Suggested changes to AST Design to bring it in line with WHM/SCH
Hey mates, Miu here, long post inc, there is no TLDR.
I've been playing this game since 1.0, I've always been a whm ever since so I'm experienced enough I think with 6 world firsts and 5 world second's under my belt. I was really looking forward to ast, but even with the buffs it's meh, feels underpowered and frankly is frustrating to play sometimes. AST is really fun to play, but it's being overshadow-ed in a major way by either other healing classes. The top 3 issues are GCD management (the main resource of healers), Bad MP management and the worst, it just doesn't heal as well as either without wasting mp/gcd's.
Whm has way more healing power. With Cure III for simple close range powerbombs, Longranged Medica II Regens and Asize/asylum/tetra for GCD-less and mp-less healing, it outclasses ast by a mile. MP regeneration is ezpz with asize and shroud. Whm can easily do dps while healing with regens without going oom.
Sch outclasses AST by a mile with adlo's, one crit and you save a lot of GCD's. Eos/Selene is MPless and GCDless healing as well while you dps/regen mp/do whatever else. It has instant heals with indom/lustrates. It has aoe regen with Eos and aoe shields with succor. It regens MP easily with aetherflows with it's short cd. Sch excels in dps without going oom or wasting gcd's on healing, eos/whm regens do most of the work.
AST Can do both, yet it really doesn't. Everything AST does, whm/sch does better. I'll suggest some changes that I think will improve AST a lot, make it worth to bring in progression without killing either of the other healing classes.
General Changes: Make ALL effects of AST NON-STACKABLE with other healing classes. AST Regens cannot stack with WHM regens. Shields don't stack already so that's fine. But you don't want lolafk regens with both classes in the same group.
Current: It's meh. It's an instant small heal and an 18 second regen (3 seconds shorter than whm. That's right, a whole GCD!). In sch form it gives a small shield for 707 mp, doesn't increase much when it crits.
Suggested Change: In whm form, bring the regen to 21 seconds, keep the instant small heal the same as the mp cost of this reflects it. In sch form, make it the same as sch. At crit, the shield it twice as gud. Increase to 150 potency to be inline with whm regen.
Current: Keep it, it's gud. Typical Cure. Lower MP cost is fine, aspected benefic's higher mp cost compensates this.
Current: It's fine as well, the proc uses more mp than whm, but it's instant. It means it can safe a gcd at the cost of mp, and that's fine.
Suggested Change: Give it a proc like Cure II. 10% chance to increase your Spell Speed for 10 seconds at 15%. Fits the AST Lore Things as well, time and stuff.
Current: It's meh. It's a decent regen at mediocre range. Medica II outclasses it by a mile.
Suggested Change: In whm stance, keep the mp and cast time the same, increase range to reflect Medica II. In sch stance, keep the range the same, reduce cast time by .5 seconds, make it a succor clone. Why is it different, well check out the suggested change for Helios. Bring potency up to 50 to be inline with Medica II. Up the MP cost to 1502 for WHM Stance.
Current: It's gud, but bland. It's Medica without the 50% MP Proc.
Suggested change: Sch stance; make it have a proc chance. 20% to make Aspected Helios Free and Instant? Is this overpowered? No not at all. Both whm and sch have asize and indom in that order. Ast has cards that makes it unique, but misses that instant heal. This gives the class a bit more uniqueness as well. Also, it makes you use it even if people don't really need it, freeing up GCD's.
Current: It's Esuna/Leeches, great.
Suggested Change: Now I'm not certain of this, but having a 25% chance to make the next Exalted Detriment instant and ogcd might be interesting, in line with AST's specialisation with speed.
*Essential Dignity: *
Current: It's great, keep it like this. Gud OGCD, scales nice. Honestly is one of AST's strong points. Fills the void of Tetra/Bene as whm, and instant lustrates of sch.
