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Thread: An open letter to all the folks at TRION

  1. #1
    Rift Chaser
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    Default An open letter to all the folks at TRION

    Hiya folks.

    Rather than 'clutter' another thread with this, I would like to take a moment to explain why you lads/lassies are having to constantly delete, warn and ban clerics. In keeping with the forum rules I'm not going to cite any specific examples of this--but then, you're the ones in a position to know what's happening so I don't have to. Please note that I am using a plural noun or using only the proper noun, TRION when I refer to the powers that be. I do not know who has what responsibility and frankly don't much care--as long as what needs to be done gets done, great. I'm going to be brutally honest, so please don't take it personally if you did something you see--I don't know you did it and I don't blame you personally.

    The majority of what I've seen is pretty good. Content-wise, the graphics are reasonably shiny, but haven't been polished so much that the story has been neglected. The story is simple enough for a n00b to figure out but the lore is sophisticated enough to be interesting even to veteran MMO players like myself. Leveling isn't a huge pain--I found it *extremely* easy (though I played EQ1 when hell levels existed, so take from that what you will.) Helmet graphics are silly, but that's always true in MMOs, and a lot of the armor looks pretty wicked. So there's another win there. Most of the souls do what they are intended to do and have flavor which is present, though not overwhelmingly so.

    Raid mechanics are... Interesting for the most part, although I feel we could use more variety and more things which are not instantly lethal but that must be dealt with or avoided for success--a lot of mechanics are currently basically insta-death which weeds out the folks who aren't paying attention but doesn't demand much from the raid force as a whole. This is from the perspective of someone who has successfully completed every group and raid fight in the game except Akylios, and I suppose a couple Phoenix Rise bosses we haven't had time to go after yet. Also there seems to be a lot of mechanics which are focused on hurting melee and blue bars, so when we want to goof off and melee we double-dip on the pain, while I have yet to see any debuffs which affect energy exclusively in the way that huge, difficult to avoid mana drains get tossed around. (See also for reference: reduced warrior ability costs, craptastic/nonexistent cleric mana regen tools, incredibly powerful mage mana regen tools, innate stacking fervor in the Marksman tree)

    I attempt speak for the community only insofar as I am attempting to tell you that we, your customers and fans, are unhappy with certain aspects of our calling, and are frustrated with the lack of progress, feedback and any feeling that our feedback is being listened to or taken into account. The specifics are mine, and not everyone will agree with me, though if they do not I suspect they do not raid, don't care about mechanics, or are Rogue/Warrior trolls. ;)

  2. #2
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    DPS:

    The root of the contention: DPS.

    Look at raid composition; conclusion? Most people want to pewpew. Look at Rogues and Warriors. Most of them cry Holy Hand Grenades if they lose 1% DPS or aren't in the top 5, and 90% of the time you hear, "great dps" but virtually never, "amazing healing" or "wow you support folks did an incredible job". Guilds and players are effectively judged by two factors:
    1. Do you stand in the fire?
    2. How hard can you pewpew?

    If you don't and the answer is 'really hard'--> pass go and collect 200$, massive kudos from your fellow players, and preferential access to phat loots.

    It's as simple as this, and why so many cleric players are upset.

    What makes it worse is that our DPS has been so terrible for so long that other callings (ohai Rogues, Warriors) have begun to take it for granted despite statements like Kervik's re: role equality across callings.

    I've been told that the goal of the admins is to "maintain a fun, welcoming and safe environment" on the forums. Well here's your wake-up call: when most of us can remember at least half a dozen times when we were told to "shut up and heal, you rolled a healing archetype" I am not having a fun, welcome and safe experience. I already can't queue for anything unless I'm the healer (insert another typical troll post: "omg you're sooo unlucky that you can queue instantly!") Well what if I heal for 20 hours a week for my guild and want to smash things in the face with a hammer to decompress? If a DPS goes ninja AFK to make a sandwich, it will be a little bit before anyone notices unless the group is moving very quickly or has someone glued to a parser. If I go AFK, the tank dies inside 15 seconds and everyone yells at me. If someone dies from being stupid, guess who gets yelled at for "letting them die"? Me! Sometimes I don't want to deal with that.

    SHUT UP AND HEAL.

