I recently finished my first playthrough of D:OS 2. I played using a mixed team:
Beast (Rogue): Scoundrel / Aerothurge / Polymorph (with a splash into two other schools for buffs)
Red Prince (Knight): Warfare / Summoner / Hydrosophist (Hydro for heals and buffs)
Lhose (Enchanter): Aerothurge / Hydrosophist / Necromancer
Sebille (Wizard): Pyrokinetic / Geomancer
I tried out a lot of skills from the game, with the exception of Huntsman. I didn't use a lot of Source skills and not a lot of crafted skills. Still, I've got a bunch of feedback, complete with suggestions for changes. I have tried to justify my opinions with sensible reasons why the current skill has an issue, and what I think a reasonable change is. I am open to discussion and changing my mind on many of these, if you have an argument of your own.
These are presented roughly in order of when I thought of them, not based on priority of the change.Stabbey's Feedback, Part 2: Abilities and AttributesSkill Balance [Sourcery] Remove Source Point cost for Bless Why?
- Bless and Curse were promoted as these big game-changing skills which could alter terrain and change how the game plays. Unfortunately in the current state, only Curse sees significant use. Bless is not powerful enough to be worth the cost of a Source Point. This is because it only upgrades surfaces by one level (from cursed to normal or normal to blessed), and for only 2 turns. Meanwhile, enemies get to curse all day and all night long. Enemies cast curse directly, they cast curse with their Void Glide movement skill, and can even bleed curse, all for free. Bless cannot fulfill its main use of clearing cursed surfaces like that, never mind actually being used to create blessed surfaces for the player's use.Suggested Change: Remove the Source Point cost for Bless completely. If Larian actually intends Bless to be used regularly in the game as part of combat, that has to be done. Any buffs in other areas will not make Bless more attractive because of the Souce Point cost.
If Larian finds it necessary to compensate for that buff, they could increase the AP cost to 2 and possibly increase the cooldown to 3-4 turns. Honestly I could also make an argument for having the Memory cost of Blessed removed, to make it match Source Vision and Source Vampirism, but I'd settle for just ditching the Source Point cost.
EDIT: Oh! How about this as well: Characters under the effects of the Bless status effect bleed Bless when hit. That has a nice symmetry with void creatures bleeding Curse, and provides an incentive to use Bless on a person instead of a surface.[Warfare] Provoke/Taunt needs major changes Why?
- When a target has no physical armor, there are many other status effects which are better to use on it. Taunt being blocked makes the skill useless in most situations. The patch note from three weeks ago, "Improved Taunting in favour of the Taunter", ignored the main problem. Suggested Change: This is admittedly tricky. Probably just removing the physical armor save could be an issue. One change at least should be that Taunted characters can only use their normal attack, they are effectively muted and can't use skills, scrolls or potions. Another change might be to adjust it from a short-range caster-centered AoE to a long-range single-target.
EDIT: Maybe combine both those changes... but that still might be annoying if Taunt can penetrate Physical armor. So... wqhat if Taunt lasts for 1 turn, but afterwards, the person is immune from Taunt for the next 2 turns?[Sebille][Sourcery] Break the Shackles should also remove Silence. Why?
- Seriously, this skill is already extremely situational (if not outright underpowered), given the many ways to remove other status effects. If you make Sebille a mage, Silence is the single biggest crippling spell, and this source point skill entirely based around removing debuffs can't even remove that. You're also very unlikely to be under more than a couple of these status effects at once, further limiting its utility.Suggested Change: Removes Silence, and possibly Taunted. If this was early in development, I'd also suggest that this could remove hard CC like Stunned and Frozen, but adding code in that only applies if the character is Sebille could be troublesome, so never mind.[Red Prince][Sourcery] Demonic Stare should also steal Physical Armor Why?
- There are a lot of skills which only restore one type of armor. I can carry scrolls to restore armor. This is a Source skill, if I spend a Source Point, it should be more impressive. No other skill restores BOTH physical and magical armor at once. This skill, by only boosting Magical armor, is much less useful if Red Prince is a mage.Suggested Change: Maybe reduce the amount of armor it steals, but change it so it steals an equal amount of both armors, so it's useful for more builds and more unique.[Lhose][Sourcery] Maddening Song should only affect enemies and last 2 turns. Why?
- It's already a cut-rate Charm which still allows enemies to attack your team, it requires a Source point AND lasts only one turn. It's already a very poor and situational use of a Source Point, it doesn't need the additional downside of affecting allies as well. It should also get buffed to two turns.Suggested Change: The skill should only affect enemies in the radius and be buffed to two turns.[Dwarf] Lower Petrifying Touch AP cost to 1 Why?
Petrifying Touch is not a very powerful skill. It requires magic armor to be stripped, it lasts only one turn, it does poor damage, and it is a melee range skill. Contrast that with the Medusa Head Polymorph skill and its Petrifying Gaze. You get a Petrifying aura, and a skill with a very large radius which does Earth damage to all enemies with petrification. Additionally, the 2 AP cost means that it is less attractive to use. There are a lot of things one can do with 2 AP, most of which would be better choices. If it cost 1 AP that would bring it in line with other racial skills.Suggested Change: Lower Petrifying Touch's AP cost to 1 AND Remove the damage component. The damage is slight and not the most important thing. Without the damage, it can now be used as a status-effect remover on your teammates, a discount Cryogenic Stasis.[Human] Improve scaling of Encourage Why?
