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Sorcery Pool Updates in Issue 27, Page 2


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Issue 27, page 2 is bringing an overhaul to the Sorcery pool. If you're just after a list of changes, they can be found at the end of this post or in the main patch notes thread.

 

Our updates for the Sorcery pool are aimed at making the pool more viable for the widest majority of builds without causing it to be too strong for high-end builds. Specifically, we've aimed at reducing Sorcery's reliance on large amounts of +recharge, ensuring the powers in the pool are useful without heavy build investment.

 

sorcerypool_spiritward.png.29314783d01256c5f9fcf5831e7e71bc.png Spirit Ward

Spirit Ward is now a toggle, allowing you to fire-and-forget on a single teammate or pet. Reducing the recharge from 60s to 15s makes it easy to swap between different targets, and the up-front burst of absorption helps maintain the old reactive usage.

 

sorcerypool_arcanebolt.png.f5320592c9f15bc9728afab0fe3ffaa1.png Arcane Bolt

Arcane Bolt now has a new Arcane Power mechanic, allowing it to occasionally deal much greater damage. Every so often, any power or inspiration you use has a small (and ever-increasing) chance to activate your Arcane Power, which will instantly recharge Arcane Bolt and cause it to deal double damage. We've implemented this mechanic to allow Arcane Bolt a useful power to have in your build, but not something which can reliably replace a core part of your attack chain. Thanks to the reduced animation, Arcane Bolt is fairly on par with some T1/T2 attacks - even without the Arcane Power proc.

 

arcanepower.thumb.png.9ecbed38ed40fbf151a01ef78c81d3ef.png

Magic!

 

SorceryPool_MysticFlight.png.3c6f2d0385535a1e3b309b5542f2c605.png Mystic Flight + SorceryPool_Translocation.png.acd807b4b949c7684267c11fb7cda7bb.pngTranslocation

These powers have been significantly buffed up along with all other travel powers - see the Travel Power Updates thread for more details.
 
sorcerypool_enflame.png.b13064792d0e5c7d974c2daed1d1bb04.png Enflame

Enflame becoming a 60s timed toggle allows for it to be maintained on a target without heavy investment in recharge, and without constant clicking of the ability. The cooldown has been lowered from 90s to 10s, making it easier to shift to a different target. It’s forced flee attributes have been removed, making it much less likely to cause foes to flee in fear (although they might still do so once in a while), and can now also be used on airborne targets.

 

sorcerypool_runeofprotection.png.d31667d01d7dbf6687a2cf3a42e73644.png Rune of Protection

This power, not unlike many others, was originally designed around extreme recharge values - ensuring it wouldn't be permanent even at the recharge cap. The first adjustment we tried (600s cooldown, 60s duration) was much closer to the uptime potential we were happy with, but it required a huge amount of build investment to get there.

 

We've now adjusted the power to have a fixed duration and recharge time (60s / 180s), not unlike Willpower's Strength of Will and Shield Defence's One With The Shield, with it ignoring all recharge enhancements, buffs, and debuffs. This fixed setup allows us to balance the power around a wide range of builds, rather than extreme recharge builds, and ensures that it's incredibly useful out of the gate at all levels and without much investment. 

 

We also made the power easier to use as a reactive tool, previously the power didn't grant the +resistance buff if you used it to break free from crowd control, but you will now receive the full power effect every time you use it. Additionally, the buff now applies immediately when you click the button instead of later in the animation. Both of these improvements allow RoP to be far more effective when used reactively.
 

Detailed Patch Notes:

