Addendum, Nov 7 Patched again on Steam to fix problems with the physics in the Ilmari desert. This was a client-side fix only; the server was not rebooted.
Update Notes: November 6, 2020
With this update, the Halloween event comes to an end. But there is a silver lining: it's cranberry season! Also look for special seasonal recipes (they can drop as loot scrolls) throughout the month.
There are also some balance changes in this update, mainly for Shield, Staff, and Cow. You can read on to get an understanding of the longer-term goals, or just jump to the sections on each specific skill.
The changes will require players to adapt a bit - especially high-level players-- so for the next few weeks all the affected skills are much cheaper to Transmute. This will help you convert your equipment as needed. Remember to report any bugs you find with the in-game bug report button, and thank you for helping us make Project: Gorgon!
Skill Rebalances: Background Info
One of our near-term goals for combat is to make high-level fights last longer (both solo fights and group fights). Combat will be more strategic and frankly more fun when each fight lasts a few seconds longer to allow for more decisions. One of the problems with this plan is that currently, most players would die if they had to stand toe-to-toe with monsters for much longer than they do now. So in the future, we'll be experimenting with some new game mechanics to increase player survivability.
Before we make big systemic changes, though, we need to review the existing tools for survivability, namely skills, abilities, and treasure. So in this update, we aren't doing anything to actually lengthen combat yet. We're doing a review of the "tankiest" skills in the game: Staff, Shield, and Cow. (We'll look at other skills with defensive aspects, such as Unarmed, Ice Magic, and Deer, in a separate update.)
Some of Staff and Shield's abilities have been changed pretty dramatically to help support longer combats. We'll use Staff's ability "Blocking Stance" as an example of how we've changed things. This ability could be explained as: "for 10 seconds out of every 30, you don't take physical damage (slashing/crushing/piercing)". This ability was jaw-droppingly powerful... a third of the time. The rest of the time you just had to wait (or die). This ability could be really fun, but it wasn't a great fit for our plan to lengthen combat duration. And due to its extreme potency, there wasn't much for the ability's treasure to do: it was already so powerful that treasure couldn't go much further. Hence boring loot.
The new version of Blocking Stance has flat physical mitigation that lasts 30 seconds (meaning you can sustain it indefinitely), and the treasure effects are more directly beneficial to survival. We've tried to keep some of the ability's original "use it at just the right moment" flavor too by keeping 3 seconds of invincibility (instead of a whopping 10).
Two other combat abilities were similarly changed to work better in longer fights with less downtime: shield's Elemental Ward and staff's Deflective Spin. Beyond that, we've done a bunch of balance tuning-up for all three skills, buffing a bunch of treasure (and nerfing a few), adding some new treasure effects, and for the Shield skill, trying out a new combat ability. Some of these changes are a little experimental, in the "hmm, maybe this will be interesting, let's find out" kind of way. So we'll be awaiting your feedback.
These changes will definitely mess up high-level players' builds. So to help you get back up to speed, we've dramatically reduced the Transmutation costs for these skills for the next few weeks. Visit an Item Workbench to see the effective costs for your items.
Shield is intended to be a super-versatile survival skill, able to pair with all sorts of other skills to help keep you alive. One notable weakness was that it wasn't great at tanking Elite bosses, so we've added some new options to help you build for that job.
The ability "Vigorous Defense" has been completely replaced. New ability: "Bulwark Mode". This toggled ability reduces your damage output and sprint speed in exchange for damage mitigation. The highest version (at level 75) reduces your damage output by 50%, reduces sprint by 15%, and reduces all direct damage you take by 27%. It can be turned on and off at will with no Power cost.
- - If you already knew Vigorous Defense, you now automatically know Bulwark Mode instead.
- - Treasure change: "Vigorous Defense Restores +48 Power" => "While Bulwark Mode is enabled you recover 13 Armor per second"
- - Treasure change: "Vigorous Defense boosts your Sprint Speed +7 for 15 seconds" => "While Bulwark Mode is enabled you recover 10 Power per second"
- - New treasure (Legs): While Bulwark Mode is active all your attacks taunt +50% and restore 17 Health to you
- - New treasure (Head, Main Hand): "While Bulwark Mode is active all your attacks taunt +50% and restore 26 Armor to you"
- - Changed the Elemental Ward ability to: "Reduces elemental damage (Fire, Cold, or Electricity) by 35 for 30 seconds, and for the first 3 seconds, provides complete immunity to elemental damage." [This is the level 75 version.]
