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Xelor balancing

By Sljm - FORMER SUBSCRIBER - May 22, 2012, 13:28:41

The problem of Xelor is a complex one. Currently the class's main role is as an AP remover, and it's certainly the best at it. The combination of simply having the most AP loss spells, and being able to reduce the enemies' resistance to AP loss, put them on top in this regard compared to other classes. But, this causes an imbalance in PvP, where if one has no AP, one cannot act. Xelors who invest in wisdom are able to spend all their AP to effectively cripple at least one of their enemies, turning a 3v3 into a 2v2 or an 8v8 into a 7v7, and they can do so every turn with only a small chance for the enemy to avoid the AP barrage. They can attempt more AP loss with their spells than any other class.

Meanwhile, AP removal isn't nearly as effective in high level PvM, where the monsters have a higher resistance to AP loss, and/or higher AP (both of which make AP loss more difficult) than players tend to.

Here we have a class that, after years of nerfs, is still top tier in PvP, yet enjoys very little use in a PvM fight apart from keeping Devotion up and swinging a weapon around.

So, how can we fix this?

Let's take a step back for a moment and look at other classes which take AP, and which spells they use to do so.

Feca: Blindness, Glyph of Blindness (AoE)
Eniripsa: Draining Word, Word of Silence (AoE)
Cra: Frozen Arrow, Slow Down Arrow (AoE)
Rogue: Deception (AoE), Water Bomb (AoE)
Osamodas: Prespic, Crackler
Ecaflip: Claw of Ceangal
Sram: Trap of Silence (AoE)
Enutrof: Mass Clumsiness (AoE)
Sadida: The Maddoll

As you can see, apart from Xelors, the classes that take AP do so with only one or two spells. Plus, there are numerous AP loss weapons.

Xelors have seven AP loss spells. Is it any surprise they're so good at it?

Note: almost every class with more than one AP loss spell has at least one AoE AP loss spell.

There are a few possible solutions to the problem of Xelors taking too much AP:

  • Modify the AP loss mechanic again, making it harder to take AP
  • Further reduce the effectiveness of Dial and Loss of Motivation
  • Reduce the number of AP loss spells available to Xelors

It's probably simplest, and fairest to other classes, to reduce the number of AP removal spells available to Xelors. However, this might require an increase in the amount of AP taken by each of the remaining spells so that Xelors wouldn't be completely overshadowed by Fecas or Cras, who are also very good at taking AP. Allowing Xelors to be comparable to Feca in terms of the number of AP taken may be ideal, given that Xelors can reduce the resistance to AP loss of enemies, a feat no other class with AP removal is capable of doing.

Please, I'd like to read your thoughts on this subject!

What sorts of roles should Xelor fill besides AP removal?

Which are the most important AP loss spells, and which could be done without (the remaining spells could be buffed slightly to compete with Feca/Cra's AP loss potential)?

What other spells are not useful or too powerful?

A side note: let's try not to get into the AP loss system itself in this thread, there may be a dedicated thread for it later.
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This is BS, You really think xelors are so good at AP stealing when you have a set wich gives you +400 wis?= 500 wis. + Trophy,s + Items that give AP resist. Dial got nerfed, LoM got nerfed. Dont nerf the ap stealing MORE, just give xelors a defensive spell since counter got nerfed hardcore. Or either Remove LoM for a new spell, this spell is worthless.. Also maybe give xelor another chanche attack, because being a full cha xel(With points in wis) Would refer you would rely on weapons because clock is nerfed to pieces. Mummy + Gravity also doesnt make sense, it also doesnt make sense Mummy doesnt have a crit rate. And why would you compare xelors with other classes?If xelor has only 2 or 3 spells for ap reaping then the whole point of the class got f*cked.Then xelors will be 100% dead.

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No, I would prefer to have an actual useful function.

AP loss is not viable on any post-Otomai content.

Rewind was a good start.

Sljm|2012-05-22 13:28:41
What sorts of roles should Xelor fill besides AP removal?

Which are the most important AP loss spells, and which could be done without (the remaining spells could be buffed slightly to compete with Feca/Cra's AP loss potential)?

What other spells are not useful or too powerful?

A side note: let's try not to get into the AP loss system itself in this thread, there may be a dedicated thread for it later.
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Xelors are not top-tier PvPers anymore. That much is certain. They're mid-tier at best. Their AP removal abilities are fine as it is, I don't find them overpowered in PvP in the slightest.

