Thomas “Blixtev” Blair here, and I’m going to give a quick update on some of the recent enhancements that came online with the Discipline system, namely Passive Powers.
WHAT ARE PASSIVE POWERS?
Passive Powers are a subcategory of powers that automatically do something in response to a very specific game action. For example, a passive power might “increase your health regeneration while standing still.”
The reason it is called “passive” is because, as the name implies, the player didn’t have to activate anything to cause this effect to happen – the power just triggered, it did the thing it was supposed to do because it was pre-loaded onto the player. You can think of these as kind of like breathing; passives are something that happens in the background without any thought process on the part of the player.
Since Passive Powers are typically pretty powerful, we limit the number of them that a player can have active at any one time. Currently the limit that can be equipped is set to three. This will encourage players to strategically select which are the most important to them. Consequently, even multiple characters of the same Race, Class and Discipline(s) will likely be different based on the Passive Powers players select.
To equip a Passive Power, press K to open the power screen. The passives available to your character—the circular icons with a purple/plum background—are shown on the left. You will start with a number of passives you can choose from, derived from your Race, Class and any Disciplines that you have chosen. To make one active, drag the icon to one of the three “Passive” slots on your Power bar as shown below.
NEW TYPES OF PASSIVES
You may have noticed from recent playtests that we have done away with the myriad of Harvesting Testing potions. All players now have a series of harvesting passives that can be loaded out in the Powers UI. The harvesting passives are designed to act as leg-ups for those who don't have any (or many) harvesting skills trained. (Think of it like a handicap for starting players!) Each of these passives will grant the player up to three “Plentiful Harvest” ranks in the associated profession: Mining, Logging, Quarrying and Skinning. A player who chooses to train in one or more of these associated skills will, in time, have no reason to use these passives.
Power Cost Multiplier
You may have noticed that the Power Cost Multiplier on weapons is now active. This stat is a multiplier on the power resource for any power that you use. The idea here is that some weapons are better at acting as a magical focus for your powers just as some weapons are more damaging, some are faster and some decay more slowly.
Crafters can experiment on this stat at various stages of the weapon crafting process via spending Experimentation Points into “Power Cost Multiplier”. A weapon crafted to help you focus your powers will make your active tray powers cost less of the base resource (mana, fury, rage, etc.) to use. Conversely, ignoring this stat will make powers cost more than the base resource cost.
- Positive Power Cost Multiplier is bad, (e. +.54%), meaning all of your powers will cost 54% more resource to use. A power that costs 100 base mana, now costs you 154 mana.
- Negative Power Cost Multiplier is good! (e. -.26%), meaning your powers will cost 26% less resource to use. A power that costs 100 base stamina, now costs you 74 mana!
Why do weapons include a Power Cost Multiplier? Again, it comes down to character customization. Two players could choose to make a High-Elf Knight with the exact same loadout of Disciplines and play very differently because one of them decided to concentrate on damage output while the other chose to focus on efficiency of stamina usage for their Powers.
Expert crafters have more Experimentation Points to spend, so they can try to create a weapon with BOTH improved Damage AND a reduced Power Cost Multiplier (but is that better than focusing on one or the other? That’s for the player to decide.)
Remember a few paragraphs back when I mentioned the harvesting and crafting passives that we offer to new players, the ones that act as a handicap so that characters don’t have to start at absolute zero?
We have one of those for Power Cost Multiplier, too. If you find yourself wielding a weapon with an unwieldy Power Cost Multiplier, you can load out the Mental Fortitude passive to reduce your power cost by 25%. (Once you obtain a better weapon—or train the appropriate skill—this passive becomes obsolete, though you may choose to use them both and stack the cost reductions.)
The entire Leadership skill tree is themed around the idea that increasing skills in it will make you a better leader, which it does when and if you have loaded out the Group Leadership passive. This passive will activate as long as you are the leader of your group, and you will grant increased statistics to the entire group. (Everyone will want to be in your group!)
Oh, and about slots…
One last note: we may change the number of active and passive power slots later down the line. We plan on having Major and Minor Disciplines that can unlock additional slots, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we vary the number of these (and the number of Discipline slots) by Race, as well.
(I know a lot of people are still asking, “Why would I ever play a Human?” and we hear you! Don’t worry, we know these things need a balance pass. We put 100 new disciplines in the game last week, and we just didn’t want to turn too many knobs at once. We’ll be adding more Disciplines, and more racial distinction, as more of the system comes online.)
Hope this give you a better idea of what to expect from all of the new Passive Powers that are popping up in your Powers UI! Please make sure to equip them – and let us know what you think!
As always, please feel free to leave comments on the forums, and…
See you in game!
Thomas “Blixtev” Blair
Design Lead, ArtCraft Entertainment