Happy Happy Joy Joy! The Feb.25 skill update

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Happy Happy Joy Joy! The Feb.25 skill update

Post by SAL on Fri Feb 26, 2010 9:05 am

The new skill update is awesome. They changed/buffed a lot of stuff, but I just wanted to go over some of it in particular here.

The most influential change is of course the infamous Shadow Form. But let's look at it along with another skill, Obsidian Flesh. Here they are:
* Shadow Form: decreased Energy cost to 5; decreased recharge to 30; changed functionality to: "Elite Enchantment Spell. For 5...18...21 seconds, you cannot be the target of enemy spells, and you gain 5 damage reduction for each Assassin enchantment on you. You cannot deal more than 5...21...25 damage with a single skill or attack."

* Obsidian Flesh: increased Energy cost to 25; removed the movement penalty; changed functionality to: "Elite Enchantment Spell. For 8...18...20 seconds, you gain +20 armor and cannot be the target of enemy spells, but cannot attack and have -2 Energy degeneration."
This looks like a nerf for Shadow Form, and I guess you could probably say it is for Assassins. They can't be as invincible with it, and the damage reduction is probably going to kill their solo farming abilities with it. Obsidian Flesh lost its slowdown effect, but also seems like a nerf overall, since it's so brutal on energy now. So Assassins can't tank quite as well with Shadow Form anymore, and Warriors and Dervishes can't really tank with Obsidian Flesh anymore.

Despite this, I think tanking just got a huge buff. How? By porting Shadow Form over to the Warrior/Dervish tank's skillbar, and shifting it into the role that Obsidian Flesh used to play. Take a look at it, it's very low energy, as maintainable as Obsidian Flesh has ever been, it doesn't slow you down, doesn't sap your life when it comes off, and ther only real drawback it has is the damage reduction, which you won't care about as a dedicated tank anyway. It looks definitely better to me than the old Obsidian Flesh that Warriors/Dervishes used to use.

If we combine Shadow Form, Shroud of Distress, and some other defensive Tactics/Strength/Shadow Form skills together, I think we might have a Warrior tank that's more durable than it's ever been before. I'm definitely looking forward to playing around with my Warrior and seeing what new build(s) I can come up with.


Other changes I wanted to mention:
- Ritual Lord - Seems interesting, and definitely better than it was. But I'm thinking that Signet of Ghostly Might may still be a better alternative to it in general.
- Signet of Spirits - This got a straight nerf, but it's a relatively minor one. I don't think it's really going to affect Ritualist gameplay very much, if even at all.
- "Charge!" - The addition of removing crippling will be great for running.
- "None Shall Pass!" - Seems like a potentially very useful snare tactic for tanks now.
- Dwarven Battle Stance - Seems crazy. Not sure if it will be worth using in PvE, but it sounds like it could be devastating in PvP.
- Hammer Mastery - Got buffed in general, definitely will be more useful in PvP. Still sceptical about it being good enough in PvE to warrant giving up a shield for it though.
- Various Tactics Stances - Got changed quite a bit, but not in quite the ways I was hoping for. But I'll have to try them out to see how useful they are. They certainly don't seem any worse than they were, at least.


Last edited by Arcana on Fri Feb 26, 2010 1:32 pm; edited 7 times in total

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Re: Happy Happy Joy Joy! The Feb.25 skill update

Post by Fink Dixel on Fri Feb 26, 2010 9:26 am

I like the new Shadow Form, they didnt nerf it to pure uselessness, no solo farming with it for now, but maybe now Hallie will use it to be a tank, once she gets the skills together and armor setup

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Re: Happy Happy Joy Joy! The Feb.25 skill update

Post by SAL on Fri Feb 26, 2010 9:28 am

Fink Dixel wrote:I like the new Shadow Form, they didnt nerf it to pure uselessness, no solo farming with it for now, but maybe now Hallie will use it to be a tank, once she gets the skills together and armor setup
Yeah, even if we consider it a nerf for the Assassin, it still certainly seems usable as a defense for them. And I think it's definitely going to be a buff for Warriors and Dervishes using it. So overall I think it's going to be more useful in general, while being less abusable and gimmicky. It will also likely serve to bring Warriors in particular back into the position of the prime choice for a tanking class (which is really the way it should be in my opinion). So i really like this change.


