The update brought many changes to all aspects of the game, so this diary will suggest a few ways to play and help you gain insight into the new mechanics. We hope the advice below helps you discover an enjoyable playing style, but it is far from being the only right way to develop your character.
Let’s start with the basics. You may have already noticed that the damage of almost all АоЕ abilities has been reduced. This was done primarily because of their extreme effectiveness in comparison with single-target powers and skills. They are still useful for destroying multiple targets, but you are better off using single-target abilities in battle with individual enemies now.
Consider secondary resources. We felt it was wrong to let mana-dependent classes spend it liberally while everybody else had to carefully manage their performance. Now mana-dependent classes will also have to consider how and when to spend it or increase their spirit and consume powders of magic energy. You may also opt to use a weapon with a different speed. Slower weapons will give you more bang for every resource point you spend while faster weapons will let you destroy your enemies quicker.
Let us review class changes and discuss key abilities of every one.
This class has undergone the least amount of changes. The introduction of weapon speed mechanic into the game allows you to choose between faster rage generation with one-handed weapons or more powerful blows with two-handed instruments of destruction.
[\*]Whirlwind - just like before, this ability is an excellent way to deal massive area damage, but it’s best to use single-target skills like “Bull rush” or “Titan’s step” if you are fighting a single enemy.
[\*]Prevail - whenever the situation gets out of control, reducing the incoming damage is a good idea.
[\*]Battle trance - if you enjoy taking risks or have bitten off more than you can chew, battle trance still gives you a chance to survive. Additionally, it will allow you to get the most out of the “Battle fury” passive skill.
[\*]Furious strike - this skill is still useful for generating rage whenever it becomes necessary.[/list]
The barbarian gameplay hasn’t changed much overall, but you should still experiment with various enchantments and bonuses to strength and agility to achieve maximum efficiency.
This class still boasts colossal survivability but requires teamwork to shine in dungeons and battlegrounds now. The paladin’s greatest weakness is his low damage output, but he has numerous ways to bolster himself and his allies that more than just make up for it. Additionally, shields now generate additional monster hate and reduce the chance to be critically hit by 5%.
[\*]Righteous strike - best way to generate fanaticism. You should use righteous strike every chance you get to acquire as much fanaticism as possible before spending it on other abilities.
[\*]Divine revelation - significantly increases the amount of damage dealt to enemy groups and makes righteous strikes noticeably more effective.
[\*]Divine shield – boosts paladin’s resilience and is an excellent way to deal extra damage to several enemies at once.
[\*]Justice - another way to boost area effect damage and heal your allies at the same time.
[\*]Blessing - one more way to do damage over a large area and blind enemies, thus contributing to the survivability of the paladin’s party.
[\*]Sanctuary - this ability has been weakened. Its use requires additional attention now because both its cooldown and effectiveness have been changed. This happened because we also introduced maximum character damage absorption limit into the game.
[\*]Shield bash - still an excellent control skill that deals massive damage to the enemy.
[\*]Nemesis/Fanaticism - these auras have become less powerful, but their base radius and additional radius from talents have been increased. Both skills affect allies at greater range now.[/list]
Hybrid enchantments that heal friendly players whenever they become targeted with an ability or ones that damage enemies whenever they suffer from offensive skills will paladin even more resilient and while purple gems will boost his already massive survivability. Alternatively, you may use damage enchantments to compensate for paladin’s comparatively low damage. Paladin tanks will benefit from the «Contempt» enchantment.
Just like before, this class’s strength lies in its numerous passive and active abilities. However, the global weakening of AoE abilities makes the warrior shine as a powerful single target damage dealer.
[\*]Cleave - as always, cleave generates rage and deals damage in a small area.
[\*]Taunt - significantly reduces the target’s physical and magic defense. In boss fights this skill will allow the warrior to perform the tanking role.
[\*]Lion’s roar - another important tanking ability that weakens the monsters and draws their attention to the warrior. Improving its duration and reducing cooldown makes it an important tool in the tanking warrior’s arsenal.
[\*]Mutilating blows - the increased importance of primary stats has made this passive skill significantly more useful.
[\*]Rage - this skill is an excellent way to increase your damage as long as you are not the enemy’s primary target.
