Greetings, glorious adventurers! If you're joining in our Alpha One spot testing, please follow the steps here to see all the latest test info on our forums and Discord!

Thoughts on Summoner from Last Livestream

Really interesting comments from Steven regarding the Summoner on the last livestream.

One of the things I loved about my druid in WOW was the ability to fill different roles (ranged dps & heals in my case), and I really liked the feel of solo play with my druid's strong dps + self-healing.

For Ashes, I have been hoping that the secondary archetype + skill tree would allow us to accomplish something similar. I've been hoping I could roll a Cleric primary / Roque secondary, and use skill points to spec into a dps role ... but with potent healing & self-healing.

TBH, I've never even considered being a Summoner, but that has changed. I wasn't aware that the Summoner was going to be able to spec into any of the roles. Steven's comments made it clear that the Summoner could definitely spec into a fully viable tank, dps or healer.

Would be interested in hearing what people thought about Steven's comments regarding the Summoner. Do you plan to play a Summoner? How are you planning to spec it?

Comments

  • Taleof2CitiesTaleof2Cities Member
    edited October 2
    Being a DPS with "potent healing & self-healing" sounds a little too good to be true, @mcnasty.

    The game will allow you spec your summoner however you want.

    For game balance, though, you'll likely have a really good DPS, a really good healer, or something in-between.

    And you can be sure there will be a lot of testing in Alpha 2 and Beta.

    As someone who plans on PvPing against these archetypes in Alpha 2, I'll be making sure that players don't think they're getting a carry like a single-player RPG.
  • eruiluvatareruiluvatar Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    Yeah, I'm curious how they are going to balance summoner so it feels viable in it's chosen role but also not so powerful that it's the best option. I guess they will go with a healer/dps/tank role toggle that can't be changed mid combat.

    However if a healing summoner is worse than a pure healer it will obviously need some other advantage.
    tenor.gif
  • It sounds like summoning a new pet is going to have to be fairly inefficient to do while in combat for come semblance of balance. They need to be competitive in their chosen role so being hard to hot-swap roles would be the only way to not break that.
  • To be clear, your base abilities will be the same as soon as you pick your base class. If you pick a Cleric, dont expect big damage. You would most likely have flavors to your powers (assuming Rogue is secondary) like increasing Dodge for allies affected by X power, or granting Stealth when another power is used Maybe even applying poison/dark damage to your allies' weapons when using a buff.

    I believe the idea with the Summoner being able to fill differing roles is based on the Secondary dictating Summon roles. Like a Tank secondary could make your Summon tougher and make it taunt, or Mage secondary making your Summon a ranged caster, etc.
  • The only real issue I have with Steven's characterization of the Summoner especially is he is really pushing Summoner/Cleric as a Necromancer. This would imply that Cleric secondary can provide Life Drains or some type of Poison effect. However, I dont really think of a Necro as a healer of living people. This is just semantics, but it's weird.
  • StreviStrevi Member
    mcnasty wrote: »
    Do you plan to play a Summoner? How are you planning to spec it?

    Yes, as an summoner I'll try to understand why my grandmother keeps telling me...

    September 12. 2022: Being naked can also be used to bring a skilled artisan to different freeholds... Don't summon family!
  • Happymeal2415Happymeal2415 Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Murdach wrote: »
    The only real issue I have with Steven's characterization of the Summoner especially is he is really pushing Summoner/Cleric as a Necromancer. This would imply that Cleric secondary can provide Life Drains or some type of Poison effect. However, I dont really think of a Necro as a healer of living people. This is just semantics, but it's weird.

    Well I'm pretty sure they've said one of the cleric augment schools is death. Seems fitting if you blend that with summons
  • mcnastymcnasty Member
    edited October 5
    Murdach wrote: »
    To be clear, your base abilities will be the same as soon as you pick your base class. If you pick a Cleric, dont expect big damage.

    I hear you on this, and you are probably right.

    I guess where my hope lies in on how the Cleric has been described by Ashes:
    "Far from simply supporting their allies through healing, a Cleric is also capable of wielding destructive force in the face of danger."
    "They can protect their allies in a number of ways, and when necessary, snuff the life out of others. As masters over the very essence of vitality"

    And the Wiki notes:
    "Cleric as a secondary archetype are able to choose between life or death augments."

