Massive Updates to Bloodscalp are Live!
A Change in the Wind
Updates and Changes to Bloodscalp!
We hope you’ve all been having a blast with Ascension’s second season: Gladiator’s Gauntlet. Whether you’ve made it to 60, or are enjoying leveling, whether you’re a Protector or an Outlaw, and whether you’ve leapt into the arena or are still gathering your gear, we hope you’re enjoying Season 2!
Over the past few days, we’ve made a few MASSIVE updates to our seasonal realm. Although we’ve announced them individually in tweets, we wanted to compile them here for players who missed them, or who wanted more details. Below you’ll find the slew of changes we’ve made during the past five days to Ascension Season 2! We hope you enjoy them.
Mystic Enchants Stack to Three, Down from Five
Mystic Enchantments are a huge part of Ascension; they add another layer of customization to heroes, and allow players to mold their characters exactly how they’d like them to be. Through the Mystic Enchantment system, players can acutely decide which of their abilities they’d like to improve--which abilities they favor, and which they want to be the core of their kit. The system is truly one of Ascension’s staples.
However, at the moment, it isn’t operating how we’d like it to. Rather than using Mystic Enchantments to improve the abilities they use most often, many players look for the strongest ability that has the most enchantments affecting it, and stack those enchantments to create a sort of ‘one-trick-pony’ hero. Rather than looking at the skills they want, players are looking for the enchantments they want. This leads to players settling into a few strong builds, playing them to death, and seeing other people doing the same. The root of this problem is just how strong stacking Mystic Enchantments can be. So we’re tuning it down.
They Stack to 3 Now
Now, on Bloodscalp, you can have a maximum of three Mystic Enchantments of the same name on your gear at a time. That’s it: three. With this change in, we expect to see a lot more build diversity; rather than relying on Mystic Enchantments for strength, more potential will come from player’s individual choices--the skills and spells they pick, and which of those abilities they enhance with RE’s. Essentially, enchantments now exist to compliment your build, rather than define it.
The Karma System Overhaul
Originally, a little bit of Criminal Intent and a few player kills was all it took for a Hero to fall into the ranks of “Outlaw”, and incur the consequences--good and bad--that came with it. This was well known to veterans, however new players to Ascension weren’t entirely aware of just what they were getting themselves into. It only took a few player kills to become Unfriendly with [The Law], and as anyone from Season 1 knows, earning their respect again after a fall from grace is a tough challenge. We recently made a few drastic changes to the Karma system on Bloodscalp to allow players to toy with Free for All PvP without being severely punished for experimenting:
First, becoming Unfriendly with The Law from Neutral will now take significantly more kills. If a player is being nasty to you, or if you really, really want that ore node, you’ll be able to flip on Criminal Intent and make a few sneaky kills without [The Law] bringing judgment down too harshly on you.
Second, we fixed a lot of Safe Zone issues and Guard behavior with regards to Karma. You should see both working a lot more smoothly now.
META Changing Balance Updates
Our Balance Team has been working hard on a few changes aimed specifically at Bloodscalp with the intention of limiting high-burst potential--both damage and healing--and the amount of Passive Sustain players can have. Our goal is to get PvP into a smoother ebb and flow--to make combat more reminiscent of a grueling, hard-fought battle, rather than bursty fights with Health Bars bouncing from zero to full and back again.
You can see a full list of balance changes, and a greater description, on our Forum thread right here:
First-Class Experimental Teleporters
Ever dream of parachuting down into the middle of battle, landing in the fray of combat unexpectedly and decemating your foes? So have we: so we built First-Class Experimental Teleporters.
Available in Goblin Cities, these suckers will instantly skydrop you into one of several Zones at the push of a button, letting players skip travel time to remote zones and instead jump straight into the action--or fall, as the case may be. Whether you need to get to Silithus or Winterspring, Gurubashi or the Plaguelands, this is the way to get there.
It’s Falling, with Style!
First-Class Experimental Teleporters are live on Bloodscalp, so if you need to get somewhere in a hurry, click a button, and prepare for liftoff.
Booty Bay Points of Interest
With Booty Bay functioning as the capital of the Outlaws, we figured it was high time we make things there easier to find. There are so many levels, boats, and bridges that sometimes the town gets a little confusing. No longer! We’ve given the Booty Bay Guards an overhaul to make them just as useful as guards in the faction capitals. Now, you’ll be able to use the Booty Bay Bruisers as your guides to the city! If you’re ever lost in the riggings, find a guard and ask for some help. They’ll be happy to point you in the right direction.
Resurrecting in the Closest Town on Death
Nobody likes being camped: whether it’s by a group, or a higher-level player, or an experienced veteran, on High-Risk, dying is too big of a deal to let it happen more than once. Previously, our escape mechanism was a “Teleport to Major City” option that appeared above your character after death. This button allowed you to warp to your faction’s capital while dead, preventing further ganks, and securing your gear, for the low price of a full repair bill: chump change, compared to replacing an epic.
