Are Caster/RDPS builds even viable anymore?

My two warders are the only classes i have that feel like they’re worth anything now. I’m sitting on almost 2000 hours played, i have all the gear, i’ve got almost everything on farm mode, but the latest change is just brutal on my non-soldier characters.

Kiting is insanely difficult vs. the new SUPERHERO class nemesis mobs, when i try to kite it doesn’t generally work as the dot crits and range damage are overpowering, meaning to kill a nemesis i basically give up and swap to warder.

Also i’m pretty sure there are some undocumented changes, my Eye of Dreeg isn’t hitting for anywhere NEAR what it was before (the acid part seems to do about 33% of damage).

I mean am I just wrong about this? Do i suddenly need to LERN2PLAY? or are CASTERS and RANGED characters F–ed?

And “stack DA” is no answer, many classes have to give up basically the entire point of their class to do so.

Viable? Yes. But that’s a low bar you’re actually setting there.

Basically - you are right.

To soothen the pain - Zantai admitted they overlooked the OA buff on Nemesis and that is going to be tweaked as well as additional DA buffs to devotions and some legendaries in Hotfix 3.

I personally still play on while i wait to see the outcome of this hotfix.

If things dont improve i will just not upgrade - dont see the point.

I think soldier has always been the strongest mastery, it is just more apparent now that the game is less forgiving.
If it had better synergy with caster builds you would not be complaining about casters in general. There was a period when battlemage was arguably the strongest mastery combination.
Ranged builds are another story. Not enough mastery support anywhere.
A ranged mastery would still not be enough to fix that.

Evenso, I do not want the game easier or have the OA change reversed. I would like the disparity in defensive capabilites between the masteries to be addressed.

Problem is not masteries - its crowd control doesnt work in the game for for non-trash mobs, like at all.

THere are tons of stuns, freezes, confusions etc skills in the game - none work vs mobs which matter - bosses, heroes and nemesis.

Once this is fixed we can play whatever builds we desire - they all will be viable (much more than now that is).

Excuse me, but how do you suggest to make the game fairly challenging if CC effects were working on bosses? The only idea I’ve got is to introduce a special stat, let’s call it “CC potency”, which will serve as a replacement for +% stun duration etc; the parameters of CC are determined by comparing CC potency to enemy’s DA, so that bosses would be more resistant but it would be possible to overcome given there was an investment.

Crowd control is exactly that, crowd control.

because none of them are a crowd… trash mobs are

I don’t think CC should be changed in that regard, buff casters and ranged in other ways (amongst them undoing the OA buff of

Temporary immunity cooldown timers. CCing a boss isn’t broken. Chain-CCing a boss is broken. It’s also a stupidly easy thing to prevent without going “LOL COMPLETE CC IMMUNITY FOR BOSSES”.

You heard him, no more using stuns or freezes on individual mobs or pairs of mobs, people. Back to the drawing board. Only CROWDS allowed.

The only thing I can think of is make bosses susceptible to crowd control but do like Etrian Odyssey does where every time you hit a boss with a particular crowd control status its resistance to that status goes up.

There are pletora of methods via which you can make chain-CC-ing bosses not possible - like the duration of cc effect on bosses can be cut ti 25% - or 1-2 sec max, there can be diminishing returns so you cannot perma stun/freeze but you can still effectively kite - making all bosses just plain immune to CC is not the most diligent solution…

i saw that, the next hotfix gives me hope for sure. it’s just not feasible to dump min-max energy into DA for a caster, not without dropping a TON of +% dmg imo.

very easy fix, there’s no CC in the game without a CD, just have boss resistance lessen the effect. like a 6s flash freeze only freezes boss for 1s or something. would still buy precious milliseconds for a caster to GTFO and live a little longer. right now instead of 1s it’s zero.

EDIT: i mean i also understand as Zantai said, most folks don’t reach ultimate. but if you DO this should not be a game where range or caster are literally FORBIDDEN from farming nemesis, or completing Gladiator crucible. if Crucible tier 3 is out of reach for everyone without a shield (or those batshit dual wielders) then the game balance is off, plain and simple.

casters and ranged are totally viable i don’t know where you get these ideas. as far as class combos worth a damn warder seems pretty far down the list for me, sure its unkillable but you can survive just fine while doing a lot more damage on many other builds

i think more or less any well made build can clear all campaign content and do challenger crucible solo

I’d like to know how, given that you can presently permafreeze Cronley even today.

I dont want to perma incapacitate a boss. I just want hinder his movement by a meaningfull amount, so that i have breathingspace for kiting.

Some bosses in this game are insanely fast, like the Sentinel, Mad Queen or that stupid Yeti.

From my knowlege are rangedspecs not supposed to facetank and if i am wrong then why even play such spec.

Except there’s a Canister Bomb which has a 1.5-3 second stun with 8 sec CD and Maul with 1 second CD and 1.5 second stun (sure, 15% proc chance, but on high atk speed DW builds it’s more than enough).

Hmm i find this thread weird, you guys say you need to be able to CC a boss to get room for kiting.

-Movement speed isn’t hard to stack, i have casters sitting at 130ish movement speed. Even those who aren’t sitting with such high values they can still manage to outrun the mad queen and any other bosses minus the Iron Maiden. Even Fabius is easy to kite.

-As for stacking DA with some planning you can get casters over 2k DA. I personally don’t mind sacrificing a resistances for DA. But that’s just me.

-And this temporary CC you guys speak of would be really hard to incorporate into the core game even if it were to be implemented it’d be beneficial to LMB builds as well who are already overpowered imo.

-The only problem i have with some bosses is that they summon shit that gets in the way of my targeting - Sentinel, Mad Queen, Cronley, Mogdrogen. But that’s a personal opinion of mine besides that there’s nothing wrong with boss mechanics that absolutely punishes casters

What? Do you mean using Shard of Asterkarn or Night’s Embrace?

Don’t get me wrong but the flaw seems to lie with your build rather than the game.
And as someone who experiments around with batshit dual-wielders i can say despite the crazy DPS some of them can attain they’re not invincible.
To me it sounds like you have a problem with the boss not dying in 8 sec in Ultimate. Either that or you have problem with your health bar actually moving.
Check the compendium there are ranged builds that can farm end-game i don’t know where you guys are getting this idea from

Casters normally are not given good defenses but instead rely on proper movement and control. The problem with Grim Dawn is that they can’t. Which is because mobs are very fast and use charge skills, shadow strike, blitz and all the likes of that. No matter how fast or smart you run or warp, the charger is gonna getha anyway. Remove these charge skills from the game - and casters will be relieved. Oh wait, it’s too late by now. Because of charge skills introducing movement skills will not help either.

Crowd controlling bosses might be possible through a very limited set of skills, remember ice prison and bramble wall in Torchlight, permafreezing through stacking freeze duration in POE. To not invent a skill for every class this can be made into an item granted skill, like on a rare craftable component.

Casters will never be as viable as melee characters because casters usually have to worry about mana and mana regen, whereas melee dps can just slap an ectoplasm on a ring and call it a day. When ultimate difficulty demands absurd amounts of hp, damage absorb, armor, OA, DA, resistances, resist reduction (the list goes on), there is nothing to spare for caster stats. Since every class in the game has to tank to some extent, casters need extra defensive padding that their soldier brethren would achieve more naturally. Playing a caster is a painstaking game that just isn’t worth it, not to mention the majority of spells fall off in later Ultimate compared to weapon skills, even at their over-maxed levels.