[\*]Fighting spirit - increases the survivability of the warrior and the members of his party. Long cooldown of this ability requires precise and strategic timing.
[\*]Crushing strike - good single-target ability that plays to the warrior’s greatest strength. It reduces the enemy’s defense, making the fight much easier.
[\*]Guillotine - good old «Guillotine» deals impressive damage to badly wounded targets. It does not discern between dungeon bosses and player characters.
[\*]Piercing strike - if you equip a heavy weapon, this skill will quickly burn through the enemy’s health. You should keep it up at the primary target at all times.[/list]
Overall, the warrior has not changed much. The control abilities like «Slowing strike», «Disarming strike», «Dash» and «Whirlwind» are still there and leave players with a whole arsenal of useful skills.
The introduction of fast and slow bows allows rangers to choose between rapid attacks that increase the chance of proccing enchantments or powerful traps and heavy bleeding from the jagged arrow skill.
[\*]Jagged arrow - three stacks of jagged arrow on the primary target provide steady and significant damage even when you are fighting multiple foes as long as you manage to keep the debuff from expiring.
[\*]Bounce/Easy step - these skills will cause you to lose sniper stacks but may help you retreat or pursue a fleeing enemy.
[\*]Summon companion - your slightly creepy pet has become much more resilient and deals more damage. Additionally, other players may miss the ranger entirely and hit the companion instead.
[\*]Sniper - this skill will come in handy when you’re fighting monsters or bosses. Just like before, it allows you to attack enemies from great distance and make strong and powerful shots as long as you are using a slow weapon.
[\*]Throat shot - this ability lost its casting time and is now used instantly.[/list]
High critical strike chance and enchantments that deal high one-time damage boost the ranger’s offensive abilities even further. If you do not trust your pet and companions to keep you alive, consider investing in the enchantment of scorn. Freezing, heavy arrow and explosive arrow are still there and can be combined with traps and the now-instant throat shot to control your enemies. Deploying a bomb while wielding a heavy weapon sets your enemy up for an explosive surprise.
The game’s most versatile class has also been changed, but retained its key abilities and now deals slightly more damage to single targets just like everyone else.
[list][\*]Strong strike - fast weapons like sword and daggers will allow you to generate fanaticism faster and experience fanatical rage more often.
[\*]Circular strike - this is an excellent way to generate fanaticism if you are using a slow and heavy weapon.
[\*]Violent spurt - just like before, this skill helps you build fanaticism, moves you towards the target and prepares you to use the comet.
[\*]Comet - the damage from this skill has been slightly reduced, but the stun following a violent spurt remains the same. Great control potential and the monk’s mobility are still very impressive.
[\*]Rage stream - this ability has become more powerful and allows the monk to attack the enemy with strong strikes. The number of charges allows to character to perform several such attacks in rapid succession.
[\*]Power flow - the amount of health recovered by this ability has been significantly reduced, making the monk inferior to the priest when it comes to healing. However, combining this ability with diamond skin still grants this class superior survivability.
[\*]Energy sphere - complements the healing from power flow and further improves monk’s survivability.
[\*]Diamond skin - the cooldown of this ability remained the same. It still serves as the monk’s most reliable “panic button”.
[\*]Spirit refuge - the cooldown of this ability has been increased, but it is still just as useful and helps to confront classes that rely on debuffs.[/list]
Right now monk has the potential to become one of the best АоЕ-classes without sacrificing his versatility. The lack of damage can be compensated with proper enchantments: consider using fire or lightning when fighting heavily armored characters. Enchantments of scorn or adaptability will contribute to your survival.
The daggers are back! Their high speed allows assassins to rely on marks and procs, taking advantage of damaging enchantments and stunning monsters in PvE combat. The class has become easier to learn and harder to master.
[\*]Cobra’s venom/paralyzing venom – paralyzing venom works better with faster weapons while cobra’s venom benefits from slower and stronger attacks.
[\*]Haze - this ability has been split into two. Now «Haze» buffs the assassin’s agility and clears all marks from the target, healing the assassin for each mark removed.
[\*]Corrosion - new ability that removes buffs from target and reduces its physical defense.
