Updated Tue, Mar 25, 2014 by Lewis B
The Spellslingers telegraphs are much more challenging than the likes of the Medic or Esper. Although they’ve certain skills with a typical conal area of attack (such as Flash Freeze or Quick Draw) the majority tend to be narrower and longer than the likes of Esper or Medic. Many of the Esper and Medic’s telegraphs are blunt instruments that are hard to miss with. Due to the narrow nature of a Spellslingers telegraphs, combined with the speed in which players are capable of moving in PvP, leaves the Spellslinger player with a need to be, at times, exceptional at aiming. Admittedly during many PvP encounters there will be more than one opponent thus significantly reducing the need to aim effectively. However, in a case of 1 on 1 the reliance on Chill, Gate or Flash Freeze to hold opponents in place is central to playing effectively.
When these skills are on cooldown life is so much harder. You could argue the same could be said for Medic or Esper - inevitably they too have access to plenty of crowd control skills - but the key difference and not wishing to repeat myself, is that there is no difficulty in aiming any of their skills. The diamond, chevron or spiked conal telegraphs at a Medics disposable make it an accessible class that actually has difficulty in missing: their range might be short (or shorter), but their width is unavoidable if you’re to simply face your opponent. The same can be said for the Esper as although they draw more parallels with the Spellslinger than the Medic, their skills are significantly easier to aim, once again due to their radius and width at shorter ranges.
Although the Spellslinger has a 5-10 meter advantage over the Esper and a 15 meter advantage over the Medic, this distance is negligible outside of PvE encounters. Players are capable of moving so quickly not only due to the native speed in which characters move but through blinks and leaps that this gap becomes inconsequential. This leaves the Spellslinger with mere seconds (you’d be fortunate to cast a single skill at full range in a dual or small skirmish) before opponents are upon you. Anyone who is used to playing ranged classes should be prepared to kite (rightly so) and yet our damage, especially when incapable of or not Spellsurging, does not reflect our need for pin-point accuracy or our mandatory use of Gate/Flash Freeze and Into the Void (at a very minimum). After our initial encounter with an opponent the majority of our fights are fought within the 20-25 meter ranges, leaving us incredibly vulnerable and further reliant on Gate/Flash Freeze/Into the Void.
Although I don’t wish to get embroiled in the argument as to whether or not the Spellslinger is a better or worse heaer than the Medic or Esper (they aren’t) I wanted to discuss the limitations and impact Spellsurge and telegraphs also have on their healing prowess. Similarly to the reasons discussed above, a Spellslinger focused on Healing suffers the same issues as they do when dealing damage and the constant highs and lows of Spellsurge leave our healing inconsistent and overly challenging. The fact that Astral Infusion is almost 50% better Spellsurged or Healing Salve four times more potent (from 5%+2.66 versus 20.85%+11.12) once again becomes a case of rigid rotations while Spellsurging, followed by gulfs of incapability.
On the subject of healing telegraphs, once again the Spellslinger feels much harder work than the likes of Esper or Medic for little in return. The vast majority of our heals are conal or mobile single target variants that offer no improvement, numerically, over other classes when it’s so much more challenging to heal effectively in this way. Having spent significant time healing on both the Medic and Esper they’re incredibly easy to heal effectively with. The radius of their heals, the fact few of the best require aiming or if they do have such large telegraphs you cannot miss, makes healing accessible and much easier. As above, large swathes of combat are undertaken in clustered close quarter environments leaving few moments as a Spellslinger for you to physically sit back and take advantage of your healing range. The narrowness of our heals often leaves us with little choice but to support a couple of allies will leaving others to fend for themselves. Where the Medic is concerned, one can comfortably support a team irrespective of whether they’re in front or behind you thanks to Flash, Healing Probes (and their detonate) or Crisis Wave: the exact same can be said for an Esper with skills such as Reverie or Soothe.
I’m not suggesting that the Spellslinger is incapable of healing or that they’re poor at healing just that the method in which they heal and their sustained healing suffers massively as a result of Spellsurge and their telegraphs. When an Esper or Medic gets into trouble they’re quickly able to build Actuators and Psi Points (within seconds) before dumping their 5 points on Reverie or Crisis Wave. Better still they can then trigger their innate to allow them to do it once with little if no interruption. A Spellslinger is incapable of competing against this and needs to invest in AMP’s just to obtain our viable heal.
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