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cthonic
02-25-2010, 12:24 PM
Before I start bitching, I'd like to thank Shadow for continuing to take our suggestions seriously. The game gets better every patch, and all his hard work is appreciated.

Anyway, here are some quick thoughts on skills that I think are truly awful, or just totally uncompetitive versus other skills in terms of their cost, in their current incarnations. I'll go by-class and only consider the skills in relation to other skills in the class (not across all classes, in other words).


[WEAPONMASTER]

-Seems fine across the board. Not a broad selection of skills, but all are useful.


[GLADIATOR]

-Blood Lust is pretty much unnecessary due to the Rage stance, which is a much better return per skill point as you're raising three skills at once.

-Enrage is clearly a multiplayer-only skill, and probably a deathwish at higher levels. In my opinion it should be made more versatile by granting a sizable +Defense or +Armor buff at the same time, so you can actually survive your taunt (at least for a little while).


[DEFENDER]

-Block/Parry: The bonuses are low considering what other classes get (typically +25 Defense/+25 some kind of Evasion). Sorry for breaking my no cross-class rule, but for the supposedly de-facto defensive class, it's kind of strange they don't get the best defensive skills.

-Plate Armor: I dunno why you'd ever invest more than the Requisite 15 points in it. 5% Armor is great, but the price is way too high for it. Maybe the skill point cost should drop once you invest the initial 15? Like, Rank 1 costs 15 and unlocks plate, then Rank 2 drops to, I dunno, 5 points and scales up like usual from there?


[ASSASSIN]

-Viper Venom stands out as the weak link in the tree. Lethal blow is cheaper to raise and is extremely powerful as it's a % increase.


[TRICKSTER]

-Sleight of Hand's description is confusing, which has led to me never using it. Does this mean the monster will attack another monster, or will it attack another player?


[THIEF]

-Lock Pick: Locks aren't an issue in the current incarnation of the game, unless you're guarenteed to get better loot from chests if you don't bash them open.

-Treasure Hunter: Item Find + Magic Find would be worth it. +Money isn't.


[PALADIN]

-Aside from three redundant skills (two from Defender, one from Gladiator), the class is one of the strongest in terms of skill utility and strength.


[HEALER]

-Cure Poison is kind of a misleading skill -- the name implies the poison will end, not that poison damage will just kind of be shielded. How long does this skill last? Finally, for the cost of one Cure Poison (at Rank 1) you could have cast four Rank 1 Minor Heals.


[SHAMAN]

-True Aim: Who the hell would use this over Hardiness? Vitality is worth WAY more as a stat than +Attack. Maybe True Aim should be changed to something that buffed Defense and Attack? Or just buffed Dexterity?

-Divine Intervention doesn't come close to restoring full HP and Mana. At Rank 1 grants 50 HP and 50 Mana. The skill text should probably be updated to reflect the fact that it's not a full heal, and you might want to bump the starting values and scaling up to 75/75 if it's really supposed to be a long-cooldown emergency button.


[FIRE MAGE]

-A damn good class, and well-balanced. The raw power of many of the skills is balanced by the fact that you're going to frequently be bringing the ceiling down on your head. Unfortunately, that mechanic is kind of frustrating for the player. Just thinking out loud here, but maybe caveins should be removed and instead a kind of "blowback" should be added where Fire Mage spells cause the Mage to be ignited or take fire damage instead, kind of like Bright Wizards from Warhammer Online?

-Fire Elemental is the only bad skill of the bunch, but again, the class's other skills are so strong that it's hard to complain.


[ICE MAGE]

-Ice Prison seems out of place in terms of the game itself. Lock down and make invulnerable one monster? I dunno, maybe change it to AOE?

-Ice Armor: Reuse is kind of high. 2 minutes (50% uptime) seems more appropriate than 5 minutes (20% uptime).

-Concentration is too expensive. 6 points for 10% mana regen?

-Permafrost: I don't know why anyone would spend points on this over Ice Storm + Cold Mastery. The duration is pathetic and the "nasty" slow effect is actually worse than any other cold spell.


[MAGICIAN]

-Teleport isn't too useful in the current incarnation of the game. I'd love to see Teleport changed to actually teleport you out of the dungeon. It'd be a class-defining, extremely useful spell, but then so is Heal, Regenerate, any of the Ice Mage's slows, Serrated Arrow, Revive, etc.


[ARCHER]

-A damn strong class. That being said:

-Marked For Death is too expensive for how weak it is. Maybe make it a 2-pointer and Bow Mastery a 6-pointer?


