Forums » Secret Class

Symbiote

    • 3089 posts
    January 27, 2017 2:44 PM PST

    I just want to start off by saying that this idea has not been completely fleshed out.  It's just an idea, and I can see potential issues/conflicts etc with a class like this.  The goal for this post was to try and think of a new class that has never appeared in an MMO before, and gauge whether or not people would have any interest in playing it.  If anybody has an idea they'd like to share that can expand on the class, or can think of a problem with the class in general, I would like to hear them.  I would love to brainstorm with the community and see if a class like this would be possible, and if so, how it could be implemented without causing any crazy balance/imbalance issues that would break the game.


     
    With all that being said ... here goes:


     
    My idea for a Symbiote is that they would basically be a 100% support/enhancement type class.  The Symbiote itself is extremely weak, but their true power lies in being able to cast Symbiote on another player's character and provide special augmentations to them.  This could be in the form of wards or small HoT's, temporary stat/resist boosts, aggro/deaggro abilities, elemental armor enhancements (character gains Burning/Icy armor for limited duration that does small-medium fire/ice AoE damage around the wearer), attack speed/DPS modifiers, etc.

     

    The idea behind the class is to allow them to noticeably enhance the power of another character, and the Symbiote would have an ability that allows them to switch to different characters mid-combat.  The cooldown for this ability would be tweaked as necessary.  There may be a certain fight where the Symbiote remains attached to the tank for the entire fight, augmenting him with shields/heals/aggro enhancements, etc.  On another fight, the Symbiote may want to attach to a healer and channel mana to them or cast a well timed deaggro ability and prevent their demise.  On another fight, the Symbiote can attach to a DPS class and help burn down a particularly troublesome add.  On another fight, a skilled Symbiote will utilize the ability that allows him to switch character attachment mid-combat and perform several of these roles in a single fight, depending on what's needed most at any given moment.  Utilizing the cooldown of this ability would be very strategic because if timed incorrectly, there could be serious consequences.  Perhaps they try to switch to a healer to save them with a deaggro ability, but just as they switch, the healer dies.  They're now attached to that dead healer and due to the cooldown on being able to switch to another character, they'll be rendered useless for a period of time.  Maybe late-game the Symbiote has the ability to rez a character that they are attached to.

     

    Seeing as playing through other characters would be the main purpose of the Symbiote, they'd be really weak by themselves and hardpressed to solo almost anything.  If necessary, they can be allowed 2 forms, whereas the second form allows them to use some of these abilities on themself but with a severely reduced effectiveness.  The class would not be designed to solo at all, but if it's absolutely necessary that they can, there are ways to accomodate this.  In general though, the only truly viable way for them to XP would be through group endeavors.  To add more flavor to the class, perhaps consider how they could carve out a role in the "Control" section of the Quaternity.  Allow them to disrupt/control the battlefield from a long distance (they can't get up close and personal because of how weak they are) with various forms of CC, such as placing traps on the terrain that can root/fear/mezz, etc mobs when they are walked on.  Perhaps they can create decoys, barricades, or other distractions.

     

    Anyway, I'd love to get some feedback on this idea and hear from other players on whether or not they would be interested in playing a class like this.  It's completely dependant on other players, but it would have various ways of meaningfully contributing to a group.  To my knowledge, a class like this has ever appeared in an MMO and that was my goal ... bring something new to the table that has never been done before.  With the understanding that this game is going to be extremely social and group-centric, I think a class like this might just be feasible.

     

    Thoughts?


     
    Disclaimer:  This idea was inspired by the Symbiotes from Marvel Comics.  Also, I posted this same thread under the "Expansion Classes" forum because I figured that there was no way something like this would make it to initial launch.  Someone mentioned to me that the "Secret Class" forum might actually be the more accurate forum to post this on because the "Secret Class" might actually be voted on from the community and possibly be implemented into the game in the future.  I apologize for the double post, just wanted to make sure that it appeared on the proper forum.  Feel free to delete whichever one that does not belong.  If I had the choice to choose one or the other, I would keep this thread alive as this forum seems to get a bit more attention.


    This post was edited by oneADseven at January 27, 2017 5:06 PM PST
    • 2013 posts
    January 27, 2017 4:24 PM PST

    Well initially I love the idea. Kind of like how Bard in XI was basically only buff/debuffer really. Not sure it could make it in Pantheon, but that seems to be because they seem to want support and utility to be spread around instead of being its own role with classes that specialize in it.

     

    But maybe thats only because of the initial classes or classes based on say EQ tradition or iteration. So maybe as long as it was a completely new class it would allow them more freedom to make such a class.

    • 3089 posts
    January 27, 2017 5:11 PM PST

    Amsai said:

    Well initially I love the idea. Kind of like how Bard in XI was basically only buff/debuffer really. Not sure it could make it in Pantheon, but that seems to be because they seem to want support and utility to be spread around instead of being its own role with classes that specialize in it.

