Preview of Upcoming Changes to Combat Escape AA Abilities

Discussion in 'News and Announcements' started by Dzarn, Sep 30, 2019.

  1. Dzarn Developer

    This post was updated October 3rd
    Please see THIS post that summarizes the differences between the initial announcement and our current plan.


    The team wanted to take a moment to highlight a particular set of changes coming in next month's update and offer some insight on why these changes are being made.

    The last major changes made to AA abilities that allow characters to quickly escape combat took place during the September 23, 2015 game update. Those changes involved fixing bugs with how escape functioned and increasing restrictions on how these abilities work by limiting their chance to succeed and enforcing a maximum level of NPC that characters can escape from.

    Over the last four years we've watched how these changes have impacted gameplay and decided a different adjustment was in order. There were several lessons learned, some aspects of the changes we've been happy with, while other aspects have caused friction in ways that wasn't our goal.

    We've reevaluated how we want to limit the power of these abilities and will be making a number of changes that we consider an overall improvement for most classes. See the following excerpt from next month's update notes.

    Updated patch notes:
    Original patch notes:
    We felt it appropriate to offer context for these changes while taking a brief review of the history of escape AA abilities.

    The first of these abilities was implemented in Shadows of Luclin with the intent of letting Rogues escape a bad situation and was balanced by having a relatively long reuse time. The team considers the ability to escape death a very powerful asset.

    The second escape AA ability was given to Bards in Planes of Power with instantaneous reuse and was balanced by charging a significant amount of mana, historically a very limited resource for the Bard class. This resulted in improving a Bard's ability to pull important NPCs out of a group in ways that was traditionally handled by classes with feign death. Just like escaping death for many classes, the team considers the ability to split mobs more quickly as a very powerful tool for pulling classes.

    Several expansions later Monks were given Imitate Death, many expansions later Enchanters obtained Self Stasis, and during the two subsequent expansions every class gained access to an escape ability with the sole exception of Beastlords.

    The proliferation of a once highly limited ability without its initial heavy restrictions was partially what prompted the changes during the 2015 update to help ensure that player power remains in a reasonable place versus the difficulty of the content.

    Fundamentally, a button that you press in a dire situation that is intended to save your character's life 'should work'. The fact that many classes have a button that has a 10% chance to do nothing when activated isn't consistent and obviously causes a great deal of frustration. Additionally, having different maximum levels of opponents that you can escape from on a per class basis leads to inconsistencies we haven't been happy with.

    It is for these reasons that all classes' escape abilities will now have a 100% chance to succeed on targets up to 5 levels higher than the caster. We believe that allowing these abilities to function in a consistent and reliable manner is going to make for a better experience.

    That said, because we consider these abilities incredibly powerful for both their pulling and survival properties, we believe they should have a commensurate resource cost. It is for this reason that we are retuning the reuse time and adding a mana or endurance cost to all of these abilities.

    We've grouped the classes together as follows to determine what the reuse time and resource cost should be.
    • Escape abilities for all classes will now have their final rank available by level 85 during the Underfoot expansion. In cases where there are now fewer ranks than there were previously we will be automatically reassigning the proper rank of your abilities so that a refund/repurchase is not necessary after logging in.
    • Escape abilities for Bards, Beastlords, Monks, Necromancers, Rogues, and Shadowknights will have a shorter reuse time (1s to 2.5 minutes) and a resource cost of 2% mana or endurance based on class.
    • Escape abilities for all other classes will now have a reuse time of 10 minutes and a resource cost of 8% of your maximum mana or endurance depending on class.
    • Escape abilities will now always apply their secondary buffs regardless of your proximity to attackers.
    • Escape abilities now all have an instant cast time.
    • Escape abilities for Berserkers, Enchanters, Rangers, and Shaman will now have a reuse time of 10 minutes and a resource cost of 20% mana or endurance based on class.
    • Escape abilities for Clerics, Druids, Magicians, Paladins, Warriors, and Wizards will now have a reuse time of 15 minutes and a resource cost of 20% mana or endurance based on class.
    Our aim in messaging these changes early is to give time to consider community feedback and so that you can plan ahead to /testcopy for next month's test server update to test out how these changes impact your gameplay.
    Renotaki, Tarvas, Tucoh and 9 others like this.
  2. Piemastaj Augur

    So, you removed Mages 100% fade to give us a 90% fade while also removing our second fade. Now you are giving us back the 100% fade, but the trade-off is 20% of our Mana and a ridiculous cool down?

