Talent Rebalance Suggestion: Pyromancer

Pyromancer is currently regarded as one of Sienna’s worst careers. She has some noticeable problems when it comes to talent variety, as well as a mediocre ultimate, which members of the community often regard as being just a worse version of Waystalker.
This post will focus specifically on talents and only give some of the simplier solutions, instead of suggesting massive overhauls and drastic changes.

Main goals for the solutions are: simplicity and ease of implementation. The simplier the solution, the less of a balancing headache it is. The easier it to implement, the less time Fatshark needs to add it in.

LvL 10
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Martial Study
Problem:
+5% attack speed is a very miserable talent choice, which grants a very minor bonus and doesn’t influence the way character plays in the slightest.
Solution:
Make Martial Study grant +15% overall damage bonus BUT reduce Crit Power by 25%.
This will shift some of Pyromancer’s power away from Critical hits (-25% Crit Power makes her crits deal less damage even with the +15% damage modifier), allowing people who prefer more consistent damage output a viable option.

LvL 25
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Fleetflame
Problem:
+15% movement speed depending on critical hits is a very weak bonus when we factor in the overcharge slowdown and offers almost no defensive utility unlike Volan’s Doctrine and Soul Syphon.
Solution:
Make Fleetflame grant +10% Dodge Distance on critical hit, instead of 5% movement speed.
+30% dodge distance souns ridiculously strong on paper, but we need to factor in the fact that Sienna loses a lot of dodge Distance by simply being over 50% overcharge (and Pyromancer NEEDS to be on above this level to take advantage of her + crit chance passive). And on top of that, most of sienna’s weapons already have poor dodge characteristics. As a result, this talent would actually not be as crazy as it sounds.

Bonus
Add New Passive Ability
Problem:
Pyromancer is THE ONLY career in the game who has only 2 passive abilities (Critical Mass and Searing Focus). ALL other characters have at least 3, and in case with Shade and Witch Hunter, some are not even listed! And to add salt into injury, Searing Focus is a very simple passive, only granting +10% ranged damage. That’s it.
This makes Pyromancer feel much more hollow when compared to other Sienna careers even.
Solution:
Give Pyromancer a new passive ability. Something like Spontaneous Combustion, with which Critical Hits set enemies on fire similarly to Atharti’s Delight on Sister of the Thorn.
This will give Pyromancer a more aparrent identity, as well as giving her more synergy with Bolt Staff (it is her iconic weapon, as she wields it on the character select screen).

Afterthought
I do not claim to be “top of the line, balance expert”.
I made these suggestions based on my personal experience and thoughts on how to make the character more enjoyable to play.

4 Likes

I really want to see Spirit Casting go. You pretty much vent yourself out of the talent’s benefits so why bother.

Ride the Fire Wind is also an issue. As far as one of the only direct ranged attack focused talents, it’s very underwhelming.

Martial is passive and boring and also the most consistent.

On the Precipice is also not worth the trouble. At 75% Overcharge you’re at -15% attack speed (which affects casting time). Cast once and you’re at -25% attack speed, -15% move speed, -15% dodge distance, and have to vent 3 - 5 health a second to get away from critical OC. That’s so much for just one 15% stronger attack.

3 Likes

Won’t this make both her normal and critical hits deal more damage? My game knowledge is really rusty on this so someone correct me if I’m wrong, but from memory -25% Critical power would mean the +0.5x Critical modifier turns to +0.375x. Factor in the overall power difference and you get 1.0x/1.5x(crit) vs 1.15x/1.525x(crit) with the talent. The reduction in critical power needs to be much much greater for there to be meaningful reduction in critical damage when using the talent.

I’m not a fan of Fleetflame but I have seen quite few Siennas with it (the rare times I see them playing Pyromancer). Maybe it’s just my luck but I thought it was popular (apart from Volans Doctrine being so good it needs amazing talents for them to even have a chance to compete with it and Pyro has very few, if any, that can do that).

I always use Spirit Casting - with THP from Bonded Flame and melee I find it really easy to get back up and have it active most of the time. I find it really good (but then I hate how inconsistent Ride the Fire Wind is and Martial Study is just ok but dull). I’m in agreement when it comes to On the Precipice as well.

Apart from those: I want to see Exhaust go, Bonded Flame provides more venting potential as is, Exhaust is a trap for new players. I’d like to see Exhaust get replaced by Burning Twins. Blazing Echo could maybe use a change too, I’m not so sure.

As it stands Burning Head got overnerfed. You’re lucky if it can kill two enemies sometimes. It needs a bit of a buff, maybe not to pre nerf levels, but so that it’s not useless.

3 Likes

To be honest, I tested this talent idea half a year ago, so I don’t remember how exactly I came to these numbers.
If need be - the crit power reduction can indeed be increased. (If I remember correctly, crit power might be additive with crit modifier… but I might be wrong)

I agree. I haven’t touched Burning head and it’s talents mostly because I couldn’t think of a simple enough solution for it. From what I have seen in the code, some deep rebalancing might be in order, which I am not qulified for, sadly :frowning:

Nah, dude. Pyromanser needs full rework. The passive, the traits, the talents and the ulti. All of it is kinda garbage.

