UPDATE: There is a new thread that has more recent information on this topic.
Check it out here: https://www.ddo.com/forums/showthrea...eloper-Diary-1
(Edited based on player feedback.)
I wanted to jump in and talk about some upcoming changes we are working on.
We have been looking at player feedback and we wanted to make changes to the game to open up more templates and character types. We are currently fairly happy with the high end potential of casters and characters who wear no armor or light armor and use Evasion. These characters can kite and use magic to do fairly well in our content.
The characters that seem to be falling behind are the heavily armored characters. Part of the problem is that they can’t use Evasion, and part of the problem is that armor doesn’t really offer that much more armor class than robes or light armor. We have been discussing this a lot lately.
We don’t want to hurt Evasion builds. We would rather bring the mitigation of armor and shields to those levels. Our only caveat is we don’t want Evasion builds to be able to reach the highest levels of physical mitigation on top of their existing defenses.
Here are some of the changes we are considering.
Physical Resist Rating
The first change is to prepare Physical Resist Rating for use in the armor changes. The formula for the rating will change to the following formula, with the resulting multiplier applied to all physical damage.
150 / (150 + PRR)
This progression follows the current formula very closely out to 300 and then this formula is more generous at those higher end values.
As examples, a PRR of 50 would offer a damage multiplier of 0.75, a PRR of 100 would offer a damage multiplier of 0.6, and a PRR of 200 would offer a damage multiplier of 0.4285.
Magical Resist Rating
In addition, we are adding a new value called Magical Resist Rating. The formula for the rating will be the same as for PRR, with the resulting multiplier applied to all magical damage.
150 / (150 + PRR)
This new rating will apply to most non-physical damage sources including spells, elemental damage, poisons, lingering damage, and similar effects.
It is our intention that existing magical items that provide PRR would also provide MRR.
Armor and Ratings
Armor now has a base level of mitigation through these ratings. Unenchanted armor has Physical Resist Rating as part of its mitigation, and once armor has an enchantment of at least +1 value it also gains Magical Resist Rating.
The value armor depends on the class of the armor.
Robes or Outfits: No PRR, no MRR
Light Armor: 15 PRR, 15 MRR if armor has enchantments.
Medium Armor: 30 PRR, 30 MRR if armor has enchantments.
Heavy Armor: 45 PRR, 45 MRR if armor has enchantments.
Shields will give additional PRR and, if enchanted, MRR.
Light Shield: 5 PRR, 5 MRR if shield has enchantments.
Heavy Shield: 10 PRR, 10 MRR if shield has enchantments.
Tower Shield: 15 PRR, 15 MRR if shield has enchantments.
In addition, characters who are proficient with shields can also use the larger shields for defense against magical attacks that would normally require a Reflex saving throw. Instead of (or in addition to) using your Reflex saving throw to mitigate the damage you can deflect the damage off your shield. This is represented by increasing your Physical and Magical Resist Ratings against those types of attacks when using a shield. Note that you gain this additional mitigation whether you make your Reflex saving throw or not.
Physical and Magical Resist Rating multiplier against magical attacks that normally allow a Reflex saving throw.
Buckler: 1.0 (no additional mitigation)
Light Shield: 1.0 (no additional mitigation)
Heavy Shield: 2.0
Tower Shield: 2.0
This means that characters with heavier armor and/or heavy or tower shields have an alternate mitigation against large area of effect attacks to help them compete in high level content with characters who use Evasion.
As an example, let’s take the case of a character built today to use heavy armor and tower shield and maximize PRR. Assuming a character had a PPR rating of 200 previously they would have a damage multiplier of ~ .4370 to physical damage.
While this mitigation is decent, characters built this way tend to die quickly once effects like Fireballs and dragon’s breath are flying around the battlefield.
Under the new system they would have a PRR and MRR of 260 which would translate to a damage multiplier of .4285 for both physical and magical damage. Against area of effect attacks (magic requiring a Reflex saving throw) this would be increased to 520, which translates to .2238.
In this example, when the heavily armored and shielded character is hit by dragon’s breath for 500 damage it would be reduced by his/her enchanted armor and shield down to 112. Meanwhile characters in light or no armor could use Evasion to attempt to negate the damage entirely.
Resist Rating Caps and Evasion
In addition, there are new or changed caps on certain scores based on the armor you are wearing.
Note that Medium and Heavy armor will continue to negate the Evasion feat.
In addition, some shields will negate the Evasion feat.
Light Shield: None
Heavy Shield: No Evasion feat
Tower Shield: No Evasion feat
PRR and MRR Cap for armor (tentative, work in progress)
Robes or Outfit: -/100
Light Armor: -/200
Medium Armor: No cap
Heavy Armor: No cap
Note that we have designed this so characters cannot gain both Evasion and the shield bonus coupled with high levels of resistance rating. This is intentional. If you see a hole in our design that allows for this please warn us!
But DPS is terrible when using a shield!
We intend to give characters who use weapon and shield additional options.
~ The Stalwart Defender and the Sacred Defender will offer enhancement options as alternates to the shield based enhancements. The enhancements that current require shields will be changed into a multi-selector, with an additional option that requires medium or heavy armor.
~ The Paladin class has fallen behind beyond the second level so we plan to look at some more compelling reasons to advance in that class.
~ We plan to introduce two new trees for shield use. The Vanguard tree will be focused on DPS while using a weapon and shield. This DPS will come from a combination of weapon damage and shield bashes. The Shieldbearer tree will be a mitigation tree that will focus on heavy armor and shield. This will also offer ways to counter enemies with active mitigation such as stuns, knock downs, and the like. These trees would be available to Fighter, Paladin and perhaps even a new class that supported heavy armor and martial abilities.
What other changes do you plan?
~ The to hit values of creatures in Epic Elite content would be rebalanced so high Armor Class builds will have some mitigation.