[Wall of text] Healer Channelers and Channelers as a whole

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Dyson
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[Wall of text] Healer Channelers and Channelers as a whole

Post by Dyson » Wed May 14, 2014 1:39 pm

For too long the mighty Healer Channeler has suffered in the shadows, watching old video tapes of glory days past. Once Kings of Shadowbane, they are now its red-headed stepchild, birthed only for novelty or in mistake.

So like, what can we do about that? Well before we look at ways to improve healer base Channelers, we first must understand why they're currently a distant second choice behind their mage counterparts, then look at Channelers as a whole and understand why their kit isn't resonating well with the healer base class. So, let us begin.

Why Healer over Mage?

What do we gain?
Well obviously we gain access to base healer abilities, but how useful are they really for todays Channeler? The Healer Channeler is unique in the sense that while healer base, you will still favour damage over healing far more than other hybrid base classes. This doesn't appear to be a choice made by the player, but rather by the kit they are presented with.

There are a few reasons for this that I will go into, one of which is their long cast times compared to other hybrid classes. Want to use an Ice/Fire Bolt then a Hoarfrost or Ignite? Yeah, that's 7 seconds. Compare that to something like a Confessor that has access to 1 second cast offensive DoTs that open the door for more time to heal, or a Prelate that while also suffering from long cast times has access to a heal that is roughly twice the effective healing per second of Blessed Mending, and you can see that this problem is unique to Channelers. So how do we find time to make use of our measly base class heal? The situations where it's worth it to trade off our massive damage potential for our below average healing capabilities are quite rare indeed and almost always appear out of desperation. Which leads me to my next point.

What other castable powers do we gain from healer base class apart from Blessed Mending? We get no class-based healer abilities granted in Restoration line unlike other classes who also have base class choices. Okay, so the Doomsayer heals aren't great, but at least they were given them so that they can actually be worked on and balanced. We have nothing of the sort to work with. We get Prayer of Mending, which I guess would be pretty good if we were still playing in metas gone by. Its usefulness is far less in the current meta, where single targets are more a priority, and HoTs are utilized to cover any splash damage. Well how about Summon? YES! SUMMON! OH GOD YES SOMETHING USEFUL! SUCCOR TOO!

So we've established that apart from Summon and Succor, two incredibly powerful spells in their own right, we don't really gain anything else in terms of castable powers. Blessed Mending has its uses, don't get me wrong, but its use is more in desperation than in its efficiency for our class. Other healer base classes can either make better use of this spell because their kit allows them to, or they have a more powerful alternative healing spell to utilize anyway.

So what do we gain from the passives of the base class? Access to Block? I guess that's a plus, though it is difficult to make reliable use of without access to a self-use stun for immunity. It's still strong nonetheless, but it's not something we'd be willing to trade all of that mage goodness for. We need something else. Well what about Light Armor? That's better than Cloth right? well... no. The utilization of both Shielding and Cloth is actually a resist gain over Light Armor and it also requires less trains. We've got Block though, which overall puts us ahead in this regard if we take stuns out of the equation. The depressing fact of the matter is that besides Summon and Succor we gain little to nothing in terms of active powers from this base class choice, and the passive gains we get are more minimal and situational than they first appear to be. So...

What do we lose out on?
The first thing that comes to mind is access to a root and stun, key elements of todays chain-root stun-immune meta. That alone I feel is enough to compete with Summon and Succor, but let's go deeper:

- Enfeeblement/Weakening - strong base debuffs capable of burying other, more detrimental debuffs. Very important in todays Shadowbane.

- Damage due to stance differences. Healer Channelers only have access to a level 10 Offensive stance (+26% power damage) compared to Mage Channelers level 40 Offensive stance (+50% power damage). Healer Channelers have the worst Offensive stance level out of all classes able to go healer base. While this was likely to keep their damage in check, it further cripples their ability to make acceptable use of the limited healing powers they have access to.