Last edited by Arcana on Fri Feb 26, 2010 1:28 pm; edited 3 times in total

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Re: Happy Happy Joy Joy! The Feb.25 skill update

Post by Fink Dixel on Fri Feb 26, 2010 9:32 am

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QqGsxwQpa_g

I found this necessary.

anyway, I feel assassin went untouched =P Just the ones that can't play without ruining the spirit of the game got nerfed =]

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zbounties n monks

Post by Guest on Fri Feb 26, 2010 9:42 am

i wonder if the 600 nerf will give people who want to do it normally take a REAL PLAYER monk for a change for dungeons/zbounties Question
but then this could be off-set by the amount of MORE people who want to do it normal way
time will tell

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Re: Happy Happy Joy Joy! The Feb.25 skill update

Post by Fink Dixel on Fri Feb 26, 2010 9:45 am

things will start out screwy, but as time goes on things should even out and shouldn't be too terribly bad to get in a group

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Re: Happy Happy Joy Joy! The Feb.25 skill update

Post by Valynn Lionhart on Fri Feb 26, 2010 1:57 pm

I'm hoping this helps Elite Mission and Dungeon group play. In other words, we can form teams with different classes working together to conquer the particular area like in the old days. I know it has hurt some solo farming, but for that ritualist spirit spammers can still farm a lot of things solo or dual.

I am also exited about shadow forms use on warrior/dervish. This could be a very valuable skill for them indeed. I agree with Scott that they are the more suitable tanking classes with warrior being the most appropriate.

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Re: Happy Happy Joy Joy! The Feb.25 skill update

Post by Guest on Sun Feb 28, 2010 9:05 am

I wish there was an easier way to test damage output. I can't help but wonder if Signet of Spirits is the best skill for damage output on a Rit still. I might want to go back to Signet of Ghostly Might or maybe try some of the high energy spirits with Rit Lord.

This was a huge skills update. I can't get my head around all the ramifications. Just so many changes.

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Re: Happy Happy Joy Joy! The Feb.25 skill update

Post by Fink Dixel on Sun Feb 28, 2010 2:05 pm

I like some of the changes to warrior, and Soldiers Speed... Keep a decent length shout like "I am unstoppable" and you run 30% faster indefinitely because it is maintainable at like 15+

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Re: Happy Happy Joy Joy! The Feb.25 skill update

Post by SAL on Mon Mar 01, 2010 2:06 pm

scienter wrote:I wish there was an easier way to test damage output. I can't help but wonder if Signet of Spirits is the best skill for damage output on a Rit still. I might want to go back to Signet of Ghostly Might or maybe try some of the high energy spirits with Rit Lord.

Communing has always been a very powerful attribute, and able to match Channeling fairly well in overall damage even before the nerf to Signet of Spirits. And Signet of Ghostly Might in particular has been a very effective choice for increasing the general damage output of spirits.

scienter wrote:This was a huge skills update. I can't get my head around all the ramifications. Just so many changes.
I feel like it's really opened up the Warrior class a lot in particular. Rather than not having enough viable options to choose from before, it's almost seems like they have too many now.

After some initial tests, it does seem that the combination of Shadow Form and Shroud of Distress is an extremely effective defensive combination, even just on its own. And it's easy enough on energy for even a Warrior to use it easily. After trying it out on my Warrior, and combining it with various defensive Warrior skills, it seems to yield some very impressive results.
While not completely invincible by any means, it seems clear that the new Shadow Form is providing not only a replacement to, but an improvement on the old "OB Tank" build setup.

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Re: Happy Happy Joy Joy! The Feb.25 skill update

Post by Guest on Mon Mar 01, 2010 6:03 pm

They nerfed the holy wrath so 600hp/smite is kind of useless, it's way too long with SoJ..Grr, no more mqsc and no more dungeon runs Sad

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Re: Happy Happy Joy Joy! The Feb.25 skill update

Post by Guest on Tue Mar 02, 2010 9:24 am

I took a look at some of the new skills when I was in the game yesterday. I really want to use the new Rit Lord but one of the things that make playing Ritualist 'appealing' is how the spirits do the work after you set them up. Rit Lord doubles your key presses but level 20 spirits at 13 Spawning Power and 16 some other line is kind of interesting.

I don't think it beats Ghostly Might for damage output. I wish I could test it...

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Re: Happy Happy Joy Joy! The Feb.25 skill update

Post by Pez of Metropolis on Tue Mar 02, 2010 10:44 am

Lols why can't you?
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Re: Happy Happy Joy Joy! The Feb.25 skill update

Post by Guest on Wed Mar 03, 2010 1:21 pm

Mostly because I don't know the proper techniques for measuring DPS. I would love to see a 2000hp target with variable armor that just sits there. Set up my spirits. Then time how long until it dies.

