I am so pretty! Conspire is here to help you understand the changes behind the latest PvP Season II update in Korea. As you all know, the centerpiece of this change was reweighing the relative strengths of special actives, actives and combos in PvP – related to all of the complaining over the power creep with skills lately. As a result, PvP has changed completely into a combo orientated game (although special actives still do have a major role, mind you), where it is no longer possible to simply tank hits and win a match via 200 MP. I, personally, am extremely excited over the new changes. Let me go over them, and speculate what this bodes for the current PvP landscape in KR!
Rewards for PvP Season I:
In recognization of your accomplishments during PvP Season I, you will receive in the mail, a title corresponding to your rank (expectedly, most people got consolation prizes), and scroll back accessory that sports 2% Attack Speed and 2% Accuracy.
I personally got the top PvP Medal reserved for the top 10 rankers on each server (20 people total)! Unfortunately, the stats are rather dismal at only 4% Attack Speed and 2% Accuracy. You can see the title and accessory below (I am so pretty!):
Getting a Match:
2v2 has been removed, but to compensate, you may now queue up for 3v3 with only two players, the third player being randomly matched with you. This decision was made due to the extreme unpopularity of 2v2 in KR due to the prevalence of abusers in that mode. For servers such as NA, where 2v2 is more popular than 3v3, I highly doubt that this change will apply.
The frequency of Epic NPCs seems to have increased slightly (emphasis), but you are also matched with NPCs based on your rank as well. For instance, a lower ranked player may only run into Lowe and Speka, whereas higher ranked players will run into PROTO, Edan and Valak more often.
You also have a reduced chance of running into the same person/team multiple times in a row with the new arena matching algorithm, which was a huge complaint of last season.
Finally, the first ten matches of the season (if you had PvPed during the last season), will be Demo Matches where you are assigned your initial rank. This rank will be based upon how many of the matches you have won, and your rank during the last season. The maximum possible rank is S and the minimum possible is D; however, you are only able to receive a maximum of one rank above your previous season’s rank (i.e. if you were C rank during Season I, you will only be B Rank during Season I), assuming you win all 10 of your demo matches.
While the rank system has remained largely unchanged, F Rank has now been removed and SSS Rank has now been added (I’ll post SSS Rank when I get it, I’m too exhausted to fight today!) Furthermore, ranks are less fixed in stone based upon AP gain; if you lose a rank, you may not rank immediately up despite winning your next match, and if you win a rank, you may not rank immediately down upon losing your next match. Instead of being sorted by Rank and then RP, the new leaderboards are purely sorted by RP. Under this system, deranking is still encouraged to gain AP and amass RP; however, you will have to derank more regularly.
First, your stats now factor differently into PvP. Defense Stats (that is, not just Damage Reduction, but your actual physical defense) are now unnerfed in PvP, and HP now actually works in PvP. Previously, the conversion of additional HP was about 50,000 HP to 2,000 HP; now it is a 1:1 conversion. So if your Aisha has 130000 HP, she will have that amount in PvP. While attacking damage has been somewhat normalized, having a +11 will still play a huge role in PvP. Furthermore, damage reduction, critical and additional damage remain the exact same. Players are now encouraged to add HP and Defense to their gear, and stat budgeting remains a major part of being a good player.
Second, special actives have been drastically reduced in damage, while combos, actives and basic techniques have been drastically increased in damage. Not all special actives have been reduced equally; here is the general list of changes:
– 100 MPs have been weakened the least. The majority of 100 MPs will do about the same damage as before, even if they have a special effect (e.g. Impact Hammer).
– 200 MPs have been weakened the most. The change is not completely uniform and is based upon the skill – for instance, Screw Driver is not nerfed at all and retains the same modifier damage as before.
– 300 MPs have been somewhat weakened, but still can pack a good punch.
– Any “Special Effect” Special Active (e.g. those that cause a status ailment such as Aging, Heaven’s Fist) has been drastically reduced in power.
