Welcome to Project: Gorgon!


Project: Gorgon is a 3D fantasy MMORPG (massively-multiplayer online role-playing game) that features an immersive experience that allows the player to forge their own path through exploration and discovery. We won't be guiding you through a world on rails, and as a result there are many hidden secrets awaiting discovery. Project: Gorgon also features an ambitious skill based leveling system that bucks the current trend of pre-determined classes, thus allowing the player to combine skills in order to create a truly unique playing experience.

The Project: Gorgon development team is led by industry veteran Eric Heimburg. Eric has over a decade of experience working as a Senior and Lead Engineer, Developer, Designer and Producer on successful games such as Asheron’s Call 1 and 2, Star Trek Online and other successful Massively Multiplayer Online Games.



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  1.   This is the last staff post in this thread.   #1
    Administrator Citan's Avatar
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    Dev Blog: The Life and Death of Charged Pig

    [If you're looking for info about the upcoming Fairy playable race, stay tuned -- there'll be a blog post about that soon! This blog post isn't about upcoming features at all -- it's behind-the-scenes design notes about recent game updates.]

    The Life and Death of the "Charged Pig" skill
    Have you ever noticed that all the talking pig NPCs in the game mention that they obtained sentience after being struck by lightning? Probably not. But they do! And this is because of a skill I've long planned to add.

    I've often used animal skills as an opportunity to experiment with game-mechanics ideas. The Pig skill was my first try at making a "bard" combat skill. It's been rewritten several times since I first added it, and it's evolved into its own unique group-support style -- one which doesn't step on the Bard skill too much. But it took lots of iteration and experimentation to figure out what would work, and I was able to apply some of those lessons to Bard.

    The Charged Pig skill was also intended to prototype something. In this case, it was prototyping "combat sub-skills". The Charged Pig skill didn't have its own combat bar; instead, you could mix-and-match Pig and Charged Pig abilities on the Pig skill bar. This would give the Pig skill some needed solo viability.

    (Sidebar: You may be thinking "why bother?" Why not just add more abilities to the existing skill? Adding too much content to a skill makes it harder for players to use. That sounds counterintuitive, but consider treasure-effects: right now the Sword skill has a dozen or so combat abilities, and there are unique treasure-effects for all of them. Since you only use 6 of the 12 abilities on your skill-bar at once, half of the Sword effects you find in loot aren't useful to your particular build. if I added a bunch more abilities to Sword, along with new treasure-effects, it would get harder and harder to find treasure that worked for your specific combat style. When its broken up into sub-skills, the game only gives out sub-skill-specific treasure if you're actually using the sub-skill. That's one benefit; there are similar "compartmentalization" benefits with training, unlocking, crafting, and base-items.)

    So I implemented Charged Pig, allocating a full month to work on it since it would need lots of experimenting. I created a handful of unique abilities, added some treasure-effects, worked out all the logistics of how the skill interacted with XP-earning and loot tables and so on. Then I created a pig character and started testing it, and realized I was missing a bigger opportunity. Charged Pig did add more soloing power to the Pig skill, which was nice... but since I could only use a total of six abilities, I ended up losing too much of the fun stuff from the Pig skill. What Pig needed was a new partner skill, something more solo-oriented that could synergize with the skill.

    So I turned Charged Pig into a regular combat skill. That way, you could use six Pig abilities and six Charged Pig abilities at the same time. That made a lot more sense! In fact, all of the animal-form combat skills could use another viable partner skill, so Charged Pig evolved into Warden, which is a combat skill usable by any animal.

    But a full combat skill requires a lot more work than a sub-skill: it needed more abilities, a LOT more treasure, and unique content to go with it. The earlier experiments used up a lot of the time available for the skill, though, so I crunched to create all the new abilities and treasure, while Sandra created the Wardens' special home, the Sacred Grotto. (We came up with some fun content ideas for the grotto that couldn't be implemented in time, so this is just the first version of the place.)

    The Warden skill has one other unique mechanic: special daily quests. This would have been impossible to fit into our schedule, except that I'd already written most of it in an earlier prototyping session. That session resulted in adding gardening almanacs, oddly enough. Which is why, internally, the daily warden quests are driven by their own hidden almanac! But even with the technology handy, we still had to actually write the quests that used the feature.
    So, in short, we worked really hard to flesh out the Warden skill, and I think it turned out pretty well, especially for the first version of a major combat skill. Of course, we'll continue to improve and iterate on it over time.

