It goes without saying that this change has been one of the most discussed implementation of this update. We believe it necessary to give you more insight on the reasons behind this modification.
Basic observationsHealing suffer no limitations: In all games, the range of action of a character is always limited by a mechanic. Be it with Mana points, Health points, cooldowns, etc. the way you play is restricted due to the fact that at some point you will not be able to act anymore. Currently an Eniripsa suffers no such limitation. He has no mana points, no cooldown and his own Health bar is not a restriction since he can heal himself constantly. On the other hand, as long as his opponent cannot damage him more than the Eni can him himself, he will be able to hit the limiting factor of his opponent, the HP. Players then just need to group enough Enis to make sure that pure damage cannot bypass their healing capacity.
Impact on high level content: Following the logic explained above, many teams were able to defeat Ultimate Bosses over time by simply tanking him with heals, and inflicting very limited damage. This is a tactic we wanted to limit. We ended up having to design the Ultimate Bosses with the idea that they should manage to bypass the healing capacity of an Eni group, leading to very little room for tactical mechanics, and a situation where no other option was viable to defeat them. This is not how Ultimate Bosses are intended to work. We want them to be a real tactical challenge with very specific mechanics, and not just Damage dealing machines. We want players to have as much flexibility as possible when building their team, and not force them to use specific classes and tactics.
Evolution with the increase of the level cap: One factor that should be taken into account when thinking about the healing mechanic, are the resists. When the damage of a character is calculated, you have to take his elementary damage bonus, and the resists of the target in to account. Whereas when it comes to heals, only elementary bonus gets in the equation. A damage of 100 does not equal a heal of 100, since the damage will be reduced by the opponent’s resistance, whereas a heal will not. The higher the level of the character, the more important his damage bonus and resists, the stronger this difference gets. Looking ahead to the future and preparing mechanics for an increased level cap, we just couldn’t let this difference as it is, since this would have created huge gaps in the balance between damage and heal (or we would have had to adapt the cost, conditions and effects of heals to limit their use and efficiency).
How this translated into a game mechanicIn order to bring a limiting factor to healing, we decided to apply a resistance that would grow each time a character is healed. We believe it to be the best option available to force players to think before building their teams, and use other alternative mechanics. We are also pretty confident that this mechanic only impacts the gameplay in long fights. PvP shouldn’t suffer much from this change. Mid-level content also shouldn’t suffer from this change. Only high level content and long fights will.
Why not using the same mechanic as in DOFUS?
In DOFUS, the restriction to healing comes with the Erosion. When taking damages, characters sometime will receive Erosion, which will decrease their maximum HP. The reason why we didn’t go for a similar mechanic is because it can tend to flatten the fights and limit them to “Damage your opponent until you can decrease his max HP to the point where you will just one shoot him”.
This is not the way we want fights to evolve in WAKFU.
Mechanics allowing you to decrease or remove the resistance
This is something we’ve seen suggested on the forums a lot. While we don’t think this is a bad idea, it tends to contradict with the purpose of the resistance mechanic. What we want is a limitation that forces players to rethink the way the play healing classes. We don’t want to implement anything that would turn this mechanic into an anecdote easily forgotten or bypassed.
What to expect in the futureTweaking the resistance multiplier: The good thing with the way the heal resist is calculated is that it can easily be modified. Currently you will receive (((HP given back / Max HP) / 8) *100). This “8” factor is our leverage. As a matter of fact it wasn’t 8 when we first designed the mechanic and we adapted it after testing. Should we deem it necessary, this 8 could easily become another number, allowing us to accentuate or reduce the effect of this mechanic.
Rebalance of the Ultimate Bosses: A regular misconception is that classes should adapt to the high level content, whereas it should actually be the other way. Ultimate Bosses are meant to be balanced based on the way the classes and overall combat mechanics work. We are well aware that this change is going to make it that much harder to defeat the Ultimate Bosses. This is our intention, but should it appear that it makes it impossible, we’re ready to rebalance them accordingly.
We appreciate the passion you displayed in debating this mechanic and we will make sure the keep a close eye on your feedback further down the road. Until then, try it, make sure you really experience combat with this new mechanic before drawing conclusions on the long term impact it will have on the game. Keep debating to pros and cons, and be sure that, should a significant imbalance arise, we will act accordingly!