Changes are a’commin’

Nate Levy posted the general changes to ranged DPS classes yesterday. There’s a lot that has changed, and a lot more for the Shadow Warrior and Squig Herder communities to be very happy about. Things that have been asked for, and yearned after for the longest time are seeing fruition. I can’t adequately put to pen how happy some of these changes make me. His post and my analysis after the jump.

Shadow Warrior

  • All abilities no longer have a minimum range.
  • No Respite has been moved, and is now available with 7 points into the Path of Assault.  Its effect has been redesigned, and it will now increase all damage that you deal to enemies within 45 feet.
  • Charge Forth has been renamed Powerful Draw, and has been redesigned.  This tactic will now increase the ranges of all Path of the Skirmisher abilities.
  • Assault Stance will now also grant Melee Power and Melee Crit based on Ranged Power and Ranged Crit from items.

Engineer

  • All abilities no longer have a minimum range.
  • Runes of Warding has been renamed Trench Fighting, and has been redesigned.  This tactic will now increase all damage that you deal to enemies within 45 feet.

Squig Herder

  • All abilities no longer have a minimum range.
  • Sneaky Stabbin has been redesigned, and it will now increase all damage that you deal to enemies within 45 feet.
  • Squig Armor will now also grant Melee Power and Melee Crit based on Ranged Power and Ranged Crit from items.

Magus

  • Daemonic Contract has been moved, and is now available with 7 points into the Path of Daemonology.  Its effect has been redesigned, and it will now increase all damage that you deal to enemies within 45 feet.

Ranged Archetype

  • Close Quarters has been redesigned.  It will now cause your abilities to build up 50% faster when your enemy target is within feet 20 of you, and no longer has a penalty.
  • Expert Skirmisher has been redesigned.  It will now cause your abilities to build up 50% faster when your enemy target is within 20 feet of you, and no longer has a penalty.

Obviously, I’m most interested and focused on reading the Shadow Warrior and Ranged Archetype bits. If you play a Shadow Warrior, this patch should be giving you thrills (despite some insane ramblings on the forums to the contrary). We finally are getting a mirror to SWdW and a minimum range removed. The removal of Charge Forth should not be an issue for most players of the career, and especially more so once you reach RR70. We called it suicide spec for a reason, and those who REALLY need to keep up their crit rate still has bullseye as an option.

I see a couple of new strong viable paths available here, outside of the Festerbomb/EE-spam that exists in game now. You have your long-range skirmish kiter. You’ll slot Powerful Draw, Keen Arrowheads, Replenishing Strikes, and then a fourth based on your build (Masterful Aim/Bullseye/No Quarter etc…). This will split specs between Skirmish/scout, and will use the two to stay out of reach of anyone and everyone. Another will be the bomb SW. Oh yes, bombing, Masterful Aim, No Respite, Replenishing Strikes, and Split Arrows. This is done from assault stance, and is a very heavy theory-craft, because for the most part split arrows is useless, but these changes help make it less so. I’ve found in cities as a champion, being able to do massive ward checks like I’m allowed in Split Arrows is huge. Being able to do that from a medium armor can be devastating. Get in close, and start shooting everyone.

I will say this, recently when playing my SW, I’ve given up using CF and ES (advantage of knowing some plans ahead of time), just to test the waters and get a feel for the damage of the career without these two tactics, and things went fine. I lacked a bit of the punch I usually had, but I will say, that my survivability was significantly improved. I was running Masterful Aim, Wrist Slash, Keen Arrowheads, and Replenishing Strikes, with a mixed build of Assault/Skirmish. I am wearing a mixed set of Warlord/Invader, all slotted with weaponskill. This setup gave me a strong ability to play as an in-and-out skirmish warrior, and be a constant nuisance to the enemy lines. Being solo nearly all the time, I was walking out with around 5-15 kills (depending on the sides), and more importantly, RARELY more than 3 deaths, and usually 1 at most. This type of play may become even more possible, and I’m going to be facing some serious hard decisions between Powerful Draw and No respite.

Good times are ahead. A few more changes to the career, and I think my wish-list will be completely checked off.

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5 Responses to Changes are a’commin’

  1. Jomu says:

    ooo interesting stufff… tho i don’t play WAR anymore.. still looks like good changes

  2. Attic says:

    I have three thoughts on the matter.
    1: Even though I haven’t touched my engineer in over a year I still feel incredulous and bitter about them getting yet another nerf because of BWs and sorcs. I assume most magi probably feel the same.

    2: Kind of a shame to see them give melee SHs and SWs some nice QoL updates and then tack a nerf on top of it.

    3: I’m also very amused that the only classes that would realistically be able to leverage the new CQ/ES are the ones they wanted to nerf in the first place.

    • shadowwar says:

      I’ll say this:

      1) I think you’ll feel a bit less miffed about the engineer changes are more information is released.

      2) The nerf is barely a nerf. Yes, it is technically 10% less dps, but the benefits of being more adaptable and versatile far outweigh that 10% loss. You lose out a bit on the high end (in skirmish range), but gain a LOT on the low end (outside of skirmish range).

      3) This is a very hard one to judge. The extreme close proximity required may be far more troublesome than initially anticipated. I’m waiting for the test server to make a judgement on this one.

      • Attic says:

        1: Let’s just say that Mythic’s track record says otherwise.

        2: It’s a bigger issue for melee squigs since they still won’t be able to use their armor/initiative/heal debuffs in squig armor.

        3: Even if it does turn out to be a mostly useless tactic BW/sorcs are still the only classes who could even plausibly justify it. Well, maybe a melee SW could but that’s stretching things. It’s a lot like how the scorched earth/surging pain change was arguably a buff. It just tickles my funny bone.

  3. Erbse says:

    3.) Yes, the change will benefit BW / Sorcs mostly, due to the simple reason that most their casts (heavy hitting ones anyway) are 2-3 seconds. On that note, chances are channeled abilities as well as PBAoE’s will not be impacted by the cast time reduction (shouldn’t be anyway). Shadow Warriors get a nice PvE damage boost with 1s EE @ 40AP base and 1.5s Fester arrows, not really a realistic PvP setup though. Magus will probably get the least benefit out of it in comparison, however Flickering Red Fire would become a 1s cast and that DD with a DoT attached to it would be 1.5s cast. Likewise you can snipe away at 1.5s. If anything it’s mostly the cooldowns on the ability that decides who’s gonna get the most benefit.

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