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Avatar | Public | General
Author Cleric/Druid Re-Balancing
Valth
Member

Posts: 9
Joined: 08.08.10
Posted on Apr 18 2012 02:09
So youíve all probably heard me whine and moan about a billion things on herochat by now. Iíll put on a serious tone and post something on a game changes I think would be good for the game, without any of the snark. I do this on the forums rather than through idea because this is really long, and ideas has not been updated in a long time.

This thread is designed to talk about re-balancing cleric/druid, with an analysis on the class at each tier. I will try and utilize code already in place such that things donít require huge amounts of code to overhaul the class, which is fundamentally functional, itís just that priests completely overshadow them.

Warning: This post is really long. Itís about 2.5 pages in Word.

Lowmort Tier:
I wonít talk about this because lowmort is just hard for cleric with such a small playerbase. Oh, and bots. (see hero tier, point 1). Changes here would be done because playerbase is small, not because cleric/druid are terrible at lowmort.

Hero Tier:
I personally think both are fine at hero tier. With diversity, a kra cleric/rxa druid is a good 5th group member in a normal hero run, improving the rate of one rounding quite significantly, and lowering overall experience rather minorly, due to diversity. The problem with hero tier healing stems from the fact that any class can swing a brandish for 100 hp, the plethora of double heal potions, and the fact that spellbots can bot healing. As long as brandishes are so blatantly overpowered in EHA in particular, there is zero reason to run a cleric.

Thoughts on balancing at hero tier:
1) Disable bots from providing healing spells. Spellups are fine, but healing is quite counterintuitive. Casters are touted as being great soloers, but with infinite healing, a melee class can now get comparable exp/time solo, as they can just abuse bots for thousands of hp in one tic. Meanwhile, casters need several tics to restore all their mana before fighting more monsters. The time:mobs killed ratio is skewed heavily in favor of even soloing brutes, because they never have to regen.
2) Make brandishes function equal to in-class healing. That is, cleric/druid brandishes heal for 100-125 hp (based on worship), everyone else brandishes for about 50. This is certainly a radical change, but will instantly add another layer of planning to EHA.
3) Double heals donít really have an easy fix, but since quaffing takes 5 seconds, which is longer than one-rounding monsters, this is less of an issue.

Lord Tier:
At lord, priests completely overshadow clerics. One priest is the equivalent of about 3 clerics, and if a priest is in the group, a cleric/druid can do pretty much nothing, without damaging the group. This is a very real phenomenon; I did it for a lot of lord when Iratha was still a cleric, and I am sure other lords can attest to this behavior. Let us take a look at base statistics about the two classes. I will compare the two from the viewpoint of the elf race, as it is a very common race for both cleric and priest.

Let us, for the sake of continuity, assume that both classes morph in the 500s, and that they both worship kra. In actuality, clerics almost always worship kra through hero, and priests qxl, which skews the mana values of priests to be higher. However, by assuming both went kra, and neither 999íd, we can still estimate base stats at lord 1. Without further ado:

Elf Cleric vs Elf Priest:
Base mana: 14500 vs 27000
Comfort healing for non-evil classes/races: 1100 vs 1700
Comfort healing for evil classes/races: 1100ish vs 850
Comfort lag: 5 seconds vs 5 seconds.
Mass comfort lag: 11 seconds
Preached comfort lag: 7 seconds.
Mass comfort and preached comfort spell cost: About the same.

Just from these numbers, it should be quite clear that clerics are worse than priests in every single category except for healing vs evil classes/races, in which it is about 32% more efficient than a priest in. In every other category, a priest dominates.

But this is not the only side of the story. Let us consider what a priest can do, that a cleric cannot do to help the group.
1) Cast sanctuary on the entire group at once.
2) Cure blindness, poisons, and other things of the entire group at once.
3) Provide very useful buffs such as intervention and solitude.
4) Spellup the group.

And the things a cleric can do:
1) Cast light of hope
2) Tank in det areas with spiritlink.

Light of hope is terrible. Its cooldown is too long (5+1 tics) and heals too little mana. It does not help solve the mana disparity between cleric and priest at all. Spiritlink has now become worthless with the advent of berserkers and a combination of veil of blades and det gear.

How to fix this:
1) Lower lag on mass comfort to 7 seconds. This equalizes healing lag.

2) Have a skill based on saving grace that doubles healing on monitored target, solidifying a clericís role as a strong single target healer, and rewarding them for keeping track of group memberís hps individually, rather than just mindlessly spamming mass comfort, which my priest can do because it has so much mana.