The problem with most Xelors is they think they have to be wisdom gods to be viable, when in reality, they just hurt themselves more by doing this. The AP reduction/resist system is so flawed, that even Xelors with 110 ap reduction rarely ever get my Osa down below 7ap (from 12) when I have 70 resist. Xelors would be much better off pumping either A - Their stat to improve damage potential or B - Vitality to survive longer in situations.

Every single element build of a Xelor can be good, this is brought out even further by introducing the new single-element end-game sets. You can be great at two things (ap reduction and damage) instead of being mediocre at 3 things (crappy CB xelors)

I find Xelors to be one of the more balanced classes out there, but that's just me.
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dovusplaier|2012-05-22 15:41:14
You really think xelors are so good at AP stealing when you have a set wich gives you +400 wis?= 500 wis. + Trophy,s + Items that give AP resist. Dial got nerfed, LoM got nerfed. Dont nerf the ap stealing MORE, just give xelors a defensive spell since counter got nerfed hardcore. Or either Remove LoM for a new spell, this spell is worthless.. Also maybe give xelor another chanche attack, because being a full cha xel(With points in wis) Would refer you would rely on weapons because clock is nerfed to pieces. Mummy + Gravity also doesnt make sense, it also doesnt make sense Mummy doesnt have a crit rate. And why would you compare xelors with other classes?If xelor has only 2 or 3 spells for ap reaping then the whole point of the class got ruined.Then xelors will be 100% dead.
I think the overall point here is that basing a class solely on AP removal is intrinsically unbalanced.
Would you agree with this point? For what reasons would(n't) you?

If you take AP too efficiently then you are overpowered, you render players and monsters alike unable to take action.

If you take AP too poorly then you are serving no purpose with this role and your spells amount to nothing.

What are the Xelor's current class roles?
To take AP. A disabler.
They also have some decent damage output.
Lastly the Int build has healing potential via weapons.

It is safe to say, overall, that they have a supportive build.

What direction would YOU like to see?
That is why we are here.

The purpose of these class balancing threads isn't aimed at presenting you with the direction said class is heading or where we want to see it go as a team.

It is to get you thinking about the class and to present current trends in both development and the opinion of our community.

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They're more of an offensive dis-abler if anything. They don't just have spells which only take AP, they have spells that do pretty good damage and take AP as well. Along with counter/bp combo reflecting 300 damage back at enemies... Pretty offensive in my book.

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justabeast|2012-05-22 17:21:34
Xelors are not top-tier PvPers anymore. That much is certain. They're mid-tier at best. Their AP removal abilities are fine as it is, I don't find them overpowered in PvP in the slightest.

The problem with most Xelors is they think they have to be wisdom gods to be viable, when in reality, they just hurt themselves more by doing this. The AP reduction/resist system is so flawed, that even Xelors with 110 ap reduction rarely ever get my Osa down below 7ap (from 12) when I have 70 resist. Xelors would be much better off pumping either A - Their stat to improve damage potential or B - Vitality to survive longer in situations.

Every single element build of a Xelor can be good, this is brought out even further by introducing the new single-element end-game sets. You can be great at two things (ap reduction and damage) instead of being mediocre at 3 things (crappy CB xelors)

I find Xelors to be one of the more balanced classes out there, but that's just me.
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They may not be explicitly overpowered, or underpowered, but that doesn't change the fact that they contribute little to PvM apart from Devotion, weapon spam, and the occasional Rollback (which is only useful in a few situations, many of which would still be manageable without it). Rewind was a good start, it's a very good spell with lots of applications in both PvP and PvM.

I would gladly accept having fewer AP loss spells (perhaps making the ones left more potent) if it meant more spells like Rewind.

I'll give you an example.

Currently, if a Xelor wants to focus down one target to as few AP as possible, his spell usage might look something like this:
Flight
Loss of Motivation
Time Theft x2
Clock/Frostbite
Sandglass
Slow Down

12 AP spent (10 + Devotion)
10 (Clock) or 11 (Frostbite) AP taken.

We could streamline this by making a few modifications to the number of AP taken with some spells.

