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[Dev] White Lion proposal

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wargrimnir
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[Dev] White Lion proposal

Post#1 » Tue May 14, 2019 11:50 pm

To preface this, we've taken several looks at the class in large format changes, and small format changes, among several different players and proposals, and tried to break it down to a the least number of significant changes that can balance the major problem that is frequently identified. We're not interested in doing vast class rebuilds provided the solution to an identified issue can be resolved with small changes, which we believe this one certainly can be.

Where the WL has a weakness is reliance on a pet. However unlike other pet classes, their pet is also responsible for a large amount of their burst capability and their strongest CC in both a 3s KD, and a 65' range pull. To a lesser degree, running Trained to Threaten provides a reliable snare, and with the speed of the pets is often enough to close the gap. In our opinion, the several significant benefits of a Lion outweighs the negatives of managing the pet which, barring significant bugs (that should be reported and fixed on the bugtracker) is largely mitigated by learning how to use the pet efficiently. Bind and use your pet attack/retreat keys.

The issue this thread will address is the reliable front-loaded burst of the class. As a high mobility, high CC class, additionally having devastating front-loaded burst is what pushes this class over the edge.

Option 1 - Move Coordinated Strike to 13pt Hunter, move Whirling Axe to Core Hunter at R24

CS is one of the best burst abilities WL has available, Whirling Axe is equally underwhelming at 13pts. Moving CS high into Hunter removes the option to pick up several of the other tools that amplify the burst potential of this class at high ranks. Specifically it forces the class to choose between the high burst capacity of Leonine Frenzy or Coordinated Strike, or still taking both and having to choose one between Pounce, Brutal Pounce (pet 3s KD), or Forced Opportunity (armor debuff). Taking CS with Thin The Herd (heal debuff) also causes a similar choice between Pounce, Forced Opportunity, or Cull the Weak (50% hp execute). With these two abilities high in the tree, it's unlikely both would be taken to forgo other utility, which removes the very high levels of burst.

As a side effect, having a decent AOE at R24 will assist in leveling, which is nice but not important for balance.

Option 2 - Move Brutal Pounce to 13pt Axeman, Move Thin The Herd to 9pt Guardian

Brutal Pounce has also been identified as a pain point. This move would similarly force choices between strong abilities. With CS at Core Hunter, taking Leonine Frenzy with Brutal Pounce would eliminate the ability to take Pounce or Force Opportunity, and would likely result in the last point being spent on Thin The Herd at high ranks. This change allows WL to continue having burst capability with FO/CS/LF, but without the ability to use a 3s KD on top of it also allows a target to detaunt and survive the initial burst provided they play well, solving the problem identified.

Please keep in mind this is a discussion thread. While we prefer to stay on the pros and cons of each option presented here, similar SIMPLE changes may be considered before any changes are made.
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Liandel
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Re: [Dev] White Lion proposal

Post#2 » Wed May 15, 2019 1:19 am

The fundamental issue with the WL is that the pet needs to close in melee range in order to do any of these CC options, so I'm not entirely sure where you're getting the idea that the WL at its core is a high CC class. It is, in every single case, better to have the player themselves run up to the target to snare them than switch to trained to threaten and hope the pet does the snare ability after it (maybe) reaches the target. Same with our silence and knockdown. Literally every other MDPS gets to control when they knock a target down, and that ability cannot be removed from them by killing a squishy pet that cannot be targeted easily by healers, nor can receive group heals.

In every case, I would prefer to have control over my own CC and burst. I feel like you're dramatically overstating and overestimating how good the pet's AI, survivability and pathing are. There are way more liabilities that restrict the WL in ways no other MDPS is. Our counterpart, the marauder, for example, is able to pull a target without sending 50% of their crit damage in to die (compare: number of pulls marauders do in zerg situations and number of successful pulls done by WLs in the same spot. Puling is virtually impossible for WLs during forts, for example). They are able to pull a target without needing a tactic (speed training) to get their tentacles to catch up to the target, or to need to burn charge. They are able to knock a target down and disarm it always, as long as the ability is specced. They will never not be able to do this.

WL, on the other hand, has to constantly fight the (franky bad) AI of the pet. Some time ago, you also removed the ability for the pet to be group healed and the pet doesn't show up on the UI to make it easy for a PUG healer with a basic UI to be able to target it for heals. I'm not totally sure why it's fair to have CC still be reliant on a pet AND nerf it to the point where you are disrupting the two main spec options for the class.

Not only that, your proposals are nerfing the CC and DPS capabilities of the class while still offering nothing useful in return to compensate. We still are on of the least efficient AP-wise, all our CC is dependent on a pet, which dies in seconds to a zerg's AOE, and we still are the only class in the game with two PvE-only tactics in our mastery trees.

