The Plight of the Melders

MaligornMaligorn WindborneMember Posts: 2,670 Transcendent
So I don't feel like I need to preface this, but Disclaimer: This is not a whinge about Aeromancy! I want to try and consider all mages and druids here.

So here's the deal. I love being a melder. No other class provides me with that same kind of rush that I get when I know I'm a priority target, and that I'm always in demand by allies, and that it's so important for me to stay alive. However, with so few personal defensives, I feel like it's far too easy for me to die if I make a single misstep, and I know that's the case for other melders too. With the recent-ish nerf to melding, when I die, my whole meld and its effects drop. Though I think that nerf was warranted, it's become a lot more imperative that I stay alive despite the entire enemy team breathing down my neck. And that's pretty hard if they're even semi-coordinated and/or they have numbers on me. So, then, the only option I have is to stay 1 room away and weave stalkers or point my staff while my meld does its work on the enemy team. The only thing that could ever coax me to put myself in danger of dying to an enemy group is an enemy melder trying to seize control of the room, or if I feel like I can move in because the tides are turning, so I can use things like Telekinesis and Phantasms to further hinder my enemy.

Sidd put in a report to incentivize melders rejoining the fight, REPORT 1574. But the honest truth is that isn't going to change the dynamic. I'm simply not going to go into a room with a bunch of enemies in it to dissolve them. It's not worth putting my meld and survival at stake. So ultimately, report 1574 is a huge nerf, because I feel like every melder is going to feel the same. Thus, all mage and druid melds are just going to have to go without protection stripping. So now I get to point my staff and have less key effects hitting my enemies. It's pretty depressing and non-engaging, even with all those pros I mentioned earlier.

My suggestion is thus: provide mages and druids with a huge, retributive defensive that only works in their meld, for 8 or 10p. It works along the same premise as Phantasms PhantomArmour, but on a much more large scale. You might also harken back to the now-reworked Aerochemantics Static, where your team and yourself would suffer if you focused on that Aerochemantic, because like as not, you'd just start flinging yourself to the next room and your group would be split because you focused the wrong target.

An example here would be something like, in Aeromany, something like AEROCAST CARDINALWINDS. For 10p, command the winds that surround you to form a protective cocoon for ~15 seconds, and any enemies that attack you will suffer about a staffcast of damage + some heavy affliction. Furthermore, the cocoon lessens all damage in a similar way to Athletics Numbing, though you don't suffer the built up damage after it ends. There should be some caveats, of course -- let's say it has the same limitations as a prismatic shield -- so Psionics and Axelords can still hack through it. If the meld is broken in their room after casting, it should go dormant for the remainder of its timer, but also come back if the caster retakes the room in the small window they have as a kind of reward. This kind of skill should exist in every melder primary. I think it would really impact the dynamic of who to target in a fun and palatable way, and force people to make educated decisions about their target instead of "always target the melder, forever".

What are your thoughts, guys?

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Comments

  • VeyilsVeyils Member Posts: 1,441 Mythical
    Do you want to weaken melds before you get this huge defensive buff?
  • MaligornMaligorn Windborne Member Posts: 2,670 Transcendent
    edited February 14
    I forgot to mention this, but the real "plight" of the melders goes deeper than just having to stand one room away from the action. I feel like a lot of current melders are only melders because they need to be there to counter enemy melders. Man, that's a mouthful. But seriously. Why be a melder when you can get in there and monk someone to death? Thornlash, Cremate, Miasma, and Preserve are all unrealistic kills in the current meta. It's better, again, to just point your staff because of the high damage formula. With melds being as weak as they are, the area control is pretty moot. Building a 30-room meld is irrelevant if you die in a room because you have no defensives, and wimpy hindering of the people trying their hardest to kill you. And when you die, all of your passive support disappears entirely.

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  • CrekCrek Member Posts: 209 Virtuoso
    Maligorn said:
    So I don't feel like I need to preface this, but Disclaimer: This is not a whinge about Aeromancy! I want to try and consider all mages and druids here.

