The skills you love and the skills you don't

The tale of the siblings Althea and Shea https://www.winterwolves.com/seasonsofthewolf.htm
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yayswords
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The skills you love and the skills you don't

Post by yayswords » Wed May 07, 2014 6:16 am

In a big MMO the server can automatically gather data for the devs as to which skills are popular and which aren't... this isn't even an online game so Jack obviously has no way of knowing. Let's share some input. You don't need to post your opinion on every single skill if you don't want to, but I will :P

Druid
Nature's Touch: Obviously this skill will suck in the first season since there's no reason Vaelis and a druid should be in the same row so you'll never have a three-row. I never take it but I sure could see myself doing it later.
Tree of Life: Bread and butter! Usually my second skill on a druid.
Purification: I took this once but I've never actually used it... it's another skill that gets more exciting with a larger party though.
Eagle's Grace: If I keep using the name Jack said he'd change it to maybe he actually will remember to change it. I like this spell, it's usually my third skill. The speed increase is really noticeable and the regen is a nice touch.
Row nukes: I always find myself disappointed to pick them. Delay and SP-wise they are slightly more efficient to kill with than the single nukes - over 3 turns you'll have done 300% weapon damage to three enemies. It's just the sooner I kill an enemy the sooner it stops fighting back.
Single nukes: Usually my first pick, preferring Ice Spike because of the climate. I find these are too powerful compared to row nukes, but not too powerful per se anymore. Mostly it's a bit sad that the druid has so many skill slots used by spells that are similar to each other.

Hunter
Hide in Shadows: An interesting spell given how it buffs other skills, and the tankiness increase is insane. I often pick it.
Critical Hit: Sometimes my first pick. It takes some levels before I combine it with HiS though.
Bandage: A pretty fun pick if you want your hunter to do everything but shoot people (and animals). Mana battery, offtank... it has happened that I've picked it, but since hunter damage became respectable I haven't touched it. Could see it happening down the road though.
Double Attack: Combines so well with Perfect Balance. I've only tried once running those two together but it was fun and powerful as long as healer had the mana to deal with PB.
Take Aim: I took this once and was actually pretty disappointed. Enemies acted so fast I only got like 1-2 attacks out of it. I haven't touched it since. Might have been while hunter damage sucked too and +100% to suck was probably still suck so those few attack didn't impress.
Invigorating Prayer: I think the two pages of discussion in the combat thread are enough :P
Stagger-exploiting moves: Have used occasionally. Not too bad.
Barrage: I like to use hunters to nuke the back row, but the ratmen for example don't use the middle back slot, so you can't hit both with it. I wish you could target an empty slot and hit the sides (even then it's splitting a normal shot's worth of damage on two targets so not a terrible improvement). Have taken this once and didn't like it.
Perfect Balance: I'm finding more and more use for this. I wish healers could somehow keep up. It's a quite cool ability.

Ranger
Cripple: An okay pick. Doesn't require stagger. Slow is a good debuff.
Invincible: I could see myself picking this later on a tanky ranger, but I am not paying 50SP for a skill this early. Also I find Vaelis more durable than a ranger tank, though the ranger has Taunt and Guard so it's better at attracting hits.
Hawk Eye: Never even considered taking this. Too random.
Strike Through: Sadly this skill hasn't been working as intended but I like it, I can hit the back row with my ranger. Don't remember how it compares to a simple bow shot but bow shot should suck for ranger...
Wide Slash: Took once or twice, wasn't happy. Rather focus one enemy down or throw heals.
Healing Prayer: First or second pick every game.
Taunt: An important tank skill. It's a shame it's a static amount, but the short delay is good.
Guard: My only wish is I could put it up before the first barrage of enemy attacks. But it's a crucial tanking ability.
Cross Cut: The only monster I would use it on it doesn't work on. This is an anti-healing ability, but it works better to just destroy enemies.
Sweeping Strike: A devastating skill but I often skip it since it requires stagger. Haven't tried in recent builds but might be that by the time targets are staggered, this ability is just a lot of overkill damage. Probably not bosses if you can manage to stagger those though!
Ward: A future pick. Not enough elemental damage in season one for me to care.
Bramble Coat: Also a future pick I think. First I need to ensure I can get mobs to target me, and that I can survive that.

