Welcome to Project: Gorgon!


Project: Gorgon is a 3D fantasy MMORPG (massively-multiplayer online role-playing game) that features an immersive experience that allows the player to forge their own path through exploration and discovery. We won't be guiding you through a world on rails, and as a result there are many hidden secrets awaiting discovery. Project: Gorgon also features an ambitious skill based leveling system that bucks the current trend of pre-determined classes, thus allowing the player to combine skills in order to create a truly unique playing experience.

The Project: Gorgon development team is led by industry veteran Eric Heimburg. Eric has over a decade of experience working as a Senior and Lead Engineer, Developer, Designer and Producer on successful games such as Asheron’s Call 1 and 2, Star Trek Online and other successful Massively Multiplayer Online Games.



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  1. #21
    Senior Member Yaffy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chilton View Post
    I have a few problems with the changes you're proposing.

    1. Reducing the number of mods on equipment to 3 is something me and other players say we don't want, because it would lower the amount of customization we would have with our gear. Less slots means less build freedom.

    2. By making higher rarity gear have stronger mods, you're defeating the purpose of limiting mods to three. There will still be a power difference between people with fully maxed out gear vs those with sub-optimal gear. That said, the way you're suggesting it scales numerically would shrink the power difference heavily, but mostly by buffing people in white, green or blue gear.

    3. I dislike the idea of EVERY piece of gear having 3 mods, because it will make "Normal" items bloated. As an example this means that within the first 3-5 minutes of starting up the game, new players will have to wrap their head around dozens of mods because every white item they pick up has three random modifiers. Not only that, but the bonus from higher rarity items will be confusing. We still have players asking about which item rarities are better despite higher rarity items having different mod counts.

    4. Now I don't know if I'm missing something, but are level 10 players going to have the same potential mod strength as level 80 players? That's going to throw balancing damage completely out of whack because you'll have level 10 players with mods that add hundreds of flat damage. You would have to do an absolutely major mod rework and damage scaling rework for the entire game to account for this.

    5. The numbers you're suggesting for armor scaling are basically what they are right now. A level 10 player having about 100 armor and a level 80 player having around 800 armor sounds completely normal, unless if you're suggesting that cloth armor should have about 800 armor like metal does. The current way that player armor scales will not be very strong encouragement to replace player's lower level gear, as several full DPS sets at end game already get by with 400-500 armor, which would be level 40-50 in your example. Not only that, but if the amount of armor scaling is about the same, then your suggestion boils down to nerfing players by 3 mod slots for the most part, while Citan wants to encourage people to sacrafice damage for survivability.

    6. Making every kind of armor from the same armor class give a bonus like the ones you're suggesting forces people into certain roles which I heavily dislike. For example, it's very likely you'll pick up at least 3 metal pieces of armor in goblin dungeon when leveling, but with your system that would give people +50% extra taunt which would basically force them to always take aggro from there. It's highly likely someone will be forced to accept one of your armor set bonuses even when they don't want to, since negative taunt or positive taunt can be undesirable. It's not a good idea to assume that everyone wearing 3 metal armor pieces wants to be a tank. In fact, as a tank player I would say the evasion bonus from leather sounds way more appealing than the taunt bonus.

    7. For tanks, getting extra armor/health is not that important, at least outside of the early game. You suggested that tanks would want to use higher level gear as soon as possible for the armor/health for better survivability, but that is not the case even now, despite higher level gear typically giving more armor. Even right now several BiS tank equips are not level 80, and several of them aren't even metal armor, because sacrificing hundreds of points of armor is worth the resistances they give. In fact, a big reason why tanks can get away with lower level equipment is not because they don't care about getting good mods, it's because there's so few good mods for tanking that the level penalty to your equipment doesn't matter as much. For example, on Unarmed/Shield there is ONE mod on the chest that is worth getting for tanking (Physical resistance from unarmed) while everything else just gives damage, very minor bonuses, or don't really scale that much (Ex. Generic poison resist/accuracy). That one mod is really good and you want it to be level 80, so you augment it to 80, and the level of the other mods isn't very relevant since they don't contribute to your survivability nearly as much. Your suggestion wouldn't change this because even if the chest was limited to three slots, you still would only care about having that one mod while the other ones are just damage bonuses.
    Last edited by Yaffy; 10-20-2020 at 04:17 PM.

