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  1. #1

    Default First Look: Shadar-Kai Adjustments

    Hey, everyone!

    SteelStar here to give you a first look at a pair of smaller revamps currently slated for Update 50! These two passes are quick sets of changes we did around other upcoming features we're working on, so while they may not be complete overhauls, we hope they add some interesting build options, and wanted to bring them to you ahead of the Lamannia previews! (The second revamp, Cleric Radiant Servant, can be found here!)

    The first of these two passes is adjustments to the Shadar-kai Iconic! Shadar-kai don't really have a good niche in most of today's meta, and what they offer is a bit lackluster compared to a lot of other Iconics and base races. Like we said above, these passes are fast, so while there are definitely other things we could improve in the future, we aimed for changes that were both fast and would help address the issues above. The usual warning applies: This is early preview content, and will likely change before it goes live!

    Currently, Shadar-kai get two Spiked Chain attacks; one in T1 (that does 3 swings) and one in T4 (that keeps whirling as long as you stand still). Neither is an actual attack (they don't use your equipped weapons), the animations don't scale and you can't move using them. This made them... not very compelling to use. So we changed that!

    The Changes:
    • At level 1, all Shadar-Kai characters now get a Feat: Spiked Chain Attack: Light Melee Weapon Attack: Using a Spiked Chain (but the stats from your main-hand weapon), perform 3 AOE melee attacks with +1[W], +1 Critical Threat Range, and +1 Critical Multiplier. Your Shadar-Kai Racial Enhancements may add to this attack. (12 second cooldown).
      • The Spiked Chain attack is now an innate feat all Shadar-kai get without needing to spend points in the tree. Existing Shadar-kai characters when this goes Live will have the feat versioned onto them! While pretty powerful, Shadar-kai don't otherwise get any free feats, free skill bonuses, or free weapon proficiencies.
      • It now also functions as a weapon attack using your main-hand weapon, but it must be a light melee weapon.
      • This uses the 3-swing animation the T1 Chain Attack currently uses, but this version is faster than the current Live version at its base, and also scales with your Attack speed. It's longer than Cleave, but also hits three times!
      • Importantly, you can now move while using it, and cancel out of it early by tumbling. You won't get the remaining hits, and the attack will be on cooldown, but you can bail out that way.



    • Vicious Chain has moved down from T2 to T1. It's otherwise unchanged, giving a 33% chance to Bleed on each hit of the Spiked Chain.
    • Forceful Chain has moved down from T3 to T2. It keeps its essential role, but now reads: Your Spiked Chain Attack now has a 5% chance to knock non-boss enemies down with no save for 6 seconds. Every 2 seconds, they make a Balance save of (17 + DEX Mod + Trip DCs) to get up again.
    • Slashing Chain is gone. Its role was primarily to bulk up the bad damage of the old chain, and it's no longer needed.
    • New T3: Ghastly Chain: When you use your Spiked Chain Attack, you gain 5% Dodge for 6 seconds. This ignores Dodge Cap.
    • New T3: Displacement SLA. 0 SP Cost.
      • Yes, this is very good - But Shadar-Kai is a long way from "good" currently, and we feel that their ties to the Shadowfell and Rogue-theming mean they should have good access to one of the stronger Avoidance defenses out there.

    • T4 Whirling Chain has changed to: Greater Spiked Chain Attack: Light Melee Weapon Attack: Using a Spiked Chain (but the stats from your main-hand weapon), perform 3 AOE melee attacks with +3[W], +2 Critical Threat Range, and +2 Critical Multiplier. All abilities that enhance Spiked Chain Attack also apply to this Enhancement. In addition, when you Vorpal with this attack, you knock enemies down with no save for 6 seconds. Every 2 seconds, they make a Balance save of (17 + DEX Mod + Trip DCs) to get up again. (18 second cooldown)
      • This now also uses the 3-swing animation that the base feat uses, with all the improvements that version got.
      • The advantage of this version is higher damage, the extra chance at knockdown, and being on a separate cooldown! Which is important to the last new addition:

    • New T4: Assassin's Mark: Non-boss enemies caught in your Spiked Chain Attacks have a 33% gain a stack of Dizzying Spiked Chain on each of the three hits (-10% Damage per stack, -5% Attack speed per stack, -2 Concentration per stack, stacks up to 8 times. 20 second duration per stack)
      • This is the same debuff that Shadar-kai monsters throw around! But rebalanced slightly for the player version: Only a 33% chance of each hit applying a stack, and it can't apply to Bosses or Raid Bosses.
      • It's pretty strong in practice, but stuff that dies fast also can't accumulate many stacks. So we're still balancing the numbers on this one.


    Like we've said, this is early, we're still tweaking numbers and playtesting internally, and you'll see it on Lamannia before it goes Live, but we wanted to show these off and see your thoughts! Let us know what you think!
    Last edited by Steelstar; 06-02-2021 at 05:29 PM.
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  2. #2

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    YAY!!
    finally Shadar kai getting some love !!!!! Thankyou!
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    Looks cool, looks fun! Shardar Kai definitely need the help so glad to see a bit of love.

