The Shadowknight Class

Tevinter

Dalayan Pious Diety
biggest appeal to SKs as a tank before /s 7 nerf was their self sustain, any changes that makes the class better at being self sufficient vs light-to-moderate incoming damage would be cool. every time i've played the class since that change i've just felt very sad about my ability to stay alive unassisted, and then camped the SK and loaded the superior tanking class.

every tank needs a niche, currently shadowknights do not have a well-defined one.
 

Otcho

Dalayan Pious Diety
biggest appeal to SKs as a tank before /s 7 nerf was their self sustain, any changes that makes the class better at being self sufficient vs light-to-moderate incoming damage would be cool. every time i've played the class since that change i've just felt very sad about my ability to stay alive unassisted, and then camped the SK and loaded the superior tanking class.

every tank needs a niche, currently shadowknights do not have a well-defined one.

I haven't actually looked at the proc rate but I suspect the lifetap buff could be significantly increased. Passive healing on the class feels almost unnoticeable.
Live has a proc that gives you whats effectively warriors bloodlust so you gain scaling healing to damage and I think that would be pretty nice to have as well.
One of the best parts of old s 7 was it made playing the class far more "interactive" or reactive than it was now.
Converting sublimate from its current form to a slightly longer cooldown but much more effective oh shit button would also be a nice change maybe instead of it just being a slightly better deflux with a horrible fucked up mechanic attached to it.
 

Moghjubar

Dalayan Beginner
Speaking of oh shit buttons, does any SK ever actually cast their rune spells? I would imagine the cast time, let alone the mana cost makes that pretty prohibitive (let alone buffslots available). Those could get turned more into a defensive cooldown spell (and probably would be ok with changes on other classes that share the spell line even: give them something like a 1 minute delay, 5 minute length rune buff and drop the cast time to 1 second / mana cost to 200 for manaskin. Alternatively just give SKs some other spell.). Probably still not the greatest choice in a spell slot even then but might be worth something for some.
 

stever

Dalayan Elder
Speaking of oh shit buttons, does any SK ever actually cast their rune spells? I would imagine the cast time, let alone the mana cost makes that pretty prohibitive (let alone buffslots available). Those could get turned more into a defensive cooldown spell (and probably would be ok with changes on other classes that share the spell line even: give them something like a 1 minute delay, 5 minute length rune buff and drop the cast time to 1 second / mana cost to 200 for manaskin. Alternatively just give SKs some other spell.). Probably still not the greatest choice in a spell slot even then but might be worth something for some.
I have no spell gem openings for that relatively worthless spell. Terror/deflux/sublimate/spear/veil/razad/brazen/fd or vortex I would imagine is the setup for most sks. I would like another terror but the slots are very full. This is before you need shout for something or your melee want succubus.
 

Tevinter

Dalayan Pious Diety
Speaking of oh shit buttons, does any SK ever actually cast their rune spells? I would imagine the cast time, let alone the mana cost makes that pretty prohibitive (let alone buffslots available). Those could get turned more into a defensive cooldown spell (and probably would be ok with changes on other classes that share the spell line even: give them something like a 1 minute delay, 5 minute length rune buff and drop the cast time to 1 second / mana cost to 200 for manaskin. Alternatively just give SKs some other spell.). Probably still not the greatest choice in a spell slot even then but might be worth something for some.
the rune would have to be a pretty high value to outpace deflux, especially at high end. runes have pathetic scaling. for reference, current manaskin would absorb about 1000 damage and a deflux hits for upwards of 1700 non-crit iirc
 

Moghjubar

Dalayan Beginner
Maybe runes should scale properly anyway, its sort of silly that they dont (especially considering the current state of enchanters). Scaling by AC maybe? Could always adjust some baselines down and adjust scaling up if needed.

