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  1. #1
    Associate Producer Cocomajobo's Avatar
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    Default U50 Preview 2: New Universal Enhancement Tree: Horizon Walker

    Disclaimer
    Everything seen on the preview server, Lamannia, is not final and is subject to change or removal before live release.

    Here's your first look at Horizon Walker, a Universal enhancement tree currently slated for Update 50. Horizon Walker has popped up in a couple of editions of D&D at this point, as a variant option in 3.5e and a Ranger path in 5e. In this adaptation, the Horizon Walker is a hunter that traverses planes, hunting extraplanar enemies with a Bow. They are rugged adventurers, prepared for any kind of danger on any number of planes, and are attuned enough to Planes that they can occasionally manipulate planar alignments to avoid danger.

    Focuses of this tree include:

    • Single-Target Bow Damage
    • Dexterity
    • Avoidance defenses (dodge, incorp, etc)


    Marking a Target:
    The first Core in this tree works a bit like Assassin's trick; it's an Active ability that leaves an effect on your targeted enemy, and after that the things that affect Marked Targets work on that enemy. Using Marked Target on another enemy while you have an existing, living Marked Target will clear it from them. Using Improved Precise Shot and hitting other enemies before/after your Marked Target on the Bow attacks will do the attack's weapon damage to other enemies, and only do the Marked Target effects to your Marked Target (assuming they're hit by the attack).


    Cores
    1. Mark Target: +1 to Spot and Listen. You gain the ability to Mark one target at a time. Targets you Mark have -2 AC. (Debuffs to Marked Targets from these Core abilites do not stack with other players' Marks - Only the highest set of debuffs will apply.) Cooldown: 4 Seconds. (1AP)
    2. Improved Marking: Your Marked Targets get -10% Fortification. The AC penalty your Marked Targets take increases to -4. You also gain +3 to Maximum Dexterity Bonus while wearing Light armor. (1AP)
    3. Greater Marking: Your Marked Targets get -2 to Saving Throws. Their Fortification penalty increases to -10%, and AC penalty increases to -6. In addition you gain Haste SLA: 0 SP cost, 2 minute cooldown. (1AP)
    4. Dauntless Marking: Your Marked Target's Saving Throw penalty increases to -4, Fortification penalty increases to -20%, and AC penalty increases to -10. You gain +3 Maximum Dodge. (1AP)
    5. Dimension Door: Once per rest, you can cast Dimension Door. Activation Cost: 0 Spell Points. Cooldown: 10 Minutes. Passive: Your Marked Targets get -20% to movement speed. (1AP)
    6. Horizon: +2 to all Ability Scores. You gain +2 Maximum Manyshot charges. You gain Favored Enemy: Marked Target: You always consider Marked Targets to be Favored Enemies, and deal extra damage against them. (1AP)


    Tier 1
    • Eye for Accuracy: +1/2/3 to Attack with Weapons.
    • Opening Shot: +1/2/3[w] Bow Attack. Adds 1/2/3d6 Force damage on hit. This damage scales with Ranged Power. Cooldown: 6 seconds. (1AP/Rank)
    • Planar Dodge: +1/2/3 to Dodge.
    • Skills: +1/2/3 to Spot, Listen, and Search. (1AP/Rank)
    • Conjure Arrow: SLA, as in AA tree (2AP)


    Tier 2
    • Walker Training I: +1 to Attack and +1 to Damage with Longbows and Shortbows. (1AP)
    • Take the Opening: If Opening Shot hits a creature that is at 100% of their hitpoints, it deals an extra 1d10 Force damage per Character Level. This damage scales with 200% Ranged Power. Additionally, your Force damage from Opening Shot is now applied twice when used against Marked Targets. (2AP)
    • Protection from Evil and Good: Rank 1: You permanently gain +2 deflection bonus to Armor Class and a +2 resistance bonus to saves versus attacks from Evil creatures. Rank 2: You permanently gain this for Good creatures as well. Rank 3 (2AP): You are also warded from magical mental control and compulsions from both Evil and Good creatures.
    • Skilled Navigator: +2/4/6 to Saving Throws vs. Traps (1AP/Rank)
    • Favored Enemy: Evil Outsider Feat (1AP)


