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Shape shifting forms: Ability augmentation or ability replacement?

The Spriggan and Werebear form are kinda new and in the current form and shape useless.
Mainly because shapeshifting replaces already min/maxed active skill & their passive tree is not ready yet which would give each form a decent advantage at the very least.

Not sure if the devs will keep the approach that shapeshifting replaces our already min/maxed active skills (with other abilities) instead of simply augmenting existing ones (which i initially expected).

What is your opinion on this?

  1. Forms should augment existing skills but the passive tree of each form would be more simple.
  2. Keep the current idea with new shapeshift abilities but make the werebear/spriggan form passive tree more complex so the shapeshift-skills(werebear/spriggan) would at least be a replacement and not straigth a downgrade, which it is in the current state,

100% correct

I’d go with Skill Augmenting instead of replacing out of the two Options (which can be easily done by just adding/modifying stats).
But also I’d like to see some form-locked skills, that you can’t use in Human form. Maybe simply give them at the same time as the appropriate Transformation skill?

Apart from that, I personally don’t like temporary transformations, and would like permanent transformations much more. Or the ability to lengthen the Transformation, for example as Long as you Keep attacking enemies or something. Or as an Skill-Node Option, removing most of the buffs (to not make every melee build requiring the werebear for example), but also removing the manadrain. Just to keep the form-locked skills available for you and a permanent transform. I always disliked temporary shapeshifts, because that just feels like “going super-saiyan” for a few seconds, like basically every class in D3 has, Mages Archon, Monks Enlightenment, Barbarians Rageform etc. … I think Druids should have permanent shapeshifts, otherwise it’d also be kinda similar to the Lich Form of Acolyte.
And ideally werebear (tanky/slow), werewolf (agile/more squishy/reliant on leech more) and treant form (as caster) while we’re at it :smiley:
You can also disable certain skills in those forms to make them easier to Balance, treant can’t use melee skills, werebear and werewolf can’t use most spells.

PS: For People not liking shapeshifting, they could go more into Beastmaster for personal melee-buffs with your (one) pet, and caster by going more into shaman-nodes.

How exactly would the forms augment your original abilities? They can’t really go and make an alternate version of every ability a class has for every shape shifting skill.

a) Through simple stat increases. (Werebear=20% more Physical and Fire Damage or whatever, adjustable through the Werebear Nodes)
b) Through Nodes in the Shapeshift Skill (Spriggan: A node that says “Your thorn burst thorns now deal +20 lightning damage and have a 20% Chance to shock an enemy”)

To reduce the amount of extra work (though I think simply adding such modifiers to skills should be easy enough as the System is already in place) you can seperate the skills per shapeshift.
For example, only werewolf can still leap, werebear and spriggan can’t. Werebear instead is the only one who can Swipe etc.
Or only give werebear modifiers for Swipe, and only werewolf modifiers for leap, but allow the usual skills in every form.

I’m waiting to see what the specialization trees look like for them, but I’m leaning toward keeping the shapeshift abilities.

The cooldown on the shift skills is also part of the equation. Being able to more easily switch between human form and your chosen shift form would allow the specialization trees of the human form skills to be more diverse. Currently, I’m tending to pick companions/summons, along with leap and swipe, since I spend most of my fighting time in wearbear form. I switch to human form when moving through campaign/monolith zones, since leap is better for getting around, and fight mostly as the bear. If switching in battle has a low enough cooldown, then being in human form in a fight could be situationally beneficial.

I haven’t tested enough to know how viable that latter scenario is currently.

That is my preference as well.

The forms would augment your skills with passive-form related bonus stats like extra speed,% damage, while getting other small benefits like better defences or maybe one extra form-specific signature skill like Maim (stun+slow) for Werebear or Lacerate (bleed + inc phys damage) for Werewolf.

I leveled up a casting/attunement druid, and tried out the spriggan form.

It was completely useless IMHO, because you get the new skillset that doesn’t synergize with your build at all, and the skills themself aren’t that impressive either. It dropped it 2 minutes after adding it on my skillbar. And I don’t think that the skilltree would help that much, because the basic functionality doesn’t really work IMHO.

I’d either suggest keep the bonuses, but make it timed instead of manabased as a sort of “super-saiyan mode” with a bigger cooldown, or reimagine the transformations altogether. I understand that a permanent transformation with small buffs would be a bit boring and probably make the transform mandatory… I don’t really have an idea to make it balanced and playing nicely, but I know the current form is very unfun for me.

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