There’s another new patch for Gigantic and its making some significant changes to game mechanics as well as some Hero’s. To kick us off and if you can’t yet read the Beta forums, the patch notes are below. If you have already read the patch notes and want to jump straight to my analysis, hit this link and it'll zip you all the way down.
BIG STUFF YOU’LL NOTICE RIGHT AWAY
- Made a number of adjustments to out-of-combat sprinting cost and stamina regeneration. Here are the new numbers:
- Out-of-combat sprint cost: 8 stamina per second. (Characters have 100 stamina by default. The in-combat cost ranges from 12/s to 18/s, depending on the hero.)
- Out-of-combat stamina regeneration rate: 30 stamina per second. (In-combat regeneration ranges from 15/s to 20/s, depending on the hero.
- The ping wheel has been re-enabled and expanded to 12 options; let us know what you think, including how you'd like to see it expanded!
- You can bring up the ping wheel by holding down C on the keyboard or X on the gamepad.
- You can still use the generic white ping by tapping the button instead of holding it and selecting an option.
- The ping wheel now allows you to cancel a ping by holding the button for 0.3 seconds and then releasing it while the center of the wheel is selected.
- You can now ping slightly faster. Note that pinging too rapidly will lock you out for 10 seconds. This duration increases each time the lockout is triggered.
Current ping wheel options are laid out as follows:
- Up: "Fight Here!" (Blue)
- Up and Left: "Hit and run!"
- Up and Right: "Hold this spot!"
- Left: "Withdraw!" (Purple)
- Right and Up: "Do not fight!"
- Right and Down: "No help needed!"
- Down: "Summon here!" (Green)
- Down and Left: "Need to upgrade!"
- Down and Right: "Help me summon!"
- Right: "Danger!" (Red)
- Left and Up: "I am leaving!"
- Left and Down: "Need healing!"
TWEAKS YOU’LL NOTICE EVENTUALLY
- Corrected some DPS exploits which could be utilized by Aisling, Charnok, Mozu, Tripp, Tyto the Swift, Voden, and Xenobia.
- Reduced the amount of focus gained on respawn from 80 to 40. (Note: a single focus charge is 250.)
- Killing all 5 enemy heroes (i.e. forcing a full team respawn) now adds an additional 10 seconds to their respawn timers.
- You can now dodge through other heroes. (Trying to dodge while out of stamina doesn't count!)
- Path of Fury (affected heroes: Charnok, Wu, HK-206, Lord Knossos, Imani, Mozu)
- Dominator talent: +5% damage for each kill without dying. Max +15% damage. (Formerly: +15% damage once you had 3 or more kills without dying.)
- Path of the Survivor (affected heroes: Uncle Sven, The Margrave, Griselma)
- Fringe Benefits talent: +10 armor when you are hit from long or medium range. (Formerly: based on damage type.)
- Path of Solitude (affected heroes: Aisling, Wu, Tripp, Tyto the Swift, Mozu)
- Angular Momentum talent: +15% damage from behind and after dodging. (Formerly: +20%.)
- Path of the Legion (affected heroes: Aisling, Uncle Sven, Vadasi, Xenobia, Griselma, Voden)
- Aegis talent: After using Focus, other nearby allies gain 250 HP shield (absorbs 75% damage taken) for 3s. (Formerly: 300 HP for 6s; skill no longer affects the caster.)
Fixed a number of condition visual effects which were missing or not functioning properly. The following effects should cause a glow on your hero:
- Bleeding - Red
- Immobilized - Purple
- Frozen - Pale Blue
- Burning - Orange Red
- Poison - Toxic Green
- Healing - Happy Green
- In hero select, heroes now have a "hero type" field instead of a "difficulty" field.
"For some players, this will be the first opportunity to explore the ancient mountain shrine — and to experience a bigger map with more summoning circles and a separate Clash area."
- Adjust the locations where cyclops walls will spawn.
- Adjusted where power orbs spawn at the start of the map, and removed all orbs from the center of the map.
