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Sunchaser
06-06-2019, 10:37 AM
Hi all,

I've been playing the game for a while now but have never used the forums. Today I'd like to talk and ask about psi waves, and felt like this is the best place to elucidate my opinion and receive feedback. In particular, I felt like psi waves are unnecessarily complex and punishing, and make mentalism a skill I found extra trouble enjoying.
Please note that this is coming from a player no-where near endgame, and is more focused on early/mid-game (e.g. dailies) aspects of the game. In addition, I've tried to get into mentalism several times but have always failed. As such, there may be aspects of psi-waves and mentalism which I have not considered or are wrongly opinionated, and I'd appreciate feedback.

Psi waves are a set of skills which, once initiated, provide buffs or health/armor/power regenerations for 60s. They share a common cooldown of 20s, so ideally one can stack up 3 waves simultaneously, potentially of the same wave (e.g. 3 healing waves). My issue with psi waves is simply that why they'd stack 3 times instead of, say, 2 times (i.e. with a shared cooldown of 30s, after rebalancing). Below I'll try to argue why the 3 stacks make the skills unnecessarily complex.

There are two advantages of the current system (over 30s shared cooldown) that I can think of:
Pros 1) With a 20s shared cooldown, each psi wave can have an effect of 0%, 33%(ABB), 50%(ABAB), 66%(AAB) or 100%(AAA) of their full potential (considering every combination in a 60s window). With a 30s shared cooldown, each psi wave can have an effect of 0%, 50%(AB), 100%(AA) of the full potential. Is the freedom to have 33% and 66% effect (instead of just doing 50%) really significant? This is a clear no to me, but feel free to argue otherwise.

Pros 2) Allowing 3 stacks means that one can have 3 distinct waves simultaneously. However, I would imagine any optimal playstyles will only want at most 2 simultaneous waves, considering how mods work and the fact that particular skills will always be better in a given scenario (gk/dailies etc). Again, I haven't experienced the end game such as gk, nor have I got that deep into mentalism, so this opinion could be wrong.



On the other hand, there are several things in psi waves that felt unsatisfying to use (and I have to imagine I can't be alone in this):
Cons 1) Needing to cast the spell 3 times (per minute or cycle) is unnecessarily annoying and punishing (and it's much more than the fact that casting 3 spells instead of 2 takes an extra second). From a new player perspective, if one forgets to cast the wave on time, they are punished much more heavily than when the shared cooldown is 30s. In particular, with a 30s shared cooldown, casting the 2nd wave between 30 and 60s means a total efficiency between 100% and 50% (linearly). This could potentially be much lower with the current system, if the new player delays both the 2nd and 3rd wave. Now, an argument could be made that the game should not be balanced around errors. However, this is an issue even for the ideal player. Even when playing optimally, the player can still be stunned and feared. In addition, psi waves are hardly a priority that the player might often need to delay it for other spells (e.g. to heal or kill). The current system, since we have to cast waves thrice per minute, also has a (33%) larger window for such issues for delays to take place.
If nothing else, I feel like only having to stack twice will make the skill feel much less clunky.


Cons 2) Related to Pros 1, the 50% effect scenario of the system actually creates windows of 33%(BAB) and 66%(ABA). This is an unnecessary complexity that may create spots of vulnerability. For instance, the heal wave are half as effective in half of the windows which might lead to potential deaths. Similarly, having only one adrenaline wave instead of two might mean that the group is not able to kill an orge in time before their rage attack, leading to massive stuns, broken bones, and potentially deaths. Now, don't get me wrong - waves are mere supplements with small effects and heal waves should only be marginal heals that round off the corners of actual healing spells. Still, my point is that this is an unnecessary complex aspect of psi waves that is only more harm than good (however slightly).

Cons 3) Related to Pros 2, the current system which allows 3 waves might not be the best way to implement it. If the playstyle is to cast the 3 waves sequentially, then it's a very passive/unchallenging gameplay - Do we really want the difficulty in mentalism to be about casting 3 spells on time in a minute? On the other hand, If the playstyle is to choose and adapt the compositions of waves depending on the situation, then the current implementation is sub-optimal as well, considering that each time you cast a different wave it'll only be 33% of its maximum effect, and it'd take a full minute to reach maximum effect. Instead, below are some proposed alternatives that may allow change in directions of the waves to be more rapid and potent per step.



Here are some alternative implementations of psi waves I was pondering.
Alt 1: As I've spammed way too many times, change the cooldown from 20s to 30s, so that the psi waves are stacked twice instead of 3 times (and rebalance skills to be ~150% stronger). This is the simplest change that I feel like will streamline the mentalism gameplay experience (i.e. from tiling patterns to alternating patterns), without changing the current direction, focus, and philosophy of psi waves and mentalism as a whole.

Alt 2: Similar to alt 1 but be such that casting a psi wave leads to a 60s cooldown to that wave, and 30s shared cooldown to others. This further simplifies the psi waves, but may allow a new direction of them as 'Here's a bunch of things psi waves/mentalism can do, pick two.' (and the devs can introduce many more psi waves, potentially niche/fun ones, if not specialized ones (e.g. extra damage, but only for some damage types)). Disabling double casting of each wave might also allow a larger design space for this purpose (i.e. don't have to worry about everyone just spamming the best wave, now they have to choose the best two (that may do different things)). Furthermore, it might allow suboptimal/conditional waves to be tuned up, and promote a 'have multiple waves in the bar but choose and adapt depending on the situation' kinda playstyle (if this is what the devs want, that is). Of course, along this line there might be an issue of mentalism being able do everything (e.g. https://forum.projectgorgon.com/showthread.php?2079-Priest-Offers-Too-much-vs-Other-healing-class-Options, not that I 100% agree with their point or want such discussions here...), so there are details to polish.

Alt 3: No longer have shared cooldowns (but each with a 60s cooldown). Instead, inflict tradeoff when casting a psi wave while other psi waves are on (maybe self damage, maybe make each on-going waves weaker/shorter, etc). This might however promote passive gameplay if the tradeoffs are too weak. On the other hand, if we allow the player to turn off ongoing psi waves (to avoid trade-offs), or if the game only allows 2 waves and automatically turn off the oldest one when a 3rd is cast. it might allow a playstyle of 'choose and adapt depending on the situation', though perhaps with similar issues as Alt 2.

Ultimately, there are numerous ways to implement this. But I'd like to urge the devs to take a step back and consider what they want out of psi waves (passive playstyle? choose and adapt? something else) and mentalism in general (what proportion of the gameplay is psi waves related), then the best implementation might be immediately obvious. In contrast, the direction of the current mentalism skill might be too vague and loose in terms of what they bring/ how they stand out, which hurts the implementation.


