The Shadowknight Class

Dev-Cole

Developer
Staff member
We are brainstorming all things Shadowknight.


Post class theme/lore ideas here. What do you see a Shadowknight as?

Post current abilities/tomes/aas/spells that you feel are garbage and should be deleted forever.

What do you like about a Shadowknight and never want to have that changed?

Link past discussions you thought were good.

Do you have any good ability ideas you want to share?

Let's talk rotation, what is good, what is bad.


Thanks

(Shameless copy/paste)
 

Tevinter

Dalayan Pious Diety
stamina changes made /s 7 toggling non-viable and made the class a lot worse to play as a result.

terrors don't scale.

threat is incredibly bad outside of veil.
 

Otcho

Dalayan Pious Diety
We are brainstorming all things Shadowknight.


Post class theme/lore ideas here. What do you see a Shadowknight as?

Post current abilities/tomes/aas/spells that you feel are garbage and should be deleted forever.

What do you like about a Shadowknight and never want to have that changed?

Link past discussions you thought were good.

How do you feel about stuns?

What are your thoughts on blinds?

Do you have any good ability ideas you want to share?

Let's talk rotation, what is good, what is bad.


Thanks

(Shameless copy/paste)

The pet tome should either be reworked or deleted forever. As it stands you need an item to make it remotely usable since pet spells take forever to cast and you have 0 viable spellgems for the tome to make itself useful every 2 minutes. There have been plenty of suggestions on how to fix this: summon pet aa, something that makes you get a familiar on spell crits, or just sublimate, or whatever random factor you like. Almost anything is better than its current state. There is also the part where the stance activation has a noticeable and seemingly random delay(server ticks?) before anything happens making actual usage of these really janky, want to do a clutch group heal welp better pray it actually works and isnt delayed 6 seconds. Mez some fucked up nightmare pull? oops your pet died before it exploded in colors. Having a non combat familiar would probably be ideal.

Improved harmtouch should just not exist since its not affected properly by tomes? and even while unresistable it does less than half the damage of leech touch. It should be remade or they should just have their functionality combined and have a cooler aa created.

Shadowknights aggro in group settings costs too much mana. This has been known forever but even using minimal terrors you have basically pray for mana neutral in a "real" group.
Its been established over the past 10+ years that single target experience isn't coming or happening so the class probably should just be given an aoe terror at this point, one or two already exist in the spell files. Its unfun and unrewarding to have to swap between 6+ targets or just accept you aren't going to tank things during the veil cooldown. So you do a lot of work casting terrors and or being at the mercy of certain items to "function" in exp groups. In reality you just lose aggro to druids. wizards, bards or whatever and nobody cares because your class doesn't exist when veil isn't up. At lower tiers the mana thing is exceptionally awful.

I like lifetaps and the "solo" ability/utility of shadowknights. The changes to leech stance absolutely gutted this part of the class and its been a long road of sacrificing it since the riposte nerfs and such of yore.

Your spells also suck in general or are unusable due to buff slot limitations/spell gem limitations. https://wiki.shardsofdalaya.com/index.php/Shadowknight_spells
Look at the 60-65 list, many of them are zero use necromancer carryover spells. Recourses are cool in theory but most players just don't have slots for them, you don't have slots to cast them either. I assume there is an actual debuff limit for mobs but am not sure, who knows if casting vortex is actually blocking some more meaningful debuff on a raid mob.

The aggro buff line of spells need to have their obnoxious gem lockout removed, you rarely cast them to begin with but when you want to its a pointless frustration.

I am sure I am forgetting a plethora of issues but the short list would be
Code:
fix the mana issues in exp
give some form of reliable aoe aggro that doesn't have a 2 minute cooldown and isn't the result of your runic 2
make the pet tome actually usable without requiring specific clickies, and if possible make it more responsive.
various spell reworks
relook at the leeching stance nerf, it made the class significantly less enjoyable and rewarding to play and really trashed their self sustain.
make aa terror not junk
do something useful with improved harmtouch
the hail mary request: feign death on aa

As for the spells it would be nice if possible to perhaps :
Code:
combine the effects of succubus and brazenbull, they're both already ac debuffs. 
not have to keep two terrors on the spellbar
have actual dots that are worth casting for damage/effect, potentially giving you benefit to affliction enhancement, csi and various focus effects

I would like to make a more indepth response of actual suggestions on how to improve things but its late and I am inebriated and this post is already a pile of disorganized wordvomit.
 
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dougdanger

Dalayan Beginner
I have a number of thoughts.


In no particular order:

1. Some general ideas, more after spells:

Paladins have both a very offensive sustained ability (r2) and a very defensive sustained ability (conduit). Essentially 'stances' that allow paladins great flexibility to fit situations. I would love to see some sort of equivalent for the SK class. Not sure how it would work off hand. SK's arent a healer class, so upping healing seems bad. A 'stance' that ups spell damage to mirror necros more closely? I am not sure how this would work usefully as SK dots and dps spells (outside of taps and the runic spear) are TERRIBLE. Like SKs dots at 65 are hitting for 100 a tick base, so I am unsure if they could be made to scale to a place that would even be passable. But it would make sense as a way to mirror the parent class in some way. There are many ways for both the 'offensive' and 'defensive' to be implemented. Suggestions welcome.

