Mastery Idea - Acrobatics
Given the three following masteries...
Combat : melee and ranged one-to-one.
Demolition : ranged aoe, interaction with destructible environment.
Occultism : using Warp to control living beings and summon things.
plus staged ones :
Arcanism : using Warp to alter environment (elementalism?).
Alchemy : potions, pills and special (not "black powder") explosives.
Gunner / sharpshooter ??
I decided to have some fun in devising some masteries that could be added. I just tried to figure one or two classes that would sound realistic on Cairn, be somewhat viable for a lonesome adventurer, and add enough content to complement existing masteries so that the hybrid classes would be quite realistic.
In short, I see that two thematics are lacking for a pre-industrial Victorian grim world : what I call Gymnastics or Acrobatics, and Techno-science.
Mastery's name :
Gymnastics / Athletics / Acrobatics :
(solo class : The Gymnast / Athlete / Acrobat)
A mastery which focuses on mobility and evasion.The other day, viewing all those special combat moves in Guild War 2 videos, I remembered the special moves from Sacred, too. See, I figured the high cost in animations this mastery would implicate, but went on nonetheless. I didn't want to device a pure utilitary mastery neither. It had to be a viable enough class as a mono mastery.
Keeping in mind that both strength-oriented masteries will certainly include one "rush"-style special move (as in TQIT, the Warrior, the Hunter and the Seer), and that every class will be suited for soloing in an unforgiving world, so that the concept of a scout mastery would be of little use...
Restraining from reuse Hunting and Rogue masteries from TQ, I wanted to depart from the Ninja cliché too... (maybe a sword yielding Warrior-Athlete could be the closest class to be called a Ninja).
The skills are not completed and not balanced. Just a few ideas thrown here.
History on Earth :
Back to early 19th century on Earth, a new physical activity was developed by Prussia and other Germanic countries for their armed forces. It was a combination of old regimental dance, and stretching and warming drills (calisthenics) to prepare for fight. It could too be traced back to old roman-greek athletics through the "medicine through physical activity" (or physiotherapy) which derived from a re-discovery in the 16th century, after more than a millennium of oblivion (and the interdiction of athletic games by roman Christians). Military gymnastics spread in Europe from Denmark in 1804 and Sweden in 1813, to Russia in 1874 (often mixed with fencing) and quickly led to a civilian sport or Artistic gymnastics, starting with Switzerland in the 1830s and leading to the first Olympic games in 1896.
Athletics comes from greek word "athlos" or "struggle", "fight". Thus, it means "preparation for fight" and was an integral part of young male education. A more specialized meaning is "preparation for wrestling in games".
In fact, Greek warriors were reported to use calisthenics (repetitive short movements) to warm up and stretch before battle. It is said that this helped Darius consider the Spartans as being feeble before the Thermopylae (for the old Persians, only the feeble artists would "danse").
Gymnastics comes from greek verb "gymnazein" or "to train/exercise, from "gymnos" or "naked", because those who trained were naked (and all men).
For this article's sake, because of the bull's vault, I choose "Acrobatics" and "Acrobat", through "Athletics" and "Athlete" would qualify more for warriors (reserving "Acrobatics" for some jumping skills).
Masteries combinations :
Athletism - Athletism : Athlete (fr,en) or Voltigeur (fr), Outfielder / Acrobat (en)
Combat - Athletism : Partisan, Skirmisher, Infantryman (light), Ninja (too much ?)
Demolition - Athletism : Grenadier (fr, en)
Occultism - Athletism : Whirlwind (?)
Arcanism - Athletism : Monk (on Cairn standards !)
Alchemy - Athletism : Nightblade (Assassin)
Physical/health : much less resilient than a fighter or a demolitionist, the acrobat can't survive long in close combat. More resilient than a scholar, however, he can sustain damage every two or three attacks he deals.
Armor : Either the armor type is accounted for by nerving his skills down, or that mastery doesn't offer much attribute points to wear a heavy armor. The shield is usually shuned by the Acrobat (heavy penalty in efficiency, or energy regeneration ?).
Attributes : fair Cunning, Energy, fair Strength.
