Two weeks ago we proposed a set of balance changes to the forge. The response from the community was mixed and highlighted some issues. Based on this feedback we’ve iterated our proposal and adjusted the plan. This iteration includes radical changes to the Quirks to make them desirable, alongside more practical requests such as Reactive Lamella dropping on level 3 Lush and Coal worlds.
Goals of the Centraforge
First off, I think it is important we establish the original goals of the Centraforging system:
- Sandbox Crafting - Allow players to explore and create techniques for manipulating the sandbox with their gear. Forging adds a layer of crafting variation with many options and permutations beyond the base material progression.
- Mastering Player Skill - Something that would take more time to master after they had learnt the core crafting system, where players feel themselves personally progressing in the Forging system. Having the required ingredients isn’t enough, you need to master the forging process. There is no such thing as a master crafter is all crafters can generate the same output.
- Alternative Progression - A different direction for tool and weapon progression. A master forger should be able to get their Gold Slingbow to be as powerful as a Gem Weapon with an investment in the forge system.
- Engaging and Thrilling - A system that challenges players to think on their feet, alongside have a chance to luck out and create something truly awesome with a smaller input than going through the usual progression systems. For those wanting to play it safe with fixed costs and fixed output they can create Augments and follow material progression.
- Everyone - A system which wasn’t restricted to end game players and open to those around the “mid-game”.
Why Change it?
The system is overall a success as players are creating the very best gear with the forge, but there are a few balance issues which need addressing. For example it is too hard for mid-game players to start forging and some of the lower-end items don’t deliver good results.
Using a mix of player feedback and analytics we have investigated deeper into the system and taken a step back on how to address it. A few people have been mistaken in thinking we have had some sinister motives when what matters most to us is making the game as enjoyable as possible. And while we want to see an increase in players easily making some cool early game forged items; having clear cut “Do this exact sequence of steps to get the best forge with no thinking” is not fun for the majority of players. As anyone who has played a private server of big title MMOs can tell you, having x100 drop rates is fun for the first hour or two, but it kills any sense of discovery or progression.
Mid game players should be forging:
- Bombs into Healing Bombs
- Grapples into Hookshot Grapple
- Totem into Loot Magnet Totem
- Hammer into a Glowing Hammer
Also, for many of you out there, you maybe wondering why not just focus on new content? And the good news for you is, we are! While we are an incredibly small team for a game of this magnitude, everything we’re doing is pipelined with many things happening in parallel. So while the Art team might be charging head first into creating all sorts of cool machines, the designers might have some time to look into balancing pre-existing areas of the game before they are needed to implement new systems.
Another reason is that Boundless plans to keep growing past the original scope of the Release, that means new content but most crucially new players. And for that to happen, we must make sure our base we build upon must be as stable as possible, if we leave a feature not working as intended now, what happens a year down the line? Everything should be balanced around our existing playerbase alongside the inclusion of our future players.
Overview of Changes
Below are is a list of the main changes:
Quirks are no longer negatives, many have been changed to provide the weapon with
positive and negative Effects.
Entry level ingredients have had items removed from crafting recipes to allow players
easier access into forging.
Reactive Lamella can now be found on Level 3 Lush and Coal Worlds.
100% Efficiency cap removed, so boon points can go even higher with skills and power
Coils. Making early gear much more powerful in the Forge.
Upped the Flexibility and durability of some gear. Will help even more with the changes to Efficiency.
The Forge Epic Skill now adds four Deck slots (increased from two).
Deconstruction Resins give the original item back unforged, ready to be forged again.
Draining Compound now adds Quirk points, but with a reduced vigour loss turn count (a positive change to people using the compound as it was originally intended).
A lot these changes focus around improving the forging experience for players new to forging, including making base ingredients easier to craft, effectiveness of lower tier items easier to forge. You can forge a Stone Hammer to be better than an Iron Hammer, great for those trying to break into Gold and Titanium tools.
General quality of life improvements include Deconstruction Resins giving back the original Weapon/Tool unforged and giving the player more Forge Deck slots with the forging Epic.
We also always intended for players to have to balance out ingredients and smartly react to changes in the Forge, but due to some oversight, the Draining boon compound was just far too powerful when combined with the Catalyst and required no thinking to accomplish with a copy pasted rotation. We think players who are more engaged and willing to take risks should be better rewarded in the forge.
Based on lots of player feedback Quirks have been changed in a major way, they are now both positive and negative, meaning that cunning players will be able to push tools past what is currently available on the live server. Now using the current changes, it is still possible to create almost max tier weapons with 0 quirks and defects with a little thought and luck. But to create the maximum efficiency tools, taking on Quirks will allow you create Forges even more powerful than currently available.
