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TTT #6: Buffer Evolution


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Welcome to the 6th edtion of the Tuesday  Toggle Topic!

Buffer Evolution

Lineage2Toggle desires to deliver a retail-like High-Five experience, while at the same time creating something extra special and fun. Our development team continues having numerous discussions about our buffer system. Our guiding principles with buffer development include: make sure every class is still relevant, maintain class balance, make leveling and party design more fun, and create something unique. 


Initial plans: 

One thought was to limit the buffs available through the ALT-B buffer. However, we thought this would greatly limit the types of players who could enjoy Lineage2Toggle. While Lineage2Toggle is a bot friendly server, we recognize not everyone wants to play or has the ability to run a full party of 9 bots.

Another discussion was to create a combo buffer system. Our vision was to limit the number of standard support characters required. For example, a standard melee party usually has a Bishop, Warcryer, Bladedancer, Swordsinger, and sometimes a recharger like an Elven Elder or Shilien Elder. With the standard support set-up, a melee party has 4-5 open slots and if a spoiler is desired then 3-4 flexible slots.  

How would this combo buffer system work? The Prophet, Elven Elder, Shilien Elder, and Warcryer would share all buffs up to and including prophecies such as Chant of Victory, Prophecy of Fire, etc. None of these classes would gain the Overlord’s clan buffs. We figured if you wanted to buff a whole clan you should level an Overlord. The Blade Dancer and Sword Singer would share all songs and dances. 

Buffer Classes would still maintain some distinctions by not sharing skills, such as Stigma of Shilen, Hex, Recharge unless the retail game allowed them to obtain another buffer classes’s skills.  Additional distinctions become more apparent after the 3rd class change as classes would not share buffs that require a forgotten scroll.  The skills include but are not limited to: Counter Critical, Dance of Berserker, Song of Purification, Lord of Vampire, Blessing of Eva, and Great Fury to name a few. Another distinction we contemplated was limiting skill enchantment to only the skills a character came with originally.

We were very excited about these possibilities! Now a melee party could require fewer support characters such as a Bladedancer or Swordsinger, a Warcryer or recharger, and a Bishop. Potentially this party set-up allows for 3 support characters and 6 damage dealer slots to fill how you choose.  


Unintended consequences:

As we continued exploring this idea, we discovered it became more and more complex. How will these changes affect class balance? How will we shut off extra buffs in the Olympiad? How will we handle summoners with their summon party buffs, such as Blessing of Queen, Gift of Seraphim, etc?  Will combo buffers get the Warsmith buffs?  How will we be able to handle and manage the skill tree for the Overlord, Warcryer, Prophet, Elevn Elder, Shilien Elder, Bladedancer, and Swordsinger? 

We quickly realized this workload and concept was more than we could commit to at this time. Every buffing class will need every other buffing class’s buffs added to their skill tree.That alone is a massive amount of work and development. 


Current Plans:

We decided to provide an expanded NPC buffer through the ALT-B Buffer. Starting at level 1 it provides all basic buffs, Prophecies such as Chant of Victory, and Combo Buffs such as Improved Movement which will all last for 2 hours. Buffs from the NPC buffer will be free through level 40. At level 41 they cost 1,000 adena each.

 Premium accounts will enjoy extra buffs such as Warsmith, Cat, Unicorn, Combined Resist Buffs and a 3 hour buff duration.


Buffs from Forgotten Scrolls such as counter critical, dance of berserker, etc. are unavailable from the NPC Buffer. 

Custom buff schemes can be made in ALT-B. You can name your custom buff schemes and choose whether to buff yourself or the whole party with that buff scheme. 

Note about premium accounts here. You can have a premium master account where all 20 accounts will be premium, or choose individual accounts to be premium. If the buff scheme on a premium account has premium buffs and buffs his party mates who do not have a premium account, they will not get the premium buffs nor will they get the 3 hour duration. Only the premium accounts in the party will get the premium buffs and 3 hour duration. All other accounts will have the standard ALT-B buffs and 2 hour duration. 

We hope this helps keep every class relevant, allow flexible party design, maintain more game balance, and help your Lineage2Toggle experience be more fun! 

Do you have thoughts about the buffing system? Join the discussion at our forum. We’d love to hear from you. 

For now, I’ll leave you with this quote from Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood, “I'll be back when the week is new. And I'll have more ideas for you. And you'll have things you'll want to talk about. I will, too.”

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