  2. #22
    Senior Member Mikhaila's Avatar
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    A point: Nimble armor. This has an effect on builds. It's so good that a lot more people are moving to clothe to simply avoid some damage. It also gives the power for dps builds. It encourages high damage dps builds. Something to think about with armor types. If the best tank gear is clothe, something is off
    Last edited by Mikhaila; 10-20-2020 at 12:55 PM.

  3. #23
    Junior Member PGSly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Citan View Post
    I've talked about this before, but to catch people up, here's some background on where we are with high level balance.

    I'm moving small pieces of the balance equation around to try to make the game work better, like tweaking Power curves to help reinforce ability roles. Ultimately, though, the elephant in the room is that players can have way, WAY too many offensive treasure mods at once. Until I fix that problem, these other fixes will seem weird, because they aren't fixing the core problem.

    The core problem from a player's POV can be summed up as "I don't need to defend myself if I can finish combat in 4.1 seconds". This playstyle means you are more than willing to drop defense in order to hit the magic DPS level where everything is trivial. And if something is higher, you just die.

    This is very poor game design that gets worse and worse at high level, and I have to fix it, but I don't know the precise way to fix it. That's why I'm fixing small parts of the equation, seeing how it affects things, and trying to figure out the best approach. Ultimately the change will be a severe nerf, and I would like to get it right the first time.

    My knee-jerk idea was to just reduce the total number of treasure mods you can have on at once. But now I'm thinking maybe a new mechanic that forces players to take a certain % of defensive mods. (Say 40%.) I don't have a mechanic for that in mind, but one easy approach would be to make all the mods on certain slots (say chest, legs, necklace) be defense/survival. That's awkward for pure DPS skills, though, because their defense/survival mods would be crappy. But maybe that's fine. Actually that's probably for the best.

    Anyway, I realize nobody likes being nerfed, but I really don't have the ability to present fun and exciting battles to high-level players right now. I can present fun and exciting battles to the top 5% of players, sure. But everybody else will get wrecked, because the top few percent of players can deal, what, maybe 500% more damage than the average player with crap mods? That's really fun for advancement as a player because you can slowly see yourself getting MUCH more powerful. But it's just too big of a power differential for us to create content for, and you will quickly find the game un-fun because nothing is challenging. (Or else it would be un-fun up until the end, because everything would be balanced to be too hard until you finished your 70-mod treasure set.)

    It's my fault for letting the balance problem get out of hand, but I do have to fix it, and I will. Expect to see more small nerfs as I work things out, as well as at least one major nerf as I restructure the game to allow it to be balanceable and fun.

    There will be more info about that nerf before it comes, so you won't be blindsided by it. I'm not sure when it will happen because I don't know what it is. So far I haven't found an approach that makes me go "aha, that's it!" The closest solution I have is forcing certain slots to be defense/support mods, but that will be very weird for some combat skills. I'm still hopeful that there's a cleverer solution.

    (And, of course, rebalancing players means rebalancing monsters. Monster rebalancing is much, much easier than player rebalancing, though -- since monsters don't use mods! Monster balance can be changed around as much as needed to fit where player DPS ultimately ends up.)
    So this is what transparency looks like.
    Sloven

  4. #24
    Member Silkt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Citan View Post
    I've talked about this before, but to catch people up, here's some background on where we are with high level balance.

    I'm moving small pieces of the balance equation around to try to make the game work better, like tweaking Power curves to help reinforce ability roles. Ultimately, though, the elephant in the room is that players can have way, WAY too many offensive treasure mods at once. Until I fix that problem, these other fixes will seem weird, because they aren't fixing the core problem.

    The core problem from a player's POV can be summed up as "I don't need to defend myself if I can finish combat in 4.1 seconds". This playstyle means you are more than willing to drop defense in order to hit the magic DPS level where everything is trivial. And if something is higher, you just die.



    (And, of course, rebalancing players means rebalancing monsters. Monster rebalancing is much, much easier than player rebalancing, though -- since monsters don't use mods! Monster balance can be changed around as much as needed to fit where player DPS ultimately ends up.)
    As someone who isn't an end game player, I feel this also affects the solo style more casual player. Other design elements force this high DPS playstle on to all players and they are spawn density and respawn rate.

