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Brainstorming: Modular Pets and a new class, Machine Marshal

 
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Saxony
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 12, 2019 1:01 pm    Post subject: Brainstorming: Modular Pets and a new class, Machine Marshal Reply with quote

Summary:
This is a suggestion for a new petmaster class and most of the skills it will have. I understand adding a new class to the game is a big deal and is unlikely to happen. This is more of a thought experiment for changing pets to be more modular in design (or making one of the petmasters more modular in design). Some of the skills could also be added on an individual basis to petmasters already in the game. The modular design could be re-flavored (or actually changed) to be more chaotic and would fit the wyrm master in that case. The innate weapons certainly could be added to just about any class (if they are re-flavored).

Feel free to add to any of these ideas or come up with your own.

The class would be modular, using the same base pet for all of its pets, but buffing certain pets to fill different roles or do more damage. It basically takes the idea of separate pets for separate roles and turns it on its head. Instead of buying skills to get different pets, the petmaster buys skills to buff their pets in a different ways. They all start out as the same base pet, but end up filling different roles after they are buffed.

This petmaster is intended to be a sorcerer exit because that's the simplest, but could fit defiler or shepherd. The flavor of the class is a robotic/technological which fits with the modular theme. It also fits somewhat well with the near-future/sci-fi setting of Laurentia which has transhuman augmentation clinics and autonomous vehicles. Regardless, this flavor can change.

Class name:
Machine Marshal

Skills:
Machine Proxy (Free Skill)
This skill allows the petmaster to summon a basic modular pet. They are as good as weaker pets (will-o-wisp, imp, or aethersprite).
This basic pet can be given buffs to increase its combat potential or give it utility roles. If given enough buffs, the basic pet can be just as powerful as the main pets of other classes (judgemasters, ghouls, or hellhounds) or even the titan pets (fossil monstrosities, wrack wyrms, and wheels of righteousness). These buffs make the pet more powerful or useful but increase its rejuvenation costs.
Base stats: 100AP, 20HP, 20MP.
Combat stats: 5 piercing damage, 50% accuracy, 0% defense. No secondary attack.
This basic pet costs 10MP to summon or rejuvenate.

Install Infra-Red Scanner (30CP skill)
Costs 5MP to apply this buff to a pet. This buff is permanent.
This skill allows the pet to see invisible characters and attack them.
A Machine Proxy with only this buff is meant to be very similar to a will-o-wisp or imp.
Increases the rejuvenation cost of the pet by +5MP.

Install Boost Jets (30CP skill)
Costs 5MP to apply this buff to a pet. This buff is permanent.
This buff allows the pet to attack flying characters.
Increases the rejuvenation cost of the pet by +5MP.

Optimize Targeting Algorithm (30CP skill)
Costs 5MP to apply this buff to a pet. This buff is permanent.
This increases the damage and accuracy of the pet by +2 damage/+5% accuracy.
Can only be used 4 times on a pet, giving +8 damage/+20% accuracy, or 13 damage/70% accuracy total.
Increases the rejuvenation cost of the pet by +2.5MP (Max +10MP).

Reinforce Chassis (30CP skill)
Costs 10MP to apply this buff to a pet. This buff is permanent.
This increases the max HP, max MP, and defense of the pet by +40HP/+20MP/+5%.
Can only be used 2 times on a pet, giving +80HP/+40MP/+10%, or 100HP/60MP/10% total.
Increases the rejuvenation cost of the pet by +5MP (Max +10MP).

Install Determination Module (60CP child skill of Machine Proxy)
Costs 5MP to apply this buff to a pet. This buff is permanent.
A pet with this buff is no longer subject to decay, becoming a titan pet.
The petmaster is only allowed to have 1 titan pet.
This costs 60CP to balance with the other skills that give titan pets, but considering you need 2 other skills to get an actual super titan pet (Optimize Targeting Algorithm and Augment Chassis), it could be alright to make it 30CP.
Does not increase the rejuvenation cost of the pet.

