View Full Version : Reaper Difficulty Suggestions

04-24-2017, 03:23 PM
So, since we have this shiney new forum for reaper difficulty, why don't I go back over my suggestions for it and explain them.
In general, I like the changes that make reaper difficulty reaper, but I feel like some extra work could turn it from "somewhat better then normal difficulties" to "the cool/interesting endgame difficulties".

Reaper quest base XP adjusted to 20 + (4*Skull*Quest Level) from 50 + (3*Skull*Quest Level);

Currently reaper XP is skewed towards favoring low-level quests that are fast to complete at low skulls for farming reaper xp. While I believe running higher-skulls at level 30 is a viable alternative, the majority of the community has gravitated towards low level to a massive extent. These changes should incentivize higher skull and higher level quests for reaper xp, without significantly altering how fast people farm reaper xp and without removing running low-skull-low-level reaper as an option for farming rxp (since some people like it).

Tier-3 Champions in reaper have been beefed up with new abilities depending on the champion type; some examples are:
Flame Born - Shoots out highly damaging flame grenades at random, which land in red danger circles after a short travel time (about 1 second).
Beast Mark - Summons wolves, 1 per target on hate list, that attack each player. These wolves cannot be targeted with spells/attacks. Vanish when the champion or player dies.
Light Bearer - Any non good character (lawful good or neutral good) is stunned for 5 seconds. Good characters are not stunned when effect proc's but instead are stunned for .2 seconds any time they attack the light bearer champion.
Styxian - Drops everyone to 1 health and makes them immune to damage for 2 seconds.
Soulless - Players suffer the demon's chain debuff while the champ can see them; going into stealth with a high enough stealth-score to be hidden removes this debuff, as does killing the champion.
Stoneguard - Reflects missiles from the front.

We have all these different types of champions, but to some extent they all feel sort of same-y. Tier 1 champions don't feel too different then tier 3 champions and many different types of champions feel samey (light bearer and heroic soul are pretty much the same for example) and the same strategy pretty much works on them all: kite and focus the champ first. But reaper is supposed to be the difficulty where you have to adapt your tactics to the situation and champions are a method that it switches up a quest so you have to adapt through different run throughs. So why not give the tier-3, top tier uber champions vastly different abilities which force the party to change their play style to deal with it?

This proposed Styxian forces players to heal quickly, light bearer forces the good characters to defend/protect their allies or cleanse the debuff on their allies, while the good characters are sub-optimal for killing it verses the rest of the party. Beast mark forces tanking/kiting while the champ is being killed. Flame-born champions incentivize staying mobile while fighting. Soulless incentivizes combat-styles that stay stationary while fighting. Stone-guard incentivizes flanking and melee. Other champions could incentivize other aspects of teamwork, reactions or variety.

Reapers are now untargetable for the first 5 seconds after they spawn and will disappear after existing for 15 seconds. Additionally, reapers are changed in the following ways:
Plague reapers: Changed to a chaotic-good aberration; Additionally they now have an aura that has a chance to knock down players who cast spells while within it (fear reaper range)
Famine reapers: Changed to a lawful-evil demon: have an aura that gives all players in range -50% heal amp and destroys all temporary health.
Carnage reapers: Changed to a chaotic-evil undead: give all enemies in their aura thorns (melee and ranged attacks against a mob with this buff deals 1 damage per quest level to the attacker).
Fear reapers: Changed to a lawful-good outsider: Aura damage scales better so that it's not as punishing at low levels and trivial at high levels.

Right now reapers are pretty binary. Either you focus them down and kill them very quickly, or they tend to kill the party very quickly. While this is good and all, there are 4 types of reapers and the strategy is only slightly different for the 4 of them. In a good party, all reapers shouldn't live long enough to tell the difference. This also happens to prioritize dps or insta-removes over tanking, healing, stealth or any other such mechanics.

The proposed changes forces the party to deal with the reapers debuffs and adapt their tactics to the type(s) of reapers in the fight. They also give incentive to focus down the reaper (10 less seconds of reaper there with the aura) while being less punishing to low dps parties who can't focus it down effectively, and less punishing when a reaper pops up in a spot which cannot be reached by the party (maximum punishment is 15 seconds). It also gives the reapers a variety of defenses/weaknesses (based on their new alightment/race) instead of all reapers being samey in tactics to deal with them. If reapers are the 1 mob that spawn in all quests, might as well make them interesting, unique and force the party to adapt to them in different ways.

Orange and Red named bosses now gain 10% movespeed in reaper, and an additional 20% movespeed when below 50% health. Red named bosses spawn a reaper when they drop below 75% health, a second reaper when they drop below 50% and a third when they drop below 25% health.

Current high-level reaper heavily favors ranged classes who can kite and rarely take any damage because they're faster then the mobs. At least some mobs should be fast enough to catch them and even the playing field a bit, and this being the job of orange/red names makes sense. It might have some interesting mechanics where the ranged actually has to communicate with the tank when they're going to furyshot so the tank needs to re-agro.

Melee enemies in reaper no longer gain a damage bonus based on skulls, instead they gain an equivalent % double strike chance as they would have damage bonus. This double strike can go above 100% to allow a third or fourth attack with a single attack animation. (Each attack in the doublestrike/triplestrike is rolled to hit separately)

Currently players can achieve a very high rate of not being hit, when combined with low-enemy attack-speeds that we have in the game, this leads to players being very strong against the content. So traditionally the devs have increased the damage of that rare hit the players take, until that 1 hit often kills the players unless they're dedicated tanks. While this does provide some artificial difficulty, it's not fun and not interactive; there's no chance to heal/be healed or back off when you're getting low or anything like that at such difficulties.

With this proposed change, mobs no longer hit 4x harder due to artificial difficulty, but instead hit 4x more often due to artificial difficulty. This mathematically works out to less damage spikes that suddenly kill a player, and much more common small hits which might do 1/4 of the player's health; which in tern gives the healers a much more active/interesting role in the party (needed more often, job is more likely to save someone) and gives the player who's taking lots of damage a chance to back off, hit a defensive clicky or whatever they need to do to react to the damage.

While this sounds like it might actually make reaper easier (players can react zomg! not hard enough!), may of the other proposals above will make reaper harder, so it should balance out and in the end not make reaper any easier/harder, but instead more a difficulty that the players can react/adapt to the situation to survive.