- - Treasure change: "Elemental Ward mitigates 45% of all Poison damage for 10 seconds" => "Elemental Ward mitigates +54 Darkness damage for 30 seconds"
- - Treasure change: "Elemental Ward mitigates 45% of all Trauma damage for 10 seconds" => "Elemental Ward mitigates +55 direct Trauma damage for 30 seconds"
- - New treasure (Chest, Ring): "Elemental Ward mitigates +32 elemental damage (Fire, Cold, and Electricity) for 30 seconds"
Other Treasure Changes
- - "All types of shield Bash attacks restore 16 armor" => 21 armor
- - "Stunning Bash deals X Trauma damage over 12 seconds" did not also apply to Emergency Bash, but now does
- - "Finish It Restores 62 Health" => this treasure effect was bugged and did not work. Also, healing changed from 62 to 68 (@ level 80)
- - "Disrupting Bash deals +40% damage and taunts +460" => "Disrupting Bash causes the next attack that hits you to deal 29 less damage"
- - "Infuriating Bash generates no Rage and lowers Rage by 725" => "Infuriating Bash reduces the Power cost of melee attacks by 10 for 6 seconds"
- - "Direct Acid Mitigation +24 and Indirect Acid Mitigation +4 while Shield skill active" => "Max Armor +36, Direct Acid Mitigation +24, and Indirect Acid Mitigation +4 while Shield skill active"
- - New treasure effect (Feet): "All Shield attacks have a 22% chance to conjure a force-shield that mitigates 10% of all slashing, crushing, and piercing damage for 30 seconds (or until 100 damage is absorbed). Stacks up to 5 times
- - New treasure effect (Hands): "All Shield attacks have a 22% chance to conjure a force-shield that mitigates 10% of all direct nature, darkness, demonic, and acid damage for 30 seconds (or until 100 damage is absorbed). Stacks up to 5 times
- - New treasure effect (Chest, Legs): "Fight Me You Fools deals +18% damage and restores 96 Health over 8 seconds"
Staff is another extremely defense-oriented combat skill. It was already pretty good at that role, although its Elite-tanking options were a little limited. As explained above, the skill's two signature defensive abilities, Deflective Spin and Blocking Stance, were heavily revised. This will take some getting used to, but will hopefully end up being more fun in the long run. (With good gear, of course! These abilities now benefit more directly from their treasure.)
- - Ability Change: At max level the protective buff changed to 13% universal mitigation for 15 seconds. Base damage increased.
- - Treasure: "Deflective Spin heals 108 Health over 60 seconds" => 270 health over 15 seconds
- - Treasure: "If you have less than half of your Health remaining, Deflective Spin heals you for 31% of your Max Health" => "Deflective Spin restores 66 Health instantly and provides +50 Mitigation from all Elite attacks for 15 seconds"
- - Treasure: "Deflective Spin restores 54 Power after a 20 second delay" => "Deflective Spin costs -9 Power and mitigates +11 damage from each attack for 15 seconds"
- - New Treasure: (Ring): "Deflective Spin gives you +18% Projectile Evasion for 15 seconds"
- - Ability changes: "For the next 10 seconds, you suffer no physical damage" => "Reduces any physical damage you suffer for 30 seconds, and for the first 3 seconds you are immune to physical damage" (base ability @ level 77 mitigates +34 slashing/crushing/piercing from regular enemies, and +68 more against Elites). Ability cost increased.
- - Changed Treasure: "Blocking Stance restores 50 Power to you" => "Blocking Stance costs -16 Power and mitigates +10% of physical damage from Elite attackers for 30 seconds"
- - Changed Treasure: "For 30 seconds after using Blocking Stance, your Mentalism Base Damage is +14.5%" => "Blocking Stance boosts your Psychic Damage +6.75% for 30 seconds"
- - Changed Treasure: "Blocking Stance boosts your Direct Cold Damage +19.5% for 30 seconds" => "Blocking Stance boosts your Cold Damage +6.75% for 30 seconds"
- - New Treasure: (Head, Necklace): "Blocking Stance mitigates +12 physical damage (Crushing, Slashing, Piercing) for 30 seconds. Against Elite enemies, mitigates +24 more."
