Shadowtwist and you - a discussion

KalikaiKalikai Member, Moderator Posts: 138 Divine
edited October 2017 in Common Grounds
Shadowdancers and Twist in general have become a controversial and passionate topic. This topic is for the discussion of this. What I hope to achieve is a reasonable discussion that is driven by logic and evidence and does not devolve into name-calling and insults. The general theme of this conversation will be 'Are shadowdancers overpowered and is this due to the mechanics of twist or other factors?"

Couple of notes:

  • Insults and name-calling will not be allowed and deleted. If you make a completely valid point but throw in a quippy insult, your whole comment will be deleted without warning. You can make good points without insulting people. If you continue to insult, you'll be warned in incrementally until you can no longer post. I don't want to do this though, so please don't make me do it.
  • Condescending posts or snarky posts may also be deleted. This is obviously a bit more subjective, so I may lean in the direction of just deleting comments I think might fit that description. When posting, ask yourself 'Will anyone else see this as snarky' and if the answer is 'yes', rewrite it.
  • There is certainly a subjective bias about combat balance. Some people are going to feel differently about skill strengths than others. Please keep this in mind. The line to cross that takes something strong and makes it OP will vary between people. 
  • I'm obviously not perfect and some comments may be deleted that you disagree with me deleting. I'm sorry if that happens. 

Ready, Set, Go

 *I just want to take a second to tag envoys to draw atttention to this thread
     @Xenthos, @Tarken, @Crek, @Veyils, @Moi, @Falaeron, @Shedrin, @Ejderha, @Ciaran, @Aeldra, @Kaimanahi, @Auriella, @Wobou, @Minkahmet, @Sondayga, @Anelissa, @Danquik, @Avurekhos, @Ixion, @Thalkros

Post edited by Kalikai on


  • FalaeronFalaeron Jolteon Member Posts: 1,663 Transcendent
    edited October 2017
    Alright, the first point I want to make is that I think if we ignored 1v1 viability altogether and focused entirely on groups, you could delete twist entirely and SDs would still be -very- powerful and deserving of further nerfs. Their mana drain is incredibly good, they have access to shadows which further adds to their mana draining abilities, they have some really nice defensive skills such as Drink and Flight, as well as utility skills such as Brumetower and Bonds that can severely restrict the options available to enemy groups, and they have access to Hexes, one of the best offensive tertiaries available.

    As a mana kill class with high solo draining, they also stack and synergise incredibly well compared to most other classes. Even if they aren't stacking with other SDs, almost every class in the game can do some form of mana drain, directly or indirectly (like through some residual bleeding), which all adds up to this stacking.

    However, twist is often the skill most talked about because it is one of the best tools available to the SD kit (which should be telling given the other tools I just listed above). For a minimal amount of power, they are able to do some mana drain (albeit smaller than just lashing), on a 3 second balance which is shorter than most caster spells, on top of secondary effects that range in power but are almost all useful in some way. But all of that aside, I think the biggest problem with twist is the quicksilver stripping on every twist. This on top of the aeon at third, or even at final twist, means that you are going to be double aeoned on these twists every time. Aeon, being one of the best hindering (at least for curing and escaping) affs in the game, makes this too simple of a choice for the SD to make in group combat.

    From no shadow, you just need to spend three fairly short balances, one to steal the shadow, and two to tighten past the first two twists (which aren't necessarily wasted balances either), to get to the point where you have four uses of double aeon and some mana drain (which is not insignificant all top of all of everything else). You can use these immediately, or you can hold onto them until you lose the shadow. Simply put, no other class can keep someone aeoned as reliably as a SD can. This doesn't even come at a trade off that most classes that can give aeon have - usually they have to give up advancing their kill condition to keep someone aeoned in this way. For SDs, not only does twist itself do some mana drain, but they also have passives that also help them advance their kill condition while doing this insanely strong hinder.

    Edit: Oh yeah, I forgot to mention this, but keep in mind that all the affs that twist give are -hidden-. Yes, this includes the aeon.
  • KarlachKarlach God of Kittens. Member Posts: 3,868 Transcendent
    edited October 2017
    Saying classes have powerful offensive and defencive abilities is little more than a "grass is greener" argument.