An option:
Replace Time Theft with another sort of utility spell, and alter Frostbite and Clock to have some sort of Map manipulation abilities instead of AP loss. This leaves: Slow Down, Sandglass, Temporal Dust, Haziness as AP loss spells, which is still more than any other class currently has. Suppose Temporal Dust goes to 4 AP and takes 2 AP (less than Glyph of Blindness, I might add), and Sandglass can be cast twice per target.

Flight
Loss of Motivation
Sandglass x2
Temporal Dust
Slow Down

11 AP spent
9 AP taken.

Compare:
Old: .83 or .91 AP taken per AP spent
New: .81 AP taken per AP spent

Compared to the Clock method, the AP loss is similar per AP spent, though it leaves an extra AP leftover for another Slow Down. It would actually be more attractive to take AP over several targets by design.

Over two targets, the AP loss method might currently look like this:
Loss of Motivation x2
Time Theft x4
Slow Down x2

12 AP spent
14 AP taken over two targets (7 each)

With the adjustments I suggested:

Loss of Motivation x2
Sandglass x2
Temporal Dust
Slow Down x2

12 AP spent
14 AP taken over two targets, potentially another 2 from additional targets

Even with the repurposing of Time Theft, Frostbite, and Clock, the AP removal over several targets remains very similar with my suggestions (4 AP Dust that takes 2 AP). In this case, the extra cast per target on Sandglass doesn't have an effect, but it would be necessary to maintain similar AP loss on a single target.

So you see, it's possible to reduce the number of AP loss spells, without affecting too much the AP loss potential of Xelor, and it takes only slight buffs to the remaining spells.
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Except in PvM maximizing AP reduction isn't especially necessary, and if you want your Xelor to suck damage wise for better AP reduction that's no one's fault but your own.

Why is it that you can't say... LoM, Clock x2, Slowdown + one CC? This way you have 5-6 AP reduced, while also putting out 1500-2500 damage to a target depending on their resists. I would much rather this method over wasting 12ap to so 300 damage and POSSIBLY drain 9-10ap. Granted this only works for a chance build.

Meh. I'm not the Xelor expert, I just rather see damage output with medium ap reduction opposed to little to no damage with a possibility of more ap reduction. This going for PvM and PvP alike.

Continue on with your suggestions tongue 

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Along the same lines as what has been mentioned, there is a lack of usefulness in high level pvm on a xelor. I also feel that the combination of LoM and Dial still give an unfair advantage. Few ideas I have.

Remove Loss of Motivation, yet keep Dial. In it's place, give a chance or strength spell that has that as an extra effect. I'm thinking along the same lines as Tipple. Costing about 3-4 ap and having mid ranged damage output. Another spell that would be good to consider in removing is Haziness. From a pvm standpoint, I rarely see it used, if ever. That would open another spot for another attack spell. I've seen it used in pvp, but it's another rare case.

Chance and strength builds lack a secondary, non-linear attack. I'd like to see that changed, even if giving an extra effect to them. One could push and the other could do as mentioned above. Maybe having the push, be similar to Blow.

If we were to go the route of adding more attack spells to Xelors, the damage on Punch would need to be lowered a tad bit, possibly lowering Clock as well. This would be to compensate for the added attacking ability.

Just some thoughts.

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justabeast|2012-05-22 19:38:03
Except in PvM maximizing AP reduction isn't especially necessary, and if you want your Xelor to suck damage wise for better AP reduction that's no one's fault but your own.

Why is it that you can't say... LoM, Clock x2, Slowdown + one CC? This way you have 5-6 AP reduced, while also putting out 1500-2500 damage to a target depending on their resists. I would much rather this method over wasting 12ap to so 300 damage and POSSIBLY drain 9-10ap. Granted this only works for a chance build.

Meh. I'm not the Xelor expert, I just rather see damage output with medium ap reduction opposed to little to no damage with a possibility of more ap reduction. This going for PvM and PvP alike.

Continue on with your suggestions tongue
Sure, but in that case, the other AP removal spells are redundant, aren't they?

I just feel there's no need for seven spells with which to take AP, many of which are almost identical (if it works, Time Theft is Sandglass with no damage line, which can be used twice, and Frostbite is at best a nonlinear Sandglass... There's too much overlap in my opinion). They could be easily consolidated or adjusted to maintain similar output (which would alleviate concerns of a "nerf", I illustrated how to cut down to just 3 AP removal spells while keeping very similar AP removal capacity), and that would make room for things which are actually useful in PvM. That is, AP loss would still be a big deal for Xelor, but it wouldn't be the only deal. That's what I'd like.

