Thoughts on the Update 37 Patch 4 Release Notes
On Wednesday, February 21st of 2018 the latest patch release notes were unveiled. There is a lot to cover, so my replies shall be limited to what I consider to be the simplest.
The return of the Anniversary Event means players will be engaged in the grind for whatever item that a number of specified farmed materials can be traded. Be that item a cosmetic or an item that one might only gain if they ran a quest or raid to which they may not have access. Some of the items offered are sub-par, while others are quite sweet (I’m lookin’ at you, Quiver of Alacrity).
Of Special Note:Happy 12th Anniversary, Dungeons & Dragons Online!In celebration of 12 years of DDO, we’re giving away a cosmetic item to every character that logs in during the Anniversary! When characters log in from February 23rd through April 1st they will receive a slice of birthday cake in their inventory when they first log in after the event is activated. Double-clicking on the cake will open a UI that allows the player to select one of five Bound to Character cosmetics (click on the links to see what the cosmetic looks like):The cosmetics are similar in appearance, but look appropriate for the weight of the armor or docent.
Also, on login, every character will find a new cosmetic armor in their inventory. The value of said cosmetic will vary by circumstance. New players will likely find a new cosmetic exciting, whereas veteran players will range from thrilled to finding another cosmetic to take up valuable storage space boring and lackluster.
Regardless of how you view the freebie, it is just that: Free. Once gained, you may do with it as you wish, whether that is to store it, wear it, or have it destroyed.
If you’ve read my blog for a while, you know my personal opinion on cosmetics. If not, you will find me in the latter of the aforementioned categories, as at present I want to reduce the number of “mules”. To me, storage space is at a premium.
News and Notes:
- Favored Soul: The Hitpoints provided from “Stout of Heart” and the Spell Points provided by “Purity of Spirit” are no longer removed on death.
- Fighter Vanguard “Shield Rush” second and third ranks DC now properly scale off your highest attribute modifier.
I play neither of these classes, so this news has little impact for me, however from what I can tell, these seem to be much needed improvements!
- Death fatalities have returned! Monsters now have a 25% chance when killed by a magical attack to do a special death fatality, such as freezing solid and then shattering, or dissolving from acid.
Though this change is on the monster side, this appears to me to be just another cosmetic update. So long as they do die, I don’t care about the animation, though this change does seem to have some players excited.
- All effects that dispel or ward against Rage have been updated to include an updated and more consistent set of Rage effects.
This bullet point is awesome! Those that are not supposed to be affected by rage effects will no longer be affected! Good news for those whose abilities are nullified when raged!
- The animation for Shield Charge has been improved.
It is not probable that many will care about this, but as a player of a Sword and Board (S&B, or “shield”) paladin, I hope that this will make the ability more useful. It is hard to tell sometimes whether or not your shield charge was successful.
- Monster Champion damage-over-time on-hit effects now have an internal cooldown, and will no longer apply multiple stacks from one multi-projectile spell.
This is a win for players. As someone that has just started Reaper difficulty, I count this monster “nerf” a blessing. The capability to stack DoT ability seems unbalanced and overpowered.
- Action Boosts and other activated statistical boosts will no longer pause melee attacking.
Another win! The fact we couldn’t attack while we transformed our will to face a foe into more damage seemed a bit ridiculous.
I’m not sure how others used this, but I always cast it mid charge, which meant that the speed at which I arrived at my target was slowed. The animation confirmed a successful cast, but this way is far more useful.
- Various Aura abilities no longer erroneously apply their effects to targets they are not meant to (Objects, creatures in entrance states, etc.)
Perhaps I do not know enough about the game, or it is possible that this was not clearly expressed, but I’m not sure that this fix was even necessary. I’ve don’t recall any instance where I’ve seen this happen, let alone any effects that were adverse.
- Monsters will now only investigate breakable sounds at medium range. Previously they could hear those sounds from great distances which could cause unintended chain pulls as they would path to investigate.
