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Class Balance Poll: Oct 3 - Oct 10, 2012

A Letter from Gon Namkung, Lineage II Development Director:

Class Balance

Poll Open from October 3 to October 10, 2012

 

The third topic of discussion is Class Balance, which I believe many of you would be interested in discussing. Because Class Diversification is grounded on Awakened skills, balancing among Awakened classes is a very important issue as well.

With the advent of the Awakened Classes in the Goddess of Destruction update, overall skill structures have been overhauled, and class balance saw significant changes. After close scrutiny, we have concluded that many components of class balance need to be tweaked and adjusted.

The following limitations in designing Awakened skills resulted in an imbalance between classes:

  • Overall damage-dealing power significantly scaled up due to skill-based battle structure
  • With each Awakened class absorbing all the skills from its corresponding third transfer classes, they would absorb core skills from dissimilar classes (neutralization, debuff, etc...) as well if they were included in the group of corresponding classes
    • Example: Differences between Sigel Knight and Feoh Wizard (Soul Taker gets integrated)
  • Imbalances occur in damage dealt, cooldowns, effect duration, etc..., due to having to provide better skills than those of the 3rd transfer classes
  • Buff-type skills are higher-lever skills, so a higher percentage of stats would give an advantage to certain classes

We have made partial balance adjustments after Chapter 1: Awakening, but there is still much room for improvement; we would like to do an overhaul to match our class diversification. Class balance adjustments would have direct and heavy impact on PvP, so we plan to scrutinize problematic areas for each individual class and focus on restoring overall balance.

Below is our plan for class balance adjustment in Goddess of Destruction: Chapter 3: Lindvior.

 

1. Direction of Balance Adjustment

1) Leveling the Increase

A few classes are currently at an advantage in terms of balance. A way to level out the imbalances would be to scale down or to eliminate skills that contribute largely to imbalance, but this has a direct negative impact on skills that are being used and symbolize the power of the classes they represent. Therefore, we would like to level out the imbalances by increasing the power of relatively weak classes instead of decreasing the overpowered skills’ damage-dealing, unless the latter direction is imperative in the overall direction of balance adjustments.

2) Renovating Skill Usefulness and Battle Formula

We would like to address the issue in which each class has certain battle formulas or lack usefulness for certain skills. This is especially true for special skills that have been added for Awakened classes, whose power throws off the class balance. We would like to fix this issue to allow for a more strategic use in battle as intended by the designers. As for battle formula, we will simplify it for easier recognition and correct unfair disadvantages to certain classes.

 

2. Battle Formula Modification

1) Debuff Formula and Resistance Value Change

Debuffs on whole have success rates which vary depending on the user and targets’ stats. This alone provides plenty of variety to debuffs, so random duration times can be problematic in terms of increased complexity. As such, we will eliminate the random factor in duration times and retain only the success/failure element as a variable, simplifying the mechanics once the debuff is successful. Also, we will scrutinize the current physical/mental/simple debuff categories and judge whether each debuff skill is well-suited for its category and whether to apply it to the debuff success rate decrease, so that certain debuffs may become more useful in battle.

2) Evasion Formula Change

We have concluded that there is a problem with the current structure in which you accrue more damage if hit, rather than accruing less damage when evading an attack. As such, we plan to change the formula so that damage received would not increase as evasion rate increases; this would be more rewarding for classes that wear light armor and use evasion as a main form of defense.

3) Changes to the Ranged Physical Damage Formula According to Distance

When attacking with a bow, physical damage increases or decreases depending on the distance between attacker and target.

ClassBalance.jpg

(Damage gradually decreases when 60% or lower than full hit range, and increases when 60% or higher.)

The purpose of this formula was to give more control to archer types according to their calculation of distance and the following damage, but the result has complicated gameplay and frequently yielded negative user experience. Therefore, we will modify this formula so that damage would be universally applied regardless of distance, resulting in a more intuitive gameplay.

 

3. Modifications Per Class

1) Sigel Knight

The Sigel Knight is essential to group play, and currently ranks as one of the more powerful classes in PvP. We will increase the usefulness of certain skills, especially revamping those that are powerful but not often useful. But in the case of the Aggression skills, we will have to adjust their excessive impact on melee classes in large-scale PvP and make them more useful in hunting.

  • Increase Shield Charge duration
  • Modify the King of Beasts skill
    • Decrease skill cooldown to 30 sec. and increase MP consumption
    • Soulshots apply; casting time is affected by attack speed.
  • Chain Strike and Chain Hydra skills have increased success rates
  • Superior Aggression and Superior Aggression Aura skills have decreased success rates

2) Tyrr Warrior

Tyrr Warrior’s damage skills will overall increase in efficiency; powerful damage-dealing skills will increase in usefulness and MP cost to encourage more strategic usage in battle.

  • Increase Armor Destruction and Hurricane Blaster skills’ power
    • 30% increase in ability to decrease target’s defense
  • Modify Last Attack skill
    • Eliminate skill cooldown and make it more useful in PvP
    • Increase skill’s critical rate
  • Increase all damage-dealing skills’ success rates
  • Increase Superior Light Armor Mastery’s power
  • Modify Sonic Star and Infinity Strike
    • Decrease skill cooldown to 30 sec. and increase MP consumption
    • Soulshots apply for more damage; casting time is affected by attack speed

3) Othell Rogue

We focused on clarifying the class’ original intent by modifying the blow-type skills’ damage formula. We also increased success rates for various debuff skills to allow for a more dynamic control of targets’ status. But the Shadow Fake Death skill currently has an excessively low MP cost, making the battles boring, so we increased the MP consumption.

