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  1. #1
    Executive Producer Severlin's Avatar
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    Default Armor Up - Developer Diary #2

    Greetings,

    To give insight to player about the changes involved with our Armor Up changes, Paladin buffs, and other balance changes we are writing a series of developer diaries to explain upcoming changes we have planned for the game.

    In the last developer diary we discussed Physical Resistance Rating, Magical Resistance Rating, Melee Power, Ranged Power, and the mitigation that our heavier armors and shields will now provide. If you haven't read through it you can check it out here:

    https://www.ddo.com/forums/showthrea...eloper-Diary-1


    With this post we go into more depth about:
    ~ Using Melee Power to scale epic characters.
    ~ Melee in epic and Master's Blitz.
    ~ Changes to Two Handed Weapon feats.
    ~ Changes to Shield feats.


    Melee Power, Epic Levels, and Epic Destinies
    Before we talk about Paladins, their potential changes, and how they scale with Melee Power we wanted to talk about epic levels and Epic Destinies. This discussion will explain how Melee Power is distributed into the epic levels and throughout the Epic Destinies.

    Currently on live an Epic Destiny power called Master's Blitz largely props up melee characters. Outside of some Druid builds that combine animal form with a convoluted combination of feats, enhancements and gear, most DPS heavy melee builds rely on Master's Blitz. To make things worse, there has been a great deal of player feedback indicating that Master's Blitz is also really annoying to use, to maintain, and to group with.

    As we move forward with the armor revamp, we are examining the effect of Master's Blitz on Epic play. Although we like the new armor systems and how they interact thus far, the whole design and interaction with Master’s Blitz is problematic. We don't want to nerf melees in epic content. Instead we want to redistribute some of that damage into the Epic levels and the cores of melee Epic Destinies while at the same time making Master's Blitz more fun.


    To summarize:

    ~ We hate the mechanic of spamming tactical powers 50 times to activate the power. Since the code doesn’t even require you to hit anything, this step is annoying and rather useless. We want to eliminate it.

    ~ We don’t like the group mechanic where melee has to try to convince other characters to not kill minions so they can build charges. We are discussing a system where this builds as the character hits opponents.

    ~ We don’t like that +250% damage is stacked into one tier 5 ability. Not only is this a poor leveling experience, but it overshadows the other melee oriented epic destinies.

    We want to move some of this damage into the epic levels and core abilities so melee characters gradually build damage as you level them.

    ~ We want some other melee epic destinies to offer competitive DPS.

    ~ The dodge bonus goes against heavy armor, and adding a 50% dodge bonus that caps at the dodge cap is not only less than ideal, but it is too limited for characters wearing heavy armor.

    ~ We want to reduce the group scaling of hit points of bosses. This will reduce the hit points of bosses when you group, particularly on epic.

    We want to roll some of the damage into the epic levels and the cores of the melee oriented Epic Destinies. In addition, with the changes to Master's Blitz, the ability will not only work better in groups but characters will be able to maintain the bonus of longer boss fights.

    The plan is to convert the damage bonus of Master's Blitz to Melee Power and to roll some of that power into the epic levels and core abilities. Epic levels will provide 40 Melee Power, Epic Destiny innate abilities will provide 30 Melee Power, and Master's Blitz will provide 100 Melee Power when it builds up a full head of steam.


    Here are our current changes for Master's Blitz and epic play for melee.

    ~ Master’s Blitz will be a multi-selector. You can choose the Dodge version which caps as it does today, or you can choose a version that adds 30 PRR and MRR as it builds up charges.

    ~ The requirement of spamming tactical abilities 50 times to activate the ability is removed.

    ~ When activated the ability builds as you hit enemies. You do not have to be the character who lands the killing blow. The rate that you build charges will be tweaked so it will build up at a decent rate.

    ~ Each epic level (from 21-28) will now provide a passive bonus of 5 Melee Power. This means that at level 28 characters will have an additional 40 Melee Power.

