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  1. #1
    Community Member SealedInSong's Avatar
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    Default Shapeshifting: more drawbacks, fewer benefits

    We all know that shapeshifting has many problems, including:

    • being mathematically poorer DPS as a result of an inability to use Lay Waste and Momentum
    • can't benefit from full offhand bonuses of unarmed
    • can't get as many hits as TWF
    • it's clunky/esoteric, with most people not understanding the main and off hand mechanics of shapeshifting
    • as far as I know, does not benefit from increased dice weight of epic weapons; winter wolf is locked in at [1d10] and dire bear is locked in at [1d12]
    • shapeshifted "attacks" are ACTUALLY spells, so they use a bit of mana (okay) and cannot be used while raged (not okay)
    • crit profile on wolves at least is good (17-20x3 with IC: bludgeon) but at this point cannot be increased in any way (bear crit profile is worse at [20x3]
    • ToD burst effects only work when the druid equips handwraps despite the fact that they are technically fighting unarmed when shapeshifted
    • dire bear attack sequences are dreadfully slow and prone to missing on account of their "rearing" animation
    • dire bears do get the perks of being a druid but their AC bonus and DPS are truly negligible compared to other dedicated tank types, rendering them far less useful as hybrid caster/melee and basically useless as tanks


    Doublestrike can be higher relatively but the aforementioned problems render the doublestrike feature not very attractive.

    I do like my bear and wolf builds. I do play them because I find the flavor fun.

    I do not think they are as competitive as they should be by a long shot, particularly the dire bear form.

    In the next post, I'll start compiling suggestions made from players on how to improve the forms. Many good suggestions have been made, but I didn't see any that stood out to me in the enhancement alpha except the "Four Good Legs" enhancement which made shapeshifted animal forms resistant/immune? to knockdown.
    Last edited by SealedInSong; 06-13-2013 at 09:34 PM. Reason: format
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  2. #2
    Community Member SealedInSong's Avatar
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    Default Suggestion compilation

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  3. #3
    Community Member ZeebaNeighba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SealedInSong View Post
    We all know that shapeshifting has many problems, including:

    • it's clunky/esoteric, with most people not understanding the main and off hand mechanics of shapeshifting
    • shapeshifted "attacks" are ACTUALLY spells, so they use a bit of mana (okay) and cannot be used while raged (not okay)

    I don't get how the weapon effects apply to animal forms. An explanation would be cool (and to put it in the game).

    Don't forget the special animal attacks also use a spell slot.

  4. #4
    Community Member Munkenmo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SealedInSong View Post
    • ToD burst effects only work when the druid equips handwraps despite the fact that they are technically fighting unarmed when shapeshifted


    This is incorrect.

    I've been doing plenty of TR's recently with a holy burst ring and greensteel / alchemical kama's / shortswords.
    The holy burst from the ring has been procing as expected.

  5. #5
    Community Member Munkenmo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZeebaNeighba View Post
    I don't get how the weapon effects apply to animal forms. An explanation would be cool (and to put it in the game).

    Don't forget the special animal attacks also use a spell slot.
    In your main hand all effects work like you'd expect.
    In your secondary hand only passive effects / defensive guards work. (eg. stunning, conc op, heal amp, seeker etc.) offensive ones like shocking burst or lightning strike won't do a thing.

    I'm getting quite good mileage out of a greensteel heal amp con op kama.

  6. #6
    Founder Delacroix21's Avatar
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    This needs to be addressed and i would love to hear a Dev post stating that they are looking at overhauling the druid (and not through enhancements).

