Second Pass at Enchanter Balance Changes

cornelweezy

Dalayan Elder
Objectively speaking, the misdirection spell line buff is nice. Illusory sleight should be less of a pita to set up.

I was hoping for a few more carrots, particularly some direct or ancillary spells/bonuses to smooth out charmfighting. That knight rework probably ate up a lot of precious dev time tho
 

DodoBot

Dalayan Elder
Bumping this thread in anticipation of the new patch.

I know that we are still missing a lot of charm mobs for EXP and RAID zones!
Can we make sure that we patch a few in? Also, I know it's low priority, but I know it was talked about making the Ancient Invisibility a group or raid castable spell...

Any word on this or any of the other suggestions in here?
 

DodoBot

Dalayan Elder
@Dev-Cole I appreciate keeping it on the radar.

Charm mobs do not require a patch. I can do this whenever. I still remember the zones, prison, tot, yclist.

Those were some of the biggest need areas. The other areas where it would be really nice would be Tur'Ruj and Plane of Fire. The full list I made is here.

The other things with charm are 1) scaling and 2) support abilities.

1) No other class does has different dps potential like with charms based on zone (and also independent of gear). A t15 wiz does t15 dps in silent halls or blackburrow. A charmed pet will be zone dependent. Perhaps there can be a way to scale with companion foci / other gear or adjust in another way.

2) Charm is clunky, and there is a need for support skills to make it worthwhile (especially in small settings). Think, being able to heal pet, run burnout type spells for a fast dps phase, suspend pets, and provide survival when a pet breaks (maybe an autorune ability or enhanced charm daze on break, etc). I would start by adding enc to the burnout spell line and mield spell.

I made a big post with suggestions for charm support earlier. More ideas there for the ambitious...
 

DodoBot

Dalayan Elder
Bumping this thread because it appears we may have a patch soon...

I feel like we've gotten a lot other projects off of the front burner, and I'd really love to see someone from the staff circle back and weigh in on some of the issues discussed in this thread that have fallen by the wayside. I'd be happy to help talk or test any of these, but as of now, they're still nagging me in the back of my mind. For ease of reading, I'll try to box them into scaling and itemization, as well as playstyle and support.

Scalability and Itemization

1) Charm does not currently scale from gear or AAs. This is poor design, and could be mitigated by AAs that allow passing advanced item effects or focus effects (especially companion ones) from the enchanter to the pet.
2) Charm lacks appropriate targets in many zones and is thus zone dependent on how good the upper DPS potential can get. Adding more charm targets is a good start, but suspending pets or some other route to this is even better.
3) There is a poor incentive for focus itemization now that AOD is on one timer with Bond. Because of the shared timer between Bond and AOD, there is very little reason to carry additional focus effect items, reducing the desirability to mimic from a necromancer or shaman in setups that may lack a wizard or melee dps.
4) Melee Itemization - before, enchanters had a unique ability to itemize for melee, with excellent gear progressing from prison to spires to thaz supporting this theme. Since the Cascading Bond ability does not currently have a passive or a hotkey, it effectively eliminates that portion of progression outside narrow duoing situations.

With respect to 3 and 4 above, how does the pass-through damage work for bond mimics? Does it benefit from the enchanter's AAs or effects like critical strike, overcap stats, etc?

Playstyle

1) Shared cooldown for melee and spell mimics still feels bad and losing melee in most groups feels bad as well. I think the majority of enchanters still feel this way, and would rather have slightly lower scaling but separate cooldowns so that there is more to do here.
2) Lack of support spells / AAs for charm - as my other thread mentioned, there is little to no support for leaning into charms as far as we have without adding things like a burnout spell, AAs for better control, defensive abilities, mind probe test, etc. Even in zones with good pets, it is frequently a pain to get a new one if a pet dies, and not being able to suspend a pet (even if it's limited to in-zone) really makes this clunky. Even just things like making charm overwrite mez if it sticks would be a big quality of life improvement.
3) Chromatic Nuke is BAD dps and bad Utility. It is actually better dps to twist insanity with the relic nuke than to use the chromatic. And because the rune does not scale with damage, and it is placed in the main buff window, many tanks block it. The absorption is laughable in the later raid tiers. Also due to poor behavior on "match the element fights" I am thinking that probably does not script-cast the weakest element as it is supposed to (but rather uses magic damage but on the lowest resist adjust).
4) Does the dispell detrimental line even work raid targets? It appears not to on fights where the players being crowd controled is a mechanic.
5) Lack of Melee feels bad - Again, I know it isn't for everyone, but losing cascading bond 4 (which many of us sank hundreds of AAs into) without any compensation or tweak feels really bad. Why not just make it a passive or push-button AA?