- Resists. As already mentioned, our melee resists will be lower than our mage counterparts, but they can also gain access to magical resists while moving away from damage via their Defensive stance.

Channelers Overall

It's not just a matter of Healer Channelers being weak when compared to their Mage counterparts either, the Channeler class as a whole needs some serious work.

The power of your AoEs is minimal within the current meta, especially with their lack of group friendliness. The pet system has no real use or goal, and we're unfortunate enough to have 4 of them. We have class weapons that have no value beyond gimmick and novelty use. We have Class Armor that if utilized decreases our overall stat and resist viability. Our resist buffs (and hence Divert the Flow powers also) are made redundant via the widespread use of Bard's Song of Spring, a chant which also makes our damage types ridiculously easy to resist, especially when combined with Charmed necklaces which have become standard use. It's a troubling time for Channelers indeed. They have no defining mechanic, they are just... damage dealers. They offer no unique utility on the battlefield.

So what do we do, bros? What can we change to bring Healer Channelers on-par with their Mage counterparts? What can we change to bring Channelers back into the fray as a whole and to give them something that more clearly defines their role as unique within Shadowbane? I myself have some ideas I'll post down the line once they've been shapen to be more complete, one of which involves making Flesh of Granite and Flesh of Lead shorter duration single target abilities, but first I'd like to hear the initial thoughts of the community on this matter.
Last edited by Dyson on Wed May 14, 2014 5:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: [Wall of text] Healer Channelers and Channelers as a who

Post by Rewen » Wed May 14, 2014 2:10 pm

I disagree with Channeler not having a niche in SB. Their place in this game is the "ultimate" glass cannon. The high-risk high-reward mage, and to a lesser extent, healer.

Their class robes are brightly colored, their spells are flashiy and noticable. This class was designed to be noticed immediately. That's because their job is to unleash hell and not care about the consiquences. They have a mana heal that stuns themselves for god's sake.

It's time to ditch any notion that Channeler is a self-sufficient class. Their job is to do sick damage while their group supports them because they're worth it even if they're only alive for 15 seconds.
  • Make the AoE's group friendly.
  • Redo stances:
    Old wrote:Mage
    Off: 40 Def: 25 Precise: 15
    Healer
    Off: 10 Def: 10 Precise: 10
    New wrote:Mage
    Off: 40 Def: 10 Precise: 15
    Healer
    Off: 30 Def: 10 Precise: 15
  • Reduce cast time on all Channeling nukes to 3 seconds across the board.
  • Increase the number of eligible targets per AoE
  • Increase the range on all elemental dispells to match that of their nuke range.

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Re: [Wall of text] Healer Channelers and Channelers as a who

Post by Dyson » Wed May 14, 2014 3:24 pm

Rewen wrote:I disagree with Channeler not having a niche in SB. Their place in this game is the "ultimate" glass cannon. The high-risk high-reward mage, and to a lesser extent, healer.

Their class robes are brightly colored, their spells are flashiy and noticable. This class was designed to be noticed immediately. That's because their job is to unleash hell and not care about the consiquences. They have a mana heal that stuns themselves for god's sake.

It's time to ditch any notion that Channeler is a self-sufficient class. Their job is to do sick damage while their group supports them because they're worth it even if they're only alive for 15 seconds.
If a Channelers job is to do sick damage while their group supports them because they're worth it even if they're only alive for 15 seconds, then the healer base class choice becomes sort of pointless. You would want to maximise the explosiveness of your damage in the limited time available to you, not waste your time on inefficient and desperate healing. The Healer Channeler needs a purpose too, and it can't be purely for access to Summon or its below average healing capability.

Channelers are currently the high-risk zero reward mage. Their class robes are brightly colored and never used due to their inefficiency, their spells may be flashy and noticable, but they do much less damage than intended due to the widespread availability and standard use of resists to their damage type. They may well have been designed initially to unleash hell and not care about the consequences, but they certainly don't do that in their current form. There is no reason to be playing this class beyond diversifying the damage type of your group and using their broken bolts to bury Shadowmantle.

