Now that Season of the Warp Surge is out on PC, our Systems designer Norbi (Trebron55 on Discord) compiled a cool series of posts for those who'd like to dive deeper into the game with their new seasonal characters. Our aim here with these is to make your builds much more feasible or even help creating new ones! Below is the first part of these posts, focusing on general stat and balance changes in a really detailed way.
General Changes I: Caps and cap-breaking for crit chance, cooldowns and more
In order to avoid having unbalanced behavior when players stack extreme amounts of certain stats, Inquisitor uses caps which limit the amount of benefit a player can receive. The "soft" cap is a limit that most skills and effects obey. Though it wasn’t communicated before, a small number of effects were already exceeding the soft cap up to a second, "hard" cap. This hidden distinction resulted in some confusion amongst the playerbase. One thing we introduced in the new season is a new keyword for these effects that go over the softcap: "Supreme". This keyword, as well as the exact values for both caps are now clearly communicated in tooltips in the character stats screen.
To make Crit less of a must-have stat to hoard we changed many of these effects into “normal” critical chance. This might hit your DPS somewhat, but it makes the passive tree more even in the crit benefits it provides and makes Supreme effects all the more valuable.
Cooldown reduction was both too plentiful and too powerful, as many skills gave the option to reduce basically all CDs to zero with little to no investment. We re-tuned these so initial cooldowns of certain skills carry more weight now, as they can’t be reset as easily. To make up for this, we significantly lowered the global cooldown (0.2s) to make it easier to chain multiple skills together, especially if some of your skills work together to enable other effects or enchants. Some specific skills have also gotten buffs in light of their now more restricted cooldowns.
In addition, we also removed the innate cooldown on swapping weapons. Skills will now cool down while they are in the inactive weapon set, and they no longer trigger their cooldowns when swapping back in. This helps compensate for the loss of instant cooldown refresh, as it opens up the ability to actually build for 2 weapons and play with 8 skills instead of 4.
Critical hit and Cooldown reduction are not absolute must-have options in the passive trees anymore. While they are still strong in many cases, you should now have more viable options in how you spend your passive points and build your character. Many flat damage passives were increased and might result in a better return, especially in the early game.
General Changes II: Damage over time, melee buffs, and belt recharging
DoTs now can stack up to 5 times, and some slower skills now have the ability to apply more than one stack at a time. In addition, we doubled the base tick damage for each DoT stack. This change allows DoTs to scale much better as mission difficulty increases. But beware: this change also applies to enemies as well, so those pesky nurglings can stack up poison fast and take a decent chunk of your HP.
Many effects from gear, passives, doctrines, and perks have also been updated to help you craft your build around the new DoT mechanics. A bunch of DoT tags have been added and shuffled around on skills for both the Assassin and the Psyker so make sure you check out the new synergies.
To help improve melee survivability, melee weapons have been given a set of new "leech" enchants. These new enchants let the player recover a percent of damage done as HP or energy shield. So when you dive into the midst of your enemies, your powerful AOE attacks can now keep your HP topped off while you clear out the horde. The psyker has received a similar but slightly weaker form of this effect as a Mastery that can be attached to psychic powers.
Belt equipment recharging and the Charge Cooldown stat
Up to now, supply charges have put a hard limit on the number times that belt skills can be used. While this rewards careful resource management, we also recognized that it caused problems in some cases. Players who were slogging through a tough mission might find themselves completely drained with no supply boxes in sight, and certain belt items felt like they weren't really providing the same benefit for consuming a supply charge. To fix this, we added a built-in recharge timer for all belt items which will automatically give you a free extra supply charge every so often. Every belt item now has its own Charge Cooldown stat, displayed on the item. Belt items with strong effects like invulnerability have longer charge cooldowns, while weaker effects like the personal teleporter are much shorter (just 6 seconds). This recharge has limits, though. For one, it only works when you're completely empty, so supply boxes are still a valuable commodity. It is also completely unaffected by gear stats: cooldown reduction can't be used to speed it up.
General Changes III: Cleanup and tweaks
Passives, perks and attributes
As part of our ongoing effort to refresh non-gear choices in Inquisitor, we've made a wide variety of tweaks to passives, perks, and character attributes. Most were given numerical tweaks (for instance, the power of most small passive nodes has doubled across the board), but some got mechanical changes or brand-new behaviors. You can check out the full list of changes in-game or in the patch notes. Given the range of changes, it's possible that something you have written off previously might have become the best choice for your build. In addition, some attribute milestone bonuses have been changed or rearranged to make more sense in terms of power progression, so give a second look at where you allocate your points.
You might notice that AoE and similar effects' descriptions became a bit more vague (sadly, that was the best solution). During the balance changes, we adjusted many skills' true areas of effect to better match the visuals. Accurate numbers have been added to skill descriptions (if we have missed something, feel free to point out), but this work will continue during the season and later patches to make the descriptions more useful.
There have been plenty of UX related changes but maybe the most important ones are the reworked Matchmaking-Recruitment for Co-op and the Abandon button for intel missions.
You can use this window to customize your party instead of randomly matching up with strangers. The party stays together after missions, dropped players can even rejoin missions on the fly.
You can now abandon the Intel missions if you don’t like the modifiers rolled onto them.