The shadowknight class is in bad disarray and is in need of improvements to make us balanced again. We do not want the ability to out tank a Warrior, nor the ability to out dot a pure caster. We do not want to become the end all or be all class. All we want is to be the class that we wanted to be when we started. The shadowknight was not a class that most people wanted to play because it is hard and involved to become a master of it. It was played because it was a class that is we brought everything to bear on a mob, then it would be hard pressed to win. We did not want to be able to solo 2 or 3 mobs at once, over overpower mobs that where far greater then us. We wanted to know that in an even fight we had the upper hand. It was about the fear and respect we commanded. It was never a class that was NEEDED to accomplish anything in particular. A good shadowknight was a great utility class. We could tank if need be, keep ourselves alive and even throw a small heal here and there. We could boost the group’s strength and stamina and give them a nice ac and attack buff. We could off-tank in raids and Main tank in groups. We could pull and in some cases we could split mobs better then a Monk if there was no mezzer around. I could list what all the problems are but most everyone else has already done that. I am here to give solutions to the problems.
The first and most important issue that needs to be addressed is our Harm Touch or lack thereof. This IS our most and ONLY class defining ability. This is the ONLY thing that used to let us stand out against everyone else. We had the most powerful single blast damage in the game. One Hit wonders that made people think...Man I do not want to piss him off! The Everquest manual said it was meant to be used in a dire emergency to help turn the tide of battle for us. It is now used as extra DPS because that is all it has become. As soon as it refreshes and our Unholy Aura is up, we HT whatever we are fighting. Even now with the pittance of an upgrade form 9k to 14k, it is still just a Long refresh nuke. I am sickened to see several other classes able to do almost if not more damage in a SINGLE attack/spell then our most Sacred ability. We cannot command any fear with our HT in a duel, and most mobs we use it against do not even know we hurt them. I can use HT during a fight and the mob will not even turn around on me if there is a warrior or any class with a couple hundred AA’s and a decent weapon. We do not want another AA to increase our damage, we want a new ability that is improved over HT a we want to Earn it by taking it from another Mob like the shadowknight way. Give us a quest at level 75 where any shadowknight with no AA’s and the same armor we would receive from a start-up kit for that level will be able to complete. An instance zone where we have to fight our way through several mobs where every mob will Harm Touch us. After we make it to the end, the final named mob we face will give us the ability after he uses it on us…..after he Death Touches us we DIE and lose XP(make it an unresable XP death) and then grant us the old 20K Death Touch ability. Let it replace HT on the original timer and have it set one the normal 1 hour without improvement. For all those that scream this is unbalancing, ask yourself why. Because we could DT a pre-velious mob and Kill it outright…Can a 75 SK not solo those mobs anyways? Can most classes not solo those mobs at 75 without the aid of others? Will a 20k DT even with unholy aura and improved damage item give us an unbalancing effect – NO. Why? Because Most of the time the mobs we fight have hundreds of thousands of Hitpoints, especial named and Raid encounter mobs and that is what HT/DT would be used for. Not only would it give groups a reason to invite SK’s but also guilds would be more inclined to take them instead of another DPS class. It would give us the edge we need in most cases and besides…how long does it take most groups to dish out 20k-40k…some can do this in less then a tick!! And on a raid this can easily exceed 1 second. If the mobs that we face now can easily be defeated by a DT then most classes need to be scaled back because I see them doing more then that in a single fight!!!
Another issue that is not being addressed is our spells. The shadowknight was always about defeating an opponent by overpowering them and beating them into submission without the aid or help of ANYONE else. This includes the hitpoint and ac buffs, even the mana buffs of other classes. Granted…we where supposed to spend ever last drop of blood and mana to do this, including our speed bump of a pet Goner, but we where still supposed to overpower them. Or spells are drastically underscored for those purposes now. We have too many spells trying to accomplish too many different functions to effectively fight with them all. We can not change out spells in the middle of fight to get this affect and then remed another spell that we need, especial when most of our spells are on long recast timers. Our High end spells should become duel purpose spells like so many other classes. Here is a list of new spells that would evenly round out the shadowknight without overpowering them. The first spell is more of a status spell then a necessity of types.
