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Changes to Bonding Runestones, Companions

Posted: Wed Nov 18, 2020 7:53 pm
by Alphastream
This is a big one:

It's a big change, and will be rough for those that bled AD and time to raise bonding runestones up. But, it's not all bad. (But some of it is.)

  • Bonding Runestones will be retired from the game! You can turn them in for AD or exchange for other runestones/enchants of the same rank.
  • Those IL points now come from Companions, which will have their IL and stat contribution increased. Bolster is also being raised (10% for Legendary).
  • Augments now grant 85% of their IL as a combined rating, and 15% as the three stats they boost (different for each augment, as it is currently)
  • Fighting Companions will grant 85% as well, but not the 15% since they fight.
  • This might make fighting companions a bit more of a draw, but it isn't clear to me yet.
  • All companions will grant 100% of their actual stats directly to you. This leads to the next one...
  • Companion Influence is going away. So, stop spending boon points on it, don't buy/raise Dark Enchants for utility slots, etc.
  • Runestones and Enchants will go up in IL and grant more stats. This is a much needed change, but also means spending more as currently you can almost ignore them compared to companions/bonding/runes.
  • Companions can now be upgraded to Mythic, which have a base IL 1500 just like mounts and provide 20% bolster. A given companion category can now have 5 mythics for 100% bolster.

What to make of this? In some ways, it's good. Bonding Runestones went from an option to being mandatory, but were not very interesting. They now go away and their math is just the background mechanic.

It was ridiculous how little enchants mattered compared to bonding/companions/companion gear. It makes sense to have enchants matter more.

On the other hand, this is a money grab by Cryptic, to get top players to spend a ton (as they did with mounts) on tokens and other bits to upgrade companions to mythic. It's a big overhaul, and big overhauls always make money as top players redo their builds.

For the average player, it depends on how much was spent on companion influence, and whether what was spent on Bonding Runestones can just become a useful enchant. If the enchants are good enough, then a R15 bonding becoming an R15 enchant/rune could be okay. It also depends on how the metagame changes around companions. If augments are no longer the best, and you don't have the abyssal chicken or similar, then that may be an issue. Regardless, it's more grind to come up with ways to upgrade companions. And I do dislike that kind of grind.

Re: Changes to Bonding Runestones, Companions

Posted: Wed Nov 18, 2020 8:56 pm
by Alphastream

Re: Changes to Bonding Runestones, Companions

Posted: Sat Dec 05, 2020 1:20 am
by Alphastream
This just became much broader....

The changes now include sweeping changes to attributes, ratings (Armor Pen is gone), and more!

Re: Changes to Bonding Runestones, Companions

Posted: Thu Dec 10, 2020 12:08 am
by Alphastream
Rainer has a good video going over the preview server and the changes to your character.

He calls it Neverwinter 3.0!

A huge change is that the "counter-stats" concept, where each stat opposed an enemy stat, is gone. There are some opposed calculations, but it's not the key concept it once was.

The math is all different. A ring you own today will give lower combined rating after the update, because overall ratings are decreasing. Today, an R15 Radiant enchant gives you 2400 Power... after the update it gives 300 Power and 180 combined!

Combined Rating is stronger relatively, because there are more stats it is boosting.

Weapon damage is gone. Base damage is no longer weapon based and instead is Item Level / 10 and has a boost based on class role (DPS gets 20%, etc.).

Every stat has a cap equal to you Item Level. This applies to even Power, so that's gonna be a huge remake for anyone with tons of power. After you hit the cap, you get nothing from that. But, there are two ways to boost stats, and the part that caps from ratings is separate from "other contributions." Rating stats plus "other" equal a total percent boost you get.

Companions now tend to provide a percentage stat increase, same with boons. This goes into a "other contributions" category, which boosts ratings.

Guild Boons changed to give about 300 plus 80 combined. That combined is actually very nice.

Races changed, with racial benefits being % to stats and a few other things, meaning that the best racial choice for a particular class likely changed!

Forte is a new stat. It benefits a set of stats based on your subclass/paragon. So, if you are a Blademaster barbarian, you get primary as Power, and Crit Severity and Deflect Severity as your secondaries. Forte then boosts those 50% "other contributions" to primary and 25% to each of the secondaries. Charisma attribute apparently boosts Forte now instead of giving Companion Influence.

Various powers went up in magnitude.

We won't pick weapons for their base damage. It's really about the set bonus, and a bit the combined rating benefit. Older weapon sets might actually be better now than Celestial!!!! After all that grind!