    Here is what is needed:
    1. Remove the increased spell cool downs in animal form, clerics and fvs don't have them when using an epic SOS
    2. Use dex or str for animal special attacks instead of wisdom, also add druid ?evel bonuses to DCs like monk moves
    3. Wolf form need a base 20-30% movement speed, current 15% is enhancement bonus which does not stack with striding (making it worthless)
    4. Bear form needs a bigger ac/hp boost, Druids can't wear plate and have less ac in tank mode
    5. Bear form drop the standing attack and slightly increase speed, its painfully slow
    6. New druid animal capstone: evasion
    7. Give Druids a base 18% double strike in animal forms and remove the feats, these feat (all 3) are not a bonus to animal Druids, but are required to be even remotely viable.
    Making DDO a better game 1 post at a time!

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  7. #7
    Community Member AylinIsAwesome's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Delacroix21 View Post
    7. Give Druids a base 18% double strike in animal forms and remove the feats, these feat (all 3) are not a bonus to animal Druids, but are required to be even remotely viable.
    I disagree here. One could easily say, "Give Rogues/Fighters/FvS/etc a base 80% to hit with offhand attacks and remove the TWF feats, these feats (all 3) are not a bonus to TWF melee, but are required to be even remotely viable".

    However, I would like it if the doublestrike from the feats was increased, perhaps to 8%.

  8. #8
    Community Member Charononus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SealedInSong View Post
    We all know that shapeshifting has many problems, including:

    • being mathematically poorer DPS as a result of an inability to use Lay Waste and Momentum
    • can't benefit from full offhand bonuses of unarmed
    • can't get as many hits as TWF
    • it's clunky/esoteric, with most people not understanding the main and off hand mechanics of shapeshifting
    • as far as I know, does not benefit from increased dice weight of epic weapons; winter wolf is locked in at [1d10] and dire bear is locked in at [1d12]
    • shapeshifted "attacks" are ACTUALLY spells, so they use a bit of mana (okay) and cannot be used while raged (not okay)
    • crit profile on wolves at least is good (17-20x3 with IC: bludgeon) but at this point cannot be increased in any way (bear crit profile is worse at [20x3]
    • ToD burst effects only work when the druid equips handwraps despite the fact that they are technically fighting unarmed when shapeshifted
    • dire bear attack sequences are dreadfully slow and prone to missing on account of their "rearing" animation
    • dire bears do get the perks of being a druid but their AC bonus and DPS are truly negligible compared to other dedicated tank types, rendering them far less useful as hybrid caster/melee and basically useless as tanks


    Doublestrike can be higher relatively but the aforementioned problems render the doublestrike feature not very attractive.

    I do like my bear and wolf builds. I do play them because I find the flavor fun.

    I do not think they are as competitive as they should be by a long shot, particularly the dire bear form.

    In the next post, I'll start compiling suggestions made from players on how to improve the forms. Many good suggestions have been made, but I didn't see any that stood out to me in the enhancement alpha except the "Four Good Legs" enhancement which made shapeshifted animal forms resistant/immune? to knockdown.
    Agreed on most, pure druids are pretty weak at melee, the only way to do good dps at cap is a heavy monk splash.

    Quote Originally Posted by Delacroix21 View Post
    This needs to be addressed and i would love to hear a Dev post stating that they are looking at overhauling the druid (and not through enhancements).

    Here is what is needed:
    1. Remove the increased spell cool downs in animal form, clerics and fvs don't have them when using an epic SOS
    2. Use dex or str for animal special attacks instead of wisdom, also add druid ?evel bonuses to DCs like monk moves
    3. Wolf form need a base 20-30% movement speed, current 15% is enhancement bonus which does not stack with striding (making it worthless)
    4. Bear form needs a bigger ac/hp boost, Druids can't wear plate and have less ac in tank mode
    5. Bear form drop the standing attack and slightly increase speed, its painfully slow
    6. New druid animal capstone: evasion
    7. Give Druids a base 18% double strike in animal forms and remove the feats, these feat (all 3) are not a bonus to animal Druids, but are required to be even remotely viable.
    2. Make it an either or like some ed abilities are. At the moment the wisdom bonuses synergize well with monk splashs with the wisdom for dc aspect. Adding a level bonus would definately help though.
    7. see below

    Quote Originally Posted by AylinIsAwesome View Post
    I disagree here. One could easily say, "Give Rogues/Fighters/FvS/etc a base 80% to hit with offhand attacks and remove the TWF feats, these feats (all 3) are not a bonus to TWF melee, but are required to be even remotely viable".

