Yea, horrible thread title, I know. Also, this will be a lot of text. Well, we won’t get a summer BBB. Doesn’t stop us from discussing balance and doesn’t stop me from making unpopular suggestions. Topic today, balance concerning Sienna and her different classes. In total there are three classes: Battle Wizard (among the strongest meta choices in the game), Pyromancer (missing build variety but still having one extremely strong build), Unchained (having the most versatile talent tree of all Sienna careers but a bit to stacked on the passive side).
I know that there are a few other discussions out at the moment and especially the Pyromancer talk would have been placed better in the respective topic, but I wanted all information in one thread.
Let’s start with Unchained because in my opinion she is pretty close to being balanced and having good build diversity. As said before, I think her passives are a bit to stacked. I will refrain for now changing anything on Abandon despite not liking the existence of that talent at all. Abandon could simply be removed from the game as it is not necessary at all and doesn’t need a compensation. Worst balance decision concerning Unchained that Fatshark could ever make is Abandon being a passive. In this regard, I will keep potential changes to Unchained minimal.
- Chain Reaction: Remove the increase of stagger power with overcharge from the passive list. It is simply to much and allows silly stuff with close to no investment. Add the increase of stagger power to Chain Reaction and make it the “stagger” talent in that row (which would pair well with Coruscation Staff for example). This would make this row very competitive with three excellent talents each supporting a different playstyle.
- Bomb Balm: We should reduce the group THP talents and thematically several people have considered Bomb Balm kinda strange. As such, remove Bomb Balm and replace it with another “support” talent, the Flaming Sword of Rhuin. The talent will give each player in the explosion radius a fire dot on all their attacks for the next 6-10 seconds with a slightly increased fire dot damage.
*Potentially Natural Talent: Natural cooldown of overcharge increased by 15 %.
Battle Wizard has it all, high stagger, high damage and excellent defense and survivability tools. It is simply to much. Usually if attacks in the game have high cleave and high damage, they have close to zero stagger and vice versa. However, BW’s career skill and some talent combinations completely ignore this. As such I want to make some talent changes which force Battle Wizard to chose between damage OR control.
- Volcanic Force: Fully charging a spell increases its power and heat cost by 50 %. This is to remove a bit of her burst power. Outside of Cataclysm this will be hardly noticed due to her career passive.
- Famished Flames: Burning damage over time is increased by 150 %. All burn-causing attacks power is decreased by 30 %. This will keep all her weapons viable instead of shoe-horning her into Fire Sword. Fire Sword is still an excellent choice for damage but the heavy spamming does not give the safety and THP as before anymore.
- Kaboom: Fire Walk’s explosion radius and burn damage increased, Fire walk no longer stagger elites and monsters. More damage, less control.
- Burnout: Fire Walk can be activated a second time within 10 seconds, Fire walk damage (direct and burn) is reduced by 75 %. It is the counterpart to Kaboom giving high mobility and control but effectively not useable for killing enemies.
With Burnout and Kaboom being placed more in niches, the choice becomes more interesting. Also makes Volan’s quickening more interesting as choice as it effectively becomes the middle way. It could also be discussed vice versa by removing stagger from Burnout and making it the mobility talent.
As noted before, there is a whole thread dedicated already to Pyromancer. Pyromancer probably needs the most work, rework and rearrangement of talents. There is even the discussion if her core principle should be changed away from critical hits which would even need more work. Despite me not liking critical hits and thinking this will be terrible to balance, I will keep it as core of the system. I will also keep the overcharge mechanic identical to Battle Wizard because it is an excellent – and even more important interesting and fun – balance tool which absolutely needs to stay with Pyromancer. As such Volans Doctrine will vanish, at least the unconditioned version which is a design failure. Staying at high overcharge should be made more attractive in return. As mentioned before, Crit Careers are hard to balance and the suggestion here would need heavy playtesting. So be prepared that the rework I describe may potentially be completely busted.
New passive: 50 % more critical hit damage at critical overcharge levels (90 % or higher)
Level 5 row: Stays as it is, not the focus of the discussion
Level 10 row: yet to add
- Talent 1: Killing an elite grants you 20 % damage reduction for the next damage you receive (includes venting and friendly fire), team killing a monster makes one of the two stacks permanent
- Talent 2: Venting can be done while having equipped your melee weapon
- Talent 3: Killing an enemy through burning grants 20 % increased dodge for the next dodge, stacks up to three times
Level 15 row: Stays as it is, not the focus of the discussion
Level 20 row:
- Talent 1: Increased Attack Speed by 2 % per overcharge stack
- Talent 2: Increased Movement Speed by 2.5 % per overcharge stack, moving cools overcharge down faster
- Talent 3: Increased Power by 2.5 % per overcharge stack
Level 25 row:
- Talent 1: Killing an elite in melee removes overcharge penalties for 10 seconds, overcharge can for the duration not decrease (neither by talent effects, nor venting, nor naturally)
- Talent 2: Killing a special in ranged combat stops you from overheating for the next 10 seconds (you still generate heat, you just don’t spasm out as long as the effect is in place)
- Talent 3: Adds an additional stack at 90 % overcharge where all active properties are doubled (Charm, Trinket, Necklace, Weapon in usage) EDIT: I just noticed that this set-up would allow shenigans like “120 % BCR” I will ignore it for the moment as it is temporary only
Level 30 row:
- Talent 1: Burning Head counts both as melee and ranged hit
- Talent 2: Removes all overcharge and adds 4 “overcharge” stacks for 10 seconds
- Talent 3: Burning Head is replaced by a small ranged projectile with no cleave which explodes (small AoE damage) at first enemy contact, counts as ranged hit, reduces career skill cooldown to 15 seconds
There is still a lot of optimization to be done. I am not to happy with the texting of Level 10 talents and some talents at other places are not as interesting. Some core ideas should synergize pretty well though. So what I consider as “should stay” are: 15-2, 25-1, 25-2, 25-3, 30-1 and 30-2. As mentioned some talents may be close to borderline broken alone already. With existing synergies it is probably to much. But this may be adjustable with some number rolling.
I will single out Coruscation Staff as it is the new one and the weapon i used most in the last weeks. And it is to notice that the higher the density the more overpowered it becomes due to the high damage and unlimited cleave the weapon has as well as the low heat cost for the LMB. Therefore, I will suggest some simple changes will hardly be noticed on Legend or below but make it a tad more interesting and balanced and Cataclysm+.
- Increase Fire Cone duration by 25 %, reduce damage by 20 %. Allow two Fire Cones max at time (new casting removes old cones without application of the ending fire dot), slightly increase LMB heat costs.
As all new ranged weapons in the last 12 months, the staff is simply to strong and spammy.