Development Team Letter 2018

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  1. DSO Production Team

    DSO Production Team Community Team Team Drakensang Online

    Dear Community,

    We know that it’s been a while since our last update and we’re really sorry about that. We promised to keep the communication flowing from now on and we are really sorry about how long this has taken for you to hear anything from us about this.

    However, we had some very busy weeks in order to bring the class rebalancing a huge step forward. With the following letter, we would like to shed some light on the planned changes (amongst other information regarding upcoming features and the rest of 2018!).

    But let’s start with the most urgent topic:

    Class Balancing (PvE & Group) changes

    When we first started to put this topic on the table, we defined one major rule for anything related to balancing changes in the future: We will only change how the classes play and interact with each other in a beneficial way for all players.
    That being said, we have been extremely overwhelmed by the huge amount of feedback and suggestions we’ve received and – as we told you before – used a lot of time to analyze every bit of the information and ideas you submitted.
    The first big update will include changes to all of the skill and talent tooltips, new group talents, changes to the wisdom system and overall adjustments to skills and talents. In light of this we would like to take the time to explain a bit further, about what kind of changes we’re talking about.

    Let’s start with the tooltips

    The current set of tooltips that you get information from about how skills and their respective talents are working have some tremendous differences in terms of terminology and information they deliver. That’s why we’re currently going through each and every skill and talent tooltip to rewrite the text, add new highlighting and a completely new format that will help all of you to get a better grip on the actual functions of all skills and talents. In the future, you will see all effects explained in a detailed fashion, including target type, timings etc. We believe that this is a huge step forward to mastering your class and helping you get started with new classes.

    Let’s continue with the planned group talents

    One of our major goal is to bring all classes up to the same level of usefulness and fun. That’s why we will add a completely new tree of talents and perks that you can use depending on the class you play. These useful new effects that you can be triggered by using certain skills.
    Please see the examples below, but keep in mind that these effects are currently in a work-in-progress state and could possibly change.

    Bird of Prey

    Running out of mana or steam in the middle of a stressful fight? With this talent, your fellow Ranger can help you out! If you invest group talent points (working title) into this group skill talent, the Bird of Prey skill can restore the resources of your group members.

    Bloody Wild Swing
    bloody wild swing.png

    Are some members of your group running low of health points and you’re on the verge of losing a fight? With this addition to the Bloody Wild Swing, you can pump up the health points of your group a bit, depending on how manymonsters you hit critically.

    Rocket Pack
    rocket pack.png

    Need an extra push to get through a particularly tough phase of a boss fight? Using this additional effect for the Rocket Jump, all Steam Mechanicus players can drop an area-of-effect that will reduce all cooldowns for group members inside it to zero. This can be a useful push that helps you get out of trouble while empowering the group members that you left behind.

    Frost Nova
    frost nova.png

    What do you do when a massive horde of enemies comes bearing down on you? With this group talent each group member that is within range of your Frost Nova, will also cast a frost explosion that deals additional ice damage. This is a great way to expand your reach as a mid-ranged Spellweaver and to add a bit of your magical power to the actions of your fellow group members!

    Group Auras Talents (working title)
    group aura.PNG

    Each class will get its own set of aura talents (working title) that will add positive effects for all nearby group members. For example, each class will have an aura that increases the resistance values against one of the four main elements: Lightning, Poison, Ice or Fire. Each class will have three completely unique aura talents, so we’re sure that you will have plenty of fun finding awesome combinations, together with your fellow group members.

    Let’s move on to wisdom related changes.

    In general, the wisdom system was designed to create long-term goals beyond the actual level progression. That being said, it’s been a while since we updated this system in order to fit the new optimized play styles. This is why we would like to introduce some changes that we’re about to apply to the wisdom tree. Here we go!

    New max. level

    In order to expand the system, we’re about to increase the max. level of it to an undefined height. Obviously, this will require some adjustments to how you receive wisdom and how much of it is needed in order to jump up to the next level. Overall, the goal is to provide all of you with a much more flexible and fast paced system, which is going to be revamped in order to deliver a tangible feeling of progression on a daily basis and beyond your actual level progression.

    New wisdom talents

    With the live sync of the class balancing release, you will encounter more than 20 new wisdom talents, divided into several categories. General combat boosts, mastery of certain weapon types or even some convenience related talents; we’re sure you’re going to dive into the new approach very quick and discover some very interesting combinations! Here are some examples:

    Feeling lucky today?
    Feeling Lucky today.png

    Investing in this talent will increase the number of coins you find on enemies in Dracania! Increase this talent even further to hear the definitely coins clink!

    Do you need a bit of health?

    This talent will deliver it! With this talent enabled, you will regain some of your max. health points for each enemy you kill. It’s especially useful in heated battles with a ton of little creeps all around you, isn’t it?

    One-handed or two-handed weapons… which do you prefer?
    1h vs 2h.PNG

    You decide! With these two talents, you can invest your talent points to increase the damage of either one-handed or two-handed weapons… it’s up to you!
    Please keep in mind that the talents listed above are not 100% final in how they behave etc., but we will keep you updated about any changes we make.

    Overall adjustments are #4 in our class balancing (PvE & group) list, so let’s move on!

    Drakensang Online has evolved in many aspects over the years and so have you and your experiences. This has led to a slow, but steady change in perception of the available difficulties and challenges (e.g. in events or in boss fights). To cater for this, we will also be changing the overall power progression of monsters and how they interact with your character and skill set. That being said, we’re not planning on “just adding power” to all of the monsters. Rather we want to emphasize their unique features a bit more, by moving them in different directions and applying a certain focus to their behaviors. It’s a bit too early to talk about the details here, but we’re sure that you’re going to like the feeling of how DSO will evolve with these adjustments!
    So, as you can see, the Class Balancing (PvE & Group) is quite a big and important topic to us. That’s why we’re happy to announce that a group of moderators will be visiting us on the 17th and 18th of March to get their hands on a first build of the rework in order to provide us with face-to-face feedback. We will do our best to implement all the feedback that we will receive and then – again a few days later – we will be putting the first version on our test server for public testing. We’ll be thrilled to receive your feedback!