Energy : a large pool. Many skills need energy. An exhausted Acrobat is a sitting duck, unworthy at helping his friends on the front line. At least other masteries can shoot or blow themselves dead when exhausted and surrounded...
To be cautious of an possible exploit with scholar, as the Acrobat mastery gives them so much energy (as if a scholar mastery ?).
There are two kind of skill trees : the general ones, and those grouped under so-called "stances".
Stances are groups of mutually exclusives trees, as you can activate only one stance at a time, hence only having access to that stance's trees.
Stances themselves are reserved skills with a small cool-down. Activating one stance instantly cancels the one formerly activated (if any), and starts a small "warmup" before the new stance can be used. Each stance inflicts a penalty on energy regeneration, minor penalties, and some bonuses.
There are three stances, which emulate three aspects, or tactical mindsets, an Acrobat may focus on in a fighting situation.
An Acrobat may focus on one aspect only at a time, either :
Armored acrobatics (Passive or Reserved !)
+ % evading melee (quite high). This skill builds up the exact opposite way as the Assault skill in TQ : big chances to evade first attack, and then progressively decreased chances on succeeding (connecting) following attacks (by whoever is at closed range). To rebuild the buff, the Acrobat has to disengage a few seconds.
Advanced dodge (Passive)
Require : Dodge
+ base + % evading ranged attacks (not so high)
+ % movement speed
+ small % ranged attack evasion
This is cumulative with Advanced dodge. Some Acrobats favor running, other dodging at melee range, other both.
Last edited by Haaznahnuf; 07-24-2012 at 10:11 PM.
Stance : Awareness
While in this stance, the Acrobat focuses on his environment, barely capable to concentrate on any physical prowess not related on this focus. The environment may even be reduced to a single target.
Projectile awareness (Reserved)
- movement speed, + evade missiles, - defensive capacity (yes, he can't defend well from melee hits).
If hit, this stance is automatically dismissed, either permanently (with a very short cool-down) or temporarily (with a cool-down, meaning disengagement, but no need for re-activating).
Ultimate reflex (Passive)
If a targeted attack (or trap aimed at his location) is a one-shot/one-hit kill, the Acrobat automatically evades full direct effects, the exploding/aoe effects not being avoided, though. Heavy cool-down of course.
This skill activates only while the Acrobat is in Awareness stance.
Think about a combination of whirlwind attack on the spot with small jumps.
What if the defensive Awareness stance would slowly start a counter ? When full, the Acrobat automatically rush to the first seen target and launch the Furor. Kind of a Berserk.
Obviously, this lets the Acrobat almost exhausted.
Eye of the predator (Active)
The more training in it, the more new defensive bonuses are gained :
% evading ranged attacks (slow physical and magical missiles : throwing knife, arrows).
% evading ranged attacks (fast missiles : bullets).
% evading ranged attacks (targeted spells).
% evading aoe attacks (multiple attacks in area (tentacles, mitraille, shrapnel))
% evading aoe attacks (elemental burst, gaseous attack, non targeted spells)
% evading first melee attack ("doubling" the dodge skill benefit).
% evading special melee attack (or skill attacks)
% evading automatic counter-attacks of any kind.
One entry active skill and two enhanced passive skills.
Note that, as far as aggression is concerned, this skill is an offensive one.
[Ideally, this skill would dismiss if the Acrobat turns back and only seek to flee unharmed]
Think about a reversed TQ's "Eye of the prey".
The idea here is to inflict bleeding DOT along with a small base damage blade weapon (dagger, knife, razor, shuriken, whip, ...) . Special razor weapons can add bonuses to this skill. are "zombies" immune to bleeding ?
The DoT would be negated or nerved if greater weapons are used.
Focused aim (Active)
Also, all these skills don't stop the chase (as if their animations won't play).
Would be nice if terrain (slope, surface) modifiers are reduced/canceled when this skill is active.
Would be nice too if possible to target others on the way, and then return to focus aimed target.
Active defense (Reserved)
Penalty in energy regeneration.
Penalty in defense.
At higher levels, the Acrobat choose to be between two enemies. If he successfully evades an attack, the attacker strikes the other with full effects, making him angry (as if confused) and retaliate at the attacker.