- When rampaging, Guardians will no longer crowd the Forest / Garden areas. They will instead move to more open areas of the map.
- Removed all but four destructible terrain pieces to test desync issues.
- Added blocking volumes around the upper levels of the map to prevent characters with super leaps and teleports from escaping the world.
- Gave new names to many pre-clash summoning circles. These will continue to change, and are open to feedback.
- Removed power orbs from center of map.
- Increased the rate that power is stolen when a guardian is rampaging by 20%.
- NEW: Naga now uses a new model! Let us know what you think.
- NEW: The Naga has been updated with a whole new arsenal of attacks:
- Barrage - Long Range Attack - The Naga tosses large masses of dark energy. On hit, they deal 225 damage and create a slow/burning area of effect (AoE) field.
- Sweep - Medium Range Attack - The Naga throws 4 projectiles in a line that create a series of AoE fields in front of him. These last 6 seconds and apply slow/burning to enemies.
- Breath - Medium Range Attack - The Naga leans down and spews a cloud of pure evil, damaging any enemies it hits for 3 seconds.
- Corruption - Close Range Attack - The Naga pulses energy into its left hand to create a large field that lasts for 8 seconds and applies slow/burning to enemies.
- Slam - Close Range Attack - The Naga slams its right hand into the ground in front of it, tossing enemies away and dealing damage.
- The Griffin's repeater attack (i.e. laser eyes) is now slightly less accurate.
- Creatures will now channel their teleport skill to move to the Clash area. When channeling the skill, they will become invulnerable for 5 seconds. After moving, they will be invulnerable for an additional 5 seconds while they recover from their sudden position change.
- Tripled the health regeneration rate for summoned creatures when they are out of combat from 15 hp/s to 45 hp/s.
- Summoned creatures now have a 500 HP shield that renews every time they return to their summoning circle.
- This is intended to force back-cappers to commit to fights against summoned creatures in order to kill them. Backcapping will still require a response from the defending team.
- There is now a 1 second delay before creatures return to meditating after disengaging from an enemy.
- Increased starting health percentage for young creatures from 33% to 40%.
- Increased starting health percentage for adult creatures from 20% to 33%.
- Updated visual effects of healing skills used by the Young Bloomer.
- Young Cerberus
- Now properly uses the 'Howl' attack.
- Cerberus Majoris
- Vision range increased from 4000 to 4250.
- Raised health from 6000 to 6750 hp.
- Yeti Cyclops
- Reduced the height of the area of affect pools created by the Yeti Cyclops from 400 to 250. This was done to prevent players from being frozen when leaping over the pools.
- Raised health from 7500 to 8500 hp.
- Young Drake
- Now creates a 4-second fire field after using its siege skill (similar to the adult Fire Drake).
- Fire Drake
- Increased the base damage of its siege skill from 100 to 175 damage.
- Lowered the focus cost to purchase a Fire Drake from 3 to 2.
- Lowered health from 8000 to 7000 hp.
- Sir Cador's attack range has been reduced from a giant radius to a normal melee attack.
- Fixed a bug which prevented the 'Spectral Might' and 'Spectral Defense' upgrades from functioning when Cador is in Aisling's blade.
TERRIFY (F/LS + RS)
- Description updated to properly indicate that Cador alone will execute the skill.
HEAT WAVE (LMB/RT)
- Burn Notice upgrade: reduced the base damage delivered by a fully charged shot.
- Burn Notice upgrade: the skill no longer immediately adds a tick of burn damage on top of the regular damage dealt by Heat Wave.
PORTAL BEAST (RMB/LT)
- Increased cooldown penalty for a dead pet from 12s to 15s.
PORTAL CALL (Q/LB)
- NEW: Portal Trap: Create a trap that pushes foes and summons your farthest pet. Hit (Q/LB) again to immediately trigger the trap.
- Now has trap functionality by default.
- By default you can only have one trap at a time.
- Reduced default damage dealt by the trap.
- NEW: Portal Call upgrade: Reduces cooldown for (RMB/LT) if you have no pet to relocate. (Replaces the "heal pets when you relocate them" upgrade.)
