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Warlock Grand Overview Ideas

Why so negative?

Posts: 4

Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2016 1:36 am

Post Tue Mar 28, 2017 5:24 pm

Warlock Grand Overview Ideas

I'll eventually have a thread up on the general idea elsewhere ( as it applies to several classes), but one thing that strikes me about Warlocks in particular is that they don't have a cohesive identity of any kind (or any real sense in how they're built, at all). A brief overview of the class:

General protective and transportation spells (no gate)
Class-specific damage spells (Sorrow, Chaos, Torment, Ravage)

Type: Caster
Gains: Excellent

Betray
Trip
General Maledictions
Energy Drain
Astral Projection
Third Attack
Limited Weather (no chain lightning)
Battle Focus
Enhanced Damage
Shadow Form (sneak)
Cellular Purge
NO kick


Of the above, maledictions, energy drain, and astral projection (/mirrors/shield of skulls) all deserve their own threads. I'll make those later.

So the major questions are:

What should Warlocks do?
How will they be unique?
How can this be accomplished without excessive effort?

The good news is that, as a caster class, Warlocks already have a bunch of spells that don't see any use and can easily be re-tooled. Furthermore, in terms of "casters who fight", Warlocks already have good tools (trip, battle focus) to help make that a reality.

The bad news is that, as casters with fighter skills, they are currently in a bad place because of general code issues(specifically, avoidance rates). That's something that involves a systemic change and will also have to be addressed elsewhere.

So, for the first question: Warlocks are already set up to be "negative effect casters". While Necromancers fill some form of this role, their class effects revolve around DOT spells and dragging out combat to give those spells time to take effect. We can take Warlocks in a different direction with ease.


First proposal:

Sorrow - Now deals damage and attempts to apply Curse to the target
Chaos - Now deals damage and attempts to apply Slow to the target
Torment - Now deals damage and attempts to apply Weaken to the target
Ravage - Now attempts to apply a stacking +1 save effect to the target (max of ??)

And with just those changes, Warlocks have a unique identity as the class that deals damage and debuffs, but is distinct from Necromancers by virtue of not healing or applying DOT effects. Moreover, Ravages saves debuff helps to apply the other debuffs... but it's not always correct to cast Ravage up front. Maybe you really need the target to be cursed, slowed, or weakened ASAP, even if the chance is lower. Regardless, just those four spells completely change the way the class works, give it a unique identity as the "negative magic class", and help amplify the existing paradigm of "caster who fights".


Second proposal:

Gate or Kick (at least limited). At present, Warlocks are "casters who fight", but in terms of PvE they have a very specific weakness: no way to get betrayed charmies to the target, and no kick. Either one of these helps fix that issue.


Third proposal:

As mentioned above, several spells deserve their own thread. I want to highlight a couple here. First, the mirror image issue. One major weakness of Warlock in PK is that they have no reliable way to break mirrors quickly or effectively. This is a problem for several other classes, as well, and desperately needs to be addressed. Second, maledictions - a simple buff to land rate gives half the classes in the game far more tools to use. Warlocks are one.


Thoughts?

Posts: 83

Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2015 11:07 am

Post Tue Mar 28, 2017 9:12 pm

Re: Warlock Grand Overview Ideas

So, just as a quick thought: I always think of warlocks as the complement to warriors. Although at the code level, because one is a caster and the other melee, there are significant differences, I still think of them as closer to one another than a warlock is to a mage, for instance. (Warriors also suffer from an identity crisis, to a lesser extent than warlocks, but like warlocks they encompass a broad and diverse set of skills for their respective base classes, comparatively.)

First proposal:

Although I find this interesting, and I've discussed it before with others, I do have a few questions or concerns before endorsing the idea (as well as any variation on this idea when applied to other classes, i.e. buffing lower level damage spells). Would the damage these spells do change? In other words, would these just become variations on ravage, at least at the level of damage dealt, with an additional debuff added? On the one hand, I can see them being used more if they have this additional effect but no increase in damage (why cast curse when you can cast curse+ minor damage), on the other hand, one of the decisions you have to make in PK is debuff vs. damage, generally, and this sort of collapses that side of things, especially if the damage is comparable to ravage.

On a sort of counter-proposal side, I would say this: why + weaken? Or curse or slow? Why not an original debuff? I would find it interesting, although admittedly a little more difficult to implement/balance, if they had a series of debuffs that was especially related to melee/physical combat connected to these spells. Perhaps one lowers AC, another lowers dex, and another lowers strength but separately from the effects of weaken or slow, so those could be stacked, making warlocks more of a nightmare to fight against if most of your damage comes from landing hits than casting spells.

On the question of ravage (which I do like) I would say it should stack to no more than a landed curse, -6, and not have the transportation effects of curse itself. Merely a spell to make landing subsequent debuffs easier.

Second proposal:

I just think their needs to be more betrayable mobs. That's a build issue, and it's one that has existed for years. That said, I've played a warlock extensively in the past, and I never had trouble getting test subjects to target mobs, most of the time. There's a side benefit of: learning your damned way around that comes with that.

Or give them kick, I'm fine with that.

Third proposal:

I consider mirror itself a separate issue that needs to be addressed separately, as you've already indicated. Looking at malediction land rates / more buffs like your proposal to lower saves through ravage is something I wholeheartedly approve of. I would also be interested in pairing this with a lower duration for maledictions, at least in PvP applications. Make them easier to land but also something your opponent might choose to wait out rather than cancel/heal, which gives more opportunities/decisions on both ends of PvP.

Posts: 4

Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2016 1:36 am

Post Tue Mar 28, 2017 11:15 pm

Re: Warlock Grand Overview Ideas

I tend to think of Warlocks as the flip side of Templars for much the same reason, since Warriors are weird and very un-warrior-like in terms of abilities.

Why Curse/Slow/Weaken - First, the complexity issue. It's simpler to use existing spells to accomplish something than to use new spells. Second, weaken and slow specifically to emphasize that Warlocks are comfortable with debuffing their opponents' combat abilities and just going toe-to-toe with them.

That said, a stacking debuff to strength or dex instead of slow and weaken is very reasonable. I'd be plenty happy with that. AC is currently useless for 90% of players, and Warlocks already get faerie fire.

As regards spell damage: short answer is, yes, probably lower damage if they're applying weaken or slow, but probably more on par with ravage if they're applying a small debuff. The long answer involves completing the reference sheet of spell damage that I'm currently building to explain why spell damage is so... goofy.

As regards maledictions - yes, generally I would like to see them have much shorter durations and land much more often.

Posts: 39

Joined: Sun Aug 10, 2014 5:03 pm

Post Fri Apr 21, 2017 8:56 am

Re: Warlock Grand Overview Ideas

Kinda late to the party but I think the damage + debuff thing is pretty awesome idea. I think it might be too much though with curse, slow, weaken applying. I like the stat debuffing stacking since with the change for attributes coming soon/already here(idk I just started looking around again lol).

I'm personally not too keen on the stacking saves on ravage cause you basically have to play around a perma 6 saves vs any warlock. I think with regards to ravage helping make spells land easier, perhaps something like: Ravage has a chance to increase your malediction land rate by 33% stacks to 3 times. Buff clears when you land a successful malediction. Or if you want to give the player more control over how they want to use it, you can give them an ability with little to no lag that would act as a trigger to use up their ravaging stacks.

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