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Summoner Desire Compilation and Analysis/Conversion

AzheraeAzherae Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
edited June 21 in General Discussion
Something Hirschegar said in this thread reminded me of why I was planning to make these.

Disclaimer: I am not a Summoner, I just do this for the same reason as always.

I took the data only from the post linked above, and this one, for various reasons.

Things Summoner-interested people have said they want, in no particular order, sometimes sorted.
1. A potential Brood Warden wanted it to have to do with Spiders. Another wanted some golems and the ability to help soak damage with summons. A third wanted to use their own blood to summon, and fight up close alongside their summons. A fourth wanted a swarm.
2. A specific Conjurer wanted to make sure that the AI was pretty good and that they had the option to also do some things. Two others wanted to be strategists with the summons stronger. Another wanted to just let the summons rampage and they not lift a finger, and another was interested in line of sight and management. Two others wanted to meld with biggest summons (according to current Word of Intrepid, not planned). One suggested portals?
3. Three Wild Blades wanted to summon swords, one was also interested in being a Spellmancer that summoned elementals. Another Spellmancer really wanted to not just be watching their summons do things. A third mostly specifically wanted to be watching their summons do things.
5. A Beastmaster hoped things would be good and they would get to play a good 'Pet' class. Another felt drawn to this class. A third wanted to make a whole party of them, I think. Another wanted to be able to solo a bit. Another wanted to be able to 'charm' or call up nearby creatures from an area. Another wanted debuff abilities (apparently on hit). Six others didn't have full ideas but really wanted this type of class.
6. A Necromancer wanted to be able to sicken enemies and raise entities they killed to fight for them. Twenty-nine others just really hoped it would fit their dreams and think it sounds cool (and wanted to summon swarms, mostly). Of those, one specifically wanted debuffs. Three specifically wanted skeletons and zombies, one specifically didn't want zombies. One wanted a Lich form.
7. A sorta-undecided Summoner-ish felt they needed more information. Another was thinking on it because they were ok with 'low mobility, high damage'. One more dedicated Summoner gave a spec that I used as the framework for the design bit ( @LordBleak ), another two just said straight up "Just make it like FFXI"
8. An Enchanter wanted to summon only temporary buffs and to fight more personally, another wanted to definitely summon the pets, but still get the buffs, but was ok with the pets being pretty weak individually, and a third liked the idea of summoning actual instruments.
9. I saw only one person sort-of hint at having any interest in ShadowMancer (for poison pets). This is not surprising since the two mindsets are pretty divergent, but there was a lot of talk of ShadowLord.
10. Obviously there were a ton of notes about how people kind of want to wait and see since there isn't enough information, but about 12 of these were considering Summoner, mostly valuing either 'having pets' or 'flexibility'.

That last point is the point I can't address, but what I can do is give some 'scope' maybe by addressing 'how to get everything that people have definitely mentioned wanting, in one design schema'. This isn't really 'suggestions' either. This is 'what I think will be done, because this is the emergent answer', which I'm throwing here so that people can complain about what it is missing or doesn't do well enough.

The challenges you can see here are not actually all that hard. In order to please all these people, Intrepid would need to ensure three specific things that can be viewed as 'sliders'.

1. For any class, the choice of how many summons to have should be there.
2. For any class, the choice of how much the summoner themselves fights should be there
3. For any class, the choice of how impactful a single summon is in terms of duration and buff effects, should be there.

So we have a slider from Avatar -> Swarm, from SomeBody to EveryBody, and Totem vs Assault (with no intention to indicate that Totems can't move).

A quickly drafted scheme gives the following options for a skilltree even based on what we see in Alpha 1 now. Please ignore the chintzy names.
First Ability Tier: "Left Hand", "Right Hand", "Wave"
The first solution to the 'How many Summons' would be to give the summoner two separate options for 'low rank' summons. This helps because they can then put different Augments on each of them. The summon itself is shaped at least somewhat by the augment. You can then level the ranks to change other aspects of the summon. 'Wave' is the unlock for special attacks, and possibly applies to both. I figure summoners just have a Passive ability that lets them click a summon, then press the ability and click a target and it will move there and autoattack.
At low levels, you could forego summons entirely, shove all your points into 'Wave' and wait for the next tier, and probably not be disadvantaged terribly.

