PT: Bard Class and Tiered Item Changes


#41

That is going to make things pretty weird, but if it didn’t improve range, there would be no reason for the bard to use lute solo


#42

Don’t forget the leaning towards error over skill by removing offensive stats from T6 and adding defensive ones. The point of this game isn’t to stay alive, but to be rewarded for doing so. I’m having a hard time seeing how this is any less game breaking than pets tbph.
It also gave some indication on what your class was supposed to specialize at. This is basically giving up on that aspect and saying, ok everyone is a pet now :confused:


#43

Hopefully nobody will be playing much solo when Unity comes out. Every class wasn’t always a ‘solo’ class pre pets either, so perhaps that’s a good thing.
OK yeah the range buff is way too strong. You are basically a wizard, but better because now everybody else has mad range.


#44

Bard buff+St Abraham = What could go wrong?

I’m guessing because I’m not OG but if you brought enough mp pots on a rogue??


#45

Bard

My biggest issue with the Bard is the energized buff. Energized currently gives 20 mp/s which is equal to a level 86 magic heal pet or 325 wis. This is a crazy amount on top of pets which already make the game very easy. If OoC ever would come, this kind of ruins the effect of all magic heal nerfs since this effect is so powerful. I think Bard can be interesting enough with just the range buff and removing the energized effect, or otherwise nerfing the energized effect very significantly.

Further the bonus attack on lutes seems like an odd choice as bards are never really seen as an offensive class but more of a support class, maybe this could be changed to something else like speed, or maybe even some hp?


#46

this is super exciting but i worry about st value
when this update hits new tops will be about the same / better than sts
and newer tops will be way better than sts with many people investing enough life in sts
to max whole characters this seems like it might crash big value tradeing
also maybe you could consider makeing new tops tradable?


#47

After testing with these, I think you solved my initial doubts quite elegantly.

The Inspired buff increases range by up to 1.5x (50%) by raising the projectile speed. I would suggest to lower the projectile speed and raise lifetime of bullets, maybe a hybrid of ~22.5% for a total of 1.5x range would be better, for the following reason:

As it is now, weapons like the Blade of the Assailant or the Symbiotic Ripper lose their downside (slow shot speed), resulting in them being really overpowered (at the range they were intended for). By balancing this out with lifetime, you reduce this advantage, but instead buff weapons like the Void Blade or the Blade of Ages (lol). I think a balance between the two (shot speed / lifetime) is best.

This would however mean you’d have to think about weapons with wavy shots, since you don’t want to change the shot pattern. Maybe making the frequency scale down with bullet lifetime would be a good solution (i.e. if original frequency is 1, lifetime is 1, then after the buff frequency is 0.816 (1 / sqrt(1.5)) and the lifetime is ~1.22 (sqrt(1.5)). This would allow this range buff to affect items like Void Blade and Bulwark, and doesn’t make items like the Ripper as overpowered (though it really already is without the buff anyway).

Other issues to consider are projectile speed of the fastest weapons - take for instance the Deathless Crossbow - it has a 28 tile/s projectile speed as is. With the buff as it is now, this becomes 42 tiles per second. even at 60 fps, this would mean each frame it moves 0.7 tiles - the tiniest frame drop would make you shoot straight through enemies. In this specific case, the buff might be a detriment rather than being helpful.

As for stats, the Bard has the following maximum stats:

670 HP  385 MP
55 ATT  25 DEF
55 SPD  70 DEX
45 VIT  75 WIS

Taking into account tops (T6/T14), you end up at the following stats:

690 HP  470 MP
66 ATT  40 DEF
55 SPD  70 DEX
45 VIT  82 WIS

I think these are quite balanced.

With 75 wis, you have

These are without wearing any ring. 55 att sounds very low, but if you compare the DPS after gear with an Archer, you get the following:


The Bard outdamages an Archer with a void bow until 45 defense. Note that no ring was taken into account here, just tops.

I think the attack works pretty well. This makes sure it doesn’t get outclassed by Archer/Huntress completely, instead changing up their ability. The DPS (with the extra att) is comparable to Archer (and Huntress), if you take 6 att away though, they would fall behind quite a bit.

The defense difference between the two isn’t as large as some make it out to be (43 def for leather vs 40 def for robe, again without ring).

Bard ability
The tiers need some rebalancing.
T2 -> T3 adds 5 MP cost, 1 att and 1% fame bonus. Not the best tradeoff, maybe adding a .05x range increase would be nice. Similarly, T4 -> T5 adds 5 MP cost, 1 att and 1% fame bonus.

