NEStalgia v1.68 Preview, Plus a Podcast!

So how about that Steam launch? Well, the BYOND team is still working as fast as they can to get all of the Steam API stuff integrated into NEStalgia. Once that’s done, we’ll be finally be able to release the game on Steam (hopefully this month). In addition to lending a hand in that process when I can, my time has been spent preparation the long-awaited Key of the Exiles content expansion.

As we discussed in the last podcast, the content expansion is going to come along with a re-balance of all the character classes in the game, and you’ll be seeing many of those balance changes in the pre-expansion v1.68 update. Here is a look at of some of the major changes soon coming your way:

Skill Tree Redesign

In v1.68 I’ve overhauled the Skill Trees for each class. Although the contents and overall structure of the trees will be familiar to you, the look has totally changed:

Ranger v168 Nature Tree Ranger v168 Hunter Tree

When I set out to redesign the Skill Trees my goal was to build upon all of the stuff that has worked before, while fixing as many flaws in the system as I could. That sounds like a pretty obvious objective, but my point is that this isn’t a redesign for the sake of a redesign. These new trees are simply an improved evolution, and I think that players will be really happy with them.

You’ll notice that the Foundation tree has been completely eliminated. Skills that increase Max HP/MP etc have been absorbed into the regular trees for each class, while the Elemental Enchants have been removed from Skill Trees altogether (more on that below). The way that you invest your skill points has changed as well; you don’t always have to fully invest in a skill node in order to move on to the next node. There are also many skill nodes that you can reach via multiple paths.

The end result of all these changes is that players will have more freedom of choice when speccing, and each skill point will make a much bigger difference than it did before.

Character Stat Changes

The most dramatic change in this update is in the way Plus Fire, Ice, Storm and Heal work. Instead of working on a percentage basis as they do now (ex: 20 Plus Fire increases fire damage by 20%), these stats will now increase damage on a 1:1 basis. In other words, if you have 10 Plus Fire then all of your fire spells will do exactly 10 more damage. The same goes for Plus Heal; 10 Plus Heal will boost the power of all your healing spells by 10 points.

Another big change: there are no longer global caps on any character stats in the game. The maximum benefit that you can receive from Plus Fire, Ice, Storm or Heal is capped per Ability. This information is all displayed courtesy of an expanded Ability HUD:

New Ab HUD: Heal

New Ab HUD: Storm

While a low-level spell like Fireball might have a Plus Fire Cap of 15, a higher level fire spell could take that cap up to 30. The same logic applies to healing spells.

However, having more Plus Element than is needed for a particular spell isn’t necessarily a waste. The Resist Fire, Ice and Storm stats now also operate on a 1:1 ration to damage, and are deducted from the attack power of an Ability before the cap is calculated. In other words, if I have 30 Plus Fire when I cast a Fire spell that has a Plus Fire Cap of 15 and my target has 20 Resist Fire, I’ll receive a total Plus Fire damage bonus of 10 points on that attack. It’s all just basic addition and subtraction.

Alongside these big changes, the Spell Piercing and Resilience stats have been completely eliminated. All of the items in the game have been adjusted to accommodate this change; the stats on weapons/armor will be comparable or superior to what they were before.

Weapon Enchants

Elemental weapon enchants have been removed from the Skill Trees. Instead you’ll now find Fire, Ice or Storm elemental enchants that can add damage to any weapon. Like abilities, these enchants also use your relative Plus Element stat and have a Plus Element Cap.

v168 Fire Enchant v168 Storm Enchant

Each enchant is displayed in the bottom left corner of the new expanded Item Detail HUD. You’ll notice that the enchants are displayed with a “less than or equal to” sign; that number represents the Plus Element Cap on each enchant (the maximum amount of Plus Element damage that the weapon can do). This next bit is important: the amount of extra damage your enchanted weapon does is based solely on your relevant Plus Element stat. In other words, a Storm enchant on a weapon won’t do any additional damage unless your character also has some Plus Storm. Like Abilities, any Plus Element that you have over your weapon’s cap will first count against any resistance that the enemy has.