     

    But maybe thats only because of the initial classes or classes based on say EQ tradition or iteration. So maybe as long as it was a completely new class it would allow them more freedom to make such a class.

     

    Well, part of the idea was to fit them into the Control portion of the Quaternity.  I don't know how many classes are currently dedicated for that role, but I don't think it would hurt to add another one.  The support/utility aspect of the class would still be okay since that's being spread around multiple classes anyway.  I'm sure I could think of a few more ways to make them more of a "Control" oriented class if that would help.  Would like to hear some more feedback from other players ... the real question is, would someone actually enjoy playing a class like this?  Knowing that your solo capabilities are extremely limited, and that the focal point behind your class is to augment others?  Personally I think it would be quite enjoyable.  They aren't really a Jack of all Trades ... more of a class that can enhance all of the Kings and make them Aces.


    This post was edited by oneADseven at January 27, 2017 8:34 PM PST
    • 21 posts
    January 27, 2017 7:33 PM PST

    I love the idea and would definitely play one as an alt. The total reliance on other players would be frustrating for a main, but it would be a great way to master the game when re-experiencing the game as an alt.

    • 3089 posts
    January 28, 2017 9:07 PM PST

    Absolem said:

    I love the idea and would definitely play one as an alt. The total reliance on other players would be frustrating for a main, but it would be a great way to master the game when re-experiencing the game as an alt.

     

    I do like the angle on mastering the game through a class like this.  I've been trying to think of some other ways to make a class like this viable, but I'd really like to see some more traction on the thread.  I'll probably just continue to edit the OP or my second post with updates on how it could work.  Things like pros/cons, abilities, role definement, etc.  If anybody would like to contribue please feel free to add ideas, and I'll try to stay on top of the thread and keep a detailed/uniformed summary of how the class could/should work.

    • 1179 posts
    January 29, 2017 5:40 AM PST

    I definitely think it's an interesting idea, but I'm not sure there's enough to make a player character class out of it.  Somebody here posted an idea for a wizard to have a magical amplifier kind of mode where the wizard could temporarily serve as a booster for another character's magical abilities (sorry, I can't remember who it was, or which thread).  I thought that was a great idea to add some more utility to the wizard class, which is normally just all about damage.  I think I'd still prefer to see something more like that, but I have some ideas for your Symbiote.

     

    The main issue I have with your idea is that the character would be -too- reliant on others, I think.  What if this basically became a charm class?  I'm sure the enchanters won't be happy, but it's a little different.  Make it a class with the ability to possess one character at a time, pc or npc.  When possessing a player character, it's more of a ride-along.  Rather than trying to gain control of the player character's thoughts and actions, you settle for augmenting them with the abilities you mentioned.  For your late-game ressurection idea, why not just make it so the possessed character can begin to use your resources when theirs are gone?  So, if you possess a tank with 5000 hitpoints, and all of those hitpoints are gone, the tank can still exist on your own 2000 hitpoints or whatever.  At this point, the tank's hitpoints can still be healed, but if he uses up all of yours, you are both dead.  The possesed player character could also dip into your mana pool this way.  You'd probably have to set it up so that when you are possessing another character (pc or npc), your 'shell' is much weaker than it regularly is (which is already pretty weak).  You'd want to park your shell away from the fight, generally, and you'd be extremely vulnerable to roamers at this time.  Of course, when your shell is dead, so are you.  There's still the question of how to make possessing a player character more interactive for the Symbiote, rather than just turning into the ultimate buff and watching the show.

     

    Then, of course, there'd also be the option to possess a mob, and at that time, you'd be able to control the mobs movements and actions more completely.  You'd be using more of your energy on the possession and so you'd have less (or none) to spare for the benefits you're able to grant to your groupmates when you 'possess' them.  Maybe your possession slowly transfers the mob's hitpoints and mana to you.  You'd still have to protect the shell you have left behind as it would be just as vulnerable in this situation.  One difference would be that when the mob dies, you automatically pop back into your shell rather than having the mob use your hitpoints and mana.  Or maybe it's something that you have to time properly or you end up dying with the mob?  Enchanters could still have their traditional charm, where the mob becomes more of a pet and they are still able to do other things in combat at the same time.

     

    So, there you have two types of symbiotic relationships.  You have your mutualism when you possess a player character, and you have your parasitism when you possess a mob.  You'd have to choose when it's best to do what.  I'm still not sure there is enough here for a player class.  The key is to figure out how to make it feel like you are still playing while possessing the player character, I reckon.  Even if you get that down, you don't really fight with your sprite as a Symbiote, so I wonder if people would have issues bonding with their characters.  Also seems like there's a pretty high potential for abuse.  I could see people buying second accounts just to box Symbiotes and make their actual character stronger.

