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The Noob Perspective - Fire Panda's

By LoreChief April 03, 2012, 05:14:46

Hi, I'm LoreChief, and I am a Fire Pandawa Noob.

I am here to today to address the issues I've seen being the shortcomings and misgivings of the fire tree. To start with, I would like to bring up the thing that people have been saying all over the board:

--- Fire is too dependent on Water

Water spells have the unique mechanic of Dizzy, which is required for all of the secondary effects of the fire tree. Water has the option of using a barrel with which to amplify the range and damage of their skills, in the situation that the enemy is close enough to the barrel to use them effectively.

Fire skills have a few things in common, but suffer from many non-compatabilities with both water skills, as well as themselves. Let's give those a look.

1) Flaming Burp (FB: Low range is the biggest problem with this skill. The AoE provided, combined with the range, are far inferior to that of the Explosive Flask. The secondary effect, while a good start - will only be useful when it gets to a reliable range, and even then is not particularly reliable. The best point to use this skill is when you are close range, don't want to move, and have enough AP to apply a round of dizzy beforehand.

2) Light My Fire (LMF): Good range, only 2 AP cost, good secondary effect, low damage. This skill is one of my favorites in the tree because it synergizes well with the new Incandescent Milk effect. The secondary effect of this skill compliments its potential usage very well. It adds 'Burning' to the target, which is modifiable fire damage. Being cheap to use, you can load up IM charges on the enemy by applying one round of dizzy, and then casting this skill multiple times in one turn. If you have, say, 8 charges of Dizzy on the enemy, you can use this skill 2-3 times depending on your AP, applying 8 + 8 + 8 charges of IM in one turn! This allows the enemy to take fire damage at both the beginning of their turn (IM charges), and the end of their turn (Burning charges). I don't think this skill needs to be touched at all.

3) Dairy Springer (DS): Limited range, good damage, semi-decent AoE, great secondary effect. This skill is an anomaly in the fire tree. The other 4 skills could arguably be described as ranged, with half of them being usable directly in front of you (FB and LMF). The blindness is a good touch on this skill, because it's the one that will put you directly in the enemies face. Hopefully blindness goes off so that they can't touch you. It is not modifiable by +range items, making it either a decent escape skill. I prefer to use this skill after using Milky Breath, as a way to escape from enemies while re-applying IM charges.

4) Explosive Flask (EF): Good range, good damage, lackluster AoE, great secondary effect. This skill, is half of what it should be. The secondary effect being another small AoE of fire damage, synergizes well with IM charges, which also produce a small AoE. The skill itself however, has a very small AoE for something thats supposed to be a handheld explosive. If the AoE radius was similar to something like Milking It, this skill would be more on par for the tree. I use this skill when I would rather use Milking It, except I have dizzy charges on the target.

5) Milking It (MI): Great damage, awesome range, magnificent AoE, HORRIBLE SECONDARY EFFECT. If there's one thing I've gathered from both the playstyle of the char, and the responses on the forums, it's that we don't like depending on water skills to be effective. As bad as it is, why is it then that our best damaging skill in the tree UNDOES all of those charges we loaded up from water? Consuming dizzy is the last thing you would want to do in a fight where you've gotten the ball rolling finally. Fix this, and you've fixed most of the tree.

So Ankama wants us to work with the water tree to be effective. That's slightly understandable, but the skills themselves are clunky to use, even more so if you're going it alone (i.e., not partying with a water pandawa). Water skills are most effective when used with a barrel - however, in order to make the most of that barrel, you'll have to max Kam, Barrel, and maybe Bottomless Barrel - throw it out to the enemy team, cast the water spell that causes AoE effects, and then wait for next turn to use fire. In the perfect fire/water pandawa world, you would be able to depend on a range-extended MB for maintaining dizzy on your target.

1) Milky Breath (MB: Cheap cost, pitiful range, low damage, low dizzy chargability. This skill suffers from low range, and that's really it. It's cheap cost compliments it's usage with the fire tree quite well, but because of it's limited range, makes it very difficult to use. I prefer to use this skill before loading the enemy up with LMF, as a way to keep up the dizzy charges on the enemy for the turn. As such, I think it would be more appropriate if it had the same range as LMF.

