Server BalancingCORE BALANCING CHANGES
The team at OathRO recognizes that Ragnarok Online is nearly twenty years old. In the last two decades, MMORPGs have evolved to include new quality of life changes, improvements to technology, and varying progression systems to reward players. Ragnarok Online has combatted this by adding new episodic content and reworking the entire game through Renewal.
At OathRO, we believe that Pre-Renewal gameplay is truest to the original game, but we also understand that the gameplay is somewhat dated. Grinding mobs for hour and hours in the same location is tedious and not entirely rewarding. Therefore, OathRO has completely redesigned the experience and player progression systems of the game to provide players with more immersive, diverse content.
There have been some important changes to classes that will make more builds viable. Our position is that playing what you want to play should be fun. There will always be builds that will yield the highest damage output, optimal WoE performance, best MVPer, etc. However, if someone wants to build a Battle Priest, that player should have at least as much fun as anyone else. The skill changes were discussed by the community and tested thoroughly before being implemented.
Swordsman Skill Changes
- Bash: SP cost has been reduced to a rate of 3 SP + 1 SP per skill level. Developer Comments: The change in the skill's SP provides the player with more versatility in the level of the skill selected. Previously, the skill only had two SP costs, one for levels 1-5 and another through levels 6-10. Since power scales linearly with this skill, SP should scale similarly.
- Magnum Break: Range has been increased to 4 cells, its SP cost has been reduced from 30 SP to 18 SP per cast. Developer Comments: With this skill change, Swordsmen will be able to more effectively mob at low levels. Compared to 2nd class skills, this skill still is weaker in most instances. However, a lower SP cost and higher range should make the skill both easier and more fun to use.
- Moving HP Recovery: Can now be learned at Job Level 15. The quest now requires 50 empty bottles instead of 200. Developer Comments: As with most other Platinum Skill reworks, this one gets the treatment of a smaller item requirement since it can be learned at a lower level.
Knight Skill Changes
- Two-Hand Quicken: Now also increases FLEE by 1 per skill level and CRIT by 0.8% per skill level. Developer Comments: Auto-attack builds are relatively weaker. While the usage of skills should in general provide higher returns given the SP cost, agility builds for Knights are well behind other Knight builds. Therefore, both a survivability and DPS change was implemented.
Crusader Skill Changes
- In development.
Acolyte Skill Changes
- Blessing: Duration of buff was increased by 1 minute at all ranks, it's SP cost was increased from 24 SP + 4 SP per skill level to 24 SP + 5 SP per skill level. Developer Comments: Players have asked that most buffs have similar buff durations. The buff durations for core skills have been increased to a 5 minute maximum at the additional marginally higher cost of SP.
- Increase AGI: Duration of buff was increased by 1 minute at all ranks, it's SP cost was increased from 15 SP + 3 SP per skill level to 15 SP + 4 SP per skill level. Developer Comments: Players have asked that most buffs have similar buff durations. The buff durations for core skills have been increased to a 5 minute maximum at the additional marginally higher cost of SP.
- Demon Bane: Now increases ATK against undead and demons by +5 per skill level plus half your Base Level + 1. The skill also increases ATK against all other races by +4 per skill level (no base level bonus). Developer Notes: This skill was reworked to improve certain builds, specifically Combo Monks and Battle Priests. The higher damage potential of auto-attacks was a means to expand the viability of some lesser used builds in the Acolyte tree.
- Holy Light: Can now be learned at Job Level 15. Now takes 1.5 sec to cast, down from 2.0 sec. The skill costs 12 SP instead of 15 SP. The damage is now equal to 100% MATK + (1 + 1% Per Base Level), up from a flat 125% MATK. Developer Notes: The increase to this spell's damage, which scales with level, provides more viability as a spell that can be weaved into an Acolyte's rotation while supporting others. The lower cast time also provides greater versatility. This allows skillful players to contribute to DPS during downtime more effectively.
Priest Skill Changes
- Mace Mastery: Mace Mastery is now called Battle Mastery and does +4 ATK per skill level for books and maces (up from +3 ATK for only maces). At level 10 this skill also provides a 12% increase to mace attack speed. Developer Comments: This skill is rarely taken by anyone but Battle Priests. While this skill's changes do not make Battle Priests competitive with other melee classes, it does provide some niche situations where Priests can do a respectable amount of melee damage, especially against Undead. Thus, the adjustments add an additional layer of entertainment to this unique build.