Redirect Essence (Petmaster defense skill 1) (30CP skill)
Costs 10MP to apply this buff to a pet. This buff is permanent.
All petmasters have some sort of defensive skill (aethersprites for lightspeakers, terrifying aspect + simulacrum for liches, interpose thrall + acid blood + translucency for wyrm masters). This would be something like that for the modular petmaster. The current idea is lifesteal, but it could be anything. More skills that improve defense even more could be implemented, considering the other petmasters generally have multiple skills to achieve their biggest defensive power. Some ideas for additional skills have been listed below.
This buff gives the pet life stealing. For each successful hit, the pet heals their master by 3HP. Cannot go over max HP.
Increases the rejuvenation cost of the pet by +5MP.

Strengthen Essence (Petmaster defense skill 2) (30CP skill)
Costs 10MP to apply this buff to a pet. This buff is permanent.
When pets attack, they increase their master's soak by +1 for 1 minute. This can stack up to +4 soak.
Increases the rejuvenation cost of the pet by +5MP.

Shelter Essence (Petmaster defense skill 3) (30CP skill)
Costs 10MP to apply this buff to a pet. This buff is permanent.
When pets attack, they increase their master's defense by +5% for 1 minute. This can stack up to +20% defense.
Increases the rejuvenation cost of the pet by +5MP.

Reconfigure Blasters (30CP skill).
Costs 10MP to apply this buff to a pet. This buff is permanent.
The petmaster chooses a damage type of a spell it knows (acid, cold, death, electric, fire, or impact).
The buff changes the pet's main attack damage type to the damage type chosen by the petmaster.
The pet gains a secondary attack that deals piercing damage. The secondary attack deals -3 damage compared to the primary attack.
This skill is very modular and potentially allows for the petmaster to have many different damage types represented in its petwall, which could make tanking very difficult. The modularity fits the idea of the class, but it might be too powerful.
Increases the rejuvenation cost of the pet by +5MP.

Install Vice Grip (30CP skill)
Costs 10MP to apply this buff to a pet. This buff is permanent.
When the pet successfully attacks, it latches on, applying the Ensnared debuff. The Ensnared debuff lasts for 5 status ticks and reduces accuracy by -10%. If the target moves, it will cost 1 additional AP but end the Ensnared Debuff.
Multiple instances of the Ensnared debuff don't stack.
Increases the rejuvenation cost of the pet by +5MP.

Install Grappling Hook (30CP skill)
Costs 10MP to apply this buff to a pet. This buff is permanent.
When the pet successfully attacks, it latches on, applying the Grappled debuff. The Grappled debuff lasts for 5 status ticks and reduces defense by -10%. If the target moves, it will cost 1 additional AP but end the Grappled Debuff.
Multiple instances of the Grappled debuff don't stack.
Increases the rejuvenation cost of the pet by +5MP.

Install Focusing Armature (30CP skill)
Costs 10MP to apply this buff to a pet. This buff is permanent.
After every successful attack, the pet gains +1 damage. If the pet misses, it loses its accumulated damage bonus.
Increases the rejuvenation cost of the pet by +5MP.

Heuristic Combat Algorithm (30CP skill)
Costs 10MP to apply this buff to a pet. This buff is permanent.
After every missed attack, the pet gains +15% accuracy. If the pet hits, it loses its accumulated accuracy bonus.
Increases the rejuvenation cost of the pet by +5MP.

Holo-Projector (30CP skill)
Costs 5MP to apply this buff to a pet. This buff is permanent.
The petmaster gains +5% chance to Hide. Stacks up to 4 times on one pet (max +20%). Multiple pets with Holo-Projector don't stack.
Increases the rejuvenation cost of the pet by +2.5MP (max 10MP).