    Tier 3
    • No Step Missed: Battle Trance. Cooldown: 20 Seconds. Antirequisite: Other Trances. Charges: 5. Expend 1 Charge: You gain an Insight bonus to damage and the DC of tactical feats equal to 1/2 of your Dexterity modifier for [30/60/120] seconds. On a Vorpal weapon hit, have a chance to restore 1 Charge. (1AP/Rank)
    • Two Places At Once: When you use Manyshot or Scattershot, you gain Displacement for 12 seconds. (2AP)
    • Hunter's Focus: If Archer's Focus is enabled, remaining stationary for 6 seconds grants you 1d4+4 stacks of Archer's Focus. This can trigger once per time you remain stationary.
    • Tenacious Hunter: Against Extraplanar creatures and Marked Targets (regardless of whether or not they are extraplanar), you deal an additional +2/4/6 damage with Longbows and Shortbows. (1AP/Rank) (Tier Change. Was Tier 4 in preview 1)
    • Ability Score: Multiselector
      • Dexterity: +1 Dexterity (2AP)
      • Wisdom: +1 Wisdom (2AP)


    Tier 4
    • Walker Training II: +2 to Attack and +2 to Damage with Longbows and Shortbows. (1AP)
    • Corner the Quarry: +2/3/4[w] Bow Attack. If this is used against your Marked Target, they must make a Reflex Save (d20+your Listen skill) or be immobilized for 12 seconds. On a Vorpal hit, the target is also Stunned with no save (20sec cooldown). On bosses, this does not immobilize or stun. (1AP/Rank)
    • Walker's Guidance: You and targeted ally gain Evasion, Improved Evasion, and +5 to Saving Throws vs. Traps for 12 seconds. 60 second cooldown. (1AP) (Tier Change. Was Tier 5 in Preview 1)
    • Scattershot: Ranged Bow Attack: Expend one charge to randomly select up to three different enemies at close range and shoot one arro at each of them. Each of these shots can Doubleshot and have +1 Critical Threat Range and Multiplier. 2 second cooldown. This feat gives 3 charges, you regain 1 charge every 12 seconds you don't use Scattershot or Manyshot. (Requires a Longbow or Shortbow to use). Shares Charges and a Cooldown with Manyshot.(2AP)
    • Ability Score: Multiselector
      • Dexterity: +1 Dexterity (2AP)
      • Wisdom: +1 Wisdom (2AP)


    Tier 5
    • Feywild Attunement: +1 Competence Bonus to Threat Range and Multiplier with Longbows and Shortbows. You have Base Attack Bonus equal to your Character Level while using Longbows and Shortbows. (Location Change) (1AP)
    • Banish the Quarry: If Corner the Quarry is used against a Marked Target, they take an additional 1d10 Force Damage per Character Level. This damage scales with Ranged Power. If the creature is Extraplanar, it must make a Will Save (d20+your Listen skill) or be Banished. (Bosses cannot be banished). (1AP)
    • Misty Step: Rush forward. You have +5 to Reflex Saves and 20% stacking incorporeality while Stepping. (Shares a cooldown with other abundant steps). 12 second cooldown. Additionally, when you tumble or use Misty Step, you gain Ranged Power equal to your Character Level for 12 seconds. 12 second cooldown.
    • Powershot: Whenever you Critically Hit an enemy with Manyshot or Scattershot, that enemy takes 1d10 Force Damage per Character Level that scales with 200% Ranged Power.
    • Improved Archer's Focus (as in Deepwood): Your Archer's Focus stance can now stack up to 25 times instead of 15. Passive: +10% Doubleshot. (2AP)


    A few notes:
    • "Bow Attacks" in this tree require a Shortbow or Longbow.
    • It is fairly intended that a non-bow user could get some good use out of this tree.
    • Worth noting that anyone gaining Evasion from Walker's Guidance still has to follow Evasion rules (no med/heavy armor, etc) for Evasion to work.

