Can we rethink how Dark Hearts/Shards are used in zones?

Discussion in 'Mages' started by Bhayar, Mar 4, 2022.

  1. Bhayar Well-Known Member

    A few xpacs back, devs fell in love with the concept of mana drains in group and raid zones. This overused concept has only gotten worse. Mana drains now are unrelenting and just don't take a little power, it's zero left and it's constantly occurring.
    Are there remedies? Sure, but they're laughable atm. Overclocked manastones simply don't do it and they haven't kept up at all since their introduction to the game to alleviate the problem. Using them is like watching firefighters drink beer before fighting a fire, so they can drop trousers and urinate on the fire--with about the same effect. Pots in general don't get the job done either. Back to the point of mana draining being so complete, you can drink a pot, eat a manastone and watch your mana drop to zero again before it ever replenishes. It doesn't help they're all on the same timer.
    To the subject of the post: how about we change our thinking about hearts and shards not being able to be cast during combat? That might help the problem a bit. Right now, if you're a necro or conjy, you're constantly issuing solo hearts/shards to players during a raid fight ad nauseum. Is that really the functional job of summoners?
    Are there other potential solutions? Sure, cut back on the overused mana drain concept. It's ok to have it, but having a raid force without power for a fair chunk of the raid is ludicrous. You could actually consider updating pots, updating some power regen abilities by having them recycle faster, etc. I'm not suggesting dumping mana drains or that group/raids should be in full power all the time, but right now, the whole concept is like using a flame thrower to light a candle.
    Magic Missiles, Suidakra and Pixistik like this.
  2. Sigrdrifa EQ2 Wiki Author

    You need more power-feeders, is all. We get by with a chanter in each group, then Etherealists use Essence of Magic, Conjurors use Sacrifice, Mystics use Spirit Tap, etc., etc. The bards run power songs. Also, curing or avoiding detriments can often prevent some power drains. As can AOE blockers at times.
  3. Pixistik Don't like it? You're not alone!

    Pretty sure he knows all this Sigr
    He is right, the power drains have increased and the pots and other items besides shards have really never kept up, it could do with a little tweaking to either lower the drains a bit or speed up the pots so they can actually be used in an effective way.
    I dont mind keeping folks topped up with my Conj, but its an almost constant thing.
    AOE1 likes this.
  4. Bhayar Well-Known Member

    Yes, I do know this. Hence, the post.
  5. DENSER Well-Known Member

    Yea make the summoners great again. Better hearts spells will Make us happy. Lol ;)
    Beee likes this.
  6. DENSER Well-Known Member

    Seriously, in H1,2 i don't see any mana problems with a chanter in the group.
    But ye why not, as devs make chanters dps, why summoners can't be a better mana feeder now ? ;)
  7. Sigrdrifa EQ2 Wiki Author

    Right now you can single-target cast hearts/shards, and it's simple to do a macro that uses /useabilityonrt Shard of Essence -- you get a /tell asking for a shard, hit the macro and boom! it goes to whoever just sent that /tell

    I would support making Najena's Essence Summoning and Miragul's Dark Heart Summoning castable in-combat, certainly. It would be even better if the shards/hearts had a NEW version that gave you power candy with a bunch more power regen on it to match the vast drains we get nowadays. I think these two raid/group power candy spells were like level 60 or 70 or so? More than time for a new version! Or make the power amount scale!

    But for some reason, I see that people just don't carry Overclocked Manastones and power potions and power signets with them, which is nuts! It's certainly true that these only give you small amounts of power, but sometimes that's just enough to get you through. I do expect people -- especially raiders -- to bigawd carry all of these things (and cure pots!) and use them intelligently. Yet I'm always surprised when I say, "Didn't you use an Overclocked Manastone?" to hear, "Oh, I don't carry them."
  8. Bhayar Well-Known Member

