A Runepriest guide for Warhammer Online.

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

More detail on 1.3.6 DPS changes for the Runepriest

Runepriests & Zealots:
One of our long-time concerns regarding the Runepriest and Zealot careers is that they ultimately become more limited than other Healer-archetype careers. This is because the other healing careers have their Mastery paths sorted by role - people who play those careers make a decision about the role they want to play, then specialize in the corresponding Mastery path and gear up appropriately. Runepriests and Zealot, however, have their Mastery paths sorted by delivery vehicle ("direct", "over time", and "area", essentially) and then have both offensive and defensive abilities together in each Mastery.  Since there's obviously no such thing as "gearing for direct", though, Runepriests and Zealots then have to decide again whether they want to be offensive or defensive and then gear appropriately - the net result being that even within their chosen Mastery, half of their abilities are ineffective.

We want to maintain the general setup of the Runepriest and Zealot Mastery paths, but we also want to address this issue.  In order to do both of these, we will be adding a new ability to the Runepriest, and changing the functionality of Harbinger of Doom for the Zealot.  All Runepriests will now start with an ability named Rune of Breaking, which can be toggled on and off:

  • While toggled off, the Runepriest is affected by the Rune of Balance.  This causes all Intelligence, Magic Power, and Magic Crit stats on items to be negated, and instead converted into Willpower, Healing Power, and Healing Crit bonuses.  We're currently planning on these stats converting at a 2:1 ratio - in other words, a total of +100 Intelligence from gear would instead be turned into +50 Willpower while this ability is toggled off.
  • While toggled on, the Runepriest is affected by the Rune of Breaking.  This works the same way but in the opposite direction:  Willpower, Healing Power, and Healing Crit stats on gear are negated and instead converted into Intelligence, Magic Power, and Magic Crit, also at a 2:1 ratio.
  • Rune of Breaking may be toggled on and then back off at any time; doing so is instant and costs no Action Points.  However, once it is toggled off, there is a 30 second cooldown before it may be toggled back on again.

For Zealots, Harbinger of Doom will be changed to provide this same functionality.  It will become a starting abilities, and can be toggled on or off.  While toggled off, the Zealot is the Harbinger of Change (and has the same offensive gear stats converted into the same healing stats), and while toggled on, the Zealot is the Harbinger of Doom (and likewise, has healing gear stats converted into offensive stats).  Additionally, all of the Zealot's tactics which currently affect Harbinger of Doom will be redesigned to be appropriate for this new system, and the Runepriest will also gain some tactics which affect Rune of Breaking as well. 
Nate Levy
Lead Designer
Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning
WarhammerOnline Forums.

"The new effect will probably just be called 'Rune of Anger' and give a character glow effect... Hope they at least remember to flip heal crit to magic crit as well!"

Not a huge suprise in functionality of the ability, you can see my original estimate wasn't too far off the mark.

One suprising development is the improvements to our healing that it will bring. Any int, magic crit, magic power will convert into the heal equivalent. We all have some base int, and most sets also add a certain amount of int so it should be a boost to our willpower. It should be a lot easier to hit the willpower cap with the changes and be able to spend points in more survivability, some old items may need to be re-evaluated in light of this change. Conqueror and Invader have magic crit and int set bonuses making them slightly more viable,

I'm not sure that the ratio will stay at 2:1, I think I would prefer magic/heal crit to be a 1:1 ratio as that doesn't develop naturally with our character. Intelligence could then be slightly lower preventing everyone from having capping willpower too easily.

I have a number of concerns with these changes though:
  • In healing mode, we will be able to contribute little or no damage due to negating our base int, and vice-versa for DPS mode and healing. I don't think it should negate (all) willpower/int. For example one could convert willpower to intelligence in the ratio of 2:1. Then half effectiveness of willpower in Rune of Breaking mode.
  • DOT/HOTs are calculated each tick, so if you DOT/HOT someone and then change stance the damage/healing will drop. This really reduces effectivenesss of stance dancing, something that could be a fun and advanced way to play the class.
  • Can't change tactics in combat to meet your DPS/Healing needs.
  • Still have broken/worthless tactics. 
  • Could trigger the Global Cooldown.
  • Still don't have a mechanism to reduce enemy resists to our damage.
  • Balance issues if weapon DPS does affect our magic/heal power and comes in on the same patch. Could we really become flavour of the month?! 
One way to overcome 2-3 of these issues is to have tactics with 2 features - a balance and a breaking side. e.g. Blessing of Grungni - Under Rune of Breaking critical hits will reduce resistance to elemental damage by 150. Under Rune of Balance critical heals increase incoming healing by 25%. Another way would to be able to choose a tactic set to go with each Rune.

Interesting anyway and should give us more options. Time will tell...

1 comment:

  1. Just a few words to say I love your Blog.

    And my opinion on the future changes are quite simple a prefer no mechanic at all rather than a bad mechanic. More over the way it is is kind of lore friendly (runes work everytime and in the same way kind of dwarfy).

    The only change I would like to see is the fact that Oath runes persist after death. That would help me a bit.