Not really balanced balance

We have a topic about lvl scaling and that easy mode is no longer easy, but there is more to that.

Update 0.38 balance changes:

  • Big Gems can only go past Level V (5) using Spells, Items, or abilities
    • Gems Level V (5) or above will now give a Gold bonus at the end of the battle (1% Gold Bonus Per Gem)
  • Hero Damage has been increased, and also Enemy damage to balance this out
    • Players level 25+ will notice a stronger Damage increase
    • We made this change to make it easier to do damage after removing the ability for Mana to be shared between Spells
  • Enemy Bosses and Mini-Bosses now receive the Stun Barrier status for a turn after recovering from Stun. Much like Barrier, this will block the next Stun and then disappear. A “Stun Resisted” effect will appear when the Stun is resisted

It is not balancing at all. With new Spell bonuses my damage did not really grew. I was already happy getting to Difficulty I in dungeons - and believe me advancing to higher difficulty level is very satisfying - when the patch hit and now I can sometimes finish them on Hard (lvl 50 compared to 55 on Difficulty I). It is sad.
Why is that?

  • mobs hit like trains;
  • getting spells ready is much slower if you use how called “spell bonuses” (even if I get my first spell already ready, and others still not charged - most mana will be going to the first one anyway)
  • because mana is shared - you hit less while collecting mana
  • the huge space between spells damage and skull damage is now even bigger - fights are more random - more skull on the board when you start - bigger change you will be able to advance to next mob
  • bosses with stun resist - on most bosses - if you do not k.o. boss in first 2 rounds - you are dead. That would be acceptable if the event weren’t bosses only…

As Sibelios said - this is wrong way to achieve balance. And spells are still very lame unfortunately.

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Well, technically it is balancing. That said, it’s not balancing that is favorable to most players from their perspective of 0.37 gameplay. In 0.38, the game was re-balanced around players having a higher gear score for a given experience level than what most players are generally geared to playing with.

The game is being balanced around a higher level of gear. Players are being expected to find a way to obtain these higher gear rarities and levels with the rebalance, and for some players that is a significant problem as they are significantly undergeared for their level.

The devs are countering most of the ways people are avoiding raising their gear score to complete content. Slower charging spells requires higher mana mastery scores to counter, which means high rarity matching elemental color gear. Stun resists means that the player has to be able to take a hit or two from time to time and cannot rely on 100% uptime on stun locks on bosses. That means again, higher rarity gear to grant high Armor and Resistance scores to allow that hit or two to be taken.

And if the results of these changes are players moving to hide behind whatever game mechanics are found to avoid raising gear scores, those mechanics are going to be next on the chopping block to be adjusted. Dwarven Necklaces, Savior Shields, and the Paladin Ultimate are likely sweating profusely right now, as general chat is pointing out to players to rely on Barriers as the effective method to deal with the increased damage in 0.38.

As I detailed in my “new player experience” post and just recently conversed about on another thread with @Kafka, I pushed my account along as much as possible to raise my Gear Score and it still proved challenging. I certainly was not purposefully undergeared.

I still don’t understand this idea that people are “avoiding” raising their Gear Score. Instead, I think most players are pushing their Gear Score along as high as possible but are resource limited due to the significant RNG of resources gained. Perhaps paying money is the answer, but if that’s the answer, then just say it. Players at mid-game (as I would define between Level 30 to 50+ some Citadel Levels) are assuredly not “avoiding” raising their Gear Score.

That’s then (0.37) and this is now (0.38). What was considered to not be undergeared in 0.37 is currently undergeared under the balancing parameters in place in 0.38.

Avoidance does not have to be an actively intentional action. Avoidance can be as simple as indirectly trying to not do something. If there is a simpler way to achieve a goal or objective, then a person will often avoid the more complicated path to that goal. In terms of the current situation, why level up gear (requiring much farming and/or shop purchases) when stunlocks and barriers exist? Tacet’s initial story mode clear video (posted on this very forum) from 0.34 is a perfect example of this concept in action.

It’s the fast route, for sure. Look at the new shop bundles purchasable for Crowns. The slow route is going to be running a set a gear through multiple runs of Story mode on different characters. That’s how I leveled up my gear all the way back in 0.34. Between those choices, most would probably choose the monetization route over the long farming route, IMO.

So these players should be effectively “priced out” of doing game content like Events until they do sufficient runthroughs to actually be able to survive the Events, game content by the way in which you are supposed to be able to gain resources to help you continue to develop your character.

That seems like a recipe for disaster, not success.