Again, it's not hopeless, but this class feels wildly inconsistent from zone to zone, and encounter to encounter, and I don't think it should be that way. There should be options. A high tier enchanter should have significantly more damage potential than a lower tiered enchanter boxed into the same raid. This doesn't even begin to get into some of the weird items that have been in our spellbooks for a long time (catatonia being bad, the torment of x dot line that disappears in the 50s, no follow-up to entrancing lights PBAOE mez, no support for color stuns in high levels, memblur doesn't really do anything, etc), but I think this thread kind of touches on the current issues. Please can we get any official response to a few of these here now that seasons is well underway?
 
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Duke

Developer
Staff member
I can answer some of these as best as I can, as I'm only one of the devs and not all of us.

1) Charm does not currently scale from gear or AAs. 2) Charm lacks appropriate targets in many zones
To me, these go hand in hand. It's difficult to put in charm mobs, especially in higher tier zones, and justify that some t4 enchanter with fresh Hate gear can charm a pet in Upper Thaz and do 1000 more dps than what they were doing before. I use this example because I made the UT charm mobs and I doubt they are balanced fairly at all.

3) There is a poor incentive for focus itemization
From my understanding, AoD was made to give enchanters a "What if there aren't melee dps to bond right now?" scenario. This scenario can be found more frequently in 6-man content. The way it ended up working with multiple bond/aod targets became way too much dps for a class that is meant to be more utility-heavy as opposed to dps-heavy, so they share a cooldown now. How one 'builds' an enchanter with itemization (or any class really) is not something we focus on because we could have a linear gearing experience, but players will always see different 'paths' to build, like favoring resists/hp for survivability, etc.. There are other classes that suffer with multiple focus itemization as well, namely necromancers and beastlords.

4) Melee Itemization
I know that Cascading Bond is a thing, but like... enchanters are casters lol. Not sure what else to say about this.
3) Chromatic Nuke is BAD dps and bad Utility.
This is meant to be 50% dps, 50% utility. It's not meant to be fantastic at either. Afaik, this uses the lowest resist of the target as its resist adjust type. Haven't seen any reports of this being the case otherwise.

4) Does the dispell detrimental line even work raid targets?
If you or anyone else can give us examples of these, we can look into it.

Just so you know, we see your 3029 posts every week :p and we do discuss the issues together. The biggest thing is that things aren't really "off the front burner" ever, unfortunately. Also, there have been a few zones that I've literally stumbled into via Season 2 that have new charm mobs that didn't last patch.
 

odizzido2

Dalayan Elder
I know that Cascading Bond is a thing, but like... enchanters are casters lol. Not sure what else to say about this.
Can I quote this harder? I have never liked cascading bond or the idea of a caster turning into a melee DPS at higher tiers and despite having nearly 900 unspent AAs I still don't buy it. If I wanted to be melee DPS I would have made a melee DPS class. It especially doesn't make sense with how things currently work because even if you did want to melee you would have to give up using bond on another character. I would much rather the AA increase the % of damage it adds from the 40% or whatever now to like +5% per rank or whatever. Or be changed to some other group/raid focused thing. Maybe adding a portion of the enc's mana or AC or life or something to the group like shared mind does. Or maybe a pet that does no DPS at all but has high survivability/block so it can protect you while you try to mez(especially with the recent and pretty hard nerf that got).

