After several discussions and some ideas I want to list here some thoughts about how I would improve a bit Ritualists.
Ok first of all I don't thonk this class is really underpowered. I play most of the time as a Rit, but appart his really cool armors I have not the impression that Rit builds are better played by rits than by any class. The most obvious example of this is the actual growing tendancy of playing restoration N/Rt with a Rit skill bar. I really think that if a build with skills of a single class is more efficient when played by another class then we have a problem of balance.
At the end of the page I started a reflexion on every Primary attribute as they are now. I hope I feel inspired enough to continue this and show why I wanted so much a boost in spawning power.
I know perfectly I am not the only one trying to do this. For example Lancy and Falconeye have done a great job through their Active Ritual Campaign, Yullive has put some really nice ideas on his page too (I wish I'm not fluent in german anymore to fully understand Wartower's forum -_-"). But what I wanted to do is starting from nearly scratch and put my ideas from what we have right now in the game. I've always believed new ideas have to emerge from nowhere, meet others and finally give birth to new (best?) ones. Once ideas are set I think it's good time to discuss towards which direction we should go (hopefully) together.
Suggestions for Ritualists
Ritualists, like mesmers (and maybe also monks) don't have a huge amount of energy and their energy management is mainly a way to recover a bit of the spent energy and have barely a positive net gain. Looking at the skills of these professions one can see that there is one mesmer skill and two monk skill (plus one pvp version) that cost more than 15 energy. Their is 6 ritualist skills that come in that line !!! Moreover, there are less Rit skill than Mesmer's or monk's. With that said I really think that if a skill has to cost 25 to be "balanced" it means its functionnality's broken. For this reason, I'll start to have suggestions on these 6 skills.
One of the main originality of the ritualist is the ability to summon allies on the battlefield. This is a real adavantage as your team could soon overwhelm the opposite one. I won't say that spirits are weak in the present state of the game. Just to prove that see how many people run spam-spirit builds in RA for example. The problem with spirits is that with few changes they can go from underpowered to really overpowered. There is drawbacks still when you want to summon allies : you need time, a good position on the battlefield and there is a part of randomness.
So when changing something to spirits, a lot of things has to be taken into account. I wouldn't change the fact summoning's time consuming. To be honest, a ritualist has generally long cast times and that is also one of the way he has to manage it's energy. For example, casting Pain cost 5 energy but for 3 seconds you can't do anything else but to gain 4 energy so when the spirit is ready to play its role, you have just 1 energy less than before. Well I think 3 seconds is a good casting time...5 is a bit too much for a more local effect than nature rituals. I would increase a bit the power of spirits but I would make their range a bit slighter... let's say earshot. Then the position of the spirits would be essential. They are not nature ritual (i.e it must not be a local environmental effect) so for me the benefit should come when the team is close to the spirits. In the same way, as mobility is also something important in many part of the game, reducing the recharge of spirit is essential (30 s is good) but of course one has to change their lifetime (at least for the most powerful).
Of course when talking about spirit, one has to take Spawning power into account... and its current functionality is not satisfying for sure.
Ashes is a bit a moving spirit, but personal. It has a huge drawback : you lose all benefit of your weapon set so you have less life and less energy. For that reason, ashes must be powerful. Ok most of them are really worthy of the sacrifice but there are still some that are totally underpowered, especially in the channeling attribute which is an active damage line... and dropping effect requires you to be very close to ennemy (I remind you have less health, less energy and less armor!!!).
Well those are really great : unstripable buffs!!! For me there is just one useless weapon spell : Weapon of Aggression. Ok I know Ritualists are strongly inspired by WoW shamans who can fight in melee... but in Guild Wars this really to niche as you'll never have enough armor to be a fighter. Ok there are three personnal skills that synergize well to make you a great fighter ( Spirit's Strength, Sight Beyond Sight and Weapon of Aggression)... but I'm not sure the "take those skills together or none of them" fits to the spirit of that game.
Ok let's begin with my more global suggestion : improvement of the primary attribute. Pimary attributes are made for a character to be more effective with builds of its profession than other character. In that way one has to take into account this profession's skill types and also the role of that profession. Rit's have 3 unique types of skills : Ashes, weapon spells..and of course Binding rituals. In the actual state SP is a good buff for Weapon spell and not that good buff for spirits. A lot of people would like to see a buff with ashes, but I think that it would really complicate everything in term of balancing. Here's my suggestion :
- For every rank in spawning power, you're weapon spells last 2% longer and every two ranks, spirits and creatures you summon have an additional level.
