Combatants Mages Priests | Rogues

As of late many games have promised the capability to perform any role regardless of class chosen at inception. We considered this, as gamers and those within the communities of each of these games, and decided that this capability was simply too demanding on players when they wanted to specialize; that typically they had to play a specific role with a specific class or they weren’t nearly as capable nor desired in end game scenarios. The concept of ridding our game entirely of classes crossed our mind as well but was rebutted because of the problems it brings. Namely no character has any identity, that as you are looking for groups among unknowns there is no definable way to ensure that the players you invite actually fill the roles they say they are attempting to fill – it really became a mass concern, whereas removing the class system was something a smaller portion of the community could truly utilize).

Instead, we chose to embrace the class system, and in so doing define each class and their capabilities. Our class system holds 28 classes with unique primary roles and secondary roles that they can perform, just not nearly as efficiently. This will allow those attempting to create raids and groups to know exactly what classes they are looking for and the way that each class will play in to each other. To that, it is important to note that our game fundamentals do not offer any true “one group beats all” component as each major fight (bosses and their events) are unique from others as the mechanics around the boss and the boss itself (themselves?) require different components in order to compete with the players for victory. This is another reason why our raids are 24 and 36 player size… though we’ll cover that later.

Our class system does not embrace the “holy trinity” lie that has been spread over the past five years or so. No… any true gamer knows that there has never only been three parts to a group. Tanks, Healers, and DPS have only been a portion of group composition and the fact that games have attempted to ignore the rest simply shows their lack in desire, or maybe capability, to create the complexity that players need in combat.

Instead, we've brought each of the fundamental roles to form: Tank, Healer, Melee DPS, Ranged DPS, Pet DPS, Support, Crowd Control; and several mixtures thereof. It can be argued that DPS is DPS and shouldn't be considered in any category other than a main category and to that we argue that those who would say that have never had the luxury (or rather misfortune) of playing a melee DPS within most games… or even a pet based DPS class for that matter. Hopefully, the remainder of this text can properly explain our approach to each and the care to which we will be applying ourselves when considering each aspect that makes every role truly important.

Before we begin that, however, we feel it is important for us to note that a player’s role is that role. The DPS will perform DPS. A Crowd Control role will never be demanded to meet DPS requirements as this is not their job. To that end, our raid mechanics are setup to ensure that every role will have their functions fully challenged for the entirety of the fight. If you choose to be a Tank then you will be challenged at every turn while the Healers are charged with keeping you, and the rest of the raid, alive and well. Support will find their jobs just as challenging as well as CC… There will never be a moment when CC will be asked what their DPS is… and if so then this means that our mechanics are flawed and must be corrected on our end! This is our primary challenge, just as yours is to get as far as you can within the game itself!

That said, let’s talk about each role and our concepts on how they should function:

Tanks within our system will have three primary concepts: the damage absorbing freaks who take beatings and suffer through it, the avoidance and movement savvy who avoid most damage and take what they know they can handle, and the distraction based that utilize pets to spread the damage out among multiple targets. None of these tank types will ever be the solution to every fight presented as some enemies will be slower but deal tremendous damage and are easily avoidable, others will deal a mixture of high damage hits as well as medium to quick maneuvering that require multiple targets to spread the load of damage being received, and yet some enemies are simply too quick but do smaller amounts of damage that is unavoidable. Each of these tanks will require to manage their threat, typically done by performing their main tanking job but also through basic taunt abilities, as well as their placement of enemies and managing of their own resources. None of them will simply hide behind shields or build their armor in such a way that they mitigate all damage without the need of abilities to supplement. The task of tanking will truly be involved and challenging to all who attempt to become the tip of the spear!

Healers will have their hands full with our targeting system, though we are implementing some unique elements that only they will have, such as the target lock and tracking system that will allow them to target an ally, lock on to that ally’s energy, and target a few other allies in order to ensure desired targets are found. Each healer will have their own unique take on healing; one will utilize brunt and powerful heals while another will have the aids of pets to doll out the restoring energies. Each healing type will be highly capable in the hands of the right healer, though there will be some fights where the brunt healer dropping enormous amounts of restorative energies will be more necessary depending on the tank type and skill. In other situations having more over time healing will save on resources and allow players to spread the healing around to multiple players, keeping track of each member of their party or raid, as well as keeping their feet in safe locations throughout the toughest fights.