2) Splash of Milk (SoM): Moderate cost, decent damage, good range - not for fire tree though. This skill is not going to be reviewed, as it's not one that should be used by the fire tree. It's AP cost is too high, and if we wanted to load up 4 more dizzy charges on the enemy this round, we would just use two more MB.

3) Bubble Trouble (BT): Cheap cost, decent damage, decent range - situational use for fire. This skill is mostly useful as a go-between of MB and LMF combo's, for people that have 7 AP and want to stand a bit farther back during the fight. When you get to 7 AP, this replaces MB for the 2/3x LMF combo.

4) Milky Wave (MW): Awesome damage, great range, expensive - situational use for fire. This skill is mostly useful when you have a desire to stack more than 2 charges of dizzy on the enemy in one turn, and when you are okay with waiting until the next turn to use fire.

5) Milk Fountain (MF): Workable cost, amazing range, awesome damage, ZOMG NATURAL AoE! - situational use for fire. This skill is that one you cast on the enemies, because it hits an AoE, and then say "yeah... I wish I had enough AP to use EF on them..." You really only use this the same way as MW, except theres more than one enemy to hit.

I think one of the biggest drawbacks to the fire and/or fire/water build pandawa is specialty skills. They just don't provide enough choices for those of us who don't want to tote around a barrel. This might be my fault though, because I may not be playing this character optimally. Maybe we're supposed to depend on the barrel as much as we are an entire other elemental tree (Water)?


Incandescent Milk (IM): This is our new skill, and for what its worth, it does a pretty good job. However, putting any points past the first one will only result in a net-total increase of 19% additional fire damage (really?). That's not much, considering just holding a freakin barrel will give you +100% damage, 2 ap, 2 MP. Increased points into this skill does not benefit the IM charges themselves any more than 19% more damage (which isn't a lot with IM as it hits for 15 at 100 stacks). My suggestion for this skill, either make it add more charges per dizzy (1 dizzy = 3 charges?) at max level, or increase that +Fire damage % by about 30%.

Ether: This skill has the potential to be incredibly useful for a fire pandawa, but falls short on the fact that it only lasts for one turn (doesn't have a turn duration when you use it though....), and it's too expensive to cast every turn. My suggestion to fix this, would be to make it last indefinitely on as many enemies as you want, BUT - make it only beneficial for the user (you), as to not make it OP.

Bamboozle: This skill is the one I hear the most about people using with their fire builds, but falls short in quite a few regards. Firstly, we don't use the barrel because merry will eventually become worn-out, which sucks in general. Earth Pandawa's are the ones who should be worrying about hangovers, not us (we SPIT our alcohol at people, remember?). It puts dizzy on the enemies, and that's fine. However, it's close range, which contradicts 4/5ths of the skills in the fire tree. My suggestion to make this usable for us, would be to allow it to be cast in a ranged AoE (say a 3x3), so that we can take a break from using water skills and focus on just doing damage every now and then.

Barrel: I really just have one suggestion to make this skill synergize well for both the water, and fire/water pandawa's - make it castable at a range. If at max lvl you could throw drop it 5 squares in front of you, that would be grand.


As you might have read, I only said "this skill should stay the way it is" for one skill in the fire tree, LMF. That means I have suggested improvements for the other 4, which I will list now:

1) Flaming Burp (FB: You are spitting hot alcohol at the enemies, make this apply a charge of dizzy, instead of increasing crit rate. Preferably this skill would look like this at max lvl: Dmg 12, AP cost 1, range 4, secondary effect: +1 dizzy.

2) Dairy Springer (DS): I don't know what to do about this skill, I'll be honest. I just don't think it's right for the fire tree in it's current form.

3) Explosive Flask (EF): Keep everything the same, except increase the AoE. Hell, get rid of Milking It as it currently is, and give this skill the MI AoE effect.

4) Milking It (MI): I'll give two options here, either follow my suggestion for EF and make this skill something completely different, or change the secondary effect so that it doesn't consume the charges. Here are my two possible ideas:

a ) Milking it becomes an ally/self-targetable only skill. It costs 4 AP to use, has a range of 5, no LoS requirement - and causes the cells directly to the sides/front/back of the target to explode, causing damage and pushing enemies back 2 cells. The damage is nothing spectacular, but it provides an escape/push mechanism for either the pandawa or their teammates. Change the name to Explosive Personality.

b ) New secondary effect for MI: Targets hit by MI do -1% damage per 5 charges of dizzy (-20% damage at max lvl) This does not stack with itself if cast repeated, only refreshes the duration.