- It starts out the same as Encourage from D:OS 1 - +1 to 4 attributes. That's already automatically worse than D:OS 1 because one attribute point is worth 25% as much (you start out with 10 instead of 5 and gain 2 per level instead of 0.5).Suggested Change: Encourage should gain +1 to the 4 attributes every 5 levels (5, 10, 15, 20, etc...). so at level 20, it would be +5 to each. That will keep it much more relevant throughout the game. Flurry and All In should get a damage boost Why?
- Pretty much no one uses them because they're so AP-inefficient. They do +25% damage for the cost of +50% AP. The way the tooltip for Flurry works makes it even less attractive to use. The tooltip for Flurry says it does X damage 3 times, which makes it a little more inconvenient for its purpose of trying to determine whether it has a reasonable chance of finishing an enemy off.
EDIT: There is the complication that enemies love to use All In and a damage boost there could be troublesome. Hmmm... It still might be worth it just to make it more useful for players, though.Suggested Change: Boost the damage of Flurry and All In by at least another 15%, up to a maximum of an additional +25%. Consider changing Flurry's tooltip to say "the total amount of damage from all three attacks will be X-X damage).[Geomancy][Hydrosophist] Improve scaling of Mend Metal and Soothing Cold Why?
- They scale very poorly in comparison to the damage enemies can do. At level 20, with 10 in the appropriate school, they restore 560 armor for 3 turns. That sounds like a lot, but by that time a single enemy can strip more than that amount of armor in a single attack.Suggested Change: The number might need tweaking, but maybe multiply the boost by 2.5? That would also require boosting Armor of Frost and Fortify as well, though, because they are single-target only.[Aerothurge] Improve duration of Favourable Wind skill Why?
- It's not a very powerful skill, and that's fine, but to justify memorizing it over other skills, it could be better. Suggested Change: Increase the duration to 5 or 6 turns (and boost the cooldown period of 5 turns by 1-2 turns). This doesn't increase its power, but because it lasts longer it is more attractive to use.[Aerothurge] Fix line of sight requirement for Netherswap Why?
- It's a teleportation skill, magically and instantaneously moving two targets by the use of magic. It doesn't seem to make sense that there must be a clear line of sight between both targets with no obstructions. Suggested Change: The caster requires a clear line of sight to both, that is sufficient.[Pyrokinetic][Polymorph] Buff Bleed Fire Why?
- It's extremely underwhelming. Enemies bleeding fire is rarely, if not never, something which has a lot of use. It doesn't even do damage other than from the surface.Suggested Change: Bleed Fire should set Bleed and Burning unless resisted by physical and magical armor respectively.[Geomancer][Warfare] Oily Carapace should set Immune to Slow Why?
- Well, just from the description alone, it pretty much screams "use this skill after an enemy launches a big oil attack on your feet. This restores your armor, but still leaves you slowed, and almost nothing removes Slow. (I can only think of Haste, which seems like very few buffs considering that slow ignores armor.)Suggested Change: Remove Slowed status and set Immune to Slow for 1-2 turns (only if you actually absorb some oil).[Hydrosophist][Polymorph] Healing Tears should work on walking near to allies as well. Why?
- Right now it seems to ONLY work when allies are the ones doing the walking. It should also work when the caster is the one moving to the allies. This seems to be a strange quirk with a lot of aura-type skills.Suggested Change: Change it so that the healing affects allies once they enter the radius regardless of who was the one who actually moved into the radius.[Hydrosophist][Scoundrel] Increase casting range of Vampiric Hunger Why?
- It can be cast on allies, but the range is 2 meters. It seems like it should either be a self-buff only, or have a larger casting range.Suggested Change: Increase the casting range to 5 meters.[Scoundrel] Boost Gag Order's power/APWhy?
- Compare and contrast to Chloroform, another Scoundrel skill.
Chloroform (Scoundrel 1) strips magic armor and applies Sleeping (hard CC) to targets without MA for one turn at a range of 13 meters. It costs 1 AP to use. Gag order (Scoundrel 2) strips magic armor and applies Silenced (soft CC) to targets without MA for one turn at a range of 3 meters. It costs 3 AP to use.
At level 9:
Chloroform strips 53-59 MA.
Gag Order strips 57-64 MA. (An average increase of 8% over Chloroform, for 200% more AP.)
At level 19:
Chloroform strips 630-696 MA.
Gag Order strips 668-701 MA. (An average increase of 3.5% percent over Chloroform, for 200% more AP.)
In every single aspect, range, effect, Scoundrel point investment needed, and AP cost, Chloroform is vastly superior, for only slightly less damage.Suggested Change:
Suggestions: Either A) Reduce Gag Order's AP cost from 3 to 1 (not to 2, to 1). -OR-
B) Triple the power of Chloroform for Gag Order to match the AP cost.
