Upcoming Gameplay Improvements

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MedianXL
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Original reddit post: http://redd.it/9rwxkr


The upcoming patch will bring a series of improvements to the gameplay experience. We felt like there were a few combat mechanics that are affecting the game more negatively than positively. Our main goal is to maintain a challenging aRPG experience without resorting to gimmicks, annoyances and mechanics which punish certain builds significantly more than others.

Removal of Monster Immunities



Gaming standards are not what they were 20 years ago, and for a good reason. There's nothing particularly exciting about building a character around a specific skill and encountering mobs that will receive no damage from your main attack, no matter your character strength.

Some builds struggled noticeably more than others from this feature, because they had less viable methods of dealing with it. This proved to be a big issue when trying to balance characters, especially casters vs weapon damage, and was further exacerbated by the improvement and diversification of the endgame levelling process. Since now you no longer chain farm only a single zone (cow level) without any immunities to progress.

You might argue that immunities were justified in order to promote skill-switching. This is true, but there's a much better way to accomplish this. Thus we came up with a new resistance mechanism:

  • Regular monsters previously immune to an element now take reduced damage from this element instead
  • Players cannot bypass this reduction through stats like enemy resistance reduction
  • Reduction amount varies with difficulty: 30%/50%/75% on Normal, Nightmare & Hell

This means skill-switching is still desirable since it will lead to better clear speed, especially when under-geared. We also greatly alleviate the situations where you don't have an alternative skill that's viable for that particular fight and allow all characters to better scale their power as they progress.




One Hit KnockOuts (1HKOs)



It's important to acknowledge the fact that 1HKOs will always be over-represented. Given a weak enough character against a strong enough monster, a 1HKO will happen. If we instead assume a strong character in that same situation is still being instantly killed, this is a problem. The first issue was mostly dealt with by making endgame quests accessible after level 100 only and stopping characters from getting to places they were not meant to be in yet.

Now, inherent-1HKOs do exist, and they can be a frustrating mechanic to play against. Instakills can be justified when there's enough clue for the character to play around it. But in many situations, the clues are not enough. Either due to lag, desync or visual clues being blocked by factors such as terrain, monsters or walls.

Note that such mechanics will still exist, especially at the highest difficulty levels of content, because they test player skill rather than gear. However, the presence of such mechanics has been greatly diminished and many endgame quests relying on inherent-1HKOs have been fully reworked. Two examples are the Death Projector and the Creature of Flame.




Monster Curses


There were a few monster debuff mechanisms that were simply obnoxious to play against:

  • Curses reducing player stats, glitching character equipment
  • Curses preventing character healing and using potions
  • Auras that disable the use of ranged skills and spells
  • Crippling-slow effects (miasma, spellbind)
  • Porkchops...

They are gone.




Purify and Open Wounds


A certain set of endgame quests require defeating enemies which are immune to all forms of damage apart from a special skill called Purify. These bosses are typically some of the least fun to play against, because they are heavily biased in favour of weapon damage characters, and especially ranged ones.

While we do like the variety in endgame content introduced by this mechanic we are also aware of its shortcomings and have taken several steps to improve the experience:

  • Open Wounds is no more. The main reason why casters were so much worse at this type of content. In the future we may bring this stat back as physical damage over time to diversify weapon build options
  • Purify damage has been significantly increased to compensate. Purify damage per second is now slightly higher than what full Open Wounds uptime used to be
  • Slow Target effect is now capped at 25% against bosses, which again makes the experience more equal between weapon damage and caster characters
  • Purify bosses will receive tweaks to make the encounters more dynamic and fun rather than prolonged and repetitive
Ruubel
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Enemy pierce gone - it means overhaul at shrines and affixes and crafting. I definitely like more "custom" builds - instead of "only efficient" endgame builds are with 2 maxed skills and some ybersecretraresacredsuper uniques.
Edited by Ruubel 2 weeks.
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Anonymous:
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Edited by Anonymous: 2 weeks.
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MedianXL wrote:
Removal of Monster Immunities



Gaming standards are not what they were 20 years ago, and for a good reason. There's nothing particularly exciting about building a character around a specific skill and encountering mobs that will receive no damage from your main attack, no matter your character strength.[/list]


I know what this calls for;

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Great changes!

