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Thread: Archon Concerns (suggestions)

  1. #1
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    Default Archon Concerns (suggestions)

    Before playing my first beta of Rift I read through some of the class descriptions and instantly knew I wanted to be an Archon. In the end, I spent about equal time on a primary Archon role and another role with primary Pyromancer. I also tried out most of the other Mage souls and Cleric souls, but I still like the Archon the most.

    Conceptually, the Archon is one of the most creative classes in Rift, but often Archon skills are slightly below average, despite their amazing or interesting effects. Additionally, large parts of the branch are sadly, fairly useless for the Archon itself (like Soul Fire or Exhilaration), while others have mediocre effects (Blood Pact, Strength of the Stone, Efficiency, Empowered Aegis) and I'm only not listing Rising Vengeance, because an offensive Archon build can use it.

    I'm primarily concerned about Consuming Flames and Lava Field, but would love to see the aura change I will be suggesting. The majority of the Archon is fine.

    Throughout the beta, the Archon has received little changes. This can be due to many reasons, but I hope it is because the developers haven't taken a good look at the Archon soul yet and are open to suggestions. Some few changes to resolve key problems would go a long way.

    • Archon Auras: Shared Vigor, Tempered Armor, Vitality of Stone, Arcane Aegis, Burning Purpose and Flaring Power.
      • When I hear aura, I think of the character having certain attributes of body or charisma, that change the morale of onlookers, no matter if positively or negatively. Archon Auras last 5 minutes and once applied, the targets can be as far away as they want to: The effect sticks to them.

        Additionally, Archons have a dozen buffs they need to refresh every 5 minutes, auras included.

        Due to having to be within range of the targets during activation, I haven't used auras much during PVP, only during preparation and when defending a carrier.
      • Suggestion: Auras are active or inactive, using an aura toggles the state. While active, the negative effect is applied to you and the positive effect to allies within range, but only as long as they stay in range. No durations.
        • Deactivation should have no cast time, cost or global cooldown.
        • In the case that auras are already applied to everyone entering their range and removed from everyone leaving it, they are fine.
    • Cooldowns: Many of the Archon skills have large cooldowns, but only about two really deserve it. I'll adress some of them.
      • Lava Field: Lackluster damage and you need to spend two points to make the effect useful, not to mention it takes 7 seconds (at no additional cast speed) to get it fully going.
        • Suggestion: Should come with at least 2% healing bonus per charge out of the box. Could also make the first charge have a larger effect, e.g. 7% + 2% per additional charge, 15% at 5. Cooldown to about 40 seconds.
          • Healing Flames could be changed to a further cooldown decrease.
          • The buff duration could be reduced as well, but the duration of the Lava Field could be increased by default or Healing Flames.
      • Flowing Sand: One of the two I mentioned earlier. Strong effect, if averaged it gives a 3% movement speed increase to yourself and 6% decrease to the target(s). Less duration, less cooldown please.
        • Suggestion: Cooldown of at most 1 minute. Either a duration decrease to between 5 and 10 seconds or a decrease to the effect, but at least -30% movement speed on the debuff.
      • Mental Flare: The best skill of the ones with large cooldowns and Swift Thoughts already reduces it to a decent cooldown. At most a slight decrease to Mental Flare's cooldown, while also nerfing Swift Thoughts.
        • Suggestion: Something like 3 minutes for Mental Flare and -90 (or even -60) seconds total for Swift Thoughts maybe. 3 points for a 90 second cooldown on Mental Flare is 30 seconds less than currently.
      • Waning Power: It might be just me, but I think this skill is absolute trash with its cooldown. Lingering Dust has a similar effect to DPS and it has no cooldown at all and then there's also Power Drain, although that works slightly different.
        • Suggestion: Same cooldown/duration as its brethren Crumbling Resistance and Lingering Dust. Slight decrease to its effect, if needed.
      • Flaring Power: This spell is similar to Archon auras as Waning Power is to Crumbling Resistance and Lingering Dust. It is a powerful version, with cooldown, of a skill pattern.

        For reasons I don't know, attack and spell power is regarded more as vastly more powerful than melee and casting speed. The end result to DPS is similar, but Flaring Power and Waning Power have a vastly inferior average uptime.