  2. #2
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    Improved Marking: Your Marked Targets get -10% Fortification. The AC penalty your Marked Targets take increases to -4. You also gain +3 to Maximum Dexterity Bonus while wearing Light armor. (1AP)

    Could you add something for those that do not wear armor, say "if wearing cloth of no armor +2 AC"

  3. #3
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    Still think there's too much cognitive dissonance in the tree's design, between all the mobility skills - especially the proc-on-tumble buff - and being tied to the AF stance that requires extended not moving. Hunter Focus for bonus stacks of AF is a step in the right direction, but they just double down on the dichotomy by requiring 6 seconds of not moving. I'd've gone in the other direction...have Hunter's Focus be a rider on Many/Scatter that grants a few stacks of AF and immediately fills your "3s stationary timer" so you can start building more right away, until you move. That way you can still build stacks strategically in combat while preserving your mobility, but not completely divorce yourself from the stationary-fire mechanic.

    As it is here, the ideal way to build stacks is even more arbitrary: stay still for 6 sec, then move again to reset Hunter's Focus. The 5-8 bonus stacks outweigh what you'll stack in the 3s till AF re-initializes, since Doubleshots cant double-stack anymore. That's not necessarily bad, per se, but that kind of arbitrariness just seems like inelegant game design and something to avoid...

    Still think T5 needs a way to generate bonus stacks of Many/Scatter, since that's the lynchpin of this tree's DPS and would really define HW builds

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by droid327 View Post
    Still think there's too much cognitive dissonance in the tree's design, between all the mobility skills - especially the proc-on-tumble buff - and being tied to the AF stance that requires extended not moving. Hunter Focus for bonus stacks of AF is a step in the right direction, but they just double down on the dichotomy by requiring 6 seconds of not moving. I'd've gone in the other direction...have Hunter's Focus be a rider on Many/Scatter that grants a few stacks of AF and immediately fills your "3s stationary timer" so you can start building more right away, until you move. That way you can still build stacks strategically in combat while preserving your mobility, but not completely divorce yourself from the stationary-fire mechanic.

    As it is here, the ideal way to build stacks is even more arbitrary: stay still for 6 sec, then move again to reset Hunter's Focus. The 5-8 bonus stacks outweigh what you'll stack in the 3s till AF re-initializes, since Doubleshots cant double-stack anymore. That's not necessarily bad, per se, but that kind of arbitrariness just seems like inelegant game design and something to avoid...

    Still think T5 needs a way to generate bonus stacks of Many/Scatter, since that's the lynchpin of this tree's DPS and would really define HW builds
    Just to get it right out of the gate: We do not have plans to let you stack Archer's Focus while moving. That could change, but we don't intend for it to at this time, and it definitely won't for U50 or in Horizon Walker.

    As you noted, Horizon Walker adds some bonuses to help you gain stacks faster when you do stand still; the mobility tools in here help optimize your ability to maneuver between those standing bonuses. (Or just in general, if you're not utilizing Archer's Focus in general.) You are no longer required to tumble to get anything in this tree; the only bonus tied to it can now alternately be obtained by Misty Stepping.

    We understand that the playstyle of standing still isn't everyone's cup of tea. That's fine; you don't have to use Archer's Focus. You won't optimize power if you do, but that's the intended tradeoff here. Horizon Walker helps you optimize that faster, and move better when you do move.
    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.

  5. #5
    Community Member Sylveny's Avatar
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    Heya, just so I'm reading this right, misty step cooldown went from 3 seconds to 12 seconds?

    but it was the most fun part of the first preview.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sylveny View Post
    Heya, just so I'm reading this right, misty step cooldown went from 3 seconds to 12 seconds?

    but it was the most fun part of the first preview.
    It did. It also got a significant buff applied on use.
    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.

  7. #7

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    > Horizon: You gain +2 Maximum Manyshot charges.

    The additional charges are not applied. This worked during preview 1.
    Khyber: Ying-1, Kobeyashi, Nichevo-1 | 75 million Reaper XP

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steelstar View Post
    We understand that the playstyle of standing still isn't everyone's cup of tea. That's fine; you don't have to use Archer's Focus. You won't optimize power if you do, but that's the intended tradeoff here. Horizon Walker helps you optimize that faster, and move better when you do move.
    Most people don't like to be soul stones and pike the whole quest. That's what an immobile character is and that what this tree promotes.

