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  1. #1
    2016, 2018 Player Council Member Ziindarax's Avatar
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    Default My General thoughts on the Enhancement Pass so far.. Critique and Suggestions

    After exploring some of the enhancements from the system so far, here are my thoughts, but please note that I've only tested Fighter and Artificers so far (and warforged). Fair warning, this is a bit of a wall of text, but it is hope that with this feedback, the disaster that is the current iteration of the enhancment pass might be reversed.

    First, the pro's based on what I've seen so far (so no one thinks that I am simply bashing it, although I do have a laundry list of qualms with the new system in it's current iteration):

    1) For the Kensai tree, I like how you've loaded many prestige-specific special attacks (in some ways, the Kensai tree is nearly like an epic destiny), and of all the trees I've checked out so far, it's the only one that feels the LEAST nerfed.

    2) Warforged - I definitely loved the tier 5 weapon attachment toggle/buff that adds +1W. This would make WF a bit more viable (although one must wonder if this trick works on handwraps, as that would make them THE top-damage dealers if this is the case) as melee under this new system.

    3) Battle Engineers - Allowing them to choose between endless fusilade or a haste boost is a nice touch. Additionally, the enhancements that mitigate speed penalties incurred from charging a rune arm are rather nice.

    4) No mandatory feat investments - this is arguably one of the strongest points of the new Enhancement Pass.


    Cons:

    1) Our characters feel weaker - Not gonna lie, I am not impressed with the implementation of the current system *at all*. Under the current system we have on the live servers, your characters become noticeably more powerful as they approach the level cap, but under the new system, the prestiges have become SEVERELY watered down.

    For example, on the live server, Stalwart defender receives a generous amount of boosts for defenses and agro-management, as well as nice stat boosts (in fact, by T3, your stance would have +6 to con and str - a major boost indeed). However, in the new system, you don't get all these nice perks - in fact, you have to pick and choose between three (two of them being threat generation and PRR), and for the stat boosts, you have to choose EITHER constitution OR strength. Basically, to achieve anywhere close to the same effect for a T3 Stalwart, you'd presumably have to max both the Stalwart and Defender of Siberys lines, but even then, you're only getting 2/3 of what the old system currently offers.

    As for battle engineer, it now requires 12 levels of artificer to achieve roughly the same benefit given by 6 levels of artificer. While the special boosts and what not that have been added to each tree are nice, they simply don't cut it.

    As, in the case of the casters, you've made them considerably weaker, while ALSO further limiting their scope of choice (as damage-oriented casters must now concentrate their stats on getting Spellcraft as high as possible, and even then, they still wouldn't get close to the same benefit offered by the current enhancement system that offer permanent boosts to a specific element/damage-type of magic).

    Put rather frankly, the new enhancement system is more nerf than fun, and - as it currently is - seems to be designed with "encouraging"/forcing team play in a manner consistant to just about every other mmo out there. Yes, DDO is technically an MMO and should be played as such, and yes, many builds that are out there today are strong enough to function as "Solo" builds, or builds that are quite simply massively powerful.

    However, these builds are what makes DDO so different from every other run-of-the-mill MMO out there that pigeonholes characters into specific roles while only offering the illusion of choice. The Enhancement pass in its current iteration a) shatters choice in its entirety, as multi-class characters are more greatly restricted in their options imo. And B) The pure classes suffer even more so because the prestiges (such as Stalwart Defender) that were once mighty have now been nerfed, and severely reduced in effectiveness - as stated above, you would have to multi-class into paladin and take the Defender of Siberys Tree in order to come close to what you once had as a "pure" Defender.

    2) Choice-slayer - Under the old system, it was "And/Or" (meaning you could have, for example, enhancements that raised both your will and your fortitude for a warforged), but under this new system so far, it's "you can have either this, or that, but not both". Also, supplying x (HP/Spellpower/etc.) per action point spent further restricts one's options. Especially if they're trying to build a character who can survive challenging content (a relatively easy feat in the current system as you are not forced [entirely anyways] to waste AP on junk enhancements just to get at the better enhancements).

    3) Reduction of Toughness Enhancements - 8-10 AP for 20 HP whereas before, you needed only 3 AP to achieve those same 20 HP (which further lends support to my argument in #1; you are taking more levels to get less HP, even with some classes giving 1 HP per action point spent, which again, supports argument #2 above). Some races/class prestiges do not even appear to receive a racial toughness line, which makes them squishier.

    4) Racial prestiges are largely non-existant for non-elves/half-elves - with the exception of certain new enhancements (such as weapon attachment for WF), the racial trees are largely more restricted versions of what is currently available on live. No Ravager, no Drow Wraiths, no WF Juggernaught/Re-forged. Elves and Half-elves still get to enjoy Arcane archer though.

    5) As another forumite posted elsewhere, it is largely a waste of personal AP to have enhancements that only benefit the Iron Defender's (and if the pattern continues, the wolf's as well) enhancements utilize the character's action points instead of their own.

