CCS NetworkHeya all, as you may well know by now we're currently in the process of development for CCS API 3.0, which will be bringing some much needed equality, balance and sanity to the API weapons market and also do a lot for allowing developers to create extended capabilities for their items using 1024 character strings allowing for a single communication to do multiple things rather than a weapon having to use several communications per swing or bullet to achieve the same thing, lowering overall total communications in use during combat and improving the effectiveness of API weapons in high load sim environments.

Regardless its heading towards summer 2011 and as we work on API 3.0 I'm also getting ready to do a balance pass for CCS to tweak some races and racial issues. The reasoning behind this is fairly simple. Back in 2009 I put up our total user numbers and racial spread in a pie chart.

CCS has a total registered user count of near to 500,000 players. So when you actually do a total user cross section the overall racial base looks fairly well balanced between all the available races, but CCS doesn't have 500,000 active players, it has around 500,000 REGISTERED players, some are alts others are people that may have played for a week or two then stopped playing SL or moved on to other interests.

So I did a SQL analysis of all active CCS Users, this number works out to around 80,000 total active unique SIDs over a 90 day period. Once I ran the numbers for the active user base it turns up that we've got a 43% Lycan majority.

Lycan's have always been a popular race there have been points in time where one might have stated that they were stronger than they are now. And I would not disagree with that but I will also state that Lycans as they are now while heavily adjusted over the last couple years still remain superior to any other race in CCS and its simply by an accident of dynamics that this is the case.

The Lycan race is built to be a DPS powerhouse and largely it is, even Lycan Healers and Casters are effective melee combatants though of course not as effective as Tanks and DPS they can still mix it up in a melee and come out pretty good. Most people would expect this means I'm going to nerf the Lycan's DPS capabilities...but the DPS focus of the race is not the problem.

The problem with Lycans and why they're coming out further ahead than all other races is due to an accident of convergent dynamics creating a secondary racial superiority for the Lycan and that secondary superiority is regeneration. Lycans are able to use and access their regenerative HoT's more effectively than any other race because as they are taking damage they are generating points which can then be turned around to reuse racial HoT's, and since I cannot simply nerf the Lycan racial HoTs as that would be unfair, I have to address the core issue that is creating a secondary Lycan racial strength, which is generating points by taking damage.

Now don't get me wrong I don't hate Lycans, some of the best RPers I've known have been Lycans (though I've known good RPers in all the racial categories), but this is pretty much unarguable in the math. Each race is supposed to have a single specific racial strength. But the Lycans have ended up with two because of their point method generation.

While Neko's and Human's have the same point method they aren't actually creating a secondary strength from it because their racial abilities focus on totally avoiding damage or reducing the amount of incoming damage they can take...this means they generate points less efficiently than the Lycan and thus do not create a secondary racial strength from their point generation method.

So for this the 2011 Summer Balance Pass (Intended to be pushed to the live game environment in May, exact date as yet undetermined) I will be removing point method damage from CCS entirely, and having each CCS race use a specific point method attack to generate points, with an emphasis on each races racial strength to make each racial point generation method individual to that race.

So just a heads up I am running numbers and writing up the adjustments and doing dynamics theory on how this is all going to go down. While this means that everyone will be balanced up together on their racials (equal cool downs, equatable effects) I do understand that many may feel this is a directly targeted "Lycan Nerf" but overall if you think about the dynamics as they're presented I think its pretty easy to see my points here as logical and making adjustments for them is for the better of the game.

As per usual when we do major dynamics adjustments a free respec will be issued to the entire network to allow people to adjust their characters to suit their interests after the changes, please keep in mind that the intention of this balance pass is to ensure that all the races in CCS have an equal footing and play to their individual racial strengths and doesn't allow for any one race in CCS to be fundamentally superior to any other race in CCS by accident of dynamics assigned to them.

Feel free to add your opinion on this upcoming Balance Pass in the 2011 - Summer Balance Pass thread on the forums!

A French translation of this article can be found in the articles section.
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