- Turn Undead: If Turn Undead fails to land, it now does [Base Level + INT + Skill Level*10] * 3 damage. Developer Comments: Turn Undead does a pitiful amount of damage upon failure. Increasing this failure damage gives Priests more forgiveness while ramping up to a high level of stats required for an efficient Turn Undead build.
- Gloria: Buff length increased by 30 seconds for all ranks. Developer Comments: The increase of the buff duration was done mostly to allow greater utilization of this skill in both solo combat as a Battle Priest and in group play.
- NEW SKILL - Renew: This skill retains all the functionality of Slow Poison (stopping the reduction of health while poisoned without curing the status). Additionally, each rank of Renew heals the target for (25 + 1.5% of Target's Maximum HP) per skill level every 3 seconds. The maximum skill level is 4. The skill cannot be used on monsters and therefore cannot be used offensively against undead. The skill is instant cast, but has a high SP cost of 40 + (15 * Skill Level). The effect lasts for 30 seconds.
Monk Skill Changes
- In development.
Magician Skill Changes
- Energy Coat Job level requirement was reduced from 35 to 15. The quest now requires 1 Glass Bead instead of 3. Developer Comments: As with most other Platinum Skill reworks, this one gets the treatment of a smaller item requirement since it can be learned at a lower level.
Wizard Skill Changes
- No changes to this job class.
Sage Skill Changes
- In development.
Archer Skill Changes
- Attention Concentrate: Skill now costs 20 SP + 6 SP per skill level, up from 20 SP + 5 SP per skill level. However, the duration of the skill has increased by 1 minute at all ranks. Skill now has the ability to remove the Confusion status (upside-down screen). Developer Comments: Players have asked that most buffs have similar buff durations. The buff durations for core skills have been increased to a 5 minute maximum at the additional marginally higher cost of SP.
- Arrow Shower: Skill is now targetable on mobs and will push them back 1 cell instead of 2 cells. However, the pushback will always be away from the caster, not the area of impact. The skill can no longer move or break traps. Developer Notes: Players have requested that this skill be improved for precision by making it both targetable and making the pushback more consistent. That said, to balance the skill, we have decided to no longer allow the ability to move traps. Furthermore, the knockback has been reduced by half.
- Arrow Crafting: Can now be learned at Job Level 15. The quest now only requires 5 Trunks, down from 13. Developer Comments: As with most other Platinum Skill reworks, this one gets the treatment of a smaller item requirement since it can be learned at a lower level.
Hunter Skill Changes
- Blitz Beat: Damage is done in full to all hit mobs regardless of being autocast or hard cast (that is, splash damage no longer is split among targets). The formula for damage is: ([LUK] + [INT/2] + 6 * Steel Crow Lvl + 20) * 2). Proc chance has remained unchanged. Developer Comments: Falconer builds have seen less play given how strong Double Strafe builds are. However, many players have requested improvements to Blitz Beat. In developing the skill changes, an emphasis on LUK was made as LUK not only increases proc chance, but under this new formula will also provide investment towards damage. This skill is now improved to a level that is competitive in play.
- Blast Mine: Does small splash damage to targets. The damage formula is now: [(70+DEX)*(70+INT)/65*Skill Level. Developer Comments: Trapper builds have also been outshined by Double Strafe builds. By increasing the trap damage rate, players may be more incentivized to prioritize stats towards a trapper build, allowing a third core build to be competitive as a Hunter.
- Landmine: Does no splash damage but has high damage output with modified formula of: [(70+DEX)*(100+INT)/70*Skill Level. Developer Comments: Same comments as Blast Mine to justify the changes.
- Freezing Trap: Flat damage was increased by 650. There are no additional formula changes. Developer Comments: Same comments as Blast Mine to justify the changes.
- Claymore Mine: This trap has a medium splash damage range. Now has a damage output of [(30+DEX)*(100+INT)/100*Skill Level. Developer Comments: Same comments as Blast Mine to justify the changes.
