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Posted: Fri Mar 27, 2020 4:22 am Post subject: Patch Notes - 28th March
The Nexus has been updated, patch notes are as follows:
Skills and Mechanics
* Congratulations to our remaining Kaleidoscopia battle royale winner Cerce, who has gained the power of the Aether Phoenix! What does that do? Fight her and find out!
* Attacks now have a baseline 10% chance of hitting (was 1%). This also includes pet attacks and attacks on inanimate structures and targets. This is calculated before automiss skills such as Phasing.
* More possible results from Feeding Fangs attacks have been added to the game. Go find them!
* Altered Cloak of Magma, Cloak of Lightning and Cloak of Flame tree AOE to cost 4 AP instead of the previous 1 AP. Let us know in this thread within two weeks of this patch if you want one of these skills refunded because of the change.
* Hand of the Necromancer now reduces the MP cost of casting Death spells by 2 MP per casting.
* Hand-to-hand weapons now have an enchant limit of 6, like other weapons.
* Surgery now costs 2 AP if it is performed inside a powered Hospital.
* Pets now have a variable chance of damaging armor instead of a flat 2%. More powerful pets (especially those that summoners only get one of) have a higher chance and weaker pets have a lower chance.
* Masterless pets have a chance to damage armor on successful hits.
* The Conduit's Target Seeker and Arcane Trail have been expanded from bow and throwing attacks to also include spell and gun attacks.
* Significant reform to the Fallen's Infernal Jets. This skill now ramps up to its maximum speed faster, but its maximum speed is now 1/3 movement costs instead of indefinite free movement. There may be more updates to this skill in the future.
* Cloak of Earth boosts accuracy with Heavy Weapons by 10%. Each of its upgrades adds an additional 5% bonus.
* Critical hits by hellhounds now have a damage floor of 3. Nether Hound critical hits have a damage floor of 4 and a +1% chance to degrade armor.
* Updated Offense Prayer preconditions to reflect the fact that some people buy Spell Combat or Hand to Hand Combat/Melee Combat for enchanting and parry/dodge skills, respectively. Holy Brawn, Might of Heroes and Strength of the Dragon now require either Martial Arts or Advanced Melee Combat. Holy Eye and Hawk Sight now require Ranged Combat or Battle Magic (instead of Ranged Combat or Spell Combat) if the user is an Advocate.
* Significant changes to how mundane armor works:
- Armors no longer take up shirt and jacket slots and have their own slots for light, medium or heavy armor.
- A piece of light armor and a piece of medium armor can be worn at the same time, but heavy armor takes both slots.
- Heavy armor has an enchantment cap of 14 - however, no more than 10 slots can be spent on defense. The Suit of Military Encounter Armor is the only legacy item considered Heavy armor, and has had its crafting cost shifted from 4 Bags of Industrial Plastic to 5.
- Addition of a new Heavy armor item, the Suit of Full Platemail, with 3 impact soak, 4 piercing soak and 5 slashing soak. It cannot currently be found anywhere in the Nexus, but can be crafted by skilled smiths.
- Depending on the time that passes between the posting of this update and game data being modified, it may take a little while for correct armor slots to be assigned to current and new armors.
- Durability enchants on clothes now protect your armor.
- Some Armors (Military Encounter Armor and Light Body Armor) are more resilient to item damage than most.
* New faction upgrade: The Arcane Lodestone, unique to Unaligned Factions. For 4 renown per day, members of a faction with this bonus will pay drastically reduced costs (equivalent to the bonus from the Shepherd's Spellgem Affinity) to recharge their spellgems.
Quality of Life and Interface
* Really long blocks of text in speech or chalk now wrap around properly instead of stretching the page.
* Altered bot detection questions at account creation to hopefully be more user-friendly.
* Lists of characters present now have politics information (Enemy, Friendly, etc) that is perceptible to screen reader users.
* Removed remaining limitations on editing Unaligned factions as a non-morally-Neutral leader. Goros, Marquai and Hashaa, the patron Elder Powers of the Unaligned faction type, do not care what morality you are and would not restrict actions for not being Neutral.