Current: It's gud.. yet it's so shit. Great healing + Damage mitigation, but it eats almost 8 GCDs!! due to it being channeled. Luckily the regen stays, but having the mitigation stay as well is op I think. But losing so many gcd's is just bad design.
Suggested Change: The only change I'd say, is make it root/bind you in place and make it so you can still cast stuff. Clicking the butan again unroots/unbinds you, and you lose the buffs immidiately as well. Is it op? Not in the slightest. Whm have asylum with NO penalty. Sch has Sacred Soil with NO penalty. CU will have a penalty, but at the cost of not being able to move it has best of both worlds. Yes, it would and should stack with Sacred Soil.
That's it for the healing aspect of AST, onto the buffs.
Current: Not sure what to think about it, it's a love/hate relationship really. It's gud, but it's very shit at the same time.
Suggested Change: Split the buff into two. Ast is already lacking butans and this would be a great way to solve it.
Buff 1: The Split healing buff. It's great but for specific situations/tank splits. One of the biggest issues is that you cannot heal yourself, it doesn't work for the buff, and it should. Another issue is that aoe healing nor regens work on it. What I'm suggesting is that it does, but on a small scale. Keep the CD to 90 seconds, maybe increase to 120. Increase duration from 20 to 21 seconds to line up with GCD timings like any other ability in game. Any regen effect will have 5-10% of it transferred TO the target, it subtracts it from it. So if you have a 1500 regen on Target A with synastry on Target B, it will remove 150 from Target A and transfer it to Target B. End result: Target A will get a 1350 regen and Target B will get a 150 regen. This way it doesn't create additional healing, but rather transfers it. The same would go for shields, but instead of overwriting the shields, it would be added to the current shield buff(maybe a new buff?). 10% is a lot, so for shields it'd be like 3-5%. You get the idea.. This would go for normal healing as well. A cure of 5000 will transfer 500 to the target. Equally and aoe heal of 2500 times 7 = 17500. Means 1750 would be transferred to the target. This also solves the separation between healers. Whm is a powerhouse healer with Cure III/Asize/Asylum/Bene/Tetra. Sch is a mitigation healer with superb adlo's, deployment, eating da fairy for bigger shields. Now AST can do something cool and specific/unique healing wise as well! Something the class really needed aside from cards. Along with the quickness of ast, this buff would go extremely well and would feel natural. Keep in mind the numbers are there for examples, maybe they should be increased or decreased, as long as they are *IN LINE** with Whm/Sch abilities to be able to both complement or replace either.
*Buff 2: The Healing buff, make it a nice static 25% orso for 15 seconds like Divine Seal/The Eos Buff. A 60 second CD to accommodate it, in line with the other buffs.
Current: It's great, but short.
Suggested Change: I'd increase it from 10 to 12-13 seconds, and decrease the cd to
120 seconds. Other than that it's fine and does well. This way all healers have instant aoe heal options, AST's costs MP though, but can push out more in times off need. It's like a different kind of Presence of Mind. Being able to be mobile is great at the cost of mp.
Current: It's a personal Quelling + Refresh, very similar to Shroud. It's fine, it's different but the same. Though I'd increase the quelling effect to a little bit of a stronger one. 120 second cd is fine.
Current: It's great, keep it like this. AST's don't have virus/eye, this stacks with them.
Current: It's gud, remove the stun, you'll see why. This should NOT be a stun, this is a UTILITY ABILITY, not OFFENSIVE ABILITY. Se pls.
Current: It's gud.
Suggested Change: Make it offensive as well. Put dots on boss, disable, time dilation, extends the dots and disable by 15 seconds (maybe 10 for offensive use?). Would solve mp issues a lot, and makes it more versatile. Might be incredibly op so prolly a bad idea. Would NOT work on debuffs like slow/stun of course. Combined with Disable it's a gud replacement for Eye for an Eye/Virus. Also gives the player choice of how to use it.
