In this release, we have several noteworthy balance changes. Mainly, a revision of tiered abilities and certain tiered weapons/armor (a version of which was on public testing here), and the implementation of lower dungeon player caps that are now actually enforced, instead of being easily broken by entering a portal at once.
We realize balance changes can be cause for concern for players of all kinds, from casual beginners who are just getting familiar with the game’s systems, to veteran players who have optimized the game’s set of rules to routinely tackle endgame content. Because of this, we wanted to take the time to not just lay out the changes themselves, but explain the rationale behind them.
Tiered Item Changes
Let’s start with the equipment changes. There are three facets to this: Tiered ability rescaling, top tier weapon/armor rescaling, and drop rate/location changes.
Tiered Ability Rescaling
|Tier||Shot Damage||Total Damage||WIS|
|0||15-20 (17.5)||300-400 (350)||0|
|1||30-40 (35)||600-800 (700)||1|
|2||40-65 (52.5)||800-1300 (1050)||2|
|3||50-90 (70)||1000-1800 (1400)||3|
|4||60-115 (87.5)||1200-2300 (1750)||4|
|5||70-140 (105)||1400-2800 (2100)||5|
|6||80-165 (122.5)||1600-3300 (2450)||6|
In case you missed the public testing session, most tiered abilities have received adjustments to streamline the progression from T0 to T6 while maintaining balance at T6. With Oryx 3 on the horizon and the introduction of T7 abilities, T14 weapons, and T15 armors, the unusual history of T6 abilities became problematic. As you may already know, the majority of T6 abilities are statistical duplicates of T5s, with the very minor addition of +2 VIT and WIS (these bonuses have been replaced universally with +20 HP and +20 MP). If T7s were introduced while ignoring this, T6 would become a largely useless step.
Previous class ability rebalances, such as scepters and traps, have adjusted these over time, but several instances remained. We wanted to take this opportunity to make the step from T5 to T6 a meaningful step across the board, while correcting a handful of other minor inconsistencies along the way. Very few of these changes are drastic enough to have significant impact on your choice of ability (as T6 itself has remained almost entirely the same to keep them on the level UTs are balanced around), but this does make T5s a less desirable substitute.
Top Tier Weapon/Armor Rescaling
T13 Weapons and T14 Armor Revisions
T13 Robe: +55 MP, +4 ATT, +13 DEF, +6 WIS
T14 Robe: +60 MP, +4 ATT, +14 DEF, +7 WIS -> +65 MP, +5 ATT, +15 DEF, +7 WIS
T15 Robe: +65 MP, +4 ATT, +15 DEF, +7 WIS -> +75 MP, +6 ATT, +17 DEF, +8 WIS
T13 Leather: +17 DEF, +5 DEX
T14 Leather: +18 DEF, +5 DEX -> +19 DEF, +6 DEX
T15 Leather: +19 DEF, +5 DEX -> +21 DEF, +7 DEX
T13 Heavy: +24 DEF
T14 Heavy: +25 DEF -> +26 DEF
T15 Heavy: +26 DEF -> +28 DEF
* T12 Staff: 60-100 (80)
T13 Staff: 60-105 (82.5) -> 65-110 (87.5)
T14 Staff: 65-105 (85) -> 75-115 (95)
* T12 Wand: 95-140 (117.5)
T13 Wand: 100-140 (120) -> 105-145 (125)
T14 Wand: 100-145 (122.5) -> 110-155 (132.5)
* T12 Bow: 50-75 (62.5)
T13 Bow: 55-75 (65) -> 60-80 (70)
T14 Bow: 55-80 (67.5) -> 70-85 (77.5)
* T12 Dagger: 95-175 (135)
T13 Dagger: 95-180 (137.5) -> 110-190 (150)
T14 Dagger: 100-180 (140) -> 125-205 (165)
* T12 Sword: 220-275 (247.5)
T13 Sword: 225-280 (252.5) -> 235-290 (262.5)
T14 Sword: 230-285 (257.5) -> 250-305 (277.5)
* T12 Katana: 135-180 (157.5)
T13 Katana: 145-185 (165) -> 150-195 (172.5)
T14 Katana: 150-190 (170) -> 165-210 (187.5)
Armor of Nil: +21 DEF, -2 SPD -> +24 DEF -4 SPD
Ritual Robe: +10 DEF, +5 ATT, +15 WIS, +40 MP -> +12 DEF +5 ATT +15 WIS +50 MP
Breastplate of New Life: +160 HP, +12 DEF -> +160 HP, +14 DEF
All Non-HP/MP T6 Rings: +9 -> +10
Post-WC top weapons and armors now also share a bigger distinction from the previous tier. This is primarily done to make the next two tiers of tops have a more noticeable impact on your character, rather than being a very slight increment and merely greater bragging rights. This makes them more competitive with certain UTs (with a few endgame UT adjustments accordingly) and a desirable upgrade from the comparatively much more common WC tops, making them a better match of rarity vs. value.