    Couple questions off the top of my head:

    Does each attack with the "chain" have a chance to doublestrike? Offhand strike? Interaction with animal forms?

    Would probably prefer ghastly to be something like hitting an enemy with the chain attack gives you a stack. Once per mob total, not 3 per mob with the full attack. Each stack gives you +1 dodge and dodge cap. Max stacks 10. Decays 1 per 3 seconds or so. This would have a similar effect to what was suggested but also encourage keeping stacks up and jumping into groups.

    Assassins mark looks fun. On trash mobs Id suggest leaving it at 100% proc chance *or* making it work on red names (not purple names). As you noted trash mobs die rather quickly and while one stack is nice it isnt really all that great, but 3 stacks is pretty decent aoe cc. Ap cost can also be adjusted to balance this ability. Two ap per rank with 3 ranks (each increasing chance to proc 33-66-100) would be pretty hefty investment but potentially worth it.

    Thank you for what you folks do and I hope everyone has a great day.
    Last edited by Entyri; 06-02-2021 at 05:19 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Entyri View Post

    Would probably prefer ghostly to be something like hitting an enemy with the chain attack gives you a stack of ghostly. Once per mob total, not 3 per mob with the full attack. Each stack gives you +1 dodge and dodge cap. Max stacks 10. Decays 1 per 3 seconds or so. This would have a similar effect to what was suggested but also encourage keeping stacks up and jumping into groups. Dizzying chain looks fun. On trash mobs Id suggest leaving it at 100% proc chance *or* making it work on red names (not purple names). As you noted trash mobs die rather quickly and while one stack is nice it isnt really all that great, but 3 stacks is pretty decent aoe cc. Ap cost can also be adjusted to balance this ability. Two ap per rank with 3 ranks (each increasing chance to proc 33-66-100) would be pretty hefty investment but potentially worth it.
    It's "ghastly," not "ghostly."
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    Indeed...grammar and spelling corrected, though.

  5. #5
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    On the right path, looks like. If this is near what goes live, I may roll another one after my first tester who was rapidly abandoned.
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  6. #6

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    Looks pretty good to me. It addresses every major issue I have with SDK

    I like that it incintivizing melee rogues. Some sneak attack synergy with chains would be neat
    I think displacement is too much. I would not object to a lesser amount of concealment or some incorporealability.
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  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Entyri View Post
    Looks cool, looks fun! Shardar Kai definitely need the help so glad to see a bit of love.

    Couple questions off the top of my head:

    Does each attack with the "chain" have a chance to doublestrike? Offhand strike? Interaction with animal forms?

    Would probably prefer ghastly to be something like hitting an enemy with the chain attack gives you a stack. Once per mob total, not 3 per mob with the full attack. Each stack gives you +1 dodge and dodge cap. Max stacks 10. Decays 1 per 3 seconds or so. This would have a similar effect to what was suggested but also encourage keeping stacks up and jumping into groups.

    Assassins mark looks fun. On trash mobs Id suggest leaving it at 100% proc chance *or* making it work on red names (not purple names). As you noted trash mobs die rather quickly and while one stack is nice it isnt really all that great, but 3 stacks is pretty decent aoe cc. Ap cost can also be adjusted to balance this ability. Two ap per rank with 3 ranks (each increasing chance to proc 33-66-100) would be pretty hefty investment but potentially worth it.

    Thank you for what you folks do and I hope everyone has a great day.
    Each attack with the Chain has a chance to doublestrike. I don't believe it can offhand strike.

    Interaction with Animal forms is TBD. I should really check how it currently works, my guess is "badly". Off the top of my head, we may require you to not be in Animal Form in the new version, not sure yet.

    Ghastly is still a work in progress. We don't want it to be so good at a unique channel of avoidance defense that it becomes good for tanking, but want it to be good enough to be useful.

    To get it out of the way early, we can't apply the Assassin's Mark debuff to red- and purple-names. It does bad things to encounters and Content has said "No" in no uncertain terms.
    We don't only build for the builds that exist.
    We don't only build for the builds that are good right now.

    The fact that some changes are necessary is not diminished by the fact that other necessary changes have not happened yet.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steelstar View Post
    The Changes: [...] [*]It now also functions as a weapon attack using your main-hand weapon, but it must be a light melee weapon.[*]This uses the 3-swing animation the T1 Chain Attack currently uses, but this version is faster than the current Live version at its base, and also scales with your Attack speed. It's longer than Cleave, but also hits three times![*]Importantly, you can now move while using it, and cancel out of it early by tumbling. You won't get the remaining hits, and the attack will be on cooldown, but you can bail out that way.[/LIST]
    Quote Originally Posted by Steelstar View Post
    Each attack with the Chain has a chance to doublestrike. I don't believe it can offhand strike.
    So the new unique vision for Shadar-Kai is SWF Swashbuckler?

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    These changes look pretty good. If plans change and Ghastly Chain or Displacement somehow don't make it into the tree, then buff up Ghostly Essence and Improved Ghostly Essence some to help.