    Next problem and what made us absolutely incensed is that when we were asked for feedback--we gave it. Volumes. Page upon page of what needed to be fixed, but for some reason the option that was selected was one which non-raiding Clerics, Rogues, and Warriors kept "offering" up and every single experienced high end raiding cleric repeatedly said was a bad idea... in spite of the reams of available math, data, theorycrafting, etc etc.

    We were told to "view the PTS changes on their own" and not as part of a more comprehensive package of fixes, and so we did: the result was massive outrage and subsequent censorship.

    We've been told that clerics will not receive a "major overhaul" (like every other calling has... including mages twice) so as to "avoid changing cleric playstyles". This is ANOTHER point that has a lot of us frothing at the mouth. Let me give you some examples of cleric playstyles:

    Shaman: 11111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111
    Druid: 11111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111
    Cabalist: 211121112111211121112111211121112111211121112111
    Inquisitor: 3111121113111112111111311111211111211211131111

    We'd LOVE them to change. And we've said so, again and again in a staggering variety of ways. The learning curve of the current cleric DPS souls can barely be considered a "curve". It's more of an endless expanse of flatness after a 5 degree loading ramp designed for people who just can't stop looking at their cell phones while they walk.

    Changing them completely would only negate the 3 minutes or so of tinkering it took us to find the optimized rotation for the only viable DPS build that's still 30% behind while offering less general utility and one useful debuff.

    If you would like to know what is wrong with this and don't feel like reading the innumerable threads:

    Reparation provides a very low amount of an -icar's total healing. What amounts to a -70% healing debuff for what becomes a ~15-17% dps buff when we were already 30ish percent behind comes as a slap in the face.

    It basically makes heal/utility/damage hybrids totally non-viable, fails to address our primary concern: DPS equality, and will not scale with gear.

    How much more clearly can we possibly express this?
    Last edited by Dorai; 12-03-2011 at 06:57 AM.

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    Healing:

    Next, a subject near and dear to my heart: healing. I love the concepts behind the healing souls. A+ there. The problem is in their execution, and more specifically in how their execution interacts with other facets of the game. I'm going to give an in-depth explanation, but the purpose is not to insult anyone's intelligence but to make my viewpoint (and, I suspect, the viewpoint of a large number of high end clerics)

    51 Purifier: some wards, a fair number of cooldowns. Slow, but the cooldowns let you (in theory) react to things and prevent the damage to make it sustainable, and Restorative Flame provides a HP buffer.
    51 Sentinel: plenty of heal-the-target-and... options, very large and fast main line heal with Healing Invocation. Less cooldowns, but Healer's Covenant and Touch the Light are still excellent tools.
    51 Warden: HoT city. Short on cooldowns, but gets the only pure healing mana regen ability. Idea obviously being "low burst, but can heal forever"

    Put one of each onto a MT and they're getting all kinds of survivability!--*IF* they have the HP pool to benefit from it. As you have massively boosted warrior HP pools, I am guessing you saw the problem inherent with this model and moved to fix it--which is great. Next problem:

    51 Warden is easily replaced by a Chloromancer, who basically does everything the Warden does, only does it better with infinite mana and the ability to switch to super-effective AE healing with 1 GCD. Healing Cataract is a mana hog and Downpour seems to forget that while a huge AE burstyish heal is cool:
    1. Most people won't have the HP to benefit from the full effect.
    2. If people are taking that much damage, chances are they're getting one-shotted.
    3. People frequently need to move in a raid environment.
    4. Downpour is basically Lifegiving Veil + Void Life + Entropic Veil only it's on a 2m cooldown and takes a lot more mana.


    51 Purifier! Not bad! The only problem you run into is that your main-line heals are painfully slow, so you're basically useless for healing anyone but the tank(s). Also, the gains from going above 26 root are kinda "meh" other than two cooldowns--which admittedly I love, but you run into the problem that unpredictable damage spikes tend to be... well, unpredictable and huge. So unless you're uberl33t and have a bunch of keys macro'd together so you can rapidly pop cooldowns it limits the usefulness in the majority of cases where just going 32/34 would be better because of the increased healing throughput. Other major purifier problems:
    1. Healing Flare... 16pts into a healing soul with Hammerknell raid gear and consumables and it's a... 900pt heal for 1GCD and a lot of mana, comparatively.
    2. As tank HP pools go up, the relative effectiveness of Purifier wards decreases. It's not a huge problem now, but like all things cleric it will worsen as gear improves.
    3. Blessings: Useless. Good concepts--they just don't work right now.
    4. Divine Cascade: More useless than the Blessings, if that's even possible. 70x3 damage every 3 seconds, or 1.5 if I want to drain my mana spamming Healing Flare.