        Unless Flaring Power is changed, I don't see anyone spending 51 points into Archon.
        • Suggestion: 3 second cast time, no cooldown, no charge consumption. Just another Archon aura.
    • Consuming Flames: A very interesting skill, but it only absorbs about 2-3 hits, if you are generous. It's no secret that Archon's don't have a lot of health.
      • Suggestion: An absorption/self-damage increase for a duration decrease, like 30% over 10 seconds.
        • Martyr's Solace wouldn't need a change, if the above is implemented. The self-damage decrease of it would be more useful.

    Since beta is down, I can't actually verify my claims and have to rely largely on 3rd party ressources and memory. I hope I'm not making any false claims.

    If anyone has conerns, feedback or suggestions of their own, feel free to voice yourself.

    Edits:
    1. I apparently didn't look at all skills well enough, since I falsely believed Flaring Powers to be a standard Archon aura. I added it to the Cooldowns bullet point.

      Also, Remmy informed me that I might be wrong on how auras work. If that is the case, then no change is needed.
    Last edited by Tsadiq; 02-10-2011 at 03:33 AM.

  2. #2
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    Well thought out post, and I like the suggestions.

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    Auras: Don't agree I think the only thing with auras that needs revamp is Efficiency talent changed from -%cost on auras to increase duration

    Cooldowns:
    Lavafield: something needs to change. or give archon another aoe spell at least with alot shorter CD
    Flowing Sand: No comment never really used it
    Swift Thoughts:disagree. Might change my mind on it at end game depending how much 4k mana is of a casters mana pool
    Waning Power:ehh, i kindof like it where it is right now. Doesn't seem too OP. Rather it was a -5/+5 for a constant uptime though to debuff boss.

    Consuming Flames: absolutely agree.


    My real problems with the archon class though.

    was running http://rift.zam.com/en/stc.html?t=0z....c.AReoRb0ozrz

    going for http://rift.zam.com/en/stc.html?t=0z...0t.AReoRb0ozrz @ 50

    archon spells are lack luster for even being the main tree. Except for initial getting buff up for self, i only cast the buff spells once every 4.5 min about

    Fireball was doing more damage than the spells even if i put in the 15% archon damage skill. Also chance to crit and 30% more after damage chance
    Rockslide is a complete joke...after the intitial 6 buff thing i only cast it long enough for it to refresh the stack so 1 tick used.


    Except for leeching flames to keep my mana up i see no point in casting any other spell more than once per 4min (for the buff/debuff; trash doesn't even need debuff)...and actually cast my subtree's spells ><

    My suggestion is to redo rising vengeance to a % for archon that is spent in the tree.

  4. #4
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    Currently the auras do kind of what you want. You can cast them by yourself and they will be applied to people in range. They also drop off people not in range. As far as switch on and forget style I'm not a fan. Archon is a support role, meaning part of your job is keeping those buffs up and running. We need to have them on short duration, as the current model suggests.

    For the long cool down skills I agree. It was a real turn off seeing some of those skills had a really long cool down, to a point that I didn't even take some of them. They either need to be shorter cool Downs or better, more powerful skills.

    I think that the main reason we are not seeing more talk about the Archon is that the class is not played very much. For one, it's beta and not many full guild groups are going to be formed. Two I don't think that many people like the sacrificing of themselves for others. Most people play selfishly and there is nothing wrong with that. Lastly, I would guess that you'll see alot of archons as offspecs for PVE raiding at 50.

    I've been having fun with my Archon. It will be my PVE spec, still toying with it for PVP but there's a lot of souls that are looking sweet.

  5. #5
    Telaran mage souls's Avatar
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    Hello! Interesting reading, however, there are certain things I have a different opinion on.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tsadiq View Post
    ...Additionally, large parts of the branch are sadly, fairly useless for the Archon itself (like Soul Fire or Exhilaration)...
    Those talents are fairly useless, if you think of them within boundaries of Archon soul itself. But, it you add Pyromancer soul to those calculations, Soul Fire makes a lot more sense (I think of Soul Fire as a bridging talent for another soul).
    Exhilaration + Improved Fireball can and will return a lot of mana which is never a bad thing. Yes, agreed, if you look at them "What can they do just with Archon soul?" they are meh, but "What can they do with another soul?" is a completely different story.


    Quote Originally Posted by Tsadiq View Post
    ...while others have mediocre effects (Blood Pact, Strength of the Stone, Efficiency, Empowered Aegis) and I'm only not listing Rising Vengeance, because an offensive Archon build can use it.
    I don't see anything wrong with it. Talents that improve spells available for its soul are spread all over the remaining callings. They make you a better buffer / debuffer and that's what Archon is.
    During a combat, once you buff / debuff everything that is worth doing so, you should start dpsing (or healing). Whatever helps you perform better is worth taking in my opinion, even if the gain is very small.


