Feedback:User/Widowmaker/Wilderness Survival Skill Changes

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There are a few skills in the Wilderness Survival line I think could use some work - in particular, Nature Rituals, of which only a few are ever used. I feel that they need uses which are more likely to be desirable, given that they harm all players, and could do with being more active. Here are some suggestions about what could be done to improve these and some other skills:

Barbed Arrows Barbed Arrows 10 Energy 2 Activation time 6 Recharge time

Preparation. For 24 seconds, your arrows cause Bleeding for 3...13...15 seconds.

Essentially a bad Apply Poison, there is no real reason for this skill to cause -40 armour while it's being activated. Removing this and lowering the recharge (which only makes a difference if you get interrupted anyway) makes this into a cheaper alternative.
After some consideration and discussion (see the talk page), here's an attack skill version of Barbed Arrows:

Barbed Arrows Barbed Arrows 10Energy 12Recharge time

Bow Attack. Lose all Preparations. Shoot arrows at target foe and up to 2 adjacent foes. These arrows deal +2...8...10 damage and inflict Bleeding for 5...13...15 seconds.

I lowered the recharge down to 12 since by removing your preparation, it is essentially replacing it, and where the current version can spread unlimited bleeding for 24 seconds, this can only hit three targets. It does quite increase your damage output, though, so a 10Energy cost is probably in order.

Brambles Brambles 10 Energy 3 Activation time 20 Recharge time

Nature Ritual. Create a level 1...8...10 Spirit. Non-Spirit creatures that are knocked down in its range take 2...8...10 damage and begin Bleeding for 5...17...20 seconds. This Spirit dies after 15...75...90 seconds.

In a team with a lot of KDs, this can be a nice skill, but the effect just isn't worth the effort. 5 seconds of time are valueable and a complete waste if this spirit simply gets killed, leaving you to wait up to 60 seconds to reapply it. A slash to both the recharge, activation and duration times makes this a lot more active, and a slight increase in the damage it causes could make it handy for certain pressure builds, like a less powerful but less likely to backfire Edge of Extinction.
Even this might not be enough, but it's a good start.

Conflagration Conflagration 5 Energy 2 Activation time 20 Recharge time

Nature Ritual. Create a level 1...8...10 spirit. For non-spirit creatures within its range, all arrows and critical hits that hit strike for fire damage. This spirit dies after 30...102...120 seconds.

A pretty useless skill, Conflagration has a function which nobody really wants. I've extended this to critical hits, which I think would be interesting, but still probably not enough to make it usable. Still, with a massively reduced recharge and the fastest activation time of any PvP spirit, it's would be a damn site better than it is now.

Dryder's Defenses Dryder's Defenses 5 Energy 30 Recharge time

Stance. For 2...8...10 seconds, you gain 66% chance to block attacks and +25...37...40 armor against elemental damage.

This is a nice skill, but a 1/6 uptime makes it essentially a one-shot, broadly useless skill. By decreasing, the power, the duration and the recharge, it becomes a more standard defensive stance. Not very exciting but at least it's usable.

Equinox Equinox 10 Energy 3 Activation time 15 Recharge time

Elite Nature Ritual. Create a level 5...13...15 Spirit. Spells cast within its range cause one point of Exhaustion for every two points of energy less than 15 they cost. Spells which cost 15 Energy or more cost 30% less. This spirit dies after 30...78...90 seconds.

Another skill desperately in need of a re-work, Equinox has a powerful but very niche effect. By changing its function to something more wide-ranging, it's possible it might actually get taken if only to mix things up a bit. Since the equinox is about the balance of night and day (when the two are the same length), I had thought about changing this to fit the theme by increasing low spell costs and lowering high ones, which might have some interesting effects. This change would require a break for the traditional packets of 10 Exhaustion, but I think that's a change which should be implemented anyway. As an elite spirit, I also increased its level above what's normal.


Equinox Equinox 10 Energy 3 Activation time 15 Recharge time

Elite Nature Ritual. Create a level 5...13...15 Spirit. Whenever a non-spirit creature in its range with more Hexes than Enchantments gains an Enchantment, it loses one hex, and all Hexes cause -1 Health degeneration. This spirit dies after 30...78...90 seconds.

Another take on the same theme, the idea behind this change is the balance of light and dark... thus, hexes become more powerful, but enchantments can remove them. The skill may need some adjusting, but would at least be a lot more interesting.

Muddy Terrain Muddy Terrain 5 Energy 3 Activation time 20 Recharge time

Nature Ritual. Create a level 1...8...10 Spirit. Non-Spirit creatures within its range move 15% slower and speed boosts have no effect. This Spirit dies after 30...78...90 seconds.

