Game Balance suggestions

Hey all,

Warning - It’s a lot to read and I appreciate thats not fun, there was no real way I could find to summarise this in a TLDR, if you’re interested in my opinion on specific weapons, look for them in bold

Background (for what its worth) - 3k+ hours, 150+ war wins, 75%+ achievement completion, 500+ arena wins, 200+ OPR wins, over 2 million shards farmed in M10, 200 trade skills (except music, sorry). And I have helped run a community for over 1 year in game with my friends. that has seen a good 300 players pass through, but over 50 static members since December 2021 (yes we celebrated)

I main healer, but I can assure you I pretty much have my hands on every weapon. This is not a boast, it’s an incredible waste of time, but I’ve enjoyed it. I would just like to put some context… I have played the game.

The game doesn’t feel amazing right now

New weapons

From a class fantasy perspective you have done a great job on releasing cool and wonderful feeling weapons, they’re exciting, interesting and we all love them.

From a PvP and PvE perspective they have largely missed in my opinion. There is too much power creep in new weapons relative to their older predecessors.


Current weapon balance

I am not a game designer, it’s not my profession, but I’m about 30 years old (sadge) and have played over a good decade of MMOs at a reasonable level of play. What I suggest could be glaringly wrong, misguided or may even be in the works, I’m very aware this is based on my experience of the game which may differ from others so there is a fair sprinkle of bias. But it’s food for thought and hopefully thought provoking.

*My advice is aimed at mid > high end of play in both PvE and PvP

Sword and Shield

  • See’s most play as a DPS in PvP
  • Little viability as a bruiser
  • Dropping in favor for PvE tanking
  • Defiant stance is overshadowed by blunderbuss passive damage absorption, is dispelled too easily by oblivion, way too vulnerable while casting.
  • Blocking is not strong enough in the game to justify the mechanic, the implementation of blocking shockwave was good, a slight buff to defensive formation - not enough.
  • Whirling blade, the perk is just useless, the spell is awkward to use, the rend is overshadowed by every other AoE rend in the game
  • Legendary shields, let’s be consistent, do they exist or do they not? Can we have them or can we not? The fact you can drop some but not craft any, is weird to me.

Spear

Overall I think the spear is not in a bad place, but it’s simply overshadowed by weapons who do the same job but better.

  • The zoner tree leaves a lot to be desired with the kill condition being so heavily countered by grit and reserved strength being such an unreliable passive.
  • If you want to realize how bad Cyclone is - Just remember that maelstrom exists on a great axe.

Bow

Just remove it (I’m joking - maybe). The bow underperforms in PvE and has nice meta value in wars. Its sole purpose seems to be to terrorize players in OPR and the open world. The burst potential on this weapon is so infuriating that you can don yourself in full heavy with 40% thrust reduction and you feel like you’re made of cardboard instead of paper.

  • The weapon is overloaded on haste and gives little counterplay at medium distance PvP and doesn’t need to rely on any of its actual distancing mechanics.

Firestaff

This weapon offers literally nothing that another weapon just doesn’t do better. It has no niche, it has no specialties, it’s not a bad weapon but it’s not exactly great either and it’s HEAVILY carried by blunderbuss offhand.

  • Flamethrower is overused, low impact and unfun to play against.
  • Firestaff has some great spells, I would love to see them get some love, Incinerate, pillar…
  • It’s too squishy and has too much counterplay.
  • Burnout cast should have small frames of grit to ensure the counter play is catching the charge, not interrupting the cast.
  • The burn mechanics are simply glorified class fantasy that do little impact (true damage? maybe?)

Rapier

This weapon remains problematic in its meta usage and lacks real combat reliability

  • Bleed tree needs some passive damage absorption to facilitate melee skirmishing in PvE and PvP
  • Longer animation on initial frames of fleche
  • This should be a combat weapon that excels in dueling, not running

Greataxe

What can I say about this weapon… Meta since day 1, stands the test of time and has never seen a break.

  • The perks on this weapon are so above and beyond other weapons that you could literally base the skills off the perks alone.
  • Gravitywell has seen its ups and downs but it remains one of the most impactful skills in the game. Please shift the damage type from void, it’s so problematic this weapon with the perk is just obliterating people. The healing component is unnecessarily high in addition to GA other healing components.
  • Maelstrom does not need to stop projectiles… There is no trade-off in GA skills relative to other weapons. Maelstrom and Gravity well are such one hit wonder buttons. Healing, damage, burst, mitigation, CC, utility.
  • Can we fix charges being interrupted by allies? It’s so beyond its due date, there is no room for lower armor class GA’s while this remains so unreliable as an escape mechanism. It’s not the counterplay we are looking for.

Musket

The weapon that seemingly has no place in this game, this weapon is such a break from immersion that FPS players are quite literally playing another game.

  • The weapon’s damage is so overloaded and the lack of counterplay is staggering. It’s a musket, not a rail gun from 3023. Please remove the anti drop off perk
  • Shift 150 intellect bonus to 300 intellect
  • Overloaded on haste, runs too much for a weapon with THAT range
  • Traps are useless, make the animation faster, they shouldn’t be able to be destroyed.
  • What’s a power shot?

