Dev Note # 76: 3.5 Update Preivew #4: Servant Balance Update Notice #2Dev Notes
Greetings Heirs, After we released the previous Dev Note about Servant Update Notice, many Heirs expressed their concern about the update. We wanted to go over Servant Balance once again to address some misleading parts from the previous Dev Note. Servants That Cannot Be Farmed Through Shards In the previous Dev Note, we mentioned two things about servants that cannot be farmed through shards.: > We want to buff servants that cannot be farmed through shards to fit their acquisition difficulty. > We will start working on newer servants to apply the following buff. Starting from newer servants Christine, Mildred, and Lucrecia, we are planning on constantly buffing all other servants that cannot be farmed through shards. (Ezebell, [A] Sphinx, Archangle, Valkyrja and Ignis will all be worked on eventually.) While we are trying our best to deliver haste Servant Balance Update to respond to Heirs' frustration, we apologize that we can't touch upon every single aspect of balance because of how time-consuming the entire balancing/testing process is. We decided that we needed more time to bring successful balance patch for servants that cannot be farmed through shards since another big update featuring Healer Class Servant Potential, New Servant Mildred, and DEF Based DPS Servant Buff is just around the corner. However, we do believe that differentiating servants that can be farmed and servants that cannot be farmed is the right direction for Heir of Light in the long run, which is why we will be buffing other servants that cannot be farmed through shards as we move on. Some Heirs asked if we will be improving the stats of the applicable servants as a whole as a buffing process. We don't believe that this is necessarily the only option. We will put a great amount of effort in balance test to buff applicable servants in a way that fits the characteristic of each servant. Farmable Light / Dark Servants vs Fire / Water / Forest Servants That Cannot Be Farmed As we gave significant buff to Light / Dark servants, the usage of Fire / Water / Forest servants dropped by noticeable amount. While we believe it is natural for Light / Dark servants to be stronger than Fire / Water / Forest servants, we believe that many Heirs must have been very disappointed by excessive buff placed on certain servants (Dark Leto, Dark [A] Leto). This is undeniable mistake on our part failing to balance those servants, and we sincerely apologize about failing prepare servant balance update properly. It is true that it is very difficult for Fire / Water / Forest servants to beat Light / Dark servants in current meta. Casual players probably lost their reason to acquire Fire / Water / Forest servants through summoning, which would leave tedious Light / Dark shard farming as their only option. We do not believe that this direction helps Heirs enjoy Heir of Light. It is almost a necessity to purchase All-in-One package in order to engage in Light / Dark shard farming. While this would benefit us in the short run if Heirs purchase All-in-One package, we believe that it would hurt Heir of Light in the long run. It is undeniable that Light / Dark servant shard farming is followed by extreme exhaustion. Some Heirs might be concerned that "Does this mean that it is now mandatory to spend money to summon?" On the contrary, we believe that it is necessary to buff Fire / Water / Forest servants that cannot be farmed through shards so that even the Heirs that don't spend can acquire Fire / Water / Forest servants through summoning that can compete against Light / Dark servants. (Heir of Light gives out around 10,000 ~ 20,000 Karats & 4,000 ~ 7,000 Special Summon Shard each month through event and in-game reward to lessen Heirs' burden to spend to summon. Fire / Water / Forest servants can be acquired through various methods such as Combine or Fuse. Furthermore, Heirs can summon Fire / Water / Forest servants that cannot be farmed with the ★5 Summon Stone we give out every update.) We still believe that rather than having Light / Dark servants dominate, finding a balance between Light / Dark servants and Fire / Water / Forest servants is the right direction to provide an environment that Heirs can enjoy Heir of Light without spending. We will continue our effort to balance out Heir of Light by buffing Fire / Water / Forest servants. While Light / Dark servants will have advantage in terms of base stat, we believe that Light / Dark servants and Fire / Water / Forest servants will shine in different situations. We believe that Heirs don't have to worry about their Light / Dark servants losing their position because of Fire / Water / Forest servants buff. Fire / Water / Forest servants and Light / Dark servants will have their own, unique positions. Other questions from the community included "Will Dark Leto get completely countered by new servant Mildred?" While we believe Mildred will bring leave some impact on Dark Leto, Heirs will see different results based on Stat, Gears, and Potentials. While well developed Fire / Water / Forest servants that cannot be farmed will be able to compete against Light / Dark servants, it will not be easy to gain victory against Light / Dark servants. [Light / Dark servants that can be farmed >= Fire / Water / Forest servants that cannot be farmed] is the general structure we are expecting. The high usage of Dark Leto & Dark [A] Leto is not simply because they are Light / Dark servants. There are multiple reasons such as Relation Effect, Skill Effect, and Potential that led to high usage of these two servants. Lucrecia Buff There were numerous concerns from the community about Lucrecia that is already strong against Multi-Hit skill becoming close to invincible once she gains "The amount of damage received at once does not exceed x% of Max HP" to her Potential. It is true that Lucrecia is receiving a buff. We admit that we are buffing Lucrecia by quite a lot. She is the only Tank class servant we released since March, and as one of the servants that cannot be farmed through shards, we wanted Lucrecia to become a solution against Light / Dark DPS servants. However, Lucrecia has her own limit regardless of how well Heirs upgrade her. Lucrecia can still lose more than 50% of her HP against 2 Hit Multi-Hit servants. In other word, since