Systems Design Reddit AMA Summary

The community often complains about the lack of interaction from the devs, but that’s certainly not the case in the last couple days. Following the live stream with Robert Gutschera, the Lead Designer, another members of Systems as well as the Community Team went to Twitter in a second attempt to tackle an incredible amount of feedback.

And yeah, they never stood a chance as the post blew up with over 300 questions. Luckily unlike the devs you don’t have to crawl through the complete thread! We already did that and compiled the most interesting stuff in our summary!

The devs on…

… such a large gap of time between PC and console when new content is released?

[su_quote cite=”Nitocris83″ url=””]It comes down to platform specific development and certification of builds that need to go through Sony and Microsoft.[/su_quote]

… letting players skip more or most of the cut scenes

[su_quote cite=”Nitocris83″ url=””]Hi! Making cut scenes skippable requires some fine-tuning in order to avoid causing any type of disruption to gameplay (NPC spawning, etc). Since story is also an important part of the game, we also want to make sure that it gets its proper time in the spotlight.[/su_quote]

… introducing evil or good D&D factions

[su_quote cite=”Nitocris83″ url=””]I am not aware of any specific plans at this time but I know some of our Devs like going to the opposite faction during Play with the Dev events so there’s definitely fun to be had with the idea![/su_quote]

… lockbox admin message spam

[su_quote cite=”StrumSlinger” url=””]We still want players to celebrate when they get something awesome from a lockbox, but we’re aware of the frustrations the admin messages are causing. We’re currently exploring ways to minimize the impact on other players.[/su_quote]

… Ardent store rework

[su_quote cite=”rgutscheradev” url=””]great idea, I have added it to The List (I have a giant list of systems projects we should do). Those stores are really due for a refresh.[/su_quote]

… disabling Armor Enchantment visuals

[su_quote cite=”rgutscheradev” url=””]Yes, I have been wanting this FOREVER. Lots of us have. I will keep nagging as much as I can! (The problem is that, for technical reasons, it’s a rather messy mix of design, programming, and art to get it to happen. But that’s not excuse for us not getting it done.)[/su_quote]

… making tooltips more accurate

[su_quote cite=”rgutscheradev” url=””]Yes, this is a pet peeve of mine (I used to be a Magic card templater back in my Wizards of the Coast days). We’ve been trying to make them better on a case-by-case basis, but there’s still a long way to go.[/su_quote]

… updating artifact active powers

[su_quote cite=”tmarasco” url=””]This is something that’s definitely on our radar for the future. Player power has drastically increased since these were first introduced, and both Artifacts and Mount Combat powers that just deal damage don’t hold up well.

When we end up taking a look at these, we’ll probably go in a similar route to what we did with Weapon Enhancements .[/su_quote]

… why not designing more classes like the Paladin, which changes roles depending on its Paragon.

[su_quote cite=”rgutscheradev” url=””]My guess (I wasn’t here back then) is that these were designed to be hybrids, but they have evolved since then, not necessarily in ways that were explicitly forseen.

Hybrids are really tricky. (I played a Druid in vanilla WoW, so I had a lot of experience of this on the player side.) If they are 90% in each of two roles, sometimes they just seem useless, since why not take the 100%? But if they are 100%+ in a role, then the class that is focused on that role will feel shortchanged.

A thing that has been discussed is doing a major feat/paragon path revamp and trying to make more classes like Paladin, with very explicit roles that you could queue for (so eg add more healing to Warlock and let them queue as healers, etc.). We don’t have any current plans for this, but it’s come up several times and people have liked the idea.[/su_quote]

… alt viability

[su_quote cite=”rgutscheradev” url=””]Yes, the difficulty of getting your alts to end game is something that has been bothering us for a while. As RDeviant points out, we’ve already done some things to make this easier. But there’s more coming out with the next module. I hope we’ll be in a much better place with this soon.

P.S. I have to say I’m a bit disappointed in you all, because a little piece of the thing to help out alts that’s coming next module accidentally leaked out with Chult, and afaik nobody figured it out! I was assuming you would all backsolve the entire new system from that mistake we made.[/su_quote]

Editor’s note: Robert really needs to follow Uncensored! We already reported the “Patron System” in July. Plus the unintended leaking was discussed on our forum as well.

