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Class Improvement - Huppermage

By [Ankama]DOFUS - ADMIN - February 20, 2019, 17:59:08
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This topic is intended to gather your ideas and suggestions on improvements to the Huppermage class.
Please, keep in mind that class balancing focuses on both PvP and PvM at once.

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First Ankama intervention

Hey there, 

Thank you so much for this detailed feedback! As we mentioned before we aim to balance PvM and PvP, so we will take a look on both sides.  

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Reactions 17
Score : 422

Its pushback spell should be nerfed.

3 -3
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Score : 124

Gameplay fix , pb hupp is a retarded theme. Master of all elements? Uses pb. Lol

3 -1
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Score : 608

Give journey a lower cooldown, Iops can jump 6 square non-linear every turn but Hupper can jump 5 squares linear once every 3 turns? Reduce the damage on it if you're worried about people abusing that, I don't think most people are looking to journey for damage.

8 -1
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Score : 94

At least make Journey 1-5 range instead of exactly 5.

5 0
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Score : 4204

Huppermages' 5AP spells which deal damage in two elements are not very popular, because they already have 2AP and 3AP damage spells which can produce basically the same effect, but with more flexibility. At the same time, Huppermages are sometimes insufficient in their damage dealing or sustaining abilities.

I suggest changing the 5AP spells back to one-element damage spells, but with different behavior depending on the target's previous state:

  • If the target has no elemental state, the spell deals its normal damage, which will be intentionally low for a 5AP spell.
  • If the target has the same element state as the spell, the spell deals its normal damage as HP steal.
  • If the target has a different element state, the spell gets a significant base damage buff.
5 0
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Score : 608

Having played Huppermage until 200, and now being in the top 1% of huppers on Ilyzaelle and 5% game-wide for 3v3 solo Kolo (name Katkolo) I feel like I have a good idea of how they perform in Kolo. At present, they're actually one of the weakest 3v3 classes you can play unless you play pushback mode which sort of goes against the whole "master of elements" thing as superpokerpegasus pointed out. I'll break down some of the problems specifically in 3v3 Kolo at level 200 in a few posts.

One problem not tied to a specific element build: Manoeuvrability. Huppermages can't get within range of the enemy as easily as most other classes. Our options are either Contribution with 2 enemies in the earth state (+2 mp for 2 turns, absolute minimum ap cost being 5ap), Journey (5 square linear teleport once every 3 turns) and Polarity, either fire state (swap position) or air state (symmetrical teleport, functions just like Xelor teleport). 

The problem is that, with the exception of Journey all of these options depend on us putting an enemy in an elemental state and the option then consumes that elemental state. Especially in the first two turns, the only real option for this to work is Contribution via Tectonic Breach - often, unless you're packing a lot of +range, you need to use Journey just to get in range for Tectonic Breach and thus cannot use that spell for the next 3 turns, leaving a +2mp boost (if you could hit 2 enemies) your only option unless the enemy is kind enough to leave something in your LoS for you to put in fire/air state and use Polarity on.

I started making a list of all the better spells other classes had for getting within attack range but it was taking WAY too long and too many characters, so I shall simply list the classes (you may notice this is nearly every other class in the game):

  • Iop
  • Ecaflip
  • Cra
  • Feca
  • Sacrier
  • Osamodas
  • Sadida
  • Sram
  • Xelor
  • Pandawa
  • Rogue
  • Masqueraider
  • Foggernaut
  • Eliotrope
  • Ouginak

The second issue: Damage. With the exception of pushback builds, the only build that can actually have solid damage output reliably at 200 is pure strength. By utilising the decent base power Earth moves (Tectonic Breach, Striking Meteor, Telluric Blade) alongside Elemental Cycle to get the +20% final damage Fire + Earth effect without using a fire spell you can hit pretty good, and this is how I play Huppermage. The fact that the +20% final damage applies until your next turn also means that you provide benefit for your team, as that may be the push needed to kill an enemy before their turn when they'd otherwise survive.

