Proposed Warg Revision
As the more avid wargs will have seen by now Kelson, one of the devs at Turbine, has posted up some ideas for changes to the Stalker class. I thought it was about time I took a look at some of these changes and what they could mean for wargs.
The first thing to comment on is the proposal to remove inductions from all howl skills and allow those skills to be used whilst moving. This is long overdue and will actually make some of those howl skills useful. The obvious example is of course Rallying Howl. In the past this was more a liability than a heal as not only did it have an induction, but it also rooted you for a few seconds whilst the animation played out. In other words more often than not you just ran rather than using your only heal. Then we had the news that the induction would be removed, but of course the animation root still remains, again limiting the usefulness of the skill.
Actually allowing howl skills whilst on the move will make Rallying Howl a viable heal and also give wargs a little better functionality in raids where they will now be able to off-heal a little better.
The proposal here is to alter the skill Rend Flesh so that it becomes a reactionary skill that will become available for use whenever the warg scores a critical hit. It has the same effect as before i.e. +10% incoming melee & ranged damage for the freep, but it will now also do a small amount of damage too. Oh and there will be no cooldown on it.
I actually like this change a lot. Rend Flesh is one of those immeasurably useful skills that can be easy to overlook, especially given its relatively long cooldown at present. Allowing wargs to use this more often, indeed as part of a rotation even, makes a lot of sense and not only improves our damage output more consistently, but again gives the warg a bigger role to play in a raid where more frequent access to this skill could be useful with taking keeps.
This is another skill that is easy to overlook, but with good reason, it’s pretty useless as it currently stands. A -143 Agility debuff is quite frankly pathetic, not to mention the -1300 wound debuff and the 2 minute cooldown. All in all it’s rubbish.
The proposed changes would see this become an AOE skill affecting 3 targets and instead of the mediocre debuffs it has now it would have a bigger debuff to wound resistance and replace the Agility debuff with a +10% induction debuff. Oh and the effects would last for 45 sec whilst the cooldown would be shortened to 45 sec. In other words it could be kept up permanently.
I like the idea to change this skill to be more useful, but I’m not too sure how useful the change really is. The shortened cooldown and the AOE component are good moves yes, but a wound debuff? It just doesn’t feel very significant whether the magnitude is increased or not. The induction debuff is at least useful, again in raid situations the warg will be able to provide some support to the raid as a whole by making it that little bit harder for freeps to get their skills off.
This is a skill most wargs will probably not have encountered since it’s a rank 10 ability, however, it is still nice to see it being given some attention. For those unfamiliar with it Shadow Howler is a stance a warg can enter, which grants extra damage and extra protection, but at the cost of being able to use stealth abilities.
The change is basically a scaling effort, making the skill fit for the current game rather than the Shadows of Angmar situation it was originally intended for. The skill currently negates 12 points of damage from every attack on the warg, which is so low it’s laughable. The proposed change will see the amount of this negation increased although Kelson doesn’t say by how much.
Howl of the Unnerving
This is one of those skills that looks great on paper, but which in practice is complete crap. Basically it’s a howl skill that adds 2 dread to 4 freeps around the warg. Sounds great right? Well the problem is that once again there is an induction/animation to contend with and quite frankly 2 dread is pathetic in a game where every freep has an item to give them +1 hope and a destiny point perk to give them another +1 hope, and of course there are +5 hope tokens. Oh and did I mention you have to use up a trait slot to get this skill?
The proposed change to this skill is very cool in my book. You will be able to use it from stealth (it won’t break you out) and instead of the +2 dread effect it will instead reduce the block/parry/evade rating of nearby freeps. The skill will also have a 25% chance to fear each of those targets for up to 5 seconds. That’s a pretty sweet deal.
I can see this skill being a great combat opener and striking some fear into a freep when the hear the howl before they see the warg!
The mitigations this trait provides will be increased, which is definitely long overdue seeing as it currently gives a very paltry +195 rating. The trait will also ‘Increase the Warg’s chance to penetrate target’s defences“. I like the sound of that as it will make this trait both valuable for those looking to build a defensive setup and also for those looking for a more dps orientated setup.