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Summer Test Realm Changes

AuthorMessage
Administrator
Wizards,

I wanted to address two of the features from the Summer update that have been getting a lot of feedback.

Character Revamp

Ever since the Wizard City revamp, our characters have stuck out like a sore thumb against the updated game graphics. We’ve wanted to do an update on our characters and character system for quite a while now, and we knew that something so near and dear to you as your own Wizard’s appearance needs the utmost care. The art team is very committed to keeping the charm and personality of your characters intact as we translate over to the new character system. Some broad initial adjustments addressing comments about your Wizard aging have already been made and will be in the next Test Realm update.

We realize you like some of the changes more than others, and we’ll continue to listen and review feedback and make adjustments throughout the next few weeks. We invite you to check out the new, improved Magic Mirror in the Shopping District (for gold now!), and take a look at the new customization options. The faces cannot be exactly the way they were before, but we want to be diligent about coming as close as possible to what you know and love. We cannot take half measures, incorporating some updates and not others, but we want to make sure that the magic remains that made you choose your Wizard’s look in the first place.

Details and descriptions help communicate opinions on visual feedback – the more, the better. What specifically about the looks of your new character do you like or don’t like? Do you like the new, more realistic size of the pupils or the previous cartoon-y pupil eyes better? Do you like that your characters blink? How about the new animations? What options in the magic mirror do you like or don’t like and why?

Shadow Changes

Let’s talk about those shadow spells. One of the reasons that these power reductions are so noticeable is that these spells were hands down the most powerful in the game. In fact, in their current state, they are entirely unbalanced. This has created a growing problem with game balance and power progression, which will only compound in the years to come as the level cap increases. With this initial pass, our goal was to see what these spells would look like balanced only for their pip cost. Of course we realize there are many other considerations, such as the value of pips themselves (both power pips and shadow pips), the pacing of pip generation, time spent in combat, the other tools each school may or may not have, and the overall "feel" of combat. Our systems designers are immersed in Shadow, reviewing and discussing feedback as we speak.

We do want to reassure you of our commitment to PVE – our goal is NOT to significantly increase the difficulty in high level content, so there will likely be other changes needed to bring the game in balance going forward.

Details over generalities are valuable here as well, as we’re looking at a lot of interconnecting game systems. Are there are specific situations where the current reductions in Shadow Spell power would invalidate combat strategies? How will these spell changes make specific bosses unduly difficult?

The common thread here – we’re listening, and constructive feedback with specific examples helps us greatly! Test realm is precisely for this type of feedback and we appreciate those of you who have taken the time to do so. Thanks for being part of our community, and working with us to make sure the Spiral is a magical place for all of us for many years to come!

----

Copying my latest response from in this thread:

"First of all, thank you for the detailed feedback on both fronts! This is the sort of dialogue that helps us make the Spiral awesome.

With the new character system, we had to rebuild the way the character models are constructed (we have to do this often when we update art that's well over a decade old, and the character models are one of the oldest things in game!). So, the answer is that we aim to keep the visuals as close to the original as possible, but we cannot retain the exact old faces, so giving us feedback like, "on this face, I don't like that my pupils are smaller, the shape of my face is not quite as round, and I have smile lines" etc. These specific critiques are super helpful for us to be able to tweak instances where the faces are drastically and unintentionally different than the original.

We'll take a look at all the links regarding feedback and fan edits. I think we're on the same page here, and this will help with the feedback on aging and shading. Definitely check out the next Test Realm update, and we can continue to discuss!

In terms of the Shadow Spells - I'll make sure Matnetic and Ratbeard and crew review all this feedback and wrap it into their ongoing discussions. The very next update won't have any Shadow Changes YET, but we will let the community know what's to come as Test Realm marches on."

“If the Mind is like a candle, the Heart is like the sun.” Professor Falmea (aka Leah Ruben, your fearless Producer!)
Explorer
Jun 04, 2011
73
With respect to the updated character models, I have posted an extensive thread in the Discussion section where many players have chimed in. It appears that our suggestions of a "classic" mode face cannot be enacted at this point, given the animation updates and your suggestion that you can't "half-and-half" the update. I would like to know however, if it is possible at all to allow players to retain their old faces.

Attached is a link to the difference between my current and updated face model when I logged into test. It is truly a stark and shocking difference, even with adjustments in the magic mirror shop!

imgur.com/a/nYKiQp5

If there is no possibility of retaining our old looks at all, I have some specific feedback on the faces: the shading is off to me and many others. It makes our characters look tired and old. Additionally, some smoothing could be done around the nose area. The facial brightness looks fine up close in the magic mirror, but in-game, its too bright and makes our characters look washed out. This is especially evident in the character select window, where I feel the faces look the poorest.

