The Spirit/Shadow Skill Disparity

SeirSeir Seein' All the ThingsGetting high off your emotionMember Posts: 992 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited April 2013 in Sparring Grounds
Right, I feel that this discussion is honestly a long time coming and not one that is going to be enjoyed by combatants on either side, but I've never believed in refraining from mentioning obvious imbalances.

I'm just going to start by saying that there is and has been a large disparity in the abilities available to both sounds of the game. From what I've seen, this disparity existed before I played but became more obvious with the advent of multiclass. I'm going to pursue each topic of mechanics that are pivotal to group combat, where they are currently flawed, why they are flawed, and with suggestions to remedy it. Also, I'm going to discuss and list the effects of power creep and how they've negatively impacted the game.

I.) Ranged Damage
This is really the most controversial topic and one that has been discussed recently. I'm going to start it by listing all ranged abilities that each side has available to them followed by the abilities that be used to realistic effect. The reason I'm doing this is to prevent arguments of people trying to cite Sentinel handaxe, which while decent, is not a realistic ranged ability for reasons I will explain below, and compare it to something like Star tarot.

A.) Sources of Ranged/Adjacent Damage w/Damage Assessments:

This list is going to compile line of sight abilities as well as the abilities that cover the local area as far as ranged damage is concerned and what is available to both sides. Abilities that are available to both sides will be listed within Neutral.

Spirit:
  • Sentinel Handaxe (59/85/167 handaxe. 540 damage. 4.05 bal. 1 sec stun. Venom. Line of Sight)
  • Templar Javelin throw (179/91/70 Javelin. 1032 damage. 4.51 bal. Could be made faster if damage is sacrificed. Line of Sight)
  • Shaman Discharge (829-1044 fire damage. 3.16 w/crown, 3.44 without. Line of Sight. Goes through icewall)

Shadow:

  • Star Tarot (1022 blunt. Outdoors only. Int-based. 18 int. 2.58 balance. Area wide)
  • Hammer Throw (1300 blunt. Adjacent only. 3.68 balance)
  • Doppleganger Decay (1056 cold, strips insulation. 4 balance. Area wide. Subject to Banishment.)
  • Sand Blast, Scourge, Whip, Shred (100-300 damage with Scourge, Whip, Shred. Affs, damages, or what have you. Sand Blast goes through prismatic. 400 damage. Goes through icewall. Neutral eq: whip: 2.70, scourge: 2.70, shred: 3.00, slice: 3.00 (if target is shielded, 4.0 secs to strip), shred: 3.00, blast: 4.00. Sand is pre-existing condition.)
  • Doppleganger or adjacent bone dagger throw (800-1300 damage. Neutral balance. Stopped by shield. Need an eq/bal time from someone if possible)
  • Firelord (500 damage. Hits adjacently every 12(need verification) seconds. Stacks with other firelords. Hits with ablaze. Stopped by shield.)

Neutral (Available to all)

  • Kai Choke (Neutral: 1076 damage. Victim auto-holds breath. Uses Kai. Area-wide, stopped by hold breath. Mainly lifers have this)
  • Mind Crush (Neutral: 710 health/550 mana, Subject to diminishing returns for 6 seconds. Each crush decreases subsequent ones by 60-100 damage for both health and mana. Mainly lifers have this. Area wide, requires mind lock. Stopped by Interference. Can't be used if Monk is standing in barrier )
  • Archery (Currently the biggest offender and outlier. It can do anywhere between 800-2.2k damage right now based on artifacts, dex (which enhances bow damage) and fires anywhere around 3-4 seconds based on artifact. Line of sight. Favors darkies because they have the only class with archery available unless artifacted. Stopped by icewalls.)
  • Meteor Arrows (800 damage. Outdoors only.)
  • Cataclysm if three mages are present. Goes through shield.

Ranged damage presently suffers from power creep and legacy mechanics.