Thank you for reading. Again, I am no-where near end-game and am also not too experienced with mentalism. So perhaps my opinions were based on wrong groundsPraise Oranges and there may be advantages of the current psi-waves implementation I didn't realize. In such case, feel free to refute my points. I also introduced a bunch of alternative implementations that may work (and may work for other support skills, say bard). However, I haven't thought about it that carefully so they might have implicit issues with them as well.

tldr: The current implementation of psi waves are unnecessarily annoying, complex, and punishing (Cons 1&2). Any advantages of the current system (Pros 1&2) seem minimal and pointless, and the implementation does not fully enable such advantages (Cons 3). Some alternative implementations proposed that will hopefully provide insights...

Crusader2010
06-06-2019, 12:18 PM
Nice post and I agree with it. Currently the PSI waves don't feel natural, but rather forced.
I would like a system in which I can cast at least one wave, once every [insert random time interval here]. In other words, here's what I'd love to have:
- no more shared cooldown between PSI waves;
- increase the duration;
- either impose a limit on the number of PSI waves active at any one time, or simply allow any number but make them last X seconds with 2*X cooldown;
- if the first way is chosen, make sure we need to make hard choices regarding which of them to use and also make the cooldown equal to the duration and disallow using the same wave multiple times (because probably except for people at the late game, most of us will use as many waves for power regen as possible);
- if the second way is chosen, disallow using the same wave multiple times but increase their effects by at least 50%.

Another idea would be to also make them instant spells (i.e. can cast them without triggering a global cooldown nor stopping your character in place).
PSI Waves should be "fire and forget" spells in my opinion, instead of having to constantly watch the duration and/or forcing you to not use other spells for quite a bit of time (since you need to keep refreshing them if you want to have 2-3 up). Not having a way to see the actual duration/cooldown numbers on buffs/abilities (without hovering over) doesn't help either.

ErDrick
06-06-2019, 01:06 PM
When I tried to main mentalism a long, long time ago I actually stopped because the waves were good but annoying to constantly watch / recast.

To me a persistent wave that is just toggle on / toggle off would have made the skill much more enjoyable to play, similar to how battlechem buffs work on yourself.

I would have preferred something like that while increasing the power of individual waves( to compensate for not being able to stack multiples). I mean, there may be people who prefer stacking them and that's fine, but I personally found it annoying and that's why I never really used it again.

Current system really leans towards preparing for 40 seconds before every battle if you want to be at "full power" and that's what I find annoying.

My advice would be if you are in the same boat and Citan doesn't want to change it... to just use battlechem or bard and forget about mentalism. ( that is actually what I did). Maybe that's the intent, mental for people who aren't bothered by micromanaging and the other 2 skills I mentioned as alternatives.

Yaffy
06-06-2019, 01:58 PM
There's nothing wrong with a skill that has to dedicate a lot of effort into keeping up buffs on the party, but I do agree that having to use a wave every 20 seconds is too tedious. I don't agree with what you said about it being, risky, punishing,etc (In fact if you made the waves stronger and have a longer cooldown, it would be more punishing to miss a wave since you'd be missing out on a bigger effect).

I think changing the cooldown of wave skills to 30 seconds is simply about making the skill less tedious to play more than anything. Yes the skill would be slightly improved because you're using less GCD's on waves, but the effects would be very minimal to the point where it would probably be unnoticeable in combat. I do want to be careful about "Quality of life" changes" that make the class too simple to play, but trying to keep up waves isn't really fun or challenging as much as it is tedious.

Mbaums
06-06-2019, 05:18 PM
Iím in the group that there is something wrong with the psi-waves, but Iím not totally sure what and how it should be fixed. Flaws with support skills are less noticeable than attack skills, so when things are readjusted, itís easy for something like this to be left out.

My beef with the 4 waves is that they all share the same cool-down, and builds that use 2 waves on their bars seem really neat on paper, but game-play wise I donít find it fun and I think 2 waves are not worth taking up 2 of the 6 ability slots. Simply put, having two skills on the ability bar with the same cool down is a serious commitment, but there is no pay off.

I would like to see a solution that makes the possibility of build that just takes every psi-wave possible. I did a suggestion awhile ago asking that the waves get unlinked cool down wise, but using a wave gives the other waves a 5Ėsec cool down, AND add some mod on mindreave that decreases the cool down timer of waves by a couple of seconds. The idea is, a build can exist where someone is full wave-support and has a rotation like wave, basic attack, wave, basic, wave, etcÖ deals trash DPS but provides the group with something unique. A group might have two people in a full party giving wild amounts of health/armor/power regen, and + damage, but would it be stronger than having two people with fire magic? The balance of support vs damage is really tricky, but I think weakening the existing psi mods and adding this would be enjoyable.

Sunchaser
06-06-2019, 06:43 PM
Nice post and I agree with it. Currently the PSI waves don't feel natural, but rather forced.
I would like a system in which I can cast at least one wave, once every [insert random time interval here]. In other words, here's what I'd love to have:
- no more shared cooldown between PSI waves;
- increase the duration;
- either impose a limit on the number of PSI waves active at any one time, or simply allow any number but make them last X seconds with 2*X cooldown;
- if the first way is chosen, make sure we need to make hard choices regarding which of them to use and also make the cooldown equal to the duration and disallow using the same wave multiple times (because probably except for people at the late game, most of us will use as many waves for power regen as possible);
- if the second way is chosen, disallow using the same wave multiple times but increase their effects by at least 50%.

Another idea would be to also make them instant spells (i.e. can cast them without triggering a global cooldown nor stopping your character in place).
PSI Waves should be "fire and forget" spells in my opinion, instead of having to constantly watch the duration and/or forcing you to not use other spells for quite a bit of time (since you need to keep refreshing them if you want to have 2-3 up). Not having a way to see the actual duration/cooldown numbers on buffs/abilities (without hovering over) doesn't help either.

Thanks for the response.
Having no shared cooldown seems to be one of the more common things I hear from people in game actually (which I proposed some variants as alternative 3 in my post above). I think shifting the 'difficulty' of psi waves from casting spells on time and stacking them to choosing which to use at different times is a much more interesting one. Heck, we don't even need the psi waves to have a long cd, just don't allow stacking and limit the numbers of simultaneous waves and we'll allow making choices at a faster timescale. Though this may be more in line with bard (playing songs and switching depending on context), and I can see why thematically psi/body waves should be related to slow/slacking...

I'm not sure if I like having cooldown twice as long as wave duration. Personally I'd like to have 100% uptime of the waves, but surely this could be one implementation if the dev chooses.

