Dev Diary: Updates to the Cavalier Difficulty in 2021

Written by: Kabam John – Balance Designer

Greetings Summoners!

Now that you’ve all had a chance to experience the Cavalier Difficulty of Event Quests over the past several months, I wanted to take some time to talk about where we are and where the difficulty level is heading throughout 2021 and beyond!

Before exploring what the future holds for the Cavalier Difficulty, let’s go over the loose blueprint that we’ve been following and how we’ll be approaching Cavalier Buffs going into 2021.

Rewarding the right Champion selection/counter to the node with awesome boosts, damage, or other.

The Cavalier class support buffs have been a lot of fun to play around with, and when you find the right counter, you can get some massive damage numbers and some pretty hilarious and fantastic fights. We love seeing videos of Angela dealing over 20 000 damage on a medium attack, or Scarlet Witch tearing through any obstacle in her path with massive Special Attack damage. That’s something that makes Cavalier Difficulty unique, and we won’t be changing that. The number of Champions that can interact with a global support buff may vary, but our core plan of boosting certain Champions to be uber-powerful, while some others may see little or no benefit, will remain.

A Variety of Champions can tackle the Global challenge buffs

We want to make sure that even if you don’t have the best counter to the global buffs, you can still make your way through the quest. We haven’t quite hit the mark on this one yet but are continuing to work towards that goal in 2021. With that in mind, we do intend to make the fights easier with large Attack Rating boosts or impactful utility sets if you bring the intended Champion(s). Throughout 2021 expect a move away from buffs like Buffed Up, Diss Track etc and a move to less limiting challenges.

Time Investment

We’ve been closely looking at how much time it takes to get through Cavalier difficulty. After the first few months, we determined that the Quests were taking far too long for Summoners to fully complete, and you saw our first changes with the December update in hopes to speed up exploration and completion. 

We’re going to keep a close eye on the time it takes for Summoners to complete and explore these Quests with all future updates and will be taking action to change up the functionality, or potency of any of the buffs over the lifetime of Cavalier. 

Making sure we’re hitting a good spot with the time spent in the Event Quest is part of the equation. As we’ve mentioned in the past, we first want to make sure that we get the time investment to a place that we are happy with.

We can hear you saying it now, “what about the rewards?” We’re not quite ready for a change to rewards yet. As we continue to evolve what Event Quests look like, we’ll have plenty of opportunities to work with the Event Quest rewards as well.

We want to ensure that players are having fun, and feel rewarded for the time they spend in Cavalier difficulty, and if that goal isn’t being met we will be doing our best to make sure that in the future it is.

Now for what the future will look like!

Coming this February, we’ll be launching a whole new set of Class Support Buffs, as well as totally new Challenge Buffs to go alongside them! 

These new challenge buffs will either be a recreation of an already existing buff, or something new just for Cavalier Difficulty. Here’s a look ahead at what to expect next month!

Science:

  • Vexing Blight: Science Attackers gain an indefinite Passive Fury increasing Attack Rating by 20% every time they remove a Poison effect or are immune to one. Max Stacks 15.
  • Academic Constitution: Science Attackers reduce the potency of Defender’s Poison effects by 85%. Additionally, whenever a Science Attacker Dodges an attack or performs a Well-Timed block all their Poison Debuffs and Passives are removed.
  • Contagion: Whenever the Defender is struck or blocks an attack, there is a 20% chance to inflict the Attacker with a Poison Debuff, dealing 100% of the Defender’s modified Attack as direct damage over 10 seconds.
  • Weak in the Knees: The Attacker is inflicted with a permanent Passive Weakness reducing their Attack Rating by 50%. This Weakness is removed while the Defender is suffering from a Non-Damaging Debuff.

Tech:

  • Infectious Wrath: Tech Attackers gain an indefinite Passive Fury increasing Attack Rating by 35% whenever the Defender tries to gain health while Heal Blocked. Max stacks 10. Gaining a Fury in this way has a 1 second cooldown.
  • Engineered Fracture: Whenever a Tech Attacker inflicts the Defender with an Armor Break debuff, the Defender is also inflicted with a Passive Heal Block for 10 seconds.
  • Nanite Healing: Every 15 seconds, the Defender Passively Regenerates 10% of their Max Health over 8 seconds.
  • Indomitable: The Defender’s healing abilities can’t be reversed, when this would occur they’re instead only prevented from Healing.

Cosmic:

  • Crack in the Armor: Each time a Cosmic Attacker lands an attack they have a 10% chance for each Armor Break on the Defender to gain an indefinite Passive Fury increasing Attack Rating by 35%. Max stacks 10.
  • Tough as Nails: Every 3 seconds, the Defender gains a permanent Armor Up Buff increasing Armor Rating by 20% per stack. When the Defender is struck, reset the timer for creating an Armor Up Buff. Max stacks 5.
  • Mystic Ward: Enemy Nullify effects have a 95% chance to fail.

Skill:

  • Skillful Distraction: Skill Attackers prevent the Defenders Evade abilities while the Defender is suffering from a Disorient, Incinerate or Shock effect.
  • Mind’s Eye: Skill Attackers gain an indefinite Passive Fury increasing Attack rating by 35% each time the Defender’s Evade effect is prevented in any way other than Ability Accuracy reduction. Max stacks 10.
  • Can’t Touch This: The Defender has a passive 50% chance to Evade all attacks in addition to any base abilities.

Mutant:

  • Healing Factor: Each hit in the Special Attack of an Attacking Mutant Champion has a 30% chance to grant them a Passive Regeneration, healing 2% of Base Health over 10 seconds. This chance is increased to 70% if the Attacker has a Prowess Buff or Passive.
  • Relentless Mutation: Mutant Attackers gain an indefinite Passive Fury increasing Attack rating by 35% every time they gain a Regeneration Buff or Passive. Max stacks 10.
  • Just a Scratch: Every time the Defender is struck, they have a 20% chance to Passively Regenerate 90% of the damage received over 0.7 seconds. This will not trigger if the Defender’s Regeneration Rate is inverted or if the Attacker is under the effect of a Regeneration Buff or Passive.

Mystic:

  • Arcane Zeal: Whenever a Mystic Attacker fills a Bar of Power they gain a Passive Prowess increasing Special Attack Damage by 80% for 15 seconds. Nullifying a Buff from the Defender converts all temporary Prowess Passives into indefinite ones. Max stacks 5.
  • Persistent Pressure: Defenders under the effect of Unstoppable become Stun Immune, this includes Unstoppable effects triggered outside this node. Every 15 seconds the Defender gains an Unstoppable buff for 5 seconds. The duration of this buff is reduced by 0.5 second(s) for each Prowess Buff or Passive the Attacker has.

Throughout 2021 we will be releasing 3 full sets of Support buffs and Challenge buffs. With new buffs, we hope to introduce new characters into the viable pool of Champions that Summoners can use to tackle the ongoing challenge of Cavalier Difficulty. We will also continue to tweak and modify existing and new Cavalier buffs throughout the year until they meet our goals/intended player experience.

Hopefully you’re all as excited about new challenges and fun in Cavalier difficulty as we are. We’ve loved to see all the feedback regarding this new difficulty and how it plays. Both positive and negative, we look at it all and will continue to do so until we feel Cavalier is in a great spot in terms of fun and difficulty.

Thanks for your time,

Sick Beast of a Gamer – Kabam John