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Skyforge - Immortal Rest, Episode 1 - Class Rebalance

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Valery Aloyants
@valeryaloyants
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At the Rest of the Immortals, the young gods as well as those who aspire to divinity meet to discuss their condition. This place is a place of exchange, where everyone can participate by bringing their stone.

Several weeks ago, the Russian developers realized that in the high-level PvE content of Skyforge, there was a very big imbalance in the performance of the different classes. Indeed, the Kinetic and the Berserker are very much above the other classes in a group context. In order to quantify these differences, I embarked on a series of tests that I performed on the A1 distortion boss where I played 3 classes (Kinetic, Berserker and Sorcerer) and an Alchemist friend with me increasing my damage . The results of these tests are available here. The result is clear: a Kinetic whose damage is increased by an Alchemist will inflict between 2 and 3 times more damage than a Sorcerer with an Alchemist, and more than 3 times more damage than a Sorcerer alone.



The in-game effect of this imbalance is that taking any class other than Kinetic or Berserker in a raid represents a handicap (not insurmountable, but noticeably present) and that players preferring to play other classes could find themselves set aside for the smooth running of the raid.

The developers have therefore decided to embark on a project to completely rebalance classes in order to make them equally attractive in high-level PvE content. For this, they announced 2 main objectives:

  • Provide each class with the ability to inflict a lot of damage in a short period of time (called "burst" in English), which is the major cause of the initial imbalance (Kinétic and Berserker have a large burst capacity, which combines very well with the skills of Alchemists), or to limit the impact of these "burst" phases on the overall performance of the classes.
  • Currently, the Strength / Chance stat combo is the best in terms of performance for a number of reasons. A Bravery / Luck combo can also work with certain classes, but is not ideal for Kinetic and Berserker classes. The developers therefore also wish to bring other combinations to the same level as Strength / Luck to allow players to diversify their style of play.

2 weeks ago, the developers released in Russia a first batch of these changes, greatly affecting the classes of Kinetic, Lumancer, Alchemist and Gunner. We are therefore going to take stock of these changes and try to understand the approach taken in order to correct the basic problems discussed above.



Note: Before we start, I would like to clarify that the point of this article is not to look at the changes one by one and then compare the classes to each other saying, "They killed my class" or "Now, don't play that such class ". Like any MMO, Skyforge will not escape the constant cycle of "buff / nerf" (balancing) of its classes. The point is really to try to analyze and understand the way in which the developers tried to solve the problems and to discuss the consequences.

Facts

First, let's make a list of the most significant changes:

Gunner

  • Overall increased damage dealt
  • The damage of some skills is directly related to the Valor and Temperament scores

Kinetics

  • Overall damage reduction

Alchemist

  • The Alchemist's aura, increasing the stats of allies to around 20% of those of the Alchemist, increases to 15% and is based solely on the latter's Spirit score.
  • Stimulant Injection, increasing an ally's stats by 80% of the Alchemist's, increases to 32% of Luck and 32% of Spirit (ultimately 64% ).
  • The cooldowns and performance of several skills are based directly on Critical Chance and Shock Recovery scores.

Lumancien

  • The Lumancer's aura, increasing the stats of nearby allies by 20% of those of the Lumancer, increases to 15% and is based solely on the latter's Spirit score.
  • The Flow of Light, increasing an ally's stats by 100% of the Lumancien's, goes to 40% of the Bravery score and 40% of the Spirit's score (80% in the end).
  • The cooldowns and performance of many skills are based directly on Temperament and Shock Recovery scores.



The results

Regarding class performance

Predictably, the Gunner's increase made him the most powerful class in high-level PvE, and the Kinetic's reduction put him below the average performance of other classes. With that I'm not particularly concerned, balancing is underway, so the increase / decrease values ​​will likely be fine-tuned with player feedback to bring them to a similar level.

Regarding support

One of the main causes of the virtual exclusivity of Kinetic and Berserker in raid is the very good synergy of their bursts with the damage increase skills of the supports. The effect of the latter has been reduced (from 160% to 128% for the Alchemist's Double Injection), de facto reducing the share of these bursts in the overall performance, allowing classes providing more constant damage to come closer. others.

Also, a really good improvement is having made bonuses from Auras and Augmentation skills independent of the source. Let me explain. Currently, these skills increase the stats of allies by a value dependent on that of the Alchemist. With most classes, and in particular Kinetic and Berserker, benefiting much more from a Strength / Luck combo, it is much more profitable for an Alchemist to have this same combo, thereby further increasing the Strength and Luck of everything. the group. The concern is that the few classes that benefit more from a Bravery / Luck combo find themselves at a disadvantage, receiving only a very small Bravery bonus and a large Strength bonus, which is of little use to them since 'they will not have the associated symbols. Now all stats will be increased by the same amount regardless of the Alchemist's choice, which is a great step forward.


Regarding the diversification of statistics

It is on this aspect that I am currently the most disappointed / worried about this update. Indeed, in their roadmap, the developers said they wanted to offer alternatives to the Force / Chance combo, having almost the monopoly for all classes. This monopoly does not come so much from the style of play of the classes but rather from the direct performance of these statistics. The solution proposed by the developers is to directly link the effects of certain skills (damage, cooldown) to a statistic. This change will fulfill the objective of making other combos other than Strength / Chance viable, but it goes even further, because any combination of stats other than those planned for these 3 classes (Gunner, Alchemist and Lumancer) will make the much less efficient class.


So yes, there we can say that in most MMOs, there are statistics that are useless depending on your class: a warrior can wear a mage robe, but the gains in intelligence / spell power do not will bring nothing. Except that one of the strengths of Skyforge is precisely the possibility of changing class as needed and that this new system will complicate this fundamental component of the game. Indeed, it is quite long, in an incompressible way in addition, to obtain all the symbols and the purple chapels associated with your 2 statistics (due to the various limits: sparks of insight, revelation, relics for the chapels ...). Admittedly, this concern will perhaps not arise any more when we are at 150 Prestige, but it is not yet the case. In addition, the arrival of optimizers, allowing to activate 000 chapels simultaneously on 2 provinces will greatly limit your class possibilities since the choice of provinces where you can have these 2 chapels will be final !

Let's imagine that your usual Alchemist is stranded at his little brother's school fair and cannot come on a raid. The only other person present who can pass Alchemist is a Kinetic Force / Chance who has not yet been able to unlock all the discharge recovery chapels (useless for a Kinetic), has only 27% and does not have 4 Chance rings. /Mind. Well your raid will be quite heavily penalized while Skyforge highlights the versatility of these characters. It will be exactly the same for the Gunner because, if you do not have the rings allowing you to reach the 50% Temperament (the limit), you will be penalized overall on your damage, as well as a second time on the skill whose effects are linked to your Temperament score.

In addition, there is also one of the great advantages of the Divine Form which is strongly impacted. Indeed, the latter allows you to change class in combat, to adapt in real time to the need for combat. Except that this change will not affect your rings or your symbols. So if you have to switch to a class that requires a different combination of stats than your current class, you will be much less efficient, which greatly diminishes the usefulness of this feature.

In the end, before this update, we had 6 different combinations, with some more optimized than others but all viable. With these changes, you will have, for each class, 1 good combination and 5 bad and counterproductive combinations.

 

Conclusion

In conclusion, the approach taken by the developers to diversify the combinations of statistics gives me some concerns. I am, in fact, afraid that we will pay for this diversification by a loss of the versatility that we have with the classes of the game.

 

And you, what do you think of these novelties?



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