Oct 192016

Turbine - Powered By Its Fans
Tomorrow is already another Update Day for DDO. Update 33. Subject to plans changing at the last minute, Turbine intends to roll out Update 33 tomorrow instead of having weekly downtime today.

Update 33 is not a regular update, although maybe the phrase “regular update” needs some updating. There is no content, actually there is very little that is “new” at all. But there is a whole lot of Monk balance pass work. And added Deities for divine classes. And a preview of Reaper mode, which is newish, although technically Reaper Mode is just running the old content on new difficulty settings, again.

I am not expert on any of these changes, I have not loaded up Lamannia at all this cycle. But based on forum response, I think I can aggregate the Monk changes thusly:

  • Monks offensive output is increased to compete with other melee classes.
  • Handwraps are now weapons, rather than extensions of your character. This has made for more changes than you might think.
  • Monk finishing moves are now a more important part of the monk repertoire. No longer optional for melee monks.
  • Speaking of melee monks, Henshin Mystics are now melee monks too, all monks are melee monks.

Strangely, it has seemed to me that the thing most needed by monks is not more damage but more defense. PRR/MRR. That sort of thing. And I am not seeing a lot of that. But I am not looking in detail. TeacherSyn is though, you are going to get a much more qualified and detailed look at the monk changes in his blog than you can get here. Specifically, this post here, although I think there have been some minor adjustments made by Turbine since TeacherSyn wrote it.

The new deities are a nice piece of detail work. I appreciate the way that they only apply within their lore area – Eberron deities can only be selected by Eberron characters. Forgotten Realms deities are only available to those from the Forgotten Realms. Nice.

The feats and abilities for these new deities are minor, as they should be, mainly coming in the form of active ability clickies that last for 24 seconds. Not sure why 24 is the magic number for deity-granted special abilities but it seems that it is.

Also, Reaper mode, which is super-juiced-up content, with insane damage levels and hit point totals. It is described in the release notes as “The Dungeon Master is trying to kill you.”

This is not the full mode, but rather, a preview, that does not include any rewards or benefits, just more difficulty. Reaper mode is only available for quests that are within two levels of your character – maybe that will change when the full release comes out? I have no idea. I can only tell you that players may select from one to ten skulls of reaper difficulty, with each skull making the quest that much the harder.

Here are some videos of people playing Reaper mode on Lamannia. It looks brutal.

Maybe reaper mode will keep the die-hards happy long enough to let Turbine spend some time working on things for those of us who are casual players.

Sometimes though, I wonder. Is my group the last remaining casual group? Have all the other casual players moved on and Turbine is focusing solely on the hard core? That would explain a lot, there is nothing for casuals in Reaper mode, for sure, but then there really hasn’t been much for casuals in anything released this year. Everything expects heavy grind, all the content, all the loot, even the revamped crafting system, even the festivals. All geared to the hard-core player.

Except Gnomes, casual players can enjoy Gnomes too.

So there’s that.

🙂 😀 🙂

  4 Responses to “Godlings and Reaping and Monks. Oh My.”

Comments (4)
  1. Those abilities are actually 4sec plus 6 sec per religious lore feat.. that makes exactly 60sec when you’re actually granted the ability at level 6, increasing to 144sec at level 20. The “per religious lore feat” instead of per class level is a nice touch too, as it lets characters with multiple divine classes (eg. those warpriest paladin ones) still benefit from the full effects.

    One of the interesting little things that came out of the henshin change was adding quick draw to the cores – people were confused about the whole “it’s a throwing feat, why, for a staff-user?” and it turns out (and had apparantly never been explained before) that one of the benefits of the feat is to reduce the delay between casting spells (including using those henshin ki bolt etc. abilities) and going back to making regular attacks – potentially pretty big for those melee casters out there.

    Reaper mode looks kind of interesting for those that like a challenge, the devs have repeatedly said they want to put in challenge boosts beyond just +damage, +hp & +saves, which makes me wonder if there’s going to be extra little AI behaviours etc. sprinkled in there too to catch people by surprise.

  2. Thanks for the shoutout. Lammania is closed right now but I got a bit of time to look at the changes. One good bit of news is that defensive options in Shintao are less dependent on Earth Stance. Still not sure if the general damage of weapon-handwraps match or even exceed the weaponless type. Caught two bugs that should be fixed by now, where I couldn’t use Stunning Fist using Thunder-Forged wraps or completely unarmed.

    The ninjas had a good tree and now have a better one, especially making any ki-based weapon gain DEX-to-damage. Yay for my archers. But the Mystic’s rather messed up with the change. The move from spell power to melee power just makes the thing a bigger bludgeon with no changes to its defense.

    I’m betting I’ll need to redo my guide’s info on finishing moves, which I tend to use quite a bit.

  3. Last of the casual groups? Nay, sir, ‘twould bet “not by a long shot”, *if* ‘not by a long shot’ meant at least 2…

What do you think?

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