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How Summoner SHOULD be adjustedFollow

#1 Jul 09 2009 at 3:08 PM Rating: Decent
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So my discussion is back to spirits. I'm not going to speculate about what new avatars SE should add. I am going to talk about how they can change around 2 things that would make our almost useless spirits "situationally" useful as everyone says.

Here are my proposals:

Firstly, I would love to see the spirits being used. How can we make the spirits useful?

1. Cut down on their perp cost. Oh but you say there already is a way to do this? Yes our 5th group 1 merit will reduce perp cost.

2. Make spirits cast faster. Oh but summoning magic reduces avatar cast time you say?

Here are my 2 solutions to making spirits useful, making us more versatile, and for rewarding the summoners who work hard at their job and obtain those incredible pieces of gear:

1. Make every spirit FREE perp cost on its day of the week. That's right, I said it. Make each and every one free on their day of the week. Oh but now you say what is the use of that -perp merit in group 1? Well I've got an answer to that...

2. Replace the -perp merit with minus spirit cast time merits. Each upgrade would reduce cast time by either 2 seconds or 3 seconds for the spirit. This can be up for discussion.

I've read the wiki on spirits. I know that in theory it says that it is possible to get spirits' cast time down to 17 or 25 seconds. Would it be broken if the spirits were casting every 7 seconds? Let's talk about it. How many summoners actually have the gear to make spirits cast that often? Probably not that many.

Discuss.
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#2 Jul 09 2009 at 3:16 PM Rating: Decent
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Increase their magic accuracy and damage. Make it so they don't recast an elemental debuff if it's already on the target. That's all I ask for. The rest can stay the same.
#3 Jul 09 2009 at 4:03 PM Rating: Good
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Just replace the entire spirit system with the automaton black mage system and all the bad things go away.

I could see them tying behavior to the BP commands, BP: Rage for offensive casting and BP: Ward for defensive/debuffive (New word!) casting.

But honestly, unless spirits outclass level 60 and 75 BPs and become prime choice on magic damage, they're still going to be little more than Siphon and Aggro fodder. Most SMNs will max out two 75s, but even if you run into a situation where you can't use either element, simply using a Tier IV from another avatar is often more reliable in terms of damage and control. You'll never use a spirit for nuking instead of an avatar.

I mean, I guess they have some debuffs that avatars don't. Elemental debuff line, etc. But they're fairly useless in their own right, let alone a spirit version, and that's if they cast it. I'd rather use avatars for better reliability and control, like Fenrir and Ramuh for paralyze and even Shiva for Sleepga.

It's a hard system to make useful. Really, the best thing to do at this point is make Dark and Light Spirit less stupid.

Honestly, what kind of Dark Spirit casts a successful Sleep, then Bio. Idiot spirit. >_<
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#4 Jul 09 2009 at 5:19 PM Rating: Good
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I dont play bst as of yet so I might be missing something.
Theres always been the argument that 1, bst can rest with pet out and 2, bst pet doesnt have a cost. Now the argument in respects to cost was that bst could not issue commands like bloodpacts. But with spirits that puts smn in the same boat.
I don't see why everything related to smn comes at such a high cost and is also useless.
Summoner cant control the spirit like they can the avatar so why not make them free? The resting part makes no difference with a spirit out because I can siphon it every so often and cure myself if needed.

I also feel that each avatar needs its own bloodpact timer. It was great that SE split the timer into two but now they need to take it a step further and give each avatar its own timers. Black mage can cast one spell then another.
Summoner should be able to summon, bp, release, summon a different avatar and repeat. You might wonder what the cost is and it should be obvious... If you do enough of that you will run completely out of MP.

So MP management will be important just like it always is. The same goes for buffs, any other support job doesnt have to wait 40+ seconds before casting another buff.

So I agree with the free spirit idea and I also add individual timers for each avatar to the discussion.
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#5 Jul 09 2009 at 6:49 PM Rating: Excellent
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I could just ask for x2 MP and x2 Clear Mind, but then we'd have too much MP for our support job abilities I suppose (read: "unfair mp advantage"). That would also just be band-aiding a system that just sucks.

I propose that SE remove perpetuation costs and change -perp cost items to be -BP cost. Then, slightly increase costs of BP abilities. This way a SMN is not penalized for keeping an avatar out for TP gain and DoT DD, but will soon find themselves in need of MP if they are spamming BPs without a good amount of refresh.