@Harlyquinn:
I agree that with the current amount of AP removal spells Loss of Motivation and Dial are very potent in all but the highest echelons of PvP. Sure, maybe a Xelor can't take more than half of the AP of BBN's 12 AP 70 AP dodge Osa, but in the case of a 10 AP, 50 AP dodge character, they'd easily find themselves with less than 4 AP.

I'd like to see Loss of Motivation's effect added to a damage spell, like Hand, to further stress the point of "Do damage and take a few AP rather than do no damage and take ALL AP." It would also give Int Xelors better synergy with AP-taking teammates.
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Slow down was reduced to 4 targets per turn a while ago which apart from perc fights seems to be a purely pvm nerf. In kolo there is rarely more than 4 targets to take ap from available anyway. I think xelors would be plenty effective in pvm if they can slow down 7-8 monsters in one turn and have some spare ap for a hit. Repeated taking ap from a single target is too difficult in pvm, which means that some of the ap draining spells may not be needed... but I don't think xelors are that cheap in pvp to need a nerf.

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Sljm|2012-05-22 20:46:34
justabeast|2012-05-22 19:38:03
Except in PvM maximizing AP reduction isn't especially necessary, and if you want your Xelor to suck damage wise for better AP reduction that's no one's fault but your own.

Why is it that you can't say... LoM, Clock x2, Slowdown + one CC? This way you have 5-6 AP reduced, while also putting out 1500-2500 damage to a target depending on their resists. I would much rather this method over wasting 12ap to so 300 damage and POSSIBLY drain 9-10ap. Granted this only works for a chance build.

Meh. I'm not the Xelor expert, I just rather see damage output with medium ap reduction opposed to little to no damage with a possibility of more ap reduction. This going for PvM and PvP alike.

Continue on with your suggestions tongue
Sure, but in that case, the other AP removal spells are redundant, aren't they?

I just feel there's no need for seven spells with which to take AP, many of which are almost identical (if it works, Time Theft is Sandglass with no damage line, which can be used twice, and Frostbite is at best a nonlinear Sandglass... There's too much overlap in my opinion). They could be easily consolidated or adjusted to maintain similar output (which would alleviate concerns of a "nerf", I illustrated how to cut down to just 3 AP removal spells while keeping very similar AP removal capacity), and that would make room for things which are actually useful in PvM. That is, AP loss would still be a big deal for Xelor, but it wouldn't be the only deal. That's what I'd like.

@Harlyquinn:
I agree that with the current amount of AP removal spells Loss of Motivation and Dial are very potent in all but the highest echelons of PvP. Sure, maybe a Xelor can't take more than half of the AP of BBN's 12 AP 70 AP dodge Osa, but in the case of a 10 AP, 50 AP dodge character, they'd easily find themselves with less than 4 AP.

I'd like to see Loss of Motivation's effect added to a damage spell, like Hand, to further stress the point of "Do damage and take a few AP rather than do no damage and take ALL AP." It would also give Int Xelors better synergy with AP-taking teammates.

Well think of it this way. What Xelors have all 7 AP reduction spells leveled? They're all built for different styles of play. Time Theft is purely a massive wisdom build spell, as if someone dodges both, you've just wasted 4ap for nothing. Haziness is for a Xelor who isn't built for maximum AP steal. Slow down is universally used. Then you have 2 intell spells which AP drain, 1 agility and 1 chance. So realistically every build of Xelor should have at least 3 of these spells leveled. Any more than that is a bit overkill, but int/cha/agi all have an AP drain spell specific for their build. Strength Xelors are the only characters who have to level an off-element spell for optimum AP drainage.

If you were going to change anything, I think changing Sandglass to earth or neutral damage would be pretty nice, so that all four Xelor builds have a spell specific to their element. Other than that, I feel the amount of spells which steal/drain AP is justified due to reasons stated above.

As for LoM I think maybe it should have a Perfidious Boomerang style poison added to it. like 5-6 base damage on top of the -ap resist, but make it a random element every turn and it only lasts 1 turn. The only way to stack this poison would be to have a Dial out as well, and this would bring added use to the dial as well.
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Why do in 7 spells what you can accomplish in 4?