I also love the idea of not having gcd. Fits thematically as a wave and honestly would bring down a lot of the hazzle related to stuns and delays. I mean, reactive spells should have a gcd as an opportunity cost of actions, but waves are just routines/chores we have to do to maintain the buff as you said.

Sunchaser
06-06-2019, 06:54 PM
When I tried to main mentalism a long, long time ago I actually stopped because the waves were good but annoying to constantly watch / recast.

To me a persistent wave that is just toggle on / toggle off would have made the skill much more enjoyable to play, similar to how battlechem buffs work on yourself.

I would have preferred something like that while increasing the power of individual waves( to compensate for not being able to stack multiples). I mean, there may be people who prefer stacking them and that's fine, but I personally found it annoying and that's why I never really used it again.

Current system really leans towards preparing for 40 seconds before every battle if you want to be at "full power" and that's what I find annoying.

My advice would be if you are in the same boat and Citan doesn't want to change it... to just use battlechem or bard and forget about mentalism. ( that is actually what I did). Maybe that's the intent, mental for people who aren't bothered by micromanaging and the other 2 skills I mentioned as alternatives.

Haha I am exactly in your boat - except that I am a filthy beast which cannot use BC or bard. Druid is fun though.

A toggle on/off sounds like a good option too. Maybe with a large cooldown/shared cooldown to make the choice meaningful.

I honestly don't see how stacking can be appealing to anyone - though I'd like to be enlightened. Not gonna lie, while in dailies and waiting for bosses to respawn, I feel for mentalism users who have to keep spamming waves for like 10 minutes... Whatever themes the devs were intending behind stacking, I legitimately believe there's a better way to implement it.

Sunchaser
06-06-2019, 07:24 PM
There's nothing wrong with a skill that has to dedicate a lot of effort into keeping up buffs on the party, but I do agree that having to use a wave every 20 seconds is too tedious. I don't agree with what you said about it being, risky, punishing,etc (In fact if you made the waves stronger and have a longer cooldown, it would be more punishing to miss a wave since you'd be missing out on a bigger effect).

I think changing the cooldown of wave skills to 30 seconds is simply about making the skill less tedious to play more than anything. Yes the skill would be slightly improved because you're using less GCD's on waves, but the effects would be very minimal to the point where it would probably be unnoticeable in combat. I do want to be careful about "Quality of life" changes" that make the class too simple to play, but trying to keep up waves isn't really fun or challenging as much as it is tedious.

To clarify on my post, I think the skill being tedious is the first and most important point I wanted to make. While everything else I proposed represent a shift in direction of mentalism and needs a lot more planning/thinking before commitment, increasing the cooldown from 20s to 30s (and possible stacks to 2, i.e. alternative 1 in my post) is the one change that I think needs to happen. It preserves the current theme of psi waves (stacking), and reduces reduce the unnecessary complexity by a lot. It is a (almost tbf) strictly better system that I believe is only rational to move toward.

Regarding the punishing point. The comparison I was making is actually between 3 and 2 stacks (and not stacks or not). The point was that with 3 stacks, delaying the 2nd will also delay the 3rd stack, which leads to a superlinear relation of reduced efficiency in contrast to when there are only up to 2 stacks (in addition to that with 3 stacks you can mess up in the 2nd and 3rd stack). Now don't get me wrong: This is a small effect of an already minimal heal/power regen that is in no way your main source of healing (You can do the math and show that with a 10s delay of the 2nd stack, the drop in performance is like 80% and 85% for 3 and 2 max stacks respectively. something aropund that, that was while I was making the post...).

However, the punishing aspect also holds from a psychological/game enjoyment viewpoint, messing up on the 3 stack case is so likely to happen and feels worse than messing up on when there's 2 max stacks (e.g. the former might be a constant occurance, while the latter might be more of an exception). Now, a reversed argument could be made that mastering the 3 stack will therefore provide more satisfaction, and it may be true for some. But at least for me (and I assume quite a few others) this is still much more dull than a more reactive gameplay, and really should not be the difficulty of the mentalism skill. Ultimately, if the point of psi waves is to be an easy skill to keep on for players who want to be passive (which is something I can get behind and would also enjoy), then I think the current implementation is making it unnecessarily difficult.

I do agree that any changes might have implicit issues and need to be thought out though - but I'd love to see some of them at least tested out to improve mentalism's experience.

Sunchaser
06-06-2019, 07:40 PM
I definitely see your point. I think the current issue with psi waves is just that there's yet to be a clear vision behind it, such that the waves are trying to do multiple things but seem ambiguous as a result. And that's fine - unique and potentially cool skills like this needs to be implemented first and then tuned over time. There are multiple ways to 'fix' it, but my belief is that the choice depends on what the devs decide on the theme/direction of psi waves and mentalism as a whole.

I'm not sure if I totally see your point that using 2 slots is too much of a commitment - especially in the sense that it's offering something other skills don't provide, and there's a mass selection of skills that have 100% active gameplay.

The alternating between waves sounds like a cool idea and might be the improved version of stacking 3 different waves - it actually reminds me of weaver/elementalist in gw2. The only issue is that I'm not sure if this fits thematically with psi-waves and mentalism, which I guess the devs are thinking it as much slower entities. Maybe something like that could happen with bard or some dance combat skills thing. The skills also need to be designed in a way that will not give literally every buff as well.

Jarlaxle
06-10-2019, 09:28 AM
Could we do the same for the damage shields like molten veins, fire shield and brambleskin and make it a toggle? It's pretty tedious to keep having to cast those too whenever it goes down. Feel free to adjust the damage numbers if needed. I'm sure theres other abilities that it would be great for as well, such as icy armor, etc. If a toggle ability has "on cast mods" to it then just make the buff duration permanent while keeping the recast the same so that you can get those on cast effects if wanted.

Citan
06-11-2019, 01:13 AM
I've been thinking about this also. (Mentalism is coming up in the rotation for skill revisions.) The original goal of the waves was to let players pull off EQ1-bard-style buff interleaving. But I'm not sure that's ever going to be worth the hassle.

Originally gear was the big limiter here, it was just too hard to gear for multiple waves. But now that most treasure effects apply to multiple waves at once, it's relatively easy to gear up for a two-Wave setup. Even so, when I playtest Mentalism these days I always end up just using one Wave over and over, because it's too hard to keep track of which one to interleave each time.

So ... yeah, maybe it's time for that design to go.

---

So why not just make them toggles? We could conceivably do that now (with a few days of coding) : just press the Wave you want, and you get that one at max potency forever. Switch to a different Wave and you get the new one at max potency but the old one ends.

One problem here is the Power cost (and action cost): if you only have to use it one time, out of combat, who cares about the cost? The ability doesn't need to be thought about at all. And we partially balance gear based on things like power cost, casting time, and reset time... so most of the treasure effects would get weaker as a result. In many cases, too weak to be useful.

