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View Full Version : Artificer improvements needed for longer term



Nuclear_Elvis
11-12-2016, 10:16 AM
After what amounts to months of "play testing" the Artificer class, my thoughts:

- Artificer class loses far too much power at level 15 and beyond, so much that the power curve would look like a roller coaster - goes fast upward to level 10 and then drops off very quickly.

- The summoned Turrets do not benefit from Augment Summons or Harpers Tree, nor do the Turrets scale upward, but rather they remain a level 10 entity on the playing field.

-- Suggestion: change the summon Turret spell so that it has a by-level scaling upward, and/or enable the Augment Summons feat to affect them. This needs to be seriously considered by the Dev's and play-tested at Lam. This alone would help on one hand.

- Pet: what can I say? The dog has tremendous stats, but barely hits for damage - why? How can a beast with more Strength than any character in the game be so puny on its hits? Is the dog not getting credit for Adamantine armor naturally, before I even cast Stoneskin on it? To me, this may be an oversight, if it isn't. I'm not wanting an overpowered dog, but there is some work to do. Especially - the bugs where the dog does not do anything for you if you go into multiple instances/quests. It's very aggravating to constantly dismiss and re-summon yet another dog and rebuff it at the ship, and you can't plan on multiple quest chains with Arti unless you plan for this process.

Other thoughts out there? While Arti is supposed to be a "premium" class, it becomes less useful above level 15, and I am hopeful that some out-of-the-box thinking could result in some redesign of the Class.

Wh070aa
11-12-2016, 11:45 AM
As long time artificer splash player, I can recommend splashing 5 rogue for mechanic tree on artificer. That or splashing 2 levels of artificer on any ranged capable class.

Artifices, same as monk is a splash class. Similarly as devs count 2 monk/18clerci as monk splash, artificer similarly is only worth for low end splashes.

And while level 20 arti capstone really helps to balance it, artificer is not meant for epic+ levels, as it does not have a epic destiny, or actually good enchantment tree.

There is just no scaling for it.

CThruTheEgo
11-12-2016, 01:18 PM
Artificer class loses far too much power at level 15 and beyond, so much that the power curve would look like a roller coaster - goes fast upward to level 10 and then drops off very quickly.

...snip...

While Arti is supposed to be a "premium" class, it becomes less useful above level 15

The mid teens is exactly when an arti's casting capability really starts to take off. If you are relying solely on ranged dps, then you should splash instead of stay pure. But if you stay pure, then you want to begin to integrate casting, ranged dps, and rune arm dps around this level to keep maximizing the class's full potential. Blade barrier is a great persistent AoE damage spell and has excellent synergy with the repeater. Tactical detonation offers some good AoE CC while prismatic strike offers excellent single target CC. Rune arm dps really takes off as well because it is dependent on the number of artificer levels.

Artificer is inherently a hybrid class and can be built to fully utilize casting and ranged capabilities (see Dubbell O'Seven in my sig for an example of one). The playstyle changes drastically throughout the leveling process though. Up to level 10ish, ranged dps dominates and most everything dies before it ever reaches you. Ranged dps starts to plateau about this time, but then casting capability (both in terms of dps and CC) and rune arm dps really take off in the mid teens. At this point you have to stop relying solely on ranged and start utilizing all of it together. It's not that they stop losing power at this point; it's that they gain versatility by gaining power in other areas. Arti's are behind the curve compared to updated classes, but so is every other class which has not yet received an update.

Also, I see too many arti's nowadays (well, the few that I do see anyway) who don't pass out buffs to the party. This is also additional damage that an arti contributes to the party. Deadly/elemental weapons for melees and enchant weapon for casters. Armor of speed if someone doesn't have haste/alacrity, thunder armor if they do and also for casters. And if people don't wait for buffs, then just buff on the go. No one should have to ask an arti for a buff as this is an inherent part of what the class brings to the table.

CThruTheEgo
11-12-2016, 01:29 PM
artificer similarly is only worth for low end splashes.

And while level 20 arti capstone really helps to balance it, artificer is not meant for epic+ levels, as it does not have a epic destiny, or actually good enchantment tree.

There is just no scaling for it.

I'd have to disagree with this. I keep my arti at cap and he is usually my go-to character for new content precisely because of the versatility the class has to offer. It does require being more fully geared to perform well, but that is true for most classes which haven't been updated. Most build's used to be very gear dependent and the class passes have minimized gear dependency.

I do agree that there isn't a single destiny for pure arti's because they are a hybrid build. But there are a few solid destiny options depending upon what you want to emphasize. Dreadnaught is good for ranged dps, draconic for casting dps, and divine crusader for a middle ground between the two. I've played my arti for a time in every destiny and those are the three optimal destinies for a pure arti imo.

doubledge
11-12-2016, 02:46 PM
I think the real problem with artificer is that the enhancement trees are reasonably undertuned. (And battle engineer is horrible.)

