Zealot rework shenanigans

I’ve been puzzling myself with Zealot design and decided to throw some ideas around.

If you don’t think he needs any kind of rework and is fine the way he is, that’s fine. I think from the beginning, when he couldn’t receive buffs with THP, to the point where he thrived living on white health exclusively, his power level skyrocketed from extremely situational to overly versatile. Just the way you play him, trying to immediately plummet your health down to almost zero, to scoffing at ally heals and despising all rejuvinating auras, mastering a Zealot feels like trying to one-up the game and game’s mechanics rather than enter the role of a fervorous zealous berserker.

I’ve had some ambitious thoughts and ideas, but, like my other feedback, I tried to tone it down. The idea is to provide some sort of feasible solution, especially for something like current beta, without introducing a dozen meters, unique mechanics and complicated math. Long story short: trying to work with what we have. Even though I am familliar with the career, I’m no Zealot main, I don’t have the stats behind player’s decisions, I don’t know what players really want to stay, what feels good and what doesn’t, I just have a rough idea of my own, so any feedback on why what I think could work is bad in one way or another is welcome, especially if you’re passionate about the career.

  • Passive Ability

Fiery Faith -> Getting hit increases Power by 10% for 10 seconds. Stacks up to 3 times.

The idea here is that if Zealot’s mechanicals implementation is weird, the whole game shouldn’t revolve around his core, trying to nerf THP (which I am in favor of, but still) and other external factors.
I’d rather change his core in a way that it’s not tied to a particular state of his health. This will allow you to diversify your playstyle, not plummet your health down just to be optimal. It would also eliminate the balancing of whether to allow him to benefit from buffs with and without THP.
Moreover, this would make proccing his core more engaging and player dependent, interactive, rather than “set it and forget it”.
After that, you can add or modify Talents in order to benefit players on low Health, benefit their other actions (taking damaged in a controlled way) or do something completely different, without being shackled to his health state.

  • Talents
    I’ve had a bunch of ideas floating around, but I’ll try to only implement what I think is a cool idea and put it in place of something that’s lacking. Mainly it’s the second row and a modified last row.

Row 10, aka the lackluster row.
While row 20 interacts with Fiery Faith stacks and row 25 benefits the player taking damage, row 10 is just a mess where everyone probably only uses Castigate.
What I propose to put on this row is how the player interacts with low health. Instead of being a passive you depend on, it’s a separate row that you can choose how to situationally interact with and it’s only a part of your kit.

  1. Castigate -> Unchanged.
    More or less a middle ground, you get something at 50%, you also get something below 20%. Whether this should be affected by THP or not is up to discussion, but I lean towards only pure green health benefit.

  2. Smite -> You inflict critical hits while under 10% health.
    or
    Whenever you drop to 1 health, you inflict critical hits for 30 seconds.
    To be honest Smite, along with Merc simillar Talent, is pretty redundant and more crippling than benefitting. It’s pretty much designed for builds that run no crit % at all, and even then it’s questionable.
    The Talent itself is up to debate, I don’t have a good outline for it, and it might even not have to interact with low health. For now it exists in spirit of crits and to give a benefit to staying really low and being a glass cannon. Obviously this shouldn’t work with THP.

  3. Unbending Purpose -> You don’t get incapacitated when you reach 0 health. Can’t remove wounds or use healing supplies.
    Pretty much the safest Talent and might be the most popular choice if you don’t want to engage with risk/reward that much. Basically gives you two health bars upfront, but lowers your sustain. It probably needs some tinkering or more downsides, but I really like toying with an idea of such a mechanic, a sort of failsafe to engage properly with Feel Nothing, if you so choose.

Row 20, aka Fiery Faith enhancements.
Row 20 includes things like Crusade, Holy Fortitude and Armor of Faith. As of now I don’t see a big reason to change a lot here, now these Talents simply benefit his core rather than reinforce his flagellant design. The only problem is that Armor of Faith and Calloused Without and Within become slightly redundant, since you’d rather have damage reduction up front. While for Calloused bring back the modified anti-Elite DR could be done, I’m not yet sure what to do with AoF.
Granted, all the stack benefits are doubled, since now there are only 3 max stacks, i.e. 30% healing received and 10% movement speed.

Row 25, aka masochist row.
Once again, people probably enjoy extra MS or Stamina. Not my thing, but I don’t feel any particular need to change much here. The only thing is that Calloused becomes slightly redundant with the new passive, so some upfront situational DR could work.

  1. Calloused Without and Within -> Damage from Elite enemies and Monsters is reduced to 10 damage or half of it’s original value, whichever is highest.

Row 30, the fervorous row.
The main point here is to buff Feel Nothing to the point where it feels rewarding to pull it off, since I like the idea of it. Faith’s Flurry is a bit underwhelming in my opinion and with the reworked nature of Fiery Faith stacks it can receive more oomph.

