Fallen Sun Paladin could use some help

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Fallen Sun Paladin could use some help

#1 Post by whitelion »

I tried the Fallen evo for Sun Paladin recently, and I think it's really conceptually and mechanically cool and fun, but also feels weak compared to the alternative of just being a regular Sun Paladin with some other prodigy, like Arcane Might, in particular from 25-42 if you take Fallen at level 25 (and IMO class evos should be designed to be taken as your first prod so you have lots of time to enjoy the new stuff). I think the biggest issues are:

-Other prodigies (even class evos) give you an immediate boost, Fallen gives you lots of cool stuff to invest in (and you get the refunded points from Shield Offense/2H Assault) but doesn't make you immediately better in the same way
-So much of your offense and defense depend on being able to apply bleed, and a substantial portion of enemies (maybe something like 30% of all enemies: most undead, elementals, slimes/oozes, most horrors, some plants, etc) are immune or highly resistant. If an enemy is immune to both stun and bleed, I don't think you can even apply Brutalize to reduce their bleed resistance and there is no way at all to make them bleed (unless you get them wet first and then land Brutalize I guess). In fact, you become Fallen right in time for Dreadfell, and most undead are immune or highly resistant to bleeding.

One the first point, some ideas could be
-Immediately grant some free generic (and maybe also class) points to invest in your new skills. Generics are needed more than class since you get the refunds from Shield Offense/2H Assault, and Sun Paladin already wants to invest in many other generic skills, especially if you're not Cornac and have a racial category.
-Give some moderate bonus to phys power or weapon modifier based on willpower, to make up for the fact that you are forgoing a big damage increase by not taking Arcane Might or ICCTW. Obviously it should be substantially less than taking either of those.
-Gain bonus phys power at high hate, like how Technomage gets bonus spellpower from high steam.

On the second point, some ideas could be
-Make Brutalize reduce bleed resistance by 100% and separate that part of it from the stun
-Let Blood Rush and Blood Rage ignore bleed immunity, like how Dire Plague ignores disease immunity.
-Each point in a Bloodstained talent also lets you ignore X% of bleed immunity of your foes
-anything else that would mean you don't get shut down so hard by bleed and stun immunity

Maybe some of this is too much, and Fallen felt pretty good when I could consistently get enemies bleeding and then amplify it. Reknor and its orcs were way easier than Dreadfell. On the other hand, in Dreadfell alone I had to run from like 5 different randbosses. I also made the mistake of going in the temporal rift, and I had to dash through as fast as possible avoiding enemies since a huge portion there are immune to both stun and bleed.

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Re: Fallen Sun Paladin could use some help

#2 Post by Pyros »

I'm playing through mine too and wanted to make a post after I'm done, but I'm almost done so might as well piggyback on this thread.

I went with the plan of going Fallen at 25 even though people on Discord heavily recommended waiting until 42, which does make some sense but is extremely boring so I figured I'd challenge myself. However because I also didn't want to suffer too much, I adjusted my leveling route a bunch. I did all the T1s(as well as the Sunwall start), and then directly jumped into Dreadfell at 19(more xp than usual in T1s, partly cause of the naga boss and I guess good RNG on randbosses). Around floor 5 or so I ran into an unkillable skirmirsher/whatever vampire lord right at the entrance with no good way to move(long one tile wide hallway both sides, running away could just end up with an easy death versus staying near the stairs), so I took a little break and did SWL(which was alt version so less xp/loot) and then Urkis since I was planning to do it before The Master anyway. Went back to Dreadfell and cleared it, ending at 27 and I took Fallen from that point to do T2s and Halfling Complex(which was a good taste of how Dreadfell would have been, terrible).

I pointed out my major gripes with the class on Discord earlier too but yeah basically, it's a prodigy point that doesn't give anything, unlike the other 2 class evos which give direct benefits just from taking them. Fallen isn't much stronger than Sun Paladin(well maybe a bit, but not right away and certainly not in places like Dreadfell), so you're basically playing a class with an innate handicap, one less prodigy. It does scale pretty well lategame and I'm mowing down stuff fast in Prides due to good gear RNG(I don't have font to fix my gear due to Sunwall start but so far only used the merchant once, for gloves when I went flex, and as things usually go, I found better gloves 5mins later), I'd say faster than Sun Paladin would, so the lack of prodigy isn't so bad, but it still doesn't feel good to pick your 25 prodigy and it not really give you the same bump in power than another would.

