July Balance Update!
Synergy, Percent Stats, and Five Pointers
Balance on Project Ascension
The July Balance Pack is here!
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!
A full list of changes can be found in our changelog, located here: https://project-ascension.com/changelog
Check out our answers to the community's questions on the Ascension Q&A!