    The Charged Pig skill, on the other hand, is dead. It remains in the data files, but it'll only be used for internal testing now. It did its job as a prototype sub-skill, though, and the first "real" sub-skill will show up soon! The first one will probably debut with the playable fairy race. Later, I expect to use sub-skills to provide some weapons diversity, among other things. For instance, the Axe skill will tentatively be a sub-skill of Hammer; Spear will be a sub-skill of Staff; there might eventually be a Greatsword skill which is a sub-skill of Sword. Each sub-skill will add a few new abilities to an existing skills' repertoire, as well as unique requirements, unique treasure, and unique training.

    Warden vs. Druid
    Many animals can be druids, but pigs can't. There's nothing explicitly preventing pigs from being druids, mind you, there's just no equipment for it. Druids need to be holding a wooden item, and pigs don't have hands. Other animals have workarounds: for instance, cows can get wooden "cow shoes" made for them by a player carpenter. But I intentionally didn't give pigs an item like that because I knew they would eventually be getting the Charged Pig skill. Druid and Charged Pig don't play the same, but they cover a lot of the same ground, and they weren't designed to stack.

    Then Charged Pig evolved into Warden, which is usable by any animal. So now several animal forms can use Warden and Druid together. And yep, it's unbalanced. They share too many of the same tricks, and those tricks stack, and it's too much. It's not "oh crap shut everything down now" levels of overpowered, mind you, but it's something that needs to be addressed during balancing.

    Keep in mind that the goal of the Warden skill is to give the animal-specific combat skills (like Cow, Pig, Spider, etc.) a new partner skill, to make those skills more useful and interesting, especially for solo play. If the best partner skill for Warden ends up being Druid, then Warden is a failure at its goal!

    So right now I'm leaning toward disabling the Warden+Druid skill combination for balance reasons. I'm not yet sure what game mechanic will prevent the pairing, though. (The silver lining is that once that's done, I can add druid activation-items for pigs.)

    Evolution of Game Storylines
    (Important background info you may or may not know: the game takes place on the continent of Alharth, where the druids are run by the god Dreva. But on the distant continent of Fosulf, the druids are run cooperatively by Ri-Shin and Au-Shin together. They're much older gods than Dreva, and although they're technically allies of Dreva, there's also a bit of hostility. Dreva is a young hotshot god who has decided to "police the gods", and that doesn't always make you popular with other gods.)

    The Charged Pig skill also had its own storyline. It was fairly silly, because we're talking about flying pigs with electricity powers, and that seemed like it should have a lighthearted storyline. The story was that Au-Shin, the god of Animals, got into a huge fight with his brother Ri-Shin, the god of Plants, over who had dominion over fungi. Both gods felt that mushrooms should be in their domain! This debate had been going on for millennia, and it was slowly destroying their friendship.

    Due to this impasse, mushrooms had been considered "off limits" by both gods. But then Ri-Shin declared himself God of Mushrooms, and created Mushroom Treants (tentatively those might have ended up being the Myconians, or they might have been a new variety of treant... I didn't get that far into the details).

    Au-Shin was outraged at his brother's betrayal, but in public he had to continue to support his brother. It would be devastating for all of nature if animals and plants became enemies! So Au-Shin worked in secret. He created a covert team of intelligent animals to fight these fungi. Pigs are great at sniffing out mushrooms, so Au-Shin chose them as his secret agents. His friend, the god Lo-Maj, helped him bestow powerful electricity powers on them which could even let the pigs fly for short periods.

    Like I said, it was a silly storyline. It's basically just enough of a story-hook to create some quests and rewards and so on. But when Charged Pig turned into Warden, the story also shifted. As soon as I started writing the Warden NPCs, I realized I needed something more serious in tone, because it was feeling too silly: I couldn't create any story tension at all. The new storyline still involves Au-Shin (with a little help from Lo-Maj), but all the other details have changed.

