Editorials

Asherons Call: Orion Continues To Answer On Rebalancing

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Eboneye asks: I’m curious, with the rebalance did you try to hit a rule of thumb like… +/- 10 levels from your own level is considered easy. Up to 1.5 times your level would be hard. Double your level level really hard. Four times your level… don’t even think about it? 😀
Orion: Something very similar to what you suggested though there were many factors that needed to be considered. Though we also wanted to maintain the flavor of the different creatures types.
Though it is not as simple as a +/- 10 variance.
Olthoi are anti-mage.
Tuskers are food.
Virindi are anti-melee.

DarkTien asks: Were armor levels on monsters tweaked?
In hunting a bunch of mid-level creatures I noticed that even though I was hitting less frequently on some it seemed that I was hitting harder.
So far the changes look great, although my archer has suddenly developed an allergy to Sclavus.
Orion: Some creatures did have the armor lowered, not all.

Dar’van al-Zanuff asks: I have a question though; I ran into one elemental that was nearly immune. A vaporous looking one; hyem. Is he staying that way?
Lastly, Plated tuskers are immune. *sigh* Isn’t it possible to change the plated (and likely armored but I haven’t seen one of those yet) so that they are killable by life? Make them drain immune for drain I but not for life bolt or some interesting combo. No need to make them easy but they are impossible at this point. Armored and plated are so common is why I ask.
Orion: There will be some creatures that stay out of reach. They are just supposed to be that way. 🙂

Mr Giblets asks: Did you guys get around to loot tweaking or is that going to be next month? Some of the critters like Tumeroks and Golems seem to be a little lacking. Also, you mentioned that the mosswarts that dropped the Virindi shrouds were missing last patch, did ya put em back in?
Orion: We did not update the loot profiles on the creatures this month.

Cxxxxxxx asks: Olthoi are anti-mage.
Tuskers are food.
Virindi are anti-melee.
And what are anti-missle?
Orion: Lugians are the closest thing to anti-missile.

Mad Wolf asks: Question, Tusker Guards now give about 20k exp to my level 78 archer, while Tumideon (sp?) Minions now only give about 10k. Guards are MUCH easier to kill and defend against (by ANY class). I was under the impression that exp values were going to be more along the lines of the creatures difficulty. Tumids have much more armor and are hollow. Level 6 item spells make guards a joke. I believe that Tumid’s have higher melee skills as well (unsure about md). Why are guards worth 2x the exp? Oh, and wow on the exp boost on Observers, another reason I look for em now!
Orion: Tuskers hit harder, and not everyone hunts with a full set of banes on at all times. For those people the Tusker is a much harder enemy because he has a higher melee attack skill, higher melee, missile and magic defense. While the tumideon is hollow he still has skills that are lower by a fair margin.

Mad Wolf asks: Oh, now that Missile D’s seem to have exploded, can we get funtioning Heart Seeker for bows? Looks like we actually need it now! 🙂
Orion: Heart Seeker is not going back on bows. I am monitoring the worlds and the boards to garner data about missile defenses, it may change, it may not but at this point heart seeker is not going back onto bows.

Bazza asks: [about Sword] Faster/higher damage? Please stop it, I darn near hurt myself laughing. Faster or higher than what? Certainly not a Bow, not a Crossbow, not a Cestus, not a Dabus.
Sure, on paper a sword might have higher base damage than my last example… But actually try using one against any of the high level content, 75% (or more) of which is very vuln to bludgeon and extremely resistant to any other attack type.
Orion: The hard numbers based off of Damage over Time charting still gives the edge to sword as far as melee vs missile is concerned; against war there is a noticable difference and there should be considering that war magic is nearly double the cost of sword.
The creatures that got harder, the Lugians in particular, I am seeing a trend here as this is the most highly touted and most broadly disliked change, also were given a much better experience reward so that their difficulty level is now an indicator of a much greater experience yield.

Evil Elvis asks: Did you adjust the missile defense of the VoD mobs? I’m hitting even less then I did before it seems (383 buffed bow, no ce). I missed a lugian that was in ranged mode 25 times in a row at optimal firing distance.
I’m also not wild on some of the new VoD mobs. While I think it’s more fun now then it was before with some of the new mobs, but it’s become a baning nightmare. You now have to bane every single piece of clothing for ever element. I was much happier before when I could get by on bludgeon and pierce.
I also think the primordial olthoi need to be toned down a bit. Or have their xp boosted. Right now, they’re one of the few mobs that I really hate fighting. They hit hard and fast, will follow you for miles, and they take forever to put down
Orion: On the whole there were very few changes if any to creatures in the VoD, some where tweaked a little here and there but the majority were where we wanted them. There were several new creatures added to the VoD this month as well.
And the new Olthoi are anti-everyone.