  1. Faith Flurry -> Faith Flurry - Stacks of Fiery Faith during Holy Fervour are doubled.
  2. Feel Nothing -> Holy Fervour prevents death and incapacitation. Taking damage during Holy Fervour reduces cooldown of Heart of Iron.
  3. Flagellant’s Zeal -> Unchanged.

And that’s about it. Not really a true suggestion… Unless?.. No, obviously not. Only if?..
Something I had floating in my head, basically a small redesigned that wouldn’t require a whole overhaul, wanted to know what Zealot mains would think about it and maybe bring up the topic altogether.

4 Likes

I’m not a Zealot main.

I’d love to see Zealot become a bit more active for his buffs though. Playing any other Career and needing situational mechanics to gain any bonuses, and then seeing Zealot take damage at the start of the match, then go about doing 40% more damage than everyone else, and also gaining ranged Power for free too, is kind of frustrating.

He’s also the epitome of the DPS with too much survival. His DMGR and THP gen (from both Talents and high cleave Weapons- because of pure Power), allow him to continously trade with no risk, and therefore have more uptime while DPSing.

As for ‘take damage to recieve buffs’ Passives. I’m all for them. Making him feel more active would make me want to play him more. At the minute, he’s just Saltz Weapons with max stats.

I feel like Zealot should be able to completely drop all Stamina/Block Cost and be rewarded survivability for actively trading. That would be the coolest way they could make him feel unique, imo.

Much like Merc in some situations, I don’t feel like it’s fair that he gains so much compared to other DPS (survival and offense). Both of them get to use the best Ranged Weapons in the game too, which is ridiculous. (BoP and Repeater Handgun.

1 Like

Honestly, he’d need way more survivability to be able to get mileage from that kind passive :confused:

Also he’d be a dead weight in Cata+ when getting hit once by horde units takes all of his health. He wouldn’t be able to keep his power stacks up.

2 Likes

I actually agree, I do not know how to solve the Zealot power problem either.

Its supposed to be only getting that level or power and/or damage resistence when he’s at real true low health… but short of a Zealot running with heal share he couldn’t keep it anyway because the minute he gains Temp Health, he would lose all of that.

So he’d almost never have any skill benefits from playing making it pointless to take the job in the first place.

I honestly just don’t know how to solve this one.

I do agree though that his Power is supposed to be melee only. That should have been fixed

2 Likes

Zealot would need some/a damage reduction passive(s). Like:

  • Take 30% less damage while performing charged attacks.

This would also synergise with the passive that makes charged attack uninterruptable.

2 Likes

I was thinking in a couple of possible directions. One would be changing Fiery Faith to the above, the other to something like:

  • Consecutive attacks grant 5% damage reduction. Stacks up to 5 times.

One defining your benefit and giving you the tools to achieve it, the other defining your tools and giving you benefits to achieve with.

Don’t take the Talents too literally. A couple of them I think of as neat ideas, but overall I didn’t think with numbers in mind.
The whole point is trying out to rework Zealot simply by changing the way his Career Passive works, without doing major technical overhauls just for him, and then discussing why would or why wouldn’t it work.
In this particular case I am trying to untie his benefits from a static health state to actively taking damage. Both, as it is with this character archetype, aim to make the career about making your healthpool a part of your kit and changing how you interact with it.
The means to achieve this goal, like additional damage reduction and whatnot, can be introduced with Talents or a perk. My main point was to see whether changing the grand scheme of things would be feasible.

1 Like

I agree with reworking the passive, but am honestly very unsure how to do so. I like your ideas generally, but don’t love the idea of linking it to getting hit. It scales too badly with difficulty and can be a little out of your control depending on how aggressively/effectively your team is clearing enemies.

Here’s an idea I’ve been toying with for a theoretically small bandaid fix (ie requiring no talent/passive rework) to Zealot’s interaction with team healing, trying my best to not inadvertently buff Zealot in the process:
He gets a new passive you can turn on or off in the talent menu. When turned on, you can no longer receive green health from any source. Ideally in the case of medkits allies simply wouldn’t be able to use them on you (as opposed to them being able to use them on you but with no effect). You can min max your stacks with no worry of interference, but you lose any safety net in the process, including being unable to clear your wounds. To reiterate, a rework would be ideal, but figured here seems like a good place to share this idea. I’m more of a Saltz main generally than a Zealot main, but this option would be good enough for me.

Then they can make his power not apply to ranged weapons (or half power if people think that’s too much of a nerf) and at that point I’d be happy enough with where he’s at.

1 Like

Thing I would kind of see on Saltz, is a mini-quest like ability on his ult:

-The more he slays the more he pleases Sigmar (alledgedly), enemies have different charge values.
-Once he reaches a threshold, next time he casts his ult, his weapons are set on fire for a duration, massively increasing his damage.

That would of course mean trimming back some of his baseline damage.

I’d like to see saltz gravitate away from the stupid mentality of “lets start the match by eating an overhead”.

Perhaps something along the lines of:
Getting hit [by an enemy] increases your power and health regen by up to 60% for some time depending on damage taken.