    Quote Originally Posted by Tsadiq View Post
    Lava Field: Lackluster damage and you need to spend two points to make the effect useful, not to mention it takes 7 seconds (at no additional cast speed) to get it fully going.
    100% agreed, unless there is some special situation, Lava Field isn't strong enough to be used. Weak damage and healing effect is (without 2 points) also underwhelming.
    I could see it a melee buff spell, e.g. "For next 15 seconds everyone standing in a Lava Field will have a chance to deal additional fire damage with melee weapons."


    Quote Originally Posted by Tsadiq View Post
    Waning Power: It might be just me, but I think this skill is absolute trash with its cooldown. Lingering Dust has a similar effect to DPS and it has no cooldown at all and then there's also Power Drain, although that works slightly different.
    Waning Power goes in line with what Archon soul does (debuffing enemies while buffing yourself, debuffing youself while buffing allies). Waning Power (in theory) should have 33% uptime, which makes a nice 3% increased spellpower. Not bad pinnacle talent and compared to Flaring Power, this one rocks.
    Personally, I would prefer as 31-point talent something passive, that would boost all my Archon buffs and debuffs by 10%.


    Quote Originally Posted by Tsadiq View Post
    Consuming Flames: A very interesting skill, but it only absorbs about 2-3 hits, if you are generous. It's no secret that Archon's don't have a lot of health.
    For me, it looks like a last resort spell when somebody is about to die. If so, the spell should provide bigger shield, but also with larger negative consequences.


    About what you have been suggesting about auras: I like a lot the current version of Archon's auras. And I don't want to see them changed.



    edit:
    One more thing.

    Searing Vitality doesn't deal enough damage to be used at all, unless you need to stack up (or maintain) the endurance buff.
    Suggestion: Triple the duration of Searing Vitality DoT (= 3 times more damage over time), making it worth spending GCD on.
    Last edited by mage souls; 02-09-2011 at 08:44 AM.
    Which is worse? Ignorance or apathy? Who knows? Who cares?

  6. #6
    Zac
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    more pvp-pov:

    - aura mechanic is ok for me
    - i see endgame scaling problems with the absolute int/end/resistance/armor/... buffs/debuffs, if there are no new ranks but better gear every tier
    - cds are in general to long, 2 min for the snare srly?
    - 3 soulpoints for useful/powerful in-combat mana recovery is to much, compared to unlimited 'mana' of rogues/warriors
    - absorb shield is absurd, long cd, less absorb, makes me bleed, can't cast on myself ... compared to other mage-souls absorb shield it's just lol
    - i miss a spec-able 'reduce income healing of target by xx% and increase your income healing by xx%' debuff/buff
    - 35m range, high in the tree would rock
    - not sure if searing vitality can crit
    - purification is useless, there is always more than one ally debuffed with curses and cleansing flames fits better

  7. #7
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    Twuz,
    I disagree on your reason for disliking Lava Field. It's a support spell and Archon is a support class. If you want area damage, there are other souls. The problem is that both the damage and secondary effect are bad, unless you have Healing Flames.

    Mental Flare will have more ranks, which increase the amount it gives.

    I'm also not surprised that Archon's deal below average damage. If you have a raid going, you're going to give everyone at least 10% more DPS (I can't quote exact numbers), which evens out your lack of damage.



    Remmy,
    do I get you right that auras already work like I want them to, except they have a duration? Meaning, allies only receive the benefit while inside range, even if they entered after activation and lose it when leaving. If that's true, then there isn't much to buff left.



    mage souls,
    concerning Soul Fire and Exhilaration, I am aware that they have good synergy with other souls and expressed it like that with "useless for the Archon itself". I'm sorry if that is badly worded.

    But about the mediocre effects of the other, I will illustrate with two examples:
    • Strength of the Stone (at 35) gives you about 25 spell power, 1% crit and 250 mana (+ the Strength and Dexterity gains) and your allies even less (there are more allies, though, and they may benefit from Strength and Dexterity). For 3 points, that's mediocre.
    • Efficiency decreases the cost of your auras by a whopping 50%! But auras hardly cost anything to begin with and are used around every 5 minutes.

    They give negligible increases, but of course there are many talents like those across many souls, but Archon seems to have a bit more than other souls.

