From what I understand, the class would have actually still been sorta weak at madness because it had absolutely no damage penetration. After talking to some people in chat I came up with the idea to add that to the infusions (still less penetration than Archmages have, but they should deal better damage now). Incrementing a bit more in release number because this feels a lot more like a normal class to me - most changes from here should be tweaks rather than any code rewrites.
-Throw bomb, channel staff, refit golem have higher mana costs (35, 15, 30)
-Alchemist gems are no longer consumed by talents (Throw bomb, refit golem, stone portal, shockwave bomb affected. Let me know if I missed any)
-Extract alchemist gem now only creates 1-2 gems.
-Infusions give damage pen to their respective damage types in addition to their damage boost (Fire infusion gives a slightly higher penetration than the other types to make up for it causing bombs to deal DoT damage instead of burst).
-Explosion Expert totally revamped (thanks to minmay for permission to use parts of her code) . It now accurately calculates the amount of damage it should deal, and will tell you how much is going to be dealt in the tooltip given while aiming the bomb. The maximum damage listed should now only be dealt if the bomb only goes off on exactly 1 square (which is almost impossible, but with the large radius it's still almost always a boost to the bomb damage)
The issue is that the class was totally based around a somewhat busted ability : throw bomb dealt about 30-40% of the damage it did before the change initially. So I've rescaled throw bomb's numbers a bit(spell power now has a much greater impact on damage), but basically throw bomb needs rebalanced all over.
My current aim is to have it deal about 400 damage before modifiers at level 50 (so a well placed bomb can hit for roughly 800 easily, pre-crit, while a poorly placed one is still going to hit for probably 550ish), and to hit for about 70 damage at birth with 2 points in it. I'm about satisfied with what I have, but tannen may be 1 shotting people with my current formula.
-Explosion expert can now correctly grants 6 radius, and can grant 7 (and some more bonus damage) with an extra category point.
-Body of fire now grants fire affinity instead of resistance
-Body of fire mana cost rescaled (higher cost at low levels, scales about 2x at high levels)
-Channel staff damage cut by 25% (now about double vanilla tome values), staff mastery reverted to 1.5.5 values.
-Refit golem heal value lowered a bit.
giving golems a viewable head slot in the character sheet
Replace defensive posture with something useful
Had time to play some more now, and I gotta say, my impression so far is that the class is very strong now. Like, very very strong. Of course I can't gauge from a great-player-at-madness-perspective; I can only compare to how I usually fare. Right now I'm a level 14 skeleton and diving into the lake at nightmare/adventure; I usually wouldn't stand a chance at going into the lake at level 14 at normal, yet I can go there almost casually on nightmare with this class. I've not taken the fortress yet, and in a way I hope I can't; I shouldn't be able to take the sher'tul fortress at mid-teen levels on nightmare difficulty. I'm not saying people shouldn't, but *I* shouldn't! xD
EDIT: Beat the weirdling beast at lvl 15 without breaking a sweat; I was never injured, and the golem was ever only down to 75%. Whole fight was less than 20 rounds, I think, and was just using channel staff over and over against with a few aquamarine bombs to renew the ice shield and save some mana.
This is with a build focusing on channel staff as main damage dealer against single/few targets, while using throw bombs for utility, sniping and clearing out chaff and the golem tanking (got 1/1/1/0 cold infusion, going to get ice body next level). I've gone 1/4/5/0 on explosives and 2/3/1/0 on the golem, with 5/5/0/0 staff combat.
I'm not playing super-carefully or using the golem to scout, and I auto-explore, but I got Track from an escort and use it to corner snipe at times (though corner nuke seems a more appropriate term; I can often hit 4+ enemies while sniping with bombs). I also use ametrine bombs whenever I'm in dark places to light up the place, but don't switch constantly between those and other gems.
At this point my bombs tend to deal 120-160 damage (with just a single point in the bomb skill itself though) while channel staff deals around 250 when not looking at resistances, but whenever a foe is dangerous I switch to it's weakest point (Wrathroot was a breeze where I did 400+ damage per channel staff due to fire weakness).
More concrete observations:
- The increase in healing power of Refit Golem is unnecessary if putting a few points in Golem Resilience; with just 3 points in GR, Refit Golem heals 586 hp on the 328 max hp golem.
- The power increase of channel staff and the radius increase of throw bombs is vastly amplified by track and similar scouting techniques. If I wanted (and needed) I could make sure to always attune my staff to my enemies' weakest resistance, and get off at least one but often two or more bombs before they even get the opportunity to attack me.
- The damage bonus of Channel Staff and Staff Mastery work exponentially. As the only purpose of investing more than one point in either right now is to increase the damage of channel staff, perhaps one of them simply shouldn't? It might be an out there idea, but what if channel staff had a static, non-increasing damage ratio and the talent level affected other things such as range, travel speed, damage modifier from stat, et cetera?
EDIT: - Your changelist states a doubling of the effectiveness of Defensive Posture, which is a sharp increase as is, but you actually trippled it from (t, 10, 20) to (t, 30, 60). A single point gives +25 defense and +25 armor which seems... excessive. I'm actually not against buffing the "martial" part of staff combat, it'd be interesting to be able to make a semi-martial alchemist, but this change just seems unnecessary considering all the other changes.
At this point playing the character just feels like cheating. xD
The class has been toned down a lot. The defensive posture was because I doubled it and nothing happened initially LOL, but I think I was editing the wrong file. It's been toned back down too, and now goes in the fourth slot of the tree. A single point now gives 9 armor/defense, which is what 5 points gave before the change.
Golem power is actually what increases refit golem heal value, resilience only increases their healing mod (weird, huh?), but I did lower the base increase a bit - something to note is that the heal benefit falls off as the game goes on even before this change.
I wanted to make mana cost of bomb increase with levels of explosion expert, but I believe that's impossible. I did think about giving it a ridiculous high mana cost of 50, but decided that 35 is enough - the class now has mana problems at early levels and almost certainly needs some points in willpower.
Todo list :
Mainly convert to using something besides overloading so it plays friendlier with other addons