Storm Legion’s starting to look pretty electric, especially for fans of the Warrior calling. Storms abound, and tempests. Lots of tempests. Yesterday was Trion’s official Storm Legion Tempest live stream reveal, and Atrius, the Warrior Lead Developer, Gersh, Dahanese, and Elrar sat back and showed us the new Tempest soul firsthand. They also shared some of the new, exciting changes coming for Warrior players, including major changes to many existing souls and changes to weapon DPS mechanics.
The Trion team, as always, had quite a bit of fun during the live stream, and some of yesterday’s antics included a dancing dude in a turtle suit, Gersh serving up rum and cokes (to himself), a trolling white board, and Elrar showing off new bear mounts. Catch the live stream yourself at MMORPG.com’s TwitchTV page. It’s quite a fun watch. In the meantime, we’ve got your bases covered here– with all the highlights, and some nifty screenshots.
Once the team got the live stream rolling, we were immediately shown portions of Tempest Bay, one of the major cities in Storm Legion. The city’s quite a sight, meshing technological and architectural advances with the simple beauty of a looming city just waiting to be explored. Our Tempest, controlled by Elrar, dived right into the action, hurling lightning-based bolts of energy at Storm Legion mobs. Yep, as you may have guessed, Tempest is a ranged DPS soul. It has both a wide array of single target and AoE abilities, most of which are air-based.
The most impressive-looking attack ability is probably the Tempest’s ranged AoE, shown to the right. This is a cone-shaped AoE called Storm Torrent. Tempest abilities work from 30 meters or beyond, and when paired with other Warrior souls, the Tempest can enable certain abilities from the accompanying soul to also work from range. Most Tempest abilities are instant, although there are some channeled abilities as well. The soul’s firepower comes straight from their melee weapons.
The Tempest soul has some interesting utility options, including a stationary stealth ability on a 10-second cooldown called Light Refraction. While stealthed, the Tempest can set off some AoE “charge” type abilities, then become visible and follow up with a full-scale attack. The soul also gets an AoE stun ability and False Repose, an ability that removes all threat and is on a 30-second cooldown.
While the soul gets a couple crowd control abilities (such as the AoE stun), the Tempest doesn’t have a whole lot of CC options. Overall, crowd control has not been made as important in Storm Legion. Instead, the Tempest is intended to be a ranged DPS soul with added survivability, since it is still a Warrior. The soul also gets a 30% buff to damage dealt when they are standing still. Cooldown-wise, the soul gets an ability that temporarily redirects damage, and an off-GCD damage absorption shield.
A full Tempest spec seems like it might be worthwhile for focusing entirely on ranged DPS, both AoE and single target. A full ranged spec, as noted by Trion’s team, will put out slightly less damage than most full melee DPS Warrior specs. The reason for this is the fact that a full ranged spec will be more mobile, and melee will find themselves having to switch targets and move from fire, etc. This philosophy is seen throughout all of the class adjustments being made for Storm Legion.
The Tempest synergizes well many other souls, including Riftblade, which provides a more “bursty” style of gameplay. Paragon and Tempest also work well together, creating a sort of hybrid melee/ranged spec that can run in and out of melee range as needed while pumping out large amounts of damage. This spec should be able to outperform the full Tempest spec DPS-wise, since it’s largely a melee spec, and may be decent for PvP as well. Tempest/Beastmaster is also a good combination, allowing the player to support (more on that later!) while putting out decent ranged damage. The new soul also synergizes well with the tank souls, allowing for some quite interesting hybrid tank/DPS playstyles.
The Beastmaster, as many of us suspected, is becoming a full support spec, similar to the Archon. Beastmasters won’t have to juggle Motif-style buffs, however. They’ll use self buffs, then charge into the fray (or hurl lightning from the distance!), dishing out a decent amount of damage. As they do damage, their raid buffs will pop up automatically. One great example is this raid buff, which essentially turns every bleed into a constant AoE heal for the group. The soul will also receive some emergency cooldown buffs.
