Age of Conan Class Interview #9: The Tempest of Set

Questions by Benjamin “Machail” de la Durantaye 
Questions by Benjamin “Machail” de la Durantaye 
and Cody Bye 

Answers by Evan Michaels, Game Designer for Funcom

The Priest class interviews are finished up with the Tempest of Set. Evan Michaels returns to us to tell us all about the class. As this is technically the newest class of the lot, we had a lot of questions. We find out where this class has come from, where its strengths are and how it all balances out.

Ten Ton Hammer: The Tempest of Set is the newest class to be announced by the team; a result of the removal of the Scion of Set and a merge with the former Druid of the Storm. What can you tell us about the class? What sorts of abilities were brought over from the Scion of Set and what roles does the Scion now hold in a group situation?

Evan Michaels: The Tempest of Set is an evolution of many different class concepts which eventually become consolidated into the class we have available to us today. The Tempest combines almost all of the unique aspects of the previous Scion of Set, Druid, and Stormcaller classes, focusing primarily on a mix of healing, area-of-effect lightning damage, and crowd control.

Tempest of Set

The Tempest of Set

Ten Ton Hammer: What sort of “flavor” have you given this new class to make it more in line with the “Set” theology? Will there be any “snake” flavored spells, or is everything based around this “elemental” sort of theme?

Evan: We have gone through the skill-set of the Tempest to make sure that both the old and new abilities are in line with the new Set-based theme for the class. For instance, the new 'Cobra Stare' ability is a short-term paralysis ability, capable of stunning the target for a period of time and the 'Visions of Set' ability, which tricks the target into fighting a serpent illusion which appears to be attacking them from all directions.

Ten Ton Hammer: You’ve mentioned that the Scion of Set is all about damaging opponents early in a fight to make her healing more powerful. Will her spells display how much of a “heal buff” she will get when she damages her opponent? Will all damaging spells have this effect?

Evan: Tempests have multiple ways to increase their healing abilities via damage, through either stacking buffs or additional effects. One example of this would be the "Faithful of Set" feat, which causes all offensive spells to place a stacking buff on the Tempest, granting their next heal additional power. They also have a number of abilities which provide additional healing to friendly players around the target of their offensive spells.

Ten Ton Hammer: Tempest of Set has the ability to “control the elements”. What kind of limitations or enhancements, if any, can we expect when it comes to this sort of gameplay? For example, can the lightning be summoned indoors? Will storm spells be augmented by the weather around the player?

Evan: We currently have no plans to limit the abilities of the Tempest based on any criteria, as we feel that would put an unfair handicap on the class.

Ten Ton Hammer: Apart from healing and damage, what other abilities can the Tempest of Set bring to a group? Will they have any sort of buffs that are necessary for players in group situations?

Evan: The Tempest's primary group utility abilities are in the form of providing additional reciprocal damage to the team in addition to large amounts of mana recovery. The Tempest is probably the most proficient class in the game in terms of regenerating mana for their group.

Ten Ton Hammer:  Tempests of Set seem to have a lot of offensive abilities at their disposal. How is this going to affect their healing ability? Will a single Tempest be enough healing power for a group? Will the average Tempest be more inclined to focus on their healing or their damage dealing abilities – or is it always a matter of balancing the two?

Evan: Like the other Priest classes, the Tempest is always going to be around balancing offensive, defensive, and healing abilities to provide the greatest benefit to their team. A Tempest will be fully capable of solo healing a group provided they are able to sufficiently multi-task. A Tempest who learns to use all their abilities to their fullest potential will be an extremely valuable asset to any group.

Ten Ton Hammer: Are all the abilities of the former Druid of the Storm and the Scion of Set available now through the Tempest of Set? What kinds of things were removed entirely?

Evan: All of the core abilities from both classes were retained in the merger.

Ten Ton Hammer: Will the Tempest of Set be viable in a PvP setting? She seems like a fairly “squishy” class, but will the ToS have any sort of snares/roots/mesmerize sort of spells to mitigate this fact in PvP? Or are they always going to be “squishy”?

Evan: The Tempest is pretty middle-of-the-road in terms of survivability when compared to other classes, and as such does not have an extreme amount of crowd control. That being said, they still have an array of snares, stuns, and mind control/confusion abilities at their disposal. Primarily, though, the Tempest is very much about area-of-effect damage and being a huge threat to multiple adversaries grouped together--having the largest AoE-based toolset of any class in the game.

Ten Ton Hammer: Can you tell us about the class defining ability at level 80 for the new Tempest of Set?

Evan: At level 80, Tempests gain the "Eye of the Storm" ability, which somewhat exemplifies their storm and area-based nature. Using this ability surrounds them with a massive cyclone, increasing their defensive abilities greatly in addition to making them immune to all knockback attacks. During this time, their AoE-based effects are significantly increased in power and any foes attacking the Tempest during the duration of the ability have a chance to be knocked away by the violent winds.

Ten Ton Hammer: Is there anything else you would like to tell the Ten Ton Hammer readers about the Tempest of Set?

Evan: The Tempest of Set is a class I have played rather extensively in our internal testing runs and have found it to be extremely fast-paced and rewarding in both group and solo situations. The class provides many opportunities for varied types of gameplay and being able to swap between full damage, full healing/crowd control, and a mix of both is extremely flexible. For a player who enjoys being both a heavy AoE nuker and also a healer, the Tempest is a very versatile and enjoyable class choice. 

In the end, I’m pleased with the result of combining the strengths of the various classes that went in to making the Tempest, and the final result is a class that I feel is both action-packed and fun to play.

Is the Tempest of Set what you were expecting? How about that AoE damage? Let us know on the forums!

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