     

    EDIT: Typos.

     


    This post was edited by Shucklighter at January 29, 2017 5:50 AM PST
    • 3089 posts
    January 29, 2017 9:34 AM PST

    Shucklighter said:

    I definitely think it's an interesting idea, but I'm not sure there's enough to make a player character class out of it.  Somebody here posted an idea for a wizard to have a magical amplifier kind of mode where the wizard could temporarily serve as a booster for another character's magical abilities (sorry, I can't remember who it was, or which thread).  I thought that was a great idea to add some more utility to the wizard class, which is normally just all about damage.  I think I'd still prefer to see something more like that, but I have some ideas for your Symbiote.

     

    The main issue I have with your idea is that the character would be -too- reliant on others, I think.  What if this basically became a charm class?  I'm sure the enchanters won't be happy, but it's a little different.  Make it a class with the ability to possess one character at a time, pc or npc.  When possessing a player character, it's more of a ride-along.  Rather than trying to gain control of the player character's thoughts and actions, you settle for augmenting them with the abilities you mentioned.  For your late-game ressurection idea, why not just make it so the possessed character can begin to use your resources when theirs are gone?  So, if you possess a tank with 5000 hitpoints, and all of those hitpoints are gone, the tank can still exist on your own 2000 hitpoints or whatever.  At this point, the tank's hitpoints can still be healed, but if he uses up all of yours, you are both dead.  The possesed player character could also dip into your mana pool this way.  You'd probably have to set it up so that when you are possessing another character (pc or npc), your 'shell' is much weaker than it regularly is (which is already pretty weak).  You'd want to park your shell away from the fight, generally, and you'd be extremely vulnerable to roamers at this time.  Of course, when your shell is dead, so are you.  There's still the question of how to make possessing a player character more interactive for the Symbiote, rather than just turning into the ultimate buff and watching the show.

     

    Then, of course, there'd also be the option to possess a mob, and at that time, you'd be able to control the mobs movements and actions more completely.  You'd be using more of your energy on the possession and so you'd have less (or none) to spare for the benefits you're able to grant to your groupmates when you 'possess' them.  Maybe your possession slowly transfers the mob's hitpoints and mana to you.  You'd still have to protect the shell you have left behind as it would be just as vulnerable in this situation.  One difference would be that when the mob dies, you automatically pop back into your shell rather than having the mob use your hitpoints and mana.  Or maybe it's something that you have to time properly or you end up dying with the mob?  Enchanters could still have their traditional charm, where the mob becomes more of a pet and they are still able to do other things in combat at the same time.

     

    So, there you have two types of symbiotic relationships.  You have your mutualism when you possess a player character, and you have your parasitism when you possess a mob.  You'd have to choose when it's best to do what.  I'm still not sure there is enough here for a player class.  The key is to figure out how to make it feel like you are still playing while possessing the player character, I reckon.  Even if you get that down, you don't really fight with your sprite as a Symbiote, so I wonder if people would have issues bonding with their characters.  Also seems like there's a pretty high potential for abuse.  I could see people buying second accounts just to box Symbiotes and make their actual character stronger.

     

    EDIT: Typos.

     

     

    Pretty awesome ideas Shuck.  I particularly liked the parasitism part as it really brought another angle on how the class could be played and fit more closely into the Control area of the Quaternity.  I understand your concern about people potentially having bonding issues with their character, but I personally don't think it would be that big of a deal.  The Symbiote would be controlled in town or during travel the same as any other character; it's only during combat that they're rotating their possession targets.  In the same token, they would be "bonding" with other players a lot more ... and maybe some people would prefer a playstyle like that.  If someone decided to play this class, they would hopefully be doing so knowing that the "shell" of the Symbiote is not going to be the primary focus of their play, but more of a means to an end when it comes to combat.  The Symbiote's spirte is the enabler, and I think the positioning of this sprite would be pretty important because anytime they wanted to possess another character or NPC, they would be rendered frozen in their shell ... a permanent stasis for as long as they are possessing someone, or something.

    I can see this being an issue in a lot of combat areas, and it would take quite a bit of skill to get the positioning and timing down to play this class safely.  It's not like they can just auto follow and be a permanent buff bot.  Now if you find a static camp and a perfect hidden safe spot to shell up, then maybe yeah, there is potential for someone to abuse a class like this and use them as a buffbot.  At the same time though, the way in which they buff is much more demanding than your typical bard or enchanter buffs.  The idea behind the class is that the player will be very tuned in to their awareness and throughout all areas of combat.  Even if they want to possess the same character for an extended period of time, they would still have to accurately cycle their various abilities to get the most out of the class.  And once you get to late-game, I would imagine that content would be difficult enough so that this type of tunnel vision would not be very ideal, rather, a good Symbiote would be switching his possession targets fairly often during a fight in order to maximize the utility offered by the class.  I'm not really worried about people abusing a class like this because IMO, it would be easier to just box a bard or enchanter and use them as a buffbot.  They wouldn't be quite so vulnerable because they don't have to shell up and freeze themselves during possession, and also, the majority of their buffs are group wide, whereas the Symbiote is more of a class that focuses on 1 character at a time.

