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Developer Diary: Burglar Class changes in Helm’s Deep

developerdiary

The first of the Class Changes Developer Diaries has been published!

Developer Diary : Burglar Class Changes  in Helm’s Deep
By RockX

Hello all! RockX here, and today I’m talking about the Burglar class revamp. I really enjoyed working on the class, as I felt each role could use a little something to really make them shine. Therefore, my main goal was to really home in on what made each of the three Burglar specializations unique and focus gameplay into each line’s strengths. The Quiet Knife line focuses on dealing high burst damage using Stealth and positional skills. The Mischief-Maker line uses the application and removal of Tricks to control and whittle foes down through attrition. The Gambler manipulates chance with Gambles, ensuring an outcome in their favor. Each play-style should feel familiar to existing players, with new skills which offer potent additions to the chosen specialization.

The Quiet Knife
The Quiet Knife specialization thrives on dealing massive burst damage from Stealth to a single target at a time. Quiet Knife Burglars shine when given a bit of time to prepare, guaranteeing a Critical Hit when attacking from Stealth. Many of their traits revolve around Critical Hit chance and damage – increasing the damage of their Critical Hits and reducing the Critical Defence of their foe. Stun Dust will allow Burglars to stun their target to get into a better position for their next attack, while Coup de Grâce delivers a potent attack with an added bonus: should the target either be killed by or die shortly after using Coup de Grâce, the Burglar will re-enter Stealth. Many damage-oriented traits are available early in the tree for Gamblers and Mischief-makers looking to enhance their damage output. For example, the other lines could dip into Agile Hands to increase their Agility, or Deft Strikes to increase their Critical Rating. Quiet Knife Burglars might consider dipping into Gambler to access Roll the Dice (which increases Physical Mastery), or Mischief-maker for Trick: Improved Counter Defence to reduce their opponents Critical Defence and avoidances even further.

The Mischief-maker
The Mischief-maker specialization focuses on control. While a Mischief-maker might not have the damage capability of the other two lines, they more than make up for it with their ability to hinder multiple foes at a given time. Mischief-makers weave their suite of Trick and Trick Removal skills into their damage rotation, inflicting a wide variety of debuffs to their opponent to suit their needs. Mischief-makers can even use Trickster to both allow Tricks to apply to multiple targets at once and have multiple Tricks on a target at once. In addition to Tricks and Trick Removals, survivability traits can be found early in the tree for Quiet Knives and Gamblers who want to enhance their defences. Heartening Prank increases Maximum Morale, while Trick: Dust in the Eyes, Trick: Counter Defence and Startling Twist are available early enough to be easily incorporated into the other builds. Mischief-makers would be well suited by dipping into Quiet Knife for traits like Agile Hands (to increase their Agility) or Stun Dust (to offer another stun to use). Gambler’s Advantage (which unlocks an additional Crit Chain opening skill with a Damage over Time effect) would also be a nice bonus for Mischief-makers looking to deal more damage.

One of the pain points I wanted to address with the revamp was how the Trick system didn’t offer very engaging gameplay when compared to the other lines. Tricks now have a shorter durations, with the ability to greatly lower your Trick Removal cooldowns within the traits. In addition, most tricks now deal some damage as well, allowing the Mischief-maker to both debuff and deal damage at the same time. Instead of having a random chance to apply one of four effects, Clever Retort now applies one of the four based on which Trick was consumed.

The Gambler
The Gambler specialization relies on an element of chance with almost every action it performs. Many of its skills are themed around the roll of the dice. By applying and enhancing Gambles, Gamblers can perform sustained Damage over Time or heavily debuff their foes. Most of the new Gambler skills focus on tilting the odds in your favor by increasing the chance to apply Gambles and enhancing their potency. For example, Hedge Your Bet deals damage while allowing the Burglar to increase the tier of an existing Gamble. They can also choose to go All In, where they receive an extremely potent buff for a short period of time. However, if the Gambler fails to receive a Defeat Event before the buff wears off, he Busts – receiving the inverse of the All In buff as a debuff. The Gambler specialization also has a fair number of traits focused around Evade and Damage over Time effects within easy reach for Quiet Knives and Mischief-makers looking to increase their avoidance or damage. The combination of Stick and Move and Swift and Subtle allows Burglars to increase their Evade rating while offering a stacking Physical Mastery buff each time they Evade their opponent. Gamblers might want to consider investing into Quiet Knife for Dance of Blades (which increases the damage of your Critical Chain skills), and can also benefit defensively with Heartening Prank (Max Morale) and Thick Skin (Increases Mitigations) in the Mischief-maker line.

So, what do you think? I’ve hardly played the Burglar, so I can’t really say anything about this.

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About Ilse Mul

Junior Game Designer, Author, Lotro addict, Puzzle Pirates addict

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