Incorrect, Energized gives 10 MP/s (I’ve tested this by creating a Bard on testing, it was unable to permabuff without pet. If energized gave 20 MP/s, permabuff would be possible with 20 wis).

This means that in order to perma buff (Range increase, Inspired), you’d need a pet with level 83 magic heal. In order to give permanent Energized, you’d need a pet with level 65 magic heal. This is assuming you’re using a tier 14 or 15 robe (+7 wis).

This would result in a maxed Bard being able to permanently be buffed with inspired at level 57 mheal. Not really something I’d be too happy with.

Conclusion
In conclusion, I have mixed thoughts about the Bard. On one hand, it allows for interesting new strategies, especially in smaller groups, on the other hand, this buff does make some weapons all but obsolete, if enough money is spent to get an ST item (not like this wasn’t the case before).

Balance is something which will have to be looked at for UT/ST items vs the new stats of T13/T14 and how inspired influences the balance. As it stands, with a 1.5x multiplier for range, melees have a huge edge. They were already the highest dps classes, if you also give them 5.25 range (with T6 lute), the already melee-heavy meta will likely only become more focused on melees.

Random other idea:
Now that an Inspired buff is part of the game, will there be a debuff which does the opposite? Imagine a boss fight where you’re forced into close quarters to deal damage. This would pretty much create a similar situation as O2’s dance phase, but with a different reason - you can stay outside but won’t be dealing damage. Maybe abilities could be affected as well, to make sure spells, scepters etc wouldn’t be too powerful in such an area.


#48

My bad, I was going of the value that was on the wiki assuming it was correct.


#49

Do we have any idea of a timescale for Unity? When are we thinking that this class and the changes will be out?


Tiers/tops: unfortunately it sounds like a bad and illogical powercreep approach to take, though not unexpected based on conversations in the past about tops that this would be the likely path the designers went down.

Better would be to curve the tiers so we get decreasing gains at the top end, instead of telescoping the tops to escalate away from the rest of the tiers. Escalating curve was what Kabam did with pets. It’s bad.

Consider: players will always grasp for the best item available regardless so there’s simply no need to stick more stats on the tops – we saw this in the WC tops days when desirability was out of proportion to the function gain (back when it was only +2vit/+2wis/+1ppfame) the prices were way higher – so making the tops escalate their stats by two tiers each time is totally unnecessary and a stupid powercreep approach, and leads only to the lower tiers becoming even more “trash items” in the playerbase’s eyes.

Even current LH tops will become “bad” because they are going to be two tiers worse than the O3 tops. Is there a plan to unsoulbind LH tops to make them at least worth picking up for their trade value?

And for balancing versus UTs (seeing many UTs being spoken about here), it’s easier to keep this under control if new tops are not adding large chunks on each time. Seriously the tops should be half a tier better, not two full tiers, and we would have so much more of an easier time of things all around.

Although the reduction in MP cost of T0 makes it not an absolute nerf, and lowlands enemies often die in 1-shot so DMG doesn’t really matter, eg. a newb wizard spellbombing. But changes to T0 should be done only with careful consideration as to how it would affect the new player experience. ie. ACTUALLY TEST IT WITH NEW PLAYERS not just our years-experienced views.

It is a little strange that this will nerf the T6s for those classes that use WISmod, in particular here sceptres requires an exact multiple of 10 to hit another target so every point is more precious than those classes where it’s straight scaled by WIS. But thematically it seems fine and the different stats on the abilities is I think a nice idea to differentiate the classes. Haven’t done a full think about this. @Martskart makes a good point about it doing the same thing as the class’s base stat caps.


Bard: nothing else to say that wasn’t said in the original testing for it. Altering range of other players is a silly concept, taking staff/wand beyond sight range (of non-hackers) is outright stupid, and the energised sounds like all you will want to do is permabuff like we see with Paladin, which is lacklustre. However, make Energise be the primary ability on all Lutes, and alter the range change to a SOLO effect, and it would be 10x better class idea; unique compared to archer/huntress in how it uses the bow, tactical choices for when to boost range for your own fight given your lower defensiveness vs arch/hunt (please ensure there is an appropriate cooldown to avoid permarangeboost).

Speaking after having seen how the XmasTree Energised thing from the baubles has come in recently, Energised seems appreciated a LOT more when you don’t have a strong pet. My NPE was always running to those xmas trees. So putting it on an ability is IMO a good thing for equalising low and high pet players a bit. Though it’s true that it will increase steamrolling, hopefully Unity’s kick in the gonads to hacker players will see a huge decrease of autoaim/ability DPS.


