Version 0.715a

Discussion in 'Patch Notes' started by Teddy, Jul 23, 2017.

  1. Teddy

    Teddy Developer Staff Member

    Summary: Support Utility Skills yo!

    Recommended level: N/A

    Update Description

    This is one of those real Frontline updates! All the sounds are either placeholder or missing, and some effects aren't final etc, but the functionality should be enough for testing!

    UTILITY SKILLS

    The Utility Skill prototypes have arrived! There are nine of them: three defensive, three offensive and three regular ol' buffs!

    The utility skills differ a bit from regular skills in two ways: first off, they have no charge levels, meaning they will cast at full power with a tap of the button. Second, they only need three skill points to reach max level. We did this to make each level a bit more worthwhile, since unlocking charge levels is no longer the main goal with leveling. Also, it makes it so it's a bit more viable to skill for full support playstyles. It makes the support skills a bit less of a "silver point dump", but we're considering other mechanics for that instead!

    Our hopes with these skills are not only to allow for people to go for supporting playstyles (buffing friends, debuffing enemies, crowd control, etc) but also to add more options for tweaking play styles in single player.

    Now we'd love to hear your feedback on all sorts of things! Please share both if you dislike something, or if you enjoy a skill! Is the skill satisfying to use? Is it nice visually? Is it confusing? Does it seem too weak or too powerful?

    For us to be able to evaluate the feedback properly, remember to add the circumstances when you played! Such as if you played alone or with friends, where you were fighting and if you were under- or overleveled compared to the enemies!

    Something to note: This patch does not include some of the Utility-related talents we've planned. These include talents that heavily reduces EP cost when casting many buffs in a row, for example, and they will primarily make it more viable to play a full support. Right now managing EP for such play styles is a bit too tough!

    PATCH NOTES

    Additions
    • The real Utility Spell Page has been added! (formerly known as 'Support')
    • Most importantly, you can now do a new emote by typing /annoyed
    Changes
    • The Haste and Protect spells have been removed (if you've put points in them, they've been refunded)
    • If Marino runs through a player during the chase sequence, the player will get shoved away instead of just run through
    • Santa Fae now counts as a safe zone and entering it refills HP and arrows
    Bug Fixes
    • Naniva's introduction banter with Bag is back after disappearing a few patches back
    • Quinton no longer keeps his quest update icon if you don't talk to him when returning with Amalet
    • Tai Ming's second zone's farming spot now properly counts statues as active enemies when deciding whether to add more respawns
    • When defeating Freddy and Teddy on the bridge, the fist one defeated no longer 'bonus twirl' when the other faints
    • Housing: You can no longer confuse the Carpenter to give you a couple of billion lumber and some pocket money to go with it
    • Housing: Entering and exiting the housing menu quickly while moving Miki's ball no longer create multiple copies of her
     
    huntersun, Dr. P!NK, TsReaper and 3 others like this.
  2. pyrafk

    pyrafk Green Slime

    feedback for arcade mode: it's not possible anymore to "preload" the utility skills. what i mean with preload is casting the skill in one room and still have the buff in the next room.
    don't know if that's intentional or not.
    edit 1: just played a 2-player arcade. as you can't take the buffs into the next room anymore and can only buff one person per cast, i see no value in any utility skills anymore. maybe for some bosses, but for normal rooms it is faster without buffing.
    don't get me wrong, the skills are fun and the animations look nice but i argue from the perspective of someone who wants to optimize arcade.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2017
    Teddy likes this.
  3. Elswor

    Elswor Rabby

    A few quick notes from around ~15 minutes of testing:

    - The visuals on the skills are very pleasing. Reaper's Blade in particular feels very satisfying, even without sound effects.

    - I love Focus with Berserker Style, it slightly counter-acts the EP drain at first and then outright destroys it after a few seconds, and that free cast even at 0 EP is great for keeping up a buff or using something like Whirlslash.

    I'd love to see a better indicator of when the major EP Regen actually kicks in though, right now it seems like it kicks in the second you charge enough to get the free cast, but if you already have the free cast circle underneath you there isn't much to go off of other than watching your EP bar. If something like this is already present feel free to correct me!

    - If you previously had Protect and Haste on a quickslot, they're still there even after being removed, and are still usable and give a small buff.