However, that this is the only viable element at 200 is disappointing given that you can see a variety of builds on other classes in Kolo. Below are some of the main issues with trying to make another element work at 200. It is worth noting as a preliminary that the steal spells (Transfixing Gust, Burning Stroke, Glacier) all are quite strong but can only be cast once every 2 turns for each element.

Air: The problem really lies with the fact that you can cast Astral Blade only one per turn. With a not particularly strong 32 to 35 (Air damage) base power this does not seem to make too much sense, as there are plenty of other stronger base 4ap ranged spells on other classes and you can only cast the other Air ranged spell, Transfixing Gust, once every two turns (and it is diagonal only). Perhaps making it possible to cast Astral Blade twice per turn, and twice per target, would help alleviate this. Ether's base damage is also pitiful, I understand it is a no LoS spell but 20 to 22 (Air damage) for 3 ap is not cutting it at the top level of Kolo.

Fire: Much like Ether, having Flamethrower (your only ranged damage spell apart from Burning Stroke which has a 2 turn cooldown) at 20 to 22 (Fire damage) for 3 ap is just far too low for level 200 Kolo. Fire actually has some really nice benefits with Polarity, Quadrimental Current, Manifestation and Contribution but the absolute lack of damage just makes it wholly unfeasable beyond around level 120. Either Flamethrower needs a damage boost or there needs to be another ranged Fire spell for Huppermages (a potential solution I shall address later). I actually consider Fire on the cusp of viability, as with its support spells and the ability to use Elemental Cycle for access to +20% final damage with a Corrupted Bow it could be a nice addition to the 200 3v3 meta.

Water: Water spells actually are pretty strong, with solid base damage on Stalagmite for 3ap (
28 to 31) and the ability to use Elemental Drain reliably. However, the problem is that water spells are all 1-2 range with the exception of Icy Shards that is a 1-5 range spell that attracts 2 cells. Huppermages have nothing close to the support spells needed to make them a viable close combat class in the punishing meta of 200 3v3 Kolo, lacking shields/manoeuvrability/reliable heals unlike classes such as Iop, Ouginak, Sacrier and Masqueraider.

Edit: I forgot to mention the 2ap elemental spells in a damage capacity. These are all actually pretty solid for damage per ap cost, all around 10 damage per 1 ap, but the problem with them is that they are a. the variances to the steal spells, which are all but mandatory on non-Earth builds, and b. only usable once per target per turn! Upgrading them to two uses per target per turn would help a bit for Fire and Air builds but it would be even better if this was in conjunction with detaching them from the steal spells as variants.

So now, dear reader (and hopefully Ankama), you might be thinking "well, why limit yourself to just one element then? Why not borrow the best parts of each element?", to which the answer is simple: unless you are mono strength, your dismal damage output is not made up for by the elemental combinations. Huppermages have six possible elemental combinations:
  • Fire + Earth: +20% final damage suffered
  • Fire + Air: -3ap
  • Fire + Water: -50 dodge
  • Earth + Water: -2mp
  • Earth + Air: steals 3 range
  • Air + Water: -25% damage taken from the enemy

Only two of these are worth considering for 3v3 Kolo: Air + Fire (-3ap) and Fire + Earth (+20% final damage suffered). It is important to note that Air + Fire is very viable for 1v1 in conjuncture with the Elemental Guardian summon, as is Air + Water at lower levels. Fire + Earth, which can be done by mono Earth with Elemental Cycle, is indeed what you will see 99% of non-pushback Huppermages doing with myself included in that percentile. Fire + Air, while theoretically could be quite nice as with Quadrimental Current you can take away 7ap, the simple problem is that playing Water Xelor will just yield more damage output and more ap reduction combined with better ability to position oneself for it.

Finally, I shall stop complaining and offer potential improvements to the class aside from those outlined already. With the last class rework came the multi-element 5ap spells, and with the exception of Ember they proved to be pretty useless as it is often better simply to combine a 2ap spell with a 3ap spell of the desired elemental combination as vagabaka posted above. That leaves 3 spells that could be changed for increasing options for either manoeuvrability, survivability or Fire/Air's damage capabilities. The spell Morph also could use another look at, since it seems pretty useless at current.