Enchanted Item Closeup

Many rare weapons now come pre-enchanted, and you’ll be able to find Enchantment Scrolls around the world to add or replace enchants on all of your weapons. There are two variables that matter with enchants: the element, and the power cap.


In this new (short) podcast we talk about some of these changes, the fundraiser results, and other stuff that’s been going on behind the scenes. We also explain the Steam delays more in-depth. Check it out:

[mp3-jplayer tracks=”Ep17 (2/4/14) – Steam Delays and Balance Updates@NEStalgia_Podcast_Ep17.mp3″]


We’ll probably do a bit of closed testing on v1.68 before it goes live, and all of the people who contributed to the fundraiser back in December will be invited to participate. Speaking of the fundraiser, I’m working on another big blog post to showcase our top donors and post the results. Look for that soon.

There are many more changes bundled in v1.68, and I’m posting an ongoing list on the wiki’s Version Notes page as I finalize everything. This update is a huge step towards the expansion, and I’m excited that players will be able to benefit from these changes in the near future.



, , ,




31 responses to “NEStalgia v1.68 Preview, Plus a Podcast!”

  1. Silk Avatar

    I know that a lot of you have questions, so don’t be afraid to ask them here. I may hold off on covering certain topics until I’m ready to reveal more details, but ask away!

  2. lydialifeless Avatar

    I’m really excited for this. It seems there are some overwhelming changes coming and they will make the game easier to understand for newer players. I think it’s a great direction to head in and hope everything works out. Can you comment on what will be happening to the existing pierce and resl seeds? I’m sure many players are wondering about this, myself included. Anyway, keep up the great work!

    1. Silk Avatar

      Existing Pierce and Resilience seeds will automatically change into a new type of seed of equal power. That goes for both seeds in your inventory and those that have already been used on your characters/companions.

  3. mrmonotone Avatar

    It would be cool if the podcast could be monthly. I know you guys talked about it in the first podcast, have you considered it anymore? Maybe like every first Friday or something? I think it might be also interesting to have the community be able to submit questions on the forum then you guys pick a handful to answer. I can not wait until I can actually play NJ without people laughing at me! I would like to know if you guys are planning anything for Easter? Will the event from last year come back? Also as lydia was saying I would like to know more about the pierce and resl seeds because str still is better than resl.

    1. Silk Avatar

      I’d love to do the podcast more frequently – I just always feel like I don’t have enough to talk about to justify recording them on a regular basis. If players started submitting more questions or suggestions for NEStalgia topics that they’d like to hear us to talk about on the Podcast, we’d definitely be up for recording episodes much more often. Regardless, I think that at least once a month is a good goal to shoot for, and we can make that happen.

      The Easter event will be back – I’m not sure at this point how different it will end up being from last year. I’d also love to drop everything else that I’m working on for the game right now and come up with a Valentine’s Day event, but I’m forcing myself to prioritize 🙁

  4. puppetshowjustice Avatar

    I like the way that extra +Element checks against your target’s resistance. As a healer at heart, though, I’m curious / concerned about the value of +Healing dropping off drastically beyond certain break points (Namely, Healwave and RenewWave caps). I haven’t seen the revamped skill trees so I’m wondering if role hybridization is the answer. I would love to return to my old CJ form of throwing alternating HoTs and DoTs and feeling like both made a meaningful impact on the fight.

    Magic Burn for Ranger in that screenshot is a perfect example of what I’m talking about and gives me hope for all healers taking a less passive / reactionary role in combat. This is a wonderful skill concept because the return will scale with your gear progression, have nice synergy with Soften / Empower, and give plenty of justification to Fighter / Mage or Fighter / Off-healer builds. Honestly, I love it. I can’t wait to see the new skill trees in action.

    I’m curious as to if there will also be plans to incentivize defense measures like Guard or NJ’s evasion as a method of tanking.

