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EpicDuel PVP Game Design Notes

Behind the scenes information about EpicDuel's development and releases, a real-time PVP MMO that you can play online in your web browser.

August 16, 2011

Balance Breakdown, and your normally-scheduled update

Hi there EpicDuelists. By now you’ve heard about the way that the latest version of Adobe Flash forced us to delay the update by a few days. We should release later today (Tuesday) or early tomorrow (Wednesday) assuming a bit of code Titan is currently working on works the way it should. Again, we sincerely apologize for the delay. Working in the Flash environment means that we have to constantly adapt to a changing language, and sometimes updates to Flash cause problems for us, and we’re not always able to predict what a new update is going to bring.


Break it Down

Here’s the deal on the new skill scaling. Fixed-damage skills (eg Fireball, Plasma Bolt, etc) will be calculated with a level 1 base damage, the stat factor, and either an Improve value after level 20 or a Reduce value before level 20, so essentially lower levels (where fixed-damage skills tend to be overpowered) will see a reduction in effectiveness. At higher levels, these skills will essentially receive a buff. This should really improve things for caster mages.  

The follow skills now have their base damage scaled by level: Field Medic, Plasma Bolt, Fireball, Overload, Plasma Rain, Super Charge, Artillery Strike, Multi-Shot, Surgical Strike, Super Charge, Bunker Buster, Plasma Cannon, Stun Grenade, Plasma Grenade, EMP Grenade, Technician, Field Commander, Reflex Boost, Malfunction, Intimidate, Smoke Screen, Defense Matrix, Blood Shield, Hybrid Armor, Assimilation, and Toxic Grenade. 

Percent based skills (Double Strike, Berzerker, Massacre and Bludgeon) will work differently than they had previously. How it works right now is that they’re calculated by base damage + weapon damage - [defense/resistance]) x % bonus = your damage. After this update, it will look more like Deadly Aim, in that your damage = (base damage + (weapon damage x % bonus))- [defense/resistance]. This should be a buff for builds that do not rely entirely on strength, but players will insane amounts of strength should see a slight reduction in damage.  The goal was to encourage deeper investment in skills that scale too well with only one point of investment.  The percents for all of the skills affected by this change have been adjusted. 

The way robots work has also been changed. Using either the robot’s special attack or the robot’s attack will cause both options to go into cooldown. The cooldown is staying at 3, however, to keep bots from being the "instant kill" weapon they have been in the past.  The Gamma bot will also receive a small damage buff (+1 for a new range of 12-16 damage) to help compensate for the extended cooldown.

Assault Bot's special now reduces Curse. 

Maximum block chance reduced to 40% (down from 45%). Shadow Arts can increase block chance up to 50%.
Critical Strikes now ignore 50% of defenses (down from 75%). Maximum critical strike chance is now 20% and you now have +1% chance to critical strike for every 7 support over your opponent. Minimum crit chance reduced to 1% and base crit chance is now 4%. 

Other Skill Changes:
  • Multi-Shot increases damage per 4 Dexterity (down from per 5 Dex) 
  • Plasma Rain increases damage per 4 Technology (down from per 5 Tech) 
  • Static Charge's energy restore effect is no longer affected by defenses. It now uses 80% of your damage BEFORE defenses when calculating the percent energy restored. The percent on Static Charge has been reduced by 5%. 

Static Charge will now work by taking 80% of your combined base damage from strength and primary weapon damage. That will be the number that is considered for the energy restore.

For example, if your primary damage was 13-16 +28, let's take 14 + 28 = 42 * .80 = 33.6 (rounded up to 34). At level 1, Static Charge now restores 28% damage to energy, so you would get 28% of 34, which rounds up to 10 energy. In addition to this, if your actual damage dealt is higher than your combined strength and weapon damage (like when your crit on an opponent with low defense), the actual damage will be used to determine how much energy is restored.

The actual damage you do with Static Charge is still effected by defense or resistance and is 100% of primary damage (same as Strike).


Weapon Mutation

Another obscure feature of this release is a change to the way items that switch classes (Founder Armor and Beta Gear) now work.  They have been recoded to work dynamically, meaning faster performance for the database, and the ability for us to add class changing items in the future!  This change involved standardizing the base states of these weapons, so you may notice a slight difference in the stat configuration.  Your enhancements, however, will remain the same regardless of class.


Friday Friday, gotta get down on Friday...

We also have things planned for Friday! Because everybody’s looking forward to the weekend. Nightwraith’s confirmed that we’ll be releasing some bazookas and guns (although I haven’t statted them yet, so I can’t tell you the prices. Sorry). However, I can tell you that they will be high level, with both varium and non-varium options.


Old Fortune City

Many players have collected the Old Fortune City Key, and wondered what it means or what to do with it. It’s unsurprising, many of the planet’s inhabitants wouldn’t know about Old Fortune City. Many years ago, before the scourge of Baelius, prospectors from all over the galaxy made their way to Delta V to mine her precious varium lodes. They called their little shanty town “Fortune City” because of the promise of untold riches. They built the city up from the few ramshackle tents, however its glory was short-lived. The varium lode they’d been mining was larger than previously anticipated, and the vein continued under the city. The settlement sunk beneath the surface of the planet, and was largely forgotten. Decades later- perhaps out of a desire to romanticize the harsh lifestyle of the prospector, perhaps out of an odd sentimentality- Baelius commissioned Fortune City to be rebuilt over the ruins of the old mining town. Now known as Old Fortune City, Oz and the other exiles were able to excavate enough of the town’s structures to use them as a base for their operations.


Insect Fact of the Week

Slight correction to last week: termite colonies include male workers.

Ants are fascinating animals, and some species maintain agriculture. There are only four known animal groups that have discovered agriculture- humans, bark beetles, termites, and ants. It is about this last group, ants, that I will speak today.

Leaf cutter ants are true farmers. The workers of the colony collect leaves and use these leaves to cultivate their fungus gardens, which provide food for the entire colony. One such species of ant is entirely female- there are no men in this species at all!

Other ants keep other insects as livestock. In these species, the ant colony maintains a herd of aphids, which they can milk for honeydew- a sweet, delicious (to ants at least!) substance that aphids produce. The colony is able to maintain control over their herd through chemical signals- the aphids follow chemical tracks left by ants, which keep them from wandering away from the herd. In return, the ants protect the aphids from predators, such as the ladybird beetle.

Tags: Cinderella


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