Also as to the chromatic nuke...it's fine I think as is because it's not a relic spell. Of course once you get the relic nuke and rune it's not worth using anymore just like most other non-relic/archaic spells. I think maybe people are looking at the new spell as crap because they're already tiered up. I haven't looked into it because it's not relevant to me, but perhaps a fresh 65 enc would find it good?
 

Otcho

Dalayan Pious Diety
enchanters using that tome and certain melee weapons/procs were kind of fun even for a gimmick. losing that option with the shared cooldown removed a lot of the fun of exping on the class. it was nice when you had weird groups that didnt have a valid melee also.

I agree that the tome wasn't very good thematically or whatever but it definitely had some value in existing previously where as now it has near none.
 

DodoBot

Dalayan Elder
RE: Melee
enchanters using that tome and certain melee weapons/procs were kind of fun even for a gimmick. losing that option with the shared cooldown removed a lot of the fun of exping on the class. it was nice when you had weird groups that didnt have a valid melee also.

I agree that the tome wasn't very good thematically or whatever but it definitely had some value in existing previously where as now it has near none.
Alot of this is fun factor yes, but it was a legit help in duo / suboptimal group situations. Regardless of whether or not a caster melee-ing is a good idea or not, it expanded the potential places you could do things on a class that is not particularly great in smaller group settings (esp without a pet). It was never a core component, but I prefer not to close out niches without replacing what is lost.

Can I quote this harder? I have never liked cascading bond or the idea of a caster turning into a melee DPS at higher tiers and despite having nearly 900 unspent AAs I still don't buy it. If I wanted to be melee DPS I would have made a melee DPS class. It especially doesn't make sense with how things currently work because even if you did want to melee you would have to give up using bond on another character. I would much rather the AA increase the % of damage it adds from the 40% or whatever now to like +5% per rank or whatever. Or be changed to some other group/raid focused thing. Maybe adding a portion of the enc's mana or AC or life or something to the group like shared mind does. Or maybe a pet that does no DPS at all but has high survivability/block so it can protect you while you try to mez(especially with the recent and pretty hard nerf that got).

Also as to the chromatic nuke...it's fine I think as is because it's not a relic spell. Of course once you get the relic nuke and rune it's not worth using anymore just like most other non-relic/archaic spells. I think maybe people are looking at the new spell as crap because they're already tiered up. I haven't looked into it because it's not relevant to me, but perhaps a fresh 65 enc would find it good?
1) Right, well as things currently work, it's kind of dead in the water outside a small number of situations where loading up a fist of gurok might be worthwhile. Honestly, this was a victim of the broader changes. Still, we lost an ability with significant cost and were not given a replacement. In the interim, just making it a hotkey or passive until something more permanent is built as a replacement is far better than letting it sit dead.

RE: Chromatic Spell
2) Yes, agreed that it's not a relic and shouldn't be relic good. However, it's not as good as insanity even - which is several levels lower, and the rune is frequently buffblocked. Adding an ability for the rune to scale with crits or some other effect would make it viable for a much broader range of players than its present configuration. With respect to the resist adjust, maybe allowing it to use both the elemental focus and the chromatic focus would be an improvement. Again, as I mentioned before, I'm not sure how the damage element works or if this would be possible - as an aside last time I went to twins, I know it did not match on the wisps for example.

RE: Break Bindings
If you or anyone else can give us examples of these [break bindings not working], we can look into it.
The examples that came to mind for me were Gan Tribe and Ulaz - anyone tried it with the poair mobs that mez / charm? I'm blanking on some of the other higher-tier encounters but I know there are a bunch with tank mezes and swaps.

RE: Charm
Coming back to the original point to all of this - I guess the goal going forward would be to try to build in some measure of scalability and consistency for the class. Charm isn't a terrible mechanic on paper, but having to add mobs to individual zones is a pain in the neck and feels imperfect. This is especially true in light of dps being inconsistent across zones and the fact that a fresh 65 with a thaz charm pet can do most of the dps of a tier 14 with that same pet. Not quite the same, but within a few hundred dps for sure. I'd love to see scaling on charm pets from gear (focus effects / advanced item effects maybe). Again though, you run into the problem of having to have a pet in zone. Additionally, as has been said before support spells like burnout, heals, or even survival abilities are lacking here as well, and it feels clunky - as enc isn't really designed as a pet class.

