Welcome to Update 25: Update of Evil!
It’s a rougher day for Cordovan and Co. as they try to get Update 25 installed and updated properly on their servers since 8:00 AM EDT. As I write this, twelve hours later, it’s still not quite up, but I’m up.
Things happen. I wish Turbine’s ragged team much bacon and coffee and hope they’ll get everything all running very soon.
Any dissenting comments or criticisms of Turbine on my blog will be spiked and banned. I live in Indiana and I have had it up to here with the self-privileged minority that feels entitled to everything of late, even if they’re not being actually targeted.
So, rather than slugging out monsters to pass the time on a character in Diablo II, here’s a quick summary of some highlights I’ve found in the Release Notes that satisfies far more than a few of my character’s interests.
- Bleed damage now scales 200% with Melee Power.
That’s a happy thing for some weapons I carry but Saekee should be very happy since his build that uses the Forester’s Brush Hook kama will mop the floors up with greater damage.
- Ranged Power has been added to Epic Levels and Epic Destiny cores:
- Each Epic level from 21 to 28 now increases Ranged Power by three.
- Fatesinger, Shadowdancer, Primal Avatar and Shiradi Champion gain +4 Ranged Power per innate ability.
- Grandmaster of Flowers and Unyielding Sentinel gain +3 Ranged Power per innate ability.
- Divine Crusader and Legendary Dreadnaught gain +2 Ranged Power per innate ability.
- Fury of the Wild gains +1 Ranged Power per innate ability.
- The Ninja Spy’s Sting of the Ninja should now work properly with all named weapons (that meet the requirements.)
All the ninjas in the house have celebrated this news by adding an extra spoon of honey in their green tea. This bug, longstanding since around Update 22, means that Szycletica’s shuriken of all kinds will again add punishing Ninja Poison DoTs in addition to other damage. Dragons beware: Her Thunder-Forged Shuriken awaits to send you to the abyss.
- The Monk Mountain Stance now gives 50% Hate Generation, and its upgrades now give 100/150/200% Hate Generation.
I think I heard Lynncletica smile.
Shintao Monks, in their current incarnation, have a harder time generating aggro, even in Mountain Stance. This is a substantial boost to Hate generation. It means Lynn’s going to be bloodier than ever before Level 18 but the results should be worth it by Epic levels.
- The Rogue Assassin has been improved:
- Core Abilities
- Assassin’s Trick now works on all enemies, and no longer has a saving throw. The attack now has a shorter animation. Cooldown is now 6 seconds, and duration is now 15 seconds.
- Nimbleness no longer requires sneak attacks, and works on any hit. +5 Melee Power.
- Lethality: +5 Melee Power.
- Deadly Shadow: You gain +2 Dexterity and +2 Intelligence. You gain 10 Melee Power and +4 Sneak Attack dice. You gain +4 to Reflex Saving Throws. You gain +2 to the DC of your Assassinate.
- Tier One
- Poison Strikes now applies an “Assassin’s Mark” to an opponent for 10 seconds.
- Shiv no longer reduces threat when you attack, and instead offers an additional passive bonus that reduces the threat of all your attacks by 5/10/15%. The attack also makes a Bluff check, using your Bluff skill, when you strike an opponent, for one second + .25 seconds per Rogue level.)
- Stealthy now also gains +20/35/50% movement speed while sneaking.
- Tier Two
- Venomed Blades costs 1/1/1 AP, and now scales with 200% Melee Power.
- Bleed Them Out’s bleed damage scales with 200% Melee Power.
- Damage Boost’s cost has been reduced to 1 AP per level. The boost to Melee Power is now 10/20/30.
- Tier Three
- Critical Accuracy has been removed.
- Critical Mastery: (1/1/1 AP) + 1/2/3 bonus to critical damage and to confirm critical hits.
- Tier Four
- Critical Damage has been removed.
- Weakening Strikes reduces the Melee and Ranged Power of opponents by 10 + Rogue Level/2 for 10 seconds if you attack an enemy with an “Assassin’s Mark.”
