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Information February 2023 Balance Changes [Explained]

Discussion in 'Update Notes' started by Nise, Feb 19, 2023.

  1. Nise
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    Nise Supervisor Staff Member Supervisor Game Moderator

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    Reminder: This only contains the balance related changes.

    [​IMG]

    Welcome to our first balance changes of 2023! This patch signifies the release of the one of the biggest custom changes we've undertaken for the server, which are the:
    (i) Dark Knight Class Rework
    (ii) HP Washing Alternative Challenge System (read the beta test thread here)

    These changes are far beyond the type of changes we have historically done for MapleLegends and are extremely custom. We felt that more drastic measures needed to be taken to achieve the goals we had in mind, even if it meant straying away from the "authentic 1:1 v62" experience (see this post by KimberlyKimberly regarding our stance on v62 and custom features).

    Due to the custom nature of these changes, the wide scope of the changes, and us still being a fairly small team, this patch took far longer than we had initially hoped to take. That said, we're excited to finally unveil the rework that we initially teased in November.

    Now on to the balance changes!

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    As our patch is focused on the two major changes we mentioned above, the server overview section won't be as lengthy as previous patches. But, we'd still like to share with you some important issues we've continued to keep an eye on such as changes to the economy and boss activity, as data for these matters shed light on whether further changes are necessary and if our previous adjustments achieved what we hoped they would.

    Economy
    Starting with economy-related data, our changes actually seem to have had a fairly positive effect in not only reducing the meso supply change we see per day, but also slowing down inflation for basic goods.

    [​IMG]
    • Note: Due to a change in how we're tracking these numbers, we've switched to the term "meso supply" which describes change in total amount of mesos currently on the server on a day-by-day basis.
      • Meso supply = Meso Generated - ( Meso Sank + Meso Banned )
    [​IMG]

    We've also been seeing a reduction in the amount of mesos we've banning, possibly due to the decline in RWT on our server. Which means our meso supply change is less influenced by bans, and instead mostly reliant on built-in game systems, such as meso sinks.

    [​IMG]

    Additionally, we compiled a basket of goods - 27 of our highest volume and notably priced items - in order to gauge the rate of inflation our server has been seeing over the years. We released something similar previously with our Consumer Price Index. This is done similarly but at a much simpler level. We may pursue this line of analysis in more detail in later patches, if necessary.

    Bosses
    As for boss entry, with the hype of NT2's release dying down as well as a longer timeframe without an event, we've noticed a decrease in player entry per day for a number of bosses. If these trends continue, we may look to adjust some things on top of those that we already have in the works.

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    「 Dark Knight 」
    • [​IMG] Berserk now has an active effect
      • Upon activation, Berserk cleanses all debuffs (excluding seduce and banish)
      • During the Active Berserk state, players will deal max Berserk damage regardless of their current HP, BUT all monster damage received will set your HP to 1
        • If you are already 1 HP, the next attack will kill you
        • During this state, players will lose all defenses, avoidability, and benefits of damage mitigation skills (eg. achilles, elemental resistance, etc)
        • Map damage (such as lava, rocks etc) remains the same, they will not set your HP to 1.
        • Note: Stance will continue to work during the Active Berserk state
      • Active Berserk duration is 30 seconds, with a cooldown of 60 seconds
    • [​IMG] Berserk damage formula has been buffed
      • Max damage buffed from 110% to 120%
      • HP threshold for max damage increased from 'below 4.9% HP' to 'below 10% HP'
      • HP threshold for 100% damage unchanged ('below 50% HP')
      • Scaling for damage when 'above 50% HP' improved (more damage)
      • See spoiler for formula details.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    • [​IMG] Visual cues for Berserk have been changed
      • Above 50% HP, there are no visual effects
      • Once below 50% HP, orange horns will appear around your character
      • Upon casting Active Berserk, the area around the character's feet will light up momentarily
      • While in the Active Berserk state, red horns that flash quicker will appear around your character
    • [​IMG] Aura of the Beholder reworked
      • When Beholder is summoned, 100% damage received by the player is reflected to the monster
    • [​IMG] Dragon Blood reworked
      • When activated, heals for 5% max HP every 4 seconds
      • Duration is 120 seconds, with a cooldown of 180 seconds
    • [​IMG] Sacrifice loss of HP is now based on max HP instead of damage
    Getting Started
    First, we'd like to thank everyone for their replies on the DK feedback thread (see here), as it was your input that helped us consolidate the direction for the DK rework.