    Anyway, thanks again for your input on the class.  When I create a summary on how the class would look/feel/play at some point, I'll definitely be adding the ability for them to possess NPC's.  This was the kind of idea I was looking for to help expand on how the class could function.  Much appreciated ... again, thank you!

    • 3089 posts
    February 5, 2017 8:04 AM PST

    Still super excited about the idea of this class ... have just been working on some other ideas lately and haven't found time to get back to this as much as I'd like.  Does anybody have any ideas as far as what kind of abilities the class could have, focusing specifically on their role in the control section of the quaternity?  I mentioned them having various types of traps that could be placed in the environment, or having access to barricades of some sort.  I loved Shuck's idea of being able to possess NPC's as well as players ... it really opens up a lot of potential with fun, tactical gameplay.  I think allowing tanks to tap into the lifepool of the Symbiote after their health reaches 0 was also a pretty cool idea, but it seems pretty OP.  It would basically serve as a permanent death prevention ability.  Maybe it could be an ability the Symbiote could cast ... like a 5-6 second temporary buff on possession target:  If target reaches 0 HP while buff is active, they regain 20% HP/Mana, the Symbiote is drained of 50% of all remaining resources and put into a 2 second stasis.

    • 4271 posts
    February 5, 2017 9:19 AM PST

    Strange... I could have sworn I posted on this topic, but I don't see it anywhere. Anyway, your description is basically exactly how Abathur plays in Heroes of the Storm. I suggest you look up some gameplay vids on YouTube. Of course, there's quite a big difference between MOBAs and MMO's, but it makes me think it's somehow possible. Abathur is one of the most unique and difficult heroes to play in HotS, but of course that's not necessarily a bad thing. I'm guessing this playstyle would not be for everyone. But it would certainly make the game stand out and it would be cool to see the handful of people that can truly master it.

    • 3089 posts
    February 5, 2017 3:39 PM PST
    I checked out some videos of Abather in heroes of the storm and it seems pretty close to what I envisioned. I am not exactly sure how that game works but it seems like he basically possesses other players and makes them stronger with buffs and shields. He also uses traps and spawns a huge pet of some sort. Great example. I tried to look up his abilities but I didn't see anything much different than what I already recommended except the big pet, some sort of teleporting ability, and a way to clone a teammate. I do think that it's a great example of how the class can be played though. Unique and difficult to play, high learning curve to master? I would love to see something like that ... and seriously, how cool would it be to add a brand new type of class into an mmo? I think plenty of people would be willing to give the game a shot just to try something that has never been done before in an MMO. Pantheon stays true to a lot of original mmo concepts but is also bringing plenty of new ideas to the genre. A new class like symbiote would be a very attractive feature and possibly be used as a selling point for marketing purposes.
    • 3089 posts
    February 5, 2017 8:33 PM PST

    Someone had messaged me a couple concerns about this idea that I would like to address. Basically, they wanted to know how this class would generate aggro, and where was the "danger" in playing such a class. In response to the aggro question, that's not really something I have thought of. I would imagine that their aggro would work the same as any other class. Their minor heals/shields would generate aggro, their cc could generate aggro, maybe even using possession and switching targets with it could generate aggro. Without understanding how aggro works in Pantheon it's a little hard to tell. Will there be aggro positions, or raw threat numbers? Will healing be at a 1 to 1 ratio with damage, or taunt? Do buffs generate aggro, and if so, at what ratio? I think there are plenty of ways to incorporate aggro into the class.

    As far as the feeling of danger for the class, I think the symbiote would be one of the most dangerous classes to play. While they are possessing another player, their regular character would be in a stasis of sorts, a shell where they are unable to move. That alone makes the class pretty dangerous. Positioning will be of paramount importance because if something goes wrong it will be more difficult for a symbiote to reposition than any other class. The awareness around their shelled character would be very important, and balancing that awareness while trying to leverage their power on their possession target would be a hard thing to master. As Bazgrim pointed out, there is a character called Abather in a MOBA game that works very similar to how I describe the Symbiote. That game also has archetypes such as tank, support, dps, control. Apparently it's one of the hardest characters to master in that game, mostly because of how group reliant he is.

    When I read over the tenets of this game, doesn't it sound like Symbiote would fit in nicely? If it wasnt already obvious, I am super vested into this game and I think having a never before seen class as one of the game features could be a major selling point to acquire new followers ... especially if that class is the living embodiment of teamwork and group cohesion, some of the core gameplay elements that draw people to the product in the first place. Think about progeny, colored mana, perception, etc. People like things that are new and shiny and VR was brilliant for featuring those new concepts as a part of The Pantheon Difference.