3) Lower light of hopeís mana cost to 0, improve light of hopeís minimum mana restoration to ~250 (about 1x target comfort cost) and lower cooldown to 3 (from 5). Improve mana gains from party being damage by about 50%. Currently you can use this skill and actually lose mana for casting it, which is ridiculous. At a cooldown of 3+1 tics, this skill will give a minimum of 17*250 = 4250 mana, which will still be much less than that of a priest, but reach a level of mana where they may actually be able to keep a group healthy with good play without running out of mana halfway through a run. (a priest never really tends to go over ~15k mana on any given run. With less efficient healing, weíre looking at clerics of effective mana pools of 19k-22k with buffed light of hope, which should be enough to match priests). The 17 stems from the fact that a tul spellup (the worship of choice for most lord priests) is about 67 tics, so 67/4 = 16.75

4) Level 1 lord skill, Restoration. Class definer for cleric/druid. Cost ~4k mana, restores ~50k hp, but stops you from casting healing spells for 3 tics. A good panic button for gear rooms when your chain is about to break, or to give a cleric a place in gear rooms if a priest is in the room to act as an extra tank. Because letís face it, it doesnít take more than augment 2 preached comfort to keep groups alive in even the gassiest rooms. Give them something to do instead of using a priest as an excuse to afk.
- This spell might be overpowered. Balance cost/exhaust effects based on testing.
- Thought about restoring a targetís hp to full, but then Rooks breaks the game.

Thoughts/other suggestions? Design goal was to make clerics playable when a priest is not around at lord, and specialize at single target healing. At the same time, clerics should not be stronger than priests, since priests are a remort class and clerics are not. Mostly interested in hearing from the design team more than anything, but input on this analysis and other suggestions is also welcome.

If people care, I can probably go in depth on my thoughts on other things that have rebalance issues.
Author RE: Cleric/Druid Re-Balancing
Rafel
Member

Posts: 3
Location: Omaha, NE
Joined: 27.07.07
Posted on Apr 18 2012 03:28
I think preventing bot healing at hero tier, while probably the right thing to do, would be quite difficult to implement without constant policing. Not saying we shouldn't try, though.

Further, I agree 100% with making brandishes reflect in-class healing abilities--or if this is too difficult a rework, possibly make brandish have an exhaust of two or three ticks (similar to using a racial ability) instead of just extended lag. Five hero 13 brutes currently heal an EHA run better than any number of clerics could hope to, and that seems broken to me.

Regarding Lord tier changes, I see specializing cleric as a better single-target healer than priest as a pretty viable way of redeeming it, at least somewhat. Restoration at Lord 1 could serve as some consolation that one of the healer's class definers at hero 101 is, um, NOURISH.... and the fact that cleric's current lord 500 class definer is mass holy sight, which priests can already do at a much earlier level.

If we wanted to further specialize the cleric/druid, maybe removing saving grace from priests would help to even the playing field ever so slightly--since priests would theoretically be more focused on healing the entire group if there were a reworked cleric or druid to take care of the tank(s).

I think what Atris has laid out is a really solid foundation.
Author RE: Cleric/Druid Re-Balancing
Malaclypse
Administrator

Posts: 8
Joined: 08.09.07
Posted on Apr 18 2012 05:24
Thanks for the suggestions. I am currently working on clerics at the moment. (Not quite the same overhaul which paladins received but fairly significant all the same).

I agree with many of the underlying points you have raised. Bot healing at sanctum was a core consideration I included in my rationale for some of the upcoming changes which are largely aimed at encouraging the use of clerics "on the road". As Rafel mentioned, it can become tricky to police bots and we also don't like to change what many consider a popular feature unless we really feel it is required.

While the Restoration idea isn't a bad one in my opinion, I'd like to see how the impending changes impact on the game before escalating the arms race of clerics vs priests.

Thanks again for the input.
Author RE: Cleric/Druid Re-Balancing
Riviat
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Posts: 91
Location: UK
Joined: 14.07.05
Posted on Apr 18 2012 06:15
Snikt has previously stated that he doesn't want "clerics-on-a-stick to replace clerics" so unless it is possible to have class specific efficiency on brandishes (Malaclypse or Pulse can probably advise on this) then I don't think how brandish works will change.
Author RE: Cleric/Druid Re-Balancing
Rhin
Member

Posts: 2
Joined: 26.05.10
Posted on Apr 18 2012 13:40
Valth wrote:
Design goal was to make clerics playable when a priest is not around at lord, and specialize at single target healing.


