Patch 0.7.8 is right around the corner and we’ve got some pretty big changes coming down the pipe that I want to talk about before they go live. We are making significant changes to passives, masteries, item base types, uniques and affixes.
For those of you that have been with us for a while, you’ll know that our passive system has changed quite a lot. Overall we’re really happy with it right now. It provides a familiar way to customize your character and brings depth to build crafting. Having said that, it has a few issues that we are working to shore up. Primarily, mastery trees unlocking at a different time than when you select your mastery class was confusing. You would effectively pick your mastery by placing a point in its mastery tree, but would make the actual decision later. Splitting up these moments really takes away from the impact of both.
Your feedback is what encourages to evaluates systems like this. We still get questions about how the passive system exactly works with regards to mastering and what you have access to. Our goal in this update is to more strongly link the act of selecting a mastery class with your progress up the passive tree. We really want that moment of picking a mastery class to be epic and exciting. Unlock a mastery bonus, get a new skill, and unlock the mastery class passive tree.
It’s a lot that happens all at once and you might have just thought, “What? I have to wait to master to unlock the mastery class passive trees?” That’s right, we’re making you wait. It’s ok though, we’ve expanded the base trees to have more nodes. You’ll still only be required to allocate 20 points in your base tree to put points into your masteries but you’ll be able to continue investing in the base tree above 20 to access new nodes and skills.
Recently, we have been working to make the gear you wear change the way your character model looks. We also don’t want to have “Leather Armor” have different 2D art for different classes just so it matches each 3D model. Going back to your stash on different characters and having huge chunks of artwork change would be jarring and unfortunate.
To solve these design requirements, we have decided to add in 32 new body armors and 32 new helmets (8 for each class). Each with completely unique stats. OK, fine, some are a little similar but none are exactly the same.
Now, before you go running out to stockpile old gear, the new stuff is better. Trust me on this one, you’re going to want the new gear. All the new body armors and helmets are class locked. So really each class is getting 8 new chest and helm pieces. These are spread out over the level curve with the top tier pieces requiring levels in the 60’s and some in the very low 70’s. This change does increase the total number of high tier base types for all classes to give more end game viable options. Most new pieces of gear have secondary implicits that are thematic and class appropriate. You’ll see things like cast speed on Acolyte, minion damage on Primalist, crit chance on sentinel and mana on mage. You are significantly more likely to find body armor and helmets that your class can use, but will still find base types for other classes at a severely reduced rate.
With access to this new system of class locking body armor and helmets, we have an interesting opportunity to create some new affixes that just wouldn’t otherwise work. Introducing, class specific affixes. That’s right, affixes that can be broken down into shards and applied to gear that only work on specific class gear. There are nearly one hundred new affixes coming, many with skill specific effects. These new affixes will be very rare to find as a shard. You’ll have a much better time hunting them on gear. Yes, I know the immediate reaction to this is “loot filters when?”. Sorry, not this patch but they are coming and it’s gonna be awesome.
I know there is a lot of new info in here but it does not come close to outlining all the changes to passives, masteries, item base types, uniques, affixes and more coming in 0.7.8. Full Patch notes are right around the corner. As always, we are very interested in what you all think about these changes. See you soon travelers.