Since so much of the mentalist's power comes from the waves, I think there NEEDS to be some interactive element, for balance purposes. It can't just be a toggle. I'm just not sure what that should look like.

I recently tested out an idea where you toggle which wave you want, and then every 20 seconds it just "casts it for you", still charging you the usual Power cost. But it's really confusing and clunky. (You still have to wait 60 seconds before that system gets up to full power, switching Waves doesn't do anything until the next 20s time is up, and most importantly, suddenly having your character stop and cast a buff during a tricky fight is ... not always okay.)

---

I could definitely change the reset time from 20s to 30s. I just don't know if that'd be enough to change peoples' minds if they thought 20s was annoying.

---

So anyway, more thoughts are welcome!

The most brain-dead simple way to "fix" the waves is to just make them last 20s, the same as the reset time, and have them be 3x as effective, so just using it once gets you the full potency for 20s. After 20s if you want to press a different one, you can. (There would probably be Power cost or potency changes as a result, but they'd stay roughly the same power.) What do you think of that idea?

Jarlaxle
06-11-2019, 04:11 AM
I've been thinking about this also. (Mentalism is coming up in the rotation for skill revisions.) The original goal of the waves was to let players pull off EQ1-bard-style buff interleaving. But I'm not sure that's ever going to be worth the hassle.

Originally gear was the big limiter here, it was just too hard to gear for multiple waves. But now that most treasure effects apply to multiple waves at once, it's relatively easy to gear up for a two-Wave setup. Even so, when I playtest Mentalism these days I always end up just using one Wave over and over, because it's too hard to keep track of which one to interleave each time.

So ... yeah, maybe it's time for that design to go.

---

So why not just make them toggles? We could conceivably do that now (with a few days of coding) : just press the Wave you want, and you get that one at max potency forever. Switch to a different Wave and you get the new one at max potency but the old one ends.

One problem here is the Power cost (and action cost): if you only have to use it one time, out of combat, who cares about the cost? The ability doesn't need to be thought about at all. And we partially balance gear based on things like power cost, casting time, and reset time... so most of the treasure effects would get weaker as a result. In many cases, too weak to be useful.

Since so much of the mentalist's power comes from the waves, I think there NEEDS to be some interactive element, for balance purposes. It can't just be a toggle. I'm just not sure what that should look like.

I recently tested out an idea where you toggle which wave you want, and then every 20 seconds it just "casts it for you", still charging you the usual Power cost. But it's really confusing and clunky. (You still have to wait 60 seconds before that system gets up to full power, switching Waves doesn't do anything until the next 20s time is up, and most importantly, suddenly having your character stop and cast a buff during a tricky fight is ... not always okay.)

---

I could definitely change the reset time from 20s to 30s. I just don't know if that'd be enough to change peoples' minds if they thought 20s was annoying.

---

So anyway, more thoughts are welcome!

The most brain-dead simple way to "fix" the waves is to just make them last 20s, the same as the reset time, and have them be 3x as effective, so just using it once gets you the full potency for 20s. After 20s if you want to press a different one, you can. (There would probably be Power cost or potency changes as a result, but they'd stay roughly the same power.) What do you think of that idea?

I think the last one would be great but that would be basically a straight buff to the ability since you no longer need to give up attacks mid combat to maintain the 3 buff effect stacking. As it is right now, there's times when I forgo recasting it because i'm in a fight and recasting it means I would be giving up an attack, which sometimes can mean the difference between living and dying.

Crusader2010
06-11-2019, 10:21 AM
I don't know your actual goals with this skill and the waves, so I'll start from what I wrote on the first page. This is just a reiteration of my idea, in a hopefully better form.

I see two choices:

1. Limit the number of active waves we can have active at one time (suppose to a max of 2) and either:
1.1. Disallow the use of the same wave multiple times
=>
- the waves would need to not have shared cooldowns;
- we'd need to have all waves useful in most situations so as to have a real choice of which to keep active (even having more mentalists, each keeping up their own waves);
- the duration shouldn't matter that much in this case, as long as it's not too low, but it should be equal to the cooldown;
- I would like to make them instant cast spells (no GCD, no stopping to cast);

1.2. Allow the use of the same wave multiple times
=>
- no shared cooldown;
- the waves would probably need to remain on the global cooldown, so you can cast the same one twice in quick succession;
- recasting the wave (or casting another one) should replace the one with the lowest remaining duration;
- all waves should be good enough, such that casting any of them twice isn't the best thing to do (except for very specific situations/bosses etc);

2. Don't limit the number of waves you can have at any one time.
=>
- do not allow the casting of the same wave multiple times;
- the waves would need to not have shared cooldowns, but individual ones;
- I'd make them last longer than in the first case above (over 1 minute, maybe towards 2, maybe allow their duration to be enhanced by certain skills etc);
- their cooldown should probably be longer than the duration (by how much - is completely subjective, and only playing with this will give the feeling if it's actually fun/better or not);
- they should probably be more powerful than they are now, especially if their cooldown is going to be longer than the duration;
- in this case I would definitely make them instant cast spells (because they won't be up the whole time);

Additionally, it would be interesting to have a few more waves (sorry if they are already in the game - haven't reached the max level yet): a "thorns" wave that reflects some psychic damage back at ALL attackers, a resistance to stuns/interrupts/etc wave, a speed increase but only in combat, a percentage reduction of all cooldowns (maybe 5-10% at most), a percentage increase in fighting skill experience gain (situational, good while leveling), a percentage reduction of debuff durations and/or ticking damage, an elemental resistance wave, a physical resistance wave, etc.

Maybe even more Mentalism skills (probably focused on damage). Don't really have any ideas for those, but I do feel some things lacking. At the same time, Psychology doesn't seem that good in my opinion. Could be an idea to redesign these together: list all the skills (except the waves), and see what might fit in mentalism from psychology and vice-versa.

Mbaums
06-11-2019, 10:45 AM
So anyway, more thoughts are welcome!

The most brain-dead simple way to "fix" the waves is to just make them last 20s, the same as the reset time, and have them be 3x as effective, so just using it once gets you the full potency for 20s. After 20s if you want to press a different one, you can. (There would probably be Power cost or potency changes as a result, but they'd stay roughly the same power.) What do you think of that idea?

I don't think it's wise to rob thought from a skill called mentalism, but it would be an improvement to what we have.

Is it possible to go in a whole different direction? Crazy idea, what if psi-waves became a channeled skill balanced around the idea that the player can have 2-waves up? Instead of one wave being strong, the strength comes from weaving multiple ways together.

