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 Post subject: Blaze discussion
PostPosted: Sat Oct 10, 2009 11:38 am 
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Joined: Mon Aug 31, 2009 11:28 am
Posts: 1125
Location: Vancouver, BC
Should Blaze be nerfed a bit?

I've got a lvl 80ish sorc with pretty nice gear ("Flickering Flame", Lavagout, Infernostride, etc) with level 41 Blaze. With synergies maxed, and lvl 30ish FMastery, Blaze does about 31k per second. She's got 89% Faster Run/Walk (30% boots, 50% "Stealth", 9% charms). She's got -46% enemey fire res (10% glove, 10% boot, 26% staff). My sorc is in A4 NM right now, so perhaps Hell characters are all doing as well as she is.

Blaze stacks on itself, so if you run over a spot once, you do 31k on that spot, run back over and you now do 62k on that spot. Given 30 seconds or so to dance on a patch, and you should easily get up to about 1M dps on that spot. This is getting close to the damage cap of (I think) 65k per element on each frame. With -46% enemy fire res, this kills NM Council members in about 2-3 seconds, depending on number of people in the game.

Arguments against nerfing Blaze:
1) It's a fairly hard skill to use, since you need to herd critters over your patch.
2) It's only really effective when you're solo (no distractions to monsters chasing you), or have a team willing to cooperate. Teams usually do only when bosses are involved.
3) The skill promotes teamwork, since to be so overpowered you need someone to distract while you dance up a patch.
4) Despite it's high damage, killing trash is still relatively slow, since you need to run up, run back, wrangle stuff into the fire, rince and repeat.
5) Only a few bosses (Andy, Moloch, Sszak) are truly pwned by Blaze, some are easy (knock-backables like Council), some challenging (tele-bosses like Guardian and Darkness, or Dashing-AI like Darkness and Mariliths), while the rest are very difficult (Mephy, Bhaal, FireImmune stuff).
6) Sorcs are fragile characters, so a strong dps spell is alright.

Arguments for nerfing Blaze:
1) Party members might feel inadequate in boss battles, since they're often reduced to a distraction or boss-timer resetter.
2) Any char doing near the damage-cap every frame without skillers is too much, even when it takes them 30 seconds to acheive this damage.

If there's another patch, should Blaze be reduced or not? Has anyone else even played a Blaze sorc? Should it be reduced by just changing the synergies from 10% to 5%? This would reduce the dmg of my sorc from 30k to 18k, which seems more reasonable.

I would appreciate if others gave arguments for and against. Clearly I could only come up with a couple arguments for nerfing, but they are pretty strong reasons.


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 Post subject: Re: Blaze discussion
PostPosted: Sat Oct 10, 2009 3:41 pm 

Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2009 2:08 am
Posts: 78
Yes, Blazers are capable of insanely powerful damage. Does it make up for the lack of willingly cooperative teams? No, probably not. Is that an excuse to keep them as they are? Again no, not really.

I have one currently in Normal and I have only met two people who know how to make the most of it. Everyone else thinks they are Rambo and carry on like I'm not even there ^^. But when done right, even in full games, the power of Blaze really feels like a 'higher level' is rushing you; mobs just drop like flies.

I hate to say it, but I would agree the need for a nerf. If it only did half the damage it does now, it would still be awesome. Perhaps double the duration instead to encourage the use of teamwork, the longer the patches are burning, the more likely others are to utilise them.


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 Post subject: Re: Blaze discussion
PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2009 12:29 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 31, 2009 3:11 am
Posts: 165
It sounds like blaze is balanced by how it is used. Some monsters and bosses are more susceptible to it than others.

Poison strike is similar. For some bosses it is extremely effective, for others it is near worthless.

Sounds like a fun sorc build though.


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 Post subject: Re: Blaze discussion
PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2009 12:40 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 01, 2009 9:09 pm
Posts: 77
I'm sorry but nightmare council is a very bad example, I can think of 5 builds off the top of my head that can drop those guys like flies.

Unless you're taking out someone like Sammy in 2 seconds then its not that big of a deal. Plus, once you hit hell it won't seem so hot (pun intended) anymore. The immunes will balance it out well and present a bit more of a challenge that will require you to have a party. So all in all I'd say keep it as is.

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 Post subject: Re: Blaze discussion
PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2009 7:28 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 31, 2009 11:28 am
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Location: Vancouver, BC
I used the NM Council example to demonstrate how fast something dies when it's taking about 1M dps. Its only the HP that matters, but I decided to try Normal Samhain anyways. Since I'm level 80, I don't think attempting to use NM or Hell Samhain is relevant because I'm underleveled. Normal Samhain died in about 4-5 seconds. Belial was pretty easy, since he's using nearly the same AI as Ghouls/Vampires. Asmodan was difficult, since I think he's using the same AI as DeSeis (typical archer?).

I think it's a really good idea to compare this lvl 80 Blazer to others builds that are considered very strong. That would be an appropriate place to start balancing her. Please mention the 5 other builds you had in mind, we could compare their strengths and weaknesses, along with Blaze, and decide if the strength of Blaze is appriopriate given the weaknesses of that character.

Nedder and Retrov have already suggested to keep Blaze relatively strong, since it is difficult to use, but it would be good if we could specify how strong it should be.


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 Post subject: Re: Blaze discussion
PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2009 11:44 am 

Joined: Mon Sep 14, 2009 4:26 pm
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Most well-built melee chars can drop bosses like those just as fast as your blazer. Not only that, but a well-built melee is effective against ALL bosses (except spider, and to a lesser extent other unleechables and IM casters such as moloch).

A blazer is just a fun strong build that may be particularly powerful against certain bosses. It definitely pales in comparison to other casters and sorcs with regards to killing mobs though, so I see this build as something that's fairly well balanced.


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 Post subject: Re: Blaze discussion
PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2009 8:32 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 01, 2009 9:09 pm
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Brevan wrote:
Its only the HP that matters, but I decided to try Normal Samhain anyways. Since I'm level 80, I don't think attempting to use NM or Hell Samhain is relevant because I'm underleveled. Normal Samhain died in about 4-5 seconds.


Yes and you're quite overleveled for normal Samhain. I'd expect a level 80 to be able to trash him no problem.

Attempting NM Samhain is completely relevant because he has more HP and potentially more fire resist in nightmare.

I'm not here to discuss other builds, I'm just saying blaze sorcs can't solo all important bosses, so therefore they are not something to fret about.

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I was tagging along with Lord_Soth's level 56 healer to finish up A2 with my lvl28 Rabies druid and letting his prayer pump me through the game.


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