I know tanking isn't the go-to style for a Nightblade, but I enjoy it and do well with it. I have another tank (DK) and building up a templar tank, both of those are probably the best classes to tank with. But in playing all the classes in various roles, it has lead me to a couple of observations and ideas. Sorry to those tired of us NBs whining about our class.
Edited by xaraan on December 4, 2014 8:05AM
Also, the game is kind of about 'play how you want'. I know that doesn't mean every way someone plays should be powerful, my point here is more about providing similar tools to perform various roles to each class and I think the NB class was overlooked in the area of explanding beyond the initial concept of the class. With that being said, here are my thoughts...
1. Self-heals. Nightblades have some good self-heals for an assassin style class I think, they all rely on doing damage (or even having already killed your opponent, which doesn't help much in tanking). This does provide some handicaps occasionally, but also can be a bonus b/c it does a little damage (you aren't usually doing as much as a tank b/c you aren't magicka focused in light armor and spell power). I don't expect a dragon's blood, breath of life, etc. power where you can just heal up, BUT what we do have doesn't equal what the other classes have in way of big heals (during a fight). My thought is having the HoT effect from funnel health give double the return on the first tick - You're talking going from 100 health tick to a 200 health tick - not exactly the same as gaining back 1/3 of your health from one skill use, but it would allow a player to at least spam a few of them (since the ticks don't stack, they just over-ride) to try and heal up a bit by getting that first initial heal that is a little bigger. This stays in the NB school of doing damage for heal, still requires someone to hit that heal 3-4 times to get the same health as a dragon blood or breath of life and isn't so powerful that a magicka based character would be anymore powerful than those other classes with big heals.
2. Protection/Shields. We really don't have any. Every other class has a way, some multiple ways to conjure up shields and additional armor and spell resist. We have neither, nadda, nothing (sticking with class skills here, not talking undaunted/armor skills - though that is what I make use of now). I've used blur occasionally, but a 15% miss chance isn't quite comparable (especially considering a dk can do cinder storm and get double that miss chance, plus a DoT, plus snare, all from that one power). Normally, blur isn't worth using. Perhaps creating new morphs of blur, one could up the miss chance for the entire time instead of a few seconds it's active (for mobile characters) - I mean, giving them the same chance as cinder storm isn't going to be op IMO. And the other morph could keep the smaller chance and add 500 armor/sr or some sort of shield (still much lower than bonuses other class skills give). As it is now blur isn't that great, and the morphs barely worth morphing - at least this would make the skill useful and give NBs a sort of shield ability (since templars have rune focus, sorcs have bound armor, ward, dks have ign shield, spiked armor, reflect, etc etc).
Edit: The champion system actually makes me worry about this issue even more. Once soft caps are removed, then for example all 4 classes could build the same setup I currently have on my NB for same stats - except all 3 other classes can buff their armor, spell resist or shields on top of all those same stats. A NB cannot (yes, they have access to two VERY SHORT duraction buffs in heavy armor and undaunted line, it's not equal to what other classes have).
3. CC. The nightblade options for cc are kind of lackluster (templars are in this house with us I guess). Our options are Agony, Cripple and Fear. Fear is great when you are solo or pvp, but doesn't work very well tanking wise (at least to run it consistently - it can be useful here or there). Agony is pretty worthless (I mean, I've found a use literally once or twice since launch, so not totally worthless lol). Agony could be replaced with more of a soft/aoe style cc like talons or the sorc one or at least not end when taking damage and making it have to be broken out of. Personally, I think the aoe thing sounds better, but something seems meh with that power. Cripple is nearly in that boat. It is a decent dot, but the animation is so long that tbh its not worth the waste of time casting it when im dpsing to use it. I think again, having two morphs that separate the skill more would help - one that keeps it as is almost like Crippling Grasp morph and then another that turns it into an AoE that does less damage but gives a little large CC ability to the class by slowing a group of mobs down.
I realize that spell crafting may offer solutions to some of this, but I also think that spell crafting should not be a replacement for balancing/fixing/improving classes. The three ideas I posted here are small changes to three skills that would take a step toward solving the three problems I posted. They wouldn't make the class OP imo (in fact most are still weaker than other classes versions I compared them to), or out of balance for a player that was playing a dps or healer build either and they stay with the spirit of the class.
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