There's multiple ideas for simply things that'd help. The most obvious as mentionned would be a bleed immune tool, baked baseline. If doable from a code point, something that outright ignores 50% of bleed immunity would be great. One could argue it'd be too strong and remove the tactical choice of using Brutalize however, so it could be something else. One thing I've been somewhat struggling with is powers. It's one of the few classes that use all 3 main powers, and you don't get much power out of the talents either(there's the one that gives power based on your stats, but the values are low and they hinge on getting willpower for spellpower, when you already need str, dex and magic, so imo not really doable without a weird spread or ignoring cun which gives mindpower itself). As such, a simple power boost would be good, either just a raw amount of power, or some scaling thing(like gain x% of your y power as z power and such). Mindpower has been pretty fine with Gloom granting mindpower on its own, and phys power is alright from str scaling alone, it's really spellpower that's been bad due to no staff and no talent(and A LOT of stuff checks for spellpower on saves), so something there could help. Master of Disasters would be a nice pick to help but that'd mean not taking Flex, and with the whole prodigy handicap thing, I don't think it's something you can easily afford. An alternative way to do it would also to make bleeds reduce saves, same end result and might tie into the idea of bleed class more.

The second aspect is Bleed immunity and how the class deals with it. Which is, very poorly with Brutalize. First, as usual it's a weapon talent, which means it can miss or be evaded, which puts you in a really bad spot if that happens(oh and you don't have any accuracy or defense mechanic via talents either, which is ok but worth pointing out when talking about misses). It has a relatively short cooldown, but not that short, and you're pretty much forced into investing 3points to at least have the duration match the cooldown. It has a stun which sounds nice, only that it means it will check both stun immunity and then can be shrugged off by a phys save, so no bleeds when that happens. This means some monsters are basically not bleedable(bone giants which have both 100% stun and bleed immunity are the most common ones but also some bosses like the fire elem at the end of eruan and such, and then anything with very high phys saves is gonna be very rough to land on). Finally for some reason the skill does very very low damage. I don't understand why it does only ~60% damage, when the usual other stuns, including the sun paladin ones, do double that or more. Oh and I guess it's a small downside, but this talent is a spell so silence will also prevent you from making things bleed(which is ok, just worth noting there's yet another negative).

Here my idea is somewhat simple. Double the Brutality damage and remove the bleed immunity debuff from it. Just keep it as a basic stun tool, like most melee classes have access to. Maybe add something to make it unique, just not the bleed immunity. The Bleed Immunity debuff is then moved somewhere else. A fairly decent place I think would be Mark of the Vampire, which is aoe(good when fighting more than one skeleton at a time, which happens every necro fight and somewhat often in Dreadfell even if you try to reduce the fights) and isn't tied to stun(still does a spellpower check, so having a source of spellpower baseline on the prodigy or somewhere else would be probably necessary). It's currently somewhat meh, it's not bad but I only ever cast it if I can't get in melee range and even then it's often better to just move/cast Sun Path instead. It'd also probably need a cooldown reduction too since 20turns is a bit long, maybe 12 or 14 or so would be more in line or maybe make it like 8-10 and reduce the duration to 14-16.

Could also be rolled into Sigils instead of the blind(or in addition? might be too good), Sigil can be forced via health cost but is aoe and can recheck several times even if it fails. Would probably need better cooldown on that too if that's the case.

On top of that, I'd heavily consider making the value of the bleed immunity(regardless of where it lands) scale with levels, higher than 50%. 50% is still really rough, considering how important bleeds are to the class. I'd say up to 75% would be better(obviously requiring 5points).

Alternatively it could be tied to Bloodbath, making it apply on every hit. That's a much bigger QoL change, but it's also make it fairly irrelevant since you're already taking and maxing bloodbath, so at that point it might as well be rolled into the prodigy right away.

Past these 2, I only have small complaints here and there about certain talents, but I have these for every classes. For example I don't get the point of Collapse, I just don't see a situation where I'd ever want to spend a turn casting a low damage low aoe pull on a melee class. I dislike Devourer Stance taking a turn when there's already Suncloak to cast(granted Suncloak is fairly optional to Fallen) but I do really like how strong it is, so I guess it's a fair tradeoff however don't really see a reason to ever put more than 1pt since the only interesting part is the heal, the damage is mostly irrelevant. I also wouldn't mind if skills could use shields, as it feels a bit bad to have to throw away your shield when specing into it, but that's not a huge deal, I just like shields.

