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The New Sac (And Why I'm Warming Up To It)

By SmuglyDuckling#6687 - FORMER SUBSCRIBER - December 07, 2017, 02:34:25
Now that I've had a couple of days to digest the Sacrier changes and try out a half-dozen combinations, I can say that I'm starting to enjoy it quite a bit.

Before the 2.45 patch I was, like many of you, mono-element Chance. The absurd amount of life steal made for a very comfy playstyle that I probably started to take for granted. When I first experienced the changes, I hated them. Even after messing around with the variations for awhile, I knew I'd be buying some new gear and changing elements.

Agility was an easy choice because Lock and Dodge are still derived characteristics, and my Eca and Elio could use some tanky support. After swapping gear sets, my first impression was still very negative.

The main issue I was having was that so many of the moves are anti-synergistic. I couldn't figure out how to make use of more than 8-10 AP most turns, or ended up with combinations of attacks that both added and subtracted Suffering, which left me feeling very weak.

Then I remembered that you can use 2 elements. Sacs have been shoe-horned into mono-elemental roles for so long that I forgot that there was any other option. And there are a LOT of options.

After buying even more new gear and balancing my characteristics between Agility and Strength, I started to really understand that class design. In regard to offense, I can unleash an 11 AP combination of Fury, Fury, Gash, which at 10 suffering does about 4000 damage per round (with just under 1200 each Agi and Str). Those scaling attacks get huge. The amount of damage we can deal with a full 1000 point Berserk is even more insane, and has great synergy with Bloodthirsty Madness, which reflects 25% of damage taken in an AoE.

In terms of time-investment, I can easily have 10 stacks by the end of my 2nd turn, which is at the same pace as the prior offensive Punishment (+50% damage by the 3rd turn).

The sweet part about the class is that, thanks to some open-mindedness and the new Convalescence (which resets your Suffering to 0), I feel like I can actually swap roles in combat. Absorption, Absorption, Torture follows the same 11 AP guideline, and all the attacks have very generous life-stealing damage. Torture also has the side effect of reducing damage taken by 15% for 1 turn. I can use these attacks at 10 suffering to gain back lost HP, or be extremely tanky in combination with the 20% damage reduction and 30% HP bonus from -10 Suffering.

Chance and Intelligence also looks like a very solid combination, with the ability to pull enemies in and unleash huge AoE damage at close range, but I'm satisfied where I'm at right now so I won't have much time to test it out fully.

I'd be interested to hear what other impressions people have had, especially from long-time Sac players.
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Reactions 9
Score : 633
Return back the old masochistic playstyle of sacriers!!!
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Score : 522
I have been a sac for 7 years, and I've always been agi/cha focusing on tanking. I don't dabble in pvp so I can't give a strong pvp perspective so this is strictly pvm. 

I am still on the fence, leaning towards dislike. It might be because of my build and set or play style, who knows, I'll just detail what I do know here. Agi/cha what does it have going for them. High damage with fairly low ap costs in sufferance mode, fury and nervousness combo well with 3 ap 4ap 4ap and I'm hitting around 2,000 a turn with 800 agi/cha. Not too shabby for a set that doesn't give much as far as damaging stats. Light speed is still pretty useful even with its nerf and the heal/dmg reduction from desolation/torture is pretty great. So far the damage has been fun and great, though I'm not used to that play style and getting hit pretty hard now without all the reductions, even with 40% resists. 

Now for what I dislike. Lack of mobility, I enjoyed how mobile the last version of sac was. We had light speed, swift state, and absorption which pulled us forward 4 cells. All of these for low ap. These are now gone (for the most part). Light speed got nerfed, but as I said it isn't terrible. Swift state is gone, its replacement being fluctuation: unlockable, unable to lock, 2mp for 1 turn, 3 ap cost, 3 turn cd. It replaces convalescence which is how we reset stacks. That's a hefty trade off, both of these are almost key spells in my opinion. That is what I have to say about lack of mobility. 

