Roy's cooking in there! Lots of exciting PvP changes. Meanwhile on the PvE side, we're in high gear getting Expansion 5 ready. Lots of work involved there so we don't have much for actual player-facing changes in this patch.
The winter event has come to an end, Santa Orc leaves battered and bruised (seems worse this year...)
- Various content no longer drops Duckmas 2023 Open Letters
- Mei's event shop will remain open for another patch, so if you have any unspent letters, spend them before next patch!
- IDNVC Director's Cut will remain with some adjustments (see below)
- Myla Laurel has returned to its autumnal appearance
Giving a little bit of insight on what's coming next as we're getting EXP5 ready - there's a lot cooking back there!
Please keep in mind these are all works in progress and subject to change
Completely reworked early game
Project Duck kinda (really) assumes that you know the fundamentals of Dragon Nest before you start playing. This makes it very difficult for players who either have never played DN before or haven't played in a very long time to get started. Even with our comprehensive guides, players still get lost or play very poorly. We're replacing our throw-you-into-the-fire (RDN, fire, get it?) early game with a curated progression that involves a much more gentle onramp into Project Duck's difficulty.
This includes teaching game basics, tutorial quests, boss challenge checkpoints, and more, so that by the time a player has reached EXP4-level content, they're confidently prepared to tackle raids and other more difficult content.
tl;dr defensive stats (DEF/MDEF, HP) will matter again and different classes will have varying levels of innate tankiness based on their survivability tools (e.g. an assassin really shouldn't be able to tank the same hits a cleric can).
This also means introducing means to incorporate additional defensive stat options into gear.
Healer Archetype Rework
Healers have been in a very awkward spot for a while - they provide so much healing (even after our repeated nerfs) that damage doesn't "stick" to players after they've suffered a mishap, and so we were gradually forced into making bosses hit harder and harder to compensate to the point where the game feels a little berserk-like, where you either shrug off the boss's damage or outright die. Not only is healing out of control, the healer classes themselves gameplay-wise are very 1-dimensional and healing involves nothing besides a pulse check.
We're exploring where and how we want healer gameplay to be so that the role is engaging, impactful, but not overpowered.
Aggro (and Partially Tank, Again) Rework
Seems like we're always making adjustments to tanks but they have several angles that need addressed, which we've been picking away at ever since the initial tank rework and then tank remaster. We're pretty happy with the gameplay of each tank (barring some more tweaks), but the tank's role within a party is a lot more muddy.
We're looking to make the impact of a tank properly aggro-managing and positioning more apparent with a twoprong approach - updating (and fixing) the monster aggro system so that bosses act more "wild" when not controlled by a tank or skilled party, and giving tanks better aggro management tools that isn't a pulse check (spamming Provoke). In the future, with new raids, we may also introduce mechanics that you very much want (but don't necessarily require) a tank to handle.
We know we know, there hasn't been much here for a while besides some dynamic balance for the big outliers (which only revealed more outliers). Frankly speaking, after reviewing data, the vast majority of classes are very close in damage after accounting for differences in FD. There are a small handful (4-5) classes that are clearly strong and a similarly small handful of classes that are clearly underperforming.
Notably, people tend to be misled by the DPS meter end-of-stage results in DDNTA. The end-of-stage results includes certain gates that have high skew (Gate 1, Dragon Phase 1) and also counts attempts that resulted in a reset to checkpoint (rerunning golem and dragon over and over will definitely result in classes like LK looking disproportionally strong). Other content such as BDNTA or RuDNHC are so overgeared that they heavily skew towards burst classes or come down to pure luck.
We have a class balancing framework made which takes into account various factors of a class (survivability, mobility, utility, commitment, risk, difficulty curve, etc) to place classes into general "buckets" that define their damage output. Unfortunately, since one of the major factors is defensiveness, we can't put this into action until we do our defense rework (see above). Once we do, we'll be able to move classes into their respective bucket. We're aiming for these buckets to be distinctive enough to where a pure hardon risky DPS is not going to be threatened by a same-geared off-support, but also not so wide as to be depressing for said off-support.
This should also alleviate the feeling of "why easy stupid class get big monkey number but me sweating my ass off/me big braining don't" to an extent.
Project Duck has a lot of content available but they often aren't really runnable - think old nests and raids that are no longer relevant and you have no reason to run besides for nostalgia. We're looking to bring those back for some challenges and meaningful rewards. This also means competitive leaderboards!
