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  1. #1
    Associate Producer Cocomajobo's Avatar
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    Default U50 Preview 1: Endgame Itemization Adjustments

    Disclaimer
    Everything seen on the preview server, Lamannia, is not final and is subject to change or removal before live release.

    With Update 50 we are making some adjustments to curtail power creep within DDO's end game, focusing specifically on the power level of items at the level cap. These adjustments will change how you approach gearing, and will encompass both adjustments to player power in addition to content difficulty. We want to go into more detail about why we are doing this and what it means, and we look forward to hearing from you after checking things out on Lamannia.

    Background Information

    We have steadily increased the amount of power available in itemization in order to provide a sense of progression as our end game has matured. This strategy has resulted in two long term challenges, both of which we are here to address:

    Challenge 1: Item power level increases over time as we release new content, and we progress beyond the item power level of older content at the same challenge level.

    Challenge 2: As we follow along this system of progression, we in turn increase the difficulty of content to provide challenge. This leads to a situation where content meant to be played at a certain character level ends up with a wide range of difficulty.

    With those two challenges in mind, we are aiming to equalize and reduce the power level of items found in end game content, and adjust the power level of monsters at end game to match.

    Solution Part 1: Itemization

    In summary:

    Named Items found within Legendary content will be adjusted and normalized to values appropriate to their minimum level. This means that an item found within Ravenloft will match the power level of an item found within Sharn, or Feywild, or any of our other current Legendary content.

    • This adjustment will pull the item values to more reasonable levels across the board, resulting in a streamlined curve that extends upwards from 1 to 30 with fewer jumps and tracks with both randomly-generated loot and Cannith crafted loot.
    • This will not affect anything other than the named items found within legendary content and Cannith Crafted Loot that used the "Minimum Levels 31-34 Shards". Random Loot, Augments (named or otherwise), Items found within events, or anything else other than named items found within legendary content and Cannith Crafted Loot that used the "Minimum Levels 31-34 Shards" will be changing.
    • Items will be adjusted in place without any necessary intervention on the player's part, to prevent the situation where legacy versions of items are more powerful than newly found versions.
    • These items will continue to drop in the same place they currently do at the same drop rates.
    • Items with crafted components, such as Slavers Crafting, will have their crafted components adjusted just like the statically set effects found on non-crafted gear.
    • Set bonuses at endgame will have their numerical power adjusted to appropriate values to match our new goals for player power sourced from itemization at endgame.
    • The +W bonus from Keen has been adjusted to instead provide complete fortification bypass on a Natural 20. Note: The fortification bypass isn't yet working in this preview
    • Raid items and Minor Artifacts will retain their proportional power boosts to other items at the same level, and therefore will remain a step stronger than other items at the same level.


    What this means is that the items you find at end game will be lower in item power than they were before, but are now evenly scaled across content packs. This means that an item found in Feywild will be equally as strong as an item found within Sharn or Ravenloft or the Dragonblood Prophecy, or any other Legendary content featuring level 29 items.

    To provide some concrete context, this is where the numbers will likely end up at the current level cap. Also note that raid items and artifacts will be a few steps higher than what's shown here as well.



    Solution Part 2: Monster Power

    We have been increasing the power level of monsters found at the level cap as the power level of items increased over time, and since we are adjusting these items downwards, we will be adjusting monsters downwards to match. The most notable change with this system is the removal of the Legendary Tier system as it relates to monsters. A monster at end game will ideally be just as difficult no matter which dungeon it is found in. The removal of the Legendary Tier system will represent a significant reduction in the offensive and defensive statistics of monsters found at the level cap, which means that monsters will be much weaker than they were before. We are also removing the Epic and Hard Saves boost found on all Monsters across our Epic content.

    Given that each monster in our game has different stats and therefore a different starting point, it is hard for us to tell you exactly where each number will end up, but we can give out some comparisons to help demonstrate how dramatic this change will be. For example, Monsters across all of Epics will have 6 fewer Saving Throws, and Monsters at Endgame specifically will instead have 16 fewer saves. This also does not include our current planned removal of Epic Resilience, which will remove an additional 6 saving throws, for a total reduction of 22.

    Monsters will not just be losing saving throws. The Legendary Tier II buff corresponded to 150% Fortification Bypass, 60 Attack Bonus, and 10 Spell Penetration, as well as a whole host of other offensive and defensive buffs designed to make them hit harder and take more hits. We hope that our monster rescaling ends up making content feel more realistic and more accessible, and are able to do more adjustments if necessary.


