The 2.5 Spell Rework has been a big one. We have been giving a lot of feedback through the comments in the 2.5 Spell Rework and 2.5 Update Patch notes threads, but I wanted to make a new thread to focus on a thorough evaluation of the main goals behind the Spell Rework and how well they have been addressed. The 2.5 Spell Rework post clearly describes the main problems that wanted to be fixed, so I will first analyse them, to then evaluate the solutions the devs have implemented and finally offer some suggestions of my own.
I wouldn’t say this was a big issue, but I do understand it. Some spells have better rarity-related effects and others better level-related effects. So, not only thematically, but even mechanically it would help being able to choose whether you want to upgrade and/or evolve the spell, instead of being force to do one to be able to do the other.
I completely agree, unless you got a lucky epic or legendary drop most of the duplicates were just nearly worthless.
To be honest, I had never thought it was particulary difficult to Upgrade and Evolve Spells. Maybe this is due to me focusing for a long time on just a few ones, so by the time I started to try other spells I have enough resources to get them at least to epic, which usually is good enough.
However, thinking objectively it is true that it could be considered to be difficult in the sense that it was not possible to upgrade and evolve more than just a few spells. Epic scrolls are quite scarce and being used for minions too makes this worse. Requiring spell glyphs made getting spells to legendary quite difficult indeed and we had to choose between evolving several spells to legendary or a few ones to mythic. Which was even worse due to the need of mythic relics that are also needed to upgrade gear. And better not to talk about leveling up a spell to lvl 50, spending 10 spell glyphs for a minimal effect…
So yes, I agree that regarding players being able to upgrade and evolve a lot of spells to be able to experiment and play with all of them, the previous system made it too difficult.
1) Separating Upgrading and Evolution through the Spellbook system
I find the Spellbook system a neat solution to separate Upgrading and Evolution. Now we no longer need to evolve a spell whose rarity-related effect isn’t needed, or can use a spell whose level-related effect we don’t like without having to bother about leveling it up.
However, it has raised a new issue, harming our ability to freely swap characters without penalty. I believe this issue is a more psychological than mechanical one. I highly doubt that most players who used different classes had a full 4x legendary or above spell set for each of them, so probably changing classes already did have a small decrease in power when having to use lower level spells. Even if using several high level generic spells, since the rarity is kept we are only losing a bit of the level-related effects which in a lot of cases (such as damage) is clearly unnoticeable. Psychologically, though, knowing that changing to a character with a lower level spellbook will make you weaker will probably make you reluctant to do so, even if the difference is low enough to not really matter, leaving a bad feeling.
So if we add the true decrease in secondary classes performance with the decrease enjoyment of playing them due to the psychological impact and the spellbooks not being class-dependent but character-dependent, I do believe this solution has generated a negative impact that should be evaluated.
2) Spell duplicates change into spell pages
The goal of not getting useless resources as spell duplicates has been reached. Now, all spell drops have a value. Good.
However, I wonder if you have realized something. At the beginnings of the game upgrading any item required duplicates of that item. This was then changed 2 years and half ago to a generic resource (relics) instead. This is the explanation from the 0.35 Patch update:
We had noticed that players were having difficulty acquiring the resources and duplicate items needed for upgrades and evolution; this problem was going to get worse as the game expands in the future, so we’ve made significant changes here. As a part of this, we have introduced a new system for evolution, with new resources (Relics)
However, you have just gone back 2 years and a half to require “duplicates” of a spell for evolving it! Worst still now that we have 152 different spells… How is it possible than nobody has seen this?
3) Upgrading spells through the spellbook
To upgrade the current spellbooks to a certain spell we require the same amount of shards and gold needed to previously upgrade 4 spells to that same level. I believe this is something great, that truly helps making upgrading spells easier as it was intended. At least until lvl 35, since from then on it gets trickier. Previously we needed 8 spell glyphs to be able to get 4 spells to lvl 45. Now we need 23 to get all of them. Does affecting all spells compensate the 3x increase in spell needed? Well, we 8 glyphs allows us to get the spellbook to lvl 41 which isn’t that bad and they aren’t need for evolving anymore… However, it is only for a single character, with all the related issues I have already mentioned previously.
