[Updated] Munitions - If RSV was to return

Let’s say you have a Explosive/Shrapnel Bomb/Trap, and Cobra’s (Something) is just a passive that gives you Haste per enemy you have poisoned. If you blow up an enemy with said bomb/trap, it spreads its poison. Voila, lots of Haste.

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So, I’ve been playing PoE quite a bit recently with the new league (equivalent to seasons in D3), and specifically playing a DoT based Elementalist archer that uses a unique mechanism, where when one mob dies with her ignite DoT active, it applies an identical DoT (magnitude, remaining duration, etc) to every up mob within a radius around that target, often causing a chain-reaction clearing an entire room in a wave.

It’s an incredibly fun build, tbh, and I could see it working well with this DoT archer concept for RSV. Either on death, or having sorta a Soul Swap type mini cooldown that, when cast on a target, echoes all DoTs from that target to all other targets within a moderate range (say 10-15 yards, and respecting breakable CC). Could be a replacement for Serpent Spread, or an augment to it, where the basic AoE prep is dropping some DoTs on the target, and then echoing them to everything in range. Would probably work best if there was an additional sustainable DoT added as well (sustainable as in 100% uptime, like Serpent Sting).

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That would be fine and dandy except Blizzard can’t even manage 3 Hunter specs let alone 4. I try to look at it from the perspective of what would work, not what should. Hunter overall has had abysmal design and/or viability in certain facets for years now. I honestly just would never expect Blizz to get 4 hunter specs to a good place.

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While I don’t necessarily think we need or even ought have a second 100% uptime DoT, as a second maintenance factor would imo just kind of detract or make redundant what SpS would already be doing for the spec, I love the idea of payoff and momentum coming from DoTs.

On that note, one example from XIV comes to mind:

In XIV there’s a class (“job”) named Summoner, and it has a DoT-spread oGCD ability called Bane, which is sourced by a sort of ammo system (Aetherflow/Aetherpool) which is replenished 3 at a time once per minute. Bane has gone through a few iterations over time, but my favorite suggested iteration was that it would double the duration of the DoTs on the target and then spread those durations and that of your DoTs afflicting any enemies within 8 yards of the target, evenly among that target and all enemies nearby. So, two relatively simple parts: (1) Doubles DoT durations [ST] and (2) Redistributes durations evenly [AoE].

Some other ideas were usually appended to this, like any enemies hit by an Aetherpool ability (all similarly oGCDs on that same roughly 20-second-recharge ammo system, but some dealing direct damage, some dealing DoT-dependent damage, etc.) then spreading their durations to enemies upon death, but let’s just consider Bane as mentioned above for now.

In practice, this would amount to something like popping Haste buffs to put out your longer DoTs on a few enemies, a mid-length DoT or two (ending on the focus target), and, say, a stronger but shorter-duration instant-cast DoT just before Bane. You could then follow up quickly with synergetic spells. The nuance came from the fact that (1) you’d want to maximize the durations on the central Bane targets, (2) the more time you spend to set up the Bane overall, the more your previously cast DoTs will have ticked away (the shorter ones more so, proportionately, than the long ones), and (3) you had to know how much time and resource you’d have available to play off that mass DoTing.

While that extent seems more the grounds of an Affliction Warlock to me, that kind of subtle nuance (e.g. from the combination of “Doubles duration” ST + “Splits durations” AoE) in the context of skills which can synergize off of DoTs seems pretty appealing.

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In the OP, my approach to the DoT-spread mechanic was to tie that mostly to Serpent Spread for Serpent Sting, like it used to be. And then also incl Black Arrow via ES, but only during the major CD. There’s also a talent which allows you to make ES deal damage to all enemies near the affected target.

And now, you also have the option of Cluster Shot in the AoE-row for a way to significantly increase the AoE-burst damage potential of the spec. At least that’s the intent.

Other than all that, you also have the normal mechanics of applying DoTs manually.


Point is, should the spec have a way to frequently spread DoTs, more frequently than it would as it’s designed right now?