And that's it! Couples with my suggestions for improving Milky Breath, and the stated Specialty skills, these are my ideas for correcting the course of the Fire and/or Fire/Water pandawa's! Thanks for reading (if you made it this far!).


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Score : 234

The problem with these changes (and pretty much everyone's arguments about water/fire pandas) is that you're not addressing the core problem of the build: why should I ever, ever go water/fire panda when I could go earth panda and get +100% damage and +AP and MP for free... When my other option is either choosing to go water or fire without hybridizing at all (and being punished for it) or trying to go hybrid and being punished with low spell levels and hard to itemize for damage.

I've mentioned it in another thread, but this game has examples of GOOD, incentive based hybrid gameplay - Xelors using Aging/air spells for utility is a great example of this. You can choose, on a Xelor, to go water/air, fire/air, just fire, just water, or even utilize all three (but you generally end up focusing on one or the other due to spell exp). Because Aging gives you damage (for 1AP) for basically using all your other spells, it's a great combination with a fire/water build. The utility skills in the air tree are useful for pretty much any Xelor, even if they're not focusing on an aging build.

The water/fire Panda mechanic is an example of BAD, FORCED hybrid gameplay. Fire Panda doesn't -have- to use water, but they're not taking advantage of half their skill effects without water. The frustrating part is that pure water panda is fine - the Dizzy debuff is quite strong by itself, and with water being able to stack it pretty effectively now they can be this nice little support tree. But Fire has no place - even the "Fire" debuff relies on Dizzy stacks, but I can't really do anything with the Fire tree that I couldn't just do with another class.

So instead of looking at the trees and saying "Let's change these so that they work BETTER with Water", we need to look at a way to actually make hybrid viable - and to start, each tree needs to be passable on its own.

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I agree with you on most points, but you need to be careful when you talk about forcing hybridization.

Using the Xelor example again, you aren't forced to use Aging - however, you are handicapped if you don't. Similarly, you don't have to use water spells to be a fire panda, but those secondary effects make you wish that you could. That brings up one of two issues:

1) Dizzy can be caused by water spells, which either cost too much in the AP department to cause a decent amount of fire dmg, or has a pitifully small range (Mcool.

2) The only way to get Dizzy on the enemy is via bamboozle. It costs costs a wakfu point at max lvl, limiting your ability to use it long-term. It also requires you to submit yourself to the worn-out debuff at some point, which is complete bull when you consider that you won't really ever get to take advantage of having the 100 merry buff for more than a single turn.

What I've suggested in this thread, is either a change to bamboozle which will make it useful to fire panda's, or to change water spells to be more accessible to the fire tree. That also means that there are suggested changes for fire skills, in order to make them all worth using for their secondary effects. This addresses the core problem of us being dependent on another elemental tree that gimps us.

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Score : 234

I know two different Xelors who are level 60+ - one of them pure fire and one of them pure water - and they aren't in any way handicapped for not using Aging. The focus of their builds is different - the Fire Xelor focused on rollback and Temporal Armor and etc, etc while the Water Xelor is focused on Devotion and stacking Willpower - but they're both very good at what they do without using Aging.

And again, what I'm saying is - why should we be FORCED to use Water spells to get the most out of Fire spells? I actually had a specific suggestion for this: if they had made Incandescent Milk a buff that enemies could only have if they WEREN'T Dizzy, it would be a specific fire-only debuff that would actually give a Fire Panda a different playstyle than a Fire/Water Panda, instead of a Fire Panda being pretty much forced to use Water in order to have any depth of gameplay.

Your suggestions aren't bad, but I think if we focused on the core problem of the fact that the Fire tree is almost worthless without using the Water tree, people would actually have a reason to go Water/Fire - it would be a choice. Water has a reason right now - Dizzy is a really strong debuff and Water can focus on Dizzying as many foes as possible. Water/Fire has a reason - applying all those debuffs and such from the Fire tree. But currently pure Fire has nothing other than damage going for it.

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