The definition of power creep for those that don't know: Power creep is the gradual unbalancing of a game due to successive releases of new content, in this case if you compare Carnifex hammer throw to Sentinel axe. Realistically, since icewall and shield are usually up all of the time, the advantage goes to the side that has the ability to go through shield, icewall, etc. In this case, the Shadow side wins as all lifer ranged abilities are stopped by shield and our telepathy can be stopped by interference in most group combat scenarios. The only thing we have is archery and none of our classes use it natively. Whereas, the Shadow side has the ability to strip shield from a distance with Sand Slice, has an abundance of individuals using Star Tarot and more native Syssin using archery. Nearly every group fight, lifers are subject to ranged attacks and we have little response. No response at all if it's a lesser and the enemy has interference up. We need the means of REALISTICALLY countering without having to purchase an artifact. Before multi-class, this was not as much of an issue because Paladins could natively use bows and Telepathy was generally exclusive to lifers. However, we now have absolutely zero unique ranged abilities that the other side does not have themselves. Axe and Javelin throw can be done just by having Weaponry Returning, minus the stun granted by the Sentinel's axe.

I'm going to start the post here, but I am currently researching the means of group utility such as forced movement abilities. Discuss as needed.

II.) Forced Movement

Most, if not all group situations result in an event where both groups are in adjacent rooms to one another. In the most common case, one side holds a leyline while the other group is attempted to take it from another room. When two rooms are locked down, it becomes a fight in order to individually pick off individuals from the other side. This chart will list the ranged grabs that each side has before listing the realistic methods of moving an individual.

A.) All Forced Movements

Spirit:

Sentinel Axegrab (Stopped by mass, icewall.)

Luminary Beckon (the common ability that lifers use because of its ability to bypass mass in that it forces regular movement. Stopped by flood, icewall, blocking.)

Shaman Pull (Requires overgrowth in both rooms to go through mass. Is subjected to mass if overgrowth is present only in the Shaman's room. Stopped by icewalls, blocking, Teradrim, shield)

Rite of Convocation (can pull if two rites of convocation are down, strips mass when someone enters in rite of convocation. Destroyed by Cabalists w/Deflect) 

Tsunami (requires target room to be flooded. Stopped by icewalls. Mage goes in and does an eject that forces all opponents into random directions unless blocked by icewall.)

Shadow:

Praenomen/Bloodborn Lure (Channeled ability by the vamp. Has a 5-room range if the target has clarity, is nearly area-wide otherwise. Acts as a form of ranged beckon-entangle with no pre-existing conditions. Target is unable to do anything but writhe while being pulled. Writhing from Lure uses eq. Stopped by flood, icewalls, sit, prismatic barrier.)

Sand Slice (I mention this one because it can strip cloak after awhile. Only stopped by Shaman. Teradrim must have sand down in room. Strips shield, goes through barrier. Nothing stops it save having a Shaman.)

Doppleganger Lust (If individual is lusted, they can be summoned away if Lust is not rejected. Lust is a 2 sec rejection time so it can act as a second form of entanglement or disrupt. Stopped by Rite of Banishment, rejecting the person, and monolith.)

Quake (stopped by flood. Does the same as Tsunami. Can be used more easily than Tsunami since part rings can part water adjacently. You can not flood an adjacent room with a flood ring.)

Carnifex Hammer (Mass does not stop it. Requires the Carnifex to go into the room and bat the target into the room they just came from. Only icewalling stops this.)

Neutral:

Syssin Grab (Same restrictions as Sentinel Axegrab. Stopped by block, icewall, mass, etc.)

Telepathy Mind Strip (Will actively strip the defs of the target until cloak can be stripped. Requires mind lock as a pre-existing condition. Stopped by Interference and Shaman Barrier. Cannot be used by lifers if Barrier is up to counter enemy telepath. Inclined to lifers.)

Telepathy Wrench (Requires mind lock and will use it once wrenched regardless of success. Only stopped by monolith. Also stopped by Interference and can't be used if Barrier is up)

Adduction Vibe (stopped by mass, icewall, flood, etc.)

Lycanthrope Serenade (acts as passive version of Luminary beckon. Forced movement. Stopped by flood, icewalls, blocking.)