    This is not the end…

    We would like to talk about a bit more! About PvP, for example.
    With an aching heart, we read through your honest and very accurate feedback regarding our current PvP setup. And as we mentioned in late 2017, we’re doing something about this!
    The upcoming class balancing is a change in pace for your PvE and group related experiences, but it’s not going to tremendously change PvP, that’s for sure.
    We’re currently exploring possibilities with PvP in many directions in order to bring it back to a place that is fair, fast and fun. For example, we are thinking about some solutions like splitting PvE and PvP gear in general, changing the way you play in PvP by adding new abilities or even adding a per-match-progression which would allow all players to even the odds.
    However, these are just rough sketches next to a ton of other ideas that we currently have for PvP. We know that this isn’t a huge update on information regarding this topic, but we want to make clear that it’s still in development, we’re still gathering any bit of feedback you sent in to us and we’re going to make PvP enjoyable again by applying the 3F-formula stated earlier. Promise!

    We’re not done, yet. Let’s talk about the upcoming Content Expansion!

    Remember that we told you about a new content expansion, that is supposed to come out in 2018? While, we’re not going to give you an exact date now, but we would like to tell you a bit more about this update.
    It’s still not about increasing the level cap from 55 to 60, as we’ve already said beforehand. A lot of you were very vocal and active about this change, so that’s why we've decided to add this chunk of content, that will include a completely new piece of story, new maps, new monsters and 2 new bosses, without increasing the level cap. As you can imagine, these decisions come with several additional aspects that we need to consider, such as the power progression of all enemies (as stated earlier), how new equipment fits into the power curves we have already and how we communicate the difference between max level monsters in “older” regions and the new areas. As we try to apply the 3F-formula to this update, as well, we will take our time to answer those questions in the most accurate and understandable way possible before we release the expansion.
    Nevertheless, we would like to provide you with a sneak peek of what you can expect in this next chunk of content. As you might remember, we already told you that the next content expansion will be intertwined with the Parallel Worlds. That means you will have to go to the Splintered City of Cardhun to get things started with the new storyline. While you’re progressing through the story, alongside Ammon and new allies, you will encounter strange creatures and completely new areas of the Parallel Worlds. You will also face well-known and long-forgotten enemies that might surprise you with their new and devastating powers.
    This mysterious creature is huge. Soon you’ll find out what this strange thing in his hand is all about!

    Unfortunately, we can’t tell you anything about the story or go more into details about a great comeback () that we’re currently planning, but we’re confident that you’re going to enjoy this new expansion and the battle against the hordes of these new foes.

    And as we briefly mentioned before, the new expansion will have some unique features, such as a correlation with the leaderboard seasons. We’re also planning to bring combined opportunities to all players that are either thrilled about fighting the newest boss or competing in the leaderboard rankings. With this setup, we can also keep the content fresh by adding unique challenges and group related factors.

    The working title for this little one is the “Shadow Critter”. We’re sure this is not everything they can do!

    We believe that we will be able to bring an enjoyable new area of Dracania’s twisted Parallel World to you by addressing the need for both, new content in general and an expansion of our late game experience. We’re looking forward to see what you have to say about this direction!

    This is how a map looks in our level editor. The architecture looks familiar, but… this isn’t Cardhun, is it?

    To celebrate your victories in PvP together, we will also improve our social features

    And that’s why we’re going to vastly improve the social aspects of Drakensang Online this year. By adding group mechanics and talents with the class rebalancing, there is more need than ever the need for a more convenient group system and meaningful guilds. We’re talking about a hall for your guild, modernized chat and invitation systems, unique challenges and events for guild members and so on. Keep in mind that this is still very much a work-in-progress, so there has been no final decision made regarding what this will look like exactly, but the goal is clear: All social aspects of DSO should support you and your friends playing and sticking together, instead of being inconvenient and old school.

    Wait a second, what’s up with events in 2018?

    Last but not least, we would like to share some information regarding upcoming and planned events with you. Our CM Jesse already published the event plan for this month, so we will focus on what is coming next. (This is not in chronological order)

    Kingshill Sewers Update

    For the third time, heroes of Dracania need to help Sir Kendrick defeat the plague that is coming from the sewers below Kingshill. This time, we will add new content, maps, combat challenges and rewards to the event. We’ve heard your feedback regarding the structure and balancing and will be adjusting it. We hope that the new mechanics that we’re about to add will make it more enjoyable for all of you. You can see some concepts of the new additions on our social media platforms. So, go check it out!

    Helios Games

    It feels like it’s been a decade since we last saw the last Helios Games in Dracania. This PvP driven event was one of our all-time favorites, but – as you know – now is not the right time to give it a try just yet. As soon as we’ve improved PvP, the Helios Games will be right around the corner to bring action and challenges to an arena near you!

    All-new Event

    With the upcoming class balancing, we will be putting more focus on group play and how our four classes interact with each other. And once we’ve applied these changes to the game, we – obviously – want to make use of them! That’s why we will come up with a completely new event which will put your team skills to the test! So, make sure to dive deep into the new talents as quickly as possible!
    We’re looking forward to your feedback and we really hope you enjoy DSO as much as we do. We know it’s not where it should be right now, but together we can bring it up there. So, thanks again for your endless support and the loads of useful suggestions, ideas and criticism!

    Your Drakensang Online Team

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