I've been playing Priestess exclusively (apart from a brief stint as a lightning mage, to see what all the fuss is about. Successful mission that was, going something like 60-5 using only chain lightning, and receiving the "LORB NOOB NO SKILL" award from other players when trying that out) and while I genuinely enjoy the class, I think there are several changes, which I believe could be implemented in a very balanced way (this is not a thread suggesting that corruption fire faster for 3x the damage and vampirically heals the priestess while causing a 150 yard explosion if someone dies to it) that would improve the play of a Priestess player, particularly those attempting to play the heal/support role. Overall I think the class really suffers in that aspect, which is an odd pity because that is the uniqueness about it. As a killer, the Priestess already does quite well - Brambles is murder on melee and corruption is a better long/very long range attack then archers...Melee/Archers who get close, or mages in general, are the real priestess-killers. So here's some alterations I would suggest.
One of the most frustrating aspects of trying to heal teammates is that losing them from your crosshair for just a blink (because they jump, duck, turn a corner, or are dodging like a madman avoiding enemy fire) resets your heal attempt, wasting your mana. This can be a real pain.
Another situation that exacerbates this is coming across a teammate and an enemy locked in a melee struggle. As you try to heal your guy, the enemy will run into your crosshair, cancelling the heal as you've begun to try to corrupt him. Then your teammate will run into view, cancelling your corrupt as it then tries to heal! You can easily go OOM trying to affect a situation like this - it's better to let one of them die and either heal or kill the other...that does not seem right for a combat situation.
PROBLEM : Either the targeting method, frequency of fire, and/or mana usage in these situations ought to be changed.
Solution 1 : Allow us to "lock on" with heals. Crosshair over a teammate, tap Alt to lock on, you'll automatically "hit" that teammate with Heal so long as they are in-range and not out of Line-of-sight. Not the best solution because it doesn't fix people turning corners or engaged in melee.
Solution 2 : Make Heal/Corrupt fire faster, but for proportionately less damage. As in, if the rate of fire is doubled, each hit does half the damage. Best Scenario : make heal/corrupt into a 'streaming' attack (like that one UT200X weapon) that either damages or heals depending on what it hits. This wouldn't help when trying to heal teammates who are spinning around like the Tazmanian devil, but at least you could affect combat when multiple people are fighting in melee range and not go OOM from wasted attempts.
Solution 3 : Stop charging mana for Heal/Corrupt unless it actually *affects* someone. I am not sure why there is a constant mana charge for using this ability - it's not a 'fire-and-forget' attack like mages have. I've been utterly drained dry from both failed heals and failed corrupts - mana, I feel, is a *major* issue for priestesses. How about only charging mana when someone actually *gets* healed or hurt? Also, the drain is a particularly annoying issue when you're low on mana, trying to heal a teammate but it turns out you don't have enough mana to finish a heal, yet it still drains you to nothing, meaning you've wasted time trying to heal AND then have to regen what you just lost. I'd rather not be able to cast it if under that threshold, or else please move the mana charge to when the spell is *done*.
I think the duration of this ought to be increased. Or better yet, 2 additional skill bubbles for it, one increasing duration by a decent amount, the other increasing the actual stoneskin effect. This could be a *great* skill for both types of priestesses (one casting on others for support, the other on self for survival), but the very short duration really hampers it.
Also - I'd really like to see the functionality changed so that Right Click = cast on self, Left Click = cast on friendly target, with NO EFFECT/MANA COST if you left click and there's no teammate in your crosshair. Many times I'll try to buff someone who's running in front of me and end up stoneskinning myself 8 times. Very irritating.
I think only one bramble pit per priestess should be allowed, base. They cover a pretty wide area and can fire pretty far - having two of them makes it nigh impossible for a warrior/assassin whom you've spotted to do anything. Perhaps additional skillpoints in the spell would increase the slowing effect or area, or allow a 2nd brambles to be cast. Also, brambles *quite often*, when you're trying to fire from high ground to low, will hit the ledge in front of you and sprout at your feet even though your crosshairs would appear to be quite high enough above it.