I'm puzzled why the frontload burst is now considered such a dire issue when there are so many ways to avoid dying to a WL. Our damage is the easiest in the game to negate due to dependence on a highly unreliable pet that can be killed very easily.
Liandel AKA Lednail. Chaos Wastes->Phoenix Throne->Gorfang->Badlands->Karak Azgal->Karak Norn->Badlands.
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peterthepan3
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Re: [Dev] White Lion proposal

Post#3 » Wed May 15, 2019 1:46 am

Option 1:

* Will simply mandate 13-pt Hunter in every single WL spec, as you just can't afford to give up CS
* Any spec without CS will deal pisspoor burst damage
* Spec diversity will be severely reduced


Option 2:

* See above point re CS being too good to give up in any spec
* KD will see no play whatsoever if you are forced to pick between that and CS


Simple changes:

* Issue isn't Coordinated Strike; issue is the pet damage. Revert the pet scaling change from a while ago: Magus/Engi/SH/WL pets are all doing more damage now because they (iirc) benefit more from master's stats. Prior to this change, WL was fine - so let's bring it back to that point
* If the above still isn't enough, then implement an ICD to Leonine Frenzy of 1.5 seconds (if this isn't already the case)
* If both of the above suggestions aren't deemed sufficient, then nerf damage for Brutal Pounce exponentially, which will limit their one-shot capabilities vs unorganised squishies while not having too much of an impact in GvG

Tldr; WL damage isn't an issue outside of Guardian, which is only due to pet scaling changes that occurred a while ago. Instead of changing the specs around, it would be much simpler to revert the pet scaling changes from a while ago.


Aside

I have been running a lot of 6v6 against Montague's GWL/ASW group, and while the burst potential is incredibly potent (Azeyune is a beast on that GWL), there are comps you can use to alleviate the pressure.

In my opinion, a great chunk of the 'noise' pertaining to the WL stems from people not trying out new comps, or ways of countering, though I will maintain that the pet damage (as is the case with all pets) should be tinkered around with a bit, as it is the pet damage - not the master's - that is the issue.
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Atropik
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Re: [Dev] White Lion proposal

Post#4 » Wed May 15, 2019 1:49 am

I'd suggest option #3

Reduce Force Opportunity armor debuff value to 990, and/or make it defendable at least. This goes for mara aswell.
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Tanski
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Re: [Dev] White Lion proposal

Post#5 » Wed May 15, 2019 2:02 am

CS is not only the source of burst but also the main source of damage and the WL most powerful damaging tool. If you put that behind hunter every white lion would have to spec into that tree to get cs. I actually don't mind option 2 as that is pretty much the build I run already. I think choosing between heal debuff or knockdown is fair. Reducing FO armor debuff slightly may be the route to go first. As long as WL gets to keep pounce and burst I will not be upset, but please do not gut the class! I think WL should retain its image as a mobile burst class.

Atropik
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Posts: 537

Re: [Dev] White Lion proposal

Post#6 » Wed May 15, 2019 2:06 am

peterthepan3 wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 1:46 am
In my opinion, a great chunk of the 'noise' pertaining to the WL stems from people not trying out new comps, or ways of countering, though I will maintain that the pet damage (as is the case with all pets) should be tinkered around with a bit, as it is the pet damage - not the master's - that is the issue.
Told you 1k years ago, pets should be removed from the game, especially walking melee pets on a melee characters. These will always be either too weak, or too much strong.

But this is too much complicated, yeah i know, game design is so unique and lore is so fancy. Enjoy balancing xd
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Stophy22
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Re: [Dev] White Lion proposal

Post#7 » Wed May 15, 2019 2:12 am

Well if you look at trying to recreate WL frontload burst in Destro you have to use 2 classes. SH for its CS (Git em) and Mara for the Armor debuff.

I've been playing around with this very recently and its pretty fail safe. You get similiar burst minus 1-2k auto attack hits and the mara can fill up for that with thunderous blow and just general atks critting for around 800+.

You're able to insta-kill someone the same way the WL can kill someone almost identically, but the problem is it require group play (2 classes) People above said its not the WL's damage that needs fixing, it's the pets. I disagree, whether im a noob or not for that choice, I don't mind being labeled as such, this just comes from casual game play experience and a lot of it vs this particular class.

Proposal 2 might be the one I like better as stated by peter most people will never use KD. I think the class would be better to deal with if it didn't have a knockdown. The burst is still a problem, and I think a fair proposal 3 would be to move that armor debuff to a different class or something, Im sure im upsetting every 6v6'er with that proposal but thats how it works on Destro. Mara doesn't get Cordinated strike its on a Squig herder. WL gets both the debuff, pounce, fetch, and CS.

I'm not suggesting that the classes become perfect mirrors, because that would cause a sever lack of diversity. I just believe that WL has an unfair advantage in being able to do what 2 classes have to do on the opposite side.
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Manatikik
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Re: [Dev] White Lion proposal

Post#8 » Wed May 15, 2019 2:17 am

Atropik wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 1:49 am
I'd suggest option #3

Reduce Force Opportunity armor debuff value to 990, and/or make it defendable at least. This goes for mara aswell.
This change would reduce solo WL effectiveness by a lot by making the opening rotation a little less mindless (while you’re getting to the rear of target) and still allow good players to be able to get it off reliably. Not a bad change imo but there are other options. This is definitely better than the two in the main post for the reasons Peter stated.