    As an example with the current halloween event, many players are outside their normal builds with spider, bat and necro mixes and one of the quest trains wants ghouls followed by Maligno which can be achieved sequentially in the yeti/ice caves. This dungeon is described as a lvl 40ish solo style dungeon on the daily quest giver text. My assumption is these players will have very quickly put together gear sets mainly from loot drops or use of lower level reward keys but more than likely a set with 3 to 4 mods per piece as desired above, I know I did. They will struggle to actually make to the dungeon entrance when its not the current daily purely because of spawn density and mobs respawning on their arse if they don't or can't kill fast enough. If you wish to extend the duration of fights, then the entire mob sequence timing has to increase, as in mob spawns > player completes the fight > player loots and harvests the mob > moves to the next mob and hopefully gets to repeat before the previous mob respawns right behind them.

    Very few areas in this game allow for a player at minimum gear level for a location to take a slow and steady approach to progression through an area of mobs, so the entire game from Serbule Hills onwards is forcing players into a fast kill > loot > move on mentality.

    So as stated by some of the other posters, increase the difficulty of the mobs but decrease the number actually hitting the player at once will go along way to improving build flexibility which is one of the greatest if not the greatest attraction this game has. I love it that this game truly has no meta build but reducing choices of mods will start to force it.

    In short when planning the mobs and mob placement with aggro radius etc. give quality over quantity.

  5. #25
    Junior Member Architecht's Avatar
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    Howdy all;

    This is actually going to be my first forum post, even though I've been a chronic and unregistered forum-lurker for some time. I joined back in Alpha, lost my account, and recently came back with a fresh account for Beta.

    After following this thread for a bit, and reading about the different thoughts on gearing and balancing gear mods, I was curious if there might be room to borrow a system from a game which had / has a similar issue. They have a solution in the pipeline for their problem, and I think it might work here as well.

    The similar game is Path of Exile. For those not familiar, gear in Path of Exile has random attributes and mods, but also has an inherit trait called 'gem sockets'. Those sockets are where you get your abilities from, as you can place gems into them that grant abilities. This system is great, in that you can custom build skills and effects throughout the game, giving you massive freedom in how you play.

    The downside is that this system punishes you for wanting to upgrade your base armor. Did you just get a new item, with way better implicit attributes? Hopefully it has the same number of sockets as your current item, or you might be looking at a downgrade as you have to choose between the gem sockets and the item's implicit traits and mods.

    I feel like it's a similar issue with the current gearing system in Project Gorgon. Mods feel very random, and I'm often tempted into hanging onto older, better rolled gear rather than sacrifice it to gain gear which has better implicit traits (such as armor, combat refresh mods, etc.) while leveling.

    A partial solution for Path of Exile was that they decoupled those gem sockets from gear, in their planned V2 update. Instead, the gems are incorporated into a set number of slots that exist solely separate from gear, but still related to the item slot. If you change your helmet, the number of sockets your helmet has doesn't change -- neither do the mods that you chose or placed within it. They simply migrate to the new piece of gear, and leave the old piece of gear. It preserves the uniqueness of both systems, but removes the friction between them.

    Perhaps a similar system might benefit Project Gorgon? Gear rarity might still determine how many random modifiers an item can have, but you can also craft or collect mods which will always apply to gear in a slot: regardless of what you place into it. That could help provide some ways in which to preserve the uniqueness of random mods, but also help allow players to have a little more control over their gear and build.

  6.   This is the last staff post in this thread.   #26
    Administrator Citan's Avatar
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    Thanks for everyone's ideas! I am taking some notes and I hope people feel free to continue to talk about this topic. It's a very valuable discussion here.

    I think my next step will be to do another round of "make combat last longer" changes. This includes both group and solo combat. I've been extremely cautious about doing this in the past, because it will most heavily impact players with weak gear sets. (If you have tremendous burst DPS, you'd still probably be able to burst-kill solo creatures even if they had twice as much health/armor as they do now.) In the short term, that's awkward, because it reinforces the "rich get richer" problem with DPS. But I think I need to make those broader combat-duration changes first, before I start hacking on mods and skill systems.

