by Roy Cronacher on June 10, 2015
Welcome, Tyrians! I’m Roy Cronacher, and I’m here to tell you about changes to our combat systems that’ll be arriving alongside the new specializations. I’ve personally wanted these changes for a while, so I’m very excited to discuss them with you.
Currently, conditions don’t really play well with others. Right now, we have two types of conditions: duration stacking, which increases duration for each version of the condition applied (such as weakness); and intensity stacking, which adds a stack of that condition for each version of it that is applied (such as bleeding). Intensity stacking conditions are limited to 25 stacks, which isn’t very many considering how prevalent damaging conditions are in combat.
Now, these work okay in smaller combat scenarios, but even a single player can take up a full stack of a condition. This makes things frustrating for other players because they’re constantly fighting for room in this small stack size to deal their damage. Physical damage has no limitations on its damage output gated by those around you, so why should conditions? We’re aiming to alleviate that problem with the following changes.
That’s a Big Kittening Number
The first piece of the puzzle is stack size. Some professions allow players to reach the 25-stack cap by themselves, which leaves no room for other players to apply their stacks for that condition. If they could, it would override the existing stacks. Both scenarios are frustrating.
Luckily, this will be a thing of the past. Soon, each intensity-stacking damaging condition will stack to a much larger number. While I can’t reveal that number today because we’re still doing performance tests, let’s just say it’s large enough that you should never notice it while you’re playing, even during world boss fights. Essentially, there will be no more limit on damaging conditions. You’ll no longer be punished or punish others when you choose a playstyle that focuses on causing damage over time.
Condition removal will work just as it does now—using a skill that removes a condition will remove the entire stack of a condition, whether it’s two stacks of bleeding or four hundred stacks of bleeding. A player with four hundred stacks of bleeding would be a dead player, but you get my point.
Now That’s Some Intensity
You may be thinking, “Okay, that’s awesome for the intensity-stacking damaging conditions, but what about burning and poison?” Well, burning and poison will be intensity-stacking conditions as well. This lets us remove the limitations on any damage-dealing conditions so that you can always deal the damage you are trying to deliver no matter who’s attacking the target.
Since both of these conditions will stack intensity, their damage formulas will be adjusted to account for this. You can expect the damage per stack of these conditions to be lowered quite a bit, but we’ll keep the relative proportions consistent. For example, burning will still deliver the highest damage per tick. I’ll go into the formulas a little bit more below.
Poison will only stack its damaging portion on a foe. Once a stack of poison is applied, it will also apply the healing effect associated with it. Any further stacks of poison placed on that foe will only stack the damage portion of the condition.
A Worthy Split
We didn’t want to leave out the last damaging condition, confusion. Confusion is quite fickle. Currently, whenever a foe afflicted with confusion attacks, they take damage. In some combat situations, this is far too effective, such as against a very rapidly attacking character. In other cases, it performs very poorly, such as on a slowly attacking boss.
To make this damaging condition more reliable, we’ve changed what it does, splitting it into two effects. It will retain the damage on attack, but at a lesser amount than its previous version. That damage has been added back in the form of a damage-over-time effect.
When confusion is placed on an enemy, it will not just slowly drain their life over time but also damage them when they attack. This allows for a more consistent result, as some foes attack quickly but others only once every few seconds, wasting potential damage. We believe we’ve found a happy middle ground where confusion retains its original design intent but will be useful in more areas of the game.
Adjusting the Scaling
As mentioned above, we’re changing damage formulas a bit for the damaging conditions. Since you’ll be able to reliably deliver your condition damage with the upcoming changes, it felt necessary to look at the damage formulas themselves and how conditions scale.
Essentially, conditions are too effective right now without investing points into the condition-damage stat. We will significantly lower the base damage on damaging conditions while increasing how much they scale with the condition-damage stat. This means at lower levels of condition damage you can expect to do less damage than you currently do, while at higher values you’ll do even more damage than you are currently able to. The formulas are still being adjusted, but to give you an idea, the break-even point before you start doing more damage is around 700 condition damage.
The vulnerability condition increases damage done to the foe by 1% per stack, up to 25 stacks. I think condition-damage dealers feel a little left out by this condition, don’t you? Well, now vulnerability will increase both direct damage and condition damage taken by an afflicted foe.
As previously stated, we are only drastically increasing the stack cap for damaging conditions. The nondamaging conditions, such as vulnerability, will remain as they are since there is much tighter balance around their effects. As fun as 700 stacks of vulnerability would be, it might break a few things.
Let’s take a second and look at movement skills, which are skills that move your character between positions or toward your target, such as Savage Leap or Leap of Faith. Right now, these are affected by movement-speed decreases or increases. These skills are less effective when you’re crippled or chilled, making it so the skill does not perform as expected, preventing you from reaching the intended distance. On the other hand, using a movement skill with Super Speed will propel you much farther than we want.
In order to make these skills more reliable in combat and prevent unintended behavior, we’ve normalized them so that movement-speed increases or decreases do not impact the distance traveled by your character.
That was a lot to go over, but we hope these changes will help improve our combat systems and provide a better experience for all of you. This will all be coming soon alongside all of the core specialization and training updates, which we’ve been sharing via livestreams and in earlier blog posts by Jon Peters. See you all on the battlefield!