    In the new storyline, Au-Shin decided to gain more influence on the continent of Alharth. He created dozens of magical lakes and springs that could give animals intelligence and powers. These worked well for a few hundred years -- a very short time by godly standards -- until Norala, the god of the hunt, decided to put an end to it. Her influence is very strong on Alharth and she refused to let other gods move in on her territory. So she directed her werewolves to stamp out the Wardens and destroy their magical springs. She was very successful, and Au-Shin was forced to abandon the project.

    The Wardens you meet in-game are some of the last of their kind. After suffering terrible defeats from the werewolves, they've retreated to the Hidden Grotto, one of the last remaining sacred springs. And it's precious! There's a secret community of intelligent animals that use the grotto to give their children human-like intelligence. If the werewolves win and the grotto is destroyed, all future offspring will remain normal animals. So the Wardens are fighting for their survival, as well as the happiness of their children and their children's children.

    That's a little more meaty! Abandoned by their god, they're fighting for more than just their lives... they're fighting for their whole way of life! That's good stuff! But the Warden NPCs still ended up being more light-hearted than I intended. I just can't manage to write talking animals that aren't a little silly. It's harder than it sounds! But the new backstory took the silliness down a few notches, and gave them a lot more depth than they would have otherwise had.

    And when I step out of my "game writer" role and step into the "game producer" role, I can see that the backstory does its job: it provides some interesting quest-hooks, story locations, tangible god-politics, and a jumping-off point for additional systems in the future.

    Next Blog Post: Fairies!
    I originally intended to end this blog post by revealing that the playable fairy race was coming soon. But then I forgot and tweeted that info a couple days ago, ruining the surprise.

    So... you may have already heard, but: the playable fairy race is coming soon! This is an advanced race. It's a more difficult game experience than the existing three races, especially at first, but it also offers new benefits and opportunities. My goal is to create a different game experience than humans, elves, and rakshasa have. Not "better", or "worse," but "different". That's a pretty ambitious goal, though, so in the initial launch, the balance will probably be shit. But it's beta, so we're gonna beta-test it!

    Since fairies add even more complexity to an already-complex game, you really need to understand some of the game's basics first. So the fairy race is "unlockable": you'll need to use a different character to complete a level 40 quest, which unlocks the ability to create fairy characters.

    I have a lot more info to convey about playable fairies, and they deserve their own blog post. I'm working on that now, but the game-mechanics are still in development, and I need to get a few more details locked down first. In the meantime, I answered a few questions about the fairy race here: https://forum.projectgorgon.com/show...airy-Questions
    Last edited by Citan; 01-30-2020 at 08:44 PM.

  2. #2
    Member Silkt's Avatar
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    You said Warden / Druid is not an intended mix, I can see an easy solution there once craftable metal armour is in. I picture in my mind electricity as needing metal of some sort, Druid requires wood, so craftable animal shoes required for warden and druid, if they are wood druid is enabled if they are metal Warden is enabled.

    Because these shoes are animal varient specific, animal specific shoe recipes could go in the bin and the recipe for wooden / metal shoe requires the specific animal malachite plus another gem. Wooden version won't accept the warden gem and the metal version won't accept the druid gem and both will not accept gems animals can't use ie sword, staff etc. This still makes sigil crafting required and still allows animals to build other animal friendly combos.

    On the thought train of undesired warden skill pairings, where does Warden / Priest sit?

    PS The shoe solution would also solve the issue of Raul giving Cow / Druid metal cow shoes as hangout reward.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Oxlazr's Avatar
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    Is there currently a stance on player access to abilities, skills and deities?

    This is an important question - right now, seemingly, everyone can do everything on a single character, and that.. diminishes what a player is within a world. They're everyone, they're everything. It's great for a specific type of player, but on the whole it sort of diminishes what you can do with the lore, opens up contradictions and generally means that there's a sort of expectation or default for every player.

    Is there, or will there ever be, a point where you'd just go "No, you can't be a Warden & Druid at the same time." (I'll use this example as it is the most relevant, but it applies to other skills like necromancy as well)?

    I generally think there's a compromise to be found between lore and game-play. A good example would be simple reputation systems - kill a werewolf, gain reputation with the Wardens, but lose reputation with someone else. Fall under a threshold of reputation with a faction, and you can no longer use their skills, but you can always regain that reputation later - as long as you lose reputation with the competitor in order to do so.