    So here's the deal. I love being a melder. No other class provides me with that same kind of rush that I get when I know I'm a priority target, and that I'm always in demand by allies, and that it's so important for me to stay alive. However, with so few personal defensives, I feel like it's far too easy for me to die if I make a single misstep, and I know that's the case for other melders too. With the recent-ish nerf to melding, when I die, my whole meld and its effects drop. Though I think that nerf was warranted, it's become a lot more imperative that I stay alive despite the entire enemy team breathing down my neck. And that's pretty hard if they're even semi-coordinated and/or they have numbers on me. So, then, the only option I have is to stay 1 room away and weave stalkers or point my staff while my meld does its work on the enemy team. The only thing that could ever coax me to put myself in danger of dying to an enemy group is an enemy melder trying to seize control of the room, or if I feel like I can move in because the tides are turning, so I can use things like Telekinesis and Phantasms to further hinder my enemy.

    Sidd put in a report to incentivize melders rejoining the fight, REPORT 1574. But the honest truth is that isn't going to change the dynamic. I'm simply not going to go into a room with a bunch of enemies in it to dissolve them. It's not worth putting my meld and survival at stake. So ultimately, report 1574 is a huge nerf, because I feel like every melder is going to feel the same. Thus, all mage and druid melds are just going to have to go without protection stripping. So now I get to point my staff and have less key effects hitting my enemies. It's pretty depressing and non-engaging, even with all those pros I mentioned earlier.


    Preach brother, preach!
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  • MaligornMaligorn Windborne Member Posts: 2,670 Transcendent
    Veyils said:
    Do you want to weaken melds before you get this huge defensive buff?
    They're already going to be significantly weakened by report 1574, and have been in the past with report 1329.

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  • VeyilsVeyils Member Posts: 1,441 Mythical

    I get your point. I think part of the problem is your too valuable and too important to the group to risk doing anything too crazy but that's because holding the meld is such a big advantage. Even with protection up.

    I mean we just had two or three pages in another thread complaining about how good passives are. Even just the basic hindering and anti movement effects of some melds are good enough to make a huge difference in group combat.

    I guess if you want to buff mages/druids and make them more face to face then their meld utility would have to be reduced at the same time. Maybe something like you can use your big defensive ability but it drops all meld effects for the same length of time. That way you get the best of both worlds. Tactical choices and the ability to go in face to face or stay back and hold ground.

  • MaligornMaligorn Windborne Member Posts: 2,670 Transcendent
    I guess that's a fair point, but I don't really agree that it's terribly necessary to make that tradeoff. Could be alright, though.

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  • MaligornMaligorn Windborne Member Posts: 2,670 Transcendent
    One thing to clarify: while I love my idea and want it to happen pretty badly, I think I want the focus of the thread to be generating ideas to the problem of "I'm sitting 1 room away with a weakened meld and contributing very little actively because if I die my team will probably die too" issue.

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  • BandeonBandeon Member Posts: 61 Capable
    My take as someone who isn't a melder: weaken meld effects and allow more than one melder to hold the same meld, then give mages some actual things to do in their primary that isn't staffcast or melding. Ideally ,this encourages more people to play mages (since any melder past the first is increasingly redundant), encourages mages to get into combat and turtle less, and makes any single mage less of a prio target since you don't know who holds the meld. In fact I can see some combat scenarios where you bring extra melders just to throw off the idea of who is holding the meld. That might actually be a problem, but that's a bridge to cross when/if we come across it.
  • EnyalidaEnyalida Nasty Woman Member Posts: 4,384 Transcendent
    edited February 14
    IMO as above. Dramatically reduce the importance of melds, rework melders. That's a really big project, but I think it'd be worth it in the end. 

    EDIT: In partial elaboration, meld mechanics have been the game for a long time and have required nerf after nerf after nerf after nerf after patch after patch after patch to be made even remotely fair. It's a problematic mechanic that perpetuates (imo), alongside other mechanics, really boring and reductive metas. 

    I'm pretty sure that it's accurate to say that most, if not all, of the prominent melders or melder envoys were pumped for the woodchem event with the rumor that melds themselves were being replaced by something better. *sad trombone sounds*
  • MaligornMaligorn Windborne Member Posts: 2,670 Transcendent
    edited February 14
    I don't want to reduce importance of melds. Every group composition needs a good amount of x class. You have people that pressure vitals other than *health. You have damage classes. You have your passive classes (bards and melders). You have support like pfifth, scissorkick, while a Celestine goes ham with absolves, for example. All of those classes are very important to have. I want melders to catch up with this kind of thing, because I feel like they've been left behind with super boring meta.

