In patch 0.8.1 we are taking some time to improve key gameplay elements that will affect all characters. These changes are primarily targeting affixes and items. In this devblog, we will be covering changes made to affixes, secondary defenses, minions, and some new item types.
Every non-idol affix in the game has been changed in some way. We have a few key goals to achieve with these changes. First, to partition off defensive affixes from other affixes in many slots so you can choose damage or utility affixes without worrying that you should be focusing on defenses instead. Second, to make Exalted items more consistently appealing, even if it doesn’t have your ideal combination of other mods. Third, to have more of your offensive power should stem from items, so that getting item upgrades feels more impactful and rewarding. And finally, to increase the build-specificity of items, so that the items you’re looking for are ones that are good for your build, not just generically good.
Class specific affixes have all been moved from being suffixes to now being prefixes. This is so they no longer compete with defensive suffixes on those items and are less likely to appear alongside niche prefixes for different builds. As you may have seen in a teaser thread, we are adding new affixes for every specialisable skill in the game. These are hybrid affixes which grant one or more levels to a specific skill and a secondary benefit that will likely be useful if you are using that skill. These will be prefixes and will only appear on one class specific item slot each. They are distributed between body armour, helmets and relics. We’ve added 9 new class specific relics for each of the 5 classes. That’s 45 new relics with more class relevant implicits. This should open up more options throughout the game for exciting relic bases.
Focusing on a specific secondary defense such that it is effective should feel achievable and rewarding. We are striving to give secondary defenses specific class associations where they are thematic and most effective. They should still function as viable options for other classes also. For most secondary defenses, gaining large amounts should help you disregard damage from most packs of small enemies, even at high arena waves so that survival for a tanky character is more dependent on avoiding telegraphed attacks.
A new secondary defense approaches! Endurance is your character’s ability to fight through the pain. Each character will now have 2 new stats, endurance and endurance threshold. Endurance reduces all damage dealt to your health below your endurance threshold. For example if you have 50% endurance and an endurance threshold of 100, all damage dealt to your last 100 health will be 50% less. Each character naturally has 20% endurance and 40 (+2 per level) endurance threshold and additional endurance and endurance threshold can be acquired from similar sources as other secondary defenses, such as equipment suffixes and passives. Endurance is capped at 60% and currently there is no benefit to overcapping it. High endurance will be most attainable for Primalists but will be an effective defense for other classes too. Endurance only affects damage dealt to your health and does not affect damage taken to ward.
Of the existing secondary defenses, armour has received the most extensive changes. Its mitigation now capped at 85% (from 60%), but no longer has bonus effectiveness at low health as this mechanic has been fleshed out as Endurance. armour now scales more linearly than before, so gaining a chunk of armour more consistently results in a substantial increase in mitigation. For example going from 50% to 60% mitigation at level 80 now requires gaining an additional 1200 armour, rather than 7000. In order to bring back a little more flavor to armour, and to direct its effectiveness against the physical melee hits that many of its primary users receive more frequently, it now is only half as effective against non-physical damage. Armour affixes have also received changes, with increased armour changing to a suffix, and added armour having higher values above tier 3, but no longer rolling on jewellery.
Dodge rating has received similar adjustments to armour, except that its core mechanic is unchanged. Dodge chance is now capped at 85% (from 75%) and scales more linearly with dodge rating than before. This means it will be much more effective with high investment, but you will receive lower amounts of dodge chance from your dodge rating than before unless you have very high dodge rating (around 4000 at high levels). Dodge affixes have also received comparable but smaller changes than armour affixes. Increased dodge rating is now a suffix, while added dodge rating can no longer roll on shields.
In this patch, all previous shields have been replaced with a new armoury of protective gear. We have 14 new shields to find in Eterra. These new shields have more diverse implicit mods, making the choice of which is best comes down to more than just highest block chance and effectiveness. This allows shield builds to focus on defenses other than block, or take a more damage oriented root without forgoing a mostly defensive offhand. However we also want investing heavily into block to be more rewarding and a more defining aspect of block oriented builds. It should depend on multiple items, rather than just your shield and passives. Block effectiveness mitigation % is now capped at 85% (from 75%), while block chance can still reach 100%. This mitigation scales more linearly but is also lower than before unless you have high block effectiveness (around 2400 at high levels). We have also added a new hybrid block chance and block effectiveness suffix that can roll on rings and gloves to give a new source of block to all classes.
The maximum block chance available from prominent sources has changed as follows:
- Void Knight passive tree 15% -> 7%
- Forge Guard passive tree 20% -> 10%
- Paladin passive tree 27% -> 12%
- Affixes up to T5 14% -> 23%
- Affixes up to T7 20% -> 40%
Minions feeling fun to use at all stages of the campaign and end game is important to us. We are restructuring some minion affixes to help alleviate some build and gameplay frustrations. We have moved minion damage affixes out of the way of player defense and crucial weapon damage affixes. This is primarily to help hybrid builds feel more viable but also results in a drop in overall availability of increased minion damage. Additionally minion survivability in late game is currently lacking and can be frustrating. To help with this, from level 21 onwards you gain 0.5% minion power per level. Minion power increases the damage that minions deal and reduces the damage they take (both effects are multiplicative with other modifiers). This means that by level 100 your minions will deal 40% more damage and take 40% less damage than they did previously.
Minion defensive affixes have also been consolidated. Minion health regen and minion dodge rating could each roll on 10 different item types. This not only caused them to frequently show up for non-minion builds, but also meant that minion builds would have to spread themselves very thin to fully utilise them. Both of these affixes have been buffed, but restricted to only a few item types, including class specific relics and helmets where they only appear for minion oriented classes. Minion health regen has also been changed to give flat regen, rather than increased regen. Previously it was nearly useless for minions with low base regen, such as most acolyte minions. This change will finally make it relevant for those builds, while also providing more regen than before for even the minions with the highest base regen (bears).
Full details of all affix and item changes will be available in the patch notes.