Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Engineer and Magus changes

Late last week, we learned about some possible changes coming to the Engineer and Magus careers in Warhammer Online.  Rune Priests and Zealots received some attention in 1.3.6, now it's our turn.  That's not to say other classes won't see changes, but this is all we know so far.

The proposed changes are focused around  Engineer Turrets and Magus Daemons. In their current state they are pretty lackluster.  I only use my gun turret for its armor debuff and to try and set back enemy abilities.  The Magus are in a similar position, one of their pets provides a resistance debuff and that's about it.

The team is proposing the following:

  • For Engineers, a portion of the character's Ballistic Skill, Weapon Skill, and Wounds from equipment will also affect their turrets.
  • For the Magus, a portion of the character's Intelligence and Wounds from equipment will also affect their daemons.  Additionally, the daemons' autoattacks will now deal magical damage - Elemental for the Pink and Blue Horrors, and Spirit for the Flamer. 
  • For both careers, the character will begin receiving a new effect while they remain near their turret / daemon - Improvised Upgrades for the Engineer, and Unholy Empowerment for the Magus.  This effect will start as a +4% damage buff, and will increase every 2 seconds by another 4%, up to a max of +20% damage after 10 seconds.  If the character moves away from their turret / daemon, the effect will begin dropping back down, eventually fading from them entirely until they return to their turret / daemon's side.

Having our stats affect the turret/daemon is a very welcome change.  It will improve all of our pets damage and survivability.  We'll have to wait a bit longer to see how much of an improvement it is.

The big change is the addition of Improvised Upgrades and Unholy Empowerment, which may result in a 20% damage increase for both careers.  There is a catch though, we must remain near the turret.  It also takes 10 seconds to build up to the max amount.

I like the idea for the most part,  damage increases are always nice.  I'm really glad to see the turret  involved.  One issue players have brought up is this will just hurt an Engineers mobility.  This is true, but expected.  There should be some drawback to getting a 20% damage increase.  We also do not know the range of the buff yet.

Luckily, we have several tools to help our mobility.  Well Oiled Machine allows us to drop turrets instantly (sorta, it can't be done on the move).  There is an AP cost, but our buff will remain up.  Redeploy will move the turret, but is on a 20 second cooldown.  Worst case, we have to rebuild the turret with a 2 second build time.  If Expert Skirmisher is slotted, it is reduced to a ~ 1 second build time. 

I am a little disappointed that nothing is being done to make the turrets more interesting.  I want a good reason to use something other than the gun turret.  Having to make a turret choice would make the career more fun to play.  For example, the flame turret could reduce damage by 20% rather than increase it.

So, when will we see these changes?  There is no set date yet, but it is looking like it will be introduced in 1.4.  Be sure to drop by the thread and give your thoughts on the changes.