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Druid Overhaul Overview and Swarmblade Form

We hope you’ve been enjoying our Druid Development Week so far, and thanks for joining us here again for our biggest reveal yet. We’ve been eager to show you all of the major changes coming to the Druid Mastery in 0.8.4 and we are finally able to do so with the third and final transformation: the deadly Swarmblade.

All imagery, animations, mechanics, and videos are captured during the development process and do not directly reflect the final product. All instances shown are subject to change as needed

Swarmblade - New Druid Form

When it came time to develop the final transformation for our Druid, we knew we wanted to do something unique and exciting. These goals meant we wanted to steer clear of other often used animal transformations so we could land on something fresh. When we started reviewing the stunning concept art for the Swarmblade below, we knew we found the answer.

Concept Art and Model

Insects exist in many different shapes and forms so we had a lot of material to explore. As you can see in the picture below, our artists had an awesome mix of ideas for the insect-based form.

The ability to transform into a deadly flying bug that can slash your enemies to ribbons is a really fun fantasy we are excited to deliver in patch 0.8.4. The Swarmblade went through many visual and naming iterations before we had finally crafted the fearsome bug-king hunter you see below.

Transformation

Transforming into the Swarmblade takes you into a spinning slash animation that we feel connects the player very well to the Swambalade fantasy - it feels visceral and impactful. This was a great feeling with most transformation situations, but in some others (for example Werebear to Swarmblade) it had to be adjusted since a massive Werebear performing a ‘full-spin’ just didn’t look right.

Swarmblade Skills

Swarmblade has two distinct fantasies we wanted to slice. One being a fast slashing bug and the other being the ‘hive-father’. With only 4 skills on the bar, we were aware that in order to really hit both of these we would need to have these themes overlap on some skills. Also, having a contained kit like this on a character gave us the ability to create some really exciting ability interactions.

Armblade Slash

Swarmblade’s first skill, Armblade Slash, is fast melee slash attack. It will be your most reliable attack in Swarmblade form with no cooldown and no Rage cost. We’ve designed the Swarmblade heavily around rapid melee slashing, and while Armblade Slash will be deadly, it will not be the only melee attack in your arsenal.

Dive

Swarmblade’s second skill is Dive. We knew we needed to hit the mobility aspect while also maintaining his aggressiveness. Looking at the Rogue’s Shift ability, we saw how responsive and good it felt to use, so we emulated that for Swarmblade while also decreasing the range a bit and adding a slash at the end. This allows you to either engage or disengage quickly.

Summon Hive

Swarmblade’s third skill is summon hive. When using the ability, he throws down a hive and summons some feisty locusts to fight with him. This hits the summoner theme that a Druid should have and puts the Swarmblade as a hive-father or “king bee” of sorts. And of course, these locusts will scale with Minion Damage.

Swarm Strike

Since the hives are going to summon locusts, we designed another skill that would interact with them to help promote ability synergy. That’s where Swarmblade’s fourth and final skill comes in - Swarm Strike. Swam Strike is a 360 degree heavy spin attack that also rallies your summoned bugs around you dealing heavy AoE damage. This ability really rounds out the Swarmblade’s toolkit.

Swarmblade Skill-Tree

With every new transformation comes a new skill tree and Swarmblade is no exception. Swarmblade’s specialization tree is packed with a wide variety of powerful or nodes supporting different playstyles. As in the case of Werebear and Spriggan, Swarmblade also has several options to generate rage to stay in the form longer or even permanently.

An important part of our Druid overhaul is also allowing players to utilize other Primalist’s skills even while being transformed. You will find several different options inside the skill tree.

Here are a few examples of some powerful Swarmblade nodes.

Swarmblade utilizing Windfury strikes node

New Resource & Permaform support

We’re moving away from a Mana based resource for all Druid transforms and replacing it with a new resource called Rage. This new resource system comes with new mechanics to support a wide variety of playstyles including permaform builds as well as multiform builds. To catch up on the new rage mechanic we provide more info in our previous blogs - Werebear and Spriggan.

Multiform Support

Now that all three forms are revealed we can talk about something really exciting. For those of you who prefer a more versatile approach to shapeshifting - we have added support for the powershifting playstyle, and we are so excited to see what our community can do with the power of multiform support at their fingertips.

To achieve this, there are now nodes in each skill tree that allow you to shift directly into another form without having to revert back to a human first. These direct transformations also come with an additional effect.



Thank you for joining us this week for this discovery of our newly designed Druid Mastery. We hope to see you Werebears, Spriggans and Swarmblades fighting back the void across Eterra when 0.8.4 drops later this year.

Oh and don’t worry, we have plenty more to share in the coming weeks so make sure to follow along:

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Druid Rework Development Week:

1st November - Werebear Form Blog Post
2nd November - Entangling Roots Blog Post
3rd November - Spriggan Form Blog Post
4th November - New Form Teaser
5th November - Druid Rework Overview and New Form

32 Likes

Looks awesome.

cough @Zeckar

2 Likes

Mind blown :exploding_head:

1 Like

What is it?

Is it a bird? No!
Is it a plane? No!
Is it a helicopter? No!

It’s a BeeScorpWaspSpiderInsectoidWithWings!

6 Likes

We get to be Scizor more or less?!

2 Likes

What happens if you take both of the powershifting nodes in a given tree? Which one takes precedence?

/Reserves “Edward Scissorhands” …

It seems like they are all triggered by a different ability, so I guess the last ability you used, will replace the human form… just a guess.

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CALLED IT.

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You reach new heights!
Druid proc’ing Tornado… is that a hint at something?

That sound really good on paper. We will see in game if the feeling is the same BUT I really like that the model of the Swarmblade fly when he move. It hit all of my weak spots! :stuck_out_tongue:

So the Bees per 10 seconds idols will be put to good use after all!

I’d like to see which Uniques are put in to really get the theme of transforming from one form to the other will be. Multi-form builds are going to be awesome if there’s good gear supporting it.

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Hopefully there will be a node in it’ss skill tree or a new unqiue, which transforms all sources of bees into locusts

3 Likes

Didn’t turn out to be a Griffin, but I still like it.
Gladly done.

your computer explodes

What a chimeric creature I’d love to play! and Storm Blade being my fav by looks. Hope we can keep it spinning for long enough. When I think you can’t do better you deliver more devs. Kudos!

Freakin awesome! Thank you EHG!!

So do the Locust scale with my dmg or minion dmg? The description part says minion dmg but then there is a node that says it changes them from scaling with my dmg to scaling with minion dmg so what is the default?

1 Like

All your hive are belong to us. Interested to see what Spriggan can do now while also happy to see the vale spirits are still hanging in there (hopefully their scaling got corrected to phys finally). I’ll miss my green laser spam tho, much like Ice Ward and Cascading Orbs. Lost but not forgotten.

Locusts scale with minion damage.

“Locust Swarm” is the lingering affect after using Swarm Strike.
That one does seems to scale with minion damage as well baseline, but you can make it scale with your own damage.