B.) The realistic forced movement abilities

Spirit:

Luminary Beckon

Shaman Pull

Shadow:

Lure

Lust

Sand Slice/Brazier

Quake

Everyone:

Telepathy

Lycanthrope Serenade

The reasons why these are the realistic abilities is that individuals having mass up is essentially a given in a group fight scenario. Only the abilities that can force movement or go through mass are viable in a group combat scenario. Shadow has an abundance of these as well as all the mechanics that Spirit has available to them (even beckon just in a passive form).

Block is generally a viable counter to a lot of these, but lifers currently only have two classes that can block: Templar and Syssin to a lesser extent.

Shadow currently has four: Carnifex, Praenomen, Bloodborn, and Syssin.

So yeah, a disparity exists and has existed for some time. It was not as bad before multi-class when Telepathy was generally lifer exclusive and before Refining Interference, but now Telepathy is easily countered and every single mechanic (save Convocation) that we have available to us, the Shadow side has as well.

If I have missed anything, please say so.



Post edited by Seir on
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Comments

  • EzalorEzalor Emperor D'baen CanadaMember Posts: 1,307 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Now go compare all the Shaman ranged utility and other lifer forced movement skills. I know you said you are looking into it but this seems incredibly biased leaving those out.
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    Calipso
  • DaskalosDaskalos Credit Whore Extraordinare Rolling amongst piles of credits.Member Posts: 1,516 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Ezalor, can you show me which one of our skills gives us a ranged writhe attack that can be spammed over and over again? Last I checked, you guys have two.

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    Message #17059 Sent By: Oleis           Received On: 1/03/2014/17:24
    "If it makes you feel better, just checking your artifact list threatens to crash my mudlet."

  • EzalorEzalor Emperor D'baen CanadaMember Posts: 1,307 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Right, and I've expressed my opinion that Lure needs to be toned down but as a pure movement skill (which IMO it should be) it's nothing unbearable.

    Not sure what your other ranged writhe reference is, Doppie Hangedman no longer exists if that's what you mean.
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  • IllidanIllidan Pray AreaMember Posts: 1,076 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited April 2013
    Ezalor said:
    Now go compare all the Shaman ranged utility and other lifer forced movement skills. I know you said you are looking into it but this seems incredibly biased leaving those out.
    Well I said it once, and I'll say it again. Shaman forced movement skills are incredibly powerful. They're also easily stopped as I've told you before via monoliths, icewalls, blocking which syssin, carnifex, and vampires can all do which makes for easy doubleblocks, shield tat, and most importantly, Teradrim destroying overgrowths outright. It's not unrealistic to stop the skills, you know. In fact I'd say they're pretty damned easy to avoid. You guys, in recent days, have done a very good job of avoiding the Shaman skills. That's largely attributed to the people dealing with Shamans being ignorant enough to scream "OMG ABSOLUTELY NOTHING STOPS IT." rather than learning that many things DO indeed stop it. Once that was learned, it becomes easymode. 

    I'm just waiting on people to stop crying about omen being OP now, and learning how to avoid it. 
    They didn't listen when I said Shamans were strong in groups. 
                                                                                                    
              
  • EzalorEzalor Emperor D'baen CanadaMember Posts: 1,307 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Monoliths don't stop vinepull actually (I think). But I'm not making a point either way on which side has better skills, just that if you want an actual unbiased thread you can't simply leave out movement/utility skills just because lifers have better ones. Besides Lure which, again, I think needs to change away from actual entangle.
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    Calipso
  • SeirSeir Seein' All the Things Getting high off your emotionMember Posts: 992 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited April 2013
    I've added the movement stuff as an update.

