Coercer (and Warlock) Love in Update 45

Posted: April 16, 2008 by Kendricke in Everquest 2
Tags: , , , , ,

If Update 44 was the Ranger patch, then Coercers should keep a sharp eye out for Update 45.

In this post made earlier this week by Chris “Aeralik” Kozak, he starts out by stating “[Game Update] 45 will see some significant changes to the coercer class.” He goes on to outline the upcoming changes, which seem designed to address much, if not most of the complaints the coercer community has been griping about for some time now.

Now, for the handful of you who still haven’t tried out Everquest II (and seriously, what’s wrong with you!?), the Coercer is the dark counterpart to the Illusionist class. Coercers are primarily a control and support class right now, with a great deal of their damage coming indirectly (either through the control of a charmed monster or by way of “reactive” damage spells placed on other members of their group).

Coercers get some remarkable support spells, but as a general rule, they have a lot of trouble hitting parses (typically considered the poorest damage dealer – by far – of all mage classes).

The changes being outlined are ambitious, to say the least, and in some ways will revamp the class more dramatically than any other updates since early 2006.

In addition, at least one of the changes will affect ALL Enchanters, Coercers and Illusionists alike. The Volatile Magic achievement (which greatly increases spell damage if the caster is below 30% power) is going to be altered to provide less benefit, but all of the time. This should mean we’ll see an end to enchanters sprinting on raids just to burn through their power.

More on the specific changes after the break.

From Chris’s post:

LU45 will see some significant changes to the coercer class. You guys appear far behind on dps especially compared to your illusionist counterparts so its time for some changes. These changes are preliminary and subject to change of course before going to test or while on test.

Possession – You guys dislike it and I think I dislike it even more. So this spell is getting a big change. Instead of temporarily controlling a creature, it will keep with the possession theme by creating an essence of the creature that is a controllable pet. It basically turns into an always on pseudo charm pet. This pet won’t be able to zone or anything but you can at least use it in dungeons with groups or raids.

Reactives – These will be more oriented to players triggering them rather than having to rely on the npcs to trigger them. In addition, Cataclysmic mind will get an upgrade and be similar to the illusionist reactive except that it triggers off damaging spells hitting the mob.

Dehate Line – If the target of the spell gets aggro they will trigger a hate position loss instead of damage which should be more in line with the use of the spell.

Volatile Magic – This will change for all enchanters. The spell does not play well since I see many of the enchanters just spamming sprint to stay under 30% power. That really wasn’t the intention of the skill at all. Instead it will be a reduced amount that applies regardless of your current power amount.

Power drains – To compensate some for the reduction to Volatile Magic, both enchanter subclasses will be getting their power drains turned into damage. In their current state these are more useful for their control effects rather than the actual power drains. After the changes the spells should be a bit more useful.

Mana Ward – This will change to be a powerful ward based on the amount of mana the coercer has remaining. It won’t be as powerful as soul ward but it will be similar and thus a lot more useful.

Coercive healing – I haven’t decided on exact specifics of this but it will see some changes to bring it more in line with illusionist aa lines.

Tashania – This will change to be extremely hard to resist and apply to all magical damage types. This should make it something you use on pull to help land debuffs with the new raid resists.

From another of Chris’s posts (in the Warlock forums), it seems no more thoughtstones (or nil crystals) after this update:

Nil crystals were actually removed because I was removing the coercer thoughtstones with some other changes. So for consistency sake I removed all the components. It’s a bigger impact for warlocks hence the post about it in their forums SMILEY;)

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Comments
  1. zobek says:

    Seeing as I play an Illusionist myself, I’m a little concerned about the change to Volatile Magic. While I’ll be glad to no longer have to sprint around in circles before pull, I’ll wait to see how well the power drain-to-damage conversion compensates. I imagine on our DPS front we’ll see a reduction.

    That said, I agree whole-heartedly that the Coercer class is long overdue for attention, and if the changes go live even close to what Chris has proposed, it should be a net win for all.

  2. Illuminator says:

    I played Coercer as my primary alt in T7, then left it behind at 71 when the superiority of Illusionists grew apparent.