Reducing supply of tops/dungeons pots: this seems long overdue and maybe this can be done further down the tiers too. Like if a dungeon is only classed as standard tier for the Marks, maybe the boss loot should only go up to the 2% fame items? Etc.


#50

although you make good points with the rest of what you say I will have to point out that this statement is a little bit less thought out. In the plans and videos we’ve seen for unity all players will have a larger sight range in all direction it would seem with the screen going further and panning a bit in a direction if you mouse over to the edge that direction.


#51

That sounds even worse, and is exactly what is being attempted to avoid.
If the difference between endgame and end-endgame gear is a measly 2.5-5 points of damage, what’s even the point?
Sure, players did grasp for the barely-more-useful T6 items, but perhaps that was also because they were just really rare to come by, and thus some form of flexing your wealth/skill.
But that just isn’t enough to justify the miniscule difference gameplaywise; you feel a lot less incentivized to farm WCs if you’re content with your T11 wand, which has 2.5 less average damage. Increasing the gap doesn’t mean that the lower tiers will be regarded as less useful, but the top tiers will instead be seen as actual upgrades rather than just optionally being better - which is the intended purpose for tiered items.


#52

But are we, as players, every satisfied for almost good enough? Never, so long as we can get our hands on something better.

Back when hydra was the top tiered leather armor, it was worth far more than griff in trades, despite a measly +1 dex, +1% fame (buff hydra day 897 or whatever). And yet people were willing to shell out for it, because it was better. UBHP was the best tiered ring in the game until Ring of Decades came out with a mediocre +10 hp in comparison. Yet people farmed for and bought it.

A tiny increase in dps, in def or whatever else may seem too tiny to be worthwhile, but if that slight, slight edge makes something better than the main alternative, people will go for it.


#53

What I’m getting at is that that slight advantage - those 10 hit points, the 1 dex and %-point fame - aren’t supposed to be the item’s main draw.
Instead, it should be that they are noticably better in a way that fits their rarity - which it currently doesn’t. And while this doesn’t affect players’ desire to get them, it’s a pretty glaring flaw designwise. Why should an item that’s, say, twice as rare as its lower-tiered counterpart get an abysmal increase in stats?


#54

Honestly I’m not really a fan of range increase. I think it’s a good idea to have a little bit of it, but 1.5 times range is really way too strong. It creates a kind of effect where it’s useless in low level gameplay because it doesn’t last long enough, but it’s also broken in high level gameplay. The bard doesn’t match the support role bards have in most games because it lacks healing. The energize effect is OP but not for the bard because its ability is too situational.

Personally I think it could use a total rework, with the inspiration effect simply granting 1.2 times range, and then adding other effects to the lute, like maybe the healing effect to go with the energize effect and secure the bard as a hybrid support, healer, and DPS - as all bards should be.

Going with this format would also make it possible to get more interesting UT items - what if one UT gave berserk instead of healing? Or armored instead of inspiration and energize? I feel like the bard is just a bit out of place, being completely useless in some situations and overpowered in others.

But what do you think? You have a lot more experience than I do with the game. I haven’t done any high level dungeons yet, and I believe those would be the ones most affected by the inspiration effect.


#55

This fixes the problem with it instantly. It eliminates the balance problems for all other classes and reduces it to a balance problem with this one class, which is far easier to address. For one 50% range boost on bows is not quite as game breaking as it would be for staves and wands.

The class using robes instead of leather armour does most of the work of balancing, giving them def to match their improved range. The other change would be reduce their DPS to give them damage similar to a Priest – so e.g. a DBow with range 10 does no more DPS than a tiered wand (Priest not Sorc as they are a support class).


#56

Not really. It’s just because in a trading economy no item has an inherent ‘worth’ aside from the one you assign to it. The stuff you listed were all new items when they came out, and people had already stockpiled heaps of ‘old wealth’ as in UBHPs. Once they saw something that outclassed it, they figured it was better to store wealth. After a while everything becomes worthless because everyone has so much of it, but when something just comes out, it experiences a period where it’s value is inflated way past the better functionabillity’s worth. Basically it excites the market because it’s been in the game less time, therefore it is more ‘rare’ and more people who have a million lifes and a heccton of other valuable items.
tldr, new item come, people use big wealth buy because new, value go up


#57

So in the current system the tiered items are soft capped at a certain strength by lowering the power boost of higher tiers. This gives UTs a nice baseline. They should ideally be around the same strength, but have advantages in certain situations. The proposed system changes this soft cap to a linear system. This means that these will keep increasing in strength. UTs and st`s will now either have to become stronger too to be in line with the rising strength of the tiered items, or will be totally useless.
I fear that this linear system will set us of in a direction of strong powercreep, where only new content will be viable, and older stuff gets left in the dust.