    However, I would like it if the doublestrike from the feats was increased, perhaps to 8%.
    This makes good sense to me.

  9. #9
    Community Member SealedInSong's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fTdOmen View Post
    [/LIST]

    This is incorrect.

    I've been doing plenty of TR's recently with a holy burst ring and greensteel / alchemical kama's / shortswords.
    The holy burst from the ring has been procing as expected.
    I was just testing this today and that was not my experience. I'll try again with screenshots so someone can explain if I'm missing something. Thanks -Enmo.
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  10. #10
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    My suggestions based on Alpha preview:

    Each Core Enhancement grants a 1% Primal bonus to doublestrike that works in all forms (animal, elemental, normal). This encourages multi-classing and spending on feats other than Natural Fighting x3.

    Each Core Enhancement grants animal-form spells as SLAs with reduced SP cost and short cooldowns. So Takedown/Maul (1st); Pack Presence/Roar (3rd); Baiting Bite/Shred (6th); Frost Bite/Tremor (12th); Jaws of Winter/Relentless Onslaught (18th).

    Nature Warrior's capstone grants: any Wolf-form 30% striding (enhancement bonus), Winter Wolf gets Cold Resistance 30.
    any Bear form 10% exceptional fortification, with Dire Bear getting Bodyfeeder weapon property for animal-form attacks.

  11. #11
    Community Member Charononus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cerret View Post
    My suggestions based on Alpha preview:

    Each Core Enhancement grants a 1% Primal bonus to doublestrike that works in all forms (animal, elemental, normal). This encourages multi-classing and spending on feats other than Natural Fighting x3.

    Each Core Enhancement grants animal-form spells as SLAs with reduced SP cost and short cooldowns. So Takedown/Maul (1st); Pack Presence/Roar (3rd); Baiting Bite/Shred (6th); Frost Bite/Tremor (12th); Jaws of Winter/Relentless Onslaught (18th).

    Nature Warrior's capstone grants: any Wolf-form 30% striding (enhancement bonus), Winter Wolf gets Cold Resistance 30.
    any Bear form 10% exceptional fortification, with Dire Bear getting Bodyfeeder weapon property for animal-form attacks.
    each point needs to give devotion not double strike as we're losing all spell power lines in all classes. Melee druids toss heals just as much as casters if not more so since they're in the middle of it and will need to heal themselves more.

  12. #12
    Community Member AylinIsAwesome's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charononus View Post
    each point needs to give devotion not double strike as we're losing all spell power lines in all classes. Melee druids toss heals just as much as casters if not more so since they're in the middle of it and will need to heal themselves more.
    Devotion in the Nature's Warrior tree would make me so happy.
    Last edited by AylinIsAwesome; 06-14-2013 at 03:58 AM.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charononus View Post
    each point needs to give devotion not double strike as we're losing all spell power lines in all classes. Melee druids toss heals just as much as casters if not more so since they're in the middle of it and will need to heal themselves more.
    It is each Core Enhancement that grants 1% Primal bonus to double strike (at 3rd, 6th, 12th, 18th, 20th; totals 5%), not each AP. Currently, each AP grants 1 HP. Perhaps each Core Enhancement should grant 1% Healing Amplification instead. Actually, I would prefer Healing Amplification.

    Also, after some thought, I think the capstone should grant each wolf form 30% striding + Bodyfeeder weapon property, each bear form get 10% exceptional fortification and Vampirism weapon property. Dire Bear gets Vicious weapon property; Winter Wolf gets Cold Resistance 30. Note that this is in addition to what the capstone normally grants (+2d6 SA for wolf, +10 PRR for bear).

