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The State of Neverwinter: May 21 Q & A stream recap

mimicking#6533 mimicking Posts: 75 Member, Cryptic Developer Cryptic Developer
edited May 25 in News & Announcements
Greetings Adventurers- Thomas here,

It’s been a challenging few weeks for everyone. I have to say we were very excited about getting a new expansion into your hands- a whole new part of Faerûn to explore, a new hub, 5 zones, and 10 new levels to reach. We updated how classes play, from powers to feats and even some names-as well as many other changes-and we got great pre-launch feedback on them, so we felt although we didn’t hit all the marks, we were on the right track. Expansions are always a challenge. In order to build enough content to provide a great story and flow for the new leveling bar, you never have enough time to provide enough end game content once players hit the new level cap. Leveraging on the Hunts and the repeatable adventure quests from Chult, we created the Expeditions, and of course the end game Dungeon, a real challenge at level 80. Knowing early on that providing enough end game content would be a challenge based with the time we had to create the expansion, we crunched some numbers and saw how many campaigns were not being completed- and came up with the idea of the Challenge Zones; a system where the quests would be a challenge by level scaling, and in return get great rewards, filling in boons as well as getting great gear.

Well, our expectations were wrong. We took too much power and agency away from how you were playing before. Power you worked hard for and invested in.

We also Item level scaled dungeons. Now to be fair we’ve been level scaling dungeons and CTAs and some other events since launch, always with the goals of letting groups play together; having the barbarian with the 20K gear score charging ahead and killing the entire dungeon while the rest of the group tried to catch up is never fun for the rest of the group. But with the new dynamics of how powers work–basically resetting the clock on timing of how many powers you could get off vs the critters/monsters, and how we changed the scaling in the game–we really dropped a couple of balls, making the time in a queued event much longer that we really wanted, or even more importantly what you wanted.

You all gave us feedback and we jumped in and started fixing bugs-this monster was way too hard, this map level was wrong, the timing is off, etc. We actually put out several patches in the first couple of weeks.

During this time we were doing a lot of work and a bit of scrambling. That’s when we had the chance to start digging in deeper. We had numbers coming in showing kill counts in areas, and other factors which helped us treat some bigger issues that were called out on the forums. One big one was finding a huge group of encounter templates (what we use to spawn critters) that were dealing with a race condition- they would spawn at the (Avatars/players/characters) actual level and then level you down. Yay for race conditions!

This was fixing some big bugs, but didn’t hit all the core issues. We took away your ability to show and use your powers as much as before and substantially slowed your rate of gaining rewards. We also damaged your trust in us to deliver the Neverwinter you wanted and were more used to. So, here’s what we are currently doing to address this. Ready?

Below are the changes we currently have in motion. We're testing out some of these changes, and are still in progress implementing some of the others, so as to get them live ASAP. The rest have been implemented and are in stages of regression and testing. Once we are confident in the changes we will be putting them onto the playtest server (Owlbear) to get your feedback, adjust as needed, then to playtest, then to live.

Thanks again for all of your feedback, questions on the stream, and continued patience.

Enemies
Change: All enemies–including bosses–are having their health reduced by ~10%.
Purpose: Help players regain some of the feeling of power they lost; improve upon some difficulty issues.


Enchantments
Change: All Enchantments and Runestones, aside from Bonding Runestones, are having their Item Level and stats doubled.
Purpose: Restore the power players have already invested in.


Soloable Content
Change: All campaign zones, and soloable instances, will no longer be scaled by item level. Challenge Campaigns are being renamed to Legacy Campaigns. Rewards are not changing.
Purpose: Find a better balance of time spent to rewards gained, and allow players to once again wield the power they've gained over the course of the game.


Queued Content
Change: Most Dungeons and Trials are having their Item Level requirements and scaling targets increased.
Purpose: Give players more power while running this content, while still trying to keep high-level players from one-shotting everything in the process.

Change: Events that used to scale players to level 60 are going to scale players to level 40 instead.
Purpose: Find a nicer mid-point to scale players to, so that the content is still casually playable and accessible by lower-level players.


