Balance Changes - 2nd November 2016

ShteevieShteevie Staff Posts: 1,335
Now that we have completed two challenges in the 2.2 era, it is time to make a set of changes to traits and general combat balance. These changes are aimed at improving the effectiveness of some of the less-powerful traits, correcting for the changes in power level introduced in 2.2, and giving players more options for building trait combinations and teams.

These changes will go live with the next Challenge, which starts on November 2nd.

1) Luck
- Previously, survivor-based Luck scaled from 5% to 20%. Equipment-based Luck scaled from 5% to 15%.
- Now, Luck will scale from 10% to 25% on survivors, and from 10 and 20% on Equipment.

Since Luck is processed differently in 2.2, it is appropriate to increase the values. Remember, Luck increases the chances that your other percentage-based traits will activate [such as Swift Strike and Charging], and also adds to your critical hit chance.

2) Base Critical Hit Chance
- All survivors have their chance to get a critical hit increased by 5%

With 2.2, we added an interaction between Critical Hits and Dodges, and also increased the HP of human enemies. This change will give attackers in Outpost and those fighting against Saviors or Freemen a slight boost, as well as increasing the power of critical hit-based traits by increasing the maximum Critical hit chance that can be obtained.

3) Bodyshot chance reduction
- Weapon types with built-in bodyshot chances, like rifles and pistols, have had these base chances greatly reduced.
- In addition, players facing enemies of higher levels than their survivors will see a decrease in Bodyshots against enemies that are less than 5 levels higher than their team.

While Bodyshots are still being used as a balancing agent for players pushing the limits of their skill, the increase of Bodyshot chances was too rapid. Depending on the situation, players may see a decrease in Bodyshots up to 33% less often than at 2.2 launch.

4) Swift Strike
- The chance of activation was previously 5% - 15%
- Now, the chance will be increased to 20% - 40%

The percentages for Swift Strike were very low because of the large impact Luck previously had on the trait. Now that Luck is more balanced, Swift Strike can be increased to be a more attractive option for players.

5) Defensive Stance
- Previously scaled from 20 - 53%
- Will now start at 30%, increasing up to 60%

Keeping a survivor on Overwatch is a calculated risk, as the unpredictable nature of Walkers means that survivors sometimes have more incoming attacks than had been anticipated. This change to Defensive Stance brings it in line with the damage reduction calculation changes in 2.2

6) Vigilant
- Previously adds between 5% and 20% to the damage of Overwatch attacks
- Will now scale from 20% to 50%

While Overwatch strategies saw a decline in power in 2.2, we want them to remain a viable option without guaranteeing perfect victories. Therefore, Vigilant survivors will need to pack more of a punch in order to keep the hordes of walkers at bay.

7) Cover
- Previously a 50% damage reduction
- Now, cover will reduce incoming damage by 35%

Observing the ways players and AI use cover in Challenges and Outpost, it is clear that enemies prefer cover more than players. This change will benefit anyone raiding a heavily-sandbagged Outpost, or facing off against Freemen in Story or Challenge missions.

Afterword:
Game balance in a live, online environment is always an ongoing process. In many ways, it is one that never ends. It is to be expected that as new traits and content are created, older traits and combat rules will need to be revisited from time to time. In 2.3 and future updates, there may be additional changes to these or other elements of gameplay.

It's our goal to create a game with lots of combination options, new and exciting elements added regularly, and new things for players to discover and try out as often as possible. We're very grateful to our devoted players who have brought us so far from where we stared, and we hope to keep you surviving and thriving long into the future.
Development Team Member - The Walking Dead: No Man's Land
Please note: Development is a fluid process, and suggestions and implementation take time and iteration. Any discussion of future features, deadlines, updates, balance changes, and such should be considered prospective and subject to change.
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