Bard Skill Changes
- In development.
Dancer Skill Changes
- In development.
Merchant Skill Changes
- Discount: Skill now reduces the zeny cost of Mammonite by 5% per level of Discount learned. Developer Comments: Mammonite usage is relatively low given its high cost. Giving an opportunity to greatly lower its cost will increase its usage. However, by making it more useful per hit, we expect it to remain a reliable zeny sink. This will also greatly assist Merchants with leveling.
- Cart Revolution: Can now be learned at Job Level 15 and now does 250% ATK damage regardless of cart weight. The skill's quest requirement is now 15 Iron Ores instead of a random amount of Iron. Developer Notes: While the flavor of increasing damage based on cart weight in theory sounds reasonable, in practice, this often requires Merchants to fill their carts with useless items to optimize performance of this skill. Given this is the only AoE skill available to Merchants and Merchants are challenged by leveling, an improvement to this skill was warranted.
- Crazy Uproar: Now only costs 1 Pearl to learn, down from 7 Pearls. Developer Comments: As with most other Platinum Skill reworks, this one gets the treatment of a smaller item requirement since it can be learned at a lower level.
Blacksmith Skill Changes
- Adrenaline Rush: Now has a buff length of 5 minutes at maximum rank. SP has been increased marginally for the skill to compensate for the longer time. Developer Comments: Players have asked that most buffs have similar buff durations. The buff durations for core skills have been increased to a 5 minute maximum at the additional marginally higher cost of SP.
- Weapon Perfection: Now has a buff length of 5 minutes at maximum rank. SP has been increased marginally for the skill to compensate for the longer time. Developer Comments: Players have asked that most buffs have similar buff durations. The buff durations for core skills have been increased to a 5 minute maximum at the additional marginally higher cost of SP.
- Overthrust: Now has a buff length of 5 minutes at maximum rank. SP has been increased marginally for the skill to compensate for the longer time. Overthrust will no longer break your weapon when used. Developer Comments: Again, buff lengths were a core request made by the community. Additionally, given this skill's weapon breaking penalty, it was not utilized as much. This penalty has been removed.
- Skin Tempering: Skin Tempering now provides +4% Resistance to Neutral element and +6% Resistance to Fire element per skill level. Developer Comments: While Blacksmiths cannot tank as well as Crusaders or Knights, their higher neutral and fire property resistance will give them some additional survivability, especially when soloing content.
Alchemist Skill Changes
- In development.
Thief Skill Changes
- Double Attack: Chance to activate increased from 5% per skill level to 7% chance per skill level. Developer Comments: Thiefs are a little slower than some other classes in terms of leveling. The higher output of Double Attack not only helps with Thief leveling but also carries forward into Assassin and Rogue to provide some boosts to specific builds that were needed.
- Envenom: Now costs 8 SP to cast. Developer Notes: Envenom, when used with the new poison status changes, is fairly valuable as a Theif skill. However, the SP cost was too large of a barrier to use the skill often enough to see good results. Therefore, the SP cost was reduced marginally.
Assassin Skill Changes
- Right / Left Hand Mastery: Right Hand Mastery and Left Hand Mastery ATK damage is now increased by 20% for all ranks. Developer Comments: Auto-attacks were not keeping up in DPS with other skill-centric builds. Therefore, adjustments to auto-attacks were necessary to keep parity between some builds.
- Venom Splasher: No longer requires a Red Gemstone to use. Developer Comments: Poison is a key component of an Assassin's utility. However, it was rarely used due to poison not really being too detrimental. Therefore, poison has been modified to be more dangerous and the removal of a reagent for Venom Splasher gives viability to Assassin pure poison builds.
- Enchant Poison: Duration increased to 5 minutes at maximum rank. Also, proc chance for poisoning the target increased to 10% at maximum level. Developer Comments: Again, poison is a central part of the Assassin class and this skill further helps provide support around poison builds.
- Katar Mastery: Now grants +4 ATK and 5% CRIT if fully mastered to Rank 10 (Katar's double CRIT rate and this is effectively a 10% CRIT increase at rank 10). Developer Comments: While poison is now viable through other changes, additional support for CRIT-based Assassins was needed as well. The improvements made to this mastery skill help level the CRIT Assassin with other builds.