However, in the middle of a farming session, teleporting halfway across the world, or to another continent, might be more inconvenient than risking your gear again--or at least it might seem more inconvenient. Which means you might risk it only to be ganked again and lose another piece.
You know what doesn’t seem inconvenient? Teleporting to the nearest town instead.
Nope on Out of There
We recently introduced a change on Bloodscalp that lets players teleport to the nearest safe zone / town upon death, allowing players to get a breath of fresh air from ganks without having to travel all the way back to the zone they were in from a capital city. This way, you can rest, re-buff, and head back out into the action with less travel time, and less delay. Don’t let death keep you down, heroes--stand up, and try again!
Zul’Gurub Release and ZG Gear Drop In-World
The Blood God rises, heroes, and he’s out for… well, blood. Zul’Gurub has released on Bloodscalp, and with it, ZG gear has been added to world-mob loot tables! Get ready to dive into an updated and re-written Zul’gurub, and face Hakkar like never before.
Mildly Historically Accurate
You can check out the full article on Bloodscalp’s Zul’Gurub release right here:
Sub-Level 55 Quest Item Party Loot
Leveling with friends is fun. Making friends while you level, and creating a group is fun. But you know what isn’t fun? Trying to complete a quest when only one item can be looted by a party member at once.
We want players to group with each other--make friends, form alliances, and create bonds. Playing with others and meeting new people is one of the core important parts of an MMORPG. When players have to compete for quest items, it discourages that. For that reason, we’ve turned on Party Loot for all quest items under level 55. With this change, we hope to promote grouping--players banning together to fight ambushes, Protectors teaming up to quest and fight Outlaws, Outlaws grouping up to quest and ambush Protectors, and overall encourage more interaction between players. If heroes don’t have to compete for quest loot, there’s a higher chance they’ll group up.
We like that. So party-loot is on.
Arena NPC’s in Booty Bay
With Booty Bay serving as the Outlaw hotspot and major city, and with the season encouraging gladiatorial combat (it is called Gladiator’s Gauntlet, after all) we figured it would be a good idea to add arena NPCs to Booty Bay. Queue up in 2v2’s, 3v3’s, 5v5’s, or even our custom 1v1 Arena Matches and put your gear and spec to the test!
Queue with the Big Boys
Note as well that players don’t lose gear from Arena matches, making it a great way to test new builds and compete with other players.
A Lesser Known Evil
By now, heroes, you’ve probably seen and used the Hero’s Call and Warchief’s Command boards: they hand out daily and weekly quests that players can tackle to find other players attempting to do the same.
They’re Hard to Miss
We’ve added 10 new daily quests to the Call Boards: titled “A Lesser Known Evil”, these quests will appear from time to time alongside familiar dailies for players to challenge themselves with. Get ready for a slew of new quests on the Call Boards!
Attention to High Level Intervention Prevention
Heroes, you guys are clever. We’re constantly impressed by your craftiness and resourcefulness when it comes to playing on Ascension: but come on! Having your high-level friends help you slaughter players your level is just plain wrong! When you’re level 30, and you’ve got a max level, epic geared ally healing you while you roam Stranglethorn Vale as an unstoppable killing machine, it takes the challenge away from PvP engagements. We think everyone will be happy if we make that not work. So we are.
We’ve implemented a system that will prevent high-level players from helping their lower-level friends slaughter lowbies. We’re pretty sure that will make the lowbies happy, and the folks that were doing it say “Yeah, that should probably be that way.”
Towns Are Safe
Speaking of safe things, towns should probably be on that list. Originally, walking into a town placed you under the protection of guards; if anyone attempted to attack you, guards would rush to your aid. However, this was still a bit lackluster--your PvP flag was still on, so clever grouped players could have a few heroes kite the guards while several others took you out. We made a change to that.
Now, entering a town will de-flag you from PvP combat, as long as you are not a criminal or outlaw. When you step into a town, you’ll get a five second buff, marking you as nearly-safe. After five seconds, when the buff expires, your PvP flag will be removed, and you’ll be secure from any threats so long as you stay within the town. Outlaws, of course, are still vulnerable in towns, but this buff should provide neutral players and Protectors a bit of added safety in addition to Guards.
Speaking of guards, did you know we revamped over 500 guards throughout the world to have enhanced AI when interacting with the Karma System? If you’re an Outlaw, you’d better watch out. You’d better not cry. Why?
They’ll get you.
That’s it for our changes, heroes! We hope you’re enjoying the season, and keep an eye out for more changes to Bloodscalp coming soon.
Check out everything you need to know about Season 2 with the Ascension Seasonal Overview video!