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Torchlight Frontiers

Update Notes: Closed Alpha 2

By SoFech
Tue 04 Dec 2018 12:44:20 PM PST

Howdy, Frontier folk! If you’ve already received your Closed Alpha code you can begin pre-loading the game now. Servers for Closed Alpha 2 are currently scheduled to go live December 7 at 10:00 AM PST. In the meantime, Tyler has been good enough to provide some dev-comments along with the patch notes for you to sink your teeth into. See you Friday!

 

Please remember, the EULA governing this Alpha does prohibit sharing/capturing of media such as screenshots, video, and livestreaming.

 

General

  • Introduced ice affixes for weapons

Tyler: Ice weapons with chill and freeze affixes have been added in Alpha 2.  Chill will slow by 50%. Freeze completely stop an enemy. Killing a frozen monster will shatter them into satisfying little chunks of ice. Altogether, these offer some interesting tactical trade-offs to some slightly lower dps. Plus, they are pretty cool.

  • Added two new Relic recipes to the Reliquary

Tyler: Each relic weapon should inspire a new character strategy. No two relic weapons demonstrate this better than Flash Freeze and Cursed Staff.​

  • Flash Freeze will now appear in the Reliquary crafting list

Tyler: Flash Freeze is our first tanky relic weapon. It freezes monsters that attack the player and gives a massive crit bonus when attacking frozen monsters. So cool!

  • Cursed Staff will now appear in the Reliquary crafting list

Tyler: Cursed Staff comes with both an active skill for slowing down monsters and the mechanics to build up a small horde of netherlings. It's got the crowd control and summoning that really matches some player's love of rolling deep with a horde. We will add more summoning mechanics to the game over time to complement this, but Cursed Staff is a good start.

  • Other people's forts should now appear in-world, woo!

Tyler: Forts are more than account-level progression. They are more than a crafting center. They are a place to show off your creativity and accomplishments. When going through the passages, make sure to check out what other players have made.

 

General

  • Frontier weapon and armor equip skills now cap out at 75 skill points per level

Tyler: We felt and heard a lot frustration with the item equip skill system. Frankly, we knew that the design was a bit risky, but we wanted to try it.  What we learned was that having item equip skills compete with active and passive skills for precious Skill Points just feels wrong. Also, using Skill Points from one frontier in the next one just breaks the whole idea. It's a high priority for us to figure out the next version of this and get it into the game. However, it's going to take some head scratching, code changes and UI changes. For now, we just nerfed the cost of item equip skills so that it isn't quite so painful.

  • Potions will now drop 40% less often

Tyler: Potions need to feel limited so that players care about whether they get hurt. In Alpha 1, characters started with too few potions and eventually were swimming in potions. We have a few ideas about how to address this.  We also want to add more depth and variety to potions. Sara, Shawn and Christian are already working on several changes to the Potion system - which won't make it into Alpha 2. Meanwhile, we just turned down the potion drop rate and increased starting potions and quest rewards hoping it would help in Alpha 2.

  • Players will now receive item drops when near a kill if they or a party member deals at least 20% damage to the monster

Tyler: Oops, we thought we had this working, but it had fallen between the cracks. Party members should all get loot for kills - as long as they are nearby.

  • Equipment from different frontiers now scales down 3 levels instead of 2

Tyler: We want each frontier to feel like a separate challenge that builds up a separate set of gear for a character. The need for poison armor definitely accomplished this when going from Goblin to Hyvid. However, weapons were still pretty darn effective when in the wrong frontier. So, we got out the nerf bat. The transition should still feel gradual when starting out a new frontier, but hopefully players won't be smacking Krronk with a goblin sword anymore.

  • Decreased the overall number of harvesting nodes but increased the possible number of resources dropped

Tyler: We don't want harvesting to feel like a chore. We want players to be a little excited when they find a harvest node. In Alpha 1, the nodes were so frequent and the drops so reliably small that it felt grindy. So, we are reducing the number of harvesting nodes and increasing the number of resources that can drop. We also made the drop sizes more random so that players can be anxious about what the die roll will be. We also added resource drops to a few monsters.  Hopefully, this all makes it feel like less grindy and more just a part of adventuring out in the world. If not, we will take another look at how to improve it further.

  • Map Works portals and Phase Beast portals now ignore relic weapons when calculating what level to make the area

Tyler: Someone found a great exploit here, they let us know about it and we cleaned it up. I really want to thank the player that spoke up about it and helped make this a better game.

  • Boss adds should now be more apt to join the fight
  • Champion and boss monsters no longer get monster affixes from the area on top of their own assigned affixes; this should make them easier to defeat
  • Block chance maximum capped at 60% and visible in the inventory stat panel

 

Relic Weapons

  • Relic weapon base damage decreased across the board but elemental effects were increased by roughly 10%.

Tyler: Equipping a relic weapon should feel like "Now I turn on my super powers! Fear me!" However, we went a bit too far with that in Alpha 1. Some players were killing WideLoad in 3-4 shots - which is a buzz kill. It turns out we had cranked up the relic weapon dps in two places - which gives us numbers that are bonkers. In addition to the dps nerf, we also buffed up the chance for relic weapons to do things like burn, poison, bleed and chill - which should be a bit more reliable.  Overall, this was a massive tuning change and we probably will need to adjust it again, but hopefully we are closer to the target now.

  • Increased experience needed to level Relic Weapons after level 10.

Tyler: Ideally, the relic weapon level, average item level and monster levels should be pretty similar. After Alpha 2, Christian did some coding magic to factor in all of those things when giving experience to a relic weapon. We increased the cost of some of the higher Relic levels; odds are it’ll still need some tuning.