- NEW: Trapper Keeper upgrade: You can have up to 3 traps at once. (Replaces the "you can now make traps" upgrade.)
- NEW: Trap Easiest upgrade: Your trap deals 5x damage and hits a much larger area. (Replaces the launch upgrade.)
- Increased the maximum time that Griselma can remain in her Displacement portal from 3 to 4 seconds.
- Griselma no longer collides with other characters while in her Displacement portal.
- NEW: Conservation of Mass upgrade: When you enter your portal, you summon a Portal Beast. (Replaces the buff-your-pets upgrade.)
- This upgrade will summon a beast even if your summon skill is on cooldown. It does not, however, allow you to summon more than the 3 beast cap.
- Gift of Preservation upgrade: While in your portal, your Portal Beasts regain health.
- Gift of Annihilation upgrade: While in your portal, your Portal Beasts attack rapidly.
- NEW: Exit Strategy upgrade: Tap (E/RB) again to teleport forward. +5s cooldown if you teleport.
- NEW: Escape Hatch upgrade: If you teleport, you emerge at your nearest trap within 15m of your entry point.
- Portal Collapse upgrade: If you teleport, enemies near your destination are stunned for 1.5s.
- Level 3 Skill Specializations
- Heel! (Q/LB) talent: When your Portal Beasts relocate, they are fully healed. (Replaces cooldown reduction talent.)
BULLET BARRAGE (LMB/RT)
- Increased accuracy while fortified.
- Servo Boost upgrade: Fixed a bug that caused the fortify and un-fortify animations to not play correctly after taking this upgrade.
Level 3 Skill Specializations
- Heat Sink talent: Fixed a bug that prevented this from working until you took other Rail Gun upgrades.
- Heat Sink talent: Added numbers to the description.
- Increased health to 1500.
SILENT SCOPE (RMB/LT)
- Decreased base scoped damage by 20% for all ammo types.
- Adjusted the multipliers applied to charged shots to accurately increase damage by 2.0 (formerly 1.6) and 3.0 (formerly 2.4) respectively.
- Adjusted the order of upgrades available on Silent Scope:
- Adjustable Scope upgrade: Staying zoomed in can grant you a 3x damage bonus.
- NEW: Vital Organs upgrade: Scoped shots have 50% armor penetration.
- On The Mark upgrade: After a fully charged direct hit when scoped, your damage bonus starts at 2x.
- Snapshot upgrade: You can fire scoped shots quicker. +50% damage for quick scoped shots.
- Deft Hand upgrade: After a scoped shot, you can reload and fire again 20% faster.
- Combat Sniper upgrade: Increased move speed and +15 armor vs. projectiles while scoped.
Fixed an exploit that allowed you to rapid-fire scoped shots.
CYCLE AMMO (Q/LB)
- Boom bolts now add 1s of burning instead of increasing base damage.
- Die in a Fire upgrade: Burning from Boom Bolts now lasts for 2s and damage dealt has been increased from 50/tick to 75/tick.
- Blast Radius upgrade: On hit, Boom Bolts ignite enemies near your target. Gain focus for each enemy hit set on fire.
SMOKE BOMB (E/RB)
- Imani's Smoke Bomb can no longer be interrupted by exhausted/hard landings.
CHARGE FORTH (Q/LB)
- Rush in Attack upgrade: No longer locks the direction of the charge when it starts; this should make it easier to aim the attack.
STAGGERING LEAP (E/RB)
- Slightly increased the default leap range of the skill.
- Increased the travel time at the peak of the leap to keep the speed at which he travels consistent.
- Added Dimension (E/RB) talent: Reduced range added by the talent from 3000 to 2250.
- Added Dimension (E/RB) talent: Improved the reliability of the Dimention Door skill after purchasing this upgrade.
- Reduced Tripp's base sprint speed to 680. (This is the same as Wu, but slower than Tyto.)
- Increased the stamina cost when sprinting.
- Decreased Tripp's base stamina regeneration rate.