    Basically, you could be in good favour with Dreva or the Wardens, but not both, with some effort or time required to shift that alignment.

    I personally wouldn't mind having characters take an oath and be locked to a specific choice, but that would definitely not suit many players, seemingly.

    At this point I'd swirl with ideas (such as having an opt-in PvP system between various factions, guild restrictions, penalties / perks for adhering to a faction's rules (i.e. wardens give you bonuses for not eating animals)) - but I figure I could go on about that sort of thing all day.

    Tangent aside, the post is interesting and provides a fair chunk of clarity, but I do have one final question - would charged pig have had an alternative pig model?
    IGN: Vzi

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    Senior Member alleryn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Citan View Post
    Keep in mind that the goal of the Warden skill is to give the animal-specific combat skills (like Cow, Pig, Spider, etc.) a new partner skill, to make those skills more useful and interesting, especially for solo play. If the best partner skill for Warden ends up being Druid, then Warden is a failure at its goal!
    I can't help but wonder if part of the problem is just that Druid is the best companion skill for everything. I haven't tried Druid myself, but i find that most of the time when i'm reading about some 'overpowered' build, Druid is at the center. Which doesn't even approach its utility. Perhaps toning down Druid's power would open up other better partner skills for Warden. Or maybe not, it's just what popped into my head.


    Quote Originally Posted by Oxlazr View Post
    penalties / perks for adhering to a faction's rules (i.e. wardens give you bonuses for not eating animals)
    I quite like this approach. It feeds into the lore and at the same time provides interesting strategic considerations for the player.

    Quote Originally Posted by Oxlazr View Post
    I personally wouldn't mind having characters take an oath and be locked to a specific choice, but that would definitely not suit many players, seemingly.
    I'd be in the camp that wouldn't love this, especially if there were more factions than character slots. (I like to at least feel i can explore any play style on a single account if i decide to without having to delete something).

    I can see how a single character being both a holy priest and a necromancer (say) could be rather offputting, but it also opens up opportunities for interesting roleplaying, when examined in a certain light.

  5. #5
    Member ProfessorCat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alleryn View Post
    I can't help but wonder if part of the problem is just that Druid is the best companion skill for everything. I haven't tried Druid myself
    Feedback like this is like tossing in rotten ingredients into a perfect meal. The same type of logic led to disappointed wardens, wolves, spiders, and hammer holders.

    I have many builds involving Druid, and it is perhaps my favorite skill. That being said, I don't think you understand how the skill is overpowered.

    Yes, Druid is over-powered. But not for it's offensive capabilities. I've posted a screen shot of a 10k single hit Cosmic strike in the forums, and in discord, along with my name on the top of a couple world bosses. What I didn't show was that I have 4x bard skills doing over 2k a hit at 48 range with cooldowns of 6,8,11,and 13 seconds.

    This post isn't about bard, or cosmic strike. It's about the cancel culture that's seeped it's way into the forums.

    Quote Originally Posted by alleryn View Post
    My experience is mostly red-yellow gear with no transmutation/augmentation done in a solo environment, so of course it's quite different. I'm not fighting elites, just regular mobs.
    (pulled from threadhttps://forum.projectgorgon.com/showthread.php?2347-Death-of-the-beast-forms)

    THIS is where the problem lies; in perception vs reality. On what builds are overpowered, and why.

    If druid does one thing, and does it well, it's heals. With the druid skill, I am able to run all of my builds using a lambas brick, and mild cheddar cheese. I accomplish this by using Energize with mods (Heals all 3 stats), Brambleskin with mods (heals all 3 stats), and Healing Sanctuary with mods (heals all 3 stats)

    Druids are limited to nature/poison damage (one trauma if you count a single level 66 varient of rotskin) and as the recent posts about enemy immunity stated, Nature/Poison have the short stick in end game content.

    All this to say, Druid is not best used for its DPS. It is best used for Healing from the mods that come from its gear - LIKE ALL GREAT BUILDS

    There will always be a drastic difference between self-found and planned out, max enchanted gear. This comes down to time, ingenuity, and patience.