    ~ Legendary Dreadnaught will gain Melee Power in its innate abilities. Shrug Off Punishment, Action Hero, Unstoppable, Action Boost – Unmovable, Action Boost – Thick Skinned, and Combat Brute will each provide a passive and cumulative 5 Melee Power. This will provide an additional 30 Melee Power to characters when they complete the Epic Destiny.

    Master's Blitz will now build up to 100 Melee Power through charges.

    Note that with the Melee Power in epic levels, the melee power in the innate abilities, and Master's Blitz the character can build up to 250 Melee Power. That will provide a multiplier of 3.5 to weapon damage and effects that scale with Melee Power.

    ~ Shadowdancer also gains damage from its innate abilities. Shadow Training 1 through V and Shadow Mastery will each provide a passive and cumulative 5 Melee Power. This means Shadowdancer will gain 45 Melee Power from levels and 30 from innate abilities to keep it competitive.

    ~ Unyielding Sentinel also gains damage from its innate abilities. Vigor of Battle, Unbreakable, Stand Against the Tide, Stalwart Guardian, Heed No Pain, and Steadfast will each provide a passive and cumulative 5 Melee Power. This means Unyielding Sentinel will gain 45 Melee Power from levels and 30 from innate abilities to keep it competitive.

    ~ Primal Avatar also gains damage from its innate abilities. Strength of Spirit, Magic of Nature, Primal Travel, Mighty Amoung Spirits, Eternal Return, and Walk With Spirits will each provide a passive and cumulative 5 Melee Power. This means Primal Avatar will gain 45 Melee Power from levels and 30 from innate abilities to keep it competitive.

    ~ Fury of the Wild also gains damage from its innate abilities. Adrenaline, Brawn, Adrenaline II, Brawn II, Adrenaline III, and Adrenaline Overload will each provide a passive and cumulative 5 Melee Power. This means Fury of the Wild will gain 45 Melee Power from levels and 30 from innate abilities to keep it competitive.

    ~ Grandmaster of Flowers also gains damage from its innate abilities. Inner Focus, Centered Mind, Wholeness of Spirit, The Abiding Path, Ubiquity, and Balance in All Things will each provide a passive and cumulative 5 Melee Power. This means Grandmaster of Flowers will gain 45 Melee Power from levels and 30 from innate abilities to keep it competitive.

    ~ Divine Crusader also gains damage from its innate abilities. Just Cause, Aura of Purification, Extraordinary Virtue, No Remorse, Sword of Justice, and Zeal of the Righteousness will each provide a passive and cumulative 5 Melee Power. This means Divine Crusader will gain 45 Melee Power from levels and 30 from innate abilities to keep it competitive.

    As we test these changes we can tweak individual Epic Destinies by changing the Melee Power provided by their innate abilities. If any particular Epic Destiny is doing too much melee damage we can dial back the Melee Power in the innates of that destiny.

    What does this do for long term scaling? It means that we can change static abilities such as the Light damage that Paladins use to scale with Melee Power and increase substantially into the epic levels. As an example, the Knight of the Chalice ability Divine Light is fine in the earlier heroic levels but it is outscaled in the later levels.

    By making it scale with 200% Melee Power an epic character with even the base 70 Melee Power from levels and innate abilities will see an increase from 18d6 to an equivalent of 43d6 damage.

    This gives us long term tools to balance abilities.

    Melee Power, Two Handed Fighting feats, and Shield Feats
    To help further balance the system, some basic feats are being changed to add Melee Power as a passive bonus.

    Two Handed Fighting adds 10 Melee Power while wielding a two handed weapon.
    Improved Two Handed Fighting adds an additional 5 Melee Power while wielding a two handed weapon.
    Greater Two Handed Fighting adds an additional 5 Melee Power while wielding a two handed weapon.

    Shield Mastery adds 10 Melee Power while wielding a shield.
    Improved Shield Mastery adds an additional 5 Melee Power while wielding a shield.
    Improved Shield Bash adds an additional 5 Melee Power while wielding a shield.