2. Spells:

It is a problem of SKs and Pallys going back to live, that levelling, the idea is they can tank and get some spells of the parent class, but the problem has always been that the spells don't scale usefully. Live ended up adding some spell lines in expansions at higher tiers and then retro applying them back to the levelling curve. This could work here.

Specific spells

Locate Corpse: Not much purpose on the server. These work now, right?

Shadow Step: Doesn't work, should be removed.

Grim Aura: Tiny attack buff, self only, with a super short duration. This was a problem on live as well, it is never worth the spell slot due to the need to recast it so often. Should be an aura

Banshee Aura: A very low level necro self only damage shield, good for the SK kit but duration is incredibly low, should be changed to 10minute/forever tick up duration.

Dark empathy and other hp transfer spells: Again never worth casting due to how hp scale per level and the lag between when necros get it and when sk's get it.

Deathly Temptation (trash sk lich): It regenerates 6 mana a tick at a lv 58 spell. Especially as it is self only and doesn't give a group recourse, unlike necro mana regen does now, and with the overall changes to buffs, can we PLEASE get an upgrade to this or at least make this slighly better. (minor complaint: Gets insta peeled by Jyre due to the illusion as well, so I cant actually use it most of the time). Note, also on live, SKs get a direct upgrade to this spell (Pact of Hate) for 15 mana a tick at 64 and its a full spell line after that.

Runes: Same as above, hp totals scaling and level lag make these less than useful. The reagent requirement removal did make them better though. I think an interesting alternative to runes would be something like this spell line that could ideally just scale in the same way as runes, but simply apply differently: https://everquest.allakhazam.com/db/spell.html?spell=7005

Voice line of spells (aggro generation buffs): Really its the same problem as many sk spells, the spells last ten minutes, have a ten minute gem/recast time and eat up a buff slot. I never use this line of spells because I frankly have neither the buff slots open or the spell gems open, since you have to leave it on the spell bar in order to use it. Having to recast it every ten minutes is a HUGE pain. Also noted above, they don't scale with anything. Effectively there is an item requirement on this spell line since the only time I have ever seen these spells used reliably are when they are clicked from the Tur Ruj ear or the cita goblin item.

Terrors: Scale now with aggro mod, correct? I wont complain about this recent change, but you could have just blanket made them 10% better (or is it 12 w ember tome) and it would have done the same thing, since every tank will have a capped aggro mod. I'd like to have these spells able to scale in a way that was not hard capped by the server. Affliction enhancement perhaps since they trigger per tick with some multiplier? Also note, it was pointed out to me that the math on this scaling may have been borked out on (definitely on wizard, but maybe other) jolts, scaling negatively rather than positively.

The best three dots a SK has at 65 tick for 65-150 base. Even with focus effects those are never even close worth the time or mana to cast over a lifetap or spear. Too long to cast and too short a duration for xp, less aggro than and raiding there is even less reason due to debuff limits. I'd love to see some SK centric debuffs that maybe dont do huge dps but could debuff the mob appreciably and ideally uniquely.

The undead nuke line that sks and pallys get is always about two tiers of damage below where it should be, so are literally never worth casting either when leveling and at 65 are entirely useless as the best one sks get is at 55 and 270 damage (REALLY). Undead nuking is not really Sk's wheelhouse but it is a terrible spell line for either class with the cast times/mana cost to damage ratios. Also, for SKs, other than Word of Spirit (more on this below) is the ONLY evocaton spell we get, hence super hard to train the skill for no useful outcome other than sating my OCD need to having to have all skills capped.

I would love to see more lower level spells that maybe felt less like filler but I understand an overhall of this magnitude is probably not possible.

Word of Spirit: Is the single pbae damage spell SKs get (I believe its the only one necros get as well), at lv 45 and hits for 104 damage base. At 45 this is not great, by 65, as our only PBAE, its obviously not going to even generate enough aggro to counter one heal. Maybe an upgrade to this line for SK's? It is just a weird one of spell that necros get, much like banshee aura, that is not at all good on a necro, but would have a lot more utility as an actual spell line on a SK. I don't necessarily think just giving SKs a PBAE dd or ae lifetap spell line is the creative or interesting way to solve the ae aggro issues SKs have, but it something like it would be at least in theme. Word of Agony? Word of Constriction? Power Word: Kill? :p An upgrade could combine this and Wave of Enfeeblement.

The short duration debuffs w recourse (Scream of whatever, Touch of the Succubus, Shroud of Nightmares, Vortex of Death) are interesting but especially at 65 and raiding, almost no one has the buff slots open to warrant having them up. They should really be moved somewhere. It was suggested the song window, but somewhere else? Not sure, I quite like the spells in theory, but they all require a spell slot (not a nothing commodity), require near constant recasting (base 5 minute duration at 65) AND a buff slot. The downsides outweigh the benefits most of the time. How about...an AA to make them last like actual buffs? Not sure, I am trying to offer multiple solutions to what I see as the problems with the class.

Specific note: Vortex of Death is the one spell of the short duration/recourse line I use regularly. SKs on live instead get this: https://everquest.allakhazam.com/db/spell.html?spell=3408 which was one of my favorite spells when I played. They are the same thing, but one doesn't eat up a buff slot/debuff slot. Maybe not change the current spell but an upgrade to Vortex that was just a DD would be wonderful.

Unholy Shield (silent spell): See below.

