Let’s talk about The Bannermans!
Long teased in the class selection menu of the Summer Preview, the Bannermans is a medium range Magic and Melee hybrid. A Bannermans uses positioning and control to keep enemies in check and wins through superior tactics. A crusader with a righteous heart, the Bannermans summons what powers she can to cleanse the forces of evil with burning starlight and melee prowess.
A new weapon type, Polearms are separate from other 2H weapons and have unique properties.
Polearms can hit multiple targets automatically! Attacks against an adjacent enemy will automatically target one enemy at random behind them. This two-for-one strike happens without any special input, keeping the polearm pace just as snappy as other melee. If there are multiple targets behind your primary target, they’ll be struck at random. Such is the frantic nature of combat!
Polearms can attack a single target up to two tiles away. Using the Ranged targeting action, just like firing a staff or bow, you can hit targets that are out of the reach of normal melee weapons. Great for catching up with ranged attackers, or skewering melee enemies before they get in close.
Polearm powers are about putting enemies where you want them and keeping them there. Unlike most powers, Polearm powers cost both mana AND stamina.
Lightspear: A ranged/starlight bolt that fires up to 4 tiles away. Targets hit by this are pinned to their location and take a small amount of Starlight damage every round for three rounds. If you manage to kill the target while standing next to him, you recover the mana spent on the spear.
Break the Line: A flurry of piercing strikes thrown in a cone in front of you. Melee attackers are knocked back three squares, Ranged attackers are pinned in place for a round.
[Clever Name, Eventually]: Drop a quintet of Lightspears down from the sky, causing extra damage to targets under the effect of one of your Banners.
I haven’t settled on these names and frankly one has to be careful when labeling abilities that use polearms, it’s too easy to tumble down a slippery slope full of puns and entendres with the chasm at the bottom being “HA HA! DONGS! I get it!” and the Academy Headmaster (see?) frowns upon that.
Banners are thrown down into nearby tiles and create an effect in the surrounding area. Banners are meant to control, not damage, though their effects will often lead to the swift destruction of enemies underneath them. Most Banners have two effects, one for allies and one for foes. Powers are broken into two groups of three, here’s some examples!
- Banner of the Tide Turned restores small amounts of health and resources to you every round while softening the armor, block and parry of your foes.
- One banner reduces the ranged damage dealt by enemies, and increases the ranged damage they take. Throw it into their ranks before charging in, or use it to fire from afar with confidence.
- Another banner reduces the elemental damage dealt by enemies, and rewards allies with bonus resources (mana and stamina) every time they attack. The Bannermans will endure even the coldest, whirlingest Coldnado!
- Yet another banner reduces the hit chance of your enemies, and gives you a free counterattack whenever you block, parry or dodge!
I’m still working out the fine details, but banners can be tossed four or five tiles away, and have ranges between two and three. Right now they also block doorways… that’ll get fixed.
Masteries À la Carte
Don’t forget that you can mix and match these masteries like any other. Two handed weapons builds can use banners for a splash of much needed defense. You can build a Wizardmans who uses polearms and Medium Armor to keep bad guys away while lining them up for that Lava Lance of Rhombus of Rime. “But wait,” you interject, “what Wizardmans worth his foom would be caught without a Wizard Staff? After all, they’re the only weapons with Spellpower on them!” That too is changing! More info on that in a future update.
When’s the Alpha? When!? Eh?
I’m still not ready to announce a date for that. The Bannermans is about ready for testing, and I’m going to work on The Southern Gentlemans next, and from there I’m heading on to more Academy mechanics– all the while sprinkling in new UI and art upgrades. It’s a bit more hectic than I’d hoped but I’m enjoying it all the same. I’d like the launch of the Alpha to have a big focus on new classes, new Academy mechanics, and UI usability… so I guess I’m doing it right!
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