So basically everything we know, love it or hate it, is gone… Cool!
Why the exclamation point? Well, based on my initial reading of the blog we’re entering a whole new world, and I’m not referring to Waterdeep or Undermountain. I’m seeing a whole new landscape of playing the game. Which includes experimenting, trying old content with new builds, etc.
Basically, this is Mod 0 for all intent and purposes, particularly when it comes to classes and builds. Heck, basically the entire game is ‘new’ mechanics wise. I, for one, find that super exciting!
So let’s go over a bit more of the meat of this particular blog post…
This makes a whole lot more sense than the previous naming, in my opinion. Mind you, that opinion is framed from over 3 decades of pen/paper DnD. I mean, did anyone really think that Great Weapon Fighter wasn’t a Barbarian all along?
This basically looks like an overall simplification designed/intended for easier use by players and for easier design on the back end. Without a more detailed look or visual examples, it’s kind of hard to say how this will lay out. Personally, I enjoyed going onto the test shard occasionally to test out different combinations of feats for builds in different trees, etc. So, while that won’t be as in depth, having simplified choices will also make the paragon path selection all the more important, and speaking of that…
I like the idea, in concept, of making the paragon paths more unique. Which makes the reality of the loadouts feature really enticing, necessary for people to utilize. Imagine if in a dungeon, as a Warlock (peace out Scourge!), you’re needed as a healer for some content and a DPS for a different area/boss? You, of course, have to change at campfires, but this could lead to an extremely diverse/exciting way to play the game!
However, one of the downsides of that is what the difference in gear you may want/need to have different specs up to snuff for certain content. Or even if you want to play different styles of play so frequently. Some people are perfectly content with just burning things down, or healing/supporting others, or just getting hit in the face so the rest of the party can do their thing. Which is all perfectly fine, and I’d hope would still be a viable option for all Item Levels.
I’d say I’m leaning towards enjoying the distinction some classes will have as DPS/Tank, DPS/Healer, Tank/Healer or even DPS/DPS. As I would hope the split DPS roles come out with, at the very least, be an AoE centric option versus a solo target option.
The division of current powers, specifically encounters, I’m a tad wary of. While I recognize the logic behind the split, I always liked being able to swap out most powers for others as a situation demands. I truly hope the designers (including the testers) have done due diligence to make sure the shared encounter powers are ones that will want to be utilized by both paragon paths. For example, for Warlocks, I would hope Dreadtheft (if still in its current incarnation) is available to both paths and Pillar of Power would remain exclusive to the Hellbringer one.
I do believe the concept that was provided could lead to an easier inclusion of more paragon paths in the future!
Ok, full disclosure time: I grinded out the Fey Wild for weeks/months to maximize my power points years ago. So yea, all that effort is for naught when Mod 16 hits. However, I certainly got my use out of that effort, so I think this change is fine by me. In fact, it will make respeccing that much easier!
Tanking and Healing
Well shit… This is going to, hopefully, fundamentally change the way groups are organized/created and played. The era of 4x support and 1x DPS might, just might, be over! Which means we’ll hopefully see more diverse game play and team composition.
No more Life Steal you say? Well, ok then… *casually puts away his Dark Enchantments* This is a pretty big deal, particularly for a Warlock main like myself(!), but we will have to see how they work the ‘Life Steal’ effect into powers for the Warlock and other classes.
As for the Paladin/Cleric Divinity mechanic and the Warlock Soul Essence mechanic I think it’s going to be imperative to see what active heals will be available, versus passive heals. Eg. Will the Warlock Temptation spec (if it even remains) have a capstone that lets the Warlock heal the party for X% of damage for the damage it deals, currently similar to how it works with Life Steal, or will the ‘Soul Essence’ have to be an activated trigger by the Warlock when he sees party members getting low.
We can speculate all we want, until March 1st when things go live on the test shard, about what the mechanics will be. However, it’s going to be different, that’s for damn sure and change isn’t an inherently bad thing, so we’ll have to wait and see!
It’s happening, and that’s the bottom line. Love it or hate it, change is coming folks. No amount of gnashing of teeth, keyboard fury, or whining will change anything. So buckle up buttercup, Neverwinter is in for one helluva ride the next few weeks/months!
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