Probably the ideal timing for a rune anyway would be right before a DB, assuming you were already topped off would be perfect for padding as a cooldown. Trick i suppose: is it better to start casting lifetap and land it after the DB, or to rune just before the DB... (or i guess usually its probably better to just lifetap right before the DB because being topped off is a pipe dream, though I guess a rune at least wouldnt be potentially useless if you get a heal anyway)
 

Thuug

Dalayan Adventurer
Maybe runes should scale properly anyway, its sort of silly that they dont (especially considering the current state of enchanters). Scaling by AC maybe? Could always adjust some baselines down and adjust scaling up if needed.

Probably the ideal timing for a rune anyway would be right before a DB, assuming you were already topped off would be perfect for padding as a cooldown. Trick i suppose: is it better to start casting lifetap and land it after the DB, or to rune just before the DB... (or i guess usually its probably better to just lifetap right before the DB because being topped off is a pipe dream, though I guess a rune at least wouldnt be potentially useless if you get a heal anyway)
That is part of why I offered the rune alternative in one of my posts as an idea, that instead of absorbing a flat amount of damage entirely, they would absorb a percentage of all incoming damage for a longer period, essentially temp mitigation. But yes the spells would also have to be greatly reworked as the cast times on current runes are trash and spell gem/buff slot numbers is definitely an issues that can't be overstated. Manaskin, the best sk rune, is 330 mana for 600 absorbtion, (and one mana regen which poofs as soon as the spell does). This is templated on the older version of the game where runes and the mana regen mattered. In the current game, for a 65 spell, with how buffs and mana regen works this is pretty meh and the mana cost to benefit ratio, when compared to a lifetap is terrible. I get that it can be cast in addition to the tap, but since its not realistically recastable during combat (5 second cast time), it ends up being more trouble than its worth to mem a rune, cast it, remem the spell in that slot, then engage for what amounts to 600 damage prevention. If runes were to be looked at, they would have to do something more sustained or lower mana cost/cast time or scale MUCH better into the end game to be worth even considering.

For any new spell to merit a spot on my spell bar, it has to have utility on par with, my two main taps, veil, terrors, vortex, fd and spear(s). The Silent spell gets a slot sometimes, and if I feel frisky I can replace FD with brazen bull. I can think of many spells that I would theoretically use, but frankly, anything that falls below that threshold of power (which isn't that high to begin with) will not get memmed. I mention this only so that the power level is kept in mind with any revamps/changes. (PS: Give us more spell gems please)

To further note about SK's passive healing/mitigation, I'd once again offer an idea of a charged, reactive lifetap. It would act as a buffer to incoming damage and also work close enough to some form of passive healing/sustain that it would fill that role nicely.

I would lean towards a 100% reactive (with charges to number of procs before having to be recast) though I could see something like that with a lower proc rate ALSO being added to the SK self buff instead of an offensive strike based proc. I always shy away from low percentage procs as 'answers' to any problem though because they are, by their very nature random and historically bp reactive proc rates (that sort of mimic this idea) have been abysmally low. When something has a reactive proc rate of sub .5%, you will see it go off MAYBE once every two fights, or once a fight on longer fights/multipulls, which is hardly something worth parsing, let alone worrying about the balance of. If such an idea were meant to be an actual answer, then it would need to be consistent/common.
 

stever

Dalayan Elder
Could the level 65 spell Voice of Kaezul be turned into an AA? This would avoid the need to adjust the greyout period when you first mem the spell (>5 minutes) and would make this spell used maybe a bit more. I currently just click my turruj ear (Bauble of Forbidden Rituals) over using this higher level spell because of how inconvenient it is to use in its current form.
 

Dev-Cole

Developer
Staff member
I am deathly afraid any rework of this to a combat ability will gut it further, super duper key for SKs
These are really questions for everyone.

In the tank trio:
Should a shadowknight self heal more than a warrior?

Should a shadowknight self heal more than a paladin?

Does a shadowknight currently self heal more than a warrior?

Does a shadowknight currently self heal more than a paladin?

If you could rank self healing on a number scale between 0 and 5:
Where would a warrior, SK, and paladin be currently?
Where should they be?

Devs put the ‘should’ at: War - 0.83, Shd - 3.33, Pal - 5. (These numbers will probably end up being further tuned into heal per second)

(theoretical) Let’s build a case where leech stance does not exist. Does a shadowknight heal more than a warrior and less than a paladin? If so, then the limit of how good leech stance can be is basically a point where SK self healing equals paladin self healing.