    - Is it possible we'll be getting a utility talent that increases the duration of the buffs as well? Something like 1s per level with a level cap of 3 would actually be pretty nice for someone focusing on support!
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2017
  4. KoBeWi

    KoBeWi Jumpkin

    I somehow find Barrier OP. If you re-cast it after every hit, you are pretty much invincible. However, you need to use normal attacks to not run out of EP or use Focus. Talking about Focus, with proper talents and Rollerblades, you can move with normal speed when focusing. Though I was testing it with lv 22 char with all skills/talents maxed out. Might be less viable with legit character.

    EDIT:
    Haste should be flagged for re-translation.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2017
    Teddy likes this.
  5. res7less

    res7less Jumpkin

    Neat! I've been looking forward to those for a long time! Immediately putting Provoke to my favourites since it's a tanky skill :p

    Tested them out a bit and currently translating. Based on that, some thoughts:

    Reaper's Blade

    Kind of a skill I liked least of all the new ones. I think it might be very difficult to get decent value out of it in most builds and during most situations. Normal enemies don't live long enough to experience the full effect of the skill, so it leaves it for use on especially tough enemies and bosses. Bosses mostly have very limited time frames to get attacked, though, so I'm not sure spending the little time during those opportunities on a Reaper's Blade would be really worth it and if the damage from it wouldn't come after that time frame, being too late to the party.

    What I like about it is its multiplayer potential, since any damage against the enemy counts, not only that of the caster. Coordinated players might make it work pretty well.

    Stasis

    A very interesting skill and probably one of my most favourites. I imagine it was a pain-in-the-ass to implement as it actually checks the enemy it is cast on, where there are many different aspects to consider, which change the way the spell behaves. I absolutely love that in can even be used on bosses, albeit with greatly diminished effect. I can imagine it being mighty useful in late-game enemy compositions.

    Provoke

    My favourite skill just because it has tanky character :D It might not be as useful as some of the other skills but it certainly satisfies some player archetypes such as myself. I like that it also increases the damage enemies deal to the caster since there is much multiplayer potential to that skill if used properly.

    I also pray the sound is not a placeholder ;) I liked that sound effect since the second Black Ferrets fight and hope there will be an equivalent sound effect for male characters. The nom-nom-nom animation of the caster's mouth also got a decent chuckle out of me :p And of course I liked the curse bubble!

    The only thing that's a bit wacky is that the effect's animated sprite doesn't represent the skill's actual area of effect. I tested it on stationary Bloomos and the cone's range is actually farther, while the width is slightly smaller than what is shown. Overall it takes a bit of getting used to predicting where the taunt will land. Perhaps there could be a subtle transparent variant of the cone's borders visible while "charging", but I wouldn't consider it necessary.

    Blink

    This skill's mechanic is not my cup of tea (playstyle-wise), but that free-at-max-level and Blink Lag business makes it a really well designed skill, that has to be used with caution. I can see some potential for those key-combination-street-fighter-guru-players who can chain the skill into various situations.

    The only thing I sort of dislike is its icon looking too "holy". I would put Blink into the same color palette as Shadow Clones and Spirit Slash, but I guess it's a subjective matter. Otherwise the visual feedback to the Blink Lag's state is helpful when paid attention to.


    Focus (you must)

    Also an interesting skill, as well as a very welcome and long anticipated addition into builds, that heavily rely on EP. This skill might very well change the whole playstyle of mages and make them lucrative again. Combined with spells that cost a ton of EP the free spell mechanic is a nice treat. Additionally, it gives non-auto-attack players something better to do than stargazing in out of EP scenarios.

    Barrier

    When I was thinking of ways to compensate for the lack of healing, shielding spells were on my mind as well. However, when I was thinking about it, I more thought about last-resort-clutch-shielding spells in situations where a player realizes that he (or an ally) being damaged is inevitable and choses to spend some EP and time to prevent it. I thought about a shield similar to what perfect blocking is right now, staying for only 1 second max. While the current barrier does support that perfect blocking idea, the afterwards duration of 15 seconds seems ridiculously long to me. It allows the shield to be cast before engaging and safely trade blows without fear of making mistakes. Even the 4 second cooldown doesn't really diminish its effectiveness. Right now I consider this skill overpowered and I think it should be redesigned. The barrier persisting after the initial perfect block part should either be removed entirely, or at least reduced to 1-2 seconds max, or made to drain the caster's EP when absorbing hits.