This may seem really slight but the health buff of spirit is really huge for small ranks in SP and tends to be the same as the actual for high ranks. With that change, ritualist will really call allies from out there and it will be really important for the other team to kill this new ally. Of course this change needs to cap the armor level of spirits to 80. On another hand I think that properties of the spirits (damage/heal, maximum lifetime...) should remain linked to the attribute of the skill and not the level of the spirit. Finally, I think it is also a reason why binding ritual's range should be decreased. The only thing wich I can't manage is the case of minions...For sure this would be OP to have minions tougher than necro's one... maybe minions shouldn't be concerned by SP anymore....
5 1 8 - (Spawining Power) - Elite Skill. You steal 0...2...2 Energy points from targeted foe. If that foe is a summoned creature, this creature is destroyed and you have full health and full energy. Life stealth doesn't fit with ritualists. They are more related to invisible things and thus to energy. The part against summoned creatures seems really strong but being full life is already the case... after all this use is really niche to some AB and RA builds.
- Doom -
15 3 20 - (Spawining Power) - Binding Ritual. Creates a level 1...7...8 spirit that last for 10 seconds. Allies in earshot of that spirit have a +0...2...2 Energy regeneration. In its present form, Empowerment is just useful to counter the drawback of having ashes in hands... and most of the time only one person has something in hand... As SP is a bit more related to energy management I made this an energy version of Recuperation, with smaller radius. Maybe should I decrease this radius a bit more.
- Energetic Was Lee Sa - no change
- Explosive Growth - no change
- Feast of Souls - no change
- Ghostly Haste -
10 1 25 - Enchantment Spell. For 5...17...20 seconds, your binding ritual activate 5% faster for each allied spirit within earshot (maximum 20%). There already ways to reduce spell recharge time with rits. In fact I felt a bit sad there are no way to summon a spirit quicker ^_~.
10 1 30 Enchantment Spell. For 5...21...25 seconds, while holding an item, you gain 3 energy each time you cast a ritualist spell. Although skill icon dispays a weapon, I think it should be used for every kind of spells. Like Soothing Memories I prefer a net gain of energy. While values seem high I think this skill is too conditional to be considered as overpowered.
5 ¼ 5 - Spell. Destroy closest ally spirit in earshot. If a spirit is destroyed, target foe takes 40...88...100 lightning damage and suffer from blindness for 3...7...8 seconds. Targeting spirits is not something reliable when playing fast so I prefer such a conditional effect. On the other hand it's not an AoE anymore.
5 1 30 - Enchantment Spell. For 1...12...15 seconds, the next time you activate a binding ritual, you can't be interrupted. Though really useful to other profession, sight beyond sight isn't really efficient neither for Rits (midline caster) nor for fighter (primary profession). The idea was then that Rit can focus his attention beyond reality and avoid interuption while summoning. A long make it so it would be used on specific spirits, not all.
10 ¾ 10 - Spell. Destroy closest ally spirit in earshot. If a spirit is destroyed, target ally and all nearby allies are healed for 30...198...240. Not to much change (values can't be adjusted as this skill isn't played..) but this way, Ritualist controls who has to be healed.
10 1 30 - Skill Destroy closest ally spirit in earshot. If a spirit is destroyed, for 5...21...25 seconds you have +1...3...3 health and +1...3...3 energy regeneration. Though really powerful, this skill is too niche. I applied the same condition as rupture soul but this time, the caster uses the strength of what he destroys on himself.
5 1 10 - Weapon Spell. For 4...9...10 seconds target ally has Weapon of renewal and the next time this ally is struck by a foe's skill, he steal 1...3...4 energy from that foe. I changed this to energy stealth (so you are not sure the gain will be the one expected) but made it so it works on every ennemy skill that target the ally (including touch skills, spells...).
Not too many changes in this attribute, I find it relatively well balanced. One deals damages through channeling magic in the air. Those damages aren't really high but Rits aren't nukers. Most of thoses skills need a spirit in ershot to be fully efficient ... it's one of the thing I like the most with ritualists (and also a bit with paragons) : the spot where you are is as important as the foe (or ally) you are targeting.
- Agony -
10 3 30 - Binding Ritual You create a level 1...5...6 spirit that last for 20 seconds. Causes 3...8...9 Health loss each second to foes in earshot. This spirit loses 3...8...9 Health for each foe that loses Health. Just a few change in spirit's level (in regard with changes in SP) and duration (a bit more active^^).
- Ancestors' Rage - Make PvP version the unique version of that skill
Ok maybe I should paly it more in PvE but I love what they made of that skill in PvP. The skill name is for several ancestors (though french translation is just one "ancêtre") so several pulse is rght for me.