  • Firestriker’s missiles now have less range, has had its damage lowered to 25% but we've increased the effect proc factor for both basic and missile attack.

 

Items

  • Reduced chance to fear on all items

Tyler: Crowd control can be powerful and fun, but it shouldn't be so powerful that the game becomes trivial. Hopefully this change brings us closer to fun.

  • Reduced Hyvid potion initial heal from 30% to 20% plus an additional 60% over 3 seconds

 Tyler: The combination of weak potions and constant poisoning was just brutal.  Now the Hyvid potion heals slightly more than the goblin frontier's potion, but it does it over time and cures poison. We want players to get a bit frightened when poisoned and use a potion to fix it.

  • Removed skill-modifying affixes from chest pieces, 1H and 2H weapons; additionally, reduced the strength of these affixes by 20%

Tyler: We have a few item affixes that impact skills. These came in pretty hot before Alpha 1 and had some issues. We've done some tuning changes, shifted which items they drop on and adjusted their chances for dropping. This interaction between skills and items should give players some tools for making interesting builds.

 

Skills

  • Skill Point costs for Passives will now increase with each rank
  • Increased damage for Ramming Robot skill by 50% and decreased the cooldown by 3 seconds

Tyler: Escape skills often have long cooldowns and limited damage.  However, we felt like ramming robot had potential to be a bit more than an escape skill. So we buffed it a bit.

  • Vortex Bomb skill now doubles armor while it is being used

Tyler: The Forged was getting wrecked in boss fights - especially when trying to use Vortex Bomb on anything. It got so bad that players were using Vortex Bomb off in the corner to be safe - which is awful. We considered a few options and decided to give a big armor multiplier while the player is using Vortex Bomb.  Hopefully this fixes the situation, but we will keep an eye on it.

  • Dusk Mage's insane per-player bonus for Consecration has been reduced to 15% for each other player in the circle
  • Unholy Bolt energy cost is decreased from 2 to 1.5 and missiles will move more randomly

 

Monsters

  • Reduced the damage and health for all low-level champion monsters
  • Reduced the effect of the Invigorate affix that appears on Champions
  • Klack's affix changed to Toxic and should no longer stunlock players
  • Goblin blasters should now properly lock onto their target at the start of their blast instead of tracking their target's motion. This should make them slightly less deadly.
  • Foul Hurler damage and health dramatically increased   
  • Stone elemental health dramatically increased
  • Skeleton packs are now generally larger - except skeletons with shields, but they now have increased health and damage
  • Dog Jockey damage cut in half after proving to be too stronk
  • Champion Goblin Warriors now do more damage
  • Added wood and stone drops from Goblin Lumberjacks and Goblin Miners respectively
  • Increased health on mimic by 50% but cut its damage in half
  • Champion Mossrat and Netherling monsters now have increased hitpoints and damage

Hyvid

Tyler: Wow, Hyvid was hard in Alpha 1.The Hyvid were poisoning all of the time; so now only the Hyvid Fliers and Hyvid Guardians poison players. Hopefully with the changes to the mobs and the Hyvid potions we didn't make it too easy.

  • Nerfed the chance to poison for both Hyvid Fliers and Guardians but increased the poison damage; additionally, Fliers will have less hit points and its poison missile will travel slower

Tyler: The big green missiles make it pretty clear what is coming

  • Increased health of Hyvid Egg Pods and set their pack size to 1 for all party sizes

Tyler: The egg pods getting more health should bring back some challenge, but we will definitely be focusing on the Hyvid frontier in the next few months.

  • Reduced the damage of Hyvid Soldiers by 33%
  • Removed the chance to poison from Hyvid Larvae and Hyvid Soldiers on hit, but the Larvae still leaves a poison trail

 

Quests

  • Re-enabled the "Bugswat Password" quest which prompts players to finish all the quests in the first Hyvid area
  • Added more fetid fungi to the Dank Gobhole and fixed an issue preventing completion if tasks were done out of order for the "Bad Medicine" quest
  • General Graye will now properly issue the next quest after completing "Undead Enlistment"
  • Improved instructions for the "A Favor for Yapper" quest
  • Players will now receive a prompt for killing Lord Rotgord when entering Dead's End
  • "Resourceful Rewards" is now considered an account quest

 

Bug fixes

  • Fixed the issue causing certain performance issues in shared zones

Tyler: Guy and Andrew slayed a couple stealth code demons to fix this one - with some help from QA and Tim and Jason's bots to reveal where the demons were lurking. Alpha 2 will hopefully reveal the next wave of these types of code demons - which only appear amongst large crowds of players.

  • Fixed a problem causing some legendary weapons to drop with terrible or no affixes

Tyler: Sorry about the whole -- "Oh, an awesome drop...Doh!" Players seemed really patient and understanding about it. Thank you. We have just gotten started making custom legendary items. We want these to inspire a variety of character builds: "Wow, now I really should get items that do X, dump more points into that Y skill and maybe even switch to that other relic weapon." Our first pass on making these legendaries included some technical mistakes. We've fixed those.

  • Made sure Mapworks bosses consistently provide loot
  • Fixed several dialogue typos
  • Fixed an issue causing shields to drop with defenses for the wrong frontier
  • Fixed issue causing portals to display "Invalid Fort"
  • "Mimic stacks" should no longer be a thing. We think. We hope… 
  • Fixed an issue causing players to be sent to the wrong instance on travel. No more showing up in someone's private instance level when trying to go to the Imperial Outpost
  • Fixed an issue where two party members travelling at the same time could end up in separate instances

 

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