[Dev Attention Please] Warlock Ceiling Issues

Discussion in 'Mages' started by Mogrim, Mar 21, 2016.

  1. Mogrim Well-Known Member

    The point of this thread is purely and solely to speak to the issues that are unique to Warlocks, while also hitting on some areas that overlap to all mages. If you've got some snide personal attacks against me, send them to me as a private message. I don't want this thread derailed. If you've got some snide personal attacks against the devs/other players, keep them to yourself. They're not useful.

    First: When I say Warlocks have problems, I'm speaking to the ceiling for the class. That means "when all conditions are ideal, when gear is at or near the max, here are our issues". Chances are, if you think Warlocks are OP, you're not looking at ceiling-level-warlocks. That is because, in many senses, Warlocks are in a very good place when compared to their peers when you're talking about casually geared players with casual gear stat ranges, with no ethereals, no myth hammers, etc.

    My solution here is to attempt to find a fix that doesn't make the casual range of Warlocks better, but fixes the ceiling of Warlocks. I was the first person to speak to these ceiling issues, as soon as the patch notes came out that suggested that the new CB cap would be 3000, along with the reworking of Focused Casting. My predictions were largely correct. Of course, many people took my predictions to imply that Warlocks would be immediately bad. However, I was speaking from the long-view, and many knowledgeable people from other classes (including Daray) agreed that Warlocks would be in significant trouble long-term. Other players in high-end guilds have agreed with this, and at this point, a few of us (Faceroller/Yards is another) have already hit this ceiling. Let me start by explaining the problem(s), before offering my solution.

    The issues that plague Warlocks are numerous. Here is my current list.

    1) Warlock Issue: With much of the content being limited in target counts (or having the encounter be AOE immune) Warlocks have few fights that are designed in a way that is friendly to how we play the game. I'm not looking to fix this. This is part of the ebb and flow of encounter design. I think as a whole, there isn't much we can do, as I'm not a fan of lobbying for content that is specifically designed to make one class look good. In addition, future expansions might completely reverse this trend.

    2) Mage Issue: Ethereal effects favor T1 Scouts. Each archetype gets 3 "ethereal effects" Currently, Mages and Scouts share one "worthless" Ethereal Effect (The One Above/Fonrain), and one "great" ethereal effect (Essence of Duality/Phelony). However, the effect that the classes don't share is the one that is problematic. When comparing Fai Thass, The Ravager to Downfall, the Trembler, we can see that scouts get a well-scaling buff that is extremely powerful, while mages get a nearly worthless effect. This is possibly the single biggest issue with scaling issues regarding Mages vs Scouts. This really needs to be address, regardless of the issues that plague Warlocks.

    3) Mage Issue: Utility mechanics along with Utility revamps have largely left mages to the wayside. From the improvements to Battle Cry to the lack of solid Troub utility improvements to the fact that Time Warp is nearly worthless now, to the fact that Combat Mastery is still awesome, mages have seen utility buffs greatly improve the "others". Time Warp is probably the largest area that needs a fix, in this area.

    4) Warlock Issue: The Warlock-specific prestige cloak is awful. Sadly, we haven't seen any changes to this. I've proposed multiple fair changes. Still hoping we'll see something, as this item is intended to be cool. We're not the only cloak that needs to be fixed, but the lag caused by our cloak actually causes it to severely hurt the raid.

    5) Warlock Issue: Focused Casting:

    Focused Casting has gone back and forth being between being worthless and incredibly powerful for a long time. It's a frustrating situation for players on both sides of the equation. If you're a Warlock at the top of your game, Focused Casting can either help you shine, or if it is weak, it can cause you to wonder "what could be". Currently, Focused Casting works fine for casual-geared Warlocks. However, it really really struggles for high-end-geaered Warlocks. Pre-nerf/mechanics changes Focused Casting used to effectively be a 75% increase in damage. This was incredibly powerful. However, when you look at relative gain for stats for an end-game-geared Warlock, Focused Casting has become roughly a 7-12% increase in damage. Because end-game-geared Warlocks are capping their Crit Bonus BEFORE Focused Casting even gets clicked, making the buff simply 750 potency. Focused Casting essentially becomes a WEAKER temp than Spellbind. This is problematic for several reasons.

    A) Focused Casting doesn't reset from the Myth Hammer. Not only does it lose value, but we get a double-whammy from this.
    B) Fiery Blast is superior to FC (at the end game) AND has a shorter recast. AND resets from the Myth Hammer. This is a pretty serious issue, and a big reason as to why end-game-geared Wizards have a massively higher ceiling than Warlocks.
    C) Other T1 temps scale much better, as well. Fatal Follow-Up, Double Up, Undead Horde, etc all scale much better, and many/most of them reset from the Myth Hammer as well.

    Proposed Solution: We need Focused Casting to function better, but also not cause balance issues at the lower tiers. There seems to be two specific ways this can happen.

    1) Allow the hammer to reset Focused Casting again.
    2) Allow Focused Casting to grant the Warlock a temporary Crit Bonus Cap of 4000 instead of 3000.

    What will this do? This will turn Focused Casting into roughly a 33-42% damage boost at the high levels, while relatively remaining unchanged at the lower levels, due to the cap not coming into play. In addition, since the overall power of Focused Casting will be similar to that of other RESETTABLE temps, it deserves to be able to be reset by the Myth Hammer, again. In addition, this coding SHOULD prevent the ability from needing FURTHER balance passes in the future, which is a huge part of my goal as well. I want a change that the Devs can implement that should help put this ability back on the map, while also preventing it from being so strong it causes endless complaints. FYI - at the end game, changing your CB from 3k to 4k is a 33% increase to your CB. Add in the marginal potency gain, and thats where I get my 33-42% increase in damage. As gear progresses (but the cap remains) this increase will slowly move closer to 33%, but I'm okay with that.
    Hiza, suka and Bansidhe65 like this.
  2. Veta Well-Known Member

    What happened to #TeamConj? =(
  3. Mogrim Well-Known Member

    I'm not an expert on Conj issues. If you make a thread, I'll definitely support your strong points, if your proposed solutions are valid.
  4. Yards Well-Known Member

    I'd suggest Making Focused Casting based off of potency, give potency, reduce the amount it gives by 50%,and reduce the reuse by 50%. So in a nutshell at full reuse I'd suggest FC to increase potency by ~35% of base potency and be on a 1min 15 sec reuse.
    Mogrim likes this.
  5. Mogrim Well-Known Member

    I could definitely live with this.
  6. Vasco Active Member

    Or make FC temporarily raise the CB cap along with its usual benefits.
  7. Partyx New Member

    !Attention! community, friends and Devs,

    I ask that you please read this post. While, I haven’t used the forums much over the years of time in Everquest 2. I feel it’s important to make an effort to aid the game at this grim point of time. Problem is there are so many problems with the game that haven't been fixed in years. Devs and community of Everquest 2 stand by the game we all created, played and enjoyed through the years one last time. Stand together once more to give our game more longevity. Which, is needed since the cancellation of Eq Next! We need many people to repeat the ideas about to be recommended across all communication channels known. Recommendation is not just from me, but from the many, many players throughout the last few years, I’ve played with! The post will be a “Hail Mary” to our Dev’s to hopefully catch and implement with our help and support.

    How do we add longevity to the game we’ve loved for some many years, good ole Everquest 2. It’s simple to draft. We revitalize the base game! See many foundations of Everquest 2 were designed years ago. Alternative Achievement points or as the Eq2 “geeks” would say AA tree/points. The AA trees must be destroyed or deleted! What, why, huh? Yes, you read correctly, destroyed. Most of them are very, very old and outdated or simply overplayed! I mean we’ve played the same few Kingdom of Sky, Echoes of Faydwer trees for years and years! Outdated, old and overplayed means or equals boring! Let’s get some fresh ones! Diverse AA tree’s with nearly same end effects. Example being a damage class would have a few different playstyles or cast orders to choose from. One being nearly same damage output just simply a different cast order or list of actions needed to be completed to achieve max results! Giving the player options rather than playing the same old AA spec. Player could switch every so often to try new AA builds without any or not much loss of damage. Which, would keep things interesting for a very long time, since you know how long we played with just one spec! YEARS! The same can be done with all archetypes. Healers could heal / dps by different means through different AA builds with nearly same results. Same for other archetypes.

    Next topic is the old outdated spells of several classes. Mythical buffs and spells are outdated. Some classes mythical buff is a laugh in comparison to other classes. So why not just give each archetype the same exact buff! Damage classes get damage myth buff, healers get a heal buff, tanks get a tank buff, utility get a utility buff! Sounds balanced right? Thought so. Besides we have had those old mythical buffs for years anyways. Time for change. Also, if any dev or players takes an hour or so and simply goes through the spell/ability books of all classes you will notice that so many spells just are not viable at all or lost use ability due to not scaling well with stat inflation over the years. Buff those that were lost through the years. The ones that are not used simply change to something that is useful. Example being a spell that isn’t used be turned into another spell that is exactly the same in output. However, is only utilized in certain AA builds! Diversity see?

    Moving on to content longevity. We all have grinded heroics or dungeons which ever you call them. Same with raid content. Our problem is after a short time, we get bored. Especially, once we get all the best items from the content. How does this sound? Add some competition to the mix! Fastest ranked team to clear heroics receives a special item whether it just be some amazing in-game item or daybreak cash reward! Now that would keep a lot of us in those heroics instead of jumping around in our guildhalls!
    Players would lock in a six man team to explore and dominate for a chance to compete for an exclusive reward give out only at the end of a 3 month season. Well, you may ask? The heroics are far too easy for competition. Not if the Devs up the damage output and health of all the content by good percentage! The best clear time average of all heroics would claim the prize at the season ending. Raiding is nearly the same as heroics at the moment. We clear the content and farm it until next content release. Let’s add some spice to this also. Copy the heroic season to the raid season. Yes, raid seasons! Your guild versus all of the guilds in Everquest 2 in a 3 month race to finish with the lowest average clear time of all raid content. The top guild would receive an exclusive prize and title. The top 5 guilds would also receive a nice prize and the top 50 guilds would also receive a prize! Bring on the competition! Not only raid for amazing raid gear but for a purpose! One exception to raid seasons would be the previous raid season raid gear would not able to be used in the next season but can be used outside of the new seasons raid zones. So, you keep the raid gear and can use it but it can’t be used in the raid zones of the upcoming raid season. The reason old season raid gear can’t be used in new season makes it more of race to re-gear and once geared to push for clear times! Another part of seasons would be that there would be two different types of season, hardcore for the die-hard, try-hard players and softcore for the more casual and family oriented guilds. Which also would be implemented in the heroic content seasons. Each seasons difficulty would increase by a decent percentage! Game faces folks!

    Market, economy and money in general are nearly broken at the moment. One can’t harvest to get money, one can’t craft to make money. Sure, they can make money or currency which ever you call it. They simply just don’t make enough though due to platinum exploits, dupe exploits and bot programs selling items. How do we fix this? Simple. We clear all of currency. Complete reset and/or change of currency. Sure, some of the rich will not support this at first. However, let’s be honest the economy is broken. Drastic changes are needed. Restart or new currency introduction is the only viable option. Make the old currency only good for repairing armor or something of the sort.

    Finally, I will close my post stating this. It’s time for some changes. While, the AA / Spells / Buff changes seem drastic. It’s time for it don’t you think? Refresh our game we’ve grown to love. It will still be Everquest 2 just with some new aspect tied in. The seasons would not only make for fun and reward but would make players really excited once more! Also not to mention the tons of players that have sort of quit come back in full force. We all know a few that would comeback if something this radical and exciting reaches their ears! What will it take to make this happen? I am unsure to be honest. Although, I know one thing a community that pulls together can make so much impact. If we all share this desire for change and express it over and over to Daybreak games. Our support as a community will be heard at the least. Hopefully, this is shared to all your friends and the re-post or communicate to the company to see all of these or at least some of these ideas implemented! Thanks for reading!


    P.S Didn't really proof read this only a quick skim.
  8. Anunnaki Active Member

    This seems like a band-aid that won't fix the problem going forward. Might work right now, but any expansions after this you are going to run into the same problem again, and then we will have 50 "deleting my 40 year old warlock" threads again. Only fix I can see is making it a temp that only increases potency, based on base potency. Then again, you have to pick the values correctly, or it has the potential to be absurdly OP again.
  9. Rubick Well-Known Member

    The myth hammer needs to reset FC imo. It's kind of ****** up that it doesn't. But I would say making FC reset from the hammer and changing it to 20-25% base potency would theoretically put them back in line at the absolute end game. However, if they're going to do that it would only make sense for wizards to be tweaked in a way that they're more competitive at lower tiers without raising their ceiling. If not, warlocks will be better at everything.
  10. Amaitae Active Member

    Could you open a new thread, and remove this post instead, it's off topic.
  11. Mandoblast Active Member

    Report from the mid-tier:

    I am not in a top 10 guild, but I can see this happening in my mid-level guild. We are right around top 30 I believe. There are 3 warlocks in the guild and usually 2 of us in the raid. The other warlock out parses me by a bit because he has had the duality all expac while I just got one a couple weeks ago. The gap closed but buffs matter so the gap is still there. He and I are usually 1-2 on most fights and have been this way much of ToT.

    Here is the problem. As the raid gears, the gap is closing fast. The 2 assassins are parsing much higher, the 2 conj's are parsing better, and other scouts are rising. Raid DPS is going up, which means my dps and the other warlocks are also rising but the GAP is closing. I believe this is the ceiling gap that Mogrim is talking about. As the raid reaches the top of the gear ceiling that is end game ToT, other T1 classes scale and warlocks slow down. I dont need to "win" the parse but I can see a point where I will not be able to keep up no matter what I do. Mage utility from troubs and illys has become much less than dirges and combat mastery.

    If i had to look at it like this I would say that casual warlocks who raid sometimes but do not have end game gear will likely never reach the ceiling. Those warlocks make up maybe 50% of the warlock population and either win on skill or non-optimize raid setup or just flat out get pasted because of the first 2 issues.

    The next tier would be mid-tier warlocks (which I consider myself) and would make up 45% of all warlocks. This warlocks raid and are slowly gearing the raid force and are approaching the ceiling with other T1 classes closing far faster.

    The last tier would be the 5% that play at the top. These warlocks have either hit the ceiling or are almost there.

    The point is that we are 5 months into ToT and 5% of the warlocks cannot get any more powerful than they are right now. I would say that the mid-tier will hit the ceiling in a few months leaving 50% of the warlocks with no way to scale beyond ToT for the foreseeable future. Other T1 classes will scale beyond, but we wont.

    So what happens now? Was the CB cap and FC nerf put in to stop the top end? Neither has much of an effect on the lower tier since that cap is not reached normally. If FC had been changed without the CB cap or FC had been changed to potency with the CB cap, then maybe the scaling would continue.

    This is the long game for warlocks. Where do we go when we have no way to scale.
  12. Errrorr An Actual EQ2 Player

    How about instead of trying to balance 26 classes around 1 or 2 really OP items, we just remove the items and revert back to the original balance?

    Let's face it, that hammer is so game changing it's beyond a joke any more. Lets balance classes around a hammer that may or may not drop once every couple of months.
  13. Mogrim Well-Known Member

    Except it was sort of the reverse that happened. The item was amazing for all T1s, and then they balanced the ITEM to help one specific class a lot less than it had been.
  14. xkrisx Well-Known Member

    Or not at all as we have still not seen it drop and we kill it every week.
    Errrorr likes this.
  15. Errrorr An Actual EQ2 Player

    Even so, any item that can take abilities balanced around 5 minute reuses, and make them castable every 30s is going to cause a lot of balance issues. That's before even getting to the Fervor.
  16. Mogrim Well-Known Member

    I do agree with this. The item may have been better off being the standard hostile/beneficial reset + fervor without having a significantly enhanced list of what it resets. However, this is just a microscopic aspect of my overall class concerns regarding Warlocks. Back on topic, Senior Mcquacken.
  17. Yards Well-Known Member

    I take this back this is just fixing one problem on one class. The easiest way to fix almost all classes issues is to admit they were wrong and remove both the cb and wdb/swb caps. As I stated in other threads there is absolutely no reason to have them hard capped in the first place as the developer's who make the loot are 100% in control of what/how much stats we gain from items so putting a hard cap on stats was just lazy and made more problems then it solved.
  18. kluxor Well-Known Member

    No offense or anything, but I've never seen any class cry as much as warlocks. You guys absolutely destroy AE encounters by the tune of 100m+ dps. That not enough that you feel the need to pass single target focused classes on those encounters also? Not to mention a good warlock already does beat most other dps on single target already. You're in a much better place than any other caster, really shouldn't complain as much as you guys don't

    And in regards to ethereals and hammers....cant even stand listening to everyone who does have one or the other whining about their power. Get over it already please
  19. Mogrim Well-Known Member

    Warlocks are not as good as Wizards are on AE encounters. All things equal, Wizards destroy Warlocks, not the other way around. Necros are ALSO better. Conjs are probably behind, but I've yet to see how an amazing Conj + hammer performs. So they're a bit of an unknown right now. You're simply falling into the error of speaking about how Warlocks in the casual to middle-ranges perform.
  20. Mrmacky Active Member

    yeah.. veta got the hammer so we still dont have an amazing conj with a hammer :(
    Yoube and Veta like this.