[HUNTER]

-It almost doesn't feel fair to complain about this class considering how ludicrously overpowered Serrated Arrow is. I know this is a "skills that suck" thread, but damn, it's hard to discuss skills at all without mentioning how completely, utterly, absolutely broken Serrated is, almost to the point that no other skill in the class is worth buffing due to the reality that the Hunter would probably wander into completely overpowered territory, instead of just a one-skill wonder. Nevertheless, I'll share some thoughts:

-Cooking: Make it 5 max and +20%/Rank. Right now it's 55 skill points for 100% chance. Yeah, no.

-Sprint's reuse is way too long. 3 seconds every 2 minutes is a 2.5% uptime. Drop it to 30 second reuse, or at least add some amazing extra bonuses, like the ability to ignore mob collision when Sprinting.


[DRUID]

-Kodiak is vastly inferior to Stalker. -17% Attack Speed on Stalker is better than all the Kodiak's bonuses combined.


[WARLOCK]

-Curses suck. Make them AoE.


[NECROMANCER]

-Dark Ritual is kind of annoying to re-cast all the time. Good skill though.

-Disease Cloud is still kind of low-duration for its initial investment. Maybe up it to 8 seconds to start with?

-Lich isn't worth 10 points. Add extra bonuses, either to the pets or the Lich itself.


[SORCERER]

-Gaseous Form is pretty unimpressive imo. It's not going to save you with the current level of mob difficulty (assuming they got close enough to hit you).

Cadfan
02-25-2010, 01:10 PM
Partial response. Will do the rest later when I get the time.

Weaponmaster

Really, really solid. Power Attack can be used indefinitely without mana drain after the first few levels. Whirlwind gives you area attack. So you've got single target and area. The accurate one can be used as an upgraded power attack later in the game if you've got enough mana. Devastating strike is great if you've got high max mana, and weak if you don't, but it works out.

Gladiator

Blood Lust is great. Its ok to have duplicate skills, because it just means you'll upgrade two at once and pay a fraction of the cost. Plus one's always active and the other you turn on and off depending on whether you're in combat and would prefer damage instead of mana.

Enrage probably does need some help, and does almost nothing in single player.

Berserk is really, really good in terms of damage. But I'm a little afraid of just how much it reduces your defense score as it scales up over time. Maybe it plateaus somewhere? I don't know. It shouldn't need to scale up the percentage too much, since a percentage automatically scales.

Defender

Block and Parry are fine. Remember, you have shield proficiency. Sure, these skills start out weaker than other classes, but they eventually become better than other classes because shield specialization multiplies them. With 10 ranks in Shield Specialization, you're getting a +50%, meaning that these are worth 27.5 defense per rank, better than anyone else in the game.

I agree on plate armor, sort of. Around level 80 you're going to find more ranks in plate armor to be a really good idea. Everything else will be costing you 20 points per rank, and you'll be getting around 20 per level, so spending 16 for a 5% boost will be worthwhile. But before that you'll probably just want the basic one rank investment. I don't know whether this system is a good thing or not. I think its probably ok.

viper34j
02-25-2010, 01:10 PM
[DEFENDER]

-Plate Armor: I dunno why you'd ever invest more than the Requisite 15 points in it. 5% Armor is great, but the price is way too high for it. Maybe the skill point cost should drop once you invest the initial 15? Like, Rank 1 costs 15 and unlocks plate, then Rank 2 drops to, I dunno, 5 points and scales up like usual from there?


Eventually, it will be just as cheap to level up Plate Armor as the other skills available that increase armor. This appears to be more viable in late game.



[TRICKSTER]

-Sleight of Hand's description is confusing, which has led to me never using it. Does this mean the monster will attack another monster, or will it attack another player?


It will cause the target monster to attack another monster in the area that it is naturally hostile towards. However, I think this may indeed cause the target monster to attack another player if they are the closest enemy entity.



[SHAMAN]

-Divine Intervention doesn't come close to restoring full HP and Mana. At Rank 1 grants 50 HP and 50 Mana. The skill text should probably be updated to reflect the fact that it's not a full heal, and you might want to bump the starting values and scaling up to 75/75 if it's really supposed to be a long-cooldown emergency button.


My opinion on this is skill should behave like this:

Level 1:
Gain 50% of total hp
Gain 50% of total mana

Level 2:
Gain 52.5% of total hp
Gain 52.5% of total mana

...

