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Ecaflip's Water Branch revamp: suggestions

By TheGrotesque 2013-08-08 16:44
Let's us ourselves - what ARE water Ecaflips now and what are they SUPPOSED to be in a team? If you asked me before the revamps, I'd say the water Eca should play as an offensive, self-sufficient tank, capable of some healing (which was very unique back then, by the way). Right now? I don't know, really. Seems like the devs focused on making the class easier to play, rather than competitive with the others. I mean, it cannot heal as much as an Eni (or Masq, Sadida and even Osa, for that matter), so you can't rely on them as main healers. Their buffs (Fleahopper) are way too situational (FH requires allies to be close to an enemy) and not extremely useful, their damage is too low - even if they don't focus on healing - and one of the main spells cannot even deal it's maximum damage two times in a row. (Yeah, try to cast two Up To Scratches in a row on the same enemy, dealing front damage both times without the Feline Leap - good luck.) Hell, even their passive buff requires at least 3-5 turns to reach the same effect as an Earth Ecaflip would get for a positive card and a cat. Not to mention it's easy to lose ALL of the levels if you cannot deal any damage (or set a glyph without casting additional spells, which ALSO cancels your buff). And if we look at the Xelor's buff for casting spells from different branches or Sadida's buff for not using any dolls - yeah, I guess you could say it's pretty IRRITATING to stack Flea Multiplication in comparison, and the limit is set pretty low.

Are water Ecaflips good offensive tanks? Well, there are far better classes, which don't require a lot of space to jump around with Up To Scratch to reach their full offensive potential. Are they good support characters? Extra CH is always nice and the glyph can be very helpful from time to time, but there are many better healers and buffers that don't have to rely on luck.

So let me ask again - what ARE WE and what was the main concept for this branch? Because I think it was lost somewhere along the way.

Resonate|2013-04-22 01:54:39It's quite stupid really, when some people complain that this class is able to heal and damage at the same time, so its spell base damage must be nerf to sub par. However, when you look at it, Ecaflip, like other classes, only has one similar pool of resources (AP, MP, WP) to spend in a turn. So if it uses an offensive spell, it should do the standard damage, if it uses a hybrid (life steal) spell, let's divide the base by half for each component, if it uses a healing spell (if such a spell exists), let the base healing be at standard (Eni's) level.

I think it's accurate to say that the current spells are bad in design. That's why I've decided to propose a branch revamp - some of the changes will be subtle, some will not, but it would definitely give more options for water Ecaflips and bring back their old tanking capabilities, along with the mechanics we loved before the revamp.

I Support Spells

I've decided to start with specialties, as they are important to understand some of the effects of spells I'm going to describe later.

Feline Leap:
Current: +50% damage and heals, doesn't stack, lasts one (current) turn.
New: if that's possible, I think the effect should last until the beginning of caster's next turn, without making the buff itself last 2 turns.
Why: this way it could boost water Ecaflips' glyph effects and Flea Love's DoT and healing. This spell works for pretty much ALL of the fire and earth branches' spells, so why shouldn't it affect all of the water spells as well?

Flealine Army:
Current: +40% healing, +5 levels of Flea Multiplication for every injury done with flea spells (max. 80), disappears if no damage is dealt.
New: +20% healing, +7 levels of Flea Multiplication for every injury done with flea spells (max. 100), HALF of the levels are lost if no flea spell is used each turn AND no damage is dealt; 20% to cast Flea Love on the target for every injury with a non-flea spell (which also covers Rough Tongue and Up To Scratch, not only fire and earth branches).
Why: it SHOULD be easier to stack Flea Multiplication, considering water Ecas can deal most of their damage (on single target, anyway) with non-flea spells. To balance this change, I think it would be fair for the fixed healing buff to be halved. Also, I'd like to bring back the old mechanic of Flea Love - it would encourage hybriding and create more synergy between all branches, while making pure water Ecaflips stronger. The state shouldn't disappear if the Ecaflip in fact uses water spells, but doesn't deal any damage (like when he sets up glyphs, for example - right now the use of glyph could mean the loss of the buff, especially for Ecas on Lower levels, without 8 AP).

