The trailer for Neverwinter's next expansion, Undermountain, was released and it is huge news:
- Neverwinter's biggest expansion ever, an all-new campaign spanning 5 new adventure zones!
- Level cap increased to 80! What?!!!
- Complete class overhauls, leaving behind the 4E D&D model and moving to the 5th edition design of D&D
- Takes place in Undermountain, the massive underground dungeon of Halaster the Mad Mage, found under the city of Waterdeep.
That's a lot to take in, but there is more news on the dev blogs!
Developer Blog: Classes Intro
- "While we had been working towards balance with smaller changes in each update, we decided there were enough changes needed that the pace was too slow to get balance where it needed to be and that it would be best to tackle the majority of the changes in one big push."
- "With this update we are moving away from the 4th Edition D&D pre-defined build classes. Classes will now be known by their core names that are very familiar to anyone who has played D&D." Cleric, Fighter (was Guardian Fighter), Paladin, Ranger, Rogue, Warlock, Wizard, Barbarian (was, somewhat, Great Weapon Fighter).
- More detailed dev blogs are coming
- "The Feats tab on the character sheet is no more and Feat Trees no longer exist."
- Each paragon path now has: 2 unique At-Wills, 2 shared At-Wills, 5 unique Encounters, 5 shared Encounters, 2 unique Dailies, 2 shared Dailies.
- Each paragon path will have 5 pairs of feats where you get to choose one of the two feats in each pair to customize your play. With this change we can offer more unique choices that have a distinct impact in play instead of sprawling feat trees where the majority of the feats have no real impact on how you play your character."
- They will have better queue tagging, with most classes having two roles. Ranger, Rogue, Wizard all are 2x DPS. Paladin (Tank, Healer), Cleric (Healer, DPS), Fighter (Tank, DPS), Barbarian (Tank, DPS), Warlock (Healer, DPS).
- Power Points are being removed. Full access the moment you level, and gain powers at full potency.
- Healing has been changed to account for the removal of Lifesteal, itself done to fix the current situation where players self heal and it's either full health or totally dead from bosses or mobs. Paladins and Clerics how spend Divinity on healing and have new Divinity earning mechanics. Warlocks use Soul Essence (previously Soul Shards) and have mechanics for earning that.
- "Paladin, Fighter, and Barbarian all have a redesigned guard which provides a shield equal to their maximum hit points. Their guard absorbs damage until it is depleted at which point the damage hits the player directly."
Developer Blog: Item Level & Scaling
- "Item Level was not consistent between sources and has not performed well as a measure of player potential due to item level being different depending on the source it is coming from. Undermountain was our chance to make item level far more consistent and therefore make it a more accurate gauge of player potential."
- With the Undermountain expansion, 1 Item Level = 20 rating points.
- "This change will adjust some stats players already have, but it should be an overall gain."
- "The overall goal of all of these changes is to make it so that if two players are 12,000 Item Level, they are very close in terms of their overall potential."
- Scaling: This is also meant to improve scaling. In particular, scaling down so characters have more challenge than in the past when being scaled to lower-level content.
Developer Blog: Level Cap Increase
- Undermountain will have zones above level 70, taking you to 80.
- Each class has at least one new Daily, Encounter and At-Will, but that is just the surface of what is in store for our classes. (See Classes Intro above.)
- New gear ranging from levels 71-80, new seal gear, new dungeon equipment, and higher IL artifacts.
Developer Blog: Stats & Mechanics
- Devs explain that the game had a fundamental problem of gamers having maxed the stats of the game. Options were a nerf or redesign. They chose the later.
- New math is using opposing rolls between player character and foe.
- % gain = (Rating –OpposingRating) / 500. for every 500 rating points you are above your opponent’s opposing rating gains you 1% to a stat.
- "Let’s look at an example where you have 10,000 Critical Strike and the opponent has 7,000 Critical Avoidance. Critical Chance = (10,000 – 7,000) / 500 = 6%."
- New stats have been added to be the opposing ratings. Devs removed other stats to improve balance and simplify. Main ratings: Hit Points, Power, Critical Strike, Critical Avoidance, Combat Advantage Bonus, Awareness, Deflect, Accuracy, Armor Penetration, Defense.
- Utility stats: Action Point Gain, Recharge Speed, Stamina Gain, Critical Severity, Control Bonus, Control Resistance, Movement, Gold Gain, XP Gain, Glory Gain, Companion Influence, Incoming Healing Bonus.
- Removed stats: AC, AoE Resists, DoT Resist, Regen (players now have a set value of out of combat regen speed), Recovery. Also looks like Lifesteal. They say, "The removal of the Lifesteal and Recovery ratings are the two most significant. Lifesteal was problematic in that it invalidated most sources of healing and created a situation where a player’s health bar was typically in one of two states: full, or dead. For this reason Lifesteal was removed as a rating and there are only a couple of specific sources of lifesteal in the game going forward. Recovery was problematic in the fact that Encounter and Daily powers had become used almost as frequently as At-Will powers could be. That left us with two options when fixing the balance: Drastically reduce the damage of Daily and Encounter powers, or make it so that Daily and Encounter powers would be used less frequently, but be much more meaningful. We went with the latter of the two options and that meant recovery needed to be removed. As with lifesteal above, there are fewer and more specific sources of AP Gain and Recharge Speed going forward."
- "Enemies will have the same value for all of their ratings, and all of the enemies in a given zone/dungeon will all have the same rating values. To use the first area of Undermountain as an example, all of the enemies have 16,000 for all of their ratings (this number could change before live as we continue to adjust numbers from feedback and testing)."
- Critical Strike gets a bonus 5% chance by default. My example up above showed how any given set of opposing ratings work, but since Critical Strike gets a 5% bonus, the player would actually have an 11% chance to crit instead of a 6%. Critical Strike is now capped at 50%.
- Deflect also now caps out at 50%
- Combat Advantage Bonus gets a 10% boost by default and caps out at 100%.