DPS will be separated into three primary categories: Melee, Ranged, and Pet DPS. Melee DPS will find that their numbers are naturally going to be higher to allow them to compete with ranged and pet class DPS types that don’t need to avoid placement as much, though ranged DPS will definitely find that their feet will be constantly moving as well without the encumbrance of having to be as close to their target as possible. Pets will be highly controllable, the owner can select what abilities the pet will and will not use as well as the priorities of the abilities or they can take full control of the pet’s ability usage during the fight. Pet placement is something we will discuss when we cover how pets work within the game at a later date. It is important to reiterate that DPS will be the primary focus of all DPS classes within the group or raid and will not have any real value on any other class type. DPS do not perform any other role, therefore it is unjust to require other roles to perform DPS… quite frankly it is rather insulting to the DPS that a healer could compete on the DPS boards/meters, is it not?

Support classes will find themselves tasked with ensuring that each role is functioning at their peak capacity. This may sound easy enough but the truth is that managing each buff as it pertains to their set group will not be an easy task when they also have to ensure that their placement must be highly managed. The support role will push a player to ensuring that a DPS class maintains the highest output possible while the tank is mitigating damage as much as possible and the healer is restoring all missing health in the most effective manner. Couple that with ensuring that all class types are regenerating their primary resource to the best of the support roles abilities and you’ll find that finding a target to hit will not be high on the support characters “to do” list.

Finally, and not lastly, the Crowd Control, or CC! This has been one of the most dynamic role types in any game any of us have ever played, though support tends to be so rare as to be a very exhilarating experience in itself. Still though, the CC will be in charge of ensuring that enemies are debilitated as much as possible by sapping strengths and exploiting weaknesses for allies to take advantage of, lulling and putting unwanted enemies to sleep to await their turn at destruction, and even charming some enemies to assist the group or raid in their end goal. The CC role has the ability to perform a bit of DPS though this only truly comes in the event that an enemy can be charmed; charmed enemies are not considered pets and cannot be controlled beyond the mindlessness that encourages them to assault their own allies. That said, the CC role will be the most effective when it comes to the pre-fight engagement, or method of pulling, that will likely ensure the success or failure of most capable groups. One of the most infuriating tasks will be for the CC role to remember which enemy was resistant to what type of CC effect and which to use in order to do their job accurately!

There are some elements that we have not covered here that play a key role but in and of themselves are not primary aspects of the roles presented and fit within one of these roles to include, but not limited to, the debuff and debilitating roles that you will see as we list each of our classes and their concepts and depth.

With this slight look at our role concepts we hope you can gather that every role will be important and every role should be sought after and desired for each group and raid. While you could surely take a tank, a healer, and four DPS to any fight you wish to take on, the truth is that the tank will likely be taking too much damage, the healer not able to keep up with damage output, and the DPS finding their numbers limited due to no offensive buffs or enemies being weakened. Now, for those of you who believed the “holy trinity” lie, understand why we say that the holy trinity never existed within the world of RPGs!!! (That’s right… not even D&D!)

By now a few of the classes have been released with a general concept as to our design of the class (their depth and much deeper understanding will come, we promise). In the next few weeks we attempt to explain just what the hell we were thinking when we approached each class as they began to develop themselves into the mixtures and purities that you see now!

First up, Tanking:

What Is Tanking?

So when we talk about tanking one of the most important aspects is mitigation. In the beginning, and to those new to the tank class itself, mitigation means how much damage you “avoid” each time you get hit in the face. This is a very rudimentary understanding of mitigation.

Mitigation, in its entirety, is the ability to prevent damage as a whole (or how you go about assisting in the return of health after it is gone for some). The main forms of mitigation that we have for our tanks are Damage Absorption (your typical tank, not using damage shields/dampening abilities but taking brunt hits and negating a portion of the amount they hit for), Avoidance, and Pet/Dampening. Each of these has their own unique way of doing their job and mitigating the amount of damage they receive in their own ways.

Damage Absorption:

The damage absorption concept was pretty simple as it has been done in every single game that involved a tank: you build up your armor in order to reduce the amount of damage you take per hit. These types of tanks will have the highest Endurance among the highest health and lowest damage output of all classes.