    Empower

    A very simple and effective skill, that can be incorporated into many different builds. Me likes.

    Only criticism is that its activation animation might be a little over the top. Being a Utility skill it should be more subtle and not overshadow the main Skills like Berserker Style.

    Haste

    Good ol' Haste minus group targeting. Fits well into the Utility section. I also like the new animation.

    Fortify

    Redesigned Protect with some additions. I certainly like Shield Regen addition, but I'm not really sure I like the EP Regen part. It seemes kinda random to me to add it into a protective Skill. It certainly is useful and I'm also aware of the previous lack of EP Regen Skills and Equipment, but I can't immediately see the reasoning behind why Protect was blessed with that side-effect instead of one of the other Utility Skills. I don't really have an opinion on it and I don't know if it's good, or bad - just seemed weird and surprising to me.

    Other thoughts

    - I'm certainly happy about the Skill tree. A lot of interesting stuff to work and have fun with.
    - I would switch Stasis and Focus just based on the logic of their functionality. Stasis is more defensive and Focus is more offensive.
    - I like how the different-colored character frames crossfade between each other when he is affected by more than one buff.
    - I like the visual feedback of buffs running out.

    That's it for now. Further feedback will probably be of a more "translative" nature. Keep up the great work, guys! We love you!
     
    Dr. P!NK and Teddy like this.
  6. res7less

    res7less Jumpkin

    Minor issue: When upgrading a Utility skill for the first time, it indicates a "Bronze Charge" in the upgrade window. Since Utility skills don't have charge levels, this indicator isn't necessary.
     
    Teddy likes this.
  7. Jargalo

    Jargalo Green Slime

    So... I decided to start a new character from scratch to test out the utility skills. I grinded up a couple levels in the Pillar Mountains and got some of the utility skills, including Blink. The skill seems to work just fine, and naturally I opted to spam it instead of walking. Unfortunately, when I got to the bridge, I "blinked" right over the cutscene trigger. I skipped the entire encounter and left Freddy and Teddy just standing there. I haven't gotten through the whole game yet, but I think a couple invisible walls here and there might be needed... ;)
     

    Attached Files:

    Dr. P!NK and The G-Meister like this.
  8. res7less

    res7less Jumpkin

    When upgrading Stasis and Provoke, there is an indicator showing increased duration, like +1s. That little "s" can't be translated yet.

    Also, when upgrading Focus, there is just a "EP Regen:++" indicator. It's clear what it means, but it could be similar to Barrier's info "Durability+" to stick to the overall format, or give a specific number instead of just "++".

    I think that's all that caught my eye while translating. The rest, like old skills sticking to quick slots et cetera, was already mentioned.
     
  9. The G-Meister

    The G-Meister Giga Slime

    During the small period where EP does not regenerate after using a skill, using Focus seems to make the EP bar glitch down and then move quickly up again. The number appears normal. I've got it to work with Blink and Warrior Spirit, though some skills have your character locked in place for a short period after casting, so it's difficult to pull off the Focus in that short window.
     
  10. The G-Meister

    The G-Meister Giga Slime

    upload_2017-7-25_12-42-22.png

    While stair clipping is no longer possible to break collision, if done quickly, it still shows visual layering issues.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2017
  11. The G-Meister

    The G-Meister Giga Slime

    upload_2017-7-25_13-6-23.png

    If you charge Focus when already Focused, the pink flash of what would be the first purple bar appearing still happens. Also I'm enjoying playing Grindea as a targeting reticle.
     
    res7less likes this.
  12. The G-Meister

    The G-Meister Giga Slime

    upload_2017-7-25_13-16-29.png

    Chickens can be targeted with both stasis and Reaper's blade, both of which I can imagine getting very annoying very quickly in the Zoo boss in Arcade. Interestingly the Reaper's Blade doesn't even fill up at all, so it's not the case that the chickens have infinite or very high health, you just don't do any damage to them.
     
  13. The G-Meister

    The G-Meister Giga Slime

    You can hit an enemy with Reaper's Blade then Stasis, but not the other way around.
     
