Forums » The Shaman

Spirit Guides, Pets, and Ethereal Flavor

    • 15 posts
    April 25, 2016 8:18 AM PDT

    Hello everyone!

    I'm excited for the Shaman class, as it was one of my favorites (along with Bard) in EQ1. I'll admit my own bias in experience as I'm certainly using the EQ1 shaman as a starting point as I imagine what Pantheon's equivalent could be. I recognize that the class will look different depending on the dev team's vision, but I wanted to explore some ways that the old shaman spirit pet could be reworked in interesting, immersive ways. With that preamble aside, here are a couple thoughts that have come to mind.

    Shamans are attuned to the spirit world, and many representations of the shaman throughout history, other games, etc. make mention of spirit guides. EQ1 gave shamans a spirit pet, and I've read mixed reviews on here about its effectiveness. I think there's potential here for either a very cool character development/role-playing piece or even an essential mechanic in shaman spellcasting.

    On the former, character development piece. Imagine young shamans attaining a level where they can access a spirit guide. They're offered a quest that represents their first journey into the spirit world. Along the way, they're faced with a number of decisions and challenges. For example, they come accross a creature caught in a trap: do they free it, or put it out of its misery? They traverse a swamp that practically breathes malicious intent. They've been following a somewhat-reliable footpath up to this point, but they see a trail of ethereal lights leading into the swamp itself. Do they stay the path, or hazard the swamp lights? Once the journey ends, the shaman is granted a spirit animal that matches the personality the player has demonstrated so far. We can ascribe basic traits to different animals; for example, a snake might represent cunning and devious means, while a wolf might represent a team-oriented individual (the pack!). When you see a shaman proudly displaying their spirit pet, you know that it represents something important to them and can even guess certain qualities about the player. If the "spirit journey" idea is too involved (which is a distinct possibility, but I like to imagine the coolest thing ever before tailoring it to what's reasonable) players could simply choose a spirit pet based on the traits it represents (independence, wisdom, cunning, etc.) when they first gain access to the spell. If you wanted this to be more than just an aesthetic or reputation-based piece, you could add a passive aura depending on the spirit (bear gives +HP, etc.).

    Shifting gears to game mechanics, the site description of the Shaman states they know the ancestry of friends and foes, and wield that knowledge to beneficial/baneful effect. The first thought that came to my mind was that it would be exhausting for a shaman to consider everyone's ancestry simultaneously, but focusing their attention on a subject would grant the knowledge they can exploit. Imagine if the shaman had a "marking" ability that they could apply to enemies or allies. This would represent them tethering their spirit, in a sense, to the target. A shaman's spells would be potent on their own, but have an extra or simply increased effect on their tethered target. So a shaman's heal might normally cure 100HP of damage, but a tethered heal could also apply a small damage absorb effect up to 25 HP of damage. A slow debuff would normally decrease attack speed by 18%, but tethered it would also reduce a target's evasion. I know that the healing piece may not align with the current vision for shaman, as what I've read seems to suggest that shaman could focus on group healing with clerics being single target gods (correct me if I'm wrong here!). But I think that illuminating how shamans tap into a target's ancestry only makes the lore more rich, and spirits are a great vehicle for that mechanic.

    While shamans don't necessarily need a pet, I think there are some great creative possibilities out there if pets are included. By no means am I asking for a tanking/dps pet, but I think that spellcasting augmentation or simply a different avenue to flesh out one's character would make this a memorable class while remaining faithful to the lore and balanced overall. Sorry for the novel -- please don't hesitate to chime in if you have any thoughts!

    This post was edited by kizmet at April 25, 2016 12:07 PM PDT
    • 2275 posts
    April 25, 2016 5:48 PM PDT

    I'll talk about the shaman pet and while I appreciated the EQ1 Shaman Pet, I always felt it was a bit 'tacked on'.  Going through a quest to find a spirit animal that has specific traits like you are suggesting would be quite interesting and a far more enjoyable experience than just being handed the same pet spell as every other Shaman.  I want this applied to more than just the Shaman pet though (as I've addressed in other threads) like our epic weapon.

    As for the rest of your ideas, I do not know.  I'm still concerned about the 'every priest class heals the same' and 'every priest class can rez' archetypal approach VR has to the priest classes and how exactly those mechanics will affect what I hope is a very versatile and adaptable class as it was in EQ1.

    • 320 posts
    April 27, 2016 12:54 PM PDT

    I agree that pets need to be more than a DoT that doesn't add do the shaman's threat. The quest and aura idea works for me as long as you get all the pet spells by max level. Getting them all could be a set order or maybe you get to choose which one at each milestone.


