So, let’s begin this little messy topic of my frustration. Sigh I will cross my fingers to not be immediately banned for all my excessive saltines and dullness through all this stuff. Hope dies last, yep…
About grimfashion and our everlasting love for shiny armor (and clown rags for a color blind perverts).
There is many dozens sets of armor in this game, many of them good, much more of them are astonishing. But a sad point for all of them is that all of them are not full sets of five-six elements (pants for a good style are preferable but not necessary for all cases) as they must be. After which we start to look, in frustration, for replacement of missed and nonexistent parts of them that lead us to nothing. Because there is no a single item that can match a style of FG sets, AOM sets and any fraction sets that we have for now. Many of epic/legendary sets and MI sets have sophisticated patterns and animated elements (korvoran living armor as an example for both statements, Ulzium armor, Dagalon armor, Justice armor, Dawnshard armor (we have for now four different armor elements in single style but missed two can not be replaced at all because of soladrim elements, plus we have sword and shield)). Sadly, for now we have only two full sets of armor and both of them are legendary - Krieg’s armor (five parts, without pants) and Morgoneth’ armor (four elements as set, pants and boots as separate legendaries and his mace (actually a staff, but who cares if he trying to smash our skull with it) in epic and legendary grades), and this is not fun at all. I know that it’s really hard to make epic, legendary and MI stuff that really fit the game mechanics and can be used for some twisted imbalance builds that make community happy and delirious in their mad genius that made poor mobs miserable again.
So, I just propose to add those missed elements of equipment as pure cosmetic options that we can buy from merchants in some cities, in the fields, in rogue dungeons, from faction vendors, craft them by recipes for our smiths, craft them by field smiths, get them as cosmetic MIs or as reward from Crucible, SR, RD, totems, shrines, hidden chests (say hello to southpaws). I really want to wear full Spellscourge style armor, and Nightshard set (with Chaosshard, because we must have many outfits that fit our deceiving desires as evil Overlords (and call out our minions - we have peasants to rob!)) will be a good thing too. So, let’s start again a hunt for a new shinnies for our already not-so-small collection of illusions (at least not so small in some sections…).
About our big, sturdy and fancy shields that can’t protect us at all even against the weakest foes.
I am really fan of statement that best defense is a solid wall of enchanted steel in which our enemies can smash their faces until they die from aging (or until they crack their skulls). But, sadly, in Gloomy-Grimmy we have situation that shields can be used only as specific weak kind of offensive off-hands but not as a true weapon and unbreakable instrument of grand stand. Even in some strong builds as Avenger of Cairn, Aether Death Knight and Voidsoul Sentinel shields are only used only for offensive bonuses, because their damage and block can not be used properly in most situations (say hello to Ravager’s 80% life reduction and Cupacabra/Kraken/Shar’Zul/Longhorean/Gargabol/etc… aoe pools that instakill you or ignore your shield block, and builds that don’t use shield attacks/blocks at all). As a option for a leveling a new character it also feels very bad - you don’t have enough damage for fast decimation of enemies by one-handed weapon (because your strikes with using of shield are rare thing to see) and your defense is also extremely weak (because strong mobs can kill you in few strikes so your miserable block chance of low level shield may not proc at all, and I don’t know how shield block cool-down is calculated when you fight against a dozen of mobs).
It’s really easier just to take something two-handed and start a slaughter (say hello to Wrathblade when you wanted to play as true sentinel, or for a Massacre for knight-commando…), or take some strong grimoire that gives you insane damage boost. I know that all ultimate builds are based around tactic “run for your life or this cripy thing will kill you in a second” (or jump for you life if you are Voidsoul sentinel). But, still, it’s make me really sad that there is no option for tanking in it’s classic variant and even the tough builds like Desolation Purifier just run most part of their time from almost all strikes that can be putted on them (because even with 15k+ hp and all defense around 83+% you still can be killed in one-two seconds). I don’t ask to change core mechanics of game to make stupid-facetanking-everything possible, but it will be good if shields become in first place not a weak off-hand junk that is used only because it’s part of a set or have some useful specific skill bonuses in it like they are now, but also will fortify your durability permanently. For this purpose I propose to replace a block (with it chance and cooldown) by simple flat numeric damage absorption (like in Inquisitor Seal); and skills and items that upgrade now block chance/strength/cooldown will just increase this damage absorption of shields by number if you have shield, by percent multiplier of number in your shield or will provide numerical DA even if you don’t have shield. Percentage total damage absorption (let’s say something opposite to beloved by bosses Life Reduction) is too hard to calculate for all low-high levels and grades of shields, so it’s better to always be a flat damage DA for any shield. But, well, it still can be added to some 75+ epic, legendary and MI shields as small additional value (alike to physical resistance bonus) as top quality bonus for tanky builds.