    I would really like to see two schools for Cleric primary. One for life, one for death. Obviously rolling a Cleric dps would have some healing ability (dramatically weaker than the Life school ofc), but the drawback w/b that a Cleric dps would not be capable of the same level of damage output as a mage, for example.

    I further hope that adding a Roque secondary to a Cleric death school dps spec will further enhance damage, plus give me some limited and situational stealth abilities :)


    Anyway, that's my hope. Many have said Cleric dps is unlikely, so idk, maybe I'm dreaming.
  • Happymeal2415Happymeal2415 Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    mcnasty wrote: »
    Murdach wrote: »
    To be clear, your base abilities will be the same as soon as you pick your base class. If you pick a Cleric, dont expect big damage.

    I hear you on this, and you are probably right.

    I guess where my hope lies in on how the Cleric has been described by Ashes:
    "Far from simply supporting their allies through healing, a Cleric is also capable of wielding destructive force in the face of danger."
    "They can protect their allies in a number of ways, and when necessary, snuff the life out of others. As masters over the very essence of vitality"

    And the Wiki notes:
    "Cleric as a secondary archetype are able to choose between life or death augments."

    I would really like to see two schools for Cleric primary. One for life, one for death. Obviously rolling a Cleric dps would have some healing ability (dramatically weaker than the Life school ofc), but the drawback w/b that a Cleric dps would not be capable of the same level of damage output as a mage, for example.

    I further hope that adding a Roque secondary to a Cleric death school dps spec will further enhance damage, plus give me some limited and situational stealth abilities :)


    Anyway, that's my hope. Many have said Cleric dps is unlikely, so idk, maybe I'm dreaming.

    They talk about having a ton of skills to choose from per class. I'm sure if one of the augment schools is death there will be an array of death skills that come with the primary class.
  • JustVineJustVine Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    mcnasty wrote: »
    Really interesting comments from Steven regarding the Summoner on the last livestream.

    One of the things I loved about my druid in WOW was the ability to fill different roles (ranged dps & heals in my case), and I really liked the feel of solo play with my druid's strong dps + self-healing.

    For Ashes, I have been hoping that the secondary archetype + skill tree would allow us to accomplish something similar. I've been hoping I could roll a Cleric primary / Roque secondary, and use skill points to spec into a dps role ... but with potent healing & self-healing.

    TBH, I've never even considered being a Summoner, but that has changed. I wasn't aware that the Summoner was going to be able to spec into any of the roles. Steven's comments made it clear that the Summoner could definitely spec into a fully viable tank, dps or healer.

    Would be interested in hearing what people thought about Steven's comments regarding the Summoner. Do you plan to play a Summoner? How are you planning to spec it?

    Well since others seem to not have come from games with a fully fleshed out summoner in the way Steven is alluding to I'll share my perspective once again.

    The most difficult thing for a lot of people to grasp about summoner is that even though you are able to fill your role, you are still filling the role of 'Summoner' first. What a summoner's main duty is in the games I come from are to essentially be the other half of what a bard does. The bard augments the stats and pacing of a fight. The summoner augments the abilities and resource pool of the group to better suit which stage of the fight or type of enemy you are fighting.. DPS, Healing, HP, elemental augments, mitigation, mobility, cooldown timers. All of these things are resources to a Summoner and it's your job to make sure your team has access to more of the resources that matter most at any given moment.

    When people say 'a summoner can fill any role' or is a 'pick up group only' class therefore I kind of laugh and shake my head. It's not that it isn't true to a degree, especially for casual play. But you must understand how busy this kind of role can be if you are playing a pure summoner and not someone tilted one way or another. You are never 'the main character' in a majority of fights and if the game is balanced correctly you aren't really the best at any given role either. You amplify the other 7 members of your group. You are 'the bonus'. Without you in a lot of higher level fights, they lack enough resources. That special something that is necessary to edge things out against any given boss with your groups specializations. And with you, you can achieve not just a high level fight. A summoner's core focus is teamwork to a large degree. You can usually tell what a group is like fighting style wise just by how the summoner is spec'd and geared alone.