Flea Multiplication:
Current: +1% of water damage for every level, up to 80 levels.
New: +1% of water damage for every level and +1 range for every 50 levels, up to 100 levels.
Why: it would make it much easier to stay in "support characters" range for water Ecaflips with the additional range - and their healing spells aren't as powerful as other classes anyway, so the extra range is justified. Not to mention it would be a nice incentive to hybrid. Also, higher potential buff (+100% damage rather than 80%) is something this branch could definitely use, considering it's not as strong as the others.

II Water Branch

I think there should be two ways to play water Ecaflips - either to make them self-healing, offensive tanks or supportive healers that can deal some damage from time to time at medium distance.

Rough Tongue:
Current: 3 AP, 1 range, deals damage, no other effects.
New: same, except for one thing: if the target is under effect of Flea Love state, Rough Tongue becomes a stealing spell (heals the caster by 25-50% of damage done, heal bonuses don't apply); considered non-flea spell, so it can trigger Flea Love by Flealine Army passive.
Why: this spell, along with the new-old Flea Love mechanic, would make water Ecas THE tanks once again, as they would be able to deal acceptable damage while still healing themselves. It would also encourage creating interesting combos rather than spamming one spell over and over.
For: water Ecaflip tanks, obviously.

Up To Scratch:
Current: 4 AP, 1 MP, 2-3 range, "teleports" the user, deals 100% damage in front and 50% to every target on the way.
New: pretty much the same, but it COULD have some additional effect - like adding heal resistance if the target is under effect of Flea Love state (bleeding wound) for better synergy; considered non-flea spell, same as rough tongue.
For: water Ecaflip tanks, although it could be easily used as a movement spell by pretty much any build.

Current: 2 AP, 1-3 boostable range, deals water damage, heals the most injured in AoE, adds 3/5 levels of Fleahopper (+3/5 CH) to allies around the target.
New: most aspects of the spell could stay the same, but a small base damage increase would be nice. It could also give 4/6 levels of Fleahopper instead of 3/5, as the buffs were generally higher back then, before the revamp. What I think should be changed is the lack of another effect if no allies in the healing AoE are injured - like the standard critical hit buff, but for everyone in AoE, instead of only the ones near the target. It could also deal higher (double? x1.5?) damage if there are no allies in the healing AoE at all.
Why: lower cost would make stacking Flea Multiplication too easy, while higher cost - too hard. Hybrid D/H spells such as this shouldn't be too powerful, so the mediocre damage and healing are reasonable. The biggest problem with this spell is the fact that people are often forced to spam this at the beginning of the fights to stack Flea Multiplication bonus, which leads to loss of healing and mediocre damage without compensation, so I think there should be another effect for such situations - additional damage, effectively giving water Ecaflips a decent ranged offensive spell and/or extra effects for the lack of healing in the AoE, like some buffs for allies in the AoE (if there are any).
For: support water Ecaflips and stacking Flea Multiplication.

Current: meh.
New: replace with another spell (see below Flea Love).
Why: I think it completely misses the point of what this branch should be. Do tanks need to get out of their tanking position for some weak damage to a (random) enemy? Not really. Do support characters should engage in close combat? Nope, usually they shouldn't. What was meant to be a nice AP/MP waster, turned out to be a waste. The glyph isn't even hidden, so ANYONE can just walk around it (and from what I've noticed, monsters do exactly that). There's no synergy between this spell and the rest of the branch, so it should, NO, it MUST be replaced.