    My plan will be to make players generally more tanky, and to offer new mechanisms to increase survivability. I have a handful of ideas, from mods to new game mechanics... and I'll probably throw everything at the wall and see what sticks. We'll iterate quickly and do weekly updates to try to massage everything.

    After that, we can come back to the "too many DPS mods" problem with a different vantage point.

  7. #27
    Senior Member Mikhaila's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Citan View Post

    My plan will be to make players generally more tanky, and to offer new mechanisms to increase survivability. I have a handful of ideas, from mods to new game mechanics... and I'll probably throw everything at the wall and see what sticks. We'll iterate quickly and do weekly updates to try to massage everything.

    After that, we can come back to the "too many DPS mods" problem with a different vantage point.
    Make it an event! Announce the patch and give out the patch notes with lots of combat changes. Give a large bonus to experience and encourage people to go kill things for a week. Ask for specific feedback from people, giving us details on what to test. What type of armor sets, what skills, what mobs, etc. Then change things back, digest the feedback, and hit us with more changes and a similar event.

  8. #28
    Senior Member Niph's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Citan View Post
    My plan will be to make players generally more tanky
    On the subject of tanky builds, I would like to add that I used to have one, based on high Armor and heavy Armor regeneration, so heavy that I could sustain healing throughout long fights. With it, when level was capped to 70, I was able to solo all elites and bosses before GK, including manticores, Claudia, Pask and other hard hitters. It was clearly overpowered of course (I guess you're not supposed to solo them with only 10 levels difference).

    Since then, several changes in the game made this build completely ineffective: mobs can crit, regenerate, heal on rage attacks, and I'm probably forgetting other changes.

    One possible avenue to make players more tanky could be to increase the max Armor and Armor regen provided by gear and abilities. In fact, if you want to increase the duration of fights, it's probably mandatory.

  9. #29
    Junior Member Chilton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yaffy View Post
    Thanks Yaffy for taking the time to read through my wall of text, and taking the time to respond. I would like to address your comments. I am using sword skill as an illustrative example because I have the most experience in it, but I appreciate that the mod distribution and usefulness can vary between skills.

    Warning, another wall of text coming

    1. Reducing the number of mods on equipment to 3 is something me and other players say we don't want, because it would lower the amount of customization we would have with our gear. Less slots means less build freedom.

    I agree that reducing the number of mods available per piece of equipment to 3 will reduce the amount of customisation, but I think that will promote build diversity, rather than inhibit it.

    As things currently stand, for a single skill (using sword as illustrative example) you can pick between 27 mods (3 mods x 9 pieces of equipment) to 36 mods (4 mods x 9 pieces of equipment). Looking through the list of sword skills (http://wiki.projectgorgon.com/wiki/S...cts:By_Ability) there is a total of 96 mods in the game for sword. I feel it is relatively easy to work out which are the top 27 or top 36 mods to pick. A large number of mods are underpowered compared to others or they are for skill that are extremely situational.

    If we are however, forced to pick only 18 mods, I will genuinely struggle to pick between them when planning my build. I can choose to heavily stack one particular skill (say pick every single mod that affects precision pierce, plus one other skill) or I can try to pick a spread of mods, making sure that each of the 6 combat abilities I use in battle is supported by a few mods). There are mods that buff all abilities (like the +40% base damage and +70 sword damage mods) that will be picked no matter what, but beyond those four mods, I think different players will pick different mods according to their own philosophy and ability picks. I think this will in fact contribute to build freedom rather than constrict it.

    2. By making higher rarity gear have stronger mods, you're defeating the purpose of limiting mods to three. There will still be a power difference between people with fully maxed out gear vs those with sub-optimal gear. That said, the way you're suggesting it scales numerically would shrink the power difference heavily, but mostly by buffing people in white, green or blue gear.

    You are completely right that under my proposes system there will still be a power difference between players wearing all red armour versus all max enchanted gold armour, and I think there has to be a power differential for there for there to be an incentive to upgrade your gear. The intention is not to eliminate the power difference, but the intention is, pure and simple, to limit the number of mods to three as the underlying premise of the proposal.