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  • EnyalidaEnyalida Nasty Woman Member Posts: 4,384 Transcendent
    What I mean by that is reduce the importance of melds to mages and druids, not reduce the importance of having mages and druids. 
  • MaligornMaligorn Windborne Member Posts: 2,670 Transcendent
    I feel like that's a fair way to go. Reduce passive power for new, interesting active powers. Maybe all the effects that are going to essentially be permanently gated by protection can be reworked.

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  • VeyilsVeyils Member Posts: 1,441 Mythical
    Maligorn said:
    I don't want to reduce importance of melds. Every group composition needs a good amount of x class. You have people that pressure vitals other than *health. You have damage classes. You have your passive classes (bards and melders). You have support like pfifth, scissorkick, while a Celestine goes ham with absolves, for example. All of those classes are very important to have. I want melders to catch up with this kind of thing, because I feel like they've been left behind with super boring meta.


    Im a bit confused, you dont want to reduce the importance of melds? But you want significant buffs to your defenses? I thought the idea was like eny and bandeon were saying reduce the effectiveness of melds and give druids/mages stuff to make them relevant outside of just being a meld monkey?

    I mean again as long as melds are so powerful the melder is going to be target number one. Its kinda like first world problems, why is everyone targeting me? Because your way way more valuable than 90% of your team.
  • EnyalidaEnyalida Nasty Woman Member Posts: 4,384 Transcendent
    IMO, A good conceptual middle ground is for demesnes to be non-exclusive (or, less exclusive), roll back meld dropping on death, and populate melds entirely by effects that specifically deal with area control e.g. ashfall, stonerain, blizzard. That's ostensibly their niche, and it's still useful. Nix every single samey "Does 1 aff from x list or some damage per 10s" ability. You still want to have and maintain a demesne to get positioning advantages but it's less of a mandatory fortress. Melder abilities should still gain some kind of benefit from being in their own terrain/meld, but not ONLY work there and not ONLY be ticking passives. 
  • MaligornMaligorn Windborne Member Posts: 2,670 Transcendent
    edited February 14
    Veyils said:
    Maligorn said:
    I don't want to reduce importance of melds. Every group composition needs a good amount of x class. You have people that pressure vitals other than *health. You have damage classes. You have your passive classes (bards and melders). You have support like pfifth, scissorkick, while a Celestine goes ham with absolves, for example. All of those classes are very important to have. I want melders to catch up with this kind of thing, because I feel like they've been left behind with super boring meta.


    Im a bit confused, you dont want to reduce the importance of melds? But you want significant buffs to your defenses? I thought the idea was like eny and bandeon were saying reduce the effectiveness of melds and give druids/mages stuff to make them relevant outside of just being a meld monkey?

    I mean again as long as melds are so powerful the melder is going to be target number one. Its kinda like first world problems, why is everyone targeting me? Because your way way more valuable than 90% of your team.
    My issue is that there are classes in the game currently that are priority targets but also pretty hard to kill (monks, guardians). I want melders to catch up to that idea. They are a priority because if you leave them alone too long, they'll obliterate your team, albeit one by one.

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  • YarithYarith Member Posts: 957 Fabled
    edited February 15
    I think it would be interesting if melders had several active meldwide abilities at the expense of several of their local passives.
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  • BandeonBandeon Member Posts: 61 Capable
    Maligorn said:
    My issue is that there are classes in the game currently that are priority targets but also pretty hard to kill (monks, guardians). I want melders to catch up to that idea. They are a priority because if you leave them alone too long, they'll obliterate your team, albeit one by one.
    If you want to be a priority target like those classes, you need to give up a lot of your group viablity. Monks add very little to groups compared to melders, and guardians aren't much better without healing. The question becomes if you want that kind of functionality, what are you willing to give up for it?
  • MaligornMaligorn Windborne Member Posts: 2,670 Transcendent
    I just don't agree with the incoming changes and the changes that have already been put in place, that melders have much to offer. If they're going to die within seconds of an engagement, they've totally failed their main prerogative, and have a mountain ahead of them -- revive, get back up, and retake the meld -- hopefully before the rest of your team dies. No class is punished as much as a melder for dying, imo. Close, but not as much.