All in all I play Huppermage as a labour of love, not because I think it is a secretly underrated killing machine (unless you go pushback, which is not really fitting with the theme of huppermages). Huppermages also aren't stellar in PVE, and addressing the damage/sustain issues I outlined earlier may help in that regard too. If you have been, thank you for taking the time to read this Ankama and I hope to see a buff to my favourite class come in the next round of class changes biggrin

 
vagabaka|2019-03-11 16:26:57
One movement option you did not mention is Manifestation. An unoccupied fire rune basically allows you to teleport, and other elemental runes can be used to move yourself and/or others if they are within 3 cells of the rune. 

I deliberately left out Manifestation as it is only viable for Fire builds, which are not viable at 200. While it is true nothing prevents a Earth hupper from casting Flamethrower and then Manifestation, next turn, or Creation the same turn before Manifestation, using that much ap with basically 0 damage output does not make it into a viable method compared to all the other classes who either use much less ap or do damage in the process.
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Score : 4204

One movement option you did not mention is Manifestation. An unoccupied fire rune basically allows you to teleport, and other elemental runes can be used to move yourself and/or others if they are within 3 cells of the rune. 

0 0
Score : 4204

Very few classes have a long range teleportation ability as provided by fire Manifestation. While it costs AP to set up, you also deal damage and may produce combos at the same time. And this is just one of several Huppermage movement spells. It's true that hiding from the Huppermage's line of sight and range and applying gravity will severely hinder those abilities, but that's also true for most other classes.

Morph is not a very good option for single-element Huppermages, for whom Elemental Drain works much better. But multi-element builds can make use of Morph effectively.

0 0
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Score : 608

For illustration's sake, I decided to toss up a decent res int/crit hupper set with good range at 200: https://www.dofusplanner.com/WNcME/ The res on the set is servicable, not fantastic, but it carries +5 range to allow for maximum mobility. I will imagine 30% fire res for the following illustrations, as this is average kolo res and the number I use when planning any set.

Flamethrower: 3ap 65% crit chance, average damage of 287 on regular hits and 371 on critical hits. 1-11 range, places the target in the fire state and generates a fire rune.

Manefestation: We will use this for travel. 1-13 range is a LOT of mobility.

Burning stroke: 3ap 85% crit chance, average damage of 420 on regular hits and 525 on critical hits. 1-6 range with horizontal AOE of 2 squares, places the target in the fire state and generates a fire rune.

Deflagration: 4ap 75% crit chance, average damage of 399 on regular hits and 490 on critical hits. 1-3 range with no line of sight requirement, reduces effect duration by 1 turn, places the target in the fire state and generates a fire rune.

Sun Lance: 4ap 75% crit chance, average damage of 434 on regular hits and 532 on critical hits. 1-3 range, swaps your position with the target, places the target in the fire state and generates a fire rune.

Corrupted Bow: 5ap, 75% crit chance, average damage of 665 on regular hits and 895 on critical hits.

Leek Pie: 2ap 65% crit chance, average damage of 175 on regular hits and 254 on critical hits.

With these values, let us imagine a perfect average turn with no boosts from allies: your enemy is in the fire state already, and you have used 0ap to get into attack range, and they either don't have an Ivory Dofus or it has already been broken so your first hit does not have the 0.5x damage effect.

The turn goes as follows: Elemental Cycle Fire->Air (0ap cost), Elemental Cycle Air-> Earth (0ap cost), Flamethrower critical hit (3ap cost, -371 hp, Earth + Fire effect triggers for +20% final damage), Burning Stroke critial hit (3ap cost, -609 hp, I am healed 304 hp, enemy is put into the Fire state), Corrupted Bow critical hit (5ap cost, -1050hp, -1ap for the enemy).

So in an idealised setup with average damage rolls, you will do 2030 damage to an opponent while taking 1ap, healing yourself 305hp and applying a +20% final damage boost for your team. There is roughly a 43% chance of getting all the critical hits. This is actually quite impressive, although I will detail the problems with it in a moment.

