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Letter to the Community - October 2013
2013-10-21 14:00 By [Azael] 72


Hello everyone! Here is the second Letter to the Community, which will now be a regular announcement that will come soon after a game update.
In this letter I will do a review of the latest game update to talk to you about the changes in the communication and organization of our team and what we are currently working on.
 

Bugs

The last update had for priority to reduce the number of bugs by focusing primarily on the class bugs.

We were able to correct a large majority of the bugs that you have reported, but as you have seen our goal has not been achieved due to the large number of bugs that appeared after the last game update.

Despite our different maintenances/hotfixes to quickly correct as many issues as possible, we unfortunately have failed our mission which we admit and are fully aware of.

Therefore measures in terms of organization of our game production have been taken to improve this point but I will go into detail a little later.

Going back to bugs , we will remain focused on these three objectives:
  • Continue to fix current present bugs in the game
  • Stay vigilant to avoid the emergence of new bugs
  • Stay reactive for the issues that may appear after a game update

We have also encountered a lot of issues with the transition to Java 6 which we were forced to do technically. Unfortunately these issues were not detected in our internal versions, therefore we weren't able to detect them ahead of time. In this regard we have tried to be as present as possible by offering alternatives and solutions. Our developers are also still working on these issues.
 

Incarnam and Astrub

First I wanted to thank all of you for the amount of feedback that you have shared with us regarding our revamp of Incarnam and Astrub.

We listened to your feedback and we hope to improve certain points with the next game update.

We are looking into adding the ability to return to Incarnam while enhancing the gameplay of the area among other changes.

For Astrub we will improve the main quest allowing you to get to level 15 by finishing it completely (including stage 1 of Mount Zinit) and adding a little more of RP areas.

You will get to discover these changes shortly.
 

Experience and Drop Curve

These are the two topics that come up more often and we have planned improvements. First regarding the experience curve with the December Update, we plan to accelerate the beginning of the game to make it more pleasant and smooth out the XP increase for the highest levels (for example: level 110).

As long as the XP curve is not revamped, we will not unlock new caps of levels.

Now regarding drops: we heard your concerns and decided to improve the gaming experience in this regard. I cannot give you more details for now because it's a complex subject and we are still thinking about it. I'd rather wait until we have more concrete elements to give.

In any way, we will get back to you with more details on these two elements with new Devblogs.
 

Beta Server

Very soon, we would like to open the Beta server to all our subscribers players.

I do not have precise information regarding the exact  date, but I can already tell you that the goal of such server will be to test content revamps such as the "Wild Estate".

Currently we do not have the technical ability to import characters from all servers to the Beta one. As we can only import one of them, we have chosen to import a copy of the characters of the most populated server: Aerafal.

However, anyone subscribed, regardless of community, will be able to connect and create a new character.

This server will allows us to greatly improve the overall quality of WAKFU.

Importing characters from all servers is not so simple to do technically and we will keep you informed of any developments in this regard, which allows me to transition to the following subject ...
 

Communication and Changelog

Starting today you will be able to discover the changelog of the next game update, something that usually does not happen until a few days before a game update.

We have changed the way we work in this regard so that you can have as much information as soon as possible, allowing you to react quicker, therefore giving us maximum response time to possibly adapt the changelog depending on your feedback.

From now you will be able to discover the changelog of the next game update about 3 weeks before its release and see it evolve regularly.

This means that the changelog will evolve a lot in the future with addition of information, modifications, but also sometimes these may be pushed to a later date or simply modified but we will share with you the reason why.

Our goal is to be as transparent as possible and as early as possible. I hope that this new way of operating will create a more concrete link between the team of developers and players via our Community Managers.
 

Production Modification

Firstly I would like to announce that my position within the team has changed, I will be now taking the direction of the project.

I have started to work with my colleagues to change some of our production methods.

The internal "build" of the changelog is part of the projects we have started with the production team and the CMs. I hope that it will pay off quickly.

The production line has also been modified starting with the Wild Estate, with the goal of giving more freedom, autonomy and cohesion while providing the necessary means for the delivery of rich and better content.