I still struggle with the tanking system. I'm assuming you're using mutilation/coagulation if you can get to 10 stacks in 2 turns. I dislike those spells because it's just an ap tax for the first few turns of a fight or whenever you switch states. A very unneeded ap tax. With agi/cha it's also really tough to reach 10 stacks of + sufferance even with coagulation. Each spell needs a target in order to get a stack, which can be tough with limited mobility and if the opponent starts further away. - sufferance has the advantage of a few spells that do not require a target such as cauterization which even gives a stack of 2 instead of 1 for 4 ap, allowing for - sufferance to stack up quickly and easily but not + sufferance for tanking. Which, the tanking state needs to be built up quicker in order to get more useful effects since 6 stacks is when you finally get damage reduction, - sufferance you constantly get strong buffs of increased damage with spikes at 6 and 10. Tanking as agi/cha is just too clunky, slow, and doesn't mesh well. 

I am in the process of making an int/agi/cha set to see if adding int to the mix will give me the versatility that I need and want for +/- sufferance but we'll see. I like the AoE of int but if it works out who knows. I'll also have to try out my iops str/agi set to see if str/agi feels any more comfortable than agi/cha.

In closing what I have to say is sac still needs work and fixing ankama, Ouginaks do what Sacriers should be doing with more efficiency. We are too clunky and slow, and we still don't fit in the theme of berserker which you label this class under.

----PS: The spell berserk, this spell should have been the very first revamp to fix punishments. I love this spell, so amazing and fits great. 

SmuglyDuckling|2017-12-07 19:01:12
My thought about playing a Tankier role is that it's much trickier to do solo.


This right here is part of my problem, I am a solo player and so you pointing it out does help me realize where an aspect of the problem is.Thank you. 
SmuglyDuckling|2017-12-07 19:01:12
My last comment, in regards to the viability of Chance/Agility, is that the Chance moves feel extremely clunky to me, so it's probably tough to fit them together with any element. Even as Chance/Intelligence, which I suggested in the opening post, I was thinking of the benefits of Condensation for attracting multiple targets into a solid Blood Bath or Cauterization AoE, among other utility-based applications. Chance doesn't really have any bread, just a lot of butter.

Chance just doesn't fit... so I must agree that it's a lot of butter but no bread. If int/agi/cha doesn't work out for me I will most likely be focusing on int/agi or str/agi. I tried my iops set on my sac and str/agi went smoothly into fights. 

It will take some time getting used to the new play style for me because sac became self sufficient but I must say it still feels clunky and awkward progressing in stages up and down of sufferance when spells require a target and we do not have easy access to the enemy. 

Thank you for helping me figure out and change my perspective on sac a little, and the advice for - sufferance in fights. biggrin
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Score : 508
My thought about playing a Tankier role is that it's much trickier to do solo.

Sacs went from being 100% team reliant (by receiving team hits to increase Characteristics), to being extremely self-sufficient (from Sacrier's Foot to AoE Life-Stealing DIssolution, as well as the most recent version of Chance just face-tanking anything). It's been a difficult transition for me to accept that some of that solo-reliance is gone, or at least those effects which catered directly to a solo player's quality of life.

One thing about the current design is that we're rewarded for getting hit, but not recklessly. A powerful (and typical) approach to playing with negative Suffering is to take some solid hit in the beginning while you're setting up, then turn that back onto the enemy as we get closer to -10 Suffering and half HP. The spells that allow us to do this well are Retribution (formerly Punishment), Bloodthirsty Madness, and Berserk. We can also make great use of Perfusion to see that those hits carry an additional benefit for our teammates.

Although we can recover many of those lost HP with our life-stealing attacks, there is definitely a deficiency in self-healing that can only be filled by other players (or characters). And that's the tough part if you've been playing your Sacrier faithfully over the course of the class' development.

