Edited by Glory on November 28, 2014 7:37PM
Inspired by the various discussions of skill viability, I wanted to create an up-to-date discussion that addresses the state of Nightblades. Cyndairin has laid out all of our skill descriptions next to the other classes (found here
), but I thought it would be good to hear opinions on how to improve skills and what skills are already good. Hopefully it can create a place for people to talk about their praises of the current Nightblade meta as well as talk about improvement suggestions for certain skills and point out mechanics that may not be working as intended.
This original post is going to be my (personal) opinions and thoughts on all three Nightblade skill trees as well as possibly a few complementary skills. I'm not going to talk much about scaling (stamina vs. magicka) or strength of effects, rather I wanted to talk about the intended effects!
I am hoping to provide videos displaying some of these skill effects to back up my arguments in the future. Feedback and opinions are strongly welcomed in a constructive fashion!
Without further ado, my opinions and grading for viability (split grades reflect the different morphs):Assassination
- Soul Harvest/Incapacitating Strike (Ultimate): Not a bad ultimate, the insanely low cost of this skill can make PvE and small PvP fights usable multiple times in a fight. Arguably there are more powerful ultimates that could be used, but this one seems good. I wish there was information in the tooltip describing how long the healing debuff lasted (tests incoming...).
- Killer's Blade/Impale: An execute skill, Assassin's Blade and its morphs are great for Nightblades. I personally opt for Impale's ranged execute over Killer's Blade's 15% heal, but both are very nice to have slotted.
- Lotus Fan/Ambush: The Nightblade's class gap-closer, with the added ability to close distance even while immobilized (unlike critical charge and shield charge). Ambush's damage increase can lead to some nasty burst damage, while I wish that Lotus Fan's AoE was stronger and/or had a larger radius.
- Mirage/Double Take: I don't think anyone should be using this ability in its current state. I think that this could be modified to make for an extremely effective evasion build, but it doesn't. 15% miss chance (not dodge chance, meaning it doesn't stack and can't evade magic) is less effective than other similar class skills, although this is understandable because it lasts so long and is cast on character. I also wish that Double Take lasted longer than 3.5 seconds. If this skill was tweaked to be passive dodge chance and stacked with other dodge chances like intended (see this thread for testing/discussion on dodge chance stacking), it would be much more viable.
- Piercing Mark/Reaper's Mark: The ultimate glass cannon skill! Both have interesting uses, I don't think these need changing as they are working as intended.
- Focused Attacks/Incapacitating Attacks: Increased attack rate has become very popular as basically a medium-length passive buff. I personally think increased stamina regeneration trumps immobilize and heavy attack buffs, but can definitely see both having extreme utility.
- Passives: Assassination passives seem strong, and Hemorrhage in particular encourages having at least one skill from this tree slotted.
- Bolstering Darkness/Veil of Blades (Ultimate): Veil of Blades is easily one of the best ultimates in game. Bolstering Darkness' synergy seems pretty strong, but Veil is a much stronger morph. The only thing to mention is that the synergy doesn't seem to have as much utility as intended.
- Shadowy Disguise/Dark Cloak: A skill with a lot of controversy, Shadow Cloak and its morphs should be a staple of many Nightblade builds. Instead, it has been plagued with a variety of issues (shorter than intended cloaks, skills pulling you out of invisibility, DoT combo's not being removed, failed activation, etc.). Shadowy Disguise could have uses, and I strongly wish that Dark Cloak would act as a purge for all negative effects instead of just some DoTs. Fixing all the bugs and some fixes would make this skill so much less frustrating than its current states.
- Surprise Attack/Concealed Blade: Great skills! Surprise Attack does some nasty damage, while Concealed Blade adds great utility. Not much to say, very useful to have slotted.
- Twisting Path/Refreshing Path: This skill seems cool, but leaves a lot to be desired. Refreshing Path is a good ultimate generator I guess, and increased mobility is always nice. The lack of strength and the fact that they are ground AoEs leave these skills with something to be desired. Multiple recommendations have been made to improve these, including making the skill travel with the player, making the player invisible on the path, increasing the intensity, etc. This could be a really neat skill, but it definitely needs a rework.