Let me compare this to my current pure Earth setup's optimal turn. The turn goes as follows: Elemental Cycle Fire->Air (0ap cost), Elemental Cycle Air-> Earth (0ap cost),  Tectonic Breach Critical Hit (2ap cost, -301 hp, Earth + Fire effect triggers for +20% final damage), Telluric Blade Critical Hit (4ap cost, -658 hp, -20% critical hit chance for enemy, enemy is put into the Earth state), Catseye Bow critical hit (5ap cost, -1080hp, I am healed 320 hp)

This is a damage output of 2039 while giving the target -20% critical, healing yourself 320 hp and applying a +20% final damage boost for your team. As you can see this is exceedingly similar to Fire, so you may be wondering -  why with the increased mobility of Fire is Earth the only viable setup?

The issue really stems from two things: the ap cost of fire spells, and the cooldown on Burning Stroke. Tectonic Breach is a fantastic ivory dofus breaker - modifiable range, 2ap, good damage, no line of sight. If you spend 4ap (e.g. Journey, Tectonic Breach + Contribution) getting to your target and they are already in the Earth state, you simply pop a Tectonic Breach to both break the Ivory Dofus and trigger the +20% damage effect before giving them a good 1.1k hit with Catseye and ducking for cover. Although a Fire Huppermage does not benefit from the damage of Tectonic Breach, on an Ivory this is negligible and the bows hit comparatively.

If you are left with 4ap however after breaking the Ivory, what really hurts Fire compared to Earth is a lack of a good 4ap damage spell - both Deflagration and Sun Lance are 1-3 range, which is far closer than you want to be. Earth Huppermages can use either Telluric Blade or Striking Meteor from 7 range minimum, which will both hit for around 500 damage before the +20% damage effect, where a Fire Huppermage has to rely on Burning Stroke if it is available or else they will only hit around 280. And that brings me nicely to the next problem: Burning Stroke.

On the optimal turn I caluclated above for Fire, that relied on being able to use Burning Stroke which can only be cast once every 2 turns. Othewise instead of hitting 600 damage with your 2nd lot of 3ap, you will be hitting around 370. Burning stroke is further a linear spell, with the damage being weaker in the AoE, so it is not always possible that you will be able to use it. That strength turn I described can be your turn every single turn, swapping Telluric Blade for Striking Meteor if you cannot get linear which does not impact the damage that massively. This is really the biggest problem - a lack of a good ranged 4ap spell is what gives Earth the distinct advantage, as the conditions needed for a solid damage turn (2k in a turn while giving your allies a +20% final damage boost on the target until your next turn) for 200 Kolo are much more feasible.

All in all, I stick by my previous assessment of Fire Huppermage as on the cusp of viability - one good ranged 4ap Fire spell and I would probably swap from Earth to Fire to take advantage of the benefits from Contribution and Manifestation.

1 0
Score : 1132

@Merked I'd like to point out you forgot to mention omni. Omni huppers really shine as the "masters of all elements". With the ability to do damage while making combos, I feel omni is really nice with the right build. I think the rest of what you mentioned is quite reasonable though.

0 0
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Score : 608

While this is true, the problem is that 200 3v3 Kolo does not really allow for the low damage output an Omni Huppermage has at 200 - without the ability to support teammates directly through heals and non-conditional buffs, the damage output of an Omni Huppermage just doesn't cut it - and I would know, when I first started 3v3 I was Omni!

Omni is however fantastic for 1v1, I had great success there with a nice damage reduction Omni build. My posts are simply trying to highlight the problems in 3v3, not with Huppers generally biggrin

3 0
Score : 4204

It's important to balance the different elemental builds of the class, but I don't think we should only use high ranked kolo players as a sample to evaluate the builds. And some builds by design have useful abilities rather than the highest and most consistent damage output. That doesn't necessarily make them unviable.