Arcanotech, while nice ever since the reworks, still is missing a way to increase maximum caster level of artificer spells. All of their bread-and-butter spells are capped at 10, meaning that they need to splash heavily, or take levels in sorcerer to boost them higher.

Secondly, runearms, while fun, can't really compete with other class features. If they made the imbue effects scale with spell power, just as how sneak attack now scales with melee/ranged power, this would remedy this somewhat.

Best way I can see to fix artificer right now would be to put 50/65/80/105/120/150% spellpower scaling for the runearms (in Battle Engineer cores 1/2/3/4/5/6) to provide incentive for actually using that tree, along with putting in improved imbue (like warlock strong pact, except matching the runearm's type) in with the hand and a half/crossbow training.

Similarly, I think that Arcanotech needs +1 to max caster level of their spells per core.

With these two things in place, Arti MIGHT have a better chance.

Talonthedruid
11-12-2016, 05:22 PM
Arti is only underpowered if your pure ;P

Nuclear_Elvis
11-13-2016, 10:31 AM
Arti is only underpowered if your pure ;P

And - that is the primary point of my thread. While some of you are giving the multi-class perspective, which is also needed, the core of this is Artificer, and the future of playing Arti as a pure class to 20, or all the way to 30. The player community should not consider itself forced to multi-class due to such a plunging power curve beyond level 15.

CThruTheEgo
11-13-2016, 02:22 PM
And - that is the primary point of my thread. While some of you are giving the multi-class perspective, which is also needed, the core of this is Artificer, and the future of playing Arti as a pure class to 20, or all the way to 30. The player community should not consider itself forced to multi-class due to such a plunging power curve beyond level 15.

How did you play your arti? What was your build? Did you build to take advantage of the casting capability of the class by level 15? Did you build solely for ranged? Solely for casting? Melee focused? Arti is very versatile and these can make a big difference in the effectiveness of the class, or lack thereof.

In my experience, the class is very strong all throughout heroic. Gear, ED, and twists bring it up to speed in epics. I do not disagree with the fact that the class needs a revamp to catch up to the already revamped classes, but I do disagree with the premise that its power plateaus at level 10.

Nuclear_Elvis
11-14-2016, 10:11 AM
How did you play your arti? What was your build? Did you build to take advantage of the casting capability of the class by level 15? Did you build solely for ranged? Solely for casting? Melee focused? Arti is very versatile and these can make a big difference in the effectiveness of the class, or lack thereof.

In my experience, the class is very strong all throughout heroic. Gear, ED, and twists bring it up to speed in epics. I do not disagree with the fact that the class needs a revamp to catch up to the already revamped classes, but I do disagree with the premise that its power plateaus at level 10.

You're asking for individual play-style comments, which I can give, but while that is interesting it is irrelevant to the original suggestion, that a scaling up of Turrets (or making them eligible for Harpers and/or Augment Summons boosting), along with Pet improvements, are potential changes that would bring balance regardless of playstyle.

And, to be specific, the power curve doesn't drop off steeply at level 10, it is more toward level 15 that it happens, even with Adamantine armor selected and Stoneskin applied (always).

So that it is known here, I play ranged/runearm primarily, with some electric spells at the ready. However, I am an Arti that gives out spells - lots of them, even to a hire and/or Pet in some cases, so by the time you finish all that buffing at least half or more SP is gone. Even when trimming to essentials, in a large 6-player/NPC group it can be challenging because I do push Armor of Speed, Stoneskin, and a couple group buffs at minimum and there's still under half SP even with just that minimum given. Arti is not a primarily caster-class, it simply isn't, and this is partly due to the lack of Spellpoints available in the current game (especially once you contrast against "free" Warlocks). The Crossbow or a single-handed weapon along with a Runearm are the "primary" intended weapons, and an entire Enhancement tree is for a Crossbow-centric build (while the other is more caster-centric). We could survey officially, but I can tell you that within my 800-member guild, no one plays the caster side of Arti, only the Crossbow centric builds. Most of those players would say the same thing here - if they wanted to play a caster class, they'd go Wizard/Warlock/Sorc etc for that character life.

The intent of my post is that we should not have to splash Arti only, it should be viable pure class, and with some tweaks that could potentially happen. We should not have to be a caster, and you/others could argue that Artis should not have to be a Crossbowman, and even a Caster-centric Arti would benefit from a better Pet and better Augment Summons.