This would create more of an “economy of hp” rather than just have the poor sod start off the game at 1hp.

1 Like

Since his entire mechanic revolves around THP, what if the HP mechanic would be turned around?
His green HP starts to decay on map start until it reaches 1. When healed, it starts decaying again.

And here, you tie stacks to THP gained. Once he generates enough THP in combat, he gets a stack, has to get hit to make room for more THP to gain additional stacks.

Once out of combat, THP decay starts to remove stacks by every 5-10% THP lost.

Fine tune values as necessary.

This is a thematically neat idea, but this is more of a sidegrade to his kit and doesn’t interact with his design of managing health in one way or another, simply giving him a Grail Knight Jr spin.

Now this I like a lot more, but maybe as a perk instead of a Career Passive. There isn’t always enough THP to be farmed even if you get dunked by a Chaos Warrior and receive max stacks immideately, you won’t be able to get back what you’ve lost.
If you buff health gained and maybe some other benefit while hit as a perk, you can tune it differently from gaining power. In this way you can strategically exploit low, AoE damage of Warpfire/Globadiers, while trying to prevent outright lose all of your health, but each time you get hit you get opportunity cost of replenishing lost health indepenent of Power stacks.

I see what you’re coming from, but what you’re suggesting is more of a quality of life change that just reinforces the existing deisgn.
The whole “revolves THP design” is more or less the problem here, you still want to get as low as possible to start generating THP as soon as possible, what I’d like to see is a different principle altogether.
The whole idea of a timer feels weird, I’d rather him get mad and smack fools from situation to situation rather than being a Darkest Dungeon Leper on a lifeline clock.

You cannot do anything without entirely re-thinking the class.
Obviously, FS designed him to have low green HP to gain buffs, but the pacing, amount of enemies and their damage only makes it possible if he’s living off THP.
To make it really high risk high reward, you either have to speed up THP loss even more, limit his THP gain or limit his maxTHP around half / third of his max, to become something like UC, being constantly a hair’s width above 1-hit treshold. If you screw up you’re saved by the passive, just like UC with her ult venting all heat.

The only way I can see current Zealot design working is if he was base 100 hp. He’s a near perfect representation of Flagellants in the table top game (with the exception of not dying).

But that wouldn’t “fix” the bad gameplay zealot inspires. Might have to give up on the current design entirely for a completely new career at that point.

So, what is it y’all like about Zealot? What parts do you want to keep? Do you want a tanky character or a risk/reward high dps character? Do you want his talents to still be based on how much health he has?

Seems to me like anything dependent on missing health inspires bad gameplay and frustration over any healing.

I’d rather still have a high dps character. I don’t need him to have a huge amount of damage reduction if he’s going to keep Heart of Iron. Reading up on the TT game, Flagellants whole purpose is they’ll kill whatever you throw them at, but die in the process. So tankiness might not fit them.

I mean, his career passive doesn’t have to be unique or interesting, it can just be a flat boost to anything and just tailor his talents to let him kill in different ways.

That’s what we’re sorta’ doing.
Messing with THP is what we want to avoid altogether and… I don’t know if you’ve read the OP, but it’s pretty much explained there.

But I like the comparison to UC, it gave me a couple of ideas.
While I wanted to stay away from introducing weird rage meters and whatnot, bear with me on this one.
What if we find a middle-ground between the semi-permanent buffs he gets after getting low and covering it with THP with a more situational, battle to battle approach of taking damage periodically.

What you’d have is a meter simillar to Unchained, you can even copy paste it so it provides Damage Reduction and solves two problems we’ve had previously, but, opposite to Unchained you actually want to keep it high.

  • Fiery Faith - 30% of Damage Taken is transferred to Penance. When it’s above zero, you gain +30% Power. Dealing damage spends Penance.

Basically the same idea of taking damage, converted into a single meter that both provides damage reduction and let’s you spend your “stacks” when and where you want, and if you farm THP effectively you can top it off every once in a while. So something like losing 1/3 of your health would give you the full meter to work with. Obviously what’s important is the gist of the idea, not numbers, currently.
You can also implement auto-decay on the meter, but I think giving player agency over spending it is more attractive.

The whole point of my OP is untying his buffs from his static health value. The ways to do this are still up to discussion. But I don’t think people currently enjoy him for his design, he is just strong and that’s about it.

I don’t have the strongest vision, but what I had in mind initially is breaking his gameplay up into Berserker/Flagellant/Unbreakable. Something that benefits treading the line of life and death, something that benefits taking damage and some that can give you/reinforce strong sustain. Whether it should be ladderal or not (whether you have to interact with all three or can stack one tree three times, by virtue of distributing such Talents vertically or horizontally across rows) I’m not sure.

3 Likes

One thing zealot need is to get same effect as you get with self heals with nature bond. So all the green hp are changed to temp hp.
Once the part of, stacks are beign destroyed by other heroes is solved, you can start working om rest.

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