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  • FylerFyler Member Posts: 598 Mythical
    edited February 15
    The game would be monumentally better off if we just deleted melds and converted mage effects to mobile passives and balance accordingly. #deletefortressmeta

    Also you'd need massive nerfs to melds, and I don't mean their passive tics but rather their ability to direct the flow of an enemy group and hinder their ability to remain cohesive, in order to add a defensive buff like this. If buff like this is necessary, I think we are asking the wrong questions. Rather than asking what needs to be deleted from melds to make this type of skill fair, we should ask why does a situation in which this skill would be required exist. Address the foundational problem, which is melds are the foundation upon which fortresses are built. 

    Also: Guardians are amazing as non healer, what is Bandeon smoking. 
    Known Aliases: Celina/Cyndarin/Fire Jesus/The Night/That Bitch who griefed us
  • MaligornMaligorn Windborne Member Posts: 2,670 Transcendent
    Then, I guess the foundational problem is that in large group combat, like 10+ versus 10+, people just get obliterated with little to no skill needed. We've (as a community) hashed over diminishing returns for damage, and pretty much most of us aren't for it, it seems. So maybe generate some solutions for the zerg vs zerg?

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  • SaranSaran Member Posts: 1,687 Mythical
    Veyils said:
    Maligorn said:
    I don't want to reduce importance of melds. Every group composition needs a good amount of x class. You have people that pressure vitals other than *health. You have damage classes. You have your passive classes (bards and melders). You have support like pfifth, scissorkick, while a Celestine goes ham with absolves, for example. All of those classes are very important to have. I want melders to catch up with this kind of thing, because I feel like they've been left behind with super boring meta.


    Im a bit confused, you dont want to reduce the importance of melds? But you want significant buffs to your defenses? I thought the idea was like eny and bandeon were saying reduce the effectiveness of melds and give druids/mages stuff to make them relevant outside of just being a meld monkey?

    I mean again as long as melds are so powerful the melder is going to be target number one. Its kinda like first world problems, why is everyone targeting me? Because your way way more valuable than 90% of your team.
    Increasing survivability at the cost of how things currently work does not necessarily reduce their importance. Though if they're nerfed to a point where they're kinda unusable because your survivability is too low, then they'd just be a non-factor.
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  • FylerFyler Member Posts: 598 Mythical
    edited February 15
    Maligorn said:
    Then, I guess the foundational problem is that in large group combat, like 10+ versus 10+, people just get obliterated with little to no skill needed. We've (as a community) hashed over diminishing returns for damage, and pretty much most of us aren't for it, it seems. So maybe generate some solutions for the zerg vs zerg?
    The foundational problem is melds are too influential. If one particular type of player is always the first target because what they play rather than their ability as a player, then we should question if that's healthy for the game. 

    I actually don't think melders need more survivability. I think a number of people would contest that I was plenty difficult to kill and in a number of fights, I was not the first target even as a melder. Falmiis has mentioned in previous fights that he started to direct people away from me as the primary target. So I don't think your solution is particularly valid. You can work within the limitations of melds and be perfectly survivable and effecitve, whether or not that is fun is up for debate. (I was 50/50. Sometimes I enjoyed, sometimes I wanted to claw my eyes out).

    I do think, however, the question your solution is trying to answer is valid. How do we fix certain classes always being the first target and potentially unfun? To me, the solution is to change melds themselves. 


    edit: BTW I don't think the solution to just make melds suck more in order to give mages defensive bonuses is a particularly valuable contribution. Mages already give up a lot to be a mage. Flexibility, mobility, planar restrictions, and redundancy are all very real, very limiting aspects of playing a melder. Whether or not a mage is better or worse than a monk/guardian/whatever depends on a variety of circumstances. In many situations, a melder is the least valuable player on the team in terms of skillsets because they're a pyro on faethorn or the third in line to hold the meld. Basically melder in a meld = high priority, melder outside a meld = idk are they artied?

    Again it comes back to addressing melds, and all their ups and downs. Not just with a nerf stick, because Maligorn is right, sometimes it really does suck.  

