Recently we’ve been working on some changes to the fighter classes, particularly in the way that they manage hate. Our intent was to adjust these classes so that fighters would rely more on their taunts and abilities to gain and hold aggro and less on high DPS and hate buffs from DPS classes.
Why do we feel this is necessary?
Well, we’ve been talking since the last Fan Faire about how we’ve drifted away from the hate management and damage sink that tanks were originally intended to be. With this, there has also been an increase in the DPS that tanks have been doing while in combat. This begins to impinge on the role that we’ve envisioned for the Scout and Mage classes, and we feel that moving forward we need to make some adjustments, as it is increasingly difficult for us to do proper and cohesive game balancing as the lines get more blurred.
We introduced this to the test server in early January and the response from the community was strong. Recognizing that this is a very sensitive and delicate topic, we postponed the revamp for more testing and evaluation.
In the end, with all of your feedback, we’ve decided to re-examine the structure of the fighter revamp.
What does this mean?
For those of you on the Test servers, this means that there will be some changes coming. The changes made with the initial release of the fighter revamp need to be removed. However, rather than just roll back your characters to when we first introduced the changes on Test back in January; we’re going to need to split out the consolidated spells, which will reset them to Adept 1. We’re currently working on a plan to allow you to upgrade them to something higher than Adept 1, and as soon as we have the details of that plan worked out, we’ll be posting about it. For our Test Copy server, we’re going to need to wipe the entire character database, which will likely take several days. Once we’ve got that database cleaned, we’ll reopen that server and allow you to copy your characters back over as you wish.
For all of our players, this means that we’ll be reinitiating the adjustments to tank balance from a fresh point. The difference is going to be in how we go about planning and communicating the changes, because we want, and need, to know what you think.
Our plan is to start an open dialogue with you, our players, and to get your feedback every step of the way. This will mean more time in between updates, but we think that it’s worth it to get you more involved in the direction of the game. We hope that you agree. We realize we haven’t been stellar at consistent communication in the past, but consider this a big step towards this goal.
We are also looking at incentives to get more of you playing on the Test server, for further feedback. We truly believe that if we can get more of you testing and contributing your feedback, we will know more about what you all want, what you all believe is best for the game. We want to acknowledge here that this is your game, and many of you are the experts at various aspects of this game. We want this to be a collaborative effort between SOE and its players. When we get the details of the Test server incentives worked out, we’ll be announcing it on the forums and on EQ2players. We’ll also be announcing the plan for improving our communication and creating an open two-way dialogue with you as soon as we’ve worked out all of the details.
In the meantime, make notes! We’re looking forward to collaborating with you.