The Spellslinger is often, in its defence, described by players as having significantly more mobility than the likes of the Esper or Medic, which is why our damage or healing suffers. What frustrates me with this argument is that in our current form we’re no more mobile than the either the Esper or Medic. Every skill available to the Medic is freeform while they have access to two blinks. An Esper, though a little more static, only has a couple of stationary utility and support skills but can still jump backwards or dash forwards. Although we have 3 excellent skills in Gate, Into the Void and Spatial Shift, to equip all three would leave our damage or healing output even more neutered. If we then consider that several of our Assault or Support skills are stationary unless Spellsurged our “mobility” begins to go out the window, especially throughout the course of any normal PvE or PvP encounters. Some of our AMP’s and Tiering of skills do provide us with a much needed boost to mobility (Tier 4 Quick Draw, Tier 4 Charged Shot, Tier 4 Arcane Missiles, Speed of the Void, Homeward Bound, Danger Danger, Frost Armor) but it leaves one feeling a little cheated that for a class marketed as “mobile”, such heavy investment is needed when it should come naturally.
What is the Solution?
Carbine without question have a difficult task on their hands as each healing class needs to retain their own identity, though in their current forms they all bleed into each other somewhat. My list of changes primarily involves normalizing Spellsurge and the bonuses attributed, reducing the “lows” when out of Spell Power and revising skills to ensure they’re all as valuable as Ignite. Further, ensuring clear feedback for players (both Spellslinger and opponents) as to when a Spellslinger is surging is much needed.
- Revisit all Spellsurge skill bonuses so that there is a consistent formulae across all of them. Some skills being boosted by 300% and some by 50% when Spellsurging creates too much disparity and enforces Spellsurge use only on selected skills, while further enforcing those heavily boosted skills are in too greater need on the limited action bar. A flat and consistent damage/healing increase is needed. For every Spellslinger to need Ignite needs to change.
- Raise our base damage when not Spellsurged so that in prolonged fights, when out of Spell Power, our damage doesn’t plummet. There is little need in Raids or PvP for a class that cannot consistently maintain its damage potential. Increasing our base damage in this way will also make up for the fact a Spellslingers telegraphs are so narrow.
- Further increase the accrual of Spell Power when in and out of combat. There is a need, in line with the mechanic, to ensure we have to tactically choose when to spike (healing or damage) and yet this isn’t currently happening. Increasing the amount of Spell Power we’re able to obtain will see our damage healing output naturally increase.
- Remove all “stationary” requirements from skills and have them all as “mobile”. A class marketed as mobile should be just that, irrespective of whether it is a ranged or melee based class.
- Revisit the visual effects of a Spellslinger who is Spellsurging. Opposing players show little fear against a Spellslinger who has Spell Power available and that is wholly wrong. If we’re to have a spike mechanic that significantly increases our damage others should be wary of us when they know we have it. As a result, we and they need clear indicators as to when we are Spellsurging. Adding a more prominent visual animation when Spellsurging is a must as the electric crackle is hard to distinguish. I often think about the Choppa in Warhammer Online and how they grew bigger in ferocity as fights went on (you really knew you had to run then!). Although I’m not suggesting a Spellslinger should grow in size, they need a greater visual cue whether it’s seeing their body bristle with much more electricity or have their pistols glow bright fiery colours.
- Removing the delay when triggering Spellsurge should be a top priority. Precious seconds are lost through the pellsurge animation. Being able to cast Spellsurge and a skill simultaneously is paramount to quickly spiking opponents where as in its current form, despite being off GCD, still leaves a slight delay
- Have the depletion of your Spellsurge only trigger when you use your first skill. If you’re already in combat and use Spellsurge it will begin to deplete (or it has for many occasions for me though I want to investigate this further) and as many will know in PvP encounters, you might have already wasted a large quantity of Spell Power due to having to dodge or your target fleeing. Allowing us to “prime” Spellsurge so that it’s triggered, but not unleashed would be very welcome. This would also tie in wonderfully with new visual cues (“Oh look, that Spellslinger’s pistols are primed - best leave him alone!”)
- Revisit our skills (as noted above) so that no one skill is mandatory. Ignite and Healing Torret (the latter worse due to being AMPed) are too in demand and enforce cookie cutter setups while skills such as Runes of Protection or Chill are simply poor and of little value to any Spellslinger.
- Ensure that all skills have a Spellsurge component. Ensuring all skills have this will further stretch our rotation and the choices we have to make when Spellsurging.
If you've suggestions for how to improve the Spellslinger, drop me a line on lewisb[at]tentonhammer.com