Level 20:
Gain 100% of total hp
Gain 100% of total mana



[FIRE MAGE]

-A damn good class, and well-balanced. The raw power of many of the skills is balanced by the fact that you're going to frequently be bringing the ceiling down on your head. Unfortunately, that mechanic is kind of frustrating for the player. Just thinking out loud here, but maybe caveins should be removed and instead a kind of "blowback" should be added where Fire Mage spells cause the Mage to be ignited or take fire damage instead, kind of like Bright Wizards from Warhammer Online?


The caveins aren't nearly as frustrating now that they don't do so much damage. I've had two rock piles land directly on my head and survived. This has been much improved.



[ICE MAGE]

-Ice Prison seems out of place in terms of the game itself. Lock down and make invulnerable one monster? I dunno, maybe change it to AOE?


Can this be cast on friendly units? If so, I can see many uses for it (rescue quests, saving high priority town members during an assault, ect.).



[HUNTER]

-Sprint's reuse is way too long. 3 seconds every 2 minutes is a 2.5% uptime. Drop it to 30 second reuse, or at least add some amazing extra bonuses, like the ability to ignore mob collision when Sprinting.


Ignoring mob collision would be freaking awesome for sprint! Kinda like he is bobbing and weaving between monsters looking for the exit.



[DRUID]

-Kodiak is vastly inferior to Stalker. -17% Attack Speed on Stalker is better than all the Kodiak's bonuses combined.


I think the shapeshifting mechanic needs a number of fixes. Mainly I think that they should be permanent buffs. Not being able to cast while shifted is enough of a limitation to the form, a timer is unnecessary.



[WARLOCK]

-Curses suck. Make them AoE.


wtf is a warlock? :)

cthonic
02-25-2010, 01:35 PM
Berserk is really, really good in terms of damage. But I'm a little afraid of just how much it reduces your defense score as it scales up over time. Maybe it plateaus somewhere? I don't know. It shouldn't need to scale up the percentage too much, since a percentage automatically scales.

I thought about mentioning Berserk, but I haven't played a Zerker enough to get it really high. My comment was going to be along the lines of yours: That it might be a deathwish to use.

Block and Parry are fine. Remember, you have shield proficiency.

You're right, I'd forgotten about that.

Ikarius
02-25-2010, 02:34 PM
A few notes of my own.

Someone else noted that on warmaster, the damage gain/points was too low, because it would generally always be overshadowed by the weapon mastery/etc skills.

In the assassin tree, I have to say it's pretty confusing, as there are so MANY damage skills, and it's not clear why you would use one versus another- why do we need Lethal Blow, Death Blow, and Critical Strike? Their purposes are poorly differentiated. There's also basically nothing BUT single target damage in the assassin tree.

Trickster - I'm not sure why you need to be stealthed in order to use "daze"; with Smoke Screen in the tree, I don't know why I'd ever use daze as it is implemented.


In general, it feels to me like there are too few synergies between classes; There are a few (maybe a half-dozen?) hybrids which work well, but most hybrid combinations suffer power losses from a) MAD (multiple attribute dependency) b) the "full" classes appear to have different areas of functionality focused within particular trees, leaving most hybrids less well-rounded than a "full" class.

Given the difficulty level, which appears to be pretty standard compared to most roguelikes, the penalties most hybrids are facing are pretty steep.

If you break down the basic functions of a character in gameplay terms, you've got:

1. Melee single-target damage
2. Melee AoE damage (I think only whirlwind counts here?)
3. Ranged single-target damage (most archery skills + single-target magic)
4. Ranged AoE damage
5. Opponent disabling of various flavors
6. Physical damage mitigation (either dodge or absorption)
7. Magical damage mitigation (resistances)

You can class just about every skill into one or more of these categories. When you look at the full classes versus the hybrids, most full classes cover about 3/4ths of the categories, and most hybrids cover half, and even the areas they cover, some tend to be notably weaker than what you get with the "full" classes because portions of that function got broken up across the main class.

The hybrids at this point which look "good"-
trickster w/ hunter or archer- Stealth + ranged DPS = very nice
Healer + Ice mage (possibly fire mage or magician, though those two are more lacking in crowd control)

Very few other hybrids synergize effectively. So, out of 140 combos..... It just doesn't look all that good after digging deeper.

viper34j
02-25-2010, 02:42 PM
Very few other hybrids synergize effectively. So, out of 140 combos..... It just doesn't look all that good after digging deeper.

