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Druid Spiritshift is really bad, and needs to be improved


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It's about time someone created a discrete thread about this because it needs addressing. Druids are a cool class, their spell list is effective and they have pretty good stats ... but their signature ability - Spiritshift, is just downright terrible.

 

Some problems I see with the ability:

 

  • Suffers the same issues with accuracy as many other class abilities, in that there it merely uses the class+level+stat+bonuses to accuracy. Wielding a weapon is superior because weapons can have accuracy bonuses (such as a Fine Weapon giving +4 Accuracy) and you can improve your accuracy with weapons via talents.

    If I want to deal melee damage as a Druid, I am much, much better off using a Fine Quarterstaff, than Spiritshifting because I have a higher accuracy and will do pretty strong per-hit damage.
     
  • Every Spiritshift mode has a really long recovery time
     
  • Spiritshifting doesn't improve your defenses. It gives you a certain DR based on the creature type, but I don't believe that's anywhere near as helpful as bonuses to defenses would be (like where the Ranger Animal Companion has higher defense than the Ranger)
     
  • The creature abilities are a bit underwhelming. The Bear's roar AoE could stand to be bigger - it's far outclassed by the Barbarian's Barbaric Yell, for instance. The Boar's DoT for 2 damage per tick doesn't seem to be particularly great. The Cat flurry attack has a long cast time, long recovery time and the attack speed length seems to be short/inconsistent - it lasted like two attacks for me/stopped working after I got interrupted once. The Stag Carnage active ability didn't seem to even work
     
  • Casting spells in Spiritshift form is terrible, because your recovery time is slower thanks to the recovery time slow from the spiritshift form
     
  • The bonus damage from Wildstrike doesn't *seem* like it's working, even though Sking assured us that it is back in August. I selected Wildstrike and Greater Wildstrike and tested with and without Wildstrike at all and didn't notice any difference in per-hit damage - although that doesn't mean much because damage is random.

 

What I think needs to be improved:

  1. I think that the first step is to fix the broken animal abilities and make the underwhelming ones better.
  2. The recovery time of spiritshift form also needs another look. It's too slow IMO.
  3. Non-weapon based class abilities needs an inherent accuracy bonus based on level or something, because currently I'd rather just not use spiritshift and equip a Fine Quarterstaff or something if I want to melee as a Druid.
  4. The form could probably give the Druid some defense bonuses, particularly Deflection.
  5. Wildstrike bonus damage needs to actually work if it isn't already and be shown in the combat log

 

 

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Complete agreement.

I didn't try the Druid in 392, but every time I did in an older build I met failure or just didn't feel an impact.

In the case the spiritshift forms are underpowered on purpose to prevent the druid from being a perfect jack of all trades, I'd be open to taking away the spellcasting ability while shifted to even things out.

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Except for Werewolves and special crazy forms for specific fights (like Oozes) druid shapeshift was useless for druids in IE games.

It was good for Druids in NWN2 due to being able to cast spells in animal form and buff enough so had good defense and offense.

 

I hope PoE will be closer to NWN2 usefulness than IE games.

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Except for Werewolves and special crazy forms for specific fights (like Oozes) druid shapeshift was useless for druids in IE games.

 

hehe werwolves were the only ones i played ;) But they got quite the natural armor class and attack, which stacked with equipment bonuses (except armor and weapons, if i remember right) plus, in my opinion the important part, their attributes shifted completely.

I know a lot of people didn't like Cernd but he saved my party more than once thanks to wolfy ;)

 

@Gfted1: okey, when not taking out spell cast, then why not giving a penalty in casting time or higher "deadtime" between "spall casting time" (sorry don't know the right words in english :D )

Edited by gnoemli
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Old thread, but pretty much sums up everything I feel about the Druid (and Priest).

In summary:
1-Spiritshift as a Spell instead of instant gain *throws a gaze at the Ranger's Animal Companion*
2-Spell Gain like Wizard, Chanter, Cipher (1-2 points per level), instead of instant gain (same with Priest).

Build a debuffing Druid, or a Glass Cannon Druid, or a Spiritshift Druid, or a mixed Druid.

I believe this would make the Druid more fun to build. It's a fun class to play, but not so fun to build. The Priest suffers from, imo, the same thing.

Edited by Osvir
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Yeh. It's a waste at this time. Fortunately I think that it would be pretty easy to rescue just by adjusting the numbers: give it a limited duration and make it really deal out damage (or soak it, depending on the form), or give it some specials that impose some genuinely scary status effects. Kind of like a druidy "behold my animalistic power" version of a barbarian's frenzy for great burst damage.

I have a project. It's a tabletop RPG. It's free. It's a work in progress. Find it here: www.brikoleur.com

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A talent that would allow "improvements" to the spiritshift abilities would be good. For example, a "fine weapon" talent that makes the accuracy of melee attacks improved as well as a higher level talent that would further increase the accuracy.

 

I think making druid talents that allow a subspecialization of "sprit-forms only" would be very nice. Wildstrike, improve accuracy, and other melee type things.

 

I'm currently playing with a druid so more information to follow.

Edited by Hormalakh

My blog is where I'm keeping a record of all of my suggestions and bug mentions.

http://hormalakh.blogspot.com/  UPDATED 9/26/2014

My DXdiag:

http://hormalakh.blogspot.com/2014/08/beta-begins-v257.html

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  • 1 month later...

Ideally I think Spirit shift would work better if it effectively covered the human form in a new 'Skin'/Outer layer. So the human is still at the core of it but the magic has wrapped around them build a sort of temporary second body.

 

This secondary/animal body then provides a number of benefits and disadvantages that stack with the ones provided by your equipment (but not weapons, have to be put away to shift).

 

Thus if a Druid of 80 Endurance, 8DR, with 40 Def and 14M, 10C, 12D, 10P, 18I, 11R shifts into a Bear the are modified in the following manner.

+ 100 temporary Endurance (180total), +12DR (20 total), -10Def (30 total), +10M (24), +10C(20), -5 D(8 ), -1 movement speed and gains a creature weapon of +10Acc with 20-30Dmg and best of Slashing/Crushing.

While if they shift to a Cat form they get:

+ 60 temporary Endurance (140total), +2DR (10 total), +20Def (50 total), +6M (20), +6C(16), +10 D(22), + 10 P (20), +1 movement speed, 40% attack speed and gains a creature weapon of +16Acc with 20-25Dmg and best of Slashing/Piercing.

 

Each 'Spirit shift' skin would provide it's own differing set of temporary bonuses while it was active. Things like the temporary boost in Endurance would make the form much more useful as if your running low on Endurance during a fight you could spiritshift to gain some additional health and become more damage resistant or harder to hit depending on the form your'd chosen. Or at the start of the fight you might decide to use it knowing the damage your'd take would effectively vanish when the spirit form finished while allowing you to deal a fair amount of damage.

Edited by aeonsim
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Ideally I think Spirit shift would work better if it effectively covered the human form in a new 'Skin'/Outer layer. So the human is still at the core of it but the magic has wrapped around them build a sort of temporary second body.

Attack on Druid!

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It's essentially a "weaken myself" button right now, and the shapeshift models are also pretty hideous.

 

I've been ignoring it entirely. Druids are too good as an active caster to have them dinking around in melee trying to be a hybrid.

 

There's also no real pre-buffing, so you can't use/build them like a battle cleric - same reasons "gish" style wizard builds are garbage currently.

 

 

I wouldn't really mind if it were removed for now, and added in an expansion later in a more complete and well thought out implementation.

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