I believe there are some great threads on twitter of fan edits to the new looks, here is one: twitter.com/LastSpellbinder/status/1278571467815280640. The changes made here include slightly enlarging the head and eyes, and smoothing out nose and eye line, as well as making the skin tone "pop" more.

I think there needs to be serious work done making the magic mirror view (i.e. the up close view you see in the mirror) translate with integrity to the actual game, i.e. when you're running around different areas, in combat, etc.

I appreciate the new animations though, especially the talking and emote ones. As well as the addition of freckles, and the eyeglasses. Those look great to me.

Do please consider how radically altering the wizard faces will impact the nostalgia factor which keeps many older players around. I myself can barely recognize my new wizard and cannot model a look in test that comes close to the youthful face I currently have in live!

Survivor
Apr 03, 2011
6
Regarding shadow changes,

I understand that the updated shadow spells reflect a more accurate per pip power level, but I think the major issue most people have with it is the value of a shadow pip.

On the wizard101 devs twitter, we voted that we want shadow pips to be more powerful and less frequent. I cant speak for everyone, but in my opinion it is rather universally agreed upon that shadow pip spells should be some of the most powerful spells available. The issue occurs when, for example, schools like myth and storm have to fall back on spells that they obtained YEARS ago because the shadow spells aren't the most powerful.

Furthermore, the balancing done just seems to be done sloppily, or at least its reasoning wasn't explained well. Again, I am generalizing, but I have heard many people ask why some spells were balance and some were not. Is the intention to make wizards fall back on the unnerfed, overpowered shadow spells? That is certainly what I think will happen. I might be wrong, but it seems like the spells that were left unnerfed (iron sultan, sand wurm, llamsu, etc.) are now MUCH more powerful than their nerfed counterparts. For example, Rasulka's wrath now does 13 more damage than iron sultan, for 2 more pips. Is it expected that ANYONE in their right mind would use the weaker spells? Are the unnerfed spells going to be looked at again?

I know I can't speak for everyone, but I think a lot of people are just confused. Maybe a live stream of some sort with open questioning and explanation would be beneficial. I believe that devs WANT the spells to feel balanced and want to give the community what they want. Maybe the problem is miscommunication. My respect goes out to the devs for keeping their cool under so much unnecessary negative criticism.

Regards,
Jacob

Survivor
May 23, 2009
1
Hey Falmea!

First off thank you and the team for your hard work on the game, at first my I was super frustrated with what I saw on test realm with both new features. After some time though, the character update really grew on me and I actually really enjoy it! It's the right direction to keep the game up to date, it will be hard for lots of us to get used to since we are so used to the old models. Some small things that stood out to me with the new character models were the following: Some of the eyes were very large and made the characters a little creepy looking, not all but some, also sometimes a black line appears then disappears around a characters cheek, and lastly when holding a wand or sword the characters arms are very far from the body unlike before which makes it look a little weird.

Onto my opinions regarding the shadow spells, again at first I was very frustrated with how big of a change it all was but after thinking about it, it does make sense that they are overpowered. The community is going to be angry with this because they are so used to how strong they are, so the changes need to be just right that these spells still feel strong while not being over powered. Some of the spells are really close to meeting that goal, but some are very off including Mystic Colossus and Call of Khrulu (possibly spelled that wrong sorry!). From what I understand you guys want shadow pips to be equivalent to 3 pips of power, so a shadow spell that costs 5 pips would be around an 8 pip spells power. With this idea I think it's a good way to balance them, just some of the spells should get a damage increase, for example if we compare mystic with myths 8 pip spell Medusa, Medusa does 770 damage (this may be wrong currently doing this from memory on my phone) but if that's the case then Mystic should do around 600 damage, considering it's a hit all spell. Same damage changes can be made with other spells that were changed I feel.

Last thing I want to address that I noticed is how this will work, I remember Matt saying that we will get a shadow pip after 3-5 rounds depending on our shadow rating stat. I don't see how this will be effective for us in battle, because I don't see us having a use for our shadow hit all spells. For example let's say I'm a storm wiz, round 1 I'll start battle with 5 pips, round 2 I will be up to 7 pips, and then round 3 I will have 9 pips plus 1 shadow (assuming always getting a power pip and only using 0 pip spells like blades), at this point there is no reason to use Bugs over Sirens

I know the goal is to make choice important, not just spam the same spell every single battle which I think is important for the game, but if it takes that long to get a shadow spell in this example at least I don't see how there's much choice, but I'm excited to see where you guys go with it! Sorry again if any Grammer mistakes, on my phone!!

Astrologist
Dec 31, 2009
1016
So why aren't all shadow spells, i.e. 4 pip also being balanced?

