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  1. Hello again Ascension players! We're here again with another balance-blog! We initially intended to release a smaller PvP-event blog earlier but as we kept adding more and more changes the blog got pushed back, in the end we decided to release some of the content as separate blogs. You can find them here: Full and partial cooldown sharing Immunity counters With the next instant-60-weekend going live in a few hours I hope you'll be able to appreciate the amount of work our team put into this project. The 16th June event was a huge success, with unparalleled numbers we were able to stress test our performance in a single zone. We have received invaluable feedback from our testers and great suggestions posted on the forums! We implore you to keep using the Suggestion and Playstyle Discussion sub-forums to provide feedback and ideas. As we're getting closer to release the time window to make large-impact changes is closing. Before we start with the analysis I would like to repost a few lines from an earlier newsletter, stating the core principles of the balance team to any new players that are reading this blog! The Power of Choice: A Look at Balance On a classless server such as Ascension the possible permutations of builds are staggering. What we aim for is diversity, making sure that players can fulfill their class fantasies and feel viable. This is the core ideology of the five-man balance team, diversity and choice. Supported by player feedback, forum suggestions and spell/talent pick statistics we even out disparities in strength between varying builds and specializations. Sometimes this means helping low-performance playstyles, and sometimes it means bringing down oppressive spells or builds. The hardest choices we face is when and where to adjust, especially concerning PvP balance. To trust our players to find solutions and counters to emerging meta builds and only step in when deemed absolutely necessary. The point I wish to make here is, that above all else, we’re aiming for build-diversity. We believe this to be our most compelling feature. To empower players with the choice to truly make their own unique character and playstyle. With that said, onward to analysis! Overall impression, Playstyle changes and reasoning: Let’s start with the elephant in the room, Hunters, they usually do well in battlegrounds and it was no surprise they came out on top. With their long range, access to every escape and mobility spell they made for a slippery foe. Together with a few players borderline compulsive (and very successful) RAP-stacking they put Hunter playstyles on our radar early on. We decided to tone down the AGI to Ranged Attack Power conversion from 2rap/agi to 1.5rap/agi. We’re only getting started with this expansion, and ranged abilities scale a bit too well. A small tweak to Chimera shot will hopefully reduce the amount one-shotting.. We offset some of the dps loss in PvE with a slight buff to Sniper Training and some added utility to Black arrow. Along with Lock and load, traps and pet buffs we are confident hunters will walk out of this more evenly balanced! Agility now provides 1.5RAP per point, down from 2. Chimera Shot now deals 90% weapon damage, down from 100%, total Serpent Sting damage changed back to 40% up from 20%. Sniper Training damage increase is now 3/6/9% up from 2/4/6%. Black Arrow will no longer share cooldown with traps. Lock and load will now proc properly. We are also making a small tweak to Beastmaster pets, along with a string of bug-fixes increasing pet damage and scaling we decided to tone down the Beast Mastery talent. We may end up having to lower it further and put more power into other pet-oriented talents. Beast Mastery(51-talent) pet damage changed to 10% increase, down from 15%. We found physical melee damage to be in a balance-wise good place, all the common playstyles saw ample play: 2H, Dual Wield, TG, Daggers and Ferals. By Darwinian principles players quickly realized the advantages of survival stats and abilities to deal with Ambush/Eviscerate combos and Bladestorm builds. The main concern we had were tied to multiple imbue procs and related bugs. We’ll be working hard on improving seals and imbues during the coming week. We'll likely make a separate blog complete with changes and reasoning. (We are going to address tanks and their impact in PvP as well as their current state for PvE later as a separate blog or post.) Spellswords and Hybrids were benefiting from a bug giving them a bit more spell-power and healing than was intended, this has been fixed along with a slight buff to the AP->Spell-power and Healing conversions to offset the loss of power. We are also toning down Seals of the Pure to reduce Judgement burst, the 200% critical modifier and holy damage proved a bit too potent when coupled with the stat-stacking possibilities on Ascension! We still want to increase overall damage output on Spellswords and thus we’re buffing Seal of Righteousness to scale with spell power. Mental Quickness now gives 4/8/12/16/20% of your total AP as spell power. Sheath of Light now gives 4/8/12/16/20% of your total AP as healing power. Seals of the Pure, now increases Judgement and Seal damage by 6/12/18/24/30% down from 10/20/30/40/50%. Seal of Righteousness changed back to its original mechanics. No longer has an internal cooldown and now deals damage equal to your mainhand weapon speed * (8% spell power + 1% attack power). We are looking into helping Casters actually finish casting their non-instant spells, with the amount of available gap-closers and spell interrupts, small scale PvP have a tendency to be one-sided if either party was reliant on longer casts. While spells with cast times still has the potential to hit really hard we're looking into making them more consistent, but possibly at the cost of some burst potential. Other than that we are happy with caster performance, healing and spell based damage both. Faces melting all over Warsong gulch and Arathi basin were the common outcome when casters were left alone for more than a few seconds. We’re toning down some burst by separating spell-power from frost and fire-based spells but then putting some more power into Firepower and Piercing Ice. That said.. a few borderline oppressive damage-over-time builds started emerging during the end of the weekend and as such we’re making a slight adjustment to Vampiric Touch, lowering it’s spell-power-scaling from 200% total to 150%. Vampiric Touch now scales with 150% of spell-power, down from 200%. Burning determination now has a 30s duration, up from 20s. Fire Power now gives 2/4/6/8/10% Fire damage, up from 1/2/3/4/5%. Piercing Ice now gives 2/4/6% Frost damage, up from 1/2/3%. Spell Power(Arcane mage talent) now only affects Mage Arcane spells. These are by no means all the changes we've made, as always the full list should be posted on the website changelog! Last few words, The build-meta never once stagnated and continued to evolve throughout the whole weekend, new builds and counters were introduced every hour. Things that looked absolutely overpowered were shut down hours later by clever counters, new ideas or synergy! In the time since the event ended we could definitely have added more changes, more buffs, nerfs or general tweaks to bring certain specs or abilities in line. But this is the ever returning enigma of balance, the risk of changing too much, too quickly.. With the classless system almost everything can be countered or better optimized when people put their minds to it! As our LIVE RELEASE is quickly approaching(announcement inc.), we’ll be mostly focusing on polishing mechanics and hunting down the last few bugs. Thank you for all your help, we look forward to seeing what you got in store for us on Project Ascension!
  2. Hello Ascension players! First off we would like to thank everyone turning up for the BG-weekend. I myself had a blast, I hope you did too! We managed to track down and fix a bunch of performance issues related to high-population. And along with the data and feedback we gathered this event proved to be invaluable. We'll be hard at work analyzing and tweaking abilities and talents the coming days. Now is a great time to make use of the suggestion forums. Your thoughts and ideas are very important, necessary even! As we're getting closer and closer to release we'll have less chances to make big-impact changes. Expect a sizable Balance blog soonish~

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