Except maybe the part about curses. For the porkchop curse and so on, it's valid feedback, but I wonder about the miasma slow part. Isn't it also part of strategy to let the player get swarmed because he can't move fast enough? You can always counter this with Pax mystica after all. But honestly, I doubt that will matter much.

I'm really happy about adjusting the resistances though! It'll be interesting how that turns out in the end. I wonder, does a monster that was previously immune to cold for example, also have increased cold resistance that you can reduce in addition to the cold resistance multiplier that you can't reduce?
Let's say for example it has both 75% resistance and since it's in hell it has also a 75% reduction. Now you get yourself some nice 100% -enemy cold resist

If you'd do 100 cold damage with a spell, you end up with 6,25 daamge without -enemy cold resist and with 31,25 damage once you have 100% - enemy cold resist, which would increase your damage output by a stunning multiplier of 5!
Either way, - enemy resist will become especially important against the previously immune ones if you also raise their normal resistances, that's why I'm asking. Or am I completely misunderstanding something here?
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Magical. :shock:
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HechtHeftig wrote:I'm really happy about adjusting the resistances though! It'll be interesting how that turns out in the end. I wonder, does a monster that was previously immune to cold for example, also have increased cold resistance that you can reduce in addition to the cold resistance multiplier that you can't reduce?
Let's say for example it has both 75% resistance and since it's in hell it has also a 75% reduction. Now you get yourself some nice 100% -enemy cold resist

If you'd do 100 cold damage with a spell, you end up with 6,25 daamge without -enemy cold resist and with 31,25 damage once you have 100% - enemy cold resist, which would increase your damage output by a stunning multiplier of 5!
Either way, - enemy resist will become especially important against the previously immune ones if you also raise their normal resistances, that's why I'm asking. Or am I completely misunderstanding something here?


Monster resistances and "-enemy X resist" stats will still work as normal. The "resist" which replaced immunities is more akin to absorb, but without the heal mechanic. It's just a percentage reduction to all damage from that element at the end of the calculation.

So if a monster was previously immune to cold (e.g. Ice Clan) - now it will have 35% cold resistance on Hell (affected by pierce as usual) and will absorb 75% of all cold damage taken. So a 100 cold damage hit with 135% pierce would end up doing 50 damage (100*2/4).
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HechtHeftig
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suchbalance wrote:
HechtHeftig wrote:I'm really happy about adjusting the resistances though! It'll be interesting how that turns out in the end. I wonder, does a monster that was previously immune to cold for example, also have increased cold resistance that you can reduce in addition to the cold resistance multiplier that you can't reduce?
Let's say for example it has both 75% resistance and since it's in hell it has also a 75% reduction. Now you get yourself some nice 100% -enemy cold resist

If you'd do 100 cold damage with a spell, you end up with 6,25 daamge without -enemy cold resist and with 31,25 damage once you have 100% - enemy cold resist, which would increase your damage output by a stunning multiplier of 5!
Either way, - enemy resist will become especially important against the previously immune ones if you also raise their normal resistances, that's why I'm asking. Or am I completely misunderstanding something here?


Monster resistances and "-enemy X resist" stats will still work as normal. The "resist" which replaced immunities is more akin to absorb, but without the heal mechanic. It's just a percentage reduction to all damage from that element at the end of the calculation.

So if a monster was previously immune to cold (e.g. Ice Clan) - now it will have 35% cold resistance on Hell (affected by pierce as usual) and will absorb 75% of all cold damage taken. So a 100 cold damage hit with 135% pierce would end up doing 50 damage (100*2/4).


Awesome! Thanks for the confirmation!
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some/most of the hints i've seen so far about Sigma , including this post , are strongly indicating to me that Sigma might be some kind of Median-Easy_mode as most of the things that were pushing the player gaming skills and median knowledge to the limit are either getting removed or heavy toned down for the cost of making new players more comfortable . i very much hope that i am wrong

the changes are however very interesting
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The way I see things, the devs are trying to streamline the game as a whole so learning how to play isn't so overwhelming for first-time players. At the same time, they're reworking the end-game content to be more about player skill than gearchecks, frustrating instagibs, and esoteric knowledge of game mechanics. Definitely curious to see how all this works in practice, and what sort of surprises the devs have come up with.