    Short and Long Term Benefits

    We are compelled to make these adjustments for a large number of reasons, and we want to provide a few of the reasons today:

    1. Content Pack Parity - This change will put all of the content packs at end game on the same item level scaling, which means that gear found within those content packs will be equally valuable numerically. This means that a large number of items that had previously been crunched out of viability are now able to be worked into gear sets without fear that you are settling for a subpar option.
    2. Cannith Crafting Viability - This change will mean that if you have missing parts of your gear set, Cannith Crafting is now a more appealing way to fill those gaps, similar to its benefit at lower levels. It also means that we can dedicate more time to improving Cannith Crafting in the future, as its viability doesn't fall off as we approach end game.
    3. Random Loot Viability - This change will mean that it is more likely that Random Loot will end up numerically viable for use at endgame. We don't generally expect established players to use Random Loot provided they have spent some time working on gear, but newer or less engaged players will now have more viable sources of power to select from.
    4. Augment Scaling - This change will mean that our revamped Augments and Augment system are comparatively more valuable than they were before. Our Scaling augments (aka non-named Augments) currently stop at level 28, and will now represent a larger chunk of numerical power compared to their usage before this change.
    5. Avoiding Difficulty Spikes - The adjustments of monsters at end game will help us avoid difficulty spikes, which in this case means content where there is no outward indication that it is more difficult than normal but in reality contains tougher enemies than in other quests at the same level. Our goal is to provide an end game in which everyone can contribute, but still encourage dedicated play and mastery, with a variety of options that reward a more challenging experience for those able to handle it.
    6. Impact on Content Creation - Being able to use existing monster formulas without the need for additional and oftentimes lengthy one-off work makes it easier to stat monsters for dungeons, and that helps us spend more time polishing dungeons and doing cooler and better things.
    7. Combat and Statistical Granularity – One of the game's greatest strengths is the granularity of numbers in its content, but working with larger numbers is generally more challenging than working with smaller numbers. We want to retain as much granularity as we can while making gear set math easier.
    8. Smooth Leveling - Our long term goals with DDO involve providing a smooth and exciting leveling experience across all levels and difficulties, not just from 1 to 20. This change allows us to provide a smoother leveling curve by removing the large jump in power at level 29.
    9. Future Proof Design -One of the biggest benefits of this change is how future proof it is. We will only need to do an endgame adjustment like this once, and then it's largely done and we can continue onwards into the future with a better end game.


    As always, we look forward to your feedback!

  2. #2
    Community Member Stravix's Avatar
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    This explains a lot of why the numbers for u51 looked off.

    Honestly, good job.

    I hated how the lvl 29 items were so far above the prior items, but def have to test playing at it, because this is a major change

  3. #3
    Community Member Seph1roth5's Avatar
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    Would prefer if the low/mid epic items had just been beefed up instead of everything being dragged down, but we'll have to hope the difficulty change makes up for it.

    Question, since all the gear #s are being lowered, is everything ELSE in quests being lowered too? Search/disable dcs for traps, social skill dcs for quests like in fey, monster HD for spell resist/intim/etc., stuff like that?
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  4. #4
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    Does this mean that cannith shard ML 31-34 are going to be removed from the game since they will apparently no longer apply any sort of bonus over ML 30 shards?

  5. #5
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    As long as the it's all balanced against itself, ie all our challenges are in line with our bonuses then this is fine. Cannith Crafting being amazing end game again is certainly welcome. That's the best system in the game.

    Not sure what to think about the change to Keen. That's the only thing that makes me raise a dubious eyebrow.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cocomajobo View Post
    Disclaimer [*]Combat and Statistical Granularity – One of the game's greatest strengths is the granularity of numbers in its content, but working with larger numbers is generally more challenging than working with smaller numbers. We want to retain as much granularity as we can while making gear set math easier.
    Agreed, hard agree. I don't want to see millions of damage in DDO, EVER. Very nice to see this is something you guys are aware of.

  7. #7
    Community Member WarDestroyer's Avatar
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    Will the base damage in endgame items be adjusted? If stats go down, base damage matters even more. Also, the Keen adjustment doesn't seem to align with its current effect, and considering the meat of all of Feywild's raid items is Keen V, this is a big bigdeal. e.g. FotW GAxe build cares more for base damage than for confirming crits on a natural 20
    Last edited by WarDestroyer; 06-22-2021 at 02:26 PM.

  8. #8
    Community Member Shagarot's Avatar
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    At the beggining of the year I've returned to DDO after around 5 year break and one of my biggest gripes was this terrible power creep. I really like those proposed changes, so now I don't feel like I'm nerfed while playing lvl 20-28 untill I get my proper toys at 29.
    One question though: is there any chance that you could revisit older content (like MotU or SC) and re-adjust those items (not only with numbers re-balance but how they work as a whole) so they stop being a joke they are right now? Because when lvl 15 gear is so much better than lvl 20-24 then other than exp there is absolutely no reason for running those old quests... and it's a shame because there is still a lot of great content there, but with rewards being basically reduced to the role of sentience food this content will continue to be treated like it's subpar and irrevelent.

  9. #9
    Community Member xBunny's Avatar
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    So drastic changes are not healthy for game IMHO. All changes after THF and Paladin tree, making me more and more sad. Have filling like u trying to make a different game. Wonder how many ppl from veteran playerbase will stay up to u52. Have strong feeling like this is Star Wars Galaxies's NGE patch.
    Last edited by xBunny; 06-22-2021 at 02:28 PM.
    Actively playing on Cannith since 2018
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  10. #10
    Community Member Stravix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xBunny View Post
    So drastic changes are not healthy for game IMHO. All changes after THF and Paladin tree, making me more and more sad. Have filling like u trying to make a different game. Wonder how many ppl from veteran playerbase will stay up to u52.
    Honestly, these changes sound like they are very overdue, and make the ED changes we saw last week make so much more sense.