The spellbook has also created another new issue, spell shards will be eventually worthless. Right now I have nearly 400k spell shards. However, the spell shard amount I would need to upgrade all my spellbooks to lvl 50 is just a bit less than 200k. That means that half of my spell shards and all the ones I get from now on will have 0 value. So you have solved one problem of worthless resources (spell duplicates) only to create a new one (spell shards).
Personally I like the spellbook and I do think it has made leveling up one character’s spells easier. Previously I would have never upgraded my spells to lvl 50, whereas now I do find it interesting to upgrade my main classes spellbook levels to lvl 50. However, players that liked to play with different classes using the same generic spells can find this worse. Therefore, even if I believe that the goal of making upgrading a spell easier has been reached, the new issues that has arisen needs to be addressed.
4) Evolving spells through spell pages
I believe this is the worst part of the Spell Rework, making evolving spells much more difficult than it was before and therefore making all the nice improvements of the update insignificant compared to the huge issue we have right now.
So, you make evolving be independent of upgrading. You change relics with spell pages. You said you wanted to make evolving a spell easier. Therefore, I assume that when calculating how many spell pages were needed to upgrade spells you did some quick math to make sure that it was easier than before, meaning that the effort/time needed to get the spell pages required for a certain rarity is less than the one needed to get the gold, spell shards and relics required for the same rarity before… Or maybe you didn’t, because it doesn’t even come close.
Before, you just needed to play “normally” to gather enough gold, spell shards and relics to evolve the spells. But now, spell pages for a certain spell can only be obtained through dedicated farming of its dungeon. So playing “normally”, forget about evolving your spells past uncommon rarity. Congratulations, you have just prevented casual players from evolving their spells.
Now, let’s see what happens with the players ready to farm dungeons. I will give some numbers. Last 2 days I have opened around 270 lvl 100 specific chests and I have gotten 213 spell pages for my spell (at mythic), meaning 0.79 pages per chest opened. That means that I would need 8,860 chests to get to ancient mythic. That means that if I kept playing as last two days (average of 11 hours and 135 chests each day ) I would need 66 days (over 2 months) of playing only at a certain dungeon to get my spell to ancient mythic. But let’s forget about us veteran players that already have most spells at a high rarity. I am ok with ancient mythic spells being a luxury.
Let’s try now a daily active players that dedicates a couple hours a day to specifically farm for a spell. I assume that you goal was helping this kind of players get a good amount of epic and legendary spells by the time they have been playing some months.
I will assume they can farm fast and can open around 20 chests. I will even use my own numbers taken from lvl 100 chests, to see the ceiling they can aspire to. According to my numbers they would get 16 spell pages every day. 3 days to get a spell to rare, 15 days to epic and 78 days to legendary… After 6 months playing they will either have 12 epic spells or a couple of legendary spells (and nothing else!)… And this is using my lvl 100 chest numbers, so the reality would probably be even worse. And don’t disregard this as me being unlucky or using a low sample size, every player is complaining of their ridiculously low spell page rate drop and most of them seem to be worse than mine.
The idea was great, the intention superb, but the execution… It has been just terrible. Right now you have made it even harder to evolve spells, so forget about the shifting your Spell Loadout around, new players won’t even be able to decently evolve their favorite 4 spells!
1) Do the math to match your goals
So you want to change the way spells are evolved and decide to go with spell pages. Now the big question comes: how many pages will be needed for each rarity? You decide that the spell drops will give a number of spell pages equal to the number needed to reach that rarity. And you also decide to keep the spell drop rate the same. It seems fair, but that was your biggest error, because then our ability to evolve our spells gets tied to the spell drop rate, which is… Terrible.
Why not trying to work out the numbers from your goal? You see, you have a clear goal: make upgrading and evolving spells easier. Great, let’s define it. Let’s say I want the average daily active player to be able to get 4 legendary spells and 10 epic spells with 2 months of playing so that they can play a bit with them. Now we estimate how many chests will they open daily, let’s say 20 chest as in my previous example, 1200 during the 2 months. The rest is easy, and it can be done in 3 different ways:
- Currently they will require a total of 7500 spell pages for that. That means they should be getting 6.25 relevant spell pages per chest (only counting the spells you really want to use). Since you know which are the spell drops rate in chests you just have to do calculations to determine how many spell pages should spell drops give on average and tweak the numbers from there.