How I imagine this working is like... if you held down the skill, and for every 1-seconds it ticked, it added a buff for 2 seconds and had no cool down. The buff would have a cap at 20 seconds. The mentalist can twist psi-waves like... hold down Healing wave for 10-seconds, then armor wave for 5, and adrenaline wave for 5 and for a small window get 3-waves up then repeat. Maybe 1 held/3 sec buffed is a better ratio, so that the mentalist can have time for his 2nd skill bar.

And if its un-uninterruptible I think it could be something interesting.

Yaffy
06-11-2019, 12:34 PM
One idea that might be interesting would be to make Mentalism waves a toggled ability, but also cost a large amount of power to upkeep in the form of a constant power drain overtime.

For example, Health wave could apply a very powerful overtime healing effect on all nearby party members until toggled off, but it would drain a huge amount of power overtime from the mentalist as well. The idea would be that the power cost would be high enough to eventually drain the user's power completely, so the Mentalist must manage toggling their waves on and off or regaining power somehow. If the Mentalist runs out of power, the wave turns off automatically. Instead of the effect of the skill being limited by cooldowns like other healing/support skills, it would be limited by power instead.

This would be a lot more interesting than the current "Press the button every 20 seconds" for many reasons:

1. This would allow all waves to be usable at once, because the power cost balances out the use of multiple waves. You could use health, armor and adrenaline wave at the same time to super boost you and your party, but the power drain would be immense. This means Mentalists can think of how many waves to use. Should they go for just one wave for an easier to maintain, but small boost to the party? Or do they want to stack all the waves at once for a short but very powerful boost to the team? Or maybe something in between?

2. Different levels of waves could drain more or less power, which would give even more flexibility to how players want to use mentalism as they gain new skills. For example, one player might prefer using a high level health wave skill for a shorter, but stronger healing effect, essentially acting as an AoE heal over time skill. Another player on the other hand, might prefer using level 1 heal wave for a very easy to maintain or possibly essentially "permanent" small regeneration effect (Since they have more power regeneration than it costs). Combine this with the ability to mix and match different waves and there's a lot of possibilities!

3. The power cost would allow for much more interesting Mentalism builds. Power is important for any build, but there is a limit to how much power is helpful even on the most power hungry builds. By giving Mentalism something to potentially dump massive amounts of power into, Mentalists will have a reason to consider building humongous amounts of power boosts, far more than any other players. A Mentalist who doesn't want to focus on waves could skimp out on power regen, but a Mentalist who wants to build very heavily on waves should consider getting tons of power boosting equipment, abilities and items. This would give Mentalism builds more complexity and allow for a lot of variation.

4. The player can decide themselves on how much they want to focus on using waves. If a player wants to use tons of super powerful wave skills, they will have to manage turning on/off waves to balance their power and/or using abilities to regenerate power to upkeep them. This is a lot more interesting than "Press the button every 20 seconds". However, if a player doesn't want to bother with juggling all that, they could build lots of power regeneration and/or use lower level waves, which would be much easier to maintain but give a weaker effect. This allows players to easily change how much effort they want to put into waves whenever they want, so you can relax if you're fighting weaker enemies and don't need your strongest buffs.

Basically, this would make waves a lot more interesting and give players a lot more choices in how they want to play with Mentalism while removing the mindless tedium. Additionally, by having a heavy power cost it would be much easier to balance their treasure effects compared to a toggled ability with no cost. Plus, it feels a lot more flavorful and fitting for a mental skill to have a heavy focus on how much willpower and focus (Aka. Power) the player has.

Celler
06-12-2019, 09:45 AM
I actually quite like the waves as they are, I tend to use only health for group play with the delayed heal after cast.I like to cast this before boss fights so I know everyone is getting a little something that may help.I seldom maintain triple buff and would only set it up before a boss. I just tend to use the waves as a grp heal here and there.
It pairs nice with my shield team buff. I don't consider myself much of a team buffer, but like to do a little to help at least.

The power wave with extra power on cast I use for a power boost for long flights.

Once you reach a higher lvl of ment and you have the extra abilities from the mushroom trainer there are too many better things to have on the bar than double waving for me anyways.

Vish
06-12-2019, 02:29 PM
So why not just make them toggles? We could conceivably do that now (with a few days of coding) : just press the Wave you want, and you get that one at max potency forever. Switch to a different Wave and you get the new one at max potency but the old one ends.

One problem here is the Power cost (and action cost): if you only have to use it one time, out of combat, who cares about the cost? The ability doesn't need to be thought about at all. And we partially balance gear based on things like power cost, casting time, and reset time... so most of the treasure effects would get weaker as a result. In many cases, too weak to be useful.



Cost mhm then maybe when toggle skill (wave) it will have constant effect of deceasing mentalist (player) Max power by % or fixed (like 30% or -150 max energy when wave is acttive) and there may be added extra cost when switching wave in combat

Celler
06-12-2019, 02:46 PM
Don't really want what would in effect be a passive ability on the bar.

If it's gonna be passive it should be a side bar ability I feel.

Also would lose access to the mods that only work via triggering the ability.


Maybe add 2 new abilities to ment and chuck the 4 waves on the side bar as an active buff from there. But at a lower than 3 wave lvl I'd imagine.

Crusader2010
06-13-2019, 08:10 AM
Cost mhm then maybe when toggle skill (wave) it will have constant effect of deceasing mentalist (player) Max power by % or fixed (like 30% or -150 max energy when wave is acttive) and there may be added extra cost when switching wave in combat

I would love having something like this in the game. PSI waves might be fit as initial test subjects and new skills/abilities later on. Basically I'm thinking of "aura skills" (permanent buff) that "reserve" a percentage of your mana pool. This is also employed in a few other games (e.g. path of exile) and could be really interesting to have in a multiplayer environment!

Each wave reserving between 5-20% of your max power could work just fine, coupled with some improvements from gear and other skills that can reduce this amount by 5-33% (of the 5-20%). If more types of waves are added, they can have their own values according to how powerful/important they are overall. This will also help balance them out (e.g. instead of using one with 20% mana pool locking, maybe you choose 3 worse waves for a total of 15%). Imposing a limit of 4-5 max active waves at one time could work for this scenario.

The only issue with it is how to balance the bar slots. I mean, it could be required to have all the used waves on (any) ability bar. But if we want versatility instead (like being able to combine 4-5 waves), it won't be feasible anymore. Instead, maybe they could be cast directly from the skill book, without needing them on the action bars (i.e. cast once and forget). Or, as a middle ground - your two most expensive waves should always be present on an action bar (i.e. you can cast any wave which is strictly less expensive than the second most expensive wave you got on the action bar; if you have only one wave, you can only cast that one, maybe with an increased effect?). Other skills and gear mods could also improve this in some ways.