Not yet :)

*Watches hopefully for Steven to start waving his magic wand*

Ikarius
02-25-2010, 02:43 PM
That's why I'm providing beta feedback :D

Gutsman
02-25-2010, 02:47 PM
Hunter : Infused Energy

Sorcerer : Stored Lightning

Two useless mana regen powers.

Cadfan
02-25-2010, 04:52 PM
Alright, continuing to reply to chtonic's original post.

Assassin
Viper Venom is only really weak because its in the assassin tree, which is hardly lacking in ways to beat up on one monster. But I do agree that its got some issues. Eventually the assassin will be doing critical hits on a large percentage of his attacks, and will be penetrating a portion of his enemy's armor. DoT isn't a big priority for him.

Trickster
I agree on the Sleight of Hand description.

Thief
Treasure Hunter is worth it at higher levels. It makes it easier to play the game with constant stat and resistance potions. These get very expensive. I woudln't put in a million points, but I wouldn't be against putting in a few ranks.

I assumed that picking locks existed to let stealthed characters get through doors without losing their stealth or taking a surprise penalty. But doors don't actually eliminate stealth if you smash them. Maybe you should lose stealth for smashing doors open?

Paladin
I think that mail armor proficiency stops being worth it after the first point. It takes a long time for the defender's plate proficiency to be worth spending 16 for 5% armor. Its going to take far longer for it to be worth spending 11 points for 2% armor, since that's 23 points for 4%, and you're still not even with the percentage gain of the defender. Other than that, the Paladin is really nice.

Healer
I've got a character with the healer subclass. He's got one rank in the poison skill. I'll let you guys know how it works if I ever actually get poisoned. The moment I put in that point, all the poison monsters went away.

Shaman
True Aim has two problems. First, its overshadowed by Vitality. Second, its attached to a class that uses spells and doesn't need accuracy.

Another solution for Divine Intervention might be to reduce its starting cost. With four ranks you get what, 200 hp and 200 mana? I don't know the scaling rate. That makes a great emergency intervention for almost everyone. It tops off either health or mana, whichever is lower for you, and contributes a lot to the other.

Fire Mage
Fire Elemental has some problems, but they're the same problems as other summoned monsters. I'm playing a Weaponmaster/Fire Mage, and I'm at a level where I should be starting to invest in the Fire Elemental. I am at level 37, and I get 9 skill points per level. That's enough to let me start putting in 2 or 3 ranks into a skill that starts at cost 8. But even if I bought 3 ranks in Fire Elemental, I'd only be getting a level 8 monster. Even with damage and hp bonuses, I'm not sure that's going to be competitive against level 37 monsters. For what its worth, I can cast Fire Shield on it. That gives it a little extra punch, but I'm pretty sure its not going to be enough. As a contribution to the playtest, I'll put points into it next level up just to see.

Ice Mage
I like Ice Prison. Imprison a boss, kill all the surrounding monsters, then fight him one on one.

Ice Armor... I'd probably just let that be always active, like Fire Shield, then adjust the bonuses to be appropriate. Its *cool* to run around with your icy armor and special effects. It looks neat and its fun. I'd let it happen continuously.

Concentration is fine. It just means that its a later game skill. Starting costs really only tell you when a skill becomes relevant, not what its worth. So to me, this one could be any real starting cost. No matter what, there will come a point where its worth it. The starting cost just determines when.

Permafrost is lame for ice mages who cast ice spells, but its great for ice mages who focus on spells or melee attacks from other specializations. That's what I saw when I looked at this skill- this is what you put points into if you're a hybrid, or a wizard who's primary spells are fire or magician based but who wants the occasional slow down effect.

Magician
Teleport is an ok emergency button for running away. That's about all it does though.

Archer
I'm inclined to agree here. Since you get a flat penalty to defense and armor, the amount of the penalty has to scale with level. This starts at 6 points per rank, which means that at level 35 or so you can expect to have three or four points in this skill. At that level, a 45 or 60 point penalty to armor just isn't that big of a deal, and your accuracy is probably already sky high.

Hunter
I'm not convinced that Infused Energy is very good. I feel like it needs a better conversion rate. But I think Cooking is fine. The only change I might make to it is to make the initial starting percentage slightly higher, since you need 2 or 3 ranks to really start seeing meaningful success. And yes, Serrated Arrow is probably too good. Combine it with Trickster for stealth bonuses (its a physical attack) and watch damage go through the roof.