    As things stand currently, there is a rapid increase in power of players as they increase the tier of the equipment at the lower end of the spectrum, that reach a situation of diminishing return. Going from wearing all white armour to all all green armour results in a HUGE increase in your combat effectiveness (not that it will help, you will still get your arse handed to you by trash mob if you run around in all green armour), and going from all green green armour to all blue armour likewise increase your effectiveness greatly. Going from all gold armour to all max enchanted gold armour however, you do still get stronger, but the incremental increase is not as significant as it was when you were at lower tiers. I guestimate the amount increase to be about 10% going from all purple to all gold armour, and that is where I derived the 10% incremental increase from in my proposal.

    The fact that I am increasing the effectiveness of players wearing all green and blue armour is not intentional, but I say given the current drop rate in game, I doubt there will be many players running around in all green and blue equipment.

    3. I dislike the idea of EVERY piece of gear having 3 mods, because it will make "Normal" items bloated. As an example this means that within the first 3-5 minutes of starting up the game, new players will have to wrap their head around dozens of mods because every white item they pick up has three random modifiers. Not only that, but the bonus from higher rarity items will be confusing. We still have players asking about which item rarities are better despite higher rarity items having different mod counts.

    I must admit this is a very strong argument against my proposal. It has been a while since I started playing but I do remember how difficult it was to wrap my head around the all the modifiers and working out which ones are good and which ones are bad. Introducing new players to this topic too early is not desirable when they are struggling to learn the other systems of the game.

    One alternative I toyed with as I was drafting my proposal is to combine the current item tier system with my proposed system, so that:
    1) white items have no mods
    2) green items have one mod
    3) blue items have two mods
    4) red items have three mods
    5) purple items have three mods but the mods are 10% stronger than red items
    6) gold items have three mods but the mods are 20% stronger than red items
    7) gold enchanted gold items have three mods but the mods are 30% stronger than red items
    This would be a little unnatural but I guess is viable....

    4. Now I don't know if I'm missing something, but are level 10 players going to have the same potential mod strength as level 80 players? That's going to throw balancing damage completely out of whack because you'll have level 10 players with mods that add hundreds of flat damage. You would have to do an absolutely major mod rework and damage scaling rework for the entire game to account for this.

    I absolutely overlooked the fact that many mods do have flat increases to damage, and they will have to be a major rework of all the mods to account for this. I personally am an advocate of a completely percentage based mod system, so that all mods increase the effectiveness of skills by a percentage of base (say 20% more damage, or mitigate 10% of elemental damage, or restore 35% of max energy).

    Quote Originally Posted by ErDrick View Post
    ErDrick's previous post have spoken about the problem of a flat value mitigation system and how it makes it difficult to balance unarmed against other tanking skills, I would take it a step further and say that all flat value systems make it more difficult to balance combat from a developer point of view, and also for players to judge whether one particular mod is more effective than another (easier to tell that +25% damage is better than +20% damage, but harder to tell if +20% damage is stronger than +100 damage, especially given how damage formulate is calculated in game).

    Assuming there is a corresponding rework of the mods to a percentage based system, I don't think there is any problems with a level 10 gold item adding the same percentage increase damage as a level 80 gold item. A level 10 player with say +44% finishing blow damage will go from 42 to 60 damage, while a level 80 player with +44% finishing blow damage will go from 514 to 740 damage.

    5. The numbers you're suggesting for armor scaling are basically what they are right now. A level 10 player having about 100 armor and a level 80 player having around 800 armor sounds completely normal, unless if you're suggesting that cloth armor should have about 800 armor like metal does. The current way that player armor scales will not be very strong encouragement to replace player's lower level gear, as several full DPS sets at end game already get by with 400-500 armor, which would be level 40-50 in your example. Not only that, but if the amount of armor scaling is about the same, then your suggestion boils down to nerfing players by 3 mod slots for the most part, while Citan wants to encourage people to sacrafice damage for survivability.

    I think the armour values probably need to be scaled up further to encourage people to upgrade their armour, and combat will have to be rebalanced to account for that. I must admit it didn't click in my mind that the armour value of some sets are so low (fairy armour I presume you allude to), I use metal and leather armour mostly and my observation has been that there is only a minimal difference between armour values.

