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Spellblade class feedback

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.
Overall, this was a fun experience today. I'd much rather play the repetitive arena right now than play the even more repetitive PoE flashfarm experience. So if the base experience is already this good, I think you're well on your way on making something beautiful.
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Thank you for the comprehensive feedback!

I’ll just add my 2 cents here aswell.


Just finished a 200 run with a level 43, 26 Spellblade / 15 Sorcerer and consider the char done for the test. Rushed straight into arena around level 9 and went to ~60 something, game chrashed (Get thread context failed) and then went for the 2nd run.


So here goes:

  • Melee attacks: Another cold attack would be great to build around. Also having points convert the damage to a specialized element would be amazing. This goes for all the spells. Skillspecialization, passive or gear all works.
  • About Mana Strike:
    • I think of it as going two different routes with it - Either you try to keep high mana and scale with Mana Storm, Spark Charges, Celestial Precision or grabbing some high mana/high damage spell and weave between the strikes using the lower right side of the tree. I feel like Mana Strike probably has the best tree out of any skill right now maybe bar Vengeance. There's a lot of room left for adding more choices and changes but the base is ok.
  • Item progression: I very much agree. Something like the Axyon (2 hander with %phys/%elemental) comes close but feels bad to even consider. Flat elemental + attackspeed/crit/%elemental. There's a lot of work left with the itembases and the whole progression of gear is quite frustrating right now but I'll write more about that in another post.
  • The level 15 and 20 passives: I personally dont really mind these since you've got a lot of extra spots for points as it is. I just dumped them into lower tier ones and didnt really feel like I was missing out. Having the 10 and 15 pointers at a low tier in the tree is a nice move and promotes different builds.
  • Ward: I'm not sure what I feel about it in the current state. If I could just get and use whatever I wanted I would have gone dodge/block/agility to work a bit better with ward but it was never really a good choice with the gear that dropped. Sorcerer - Lost Knowledge talent with a Mana Strike/dump mana into spell build should work.
  • On kill/Once every 3 seconds/On potion use: I refuse to use anything connected to this since its just usually not worth it in the long run if the effect is not something completely gamechanging. This limits my choices down considerably in all the trees. I dont really mind it being there but there's has to be something else to choose from. Having most of the upper part of the passivetree for both Sorcerer and Spellblade having very conditional talents really isnt the way to go for interesting gameplay for me.
Current build and stats for reference:

I feel like there’s a lot more to discuss but I’ll get back to it later on.

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