    This might sound boring to people and I can't stress enough that these extra resources require a lot of active management and calculation. Combine that with the fact that DPS is a 'resource' that is ALWAYS needed in any fight and you have a real reason to keep on your toes and carefully manipulate which summon you have at any given time. You are not just 'a passive bonus modifier'. Neither Summoner nor Bard are JUST a bonus if balanced and built correctly. But it's certainly not for everyone.

    If you like managing resources a lot in a game, it might be up your alley. It depends how much of Jeff's FFXI experience remain in the game since that is still the best PvE summoner in an mmo to date. (I can get into what the best PvP summoner in my opinion is to date but almost no one will like my answer and I'd prefer to not get into it if I can avoid it.) Overall they are a 'support' class in my book even if a lot of their focus is increasing the damage output of the party. And that means that a lot of fine tuning and specifics about abilities can make or break the concept. It's really easy to make a bad summoner though so I'm mostly just waiting patiently. No signs yet that they are making it impossible to make a good one at the very least.

    To answer your actual questions therefore OP I plan on specing into whatever lets me most quickly switch between my additional resource pools for my group as possible during a PvE or PvP fight at the sacrifice of a little bit of efficiency and probably at the sacrifice of needing a lot more MP than other types of summoner. I expect this to be most functional on summoner/mage or summoner/summoner. Summoner/Tank is attractive to me for other reasons, but mostly that the type of content that I and some of my group like doing involves 'special tanking'/'off tanking'. I'd expect summoner/mage to be able to pull that off too honestly depending on how it's designed but we will see.
    Chicanery
  • DepravedDepraved Member
    edited October 6
    the summoner will probably be a mix of l2 and aion summoner, and steven said you have 2 main builds.

    1- your pet is what get things done and you are just a support for your pet. and pets can either tank, dps, or support (maybe with buffs or heals)

    2- you play cursing and debuffing the enemies.

    3- maybe a hybrid of 1 and 2 will be possible

    also, i think it will be the best class for solo pve, but it will probably be pointless to have more than one in a party
  • VaknarVaknar Moderator, Member, Staff
    Some interesting theorizing happening in here! :)

    On a similar note, I'm curious to know what you feel the class fantasy for a summoner is, or what it should be? ‘Class fantasy’ could be defined as your expectations and perception for what a class should look, feel, and play like. ;)
    community_management.gif
  • Vaknar wrote: »
    Some interesting theorizing happening in here! :)

    On a similar note, I'm curious to know what you feel the class fantasy for a summoner is, or what it should be? ‘Class fantasy’ could be defined as your expectations and perception for what a class should look, feel, and play like. ;)

    basically like aion/l2/diablo. just hoping that bringing more than 1 summoner to the boss fight isnt worse than bringing another dps, like on aion, because the skills and debuffs would overwrite each other, losing all your damage.

    i think the summoner primary focus should be pets, buffs, debuffs, and some mana recharging for your party, otherwise you would just be playing a mage who can summon a unicorn or whatever.

    id like to see the summoner basically play as an elder from l2, with different kits depending on the currently summoned pet, otherwise the summoner would just be a tankier mage
  • While yours truly never quite got the appeal of Summoner in games, I know a lot of people *LOVE* Summoner - so would have to agree that it was great to get some more details!

    It sounds exactly the way I felt it should work: You can spec way in to a single role, or spec lighter for multiple roles, at the expense of effectiveness. While a Summoner can call a Tank-type of Summon, it's typically not going to be your first choice of Tank, unless they are specifically geared/spec'd for Tank.

    Am imagining Summoners will be fairly wide-spread in Dungeon groups - but also that we'll probably be relying on them as off-tanks / off-healers.



  • SathragoSathrago Member
    edited October 7
    What I took from steven was that all summoners can summon 1 pet that takes up 1 role for each role. So this most likely means 4 primary pets that cover tanking, dpsing, healing, and supporting. Which way the summoner specializes is influenced heavily by the second archetype chosen for your class. This shouldnt force summoners to take up that secondary archetypes role entirely but give them more options geared towards it. So a summoner tank will get more talents and abilities augments that increases their tank pets ability to survive and hold aggro while a summoner rogue will get more dps options and augments for their dps pet.
    5000x1000px_Sathrago_Commission_RavenJuu.jpg
    Commissioned at https://fiverr.com/ravenjuu
  • wintertidewintertide Member
    edited October 7
    Some summoners can summon one powerful pet, others three small summons that don't do combat, and others can summoner various effects. It will be decided by the secondary archetype.