Actually, you could accomplish it in 2, Sandglass and Slow Down, if Sandglass could be cast four times per target, though I would like to have Temporal Dust remain an AP loss spell, and Haziness does have its uses (though the Line of Sight restriction should be removed).

I see it as pretty similar to the idea that Compulsion, Bravery Guide, and Increase should be merged.

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Because then you have 1 build that can do damage and drain AP and every other build aside from intell is SoL.

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Not really, Sandglass is a +dmg spell anyway...

Anyway, the point of this thread is to find out what sorts of things Xelors might do in addition to AP removal. Like, what would the other builds do that aren't Intel (AP removal)?

I'm going to reiterate that AP removal is not desirable nor viable in much of the current endgame content, which means Xelors get overshadowed by other classes who can do other things, like map manipulation, protection, team buffs, healing...

Cutting the number of AP removal spells down is simply the easiest way I can see to add more functionality to the Xelor class. I've already illustrated that the remaining spells could be buffed, so there doesn't need to be a nerf of "total AP loss attempted," but as someone who has been repeatedly disappointed by his lack of contribution to PvM fights apart from Devotion and weapon spam, I can say in no uncertain terms that leaving Xelor as it is will do nothing to make the class appealing in the future, to new players, or to Xelor veterans who are sick of a Go-Wisdom-Or-Go-Home spell book. The choice of element is not a real one for Xelor, they all operate essentially the same. Instead, you merely choose what element you want to weapon spam in... For stats, you have either Intelligence, Strength, or Wisdom. "Agility" and "Chance" are actually both Wisdom, and the choice is just whether you want to use Clock, or whether you want to use an Air weapon like Oracular or Trikkidikki or, Xelor forbid, Sunshade staff.

Also, Fecas only have 1 AP removal spell that does damage, and it does so in Neutral. Does this mean that no other Feca build can take AP and do damage?

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I am of the opinion that damage could easily be disassociated from AP drain in regard to the Xelor. The one exception to this could, perhaps, be Temporal Dust. Allow me to expound:

Slowdown and Haziness are excellent AP removal spells.

Slowdown has a low AP cost with high potential.

Haziness has AoE and a 100% chance of AP reduction.

Each build can utilize these spells equally.

Increase Temporal Dust to a drain of 2 AP, perhaps 3 on a crit.

Sandglass could be converted to an elementless AP drain of some sort.

Loss of Motivation can be gotten rid of.
Homing Hand can be removed or consolidated with Xelor's Dial. (no more straight malus, instead damaging needles that inflict a malus as well)
Time theft can be removed.

Attack spells that previously took AP could then grant an AP Removal bonus to the caster or AP Dodge malus to the target.
Hand would grant an AP Dodge malus.
Frostbite could steal AP Removal from the target.
Clock could grant an AP Dodge malus, granting an AP Removal buff to the caster on a Crit.

This opens space for a new role while retaining 4 AP removal spells useful to every build.

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I disagree on Sandglass, it's an incredibly useful low-AP damage spell, since it requires no line-of-sight. It's a pivotal spell of the class, regardless of build (due to the lowish damage, it's fueled by +damage and not particularly by Int).

Time Theft is exploitable, but it has similar range to Frostbite, and (when it lands) the same AP cost to AP taken ratio as Sandglass.

These three spells (Sandglass, Frostbite, Time Theft) in particular overlap too much in my opinion.

At lower level tiers, Air Xelors are the favored build, not because of Frostbite, but because of Devotion and Shriveling. I think that usually Air-geared Xelors prefer to do damage and only do AP loss as a last resort, especially considering that most of the older Air gear lacks the Wisdom of its Chance counterparts. Also, the damage on Frostbite is, like Sandglass, very low, and within the realm of +dmg, meaning the difference between an Air Xelor and another element Xelor who has +dmg is negligible to the point of being irrelevant. Neither of these spells are used for "Damage and AP loss" because they rarely go over the "2xx damage" tier even for Xelors of their supposed element.

The spell that's used for "Damage and AP loss" is Clock. Would a Chance Xelor notice a difference in damage between using Frostbite or Sandglass? Not likely, if he has +damage. In regards to the range difference, he's linear because of Clock anyway, and Sandglass is fewer AP than Frostbite. He would probably only use Frostbite if he could absolutely not hit with Clock.