I’m not sure. For me, what’s essential is merely that anything attempting to fill RSV’s shoes feels big-brain, i.e., that skills like DoT-spreads don’t merely feel like CD-locked basic affordances nor combos merely like multi-GCD singular actions.

(I realize that RSV was by no means actually “big brain” during any iteration, much like Arms Warriors have never once particularly felt like tactically-minded, veteran weaponmasters (“Masters of Arms”), Balance has scarcely ever had anything to do with balance, regardless whatever iteration they’ve of Eclipse they’ve tried to shoehorn it in through, or Feral even that much like a giant f’ing cat ripping people apart—though it’s gotten a lot closer than the other two. That said, it feels like it’s the primary promise of how the spec should play, the sort of unique rush one should get from playing it.)

How those perceptions are weighed will vary from person to person, but I think some criteria that are at least typical and/or indicative would be something like…

  • in-play options having meaningful competing choices (such as seen in spenders sharing a resource system) where the obvious or typally-fit choice might not ultimately be best, and choice efficacy depends greatly on future choices, and
  • response systems that have relatively long reach (i.e., impact future choices) but are nonetheless integratable into nuanced play (i.e., do not dismantle or otherwise cause your current strategy to suddenly become an inferior choice, such that you’re better off wasting the actions spent building towards it).

Now, those are really high bars, but (1) we can nonetheless work towards them and (2) such, or similar concerns of how the spec actually feels to play, ought to be our lead concerns.

To all connect that somewhat to the ideas you’ve presented here, just to be a bit more concrete, let’s compare your utilization of Freezing Trap as a potential (quantizing, I’d assume) defensive against, say, Exotic Munitions (currently an AA-based chance to extend a random one of your DoTs).

The first isn’t necessarily a deliberate sacrifice, but if used defensively it is an affordance that you must be wary of wasting (by actually trapping an enemy, unless the effect works even then) and can stem from cautious or otherwise divergent play.

The second, on the other hand, does not alter your gameplay in any sense, since Catalysis is unlikely to be worth holding Explosive Shot until your next Black Arrow, since the latter has thrice the prior’s CD and thus the occasional avoidance of that need (i.e., being able to use ES instantly, rather than holding for BA) would not be notable.

The same can largely be said of allowing Black Arrow to stack up to three times. By doing so, you’ve sacrificed negative gameplay (again, not necessarily “bad” or even more punitively-minded than anything else, but simply moments in which to hold onto X or Y) in favor of less unique or more reliable/unaffected capacity. There’s less to playing with Black Arrow for having made it less susceptible, and any cleave niche the spec would otherwise have is that much less emphasized.

/rant

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I started in 2020, but RSV seems really fun. How did it play?

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Was a ranged spec, first off. It played somewhat like a cross between modern MM and an affliction lock. Cobra Shot (which at the time was a reskin of Steady Shot) to generate focus, a short-CD (6s) Explosive Shot (which at the time was a short-CD single target fire DoT, not an AoE like the current MM one) as a regular filler. Maintain Serpent Sting and use Black Arrow on CD for DoT damage. Ticks of Black Arrow had a chance to reset the CD of Explosive Shot and make the next 2 casts not incur a CD, so you could triple-tap it. Like BM (and MM at the time, actually), it was fully mobile, everyone was instant except Cobra Shot, and that was castable while moving. SV’s approach to AoE also used Multi-Shot, but the damage wasn’t in the shot itself, but that it applied Serpent Sting to everything hit (and later, that applying Serpent Sting to a target that already had it would deal a burst of nature damage to them)

Basically, where MM focused on a slower rotational pacing and heavy hits (Aimed Shot, Barrage making Multi-Shot hit substantially harder, etc), SV focused on continuous rot damage. In fact, in WoD SV was the only spec in the game that completely lacked any form of DPS cooldown, instead just doing really good constant damage the whole time. The short CD on Explosive Shot, the regular resets from Black Arrow, and the fact that everything except Cobra was instacast meant that the spec was noticeably more fast-paced than MM (excepting MM in HFC (final tier in WoD), where Aimed Shot became instacast due to the tier set bonus).

In terms of gameplay, it had a somewhat similar feel to Affliction.