My last comment, in regards to the viability of Chance/Agility, is that the Chance moves feel extremely clunky to me, so it's probably tough to fit them together with any element. Even as Chance/Intelligence, which I suggested in the opening post, I was thinking of the benefits of Condensation for attracting multiple targets into a solid Blood Bath or Cauterization AoE, among other utility-based applications. Chance doesn't really have any bread, just a lot of butter.
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Score : 531
Is it just me or does the new sac have very low early game sustain? I mean, you have absorption that doesn't hit super hard but has nice range and life steal. Other than that it's pretty hard to solo early levels and that's what i loved about the original sacrier anyways. You have sac's foot immediately for AoE lifesteal sustain that did moderate damage for 3 ap. Eventually get dissolution, AoE, moderate damage, life steal and 4 ap. Absorption, single target lifesteal with range that did decent damage. Even the old assault had some life steal. The key thing im getting at is the early game sustain was good enough where you could solo, especially when you had a good bit of AoE lifesteal.

Not saying they dont have enough now, its just all locked behind mid to end game. Like the OG sacriers foot is back, but after level 100. OG Dissolution gone. Blood bath is nice but at level 100 and 5ap cost and 1 cast a turn.Torture is nice for a single target cause you get 85% damage sustain and it hits nice for 4ap. I think if they made absorption a variant instead of the normal spell it could help lower levels along until they have the nice gear with better stats and resists and such where they could choose to have 1-5 range and single target lifesteal instead or whichever. I just hope it gets changed, cause right now you can hit super hard as an agi build early levels or intel build early, but you have no sustain at all.

Just mho.
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The main issue is that we can no longer scale up the damage on our life-stealing attacks at any level, or increase our damage in any way while decreasing our suffering.

Technically we can--and I do--use the life-stealing attacks after raising suffering to receive the final damage bonus, but that's useful only to recoup some of the HP lost during the fight, not as a tanking strategy.

The damage we deal with negative suffering is extremely low compared to the damage we take, especially in bigger fights or higher level fights, that the life-stealing isn't sufficient sustain, even when we have access to all our attacks.

Situational moves like Berserk don't work at all with negative suffering, which seems to me like a missed opportunity. Certainly we want to be rewarded for getting hit, but we also need to be able to survive, otherwise what's the point?

Basically, there's a reason that you see class redesigns focus less and less on taking damage, and that's because it's not a sustainable play-style. At the very least, offensive Sacs carry a high damage benefit for the weaknesses of low range and a series of moves that have synergy with getting hit, but tanky Sacs feel underwhelming in comparison, carrying all of the weaknesses and few of the benefits.
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Score : 508
To follow up my original post, here are some insights after an additional week of playing the new Sac:

I hate Mutilation and Coagulation. The design of these spells are completely dull, and serve as some sort of apparent band-aid to the still slightly awkward Suffering system. I wish they did something, or had some condition, or stipulation, or consideration other than "cast your AP tax." What if Mutilation made your other moves generate an additional Suffering for a turn or two, for example? I think there is some serious room for creativity that is lacking here.

Berserk would feel a lot better as a 2 turn buff with a 4 turn recast. The power bonus would still apply for only a single turn, but it can be pretty iffy right now. Don't get me wrong, it's still a great spell, but I find it's usually easier to just skip it entirely, especially given the relatively short nature of battles these days.

Perfusion and Bloodthirsty Madness would have been way more interesting in reverse. Perfusion should have been an AoE heal when receiving damage, and Bloodthirsty Madness should have had a single target, but reflect more than 25% damage (35%-50%). 25% effect on each spell makes them hardly worth the AP cost in most situations. Otherwise you're taking such an extreme amount of damage that you probably should have positioned yourself elsewhere. If I had to guess, I'd imagine that these spells were tuned for PvP more-so than PvM.

Light Speed is awkward. You can use it to pass through enemies and allies, but not through terrain. You can't use it as extra mobility since it requires a target. Its intended use seems very situational, but I'm always thankful for a cheap approach. It just feels like kind of a mess since it was changed from a spell which functioned a bit differently, but not really redesigned to suit a new purpose.