I am also not a fan of the bard. The range increase will make endgame dungeons even more of a joke. LH will become even more of a stomp, with the increased range making every encounter even more safe (except for knights, that will now need to go in even deeper for stuns, potentially no longer being in range of the group bufs).
I also don`t feel like giving everyone in the group a free legendary mheal pet with to energize is a good idea. The extra mheal will be a massive increase in dps and survivability for the group. Currently this is limited due to the heavy focus on pet stasis, and the fact that few people in the group have high level pets.


#58

I can see the bard being a useful addition should the proposed Ic/Ooc (DECA please add this) changes be put in place, with the presence of the bard compensating for the reduced mheal of a player in the in-combat mode, and allowing the group to use their abilities more often. Furthermore, the added range could help players with reduced heal due to in-combat status to avoid damage; I foresee melees taking a bit of a hit should Ic/Ooc be implemented, so being at dagger range in certain bullet spam phases would help them not die due to poor heal. Or they could just git gud.

I cannot see bard in it’s current form being balanced in the current game, however. Many others have pointed out how melees are disproportionally aided by the range increase, so I will not address that further. Meanwhile, energized on top of pets… is a little overpowered. It’s one thing when your pet’s mheal is weak or nonexistent, but otherwise I only see this pushing group op-ness further. At least with the trees, the energized was inconsistent (you never know when one will spring up) and you had to be close to it. With bard, it will likely be constant buffing for the entire group.


#59

Ah, did not realise, or had forgotten, that was planned, thanks for the info!

@Seelpit it’s more than anything the massive dislike of powercreep, and this isn’t just placing an extra tier on top of what we already have for one increment, it’s the choice to raise LH tops to skip a tier, then placing O3 tops another two notches above, so at a stroke we have gone from:
WC tier T12/T13 - stays the same
LH tier T13/T14 - becomes equivalent to T14/T15
New O3 tier T14/T15 - is equivalent to T16/T17

Bit of a headscratcher that out of all the possibilities (eg. tops with solely more% fame, or FP, or faster projectiles, etc.) they want to voluntarily choose to powercreep and unbalance existing UTs, increase steamroll, obsolete the trading market even more and (maybe fearmongering) force players into running the same single boss (O3) again and again because that’s the sole source of the by-far best items. All to just make the new items really really desirable? A worthwhile trade off?

I mean they could even set the new O3 weapons at the current level of the current tops DPS, and recalibrate the tiers downwards so all lower tiers get slightly weaker.


In practice I’m not under any illusions, it’s not going to make a world of difference when we already have things like electric pets doing more damage than a maxed priest (lol). And personal DPS is fairly irrelevant unless you are soloing. TBH I’m more interested in what fame % it’ll have! (Ice reskins weapons already obsoleted LH tops for me due to this factor, despite the lower DPS).


#60

The Bard


Inspire

So range increase is quite controversal. But first of first, how bullets “work” needs to be revisited. For example, using staves like the Spirit Staff causes the “sweet spots” to be moved when Inspired. This could be considered a “grief” but I’ll get back to that in a second.
Situational-wise, its a rather neat tool, once groups understand when a Bard is most needed (example, perhaps during El Dorado to not be getting facetanked by its cursed shots.) The current 3 seconds on it seems like enough time for good bursts of extra space when a certain phase goes about. I’m not too worried about this one being super encroaching for 2 reasons:

  • The short time of the Inspire buff won’t probably warrant people to leave position during a boss fight. Say, something like Oryx 2’s dance phase. If a melee is already getting a good pattern, he most likely won’t be bothered to move away when a Bard comes about.
  • The current range of the Lute is 3. Now, most likely the Bard will be about 6-7 tiles away, more warranted he’s ready to use his ability. Unless you’ve got a ballsy bard, there’s not much reason to see him on the front lines, besides to dip in and give boosts. But even at that, refer to the previous point.

This is potentially overpowered, but most times to find a Bard in the front lines is a deathball, and there really doesn’t need to be much range on that.


Energize

Everything’s been said about this already, and to nerf the amount of MP it gives only reduces the reason to play Bard or just makes it so more Bards communicate to permabuff each other. This ability seems to be one layed out to prepare for the IC/OOC update, both for pet nerfs AND status reworks. If the current state of the game is to carry over to Unity, people would favor longer Inspire builds over Energize builds.