  14. GrindeaElmeri

    GrindeaElmeri Green Slime

    Heyo! The new Utility-skills look very fun :)

    I'm the type of player whose playstyle Blink fits perfectly. Using that, I noticed there's a little tweak that should IMHO be added.

    You see, Blink is excellent not just for teleportation, but simply really fast dodging. The cursor automatically appears a certain distance away in the direction your character is facing. So far so good. BUT. If there's a wall between the cursor and your character (like the little "wall" separating the entrance to the Temple and the GTW-boss fight, in Tai Ming), the cursor starts next to the wall, meaning you have to drag the cursor all the way AROUND the obstacle to make the teleportation happen. This is not practical and takes away from the real utility of the skill.
     
  15. Em0_oticon

    Em0_oticon Green Slime

    The utility skills are all very interesting. I love Reaper's Blade.

    Barrier destroys this game though and really needs to be re-tuned at the very least. You can re-apply Barrier as you get hit without it ever going on cooldown and it also blocks multiple hits at the same time. I could post a video showcasing how absurd it is, but I'm not quite sure this is the place to do that.

    I also like the idea of Empower/Fortify/Haste, but aside from Haste I think they might be a tad too temporary considering their cost. If I focus on buffing my friends with Empower or Fortify it takes away from my main ability usage. I don't know why Haste costs nearly half as much, but it makes it a lot easier to keep up without feeling like I'm a buff bot. Not sure how this could be addressed or if it even needs to be.
     
  16. Teddy

    Teddy Developer Staff Member

    Barrier is the victim of two pretty huge bugs, which will probably change some high-level brokenness a lot! Your Arcade rival Eleaa actually showed me some of the exploits on her stream :D

    First off, it's not supposed to negate all hits during the perfect guard window, only one, so when that gets fixed omnishielding against multiple fronts won't be as effective.

    Second bug is that it doesn't count as damage in Arcade, which also means it doesn't abort the "Don't get hit"-challenges. When this bug gets fixed it will be quite gutted for score hunting (which we feel is the way it's supposed to be since it's a super powerful spell in a game mode where damage is otherwise very expensive).

    Moving on from bugs, we're also going to give it the same Arcade treatment as Frosty Friend got. The snowbuddy can't be revived if killed during a room, and the barrier, if broken, can't be recast until the next room.

    We're also giving it a short player stun if the barrier gets overkilled, as a small nerf but also a visual/gamefeel improvement because some powerful attacks feels silly when they go through the barrier but doesn't affect the player at all.

    Hopefully these changes are a step in a direction to having the spell be balanced yet useful!
     
    Em0_oticon likes this.
  17. The G-Meister

    The G-Meister Giga Slime

    Any markers underneath the players feet do not seem to be affected by the transparency of the player. Entered Sizou's house with the cutscene of lil' Zhamla training in Tai Ming 1, and you could see the players position inside the doorway even though they were supposed to be invisible or "not be inside the house" at that point. Unfortunately I skipped the cutscene before I could check if it wore off.

    [Edit]: I can imagine that getting annoying with stuff like the ghostly appearance thing from Arcade actually.
     
  18. res7less

    res7less Jumpkin

    Aha! So there will be slight differences between Story Mode and Arcade Mode skills! Caught you red-handed, sir :p Certainly an easier workaround than having different skill kits for the modes, though. And one Barrier per room sounds much more balanced than before. Remains to be seen what the Arcade Mode virtuosos will make out of it.
     
    The G-Meister likes this.
  19. Own

    Own Moderator

    Hopefully he doesn't just get killed, he gets outright desummoned. He doesn't do nearly enough to be worth his EP cost if he's down and out for good in a boss battle.

    Then again, it does incentivize people to actually put him into heal mode or desummon him if he's getting low...
     
  20. KoBeWi

    KoBeWi Jumpkin

    I was right. Barrier is less viable with legit character, at least on multiplayer (2P). I had hard time managing it between two players and it barely improved our survivability. Although makes Zhamla battle rather cheesy, as you can spam Focus + Barrier.
    When playing mage build, you don't have enough EP to both attack and barrier. It makes barrier a mere safeguard you can't really rely on. Also, we reached only 4th floor of Arcade. I'd have to test it on single, but with upcoming rebalances, it doesn't really matter (although I could try to get higher on leaderboards before the nerf :chicken:)
     

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