SKs get a single mez spell at 61, that hits lv 54 or less mobs. I don't think SKs should have great or even good mezzing ability, but I do think its interesting to have such a one off spell. I wish it wasn't level restricted quite as low as it was because I don't think I ever used it, because at 61, 54's are (IIRC) light blue. At 65 anything I can mez, if it wasnt grey, wouldn't even touch me so no need to mez. Just wish it had more utility but, unsure how to implement this without really infringing on necros and enchanters. Could also just look at it as a neat flavor spell and move on.


3. Pets and pet tome. I honestly LOVE the pet tomes. I really wish the SK pet as a base entity was useful however. It, like other sk spells, is never useful while levelling, and the final pet is technically an upgrade, but since its a lv 49 pet in a lv 65++++ game, it dies to most things, and does negligible damage even when buffed. Since we aren't an actual pet class in any way, we have no way to keep it alive, don't get any of the pet enhancement abilities (looking at you Miel B spell) or really any abilities to support the pet (which Im not asking for), which, along with its low numerical level, makes the pet extra fragile, especially when ANY ae is happening, or even just to ripostes, so again, not worth casting really even as a dot, since, it eats up a spell slot, is a very long cast time hence can't use in combat, and takes a lot of time to summon/buff it essentially every pull or two. Raids, no, never. On live and in Vanguard, SK's were given their own pet line eventually, unique from necro pets. This is something I would be very interested in. It could do something very different, not just moar deeps, like give a mitigation bonus....some other passive buff, or debuff the mob? I really think the possibilities would be wide open on this, and with the pet tomes/aa's below, it would become a legitimate strategy choice: Do I use my pet that does the cool thing, or do I blow it up for different AA things?

Focus effects are another thing to note, more just a passing thing that SKs don't have many good options for pet focus effects, both in terms of actual gear offered and also the necessity for other focus effects limited by the actual number of possible gear slots also hurts the ability for pets to be useful to the class.

Servant Training tome/AA: I personally love this aa, as it gives multiple options for play, but the points raised above are pretty accurate. It REQUIRES a pet summoning item to be useful. I have pointed this out before, but most of the abilities are not affected by focus effects/aas or abilities. In theory it is supposed to be the pet that does these things, but we also literally have an aa that explicitly states that our pets share our focus effects etc. The pet tomes also do not affect any of these. specifically:

A. the PBAE ability, (not under their old names in the spell parser as far as I can tell, so I will use descriptions instead of names) does a set amount of damage, will never crit, despite having the pet crit tome done, etc etc. Note: the pet explosion is poison based, so golems are immune. As this is coded to come from the pet and not me, it generates no aggro for me unless I have the pet up, then veil, and then blow it up (not even positive I'm getting the aggro from the pet but when the pet dies I get the message that veil wore off of it, so I assume so) Note this will also only hit things that are on the aggro list of the PET, which means that I have to summon a very weak pet, get hit by everything for at least one more round and then try to use the ability. I have lost pets due to ripostes/aes during this window.
B. The mez ability, while not affected by my having control enhancement or the emberflow tome done, will STILL be almost fully mitigated by the mobs innate resistance, hence what would be listed in the ability as, say a 30 second mez, I have never seen last more than about ten seconds, therefore making this basically useless. It also cannot be overwritten by enchanter mezzes so it actually makes crowd control harder in many circumstances. This suffers from the same problems as above, whatever I am trying to mez has to be on the aggro list of the pet, so I have to take at least one full melee around after summoning the pet in order to mez something, which greatly eliminates its utility.
C. Heal. Again, damage not affected by lifetap bonuses, healing not affected by heal increment or anything else, never crits.
D. The splurt/dot. I believe it got heavily nerfed at some point to having a much shorter duration, but it starts out at about 100 and goes up 7 a tick. Can eventually tick for something like 350 a tick before it wears off but this not much better than just using the DD which is an ae. This one is coded so that I am actually casting it and can crit and affliction enhancement actually affects it at least, even if lorewise, the pet is supposed to be the one doing it. Damage, if it ticks for the full four minutes its active is greater than the pbae but not THAT much greater that it is worth using much. I honestly think this should tick up faster or perhaps debuff the mob's melee ability in some noticeable way to set it apart more from the first ability.


4. More general ideas about how the classes work in relation to each other:

I have also posted this idea before but I still think it has merit. SKs and paladins need to be differentiated more, and the approach I had thought of previous was to make them tank in slightly different ways, weapon wise. SKs being the 2hander and slightly more damage focused class and Paladins the weapon and shield focused more healing focused class. Give paladins for example, some cool and unique things when they are sword and boarding, like bash procs and tricks they can do with shields or some extra ac, that others cant, and likewise SKs would get like special procs or special defenses with 2handed weapons so they are an actual tanking choice or chance to triple attack or a huge riposte bonus. I would also offer, a proc bonus chance to 2h weapons only, similar to bards, but I understand this would cause a potential nighmare for itemization, so whatever mechanics that were added would potentially have to be divorced in some way from direct item stats. I think, once again, the possibilities are wide open here for a lot of creativity, not just more dps or more ac or whatevr. The current 2h stance SK's have is kind of bad, as the damage bonus isnt much, like to the point of I am not entirely positive it actually works and it's not even sustainable as it drains stamina. It's more or less the opposite of what you want. I am, in general opposed to weak stances that drain stamina just to drain it.