“Chain pulling” is an enormous issue, and I- for one- am glad it is being addressed. The times I have noticed this most is while doing quests on Reaper. Perhaps reaper survival rates will increase a bit due to this fix of injustice.
- Disease Immunity now works properly on Purity Filigree.
Awesome. The ability to ignore Mummy Rot altogether is immense!
- When using items with the newer, scaled Vampirism, Construct characters are now healed with Repair energy and Undead characters are healed with Negative energy instead of the normal Positive.
I know nothing of this, but creatures healed in their proper manner is a good thing. Negative to Undead, Repair to Constructs, just as the Good Devs intended!
- During potion drinking held items will fade off and reappear at the end of the animation.
I am confused. Was this even an issue? I cannot honestly state as to the last time I even paid attention to the drinking animation, my usual habit is to watch to see if the intended effect occurred. This is cosmetic, so I don’t really see the need.
- The Icons for Vistani Totem’s have been altered.
Dependent upon what the icon was swapped to, this could be a much needed improvement. The previous icon was similar to that of some collectibles, and as such (for me, at least) caused much confusion.
- The Great Crossbow “Volley, Arbalest of the Damned” is now more visually impressive.
*Yawn* Cosmetic. Meh.
- Some Legendary Greensteel Set Bonus buff bar tooltips have been altered for clarity.
Excellent! Clarity is key when in an attempt to figure out what you want to do for Green Steel items.
Soul of the Elements”, on the rings “Perfect Pinnacle” and “Legendary Perfect Pinnacle”, now correctly persists through death.
Yet another win for players! I have neither of these rings, but for those that do the news that they now work as intended is tremendous!
Purifying Quiver” and “Legendary Purifying Quiver” can no longer erroneously drop with a “Reaper” bonus on them.
I will be honest and say that my acquisition of this item was recent, and did not even check to see if it had any bonus from Reaper. I shall have to check the one I got to see if it has any special functions!
- The tooltip description of “Bleeding” damaging effects now accurately states the full damage being added by the effect.
So now when we look at the tooltip for these items, the information presented will be more precise. Win!
- Both the Heroic and the Legendary variants of the “Silent Avenger” set bonus no longer erroneously grant far more Fortification Bypass than intended.
An exploit has been eradicated. Nothing but win, here! I am glad the game has become more balanced.
Quest and Adventure Areas!
Quests and Adventure Areas
- The Anniversary Event has been updated! New rewards, NPCs, and more will be discovered when the event opens later this week.
When they say “later this week”, it is probable they mean the weekend, or Thursday at the earliest. However, Friday is a safe bet.
Mists of Ravenloft
- Undead should now be properly damaged by healing on Legendary Elite and Reaper difficulties.
- Transport NPCs have been moved inside of the Taverns in Barovia.
- Old Baba’s Hut now properly displays in the Adventure Compendium.
- Raid weapons now have their correct icons.
- The Blessings of a Feather feat is no longer lost upon death.
- It is now possible to see where you have recently been on the landscape map.
- Fixed an issue with the Ravenloft Exit signs where you could “Return to Eveningstar” even if your character had not been to Eveningstar.
- Ravenloft Exit signs now have additional teleport locations available including “Return to your Guild Airship” and the other Ravenloft Public Spaces.
- Trap Control Panel’s in Death House have been adjusted to face the correct directions.
- Signposts in Barovia now correctly point to Wizard of Wines and Yester Hill.
- It is harder to cause dungeon alert during the final fight in Wrath of Earth.
- The “Anarchist” card is no longer erroneously called the “Anarchrist” card in the objectives of “An Invitation to Dinner”.
These are all great fixes, however I can’t help but be a little saddened by the lost of the “Anachrist”. I suppose I will be okay so long as they don’t correct the “Soliders” out in Shavarath.
I enjoy these little typed errors!
Tempest Spine and Legendary Tempest Spine
- A Dimensional Door now appears at the start of the raid after Sorjek dies.