Vaelis
Stun: A nice pick no matter your party. Druid likes confuse, the other two like stagger. Still I think it's not so important that I would pick it in season one.
Rally: I loved this skill in Loren. Reducing paralysis duration is big. I'm not feeling quite the same damage increase though. Often I don't find myself wanting to spend 30 mana on it either. Could be a bit cheaper to see earlier use.
Leg Break: Might try on some future playthrough, but I think when I picked it it was too hard to stagger enemies so I didn't like it.
Study Opponent: His targets don't live for 5 rounds. Only bosses would. I might take it for bosses but not in season one.
Leap Attack: Never taken. Should probably try if my hunter can easily stagger the back row.
Final Blow: If a target is below 30% he can kill it with a normal attack. Not sure I want to spend 20 SP to get a guaranteed crit.
Disarm: Same story as with Leg Break.
Stances: I always take Avoidance. It's a first pick. I think Vaelis makes such a good tank with it. On a longer playthrough where a ranger can become a proper tank (or I can take Krimm) I will consider the others.
Throwing Axes: The other first pick. Deals devastating damage, usually oneshots whatever it hits if not boss. Should cause bleed to bosses 'cause it's not gonna cause it to anything else when they just drop to the impact damage.
Last edited by yayswords on Thu May 22, 2014 5:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
If at first try it doesn't explode, it ain't Jack who wrote the code.

renke_
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Re: The skills you love and the skills you hate

Post by renke_ » Wed May 07, 2014 8:35 am

Some comments for a different pov
yayswords wrote:Nature's Touch: Obviously this skill will suck in the first season since there's no reason Vaelis and a druid should be in the same row so you'll never have a three-row. I never take it but I sure could see myself doing it later.
I actually prefer it over Tree of Life. With casual difficulty resurrection is normally not needed (and if someone drops it's the Druid :)) and 50 % + 25 % heal for the frontline is often a helpful distribution.
Purification: I took this once but I've never actually used it... it's another skill that gets more exciting with a larger party though.
Purify is imho great, especially against spiders. Paralyze and poison are much better managable with an all-party-debuff-eraser.
Take Aim: I took this once and was actually pretty disappointed. Enemies acted so fast I only got like 1-2 attacks out of it. I haven't touched it since. Might have been while hunter damage sucked too and +100% to suck was probably still suck so those few attack didn't impress.
I only played a Druid/Hunter combo once with 0.7.2 (+/-) but Hide in Shadows (3 turns tank while the Druid magic-missiles the foes) followed by Take Aim to finish the rest were a quite successful combination, though mostly/only for special cases (especially the few traps in mid-season without Vaelis).
Strike Through: Sadly this skill hasn't been working as intended but I like it, I can hit the back row with my ranger. Don't remember how it compares to a simple bow shot but bow shot should suck for ranger...
With builds < 0.8.4 ranged attacks were more devastating than Strike Through.
Wide Slash: Took once or twice, wasn't happy. Rather focus one enemy down or throw heals.
I like the skill a lot, as a finishing touch (3rd skill). It is quite useful for the end-game rushes, about a third of the frontline HPs are substracted with one action; normally enough that a Druid nuke and Throw Axe each shut down one enemy each.

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Jaeger
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Re: The skills you love and the skills you hate

Post by Jaeger » Wed May 07, 2014 9:43 pm

Vaelis' Leap Attack seems to do very little damage and requires staggering. It might have to do with the fact the damage penalty still applies depending on the warrior's position. Otherwise it would have been useful against dangerous back row enemies.

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jack1974
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Re: The skills you love and the skills you hate

Post by jack1974 » Wed May 07, 2014 10:15 pm

Yes that'll be fixed on next update :)

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yayswords
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Re: The skills you love and the skills you hate

Post by yayswords » Thu May 08, 2014 1:05 am

renke_ wrote:I actually prefer it over Tree of Life. With casual difficulty resurrection is normally not needed (and if someone drops it's the Druid :)) and 50 % + 25 % heal for the frontline is often a helpful distribution.
But mana efficiency! Hast thou no concern for it? :P
If at first try it doesn't explode, it ain't Jack who wrote the code.