These tanks will be reliable and viable against most fights in this game, as it should be, but there will be some bosses that no matter how much you mitigate you cannot mitigate enough. Even the sturdy cannot take all damage without high risk of death, and for this reason we have created more than one tank type.

Those that use shields to assist with their damage mitigation will not be able to hold their respective block button indefinitely. Once the shield is in place, the Paladin or Zealot will have three seconds to drop the shield before total mitigation increased by the shield is decreased by 5% every second. The same go with our two offensive mitigation tanks, the Warrior and Doom Knight, and how their parry defensive maneuver will work.

NOTE: we have not decided if we want to have a button assigned that will raise the shield/swords to block/parry or if it will be an ability that they can click to get into the defensive stance and click again to get out of the defensive stance.

All in all, this will be the easiest tanking class to play… that does not mean it will be functional in all fights!

Avoidance:

This tank type requires more finesse, a computer that will not lag every three seconds, and a player that wishes to be challenged. While we don’t highlight the attacks of bosses the way other games do, we do give you enough hints about the fight, that you will learn through repetition and failure, to provide these tanks with the capability to succeed where others cannot.

Heavy hitting bosses that are slower will have a hard time taking this tank type on, and in return will become more and more frustrated at the feat! Faster bosses that hit a bit harder than typical bosses will be the true struggle of this tank, and in a raid setting will lay this tank type on the ground awaiting a rez. Player beware!

Pet/Ranged:

This was a tank type that I wanted to see in a game for a long time. Rift™ actually stated they were implementing a pet tanking class before I left but hadn’t done so by the time I quit playing the game.

Right now we only have one class that performs this tanking type and I can tell you it is a high skilled endeavor! The Pet type is a tank, obviously, and the tank will utilize self-buffs (shared with the pet) and threat swapping techniques between himself and the pet to spread out the damage received. Space between the tank and his pet, NPC placement, any danger from frontals that may happen during threat swaps, etc. will have to be considered greatly during each encounter.

While this tank has the potential to be the best tank in the game it does have its downfalls. First off, it’s a Mage class and will not be able to eat damage the way the pure tank, plate wearing, damage absorptions types can. To that, it will also not be able to take as many quick hits as either of the other two classes can without swapping back to the other target. Maximizing the amount of damage the tank and the tank’s pet takes between swaps will be the true mastery of the class and will likely not be mastered by many.

Debilitating Tanking:

This tank style is similar to some games where the tank has higher defenses than normal but they don’t deal so much in decreasing damage received as much as they deal in reducing the damage output of their targets. These tanks will use curses or crippling hits to reduce the effectiveness of their targets in order to reduce all incoming damage.

A mechanic unique to these two classes (the Warrior and Doom Knight) is they won’t be avoiding damage by dodging around and they won’t be blocking a majority of incoming damage. Instead, they’ll be able to parry and riposte attacks in the same way a Paladin might hold up a shield. Well timed attacks will return damage to the attackers and open up that target for any debuff they wish to apply. Dealing with multiple enemies might be one of the first places you imagine putting these tanks but the truth is they are just as effective on bigger boss types as well.

Threat Generation:

The typical ways threat is generated in MMOs is by having a lock taunt system where you cast it on a target and that target cannot target any other player unless that player uses a similar ability, threat % gain where you use a threat ability that gives you +1 above the top player on the threat table plus a certain % above that (typically 10%), or the tank must generate threat through damage dealt where that number is converted to threat and then multiplied by a set amount.

We didn’t really like any of these. None of these systems challenged the tank to perform their role in their own way. With that, we have four different tanking types and seven tank classes so trying to fit them all into one threat system just wasn’t working… not that we really gave it a fair shot!

To be honest we wanted the tanks to do their JOBS and be rewarded for it. So if you are an avoidance tank and you avoid damage then you generate threat. The more you avoid the more threat you generate. Same goes with mitigation and the pet swapping system. Each swap generates threat based on the amount of damage received and mitigated between swaps. The entire system is complex and allows tanks to screw up while still being able to hold threat. You don’t have to be perfect but you have to be doing your job! This is, after all, a major concept of the game! Fear not, however, as we will have basic threat abilities that simply generate threat of their own accord so that you can gain the targets attention at the beginning of the fight or in preparation of a tank swapping system (though we are looking into threat swapping mechanics for tanks as well).