Lifestaff

Healing is so overtuned, there is way too much healing coming out of healers right now in general, and the lack of build diversity is staggering.

  • splash of light is still highly niche Maybe make it dispel 2-3 debuffs
  • Sacred ground is so overtuned that the entire game is almost built around it. Without sacred ground everything just falls apart.
  • Light’s embrace is just worthless, unreliable, inefficient - in hindsight its kind of well balanced, but with divine embrace outperforming it so much it seems so genuinely bad that the small amount of utility you can provide with it, does not justify its usage.
  • Please can we actually make the dispel mechanics rewarding and work in PvE? 90% of the things you would want to dispel cannot be dispelled…

Hatchet

This weapon is becoming the next rapier, this weapon is so crutched on right now.

  • reduces healing received by 50% while defy death is active. Or strip all buffs on activation
  • The attack speed + the crit modifier is problematic for balance in PvE - It’s a safe choice for high performance right now it’s boring.
  • I think the throwing hatchet dream is dead. Can we maybe let it go, I like the idea but it’s just w/e
  • Access to damage is too easily obtained due to high base crit modifier (make crit modifier scale with HP %? 1.3 base > 1.45 when 30%)

War Hammer

This weapon to me feels like the optime of balance, I really really love the design and implementation of this weapon, it feels good, it feels like how I would expect new world to play. High risk, high reward, reliable, consistent, lots of counterplay.

Due to the increase of slash/thrust and elemental damage, some might feel like it’s doing too much damage on those fully/medium charged heavies but I feel this is a result of people gearing against other damage types.

Blunderbuss

  • Passive fortify is overloaded, for a weapon with reasonable mobility makes other PvP tank options feel bad
  • Damage typing makes itemizing against the weapon too problematic that you either have to full commit to blunderbuss and die to everything else or vice versa (same issue as muskets to a lesser degree)
  • Outperforms all mage specs at burst

Ice Gauntlet
Boring weapon these days

  • This weapon is a shadow of its former self, while it was VERY problematic in former states, it is really no more than “Well what else can I really pick as my second weapon”
  • Damage is slightly undertuned relative to other weapons
  • Too easy to itemize against
  • spike risk/reward is nonexistent, just play blunderbuss.
  • Icetomb needs invincibility frames removed when the tomb is broken from damage.
  • Pylons are super niche.
  • What is windchill?

Void Gauntlet

I actually like the current state of void gauntlet Despite its controvertial release, the oblivion dispel mechanic is a great direction.

  • Blade leaves a lot to be desired outside of offhand DPS in mutations as a healer. It’s a stagger fest in melee and a mobility meme anywhere else.
  • The tracking on this weapon just… Have you ever seen two voidblades fight? Honestly They make carousels look bad. I see the problematic issues in blade being viable due to the amount of empower that is cranked into this weapon.
  • Baleful tether could so easily be reworked into something that could make blade a bit more viable.
  • Essence rupture and tether are harder to hit than any musket/bow projectile. These seem to have the original projectile hitbox you have since moved away from on the bow.

GreatestSword

This weapon just makes you want to uninstall with how sticky it is with the damage potential

  • Too much damage, the onslaught debuff does not mitigate or justify the numbers this weapon are pulling in its current state. I’m not saying the weapon shouldn’t do this much damage, but in light of what it can offer, yes, its too much
  • Relentless rush does not need to root, it can easily be a slow
  • You do not need movement speed from casting an onslaught skill, you should have to hit the onslaught skill, it has way too much chase.
  • The tracking is just disgusting, the hitboxes on skyward slash and steadfast strike look like we are bringing jedis into new world. They’re casting some next level voodoo on the air and hitting your body still. Heavy attack tracking is way too good for how fast onslaught heavies land.
  • Sees little play as a bruiser despite having potential due to its lack of utility in the defiance tree for the team compared to great axe.
  • This weapon overshadows every other DPS option in PvE outside of hatchet and maybe SnS DPS that at higher end pve there is little incentive to play anything else

General game balance

Gem system is an interesting one, I like the idea of being able to change my damage type as a melee player. But 50% conversion makes itemizing in pvp awkward when it shifts into meta away from gambit (and now current rune glasses). Before you removed the negative damage typing it made some weapons too strong in PvE when 50% of your damage can be converted to a 30% damage type increase when the element is still benefiting from attack speed and crit modifiers (looking at you hatchet).

Damage typing in PvE now that you don’t get negative damage typing weapons in PvE, those that were performing well before are even better with a diamond/opal and weapons that maybe saw play are a bit weaker and are often utility - I appreciate you wanted to open weapon choice variety at entry level play - But I think it worked nicely in mutations, only problem being is the disconnect from game data when transitioning into Mutation gameplay from other PvE content. So I understand the choice.

