After spending some time playing FK recently, I’ve found a few issues that make the class frustrating to play but that can be easily fixed. Additional suggestions or critique is welcome.
Valiant Charge is a good disruptive ability that has a unique defensive niche in stunning bosses repeatedly. Compared to Zealot charge it sucks, but I chalk that up to the Zealot additional temp HP talent (which desperately needs to be toned down). Still there are some bizarre effects of the charge:
- Getting hit out of the charge shouldn’t consume the ult, only cancel it. Or make it so that the amount of meter lost is related to the distance traveled. So if you get hit out of it right after you start running, you barely lose any meter, but if you get hit near the end, you lose most of it.
- Enemies that are knocked down from charge teleport to their feet after you hit them while they’re on the ground. This rewards not hitting them until they get up which is counterintuitive.
*Startup animation feels extremely clunky. Zealot feels much better because he doesn’t have such a long windup. Removing or speeding up the animation would make the skill feel more smooth to use.
- Aura size is tiny. I’d like to see either an increase in aura size or an increase in effect by transferring some of FK’s innate damage resist to the aura so it feels more meaningful. Currently, I doubt anyone even notices the damage resist aura.
- Add an option to show aura indicators so that you can position yourself in such a way that the most amount of your team benefits at once. It’s a minor change that would add an additional layer of complexity, which FK desperately needs. A transparent ring on the ground would work best, similar to what they gave Lucio in Overwatch.
- Aura talents are a good idea but 5% damage resist versus 5% move speed or an additional stamina shield is no choice at all.
Tier 1: I’d like to see Bulwark (+50% block/push angle) changed to a stamina cost reduction for blocking. It would allow players to go for heavily reduced stamina cost block builds. I’m guessing the rationale behind Bulwark is it synergizes with Hold Ground, the level 25 talent that reduces block cost by 100% after charging. The problem is no one picks that talent. More on that later.
Tier 2: These talents are okay, but Counter-Attack needs reworking. It’s absolutely horrible and I can’t imagine a scenario in which you would pick this over the other two. Regroup is boring but effective and fits FK design. Build Momentum is great but heavily dependent on weapon choice, which is fine. But if you use a Halberd, you’re stuck with regroup since counter-attack isn’t even a legitimate choice and you don’t use heavy attacks enough to make it worth bringing Build Momentum.
Tier 3: Already addressed the aura talents. Defensive formation needs some love by either increasing the % or something else. Maybe increasing aura size by a significant percentage? Has to be a large increase for it to be considered a worthwhile alternative to the stamina shield or move speed.
Tier 4: Generic T4 talents, not much to say.
Tier 5: This needs addressing. Glory Hound is insane and the only talent keeping FK from being a total garbage can career. You could bring Glory Hound down to 15%, make it a passive innate to Valiant Charge, and FK would still be very weak compared to Zealot. Life of Battle is useless as the CD already allows charge to be used multiple times in fights and Hold Ground is pointless. The opportunity cost of not picking Glory Hound is too high and will gimp you severely.
I’d recommend giving FK a power boost after using charge (10-15%?) without talents. Replace Hold Your Ground with something totally different. Maybe a damage steroid that would increase the damage enemies hit by charge take by 20% for 10 seconds, giving groups more reasons to want a FK over a Merc.
I’m only addressing the core of the career here, I won’t talk about weapons since they’re likely to be changed. I also want to avoid direct comparisons to IB or Zealot if possible, though I had to make some since Zealot charge and FK charge are so similar. Currently Zealot is obviously overpowered while IB seems to be in a good spot design wise, but FK needs some time love and care. As is, I see no reason to bring him over Merc, and I feel guilty if I play FK in a group that has a hard time with legend. It should be the opposite - I should want to choose FK to help a weak team with auras and charges and to carry books. However, in their current state. these things are not enough to warrant bringing FK to legend+.