Dev Blog: New Experience Spell System

As the majority of you are well aware, in a recent game update we locked the further progression of spell experience past character level 105 in preparation of a revised function. Accordingly, this Dev Blog will aim to explain and detail out the new innovations introduced by this new mechanism coming in the next Content Update!

 

THE WAY IT CURRENTLY WORKS

For clarification on what these upcoming changes will affect, let’s take a look at the way the way Spell Experience is currently designed in WAKFU:

  • Spells gain more experience (and more levels), the more you cast it in combat.
  • Spells gain experience at a rate of 10% of the obtained Character Experience.
  • Upon reaching the level cap of 105, characters can continuously gain experience without a true limit which allows the leveling of nearly all spells. This point has been halted however, until the revision can be deployed.

This version of the system was not well adapted to character combat balance, especially in regards to high leveled characters who gain who gained an unfair advantage over others simply by dedicating enough time – this breaks the spirit of WAKFU, having a tactical focus and all, and defeats the opportunity of thinking through strategies.

Therefore, in order to better manage gameplay, it was apparent that a swift review of spell experience was needed. Nonetheless, despite change needing to take place, we did not forget that we also needed to preserve the foundations of this wondrous MMO:

  • Spells improve in strength and power through its continued use and dedication.

For the rest, as we will explain is about to evolve!

THE NEW WAY IT WILL WORK

Our aim for the new system is primarily to emphasis on tactical and strategic gameplay. Here is how we plan to achieve our goals in doing so:

  • A focus on multi-element/ multi-spell strategies: spell experience gained in combat will now be 20-30% of experience gained by the character – previously 10% – depending on what strategy is put into motion. As such, single-element strategies will demand a 20% experience reward whereas multi-element strategies will demand a 25-30% experience reward. As a result, spells will gain more experience than ever before and reward those further who deploy a strategy (removing the situation of utilizing the same skill over and over again, too).
  • Allow the regulation of spell evolution and re-specialization: as of the next Content Update, there will now exist a permanent “spell experience cap”. Once you have reached your character level cap of (currently) 105, characters can continue to gain experience for spells until reaching a determined Spell Experience cap. Once this cap is reached however, you cannot give your spells more experience. Nevertheless, you can decide to redistribute your experience to one or more spells through a method of transference. This new method will be detailed shortly below.
  • Ending the reign of the single-spell gameplay: spell levels can no longer exceed the level of the character. Upon reaching this limit, the spell will be locked and spell experience gained with that spell can be lost, though not forever. Upon creating a gap once more, the “lost experience” will be redeemable as a bonus throughout the following levels of the spell.
  • Harmonize power: At level 100, you will now have, at most, a single elemental branch with two spells at maximum level or 3 elemental branches with one spell at maximum level. In short, if you prefer a mono-element strategy, you will have less spells at maximum level compared to a strategy based on several elementary branches. This is consistent with previous objectives listed above.

Furthermore, upon deployment of the new system in the up-coming Content Update, you will be asked to redistribute your experience but you will find a nice surprise: you’ll end up with more experience than you had before, and therefore more powerful spells than before, as well! This will be possible because of the new experience rate being adjusted from 10 to 20-30%. This means increased power for everyone, combined with global rebalancing.

While indeed these changes will make it harder (or impossible) to be powerful in all elements, it nonetheless empowers you to better focus your energy on certain branches and on particular spells.

Simply put: your character will actually be able to specialize itself.

SPELL RE-SPECIALIZATION

With the implementation of the new Spell Experience System, it will lead us to offer you a “respec” of your spell experience points. This reset will happen at the time of patch deployment and the implementation of the new mechanisms.

What does it mean? It means that on this occasion, we’ll be allowing you to redistribute your experience points for your level and allow you to adjust your character how you see fit! Furthermore, also means that players who had reached level 105 long before the 105 level “block” established may unfortunately see their experience points aligned back down along with all other players. This necessity is a process for the entire community to start on the same basis: we cannot of course leave existing inequalities as they are now in game. We hope that you can agree that the new changes and their improvements outweigh the cost in this regard.

And to mark the reset, you will be able to freely redistribute the experience to the spells of your choice, and therefore undo any leveling mistakes you encountered while young in the game and learning the very basics (as we often do). But knowing that, it is now possible that in the future we may also provide a respec of spell experience (either global, to a particular class or even particular element!) due to major class bug fixing or the like, as this will no longer punish you either like in the past where you became “stuck” with a spell that no longer functioned how you anticipated… however if such a scenario were to presented itself, of course you would be warned in advance.


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RE-SPECIALIZING TRANSFERRANCE

Per popular suggestion, once the spell experience cap has been reached, you’ll then be able to manually re-specialize yourself. Indeed! You’ll now be able to redistribute experience to the spells of your choice, and all elementary branches combined.

This process will be managed through a dedicated interface, in which you’ll be able to access upon reaching maximum spell experience. And working on a principle of communicating vessels, you’ll be able to transfer the experience of a spell of your choosing to one or more other spells as many times as you’d like.

To do so, within the dedicated interface, simply place the spell you’d like to pull from (only one spell at a time) and then all you have to do is to enter into combat! Spell experience generated from the fight will then not precisely be won, but instead be transferred from your base spell and placed into the new one(s) you used during your fight.


Image prototype

And as a bonus, spells improved this way will take less time to gain levels compared to the classical evolution – we figured you deserved a break from all you hard work, anyways!

Though be advised for planning sake, a spell cannot lose more than one level per fight but the receiving spell(s) can gain any number per fight. In addition, the balancing guideline from earlier is still also in effect (two max level spells for one branch or one spell at max level per branch).

There is also another limitation in place where your most powerful elementary branch (which has accumulated more than 1/3 of total spell experience) will gain 2-times less experience than the branch(s) that have accumulated less than 1/3 of that total experience. This limitation is particularly important because it is the whole basis of our new mechanism: it will allow us to limit the top players from having more max level spells than other top users, and therefore hindering tactics, strategy, and skill over mere time-spent.

REMAINING DETAILS

Last but not least, some final details regarding how your spells gain experience will affect in combat; this information will not be necessary for the overall understanding of the new system, but nonetheless should address a number of the community’s concerns and inquiries:

  • Experience spells earn will depend on the number of times they have been activated in combat, their total cost of AP/MP/WP throughout combat, and their level at the time of use.
  • Calculation of experience related to the use of spells do not take into account level 100 spells (maximum level), spells transferring their experience, or spells who’s level is equal to the level of the character.
  • Once your character reaches level 72, experience will start to decrease as you progress.
  • As long as you have not reached your maximum spell experience (and your character’s maximum level), you cannot access the respec interface.
  • Regarding the balancing rule “at level 100, 2 max level spells on a branch or a max level spell per branch” will mean that once your character reaches level 200 (someday soon), you will be able to have 4 max level spells on a branch or two max level spells per branch.
  • Because of the spell experience indexed onto the character’s experience, a Spell Experience Scroll will give an indirect experience bonus for the player’s upcoming battles.
  • Spell Scrolls earned when completing achievements in dungeons will be removed and replaced with dungeon tokens instead.

Phew! Such a lengthy detailing is now complete and we hope you see that the new system isn’t actually complicated to the point of breaking a Xelor! Instead, the reason for our many words is merely an attempt at being as upfront and detailed as possible for your continued enjoyment.

Now, please feel free to share your (constructive) feedback with us regarding our proposed changes! Thanks for your time and we hope you like them.