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?