– The majority of buff Special Actives and Actives have also been reduced in damage (e.g. Nature’s Force, Queen’s Throne, Land Demolisher). Giga Drive’s damage increase and Magical Make-up’s Starball Damage (since they count as “Mode Changes” and not strictly buffs) seem to be unchanged, however (may not be limited to those two). Nature Force, despite being an active, falls into this category and is significantly weakened.
– Actives are buffed, having the same damage scaling as combos in PvP.
– Accelerators/Adrenalines work the exact same, increasing damage by the same proportion.
– Nasod Core has been significantly weakened as well.
The more HP you lose in proportion to your opponent and the more of a disadvantage your team is at lives, the greater your damage will be. In 1:1, a 100% to 1% HP advantage is roughly estimated to be the same as PvP before, so watch out for sudden reversals at low HP (for instance, Dread Chase may be able to 1hko again at a 100:1 disadvantage).
Items are still present under the switch location every three change-over mechanism, but failure chance has been drastically increased (unfortunately, programming seems to mean that this change also applies to dungeons, so expect your dungeon items to backfire quite regularly).
Analysis and Speculation:
While the change to PvP from special active to combo orientated is certainly welcomed, it definitely changes the standings of certain characters. In particular, look for the following characters to become a major threat where they weren’t previously before:
– Code Empress and to a lesser extent, Code Nemesis, have become incredible threats: Active Damage is majorly boosted, and CEm with Wind and +11 can deal 10-20% of your HP per tick of Oberon Guard now. Code Nemesis, on the other hand, benefits from her stellar combo multipliers (arguably however, they are more of a skill curve and still less effective than CEm’s actives). Code Battle Seraph, however, remains slightly weak in PvP as before, not sporting the same array of passives and combo capabilities as her counterparts.
– Elsword and Raven remain generally at the same tier thanks to their offensive catching options and incredible array of actives, plus other bonuses granted by their unique special actives (Arma Blade, Phoenix Talon and Phantom Sword still remain as crippling buffs for Elsword, for instance). Despite the core debuff, it can still deal major damage when buffed with the proper stats. However, due to the long-term reliance of most Elswords and Ravens on special actives, it will take time for the community to adapt and make use of these tools.
– Chung remains a huge threat, but for different reasons now: a full Siege Shelling is capable of taking you from full to none given the correct circumstances. Tactical Trooper can take the most advantage of this, but all three Chungs have their distinct features with full sets of actives to chain.
– Rena now becomes an active threat. Siege Mode can strip down your HP extremely quickly, and Rena now no longer has much reason to save up MP for special actives to compete. Furthermore, her diverse range of actives on all three classes coupled with mobility now benefit from damage increases, which mean that they no longer are simply for the effects. Arrows now can deal significant damage as a stand-alone. WS’s ordinary strategy of Nature Force combined with ZZ>ZZ is weakened, however.
– Void Princess remains highly viable as Hell Stone was not touched majorly, as well as thanks to her strong combo capabilities, void balls and good actives. However, Aging no longer is a skill to be used, shutting out VP’s major offensive support in 3v3. In other words: VP has become more 1v1 orientated than 3v3.
– Elemental Master gets a shining boost with the strongest but cheapest accelerators combined with the highest damage multipliers for basic combos in the game. A good EM will blow through opponents in just a few xzzs and xxvxxs. Unfortunately, the EM community has not yet risen up to this fully, as their playstyle is still largely stuck upon meditating to gain MP for special actives (Magic Missile is pathetically weak now, impacted by the “Special Effect” debuff). However, should an EM choose to play combo orientated, they will quickly win out.
– Dimension Witch loses her major offensive skill Energy Spurt, and still suffers from highly lag sensitive combos with poor multipliers and poor-damaging (plus latency dependent) actives that reduce her capability to deal damage via combos. However, she now gets a huge reason to use Magical Makeup, which essentially grants her with 60+ seconds of psuedo-invincibility given that combos are now the big damage dealer (via constant mana break), plus a huge damage buff via starballs. Impact Hammer has been slightly weakened (but not by much since it’s a 100 MP), but still retains its purpose, as its major purpose was to catch, grant time for cooldown to wear off and extend combos, rather than deal any major damage.