    In my observation, this is what people had issue with on werewolf. A handful of vocal players complaining about a build they never tried.I fear this is also what people are having issue with in regards to the other skills mentioned in warden nerf update; Bard/Druid/Staff/Fire/Sword

    I have at least one max enchanted build for all of those except sword.



    This is the knowledge that I bring with my feedback for a game still in beta. I would like to propose my thoughts to the Developers, and Admins.

    Skills should vary. In damage types, DPS, utility, Heals, cool-downs, and aesthetics of how the skills get cast. I think that the current system is a lot closer to finding it's balance than other's realize, and it might not be as fun as it sounds.

    There are many different types of players, and ways that they like to play the game. For the world boss killing builds I've seen, they all share one thing in common: Glass Cannon. To achieve top DPS for any class, you have to look at the mods, trim the fat, and find a rotation for those skills that will provide max dps over a given time. If you really want to have an edge, you'll notice that elemental builds are going with the Masquerade masks, because it sacrifices a ton of Armor, for a ton of damage. The same goes true for every gear slot. Find the items that can buff your damage if you want damage, or evasion, or armor, etc.

    We have the freedom to adapt our builds to fit many different situations. The questions should be what do the Developers want the highest DPS to be on a 6 skill bar? What should the highest healing cap out at for a 6 skill bar+sidebar? Should all skills be equal in this front? What about the mods? Obviously there is already a balance formula applied to these, because the top anything will always be contested.

    What isn't balanced is the accessibility to obtaining max enchanted-max rolled top level gear. And my god does it feel good when you get it. Ah, reward for hard effort! In my experience, this is what makes an MMO great. Reward for a grind. It's not a game meant to be played casually on weekends-but you can. It's not meant for players to join Fae Realm Daily runs wearing red gear with no mods rolled-but you can.

    We don't yet have end game content for this game, but I've seen steps taken backwards, to fiddle with a "broken" combat skill that the person complaining about hasn't ever played! I view this as ridiculous, because me, and many like minded players will still find a powerful build in the dust of a nerf, and the cycle continues until there's no reason not to roll around in crappy gear.

    I understand this game needs to appeal to all types of players ranging from casual to die hard. I would be disappointed if either pool was robbed from to inflate the other.



    I don't have a solution, because I understand a lot more goes into this than it looks like. However; as a (currently) end game player, I feel fulfilled by what I can accomplish with Druid, or any other skill.

    I rely on feedback from my friends and guild-mates about the mods I use and the play style I choose. I am grateful for scape goats and world boss events to measure what works best compared to a friend's build, because I like the friendly competition, and it's a fun way to see results from a lot of hard work.

    It takes Dedication and planning on the players part to make this happen. It should not rest on the shoulders of the Developing team to create a capable combat build when we already have the tools to do it ourselves.


    I am sad we lost Electric Pig, and by proxy Fire spider, but you can bet you're porkpie hat I'm going to be a Pig/Druid when It comes around! But first I'm looking forward to the Fae Race!
    Click here to check out my live streams of Project Gorgon
    Click here to check out videos and guides for Project Gorgon

  6. #6
    Senior Member poulter's Avatar
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    I totally agree with and support ProfCat's comments above .

    As an end-game player (14+ combat skills maxed at level 70 with c. 30 gold max crafted and augmented gear sets plus 9 of those 14 combat skills now at level 80), I can confirm that druid in itself is quite 'meh', but when combined with the 'right' primary skill and mods, it really allows the other skill to shine due to the high survivability it provides.

    In most of my druid builds I use only 1 druid damage skill, but use 4 healing ones.

    Regarding Fairy Realm, my most successful skill combos are:
    Unarmed /Psychology
    Fire /Druid
    Archery /Mentalism
    They all deliver 3 or 4 shot kills to FR non-elite mobs

    And if I ever want to see big damage numbers (& mob resistance permitting), I use a Mentalism /Psychology Crit build.

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    Senior Member alleryn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ProfessorCat View Post
    F That being said, I don't think you understand how the skill is overpowered.

    Yes, Druid is over-powered. But not for it's offensive capabilities. I've posted a screen shot of a 10k single hit Cosmic strike in the forums, and in discord, along with my name on the top of a couple world bosses. What I didn't show was that I have 4x bard skills doing over 2k a hit at 48 range with cooldowns of 6,8,11,and 13 seconds.!
    Have to admit i only skimmed your post, but not sure what made you think it was Druid's offense that makes me think it's overpowered. Though honestly, from what i've read i wouldn't have guessed it's the healing either.