Survivor
Aug 01, 2012
7
Part of my issue with the Character Revamp is that the girls look a lot more faithful to their original designs when revamped while most of the eyes on the guys either look too big or there's something off putting that I can't quite put my finger on. Not saying the female revamp was perfect as there have been complaints from others and I have minor issues with it too, but they seem to look better for the most part. One thing I do like is that with many of the old emotes and premium/member ones have a lot more expressions. The new model update allowed for way more details in that area and it was both hilarious as well as genuinely nice to see.

Survivor
Apr 23, 2014
3
I like the guy wizard looks. I think that was nailed.
I love the animations.
I love the glasses options.
I love the freckle options.

It's the girls.
This neck is to long.
They have too much shading.
They have small eyes compared to the guys.
Their face is just to small. Like, their head shrunk amd their hair is to big for thir pin heads.

They need to be simplified.

Side notes
Can the newer hairstyles get a boost? Like the braids/dreadlocks and guy's ponytail get some volume? They do not fit with the other hairstyles on that they are head shrinking compared to the others.

Also, can we see more options? Like:
A longer nose option. A wider nose option. A hoocked nose option.
More eye options. Keep the guys current eyes but add in more that look more like the old eyes. Gray pupils.
Facial expression sets like: tired expressions. Grumpy expressions. Happy expressions.
Seasonal hair with like leaves, hearts, sun clips and such.
We need more textured hair too. I would love that long hair the girls have with a wavy anf curly look.
Maybe make all the hair interchangeable between both male and female?

Shadow spells:
Could the shadow spells be our cheat spells and be equivalent to s 9 pip spell?
If not, my main concern is Mystic colossus. It either need a damage boost and can lose its effect or myth wizards need another hard hitter aoe.

Thanks for your time and for looking into changes!

Survivor
Dec 08, 2009
5
There are a few issues with the shadow changes. A big issue i'm seeing is that it's rendering some of the shadow enhanced spells completely useless. Rusalka's Wrath is almost equivalent in power to Iron Sultan, except it costs two more pips, and there's a chance of a weakness. If you lowered iron sultan's power it would render it useless for it's intended divide mechanic. As is, if i were to use iron sultan on all four enemies it would do 285 damage each. It was to my understanding that a shadow pip's purpose was to act as a next level of pips. Since we're obviously limited by 14 pips, i assumed that adding a shadow pip would continue on as 1 shadow pip and 5 pips would act as 15 pips and so on. If it's not meant to be that way then i'm not too sure what makes a spell 'shadow enhanced'. I'm sure everyone is working on trying to figure that out at the moment, but such a sudden change without any context is giving the community a lot of grief.

Survivor
Apr 15, 2014
10
With the current HP for bosses and mobs in Polaris, Mirage, and Empyrea, certain shadow spells such as Weaver, Bugs, and Raging Bull need to be buffed because these enemies hit hard and make questing more difficult for PVE. PVE wizards are forced to use teamup kiosk all the time, because their friends are busy with PVP and other game areas, or unavailable with real life stuff. PVE players can't farm for multiple hours per day to buff their stats to rely on criticals, higher damage, higher resist stats, and critical blocks all the time.

Defender
Mar 10, 2014
180
Hey Flamea some concerns i have with the shadow spells power would be.
Gaze of fate is already really bad in pve being a double hit spell making feints be no use. On top of that it is so weak now no one will use it at all. It is weaker then the other shadow spells too. In pvp people have 100 flat resist and gaze hits twice which means it hits into flat resist twice. This means gaze is reduced by 200 damage while other spells that hit once are reduced by 100 damage. This two hit thing is a double edged sword in pvp and is bad in pve. I think the damage should go up a bit. Compare gaze of fate to the fire spell hephaestus a none shadow pip 5 pip spell. It does about the same damage and puts up a bubble like gaze. This makes gaze look like it shouldnt even need a shadow pip.
Glow bug squall hits for less then raging bull. The problem i see here is i believed storm cards always had a higher Base damage then fire cards (except overtime spells like fire dragon) With glow bugs 5 pip shadow compared to raging bull a 6 pip shadow spell i believe bugs should hit just as hard as bull bec storm should have higher base damage on their cards. Fire already has been getting more damage on their gear then storm, AND they have more health then storm. This makes it seem like storm gets the short end of the stick.
Mystic colossus is REALLY bad right now. 450 damage when frog a 4 pip none shadow spell does 325 max damage. I would never save up for a shadow pip just to do 150 more damage. The pierce part is ok but this spell is very bad imo. AND myth doesnt get an AOE from level 42-100. They have waited and gone through worlds like azteca without a good aoe which is really really frustrating. Myth needs a better aoe in general for middle level. Now that mystic is gone too this is very frustrating for myth wizards.
This spell i believe should have the shield moved up to 60%. Life pillar kept its 800 absorb and imo weaver should keep its 75 shield. The ONLY reason why its been nerfed to 50% is because of pvp players complaining. Efreet has been untouched so the school with the most damage gets the best defensive card. If weaver got its 75% shield back it would be more defensive like it should be but it wouldnt even have the most defensive card. Even a slight damage nerf like 50 damage for the 75% shield back would be ok with me. Ice is a defensive school and needs its defense.
Concern why does winged sorrow do more damage then resulka? Death is not supposed to be as strong as storm but its 6 pip shadow spell got BUFFED and makes resulka look like a joke? This is unbalanced.
since resulka got nerfed i do think the chance to get a weakness back should be removed. I think it should be a blade all the time.

