To help everyone with their builds and their new seasonal characters, we're continuing our System designer Trebron55's posts about the changes in Season of the Warp Surge, this time focusing on loot changes, random missions andtarot cards.
Random mission scaling and tarot cards
Let's start with the great news: random missions no longer stop at level 70, they can go all the way up to level 107. This means that characters of all levels will now have random missions available which can provide an appropriate challenge. As with existing random missions, these are given with some inherent randomness in the level, so a max-level character will see a variety of mission levels from 100 to 107.
In addition, major tarot cards have been reworked significantly. These cards now modify missions by adding levels to the current mission instead of setting them to a fixed value. This means that all major tarot cards can now be used at max level (before, several were permanently rendered useless after your random mission level surpassed them).
There are 8 tarot cards which increase mission level by four different amounts: +2, +5, +8, and +11. With random missions scaling up to 107 this means that you can have a random, (co-op playable) mission at lvl 118 instantly if you want. You no longer need to grind for these cards either: they always give the level modifier effect (though the rewards they offer are better for a higher-level card).
An additional boon is that these cards can be applied to Intel, Ordo, or even Void Crusade missions, making the whole experience more customizable. One common complaint we heard from players was that the early missions in void crusades could end up being too easy for some characters. This meant a boring "ramp-up" experience at the beginning of every void crusade. With the new system, the base mission difficulty still gradually increases in difficulty as you progress through a void crusade, but tarot cards can be applied to pump the challenge up to a more appropriate level. If the void crusade starts getting too tough, you can always choose to select an easier tarot card. This lets the player have more control over the difficulty profile they experience over the life of a void crusade.
And we didn't forget co-op. The interface has been reworked so it’s easy to host rooms and look for a party if you want to. With the added mission options, it will be easier for you and your friends to find or create what you are looking for.
Difficulty-scaled loot rewards
What’s the point of increasing the difficulty using the new tarot system? Well, you get better loot! The item level cap has been increased from 90 to 100, but items with an item level above 90 will only drop as loot---it cannot be crafted or bought from a vendor. We recognize that getting to max level is a long process, and we felt that bumping the item level cap was just moving the finish line. The new item level cap still lets players settle on a build by level 90, but it also gives a path for players to continue improving their gear even after reaching max level.
There are a couple rules for how and when item level 90+ drop can happen. First, 90+ items will only start dropping in missions at least 7 levels higher than your current level, and they cannot roll higher than your current character level. Second, the actual level of item drops are randomized, so you have a relatively small chance of seeing a 90+ item and you'll still see many level 90 drops. The chance to see a 90+ drop increases roughly linearly with each additional mission level beyond 7.
Example: To have a chance to get a lvl 97 item you have to be at least lvl 97 and you have to run a lvl 104 mission at the very least. (See, I told you that the new tarot mission scaling changes would come in handy.)