    6 *but most certainly not least*) The Three-Tree Limit and class-level gating. Although this new system lets us have multiple-prestiges, I find it is rather restrictive for 12/6/2 builds that may still be feasible... Especially since many of the good enhancements from various classes that were previously accessible by spending the appropriate number of action points in general (and/or having the right feats), are now only accessible after taking some enhancements that are not as good (or even worthless in some cases).



    I would go on, but I've not tested the other classes' enhancement trees yet. Even so, I am noticing a startling trend none-the-less. Thus, here are my suggestions that I think would improve gameplay.

    Suggestions:

    1) The new enhancement system should, IMO, only really offer new enhancements in a cleaner, more user-friendly layout at the very least. Characters going into the new enhancement system should not be coming out weaker than they were prior to the change.

    Stalwart Defenders (and assuming Defender of Siberys should this trend continue) should remain as powerful as they are, with them becoming even MORE powerful for those who choose to remain "pure". That is to say a player who chooses to take a Stalwart Defender/Kensai WF to level 20 should enjoy greater DPS and/or Tanking abilities than say A Juggernaught Prime-of-the-Warforged-Build.

    For example, at specific levels, the Stalwart's Defensive stance should have benefits that are level gated. At levels 6-18, you'd get what you can currently get on live, but the difference is, if you choose to take level 20 (or even Epic Levels if the system should end up being revamped to offer epic class levels rather than the generic system we have in place now), then you'd get something like +8 competence to Con and Str, +30% health boost, +5 competence to all saves, +60% to AC, and so on... Basically, benefits that make you choose between versatility and raw power, while not feeling ultimately left out.

    You did a great job with Epic Destinies in that the character's raw power in epic levels was largely determined by their personal power, rather than their loot. This Enhancement Pass in its current phase essentially forces characters to become more reliant on loot rather than personal power or skill; while obtaining named loot should continue to be encouraged, and tangible benefits should come from having said loot, at no point in time should a character be so dependent upon said loot that they're effectively powerless without it.

    2) On the other side of the coin, multi-classing should continue to offer great benefits that make it worth sacrificing the benefits offered by remaining "pure". I.E. Evasion, UMD for self-sufficiency, traps, etc. Players should not be forced into specific roles like the new system seems to be doing (some, such as Rangers from what I'm hearing, have lost some measure of self-sufficiency, while others seem to be losing out on damage), nor should they be made to endure a system that basically neutralizes various playstyles (soloing including), while strongly gravitating toward others.

    In short, the system should be designed to revolve around choice, and total freedom, rather than having choice/freedom restricted by the current version of the Enhancement pass.

    3) On the subject of spell-power - As another player had also posted elsewhere in these forums, casters should have the power to choose which damage type they want to boost efficacy in. It should largely remain the same except in that they could be consolidated into the space of a single enhancement offering double what is currently on live (Spell power enhancements offer a roughly 10% boost per action point, so 2 per rank should give something like 20%).

    4) Teamwork, and the rewards thereof (please note, this is purely conjecture) - As I see it, the watering down/nerfing of just about every character class in some way, shape, or form revolves around either encouraging team play rather than solo-play.

    With Teamwork angle in play, rather than making individual builds so weak that they are unable to function as well (or even at all) on their own, offer better rewards for playing as a team. (E.G. going into a dungeon with a full party should offer a mild boost to experience and/or loot level, but not so great as to effectively punish solo-play so as to deminish the power of choice in playstyle.)


    In summary, although there are some good features with the new system, there are (in my opinion) mostly lemons designed to force teamwork. Granted, these changes (especially with spell-power) seem to be aimed at eliminating "god"-builds (most caster builds [especially Shiradi Casters], some ranged builds such as the Archer on Steroids, and to a small extent, certain melee builds like the Juggernaught) that can single-handedly annihilate every quest in the game, even on Epic elite, I think it is also important to remember that the point of any game is to HAVE FUN. I would even go as far as to say the following:

    1) The only enhancements that should be level-gated are those that are exceptionally powerful (like Stalwart Defender if it were implemented as I discussed above). Other than that, one's ability to access enhancements from various classes should be determined by total action points spent, and as far as the trees go, 5-trees would probably offer more variety than 3.

    2) In the case of multi-classes whose classes and/or prestiges possess great synergy (Rogue Mechanic and Artificer Battle Engineer. Monk and Arcane Archers), ability scores that are valued in both classes should be used to determine accessbility, and the points you've spent in one tree would count toward another only in considering one's ability to unlock an enhancement from said tree. That is to say, you're not going to get extra hp or what have you just because your synergies let you unlock those enhancements as though you had spent the sufficient AP; for determining spellpower/hp per AP spent in a tree, you would still need to spend actual AP in that tree.

