Developer Update - 25 August 2023.

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Kaelang
Posts: 1275

Developer Update - 25 August 2023.

Post#1 » Wed Aug 23, 2023 11:32 pm

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Hey all,

Alongside our latest Developer update over on YouTube we wanted to create a written version of the update for those who cannot access audio content and/or prefer to see things written down so they can refer back to points made. On August 25th 2023 we released a glimpse into some of the upcoming projects the team are working on, alongside some technical advancements we have made as well as elaborating further on the Ability System's progress. This thread will summarise the points made in the video.

Please note, as also explained in the video, these changes are not in their final form(s) and release dates will be made public closer to the date.

Ability System Overview & FAQ:
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A few weeks ago, we shared a post outlining the ongoing rebuilding of our ability system. This post highlighted the steps we have taken, the tools we’ve engineered, and the current stage of development. and wanted to provide some additional context to this.

Several months ago, we conducted tests integrating our new ability system with Mythics 1.4.8 ability data —as a benchmark of our new systems functionality. The ability data on the current RoR build had a lot of problems, rendering it pretty much nonfunctional. We had to reimplement the Return of Reckonings changes on top of the good 1.4.8 data, which has taken a couple of months.

It's important to highlight that abilities tied to Monsters, Keep Lords, Fort Lords, Items, Dungeons, and other elements saw minimal attention during this period. Now, this has shifted, as our focus is now on addressing these components to ensure a release-ready system.

Our current phase includes testing of the ability system as a whole. For player abilities, we've asked our testers to partake in evaluating the system's performance on our test server, and progress is going well.

It's important to acknowledge that this is a dynamic testing phase. The noted changes are by no means set in stone; they're already evolving, with fixes actively being implemented. We will be posting an update to the patch notes possibly this week.

Our goal is to have a way to transition this rewrite to the live game server, wherein players can seamlessly log in, engage in RvR, participate in Scenarios, run Dungeons, and more. Presently, we find ourselves working across two workstreams, maintaining changes in both the old ability system and the new one.

It's important to note that while we've dedicated significant efforts to this project, comprehensive large-scale testing of combat remains a vital step. This testing phase is pivotal, as it will provide us with an assessment of each career. We will be able to see how they all perform in the new ability system balance wise. We can then use this information to inform us of any changes that need to be made and what direction we move with the career.

Our goal here is to bring a more streamlined development process for our internal team which in turn should result in faster changes, more bug fixes, more frequent balance changes and more reliable abilities in the long-term.

We have been seeing a number of frequently asked questions on the forums surrounding the ability changes, so we’ve pulled together a few to go through. So…

Is anything changing about how defensive stats work?
Spoiler:
No, the initial ability system release won't include direct changes to defensive stats.
When will the rest of the balance changes occur?
Spoiler:
Our immediate focus post-release will be on addressing any unforeseen bugs that managed to bypass internal testing. From there, we would like to jump into the implementation of the balance patches.

Our goal is to have the first of several balance patches ready within approximately a month or two after the initial ability system release.
What could we see for future balance changes?
Spoiler:
So these are some points that we have brought up internally and this is no way an exhaustive list.

One focus is to ensure uniformity among tanks by introducing a single target punt ability to those careers without one.

We feel that punts are a fundamental aspect of tank gameplay. When doing this we are also going to keep in mind the differences that keep each tank career unique.

The curve of ability acquisition is also undergoing a transformation. We're streamlining the level at which abilities are attained, granting access to core mechanics earlier in your progression.

We plan on reworking single target buffs and debuffs. Our intention is to bolster their effectiveness in comparison to their AoE counterparts. We also recognize that some single target buffs currently lack utility beyond solo play, and we're looking into breathing some fresh air into these abilities.

And there's much more on the horizon that we're eager to share with you in the future.
When will these changes be going live?
Spoiler:
The changes are planned to go live as soon as we have implemented the remaining features and finished the planned phases of testing.

You will have a chance to experience everything before it goes live.

We are planning a public test server for these ability changes.
What is the reasoning behind the engineer/magus changes?
Spoiler:
The old turret buffs were not implemented using the ability system at all, and were done using server side hacks.

So we got rid of that for the new system.

It is important to note that certain mechanics tied to these turret buffs did not align with the framework of Mythic's original ability system.

Looking ahead, our vision for Engineers and Magi is enhanced mobility within various specializations. We aim to reduce dependency to stand near stationary turrets, encouraging a more agile play style.
What is the reasoning behind the White-Lion changes?
Spoiler:
So for reference. Some aspects are being reverted to their 1.4.8 state. Additionally, the Cleaver M2 ability has been removed.