    Vandraad said:

    I'm still concerned about the 'every priest class heals the same' and 'every priest class can rez' archetypal approach VR has to the priest classes and how exactly those mechanics will affect what I hope is a very versatile and adaptable class as it was in EQ1.

    As for rezzing, I think it's useful for the healers to be able to rez for the sake of a group not having to wait around for long CRs. If a tank dies and is bound 10 minutes away or if the group has to try and kill its way back through some areas that the person who died can't run through that just sucks, especially if they have to do that w/o a tank. IIRC in EQ druid and shaman rezzes lacked the amount of exp restoration that clerics had (if any?). Basically, give them rezzes but make the cleric ones superior enough that you might still see people drag their corpse to a cleric over the other healers.

    Kilsin said:

    Personally, I love the Shaman and will have one myself, I also think they should be on equal terms with the Cleric for healing ability, but perhaps their strength should be more group healing focussed like it was in VG, allowing the Cleric to be more direct heal and defence focussed.

    I'll start off by empasizing the part where he states this as his opinion and not sharing the design as of when he wrote that. I kinda like the idea of one priest class excelling in something like this. (I know people consider it a sin to talk about this game... but) It's kinda like resto shamans in WoW where they could heal a single tank well enough in a group/instance, but in a raid their chain heal was what set them apart from a pally or holy priest who excelled at the single target heals for tanks.

    This post was edited by tanwedar at April 27, 2016 1:00 PM PDT
    • 15 posts
    April 27, 2016 2:28 PM PDT

    I appreciate both of your input. You're entirely right, Tan, in pointing out that the single target vs. group heal piece was merely Kilsin's opinion. It's important to keep the distinction between stated preferences and concrete mechanics. I think the idea of choosing pets or receiving them in a set order, with an endgame shammy having access to all the pets, would be the way to go. Otherwise people would pick the pet that fits best within the current endgame meta, rather than going for a spirit ally that reflects the character they're building.

    As for healing/rez ability, I'm fine if priest classes are on more or less even footing in terms of healing ability so long as they do so by different mechanics so each class feels distinct. I remember loving Rift's Chloromancer soul. For those of you who aren't familiar, this was a mage class whose heals derived from a percentage of damage output. The mage could switch between single target and raid healing focus by donning the appropriate "Veil", and while they had a couple more traditional healing spells at their disposal, their strength truly derived from how well the player could maintain a consistent stream of damage output in a fight.  The Chloro Mage's healing ability was on par with your typical Cleric class IF the player had the competency in this unique mechanic to match.

    • 136 posts
    August 14, 2016 7:53 PM PDT
    In EQ2 I had a short term spirit bear pet that did no dmg to any mobs, but would spam a small group heal. It had low has so it could be killed, but it was so helpful to help out with heals. I hope we get something similar!
    • 1831 posts
    August 15, 2016 9:00 AM PDT

    Shamans companion... does it have to be an animal of sort ?  Could a shaman when in a ruthless mode summon from the spritual realm a witch spirit  * etheral " that not only can use devestating spells but can help with the perception aspect of the game ?

    This post was edited by Kelem at August 15, 2016 9:07 AM PDT
    • 2275 posts
    August 20, 2016 2:39 PM PDT

    Kelem said:

    Shamans companion... does it have to be an animal of sort ?  Could a shaman when in a ruthless mode summon from the spritual realm a witch spirit  * etheral " that not only can use devestating spells but can help with the perception aspect of the game ? 

    I think that the animal is just the form that the spirit of an ancestor takes in the living world, not that it is just an animal.  What we could see is that the animal form the spirit takes represents the primary characteristic of the spirit.  Bear = defender, Tiger = attacker, Wolf = tracker, Eagle = Scout (outdoor), Rat = Scout (indoor), etc.

    This post was edited by Vandraad at August 20, 2016 2:40 PM PDT
    • 298 posts
    April 23, 2017 10:25 PM PDT

    It would be cool if they had a pet path for the Shaman. They could get bigger and badder pets than normal. EQOA Shaman was azming, they could be a huge polar bear and have huge dire wolf pets. They were fun to watch in a dual.

    • 3 posts
    May 9, 2017 11:25 AM PDT

    I really think they need to at least not make it a wolf.  I understand the game is a spiritual successor to EQ1, but I think it should also change some things up to make it a bit more unique.  Maybe every race has a slightly different pet?  Not all tribes would care about wolves...