Just started the alpha today, I haven’t played the demo earlier. My spellblade’s level 21 now and is sitting at arena wave 140 at the time of writing. I’ve got a day of playing under the belt.
First of all, I love the idea of a spellblade class, the typical casters or melee turned casters like paladins have been done to death.
That said, there’s some things that I’m disliking so far about spellblade and general game balance. I’m sure it’s really early to talk about stuff like that, but if some tweaks here and there can make you launch with a more complete class package, I’m all for making these suggestions. So here goes:
- We get Mana Strike and Flame Reave as our two 'Melee Attacks'. That's it. Level 30 unlocks Innervate, a buff. I know it's easy to add on additional melee attack skills available to the mage at later stages, but I'd rather see a few more melee attack skill be made available, say, pre level 20. Mana Strike is the Lightning damage skill, Flame Reave is Fire, so perhaps a Cold damage Melee attack. Perhaps consider removing the basic attack action altogether as well, and replace it with a melee attack skill 'elemental attack' available level 1. give it a slightly larger than average tree but a lower power level than the 3 more specialised elemental skills.
- I've only played with Mana Strike so far, I'll start leveling Flame Reave soonish. Mana Strike is fun but there are some things that irk me. The mana strike tree is large, yet feels fairly small. It feel like I'm already running out of worthwile options with only level 11 on the tree:
- Mana Strike feels absolutely necessary for some aoe. But the mana cast is prohibitive to the point that getting the cost reducers behind it is the fastest way to make the skill usable quickly.
- Which results in the skill barely costing mana and I'm just usually topped off. So the entire bottom right of the Mana Strike tree seems pointless. I'm never getting to 0 mana, except rare occasions. I also don't need the mana drain or critical mana.
- I'm also choosing spellblade to fight in melee range. I'd choose another mage spec if I'd want to stay ranged. Knocking back on a melee skill always annoys me in any single game, and it's not different here. I also interpreted Teleporting Strikes wrong; I was completely hyped by the idea that I would be teleporting short distances from mob to mob to fight them in the face. But it just turns the spellblade into a ranged caster.
- All in all, as only one of two melee skills for a class that I'd love to play in melee, Mana strike feels like it's not sure what it's supposed to be doing. I hope Flame Reave is better.
- Item progression feels weird for now for a class that uses melee elemental damage. All melee base items add melee physical damage by default and sometimes (quite rare) melee cold or melee fire damage (I haven't even found melee lightning damage yet). That also means that those implicit lines seem mutually exclusive with lines like crit chance or attack speed, because the melee 'element' competes with that spot instead of the melee physical spot. I'd love for the base item pool to be extended with items that are melee but have no melee physical damage, only melee 'element' with an option of another worthwile stat like attack speed or crit chance.
- The level 15 and 20 passives seems to push having to melee attack and use spells down my throat. I'd love it if the class be viable completely in melee, as well as dual melee/caster without it being so blatantly in your face. This is only a minor gripe compared to the other ones, but I thought I might as well let you know.