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Thread: Some Assassin Feedback

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    Shadowlander
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    Default Some Assassin Feedback

    This thread is about the melee assassin soul’s gameplay (including other souls mixed to it) and how the class mechanics work. Let’s try to limit the “balancing” talk to a minimum.

    Following feedback is based on information found on http://rift.zam.com/en/stc.html before open Beta, on February 19th, during open beta.

    --------------------------------------
    The Assassin’s Niche:
    Put 51 points into assassin. What’s the gameplay like now? Stealth, Attacks from behind, bleeds, poisons. Let’s take a look at those following gameplays:

    Stealth:
    Every single opener requires melee range. Also, assassinate requires you to be behind your target. Nightblades have it easy with their 20 yards range openers … yet they don’t have (or need) a single ability or talent improving stealth and we have several. (Cloak and Dagger, Silent Footsteps, Subterfuge, Elusiveness).

    Suggestion:
    Trion found the fix to the added difficulty of being a melee stealth soul: “Hidden Veil”. With it, you can restealth with DoTs or get to your target in the middle of AoE. Unfortunately, it is so deep in the assassin’s root (40 points) very few players will go that far to get it. I believe it would be better placed in the 25-30 root range.

    Suggestion:
    Another suggestion that might feel a little greedy, but a "Wow-like" cloak of shadow (remove all harmful effects [doesn't prevent direct damage] from the rogue and makes him immune to such effects for the next 5 seconds) on a 1 minute cooldown would also greatly help us restealth or reset the fight.

    Attacks from behind:
    If Trion wants to balance assassin’s damage in pve, they will have to make it so our strongest cp generating ability “Backstab” is on par dps wise with other classes mechanics. This gimps us in solo pve where we can’t backstab anything after our opener and in PvP where people move around so much you can’t spam blackstab like they spam their moves. In WoW, nobody was leveling an “assassin rogue” until mutilate and it took Cataclysm for “subtlety rogues” to be viable while leveling. There is a reason for that, positional attacks is a bad mechanic.

    Suggestion:
    Replace Backstab with Sneak Attack: “Your CP ability have X% chance to benefit an additional Y% of your attack power.” Revamp Advanced Flanking: “Your Assassinate and Sneak Attack ignore 25%/50% of the enemy’s Armor”.

    Bleeds and Poisons:
    The stealth opener lasts a mere 4-6 seconds. After that, what’s the gameplay? Flavorless backstab spamming, a bleed finisher we refresh every 24 seconds (with physical trauma), puncture which is more a direct damage attack than a bleed … and RNG poisons without gameplay. After our opener, the assassin soul has to be the most boring class out there. Against a raid boss that could last several minutes and against whom we don’t restealth for several minutes, this becomes an issue Trion should look into.

    Suggestion regarding bleeds:
    Make bleeds an important gameplay for the assassin. I very much like the Void Knight pact gameplay where several abilities becomes stronger based on the number of pact on the VK. Assassins could be similar, where our attacks would improve based on the number of assassin bleeds on the target. It also makes a lot of sense for Poison Damage to be more effective against those open wounds…

    I suggest revamping savage strike and renaming it infected wounds. A CP generating ability causing weapon damage + X*Y water damage where “X” is a number based on the trained ability’s rank and “Y” is the number of assassin bleeds on the target (jagged strike, puncture, impale, serrated blades 3x)

    Suggestion regarding poisons:
    Make poisons more predictable in order for them to become part of the assassin’s gameplay. All our talents either improve the passive damage or the frequency of the RNG. That is not fun, players don’t see it.

    The first step of my suggestion is to lower the poison chance to proc and up the damage. The reason for this is to lower the frequency of the RNG, while not affecting the DPS. I am aware some poison like “Lethal Poison” comes with a 5% crit chance when they proc. The second step of my suggestion is to revamp “Poison Mastery”. Instead of giving the assassin +2%/10% chances to proc a poison, it should give the assassin a 4%/20% chance per combo point to proc both poison every time he uses a finisher.

    This makes poisons more predictable. Players are refreshing Lethal poison’s buff duration by themselves (and maybe other buffs / debuffs applied by poisons after Trion tweak souls balance a little more) and their finishers feel that much more deadlier since it procs both poison. That is much more fun.

    --------------------------------------
    Above was the most important issues in my eyes regarding melee assassins gameplay. Now, I’d like to quickly give my wish list concerning other gameplay issues.

    --------------------------------------
    Wish List: (smaller issues)

    Serpent Strike:
    This sounds like a very nice ability. Too bad nobody is getting it. I also dont understand why it is so deep in the tree (51 points) when the Champion's "Frenzied Strike" is basically the same thing for 20 points.

