Toldain Talks

Because reading me sure beats working!


Toldain started as an Everquest character. I've played him in EQ2, WoW, Vanguard, LOTRO, and Zork Online. And then EVE Online, where I'm 3 million years old, rather than my usual 3000. Currently I'm mostly playing DDO. But I still have fabulous red hair. In RL, I am a software developer who has worked on networked games, but not MMORPGS.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Volatile Times for Enchanters

Live Update 45 was a game-changer for both Coercers and Illusionists. I'll cover the changes to Coercers in another post, this one will stick to changes to Illusionists.

The biggest, most noteworthy change is to the skill at the bottom of the Intelligence line (which is available to all Enchanters). Previously, this passive ability granted a 25 percent bonus to base spell damage whenever the Enchanter was below 30 percent power. There is a similar ability in the Brawler AA's that grants greater mitigation and dps when the brawler is below 30 percent health.

Illusionists, and Coercers, too, are masters of power regen. With the passive buff, and the right power regen gear, an Illusionist would be able to sit below 30 percent power for an entire fight. I personally was able to do this for solo mobs and for heroic mobs where I didn't have some other responsibility, such as mezzing or keeping someone's power up. I couldn't sustain it long enough to fight a named, though, but with better gear I might have been able to. Twenty-five percent boost to spell damage is a big deal, and worth some effort.

Typically, I needed to use the sprint button to bleed away power. Interestingly enough, just keeping it up for the duration wouldn't make my power drop if I wasn't fighting, my non-combat regen was good enough to completely offset the ongoing penalty of sprint. But the initial cost of sprint was quite a bit bigger than the ongoing ticks, so I would sit there spamming the sprint button: sprint, cancel sprint, wait for recast, repeat until power below 30 percent. Since I have a fast mount, and the tradeskill epic run-speed boost, it was the only use I had for sprint.

Apparently, this is not what was intended with the skill. It was just meant to be a little boost when things got dicey. Oops!

The dev team has changed Volatile Magic to be always on, and grant a 15% boost to DPS. So, peak dps just got scaled back by about 10 percent. Not fun. However, there are only a very few illusionists that will be hurt by this on any encounter beyond the fastest, easiest encounters.

Here's what I mean. If an Illusionist must ever hit a power regen skill instead of a damage skill during a fight, that's going to drop dps accordingly, because the power regen skills do no damage. They don't trigger damage procs, either. So once you have to start banging on them, you're going to lose a fair bit of the benefit of VM. It's still going to be better than not doing it, but it might not be better than the 15 percent boost which VM now grants.

Personally, I found I could not sustain a full-bore dps effort starting at 30 percent power for more than about 20-25 seconds before I ran out of power. I'm not saying it's impossible to do better, there's a lot of really good power regen gear out there, especially for the raiders. So the high-level raiding illys took a hit.

However, last night, with the new changes, I achieved my personal best single-fight dps versus a level 85 named. So I can't say I'm disappointed.

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