Only with one-hand weapon.
Funambulism (Rope-walking) (Passive)
Require : Cat-walking
[Difficult to implement ?]
Require : Cat-walking
[Needs animation and vanishing rope model]
Last edited by Haaznahnuf; 07-24-2012 at 10:10 PM.
Stance : Acrobatics
The main fighting tree with plenty active offensive jumps.
The Acrobat attacks with runs and/or jumps ("tumbling runs"). He uses his weapons automatically during or at the end of such moves. (You don't have to jump, then strike)
The Acrobat focuses primarily on his legs (and free hand). In that mindset, if hard pressed, jumping back is always preferred to attacking.
Default skill : When under Acrobatic fight stance, the Acrobat runs toward his target, and jump a small distance to make contact while minimizing retaliation (small % in Defensive aptitude), and shielding from other hostiles. Run, then jump.
To use the active skills, you have to target ("left-click" on a mob) first, which initiate the running animation, then select ("left-clik" on an icon) the skill before the default jump attack occurs.
The trees are about closing a ranged foe, dodging melee and aoe attacks, moving across/above obstacles.
To resume, while under Acrobatic stance, the Acrobat gains a defensive capacity bonus, and a speed bonus.
The usual move.
A long jump with front somersault (flip) that is made to reach rear-line enemies or to go to unusual places.
Click on the ground or a tree, a roof, or a creature.
When closing an enemy by this mean, the Acrobat is not warranted to surprise or gain initiative. His target knows he is coming. Also, this jump may be seen as a charge.
The difference between this jump and the Cobra's is, the much lesser cool-down, the normal attack when targeted on an enemy, and also, the opportunity to target the ground near a static enemy, to go there and then initiate a special point-blank attack (magic or whatever).
A right-click ?
Cobra's jump (Active)
It is like a tumbling run, ending with a major jump. It is considered as a charge.
Stunning jump (Passive)
Require : Cobra's jump
The Acrobat uses his momentum to impact the target with his body (kick) before hitting it with his weapon.
It is like a shield bash. That bash lowers the target's defensive capacity or armor rating for a few seconds.
Crippling jump (Passive)
Require : Stunning jump
The Acrobat manages to strike twice, the first strike upon retrieving from the jump being aimed at the feet/limbs, for an automatic but not damaging crippling hit that reduce movement speed for seconds.
Hit and jump (Passive)
Require : Stunning jump (not Crippling jump)
After the Cobra jump is completed (with stunning and crippling), the Acrobat jumps back to his starting jump position (or half the first jump's range). It is quite exhausting.
Horse vault (Pommel vault) (Active)
The Acrobat has learned to use solid and protruding parts of the enemy as grips to jump over-head and land on the target's back, earning a great one-time offensive bonus, and no retaliation from the target (maybe confused half a second).
Due to this jump's difficulty, the Acrobat has no time to elaborate multiple strikes as during the Cobra's jump.
Also, as the distance is short, only one-handed small weapon is allowed.
Head jump (Active)
If the jump is successful, the Acrobat reach point-blank (touch) range with the target and deals a normal attack, gaining an incredible defensive bonus (the target is virtually unable to fight back). The Acrobat is only able to deal normal attacks with the main hand (or whatever power which doesn't require both hands), and use small object (such as potions, grenades, ...).
The drawback is that he suffers a small physical DoT as long as he doesn't disengage the enemy (accounting for the struggle, successful counter-attacks, and so on). Also, the energy gauge is depleting fast. The DoT could grow in intensity as the contact is kept.
If the jump is unsuccessful, the Acrobat lands near the target, but in a confused state for a few seconds (to be balanced). Furthermore, the target may now focus on the Acrobat (chances are greater if the Acrobat is the first or only attacker) .
If the Acrobat targets another enemy or location, is exhausted (with a depleted energy gauge), is countered or disturbed by a special attack or capacity, or when the target is dead, the Acrobat "lands" just there and the fight goes on at touch range, with no more defensive bonus : all skill's effects are ended.
Only with one-hand weapons (and small ones ?), because one hand is needed at least to size the opponent.
