Thanks to everyone who stood by while we sorted through the NPC health issues that managed to sneak their way in with the latest patch! We're glad to have that behind us now; everyone may now look forward to stomping giant post-apocalyptic mud-holes through the swathes of NPCs that stand between you and level
50 55! Keeping a live MMO updated is a tricky business though, and even if we may not be perfect 100% of the time, we're endlessly thankful to everyone for standing by and knowing put things back together :)
All that said, we have a guest writer on the Fallen Earth blog today! Everyone please welcome Maenad, who will be going a bit more into detail about builds following the combat revamp, and dropping some knowledge Re: Power and Precision!
Now that we're all settling into the changes, a few major questions have emerged. The most common seems to be "How do I make the build I want?"
As in most classless systems, it's best to start by figuring out what you want to do, and going from there.
For a heavy damage build, start with your preferred weapon skill, then look into Power, Precision, Dirty Tricks, or maybe even an extra weapon line for versatility and more abilities. For mutations, Sonic, Thermal, and Telekinesis all offer extra damage options.
If you like all that heavy damage stuff but want to be able to take care of yourself a bit when things go wrong, picking up some First Aid or Empathic will give you some healing, as well as status removal. Escape Artist offers status removal, but no healing - but it does have Dash, for getting out of sticky situations.
If you like being the one who can take all of the hits, try starting with Dodge and Armor Use, then look into Primal, Empathic, First Aid, Escape Artist, or Enhancement for additional survivability.
A good start to any medic-type support build is Empathic and Nano-Manipulation, though you have to aim Nano's primary heal. Adding First Aid for a stamina-based heal gives your gamma bar a break, and Illumination or Group Tactics provide auras with faster gamma and stamina regeneration, so that you can keep going longer. Patho-Transmission and Suppression offer ways to support your team by reducing the enemy's capabilities.
Typically, the most convenient solo build will be a hybrid of offense and defense, with a bit of healing and status removal, so that you can handle anything that comes your way. Focus on taking a weapon, then at least one each of; Armor Use or Dodge; Power, Precision or Dirty Tricks; and Empathic or First Aid. Then add whatever fits your playstyle best!
And as always in this sort of system, there are any number of mixes out there to discover.
Another important question is "Why does it take so long during/between fights?" Usually it's phrased more as a hostile statement, but I'm going to respond to the question.
We fixed a number of bugs with NPCs, the end result being that their effective resistances were often increased. This was intentional. Unfortunately, when we increased health derivations for players, any NPCs who didn't have set health values got the same boost. So until today's fix, we had a bunch of NPCs who took too many clips to kill, forcing everyone to sit around waiting to take the next one.
Some of the common questions that have cropped up as a result of this are as follows:
Can you give us any hints or ETAs as to what the other changes that will decrease downtime might be?
We are looking into a number of possible solutions. There used to be a regeneration bonus for resting stances, such as lying down and sitting. This was removed at some unknown time for an unknown reason, but we are looking into possibly putting it back in. There has also been discussion of some kind of "rest" ability or item. Each of these has advantages and disadvantages, and the ETA is as soon as we can decide which one is the best idea!
Why does damage seem lower? I'm doing lower damage than the base on my weapon.
NPCs wear armor and have varying dodge values. Previously, many had neither, through bugs or setup issues. This was unintended; the damage stated on a weapon is base damage. NPCs should mitigate some of it, just as players do. Their increased health was a bug though, and should be fixed!
There is a also lot of confusion surrounding Power and Precision. I'll take this opportunity to clear some of it up, as well as tackle a couple urban legends that have surfaced.
Power, together with your weapon skill, affects your damage. Precision, together with your weapon skill, affects your critical hit rate. The benefits from these stack. Critical hits also stack with headshot damage; only Headshot is displayed in floating text, and only Critical Hit is displayed in the combat log, but both bonuses are applied. So even though you might not see it immediately displayed, you *can* get a headshot critical.
With Power, Precision, and a weapon skill at 180 at level 50, you will do roughly an additional 30% damage over time to opponents with no Dodge (Dodge here refers to Melee and Ranged Defense, which are derived from Dodge plus any buffs to them individually) but full armor. Because Precision is an increase in critical hit rate, this is not easily measured, and small changes are difficult to notice. Even large changes to Precision will not necessarily be visible over a small number of kills, but you should notice an increased critical rate over time.
Dodge opposes Power and Precision's bonuses at 1/3 rate, meaning that you need approximately three times the Dodge to nullify an opponent's Power and Precision bonuses ("approximately" because weapon skill is involved in Power and Precision's bonus calculations as well - 30 dodge will nullify the bonus granted by 10 weapon skill and 10 power, as well as the bonus granted by 10 weapon skill and 10 precision).
The only cap to your Power bonus is how high you can stack it, and the only cap to Precision is critical hit rate's maximum of 60%.
We also have a couple of things in the works right now. First, we know that you subscribe to Fallen Earth because its fun to play, but it behooves us to demonstrate our appreciation for your continued support. As we begin the march towards Free2Play in earnest, it's important for us to recognize everyone who is subscribed now. Within the coming days we'll be presenting the schedule of thank-you gifts we'll be delivering to subscribers for the next couple of months. Those of you who have expressed that you miss a certain long lost friend from the wastelands should be pleasantly surprised ;)
Second, we're still nailing down the actual values that the various levels of Premium subscriptions will confer once the transition to Free2Play occurs. Suffice it to say, as soon as we have those values we'll post them here! If this whole deal with the NPC health has demonstrated anything, it's that we want to make sure we overcommunicate things before we put them in place, so they can be torn apart in concept rather than in execution!
As always, if you have any questions make sure to post them here as a comment and we'll work our way through and answer them as we can.