Funny you should mention this ... I just used the idea command on an alt to create a spell that might help this.

Give Lord Clerics a exhaustible spell with a (sanc-like) short duration that increases the mana cost for comfort but causes it to heal an additional X% of the target's maximum HP and would not work with augment.

This would give clerics an advantage to single target healing Bzks, Bods, Wars, and other high HP targets. It could be balanced to make sure healing low-HP casters w/ this effect on extremely inefficient and not worth the mana spent.

Just an idea ...

Rhin
Author RE: Cleric/Druid Re-Balancing
Jakkbam
Member

Posts: 2
Joined: 09.08.10
Posted on Apr 18 2012 13:59
Few quick thoughts:

-I agree with the suggestions about brandish: It has caused nearly classless play at hero because of the prominence of EHA runs now.

-In terms of making changes to clerics, I like Atris' thoughts on making clerics more effective in the way they heal, and perhaps in rewarding more attentive clerics. They are after all, supposed to be healers right? A creative way to increase their healing effectiveness without putting them in a pure healing power battle with a priest would be a great way to address the current weaknesses of clerics.

-Auras have been an interesting introduction to the mud, but I think it is very important to consider the danger of rewarding classes with passive skills that require nothing more than existing in the same room as the group. This doesn't encourage people to participate in the game, but to rather start a run, make a recast trigger, and go do something else. If not done well, it can also lead to really bloated group power as the size of the group increases. Others may disagree, but I find the game is manageable enough on the whole as is, and implementations that dramatically boost the entire group's power without any real cost can really water the difficulty down.
Author RE: Some points
Elec
Member

Posts: 10
Joined: 01.05.11
Posted on Apr 18 2012 14:15
1. Healing bots: I personally use them (I would say abuse them) a LOT, so of course I won't be happy if they go. I do agree, however, that it's not a good thing. I do want to make the point that they're very useful for a caster as well. Firstly, you can surge lower, so you can solo more effectively. Secondly, casters are still much better than brutes (leaving aside fus which is broken) at soloing because they can area spell. Sors have flash and can use a charged shield so they can take down a big room too. My sprite sor and stm were MUCH less painful with healing bots, since I could surge 0/use sustained spells and had to regen mana very infrequently.

2. I think clerics are not that bad at lord (compare mages with sors for example). One issue is simply that priests have too much mana. Even my human priest virtually never ran out of mana at hero or lord. My sprite priest frequently has 10-15k mana left when we regen. I have to augment a bit more to really use my mana. Basically one priest is enough for all but the hardest lord areas, so a cleric feels, shall we say, inadequate.

3. With diversity, kra clerics are fairly ok as hitters at hero, as Atris mentioned. I almost always take a cleric/druid, even a prs if one is on who group.

4. All that said, giving clerics more to do at hero/lord is good.
Author RE: Cleric/Druid Re-Balancing
Valth
Member

Posts: 9
Joined: 08.08.10
Posted on Apr 18 2012 15:40
Not much to add to the discussion thus far, but I do want to make a note on this:

I think clerics are not that bad at lord (compare mages with sors for example).


The reason that clerics should be considered much worse than mages is because mage has a much better defined class feature, which is area spelling. While it is true that there are no runs where you want a mage over a sor (except MAYBE SoL), the fact that you still have something that can areaspell gear rooms is nice. For the 20 seconds or so that mages can support surge 5 meteor swarm, they are outdamaging sorcerors in rooms of 4+ mobs.
Author RE: Cleric/Druid Re-Balancing
Takayuchi
Member

Posts: 25
Joined: 21.03.11
Posted on Apr 18 2012 16:52
Riviat wrote:
Snikt has previously stated that he doesn't want "clerics-on-a-stick to replace clerics" so unless it is possible to have class specific efficiency on brandishes (Malaclypse or Pulse can probably advise on this) then I don't think how brandish works will change.


Right, but what players are saying is that clerics-on-a-stick have already replaced clerics, and they want brandishes to be nerfed so clerics are better relatively speaking.
Author RE: Cleric/Druid Re-Balancing
Verminaard
Member

Posts: 2
Location: North Dakota
Joined: 15.08.10
Posted on Apr 18 2012 22:27
On the side subject of auras, would be disappointed to see cleric get a class defining aura that makes them useful as a groupie by standing around sponging all run...something with a more active usage to make the class actually interesting to play would be appricated by me at least.
Author RE: Cleric/Druid Re-Balancing
Malaclypse
Administrator

Posts: 8
Joined: 08.09.07
Posted on Apr 19 2012 07:05
Regarding new spells/abilities - there will be some auras for clerics. The idea is not to simply have something for nothing. Ultimately I see it playing out somewhat similar to how paladin works (though some tweaks are probably needed there too) whereby to gain one thing you have to forego another.