I thought we were talking about now. Even though stun locks and barriers are persistent, it’s principally because players cannot reach the gear levels required to do content, not because they have purposefully or even unintentionally decided not to do so. I just really don’t understand this idea you have of players starting in the last few months that are making their goal to not level gear.

With upgrade and evolution materials being so limited I think avoiding is more in the sense of delaying investing in equipment until absolutely necessary.

Your first character equips the best in slot for what they find, but it’s unlikely to be the right colour or the desirable set piece. Knowing how limited some of the crafting and evolution materials are I know I consciously held back fully levelling pieces of gear that I could see were clearly not great for either this character or even any of the other (as yet unplayed) classes.

That may have been influenced by me starting in 0.35 when evolution was not possible for lack of relics, and by 0.36 I had either a Rare or Epic for each slot.

I follow that, but often newer players don’t know what they are holding out for to begin with. My conversations with a number of new players indicates that they typically try to keep advancing gear even if its not optimal because they run into such a roadblock in advancing the story, even before 0.38. Even if they push their resources into gear to bring themselves to this arbitrary 1k Gear Score or even more, it’s likely inefficient and is being met with extraordinary challenge in content like Tier X Events.

I would not say it is avoiding.

  1. You do not really have resources to upgrade
  2. If you are new - then you try to learn the game first before you upgrade to not waste resources of something that won’t get you anywhere

And I do not think it is balanced. I am stuck at gear lvl 35. No chance to upgrade anything. How am I able to get relics? Where to get glyphs? I cannot raise my gear any further. And now not even able to do Difficulty I where I got a chest with my first glyph. Now it just got much much slower. Yes, maybe I will be able to get glyphs from events in few months or if I am lucky enough to drop something legendary…
And promoting barrier is also something that proves that this is not balanced. Why can’t I make heroic effort and stun skill combo over and over but you may have a barrier poping up?

That’s a different problem altogether than the shard issue.

Glyphs are balanced to favor the publisher and not the player.
Glyphs are a monetization mechanic. Options to obtain them for free are quite limited on purpose.

Glyphs can be obtained in the following ways:

  1. They are available in the shop daily, rotating in a set pattern weekly for Crowns.
  2. They can appear rarely as Daily Deal offers for Crowns, and very rarely for Gems.
  3. Two random Glpyhs are randomly rewarded per Campaign Pass upon reaching Premium Tier 29.
  4. One random Glyph can be purchased every Sunday for 1700 Gems.
  5. A Glyph can appear as a chest reward extremely rarely (Don’t ever plan on this happening).
  1. (New in 0.38) One random Glyph can be obtained in the Shop for 90 Diamond Marks.

So, without spending money, obtaining Glyphs are going to be a very slow process. This is on purpose to encourage players to buy them in the Shop, especially as a Legendary piece of anything is ~2.2x more powerful then the same piece at Epic rarity and the power jump is very noticeable.

Barrier is OP currently, and has been since the beginning of Early Access. It is a very powerful effect that is way too easy to obtain. Paladin can spam their Ultimate. Every class can spam Big gems to trigger the Dwarven Necklace once they start looping. Savior’s Shield, is somewhat balanced, as it requires the player to take a potentially large damage hit for a chance of triggering a barrier.

Regardless, IMO, Barrier needs a balancing pass in general.

The game mechanics need to be adjusted to make Barrier not the only way to clear content, not the other way around

5 Likes

Truth. But in the 7 mos I’ve been playing, they have consistently chosen to nerf the workaround instead of fixing the problem. Or some variation of that theme.

If you look at the game on 4/1, just the gameplay, ignoring the resource economy and monetization, and look at the game today, its barely even the same game. Its as if they had no initial idea what game they were going to make, and have been making it up as they go along.

That is weird, but not automatically terrible. It’s only terrible because they neither play the game enough to really understand they balance issues, nor do they listen to feedback. So each “balance” patch is a wild change that doesn’t fix anything and usually breaks several things.

IMHO they need to put the game back into a playable state for mid gamers first, asap. Then they need to concentrate on getting the in game economy where they want it. (I think they are probably close there, at least.) Only when the in game economy is in a finished state, can they make any kind of informed balance pass of anything.

This is the biggest issue right now. You can’t tout a change to Events and put a valuable resource behind the successful completion of said Events, and leave an entire block of players essentially unable to participate.

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Exactly. And it is ironically the people who need the resources most. I mean if you are doing x dungeons and events, you are kind of fine? Sure maybe you want to work on your other heroes and try some different gear combos. But still fine.

Those mid gamers are sort of stuck in a “I need stuff in order to do the thing that gives me stuff” scenario.