  14. #14
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    I am sure I'm probably wrong as I have only just started playing the game.

    1 week in and I am a lvl 15 Druid using a Stave of the Seer.

    From my experience Animal Forms doesn't even come close to the dps I can do with my staff.

    I've been using the staff since lvl 8 and it still seems to me to be my dps best option - am I missing something?

  15. #15
    Scholar Of Adventure & Hero Missing_Minds's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SealedInSong View Post
    [*]shapeshifted "attacks" are ACTUALLY spells, so they use a bit of mana (okay) and cannot be used while raged (not okay)
    Actually they are "almost" spells.

    While I'm pretty certain anti-magic of beholders can block the attacks, they most certainly do not count as spells for Shiradi casting.

    Also,
    Wolf forms really should increase base movement speed. It does not.
    Wolf forms should get a bonus against being knocked down due to the fact they have more than 2 legs. This is Turbine logic here. They do not get any such bonus.

  16. #16
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    Yup, animal forms are pretty awful right now. Pure druid is broken do to a lack of feats and the broken die step mechanics for non-wraps(you'll never get more than 1d10, while others are getting say 7.5d6 from skybreaker).

    Monk splash druids using handwraps are broken because they so few attacks compared to a non-shapeshifted druid (18% doublestrike vs. 80% doublestrike; a much bigger dps impact then 1d6 -> 1d10). If you use kamas you're back to the broken die step, so there's no getting any use out of your off-hand. On top of that your casting is gimped with x2.5 cooldowns without the capstone.

    Bear is so broken that it's probably irredeemable, wolf could maybe be fixed if they made +w from weapons apply in form and increased natural fighting double strike to 2 feats for 10% each (or one feat for 15%). Or just ditch the whole "you only use your main hand" thing and made all animal form druids 2WF, and make those feats work. Do away with the cooldown increase altogether and give the capstone another 10% doublestrike or +2 wisdom to compensate.

    Pretty sad they got left in such a broken state. I wish they fixed druid instead of making one of the new Iconics.
    Last edited by SerPounce; 06-17-2013 at 12:09 AM.
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  17. #17
    Build Constructionist unbongwah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SerPounce View Post
    Monk splash druids using handwraps are broken because they so few attacks compared to a non-shapeshifted druid (18% doublestrike vs. 80% doublestrike; a much bigger dps impact then 1d6 -> 1d10).
    You're forgetting that wolves get +30% base atk speed, which AFAIK stacks with Haste; and that wolf druids will usually have ISM as well for 26% doublestrike total. My back-of-cocktail-napkin calcs suggest a wolf should get ~80% of the strikes of a pure monk; the better crit profile + 6d6 sneak atks help close the DPS gap.

    That said, it's the +[W] bonuses which really seem to hamper wolf DPS in epics; hermespan has some good build advice.

    I've only just hit epics with my pure druid, so my opinion may change; but so far I'm still having fun as a shapeshifter. No, I don't have the melee DPS of a barb; but why would I expect to? I can bring a lot more to the table than a pure barb can: Earthquake, HoTs, DoTs, buffs, etc. If I can do all that and respectable SA-based DPS, I'm cool with that. As I said earlier, if you're treating your wolf druid as a pure melee build, you're doing it wrong.

    But bear form flat-out sucks. I was hoping to make a decent guard-based caster tank; at best I'm a subpar caster with modest survivability bonuses (+4 CON, +15% AC, +21 PRR) & Tremor.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by unbongwah View Post
    You're forgetting that wolves get +30% base atk speed, which AFAIK stacks with Haste; and that wolf druids will usually have ISM as well for 26% doublestrike total. My back-of-cocktail-napkin calcs suggest a wolf should get ~80% of the strikes of a pure monk; the better crit profile + 6d6 sneak atks help close the DPS gap.
    I was talking about a centered monk splash build there so ISM isn't relevant (I was discussing that because being centered and using wraps is the only way to avoid the +w issue). Monk attack speed is also 10% over "normal" also. So assuming the 30% faster wolf attack speed is accurate (has anyone actually tested this? it sure doesn't feel 30% faster...) you've got 1.1 * 1.8 = 1.98 vs. 1.3 * 1.18 = 1.53 for a centered build, or 1.3 * 1.26 = 1.63 for a S&B build that suffers from a lack of +w. Sneak attack is nice, but for all that sneak attack you loose stunning fist and +w which is even more DPS most of the time. You're also talking about a 6 feat melee form at that point (NFx3, IC:Bludg, SM&ISM), that"s a steep price on a pure druid.

