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Monthly Pets + Pet Balance Changes Coming Tomorrow!

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Greetings Defenders! Tomorrow, we're releasing an update that makes previous monthly pets available for Defender Medals, and along with that, we're making some updates to the balance of Pet Abilities! Below is an overview from Brett about these changes:

Right now, we have 47 unique pet abilities, but most players only use a very small number of them. In particular, Ghostly Wail (Dragolich) and Poisonous Tips (Earth) are two very standout Pet Abilities. These two abilities act as large damage multipliers, and generally overshadow a lot of other Pet Abilities due to their high damage output and high uptimes.

With this rebalance, we wanted all pet abilities to feel much stronger when used, bringing all pet abilities to the closer to the impact level of abilities like Poisonous Tips. To hit these targets, we've significantly increased both the damage output and the cooldown of most pet abilities. Our goal was to make pet abilities stand out more from spammable hero abilities, so pet abilities are used less frequently but have a more profound impact.

In the update, most pet abilities will see their cooldowns increased to around 30 seconds, 45 seconds, or 60 seconds (a few outliers). In conjunction with these changes, the damage output of most pet abilities will be increasing substantially as well. Common pet abilities like Gato Fireworks are changing like this:


GATO FIREWORKS


OLD VERSION

  • 3 Projectiles Dealing 675% Hero Damage Total

  • 7s Cooldown


NEW VERSION

  • 3 Projectiles Dealing 2,745% Hero Damage Total

  • 30s Cooldown


As you can see, this makes Gato Fireworks an incredibly strong attack, and something that shouldn't necessarily just be used whenever the cooldown is available. In conjunction with these balance number changes, we've made some minor tweaks to visuals to try and better emphasize pet ability power. Right now, all pet abilities scale from the Hero Damage stat, but we hope a future patch will allow us to scale from other stats, such as shield abilities scaling from Hero Health.

We've also re-written every pet ability description, trying to explain their exact functions and scaling in the description. Here's a few examples:

  • Fires a trio of fireworks dealing 830% magical Hero Damage each.

  • Fires a piercing vine that stuns and deals 180% earth Hero Damage per second for 5s.

  • Roll an ice ball through 5 enemies, dealing 1,800% water Hero Damage.


And we've fixed more than a few bugs with pet abilities in this update as well. Dragon Protection now works properly, applying a shield on nearby defenses, hurray!

One of the most popular abilities, Poisonous Tips, is undergoing a bit of a technical change, as well as a a balance revision. Poisonous Tips, and abilities like it (Sandstorm), now only add bonus damage to attacks, and no longer increase the basic attack damage itself (that bonus didn't display properly on training dummies and had other issues). Combined with the cooldown changes noted above, Poisonous Tips now looks like this:


POISONOUS TIPS


OLD VERSION

Basic attack damage increased by 50% and attacks deal 50% bonus earth damage for 8s.

15s Cooldown


NEW VERSION

Attacks deal 130% bonus earth damage for 8s.

45s Cooldown


The damage bonus of Poisonous Tips is going up, but you'll notice the cooldown is also increasing substantially, which lowers it's overall uptime. The previous version of Poisonous Tips had such a high uptime and had such a large damage bonus that it was basically an always-on damage boost, which did not encourage clever usage and made it difficult to balance against other pet abilites. These changes will reduce the sustained damage-output of Poisonous Tips, but makes it a more powerful tool to help dig your way out of specific dangerous situations.

We also need to discuss Ghostly Wail, as that specific ability has proven very tricky to rebalance in the new scheme. We wanted to keep the overall power of this ability high, but both the damage output, and the uptime, of this pet ability needed significant rebalancing to bring it in line with other pet abilities. There's no easy way to frame it, but Ghostly Wail was a significant outlier it when it came to pet ability balance, and so we had to make some major updates to sync it up with our other, stronger pet abilities. As such, Ghostly Wail's damage bonus is being only slightly reduced, but, it's uptime is going to undergo a significant reduction.


GHOSTLY WAIL


OLD VERSION (Tier 3)

Haunt enemies, increasing damage taken by 150% and dealing 19.2% hero damage for 8s.