    This post was edited by oneADseven at February 5, 2017 10:01 PM PST
    • 4271 posts
    February 6, 2017 8:11 AM PST

    You pretty much hit the nail on the head. Definitely a high skill ceiling, and would also require additional communication between teammates. The positioning of the character with the symbiote would be essential to maximizing the effectiveness of the symbiote itself. You probably wouldn't be able to carry the group as this class, but the support benefits would be more than noticeable. As you said, the primary danger with this playstyle would be the positioning of the Symbiote character when entering stasis. Your view would be limited to that of the character you are enhancing, so you might not notice if your own character is being attacked, unless you're keeping a close eye on your health bar. The thing is - you would have extremely low hp/defense compared to every other class. At least, that's how it is in HotS. If a wandering mob catches you off guard, you'll get wrecked real quick. And of course there'd be a pretty limited range to your abilities, so you can't just stay in town and enhance your party from a safe distance.

    Even if there is a pet ability like Evolve Monstrosity, you'd probably still have to enter stasis and take on the perspective of the pet. It would basically just be creating a more powerful body for yourself. Much more hp, atk, etc. but of course you still have to be mindful of where your actual body is, because if you that dies, well, you're dead. If the pet dies, you just return to the perspective of your actual body and leave stasis. I'm not sure exactly how an Ultimate Evolution (short term clone of a friendly character) would work in an MMO, but maybe. It would certainly be cool. Again, enter stasis and take on the perspective of the clone, leaving your main body vulnerable. If the clone dies, return to the perspective of your actual body and leave stasis. Situational awareness would be crucial.

    Generating aggro is an interesting question. I suppose damage and healing would put the character on the aggro table, just like any other class. I doubt buffs will generate hate for other classes, so if they don't, they shouldn't for the Symbiote either. Anyway, I think some mobs wouldn't be intelligent enough to determine the actual source of the abilities. In other words, I don't think many mobs would be able to figure out that they actually need to attack the Symbiote's physical body. Perhaps the hate generated from the Symbiote's abilities would be to added to the character who is currently wearing the "hat." (That's what we call Abathur's symbiote ability in HotS - the person who is actively being enhanced by Abathur.) That would make for an interesting tool to help tanks hold aggro. Likewise, it may also create some strange situations where the Symbiote pulls aggro to someone who shouldn't have it, like an Enchanter, even if that Enchanter didn't really do anything wrong haha. That could get ugly.

    As you said, even though MOBA's are quite different from MMO's, one of the things I like about Heroes of the Storm is that a lot of the same core principles are there - there's tanks, dps, healers, etc. And a lot of the same tactics apply. Really the only main differences is that it's just fixed 3rd person, the combat is just faster-paced, and it's PvP. So I gotta think that if they can balance the abilities, the group dynamics of a Symbiote character would be pretty viable.

    • 3089 posts
    March 1, 2017 10:13 PM PST

    Thanks for the feedback Bazgrim.  I'm glad that you share my sentiments that a class like this might be feasible.  It's definitely a little off the wall but I think it has the potential to be sticky enough for people to give it a try.  People love trying something new.  It's always fun when an expansion comes out and people reroll to a new class ... sacrificing their prior main and their progression, but bringing a new class/role to the table and thus be inherently valuable.  I'm sure it wouldn't be the easiest thing in the world to implement but where there is a will there is a way.  =D

    • 2388 posts
    March 1, 2017 10:49 PM PST

    It would be a very off the wall class, definitely reminded me of Abathur from HotS. 

     

    I think the issue with such a class is that it is a complete nightmare to balance properly. If the whole role of the class is to essentially buff a group member to the power of 2, then you have to balance all of the symbiotes abilities based on the abilities of every other class and how any buffs to affect the output of attack speed/damage/spell speed/mana regen/cooldown reduction/shields/heals/et al. This is the major issue he has always had in HotS, always teetering from over to under powered, he either makes one player/group of classes too strong or he is less useful than another body moving about. Not to mention if encounters require much movement or have many GTAoEs, he is a disadvantage to another class. If there were safe spots with him in mind you'd likely end up with healer/caster stacking in those areas too, which is no good either.

     

    What are your thoughts? 

    • 81 posts
    March 2, 2017 4:18 AM PST

    I think your class could be both offensive and defensive, being :

     

    - buffs : symbiosis/possession

    - attack : parasiting/possession

     

    For the lore/flavor you could say this class can astral project, for example, which is btw an IRL ability for some people that has been studied for a long time. Then you can add magic to it and you end up with something like it. In this regard the symbiote body would stay at its location powerless, while his soul travels and attaches to whatever. Most of its actions would then be on the mental plane, possibly physical with magic being introduced to justify it.

