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So, in the thread "Summoner Class" (link below) people expressed issues with Chanters being the summoners of PoE. I expressed my opinions there that Chanters are off in terms of design, but I don't want to derail that thread further in case it resurfaces. So, I decided to create a new thread that lets me list issues I believe the class has in terms of form and function. This thread isn't a pro vs anti summoner debate, but is to discuss issues with the class and potential ways to remedy it. So, without further ado I am going to list my grievances. If you have any to add please do, and I hope for some counter points as well. WALL OF TEXT INBOUND!!!!! 1) It doesn't see benefits from Dexterity. Dexterity is almost 100% dump-city. Dex reduces the down time after using an Invocation, and outside of PotD the use of Invocations is rare. Of course, it will reduce attack speed, but since your attacks will be mediocre at best it is best to build a tank. (maxing Resolve and Intellect). In fact, very few builds I have seen don't include near maxing of Might, Int, Res. Con isn't needed, but shouldn't be dumped, and Perception is much the same way. However, the class does benefit from Perception for its offensive Chants vs enemies to land. So, because its main stay abilities aren't effected by Dex, it tends to be dumped. Most other classes gain greater benefits from Dex either through attack speed for the mundane classes, or reduced cast times for casters. In the end, this runs counter to Josh's philosophy on Attributes as it creates a very effective dump stat. 2) Build time for Invocations, in its current state with PoE1, nearly requires long fights. On lower difficulties it becomes rare that the Chanter actually gets to the point of casting Invocations. When they do the fight tends to be over anyway, and the invocations are used for cleanup. So, this further reduces the necessity of Dex. The solution in the first game was a passive called Brisk Recitation which reduces the speed at which chants are spoken, and thus reduces the time needed to cast those invocations. However, this means that Chanters don't really start using Invocations (on most difficulties) until later in the game, and even then its late in the combat or in a boss fight. 3) A severe lack of Class specific talents. This class has 2 talents. That is the equivalent to the special talents available to a single Paladin Order. There are 5 Orders (*2 talents per Order = 10) for a Paladin to choose from, and the Chanter class gets 2 talents, period. One gives a passive heal when you are Chanting, and the other buffs that same heal. This class needs some talents that let players pull it in different directions. To some extent, this could alleviate the previous two points, but I don't believe any class should require talents to fix a design flaw. That is me. YMMV. 4) This is less a critique of of Chanters, but a change in Deadfire. Vancian magic is out, and per encounter is in. Now, the first game had a balance. Druids, Wizards, and Priests were incentivized to be conservative in their casting because of limited per rest casts and Ciphers/Chanters had to build their resource to cast their spells. With the removal of per-rest abilities the Chanter could easily slip behind the other casters just because they can dump everything on the field, and their only likely inhibiting factor will be per-encounter and cast speed. So, those are my issues with the class. Now, we have a few more changes in Deadfire that I would like to bring up. We have Power Source and Power Level (Spirits for the Chanter). We also have Empower, which is a one time boost in Power Level for an ability/spell. These things need to be kept in mind in any proposals we make on this thread. I have done my best to consider them here, but they don't effect a whole heck of a lot that I am proposing. Now, lets move to remedies and ideas. These are in the same order as my issues with the class. 1) Make Dex effect chant speed. It doesn't make logical sense in terms of verisimilitude, but it would alleviate Dex being a dump to an extent. And if we are being honest... verisimilitude was out the door a long time ago with the Attributes of PoE. (Not a complaint, but stating a fact) If a chant takes 4 seconds with a 2 second linger. I would let Dex reduce the chant time by its normal amount. If I have an 18 Dex (24% attack speed) then I would make the Chant time to 3.04 seconds, but still set linger based on the 4 second base cast time. I still think that Chant counters are a bit long, but this is more to give Dex some more meaning to the Chanter. This would allow you to decrease cast times via dex, increase linger via intellect, or both. Of course, Dex reducing down time from using an Invocation would still occur. This removes the need for Brisk Recitation to a large degree, but it may still be needed to a smaller degree if the current build system remains. 