At level 9:
OLD Gag Order strips 57-64 MA.
NEW Gag Order strips 159-177 MA.
At level 19:
OLD Gag Order strips 668-701 MA.
NEW Gag Order strips 1890-2088 MA.
One other option which technically would be bringing them into balance would be to nerf Chloroform up to 2 AP and buff Gag Order down to 2 AP. But I don't like that idea.[Aerothurge][Scoundrel] Buff Smoke Cloud Why?
- 2 AP and a 5 turn cooldown is a lot to ask for a skill which does no damage, lasts for one turn, and can obstruct your teammates view. It could have a niche use for stealth, sneaking through busy areas if it could be cast without breaking sneak or invisibility as well.Suggested Change: Reduce the AP cost from 2 to 1, reduce the cooldown from 5 turns to 2 or 3. This will make it much more useful in combat for its role of providing cover for the Rogue so they can't be targeted as easily. Allow it to be cast while sneaking or invisible. This will allow it to get a character to hide from patrols for a few seconds.[Aerothurge][Scoundrel][Sourcery] Buff Blessed Smoke Cloud Why?
- Great, it turns you invisible, BUT the skill only has a 3 meter radius, it only lasts for 1 turn, and it costs 2 memory slots AND 2 source points? Invisibility is removed by almost everything, and it doesn't give bonuses to attacking. This skill seems overpriced and underpowered.Suggested Change: Instead of boosting the power, reduce the Memory and Source point cost by 1.[Huntsman] Boost Assassinate's bonus Why?
- Testing with my Finesse character, using Delorus's bow.
Base damage is 407-497.
Assassinate Damage is 468-572. (+15%)
Assassinate Damage while sneaking ranged between... 718 and 856 over 10 attacks. EDIT: Wiki says +72.5%
So maybe the multiplier when sneaking is something like 1.75x a normal attack, which would give a range between 712-870 for 3 AP. My number is no doubt off, but this is a close enough guesstimate for our purposes. EDIT: Actual number is 1.725x the damage of a normal attack.
That's less than the 814-994 you would get for 2 normal attacks at 4 AP, but 1.725 damage for 1.5 times the AP is a good deal. But wait, we're forgetting the AP cost of Sneaking. In combat, with the 4 AP cost of Sneaking to prepare the attack, now you are doing 1.725x damage of a normal attack for 3.5x the AP cost.
So without sneaking, you're paying +50% extra AP to gain +15% extra damage. That is not remotely worthwhile. With Sneaking, it's still underpowered. With the cost of Sneak at 4 AP, this makes Assassinate only useful to open combat, making the AP cost irrelevant. Even if Sneak was reduced to 2 AP, you would still be spending 5 AP to get the damage of 4 AP worth of attacks.Suggested Change: Boost Assassinate's bonus from +15% to +50% (making this the bow equivilant of "All In") and probably eliminate or greatly reduce the bonus for sneaking.[Aerothurge] Why does Apportation exist? Why?
- This skill sucks all the items on the ground nearby into your inventory. That's it. This seems to be a clear indication of a developer needing to meet a quota for "Aerothurge skills", but not having enough ideas. This skill is not even available until level 16, at which point you should have better options to use that Memory Slot for, such as every other skill in the entire game.Suggested Change: Two ideas:
1) The easy, less work one would be to reduce the memory cost of Apporation from 1 to 0. As in this skill does not cost any Memory at all. Because it's really, really, REALLY not worth a memory slot in combat. It doesn't even have a combat use.
2) Delete Apportation and replace with a better skill. Here's one idea for free:
Wind Shear - A line-shaped AoE effect which does moderate air damage to all targets in the line and tries to set Knocked Down (resisted by Magic Armor). AP Cost: 3, Source Point Cost: 0, Cooldown: 5 turns.
Boom, now you have another level 16 skill which actually is worth using.[Polymorph] Spread Your Wings should make you Floating and immune from ground surfaces Why?
- Floating above surfaces is basically HALF the benefit of the skill. It's annoying that you land at the conclusion of the leap or movement and take damage. And no, I do not care that the animation shows you touching down. You should be immune to surfaces regardless of what the animation shows. Suggested Change: You don't have to change the animation, just change the code so you're still considered floating and don't take damage at the end of your movement from landing.
EDIT: Alexstrasza suggests that you flap your wings to create a circle of cleared terrain at the point of landing, which is an interesting idea.[Huntsman] Farsight just underwhelming. Why?
- A Source point and 2 Memory slots feels a lot to ask for just three turns of +2 range. Usually you can get more than enough with high ground in the area and spending those slots onto movement skills.Suggested Change: Boost the duration to 4 or 5 turns.[Polymorph] [Element][Sourcery] Boost all [Element] Skin skills Why?
- For requiring a Source point, and also giving you a weakness (even if it is only 30%), these skills are really underwhelming.Suggested Change: The whole point is the immunity, so boost the duration from 2 turns to 3 or 4 turns. That would be one thing you could do.