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Affixes, Defenses and Minions

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.

Affix Changes

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.

Exalted items have been a very strong entry into the item rainbow for us. We would however like to make them stand out even more. Previously, there was no gap between a max rolled T5 affix and a min rolled T6 affix. Despite how rare T6/7 affixes were, a bad roll could still make it not noticeably better than a well rolled T5 from crafting. As of 0.8.1, there is always a gap between T5 max roll and T6 min roll. This means that even a poorly rolled T6 item should be notably stronger than anything crafted. As a rough benchmark, most T7 max rolls have been increased by over 30%, often making the max T7 roll twice as high as the max T5 roll. Several hybrid affixes which had non-scaling portions now also have a nice surprise waiting at T6/7.
Set resistances weren't quite meeting the design goals we intended them to. With so many affixes getting moved into the prefix slot, we have decided to do away with set resistance affixes all together. This means that for the time being, we have removed all set affixes. We still like the idea of set affixes and believe them to be an interesting mechanic that might be brought back in the future. The current implementation only works well for a narrow range of stats, and the set resistance affixes just felt necessary rather than flavorful. This means that instead of the set bonuses being cool and interesting options, they were just a mechanic that added complexity without depth. To make resistances still possible to cap without dramatic affix investment, we have buffed regular individual resistance suffixes by up to 40%. This means that two average rolled T5, or one perfectly rolled T7 resistance affixes can now grant 75% resistance. We have also increased the values of Idol resistance affixes by around 30% and buffed many resistance implicits and passives as well as adding new ones.

Secondary Defenses

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%

Minion changes

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.

21 Likes

I really hope all those 9 relics do cover a plethory of archetypes for each class.

Very exciting!

This is good. Defensive & offensive affixes should be split (IMO). Though I do worry about the power creep.

Edit: WTF is block chance on the Void Knight tree?

2 Likes

Love the new endurance affix added. Really excited about the new shields and relics. Going to be so much more interesting item slot than before.

It feels like going into this game brand new again, will need these veteran players to help me out

Also, I saw you mention the release date on the patch but it looks like the text got cut out? When was it again?

1 Like

The ingame guide is kind of good right now and pretty helpfull :). Mostly all your question might be already answered there ;).

I mean theory crafting wise haha, the things some people come up with or interactions they find, ridiculous

These will be all over the board so np with these as well :D.

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Super! Let’s get this patch out now so we can go to town.

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Very exciting! Having fewer minion affixes constantly rolling on items is a welcome relief too… it’s terribly annoying to have it rolling on every item out there when I never play minion builds (that’s just me). Glad they’re getting boosted overall to compensate while still allowing me my minion-free gameplay!

Whelp, guess time to try a defensive “block” build. I wonder if the new changes will make a “thorns” type build more viable. I always loved that gameplay, but the last character I tried really fell flat after lvl 90 and the affix distribution just didn’t really work (at least that I figured out). A “spiked shield” would be good times.

Item rainbow… I like it!

Also, interested to see how many class specific/skill specific affixes there are going to be now. So many things to try out! Glad I run my own business so I can take time off when I want to… I’ll be taking a couple days off working when this patch drops, lol!!

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Very happy to hear about the buffing of T6/T7 affixes for more potential specialized item power. Excited for the patch. Keep up the good work devs as always!

The minion changes are so amazing. Like this is what I’ve been waiting for, can’t wait to experience all these changes first hand! So far from what I can tell it all looks pretty damn good. Keep up the great work EHG!

The shield change is a big one for me. Shields really just became a hunt for maximum block rates through implicits and affixes which meant even the unique shields (mostly) didn’t hold much appeal. I really hope that opens up even more build diversity while also making dual wield less of an automatic choice as it is most of the time now.

I’m also grateful for the dodge and armour changes as that should allow stacking to be a bit more rewarding. Is endurance an additional mechanic over and above glancing blow? The former feels a bit like an adjustable glancing blow so will it replace the latter in future?

My only other question is whether there’s any adjustments to Ward? It’s the one defensive mechanic that still feels…off. The only way it’s viable these days appears to be to give up your boot and chest slots which is not ideal. The fact that endurance also doesn’t interact with ward just makes it feel even more like the overlooked stepchild in the group.

% reflect? No, probably not in & of itself, since the damage reflected is based on the amount of hp you loose, so making the player more tanky would make % reflect worse.

Flat reflect would still work but it’d be slow since you’d still need to wait for mobs to hit you to take damage.

If anything it’ll probably make it “worse” since they’re shifting the block chance from passives to gear. That said, there’s also one of Tras’ comments:

And

The block chance totals shown for each sentinel mastery include block nodes in the base class tree and the lower sections of other masteries. It’s the total block that they could get from passive nodes rather than block available directly on their specific mastery trees.

Ahhh, I was thinking, I didn’t remember seeing any block nodes on the Void Knight tree.

Ah, apologies. My comment wasn’t very clear. :see_no_evil:

I meant the only reason for taking a shield before really was for stacking block (at least for me). I’m hoping the fact that there’s now diversity in shield implicits will broaden their uses beyond this and make them more appealing.

Im gonna have my Picasso removed from my wall and replace it with a nice framed picture of those changes.
Soo exited, Great Job

I still think that if you’re min-maxing & going DPS, you’ll probably want to DW as a melee (though I’ve not run the numbers).