I have some doubts about the reasoning behind the unchained damage mechanics.
For all other classes (and careers), taking damage from getting hit is its own punishment. With the unchained, taking damage also results in heat. At first glance this would seem to be a benefit, since oh more heat = more damage output, and I took less health damage!
Fine idea, but for all other existing wizard careers, heat buildup is a problem to avoid. Venting causes damage. Think about it, it’s so critical to vent heat, that you have to provide a limit to the behavior by turning it into a damage mechanic.
Now I realize that there are bugs and issues with the way unchained handles heat, venting causes damage which feeds back into heat, heat slows you down etc. Those are known bugs, and I’m sure they are beating interns with sticks night and day so they can code fixes faster. That’s not the point I want to make.
I’m just wondering if it is a viable class mechanic period. Even without the bugs, if you are taking heat from hits, even if you are getting huge melee advantages from being hot, is it still a viable mechanic for a class that was designed around heat being a primary limit?
In a heavy melee, you can’t avoid taking damage. So you can’t avoid taking heat. However the normal process of dumping heat, venting, is not available in melee combat. You have to swap to a staff to vent. Sure you are in effect taking double damage from venting (because you already took damage for the hit once), but exploding is an all or nothing proposition.
Don’t get hot is sort of silly, since the point of the class is heat management. In order to get any melee benefits, you NEED a certain level of heat.
Don’t get hit is also sort of silly, Better melee classes already get hit plenty, and they have health, and armor, and better melee weapon options.
There are talents for dumping heat, yes. Primarily the class talent (explodowizard), but also blocking etc. But these also have mechanical and gameplay limitations (stamina, concentration). It still comes back to the issue that the only way to rapidly (emergency) vent heat is to switch to a staff weapon. Usually in melee, which means you are shortly going to explode from 50% of damage being taken as heat. Frankly health is easier to manage, you can get temporary health from kills, or down a potion. Dumping heat was designed to be a limiter for the class, and I don’t think that has been addressed for the unchained yet.
It feels like there are some tools missing for the unchained. Perhaps adding the ability to vent while holding a melee weapon. (Maybe even add a talent that throws out a smaller burst of aoe damage). Or adding the staff weapon traits that allow some heat dispersal on crits to apply to wizard melee items. Or even talents that allow some heat dispersal on kills or crits.
Of course, maybe just fixing the bugs will be enough. But it still feels like the mechanics for heat management are lackluster, because they are not taking into account that heat is the primary limitation for the class.