Added in a sample Talent Tree and explanations 5/12
After making a couple posts about issues with the musketeer class, ive decided its time for a more comprehensive “State of the Musketeer” post.
In OG Orbus, the musketeer was the main (only) healing class. I used to joke that I was a dps musky (because thats not a thing) and I made posts about how i wanted more from musky in the way of damage/support, mostly because it just became boring to be a heal bot in dungeons and raids. There was no other option for heals though, so it made sense that those aspects of the the musky class were never fleshed out. In Reborn however, that is not the case.
Musketeer heals were nerfed in reborn, and other healing classes were added (Bard and Pally). Currently bard does more DPS and comparable, if not more heals than musky. The Musky class is teetering on obsolescence, with battle res being the only thing to justify it. It doesnt have to be this way.
Lets make Muskies grea… We can fix musketeers.
I dont however want musky healing buffed back to what it used to be. With bard and pally heals around, i dont think we need a full healing class. I want to see muskies evolve into a deeper utility class, with room for different play styles to emerge. I believe this can be done by updating musky talents, changing the values of some abilities, and enhancing some of the lesser used orbs.
Talents (A philosophical and mechanical breakdown) -
You have your talent system designed so that at each tier you get to choose between two talents. This design would imply that you intended to have the player be able to have some level of customization over their classes style of play. A more dps oriented build vs a more healing oriented build for example.
I understand that when you initially created the talents, you didn’t exactly know how people would end up playing the class, and ultimately what the overall requirements for the class would be, so i get why they ultimately did not end up providing that ability to customize. Now that we have more data on how the class is played, and the requirements that need to be filled by it in parties and raids, I believe we can do a better job at creating two build paths that would allow for the initially intended level of customization. I believe the two paths should be split between a healing focus, and a support/utility focus, with the ability to mix between the two to fine tune your build for whatever is needed.
Currently i think you will find that 5 of the musky talents are used by almost no one, and some of the talents are so necessary that you really cant play the class without having them. I would like to see necessary talents like total recall, and empowered turret added as innate abilities of the class, and instead have talents that add modifications/enhancements to those, or other things.
- Improved Renew VS Improved Poison
This is probably the most balanced and straight forward of all the talents. Do you want more healing or more dps? Unfortunately in a dungeon party, you will be forced to be the healer, as having both a musky and a bard, would be overkill for healing, and highly limit your dps. The musky dps is so low that it cant be justified, You are pretty much forced to take improved renew in any party that isnt doing farm content. (i would like for this to not be the case)
- Improved Lifewell VS Speedy
The lifewell hasn’t really shined in Reborn the way it did in OG. It used to be necessary on several fights for group healing. I’ve only come across one instance in reborn that benefits from it (still not necessary though). Its now used to just supplement heals on anyone thats low (because of the overall healing nerf), and for battle res. Its actually not a great skill anymore (maybe this will change in raids)… but that said, Speedy is still much worse. If there were fights that required a group movement speed boost, and you could trigger the boost by destroying your turret. Then that might actually be a cool talent to have… but there just arnt fights that require that, and it only triggers off the natural end to your turret anyway, so timing it would be quite janky regardless. Right now it can get someone killed if they unexpectedly have their movement speed increased.
- Renewed Synergy Vs Total Recall
RS doesnt make a lot of sense. The cool down on renew is very short, and the cool down on cure wounds is comparatively long. Cure is your "oh shit" big heal, you save it until you need it. Renew is your bread and butter because its almost always up. It doesnt need to be refreshed by cure wounds, you can just use another renew orb (it will be back up in time) Also, renew will be refreshed by your empowered turret anyway. The other option Total Recall is a must have skill. Everyone is moving around for a lot of the fights, and the turret can easily be your main source of healing (and dps if that were a thing) But you have to be able to move it to follow around your party, otherwise its useless. You have to have Total Recall.