I would also ask that they give avatars an attack bonus (both physical and magical) on their matching day and maybe during matching weather (and penalty for opposing, accordingly). For how awesome avatars are, they really don't hit anywhere near as hard as they should DoT physically. I would also argue that merited Lv.75 BP:Rage abilities are too weak. Buff these and allow meriting +M.Acc +M.Att to substantiate to some pretty decent (or maybe even pretty awesome) damage abilities. Think about how often a melee DD can WS and how much they WS for. I don't think what I am asking for here is really that far fetched. Tie SMN skill into it - give avatar +Att, +M.Att, +M.Acc with skill, not just +Accuracy.

Give us a better light-based avatar or buff Carbuncle. Maybe just another BP:Rage ability would suffice. Otherwise, we're just going to suck offensively on Lightday. (I love Healing Ruby II. It works extremely well).

Also remove perpetuation on spirits and put their abilities on costly BP:Rage/BP:Ward. Make the recast timer equal to what the spirits' timer currently is, based on SMN skill. Costs could also be based on SMN skill and/or -BP cost (old -perp) gear. Essentially, keep them as they are now, but the SMN chooses the ability they use. Nothing wrong with locking out AMs after use for the duration of normal recast timers they'd have if you were a BLM to avoid "unfair" AM spam.

With these changes, Astral Flow needs adjustment. Astral Flow BP:Rage abilities rock at low level, but at 75 I pretty much only use them in Besieged for a little fun with free MP items and Revitalizers. I said fun. It still is not really any good or useful to the cause at all. 99% of the time it is entirely better to use Lv.70 BP:Rage abilities for the same or more damage to a target and keep my MP. Sure the AFBP are AoE, but hardly worthy of being our 2H. Give avatars a big accuracy and damage buff during Astral Flow as well as their signature AoE Magic BPs. This makes up for the "free perp" it currently offers that we tossed out by augmenting their damage for 3 minutes.

Add food that enhances our pet. Or if it exists, reveal it to us so we know which food it is and what it does.

Edited, Jul 9th 2009 8:55pm by Nazantia
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#6 Jul 09 2009 at 8:47 PM Rating: Decent
If we did get an awesome adjustment and it was mainly based on spirits I would kill myself.
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#7 Jul 10 2009 at 5:36 AM Rating: Excellent
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Summoner needs an Avatar affinity trait that scales in 5 incriments at levels 30, 40, 50, 60, and 75.

Each affinity trait addes +2 Att/M.Att and +3 Acc/M.Acc, lowers the base delay of avatar melee by 2% (but allows TP gain to stay unchanged), and reduces the BP timer by 2.

With that, meritting Summoner T1 categories would actually help specialize the job by bringing 5/5 merits in any one category into an effective range.

The melee delay reduction would help increase the return on investment for perpetuation cost, as would the Acc and Att. The BP timer reductions would help counteract the increased methods of MP regeneration now afforded us by Elemental Siphon and /SCH.

After that, purely for shits and giggles, SE needs to get rid of the stupid variables affecting Fenrir and Diabolos, needs to give greater return on TP used during applicable bloodpacts (outside of T2 if necessary), increase base duration of Wards, and have Summoning skill affect potency of more Wards.

I'm also in agreement that SE needs to replace the current Spirit AI coding with that from the BLM PUP 'maton. I'd even accept changing ALL spirits, both PC controlled and NPC controlled to this.
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#8 Jul 10 2009 at 7:16 AM Rating: Good
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I never understood why everyone fusses about spirits. To **** with spirits! Uncontrollable stupid little things. So they're relatively useless. Who cares? Avatars are the real workhorses of the job and need a lot of adjusting themselves.
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#9 Jul 10 2009 at 8:59 AM Rating: Excellent
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Erecia wrote:
I never understood why everyone fusses about spirits. To **** with spirits! Uncontrollable stupid little things.


Isn't that precisely why they should be changed? They're useless because they are uncontrollable, unpredictable, and their output doesn't justify their insanely high perp cost. I'm not saying they should become more powerful than the Avatars; but I do think they should be given new abilities that make them as useful as the Avatars. Something that would justify us using them as more than just an MP battery.