    If you put Waning Power as 3% spell power increase (not to forget the decrease), it sounds better, but it's still weak for the final branch skill. The Pyromancer's Heat Wave for example resets all cooldowns to begin with. That is amazing and only 1 of many effects it gives.



    Zac,
    I didn't even think about those scaling problems at endgame, when your equipment keeps improving, but your skills don't. A possible solution could be items that give additional ranks, that are easily attained in endgame content.

    And the -healing on target, +healing on self would be an amazing skill. Unless it has a 3 minute cooldown.



    Thank you all.

  8. #8
    Telaran mage souls's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tsadiq View Post
    mage souls,
    concerning Soul Fire and Exhilaration, I am aware that they have good synergy with other souls and expressed it like that with "useless for the Archon itself". I'm sorry if that is badly worded.
    Yes, I'm sorry, I thought you meant the benefit for Archon soul only.


    Quote Originally Posted by Tsadiq View Post
    [LIST]
    Strength of the Stone (at 35) gives you about 25 spell power, 1% crit and 250 mana (+ the Strength and Dexterity gains) and your allies even less (there are more allies, though, and they may benefit from Strength and Dexterity). For 3 points, that's mediocre.
    If I understand this correctly, you are concerned that the sacrifice we undergo for taking Archon soul might be bigger than the boost we provide to a group / raid. And that we don't bring buffs / debuff hard enough to be considered worth a place.


    Quote Originally Posted by Tsadiq View Post
    Efficiency decreases the cost of your auras by a whopping 50%! But auras hardly cost anything to begin with and are used around every 5 minutes.
    I don't have enough data to back this up, but are Volcanic Bomb and Surging Flare considered auras (thus affected by Efficiency)?

    Now thinking about the position of Efficiency and how many points it costs, 50% sounds tasty, but the overall value might not be as good as it seems. IF it only affects buffs / debuffs that last 5 minutes, I 100% agree that the talent is way too weak and should be somehow enhanced.


    Quote Originally Posted by Tsadiq View Post
    They give negligible increases, but of course there are many talents like those across many souls, but Archon seems to have a bit more than other souls.
    I see, are you hence concerned that for the investment of our very limited resource (points for Souls) in Archon we aren't getting enough power back from talents themselves? That some talents are just a points sinks without a noticeable benefit?


    Quote Originally Posted by Tsadiq View Post
    If you put Waning Power as 3% spell power increase (not to forget the decrease), it sounds better, but it's still weak for the final branch skill. The Pyromancer's Heat Wave for example resets all cooldowns to begin with. That is amazing and only 1 of many effects it gives.
    This varies from combat to combat (length plays a huge role), but 3% increase (same goes for decrease) is a reasonable expectation.
    Is 3% enough for a 31-point talent? I don't know. But considering how much (in terms of dps) Archon has to sacrifice in order to reach Volcanic Bomb (44 points), I was hoping that 31-point would be a bit more tasty.
    As I suggested above: "Increases the benefit of all your auras by 20% (pick a number)". Length of them is fine. 5 minutes isn't long enough to make you forget they exist and also is short enough to cast them from time to time.
    Which is worse? Ignorance or apathy? Who knows? Who cares?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mage souls View Post
    I see, are you hence concerned that for the investment of our very limited resource (points for Souls) in Archon we aren't getting enough power back from talents themselves? That some talents are just a points sinks without a noticeable benefit.
    Yes, exactly.

    About Waning Power, I don't have much to suggest except what I wrote in the original post. I feel like that would bring more consistency into the class, which is nice. And most auras already have +30% or something like that in other talents.

  10. #10
    Telaran mage souls's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tsadiq View Post
    Yes, exactly.
    Excellent. I totally agree on that.

    Some mechanics (personal opinion) in Archon Soul don't seem to be lucrative enough to make me want to invest points in them. I will eventually put points there, but it's mostly because I want to reach Volcanic Bomb (44 points).

    To name them:
    Blood Pact, Martyr's Solace, Empowered Aegis, Healing Flames, Mental Flare (+Swift Thoughts) and Flowing Sand.

    I feel that I should be getting more power for investing points.


    Also I would like to provide feedback on:
    • Flaring Power
      This ability drains your spell power (although buffs others in your group), has 2 min cooldown and consumes Charge.
      Given it requires 51 points in Archon Soul, the ability isn't interesting at all. 7 extra points that have to be spent are better invested somewhere else. E.g. Pyromancer / Warlock Souls.
    Last edited by mage souls; 02-09-2011 at 11:52 AM.
    Which is worse? Ignorance or apathy? Who knows? Who cares?