When we have macros, these types of abilities will see a lot more use probably (different macros for different wave combinations etc).

Sunchaser
06-21-2019, 10:40 AM
Hi Citan, thank you for the reply (and sorry for the long delay, was a little caught up in... crafting).

The others have already posted a lot of great ideas, each of which could probably work. So I guess I'm gonna take a stab at what the waves should be thematically, in hopes that this could help constrain/sculpt out their form. You said in your reply the original idea was bard-style buff interleaving, but I guess you wanted to deviate from this (and I think there are other skills that would fit more aptly with it, like bard ;p). Below I'll post what I think of as psi-waves. Obviously, there are a thousand Hamlets in a thousand people's eyes. However, my guess/hope is that so long as you chose one according to how you imagine the skill would be, and get rid of its most prominent flaws (non-interactive, and stacking which), then people should be generally happy, at least accepting of it. Still, feel free to pose your current vision of mentalism/psi-waves, and I'm sure the community would love to pose suggestions based on it, and help sculpt the skill.

The way I think of psi-waves, are body waves one gradually attune to. In that sense, psi-waves should be slow and accumulating, and changing them should be costly (if possible at all). In addition, as you mentioned it should also allow some interactive, perhaps reactive, aspect for gameplay reasons. Now, based on this the first two aspects ('slow' and 'accumulating') the most direct implementation might be something like the current psi-waves. But this doesn't has to be true.

For 'slow', I'd really hope the newest design of mentalism/psi-waves would keep this aspect. Sure the implementations of something faster others have suggested would be really cool, but that could be implemented in other skills like bard or some kind of combat dancing skills. Indeed, A large proportion of the skills require a fast, reactive gameplay (stunning/rage control before their rage attack, healing near-death teammates, fearing extra foes etc). Having a slow skill could actually be refreshing, and catering for people with different combating styles. That is, I really hope the waves will last for 60s (and without/ with minimal stacking).

For 'accumulating', I think it's clear that having it as 'stacking' is really hard to work well - either one has to constantly stack it, even while idling and waiting for a boss fight, or one has to accept that the waves will never be at 100% performance (which leads to a balancing dilemma as well, as you cannot really balance around both populations). So perhaps this aspect, if we were to implement it as 'stacking', should be removed, at the very least de-emphasized.
Another option is to implement it in ways other than stacking. For instance, the wave effect can increase gradually over time. I don't think I'm in favor of directly implementing it like that, as it would just add a layer of complexity that is hard to optimize on and not worth strategizing over, similar to the current psi-waves. On the other hand, if we have psi waves with accumulating pros and cons, this might lead to something Yaffy was describing (see more on the 'costly to change' aspect).
A final alternative is to have perks that are available only at the later part of the wave (e.g. last 30s if waves are still 60s long). I'll discuss several options at the end.

For 'costly to change', this is an aspect I think would be really cool, but at the same time realize it'd be hard to implement. For now, there are also no real reasons to switch waves, due to a lack of reactive aspect of psi-waves. Still, I'll briefly talk about several ways to implement this.
The simplest idea would be to make the power cost of other psi-waves much higher while another self-initiated wave is on (or impose a health cost to generate a wave while another wave is on). I am very much against this, unless there's a meaningful reason to switch waves (which would probably require a complete over-haul of the waves/mentalism design anyways).
Another option is to have some perks being only available after awhile, as previously mentioned. Switching would thus mean forfeiting the perks. Still there are currently no real reason to switch waves, and the devs would probably need to modify the skills quite significantly to lead to waves people would actually reactively switch to and from.
The final option is to combine this with the 'accumulating' aspect. One implementation might be to have the waves will have gradually increasing benefits and drawbacks, which would eventually force the player to switch to another. This would lead to a combo-like playstyle similar to what Yaffy suggested, and would require mentalism gameplay to have psi-waves in the central stage, while weaving off other 'normal skills' while the player can. I'm not sure if I'm too interested in such gameplay, but others might and this might be worth considering. One thing to note is that this gives the skill an interactive aspect by forcing players to switch waves, and indirectly solves the current issue that some skills are just straightly better leading to no reason for wave-switching.




With these constraints, here are some potential implementations:

1) A combo like playstyle where the implementation will force the player to keep switching waves. You could probably construct it from what I described above, but if this is what citan and others than the way to implement it would be as Yaffy's proposed (my view is that the construction I described above is unnecessarily complex and doesn't add anything meaningfull). In this way, mentalism will be focused on cycling the waves, and the normal active skills (ie normal skills to hit foes and heal teammates) have to take a backseat. I'm not sure if I'm too interested in such focus-on-your-own-minigame playstyle, but can see if others and citan like it.

2) A very simple implementation: waves last 60s and have no cooldown, but only 2 waves can be online simultaneously, and 'switching waves (casting waves while others waves are online) have additionally cost. There are details like whether the same wave can 'stack' and and whether there should be any self/inter-wave cooldown. But the point is to remove the 'accumulting'/'stacking' aspect and emphasize on the 'slow' and 'cost to change' aspect. The issue again is that with the current types of waves, the players might just stick to the same 2 waves all the time. So the detailed wave abilities have to be changed to incentivize players to switch waves (see below). For example, perhaps all regen waves (which seem clearly superior) should be gone and waves should be purely buffs, then the player will need to use different buffs at different times. Perhaps the buff waves will also need to come with distinct drawbacks as well - more damage but heavier power cost/ longer cooldown, more defense but slower movement etc. The regens/healing in mentalism than should be switched to active skills. I'm not really sure to be honest, how to encourage reactive wave-switching seems like a really hard question.

3) Having perks only available in the last 30s of 60s waves. This way, the 'accumulating' aspect becomes 'attuning' instead of stacking, and there's also the 'slow' and 'costly to change' aspect. These perks could simply be buffs, but what I'm thinking about is something related to 'synchronization', (which might also fit well with mentalism/waves thematically). One example would be to have random windows when one of nice/core/epic/debuff/support attacks be enhanced, prompting people to use those attacks in that window. Similarly, the window can be such that if multiple people use a nice/core/epic/debuff/support attack together, there will be extra effects (either to the mobs or the players), similar to dancing. (Instead of nice/core/epic etc, it could also be the 1st/2nd/3rd/.../6th skill, but I think that makes less sense). This way, the interactive aspect of mentalism gameplay would not be at the individual level, but at the group level, while keeping mentalism still somewhat simple/slow-paced to the user themselves. This might over-complicate the already fast-paced end-game combat however.
In addition, this implementation doesn't encourage switching waves itself, so other changes such as that discussed in implementation 2 might be needed. On the other hand, such additional implementations might make the waves really complicated, and I'm not sure how much we'd still want reactive wave-switching, if the focus of mentalism is switched to such synchrony. So perhaps it'd still be fine to keep the current waves, but maybe make it such that the perks of different waves be different (e.g. synchronized action of power/heal/armor waves be damage/healing/defense oriented respectively).