    I would have guessed it's some more complex combination of factors. Generally what makes a skill strong is thing A or thing B but it simply has six strong abilities (or really just needs 2 because that's all there is room for mods for typically). Doesn't much matter whether they are offensive or defensive. I actually thought druid had some stupid mitigation power, where it could stack upwards of 50% somehow, but when i actually went to look in the wiki i'm not seeing anything in the abilities or treasure effects so i'm probably confused.

    Most of the time in a game with small player health numbers compared to mob health, it's the defensive/healing skills that are overpowered (think of all those jpgs where Heal All is king and your entire party is at like 10% hp most of the fight but your white caster (or two if you're clever) heals the whole party to full every round).

    Feedback like this is like tossing in rotten ingredients into a perfect meal.
    Sorry you feel that way, but i personally don't see how offering an idea for discussion ruins your meal, and i find the notion that one should personally attempt to test every facet of the game before offering an opinion on it to be authoritarian and absurd.
    Last edited by alleryn; 01-31-2020 at 07:45 AM.

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    Senior Member poulter's Avatar
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    Outside of Spider /Druid Poison build, druid offers very few synergies or spell rotation builder with other skills (unlike e.g. fire /ice), but what it does is provide a 'pick & mix' toolkit that most every other skill can benefit from - especially by keeping you alive.

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    Member Mbaums's Avatar
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    Achievements First Post!
    I think Druid + warden is so popular because people love thorns. Solo-wardens probably cant afford to skip out on privacy field. But I get that druid+warden becomes an unintended thorn city to the delight of soloers everywhere.

    A while ago I started testing out a pig+warden for groups, and the setup looked good on paper (build code for the gorgonexplorer.com = k3379cih), but I didn’t like how I was just not clicking the 3 group buffs enough, and I knew I wasn’t getting what I should out of it and moved on. My build didn’t match my play style and I just didn’t force it. Warden/UA as a group tank might be a smoother mix for me. One thing I almost expected was some ability in either pig or warden that had increased damage when the target had low armor (even if just melee) just because Aggression Deterrent seemed a little lacking otherwise. Like it was step 1 in some chain that never happened.

    Lore wise it might be very easy to shut wardens out of druids. Au-Shin probably tried to gain influence in Alharth without ever bringing it up to Dreva, and Dreva is pushing back but not too hard because Au-Shin did the right thing the wrong way.

    Some combos might be fun because they seem not directly obvious in the game. Which is likely another reason why so many people tried druid/warden as soon as warden was possible. If Ice magic+ warden was the best combo, I guess the logic holds that warden would be a failure for that reason. But the difference with ice magic is that it really takes dedication to do that combo, but druids just animal-up on the fly and turn on druid. The druid/ warden interaction is strong because of convenience and locking out the skill combo technically buffs deer, because warden-deers can still quickly deer-up.

    Looking over what I wrote, the skills I find go best with warden are all non animal skills-- what an absolute mess that Warden is so interesting with non-animals! OKAY what if wardens grouped with wardens becomes more of a thing? If privacy field gets reworked into a stackable group buff, coordinated assault only works on long-term player animals it could help wardens but nothing there is pushing me to go deer-warden or rabbit-warden.
    I think you want to avoid buffing each animal as the solution, but that’s possible. I could see that similar to how Battle Chem has mods that affect other skills, or the psych/ment crit mods. At the very least, you’ll likely need to touch pig, because the class has technically been waiting for charged pig for years. Thinking about the mod that turns pig bite into an AOE, what if a mod on warden turns animal attacks into AOEs or something stronger. A better possibility is have warden make animal attacks randomly proc a buff to dmg %, hp, armor, power heal (like a self-psi-wave), or absorb dmg buff.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Celler's Avatar
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    Would imagine druid warden is also popular as most have druid at lvl 50 to be able to fly.
    Not sure how many ment or psych wardens there are.
    How many actually have good lvls as animals.
    I know we all mess with them ,but up to high lvl I'm not so sure.



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