We have also taken steps to limit the number of bugs in the release of a new game update by opening the Beta server for example, starting the internal testing much earlier, and also freeze content addition much earlier than before.

The whole "internal revamp" represents a significant change in our production and also changes in our work habits, while also providing benchmarks for the whole team.

The initial internal results are extremely encouraging, everyone is working really hard to make things better.

This internal evolution/revamp should be felt in the coming weeks, although all will not change overnight.

Each new game update should be greatly improved in quality.
 

Game Update - November 12

No new class revamp will be done with the next game update. We modified the order in which classes will be revamped, and the next one will be the Feca, in December. We will give you a final planning for all the other class revamps with the roadmap of 2014. We will make sure to implement the last revamps as soon as possible.

This decision allows us to have a little more time on the revamp of the Smithmagic, which is scheduled for December, and therefore we wanted to start to talk to you about it early as we had already talked about a few months ago.

The main content of the November game update will be the Wild Estate, Incarnam - Astrub improvement, as well as the arrival of the nations outposts.

Be sure to follow and stay updated on the new game update changelog to see additions and changes that will be made ​​as it evolves.


I wanted to end this community letter by saying goodbye to a person that I had the chance to know since my arrival on WAKFU, who is Alex (you may know him by the nickname of [Moustache]).

This is one of the oldest WAKFU Game Designer and we are sad to see him go to new adventures today. For those who do not know, it is thanks to him that we have the mini-games Pacman and Plants versus Jellies, the Incarnam and Astrub  revamp, Mount Zinit or the unarmed combat style ( a little less known...).

Good luck in your new adventures Alex, we will miss you, and see you soon!

By [Azael]

Lead Game Designer

Categories Community
Your comments
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0Cataclyst0 12 November 2013 - 01:39
They should just not import any characters too the Beta servers. There's no point for anyone not from Aerafel would join, since all our chars are on the other worlds. This gives them a huge advantage in-game and in testing the Beta.
Jerberry 10 November 2013 - 19:01
Hello,

With regards of drops I would suggest the regular set items from any particular dungeons could use a boost since the token system was taken out and sometimes 6 runs won't even drop 1 piece from the set i.e. Lenald/Jelly. Especially Jelly, due to the adds-less nature of this dungeon, there are times that nothing dropped on any of my toons which I thought was abit on the nose :/.

However the legendary and relic drops are suppose to be scarce and thus provide their worth/value/status. Meridia for example requires around one year of actual gaming subscription/life time to collect and exchange. That IMO shouldn't be affected through your change.


- Muku 
Nox16 08 November 2013 - 02:29

(MODItsade @ 08 November 2013 02:21) *
Hey, everyone!

Wow, it's been getting quite heated in here! I'd like to take a moment to remind you all to keep cool while posting. Going at each other like that is absolutely not okay.

Thanks!
i think a certain post is borderline.... your right people need to cool down... or alternatively keep acting like they are... really eitherway.
[MOD]Itsade 08 November 2013 - 02:21
Hey, everyone!

Wow, it's been getting quite heated in here! I'd like to take a moment to remind you all to keep cool while posting. Going at each other like that is absolutely not okay.

Thanks!
Brokonaut 07 November 2013 - 04:26
Test server is available to all players of all communities now, but it's only open for small windows of time. You want to test stuff when they make changes? Be their guest.

About Sadida, I don't play the class at all but I'm damn sure I understand how valuable a Sadida can be in high level dungeon play beyond just UBs having seen how they perform in hybridization combinations of all three branches.

That being said they should make the changes based off of everyone's feedback. A support class such as yours should be able to synergize well with other classes. You are not primarily a damage class, you are a class that is known for either heals, poisons, armors, or shoddy summons that need a serious cost re-evaluation.

Air does not need more direct damage. It needs a buff to its status affects to make acting against the poison more detrimental. Perhaps that's what you meant but you definitely did not make it clear. Your class needs to be able to also do something that makes it beyond unique from the other classes, and it deserves to have Insolent Bramble back to debuff good status effects from enemies.