* Altered Touch of Corrupted Loyalty so stolen pets without a custom name take the name of their new pet type, e.g. a stolen Aethersprite becomes a Hellsprite instead of "Aethersprite, a Hellsprite".
* Shut down the visible counter of how many characters are logged in at the moment as it was giving players the ability to tell when a raid was going on from anywhere in the world. The counter still says how many characters are non-idle in the game world.
* Dropping a Potion now tells you what potion it is if you have Sense Magic.
* Dropping a Spellgem now tells you what spell it is if you have Spellcraft.
* Picking up a Spellgem now tells you what spell it is if you have Spellcraft.
* Adding or removing a Spellgem from a faction safe or footlocker now correctly says in your message log what spell it is if you have Spellcraft.
* Adjusted the character reset text to make it clear that resets do not remove Alchemy knowledge.
* Fixed a long-standing bug that caused heavy items to appear to exist that don't actually exist and thus cannot be picked up:
- Due to the nature of the bug and the nature of the fix, it may take some time (days to weeks) for the effects of this bug to be fully resolved out of the live game by the game's normal process of sorting heavy items.
- Fixing this bug also fixed an issue that made the average item quality of heavy items consistently worse than it should be, thus making heavy item builds less attractive.
- Like the phantom item bug, the quality bug will take time to work itself out of the game's pool of items by the normal process of sorting heavy items.
* Corrected an unintendedly overpowered synergy wherein Infernal Jets or the Cloak of Air tree could be used in conjunction with Flying to time non-AP-costing steps and almost never pay AP to move. These skills' movement bonuses are now mutually exclusive with Flying (via Potion or skill).
* Fixed a bug that made Healing Aura (which is already a pretty bad skill) completely useless by giving its healing bonus to Potion of Regeneration users instead.
* Corrected an issue that should hopefully resolve the persistent bug of incorrect political relationships displaying in target dropdowns. Thanks to plscks for figuring out the true cause of the error.
* Fixed a bug that kept the AP gain from Sadistic Glee from working against Shepherds and their Tier 3 exits.
* Corrected a bug in character resets that stopped them from actually triggering the 24-hour release/reset timer.
* Fixed an exploitable bug that kept Heal Others from charging the proper MP amount.
* The Hand of the Necromancer damage bonus is now visible if the attack is a Spellgem.
* Death Mastery now means that your nonexistant corpse can't be raised as a zombie or skeleton by attacks that convert corpses to these things.
* Sect of Maevel zombies now avoid targeting the pets of other Sect of Maevel members.
* Prayer Beads (which cannot be given away) no longer appear in the dropdown of items to give away.
* Prayer Beads (which cannot be unloaded) no longer have a non-functional Unload button.
* Grenades can no longer be used for target shooting.
* Fixed an issue that kept Nether Hounds from despawning if the demon who commands them stops being Evil.
* Revenants who burn to death in the sunlight now roll correct corpse creation (where applicable) and damage to items and status effects.
* Correct rejuvenation costs for pets under the influence of the Feeding Fangs effect from attacking Lightspeakers. This wasn't broken before, but its absence from a key check was causing the wrong MP amount to be charged.
* Made Arcane Affinity apply more consistently to actions involving doors, wards, portals and glyphs.
* Resolved an issue wherein spellgems displayed an unrealistically high damage total in attack dropdowns.
* Weapon Breaker now explodes Shock Spheres.
* Resolved an issue with character creation character spawn that made it possible for new characters to spawn in atypical planes that somehow have strongholds.
* Martial Spellcraft now properly tells you when you have succeeded in imbuing a spell into a weapon.
* A recent buff to Shadow Dirk damage output is now properly represented in combat dropdowns.
