EDIT (2011/10/02): while this thread has devolved into bickering and trolling, there is one post that you absolutely must read. It's ROFLegendary:
Also, I asked Trion to close this thread:
Last night I sent a PM to the Community Managers to close this thread, here's an excerpt of my message to them:
I'm posting this message so that the community knows that it was closed at the request of the person who started it.There are two reasons I am writing to ask you to close it:
1. the thread has devolved into a lot of unconstructive bickering between players
2. a great dialogue by and between Rogues has been started where there is insightful discussion about where Rogues are at, what good changes there were, and what needs to be dialed back:
This is the kind of dialogue I was hoping to see, and I hope that you folks at Trion will look at that thread when determining how the 1.5 changes to Rogues have played out and what needs to be adjusted.
Thanks Community Management team!
EDIT (2011/09/29): I should have anticipated that there would be a lot of incorrect assumptions made by players (especially Rogues) about why I posted this thread, so let me set the following context before you read the article.
1. I care about PVP class balance in RIFT, because RIFT is the game I play, and I want the game to do well so I and other people continue to enjoy it. I have greatly appreciated and respected many of the things that Trion has achieved with the success of RIFT to date, including proven to the business community and gaming community that AAA-quality MMORPG launches are possible to do, if executed well
2. I am not writing about the Rogue changes because I have played a Warrior and currently play a Cleric. Even if I played a Rogue, you would see this same post from me. As I know that many of you will be skeptical of the latter statement, let me make the next point
3. I have advocated and supported nerfs to classes and specs that I have played in the interest of PVP balance. I am concerned with the bigger picture, not having a faceroll/IWIN/overpowered experience.
Here are some examples of my supporting nerfs to my own specs/classes for PVP balance:
Last example: I contacted Trion to make then aware of what I believe is an unintended mechanic (not training R1 Healing Communion) that gave Clerics what I feel is an unfair competitive advantage as healers:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JPhdPI69y28#t=0m55s
As I said in this video right after 1.4 launched, I thought that the nerfs to instant-cast healing were justified and improved the quality of PVP, and keep in mind that the spec that I ran (and am still using) is built on instant-cast healing, so the nerfs impacted me directly.
This is yet another example of my supporting a nerf to my class/spec for overall PVP balance
I AM ALL FOR PVP BALANCE, KK? LOLZ!
With that out of the way, here's what I had to say about 1.5...
I have been a huge advocate of Trion’s MMORPG RIFT on my blog (including two in-depth class guides), on the official forums, in social media, and as a host on GAMEBREAKERTV’s weekly RIFT show The Sanctum.
I have supported the game through the many pendulum balance swings from Patch 1.0 to 1.4, because I thought the degree of balance changes were reasonable for a new game, and I was willing to be patient.
That being said, Patch 1.5 has been a huge turnoff. Trion wanted to buff Rogues in Patch 1.5 to make them stronger. I totally agree with that sentiment. But what Trion delivered was over-the-top and they’ve created a new OP class.
Trion not only buffed Rogue damage and Energy regeneration (both good changes IMO), they also implemented the following huge changes:
What’s the big issue with FB and VM? They’re passive procs. Yes, they can be cleansed, but that requires a GCD on the part of the healer, and within a few GCDs the FB or VM debuff will be back on the target again. Competent Rogues have already figured this out, and they’ve been using enemy healers as an HP-battery while burning them down. Most Rogues know that the changes are OP but are trying to keep quiet about it.
- Not only moving Fell Blades (FB) from 32 to 16 points in the root but also making FB siphon a portion of the heal from the debuffed target. Let’s say you heal a FB-debuffed target and the normal heal would be 1200. The debuffed heal amount is 600, and the Rogue is healed 300. Rogues who are beating on a debuffed target who is receiving healing are essentially healing themselves. Vampiric Munitions was introduced as an 18-pt ability in the Marksman tree and it has the same mechanics as FB. So any Rogue can easily reach either FB or VM in a PVP DPS spec
- Providing Rogues with multiple effective healing abilities: Leeching Poison (ticks for 240+ at R8), Enduring Brew (2k heal at R8 on 1-min cooldown). And there is at least one other big-heal cooldown ability available
Passive procs that both debuff healing received and siphon healing from the debuffed target is as bad an idea as what we saw in 1.1 with Ground of Power providing 100% CC immunity coupled with high burst damage + range for Pyros. That is, this is skill-less PVP all over again.