- Beacon of Light Vs Empowered Turret
Most of the time there is only one person taking damage in a fight (the tank) occasionally someone else will pull aggro or forget to dodge a skill shot causing them to take damage. A lot of these things are instant death at high levels for anyone other than the tank, but if you do manage to survive, the chance that you are going to be taking damage again soon is pretty slim, so you can rely on a turret or a renew to get back to full health over time. What im getting at is, as a healer you dont constantly have a bunch of people with low health that you are struggling to get back to full. You usually have a bunch of full health people and one person that needs healing. So the ability to heal other allies that have a renew on them, when you use a cure, is kinda worthless because those other people generally dont require the extra healing. The other option, Empowered Turret, is so good that you cant really pass it up. I dont have any numbers from the meters but id imagine that with the bonus from cure, and the constant refreshing of renew, that the turret is by far the main source of healing… and it never misses. Letting the turret do most of the general healing is a good thing, because it can free up the musky to do more important things like emergency heals, interrupts, decurses, and shields.
- All for One Vs One for All
With the healing nerfs to muskies, your turret plays a massive role in your healing. As such taking anything other than 14A in a dungeon type scenario where the musky is the only healer, would be a significant gimp to your overall ability to heal. In a raid scenario where there would likely be two healing classes, it is possible that A41 could be useful for a boss fight that has a phase where the tank would require a large amount of burst healing. However the cooldowns on both lifewell and cure wounds are pretty long, so it would have to be something that isnt required very often.
A note on the 14A supercharge ability - The way the health cost of this function works is not ideal at all. The problem is that when you toss down the turret it immediately starts healing you to recover the lost life, instead of important targets like the tank. You can toss it next to you (you kind of have to because the new physics on the turret make it impossible to throw it far) and then empower it with cure/renew to heal yourself up at the same time, but if you do this at the beginning of a fight you can pull healing aggro (healing aggro seems a little over tuned right now) You can get around this by not deploying your turret until later, or deploying it earlier before the enemies are pulled, but both of these options feel like more of an annoyance than a strategic solution to a problem. Truthfully the health cost seems entirely unnecessary, and feels more like a nuisance.
Sample New Talent Tree with descriptions of the mindset behind them -
The actual values (percentages, damage & healing numbers) assigned to these talents will be what determines if they are viable/OP/broken/balanced. The additional damage from these talents would mostly be in the form of repetitive low damage ticks, and the increased healing would similarly be repetative low healing… more like increased regen. These would need to be played with to get them right, but, when tuned correctly, should allow for multiple different build paths and styles of play, for everything from leveling up, solo healing a group, supporting a group with minimal healing requirements, and potentially even allow for minor non elite mob off tanking.
This is obviously all speculation, as i dont know what type of scenarios raids will throw at us. I am basing most of these ideas off from what i saw in OG orbus. Most of the DPS related stuff is with raid groups in mind. With what is currently in the game, a shard group with a musky is taking them as a healer, and that is how it should stay. But i would like to see the musky be able to alter their build to optimize for when only .5 healers are required, or in raids for when 1.5 healers are required.
I made these sample talents, and descriptions of how they could be used so that the developers can get a better idea of the requirements of the class, how its been played, the types of things which could alter the play style, and what (I, at least think) is fun about it, from a person who has played musketeer since Tradu was the only end game content. Feel free to use them, or any criticism of them, to help in rethinking the musketeer and mechanics to throw at us.
Tier 1 -
If you are focused on healing, and your tank requires more direct and immediate attention from you, or if you need to be focusing on decursing and/or interrupting, you may want to prioritize Automate over Detonate so that you can spend less time redeploying and empowering your turret. However, if you are in a scenario where multiple people in the group are taking damage at the same time (not a lot of these currently) possibly from poisons or multiple enemy mobs, OR if your tank requires extra burst healing, it may be beneficial to take Detonate, in order to be able to strategically blow your turret up for an additional AOE burst heal. This tier is also situational for a DPS/Utility oriented build. You may want an increased duration turret, empowered with debuffs like poison and frost (fix frost) in order to have consistent CC, or damage on certain enemies (make damage turrets attack your last attacked target, if able) but, for maximized AOE damage/utility, you might prefer to be able to explode your turret more often, which could mean different things based on what its empowered with.
Tier 2 -
Currently you can only empower your turret with renew, cure, poison, and frost (which doesnt work correctly) based on which ones you choose to use, and the scenario, Accessorize could be useful for either a healing or a utility build. RT could also be used in either a utility oriented build, to lighten the load for a main healer. Or, in a main heals build for scenarios that require more AOE healing around a mob.
Tier 3 -
Protector would add another instant heal to our orbs, the only other one being cure, this could have a pretty big impact even if its small in comparison. BR would allow you to retain the utility of shield while running a damage oriented spec, but could also be used in a healing priority build if you were really trying to min/max.