    Post edited by Fyler on
    Known Aliases: Celina/Cyndarin/Fire Jesus/The Night/That Bitch who griefed us
  • EnyalidaEnyalida Nasty Woman Member Posts: 4,384 Transcendent
    Fyler said:
    The game would be monumentally better off if we just deleted melds and converted mage effects to mobile passives and balance accordingly. #deletefortressmeta

  • DanquikDanquik Member Posts: 146 Master
    I don't know why Protection scroll is being touted as a nerf. Unless you are the only mage/druid in your team makeup you, as the melder, never need to dissolve with the new mechanic. Any other mage/druid in your team can do it for you.
  • BandeonBandeon Member Posts: 61 Capable
    Fyler said:
    The game would be monumentally better off if we just deleted melds and converted mage effects to mobile passives and balance accordingly. #deletefortressmeta

    Also you'd need massive nerfs to melds, and I don't mean their passive tics but rather their ability to direct the flow of an enemy group and hinder their ability to remain cohesive, in order to add a defensive buff like this. If buff like this is necessary, I think we are asking the wrong questions. Rather than asking what needs to be deleted from melds to make this type of skill fair, we should ask why does a situation in which this skill would be required exist. Address the foundational problem, which is melds are the foundation upon which fortresses are built. 

    Also: Guardians are amazing as non healer, what is Bandeon smoking. 
    To groups? Beckon and variants, mana kill... guardians have fun toys, but group usefulness wise, I've always figured it as melder>bard>guardian>monk>warrior, if you only have one of any. This changes a bit with a numbers, and guardians stack better than mages/bards do, but... that's my opinion at least. Might be wrong
  • YarithYarith Member Posts: 957 Fabled
    edited February 15
    Sure would suck to be a guardian without a beckon or a manakill. :S

    Edit: Anyway, we can all agree that melds are awkward.
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  • FylerFyler Member Posts: 598 Mythical
    Bandeon said:
    Fyler said:
    The game would be monumentally better off if we just deleted melds and converted mage effects to mobile passives and balance accordingly. #deletefortressmeta

    Also you'd need massive nerfs to melds, and I don't mean their passive tics but rather their ability to direct the flow of an enemy group and hinder their ability to remain cohesive, in order to add a defensive buff like this. If buff like this is necessary, I think we are asking the wrong questions. Rather than asking what needs to be deleted from melds to make this type of skill fair, we should ask why does a situation in which this skill would be required exist. Address the foundational problem, which is melds are the foundation upon which fortresses are built. 

    Also: Guardians are amazing as non healer, what is Bandeon smoking. 
    To groups? Beckon and variants, mana kill... guardians have fun toys, but group usefulness wise, I've always figured it as melder>bard>guardian>monk>warrior, if you only have one of any. This changes a bit with a numbers, and guardians stack better than mages/bards do, but... that's my opinion at least. Might be wrong
    I would say it's not that static. The context and group composition dictate the value of each class. In real combat, the value of each class can swing dramatically from fight to fight, and some classes suffer from depreciating value with higher numbers (Nightshade blues doesn't stack, for example) where as others get exponentially stronger the more they stack (mana drainers, warriors).

    I think the class preference hierarchy is a bunch of hulabaloo. Though, generally, the top melder is the MVP by default. 
    Known Aliases: Celina/Cyndarin/Fire Jesus/The Night/That Bitch who griefed us
  • SaranSaran Member Posts: 1,687 Mythical
    Gogo greenseeing theft >_>

    mostly cause i'd expect them to be demiplanes and that could have some insanely cool concepts.

    Though I guess, how else would things work without melds? (lol, everyone just has woodchem)
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  • MaligornMaligorn Windborne Member Posts: 2,670 Transcendent
    edited February 15
    Coming back to this with a new thought -- the reason I suggested what I did is because I felt like it was something that works within the fathomable boundaries. Mainly because I wanted to have something that's "realistic", i.e. introducing a new ability instead of totally reworking melds/melders. That's just kind of how I approach things. I try to work within the boundaries that are presented, like how Symphonium seemed to be sleep/aeon lock into Funebre bards. I argued and tried to envoy for that. But now they have to be totally changed following the tearing down of that mechanic due to the community and compliance of the Moondancers and them envoying away their sleeplock (not meant to be an accusatory statement, but as an example of radical but possible change). With that said, I think it is reasonable to believe in/consider that a change of that magnitude could be introduced to melds. But I'd bet admin would stamp a big, fat "no" if we asked to overhaul melds completely.

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  • VeyilsVeyils Member Posts: 1,441 Mythical
    So like what direction do you want to take melders in then Maligorn? 

    I mean its not realistic to justify buffs to a melder inside a meld without changing how valuable the meld is itself. You'd just be asking for buffs for the sake of buffs then.

    If you don't want to change how melds work in a fundamental sense then I'm not sure how you'd move forwards? 
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