Albion Online's third GvG Season starts on June 23. To prepare for this occasion, we will release a patch that includes combat balancing changes, updates to siphoned energy and red-zone GvGs, and various quality-of-life improvements. In this Dev Talk, Michael Schwahn, Combat Designer for Albion Online, discusses what's coming with this patch.
No time to watch the video? Here's a written summary of his talk:
1. Combat Balancing Changes
5v5 GvG Meta
One major focus of this balancing patch are the current heavy CC builds, particularly the double tank dive meta.
- These builds are currently too dominant and hard to counter, which is not what we intended
- Warrants some larger changes to some of the items in this build
- Main offenders that enable the current meta:
- Judicator Helmet
- Cultist Sandals
- Rampant Staff
- The Rampant Staff, in particular, needs more counterplay options
Improving Underused Items
We also want to improve and buff underused items, particularly all three Holy Artifact items. We will also buff some underused helmet, armor and shoe items. Some of the items to be improved include:
- Artifact Holy Staffs
- Scholar Cowl and similar armor pieces
- Ranged damage dealers like bows and Frost Staffs
Bringing Solo Builds More in Line
We also want to tone down some solo builds, such as the Great Nature Staff – and particularly its kiting ability. These staffs already have such a strong survivability that their attack should be somewhat reduced: for example, their DoT range will be decreased, which will require staying closer to enemy targets to keep the DoT effective.
Reworked IP Scaling
We're also reworking the item power scaling for offhands, and they will be entirely tied to item power after this patch, meaning:
- Offhands get the full bonus of the Destiny Board specializations
- Offhands also get the full item quality bonus from their quality level
This is not just on top of current item strength: the scaling curve has also been adjusted, so items may end up either a bit stronger or a bit weaker than their current state.
Food Progression Curve
With this patch, the progression of food will be a bit flattened at the highest levels, meaning high-end food will not be quite as powerful as it is currently. This is to somewhat reduce the snowball effect, as high-end food is very expensive, and can be used to undermine the IP cap on certain zones.
2. Reducing Snowballing in the Outlands
For Season 3, we're making several changes that will reduce the snowball effect between smaller and larger guilds in the Outlands:
First, we're changing the amount of siphoned energy each territory produces. This will bring Mercia and Anglia a bit more in line with each other – there will still be a difference in the energy these regions produce, but it will not be as extreme as it is currently. The goal of this change is to reduce some of the current snowballing in these territories, and to add a bit more strategy and balance to which territories a guild chooses to defend.
Second, in order to give smaller guilds more of an even footing, we're introducing a soft gear cap for red-zone GvGs. These soft caps will only be active during the GvG fight itself; open-world red zones overall will stay untouched.
3. Other Adjustments and Improvements
Better loot in yellow-zone Hellgates: as these Hellgates are now full-loot, we're scaling the rewards they offer up accordingly. They will still not be as lucrative as those found in red and black zones, but should offer rewards that are appropriate to their challenge.
Freely attack guild and alliance members in Hellgates: this will allow for less restricted play in Hellgates, as players will not have to worry about avoiding their fellow guild/alliance members when they appear in an enemy group.
As always, you can view the most up-to-date stats and numbers in the NDA Balance Playtests thread on our forum.
That's all for now – stay tuned for more updates over the coming weeks!