Some Beastmaster buffs are intended to stack with Bard and Archon buffs, however, the majority don’t. This should allow raids to be a little more flexible about what type of support players they bring, meaning we won’t necessarily need three support classes per raid. Beastmasters will naturally be able to queue up as support now in the LFD tool. The Beastmaster pets will be remaining largely as they are, merely a bump to the player’s DPS and a way to help keep raid buffs rolling. There won’t be any new pets or new pet abilities.
The Warlord soul is getting some pretty interesting changes, and is becoming a hybrid DPS and tank soul. The soul will be able to do both roles decently, even while using the same gear set, which should make a Warlord an ideal choice for an offtank position, or even a quick 5-man dungeon run. How is this possible? Check out the tooltip to the right. Yep– Warlords won’t need shields, thus allowing them to tank with a two-hander or dual weapons.
They’ll also be getting new “Posture” buffs that work similar to stances (can only use one at a time). Some Postures are more defensive oriented, allowing the Warlord to quickly grab aggro and increase their survivability. Others, including the new 61-point Warlord ability, will allow the Warlord’s global cooldown to drop to 1 second, also increasing the damage of their GCD abilities by 40%. They also receive an ability that increases damage dealt after avoiding a blow or causing a mob to avoid, and a cooldown that temporarily boosts their Attack Power by the Warlord’s amount of armor.
Warlords also get some pretty sweet mobility perks, including a couple new charges, a backwards leap, abilities that work off and reset their charge abilities, a couple self-healing abilities, and a sprint ability. Warlord DPS is intended to be below full melee DPS specs, obviously, but above full tank specs. The lower areas of the Warlord soul tree include tank-ish abilities and effects, allowing other souls to access some of the more interesting new goodies. The ability that allows Warlords to block without a shield, for instance, only takes 11 points to grab. This should give Warrior tanks some fun options!
General Warrior Changes
- Here’s a big change, and a helpful one for all Warriors– two-handed weapons and dual wield weapons can be used equally by all specs. Want to use a two-hander as Paragon or dual blades as Champion? How about tank with sword/board as Champion? Go right ahead!
- All DPS Warriors will be receiving a bump to their survivability.
- All tank Warriors will be receiving a significant bump to their DPS.
- Attack Power scales better for Warriors.
- We may be seeing some tanking two-handed weapons, thanks to the new Warlord mechanic. If we do see a tanking two-handed weapon, it will be pretty rare, however, similar to a Bard-only weapon.
- Tanking with a 2h does seem viable. Trion’s team mentioned tanking Storm Legion dungeon content using a two-hander, and having no issues.
Other Warrior Souls
Paragon and Champion are both more focused DPS souls now. Paragon is becoming more of a single target DPS soul, and Champion is becoming more of a AoE DPS soul. Since weapons are interchangeable, this will allow Warriors to customize their gameplay a little better. Riftblade seems to be somewhere in the middle, and also relies more heavily on burst damage.
Reaver/Champion and Reaver/Tempest are both quite viable and do quite a bit of damage for a tank spec. The Plaguebringer ability in Reaver affects 10 enemies in Storm Legion, not 5. This same effect has been made regarding other AoE abilities.
Mitigation between full tank specs has been balanced better. Paladin has a slight physical mitigation advantage, Void Knight has a slight magical mitigation advantage, and Reaver has a slight DPS advantage. These differences are slight.
Elrar showed off Cyclone, the nifty Infinity Edition Storm Legion mount, pictured above. Cyclone hovers above the ground and functions like a normal mount in all regards. It doesn’t hover over water, for instance.
As far as raid DPS is concerned, Trion believes that melee DPS should outperform ranged DPS a tiny bit, only because melee sometimes have to move from AoE abilities, switch targets, etc. This difference is going to be very small, and the top DPS players of all classes should perform at extremely similar levels. This is the goal for Storm Legion. Players who perform at the top of their game will also be able to outperform these goals. Daglar confirmed this later yesterday evening, in a forum reply: “What was said was, melee dps will typically be 5% higher as a target than ranged in SL – and that players will find ways to outperform whatever our goals are.”
Last but not least, Elrar also showed off some brand new mounts– bear mounts! We saw a hint of the bear mount in the latest Storm Legion video, but now we saw exactly what they look like in-game. Pretty adorable!