This is a huge patch with a huge number of changes, I'm a great fan of many of them, especially the restoration of Gauntlets to 6 enchants which makes a literal half-dozen or more previously underpowered builds compared to their contemparies (Hth Wolf Revenant, Hth IB, Hth ES, Hth VW, Hth Howler) much more competitive, and especially the sorely-needed double buff to Earth Holy Champion (+3 damage, +20% accuracy before buffs) which should catapult it straight from bad-tier to being a very solid tanky attacker build.
But they can't all be winners.
‘* Significant reform to the Fallen's Infernal Jets. This skill now ramps up to its maximum speed faster, but its maximum speed is now 1/3 movement costs instead of indefinite free movement. There may be more updates to this skill in the future.’
Being truthful, the only change on this patch to Fallen that frankly, wouldn’t have been an objective buff should’ve been the following -
‘* Corrected an unintendedly overpowered synergy wherein Infernal Jets... could be used in conjunction with Flying.’
This would have fixed the problem perfectly. Infernal Jets should be reverted as soon as possible, and/or then replaced with a more generic but efficient movement skill as soon as possible after that. Although I'm a Fallen player, I'm not just tub-thumping for any class I play, Holy Champion took two significant nerfs on this patch, but they were justified. I'm going to argue (at some length lol) against this change because it represents a nerf to one of if not the objectively weakest classes in the game, punishes an entire class because; well, of me, and most of all preserves at the cost of the class itself a movement skill which isn't only a weak movement skill (now weaker), but also has a very poor and problematic design.
I'll go point-by-point, hopefully not to seem lecturing, just to explain my reasoning in a way that makes sense.
(I'd spoiler this following rundown if I could, but I can't. Sorry. x)
Shadowhunting is/was a very overrated problem in the game. It's a pretty recent realisation that top-class shadowhunters Holy Champion, Fallen and Conduit can get a good number of kills per day, sometimes comparable numbers even to pre-nerf Void Walkers. As problems they are not comparable. Shadowhunting is counterable by cutting the power in your building, and hiding makes you completely immune as all of the best shadowhunters lack Enhanced Senses. It was VWpocalypse in the first place that impressed on people that hiding was useless as they'll die regardless, but as that's changed the effectiveness of shadowhunting has already decreased noticeably. The recent spate of neighbourhood powers being switched-off, while unrelated, also completely blinds shadowhunters. It's also been demonstrated recently by the Lich Mango and previously by many Wyrm Masters that they can also grind kills in the field very quickly if they put their AP and MP into doing so, also without requiring outside enchanting to get the job done, in fairness.
Hunting itself is not useful. Hunting is an activity people do because they want to, not because it is well-rewarded ingame. At best, it's a last-resort grind for those who're already extremely well-grinded. Hunting spends AP and resources (often other people's resources, if you're a Fallen particularly) to gain kills, which is an extremely slow CP grind at its core. The fact it's something that people do by choice does mean that occasionally you get a Claude, which sucks, and I understand that sometimes I might've seemed like a mini-Claude. But movement is the most sacred thing in Clash, it makes or breaks a class, and ultimately the movement that is actually important is the ability to go to resource points and back efficiently, and to get to raid targets (and ideally back) efficiently. Shadowhunting is a very niche form of movement and shouldn't be the main balance concern for a class' movement skill, especially when that class is actually very bad at any form of movement except shadowhunting. With Infernal Jets' 'fantasy', in theory casting a wide net over a line of buildings should be where it excels, right?
Even if hunting was more useful, Fallen without Infernal Jets + Flying is a poor (shadow)hunter. I can back this up with maths. So, prior to this patch, one straight line of any length on Fallen cost you 5 AP, and in order to change direction and begin a new line, that's 1 AP.
6 AP/40 tiles, 0.15 AP/tile. This sounds very good, but there's a couple things to consider. Firstly, you might be going over 40 tiles, but you need to be looking at a (lit) building for that movement to achieve anything useful. Even at the centre of Laurentia, a pretty generous estimate would be 27 buildings per line.