We are kind of hashing this one out.

Typically I have been favoring cooldowns in lieu of large stamina drain (old way), and here is why. If you have an ability that is so strong, but drains your stamina, it wouldn’t matter what new discipline stamina skills we gave you, players would just not cast the new skills to save stamina for the better skill. With a cooldown it becomes more of balance of when, and does not force a player to not use other abilities.

Thoughts?
 

Thuug

Dalayan Adventurer
Early thoughts...

In the tank trio:
Should a shadowknight self heal more than a warrior?
---Lorewise, why would a warrior self heal at all? From a balance perspective, to allow warriors to solo, for sure, but yes it should be less than the class that explicitly has lifetaps and you know, MAGICAL ABILITES. Self healing is SK's 'mitigation' equivalent. Warriors already take less damage by a very noticeable amount due to already mitigatating and avoiding more.

Should a shadowknight self heal more than a paladin?
---'More' is maybe not the ideal. Paladins can heal others, whereas SK's can only heal themselves. This is a big difference in terms of the entire raiding game. Selfish healing/buffing etc. is how the necro and SK classes work and the theory behind lifetaps, that they function similarly to a pally heal but only for you. I can do things for ME but not for you. So at the very LEAST, SKs should be able to damage/heal for as much and arguably slightly more due to the selfish nature of the spells. The question is, I think, better asked as: where does the self healing put the classes in terms of ability to tank, compared to both to the other classes, but as well as to the content they are trying TO tank. All three classes should be able to get to roughly the same ability to tank, just maybe by slightly different routes.

Does a shadowknight currently self heal more than a warrior?
---A certain amount of warrior self healing has been handled w itemization, so honestly I can't comment at this point. My warrior is lv 14.

Does a shadowknight currently self heal more than a paladin?
--- Looking at the spell parser, lifetaps are very roughly on the same plane as pally heals in terms of single numbers, but slightly different implentation (paladins get a hot as well as dd heals for example), and pally/SK play mechanics being pretty different makes this harder to judge. My impression is that SKs heal for less, just due to having literally just DD lifetaps to cast (one in a cooldown), versus the more options Pallys have.


"(theoretical) Let’s build a case where leech stance does not exist."
---For an exercise just judging class self healing, OK, Ive done that above, for ANYTHING else, lets NOT do this and pretend this was never said. As much as I want to be the only SK on the server, this is not the way to do that. Leech stance is and has been such a key component to sk play style at this point, and already been nerfed, not sure that removing it without replacing it with something that was REALLY good, would do anything but anger every SK left (not even saying leech stance is super duper great, but it is such a core element that any replacement would have to be something AMAZING to offset just the anger).

"Typically I have been favoring cooldowns in lieu of large stamina drain (old way), and here is why. If you have an ability that is so strong, but drains your stamina, it wouldn’t matter what new discipline stamina skills we gave you, players would just not cast the new skills to save stamina for the better skill. With a cooldown it becomes more of balance of when, and does not force a player to not use other abilities."
---Why not both? Stamina use for more 'strike' type abilities or ones that are used situationally but are just single use (block next attack, your next lifetap hits for double, your next spell autocrits, snap generate/lose 1000000 aggro) versus abilities with cooldowns (parry stance for 20 seconds 15 minute cooldown; your spells double crit for 30 seconds, 10 minute reuse; heals heal for 1.5x amount for 1 minute, 1 hour reuse, melee attacks gain 500% accuracy for 1 minute, 1 hour cooldown etc. etc.)
 

Dev-Cole

Developer
Staff member
lets NOT do this and pretend this was never said
Lol. It’s just a math thing. It is what I did with a few SKs who helped me parse threat. “Do all tank things without R2 and Terror so we can see what the ‘base’ threat is”. So we think of the scenario where leech stance doesn’t exist, get numbers, then re-add it back in.
 

donfolstar3

Dalayan Master
If you could rank self healing on a number scale between 0 and 5:
Where would a warrior, SK, and paladin be currently?
Where should they be?

