Zealot Class Rework

I have a level 30 Zealot character with 60 game hours across all classes, as well as a veteran of VT2. The Zealot, of all classes, needs a balance adjustment. The changes I would suggest would serve to increase its survivability in melee range. The Zealot is intended to be a tank through damage. The more effective the Zealot is in melee, the more survivable they are. There are two primary problems with the Zealot:

  • Chip damage on melee attacks is the biggest problem and is the biggest hurdle to the Zealot’s survivability.
  • The second primary problem is that Chastise the Wicked can be interrupted, causing the ability to be wholly wasted. (SUPER feelsbad)

There are a few other balance adjustments I feel would be needed to put the Zealot into the useful (but not overpowered) niche it’s intended to fill. Therefore I propose the following adjustments to the class skills and feats:

Base Feats:

  • Chastise the Wicked: The preacher dashes forward or towards a targeted enemy, replenishing 50% toughness, increasing the damage of the next melee hit by 25%, making it a guaranteed critical hit. While dashing the Zealot is immune to stagger. [note: I feel adding stagger immunity is essential to the class. Without it, it will always be the worst ability of the four classes]
  • Martyrdom: +5 damage and +2 flat health damage reduction while the zealot has toughness for each 15 missing health. Max Stacks 3. [adding the flat damage reduction will reduce chip damage and increase survivability the lower your health – exact damage reduction could be tested at different numbers]
  • Until Death: no change
  • Swift Exorcism: no change
  • Stun Grenade: no change
  • The Emperor’s Will: no change

Note on feats: These changes to feats that I’m proposing are more like minor balance adjustments rather than a full rework. With the changes already proposed in the core feats above, I feel the class would already be fixed. The following are minor balance adjustments to highlight the risk/reward playstyle that’s intended.

Level 5 Feats:

  • Purify in Blood: no change needed
  • Faith Restored: +50% toughness Damage Reduction and +5 flat health damage reduction on Critical Hit for 4s. [note: incentivizes tanking through damage play]
  • Enemies Within, Enemies Without: No change.

Level 10 Feats:

  • Bloodletting: no change
  • Punishment: no change
  • Retribution: no change [note: though why they didn’t have it increase with martyrdom stacks, I’m unsure, as it would improve synergy of the class]

Level 15 Feats:

  • Holy Fervour: +4% power and +1 flat health damage reduction to allies in coherency for each stack of martyrdom. [note: synergizes well with other feats and again, encourages zealots to play high risk / high reward by sticking with low health – though may be OP with multiple zealots in play, maybe put a maximum of 30% power and +6 reduction]
  • Benediction: no change
  • Inspiring Excoriation: no change

Level 20 Feats:

  • Holy Revenant: no change. [note: this feat synergizes well with flamer-heavy playstyles, but doesn’t synergize well with the high risk/high reward playstyle]
  • Thy Wrath Be Swift: You no longer get stunned by enemy melee or ranged attacks. When you take damage, gain +10% movement speed for 2s. [ranged stagger is SUPER rough on the zealot. One of the Zealot’s jobs is to force mobs of guardsmen into melee, and being able to be damaged from range is already punishing without the ranged stagger.]
  • Faith Restores All - After taking health damage, you regain 25% of the damage taken over 5s (minimum 2 health) [Note: this actually turns chip damage into a boon and makes this feat potentially worth taking]

Level 25 Feats:

  • Emperor’s Executioner: no change.
  • Rising Conviction: +4% attack speed and +4% weapon swap speed for 5s on melee kill. Max Stacks 5. [Note: Honestly I think the original for this wasn’t well thought through. With weapons like the flamer or any weapon with a high enough cleave, this essentially equates to +20% damage at all times and becomes a no-brainer to take for all situations. This change encourages a fast-paced high-skill playstyle.]
  • Honour the Martyr: no change

Level 30 Feats:

  • Invocation of Death: no change [note: Great synergy with previous suggestions]
  • Fury of the Faithful: no change
  • Purge the Wicked: no change

Those are the changes I would lobby to make to the Zealot class. I feel like these changes would solidify it as the go-to class for high-risk high-reward melee combat and could turn the zealot into a clutch machine for highly skilled players.

What are your thoughts? What changes would others of this forum make to my suggestions? Do you feel it’s balanced, and would you welcome this change? Why/why not?