    Incentive to 51:
    Points put in the Assassin's soul between 31 and 51 doesn't give much at all to the Assassin. We could almost say they are ... useless. I would very much like to see our poison talents become stronger the more points you put into the Assassin's Soul.

    AoE:
    Melee rogue souls don’t have AoE. Twin strike hits only 2 target. Rift Disturbance will draw aggro and has a noticeable cooldown. I very much would like a poison gas bomb or a fan of knives ability.

    Banefoul Touch:
    Poison is a RNG skill. When I use Banefoul Touch, I have no idea if I did the right thing. In PvP, it's useless since fights are over way before its duration ends. I would like this ability to be more like "Scourge of Darkness" from the Nightblade. A small fixed amount of charges that will boost the damage of poison weapon enhancement by X% or just deal poison damage with every attacks for the next X seconds where X is smaller than 10 seconds. In order to keep the gameplay where we cycle through our finishers, we would have to add a cooldown to Banefoul Touch.

    Poison Malice:
    I would like this to be a buff with charges and useable while stealthed. Every poison proc deals +X% damage and removes a charge. I don’t mind losing the return damage gameplay. If this affects class balance, I’m sure Trion can give more damage elsewhere, but I doubt it will. However, if we do get extra ways to proc poison and/or get more poison attacks in the futur, Poison Malice giving a +X% water damage for Y seconds makes it a very good burst damage cooldown. If we also get stronger poison the more points we put into the soul, Poison Malice could have a golden spot deep into the tree, 40-51 points deep for sure.

    Cloudy Poison:
    This is the Infiltrator Soul’s poison. It is the only weapon enhancement in the game to not do any damage at all. It is also useless against warriors and rogues. I don’t think it would be game breaking to give it damage similar to other poisons. (and keep it a poison … add water damage to it hehe)

    Sap:
    The Nightblade sap has a 20 yard range. Ours is melee range. Risk / Reward rules dictate that our sap do a little more than the Nightblade’s sap. Since it only has a 6 second pvp duration, is only useable while stealthed and breaks on damage (including dots) ; I would like it to be useable while target is in combat.

    Snares:
    As of this moment, assassins don’t have a single gap closer, no range abilities and a single melee snare. They do have the strongest snare (70%), but it’s short duration (8 seconds) and larger health pools at higher level (making fights longer after our opener) makes it feel like we’re constantly reapplying it. Thus, since we’re so vulnerable to kiting, I would like an easier way to snare our target when we’re in melee range. I kindda like the Vindicator Talent “Forced Recon” giving the warrior’s attacks from behind a 25% chance to snare their target. I believe this gameplay is very suitable for the assassin. I also liked the “Deadly Brew” talent in World of Warcraft making the rogue’s poison automatically apply crippling poison.

    Leeching Poison:
    It makes absolutely no sense at all that poisoning an enemy would heal the poisoner. I would gladly trade the healing component from this ability for something that would make more sense. A debuff that turns healing into damage, that blocks incoming heals for “X” seconds, a stackable damage over time, … To make up for the loss of healing that ability provided, make “Enduring Brew” stronger. It also reduces the amount of RNG in the assassin soul.

    Lack of CP Building ability:
    If we're in front, we spam Savage Strike ; If we're behind, we spam Backstab. This doesn't bother me as much as other issues, since we do use puncture every 10 seconds and if we get a secondary soul, there is a chance we'll get another 2 CP ability that will fit into the rotation too if we're attacking from the front. Backstab is just that good from behind.

    --------------------------------------
    That’s all I can think of for now. I love the idea of assassin in this game and believe the mechanics needs just a little more refining in order for assassin to have a proper gameplay. After all, the goal of a game is not to be the strongest soul out there, but to play the most fun soul out there … to you.

    Thank you for reading and keep the suggestions regarding melee gamelay coming. I will gladly add them to the wishlist if most agrees with them.
    Last edited by Shrodinger; 02-20-2011 at 06:20 PM.

  2. #2
    Rift Disciple Refried's Avatar
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    You make some pretty good points here. But remember, Assassin's poisons are a mess right now. With the new Beta 7 change to Expose Weakness being Assassin exposing only, you may be seeing bigger numbers of damage you're doing, but it will generally equal out to the same time to take down the mob.

    I'm with you on the leeching poison - It's a throw away skill at the moment along with Enduring Brew.

    The tree as a whole doesn't flow very well and is a bit stiff, but time will tell if they make improvements which may or may not break the game for me.
    "It's sad something so well written was wasted on a forum post..." - Gilmador

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    Shadowlander
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    Quote Originally Posted by Refried View Post
    You make some pretty good points here. But remember, Assassin's poisons are a mess right now. With the new Beta 7 change to Expose Weakness being Assassin exposing only, you may be seeing bigger numbers of damage you're doing, but it will generally equal out to the same time to take down the mob.