Evil Elvis asks: Well, I hate the platinum golem changes.
They can already hit me for 100 hitpoints in fully baned gsa after they vuln me.. now I have to miss them 5x in a row at full accuracy when they’re on top of me? And pyreals are tougher to hit too, and cast level V drains now. *sigh* These were my favorite mob to hunt, and were still challenging to me, but I don’t see myself hunting them nearly as much as I use to.
Orion: Without an indicator of your stats I can’t really speak to the changes made to the Platinum or Pyreals. The spells on each were made to fit the area where they live and the drains had already existed on the Pyreals.

LoRox asks: How does this “rebalancing” (I want to say x/bow nerf instead) help the solitary hunter?
Orion: The experience you can earn over a given period of time has increased dramatically. The trade off is that as a solo hunter that has less than Uber skills you will need to hunt creatures that are closer to your level. You’ll still earn experience at a decent rate. If you provided more information on your stats I could elaborate more on this vein.
How it aides the solo player is by allowing them to have more survivability against creatures of levels closer to their own. Those creatures now provide a challenge but also have a much greater reward. Creatures that are about 15-20 levels above you and in some cases less will remain very difficult for you to kill but they will also yield more of a reward

Ivory asks: Did the balancing go as far as to modify creatures natural defence to damage type, whether physical or elemental? Do we need to invest some time investigating types of weapons for a while?
Orion: There was only one subset of creatures that saw a massive overhaul to their natural resistance. Those were the elementals. Any time that you should invest should be in feeling out the areas that are comfortable for your characters.

Og II asks: [compliments on changes followed by] Did I read somewhere that next patch would see some tweeking to the loot? Was not sure if I read that or not. Again, great job. If you guys still have a pizza fund, I want to buy a pizza or two. This is my 3rd year in AC and still loving it.
Orion: Thanks Og, and yes we are looking at loot but it’s going to rather localized to the creatures that are on the low end of the loot tree.

Shelendil asks: Just one thing:
My sword skill is approaching 480 buffed with an average bonus to attack on my sword, yet bane grievvers evade me almost 40-50%. They’re level 110 or 115, I can’t remember. I always thought grievvers were melee food; was this intended?
Also if executors are as hard to kill as some have indicated, that does sort of defeat the purpose of phantom weapons. Have yet to try one myself.
Orion: Grievvers have always been more or less archer food. The phantom weapons were meant to assist the main attack capability of your character.

Bunyun asks: [on Mutilators] They do need to be toned down a bit, I buff to 455 melee defense and have a 24% melee mod on my xbow, while I did not look at the ratio of hits to evade, they were hitting me far to often, I would say over 50% easily. I was also having trouble hitting them with my xbow at full accuracy, my buffed skill is 425.
Orion: I’ll keep watch on them but I am thinking that they are just the new breed…

Larios asks: [about melees versus Virindi Executors, compared to mages]Orion: Executors have never been archer/melee friendly.

Gregor of the Axe asks: I have noticed, however, that my crippling blow hammer, suddenly isn’t.
Pre patch, in a horde of Olthoi Warriors, I’d one shot about 1/3 of them (critting for 400 ish). I could count on this. Post patch, in 2.5 hours in the newest part of the arcade, I crushed maybe 5 thoi, out of all those nobles, evis, warriors and muts!
I thought this attribute was relative to MY skill, but I guess it is also influenced by one or more of their stats (which must have really shifted!)?
Orion: Nothing changed that should affect your crippling blow it might have just been bad luck.

Xinister.FF asks: Horripal (sp?) a level 26 or something hangs out with his pal in the 90+ to 100+ area.
Thrasher seems like no long using frost club, and that’s not good as they do more damage using frost clubs. 🙂 Can’t remember whether Enforcer casting frost vuln, thought.
Most of the mobs in north dire evades me about 50% of the time, and I think that’s about right, considering I am level 81 and they are 90-100.
I think there are waaaaaaaay too many olthoi warrior in the teth area. Mangler/Mauler are gone from that area too. 🙁
Orion: Horripals are afterthoughts of the creation of their larger cousins, just like flammas spawn from hellfires.
Thrasher will sometimes use different clubs now. They won’t always throw just frost. Enforcer still debuff for frost.
Manglers/Maulers are much lower level now, living happily in the mid-level areas.

Yek Yai asks: I actually on’t mind Mutilator’s insane attack skill and probably-AR attacks. (How else could they hit so hard?)
Orion: Those little mutilators are not armor rending. They are just damn tough.

Mad Wolf asks: A functioning Heart Seeker or some sort is most definately needed for missile weilders. Otherwise this is truly a “nerf” and not just a rebalance. this is much more severe than I orginally thought.
Orion: The accuracy bar is that heart seeker. It moves from no bonus at default to +50% at top end. Higher than any melee can achieve even through tinkering.

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