Classes like Necromancer bring far more utility, and have damage that while it is less in terms of raw numbers and range, it's far less convenient to resist without prior knowledge of your opponent. Elemental damage is at a point now where it is pretty much automatically resisted due to how many different spells even beyond Channeler that do Fire, Ice, and Lightning damage, and how easy it is to resist since elemental resists come as a neat little package deal within Song of Spring and Charmed necklaces. In this regard, maybe the answer to making Channeler into the "glass cannon" role you think it should be lies in nerfing this resist accessibility. The Healer Channeler still sits idly by though, waiting patiently for his time to come again.
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Re: [Wall of text] Healer Channelers and Channelers as a who

Post by Rewen » Wed May 14, 2014 5:04 pm

The Channeler's utility is his damage. You have to kill it and kill it soon or your priests aren't going to be able to keep up with the heals. It's the same concept as a doomsayer or assassin really. You're just tipping the scale in the race between healing and damage.

Healer channies should essentially be the same as mages, but they trade some of that damage output for personal survivability. They are better-suited for small-scale fights or even solo play. The stance and nuke changes would bring them back up to the level they belong IMO. Level 10 offensive stance for a DPS class was really a dumb decision.

Resists shouldn't change and here's why: They are the intended way to counter spell damage. If you bring an elemental spec group, you will be countered with SoS/Charmed just like a holy group would be countered by holy resistance buffs because that's how the game works. I'd rather see balance come from stances (like above) or the base damage values of the spells.

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Re: [Wall of text] Healer Channelers and Channelers as a who

Post by Khal » Wed May 14, 2014 5:25 pm

Bump up offensive and defensive Healer stances. Makes def channies more viable (lol) and helps fet their damage up to where it should be. Granted, I'm used to larger fights right now, but here's my thought process when I go to roll a healer channy.

I think I'll roll a healer channy
Fuck that, Mage channy gets way better dps, and arguably better survivabilty in GvG due to Mage def stance
Fuck that, furies can do basically all the same shit, and have higher dstance, for survivabilty
I'll roll a fury
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Re: [Wall of text] Healer Channelers and Channelers as a who

Post by Mantis » Wed May 14, 2014 6:06 pm

I agree, healer channelers are completely useless. No legitimate reason to use them in GvG, completely outclassed by druids or their mage counterparts. Level 10 offensive stance is pretty terrible for a class that only really offers damage.

Mage channelers received a huge boost, IMO, with the changes to elemental resists that allow for -100 to ice and lightning. In comparison to other mages, channelers have the least utility, but I feel with the tools available to decrease elemental resists, they are viable, and they do have mage debuffs, roots, and access to an aoe snare. Still, all channelers could benefit from love without overpowering them.

There are just so many arbitrary, vestigial powers in this game that should have been updated or removed. I mean, how many alacrity buffs are there in the game?

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Re: [Wall of text] Healer Channelers and Channelers as a who

Post by Badmoon » Thu May 15, 2014 8:39 am

Mantis wrote:I agree, healer channelers are completely useless. No legitimate reason to use them in GvG, completely outclassed by druids or their mage counterparts. Level 10 offensive stance is pretty terrible for a class that only really offers damage.

Mage channelers received a huge boost, IMO, with the changes to elemental resists that allow for -100 to ice and lightning. In comparison to other mages, channelers have the least utility, but I feel with the tools available to decrease elemental resists, they are viable, and they do have mage debuffs, roots, and access to an aoe snare. Still, all channelers could benefit from love without overpowering them.

There are just so many arbitrary, vestigial powers in this game that should have been updated or removed. I mean, how many alacrity buffs are there in the game?