I do like the concept of spirits being like the BLM automaton. Being able to do something that influences what a spirit does would at least be an improvement. I would also like it if SMN had some weather-based abilities like SCH - our first experience unlocking SMN is centered on weather effects - it would be nice if we (perhaps through the use of spirits) could manipulate weather to enhance the effectiveness of our avatars, or grant bonuses to party members, or to hinder enemies.
#10 Jul 10 2009 at 1:37 PM Rating: Decent
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Prep Cost should be gotten rid off all together
All Blood Pacts should be on individual timers, ie Healing Ruby 5-6 second recast where as Predator Claw something like 45 secs etc

Prep cost -X gear be switched to Pact Cost -X%MP or something

Spirits should be more useful either by nuking more often or being more controllable

Increase in atk,acc,magacc,matk for summons so they can melee/nuke more

Maybe add some of the buffs that the primes have such as Enspells/Double Attack etc

Make the summons natural affinity a bit better ie Titan have massive defense versus Ifrit who would have higher attack power

TBH SMN have some nice buffs and healing capability, I would like to see the avatars be given more flexibility.
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#11 Jul 10 2009 at 2:11 PM Rating: Good
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Current spirits, with a maxed out spirit build, only suffer from two things.

1. Reset of casting timer when assaulting.
2. Far too likely to cast debuffs and DoT.

However while fixing those two things would make it possible to be 75 and a spirit summoner, it would be nice if casting time was shortened and perpetuation lowered so people could use spirits level 1-74 also.



In my opinion there is only the kiting thing standing in our way. Beastmen elemental pets are free (or they have 20 MP per tick refresh on SMN yagudo) and they have -ga spells and enspells and in light elementals case, stoneskin.

If monsters can have this, players should too. Again the only thing speaking against this is that someone could send in a spirit and run away, making you slowly nuke a mob to death, without spending MP and without risking death.


Solution? Make spirits like wyverns. They only attack what you are attacking physically. Yes, you have to sacrifice your backline safety, but else it would be overpowered if you could kite stuff.
#12 Jul 10 2009 at 2:13 PM Rating: Good
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Nazantia wrote:
I would also ask that they give avatars an attack bonus (both physical and magical) on their matching day and maybe during matching weather (and penalty for opposing, accordingly).

This, and/or
Acturus wrote:
Summoner needs an Avatar affinity trait that scales in 5 incriments at levels 30, 40, 50, 60, and 75.

Each affinity trait addes +2 Att/M.Att and +3 Acc/M.Acc, lowers the base delay of avatar melee by 2% (but allows TP gain to stay unchanged), and reduces the BP timer by 2.

this.

Also, something I was playing around with in my head about keeping avatars out for meleeing. Keep the perp costs, keep the BP delay, but instead include a system where blood pact costs were based on how much TP the avatar has stored up. The system would work where as an avatar approaches 100% TP, the power of its bloodpacts would remain unchanged, but the cost would reduce to the point where at 100% TP the cost would be minimialized (zero?) Above 100% TP obviously make the bloodpacts more powerful, just like weaponskills, and just like weaponskills, TP would be reset to 0% after using them.

This fixes a bunch of problems that summoners have had with avatars over the years. One, it gives our avatars a reason to melee, while indirectly taking away the cost from having an avatar out and meleeing. Two, it gives us a use for pettp, which previously was limited only to magical blood pacts. Three, it discourages the use of Summon-BP-Release strategies. Four, it does not support using summoners as a WHM37 with 1400 MP, as straight "MORE MP/REFRESH" fixes do. And five, it doesn't require a radical redesign of the class/gear/play options of summoners like "remove perp cost/bp delay/etc."
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#13 Jul 10 2009 at 2:19 PM Rating: Decent
It's almost as if SE came up with so many nice adjustments to SMN, they couldn't let them go and made the PUP job instead. I LIKE my spirits dammit. I HATE that i can only use them for fun when im bored. The perp cost is insane for a weak AM spell compared to high dmg lower perp cost Pred Claws. For the cost, spirits should be castin AM2 spells, with +20 M.ACC, +20 M.ATT, and MAB +10. Then it might be worth having them out on a regular basis.
#14 Jul 10 2009 at 5:34 PM Rating: Good
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Mellowy wrote:
Current spirits, with a maxed out spirit build, only suffer from two things.

1. Reset of casting timer when assaulting.
2. Far too likely to cast debuffs and DoT.

You're still looking at accuracy and potency issues. Avatars can at least boost past their base damage through TP.

