[from: Quick Combat Questions]
I'm sorry if this was asked before, but how do other priests keep people from forcing bedevil? There is no off switch after it is done! Any tactics you all have for this?
you can't really stop someone forcing you to bedevil, other than not having the ability in the first place. If someone forces you to bedevil, then you need to go all offence (within reason) and punish them for the reflecting affs.
I thought I'd (re)create a thread for this topic since it is a deviation from the question asked, and is an open invitation for other non-quick-combat-related discussion.
Jovolo's answer was accurate and complete. Not even being off balance or being prone stops it.
Before I get into my personal suggestions for it, I'll summarize my knowledge of how it works, and why it works that way.Assumptions:
TL;DR so far:
- Passive bedevil was, by design, intended to prevent all forms of elemental healing, which prevents the use of the entire Healing skillset, aside from blessings and Disrupt (earth/air/etc). Specifically, it prevents, HEAL <affliction>, HEAL (a random single cure that respects the same cooldown), and active use of Bedevil (which is a form of elemental healing). This effect is (imo) well-balanced based on the relative power of the passive ability (randomly reflects some afflictions onto attackers), for two minutes. However, this balance assumes the Priest has control over when to use the ability (it is, in fact, almost the complete opposite).
- Passive bedevil (again, this is an assumption) was designed to not require or consume any balances, primarily due to the fact that the priest class already has a 10-15 second spinup at the beginning of combat (Inspiration, Heresy, several angel abilities (notably Spiritwrack), and rites (several of which are essentially "required")). It also allows the ability to be used mid-combat without a significant loss of offensive momentum. The trade-off for making passive bedevil balance-free is that it has a massive mana cost (650mp).
- After months of this being how Bedevil worked, someone realized that it could be forced, and that forcing it could not in any way be prevented - and for classes that are able to force commands, this allows a player to completely shut off a Priests' access to almost an entire skillset, resulting in a Priest with less healing ability than literally any other class in the game (a slow/random active heal and zero active healing abilities), while simultaneously draining them of 650 mana (around 15-20% for most players), making it one of the most damaging mana attacks in the game (angel sap is 11%, by comparison, and doesn't cut people off from a skillset either).
- Once it was realized this could be done, everyone started doing it, and priests (@Tesha) flipped, and it was discussed on forums, then classleaded. It was, at that time, decided that while unintentional, the mechanic was "fine" because it gave some classes (those able to force commands) a method of mitigating Priests' curing power. [[ One of my major problems with this argument is that this statement assumes that Priests' healing power is somehow so good that it needs such a fix, which is arguable, considering that priest curing has been massively nerfed, several times, and that if this is the case, then the fix should not arbitrarily be given only to classes that have the ability to force commands, while totally failing to address it for other affliction-heavy classes (like alchemist, apostate, knights, blademaster, sentinel, druid, and arguably magi).
- The forum discussion and classlead resulted in no change, due to this logic of "yeah, that's a little broken, but it helps deal with that other thing that's also a little broken", with it being abundantly clear that broad (and perhaps erroneous) assumptions were being made, and without realizing the actual extent of the impact this mechanic has on combat (for example, the massive mana cost is rarely mentioned, among other things).
- More of a note than an assumption, but important: The class that is perhaps most benefited by this ability is serpent, which is capable of reliably locking an opponent with no active curing abilities in about 4-10 seconds (depending on artefact dirk, tree balance, and affliction/curing priority). Without access to Healing (typically used to cure asthma during lock attempts, akin to Fitness (but much slower), or active Bedevil (has a very long cooldown), Priest has essentially no way to avoid being venomlocked aside from offensive hindrance (essentially non-existent for priest without completely sacrificing offensive momentum), or completely turtling (spamming shield/aura/rebounding/lyre) until Passive Bedevil wears off, two minutes later. Important: Serpents, thus, benefit the most from this mechanic, and yet: Serpents have by far the most powerful force ability in the game, which can not only force as many commands as they like, but can be initiated with absolutely no balance cost, unlike every other foce ability in the game. Thus, a serpent can mathemically guarantee a lock by either forcing tree tattoo (before or after bedevil) and using the 11 second window provided to lock their target. That's not all though. Since Snap is balance free, the serpent doesn't even have to hedge bets on his lock attempt working. He can simply prepare the lock before snapping, dramatically shortening the window of opportunity for the priest to run or shield before being locked (to as low as 1.5-2 seconds). If somehow the lock isn't achieved, the serpent still has TWO MINUTES to keep trying, at which point, all he has to do is force it again (which can easily be timed via script (I do this), and suggested/sealed prior to that two minutes). The same exact train of logic can be applied to Bard Minuet, since the ability can be used off balance (after jabs).
