A lot of discussion has been had regarding the gap between DPS classes, and calls have been made for ages about rebalancing the classes. The devs have stated that rebalancing of the classes should be coming in Q4. This post is here to try and help with the rebalancing.
I know the devs don’t play the game at the same level the players do, so I took the time to gather some of the end-game players to run DPS checks so I could get an idea of what each class is pulling at the highest level of skill.
I had players that were reputable in their class assist me with this. We would go into the Sewer dungeons as a pair: I would play Warrior, and the other player would play the DPS class they were playing. I would spam Provoke on Mutated Rat, and the other player would kill the Rat as fast as they could. Tiles and affixes were fine as those are tied to the class armor. External buffs like potions and other class damage boosts (Affliction Weakness stacks for non-mages, Shield Bash, etc) were not used, as I wanted class-specific DPS. I had each player run this five times to get an average for them. I had five players in each class. This lead to one hundred total runs. I need a shoulder massage because my goodness Provoke.
What we see is that Runemage is far and away the top DPS class, followed by Shaman, Scoundrel, then Ranger, in order. This is something that the community has known for quite some time, but this time instead of it being just “common knowledge”, we have definitive numbers in a controlled environment showing the results.
Class by class:
Mages were top DPS. This is where it should be due to the skill requirement to play this class effectively.
Currently, the end-game Rangers are pulling less than half of end-game Mages (average ~48%). While Runemages should be top DPS due to the skill requirement, this gap is hideous. It’s no wonder that only a handful of players running end-game content play Ranger as their main class. Even though it is a really fun class (as far as fun goes, my favorite damage class), you’d need two Rangers to pull equivalent Mage numbers. Why would I bother when trying to clear hard content that needs high numbers?
The Scoundrels on average also pulled around half the Mage numbers (average 50.4%). There were much more variable numbers here, though, showing that the Scoundrel rotation is still a puzzle to be solved for many players. Even so, the top Scoundrel single run was still only about 70% of the average Mage numbers, and 60% of the top Mage run.
Shaman numbers were fairly consistent between runs of the same player with one exception. Shaman #1 ran the first two runs at a distance from the Mutated Rat as to avoid poison. The next three runs the Shaman stood next to the Rat, ignoring the poison damage. While this did drop the average DPS, I think it makes a good point showing that Shaman numbers drop significantly as they get further away from the target. Even so, Shaman average was 69% (nice) of Mage average.
When it comes to fixing the gap between the DPS classes, I think a good step forward would be a flat 66% increase to physical DPS. This would bring the Ranger average to ~60k (coming in at around 80% of Mage DPS) and Scoundrel average to ~63k (coming in at around 84% of Mage DPS).
On top of just fixing the gap for boss damage, both Scoundrel and Ranger are range-based single-target damage which sucks for trash mobs. Scoundrel needs curved shots which are single-target only, and Ranger needs range which is difficult in many dungeons (not to mention weak points being single target specific). Shaman and Runemage can sit right on top of the enemies and be just as, if not more, effective as being at range.
I think Shaman is right where it needs to be. Due to the extremely low skill ceiling for the class and simple rotations, it’s an easy DPS class. Having decent DPS with low effort is offset by the fact that any fight with distance (Mist Keeper, for instance) or movement (Dovregubben, Sewer Slime) essentially wrecks a Shaman’s numbers. That and the persistent orb not spawning bug, but at this point I’ve accepted it as a part of the class. Probably have to thank Rupert more.
I don’t think Mage numbers should be reduced at all. The last time Mage was nerfed (Triplicity), many mages left the game and haven’t returned (not that I blame you for nerfing it, Trip was just a lotta OP). However, beginner to mid-level mages struggle to pull their weight, and a nerf to Runemage will bring them down even further.
TLDR: I’m pushing for a 66% increase to physical damage, and no nerf to any class in order to bring things closer in line. Supported with player driven data.