The devs are hard at working at the moment to deliver the first set of class balance changes with Storm Kings Thunder. We are a little surprised that the Devoted Cleric is not included in the first round of changes as it’s one of the more broken classes in PVE. We already reported a funny interaction with Weapons of Light a few months ago. This is a more hilarious than harming bug because it could only be triggered by a group of more than ten Clerics. So it pretty much only affected full DC Tiamat runs.
But there’s other stuff that’s breaking the game and can be very much utilized by normal sized groups of five. The main source of the problem is still the reciprocal buffing of Clerics and companions with Bonding Runestones. Some powers enhance companions, those buffs are multiplied by the Bonding percentage and thrown back to the Cleric. Imagine five DCs using Anointed Army, buffing and rebuffing their companions and themselves and we are talking about a severe issue. Some players claim they are able to get to power levels of three to six million depending on their gear.
This alone is a massive damage bonus to the cleric group and enables to run content faster than intended. The Owlbear companion is able to dish out incredible amounts of damage per proc and adding Insignia bonuses completely breaks the game, because some scale uncapped off Power.
Artificer’s Persuasion is able to completely erase cooldowns from encounters and instantly refills Action Points. Shepherd’s Devotion brings players to the defense and deflect cap and lets them fly through the map in light-speed. And with that we mean you literally fly, because you are so fast. There could also be a possible loop between the new Assassin’s Covenant bonus and Shepherd’s Devotion, but this is untested and only a suspicion so far.
This is as much a problem with Clerics as with the Bonding mechanic and it’s clear something has to change. DCs are able to get to hilarious power levels using Bonding companions, causing funny and severe consequences along their way. Module 10 seems to at least partially deal with the issue as weapons of Light is reportedly getting fixed. Players are currently examining the situation.
The devs however said there will be no more substantial balancing changes coming in the module as they want to monitor the current ones first. So the Devoted Cleric will probably retain its role as mandatory buffer in high-end groups.