    How about Summon Companion? Seeing as we can not drop pet aggro on a higher level mob without Fading (and now this cool-down was increased greatly), you nerfed multiple portions of our aggro management yet again.

    Fairly certain most classes would take 90% working vs these changes you made.

    Safe to assume all the effort put into this ruined our AAs for next expansion also. Solid stuff.
    Vdidar, Atlans, Banchi and 7 others like this.
  3. Oakenblade Augur

    Should've nuked fades harder. I am disappoint
  4. Sancus Augur

    Will there be any update to Summon Companion with these changes?

    That ability was partially used to manage pet aggro, but it also was very useful as a pet positioning tool. With the 2015 fade changes, it was capped at level cap + 3, and on mobs above that level limit it also does not summon our pets. I understand limiting the fade, but I strongly believe the positioning aspect should work even in raids. Pet pathing is really bad in this game, and it often prevents our pets from responding to mechanics players are able to handle.

    As an example, pets are subject to the zone-wide AEs in Mearatas during the intermissions that do damage the closer they are to the center. I can run to a hallway fine, but my pet is often unable to path to me and takes a lot of damage, to the point he can die if his pathing is particularly poor. Right now I back him off, use Drape (which fades my pet), and then summon him. If Drape's recast is 15 minutes and has a 20% resource cost, that option isn't really viable anymore.

    I don't know if Summon Companion is also going to +5 level cap, but either way I think the portion that changes the pet's position should not be tied to the fade.
    Vdidar, Atlans, Banchi and 9 others like this.
  5. Teylana Elder

    This plan of yours is so poorly thought out that I don't even know where to being.

    For starters, I have to say that the 20% mana/end for some classes while others get 2% all while increasing timers is an effed up punch in the gut. A more balanced approach seems more prudent - particularly in regards to the current game and it's position in the MMO market as a whole.

    Second, how you've grouped the classes shows a distinct lack of knowledge of how they're actually played. Sure, you may know the mechanics of the game better than any of us but it's clear you don't actually play anymore. People do actually pull on "non pulling" classes. Often we don't have a choice. Again, it's 2019, not 2009. The player base isn't what it once was. Not everyone has a buddy with every class available to them.

    I have one simple question for you. Is this still open to discussion with the player base and will you actually listen or is this pretty much an edict from on high and we're pretty much just going to have to swallow and smile?
  6. kizant Augur

    I never understood why Wizards had a fade in the first place tbh. So, I don't really mind.

    My only suggestion is to keep in mind that some classes have a lot less mana issues than others so 20% isn't the same for everyone.
  7. yepmetoo Augur

    So if you don't have 20% mana/endurance, the ability simply won't work? That is terrible.
  8. EQholic New Member

    Having the mana or endurance requirement attached to this is a terrible idea and will ultimately render this ability useless in most all cases. Last minute ditch effort to survive usually means you have depleted your mana and are no longer able to win the battle. Having to reserve 20% mana just to be able to escape may as well mean you just stop trying. I personally feel the system is fine the way it is for most classes. If you do any changes, it should go no further than the change to make it a 100% no-fail ability.
  9. Gyurika Godofwar Augur

    Terrible idea that seems to be terribly implemented. 2% is reasonable but 20% for other classes on top of the long cool downs and the other issues mentioned above just goes to show that NONE of the devs are actively playing this game and just test this stuff in a controlled environment on characters that are created solely for internal testing and have no importance to you.

    Some adjustments need to be made before you implement these changes or you are going to upset even more players and cause even more people to quit and even less revenue to be generated by EQ as those players quit and stop subbing.
  10. Oakenblade Augur


    I agree. The tier 2 and tier 3 classes (save enchanters maybe) need to have their fades nuked into oblivion (adjusted). As a druid I've always felt having the ability to fade was a bit silly.
    Andarriel, Xanathol and Tarvas like this.
  11. Lupine546 New Member

    As a warrior that often molos or pulls for my group i think a 20% endurance cost and 15 min reuse timer is ridiculous. I can see maybe a 5% End cost and a 5 min recast more than that is stupid.
  12. Fian Augur

    DBC has a strange way of treating their customers. You think this change will make customers happy? Seriously, if you want to make them happy, leave things as they are, and maybe change 90 to 100. Best option is to do the above, but if you are dead set in making them less useful, then do the timer or the mana cost, but not both.
    Andarriel and PCSS like this.
  13. Rayvorn Elder

    20% ...heck even 10% is just not a realistic option. 2-5% Is the only real option. Simple example from someone who has played live and TLP's. Fighting at a camp, just cleared the camp or spent your mana to burn a named. Boom get trained. Try to escape combat but you can't. Now you have to fight all the way back down to the camp or lose the camp because you didnt have 20% of your mana to push a button you have been able to push for the last ooo...10+ years.