6 AP/27 tiles, 0.222 AP/tile. That's already worse than Conduit and Holy Champion, which move at 0.2 AP/tile via Tap Ley Line. Conduit and Holy Champion being able to use their MP for movement also means that their daily MP regen that they don't need to use for other purposes (in Holy Champion's case particularly frequently nothing) can be considered an extra nest egg of 'free' moves, and the MP movers also have discretion to check around resource hotspots, potentially even twice a day in two smaller hunts. This actually yields many more kill opportunities than Fallen, which always has to do one big hunt, and any unlit tiles/neighbourhoods etc it still has to dredge through, wasting AP. Someone appear slightly off your route? Accidentally move past a shadow or target? For any other class this'd cost you 1 or 2 AP at worst to correct, for Fallen it's 6. You're starting your line again with reset Jets.
Fallen is an unhealthy hunter, but not because of Infernal Jets on its own. This one's pretty simple, the main offender here is Shadow Meld. Even though Fallen's kill rate is low without flying potion (ab)use, the fact Fallen can hit hide wherever it finishes and then be completely immune to everyone except Revenant and Divine Herald (and it even costs them a decent chunk of additional AP to dig the Fallen up) is not fun or fair to play against. Rather than Shadow Meld being nerfed as well, Fallen needs to be pushed towards its only other viable role besides hunter, which is being a raid attacker. Unfortunately, Fallen is the worst dedicated raid attacker in the game, and it just got even worse on this patch. This is where I (finally c': ) get into why Infernal Jets is, in my opinion, a bad design and will also always be some sort of balance issue until it's replaced.
Infernal Jets is not a fun skill to use even in the rare circumstances it would technically be good. In most cases in Clash, when you're heading to a resource point, you're looking at 2 or 3 moves in one direction followed by 2 or 3 in another, in which case Fallen has Mortal movement. But when you're heading to raids, some routes again are extremely inefficient (essentially random depending on where your stronghold and theirs is), but other times there's technically a route you could take to save a bit of AP compared to generic half-movers or at least flyers. Instead, that almost never happens. Why?
It's how the skill itself works. Someone will call a target, say 'Let's go', and post the directions in the chat. Directions which're immediately useless to Fallen. To account for my movement skill, I have to immediately open the Hypermap and start triangulating a complicated route of straight lines, ideally going through one ferry/portal, coming-out and continuing in the same direction (this does not reset Infernal Jets counter, so technically but rarely you can use this to cover a huge amount of ground for less AP). This results in me usually being late to the raid and I'll have been damned lucky to break-even with a Revenant who just wolf-walked there.
Other people, or even me just run there however they can, which tanks their AP into the ground. I'd like to compare it to how some people are annoyed by Nexus Champion's teleports. Teleports are some extra effort and fiddling for an amazing pay-off of some of if not the actual best movement in the game. Infernal Jets is far more effort to get value out of than teleports with a mediocre pay-off, and after this change it's similar effort (admittedly 2 AP total over the first 4 moves is a little nicer for getting to resource buildings, as Fallen's only 'utility' besides attacking is generic Demon searching) with even less pay-off than previous.
Moving to a target is also a flat cost, so having a poor movement skill disproportionately impacts a raider (and also elevates those classes with excellent movement skills, who have way more freedom to contribute even with mediocre starting AP). Multiply that by Fallen's awful damage on structures and underpowered damage on people and it essentially means Fallen on a raid has less AP and does less with each AP it does have.
Despite all of Infernal Jets' weaknesses, it would only take a favourable map(s) for it to become overpowered. I'll say one thing for reworked Infernal Jets, this one is kind of moot, since now it takes 9 steps in a single direction to overtake the AP efficiency of half-stepping, but also doesn't ramp-up to anything that special on the rare cases you get to do a massive line - overall it's plain bad. Nonetheless, discussing old Infernal Jets and the balance concerns that prompted this change in the first place, any maps in Breath 5 which either included very long lines of useful buildings/areas to inspect, or perfectly straight lines through a map's epicentre which could be used by a Fallen to zip close to their destination could easily make its efficiency extremely good. This is honestly Infernal Jets at its best - an esoteric and almost-always bad moveskill on a low-popularity class should not be a genuine potential concern for the future maps of the game.
