This is a guest post by @LOTRO_Fanatik. He is an avid monster player and wanted to share his opinions on the changes to creeps; particularly his creep class of choice, the defiler!
With the new Dev Diary by Kelson out on Isengard changes for the Creeps, I wanted to see if could help explain some of the changes as they relate to the Defiler class and provide some thoughts on the Creep changes overall.
I have been playing the Defiler since they first appeared in the Moors and is by far my most favorite class to play in the Moors. I love the support role I take in groups and I love frustrating the Freeps (especially Burgs!) with last second saves with a big heal to their chosen target. Now, I only have a R8 Defiler, so I can’t speak to all of the changes as I have not used or experienced them before, but I do know my way around the class so I feel knowledgeable enough to give an informed opinion on the changes and the impact to the Defiler player. I haven’t had the chance to play in Beta this time around so I may be off a bit, but here goes:
Make all HoTs stackable
I can’t begin to say how excited I am to have this added to the Defiler!! And for all heal types, is just fantastic! As Kelson says in the diary, the value of having multiple Defilers in group or raid is going to be increased dramatically with stackable HoTs.
As it stands today, while we have four types of heals, throwing more than one of the same type of HoT on a Creep only adds the instant heal value and resets the effect countdown and nothing more. With this change, our HoTs become something to be reckoned with.
Fast Lob: Reduce Gourd skill inductions by 1s
While not as dramatic as the stackable HoTs, this is still a great change for both damage and debuffs. Defilers are not known for our DPS of course and it’s hard for us to compete for KBs and damage between the Wargs, Reavers, and BAs.
To me, this seems to allow the Defiler a better chance to add a DPS gourd into his heal/dps rotation. And since our Curses are also gourd based, I would think we’ll be able to drop those debuffs on the Freeps a lot quicker.
Finally, shorter inductions are also nice to have in 1v1 situations as we don’t have to stand around in one place as long while we get pounded on by NPCs or Freeps.
Fungal Spore: Added +15% Incoming Healing Buff
Nice touch to one of our insta-heals and makes the higher power cost more palatable to start off the healing chain.
Fertile Slime: Reduced interval duration and pulse count of the HoT to every 3s for 15s
Great change to the starting Defiler heal from a 10s pulse for 60s. Again, for me, the decreased duration is not a big deal as this insta-heal get thrown so often in combat for the approximate +210 initial heal that a shorter duration is not too big a consideration.
Efflorescence & Enhanced Efflorescence: Reduced interval duration from every 5s for 30s to every 3s for 30s, Reduce power cost by roughly 50%
Good enhancements for the AOE heal. Less power cost is a big win. Wouldn’t mind a shorter induction, but ya can’t have everything!
Curse of Rotten Flesh: Replaced Melee Crit Defence debuff with a +5% Incoming Damage debuff, Reduced Cooldown & Effect Duration to 30s/30
Although it’s a decreased duration, I think a big drop in cooldown from 5 min to 30s is excellent, especially when this is a potable disease debuff anyway (I believe) and being able to throw this more times in an extended fights could really help out. I also like the change in effect as it’s more in line with the healing nature of the class.
Enhanced Skill: Plague of Flies; +10% Power Drain, -5s Countdown, +15s Duration
As this is a R14 trait, I haven’t had this before, but I think the addition of +10% drain and +15s duration are good enhancements to possibly one of the Defilers most overlooked skills, but very useful for Power restore.
Other Thoughts on Defiler Changes
Regarding the Blight and Blessing of Darkness changes, even though I haven’t used them before I will be looking forward to picking them up from the Store and trying them out. I have heard mixed reviews on Blessing but nothing on Blight, old or new versions.
Overall, I am very happy with the Defiler changes. They make us much more versatile and valuable to groups. I also think they will do well for our survivability in 1v1 fights. I do wish they might have added some additional damage abilities for the Defiler, as our gourds are very susceptible to interrupts, especially in melee fights. But as we are primarily healers, I’m not too upset about that.
As for the overall Creep changes in Isengard, and the opening of PvMP to F2P and Premium players, I think they’re mostly positive changes and look forward to seeing how the influx of Creeps change the dynamic in the Moors.
I don’t quite know what to expect for Finesse or Promotions and really want to see how those help us as we rank up. The Veteran title rewards are a little so-so (mostly because I’m not R10 yet! ) I almost wish Turbine had gone with the amount of /played time to be the method by which you have access to the title quest instead of Rank, but it’s just a title and life goes on.
I liked the idea I saw on the forums of giving a unique skin as well as Title for R10 and above since the Freeps and Creeps don’t see each other’s titles. I like what they did with the Troll session play, but we so rarely get access to the Troll quests on Vilya that I’m not sure I’ll ever get to try them out.
Something I was really hoping for, which we didn’t get was reduced cool-down Pots (2 minutes for cool-down is an eternity when you have multiple mez/stuns/dazes being thrown at you in the space of 30 seconds,) but I really dig the reduced delving stone barter cost for consumables. Getting Delving stones can be a grind and not always possible depending upon who owns the Outposts. And I of course wish we had a new map/zone, but the folks I play with on Vilya make it a great time regardless of the map we’re on, so I can wait for Turbine to make the next PvMP as good as it should be.
So that’s my take on how the Defilers and Creeps overall have been treated in Isengard. Like I said, I haven’t been in Beta, so my opinions are only based on what I’ve read in the diaries and some player feedback after the NDA was lifted, and I could very well be dead wrong on some these, but we’ll see after Isen goes live.
Cheers and happy Creeping!!