Strongholds
Change: We are removing the upward scaling on the Stronghold map, and making enemies consistently spawn at level 80.
Purpose: The upward item level scaling incorrectly powered up lower-level players too much, resulting in bad expectations being set for level 80 power in Strongholds. This addresses that.
Post edited by nitocris83 on
Go ahead, click on the chest...
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Comments

  • thefiresidecatthefiresidecat Posts: 3,200Member Arc User
    @pariswinters#7118 it is worded to sound good but it's not. And double the stats on our enchants yay so now it's like r11 instead of r6 or 7.......still not good enough. It's still an insult to our time effort and money. All dungeons need to be level 80. So we can build our toons accordingly and effort isn't pointless. Scaling on this level is just ridiculous and no amount of spin can change that.
    xbox guild

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  • pariswinters#7118 pariswinters Posts: 690Member Arc User

    @pariswinters#7118 it is worded to sound good but it's not. And double the stats on our enchants yay so now it's like r11 instead of r6 or 7.......still not good enough. It's still an insult to our time effort and money. All dungeons need to be level 80. So we can build our toons accordingly and effort isn't pointless. Scaling on this level is just ridiculous and no amount of spin can change that.

    the way things are going they are making progress.....albeit slowly....by mod 17 we will be OP again and in need of another nerf, which we will get come mod 18, and then it'll be 2-3 more mods until they fix that....I'm just waiting on the game to be fun again, so i can go back to doing the dungeons I've always loved (currently all broken)
  • robai#6206 robai Posts: 226Member Arc User
    edited May 25
    Sadly no word on fixing companions, especially healing companions.
    Also it would be nice if mobs speed and casting time would be reduced, so that we could have some interesting tactics (like avoiding red circles).
    Have you tried to avoid red circles of Golems in Dread Legion? Currently it's almost non stop red circles, not to mention that those circles are huge and it hurts (btw, the boss fight is easier).
  • pariswinters#7118 pariswinters Posts: 690Member Arc User

    Depending on the coding and how they made the change it may not be possible to go back, so easier to just double what we already have.

    The one thing I hope it fixes is the fact that the mobs in the Stronghold are all of elite status, except for the beasts/drakes/spiders. It makes it very dangerous for even a level 80 to travel in the SH.

    And I really have no idea how they could have thought what they implemented would have be even remotely liked by more than maybe 5% of people that play. That sort of baffles my mind. I think it was more a case of we need to get something done and changed, so what they gave us was the easiest thing they could do.

    "its just easier"
    this is the mistake this team has been making all along, they do whats easy, not what really needs to be done.....they could have gave enemies new powers and attacks like they claimed in the blog post, but no, they just doubled the rate they attack at, removed cooldowns from their attacks, and made them move 2-3x as fast, while adding a CC effect to half of their attacks.

    and now they are having to constantly redo the system, when it could have just been done right in the first place....
  • lowjohnlowjohn Posts: 1,009Member, NW M9 Playtest Arc User
    edited May 25
    kangkeok said:

    Never scale down a player. Its like fake bill notes. The more u had it in your system, the more worthless your currency is. The more u do it, the more worthless player gear are. However, scalling up the mob might be a better solution. For example make a whole list of dungeon scaled to 80, instead of scalling down the player. Label the list of that dungeon as for lvl80 player only. That way level 80 player could play a level80 malabog castle instead of scalling down the player to level 70.

    Can't do that without either severely punishing the L64 player queuing for MC because that's his top dungeon, or getting a proper per-toon scaling working which I fully grant is extremely hard in the current model.

    Some feedback to Our Beloved OP Dev:

    Enemies
    Change: All enemies–including bosses–are having their health reduced by ~10%.
    Purpose: Help players regain some of the feeling of power they lost; improve upon some difficulty issues.

    While I don't mind this, I think it's less a problem than the trash mobs who hit like *trucks* while the bosses are better balanced. From my perspective, the biggest problems with dungeons has been that trash mobs and environmentals will one-shot a tank through a shield, while a good tank with a healer can hold a boss without a problem.

    (Leaving aside clear off-level bugs like "the souls in TONG cannot be killed", of course).

    The issue isn't really boss/mob HP, it's mobs/environmentals doing unexpectedly huge damage and some mobs having off-the-charts-huge HP totals.

    Enchantments
    Change: All Enchantments and Runestones, aside from Bonding Runestones, are having their Item Level and stats doubled.
    Purpose: Restore the power players have already invested in.

    Cool. I love it. Does it affect the 99% of content that's currently capped to R9s?

    (If yes, and "capped to R9s" now means "capped to doubled R9s", that's a really good change? R9s are still "two weeks above the free gear" and should NOT be the cap for the most recent mods, but capping to doubled-R9s in L70 content is a good change IMO)

    Soloable Content
    Change: All campaign zones, and soloable instances, will no longer be scaled by item level. Challenge Campaigns are being renamed to Legacy Campaigns. Rewards are not changing.
    Purpose: Find a better balance of time spent to rewards gained, and allow players to once again wield the power they've gained over the course of the game.

    No longer scaled by IL = "not capped to R9s"? But will still be scaled by Character Level - L80 toons with L80 gear will be downscaled to L70, but not capped further?