    I’m very disappointed in the change to Possession. The concept of the original spell was exactly in line with the Coercer subclass (coercion = “use of force or intimidation to obtain compliance”) but was hobbled from the start with the weakness of the possessed mob, the absurdly short duration, and the use of player faction on the mob.

    Rather than repair these three things and allow clever uses of the spell to give the game (and the subclass) depth, the same treatment appears to have been given to it that was given to Puppetmaster; it becomes an illusion pet.

    I have no beef with the other changes but this one I am not at all content with.

  3. Rijacki says:

    Kendricke, you have current spells and abilities of coercers a bit askew. Reactives are placed on the Target (the mob) not the other group mates and only trigger on actions of the target. The melee reactive only triggers when the target does damage to an ally of the coercer by melee. The spell reactive only does triggers when the target does damage to an ally of the coercer with a spell. The power use reactive only triggers when the target uses power.

    Currnetly, in PvP these can be more effective than they are in PvE, since PvP opponents are more likely to do damage -and- PvP opponents actually use power. In PvE, one of the primary points of getting better gear and spells is to prevent anyone in the group from getting damage and most Named and epic targets use abilities, not spells or CAs and so they don’t use any power and don’t have any power to trigger a power reactive (or any power to be effected by a power drain, another primary ability of coercers). In addition, the crowd control of coercers, illusionists, and any other class prevents damage being done (stuns, dazes, stifles, fears, etc), power being used (stifles, stuns, fears), etc.

    Currently, the better a group (or raid) gets, the less effective a coercer gets, no matter what a coercer does to improve themselves. Unlike any other class. In the lower levels and even in the lower end of the high-end, coercers have fewer problems. Their issues increase the better, the more advanced they get.

    So… the changes coming are even more important that I think any non-coercer can really realise.

    On the surface, in the information so far given to the coercer community, the coming changes do look to be really wonderful. But for all of them, they really need to be evaluated when they are actually put on to Test. Like the original concept of Puppetmaster in beta (and then the version that went Live), the idea put into practice might end up a bit.. confused. (Puppetmaster’s original form was a means to hand a charmed pet to a group mate for 14s before it would break and eat the group… if it would have worked… most who tried it couldn’t even get it to “hand over” reliably.. and frankly, coercers generally only charm when solo or in a duo because charm uses 3 concentration and those need to be used for buffs).

    BUT, I digress.

    The other reason the changes need to be seen before the trophies for best design can be handed out is because of the effects on PvP. Just as much as those on PvE servers hate changes made for PvP being put into effect for PvE (though, I think, nearly or all of such changes have only been to coercers, such as the damage reduction of Kunark charmed pets), so too do the PvPers hate to weather changes made purely for PvE ruining the viability of a particular class in PvP. It’s complicated. Reactives, as I said above, all work different/better in PvP since human controlled targets are different than NPC targets.

    And then there are the worries from the illusionists who see the changes to coercer as effecting their own class both directly and indirectly. Illusionists have a vastly easier time of getting their power down to less than 25% and keeping it there while still being able to do their power regen things. Coercers, on the other hand, have far more power production and power generation methods than illusionists and most of their methods to give power to their group also involves increasing their own power… without counting epics. Take channeling, for example. You know that one, Kendricke, it’s the one that I’ve used as Rjack to take the whole MT group from varying power levels with some members of the group on fumes or having just been rezed and suddenly everyone is near full power (it combines the pools and adds an additional amount of power, 20% I think, and gives it back evenly to the group). But, VM -is- the thing the dedicated illusionists have used to get their massive damage capabilities (the difference between Zobek and any other illusionist Legion has had). Illusionists who have been using it will see the change as nothing short of a nerf.

    Anyway, I am glad to see coercers are finally getting a -positive- look see and most of the descriptions of changes to come appear to be very positive. But… I am still a cynic *laugh*. (R’jack C’nyk on Guk, Cinic Allure on AB, both are coercers *smirk*)

    Oh… and warts and all, I love the coercer class/playstyle. For me, any other class seems pale in comparison and boring to play. How can you not love a class that can charm a mama bear and send it off to kill its cubs 😉

  4. Rijacki says:

    bleah, I talk too much 🙂

  5. […] changes coming to Coercers: We talked about this when Aeralik first mentioned […]

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