Devs put the ‘should’ at: War - 0.83, Shd - 3.33, Pal - 5. (These numbers will probably end up being further tuned into heal per second)
Why use that scale? Was a scale of 10 or 100, like humans tend to use, already taken?

Why would a dude with a sword and no magic be able to self heal 1/4 as well as someone with magic whose primary ability is sucking the life out of others?

I agree with Thuug- similar healing (or at least a lot closer than 2/3) for Paladin and SK with the difference being "can heal others" v "does damage while healing".

Typically I have been favoring cooldowns in lieu of large stamina drain (old way), and here is why. If you have an ability that is so strong, but drains your stamina, it wouldn’t matter what new discipline stamina skills we gave you, players would just not cast the new skills to save stamina for the better skill. With a cooldown it becomes more of balance of when, and does not force a player to not use other abilities.
CDs, especially the really long CDs favored in this game, are lame. Make situationally compelling abilities. If you're making one ability "so strong" it is always preferable to all other abilities then balance abilities better. Look at my post on the paladin thread (also expands on why long CDs are lame)- situationally useful abilities for hard mode tanking, trash tanking, healing, dps, and some utility thrown in. If anyone was given that toolkit and always reached for the same tool in every situation they'd be a bad paladin.

Try more carrot, less stick.
 

Dev-Cole

Developer
Staff member
Why use that scale? Was a scale of 10 or 100, like humans tend to use, already taken?
Sorry. I will rephrase the question for other's tastes:

Select the Best Question Based on Your Numerical Scale Preference
Option 1:
If you could rank self healing on a number scale between 0 and 10:
Where would a warrior, SK, and paladin be currently?
Where should they be?

Devs put the ‘should’ at: War - 1.66, Shd - 6.66, Pal - 10. (These numbers will probably end up being further tuned into heal per second)

Option 2:
If you could rank self healing on a number scale between 0 and 100:
Where would a warrior, SK, and paladin be currently?
Where should they be?

Devs put the ‘should’ at: War - 16.6, Shd - 66.6, Pal - 100. (These numbers will probably end up being further tuned into heal per second)

Why would a dude with a sword and no magic be able to self heal 1/4 as well as someone with magic whose primary ability is sucking the life out of others?
I seemed to have desecrated something sacred to Shadowknight's by speaking blasphemously. Try not to get *too* caught up in the numbers I made. That is why I prefixed the statement with "(These numbers will probably end up being further tuned into heal per second)".

I agree with Thuug- similar healing (or at least a lot closer than 2/3) for Paladin and SK with the difference being "can heal others" v "does damage while healing".
This is a really good point. I will 100% be talking to all the the other developers about this when we consider these numbers.

CDs, especially the really long CDs favored in this game, are lame. Make situationally compelling abilities. If you're making one ability "so strong" it is always preferable to all other abilities then balance abilities better. Look at my post on the paladin thread (also expands on why long CDs are lame)- situationally useful abilities for hard mode tanking, trash tanking, healing, dps, and some utility thrown in. If anyone was given that toolkit and always reached for the same tool in every situation they'd be a bad paladin.

Try more carrot, less stick.
You seem angry and decided being rude was the answer. Perhaps you thought me trying to bring players to the table was a sign of aggression?

CDs, especially the really long CDs favored in this game, are lame.
Is 30 seconds lame? 12 seconds? 1 minute? Are curse cooldowns lame? Should curse be up all the time? Please elaborate.

Make situationally compelling abilities.
How about, you give me a situationally compelling ability that is leech. Here is the situational analysis of leeching life. "Hey look, I am not at 100% life, lets leech" ? Leeching life is not a situationally compelling ability. Heal size is inversely proportional to oh shit moment. 1% life? Time to leech touch. 95% Life? Ehhh, Deflux. Maybe the reworked leech touch is somewhere in the middle?

If you're making one ability "so strong" it is always preferable to all other abilities then balance abilities better.
Like, old leech stance? Sorry, you mean "gutted", not balanced, right?
 

