So, keeping in line with our goal of greater transparency, I'm happy to give a quick overview of the changes we've been planning for Sentinels for awhile. The recent changes to Dhuriv were the first step in our goal of balancing what is an extremely strong active offense against a useful set of passives and traps, while also designing a new tertiary skill to accompany it. As you know, our overall goal in the revamping effort is to remove skills that are based entirely around trade, to move them into the Mercantile category and make classes independent of non-combat skills. So, without revealing too much (for instance, specific abilities!), I'd like to highlight the planned changes for each of the three Sentinel skills.
First up is Dhuriv. Everyone has already experienced the first set of our changes to the skill, with mixed reactions all around. In its current incarnation, Dhuriv is very confusing - there are a plethora of abilities, but the class is focused around affliction stacking, making all but the fastest options for delivering those afflictions obsolete. While Dhuriv will be receiving the fewest overall changes, we will be focusing on making the obsolete abilities more competitive, while reducing their overall affliction pool to be more focused and less of a bottleneck in the class's design. While there are still design hurdles to overcome in that regard, you can expect significant changes to several of the class's abilities, specifically in regards to Overlay. This is the last leg of our class design, and once we've decided on the fine details, the class will be moved to Liaisons for testing.
Woodlore is receiving a heavy set of changes - in fact, the skill may hardly be recognizable to current Sentinels. Traps have been removed from the skill completely (read further before you get too excited), leaving room for a complete overhaul of pet mechanics. Instead of the same group of six pets everyone is used to, every legacy pet has been removed and replaced with a pool of companions that the Sentinel may choose from. The overall number of pets they'll have available is reduced, but the individual contribution of each has been amplified and tactical decisions will have to be made. Accompanying this, Sentinels are masters of the forest once more and have a number of environment-related effects, including building and fortifying their own campsite to gain a significant homefield advantage. The legacy spear and axe weapons have been removed and their associated abilities merged into their current weapons.
Finally, Sentinels will be gaining a brand new skill, known as Tracking. The traps that were previously present in Woodlore have been redesigned and balanced to be single-off effects, making it a tactical boost rather than a requirement for combat as it was previously. There are several new exciting options within this set for Sentinels to experiment with, including launching enemies into the sky and simply burning them to a crisp. To accompany this tactic, Sentinels will also be receiving the use of a hunter's crossbow, and the ability to prepare organic resins that may coat their bolts. While slower than bows, the unique effects of resins may be applied to a target at range and ignited in the fray to create a myriad of effects. This interplay between traps and bolts gives a Sentinel a unique level of mobility, capable of forcing their opponent to risk tripping their traps, or to hole themselves up and risk the dangers of bolts and resins.
We will be previewing more on Sentinels similar to our Teradrim previews as we approach testing and release. Questions and speculations are of course welcome, though specific answers may not be guaranteed!