    In a contest between sand slice and shaman grab, I'd say Sand Slice is infinitely better since it acts as mind strip without a mind lock and goes through everything.
  • AngweAngwe I'm the dog that ate yr birthday cake Bedford, VAMember Posts: 978 ✭✭✭✭✭
    @Ezalor Rejecting lust takes EQ.
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  • EzalorEzalor Emperor D'baen CanadaMember Posts: 1,307 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited April 2013
    Monolith blocks Empress which makes it very easily countered. I think lust should drop on death though, too many times I've seen someone die, still have lust on them, then get summoned back into the group for another death haha.
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  • SeirSeir Seein' All the Things Getting high off your emotionMember Posts: 992 ✭✭✭✭✭
    The problem when we drop monoliths, we can't use Mind Wrench. We have to sacrifice in order to use our only form of forced movement (outside of Beckon. It's used commonly enough in group scenarios.
  • EzalorEzalor Emperor D'baen CanadaMember Posts: 1,307 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited April 2013
    We have exactly 0 active Teradrim so I can't comment on their effectiveness but unless Slice tells you which defense you are stripping it's not really feasible for movement. I'm not a fan of "must have x class to counter y class" though, if nothing stops Slice besides a Shaman. I know that was sort of their class intention but I don't really like that sort of mechanic. At least something like shielding should stop it.

    But regarding monolith, I don't see a problem with that. If we want to flood to stop Beckon we can no longer use Lure to draw them in. If we want to icewall to stop Vine Pull, we can't use our forced movements. Almost all of the counters are double edged swords really.

    EDIT: So yeah, corrected by Ilyon. Regardless I still think -something- other than "have a Shaman" should stop Slice, moreso since it reports what's stripped.

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  • IlyonIlyon Member Posts: 746 ✭✭✭
    Slice does report what it strips.

  • DaskalosDaskalos Credit Whore Extraordinare Rolling amongst piles of credits.Member Posts: 1,516 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Another thing I'd point out is I keep hearing 'use block or icewalls' - we have 2 classes with block natively (Syssin\Templar). Everyone else has to use icewalls. The problem with this?

    While double block will stop us from summoning you out, it won't stop you from summoning us in. It makes an exit one-way. You can lure\whatever through that double block and then we're trapped. We have to use icewalls, which you melt and then beckon us out.

    Block should probably be given to a few more classes to help even that out. Say, Daru (or) Luminaries and Sentinels (or)  Lycanthropes.

     

    The thing is, 2 of the most popular classes in the game - Vampire\Bloodborn - have block.

    image

    image


    Message #17059 Sent By: Oleis           Received On: 1/03/2014/17:24
    "If it makes you feel better, just checking your artifact list threatens to crash my mudlet."

  • TozToz Member Posts: 2,496 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I was under the impression you could wrench onto monolith, but not off of one. Still, it's pretty easy to just...pick the monolith up and then wrench.

    Scenario:
    Lustymclust throws a Lust (surprise) card at noob1.
    Responsibleguy drops monolith.
    (lust is now useless, you can't empress)
    Noob1 touches shield, then rejects.
    (Can't lust through shield)
    Monk picks up the monolith, wrenches, then drops it again. Or someone else picks it up and drops it based off of a web trigger. Noob1 is now safe and sound, thanks to Responsibleguy.


    A few other complaints, but the biggest thing is comparing handaxe to hammerthrow - sentinels are losing handaxes, they're getting crossbows that apparently can shoot effects (pew pew). It's kinda like comparing Carnifex DSL to a Templar's whatever it is they do (DSW?) with two weapons - one's legacy and...probably shouldn't be there. The other's a class-specific thing that's scaled appropriately to be useful in combat. That being said, I hate lure. And have hated lure since I started playing this game.

    Arbre-Today at 7:27 PM

    You're a vindictive lil unicorn
    ---------------------------

    Lartus-Today at 7:16 PM

    oh wait, toz is famous
    ---------------------------

    Karhast-Today at 7:01 PM

    You're a singularity of unicorns awfulness Toz
    Angwe
  • IllidanIllidan Pray AreaMember Posts: 1,076 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Daskalos said:

    Another thing I'd point out is I keep hearing 'use block or icewalls' - we have 2 classes with block natively (Syssin\Templar). Everyone else has to use icewalls. The problem with this?

    While double block will stop us from summoning you out, it won't stop you from summoning us in. It makes an exit one-way. You can lure\whatever through that double block and then we're trapped. We have to use icewalls, which you melt and then beckon us out.