    In the next developer diary we will be talking about some of the Paladin improvements, including Knight of the Chalice changes, the redesign of Vorpal Weapon, and the increase in the duration of Zeal.

    Sev~
    Last edited by Severlin; 08-01-2014 at 01:37 PM.

  2. #2
    Community Member Ovrad's Avatar
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    After reading the whole write-up, I have to say I agree with your reasoning (Yeah blitz is just annoying and too powerful currently). Thanks for explaining it all. Two-handed fighting and the shield mastery feats also needed a buff, no complain there.

    However, I'm not sure you got the scale right. +150% damage to all capped melees is an outrageous amount of damage. Can't we at least keep it to more reasonable levels? Say, half of that maybe?
    We want more Monster Manuals.

  3. #3
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    I understand the reasoning for the changes but I have a feeling the FOTM will swap back to melee heh.
    Not that this is a bad thing but the balancing of these seems to be really tough to handle.

  4. #4
    Community Member Firewall's Avatar
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    I see the overall balancing get out of hand with this change. I think so far the only balancing problems were with EE quests. Why take the problem into EH and EN as well?
    What is with out-of the box builds that for example use Divine Crusader for the damage bonus and +1 crit range with a ranged weapon? Will Divine Crusader also give a bonus to ranged damage or will we now have either melee or ranged useful ED's?

    And are there any news what you want to change concerning the player-percieved uselessness of AC in EE?
    Last edited by Firewall; 07-28-2014 at 06:26 PM.

  5. #5

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    I appreciate the writeup. Wrote on the other thread that I was not crazy about melee power, but now it makes more sense.
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  6. #6
    Community Member darthhento's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ovrad View Post
    After reading the whole write-up, I have to say I agree with your reasoning (Yeah blitz is just annoying and too powerful currently). Thanks for explaining it all. Two-handed fighting and the shield mastery feats also needed a buff, no complain there.

    However, I'm not sure you got the scale right. +150% damage to all capped melees is an outrageous amount of damage. Can't we at least keep it to more reasonable levels? Say, half of that maybe?
    This pretty much sums up my opinion, +150% damage to all capped melee puts pure caster damage even further behind.
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    Love it.

  8. #8
    Community Member wiliamsane's Avatar
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    well .. few questions:
    What about ranged power(many of these are used for ranged combat too) , two weapon fighting (with these changes and with swf around it will become weakest fighting style) Fatesinger and Shiradi (melees can use it too)
    Also about blitz: great idea to improve other destinies but with improvements to them - LD can end up with weaker epic moment .. from what i have read : you are nerfing it from 250 to 100 (fact).. it is thin ice and you can boost other destiny(and its epic moments) to be new "must have"

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firewall View Post
    I see the overall balancing get out of hand with this change. I think so far the only balancing problems were with EE quests. Why take the problem into EH and EN as well?
    What is with out-of the box builds that for example use Divine Crusader for the damage bonus and +1 crit range with a ranged weapon? Will Divine Crusader also give a bonus to ranged damage or will we now have either melee or ranged useful ED's?

    And are there any news what you want to change concerning the player-percieved uselessness of AC in EE?
    What would a ranged build in DC be losing here? Perhaps I didn't fully understand the change.

  10. #10
    2015 DDO Players Council Sebastrd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Severlin View Post
    Greetings,

    Awesomesauce

    Sev~
    I love it!
    Astreya the Unturning

    It's always a shame when the hammer of poor design choices smashes the fun of player tactical adaptation.

  11. #11
    Community Member bbqzor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Severlin View Post
    With this post we go into more depth about:
    ~ Using Melee Power to scale epic elite characters.
    ~ Melee in epic elite and Master's Blitz.
    ~ Changes to Two Handed Weapon feats.
    ~ Changes to Shield feats.
    - Melee power scaling EE characters is basically unmentioned. There was no talk about EE specifically and what the goal is here, other than "boss hp wont scale so high". Was there some kind of intent that after hitting cap and getting ee loot, this value would scale enough over previous levels (like say being 26 in eh gear) that it will meaningfully effect EE? Or just that overall dps will scale up better, making ee easier by proxy?

