What To Do With Devoted Clerics?

Since the announcement that the devs want to end the current meta of bringing two Devoted Clerics to a group of five, the Cleric community is understandably worried what will happen to their class. One of the more frequents comments I read is that guys are eager to learn what they’ll break this time. That might be a bit of an exaggeration and hyperbole, but the question what to do with the class is obviously legit. So here are my quick thoughts about what aspects you would need to change to break the overpowered state while still keeping the DC viable.

What’s Currently Wrong?

Let’s start by quickly outlining the issue first. Currently bringing two DCs to a group of five is the fastest way to complete content. Stacking DCs has admittedly been somewhat of an issue forever. But the last rework to bring the paragons on par has substantially worsened the situation. Both builds now feature powerful buffs that are unique to the corresponding path. That’s why groups roll with an AC and DO build that complement each other and are better than any replacement. Combined with heal and protection, these two DCs do a lot of things at once.

Unstack the Buffs

Devoted Clerics feature a variety of buffs. I don’t mind that too much, but those ideally shouldn’t stack across the different paragon paths. A classic example of this issue is Break the Spirit and Forgemaster’s Flame. Both feature very powerful damage buffs for the group when used in empowered mode. That way two DCs do not compete for the same type of buff or debuff, which makes stacking easy. The other issue is power share and Terrifying Insight, two other buffs that DOs and ACs bring to the table independently.

That behavior is pretty unique. Other classes’ most powerful buffs are either accessible globally (GF’s Into the Fray) or limited to a certain build that can’t be stacked (CW’s Master of Flame).

Power Share

In my opinion power share additionally is an issue of its own. Everything that is uncapped leads to issues, and this is no exception. With the rise of power, sharing it became incredibly overpowered. I get that some of it is getting nerfed with the Bondings rework though, it might make sense to wait and see. I still think there should be some sort of cap of how much stats a character can receive from other members of their team. The downside is that other classes that share stats would also be affected by such a cap.

Specialize the Paths

Another obvious tweak that I’m actually rooting for for quite a while is specializing feat and paragon paths. A DPS Cleric still keeps most of its debuffs, and any build can still sufficiently heal for endgame content. Splitting damage, buffs, heal and protection in a way that players really have to decide what they want to do with their build would change the situation a lot. Filling different roles in a party could still mean that two DCs are an option. They would however have to compete for their spots with other healers, buffers or DPS individually, and not just do a lot of it at once.


That’s my first thoughts on possible Devoted Cleric tweaks! Do you agree or would like to see other changes? Share your thoughts in the comments below and visit the corresponding thread on our message board!

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j0Shi

j0Shi

j0Shi plays the Neverwinter MMORPG since the open BETA in 2013 and is a regular contributor to the blog and the whole UN:Project. Originally a Guardian Fighter, he has built up ALTs of all classes and plays on BIS/near-BIS level.

8 thoughts on “What To Do With Devoted Clerics?

  • September 20, 2017 at 9:33 am
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    I personally don’t play a dc but constantly needing stuff to adjust to mistakes that have amounted over the past is never going to fix the issue. It will just lead to more and more adjustments which is time they could spend more on other stuff.

    The whole idea of offering six different paths in total is absolutely absurd. I play a cw and no matter what you do it always counts you as dps because there is no such thing as a support class in their categorization.

    I agree with your idea of doing either heals, buffs or protection, and if applicable this should be the same for other classes, I.e. cw dps or buff and debuff. While a gwf only has dps options. Same goes for these powers that no one uses because they are just bad. Don’t need to have 30 some powers just for the sake of it when everyone only uses about 10.

    Reply
  • September 20, 2017 at 9:57 am
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    I don’t know what the coding would look like, but they could apply the same diminishing returns on buffs that they already applied to debuffs. This would include self-buffs and external buffs (they are already doing this in part with the consumables change coming in 12B). It would remove a lot of the synergy that some current class combinations can produce, which I would miss, but would address the stacking issue while still preserving paragon path/class identity. You’d see less of the crazy numbers that some people can produce under optimal conditions, but it would come without a direct nerf of any one class and minimal impact, if any, to solo play. It would also provide a more predictable scale for dungeon difficulty because it would provide a rough cap just how much damage output a class could have and should encourage bringing more dps classes to a dungeon run in order to speed the run.

