Combat designer Grant Allen takes a closer look at the new paragon paths for the Devoted Cleric and Trickster Rogue.
The upcoming content expansion Module 2: Shadowmantle for Neverwinter is building on class options and powers with new paragon paths. Cryptic revealed the five new paths, one for each of the starting classes, November 13. Paragon paths add one each of at-will, encounter, and daily powers for players to choose from. Each paragon path also adds three class features and three feats. Combat designer Grant Allen shared some of the development challenges for the Annointed Champion paragon path for the Devoted Cleric and the Whisperknife path for the Trickster Rogue.
"Providing new options sometimes also means encountering new challenges," writes Allen. "One of the biggest challenges of designing Paragon Paths is making their powers attractive enough to use, but not necessarily so attractive that they become the "only" option."
Survival is the power word behind the new Anointed Champion path. The previous path, Divine Oracle, offered clerics greater damage output. The new path aims to make it easier for clerics to be better healers by improving last-minute saves. One way to do that is Exultation, a new encounter power that heals both the cleric and one other target. Expending the cleric's Divine Power class mechanic adds a bubble of invulnerability to Exultation.
The Whisperknife path gives Trickster Rogues knife skills that make it easier to close the gap between them and their enemies. The new encounter power Vengeance's Pursuit requires careful use but can lead to powerful results. First, you mark a target with a throwing dagger, and while marked the target deals reduced damage to you and your allies. Re-activating the power lets the rogue break free of control effects and teleport to the target. Finally, the rogue attacks the target, gaining a stun attack if the teleport was activated while in stealth.
Upcoming developer diaries will provide more detail on new paragon paths for the Control Wizard, Great Weapon Fighter, and Guardian Fighter. The expansion is currently available for playtesting on the NeverwinterPreview shard. A release date for the content expansion has not been announced.
Source: Neverwinter Official Site