Changes to Cherry, Knight, Alberto and Jimmy - May 21, 2019
Over the past few months of work, there was not just progress on Story Mode's content, but also balancing changes for some characters, specifically Cherry, Knight, Alberto and Jimmy. Their changes are as follows:
Rebound Bonus is a passive ability that can be obtained in the Mind section of all characters' Soul Triads. Originally, it just nulled collision damage from knockback and on knockback's end (collision or no), the user would gain double damage and Combat Movement + 100% for 3 seconds. This had the unfortunate issue of being too situational, requiring an enemy to have Knockback attacks to be usable. It has been altered to include Stagger, Stun and Knockdown to trigger. Though still situational, this means that characters can gain damage/movement boosts against any enemies that make use of status effects.
Pierce (Body Ability), a long range physical attack, has had its damage output doubled and its cooldown reduced
Hyper Blade (Body Ability), a series of dash slashes in different directions, has had its damage output increased by 2.33x
Cutthrough (Body Ability), a series of forward-moving slashes, has had its damage output tripled and its slashes are larger
Stand Ground (Mind Ability), which allows for Cherry to become invincible while blocking, has had its duration increased from 3 seconds to 5 seconds
Fortify (Mind Ability), which allows for Cherry to prevent nearby enemies from moving, has had its duration increased from 3 seconds to 5 seconds
Cover (Mind Ability), which allows for Cherry to receive damage that her allies were to receive within Cover's area of effect, has had its duration increased from 3 seconds to 8 seconds
Attack Chopper (a passive ability for Bladecopter, which is a ranged Mind Ability that inflicts damage and Stun) has been amplified. Originally, Attack Chopper would activate when Bladecopter deals the finishing blow to an enemy, which would remove the cooldown on Bladecopter and boost the next Bladecopter's damage by 3x and its Stun by 2 seconds. Attack Chopper now causes the next Bladecopter to deal 11x damage. It also has an additional trigger condition added to it. Not only can it activate or stay active by killing an enemy with Bladecopter, but if the previous Bladecopter was not enhanced by Attack Chopper and hits an enemy (whether the enemy is killed or not), it will trigger on hit. This allows for more frequent Bladecopter usage, higher overall damage output and helps make Bladecopter and Attack Chopper less situational.
These changes were made to Cherry over the course of the last few months due to how little team utility she had compared to the other characters. As the character whose specialization was damage mitigation for herself and her party, she was outshined by Pound's Barrier and Jimmy's Withstand Seal, which were more "drop and forget" invincibility areas that could be active while Pound/Jimmy did other things in combat (Cherry's Stand Ground required her to be blocking and not attacking with Cover active to protect her team). To help enhance her role as damage mitigator, Stand Ground and Fortify have gained 2 seconds of time (both of which can work well with the new Block Heal mechanic) and Cover has an extra 5 seconds of time to help better protect other party members.
The other changes, namely the large power-ups to Cherry's Body Abilities and Attack Chopper, were also done to provide Cherry with more team utility. While her standard melee attacks still have low DPS, these boosts to her Body abilities allow her to be customized to contribute more effectively as a damage dealer, to both bosses and groups of enemies. Attack Chopper was made increasingly effective for dealing with normal battles, as a Bladecopter against a weakened enemy will trigger Attack Chopper, which if done accurately (and with her Lyra Buster sword's boost to Bladecopter damage), can allow for rapid-fire kills against other weak enemies.
Hookshot (Body Ability) removed due to its extremely low usefulness (low damage, short range, Stagger and displacement of enemy had little utility as an ability to spend customization points on). Replaced with Nightslash (an Extreme ability from the original The Demon Rush). In The Demon Rush: Legends Corrupt, Nightslash is a slashing ability that pauses for a short moment. The slash itself is weak, but if the slash hit an enemy, it causes a massive explosion that inflicts Stun, making it a powerful wide-area Body ability, but only if used accurately
Nightslash Damage (passive ability for Nightslash) added, which as the name suggests, boosts the power of Nightslash's damage
Good Night (passive ability for Nightslash) added, which if Nightslash lands a hit, causes a cooldown reduction for Nightslash by 8 seconds, increasing how important accuracy with Nightslash is
Power Drive (Body Ability), a leaping attack, has been enhanced to deal damage to a large area on Knight's landing by default (as opposed to needing higher accuracy on landing) and now inflicts Stagger to that area by default, as well
Power Drive Impact (passive ability for Power Drive) which originally added the now-default area of effect for Power Drive, now double the the radius of the area of Power Drive
Hookshot was removed from Knight's Onslaught/Conquest preset, and his replacement ability for Hookshot is the newly enhanced Power Drive
Knight's Hookshot was removed primarily due to its lack of real use overall and Nightslash was included for a more precision offense option and to include Stun in Knight's repertoire (his one missing status ailment to his versatile offense playstyle). Power Drive's effectiveness was boosted to allow Knight a safer and powerful approach option for his offense across all modes of play, especially for Onslaught/Conquest, where Hookshot was meant to be an Extreme builder and little else, which put Knight at risk more.