I did try it extensively recently. And fun fact is that Fleetflame is actually a great talent which does improve survivabililty drastically because the movement speed makes it easier to control enemy behaviour. Also with the trigger being just “hitting” enemies it is quite easy to upkeep and can be done both with melee and range. It is fun and amazing, especially if you don’t exploit the overheat constantly for more crits or the overheat buffer.
The problem in that row liew within Volan’s Doctrine which is frankly a design failure and has to be removed from Pyromancer completely as it effectively nullifies one of the most interesting balance systems in the whole game - overheat. Fatshark should remove or change Volan’s Doctrine. And starting from there, they can decide what to with Pyromancer. If they want to keep the Crit - Overheat gameplay they would have to adjust a bit here and there. But as Pyromancer is quite strong already, the work would probably be not that significant. But the concept of the core gameplay seems not to be very popular. If they change the core concept, it needs lots of work and would actually present a new career. And making suggestions for that is difficult as long as we don’t know what Sienna will become in six months.

2 Likes

Volan’s Doctrine IMO should be a passive. The overheating effect has such a drastic effect on her as it decreases her attack speed (on both her melee and range) and her mobility speed. Without Volan’s Doctrine, if you want to be at max critical mass charge and not overheat there is such a small window of opportunity to actually make good use out of that. Making that talent a passive will make the other talents on the row more appealing as RN volan’s Doctrine is kinda a must pick.

A lot of people seem to have a problem with her having the same passive as Unchained, but I myself dont see that as a problem as we have ranger veteran, engineer, hunstman and bounty hunter all have a passive with the same effect (loaded for battle, gunsmith, deep pockets and ammo pouches respectively) and so does ironbreaker and foot knight (doughty and Taal’s fortitude respectively).

But it wouldn’t be the SAME passive as Unchained. It would be ten times better. Unchained has not removed overheat slowdown, she has replaced it by her getting overheat from damage. Ergo both Battle Wizard AND Unchained have a risk playing at high overheat.
If you make Volans Doctrine a passive, Pyromancer would have no risk at high overheat. She would have ALL the advantages without any risk attach to it. It is bad and boring design. That is why Volans Doctrine should be removed. She shouldn’t be able to have max stacks on crit and the other talents all the time without any risk. In addition, the removal of the overheat penalties allows her to exploit the overheat buffer, meaning she can cast spells which costs higher heat than she actually has . It doesn’t matter how you look at it, it is simply bad design to give it to her as passive or even having it as unconditioned talent.

If anything, Fatshark should go the other way around. Make being at high overheat more advantageous but keep people adapting to the penalties. There could be searched a compromise where she gets another disadvantage for high overheat. But Volans Doctrine? No, bad design, makes boring gameplay and according to Lore (although minor reason) magic is risky so it should be reflected somehow outside of blowing up.

First of all, Unchained does have that as a perk (I use the terms passive and perks interchangeably so there might have been confusion about that, my apologies and from not on I will use them as per there actual terminology), it is called Slave to Aqshy.

The reason why she has this is because she relies on getting towards the end of her overcharge to max out her increased melee power perk. If she did not have this then the drawback of the reduced attack speed and mobility speed would greatly outweigh the extra melee power. This would mean that she has to play around the 5 pixel on the overcharge bar that is max stat but not in the high overcharge where she would be debuffed. Here is the where you have to be to maintain max stacks without getting the debuff for pyromancer and unchained (if she didnt have the perk to remove the debuff).
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As seen here there is not a lot of wiggle room to take advantage of her full stacks before being debuffed and once you are debuffed, her debuff greatly outweighs the benefits of being at max stacks being at overchare reduces attack speed (this includes reduced charge time for ranged) and reduced mobility speed. For BW she doesnt need anything because she doesnt rely on being at the high end of the bar to be good, pyromancer and unchained do (which is why unchained has that perk in the first place).

Unlike Unchained, pyromancer doesnt have a get out of jail free card (yes she has blood magic which increases her overcharge you also have much better options of reducing that such as abandon, dissipate, natural talent, conduit, and numb to pain), when pyromancer explodes she is down/dead (which I would say is enough of a risk because her only real option of getting rid of it is venting, creating another risk as you cant block and it deals damage to you), and considering that pyromancer is primarily a ranged character she already has to balance her bar so she doesnt explode but also doesnt go bellow her max critical mass stack. All that removing Volan’s discipline does is significantly reduce that balancing act (between max stacks and debuff), making her even more difficult to play which is the last thing she need considering that she is not a strong character.

These are just my thoughts however, and I guess we agree to disagree?

We agree to disagree.

Because no matter how you word it, none of my arguments change it. You showcase that Unchained has this as single trait. That is right. But you still fail to admit that she only has it because she got another drawback. What you want is basically a zero risk passive. If careers have such strong conditioned buffs, they should not have ways of reaching them without risk. Again, Unchained has risk at high overheat. From a lore perspective Unchained has given in so much to her addiction that she has “fused” with the fire. Meaning she has no slowdown anymore but also that actions to her physical body trigger reaction from her flame. The no slowdown passive has not been added so she can abuse max stacks.

As said, there is room for compromises. Give her the “same” passive as Unchained. But ALSO give her a comparable drawback because otherwise it is boring and unbalanced. Pyromancer is not weak, no matter how often some people repeat that claim. There are issues with Pyromancer in some ways, not weakness though. Best course from gameplay perspective would be to change her gameplay core of crits for heat because critical hits are nearly unbalanceable. And then adress from there. But it would be basically a new career. Other than that, Fatshark should simply remove or condition Volans Doctrine and do some minor adjustments. There isn’t that much needed.

1 Like
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