Of all Fallen's lousy gimmicks which would probably be an issue were it not for conflicting game mechanics (such as Dark Trick's technically ridiculous MO draining effects being defeated by stronghold overrides), their meddling movement is the most volatile. A more generically good movement skill replacement of the quality of Way of Lightning or better might be less unique, but solves a lot of issues and makes the class more predictable both for players and devs - it can then be balanced around that point.
Fallen's design does leave a lot to be desired, I think most people agree on that, but it shouldn't be left in the dustbin until it can be treated to a proper rework. The success of the Infernal Behemoth mini-rework on last patch proves this. IB was historically an underpowered and janky class, and yes, some of the jank is still present now, but with only a set of numbers buffs and a single new effect in line with its class fantasy, it has become a top-class beefy raid attacker (and people are still exploring some of the rest of its new potential). The same can happen with Fallen, and it honestly shouldn't take a lot of effort. The addition of a good movement skill and a few numbers buffs in its kit is all it would take for Fallen to be pushed away from its irritating, low-counterplay hunter role (and the role of, as one returning NW player concluded straight after reading its skills 'just for trolling') into that more healthy raid attacker role.
It already has some unique aspects as an attacker in its kit. Sadistic Glee gives it repeatable spike damage and the potential to go off against a crowd of angels, Shadowskulk + Hellfire makes it one of the best Seraph-killers available to an Evil clan, with Shadowskulk itself being very nasty in real-time combat in a stronghold, but these just don't quite add-up because of its lousy base damage and reliance on well-enchanted rare weapons (Flaming Pitchfork, Marrakunian Soul Cannon) to do much to begin with. It's not quite what I'd call a complete Tier 3 class with those faecets, but it'd be more than half a class with just a little bit of push in its favour, and that's a lot more than it is right now.
Essentially, I really do trust in the devteam to create an amazing 'proper' rework for Fallen at some point in the future; but rather than only banking on that future rework, think their effort would also be well-spent giving Fallen the quick IB treatment before then, solving most of its problems - as long as they aren't led to think that the gimmicks of Fallen (which includes Infernal Jets) are where Fallen's identity and potential lies.
Almost forgot, can I get some refunds for Alyss Kain please.
- Cloak of Lightning, this doesn't really need a blurb. I'm sorry to give-up my 'signature skill', but to be honest, even when it was very overpowered it basically stole all of the EXP from levelling members of my clans on raids and left them to try their best to fight their Eternal Soldiers, NCs and IBs, so it was a bit of an antisocial skill. I've been marginally less disliked since I stopped using it! RIP me getting kill credit for slaying my own factionmates in the crossfire, though. xx
- Wings. Now this wasn't mentioned but obviously no Wind HC is ever going to buy Wings save for using them with now-defunct Gust Wings. If I'd thought that Gust Wings was an unintended mechanic when I'd bought the skill (or at any point since), then I wouldn't have the chutzpah to ask for a refund on it. But I was told of Gust Wings by someone trusted and, to be honest, it was pretty reasonable to believe it was 'supposed' to work that way. Okay, I hold my hands up, I didn't look at Infernal Jets + Flying and think 'Yes, this is exactly what Infernal Jets coding was meant to achieve', but Gust Wings really wasn't a weird process at all. I'd assumed it was in the same vein as Blink/Twisted Leap with Flying, which is an intended interaction. Also, from a class design standpoint you might've hazarded a guess that Wind HC's Wings were meant to be 'even better', to give them ultimate movement.
Of course this turned-out not to be the case, but I'd say it was reasonable to previously assume that interaction was supposed to exist. I know I'm not the only Wind HC who took Wings exclusively for Gust Wings, since Wings doesn't have any utility/usability at all on a Wind HC beyond that interaction - I accept it wasn't actually supposed to be that way but I also think it's fair dinkum for any HC to ask for a refund on Wings under the circumstances, since it was a pretty well-known and not on the surface especially janky mechanic, and a totally dead 30 CP otherwise.
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