Month of the Mad God is on the way! It may be starting later in the year than usual, but in the second half of September, the biggest and most game-changing MotMG to date will begin! There’s plenty we haven’t even revealed quite yet, but plenty more that we are now ready for you to get your hands on for a public testing session!
A highly detailed explanation of two of the biggest features coming this September can be found in our public testing feedback thread. Go there for a full breakdown!
As described in the thread, the new Vital Combat system is a mixture of the VERY long awaited pet rebalance along with buffs to regeneration stats (VIT and WIS) in a concentrated effort to keep the game’s pace fast and enjoyable without rewarding tanking.
One key mission is to allow small parties of players to compete evenly with larger groups. HP scaling changes, plenty of ability tweaks, debuff cooldowns, and more all come together to help small groups not feel too disadvantaged compared to huge mobs, and capable of taking on even the game’s biggest challenges with sufficient skill.
With these core changes come a number of other balance changes related to the system. For example, the defense cap has been raised to improve the amount of damage that can be blocked. Since Vital Combat works on a threshold system, DEF and VIT now serve highly important roles, as opposed to raw HP usually being the best stat to design any character around.
Vitality decreases the duration of the “In Combat” status. Defense, of course, reduces the amount of damage you take in the first place, allowing you to take more “small fry” shots without lasting effects. When used together with loadouts that cater to these states, you can greatly improve your resilience to the consequences of the In Combat state. We believe these changes allow for much more creativity and personal choice in your equipment loadouts.
In that same spirit, many class balancing tweaks lean into this effort to allow more flexibility in gameplay. One example of this is the removal of cooldowns on helmets. Previously, MP and WIS were effectively meaningless to a warrior with a good pet, as you would always recover your entire bar before the cooldown of use wore off.
Since MP heals are no longer static based on your combat status, the removal of cooldowns allows for more player agency, as opposed to just pressing your ability button as often as the item will let you. Thoughtful timing and consideration of your regen rate will allow an alert warrior to maximize their effectiveness!
All this and more is demonstrated in much greater depth in the public testing thread. Words alone only do so much, so we strongly urge everyone interested to spend some time on public testing and truly get a feel for the system. We are confident that these changes achieve the goals of:
- Allowing small groups to succeed without feeling inherently less capable than big groups
- Rebalance pets in a way that keeps them as a valuable gameplay mechanic without trivializing too much of the game’s content
- Help the early game (and players who choose to make petless characters) by improving the base regen qualities of vitality and wisdom
- Reward dodging without reverting to the old meta of spending lengths of time hiding in safety for slow regeneration
- Keep the game’s natural pace fast and exciting
- Improve the scope of class diversity by allowing more class types to serve valuable roles at all levels of the game, instead of a few classes being clear dominant choices
We hope you will take the time to join us this weekend to help ensure the Vital Combat system is as polished and balanced to the finest detail as it can possibly be!
In light of the changes introduced by the Vital Combat system, we wanted to introduce a new form of long term permanent progression to create fresh goals to strive for. While bigger features like the XP/Fame Bonus rework and the Item Forge remain in progress, we felt it was time to breathe some new life into endgame content that has long since settled into the game.
As described in the public testing thread, Exaltations introduce incremental rewards for completing endgame dungeons on a variety of classes. The core reward is an increase to your maximum stat caps, with an array of bonus rewards along the way. These bonuses include increased XP gain rate, increased damage, a decreased timer on the In Combat status, and even an overall increase to loot drop rates!
We believe that this incentive to play on various types of classes will blend well with Vital Combat’s new emphasis on broadening the range of viable classes in the endgame, leading to more varied groups in each run and freshening the feel each time.
Exaltations are a long term progression system. While most experienced players will probably specialize in their favorite class to start, we do not expect people to reach some of the higher overall reward levels for a while after release. This is intended to be a mostly passive form of growth to make each run count for more than before, even if your direct loot haul isn’t as fancy as a white bag.
Like Vital Combat, you can try this system out now on public testing over the weekend! Stay tuned for part 2 of our biggest feature updates in the near future.