    51 Sentinel! Probably helped the most by the warrior HP pool changes, but still suffers from huge overhealing problems exacerbated by Serendipity. This could be compensated for somewhat by Surging Flames, but that isn't available to a 51 Sentinel. The most pressing sentinel issues:
    1. Nonfunctional or poorly functioning AE healing tools (Details available upon request)
    2. Massive overhealing


    What do we see in today's live raids. 34/32 builds pretty much across the board. So let's look at hybrids briefly.
    Purifier/Sentinel: Some wards, cooldowns, battle rez, Serendipity.
    Warden/Sentinel: Main line heal that is better than Deluge, cooldowns, battle rez, Serendipity plus HoTs.
    Purifier/Warden: Internal cooldown on Surging Flames makes this a non-starter.
    Sentinel/Justicar: 2 battle rezzes, the only sustainable AE healing clerics have, plus a tiny amount of DPS.
    DPS/Justicar: Nobody in their right mind uses Druid, Shaman turns to crap when your gear gets good due to bad scaling, Cabalist does amazingly bad ST damage, and Inquisitor's main line nuke generates convictions. So basically: Inquisticar. Brings: Clinging Spirits, AE healing, moderate DPS. Constantly called overpowered by other callings, who myseriously choose not to answer when asked if they would give up 50% of their DPS to gain AE healing.

    Bottom line:
    1. Chloromancer > Warden. Chloromancer > Purifier. Chloromancer > Sentinel. Chloromancer = Warden/Sentinel or Purifier/Sentinel or Sentinel/Justicar. (Don't nerf them. They're fine.)
    2. We're forced to go 32 Sentinel for the battle rez and Serendipity.
    3. The presence of 36pt scalings with the absence of compelling roots above ~32 means it simply isn't worth it to go more than ~32 points into a healing soul--you gain a small amount of healing power per spell at a tremendous opportunity cost in utility/healing throughput.
    4. Our mana regen is terrible and won't improve with gear due to the WIS mana regen hard cap. (+100 WIS giving me ~1 mana/10s isn't a 'soft cap') I could accept lack of mana regen as a limiting mechanic, but Chloromancers can heal just as well as we can and have functionally infinite mana.

    And this is the role we're actually GOOD at right now.

  4. #4
    Sword of Telara Calibrex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dorai View Post

    Bottom line:
    1. Chloromancer > Warden. Chloromancer > Purifier. Chloromancer > Sentinel. Chloromancer = Warden/Sentinel or Purifier/Sentinel or Sentinel/Justicar. (Don't nerf them. They're fine.)
    - since when (or better yet why) would you replace a MT cleric healer for a cloro?
    - purifier (51 spec) has a special niche. It is only needed for high spike or healing debuff fights.
    Where's the Auction House to buy more DPS for my cleric?

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    Lifebound Veil.

    If you have say, 2 MT healers and they've both clerics, if you run into a fight where you don't need both of them healing... you gain craptastic DPS having one go DPS. If you have 1 cleric, 1 mage, your mage can go smash things like the Incredible Hulk while the cleric keeps the tank up.

    Also: with the changes to warrior tanks... Purifier niche is shrinking. Matron is doable without purifiers now, I've healed a cleric tank through Greenscale as a Purifier/Sentinel. 51 Puri = not as necessary now as it was. (and it will only continue to deteriorate as warrior tanks get beefier)

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    Rift Disciple Gabbath's Avatar
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    you left out the cleric tanking kick to the curb.

    I have had many posts edited or just deleted.

    I don't want to roll another character or spend the time needed to get it to the gear/rep level that my cleric is (was).

    Clerics are broken and they have admitted that there will only be a band-aid not major surgery.

    Maybe if there is a dramatic drop in the number of clerics they will start to see. I know that I am not playing Rift at all anymore.
    Rift is not a Class determines Role game, it is a Spec and gear determines role game.
    If a player specs DPS then they should be nearly equal to an equally geared and skilled player.
    It should be the same for tanking and healing.