Fallen Paladin – This should be another class Quest spell (SOLOABLE). Instance us a dungeon where the ONLY mob inside is a Paladin wielding a Fiery avenger. After we kill and defeat him (level 75) he has only one item to loot, the spell. Upon summoning this pet, he should con darkblue to even. To prevent him from being overpowering he should be a reflection of the shadowknight. Have the Skeleton appear in plate armor (decaying and in different states of disrepair) and wielding that 2 handed Fiery avenger and make where it cannot benefit from any other weapons including the pet summoned ones. Let our new pet hit for a couple hundred points of damage per pop but have him swing slower…..NOW I know there are some screaming that this is over powering but let me ask you…what is the difference of 200 200 vs the now 65 65 40 65 65 40 65 65 40…they will be dishing out about the same damage the only difference is it will be in less hits and more damaging upon a single hit…and without the ability to give him other weapons, all he procs is the DD from the weapon and the lifetap. This will give us a Pet ALL our own that most people will see and say…HEY a SK pet…kewl looking. Also give it a higher then normal ac and more HP’s. It is the pet of a tank and should reflect it…Unlike EVER other pet class..WE DO NOT have a pet heal so we cannot use the pet to tank for us (yes I know enc’s do not have pet heals but they do not have a true pet… it is either the summoned daggers that they cannot control or a charmed monster but they do have the ability to cast powerful runes which acts just as good!)
Lifespike Shielding – This is like our shielding spell now but add to the damage shield a lifetap effect. Each point of damage our damage shields do to the mob, we are healed for that much…..it is not like this is overpowering again…we get hit for 800, they take less then 20 damage from our damage shield and we are healed for that much…it fits into the play style and role-playing aspect of a SK.
Tortured Soul – We need a utility spell that takes from the mob and gives to us. We have several different spells that do this individually but we need those to be combined together into only one or two. Tortured Soul could take AC (200), ATK (200), Resist (100 each), and Stats (25 each) from the mob and give it to the group or us. Do not add damage to this spell, let it be a debuff alone and let it either be a long duration spell (till the mob is dead) or a short duration spell that goes to the short duration box (last 30 seconds with a 24 second recast).
Loathing – Since shadowknights are supposed to be masters of hate and agro, give us an agro dot. The spell should act like splurt but instead of the damage doubling each tick, it is the hate that is generated. Again, this should be a spell that last until the mob is either dead or at least 2 minutes. Base agro should start around between 100 and 200.
Dark Longing – This should be a Self Buff Group Lifetap proc spell. Similar to our self lifetap procs except it affects the entire group with Hitpoints and is still susceptible to critical blasts and Exceptional heals.
Dark Consumption – This should be an improved Lifetap Dot. The new spell we have does 155 a tick for 6 ticks…even with the extended spell abilities it does not heal sufficiently. When we get hit for 1k+ and this does not even heal it, what is the point in casting it. We should get a lifetap dot that heals us for about 250 a tick for at least 6 ticks. Have the recast time set to 45 seconds to prevent overuse if you wish.
Another area that needs drastic improvement is our damage taking ability. Unless we are given new abilities to mitigate damage, we will never be in a position to successfully tank any of the newer mobs. An increase of 18.5% in both avoidance and Mitigation after AA’s would be sufficient to allow us to tank better without overshadowing the warriors, especial with their defensive skills, yet make us slightly better then chain and leather wearing classes who currently can get groups based off their dps alone.
DPS – Our DPS is currently the absolute lowest amongst the melees. This does not bother me so much because we where supposed to be the second best at taking it as well. Since we cannot do that, and even if you do boost the shadowknights tanking ability, our DPS leaves us little room to grow. Since both shadowknights and Paladins are geared for 2 handed use, we should be able to improve our 2 handed dps greatly there. Allow all the extra Shield AA’s while using the 2 hand bash. Also, increase the speed at which we can bash and the damage it does. Even if it was doubled, our dps would not go up that much but it would make us a lot better at tanking and dishing out damage.
Steed – This is not a needed fix but this would fit into the shadowknight forte. Turn our Horses into UNDEAD horses. Let us conjure forth an undead minion that will be more faithful in death than any living horse would as well.
New Skill abilities – We need at least on new skill and please make it a useful one. Gives us something useful like 2 handed block where we block any one attack against us with one of our attacks…this would drastically cut down on our damage but greatly increase our tanking ability…especial if it is only usable with a 2 handed weapon. Or give us an ability like Critical Life – where ever lifetap effect will automatically critical heal us/group for the next 5 minutes. Something new please.
Last fix that should be addressed is the lack of help that the Shadowknight community has. I have read and seen several post concerning the lack of support that we seam to be getting. There are few posts concerning updates and it seams that several of our problems are “currently being looked at” for years now…we might get some of the problems of kunark fixed in a year or two at this rate. We do not think our demands are to unreasonable and we want to have our class distinguished from necros (no offense, we love you guys) but we want to become somewhat more of a independent class. We have been asking for our OWN pet for years now, upgrades to our HT to be equivalent to the mobs we are fighting NOW not in an expansion or two when the new HT is just a weaker version than what it should have been with the LAST expansion. We have asked for better lifetaps and we have FINALLY gotten a halfway decent one…ALMOST!
Well I am done with my rant and rave. I hope that there are some good ideals and can and will be used from here and I hope there is enough feedback that shadowknights are Changed and not just Looked at. You can look at a problem all day long but until you try and fix it, it will ALWAYS stay broken!!!!