To provide context, the decision to drop the Cleaver M2 was influenced by several factors.

Cleaver lacked distinct visual effects, a unique animation, and an exclusive icon.

Addressing these shortcomings would have required considerable effort.

Instead, we're considering enhancing the Flying Axe M2 ability to ensure its balance and effectiveness.
What is the reasoning behind the Shadow warrior changes?
Spoiler:
The shadow warrior changes contained an omission of certain vengeful modifiers that essentially mirrored an increased ability damage effect.

The reason behind this omission is tied to the innate functionality of the vengeful ability, which already provides a damage boost.

It's worth noting that none of these modifiers existed in Mythics' ability system, which serves as our foundation for our new ability system.
What is the reasoning behind the Archmage Energy of Vaul and Shaman Fury of Da Green changes?
Spoiler:
The adjustments stem from a core attribute of abilities known as "casting on the move," which is essentially casting an ability while moving. This feature is designated as an ability flag.

However, within the framework of the Mythic ability system - our basis for our new ability system - there is a problem.

Namely, the absence of a component operation for altering ability flags within a buff.

This technical constraint influences our approach to adjusting the Energy of Vaul and Fury of Da Green abilities, prompting us to align with the parameters of the Mythic ability system.

Now, we are looking at extending the functionality of the Ability System beyond the limitations of Mythics version, however this extension hasn’t been explored yet.
What is the reasoning behind the Marauder changes?
Spoiler:
These changes are a decision to veer away from utilizing stat multiplier adjustments as a method of balance.

This approach, while potentially effective, poses unintended consequences.

Notably, it can lead to inaccuracies in tooltips, displaying values that don't accurately reflect the underlying mechanics.

Additionally, it can inadvertently widen the gear gap among players.

In light of these considerations, we've opted to explore alternative changes for the Marauder career.

By bypassing the stat multiplier approach, we aim to maintain the accuracy of gameplay information and ensure that the balance adjustments align more naturally with the core mechanics of the game.
What is the reasoning behind the Squig-herder changes?
Spoiler:
This career, in particular, underwent extensive alterations in the old ability system on Return of Reckoning.

Implementing all of them would have been a large amount of work.

Additionally, while some of these changes were promising, not all of them were satisfying.

Right now, we've chosen a middle ground between the 1.4.8 version and the former Return of Reckoning version of the career.

This will hopefully serve as a baseline we can use in the next changes we have to Squig Herder.
Is anything changing about how offensive stats work?
Spoiler:
The biggest change is unifying all armor penetration buffs and tactics to work the same, in an additive way.

Previously around half of them were multiplicative and half of them additive, even if the tooltip read exactly the same, making it difficult for players to know how tactics and abilities actually worked. In reality it was a bit of a mess.

Making them work in an additive way keeps the value of the weapon skill stat, so overall we think that is better for balance and easier for players to understand.
Now I want to reiterate that this is the current state of the balance changes on our internal test server. Some changes from Return of Reckoning have been left out either because of limitations within Mythics framework, which we may find time to extend depending on the complexity, others we feel that in the new Ability System they will be balanced.

We haven't done any balance benchmarks of the new ability system in 6v6 or Warbands settings. We expect the new Ability System to change how things work on its own in small ways. We need to do some 6v6 or Warband testing so everyone can get a feel of how well careers perform in the new system.

Automated Test System:

In a recent update we shared a glimpse into our automated ability test system, and now we're excited to present a video that demonstrates its capabilities in action.

This system has proven to be a significant asset in our development journey. By watching this video, you can get a firsthand look at how it contributes to our mission of ensuring a bug-free experience when rolling out new content. Not only does it facilitate smoother content releases, but it also allows us to confidently make substantial code changes in the future, knowing that our testing procedures will prevent regressions.

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Scenario Queue Rewrite:


We are working on a complete rewrite of the Scenario Queue system.

The current state of the scenario queue system has its problems as I am sure everyone is aware.

Scenarios being created with weird archetype combinations and people being able to join games in unfair ways.

The main problem we have is that testing the scenario queue system is really not possible.

Without going into too much technical detail the small scenario system which we had written years and years ago had been continuously built upon and it has become a very complicated bit of code with many moving parts.

One change could cause problems but we didn’t really have a way of tracing it down without doing all the calculations in your head.

The new system will allow us to apply fixes and changes without needing to restart the game server, meaning we can implement new features throughout the week.

The primary focus of this redesigned system will be on optimizing team formation.