    Sig, I know how it all works. An explanation is not needed.
    People don't carry OC manastones (I do) because they don't effin' work in today's drain the mana environment. You can pop one and you're still drained a millisecond later. Casting speeds make it nearly impossible to get off a cast before you're completely drained in some of these fights. And recycle time on reusing a manastone makes it virtually pointless. Manastones are what--level 70? That's a lot of xpacs between then and now. The fact that manastones and signets are aeons ago should tell you something. They've not kept up. And that's the point of this post.
    I don't mind the mana drain concept as a strategy. What I mind is the mindless dependence on it without supplying some adequate tools for players to deal with it.
    AOE1, Twyla and Pixistik like this.
  9. Sigrdrifa EQ2 Wiki Author

    I dunno. Popping an OC Manastone gives me enough time on my 'Lock to cast Dark Siphoning, which then fixes everyone's power for a short bit.

    But I'd be all good with a new generation of the tinkered Manastones, too. Or the temp adorns for the shoulders that regen power... Were those from the Loyalty merchant? They aren't much help now, either, and could use an update.

    I still think that raids that use all their power regen personnel and baubles/potions/etc. well are doing fine, though.
    Twyla likes this.
  10. Beee Well-Known Member

    This solves all problems of shards/hearts: :)

    /useabilityonrt {ability} /useabilityonrt Cure Will execute Cure on the last person who send you a /tell without changing target
  11. Bhayar Well-Known Member

    If you're talking about the red shoulder temps, I believe those came from the tower off the docks in Phantom Sea? I could be wrong. I never found those to be all that effective.
  12. Bentenn Well-Known Member

    I mean if you want a pure DPS class, then play a pure DPS class. Be happy that you can do both. I hate giving out CF on my dirge when i play it to 3 people and keeping it on that rotation, and not having it up for people when i rez them, or just leaving them down for a healer to get, but that's where we are. I don't like that I had to go power feed side on my dirge, to help power feed, but here we are. You're class has an ability that is needed in raid to be successful, use it and enjoy the fact you're needed. You could be irrelevant like brigands or channelers or defilers. The list can go on.

    When I read your OP, it really sounded like you wanted to give the raid their shard/hearts at the beginning of each encounter and not have to worry about it until the next one. The functional job of a summoner... pet attack/dps/feed shard/hearts..heck even on the conjy through up your damage reduction a little, sacrifice that pet for power, etc. Whatever it takes to make the mob dead.. that's your functional job of a summoner.

    Someone stated it though, if you have good chanters/bards.. then its minimal need. IF you don't then you will be feeding a while lot :)
  13. Bhayar Well-Known Member

    You misread what I said if you inferred that I wanted summoners to give the raid hearts and shards at the beginning of each encounter and then not worry about it. All I said was that I wanted the ability to be enabled during combat as well when the mana drains from hell are occurring. The idea you have a summoner in a raid with only the ability to issue hearts to a single target at at time during combat (raid) is a waste of a summoner class who's primary job is dps. I'm less concerned about it at the group level. I actively raided on my dirge until this xpac and didn't have an issue with CF myself. Put another way, you expressed issues with having to maintain it on 3 people--how'd you like to do it on 24 instead?
  14. Bentenn Well-Known Member

    I don't have issues maintaining it on 3 people... People also need to learn to use other things such as essence of malice etc. After handing them out at the beginning of each encounter, there should be only like 4 people asking, and those are the ones that need power to generate power, but if they have essence of malice it will get them enough to push them over the edge. Honestly making it be able to cast raid wide while engaged would just negate the need for a bard or chanter.
  15. Bhayar Well-Known Member

    No offense, but in your statement I responded to first, you say " I hate maintaining it on 3 people," and now you're saying you "don't have issues maintaining it on 3 people." Just a suggestion, but in a discussion centered on discussing game mechanics, you might want to consider sticking to one version or the other. Otherwise, people tend to dismiss your arguments.
    And honestly, I've used the red adorns we previously discussed and they are completely ineffective in recharging power in the situations I'm describing. But if they're working for you, glad to hear it. Most of us don't carry them anymore for that reason. Or, people simply ran out of currency, haha.
  16. AOE1 Well-Known Member

    It helps a whole lot if just one Conjy and/or Necro or both cast their essence and hearts AND upgraded them. But I have been in many pq's that they don't seem to bother with doing that and some classes need those because they actually use their power for casting whatever it is they are casting. I can just imagine that they don't bother in raids either. Cannot guarantee that but if they don't know to do it in a PQ, I don't see them knowing to do it in a raid. There isn't always enough 'POWER feeders around and those little helps plus the other clickie items makes a difference.