  9. #9
    Community Member Krumm's Avatar
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    Default Core 6 looses 10RP & 10 Doubleshot!!!

    Core 6 got downgraded BIG from the first preview.

    on 1st preview, Core 6 was

    Horizon: +2 to all Ability Scores. You gain +10 Ranged Power, +10% Doubleshot. +2 Maximum Manyshot charges. (1AP)

    Now it's

    Horizon: +2 to all Ability Scores. You gain +2 Maximum Manyshot charges. You gain Favored Enemy: Marked Target: You always consider Marked Targets to be Favored Enemies, and deal extra damage against them. (1AP)


    This is a huge downgrade for a tree that lacked dps to start with. While Marked target might be ok for bosses (even this is questionable for the investment), it's completely useless for anything else. Also I always thought that favored enemies was also pretty useless (lots of investment with low return on ranger enhancement tree).

    Please, oh please, fix this before going live.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Krumm View Post
    Core 6 got downgraded BIG from the first preview.
    Did it? I'd encourage people to give this one a shot on Lamannia and let us know how it feels.
    • Marking is a LOT faster in this Preview compared to last time.
    • For a 20 Ranger, this adds a minimum of +12 to weapon damage (before crits and such), possibly more if you've obtained other Favored Enemies from this tree or elsewhere.
    • This is clarified in the enhancement tooltip, but if your Marked Target is also a Favored Enemy you have from another feat, Favored Enemy bonuses apply twice to that creature.
    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.

  11. #11
    Community Member Sylveny's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steelstar View Post
    It did. It also got a significant buff applied on use.
    In my opnion it would feel better if the bonus buffs only applied every 12seconds, with the bonus power, but the cooldown of the ability itself remained 3 seconds.

    I mean, 20% incorporeality is really good, yes, but it only works for a fraction of a second (while stepping), so using this ability doesn't few a fun as before, it went from a defining really good feature of the tree, to something you're probably just using for the ranged power, as it was in the last preview with the tumbling.

    I mean, it really was the most fun part of the first preview, a very defining feature of the class (maybe more thematic than marking), and it's a tier 5, not likely that someone will dip this tree just to abuse that (not that it is abusable, it's just really fun), I really don't think increasing the cooldown of it to anything more than 3 seconds is the right direction.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steelstar View Post
    Just to get it right out of the gate: We do not have plans to let you stack Archer's Focus while moving. That could change, but we don't intend for it to at this time, and it definitely won't for U50 or in Horizon Walker.

    As you noted, Horizon Walker adds some bonuses to help you gain stacks faster when you do stand still; the mobility tools in here help optimize your ability to maneuver between those standing bonuses. (Or just in general, if you're not utilizing Archer's Focus in general.) You are no longer required to tumble to get anything in this tree; the only bonus tied to it can now alternately be obtained by Misty Stepping.

    We understand that the playstyle of standing still isn't everyone's cup of tea. That's fine; you don't have to use Archer's Focus. You won't optimize power if you do, but that's the intended tradeoff here. Horizon Walker helps you optimize that faster, and move better when you do move.
    I dont mind if you want to keep AF staunchly as a "siege tank" ability. However, I just dont see why the tree has to be pulling you in both directions: either tie it to AF, and then give you abilities that complement an immobile playstyle....or give you abilities that let you be mobile, and then dont penalize you for moving. It doesnt feel like the tree is two complete but exclusive options, the way that e.g. DWS can be melee OR ranged, or DD is Light OR Negative. It feels like its one tree but you only get to benefit from half of it because the other half doesnt work with your playstyle.

    I get what you're thinking, but I just dont think it works that way in the game: There IS no "in between" standing. If you need to move at all, then you need to move more often than every 3 seconds, let alone 6...you're not going to stay still long enough for AF to matter.

    Thats why I'm suggesting some way to build limited stacks without needing that full 3 second "buy-in". That will create the gameplay I think you're describing: stand still for a second, fire off a few bursts, move to safety, stand still and fire a few more bursts. Currently that gameplay is the worst possible option because you give up all the benefits of full kiting AND the benefits of full siege-mode, because you're stuck in that 3-second "dead zone" in between both, and that's what HW seems to be pushing you towards.