Problem 1 : Trying to heal/fight. Thing that p****s me off the most about rez is very similar to the problems with heal/corrupt itself - I will be trying to heal or hurt someone, but as we both dance around my crosshair will blink across a skull, interrupting either the heal/corrupt and starting the rez/eat process. Just like above, this kind of thing wastes mana and you can go OOM fast when it occurs.
Solution : Give rez/souleat its own hotkey, don't use it as an extension of heal. In fact, I would combine Rez/Mass Rez; left click = normal rez/soul-eat, right click = mass rez (if purchased). Or, 3 additional skillpoints, with the last one being that Rez also rezzes other nearby friendlies (and eats all souls)
Problem 2 : Another person is too close, you can't rez. Very irritating, personally, but I would accept the argument that it's necessary for balance. However, this doesn't seem to be an issue with mass rez...but ok.
Problem 3 : Half health after rez. I kind of think that being restoration specced should improve a freshly-rezzed person's health. 1 focus point = 75%, both focus points = 100%. Actually, maybe being corruption specced should reduce that. 1 focus = 25% health, 2 focus = 1% health. Alternatively, a new skillpoint bubble that grants rezzed people full health.
Problem 4 : Ticket cost and vulnerability. Anyone who gets rezzed, if killed again, costs *another* ticket. That is a pretty big discouragement to battle-rezzing as that half-dead person is likely to die again and again and again - you can actually grief your entire team, aware of it or not, and cause a loss by rezzing a lot. Is rez really meant to be used only when there are no enemies around whatsoever? I had thought that the vulnerability of that person being tied to the priestess' life was punishment enough.
Solution : Rezzed people don't cost tickets when they die.
Solution : If that's too overpowered, then give rezzed people full health, but they cannot be healed.
Solution : If that's not enough, give rezzed people full health, but they cannot be healed and lose x hp/sec.
Solution : No ticket cost on death, rezzed person is unhealable and slowly loses life, remove Mass Rez as a seperate skill, instead give Rez 3 additional skill bubbles. First one raises a rezzed person's life to full for 1 skill point, second one imbues rezzed persons with a damage boost for 2 skill points, third one for 3 skill points causes Rez to also Rez any other corpses near your target (additional mana cost per corpse, will only work on as many corpses as your mana will support)
I think you fall behind a bit when trying to purely heal/support the team. It may be that heal/rez xp should be boosted slightly - or the 'assist' xp when a teammate you've just healed kills someone. Or maybe soulmark XP. I'm not sure - but it's not as easy to get a top of the list high score without getting your own kills in.
6. Heal/Corrupt sphere.
I find this skill pretty laughable. While the healing without targeting is handy, the area is so small its hard to make it worth it...and it doesn't seem to benefit from either healing or corruption spec (though I'm not sure).
7. Mass Heal
The concept is good, but the situation is not : it's not frequent enough of an occurence to be worth the skillpoints - you usually get one or two people hurt and the others are just dead, rarely do I see 4, 5, 6 friendlies that I could lay this on. The self-inflicted pain is alright, but a situation like that just begs for someone to AE you and everyone you're healing. Bleh.
8. Poison and Blind
Does anyone use and stick with these skills? They've really never seemed very useful. When, as a killer, you've got to get range, curse focus, soulmark, brambles; or as a healer, need range, heal focus, rez, mark, stoneskin...this kind of thing doesn't seem to have its place.
Solution for 6 & 7 & 8 : Remove Sphere, Blind, and Poison. Use the extra points to allow enhancements to Stoneskin (Improve Duration, Improve Effect), Mass Heal (Improve Range, Reduce Life Cost), Brambles (Improve Slowing Effect, Increased Area, 2nd Bramble Pit), Rez/Mass Rez (More Health on Rez, Imbue Rezzee with Dmg Boost, Rez becomes Mass Rez (all of these to go along with no ticket cost + rezzee slowly dies, unhealable)), perhaps some new support-based skill.
Well, just my thoughts, hope they aren't imbalanced, but I hope some changes do come. Til then I keep healin' and killin'!