RE: Bond / AOD
I know that the staff hates piggyback dps, but allowing separate timers for AOD / Bond there (even if you reduce the damage) gives a feeling of better options when there isn't a pet around than being a bad wizard. Maybe an ability to suspend a charm pet in zone, or if that's too difficult with the global load, develop a scaling matrix that could adjust the animation pet (which is globally loaded) as a "spirit of the charmed pet" or "empowered animation" or whatever. Maybe you could tie a second enhancement spell cooldown to having a charmed pet or not (in other words - you can do Bond + AOD or Charm Pet + One or the Other) - don't know if that's codeable, but it would certainly feel more consistent if I didn't have to always hunt for a pet that may not exist - and it makes it easier for the guys building zones out.

RE: Crowd Control and Enchanter Utility
With respect to CC, I will say some of the new fights that have enchanter mechanics have been a ton of fun, and we could use more of that. Getting down Berf and Rajzaa for the first time last night was great fun too. Generally exp in areas with a dungeon crawl and hard mobs is more fun for me than mass pulls. I realize it's a 12 man, but abyss on tier is probably the marker for where I'd love to see dungeons go from a crowd control mechanic standpoint. Also would still say, I'd love an upgrade to entrancing lights - maybe quested or special way to get it.
 
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odizzido2

Dalayan Elder
I agree with you DodoBot in that I would like to see encs get some attention. Personally I think AoD was nerfed too hard and could use a slight buff. I would love to get some class AAs too as we only have one that's functional. Anything is better than nothing.

Chromatic nukes do scale worse than everything else so they get worse as you xp. That being said I've never done the math on casting chromatic vs casting nuke then casting rune 6. When I did chromatic vs relic nuke+ relic rune it was obviously worse but without mathing non-relics I am open to it being good for fresh 65s.

As to mez, I've recently had the experience that even with max AA and CE4 I couldn't keep things mezzed when chain casting. Having mobs break so quickly did throw me off so I am sure I could have been more organised but it felt like the recent mez nerf was too hard.

For charm I think part of the scaling is simply being able to maintain the charm reliably. A higher tier enc can maintain charm longer and not die in a second when the mob breaks. I know you can mitigate this by paying attention but it is a difference. Whether people feel it's enough is another thing.
 

cornelweezy

Dalayan Elder
Duke's post is absolutely nuts to me because it seems to quietly say "things are fine, really, we balanced things around stripping mimic power from enchanters with nominal progression" but also says "we aren't really going to do anything about addressing the glaring problems with making charm a core mechanic because then we would be buffing enchanters with nominal progression."

I haven't played Cornel in months but mimic being overpowered and charm being majorly uncomfortable (read: flat out difficult to maximize) even for progressed enchanters can both be true. Is the dev team accepting ideas from the community for discussion when you review the 3029 "please, God, help us" enchanter posts or is it as smug in those channels as the first reply here in a long time?
 

Duke

Developer
Staff member
Duke's post is absolutely nuts to me because it seems to quietly say "things are fine, really, we balanced things around stripping mimic power from enchanters with nominal progression" but also says "we aren't really going to do anything about addressing the glaring problems with making charm a core mechanic because then we would be buffing enchanters with nominal progression."
I definitely didn't say this, what I said was from my perspective and not even necessarily a unified dev opinion. I am literally one dev. If anything, Enchanters are not "fine" and need more work still.

Is the dev team accepting ideas from the community for discussion when you review the 3029 "please, God, help us" enchanter posts or is it as smug in those channels as the first reply here in a long time?
We read the forums all the time, we've seen all 3029 posts. Do we talk about the ideas from the community? Yes. Do we use said ideas? Not often. And of course, anything that we do, we aren't going to be transparent about at this time.
 

cornelweezy

Dalayan Elder
I definitely didn't say [exactly] this

Ok, but your response to yet another well thought out post from an experienced player - albeit one that regurgitates a lot of what's been said for months about enchanters - read to me like a dismissive handwave.