Armiger
Feb 25, 2009
2405
Emmaline Iceshard on Jul 2, 2020 wrote:
With respect to the updated character models, I have posted an extensive thread in the Discussion section where many players have chimed in. It appears that our suggestions of a "classic" mode face cannot be enacted at this point, given the animation updates and your suggestion that you can't "half-and-half" the update. I would like to know however, if it is possible at all to allow players to retain their old faces.

Attached is a link to the difference between my current and updated face model when I logged into test. It is truly a stark and shocking difference, even with adjustments in the magic mirror shop!

imgur.com/a/nYKiQp5

If there is no possibility of retaining our old looks at all, I have some specific feedback on the faces: the shading is off to me and many others. It makes our characters look tired and old. Additionally, some smoothing could be done around the nose area. The facial brightness looks fine up close in the magic mirror, but in-game, its too bright and makes our characters look washed out. This is especially evident in the character select window, where I feel the faces look the poorest.

I believe there are some great threads on twitter of fan edits to the new looks, here is one: twitter.com/LastSpellbinder/status/1278571467815280640. The changes made here include slightly enlarging the head and eyes, and smoothing out nose and eye line, as well as making the skin tone "pop" more.

I think there needs to be serious work done making the magic mirror view (i.e. the up close view you see in the mirror) translate with integrity to the actual game, i.e. when you're running around different areas, in combat, etc.

I appreciate the new animations though, especially the talking and emote ones. As well as the addition of freckles, and the eyeglasses. Those look great to me.

Do please consider how radically altering the wizard faces will impact the nostalgia factor which keeps many older players around. I myself can barely recognize my new wizard and cannot model a look in test that comes close to the youthful face I currently have in live!
Well said.

This update took away skin tones we had set for each of our wizards. A couple of mine originally had a slight tan but now are MUCH darker. I have to agree that the faces otherwise do look washed out. If just making the eyes blink was the intent, it went south badly.

Survivor
Apr 14, 2013
2
I have a big problem with the new face update, mostly for the female ones. The faces look much older and very dragging. The shading is just not right and makes the face seem unappealing, especially with the soulless eyes

Survivor
Jul 19, 2018
9
My biggest problem is mystic, myth NEEDS this strong Aoe. Our best AOE is frog and it does 300 damage!! Post nerf mystic is just not worth the pips. You might as well just frog in pve. People wont want myth hitters meaning myth players will be hurt in every way possible. No one will want them as a hitter in dungeons or questing! Please give myth the AOE it needs so badly again.

Survivor
Jun 14, 2009
17
I'll focus on the Shadow changes mostly, but I think there were some excellent points about the character model revamp being too Caucasian which I definitely agree with.

I will say that EVERYTHING Khrysalis and onward should be nerfed if ANY spell from Live is nerfed. As I've seen mentioned everywhere that this includes enemy health, but should also include spells they output. Many of these spells have additional effects that were nerfed (ice's shield in Weaver, for example) that helped the wizard stay alive longer. Shadow Squal should be reduced to 1 disarm if Bugs is too, etc. Damage output, shadow backlash, but health especially should see a significant decrease.

  • Think about defeating Shane von Shane in Darkmoor. Bugs would enfeeble ALL of Shane's blades. This greatly aided players and encouraged storms to Bugs a few times rather than one big hit.
  • FFA's fuel was incredibly useful for buffing bigger hits, especially DOTs

The way you worded these questions tells me you want us to say "oh this is fine. There's a few strategies that are impacted, but not much." Empyrea is wrought with bubble caps where Shadow Spells were useful. I can say that the other shadow spells are greatly impacted by this shadow revamp and need to be rebalanced accordingly. Let's not forget about shadow creatures.

