Coruscation Staff needs a nerf. Not an adjustement or being toned down. It needs an outright nerf. There is simply no fun allowed for the team if a player (Bonus points if he goes full power gamer with Fire Sword and Battle Wizard on top) uses the Coruscation Staff.
So let’s have a look at the current Coruscation Staff in the game and how it performs:
Spam and Casting Time:
Both the LMB attack as well as the RMB attack can be spammed quite a bit:
The LMB is a shotgun attack that can be shot up to eight times. Each of these attacks can oneshota Mauler or Berserker or Plague Monk on Cataclysm. Community is sleeping hard on Shotguns and Blunderbuss is the only Shotgun actually balanced for Cataclysm. All others have a to high niche redundancy, especially Griffon Foot on all Saltzpyre careers (although Grudge Raker on Bardin too).
The RMB is a 10 second long fire vortex with high damage (I’ll get to this). The casting time is so low that you can have six vortexes working at the same time. Or if you manage your heat a bit, you can effectively block one side/spawn point/ledge for a whole minute or two sides/spawn points/ledges for thirty seconds.
Coruscation Staff gets even stronger (and it is already very strong on lower difficulties due to the LMB attack) the more enemies there are on screen:
Because Coruscation Staff has unlimited cleave. Unlimited, killing everything in its vicinity.
But the cleave is not the only thing which makes the Coruscation Staff to a wall a death:
The Coruscation Staff kills Clan Rats on Cataclysm in 4 seconds, Gors in 5 seconds and Marauders in 6 seconds. Slave Rats, Ungors and Fanatics will obviously die even FASTER. This means 80 - 90 % of a Cataclysm horde dies in six seconds or less. But wait, this is not everything:
Coruscation Staff is even able to kill armored enemies (granted, it takes at least 8 to 10 seconds for this, though that is not a long time for such a strong benefit) and it even ignores shields. The only thing the Vortex can’t kill reliable is Chaos Warriors and maybe Standard Bearers.
With all that said and shown, it should be obvious why Coruscation Staff needs to be nerfed. I have suggested changes in the past which look good on paper but are difficult to implement from the coding side. I also have seen other very bad solutions like decreasing the Vortex time, which just forces more spam but is still overpowered.
Therefore, I will suggest the easiest solution imaginable. I remembered some discussions and searched quickly on Youtube. And yes, there seems to exist a pre-release version of the Coruscation Staff:
The Coruscation Staff there has a larger radius. This version has never gone live. So, there are two possible reasons for this. The staff was even stronger and has been nerfed. Which … I really don’t want to imagine that the thing was even more broken. Or … the staff was determined to weak and underperforming.
So my suggestion is: Revert Coruscation Staff to the pre-release version. I don’t care if it is on the weaker side. It is better than the no-fun allowed staff we have right now and which is pre-dominantly used in Legend and Cataclysm quickplay. The code should still exist. Change it back and wait for 12 months and look how it performs.
Actually my suggestion would go a bit further. Aside from reverting the staff to pre-release version, add a special attack which has the stats of the current small fire vortex. However, increase the casting time to 5 seconds. Not less than 4 seconds under any circumstances. This way, you would have a tactical tool that could be used to weaken the incoming horde or a high damage burner for spawn points and ledges which needs precious time though.
Other recent balance threads
Rework Melee Traits: Overture - Melee Traits
General Design Considerations: General Design Consideration - Balance, Breakpoints, Capacity & Redundancy, Skill & Efficiency