Expansion 5 Stuff
Expansion 5 brings in whole new sets of equipment, weapons, accessories, crests, gems, and more, along with new content to run. We won't be spoiling too much here but we're bringing back building your character and having to make consious decisions about what you equip to be the most effective you can be.
Expansion 4 Squish
New early game and EXP5 means we'll be compressing Expansion 4's progression considerably so players can smoothly transition from starting the game, to mastering their skills, to progging in EXP5.
Time Attack Nests
Due to the big systemic changes to content and progression, the time attack nests are in an awkward spot where they're required to run (for the sinster gems) but are considered "old content" where you just blow them up with EXP5 gear. We're looking to move these nests and the sinister gems to be a side progression you use to get stronger at all stages of gearing.
Testers will be able to test a brand new networking stack this patch. The original networking stack of the game is fraught with lots of... poorly written code and bad decisions. This is evident by the choice of protocols (plural!) in use, how packets are queued and processed, how it recovers (or fails to) from network interruptions, and how efficiently the servers handle all the clients talking to them. We're trying a new networking stack based on the networking library made by Valve (used by their first-party games and many games on Steam) which so far has shown great promise on improving the reliability and responsiveness of the game. We hope to roll this out as an option to everyone in the near future (and once any lingering issues are sorted out, we will switch fully)
For players that cannot use the Vulkan renderer, we are working on a migration to a newer version of DirectX 9 (the game uses the version from October 2006 - 18 years ago!) that does not have the "Failed to reset device" issue when changing resolutions or tabbing.
Beyond that, there's a lot of fundamental under-the-hood work involved in getting the game ready for a proper DirectX 12 upgrade.
You may also start seeing various quality and performance improvements here or there.
Weekly DNP Missions
The IDNVC 8-man weekly DNP mission has been changed to IDNVCDX
Ice Dragon Nest Vahrcore 8-man
No longer grants social credit for clearing
Ice Dragon Nest Vahrcore Director's Cut
Now grants social credit for clearing and also grants the same item drops as IDNVC8
- Added the Sinister Repair Kit to Kaye's Material Exchange that requires 200 Desert Medallions and the achievement for clearing DDNTA on Hard mode to purchase
- Sinister Repair Kit - Instantly enhances a Sinister Dragon Gem to +10 from +0 (only works on unenhanced gems)
[PvE] Tank Bubble Adjustment
Lumping these together since it really isn't specific to a tank
tl;dr making bubble no longer a 100% uptime buff which forced us to make every boss try to oneshot you. Now you'll want to use it more intelligently as an insurance policy on certain mechanics or to save an ally in distress rather than a mindless maintenance buff.
This is also a pre-requisite to the overall defense/survivability system rework coming in EXP5
For all tank bubbles (Empowering Howl, Divine Barrier, and Overclock):
- Cooldown increased from 30s --> 60s
- Duration decreased from 35s --> 15s
- Range increased from 7m --> 12m
- Self-heal over time increased from 1% per second --> 2% per second
Additionally, [Divine Barrier] and [Empowering Howl] had special side effects, which are now removed:
- [Divine Barrier] no longer applies a unique 5% damage taken debuff to enemies hit
- [Empowering Howl] no longer grants allies +500 Super Armor
Content that runs tanks has been adjusted accordingly to compensate
[PvP] Class Balancing
<Enter a quick summary about the general changes or direction that most classes are moving towards here>
Some of the "utility skills" on transform classes could be left at level 1 since they weren't used for damage and didn't have a damage increase anyways. So many of them are now required to have SP invested in them for better utility (just like how dmg skills have SP invested for more dmg). If the SP is not invested, then this patch applies a utility nerf. If the SP is invested, then this patch applies a small damage nerf since some SP has to be sacrificed.
Other than that, Elementalist was buffed... Vandar was overtuned and got nerfed. Trickster got something new on Unchained Bolt EX.
Devastating Howl (Subjugate) and Arctic Squish added to BL.
Iron Skin: Internal state effect (type of SA buff) changed to what's considered "infinite SA". SA of skill cast increased 200 > 10000
Dark Avenger: CD increased by 10s at level 1. Max level now has the original CD. Max duration of transform set to 15s at level 1 and 18s at max level. For DA, this is based off of 20 bubbles and never in DA mode though. This means that bubbles will be consumed a bit faster (even past 20 bubbles).
Dark Avenger EX A: Duration of critical buff decreased 40s > 19s.