You can't speak for staff, thank you. Can someone who does speak for staff or is willing to be an official voice please put something material out here so dudes like dodobot don't feel ignored?

I acknowledge I am entitled to nothing and deserving of even less, but why can't quality posts on this forum get a good response from staff? I know staff has it in them because my last post on how dumb break bindings needed a buff got attention in like 48 hours. I would also gladly accept a direct "we are actually ignoring non use case specific enchanter problems for now while we work on other stuff." The radio silence around the broader charm-mimic debate is the worst.
 

DodoBot

Dalayan Elder
Just putting it out there that I my last post, I proposed a way to avoid leaning too far on either direction of charm vs mimic by 1) linking the spells and 2) giveing the enchanter an extra cooldown. Got access to a good charm pet? Great - 1 pet, 1 mimic target. No charm pet? You can do two Bond / AOD targets or one of each. Full damage.

Again, this is a quick and dirty idea, and it doesn't address issues with scaling, support abilities, or cascading bond, but it seems like a half-way point on the way out of the cave that doesn't force developers into balancing charm pets for every single zone.
 

DodoBot

Dalayan Elder
In light of the larger changes to Bond / AoD, I wanted to confirm a few things regarding Melee AAs, stats and Mimics before I start the next round of AA purchases.

For the current iteration of Somatic / Corporeal Bond, can any devs confirm if the AAs: Boundless Precision, Unparalleled Might, or Focused Strikes affect the mimic chance to hit or damage? Additionally how do overcap stats as well as critical strike, worn attack, affect these mimics?

Thanks for letting us know.
 
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Tevinter

Dalayan Pious Diety
In light of the larger changes to Bond / AoD, I wanted to confirm a few things regarding Melee AAs, stats and Mimics before I start the next round of AA purchases.

For the current iteration of Somatic / Corporeal Bond, can any devs confirm if the AAs: Boundless Precision, Unparalleled Might, or Focused Strikes affect the mimic chance to hit or damage? Additionally how do overcap stats as well as critical strike, worn attack, affect these mimics?

Thanks for letting us know.
Unless its changed, somatic bond is not a mimic at all and has never been a mimic. The damage from somatic bond that gets reported to the enchanter is simply the amount of damage that gets added to the receiving players swing from the bonus ATK. The damage isnt being done by the enchanter at all. Its why you can somatic bond someone and you dont generate threat from the hits that appear in your combat log.
 

DodoBot

Dalayan Elder
Unless its changed, somatic bond is not a mimic at all and has never been a mimic. The damage from somatic bond that gets reported to the enchanter is simply the amount of damage that gets added to the receiving players swing from the bonus ATK. The damage isnt being done by the enchanter at all. Its why you can somatic bond someone and you dont generate threat from the hits that appear in your combat log.

Per a conversation I just had with @Tevinter , it looks like the last confirmation on how exactly how the damage from bond shows up on the enchanter is from this thread wayyy back in 2012. I might be wrong, but I don't think it's common knowledge as to how the enchanter's contribution is calculated from the bond spells. Is this still the case?

GoG is functionally identical to the way it was before, just took the old "giantkin contribution" messages concept a little further and made it stricter.

AoD-mimicked spells benefit from the enchanter's tomes and focus effects, though.
 

Kapitol K

Dalayan Elder
my only gripe with all those enchanter changes is, they were supposed to not be top dps anymore

ENCHANTER - CLASS REFACTOR
Based on player feedback and internal review, the following issues continually creep up and need to be addressed moving forward.

  • An enchanter's DPS is too high in the last few tiers of the game.

even the enchanter in my guild who sucks tops the parses occasionally
 

Dev-Cole

Administrator
Staff member
For the current iteration of Somatic / Corporeal Bond, can any devs confirm if the AAs: Boundless Precision, Unparalleled Might, or Focused Strikes affect the mimic chance to hit or damage? Additionally how do overcap stats as well as critical strike, worn attack, affect these mimics?
These spells boost your targets damage and then that damage is attributed to the enchanter. Example:

1) Rogue does a normal attack without Somatic:
Inside Server: RoguePerson hits a goblin for 1000 damage.
Message seen: RoguePerson hits a goblin for 1000 damage.

