Hit rates
  • Review of class spell damage in parallel with level modifications
  • Review of Critical Hit damage in parallel with Critical Hit rate modifications
 

Objectives:

  • Make investing in each characteristic a viable option
  • Offer more diversity in element choices for characters, make more elemental builds viable, and unlock new combo possibilities for multi-elemental builds.
  • Improve balancing for various damage spells, especially those that depend on their class’s caps for above-average base damage.
  • Improve Critical Hit rate distribution for classes and elemental builds. This means having a distribution of spells consistent with Critical Hit rates at 5%, 15%, and 25% for each class.
  • Improve the relationship between Critical Hit effects and Critical Hit rates for spells: the lower the Critical Hit rate, the more powerful the effects.
  • Standardise characteristics softcaps to make the characteristics system easier to understand.

What this means:

Classes that had extremely disadvantageous softcap in certain elements will more easily be able to invest in them (for a much lower cost), but the base damage of spells linked to these elements has been reduced. The amount of the decrease is proportional to gains from these softcap improvements. It can reach a maximum amount of -25% of base damage, which for some spells means a maximum decrease of 15% to 20% of final damage, if we account for fixed damage bonuses.

For example, the spell ‘Strengthstorm’ will go from an average of 40 to 32 damage (not including Critical Hits). This corresponds to a 20% decrease to base damage. Let’s take a Iop with 900 Intelligence and 100 fixed damage (figures have been rounded for easier calculation). In 2.29, they would inflict 500 Fire damage; in 2.30 they’ll inflict 420 Fire damage (multiply the base value by 10 and add 100), which in reality makes for a 16% decrease to final damage. Of course, softcap modifications allow us to partially offset this drop in damage. In the above example, the Iop could invest more points in Intelligence (which used to be too difficult because of extremely restrictive caps).

The decrease in damage is necessary, because it maintains the balance between the different elemental builds within each class. Without it, our Iop’s Fire build (to continue with the same example) would be much more advantageous than their Earth build, because it would have much higher base damage without a significant difference in terms of characteristics caps or casting restrictions. 

If we didn’t implement some damage reductions, we would risk creating additional imbalances between the various classes, which would then require a review for most spells. And we didn’t want to have additional damage increases with this update. We already applied several damage buffs after the close combat revamp during the ‘polishing’ of most damage spells but also indirectly when we separated scroll points and characteristics points, allowing all characters to get higher scores in their elemental characteristics.

We think that globally, spell damage is already high enough, and we don’t want to systematically increase the strength of characters unless such a change is justified.

Class by class:

Modifications vary in significance depending on the character class and previous softcaps. The higher a spell’s base damage, the more advantageous the level modifications. That way, base damage has been reduced in order to maintain a good balance with the new softcaps.
 

Cra: 

The new softcaps are better across all four elements. Air and Water build damage have been reduced to offset this increase (a 10% decrease to base damage on average). No modifications have been made to Fire and Earth build damage.

We took this opportunity to review the difference between normal hits and Critical Hits for the following spells: Explosive Arrow, Destructive Arrow, Slow Down Arrow, and Absorptive Arrow. Base damage has been increased, while Critical Hit damage has been reduced.

 

Ecaflip:

The new Agility, Chance, and Intelligence softcaps are better. Strength softcap remain the same. Base damage for Air, Water, and Fire spells have been reduced by around -20% to -25% as a result.

In parallel with these changes, Critical Hit damage for Ecaflip spells have been increased. Ecaflip’s Critical Hits were not doing much good, as they only increased damage by 5% to 10% on average.

 

Eliotrope:

No modifications have been made to this class, as it was designed with balanced softcaps.

 

Eniripsa:

The new Agility, Strength, and Chance softcaps are better. As a result, base spell damage has been reduced for Wounding Word and Vampyric Word (-20% to -25%).

 

Enutrof:

The new softcaps are better across all four elements, especially for the Intelligence characteristic. However, base damage for Enutrof Fire spells were already low, so spell damage has only been reduced for the Unsummoning spell (-15%).

 

Osamodas:

Although the new softcaps are better, damage for Osamodas spells has not been reduced, since it was already relatively low. Damage for the Lashing Claw spell has even been increased (+20%).

 

Feca

The new Strength, Chance, and Agility softcaps are better. However, spell damage has not been affected much; only damage from the Bubble and Cloudy Attack spells has been reduced slightly (-15% and -10% respectively). The Air and Earth builds have therefore been indirectly improved through the softcap improvements. 

 

Iop:

The new Intelligence and Agility softcaps are better. Damage for some of Iop’s Fire and Air spells have been reduced as a result, which corresponds to a decrease of approximately 25% of Fire spell damage, while Air build damage has been reduced by about 15%. These modifications were made to offset the potential gains from characteristics softcap improvements.

 

Pandawa:

The new softcaps may be slightly less advantageous for characters who invest all their points in a single element (they could get 415 points before the modification, compared to 398 after), but the proportions are sufficiently reasonable for changes to the class’s spells not to be required, as they already have fairly high average damage.

 

Rogue:

The situation for Rogue is the same as for the Pandawa class, but we applied damage increases to spells that were too low. Extraction and Deception spell damage has therefore been increased.

 

Sacrier:

No softcap modifications have been made for this class; it remains the same. Changes to damage spells only affect Critical Hit rates.

 

Sadida:

No modifications have been made to this class, as it was recently re-designed with balanced softcaps.

 

Sram:

Softcap modifications mainly affect the Fire build. Base damage for the Dragline spell has been reduced (-15%). No modifications have been made to the Chakra Concentration or Tricky Blow spells, as their base damage was already low.

 

Foggernaut:

The new softcaps can be a little less advantageous for characters who invest all their points in a single element (they can go as high as 415 points right now, before the Update, against 398 after said Update), but in proportions that are reasonable enough as to not require any modification to the class spells. However, Critical Hit rates have been modified.

 

Xelor:

No modifications have been made to this class, as it was recently re-designed with balanced softcaps.

 

Masqueraider:

No modifications have been made for this class, as it was designed with balanced levels. However, Critical Hit rates have been modified.
 

Deployment:

Softcaps will be automatically changed when characters log in once update 2.30 is released. Characters will be able to reset their characteristic points.

These modifications can be tested in the version 2.30 BETA. We will make an announcement when it is ready.

This Devblog article is not a complete list of all modifications to class spells. A complete and detailed list of modifications to various class spells will be provided in the 2.30 BETA Changelog.
 
 
Category: Game design