    - Melees in EE and Blitz. Again, you talk a ton about epic destinies, but not about epic elite. Which speaking of, its just too hard to say how those will play out from paper. Keeping blitz exactly how it is now (in terms of total damage modification) is fine. Bringing everything else up closer is somewhat fine... but it risks making other destinies which offer a lot of utility from being too good as now theyre not trading off as much damage for that utility, and it risks something like dreadnought becoming unappealing as its only draw is now that much less good. I have two very strong conclusions here:

    1) As part of this change, other destinies NEED some balancing in the T5/6 rows, as well as a REVIEW of their "epic moments". Without both of those things made in conjunction with the changeover, this is going to wind up with clear haves and have nots. Mark my words. You MUST review and balance the upper levels of each destiny.

    2) Playtest, playtest, playtest. You guys have a history of either NOT doing this, or UNDER doing this. There is no substitute for experience, and if it takes rewarding lama surveys with TP or something, fine whatever do it. Make the playtesting happen.

    I can tell you right now, something like Fury getting 150 melee power out of nowhere is a dangerous position. Some builds can use that very well. Some builds will hardly notice. Much of that hinges on the tree getting ANY kind of review at T5/6. It only has 1 T6 ability, the only destiny to be so light, and of the two T5 ones, one of them is almost impossible to use even on wis-caster types like it seems to be intended for. Point being, reviewing all that stuff HAS TO HAPPEN. Make it so.

    - Changes to 2hd ... are you still re-adding glances while moving? That is critical to know when evaluating this change. If glances while moving return, and melee power goes up, I think you are on to something here and support seeing this get to test.

    - Changes to shield feats ... as there was 1-2 shield PRE's announced, and the shield changes in the other thread, its a lot to grasp at once (some of which isnt even detailed yet). As with any package of changes, the overall effect is whats important, and thats almost impossible to say here. I will say that this potion is appealing, frequently because shield users suffer dps loss for thier choice, generally making it harder for them to do their job of generating threat (via dps) to hold agro and tank. So right motive here, but need the whole package to say for sure.

    Overall.... not sure if its a trap. It sounds like it could work, but again... history of shoddy, sloppy, incomplete follow through makes me feel like its a trap. The theory is sound enough to investigate further... but yea. The trap thing. Dont make it a trap. Akbar is already working overtime with all the useless/bugged/mislabeled stuff out there currently.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by bbqzor View Post
    - Melee power scaling EE characters is basically unmentioned. There was no talk about EE specifically and what the goal is here, other than "boss hp wont scale so high". Was there some kind of intent that after hitting cap and getting ee loot, this value would scale enough over previous levels (like say being 26 in eh gear) that it will meaningfully effect EE? Or just that overall dps will scale up better, making ee easier by proxy?

    - Melees in EE and Blitz. Again, you talk a ton about epic destinies, but not about epic elite. Which speaking of, its just too hard to say how those will play out from paper. Keeping blitz exactly how it is now (in terms of total damage modification) is fine. Bringing everything else up closer is somewhat fine... but it risks making other destinies which offer a lot of utility from being too good as now theyre not trading off as much damage for that utility, and it risks something like dreadnought becoming unappealing as its only draw is now that much less good. I have two very strong conclusions here:
    What this change ultimately does is open up different builds, without buffing current fotm builds. A bf centered Kensai in LD doesn't need anymore power. But a melee class in a different destiny is nowhere near as powerful currently. We're basically seeing the start of everything being buffed up to match fotm builds, instead of the smarter option of nerfing those fotm builds.

  13. #13
    Community Member HatsuharuZ's Avatar
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    While you are changing combat feats, Sev, would you mind taking a second look at the "Wild Fighting" feats? As it is now, your proposed changes to the shield fighting feat line could make me at least less likely to take wild fighting.