    Also, you are clear here that this is Zone + Solo Instances. Dungeons and Skirmishes will still be capped by both level *and* gear? There's still no point in going above R9s in anything except LoMM, even if the R9s are better than they were before?

    Change: Events that used to scale players to level 60 are going to scale players to level 40 instead.
    Purpose: Find a nicer mid-point to scale players to, so that the content is still casually playable and accessible by lower-level players.

    ... this one I don't get. Do events get a lot of L5-35 toons in them but not 45-80? That doesn't exactly match my anecdotal experience, but I don't have the analytics you do. I'm assuming there's a good reason you're not just leaving L80s unscaled and scaling everyone else up to match - can you explain the logic here?
  • juanblade1juanblade1 Posts: 14Member Arc User
    edited May 25
    it is an insult when you are a 20k+ and doing sharandar arcane reservoir and scaled down to 11,500 and mobs are supposed to be weak because we played through that campaign YEARS ago!!! why do you have to break things! why do you have to take away our power and make weak at-wills and sometimes with bugs (no damage) Im talking about heavy slash of fighters (GF )
  • mordekai#1901 mordekai Posts: 1,376Member Arc User
    lowjohn said:


    ...
    No longer scaled by IL = "not capped to R9s"? But will still be scaled by Character Level - L80 toons with L80 gear will be downscaled to L70, but not capped further?
    ...

    Not even that.
    If Thom didn't "mis-speak" during the stream. He actually said when explaining it, that if you are Level 80 and go into Sharandar you will be Level 80.

    So no level scaling, no item scaling. You go into L70 zones as your character IS, unfettered. You will be able to kick nine shades of HAMSTER out pretty much anything.

    I reiterate that that is what he said in the stream. He also refers to Item Level as "Gear Score" so there is that caveat...

    Dungeons still will be scaled, which isn't necessarily a bad thing unless they are scaled badly.

    Ideally all end game content including Queues would be L80, and dungeons would be repopulated with L80 content and scaling would not be needed. But both from a commercial marketing perspective (I'm sure they want to keep shiny new content distinguishable from old) and a "Where is our time best spent?" I think that is not on the primary list of "Things that need fixing in a hurry."

  • arcanjo86arcanjo86 Posts: 987Member, NW M9 Playtest Arc User
    "Change: Events that used to scale players to level 60 are going to scale players to level 40 instead.
    Purpose: Find a nicer mid-point to scale players to, so that the content is still casually playable and accessible by lower-level players."
    @mimicking#6533
    please make sure critters also are same levels as players, if this change was meant to stop cta private solo queue just letting you know that the level60 scale down made it last longer, due to the encounter power long cd values and the way mass critters encounter surround us to die, we now need to use cc power to spread them/smoke them/entangle them, hadar grasp them, arm of hadar them, roots them, burning light them, chain of blazing light them so we dont get melted by a group of mobs no reason to reduce it to level 40 at all, noticed on siege event dragon wing attack radius seems larger than wod dragon wing blast area. if this change is to prevent player from solo cta events then it will be a waste of resources since these event only offer transmutes and refiner cache( for these caches, only private solo queue made it worth farm it) with these changes you are forcing us to public queue for it, you need to force the event currency drop that get from moving over it, to benefit all party, because if one party member picks them up rest of the party gets nothing, thats why i never queue for public @mimicking#6533 if only 1 player walks over cta event currency on the ground rest of the party doesn't get the currency and cta public queue is a group effort event all party needs to benefit from those pick up currency, also the weapon set from cta event means nothing for us players, there are better weapon sets in the game(primal weapons set is better than those).
  • arcanjo86arcanjo86 Posts: 987Member, NW M9 Playtest Arc User

    So much negativity.

    The game is clearly headed in the right direction, good tweaks are being made following massive changes, and it's clear that you're now able to make changes much more easily than before, which will be of great benefit going forward.

    Thanks for your efforts, and please keep it up =)

    none have taken place yet, nostura fey castle quest still has stag stuck and doesn't allow us to move forward to complete the quest, overkill powers from strahd boss fight in CR are still implement on his arena(it pulls player back to the blast zone after player dodged to center, kabal in MSP, teleports than blast aoe on the place he arrived, then summons the inner or outer ring zone of fire than say the word when we know he is going to teleport basicly his rotations are messed up, eye gazer 2nd MSP boss his rotations are all messed up we see the red circle for his jump but he doesn't jump, we see the giant aoe red circle for his rockblast but he jumps instead, 3rd MSP boss Nostura curse doesn't force her to use stone gaze after to remove curse from party, making all party wipe because of the overpowered curse damage, this dungeon is scaled down the old overpowered powers need to be removed and put some to fit the changes to classes and combat style, no effort have been shown at all just words.
  • darthpotaterdarthpotater Posts: 601Member, NW M9 Playtest Arc User
    @mimicking#6533
    Thank you. You are recognicing all your errors with mod16. Thats good and I think once the big preview patch go live, most of the design errors Will be adressed and the game will be much better. You are in a good direction. You take time to understand but ok you are hearing players.