Spoiler
  • sorcerypool_spiritward.png.29314783d01256c5f9fcf5831e7e71bc.png Spirit Ward
    • This power is now a toggle which can be maintained on an allied target
      • 0.39/s endurance cost
    • Now provides a continually refreshing absorb shield for as long as the toggle is maintained
      • Each tick of the absorb shield lasts for 20s, meaning it will take 20s to max out or fully refresh the shield
    • The initial cast provides a burst of absorb shield
      • This initial burst is the equivalent of a 10s of the refreshing absorb shield
    • The strength of the Absorb shield now scales based on the caster's AT, rather than the target's health
      • ie: Defenders will apply a stronger shield (this is how all other ally buffs and heals work)
    • Cooldown reduced from 60s to 15s
  • sorcerypool_arcanebolt.png.f5320592c9f15bc9728afab0fe3ffaa1.png Arcane Bolt
    • Cast time reduced from 2.07s to 1.73s
      • PvE damage unchanged, PvP damage updated according to the standard formula
    • If you own Arcane Bolt, any power or inspiration you use has a small chance to grant you an Arcane Power buff
      • Arcane Power will immediately recharge Arcane Bolt and cause it to deal double damage
      • Landing Arcane Bolt will consume Arcane Power (missing will not consume it)
      • Arcane Power will dissipate after 15 seconds if it hasn't been used
      • Arcane Power's visual effect can be customised at the tailor
      • Note: This mechanic is disabled in PvP
  • SorceryPool_MysticFlight.png.3c6f2d0385535a1e3b309b5542f2c605.png Mystic Flight
    • Now increases your fly speed cap by 50% while toggled on (from 58.6mph to 87.9mph)
      • This increased cap doesn't apply in PvP
    • SorceryPool_Translocation.png.acd807b4b949c7684267c11fb7cda7bb.png Mystic Flight > Translocation
      • Range increased from 300ft to 350ft
      • Cast time reduced from 2.07s to 1.57s
      • Endurance cost reduced from 13 to 9.75
  • sorcerypool_enflame.png.b13064792d0e5c7d974c2daed1d1bb04.png Enflame
    • This power is now a timed toggle with a max duration of 60s
      • 0.52/s endurance cost
    • Cooldown reduced from 90s to 10s
    • Can now be used on targets in the air
    • The patch no longer causes enemies to run out of the area, but they may still flee if they feel harassed
    • VFX increased in size to more accurately reflect the full area of effect
    • Fixed dark and light customization options not spawning any VFX at all
    • Fixed numerous bugs which resulted in this power not benefiting from enhancements and procs
      • Procs are triggered by the toggle in a radius around the target, rather than by the patches left on the ground
  • sorcerypool_runeofprotection.png.d31667d01d7dbf6687a2cf3a42e73644.png Rune of Protection
    • Duration reduced from 90s to 60s
    • Cooldown reduced from 600s to 180s
    • Now ignores all recharge buffs, enhancements, and debuffs
      • No longer accepts recharge enhancements
    • Buff now applies immediately when the power begins activating, instead of 1s~ into the animation
    • Now grants damage resistance even if you use it whilst mezzed (previously only the mez protection component would be applied)
    • Fixed an issue which prevented the continuing VFX from playing

 

Please use this thread, not the main thread, to discuss these changes. Thank you!

 

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2 hours ago, Captain Powerhouse said:

It’s forced flee attributes have been removed, making it much less likely to cause foes to flee in fear (although they might still do so once in a while), and can now also be used on airborne targets.

That's a shame because that was why I take it - it's a great power for when you're getting overwhelmed. Being able to tell enemies to just bugger off for a bit is very useful if you're soloing or in small groups. It's a very rare crowd control power (it makes a crowd disperse - really powerful if you're squishy) available to anyone. 

 

It doesn't fit in the "AoE tank and spank" meta, but surely not every power needs to?

It was a unique power among the pools and seeing this loss in utility is a shame. 

Edited by Gulbasaur
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@Jimmy

 

Quote

 

This is a fair concern, although I will say it's somewhat the other way around - Page 2's release is dependant on us being happy with Sorcery, rather than us rushing the Sorcery changes because of an arbitrary timefame. No shareholders or marketing department here, we release when we're happy it's good enough!

 

There's at least one more set of changes for Sorcery coming, and I think with those changes it's going to be in a really good spot.

 

 

You were saying?

 

The Sorcery Pool revamp has now had exactly one iteration before going into a release candidate.  This is exactly the sort of rushing I was afraid of.

 

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Increased duration for Rune of Protection (at the cost of a higher cooldown, exact ratio however) is welcomed, I feel the power is finally at its peak utility now. The lowered endurance cost and cooldown for Spirit Ward as well as the 50% absorb potential upon casting also has the same feeling as before, though I'm not exactly sure how the AT modifiers might affect things, as a Tanker it'll be interesting to check out the numbers and see if it's still useful.