Expand Capacitor Banks (30CP skill)
Costs 10MP to apply this buff to a pet. This buff is permanent.
This increases the max AP of the pet by +25AP. Tentative Maximum: +100AP (200AP total). Would certainly be more interesting with no upper limit or a much higher upper limit (like 500AP or 700AP).
The skill makes pets last longer after being rejuvenated, which makes them less vulnerable to decay. If it is used enough times, a pet could potentially get 100s of AP (meaning it would only need to be rejuvenated every few days or even once a week). A petmaster with the use of this skill could eventually get a truly massive petwall. This would be balanced with the possibility of dying and losing all the super pets.
The numbers can be tweaked to either buff this or nerf it.
This buff does not count against the 10 buff maximum described in the Fuse Proxies skill.
Does not increase the rejuvenation cost of the pet.

Fuse Proxies (30CP skill)
Costs 10MP to use this skill. Fusion is permanent.
With this skill, the petmaster can fuse two pets together. One of the two pets is destroyed at random and all its buffs are applied to the other pet. The surviving pet's rejuvenation costs are increased as appropriate for the number of buffs it has. The surviving pet is rejuvenated for free when this skill is used.
If a buffed pet is fused with a base pet, its rejuvenation cost is reduced by -5MP (minimum 20MP).
A fused pet can only achieve a maximum of 10 buffs with this skill. If a truly monstrous abomination with more than 10 buffs would be created using this skill, 10 buffs are selected at random and given to the surviving pet. The rest are discarded.
A new Machine Proxy is spawned with those discarded buffs and turned into an uncontrollable Wandering Monster with its stance set as Hostile to All.
Buffs granted with the Expand Capacitor Banks skill don't count again the 10 buff maximum.
Using this skill, the petmaster can create an army of powerful pets that only cost 20MP to rejuvenate. This is balanced by the possibility of dying and losing all the super pets.

Activate Overdrive (30CP skill)
This skill gives the petmaster the Advocate skill Anoint, but the petmaster can only use it on his own pets. A more streamlined (and less powerful) version of this idea could be implemented instead, allowing the petmaster to give temporary buffs to his pets (lasting 5-10 status ticks or maybe 1 hour). Increased damage, accuracy, defense, soak, even a damage aura. That kind of thing. The idea behind this skill is to give the petmaster something to aid his pets that is more active than just rejuvenating them or summoning more. A version of Holy Transfer could also be wrapped into this skill, or perhaps implemented as a child skill.

Laser Matrix (30CP skill)
Costs 10MP to use this skill. This skill lasts for 10 status ticks.
When the petmaster activates this skill, he and all his pets gain a damage aura. The damage is equal to the number of pets the petmaster has (maximum 6 damage). The most common damage type used by the pets will determine the damage type of the aura.
This damage aura only activates defensively.

Mobile Laser Matrix (60CP child skill of Laser Matrix)
The Laser Matrix can now activate offensively as well as defensively.

Universal Backup Weapon (30CP skill)
A very large servo actuated swiss army knife. It is attached at the wrist and is directed by hand gestures and verbal commands.
This skill gives the petmaster an innate melee weapon.
The weapon has 15% base accuracy, and does 9 damage. It can switch between slashing, piercing, or impact damage.
It does 4 electric damage as supplemental damage.
The weapon is reloaded for 10MP and lasts for 20 uses. The damage type is chosen when reloading.

Shoulder Mounted Laser Mortar (30CP skill)
As seen in the documentary film Predator.
This skill gives the petmaster an innate firearm weapon.
The weapon has a base 15% accuracy and does 9 electric damage.
The laser mortar does an additional 4 supplemental damage. It can switch between slashing, piercing, or impact damage.
The weapon costs 10MP to reload and lasts for 20 uses. The supplemental damage type is chosen when reloading.

Travel Skill (30CP skill)
Make it a copy of Wings or Blink. There doesn't need to be much depth here. Perhaps it could be turned into a buff you apply onto a pet, which then gives you reduced AP cost for movement. That sounds sort of complicated, but I think everyone has wished they could ride their Fossil Monstrosity at some point.