    We carefully read through your responses and started our process by identifying the recurring ideas that the community felt the class rework needed to address. The four major points we came to focus on were:
    (i) Issues of survivability
    (ii) Lack of consistency in gameplay
    (iii) Disproportionate risk vs reward for Berserk
    (iv) General issues with skills such as Dragon Blood, Aura, and Sacrifice​

    In addition to the points mentioned from the feedback thread, we also wanted to:
    (i) Preserve skill expression within the class
    (ii) Keep the skills thematically appropriate​

    Berserk: The Centerpiece of the Puzzle
    The entirety of the DK playstyle heavily revolves around Berserk. In order for us to improve DKs, Berserk had to be changed. We needed Berserk to have some sort of guaranteed consistency so that even at the highest levels of play, (where bosses deal the most damage) they weren't seen as liabilities or deadweight in an expedition. At the same time, it was absolutely crucial that Berserk maintained some of its original mechanics after our rework, as we didn't want the skills developed by long-time DK players to become totally irrelevant.

    In developing our version of Berserk, we looked to other MMOs, which also had similar archetype of berserking warriors, to hopefully draw inspiration. In a lot of these games, we noticed Berserk wasn't just a damage increase, but also a form of self-utility (eg. increased self healing, CC immunity, immortality). So, we came up with the idea of adding an active component to Berserk which would cleanse debuffs, as we found this self-cleanse concept fascinating and thematically appropriate. While Berserk cleansing everything would be fun, we felt it would be too over-tuned if you were able to cleanse seduce and banish. So, no matter how angry you are while Berserking, players won't be able to free themselves from these two debuffs. This direction allowed us to get more creative with our solutions as with an active component, we could keep the Berserk passive largely unchanged, which also solved our concerns of maintaining skill expression and preserving the original gameplay/mechanics of v62 DKs.

    During the active component, we wanted players to feel like they were both on the brink of death and in control of their own fate. From the feedback we received and our own assessment of original DK gameplay, players didn't feel like they were in control of their own fate. For example, a highly skilled individual could zerk in Pink Bean, but when there are so many variables outside of the player's control (eg. PB randomly turning, getting pushed into you, or lag), death was an unavoidable outcome. To achieve this, we re-envisioned the concept of "risk" for a DK. During active Berserk, players will have defensive effects removed from them (eg. avoidability, achilles, elemental resistance) and any form of damage will reduce a player's HP to 1, whether you were attacked by a measly green snail or the incredibly strong Pink Bean. If you were already 1 HP, the next attack will kill you. In exchange for being on the brink of death, players will get access to the maximum 120% damage bonus for the entire duration of active Berserk. We believe that this reworked Berserk adds a new interesting element of risk, improves their damage further as a reward, all while increasing the survivability factor of DKs. Additionally, we felt that being able to consistently access the 120% damage bonus in all scenarios, at least for a set amount of time, will greatly increase the bottom-line for DKs.

    Aura of the Beholder & Dragon Blood: Confused Identities
    With the Berserk formula reworked a few patches ago, the original Aura (which offered passive healing) became counter synergistic. It started hindering player's efforts to remain at a lower HP threshold. Additionally, it made little sense to have a 4th job healing skill, when the 4th job playstyle entirely revolves around having little HP. As such, we've decided to move the healing aspect of Aura to the 3rd job skill, Dragon Blood, as it would be better utilized by 3rd job players, since they would not have learned Berserk yet. Additionally, we felt that with Dragon Blood being an activated buff (not a passive), players will be able to better control when and where they want the healing. The healing is now based on max HP as well, which significantly increases the potential healing from the skill, which we've balanced with a cooldown. By having a duration and cooldown, rather than being indefinitely available, players must be attentive and make conscious decisions as to when the healing should be best relied upon. While Dragon Blood was a skill previously outclassed by not only Hex of the Beholder, but also the readily available Coke Pills, we hope this change makes it an essential part of the DK's toolkit going forward.

    In exchange for Aura losing its healing aspect, we've given Aura a more offensive role by being able to reflect 100% of the damage received by the player (for all types of damage) to monsters and bosses. Paired with the active Berserk component, we feel this should launch DKs into a more offensive class that truly weaponizes their own healthpool.

    Sacrifice: Becoming More Intuitive
    As the name suggest, Sacrifice makes DKs lose HP when used. However, one big flaw of the skill was how the health loss was calculated based on damage done against monsters. Due to how damage is calculated in a range, this subjected DK players to a high degree of variance when it came to HP loss when using Sacrifice. This was especially true when the ability crits, sometimes resulting in an unexpected, instant death. Sacrifice is now changed to be more consistent and calculated based on max HP, so that players will know exactly how much HP will be lost when used. This hopefully will allow players to better control their HP so they can Berserk optimally in the HP range they are comfortable in.

