I like Grudge Marks. They finally add some threat to bosses which is rarely found anymore, especially so in the Chaos Wastes. However, as so often there could be more to them as what we currently have. There have been a lot of discussions and suggestions concerning existing ones and the first part of the post will cover that too (mostly Illusionist). But we have not seen very much suggestions for new Grudge Marks. So I will give some (not yet fine-tuned) suggestions on the second part.
Grudge Marks - Current Ones:
I think with the recent implementation of avoiding certain combinations to be possible, most issues of Grudge Marks have been solved. However, people seem still to have anger issues with some of them, mostly Rampart and Illusionist. So I will give some personal thoughts on these (and maybe others too):
- Illusionist: Probably the most hated one right now. There are nearly as many Illusionist threads as there are “Let’s finally nerf the broken SotT and ranged equipment” threads. As far as I am concerned I can live without changes to Illusion. For me it is like a poster child of what Grudge Marks should be: different, chaotic, threatening. There have been a lot of suggestions for the Grudge Mark, none which really are a good solution in my opinion. Often people just want it removed which is probably the most boring (non-solution). Another idea is to make illusions actual illusion like most people understand them (depending on fantasy setting illusions can hurt you if you think they are real, not sure how it is in Warhammer) and make them not deal out any damage which would make them obsolete though since you just have to mark the original and ignore the rest. I doubt there would be much confusion. Other ideas are making Illusions spawn in staggered state and/or without Grudge Mark which would however just set them down to fodder level as we have seen with monsters before the Marks have been introduced.
So what would I change? There are two options. The first one would be “Feedback”, meaning that after destroying all three illusions the original monster would be staggered and couldn’t move for 5-15 seconds. This would give time to actual damage it and remove the non-stop fighting because right now when you finish the illusions, new ones already spawn. With this there would be a down-time for it. Could also be made that for each killed illusion the original monster wouldn’t move for five seconds. In both cases, there would be an actual and good reason to go for the illusions. The second option and probably the more interesting one is to give more control over the spawning of illusions. Right now three illusions spawn every thirty seconds (I think) which makes it hard to get out of the cycle of fighting non-stop illusions. As such I would tie the spawning of illusions to the health of the original monster. An adequate number has to be chosen, let’s take 8 as an example. For each loss of an eigth of its health, the original monster would spawn an illusion up to three if they don’t get killed. This means that the player can approximately assume at what point a new illusion would spawn and mentally prepare. They can also decide if they keep attacking the original to get it down fast or kill illusion before spawning new ones. It would also some thought for the usage of Morgrim’s Bomb and career skills (especially at lower difficulties) as damaging a monster for half its health would instantly spawn three illusions, same if you manage to ledge it. It would not negate those skills but maybe it would be wiser to not use them for once. Best of, there isn’t much change needed to the Grudge Mark. Health-based triggers are also already in game by Trolls. There are still open questions how to regard regeneration effects etc.
- Rampart: Don’t care what other people say. It can stay as it is because each career has adequate enough melee play to fight a monster. I mean Fatshark could theoretically add a percentage to it just for “caring” like only 90 % of ranged damage is negated. What does changing though is that DoT still damages the monsters. How comes that the busted Moonfire Bow and the less busted Coruscation Staff still do good damage on them?
I’ll skip out on the remaining Grudge Marks for now, for the sake of thread length.
Grudge Marks - New Ones:
The list is a bit older so there might be some weird text fragments in. They are also not perfectly end-planned and just food for thought. We should use threads sometimes also to give some new ideas. Because if more Grudge Marks are introduced annoying ones may become less of an issue (unless new ones are more annoying :P). So post own ideas as much as possible. With that said:
• Foul Stench/Foul Existence: Monsters exude a foul stench in a circular area causing the “A Quiet Drink” debuff of feeling dizzy and being unable to use career skills.
• Pack leader: Upon appearing the Monster activates an unending stream of horde enemies until it is disposed off. Would need a good coordination of the team.
• Leeching Off: This could be a “replacement” idea for Vampiric and/or Regenerating. Monsters with this Grudge Mark can regenerate by leeching health off close-by enemies slowly killing them in the process. The more and stronger enemies there are the more he regenerates. This gives the players control over the regeneration of the monster by controlling the adds.
• Sol-Eater: Upon appearing the Darkness mutator will apply with the monster being a walking torch. Forces you to stay close to the monster with adds being more dangerous. Stormfiend might be an issue though if they jump up and down or take to long getting to the player.
• Medusa: I have no idea how to explain this lore-wise but anyway. All players outside a moderately large circle from the boss will become petrified. They can neither move nor can they be damaged. So remaining players would have to get close to the petrified players to get them engage in the fight again. If a player dies the boss will choose a new victim so that the game wont softlock with forever petrified heroes. It can be discussed if heroes are still a viable target for enemies while petrified (overwhelmed when unpetrified versus to much pressure on free players). Would need a sufficient aura though. Tricky to balance.
• Agitating: All enemies AND heroes in the area of the boss will slowly gain more attack speed (1 % each 3 seconds up to 50 %) and also movement speed (1 % each 10 seconds up to 15 %). This makes both heroes and enemies stronger at the same pace. So, either keep the boss alive for faster dispatch of enemies or kill it fast before it gets an issue. This one still needs tweaking.
• Switching: This could also be used as a potential Shadow-Step rework. The Grudge Mark does nothing as long as you don’t use career skills (and maybe bombs). Upon pressing “F” (still need to figure out what to do with Engineer and Stealth Career Skills though, maybe continuous teleporting for the duration) the monster will switch positions with a random player. This will make the monster immune to most single burst damage attacks (minus Shade) while still retaining the career skills themselves. You could still Bounty Hunter faceshoot your teammate in hope the monster teleports there ……
• Iron Front: The monster is only damageable from the backside. Would make it unbeatable as solo players but that is not a design issue.
And with this I will leave it for new suggestions at the moment as it is quite late right now. Just want to add that the Grudge Marks suggested are currently just considered isolated. I understand that a combination of Pack Leader and Leeching Off would be a nightmare. There are most likely more. So there may be need for more restrictions on possible combinations.
Lastly, I would like to remind again that this is still an “issue”: Potion of Poison Aegis
Potion of Aegis is still far to limited in actual usage. Aside from making players “immune” to curses as suggested in the linked thread it could also be used to let a player “ignore” certain Grudge Marks like being able to range damage a monster if under potion effect or not getting the Crippling debuff when hit. Stuff like that.