BLADESTORM (F/LS + RS)
- Reduced damage of Bladestorm by 25%.
- Acrobatics talent: Dodging costs 15% less stamina and jumping costs 33% less stamina. (Was 33% less for dodging.)
- Increased the travel time at the peak of the leap to keep the speed at which he travels consistent.
BLADE DANCE (Q/LB)
- Deadly Dance upgrade: No longer adds damage every time this skill hits; the damage over time will now tick every 1 second, as intended.
ELASTIC OOZE (Q/LB)
- Perfect Pitch upgrade: Corrected the visual effects and team indicators of the skill.
- Added a 2 second cooldown per attack. Vadasi can cast up to four attacks in a row (one for each arm) before the skill is set to a cooldown based on the number of attacks which were used.
- Flameseeker upgrade: Reduced cooldown to 1 second per attack.
- Meltdown upgrade: Reduced duration of the armor break from 4s to 2s.
- Removed the Shatter upgrade.
- Altered the point at which Voden's arrows deal less damage upon impacting enemies. This distance at which damage begins to drop off has been reduced by 33%.
- Longshot upgrade: When powered up, arrows fly faster (+10% projectile speed) and deal full damage at longer range.
POISON SPORES (RMB/LT)
- Lowered the base duration of poison from 8s to 6s.
- More Spores upgrade: Decreased the total duration of the poison cloud from 10s to 8s.
- Contagion upgrade: Taking the upgrade now adds a 5 second cooldown to Poison Spores.
GREEN MAN (Q/LB)
- Voden's decoy now generates a tiny amount of focus when it hits enemies.
- This change was more for consistency than balance; because the focus gain is small, Voden's focus gain from his own attacks was not changed.
- Alternate Root upgrade: Reduced the range at which you can swap with your decoy from 25m to 20m,
- Alternate Root upgrade: Added a 1 second cooldown before you can swap with your decoy.
- A Ways Away upgrade: Reduced the summoning range from 17.5m to 10m.
HIDDEN SPRING (E/RB)
- Burst Forth upgrade: Corrected the skill description to correctly say that it "pushes" enemies instead of "launches" enemies.
NATURAL ROOTS (R/LS + RS)
- Voden's focus will no longer be interrupted by hard landings, dodging, or most other actions.
RAIN OF BLOWS (LMB/RT)
- Reworked Wu's interrupt upgrade branch.
- Flowing Fist upgrade: Can now also be triggered by Wu's focus skill.
- Pouncing Tiger Kick upgrade: This upgrade can now only be triggered once every 12s.
- Hop To It upgrade: Allows you to perform Pouncing Tiger Kick more often (every 8s).
- Kick It Up a Notch upgrade: Pouncing Tiger Kick now hits a larger area and can hit multiple foes.
CRASHING WAVES (Q/LB)
- Intercepting Fist upgrade: Decreased the intensity of weakness from 50% to 25%.
- Intercepting Fist upgrade: Increased the duration of weakness from 3s to 5s.
- NEW: Enervating Palm upgrade: Second hit intensifies the weakness caused by Intercepting Fist (50% damage for 5s).
Replaces the Temple Strike upgrade, since having a stun gave Wu too much CC.
TONGUE LASHING (E/RB)
- You can now hold E to target the skill. Note that this is an early implementation, and that the targeting cannot be cancelled except by dodging.
GAZE OF ENVY (LMB/RT)
- Sap Strength upgrade: No longer increases the duration of the weakness, though still increases the strength of weakness caused by Gaze of Envy.
If you're new to Gigantic or an existing player, I think it's important to see this update as one that's adding layers of polish more than making drastic changes to a multitude of Hero's. The Ping Wheel, Naga redesign and Mistforge are all greatly improving on the existing experience and having used the ping wheel and fought the redesigned Naga earlier this week, I can happily confirm both work wonderfully well. With chat currently disabled and players relying on Gamevox, the ping wheel already proved incredibly useful during yesterday's Guardian Arena. Being able to send quick prompts and alerts was invaluable, especially for the dangers of a roaming Tripp or enemy advance. The fact that the ping wheel also allows for greater depth when navigating it in different directions is a welcome surprise. It was difficult at first to remember which command combination provided which result, but further practice really helped. In time there's no doubting that in a public setting and especially when you're solo queuing, the use of the ping wheel will be fundmanetal for players.
