Project Gorgon Thread: Update Notes: February 20, 2019
Update Notes: February 20, 2019
Welcome to another large Project: Gorgon patch! This is a dense update with a lot of moving parts, including balance changes, new powers and abilities, and a large new dungeon. And these are some really long update notes… so let’s get to it!
This update includes a new solo-oriented dungeon, the Rahu Sewers. This dungeon hides many secrets and is home to new types of level 60 creatures. Some of these monsters pose new challenges to overcome, and the dungeon itself holds various tools to help you overcome them. (Along with the many tools that already exist in the game!)
The sewer is balanced around players who have decent level 50-55 equipment. We know that it can be difficult for solo players to get gear in the level 50-55 range — that’s something we’ll be working on in a future update! If you don’t feel that your equipment is up to par, you might consider some pick-up duoing with another player in the short term. (And remember: being in a group boosts the XP you both earn, too!)
While the dungeon is intended for solo (or duo) play, there are also a few Boss monsters tucked away as challenges for pick-up groups. They aren’t pushovers, though. If you run into a boss warning screen, don’t get complacent: the boss curses here are real!
A few NPCs in Rahu have favors connected to the sewer, although you need to meet certain requirements before those favors are accessible.
Game Balancing Changes
There are quite a lot of changes in this update that touch on high-level game balance and underlying damage formulas. This section gets really dense, so feel free to skip ahead if your eyes start to glaze over. (If you do skip ahead, just remember: There may be bugs. If it seems weird, report it!)
We want to get you up and running with these changes quickly in order to help us gather data and feedback, and to find the less obvious bugs. So for the next week(-ish), transmutation tables will not consume enhancement points when you transmute an item. This will give you a chance to re-configure your equipment a bit more quickly and easily.
In conjunction with these changes, we’ve also reduced the health of all Elite/Boss monsters by 12% to 30% (depending on the level and tier of Elite/Boss). This adjustment is really just an initial estimate on our part, though; there have been a large number of combat changes, so it’s difficult to predict how much damage player groups will be able to deal at top level. This is one of the areas where we’ll be gathering feedback, and we will buff or nerf monsters as needed.
Percentage-Damage Treasure Rebalance
Treasure effects that boost a specific ability by a percentage (such as “Finishing Blow Damage +25%”) are now a bit weaker. A typical ability that had two percentage-based treasure buffs will be reduced in damage by about 8%. But it’s difficult to talk about a “typical ability” in this game! The exact impact will depend entirely on what treasure buffs you use. (And the other combat changes described below will affect it further.)
To give a feel for what this change means, here are some examples from the Sword skill. Other skills have changed in a similar fashion. (Note that the numbers used here are for level 80 treasure effects, which cannot yet be found in-game. That’s the worst case scenario, so the actual change for you will be a bit less than you see here.)
Example changes from level 80 Sword treasure:
- “Debilitating Blow Damage +66%” => “Debilitating Blow Damage +55%”
- “Decapitate Damage +55%” => “Decapitate Damage +47.50%”
- “Finishing Blow Damage +53%” => “Finishing Blow Damage +44%”
- “Flashing Strike and Hacking Blade Damage +33%” => “Flashing Strike and Hacking Blade Damage +29%”
- “Parry and Riposte Damage +54%” => “Parry and Riposte Damage +49%”
- “Precision Pierce deals +188% damage but its reuse timer is increased +4 seconds” => “Precision Pierce deals +145% damage but its reuse timer is increased +3 seconds”
- “Parry and Riposte Damage +24% and Power Cost -8” => “Parry and Riposte Damage +20% and Power Cost -8”
Damage-Type Calculation Changes
This update also changes how damage-type-specific buffs are calculated. Previously, these were added very late in the calculation process. This meant that a flat damage-type buff such as “Slashing Damage +5” would indeed add 5 to the damage, but the +5 wouldn’t get multiplied in with other ability multipliers. This is different from most flat bonuses which are added in before multiplicative bonuses. On the other hand, percentage damage-type buffs such as “Slashing Damage +10%” benefitted from this setup, because they were a separate multiplier piled on top of everything else.
Damage-type-specific buffs are now calculated exactly the same way as other buffs: flat boosts are added to the ability’s damage first, then all multiplicative boosts are added together before multiplying by the flat amount. This means that flat damage-type boosts (“Slashing Damage +5”) are more effective, since other ability multipliers now include them. But percentage damage-type buffs (“Slashing Damage +10%”) are weaker because that percentage buff is now lumped in with other percentage-damage buffs.