- - Lunge: ability's internal "power category" was increased, increasing Power cost, base damage, and potency of treasure effects. (All Lunge treasure was affected at least slightly; for brevity only significant changes are listed here)
- - "Lunge hits all enemies within 5 meters, but deals -8% damage and reuse timer is +2 seconds" => "Lunge hits all enemies within 7 meters and deals +175 damage to health and armor, but reuse timer is +2 seconds"
- - "Lunge deals +121 armor damage" => "Lunge causes the next attack that hits you to deal 29 less damage"
- - "Double Hit costs -16 Power and makes the target 10% more vulnerable to Slashing for 15 seconds" => "Double Hit costs -16 Power and makes the target 10% more vulnerable to direct Fire and Cold damage for 8 seconds"
- - Smash, Double Hit, and Heed The Stick Damage +69 => +125
- - "Pin boosts Core Attack and Nice Attack Damage +68 for 7 seconds" => +98 for 15 seconds
- - "Phoenix Strike deals +36% Fire damage to melee attackers, and ability reuse timer is -7 seconds" => +36 becomes +41%
- - Headcracker and Strategic Thrust deal +16% damage and reuse timer is -1 second => +22%
- - "Lunge deals +39% damage to health and armor" => +43%
No huge changes here, but some new treasure. Many of these are mix-and-match tools for tanking high-level Elite enemies. Since Cow is a true "tank" skill, properly prepared Cow players should obviously be able to tank Elite monsters... but we also recognize that not all cattle dream of leading a herd into battle. So we've tried to combine the new Elite-specific buffs with buffs that are useful for solo play.
For technical reasons (to avoid "breaking" any existing equipment), some treasure effects had to be shuffled around a bit, e.g. treasure that lowered an ability's Power cost may have switched to a different slot. So your existing equipment may have unexpected buffs. (But at least they won't be marked as Legacy Items.) Remember that Cow gear can be Transmuted cheaply for the next few weeks!
- - "Chew Cud increases your mitigation versus all attacks by Elites +14 for 10 seconds" => now +34. Also, this treasure effect was bugged and did not work before
- - "Tough Hoof has a 66% chance to deal +86% damage and taunt +800" => "Tough Hoof costs -26 Power and mitigates +11% of all Elite attacks for 8 seconds"
- - "Tough Hoof deals +51% damage and taunts +800" => "Tough Hoof deals +51% damage and reuse timer is -1 second"
- - "Cow's Bash restores 33 Power to you" => "Cow's Bash deals +80 damage, taunts +800, and reuse timer is -1 second"
- - "Indirect Nature Damage +40% when skill Cow active" => "Indirect Nature Damage and Indirect Trauma Damage +40% when skill Cow active"
- - "Deadly Emission Deals +255 Nature damage over 10 seconds and Taunts +400" => 255 to 415
- - "You regenerate +20 Health per tick (every 5 seconds, in and out of combat) while Cow skill active" => "While Cow skill is active, you regenerate +32 Health every 5 seconds and resist +16 damage from Elite Crushing, Slashing, or Piercing attacks"
- - New treasure (Feet): "Cow's Bash costs -33 Power"
- - New treasure (off-hand): "Deadly Emission Deals +170 Nature damage over 10 seconds and reduces targets' next attack by 35%"
- - New treasure (ring): "Clobbering Hoof deals +35% damage and if target is Elite, reduces their attack damage 10% for 10 seconds"
- - New treasure (chest, hands): "Max Power +31 and Vulnerability to Elite Damage -8% when Cow skill active"
- - New treasure (hands): "Tough Hoof deals +132 damage and taunts +950"
Rabbit isn't a tanky skill, so this is a bit off-focus for the rest of the skill changes, but there's a rabbit-themed live event coming up soon, so we've made some changes to make high-level builds a little more fun and impressive, whether combined with Unarmed or Ice Magic.
- - Ability change: Carrot Power: Base chance to consume carrot changed from 33% to 10%. Tweaked wording to make it clear that Rabbit Treats act as Carrots for purposes of this ability
- - Ability change: "Bun Fu Blitz" is renamed "Bun Fu Kick", and is now considered a kick for purposes of effects that boost kicks. ("Thump" also continues to be a kick.)