All this will not make shields as something imbalance, but, at least, those who love to play as classic knights and use class combinations that doesn’t have any good low-mid game surviveability/dps in such role (like warlords, witch bladers, sentinels (I know that they both have Dreeg’s blood and Sigil of Consumption, but on low levels it is far from any good), battlemages, warders, commando, shieldbreakers, templars) will have they life more pleasant because they will not be both low-dps and low-durable. They will be still low-dps but they will get ability to withstand more then just few strikes from any kind of enemy. And ultimate calculators will have chance to survive one more second before their escape/survive skill will end it’s cooldown.
Let’s conclude this topic by my humble reflections about content of the new DLC that will make at least somebody here happy (I hope that those people will not consist from only me alone).
In both AoM and FG we got new classes and new chapters of our grim and bloody adventures (but we got some good sunbathes in Korvoran oases). It will be good to see that the new chapter of our story will tell us about how we take Erulan capital by storm from twisted hands of Aetherial High Council about which we read in Port Vaulbry and Malmouth. Cutting those twisted hands, and heads too, will be a good end of the chapter. For base of occupation for this conquest we can use Stonebriedge Coven or maybe some analogue of Fort Ikon/Tyrant’s Hold which was not corrupted by aetherial forces. Some survived parts of Luminari Order, Silver Guardians, Gilda Arcanum and other remnants of Empire’s finest will be our new potential allies. Same as few Aetherials who gone after they understand that High Council gone completely out of initial concept of Glorious Dawn, same as we found in Malmouth (like a redhead leader or Resistance and guy from Fleshworks).
As I don’t have any good ideas about new archetype/s that will fit good with existing ones (and still think that Oathkeeper is weaker then any basic archetype and is much weaker then AoM’s Necromancer and Inquisitor, even it have around a dozen of imbalance builds). So, I ask about making a two story chapters - we still can find some long ago forgotten evil (preferably of demonic or celestial origin) that rising again somewhere in the east, south (still have little crips from “Trip South” fragments) or far north of the continent, which is not limited only by Erulan Empire (Central Europe/Russia of late 19-th/early 20-th century) and few ruined countries of old. And we still didn’t saw any significant mentions about existence of some Asia-style countries here, like ancient China, Mongolia, Japan and Tibet; but I presume that Cortosia may be an Asian-style country. Or maybe some Norway or Viking style countries, like homeland of Hrothnar the White Wolf. And it is need to increase total development of game lore, because it really have a unique taste. At least for me and many other who play in this game, and still remember in what game they play beyond SR, Crucible and Grimtools.
P.S.: Also will be good to add in game a new category of equipment - staffs, for those casters who prefer more brutish ways for mass murdering of poor fellas who stand in their way. As the main feature of them I state an ability to use them for casting a skills which require use of off-hands. So, in fact, staff are just boosted scepters which have increased stats and can be used for off-hands spells, but are not good in specific and sophisticated builds because they don’t provide same amount of bonuses as Main-hand+Off-hand combination, but still can rival them to some extent in pure damage bonuses, as two-handed weapon in warrior builds - big damage but not many unique item modifiers and affixes bonuses, and without huge damage of the staff itself. And we will have our vengeance on Morgoneth when we will crush his helm and skull by our staff, even if it’s not designed to be used in such barbaric way.
P.P.S.: Please, return craftable materials to bounty table rewards - now making a bounty table tasks is completely senseless (because 300 of reputation (with 150% mandate bonus) and scavenged plating as a reward for somebody like Bloodlord Thalonis looks like some kind of insult to you). I know that old players don’t see any use from bounty tables, but in first place they don’t see it because it drops a widespread junk that can be easily looted from common mobs and chests. And new players don’t spare their time on this because even with their need of materials reward doesn’t compensate a time spared on the bounty task.