Is there a better way? Or even a reasonable way?

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Re: Happy Happy Joy Joy! The Feb.25 skill update

Post by Pez of Metropolis on Wed Mar 03, 2010 8:15 pm

Lols you can do that, in the Zaishen training ground. [=
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Re: Happy Happy Joy Joy! The Feb.25 skill update

Post by Guest on Wed Mar 03, 2010 8:25 pm

Really? I'll check that out. Someday...

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Re: Happy Happy Joy Joy! The Feb.25 skill update

Post by Guest on Sat Mar 06, 2010 5:53 pm

Pez, you are absolutely correct. There is a function at the training grounds that does nearly EXACTLY what I was looking for. Only thing I would like is to vary the armor class (but that doesn't matter much for THIS application: spirits ignore armor).

So, I tried out some builds. Nothing highly tweaked but to get a general idea of what the damage output is.

I think I am very interested in Signet of Ghostly Might again. This was the skill I choose as my elite before I saw the change to SOS. I really like it. IAS and increased damage is great but the key to maximizing the skill is to have MORE spirits. So I have a bar without Armor of Unfeeling and 16 Comm and 11 Chan and 9 Spawn. I have 51e and that isn't quite enough to get off Painful Bond so I might move back to radiant insignias. Anyways. I am getting 150+ DPS with painful bond and 85 or so without. The spirits are NOT very durable without high Spawn and without AoU but it is an easy build to run and use.

I tried the updated Rit Lord too. I forget exactly what the DPS was but it was very low. Maybe 60s.

The build I had been using with SoS (both Chan and Comm and AoU) gets about 140-150 dps with Painful Bond and around 72 without. Would have been higher before the change to SOS. But the spirits are more durable and it requires less management and has lower energy requirements.

I wonder if I can skip Summon Spirits with Rit Lord since they recharge so quickly. But there are not that many GOOD spirits to run.

I also wonder what a pure Communing or Channeling build gets in terms of DPS but I actually had a hard time filling my bar with spirits when I tried. So many require SO much energy from the Comm line.

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Re: Happy Happy Joy Joy! The Feb.25 skill update

Post by Pez of Metropolis on Sat Mar 06, 2010 8:57 pm

Well, I have a suggestion Scienter. If rit lord makes you spirits recharge so fast and you are thinking of dropping summon spirits, then you can add boon of creation instead for better energy management + all radiant insignias and attunement runes and you'll be ready for those higher energy spirits that own. =D
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Re: Happy Happy Joy Joy! The Feb.25 skill update

Post by Guest on Sat Mar 06, 2010 9:54 pm

Pez, that's a good idea. I'm even kicking around the idea of putting Explosive Growth in there... I should try it somewhere. Puts me right in the middle of the aggro though.

But I'm just not sure Rit Lord is workable for pure damage. Maybe for utility but not for damage.

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Re: Happy Happy Joy Joy! The Feb.25 skill update

Post by SAL on Mon Mar 08, 2010 12:57 pm

scienter wrote:I also wonder what a pure Communing or Channeling build gets in terms of DPS but I actually had a hard time filling my bar with spirits when I tried. So many require SO much energy from the Comm line.
Here's the build I've used for maximum single target damage:

Template Code: OAOjQygc4QObDgfT+gXMRbbOnN
Skills: Signet of Ghostly Might, Summon Spirits, Pain, Vampirism, Flesh of my Flesh, Anguish, Disenchantment, Shadowsong

Flesh of my Flesh could be replaced with Boon of Creation, if you're willing to drop your res. But this build is usually managable on energy even without it. Just cast Pain and Vampirism first, then wait until your energy gets to 45 before casting the others. Since Pain and Vampirism have a lnog duration, you can effectively create all of them together by ordering them this way. Then just use Summon Spirits to transport all 5 of them into battle.

I've used this build extensively, but I just want to mention that even though it does considerable damage, I actually have come to switch my preference to my Wanderlust build instead (see it HERE). I think Wanderlust has often been underestimated, but from my experience I think it's every bit worthy of its Elite Skill classification. What a lot of people tend to overlook is that shutdown can be far more devastating than pure damage in PvE, and trading up some damage in favor of more shutdown tends to be beneficial in most situations, in my opinion. So I would be careful not to put too much worth into judging a build according to its damage output alone.

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