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Developer Diaries

 

Gear Rework

 
 
 
 
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Cam "Hephaestus"
Designer
Hello Wizards!

This article is being written to give more clarity on the recent changes with gear in the Spring Update and to give you a better idea of where we’re headed in the future.

For those unfamiliar with the changes, check out the April 2022 Update Notes.

Previously known as the “Gear Audit,” this Gear Rework has been in the works for over a year. These were our main goals for doing this rework…
  • Develop a template system that allows for diversity of gear options
  • Create desirable gear that is in contention with gear both old and new, but doesn’t blow previous gear completely out of the water
  • Reinforce School Identity in stats
  • Integrate dual school stats onto gear without sacrificing main school stats
Each of these deserves some explanation...

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Gear Templates


For the gear rework, we have designed a new template system which includes different versions of gear based on separate roles. Right now, our templates are comprised of 3 roles, Offense, Defense, and Utility. Each gear template is a combination of those three roles as well as a dual school. This difference in roles allows players to have choices in gear that provide ways for players to customize their gear setup.

Offense includes stats like Damage, Pierce, and Critical. Defense includes stats like Resist, Block, and Health; and Utility includes stats such as Accuracy, Power Pip Chance, and Shadow Pip Rating.

For example, the most recent world gear we created (for Dragonspyre, Khrysalis, and Lemuria) was based on a set that is primarily Offense, secondarily Defense, and lastly Utility. You may have noticed the Merciless gear (for example) has noticeably low Utility stats, and that some stats are missing from certain gear slots entirely.

Accounting for existing gear during the template creation process uncovered some inconsistencies in stat distribution. Although the schools still have the proper distribution of stats across the full sets, not all specific slots will reflect that distribution. For example, Fire has less Damage than Death on the level 150 Ring slot. This does not mean that Fire has less Damage than Death overall, and you can see this by looking at the full set. This difference in stats on specific pieces is magnified when players mix and match new gear with existing gear, but in general, you’ll still end up with the stat differences you’re used to between schools.

Desirable Gear


One of the most difficult tasks of this Gear Rework was finding the right balance between existing gear and new gear. If the new gear is worse than existing gear, then players won’t care about any new gear we add. If the new gear is strictly better than existing gear, then that would make all our existing dungeons and combats irrelevant. We want players to desire the new gear, but not because it’s simply better than all existing gear.

In the past, the players were used to a system where every 30 or 40 levels, there was an obvious best setup for every character, and you could use that gear for a long time before needing to upgrade. To keep gear increasingly interesting and valuable across all levels, we made the stat growth between gear sets more granular, such that every increase in level would see some sort of upgrade and no stat was decreasing between level bands.

Gear above level 100 used to have a vastly different stat distribution than the previous 100 levels. Athames no longer had Power Pip chance, Robes no longer had Damage, Hats no longer had Resist, etc. With certain key stats missing from gear past level 100, players were incentivized to hold on to that gear for a much longer time than usual. We have reshuffled the stats in a way where you no longer lose an entire stat on a piece of gear while keeping new gear in parity with existing gear.

School Identity


School Identity goes hand in hand with the Rhoshambo, so that's why we are working to clarify each school's identity both in spells and gear. For gear, we emphasized each school’s appropriate stats relative to other schools. For example, in the old system, Fire had more Damage stat than Storm in L100+ gear; whereas we believe Storm should have the highest overall Damage as befits its school identity. As part of this gear rework, we identified stats that were not in line with our current goals for each school and made adjustments.

Dual School


Dual schooling allows wizards to effectively use spells outside of their primary school, resulting in more versatile and interesting deck composition. Our goal when adding dual school stats to gear was to make it strictly optional, yet desirable: you do not need to use your dual school stats, but neither do you need to sacrifice any primary school stats to use it. It is strictly additive and strictly optional. There is still much to come to make dual school a viable option for all players.

In the next several months, we will be continuing to refine the gear system and we have more plans to expand the direction that led to the current version of gear. Hopefully you can join us to discuss this in Ferric’s Gear Roundtable where we will answer even more questions relating to gear. This will be on Tuesday, August 23rd at 4:00pm CST. Afterwards, the video will be linked here.

Please let us know what you think of this update in the Forums!

Thanks,

Cam "Hephaestus"
Designer

 
 
 
 
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