Back in the day those useless powers were usefull though.
For example, Commander was a must on every toon that could take it because of the run buff, there was no traveling stance. All those alacrity buffs were worth it back then because there were no conc pots, and the only people that had buff bots were those who paid for two accounts or more. The game was more pure back then, no doubt. As much as I hated not being able to box here at the beginning of beta and level my other toons, I actually loved that you couldnt box. It brought back purity to the game. Anyways, yea, back in the day when conc pots didnt exist those alacrity buffs could help. Channelers, in general, have always been up and down over the years. When this game first came out, everyone and their mother rolled a channeler. Then they nerfed them and it was rare to ever see one. Its just how SB is I guess. Dysons write up is spot on though.
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Re: [Wall of text] Healer Channelers and Channelers as a who

Post by Rewen » Thu May 15, 2014 4:36 pm

A more radical solution might be dividing the elements up. Elemental resists are always lumped together, and that's because the classes that use them are often combined also. You could ease that by dividing things up a bit.

Divide SoS into three chants (GMing one would GM the others). This way, a bard can only have one elemental resist buff active at any time.

Similarly, the Channeler would be forced to select only one of the three elements to specialize in. That way, they are harder but not impossible to counter.

More interesting and fun Channeler build options, more interesting group dynamics and higher skill ceiling.

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Re: [Wall of text] Healer Channelers and Channelers as a who

Post by Mac » Thu May 15, 2014 4:51 pm

Rewen wrote:
  • Make the AoE's group friendly.
  • Redo stances:
    Old wrote:Mage
    Off: 40 Def: 25 Precise: 15
    Healer
    Off: 10 Def: 10 Precise: 10
    New wrote:Mage
    Off: 40 Def: 10 Precise: 15
    Healer
    Off: 30 Def: 10 Precise: 15
  • Reduce cast time on all Channeling nukes to 3 seconds across the board.
  • Increase the number of eligible targets per AoE
  • Increase the range on all elemental dispells to match that of their nuke range.
Now if this could be implemented, they would be awesome!
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Re: [Wall of text] Healer Channelers and Channelers as a who

Post by Vivitron » Thu May 15, 2014 5:23 pm

To me, the offensive stance difference is the main issue. I think bumping the HC o-stance to 40 alone might fix the HC/MC imbalance.

It's worth noting explicitly that for the only other mage/healer base class (doomsayer), the ability to go Mino with the healer base is one of the largest considerations in choosing between mage and healer. Other than channeler, fessor is the only other healer which can't get one of Mino, Dwarf, or Horse. Lack of top healer race choices is another factor in mage channelers being more common.

On the other hand, channelers are at least unique as a healer in having resist debuffs for their own damage.
Rewen wrote:Resists shouldn't change and here's why: They are the intended way to counter spell damage. If you bring an elemental spec group, you will be countered with SoS/Charmed just like a holy group would be countered by holy resistance buffs because that's how the game works. I'd rather see balance come from stances (like above) or the base damage values of the spells.
The problem isn't that elemental spec groups get countered by SoS + Charmed -- I agree that's intended. SoS + Charmed is usually the default choice unless it is switched out to counter a spec: the problem is that elemental casters get countered by stacked resists even when their opponent hasn't made special preparations to fight an elemental damage spec.

The existence of the Fury double debuff keeps elemental single target nukes interesting, but SoS + Charmed ubiquity destroys the effectiveness of elemental AE's.

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Re: [Wall of text] Healer Channelers and Channelers as a who

Post by Malant » Mon Oct 20, 2014 2:46 pm

Would love to see healer channys become more viable. Stance change above would be a good step in the right direction. Even with dumping a ton of points into reso a healer channy does not get much ROI due to the small damage modifier. BM hits for a very small amount on this class. The nukes are also subpar.
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Re: [Wall of text] Healer Channelers and Channelers as a who

Post by Syrric » Mon Oct 20, 2014 3:13 pm

my idea would just be a stance change as well. but i was thinking what if they gave healers like rank 25 -30 o stance and like 25- 30 def stance. give them a reason to wear some light armor.

if we could add items to the game i would suggest a channy light armor set.
but i dont think that is an easy thing to do.