I agree with what Peter said on the issues with pet damage being the issue and not CC or Cs (as Liandel also pointed out). Pet damage is also only an issue when using TTK (and with the damage it currently does there is no reason to use any other stance besides TTT in T1 for an early snare and armor debuff). Instead of aiming for one big fix all and hoping it goes right i would suggest lowering the amount of STR gets added to the pet from 100% down by 5% increments until it feels right.

There is nothing inherently wrong with a Frontloaded DPS it just requires the players to be proactive and detaunt the WL before it can get its rotation off. It’s easier to prevent a WL’s damage than a WH/WE for instance because they broadcast what they are doin so clearly.
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Liandel
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Re: [Dev] White Lion proposal

Post#9 » Wed May 15, 2019 2:44 am

For examples of the inherent vulnerability of the pet and how easy it is to counter a WL's burst, please watch any of the 6v6 videos. Skilled players will burst the pet down in a couple of GCDs with the healers unable to do anything to remedy it (due to the UI not helping healers at all when it comes to pets and pets not getting group heals).

The pet is dead more often than not, and therefore the WL is unable to do any amount of competitive DPS or CC and is more often than not unable to kill their target. Their damage becomes very easily healed through.

The 'insane frontloaded dps' is entirely avoidable. This is user error, it's not the fault of the WL class, and the WL class doesn't deserve to get gutted in this fashion because of it.
Liandel AKA Lednail. Chaos Wastes->Phoenix Throne->Gorfang->Badlands->Karak Azgal->Karak Norn->Badlands.
<Obliteration> , <Blitz> , <No Escape>, and <MymidonsX>

Bedullin
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Re: [Dev] White Lion proposal

Post#10 » Wed May 15, 2019 2:51 am

Liandel wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 1:19 am
I'm puzzled why the frontload burst is now considered such a dire issue when there are so many ways to avoid dying to a WL. Our damage is the easiest in the game to negate due to dependence on a highly unreliable pet that can be killed very easily.
This may have some slight realism in Warband gameplay, but aside from that, I disagree pretty vehemently. My opinion may be pretty biased as a Squig Herder main, because it's a class designed to die to White Lions, but no amount of guarding and healing in the world could have me survive a White Lion.

I'll see if I can explain my perspective.
The damage may be easy to negate when it's one WL against a full 6-man premade, or a warband, but I still think it's more than enough to delete a selected target in less than five seconds, as long as the target isn't a Chosen or some other souped-up tank. The frontload burst is an issue not because of how much it is, but because of how effective it is. The Lion cannot be killed very easily. Again, I can see this being the case in a 1v6 scenario, but not in any kind of typical play that I've ever seen. It has a pretty tanky stat pool while also harboring some insane DPS, and trying to take down the thing when I'm doing 500 with my strongest 2s cast time ability isn't easy when it has a 3-4k health pool (not sure what the actual health is on them, but the point stands).

The pet, similar to the Squig Pet, is completely unrestrained by the feeble chains of our mortal plane of existence. It attacks while moving, runs through the ground, phases through walls, and performs these actions with terrifying speed. None of this is unique to the Lion pet, and I don't think this is what makes the pet so scary. It does add to its survivability, though. The tankiness and strange maneuverability of such a magnificent being makes it hard to kill. It's unreliable if you're trying to control it while mounted, or without visibility of the target. Those are the only two situations, because by design, the pet cannot act on those two circumstances. Aside from that, it acts precisely as it's told.

I have never seen a White Lion in the RvR zone and felt confident in my ability to kite or survive its attacks, much less kill the deity. I have Sticky Squigs, my self-punt, which either gets cancelled by a knockdown, or if I try to wait out the knockdown, never gets the chance to go off because I die in two hits after being knocked down. Force Opportunity, a debuff utility, hits for ~1200 on a critical hit. After that, auto attacks hit me for over 1000 frequently, and the highest I saw was 1850 on an auto. Coordinated Strike hits for ungodly amounts of damage after that debuff is applied. (Git 'Em! does similar damage, but the class doesn't carry that armor debuff). Typically, I look in the combat log after an instantaneous death, and I see three massive spikes: Force Opportunity (~1200), 'Attack' (~1100), and Coordinated Strike (~3000[two ~900 hits from Elf, two ~600 hits from Lion on average]). That's 5300 damage in two abilities, and that's ignoring the constant Lion autos and the pounce to begin with, as well as the knockdown to prevent retaliation. Granted, those numbers might be slightly inflated because of the squishiness of my class, but still. End that with Cleave Limb (I think that's the name) and Cull the Meek (again, I think that's the name) and you have a dead goblin in less than 3-4 seconds. This also applies to Shamans, Zealots, Marauders, Disciples of Khaine, Choppas, and Witch Elves, as far as I've seen/experienced.

I don't think ALL of what I've mentioned are problems with the class, but I do believe that it makes the class very strong when they're all put together. And in regard to the point made by Liandel about the apparent lack of reliability, I think that's just untrue. The Lion is by no means the largest source of damage in the class, and its additional damage is not easily avoided or negated.

^ Opinion, not necessarily fact.
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