• Mango
Neneko88 07 November 2013 - 03:57
Ankama is lazy and should realize that Grou can't balance everything himself alone.
He doesn't understand the class (this is very very true)

You can even look at the french forum and see how much he ignored from their feedback. Why not let the people who play sadidas have a good impact on the changes to sadidas?

Why not let them test the changes in a the beta server?

You need to let people who started a sadida when the server started in 2011/2012 to test the sadida changes that you try to make..

I know it's a class ankama doesn't know what to do with them other than use a totem for black crow, dragon pig but why not let us make them a better class that no one takes except to UBs

There are so many little changes that wouldn't take 2 years..and I've been listing them for a year already hoping troyle or sabi would forward them to grou/azael but since sadidas are not enis and no one really plays them (most play them for UBs) then it doesn't matter.

I'm glad they're going to let us control dolls (when? next april?) but that's not even that important to us (it's not our priority and you know it).

Why not fix air sadida's damage like you did with enis to start with?
Moongrove89 06 November 2013 - 20:51
Hmm, I'm not sure about other water Sadidas, but mine can, and does, compete with Enis in terms of healing. Without crits, I heal for over 800 HP on the first turn, which raises to over 1400 HP on the fourth turn. The problem is we have to deal with the stupid AI, which should be fixed, and we lack a debuff and/or raise mechanic, which makes us less viable then an Eni in a large number of situations.

The rest of the points I do agree with. Our spells need some serious tweaks. Dolls, while they can be super useful and not worthless, need either a buff, or a reduction in cost for them to be able to compete well.
Kikuihimonji 06 November 2013 - 12:53

(Loneith @ 06 November 2013 08:34) *
Our ability to take damage may seem splendid but we lack the control other damage soaks posses that are required for a true tank class.
If only they would leave Doll Link as it was before revamp, the current Sadida would be finally viable as tank.

The specialities before revamp were all linked togather and was giving the feeling that if Sadida would manage to max all of them, it would be awsome fighter. As for now our specialities are split between 2 builds, and that just make half of them wasted, no matter wich way you gonna play. And that is bad design.

Lemme remind what the cool gamplay sadida had before revamp;

Doll speciality - we were summoning dolls that had 10% more of sadida hp then they are now. It was also 1wp cost to summon, but no ap involved.

Dolly sacrifice speciality - it was based on doll's max HP, wich obviously make it based on Sadida max HP. If i remember correctly sacrificing Blocker doll was giving Sadida ~8% max HP heal.

Voodoll speciality - it used to be Totem in beta, wich was used by many to trick monsters AI to attack it with aoe and damage one of the enemies like that (really funny tool). It was also the tool used by Sadida to level up faster in certain map location (small bridges for example) where Sadida could block the cell with it and keep using attacks on it to kill the enemy - this was a recompensation to "level up faster the support class", because using dolls was (and still is) slowing down the progress in fight as each doll take its own turn. It used to be fine spell that could be destroyed with pushback dmg only. They could simply improve it by making Totem with maybe 3 charges so that it can be destroyed with enemy direct dmg, instead of just pushback, but would still make enemy suffer when it attack it. It was worth the WP cost back then. Sadida could possibly summon 1 Voodoll for the whole fight, so it could effectively use Voodoll togather with other dolls summoned. Now its not happening as Voodoll dies too fast and is hurt even with ally dmg on it.

Tree speciality - this used to make Sadida invulnerable and heal 20% of max HP, wich was worth the WP cost as well. The only problem was that dolls had WP cost too, wich limited the use of this spell while using dolls.

Sic'em More speciality - it used to nettle all dolls by targeting enemy, wich then became their priority target. This spell however was only giving 50% dmg bonus to dolls, wich was very little for the 3AP cost, it used to have. However it also made dolls with unlimited MP, wich was awsome, but the AI of dolls was bugged back then and made dolls run about changing targets from one to another at random and never attacking, wich had to be fixed, instead of replaced with limited MP. There was also no condition of this spell so we could target ally with it, wich made dolls pass the turn instead of attacking anyone, wich also needed fixing, but the concept of this spell was great.