Basically, a faster activation speed so if you take this, you can actually use it without wasting half your life. Also increased its effect slightly so it's more obvious. Possibly caster-based teams might take this and skills such as Return so that enemy melee cause them less hassle.

Pestilence Pestilence 5 Energy 3 Activation time 30 Recharge time

Nature Ritual. Create a level 1...8...10 Spirit. When any creature within its range who is suffering from two or more Conditions suffers from a new one, that creature becomes Diseased for 5...17...20 seconds, and whenever a creature within its range dies, all Conditions on that creature spread to any creature in the area already suffering from a Condition. This Spirit dies after 30...78...90 seconds.

Another activation and recharge cut. This spirit also gets an extra effect to make it more powerful. Though Disease is dangerous to both teams, a team which inflicts more conditions will benefit from having it as a cover condition more. It might also be useful in conjunction with Tainted Flesh.

Quicksand Quicksand 5 Energy 3 Activation time 20 Recharge time

Elite Nature Ritual. Create a level 5...13...15 Spirit. All non-Spirit creatures within its range lose 1 Energy each time they attack or use a Skill. This Spirit dies after 15...51...60 seconds.

This skill can already be very powerful in the right situations. However, as an elite I feel that a higher spirit level and lower cast time are justified. To compensate, the duration could also be lowered, though this is probably of little consequence in PvP where it will be killed first anyway.

Roaring Winds Roaring Winds 10 Energy 3 Activation time 30 Recharge time

Nature Ritual. Create a level 1...8...10 Spirit. Non-spirit creatures in its range have a 10...22...25% chance to miss with ranged attacksprojectiles, and activate skills 15% slower. This Spirit dies after 30...54...60 seconds.

A potentially exciting skill, Roaring Winds could really use a re-work. Something like this would make it a great defense against Ranger-Spike and Para-Spike teams.

Winnowing Winnowing 10 Energy 3 Activation time 40 Recharge time

Nature Ritual. Create a level 1...8...10 Spirit. Non-Spirit creatures within range take 2...8...10 additional damage whenever they take physical damage, and a further 2...8...10 if below 50% Health. This Spirit dies after 30...78...90 seconds.

Like Brambles, this skill has a useful but very weak effect, making it pretty rubbish. A change like this would make it more like an Edge of Extinction for physical damage, allowing you to exploit its effects better by utilising physical damage dealer yourself while others may not. Though this could be potentially very powerful when used with physical spiker or assassins, for example, it is easy to remove and retains a long recharge, meaning you are more likely to get a short, powerful burst than an extended bonus, much like Order of Pain.

Nature's Renewal Nature's Renewal 15Energy 4Activation time 45Recharge time

Nature Ritual. Create a level 1...8...10 Spirit. Enchantments cast by non-Spirit creatures within its range expire 20...44...50% faster and recharge 10...22...25% faster. This Spirit dies after 10...34...40 seconds.

Tranquility Tranquility 5Energy 4Activation time 45Recharge time

Nature Ritual. Create a level 1...5...6 Spirit. For non-Spirit creatures within its range, Enchantments and Hexes take twice as long to cast, and it costs twice as much Energy to maintain Enchantments. This Spirit dies after 15...63...75 seconds.

I put these two together firstly because I think, thematically, it makes more sense for them to have thier functions switched ("Tranquility" implies slowing things down, whereas "Nature's Renewal" suggests things are being renewed and refreshed, and thus changing more), though this is not really important in game-play terms. Secondly, I wanted to address them together, because while, like all Nature Rituals, I think they should be viable and more active, these two are commonly used to powerful effect by "Spiritway" teams, which are dangerous enough without a buff. Thus, though I lowered the recharge and activation, I also lowered the duration and the level of NR (now Tranquility), and added a drawback to Tranquility (now NR).
I should point out that while my suggested change for Tranquility is aimed as being a partial nerf for Sway teams (though not a major one since though enemies can now re-apply their enchantments faster, this will cause the casting times and energy costs to apply more often), it also opens up some possibilities for it to be used in a beneficial way - for example, many Dervish enchantments have poor or non-existant duration effects, but powerful on-use or on-end effects (such as Zealous Renewal, Vital Boon or maybe Attacker's Insight). If using many of these, you might chose to sacrifice duration for a faster recharge.

The same principles of increasing passivity apply to pretty much all other Nature Rituals. In PvE they could all even have their activation times slashed like Binding Rituals.