- (personal opinion) Passive bedevil actually kinda sucks, and is very rarely, if ever, worth its various costs and penalties.
(not personal opinion) It is paradoxical in that its only positive effects are best used against affliction classes, which are specifically the classes that you would never want to use it on, eliminating your ability to mitigate incoming affliction rate and/or venomlocks.
Passive Bedevil is only good to use against an opponent with the following traits:
+ They do use a lot of afflictions
+ They are not actually able to lock you (ie. no access to impatience and/or hypochondria)
+ Their affliction rate / count on you is not a key metric in their offense (as it is for priest, shaman, occultist, etc)
This pretty much leaves... Sentinels, Druids, and Knights. Correcting for classes that priests actually fight against, that leaves two classes in the game, Infernals and Runewardens. Against everyone else it has either a slightly or massively negative impact (many of which are able to force it).
- Note: For classes able to force commands that benefit from doing mana damage, forced passive bedevil is definitely an oversight. There are only a few abilities in the game that use more mana in a single command, most of which are specifically not allowed to be forced, and all of which are not forceable off balance. Fortunately, two of the classes that can really take advantage of this oversight are both of the Devotion classes, however, an example of a class that dramatically benefits from both the mana damage and depriving a priest of huge amounts of mana, is Jester - a class that hardly needs any more unintended buffs.
- Key assumption: Most people don't seem to be fully aware of how massively Healing has been nerfed. This is vital to the discussion since "the need for a way to counter Healing" is the primary justification for Passive Bedevil being forceable at all. Healing used to be absolutely freaking ridiculous, but it got MASSIVELY and repeatedly nerfed, to the point that it is essentially now a glorified, albeit actually worse, version of Fitness. Here's how Healing actually works:
+ Healing, unlike every other active heal in the game (other than Fitness) shows what it is healing (indirectly, but specifically).
+ The HEAL command (unspecified affliction) has a 3 second balance (limb balance), and has 10 second cooldown.
+ The HEAL <aff> command uses elemental balance, and thus significantly detracts from priest's offensive affliction pressure, to the extent that if things have come to the point that using HEAL <aff> is required, total abandonment of offensive pressure is almost certainly prudent.
+ Heal uses 300 mana, which in combination with attacks (which also use mana), drains about 600-900 mana PER ATTACK, which needless to say, is both unsustainable, and quite dangerous against many classes.
+ Heal is prevented by either arm being broken, including level 1 "breaks" (aka shriveled).
It is my honest to god opinion that simple "random cure" abilities (shrugging, salt, alleviate, etc) are in general far more valuable than Heal <affliction>, particularly since they mask what is cured (a mind bogglingly-underrated detail), whereas Healing shows exactly what was cured, an can easily be afflicted in about 20% of the balance time that it took to cure it (two doublestabs and a loki bite and/or hypnosis affliction in the same 3 seconds, for example). Also, most of these abilities have additional benefits (such as being abled to be used prone, not using any actual balances (no impact on offense), or healing TWO afflictions at a time (bloodboil), and so on.
Healing is actually cumulatively worse than Fitness, as well, particularly when acknowledged that Heal <affliction> (on yourself) is virtually only used to cure Asthma to prevent venomlocks. I have personally never actually used it to cure any other (Healable) affliction, since in almost all other cases, a better method or counter is better. With the simple (and reasonable) assumption that Healing is only actually used to cure Asthma, Fitness is actually better in every way. It is much faster, is much harder to prevent, does not use 300 mana, does not have a cooldown or use a class balance (Heal has both), and, of course, can't be prevented for 2 minutes with a single unstoppable forced command.
The mechanic of making forced bedevil unpreventable wasn't intended, and was left in place as a "lazy" fix to a different problem, that may or may not actually be a problem anymore - and the "fix" only works for an almost entirely arbitrary list of classes based on which are able to force commands (which nearly inversely correlates to which classes actually rely on afflictions in combat, with the exceptions of occultist, bard, and serpent). Also, there were many unconsidered factors and effects of this mechanic (some of which I listed), including the mana cost of the ability, and the absolutely blatant overpowered nature of the mechanic when used by bards and serpents to achieve venomlocks.
[continued] (wtf is this, this is 2014, why do forums have character limits?)