The Sects themselves: Keep them like this. The individual buffs are fine, makes
either class different to play. Downside is that Hardcore progression raiders need two sets of Best in Slot, kinda fun as well.
Current: Great, used for heavy.
Suggested Change: Change to 2 second stun, will be used more often like this.
Combust and Combust II:
Current: Good dps, keep them the same.
Current: Shit, never used it once.
Suggested Change: Give it 40% heavy.
Current: Keep the same, it's gud.
Current: Targeted holy without the stun that holy does.
Suggested Change: Give it a 20% SLOW, that's right. A buff hardly used ingame, it's great for aoe pulls. Obviously bosses wouldn't be affected, mobs would be.
New Ability: Combust III
Currently: Doesn't exist, but all healers have an aoe dot mechanic (Aero III, Bane), AST does not.
Implementation: Make it like Aero III in terms of potency, but 21 seconds. So you can use it for single target rotation, but can't spam it. Great for big pulls in dungeons as well to use just the once, and it's the missing dps spell that SE apparently missed. 707 mp like Aero III, 3 second cast time. Maybe a smaller radius than Aero III, lets say 4 y.
New Ability II: Gravity II
Currently: Doesn't exist, a reddit user brought this up: august9979
A ground-targeted aoe, much like shadowflare, that does a dot + heavy effect. Simple and effective. I prefer this one, it fits much more.
Finally, the cards, one of the things what makes AST AST. Now the BIGGEST issue, for both progression wise and casual play wise, is the rng. I often see myself drawing a spire, Royal Roading it, getting a spear, shuffling it, getting another spear.. Great. I right click it, useless. 30 seconds later, another spear -.-;. There's multiple ways to solve this, either by reducing the RNG, or making the cards useful. I don't wanna use that spear cause It would be aoe, what a waste. If there was a way I could use it single target but unbuffed, that'd be great, but with the current implementation I don't see this happening either. Another way of solving it is adding three butans, one for Resources (Ewer/Spire). One for DPS (Balance/Arrow). One for Utility (Bole/Spear). But.. that's another three butans.. Honestly, I wouldn't mind it, but having future expansions in mind as well it seems to be getting too complicated. Aside that you wouldn't use utility over dps/resources unless it's VERY specific. With the healing/sustainability buffs I suggested it means AST will do MORE damage on it's own, thus reducing the balance and arrow cards might be an idea. From 10% to 8% would be fine I think. They are still REALLY good, but not overpowering in the sense that AST becomes mandatory like sch is.
What I'm suggesting is would solve all of this, and the mp issue.
You cannot re-draw the card you're reshuffling. 60 second is fine with this change, some rng is fine, but this removes a stupid issue of draw-ing the card again.
New Ability: Card Nom (Name TBD).
Implementation: You eat da card for mp. Draw a spear, meh, eat it, get 3% mp back, I was thinking 5%, but it would be too much, most ast abilities have lower mp cost in general. Additionally depending on what sec you're in, it would give a 5% Spell Speed or 5% Healing potency buff for 10 seconds. A 60 second CD should balance this well I think. This would NOT eat your royal roaded card, keeps your shuffle off CD, solves MP issues as well, it's win-win. Obviously, ewer-ing yourself is still more mp, but you don't always wanna do that as royal-roading an ewer is amazing as well! This gives you multiple choices and gives AST the depth that I was looking for as well without making it complicated as hell. Sch has great mp management with 20% aetherflows on 60cd. Whm has shroud and assize. Now AST has something to sustain itself as
The Cards themselves are balanced fine, but this makes the unwanted cards useful.
In my opinion and experience as a 5-year long progression healer in this game, and like 7 orso in wow, this would balance AST to be able to compete and suplement WHM and AST without neither overpowering them, nor underpowering them. AST becomes another option.
There's PLENTY of things I haven't thought of of course, maybe other people have brilliant ideas to bring AST in line, i'm just but one mind. I just hope SE listens and I'm not typing all this for nothing ; ;7