    Block should probably be given to a few more classes to help even that out. Say, Daru (or) Luminaries and Sentinels (or)  Lycanthropes.

     

    The thing is, 2 of the most popular classes in the game - Vampire\Bloodborn - have block.

    And Carnifex, more recently than not. 

    Though, I can't lie, we do have Templar Focusblocking, which is something they don't have access to. 
    They didn't listen when I said Shamans were strong in groups. 
                                                                                                    
              
  • SeirSeir Seein' All the Things Getting high off your emotionMember Posts: 992 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited April 2013
    And Teradrim have Steadfast but can't block. It's nice that Templar has 1-man block, but it doesn't excuse the fact that we only have two classes that can block and more often than not, we find ourselves lacking in anyone that can actually block.
  • EzalorEzalor Emperor D'baen CanadaMember Posts: 1,307 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Right, I think lust should drop when either the luster/lustee dies though. It's way too onerous to expect someone to remember they were lusted and make a note to reject after the fight is over so they don't get summoned back in to die.

    And Lure...yeah. Shouldn't stop anything besides movements/escapes instead of true entangle IMO.
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  • TozToz Member Posts: 2,496 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited April 2013
    Wouldn't mind monks in general getting block - they could use a way to keep someone in the room.

    EDIT: And yeah, all you need is a Templar to block the direction. No one gets past a Templar blocking, so far as I know. I certainly can't hammer swat through it.

    Arbre-Today at 7:27 PM

    You're a vindictive lil unicorn
    ---------------------------

    Lartus-Today at 7:16 PM

    oh wait, toz is famous
    ---------------------------

    Karhast-Today at 7:01 PM

    You're a singularity of unicorns awfulness Toz
  • SeirSeir Seein' All the Things Getting high off your emotionMember Posts: 992 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited April 2013
    If Monks got block, that'd give Shadow another block class. It needs to be given to two other lifer classes. Realistically, to Sentinel and something else. I'd argue for Shaman as well since they had it previously in Metamorphosis.
  • DaskalosDaskalos Credit Whore Extraordinare Rolling amongst piles of credits.Member Posts: 1,516 ✭✭✭✭✭
    lure should just be changed to angel beckon clone and be done away with in it's current incarnation completely. It's overpowered in far too many situations.

    image

    image


    Message #17059 Sent By: Oleis           Received On: 1/03/2014/17:24
    "If it makes you feel better, just checking your artifact list threatens to crash my mudlet."

    Seir
  • TozToz Member Posts: 2,496 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Traps + block sounds like a bad idea, but...maybe. And I think shaman hinder is already pretty fat as well, without the need for blocking. Isn't that one of the reasons they shut down Illidan's report about cage - they already have too much room control?

    Arbre-Today at 7:27 PM

    You're a vindictive lil unicorn
    ---------------------------

    Lartus-Today at 7:16 PM

    oh wait, toz is famous
    ---------------------------

    Karhast-Today at 7:01 PM

    You're a singularity of unicorns awfulness Toz
  • SeirSeir Seein' All the Things Getting high off your emotionMember Posts: 992 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited April 2013
    I've argued for Lure to be changed to Beckon, but it was rejected previously because they want it to be something original.

    That's fine, but change it to beckon and then find something original for it. It's a relic from an age where people thought old Bloodborn was fine.
  • SeirSeir Seein' All the Things Getting high off your emotionMember Posts: 992 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Toz said:
    Traps + block sounds like a bad idea, but...maybe. And I think shaman hinder is already pretty fat as well, without the need for blocking. Isn't that one of the reasons they shut down Illidan's report about cage - they already have too much room control?
    Traps + Block wouldn't be terrible. Sentinels had that before with Metamorphosis and it isn't a big deal. It's not like Sents have Engage too. They sacrifice their offense in order to replace the noose or snare.