Rangers, for example get a unique passive parry type stance where they lose the off hand attack to increase defense and it drains no stamina. I would like to see more of those for many classes and this seems like the place for it to appear. Just something to set the classes further apart both from each other, and to make them both more than just 'bad necro/cleric with a sword' I'm not trying to make sk's or paladins a dps class, but paladins and warriors both have very offensive dps stances/spell recourses that SKs do not get, and being, lorewise the tank based on the dps class (necro), it is something that I feel is sorely missed. This would also make weapon choices for the various maybe a little bit more interesting. You have the dual wield classes, the sword and shield classes and the 2h classes, so it would feel a bit symmetrical.


4. General notes on SK aggro, also Unholy Shield thoughts:
The utter lack of any ae aggro outside of veil and the need to individually change targets and terror each target is rough on both my ability to do that, as well as just on my poor mana bar. I feel like the silent spell was sort of a bone in this direction but it also has many limitations (long recast, need to actually hit w bash to make it go boom, need to have a shield in) that make it not really useful for when you NEED to get ae aggro fast on an engage, rather its more of a neat tool where you can see a few numbers every few minutes. I AM a fan of the spell in general, but I am not sure it quite accomplishes what the design idea for it may have been.


(place where I will maybe put new ideas or not)
 

Thuug

Dalayan Adventurer
^crazy weird, somehow I have two registered forum accounts from the two email addresses I actually use. I literally have no idea when I made a second account that I don't think has ever posted. I reset the pw on the OTHER one apparently. Shrug, the above is me and I'm way too lazy to retype all that mess.
 

Moghjubar

Dalayan Beginner
On shadowstep: personally I think it should be changed to be basically equivalent of the clicky that teleports you to a mob, or behind a mob, whatever, and also make it break root (speaking of, WTB fixes for the entire line: Fade, Shadowstep, Yonder)
 

Thuug

Dalayan Adventurer
Can I have a third class tome please?

Here is the place I will post abilities from other games that could serve as inspiration for 'new' SK abilities here:

Death March: Essentially a group buff that gives root/mez immunity and a dps/stat/casting speed upgrade for 10 seconds on cast, and refreshes for 10 seconds on every kill your group performs for one minute. I quite like the idea of a refreshing short buff on mob kills. Would likely run into the same buff slot limit issues as other short term SK buffs but something like it as a two tick duration song might work.

Unholy Blessing: EQ2 uses reactive healing and in this case, reactive lifetaps as a major mechanic. Simply, it gives the target five charges. When the target is hit, one charge is used and it procs the effect, in this case a lifetap. I think as a concept, reactive procs are very underutilized here. They could be used to drop any number of effects, and taking the cue from Unholy Shield, recourses and effects could be added to the ending of spells or other changes in status.

Dark Ward: Vanguard had essentially a combination of the above 1622228366210.png

Also a lot of abilities scaled directly off of melee damage (like drain life for melee damage+50 etc.). Not sure if this should or could be implemented here as it would tie ability quality directly to gear, and that seems to be a problem on one hand but would incentivise using bigger weapons. Maybe tie it to ratios which are much more generally consistent? It would allow scaling as one levels post 65 as gear increases. It does exist on live in some form: https://everquest.allakhazam.com/db/spell.html?spell=43637

Another mechanic I quite liked from Vanguard was that every class had at least one learned ability. Where if you were of the appropriate level and went to a specific zone and fought a specific mob, it would use this ability on you as part of its kit, and when the right class/level witnessed it, they would have a chance to learn part of the ability, similar to language skill ups in Shadowdale, and after say, 3 or 5 learn procs, the person would gain the ability. One line of spells came from trash mobs, and one spell from a boss. Just a fun mechanic.

The Dread Knight class in vanguard would also passively project a debuffing aura the longer combat went on, foes were becoming more and more frightened of the dread knight, and therefore losing the will to fight. Not sure if this could or should be implemented or even if there would be a way to display an effect like this, but it should at least be possible, since monks have a stacking damage bonus based on how long they melee, but again, an interesting mechanic.

As an alternative, and seemingly very thematically appropriate, what about a frontal arc scythe stike, similar to the screamblade proc? Example being:
1622229122596.png
But its a pretty obvious mechanic.



Additions to previous notes:

Random but important: Jyre breaks feign death a nonzero amount of the time.
When feigned if another group member enters combat anywhere it pushes me into combat and somtimes my fd breaks due to the jyre recourse. Not 100% of the time and yes I can just unequip the weapon, but it seems unintended.

Spells:
Bond of Death (lifetap DOT): Would like a reason to use this as it does roughly the same damage as our cast lifetaps for roughly the same mana cost. Does it have to be a 1:1 scaling? An upgrade could do more damage and less healing or less damage and like 150% healing?


Stances/Combat abilities:


(4) Seething Fury20increase aggro generation

^This really should not drain stamina. Never used.


(5) Dismissive Strike35Increases Interruption chance and adds a dispel proc to melee.

^I don't use this much, as interrupting doesn't seem to do anything to raid mobs and I have no idea of the percent chance of proccing the dispel or how effective the interrupt is. I really would like for that information to exist somewhere. Also drains stamina fairly quickly. A rework on this could make it a single activatable ability for the next attack perhaps? What can it and can it not interrupt?


(6) Loathing Guard45Ten percent increase to mitigation. Moderate to high stamina usage.