I was talking to a highly-skilled PVP player that I’ve known since WAR named Telena, and he summed it up perfectly:Trion has a habit of implementing passive-based procs that have a very powerful effect (e.g. Lingering Wounds, Fell Blades, and Vampiric Munitions), instead of having the procs replaced by abilities with cooldowns that require thought and timing on the part of the player.Speaking of healing received debuffs, Trion failed to learn what Blizzard finally learned after 4.5 years of PVP and Arena: -50% healing debuffs are bad PVP design. IMO healing debuffs should be no more than -25%, and healing should also be reduced accordingly. The problem with -50% healing debuffs is they force players to spec in particular ways, and when you have DPS with those debuffs healing is hard but when you have DPS without those debuffs then healing is easy.
Remember when WoW Warriors had to spec Arms for PVP or be considered useless? That finally was addressed by Blizzard in Cataclysm when Mortal Strike was reduced from 50% to a fraction of that, healing was balanced accordingly, and for the first time ever, there was a much wider array of viable specs for classes in battlegrounds and Arena. I know, I was there for 2k Arena in Cataclysm in 2v2 and 3v3.
I don’t say all these things because I play a main healer in RIFT PVP. In most games, I’ve either played a DPS (e.g. RIFT Warrior, WAR Bright Wizard, LOTRO Orc Reaver), tank (e.g. WAR Swordmaster, WoW Prot Pally), or off-healer (e.g. LOTRO Captain, Allods Melee Cleric, Aion Chanter). RIFT is the first game where I’ve played a main healer class at endgame. So my perspective is based on what is good for PVP, not based on what is good for my RIFT Cleric.
Here’s a trip down memory lane for RIFT PVP:
It’s such a shame, RIFT had started to turn the corner in terms of PVP balance and playability with Patch 1.4. The new patch has taken PVP in the wrong direction, at a time IMO when Trion call ill-afford to have missteps given the impending launch of multiple big-name games over the next quarter.
- Patch 1.0: Champion-spec’d Warriors were overpowered with Titan’s Strike, Riftblade Warriors did too much ranged damage, Saboteurs did way too much AOE damage. I could tolerate this, the game just launched.
- Patch 1.1: the Dawn of the Pyromancer. Pyros had high ranged burst damage coupled with complete CC immunity. I could tolerate this, the game just launched.
- Patch 1.2: CC DR system was introduced, with a 24-second window for CC immunity for control effects and for movement effects. This proved to be too long, making it very difficult to CC-burst healers and for MDPS to stay within melee range of targets. I could tolerate this, CC immunity was needed and was sure to be tweaked.
- Patch 1.3: CC DR window was reduced to 15 seconds, which made sense. Warrior trees were changed so that the damage-increasing talents were more flexible and stacked. Healing was still too powerful. With the buffs to Warriors, Rogues fell behind. It seemed to me like RIFT was turning the corner with PVP balance and playability.
- Patch 1.4: instant-cast healing was nerfed, which was a great change IMO. Previously it was too easy for healers to bail-out heal. The Warrior damage-increasing talents were capped, which made sense given the magnitude of Warrior burst. And Trion implemented a hugely positive change: Valor Normalization, which removed the unnecessary mitigation advantage that R8 players enjoyed on top of having better stats and weapons. Finally, PVP was getting to a reasonable state in terms of balance. Rogues still needed work but PVP overall was competitive across classes.
- Patch 1.5: Rogues were buffed to the point of enabling skill-less play. Egad.