12s Cooldown

3,000 Range


NEW VERSION (All Tiers)

Haunt enemies, increasing damage taken by 100% for 5s.

60s Cooldown

2,000 Range


Ghostly Wail was an incredibly power pet ability under it's old balance, and we hope that this new balance allows it to excel in certain power-play scenarios, but it will take some effort to fully utilize the damage bonus. Piercing Shot and other high-damage abilities still allow for considerable results from Ghostly Wail, but the ability now takes some planning and positioning to best-utilize, rather than being a blanket damage boost that could be safely used to cover every enemy in a lane.

Lastly, all tiers/versions of the same pet ability now deal the same damage, have the same cooldown, etc. This applies to every tiered pet ability, not just Ghostly Wail as noted above. A few of our premium pet abilities had different tiers with different balance, but all this really wound up doing was making the Tier 1 and Tier 2 versions of these abilities underpowered compared to other, non-tiered pet abilities. These abilities will still automatically evolve to the next tier upon pet evolution, just like before, but the gameplay will remain the same despite the fancier visuals. Additionally, we've now labelled the different tiers for these abilities, so you can reroll your pet abilities to different visual tiers intentionally.

Overall, we're extremely excited for these changes to pet abilities. We hope to see a diverse and interesting set of Pet Abilities used at all levels of play in Dungeon Defenders 2, and we'll keep an eye on how the game evolves under this new pet ability direction. We'd love to hear your feedback on both these changes before they're released, and afterwards, so let us know what you think on this new balance for Pet Abilities!

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Oh wow first I want to say all things considered with Hurricane Mathew, I didn't expect anything like this. I give you guys alot of respect for giving the community a patch this soon. However to see this pet patch is amazing.

Eh the Ghost Whail sounds fine like that, I only used it to burn down bosses, special enemies anyway. Never spammed it and now my wish of an Army of Dragolich's may be actually possible. Also it's nice to hear that pets will have some sort of DPS to them, just like DD1 had.

Where's Vagnar? his dream of owning a Narwhagon is an actual reality now. So now he can finally shut up about it.


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So, people will now 4 Lichs on their 4 heros to get the old cooldown back :D? Gobu.

Well i haven't used mine in literally month, but i am sure will enjoy the new changes. Though it's abit sad i think for that the skills "don't evolve" further anymore over their lvl up. 

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@KnowsNoLimits quote:

Oh wow first I want to say all things considered with Hurricane Mathew, I didn't expect anything like this. I give you guys alot of respect for giving the community a patch this soon. However to see this pet patch is amazing.

Eh the Ghost Whail sounds fine like that, I only used it to burn down bosses, special enemies anyway. Never spammed it and now my wish of an Army of Dragolich's may be actually possible. Also it's nice to hear that pets will have some sort of DPS to them, just like DD1 had.

Where's Vagnar? his dream of owning a Narwhagon is an actual reality now. So now he can finally shut up about it.


I guess I have to focus on important issues now. Sigh.

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@Vagnar quote:

RIP Dragolich.


ALL HAIL NARWHAGON

There you are, I figured this would make you happy.

Yeah maybe Narwhagon won't suck now thanks to the re-balance, we will see if Trendy reverted it's shield ability back to being useful, but just with a longer cool down.

As for you focusing on core issues now? Yes yes you do, come join the dark side of the community and start requesting proper end game changes. We have delicious cookies.

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this is a nice change to see, some balance for pet abilities. Though i gotta ask, is there any plans to bring back some of the uniqueness of pets from dd1 or dde? such as the lil hero pets that gave different buffs to nearby towers, or stuff like the lil imp ability where he lays down a field of tower repair for a few seconds, or the fairy that could passively heal you and has the ability to lay down a field of hero healing, or even the genie that basically gave you mana leach on your attacks and made enemies drop more mana. I find myself missing the nice unique variety pets had then and how there was even pets for active builders to really shine with cause of how they interracted with towers.

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I just hope they raise the drop rate of pet reroll boxes or change how that works. Gonna be busy trying to max out 30 Narwhagons.

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@dreamanime quote:

So, people will now 4 Lichs on their 4 heros to get the old cooldown back :D? Gobu.