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Re: [Wall of text] Healer Channelers and Channelers as a who

Post by Malant » Mon Oct 20, 2014 3:47 pm

Syrric wrote:my idea would just be a stance change as well. but i was thinking what if they gave healers like rank 25 -30 o stance and like 25- 30 def stance. give them a reason to wear some light armor.

if we could add items to the game i would suggest a channy light armor set.
but i dont think that is an easy thing to do.
25-30 O-stance is the sweet spot I think. 25-30 Def stance is to much. Their 10 Def stance is perfect IMO.

Specific LA would be awesome, or just make Wyrmskin Channy only as no one runs this LA. Add 1 int 1 channeling and you have a winner.
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Re: [Wall of text] Healer Channelers and Channelers as a who

Post by Syrric » Mon Oct 20, 2014 3:58 pm

Malant wrote:
25-30 O-stance is the sweet spot I think. 25-30 Def stance is to much. Their 10 Def stance is perfect IMO.

Specific LA would be awesome, or just make Wyrmskin Channy only as no one runs this LA. Add 1 int 1 channeling and you have a winner.
yeah high def stance might be too cheesy, also i like your idea of turning wyrmskin into channy armor, easy fix.

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Re: [Wall of text] Healer Channelers and Channelers as a who

Post by Malant » Mon Oct 20, 2014 5:17 pm

I think the class really just needs an O-stance tweaking, the armor would be a nice addition for sure, but I think with all the other tools a HC has it is not 100% necessary. Give a HC a little more DPS and be able to fulfill a secondary healer roll and I think we might actually see more of these in game.

I tried to run a spec of these in the last phase of test, and they did just awful. Even with 7 people on target we were having tough times dropping anything. A charmed neck and SOS makes it very difficult to drop a toon, and most skilled players run around with both of these at all times. Yes there are ways around this, but no toon designated for DPS should have to be stuck with a level 10 O-Stance.
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Re: [Wall of text] Healer Channelers and Channelers as a who

Post by Sek » Mon Oct 20, 2014 6:51 pm

Give them Silence.
Problem solved.
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Re: [Wall of text] Healer Channelers and Channelers as a who

Post by Malant » Mon Oct 20, 2014 8:29 pm

Sek wrote:Give them Silence.
Problem solved.
Silence would only really make sense in the channeling line, which would also make it open to mage channys. GM O-Stance + Erasing SOS/Other chants is a bit over kill.

What ever change is made I think it needs to be HC specific, MC's are pretty good where they are at.
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Re: [Wall of text] Healer Channelers and Channelers as a who

Post by Winnienie » Sat Jul 18, 2015 4:38 am

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Re: [Wall of text] Healer Channelers and Channelers as a who

Post by dren » Mon Jun 27, 2016 12:12 pm

Couldnt these guys wear medium armor? Are healer channelers totally non-viable at this point?

Back in the day... I played a blade weaving elf channeler. Rarely died in a group, was definitely a viable class. I could toe to toe with some stronger classes and survive. I just had to watch out for high dps and people lurking in the shadows when I was alone.

I also had a mage channeler which did have some advantages at that time but was not completely better. I remember re-rolling my healer channeler for the advantages in this build. Healer channeler was definitely fun to play, especially in groups and large scale battles. The AoE effects were massive and flying into a group fight you could send weaker foes fleeing after tossing some debuffs and a few of these down, nuking some squishier targets and doing some group heals/buffs on your side.

As a blade weaver, in the case it was safe enough you could definitely drop down into the fight and melee with people and do some damage this way as well. I remember being able to stun people in melee fights as well (and do extra damage?). Are the blade weaving abilities complete currently in this game? I see some extra damage on the blade mastery end on the wiki.

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