I wish to report on some of the differences, but keep in mind...
The changes are not complete.
The changes are bound to...change.
Limited playability due to testing changes specifically for the DT.
My main plan was to see what they would be doing to my DT, who has been underpowered as a class, but lately has been more fun than it has been. Changes in patch 1.04 made survivability better overall (though this class is still one of the slowest when it comes to killing).
Discussion has been about a major buff to some attributes of this class, thus the reason for my test.
But, we can look at these changes and use it as a basis for what has happened to the "Soldier" based classes overall at least.
As I reported earlier, there is no doubt...
Potions and Gear matter. Food will as well.
Food in the game allows quick recovery of hit points, stamina and mana after combat. Not just that, it also will give bonuses to these attributes as well.
Potions work in a manner that they give a quick boost to health, mana and stamina when first used, then a gradual over time boost to healing for a period of time.
The timer is usually 15 sec's for a HoT (heal over time).
Gear now uses a straightfoward + to attributes, combat ratings (new) etc.
Before, most items listed themselves as say 0.5% to STR. and sometimes some had a +5, 10...but mostly, you really could not tell the difference.
Here, the changes are drastic. Based on my before armor (what I came over with when I did the copy to Testlive with Amatheon), then switching to armor "suggested" for my level, it changed how many mobs I could deal with and the overall survivability factor.
Now, before I go any further, keep in mind, this is all PvE based data, as this is what will be affected the most, even though some new changes will go into the PvP level system, gear and attributes.
They are calling this the RPG system, due to the straight forward changes to attributes, not unlike a D&D style mechanic. This is the reason I assume the RPG title for the changes.
Now, here are some quick screenshots of some changes to help explain the overall system differences. Make sure to click through to the actual screens on some of these shots to get a blow up.
This first shot shows the new attributes system on the left. More explainantion is included here of what actually is being changed. You get straight forward readable data to get an idea of how well your character is doing when changing gear, etc.
You now get a generalized "Armor Mitigation" and "DPS" rating. Very helpful.
This shot shows the "Combat rating" system. It gives overall ratings (I am not sure on what yet) for how effective you are in certain categories.
You get a listing of a percentage chance for gettting fatalities, criticals, and more.
Look it over, as it seems pretty explainatory.
The above two images give various ratings for your Physical and Magical attributes and how they affect your health, stamina and more. Again, great reading if you zoom in with more than ample information on what is happening here.
These are some pretty drastic changes. I am miffed that some people keep calling it the NGE, when it is not a wholesale change to everything that has come before, and instead it is more of a "Hey, this is what this REALLY means" type of change.
It looks good.
Here is an example of how the attributes are listed for armor and items.
Like I said earlier...new fonts...looks great. But, again, zoom in and note the listings, which make total sense to the standard +, - crowd. I now know what the attributes are helping and by how much.
Looking at that pic should give you an idea of a new piece of armor I am wearing. I did a search in the AoC.YG database of that name and could not find it...
Hooray, NEW stuff...
Here are some examples of the new armor I got when I went to Fate, the "upgrades" NPC for Testlive.
All sorts of cool changes. Variations in vambraces, boots, belts, chest pieces, and more.
Overall, I am still worried about these changes because my DT felt totally different, and no change to my Feat tree helped. I was draining Stamina like no tomorrow, and some mobs took longer to kill than normal. But, it did not mean I died faster...it just felt different combat wise.
One new thing I started doing was "Stance" dancing. I would switch back and forth between Frenzied and Defensive stance depending on the number of mobs and my health. Kind of weird to be doing it constantly in combat as I have not really had to deal with this before. Maybe PvE has been too easy? I do not think so.
For example, I knew if I was going to take on 2 or 3 mobs then I had better down a potion immediately.
All I know is if this change takes place, they better start dropping a little more cash also. Buying potions will get expensive and piss people off.
Now, supposedly the Tempest of Set has been major nerfed, as it has been the OP class for a while...moreso than the Priest of Mitra.
I will be copying over Ethalos to TL to see how he is working now and get prepared for those changes...
And, of course, report back to you.
Now, I am off. Make sure that if you have any questions of the RPG system or PvE, let me know.