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Tumri's Avatar

02.05.2012 , 02:19 AM | #1
ALERT: Read this -ENTIRE- first post before posting ANYTHING on this thread. Do not post vague generalizations. Respond to the points I actually made in this post. Do not join the long list of painfully irrelevant posts that had nothing to do with the actual content of the thread and everything to do with the title of the read.

The actual Sorcerer talents do not need to be nerfed at all. The only thing Bioware needs to do is rearrange the talent trees to disallow overpowered hybrid specs from making the class far more powerful than the devs intended. Lightning/Madness hybrids cause far too much imbalance.

The main problem is Sorcs have hybrid specs that are far too effective and they get too many perks from different trees.

"Wrath" - Force Lightning damage has a 30% chance to make your next cast instant and do +20% damage. This is the talent that allows hybrid Sorcerers to surpass the 31-point specs. This makes it insanely effective to build hybrid and use the proc for instant cast "Chain Lightning".

"Haunted Dreams" - Causes Whirlwind to be instant-cast and causes Whirlwinded targets to suffer an additional 2 second stun if they are broken out by damage. A very solid CC talent low enough that hybrids have access. This isn't a huge issue on it's own but when more and more CC is added to a hybrid spec the effect is an exponentially more powerful class. This talent doesn't need to be touched but it's definitely an extremely good CC. Madness Sorcerers and Hybrids do not need anything on top of this in terms of CC talents. The Lightning tree's CC talents just push them over the top(more on this later).

"Electric Bindings" - Adds a 5 second immobilize to their 20 second knockback "Overload". Tier 3 talent. This talent is fairly balanced for a 31 point Lightning PvP build to be effective but for all other specs it's just a ridiculous amount of utility that they don't need. This needs to be moved up the tree.

"Backlash" - Causes "Static Barrier" to apply a 3 second CC to surrounding targets upon breaking. This is only balanced in the hands of an incredibly immobile caster with little defense. Sorcerers aren't anywhere near being immobile or lacking in defense. I suppose an argument could be made for 31-point Lightning builds to have access to this but it shouldn't be in the hands of hybrids. Period. Big burst damage with CC is dangerous for every single class but Sorcerers with this talent can simply laugh at anyone that attempts to burst them down. As long as they maintain their bubble(30s duration, 20s CD due to debuff) they get a "get out of jail free card" that activates on it's own. They can also abuse the bubble by manually clicking off the buff to AoE CC people with a 20-second cooldown. This is just an unbelievably broken talent all around.

"Lightning Barrier" - Gives 20% increased absorption to Static Barrier. Tier 2 talent. Lightning Sorcs need this talent because of their need to stand still and leave themselves more vulnerable to damage. Healers use this talent for survival and PvE purposes. This doesn't really need to be touched and gives a nice balanced incentive to use extra points in this tree.

"Lightning Storm" - 30% chance on "Lightning Strike" to reset the CD of Chain Lightning and cause it to be instant-cast the next time you use it(10s CD). Essentially a second Wrath. Combine the two and you have a spec that can use instant-cast Chain Lightning with disgusting frequency. This doesn't really need to be touched as abuse cases only occur in heavy AoE situations where Wrath + Lightning Storm procs allow frequent AoE bursts. Its still a very strong talent for one point though.

"Lightning Barrage" - Affliction critical hits have a 100% chance to cause your next "Force Lightning" to channel and tick twice as fast(10s CD). This talent gives further incentive to the hybrid Lightning/Madness build. While this talent isn't a problem on it's own it does further the gap between hybrid specs and proper 31-point specs. I am mainly including a section for this talent because I feel that it's nonsense to have this talent in the Lightning Tree when you consider that "Force Lightning" is Madness's main filler. Lightning spec is supposed to use Lightning Strike. This talent really should have been in the Madness tree but probably doesn't need to be touched. Perhaps it could even be moved down so that Madness Sorcerers have slightly easier access.


I propose that one of two changes are implemented..

Backlash+Electric Bindings moved up the Lightning tree so that hybrid builds do not have access to these talents. - The more preferable option. This fixes the large balance issue while letting people play Wrath/CL hybrid if they choose.

To do this while avoiding a full tree overhaul Bioware can simply make some of their higher tier talents require less talent points to max out while making some strong lower tier talents like Lightning Barrier, Lightning Barrage, and Lightning Storm require more points to max out.

Wrath only effects Crushing Darkness and Lightning Strike. - The less preferable option since this would cause outrage among fans of the Wrath/CL hybrid build.

In addition to either of these changes there needs to be a fix to the huge imbalance that is the "Backlash" talent. The ability to manually trigger the AoE immobilize needs to be removed. AoE blinds/paralyzes are extremely powerful CCs and to put one on a 20-second cooldown is insane. The only way to make this even remotely balanced is to allow enemies a chance to counter the CC by not popping it with their damage.