On the subject of the new Naga, I have to praise the design of it. The original Naga looked fantastic but the new version has taken the serpent-like-beast to another level. With a brilliantly bright color palette that also manages to be dark and brooding, it's truly striking. The smoke pluming off his back is particularly impressive and his new set of skills finally making him a real threat. No longer will everyone want to be House Aurion in order to secure the Griffin and his lazer eyes.
Other notable and significant changes including adding shields to Creatures and adjusting stamina gains. Previously it was particularly difficult to sprint for lengthy periods when out of combat and on certain Hero's (certainly Griselma) you could only sprint for a few seconds before resorting to walking. You can now freely sprint for a considerable amount of time, leaving all players with a greater ability to travel the map but also improving the playing field for less agile Hero's. Perhaps it's just me as there's nothing in the patch notes, but it also feels like stamina regeneration when out of combat triggers much faster. Further investigation is definitely required.
Where shielding on Creatures is concerned, it has, to a large extent, already removed back capping. Although there's a side of me that sees back capping as a valid tactic, it's also incredibly frustrating because it forces team compositions that are capable of doing it to be forever defending. It's near impossible to effectively counter a well played Tripp from running laps around your back line. By providing Creatures with a shield, any Hero who wants to back cap now has to truly commit to trying to kill said Creature otherwise its shield will just replenish. This buys teams enough time to pin down the back capper or at the very least, scare them off. It's a very welcome change and although there's still a need to prevent the likes of Tripp back capping, it's less of a full time role.
As for Hero changes this patch, the biggest adjustments have affected Griselma and Voden. Although I'll produce a separate article covering Griselma over the weekend, I have to say that her changes are absolutely brilliant. Motiga deserve a great deal of praise for their Hero balance because it's calculated, considered and delicate. There's no sledgehammer here and what they do change always makes sense. I've championed changes to Griselma's Displacement and Portal Trap for a considerable period because they offered too little variety and too little flexibility. For the first time this week, I didn't take the teleport and instead used traps as a means of bunkering down and dealing huge damage. It worked out wonderfully well and combined with the speed in which you can now summon Portal Beasts or dart forward with Displacement, there's a renewed sense of vigor to my favorite granny.
For Voden, I think it's fair to say that he was in need of some gentle adjustments. Not only was he capable of dealing enormous damage but his ability to cause bleeding for long periods of time kept far too many enemies in combat. The removal of the bleed but replacing it with Longshot is fairly significant. His arrows now fire at lightning speed, have no dip in their distance traveled and deal full damage at their maximum range. It makes Voden a very powerful skirmisher. Even though his Poison Spores and Green Man Decoy have seen some minor tweaks (primarily in their cooldowns or duration) it hasn't had a detrimental impact on his potency but does bring him into line with other Hero's.
Before I finish this analysis, I think it's worth just briefly discussing Imani. She's undergone some significant number adjustments this update and I've not yet reached a decision on whether it's a good or bad thing. I suspect it's in part due to the fact that Mistforge has once again entered the rotation and due to its size, Imani has always been relatively safe at sniping from afar on such a large map (compared to Canyon). Yes she was capable of dealing huge damage with her Boom Bolts, but she's also much more fragile than the likes of Voden or Charnok. In testing I've done today, she's still more than capable of hitting for 800 damage on a "X3" scoped shot but I'm not entirely sure that provides enough of an incentive to take her over Voden, especially when you consider his kit.
Finally, I have to give mention to new visual effects on talents and awards given in game. All the artwork on them looks fantastic and awards are now easily identifiable during combat or when leveling up. It's a small but welcome addition - a bit like the damage reduction to Tripp's Focus!
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