DPS

This section will cover where roughly 70-80% of the population of the past decade’s worth of MMOs has resided. Why? Well for some DPS just comes naturally; managing numbers, building up stats, farming specific gear… all of this is absolutely enjoyable for them. To others it is a place where they feel they won’t stand out and can perform without feeling as if everyone is looking at them for the failure or success of the group or raid. Others still find this to be the most enjoyable form of game play. Still, in most MMOs the roles of Support and CC have been taken out for a flawed “Trinity System” that has never truly been a pillar of gaming.

No matter your reason you should know: no one will help you at your job in Sacrament™ as has been the typical case over the past 10 years. You are truly the only ones responsible for the diminishing of health and endurance of every single enemy on the battlefield. Brace yourselves!

While DPS will fall into several fields, we are going to focus on five fields of note (Pet DPS is its own release!):

  • 1. Melee DPS
  • 2. Ranged DPS
  • 3. Physical DPS
  • 4. Elemental DPS
  • 5. Divine DPS

Melee DPS:

For many of you that have been waiting and hoping this is where your decision will lie… This is where you are either going to go all in or leave this game behind for good! And we know why! Yes, it’s true… melee DPS has been the butt end of nearly every joke since EverQuest 1 fell from glory. Long are the days of “Ranger down!” jokes and long has it been that if you are melee in an MMO you are the worst DPS and first to die… Not here!

Melee DPS will have avoidance at their hands, splash mitigation from some of the tanks, unique abilities to bolster their own defenses, and position to keep them from most of the damage that the tanks eat up! More? Okay. How about the fact that our bosses don’t do PBAoE damage on themselves… they do it on others and range plays a bit of a role in this. Still not enough? How about this: Due to the fact that melee DPS are required to move out of range of their attacks more often to avoid these targeted AoEs, and natural ground AoEs that may pop up, their “stand still” DPS output is higher than their ranged counterparts… but beware for standing in reds will ensure your death!

We’ve been around for a while now. We’ve seen how bad it has gotten for melee DPS in MMOs and how no one wants to address it. We’ve seen how companies try to attach toys and gimmicks… and we’re tired of it! If you want to be a viable melee DPS the only thing truly standing in your way is your skill and your dedication to your class… Outside of that no one wants to hear your pitiful excuses if you suck!

MUAWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAA

*cough cough*

Sorry. No I’m not. Melee DPS gets a bit of a new spin on how they perform their role in the way of the weapon vs armor system we described earlier (under Features > Combat > Weapons System) as well as the ability to utilize the correct elements to their disposal (primarily poison and disease). This is what makes the melee DPS stand out above their ranged counterparts as the range DPS only has the elements to deal with and do not have to consider weapon types. I know… “Y U MAIK IT DIFIKULT FOR MEELE!?” I assure you, difficulty is spread around in much different ways!

Range DPS:

This has become the ever increasing go to DPS role. Why? Because you’re automatically outside of 90% of the damage that happens during all fights and no matter where you move to you are always dealing damage to your target. The only thing we’ve changed here is how much damage you naturally avoid.

You’ll be required to move your feet to avoid those targeted and ground spawn AoEs we talked about above. You will be responsible for a portion of damage avoided and I can promise you that your healers will gladly let you know when you’re screwing it up! The one issue that most range DPS have suffered from is becoming more and more relaxed and bad at avoiding even the easiest of attacks… While we provide you ample capability, you will pay with your lives if you fail to do so.

Though range DPS do not have to consider what weapon types they are using they do have more risk to life during the fight and can afford to take less AoEs than the melee DPS. Also, they will never match their DPS counterparts (wizard vs assassin; sniper vs strategist) if equally skilled, geared, and otherwise matched up. Range DPS will need to understand their elemental types when affecting each target or group of targets or risk doing no DPS at all.

Physical Elements:

Physical Forces: Poison and Disease

Arcane Elements:

Arcane Forces: Fire, Cold, Lightning, Earth, Wind, and Water (insert Captain Planet joke here)

Elemental DPS will primarily apply to range DPS (though we have a very special melee class that can harness arcane elements). There will be one class that can stand out among all others in elemental DPS, shifting the elements of its very abilities in the middle of combat, though all range DPS will be able to obtain weapons that deal a specific effect to maximize their output even when building resources.