As discussed elsewhere in this thread, our tanking role doesn't feel complete. Very few of our moves work in conjunction with negative Suffering or even our higher life total, which seems bizarre. The class would almost be better if negative Suffering didn't exist and the moves that reduce it just did so as a small penalty for their damage-reduction or healing side-effects.

Other than that, I can't explain why Mutilation costs 2 AP, while Coagulation costs 3. Or why Nervousness costs 4 AP and Clobbering costs 3 (the latter being the AoE option).

As a final though, the class still feels a lot better than it did on my initial review, and I've tried to highlight the things I don't like without implying that I don't like the class overall. It's a really interesting take on the berserker design, and it's obvious that the developers took the beta feedback seriously. I certainly don't expect any changes in the near future, but it's always worth pointing out how it feels to play the class for the sake of discussion.
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Score : 531
I agree with you. Sacriers feel more like just cc damage dealers now. They can dish out serious damage! If they get their stacks, and they're up close. But if you want to be a tank, which is one of their main roles, good luck. Maybe life stealing abilities need more AoE options or just cheaper price/more uses per turn/more damage since they don't have that huge damage buff from suffering. I know you don't want to make lifesteal OP cause it's easy to do, but you gotta toss them a bone. They could even fix it some by giving the abilities better AoE and making it so you can get max stacks quicker. Maybe like 5 or 6 max stacks. But they depreciate if you don't try to keep it topped up.

I agree on mutilation/coagulation. I think those were just filler spells that they couldn't think for anything else. They could scrap that and maybe 2 other spells or their variants and be another element ability that can increase/decrease suffering depending on if your suffering is + or -. Something, they could've been way more creative with it.
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Score : 721
The biggest problems I have with the sac revamp is how they took away the natural higher hp pool and their ability to scale. I feel like I am forced to play ether a tank with bad damage and mediocre suitability or a damage dealer with great damage but no sustainability. I love sacs back before any revamp when we was we was able to be a tank because of a higher health pool and had great sustainability through aoe steal spells. We also used to be able to scale with the enemies and able to dish out good damage through taking damage and able to protect my team all at the same time. The only problem I had with the old sac was we had erosion, we lost our buffs a bit to fast and we was not able to scale that well because of how much damage enemies can do now in this current day in dofus and we was limited with the amount of gains we could get each turn. Maybe with enough discussions Ankama will take more of our thoughts and ideas, and makes sacs more original of a class  rather then having a mechanic similar to the ougniaks. 

When it comes to improving the suffering mechanic this is an idea that I think that would be nice. Make the suffering mechanic similar to wakfu Grr mechanic. The more damage you suffer the more damage bonus you will gain, and their should be a meter showing how close you are to being at max. when the meter is at max sacs go into a berserk form and it last for 2 turns giving sacs minor buffs nothing to big that could make them op. This can bring back sac natural higher health pool characteristic and not worry about making them op with higher health pool also sac can serve its role without having a mechanic that holds them back from doing it correctly, and also it can also bring back sac scaling without having to bring back the problematic mechanic with having buffs for certain turns. Besides that when it comes to elemental path this is a general idea on how it should be which goes back to more on how the original sac was. 

Int: Single target but higher steals spell with good damage and have a around 1-3range.
Agi: Single Target with good damage with low heals and have small mobility. 
Cha: AOE damage spells with heals but not with high steals but it is good enough to use and -Locks. 
Str: Close combat cone AOE spells with -Dodge as a effect. 
This is all have in thought right now I do not really know what they could do for Utility spells I have not thought of the possibilities with what utility spells they can bring. But I wonder on how you feel about these ideas.
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After returning from a while i wanted to take up my 117 sacrier. I follow this tread now to catch up on the changes he went through and to better understand the new play style. I read many tips and tricks on how to play it now but could you guys give me a few more? smile 
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