Explodoll - this spell was also based on doll's max HP, the more sturdy the doll, the bigger explosion it was doing, but obviously the longer it was taking for it to be destroyed too. IT was all fine, there was only problem with Dolly Sacrificie triggering this effect, wich needed change, and even though they finaly made it impossible for dolly sacrirfice to trigger explodoll, the dmg was also nerfed badly for unknown reason. this used to be Sadida's source of dmg based on its own HP, wich was like a bless for a support class who needed to stack HP for their dolls HP to be higher.

Doll Link - this passive used to be what Sadida was great about - it was making dolls take 20% of pain for Sadida (each doll individually). It made dolls die faster when Sadida got attacked, wich made it problematic vs aoe's but that was acceptable because it made Sadida receive less dmg in same time. However dolls were permanently dieing (they had WP cost and there was no WP refund) though Sadida could get WP back from initiative bonus, but that was taking too long to wait get it and it was just 1 WP, that anyway was often stolen by faster enemy.

Green Guard - this passive combined with doll link and explodoll was great combo. It made me think that Sadida was desired to tank dmg. When attacked, it was taking less dmg thanks to dolls summoned and in same time it had a change to make dolls stronger with green guard triggering, and eventually the dolls who took too much dmg were exploding dealing dmg in aoe. It was perfect combination and an awsome way for support class to deal with enemies.

Knowledge of dolls - it used to give 4 leadership, wich was really necessary to have as there was (and still is) very few items with leadership (Control) that give decent stats in same time and doesn't break the set bonus. No wit gives just 2 control, wich is not efficient. I also always had hope that this passive could make dolls more durable or stronger, but it never happened. It used to be named Savoir-Faire before, but thats on side note.

Still Life speciality - it allowed Sadida to ressurect when killed, wich gave Sadida the last laugh when Sacrier got killed, and then clinged to life to finish off the Sadida - this passive was making Sadida win, even though it was about to loose. The doll reincarnation form was very weak though and had no ranged spells, wich needed improvement. The HP of reincarnated form was also very low and lacked resistance, but overall it was fine ability as it was not KO'ing the dolls that were already summoned beforehand, wich means Sadida could still deal some dmg with dolls supporting it. The Voodoll was also not dissapearing when Sadida was ressurecting, wich was really awsome combination of specialities to work togather.

As you can see every speciality was viable before and Sadida could choose wich one to level in what order with a goal to one day get all of them to be super effective class. Now the dream is gone as half of specialities just doesnt work well with the other ones.

What we have now is poor design. I hope they change it back, just leave WP refund to dolls as its the only thing that was nice and really important about the revamp.
Loneith 06 November 2013 - 08:34

(Neneko88 @ 04 November 2013 04:16) *

(Loneith @ 04 November 2013 02:08) *
While I am glad to see they are finally acknowledging the fact that the Sadida revamp was not well liked, to put it lightly, they are still missing the main point of our frustration; the general uselessness of dolls. Even under player control the impact of the doll is too low to matter especially when paired with the ridiculously high costs to summon them.
the fact that they're going to "wait and see if giving us control of dolls will be enough" shows that Grou doesn't understand the class.

Greedys hit what they're supposed to hit most of the time. All dolls cast their spells and all that, giving us control will make the class a little better but it won't solve the issue that they do too little per turn to not be replaced by better support classes like panda, eni, xelor, feca, and even earth osa..(you should really see an earth osa! they're amazing and do a lot for little AP)

weak dolls..should cost weak AP (this is logic)

Exactly, they do not know what to do with the class and are refusing to open a discussion and incorporate our ideas. Sadida are currently the class that does a little bit of everything but not very well. Our damage output is far lower than a dps class. Our healing is much lower than an eni and our utility is much lower. Our ability to take damage may seem splendid but we lack the control other damage soaks posses that are required for a true tank class. Our support skills are focused mainly around the costly doll mechanic which people tend to avoid. The quick fix, Lone Sadida, was the exact opposite of what the community was crying out for. This skill, which makes most of the other support and passive skills moot, also makes other classes think we are too strong when they see a huge 150% damage bonus. That may seem high until you realize the class has abysmal base damage and horrible ap efficiency.