    A lot of the arguments against shadowtwist (and shadowdancers as a whole) boil down the same two points of an argument.

    1. I died because of X, nerf this.

    This argument has been used throughout gaming history. X class has this, Y faction has that. Rather than work on a counter, the simple solution is to try and remove the threat it poses entierly.

    This leads me into my second point, the reason for many of these complaints when you hear people's arguments, and their hypothetical combat scenario is...

    2. I don't want to come out of tunnel visioning my kill method.

    There has always been, and still is, a section of the player base who thinks that a one size fits all strategy should not only be viable but overly succesful. People who never adjust party settings for various monks and warriors, people who don't target ents because it's not killing the enemy directly, people who don't hinder to reset enemy progress on the offence

    Shadowdancers are power intensive, there are various things you can do to take advantage of this. Killing the banshee either permanently limits their drain potential or wastes time and power where you recover while they resummon. If they're spending power on banshee that's less power available to twist.

    Interrupting their twist chain with hinderance slows down your offence, but it forces them to completely restart theirs, final twist alone isn't going to drain you down (moreso when Hod gets buffed) Use that window of them needing to recover power and go again to build your kill method up.

    Yes they've strong potential with refresh, but so has a number of classes. The issue there lies in a powerful cooldown, not the class.

    The only merit so far is the double aeon argument. Iirc it's the last of its kind from an age of double aeon/quicksilver bypasers (we do not miss you, old pfarewell.) With aeon being changed, I don't think it has the effect it had before, but I don't see a reason to not let it die off as a mechanic.

    Lastly drink is not the only passive heal or cure in the game and is room limited. Flight is not the only escape, and has means of being hindered, and outside of astral, pyromelds, villages with multiple same name rooms and landing in a lucky skunk, a scent tracker will hunt you down every time before you recover EQ.

    Both passive healing and escape abilities have been devalued by people who are for Shadowdancers to be nerfed, would like some consistency in that argument.
    Post edited by Karlach on

    The divine voice of Avechna, the Avenger reverberates powerfully, "Congratulations, Morkarion, you are the Bringer of Death indeed."

    You see Estarra the Eternal shout, "Morkarion is no more! Mourn the mortal! But welcome True Ascendant Karlach, of the Realm of Death!

  • KaimanahiKaimanahi The One True Queen Member Posts: 719 Transcendent
    Some people have seen this already, but this is my perspective from the anniversary wargames. At this point in the log, it's 2v2 (Falaeron/Kaimanahi vs Veyils/Tarken) and the teams had fully disengaged for a long time (1-2 minutes?) to regroup. Sorry that there are no time stamps, but the time-to-kill is about 6 seconds. Tarken actually wastes a few actions when I could have already been toaded, so I reached instakill range from twist in 3 seconds. In those 3 seconds, I have unavoidable aeon, get slept, and get stunned from barghest. It becomes virtually impossible for me to cure out, let alone react as a human being.

    I think Falaeron's post is very articulate on this issue. In the other thread, Veyils suggested hindering the SD, but in actuality, there is no way to stop the progression of twist. We can draw comparisons to the other guardian kill methodologies, if necessary, but I really hope that the problem is obvious and we don't have to go down that road. It's my hope we can focus on coming up with solutions, so yeah, let's try to be civil about this.
  • KarlachKarlach God of Kittens. Member Posts: 3,868 Transcendent
    edited October 2017
    The reason they waste is because the final twist stun causes toadstun to hit immunity otherwise.

    The goal isn't to stop them reaching final twist, it's making it ineffective when they get there.

    Edit: I'd also ask why your teammate is letting them freecast on you.

    The divine voice of Avechna, the Avenger reverberates powerfully, "Congratulations, Morkarion, you are the Bringer of Death indeed."

    You see Estarra the Eternal shout, "Morkarion is no more! Mourn the mortal! But welcome True Ascendant Karlach, of the Realm of Death!

  • KalikaiKalikai Member, Moderator Posts: 138 Divine
    It's come to my attention that wanting to both sides to put aside differences and have a constructive talk may not be possible. Individuals do not wish to participate because they believe nothing constructive can come of it. With that in mind, I'm going to go ahead and shut this down.

    Needless to say, I'm disappointed.
This discussion has been closed.