     

    Or you can consider some kind of animal-like physical attaching ability, but then it won't fit with the current races (all current classes are humanoid, with height being close one another. i don't see a humanoid character attach physically to another one nearly the same size into something useful in combat) In this regard i think a new race should be imagined, else it won't fit.

     

    Or you can imagine a mage-like character emitting some kind of magic bond between him and his target, both staying at their location, like a medic bond from team fortress 2 (heals, buffs).

     

    This class could also attack by attaching an enemy, possibly controlling its movements, inflicting heavy debuffs, loss of consciousness, mental damage converted to HP damage, etc. It would then be single target specifically.

     

    I'll try to find longer ideas later.

     

    Cheers.


    This post was edited by Gideon at March 2, 2017 4:18 AM PST
    • 3089 posts
    March 2, 2017 6:39 AM PST

    Thanks for your responses guys.  As I mentioned in the OP, this would be a brand new class that hasn't appeared in an MMO before.  There would definitely be a level of challenge present as it relates to class experimentation/implementation.  In my opinion, rather than focusing on the challenges, consider the opportunity.  At this stage of the game, we don't have enough information to base the idea around.  There is no reason we should be talking balance, aggro mechanics, etc.  Instead, consider how the class could carve a roll into the quaternity, particularly the control section.  There is zero chance this class makes into launch, and it's highly unlikely it appears at any point.  But I do think that it's interesting enough to pack up and stick in a back pocket.  After the more important groundwork of the game is worked out, then those finer details can be considered.  That said, it's difficult to justify a bunch of theory crafting scenarios that probably aren't going to matter when all is said and done.  I have spent countless hours trying to come up with ideas for this game but at the end of the day, VR simply doesen't have the time to place a lot of emphasis on projects that fall outside of the scope of what they already have going on.  When it comes to something like this, it's quite possible that there are conflicts within the class idea itself that makes it impossible to exist.  Without knowing that, we would be spinning wheels for every moment we invested into trying to improve/expand upon the idea.

    VR has built up an extremely passionate following over the years and has shared plenty of alluring concepts/ideas with us.  They get dissected here on the forum by conspiracy theorists; I know this firsthand as I was guilty of doing it myself early on.  Since then, I have learned to redirect my focus toward things I can control.  I have received that advice multiple times  --  don't worry about things you cannot control.  It's of course a very difficult thing to do because of how invested we are, but at the end of the day it's really sound advice.  I have made a solid effort with presenting a variety of ideas that I think are worthy of consideration.  In most cases, they have been well received by the majority of people who comment.  Deep down though I feel that it stresses me out more than anything, and it's all self inflicted.  I am not a game developer.  I love to think of concepts and all that fun stuff, but in this environment, I simply cannot control them.  I've started probably 4-5 serious projects on here that I felt very confident about, but was never able to go all the way with one of them.  I always get halted in my tracks, confronted with the reality that Terminus is already made.  If there was ever a time for me to dedicate myself to these projects, it would be in the future after all of the existing ideas/concepts in the game are working as intended.  That is why I plan on testing the game to the fullest.  I want to get to the next level of development.  I want the development team to realize all of their own hard work in the world before throwing them another curveball that they simply do not have time for.  Once we get to that point all working together, I would hope that maybe some of these ideas could be revisited.  Only time will tell, but for now, I am going to take a step away from the conceptual side of things and focus my energy on refining what already exists.

    • 4271 posts
    March 2, 2017 6:50 AM PST

    Iksar said:

    It would be a very off the wall class, definitely reminded me of Abathur from HotS. 

     

    I think the issue with such a class is that it is a complete nightmare to balance properly. If the whole role of the class is to essentially buff a group member to the power of 2, then you have to balance all of the symbiotes abilities based on the abilities of every other class and how any buffs to affect the output of attack speed/damage/spell speed/mana regen/cooldown reduction/shields/heals/et al. This is the major issue he has always had in HotS, always teetering from over to under powered, he either makes one player/group of classes too strong or he is less useful than another body moving about. Not to mention if encounters require much movement or have many GTAoEs, he is a disadvantage to another class. If there were safe spots with him in mind you'd likely end up with healer/caster stacking in those areas too, which is no good either.

     

    What are your thoughts? 

    That's a good point - Aba in HotS is constantly falling in and out of the meta. It's definitely possible to implement that style into an MMO, but implementing it well is a whole different issue haha. I think it's because it's a high risk/high reward class. Being able to have such powerful buffs is offset by the fact that the Symbiote is probably going to do fairly often due to low hp/lack of mobility. I don't think it woudl make sense to design safe spots in the world with just one class in mind. As you said, they could be abused by other classes and the vulnerability of the Symbiote is what makes its powerful buffs acceptable. But anyway, because there would only be a small percentage of people that could play the class effectively, it's hard to determine what "balanced" even is. It would be a very volatile class to play. I think it's totally okay that there are some situations where you'd be at a disadvantage. As long as you're not completely useless. I think that'll be the case for every class.