Flea Love:
Current: 6 AP, 1 WP, 1-4 boostable range, sets up Fleeches (on the ground) or deals DoT to a single target and heals the caster and allies around him after the effect is gone.
New: 4 or 5 AP, 2 WP, 1-4 boostable range. Adjusted (lowered) damage due to lower AP and WP return, not to mention the possibility to cast Flea Love with Flealine Army passive. On the ground: returns 1 WP immediately after cast, sets up Fleeches (lower damage than before, but the effect remains the same), returns the other WP after the glyph is gone. On a target: same as currently, although it deals and heals less, and returns 2 WP after the Flea Love ends. Flea Loves triggered by Flealine Passive don't drain AP, but they do "borrow" 2 WP while they last.
Why: because I think you took away the most interesting WP mechanic in the game: water Ecaflips WERE limited by WP, but rather than by the amount of "elite" spells they can cast, they were just limited by HOW many of these spells they can use at a time. I'm sure people won't mind a damage nerf when they'll be able to cast 3 Flea Loves without any AP cost or set up 2 glyphs at once. It was done once, it worked just fine, so why would you take that away? I understand that it might seem overpowered at first, but if you balance it with the right amount of damage done and when you consider water Ecas would also like to use stuff like the Tree or Roll Again (and less Wakfu would cripple this branch even more than the others), it all makes sense. Please, give us back our favorite mechanic. ; )
For: pretty much any water Ecaflip - Fleeches would be definitely useful to support close-combat classes, while Flea Love DoT could be an amazing damage increasing if Eca decides to tank himself.

Now, as for the Hunter replacement: I think there should be at least one spell that simply heals, possibly with some additional buff effect. I've thought of two options, one strongly based on Resonate's suggestion.

Flea Therapy:
1 or 2 AP, 1-4 boostable range, +1/2 levels of Fleahopper for the target, healing spell, generally more heal-per-AP than Fleahopper, base damage BASED on Flea Multiplication level.
Why: it would be a cheap spell that could prevent the loss of Flea Multiplication bonus, that could also be effectively used to heal allies. It would probably be one of the main spells of support water Ecaflips. Also, I think it would be interesting to make its base heal completely dependant on Flea Multiplication - it would start out as a mediocre healing spell with some slight CH buff, but on higher levels of the buff, its base amount of damage healed could easily compete with other healing classes' spells.
Why not: it would be less useful to tanks, but hey - it's not like everyone has to use every spell, right?

Licking The Wounds/Licking Of Wounds:
(Not sure about the name and which sounds better, but I'm definitely sure there are some people that can think of something much nicer. : P)
4 AP, 0-1 range, decent single-target heal, considered non-flea, could also remove some of the negative effects (DoT based on bleeding wounds, possibly?) or have 50% (?) chance to lower healing resistance of the target.
Why: I think there could be a possibility for tanks to focus on self-healing rather than constantly dealing damage to heal and this could be the way to achieve that. Also, it would work nicely along with the Flea Love healing, as it heals allies around the Ecaflip. Lowering of healing resistance - even if the heal itself would be weaker than other healing classes' spells (notably Enis) - could make water Ecaflips more useful and desired in teams.
Why not: Flea Therapy would probably be a better option for preventing the loss of Flea Multiplication and Ecas would lack a good healing spell with some range - they would be forced to keep close to the tanks, which would also mean being closer to opponents. Other than that, I think it goes well with the whole Water Ecaflip concept - and we would have yet another spell that involves licking things, how cool is that?!

III Summary

So, the main changes (also called "tl;dr"):
- Flealine Army gives a slight chance to cast Flea Love after using a non-flea spell again;
- Flea Multiplication becomes more useful, easier to stack and comparable to similar buffs of other classes;
- Rough Tongue can potentially be a draining spell;
- Up To Scratch and Rough Tongue can trigger Flea Love, making water Ecas actually capable of dealing competitive damage;
- Fleahopper becomes stronger, damage-oriented spell and/or gives buffs on the whole healing area of effect as a compensation if the healing is wasted (no one is in the area of effect or no one there is injured);
- the most interesting WP mechanic returns: Flea Love uses more WP, but gives them back after it ends - just like before the revamp;
- nearly useless Hunter gets replaced by a healing spell, giving more options to water Ecas following a supportive build.

