First, a disclaimer: All of this spell data is preliminary. It could well be that when Luclin comes out, Beastlords look nothing like this. It should also be remembered that Verant has been known to put complete lies into the spell file, just to humiliate people who post articles like this.
Beastlords are more or less a Shaman hybrid, except that they’re a pet class. This isn’t something we’ve seen before, so it’s a little difficult to judge without some actual playtesting. But premature judgments are my job, in this case, so I’ll try anyway.
Currently, Beastlords get one pet spell, and an additional line of spells that buffs the pet. The buzz is that the pets will zone with you, and level. No one has really taken up the issue of what consequences, if any, there are for your pet dying, at least not that I’ve seen. I doubt there will be many, but it could be interesting if there are.
Beastlords do, however, get a fucking awesome line of heals for their pets, culminating in a 250 mana complete heal. (Clerics, by comparison, pay 400 for their complete heals.) They also get pet haste spells. And slow spells. And normal haste spells.
This adds up to Beastlords having the opportunity to be complete killing machines.
Note that I said opportunity. There are still two obvious questions that need to be answered before any “verant hates me fuck you absor im playing shadowbane now!!!1!!1!!” posts are in order.
#1. How well can Beastlords tank?
If they tank like warriors, place you order for DAoC now. Honestly, with the pets being as important as they are, unless they tank like rangers or below, there are going to be problems here. Especially in light of the fairly uber buffs, slows, and DoTs they have The current buzz says that they’re a leather class and that they will get EITHER dual wield or double attack, which means that there’s hope in this field. No word that I’ve seen on whether they can taunt yet.
#2. How uber are the Beastlord pets?
Someone on The Crucible claims to have parsed the spells out and gotten a pet strength table that is better than necros, but not as good as the mage epic pet. I don’t trust any spell-parsings that aren’t quoted on Caster’s Realm, but make of that what you will. Obviously, a lot of magicians are screaming bloody murder about the pets, in any case.
Here I can see their point. Beastlords have significant melee capabilities, presumably, and their DoTs are nothing to sneer at, peaking out with a 39 shaman DoT. They’ve also got, at high levels, the ability to nuke about half as hard as a mage, albeit only cold-based. And they’ve got the pet heals to end all pet heals. And their slow series stops one short of the Shaman series. I could mention their uber pet-haste again, but I think we’ve killed that horse now.
That said, they don’t have ANY root or snare spells, meaning their best crowd control is Flash of Light. If you’ve ever tried crowd controlling with Flash of Light, this idea should send you into giggle fits. Mages at least have the earth pet to do some roots. A Beastlord soloing a multipull, however, looks likely to say “urk!” a lot.
Still, mages are probably right that Beastlords will outsolo them. In groups, however, I’d be shocked if mages were any less popular, beacuse in terms of group dynamics, it looks like beastlords probably suck. They’re, hopefully, a mediocre melee class, with spells that make them the “Shit, there’s no shamen or druids in the zone” class. Their pets may or may not even this out for groups, but it looks like we may well have a class that’s less popular than rangers here.
So what we’re faced with is a class that has the chance to be unbalancing gods, if their pets are at mage strength, their spells are as listed, and their melee capabilities are high. They’re also a class that has the opportunity to be complete gimps, if their pets are wimpy, their melee is mediocre, and they don’t get any roots or snares. From what we see, it looks like unbalancing gods is a bit more likely than gimps, but it’s way too early justify the screaming this is getting.
Of course, the people who are screaming probably posted to Whineplay back in the day too.