Matchmaking This is just an inherent hole here that leads to a very toxic player experience on both ends of the skill spectrum. More hardcore players find themself bored to their core and having to play the roles of the villains, while more casual players simply don’t want to interact with the systems at all. It is the killer of servers and the bane of the community. As a mid tier company who has won a lot of wars. Even we have to be VERY selective about our wars for worry that we will kill more casual companies and degrade the server quality from low morale. Imagine how the high end companies and casual companies feel they have even less choice than us. (I understand this is limited with server only pooling, hopefully something to look at in the future with cross server play)

Map Design
Some problematic weapons I think are overperforming/ruining people’s experience based on the simple design of the maps. Bows and muskets can feel so punishing with the layout and lack of obscuring terrain in the game that offer little places to skirmish away from open fire. (Refusing to move out of sun is not interesting gameplay)

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Read through it, thanks for the feedback Keyun! We’ve shared this with the team.

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such a fast response to this matter! wait a minute…

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Look at the 5000 posts with “nerf their build and buff mine”, then look at this post…

You Sir, should provide more feedback.

To give my 2 cents, some weapons should be reworked. Not from scratch, but some abilities and passives need more imagination.

As you mentioned, the warhammer looks like the epitome of balance in this game. I think this is because the combat was created for a sandbox world where you have exploration, SLOW combat and tactical skills. Just try and find a video with Alpha gameplay and you will see what I mean. Rapier blood tree and Fire staff (which used to have casting time on Fireball) suffer from the same problem.

The strategic combat they had in mind was lost and instead we ended up with fast combat and spamming abilities and attacks. Stamina was a valuable resource, now it makes or breakes the meta.

Instead of fixing the combat by reworking certain skills and interactions, they went down the rabbit hole and added bandaids with buffs and nerfs (GW was buffed and nerfed multiple times and it’s still broken) and new perks.

Speaking of perks, I have 2 full sheds with perks that are useless…

2 Likes

Heya @Keyun!

This is some awesome feedback! We appreciate the time you’ve taken to articulate your ideas and suggestions.

Clearly, you have provided some well-rounded feedback and I will get this over to the Development team to review! :slight_smile:

@George90 Thanks for chiming in on this post. We appreciate your contribution and I will forward your feedback as well.

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Maybe just to add some points left out around certain weapons:

Sword/Shield:

  • There is also the loading issue, where in medium/light you have less overall resistance than other mediums/lights and because the Shield has inherent weight and you need to use lighter pieces of armor. Then on the flipside, in Heavy you have more resistances cause at this point you don’t care about the extra weight. Really polarizing, and unnecessary.

Bow

  • The biggest issue with bow is really still the access to Staggers. Long range weapons should not have access to this, its removes thier risk factor and just creates an unfun experience for everyone else. This is clearly apparent from the Bow meta, when you nerf a Bow Skill and remove the Stagger from it, the meta shift to them using the next skill that still has staggers. It is a vicious trend that keeps on persisting. Removing all the staggers will actually make it an interesting weapon with build diversity.

Great Axe/Musket and Fundamental Base DMG issues across the board:

  • These weapons are inherently unbalanced on a fundamental level. Thier base damage is on par with the top weapons in the game, but they still maintain a 1.3 Crit Mod as well (Great Axe is even stronger here at it has access to Keen Edge which makes it a base 1.4 Crit Mod weapon).
  • The only other two weapons in the same base damage area are Warhammer and Blunderbuss which have much lower Crit Dmg Mod and are therefore countered by Resilient.
  • Base Damage is the strongest Stat in the game as the Meta is entire focussed around Ability Spam/Disengage and DoTs from Runeglass/Attunement (which all scale of Base DMG). People rarely spend time auto-attacking each other, where DMG/sec would become a more important stat.

See Below for the Differences in Weapons my grouping:

TOP 4 (Base DMG is the 230-240 Range, BB is higher but less consistent):
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Now look at the other 1.3 Crit weapons, there base damage are in the 200 Range (about 15% less):

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The 1.4 Crit DMG weapons are even lower base damage (around 180), but have a higher Crit Mod to compensate. These also typically have much shorter ranges:
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Sword is in this range as well as it typically gets access to 3 additionaly DMG perks on Shield.
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Now for some strange reason Mage Weapons are just at the bottom, with the lowest Base Damage and a lower Crit Mod than Hatchet/Rapier. There is no real reason for this, as Mage weapons don’t even have access to auto-crits via Backstab or Headshot, and many of thier abilites are focussed around DoTs which actually need a High Base DMG to be effective. This is really an anomaly:

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Based on this Musket and Great Axe should have thier Crit Mods greatly reduced, this would make it that the highest DMG weapons in the game don’t force you have 5 Resilient and would create more balance and build diversity. Additionally Mage weapons need a new identity as they seem to lack an inherent advantage or reason to use them from a base stats point of view, they even have an additional drawback that they require Mana. What I would suggest is to move Mage weapons into the first category (i.e. High Base DMG with Low Crit Mod, but still have them utilize crits for additional effects/magical bonusses).

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So true.

Also spear’s perforate needs some love. Imo it needs cancel window like Rapid Shot or Crosscut after 2nd hit.

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Yea, you need to be able to cancel perforate.

I think the rapier needs a bit more lunge distance. You cannot chase someone, dodge, then light attack. You will miss with the rapier. However, you can do that move with the GA, GS, hatchet, sword, and spear.

1 Like