Sorry about the mistakes - I'm sure there are a lot of these, as the text is pretty massive for a simple suggestion and English is not my first language (not even close, I'd say). If possible, please, let's just focus on the suggestion itself, rather than my grammar. : )

Thanks everyone for reading my thread! Sabi, Troyle - I'm counting on you, guys. ; )
Reactions 8
Hey, couldn't we merge rough tongue and wound licking?

Also remember when people used to bring us to teams for the chance at 100% crits? ahhh i wish we still had that potential with flea hopper again, at the moment 3 crits is really insignificant, will 4 be much better?.

I really liked the relationship we had with leap before, that storing damage for later thing was very interesting, why didn't you try to do anything similar?

One thing i really hate about fleeches, is that despite its large aoe it dissipates after hitting 3 targets, i think that limit should be removed
HakazabaJub|2013-08-09 01:15:52Hey, couldn't we merge rough tongue and wound licking?

I've thought about that (especially since water Masq can both heal and damage with his spells), but I think a potentially life-stealing Rough Tongue is powerful enough without the option to heal the others. Not to mention such heal wouldn't get any additional effects like the unique 50% chance to lower the healing resistance I've proposed, since the spell would be already pretty awesome. And think about a name that would cover both dealing injuries and healing wounds with a tongue. : P

If devs decide it wouldn't break the balance, I'd be more than happy. But let's face it, Rough Tongue will probably stay a damage dealing spell. I've tried to make my suggestions as simple and subtle as I could, so adding a lot of new options to each spell kind of goes against that.

HakazabaJub|2013-08-09 01:15:52Also remember when people used to bring us to teams for the chance at 100% crits? ahhh i wish we still had that potential with flea hopper again, at the moment 3 crits is really insignificant, will 4 be much better?.

Yeah, tell me about it.

Well, it's not much, but it's still something. Maybe even +3 CH would be fine, if it would only last more turns - stacking like +30 CH could be a nice buff, even if it could only affect characters in close combat. On the other hand, if the mechanic would have to stay the same, +CH value could be increased to 5, as the spell already gave +7 CH once (for 3 AP cost, so 9AP=21 CH; now it would be 16 or 20 CH for 8 AP).

HakazabaJub|2013-08-09 01:15:52I really liked the relationship we had with leap before, that storing damage for later thing was very interesting, why didn't you try to do anything similar?

Because while it was amazing and unspeakably useful in PvP, it was also too powerful and focused on only one branch. I could easily stack HUGE amounts of additional water damage and it was rather hard (read: impossible for some builds and classes) to beat me in 1on1 PvP battles on my level. Not only water Ecaflips were very mobile, but also they could buff themselves faster and more efficiently than any other class - and that's why I think devs would never agree for the comeback of previous Feline Leap.

Also, consider the fact that our spells had a very low base damage back then (not that it changed much for some spells, but hey) and we didn't really have a pure damage-inflicting spell, except for Rough Tongue - which was weaker than it is right now, if I'm right. We NEEDED such buff, now we could manage without it. We just need some more interesting mechanics and more combo possibilities.

The only other thing I could think of is that the damage buff (+50%) would stay the same as it is and last only one (current) turn, but the healing buff could stack like the +water damage used to before the revamps and actually give the bonus for 2 turns. Other branches could still benefit from the additional damage, while water Ecas would be able to stack some pretty nice healing bonuses. (But even then I can imagine they'd limit these values anyway, I wouldn't count on higher possible healing bonus than 150-200%.)

HakazabaJub|2013-08-09 01:15:52One thing i really hate about fleeches, is that despite its large aoe it dissipates after hitting 3 targets, i think that limit should be removed

It disappears after hitting 3 times, not just 3 targets, but yeah - I think you're aware and I also don't like the fact that my glyph is gone after 3 mere hits, even if I place it under much more enemies. Maybe if its damage and cost would be lowered, it could last 2 whole turns, instead of disappearing like that, but it's not for me to decide. I LOVED old Fleeches mechanic, but I also appreciate the new one - I think it's even better for PvE than it used to be.
Yeah, i pretty much agree with everything you said, id rather have the duel purpose rough toungue than those extra effects it would be really cool if it could remove debuffs (or even enemy buffs possibly) though, it would be really interesting if we could act as front line medics, the game needs another way to remove stun too.