    [​IMG]

    「 Changes to Beginner Job Advancement 」
    • [​IMG] Beginners can only make their 1st job advancement before Level 30
    In a previous patch, we imposed a restriction that did not allow players to receive SP if they job advanced past level 14. This was done due to players exploiting how stat gains (for HP & MP) work differently for Beginners. We noticed that some players have continued to work around our original restrictions, despite our original countermeasures. Therefore, we're imposing a harsher set of restrictions to put an end to the beginner stat gain exploit once and for all.

    「 World channels 」
    • Available channels reduce from 8 to 6
    Covid ushered in a time of massive population spikes on not just MapleLegends, but games in general. Now that most of the world has returned to normalcy, our daily user count is no longer consistently above 2,000. As such, we have decided to revert the number of channels to pre-covid times. We believe 6 channels to be a good balance for the availability of maps and the player base not feeling too spread out or towns feeling too empty in-game.

    「 Prestigious Coins 」
    • [​IMG] Prestigious Coins now stacks to 9,999 (suggestion accepted from here and here)
    A much needed quality of life improvement for an item that is usually collected in large amounts.

    「 Drop addition 」
    • [​IMG] Scroll for Spikes on Shoes 10% now drops from Werewolf
    • [​IMG] Scroll for Cape for Cold Protection 10% now drops from Dark Leatty
    Due to various limitations, we weren't able to implement spike on shoes and cold protection scrolls, but we've finally manage to overcome those limitations (more details in the upcoming patch notes). Now that they're finally here, we've decided to add them to the aforementioned monsters for their thematic appropriateness.

    Note that these scrolls do not take up a scroll slot. You can keep trying to pass them without penalty.

    [​IMG]

    While this patch is brimming with changes to DKs, this does not mean our work on DKs are complete. We still welcome any and all constructive feedback towards the class, whether you feel the changes are appropriate, meaningful, or still need more work. Additionally, please let us know what you think of our other changes and what other things you may want to see in the future. Your sincere feedback is much appreciated!

    Massive thanks to all our current staff members in the Balance Team and Moderator Team for the changes and testing!
     
    • Great Work Great Work x 18
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  2. beegoratto
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    beegoratto Zakum

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    Instead of removing cc7 and cc8 can we remove cc1 and cc4
     
    • Agree x 5
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  3. Signature
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    Signature Stone Golem

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    WTF actual DK buffs?

    Also rip the chad beginner mages SlimeSweat
     
    • Great Work Great Work x 1
  4. LeonardoJF
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    LeonardoJF Horntail

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  5. Rainemard
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    Rainemard Balance Team Staff Member Balance Team

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    LETS FUCKING GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
     
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  6. ULTRAdragon7
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    ULTRAdragon7 Mano

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  7. renew
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    renew Orange Mushroom

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    wtf? so there's 2 versions of Berserk? This is like a Limitbreak for Dark Knights :roflmao:
     
  8. ryanlights
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    ryanlights Windraider

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    Will there be free Skill Point Resets for DK players to try out these new changes?
     
  9. fartsy
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    fartsy Zakum

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    hey whats with the target nerf!!!!
     
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  10. Nightz
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    Nightz Supervisor Staff Member Supervisor Game Moderator

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    Nope.
     
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  11. beegoratto
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    beegoratto Zakum

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    Time to delete the guide
     
  12. fartsy
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    fartsy Zakum

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    that's ok
    i guess myself and a few others will just have unobtainable characters
     
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  13. pharaoh
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    pharaoh Master Chronos

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  14. UnknownCode
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    UnknownCode Nightshadow

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    Hope you are doing well, Nise
    OnionBlush
     
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  15. ljtino3
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    ljtino3 Slime

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    There are maps which even 8 channels aren't enough.. (like skeles, petri, etc)
    I think the reduce to 6 channels would hurt people who try to grind those maps ..
     
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  16. ryanlights
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    ryanlights Windraider

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    upload_2023-2-19_18-32-53.png

    Can these scrolls be used with zero slots remaining?
     
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  17. Krisspy
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    Krisspy Project Coordinator Staff Member Project Coordinator

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    Yes.
     
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  18. Caenyss
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    Caenyss Capt. Latanica

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    RIP snowshoes-grip-uniqueness. Time to get a pair of reverse/timeless shoes.
     
  19. beegoratto
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    beegoratto Zakum

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    Must be nice
     
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  20. lv1crook
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    lv1crook Capt. Latanica

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    Very cool.

    I do have a question. It says any attack would take you to 1 hp, but if the attack would kill you normally does it kill you or still bring you to 1 hp?
     
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