Piercing Shot: max travel distance increased.
Charged Shot EX: max travel distance increased.
Air Raid: SAb decreased 600 > 400. CD increased 8s > 12s
Trapper: Fire Trap SAb increased 100 > 200. Flash Trap now applies a silence debuff for 1 second. Ice Trap max freeze duration decreased 3 to 2 seconds.
Class Mastery 1: 10% INT decreased to 1% INT.
Silver Hunter: CD increased by 10s at level 1. Max level now has the original CD. Max duration of transform set to 15s at level 1 and 18s at max level
Elemental Shield: Duration increased 12s > 20s.
Ignite: Action Speed increased by 20%.
Shatter: Action Speed increased by 20%.
Fireball EX: Stage2 Fireball now shoots Stage3 fireball from non-ex version. Added a 4th small fireball to Stage2 right click.
Ice Cold Field EX: SA increased 200 > 400
Arcane Overdrive: MP consumption increased from 1.6x to 3.2x
Black Mara: CD increased by 10s at level 1. Max level now has the original CD. Max duration of transform set to 15s at level 1 and 18s at max level. The bubble consumption rate is increased slightly to force this.
Inhale: CD increased by 10s at level 1. Max level now has the original CD.
Exhale: CD increased by 10s at level 1. Max level now has the original CD.
Class Mastery 1: 5% INT decreased to 1% INT.
Divine Vengeance: Now useable again off of blocks.
Arch Heretic: CD increased by 10s at level 1. Max level now has the original CD. Max duration of transform set to 18s at all levels.
Bombs-a-daisy: removed 0.3s projectile duration and increased maximum range allowed by 10x to have it not fizzle out when used in the air or in a forward-like direction.
Toxic Twirl EX: removed 0.3s projectile duration to have it not fizzle out when used in the air or in a forward-like direction.
Ray Mechanic: CD increased by 10s at level 1. Max level now has the original CD. Max duration of transform set to 30s at level 1 and 36s at max level.
Counter Spada: CD increased by 10s at level 1. Max level now has the original CD.
Chain Rush: CD increased by 5s at level 1. Max level now has the original CD.
Position Shift: CD increased by 5s at level 1. Max level now has the original CD.
Dev Note: Oracle Elder doesn't have a levelable transform for me to increase, so, these were made to require more SP instead.
Oracle Elder: Max duration of transform set to 18s.
Coil: Last hit's SAb increased from 200 to 400.
Flash Storm: SA increased from 400 to 1200.
Dev Note: More Arashi changes to come in the future!!
Coil EX: Last hit's SAb increased from 200 to 400.
Painkiller: Heal effect reduced by 0.5% for each level.
Shadow Step: CD increased by 5s at level 1. Max level now has the original CD.
Blood Phantom Transformation: CD increased by 10s at level 1. Max level now has the original CD. Max duration of transform set to 15s at level 1 and 18s at max level.
Flowdown: CD, Heal, and Cures are dependent on level now. MP consumption increased to 15k.
Vena Plaga: CD increased by 10s at level 1. Max level now has the original CD. Max duration of transform set to 15s at level 1 and 18s at max level.
Skipping EX: iframe removed. Last 2 skips SAb increased (30x2) x2 > (50x2) x2 and 10% damage given to those hits.
Crossfire: Damage Nerfed by 30%. Lv6+ Extra hit SAb reduced 400 to 300.
Low Slicer: Damage nerfed by 30%.
Double Slash: hit height increased by 40%.
Guillotine Blade: SAb nerfed 200x3 to 100x3
Arrow Sword: SAb nerfed 200+600 > 200+400
Ripple Effect: +2 hits added to be similar to EX. Damage unchanged.
Interlude: Duration decreased 5 sec > 3 sec
Falling Arms: W-cast iframe removed.
Arrow Sword EX: SAb nerfed 200+50x2+600 > 200+50x2+400
Sword Storm: CD decreased 40s > 27s
Awakened Shoot the Moon: given better aerial cast animation
Outlink EX: Melee hit given more FX and SAb nerfed 400 > 300.
Unchained Bolt EX: Given up to 3 right click melee attacks. 400 SA, 300x2 + 400 SAb.
PvP Mode and Map (re)organization!!
The more commonly PvP modes have been moved to the top of the list (Combo Practice, Rounds, etc.) and the less common ones (King of Ghouls, Unlimited Battlefield, etc.) are now at the bottom.
