Greetings, long time lurker here (very long actually), 1st post. Be gentle. I know there’s a lot of other posts about this particular skill, but I would like to put my 2 cents in. =)
• Make the mines always land in a circle(triangle) around the skill’s targeted cast point (rotating the triangle a little each cast to prevent too much overlap)
• Increase aoe of each mine by about 1m
• Make the base distance each mine lands from the targeted point about 1.4m (just far enough that if you cast it on a boss as the target he will be guaranteed to be ‘standing in’/hit by at least one of them)
• Give the Mine/skill a significantly increased chance to crit, and reduce base damage accordingly, ending up with a slight overall nerf to dmg to help keep it balanced.
• Give the skill a 4s cooldown.
Long non-TL;DR post with reasoning, personal play exp, etc.:
I’ve been trying to get Thermite Mine to work for a while now and as much as I love the idea of the ability and what it does, it’s main source of frustration and lack of usability stems from its lack of consistency. I can’t think of any other skill in the game that is as random/inconsistent as Thermite Mine (although I’m sure someone on here will remind me of one I’ve forgotten about). To be clear: I don’t think this skill needs a buff or a nerf, I simply think it needs to be tweaked to be consistently useful when cast. However, I am also aware that its current power level is at least partly related to its inconsistency, so this would likely necessitate at least a small nerf for balance. All that being said, I feel that a weaker but consistently useful skill is always better than an overpowered skill that only works 25% of the time.
I’ve found that Thermite Mine becomes much less frustrating (and slightly more useful) when you use both Mythical Infernal Knight’s Faceguard & Mythical Grim Fate. I’ve come to realize that this is due not to these items “buffing” the skill as much as it comes from the increased area of the mines improving the chances of you actually hitting the mob/enemy you threw them at, i.e. the consistency of the skill.
So, here is my reasoning for each change I suggest:
• Make the mines always land in a circle(triangle) around the skill’s targeted cast point (rotating the triangle a little each cast to prevent too much overlap): This is the primary change that fixes the inconsistency problem. By making the mines land in a known location/pattern we greatly improve its consistency and therefore its usefulness and players QoL. I have included the concept/mechanic that the triangle should rotate a little each time for several reasons: 1. to maintain the original flavor of the skill as much as possible, 2. to prevent overlap of the mines as much as possible - if we can have 6 mines, it wouldn’t make any sense for them to always land on top of each other and therefore effectively reduce us to only 3 mines. 3. to accommodate items such as Cyclone Effigy - again, if the mines simply overlap every cast then why have more than 3? so by rotating like 40 degrees per cast (or whatever the number would be) we prevent most of the overlap.
• Increase aoe of each mine by about 1m: This change simply mimics the effects of the items that seem to fix the skill. Likely the items would need to be tweaked a little so as not to make them either under or over powered when combined with these changes.
• Make the base distance each mine lands from the targeted point about 1.4m (just far enough that if you cast it on a boss as the target he will be guaranteed to be ‘standing in’/hit by at least one of them): Again targeting the consistency. Often in game I cast TM and the mines end up nowhere near the boss I’m fighting. In Crucible and in massive fights it’s not a huge problem, but when you really want/need to affect a specific enemy mob and can’t manage to ‘hit’ it with a mine after 5 or 6 casts - obviously something’s wrong. =p It is possible that if we make the mines land in an equilateral triangle with overlapping radii in the center of their origin point that we end up hitting the target mob with all 3. I’m ok with this, but the skill may need to be slightly tweaked to not ‘stack with itself’ if this is the case and the dev’s would prefer not to have this happen.
• Give the Mine/skill a significantly increased chance to crit, and reduce base damage accordingly, ending up with a slight overall nerf to dmg to help keep it balanced.: The way I understand the mechanics of this skill is that the player casts the mine and the mine ‘casts’ the flame jet effect (the codebehind may be wacky though so who knows). If that is the case, it shouldn’t be too hard to simply give the mine itself an OA modifier to the OA it presumably inherits from the player. If this is not feasible it maybe possible to simply reduce the targets DA, but only for the mines flame jet effect. Again, I’m not sure about the codebehind, but my experience as a software engineer tells me it should be possible, and my exp as a game designer tells me there just has to be a way to make this work in there somewhere. Anyway, this reduction in base dmg, but increase in crit should, in theory, keep the end dmg roughly the same or slightly lower, but increase its usefulness in triggering some celestial-skills/devotions. Since this skill is predominantly used for utility (RR being the current main reason to bother with it), I predict the nerf to final damage numbers - but increase in utility - would be welcomed by most.
• Give the skill a 4s cooldown: Again, focusing on balance and utility, as I understand it, Devotion skills chance to trigger are based on a skill’s cooldown, so this increase in CD would effectively increase it’s usefulness/utility as a trigger for devotion skills. Also, since we are increasing the utility and consistency, not being able to spam it should help balance it out a bit more by reducing the instantaneous output that is theoretically possible when you spam it. This change would likely require item like Cyclone Effigy to be tweaked to ensure they don’t end up underpowered when combined with these changes.
Thanks for reading and happy gaming. =)