Druid
Earthquakes are physical damage. Stealth boosts physical damage. I'm pretty sure there's a really good combination hiding in here.

Kodiak and Stalker are ok, but I'm not sure they're what players want. People like to play the game as a shifted character. These are more "emergency button" powers for when your ranged character is stuck in melee. They don't work as temporary boosts for melee characters because you can't use skills.

Warlock
Curses are mostly pretty lame. Area of effects would improve them, but so would just powering them up.

Necromancer
Disease Cloud is awesome, but with a terrible initial duration. Its a skill that basically tells you, "Alright, this is going to rock, but you've got to buy several ranks before you're allowed to use it for real." I don't think its unbalanced, but it is awkward.

I'm not sure that most of the summon skills are worth it, except for raise dead. In a way, there's a real problem here. You've got skeletons for melee, and archers for ranged, and then this "raise dead" thing that directly competes with both. No matter what you do, one is probably going to seem better than the other.

Sorcerer
I'm just not impressed by Stored Lightning. I really liked the idea, but it takes a fair amount of micromanagement. You have to make sure you have enough mana to recast the spell, or else you'll be unable. It might be more convenient if the first cast cost X, and the second cast cost nothing but gained .67*X.

Gaseous Form never appealed to me. Sure, it makes you really tough, but the only value that has is giving you a few seconds to heal. You could just drink a potion. If you could ghost through monsters, that would fix things. Or if you could still attack.

FloodSpectre
02-25-2010, 07:33 PM
Assassin

I think Viper Venom should inflict both a certain, fixed amount of poison damage per level in addition to a +percent damage in relation to your weapon's damage.

Rupture: See Slice below.

Precision is an odd skill for a class that already gets a pretty sizable bonus to hit per point of Dex, that stat the class is most likely to raise anyway. I might be biased though, because I've never used an assassin as a hybrid, only as part of a Rogue.


Thief

Slice is seems a little too similar to Rupture. The only real difference is that it's a little slower and for the first few levels is more skill point efficient than Rupture. Some additional differences may be nice to help keep variety.

Concentration: Poison should affect bows in addition to melee attacks in order to have some synergy with the Archer's poison arrow.

Combat Reflexes seems like a bad trade. I've never liked using skill points for attribute points in games. If it gave some other bonus on top of the stats, or if it gave a % bonus instead it may prove more worthwhile.

Lock Picking seems okay, but I'd like to have a rough estimate of my average picking chances listed.

Treasure Hunter also strikes me as a little weak, but I find Cadfan's point about it pretty interesting, so I'll reserve judgment until I'm actually that high a level...

Cadfan
02-25-2010, 07:47 PM
I'm basing my opinion of Treasure Hunter on my experience playing Depths of Peril. At high levels, I used potions at all times. I got either massive hit point boosts from them, or massive damage boosts. These potions were extremely expensive, almost brutally so. I wouldn't have minded some extra money to help me afford them.

cthonic
02-25-2010, 11:06 PM
I'm basing my opinion of Treasure Hunter on my experience playing Depths of Peril. At high levels, I used potions at all times. I got either massive hit point boosts from them, or massive damage boosts. These potions were extremely expensive, almost brutally so. I wouldn't have minded some extra money to help me afford them.

Do you think +Item Drop and +Magic Drop would equal out money-wise to straight up +Money? I mean, +Item/+Magic is just more exciting -- if it's going to be a wash money-wise, why not take the more fun one?

Cadfan
02-25-2010, 11:09 PM
I don't have a strong opinion on that, except to note that higher magic item drop also equates to more powerful gear, while +money doesn't.

FloodSpectre
02-25-2010, 11:13 PM
I tried Rupture out a little bit, gave it a few levels... turns out the improvement per level on Rupture is actually worse than Slice, meaning the only thing Rupture has going for it is being about 1/2 a second faster. Therefore, as a straight Rogue, there is no reason you would ever want Rupture.

timeh
02-26-2010, 09:46 AM
i love remove poison, except that it doesn't work vs wampir poison

say you're being hit for 10dps with poison, and you have rank 1 remove (removes 2 poison damage per cast)... each cast will reduce the damage over time taken, but not the duration of the poison

cast 0: 10dps
cast 1: 8dps
etc etc

when you're getting hit for 50+dps poison in endgame, it just doesn't feel worth it, even with 3-4 ranks, considering how efficient greater heal is

that said, all of my healer toons have at least 2 ranks, because there's no other way to get rid of poison