Divine Elements:

Divine Forces: Holy, Death, and Curse

This is not something that is restricted to a type of DPS… rather it is the will of the faithful that use this… Necromancers and Paladins, for example, will thrive on the uses of the divines and their ability to direct divine wrath towards their enemies. Be warned… the term “divine” does not mean the same thing as the term “just”…

Support Roles have been something that MMO developers have been attempting to completely remove from gameplay. Why? Because it’s easier to build a game with less moving parts. We’re not afraid of this, however, and while we may pay dearly for that lack of fear we know that our experience within the MMO genre has given us plenty of insight and plenty of desire.

We’ve dreamed and dreamed about how a Support Role truly functions in combat and we kept reverting back to the ideals of the Red Mage from the Final Fantasy™ games. Support players should be able to completely and utterly increase the effectiveness of every party member within their reach. We’re talking the ability to increase DPS output, healing output, resource regeneration, mitigation, speed… The support essentials are endless!

Buff Management:

Buff Management is going to be a key aspect of Support Roles. This is going to be where the support player will keep DPS at a maximum potential or movement speed at an all-time high or even mitigation peeked in order to assist with healing. Their bar will be riddled with increases to combat speed buffs, primary resource regeneration, damage % increase… all in order to receive the bonuses and combinations found on their gear.

A ranged support player might increase fire damage and recast timer cooldown speeds in order to keep the mages burning at full potential. Maybe the group has a death damage type DPS and an elemental wizard and needs to run multiple elemental effect bonuses. Maybe that support player has a combination effect that any DPS with a HoT currently on them has any amount of HoT not being used to heal health instead being used to push out more damage.

Some support players may wish to be in the fray with the melee increasing their mitigation and movement speed so that when they have to get away from the boss that they can get right back in to the fight. They might also throw out some regeneration for both health and primary resources to ensure that the spike DPS are fully functional. They may even find themselves among the CC as they are taking on groups of adds that need to be stunned and mezzed and finding that a good CC is one that is constantly full on primary resource by feeding them that resource… for a cost of course.

Timers and Placement:

Some support classes will have ground effects that they can place and leave in an area, run to another area and buff another group of players, and return to the ground effects just as they are about to fade. It is among this capability, the madness of running from group of players to group of players that will allow the Support Roles to increase the entire raids effectiveness in even the toughest fights.

Feeding resources, increasing potential, and keeping an eye on the entire scope of the fight will allow this role to be one of the most unique in that they will be able to see the entire fight as it unfolds. All it really comes down to at this point is what types of effects do they want to memorize as each different delivery system will have its own benefits and penalties and different forms of delivery will stack to a degree… Mix and match your Support Roles well and you’ll exceed expectations. Do so poorly and your raid will suffer greatly for it.

Rezzing:

Yes, YOU will be rezzing!

There used to be a time when this wasn’t ever a question… when one could easily look at the entire system as a whole and never have to say “WHY do I have to choose between healing those who are alive and rezzing those who are not…?” Don’t worry, we asked the same question.

Support roles will be performing the mass bulk of resurrections in and out of combat. Will Healers have rez abilities? Yes. Will they have them on their combat bar during a fight? Only if there isn’t a Support role in the party/raid. Since many games don’t use Support roles anymore it is understandable why Healers have become the typical rez bots.

So fear not Healers! While you can still take on the butt-clenching job of hoping you can get to the corpse, rez it, and get back to the tank in time before they die it will not be your job and your job alone… you won’t even be the most efficient at it! Support roles will have far more efficient rezzes at their fingertips than will!

Cleansing of the Guard:

One of the aspects of keeping players at their maximum potential is the ability to remove any debilitating effects that would restrict their functionality. After considering the true function of the Support role, we realized that it was important for these class types to be able to remove any negative effects on players as well as buff those players.

The key difference between Support cleanses and Healer cleanses is that a Support class will focus on cleansing effects that reduce movement, charm players, or overall reduce the effectiveness to perform, whereas a Healer will cleanse off DoTs and other effects that cause damage. Be assured that the ability to manage buffs, rezzes, and the removal of effects that will limit the performance of other players is going to be key in groups and raids.