I think having FFA leave a fuel was a very good strategy for a lot of later Empyrea bosses that capped damage (and Fellspawn). As a Fire main, I was deeply disappointed that it only left one trap and still does less damage than Efreet. It's no longer viable, I'd rather just spam Brimstone.

For me, as I've mentioned in other threads, the more infuriating part about this (even after an ideal change to all enemies' health and power) is that these spells don't feel super useful anymore. Why would I Raging Bull when Fire Dragon is more powerful and reliable? Why would I FFA when King Art and Efreet do more damage? We get these spells too late in the game for them to have alternatives to other spells. I've used Fire Dragon thousands of times and after 60 levels I get a slightly different alternative?! Wrap that around your head. Death waits 60 levels and finally gets a better version of Scarecrow. Myth never got a 7, 8, or 9 pip AOE and you're going to nerf the best one they got almost 70 levels later. Heck, Life has better AOEs than Myth now. These changes need to be made with spells that would fill that gap. Bugs got nerfed? Storm still has Sirens.

The most distinguishing parts these spells had was that they are the strongest spells in the game.
Bringing them down below means that the azteca Rank 10 spells are the strongest spells for over 30 levels!

Having these spells use the power of rank 8 spells so late in the game really takes down the excitement of getting these new spells. My solution is to increase the pip requirement a decent chunk so the spells are less spam-able. In PvE, most players use shadows as their big hit, since they [used to] do the most damage. Simply balancing these spells reduces their viability and decreases my deck diversity. I can say without a doubt my storm will never use Bugs now. There's just no reason to. I can wait another round to get my guaranteed 7 pips than try my luck betting on a shadow.

I'm not even going to get into how insulting it is that some of the Rank 4 shadow-enhanced spells do incredibly more damage than the rank 5 or 6 counterparts for a small payoff (re: FFA, Sultan). I know you guys planned on "compromising" when you released this to get it the way you originally wanted them (i.e. you'll probably planned on having Bugs be 940 with 1 disarm but released a nerfed version so people would be more receptive to your changes). Be better than this. Nerfs were expected, but this execution and design is offensive to the community.

Survivor
Aug 17, 2010
1
To be completely honest, I feel like one of the few people who actually approve of the shadow rebalancing.. in practice.
Most of the spells I think are done pretty well, however Mystic colossus stands out as an atrocious victim of a hard nerf, behind a shield of “rebalancing”. 450 Damage is way too low, as myth already has a very small arsenal when it comes to PvE AoE. when in the words of the developers myth is supposed to be the 3rd strongest school behind storm and fire.
Death was also done dirty, Lulu barely does more damage then scarecrow, and is severely underpowered as drain spells don’t enchant completely like other schools spells do.
Gaze of fate is basically useless now. It really wasn’t strong before, but now it’s even less powerful. If you look at Savage paw, is basically does the same thing, the only difference being between a blade and a bubble. A bubble is not a shadow pip measurement stronger than a blade, anyone can agree to that.
Rusulkas wrath is also barely useful, why use it when you can use iron sultan. same damage without the gamble for a wekness or blade and for 2 less pips.

Nested fury also actually needs to be rebalanced. Compared to the other spells, it has yet to be reduced in damage, i don’t know if it just does that much because it has no after effect, but it still seems a little too over powered in my eyes.

Life is the rare case where it’s 6 pip shadow spell has been weak ever since it came out, but still even after these changes is the weakest shadow enhanced spell in the game. Wings of fate NEEDS a rework, it’s almost entirely useless at its current stage. No life would use wings of fate when it easily takes off universal traps.

Generally besides those spells, I think the idea of rebalancing shadow spells is a good one. I’m actually excited about 7 pip shadow hits in the future, because now the game is allowed to make better spells because they aren’t hard capped by the huge ceiling left by the old variants of these spells.
Glowbug NEEDED to be nerfed, it was far too strong, raging bull should honestly put on a little stronger of a mantle. Sirens puts on a 50% mantle and removes two blades, at the very least bull should put on a 40 mantle.

I don’t think players will enjoy this, but it really needed to happen.Hopefully a similar rework comes to gear, so darkmoor is also not the cap of what the best gear in the game is. I can finally get a new robe that’s substantially better.
As someone who has a max character of every school, and plays the game nearly every day for 10 years, Hopefully some of the schools that got dirty get what they deserve, as i can tell some schools came out better than others in this.

Armiger
Feb 25, 2009
2405
The current nerf in TEST does significantly make questing at higher levels virtually impossible for many Casual players.

When these Shadow enhanced spells were introduced to the game 6 years ago costing 5 regular and 1 shadow pip (it was assumed apparently) that the shadow pip was equal to a 4-5 additional pips making those spells more in line with our 9-10 pip NORMAL spells. Now 6 years later, we are being told that is not the case and that they were broken when release.