    6. Making every kind of armor from the same armor class give a bonus like the ones you're suggesting forces people into certain roles which I heavily dislike. For example, it's very likely you'll pick up at least 3 metal pieces of armor in goblin dungeon when leveling, but with your system that would give people +50% extra taunt which would basically force them to always take aggro from there. It's highly likely someone will be forced to accept one of your armor set bonuses even when they don't want to, since negative taunt or positive taunt can be undesirable. It's not a good idea to assume that everyone wearing 3 metal armor pieces wants to be a tank. In fact, as a tank player I would say the evasion bonus from leather sounds way more appealing than the taunt bonus.

    Buried in my wall of text is the assertion that this system can only work if there are valid options for metal/leather/organic/cloth armour at different levels (is it possible to simply add the craftable armour pieces to the loot table?). The way I pictured it is that players will hold onto different armour pieces of different material so that they can change roles on the fly. If say you are wearing leather helmet and boots, plus metal chest piece and pants, you can change your role by changing your boots. Put on metal boots and you can hold aggro reliably, and put on some leather boots and you now have good evasion. One other intended effect of my proposal is that metal is not necessarily the "best" tanking gear, you might want to pick organic armour for additional hp, or leather armour for evasion as you stated. But you probably will not want to tank in cloth armour unless your damage output is so high, you negate the negative taunt from cloth armour.

    I do see that one unintended side effect is that people who are forced to wear three metal pieces (lets say they have been unlucky with drops) will be forced into taking a lot of aggro, but hopefully if it is relatively easy to find a non metal piece, they can swap out one of their metal pieces to avoid this set bonus

    7. For tanks, getting extra armor/health is not that important, at least outside of the early game. You suggested that tanks would want to use higher level gear as soon as possible for the armor/health for better survivability, but that is not the case even now, despite higher level gear typically giving more armor. Even right now several BiS tank equips are not level 80, and several of them aren't even metal armor, because sacrificing hundreds of points of armor is worth the resistances they give. In fact, a big reason why tanks can get away with lower level equipment is not because they don't care about getting good mods, it's because there's so few good mods for tanking that the level penalty to your equipment doesn't matter as much. For example, on Unarmed/Shield there is ONE mod on the chest that is worth getting for tanking (Physical resistance from unarmed) while everything else just gives damage, very minor bonuses, or don't really scale that much (Ex. Generic poison resist/accuracy). That one mod is really good and you want it to be level 80, so you augment it to 80, and the level of the other mods isn't very relevant since they don't contribute to your survivability nearly as much. Your suggestion wouldn't change this because even if the chest was limited to three slots, you still would only care about having that one mod while the other ones are just damage bonuses.

    I think the question is about the distribution of available mods on different equipment pieces and the general lack of effective tanking/defensive mods. I can't say I have a lot of unarmed experience (I have it at level 70 but haven't used it since it was reworked months ago) but I presume you mean this mod: "While unarmed is active, 18% of all Slashing, Piercing, and Crushing damage you take is mitigated and added....". I deliberately didn't comment on the lack of effective tanking mods because others have already discussed it in great detail, but I feel the amount that are already present in game, if reworked (possibly into percentage based mods) will be enough to make tanking viable and fun, if the combat is tuned so that a tank is actually needed.

    I actually have my own thoughts about the the philosophy of tanking but I won't share that now as it is outside the scope of the current proposal. I will write it up and post a reply on your other post Yaffy.

    Lastly I'm hurt that you haven't commented on my idea on consuming beads/baubles/ornaments/contraptions to upgrade the level of items.... I personally would put all my other ideas down as "too hard, not worth the effort" but I would love to have the ability to upgrade a lower item level to level 80, with matching stats.

  10. #30
    Junior Member Chilton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikhaila View Post
    Make it an event! Announce the patch and give out the patch notes with lots of combat changes. Give a large bonus to experience and encourage people to go kill things for a week. Ask for specific feedback from people, giving us details on what to test. What type of armor sets, what skills, what mobs, etc. Then change things back, digest the feedback, and hit us with more changes and a similar event.
    I second this idea, making it an event with a view to rolling back the changes is a great way to test things in game



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