There was another Dev. Diary posted talking about not only the details of the new skills but some of the rationale behind the changes. There’s even some discussion on why some of the skills were further tweaked after they were announced. Since I’m really only knowledgeable in 3 classes I’m going to leave the other classes to others who can talk more intelligently about them.
The three main goals with all of the upgrades were:
- Enhance underused skills.
- Give bonuses that are exciting.
- Don’t greatly alter relative class balance.
Now granted, some may argue that certain skills may have missed the mark but I think these are much better then the 62 upgrades across the board. Now I’m still not real excited that this is all we’ve progressed with our characters but we’re at least moving in the right direction.
I’m only going to comment on the Captain, Minstrel, and of course the Warden. I’m copying the sections from the diary and will add my thoughts after each one.
Watchful Shield-brother replaces Shield-brother and gains a buff to morale and power regen.
While Shield-brother is a well-used skill by many Captains, some were less than diligent with placing it on a fellowship member or Herald. To ‘sweeten the deal’, we decided to tack a buff on to the Shield-brother effect. The skill now provides a moderate amount of in-combat morale and power regeneration. This buff is not massive, as it is on a maintenance free toggle skill, and will assist with both healing and power costs on a lucky fellowship member!
The Captain skill was changed after it was initially announced and I think this is a VERY nice addition. I use my shield brother skills all the time when I’m grouped and this will be a very welcome buff to add. However depending on the scale of the buff, I might have to re-consider who I give it too or switch it up mid fight if there are folks in need of power.
Lyric of the Hammerhand replaces Lay of the Hammerhand and will now negate all induction knockback. Note this does not prevent interruption effects.
I’ll admit, I did not want to upgrade this skill because I think it’s neat having a skill called a “Lay” in the game. However, the skill just filled goal #2 (give bonuses that are exciting) so well! A number of Minstrels have looked with envy at the Rune-keeper’s ability to avoid knockback, so here is a toggle skill of your own. However, remember that Lay has a long cooldown, drains a lot of power to keep active, drains even more power when you are hit and is turned off if you are stunned. That said, you now have on demand knockback immunity. Enjoy!
This one I’m not so sure about, yeah knockbacks are annoying but I’m not sure they’re bad enough to warrant me trading massive amounts of power for it. Now if it prevented the interruption effects, that would be totally worth it, but as it stands I think this is one case where the 64 upgrade is worse then the 62 one. Granted, this description does win for being the most entertaining of the bunch
Unerring Strike is a new 5 Spear gambit that is difficult to block, parry or evade and leaves a damage over time effect that stacks with other Spear gambits.
This skill is very much an upgraded version of Mighty Blow. It has similar Gambit requirements (Spear, Shield, Fist, Spear, Shield). It bypasses enemy avoidances, and leaves a common damage DoT on the foe. This damage over time effect will stack with the other two spear-based DoT’s, Mighty Blow and Power Attack, to help fulfill all your DoT stacking desires!
Another one that was tweaked after it was announced to correct the gambit to something that flowed better. I’m all for having additional DoTs as I’m sure you all know so this one is rather nice, especially since it doesn’t replace anything! On the current Bullroarer build this hits for about 10% more damage and has a DoT tick of about 10% more as well when compared to Mighty Blow and flows very well with the new gambit pattern. And I also caught a couple of snaps of this attack in action, it looks similar to Mighty blow but just a bit flashier with a fiery spear (in my case) and a “blood” cloud erupting from the mob when it hits.
So for the 3 classes I know the most about, two of them received pretty good upgrades and the other sounds interesting but I just don’t know of enough areas where it would be really helpful. Lots of good stuff coming with Volume 3, I can’t wait!!