Since we're close to wrapping up the Assassin revamp, we wanted to get a bit of a preview out to players so you guys can read it over and familiarize yourselves with the up-coming changes to testlive.
When we sat down and looked at the Assassin and went through the community feedback, we felt there were a number of improvements we could make to the class in several different areas. We have generally taken a somewhat different approach to the class revamps which have occurred since the 1.05 patch, and this was applied to the Assassin during the course of its revamp. Among other things, it involves giving a revamped class some unique set of mechanics that encourage meaningful tactical choice on the battlefield. But also a distinct identity in how the class feels and plays to the player, as well as opponents facing the class and also how the class is viewed by group members. Another goal is working towards feat trees are capable of supporting a sufficient number of viable specs, and cross-specs, as this further increases both battlefield strategy and character identity.
Specifically to the Assassin, one area where we got a lot of feedback was the existing orientation of the trees to being somewhat explicitly “vs. caster,” or explicitly “vs. melee.” For the revamp, we decided to tone down this explicit split, as we felt as either tree should be capable of doing either job, but in different ways. Obviously there will always be an implicit division, as one tree or another will be simply be deemed more optimal for some activity or another, and this is just due to the fact different feats do different things. In general, we felt the most favorable situation was one where the differences between the trees can be measured in terms of how the players like to play the class, instead of what goal does the player want to achieve.
Another area where we've had a lot of feedback was the Soul Fragment mechanic. We decided to keep the general concept of Soul Fragments, but greatly improve how they work, what they do, and how players interact with that system. We also extended Soul Fragments so they are relevant to both trees, and deeply tied to a certain category of abilities.
Also, it should be noted that the concept of stances have been completely removed from the Assassin in order to better support dual tree specs. The character power that was granted by these stances has been distributed to other feats.
In addition to the Soul Fragments, we decided to add a mechanic we are calling “Toxins,” and this is described in the next section. There are also a large number of general improvements to feats which include new feats as well as changes to existing feats, and I'll explain these in the next post.
Mechanic - Toxins
The Toxin Mechanic consists of the Assassin applying a Base Poison (an effect over time) to a target, and then successfully striking the target with one of three Miasma abilities before that Base Poison expires. When applied to a target, the Miasma abilities convert any Base Poisons into their more powerful Toxin forms. A player may only convert the Base Poisons that he has applied, and his Miasmas do not affect the Base Poisons of other players.
There are two Base Poisons available to the Assassin – Grim Weakness, which is applied by the Grim Corruption combo; and Dread Venom which is applied by the Slow Death Strike Combo. The number of combo steps have been made identical.
- Grim Weakness – A substantial snare effect, that diminishes with each tick.
- Dread Venom – An unholy Damage over Time effect.
A Miasma is an ability which deals physical damage , poison, or unholy damage. If applied to a target who is also affected by a Base Poison, the Miasma will have an additional effect.
- Miasma: Face Stab – A close combat ability that does physical damage. This is a core ability.
- Miasma: Lotus Coated Dart – A ranged ability that does poison damage over time, feated in the Lotus Tree
- Miasma: Soul Strike – A close combat ability that does unholy damage and applies a Spirtual Torment. It is feated in the Corruption Tree.
Lotus Toxins are triggered by Miasma: Lotus Coated Dart, while the Soul Toxins are triggered by Miasma: Soul Strike.
- Lotus Toxin: Grim Essence – A Toxin which silences the target. The Base Poison for this Toxin is Grim Weakness.
- Lotus Toxin: Deadly Venom – A Toxin which deals a large amount of poison damage over time. The Base Poison for this Toxin is Dread Venom
- Soul Toxin: Essence Detonation – A Toxin which causes the target to take a massive amount of unholy damage after a few seconds. This Toxin also has a weaker AoE component which is centered on the target. The Base Poison for this Toxin is Grim Weakness.
- Soul Toxin: Venom Spike – A Toxin which stuns the target. The Base Poison for this Toxin is Dread Venom
Miasma: Face Stab
Miasma: Face Stab is a core Assassin close combat ability that does physical damage which is multiplied by the number of Base Poisons applied to the target at the time of its use.
