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The stance system is problematic for new players or inexperienced coders, but it's not the problem; players will put up with that if it kills.
The problem is that the profession just can't put down a reasonably tanky target. That's incredibly hard to fix because of how limb damage classes work,though, especially the multi-breakers and feint professions. The gap between "completely toothless" and "guaranteed kill" is so, so, so thin.
"On the battlefield I am a god. I love war. The steel, the smell, the corpses. I wish there were more. On the first day I drove the Northmen back alone at the ford. Alone! On the second I carried the bridge! Me! Yesterday I climbed the Heroes! I love war! I… I wish it wasn’t over."
The problem is that it's a limb damage class and limb damage classes are very hard to fix, just because of the nature of the class. A limb damage class that can land their breaks reliably and has a viable finisher can very easily end up with an unstoppable kill. This has been monk's biggest problem, historically; it's either been a trivial triple or it's all but impossible.
That aside, if you really want to address predator problems, these are the kinds of things I would look at. I haven't given any serious thought to most of these, I'm just sort of spitballing ideas here.
I don't really see Predator becoming really good, honestly; the truth is that limb damage classes have a very hard time getting through good parrying now and this is going to be a problem for the foreseeable future.
The problem with that is that it's outside of classlead territory and firmly in the land of the class revamp, at a minimum. If they redo limb damage entirely you're looking at rebuilding monk, ranger, and predator as well as looking at things like Outrider icecoat offense and knight tendoncut. Would be a huge change.
My predator thoughts.
Predator needs both legs to deal any kind of substantial (using the term loosely) damage. This means, due to the insane balance of feint, that you need to also prep both arms (so you can feint/break/break arm, leg/leg/trip or whatever). This means that you have to prep all four primary limbs, which involves massive contention with parry. Basically more than any other class (monk has options through the use of cripple off a head break or whatever to shut down parry momentarily for their kill sequence).
Crescentcut damage is pretty laughable, even if you throw all the artefacts in the world at it (I tested on beta).
Rebounding screws with the killshot (not the case for any other prone/break class).
If they stand up, that's game. There is no follow through because the offenses non prone damage goes from subpar to "I can probably do more if I switch to weaponry".
The class' long prep time has 0 hinder, and the class has no aff active heal. Shrugging is not useful in that capacity for an am prof. Given having to wait on feint cooldowns (multiple times per kill vs anyone with a remote clue), someone has probably killed you 4-5 times before you get to try once.
Unartefacted twinshot is terrible.
The razing is clunky and awkward because of stances.
Cirisosis is unpredictable because you don't know if you've missed your window and need to start over, or if you should keep affing, etc.
Each twinshot costs you darts, which you will run out of very quickly in any kind of protracted fight if actually trying to push this offense as a primary choice.
Beastmastery doesn't mesh well with the rest of the offenses.
Stances are weird (but cool).
Comboing is weird (I'm assuming buggy here, if you raze/lowhook or whatever with a toxin applied, it won't envenom because the first attack is a raze).
Changing stance takes way too long.
Feint balance takes way too long (but the entire feint interaction for this class is just kind of unworkable).
Their damage pressure outside the kill window is nonexistent. Noone will play a class like that anymore who actively fights.
I have to disagree re: mask < phase. Phase is better infiltration/spying, but mask overall is more powerful. You can do things with a mask someone with phase just can't, and those things tend to be significant. I wouldn't mind predator getting some bonus to being able to use them better, but I disagree that phase is a superior option in most cases.
That's an awful idea.
First, it's horribly unfriendly to new players and bad coders. Second, it puts other classes in a trap situation where they'll end up feeling like they can't use key abilities/afflictions. Third, we have predictive defense already and it's called parry and everybody hates it. Fourth, a specifically anti-caster class is awful because it needs to be viable as a main profession and not just as a side-prof for when Septus wants to trash a Diabolist.
Pff. Diabolists are easy.
You just have to not run out of kelp.
Pff. Diabolists are easy.You just have to have rage.
You just have to have rage.