2) Rogue does a normal attack with Somatic:
Inside Server: RoguePerson hits a goblin for 1200 damage.
Message seen: RoguePerson hits a goblin for 1000 damage. EnchanterPerson hits a goblin for 200 damage.

There is some pseudo-code to determine what the attack bonus would add, and then it is attributed to the enchanter. The base hit in this example uses all the Rogue's AAs, not the enchanters.

This led me to ask the question "Is it possible some server damage is lost on parses?". When I adjusted raid boss health during the weapon balance, players were linking me the total HP as reported on their parser. It was off by a significant margin. How much of that is user error/distance/filtering? Could some of that be server side?

I'm not sure I like this method from a design perspective. It was a solution to the same problem but years ago; Enchanter's were a utility and did not report DPS. So you see the contribution being reported to the enchanter. What would DPS parses look like if all Debuffs and Buffs reported their contribution to the owner?
 
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Tevinter

Dalayan Pious Diety
These spells boost your targets damage and then that damage is attributed to the enchanter. Example:

1) Rogue does a normal attack without Somatic:
Inside Server: RoguePerson hits a goblin for 1000 damage.
Message seen: RoguePerson hits a goblin for 1000 damage.

2) Rogue does a normal attack with Somatic:
Inside Server: RoguePerson hits a goblin for 1200 damage.
Message seen: RoguePerson hits a goblin for 1000 damage. EnchanterPerson hits a goblin for 200 damage.

There is some pseudo-code to determine what the attack bonus would add, and then it is attributed to the enchanter. The base hit in this example uses all the Rogue's AAs, not the enchanters.

This led me to ask the question "Is it possible some server damage is lost on parses?". When I adjusted raid boss health during the weapon balance, players were linking me the total HP as reported on their parser. It was off by a significant margin. How much of that is user error/distance/filtering? Could some of that be server side?

I'm not sure I like this method from a design perspective. It was a solution to the same problem but years ago; Enchanter's were a utility and did not report DPS. So you see the contribution being reported to the enchanter. What would DPS parses look like if all Debuffs and Buffs reported their contribution to the owner?
maybe an unpopular opinion, but personally i think that buffs / debuffs contribute way too much power in this game for how passive they are. feeling obligated to bring a class or play a class because it checks off a box on the (de)buff list typically feels bad. Personally I've always preferred to just bring whoever wants to come to raid on the characters they want to play without feeling like a majority of raid slots are auto-locked to certain classes because you need the buff/debuff they bring. Current tank design, while not perfect, is the closest thing SoD has to the "bring what you want but each class still has a defined niche"

Enchanters and bards the the most egregious examples of passive buff power, where it isnt uncommon to have someone box one in and almost entirely AFK the character because they make your raid that much stronger simply by existing. You see it happen w/ paladins on undead fights too. Its part of why bard/enc have historically been less popular. In order for bards/enchanters to be balanced, their personal damage / power has to be significantly lower than other classes in the game. This means you get less return on investment for effort put into making the character stronger (gear / AAs) and ultimately makes them less appealing to the kind of person who plays a game with a focus on grinding for incremental power upgrades. The other issue is that generally speaking buffs and debuffs do not scale with character power (charm is guilty of this as well).

The amount of power in passive (de)buffs also leads to the issue where your character just feels a lot worse to play without buffs / debuffs present (particularly if you played the game in the over a decade long era where you just had every buff, permanently). You do less damage, generate less threat, attack slower, have less mana regen etc. Using my own character as an example: I can log on my monk Lowako and pretty reliably parse top3 on most raid bosses in the game or even "hard carry" damage depending on the situation / rest of the raid. I can take this very same character into an exp group or duo scenario and get smoked by a healer in damage. This is without taking things into consideration like the fact the healer provides very useful buffs to the group and can heal.
 
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