BioWare just posted a new blog post, explaining the combat changes, we can expect in the upcoming expansion – Knights of the fallen Empire.
Combat Changes in Fallen Empire
With the launch of Knights of Fallen Empire, we are planning quite a few general changes to combat. This includes everything from how some stats work to a new feature called Level Sync. Let’s jump in and talk about these changes.
We have reworked some of our stats with the goal of helping in itemization as well as cleaning up some lingering imbalance between stats. These changes will reduce the amount of items that you find in game which simply don’t apply to your character. No more throwing items away because it has the wrong main stat, or hating that you have to get both Critical Hit Rating and Surge just to make the stats effective. These changes include:
- The four primary stats Strength, Willpower, Cunning, and Aim have all been replaced by a single stat called Mastery. For all intents and purposes, Mastery acts identically to the primary stat it replaced.
- Endurance now gives slightly more health per point once you hit level 65. We felt that health totals were a little low compared to offensive output.
- The stat Surge has been removed. Surge has now been rolled into the Critical Rating stat. This means that Critical Rating now determines both your change to critically hit, and the damage bonus you receive when you critically hit. Due to this change we have tweaked the values that this rating converts into. Generally an equal rating prior to Fallen Empire will result in less critical hit change and damage from before, but this is simplified by only having one rating.
- To ensure that Critical Hit Chance is never a wasted stat, any abilities that automatically critically hit now convert any Critical Hit beyond 100% into additional critical damage.
- Base weapon accuracy has been increased from 90% to 100%. All non-basic attacks already had 100% Accuracy, so this change brings basic attacks up to par.
- Lastly, we have rearranged how we distribute ratings on items. Now, Power and defense share the first rating slot on modifications, while the rest of the stats (Accuracy, Alacrity, Critical, Absorb, and Shield) will share the second rating slot.
Planet Level Sync
We have added a new system to the game called Level Sync. What this system will do is that when you are on a planet, but above the target level of that planet, your level will automatically be lowered to that planet’s level. Ex: If you are level 60, and you return to Alderaan to do some Missions, your character will be scaled down to be level 32.
While you are under Level Sync the following things are adjusted on your character:
- Weapon Damage
However, while under Level Sync we will not take away any abilities or passive effects that you have. Also, while under Level Sync you will earn scaled experience. So if you are a level 60, killing level 30 mobs, you will gain experience appropriate for being a level 60 . This enables a player to go play any of the content in The Old Republic and get rewarded appropriately for their time investment. Did you miss out on the heroic area on Tatooine? No worries! Now you can simply head there and check it out without dramatically stopping your progression.
Experience and Grouping
We have also made some changes to how grouping and experience works. We felt it was important that we let players group up with whomever they want while still being able to make progress. With that in mind, we have made the following adjustments:
- Experience is no longer split between members of a group. This means the size of the group no longer impacts how much experience your character will earn.
- The experience earned is now based on the level difference between the highest level character (after level sync) and the level of the NPC.
Temporary Ability Bars
We can now grant players access to a temporary hotbar, with abilities on it that are only available for a short time. The most immediate use of this hotbar will be for the ability Throw the Huttball. Now, when you have the Huttball, a temporary ability bar will show up so you no longer need to have your throw on your normal hotbar. Similar to your normal hotbar, you can assign your own keybindings to these buttons. This will open up new possibilities for us to do some more interesting content in the future!
Speaking of trying to reduce some ability bar clutter, we can now actually replace older abilities with things that are direct upgrades. This usually occurs when a Discipline unlocks a new ability that is just a straight up replacement (Lethal Shot for Snipe as a Virulence Sniper, as an example). The new ability will take the same spot on the hotbar as the old ability. Whenever you abandon your discipline, the older ability will return to you.
Like we covered in the PAX Prime Livestream, Companions have gotten a significant overhaul. You can watch the stream here, but here are a few quick highlights:
- Companions are now summoned from the Companions and Contacts/Alliance window.
- Companions now all have 3 roles you can choose from on the fly, DPS/Healer/Tank, and different ability sets based on that role.
- Companions that use the same weapon type will share the same ability sets (so every companion that uses Blaster Pistols will have the same ability sets).
- Companions no longer generate any stats from gear, their stats are purely based on the level of the companion, so you can dress them up however you want. Accordingly, equipment slots that didn’t have any effect on visibility have been removed from companions. Companions will still need a weapon in order to activate their abilities, but the stats of the weapon won’t matter.
In Fallen Empire player, Companions will continue to be a huge part of your personal story. All of these gameplay changes are to enhance their functionality.
As always, please let us know what you think about the changes we’ve made, and thank you.
Lead Systems Designer