Sacrament utilizes a combination healing system. While ground target heals - that can be moved in and out of as needed by party members - are available, healing will focus on lock and twitch targeting. With twitch targeting, players place their mouse pointer over the intended target and cast their heals. This is the primary combat target design of the game.

Lock targeting is a trickier option, but allows healers to prepare for large incoming damage by queuing an ability, selecting several targets, and then dispensing the heal on their chosen targets. An example of a tooltip for a healing ability reads "To perform a direct heal, target the player and cast. To perform a targeted heal, hold shift while activating the ability, choose your targets, and release once targets are selected."

Mastering lock, twitch, ground AoE and PBAoE healing is essential in keeping your allies alive. Ingame tutorials will help you learn how to utilize each healing type, and the scenarios in which they are most useful.

Burst Healing:

Burst healing is best used for those times when main and off-tanks take spike damage. This type of healing provides a large health boost, but also come with a high resource cost per cast. Burst healing is not as finesse-driven as HoT healing or as preventative in nature as ward healing.

HoT Healing:

Healing Over Time (HoT) is a style of healing that relies on abilities which generate smaller amounts of health per tick over a longer duration. An example might be a heal that replenishes 98 health per tick, and ticks every half a second for 6 seconds. HoT healers excel at efficiently keeping allies topped off on health, but are not ideal for encounters were the tank or group are taking large amounts of spike damage, as they cannot quickly recover.

Buff Reactive Healing:

This healing style is tricky, but rewarding. These healers cast buffs on allies that return health to that ally whenever they take damage (or in some cases, when they reach a certain percentage of health). What makes this tricky is that these buffs have a set duration, so if you're not careful you can waste resources casting buffs on allies at the wrong time, when there is no incoming damage. Buff reactive healing also relies on an understanding of preventative healing, meaning that instead of reacting to damage already dealt, you are predicting damage to come.

These healing buffs react in one of several ways: they can ward the target, do a burst heal, or apply a HoT.

Ward Healing:

Ward healing is unique in that it focuses on preventing damage to allies, rather than replenishing health once damage is dealt. While ward healers play best alongside burst healers, all healer types can work well together if played correctly.

Pet Healing:

Pet healing is perhaps the most challenging of healing types available in Sacrament. This may seem odd, as most immediately think "the pet just heals for you while you do other things." Such is not the case! While pets will be able to perform decently without your direction, and even better with you directing it as to what skills to use when and on what targets, it does not take the place of the player managing and casting their own skills at the same time. This dual control over two sets of healing abilities makes pet healing very difficult, but very effective and rewarding, as well.

Cleansing of the Guard:

Similar to how Support role cleanses any debuffs off of players that affect their ability to perform their individual roles the Healers will be able to cleanse any debuffs that cause damage. What we didn’t want to do in giving Support the ability to cleanse debuffs was to take away an aspect from Healers that keeps them engaged in the fight so we found a rather obvious solution and have implemented it.

Crowd Control is a role that can’t be filled by any other means. Typically games have been shunning this or trying to pass off CC to the DPS, but a dedicated CC role cannot be beat! We’re going to lay out our concepts on CC as it pertains to lulls, sleeps, mezzes, debuffs, and the ever important Art of the Pull! I know, those of you who played the first EverQuest™ and did so as Monks and Bards are still going back and forth as to who the best puller was. Well we hate to be the bearer of bad news to anyone choosing Monk in this game, but you won’t be able to compare to a CC role as far as that goes. MOVING ON!

No matter the fight, no matter the pull, no matter how messed up it all goes… true CC comes in the form of stopping an NPC dead in their tracks; or preventing them from becoming an aggressor at all. We all understand the basics but we’ll cover them real quick.

Lulls:

Lull is the act of lowering an NPC’s aggro radius, making it easier to move past them without the need for one of our invis abilities. This also helps greatly with splitting up NPCs that are in larger groups to bring one to three instead of five or more.

Sleep:

Sleep is the ability to stop an NPC dead in their tracks. They cannot cast nor call out for help; they’re not even aware that anything is happening as you have literally put them to sleep on the field of battle. Note that any damage received will awaken these sleeping targets and bring them back into the fight.