 

Can't wait to hop back onto my Tanker to try these changes out!

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3 minutes ago, Blackbird71 said:

The Sorcery Pool revamp has now had exactly one iteration before going into a release candidate.  This is exactly the sort of rushing I was afraid of.

 

That you were perhaps not happy with it does not make it true that it did not get enough testing or feedback to say it was good enough to go forward.

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5 minutes ago, Blackbird71 said:

@Jimmy

 

 

You were saying?

 

The Sorcery Pool revamp has now had exactly one iteration before going into a release candidate.  This is exactly the sort of rushing I was afraid of.

 

 

This is that set of changes I mentioned, and we're now very happy with where Sorcery is. If we weren't, this wouldn't be a release candidate. It's had significant attention from both us and testers over the past two weeks.

 

Anyway - I don't want this to devolve into a discussion about process and derail the thread. If you have something to say about the changes themselves that's absolutely welcome, but anything else belongs elsewhere.

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37 minutes ago, Blackbird71 said:

@Jimmy

 

You were saying?

 

The Sorcery Pool revamp has now had exactly one iteration before going into a release candidate.  This is exactly the sort of rushing I was afraid of.

 

 

I count three:

First Pass: 60s duration @ 600s recharge
Second Pass: 40s duration @ 120s fixed recharge
Third Pass: 60s duration @ 180s fixed recharge
 

---

 

Enflame:
 

Copied my Rad/Fire Brute over to Cryptic, picked up Sorcery, and  ran a bunch of farms on Cryptic with Enflame slotted like this.


unknown.png

I cast it on an NPC ally and had them follow me around. It only shaved off ~15s from my cleartime. So the power doesn't seem unbalanced in regular farms.

 

It helped out a lot more in an EB farm. But those are an inefficient way to farm anyway, so that doesn't matter IMO.

 

Spirit Ward

Being able to give a squishy 25% more health with one click? Sounds good!

 

unknown.png

 

(Also helped keep the NPC ally in the farm alive!)

 

 

Arcane Bolt

 

Does decent damage at the damage cap:

 

unknown.png

 

 

Mystic Flight

 

Easily cap-able:

 

unknown.png

 

Rune of Protection

 

Mitigation numbers vs Unleashed Potential on live:

  • Unleashed Potential - 20.88-64.81 HPS over 90s
  • Rune of Protection - 25.75-128.75 HPS over 90s


Mitigation numbers vs Unleashed Potential on beta:

 

Unleashed Potential

With 3 IOs for healing and 3 IOs for defense Unleashed Potential mitigates:

1897.8 damage mitigated vs 100 DPS over 60s

2886.2 damage mitigated vs 200 DPS over 60s

3894.6 damage mitigated vs 300 DPS over 60s

4893 damage mitigated  vs 400 DPs over 60s

5891 damage mitigated vs 500 DPS over 60s.

...So it adds 31.63-98.19 HPS over 60s

 

Rune of Protection
With 3 IOs for resistance, Rune of Protection mitigates:

1545 damage  vs 100 DPS over 60s

3090 damage vs 200 DPS over 60s

4635 damage vs 300 DPS over 60s

6180 damage vs 400 DPs over 60s

7725 damage vs 500 DPS over 60s

...So it adds 25.75-128.75 HPS over 60s

 

...so rune is still better.


Add in that Rune's fixed recharge doesn't DR in PVP. (A good thing). And this is an all-around buff.

 

Love everything you've done with the sorcery revamp. Every power feels useful.

Edited by America's Angel
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2 minutes ago, America's Angel said:

 

 

And here are the numbers on live. Rune is even better, there:

  • Unrelenting - 18.45 HPS over 90s
  • Unleashed Potential - 20.88-64.81 HPS over 90s
  • Rune of Protection - 25.75-128.75 HPS over 90s

Add in that Rune's fixed recharge doesn't DR in PVP. (A good thing). And this is an all-around buff.

Love everything you've done with the sorcery revamp. Every power feels useful.

How would you factor the ability to rez yourself if Unrelenting is on when you are defeated in this equation? (If it works like that, I've never used it personally)

Improve Hamidon Enhancements! Add Recharge to Ribosomes. Add Recharge or endurance modification to Golgis (or both!). Interrupt reduction to Centrioles, slows to Lysosomes and Enzymes, recharge to endoplasms and endurance reductions to peroxisomes.

