1.05 – Never Say Die, Unless You Actually DieNovember 6, 2008
So the patch notes for 1.05 are up, and the Public Test Realm is prepping for an invasion (not from yours truly… I’m not so much of a PTR kind of guy). This is the “Combat and Careers” patch, much anticipated by all players, I’d assume, and a big indicator of how Mythic’s been evaluating the game, PvP and classes. The patch notes are insanely long, and I will not be reposting them here (sorry people at work!), but here are several of the most interesting — to me — notes and my thoughts on them:
- 10 of the 20 careers, including Engineers, have had enough tweakage done to them that their Mastery points are being refunded for a free respec.
- “Players who go AFK while in Public Quest areas or during keep sieges will no longer receive contribution credit towards those encounters.” As it should be. As it should be.
- “Players are now able to set their rally points in warcamps.” An excellent move, since most players want to bind to the nearest transportation hub, which tends to be a warcamp. “Multiple bind points” will be seen in the future, as per Mark Jacobs’ VN boards post. Yipee.
- “Morale abilities will now be much more responsive. These abilities will now fire immediately when activated by the player on the first attempt.” About stinkin’ time. I’d wager that a lot of people have more or less written off Morale abilities because of their unresponsiveness — this might make them reevaluate their purpose in combat.
- “Root effects, with the exception of morale roots, will now grant a 5 second immunity from all roots to the victim when the effect breaks, and in addition will no longer stack with other roots. Root effects will now properly have a chance to break whenever a player takes ANY damage. This includes individual tics of Damage over Time spells.” Snares and roots are always controversial in PvP, and this move does nerf their usage, but doesn’t make them irrelevant, and hopefully will make combat more dynamic and flowing, instead of a potential stream of root-root-root. FYI, my Barbed Wire never seems to hold people for the full duration anyway.
- “To promote population balance among the various scenarios, we have added a feature that reduces the number of times a scenario can launch in a short period of time. This will give scenarios which are launched less frequently an opportunity to catch up in the queue population and launch more often.” AMEN. For people who keep whining about Nordenwatch/Mourkain’s Temple/Tor Anroc/Serpent’s Passage being the only four scenarios we ever see, this should come as a burst of heavenly intercession upon their boredom.
- “Improvements have been made to auto-attack animations. Players will now see smoother, more consistent weapon swaps when players change from ranged to melee auto-attacks, and vice-versa.” Since I’m forever switching between melee and ranged, this should be a good fix, but I rarely if ever depend on auto-attack for any of my damage. Do you?
- “The responsiveness of ability activations has been improved. Players will now see less of a delay between the activation of an ability and the corresponding animation.” Another “Please, sir, can I have some more?” fix that needed to happen to tighten up combat. How combat looks and “feels” is just as important to players as what the skills do and damage that flows forth.
- “Tactics gained from Tome Unlocks have been renamed.” They’re now all named “Bob”.
- “Damage over Time abilities: The amount that stats contribute to the damage of these abilities has been made consistent across the board. This generally resulted in an increase in damage, but some abilities have also been brought down.” DOTs are incredibly important to some careers, like Engineers, but rarely noticed by those who suffer from them.
- Class changes — there are a TON of these, and since I’m only dedicated to playing one career as a main, I’m only going to comment on the Engineer changes… but you should definitely see what’s going on with your careers in here, too.
- “A time delay has been added to the preliminary spawns of flags and murderballs in several scenarios. This change was made in order to ensure that both sides have a chance to run to the spawn location of the flag or murderball at the start of the match, and battle for control of the area even before the object has spawned.” Great move, should make these scenarios more competitive.
- “Flak Jacket: Magic Damage will no longer reduce Armor counters.” Flak Jacket is a touchy subject for a lot of Engineers — it’s our main damage-reduction ability, yet has a 2-second cast time and has to be reapplied like crazy. So this is a great change — DOTs and spells won’t be eating away our 20 FJ charges, and we should be able to keep it up longer.
- “Gun Blast: The damage of this ability has increased.” Good. Gun Blast’s two seconds are an eternity in PvP, so might as well make it a worthwhile skill.
- Lots of “damage increased” in abilities, along with several “cost increased” as well. More damage is exactly what we’ve needed, so this is happiness in patch form.
- “Self Destruct: This ability has had its cost removed, the reuse timer has been increased significantly, and now deals damage in addition to knocking down.” Self Destruct is one of those skills I always expected to use a lot more in combat, yet really haven’t, since turrets get one-shotted all the time in PvP, and I generally don’t think about using the skill if the enemy gets in short range. This will make it a much more tempting skill to keep on my short list of usability.
- “All Turrets: Gun, Flame and Bombardment Turrets have had their cost greatly reduced and their auto attack damage greatly increased. In addition they are now core abilities and will match the level of the player’s rank when summoned.” I can hear Engineers everywhere weeping with joy over this announcement. Turrets are a cool idea, but they have been flimsy in defense and weak in offense, and since they cost a huge chunk of AP to cast, many Engineers don’t use them in PvP as often as they could. Cheaper cost plus more attack damage equals a pet that will offer an actual threat to the enemy, and we will be using them more.
- “Electromagnet: This ability has undergone significant changes. The cost of the ability has been significantly reduce while the cooldown has been increased. In addition the build time has been increased,the ability can no longer be cast on the move, and the maximum number of targets affected by this ability has been decreased and it can now be defended against. Lastly this ability will grant immunity to knockback effects.” EM and the Magus’ Chaotic Rift have been very controversial in PvP, overpowered in utility and damage, and highly disruptive in the battlefield. This is a very significant nerf, a necessary nerf, even though it hits a mastery path (Tinkerer) that’s struggling already for purpose and usefulness.
- Statistically, this patch will bring a huge bump in DPS to the Engineers, but there are few changes to the mastery trees (EM gets nerfed, most of the rest of mastery skills ignored or buffed in damage). In addition, other than the Flak Jacket change, we’re not seeing anything to give us an increase in survivability.