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Making weapons more fun in Defiance

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Greetings, ark hunters!

One month ago, I posted a State of the Game address and talked about where Defiance was headed. Of all the things the team is working to fix, making weapons more fun was first on our list.

Today, we released Patch 1.105 and have taken a giant leap forward in delivering on that promise. We have hugely improved the fun factor of all new weapons in the game. This update is a major overhaul of how weapons work: we took a long, hard look at bonuses and rarities and reworked the system so that now, whenever you pick up a new gun, you know exactly what you are getting: and when you find uncommon loot, it’s guaranteed to be badass.

Our thinking for this patch went this way: for ark hunters, weapons are the primary means of interacting with the world. They are an extension of the person and his or her personality. We want you to feel the thrill of anticipation every time new loot drops and excitement when that loot is an epic or legendary weapon. In short, newer and rarer weapons should always provide ark hunters with more power, more bonuses, and more fun. That’s what Patch 1.105 is all about.

Let’s get into the meat of this update and what it means for you. Our previous system had some quirks that led to weapons receiving bonuses that didn’t always make the most sense: single-shot rocket launchers could have bonuses to their rate of fire and sniper rifles could provide chances to light enemies on fire (cool) with melee attacks (uncool). Weapons also sometimes had effects that weren’t satisfying (like a self-revive bonus. We’ve never heard someone exclaim “man, this bonus is great! I can’t wait to die now!”) As of today, you’ll never have to worry about getting these bonuses on a new weapon.

We’ve just completed a revamp of all our weapon rarity bonuses to assure that future weapons consistently provide thrilling effects. All weapons will now come with effective and fun bonuses.

Here’s an example to illustrate the bones of what Patch 1.105 is all about. In this update, we wanted to make sure that the rarer the weapon, the more awesome it is, guaranteed. The picture below shows how the same gun (a VOT Pulser) gets stacked bonuses and becomes more powerful and interesting: increased rarity weapons each deal more damage than their predecessor. Rarer weapons are better. Period.

This will be true with all weapons and rarities, and the damage rarity bonus is retroactive: it applies to all weapons ever created. Period. blog1

Click for the full size image

Now, let’s break down what means and get into the nuts and bolts of what we’ve done.

We have five levels of weapon rarity in Defiance. For each level of rarity (from common to legendary) a weapon  gets a rarity bonus roll appropriate to that rarity level.  This ends up making really sexy guns, like this legendary BMG. Because it’s the most uncommon (and therefore the most coveted) level of rarity, it gets a bonus roll for each category of rarity. This Rainbow of DeathTM ((patent-pending)(not-really)) describes is what makes this weapon different from another in its class and that orange stat is what will always make it better than one from the weapon rarity tier below it. blog2

This legendary Votan Spanner kicks ass. It has a meaningful and satisfying legendary bonus now. Because of Patch 1.105, it and all rare or better weapons now has a rare bonus.

The most important thing about this Votan Spanner is that each of the five bonuses affect the performance of the weapon and each of them changes it more than the last. An epic Votan Spanner will be pretty darned cool, but it will never be as cool as this legendary because of that final orange stat.

There’s one more thing to note about the above legendary BMG. This weapon also has a common bonus (that white stat up at the top of the stack). That’s new, too. All new weapons will have this common bonus after a player hits EGO rating 1000. (Before Patch 1.105, this common bonus only occurred with assault rifles. It was an awesome perk, so we applied it to all weapons. Instant fun).

There’s another important change in Patch 1.105: we’ve vastly improved on the way weapons receive randomized rarity rolls. This Volge Battle Rifle, benefiting from Patch 1.105, raises hell like none before thanks to new and improved randomized rolls: blog4

So, my fellow ark hunters, go and share this new knowledge with your rivals and allies. May your violent discourses be brief and victorious.

Good hunting.

Trick Dempsey, Creative Lead