  14. #14
    Community Member Monkey_Archer's Avatar
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    Going to post my inital impressions/concerns first, and after some more thought I'll post something more in depth...

    +150% damage to all melee is absurd, but the general idea of increasing all melee power as they level is EXACTLY what should be done. I agree with the concept completely but I don't like making endgame even more of a joke then it already is.

    Will that +150% only apply to specific things like the new paladin light damage, or will it be applied to all effects (weapon effects, sneak attack damage, frenzy damage, venomed blades, etc..). Personally I think it should apply to all effects to keep scaling for all class abilities equal. That said, the number (especially if it boosts other effects) is way too high. Half that like what has already been suggested is a good target in my opinion.
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    Community Member OverlordOfRats's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wiliamsane View Post
    well .. few questions:
    What about ranged power(many of these are used for ranged combat too) , two weapon fighting (with these changes and with swf around it will become weakest fighting style) Fatesinger and Shiradi (melees can use it too)
    Also about blitz: great idea to improve other destinies but with improvements to them - LD can end up with weaker epic moment .. from what i have read : you are nerfing it from 250 to 100 (fact).. it is thin ice and you can boost other destiny(and its epic moments) to be new "must have"
    two weapon fighting (with these changes and with swf around it will become weakest fighting style) Fatesinger and Shiradi (melees can use it too)

    These would be my question.

    My Tempest ranger runs in Shiradi (maybe I'm doing it wrong) to help boost my bow when I use it and for healing.

  16. #16
    Executive Producer Severlin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ovrad View Post
    After reading the whole write-up, I have to say I agree with your reasoning (Yeah blitz is just annoying and too powerful currently). Thanks for explaining it all. Two-handed fighting and the shield mastery feats also needed a buff, no complain there.

    However, I'm not sure you got the scale right. +150% damage to all capped melees is an outrageous amount of damage. Can't we at least keep it to more reasonable levels? Say, half of that maybe?
    Top melees using Master's Blitz won't see any increase. These changes should just help off builds catch up a bit.

    Will that +150% only apply to specific things like the new paladin light damage, or will it be applied to all effects (weapon effects, sneak attack damage, frenzy damage, venomed blades, etc..). Personally I think it should apply to all effects to keep scaling for all class abilities equal. That said, the number (especially if it boosts other effects) is way too high. Half that like what has already been suggested is a good target in my opinion.
    The Paladin light damage will scale with Melee Power. We are looking at a timetable to adding Melee Power scaling to other abilities as we examine the balance of other classes and trees.

    Sev~

  17. #17
    Executive Producer Severlin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by darthhento View Post
    This pretty much sums up my opinion, +150% damage to all capped melee puts pure caster damage even further behind.
    The tops melee builds using Master's Blitz effectively won't actually see a DPS increase. These changes bring the builds lagging behind closer to the top melee builds.

    Sev~

  18. #18
    Community Member Grailhawk's Avatar
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    Does Melee Power interact with weapon proc effects such as Crippling Flame?

    How does Melee Power interact with Sneak Attack?

  19. #19
    Executive Producer Severlin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bbqzor View Post
    - There was no talk about EE specifically
    My apologies. I meant epic characters and inserted "elite" into the text because we've been talking about the grouping hit point bonuses to creatures in epic elite. I will fix it now.

    2) Playtest, playtest, playtest. You guys have a history of either NOT doing this, or UNDER doing this. There is no substitute for experience, and if it takes rewarding lama surveys with TP or something, fine whatever do it. Make the playtesting happen.
    We will try to get an initial round of changes on Lamania as early in the process as possible.

    Sev~

  20. #20
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    What about other effects that boost damage by a set percent? Chant of Power, Damage Boosts, Zeal of the Righteous, Adrenaline, etc. Will these be changed to add to Melee/Ranged Power?
    Last edited by gwonbush; 07-28-2014 at 07:07 PM.

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