Well i haven't used mine in literally month, but i am sure will enjoy the new changes. Though it's abit sad i think for that the skills "don't evolve" further anymore over their lvl up. 


I still stand by the fact it didn't really change that much. It was super strong, but totally didn't need it to succeed. Not sure why people felt the need to overkill with it anyway. It was just an epeen # toy most of the time. Fine with the nerf as long as they did what they did. Buff other pets and make pets obtainable.

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I wonder if Madwick is available to buy for DM's?

If I recall right PS4 user's never had the chance to get this guy and ofc some PC users missed out as well.

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My full inventory of pets are coming out to play now! I'm hoping the pet DPS increase is substantial to give them that added oomph that they've been missing.

Also bringing monthly pets back via defender medals is a great move. Obvious but great so now everyone has the chance to get that pet that they want and don't have to worry about tiers.

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@MaJean quote:

I wanna see what all the Narwhagon fuzz is about...

No real fuzz lol. It hasn't been a very strong pet, but we'll tomorrow what it's capable of.


I'm just in love with it, and unfortunately wasn't able to play enough the month it was the reward to obtain it.


My cries have been heard though.

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@KnowsNoLimits quote:


@Vagnar quote:

RIP Dragolich.


ALL HAIL NARWHAGON

There you are, I figured this would make you happy.

Yeah maybe Narwhagon won't suck now thanks to the re-balance, we will see if Trendy reverted it's shield ability back to being useful, but just with a longer cool down.

As for you focusing on core issues now? Yes yes you do, come join the dark side of the community and start requesting proper end game changes. We have delicious cookies.

'Reflective Shield' pet abilities will receive significant improvements in this update, including United Defense on the Narwhagon. We'll be keeping our eyes on them, as we want them to be powerful, if tricky for melee characters to use (without getting their faces smashed in).

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This is very nice. I hope this isn't all the changes to pets that you guys intend to make (talking about long term vision). Although you guys addressed the pet abilities issue, there is still some work to do:

1) Make pet dps relevant. Of course that comes with some problems, especially the fact that there is a huge gap in enemies health between campaign and NM4 incursion. You could make a scaling: pet level 1 = x damage, which is good in campaign, and pet level 60 = y damage, which is good in NM4. However, this could be tricky when higher difficulties come in. What you could also do is attach ipw to pets. Pets you get from NM4 would have NM4 stats, or could go up to the NM4 potential (after leveling).

2) Diversity in attacks. Why are all pets attacking with projectiles? Some should be close range, others long range, others healer, multiple elements projectiles (djinn from DD1), recover mp (Genie), etc.

3) Pet level and affection level. Needs a look. Especially if you intend to give pets ipw (which would fix the scaling problem from normal to NM4).

Conclusion: This is good step toward where pets should be. I hope you guys will continue to work on the pet system to make it better and make it greater than what it was in DD1. 

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Trendy have you thought of making it so when i use a Pet ability that has lets say a 60sec cool down and I switch to character with the same pet ability that the cool down on the previous one will tie into that new character so you can not spam pet abilities with multiple characters? Or are you fine with character swap pet ability spamming?

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Once again Trendy takes something that works and is used effectively ingame and nerfs it.


Hey Elliot, what happened to no more nerfs?

Hey Elliot, this is another one of those pain points for your long time players (Draco Nerf)



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Can you change the speed/how pets level up. still takes way to long for my liking....  by the time all my pets reaches max level  I'll have problems of a 60+yr old. No offense.

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@Totally Insane quote:

Can you change the speed/how pets level up. still takes way to long for my liking....  by the time all my pets reaches max level  I'll have problems of a 60+yr old. No offense.

They want you to buy the pet booster, then pet leveling becomes trivial.

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@iamisom quote:

GATO FIREWORKS

NEW VERSION

  • 3 Projectiles Dealing 2,745% Hero Damage Total

...
  • Fires a trio of fireworks dealing 830% magical Hero Damage each.

Assuming that the first description is referring to Gato Fireworks, the numbers don't add up: 3 x 830 = 2490.

Sounds like a good change overall and I'm really happy to see more detail on how the abilities scale; really hoping we can get something similar in for hero abilities soon (or at least on a wiki or something).

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