- Mass Hysteria/Manifestation of Terror: Mass Hysteria is a very useful fear, adding CC that can't be blocked to a Nightblade's arsenal (if only players couldn't block during the fear...). It is a bit buggy, as sometimes the skill will drain magicka but fail to activate. I'm still trying to figure out exactly what sets off this issue, insight would be helpful to replicate it! Manifestation of Terror is another ground effect that needs some reworking, as Mass Hysteria is infinitely more useful unless you plan on setting a trap and waiting. I personally think that making Manifestation a medium sized ground effect that activates fear every couple of seconds (say 4) over a period of time would be amazing and comparable to Templar's Blinding Flashes.
- Dark Shades/Shadow Image: Both skills have great utility, providing damage mitigation and shadow image providing mobility. They probably could use a damage buff. Honestly I'm conflicted about which to choose as they both are so useful in different scenarios.
- Passives: Shadow's passives are solid, with Refreshing Shadow's permanent buff amazing. I do wish that Shadow Barrier had a bit more utility or lasted slightly longer.
Complementary Skills/My Rant on Passive Dodge
- Soul Siphon/Soul Tether (Ultimate): Soul Tether is amazing, enough said. A buffed Soul Tether can absolutely destroy other players and is a personal favorite for AoE grinding due to its 4 second stun. Soul Tether eclipses Soul Siphon here, although Soul Siphon still has good utility.
- Funnel Health/Swallow Soul: A ranged magicka Nightblade's best friend, these skills both have great viability. Tanks may prefer Swallow Soul for increased healing, while Funnel Health builds ultimate like crazy.
- Prolonged Suffering/Malefic Wreath: The never-used skill in the Siphoning tree. The cast-time is frustrating and any damage breaking the effect make me wonder what this skill is even intended for (I guess you could CC one NPC while single-targeting another? Why not just AoE??). Malefic Wreath's AoE doesn't make any sense whatsoever to me. Overall, this skill seems like a significantly worse Petrify and definitely needs to be modified. Even minor tweaks (no cast time, can't be CC broken) could make this skill worth using, but I personally hope for a major rework.
- Debilitate/Crippling Grasp: Crippling Grasp eclipses Debilitate, but this skill does good damage and has good utility. It makes me sad that this was one of the few skills a DK couldn't reflect and this was change... Overall the DoT is noticeable and appreciated.
- Leeching Strikes/Siphoning Attacks: I wish this skill hadn't been nerfed as the damage reduction is pretty steep, but overall the sustain that this provides is heavenly. Siphoning Attacks provide better sustain, but Leeching Strikes can be useful for tanking builds. Thanks to Siphoning Attacks I usually AoE farm and end up with full resources.
- Power Extraction/Sap Essence: Sap Essence is AoE Nightblade God-Mode. People will suggest following Sap with Steel Tornado or Impulse, but unless you're optimizing Sap Essence can just be spammed while you drop 3+ ultimates. Power Extraction isn't as strong as Sap Essence in my opinion (no healing is sad), but still can prove useful.
- Shuffle/Elude: I really wish that passive dodge chance stacked as intended. This link goes on about testing dodge chance and people have noticed that only the highest chance will be calculated. I would love to see Double Take/Mirage count as passive dodge chance so that evasion tanking would be viable. The possibilities are... almost endless:
- Elude (23%) + Hist Bark (20% while blocking) + Mirage (15% and miss chance procs) = 58% dodge chance consistently
- Elude (23%) + Hist Bark (20% while blocking) + Double Take (30% for 3.5 seconds) = 73% dodge chance for 3.5 seconds
- Elude (23%) + Spectre's Eye (20% for 3 seconds after casting a spell, 6 second CD) + Mirage (15% and miss chance procs) = 58% dodge chance for 3 out of 6 seconds
- Elude (23%) + Spectre's Eye (20% for 3 seconds after casting a spell, 6 second CD) + Double Take (30% for 3.5 seconds) = confusing combination of dodge chances at various
I would love to hear other people's thoughts on the class! Constructive discussions can hopefully result in positive feedback for great skills and adjustments made towards the less effective/used skills to make them more viable!
mDK will rise again.
Rebuild Necromancer pet AI.@Glorious
since I have too many characters to list
Strongly against Faction Lock