Deadly Arts (Body Ability) has been altered. Rather than a multi-hit punch attack that allowed shifting of position (and therefore the ability to use a Body Ability to Stun multiple enemies), it has now become a quick dash punch. This alteration was mainly due to how long Deadly Arts kept Alberto held up and was awkward to use
Deadly Lunge (passive ability for Deadly Arts) has been altered. Originally, it was a passive that increased Deadly Arts' damage with each position shift during that one use of Deadly Arts. Since Deadly Arts is no longer multi-hit, this passive ability needed to change. As of now, Deadly Lunge gives Deadly Arts a massive damage boost (4x damage) against Stunned enemies, which helps Alberto make greater use of his wide range of Stun-inflicting skills
Wallbreak (passive ability for Light Chi, Alberto's knockback inflicting Body Ability), which boosted collision damage/distance of Light Chi, has been altered. Though it now has a requirement of needing Light Chi to hit a Stunned enemy to activate (no requirement originally), Wallbreak deals far more collision damage/distance from Light Chi's knockback when it triggers, once again keeping more in line with Alberto's Stun themes
Light Chi was removed from Alberto's Onslaught/Conquest preset and replaced with the newly altered Deadly Arts
Alberto has received smaller alterations than the others, but the main reason for Deadly Arts' change was its awkwardness of use. His boosts to his passives were meant to both make his non-Haymaker Body Abilities more viable for damage dealing while keeping his Stun-themed gameplay in focus. Deadly Arts replaces Light Chi in his Onslaught/Conquest preset due to Light Chi's requirement to get up close being less useful than Deadly Arts' new dash attack.
Fancy Footwork (Body Ability) was removed for similar reasons to Alberto's Deadly Arts -- awkward multi-hit ability that was not overly useful as a customization focus. Replaced with Dead Drop, a new leap attack that deals good damage, but requires more precision to use (and the name keeps with his Necromancer background)
Dead Drop Damage (passive ability for Dead Drop) added, which boosts Dead Drop's damage output
Dead Stomp (passive ability for Dead Drop) added, which adds wide-area Stagger (but not additional damage) to Dead Drop's landing, which keeps with Jimmy's Support/Stagger theme
Necromancer's Landing (passive ability for Dead Drop) added, which reduces all of Jimmy's cooldowns by 2 seconds if Dead Drop hits (Dead Stomp's Stagger area does not count), which keeps Jimmy's Support theme going while requiring higher precision to trigger
Smoke Grenade (Mind Ability) has been heavily altered. Originally, it was an area that stealthed Jimmy and his party (including Conquest monsters on your side) and was meant to keep Jimmy's Support theme going. Unfortunately, it was practically useless in practice, since allies tend to run out of the Smoke Grenade to fight (as well they should, since staying inside means doing nothing except waiting on cooldowns to recover while the Smoke Grenade was active). Smoke Grenade has now been altered to a more versatile and faster-paced ability, where it inflicts a wide-area Stagger around Jimmy, forces enemies to target allies other than Jimmy for a short while (if other targets are available) and if a direction is held, allows Jimmy to do a short invincible dash as an escape tool
Escape Artist (passive ability for Smoke Grenade) added, which reduces all of Jimmy's cooldowns by a half second per enemy hit by Smoke Grenade. This is meant to make it more worthwhile to nail as many enemies with one Smoke Grenade as possible, and helps enhance Jimmy's Support/Stagger theme
Crimson Force (Fire Siphon Ability), an explosion spell that detonates Fire Siphon tags on enemies (from Shurikens that can do so) and Smoke Grenades, no longer blows up Fire Siphon tagged Smoke Grenades, due to Smoke Grenade no longer having its semi-permanent presence
Pyro Pinwheel (passive ability for Crimson Force) added, which allows Jimmy's Shurikens (Mind Ability) to have zero cooldown if used during the Fire Siphon Field Effect
Astral Glow (passive ability from Jimmy's Zipmore Dirks weapon) has been altered. Originally, it allowed his Shurikens and Smoke Grenade to inflict Blind. Due to the changes of Smoke Grenade and the addition of Pyro Pinwheel being able to create considerable "blindlock" to enemies, Astral Glow has been reconfigured to have Jimmy's Shurikens inflict Stagger to an area that increases in size as his Zipmore Dirks are levelled up (once again, keeping in line with his Stagger theme)
Though Smoke Grenade is still a part of his Onslaught/Conquest preset, the large changes made to it allow for his playstyle in these modes to be faster paced
Jimmy has received probably the heaviest reworks of all of the characters, but his changes help to make his Support and Stagger foci more pronounced, while also heavily emphasizing on his other strengths (notably his high mobility and cooldown reductions), which allows Jimmy to be a more effective character across all modes.