    Assuming this is balanced right, this will be a huge step forward for the game.

  11. #11
    Community Member Vish's Avatar
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    omg
    thought those saltmarsh numbers looked funny

    seriously, you ppl need to do an edition change

    ppl are gonna freak over this

    its another game youre just calling it ddo

    on the other front,
    called it

    edit
    of course
    i was remarking,
    +10 at 21 then +21 at 29?
    where is the spread
    whoopsie, just remove it
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  12. #12
    Community Member xBunny's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stravix View Post
    Honestly, these changes sound like they are very overdue, and make the ED changes we saw last week make so much more sense.

    Assuming this is balanced right, this will be a huge step forward for the game.
    I have very mixed feelings. Updating old gear seems like nice idea. But not making it all gimpy equally. Like mine near 90% crit chance.
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  13. #13
    Founder Krell's Avatar
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    How does the monster power scaling factor into reaper scaling?

  14. #14
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    So I was testing on Lama earlier. Mobs still have legendary ward on there it looks like. So no mob adjustments have been made yet correct? So testing on there is largely worthless atm?

    You need to do a careful pass on raid items please! Some raid items required a fair bit of time to obtain and are losing even the minor advantage they should have over non raid loot. For example The Families Blessing drops to 15% doublestrike in the new system equal to the Legendary Cloak of Summer. That raid necklace should have 1% more double strike to remain a chaser item that people farm for.

    From what I could tell most people will drop from 21/22 10 4/5 in the old system to 13/6/3 for main stat. Profane well rounded and exceptional look to be untouched at 2/1 respectively.

  15. #15
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    I think, particularly with a level cap raise inexorably on the way, that you cant make adjustments to items and mob difficulty like this but ignore rebalancing XP accordingly for the affected quests. Hopefully you'll consider that as well, since standardizing XP in terms of difficulty and length of quests etc. is going to be a major factor in the value that quests are perceived as having. It'll also have a big "Amber Temple" type effect if its perceived to make it tougher to grind out Reaper XP at cap than it used to be.

  16. #16
    Community Member arminius's Avatar
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    When is U50 supposed to hit again? I was thinking I had until U51. I better hurry up.
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  17. #17
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    Given your (SSG's) track record of things not working correctly on release, can you commit to getting monster balance completely fleshed out and balanced as an utmost priority (as in drop everything and get it right) before continuing on introducing more content and revamping EDs? Because right now it can take months, if not years, for you to fix things that aren't working on release.

    Ideally, the monster changes need to be implemented and verified as completely, 100% correct, BEFORE the itemization and ED changes occur, otherwise it's going to be a complete dumpster fire of an implementation.

  18. #18
    Cosmetic Guru Aelonwy's Avatar
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    On the one hand, who didn't see this coming? I mean we already guessed when the level cap increased our cannith crafted items over level 30 would be retroactively changed as was done to previous cannith crafting items when the level cap raised above 20. It is not surprising really that the same would be done to named items which were meant for our current cap but greatly exceeded the current cap scaling.

    And on that same hand, as long as monster scaling is truly balanced for the significant reduction in power... eh *shrugs* I'm not particularly bothered.

    However, on the other hand, many players buy the cap expansions for access to loot that gives them an advantage. Retroactively removing that advantage (as was done to RL belts) puts a bad taste in the mouth. This WILL BE a massive bitter pill for many to swallow. You should be forewarned its going to erode player and purchasing trust. If people can't trust that what they are purchasing is going to be kept in good faith... there will be a reduction in sales.

    -----------------------

    The moment the level cap raise was mentioned there were only two directions... upwards with player power and monster stats into the stratosphere or a tremendous reduction in everything to make room for the current cap's power to repeat itself after another 10 levels.
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  19. #19
    Community Member ironmaiden-br's Avatar
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    It look nice .... a stat and power reduction across the board will improve the challenge ....

    And making Sharn , ravenloft and feywild items equaly powerfull provides more flexibility for builds

    first impressioon very good
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  20. #20
    Community Member Kza's Avatar
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    Hmm...

    1. To lower Item and equalise is i think good? But... When you have a good set what to do? It will never be better?

    2. That the items is so strong partially offset the Extreme powergap between those with reaper hitpoints and pastlives. Maybe if you downtune Items it had been good to reduce reaperhitpoints? (To lower benefits of pastlives i think would be mistake since it is such a huge grind ppl have done for them, but maybe even them shall be downgraded?) (I have all pastlives possible + most reapers done so i would be nerfed huge.)

    3. I have a set that i am happy with right now, will i more or less never be able to hope for improvemnts itemwise for my build?

    I see what you do but im torn, maybe you need to make more uniqe items with new fun abilities instead so you have something to hope to get when you quest (for us that more or less have all)?

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