The Enhancement Pass hits Lammania

by BOgre @ bogresmyddo.wordpress.com

So. The long awaited Enhancement Pass has finally debuted on the Lammania Preview Server. I’ve taken so time to have a look (from the perspective of Belgarim, my Tempest Trapmonkey) and will be giving you my thoughts.

But first, some What It Is and What It’s Not and a word on the Test Dojo.

The Test Dojo is a new feature in Lammaland (possibly only available during this preview, not sure). Basically its a place to Build, Gear, and Test a character. You access the area thru a door in the Marketplace, near the Harbor Gate. Once inside, you will have access to Reincarnation Trainer, XP, and TP vendors, a floor full of all kinds of level appropriate and high end named gear, CR:0 Kobolds to kill, Class trainers, Augment vendors, basically everything you need to have a successful testing experience on Lammania. I love this feature. Now on to the Enh pass.

What It Is is a complete overhaul of the UI and Skills of our Enhancement System. The old ‘List View’ system we have now is gone. *Ron – You’ll be needing to overhaul your Character Planner if you intend for it to stay relevant* What we’re seeing is a panel and tree type system, similar to the current Epic Destiny look and feel we have on Live now. It comes with 4 panels: 1 for Racial Enhancements, and 3 for any Class Prestige Enhancements your character may have access to. A dropdown in each panel allows you to select which PrE you’d like to slot and invest in, to a maximum of 3. In other words, a character with 3 PrE’s in one class, like Ranger, could invest in all 3 of Tempest, Arcane Archer, and Deepwood Stalker. Or a multiclass toon could invest in one to three PrEs from each of their class splits. Level restrictions and AP cost restrictions would naturally apply.

The preview is coming in week long stages, with only a handful of classes available at one time, for now.  Once the 3 week ‘focused’ feedback preview ends, they will unlock all the classes at once. Here’s a link to the relevant Dev posts, including ‘Event’ info:

Early Preview Info

Event Info

ScreenShot00518

In the What Its Not column, we have this: The dev team did NOT complete all class’ PrEs; neither do all classes have 3 PrEs, nor do some PrEs have all 3 Tiers. If you, like me, were expecting a complete PrE pass as promised, you will be disappointed. And speaking of disappointments, let me get straight to my thoughts on the Ranger line.

Quoted from my response in the Official discussion thread:

After a lot more playing with this on my Tempest, I have the following thoughts:

1) The general class tree needs to happen.
There are just too many abilities that have been arbitrarily stuffed into specific PrE trees where they do not belong. Prominent examples would be:

Favoured Enemy lines.
Haste/Sprint/Skill/Attack/Damange/Resist boosts.
Item Defense
Improved Reaction/Defense/Awareness/Mobility
Critical Accuracy/Defense
Energy of the Wild
Devotion

All of these abilities are Ranger abilities, not specific PrE abilities, and requiring AP spent in the various trees is counter intuitive, expensive, confusing, and unnecessary. Devotion is completely absent, and that just doesn’t fly at all.

2) The Core abilities row should more accurately represent their relevant PrE tiers
AA and DS Cores look pretty good but they are not my Main’s PrE so I’m not very qualified to comment.
Tempest Cores have some glaring omissions:

Shield of Whirling Steel should include +x to PRR, increasing with each Core ability
Attack penalty reductions from the old Tempest line seem to be missing

Graceful Death doesn’t belong in the Core row

3) Either/Or choices on Boosts need to go away
There is no sense in forcing these either or decisions. Haste boost and Sprint boost for example are completely unrelated skills. If I choose to invest AP into both, I should be able to.

4) Cooldowns and Durations on top Tier abilities seem arbitrary and uneccesary.
IF there were some synergistic effects between two abilities, I could see forcing the player to micromanage their timers. However, the current stock of top tier abilities are not strategicially deep enough to warrant this. In effect we are simply waiting for cooldowns to end and then clicking to refresh them. That could have been accomplished more gracefully by making them passive abilities with their own invisible timers/proc rates.

5) PrE Tiers in general have been reworked and renamed from the live system.
This breaks ToD ring set bonuses. Abilities on all of the PrE Core abilities row need to be renamed to reflect the live systems Tiers in order to remain compatible with ToD sets. That or rework ToD rings. I’d assume renaming the new Core abilities would be easier since that’s what we’re working on now.

Overall, the Ranger panels look to be the best and most well thought out of the current preview’s crop. Within that, Tempest and Deepwood look like the best and most well thought out, while Arcane Archer seems to have been pieced together at the last minute to resemble the current AA. Obviously, everything needs its AP costs slashed, AP spent prereqs reworked, and ‘arrow’ prereqs reworked or removed altogether.
Also, most of the above applies to the racial trees as well, particularly the Core row issues.

Full description of currently available Ranger abilities

So, in closing, I do recommend to everyone that they hit Lammania and have a look. There’s a lot to see, both good and bad, and the Dev’s are asking for our input.

Should be interesting.

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6 thoughts on “The Enhancement Pass hits Lammania

  1. Just a short P.S.
    Built a Cleric today in response to all the Cleric dooooom floating around. Focused entirely on Healing, and at lvl25 I was healing for about 80% of what my current lvl23 Healer on Live is doing. And that’s without ANY focus on offensive casting (aside from Focus/Penn feats). Doesn’t look good for Clerics.

  2. thx for the info and screenies! sounds like it still needs some work, but it’s on the right path. looking forward to this! back when they debuted enhancements (remember the time before them?!) it was awesome just to have them; updating to a slicker and more friendly UI has been a long time coming.

  3. Yeah, I can’t say I was too terribly impressed by what I saw in my brief time looking. I liked the original idea of the core abilities being auto-grants if you spent so many points in the tree; I don’t like the idea of having to purchase them. And there’s way too much reliance on clickies and action boosts and stuff. In a way, I’m glad Grynd’s only 15 ranger, so I didn’t feel the need to spend AP on Deflect Arrows and Graceful Death.

    And as it is, to get the stuff my current ranger/rogue has, I need to delve into all three ranger PrEs,and that would leave the rogue stuff out in the cold.

    Most amusing complaint I saw during Friday’s devchat: “too many enhancements are tied to class level so a splash can’t get them!” Never got any responses to my “…and how is that different from how it is now?” responses.

  4. Yeh, tied to class level is fine. Preferred in fact, in contrast to the current AP Spent in Tree restrictions. Class Level makes sense, is intuitive, and far far cheaper than what’s proposed on Lamma. The problem with splashes is that they can’t access restrictive 2nd/3rd tier abilities due to rediculous AP spent reqs, and the need to take garbage abilities in ‘arrow’ reqs. Add to that the either/or decisions and you have a fail/fail scenario…

  5. 1) For some reason, the text on your actual blog site seems very small (to me) – the OurDDO feed is OK< though.

    2) I concur with much of your assessment of the new enhancement pass (especially the need for a "general" class enhancement "panel") – I will be making comments "soon" on the Human, Ranger, ARty, and Fighter enhancements (be on the look-out for them, if you want).

    3) I also think, in addition to the general class enhancement panel, that a re-think to the "only 3 class panel" limitation. But more on that in the Lama fora (sorry, "forums").

    😉

  6. Hmm. That’s strange about the text sizing. I don’t see anything overly special going on in the formatting… should be standard paragraph format, same as any other default html body… I wonder if you may have inadvertently ‘zoom’ed out on that page or something. Or maybe you have a custom CSS running? I’ll see if I can find anything else on my end.

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