The damage of Miasma: Face Stab is either applied x1, x2, or x3. When performed on a target with no Base Poisons, the damage is x1. When performed on a target with either of the Base Poisons running, the damage is x2 (in this case the Base Poison is removed from the target). When performed on a target with both of the Base Poisons running, the damage is x3 (in this case both Base Poisons are removed from the target).
Note that while Miasma: Face Stab removes Base Poisons from the target, it does not apply a Toxin, and instead applies a simple damage effect. This is to reflect the fact it is a core ability.
Miasma: Lotus Coated Dart
Miasma: Lotus Coated Dart is an ability feated in the Lotus Tree, which does a small amount of damage over time. This ability may be used from a maximum range of 20m.
When used on a target which has the Grim Weakness effect, the effect is removed and replaced with Lotus Toxin: Grim Essence. When used on a target which has the Dread Venom effect, is removed and replaced with Lotus Toxin: Deadly Venom.
Note that if both Base Poisons (Grim Weakness and Dread Venom) are running on the target, Miasma: Lotus Coated Dart will cause both of them to be replaced by their corresponding Toxin.
Miasma: Soul Strike
Miasma: Soul Strike is an ability feated in the Corruption Tree. This ability does a small amount of unholy damage and applies a Spiritual Torment.
When used on a target which has the Grim Weakness effect, the effect is removed and replaced with Soul Toxin: Essence Detonation. When used on a target which has the Dread Venom effect, is removed and replaced with Soul Toxin: Venom Spike.
Note that if both Base Poisons (Grim Weakness and Dread Venom) are running on the target, Miasma: Soul Strike will cause both of them to be replaced by their corresponding Toxin.
Mechanic – Soul Fragments
The Soul Fragment system has been changed as part of the Assassin changes. Assassins will regenerate Soul Fragments at a rate of 1 every 8 seconds.
Players may also feat to increase their regeneration rate passively. Additionally, there is a feat which grants a clickable which gives the Assassin 3 fragments instantly, and a feat which grants a clickable that gives the Assassin four fragments over 16 seconds
Each tree has a number of feats which grant abilities that require and consume Soul Fragments. Most abilities simply consume a number of Soul Fragments equivalent to the amount they require. A small number abilities consume all Soul Fragments a player has, and their effects scale based on the number of Soul Fragments that were consumed.
Soul Fragment Abilities
Miasma: Face Stab
This ability requires & consumes 1 Soul Fragment
Miasma: Lotus Coated Dart (Row 3)
This ability requires & consumes 1 Soul Fragment
Dull Pain (Row 4)
This ability reduces the amount of damage taken from Fire, Cold, Unholy, Poison, and Electrical sources by 30%/60%/90% for a short time. This ability requires & consumes 2 Soul Fragments.
Snap Kick (Row 5)
This is a combo that does a knock-back on the target. It works on targets of medium armor and lower. This combo consumes 1 Soul Fragment.
Opportunistic Strike (Row 6)
This ability stuns the target. This ability requires & consumes 2 Soul Fragments.
Grave's Blossom (Row 7)
This combo deals poison damage. The combo consumes all Soul Fragments and the damage of Grave's Blossom scales with the amount of Soul Fragments consumed.
Lotus Overdose (Row 9)
This ability provides immunity to fear, stun and root effects for a short time. It also significantly increases the Assassin's damage, and the Assassin recovers a large amount of Stamina over time. This ability requires & consumes 4 Soul Fragments.
Curse of the Lotus (Row 9)
This ability is a targeted area of effect which causes a fear in all opponents caught in the area. It is checked against charm immunity. This ability requires & consumes 2 Soul Fragments.
Miasma: Soul Strike (Row 3)
This ability requires & consumes 1 Soul Fragment
Accelerated (Row 4)
This ability increases the assassin's movement speed for a short time. It requires & consumes 2 Soul Fragments.
From the Darkness (Row 5)
This ability causes the assassin to charge his target, additionally causing damage and rooting the target. It requires & consumes 1 Soul Fragment.
Death's Gaze (Row 6)
This ability applies a fear effect to the target, and also slows the target's movement. This ability requires & consumes 2 Soul Fragments
Death Whirlwind (Row 7)
This combo deals unholy damage to all nearby enemies. The combo consumes all Soul Fragments and the damage of Death Whirlwind scales with the amount of Soul Fragments consumed.