Here is an example of a hybrid spec.

The obvious issue here is the fact that a Sorcerer using a spec such as this gets all the utility of both Lightning and Madness without sacrificing much.

A Madness Sorcerer is supposed to have some CC and a lot of Mobility due to a reliance on instant casts and DoT effects.

A Lightning Sorcer is supposed to have a lot of defensive CC and very limited Mobility due to reliance on hard casts.

The problem is that the hybrid spec has both the Mobility of Madness and the defensive CC of Lightning at the same time while also having greater damage than either spec.

Sorcerers in hybrid CC heavy specs have the following CCs, Utility spells, and Defensive abilities...

Additional utility abilities added due to posts from the thread suggesting that ALL forms of utility be considered. 1-12 are all personal CC and kiting abilities as before. 13-16 are general utility abilities that may be used for comparison with other classes although this thread is mostly focused on the overly capable hybrid CC spec with particular focus on "Electric Bindings" and especially "Backlash" in it's current state as an AoE immobilize on a 20 second cooldown.

1. 4 second 30yrd range stun with a 60s CD. [Electrocute]

2. A 30 yard range 6s 50% slow with a 12 second cooldown. [Force Slow]

3. A slow build into their main filler attack. [Force Lightning]

5. A 20(30 untalented) second cooldown 150% speed boost that is the best of it's kind. [Force Sprint]

6. A 20 second CD(shortest in the game) knockback. [Overload]

7. A 5 second root attached to the above knockback.

8. A bubble that provides between 3.5-4.5k absorption. Since average health pools are on average about 16k this can be looked at as an instant 20%-30%+ health gain on a 20 second cooldown. They have light armor but this skill makes them far tankier than most DPS specced players in any situation where the players aren't receiving external heals for extended periods of time and even then it's pretty much outright better than heavy armor. This bubble is not overpowered as it's essentially a counterbalance to their light armor. What makes it over powered is the talented CC that comes with it(More on that below). [Static Barrier]

9. The above bubble has a 3 second AoE immobilize attached to it. The bubble can be Pre-Cast and kept up 100% of the time as a preventive CC that activates when you need it(when your bubble breaks). This can also be pre-cast and Static Barrier can be clicked off manually for a 3 second on-demand AoE immobilize and then the Sorcerer may immediately recast it if timed well.

10. A 60s CD single target immobilize(whirlwind/force lift). [Whirlwind]

11. A 2s duration stun if the above immobilize is broken by damage.

12. A 12 second CD 30 yard range interrupt. [Jolt]


13. A 30 yard friendly pull which provides an incredible amount of potential for tactical PvP plays and can save allies from the most dire of situations. [Extrication]

14. Self-Healing(Dark Infusion/Dark Heal while target(s) CC'd or not in LoS).

15. An AoE damage ability with no target cap and a 30% AoE slow to all enemies in area. [Force Storm]

16. A 30 yard range 4.5 second cooldown Cleanse ability that renders many DoTs and debuffs useless. [Purge]



There is also the constant whining that "Sorcerers have no Burst". A Wrath Proc Chain Lightning can do up to 5k damage with just a relic popped. This can be followed up by Death Field and Shock for almost 10k damage in 3 GCDs. This is more burst damage(not to mention it's AoE) than most non-gimmick specced classes can output.

What I'm trying to emphasize is how stupidly well the bottom halves of the two trees synergize. It's obviously not intended and needs to be changed without breaking the full 31 point specs. Bioware needs to move the incredibly good talents further up the tree and move some of the weaker talents down to the lower tiers.

Quote: Originally Posted by Tumri
Quote: Originally Posted by The_Plum View Post
As a Sorcerer player the hybrid specs are what make the class the most enjoyable experience I have ever had with an mmo. I'm coming from being a frost mage player in WoW, so the playstyle was a natural fit. I don't care if they are op or up, they fit my style more than any other class and that is why I play one.

If BW ever get rid of hybrid specs though the fun factor of the class will drop considerably. The thing is though, every spec has considerable gaps that can be exploited.
Just taking the OP's lightning/madness build that takes every CC ability for example: The build has LOTS of control and the ability to kite exceptionally well. Average sustained damage, okay burst, but very high survivability. In a straight up 1v1 it's pretty hard to kill anybody, but on the flip side you should never die. Your power is in supporting your team with CC and DoTs for constant damage.
The thing I love though is that a variation of the lightning/madness build changes how it plays dramatically. A 13/28 build trades away survivability and control for damage. Once focused you can be fairly easy to drop, but if left alone you will do heavy AoE and considerable single target damage. Your burst is still somewhat lacking, but the big increase in damage on your DoTs is what really makes this spec worth it.
Then you can even hybrid for 1v1 battles. Something along the lines of 18/0/23 plays a game of attrition where you just outlast their damage until your DoTs do them in. You miss out on the control of lightning, and you also miss the AoE from chain lightning.