WC tops have been removed from all sources except for the Wine Cellar itself and the Shatters.
Specifically, the removals are from the Woodland Labyrinth, Deadwater Docks, Crawling Depths, Ice Cave, and Lost Halls/Cultist Hideout/Void (though the Cultist Hideout maintains unbound rings as a drop). That last one may stick out. However, it should be noted that this also comes with a dramatic buff in the drop rates of T13 weapons and T14 armors from their respective sources. Many have been doubled and some even as much as tripled, in an effort to keep WC tops economically valuable within their level while ensuring the loot from endgame dungeons is more in line with what an endgame player is looking for.
Over 50 UTs have had their drop rates buffed from all sources. Specifically:
Orb of Sweet Demise
Wand of the Bulwark
Scepter of Fulmination
Wand of the Fallen
Orb of Aether
Recurring Terror Spell
Scepter of Devastation
Tome of Pain
Prism of Dancing Swords
Resurrected Warrior’s Armor
Leaf Dragon Hide Armor
Water Dragon Silk Robe
Fire Dragon Battle Armor
Wakizashi of Eastern Winds
Wakizashi of Crossing Fires
Skull of Endless Torment
Prism of Dire Instability
Sealed Crystal Skull
Penetrating Blast Spell
Fractured Gemstone Wakizashi
Star of Enlightenment
Bracer of the Guardian
The Twilight Gemstone
The Forgotten Crown
Sword of the Colossus
Breastplate of New Life
Staff of Unholy Sacrifice
Skull of Corrupted Souls
Bow of the Void
Quiver of the Shadows
Armor of Nil
These changes correct many historical inconsistencies, taking into account more factors such as the length a dungeon takes to complete on average (Shatters UTs in particular being a major example). These adjustments should result in a generally more rewarding experience across the game, with less “outlier whites” such as Bulwark feeling far rarer than they have a reason to be. This has also partially been done to balance out the effects of the new dungeon cap system, which will be mentioned a little later in this letter.
Lastly, potion drops in endgame dungeons (Lost Halls, the Nest, and both stages of the Abandoned Mineshaft) have been tweaked to create less guaranteed drops and avoid completely flooding large masses of players from all getting several potions. This has been done in the interest of making sure the maxing process does not become overly efficient to those who run these dungeons frequently and allow dungeons like the Ocean Trench and Tomb to remain viable, while also aiming to restore some trading value to such potions.
We realize this may be alarming to some who have become accustomed to large endgame “raids” with mass payouts. However, the changes are not as severe as you may fear. In fact, some of the rates have even been mildly buffed. This change is primarily to help moderate the influx of potions without stripping endgame dungeons of expected loot. So rather than a group of 10 players getting 20 potions and a group of 85 players getting nearly 200 potions cumulatively, the results are more likely to even out at a spot that rewards adequately, but without sending an extreme amount of potions into the overall game. This disproportion leads directly into the final significant change.
Dungeon Cap changed from 85 to 65 players.
Most experienced players are likely familiar with the player limit on dungeons, or more specifically, its ineffectiveness. Though a player limit has always existed on dungeons, it has historically been easily bypassed by simply entering a portal within the same few seconds. This has led to two major problems: Performance and balance.
On the technical side, fitting far more players onto a single map than expected creates problems. One of the most common sources of lag and other performance issues is having an overwhelming amount of players occupying the same limited space. While huge spaces like the realm are built for this, most dungeons are not.
From a gameplay perspective, the lack of real player caps also creates fundamental design problems. Even with scaling measures, virtually no content is built to be able to face off against 100+ players. Such huge mobs can make even the game’s toughest challenges much easier than intended, which ultimately makes for a less interesting and engaging gameplay experience over time.
We feel the game has a responsibility of both fun and stability, which is why we have fixed this long-lasting issue to properly cap dungeons. The default limit has now been placed at 65 for the time being, with a few exceptions based on previous limits (such as heroic dungeons being at 15, and alien wormholes at 25). For dungeons opened by keys, the host is also guaranteed a spot in the dungeon.
Note that the key opener’s spot is guaranteed for 25 seconds after the key is popped. After that time runs out, the slot expires and it can be filled by anyone that tries to enter the dungeon portal.
We understand that such changes may be worrying to some players, as this can indirectly result in higher difficulty for endgame content that can be handily steamrolled with larger groups, which will no longer be quite as possible. That said, we do believe that these are healthy changes in the interest of balance, long term gameplay enjoyment, and even trading viability.
We will be very closely watching the in-game impact these changes have, both in the immediate future and over some time as things settle and adapt. Some of these are certainly more impactful than others, and there will likely be some points of contention. We want to stress that none of these changes have been done without long, thorough consideration for the effects they will have. We hope that this letter has given you some insight on our rationale for such changes, and why we believe they are essential actions for the game’s future.
Fixed dye mask on the Dante Trickster of the Abyss Skin
Valentine’s Heart quest portrait and chat messages will no longer be displayed
Beer God is now permanent in the Realm
Deactivated Masks effects