- Execute: If a target is below 30% health, deal 500 damage. This damage scales with 200% Melee Power, and has a cooldown of 15 seconds. This enhancement no longer has a sneak attack requirement.
- Tier Five
- Assassinate now has a 12 second cooldown.
- Measure the Foe: Gain +4 Melee Power, +2 Dodge, +2 Maximum Dodge, +1 to hit and +1 to the DC’s of your Assassinate ability for every 4/2/1 seconds you remain stealthed. This effect stacks up to five times, and lasts 10 seconds after you come out of stealth.
- Deadly Strikes: Your attacks against enemies with an “Assassin’s Mark” to +5 damage.
- Light Armor Mastery: (1/1/1 AP) You gain 1/2/3 to Maximum Dodge. While wearing light armor, gain 2/4/6 to the Maximum Dexterity Bonus of your armor and armor check penalty, and gain 2/4/6 Physical Resistance Rating.
All of this is happiness for The Littlest Assassin–who wasn’t having any problems before. Now with some refinements, Sukitetica is really going to have a blast.
- Ammunition found in chests will now appear in stacks of 100.
- Thieves Tools now stack up to one thousand in a stack.
Yes. Useful amounts of ammo for Artemistika, and no more stupid inventory slots wasted on needed tools for Suki.
And now the Good and the Weird:
- Each Swashbuckler Core enhancement had been erroneously granting an extra +1 Doublestrike. This extra Doublestrike has been removed to match the text.
Whoops. I guess Flynncletica’s been a bit overpowered. Oh, well. She’s still fun to play, even with an earlier Update 24 adjustment to Single Weapon Fighting. I’m all for balance, however.
- The Crucible
- The optional objectives at the start of the quest no longer give XP.
- XP for completing the quest has been boosted to be equivalent to the XP removed from optionals.
Not that I play this quest alone, and not as often before it was demoted as a Gianthold flagging quest–but removing the XP from the little manipulations you can do with the NPCs need to still present an advantage to the adventurers. I can’t remember if these added an extra chest or made the end-fights easier, but I guess I understand the balancing.
- A new teleporter has been located in the Marketplace.
- There is a new NPC near the Airship Tower that tells players how to get to the Temple of Elemental Evil.
Vertigo, the Crafting tutorial NPC, has moved next to the big pillar between the Airship Tower and the new Teleporter.
- Kipling Vranch, a Collectibles Trader, has been moved to Vertigo’s old spot.
- Zerchi Spire-Keeper, who takes players to the Restless Isles, has moved south of his old location, and is now near the Auctioneer Churchwarden.
- Kupper-Nickel, who takes players to Zawabi’s Refuge, has moved west of the Airship Tower along with some of his friends.
- Loghan d’Deneith, who gives the quest Gladewatch Outpost Defense, has moved west of his old spot to the entrance of House Deneith.
- Jasper Cruikshank, who gives the quest Archer Point Defense, has moved west of his old spot to the entrance of House Deneith.
Finally, a teleporter in the Marketplace!
- Traps that deal damage now show floaty-text damage numbers, and report in the Combat Log like most damage.
- The time to place traps has been reduced to 1 second.
- The time for traps to “arm” after being placed has been reduced to 1 second.
- The general cooldown on placing traps has been reduced from fifteen seconds to eight seconds.
- Small and Weak elemental traps now have a larger damage area, matching Average traps.
- Device Workstations now have recipes for elemental traps from minimum levels 13-27.
Rogues that can be realistic Trapmasters! This is awesome news as we also get Epic Traps! The reduction of deployment time means a great deal, too. I might make that Mechanic soon after all.
So, when The Update of Existential Evil is finally over for Turbine tonight, we’ll all get some new things to play with, especially Rogues.
And when I heard that Wil Wheaton has lent his voice talents to the new quest, I smiled. DDO is old but still has some street cred for those who care.
See you in game.