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04.19.2013 , 05:44 PM | #28
Madness (Assassin)

Prior to 2.0, Madness Assassins had a laundry list of ability priorities. For better or worse, playing Madness correctly as an Assassin was pretty daunting and exhausting. We wanted to take 2.0 as an opportunity to reevaluate Madness’s priorities one ability at a time. We are aware that some players will be disappointed to learn that Madness’s “rotation” has been simplified as a result, but their existing gameplay left little room for growth (on our side) and little room for error (on your side).
Disappointed is the understatement of the year inregards to many changes you Austin are solely responsible for. Speaking strictly from a PVE experience, Madness SIn was relatively easy to play, as long as you did not use Unearthed Knowledge; and only then because of force regen issues, not because of how many buttons there are.

Now in 2.0, Madness Assassins can get the same results with a smoother, less complex list of abilities and ability priorities. We like that we can make these kinds of gameplay adjustments with the time we have, but we’re also sensitive to what can be perceived as “fundamentally” changing a spec. We don’t believe we’ve fundamentally changed Madness Assassins as they are still very much drain skirmishers, but we will be keeping an eye on how Madness Assassins get played and on player feedback. We’re confident that the changes we’ve made will actually make Madness Assassins a more attractive option to players that were previously turned off by their complexity.
Madness Assassins dont do the same dmg anymore; they just flat out dont. And they werent anywhere near the top dps prior to 2.0, so you Austin dropped the ball incrediably.

•Shock, Chain Shock, and Unearthed Knowledge: Prior to 2.0, Shock served as little more than a way to apply Unearthed Knowledge. Worse, Chain Shock was actually in the Madness skill tree, which reinforced the idea that Shock was a good Madness ability. In 2.0, we’ve removed Unearthed Knowledge and moved Chain Shock into the Deception skill tree to try and paint a clearer picture. Madness Assassins no longer rely on Shock for sustained damage, but it’s still a perfectly viable ability for bursting a target down.
Incase you were completely unaware, there were two (2) camps of thinking (as opposed to the one (1) you're suggesting there Austin) in regards to Unearthed Knowledge/Shock; those who use it, and those who didnt. Personally I found it a dps loss due to Force cost. Seeing a picture appearing yet Austin?

•Calculating Mind and Lingering Nightmares: With the removal of Shock from a sustained damage priority list, Madness Assassins have a lot more Force available. With this in mind, Calculating Mind has been replaced with Lingering Nightmares, which increases the duration of Crushing Darkness.
How does having shock gone relate to Calculating Mind and Lingering Nightmares? Do you even know what you're talking about? Calculating Mind was the Force Regen device attached to Death Fields Deathmarks. Lingering Nightmares replaced Unearthed Knowledge, which brings me back to how the hell does Lingering Nightmares having anything do with Force availabiltiy? You never ever ever hardcast Crushing Darkness as an Assassin, well not unless you're really special...

•Duplicity: Duplicity is now located further up the Deception skill tree. Previously, Duplicity was available to a fully Madness-specialized Assassin, which is something we should have never done. In general, we don’t like making gameplay-altering skills available as “low hanging fruit” in other skill trees because they alter your established gameplay after-the-fact. This isn’t so much a balance concern as it is a usability and complexity concern. In this specific case, adding Duplicity on top of a full Madness spec felt clunky. Worse, it wasn’t necessary. We’re fully capable of providing the same damage boost to players without requiring them to master additional gameplay. This change aims to do exactly that.
Clunky? Are you effing kidding me? Clunky? Wow.
Discharge, Creeping Terror, Death Field, Thrash till proc, Crushing Darkness... Now what? I use Thrash/Saber Strike till I get a Crushing Darkness proc again or have to reapply the Discharge + Creeping Terror or click drop a Death Field? Youve basically made 8s of utter boredom and weak hits between procs. Also...

Click/drop Death Field; you have to physically place an intricate part of the spec, and you call using Maul clunky?
Maul + Duplicity was needed filler within the spec, and yet you killed it. You cant even thinking of using Maul now, it hits like a wet noodle, and has a ridiculously expensive Force cost. Operatives can get Backstab for 10 energy or for free, and yet Maul is 50 Force...

•Haunted Dreams: The activation time reduction on Whirlwind has been reduced in effectiveness. Previously, this skill gave Madness a lot of extra lockdown that we weren’t too pleased with, and after the introduction of Phase Walk, Madness’s ability to flee and avoid conflict exceeded acceptable levels. Now this skill reduces the activation time of Whirlwind to 1.5 seconds. The stun effect when Whirlwind ends prematurely due to damage has not been altered.
Austin are you even aware that Whirlwind as Assassin lasted about 4s on a target in pvp? Wooo so much avoidance time in that. Already the most fragile glass class in the game, and you remove one of the only decent abilities.

•Shapeless Spirit: This new utility skill reduces all damage taken by 30% while stunned. Madness has a good deal of self healing through effects like Parasitism and Death Field, but this healing isn’t on-demand and can’t counter burst at key moments. As a result, Madness is especially vulnerable to being bursted down while controlled, so we added Shapeless Spirit to help Madness’s survivability in that department.
30% percent wont help you ever. Burst specs will still cave your skull in because they've already reduced your health to about 30-40% of the original. Madness Sins then need to apply dots, drop Death Field, and then Thrash for proc. Meanwhile that Burst spec player is still attacking. There at 100% health, you're at 30-40%... hmm whose gonna win, the person who uses Dots to kill or the person who has insane Burst every few seconds?

Way to utterly ruin what was once one of the funnest specs to play Austin.