Update 19 Release Notes: Behold the Squee

There is so much squee in this update (with a potential for AAAAGGHH)  that I can’t tell you.

Like understanding the Matrix, you should read it for yourself.

Among the expected changes:

  • The new enhancements are now live. Tweak away! Every character gets a +20 Lesser Heart of Wood to do a full respec if they so choose. If you are a Monk, DO choose, as your selected elemental stances are entirely given to you as you level, leaving you with more feat options and more enhancement options. I don’t like getting all the elemental stances automatically, but what might make up for this is…
  • The new stealth system! I’ve tried this with my ninja, and LOVE it. You can actually use stealth as a fighting tactic. It makes sense, it works, and it means that my dedication to Hide, Jump, Tumble and Move Silently has been vindicated.
  • Level 28 is the New Black.
  • The remaining Iconic Heroes are in. I am SO making a Shadar-Kai Monk sometime.
  • Divine classes can now enjoy that Good Ol’ Time religion as in other D&D games and can optionally select a deity for extra happiness/destruction/protection.
  • Spell Critical chances for spellcasters is increased. I say to nuke that dungeon from your tavern. It’s the only way to be sure.

Some unexpected changes:

  • XP from quests decays less and regenerates over time, with a ransack-like metering. More XP!
  • Quivering Palm, the Monk’s counterpart to Assassinate, works while NOT unarmed now. QP also benefits from the same DCs that affect Sunder. Not sure if this involves the same tactical DCs of Stunning Fist.
  • Overall weapon power has increased with loot to match the overall game changes.
  • Burst and Bane effects are now GONE as a result of the loot power changes. Hm. How does this work out for people who spent their lives making Icy Burst weaponry in the Risia games?
  • The Hall of Heroes allows very quick teleport to anywhere in the game from the Enter page.
  • Chest re-roll! Use an Astral Shard in those bad end-quest pulls to re-roll the contents–but do it before you loot something or someone passes something to you.
  • Dodge bonuses on items are doubled–but differing effects no longer stack. The overall cap also appears to be gone in some cases or scales up based on class or ability.

If you run into hellish bugs or issues, please let me know so there’s at least more than one place in the universe that someone else might learn about it. Like any good production team after principal photography is done, there’s going to be many things that Turbine will have to “fix it in post.”

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18 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. ddomicki
    Aug 20, 2013 @ 06:14:00

    Shit. You telling me I need to LR my monk too? I spent 3h yesterday redoing my cleric… 😦

    I love the idea that they’ve changed some enhancements to free feats, but it sucks having to respec lvl 25 characters.

    • teachersyn
      Aug 20, 2013 @ 09:36:59

      As Fuzzy’s note after your own might suggest, it may be that you needn’t do an LR, but it depends on what you had to save for feats in the old system versus what options improve for the new. But the Monk enhancements are EXTREMELY enticing for some areas, while not in others (*hint* Henshin). But practice, rather than my initial distaste, will determine what we can do with what was provided. I have to rethink not just enhancements but strategies and builds all over again.

  2. FuzzyDuck81
    Aug 20, 2013 @ 08:52:08

    I’ve found i didn’t need to LR my monks at all – you get the basic stances as granted feats (like before) then free “adept of elements”, “master of elements” & “grandmaster of elements” in the list, which instead of having new stances just act as modifiers.

    The dodge change was nice for item consolidation & there are things in kensai, ninja & some rogue trees that add +% dodge chance as well as +dodge cap – one of my weaponised monks is now sitting comfortably at 28% which is very nice & could probably go higher if i focussed more APs on it.

    • teachersyn
      Aug 20, 2013 @ 09:33:58

      Yes, the Dodge cap increase is most welcome. Now if only we can improve on all other miss-chance abilities. Having Displacement more often than Blur, or something more than 25% Incorporeality. Having to LR depends on your build. Some of my Monks are highly feat-dependent for using Whirlwind Attack. Glad you didn’t have to take the long route to respecing.

      • FuzzyDuck81
        Aug 20, 2013 @ 10:53:11

        Well i’ve got 2 dragonmarked elf monks (1 feat plus 11 or 12 AP are needed in racial line to get 5x displacements per rest) which are the ones with the high dodge chance too 😀

        Dragonmarked halflings should make for even more awesome monks now with the boosts to positive spellpower from Shintao.

        • teachersyn
          Aug 20, 2013 @ 11:21:08

          I just grabbed Deadlock’s PDF of the enhancements and noticed those Dragonmarks on the Elves. Not the first race I’d normally go as a melee. However, if you work in the miss chance factors to counter their bass squishiness, then something might work here. Yeah, saw those changes on the Halflings, too. I’d moved two Monks to Half-Elves for better healing with the Cleric dilly. Looks like more to consider overall…

        • Yaegur
          Sep 14, 2013 @ 17:44:34

          I too was considering rolling up a Hafling Shintao, just to get some fun out of that Dragonmark. The Dragonmark change has been my favorite part of the update so far.

  3. Daniel Haughton
    Aug 20, 2013 @ 19:02:35

    Regtur the Mountain has a number of superior damage dealing options now due to the new active attacks. He additionally came out sixty hit points and roughly 20 PRR points ahead of where he was before. All else remains the same.

    If I’m feeling really ambitious later, I’ll catalogue what specific enhancements he has.

  4. ddomicki
    Aug 21, 2013 @ 02:15:58

    I LR’d my light pure monk and made her almost the same as before, then looking at the enhancements for the first time… and oh, you can get shintao and the old dark strikes without having the path? Only finishers are tied to path? As a dark monk (my monk has one dark PL, has been light this life), I really liked Static Charge, and those elemental strikes, as a light, the shintao things like jade and dismissal. Now I can get both, while the light finishers feel more meh than before. I believe I will use the free feat swap to switch her from light to dark to access dark finishers, while still getting all the nice strikes I like using.