The more commonly used PvP maps have been moved to the top of the map selection list (Lost Temple at the top...)
All (Group) PvP Maps are now selectable in almost ALL room sizes!!
This means you can now choose all the group maps in room sizes of 8, 10, 12, 14, AND 16.
The smaller maps still retain their selections of room sizes of 2, 4, and 6 though!
New PvP Modes!!
Rounds with DASH ENABLED!?! (Remember when all classes could use Dash in PVP and everyone hated it? Yeah, that's a selectable mode now! Now no one will be able to catch those Physician playing queens....)
Rounds with 200% HP AND DASH ENABLED!?! (But wait, there's more!!! Want to have 200% HP AND the ability to run away? Then this mode is FOR YOU!)
Dev Note: Enabling Dash is a lot easier to do than allowing Active Awakes in its own mode so, I figured I'd throw this out in the meant time to have until I can finish up that mode. (I've hardly worked on it, help).
Rounds (BL): This is now seperated as its own mode and allows the removal of the Lost Temple/Training Ground BL maps from all the other choices and helps open up the ability for more maps in this mode. When selecting this mode, you'll only see those BL maps now.
Also! If you hover your mouse over this mode or select Details in the room, you'll now see all the skills that are currently on the list!
(Scroll down while you're in the room to see the rest of the list)
New PvP Map!! (Kinda!)
Palace of the Dead is now selectable for the typical Rounds, Respawn, etc. modes! (This is that one fancy Ghouls map...)
Speaking of Ghouls maps...
Dash disabled in Ghouls Mode Maybe?
I didn't test this all the way (Warriors might get away with it? If so.. I can fex later...) but, some classes cough Vandar cough were able to Dash there...
Rumble Mode now properly allows for Dash!!
This was always supposed to be a thing... The maps are so big... And I want more events here...?...
Added several new items and recolors
- The Create Character side panel is now bottom-aligned with an offset, so if your game is too short (due to resolution and UI scale settings) you can still always see/press the Create button (you might just have the video cut off)
- You can now adjust system settings (graphics, audio) while on the login screen
- Added several helpful informational tip texts to loading screens
- Character quickswap remembers your selected sort order
- Added a shop description to Kaye's Dragon Exchange shop's Material tab to explain how it works
- Fixed various special skill crests in PVP having a CD of 180s instead of the intended CD (they're all still sharing a CD though).
- Fixed a couple special skill crests not having a shared CD for PVP.
- Fixed Firewall EX not applying 400 SAb in PVP on the initial hit from the combo attack.
- Fixed Air Raid having less SA than intended in PVP.
- Fixed Stomp Awakening giving more damage than the Non-Awakened version in PVP.
- Fixed Rolling Attack Awakening giving more damage than the Non-Awakened version in PVP.
- Fixed Coup de Grace EX not applying the bonus damage on lower HP enemies in PVP.
- Fixed Injection EX's hitbox being too far forward and having 400 SA instead of 600 SA in PVP.
- Fixed Magma Monument EX having a damage increase from bubbles and then consuming them in PVP.
- Fixed Dark Line and Dark Line EX having a bigger hitbox for certain weapons in PVP.
- Fixed Blading Edge not being completed camera locked in PVP.
- Fixed Toxic Twirl EX failing to Tumble if Tumbling in the opposite direction the Physician moved during Toxic Twirl EX.
- Fixed HP shields in PvP using the target's current HP instead of their max HP
- Rejected projectiles should no longer retry in PvP (which causes them to show up up to 3x, all of which ghost)
- Fixed Crusader [Struck by Lightning] spacebar input not showing its cooldown when used to cancel certain skills
- Fixed Valkyrie [Awakened Double Somersault] getting mobs that can be juggled stuck in midair
- Projectiles that attach to targets (e.g. mark mechs) will now attempt to refresh their attached target periodically (should help with marks getting dropped on the floor and not attached to the target)
- Fixed Heroic Fierce Astral crest missing the heroic prefix and critdmg%
- Fixed Equalized BTG not applying skill crests (again)
- [Noble Green Wings] are now server storagable
- Fixed Fallen Fragment Costume package being only purchasable by Blood Phantoms (changed to all assassins; the individual costume pieces are already usable by all assassins)
- Ricardo hair is now server storagable
v844 QoL Improvements
Calling these out again just in case since they were hotfixed in partway through the patch
- Character face and hairstyles are now reusable (they do not go away when you use them)
- The game says who broke red DPS bars