^It is what it is, the counterpart for the Pally evasion stance. Other than evasion being better than mitigation in most circumstances, it works well enough.


(7) Leaching Hand55Heals for any amount of damage you deal (including damage shields and Harm Touch.)

^I am deathly afraid any rework of this to a combat ability will gut it further, super duper key for SKs

(8) Terror Guard65Any creature striking you will be mesmerized for about one minute thirty seconds. Does not work on non-mezable NPCs.

^I have used this a few times to good effect, but it drains your stamina absurdly fast, is exhaustive and seems to suffer the same mitigation problems as the pet. Are AAs/stances unable to be affected by focus effects and other aas in some way? Also similar to the pet ability, it requires that you are hit, so that you have aggro on all the mobs in order to mez them. Because of these its limited in application since sks have only veil as a way to GET aggro on multiple mobs at once and that requires the actions of others. I like it and am unsure how to rework it to be more useful without potentially overbalancing it.


(9) Marlow's Fury20[Requires Two-Handed Weapon] Increased Damage; Decreased Mitigation.

^I said it above. Should not decrease mitigation in my proposed changes, perhaps actually offering other enhancements. How much bonus damage, how much mitigation loss? This type of information is sorely missed. Should not drain stamina, as it should just be a passive stance.



I think that's it for new ideas now. May post yet more later.
 
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stever

Dalayan Elder
Not really sure where to start with this but let's start with my typical spell line-up for xp:

1) Terror
2.) Runic spear
3.) Deflux
4.) Sublimate
5.) Unholy Shield
6.) Runic veil
7.) Misc. spot (vortex/succubus/brazen bull)
8.) FD

Terrors seem really lackluster due to them not scaling nearly high enough to match the increase in dps. SK's are supposedly the king of single target aggro, but as it stands now, that is really only true if you have Veil running. Veil being a Runic2 means you aren't getting that for awhile and it takes a lot of time/effort from you/friends to kill in yclist/spires. If veil isn't up, keeping aggro off monks/bards is a pretty daunting task. I feel that any changes should be to help increase the aggro generation of SKs. Supposedly terrors are now affected by +aggression tome, but parsing hate is practically impossible in the current state.

R1/lifetaps seem to be in an okay place and scale well with focus effects/tomes and help a lot with self sustain.

Unholy shield was a step in the right direction with getting some form of AOE hate. When using 2hr, the +DS/AC is nice for mass pulling. When using sword/board, getting a little aoe proc and the AC is nice. Buffslots are at a premium but this is almost always up on my bar.

Runic veil is great but having it locked being yclists/spires progression is not ideal. I wish there were a way to get R2 pieces via another route. It can be a long/grindy quest, but having an alternate path would be really nice. Can expand on this more if this is even going to be considered. The spell itself works fine, but its just another buff slot that you hope the monks have open (which isn't always the case).

Vortex is fine in groups where you don't have a necro or on a boss fight where you are going to be pushing mana limits. It would be nice if succubus/brazen bull were combined like eyate suggested. Would free up a spell gem slot.

Some SKs probably don't run with FD up but I keep it up 95% of the time because you never know. Giving us aa FD would be helpful in freeing up a spell gem.

Suggestions

Something really has to be done about our aggro situation. Single target aggro doesn't scale worth shit and AOE aggro is reliant on a 2 minute recast and on other people pressing their buttons to get aggro.

1.) Make the voice line worthwhile
This line of spells is really bad. Between the aweful greyout period when you mem the spell, the short duration, and having it use a buffslot, I hardly ever use it. Voice being 15% increase in aggro generation while paladin R2 is a 125% increase is laughable. This can be fixed a couple of different ways (they all involve getting rid of the greyout period):
  1. Make this a 10minute buff so it doesn't fade and you don't have to recast. Increase the +aggro from 15% to something like 50-70%.
  2. Give the buff a high percentage chance to proc combat innate AOE hate. Having AOE threat being reliant upon procs feels bad, but that is how it is now so at least its something. Maybe would cause the spell to be used a bit.

2.) Give us a better way to generate AOE hate
Right now our aoe hate is reliant upon veil being up and weapon procs. It would be nice if assault of shadows was an aoe threat with a slightly longer cooldown time. Give us 1622313544586.png
which is already in the spell files somewhere. Give us literally anything besides having to spam cycle nearest npc and casting terrors on them. There is nothing worse than pulling more than 2 mobs while veil is down because you know you just aren't going to be tanking. It turns into just keeping mobs of the healers while the monk or bard tanks.

3.) Class tomes
Give us (and many other classes) their 3rd class tome to help address the problems. I hated the pet stance tome until I got a pet summon clicky, then I only hated it like half as much. A class tome dependent on getting an item because your actual summoned pet takes forever to cast sucks. The group lifetap/aoe proc are nice. The splut does really low damage and usually not worth using. I have used the mez stance a few times but it is really situational and it was mostly for shits and giggles.


Nerfing /s7 unexpectedly was unfun and hurt self-sustain. Shadowknights are still in a pretty good spot for soloing but they are probably the least desired tank for grouping? Paladin utility is really nice and warriors mitigate damage really well. I don't raid tank on my SK so I can't speak to that very much but I can imagine the aggro problems are only amplified. Can expand on any/all of these if you want, I'd be happy to help parse things and help make this change well received.
 