  7. #7
    Soulwalker
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dorai View Post
    DPS:

    We were told to "view the PTS changes on their own" and not as part of a more comprehensive package of fixes, and so we did: the result was massive outrage and subsequent censorship.

    Hit the nail right on the head right there.

  8. #8
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    Tanking:

    Short and sweet here. We, clerics, have the:
    Lowest HP pools.
    Lowest physical mitigation.
    Lowest non-physical mitigation.
    Lowest aggro generation.
    Worst itemization (STR > WIS)
    Worst survivability cooldowns (they did get better...)
    Worst mobility

    We also have to decide between:
    Incoming healing from Reparation forces choice between aggro vs survivability. (no other class has to make this choice)
    Stable positioning and using our battle rez. (Rez target at our RM target please)


    Sidenote: I'm not saying anything about any individual dev's action/inaction. Also not saying anything negative: I'm trying to explain the response that a large plurality of clerics have had, and explain also why it won't go away.
    Last edited by Dorai; 12-03-2011 at 09:33 AM.

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    It's not necessary to say negative things or make personal attacks. Please don't take what I've said as an excuse to attack anyone's competence or effort. The fact that any changes are happening at all means some effort is being made... Even if we disagree with the exact changes.

    My goal is to explain why clerics are upset in an attempt to help the folks at TRION understand where we're coming from. Making devs feel like crap isn't going to help anyone, dev or player.
    Last edited by Dorai; 12-03-2011 at 09:42 AM.

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    On a positive note. Zibbys post count has steadily gone up.
    Of course not in public forums.

    Question is, assuming they all work in the same office, why exactly would they need a hidden forum o_0.

    And does those hidden posts have anything to do with us?


    I wonder is they still have hidden alpha players.
    Last edited by Eughe; 12-03-2011 at 11:24 AM. Reason: R

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    In regards to healing issues, this sums up a large part of it: http://forums.riftgame.com/rift-gene...ml#post3438267

    While changes can make our healing trees more fun to play, the only thing we're good at in this game is the least needed thing in this game. World top guilds try to run 15+ DPSers and prefer healers who are bringing substantial DPS. This indicates a larger issue.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabbath View Post
    you left out the cleric tanking kick to the curb.

    I have had many posts edited or just deleted.

    I don't want to roll another character or spend the time needed to get it to the gear/rep level that my cleric is (was).

    Clerics are broken and they have admitted that there will only be a band-aid not major surgery.

    Maybe if there is a dramatic drop in the number of clerics they will start to see. I know that I am not playing Rift at all anymore.
    If you aren't going to play why do you post you aren't playing in multiple threads everyday?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluelightt View Post
    If you aren't going to play why do you post you aren't playing in multiple threads everyday?
    Perhaps he's hoping that Trion takes something about some of these posts seriously. Because he still has hope.

    You post about things you're upset about or wish would improve. If you don't care about a game, you don't bother. Game betrayal is worse than finding out your girlfriend cheated on you with your sister for some people.

    When people stop posting it means they don't care any more and that they've given up hope. The last big burst of anguish is grieving for what was, or could be, or, in some cases, what was interpreted as the death of promise. The mark of a game that isn't dead is anger, outrage, humor and creativity. Go look at the WoW boards some time: they are pasteurized, homogenized and bland. Blizzard should be concerned, but they aren't. They believe in WoW-addiction. And they believe it overpowers grief. I'm proof that it doesn't.

    When people like the one you are quoting, and to a lesser extent, myself stop posting, that's time to worry about the health of the game. People complain. It's the tenor of the complaints that Trion should be listening to.

  14. #14
    Ascendant Byona's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eughe View Post
    On a positive note. Zibbys post count has steadily gone up.
    Of course not in public forums.

    Question is, assuming they all work in the same office, why exactly would they need a hidden forum o_0.

    And does those hidden posts have anything to do with us?


    I wonder is they still have hidden alpha players.
    With forum ambassadors such as The real seebs, Radak, etc..
    See you all in Wildstar!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Byona View Post
    With forum ambassadors such as The real seebs, Radak, etc..
    Radak already stated that is a negatory.
    So it must be someplace else.

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