What if the opponent is man-sized ? Maybe like a head kick : the target becomes confused, and the Acrobat land at touch range (or the same as the Cobra's jump ?).
What if two Acrobats both jump on each other ? Both end being confused as their jumps are unsuccessful, and mutually cancelling.
As an alternative, this skill could require the Cobra's jump knowledge, as well as its passive synergies, making it a high tier skill.
I guess I had some elven warrior in mind... , and the ogres and dragons' death animations in Dragon Age as well.
Mangusta's dodge (Passive)
(or whatever animal's name)
This skill is of no use against a giant creature (the jump is too small), although he can still activates by chance (?). The cool-down is small. Better, the cool-down is small at first, and then progressively growing, as melee fight goes on.
Mangusta's bite (Passive)
Require : Mangusta's dodge
This skill doesn't work if the Acrobat is surrounded, or is fighting back to a wall.
Mangusta's retaliation (Passive)
Require : Mangusta's bite
The bonus effect is that the enemy's defensive capacity and total speed is now reduced in % for a few seconds. That is, the Acrobat gains a free counter normal attack (the retaliation), and then a fair advantage in subsequent fight whith that enemy.
As it exposes the Acrobat quite well, this skill could be an active one, with the Mangusta's bite still a prerequisite. When this skill is activated (while under Acrobatics stance), then if a Mangusta's dodge occurs in the next seconds, the Mangusta's retaliation automatically follows. No cool-down for activating, but same cool-down as the passive skill version (see above) for recovering from a retaliation.
Cartwheel attack (Active)
Note that no enemy can block the Acrobat on his way (he is supposed to jump past them all).
The more points in there, the less the malus (up to -0%).
Only with small one-handed weapons.
Tumbling attack (Passive)
Require : Cartwheel attack
Require : Cartwheel attack (not the Tumbling attack)
The Acrobat gets a free return tumbling run backwards to its initial location, with all the effects of a Cartwheel/Tumbling attack (thus striking twice his foes).
High vault (Active)
Powerful vertical jump with no run up, that virtually negate any charge attack by man-size enemies. The Acrobat lands nearby. The charging and nearby enemies are confused for a few seconds, enough for the Acrobat to reposition himself. This emulates some collisions between enemies when the Acrobat "phases out". Also, this skill can be used to evade slow projectiles (powder barrels, small wagons, ...). The evasion is always successful, providing the skill animation can be completed before contact shall occur. While jumping, the Acrobat can't be hit, so the non ranged enemies stop attacking him.
The more points in there, the faster the animation, and the longer time the Acrobat is in mid air.
Jump and kick (Passive)
Require : High vault
Just before falling down, the Acrobat gathers enough energy to kick up to three opponents, while in the air.
Small physical damage, but man-sized creatures are stunned for a few seconds. Enough to get some action on the spot, and leave.
Angel's salto (Active)
The Acrobat jump quite far, as if flying, to leave the spot as quickly as possible. Upon reaching the ground, he braces himself and rolls. As a mere reflex (no time for targeting), this jump is made in a random direction, although it ends on safe ground. The Acrobat benefits from % reduced damage from aoe effects as flame-burst, F.A.E., grenades, and zero damage from ground aoe effects (spilled acid, small landslide, ...)
Last edited by Haaznahnuf; 07-24-2012 at 10:58 PM.
Stance : Treachery
Some Acrobats are relying on their nimbleness to act in a strange maner on the battle field. Those strongly focused on this "dark side", are commonly despised by the other Acrobats and Warriors but the wise officer knows that every approach and tactics is allowed, and needed, to gain suppremacy in a difficult fight.
Still, these "tricksters" are melee warriors, even if dealing less damage than other Acrobats. Generally speaking, they value precision and final result more than fastness and acrobatic strikes. Under this stance, the Acrobat is rather slow and vulnerable, but seldom exhausted. In stead of attacking and jumping, he walks from enemy to enemy (better focused themselves on fighting the acrobat's allies), and gets opportunity to help his mates with his sharp and precise knife.
When not running, and not defending, the Acrobat can _merge_ somewhat in the environment, long enough to be ignored by distant hostile creatures, or to close range with an enemy sentry.
