Could there be anything better than slaying a Witch Elf in a pool of her own evil filth?
Slaying 100 of them might do the trick, but she was the only one I caught running. It’s been some good times with the Slayer, but I have to admit I’ve played him a bit less. See, the thing is, I’m a horrid power gamer. I have nothing else to do 5 nights of the week, so I tend to grind out levels unmatched by anyone in my guild. About the time the Slayer was finishing up T2, having grabbed all the influence rewards, and whatever silly set that makes my pants stripey, my guild was lagging behind. We’ve picked up about 50 new recruits since 1.2, so I’m doing my best to keep them running with the guild. Lucky for me, this means three toons at one time, and the complexity of running em all.
From my experiences up to R27 with the Slayer, there’s really only two viable specs. First one being a high STR Melee AoE if you can drag around a pocket healer. The second being a Toughness/Wounds Melee AoE for soloing. What saddens me about the Slayer under the AoE spec line, is my Flurry deals more damage per hit than anything else (even my single target exhaustive), and with a tactic hits up to 9 targets within a 20′ cone. Give him a STR spec and throw on Reckless Gamble, and you’ll be killing groups of 9 mobs within 3 levels of you in a few short hits. What I really like about speccing for Toughness/Wounds is the ability to wreck equal level champs. This is something I’ve never been able to do before as my WL relies on positonal attacks to be uber-effective, and my Engi/BW rely on range, and become utterly useless up close. Solo an Easy PQ? Yup. I love the look of Slayers, red/orange hair, mohawk, too hardcore for real armor, the Mr. T hardware round the neck. Boots? Nah, some footwraps are fine. They’re just so damn angry and violent.
Enough praise though, there’s a couple downsides. A STR spec will drop like a paperdoll in a foundry. Shammys will be able to wipe you across the floor if a pocket healer isn’t spamming the hell out of your lifebar. The class is ridiculously easy to play, but I can imagine it difficult to master. If they brought down the high end damage on Flurry, it would really make a difference. Right now it’s 75-225, where your single target positional attack, Spine Crusher, is a flat 225. So, really, if there’s more than A target in front of your, spam Flurry, hell for most PQ’s you fight multiple targets and Heroes are accompanied by champs/mobs. Spam Flurry more. Lets try dropping the damage on flurry to 75-150, and up Spine Crusher to 250. It needs to be feasible to play a non-AoE spammer before the game gets away from AoE’ing the shit outta everyone as a default attack.
Overall, I’d say the Slayer is one of the easiest classes to play so far. Not much CC to handle, one massively powerful ability, simplistic tactics, and you look really cool. It saddens me to think that Mythic may have dumbed this one down a little to pick up subs, but I can deal with that. They’re still friggin sweet.
The Bright Wizard
Easily one of the most OP classes in the game, along with any massive AE classes out there. I decided to take this Bright Wizard along the Path of Immolation instead of the standard Path of Conflagration. He’s just now hitting R18, and has actually been leveling at about the same pace as the Slayer did, this was the first toon I started on my 3-way leveling-with-the-guild scheme. Now, I have this nasty habit of getting way too close to melee when in combat. My saving grace, Fire Cage, doesn’t help as much as I would like (Often not firing at all and going into immediate cooldown) since I DoT and run. The DoTs are pretty hefty, and the tactics in this line are the best I’ve seen grouped at one time (Fuel to the Fire, Ignition, Smoldering Embers) since they all fit the Mastery without question. The BW in this line is fairly good at PvP provided they get the first hit from range. You can toss off three dots for 12 seconds each, and run around until they expire, Fire Cage, reapply DoT’s and by the second cooldown your enemy will be pretty low on health, if not dead. Also, in a group, targeting a healer with the DoTs will keep them focused on healing themselves with ~800dps raining on their specifically targeted head. Also, since I’m not tossing around giant fireballs and making a big display, I can often catch enemies off-guard for the first full round of DoT’s before they notice their healthbar starting to sag.