Troyen
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Re: The skills you love and the skills you hate

Post by Troyen » Thu May 08, 2014 10:36 am

All right, I've finally been able to play an 0.8.x build, so here's comments on 0.8.5. After the speed discussion, I paid attention to Agility. Prioritized Strength to 20, then Agility to 20 on my Hunter (with some occasional will for extra skills), and Con/Str to 20 on Ranger/Vael, then Agility. Sometimes, a melee attack on my hunter from the back row had about as much delay as a ranged attack, and it was nice having her go first in ~80% of the encounters. Agility seems fine.

Hunter:
Invigorating Prayer: Didn't take it, didn't need it. :P There was one part where I rushed the ratmen and survived with everyone low on HP and I didn't feel like paying the bandits. I ran around with my hunter on the front row soaking hits for a couple fights until everyone leveled, and then returned to finish the bandits off. (By the way, the "this is easy" tag on the quest is such a lie. Hardest fight in the game, still. Yet, easier than some earlier builds - doable now.)
Hide in Shadows: I took this and kinda wish I didn't. Delay 12. The few times I tried using it on my hunter with only my hunter on the front row (because my other two characters were < 10HP and I didn't want to pay the bandits), it didn't seem to work. She got mauled anyway. Defend let her soak less damage and with a shorter delay. Didn't get to use the damage combo because for a 12 delay I could've gotten off three melee attacks, and I was meleeing for around 30 damage by the end.
Double Attack: My favorite skill, and level 1 pick. Very powerful. The hover text often under-estimates the damage sometimes. Best part is it's only 15 SP.
Take Aim: I tried this out, and it sucks that with such a high delay, the enemies can do quick attacks to cut down their debuff before I barely get a follow-up shot in. It might be more helpful in a full party (assuming it benefits my party members, which I'm not sure it did).
Stagger-exploiting moves: I thought about it, but the description reads like they do less damage than Double Attack (though they can hit the back row). I might consider Ice Flask like in Loren because freeze is a slow.
Barrage: I liked this one, though it was more effective on the front row for me due to the back row damage reduction. Except on Mormont, it let me wipe out both the mage and the archer on the first round. Still, it was slightly more powerful than it normally would have been because when most mobs in the game have a threshold of 1, barrage = triple stagger. :p
Perfect Balance: I considered taking this, but didn't because early on I felt I needed the HP to guard against ranged enemies, and later on I had enough SP generally. Maybe at level 9, because I found some decent (for Act 1) HP/SP regen gear on my hunter.

Ranger
Cripple: Taken it in the past and liked the slow debuff. Skipped it this time to try out some other stuff.
Invincible: I didn't use this, but even with Vaelis tanking, my ranger took most of the hits, so I might consider at a higher level. Better stuff to spend SP on early on.
Strike Through: Liked this one. Better than trying to shoot a bow from the front row. Goodbye Cleric.
Wide Slash: I liked in Loren, but didn't take on this playthrough.
Healing Prayer: Level 1 skill. Definitely the most used skill. Ironically, ended up using mostly on the ranger because enemies really don't like it.
Taunt: Why would I want to taunt them to my healer? Besides, healing prayer seems to generate plenty of threat!
Guard: I wish Vaelis had this. After all, he starts with a shield while I start with a two-hand...
Cross Cut: In Loren, these types of skills were most effective on those 600+ HP healing monsters. The healing monsters in this act have like 46 HP, 30% of which is less than a melee attack. Also, it's a little bit of a pain to calculate when exactly the mob drops under 30%. Perhaps some kind of visual indicator to distinguish between unusable and usable?
Sweeping Strike: I tried it and used it once. Ehh...maybe in a longer fight. Staggered enemies usually die to fast so it seems like a waste of SP to use this instead of just meleeing for a shorter delay.
Ward: Now, is this elemental damage resistance or condition resistance? I probably wouldn't touch it if it was the latter. I might in the former, especially if I have to fight a lot of magic users in the future.
Bramble Coat: I took this once and it sounded cooler than it really was. 5% of ~100 HP (nightmare bandits) is like 5 HP x5 for 20SP. I can melee for more than that. Or Wide Slash. The defense bonus probably helped slightly.

