Dev Chatter – August 23, 2017

The following conversations were taken from questions asked on the Rift Community Discord.  The following questions were asked and responded to on August 23, 2017.  For those that don’t know, Discord is more than just a pure voice service, it also serves as a text chat service similar to IRC and old style chat rooms.  This is primarily how it is used for Rift.  If you haven’t yet, come join us on discord here:

Today’s topic is largely focused on recent class changes, and a vague hint about some new class tech.

As usual, this has been anonymized (as appropriate), and edited for topic flow and some minor grammar tweaks.  

The purpose of these dev chatter posts is to summarize the general thoughts of Rift’s dev team, and gain insight into upcoming content and features.

All details are subject to change!

Q: since QF is always open on LFR now, what are the odds to move quartermaster to outside of event zone?

A: [We] moved those last week and they’ll go live [on September 6th, 2017].


Q: [Will there be a] revert [of] Molten Wave [to its] original damage?

A: Once it goes out and we have vulc numbers then an adjustment can be made, but in retrospect, even attempting to change MW from a channel was a thing [we] caved on to try and be nice, but it has resulted in nothing but headache

[We] won’t turn it back into a channel and revert everything to it. After [the] LSS changes [has] been up a bit, [then] we can revisit [Molton Wave’s damage].


Q: If you do nerf what HAS to be nerfed (LSS in this case), [then] reverting the molten wave nerf would be appropriate since it wasn’t the issue to begin with. [Why not restore Molten Wave Now?]

A: There is exactly zero way [we] can justify anything that might look like a primalist buff right now. So, once they settle in with this adjustment, we can revisit [Molten Wave].


Q: What are the amount of a dps in your opinion people should be doing right now?

A: It varies by player, but in the 1~1.1m range for single target is going to be a solid performing raider.


Q: So, [those of us who can parse far higher than that, are we the] exceptional or what?

A: Yes.  Rift, as a hazard of various parts of its design [has] incredibly steep skill gaps, and there is very [little we] can do to practically adjust that.  People who are begging for random buffs generally don’t get them.  Having to make the game accessible for more people means that experts get to push higher.


Q: [Can we get an explanation for the Molten Wave nerf?]

A: [we] do pretty much every change with a pretty specific intent.  What is less obvious, is that sometimes the intent is not to make a change that [expert players] need or are asking for (because there are other, deeper issues or other goals on the plate).

[To answer the question], the reason [we] picked MW for the first pass at a nerf here was that [we] made a change to it that increased its per GCD value far more than intended, and [it] needed to [be] adjusted  anyway.

When [we] converted MW from a channel to an instant (to answer some of the issues people had with it, such as [the] ability to miss, etc), [we] set off [some] alarm bells because that more than tripled its per GCD value in ST. [We] let it ride because it was a big QoL change. Then MW cropped up as a big offender in a problematic build and it was [a] good time to make an adjustment that converted the buff from a 3x the GCD value to 50% (1.5x) increased GCD value. So [this] change was already incoming.


Q: but that also lost the cleaving ability the non-legendary [had].

A: Yes, that is true. But given that the largest problem wasn’t its ability to cleave, but what it did to a single target, that’s what happened.


Q: Maelstorm still isn’t on par with anything and 31 Dervish isn’t viable either, [Primalists] have 2 broken 31 points specs that will never be used in their current state, we have to use hybrids to be competitive and figure what boost what.

A: Alright, here is [the] catch 22 (this is all rhetorical, please don’t try to provide solutions)

1. Hybrids make the game reasonably inaccessible to new players.
2. Buffs to 31 point specs that aren’t almost literally in the 31 point ability increase the risk of aberrant hybrids.
3. Buffs to 31 point abilities result in experts complaining that all their damage come from a small number of things
4. All of these things are bad for the game.
5. [We] can only choose to target so many at a time.

So, here we come to the eternal problem with soul trees (and systems like them)


Q: Wasn’t it being said that “devs” didn’t care how much damage we pull because of eternal weapons because they were intended to be “Over power”?

A: Yes, but they affect the different specs differently.  [This was] said that in the context of how you scale compared to content. Against each other with eternals is still something we have to balance.


Q: For eternals you got 2 types of scaling, dynamic multiplicative scaling that scales more the more gear you have like warrior and primalist then you got a static scaling eternals like mages Rogues and clerics that doesn’t scale with your gear, it’s really better to wait and see how eternal 7 turns out. [Will we see adjustments to this?]

A: Yes, warrior and prim will likely need an adjustment to those at some point, although for now they are fine ([we might] buff the others when they fall behinds).


Q: Trion should recruit somebody to help [Keyens], I know you can’t understand everything that “breaks” every time an adjustment is done. You’re being overburdened by it and I understand. What I do not understand is a “1-man army” doing all of it

A: More bodies doesn’t solve the underlying problem.  [We] could throw an infinite number of designers at the soul system and its inherent logical problems will still exist. We’ve actually managed to cut down on the hybrid hunting and such in recent years, which has made it all much more [manageable].


Q: More bodies means you have eyes across multiple reactions. More people to actually test stuffs out and see what could be tuned up/down accordingly. For example, Blizzard have less “souls combination” that rift has, and they have more staff put to it.

A: Blizzard operates on a scale that is an exception in the industry.  There is no other team like it and no other team can be like it due to the scale in which they are operating.  As such, using them as a metric for ANY other MMO studio in the industry will never be helpful.


Q: [What] if you had a few devoted players to help you? It would make it way easier. “Reproduce that and tell me what you think of it” meta.

A: Actually, it turns out small cabals of experienced players in some kind of round table statistically degrade the experience of the midgrade player, and can detrimentally affect the experience of the new player

We’ve tried the alpha group in the past and as mentioned, it was detrimental to the overall experience for the average player. Do we listen to expert players? Yes. But we also have to be considerate of the other 99%.


Q: Anything on the horizon for warriors? Can you talk about that tech RR is supposed to be making for you yet?

A: The tech that RR did was NOT for warriors. The biggest clue I will give for that is as follows:

[RR created new tech to allow a feature to be used] for something it was NOT DESIGNED FOR.

Normally [we] would just ask for a new feature to do the specific thing [we] wanted (with some context for a general use), but in this case [we] saw an existing feature and [the design team agreed] “I know how I can abuse that with some changes.”

[To] be clear, [we] didn’t get class specific tech. [We] just got [a] modification to something abilities could do to let [class design] use it in a new way.

That’s all the hints you get


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