… Trickster Rogue balance

[su_quote cite=”rgutscheradev” url=””]Lots of questions about TRs, and understandably so. As I mentioned in the livestream, they aren’t where we want them to be (particularly in PvE).

I was talking to MimicKing about this earlier, and we’re planning on putting the whole systems team to work tackling player power issues as soon as this module is done. I think, as MageddoGaming says below, bug fixes are the first step, and we’ll probably be focusing on that first.

Of course, there are a LOT of player power bugs, so we’ll probably be just scratching the surface. But hopefully we’ll be hitting the ones that annoy you all the most, first. Keep an eye peeled for forum threads asking for input on this in the not-too-distant future.[/su_quote]

… their approach how to balance DPS

[su_quote cite=”rgutscheradev” url=””]Absolutely single-target dps vs. AoE dps needs to be considered.

I think single-target damage can compete with AoE damage, because even though AoE comes up much more often, good single-target damage comes up on many of the hardest fights in the game. That said, where exactly the number balance is, is a tricky question.

For Neverwinter, I’d want to get us to the place where the TR actually is doing the best single-target damage, and then we can worry about exactly how much more that is, and how much the AoE damage is, etc. It’s pretty clear that being worse in both is no good.[/su_quote]

… the current meta in group composition

[su_quote cite=”tmarasco” url=””]We are aware of the two Cleric, two Tank, 1 DPS strategy that players are bringing into dungeons, and we’ve seen it in a fair amount of speed runs recently.

One of the big problems here is the way that buffs and debuffs work in our game. Both of the Cleric Paragon Paths have just enough unique buffs/debuffs that it’s worth running both of them to maximize efficiency. While we would like to move away from this, it’s a large task and we don’t really want to nerf Devoted Clerics without having other options available.

As for the public queue role system, we don’t currently have any plans to change it from 3 DPS, 1 Tank, and 1 Healer as that is the current intended design.[/su_quote]

[su_quote cite=”rgutscheradev” url=””]As Tony says, we don’t love the 2 cleric thing. (As an “absolute best” thing — it’s fine as a wacky option, of course.) It’s hard enough to find 1 Cleric for your party!

You make a good point about healing. The fact that healing is so strong (self-healing especially), so that you don’t need the healers to heal, means that damage gets very binary (you are either dead or you aren’t), and that plays havoc with large parts of the originally intended design.

Revamping healing and damage to get the game less all-or-nothing is one of the two big game math revamps I’d like to do someday (the other is revamping power uptime, so that At-Wills, Encounters, and Dailies feel a bit more like they were meant to — without that, we are constantly forced to do things like nerf dailies because their uptime is so high, when it would be better to let them have massive effects, but that you can’t cast as often). However, changes like this are very big and very risky — you basically have to rebalance the whole game after you do something like that — so it’s not something we can do any time soon.

But, yes, it is very much something we are aware of.[/su_quote]

… the GWF Sentinel feat tree

[su_quote cite=”tmarasco” url=””]The Sentinel feat tree, in its current state, is effectively a hybrid Tank/DPS spec that isn’t too great at either role. While they can be incredibly tanky with the right setup, they really can’t hold aggro well or buff their team like GF’s and OP’s can (as mentioned below).

If we did a rework on it, I would personally see it leaning heavily towards an official tank spec, but we don’t currently have plans to rework the tree.

Unstoppable taunting nearby enemies is an awesome idea though, definitely something we’ll take into consideration.[/su_quote]

… Regeneration

[su_quote cite=”rgutscheradev” url=””]Yes, Regen is on the shortlist (although not yet scheduled). I agree it’s gone from way too good to useless. Given it’s on a lot of gear, I’d like it not to be useless.

We have to be careful, though, because even though Regen isn’t great, self-healing generally is probably too good. If getting Regen good means getting it as good as other self-healing, we could be creating problems as fast as we’re solving them.

So, alas, while a Regen revamp is on the short list, it might not be hitting live as soon as we’d like. :([/su_quote]

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One thought on “Systems Design Reddit AMA Summary

  • August 23, 2017 at 6:13 pm

    I am really disappointed with the ama. There were a lot of good questions and suggestions, but as you noted they only answered a handful of the over 300 questions.

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