Season 1 begins in less than an hour, and with it comes another balance patch! Though not quite as large as our July balance pack, the August balance pack has still got around 50 changes to the abilities you love. Some of these changes are general tweaks to things we thought were getting a little out of hand (we’re looking at you, % Damage Reduction), while others were made with the upcoming level cap system in mind to make sure plenty of builds were viable as you compete on Ravenholdt. You can view the full list on our changelog, but below we’ve included a few that should really whet your appetite.
Good luck on the seasonal, Heroes--whether you’re Defender of the Pure, or a salty dog Outlaw!
Fixed a bug where Hunter pets and Warlock demons wouldn’t gain hit and expertise based on their owner’s hit.
Wands now deal damage according to their school, and scale slightly with spell power (Bring back Wand Specialization!)
Soul Link now shares 6% of your damage taken with your demon, down from 10%, and the Demonic Embrace talent now increases the shared Soul Link damage by 2/4/6%, down from 4/7/10%.
Improved Shadowform now gives 3/6% damage reduction, down from 5/10%.
Travel Form base mana increased from 26%, up from 13%.
The ‘Helper’ Rank is being Added to our Public Discord
There are those among you who would seek to aid the naive, the innocent, the fledgling--the new player. There are those of you who would dedicate your time and energy to assisting fresh adventurers find their place on Ascension. Whether by answering questions, helping with specs, or just lending friendly advice, certain veterans go above and beyond when it comes to helping new players on our server.
We notice time and again certain individuals who continually and consistently help new players on Ascension’s official discord. These players reach out to lend a helping hand when they see someone in need, and we see it every single day. As gamers ourselves, we recognize what an incredibly important gesture that is; community is everything in a game like ours, and when a new player’s first experience with others is a powerful veteran caring enough about them to help--well, that speaks volumes. With toxicity the norm online these days, and with negative and hostile interactions becoming a standard part of multiplayer games, getting a happy “Hello!” and a bit of help can COMPLETELY shift a new player’s opinion of the game they’re playing. We mean it, and we can’t stress it enough: the positivity that these helpful individuals on our Discord lend the community is one of the greatest gifts that players could contribute to Ascension--it’s one of the greatest gifts they could contribute to gaming.
We would like, in some small way, to acknowledge and promote their actions.
We are adding a new Rank to our public discord: the ‘Helper’ rank.
This is not a rank players can ask to be promoted to. Rather, it is a rank that our Game Masters and Community Managers will promote players to if they demonstrate a true devotion to helping others. If our GM’s and CM’s notice players consistently engaging in positive and helpful interactions on Discord, they’ll be promoted to the Helper rank as both an acknowledgement of their actions, and as a way to better help them accomplish what they’re already doing. This is our way of Knighting you, helpful players, and showing just how important your kindness is.
By granting players the Helper rank, new players will instantly know where to go if they are ever in need of advice or assistance. No matter where you are on our quest through Ascension, Helpers have got your back.
Thank you, heroes, for being a positive light on Ascension.
We hope you’re enjoying the slew of changes we released on July 15th in what was our largest balance update ever! There were buffs (mostly buffs), there were nerfs (mostly % stat nerfs), and there were more changes than ever before. In addition to some Mystic Enchantment, individual item, and general changes, we took a look at over 90 different talents and abilities and made changes, big and small, to how they work, what they accomplished, and how they affected players overall.
In the wake of this update, we wanted to take a moment to share with you a few of our reasons for these changes, as well as our vision moving forward:
Reduction of Five Point Talents:
Although players have a good amount of Talent Essences on Ascension, when it comes to classless, it doesn’t feel like a lot to play around with. Many builds have severely tight talent requirements, leaving players with very little wiggle room to make interesting choices. To combat this, one of our goals moving forward is to transform many five-point talents into three-point talents; by which we mean, we want to change a good deal of five-point talents into three-point talents and adjust them accordingly. You’ve seen it with cast speed talents: now you’ll see it with Maelstrom Weapon, Mind Mastery, Arcane Mind, Flurry, and more--and you can expect it on additional talents as we move forward. The reason for this is to free up talent points for players to play with, providing some wiggle room for certain specs that would otherwise be too talent-intensive. We hope to see more interesting builds with these extra points.
Keep an eye open for more five-point reductions in the future!
Limitation of Percent Stat Increases:
We’re not huge fans of raw stat stacking on Ascension. It’s boring, it’s simple, and it’s not very dynamic play--you stack one stat and watch your numbers increase. We don’t like it! We’re working to limit the power and effectiveness of pure stat stacking, and instead move towards interesting and dynamic talent and ability synergies. This one is a work in progress, but please keep in mind that we’re not out to destroy player’s raw power builds. However, we would like player strength to come from their own skill, and the interaction and synergy between abilities and talents that they choose, not because they’ve stacked and converted egregiously high stats.