The first new spell is going in ... shortly
Author RE: Cleric/Druid Re-Balancing
Durth
Member

Posts: 3
Joined: 08.07.12
Posted on Jul 08 2012 06:04
ok ive levelled my duid up to 101 and now i would like to make the following points

* i think the druid should have more than one shot with the bow like the archer. Not as many as the archer but still. I think this is a major bummer factor for the druid.
* i would like at least be possibly able to kill the UD. at the moment theres no druids in with a chance i would imagine?
* moonshard seems broken and maybe even green arrows seem useless. I cant fletch splinters which is a pain. But having an arrow that makes enemies im wailing on unable to sleep is a bit pitiful imo. It needs to hit them with lightning if theres clouds or something

other than that, i enjoy playing my druid as a healer that strips his mana gear for hitting as he consumes his mana. its not a bad class, but he's very weak solo.

An addendum edit to what i wrote above. I just hit 150, hoorah. Apparently green arrows > splinter arrows. YAY!

But still wishing i could shoot more. I havent tried held shot yet as I'm a druid/healer so dont like the lag. I dont know what sort of damage moonshards do compared to green, but green hurt undead, which is useful, keeping mobs awake - poor debuff still imo


Edited by Durth on Jul 08 2012 20:43
Author RE: Druids
Malaclypse
Administrator

Posts: 8
Joined: 08.09.07
Posted on Jul 14 2012 08:27
Thanks for the note. Druids are in the pipeline for review. We will have to see where that leads

For now - keep in mind that druids do get scattershot at lord.

I'll have a look at druid solo against UD. Remember that being able to kill the UD isn't really a requirement for any class. I do however suspect it is quite possible on a druid.
Author RE: Cleric/Druid Re-Balancing
Durth
Member

Posts: 3
Joined: 08.07.12
Posted on Jul 14 2012 20:52
Malaclypse, thanks for the response. Looks like all those chicken sacrifices were worth it!

To add to the discussion i would like to make the following points:

I dont know what damage arrows do, i wish i did. Fairly happy with piercing/greens right now.

At the moment in decent hit gear I do half the damage of other people in the group. Admittedly to offset that, i have the faerie arrow debuff and also the ability to heal.

When i devoted to Roixa my mana gain was real bad. Mana gain is still not so hot for a cleric base classed character. I rolled a lot of 1s dev to roixa, i still do a bit. I suppose the spell cost is meant to offset this, but i want more beefcake mana

There hasnt been a druid to do the UD since 2003, i would love to be the first when i hit 999... a long time for a centaur lol

I suppose what i want is more mana, and more damage. I know, i want a lot! But considering the fact that I'm a centaur with the highest archery damage mod in the game more damage is a bit in order.

Honestly i think just shooting two arrows a round would do heaps to fix the druid (with a slight damage nerf, i do get to heal the whole group as well to offset my less damage at the moment)! I know i get scattershot at lord but I'm looking at him at hero.

Anyways thats my two cents. I still really love my character, he's basically a cleric with a bow and being a centaur is way worth the larger TNL, my health gains are really nice

Thanks!

Durth



Author RE: Cleric/Druid Re-Balancing
Malaclypse
Administrator

Posts: 8
Joined: 08.09.07
Posted on Jul 20 2012 05:58
To confirm - I just whacked the UD with a cen druid test alt at 750. It is very possible
Author RE: Cleric/Druid Re-Balancing
Durth
Member

Posts: 3
Joined: 08.07.12
Posted on Jul 20 2012 06:25
Whacked eh? The UD sleeps with the fishes? hehe

Author RE: Cleric/Druid Re-Balancing
Calanthe
Member

Posts: 5
Joined: 31.03.09
Posted on Aug 07 2012 12:11
Malaclypse wrote:
Thanks for the note. Druids are in the pipeline for review. We will have to see where that leads

For now - keep in mind that druids do get scattershot at lord.

I'll have a look at druid solo against UD. Remember that being able to kill the UD isn't really a requirement for any class. I do however suspect it is quite possible on a druid.


Really??? I've played a whole lot of druid. I'd venture to guess more than anybody else. They are already quite handy and useful in a variety of situations. I would be curious to see what is in the works and just how necessary is really is.
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