Avatar of Death (Row 9)
This ability provides immunity to charm, root, knock-back, and snare for a short time. It also increases damage, and grants a 30% increase to all stamina and health taps. This ability requires & consumes 4 Soul Fragments
Vampyric Nature (Row 9)
This ability causes a stun to all targets in a 180 degree frontal cone. It is checked against charm immunity. This ability requires & consumes 2 Soul Fragments.
These are the changes to other assassin feats, not mentioned above.
Lotus Blades (Row 1) – Passively grants Weapon Damage %
Swift Ending (Row 2) – Passively increases the damage from the Grim Corruption and Slow Death Strike Combos
Flurry of Blows (Row 2) – No change from Live, other than moved
Cat's Paw (Row 3) – No change from Live, other than the cooldown has been reduced to 2 minutes
Deft Blades (Row 3) – No change from Live
Necrosis (Row 4) – Passively Increases damage of Miasma: Face Stab by 5%/10%15% per rank
Flesh Rot (Row 4) – No Change from Live, other than moved
Lotus Tainted Blood (Row 5) – No Change from Live, other than added passive poison invulnerability.
Ability – Crystallized Lotus Extract (Row 5) – This ability grants the Assassin 3 Soul Fragments
Poisoned Blades (Row 5) – Passively improves Lethargy combo to cause target to have increased Fizzle Chance on spells.
Lotus Overload (Row 6) – No change from Live
Impede Essence (Row 6) – Passively improves Impede Life combo to cause the target to lose Stamina and Mana over time.
Lotus Weapon (Row 6) – No change from Live, other than moved and now linked from Flesh Rot.
Corrupted Body (Row 7) – No Change from Live
Steeped Lotus Extract (Row 7) – Passively increases Critical Chance and Damage of Lotus Toxin: Deadly Venom
Arcane Backlash (Row 8) – No change from Live
Baneful Venom (Row 8) – Applies an additional damage over time effect when using Slow Death Strikes. This is not affected by consuming the Dread Venom Base Poison which is also applied by Slow Death Strikes.
Crippling Weakness (Row 8) – Passively improves the snare effect of the Grim Weakness Base Poison.
Corrupted Blades (Row 1) – Passively grants Unholy Combat Rating
Sense Weakness (Row 2) – Passive grants Critical Rating
Corrupting Strikes (Row 2) – Passive grants Critical Bonus Damage Percent
Combo – Atrophy (Row 3) – This combo lowers the target's damage for a short time
Unholy Strength (Row 3) – No change from Live
Spirit of Nightfall (Row 3) – Passively reduces hate, and grants an ability which moves the assassin down one step on the hate list for all foes within 5m.
Dark Weapon (Row 4) – No change from Live, other than procc rate has been increased
Precise Strikes (Row 4) – Passively grants Armor Penetration and Spell Penetration
Relish in Death (Row 5) – Passively increases Fatality Chance by 15%
Ability – Necrotic Empowerment (Row 5) – This ability grants the Assassin 4 Soul Fragments over 16 seconds
Unholy Stabs (Row 5) – Passively Increases Critical Chance of Miasma: Face Stab by 5%/10%/15% per rank
Dread Weapon (Row 6) – No change from Live, other than procc rate has been increased.
Combo – Blindside (Row 6) – No change from Live, other than moved
Bewilder (Row 6) – Adds an additional effect to Blindside where mana and stamina is removed from the target in a single hit.
Soul Destruction (Row 7) – Passively increases the Critical Chance, Critical Damage, and damage amount to Soul Toxin: Essence Detonation
Burden to Bear (Row 7) – Grants the Assassin's attacks a chance to procc a Physical Torment (-900 Armor).
Soul Corruption (Row 8) – Passively increases rate of Soul Fragment generation.
Corrupting Toxin (Row 8) – Passively increases duration of each stage of Grim Weakness (the Base Poison snare effect from Grim Corruption)
Vile Corruption (Row 8) – Causes the Assassin's target to take additional unholy damage when the Dread Venom Base Poison is consumed by any of the three Miasmas.
What's real is real. Expect fully detailed report when this bad boy goes on TL!