Second Ability Tier: "Greater Left Hand", "Greater Right Hand", "Wave II"
The Summons from the first ability tier can 'take up' one of 5 'points' in your summon schema, and the second tier ones take up 2 points. So you can summon Greater Left Hand, Greater Right Hand, and either Left or Right Hand, making sure that Summoners can get to '3 summons' pretty fast. Alternately, if you skipped straight to Tier 2, you just unlock either Greater Left or Greater Right and already have Rank 3 on Wave for it to use. At this point it's probably fair enough to require the summoner to have an actual summon to be effective. Most importantly, Wave II would give secondary abilities to summons, so you could decide that you don't need second tier abilities, since they probably all have Wave I, or you could have even skipped Wave I because you don't care about the low level ability of that summon, and just boosted the summon instead.

For simplicity we just keep going like this through Ruler's Right Hand, Legendary Right Hand, Ultimate Right Hand. This can help avoid the need for Summons themselves to have very complex skilltrees, leading to options for more summons.

To deal with the issue of how much the summoner themselves fights, you can rely on passives. Things like summon power, summon Mobility, etc, vs other enhancements to the summoner themselves or to the stats they get when the summon is active. Those who want to backline can take abilities to increase the Summons, and those who want to join in can take abilities to empower themselves according to which summon(s) they have active.

And finally to deal with the overall duration and buff effect levels of the summon itself, we go with a quick analysis of the data.
No one who wanted to have a large powerful summon also implied that they wanted to have it dissipate rapidly. Why, right? So a summon's tendency to stick around and provide something other than a buff could be tied to what rank the Summon itself is.

This would mean that players who only want a small buff or a quick burst of some effect could take just Right Hand, Left Hand, and put the rest of their points in Wave.

e.g. Summon the entity or entities quickly, knowing they will give a buff but not last long, and if you want, quickly use Wave before they dissipate for the effect or damage.

On the other side, players who want lasting summons that attack repeatedly can rank up the summon, while still balancing it. The Summon's DPS is enhanced simply by it being active for longer, and so, you 'reduce' their specialization in the additional damage from Wave.

Even with all this though, it would require Intrepid to make a minimum of 10 (Hands) x 4 (If every Augment matters) x 8 (if every secondary Archetype matters), for a total 320 distinct-ish summons.

This might not be terrible because they could reuse certain assets to cut down on this a lot. Beastmasters can summon, for example, Dunewings/Macaws and Gnashers at Tier 1, Bears and Griffons at Tier 3, etc.

Within the framework Intrepid has already spoken about (up to 3 summons), that's enough for now. People who want larger swarms', I can understand your wish, but that's a skilltree question moreso than a design schema question.

If anyone wants to discuss Augments, sorry, I could only speculate based on the ones I expect which I put in some tank thread a while back, but I remember that, at the time, they seemed sufficient to represent all the Summoner Classes, as the names indicated, since I just 'reverse engineered' the augments from the names.

The only one that isn't as clear is probably my belief that Mages won't get 'One Teleport school and then three different elemental schools'. Based on the names I actually expect it to be 'one Elemental School' and you can change the element on an ability occasionally or at some node or something. So I won't address that either.

So this is 'since those posts got long' and 'many people didn't know exactly what they wanted', I compiled things to see if it was impossible to make everyone happy. My verdict is that it isn't.

BUT THIS POST IS IN NO WAY AN EXPLANATION OF WHAT INTREPID IS ACTUALLY DOING (only what I think they're probably going to do)

I'll edit this post if any more Summoners jump on it. If you posted before in one of those two threads do us a favor and mention it so I don't have to check if I have to count you.

Comments

  • AzheraeAzherae Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    I was holding off on this part while waiting for Corrections, but...

    An additional point to solve a minor 'issue'. Since players don't start with any of their Augmented abilities, but probably would still like to get some thematics going, perhaps someone in the starting area can offer or let them craft specific Rings (partially the reason for the Hands theme).

    E.g. equipping the otherwise effectless 'Ring of the Dead' changes the summons on that 'hand' to match those of a future Necromancer. Other obvious options:

    Ring of Claws, Ring of Fangs, Ring of Bladed Rings, Ring of Shield, Ring of Chaos, Ring of Order, Ring of Life, Ring of Sea, Ring of Sky, Ring of Storm, Ring of Earth, Ring of Life, Ring of Bells, Ring of Truth (Bard thing), Ring of Flight, Ring of Tales, etc

    Balance of this, for example 'whether they grant any abilities other than changing the summon's appearance and attack type', 'if they are bound for a while or can't be equipped after some level', or 'where and how they are obtained', or 'Whether they have higher level versions that can eventually be replaced by Augments', are not issues to be addressed by me (but if people comment on stuff I can add it to this post).
  • KaratosKaratos Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Fight Summoner summons Blades.. Summoner Fighter is going to make magicka summons turn into melee dps..

    so I vote something between a Druid/Shaman that has to do with animal spirits.

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