5 3 20 - Binding Ritual You create a level 1...5...6 spirit that last for 30 seconds. Its attacks steal 5...21...25 Health.
- Caretaker's Charge - no change
- Channeled Strike - no change
- Clamor of Souls - no change
- Cruel Was Daoshen -
15 1 5 Item Spell. (10...30...35 seconds). Your channeling magic spells inflict Cracked armor for 5...13...15 seconds. Drop effect: deals 10...78...95 lightning damage to all nearby foes. I wanted to add some effect when ashes are in hand and thus I reduced a bit the drop damage. As cracked armor has been implemented afetr Factions, I think some old skill could be revamped with cracked armor bonus.
- Destruction - reduce spirit level to 1...7...8
- Destructive Was Glaive - no change
- Essence Strike - no change
- Gaze from Beyond - no change
- Gaze of Fury - reduce spirit level to 1...5...6 and life duration to 30s.
- Grasping Was Kuurong - no change (still under reflection)
- Lamentation - reduce recharge time to 8
- Nightmare Weapon - no change
- Offering of Spirit - no change
- Painful Bond - no change
- Renewing Surge - no change
- Signet of Spirits - no change
- Spirit Boon Strike - no change
- Spirit Burn - no change
- Spirit Rift - Reduce casting time to 1 second
For now I think it could be a good boost though I'm thinking about making it DoT
- Spirit Siphon - no change
- Splinter Weapon - no change
- Wailing Weapon - no change
- Warmonger's Weapon - no change
- Weapon of Aggression -
10 ½ 10 Weapon Spell. (5...13...15seconds.) Target ally gain 10...42...50% more adrenaline while in earshot of a spirit. I don't see why this skill shouldn't be played by Rits. Increasing ally's IAS may be hard to balance so I made this skill a weaker Weapon of Fury.
This line of skill is the toughest one...I'll keep it for later ^^
- Anguish -
15 3 30 Binding Ritual You create a 1...7...8 spirit that last for 20s. That spirit deals 5...17...20 damage with its attacks. If it hits a foe suffering from a hex, spirits takes 50 damage and the last hexes on that foe is renewed for its entire duration. Ok it seems a bit complicate when reading it but in order to play that spirit one have to reduce its power (ie health loss) so I tried to find something related with hexes (because named anguish)
15 3 45 Item Spell (5...17...20 seconds) Hexes on you expire 10...28...33 % faster. Drop effect : you create a level 1...8...10 spirit of pain that last for 30s and deals 5...25...30 damage. Again I tried to find something related to hexes that was not hex removal.
10 1 30 Enchantment Spell (5...13...15 seconds). While casting binding rituals you have 10...28...33% chance of blocking incoming attack skills. I wanted something avoiding interruption ranger as they are the biggest danger when summoning. Maybe it is underpowered compared to Sight beyond Sight but this one is not reserved to primary Rits.
- Binding Chains - reduce cast time to 1
- Brutal Weapon - no change
- Disenchantment - reduce energy cost to 15. Reduce lifespan to 30 s. Add 50 health loss when an enchantment is removed.
In order to make this skill usable one have to add health loss to the spirit. It's name doesn't allow any functionality change
- Displacement - reduce lifespan to 30s and level to 1...7...8. Reduce spirit range to earshot. Make it trigger on attack skills only.
- Dissonance -
10 3 30 Binding Ritual. Creates a level 1...7...8 spirit (10...18...20 seconds lifespan). Its attacks deal 5...17...20 damage and cause daze condition for 2...6...7 seconds. Daze is a strong condition against caster but as spirit's attacks are random and duration not that long I don't find it OP
10 1 15 Hex Spell. Also hexes foes near your target (5...13...15 seconds). Foes suffering from dulled weapon deal 5...21...25% less damage with physical attacks. For me it is a better way to counter physical pressure
10 3 30 Binding Ritual. Creates a level 1...7...8 spirit (15 seconds lifespan). Foes in earshot of spirit move 10...22...25% slower. Sorta long range ward against foe. Thus speed reduction is lower and
10 2 45 Item Spell. (15...51...60 seconds.) You have +15 armor and +30 maximum Energy. Drop Effect : you have +1 in Channeling Magic and Restoration Magic (5...17...20 seconds). I tried to find a drop effect that makes the caster mighty. Maybe some values need to be adjusted.