Rogue Skill Changes
- In development.
- Poison Status: Poison status now reduces VIT Defense by 50%, up from 25%. It deals ticking damage equal to 2% per second, up from 1% per second. Developer Comments: Poison as a status was not very detrimental and was easily countered in PVP due to Green Potions and Herbs. While the curing methods are unchanged, the detrimental effects of poison will make it a higher priority to counter in PVP/GVG settings. More importantly, the PVE setting is improved by giving those who inflict poison the ability to dispatch mobs faster.
A New Experience System
One generally consistent factor among private servers is the experience system. Specifically, pre-renewal servers fall into the trap of using the base database rates for experience and modifying those rates by applying multipliers. However, changing the multipliers to effect experience rates is not truly a means of balancing or improving gameplay. At OathRO, we have parsed the experience tables of each monster and regressed them against HP values, skills, and other factors to give each monster an indexed score that explains its risk/reward ratio. Thereafter, we went through each monster and rebalanced the stats, HP, and experience granted by those monsters to provide a more linear, consistent progression that players will be able to use to vary their playstyle and try new zones for leveling.
While this may sound similar to the Renewal system, we are keeping the old experience requirements for level ups and leveling will take roughly the same amount of time you would expect on other low-rate servers. That said, old grinding spots such as killing “Wolves” in the 30-40 level range or Toy Factory mobs in the 40-60 level range will no longer be your only efficient options. With the rebalancing, there will be multiple options that provide similar rewards and difficulty for varying level ranges.
We acknowledge that this system may not be perfect out the gate, but we are committed to making adjustments to improve the player experience. Coupled with the questing systems we will later introduce; we envision a well-rounded game that will more closely match the improvements made in the last 20 years to the MMORPG genre as a whole.
In combination with a new experience system, we also wanted to introduce some linearity in monster spawn locations. While some maps may remain relatively untouched, other maps do not cater well to our goal to provide more options for players.
For example, have you ever been on a map with good, but challenging experience rewards only to be met with a hunter fly that completely disrupts your leveling? We assume that these mobs were added as a lazy way for the official game to passively combat botting. However, many security improvements such as Gepard Shield have eradicated the ability to bot on servers like OathRO, leaving behind mobs that are no more than a nuisance. We want all players to have fun and level where they want. Therefore, mobs seen merely as annoyances will be move to locations more suitable and mobs with high levels of variance in difficulty will be moved to provide maps that are more balanced. As with the experience rates, we will be monitoring the monster locations to provide better progressive balance for our players and cohesion with new quests.
HP and SP Regeneration
Downtime has been reduced by increasing the speed at which HP and SP regenerates. When considering things that make Ragnarok Online less enjoyable than other MMORPGs, we considered the downtime caused by slow resource generation to be one of the biggest factors. The ability to use skills provides players with a way to dynamically change the way they play, but if this is stifled by abysmally low regeneration rates, then play is often interrupted. Alternatively, players may forego using some skills entirely due to their SP cost. Therefore, we have decided to make the following changes:
- HP Regeneration Rate: Increased the rate at which HP regenerates from 6 seconds to 4 seconds while standing. While sitting, the HP regeneration rate is now 2 seconds per tick. Cards and skills can also affect HP Regeneration as usual.
- SP Regeneration Rate: Increased the rate at which SP regenerates from 8 seconds to 6 seconds while standing. While sitting, the SP regeneration rate is now 3 seconds per tick. Cards and skills can also affect SP Regeneration as usual, this includes Maginificat.
- HP/SP Recovery Skills: HP and SP Recovery skills that are learned by certain classes also now provide regeneration rates at twice the speed. Previously, these skill regenerated HP or SP at 10 seconds per tick. Now, these skills will provide recovery every 5 seconds.
Relatively minor, though important for fun gameplay, we have decided to increase the maximum weight limit before HP/SP regeneration penalties are imposed to 70%. We feel that 50% is too punishing for all classes and especially those that do not put stats into strength. We think each player should build a character however they wish and prefer weight limits to have less of an impact on builds so players can create characters that are fun to play and not disadvantaged by a largely outdated, unnecessary system.