    • 81 posts
    March 2, 2017 11:24 AM PST

    Some effects possible for this class could be the following, considering a fluid-like character, able to wrap the target physically :

     

    - rear view buff

    - increased stats (enhancing movements / mind)

    - increased armor (by envelopping the target)

    - xp gain share (between symbiote and target, by sharing their minds : if one gains xp, the other one too)

    - skill copy (the symbiote does the same thing as the target)

    - adddional health pool (symbiote working as a shield)

    - additional mana pool (symbiote sharing his mana pool with target)

    - detrimental effects removal (symbiote possibly taking them instead of target, and suffering its effects)

    - morphing symbiote and target into a powerful being (boss-like character)

     

    The symbiote could possibly have other skills, like morphing by itlself into various beings, using some kind of body plasticity, like morphing into a puddle to pass through doors, splitting in several smaller versions of himself, or envelopping an enemy, choking it etc.

     

    If the symbiote ends up being an astral traveler, he may have the following skills :

     

    - view sharing, giving distant view on something to the one he possesses

    - moving his soul through doors/obstacles

    - gaining xp without taking risks (as long as his body is safe)

    - morale bonus on skills, stats, etc

    - granting new temporary skills to target (shifting target's mind)

    - granting an ascending xp bonus the more the two stay glued together

     

    If the symbiote ends up using some distant magic link, it can buff up virtually anything you can think of.

     

    Cheers

     


    This post was edited by Gideon at March 2, 2017 11:31 AM PST
    • 3089 posts
    March 10, 2017 7:30 AM PST

    Nice observations Gideon!  At this point, it's all but concluded that we won't see any secret classes on launch.  Maybe we'll get lucky and see something like this in a future expansion.  I really like all of your ideas and if you check the entire discussion of this thread, it seems that there are plenty of ways to make a class like this possible.  I am moreso interested at this point to see how many people would actually play something like this.  The class would be super weak at soloing, and be more group reliant than any other out there.  Has it's pros and cons for sure, but in a group-centric game ... I think a class like this would shine!  I would definitely make this my first alt after I max out my warrior.

  • Wig
    • 180 posts
    June 14, 2017 9:33 AM PDT

    How would you deal with buffing a dps in the middle of them nuking and having that class pull aggro and die? I see a lot of hardships for the symbiote in that manner. But also see much love when a symbiote buffs heals on the tank when the boss becomes enraged. I really like the idea of the class nevertheless. Grouping would be extremely fun hopping back and forth between dps, cc, heals and tanks to give buffs throughout a fight. I can see mastering the class making its gameplay look like a work of art.

    • 3089 posts
    June 14, 2017 2:15 PM PDT

    Wig said:

    How would you deal with buffing a dps in the middle of them nuking and having that class pull aggro and die? I see a lot of hardships for the symbiote in that manner. But also see much love when a symbiote buffs heals on the tank when the boss becomes enraged. I really like the idea of the class nevertheless. Grouping would be extremely fun hopping back and forth between dps, cc, heals and tanks to give buffs throughout a fight. I can see mastering the class making its gameplay look like a work of art.

    You could always cast a de-aggro on the DPS instead of buffing their DPS.  That's where combat awareness comes into play ... there is always "something" to do, but knowing what will be most effective at any given point in time would be the hard part to master.  I've done a bit of research on Abathur from HotS and it seems like he plays almost exactly how I imagined the Symbiote class working.  Extremely weak while solo, but diverse and effective in group play.  They would definitely fall into the support/control sphere.  My favorite part of the class design is just how dependant on the group they would be.  It would really take coordination and teamwork to the next level.  In order to be optimally efficient, you would want to sync certain abilities with the player you're hosting.  I would have a lot of fun with something like this.

  • Wig
    • 180 posts
    June 14, 2017 3:34 PM PDT

    It seems like this class not only needs to learn what they are fighting but WHO they are fighting with. Learning each player and their personal play styles would make you more knowledgeable of what to or not to cast at a given time. Again, I like this class, seems very in depth and tough to master. I like classes like that, or should I say love

    • 3089 posts
    June 18, 2017 3:42 PM PDT

    Indeed!  It would work great as an expansion class as well so that people have plenty of time to learn the mechanics/tendencies of all the existing classes.  It would fit in nicely with the control sphere (which is the least represented of the lot) and really promotes the idea of group gameplay.  I never played Warhammer but I remember when it first came out, I thought it was really awesome how they were adding a bunch of "new" class ideas.  It was the most attractive part about the game from the perspective of an outsider looking in.  I would absolutely love to play a class like this ... it's playstyle is unique and something that hasn't been pulled off in any MMO that I am aware of.  I'm not sure how hard it would be to balance something like this but with enough TLC I hope it would be possible.  When the time comes to start talking about future content this will probably be the first of many ideas I'll bring up.