- Currently you know what is the relevant average spell page drop on chests (let’s take my previous example of 0.79). Then that would mean you get 948 spell pages in those 2 months. Use this knowledge to make it so that this amount of spell pages can evolve 4 legendary spells and 10 epic spells.
- Keep the number of spell pages needed to evolve spells and gotten from chest spell drops, but tweak chest spell drops so that the average number of spell pages per chest goes up to 6.25.
Of course, the exact definition of the target player, how long they play, how many chest they get, how many evolved spells you want them to have in what time… All that is for you to decide. But once you have it, making sure your numbers allow reaching that goal should be relatively easy and even if reality then doesn’t exactly match the simulation, it should still be close enough to not be a big problem.
2) Increase spell pages/spell drops or decrease spell pages requirement
This is related to the previous one, but I wanted to emphasise how terrible the current numbers are and the need to improve them. Changing spell drops may be a problem, since it would require to change other drops and could lead to further issues, so I believe the key should be either increasing the number of spell pages obtained per spell drop or decrease the number of spell pages needed for evolution. I know this will mean that the number of spell pages obtained from a certain spell drop will be higher than the ones needed to get a spell to that rarity, but as long as the spell drops keep being so low it is necessary if you really want evolving spells to be easy.
This would surely help in reaching the goal of making evolving spells easier, but I am sure it wouldn’t be enough, because there is another really big issue that should be solved: my next suggestion.
3) Make spell pages universal
The evolution of the game has clearly shown a healthy trend to go from specific resources to universal ones. Why go back then? Specific spell pages only make everything more difficult, since it forces you to farm for you the spell pages you need instead of just getting them through everyday gameplay. Let’s take my previous example, with specific spell pages it means that those 20 daily chests have to be all from specific dungeon… Which then would force the player to focus solely on that for evolving the spell, adding the time of this farming to the time needed for playing (and enjoying) the rest of the content. Right now even my previous suggestion of color spell pages seems too weak.
Therefore, I strongly suggest to also make spell pages universal as part of the solution. Again, only part of it, because I am quite sure that as the previous suggestions just by itself it would still not be enough. All of them together, on the contrary, could very well solve the problem.
4) Increase the ability of Xione to craft pages
As it has already been discussed in another post by @00h00m, Xione currently gives very little help. This would be more a boost than a solution, but increasing the number of spell pages she can give us or the amount of spell dust she creates would surely help.
5) Give use to excess spell shards
Make it so that spell shards can be used for evolution too, maybe through Xione (converting spell shards to dust, for example)…I understand you don’t want players to have to decide between different uses for a single resource (although there are such cases, as scrolls and relics) but as I have said above a point is reached when further spell shards have no value at all. As with Xione, this is more a small help than a solution, but every bit counts.
The update had the potential to be great, some of the problems have been well solved… But the new spell evolution system has created a huge problem that in my opinion needs to be urgently addressed: the vast increase in difficulty of spell evolution. This clearly overshadows any other benefit from the update and requires a drastic improvement. It becomes even more critical when realizing that the most hurted are newer players, which can be quickly lose all their motivation if they find themselves unable to evolve their spells while enjoying the game, the only alternative being heavy joyless farming.
So, please devs, we really need something to be done as quickly as possible about this. I love the idea behind the Spell Reworks and I am sure that with the right execution it can be absolutely great and loved by the players. But right now it is just too tough on us.
We are really grateful that you changed your initial plans and including spell glyphs and T3 and T4 relics in the compensation. It really made us happy knowing that our feedback is being seriously considered and our worries addressed. Once again we ask you to listen to our concerns. We love the game and want it to be as enjoyable as possible. So we really hope this issue is resolved so that we can enjoy the 2.5 Spell Rework as you intended.
Thanks for hearing us out.