2) Build times for Invocation usage may still be longer than desired even with my previous recommendation. I particularly think having Chant Phrases get longer as you use higher level Phrases is problematic, but with Brisk Recitation it becomes less so. So, perhaps changing the details of Brisk Recitation might be necessary. Reduce the amount it does, but keep it in the game. However, I would posture that it might be wise to make the Chant itself the equivalent of a level 1 Phrase in PoE, and then let players select from a pool of Phrases. One idea I have is that the chanter can only have X amount of Phrases in a Chant, but the more potent Chants cost more to that limit. For instance, "Thick Grew Their Tongues" would cost 1, but "Sure-Handed Ila" costs 2. However, they both build chant counters at the same rate. The Chanter can have 3 Phrases running, but since Sure-Handed Ila cost 2 it can only have it and 1 other weaker chant running. So, instead of sacrificing the power of a Phrase vs the use of invocations... you are sacrificing versatility for power. You could even have phrases be run simultaneously to further bring this power level idea in line. So, Thick Grew Their Tongues, Dull the Edge, and Blessed was Wengridh all work concurrently vs consecutively. Which would mean more powerful phrases are spoken by themselves, or with one other lower level phrase depending on the potency of the phrase. Just an idea, but not entirely thought out. Recommendations are welcome. IMHO, Chants should be entirely buffs/debuffs. Things like Dragons Thrashed need to be Invocations. That's just my opinion. The exception to this would be the Come Soft Winds of Death recommendation below. The walking death ball that is a Dragons Thrashed build is just silly. 3) Talents... I could go all day on this topic (I kind of do here lol). Ancient Memory gives a HoT aspect to your Chants, and Beloved Spirits makes it better. That's all Chanters get. Otherwise they select from Generic talents available to all classes. A) So, keeping with Ancient Memory's theme. I propose "Come, Come Soft Winds of Death" be removed from Phrases, and made into an opposing type of talent to Ancient Memory. Any time the Chanter is Chanting that small amount of damage is applied to any enemy within the Chant radius. B) A Talent that allows a low level invocation to be cast immediately upon entering battle. This could be specific to a type of invocations. Like one talent for Summons, and one for Damage, another for buffs/debuffs, etc. C) A Talent that (once per encounter) allows the Chanter to cast from a scroll without consuming it. D) A Talent that reduces Chant Radius or increases invocation requirements, but gives the Chanter's weapon added Elemental Damage. E) A Talent that lowers Chant requirements of a specific Invocation. Similar to Spell Mastery for the Vancian Casters in PoE1. This would let the Chanter cast that Invocation(s) more frequently than others. F) and so forth and so on. I'm sure there are ideas I have missed, but the Chanter needs more Talents specific to them. Add some below.These are just ideas, and some could be set up to be either or selections. Like example A could be you choose the path of Ancient Memory/Beloved Spirits, OR the path of Come, Come Soft Winds of Death/and whatever its boosting Talent may be. These ideas would allow a more competent summoner build, or a better caster build, and perhaps a Gish build that doesn't involve full tank stats in order to spam Dragons Thrashed in the middle of all the enemies. 4) Vancian vs Per Encounter - I don't think I need to say more here. The Chanter worked because of the limitations of the Vancian system to a degree. Without those limitations it will likely be obsolete because Priests, Wizards, and Druids would just dump everything every combat and make its build time a handicap of the highest order. (The Chanter also worked because a couple of its late game Phrases are too good like Dragons Thrashed). Unless the concept is simple to have an incredibly passive design for a caster. In which case, success has been obtained. Anyway, this is just a list of ideas. I expect some push and pull from anyone who cares about the class be you a person that wants a better summoner, buffer, debuffer, another Gish, or what have you.
So far we know that chanters will be sorta like bards. The issue is, bards are a little bit of everything, and really just plain sucked until third edition, and then just mostly sucked until Pathfinder (Where they got their masterpieces, like being able to mime a 10 foot by 10 foot wall in less than a turn). I personally though, despite the massive suckage that they had, loved me my bards. I don't know why, but the idea of singing or dancing my way into combat, and making terrible puns while I bash people upside the head with my Axe (Bass) just really appealed to me, so I plan on Chanting it up for my first character. I'm personally thinking that the Chanters are probably just going to go the way of dedicated passive buffers. Maybe something like Song of Hero's, courage, and skills, but with more versatility. Maybe throw in a Fascinate as well, and you've got your standard Buffer/Mesmer archtype. Where do you guys think they're going to go with the Chanter?