Swight

Dalayan Elder
At the low end lifetaps on SKs stink so bad they are rarely worth casting. a warrior with a good 2 hander or paladin are the only tanks at the low end with worthwhile healing abilities in my opinion. main health tap on SKs worth casting at low levels is the weapon proc one which other tanks could get with a rare item. Definitely multiple reasons there are very few SKs in Project Draist.
 

Dev-Cole

Developer
Staff member
At the low end lifetaps on SKs stink so bad they are rarely worth casting. a warrior with a good 2 hander or paladin are the only tanks at the low end with worthwhile healing abilities in my opinion. main health tap on SKs worth casting at low levels is the weapon proc one which other tanks could get with a rare item. Definitely multiple reasons there are very few SKs in Project Draist.
We had shifted all of the SK lifetap levels lower. (to buff low level self healing). Is your evaluation after this took effect? August 31st Patch notes.
 

Thuug

Dalayan Adventurer
Just random spitball idea here, but the damage/lifetap ratio doesnt have to scale 1:1 on taps, you can increase or decrease the ratio on healing. If a 'dps stance' (I use the terms very generally here, I know 'stances' aren't the thing that are being implemented. If there were a dps stance type of thing it could increase damage but decrease the heal multiplier of taps and spells or vice versa, so the 'defensive stance' could have more healing but less damage. This reminds me of some spitball ideas I had for an 'offensive conduit' and my SK version of the pally r2. Shooting for the moon here but here are my ideas


Conduit of Marlow
Classes: SK(65)
Spell Category: Utility Beneficial
Mana cost: 2000 Range: 200 Spell skill: Evocation
Cast time: 30 seconds AE radius: 25 Resist type: Magic
Recharge time: 60 seconds AE duration: 0 Resist adjust: 0
Duration: 10mins(aura) Target type: Self Restrictions: None
Reagents:
Not specified
Push back: 0 Auto Cast:
Not specified
Spell Type: Beneficial
Effects (from parser):
Slot 1: Add Weapon Proc: Spell: Sunder Armor (the theory being that hits now phase through physical armor...adding an effect that melee attacks just ignore some percentage of ac would be similar)
Slot 2: Increases Damage from Direct Damage and Damage Over Time spells by 50%
Slot 3: Decrease healing multipler of lifetaps by 50%
Slot 4: Decrease Armor Class by 1500
Slot 8: Increase Attack Speed by 40% (overhaste)
Slot 9: Decrease Aggro by 99%
Cast on You: You are surrounded in demoralizing black fog.
LeftAdditional notes: Allows you to become a direct conduit for the power of Marlow, channelling your spells through the dream realm as well as the physical, increasing their potency, allowing your attacks to have a chance at draining life from foes while reducing your spell casting time and hate generation. The power comes at a cost, lowering your armor class.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Spell: Runic: Marlow's Might
Jump to navigationJump to search
Classes: SK(65)
Spell Category: Statistic Buffs (Attack)
Mana cost: 100 Range: 0 Spell skill: Abjuration
Cast time: 1 seconds AE radius: 0 Resist type: Unresistable
Recharge time: 12 seconds AE duration: 0 Resist adjust: 0
Duration: 3 ticks (18 seconds) Target type: Self Restrictions: None

Spell Type: Detrimental
Effects (from parser):
Slot 1: Increase Melee Accuracy w 2 handed weapons and bash by 50%
Slot 2: Decrease healing of Lifetap Spells by 50%
Slot 4: Increase Proc Rate of 2 handed weapons by 100%
Slot 7: Increase spell damage (non lifetap spells) by 50%
Slot 8: Increase Melee Haste v2 by 20%
Slot 9: Increase Aggro by 125%
Slot 10: Damage Modifier: Increase Melee Damage by 20%
Cast on You: You feel a surge of strength as you let forth a mighty cry.
LeftAdditional notes: Focuses your anger, increasing your melee and spell damage, melee accuracy, and attack speed. While active, this spell decreases the potency of your LIfetaps, making them less effective, and increases hatred generation.