- - Treasure change: "Bun-Fu Blast deals Cold damage (instead of Psychic). Reuse timer is -1 second and damage is +68" => "Bun-Fu Blast deals Cold damage (instead of Psychic), and Ice Magic attacks boost the damage of Bun-Fu Blast by 16% for 60 seconds (max 20 stacks)"
- - Treasure change: "Carrot Power restores 144 Health after a 12 second delay" => 240 health after an 8-second delay
- - Treasure change: "Carrot Power boosts the damage from all kicks +124 for 10 seconds" => +192
- - Treasure change: "Bun-Fu Strike deals Cold damage (instead of Crushing) and deals +112 damage " => additional feature: "... and hastens the reset timer of Bun Fu Blast by 2 seconds"
- - New treasure effect (Chest): "Love Tap boosts your Melee Evasion +11.5% for 15 seconds"
- - Rabbit gear can be transmuted cheaply at Item Workbenches for the next few weeks
Spirit Fox Changes
Just bug-fixes this time around. The fox's treasure tables aren't completely full yet, so there's room to add more special treasure effects, but we haven't decided what yet. (Perhaps we'll add tools to synergize with another skill... what skill pairing would you like to see?)
- - treasure that boosted Paradox Trot only lasted for a maximum of 20 seconds (not 60 as intended)
- - treasure that boosted the stats of summoned Trick Foxes did not work
- - "Blur Step provides +N% Burst Evasion for 20 seconds, and Paradox Trot boosts Sprint Speed +1": this treasure effect is available on two item slots, but having both did not stack
- - "Blur Step provides +N% Ranged Evasion for 20 seconds, and Paradox Trot boosts Sprint Speed +1": this treasure effect is available on two item slots, but having both did not stack
Nimble Gear Nerf
These crafted garments triggered too often and have been toned down. (This is actually a reversion of a buff from a while back. Nimble gear isn't intended for tanking, and the shorter reset times ended up being too good.)
- - Crafted Nimble Coat: Every 15 (or 12) seconds, automatically Evade the first Melee attack aimed at you => triggers every 30 (or 25) seconds
- - Crafted Nimble Pants: Every 15 (or 12) seconds, automatically Evade the first Ranged attack aimed at you => triggers every 30 (or 25) seconds
- - Crafted Nimble Shoes: Every 15 (or 12) seconds, automatically Evade the first Burst attack aimed at you => triggers every 30 (or 25) seconds
"Monster Shout Suppression" Indicator
Certain abilities prevent a monster from shouting for help. For instance, if you mesmerize a monster, it does not call for backup. A handful of crowd-control abilities have this feature, and a few surprising abilities have it also. We've been considering how this feature might evolve in the future, and suddenly realized this info wasn't actually visible in-game anywhere. So it is now!
The following abilities now indicate that they prevent the target from shouting for help. Remember that this is only a display change; these abilities already did this.
- - Unarmed: Front Kick, Barrage, Hip Throw, Claw Barrage
- - Fire Magic: Defensive Burst
- - Psychology: Tell Me About Your Mother, Cause Terror
- - Pig: Pig Punt, Squeal, Harmlessness
- - Deer: Deer Bash
- - Cow: Cow Bash
- - Staff: Redirect, Suppress
- - Necromancy: Deathgaze
- - Archery: Snare Arrow
- - Spider: Gripjaw, Terrifying Bite
- - Shield: Stunning Bash, Emergency Bash
- - Hammer: |Leaping Smash
- - Ice Magic: Freeze Solid
- - Bard: Entrancing Lullaby
- - Rabbit: Play Dead, Love Tap
- - Miscellaneous: Horrifying Screech, Visage of Kajich
A few other abilities gain this power from treasure effects, namely Werewolf's Sanguine Fangs and Knife Fighting's Marking Cut. In those cases, it was already displayed.
- - Players receive new bonus levels in Cooking by reaching level 70 in Gardening, level 49 in Knife Fighting, level 30 in Shamanic Infusion, level 35 in Alchemy, and level 60 in Skinning
- - Tweaked cow porkpie hat visual positioning
- - Removed physics collision from some deployable candles
- - Fixed significant framerate drop in Serbule and Serbule Hills during certain hours of the morning, when the camera was facing certain directions. (The "fix" involves making the sun not cast shadows too early in the morning. It's not exactly an elegant or permanent fix, but it'll do for now. The "real" fix will probably involve replacing the sky system again.)
- - The Ilmari Desert has undergone graphical renovation. This is mainly a test of a new system for terrain decoration. Theoretically, you should have about the same framerate as before, even though the desert now has thousands more decorative elements (mainly boulders, but also clumps of trees, grass, etc.)
- - Fixed bug with certain Graphics Settings sliders that incorrectly rounded a fractional number to the nearest whole number, even if that made the value invalid. E.g. when a slider was supposed to have a minimum value of 0.1, it got rounded to 0.0. (You can still type in "invalid" numbers manually, but they will be capped to the intended min/max the next time you move the slider.)