    I'm with you on the leeching poison - It's a throw away skill at the moment along with Enduring Brew.

    The tree as a whole doesn't flow very well and is a bit stiff, but time will tell if they make improvements which may or may not break the game for me.
    I am unfamiliar with the expose weakness changes, but regardless. The changes I'm suggesting are all "gameplay" changes in nature and have very little to do with class balance.

    I am trying to improve the assassin gameplay experience and our attachement to the class, making it more "immersive" and less "clunky".

    P.S. I love the Behemot avatar!
    Last edited by Shrodinger; 02-14-2011 at 10:03 PM.

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    Rift Disciple Harkonis's Avatar
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    I rather enjoyed leeching poison, it really helped my survivability in pve and rift closings. Combined with the bladedancer's twin strikes to hit multiple targets I was getting hp back faster than losing them in many situations.

  5. #5
    Soulwalker
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    Great suggestions!

    Although i absolutely love the return damage from poison malice. Seems to wreck rogues/warriors from my pvp experiences.

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    Plane Touched Patriot's Avatar
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    This is how you write up your idea's in a pro-active way. Very nice job, OP. I agree with your points 100%
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  7. #7
    Plane Touched
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    You have some interesting points, before i comment i want to say that i am a very successful assassin and i didnt have a problem killing any class 1v1 in beta 6. I understand you think some of the mechanics should be moved around a bit to make it feel a bit more of a rogue with the posions and that. You got to take into count that the amount of dmg that assassins can put out in a short period of time a 50% healing reduction spell would greatly effect the way other classes in the game work. Leeching posion is necessary in a fight against a some classes, and very helpful in PvE. It does nearly the same dmg as virulent posion, but also heals. Honestly i feel that assassins are perfect the way they are, they're all about bleeds / posions. The posions are just a compliment to auto attacks which is why its RNG, i dont think it needs to be a core mechanic for assassins, its just extra "passive dmg"
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    Shadowlander
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    Quote Originally Posted by demisedofrice View Post
    You have some interesting points, before i comment i want to say that i am a very successful assassin and i didnt have a problem killing any class 1v1 in beta 6. I understand you think some of the mechanics should be moved around a bit to make it feel a bit more of a rogue with the posions and that. You got to take into count that the amount of dmg that assassins can put out in a short period of time a 50% healing reduction spell would greatly effect the way other classes in the game work. Leeching posion is necessary in a fight against a some classes, and very helpful in PvE. It does nearly the same dmg as virulent posion, but also heals. Honestly i feel that assassins are perfect the way they are, they're all about bleeds / posions. The posions are just a compliment to auto attacks which is why its RNG, i dont think it needs to be a core mechanic for assassins, its just extra "passive dmg"
    Yet none of his builds linked in his sig current or past are assassin main spec but all ranged variations - but assassin's are fine he says lol.

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    Shadowlander
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    Hehe, thx for the great replies so far. I'll put more feedback if I think of anything else regarding assassins.

    As for the comments to leeching poison, I knew some people would disagree since they love the heal. I understand it's a nice heal in PvE, but it still doesn't make any sense. I would rather see "Enduring Brew" buffed to a more solid heal, it would make more sense.

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    Telaran Roarnak's Avatar
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    Yeah great post. As for me I would much rather see Assassinate moved up into the 40 pt range, hit like a ton of bricks, and to compensate for its overpowering burst DPS give it a lengthy cool down.

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    Plane Walker Drekor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shrodinger View Post
    Suggestion: Give a damage bonus to the Infiltrator’s “Cloudy Poison”. After all, it’s the only weapon enhancement without damage bonus attached to it.
    I just can't agree, the infiltrator poison is extremely powerful and versatile in that it can both reduce healing and dps of a caster. To add damage to it and there would be no reasons to use anything else.

    Suggestion: Replace “Savage Strike” with “Infected Wound”: a combo point ability dealing weapon damage + poison damage based on the number of assassin’s bleeds on your target (3x serrated blade, jagged strike, puncture, impale). This is very similar to the Void Knight’s basic attack “Reckless Strike” adding 4% damage to it for every pact the VK has.
    I like the concept!

    Suggestion: Revamp Poison Mastery and make it a 3 point talent. Instead of +2% to +10% additional chance to proc your poison, it should give your melee finishers a 33% - 100% chance to proc both poison on your target. I haven’t done the math and I’m sure it can be tweaked so the dps remains about the same. The goal is just to make poison more predictable and turn them into a gameplay … especially if we get that healing debuff and want it to stick to our target without relying on RNG.
    Would be good with the poisons secondary effects for sure.