I didn't specify this in the OP, but another issue is toward the Armor of Arti's. I took the heavier Adamantine, but the Docent/Adamantine combo is still as squishy as a Rogue with Light Armor. That seems out of order. The Adamantine selection should make a difference, but in the powercreep/Champion game we now have, it's not much of a difference.

CThruTheEgo
11-14-2016, 11:06 AM
You're asking for individual play-style comments, which I can give, but while that is interesting it is irrelevant to the original suggestion, that a scaling up of Turrets (or making them eligible for Harpers and/or Augment Summons boosting), along with Pet improvements, are potential changes that would bring balance regardless of playstyle.

I'm not opposed to those suggestions. I would definitely like to see the turret be of more use in later levels. I do not, however, have any hope of the dog being very useful simply because, no matter what they do, it will still be limited by the terribad hireling AI in this game. It will never be better than any other hireling/summon, and none of them are very good. I also agree that the class needs a full revamp to catch up with the other revamped classes.


And, to be specific, the power curve doesn't drop off steeply at level 10, it is more toward level 15 that it happens, even with Adamantine armor selected and Stoneskin applied (always).

So that it is known here, I play ranged/runearm primarily, with some electric spells at the ready. However, I am an Arti that gives out spells - lots of them, even to a hire and/or Pet in some cases, so by the time you finish all that buffing at least half or more SP is gone. Even when trimming to essentials, in a large 6-player/NPC group it can be challenging because I do push Armor of Speed, Stoneskin, and a couple group buffs at minimum and there's still under half SP even with just that minimum given. Arti is not a primarily caster-class, it simply isn't, and this is partly due to the lack of Spellpoints available in the current game (especially once you contrast against "free" Warlocks). The Crossbow or a single-handed weapon along with a Runearm are the "primary" intended weapons, and an entire Enhancement tree is for a Crossbow-centric build (while the other is more caster-centric). We could survey officially, but I can tell you that within my 800-member guild, no one plays the caster side of Arti, only the Crossbow centric builds. Most of those players would say the same thing here - if they wanted to play a caster class, they'd go Wizard/Warlock/Sorc etc for that character life.

The intent of my post is that we should not have to splash Arti only, it should be viable pure class, and with some tweaks that could potentially happen. We should not have to be a caster, and you/others could argue that Artis should not have to be a Crossbowman, and even a Caster-centric Arti would benefit from a better Pet and better Augment Summons.

I am not arguing that artificer is crossbow-centric or caster-centric. I am arguing that the class is inherently a hybrid class. The class does not lead in crossbow dps or caster dps or crowd control or buffing, but it does have some capability for all of these. It is when you combine them all and utilize them all together that the class really shines in later levels. And if you neglect any of them, then the class will feel weak because each of those individually are not the strongest when compared to other classes which do specialize in them. But no other class can build for and utilize them all in the way that an arti can. Hence, they are inherently a hybrid class.

So yes, if you want to play a caster, then play wiz/sorc/warlock. If you want to play a crossbow build, then play mechanic. But if you want to play a hybrid build, then play arti. Arti is not supposed to be the best at casting or ranged dps, and I personally would not want to see changes in the revamp which pigeonholes them into one of those. I'd much rather they make changes which enable them to be a better hybrid build.

I did not see you mention blade barrier, which is the highest dps spell artis get and has good synergy with the repeater/rune arm style. As I mentioned in my first post, tactical detonation is decent AoE CC (just use it for CC though, not for damage, so don't use empower/maximize with it to save sp), prismatic strike is excellent single target CC, blade barrier is a great persistent AoE dps spell. It's no coincidence that the class begins to get these spells right as crossbow dps begins to plateau. This is when you have to change the playstyle slightly to incorporate these as well.

The electric spells perform fine for heroics, but are far too weak in epics. Personally, I don't find them useful in heroics because the repeater will take out most things before they even reach you, but they do offer a different playstyle if you want to be more caster focused in heroics. In epics, they do so little damage that they aren't worth adding into the rotation.


I didn't specify this in the OP, but another issue is toward the Armor of Arti's. I took the heavier Adamantine, but the Docent/Adamantine combo is still as squishy as a Rogue with Light Armor. That seems out of order. The Adamantine selection should make a difference, but in the powercreep/Champion game we now have, it's not much of a difference.

I found survivability went up considerably when I took adamantine body, but I also don't really find champions to be much of a challenge on any character. If you are having trouble with champs, try using tactical detonation if you are facing a group of them, or prismatic strike if facing only one. With three different saves, prismatic strike is excellent single target CC. Tactical detonation isn't the best AoE CC by far, but an arti built for it can certainly make it work. You also have the advantage of being a ranged build, so you don't ever really have to let a champ get close enough to hit you. That is the beauty of a hybrid build, you have the advantage of versatility to overcome challenges.