Cornucopia on Kirmizi Perfect (with another mirror hosting)
This is a thread for the mod’s announcement; as we start making progress in its development, we’ll have a thread dedicated to changelogs/discussions about specifics.
In the future, this thread will also be where we will discuss the mod’s behind-the-scenes development process (as relevant).
What This Mod Is About
The aim of the rebalancing mod will be, as its name suggests, to rebalance the game in a way that makes it more fun, less frustrating, and stay in line with Crate’s overarching vision. We acknowledge that we may have our own biases and a limited perception of exactly what their vision for GD is, but based on their posts on the forums and balance choices so far we are confident in our understanding.
That is to say that we want to avoid completely overhauling any aspect of the game when simple adjustments or slight additions will do just fine. We will, however, overhaul skills that we feel are redundant or have too fine a razor edge to balance properly within the meta we create.
But this Mod is about much more than just skills. Attribute points, constellation stats and procs, Items (including prefixes and suffixes), Mastery Bars, drop rates, quest rewards, monster stats and abilities, crafting costs/rates/blacksmith bonuses, area level scaling, loot tables and more: We will be looking through and touching upon all the above where we feel improvement is possible.
Staying True to Crate’s Vision
As mentioned above we want our mod to still feel like GD. Unlike old TQ mods like Underlord and Soulvizier, (which were wonderful) we want this mod to feel almost seamless for GD players. We want to create more viable build possibilities for Ultimate, and make items/skills/constellations more competitive with each other.
To elaborate with a specific example of how this applies: we have talked at length about certain items where one or both of us were puzzled at how it could ever be considered good. Eventually one of us would figure out what we believe the intended build the item was designed to support is, but realize that either a) Another item fills the slot better for the same build, b) The item is not strong enough to support the build, or c) There are not enough other items for other slots to support the build. We can do some great work here.
Don’t fix what isn’t broken
Everything and anything can be “improved” from at least one player’s perspective. But many things function just fine as they are, and those are things we will touch upon LAST if at all. We know many of you may have specific changes you’d like to see, and we will read and consider all of them. We totally want and appreciate feedback regardless of whether or not we utilize it. However, we want to focus on bringing up the quality of lower-tier aspects of the game to viable performance levels before we dare bring already viable things up to great.
Fun > Balance
Let’s discuss this on two levels. The first being that, very simply, we both agree that an ARPG where you have lots of diverse enjoyable playstyles that can get a little OP is more fun than having a few restrictive ways to build that feel very closely competitive. We WILL tune down the most extreme outliers on the spectrum of balance, but it is not our focus. Players should be rewarded for finding smart ways to “break” the game’s meta, not punished.
Secondly, perfect balance is impossible without making the game bland. Some builds/skills/items/etc. will be better, some will be worse. That is the nature of a fun ARPG, but we hope to make more instances where a lower tier skill can be situationally better than a higher tier one.
This is our priority of balance order. There is a logic here: Stats and Skills are innate to all players. You start with them, you get points to put in them as you level up, and they stay with you forever. If a class’s kit feels poor, no amount of itemization or constellations will change that. Devotion is innate as well, in a way, but the fact of the matter is you build Devotion around the skills you pick, not the other way around. So they come second.
Items are tertiary for two clear reasons: you can’t depend on getting the item you want when you want. RNG is RNG, and GD’s seems to be anecdotally quirky RNG at that :rolleyes:. Changing any item or affix’s stats will only very rarely have as big an impact on players as changing a single constellation or skill. The second reason is that items build upon your skills, enhancing what you already have. That plus RNG makes it a clear third choice to look at. Perhaps a third reason is that items also allow themselves to be more narrow and niche in scope, allowing us to make some really specific choices that have very narrow targeted impact, and it’s healthiest to attempt this when the first 2 parts (skills/constellations) are in a better place. Items can be the thing that makes a build that looks like it shouldn’t work, work. If we start tweaking too many items immediately, and then start buffing the worst tier of skills and constellations, chances are we’ll end up having to just revert a lot of our choices, as wasted time, because the items we buffed/changed will become even more powerful/become imbalanced when the skills and constellations that benefit from them are also improved.
What You Can Expect
We’d like to state right here, than you can 100% expect that at first this mod will make the game easier. That will be a result of making Ultimate less build restrictive. If we’re improving the quality of “bad” things in the game, the net power on the player-side improves. Some quality of life changes we’d like to make should make the game a bit easier as well.
And we know this will disappoint many of you who like a “challenge.” But hear us out: A stat wall is not the most interesting form of challenge. Having to have ~80% in the majority of your resists, or 10k+ Health, or 2k+ OA to feel even remotely comfortable in Ultimate is not a good feeling, it just feels forced upon us.
Challenge is more fun in the form of enemy mechanics: Reflect mobs with visual indicators of when not to attack, mobs that heal tanky dangerous mobs, mobs and traps with curses and debuffs, enemy tactics, dodge-able damage, etc. A stat wall is definitely necessary, but we think it’s currently too steep.
But rest assured: After we are done improving the player-side of things, we will then start improving the monster side… but still, don’t expect Ultimate to feel like it currently does for non-tanky builds. We don’t philosophically believe that the main story-line should be that restrictive. We might make some side-quests more difficult and more rewarding, to help maintain a feeling of challenge, and we want SoT and BoC to be hard as well, but they are also the main source of farming gear for most players.
The true solution to this will be in our second mod which will add New Content. Part of our second mod will be new challenge dungeons with TRULY punishing features and truly niche and unique rewards. You will experience dungeons harder than anything currently in the game, dungeons that require you to respec your character’s components and items to meet their challenge. Dungeons that truly require thought to conquer. We want the main content of GD to be accessible to a slightly larger player-base than it currently is, but will add in challenges that will sate even the most veteran players later. But don’t get too caught up in that just yet, as that’s a way’s off.
How far off is a way’s off? Good question. We don’t know. Progress consists of two of us bouncing ideas off each other, implementing them, testing them, and then repeating the process for thousands upon thousands of things in-game. It’s an iterative process, and one we’re taking on in our free time, rather than one we’ll be working on full-time. We don’t want to give you a date or even a ballpark estimate, but we figure that if we’re going to give you this great wall of text, you should at least know our assumptions. We think the rebalancing mod could take around a year to complete. If we get it done in three months, great! But that seems unlikely. If we don’t finish for a year and a half or two years, so be it. But we’re going to keep at it and it will finish and wind up in your hands. Our passion for Grim Dawn can only culminate in us making it as great as we possibly can.
Thank you for the read, and looking forward to the road ahead in this development,
adoomgod & Ceno
Questions and Answers
[spoiler]Q: Isn’t this too early to get started on? Isn’t Crate still balancing their game too?
A: No and yes. And that’s kind of the point. If you’ve been following the sly references adoomgod and I have been making throughout the forums to this mod, this mod is meant to be as close to as what Crate would make as possible. If we can live up to this goal, we and Crate are working toward the same end-goal.
Why bother, we’ll just copy paste their mod into the game.
:p[/QUOTE]You joke but I give you full permission to implement any changes I make to the game (just a formality), to the vanilla game. I’d be honored. It’s actually my hope to do a good enough job that you guys will want to implement at least some of it. Last time I checked Ceno felt the same.[/QUOTE]
Q: Are Skills going to be reworked?
A: As needed. We don’t intend to redesign every skill in every mastery, but if there’s some skills that just aren’t functioning no matter which way we try to improve them, a rework is not out of the question. But if we do rework it, we’ll do so in a way that tries to keep the general niche the skill filled - or attempted to fill - intact.