Are water Ecaflips good offensive tanks? Well, there are far better classes, which don't require a lot of space to jump around with Up To Scratch to reach their full offensive potential. Are they good support characters? Extra CH is always nice and the glyph can be very helpful from time to time, but there are many better healers and buffers that don't have to rely on luck.
So let me ask again - what ARE WE and what was the main concept for this branch? Because I think it was lost somewhere along the way.
I think it's accurate to say that the current spells are bad in design. That's why I've decided to propose a branch revamp - some of the changes will be subtle, some will not, but it would definitely give more options for water Ecaflips and bring back their old tanking capabilities, along with the mechanics we loved before the revamp.
I Support Spells
I've decided to start with specialties, as they are important to understand some of the effects of spells I'm going to describe later.
Current: +50% damage and heals, doesn't stack, lasts one (current) turn.
New: if that's possible, I think the effect should last until the beginning of caster's next turn, without making the buff itself last 2 turns.
Why: this way it could boost water Ecaflips' glyph effects and Flea Love's DoT and healing. This spell works for pretty much ALL of the fire and earth branches' spells, so why shouldn't it affect all of the water spells as well?
Current: +40% healing, +5 levels of Flea Multiplication for every injury done with flea spells (max. 80), disappears if no damage is dealt.
New: +20% healing, +7 levels of Flea Multiplication for every injury done with flea spells (max. 100), HALF of the levels are lost if no flea spell is used each turn AND no damage is dealt; 20% to cast Flea Love on the target for every injury with a non-flea spell (which also covers Rough Tongue and Up To Scratch, not only fire and earth branches).
Why: it SHOULD be easier to stack Flea Multiplication, considering water Ecas can deal most of their damage (on single target, anyway) with non-flea spells. To balance this change, I think it would be fair for the fixed healing buff to be halved. Also, I'd like to bring back the old mechanic of Flea Love - it would encourage hybriding and create more synergy between all branches, while making pure water Ecaflips stronger. The state shouldn't disappear if the Ecaflip in fact uses water spells, but doesn't deal any damage (like when he sets up glyphs, for example - right now the use of glyph could mean the loss of the buff, especially for Ecas on Lower levels, without 8 AP).
Current: +1% of water damage for every level, up to 80 levels.
New: +1% of water damage for every level and +1 range for every 50 levels, up to 100 levels.
Why: it would make it much easier to stay in "support characters" range for water Ecaflips with the additional range - and their healing spells aren't as powerful as other classes anyway, so the extra range is justified. Not to mention it would be a nice incentive to hybrid. Also, higher potential buff (+100% damage rather than 80%) is something this branch could definitely use, considering it's not as strong as the others.
II Water Branch
I think there should be two ways to play water Ecaflips - either to make them self-healing, offensive tanks or supportive healers that can deal some damage from time to time at medium distance.
Current: 3 AP, 1 range, deals damage, no other effects.
New: same, except for one thing: if the target is under effect of Flea Love state, Rough Tongue becomes a stealing spell (heals the caster by 25-50% of damage done, heal bonuses don't apply); considered non-flea spell, so it can trigger Flea Love by Flealine Army passive.
Why: this spell, along with the new-old Flea Love mechanic, would make water Ecas THE tanks once again, as they would be able to deal acceptable damage while still healing themselves. It would also encourage creating interesting combos rather than spamming one spell over and over.
For: water Ecaflip tanks, obviously.
Up To Scratch:
Current: 4 AP, 1 MP, 2-3 range, "teleports" the user, deals 100% damage in front and 50% to every target on the way.
New: pretty much the same, but it COULD have some additional effect - like adding heal resistance if the target is under effect of Flea Love state (bleeding wound) for better synergy; considered non-flea spell, same as rough tongue.
For: water Ecaflip tanks, although it could be easily used as a movement spell by pretty much any build.
Current: 2 AP, 1-3 boostable range, deals water damage, heals the most injured in AoE, adds 3/5 levels of Fleahopper (+3/5 CH) to allies around the target.
New: most aspects of the spell could stay the same, but a small base damage increase would be nice. It could also give 4/6 levels of Fleahopper instead of 3/5, as the buffs were generally higher back then, before the revamp. What I think should be changed is the lack of another effect if no allies in the healing AoE are injured - like the standard critical hit buff, but for everyone in AoE, instead of only the ones near the target. It could also deal higher (double? x1.5?) damage if there are no allies in the healing AoE at all.
Why: lower cost would make stacking Flea Multiplication too easy, while higher cost - too hard. Hybrid D/H spells such as this shouldn't be too powerful, so the mediocre damage and healing are reasonable. The biggest problem with this spell is the fact that people are often forced to spam this at the beginning of the fights to stack Flea Multiplication bonus, which leads to loss of healing and mediocre damage without compensation, so I think there should be another effect for such situations - additional damage, effectively giving water Ecaflips a decent ranged offensive spell and/or extra effects for the lack of healing in the AoE, like some buffs for allies in the AoE (if there are any).
For: support water Ecaflips and stacking Flea Multiplication.
New: replace with another spell (see below Flea Love).