Edited, Jul 10th 2009 7:37pm by jlejeune
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#15 Jul 10 2009 at 9:30 PM Rating: Good
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Astral Flow + Thunder Spirit spamming Thunder IV and Burst isn't too shabby.

Other than that spirits are useless as they stand.
#16 Jul 11 2009 at 1:07 PM Rating: Decent
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jlejeune wrote:
Mellowy wrote:
Current spirits, with a maxed out spirit build, only suffer from two things.

1. Reset of casting timer when assaulting.
2. Far too likely to cast debuffs and DoT.

You're still looking at accuracy and potency issues. Avatars can at least boost past their base damage through TP.

Edited, Jul 10th 2009 7:37pm by jlejeune


Potency isn't bad. They lie at Tier IV - level 1 merit BP potency. 600-800 damage nukes. Sure my Shiva does 1k to 1.3k with TP, but spirits are also FREE due to siphon.

Quote:
It's almost as if SE came up with so many nice adjustments to SMN, they couldn't let them go and made the PUP job instead.


Funny that you would say that, because I suggested those things as SMN adjustments 2004-2005, sadly SE has this system of "Never change old things, just add new things". So we get PUP, with all the SMN flaws fixed, but with new flaws because it had to be made different.
#17 Jul 11 2009 at 3:16 PM Rating: Good
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Mellowy wrote:
Potency isn't bad. They lie at Tier IV - level 1 merit BP potency. 600-800 damage nukes. Sure my Shiva does 1k to 1.3k with TP, but spirits are also FREE due to siphon.

Using your numbers and averaging them, Avatars win by ~6% for damage per mp, assuming a spirit will go T4->AM->Debuff, considering time to do a summon->siphon->release, and MP costs for 75 BPs. -Perp gear would scale both avatar and spirit the same for damage per mp.

If you merit Garuda, it's comes to ~16%, since she has her own -2 perp.

The only reason the spirits come so close is because they can cast every 30 seconds, easy mark for a typical SMN to reach. Problem is, my experience is that my spirits can't even reach the power of a BP T4 on mobs that matter. All the assumptions for spirits were very generous in their favor, and they still didn't completely win.

In the current system, avatars will remain the default for magic damage, if solely because they have a better control system. You could merit spirit -perp, but why not avatar MAB and MAcc instead, if your concern is magic damage.

If SE gave spirits better control so that you could command them to not debuff at all, spirits could come out ahead in terms of pure DoT, if you had the luxury of leaving a pet out full-time and couldn't use physical BPs.

Edited, Jul 11th 2009 5:23pm by jlejeune
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#18 Jul 12 2009 at 12:27 PM Rating: Decent
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Using your numbers and averaging them, Avatars win by ~6% for damage per mp, assuming a spirit will go T4->AM->Debuff, considering time to do a summon->siphon->release, and MP costs for 75 BPs. -Perp gear would scale both avatar and spirit the same for damage per mp.


Not quite, since we are talking 4k damage for 0 MP per 5 min on spirits and about 5.5k damage for 750 MP. (Assuming siphon covers perpetuation for both spirits and avatars)

That is on a spirit chaincasting IV spells though, on a 1 spell per minute speed. Or a tier IV every second cast at 30 seconds recast.

That is if you use my numbers. Not claiming they are an accurate description of FFXI either now nor after a spirit update.
#19 Jul 13 2009 at 5:30 AM Rating: Good
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Mellowy wrote:
Not quite, since we are talking 4k damage for 0 MP per 5 min on spirits and about 5.5k damage for 750 MP. (Assuming siphon covers perpetuation for both spirits and avatars)

My assumptions were more realistic, since spirits are stupid and seem to desperately want to burn, shock, drown every target.

I wasn't trying to get an accurate and complete comparison of damage, there's a surprisingly large number of factors you have to consider. No one considered avatars better auto-attack damage, for example, which just puts it further in avatar favor. Garuda's perp can be negated with Siphon on any day so long as you have Karura, not just matching day which along with full merits in there perp, merits that could have better use elsewhere, is a requirement for spirits to even reach some level of MP efficiency and damage/MP matching an avatar.

The idea was that even in realistically ideal situations, spirits struggle to even match avatar damage. I'll show you what I did to figure that 6% if it's truly that interesting.

It's all theorycrafting, anyway. There's a reason conventional wisdom says to use avatars, they're consistently better across most all situations.
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