4) As an extension of implementation 3, entirely focus the 'synchronization' aspect of mentalism, such that these perks are available at all time (i.e. no more 'accumulation'). We could remove the 'costly to change' aspect as well, but otherwise it could simply be done in as extra cost while other waves are up. This will be a new direction of mentalism.. a synchronizing minigame across the party, without all the aforementioned complexities.


Finally, the 3 aspects of 'accumulating', 'slow', and 'costly to change' are just how I imagine mentalism should be. I'd love to hear Citan's vision of the mentalism/psi-waves, and would guess that others would too and could help shape the skill.

INXS
06-21-2019, 12:34 PM
I would prefer if waves stay as they are i find them easy to use and makes them a unique trait when you using Mentalism skill.

Sunchaser
06-21-2019, 03:06 PM
I would prefer if waves stay as they are i find them easy to use and makes them a unique trait when you using Mentalism skill.

I'm not sure I see your reasons for keeping waves as they are. Even if the decision is to keep its current design philosophy, I'd argue that there are still ways to streamline the abilities. I honestly do not see any benefits of stacking/pre-ramping the waves, in the current way psi-waves are being used.

As I stated in the initial post, and I felt like Citan alluded to, the waves as they stand are currently between several different themes (bard-like interleaving, background toggle-and-forget etc), which hurts the skill moreso than benefits it. Of course I'm not too experienced in mentalism, and would love to hear any opinions of its advantage/ why people like the skill as it is.

Celler
06-22-2019, 03:33 AM
As said before I mainly only use them in grp play, so if one person is casting one and another person another I feel they should both be allowed.

I don't mind all sharing the same cooldown, but I imagine a low lvl or player lacking some of the other abilities may find it annoying.

I do feel ment could perhaps use another attack abilty, or move one from Mu to normal acquire.
It is possible for many early ment starter to have little to no knowledge of the 4 abilities on MU and ment is pretty lacklustre without those options. You could go to lvl 26 with only 2 offensive options.
Also of course you'd perhaps be heavily wave focused which would lead to the annoyance.

ErDrick
06-22-2019, 04:06 AM
My only beef with the skill is clicking the button every 20 seconds especially in 2 hour dungeon runs.

Why not just have it be a toggle but everything else remain exactly the same, mods just trigger "every 20 seconds while xx wave is active", "increases in power once every 20 seconds up to 3 times". They can even auto-drain the power cost every time they auto-refresh, that would be fine.

Every skill that isn't offensive in nature or a clutch defense suffers from the same thing really, there is little reason for temporary buffs that have the same duration as their recast to not just activate continuously once used. All damage shields, druid veins, necro heart/spleen, even bard songs (as some examples, there are definitely others)... all just taking cool abilities that might define a skill and making them annoying for no real reason.

Heck you could even put it as a game option checkbox for "auto refresh buffs" and let people choose. Or add another skill that auto-refreshes which is learned at the same time as the base skill, then you can just hotbar the option you prefer.

Golliathe
07-09-2019, 11:36 PM
Mentalism is physically draining to try and play at max skill with lots of weaving. Other skills have some pretty long buffs.... BC has an hour buff and priest has a 15 minute buff. But one inherent problem with remembering to cast 1-2-3 is that sometimes you need the active effect from skill 1 even though skill 3 should be next in the rotation.


My only beef with the skill is clicking the button every 20 seconds especially in 2 hour dungeon runs.

Idea 1: What if..... you changed mentalism waves so that the passive wave buff lasted 5 or 10 minutes. People would still spam them regularly for power drain for the active effect for things like instant +100 health or armor restoration. This could be a function of how high you have leveled the skill... 2 minutes base with +1 minute duration every 20 levels. Add in the little bit of code you have on BC so that if someone tries to buff as mentalism and then gearswap macros into something else the mentalism wave fades instantly.

Idea 2: What if there was no linked cooldown (each skill had a 20 second cooldown) so that you could just go buff/buff/buff if you wanted. This would make the buffing WAY less tedious. This would put mentalism way closer to being on par with some other healing options. How would any other support class play if every healing spell they owned was on a shared 20 second linked cooldown?

Idea 3: What if we had a new lvl 80 skill for mentalism that activated all available waves at once? Maybe this is an epic skill (thinking about guildwars style play here where you can only have one epic skill on your bar) with a pretty hefty power cost that mind end up being relatively cheap if you mod it correctly as the skill would have every effect active from all of your waves.

Maybe this skill is a function of level? For example what if we added new abilities that were fixed combinations of waves? This would increase the council cost of mentalism but make it more user friendly. Maybe at level 20 you unlock a new wave that would activate your highest tier health and armor waves at the same time. At level 40 you unlock a new wave that activates your health armor and power waves. At level 60 you unlock a new wave that activates your health armor power and adrenaline waves at the same time. Maybe at level 80 you get a cost reduction so it costs the same as using a single wave (previously maybe this skill cost double). Finally at level 100 you would unlock the ability to have an hour long buff with a leashed area effect: anyone who moves within your mentalism buff radius keeps the buff until they walk out of that radius. In other words this would give mentalism a solo play 1 hour buff for wave effects (which would be lost instantly upon changing classes just like BC).


Note: Ideas 1 & 2 could be implemented together.

Sokar
09-06-2019, 08:21 AM
The most brain-dead simple way to "fix" the waves is to just make them last 20s, the same as the reset time, and have them be 3x as effective, so just using it once gets you the full potency for 20s. After 20s if you want to press a different one, you can. (There would probably be Power cost or potency changes as a result, but they'd stay roughly the same power.) What do you think of that idea?


This would excatly solve the real problem why some people dislike the wave mechanism. The problem is not to press a button every 20sec. The problem is, you have to press a button every 20sec no matter what is going on to have competitive effects compared to other skill sets.

Big pull? Fine everything works like intended and my waves do the job (it was worth the work of pressing the skill multiple times)
Small pull? Ok if I would had only pressed it once it would also had been enough (it was not worth the work of pressing the skill multiple times)
No pull at all, we are moving? same as a small pull
other things: same as a small pull

As you can see, there are much more situations where it was not worth all the work to press the button every 20 sec. Why constantly stressing around with the waves where other healing skill sets simply just press 1 heal if it's needed. If you don't pressing the waves every 20 secs even out of fight, you don't have the full potential of the skill when you need it. And you need the full potential of the skill to be just on pair with other healing skill sets.