DodoBot

Dalayan Elder
Posted as someone who leveled a SK to 65 with a druid box, and whose SK is still on the low level side, but is making a slow dent into entry Ikisith quests. I have boxed higher level SKs, but am not intimately familiar with the class mechanics in high tier or raiding contexts.

Post class theme/lore ideas here. What do you see a Shadowknight as?
In my mind, a shadowknight should not just be a fighter who decided to moonlight as a bad necromancer. Rather, I think a SK as a dark combatant who is able to grow stronger by sapping the strength of his enemies. I think in the right situations, long fights where the SK is able to draw a maximum of power from his enemies, a SK should be able to function in either a powerful defensive role, or in a limited-offensive role (never equaling a true DPS class, but outclassing other tanks in terms of damage potential). The focus should be on drawing power out of enemies and using that as a source of strength. I also see shadowknights as using the biggest, baddest, two handed weapons, and I would like to see more focus on abilities that use 2-handers in the class.

Post current abilities/tomes/aas/spells that you feel are garbage and should be deleted forever.

  • SK mezes are problematic and have stacking issues. If these are left in game at all, enchanter mez needs to be able to overwrite them.
  • Many SK stances feel underpowered (5, 6, and 9 in particular do not feel very impactful) Dispel is OK, but none of these are fabulous.
  • SK pets get eaten alive at higher levels and should be reworked in some way. I don't know that they have to just be lower level necro pets.
  • Undead Nukes are hot garbage and should be deleted from the class.
  • Life Flow spells are so far behind levels where you get them that they're never really useful.
What do you like about a Shadowknight and never want to have that changed?
  • Leeching Hand (/s 7) is a core component of the class - especially in environments without a true healer. Stance dancing with this or something similar should be emphasized as part of the gameplay. Unfortunately, he changes to stamina really hurt it's use over the years. (I realize this is tricky to balance).
Link past discussions you thought were good.

Do you have any good ability ideas you want to share?
  • Buff recourses for duration taps in general and move them to the songs window.
  • Give SK's a chance to triple attack with a 2hander when using /s 9.
  • Decrease the casting time on self-only runes and move the buff to the songs window.
  • Figure out a way to make the voice line not require a spell gem (maybe move to an AA).
  • Allow FD to be a purchaseable class AA at level 65.
  • [Edit] I think the SK should have some abilities to directly convert stamina into different effects, perhaps folding in things like the interrupt stance or new abilities like the Cone ideas below..
  • [Edit] Allow Terrors to scale with either a focus effect or based off of the Shadowknight's +Agro mod.
Because shadowknights have relatively weak area of effect abilities, I would propose the following new measures.
  • Add additional, higher level, SK only spells in the Word of Spirit line that do magic based PBAOE direct damage and with latter ones adding a flat amount of hate.
  • Idea: Frontal Cone damage abilities that use stamina with a short to medium cooldown. "Soandso sweeps his blade, drawing power from his enemies" Key points:
    • Works with 2-handed weapon damage along with a flat amount of non-physical damage (maybe magic or poison). Carries a power tap component.
    • Does a short duration buff (song window) on the SK in addition to damage. This could be oriented so that each mob that is hit slightly empowers the buff.
    • Ideally have an offensive and a defensive version (non-stacking). Offensive could be a small attack buff or overhaste %. Defensive could draw AC and agro.
I like the idea of SK as a modal Tank / DPS - Similar to how paladins have Conduit for healmode and Runic 2 for raw agro, I think shadowknights could be given similar abilities but for agro and DPS - perhaps "DPS mode" sacrificies mana efficiency for extra spell damage or overhaste, while "agro mode" slowly generates hate for all mobs around the SK but slows casting of certain spells.

Let's talk rotation, what is good, what is bad.
  • Generally I keep up 1) Deflux 2) Spear 3) Terror 4) Brazen Bull 5) Shout of Agony 6) Vortex of Death 7) Touch of the Succubus 8) FD
    • Note I don't have a lot of the quested spells: Sometimes I will add in darkness, fear, a second spear, or veil.
      • Duoing on tier is a very different dynamic compared to on-tier groups compared to most groups (using a ringer tank)
      • Maybe I should try and get some downgrade gear and play in hate or scrounge up some lower tier people to go do cata or something.
    • [Edit - Finished Murk Spell. Dropped Brazen Bull for Sublimate Soul]
  • Aside from situational use to the darkness line, the SK damage over time spells are bad.
    • I think SK's could probably be given Pyrocruror at Level 65. Straight stackable damage for long fights.
    • Asystole has very low damage for its level, but an interesting set of debuffs. I would suggest moving the spell to a level in the 50s, and adding a new SK spell of the same type around level 62 or 63 (disease based DOT with a Str and AC debuff component)
    • Brazen Bull is a cool spell but the idea of folding the line into Touch of the Succubus at the top end has merit.
That's all for now. Hopefully perspective from someone who is much further down the tier list can also have a place here.
 
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Swight

Dalayan Elder
one downside to tossing things in song window is it is more limited resource than regular buff slots and if you have too much there you are preventing druids and bards from reaching their potential. especially if you have more than one bard.
 

