Defensive Factor and Flare Release
In order to make runestaves more attractive, we've made a few updates which will go live later this evening.
First, a runestaff's enchantment bonus will add directly to a player's defense in all stances.
Second, we now have a few merchant services for runestaves. All of the services are flares which can trigger when casting a spell.
1.) Crit flares: heat, cold, electric, acid, impact, etc.
2.) Acuity flares: these are flares which trigger to provide a bonus to the caster's AS/CS for a single attack. The amount is a static attribute of the runestaff which can be further increased as a scalable service. For example, you could have a 4x/2x acuity runestaff, which provides +20 DS in all stances and has a chance to flare +10 AS/+6 CS (the CS value is always 3/5 of the AS). Acuity enchant ranges from 1 to 10x, with 1x being fairly common and 10x be extremely rare.
3.) Mana flares: these are flares which trigger after a spell is cast to return mana to the caster. The amount of mana is a static attribute of the runestaff which can be further increased as a scalable service. It ranges from 1 to 5, with 1 being fairly common and 5 being extremely rare.
Mana flares can trigger when casting any spell. The other flare types only work on single target, war spells. All current runestaves with flares will see their flares become functional with spells once this goes live. Past that, this service will debut at this year's Ebon Gate, then be available at other special events, through the treasure system, Premium Points, the Adventure's Guild, and from many other places.
Lastly, holy water flares from Bless (304) will work on runestaves. Each time a player casts a spell that can trigger the flare, it will deplete a charge from the runestaff.
Flare Rate and Effectiveness
KRAKII Do I interpret this to mean that when someone: - swings a runestaff, it can flare? (Already existed.) - casts an AS-type spell (bolt/ball), it can flare? (I cast FireBolt, my rhimar cold-based runestaff gives a cold flare?) - casts a CS-type spell (Mana Disrupt, Smite/Bane), it can flare?
Yes to all three of those questions.
KRAKII I'm assuming that flares will be with the same frequency that they are for weapon swings?
No, runestaff flares (when casting a spell) have a decreased chance to flare vs. other weapon flares. This is because all spells are cast within 3 seconds and have some of the highest damage factors in the game.
LADYFLEUR This sounds neat. Do the holy water flares stack with other flare types, or can holy water flares only be used on plain, non-flaring runestaves?
They do not stack. It's just like blessing a regular weapon.
LADYFLEUR Does the acuity enchant affect the maximum enchant that the runestaff can be, as TD affects DS?
DELCIAN Would it be possible to see the updated runstaff DS formula?
It's the same as http://www.play.net/gs4/info/combat_guide/factors.asp#parry except for the part about weapon enchant, which is now different for runestaves (applies to all stances).
KRAKII The mana-return & the CS/AS (for bolt/ball spells) boosts certainly seem like merchant services to me. But the first point, elemental flares, I interpreted as simply being, "If your runestaff has flares-as-a-weapon, it can also now flare-as-a-spellcast as well."
Yes, Elemental Blade (411) will work to grant flares. However, all crit flares offered by a merchant are superior; not only because they're permanent, but because Elemental Blade and Bless Item (304) flares are inherently weaker. The former does less damage and the latter flares less often.
ROLFARD How does this effect the runestaffs that are are sung as "defenders"?
Such runestaves will continue to offer a defense advantage vs. non-defender runestaves. Specifically, if you have a 4x/1x defender runestaff, after the update, your runestaff will offer +25 DS in all stances while a normal 4x runestaff will only offer +20.
Acuity and Mana Flares
RATHBONER Either he is forgetting that you get half the bonus while holding the runestaff, or it's changed. Offensive stance channel was +20 while holding a runestaff, +40 for both hands open, so stowing the staff was worth an extra 20.
That'll teach me to read and reply in a hurry. To correct my previous posts, the most valid comparison is a 7x Acuity runestaff when channeling vs. channeling with both open hands. But they're only comparable when Acuity flares vs. every cast for the latter setup. If you're willing to put yourself at risk, the reward is always there. However, if not, now you have a goal, and more importantly, an option to enhance your runestaff to further your character.
I would concur that crit flares are stronger then low enchant Acuity flares and I'm okay with that, just as long as Acuity eventually does eventually top them. The question for that is, at what point? In my opinion, 5x would be ideal, as +25 AS/+15 CS is a good bonus, as it increases your chance to hit and the damage that you deal. We are willing to consider player feedback for this, as Acuity flares will probably be more rare, so definitely should eventually be superior.
Keith/Brinret Honestly Estild the whole acuity thing sounds neat but I just can't see even 10x acuity flares being better than an uncommon crit flare. +30 CS or +50 AS "might" do more damage than the flare would or it might not due to crit randomization. Unfortunately we aren't talking about +50 AS or +30 CS, we're talking about 5/3 because that's apparently what we can add base. Acuity flares seem like they require a lot more work to even be competitive with a crit flare. The reason crit weighting is so much more valuable than flares is because it's always on. Acuity flares strike me as the closest thing you could get to weighting for all types of spells but they aren't always on they're on as often as a flare is. Acuity flares need to be always on and stupidly rare to get a high value on, similar to TD enhancing armor. It's the only way they'll really compete.