The problem with DoT’s is the lowered chance of getting a deathblow in a group. Often times larger single hits will take out enemies, so your kill count remains relatively low. Also, being a cloth wearer, no pocket healer is going to help you survive, even with a hefty toughness spec. You need two AoE healers to be viable since BW’s are one of the biggest targets among the Order ranks at the moment. I’m looking forward to the nerfs concerning massive AoE stacking and broken camera-based LoS. BW’s will grumble and roll something else, while the DoT spec will be just as viable as it ever was. Compared to Engi’s, the BW is much less survivable, a bigger target, and deals marginally more damage. Zerg-Mind states, kill the fireball tosser before the stunty, since fire is badder than stunty.
Out of the rdps I’ve played, the BW takes a backseat to Engineer, but is still miles ahead of the Shadow Warrior in playability. If you get lucky/ignored, there’s tons and tons of damage to dish out. With the DoT spec, you’ll often drop people (or at least contribute to it) long after your dead. Nothing is more satisfying that killing the WE that just ganked you, 5 seconds after you drop and right in the middle of her /lol emote.
The White Lion
Originally I rolled this toon before the masses reached T4, and AoE wasn’t nearly as prevalent. Fetch and Pounce are sweet abilities, allowing you to manipulate the battlefield to your desire. After the nerf going from 100′ range to 65′ range, a lot of WL’s disappeared since their main offense was cut by 1/3. The Flashing Claws bug was kinda cool back in the day, but it was always considered an exploit in my mind (You could resummon your pet to stack the Parry bonus to 100%). Anyways, the reason I started putting some more time in her was when I found out about the general pet buff. In 1.2.1 all your pets will gain whatever stat bonus you already recieve, making Lions viable once again. Hopefully not one-shotted in Instances by champs, or insta-dead when running into RvR AoE. Part of the problem with WL is that they are heavily dependant on their pet to do damage. Every spec line has the Lion present. I’m having a difficult time picking one out, and tend to just throw points into The Hunter, since I can get by with a dead lion best on that spec. WL’s do get a load of positonal attack however, and can be rather effective in groups, but groups don’t need single target positionals for anything more than bosses. Same as the Slayer, improving their positional damage would only increase their usage i
n one aspect.
I’m not really making much of a case to play a WL am I? Maybe I just haven’t gotten deep enough into the class, or I’m doing something wrong. It’s just a prime example of the ineffectiveness of a single target based class in a land of AoE. We can all imagine the changes needed to be made to change things. In the time it takes for another class to AoE any number of enemies in range, I can kill maybe two. There is fun to be had however ineffective it may be measure using standard metrics. Pounce will still keep you bouncing around the battlefield, and a chain of Fetchers can pull a healer from their back lines to yours (requires some coordination, also unsure if it grants immunity). This is a niche class for people that aren’t playing to be great, but want a pet to follow them. They can solo a little easier than other classes in PvE, and make for decent PvP’ers provided their Lion is up and kicking (though they lose most of their heavy damage positionals 1v1). In the grand scale of things being massive RvR, they’re just not going to make a ton of difference.
I like playing my White Lion in groups, and typically forget to summon my lion at all. Pouncing from target to target in RvR is hilarious, as I tend to get a full party of Choppas chasing me around as I play whack-a-mole on healers and rdps alike. I can imagine the Orc-mind screaming “Git da’ bouncy elf-thing!” As they struggle to keep up with me and my sporadic bouncing. However, they’re nowhere near as good as a Slayer, and can be more difficult to play effectively. I enjoy being a distraction though, as such, I’ll keep at it and hope the changes to pets makes things more playable.
I was thinking about getting into my Engineer here, but this has gone on quite long. I would like to note, that I decided to drop my butchering for cultivation, and after about 40g and 5 hours, was at 200 finally planting all them damn blue seeds (80 Wounds, 80 Strength, 60m) I’ve been picking up.