Indeed, Frostbite is one of the least used of the AP removal spells (Haziness being used less often, and Int Xelors use Temporal Dust more for AoE damage than AP loss. Wisdom Xelors pretty much don't use Temp Dust), except in a pinch (when one decides to pull out all the guns against a tough enemy). Giving Sandglass just one more cast per target would make up for Frostbite, and more, since it would cost 1 fewer AP. If Frostbite no longer took AP, it could get a damage increase (which would make sense with the minimum range and once-per-target restriction), or be altered to a damaging spell with another utility effect, like a poison that deals damage based on the AP an enemy begins its turn with. More AP = more damage. This might be an interesting option for Xelors who don't take AP often.

Time Theft is the main offender in the problem of Xelors taking AP while doing no damage. It either falls into the category of a cheaper, nondamaging Frostbite, or a nonlinear, nondamaging Sandglass...

I don't see the point of trying to keep AP loss part of every possible element. For one thing, Strength doesn't have a damage-and-AP-loss spell. Another thing, looking to other classes, none of them have more than 2 AP loss spells, so they also don't have the ability to take AP and do damage in every element.

I just don't agree that it's worth preserving redundant spells for a lackluster (in PvM) mechanic which can be easily streamlined to a small number of spells with almost no actual nerf, especially when said streamlining would make room for an actual use in PvM.

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My two cents about "What sorts of roles should Xelor fill besides AP removal? "

Xelors have a lot of spells focused on them manipulating and crippling the enemy's stats, but not too much that focuses on crippling the enemy team's own manipulation and crippling abilities.

I feel like one could easily slip in some spells that alter the target's ability to steal AP or MP while staying right there on the Xelor's crippling manipulation message.

There are also some newer secondary stats like Pushback/Pushback resist... Unless I'm missing something, the current class selection can't manipulate these statistics directly. Why not let Xelors get in on the action and give them the ability to screw around with the potency of one method of map manipulation?

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InuzukaKiba|2012-05-23 05:52:59
My two cents about "What sorts of roles should Xelor fill besides AP removal? "

Xelors have a lot of spells focused on them manipulating and crippling the enemy's stats, but not too much that focuses on crippling the enemy team's own manipulation and crippling abilities.

I feel like one could easily slip in some spells that alter the target's ability to steal AP or MP while staying right there on the Xelor's crippling manipulation message.

There are also some newer secondary stats like Pushback/Pushback resist... Unless I'm missing something, the current class selection can't manipulate these statistics directly. Why not let Xelors get in on the action and give them the ability to screw around with the potency of one method of map manipulation?
You and Sljm both covered reasons I suggested Frostbite steal AP Removal from the target.
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Electricotter|2012-05-23 07:45:12
InuzukaKiba|2012-05-23 05:52:59
My two cents about "What sorts of roles should Xelor fill besides AP removal? "

Xelors have a lot of spells focused on them manipulating and crippling the enemy's stats, but not too much that focuses on crippling the enemy team's own manipulation and crippling abilities.

I feel like one could easily slip in some spells that alter the target's ability to steal AP or MP while staying right there on the Xelor's crippling manipulation message.

There are also some newer secondary stats like Pushback/Pushback resist... Unless I'm missing something, the current class selection can't manipulate these statistics directly. Why not let Xelors get in on the action and give them the ability to screw around with the potency of one method of map manipulation?
You and Sljm both covered reasons I suggested Frostbite steal AP Removal from the target.
If a spell was to be added or changed that removes ap removal from a target, would it make Tipple (panda spell) useless? I was under the impression that since vulns were changed, it gave an added bonus to pandas.
I'm not saying to not add that as an effect, I would love to see it actually.
I also wouldn't mind seeing a spell that puts a target in the state of gravity. Quite possibly the change to frostbite. Instead of taking ap, it could do that instead. It would be fitting with the cast limit. It would give an added boost in pvm that is lacking currently and goes along with crippling the enemy. This would also be a step in the direction of modifying time theft and reducing the number of ap removal spells out there.
I agree with Sljm on leaving sandglass. It's a great spell no matter what build you are. As for a modification to time theft, I have no clue as to what would work best, but I will throw my thinking cap on about it.
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