    BUT there is still one thing you need to understand: some rough AD and some old seals ARE NOT OK for
    old dungeons. Even if you are softing the scale presure on players.

    You need to understand that having more options to Dungeon Will make the game more enjoyable. But need to give something that compensate the time invested.

    Please, please think on this. We want to run all dungeons. No Matter if they take 30 or 40 mins. Make the rewards worth the time.
    Lescar PvE Wizard - Sir Garic PvE Paladin
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  • richtayls#5929 richtayls Posts: 9Member Arc User

    > @pariswinters#7118 said:
    Already took away powershare and buff and debuff. That was all that was needed. everything else is overkill. They went way too far because of a minority of players

    Agree completely, I’m on PS4 so not experienced mod 16 yet but I was taking a 13k alt into Chult the other day and when I got mobbed I was thinking how difficult it was going to be without lifesteal, and that’s before then scaling my stats lower. Removing lifesteal and buffs was already enough of a nerf.
  • bpstuartbpstuart Posts: 140Member Arc User
    edited May 25
    Edit: Whatever. who cares. My feedback isn't helping, they are gonna do what they are gonna do.

    PS: Someone once said "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder" and that is true, because D&D Barbie girl named her great sword Beauty.
    Ego etiam cupo recrari et amari diu post mortem meam
    I too wish to be recreated, and to be loved long after my death.
  • tgwolftgwolf Posts: 246Member Arc User
    For the record, outside of the bugs that no-one has any control over I'm having zero problems with Mod 16.

    Stats, scaling and difficulty are nowhere near bad enough to make progression or general play an issue despite what the soft, undeserving people complaining here think.

    The way things are going, Power Creep, the EXACT thing you have been fighting to eradicate will return and if it does I urge the Dev team to respond to anyone who complains at that point with:

    "This is a problem you created. Fix it yourself."
  • pariswinters#7118 pariswinters Posts: 690Member Arc User
    tgwolf said:

    For the record, outside of the bugs that no-one has any control over I'm having zero problems with Mod 16.

    Stats, scaling and difficulty are nowhere near bad enough to make progression or general play an issue despite what the soft, undeserving people complaining here think.

    The way things are going, Power Creep, the EXACT thing you have been fighting to eradicate will return and if it does I urge the Dev team to respond to anyone who complains at that point with:

    "This is a problem you created. Fix it yourself."

    I don't have any issues with content either if by no issues you mean you can successfully play the game in level 80 zones and can do a few dungeons out of the roster, the game simply is not fun anymore PERIOD

  • chiatzouchiatzou Posts: 35Member Arc User
    edited May 25
    @tgwolf For us to fix it, it would at least for me my requirement would be for them to fix all the things broken in the game. Thats never gonna happen so there ya go.
  • pariswinters#7118 pariswinters Posts: 690Member Arc User

    And I much prefer them to err on the side of we are a bit more powerful than the monsters we are fighting than the other way around. You have to remember that probably more than 85% of the people who play this game are casual players, so they for the most part do not come to the game for a challenge, they play the game to have fun.

    i used to be a hardcore player, but mod 16 has made me one of the most casual there is...

    how is nerf upon nerf, while buffing enemies attack speed and movement speed 3x and giving them near 0 cooldown on CC abilites and giving them an added CC effect to half their attacks while at the same time increasing their HP pool by a factor of 100 even remotely considered adding challenging content?
    its the laziest bunch of programming I've seen since....well ever

    mod 16 patched over half the playerbase right out of the game
  • pariswinters#7118 pariswinters Posts: 690Member Arc User

    Take a level 80 casual players toon, which would have about 15k ilevel into any of the scaled level 70 content and see if it is challenging for them or not. Currently that is an issue for many casual players. There are still casual players that find LoL challenging, so it is really all a matter of perspective.

    herein lies the problem.
    the game is too hard for the casual player and only fun/challenging for the 1%
  • rickcase276rickcase276 Posts: 1,174Member, NW M9 Playtest Arc User
    Yes, which hopefully the changes they are making now will narrow that gap some. That is the most we can hope will happen.
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