This time, the NPCs are getting an upgrade. In today's update, we've added a set of NPC ranks that area makers can apply to increase the stats of key mobs.
We've been doing this for a long time via hand setting some NPCs' stats to make them more difficult. Unfortunately, there isn't any consistency or transparency with that approach. Ranks will be both consistent in the power that they grant NPCs as well as transparent in that players can see what rank a mob is just by looking at them:
Tiamat is a colossal-sized level 59 Great Wyrm Legend.
Here are the names of the new ranks, in ascending order of difficulty, with a few examples. Note that these are only examples and these NPCs haven't all been given these ranks (yet).
- Lieutenant: Frost Giant Jarls
- Captain: Hamatula Squad Leaders
- Champion: Thrym
- Boss: Utgard-Loki, Glammad
- Legend: Tiamat, The Tarrasque, Imix
Ranks can affect the following stats:
- Ability scores (Strength, Dexterity, etc)
- Hit points
- HP regeneration rate
- Armor class
- Switch frequency
- Number of attacks
In addition to having boosted stats, ranked mobs are also worth more experience to reflect the increased difficulty in killing them.
To start with, we've implemented ranks in just one zone: Tiamat. They've been used sparingly there, and many of the big NPCs already had boosted stats, so this shouldn't impact the difficulty of the zone much. It's our intent to add a little increased challenge here, but not to make the zone dramatically harder. If that ends up happening, we will re-evaluate.
We'll be rolling ranks out to more zones in the near future. Also, the initial bonuses that have been set for each rank are very much just a starting point, and they are likely to change as we gather some data and evaluate their performance.
As always, your feedback is important. Please let us know via GitHub or the forums how the new ranks are stacking up.