    I could talk classes all day but I’ll spare everyone. At any rate, I’m impressed and I’m excited to see what the future holds. Cutting down on the linearity of the choices alone is a cool move. Can’t wait to hear more.

    1. Silk Avatar

      The Plus Healing Caps are pretty high on each spell, and can be increased via the Skill Trees. There will be many new defensive abilities for both Soldiers and Merchants in the expansion. Increasing the reliance on evasion for Ninjas is actually something that you’ll see a lot of in the reworked trees for v1.68.

  5. magikarp Avatar

    Thanks for the update guys! Looking forward to the Steam launch.

    1. Silk Avatar

      Thanks! We’re really looking forward to it as well.

  6. lordrith Avatar

    And this is the reason I’m still playing. The excite I have is very much High.

    Great Job Silk and Team!

    1. Silk Avatar

      Happy to serve 🙂

  7. jumier Avatar

    Thanks for the update!

  8. marksalot Avatar

    Yeah, thanks for keeping us up to date. I appreciate the additional transparency with the ability HUD, it looks like that will make planning a character easier. I also can’t wait to try out the new skill trees (I never did finish any of the current ones). 😛

    I am wondering how character intelligence is going to work with the update. I assume int isn’t going to get throttled anymore, but that makes me wonder what is going to increase my attack more, int or plus element. Ultimately I’m wondering if I should switch my pierce to int or plus element on my WZ…

    1. Silk Avatar

      The way Intelligence factors in is the same, though it will be a bit more visible in v1.68. Any attack ability that uses Intelligence will show a new “Power Index” number in the HUD. This number indicates the percentage of your character’s Intelligence that the spell uses.

      There is still an invisible soft cap in place on Intelligence calculations after which you’ll receive diminishing damage returns, but the Power Index number will let you know which abilities take the most advantage of your Intelligence total. The Power Index number on many abilities can also be boosted via the skill trees.

  9. hanta Avatar

    This is going to make my current LP veeery interesting XD
    In general the changes seem to greatly simplify things, and with time I will come to understand them with just as much if not more ease than I do the current iteration. Keep up the good work, Silk Team!

  10. deadfool Avatar

    Companions such as the Stinger have a +7% Resilience as their reserve, what will it change to?

    1. Silk Avatar

      Something comparable – don’t have a specific answer yet.

      1. lordrith Avatar

        If you want help with companion ideas. I’d be fond of throwing ideas out.
        (Including reworking current companions and new ones)

  11. azrift Avatar

    Will Credit Check and Reserve Ratio be changed from percents to a single stat?

    1. Silk Avatar

      I haven’t tackled the Merchant re-balance yet, so I don’t have a definitive answer right now.

  12. cjsutt1 Avatar

    I remember it being brought up in the past, but are there any changes with Soulbound items with this patch?

    1. Silk Avatar

      No changes in v1.68 as of now.

  13. mustang Avatar

    Will enemy monster stats be changing as well (ie more elemental resists and HP) or are those going to remain the same?

    1. Silk Avatar

      We’ll be tweaking a lot of stuff like that in order to accommodate the larger stat changes.

  14. mrmonotone Avatar

    With the 1.68 skill tree change, will the skill tree respec cost reset?

    1. puppetshowjustice Avatar


  15. puppetshowjustice Avatar

    Would it be possible to have our monster skills reset with the patch as well? If my character builds are going to change so severely I’d like to be able to adjust most of my monsters without having to relevel them all.

    1. Silk Avatar

      All companion skills will be reset. Some of those are getting tweaked as well.

  16. amarathval Avatar

    Holy update batman.


    Is there some sort of way that I could apply to be an admin/mod for the NEStalgia Wiki? I have lots of experience with wiki projects and NEStalgia, and would love to help the website.

    1. Silk Avatar

      No problem, I can hook you up with that. Shoot an email to with your NEStalgia Wiki account info.

Leave a Reply