    And btw, if raiding and it is needed that the conjy and/or necro have to cast another essence or heart, then cast it. It is part of their job.
    Bentenn likes this.
  17. Bentenn Well-Known Member

    Yes.. I said I HATE maintaining it.. meaning that I don't like it, however I have no issue doing it, because well its what we have to do. No where in that statement did I say I don't do it. In an argument centered around paying attention, you should really read what is typed before you make assumptions.

    You corrected me on your first statement, which I took kindly to and you were right, I did mis-read it. So simply put, that's you're job in raid. Stop your pew pew for 4 secs and cast a heart...

    I'll continue keeping CF on 3 people, even though I hate having to do it :)
  18. Miauler Active Member

    I'm kinda with Bhayar on this one.
    It's nice to say "You need more power feeds"... But from where.. This is fine in large guilds going raiding with potentially more available players to pick up than they can shake a stick at, but for smaller guilds that are otherwise capable of pushing through the general damage/cure/mechanic this is tantamount to a hard lockout.
    Yes, you can ask the guild members to use alts and then raise powerfeeds. But on the very next mob, you'll find that power flows as expected, and the feed oriented characters sit around twiddling their thumbs for the rest of the raid as everyone then struggles to make up for the lack of presence of their original characters.

    I often end up going feed on a Beastlord in Spiritual stance. It works pretty well, even into the territory of quite harsh power drains; I'll burn hearts, shards, OC Stones, pots and whatever else is available. But on some of the current content, I've been finding that the drain is enough to strip right through all those (literally just a few seconds to empty my power, back to full, empty again in a couple. OC Mana stone empties before I can even use a feed primal, almost the same with a pot). And then when I'm on empty, of course Savagery drops because I have no power to use the advantages to generate Savagery to utilise the Primals that I now no longer have power to use anyway. Or savagery to make much of a difference with the Primal if I do find a way into the reboot. What makes it worse is I can hear the other feeds (Illies and coercers and such) weeping away in the background as well.

    I could of course drop for the Illy I have, or the Conjie for shards. But then I end up with characters that only do partial content and I need to maintain multiple toons at that level. Until, of course, you hit the gear upgrade path to the point the solution is "burn through it so the mechanic isn't a challenge anymore". Which is kinda sad. It's like instakilling half the group all the time and saying "Well, get more people in doing rezzes.". It's just not challenging or fun. It's a chore and an irritation.

    If the answer is "Recruit more people", the question is "from where?". EQ2 is not a rapidly expanding game with a surplus of candidates to pull from. I play on AB, and we're haemorrhaging players as it's tough to recruit at raid level, and that's exacerbated by exactly moves like this. You now don't need powerfeed. Or even powerfeed with items that get you out of dire problems if you miscalculate or get a spike. You need powerfeed with the gizmos to get you out of dire problems backed by other very specific powerfeeds that are also carrying those gizmos and you have to specifically have that just to feed the powerfeeds so they can provide a trickle of power to the group before they're emptied again and need to be topped up by the backing powerfeeds (who you really hope still have enough power left to generate the feed items, or it all collapses).