  • Shadow Fake Death skill increases in MP consumption
  • Debuff skills have higher success rates
  • Blow-type damage formula modified
    • Due to the buff that decreases received critical damage, we lowered the percentage of decrease in blow-type damage, so that it can yield higher damage than before in the same scenario.

4) Yul Archer

The Yul Archer is formidable in PvP right now; after Awakening, it has become the jack of all trades, ranging from various evasion and invincibility skills to powerful damage-dealing. We modified success rates for certain debuffs, and we intend to increase usefulness for powerful damage-dealing skills. Though the Yul Archer’s Stance-type skills are toggle form and can only be used one at a time, they can be applied redundantly, so we will change them to buff-type skills and change their effects as well.

  • Debuff skill success rates increased
    • Impact Shot, Recoil Shot, Slow Shot, Bullseye
  • Lure Shot, Bow Strike, and other such debuffs have decreased success rates
  • Phoenix Arrow skill modified
    • Significantly decrease skill cooldown and increase MP consumption 
    • Decrease the formally excessive skill power
  • Modify Stance-type skills
    • Change from group toggle form to standard buff form
    • Siege Fire Stance: Effect now increases Attack and Skill Power
    • Rapid Fire Stance: Effect now increases Atk. Power and decreases cooldown
    • Sniper Stance: Effect now increases Atk. Power and Attack Range

5) Feoh Wizard

The Feoh Wizard’s original concept was a powerful ranged magician, but currently this class is not performing as expected. We will be doing an overhaul on MP usage during hunts and damage dealt in general. The Vortex plus Slasher combo that will be included upon diversification will help restore the original damage-dealing pattern of the wizard.

  • Increase all skill attack power by 10%
  • Increase success rates for debuff skills
  • Increase Elemental Spike’s power
    • Eliminate skill cooldown to make it feel more like a standard attack
  • Devil’s Curse and Mass Devil’s Curse skills are increased in power and thus made more useful
    • Increase debuff duration
    • Target’s M. Atk. / M. Def. decreased by 30% instead of 10% 
  • Unleash Hell and Death Mass Unleash Hell increased in power
    • Spiritshots applied; casting time is affected by M. Atk speed.
    • Cooldown significantly decreased and MP consumption increased

6) Iss Enchanter

We will modify the Iss Enchanter to allow for a more comfortable battle through debuff duration increase and normal damage increase. Also, we will be changing the skill effects of Crazy Nocturne due to its lack of usefulness. But as for the Increase Poem skills, the current healing skills’ effects are exceeding the healers’ so we will make this a more selective choice by increasing MP consumption.

  • Increase Debuff duration to 20 sec.
    • Crippling Attack, Shadow Blade, Mass Crippling Attack, Mass Shadow Blade
  • 10% increase in damage against monsters during a standard attack
  • Chaos Symphony skill modified
    • Decrease cooldown to 30 sec. and increase MP consumption
    • Soulshots apply and casting time is affected by attack speed. 
  • Crazy Nocturne skill modified
    • Changed effect to decrease received critical rate by 50%
  • Increase Poem skill’s MP consumption increased

7) Wynn Summoner

The Wynn Summoner is currently the most powerful class in hunting. We will be increasing the usefulness of skills that connect with servitor skills as befitting the summoner class. The biggest change will be that we will be decreasing the max number of summoned servitors while increasing the stats of each servitor, so that the effect will be the same despite the decrease in numbers.

  • Servitor Major Heal skill increased in power
  • Atk. Power increases when equipped with dual blunts for wizards; weapon selection also increased
  • Increase Summon Death Gate skill power
    • Increase servitor’s attack and defense
  • Change max number of summoned servitors
    • 2 is now the max number of servitors that can be summoned by level
    • Following the decrease in numbers, the servitors’ stats will increase accordingly

8) Aeore Healer

Having had three 3rd transfer classes of varying abilities merge into one, the healer class is currently quite powerful with various skills and healing powers. We have decided that this class needs no big changes, but can still have a few tweaks in certain factors. They presently have an issue in which wearing heavy armor is more beneficial because casting speed and such that have max stat limits are not affected by disuse of soul crystal enhancement, as can be seen by not wearing robes or using acumens. Such issues were limited through individual skills and passive skills before the Awakening, but after the Awakening, such issues were overlooked contrary to our intent. Accordingly, we plan to make certain skills only available when equipped with robes or light armor in order to minimize issues such as forced armor exchanges.

  • Frantic Healing skill modified
    • Skill effect applies when equipped with light armor or robe
  • Progressive Heal and Balance Heal have increased MP consumption

 

Conclusion

We have made it our goal to retain overall balance through increases while minimizing decreases, but things may not be perfect as everything is relative to other classes. We will test these changes and investigate possible problems before implementing to the live update.

We look forward to hearing your feedback on class balance. Thank you.

 

The Question

“What is your opinion on the proposed balancing measures?”

  1. The proposed balancing measures seem adequate.
  2. The proposed balancing measures seem partially adequate.
  3. The balancing measures are overall problematic.
  4. Other (To suggest an alternate method of balancing the classes, please post a reply with a clear explanation.)

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