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1 minute ago, Rejolt said:

How would you factor the ability to rez yourself if Unrelenting is on when you are defeated in this equation? (If it works like that, I've never used it personally)

Ah sorry I removed Unrelenting from my post. (Didn't mean to include it!) Was only intending to compare it to Unleashed Potential.

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As one of the harsher critics of the rune change, I'll just say that I like this version quite well, it's even an improvement over what it is on live, in some ways.

 

I'll miss the slightly higher padding, but it'll be useful for more people as an anti-mez tool, and save slots in the process. My criticism of spirit ward no longer applies, as it now has the up-front padding needed to keep it useful.

 

I'm still iffy on enflame, but it's a hell of a lot better than what it was.

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As much as I disagreed with the reasoning for the Rune of Protection nerf, this is the iteration that if a nerf was unavoidable that I hoped it would go in. The power is now more useful overall for low-investment builds (like mine), and can still be rotated fairly reliably with high-investment builds (like before). Even though it's been nerfed, I'm going to call this one a win.

 

Really great to see the concerns about old use cases of Spirit Ward contributing to this iteration with the "burst" of absorb granted to new targets. That was my biggest concern and it's been completely taken care of, in my opinion. Great job on this.

 

Enflame losing its Terror effect is huge for me. I understand some people use this as pseudo-control, but the power always felt like it was supposed to be a damage power and it completely failed at that aspect due to the terror. Now that things don't run for the hills while it's on (though it's funny to watch one of the Shivan bosses in the DiB trial run off constantly), I might be able to justify keeping it on the one character that uses it, maybe picking it up on others if I can find the spare power openings.

 

Arcane Bolt I'm less enthused with because I don't like the trend I'm seeing of more powers/powersets getting the "hit the glowing circle; play the set the way we want you to" treatment, but it's undeniably a buff and as long as this concept doesn't branch out much further I'll just deal with it. I'm still not likely to pick up this power on anyone other than Controllers, but for my Controllers, it's a very welcome spike of damage many of them desperately need.

 

All in all, I'm calling this update to Sorcery a good one. Excellent work, even if I've been a little... passionate about my feedback up to this point.

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2 hours ago, Gulbasaur said:

That's a shame because that was why I take it - it's a great power for when you're getting overwhelmed. Being able to tell enemies to just bugger off for a bit is very useful if you're soloing or in small groups. It's a very rare crowd control power (it makes a crowd disperse - really powerful if you're squishy) available to anyone. 

 

It doesn't fit in the "AoE tank and spank" meta, but surely not every power needs to?

It was a unique power among the pools and seeing this loss in utility is a shame. 

I haven't specifically tested it but think it is likely to still cause mobs to flee, like Burn which doesn't have a fear effect and it still frequently scatters mobs simply due to threat generation from DoT unless there's an active taunt effect on them - which is why I think the parenthetical note about the mobs possibly still fleeing is there. If I'm wrong on that someone that has been testing it can correct me; as I said I'm posting about it based on how other powers behave. I personally would rather it didn't immediately scatter enemies as, unlike other powers that have the avoid/fear effect (Rain of Fire, Caltrops, etc) it does not have a slow to keep mobs inside it. But I get where you are coming from; Caltrops is incredible mitigation for my Traps characters because of how much the "afraid/avoid" mechanic messes with mob AI.

 

Count me as one of those glad to see the burst absorb back in Spirit Ward; the endurance cost is higher than Sentinel Instant Regeneration (and the effect not as strong) if you're looking at it as an always-on buff, but the quick boost on activation and having the ability to move it around make up for that IMO.

 

I'm still seeing a Sword of Damocles hanging over Arcane Bolt in the future, but right now it's in a great spot.

 

I said in the last thread that I think this is probably about as good as we're likely to see Rune as a balancing point if we're limited to a 33% uptime; the 40/120 duration and recharge is likely better for those who only ever used it reactively but the longer duration is good for those using it proactively. A fixed recharge power reduces the slotting requirement, and the improvement to the rest of the pool reduce the opportunity cost. I wouldn't take the Sorcery pool for it, and it's certainly not worth making a build around, but if I were already invested  in Sorcery for other reasons it's a good pick.