Whether this is a “nerf” or a “buff” depends on the particular treasure and abilities you use. Treasure like “Double Hit causes your next attack to deal +100 damage if it is a Crushing attack” is more potent, but treasure like “Piercing Damage +16% when Animal Handling Skill Active” is weaker. We didn’t make this change specifically to nerf or buff anything — we changed it so that it’d be easier to understand and remember, for both players and developers! (In fact, many of the existing treasure effects were designed with the assumption that it worked this way already, because we’d misremembered how damage-type calculations worked. Hence the programmer mantra: “Having fewer special cases is better!”)
We’ve made some changes to specific abilities and skills as a result of this change — as described in the lengthy notes below — and we will make additional revisions in future updates as necessary.
Base Damage Changes
Base Damage Multipliers are one of the few special cases we intend to keep around. Base Damage Multipliers increase your ability’s damage, but they aren’t supposed to be multiplied by anything else. In theory, if your Sword attack does 100 damage and you have “Sword Base Damage +10%” treasure, the treasure should never add more than 10 damage, no matter what other bonuses you may have. But due to the way the game engine worked, some bonuses multiplied the base damage: damage-type bonuses (such as “Fire Damage +5%” equipment) and damage-type vulnerabilities (such as when monsters are inherently weak to fire).
Since we were fixing damage-type calculations, this seemed the best time to also fix the base-damage calculations. Now, Base Damage Multipliers will no longer get multiplied by anything else. (Theoretically — bugs are always possible! Did we mention that you should report any bugs you see?)
There’s an upside to this change: every combat skill except Animal Handling has a treasure effect that boosts base damage for that skill. For Sword skill, this is “Sword Base Damage +26%”, for Unarmed it’s “Unarmed Base Damage +26%”, etc. These effects needed a bit of a boost, but the system change needed to happen first. Now that that’s done, these treasure effects can scale up:
- All combat skills: Highest tier of “Skill Base Damage +X%” changed from +26% base damage to +40% base damage.
We intend to use Base Damage in more interesting ways in the future.
(A note on terminology: there used to be a related concept called “Base Damage Bonuses”, which were flat bonuses such as “Sword Base Damage +5”. These bonuses would get added to damage after certain other multipliers were already applied. We removed this special case several updates ago. Those bonuses are now just regular bonuses, like “Sword Damage +5”. They get added in with all other flat bonuses first, before any multipliers. This change was made a while ago, but some treasure effects still used the old labels. We’ve cleaned up the game’s terminology to be more consistent.)
Ability Damage Formula Recap
As of now, here’s how ability damage is calculated:
- Start with ability’s base damage.
- Add all additive (a/k/a “flat”) damage buffs (universal damage boosts, skill-specific boosts, damage-type-specific boosts, boosts just for Kicks or Bombs, etc.).
- Now sum together all percentage buffs (universal multipliers, damage-type-specific multipliers, multipliers for a specific ability, multipliers for Epic Attacks, etc.) and multiply by the previous step.
- Now multiply by target’s vulnerabilities and resistances (universal vulnerability, damage-type-specific vulnerabilities).
- Now add in bonus damage from Base-Damage Multipliers (reduced if the target is resistant to the damage type).
- Now reduce damage by the target’s Mitigations (armor mitigation, universal damage reduction, damage-type-specific mitigation, etc.). If mitigation is negative, they take that much extra damage instead
This gives a general idea of how it’s supposed to work. If it seems complicated, well… it is. But it was a lot more complicated before this update!
There are literally hundreds of ways to get boosts and buffs, though, so there’s lots of space for mistakes or omissions. If you find problems, especially problems where the ability tooltip wildly disagrees with the actual damage done, please assume these are bugs and report them!
Remember to report the gear, abilities, and buffs involved, plus the monster you’re attacking — the monster is very important since it can have vulnerabilities and resistances. You can ‘attach’ an item to a bug report, which is handy, but we don’t yet have the ability to include screenshots in your in-game reports. So if you want to include a screenshot, please make an in-game report and then also e-mail the screenshot to email@example.com, or post the screenshot to the forum. Thanks!
One of Fire Magic’s core combat abilities was pretty irrelevant: Fire Bolts simply didn’t have much purpose anymore, given the availability of better area-effect attacks. After some prototyping a replacement, we ended up with … an ability that’s pretty much exactly like the Shield ability “Fire Shield”. But it’s more potent, and hey – it stacks with Fire Shield! (… which also received some improvements in this update. See below.)