Stuns:

Stuns from a CC class, not a DPS hybrid mind you, but a CC class that hybrids with support roles, tend to last for long enough to leave the enemy drooling. What’s the difference between a stun and a sleep you ask? Well, for starters an NPC that is resistant to sleeps are likely not resistant to stuns, though this varies, and vice a versa. Also, while stuns don’t last as long as sleeps do, NPCs can take damage without interrupting the effect or duration of the stun itself. So while you obtain the same general effect – absent from combat – your side effects and reasons for each vary.

Mesmerize:

Mesmerize is another option, for those who are wishing to dive into CC. The mesmerize effect has the same effect as a sleep with the potential to completely wipe the memory of the target, resetting any threat that was generated before the mesmerize effect took hold. This ability is great for pulls or if a group is in danger and your CC needs to pull the target away in hopes of creating enough distance and dropping threat to avoid a group wipe. This tool is an excellent pulling tool and can be used most effectively by those who seize the opportunity to put themselves at great risk for the right NPC.

Charms:

Charms are finicky beasts! Sometimes it is not enough to put an enemy to sleep or to stun them into submission. Sometimes a true CC would prefer to make an unwilling ally out of their enemies. This act is very dangerous but very rewarding as you gain an additional group member for the duration of the effect. Charmed enemies do not work like pets, however, and cannot be told who to attack, or heal, or buff with what… The only rule that applies to these NPCs is that if you are not engaged in combat, neither are they. They will not attack any sleeping, mezzed or lulled targets that are not yet engaged with your specific group, and their role effectiveness is decreased by 20% for the duration of the charm. The biggest penalty for charming an NPC though, comes after the effect wears off. The NPC cannot be charmed from the same caster within 15 seconds after the charm wears off, and will deal increased damage to whoever had just charmed it. So if your goal is to keep a single NPC charmed as a long term pet, you will need to wait until the 15 second resist buff wears off and hope to survive during that time as threat will not be easy for a tank to rip off right away. Of course… tricky groups may carry two CC so that they can charm swap each other’s pets… That, of course, is another strategy all together.

Debuffs:

A few roles will have their own sets of debuffs, but none can debuff an NPC better than a CC role. This is the second most important aspect of a CC, when they are not dealing with holding back the flood gates of course. So your CC can pull and do so well, bringing one or two NPCs at a time; awesome! Some NPCs can’t be stunned, put to sleep, or mesmerized and must simply die quicker. So you, as CC, would convert your energy to ensuring the NPC remained as vulnerable to all necessary elements as possible!

The Art of the Pull:

LONG have many of us… most of us awaited an MMO that brings the challenge of the “pull” back to the game! What you see today is a forced group of mobs that must be dealt with using pseudo CC, over-compensated healing that can never be balanced, and DPS burn fights en masse. Well we’re tired of that! NO MORE!

To those new to the concept of pulling, it is the art of taking a single NPC out of a pack of five or more and presenting that target to the group. Sometimes groups like to have two NPCs at all times, one engaged in combat and one that has been put to sleep and is awaiting combat. This concept is known as chain pulling and is very fun for the puller, it keeps the group engaged, and challenges the healer’s resource pool. Groups love this!

There are several pulling tactics out there and we’re going to lay out three that we think fit very well into our game design:

The clean pull, or the basic pull, is the act described above where you would use lulls to reduce the aggro range of all of the NPCs except the one you want to bring to the group. You would then use a low aggro spell, or run up close enough to the non-lulled NPC to have it aggro you, and bring it back to your awaiting party all by itself.

Next is the split pull where you aggro the entire group of enemies, hoping they aren’t all casters, and drop all threat (using feign death or a similar ability) and wait for the NPCs to begin to walk back to their position. Sometimes this needs to happen a few times to get your target alone. If the NPCs do not reset at different intervals, the CC would then lull the remaining targets or put the primary target to sleep and then use an aggro wipe ability. Once the unaffected targets reset to their position you get up, deal a bit of damage to the target, and bring it back to the group by itself.

Finally, a favorite but tricky one, is the reverse pull. This takes two players and requires them working together. You start out by using sleep, stun, or mez on a single target causing all of the unaffected NPCs to come running after you in the opposite direction as your group. Once they have gotten far enough away the second player, usually the tank though you can use a second CC, will then hit the target, waking it up, and bring it back to the awaiting group to be destroyed. The moment the target NPC is clear of the camp the first player would use an aggro wipe ability to reset all of the enemies back to their original positions. Highly experienced and skilled pullers can do this trick solo… we do not recommend attempting to do it solo for newer or less skilled players.

