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More Thoughts on Critical

As I’ve been questing through Polaris with Cameron StarCatcher, I’ve noticed a few interesting things involving the new critical system. I’m currently level 103. I’ve been tracking Emma’s critical and block rates since before the update went live. I’ve noticed an interesting pattern as I’ve leveled up.

At level 100, post-update, I had 29% critical and 29% block.

When I leveled to 101, my critical went UP to 31% but my block dropped to 28%.

At 102, my critical dropped again, this time down to 28%. My block stayed the same at 28%.

When I leveled to 103 last week, my critical went BACK UP to 31% and my block remained at 28%.

So at this point, my critical has been higher at odd levels and lower at even. It’s odd. So far, the decline that was present with the old system is more intense at even levels than it was in the system, but it’s jumping back up at odd levels. It seems odd to me. I guess I should start tracking Suri and Jenna’s critical and block ratings for more data. Maybe Cameron will be willing to contribute data. Has anyone else noticed this?

On a slightly different note, I realized the other day that my critical and block ratings dropped by about 20% at the update, which means when I use Amplify and Conviction, my ratings are about equal to pre-update ratings. Just some food for thought…

~Emma

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Critical System

One of the reasons I decided to start blogging now is because of the Polaris update, especially the new critical system. Ever since the beginning of Test Realm, I’ve heard nothing but complaints and claims that KingsIsle “ruined” the system and now critical is “broken”. I’m not so sure that’s actually the case.

I might be the only exalted wizard to say this, but I LIKE the new system and I think it’s far better than the old one. Yes, I get that the percentages have dropped, in some cases by a lot, but is that REALLY such a big deal? You’re far more likely to land, even if you only have a 1% critical chance. If you critical, you are guaranteed a chance to land.

At the start of the update, my critical dropped from 65% down to 29% and my block dropped from 53% down to 29%. But is that a bad thing? I am inclined to say no, it’s not.

Prior to the update, if I had a critical rating of 350 and my opponent had a block rating of 500, there was no chance I was going to land. My critical rating had to be higher than my opponent’s block rating to even have a chance at landing.

The update changed how this works, primarily by raising the chance at landing. For example, I have a 29% chance at criticaling. Let’s say my opponent has a 50% chance at blocking. This means that every time I cast a spell, I have a 29% chance that I will critical. If I critical, my opponent has a 50% chance at blocking. Even if I had a 100% chance at criticaling, this no longer means I will land. The only way a block will be guaranteed is with 100% block.

So why is this a good thing?

Balance, Myth, and Fire wizards should be especially excited for this change. Why? Now, multi-hits (like Hydra, Minotaur, and Chimera) and DOTS (like Fire Elf, Frostbite, and Poison) are no longer “all or nothing.” For example, prior to the update, if the first head of my Chimera was blocked, then that meant all three hits would be blocked, too. Now, I can land the first hit, the second hit be blocked, and the third head land again. (Or any combination of hitting and landing you can think of.) It’s similar with DOTS (Damage Over Time Spells). The initial damage from your Fire Elf might get blocked, but the TIC will land or vice versa. I think it always should have been this way.

There’s another reason this is a good thing. The original critical system was first introduced when Celestia came out. Prior to the launch of Celestia, the max level was 50 which meant at launch, the cap was raised to 60. With the Polaris update came the cap of 110. That means it has been 60 levels since the original critical system was introduced. Just prior to the Polaris update, when the max level was 100 and the old system was still being used, I had met several wizards, primarily Storm, who had 100% or more critical. I had also met a few wizards, primarily Ice, who had 100% or more block. How is one supposed to improve from 100%? What would be the point? With the new system, there’s reason to go beyond 100%, but keep in mind, Polaris is only the start of the third story arc. Both of the previous arcs had 5 worlds and 50 levels and there are 2 side words, plus Aquila and the Four Dungeons (Pagoda of Harmony, Barkingham Palace, House of Scales, and Darkmoor). I think it’s safe to assume that the third arc will also have 5 worlds and will end in 50 levels (150).

Assuming that is the case and the critical system wasn’t changed, it would be safe to assume that Storm would easily have 200% critical and the average wizard would easily be able to reach 100%. In order for the upcoming worlds to be difficult, the monsters would have to have an insane amount of block so it wasn’t too easy for the Storm wizards. They’d also have to have an insane amount of critical so it wasn’t too easy for the Ice wizards. So, where would that leave everyone else? By changing the system, the upcoming worlds can be fun and challenging for everyone, without being too difficult for the causal player or for children, but also not being too easy for the more hardcore players.

I don’t know how many have noticed, but Conviction has been updated to aide us with this new system. Prior to the update, the trained card gave 90 block and 90% stun resistance and the TC (Treasure Card) version gave 95 block and 95% stun resistance. With the update, trained Conviction now gives 15% critical block and 90% stun resistance, while the TC version gives 20% critical block and 95% stun resistance. Keep in mind that Vengance still gives 15% critical if it’s trained and 20% if it’s a TC. Trust me when I say these help a lot. Don’t forget about them!

I know it’s frustrating that our percentages have been dropped, but if they hadn’t, it wouldn’t make the new system as effective. There also wouldn’t be much growth in our wizards’ abilities between now and 150. And besides, criticaling isn’t everything. 🙂 These changes give us a chance at exploring other strategies for play.

~Emma

P.S. Let me know what YOU think about the new system in the comments. Please keep all debates civil. I’m hoping for an interesting and lively debate! 🙂