If you have experienced the lack of support in pick-up groups, a support isn’t in your gold earners, or it just doesn’t appeal to you, I think you may find the following interesting. I, for one, would pick up a class like this in a second. And I think its utility and playstyle would attract many others too…
If this has been suggested before, I apologize, but I’m rolling through to give it a bump and what I hope is a fresh take. I think a class that could reasonably gear up for both roles would add a lot of fluidity and interest in matchmaking/find party.
The Alchemist (other names/vibes/backgrounds below and in the comments!) would be a damage dealer with damage over time abilities. Alternatively, its second class engraving would be as a support, based on healing over time/regeneration and infusion.
I see it unfolding something like this:
Since Lost Ark’s class abilities usually fall under 1-3 types (shock/stamina, blue/red, pistol/shotgun/rifle, etc.) so, too, would the Alchemist’s. It’s red skills, for example, would apply a DoT effect that could stack, let’s say, up to 3 or 4.
I’d see having 3 or 4 abilities that do this. At max stacks, a weak synergy effect could apply, maybe a little less crit resistance for one, a little lowered defense for one, and maybe a weak red dust type effect for a third. Each stack lasts for 10 seconds or so and deals more damage over time the higher the stack.
As abilities stack, the Alchemist could consume them with, let’s say, black skills that would do instant damage based on how high the stacks are. The synergy effect would be consumed as well so the playstyle would involve keeping these stacks up for the effect while also balancing when to consume them. I see these as ranged holding animations with a beam or some effect where you click, connecting you to your target location (like Godsent Law on the Paladin) for a nice visual/tactile feeling.
Here comes the spicy part, these stacks, as part of the class damage engraving, do additional damage as the target’s health lowers. So an Alchemist would start as a slow burn but start doing bigger and bigger damage as its target’s health lowers. Say hello to your first class that might consider Disrespect! In addition, an Alchemist would spec mainly into expertise or domination to provide stronger and stronger synergy debuffs and damage over time to the target. I think some expression in these under-utilized stats would spread out some of the gear love and be a little more interesting.
–DPS class engraving - cannot use green skills - Red and Black abilities deal lvl 1/lvl 2/lvl 3 more damage based on target’s missing health (80%/50%/30%). I’d see the engraving level reading something like x/x/x at 80%/50%/30% remaining HP where the x value increases based on the level. Level 3 might look like 15%/25%/35%.
SO that covers DPS. What about its support build? I’d see it operating similarly in terms of applying effects to the boss with red skills but, instead, consuming them with green skills that replenish/regen your party. Similar to how a bard can heal or provide damage boost, an Alchemist could roll the debuff DoTs as long as possible before consuming them to provide support. I think their healing/regen playstyle could be quite active, moving between allies crashing vials at short range on the ground to instantly heal a portion of HP. Maybe a warding zone type effect from a placed item that provides push immunity or a cleanse/purify. Maybe some sort of fired shot from a contraption that places a regenerative mist on a small area that places a heal over time effect on those that walk through it. All while maintining uptime on the boss with DoTs for debuff effects and stacking up for their next support ability.
And this is a real shot in the dark but maybe their awakening could absorb energy (damage) the boss and consume that to electrify a dead player back to life. I think it would too strong to bring back your best DPS back onto the field and promote some lazy gameplay. So how about bringing them back as some kind of demon or summonable creature. They’d have standardized abilities but could still play the game and deal a very modest amount of damage.
I see a Green Alchemist also using expertise or domination to buff its healing abilities. As with the original idea of this class, they may not be at the same level as a bard or paladin, as support is their identity, but they could fill the role. They exist to add a much needed buffer for lack of support players. Having a sort of underutilized stat as their main stat might help get that gear for a little cheaper (as Gunlancers enjoy).
Many will enjoy the DPS playstyle and primarily want to play that, but they could reasonably gear up their support set (particularly with gear conversion). If a party is struggling to enter because everyone is looking for two support, this player would have the opportunity to fill that gap and get people back to playing the game.
–Supp class engraving - cannot use black skills - Each red skill used buffs the Alchemist with energy that stacks up to 100. As their stacks increase, their healing and regenerative effects are increased and their debuffs become more powerful.
Tell me what you think! I am very open to other backgrounds/names/personas for the class and any ideas for abilities or playstyle. We need a stopgap to the supp problem and I think a DPS primary class with a support offspec would help immensely! DPS bards/paladins are rare and likely not taken seriously most of the time. However, I think were a more respected DPS class were to offer to take on supp many parties would be happy to take them. The difference between having support and not can feel quite crushing but they ultimately just provide some extra safety, security, and offensive bonuses. You might not take a DPS paladin because you see so much more value in their support… but you will likely take a more modest support (but a supp nonetheless) from a class that primarily provides DPS.
TL;DR - A two-role hybrid class that is primarily a DPS but has a support class engraving as well.
The DPS version works off damage-over-time effects and synergy debuffs, consuming them for instant damage, and does more damage over the course of the fight.
The support version still applies synergy debuffs but instead consumes them defensively for support with heal-over-time effects, regeneration, and cleanses as well as augmenting those abilties over the course of the fight.