De-Class Masking, Opening Up Synergies, and Buffs
As a follow up to that, a HUGE focus for this patch and future changes will be de-class masking talents and abilities, and opening up new synergies between classes. Basically, we want more things working together. Why? Because synergy means cross-class specs, which means more viable builds, which means more ways for you to customize and play, which means more fun. We made several changes this patch that focus on opening up new builds to players, including:
Maelstrom Weapon: Now additionally effects both Fireball and Frostbolt, potentially opening up Fire Hybrid and Frost Hybrid classes.
Missile Barrage: Can now proc from both Moonfire and Starfire, encouraging full Arcane specs and allowing Arcane Missiles to benefit from the effects of Starfire and the Earth and Moon talent.
Serendipity: Increased to 5/10/15% reduced cast time on Greater Heal and Prayer of Healing spells per stack, up from 4/8/12%, and can now also be triggered by Smite, potentially opening up holy hybrid damage/healing casters.
Additionally, this balance pack was filled with individual buffs to spells and talents that increase the effectiveness of 2h Melee Builds, Shadow spec synergy, 1h weapon specs, and Restoration Druid specs. We hope that a bit of love in their direction will encourage players to try them out, and increase the number of competitive builds on Ascension. With regards to PvP
The importance of PvP combat on Ascension can’t be stressed enough; both on High Risk and Low Risk, competition between players in battlegrounds, in arenas, and in the world, is one of our greatest focuses. Our eternal aim is to have as many viable specs as possible for players to build into, experience, and enjoy, so that when a player has a class fantasy they want to explore, they can make it happen.
With that in mind, a few of our changes this patch were aimed at tuning down builds we thought were doing exceptionally well--too exceptionally well. Although we realize this negatively impacts players who have strived to perfect these builds, we make these changes for the overall health of PvP on Ascension: when a handful of specs are performing too amazingly, it limits the creativity that is the hallmark of what Ascension should be.
We have a good grasp of what is strong on both Laughing Skull and Andorhal, and we’ll continue to make adjustments there to prevent the Meta from becoming stale--both by keeping the power levels of specs in line with each other, and by adding new viable specs into the mix.
Finally, as is always the case with big updates, its often hard to predict the consequences of changes: we’ll be keeping an eye on the tweaks we’ve made, and on PvP as a whole, and making adjustments accordingly.
We hope you’re enjoying the changes, heroes. Keep your eyes open for more updates coming soon, and start getting hyped for our first Seasonal Realm, coming late July / early August!
Players Gain Mystic Extracts Faster, and with Less Runes.
Gathering Mystic Enchantments is one of the most effective ways to skyrocket your build’s power. Few things on Ascension feel better than finally extracting and applying the enchantment you’ve been searching for.
However, few things feel worse than harvesting several Mystic Enchantments, applying them, and finding out that the build you were working towards isn’t super effective. With Mystic Extracts difficult to come by, knowing that one was wasted on a spec that isn’t going to be played can be absolutely heartbreaking. We recognized this, and we made a change.
We’ve re-assessed the rate at which players acquire [Mystic Extracts]. The cost has been lowered by more than 50%, and there will no longer be such a harsh scaling.
Basically, we’ve lowered the EXP required to get to the next level of Mystic Enchanting by half, and reduced the scaling difficulty between levels--meaning it will require less [Mystic Runes] to get to the next level of enchanting.
The TL;DR version is that it’s now easier than ever to get [Mystic Extracts].
We realized that with the old system, players were being punished for trying new specs and experimenting with Mystic Enchantment extractions. With Mystic Extracts being so rare, players were hesitant to spend them on anything other than exactly what they were looking for. We hope with this new scaling system, players won’t feel shoehorned into only spending extracts on meta enchantments, and will be free to play and experiment with any build they’d like to try.
We hope you really get creative out there, Heroes!
Check out our answers to the community's top questions on the Ascension Q&A!
The Firestarter is an AoE damage dealer designed to burn down as many foes as possible, as quickly as possible. Though weaker than other specs in dungeons and boss fights, he excels at clearing massive numbers of monsters that other builds can't manage. The Firestarter doesn't rely on gear or RE's to get the job done; however, once he gets them, he becomes blazingly efficient.
When playing the Firestarter on High Risk, be sure to pick up Stealth, Vanish, and the Master of Deception talent: these will ensure that you can escape a situation before becoming a veritable loot pinata.
We hope you find plenty of places to incinerate, heroes!