In reality, the base damage is one of the weakest in their kit. The ability itself is poorly optimized, causing you to land out of range if your target is moving at all. It is also very easy to momentarily justify spamming it, once you land out of range you have the choice either popping Feline's Grace (60s CD 45 AP!) and then Charge (30s CD) to get close enough to snare/CC your target, or save yourself the time and Pounce (30AP) again. While you're using two abilities just to clear off the inevitable CC applied to you, chances are the target you're chasing is running right back into the safety of their allies, making yourself the now-primary target.
Of course, people don't remember the times that a WL suicides into their frontlines, they just remember the times a WL catches them in the open as a well armored pet class, and has their 1v1 way with them.
Something with this ability is not working correctly. It's not serving the proper function as a gap closer without requiring it to be spammed as the sole ability until the target runs out of attempts to CC, or the WL runs out of AP. The stigma it causes for non-WL players is that it's a pure cheese ability that is blatantly overpowered, without understanding the nuances.
I have a few proposals.
On RoR, I have been playing as a WL in T4 using an addon-imposed 15s Cooldown on Pounce. This change alone surprisingly did not drastically change the mobility of the class. It turned the Pounce into a hard all-in ability, where the next 15s was full commitment to a target, and burning long cooldowns to finish the job. If I were lucky to survive the engagement, another Pounce to get away was probably the only other mobility I had. This leaves a significant window of time open where players could react to the sudden change in positioning, and it reduces the pounce-spam stigma that the class faces during balancing.
The downside is as above, without spamming pounce, it simply does not fulfill the requirements to latch onto an enemy. Often times any CC outside the window of Feline's Grace would spell my doom, and I would be easily kited. On live this was harder to pin down as an issue, since excessive levels of gear tended to mask the low base damage of Pounce. To address this, add a 20-30% snare for 5s on your target when cast. This should give you ample time to fly through the air and perhaps even land on target. Considering the M1 root has a 65' range, it's not unheard of to allow this on such a long ranged attack.
Prop 1 (or some variation of it)
+ 15s Cooldown
+ 20-30% 5s snare on-cast
The other proposal for this would be to apply Pounce to your pet.
I expect all the WL players to cringe at the thought. However, Elves are not Lions. Lions Pounce on things. Elves don't. That being said, it moves a discussion onto the state of pets in the kit and allows further balance discussions to open up. The primary advantage of Pounce applied to your lion would be the quick access to Fetch, which for anyone that plays a WL is not the more reliable of abilities either. It would also split the different stances into more meaningful ones. TTT would be for applying a snare/armor debuff to a target while the WL catches up. TTH for doing damage once you get there.
Since the pet seems to have more reliable auto-attacks/ability spam, and unwavering pathing capabilities currently, they don't have as much an issue catching up to a retreating player (it also will help to alleviate concerns with the Pet getting onto Keep Walls, Cats climb things). Nor is it as suicidal for the WL to go diving into their backlines chasing down a kill. Both issues make the WL a more desirable team player. The choices to be made factor in whether your Pet is alive, whether Fetch is available, and if you can Charge/FG in to catch a player out of position. It also puts them more in-line with other MDPS classes who rely on their standard kiting tools.
+ 15s Cooldown
Pounce becomes a Pet activated ability
WL and Pet both need to be within 65' of target
~ Possibly update Loner tactic to allow use of Pet-only abilities if spec'd for.Stortz wrote:Pounce should be jump into your pet ability.
That way, if you have a lion on you, there's the chance the master will pop on your tail.
(Throat Bite, Brutal Pounce, Pounce as 5pt spec abilities)
Move Fey Illusion (axe core) to Guard, core.
Move Primal Fury (5pt axe) to Axe, core.
Move Throat Bite (guard core) to 5pt Axe.
Swap Brutal Pounce (9pt guard) and Echoing Roar (5pt guard).
Both proposals can be seen as a significant nerf if you feel WL's are too mobile and impossible to kite. However the first proposal closes the loop on the intent for the skill, a gap closer. The second proposal encourages the WL to use more teamwork, and less self-reliance, which is in line with the goals of the game in RvR. It also provides a clear path to what the Pet is used for, and sorts out the three Pet-activated skills into clear use cases which are easier to be spec'd for.