A few days ago Artcraft gave us a nice preview of the Druid’s powers and UI. It’s fairly deep, especially considering how early in the development the concept is. I was excited to read about the duality mechanic and while I still love the concept, half of it didn’t quite live up to my expectations.
Fortunately, firehose healing is still not going to be thing (we can all calm down now). ACE is still against it, even if they have taken a half step toward more healing than initially planned (which is debatable, they say they never said “no” healing meanwhile fans say they inferred it, I tend to fall into the “it doesn’t matter who said what and when because all that matters is here and now and here and now we have healing in Crowfall” category). Besides, it’s good for the game and its players. No healing might have felt like some kind of console FPS or something…wait, I think they have healing nowadays? Meh, I tend to ignore the lesser beings and their archaic technology (strokes Xbox One). What, best DVD player I ever bought! Please step away from your pitchforks, I kid. I love consoles. FPS’s on the other hand need to evolve! I’ve been playing the same darn formula since Counter Strike and GoldenEye! Gaia’s expression says it all.
Speaking of aiming I’m pleased that auto-target healing is out. That means AOE style heals, orb drops and channel lock heals, which are a nice compromise between auto-target and FPS style. If they look even remotely like force lightning I promise, I’ll play a druid at least once. They also have “hit once delivery mechanisms that let us specify for them to only hit a target within a power a single time despite the power having multiple delivery mechanisms”. Sounds interesting if not a bit confusing. I like the various delivery systems. It should keep the Druid from turning into a classic 1,1,1,3,1 healing snooze fest. Don’t be mad now, healing in PVP is a hell of a challenge but I still like variety in my play. Having a few ways to deliver my heals will help keep things more strategic and exciting. “Healing in PVP is already hard enough, this sounds like too much!”
Awe, I said not to be mad! Some of us were meant for the calm, and some of us for the storm. If you pick a healer in PVP, you like storms. I suggest accepting that, embracing it and healing like a storm chasing champ! Healing in PVP often breaks down into stick to tank and/or run around to avoid enemies and spam a few key heals. At times the class feels less about healing and more about dodging. My hope is with the variety in heals this archetype finds more of a balance between healing and avoiding.
That isn’t the only balance this archetype will have to consider. The “Death tray” is the Druid’s offensive skillset. I’ll be honest, whenever they say tray I have nightmarish flashbacks of bad cafeteria food and an angry old woman that was in much need of male companionship but was unable, for obvious reasons, to acquire it so she took it out on the kids by abusing the power of a light switch and berating them for talking loudly! Quite, QUIET, too…TOO LOUD! (cries) Looking back I can’t help but wonder if it was simply the voices in her head she was trying to quiet...
“But I like playing healers, not mages, why do I have to play both?”
Technically you don’t have to but according to ACE “The Druid does not use resources while in her healing powers tray; instead, every power she uses generates the resource “Essence” for her nuking powers tray. If the Druid ever has more than 80% Essence in her resource pool, she ignites and takes 5% of her maximum life in damage every 3 seconds until she dies. We call this “Essence Burn”. Essence Burn damage cannot be mitigated against. While active, it also renders her unhealable from all sources. (There is pretty much no cheesing this!) The Druid must either swap to her nuking powers tray and start shunting Essence in the form of Death powers or use her long cooldown C power, “Essence Scram,” in the healing powers tray to reduce all Essence. The idea behind this is that Druids should balance their time between Life and Death and be able to situationally stay in one mode longer if the situation requires it.” Which is the long way of saying technically you COULD stick to your heals, but it will kill you.
What kind of death does a Druid wield other than their own? Lightning, auroras, faerie fires and the coolest one time move, sacrifice. Nothing too unfamiliar here. While the healing sounds pretty interesting I couldn’t help but feel like the damage dealing powers were a bit typical for my taste, then again I’m guessing this class attracts more healer fans than damage dealers since they will gravitate to pure damage archetypes. What I mean is, if the healing part out shines the damage part a bit I don’t think it will be a problem. The damage dealing tray doesn’t look bad or boring, it just doesn’t intrigue me in a “I wonder how that will work” way as much as the healing tray does. (Remembers prior flames from druid aesthetic comments and puts on flame suit for good measure.)
Something I really appreciate ACE doing is flat out saying they are using things designed for other classes then altering them for new ones. This isn’t AAA, this is PVP on a crowd funded budget, I’m 100% behind being smart with the time, mechanics and money (as long as classes aren’t too similar). So far it seems like they are doing a good job walking that line. I look forward to seeing what new archetype they come out with next.