Lucrecia takes 100% of the damage from the 1st hit and 30% of the damage from 2nd hit, she still takes significant amount of damage up to 2nd hit of a skill. Also, there were many cases that additional Combo Skill from DPS servants with Secondary Mark Activation destroyed Lucrecia when we were testing. Lucrecia is very vulnerable against Secondary Mark Activation of Single Hit DPS servants. While the results may vary base on Heirs, we believe it is a little too early to determine that she will be the very best Tank class servant. Mildred to Buff Melee DPS? When we saw the reaction from the community, we knew that we made a mistake communicating with Heirs. It seems like we focused too much on explaining how Melee DPS servants will become viable again. We apologize about misleading explanations. The reason Mildred attacks Ranged servants is to snipe Ranged servants. Currently, Ranged DPS servants are significantly stronger than Melee DPS servants. There are cases that Ranged Support or Healer Class servants don't get attacked even once during a battle. Therefore, we concluded that there needs to be a way to snipe Ranged servants, not necessarily in order to buff Melee servants. It is our fault that only Ranged DPS servants are currently dominating the meta as Melee DPS servants lost their position with the appearance of AoE attacks.We believe that the balance between Ranged and Melee servants disappointed many Heirs. We admit that this was our mistake, and we hope that Heirs accept our apology. There are two issues to current situation. The first issue is the necessity of a method to AoE attack even the Ranged servants. We will be working this aspect starting this Update. The second issue is under-performance of not only just Melee servants, but under-performance of Melee/Ranged Single target DPS servants. While the change won't be immediate, we are planning on addressing this issue in future updates. Why Are New Servants Always so Strong? What About the Old Servants? We have already went over the strong performance of new servants before. Relatively strong performance of new servants are necessary for durability of the game. While it is true that fixation of meta and Heirs being discouraged to summon would hurt our profit, it most importantly it hurts the overall game. It would stall the flow of the game. If new servants are not significant enough, Heirs would no longer need new servants, which would take away collection aspect from Collection -Based RPG. Also, relatively stronger new servants give chance to new Heirs to catch up faster with plentiful amount of summoning Heir of Light provides to support new Heirs. Furthermore, introduction of new skill through new servants tends to be more effective than reworking old servants to introduce new skill. Reworking old servants can possibly hurt Heirs who were originally using the servants with old skill. We have been trying out various skills as we add new servants. Once we decide that certain skills can be meaningful to Heir of Light, we will be utilizing the new skills to buff old servants. (Adding more AoE servants such as Rem, Enoch, and Saighead after [A] Sphinx Update is an example.) The reason we are adding Mildred this patch is because we decided that we reached a point that we need to bring new air to the meta. While we understand that Heirs are concerned about how strong the new servant will be, we want to wait until the patch actually arrives. We believe that Heirs are far more concerned than necessary. (We should have been more thorough with our explanations.) We understand that every Heirs have different situations, and we went through lengthy internal discussion about how strong Mildred will be. Mildred actually might not be as powerful as many Heirs imagine. On top of Light / Dark servant balance problem, we believe that it is necessary to add servants that block Skill Gauge Increase/Decrease for balance purpose. While we start this process with Mildred, we will expand the new mechanic to other Support servants by either adding such effect to their skills or giving them related Potential. Summary 1. We will be buffing not only the new servants, but also all other servants that cannot be farmed through shards. 2. Since the servants that cannot be farmed through shards can be acquired in-game through various methods, we believe that even F2P Heirs will benefit if Fire / Water / Forest servants can also compete against Light / Dark servants. (While we cannot make spending meaningless, we do not want to make spending necessary to acquire strong servants.) 3. [ Fire / Water / Forest servants that cannot be farmed through shards <= Light / Dark servants that can be farmed through shards] is the general outline of the balance we are expecting. However, without absolute dominance of one element, different elements will be viable in different situation. 4. We are aware that a lot of Heirs are concerned about Lucrecia buff. It is true that Lucrecia will be powerful, however, we don't expect Lucrecia to be one servant that fits all team. 5. Mildred is designed to snipe Ranged servants, and we are preparing buffs on Melee / Ranged Single Target DPS servants. 6. We consider multiple aspects such as introduction of mechanic or impact on meta before we release new servants. Since adding new servant is another way of addressing current issues, new servants tend to be strong against certain other servants. 7. Once we balance out a new servant and a new skill effect, we will be expanding the new skill effect to old servants to balance out the game. 8. It is always our prime goal to find an optimal balance in Heir of Light. It is never our intention to introduce a new servant that demolish all other old servants. 9. We are sorry that we failed to balance out Light / Dark servants & AoE Attack. We will improve this issue through further communication with the community. We hope that this Dev Note ease the frustration or curiosity from the community. While we try our best to explain our thought process, Dev Note about servant update is always difficult to write since it involves interest of multiple Heirs in different situation. We believe that both the Devs and the community alike want a long-lasting game, rather than a temporary game pursuing profit. We will try our best to deliver speedy, well prepared balance patches in the future. Thank you.