This is a post about Poisoning which needs to be re-balanced and at the same time about Potion Timers, which are much needed(for the matter even Refresh pots should have a cool-down) if there is to be any simple and effective Poisoning re-balance. Let me break it all down and present to you my thoughts in a decent structure as best I can. All I ask is that you read through before thinking I'm "whining" or calling for a nerf. Using Poisoning Effectively The only way to "effectively" (and I'm really skeptical it can be called that) use Poisoning is to keep spamming Infect as the target spends their GCures and drain their supply. - You want to have high Poisoning to counter Petals and Vampire Form. - Make sure you've automated your poison application completely through a well-set macro and keep re-applying when you run out of charges. However this will not kill your target since they will simply run away once out of potions in theory. Here's a problem: They won't in practice, you will run out of Deadly Poisons first most likely(more on that below). They can also simply Disarm you. If they are not running scripts you may manage to slip a couple of ticks in and that's it, except now there are so many other ways to counter this! Where do I start with that arguement, Cleansing Winds? Poison Eater items(least of worries, that)? Before going into this, let me say a few things more. Poison Types At first Poisoners were glad to have them added. Then it became apparent. The different Poison types are generally useless. - Parasitic is somewhat better from the two(I am stretching it, I think it's not even considered "Deadly" Poison) but it's a pain to produce(not like Deadlies aren't to be honest) resource-wise considering failure rates. - Can't compare GCure spams to Parasitic or Deadly Poison spams in this regard. Advantages? What is there to say to this skill's defense? - I think it counts towards Mana Cost reduction on weapon special moves(as if most players don't already have 40% LMC and enough Tactics/WeaponSkill to enjoy this benefit at full capacity). - Sometimes might waste a player's bandage IF they go out of timing(if they are not running medic scripts that is to say, though really, a lot of players can do it through personal skill and a bit of practice). It can't even "break" healing through bandages(as in causing a "finger slip"). Alternatives To Poison(Why You Should NOT Invest In It) It's much cheaper and productive to use Mortal Wound as a substitute. - No resources - No skill involved - Most weapons couple it with really good specials - It's on, generally speaking, good weapons - Counters healing methods better - Counters MORE healing methods - Player must spend Enchanted Apples which do have a timer Mortal Wound Problems : Paladins will be able to deal with it effectively(Remove Curse I believe removes Mortal) and maybe Mystics too although I haven't tried Cleansing Winds personally. No issues here, still by far better than Poisoning and doing PRECISELY what Poisoning should be doing(and considering Poisoning should also be dealing Damage-Over-Time not attempting to re-balance Poisoning is bordering sarcasm). Examples Demonstrating Combat/Practical Application Of Poisoning In a combat situation try to DP your enemy and dish out damage against them while they're poisoned(if you can be THAT fast and this is not irony): - They won't even run, it's too easy to deal with if they're an average PVPer and above. Now try the same with Mortal Wound and [Prefered Damage Spam] : - If they are not Paladins with max FC/FCR and enough Mana and after the first Enchanted Apple timer kicks in they WILL begin evading you. This again points to Mortal Wound being by far better, hands down. This is not to say Mortal Wound needs to be toned down, it's just an observation that works towards making my final point. PVM Not much to say, a constant Infect spam will keep magical creatures busy curing themselves which may actually buy you time to heal or some such action. Monsters are as good as players in curing through magic it seems so do not expect any fascinating results. Non-magical creatures may be damaged through DOT from being poisoned but with the amounts of Health EA/M has given to the mobs it is simply neglectible. - The skill is below mediocre for PVM and that's being generous! Counter-Arguements 1. Shuriken/Fuwkyia Counter-Arguement One does not need Poisoning for that, merely DPed ammunition and good timing with macros. Plus those use Ninjitsu! Therefore I can't even attribute any levels of success in using those methods to Poisoning. Simply use a Poisoner to supply your character. And really even then all you will manage to do in practice is always have a form of "Infect" which as said, WILL NOT REALLY HINDER your target. - Example : Use Fuwkyia + Mortal + [Preferred Damage Spam] = Your target will proceed to cure, so that takes Poisoning again OUT of the equation within a split second. 