    I've always measured pet classes against the Everquest Mage and Necromancer, and almost all of them have been disappointing. The GW2 Ranger had potential, but the pet ended up just being useless DPS that died easily. Pets usually end up being a burden to the group more than are ever a help, and developers have a tendency to keep them gimped so as not to outshine other classes. So they end up being largely useless because why not just play a different class that doesn't have to bother micromanaging a summons that dies easily and just brings a train of monsters down on the party when the pet veers off somewhere unintended?
  • Murdach wrote: »
    The only real issue I have with Steven's characterization of the Summoner especially is he is really pushing Summoner/Cleric as a Necromancer. This would imply that Cleric secondary can provide Life Drains or some type of Poison effect. However, I dont really think of a Necro as a healer of living people. This is just semantics, but it's weird.

    He could be summoning ghosts as guardian angles or bone armor that gives a shielding effect, there are more healing options that just a direct heal holy light.

    Plus with the flexibility of character creation, you could probably make a Necro be either heal or DPS.
  • mcnasty wrote: »
    Really interesting comments from Steven regarding the Summoner on the last livestream.

    One of the things I loved about my druid in WOW was the ability to fill different roles (ranged dps & heals in my case), and I really liked the feel of solo play with my druid's strong dps + self-healing.

    For Ashes, I have been hoping that the secondary archetype + skill tree would allow us to accomplish something similar. I've been hoping I could roll a Cleric primary / Roque secondary, and use skill points to spec into a dps role ... but with potent healing & self-healing.

    TBH, I've never even considered being a Summoner, but that has changed. I wasn't aware that the Summoner was going to be able to spec into any of the roles. Steven's comments made it clear that the Summoner could definitely spec into a fully viable tank, dps or healer.

    Would be interested in hearing what people thought about Steven's comments regarding the Summoner. Do you plan to play a Summoner? How are you planning to spec it?

    Personally I just really want to get my hands on a summoner/tank. The idea of tanking through my pet sounds like it has a lot of potential.
  • HalaeHalae Member
    edited October 7
    Vaknar wrote: »
    Some interesting theorizing happening in here! :)

    On a similar note, I'm curious to know what you feel the class fantasy for a summoner is, or what it should be? ‘Class fantasy’ could be defined as your expectations and perception for what a class should look, feel, and play like. ;)
    As someone who's highly excited for the Summoner... hmm. I've got a pretty coherent idea of what I'd want out of it, but to summarize as best as I can?

    1. The player character should have the ability to manage the pet. Quickly managing its AI (even if it's just passive/aggressive/defensive and target selection), choosing where it stands, and determining what attacks it uses are absolutely vital. Having the ability to heal your pet and play a supporting role to it is pretty important as well.
    2. You should be the one selecting how it fights. For me, that means casting abilities through it, sort of like how a pokemon trainer commands their pokemon to use certain moves in a battle. Use the right moves at the right time to achieve victory.
    3. Between you and the pet, the pet should be the one doing most of the fighting, but you should not be idle. The fact that you're not the one getting slapped in the face by the boss isn't a reason to slack off - you need to manage your pet to keep it alive and healthy, and then use your own abilities where you can on the side.
    4. Pet stats should be based on the player's gear. The reason for this is simple; if the pet's stats are static, they'll have to start very high making them overpowered compared to the standard gear, but weak compared to high-end gear, making them a disc 1 nuke that's useless to higher end players. By making the pet capability based on player capability, it inherently makes the same scaling systems that are used for players work for the pet, bypassing a problem that WoW and other games have had struggles with for years.

    It's hard to strike this kind of balance, but when done right it feels good to play. In PvE, it turns into a management minigame where your summoner is managing the battle positioning to keep their pet alive. In PvP, your summoner is wimpy as a drowned cactus and the enemy player is gunning for you - but if they ignore the pet entirely they're screwed, creating an interesting and fun combat dynamic.
  • VyrilVyril Member
    edited October 7
    Vaknar wrote: »
    Some interesting theorizing happening in here! :)

    On a similar note, I'm curious to know what you feel the class fantasy for a summoner is, or what it should be? ‘Class fantasy’ could be defined as your expectations and perception for what a class should look, feel, and play like. ;)

    Enchanter: Group play super star:
    • Abilities: AoE for buffing/debuffing, summons are ephemeral.
    • Summons: Phantasmal bards, or instruments that come and play a tune, then disappear etc.
    • Colors: yellow, white and gold.

