Friday, October 7, 2011

A few things I've noticed.

In the 4 years I was gone, things have changed, for better, for worse. These are just a few of them that have made an impression on me.

Attempts at making the 18 dex classes more capable of fighting (augurers/clerics)
I'd like to say they tried but honestly they still fail so hard fundamentally. The storm clerics while having power are practically useless on most runs (still) simply adding a countable 3 mobs you can use storm of vengeance for and not want to switch class. The anti undead clerics have absolutely NO added value, and the healer clerics have some... half decent spells but again with VERY little actual use.

Storm clerics: I prefer cawyn for the anklet since you now have prayer for favor. Storm of vengance is NICE... but entirely too limited. There are only a handfull of mobs that are outdoor flagged (it can only be cast where you see the sky!) and the even shorter list on which you could use magic, and a cleric at that. The only reason why it makes clerics viable in those rare situations is entirely based on the fact storm of vengance will keep casting while you spend most of your time quaffing heals and manas to deal with damage/dropping potions.
Healing clerics: the best spell they get is ameliorate. Second best is probably ward of the divine.. for stuff you can multi yourself and can keep a cleric in the room safely (20% res mag/nonmagic is nice!) however the applications of which are limited (chances are if you can multi... the 20% wont show. The mob would have died ip8 before the spell existed and probably dies just about the same now)  Seriously. Cadcading heal? requires you to be standing in the room (decent if you are soloing something you can multi) but also has a LOONNG timer on it making it practically useless. It casts ONE heal a round for 5 or 6 rounds which is a good bit of healing... but its way too slow, and way too limited. Complete heal is awesome... except for the mana cost and the fact it also takes ages to run down the timer. Ethereal elixir ... has its uses I guess. if you are planning to go somewhere where you need the extra healing power. The problem is if you need to quit at all.. you lose them making em a pain to carry to a run. On the other hand, if you can bring the cleric to the prep spot, sit there all day making elixirs before the run starts... Then yes.. it might be useful.
Anti undead clerics: Worthless. Please switch your deity. In terms of lore and background sure.. the skills fit. But in terms of gameplay adds absolutely nothing to the class it didn't have.

The other good from the cleric changes have been mostly resurrect: lets you CR after a fight and save the long walk back. But beware.. you lose all the spells on you when reincarnated.
Prayer: awfully convenient for clerics now to favor.. sit there for 20 minutes and "prayer" your corpse back. Alot easier than manually favoring like before.
Remove hex: I hate this. it used to be remove curse for the spell curse AND cursed items.. now its split into two.. just to add an extra spell. Annoying is what it is.

Next.. Augurers: They added coil of flame (similar to storm of vengance) except... weaker, requires ONE WHOLE CRYSTAL TO CAST. Its nice to add a bit of damage, but again, doesn't really add much to expand the places where you can use an augurer. The fact that spiral is hp based + 18 dex making for crap quaffing means you still wont want to go near most things that do a consistent gas, or lots of random breaths.
Spirit chains: worthless. entirely, totally, utterly WORTHLESS. Good in theory, crap in usage. It absorbs damage from the character you cast spirit chains on taking some of the damage for yourself as well as draining mana. The problem is this spell really needs to work in reverse. It hurts the augurer (which in turn hurts the spiral) and drains BOTH mana AND hp at the same time (again hurting spiral and even coil). Then you spend even MORE time quaffing heals and manas because of the chains (instead of your 22/25 dex tank quaffing them much more efficiently and your aug.. being the HITTER.. actually doing its job and HITTING). This spell would be great if you could cast it on ENEMIES instead and offload the damage and drain their mana. Or at least if it worked in reverse reducing damage to you and offloading the damage to your tank... so you know.. he can TANK. If the run needs multiple tanks.. get multiple tanks. augurer with spirit chains = one person doing nothing. You might as well be sitting in an entirely different room quaffing heals and manas for no reason while the rest of your group is fighting.
Last but not the most worthless (that prize DEFINITELY goes to spirit chains): third eye. Generates a 100hp eye (that dies at the slightest glance in its direction) and do the equivalent of posessing it. Basically instead of the nephandi possess spell where you can actually choose a possibly useful mob, you get stuck with an entirely useless mob that cant fight and can only be used for scouting. The most laughable thing about it.. its level 33. 19 levels above charm (for evil mages), 19 levels above dominate (vampires), 15 levels above seduction. The only spell its lower level than thats comparable... possess though I should hope the reasons are obvious. It seems still the Imms hate augurers and are determined to keep them entirely worthless on their own. Coil has put them on a .. slightly more even playing field (but unlike everyone else's damage.. requires one crystal per cast.. which is a huge pain in the ass to make crystals all the time, and carry them and the extra potions you need to bring to a run (cause you will DROP alot of them)

Now the good. Barbs are the new thief. Rend had it's crappy 65% max upped to 95% and chokehold actually is comparable to backstab. Armblock isn't great but better than nothing for sure. For a long time rend was the barb staple along with charge. The problem was charge required a horse (which gets killed by areas blasts), lagged as much as circle (but dealt less). Rend was better.. because it only had 3 bars of lag (meaning you could actually quaff before that second round of damage came in (and yes that half a round is a huge difference) Now that its 95% max... charge is practically worthless. Especially with the new ancestral strike skill allowing them to use ACTUAL WEAPONS.. Lets face it.. barbarians riding horses, wearing a lance, having a weapon and a shield? Really didn't get it not to mention having 3 different modes of attack depending on the run was annoying (barehanded for rend, horseback lance, shield, wield for charge, and dual wield/two handed which left them with just plain ole melee... which as we all know works GREAT on some mobs and not at all on others.. especially if they are magic weapons only...) Now.. barehanded is clearly the best choice, and ancestral strike lets dual wielding much better.

The other class which has seriously benefited from the changes made: paladins. Before they were the more defensive warrior type, warriors were of course the better hitter and because of the dex..... tank. Now paladins have shieldblock AND shieldbash, they can tank AND hit at the same time now. Especially with the nice new high hp holds, gives paladins much better hp than their warrior counterparts. Also not hurting is the fact they have shieldbash which is better than smash making them also better hitters... but only when they are tanking. So warrior? still the better rescue tank and still has better melee. But paladins finally have a use as a hitter/tank hybrid (one per group) while warriors still very much excel in the melee department with stun and the much easier to level part going for them. Personally I would like to see changes to augurers more in line with the skill level of what paladins and make them a more unique and specialist mage class instead of being entirely outclassed until level 50, then finally able to be used in very specific circumstances if you dump loads and loads of money into it and prep a bunch of crystals for it. Unlike most other classes, Augurers are still fairly worthless until you sink about 500m worth in eq onto them. Past the rings/neck/body/wield, every single piece will be 50m+ 

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