    Essentially, this doesn't gate on player ability. It doesn't even gate on gear (resolve was introduced to gate on that). It shifts the gate from player control to human resourcing issue. That has absolutely no dependency on player ability to play their archetype, tune their build or any other controllable factor in the general game at large.
    Even when you have the resource, and you've cracked the solution to the problem using the one way that can be used to do it, from the words of a player (hi Bentenn) who does it.. "Yes, I can do it, but I hate doing it.".
    So, the teams involved in having the power ripped away hate it. The feeders in the groups hate it. The secondary feeds who have to do it because that's how it's scripted hate it. And that's when you have the very specific makeup that's required to get around just that script. In essence, people hate it. They just do it because they have to, to get on to the next bit. If they can get the specific lineup needed. Reliably. On every outing.

    Now, a challenge is where people can get behind it, wrack their collective brains and find ways of handling situations with creativity and the tools at hand. I've worked in places with lots of challenges. It's interesting; it makes you want to get up in the morning and crack on with stuff because it's a thrill and you're growing and learning with the challenge and doing stuff that gets the old grey matter churning with hundreds of possibilities; you're just searching for an optimum and an elegance.

    And then there are the places that are constantly in a state of emergency, where nobody's got the tools or the resource to fix things, and they lurch from burning mess to burning mess, and if something's patchable, it's just because one of the people happens to have a particular skill set that'll temporarily put out a fire. People still get up in the morning, and are still "engaged" with the issues, but they're tired, frazzled and end up burned out and leaving.

    A power drain that you need to fight and push through is a challenge. I've thoroughly enjoyed using every resource at my disposal to push the boundaries of what I'm capable of doing with the character.

    The extent of the power drain in some of the encounters as is feels just too much like a forced emergency. Almost as if someone's been reading "Who moved my cheese" and liked it (I always look very suspiciously at someone who likes that book, as in general, I find they've missed the point of the entire field it's about).

    In Dev terms, it's like being on a full run in the middle of a project, and then the Project Manager turns round and says "This next, extremely critical change needs to be coded purely in Malbolge-T and linked in with the VC++. Off you go". The correct response to this is of course "Why on earth would anyone do such a thing?" and promptly getting security to pile them in a secure, padded vehicle and delivered to a doctor for a full psych eval and some possibly very calming tea especially for the over-excited.

    I like the community on AB, small though it is. It works. It's friendly. There are some quite knowledgeable people there that freely mentor returning players and give tips with good cheer. If your answer is "drop a good community so you can raid on a server that supports numbers just to get past a mechanic" I'll probably look your direction that particular expression that's usually reserved for when someone asks me for a lightly grilled ferret on toast. Then make you a very special calming cup of tea.
    Twyla, Dude and Magic Missiles like this.
  19. Magic Missiles Active Member

    Constant power drain on so many fights is way past the expiration date and should be tossed out. :eek:
    One or two mobs that do it is fine, but so damn many of them is tired. It is another pointless gate- essentially another form of bulwark that can't be ignored.

    I agree with Bhayar that the ability to cast group/raid wide hearts and shards in combat would be a good change.
    They have a very long cast time and would not be something that summoners would want to cast during a fight but the ability to do wo when needed would be great.

    Thank you Miauler for your well thought out and eloquently written summation of the current situation.
    Bonus points for making me laugh irl! :)

    Twyla likes this.
  20. AOE1 Well-Known Member

    Ok, we are given tons of potions with the overseers and they sit in bags because there are so many and all with different names which do basically the same thing in vials that look exactly like multiple other potion vials. Change the time of recast of those potions. Let them be useful as needed, not that infernal long time before ability to cast again. (personally, it is exhausting and time consuming to figure out which green vial does what, or which purple vial does what.} In short, get rid of the time of recast on them. Make them really useful. As for the OC manastone, most don't even carry them because they are nearly worthless. YAY for those that can use one and have time to cast a spell/buff that will fill their power supply. Most players do not have that ability. As for power essence and hearts, so many conjy's and necros do not bother casting them at all unless you ask for them and even then, they aren't paying attention or just flat ignore the request. Good grief, just cast them if you are not playing solo. If there is more than one of each of those classes, pay attention and if you see someone else did, fine. If not, you do it. Doesn't hurt and causes no personal pain. I don't know what happened to work together to benefit all, but it seems to be disappearing.