Vaelis
Leap Attack: I would have taken this, but heard it was bugged in 0.8.5. Might've helped vs back row mobs.
Final Blow: As mentioned above, if a target is below 30%, it'll probably die to a normal attack (or close to it). Unless it's a boss, in which case this skill won't work anyway.
Disarm: Considered this, but not in this playthrough. Maybe my next skill at level 9.
Stances: I always take Avoidance first, though I didn't end up using it much this game. I tried out Recover once and it was okay, but most fights end too fast to get more than half the effect with the speed penalty on the stance. I wanted to try comboing with Dirty Tricks but I only had the end-of-act boss left at that point, and those waves were over in about 2-3 rounds, which wasn't enough time.
Throwing Axes: Also my other first pick. Nice damage, the bleed is a bonus touch, but only mattered exactly twice because mobs have so low HP they usually die from the initial hit. Or if they survive the initial hit, they die well before all six bleed rounds are up.

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fabulaparva
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Re: The skills you love and the skills you hate

Post by fabulaparva » Thu May 08, 2014 7:05 pm

I've tried out the Take Aim a couple of times now. I did not care for it in the v0.7x. However, after giving it a second shot (is this a pun?) in v0.85, I found myself liking it quite a lot in the Giant spider-fight (Hunter/Druid-combo). Admittedly, the long loading time and 30SP-price is quite hefty at this point in the game, even with a larger SP-pool.

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Re: The skills you love and the skills you hate

Post by Troyen » Thu May 08, 2014 8:42 pm

Originally from the combat thread, but we have a skills thread now, so :p
yayswords wrote:Also look at the current second and third tier of druid spells. They are horrendously similar. My first effort would be to combine the four into one, maybe having it cause the kind of damage the target is the least resistant to if that's programmable. Then there's suddenly six slots open. I'd like something for mana management, maybe a spell that causes you to gain mana if an enemy dies. Utility spells. Nukes that do well by themselves but also combine well with other classes' abilities. More than just the -20% defense of shattering an enemy.
I actually think the second row is fine. Yes, they are all "do a bunch of damage and apply X condition," but you have a choice on what condition to apply, which helps if other characters have skills that do stuff to targets under the effects of a condition (I believe Loren had some, I'm assuming SotW will have others). You're limited a bit because of the environmental "bonus" but if you have a party that would really benefit from the big guy being Shattered or Frozen, then you can inflict it.

The third row is less interesting. It's like "do the second row, over three rounds, with a smaller chance of inflicting a condition." On the Ranger or Hunter, there a couple skills that overlap a bit (Critical Hit and Double Attack feel similar), but there's also a lot of variety. I look at the druid and after a heal, a nuke, Eagle's Grace, and a cleanse, the rest are just ways of doing what I can already do. Jack said there was one character with a skill that is a lightning-damage version of Strike Through. That sounds pretty cool. Too bad my druid (possibly the main character!) can't quite do something as cool. :(

The lightning strike-through implies that AoE spells could be more varied. A quick example, "Chain Lightning" - strikes a target for 100% air damage and then bounces to two additional adjacent targets for 75% (2nd) and 50% (3rd) damage. You can only control which target gets hit initially and the lightning chains randomly (or not at all if your target is in his own corner) - hence the slightly higher damage than barrage. It's a slight tweak on just "hit a row of warriors".

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jack1974
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Re: The skills you love and the skills you hate

Post by jack1974 » Thu May 08, 2014 9:05 pm

I guess I could check the other mages and swap some spells, but the purpose of the Druid was to have a caster with a spell for each element, both single and AOE, so that could do damage to any kind of opponent (later there'll be enemies almost immune to some specific elemental damage, so the Druid versatility will come handy).

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yayswords
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Re: The skills you love and the skills you hate

Post by yayswords » Fri May 09, 2014 1:02 am

Maybe the druid doesn't need to be "versatile" at both single target and AoE then? I still find it leaves the rest of the toolbox wanting. So like, keep one tier of nukes. In the other tier, keep one, and maybe redesign it to be more generally useful if possible. That frees up three slots.

BTW, I have bad experience of using resistances to create "versatility". But it's a different scenario, maybe it will work.

Your pacifist class has 8/12 skill slots dedicated to violence :P
If at first try it doesn't explode, it ain't Jack who wrote the code.

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