- The ability Fire Bolts has been replaced with a new ability, Molten Veins. All equipment that affected Fire Bolts has been revised to affect Molten Veins — albeit in different ways, since the abilities are entirely different.
Other Fire Magic changes:
- Wall of Fire costs less Power, and treasure effects that boost Wall of Fire are more potent.
- “25 seconds after summoning a Fire Wall, you regain 77 Health” => “You heal 10 Health per second when you are near your Fire Wall”
- “All fire spells deal up to +36 damage (randomly determined)” now has a much higher random boost (+115).
- “Scintillating Flame and Scintillating Frost stun and deal +100% damage to Vulnerable targets”: This effect was previously found on three gear slots: Hands, Head, and Main-Hand Weapon. It is now only found on Hands. (This was done to make room for new treasure effects, since the stun didn’t stack anyway.) If you had gear with this effect on Head or Main-Hand Weapon, the item has become Legacy and will need to be replaced with the “Legacy Item Replacer” golem in Serbule.
Healing Sanctuary, intended to be one of the most potent tools in the druid’s arsenal, was finnicky and annoying to use. And due to technological limitations of pet-buffing — which have since been fixed — the treasure effects were mostly kinda dumb. So:
- The requirement for the Healing Sanctuary itself to be “in combat” (meaning that it could detect an enemy nearby) has been removed.
- The requirement for the healing recipient to be “in combat” has also been removed.
- “Healing Sanctuary immediately restores 80 health to you upon summoning” => “Healing Sanctuary restores 16 Power with each heal”
- “Healing Sanctuary immediately restores 115 armor to you upon summoning” => “Healing Sanctuary restores 40 Armor with each heal”
- There are also new treasure effects for Healing Sanctuary.
Other Druid changes:
- Brambleskin deals more damage to enemies, especially at higher levels.
- “Brambleskin heals you for 82 health” => “Brambleskin deals +96 Nature damage to melee attackers”
- “Cloud Sight and Delerium Damage +X%” => significantly reduced percentage (bug fix)
- Pulse of Life is now fully marked as a Minor Heal ability. (Some minor-heal buffs already applied to it, but not all.)
- Rotskin’s damage debuff is more potent (-48 mitigation vs -22) and treasure can further improve the debuff. However, multiple Rotskin debuffs no longer stack. (If multiple druids cast Rotskin on a target, only the strongest debuff is used.)
- “Rotskin hits all targets within 10 meters and deals X direct health damage” => “Rotskin hits all targets within 10 meters and further debuffs their mitigation -X”
Since we were adjusting the damage-reflection abilities of Druid and Fire Magic, we also adjusted Shield’s damage reflection ability, Fire Shield.
- Fire Shield now deals more damage when melee attackers hit you. Reset time is 20 seconds instead of 60. Power cost is increased.
- A new treasure effect increases the potency of Fire Shield’s reflection; other Fire Shield treasure effects tweaked.
Other Shield changes:
- “Shield Team grants all allies X% evasion of burst attacks for 10 seconds”: The higher-level versions of this effect were the same as the level 50 version; they now grant higher percentage evasion.
- “Shield Team grants all allies +8 mitigation of all physical attacks (Crushing, Slashing, or Piercing) for 20 seconds” => +16 mitigation
Other Skill & Treasure Changes
- Various: A number of abilities have slightly adjusted base damage and power costs; their treasure effects have been revised as a result.
- Various: A dozen or so treasure effects that restore health or armor were buffed to heal 5-20 more health or armor. (formula change)
- Various: Several treasure effects of the type that ‘generates no Rage, and reduces Rage by X’ have slightly reduced Rage reduction numbers. (formula change)
- Various: An assortment of treasure effects had higher tiers that were identical to lower tiers. These have all been fixed.
- Various: Numerous treasure effects gained a skill prerequisite that they were missing. For example, the Giant Bat mod “Sonic Damage +X%” is now “Sonic Damage +X% When Giant Bat Skill Active”. (bug fix)
- Healing Sigils’ AI was changed to work similarly to the druid’s Healing Sanctuary: they can now heal without needing to have line of sight to a nearby enemy.
- Animal Handling: “Sic Em causes your pet’s attacks to generate -X Rage for 10 seconds” has improved rage reduction. (bug fix)
- Archery: “All Archery attacks deal +52 damage but cost +4 Power” => “Archery Damage +70”
- Giant Bat: “Screech has a 60% chance to deal +X% damage”: Higher-tier versions now have a significantly lower damage percentage number. (bug fix)
- Hammer: Reckless Slam removed less than the amount of armor listed in the ability description. This has been fixed.