So what’s next?
Reviewing changes only based on text description isn’t easy so we’ve pushed they changes to Testing for you to explore. These changes have gone onto Testing now, and unlike our previous testing releases, these changes are NOT testing for the next update, but are an opportunity for you to try the changes before we put them into a future release candidate. Think of this as the current live version with forging changes. We want you to go out and try the forging changes and give feedback now, but please actually play around with the system.
Go and have a play with the system on testing, use your heads a bit when considering high end forging, and let us know what you have been able to come up with alongside constructive feedback.
Full list of changes:
- Made it so the initial set of Forging Compounds are easier to craft for players getting into the forging system for the first time. While the first tier of compounds are not the most efficient way to forge the best gear, these changes should encourage players to play around and start crafting items.
- Pure Boon Compound 1: Removed Spitter Eye, increased Fresh Vital Essence to 2.
- Imperfect Boon Compound 1: Removed Adrenal Gland, increased Fresh Vital Essence to 2.
- Unstable Boon Compound 1: Removed Wildstock Eye, increased Fresh Vital Essence to 2.
- Increased the flexibility on Copper tools and weapons from 50 to 60.
- Increased the flexibility on Gold tools and weapons from 30 to 40.
- Draining Boon Compound was clearly unbalanced, meaning it was either completely ignored, or abused along side catalysts to easily create max tier forged items with no repercussions. We have some changes which should add more usability in forging while taking back the abuse factor.
- Draining Boon Compound 1 now adds 160 Quirk Points, Vigour Drain now only lasts 3 turns instead of 5.
- Draining Boon Compound 2 now adds 400 Quirk Points, Vigour Drain now only lasts 3 turns instead of 5.
- Deconstruction Resins now saves the forged piece of gear (but strips it of any Boons/Quirks/Defects) along side the chance to recover forge ingredients. This should be a major improvement to all players in the forge!
- Wooden Tools now have 600 Durability, up from 300. This is to let players experiment and try out early game forged creations using maximum Effectiveness before investing skill points and Power Coils into Forging.
- Mottled Tar Spot Fungus will now spawn on Level 3 Lush and Coal worlds, meaning Reactive Lamella can now be found earlier.
- Forging Epic now grants 4 additional Centraforge slots in the ingredient deck, up from 2.
- Quirks no longer reduce the Rank of an item.
- Various changes to Quirks
- Carpe Noctem Quirk now provides +100 Damage and 10% Damage increase during the Night, and reduces damage by 100 and 10% damage decrease during the Day. It no longer reduces the forge effects during daytime.
- Carpe Diem Quirk now provides +100 Damage and 10% Damage increase during the Daytime, and reduces damage by 100 and 10% damage decrease during the Night. It no longer reduces the forge effects during nighttime.
- Best of Health Quirk now provides +10 Action Speed at high Health, and reduces Action Speed by 10 at low Health. It no longer reduces the forge effects at low Health.
- In Poor Health Quirk now provides +10 Action Speed at low Health, and reduces Action Speed by 10 at high Health. It no longer reduces the forge effects at high Health.
- Fully-Filled Quirk now reduces energy use by +10 when the players Hunger is low (as in full up), and increases Energy use by 10 when Hunger is high. It no longer reduces the forge effects at high Hunger.
- Ravenous Quirk now reduces energy use by +10 when the players Hunger is high (as in needs to eat), and increases Energy use by 10 when Hunger is low. It no longer reduces the forge effects at low Hunger.
- On Icy Ground Quirk now gives +40 Falling Armour.
- That Sinking Feeling Quirk now lets you hold your breath for an additional 50%.
- Slow-Mo Quirk now reduces your walk/run speed by 25%, but increases your sprint bonus by 50%.
- One Jump Ahead Quirk now also grants the user Double Jump, even without the skill.
- Wonky Trigger Quirk now also gives 400 Durability to the item.
- Nutritionally Challenged Quirk now also increases Max Energy by 30%.
- Bleeding Edge Quirk now also increases Max Health by 30%.
As this thread has turned into a bit of behemoth over the weekend; here is a overview of the main topics raised by the players:
- Now that quirks are better, Should the defect points be reduced on Imperfect Boon Compound so they still a have purpose?
- Is max effectiveness too high on high end (gem) tools, also do the discrepancies in flexibility between gem types make sense?
- Should Removal Solvents give some sort of protection to rolling the same Boon/Quirk/Defect twice in a row?
- Animations take a long time and people are skipping them, should the game have an option to speed this up?
- The last level of AOE forging feels like a set-back to some players.
(Note: These being listed is not a guarantee the team will be making action on them, but i will review what we have)
Keep the feedback flowing! And thanks again to those trying out the changes on testing.