After the style changes go live with the new baseline and while evaluating those we'll shift our focus to PvE for a while. Adding hybrid stuff and line uniqueness shortly after the new style baseline goes live is still the plan and will not be affected by this focus shift, the remaining / future style changes are mostly depending on internal discussions and player feedback whereas these pve changes are pretty much stand alone.
Anyways, on to the planned pve changes. The intent is to allow people of all levels to group together without a penalty and to move away from static spot camping being the most efficient way to farm / level.
PvE Zone only. Scaling allowing you to group with anyone of you realm regardless of level. Mob levels will become irrelevant as specific mobs will just be a specific challenge color forever. Mob spawner will become part of new public events, no respawn until an event has been completed. These public events have participation based rewards like the current rvr tasks.
The mechanic that will allow people of all levels to group together is level scaling. While technically rather complex and not entirely built out yet, the basic concept is that your damage and heal values – both taken and dealt – will be scaled according to your level, spec and armor stats.
This scaling will be active in all PvE only zones.
Mob levels pretty much cease to exist and only the mob colors will be set by us / be relevant. A mob will be set to blue and then stay blue forever, regardless of your level. The consequence of that is that there must be somewhat distinct areas with mobs for each color to support solo players as well as groups with any number of group members, e. g. a full group would go to the red / purple area/spot whereas solos would remain in the blue/yellow area.
With scaling active, all areas / mobs are now forever relevant. The gives us the opportunity to get rid of the static spot camping. The intent here is for most spots to become some kind of “public event”, maybe a combination of multiple spots. Some of those events will have stages, e. g. kill the lowly things as stage 1 and then named things spawn for stage 2.
These public events will work like the rvr participation task: any action you or your group makes to progress the event will be recorded and once the event is over a sizable amount of extra xp and / or coin will be given out, according to your contribution.
Depending on how the xp from mobs compared to event rewards ends up, this should also nicely remove all spot ownership complaints as you are pretty much working together with everyone.
The most common and simplest event will literally be to eradicate all mobs at a given spot. Mobs that are part of such an event won’t respawn anymore until the event has completed, completing an event will then start some timer after which the event resets and the stage 1 mobs respawn.
These events will be incredibly common, in general if something looks like a spot, it’s somewhat safe to assume that it will either become an event or be part of an event.
Whenever possible / the map allows it, we’ll try to have the event make sense / be thematically fitting but that’s not exactly a requirement, the intent is literally to gamify the leveling / farming process via these mini events where some additional progress will tick up followed by some reward.
We have some ideas on how to handle dungeons but aren’t entirely sure yet how we’ll handle those. One extreme would be to clear the entire dungeon as stage 1 and then have a boss spawn, another would be to have multiple of these events inside the same dungeon active at the same time. A middle ground would be to have a high number of stages with a trash clear -> boss -> trash clear -> boss stage swap, the first stage would obviously start near the entrance. Problem with that approach is however what is in the deeper areas while the early stages are active, e. g. is just the entrance filled with relevant mobs and the dungeon otherwise empty. A hybrid approach that for now seems the most sensible would be that we’ll try to split the dungeon in multiple areas each having an event with multiple trash -> boss -> trash -> boss stages.
The general timeline is still somewhat unclear, however, both mechanics will at first be tested in a separate zone for a couple days to see if it works at all. After the event / test we’ll enable scaling in the pve dungeons, SI overworld and the classic overworld. The next step would then be to slowly group existing spawners into events, this would ideally happen without real player interruption but at least at first some issues are likely.