Take any hybrid spec for a sorc, and it should be easy to see what holes they have in their style compared to what they bring to the table. They all have tradeoffs whether you think so or not OP. If I want extreme cc ability and utility I have to make sacrifices for it contrary to what you have been saying in the thread.

What I think the problem is is that the 31 point talents aren't exciting enough for lightning and madness. I would be okay if they nerfed the specs numberwise, but removing the ability to actually play them is poor. WoW was much more exciting when you weren't forced to go all the way down a tree no matter what. I really hope BW doesn't kill off hybrids. More options is a good thing! Make the 31 point talents more worth it and maybe tweak the hybrid specs from there to bring everything in line with each other.
If you can take a class and have several different but viable ways to play that class then I think that is fantastic game design.
Good and thoughtful post.

I agree that the hybrid specs do add a bit of flavor to the PvP side of the game and builds like the Non-Utility DPS hybrid feel fine. This type of build allows a player to experience the game in a way that is both inventive and fairly balanced. Even with this build the player gains a decent amount of utility through +20% Static Barrier, 1% healing for DoT crits, more burst/mobility than madness or lightning, etc. It doesn't feel overpowered though. The only problem in my eyes is the amount of CC a Sorcerer can attain through the use of an extreme utility hybrid. This sort of hybrid can literally be unkillable while greatly influencing the outcome of a game just through the use of CCs. The spammable burst AoE damage is just a bonus. That's a balancing issue.

I don't really care if Sorcs are allowed to build hybrid. I don't really mind since I'm slowly leveling a Sorc for the rated WZs in March anyways and it might be fun to switch between hybrid, madness, and on occasion lightning. The only thing I mind is the fact that those utility talents are in such a low part of the tree. When I look at some other ACs I see these sorts of very strong spec defining CCs near the tops of the trees. My own Carnage Tree has both CC talents at the highest two tiers. It's the same with my other two trees as well. Operatives, Snipers, BHs, etc. all have such CC talents high up as well. It seems like a developer oversight that Sorcerers are the exception.

I am proposing only one change and that's moving Electric Bindings and Backlash up 1-2 tiers. To compensate for this change Bioware can make some other Lightning talents like the 5 point "Reverberating Force" into a 3 point talent so that Lightning Spec Sorcerers actually have the opportunity to take more optional talents while maintaining their damage since they're in a sort of weak spot at the moment. Doing this would buff the 31-point tree a bit, keep the balanced hybrid the same, and disallow the abusive CC heavy 0/20/21 hybrid.

Sorc leveling is already relatively easy(coming from a Marauder I'm having a much easier time playing a Sorc during questing) and I highly doubt that the loss of these talents at an early part of the game will make it impossible or overly difficult to do certain quests, afterall basic leveling content can't be balanced around people taking specific talents.
I don't care if hybrid specs exist.

I care when those hybrid specs break the game by making a class disgustingly overpowered.

I'm not asking for an end to Sorcerer hybrids.

I just want the hybrids to not have access to the utility talents in Lightning so they're not so incredibly powerful compared to the 31-point specs.

In their current state they're overpowered in every way.

With this change people wouldn't feel stupid for NOT using a hybrid spec because right now anyone using a 31-point build is gimping themselves as Sorcerers.

With this change people would still have the option to spec hybrid and do the same damage, they just wouldn't have disgustingly overpowered utility from BOTH trees.

It's incredibly stupid for hybrids to be like some ultimate fusion of two specs that's far more overpowered than either 31-point build. This isn't Dragonball Z.

I've had the "YOU GOT OWNED BY A SORCERER BRO U MAD?" comment thrown at me too many times so I'll leave this as a response to all future posts that use the same "argument".

It's safe to say that if I'm not the top PvP Marauder on Vulkar Highway then I'm one of the top 2-3 Marauders on my server. I haven't met another Marauder that has beaten my damage more than once in 4-5 games and I use PvE gear with 0 expertise in total. I am not some baddie that cries about classes that kill me in a WZ. I make threads when I feel there is a large balance issue that needs to be addressed. When I do make threads I make sure to actually find the reason for the imbalance instead of asking for general nerfs. In this thread I've pinpointed specific things that cause imbalance and I threw out suggestions that I felt would fix the problem while not over-nerfing the class.
Pre-Launch Hardcore Guild that has moved on to better games.