Before Thanksgiving week starts in full, I wanted to give you an update on our plan for the big DPS Review in December’s major patch (to coincide with Ghost Rider).
Some of you may remember, we had a very successful review of the defense system back in September. We changed the system to allow all heroes a fair chance of surviving in combat (assuming decent gear and a decent level of enemy awareness).
We’re going to do the same with, with a focus on DPS in December.
Our simple goal: The game needs to be fun for all heroes immediately. (Not just the reworked heroes with their increased DPS).**
With our recent reworks, we’ve found the game cannot be balanced around the new/reworked heroes and still be fun for the current heroes, so we’re taking the month of December to fix everyone’s DPS first, and then continue with the addition of new powers and other changes.
The process will be quite simple:
The end result won’t mean every hero does exactly the same damage in every situation, but it will be much closer than it is now, assuming a properly geared hero played with reasonable proficiency.
If you’ve been reading the Tuning Corner, you’ve seen some of the options we’ve been discussing and analyzing – all with the goal of closing the dps gap.
Some things likely to be fixed:
End Result: Once the tuning pass is complete for both heroes and enemies, the game will feel just as good for all heroes as it does right now for Spider-Man, Iron Man, etc.
This new testing sequence will also result in allowing us to consistently launch new heroes with top tier DPS in a consistent and effective manner.
Example: Gambit is tuned at an aggressive level compared to many heroes, but doesn't feel as strong as IM/SM/others because mob health is tuned too high to provide even a slight challenge to the Spider-Mans of the world. This December review will fix that type of problem and the adjustments will make guys like Gambit feel just as powerful as the SMs and IMs of the world. Not to mention Daredevil, Black Widow, Rocket Raccoon, Captain America, etc. All of them will feel like true heroes.
We’ll also be looking at the quality-of-life changes for each hero, to see how many we can fit into December alongside this overall DPS improvement pass. We take these directly from the Hero Review Questionairres whenever possible.
I’ll add more details about each area we're working on in the coming weeks. For those who are interested in the more detailed conversations on each topic, I encourage you to check out some of the excellent threads in the Tuning Corner.
I want to thank the players who in the Tuning Corner and other forum sections for their amazing assistance with this. Invaluable, to say the least.
Reserved for update after/during Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving Weekend Update:
Things are progressing steadily towards the big DPS review of patch 1.2.
We've identified a bunch of system improvements that are going to make the game even more fun for heroes, particularly those who haven't had their level 52 review yet.
Here's a preview of the first couple of pages of the patch notes, with things that we know for sure will be included:
Patch 2.1 Overview
The primary focus of Patch 2.1 (a.k.a Ghost Rider) is a full damage and systems review for each hero.
We all know that heroes with their level 52 review are much stronger and more fun than heroes without their level 52 review. Instead of waiting until all of the level 52 reviews are complete, the design team is working diligently to review every system, every hero and every power to bring everyone up to the fun level of the level 52 reworks immediately.
The goal is extremely simple: Every hero should be fun.
Along the way, we've identified several systems to improve, a couple of systems to add and a couple of systems to cut completely to make the game easier to understand, more rewarding and easier to balance for years to come. All of this is being done with help from the public via the Tuning Corner forum and with a group of the most active and thoughtful players nominated by all of us who play the game.
Full Damage Review
Every power has received a full damage review. The main focus was ensuring high-risk powers had appropriately high rewards. Many melee and short-range powers will receive a buff in their “time-to-kill” performance in patch 2.1 in addition to any power which scaled poorly or was undertuned.
Damage Power Scaling with Ranks and Level!
Hero powers now scale their damage on both power ranks and your hero’s level.
This means powers will naturally scale in a more rewarding, immediate manner, since gaining levels will determine a portion of your damage output. Rank 1 of a Level 1 power may still be somewhat viable at level 60, due to this change. This change smoothes the benefit that placing power points gives to damage powers, making every point rewarding.
Example: Psylocke’s “Psychic Knife” power might gain 200 base damage per rank in the power and 75 base damage for each level of your hero.
This resolves issues with higher level unlocked powers scaling in a weaker way than lower level powers. Players will be able to assign their power points more freely, without needing to factor in power unlock level and relative value of power points when choosing which powers they want to rank up. Intermediate and advanced players will note that this change alone will open up more build options for every hero.
These scaling improvements also extend to any power that provides simple stat-based ratings, such as Damage Rating or Defense Rating.
In addition, the maximum rank of a power is now strictly determined by your hero level, allowing you to put a large chunk of points into the power for those powers that unlock at higher levels.
Respecs and Retcons
Due to the changes to the powers system, all heroes will receive a free respec when patch 2.1 launches.
Because of the large increase in the number of viable hero builds after this patch, we’ll be providing an additional two free respec potion codes that players may redeem (in addition to the respec for every hero) and reducing the price of Retcon potions in the store throughout the December holiday period and into the new year.
Tooltips - Complete Pass
Literally every power tooltips has been updated in a variety of ways to make powers easier to understand and improve clarity. This should greatly assist players in quickly understanding the damage, scaling and utility that their powers offer.
Damage Multipliers, a.k.a. “Coefficients” Replaced!
Damage Rating now provides a consistent percent-based increase multiplier to all of your damage powers, rather than a flat amount of damage that is modified via a behind-the-scenes coefficient for each power.
This system allows powers to scale better with power points and is extremely easy to understand - players will be able to determine at a glance how much benefit they are gaining from Damage Rating by viewing their character sheet.
Several powers that previous increased outgoing damage by a percent now provide Damage Rating instead and are folded neatly into this system:
Black Panther - Panther God's Gift
Damage Vulnerability and Weaken Effects
One of the problems with the damage vulnerability system was that it created a scenario where the most efficient group, by far, was a group of 5 heroes with damage vulnerability. Five Cables never wanted a Daredevil in the group since all of their DPS would be reduced. This will change with patch 2.1 and group composition will have a much higher degree of freedom.
As of patch 2.1, Damage Vulnerability and Weaken effects have been converted to percent-based and will no longer stack (the most potent power will be applied if more than one is placed on a single target).
These effects have been normalized across heroes that have them attached to their powers, so that any hero who provides one of these debuffs does so in a manner that does not make another hero's obsolete.
Level 52 Reviews
Two heroes were significantly affected by some of the system changes in Patch 2.1 so we worked to give them a level 52 design review to ensure they ended up with multiple build options when the patch launches. These are Emma Frost and Ms. Marvel. More details and testing will be available in the coming weeks.
Many more changes are being considered and will be added based as time permits and testing allows.