100--200 damage nerf might have been more acceptable to the PvE community but not what is proposed in TEST now.

Unfortunately, this seems to be a consistent habit of KI. You release things into the live game whether it is viable or not then tell us years later it was not supposed to happen or it was broken to begin with.

Sadly, I think this time is going to do more damage as I am seeing many already cancelling accounts if the nerfs go live with this extreme cut. Casual Players can not continue playing when their best spells become useless or less powerful that our best NORMAL spell.

Survivor
Apr 03, 2011
6
Fred Frost on Jul 2, 2020 wrote:
Hey Flamea some concerns i have with the shadow spells power would be.
Gaze of fate is already really bad in pve being a double hit spell making feints be no use. On top of that it is so weak now no one will use it at all. It is weaker then the other shadow spells too. In pvp people have 100 flat resist and gaze hits twice which means it hits into flat resist twice. This means gaze is reduced by 200 damage while other spells that hit once are reduced by 100 damage. This two hit thing is a double edged sword in pvp and is bad in pve. I think the damage should go up a bit. Compare gaze of fate to the fire spell hephaestus a none shadow pip 5 pip spell. It does about the same damage and puts up a bubble like gaze. This makes gaze look like it shouldnt even need a shadow pip.
Glow bug squall hits for less then raging bull. The problem i see here is i believed storm cards always had a higher Base damage then fire cards (except overtime spells like fire dragon) With glow bugs 5 pip shadow compared to raging bull a 6 pip shadow spell i believe bugs should hit just as hard as bull bec storm should have higher base damage on their cards. Fire already has been getting more damage on their gear then storm, AND they have more health then storm. This makes it seem like storm gets the short end of the stick.
Mystic colossus is REALLY bad right now. 450 damage when frog a 4 pip none shadow spell does 325 max damage. I would never save up for a shadow pip just to do 150 more damage. The pierce part is ok but this spell is very bad imo. AND myth doesnt get an AOE from level 42-100. They have waited and gone through worlds like azteca without a good aoe which is really really frustrating. Myth needs a better aoe in general for middle level. Now that mystic is gone too this is very frustrating for myth wizards.
This spell i believe should have the shield moved up to 60%. Life pillar kept its 800 absorb and imo weaver should keep its 75 shield. The ONLY reason why its been nerfed to 50% is because of pvp players complaining. Efreet has been untouched so the school with the most damage gets the best defensive card. If weaver got its 75% shield back it would be more defensive like it should be but it wouldnt even have the most defensive card. Even a slight damage nerf like 50 damage for the 75% shield back would be ok with me. Ice is a defensive school and needs its defense.
Concern why does winged sorrow do more damage then resulka? Death is not supposed to be as strong as storm but its 6 pip shadow spell got BUFFED and makes resulka look like a joke? This is unbalanced.
since resulka got nerfed i do think the chance to get a weakness back should be removed. I think it should be a blade all the time.
I like you post because it points out a lot of key things. One thing I think is becoming more clear is that everyone has a different opinion of how much each utility is worth. For example, the devs must think that rasulka utility is worth more than winged sorrow utility, which I'm willing to bet the community doesn't. This would explain the heavy nerf to colossus's damage.

Survivor
Sep 12, 2015
15
Okay, so this is going to be a rather lengthy post. I would like to start off with the new faces-
As a portrait painter and sculptor, there are so many no-no's being done on the models that make them so undesirable. The major things that make them so weird are:
-The Stylistic Choices
-Even though you are persuing a cartoony style, choosing to render them in a pseudo 3-D lifelike manner confuses the visual language. Right now, there isn't a specific style you have chosen that is clear to me, the viewer. It seems that you are attempting to stylize AND create a sense of realism, but that is simply not working. You will either need to lean harder into either direction, as right now the middle is not a good place to be.
-The Proportions
You acknowledged the eyes, which are a huge gripe of mine. The eyes are way to large and close together, even for a child-like face. They are also too round, which makes them all look surprised-doe-eyed. The Creepy Doll critique I have seen on twitter is rather apt despite being a bit rude. Even for a Child's face, the eyes would not be so extraordinarily large in regards to the rest of the facial features. Right now, the model is 40-50% eye, which is just wrong even for a stylization. Again, it is unclear if you are going for cartoon-anime visual narrative, or pseudo-realism and that causes visual discord.
--Alongside the eyes, the Nose does not have enough room to breathe. The eyes encroach the nose bridge and should not be that close to the center of the face/ the nose. There should be about an eye's width between each eye, not a fingertip.
--The mouth's are also really weird. They are extremely wide, I feel as if the wizard could unhinge their jaw like a snake. reducing the width of the mouth will help with the proportions as well.
--Along with the proportional issues in regards to the spacing of the eyes, and their size, the face sculpt itself is not that of a child's. The cheekbones are too pronounced, and the nasal-labial folds ( mouth corner to nostril wrinkle, smile in a mirror and you will see it) are highlighted which is a HUGE artistic no-no, especially for a younger face. When you draw attention to those folds, they indicate a mature face, not a young one. Flattening that area of the face rig, or re-painting it to remove the shadow in the area will make the faces look rounder, younger, and less gaunt/mature.
-----adding to the gaunt critique, child faces should not have such severe contour shading, especially in direct light. As the paint job/lighting is mostly static, this is more so a task of re-painting shaded areas to be less noticeable, with less cold/grayish browns aging the faces. I think having mature face options is a wonderful idea, but I think they were implemented by accident, not by intention.
-----as an aside, the vanilla faces were largely successful because they had a clearly conveyed style, of anime/ cartoony influence and translated just well enough to not be creepy whilst still being noticeable. When you render cartoony faces in the 3rd Dimension, you have to be careful not to make it 'too real'. Making the faces more stylized and less real/uncanny will help you here.