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    The tree is already too low on doubleshot and ranged power, taking it out of the core 6 is a big mistake. It's probably already so far behind DWS I'll just run it to try it (then likely ditch it), but making it weaker is not going to encourage me.
    Last edited by Cantor; 07-14-2021 at 02:48 PM.

  14. #14
    Community Member Krumm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steelstar View Post
    Did it? I'd encourage people to give this one a shot on Lamannia and let us know how it feels.
    • Marking is a LOT faster in this Preview compared to last time.
    • For a 20 Ranger, this adds a minimum of +12 to weapon damage (before crits and such), possibly more if you've obtained other Favored Enemies from this tree or elsewhere.
    • This is clarified in the enhancement tooltip, but if your Marked Target is also a Favored Enemy you have from another feat, Favored Enemy bonuses apply twice to that creature.

    On live server, in a group, I find it hard to use any skill that I need to have a set target first.
    Everything dies fast while there seem to be lag to shots fired and shots actually hitting target.
    If I try to target a mob and then use a skill, more than likely, my target is already dead along with half of the group of mob.
    When using a ranged toon, I am forced me to use my skills without selecting a target.
    Target selecting (while it sounds great in theory) don't work too well atm.

    While it might be great for 20 ranger within a subset of favored enemies, it's not so great for any other class.
    Is Horizon Walker designed to synergize exclusively with rangers? Because favored enemy mechanics just reinforce this.
    Also while +12 damage to weapon might sound good, I always found taking 12 fighter levels with kensai to be much superior since you can get +13 damage (+4 from feats, +9 from enhancements) to all mobs. Limiting damage to certain mobs is the downside. IMO if you are going to add damage to specific type of mobs, the return on investment needs to be greater than what it is now.

  15. #15
    Community Member Sylveny's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steelstar View Post
    Did it? I'd encourage people to give this one a shot on Lamannia and let us know how it feels.
    • Marking is a LOT faster in this Preview compared to last time.
    • For a 20 Ranger, this adds a minimum of +12 to weapon damage (before crits and such), possibly more if you've obtained other Favored Enemies from this tree or elsewhere.
    • This is clarified in the enhancement tooltip, but if your Marked Target is also a Favored Enemy you have from another feat, Favored Enemy bonuses apply twice to that creature.
    Yes, you're absolutely right, for a ranger, it's probably a good choice, against marked targets, but ranged power and double shot it's used all the time, against every target, and again, that's just a valid choice for rangers, for any other class it's doesn't bold well, and this is a universal tree, not a ranger one. I don't know why it can't retain the doubleshot and power and get the favored enemy bonus, that way rangers get a good bonus, but every other class get something too (besides just +2 to damage against a marked target, at a level 20 core)

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    Marking - even if faster than before - is definitely a cumbersome mechanic - bad without lag, horrible with lag.

    Just drop the manual marking and apply the bonusses to whatever you have as a hard target always and automagically, or to the first mob hit if shooting without a hard target.


    Additionally, the tree badly needs more doubleshot and ranged power, not less. Readd the doubleshot and ranged power in addition to the "auto favored target" and add a bit more static DS and ranged power to the lower cores as well. Then the tree will start to look appealing without being OP.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steelstar View Post
    Did it? I'd encourage people to give this one a shot on Lamannia and let us know how it feels.
    • Marking is a LOT faster in this Preview compared to last time.
    • For a 20 Ranger, this adds a minimum of +12 to weapon damage (before crits and such), possibly more if you've obtained other Favored Enemies from this tree or elsewhere.
    • This is clarified in the enhancement tooltip, but if your Marked Target is also a Favored Enemy you have from another feat, Favored Enemy bonuses apply twice to that creature.
    Why not just make it a choice between the two options? As said before this should be a universal tree but capstone will mostly benefit pure rangers. By giving the option to choose the first preview capstone you make this tree more useful to a lot of different builds that won't invest in favored enemies.