  5. Kavatch2.0
    Aug 22, 2013 @ 10:17:42

    The only thing I’m disappointed with in the shintao tree is that the toggles for the light finisher dont stack even though it leads one to believe they do in the description, such weaksauce. Apart from that I think shintao Is the strongest tree at lvl 20 with 1d8 unarmed die and 100% off hand strikes in wind stance, Meditation of war seems a little tacked on concerning fire and water stances I think they should have made fire stance give an extra 1[w] and water stance have the +2 to dc’s but ah well wishes an fishes.

    • teachersyn
      Aug 23, 2013 @ 09:34:47

      It’s taking me a while to get the Big Picture of each tree. Looks like you’ve revealed a few pieces of that. It used to be argued that Dark Monks were better at DPS than Light Monks. Things might have changed, but then there’s the incredible new debuffing abilities that work with the Dark Monk’s counterpart, Touch of Despair. Being able to neg-level all around you is a time-saver (mind you, it’s a little bugged as it neg-levels your allies, too). I’ve got the Monk guide to update and hope to add a bit of comparison to help, but the trees leave so much customization that build concepts now become more vague.

  6. Kavatch2.0
    Aug 23, 2013 @ 11:11:29

    Oh no dark monks are still wayyy better than light monks at dps with shadow double and touch of death, especially when you combine the two and get up to 2k damage. With its sneak attack and no mercy enhancements alone you can stun/kill very easily. The only failing i see in ninja spy is a lack of defense and sustain. Sure you have plenty of escapes but honestly most ninjas run in fire stance for the ki needed to fuel the smackdown that is touch of death and have very little ac and prr compared to a shintao as well as less wisdom, less stun. It’s hard to say that Shintao is the “best” pre because it isn’t the best dps. What it is is the most surviveable and buff happy pre while still keeping good dps and excellent self healing. I think shintao is the “best” pre because it covers more bases than ninja spy does and is still viable in the hands of a new player with average gear.
    P.S. Anyone who sees this help any newbs you find, I found a bambi monk yesterday trying to fight in gianthold without any fortificaton or resistance save item.

  7. Yaegur
    Sep 05, 2013 @ 18:16:23

    I’m enjoying the new stealth system, but for whatever reason, I feel like I’m getting found a lot more often than I used too.

    It’s very unfortunate that Rangers don’t get Balance and Tumble as class skills… I would have loved that considering the changes to Stealth.

    • teachersyn
      Sep 05, 2013 @ 18:24:48

      The advantages of the stealth system are the realistic means of not only escaping or maneuvering, but in how vigilant and rapid your enemies will find you if you loiter around. It really requires good Move Silently scores with some invisibility in tighter spots and very rapid movement (Abundant Step) to skip past lots of eyes.

      I’m almost looking forward to trying to escape an EE mob to rescue downed party members without getting killed myself, all with stealth and a few tricks to distract.

      • Yaegur
        Sep 05, 2013 @ 22:29:48

        Yeah. I’m using a Ranger atm. My Ninja Spy is on hold for now, as I have been waiting for the Deepwood Sniper / Stalker to be finished for years now. It’s definitely a priority at the moment.

        I am going to definitely miss… the increased sneak speed, movement speed, abundant step, Shadow Fade, striding… Yeah. My Ninja Spy was pretty quick. Believe I used the Shadow Walk feat (I always have it hotkeyed for quick access when sneaking) as well. I’m so not used to being this slow. Almost makes me consider making a Zen Archery monk one of these days. Should be entertaining, at least.

        In any case, I’m off topic now. It’s going to take some getting used too, and some very heavily spent points into appropriate enhancements. Just a shame that the Stealthy and Sneak Speed enhancements for Deepwood are a big 2 points each rank. It’s just rather disappointing to see what used to be rather easy escapes get me seen now.

  8. FuzzyDuck81
    Sep 08, 2013 @ 10:28:04

    Well I LR’ed my dragonmarked elf monk/fighter/arty shortsword gal into a pure monk – went light side, but most of the AP were spent in the ninja tree plus arcial (because still dragonmarked elf) with a few in shintao & henshin for some low level abilities including a couple of the healing ki boosts (remove curse for citw & remove disease for those irritating mummy rots), and have given her a bit of a spin… loving it 😀

    The diversion ability (makes a dummy appear with hate magnet a la the challenges) combined with shadow veil, high sneak score & abundant step mean if you ever get into trouble you can dash away in a hurry so stealth is a lot more interesting now, it has decent self-healing, good dodge chance with th scimmy crit range on those star of day swords plus the better 19-20 criticals from OC & earth stance, has great dps. Can’t report about touch of death since that character obviously doesn’t have it, but the ability to make a light side ninja (or a dark side shintao) are a lot of fun. Still not practiced all that much with Henshin though, some of the stuff there is nice to have, but the line just doesn’t seem to rock as hard as the other two.

    • teachersyn
      Sep 09, 2013 @ 09:00:10

      I agree; being able to mix up some light and dark abilities gives a nice flair. I haven’t used Diversion yet (haven’t put myself in a position to do so with my ninja’s stealth) but sort of looking forward to it. Touch of Death is alive and well and working better, I think, as the prior animations appeared to show it failed to work sometimes. I’ve been able to use stealth to draw and pick off mobs with precision. Using Shadow Manipulation domination helps, too. Too bad the Curse of the Void charm is busted with the design at present. Digging my avatar-turned-Henshin and hoping her defense improves come level 14; she’s a bit squishy, even with light abilities. I guess I need to continue to work on maximizing her spell power.

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