An example at the risk of going off topic, the Strength build is more popular among Sadidas than others. Does that mean Sadidas have weak MP reduction, no ability to heal others, and can't use summons because they need their trees for Force of Nature? Most people would disagree. And when it comes to balancing the class's different builds, improving class's MP reduction/healing/summoning abilities may not be the right answer.

Similarly, I don't think Huppermage's movement ability specifically is needing of improvement, just because the Strength Huppermage build doesn't have as easy access to some of the movement abilities.

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Hey there, 

Thank you so much for this detailed feedback! As we mentioned before we aim to balance PvM and PvP, so we will take a look on both sides.  

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The accompanying graphic allows us to view the results of this first survey for the Huppermage class.

  • Dommages - Damage
  • Survie (soin, protection, et tanking) - Survival (healing, protection, and tanking)
  • Amélioration - Improvements
  • Placement - Placement
  • Entrave - Debuffer
  • Vision actuelle - Current vision
  • Vision idéale - Ideal vision

In red, you can see the ideal vision you have for each class role. The blue profile presents the current vision and feeling in the game.

Like most classes, Huppermages have two similar (but not identical) profiles – the class as it is today is broadly in line with what players expect.

It is noted, however, that in your opinion, preventing movement is not one of the class's main characteristics.

The diagram represents one of the elements taken into account upon reflection; your comments allow us to provide a more-concrete vision that is closer to the in-game reality.

We'd also like to remind you that in order to solve perception divergences, nerfing and upping aren't the only tools we have at our disposal.

You can see the class comparison on the main topic.
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Score : 608

Thank you for this reply. I have taken a look at the graphs and the table on the topic you linked, and it does present a picture of Huppermage as a servicable class - not particularly top of the list at anything, but not bottom for everything either. My main gripe that, as your graph shows, the picture of Huppermage as a  strong hitter with a nice debuff ability takes the best of two different builds that can't actually be combined - pushback for the damage, elemental for the debuffs. If you go PB you lose the debuff utility (4ap minimum spent not generating runes will hurt your final damage a lot), if you don't play PB you don't have the damage to make up for the increased utility at level 200 in either PvE or PvP.  

I don't suggest giving the damage of PB to elemental builds, as that would be a bit broken, but if we're going to use the 5 categories measured in the graphs/tables then giving a moderate buff to damage and placement/survability on elemental builds would make it a serious question as to whether to sacrifice the exploder potential of pushback, whereas at the moment it is not a question in Kolo. This would also help in PvE, as elemental Huppermages would benefit from the moderate damage boost to be more competitive in end game content.

I have outlined my concrete suggestions in my first post (give Fire a good ranged 4ap spell, make Astral Blade able to be cast twice per target per turn (perhaps without stacking the -3 range), give Huppermage a manouevrability spell such as a +mp spell not tied to elemental states, rework/change the 5ap spells) but I don't claim to be a game developer with intimate knowledge of balancing things such as 18 classes.

Broadly my main point that I want to make is that Huppermages at current are only viable at high level PvP by ditching their whole "masters of elements" theme and are not viable at end game PvE by any theme. Pushback builds are a niche, mostly PvP build so constraining a whole class into one narrow box of viability seems to be underselling what is an interesting class nicely woven into the lore of the Krosmos. A moderate buff to elemental builds of Huppermage shouldn't break them at lower levels, as they are not exactly topping popularity charts of mid level PvP or PvE, and should hopefully encourage more people to give them a try.

2 0

Despite the class's difficulty shining in PvP, Huppermages are still as fun to play in your opion. Only the viability of the single-element mode is seen as too weak.

In the forums:
Regarding Huppermages, it seems that a majority of the issues deal with questions regarding variants. Many suggestions were made to change their order. Some of you also pointed to pushback mode as being too powerful.

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Score : 608

It would seem a few of my desired changes were implemented, as well as the general theme of buffing elemental Huppermages and toning pushback Huppermages down so there now exists a genuine question of which to run in PvP as well as increased viability in PvE. I'm not going to take credit for that, I'm just posting to say thank you Ankama for giving Huppermages a new lease of life biggrin

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