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Upcoming game changes (also known as 'What the hell???')

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Upcoming game changes (also known as 'What the hell???')

Postby GDEXXY » Jan 4, 2005 (10:03 pm)

After much consideration and a large amount of development on 'combat 2004' (let's just call it 'the combat rewrite'), a number of decisions have been made that will incredibly impact the nature of how the game functions, particularly with regards to combat and equipment. I thought I'd better warn you now what these changes will mean, considering how serious they are.

As a precursor to this post, we will be re-adjusting our existing skills to better serve the needs of the new combat system. Martial Artists will be receiving four new styles of combat as well as a comprehensive fix to Martial Arts, which goes without saying. We will have a skill for each. We will also be breaking down most skills into a hierarchy list that, while *most* characters can learn any skill, they will have to select the skill with a skillset point every few levels. For example, we will probably alot Fighters one point every four levels. At level 1 you could choose the Sword skill to use weapons based on the Sword skillset (short sword, cutlass, etc.) and then at level 4, you could use your new skillset point to gain an advanced Sword skillset: Great Sword, or you could spend it on another skillset entirely. In this hierarchy, the only way to use Great Sword weapons is to be proficient with both Sword and Great Sword.

This intentionally limits who can use what weapons and diversifies the usefulness of each weapon skillset. It will also help make each character more unique and allow us to create weapons that are specifically suited for different classes and styles.

We also intend to limit some skills entirely to one or a few classes (or races). Because some of you use these skills currently, it's important we tell you what you may not be able to do in the future. The list of limited weapon and armor skillsets is listed below. It may be changed at any time.

Dual Wield Tactics (everyone except Mage/Cleric/Wizard/Summoner/Necromancer/Priest)
Cestus (Thief/Pirate only)
Composite Bow (Traveler/Thief/Ranger/Monk/Martial Artist/Barbarian only)
Crazy Serpent Style (Martial Artist only)
Huratzan (Rurowlian only)
Iron Palm Style (Martial Artist only)
Morning Star (Cleric/Paladin/Barbarian only)
Pouncing Leopard Style (Martial Artist only)
Repeating Crossbow (Thief only)
Ritual Dagger (Mage/Wizard/Summoner only)
Silent Confusion Style (Martial Artist only)

Since weapons and armor will each have skill requirements to use, we will use this to establish a minimum skill requirement rank for each item. For weapons, this means that you will simply not be able to use the weapon until you meet the minimum rank requirement in the skill that the weapon requires *and* that you've learned that weapon's skillset. For armor, it works the same way except that there's another dimension: at the minimum skill required to use the armor, you gain only the minimum base armor class value for that piece of armor. As your skill rises, so does the protection you gain from the armor item until it reaches the maximum amount of armor class rating that the armor item can provide.

So here's the bad news...

Existing weapons and armor will effectively be useless unless a staff character personally prepares/fixes the item to be ready for the new equipment system. While we tried and tried and tried to avoid this, it's going to be a necessary evil in transitioning to the new combat system and we're prefer delivering a quality system rather than trying to skimp around it. This means we'll have to ask each player to drop off weapons and armor to be prepared/updated to the new equipment system -- and only items that you really want to use. We'll have a collection system that lets you deposit the item, we'll pick it up later, fix it, then deposit it back -- similar to how the alteration pick-up system works now.

Also, a really good weapon or armor item may turn out to be something that's better than other weapons at its skill requirement range, but may still be bested by higher skills. We don't see any reason to stop introducing bigger and better weapons and armor, but don't feel that these items should be usable by anyone, so while new and better items will continue to be produced, those great items that you have right now *might* not be so great after they're fixed. Be forewarned.

Magic items may also be tweaked with a skill requirement to limit when they can be used. If this is the case, the maximum number of magical items used at any one time may be raised significantly or removed altogether. We're still weighing the consequences and benefits to this.

We will be adjusting the maximum skill curve, which is currently only limited by how high of a creature you can land an attack on. This will be more level-based, to help balance out items to their appropriate levels of use. This, again, enforces high-level items to stay on high-level characters.

Since some skills are limited to who can learn them, a weapon or armor item you may currently have may be useless to you after this equipment update goes live. I'm sorry, there's really no way around it.

Skills that your character currently uses and have trained, but won't be able to use after the update, will be removed from your character and/or locked. For example, if you're a Barbarian with 24 skillset points and you've trained 30 weapons, you will have to choose which 6 are 'locked' and unusable until you train them. You will not lose skill ranks, just the ability to use those skills until you've trained them. On the other hand, if you're a Paladin using a repeating crossbow, you will never be able to use that skill again -- since only Thieves will be allowed to learn this skillset. If your skill exceeds the maximum/cap for your level (after the new skill curve), it will perform at the maximum, but not be reset to the maximum -- in otherwords, you won't lose skill ranks, but until your level catches up, it will not perform at that rank.

And here's some more good news (and the bottom line)...

Between weapons, armor, and potentially magic item balancing it should be considerably easy for us to also balance other, related systems such as creatures (armor, attack rating, health, damage output), item creation (treasure, profession system), etc. too. A really diverse and entertaining combat system requires most of these changes, considering how far we want to take combat and how much room we want for it to grow.

I realize that this post leaves a few things unanswered -- such as the new things the combat rewrite itself will be introducing. I'll post that in another thread.

We are taking every effort to make this as smooth a transition as possible with the least amount of hassles for you, including preserving skill ranks, personally fixing items, etc. If you have a suggestion that will feasibly work out to help things along, please feel free to mention it.
GameDirector Exxy, CEO
Role-Players Gaming Network, Inc.
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