While overall I'm fairly critical of the class in this post so far, I actually really like many aspects of it and I'm having quite a lot of fun in this run(more than before I speced into Fallen, Sun Paladin is zzz besides Radiance new orbs stuff blowing up Dreadfell packed rooms). Blood Rush is easily the most fun and probably the best movement skill in the game with the cooldown resets and combined with Flee the Sun and Path of Sun gives the class very high mobility so you never feel the "melee curse" of getting peppered by ranged stuff and slowly crawling up to them. Blood Rage is insanely fun to build 2k+ bleeds on stuff and the bleeds in general work well to create high damage output if you can stay in range of things for only a few turns. Which usually is fine since the class is pretty tanky via damage displacement, big hits reduction and passive reduction from everything out of melee range(via chant of resistance+gloom's sanctuary which is a sick combo) and has a ton of self healing, even more than the original Sun Paladin I think. You're also a lot less weak to silence since your bleed stuff is mindpowers, so it makes gearing less of a pain in the ass, and the damage isn't split nearly as much either so you can just stack phys pen and not have to worry too much(although I guess with maxed Radiance last skill you can more or less ignore light pen too now in 1.7).

I think a few changes would just make the experience even more enjoyable.

Edit: Finished the run, was very smooth in Prides, even did a couple of vaults trying to get Burning Star before peaks, did a lot of "flicker strike" gameplay just jumping around one shotting things. Peaks had some near unkillable stair guardians but nothing unusual there. Last fight was very rough however since Elandar has stun immunity and perma Shivgoroth form more or less, which grants bleed immunity, so basically almost completely bleed immune. I had to focus Argoniel first but she's somewhat tanky and I was getting hit by a ton of debuffs due to poor saves and not so great removal due to burning hex taking out a few out of commission for a while with bad RNG. I also had to hit Aeryn with aoes, which didn't help and eventually she died before I was done killing either of them, so had to scuttle to the portals, close them, then split the bosses and finish Argoniel before I could focus on Elandar decently(and even then it took a while). Been a while since I had to work on this fight, last time iirc was summoner, and that's obviously not an pleasant comparison, although if I did better in the early parts and had slightly better gear especially on pen(only had like 20% due to bad luck with the merchant, should have switched my boots to the res pen one and probably would have crushed the fight), it probably would have gone better.

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Re: Fallen Sun Paladin could use some help

#3 Post by Phantomfrettchen »

The prodigy is basically the port of an addon class as a prodigy... which is probably the reason, why it's power level is designed around it being a class, rather than a prodigy.

DG really liked it and put it in the game... but i guess he didn't really buff it much, hence the problems.

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Re: Fallen Sun Paladin could use some help

#4 Post by SDY »

I did a Cornac Fallen SP on Nightmare/Adventure and it wasn't too too bad. I think one of the main things I did differently was to go Mindstar as the class doesn't have any skills that care what weapon you use. Meant a lot of floating points and some real struggle to get 1250 gold to pay off Zigur for the mindstar training using only the non-spell skills and a couple of points floated into spells (and weapon mastery since I didn't intend to use swords and such long term).

Having the class just do a complete refund of all points instead of a targeted refund when you take the prodigy would make this a lot easier as you could then post-respec just walk into Zigur and buy mindstar training at 25 or 42, runes aside.

I don't recall having too much trouble with The Master. Since he summons a lot of trash the ability to lay down a damage field on every kill meant that the screen was covered with them and his minions died (and added to the field) as fast as they spawned.

It's not a very strong class, but it's playable.

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Re: Fallen Sun Paladin could use some help

#5 Post by whitelion »

Yeah Master isn't bad because vampires can bleed. And I agree it's not unplayable, but having the main mechanic (bleeds) be something that 30% of enemies are immune to and giving you only one single target talent that will fail in many cases to get around that means in many fights you don't get to use a lot of your abilities, and not getting to use your cool abilities makes the class less fun than it could be. For me that was a bigger negative than the prodigy handicap.

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