Overall, while PvP has certainly become more balanced, the power of balance has shifted such that certain classes are still overpowering compared to others. Look for CEm and Chung being the major two contenders in PvP now, with Ravens and Elswords still close behind.
A new Elite PvP Set has been added, but this set cannot be purchased by AP – rather, it is received through doing Epic Quests (check 5-1 in your Epic Quest menu for it, it begins in Besma and goes to Altera for all 5 pieces), and scales with your level. All of the stats from the pieces are PvP only, although they do sport rather powerful bonuses, leveling out the stat advantage predominant in the previous season. While the set can be upgraded (to a Unique set, presumably), the mechanism for this has not been found yet. You will also be rewarded with a set of PvP-based (e.g. Nasod Googles, Ring of Fury) accessories timed for 7 days and a permanent PvP only title (3% Attack Speed and 4% Accuracy) for completing the quest chain. The set cannot currently be equipped as the exchange mechanism is coming out on September 27th.
In terms of AP exchange with Camila, the conventional items (potions, red gems, etc.) are still present, but new items have been added. Of particular note are the Stat Specific and Dual Stat Gems that are available for purchase. These gems have a minimum rank requirement for usage (while they can be traded, you still need to be at that particular rank to use them), and provide stats that only work in PvP (you can tell if an equipment is socketed by a PvP-only gem if the word “War Only” (In Korean) is listed next to the socket). AP gain works the exact same way as before, with AP gain corresponding to your rank and choice of mode (i.e. 1v1 yields less AP than 3v3).
A list of new exchange prizes:
– Random Elstone – 500 AP
– Run Speed Gem – 234 AP – Requires E Rank
– Jump Speed Gem – 234 AP – Requires E Rank
– HP Gem – 234 AP – Requires E Rank
– Accuracy Gem – 234 AP – Requires E Rank
– Dodge Gem – 234 AP – Requires E Rank
– Awakening Charge Gem – 294 AP – Requires D Rank
– Awakening Time Gem – 294 AP – Requires D Rank
– Critical Gem – 450 AP – Requires B Rank
– Attack Speed Gem – 450 AP – Requires B Rank
– Additional Damage Gem – 606 AP – Requires S Rank
– Damage Reduction Gem – 606 AP – Requires S Rank
– Additional Damage/Damage Reduction Dual Gem – 1140 AP – Requires SS Rank
– Critical/HP Dual Gem – 1140 AP – Requires SS Rank
– Attack Speed/Run Speed/Jump Speed Dual Gem – 912 AP – Requires SS Rank
– Accuracy/Dodge – 684 AP – Requires SS Rank
– Awakening Time/Awakening Speed Dual Gem – 684 AP – Requires SS Rank
Finally, PvP Coins have been added, which can be exchanged for prizes at Camila. You can receive one coin a day from a daily quest, and two coins a day from another daily quest that follows.
Prize List for PvP Coins:
– 1 Coin: Choose Between Rank 1 PvP Potion (3), Light Spear (4), Red Gem (1), Secret Ticket Scroll (1)
– 4 Coins: Choose Between Stamina Potion (1), Rank 2 PvP Potion (10), Red Gem (5), Random Elstone (4)
– 12 Coins: PvP NPC Card Set – while still unknown since no one has the item yet, it is theorized these cards will allow you to summon PvP NPCs to your aid in dungeons. They may or may not work in Practice Mode as summons, as the Angels did not.
– 20 Coins: 7 Day Timed Mana Observation Ring (New Content – this ring permits you to see your opponent’s MP in PvP, while granting +1 to all skills in PvP only)
– 30 Coins: 7 Day Timed Mana Necklace II (New Mana Necklace)
That is all for now! It’s a very quick guide, but I hope it helps you figure out the changes. Also note: don’t trust any isolated incidents you may see this week. Everyone is super buffed thanks to everyone having a +2 Skill Ring for 10 days, plus most people breaking out their Job Change sets to get ahead. For instance, I know there are some +11 DWs running around sporting Lv. 9 Energy Spurt. If you get highly damaged by one, that is not typical, trust me. Let me know in the comments if you have any additional questions! It’s such hard work being as pretty and popular as I am!