  • IllidanIllidan Pray AreaMember Posts: 1,076 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited April 2013
    Toz said:
    Traps + block sounds like a bad idea, but...maybe. And I think shaman hinder is already pretty fat as well, without the need for blocking. Isn't that one of the reasons they shut down Illidan's report about cage - they already have too much room control?
    Shaman hinder is just a rubble copy. It doesn't have like...projectile/forced movement prevention effects. But yes, it still has movement impairing effects.

    STILL, I DIDN'T WANT THE MOVEMENT BLOCK FROM CAGE DAMNIT. 
    They didn't listen when I said Shamans were strong in groups. 
                                                                                                    
              
  • TozToz Member Posts: 2,496 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Yeah exactly. It would be way too strong with rubble + movement block from cage dammit.

    And @Seir, that's why I said maybe. Before, the class could block but it was also...decidedly different from what it is now. Still, it's the most knight-like out of the classes Spirit side has, so block WOULD make sense from that angle.

    Arbre-Today at 7:27 PM

    You're a vindictive lil unicorn
    ---------------------------

    Lartus-Today at 7:16 PM

    oh wait, toz is famous
    ---------------------------

    Karhast-Today at 7:01 PM

    You're a singularity of unicorns awfulness Toz
  • IllidanIllidan Pray AreaMember Posts: 1,076 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Illidan said:

    This past Liaison round, I'd submitted a report about Grove Cage to help remedy this problem. The report was to essentially move Grove Cage from an Grove ability to an Overgrowth ability. The reason behind this is because Shamans, unlike old Druids, have absolutely no way to move their groves round. Grove Cage stops movement similarly to an icewall, except you have to CRASH to get out of it. It also stops LoS projectiles from entering or leaving the caged room. When I'd submitted the report, I had the intention of making it so that the movement restriction was removed from cage, and just the LoS ranged block remained. The reason for this is because Shamans already have a lot of movement impairing effects. Adding a portable cage would put them over the top. I forgot to add that into my report after I submitted it, and (not sure if bug) was unable to unsubmit it to fix it. It was at that point I messaged a few of the Liaisons to say "Oh hey, I forgot to add in my report that I'd like the movement restriction to be removed from the portable cage if it gets approved. Would you please mind adding that into the comments?"

    I was then informed that the report was rejected, because as I said earlier, the reason given was "Giving Shamans a portable cage would put their hindering abilities over the top." which is not what I wanted to convey. I was then informed that all of the Liaisons that I sent my request to did not follow through with what I asked, because they were too busy/forgot about it. I don't see what the problem would be with a portable cage stopping incoming/outgoing ranged LoS attacks, because we already have canopy that stops incoming/outgoing area-wide outdoor attacks. I was just more disappointed that the Liaisons didn't do their jobs :/

    They didn't listen when I said Shamans were strong in groups. 
                                                                                                    
              
    Calipso
  • TozToz Member Posts: 2,496 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Illidan said:

    STILL, I DIDN'T WANT THE MOVEMENT BLOCK FROM CAGE DAMNIT. 

    Toz said:
    Yeah exactly. It would be way too strong with rubble + movement block from cage dammit.
    [spoiler]
    image
    [/spoiler]

    Arbre-Today at 7:27 PM

    You're a vindictive lil unicorn
    ---------------------------

    Lartus-Today at 7:16 PM

    oh wait, toz is famous
    ---------------------------

    Karhast-Today at 7:01 PM

    You're a singularity of unicorns awfulness Toz
  • AarbrokAarbrok Breaking things...For Science San Diego, CAMember Posts: 1,405 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited April 2013
    IMO just allow people who are mounted the ability to block, 
    X is blocked by giant flaming deathunicorn stopping whateverskill.

    MOUNTBLOCK for the win!

    SeirAngwe
  • EzalorEzalor Emperor D'baen CanadaMember Posts: 1,307 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Eh, being mounted opens you up to being pulled by any ability normally stopped by flooding. Wouldn't help things much!
    image
  • SeirSeir Seein' All the Things Getting high off your emotionMember Posts: 992 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I suggested the same thing as Aarbrok did and don't think it's a poor idea, honestly.
    Aarbrok
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