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Tevinter

Dalayan Pious Diety
Where should they be in terms of self healing -
Warrior - 2
Paladin - 7
SK - 10

Reasoning:
Warriors have insane mitigation, strong utility, strong defensive CDs. Has the flexibility to become a damage dealer for an encounter by changing stances.
Paladins have bad mitigation, but provide the best raid / group utility of all the tanks by a significant margin. Has the ability to heal others. Has the flexibility to become a healer for an encounter by using Althuna's Conduit.
Shadowknights provide very little, if any (buffslots almost never permit it) raid utility. Poor mitigation outside of /s 6 which has pretty limited use. Does not have the option to flex and fill another role.

Unless shadowknights are given some new niche, I find it hard to justify them not being the strongest self healing tank. SK damage in general is on par or worse than the other 2 tank classes unless the mob either has insanely high melee mitigation or forces you out of melee range.

Cooldown for a leech mechanic needs to be pretty short (less than 30 seconds) to feel good imo. Damage in this game is incredibly spiky (particularly on knights who have poor mitigation) so having buttons you can press instantly and frequently to respond to it feels really good. Part of the reason old /s 7 felt so good is you could literally swap into the stance while casting a lifetap to respond to a bad melee round.
 

Dev-Cole

Developer
Staff member
Poor mitigation outside of /s 6 which has pretty limited use.
SK melee mitigation will be less limited.

Does not have the option to flex and fill another role.
They will have a flex role.

SK damage
Increasing.

Cooldown for a leech mechanic needs to be pretty short (less than 30 seconds)
Every developer is favoring a shorter cooldown.

literally swap into the stance while casting a lifetap to respond to a bad melee round.
Midcast is not possible. Disciplines are spells and you cannot cast two spells. Best I can do is instant discipline you hit right after your deflux lands.


How does this shift your numbers. (I forget everyone does not have all the infos)
 

Tevinter

Dalayan Pious Diety
SK melee mitigation will be less limited.


They will have a flex role.


Increasing.


Every developer is favoring a shorter cooldown.


Midcast is not possible. Disciplines are spells and you cannot cast two spells. Best I can do is instant discipline you hit right after your deflux lands.


How does this shift your numbers. (I forget everyone does not have all the infos)
can't really say w/o more info or playing w/ this new hypothetical SK, but even then it still doesnt change much unless they're doing significantly more damage than other tanks (20-30% more) or have near warrior levels of mitigation. As others have said, the class is relatively selfish and traditionally self healing was the thing that made up for it. That being said, classes without utility need to be numerically stronger than classes with utility otherwise you dont have much reason to bring them unless they fill a very specific niche (think ranger / rogue burn).
 

Otcho

Dalayan Pious Diety
Where should they be in terms of self healing -
Warrior - 2
Paladin - 7
SK - 10

Reasoning:
Warriors have insane mitigation, strong utility, strong defensive CDs. Has the flexibility to become a damage dealer for an encounter by changing stances.
Paladins have bad mitigation, but provide the best raid / group utility of all the tanks by a significant margin. Has the ability to heal others. Has the flexibility to become a healer for an encounter by using Althuna's Conduit.
Shadowknights provide very little, if any (buffslots almost never permit it) raid utility. Poor mitigation outside of /s 6 which has pretty limited use. Does not have the option to flex and fill another role.

Unless shadowknights are given some new niche, I find it hard to justify them not being the strongest self healing tank. SK damage in general is on par or worse than the other 2 tank classes unless the mob either has insanely high melee mitigation or forces you out of melee range.

Cooldown for a leech mechanic needs to be pretty short (less than 30 seconds) to feel good imo. Damage in this game is incredibly spiky (particularly on knights who have poor mitigation) so having buttons you can press instantly and frequently to respond to it feels really good. Part of the reason old /s 7 felt so good is you could literally swap into the stance while casting a lifetap to respond to a bad melee round.

I am glad I refrained from posting because tevinter put things much more succinctly than whatever word vomit I was deliberating this morning.
 
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