With this new powers framework coming in, it seems to me like the perfect time to try and improve some of the many class issues that have been bogging the game down for years. I thought I'd put up a thread to discuss things people dislike or find lacking with certain classes. Lets try to keep this discussion centered around gameplay and not random things you think might be cool or random thematic concerns.
I'm going to primarily look from a zoning standpoint because I think its easier to balance from the top down. The biggest problem I see with many classes is that you have very little actual interaction with the game. This is really just a problem with melee classes that aren't rogues. Warriors have rescue triggers and spam bash. Pal/AP/Rang/Dire all lose tanking/damage when they cast their offensive/defensive spells in combat (excluding holy word). Bard and ranger zoning basically consists of assisting the tank over and over while refreshing a buff every 10 minutes. A lot of blame for the huge number of rogues has been laid at khanjari's doorstep, but I'd say its far more the problem that rogues have a huge arsenal of things to actually do.
Casters are so specialized that they generally have plenty to do though shamans are really only brought anywhere for one spell. Elementalists are somewhat marginalized and necromancers don't really have a niche outside of soul walk for Tiamat. Spells like Rainbow pattern, glitterdust, etc are all so ineffectual that they aren't worth casting. Spells that aren't worth casting should either be removed or repaired. All in all, if the powers thing ever goes in this could all be done very easily and could help a lot.
Just a few class-specific solutions to start:
Rangers & Dire Raiders- Assist and afk is pretty much your life. Rangers are supposed to be opposite to rogues for melee damage and while they can avoid shield damage with archery and put out better damage with weaker gear, they are still barren. Rangers are supposed to be a warrior/druid hybrid that deals damage but your spells actually reduce your damage output. I posted specifics for the abilities/shots elsewhere and can clarify again if needed.
- Reduce cast times to 1 star and remove the pray penalties.
Add in 1-3 new offensive combat ablities that are actually usable.
Springleap or something has been asked for a million times, and kick is still terrible.
Archery needs special shots since you actually lose abilities with using a bow.
Raise all weapon skill caps to 99.
Remove slashing requirement to outflank.
Warriors - You spend the bulk of your time watching rescue triggers fire and occasionally bashing but that's about it.
- Add an intervene ability that rescues based on the mob rather than the player.
Add an offensive ability that has no lag but has a few round cooldown (similar to bash) so you can do things between chunks of rescue lag.
Add a defensive cooldown ability that either increases hp/ac/avoidance or perhaps heals and increases regen.
Shieldpunch could use some real love too either with the lag, stun frequency, or delay in enemy action because its rarely worth using now.
Paladins & Antipaladins - They have the same spell problems as rangers and are basically just like warriors that can't tank as well. Guard and apply poison are decent skills but antis are often tanking so they can only apply at the start of combat, and guard is a fairly boring passive ability.
- Instant cast offensive spells and reduce pray times.
Give antis the ability to apply poisons in combat.
Add a vigorize component to heal mount, and allow some portion of gheal/bardsong to affect ungrouped pets of party members.
Increase charge damage a little.
Shaman - If it wasn't for gheal you'd never see shamans in groups.
- Jack the stun on spirit wrack back up to spook levels.
Turn up the damage on fury or add a debuff component.
Increase blindness duration or success rate.
Ashield is okay but could stand a duration increase and little boost in amount of damage it absorbs. It not affecting dragon breath really limits its scope too but I think thats an acceptable downside.
Illusionist - Pretty solid all around with only maybe a couple spell boosts:
- Increase chance for rainbow pattern to land dramatically.
Increase Phantasmal Blades damage.
Elementalist - Great solo, decent in zone groups but has no real niche other than gimmick fights with tank deathprocs.
- Restore either the original duration or success rate of glitterdust to its original state.
Earth elementals need a size boost again.
Invoker - Just fine as far as balance goes though there are obviously improvements that could be made to force more choices in spells cast. They really could use some defensive abilities for soloing.
- Add a self-only damage absorption shield that doesn't stack with displace.
Increase the chance of blindness from blazing beam to 80%.
Enchanter - Just fine though a couple quality of life spells would be nice.
- Add group stoneskin
Add group haste
Druid - Pretty solid with lots of utility.
- Treants could use a size boost back to giant.
Maybe a boost to entangle's effectiveness outside of nature areas.
Rogue - Obviously fine.
Bards - I don't even know where to start because I really don't like the song mechanic but bards suck to play. You don't even need to assist as a bard or use triggers. You just follow the leader and swap songs every 10 minutes. The limited spell list is boring and generally pointless other than displace. Unreliable skills are a terrible thing and make them more of a bunch of hail marys than useful tools.
- Raise rogue skill caps to 99. Maybe leave sneak or hide lower to leave true stealth to rogues.
Increase damage on all bard spells significantly.
Figure out some way to make pushing buttons matter.
Cleric - Healing aura put clerics in a pretty good place so its really just the new cooldowns that are hampered by a lack of double attack and blindness.
- Grant double attack.
Increase duration or success rate of blindness.
Reduce the cooldown of DP/RM to 9m/5m.
Reduce the cast time of offensive spells while righteous might is active.
Reduce the cast time of 5th circle heal and vitality to instant cast while divine power is active.
Lich - Pretty good.
Necromancer - Really has no niche in a group other than soul walk for Tiamat that can't be done better by other classes so I suggest tuning them even more for single target magical damage and debuffs.
- Increase damage on BBB and boneshatter.
Increase success rate on all debuffs.
PSI - I don't know enough to really comment with confidence.