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Class Crafting: The Summoner

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10/17/2021 10:59:29   

Beastmaster/CHA builds exist in DF, though they aren't very common. So, what would a class based on the concept look like?
I thought about trying to figure out what it would be, and came to a conslusion that it's either a Bard or a Summoner.

I figured the Summoner could have more esoteric and unique gameplay, based on summoning guests mid-fight, so I decided to go with that one and see what comes out of my head.

Disclaimer: I'm in no way a part of the DF team, and this is totally unofficial.

Second Disclaimer: The only things I'm gonna include in the skills description is name and effect. I'm no artist, and balancing the mana costs and cooldowns for an imaginary class seems a bit silly. This is just an exercise of the mind.

So, without further ado, I present to you: The Summoner!

Summon Elemental
Summons a random elemental as a guest. If the enemy has an elemental weakness (one of the main 8), summons the appropriate elemental.
It has 30% of your hp, deals 50% of your damage, and has 2 skills: a DoT attack (50% for 5 turns), and self explosion (kills self for 4*(hp%) damage).
Keep in mind a 400% attack for the elemental deals 200% of your damage.

Summon Beast
Summons one of DF's classic monsters as a guest: a gorillaphant, a tog, a frogidile, etc.
It has 40% of your hp, deals 40% of your damage, and has 2 skills: a double attack (2*100% damage), and a self boost (attack, and apply 25% boost for 4 turns).

Summon Defender Celestial
Summons a celestial being as a guest.
It has 75% of your hp, deals 30% of your damage, and has 3 skills: a shield that affects both itself and you (120 avoidance for 2 turns), a heal that affects you (5% for 4 turns), and a blind (-30 bonus for 3 turns).

Summon Destroyer Infernal
Summons an infernal being as a guest.
It has 25% of your hp, deals 80% of your damage, and has 3 skills: a 1-turn stun, a 100% damage attack that gives the enemy +60 health resistance, and a crit booster (gives itself and you +50 crit for 3 turns).

Drain Power
4 attacks of 25%. For every hit, enemy gets -10% boost and you get 10% boost for 3 turns.

Mark Target
Attack with +100 accuracy, gives -30 all resistance for 2 turns.

Protect Me!
For 3 turns, all damage dealt to you is dealt to a random guest instead.
Effects are still applied to you.

Base Attack
100% damage.

A 3-turn stun. If the target is stunned, every other enemy is affected by a 1-turn dot equal to the target's damage.
(Necromancer's Terror makes an enemy attacks itself. This makes an enemy attack its allies!)

Available only after one of your guests die (except by Elemental's self-explosion, or a Mirror Image)
130% damage, auto crit attack on each enemy.

Gives each guest a 60% boost for 1 turn. Has 0 cooldown.

Mirror Image
Summons a copy of yourself as a guest, with 1 hit point. It disappears after it takes one turn, and cannot use summoning skills, Dismiss or Ritual.

Crystal Conjuration
Randomly uses one Summoning Gem skill. If a Summoning Gem is equipped, uses the equipped one.

Remove all guests, and restores 5% mana per guest dismissed. Grants an extra turn.
(mainly for replacing weak minions whose abilities are on cooldown, or to use Avenge. That's why it gives an extra turn)

Ritual of Power
Afflict yourself with a 3-turn stun, but give +200% boost to all guests for the duration
(Alternative idea: gives guests double turns for the duration)

Final notes:
Summoning classes are notoriously hard to balance in RPGs. I tend to create classes on the strong side, so perhaps this is an overpowered monstrosity.
However, since DF is a computer RPG rather than a tabletop one, it's very easy to tweak numbers- lower the summoned creatures' hp and damage, for example- to compensate.

All abilities that affect guests should affect minions only, by the way- Summoner should be unable to invite other guests.

As is, it's very clunky, but the idea here isn't to create something refined.

< Message edited by mahasamatman -- 10/17/2021 11:07:21 >
DF  Post #: 1
10/19/2021 20:53:16   
Laeon val Observis

After doing a thorough eval, roleplaying wise and casuals, sure this has room. Otherwise, just a boxload of trouble beyond programming weirdness. The last (and current only) time that we had mid-battle guest summons that aren't screwy with balance was in our final confrontation with Caitiff. If I remember right, and that was before my DA days, mid-battle summoning of our dragon as guest was possible. But that's it, past tense, and was exploitable. I can easily see that here relative to how guest countermeasures are in their current state, including potentially bypassing the base dmg multiplier that enemies receive when a player has guests at start of battle. They are still HP walls with cheesy RNG consistencies outside their powers, which is the reason why guests are indefinitely banned in the Inn, and throw in a DDR mechanic into the fight and the whole thing is either immolated or has a slowness to win second only to Angler. Don't even get started if the enemy is armed with Sir Bearginion's anti-guest mechanic.


Mirror Image
Summons a copy of yourself as a guest, with 1 hit point. It disappears after it takes one turn, and cannot use summoning skills, Dismiss or Ritual.

Yeah, absolute meme skill without purpose since Ritual's not usable outside of the RNG meat shielding. CZ's turn skippers and CCL's Flee have better niche uses. Your basic attack skill alone deals 100% damage scaling solely to stats, and nowhere in the file here does it even implicitly imply that it's scalar function is CHA affected.

EDIT: On a final note, outside DC/SO purchase, where the heck will you even fit this class? Non-DC and SO classes are tied somewhere to a story, and I see none that fits well into this one's niche even if pet taming was put into the equation.

< Message edited by Laeon val Observis -- 10/19/2021 21:03:44 >
DF AQW  Post #: 2
10/21/2021 17:19:30   

As I said, the balance is weird, but if you give the guests low HP then they're not too big as walls.
Yes, it makes the fight more RNG, that's true, and that's probably the main issue- a boss's 2000 damage nuke that's not aimed at you makes the fight very different, and that's the main balance issue, but that doesn't mean solutions are impossible.
If I had to come up with an idea... I'd reduce summons' hp, and make any overkill damage dealt to the player instead, so they won't protect against nukes.

As for programming weirdness, yeah, it's obviously a problem, but I'm not expecting it to actually appear as a class.
That being said, we can see from the Inn fights and the newer classes that DF's mechanics are getting more complex, both gameplay-wise and programming-wise.

Mirror Image is kinda useless, true, but it can take a hit, or use a skill that's on cooldown.
Also, it ignores any debuffs (blind, -boost, etc.) on you, and some Inn enemies reflect damage. It's niche, but not unusable.

As for in-game fit, that's fair, we haven't really seen something like this in the world. But we also haven't seen many chronomancers, have we? There weren't any togslayers in the story either as far as I recall.
If the staff wanted to fit it in they could do it anyway they want. Virtually every part of the orb had a class associated with it, there's no reason summoners won't play a part in the world.
But the point is, again, it's not meant to actually be put into the game. If it would, I'd expect it would probably be a DC class.

< Message edited by mahasamatman -- 10/21/2021 17:21:13 >
DF  Post #: 3
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