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    I am 100% on board with Shadar-Kai getting a displacement SLA, NOT unlimited displacement however. You need to either give it a limited use pool (like the GH SLA from human) or make it cost Something to acivate

    Personally I would give them a T2 Blur SLA with 3 ranks 1 use at rank 1 and +1 use per rank (including rank 1 so you would have 2/3/4 uses), this would act a pre-req for the displacement SLA and contribute additional uses there as well.

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    unlimited displacement is obviously fine. you can essentially get unlimited displacement in the game already on any race. this ability fits this iconic unquestionably. it might even need to be better than just displacement. give it an optional rider or two for some AP and an SP cost.

    This looks pretty good. At the very least it makes Shadar-Kai a playable option. I'd reduce the cooldowns on the spiked chain attacks. It's great they are separate cooldowns though.

  12. #12
    Cosmetic Guru Aelonwy's Avatar
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    This looks great Steelstar. I too would make the Displacement have a sp pt cost or charges. Getting sp pts from gear isn't that difficult anymore.

    Owing to a thread I started earlier this morning (https://www.ddo.com/forums/showthrea...f-Acrobat-Race) I have a question... what dex based race would you use for a Thief Acrobat build? There doesn't seem to be any quarterstaff support in any racial tree, except perhaps Half orc because it supports 2HF but is the opposite of Dex based.

    And here we have a dex based rogue-ish race and its primary uniqueness (chain attack) disallows quarterstaff because of the light melee wpn requirement. So where would you go for TA?
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    Community Member kamimitsu's Avatar
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    This looks to address one of my biggest complaints about Shadar-kai: the discrepancy of how dangerous the enemy chain is vs. the player version. It all sounds good and I'm looking forward to checking it out.

    Oh, and perma-displacement?! That's pretty boss and could provide a very compelling reason to choose SDK, especially for weird multiclass splits.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Szling View Post
    Personally I would give them a T2 Blur SLA with 3 ranks 1 use at rank 1 and +1 use per rank (including rank 1 so you would have 2/3/4 uses), this would act a pre-req for the displacement SLA and contribute additional uses there as well.
    Perma blur is already available from gnome or feydark illusionist at T2 for 2AP. Why would you make Shadar-Kai purchase 4 charges for 3AP?

    If you want to make it more cost-intensive, give them a T2 Blur - > T3 +10% - > T4 +10% Perma.
    Last edited by Artos_Fabril; 06-02-2021 at 09:58 PM.

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    this actually looks quite playable now!

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    First, great riddance! Updating some older content hits me in all the right places, especially with the Shadar-kai, which are one of the more uniquely themed parts of the game.

    Quote Originally Posted by Steelstar View Post
    [*]It now also functions as a weapon attack using your main-hand weapon, but it must be a light melee weapon.
    Would it be possible to add the quarterstaff into it? Maybe as part of the enhancements? As Shadar-Kai is a rogue iconic and rogues support three types of melee weapons (dagger, kukri, and quarterstaffs) it'd be great to have all the bases covered. I know, TA gives some really neat options for increased attack speed and such, but would be great to at least look into it or put it on the list of things that may be done in a less quick manner.
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    maybe the displacement could either have a limited number of charges, or a long cooldown, relying on the shadow plane must be taxing in some way?
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    The changes look really exciting! One thing that's bothering me, though, is the light melee weapon requirement: The first thought I have is "Why exclude thief acrobats using staves?" The next would be "Does this cover/include weapons that aren't considered 'light' when you check places like the wiki?" IE: Rapiers (they count for Weapon Finesse) and Scimitars for tempests.

    Rather than make the attack reliant on weapon type in that regard, how about giving a bonus to the attack if you're wielding a light melee weapon but it can be used with any weapon in the main hand? This could easily be something like +3d6 sneak die, something that benefits and nudges players towards using 'assassin' type weaponry but doesn't penalize the other type of rogues.

    Secondly, I love the thematic and intentional power choice of giving the Shadar-Kai a Displacement SLA! However, if the SLA is going to cost 0SP to use, why not make this a T5 and either a permanent displacement, or as others have suggested, an improved version of Blur (say 30-40%). Even as a no cost SLA, having to recast Displacement every minute and some change can get tedious after a while.

    And thirdly, is there any chance that Winter Favor could get a minor scaling buff? Perhaps an additional 1d6 per 5 character levels?
    Last edited by Shedrakzo; 06-03-2021 at 12:15 AM.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabrael View Post
    maybe the displacement could either have a limited number of charges, or a long cooldown, relying on the shadow plane must be taxing in some way?
    Displacement? Nobody cares all that much about Displacement. Why? Because too often in end-game content, it seems like most of the mobs have true seeing anyway making displacement useless.

    Now, if Steelstar were to offer 25% Etherealness, THAT would be MUCH better. Not all that many mobs have ghost touch.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cordovan View Post
    The release notes themselves are essentially the same as was seen on Lamannia most recently.
    This^, in so many words, is how you say time and feedback on Lamannia are wasted.
    Indeed...grammar and spelling corrected, though.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arkat View Post
    25% Etherealness
    Isn't etherealness and concealment scaled down pretty harshly in reaper content? Like to 5% per skull? So around r4-r5 you end up with absolutely no benefit? Displacement would still provide some benefit at that difficulty.

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