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    double post.
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    Thoughts after playtesting:

    L15 pure ranger Scourge, Sharn gear, Grimm and Barrett HE

    - Definitely a single-target tree. No point in running IPS at all, nothing in the tree really complements it at all

    - Single target DPS felt good overall, though very slow. My gameplay was basically all hotbuttons: Mark, Opening, Sniper, Manyshot, Corner. The 1s UCD on Mark really needs to be removed, make it a totally free action because that's 1 sec out of every 4-6 that you're spending not doing actual attacks. Autoattacks are total chickenscratch compared to the actives, which makes it feel too dependent on them, and also really penalizes you for missing an attack.

    - I felt overly dependent on two things for my DPS: AF stacks, and Opening Shot bonus damage. Opening felt satisfying, often one-shotting your target, but being dependent on that 100% means you cant ever use Scattershot (because then that's two targets at <100%). Running in IPS without those 25 stacks of IF, nothing did enough damage at all, it was all chickenscratch. When Opening does one-shot something, then you're stuck waiting for Mark to come off CD because you have to use Mark-Open first on the next target, you're hard limited to one kill every 4 secs.

    - RIP ES Lock and PM Walkers. Anything that does aura damage is going to keep you from being able to use Opening. Also get ready to curse out your hirelings a bunch too I bet. REALLY think the threshold should be 90% like on First Blood, not a hard 100%

    - The range on Mark feels too low, I practically have to be in mob aggro range, which keeps me from being able to tactically select my target first.

    Thoughts after Sharn Welcome HE

    - Single target damage is satisfying, taking out bosses and champs is nice and very fast. Mark+Opening+Corner is one combo, Sniper+Many is another if Mark is on CD. Seems to be able to one-shot most mobs. Playstyle feels very slow, methodical...probably will be really frustrating in groups when everyone else is zerging hard. However, you REALLY feel the lack of AOE when soloing because you get swarmed by mobs, and you're sitting there unable to move and picking them off one at a time every couple seconds.

    - It'd be nice if Mark didnt work without LOS. Had a few times where I didnt have LOS and I wasted my Opening and Corner. Normally I'd just shoot once to make sure I could hit, and then hit my special attacks...but you cant do that with Opening

    Then ran it again HR1

    - SUPER dependent on hireling heals. Drained my cleric's mana waaay faster than my Inqui on Live, probably because I had to stand in the middle of melee packs a lot more. When my hireling went down, I wasnt soon after - had no ability to fight and kite, you're a ride-or-die ranged tank in HW.

    - Wasnt able to one-shot everything like I could on Elite, most things took a full cycle of Mark, Open, Sniper, Corner, and then an autoattack or two for cleanup. Was thus extra-dependent on AF stacks...once I got em, I could keep them going, but getting the initial set was kind of a nightmare whenever I lost them because of the horrible damage vs. Reaper-scaled mobs, even trash mobs. You're basically paying a ~20 second buy-in before you can start playing.

    - Lag is SUPER annoying since so much of your DPS is based on CD attacks

    - Still had satisfying DPS against the two boss mobs. There's a LOT of single-target burst damage in HW and seeing their HP chunk down like that is nice.

    - Ran into one Reaper and was able to similarly burst it down to start the fight, which is nice.

    - Mobs doing their whole "swarm in a circle around you" maneuver is annoying because you'll often whiff on your active attacks as they whiz past you. Sometimes you're better off just waiting for them to pick a spot and then start shooting at them. Adds to the "slow and methodical" feel of the tree, which I think is probably a negative. Unless you really want to restore that turn-based feel of D&D...because you're definitely a "one action per second" build.

  20. #20
    Community Member Thar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steelstar View Post
    Did it? I'd encourage people to give this one a shot on Lamannia and let us know how it feels.
    • Marking is a LOT faster in this Preview compared to last time.
    • For a 20 Ranger, this adds a minimum of +12 to weapon damage (before crits and such), possibly more if you've obtained other Favored Enemies from this tree or elsewhere.
    • This is clarified in the enhancement tooltip, but if your Marked Target is also a Favored Enemy you have from another feat, Favored Enemy bonuses apply twice to that creature.
    if the tree isn't built specifically for rangers but for all builds, why would we focus a main core benefit to a ranger feat? It should benefit all classes equally to give +12 damage, no?
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