Comparing Machine Proxies to existing pets:
If a petmaster buffs their pets as much as possible (4 damage/accuracy buffs and 2 hp/mp/defense buffs), they will be at 30MP rejuvenation cost and be about as powerful as a titan pet.
If pets are buffed a little bit (2 damage/accuracy buffs and 1 hp/mp/defense buff), they will about as powerful as a ghoul, hellhound, or judgemaster and cost 20MP to rejuvenate.
That sounds roughly balanced with the existing pets.

Comparisons to existing petmaster classes:
This petmaster class is sort of a thought experiment to see if using modular pets can replicate what existing pet classes do, and it more or less does that. That makes the class as a basic concept pretty generic and bland; it's just a copy of the other petmasters but with a modular design.

Because of that, it needs some X-factors that make it stand out from other petmaster classes and give players a reason to play it. The possibilities of Reconfigure Blasters, Activate Overdrive, and Laser Matrix suit the class well and give it interesting options other petmasters don't have. The innate weapons were designed to fit the design and theme of the class (be modular and sci-fi). The Fuse Proxies and Expand Capacitor Bank skills should satisfy any powergamer (especially if there is no cap to Expand Capacitor Bank).

Some interesting (im)balanced stuff:
The min-maxer in all of us likes to push the boundaries and find things that are powerful. With this class, one can make a small number of super pets (each pet would be just as powerful as your titan pet) or a large group of weaker ones (like a pack of ghouls). You can make a big pile of meatshields with no offense which can survive a lot of punishment from a damage aura, or a lot of glass cannons which might be able to do significant damage to a tank before despawning. The damage types of your pets are up to you. The damage type of your innate weapons is also up to you. With the Activate Overdrive ability you can truly make 1 super duper (duper) pet by giving it potions and casting spells on it and also choose which potions or spells you give it depending on circumstance. Some of the stuff in this suggestion is pretty powerful, which makes it fun to think about.

Any thoughts or comments are welcome.
Thank you.
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Carilgar
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 13, 2019 5:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like it.
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Saxony
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 13, 2019 6:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Carilgar wrote:
I like it.

Thanks!
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plscks
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 13, 2019 9:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

While Iím sure there are things that could be tweaked, I really like this concept and would totally build a character with this class. Very cool and innovative idea!

The only thing Iíd want more would be a nice movement skill like Feet of the Wind instead of Blink or Wings. But thatís just my ideal movement skill and probably far too powerful in combination with this class.
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Saxony
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2019 9:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

plscks wrote:
While Iím sure there are things that could be tweaked, I really like this concept and would totally build a character with this class. Very cool and innovative idea!

Thanks!

Quote:

The only thing Iíd want more would be a nice movement skill like Feet of the Wind instead of Blink or Wings. But thatís just my ideal movement skill and probably far too powerful in combination with this class.

That's where the pet based movement skill comes in, Install Saddle Module.
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Badziew
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2019 11:43 am    Post subject: Re: Brainstorming: Modular Pets and a new class, Machine Mar Reply with quote

Saxony wrote:
Shoulder Mounted Laser Mortar (30CP skill)
As seen in the documentary film Predator.


Since damage type is changeable, this Skill should not have "laser" in its name. Maybe rename it to "Universal Shoulder Cannon" to match the innate melee weapon. Otherwise I love it.

Saxony wrote:
Travel Skill (30CP skill)
Make it a copy of Wings or Blink. There doesn't need to be much depth here. Perhaps it could be turned into a buff you apply onto a pet, which then gives you reduced AP cost for movement. That sounds sort of complicated, but I think everyone has wished they could ride their Fossil Monstrosity at some point.


I think Infernal Jets fit match Marshal's theme the most along. Although Wings could also fit after slight renaming (Metal Wings? Rocket Rider?)
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Kandarin
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2021 2:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We don't have plans to re-theme the setting this way, but the underlying idea - on-the-fly pet customization - is getting some love in B5.
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