The elemental branches make very little sense thematically or strategically. Air, our "damage" branch has the weakest hitting spells that fail to work cohesively, and the most awkward range. Our water tree, supposedly our support and healing tree, has only one direct healing spell which is really quite weak. Our other two healing options are costly and require massive tactical play to even cast, let alone be worth casting. Our so called tanking tree has the highest range and base damage of the three and paired with the wonky spell mechanics push a player to use spells for damage rather than utility.

This class does need a revamp, a complete overhaul to be honest, but that would require a willingness to listen to the community and a competent coding team. I am in no way trying to disrespect the company, in fact I hope to one day work for them as part of the coding or design team, but facts are facts and time and time again they have failed to properly handle this class. Wise use of resources, as in fixing the most pressing options first rather than simply pressing on, would raise this game to an enjoyable level. If our class is meant to incorporate dolls into our game play then make the dolls efficient and rewarding to play with. If it is difficult to balance the class then spend more time and resources to do so rather than charging into more bug-filled cookie-cutter content!

TLDR; A willingness to absorb the entire content of a situation is required to understand the nuances of said situation. If this is too long then you should just quit right now before you dribble more ill informed opine statements into a forum where individuals are actually campaigning for positive balance. Kthx
Kikuihimonji 05 November 2013 - 10:31

(Neneko88 @ 04 November 2013 04:16) *

(Loneith @ 04 November 2013 02:08) *
While I am glad to see they are finally acknowledging the fact that the Sadida revamp was not well liked, to put it lightly, they are still missing the main point of our frustration; the general uselessness of dolls. Even under player control the impact of the doll is too low to matter especially when paired with the ridiculously high costs to summon them.
the fact that they're going to "wait and see if giving us control of dolls will be enough" shows that Grou doesn't understand the class.

Greedys hit what they're supposed to hit most of the time. All dolls cast their spells and all that, giving us control will make the class a little better but it won't solve the issue that they do too little per turn to not be replaced by better support classes like panda, eni, xelor, feca, and even earth osa..(you should really see an earth osa! they're amazing and do a lot for little AP)

weak dolls..should cost weak AP (this is logic)
I think that giving control to all dolls by default would make Sadida gameplay even worse then now. With the AI of dolls i can at least relay on them when there's a bug that makes enemy invisible to anyone (dolls AI still "see" them, wich is a life saver in those situations), and also when Sadida lag or disconnects, the dolls can still attack. If they would make dolls controled by default, then Sadida who lags out will not only not attack itself, but the dolls will also not attack!

It will also make it painful to summon dolls and control them every freaking turn. I like the ability to control them when i need them to, but i would prefer if AI would control them for me all the time, because lets face it: why would i control Blocker every turn, if it already have enemy in close combat? The AI is the issue and its the AI that need to be fixed. I'd suggest going with 110 lvl Sadida (and ~250% or 300% water dmg) to Larva dungeon and test the AI of greedy dolls there. After that experience i am sure Ankama will realise whats wrong with dolls AI and fix it properly. A simple and relaible AI of greedy doll would be to attack closest enemy. That would be realy enough. If we want doll to chase after "Weakened enemy" who keep running away, then we would obviously control the doll with a spell to do so, but we dont want the doll to risk being locked while it tries to "figure out wich enemy to hit", wich is the worst about the AI. The greedy dolls should not aim for weakest enemy, they should not aim for enemy with less HP or less resistance, UNLESS they have 2 or more targets in close combat already. If the very weak enemy is 2 cell away, while full hp enemy is in the Greedy lock zone, then that Greedy should STILL attack the one in its own close combat. However if the weak enemy is in close combat to Greedy and full HP enemy is also in close combat with the same Greedy, then the Greedy doll should aim for the weaker one obviously - but thats the only situation where Greedy should "decide who to hit".

As for Madoll, Lethargic and Inflatable dolls - they should not run away after they cast their spell, because it makes them not relaible when Nettle is triggered (an example: as long as inflatable with 2MP is always somewhere near ally to heal it, if Green Guard get triggered, then Nettled Inflatable will run far away from allies, and if Green guard will not be triggered on 2nd turn, then the Inflatable will remain too far away from allies to heal them for several turns - wich is why these 3 dolls should STOP moving after they cast their spell).