Druid Overhaul - Werebear
We hope all you Druid fans are ready for some excitement because heading into patch 0.8.4 our Primalist’s most adaptive Mastery is receiving a full development update. We are eager to share our vision for the future of the Druid Mastery, and all the exciting changes coming your way before the end of the year.
Today marks the kickoff of our Druid Development Week, so stay tuned over the coming days to catch even more great news (full schedule below)! Today, we will be focusing the Druid’s first and most ferocious transformation - the Werebear.
New Resource - Rage
We’re moving away from a mana based resource for all Druid transforms. Previously, to maximize time in the form you often had to avoid using your heavier abilities and that resulted in one-dimensional gameplay where you mostly spammed your low cost abilities. Instead, all Druid transformations will now use a new resource called Rage. Rage will be restored to full when you enter a form and will then drain slowly over time. Skills themselves will have little to no Rage cost by default so it won’t feel punishing to utilize your whole set of abilities while transformed.
There will be many ways to recover Rage, so you have a lot of build options if you want to stay in one form for a long duration. Reaching the point where you can stay in a form indefinitely should be much easier than before and there will be more ways to achieve it.
New Werebear VisualsThe design goal of our new Werebear model is to connect our players to a 'massive, in your face brawler' type of fantasy. We started with new concept art, increasing the size and presence of our thick-furred fighter. Concept #3 - 'Top Heavy' was quickly selected as the best champion of this fantasy.
Next came the design of our new ferocious model. Below you will find the upgraded version of our Werebear complete with new textures & materials including bone, claw, fur and war paint.
When recreating the Werebear we knew we wanted him to feel like a massive brawler. Some of the design requirements here included moderate mobility and heavy sweeping attacks. The previous Werebear kit missed the mark in a few areas. Firstly, Charge felt too fast for the size and stature behind the Werebear. Secondly, Swipe was a bit too successful at restoring your Mana, preventing our Druid players from feeling the desire for working in Roar or Ravage into their rotations.
In our 0.8.4 redesign the Werebear form has a mix of both new and returning skills, and even the returning ones have been revamped with new VFX, sounds, altered base functionality, and new potential in their skill trees! Here is a sneak peek of the new skills being added to the Werebear’s ferocious arsenal:
Swipe is one of the more successful elements of the previous Werebear form. The ability to use the existing Swipe skill tree to augment your Werebear’s abilities was really great. It lets you create a stronger build while not wasting those precious specialization slots if you wanted to be permanently transformed. We saw this and made a focused effort to get a few more interactions like Swipe into each of the Transform trees. Every good brawler also needs a consistent, spammable, damage skill, and Swipe fits that role very well.
We replaced the old Werebear Roar with Warcry because it felt extremely thematic and fitting. This also reduced redundancy within the Primalist skills as a whole. We were then able to apply a re-shuffle of the skill unlocks, allowing Warcry to be unlocked in base Primalist instead of Beastmaster. Now, if players choose to specialize in Warcry they will gain the full effects in their ferocious Werebear form.
Maul is a new skill for Werebear, replacing Ravage. Ravage had two issues that we wanted to resolve. Firstly it didn’t feel distinct enough from Swipe to use, given its similar status as a low AoE melee attack, and it was difficult to balance it to compete with Swipe when the latter had its own entire tree. Secondly, the new werebear model has different proportions, with much larger arms and a less prominent head. A bite animation like Ravage no longer made sense with this new model.
We still wanted to include a heavier melee attack with a cooldown in Werebear form to provide a way to mix up the melee gameplay so that it’s not always just Swipe Swipe Swipe. To reinforce a distinct use case for this melee attack we decided to give it a medium to a large area of effect and gave it more damage. We added movement to it to make it feel very different to attack with, and to help add enough weight and impact to the animation. With all these changes, the old name Ravage no longer fits so well, so we changed it to Maul.
Every good brawler would really love a way to get around the battlefield quickly. Especially in an ARPG. While the Werebear’s charge provided this option and it worked mechanically, it was not ideal for a charging Werebear to be moving so fast. It was also basically the same as Lunge, which we weren’t super enthused about. So we took some of the other themes and ideas we wanted to portray to come up with a new movement skill that is unique and fun. Having a wild Rampage feels very thematic. Mechanically you don’t move super quickly, but you damage all the units along the way and you can slightly adjust your trajectory while moving.
New Werebear Skill-TreeOne of the strengths of the Druid fantasy comes from its ability to adapt to danger through transformation. In our previous version of the Werebear, this transformation also came with a fair amount of restrictions. Once you transformed you lost access to the previous skills on your bar that you chose to specialize in. Our new Werebear design solves this problem by introducing several options for you to tie in previously specialized skills and utilize them while transformed. As a result the Werebear arsenal feels deeper and more diverse than ever before.
Here are just few examples of these nodes as well some other powerful ones.
Few example nodes which allow you to utilize other primalist skills in the Werebear form
Werebear specialization tree offers a wide variety of powerful nodes.
Bringer of Storms and Crackling Assault in action
Thank you for checking out this sneak peek of some of the changes coming to the Druid’s Wearbear form in Patch 0.8.4. We hope you join us again soon to check out the exciting updates coming to the Druid’s skill - the Entangling Roots.
Here is a peek at what you can expect this week! See you next time!
Druid Rework Development Week: