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Balancing Warrior and Mage

 
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8/28/2018 2:33:08   
Primate Murder
Member

Okay, so everybody including the staff acknowledges that this is a problem.

I've scrolled through the forums and discord, and from what I see we have two major issues.


Damage Output

At the moment, mages have several things that allow them to pull ahead due to the fact that warriors lack proper equivalents. Here's what I've seen mentioned:

- Bloodmages. At the moment the hp costs are so low that the 100% melee boost is pretty much free.

- Celtic Wheel. A shield that has a stat drive for the mages' main stat, boosting the power of all attacks and spells.

- Poelala. The pet is not so much of an issue, except that it's available via UR, unlike the warriors' premium Dunamis and Thernda.

- Evolved Sustain. The mp cost of the Evolved Form makes it much more sustainable for mages than werewolf's Beast Form is for warriors.

- Elemental Compensation. While it made sense put elecomp into boosting efficiency vs damage for weapon-based skills back then, we have Essence Orb now. This just means that mage spells are point blank stronger than warriors' skill equivalents.

- MP Bar. A 'free' source of nuking that replenishes itself every two battles.

- 20 turn model. The abovementioned point is just a symptom of a bigger problem - the 20 turn model no longer reflects the current reality of AQ battles, which makes mage-warrior balance figures outdated.


Uniqueness

In many ways, I feel like this is a larger issue. At the current moment, warriors are just mages that lack an mp bar.

- Magic Weapon Toggles. This was a mistake. While I can understand the difficulty of making different weapons for mages and warriors, magic toggles erased any difference between warrior and mage weapon inventories. Warriors no longer have anything unique in this category, while the mages still get staffs and spell-boosting weaponry.

- Armor Skills. This was supposed to be the warrior equivalent of magic spells, but as of right now mages can use spells, then switch into skill armors and do just as much damage in them as warriors. Once again, the warriors lost any advantage over mages they had in the skill department.

- MP Bar. I know I mentioned this already, but even outside of its nuking capabilities, the mp bar provides several benefits worth noting - unique summons guests, unique mp-upkeep miscs, mana shield and effect-infliction spells. While warriors can use sp-costing equivalents - so can mages.


Solutions

- Blood Warrior. While I'm not certain if this is the right answer to bloodmages, Hollow promised to release blood warrior / berserker armor until the end of the year.

- HP Costs. Also pertaining to the above issue, I'd like to mention that hp costs have become somewhat of a joke. I suggest rebalancing the entire hp-mp-sp system to lower the hp coefficient. This would increase hp costs to the point where they once more become noticed, and as an added benefit may return healing spells to the game.

- Strength Shield. It has been suggested by many people already, but it's an easy solution to Celtic Wheel.

- Premium Poelala. I acknowledge that transfering Dunamis and Thernda pets into UR would cause AQ to loose quite a bit of revenue, so I suggest shifting the Poelala pet into a premium package instead.

- Blood Beast. I know I complained about hp costs being a joke just now, but this is the best solution I can come up with - dividing the Beast Form's cost between sp and hp.

- Lower EleComp. An easy fix to the disparsity between skill and spell damage is to lower the elecomp itself. I know it's an unpopular solution, but it provides a little equality and a precursor to the future stun-nuke meta nerf.

- Stat-Based SP Bar. Basically, to counter the mages' extra bar, I suggest making the sp bar correspond to a person's Strength and Endurance. This provides an alternative for warriors, as well as a thematically approporiate boost to the unpopular Endurance stat.

- Strength Stat Boost. Rehauling the entire 20 turn model would require sweeping every piece of equipment in the game and the staff no longer have the people for that. As such, some people on Discord suggested increasing the disparsity between the Str and Int boost to weapons. 25% are no longer enough.

- More Melee and Ranged Weapons. No magic toggles, just str- and dex-based weaponry that's unique to warriors. Bonus points if it has new and unique effects.

- Str/Dex-Lock to Armor Skills. It wouldn't be popular, but creating new armors with skills locked to ranged or melee damage seems to be the way to go. Alternatively, skills could provide a damage boost (not just reduction to sp costs) for non-magical damage.

- Str-Based Spells and Guests. As it would be a little too much to expect the staff to create a fourth bar, I suggest creating guests that are boosted by the Str stat, to compensate for all the summons available. Bonus points for guests with unique effects. Likewise, more effect-infliction SPells that use Str as the main stat would not be remiss.



What do you think?

Did I miss any of the major issues?

Do you have better solutions?

Don't hesitate to leave post below with your thoughts and suggestions!
AQ  Post #: 1
8/28/2018 3:33:28   
Aura Knight
Member

It's been a while since I've thought about warriors and though I do have one I based it on mage because as you pointed out a warrior and mage don't seem to be all that different. Warriors just don't use MP for damage is all. This makes coming up with anything useful here a challenge. The suggestion to mess with hp values and costs of skills and spells which use hp is a decent one but what you're suggesting sounds like a risk. Pay more hp for more damage? It could work but don't we somewhat already do this with essence orb and skill nuking? I do like the concept of making healing spells better to make up for a suggested higher hp cost but how exactly would this only benefit warriors? Mages could use the same unless I'm misunderstanding something.

A strength shield I support. We have toggles on shields for just about any relevant stat except strength. And I think this needs to change. In addition to this I would like to see a quickcast spell which boosts either endurance or luck. If we get more things for warriors which scale off these stats, such a spell would increase their usefulness.

The premium Poelala idea is not one I can get behind. It would be unfair to future and past mages. While I can understand your frustration because Thernda and Dunamis pet is part of a package it's too late to make changes. Instead what if we made improvements to in-game boosters such as misc items? Something that could compare to having dual Dunamis or Thernda. This way anyone could be close to the power of having the dual boosters in addition to the players who do have the boosters getting even more power. And to combat this increase in player strength, maybe monsters too could get a bit stronger. Let's say they can deal extra damage to you if these suggested improved misc items are equipped.

Weapons with only melee/range toggles? Yes please. I have been wanting ranged toggles on items for quite a while. Of course melee/magic isn't bad but ranged damage is neglected.

As for armors skills locked to melee and ranged damage sure why not? But don't we already have this? Depending on stats an armor's skill could do a certain damage type. And melee and ranged skills seem to be a lot cheaper than magic skills though their power seems to be weak compared to magic. Perhaps they could get an increase in the skill cost in addition to the damage? Perhaps this is what a Blood Warrior could be like.

That's about all I care to comment on. Skipped a few things because I got no suggestions for those. I'm not even sure I gave decent advice as I don't really think while playing the game. I just know what works and use that.
AQ DF AQW  Post #: 2
8/28/2018 3:54:33   
ruleandrew
Member
 

I suggest adding some burst melee weapons and burst ranged weapons. Burst magic weapon is very unlikely to exist in Adventure quest due to the fact mage players have access to burst spells.

Adventure quest cannot have burst spell and burst magic weapon due to potential game balance issue.
---
Base picture:
Assume one standard monster turn consume 5% player base health point.

Number of standard melee attack units to defeat one standard boss monster is 24

Melee weapon and Ranged weapon picture:
20*1+20*0.2: 24 standard melee attack units.
Number of player turns to defeat one standard boss monster is 20. Percentage of player base health point to defeat one standard boss monster is 100.

Magic spell and Magic weapon picture:
4*2+16*0.75+20*0.2: 24 standard melee attack units.
Number of player turns to defeat one standard boss monster is 20. Percentage of player base health point to defeat one standard boss monster is 100.
---
Current burst magic spell cost (August 2018):
1 standard melee attack units equal to 5% player base health point.

Burst magic spell and Magic weapon picture (August 2018):
4*2*1.5+(224/19)*0.75+(300/19)*0.2: 24 standard melee attack units.
Number of player turns to defeat standard boss monster is (300/19). Percentage of player base health point to defeat one standard boss monster is (1880/19).

Ideal burst magic spell burst cost:
1 standard melee attack units equal to (100/19)% player base health point. Logic proof: ((100-(300/19)*5)/4)
---
Ideal burst melee weapon and Burst ranged weapon burst cost:
1 standard melee attack units equal to (25/6)% player base health point. Logic proof: ((100-(120/11)*5)/(120/11))

Ideal burst melee weapon and Burst ranged weapon burst picture:
(120/11)*1*2+(120/11)*0.2: 24 standard melee attack units.
Number of player turns to defeat standard boss monster is (120/11). Percentage of player base health point to defeat one standard boss monster is 100.

Realistic burst melee weapon and Burst ranged weapon burst cost:
1 standard melee attack units equal to (45/11)% player base health point. Logic proof: ((100-11*5)/11)







< Message edited by ruleandrew -- 8/28/2018 4:18:27 >
AQ  Post #: 3
8/28/2018 4:19:20   
m4k1
Member

just make dual wield a thing for warriors only.
main hand/off hand, where:
main hand deals 100% damage while offhand deals additional 20-80% damage to your damage output
element of damage will be based on the main hand
additional damage will be reduced if elements of the weapon are opposites, e.g. light+dark = 0%, light+water=20%, light+ice=40%, light+wind=60%, light+light=80% or if possible, make them multiplicative hehe

4 slots to offhand(for now cos 8 slots will be +80% or x1.8 all the time), in total, you will have 12 weapons in your active inventory, you cannot switch main hand and offhand weapons while in battle or before the battle starts.

not having a shield in the current meta is not that bad because you can still stun lock monsters and hit them hard(with skills maybe?) before they hit you.
AQ  Post #: 4
8/28/2018 5:05:01   
Slayne
Member

Couldn't we have melee/ranged weapons that have a toggle to draw some of the wielders SP/HP to increase their damage and accuracy?
And maybe some other SPells like Conjure Shadows but drawing SP/HP instead of MP?

Ideally as a long time Hybrid I would like to see SP & MP versions of each but having them only affecting melee/ranged damage. This would help Warriors (and Mystical Warriors) close the gap a bit.
AQ DF AQW  Post #: 5
8/28/2018 7:26:23   
LUPUL LUNATIC
Member
 

I know warriors have less burst than Mages and lack a MP bar which is actually a really big deal because of how versatile Mana is.
But the real GBI problem comes from the 20-turn model.
The 20-turn model does not factor in SP as a form of shortening the length of battles on one hand. On the other hand Essence Orb broke the 20 turn model for good even if hypothetical SP was factored in the model.

Since the 20-turn model is flawed we need a better model which includes SP,but still Essence Orb will break it,pretty much the misc just breaks the model that badly that itself is out of standard (just like SP usage is now).

Warriors (mainly Dunamis) lack old lean Skills because of conversion to Ranged,which made sense at that time,it still makes sense now art wise but it gimps the warriors nevertheless.
Warriors need STR shields and why not STR weapons, but also need elemental coverage for weapon based skills because this is i assume the Warrior's signature by now,even if Mages can do it as well.

Blood Warriors i can only think of an Ele-locked Armor with a "Blood Mage" effect for +100% melee,it will favor Warriors because melee/ranged weapons do more damage (more B/R).
It is not a pretty solution but will only break even just because Mages have the Bloodmages.

I personally think if we were to add Blood Warriors and if those were somewhat accessible for all players to also buff monsters , monsters need more effects nowadays to be somewhat a challenge.
Because i agree the powerlevel of items increased drastically and monsters should be stronger too.

And no the STR based spells are not great because those do not have EleComp even if they hit for Melee,the option is to have an actual Armor Skill with EleComp that hits for Melee/Ranged/Magic depending on weapon type hold.Again the conversion from Melee to anything else is not good for Dunamis Warriors.
AQ  Post #: 6
8/28/2018 7:29:26   
I Overlord I
Member

Eh, locking Poelala behind a paywall probably won't affect AE's profits either way. Sure, you'd have to dish out $50 (as opposed to potentially getting one for free via monthly GGB/house interest), but you can also get it for "free" for your alt(s) as well. Conversely, I highly doubt most people have the patience to wait out the assumed ~33 months for every new free Poe. Besides, it's probably too late to make such a drastic change at this juncture. If anything, the Dunamis/Thernda pets should've been plopped into the UR boxes alongside Poe rather than the other way around. But hindsight, as they say, is 20/20.

< Message edited by I Overlord I -- 8/28/2018 8:04:10 >
AQ  Post #: 7
8/28/2018 8:46:08   
Natto
Member

I have an idea long ago regarding END and STR;

Reduce a bit HP gotten from END, make STR increase the HP gained from END (either by number or percentage).
Eg: 100 END give 1000 HP at 0 STR. With 100 STR, END will give 1500 HP.

Eg2: 3.5k HP Pure Mage at Lv150 with 200 END & 5-6k HP Pure Wanger at Lv150 with 200 END/STR.

This way, pure mage wouldn't be as durable as pure warrior or ranger, and release more high HP cost skill, weapon, armour or guest/pet.


Post #: 8
8/28/2018 8:51:38   
Bolter
Member

I think Poelala should to be nerfed, (then maybe have one that is equivalent to pre-nerfed Poelala behind a paywall, if this doesn't make a difference at all then just nerf Poelala). If not then both Dunamis and Thernda must be buffed greatly, to be able to boost Melee and Ranged attacks respectively far greater than Poelala boosting Magic attacks. This will make Mages unhappy, but for balancing sake you know....

Either STR or END to boost maximum SP gauge and increase SP regeneration per turn(though the regeneration might be rather redundant due to Essence Orb).

Armor skills should cost lesser SP for Warriors(probably involving the STR stat).

A SP version of Moonwalker's Grace is needed. Although we do not know how much INT will Arcane Amplification boost but both Buffalot and Moonwalker's Grace(as well as the SP version of it if it does comes) should boosts way more STR and DEX respectively than Arcane Amplification boosting INT.

Yes we have Spells that cost SP and that are based on STR but they are not powerful enough, they need to be much stronger to compare with the Mage MP costing spells.

quote:

- Strength Stat Boost. Rehauling the entire 20 turn model would require sweeping every piece of equipment in the game and the staff no longer have the people for that. As such, some people on Discord suggested increasing the disparsity between the Str and Int boost to weapons. 25% are no longer enough.

Yes, please.

quote:

- More Melee and Ranged Weapons. No magic toggles, just str- and dex-based weaponry that's unique to warriors. Bonus points if it has new and unique effects.

Yes, especially non-100% proc Ranged weapons, there is just not enough of them, so much and so that I haven't even heard anyone talking about non-100% proc Rangers which are supposed to be the Ranged counterparts of Warriors, no one deserves to be forgotten. Please also implement more staffs that can be used by Warriors, I know they have to be toggle between Magic and Melee/Ranged, but if we can have Mages using swords I don't why we can't have Warriors using staffs. Also please give us Melee/Ranged toggles to any Magic weapons that we may request for if necessary. Also while Magic weapons are now 75% power of Melee/Ranged weapons, in the past that may have suffice but now it doesn't, Melee/Ranged weapons should now be at least twice or maybe thrice or more times stronger than Magic weapons.

You may disagree with me with some of my points at least but the Mage/Warrior gap is really starting to become a serious issue and should not be overlooked at anymore.
AQ  Post #: 9
8/28/2018 8:54:44   
I Overlord I
Member

@Nat Nah, making END even worse of a stat isn't the way to go, I think.

However, I seem to remember someone talking about (increased) SP regen being dependent on STR at some point. That is an interesting idea I could probably get behind.

I also would not be averse to QoL changes like Were being sustained by HP + SP (although its """regen""" would likely remain ), and Duna/Thern being sustained by HP (though this may not be a big issue if SP regen is changed to scale off of STR). BW armors will just irrevocably finalize the power creep, but I suppose they are a necessary evil at this point to retain any semblance of balance.

< Message edited by I Overlord I -- 8/28/2018 9:12:54 >
AQ  Post #: 10
8/28/2018 8:55:40   
Bolter
Member

but END shouldn't become an overlooked stat no matter how.
AQ  Post #: 11
8/28/2018 9:08:27   
I Overlord I
Member

The issue with SP reserves/regen scaling with END is that mages will be able to use it just as efficiently as warriors, which defeats the purpose. As sorely as END needs to not be the throwaway stat for once, I fear it's destined to be.
AQ  Post #: 12
8/28/2018 9:23:29   
Bolter
Member

then perhaps Maximum Sp gauge and Sp regeneration should be reliant on the STR stat then.

END maybe could do with increasing more HP and maybe resistance to debuffs, ailments etc.?
AQ  Post #: 13
8/28/2018 9:34:12   
I Overlord I
Member

It's already the go-to stat for resisting most status ailments, but still not good enough to warrant a 200-point allocation in unless you plan on annoying the monster to death (with 200 DEX/LUK and 150 CHA for maximum shenanigans).
AQ  Post #: 14
8/28/2018 9:36:45   
Basha
Member
 

The staff acknowledged this problem? When did that happen?

AQ  Post #: 15
8/28/2018 11:17:07   
aq DarkKnight
Member

I do not see much of a problem with the comparison between Warriors and Mages in term of raw power though. As a Mage myself, I in fact envy Warrior's versatility very much. I had seen the release of four Bloodmages (Fire, Water, Light, and Ice), but they're limited to their respective elements and only take up space in the active inventory. To top it off, they're dwarfed by other "forgotten" armors that can be just as good if used right.

Take testing it against Zardnado with Double Poelala and Celtis Wheels, for example, it would still take mostly two turns to beat and if I forgot to put Fire Bloodmage in my active inventory, then I can't burst as efficiently.

Now with the coming of the highly anticipated Mage version of Buffalot's Beach Body Skill, Arcane Amplification, it wouldn't make much of a difference since Warriors can take care of 99.9% of monsters in near efficiency as Mage can do with the right setups. At present, I feel that the current Warrior is on par with Mage in damage. The only super major issue that I strongly agree with everyone else is that the Dunamis and Thernda pets being locked behind a paywall and not easily accessible could hinder Warrior power a bit.

Other than that, I think everything else, like the Arcane Amplification, serve more of an aesthetic purpure than combative uses. If I still haven't convinced you that Warrior is as strong as Mage yet, ask @ Seth Hydra. He made Warrior equal to Mage with his setups that I could never replicate with my Mage character in turn of damage, versatility, and with more options in ending the battle in two turns.

< Message edited by aq DarkKnight -- 8/28/2018 11:30:41 >
Post #: 16
8/28/2018 11:26:26   
I Overlord I
Member

What in the wor--

quote:

As a Mage myself, I in fact envy Warrior's versatility very much.

OK, phew. Thought this was a serious post until I reached this point.
AQ  Post #: 17
8/28/2018 11:36:49   
aq DarkKnight
Member

@I Overlord I, thank you. Also, what are your thoughts on his video tutorials?
Post #: 18
8/28/2018 12:32:13   
I Overlord I
Member

You're very much welcome!

As for the videos, I really don't feel like sitting through half an hour worth of material right now. But, from what I can see from first glance, the latter is super outdated (it's from 2015; 3 years is a lot, especially in this game) and the former (which, while still somewhat outdated, is a bit more reliable) is heavily reliant on premium gear like Tera'Suul and Griffin for warriors to stand even a pretense of a chance. Gear that boasts price tags that range from $50-100 each. Mages have no such limitations.
AQ  Post #: 19
8/28/2018 14:34:54   
Caecus
Member
 

This analysis is focused on using the best items available as optimally as possible. Players who are active on the forums tend to be the hardcore min-maxers and thus it's an important assumption. If one eliminates package items, ztoken gear, and UR GGBS from contention however things could change but given the reality of the game I doubt that's a worthwhile comparison.


Tl;dr: In addition to easier access to their booster moglins, mages are better for optimal/optimized play in the current state of the game. The high risk /high reward mantra of mages is turned into low risk/high reward with expert play. Even with expert play, warriors on the other hand lack as many ways to achieve high rewards, so itís unsatisfying for elite players to use them. A way for warriors to take on more risk for more reward (i.e berserker items), and longer in game healing droughts in general would solve any disparity between builds. The berserker items are a short term fix and the healing change a more permanent solution.



In any game, dying is something that the best players donít worry about. They are good enough to win no matter what and thus select character/traits/abilities based on helping them win faster, not preventing them from losing. This means that for elite players anything that trades some form of power for increased survivability beyond the barest necessity is wasted or useless. Ex. most players donít use END as anything other than a resource. This is where warriors sit right now.

A berseker type armor for warriors solves the only REAL problem that elite warriors have. (something like predatory vampire perhaps with the addition of a hp cost str toggle would likely be perfect). They can take on more risk in order to do more damage and this opens open versatilty for top level players without making the build harder to use for beginners or casual players. However this berserker style of items should still be damage over time / multiple attacks!

Warriors should never nuke as well as mages.
Just like mages should never be as sustainable as warriors. Warriors can nuke just fine right now using armor skills (in fact perhaps better than they should be able to). Mages are a little better because they have spells on top but they should beÖ theyíre mages! Nukes and special effects are what make mages unique whereas longevity and resilience are what make warriors shine.


The only issue is that w/ the current state of the game only one of those sets of traits is useful to elite players.

Right now with heals every two battles, a mage can dump all of their resources (hp/mp/sp) rather effectively, secure in the knowledge that at least 2/3 of them will be replaced soon. Heck in the second battle, just use essence orb to replace your sp right before you win and then youíre essentially home free. There's too little risk in the game. However if you try playing a mage in a quest where the heals are every 4 battles, youíll note how much more difficult it is than for a warrior, regardless of a mage's spells. That is the point of the difference between builds.


Iíd love to see more quests w/ stat rolls or something luck based that determines healing. Or even just more gauntlets with no healing at all. Those are where warriors can and should stomp mages into the dust, they are just far too few right now.

The issue imo is fairly simple, return to the old times where you didnít know where your next heal was coming from. Mages will reign supreme where they should and struggle to keep up where they shouldnít. Balance isnít about every build doing the same things equally well, rather every build doing something USEFUL. Remove the wanton healing that invalidates warrior's sustainability/survivability and the issue is resolved.
Post #: 20
8/28/2018 14:46:11   
aq DarkKnight
Member

^Warriors could still grab Headless Horseman and Human Fisher from the Rare GGB as equivalents to Bloodmage series. Meanwhile, Mage can no longer get the Fire Bloodmage armor if they missed it and the rest of the Bloodmage armor series is lurking in the UltraRare GGB, which is a bit out of reach if you do not have a lot of real life luck.

Warriors could also reliant on other burst armors like Horo-Show Void Vigilante, and Angel of Souls can be found in-game if you do not like spending time charging up Kindred armor and is low on Z-Tokens for White Knight and Terror Raiment.

If Warriors want to, they could quickly dispatch their enemies during a war event at the same steady pace as Mages, they could just equip CiT shield and Buffalot Pumpkin Smash through their opposition and then replenish their SP once every ten battles with Essence Orb.
Post #: 21
8/28/2018 15:27:27   
Sir Cloud
Member

Just wanted to chime in on this topic to help our fellow Warriors out a bit...

1. Obviously I second the Strength Shield ideas as many have discussed. Since the dawn of time it seems there has been only 1 go-to shield in this department. Also, better warrior-focused shields allows for use of Misc. + SPell elements which is a win-win. As far as my idea on enhancing Strength Shields, they could simply be 8 CIT equivalent-strength versions for each of the elements (shuffled resists or course, but focused on a single element). Right now a Warrior takes a huge risk when using CIT since it's really only viable (albeit a little) as an earth element shield. If you're using it for anything else you'll probably take a major beating!

2. Viking Spirit Elixir - A Warrior based Misc. or SPell item (like Buffalot except not locked behind any pay wall) could be CIT/Moonwalker-like by granting 3 turns of damage boost for 200 STR (Normal Attacks and Specials deal 150% Base, Random, and Stat damage). It would tier-down based on how much STR you have ie (130% for 150-195 STR, 110% for 100-145 STR and no boost for anything lower). This is just a suggestion of course and can be adjusted accordingly.


< Message edited by Sir Cloud -- 8/28/2018 15:52:17 >


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AQ  Post #: 22
8/28/2018 15:37:24   
Jdilla
Member

Small wall of text incoming, so here's a TL;DR up front:

(1) The game is balanced, for the most part; it's monsters that are not balanced. The 20 turn model is fine, but monsters don't force players to play out 20 turns.
(2) The 'uniqueness' concerns are not really GBI's -- they're suggestions.
(3) As usual, the 'warrior vs. mage' discussion leaves out FD builds.

(1) The general theory behind the warrior/mage divide is that mages trade worse sustained damage (weaker attacks) for better up-front burst (spells). In practice, though, the min/maxing of up-front burst has reached a point where sustained damage almost never comes into play. Compounding that issue is the fact that the defensive drawbacks of nuking and using hp-costing items are averted by celerity/stuns.

It's certainly true that mages are better at abusing this 'meta' than warriors. Mages have an extra resource for up-front burst (MP + SP vs. just SP) and access to more min-maxed gear suited to that purpose (bloodmage armors, burst spells, boosting miscs, etc.). However, none of that rises to the level of a GBI -- unless, of course, every monster in the game is susceptible to the same stun/celerity/nuke strat. Warriors do still have better sustained damage than mages, so against monsters that require you to play a more drawn-out fight, they should have the advantage.

Unfortunately, though, pretty much every monster in the game is susceptible to the same stun/celerity/nuke strat. There are a few monsters here and there that can't be nuked out of existence in a few turns; wind essence is a prime example. Wind essence, though, is an exceedingly unpopular monster. The feedback after its release was so harsh that no other Essences have been updated in the 3+ years since wind essence was, and very few monsters in that vein have been released since. As a result, almost every monster (bosses included) is susceptible to the same stun/celerity/nuke strategy.

The only real solution to this problem, then, is to release more monsters that resist the stun/celerity/nuke strategy. That's probably not going to be a popular solution; most people seem to prefer playing an up-front bursty playstyle and don't like monsters that force them into drawn-out fights. No -- people don't want monsters that can't be nuked; they just want warriors to be able to nuke as well as mages. That makes no sense from a build theory standpoint, and it would be a massive GBI in and of itself, but the people want what they want.

(2) I haven't counted and sorted the gear released by type, but it's certainly possible that there's been more mage-oriented gear released than warrior-oriented gear. The staff has responded well to these kinds of concerns in the past; I made a thread 3 years ago or so in which I *did* count and sort gear by type (weapon/armor/pet/etc), and the staff seemed to try to correct that imbalance going forward. So if this is a concern, someone could count and sort equipment released over the past year or so and make a suggestion based on the results.

(3) Full disclosure: I've always preferred the FD BMR playstyle, personally. I've played extensively on a L150 poe mage, a L150 Beast Ranger, and a L150 FD BMR. In my experience, both against regular monsters and bosses, and both in terms of speed and reliability, Poe Mage > FO BR > FD BMR. That's due to a combination of the issues discussed above related to monster releases, and to relative availability of MC'd, min/maxed gear for these builds. (I haven't played much on an FD Mage, so I can't say for sure where they'd fit in, but I would guess that they'd be either on par with or a bit worse than a FO BR (non-booster) but stronger than a FD BMR.)

Having said that, I'm struck once again by the fact that in this 'balancing the builds' discussion, FD builds are being ignored despite the fact that they're clearly the weakest in the current meta. Having said *that*, though, FD builds are in a much better state now than they were a couple of years ago; the Neko class armors, the fact that the Awe armors are finally on the new .8 lean, and the fact that beast rangers finally have access to some compression weapons are huge improvements to FD builds. All of the currently accessible bosses can be beaten by FD builds without potions or ally assists (including challenge mode sylith and wicked king).

So for all of those reasons, I don't feel particularly inclined to complain about the state of FD builds in the current meta. I do, however, feel compelled to point out the irony of dual dun warriors complaining that their build can't burst as well as poe mages despite the fact that mages are literally designed to trade sustained damage for burst, while also complaining when monsters that favor a sustained-damage playstyle are released, all while completely ignoring the builds that actually have the least access to burst damage and the least variety of MC'd equipment -- FD's.

Edit: Caecus' post went up while I was writing mine. +1 to his suggestion that we move away from the 'guaranteed heal every two fights' model. I still think that in order to fully resolve this issue, more monsters like wind essence would need to be released, but moving away from the 'guaranteed heal every two fights' model would definitely help as well.

< Message edited by Jdilla -- 8/28/2018 15:53:01 >
AQ  Post #: 23
8/28/2018 15:52:50   
Bolter
Member

@Caecus: I think you are making the wrong type of comparison here. The uniqueness comparisons you are making of is more like the difference between 100% proc and non-100% proc users, note that there are 100% proc mages as well, who sits on FD armors to survive better while warriors are usually on FO armors which as of current standards causes one to receive more damage while being capable of doing more damage too. Therefore, it is the 100% proc users that are more capable of surviving better while not being capable of nuking so well as compared to non-100%(preferably 0% proc users) who are usually all out to be glass cannons. After all, there is a reason why Magic weapons are now only 75% power compared to physical weapons which I think does not balance out anymore and that physical weapons should be at least twice or thrice or more as strong as magic weapons these days. If you say it like this, then it is not gonna change much really, most people would still become mages as they prefer to nuke out targets then to be tanking hits from them.
AQ  Post #: 24
8/28/2018 16:17:18   
Lord Markov
Member

As a person who's played Warrior for a really long time, and still plays a (generally) non-nuke warrior-type build, I agree a lot with Caceus.

Trying to equate Warrior and Mage in terms of just straight up damage shouldn't be an objective. Otherwise they're just two sides of the same coin. Sure, this might mean most hardcore players only ever use Mage since they aren't ever worried about dying and only care about killing things at the maximum speed, but is this inherently a problem? People tend to treat Warrior as "useless" but in all my time of playing AQ, there has never been a monster that I've fought that made me say, "Gee, I really wish I were a mage here!"

Warriors can kill everything mages can (albeit perhaps more slowly) so there isn't an issue here. Warriors and Mages are two different things, and should be treated as such. Jdilla mentions how FD builds are always left out of conversations like this, and at the end of they day this is how it should be. If you're playing FD, you aren't playing for a nuky/bursty playstyle. That's what an FO Mage is for. In this line, I don't really think this conversation in the sense of making Warriors more nuky needs to happen either. Giving Warrior a few bursty blood-zerker items isn't necessarily bad, but just making Warrior a Mage with swords and skills isn't very interesting and isn't really the point of the build either.

With that said, I do agree 100% on making new, more Warrior/Ranger themed items and perhaps quests were there isn't a cut-n-dry heal after every two battles. It would make things a lot more interesting, and potentially reintroduce some actual resource management into the game.

Edit: As a very general reference, my impression of how builds should be "balanced," on a scale from tanks to glass cannons is: Ranger < Warrior < Hybrid? < Mage
Obviously there are a lot of mixed/specialty builds that fall in between, but while Warrior should be more survivable than Mage it shouldn't be considered the ultra-survival class that Ranger is.

< Message edited by High Paladin -- 8/28/2018 16:20:37 >
AQ  Post #: 25
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