Sudden gestures like melee attack, a run, a jump, ... nullify the chameleon effect (afterward ?).
A ranged attack may work with chameleon.
Basically an alert and aggro delayer.
Strong penalty if wearing an armor.
Trickster's grace (Passive)
Even if the Acrobat is attacking alone a whole group, the most distant enemies _tend_ to not notice him.
Cumulative with Chameleon.
Only with knifes (razors), daggers and small hand axes.
As level increases, the penalties are reduced (damage, defense and attack speed).
The armor reduction lasts a few seconds and is cumulative. The reduction is both in base rating and percentage.
At higher levels, movement speed is also reduced (in %).
At higher levels, attack speed is also reduced (in %).
Require : Cut-straps
Feeble chances (non cumulative) to have a worn armor part being dropped in-fight. The part is random, though some parts are easier to un-lace than others.
At higher levels, purses can be cut, resulting in iron, reagents, or any inventory item dropping.
The dropped equipment can be get from the ground as if dropped by another dead enemy.
Poke in the eye (Active)
The goal is not to damage, but to impair.
Reduced damage (in %).
If the attack is successful, the target is unable to counter-strike, and impaired (blinded, deafened) for a few seconds, resulting in a strong penalty to defense and offense (in %). Also, ranged attacks are not allowed. Few creatures are immune, as every and each sensory organ on the face can be targeted.
Only with knifes, etc... or a single finger.
Ham-string cutter (Active)
The drawback is, as usual, damage reduction, and defense penalty.
At higher levels, the targets endure a small reduction in attack speed, defense and offense.
Limb cutter (Passive)
Require : Ham-string cutter
The penalty is so high that the target is considered unable to move. The duration is doubled. Also, a DoT (bleeding) is added. More targets can be struck at the same time, when level increases.
The penalties are lessened.
With that skill, a ranged Acrobat can eventually immobilize his foes at melee range, and then jump back in safety to finish them with a gun, darts, spells, ...
Needle defense (Active)
Symbolic physical damage plus nerve poison DOT for a few seconds. Combat speed greatly reduced the first second, then slowly recovering, so that the Acrobat may disengage in some safety.
Moderate to small cool-down.
Last edited by Haaznahnuf; 07-24-2012 at 11:29 PM.
You did a nice job putting a lot of thought into this but for me the theme of the class is very silly.
"I've always felt that a person's intelligence is directly reflected by the number of conflicting points of view he can entertain simultaneously on the same topic."
You mean in an ARPG solo with guns ?
Hum, maybe I used too many words from Gymnastics... because if I conceive it is more silly than the Rogue mastery in TQ, I don't see why it is much more silly !
I know it is silly to frolic in front of a redcoats battalion, or a Zerg horde, but think you can be driven to such tactics when the enemy as no or less fire-power (or ranged attacks), much less organized, and slow. Sending them willing and skilled humans to delay the moment the relentless fleshy wave comes to contact with your regular defense lines. When the wave reach your lines, in spite of your guns, your best have to rely on roman legionary-like melee tactics, thus the sword and shield on Cairn.
When you have no anti-tank gun, nor grenade-launchers, you throw bottles at enemy tanks, or try and reach their bottom to ied them, how silly it can be to send isolated and vulnerable front-liners.
When you have no mortar, and have to travel fast through a battlefield filled with slow beastly things, to neutralize a ranged and meat shielded attacker or supervisor, you may figure to send agile hit-and-runners, no slow sharpshooters. Especially in a ruined city environment.
I was influenced by some post-apocalypse flash game (in which one of the class is a street roguish hit-and-runner with no armor and a base-ball club), Sacred, Guild Wars and Chinese kung-fu films, which are all so silly and fun.
I know that, with so many move-based skills, it would be a costly mastery to implement.
It was all for fun.
The second try, the Techno-scientist, is less developed. It was based on light and sound emitting devices, and mechanical contraptions, some of them with aethereal elements. Think of Jules Verne, with Rise of Legends. Another costly mastery to implement.
Now, I will answer only by the end of the week.
Have nice holidays.
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