---TL:DR round out the faces, lessen shading, fix cheekbone/facial difference, work on proportions A LOT.
------ Shadow Changes-----
I will be quaint here; they are very ill-implemented. Shadow spells should be upgrades to normal spells for the following reasons;
-Requires a Shadow Pip -Aquired at Level 100 -Rare
-As it stands, They have been balanced as if they were rank 5/6 trained spells, and lost so much of what made them useful. I think that a good way to go about changing them would to be balancing them as Rank 10 spells, as they originally consumed 10 mana instead of 5. This will boost their damage and keep them in line with other rank 10 spells.
-Why are they ill implemented?
-Well, simply put, there was no sort of comparisons made outside of the shadow hit realm. If there was even a hint of cross-comparison, you would immediately note and find issue with:
----Mystic Colossus is now weaker than :Forest Lord, Frost Giant, Ra, Fire Dragon, Lulu, Storm Lord, Power Nova, and Snow Angel despite being a level 100 spell, belonging to the 3rd Damage school.
---- Mystic colossus being 140 damage above earthquake for a terribly lessened secondary effect
-Glowbug Squall being outclassed by Storm Lord and Sirens for similar reasons
-Call of Lulu being 195 damage above scarecrow for a 52 level gap
--- Call of Lulu being stronger than Mystic despite death not being a primary hitting class
-Snowball Barrage being the best AOE in game by proxy of nerfs
-Raging Bull being stronger than Sirens and Glowbug Squall despite Fire's advantage over Storm Stat-Wise
- I could go on, but I feel it is very Important to Bring Myth back into this discussion. Upon Nerfing Mystic, Myth has 3 AOE's all in the same damage range of 2-400, or 6-750 with enchants. This means they are now the weakest of the 7 schools when it comes to AOE potential, as now life and balance have an advantage over them.
--- Because Mystic was Myth's only trained AOE past the first arc, it means they have no spell to fall back on now to provide them with power. Fire has Rain of Fire, Storm has Lord, tempest, and Sirens. Myth has Frog and Earthquake, which are essentially the same spell in terms of damage. If Myth is not given a high pip/damage AOE, or an X-pip AOE, they will be irreparably damaged and unviable for the remainder of the game's lifespan. Myth was already underperforming and undesirable in most team compositions, and as it stands now, They have no place at all in the game as a whole. I fully believe passing mystic out as it stands nerfed, and not compensating via the provision of a new or more powerful AOE, will bring Myth back to the Darkmoor days, where they were actively avoided/ shunned from groups due to their complete lack of use. Their utilities are available as treasure cards, which means they truly have no place if they fit into your side-deck.
--- Please consider buffing Myth, or giving them a New AOE. A mid game X pip AOE would completely save them from this desolation of purpose and efficiency. You could also rework a plethora of Myth's large cast of single-target spells to be AOE hits, since they have no use for so many single hits.
- Spells that could be reworked into Hit-Alls that Myth doesn't use;
-Dimension Shift -Basilisk -literally any minion spell/spells).
As it stands, the nerfs across the board are way to severe. However, Myth's is unique in that killing mystic colossus will in turn kill the Myth school as a whole.
Death also stands to suffer similarly to Myth, for the same reasoning.
Please take the time to think these changes through, I have no business playing a game in which my 2 main characters are completely useless anywhere and everywhere.
Thank you for reading this.

Survivor
Mar 04, 2012
3
In Response to Shadow Changes: The functional changes to how you obtain shadow pips is neat, however the value of the shadow pip is extremely inconsistent.