    Edit: I tried to make a table to show the basic options, but this forum just won't display it properly

    Wolf Druid 20 18/2 monk wolf 18/2 monk elemental
    Attack speed 1.3 * 1.26 =1.63 1.3 * 1.181.53 1.1 * 1.8=1.98
    Sneak attack* 4d6 2d6 0
    melee feats 6/9 5/11 4/11 (IC optional)
    Cooldowns 1.5 2.5 1
    +w bug? bugged not bugged not bugged


    *anyone can take the enhancements
    I've only just hit epics with my pure druid, so my opinion may change; but so far I'm still having fun as a shapeshifter. No, I don't have the melee DPS of a barb; but why would I expect to? I can bring a lot more to the table than a pure barb can: Earthquake, HoTs, DoTs, buffs, etc. If I can do all that and respectable SA-based DPS, I'm cool with that. you're doing it wrong.

    But bear form flat-out sucks. I was hoping to make a decent guard-based caster tank; at best I'm a subpar caster with modest survivability bonuses (+4 CON, +15% AC, +21 PRR) & Tremor.
    What's your earthquake DC? If it's not at least 50+ it's not very useful in EE (the only difficulty where CC is relevant, in EH you're always better off with just MOAR DPS). Earthquake is a great spell, but you have to spec for casting to make it work What are your wolf attack DCs? reflex should be 50+, will 55+, for 60+ just to start be be relevant.

    DoTs are just more DPS... it's not a separate thing that you're "bringing to the table"

    HoT is nice, but it's also something literally everyone has now with cocoon

    And "No, I don't have the melee DPS of a barb; but why would I expect to?" is a ridiculous straw man. No one is saying a druid should have barb or Kensai DPS, but it should be comparable to a melee FVS or Cleric, and it isn't. The point is you'd be better off shifting to elemental and picking up a skybreaker, cleaver, esos, EAG or whatever. Then you could run body of the sun and not have gimped cooldowns also.
    Last edited by SerPounce; 06-17-2013 at 04:47 PM.
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  19. #19
    Build Constructionist unbongwah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SerPounce View Post
    What's your earthquake DC? If it's not at least 50+ it's not very useful in EE (the only difficulty where CC is relevant, in EH you're always better off with just MOAR DPS). Earthquake is a great spell, but you have to spec for casting to make it work What are your wolf attack DCs? reflex should be 50+, will 55+, for 60+ just to start be be relevant.
    Well, now aren't we getting into the problems with DC-based EE casting in general? Isn't that why we have so many Shiradi-based casters running around these days; because it's more efficient to rely on random procs than beating DCs?

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by unbongwah View Post
    Well, now aren't we getting into the problems with DC-based EE casting in general? Isn't that why we have so many Shiradi-based casters running around these days; because it's more efficient to rely on random procs than beating DCs?
    To an extent, but druids don't have anything like chain missiles to really take advantage of Shiradi so it's not as relevant an option. And if your DCs aren't up to snuff, then why not go STR based? And if you're STR based why be a druid at all?

    But that's not the whole story with EQ anyway. As a reflex save spell it's much more reasonable to get a workable EE DC (for non-rogue mobs at least). But you need to spend feats (that a melee wolf won't have) on it and take advantage of the -4 reflex debuff from mantle of the icy soul (no equivalent debuff for wolves).
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