Obscenitor

Dalayan Elder
I think if you cut veil recast down to 1 minute it would vastly improve playability of the class. Couple that with veil of marlow and you basically always have an option to generate hate on secondary/tertiary targets if desired.
 

donfolstar3

Dalayan Master
Shadowknight stances, as pointed out by Thuug and DodoBot, are not very good in general. How about giving Knights a Warrior-lite set of stances and stamina abilities? 2 flavor heavy stances and 4-5 on demand abilities that actually do that stuff that Knight stances are supposed to do. CDs and costs can keep them reasonable.

Combine: (4) Seething Fury 20 Increases aggro generated.
+ (6) Loathing Guard 45 Ten percent increase to mitigation. Moderate to high stamina useage.

into the SK I'm-kind-of-a-warrior tanking stance. Less mitigation (maybe adjust #) than Vindictive Stance, but some passive aggro to help SK be the aggro kings they're hyped as. "Seething Guard", "Loathing Fury", or whatever. Should be low to no stamina drain, which is why I mention adjusting the mitigation percentage.

(5) Dismissive Strike 35 Increases Interruption chance and adds a dispel proc to melee.
Change this into two abilities. One that is an on demand interrupt with a very high stamina cost. The other a short duration buff that adds dispel to procs like Warrior "Bloodlust", but dispel instead of taps. Exact costs and CDs tbd.

(7) Leaching Hand 55 Heals for any amount of damage you deal (including damage shields and Harm Touch.)

Make this an ability somewhat analogous to Warrior's "Resilient Defense". For XX seconds you ^, cannot use other abilities, and the cost such that you can sustain it for a few cycles until it is group/solo break time.

(8) Terror Guard 65 Any creature striking you will be mesmerized for about one minute thirty seconds. Does not work on non-mezable NPCs.
Ability. It's already good to go, more or less. Some tweaking required.

(9) Marlow's Fury 20 [Requires Two-Handed Weapon] Increased Damage; Decreased Mitigation.
Slap on "spells do +XX(x?)% more damage" and you've got the I'm-kind-of-a-necro dps stance.

Firing off the cuff: how about a 5th ability called "Spear's Away!!!" (might want to workshop that name) that makes the next spike/spear spell do X times more damage? Moderate stamina cost filler for when leaching, interrupt, dispel, or mez are not needed.

To recap: tank stance, damage stance, sustain/tank ability, damage ability, two generally useful combat abilities, and one weird mesmerizing ability. That's flavor country!

Stance stuff, reduced CD on veils, and changing Vortex/recourses to a single tap to avoid stacking problems would be a swell start to reinvigorating the class.
 

Melodico

Dalayan Elder
Give SKs a 'soul harvest' ability as they maintain top hate from mob(s) that is similar but also different from monk sta regen / rog discs. Then let them utilize it in ways similar to the current pet stances; GH, DD, AE, mana regen?, damage buff increase, etc. Give these abilities CDs. Suddenly, SKs can balance their mana usage against their 'soul' usage and be in a better place overall, while still being incentivized to primarily tank to gain the most benefit out of the 'soul' generation.

Additionally, the pet stances are wonderful, albeit w a few aforementioned drawbacks. The pet has to be alive for ~1 tic to generate agro on things to impact them, but that is also balanced against externals that will kill a scrub pet instantly. The current state of all SK must farm Mercury to get best pet clicky to utilize these benefits is dumb.

Is it unreasonable to make soul shroud a group buff, that does not stack w SSS or SV?
 

AngryCow

Dalayan Elder
Shadowknights are built like a solo class in a lot of their tool set, and I think they make one of if not the strongest solo characters, which is pretty cool. However much of this is discarded in the raiding game and their lack of direct group benefit doesn't help in the later stages of the game where grouping and raiding and otherwise playing as a team is the norm for advancement. Shadowknights suffer from cooldowns and a lack of scaling aggro. Shadowknights also have to stack many of their key spells for raiding and grouping which doesn't allow them to use the rest of their classes spell lines and abilities.


Terrors:
Terrors don't scale. As new content comes out DPS has been scaling upwards but terrors haven't and it's starting to get to a point where its just not effective enough and is taking extra spell gems to compensate. To address this I would recommend adding scaling, perhaps through affliction enhancement or even bane enhancement. Alternatively just add more spells to the terror line. If you add more spells make sure they are gated somehow, a fresh 55 or 65 doesn't need to be able to cast one terror and hold aggro for an entire raid fight on a low tier mob.


Spears:
Spears are great fun but their damage versus recast is rough. Spears also really help on snap aggro situations where you may not be in melee range or dps pulls aggro because while terrors generate a lot of hate but they are still a DoT and can be slow for some of the more aggressive players in the game. Spears have a long cooldown and that really hurts their utility as an aggro tool. I think cooldowns are effective on dps and utility classes, but on healer and tanks, being able to react immediately to changing situations is vital. I propose that the cooldown on spears is greatly reduced (10 seconds perhaps) and the mana cost be doubled. This would definitely increase a SHD's potential dps but I hope that the mana cost would balance it out. So please make the class more of a mana management class as opposed to holding onto cooldowns.


Veils:
I don't think the cooldown on these spells should be lowered. They are too powerful to not be time gated.


Skills:
Both knight classes do not get 250 skill caps for all of the primary defensive skills. Skills like Dodge, Riposte, and Parry cap at 225. As mob level increases the effects of this skill cap will become increasingly apparent. I believe this disparity between knights and warriors (who get a 250 cap) was to help warriors out in the early days of the game, but now with the new stances for warriors and other advancements, the need for this gap on basic skills is unnecessary. I suggest that the numbers get tested to see if there's a better balance point for these skills.