Now, I’m not saying a Monk can’t pull in Sacrament™. What I’m saying is that a Monk’s primary role is not CC, and therefore will lack all of the tools necessary. Their version of feign death is not an aggro wipe, it is simply a temporary aggro pause and once they get up they will realize that their aggro has not moved up or down from where they left it. Pull away, Monks. Understand that you’re pulling mechanics only make you an ideal puller for two or three NPCs that need to be separated. Sorry.

It seems that a healthy number of the community love to have pets! Whether healing, tanking, cc, support, or DPS people love taking care of something other than just themselves during combat… though this seems a bit redundant for healers. The descriptions below provide an overview of how pets will work and how players can utilize their pets as they play.

Types of Pets:

Permanent Pets are defined as pets that remain until killed or banished by the player who summoned it. Each player can only have one of these pets active at a time. These pets take 10% of the total AoE damage that they remain in. These pets, unless otherwise specified, will not take any of their master’s damage. These pets can be targeted and killed by NPCs. These pet’s abilities will be 100% manageable by its master (i.e., can be toggled on/off or use/don’t use, can be selected to be used by, set as priorities, et cetera).

Temporary Pets are defined as pets that are summoned to effectively perform a task (i.e., warding, healing, et cetera) for a set amount of time and will disappear when that time has ended. Unless otherwise specified, each player can only have one of these pets active at a time. These pets take no AoE damage, absorb none of their master’s damage, and cannot be targeted by NPCs (they can be targeted by players in PvP). These pet’s abilities can be set up in priorities by its master (can be set in a UI window outside or inside of combat) but they cannot be directly used by its master.

Swarm Pets are defined as pets that are summoned in groups of 3 or more. These pets take an amount equal to 100% of their master’s AoE damage (shared among remaining swarm pets; master still receives the full damage). They cannot be targeted in PvE or PvP. Each player can have as many of these active as they’d like. These are considered as a form of DoT damage or HoT healing on combat meters.

Pet Control:

**This entire section is for permanent pets only**

Rather than mindless pet attacks or highly complex gambit board systems, pet control in Sacrament™ will be more interactive. So naturally, if you’re in an area where you don’t have to press too hard on your effectiveness for whatever reason, your pet will attack your target if you’re DPS, it will heal whoever is in your group and needs a heal if you’re a healer, it will build threat on your target as a tank (though you have to perform the threat swap manually), it will randomly CC targets if it is a CC pet, and it will apply buffs that pertain to the particular player if support. You can choose to set priority abilities, to which the pet will use with the most effectiveness possible, but it will only be at about 75% of its full potential.

The other option is far more control over your pet. While positioning isn’t necessarily going to be an issue with our system design, you will be able to tell it what its target is, regardless of your target, what ability to use when, and when to do nothing at all. You will absolutely control every aspect of your pet fluidly and right along with your own abilities, though they will not use each other’s GCD. This will increase your overall effectiveness. But you have to perform, you cannot just summon the pet and expect that it knows what to do.

Unique Summons:

Each pet class (those with a permanent pet) will have a basic summon form based on their race/class combination. Players will have the opportunity to obtain unique items, however, through quests, kills, faction merchants, and other means. These unique items will be used in the players off hand and will provide a different pet type which includes a different look, different abilities, different damage types, and the item itself will provide different bonuses to the pet.

None of these unique items, nor any other items, are required to summon a pet, but if the player wishes to have a more powerful pet or a pet better suited to the fight then they should seek out and find each of these.

Pet Types:

Pet types will be solely based on the described unique items above. Each pet class will have the capability to summon a pet with a bonus to whatever elements they have access to (physical, arcane, and/or divine). Each pet type can also be of no element, to which pets will fit into the slashing, piercing, or bashing category for fights where a boss is highly resistant to all element types. This is the only time that a ranged DPS will have the responsibility of knowing what weapon damage type works best on what armor types, and vice a versa. To fully maximize the DPS from a pet, the player will need to manage the pet’s skills and damage types or find that the pet is under-performing, and as a result so is the player.