The latest Pirates of the Burning Sea developer blog focuses on the title's avatar combat revamp, which we've discussed a bit at Massively in the past. "AvCom Revamp: NPC Archetypes" is written by PotBS Content Designer Bryan Yarrow, aka 'HighLevelMob?'. In it, he introduces the NPC archetypes and the moves and abilities they can employ.
"Now, NPCs will debuff you, combo you, set up big finishers, support their allies, and do a lot of other cool stuff as well," Yarrow writes. While the developers didn't want to mire the game in too much complexity, they settled on placing all but two kinds of NPCs into one of six archetypes, with several sub-archetypes within. The differing sub-archetypes represent the specific abilities each NPC uses to fulfill his or her role in that archetype. Yarrow broke the NPC archetype list down as:
- Defenders: largely focused on the parry stat, but with less ability to dodge.
- Damagers: high offensive stats allow them to deal out damage, at the cost of less defense.
- Duelists: high parry and increased offense, but they lack the specialization of either a Defender or a Damager. Duelists possess special abilities, such as a riposte attack combined with a parry.
- Supporters: alternately strengthen allies or weaken enemies.
- Brutes: soak up damage, but are easier targets coupled with a reduced parry.
- Gunners: ranged attackers, with low defense against melee attacks.