We want to ensure that teams aren't repeatedly matched against opponents that are repeatedly winning without them standing a chance.

To achieve this, we're implementing a diverse set of metrics to prevent any attempts to exploit the system.

We are also hoping to improve the scenario grouping if for any reason a premade is put against a pick up group. Although we want to mainly not mix pugs and premades.

Our approach is dynamic, with the match criteria adapting to balance games and expanding the player pool for those who've been in the queue for an extended duration

New Scenario: The Underway:

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We are going to be talking about a new scenario we are currently calling “The Underway”. This scenario is set within the tunnels that link the cities of Karaz-A-Karak and Karak-Eight-Peaks.

The mechanics of this scenario are still under design but it features a single hallway in which one realm must push the enemy realm to their respective spawn. We still have some finishing touches to do on the modeling of this map but we have in the game where we are planning mechanics.

We plan to release this along with a future live event.

City Siege Changes:


Now, Scenarios are not the only element of PvP that will be seeing changes…

City Sieges are undergoing a fundamental transformation.

The goal here is to have a more immersive, strategic, and fiercely competitive environment whilst not ruining the experience for players who may be more casual. No longer will the progression carry over between stages; each stage stands as a distinct encounter. This means that facing a formidable enemy group in one stage won't deter you from engaging and conquering the next. Our inspiration draws from the original rendition of City Sieges in Warhammer Online.

The main feature will be the reshuffling process.

After each stage, instances will be restructured to ensure dynamic matchups. Imagine, for instance, the top-performing Order team from the initial stage facing off against the leading Destruction team in the subsequent round. This approach guarantees that each stage remains a challenging and unpredictable encounter, enhancing the overall excitement and balance for players of all skill.

With the release of the new Scenario Queue system we will be adding the ability to backfill players into a City Siege. The rest of the team isn’t impacted too hard if someone leaves or disconnects.

Realm V Realm Updates:


In addition to the changes to City Sieges, we do have some prospect plans for RvR.

We do not want to get too into this here as these are still in their infancy stage, but we have been hearing your requests for changes to RvR changes. With the new-found time across the development team after the release of the Abiltiy Ssytem we have more capacity to work on interesting changes to RvR. We have some smaller changes in the pipeline which you should hear about soon. We are looking at the longer term future to build a vision on how we would like RvR to evolve.

PvE & Dungeons:


Moving away from PvP now we have some exciting news about Dungeons for the PvE folk.

We are going to be rebalancing some dungeons, especially in light of the ability rework. As part of the rework we have fixed a lot of mechanics which have broken over the years, as well as given a lot of monsters and bosses and a range of new abilities. It feels really nice to see all the monsters using all these abilities on you. Our primary motivation here is to deliver a consistent experience across all career runs and mirrored dungeons, including the City Dungeons.
The goal is to ensure that dungeon runs, regardless of career or realm, have a well-rounded sense of challenge and satisfaction.To achieve this, we're doing some data collection and analysis. The insights we gain will drive the subsequent changes. We plan for these changes to be implemented in the months following the ability system release.

Furthermore we are using all the things we’ve created and lessons learned into building out Lost Vale.
We are using this as an opportunity to create documentation for other developers to use and create dungeons in the future.

Cosmetic Pets!:


A quick note about Cosmetic Pets; They’re coming back!

Thanks to the new ability system, managing pets will be convenient, as they will reappear when exiting encounters or leaving RvR. A noteworthy distinction from the live version lies in that they are purely cosmetic. They won't have any statistical advantages. This means you can freely choose the pet that you want, without any obligation to select a specific one for a particular buff.

These may possibly appear in some Live Events or Quests in the future.

Map Editor:


So we have also been working on a new Map Editor. This will enable us to modify the in-game world through terrain sculpting and terrain painting.

Here we have some images of the Map Editor being used taken a few months ago. As well as some of the changes appearing in the game.
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This tool not only facilitates the creation of brand-new maps but also empowers us to tweak existing ones, including the RvR lakes.

As the tool progresses through its initial proof-of-concept stage, we're actively incorporating feedback from designers to integrate desired features they need to do cool things faster.

Updates to Patch System:


We are also working on an update to the Return of Reckoning Launcher. It is a complete overhaul of the patching process.

This update aims to make the patching process smoother and faster. You can expect quicker downloads, even during busy times, and the verification process will be faster as well.

Additionally the patch preparation and release on our side becomes much faster and more automated, saving us time.



On a last note we have also released a new bug tracker.

