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Redefining the Cleric: Phase 1 - Dispel Magic

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 Post subject: Redefining the Cleric: Phase 1 - Dispel Magic
PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2014 2:12 pm 
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To add another idea onto the queue of changes, I am proposing a change to Dispel Magic (DM). This is being addressed due to concerns over the last 3-5 years about how hard it is to land DM against some mobs, and clerics being underpowered.

Proposed Change: Any affects that are dispelled would get deactivated temporarily (arbitrary duration for this discussion: 10 rounds) and would then reactivate. Re-casting the deactivated affects would reset the spell duration as normal, but they would remain deactivated (same goes for re-wearing quest equipment).

For this discussion, the terms cleric and non-cleric are meant to as relative ability between characters. As an example: Bob (2nd class cleric) can be considered a cleric compared to Joe (3rd-5th class cleric). Bob would still be a non-cleric compared to a primary class cleric. This stays inline with Mordor's multi-class nature, while obviously any cleric benefits will be most effective for primary clerics with an appropriate equipment setup.

The proposed change would include the following requirements:

  • Avoid a large nerfing of non-clerics.
  • Further specialize the cleric: defining its style and make its position in class order more pronounced.
  • Increase desire to have a cleric in an otherwise versatile group of non-clerics.
  • Small step toward mixing up solo combat tactics.
  • Avoid every class order "playing cleric dress-up" to start a big-mob fight. [Equipment setup becomes more of a preparation step and not a change mid-combat.]

The most common non-cleric nerf from this change is that mobs with damage reduction affects will take longer to kill, such as those with sanctuary or protection good/evil. To address this we can drop all mobs' total HP such that killing those with damage reduction take an equivalent amount of time (same number of hits) as before for non-clerics. ~40% drop should cover this, as most sanctuary mobs have 44% reduction (a few cleric mobs have 50%). The remaining percentage balance can be chalked up to time that is no longer spent worrying about dispels before starting the fight, thus speeding up the total kill time. This seems approximate, although it does create some changes/speedups, such as when fighting against any mob without sanctuary that is now 40% quicker.

The other mob change required for this to be feasible is that a mob's base saves attribute would drop, such that a caster could break saves more often against mobs (without changing saves breaking in PK, which will be addressed at the end of the post). This would be less helpful to non-casters, due to the new nature of the dispel wearing off, where as casters remain in casting equipment throughout combat, so the cleric should be able to maintain the deactivation via a successful cast within every 10 rounds.

To define the cleric more, clerics become more powerful than their opponents by debuffing them. Instead of a cleric getting a big-damage-action (fireball, circle), the cleric's damage is enhanced through maintaining deactivation. Against a mob with sanctuary, for example, the cleric's lower damage spells/skills (e.g, harm or 2nd class mage fireball) would get a boost of ~67% by deactivating the sanctuary. (If harm did 1000 damage, sanctuary normally takes it to 600 damage, the 67% boost is the lack of a 40% damage reduction.) This is exaggerated if the mob has protection spells. Further, a cleric can tank better (or their charmies can) since offensive affects (frenzy, haste, etc.) may be deactivated. As this makes tanking a bit easier, it eases the healing burden of the cleric as well, enabling time for casting DM or dealing damage.

As for assisting a group, every benefit this change gives to the cleric extends to the group. For example, a cleric maintaining a deactivation against a sanctuary/protection mob, on top of the mob health already being reduced, allows a grouped thief to kill the mob faster than they can in the current system.

As for tactical decisions, especially in solo scenarios, slightly more intelligent decisions are required. A cleric-warrior might not just spam bash, but instead decide to dispel the target, then bash 2-3 times, and then repeat from the dispel. This would help them both in terms of damage and tanking, as previously stated. A cleric-mage combo might throw dispels in between fireballs, etc.

The lower cleric is in the class order, the less attractive DM becomes (as it has a higher chance of losing concentration or failing to deactivate an affect), thus such non-clerics may disregard DM and rely on their better skills/spells (such as a thief-warrior circling while in a damage output equipment setup to overcome sanctuary via a larger base damage output). Non-clerics are less likely to "play cleric dress-up" to start a fight with DM since it only lasts for 10 round of combat, making equipment set switching unreasonable.

In raid scenarios, this further pushes the requirement for a group of mixed talents, as raid mobs heal the same regardless of whether they are reducing damage through sanctuary or not. (The part about raid mobs is a universal nerf that will require more than 3-4 adepts to kill a raid mob, as originally intended. This is not to be confused with hall guardians.)

This also has a number of other nice side effects which I'll list but not go into detail on:
  • PK is less annoying when dispelled (no need to spell up again, just have to wait 10 rounds, acceptable as many battles don't last more than 20 rounds).
  • Mobs that are partially killed and then abandoned return to their default spawn state, through natural healing and reactivation of their affects, excluding any item differences (such as disarms).
  • More hunt mobs can have sanctuary or protection spells on them (which already auto-drops their HP when they repop), giving clerics hunt targets which they are more effective at killing than non-clerics.
  • Against big mobs, groups no longer waste excessive amounts of time trying to setup the fight with 10 minutes of dispelling, which was how the current mobs were designed to be taken down.

Feel free to give any constructive comments (for or against) the proposed change. Any completely orthogonal ideas should get their own thread, if they have no relation. If this post seems to be missing any crucial points, please list them!



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