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    Wow, I thought Flaring Power is just another Archon aura. I didn't know it had such a cooldown and consumed charge. Trion really thinks attack/spell power are good.

    It's similar to Waning Power then: It should be just as it's similar skills (in this case Archon auras). 3 second cast time, 0 cooldown, no charge consumption.
    Last edited by Tsadiq; 02-09-2011 at 01:33 PM.

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    One further issue with Flaring Power for me is the way it uses up charge that could alternatively be used on Power Drain.

    I can see how Flaring Power could be more useful in a fight where there are many enemies but Power Drain's -10% damage applied to a mob looks excellent for encounters where there is one tough boss opponent.

    Given that I will probably already have a very good use in several fights for my charge i.e. Power Drain, I'm skeptical about the value of putting a further 7 points into Archon just for Flaring Power which, as well as using charge, is also on a 2 min CD.

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    Flaring Power will probably be amazing! 19 players get +10% attack and spell power at level 50 each...thats going to add up a lot for those 10 seconds or so that it lasts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tsadiq View Post
    • Strength of the Stone (at 35) gives you about 25 spell power, 1% crit and 250 mana (+ the Strength and Dexterity gains) and your allies even less (there are more allies, though, and they may benefit from Strength and Dexterity). For 3 points, that's mediocre.
    I'm not saying that it's a great talent, but I think you're mistaken on one point. Baseline, a full stack of Pillaging Stone only gives the mage half of what Vitality of Stone gives to the raid. Thus, a 60% increase on Pillaging Stone and a 30% increase on Vitality of Stone are the same in terms of how much they increase stats by.

    And I suppose it's worth noting that unless you take Strength of Stone, you lose more stats on Vitality of Stone than Pillaging Stone. With Strength of Stone it evens out. I think that it should be evened out on the baseline spells before talents.

    If you put Waning Power as 3% spell power increase (not to forget the decrease), it sounds better, but it's still weak for the final branch skill. The Pyromancer's Heat Wave for example resets all cooldowns to begin with. That is amazing and only 1 of many effects it gives.
    I'm rather surprised most of you seem to be ignoring the fact that it reduces the enemy's spell and attack power by 3% on average. That combined with the 3% spell power increase on the mage may be fairly significant.

    Okay, yes... Lingering Dust is constantly up. I don't know what would affect DPS more greatly: a 3% increase/decrease to damage, or a 10% increase/decrease to casting speed. ANYWAY, the PURPOSE of these two spells is to offset the lost casting speed and spell power from Burning Purpose and Flaring Power. That's why they're designed the way they are.

    Quote Originally Posted by Glaucon View Post
    One further issue with Flaring Power for me is the way it uses up charge that could alternatively be used on Power Drain.

    I can see how Flaring Power could be more useful in a fight where there are many enemies but Power Drain's -10% damage applied to a mob looks excellent for encounters where there is one tough boss opponent.

    Given that I will probably already have a very good use in several fights for my charge i.e. Power Drain, I'm skeptical about the value of putting a further 7 points into Archon just for Flaring Power which, as well as using charge, is also on a 2 min CD.
    That's EXACTLY what I was wondering too, EXCEPT that in group play, there's no question that Flaring Power is better than Power Drain while it's being channeled. I can understand why Flaring Power exists: it's when you want to dump your charge into a self-buff and/or the enemy debuff rather than wanting to increase group damage. But I just don't agree with you that almost always reducing the a big tough boss's damage by 10% is always better than buffing party spell and melee power by 10%.

    And actually you forgot that we'll get Earthen Barrage sooner than Flaring Power. Without knowing exactly how crit mechanics work in this game, I would guess that +30% chance to crit is a more significant bonus than +10% spell and attack power, especially considering that Earthen Barrage deals damage and doesn't debuff the mage (the small range of effect might make make it not worth it. I don't know).

    Also, for Flaring Power, I get the impression that you will get a full charge bar more frequently than 2 minutes, so it might not be as reliable as a charge dump.

    But if Earthen Barrage is that much better than Flaring Power, then that means that those are 7 less points that we'd HAVE to spend on the Archon tree =p
    Last edited by Wenry; 02-09-2011 at 07:28 PM.

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    Remmy,
    do I get you right that auras already work like I want them to, except they have a duration? Meaning, allies only receive the benefit while inside range, even if they entered after activation and lose it when leaving. If that's true, then there isn't much to buff left.
    That's right. I tested this in both WF and PVE dungeons.

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