The existing GitHub bug tracker, which was initially intended as a temporary solution, has lasted for over 9 years. A lot of players were reluctant to create GitHub accounts for bug reporting. This caused us a lot of problems where bugs were not being reported or we would have to manage them in direct messages.

We've migrated all the existing issues into the new system.

It also features a convenient - one-click login mechanism. It will help us more easily manage bugs and address them faster. We will also allow people to vote for bugs that players feel are most important so we can easily prioritize issues.

Close:


That covers all of the upcoming plans for Return of Reckoning in this developer vlog.

We want to take some time just to thank each of you for your continued support and we hope to bring you more updates moving forward.

We are planning on doing more frequent updates similar to this in the future.

We’ll see you all soon!
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Amakusa
Posts: 73

Re: Developer Update - 25 August 2023.

Post#2 » Thu Aug 24, 2023 10:44 am

Very nice!
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Culexus
Posts: 141

Re: Developer Update - 25 August 2023.

Post#3 » Thu Aug 24, 2023 11:05 am

Nice to see a bit of healthy competition has re energised the team and you're interacting with the community again. Really looking forward to seeing what you've all been working on and getting an idea of what the future of the server is going to look like.
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normanis
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Re: Developer Update - 25 August 2023.

Post#4 » Thu Aug 24, 2023 4:09 pm

we all waiting for class balance info. how far u are with testings and such stuff.
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BluIzLucky
Posts: 714

Re: Developer Update - 25 August 2023.

Post#5 » Thu Aug 24, 2023 5:02 pm

Ey cool, looking forward to watching :)

If they take questions, I'd like to know;
1. Now that the ability overhaul is around the corner, what are some of the class/mirror/realm balances you'd like to address?
Are there any specs/playstyles you want to adjust (like RP/ZL return to support dps)?

2. Any ideas of the features you'd like to work on after "completing" the last missing features from live (LOTD, LV)?
SM - Arhalien +80 | AM - Shaheena +80
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Kaelang
Posts: 1275

Re: Developer Update - 25 August 2023.

Post#6 » Thu Aug 24, 2023 5:08 pm

BluIzLucky wrote: Thu Aug 24, 2023 5:02 pm Ey cool, looking forward to watching :)

If they take questions, I'd like to know;
1. Now that the ability overhaul is around the corner, what are some of the class/mirror/realm balances you'd like to address?
Are there any specs/playstyles you want to adjust (like RP/ZL return to support dps)?

2. Any ideas of the features you'd like to work on after "completing" the last missing features from live (LOTD, LV)?
We already have the questions answered in the video - however all three of these to some degree are answered. :)
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lumpi33
Posts: 424

Re: Developer Update - 25 August 2023.

Post#7 » Fri Aug 25, 2023 6:51 am

I'd like to add some questions too. My main concerns about RoR these days:

1. Are you going to reduce the power and impact of premade warbands somehow?
We all know that due to group synergies and coordination they can become very strong, to the point they are basically unkillable for casual players, leading to situations where they farm them for hours without dying at all, pushing players back into their warcamps and keeps without a real chance to fight back. This ends in people logging off, avoiding orvr, switching to the other side, PvD, etc. Nothing good for a fun environment. In my opinion a survivability and or warband group size nerf would be helping here for the overall fun of all players. Here is an example of how strong premades are killing the game play for the other side: https://ibb.co/F0sCy4X (Happens on both sides of course, this is just one example)

2. What is the role of rdps in your opinion?
They received lots of nerfs in the past. Stacking of channeled abilities was removed, 100% moral boost was removed, aoe damage was nerfed to fluff, etc. Due to this melee aoe stacking game play is the only competitve. They have all the advantages, like pulls, charge, medium armor, parry, unlimited stacking, large radius aoe, no ast times, aoe kd, etc. What are your plans to counter this melee blobbing meta? Rdps aoe was once the counter play for that but no longer is. There is also a huge power gap between magical rdps and physical rdps that have no good armor piercing tactics. The latter have to raise another attribute (weaponskill) with the same amount of stat points on gear. Any plans to resolve this? Im asking because what I can see is coming with the ability overhaul is doing exactly the opposite. Like nerfing the already weakest class out there (engis) even more. They have been waiting for years to get some love and now they receive a nerf? That makes no sense. Please explain.

3. What are your plans to make the game more friendly for casual and new players?
To prevent decreasing population we need new players because older players may eventually leave and then there is no replacement for them. Any plans to make solo, small scale, pug game play more friendly again? This is related to point 1. and 2. and also to the issue of some very dominant roaming classes like dps AM/shaman or WH/WE jumping everything that is trying to run solo or small scale. Another thing that is very punishing against pugs and casuals is that they are not allowed to finished the weekly scenario tasks without joining the normal scenarios and getting into the meat grinder of farming groups. Any plans to change that?

