Wargs: There’s Work To Do!
Rise of Isengard has been out for a few days now so you should all have had a chance to look over your new skills and traits and generally get the lay of the land. The expansion brought a lot of good things for wargs, but equally we got some nerfs and some things weren’t addressed either way. With that in mind I’m going to be looking at where the warg now stands in the game and what needs to be done to the class to improve it further.
Before I do though let me make the point that I am not ungrateful for the many good things wargs received with Rise of Isengard. This is one of the best updates, overall, wargs have ever received and Kelsen rightly deserves kudos for that. However, there is still a lot to be done so let’s get right into it!
Crippling Bite – This is one of our core skills and the concept is great, a run speed debuff. However, -25% run speed isn’t really adequate when freeps have their own run speed debuffs of around -30% (Champions and Lore-masters, for example) and even up to -70% (Rune-keepers). The magnitude of the debuff should be increased to -30% to balance this up.
Savage Fangs – This is one of our ‘bread and butter’ skills, so much so that it’s an easy one to overlook. The skill itself isn’t brokenl but it could do with some attention. Currently it debuffs the target with +10% attack duration and -3300 block rating as well as applying a bleed if Crippling Bite was present. The bleed component is fine the way it is. The attack duration debuff is a bit weak to be honest and could really do with being increased to 20%. The block rating debuff is frankly junk as it is only useful against Guardiand and Wardens, meaning it is useless against almost 80% of freep classes. I’d like to see this changed to an evade or parry debuff, which would be more useful.
Tendon Shred – With the removal of conjunctions of players this skill became essentially a glorified stun on a 5 min cooldown. The warband manoeuvre part is useful against Captain-Generals yes, but that’s rather limited in scope and it’s really just a stun when used against freeps.I think that the cooldown either needs to come down quite heavily if no major change to the effect is made or the skill needs re-purposed into something else. Perhaps it could give us a guaranteed critical on our next skill use? Perhaps it could apply a debuff of some sort? Almost anything would be more useful than a stun on a 5 min cooldown.
Flea Bitten – The concept is fine (increase to attack duration and increased induction times), but the magnitude of the debuff effects needs to be dramatically increased. I would suggest something in the order of +40-50% instead of the current +10%.
Rabid Bite– s it stands this skill is utterly useless. Like Flea Bitten I would suggest a massive increase in the magnitude of the debuff effect, especially as the debuff is removable using pots or a Lore-master’s disease cure skill. I think something in the order of +50% would not be unreasonable instead of +10%.
Howl of the Unnerving – This is now a much more useful skill than it was previously, however, the like before, the magnitude of the effects needs looked at. The -600 b/p/e/ debuff is good in concept, but -600 is a bit on the low side and could do with being bumped up a little bit. Likewise the 25% chance to fear a target for 5 sec seems rather low given that that this skill is on a 1min cooldown and the fear only lasts 5 sec. I would suggest the chance of fearing should be in the 50% region. It’s a disruptive fear, not a full on ‘lock the target down’ fear.
Dire Howl – Very useful skill, but the cooldown is still too long for what it does. 10 sec silence that can be cured by anti-stun, fear pots or Muster Courage, and which Minstrels can make themselves immune to should not be on a 5 min cooldown. A 3 min or even a 2 min cooldown seems more reasonable.
Pack Hunters – This is a superb skill in that it applies an extra 26 damage very single time the target takes damage, from any source. The thing is though at level 65 the value was 23 damage. Hence it has increased by just 3 points of damage in 10 levels or put another way it’s an increase of 11.5%. I would suggest increasing the value to 29, which would be an increase of 26% from its level 65 value or an increase of 6 points from the previous 23.
Long Strides – This trait increases movement speed by 5%, both in and out of combat. Ok so that isn’t bad per se, but at the same time it’s not very enticing either. We already have another trait (Four-legged Foe) that not only increases movement speed by 5%, but also increases our evade rating by 300. I suggest re-purposing this trait into something else to cut down on the overlap with Four-legged Foe. Perhaps a new trait could take its place that would increase the healing of Rallying Howl?
Pack Elder – This trait increases physical mitigation, but alike above we have another trait, Pack Mentality, which does this and does it better as it also increases tactical mitigation as well as our parry and evade ratings. Again I would suggest re-purposing this trait to cut down on the overlap. Perhaps a new trait to reduce our power costs?
Enhanced Skill: Rabid Bite – Because of the uselessness of Rabid Bite itself this trait has become worthless. Assuming Rabid Bite’s debuff magnitude is suitably increased I would suggest increasing the value of this trait from +10% to +20% or perhaps even changing it so that it made Rabid Bite’s power debuff non-curable.
Enhanced Skill: Stealth – Yes I am indeed complaining about this trait! It’s not that’s a bad trait, quite the contrary in fact, but that’s the problem, it’s too essential to be a trait. The movement speed buff in stealth is simply essential for playing a warg and we shouldn’t have to use up a trait slot to get it. I would suggest this trait become a passive skill earned at a fairly low rank, say rank 1.
Enhanced Skill: Disappear – A 3 minute reduction in Disappear’s cooldown isn’t a bad thing, but this trait was supposed to bring some extra functionality to Disappear in the form of a cleanse. However, that hasn’t happened. Without that it’s arguably not worth using up a trait slot for so I feel there really does need to be some extra functionality here, whether it’s a cleanse, a HoT or something else.
Enhanced Skill: Eye Rake – Again not a bad trait, but not great either. It reduces the cooldown of Eye Rake from 15 sec to 10 sec, but we already have a 10 sec interrupt in the form of Pounce so this feels a little redundant. It’s not a bad concept, but I think it could do with a little something extra to make it more appealing to slot, perhaps an increase to Eye Rake’s damage, for example, say an extra 10%?
Enhanced Skill: Sense Prey – A superb trait to be sure, but it reduces the range of our tracking by 25% to just 90m. Ok now some will say that this is justified because wargs can track whilst stealthed and also whilst covering large distances. Fair points, but remember that the normal Sense Prey skill only has a range of 120m, which is less than both the Hunter’s tracking abilities and the tracking talismans, both of which have a range of 140m, whilst Sense Prey (untraited) has a range of 120m. My suggestion is to increase the range of Sense Prey to 140m so that the traited version has a range of 105m (still 25% less than the untraited version).
We received a boost to our stealth level in Rise of Isengard in the form of both the traits Enhanced Skill: Stealth and Foe of the Light having their stealth level bonuses increased. The total increase across both traits is +3 from previous pre-Isengard values. This is still a little on the low side in my opinion given that Burgers can increase their stealth level higher still and also given the options freeps have to increase their stealth detection, sometimes quite significantly.
I don’t think it requires a massive increase over current Isengard levels, but an extra +1 or +2 should do the trick.