Example:
Currently Gaze of Fate Does 1100 damage, with 220 Damage per pip (per 5 pips) which compared to normal per pip for balance single hit (which is 96) means this hits for a value of 11.3 pips

While bugs is 1120, with 240 per pip, comparing to the average 134 per pip, valuing bugs at 11.8ish pips.

All other Spells being changed are currently valued at about 11ish pips with the exception of LULU (at 14!) and Winged Sorrow (at a meh 8)

While these is a case to be made, that these are to strong, your changes have now caused:
Gaze to be valued at 5.17 pips
Bugs to be valued 7.59 pips

While there is still a use case for Bugs, Gaze is all but a complete waste of a shadow pip.

Given this, first i'd like to call for some consistency, certain schools' shadow pips are giving the rare shadow pip an inconsistent value, (literally .17 for gaze, 2.59 for bugs, 5.41 for lulu)

I believe to balance properly, the endgame should NOT be to just nerf fights, make shadow pips give a consistent value.
Personally, I recommend valuing them somewhere between 2.5-3 pips, allowing them to overpower 7 pip hits but be a weaker, but quicker and unique option to 8+ pip options

this would put bugs and gaze back near each other in pip damage (being as one is a hit all for a hitting school and the other a single hit for a support school) approximating, giving them both an average of about 7.5, giving them 740 damage and 760 damage respectively

Using the same methodology on ALL shadow spells could potentially benefit the game and reduce backlash
These numbers were taken from IAmTheChezz I recommend looking at the chart he created for further detail.

- Taylor (i have to many)flame

Survivor
Jul 22, 2012
1
frost0777 on Jul 2, 2020 wrote:
My biggest problem is mystic, myth NEEDS this strong Aoe. Our best AOE is frog and it does 300 damage!! Post nerf mystic is just not worth the pips. You might as well just frog in pve. People wont want myth hitters meaning myth players will be hurt in every way possible. No one will want them as a hitter in dungeons or questing! Please give myth the AOE it needs so badly again.
i totally agree, as a myth wizard the only wizard i have! mystic is such an important spell for us, it doesn't make sense to nerf it! We already struggle enough, why make it harder b reducing one of our most powerful spells?? especially for pve!

Survivor
Jun 10, 2009
15
The fact that you're willing to communicate about it says a lot about this wonderful game. Most MMO's do not. In regards to the shadow spell changes. You mentioned other factors that should impact the total power of the shadow spells. I don't think a lot of those factors were taken into consideration.

Storm and Fire don't have the health for long fights. Life and ice are already very weak in damage and struggles in the last worlds, because their fights take forever. Myth has no viable AOE for late game except for it's shadow spell. Balance like life struggles for damage late game. Death is weak in damage without deer knight and/or it's shadow spell lulu. this is only off the top of my head. The bosses have so much health, resist, critical and starting pips you have to be able to hit hard in the later worlds or you won't last very long.

I like to play solo. I wish when you do these changes you would make them with playing pve solo in mind for every class. Because right now even without these changes playing some of these classes from beginning to end solo is almost impossible. After these changes it will be it will be impossible for classes like Myth, Balance, life and death.

Survivor
Nov 19, 2013
5
I like the changes to the faces except that we look like we are 40 instead of like 20 and. Once ring shadow spell please listen to the community for once and hear me out when you get your shadow spells that were nerfed instead of nerfing the spells for pvp and pve give us 2 versions the pve version the old version that has the no pvp on it and a pvp version so that people who only play pve aren't getting screwed

Defender
Nov 08, 2009
131
I think almost everything was covered in earlier post, except the color of the faces, I would like to see the foundation go from dark to light or light to dark, Like a makeup Palette, all on one page. the squares could be smaller.

Survivor
Mar 12, 2009
3
Character Models - My biggest concern is that only certain colors are available based on gender. I would like to see more options going cross the gender spectrum. :)

I agree with all the comments on the eyes. Boy howdy are those bad.

Spells - these bosses have tons of hit points. Lowering the damage we can do without also nerfing the mob is going to be an issue.

Thanks for your hard work and for taking the time to create this post. It shows that you care about the community and want to hear us.

Alura DeathBringer
Tavia Stormweaver

Survivor
Jun 18, 2011
2
Regarding the shadow spells changes, isn't the point of the shadow spells to be high damage as they are supposed to be more powerful spells? those high levels are where we need spells that do higher amounts of damage to fight higher level enemies, such as the devourer, and the spell "Call of Khrulhu" will be way under powered especially since death drain spells don't get the full effects of sun spells for some reason even though other schools that have spells that heal them and also hit get full effects of sun spells