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Deep Dive: Combat Stat Revamp

Written by Steven "Meerkat" Engle on July 22, 2015

Hey, everybody! I’m Steven Engle, Lead Combat Designer on WildStar, and I’m here to talk about upcoming updates to player combat stats. They're some pretty big changes and we're all very excited about it here at Carbine. In this Deep Dive I'll go over most of the changes and some of the reasoning behind them.

What is Moxie?

Our stat system, while full of its own charm, is not easy to understand at a simple glance. The core problem? The primary combat stats make use of identifying terms that obfuscate the purpose of the stat itself. All of which brings us to the question: What is Moxie?

Anyone can log into an Esper and develop an association of the Moxie stat to Assault Power, but to a Warrior, Moxie means Critical Hit and Critical Severity Ratings.. We believe our players should be able to understand the purpose of a stat on first glance, and that purpose should remain consistent between all classes.

While the primary combat stat terminology has been confusing, it’s not the only issue involved in the decision. Current stat imbalances cause uninteresting gearing choices, and we also have power creep at end game that becomes unmaintainable by the time we release our next raid. So, after careful consideration of all of the issues, we chose to make the following changes.

  • Removal of primary combat stats and those stats deriving into secondary stats.
  • Players will no longer be able to increase Assault or Support power through Runes. In addition, all stats are going through a balance pass to make their power relative with each other.
  • Re-adjusting the power curve and adjustment of levels. While overall power should be relatively the same at Datascape from Live to 1.4.0, some other areas of the leveling curve might feel a slight difference.

So rest in peace, Brutality, Finesse, Insight, Tech, Grit, and Moxie. Some day you might find Heart and form a really cool super hero... but not in WildStar.

The Stats are Dead! Long Live the Stats!

We've established that the current primary stats, and how they worked, were not as successful as we would have liked but we still wanted a core group of stats that provide the player with a solid base. The best way to do this was to adjust the core stats to serve a clear purpose, to be consistent regardless of class, and granted with most visually customizable gear pieces.

Below are the core stats and their meaning in the updated stat system:

Assault/Support Power

This is given out via Assault or Support Rating and is then converted into Power. Almost all damage in the game scales off of either Assault or Support Power.

Armor

Armor determines the player’s base ability to reduce incoming damage of all damage types.

Health

This value determines the amount of damage the player can receive before death.

Shield Max

This value determines amount of damage a player's shield can absorb (extending health).

For those more interested in PvP, check out the core stats:

PvP Power

This is derived from the PvP Power Rating and is converted into PvP Power or PvP Healing. All damage and healing in PvP combat is scaled by this stat.

PvP Defense

This is derived from the PvP Defense Rating and converted into PvP Defense. All defense in PvP is scaled by this stat.

What About the Secondary Stats?

We no longer derive secondary stats from a primary source. They are now just considered combat stats. One thing that we really wanted to tackle during this update is improving stat balance and player choice. For example, DPS classes will no longer be able to increase Assault Power through the Rune system. This will allow us to better balance stats without having to keep their effectiveness relative to raw Power.

Here is a look into the non-Core stats, functionality updates, and new stats coming in the Beta:

Stats with no functional change:

Critical Hit Chance

Critical Hit Severity

Armor Pierce

Deflect Chance

Deflect Critical Hit Chance

Physical Resistance

Technology Resistance

Magic Resistance

Cooldown Reduction

Focus Cost Reduction

Stats that can now be gained through Rating:

Lifesteal

CC Reduction

Stats that are new to WildStar or that have function updates:

Strikethrough

This stat will directly counter an opponent’s deflect rate just as it would in the Live game. The improvement to function is that if a player's Strikethrough exceeds their opponent's Deflect rate, it is then converted into Armor Piercing.

Multi-Hit Chance

This is a new stat for all roles. Each time players deal damage or heal an ally, they have a chance to apply it an additional time. The value of the additional hit is determined by the effect that triggered it multiplied by the Multi-Hit Severity percentage.

Multi-Hit Severity

This is a new stat for all roles. This stat determines the magnitude of Multi-Hits.

Vigor

This is a new stat for DPS roles. Player damage is increased by this percentage, which is based on the player's current health. It is optimal at 100% health and as health goes down, so does the bonus.

Critical Mitigation

This stat will directly counter an opponent’s Critical Hit Severity.

Intensity

This is a new stat for healing classes and it is targeted for end-game players. This will increase outgoing healing, while also increasing the Focus cost of heals.

Glance Chance

This is a new stat for tanks. This stat grants a chance to reduce an incoming damage attack by the percentage defined by Glance Mitigation.

Glance Mitigation

This is a new stat for tanks. Each time players trigger a Glance, the incoming damage is reduced by this percentage.

Reflect Chance

This is a new stat for all roles. Each time players receive damage, they have a chance to deal a percentage of that damage back to the attacker. The damage dealt is determined by the Reflect Damage stat.

Reflect Damage

This is a new stat for all roles. Each time players trigger a Reflect, it deals this percentage of the damage received back to that attacker.

Focus Recovery Rate

The functionality of this stat has changed. Players now recover a percentage of their Focus Pool every second while in combat. This stat can now be attained through gear as a Rating.

Focus Pool

The functionality did not change for Focus Pool. The change is that it is no longer a stat with a set amount. Players can now add to their Focus Pool with gear.

Why Use Critical Mitigation When There's Deflect Critical Hit?

We aren’t going to give out Deflect Critical HitRating through gear anymore - it caused a struggle between player choice and design choice that did not improve the game. Players were stuck between having AMP and ability choices that required getting critically hit, and improving Deflect Critical Hit which devalued those choices. We caused unnecessary conflicts of interest which limited our ability to provide fun and engaging mechanics in some cases.

We wanted a tank stat that did not limit our ability to provide choice and did not introduce conflicts of interest with the player. We came up with Critical Mitigation, which grants the player the ability to deal with critical damage without losing those interesting gameplay triggers along the way.

The philosophy change outlined above is one of the bigger interaction and design changes. We wanted to give everyone a greater understanding of why it happened. There are many smaller changes to stat interactions that will be further discussing in Beta on the forums.

The Conclusion!

We want to give players more ways to play and interesting stats to build around, and we are working to make the combat stat system more intuitive and clear. It all relies on improving the overall clarity of our stats and making sure they feel balanced and fun. This means we will be relying on player feedback once this goes up to Beta (which you can sign up for here).

I did not go into great detail about the changes to Itemization, Runecrafting, or Tradeskills. Fear not, my friends! We will be releasing information on those topics in the coming weeks.

For even more answers to your class stat questions please check out the AMA we did on Reddit. You can also leave us feedback and questions by going to the WildStar forums and following us on Twitter.

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