The better part of valor…

sir-robinShadow Warriors are squishy.

I know, I know, it looks  like we’re wearing chain mail, and so, should have a medium rating, but we don’t. We wear light armor, and as far as I’m aware, so do the other casters (nothings lighter than light, ya’ know?). Sure, we can go into assault spec, and have our armor doubled, but that limits our range and puts us into melee combat. Something that should be counter to the idea of how we are supposed to accomplish our task of “shooting you in the face”™. I’ve got a couple suggestions that I think would would help greatly alleviate some of the problems we as a class are currently facing.

First off, take away the double armor value from assault stance. Drastic, I know, but don’t get your panties in a twist. My belief is that this particular bonus from Assault Stance was implemented as a form of survival for our class. The way the skills are set up, it seems that when you got into a melee cluster fuck, a Shadow Warrior should instantly switch to assault, drop a whirling pin, and run for their lives. Great in theory, not so hot in practice.

See, the global cool down hurts us whenever we have to do things in rapid succession, and it’s that much more evident when your life is on the line. Also factor in that by the time melee gets to the back line of us, they’ve probably got the immunity to roots from passing through our front line of defense who properly did their job in trying to keep them away from us. So what happens? Marauder sprints forward, tank roots them. Marauder breaks the root, then charges past the tanks and starts peeling the skin from my bones with some crazy mutant claw. I switch to assault to slow down the derma-brassion treatment, and try to whirling pin him. Oh, wait…immune, and I just wasted precious time standing next to a powerhouse of Destruction.

So, I see a couple of options available to us at this juncture that won’t be game breaking, but will help even out us Shadow Warriors some, and give us some of our much needed survivability. The first of these, is to just give medium armor at all times. Two of the melee classes as it stands have melee armor (one for each side), and the other two have light. My bets are on the Slayer and Choppa’ wearing light armor. So, symmetry in design being a beautiful thing and all, make two of the ranged classes wearing medium as well. Seeing as how we SW at current implementation lean so heavily upon our melee strength, I think we obviously deserve it. For destro, I’m not sure, I’d say Squig Herders, but I hear others talking about their insane power of right now. Maybe Magus? Their design looks like they wear some metal armor, give it to them, and I definitely notice more Magi standing closer to the front lines than Squig Herders.

A second option, and one that I think would be a huge benefit, is a fall-back, leap kind of deal. They already have the basic animation in place with the pounce ability that White Lions have, so it can’t be that hard to do it, in reverse. Perhaps it requires an ally to target to “leap” to, or it just sends you back, and you land where you land. It would need to have a decent cool-down timer, so it can’t be abused, perhaps 1-2 minutes, and a requirement that you can’t be vengeful. A skill like this would go a long way to helping to further define our “in and out” guerrilla type warfare of striking fast, then retreating away. It would also help to emphasize the agile, hyper-mobile characteristics of the class that were so amazingly displayed on the second trailer. You know, the one that plays at the start every game launch, with the Shadow Warrior jumping around rooftops, harassing the poor marauder, then closing in for some intense dual-wielding sword action. After the fisticuffs, she quickly falls back to “shoot him in the face”™.

Yeah, that one.

The last possible option, isn’t really an option. We would need a lot more defensive, debilitating abilities. Yet, crowd control was not supposed to play a significant role in this games combat, particularly from anything other than a tank. We see Mythic currently (and rightly) helping to tone down the CC and help make it more streamlined so people aren’t finding themselves in lock-down hell.

Really when you all boil it down, the problem for me comes from (again) our heavy reliance on melee skills. It’s an endemic problem that causes us to be less viable in our initial role of RDPS to compensate for our melee prowress. So, those are my suggestions. I’d honestly love to see both implemented, but that might just be me thinking selfishly.

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