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2 hours ago, Jimmy said:

This is that set of changes I mentioned, and we're now very happy with where Sorcery is. If we weren't, this wouldn't be a release candidate. It's had significant attention from both us and testers over the past two weeks.

 

This set of changes has been available for two weeks?

 

4 hours ago, Captain Powerhouse said:

Detailed Patch Notes:

  Hide contents

 

Spoiler

 

  • sorcerypool_spiritward.png.29314783d01256c5f9fcf5831e7e71bc.png Spirit Ward
    • This power is now a toggle which can be maintained on an allied target
      • 0.39/s endurance cost
    • Now provides a continually refreshing absorb shield for as long as the toggle is maintained
      • Each tick of the absorb shield lasts for 20s, meaning it will take 20s to max out or fully refresh the shield
    • The initial cast provides a burst of absorb shield
      • This initial burst is the equivalent of a 10s of the refreshing absorb shield
    • The strength of the Absorb shield now scales based on the caster's AT, rather than the target's health
      • ie: Defenders will apply a stronger shield (this is how all other ally buffs and heals work)
    • Cooldown reduced from 60s to 15s
  • sorcerypool_arcanebolt.png.f5320592c9f15bc9728afab0fe3ffaa1.png Arcane Bolt
    • Cast time reduced from 2.07s to 1.73s
      • PvE damage unchanged, PvP damage updated according to the standard formula
    • If you own Arcane Bolt, any power or inspiration you use has a small chance to grant you an Arcane Power buff
      • Arcane Power will immediately recharge Arcane Bolt and cause it to deal double damage
      • Landing Arcane Bolt will consume Arcane Power (missing will not consume it)
      • Arcane Power will dissipate after 15 seconds if it hasn't been used
      • Arcane Power's visual effect can be customised at the tailor
      • Note: This mechanic is disabled in PvP
  • SorceryPool_MysticFlight.png.3c6f2d0385535a1e3b309b5542f2c605.png Mystic Flight
    • Now increases your fly speed cap by 50% while toggled on (from 58.6mph to 87.9mph)
      • This increased cap doesn't apply in PvP
    • SorceryPool_Translocation.png.acd807b4b949c7684267c11fb7cda7bb.png Mystic Flight > Translocation
      • Range increased from 300ft to 350ft
      • Cast time reduced from 2.07s to 1.57s
      • Endurance cost reduced from 13 to 9.75
  • sorcerypool_enflame.png.b13064792d0e5c7d974c2daed1d1bb04.png Enflame
    • This power is now a timed toggle with a max duration of 60s
      • 0.52/s endurance cost
    • Cooldown reduced from 90s to 10s
    • Can now be used on targets in the air
    • The patch no longer causes enemies to run out of the area, but they may still flee if they feel harassed
    • VFX increased in size to more accurately reflect the full area of effect
    • Fixed dark and light customization options not spawning any VFX at all
    • Fixed numerous bugs which resulted in this power not benefiting from enhancements and procs
      • Procs are triggered by the toggle in a radius around the target, rather than by the patches left on the ground
  • sorcerypool_runeofprotection.png.d31667d01d7dbf6687a2cf3a42e73644.png Rune of Protection
    • Duration reduced from 90s to 60s
    • Cooldown reduced from 600s to 180s
    • Now ignores all recharge buffs, enhancements, and debuffs
      • No longer accepts recharge enhancements
    • Buff now applies immediately when the power begins activating, instead of 1s~ into the animation
    • Now grants damage resistance even if you use it whilst mezzed (previously only the mez protection component would be applied)
    • Fixed an issue which prevented the continuing VFX from playing

 

 

 

With what needed to be done, this should work for the most part.

 

Some have already pointed out potential areas of these changes that could be abused which is always a concern. It's unfortunate that Min/Max, Farming, and PvP result in impacts to the entire game/playerbase.

 

Thanks:

0.39/s endurance cost

initial burst

no longer causes enemies to run out of the area

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Mystic Flight: not much needs to be said.. improvements to flight speed and teleportation range make it a clear improvement.