- Lycanthropy: “Taunt from Attack Damage -33%” => “Taunt from Attack Damage -27.5% while Lycanthropy skill active” (formula change, plus fixing missing skill requirement)
- Rabbit: Treasure effects that boost Carrot Power are more powerful. (formula change)
- Shamanic Infusion: “Signature Debuff abilities restore X Power” => “Signature Debuff abilities cost -X Power”
- Shamanic Infusion: Added missing earlier-tier prerequisites (e.g. the third tier of a recipe is supposed to require you to already know the second tier, etc.).
- Shamanic Infusion: You now receive bonus synergy levels in Shamanic Infusion when you reach Alchemy 42, Animal Handling 32, Battle Chemistry 41, Mycology 55, Anatomy 50, and Anatomy 70.
- Sword: “Precision Pierce deals +X% damage but its reuse timer is increased +4 seconds => ” … reuse timer is increased +3 seconds” (side-effect of formula change)
- Sword: “Sword Damage +16” => “Sword Damage +70”
- Belts that you find in loot now have a chance to be Uncommon rarity — green tier, that is, with one treasure effect. The effect is always a generic power that isn’t tied to any particular skill.
- Any belt-creation recipe that requires a trophy skin also now generates Uncommon belts.
- Recipe for Great Hardcore Belt was changed to require a trophy skin (to generate Uncommon belts).
- “Lucky Belts” for specific classes are now just called “Belts” (e.g. “Lucky Belt of the Swordsman” is now just “Belt of the Swordsman”). These belts once affected random-loot generation, but that was long ago. Now they boost damage, so the “lucky” terminology seemed weird.
- All formerly-lucky belts increase Base Damage Multipliers a bit more than before (10% for single-skill and 7% for double-skill).
- Belts that actually affect treasure in some way are still called “Lucky”.
- Added missing belts/recipes for rabbit and priest belts.
“Quest Items” are items that are only needed for a certain quest. (Their icons have a thin red border.) If a special monster drops one of these items, each player that can loot the monster is supposed to be able to pick up their own copy of the quest item — or, if the monster only has a chance to drop the quest item, each player has their own separate chance. A few monsters didn’t behave this way: “Mr. Squeaky”, James Eltibule, and Mudtusks. These monsters now drop quest items per-player as intended.
Another problem was that solo-oriented quest monsters could be buried or eaten by the first person that looted them, thereby preventing other players from looting their quest items. So quest-item-dropping monsters can no longer be buried or eaten.
There are new rituals (recipes) that allow you to detect where a newly-spawned enemy will appear a few seconds before it actually arrives. Ashk in Rahu teaches two of these rituals. The first, allowing you to see respawning monsters 3 seconds before they appear, can be learned if you’ve completed the Eye of Fate favor and have Meditation 25 or Shamanic Infusion 25.
- Added “Accuracy Boost” stats to the Miscellaneous Enchantments tab of the persona screen. (Only shown if you have any accuracy buffs.)
- Shamanic Infusion now requires much less XP to level, and recipes earn more XP. Now the first-time completion of a recipe (of your current level) will always raise your level by at least 1, and usually raise it by 2. (Existing skill levels are unchanged.)
- The drug Sharpen has been revised so that it is significantly more potent. However, the higher tiers of Sharpen now have Survival Instincts requirements.
- Cooking: Recipe “Tart Applesauce” has been changed to actually use tart (green) apples.
- Necromancy: skeleton mages no longer flee to create distance between themselves and melee assailants.
- Fixed recipe for “Amazing Cloth Pants (Max-Enchanted)”, which incorrectly required Maximized Sardonix x2, among other problems. It now correctly requires Vervadium x1 like other level 70 crafting recipes.
- Fixed some work order scrolls whose level requirement (to read the scroll) did not match the actual work order’s level requirement.
- Replaced the weird yellow “sewer rat” model with a different model (which is also temporary, but much less terrible in the meantime).
- Fixed a small (100 m square) chunk of the Ilmari desert where nothing could be selected.
- Fixed various monsters whose combat sounds were too loud (because they were not using 3D positioning, so were always at max volume regardless of distance).
- Fixed a bug that caused fire walls to make combat sounds repeatedly when not in combat. This also fixes some Sigil-Scripting sigils that had the same problem.
- The “Proto-Druid” and “Proto-Wolf” titles can no longer be earned. (They were actually supposed to stop when alpha ended.)