Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Up close and personal

Yesterday, Mythic announced more class balance changes which they are considering for the 1.3.6 patch.  The proposed changes mostly affect damage tactics which are based on range.  What will this mean for combat in Warhammer Online?

Let's start with a little background.  Close Quarters has long been a controversial tactic for Bright Wizards and Sorcerers.  When they are within 45 feet of an enemy, all of their damage is increased by 25%.  If they are over 45 feet, their damage is reduced by 20%.  It sounds alright due to the drawback but in practice is was very deadly.

CQ is a common tactic used in pbaoe bombing as it will increase the damage of skills like Scorched Earth and Fiery Blast. The 45ft range was not much of a risk when compared to the damage they could cause.  The new changes completely change how the tactic works.  Close Quarters will now decrease the cast time of abilities if you are within 20 feet.

My first thought was "Wow, they will be able to cast Fireball's a lot quicker.  Is this really any better?" After giving it some more time, I think it is actually a good idea.  The tactic will only affect skills which have a cast time.  That means Scorched Earth and all of the other instant cast skills will not get a bonus to damage or cast time.

The new range, 20 feet, is also a limiting factor.  That is pretty close to your target, especially if they are melee.  Abilities such as Doombolt/Fireball can be interrupted and setback.  There will be a shorter window due to the 50% reduction, but a lot of damage flies around at that short distance.  Also, they will have to be stationary to use those skills and moving outside of 20 feet should not be too difficult.

Although I think this is a good change, I am still a little worried about how it will play out on live.  The thought of 1.5 second Fiery Blasts and Shattered Shadows does make me a little nervous.  These careers were made to do a ton of damage so they will find new ways to accomplish that.