[\*]Dragon’s maw – the duration of this ability has been decreased, but it now has 2 charges and therefore allows the assassin to keep the target stunned for a bit longer.[/list]
Overall critical strike chance reduction made assassin more reliant on rapid infliction of one-time damage procs, but high speed of daggers helps to net more crits in the same amount of time. The assassin is a mechanically complex class, so we’ll keep monitoring its performance very carefully after these changes come into effect.
Critical strike chance reduction and AoE changes have affected the sorcerer’s rotation, forcing him to rely on more abilities than before. However, the core gameplay of this class has remained the same.
[\*]Hydra - this ability now charges faster and makes for a nice opener or a coup de grace versus a sleeping target.
[\*]Arcana chorus - the cooldown has been increased and duration has been reduced. It grants more critical strike and gives more mana or necrotic energy than before but no longer affects the cost of other abilities.
[\*]Flaming ground - both cooldown and duration have been reduced.
[\*]Discharge - the damage of this ability has been significantly increased although its slowing effect has been reduced.
[\*]Magic shield - this ability has been made slightly cheaper. Note that equipping a two-handed staff can turn it into a powerful surviving aid.
[\*]Teleport - this skill has also been made cheaper.[/list]
Testing has shown that the sorcerer is still a powerful class, but the changes to fireball and static may call for a change of combat strategy. Increasing spell damage and socketing yellow gems for extra critical chance will make most of the sorcerer’s abilities even more potent.
Critical strike chance reduction and AoE changes have affected the necromancer’s rotation, forcing him to rely on more abilities than before. However, the core gameplay of this class has remained the same.
[\*]Death mark/Plague mark - the damage from this abilities have been removed and spread between decay and decomposition. Decay and decomposition now deal more damage and tick more often.
[\*]Dark armor - the cooldown of this ability has been increased so that it can no longer protect the necromancer at all times.
[\*]Pestilence - the cooldown of this ability has been significantly increased to reduce necromancer’s AoE damage potential.
[\*]Summon zombie - the necromancer’s minion has become more resilient and deals more damage.
[\*]Life drain - using this ability as often as possible will provide you with ample reserves of necrotic energy.
[\*]Vengeful spirit - the range of this ability has been significantly increased, allowing the necromancer to engage enemies from a distance or to pursue retreating enemies.[/list]
The ability to recover necrotic energy in combat gives this class incredible sustainability. Investing in purple gems to increase stamina further boosts necromancer’s resilience, and damage over time enchantments will increase the number of debuffs stacked on the enemy. At the same time it is possible to use scorn enchantments to increase your character’s survival or to use one-time damage enchantments and rely on cooldown-free abilities.
The priest’s abilities have also been reworked to add variety to the class’ gameplay and to make every ability equally useful. Here is a brief guide to some of the priest abilities that have been changed.
[\*]Torment/Recuperation - this ability needs to be kept up on the primary target. In a battle with a particularly challenging boss or an elite monster the priest should keep up three stacks of this this ability in addition to using shields, pillars and direct healing spells. When travelling alone it will help to reduce the amount of healing the priest needs between combats.
[\*]Pillar of darkness/light - both of these abilities have maximum effect when allies or enemies are staying close together. If they are spread apart it is wise to resort to other skills from the priest’s formidable arsenal.
[\*]Bonds of darkness/Chain healing - both of these abilities can be used in place of pillars when the enemies or allies are spread over the battlefield. Both of these abilities have casting time, so using them requires a certain degree of precision and timing.
[\*]Invigorate - this spell is the best way to restore health to a single target. Applying a sphere of light to that character beforehand will greatly increase their chances of survival.[/list]
If you are playing alone, consider investing in magic adaptiveness. Your priest will become an invaluable team asset if you arm yourself with a two-handed staff and specialize in restorative powers and skills that can be applied quickly.
Are these changes final?
Most certainly not! The game is evolving. There will be many more changes that’ll make gameplay even more exciting – but that’s what we have for now. We’ll be closely monitoring the performance of every class and keep adjusting things and making changes. Please bear in mind that not all of them have to be negative! Should we see any underperforming or useless skills, we’ll do our best to make them stronger.