Thats why many like the idea of a toggle. It would solve the problem perfectly without changing much. As you said you would like to keep the toggles to the bard songs and have an other mechanism for the Mentalism skill set you still have it. The real difference why ever considering Mentalism over some other healing skills are 2 points:

1) you have the boni on the fly (rushing through a dungeon/area and still have the heal etc.) For this point e.a. Druid and Bard is totaly crap because both are stationary support skill sets. But to be fair it's mostly in low lvl areas/dungeon - you can't just rush GK
2) Mentalism is the only skill set that grants the hole grp a power reg on the fly. For stationary pulls like in GK Druid is much better at providing power, as he can also provide heal and armor reg at the same time where as mentalisn have to decide wich to provide. Also buff this wave no matter what adjusting to mentalism you choose, the new power costs reach a point where you really struggle to figh longer than 30 sec's.


Also consider we have only 6 skill slots. Filling it with 3-4 waves to have a choice wich is needed the most ist just crippeling the hole skill set down. 1 -2 waves should be sloted at max to still have other skill options to use. Maybe you can thing of redesigning the waves in a way like:

a) defense wave (provide small amount of health, armor, and power)
b) offensive wave (provide a flat damage and % damage)
c) elemental wave (providing huge elemental resis, flat and %)
d) utility wave (provide stun, knockback, snare resis and a small movement speed buff)
e) destructive wave (aoe direct dmg aura)

To prevent the situation you want to slot all the waves you can change the mods on the items that they buff one aura and debuff an other one (inner mental fight between: defense vs offense and utility support vs direct destruction). So you can choose the mods according to the playstyle you want to do.

Do NOT change mentalism into a channeling skill set. You would destroy the real benefit of it to use the waves on the fly (while moving).

When thinking of balance the effects of the waves, just choose a time frame (e.a. 60 sec) and compare all the healing, power reg, dmg etc. that can be done with mentalism compared to other support skill sets.

Darkian
01-16-2020, 08:59 PM
I've been thinking about this also. (Mentalism is coming up in the rotation for skill revisions.) The original goal of the waves was to let players pull off EQ1-bard-style buff interleaving. But I'm not sure that's ever going to be worth the hassle.

Originally gear was the big limiter here, it was just too hard to gear for multiple waves. But now that most treasure effects apply to multiple waves at once, it's relatively easy to gear up for a two-Wave setup. Even so, when I playtest Mentalism these days I always end up just using one Wave over and over, because it's too hard to keep track of which one to interleave each time.

So ... yeah, maybe it's time for that design to go.

---

So why not just make them toggles? We could conceivably do that now (with a few days of coding) : just press the Wave you want, and you get that one at max potency forever. Switch to a different Wave and you get the new one at max potency but the old one ends.

One problem here is the Power cost (and action cost): if you only have to use it one time, out of combat, who cares about the cost? The ability doesn't need to be thought about at all. And we partially balance gear based on things like power cost, casting time, and reset time... so most of the treasure effects would get weaker as a result. In many cases, too weak to be useful.

Since so much of the mentalist's power comes from the waves, I think there NEEDS to be some interactive element, for balance purposes. It can't just be a toggle. I'm just not sure what that should look like.

I recently tested out an idea where you toggle which wave you want, and then every 20 seconds it just "casts it for you", still charging you the usual Power cost. But it's really confusing and clunky. (You still have to wait 60 seconds before that system gets up to full power, switching Waves doesn't do anything until the next 20s time is up, and most importantly, suddenly having your character stop and cast a buff during a tricky fight is ... not always okay.)

---

I could definitely change the reset time from 20s to 30s. I just don't know if that'd be enough to change peoples' minds if they thought 20s was annoying.

---

So anyway, more thoughts are welcome!

The most brain-dead simple way to "fix" the waves is to just make them last 20s, the same as the reset time, and have them be 3x as effective, so just using it once gets you the full potency for 20s. After 20s if you want to press a different one, you can. (There would probably be Power cost or potency changes as a result, but they'd stay roughly the same power.) What do you think of that idea?

Mentalism has always been kind of meh in my book, every time I try the skill it feels like the regen doesn't do enough by itself to mean anything, the only thing that even makes it worth using is the 'on-use' mods for the waves, so ultimately there's only a few ways to fix it without ruining the identity of the skill-set.

1.) Create a custom system for Mentalism that lets them select 3 buffs to run at any one time, you can make them 20 seconds, or 30 seconds, doesn't really matter, but basically you can pick A, B, C or D wave, in any 3 way pattern. AAA, AAB, AAC, ect. and this will auto cast the skills in the order you have selected, or even all three at once would be preferable. This would be balanced by the power cost (at least until you get mods to reduce that) and take away the annoying aspect of having to micro manage the buffs.

2.) If you 100% want to keep the annoying micro management, shorten the buff like some others have said, to run the same duration of the cool-down, and increase the effect so that you use them as you need them in reaction to the moment.

3.) A combination of both of the above would be my preferred, shorten the buff timers to 30 seconds, but also shorten the cool-downs to 10 seconds, condense the healing down to match the lowered timers so you get more alpha healing/armor/power, and then let us select 3 of these to run at a time, this would require a re-balancing of Mentalism mods so that it doesn't become crazy at healing, but lets it be more useful at actually recovering the party when it needs it.

4.) Combine the wave skills into smaller groups, so Armor/Health into one wave, and Power/Adrenaline into a second wave, and then set these buffs to 30 second with higher alpha per second with a 25 second cooldown (to give you time to refresh the buff after the 25 second procs) this would reduce the annoyance of managing 4 skills/3 buffs, while also increasing the effectiveness of mentalists in groups.

Mentalism has a really unique way of healing that I think is really cool, but just needs a little TLC to make it more fun and enjoyable to use.

Wark
06-19-2020, 12:34 AM
I've played mentalism for a few days now, and I see what the OP means.
A 20 second cooldown makes it into a real chore to maintain 3 waves constantly at the same time, and can cause some pressure for doing so.
It's OK as is, but can be annoying to weave in a wave at the right time in the middle of your combos.
I agree about extending its cooldown to 30 seconds with a 60 second duration, effectively meaning you only need to maintain 2 waves as it is.
To compensate however, I suggest making each wave a little more powerful.

For example, 30 second cooldown, but +6 health every 4 seconds, up from +4 health every 4 seconds.
This will give the same value as maintaining 3 of the same wave, and giving less hassle to the player.

EDIT:
I also like the above poster's suggestion of a 30 second duration, but making it more powerful.
This would make it a little less passive, and less of a chore: instead, choosing the appropriate wave at the appropriate time.