    Necromancer: Classic Necro with an Intrepid spin
    • Abilities: Drains, DoTs and slows.
    • Summons: Skeleton for melee, Lich for caster, and Abomination for tank.
    • Colors: Greens, blacks and purples for spell effects.

    Wild Blade: Magic weapons
    • Summons: Disembodied weapons that fight for the caster in melee big attacks with large cooldowns.
    • Abilities: bleeds, stuns and gap closers.
    • Colors: red, white, yellow.

    Spellmancer: Elemental Master
    • Summons: are elementals. Classic elemental damage fire, water, air, earth.
    • Abilities: Elemental effects that are normally associated, ie. burn, root, stun.
    • Colors: match the elements.

    Beastmaster: Spells, bows and pets.
    • Summons: Animals from a demon realm.
    • Abilities: High attack and movement speeds on summons. Some abilities get altered to be used with a bow.
    • Colors: purple, red, orange.

    Shadowmancer: Sneaky summoner
    • Summons: Clones of the caster in a shadowy form.
    • Abilities: summon shadow steps to the target, performs debuffs and damage. Caster may have temporary stealth.
    • Colors: purple, black, and blue.

    Conjurer: Master of puppets
    • Summons: Unique, but fill the holy trinity roles.
    • Abilities: summons are strong at the cost of the casters default abilities being less effective.
    • Colors: red, blue, green.

    Brood Warden: The summon that won't die.
    • Summons: Strong small group tank or off-tank in a raid.
    • Abilities: defensive buffs for the caster and party.
    • Colors: white, silver, gold.
  • I just hope Necro is good after the disappointment that is ESO Necromancer
  • HalaeHalae Member
    I just hope Necro is good after the disappointment that is ESO Necromancer
    Focus on Summoner more than Necromancer. If the base chassis of Summoner is good, everybody will be happy, and necromancers will work the way as summoners do too, making them happy too.

    That said, yeah, total agreement. ESO has a lot of ideas, but it doesn't execute many of them terribly well. We'll have to do a lot of thorough testing and provide a lot of feedback to make sure Ashes is of a higher quality.
  • High micromanagement of the pet's active/passive state and abilities is important for me as well as high dependency on character's gear to augment the summons' stats.

    Aside from the main summon, I envision transient summons to aid in clutch situations like a burst window or high raid damage.

    Example 1: if you summon a wolf as main, i want to be able to summon a swarm of crows that apply damage and bleed for just 30 seconds.

    Example 2: if my main summon is a tank abomination, I want to summon a wall of skeletons for 10 seconds that my group can stand behind to mitigate burst of range damage. The HP of the skeleton wall dependent on player stats.

    Example 3: If my main summon are magical weapons, I want to summon my enraged barbarian ancestor to the battlefield for 30second to frenzy attack/whirlwind.
  • High micromanagement of the pet's active/passive state and abilities is important for me as well as high dependency on character's gear to augment the summons' stats.

    High micromanagement of pets is one thing I like to see in summoners. I like being able to select a pet and tell them to target a creature, and the pet will follow/auto-attack that creature until one of them dies. Everything else is done by the player. Any additional movement is done by the player, and any ability is initiated by the player.

  • ZokofZokof Member
    Depending on how well pets can fill those trinity roles, I wonder if we'll be seeing 8 man summoner groups laying waste in pve :-)
  • Aces_Are_WildAces_Are_Wild Member
    edited December 2
    I hope the necromancer has aoe spells of skeleton or zombies coming out of the ground, and an aoe spell gives a little hp to mates and hurts enemies at the same time , of course the spell will have a long cool down or only do a little healing to make it balanced but it will go with the main idea of taking life from people to give to others , but the main spell they need is some type of resurrection of player even if it’s takes a while for the spell
Sign In or Register to comment.