    Another option would be to change some of the buffs so that you could get a certain buff (e.g., Buff A (+power) or Buff B (+crit)) from a variety of sources (different paragon paths/feats/insignia combo), but could only have 1 Buff A type on you at a time (hopefully the one with the highest value). If they spread the buffs around so that multiple classes could give you Buff A, there would be more viability to group composition diversity. For example:

    Buff A = +Power = Dev OP/AC DC/Temp Lock (choose one, these would also be your healer)
    Buff B = +Crit = HR/CW/SW (choose one, these would be one of your ranged DPS)
    Buff C = +ArmPen = GWF/TR/Conq GF (choose one, these would be your melee DPS)
    Buff D = +HP or Defense = Prot OP/Prot or Tact GF (choose one, these would be your tank)
    Replace buff type with whatever stat/buff you wanted/valued as I’m not advocating for these assignments as they are just examples. Each paragon path/feat tree could be linked to a different buff type.
    This may remove some of the flavor of the encounters, which are normally changed out to provide a certain effect or the need to time to get the most value, but it would encourage more group composition diversity and would be easier to scale and provide more class balance. There would be less incentive to slot multiple of the same build/class type because you’d be potentially giving up a buff type.

    Reply
    • September 21, 2017 at 12:31 am
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      i would also love it if buffs and power were calculated as debuffs (and i’m a dc). if they were additive and declining low buff groups (like most public queues) and solo play wouldn’t feel the impact that strong, while the current endgame meta of stacking buffs and power would only make sense up to a certain point.
      it would also make other builds viable, which are not relying on self buffs if you are in 10+ groups or already have more then two buffsers in your group of five.
      it might also do a favor to the underpowered sw since he has fewer selfbuffs then other classes.

      Reply
  • September 21, 2017 at 8:10 am
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    my bet: they will allow only 1 class each in a 5 man party

    Reply
    • September 21, 2017 at 9:01 am
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      that would be sad. i don’t like having special requirements to my team. i usually want to take who ever steps up first in my guild/alliance. regardless of class or IL.

      Reply
  • September 21, 2017 at 9:57 am
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    I hate the idea of diminishing returns for stats. This will result in everything getting soft capped, and stats and new equipment not mastering. I do agree however on making buffs additive instead of multiplicative. This will make balancing much easier and naturally force groups into taking a more dps oriented meta. Dps increase is linear, debuff increase is linear with DR, but buffs are working exponential. Means that while doubling the dps classes will double dps, doubling the buffers will result in a squaring of buffs. This means that either you need to go 5 dps or 5 buffers as optimum.

    That said, my biggest beef in current meta is not the amount of buffers or the 2 dcs, it’s the neglect that well built buff dps classes (templock, cw, some hrs) are getting compared to dominating gfs. Having run in various compositions as a dps/buff op tank, nothing sets the pace of play like a good dps gf, through buff and dps. There’s a BiS acdc in our guild who alts a 12k gf, and often with a templock and DO, we outperform when he runs the gf rather than dc.

    Reply
    • September 22, 2017 at 6:50 am
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      I’m also not an advocate for diminishing returns on stats, mainly for the reasons you cite, just on buffs. I’m also not really advocating for changing buffs either as it’s just proposed as a solution for what to do in addressing the 2 DC meta. I actually like the meta and like being able to mix classes for improved performance. It’s part of the fun of looking under the hood of a game and understanding how it works. Sadly, most people don’t understand the mechanics of their own class, let alone other classes, and just use what other people are using when it is demonstrated to work.

      Buff stacking has been around for a while. It’s just now getting more attention as the developers are starting to make some content where it actually has a significant impact on completion success and speed and players are being forced to adapt. Speed runs are also getting more attention and notoriety, which helps propel some group models.

      If more people understood the other options some classes can bring, they might be willing to try other group composition models, such as swapping a DC for a GF and bringing a templock in place of a healer much like the group you describe.

      My personal preference would be for developers to provide currently under-utilized classes with buff options to make them more attractive to groups. TRs and SWs in particular could use some new tools (aside from healing for SWs because currently that only has a limited draw). This doesn’t have to be a personal dps boost as it could be instead a group benefit (e.g., group stealth, group deflect bonus, debuff clear, cc removal, movement increase).

      Reply
  • March 30, 2018 at 10:02 am
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    Clerics are not dps let’s start with saying that dps is a build to gain ap without stacking recovery. If you can’t drop a soul in tong then your not a dps simple as that. The problem with clerics in the game is you people deciding to make clerics something there not..and then believing your cleric is something not.

    Reply

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