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Summoner re-work suggestions.

#1
I've been playing a summoner for a few weeks now and I really like it, its a fun new playstyle and honestly despite a lot of the criticism (on both ends) I feel its in a pretty decent spot balance wise, its not as fast of a farming build as some others, but it's fairly easy to build and offers a lot of flexibility in terms of how you can build it, for both pvp and pvm, which I think is a good thing. I am not in any way suggesting an overall buff, and the stats on the summons could be tweaked to ensure they remain balanced. However, I do think there is a few tedious aspects of the summoner which could be improved upon and the build made a bit more streamlined and enjoyable to play as a result.

Problems:

The summoning stones are hard to balance in their current state. Either you don't have enough spirit and cant generate enough spirit in which case the build feels pretty weak and not very fun, or you have more than enough spirit and are gaining enough to consistently resummon ancients, in which case the build feels solid, but the summoning stones become trivial at this point, its just a matter of pressing the spirit speak button every few minutes after you kill what you are farming. Not particularly engaging. I feel what most summoners probably are doing (and what im doing) is when they log on for the day, filling up 3 - 5 stones on weak mobs before going out to farm what they really intend to kill, which I dont really find fun or rewarding. Just feels like a tedious extra step.

Solutions:

1. Make elder summons your standard summon based on spirit speak skill. (example, elder earth eles at 80 SS, water ele at 85, fire ele at 90, air ele at 95, demons at 100). Tweak stats on the elder summons as needed to ensure they make sense for their intended skill level, and so they give a similar grinding speed to how summoners are currently performing. Increase duration of elders to 7.5 minutes

2. Change summoning stones to instead work more like the spell stones, where they give you a small chance to proc an Ancient summon. These summons would be stronger in HP and damage than elders and the current ancients at the cost of a shorter duration (3 or 4 minutes seems like maybe a sweet spot). Tweak stats, duration and perhaps mana cost as needed so that they feel like a nice little bonus when you get lucky and summon one or two, but make sure to keep them in line with the stronger pets available to tamers. I do feel that high end tamer pets SHOULD be the best pets available in consistency and kill speed due to the time investment and build requirements that come with playing a tamer, as well as their historical significance in the UO metagame. (note: I think these should feel powerful in pvm, but I do not think these should be very much improved in pvp, perhaps 10% stronger than an elder at best, overly strong pets are never good for pvp)

Results:

· A more streamlined and fun play experience.
· A little bit easier to understand how the summoning stones and spellstones work because they would work very similar to each other.
· Removed the tedious build up time required to play the summoner by making the playstyle a bit more consistent.
· Removed the need to constantly re-balance the amount of spirit collected because this would no longer be a limiting factor of the build and summoners would not feel so inclined to always have multiple full stones at the ready.
· Added small benefit that summoners would not feel the need to carry so many extra stones on them, keeping the item count on the server lower (always a good thing!)
· Occasional fun and satisfying RNG moments similar to when you get a big charged flamestrike off of a spell stone with the new ancient summons.
 
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Swunk

Journeyman
#2
I think it would be more fun if there was a way to specialize using particular summons and attune yourself to one of the particular elements, or the evil daemons.
 
#3
I think a simpler answer is just to have spirit speak increase the duration of a basic daemon by something like 1 minute. Basic daemons aren't that weak, they just don't last very long. This would allow a summoner to be less useless when no spirit resource is available.

Also, the spell stones are effectively useless. They increase damage by 5% over time. Not sure that's even worth competing for the spirit resource away from your summoning stones.
 
#5
I've been playing a summoner since day 1, and farmed heavily over the last couple of days, with absolutely zero issues in keeping 2 summoning stones, plus a spell stone full, hunting in Nusero 3 solo, or overland spawns doing daemons, as well as running in a group. I'm not sure where summoners keep running into issues with their stones, unless they are wasting mana, or not going into engagements with full mana. Our summons aren't really designed to do all the damage and handle encounters for us, we have to supplement our damage with magery pretty heavily, as long as you are doing that, you'll have no issues with spirit build up. And in that sense, spell stones, high potency spell books, aspect books, delectable foods are all a huge part of being an effective summoner.

Getting that out of the way, I think the OPS idea is a very sound one. I never spawn elder daemons, because my stones always have enough spirit, why bother, they are weaker? I'd love to see elders be the base line from summoning stones (with 7.5 min + ancients current stats), and 5% of the time I get lucky with an even tougher daemon, an ancient daemon, I think that'd be fun and exciting (much like when an aspect weapon/book procs). I don't believe they'd require lesser timers, just keep them semi rare, and you can only have 1 spawned at a time.

Additionally - I'd love to see a re-balance on all elementals, I'm tired of seeing daemons everywhere, I want to see the various elementals.. It's not that they are bad for specific tasks it's just in general daemons handle those tasks similar or slightly better. Earth ele's should be extra tanky, the other ele's could do different things like buffs / debuffs in order to find their niche.