Why: I think it completely misses the point of what this branch should be. Do tanks need to get out of their tanking position for some weak damage to a (random) enemy? Not really. Do support characters should engage in close combat? Nope, usually they shouldn't. What was meant to be a nice AP/MP waster, turned out to be a waste. The glyph isn't even hidden, so ANYONE can just walk around it (and from what I've noticed, monsters do exactly that). There's no synergy between this spell and the rest of the branch, so it should, NO, it MUST be replaced.
Current: 6 AP, 1 WP, 1-4 boostable range, sets up Fleeches (on the ground) or deals DoT to a single target and heals the caster and allies around him after the effect is gone.
New: 4 or 5 AP, 2 WP, 1-4 boostable range. Adjusted (lowered) damage due to lower AP and WP return, not to mention the possibility to cast Flea Love with Flealine Army passive. On the ground: returns 1 WP immediately after cast, sets up Fleeches (lower damage than before, but the effect remains the same), returns the other WP after the glyph is gone. On a target: same as currently, although it deals and heals less, and returns 2 WP after the Flea Love ends. Flea Loves triggered by Flealine Passive don't drain AP, but they do "borrow" 2 WP while they last.
Why: because I think you took away the most interesting WP mechanic in the game: water Ecaflips WERE limited by WP, but rather than by the amount of "elite" spells they can cast, they were just limited by HOW many of these spells they can use at a time. I'm sure people won't mind a damage nerf when they'll be able to cast 3 Flea Loves without any AP cost or set up 2 glyphs at once. It was done once, it worked just fine, so why would you take that away? I understand that it might seem overpowered at first, but if you balance it with the right amount of damage done and when you consider water Ecas would also like to use stuff like the Tree or Roll Again (and less Wakfu would cripple this branch even more than the others), it all makes sense. Please, give us back our favorite mechanic. ; )
For: pretty much any water Ecaflip - Fleeches would be definitely useful to support close-combat classes, while Flea Love DoT could be an amazing damage increasing if Eca decides to tank himself.
Now, as for the Hunter replacement: I think there should be at least one spell that simply heals, possibly with some additional buff effect. I've thought of two options, one strongly based on Resonate's suggestion.
1 or 2 AP, 1-4 boostable range, +1/2 levels of Fleahopper for the target, healing spell, generally more heal-per-AP than Fleahopper, base damage BASED on Flea Multiplication level.
Why: it would be a cheap spell that could prevent the loss of Flea Multiplication bonus, that could also be effectively used to heal allies. It would probably be one of the main spells of support water Ecaflips. Also, I think it would be interesting to make its base heal completely dependant on Flea Multiplication - it would start out as a mediocre healing spell with some slight CH buff, but on higher levels of the buff, its base amount of damage healed could easily compete with other healing classes' spells.
Why not: it would be less useful to tanks, but hey - it's not like everyone has to use every spell, right?
Licking The Wounds/Licking Of Wounds:
(Not sure about the name and which sounds better, but I'm definitely sure there are some people that can think of something much nicer. : P)
4 AP, 0-1 range, decent single-target heal, considered non-flea, could also remove some of the negative effects (DoT based on bleeding wounds, possibly?) or have 50% (?) chance to lower healing resistance of the target.
Why: I think there could be a possibility for tanks to focus on self-healing rather than constantly dealing damage to heal and this could be the way to achieve that. Also, it would work nicely along with the Flea Love healing, as it heals allies around the Ecaflip. Lowering of healing resistance - even if the heal itself would be weaker than other healing classes' spells (notably Enis) - could make water Ecaflips more useful and desired in teams.
Why not: Flea Therapy would probably be a better option for preventing the loss of Flea Multiplication and Ecas would lack a good healing spell with some range - they would be forced to keep close to the tanks, which would also mean being closer to opponents. Other than that, I think it goes well with the whole Water Ecaflip concept - and we would have yet another spell that involves licking things, how cool is that?!
So, the main changes (also called "tl;dr"):
- Flealine Army gives a slight chance to cast Flea Love after using a non-flea spell again;
- Flea Multiplication becomes more useful, easier to stack and comparable to similar buffs of other classes;
- Rough Tongue can potentially be a draining spell;
- Up To Scratch and Rough Tongue can trigger Flea Love, making water Ecas actually capable of dealing competitive damage;
- Fleahopper becomes stronger, damage-oriented spell and/or gives buffs on the whole healing area of effect as a compensation if the healing is wasted (no one is in the area of effect or no one there is injured);
- the most interesting WP mechanic returns: Flea Love uses more WP, but gives them back after it ends - just like before the revamp;
- nearly useless Hunter gets replaced by a healing spell, giving more options to water Ecas following a supportive build.
Sorry about the mistakes - I'm sure there are a lot of these, as the text is pretty massive for a simple suggestion and English is not my first language (not even close, I'd say). If possible, please, let's just focus on the suggestion itself, rather than my grammar. : )
Thanks everyone for reading my thread! Sabi, Troyle - I'm counting on you, guys. ; )
This post has been edited by TheGrotesque - August 08, 2013, 18:04:21.