Major changes to ToA


Fledgling Freddie
Dec 23, 2003
This was posted by Mythic a few days ago:

When Trials of Atlantis was in development, we made it possible to buff casting speed, melee speed, style damage, regular damage, accuracy, and more for the first time. The short term testing looked good - new content and new strategies were intended elements of the expansion, and it seemed that we had accomplished the goal. However, there was another goal for the expansion - characters with the new items and the new buffs would be very group friendly, and on an individual level, a small percentage more powerful than before.

To be specific, here are the Trials of Atlantis specific buffs that we are talking about:

- casting, melee, and archery damage bonus
- casting, melee, and archery speed
- casting and archery range
- casting, melee, and archery accuracy

We had a strict design goal for how much more powerful players that possess these objects would be. Frankly speaking, what we designed and what ended up in the game are far far apart - a player with even one or two artifacts is much stronger than we intended, and that's not even counting the Unique Objects, regular dropped objects, or even master levels. Many Artifacts and other powerful items in ToA are on the order of 30-50% more powerful than we intended - and many of those items stack together. This is a power inflation that cannot be ignored.

So, here is the situation: players who don't have the expansion are justifiably upset that they can no longer compete with those that bought the expansion and have acquired powerful items from it - and players that have the expansion are rapidly becoming so powerful that small groups of players can successfully defeat even the game's most powerful monsters, and are extremely overpowered in RvR. Because of this, and for the sake of the integrity and balance of the game, we must make changes to many ToA items. We know that this is not a small trivial thing. It will affect everyone who bought the expansion, adventured, and acquired Artifacts or other overpowered items from it. We apologize for the trouble and pain this will cause you - but we simply cannot have such powerful items in the game.

As we told you here on the Herald a few days ago, on Pendragon we have already lowered the hard cap on buffs your player receives to these new ToA bonuses. Previously the cap was 25%, now it is 10%. This means that no matter how many objects you have equipped, you can receive only 10% bonus to those ToA buffs. This leaves us in a situation where you can reach your cap with only one Artifact, since many have bonuses of 10%. Also, some Unique and regularly dropped items have 10% bonuses as well, and some have even more, up to 20%.

Because of this, we are rebalancing all of the Artifacts and powerful dropped items to reduce the amount of bonus for the following ToA specific buffs. After the rebalancing, artifacts will not have more than a 5% bonus to any of those new ToA buffs. To compensate, we will be increasing other bonuses on each Artifact and on some high-level dropped items. Unique Objects will have their bonuses to attack/cast haste, accuracy, and damage taken down by half with a hard cap of 4% (i.e. each one with more than 8% bonus will have 4% bonus after the conversion), and from this point on, no Unique item will drop with a bonus to these ToA specific buffs. We will give you a complete list of all Artifacts and their newly adjusted bonuses in tomorrow's Pendragon patch notes, as well as some other high-level dropped items that are affected by these changes.

After this change is implemented, everyone that has an Artifact, Unique Object, or dropped item in their inventories that is subject to be rebalanced will have their items converted to the new system. Some of these changes will take place in today's Pendragon update, the rest will go into tomorrow's Pendragon version. All these changes, as well as the rest of 1.68, will go live next week.

So why did it take us so long to recognize and address this problem? Some feedback is easy for developers to respond to. A single item, the way a particular encounter completes - these things are simple. We read your feedback, we discuss it with the original designer, and the change goes into the next patch. Unfortunately, not all feedback is as easily dealt with by our team. It is impossible to respond to everything with such speed and efficiency. For example, when dealing with feedback about an entire system it is impossible to assess the long-term damage if the feedback is shown to be correct. When players provide feedback on the long term results of an entire game system, we still read it - but we cannot respond immediately. It is not possible to make fundamental changes to a total system overnight, and it would be a terrible bad idea if we tried to attempt to do so in this game - even if we could.

Part of game design involves extrapolating results from limited information. When we talk about changing a system, we need to take the data we didn't have before and extrapolate from there. Since early November, we've been listening to your feedback on the system of items, artifacts, and buffs that we introduced with ToA. Simply put, you like the content, and you hate the way that content changed the dynamic of power in Dark Age of Camelot, especially in terms of its effects on RvR combat.

So, since around that time, we have been watching the feedback and the many discussions, and taking the information you've given us to extrapolate the future playability of Camelot for both RvR and high-level PvE. We have come to the inescapable conclusion that the system of new items and buffs had to be completely redone. If we fail to do so now, the problems will only get worse as more people acquire artifacts and abilities. Simply put, it means bad things for the future of the game if steps are not taken immediately. The first step was posted in 1.68D, where we introduced new caps to the newly buffable game stats.

Mythic is dedicated to the long-term future of Dark Age of Camelot. We are focusing all Camelot developers on making a great game even better with our next subscription expansion: New Frontiers. We must bring Trials of Atlantis in line with the rest of the game before the release of New Frontiers or our work on it would be meaningless. We apologize for not being able to do this sooner, and we wish that we didn't have to do it. It is never easy telling a dedicated community that some things must change and that they have to change immediately. As players ourselves, we know all too well how frustrating balances changes like these are. We hope that you can see that this rebalancing is the culmination of months of discussion and calculations, and that the only reason we took so much time was to ensure that we make only the necessary adjustments to avoid any future changes.

We cannot express how grateful we are to our players who participated in the feedback process and convinced us that this is the best thing we can do for the game world that we share. Again, we truly regret having to do this - having an imbalance of this type in Dark Age of Camelot is unacceptable, and we will be taking steps to ensure that it never happens again.


Part of the furniture
Dec 22, 2003
Not sure about anyone else but I seriously can't be arsed with master levels :)

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