Resistance Penalties (and a league to test them!)

So, as you've probably seen in other games that use a resistance system like ours, higher difficulty levels typically have additive penalties to resistances, requiring players to choose between being vulnerable to elemental damage or building their characters to mitigate this damage.

When developing Path of Exile, we fully intended to have penalties like these, but never got around to adding them. Now we're faced with two problems:

  • Players are creating characters that only have 75% of each resistance, which can be done very easily using only a few high level items. According to our metrics, many players are just naturally getting a high level of resistances from arbitrary secondary mods on their items.
  • If we add these penalties now, then everyone in Merciless difficulty will take substantially more damage until they change their gear to have the level of resistances that they want. It would be unfair to patch this in without any advance notice. (This post is the advance notice!)


I see the broken resistances situation as being a really big problem that we need to solve before Open Beta. I'd love to properly balance the higher difficulty levels around elemental damage from monsters being impactful, and in turn creating more interesting player choices. Ideally, when it comes to resistances, players would choose between:

  • Building a set of gear that offers high resistances. This isn't that hard - the higher mods are common and generous. Rings can have both implicit and explicit resist mods.
  • Using unique items that have generous resistances to shore up deficiencies at the opportunity cost of that item slot.
  • Speccing more into resists in the passive tree.
  • Using specific resist gear as needed for certain encounters.
  • Having a set of resistance gear on the alternate weapon swap.
  • Choosing to side with Kraityn in some of the bandit quests.
  • Using the resist flasks (or aura) during combat.
  • Choosing to not have maxed resistances, just as some characters choose to not max their armour or evasion, and instead focus on hitting harder.


As you can see, the above choices are far more meaningful (and in line with our core design beliefs) than just having everyone automatically get close to maximum resists in Merciless because they happen to be wearing arbitrary rare items.

We're going to introduce additive elemental resistance penalties of:
  • Normal: 0%
  • Cruel: -25%
  • Ruthless: -50%
  • Merciless: -75%


For example, if you currently have 110 Fire Resist (capped at 75) in Ruthless, you'll now have 60%. If you have 10% Cold Resist in Merciless, you'll now have -65%. Chaos resist is not getting a penalty.

On Monday (Sept 24, NZ time), we will create a one-week hardcore race league to test these changes. Once this league ends, we will review the results and probably enable the change for all leagues. The league is hardcore because it gives us far better behaviour and death stats than a Default league.

As with everything else, we definitely need feedback on this change, once it has been made. We're very interested in tweaking the game until it feels right, so of course we're going to review the elemental damage from monsters and make sure that low-resistance characters are still able to survive (albiet with some challenges). Please give this league a go and let us know your feedback once you've had a chance to try them in game
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rings2
Last edited by Chris on October 31, 2012 9:43 AM
Much like Diablo 2. I like. Although, what will happen when Merciless is removed?
Current IGN: UberBurnsTheWorld

http://twitch.tv/theuberelite - I stream sometimes, but inconsistant internet.
Purity prices just shoot up.

Jokes aside, getting maxed resist seems too easy. On the other hand, -75% seems too steep. Could you clarify on how this system work on PvP ? If two players are fighting on merciless difficulty they both have -75% resist but if they fight on normal difficulty they will not take penalty ? And how will this mechanics affect elemental weakness curse ?
Unviable build tester.
Fuse mechanics:
http://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/21503
95% Crit Build Without Charges [0.10.1c]:
http://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/172438
"
Much like Diablo 2. I like. Although, what will happen when Merciless is removed?


Our intention is to use 0%, -25%, -75% once we add Act Three and reduce it to three difficulties. We're balancing the end-game around -75%.
Lead Developer. Follow us on: Twitter | YouTube | Facebook | Contact Support if you need help!
rings2
While I don't mind the system itself, I think that -75% is a bit too much (especially when you consider that some maps have elemental weakness as a mod).

You may not remember it but d2 originally only removed 50% resistance in hell (was changed to 100% at the xpac).

The reason I am saying this is because it is rather difficult to get 150% resistances to all elements and even more to certain builds (mine for example).


Resists nodes aren't frequent enough to be considered for most classes/specs sadly.

However, I do predict Kraityn's reward getting much much more popular :)
Build of the week #9 - Breaking your face with style http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v_EcQDOUN9Y
IGN: Poltun
Last edited by faerwin on September 20, 2012 4:33 AM
Looks like I'm going to be in the negative resists :x

As a side note

A fairly difficult side quest OTHER than the bandits to gain like 5% resists (including chaos) per difficulty would be nice.
Seeing only foot soldiers, the Sarn Knights cast aside their heavy shields...

And paid dearly for their mistake.
Last edited by ampdecay on September 20, 2012 4:32 AM
"
Progammer wrote:
Purity prices just shoot up.

Jokes aside, getting maxed resist seems too easy. On the other hand, -75% seems too steep. Could you clarify on how this system work on PvP ? If two players are fighting on merciless difficulty they both have -75% resist but if they fight on normal difficulty they will not take penalty ? And how will this mechanics affect elemental weakness curse ?


If people are fighting in the world, then the resists of the area come into play. If they're fighting in an arena, then we pick (based on the level range of the arena) what penalty to apply. For example, if level 15 characters are dueling, it's likely it's at a 0% penalty. If it's a max level of 70 in a certain arena type, then it's probably at -75%.

"
While I don't mind the system itself, I think that -75% is a bit too much (especially when you consider that some maps have elemental weakness as a mod).

You may not remember it but d2 originally only removed 50% resistance in hell (was changed to 100% at the xpac).

The reason I am saying this is because it is rather difficult to get 175% resistances to all elements and even more to certain builds (mine for example).


You only need 150%, not 175%.

We'll definitely be taking feedback into account (the results from that league are very important). So far our internal testing is looking okay with -75% though.
Lead Developer. Follow us on: Twitter | YouTube | Facebook | Contact Support if you need help!
rings2
what 175%? I never said 175%!

*whistle away after an edit*
Build of the week #9 - Breaking your face with style http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v_EcQDOUN9Y
IGN: Poltun
yeah another great idea, after removing the IQ for the map drop rate...

I already ignore 98% of items (even with 118/376 MF) and NOW I will have to ignore more because they don't have the f***** ele resist mods that everybody will require...

Playing in merciless is already hard enough if equipped with MF gear. I really think it is a super bad idea to lower resist so hard... unless you prevent shitty mods to spawn/appear on high end items.

Yeah we will have characters with fulls resist but no interesting mods on items..............................
What's your problem, you think we don't die enough ???

PLease redo the internal testing WITHOUT super items... and in hard maps (like +98 fire dmg added with ele weakness curse). Don't forget to let us know how many times you will die.
Last edited by Vaphobos on September 20, 2012 4:46 AM
I just want to add something, will there be large change to the skill tree with this penalty ? Because

Spoiler
dh7SC
Unviable build tester.
Fuse mechanics:
http://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/21503
95% Crit Build Without Charges [0.10.1c]:
http://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/172438
Last edited by Progammer on September 20, 2012 4:52 AM

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