Survival Plans

People who play survival consistently will have noticed changes, such as some DTP commands being taken away from survival, and the death timer changes. This post intends to clarify some of these changes, and the direction of survival.

From a server perspective, the aim of survival’s balance is to ensure that people can explore each part of the game properly to fill the week, regardless of skill level. People shouldn’t feel pressured into rushing if they don’t want to, or quit because it’s too difficult or easy for them. As survival is currently one server, game progression and in-part, difficulty, is essentially shared between everyone, so it’s very easy for people to miss a lot of content because they were not online or some people to find themselves grinding forever because they cannot keep up. Balance is not an easy aim to achieve, because any change we make has to try to include everyone’s playstyle, whether that’s a veteran player or someone who is fairly new to the game overall. It’s also important to realise that, survival wasn’t a DG creation, and it ended up inheriting a lot of DG functionality, most of which was never balanced or intended for use in the way it ended up on survival.

If you’re someone who has been playing for a while, you’ll have noticed commands being taken away one by one over time. It may appear to some people that we’re trying to make survival more like the vanilla game. However, these commands in the context of survival provided power beyond what made sense. It’s sort of like if zombies had inherited /buff and /heal in a transition, these would change the nature of the mode incredibly, and aren’t balanced for use in zombies. The commands being removed from survival is not a progression towards something, it’s a reversion of the mistakes made by these being in survival in the way they were.

Will these commands come back? Yes. The commands just need to be made for what survival is. This means restrictions being added that tie with the game’s progression, so that the power it provides is appropriate to the situation. The other addition is to redo a little how people go about using them. The trading system right now requires you to go and get a command item to use them, and then you get to use them forever unless you give away that command item. Instead, the commands will have DP costs given to them where anyone who is a trading member can use the command in-game for the cost associated with its use. The command items on the trading system can likely be repurposed, however I don’t expect those changes to come soon enough that it’s worth talking about what their purpose would be. With these two changes, commands can be better balanced both progression-wise and per-use.

Death timers were also changed a while back. They were set to counteract the smashing-your-head-against-the-wall way of beating bosses and to properly give penalty to deaths, especially during boss fights. This matches what the game itself does, however in the context of survival, this particular feature might not be good enough to balance boss fights properly. There have been questions about trying out things like Master Mode; as mentioned before, since everything applies to everyone, this change would likely be as bad as it would be good. Instead, we are exploring the possibility of a dynamic difficulty, where bosses health and damage are modified, similar to that of PvE, so we can override the expert health scaling to remove the need for people to leave and rejoin, as well as provide difficulty for those who like to push the progression boundaries. This won’t be PvE, the bosses health/damage will scale dynamically based on factors we decide. This will contribute to ensuring that the difficulty of bosses better matches how we are balancing of survival.

These changes aren’t happening soon, at least not all of them. If you’re interested in what is being worked on, you should check out the Development Timetable thread, it’s updated whenever something changes and it gives you an idea on what is currently in the pipeline. The “pay per use” bullet point is one of the prerequisite features for the commands being introduced, so keep your eye out for when that’s complete to get a sense of when these changes might start showing up.