- Sorjek will no longer leash in the middle of combat.
Not sure what either of these mean, as I don’t often run Raids, but I am going to go ahead and assume these are good improvements.
Since I have been tossed from the top of Tempest Spine almost every run I’ve ever done, I shall hope that the Dimension Door will lead up to the pinnacle so that others like me will not give up on their loot acquisition.
Assault on the Aerie of the Slave Lords
- Some tweaks have been made to monster placement which make it somewhat less likely to trigger Red Dungeon Alert while playing.
- Freda is no longer looks confused after the Umber Hulks are killed.
- Fixed an issue in “Assault on the Aerie of the Slave Lords” where some players were unable to see the Mudmen.
- Some Dungeon Alert changes have been made in Part One of Temple of Elemental Evil.
I do not run this, so I don’t know much about these issues, however they seem to be balance oriented. If so, I am very much glad for their implementation!
Also, not sure why ToEE was included with the Slave Lords, but I’m sure it was either intentional due to relevance or a mere oversight.
- The Earth Elemental Optional in the Lair of Summoning now has its correct text.
This will help those that run this quest, I’m sure. I’m just not one of them, as the balance has always been askew. This is not a quest for soloists.
- The two missing Rare encounters in King’s Forest can now be found and completed.
HURRAY! King’s Forest is a large area, and to not be able to find the final two rares has been a thorn in the side of many adventurers. Thank you for this!
- The overall number of monsters has been reduced in some denser encounters in Friends in Low Places.
In other words: “We understand this quest is unbalanced, and have thus fixed said balance issues. Thank you for your patience.” AKA: Win!
- Critters, such as sewer rats, squirrels etc, will no longer roll for champion status. A bug has been fixed where they also counted towards Dungeon Alert. They also no longer cry for help, for lonely is the world of the critter…
As a writer I enjoy the flavor text here; though as an adventurer, I now no longer wish to kill said critters: Conundrum!
- Transporting to Reaver’s Reach from the Guild Airship now properly closes the dialogue box.
This is a minor fix, but one that is much appreciated!
- Dragonborn potion drinking animations have been updated and now hold the bottle correctly.
Yet another cosmetic fix, but I can see how some players might be perturbed. So long as the intended effect happens, I couldn’t care less. However, I’ll count this a win for the players that find this to be an issue.
- Sentient Weapon audio will now say the same thing twice in a row less often.
I have not noticed my sentient weapon say things too repeatedly, but any time a lower chance is introduced, there is less chance of player irritation. Win!
- There is a new slider in Audio Options to adjust the volume of Sentient Weapon voices. The earlier check box to mute or unmute Sentient Weapon voices has therefore been removed.
- Saga completion dialog now correctly references the saga in question, rather than thanking people for saving Eveningstar.
YES! Though I do not mind my Resolute Sentient Gem, I could stand for it to be a bit quieter. Another player win
- House Jorasco has had a slight layout alteration in preparation for Update 38.
When this was brought up in an earlier announcement, I was worried. I have seen the updated House J area, and cannot see the purpose of the changes. I thought House J was fine as it was, save for the west wall that blocks all access to the upper area. For me, however, the point remains elusive. Perhaps time will make the need for these changes apparent.
This update patch seems to be more in favor of the players. Some of the changes don’t seem to have been all that necessary, while for others the need has been great. I can only hope that other balance changes are made so that people that prefer to test their build’s mettle as soloists may run quests that only those run in groups find available.
Overall, this was a very good update patch. The things I took issue with are just nit picked, and I have found no glaring issues. For the most part the changes are for the players’ and game’s balance benefit.
Well done, Devs. Well done.
And a big thank you to everyone that helped in the development of my favorite game!
I’d also like to thank my readers and the DDO community for all their help in the past couple of weeks as I try out some new builds. You’re all amazing, THANK YOU!
Have questions, or something you’d like to add to the conversation? Join us in the comments section below!