    Suggestion : Revamp backstab and rename it sneak attack. "Your combo point abilities have X% chance to benefits from an additional Y% of your attack power." The improved backstab talent could "add the additional 50% armor penetration effect to sneak attacks."
    Hmmm, an interesting idea but it's a RNG thing... which I don't like very much.

    Suggestion : Poison Malice, replace its duration by a number of charges, activating this ability doesn’t break stealth. "The next x poisons deals an additionnal 100% damage." A mechanic similar to the Nightblade’s finisher “Scourge of Darkness” where the next x attacks deals an additionnal y damage. I'm sure nobody will miss the "returns 15 damage per hit to the attacker"
    Great idea though I still think it needs a duration to prevent stacking it.

    Suggestion : Regarding Sap ... It's easy for a Nightblade to catch a target out of combat with a 20 yards range sap ... much harder for an assassin and chances are higher an aoe will break your stealth. This additionnal challenge for the assassin should give additionnal reward in the form of : "usable while target is in combat", even if the duration has to become shorter to make up for how much stronger this ability would become. (Sap would still break on damage and is still only useable while stealthed)
    No to sap in combat, your basically talking an insta cast mez. Honestly NBs are an entirely different can of worms(not to mention ranged mez is low enough in NB you can take it as a sin).

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    Rift Chaser Xerac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roarnak View Post
    Yeah great post. As for me I would much rather see Assassinate moved up into the 40 pt range, hit like a ton of bricks, and to compensate for its overpowering burst DPS give it a lengthy cool down.
    What? its average at best as it stands now

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    Plane Touched
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xerac View Post
    What? its average at best as it stands now
    I think, when he mentions overpowering dps, he is referring to the damage that assassinate would do after his proposed change to it....

  14. #14
    Shadowlander
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    just can't agree, the infiltrator poison is extremely powerful and versatile in that it can both reduce healing and dps of a caster. To add damage to it and there would be no reasons to use anything else.
    Since assassin have many abilities and talents improving poison, choosing the infiltrator poison cripples assassin's a lot more than any other classes except maybe the nightblade with their +30% weapon enhancement damage talent for 2 points (OP?). The poison might be overpowered in the hands of a ranger or marksman, that I agree ... but I feel confident Trion will restrict weapon enhancement to melee attack only someday.

    As for it becoming so powerful it will become the only poison we use in PvP, what do you make of the Nightblade's -50% healing debuff weapon enhancement that also does a lot of death damage? That thing is so strong, they will never use anything else in PvP. Also, -50% healing is a lot deadlier than +25% casting time, yet it still does decent death damage. I dont think asking for poison water damage on the infiltrator poison is asking too much.

    Also, regarding nightblades, it is possible for them to get both the healing debuff and the casting time debuff ... This combination is extremly powerful. This is part of the reason why I think our leeching poison is just weak and makes no sense. Healing us on attacks ... this game design decision is so random. So many fans of the assassin class are playing nightblade because ... well nightblade is just better at the moment by a long shot.


    Great idea though I still think it needs a duration to prevent stacking it.
    Adding a maximum amount of charge would be quite easy to code. Also, triggering the cooldown only once every charges has been used is also very easy to code, but I would rather use option #1 because I like the fact poison malice has the same cooldown as foul play. Honestly, there is absolutly no technical difficulty in the idea.


    No to sap in combat, your basically talking an insta cast mez. Honestly NBs are an entirely different can of worms(not to mention ranged mez is low enough in NB you can take it as a sin).
    It might be an instant cast mez, but dont forget it requires stealth. This limitation alone prevent you from abusing it. And if you stay stealthed sapping everyone around, you're doing nothing else which makes you close to useless. "Diminishing returns" or a debuff would prevent someone from griefing a player with chain sapping.

    As for getting the nightblade mez, I'll give you that, it's low in the tree and easy to get. But choosing nightblade would prevent you from choosing another calling. You dont fix a broken ability by saying "X" ability isn't broken and you can get it by doing "Y"! That is called ignoring the problem and working around it. I myself plan on being assassin / bladedancer / riftstalker. There is no room for the nightblade in there and I dont like the nightblade concept anyway (fire + death damage and ranged attacks? no thank you), nor will I put points into the soul only to get passive bonuses and that ranged sap.

  15. #15
    Shadowlander
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    Hahaha, it's open beta alright. Forums are getting flooded by the "rate my build threads" and this discussion is quickly getting buried.

    Bumping an intelligent discussion thread, those are rares nowadays during open beta.

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