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.
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.
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.
Smite -> You inflict critical hits while under 10% health.
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.
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.
- 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.
- Faith Flurry -> Faith Flurry - Stacks of Fiery Faith during Holy Fervour are doubled.
- Feel Nothing -> Holy Fervour prevents death and incapacitation. Taking damage during Holy Fervour reduces cooldown of Heart of Iron.
- 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.