I would really like to encourage being adjacent to allies to grant them buffs and stuff, i had the idea a while ago where flealine army would automatically cast the old flea armor spell(i forget its name :3) on allies when you are next to them, so its like the ecaflip is rubbing up to everyone to spread his fleas around XD, i think it would work well with the classes mobility.

Oh yeah, i think that the side aoe cells for up to scratch should do reduced damage to allies as its very awkward to use in the role that i'm talking about.
Yeah, writing and posting in this thread is my constant fight between my inner Ecaflip, wanting to be powerful and a regular player, trying not to disturb the class balance. ; ) I'm aware that disappearing Fleeches and damaging your allies with Up To Scratch are both issues to be taken care of and resolved at some point, but right now I'd rather focus on making water Ecaflips at least competitive with other builds (and classes) and restoring the main concept of that class by mostly subtle changes and additional spell effects. Seems like everything comes to spamming same spells these days - I'd like to prevent that by creating more synergy between both water spells and other branches, and encouraging to think of unusual solutions while playing. (Like using cheap fire and earth spells to trigger Flea Love, instead of losing 4-5 AP to cast them in a regular way.) Imagine how versatile would fire/water and earth/water hybrids become!

I'm sure it's hard as HELL to balance all the base damage values and most of my suggestions need serious discussions whether or not they are too good or still too bad. I'm just pointing out that this branch is honestly underpowered, even if it might seem good (or at least interesting) on paper. Sure, it would be the easiest way to higher base damage values, but I think it would be much more strategic and fun to combine the old water Ecaflip mechanics with the new to create a truly unique class.

I also think that I'm just wasting my time, but hey - at least I'm trying.
Really i think the best way to balance this stuff is to implement all the interesting stuff, then balance the values afterward iteratively, unfortunately Ankama doesn't really do that.

We can sit here discus our ecaflip dreams, though i'm a little sad you didn't comment on my flea aura idea :'3 (what if it was something the bowmeow did for water ecas?)
While I do like the idea of giving Flea Bag to allies next to you, I'm afraid it would require to take up one spell slot (and we could really use a healing instead of that - no one really used Flea Bag back then) or at least modify Flealine Army - and then again, I'd rather have it giving a chance to cast old (and limited by WP) Flea Love - which gives me a lot of combo options, rather than just protection for my allies, that would force me to play in a group.

I've thought about changing Paws Off to cast some additional spell while pushing enemies, but it might have been too strong. But then it hit me - EVERY branch (well, both fire and earth) benefits from the summoned cat, but not water. It's really nice to think of the same idea at pretty much the same time: if anyone, the CAT should have this aura you've suggested. A controlled cat could be easily used to protect allies - or even yourself - although it would require him to engage in melee range. It's so easy to kill that I can imagine it wouldn't break the balance at all.
Even thou I agree with some of your points, Rough Tongue and Hunter mostly, it's hard to believe that we'll get any great changes in the core of Ecaflips. The main problem is that we lack some good mechanics seen in others classes. As a close combat fighter, I don't see any set with the 'lock purpose water based' what would help us a lot, at least to try to defend our group mates, or not to have a 8Ap 3MP build to invest in HP and other stuff.

And the worst part is that even using the best equips, any class would kick our ass in the team role. As a support class, we are pretty much worthless. As a offensive class, we need get too much close and a need a little bit luck to be decent and is sad to admit this to my beloved class.
Yes, having it on the cat would be very interesting, i think id kill him all the time with up to scratch though.

Hmmm, i find that interaction interesting too, yeah cool biggrin 
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