Spirit Ward: good. I like it as a precautionary toggle, so having the burst of absorb at the front wasn't a great deal for me, but since other players seem to care about using it as a reactionary defense, it's good that the design now incorporates benefits designed for both types of uses.

Arcane Bolt: as I've said, I like it. I like that in general use it's a solid attack, and it also has a nice niche as a "use occasionally only when Arcane Power is active" that turns it into a really good attack for a T2 attack.

Rune of Protection: I like the 60/180 ratio, it fits better into many defensive rotations. I'd have preferred a 30/90 so it can be used more often as a reactionary power, but since the animation isn't very fast, the argument that 60/180 will generally be better also makes sense. This ratio looks fine to me, and I like that it's recharge-independent so it can save slots.

Enflame: Kind of poor, I think. Not quite a dud, but for an AoE power it's not at all impressive, and for a single-target power, the AoE makes IOs in it less effective. Does it get the benefit of Containment for Controllers? In any case, I won't complain, because it will still have a use as a high-DPA power since one activation lets it do 60 seconds of damage. Most builds would love to have an almost animation-free toggle that improves DPS on a single target, and slotting cost is minimal since you can skip Recharge on it. Whether it ends up worth the pick and slots will depend on the build and on how much damage it does once slotted up... on Live it's underwhelming, but it also has problems with Enhancements not working, so maybe it will become more worth it now.

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10 minutes ago, Troo said:

Some have already pointed out potential areas of these changes that could be abused which is always a concern. It's unfortunate that Min/Max, Farming, and PvP result in impacts to the entire game/playerbase.

I think you're confused.

 

Stress testing these powers in farms/pvp/minmax environments was done after they were found fit for purpose in casual play. This was to check for exploits. So far, no-one has found anything game-breaking at the high end.

 

The idea that any of these changes were done with min/max, farming, or PVP in mind is objectively incorrect.

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3 hours ago, Gulbasaur said:

That's a shame because that was why I take it - it's a great power for when you're getting overwhelmed. Being able to tell enemies to just bugger off for a bit is very useful if you're soloing or in small groups. It's a very rare crowd control power (it makes a crowd disperse - really powerful if you're squishy) available to anyone. 

 

It doesn't fit in the "AoE tank and spank" meta, but surely not every power needs to?

It was a unique power among the pools and seeing this loss in utility is a shame. 


Fear not, for without some form of either taunt or lockdown capability, they will still run about like scared chickens.😁

Edited by Myrmidon
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9 minutes ago, America's Angel said:

Stress testing these powers in farms/pvp/minmax environments was done after they were found fit for purpose in casual play. This was to check for exploits. So far, no-one has found anything game-breaking at the high end.


This is indeed correct as I had similar findings in AE as Angel, however, her posting speed is much faster than mine.

Edited by Myrmidon
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Nice work guys! Arcane Bolt is my favorite change! Sorcery has so many wonderful uses for several play styles! Can’t wait to see what you guys do to the other pools! 
 

Would love to see the Experimentation and Force of Will get this kind of love in future updates!

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37 minutes ago, Troo said:

Some have already pointed out potential areas of these changes that could be abused which is always a concern. It's unfortunate that Min/Max, Farming, and PvP result in impacts to the entire game/playerbase.

Sorcery is improved, it is by no means going to break the game by any definition. Kindly stop villainizing people who min/max, it's incredibly unproductive.

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Hey not villainizing: I said it is unfortunate that one impacts the other. It would be great if folks could do what they want and it didn't impact others. Period.

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"Homecoming is not perfect but it is still better than the alternative.. at least so far" - Unknown  (Wise words Unknown!)

 

Sooo.. I guess I am taking a non-voluntary break until November?!

 

Si vis pacem, para bellum

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As others have mentioned, can we get a minFX version of Rune?   In my case not even necessarily due to it not being "thematic" for a character, but just because I find it kind of obnoxiously "loud" of a graphic.  I can live with it (unlike Fade which I avoid a whole powerset for due to its graphics, but that's another rant), but it'd be nice to have something more toned down.

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This looks really good. Sorcery has gone from underwhelming to a legitimately useful power pool. The origin pools have been kind of lacking, IMO, so seeing Sorcery blossom like this makes me really happy.

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