    I will elaborate further later in the day (as it is now roughly 1 in the morning, need sleep). TY for reading this post.
    Last edited by Ziindarax; 04-12-2013 at 09:47 AM.
    Ziind Stargazer - Level 12 fighter/6 Barbarian/2 rogue Half-Orc (Neutral Good) - Formerly a level 20 Paladin Human - Orien

    Fernian Summer Carnival

  2. #2
    2016, 2018 Player Council Member Ziindarax's Avatar
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    To continue from my previous post...

    When I spoke of cross-class synergies enabling one to take enhancements in the prestiges/classes that are compatible, I meant to say that upon spending the required AP, one should be able to pick any enhancement at any level of the tree (just as we could with the current enhancement system). The only difference is that instead of starting at the very bottom, one could start in the "middle" if they met the requirements (Ability score requirement at most).


    3) Trim the fat from the enhancement system - There are entirely too many enhancements that are (as numerous other posters here have put it) junk; junk enhancements that do not contribute meaningfully to any build, and exist almost solely to waste your Action points.

    That being said, considering how expensive the new enhancements are per tier, each and EVERY enhancement needs to offer something MEANINGFUL. By meaningful, I mean better saves, better damage, better protection; if anything, characters should either match their current power level on live, or (preferably) exceed it using a system that makes a character capable of tackling tougher content without being so utterly dependent on the gear he/she loots (as the current system does).
    Ziind Stargazer - Level 12 fighter/6 Barbarian/2 rogue Half-Orc (Neutral Good) - Formerly a level 20 Paladin Human - Orien

    Fernian Summer Carnival

  3. #3
    Community Member BinyaminTsadik's Avatar
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    I like the idea of 3 trees but I would rather see the total points invested count towards ALL trees (vertically) for abilities that CAN be taken and the points that are actually spent in a SPECIFIC tree count for the inherent enhancements (horizontally) in that SPECIFIC tree.


    Total points spent unlock ALL trees vertically
    Points in a specific tree unlock a SPECIFIC tree horizontally.

  4. #4
    2015 DDO Players Council Seikojin's Avatar
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    I am thinking in the longer term of things, they will reduce per enhancement costs a bit, remove core ability costs, gate them via ap in tree req's, and count racial points towards class trees.

    The big stop they want is no MC being able to tier 5 in more than one tree per class. I agree witht hat hard limit.

    After looking over spell based enhancements here compared to live, I think they need some tweaking too. Which I will get into over the weekend I am sure.

    But I have a thread with my suggestions over http://forums.ddo.com/showthread.php?t=415263 and I am taking what others bring up into consideration for my suggestions, but the thread is there for suggestions to be put in a format everyone understands.

  5. #5
    Community Member kingfisher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seikojin View Post
    The big stop they want is no MC being able to tier 5 in more than one tree per class. I agree witht hat hard limit.
    no MC wants to have T5 in 2 trees, the MC's just want all of the low level goodness they get now, on live, from the low level class enhancements they have access to from their splashed classes. with turbines idiotic 3 tree limit an MC cant do this.

  6. #6
    Community Member Steven's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seikojin View Post
    I am thinking in the longer term of things, they will reduce per enhancement costs a bit, remove core ability costs, gate them via ap in tree req's, and count racial points towards class trees.
    This one of my biggest problems with the new tree is that AP's spent in the racial tree do not translate to the class tree and vice versa. Currently I don't have to pick between a racial trait and a class trait as long as I spent the AP's and have pre-req's. Separating the AP's spent between these two is maddening when I only want maybe 2 traits from the racial side but there all tier 4 and there is nothing under them that is a pre-req for the skills. I could live with the gate via ap in tree req's for class tree's
    Fizbin - "How does that knock spell go? Ohh yeah Fireball!"
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  7. #7
    Community Member Jay203's Avatar
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    my overall feel of how the system should have been
    http://forums.ddo.com/showthread.php?t=415424

    as for the usefulness and appropriateness of each individual enhancements when it comes to their effect and their placement in the tree... that's a different thing which i'll have to write up later on after we see everything
    PS: Greensteel RUINED the game! and you all know it!
    less buffing, more nerfing!!!
    to make it easier for those of you that wants to avoid me in game, all my characters are in "Bladesworn Mercenaries"

  8. #8
    2016, 2018 Player Council Member Ziindarax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steven View Post
    This one of my biggest problems with the new tree is that AP's spent in the racial tree do not translate to the class tree and vice versa. Currently I don't have to pick between a racial trait and a class trait as long as I spent the AP's and have pre-req's. Separating the AP's spent between these two is maddening when I only want maybe 2 traits from the racial side but there all tier 4 and there is nothing under them that is a pre-req for the skills. I could live with the gate via ap in tree req's for class tree's
    Which is why it needs to remain as a system utilizing total AP spent instead of on a "pre-tree" basis. Furthermore, I think Multi-class builds should be able to get up to tier 5 on more than one tree, and that there really shouldn't BE a three-tree limit (it's much too restricting).
    Ziind Stargazer - Level 12 fighter/6 Barbarian/2 rogue Half-Orc (Neutral Good) - Formerly a level 20 Paladin Human - Orien

    Fernian Summer Carnival

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