AoE Abilties:
SHD's notably lack AoE abilities in general and that has been in theme for them for a long time but it's a model that is hard to maintain as the game increasingly encourages team play. I do not think an AoE terror is the right way to go as that would really start treading into the Paladin niche. I would suggest that rather SHD's get a cone or rain ability that is a lifetap/dd/hate-nuke. This ability would need to be pretty expensive in terms of mana and/or cooldown to prevent spamming. But would allow SHD's to get some initial aggro and/or be able to have two spells to be able to manage aggro on multiple targets.


DPS Mode:
When a SHD is not tanking their overall raid contribution is pretty scarce. Paladins when they are not tanking can go into a healer mode. To maintain the symmetry between the two knight classes I would like to propose that shadowknights get a DPS mode. Paladins getting a healer mode works thematically with their non-warrior parent class being a healer, so I think it would work thematically if Shadowknights borrowed from their Necro parent class some extra DPS at the expensive of tanking ability.


Recourses, Stances, and Disciplines:
Shadowknights get a ton of 'recourse' spells for self and group use. These unfortunately stop being useful enough to warrant using spell gems on them pretty quickly after 65. Honestly these are one of the coolest class features a SHD get and I'm always thrilled to find a use for them on the rare time that happens. Shadowknights also get a bunch of stances. It's been a very long time since I've used stance 4 (aggro increase) or 5 (interruption and dispell), and I'm not really sure that stance 9 (two hander) even works. However stance 7 (leech stance) and stance 8 (mez stance) get a lot of play. I would like to propose that as disciplines roll out for the hybrid classes that perhaps some of the recourse spells become disciplines. Perhaps allowing you to proc them, having them be an aura, etc, while in the stance. Please keep leech stance and mez stance though, those are real useful and scale into raiding whereas the rest are iffy. Enchanter mez being able to overwrite the SHD stance mez would be cool, but perhaps that's intentional for a balance reason. Shadowkinghts also don't have many ways to be directly group friendly and this would be an avenue for getting that. Paladins can buff a group directly, but Shadowknights weakening the enemy stays in theme and is still useful to others.


Third Class Tome:
Shadowknights don't have one. I'll re-propose here an idea I posted before. Basically the tome would just be be a reverse DS version of the druids Euphorbium Mastery tome. Call it torture mastery because the reverse DS spell line that shadowknights get are all based off of torture methods. Would give some synergy with other classes too.


Different type of Veil:
Perhaps shadowknights could get a lower cooldown version of veil that only worked on a single target and didn't stack with the group versions we have now.


I don't recommend using all of these ideas at once, these are just some individual ideas you can play mix and match with because there are other ideas in this thread and the paladin thread (like the taunt skill) that are good.

-Marthog
 

Thuug

Dalayan Adventurer
I do have a question for any devs who may be watching this thread. I posted a couple wall of text posts above, my intent was to offer a ton of ideas and options, concepts that could be taken and modified. Would you prefer much more pointed, specific suggestions? I could certainly condense what I said above into some very concrete ideas, but I felt like this was more at the conceptual stage versus the concrete.
 

Dev-Cole

Developer
Staff member
This is all good. Ive read over the paladin and SK threads several times.

Just to reiterate - there are no stances. Everything is disciplines.
 

Otcho

Dalayan Pious Diety
This is all good. Ive read over the paladin and SK threads several times.

Just to reiterate - there are no stances. Everything is disciplines.
Can we get a dev to enlighten us on the actual state of debuffs limitations on mobs.
Previous comments made a long time ago seemed to suggest mobs had a 30 debuff limit including dots. If this is still the case its worrying about the current state of the game and possible suggestions for this class as were one of the worst offenders of debuff slots. I imagine its not actually 30 but even if its slightly higher there might still be concerns
 

Otcho

Dalayan Pious Diety
What concerns would you have?
The concerns are simple: an average raid with most classes will break the limit if its 30 meaning certain spells would need to be prioritized over others if you want to be truly min max. Is my brazen bull blocking or replacing a more important one? I don't actually know how eq or sod handles the limitation. If we are at the limit do my terrors even function, do they push another spell off the top of the stack? who knows. It puts spell usage from not just subpar but actively detrimental depending on how its handled.

I am not sure if its actually 30 because I've never had necromancers bring up their spells not working, but I've seen others suggest its happened in the past where dots seemingly just do not exist. If the limit really is 30, and dots count as debuffs then its basically impossible for two of them to be in the raid and functioning, god forbid they have a runic pet. The referenced post to 30 is also from 2006 so it may be safe to assume things changed drastically at some point.

If one of every class is present in the raid you reach around 25~ debuffs before getting to necromancers. This isn't counting various clickies, procs and other things that would push it even further. This isn't counting duplicate spells/classes.

So if shadowknights want to get more valid spells there is possibly a real concern on giving them damage over time spells or having debuffs be good enough to justify the slot.
Again all of this assumes the cap is 30. Maybe its higher. Maybe dots do not count towards the debuff cap and this is all a gross overthinking of a non issue. Perhaps none of this works as I think it does in the slightest. Previous discussions with players seem to suggest that this might be an actual issue though. Even live has recent posts about it being an issue there.

dawn of time thread:
 
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