Concluding performances and the war on macroing

Greetings denizens of Agon.
Today we are going to talk about our next few patches in the Patch 2 cycle and our efforts to increase performances and reduce the grind.

Tonight 2.3:

We will have a patch for performances during the night that should reduce the crashes for many players, and should be the largest upgrade to performances yet, including reducing the load lag.
The previous update made life better for most players, but revealed a few historic instabilities and our refactor team has spent the week tracking down all instances of memory leaks they could find. The end result is such that computers that would crash every 20 minutes will now have 7 hours play sessions without a hitch.
Bundled with this patch is also an optimization of our archives to selectively target what needs and doesn’t need to be compressed which should reduce the load lag for most without impacting HDD users.
We will also finally have a fix that should improve the situation with monsters spawning without weapons.

Later during the week 2.4:

We’ll have a feature patch whose main additions will be to remove global diplomatic announcements and to remove fizzles.
The removal of fizzles will not be a simple disabling but we have reworked the impact of encumbrance. If you would have lost 5% dps due to fizzles, then you will lose 5% dps through longer cast times and reduced magnitude. No randomness, but the same global consequences. One thing is changed though: If you are at 0 encumbrance, the formula will consider that you had no chances to fizzle at all and will give you no dps reductions.
Tongue rot is changed to still have a random chance of causing a fizzle, but that fizzle will not prevent the spell but instead cost twice the mana/stamina and have half the magnitude.
Adept will be redundant with unburden until we go through The Great Magic Overhaul, where it will get its own separate use.

And next week 2.5:

This will have the conclusion of this round of performance patches.
It will also have a big chunk of what we’ve been leading up to regarding anti grind, and more importantly, anti-macroing changes.
In theory, after this patch, macroing will be a thing of the past.

We will reveal details on what we intend to do on this patch a bit earlier than usual because we would like to open a discussion on 2.5.

Following suggestions from the community, we have implemented a generic “linked skills” system, where one skill can be the same level as another skill.
Heals, debuffs, self buffs, buff others and utility spells have all been assigned to the school skill or the sub-skill unlocked just before it. This will encompass all spells that cannot be raised organically in PvE and that requires tedious repetition to become viable.
We are also aiming to have a first iteration of the engagement system active behind the scenes to at least act as an “in combat” state.

This means that with this system we can shut off XP gains on players completely when out of PvE combat and it will prevent nearly all forms of afk-macroing.

The issue with that is that for players using self-buffs as a complement to archery and melee damage, gains will be limited if not using attack spells.
People usually buff up before engaging in a fight, so at least for that first cast, there won’t be any gains for them and we still need to implement our solution to that.
In the meantime, all passive sub skills will be added to the meditation system which should, alongside the school leveling, provide an alternative.

What about offensive abilities?

The plan was to add all skills to the meditation system, but one thing that was made apparent during these first few weeks is that meditation can be seen as an encouragement to log off. The dilemma here is that a good part of the power gap is in damage, so it would make sense in that regard to allow casual players to meditate offensive abilities.
However, damage abilities are the epitome of active play and will now provide bonuses to many skills at the same time thanks to the linked skill system.
An equilibrium could be found through keeping offensive abilities out of the meditation system but have sub-skills in, still providing indirect damage bonuses.

We would love some feedback regarding this topic. Please discuss in the thread bellow.

Link to discussion thread.