Hello! With our last public test server update, we asked players to communicate your top concerns to us in a survey. We have received, collated, read, and debated your survey feedback, and now we're back to share with you the results and our next steps. First, to those of you who answered the survey with comments like “Hi Avair." This isn't exactly constructive feedback, but I do appreciate all of the greetings - and, “Hello”. Second, this post will address the top concerns expressed overall. There will also be several posts similar to this one - one for each powerset - that will share and address the top concerns for each powerset. Survey Results: Overall Collectively, you all mentioned these major topics most frequently: You were concerned about the current and future balance between the different playstyles (Hybrid, PftT, and Weapon) You were concerned about changes to the Power stat, including as related to regen and skill points You were concerned the game/combat feels too different in regard to pace You were concerned about the effectiveness and related changes to crowd control abilties Because I am the guy driving this bus, I am going to take the liberty of combining some of these into the following categories: Balance Issues (Includes issues 1 and 2) Combat Pacing (Includes issues 3 and 4) You might be wondering why this crazy bus driver decided to combine the topics into these areas, but if you stay with me for the ride it should all make sense when we get where we are going. Alright, enough with bus talk. Balance We are keeping a watchful eye on combat balance and continuing to tweak numbers all over the place. Basically we have chained Moja to his desk and forced him to output numbers. He is ok with it… more or less. There are a couple of things to think about regarding balance. First, everything is connected. We have to be very careful when we adjust any one thing because it impacts every other thing. We have to look at the whole picture. Second, players do not have the whole picture. This absolutely does not discount feedback, experience, or input by the players. The reason I am posting these novels is so that I can give you insight into why we do the things we do. Playstyle: Weapons Now that we are done with the disclaimers, let's talk about playstyles. Weapons are the easiest to address simply because we have not yet fully addressed them on Test. The balance pass we did thus far was done to get them in and working with the new stat calculations, NOT to make them a viable and healthy playstyle on their own. Right now their damage is too low and their options are limited. The changes that will come in the future, but have not been made yet, are: Increase damage based on combo length (deeper combos grant deeper bonuses) Increase damage for Weapon Mastery attacks Remove crowd control from some attacks, compensating with additional damage Playstyle: Hybrid and PftT We have a change coming in the Skill Points system that will help distinguish the other playstyles from each other, give PftT more Power, and also make Skill Points make more sense. Last week I discussed that it was best to spend as many skill points in a single stat as you could, because of the exponential return on them. Well, it turns out that's not very intuitive and not how players have been using the system. Instead of trying to fit a square peg into a round hole, we are going to shave some corners off our peg. What I mean by this is that we are going to adjust skill points in these ways: Special thresholds have been inserted at various levels in each skill point stat At each threshold the player will receive a percentage based stat buff that matches the stat they are purchasing, on top of the flat amount This percentage buff lasts as long as you have that threshold purchased and grants a bonus to the overall total of that stat As a hypothetical, if you had 999 Power total (from items, skill points, mods, etc), and you spent a skill point that put you over the threshold and also granted you an additional Power, the following would happen: Your Power would increase to 1000 from the flat bonus, then it would multiply by 101% and be 1010 The percentage points are cumulative. The next one you get would be an additional 1% and increase the overall to 2% bonus These thresholds are of greater frequency at the lower levels of skill points and end close to when the rewards for spending skill points in a stat start to pick up speed from the exponential curve. This change does a multitude of things. Since I like bullet points, I will bullet them: It increases the importance of skill points by a lot It encourages players to spend their skill points in multiple stats This will shift the paradigm to PftT wanting Might and Power (still focus on Power), Hybrid to Might/ Precision, and Weapons to still just wanting Precision (sorry weapons!) This is what many players already do, so we think it works out pretty well It requires an across the board balance adjustment (HP, stats, Power, defense, etc) to account for the total percentage jump while not making players totally OP In large part, this is why “the numbers” will be different with this update It further differentiates players who decide to invest heavily in one stat over another This is where it helps PftT be different than Hybrid and Hybrid different than Weapons This also happens to give us another area we can latch on to in order to balance one playstyle over another, and we will continue to do so Combat Pace You might be wondering why crowd control is included into the pace of the game section. Well, there is a very clear reason. When we initially developed our guidelines for transitioning abilities into the stats revamp, we wanted to make the crowd control environment more understandable. We wanted CC to be used more judiciously and make it more powerful – we also wanted you to have to choose whether or not to use CC or something else in your loadout. There were many actionable items from this venture, but one of them resulted in much longer cool downs on about 30% of the abilities. Flash forward to now, and some of those changes have panned out while others have not. The changes to gameplay pace are chief among the plans that did not work out. We have clearly heard your feedback here, and as a result are changing directions. We will address improving crowd control in the future, not in the revamp, when we can devote more time and energy to fixing the problem without dramatically changing the pace of combat. This means that most abilities with crowd control have had their cooldowns significantly decreased, and their damage slightly decreased. We still want players to make a choice between using abilities with crowd control or not, but we don’t want to dramatically change the pace of the game to get there. What this change does is allow you to have access to crowd control if you desire it, but at the cost of a small damage reduction. This will allow you options in combat without dramatically slowing down the game. The changes that are going to test are the following: All Supercharge Builders have had their cooldowns lowered to 6 seconds Karmic Backlash, Condemn, Avalanche, Freeze Wave, Resonating Gale, Hogtie, Sleep, Pain Blast, Mass Terror, Levitation, Electrostatic Bomb, Ionizing Eruption, and Thermochemical Explosion have had their cooldowns lowered to 3 seconds All of the previous abilities have had their damage lowered, ranging from 1% to 25% (with an average of around 5%) based on the amount of crowd control it has We have also lowered the cooldowns of various other abilities, but they will be described in more depth in the powerset threads Survey Results: Powersets Speaking of which, we have also similarly assembled the top concerns per powerset, and those results and next steps are outlined in the following threads. Ice Mental Electricity Atomic Gadgets Sorcery Thank you for taking the time to test and relay your feedback. We will be monitoring these threads for additional feedback, as well as providing a future survey once the changes mentioned have been tested.