Most acuity flares won't deal more concussion damage that a crit flare. That's not their purpose. They increase the damage factor of your attack. So as an hypothetical, you're evaluating dealing a rank 6 crit from your attack + a rank 3 crit flare vs. a rank 7 crit from your attack (base 6 + 1 more crit rank due to the acuity bonus). Acuity flares are also not subject to randomization; it always provides the full bonus while a crit flare deals a random amount of damage.
Keith/Brinret That said mana flares strike me as really weak considering the low value and assuming they only flare as often as a crit or acuity flare. 1 mana returned every 20 casts or even 5 mana returned isn't going to make any real difference. Honestly short of working every cast, either by returning mana every cast up to the cost of the spell or reducing the cost of spells by the value to a minimum of 1, I don't see the values being worthwhile at all. As a flare I think you really need to be looking more into the ballpark of 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 mana returned.
Mana flares are intentionally designed for low level Pures. Once a Pure gets to mid and higher levels, mana becomes less of an issue; so in most circumstances, no matter how good the mana return was, such characters would prefer the offensive nature of the other flares. 1-5 mana isn't a lot for those same characters, but when you evaluate it against low level Pures who tend to use attack spells that cost only a few mana, it works out so that you're getting a free attack spell every flare. Also, runestaff flares trigger significantly more often than every 20 casts.
Mana and acuity are both common and uncommon?
Short answer: Yes, depending on their potency.
Longer answer: Common Flares: Fire, Ice, Lightning, Earth/Vibration, Vacuum/Void, Mana up to 2 points, Acuity up to 4x. This is "off the shelf" quality.
Uncommon Flares: Disintegration, Disruption, Unbalance, Grapple, Acid, Plasma, Steam, Mana up to 4 points, Acuity up to 6x. This would be some sort of limited distribution, such as a service, a prize for a quest, something raffled off, or found via the Treasure System. Items in here could also appear as "auction quality" depending on their other attributes.
Rare Flares: These include material-based flares and effects (such as kroderine or adamantine), as well as scripted flares, like Knockout, Snake Flares, Bubble Flares, etc. Mana up to 5 points, and Acuity up to 10x fall into this category. These would also be some sort of limited distribution, but this category covers a much wider range than the Uncommon Flares. Some things in here could be auction quality all on their own (a +50 acuity runestaff, for example), or auction quality in conjunction with their other properties.
For flares like Acuity and Mana, we can offer large amounts as auction or raffle quality items. However, we also like to make it a build-up service; something that can be worked towards over multiple events instead of just jumping right to the top.
- >Unfortunately it's the only method being offered since CCF to improve high end gear. I'd like to finish my project and be mostly done with rat races like this, but at the same time I'm not going to allow myself to be completely ripped off. Also if you only allow 1x acuity, and in the next event go up to 2x per service (like was done at RTCF), it makes getting 1x completely irrelevant, so yeah, frustration.
Acuity should have never been offered as +2 steps from a single service. It's a lot like enchanting, when it's offered, it should only take you up one step (+5) at a time. I specifically designed acuity such that it would take up to 10 services to maximize, if you're starting from scratch. However, as I told Wyrom last night, the service has actually become too rare. Instead of it offering +2 steps, it needs to be +1, but be offered more frequently. Admittedly, getting up to 10x is still going to be limited and difficult, just as with most high end services.
Spells Not Triggering Runestaff Flares
Crit (heat, cold, etc) flares will no longer trigger when casting Calm (201), Sleep (501), and Lullabye (1005). Previously, any such flare would immediately undo the spell effect, so this will prevent a player from having to recast.
I just rolled in an update so that spells which are automatically successful will not trigger a runestaff critical flare. This includes Spirit Dispel (119), Call Lightning (125), Spiritual Abolition (230), Weapon Deflection (412), Elemental Dispel (417), Elemental Disjunction (530), Sounds (607), Energy Maelstrom (710), Sandstorm (914), and Mystic Impedance (1708).
In addition, spells which did not previously resolve success/failure through the normal attack (AS/DS) or warding (CS/TD) system have been updated to only flare a critical when successful. This includes Call Swarm (615), Spike Thorn (616), Weapon Fire (915), Boil Earth (917), and Implosion (720).
Lastly, sonic runestaves have been updated to flare less often when casting a spell vs. using the weapon for a melee attack. In addition, the lore bonus for sonic runestaves will only count 2/3 of the Bard's lore when calculating its chance to flare when casting a spell. This aligns with the other runestaff flare mechanics which have a reduced chance to flare vs. a normal weapon since spells are typically cast faster.
Creature Bane Runestaves
Runestaves are now eligible to be designated as Creature Bane weapons. The following rules apply to Creature Bane runestaves:
- Like normal runestaves, they do not work with damage or critical weighting.
- All other weapon flares will work, including mana and acuity. If mana flares are selected, they will only flare when casting at a the appropriate creature type.
- The AS bonus can be selected, which will boost bolt AS and warding CS (by 3/5 of the AS amount) on every cast when fighting the appropriate creature type.
- The DS bonus and Parry chance options can also be selected.
As such, you could have a runestaff that normally has fire flares, then also make it a Troll Bane runestaff with double fire flares (first flare from the normal runestaff property and second flare from the Creature Bane), or a Troll Bane runestaff that grants +10 bolt AS/+6 CS when casting at trolls.
The weapon naming standards for runestaves have been revised to include the following alternatives:
- pastoral staff
- rune staff
All are available for General Use (as opposed to being Alteration Only). The website entry for runestaves will be updated to reflect this change.