Tier 4 -
RA creates AOE healing around a player taking damage This clearly falls into a healing priority build, but is quite situational as players would need to be close to take advantage of it. BC is for runs where you are trying to milk every last bit of DPS you can get out of a not very DPS’y musky.
Tier 5 -
Sniper is pretty straight forward. You already basically do this for rangers, but whether you are DPS or Heals, if you take the risky route, you should be rewarded… or fail miserably. It could be implemented similar to orbs for rangers; your autos and skills become X% stronger for every X meters away from the target that you are. KE will shine in groups where there are many debuffs on a mob, and you dont have any need for bigger heals (are not the primary healer).
Some people have suggested that muskies should have a 5th orb in their rotation, and i believe that could be part of a solution. It certainly would make the class more interesting to play being able to regularly use your neglected orbs such as ice/gravity/weakness. These orbs need to be tweaked in how they work though. With the significant nerf to healing i believe that the cooldown on most healing/protection abilities is now too long as well. The changes i would really like to see though are to the utility orbs.
Renew - Could use a slight buff to the healing amount
Cure - Im fine with the healing nerf on it, but it could use a cooldown reduction
Lifewell - There currently is not much use for the type of healing that lifewell provides (aoe, over time) This could change in raids, but right now i mostly use it to supplement the healing of one person at a time because my other heals are not sufficient, and for battle res. Add a buff to people who are in it perhaps (armor/damage increase?)
Shield - Seems a bit weak right now. Maybe buff it to block a certain percentage of damage for a set duration of time?
Poison - I would love to see it get a damage buff
Gravity - After discussing it further, i agree that the actual pull is not useful, and is often harmful, and should be removed. Having an interrupt is however, important and i believe it should be a larger part of playing musky. I propose a new ability for interrupting on musky An innate ability “explosive shot” where you hold down the trigger for ~2 seconds then release to fire an interrupting blow. This could immediately go a long way towards making musky play a larger role (without gimping the ability to heal) You could take it even farther and make it so you can load a separate orb into the charge shot ability (instead of actually having a 5th orb in rotation) to empower it with different abilities for different builds (decurse for example).
Frost - Had some minor potential in leveling, but was pretty useless otherwise. I think this orb needs to be revamped. Maybe have it slow and add a damage modifying debuff to the mob (increased crit rate from party members?) To be useful in groups/raids. It could also create a frozen area on the ground which continues to slow and damage enemies for a set duration.
Weakness - This orb is currently useless if you have a mage in the group, because its debuff does not stack with theirs, and they can keep them up by themselves. I propose that you change this orb from adding a flat damage increase debuff, to instead add a weak spot to the mobb which can be hit by the entire party, and last for a set duration during which it can be hit as many times as your party can in that time. For instance The orb could have a 5/6 second respawn and create a weak spot that lasts 3 seconds, for which anyone who hits it deals X% increased damage. This orb has the most potential to increase the fun factor for everyone. It would also increase the amount of skill required to do higher dps instead of just giving a flat damage increase to everyone. It would require skill and strategy for the musky to place the weak spot where it can be hit by the most people, and it would require skill by everyone to actually hit it. This is the type of skill requirement that people tend to find fun and rewarding. The rangers ive talked to really enjoy how that mechanic has been implemented for them, and i think everyone else would enjoy it too. Its much better than just firing shots into a giant blob, and adds an additional level of mastery to the classes. (make it a different color than the ranger weak spot)
Decurse - The cooldown is way too long to rely on a musky to do this, as such this task is usually given to a mage. If its used by a musky it is generally as a back up. It should be the other way around. Mages should be decursing as back ups, support classes should be the main decursers. You could also make it do a small heal if a curse is removed.
Its fine, but kinda boring. I honestly rarely use it, opting instead to save it for a last resort cure wounds or lifewell (for res). Its up really infrequently. It might be more fun if it made it so your next shot fired all your orbs at once (without affecting their cooldowns) and dealt increased damage or healing or something. Its minor compared to everything else with the class though.
I would also like to re-emphasize that the turret is now too hard to throw far. It feels much heavier than it used to, and this is a detriment to playing the class. Please return turret physics to the way they were in OG Orbus.
I apologize for being so brief. If anyone would like me to flesh out any of the details better in a longer post, or wants a really good smores recipe, please let me know.