    Here is the real question...why? Why would you make it harder for LEGIT players to get experience for levels or AA's in a game that has a very large time sink to make your character "raid" ready. You allow 20+ bot crews to clear raids and own camps with illegal software...but for the people who 1-3 box who setup special combos to make themselves successful (like Bard/Tank/Shaman or Tank/Beastlord/Cleric)...you make pulling or clearing to camps MUCH harder.

    I mean...I hate playing a mage...HATE pet classes in general because I don't like having to micro manage them....but even from someone who doesn't care about the class can look at a change from 3 minutes to 15 minutes...and realize that is a horrible idea that will upset EVERY mage. Not one mage would approve that idea. Especially when the other main caster pet class can chain Feign Death to the cows come home.

    It's simple...the Everquest world is HUGE now and still a time-sink...keep things the same...maybe easier...but NEVER make the "grind" harder. Raids = harder..yes...Leveling/AA's...no. WE LOVE a challenge but not because abilities are nerfed to create artificial challenge. We want group content/mechanics/skill challenges.
  14. KermittheFroglok Augur

    No, just please no! I'm sorry, I'm usually among the ones on the forums to give the Devs the benefit of the doubt but this time even my gut tells me this isn't a good solution.

    20% mana is a lot and you might not even know if you need the fade at that point and 15 minutes is a very very long cool down. This is a change you need to tinker with on test over the course of a year if you're seriously considering it.
  15. Oakenblade Augur

    Yasssss! Let warriors continue to pull for groups the way they were originally intended!!
    Xanbar, Xanathol and Finchy like this.
  16. Plumbus New Member

    Could DBG start supplying condoms with our subscriptions? I think we should be safe if they are gonna blank us so much.
  17. Qbert Augur

    Generally speaking, I appreciate the modifications to make the abilities more reliable than they are today for many classes. If they are truly fade abilities, the mana/endurance usage is a reasonable addition (the level of usage is another matter entirely, but perhaps something that can be made less onerous through aa development in the future).

    I am most curious to see what changes (if any) are coming with respect to the invisibility part of the equation. This does not seem to be addressed at all in the (appreciated) announcement, which leads me to believe there may be no changes, which would be disappointing.

    Some classes only get a distance-dependent invisibility effect now that had no contingency before, whilst other classes had an invisibility component (e.g. cleric, paladin, warrior and berserker), but now do not get it at all.

    Fading is great but the losing the guaranteed invisibility has been my biggest issue since the changes were implemented a few years ago. "100% success" is relative if everything I was just in combat with can still see me (and I'm kill-on-sight with any of them).
    PCSS and Jordis like this.
  18. Kurage_of_Luclin Augur

    Is it 20 % of current mana? So like if I have 10 mana left will it just take 2 ?

    Also , how about fixing harmonic arrow , it rarely works as intended, usually pulls the whole group of mobs, once in a while it does pull a single.

    The fade was a nice backup if HA, snares, and punts did not work for pulling.

    A long time ago rangers had a harmony that could be cast on a pile and pull singles from the pile.

    I think the point is, people use them on a regular basis for aggro control , pet control, pulling as a pseudo pulling class.

    I think having a 100 % fade again is great.

    An excessive reuse timer, and extensive mana/end cost for classes that use regularly is bad for that class.

    But if you take something away, then it might be nice to provide something else suitable in return.
  19. Catashe Augur

    Personally I think if your gonna have a super long recast timer of 10-15 mins for some classes.... There is really no need for such a high mana/endurance cost... Max it really should no more than 10%.. I can understand a high mana/endurance cost if the recast time was 5 mins or less to discourage abuse of it especially for classes they didn't originally have a fade type ability or was originally a pull type class
  20. Ghubuk Augur

    I agree, if a long recast time, no need for overly high cost.
    PCSS and Nniki like this.

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