    • 873 posts
    November 2, 2017 7:45 AM PDT

    Alternative take:

    Class: Planar Mage
    Type: Support / Utility (CC)

    Overview:

    The Planar Mage (or Lich variant) has a strong metaphysical connection/conduit to the near planes and (at higher levels) a weaken one to the higher planes. His energy (both mana and hp) is used to connect him (strongly) to these planes and (carefully/weakly) to the auras of nearby players/NPCs. He can also connect (weakly, initially) to local atmospheres. When linked to more than one mob/PC he can attempt to draw effects away from his inward target and push them to his outward target. To do this, he must insulate himself, merely routing these effects. As he gets more powerful, he will be able to hold many more links open, thus spreading the load inwards or outwards - depending on how many links (and which direction they are).

    Primary Ability/Spells:

    1. Far-Link to Near plane [Start-Lower levels]
        He opens a conduit to a POSITIVE or a NEGAVTIVE plane. The latter would be a 'death' type plane.
        Costs mana to open, and mana/tick to maintain
        Long duration [reduced hp/STA recovery while active]

    2. Far-Link to a Higher plane [Middle-Higher Levels]
        He opens a conduit to a SPECIFIC (researched) plane which offers specific benefits.
        Costs mana to open, and hp+mana/tick to maintain
        Short duration [reduced hp/STA recovery while active]

    3. Near-Link to PC Aura [Start-Lower levels]
        He opens a conduit to a player, attaching to their aura.

    4. Near-Link to Mob Aura [Lower-Mid levels]
        He opens a conduit to a player, attaching to their aura.

    5. Near-GroupLink to Aura [Mid-Higher levels]
        He opens a conduit to a player, attaching to their aura.

    5. Self-Link [Start-Higher levels]
        He loops a conduit back to himself causing a short between his aura and any plane linked.
        This allows him to act upon himself, but at inflated costs and lowered effects

     Secondary Ability/Spells:

    1. Tranfer outward via Link
        He can send effects (via his near link) to the PC (type determined by Main-Link)

    2. Tranfer inward via Link
        He can grab effects (via his near link) to the PC (type determined by Main-Link)

    Effects:

    1. He can make from 1 (initially) to 6+ near-links (higher levels)
    2. The type of effect is determined by the plane linked to and link direction
    3. The effects enhance (outward) or reduce (inward) effects in-place on a mob/PC

    Examples:

    1. He has Warrior (outwards) and summoner (inwards) near-linked, and far-linked to +ve plane.
        He could strengthen (improve) the tanks buffs, at the expense of mana cost (his) and reduced duration on Summoner's buffs
        He could move (some/most of) a poison (DoT) from the Summoner to the Warrior at slight mana/DoT cost (his)

    2. He has Paladin (inwards) and summoner (outwards) near-linked, and far-linked to +ve plane.
        He could increase the summoner's mana regen, at the expense of mana cost (his) and slightyly reduced mana regen on Paladin.
        He could move a stun effect from the Paladin to himself (small mana cost)

    3. He has Boss-Mob (inwards) and whole group (outwards) near-linked, and far-linked to -ve plane.
        He could drastically reduce the mob's speed/haste, passing a much weaker effect out to all in the group.

    4. He has near-link[Boss-Mob (out), local Frigid-Atmosphere (in) and group (out)], far-linked to Plane-of-Fire.
        He could drastically reduce the mob's Frigid resists via Local (Frigid),
        He could use Fire to increase groups Frigid resistance via Far (Fire).
        He could add +Fire effect to all group melee via Far (Fire)

    Hopefully you get the idea.

    This class would really only shine as a support class within a group. Solo, he would have to loop-back on himself, thus providing much weaker (and inefficient) effects. As he levels up, he would be able to link to a growing variety of planes, giving more breadth to his abilities.

    NOTE: He should (and would have to have) limitations.
        Having multiple links operational should be taxing.
        In/Out effects on the mobs will generate aggro
        Taking effects onto himself (or even through him) will affect him (slightly)

    It operates as a buffer/debuffer class - but has high overheads in terms of tactics and pre-planning. Add in that he must research/find any/all planes above starting ones and this is not a class for the faint-hearted. Add in detrimental side-effects from planar contact (eg Fire-Plane leaches heat side-effect so he better have decent Fire acclimation!) and it should be possible to balance him.

    • 3089 posts
    November 3, 2017 12:49 PM PDT

    I really like your take on how the Symbiote (Or planar mage alternate) class could shake out.  Thanks for sharing your wisdom, as always, Evoras!


    This post was edited by oneADseven at November 3, 2017 12:50 PM PDT