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Hmmm, that seems really fun. I might have liked RSV, perhaps with an Exsanguinate-esque type thing on a short CD.

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There were a ton of places they could have taken it during the Legion push towards big spec identity differentiation. Instead, they decided that this game needed another melee spec, because adding 5 other ones since launch apparently wasn’t enough. They literally only gave DH a single DPS spec, despite it having at least 3 very different playstyles in the talent tree (Demon Blades + Momentum, Chaos Blades, and Demonic). They easily could have put RSV in as HDH’s third spec instead of straight deleting a spec so many enjoyed so much.

But Ion was just like “lol they shoot arrows, they’re the exactly same spec lolol”.

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Was there anything missing from the RSV you played? Anything you might have wanted to have in the toolkit?

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It’d depend on the particular iteration, but for the most part it was RNG-heavy (though not especially “RNG-intrusive”) DoT spec. Your primary rotational was Explosive Shot, a 6s fire DoT of which you could be given two free, CD-ignoring casts by ticks of Black Arrow, your more macrorotational skill which would deal Shadow damage over 15 seconds. Atop this, you had a nature DoT (Serpent Sting) which could be maintained indefinitely; in WoD, Arcane Shot (which could likewise consume the free-cast procs but was nominally inferior to Explosive Shot) and Multi-Shot could apply Serpent Sting, while in other iterations it required a separate button.

RSV mostly came down to maintaining Serpent Sting (nature DoT), rotating in traps and Black Arrow, and sequencing procs around negative gameplay (moments in which you should not do X, despite it normally being a highest priority skill), such as not using your Explosive Shot procs too soon on the same target (though in cleave you could rapidly tab through and apply to each in order not to risk possibly wasting a charge if you were to get nearly back-to-back procs).

Just more depth, honestly. I never felt much like a trapper so much as just another ranged DPS who happened to lob thematically skinned projectiles every 25-30 seconds and used a bow instead of a wand. While it was my favorite of the 3 specs, I have to admit it didn’t really stand out.

I mentioned what I felt RSV should have been approaching in a post above (quoted in part here/below):

Let me be clear also that I don’t think Survival ought to live or die by its connection to munitions or arcane archery. I see no reason why the use of an arcane or otherwise magically-imbued arrow/bolt/bullet would be any more in the purview of what would otherwise be a hardy and stealthy trapper than a master of long-ranged killing techne; if anything that would seem to belong more to MM, and the concept of a sniper, too, has long been tied closely with meaningful preparation: the right tool for the right job; if not very carefully defined, by more than munitions alone, Survival and Marksmanship amount to two codependent sides of the same coin.

Rather, I thought Survival should be about the tactician side of things, of set up and capitalization, and thematically it would be best represented not quite by someone like pre-banshee Sylvanus on the front lines with a shockingly high combination of damage and rate of fire (though technical, perhaps, and a tremendously leverageable tactical advantage to her forces), but more like Alleria in the swamps behind enemy lines in the times of Warcraft II (e.g., in such levels as where you were greatly outnumbered and had no way to replenish your troops).

Negotiating that theme into a generic PvE setting like raids wouldn’t be easy, but to oversimplify, let’s just say it’d bank into far more (pre-Legion) Subtlety and far less rot spec style DoT maintenance (heck, even Affliction has long since moved beyond that to a DoT-centric spec that at least allows for notable capitalization). I want more forking paths and moments of opportunity, rather than spinning plates and the very occasional and subtle gamble (e.g., of “can I hold my 2nd Explosive Shot charge for pandemic, given my likelihood of proccing Lock and Load again before I can spend both charges”).

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A DPS CD would have been nice, that was always a bit of a thorn in RSV’s side, at least during WoD. The WoD iteration, compared to MoP, also felt slightly less like a DoT spec because Serpent Sting was passively applied (via Arcane Shot in single target) rather than actively maintained. I also would have liked a bit more interaction with the DoTs directly, rather than them just being vehicles for damage (Black Arrow was the only one that really had interaction, via Lock and Load resets of Explosive Shot)

Worth noting, that was removed either at the start of WoD or at least by BRF (the raid where I played RSV most heavily), because you could definitely spam all 3 from the proc back-to-back, even if ES was already active on the target, without any damage loss. Used to be you could do 2, then had to wait a GCD, then the third, because ES just had normal extension mechanics, but then they made it roll like Ignite instead and you could just blast them into the target without regard to timing.