10 3 30 Binding Ritual. Creates a level 1...7...8 spirit (20 seconds lifespan). Whenever a party member die in earshot of it, spirit died and that member is resurected 2 seconds later with 5...41...50% Health and zero energy. This way that spirit become a bit more active. It's more like an Angelic Protection but death still occurs.
10 3 20 Binding Ritual. Create a level 1...7...8 spirit that lasts for 30 seconds. Every 3 seconds Spirit cast Shelter on an ally within earshot which negates all damages on that ally for 3 seconds. Each time the spirit loses 50 health point. The same ally cannot be protected twice. Some spirit attacks so I think some could cast spells on ally. I couldn't choose between short damage negation and longer damge reduction.
15 3 30 Binding Ritual. Creates a level 1...7...8 spirit (30 seconds lifespan). Every 3 seconds sprit casts Soothing on a foe withtin earshot. For 5 seconds that foe cannot gain adrenaline. I just look the description of Soothing Images and I don't really see why soothing is so weak. The only reason could be it's range and passive effect. That's what I wanted to adress with that suggestion.
- Sundering Weapon - no change
- Union - reduce lifespan to 30 seconds. Reduce range to earshot. Reduce energy cost to 10
- Vital Weapon - no change
- Wanderlust - at least reduce casting time to 3 seconds.
Maybe one could find a better functionality to that skill but I am not inspired right now :/
- Weapon of Quickening - no change
10 1 20 Item Spell.(5...13...15seconds.) You have 15...29...33% chance of blocking incoming attack. Drop effect : inflicts Blindness condition (3...7...8seconds) on all nearby foes. As I wanted to had an holding effect I increased energy cost of the spell and reduced the holding time.
- Death Pact Signet - no change
- Defiant Was Xinrae - no change
- Flesh of My Flesh - no change
- Generous Was Tsungrai - no change
- Ghostmirror Light - no change
- Life - reduce sprit level to 1...7...8
- Lively Was Naomei - no change
I didn't change that skill as for me the holding effect already exists : auto-resurect^^
- Mend Body and Soul - no change
- Mending Grip - no change
- Preservation - reduce spirit level to 1...7...8, reduce lifetime of spirit to 30 seconds and make the healing happens every 3 seconds.
- Protective Was Kaolai - no change
- Pure Was Li Ming - no change
- Recovery -
10 3 30 Binding Ritual Create a level 1...7...8 spirit that last for 30 seconds. Every 3 seconds, Recovery cast Recovery on a random party member within earshot. This member is cleansed from all conditions and spirit of recovery takes 20 damage for each condition removed. That is my way to make this spirit a bit more active though maybe a bit too powerful. Maybe health loss should be higher
15 3 30 Binding Ritual. Creates a level 1...7...8 spirit (30 seconds lifespan). Non-spirit allies within earshot have 0...2...3 Health regeneration. Strong nerf but it was the only way to make its energy cost lower. Nevertheless I wanted to keep the functionnality of the skill
- Rejuvenation - reduce spirit level to 1...8...10, reduce spirit's lifetime to 30 seconds, reduce recharge time to 20
This nerf seems drastic but with the new spawning power @ 10 et restoration magic @12, spirit's level becomes 13. This spirit would then be as good for primary ritualists as it is now ;)
- Resilient Was Xiko - no change
- Resilient Weapon - no change
- Soothing Memories - no change
- Spirit Light - no change
- Spirit Light Weapon - no change
- Spirit Transfer - no change
- Spiritleech Aura -
5 ¼ 20 Enchantment Spell. (5...17...20 seconds.) Whenever you cast a Restoration Magic spell on an ally in earshot of a spirit, that ally steal 5...41...50 Health from that spirit. I think the healing bonus should be for everyone, it makes this skill a little more active. Moreover one will have to take into account the life of the spirit, so it's more strategic
- Tranquil Was Tanasen - add drop effect : All your restoration magic skill are charged
No drop effect is a bit sad as this spell doesn't last for long. I think this bonus remains quite balanced and is in good agreement with the functionnality of the skill
- Vengeful Was Khanhei - add drop effect : you steal 5...17...20 Health to all nearby foes.
- Vengeful Weapon - no change
- Vocal Was Sogolon -
10 1 30 Item Spell (60 seconds.) Shouts and chants you use cost 10...28...33% less energy. Drop effect : you gain 1...2...2 energy points for each ally on earshot (maximum 2...8...10). Most of chants trigger once and normally it happens during the 10 seconds duration of the chant so I think the bonus should come from chant cost.
- Weapon of Remedy - no change
- Weapon of Shadow - no change
- Weapon of Warding - no change
- Wielder's Boon - no change
- Xinrae's Weapon - no change