Thanks for reading!

Cheers

Dackjanielz
Posts: 266

Re: Developer Update - 25 August 2023.

Post#8 » Fri Aug 25, 2023 12:01 pm

Elvicof wrote: Fri Aug 25, 2023 10:56 am
lumpi33 wrote: Fri Aug 25, 2023 6:51 am
1. Are you going to reduce the power and impact of premade warbands somehow?
We all know that due to group synergies and coordination they can become very strong, to the point they are basically unkillable for casual players, leading to situations where they farm them for hours without dying at all, pushing players back into their warcamps and keeps without a real chance to fight back. This ends in people logging off, avoiding orvr, switching to the other side, PvD, etc. Nothing good for a fun environment. In my opinion a survivability and or warband group size nerf would be helping here for the overall fun of all players. Here is an example of how strong premades are killing the game play for the other side: https://ibb.co/F0sCy4X (Happens on both sides of course, this is just one example)

Cheers
I want all the stuff, but i dont wanna do anything for it. Make the game to pug friendly and you lose the premade players. Then there is nothing to drive the campaign and casuals leave aswell because there is no progress.

If anything this game is already to pug friendly. Players that just log in and expect to get everything handed to them deserves to get farmed.

Casual players vastly outnumber elitists in ANY game setting.
Check mate.

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wonshot
Posts: 1147

Re: Developer Update - 25 August 2023.

Post#9 » Fri Aug 25, 2023 2:48 pm

lumpi33 wrote: Fri Aug 25, 2023 6:51 am
3. What are your plans to make the game more friendly for casual and new players?
To prevent decreasing population we need new players because older players may eventually leave and then there is no replacement for them. Any plans to make solo, small scale, pug game play more friendly again?
Over the history of RoR, it has honestly never been easier to gear up. As it is right now. Crests and Wards are unified, bagrolls accumulate and stack up making timeinvestment + effort the only hurdle.

Back in the Conq era of 2018 only 4 people or so on a zonelock would get goldbags with pieces in them. It puts it abit into perspective how easy it is to gear up in 2023 where you can skip all gear sets from level 1 to sove, and grind the wards in pve and save every warcrest from T1 to Sove.

So the gearing is waaay easier now.
While this is not true for all, when i grinded my 10k choppa ring i did it in premades and with a guild. took two weeks.
When i did it on slayer, it did it pugging and in a trio. Took 5 weeks of almost pure pugging.

So the only thing left, is Bis Vs bis pvp. And if you think there should be more incentive for pugs to do better than people organizing a setup, building a group/warband/guild/alliance then remember how much that would devalue the effort others put in.
We all have the same gear available to use, and the same buttons to press on our careers.
Yes some of the 6mans or guildwarbands are almost unkillable, but so was it years ago when they gather up the best players in the best guilds. Effort is rewarded, but progression is for all.
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lumpi33
Posts: 424

Re: Developer Update - 25 August 2023.

Post#10 » Fri Aug 25, 2023 5:14 pm

wonshot wrote: Fri Aug 25, 2023 2:48 pm So the only thing left, is Bis Vs bis pvp. And if you think there should be more incentive for pugs to do better than people organizing a setup, building a group/warband/guild/alliance then remember how much that would devalue the effort others put in.
We all have the same gear available to use, and the same buttons to press on our careers.
Yes some of the 6mans or guildwarbands are almost unkillable, but so was it years ago when they gather up the best players in the best guilds. Effort is rewarded, but progression is for all.
I think you have missed my point a little bit. Playing in groups and warbands is fine and you will benefit from good setups, gears, communication and coordination no matter what.

Things go wrong when you add strong synergies like guard, group heals, group bubble, group morals, strong classes etc. to the already mentioned benefits of group play. Then it can lead to almost unkillable warbands that are having a huge impact on the overall game play. Way more than they should have. And that's exactly what we can see ingame. That was my whole point. Nothing wrong with group play but there must be limits for what they can do or you are creating a game where everything beside that warbands are a complete non-factor for the outcome of fights. You think people like being a non-factor? I really doubt that.

Nobody said anything about making "pugs to do better than people organizing". You can't even do that. Everybody is having the same abilities and buttons as you said. With some slight nerfs to groups synergies you don't make them unplayable. Group play will always and forever be more powerful.

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