Arguably lowered the skill ceiling a bit, but was also a nice QOL change. I’ve never really liked those sort of counter-intuitive mechanics where the proper play is not to use your high-damage ability, despite it being available, simply due to timing. The Patient Sniper mechanism for MM at the end of Legion was another example. If you were below a certain haste threshold, it was better to use Marked Shot to trigger the Vulnerability window (buffing Aimed Shot, with the buff increasing in magnitude over the duration), but then not immediately cast Aimed Shot. Instead, you would fill with Arcane Shot, then double-tap Aimed Shot so they landed later during the window and thus at a higher bonus. It always felt a bit awkward to me to land this vulnerability window that buffs Aimed Shot, but then specifically cast anything except Aimed Shot first just to make the timing line up better.

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I remember, but—tuning relative to competing specs already being a large factor—it actually helped push me away from RSV. (See below)

True, though I’d likely have worded it in the opposite order. To me it was a net loss that took away from its identity a bit and gave it less to think about, let alone claim as iconic.

This one, on the other hand, felt fine to me. It was, after all, the Patient Sniper mechanic.

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Indeed it was!

:roll_eyes:

Could either of those 3 actually have been further developed into their own complete specs? I fully admit I know very little about DHs.

And if so, what would’ve been left for current DH to focus on?

I assume that you here mean they could’ve adapted the pure mechanical functions/interactions into something that would fit with the nature of DHs and their combat style as a melee fighter, using their blades?

Either way, I would never agree with this being a solution to opt for.

Based on my thoughts of it at the time, I mostly wanted a bit more focus on/further depth to the DoT-concept. Along with an actual major CD for burst potential ofc(something it lacked in WoD).

Looking at it from a modern perspective, the things I’ve proposed in the OP in this topic would pretty much do it really. More added depth, fantasy, more focus on DoT-management via for example interactions/manual building or extension. Improvements to traps etc.

I don’t recall whether we’ve talked about this, but what are your thoughts on the suggestions pertaining to improvements to existing traps/new elements etc? In the OP.

Yes and no really.

Specs aren’t unique programs loaded onto our characters. The intent is that they should represent a choice we(our characters) make in terms of how we choose to fight. What we choose to focus more on.

Ofc nothing says that if you choose MM you’re incapable of understanding the concept of these augmentations to shots. It’s not about that at all. It’s about how you make the choice to focus on something that isn’t the idea of a sharpshooter, as an example.

“Long-ranged killing techne” belongs to MM? No, not at all. The idea of MM, the core focus and theme is tied to the idea of a sharpshooter.

Sure, but what would this actually mean in terms of specifics?

Forgive me if I did not understand you correctly here but, it sounds as if you’re after something like a ranged equivalent to the combo point-system found with Rogues, or Feral Druids. How would that even fit with a spec that fires projectiles towards the enemy? How do you make a “finishing move” out of firing a ranged weapon?

Yes.

Agreed.

Gaining multiple free-to-use charges of an ability without the possibility to fire them back to back to allow the debuff to build on itself or something along those lines…in multi-target scenarios it’s okay I guess, but for ST, it just feels wrong really.

With what I said above in mind, if there’s no way to build on the debuff itself, this shouldn’t be a thing really outside of multi-target scenarios but rather the possibility to add further depth and complexity should be somewhere else within the toolkit. IMO.

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Didn’t know hunters had necromantic powers

It had only been 10 days. By thread standards, rot hadn’t even set in yet.

I’m afraid I’ll have to get back to you on that; been pulling 12-15 hour days, and that’ll likely continue for a couple more.

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I suppose it’s not as bad as a 2 year necro

Unless you have something constructive to add to the discussion of RSV, and the topic of bringing it back, please refrain from posting here. Thank you.

Okay, okay. I get it, you don’t like people telling you that you necroed your own thread