Update #18: George Ziets, Paladins, Add-Ons, Rewards, and More! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9oPKIzyGos8 Hey everyone, there's exactly one more week left in the Kickstarter, and we are going to be kicking it up with bigger and better updates every day! New Add-ons and Rewards We were looking at the $140 tier and thought it needed something more, so we decided to throw a Project Eternity Mouse Pad into the Collector's Edition. The mouse pad features the painting from Kiernan Yanner. You can also add-on additional mouse pads at any physical tier for $15. $140 Reward Tier and Above (excludes the digital only $165 tier) - Now includes a Project Eternity Mouse Pad. Project Eternity Mouse Pad Add-On - $15 each* Also we've been asked if we are going to have more physical rewards and add-ons, and we are listening. Today, we are announcing new t-shirt add-ons for you: Obsidian T-Shirt Add-On - $25 each* Project Eternity T-Shirt Add-On - $25 each* For more information on how to add-on rewards, please see Update #4. Sizes will be asked during the survey that will be sent to you after the end of the Kickstarter. *You must be at a physical goods reward tier to add on any additional physical add-ons. New Stretch Goals for $2.7m and $2.8m We are happy to announce two more classes for the 2.7m stretch goal. With your pledges we now have Barbarians and Ciphers as playable classes, and now we would like to add Paladins and Chanters to round out our class selection for Project Eternity, bringing the class total to 11. Paladins are extremely devoted, often fanatical, soldiers who have pledged themselves to a chosen cause, combining the zeal of a priest with the ascetic discipline of a monk. They have founded many elite fighting forces, from the original Darcozzi Paladini, a two thousand year-old order of palace guards, to the fledgling Fellows of St. Waidwen Martyr, zealous defenders of the Godhammer pilgrim trail. Often found at the vanguard of many conflicts, paladins are natural leaders and have the ability to quickly assist their allies with targeted commands. A paladin's commands can stave off impending death, overcome fatigue, or hasten the charge to close breached defenses. And though they are not always pledged to the service of a god or gods, paladins are so singularly focused on their chosen cause that their souls are continually creating a wellspring of spiritual energy from which they can blast groups of foes in their immediate vicinity. Despite their often stoic presence and explosive combat style, paladins work best alongside allies. When isolated, they can be vulnerable, especially against singular powerful foes. Chanters can be found in almost any culture, but are most often seen in communities with a strong oral tradition. They are repositories of folk knowledge and common wisdom, tellers of tall tales and hallowed legends. Though chanters have a bit of minor talent in traditional arts of combat and soul-based magic, their true power lies in their chants. Chanters construct chants from individual iconic phrases and rhyming couplets they have memorized from hundreds of stories and poems, creating a chain of magical effects that plays out over time. While chanters do use the power of their souls to work their magic, chants are exhortations to the unconscious memory of wayward souls and the diffused spiritual energy of the world. That is, ambient spirits respond to the evocation of ancient, common story elements and play their part in reconstructing the chanter's tales. While a chanter's magic may seem modest compared to that of a wizard or a priest, chanters are able to recite their chants while occupied with other activities, making them extremely versatile. It’s our pleasure to introduce our next stretch goal of George Ziets at $2.8m – with your help, we’ll be able to enlist the skills of George Ziets in shaping Project Eternity. For those not familiar with George’s work, he was the creative lead and core writer behind the acclaimed Mask of the Betrayer - the first expansion pack for Neverwinter Nights 2. George leant his talents to many of Obsidian’s other games including Fallout: New Vegas. George is gifted in designing lore, levels, and companions for role-playing games, and Baldur’s Gate 2 is one of his favorite titles. His impact can be felt in Mask of the Betrayer, and the character concepts, story, and his narrative decisions to take a disused section of the Forgotten Realms and use it as a backdrop to weave a fascinating story is testament to his design skills. We’ve given him the rundown of Project Eternity, and he’s eager to help shape the lore, design areas, and bring the characters in the world to life. More DUNGEON! Yesterday Project Eternity hit 55,000 backers! Everyone loves bigger dungeons, and The Endless Paths Mega Dungeon is now 5 levels deep. We will add another level at 57,500 backers and another level if we get to 20,000 Likes on Facebook. Don't miss the update on Thursday - Josh will be talking lore, and our first screenshot will be revealed. Everyone at the studio is really excited to show you what we've been working on. Lastly, if you haven't checked out the Wasteland 2 Store that opened yesterday - head on over here. You are still able to donate money towards Wasteland 2 to make it bigger and better! FACEBOOK: Like Obsidian on Facebook - We are about 6,000 more Likes away for another dungeon level! Update by Chris Avellone, Josh Sawyer, and Adam Brennecke