2. GCure Fail Rates Now I do not know where people get their data from but in practical application I have NEVER, EVER, had any more than 10 out of more than 500 PVP encounters where my target actually wasted more than 1 MS on a fail. The number of encounters if not exaggerated, in fact I must have been involved in way much more over the last 4 years. To the point : In fact it may be that because GCures HAVE NO TIMER people mushing their GCure macro make it appear like GCures never fail when in fact they may be! This alone indicates ONE THING ONLY and works TOWARDS my point. E - Even if success rates Vs. Lethal Poison are raised to 100% for ALL curing methods I wouldn't mind AS LONG AS THERE WAS A COOL DOWN FOR ALL POTIONS. I cannot stress this simple solution enough! 3. The Notion That Players Need More Than One Method To Counter Poisoning To Be Safe From It People will claim that I just said myself one needs more than 2 combined ways to be safe from Poisoners. This is out-right false. - A player WITHOUT A SINGLE SKILL POINT INVESTED IN ANY HEALING OR CURING METHOD can simply spam GCures and circle around their opponent for the GHeal to kick in and they will COMPLETELY nullify any skill point their opponent will have invested in Poisoning. Exceptions would be Shuriken/Fuwkyia but that is irrelevant with the Poisoning skill, in fact it will cost said opponent another 100 or 120 skill-points and again WILL BE INSTANTLY CURED. Because, let me say again, THERE ARE NO POTION TIMERS. Solution Potion timers. Yes, even on Refresh, all this running around is dizzying! There is no getting "locked" in combat in Ultima! But that's another discussion and honestly not urgent even if there are, again, TOO MANY METHODS to fill up Stamina without a potion altogether. Below is a list of things you can do or have that will keep you 100% safe from Deadly and Lethal Poison just for your information : - GCure potions - Cleansing Winds - Cleanse By Fire - Magery Cure spells - Bandages/Enhanced Bandages - Healing Stone(After the last update to Mysticism) - Gift Of Renewal(Heals Through) - Spirit Speak(Heals Through) For anything less than Deadly you may add these to the list : - Orange Petals - Vampire Form - Unicorn Form(Somewhat rare to encounter in PVP) - Cure potions(Chance is sufficient) This all shows that the last counter-arguement, the notion that Potion Timers would render Poisoning over-powered, is also false. There are too many ways to counter Poisoning. Further Insight Most players regardless of set-up and template will be able to combine more than 2 of those ways to counter your skill! (For instance a melee character will probably combine GCure, Bandages and an ability like Cleanse By Fire) before you even have time to damage them, messing up timing(which is why I say completely spam your target with Infect and hope that they run out of Potions. - Even then Poisoning won't be what will kill them, you're better off with Mortal Wound). - Bandages = Skill so I can live with that. - Spell = Skill so I can live with that. - Potions = ? They need TIMERS, they are ITEMS countering a skill. A rather comical addition : With Poison Eater the target might as well Heal a bit of damage while Poison ticks kick in but it's by no means a tremendous advantage so to say. It's only now the "Cherry On The Top". So what is EA/M thinking on this? Is Poisoning meant for prankster characters leaving around poisoned food for new players to eat? If that's the explanation I can live with it but somehow I think that's not the case. I call for no nerf of Mortal Wound, for no nerf at all in fact. Only for a much needed balance change which many templates will enjoy. - Mages for example have a poison and a poison field spell too. - Archers have Serpent Arrow which would make much more sense if GCures had a timer. PS: I'm aware there are many other skills that have been ignored for too long(Bards? Detectives?), not trying to diminish the importance of giving them some love with this post. But Poisoning is right there with them in the "Recycle Bin" and there is NOTHING I have read, heard or seen so far in Stratics OR in the game, for the last 4 years or so, to indicate the opposite. The skill works FINE, but LACK OF POTION TIMERS have completely BROKEN IT. That's all I had to say, I hope you enjoyed reading through if nothing else. I tried to be as constructive and "clean" as I could.