Thanks to @PaleOne for giving the idea of posting about how classes are in the current patch.I hope @thomasblair can stop by and see what it feels like as a Cleric Main. I want to stress that I understand any of my suggestions may be A. unworkable or "not worth the squeeze", B. Already in the Works, or C. rendered moot by other forthcoming changes. Even if this is ABC, I would really appreciate that feedback. Also I implore you: IF YOU READ NOTHING ELSE AT LEAST TAKE A LOOK AT THE RED TEXT.
Pros + Whats Working with Cleric
Great Base Kit
Great for Groups and Viable Solo
2 Ults Allowing Offensive / Defensive Builds
Relatively Easy to Pick up and Play
Con + What Needs a Look At
Blackmantle / Heal Blocks
Charging Heal Ultimate
Non - Scaling Retaliate
Single Damage Type / Cleave
Blackmantle / Heal Blocks - I may be wrong, but I think you would be hard pressed to find anyone who likes the current state of blackmantle. It is VERY strong and lacks counterplay against. I REALLY liked the change @moneda suggested about changing Blackmantle to a Personal Heal Modifier(-.5) IE making it so the target received 50% less healing. While I definitely want to see this change not only because I think it would be healthy for the game, but I think % based skills are always a good thing. On top of this change I would love to see a Cleanse for Blackmantle added. This provides some sort of counterplay and strategy. I would suggest putting it in Friar/Pixie/Naid/Dryad(basically anything except Field Surgeon. This would be similar to the Field Surgeon ability that cleanses DoTs. My biggest concern with adding this cleanse is the fact blackmantle can be applied every 5 seconds, so a decently short CD would have to be implemented or perhaps a small immunity after casting the cleanse.
As a bonus, it would make combat more interesting if there were other cleanses for other untouchable debuffs. Such as armor breaks or things like warp metal. I want to underline that I am VERY happy we have DoT, expose, and even CC cleanses. I just want everything else covered too. On the offensive side, a buff stripper(purge) would add more utility to assassins or even as a disc to add for duelists to take as well.
Food Issue - I believe this has been mentioned before but I want to underline again how detrimental it is that clerics(and confessors) stop regenerating mana after below 3 tickers. I do not want to step into the conversation about rate of ticker loss, only the fact that these two classes are unfairly targeted by the mechanic. No other class stops regenerating their resource at below three chicken tickers. What if no pip classes could generate pips, rangers couldn't use arrows, myrms couldn't generate fury etc etc when below three chicken tickers. The same issue is present for clerics. This almost forces clerics to choose Field Surgeon as a discipline in order to make sure they can keep their mana up during battle due to the noble purpose passive. Is there any easy fix to this? Is there something tricky about the code? I honestly just want to understand if that is the case.
Charging Heal Ultimate - As a cleric it can be very difficult to charge heal ultimate during a group battle. The reason for this is multifold. The biggest cause is due to the fact you are either the target or healing a target. If you are the target you are laying down puddles and trying to block or dodge. Druids do not have this issue because their main heal is tied to their LMB. The current code limits LMBs as the only way to charge an ultimate as far as I know. Couple possible changes for this is to make Cleric Heal ultimate a "double" ultimate(ie only cost 50%), have it charge easier, or perhaps make it similar to ultimate champion where your heal ultimate is charged instead by being hit. This fits thematically more with the cleric block as well where you don't mind being the main target.
Weapon Changes - I appreciate the added heavy weapons to provide for different play styles. My only concern for this is that healers were left out. I am never going to go for a heavy hammer because more DPS does nothing for my capability to heal other group members. With the addition of weapon weight, I think there is an opportunity to create more crafting decisions and trade offs. My suggestion would be to go back to a single weapon recipe but put weapon weight as a separate final combine experiment option. This would force players to choose between base damage, added stats, and power cost/weapon weight. As a healer, I would then choose stats(for SP) and power cost.
Auras - I love the HP aura and so does everyone in my group except assassins(thats a whole other bug to deal with). My only complaint with auras is that it is so easy to fall off due to the amount of CC and being a major target in group fights. This in combination with the HP buff change( buff = going from 7750/7750 to 7750/10000) makes auras feel like they have very little actual effect in a battle. In an ideal world HP buffs would keep your % the same[Example 5000/7500(66%) before buff, buffed by 2500 would then make you 6666/10000(66%)] and instead of an aura it would be a longer buff(2-5minutes) that could hopefully be stripped by an ability I mentioned above.
Non - Scaling Retaliate - As far as I know, cleric has the only retaliate that does not scale. Everyone else's retaliate is based off % attack damage etc. Cleric simply gets a 500 flat barrier. As I stated before, I believe % based abilities make the game easiest to balance for. My suggestion would be for the barrier to be based off % Max HP.
Single Damage Type / Cleave - I hate mudman, and there is no getting around that. Mudman may not be a big deal as disciplines need to be farmed etc, and I hope that is the case. I do think every class should have access to more than one damage type. Now I don't expect lightning hammers to start popping out, there is one thing I want to ask about. Is there a code reason why cleric couldn't use poisoner? Rangers can use it and their arrows become poison type, so figured cleric could too. On the same auto attack focus for my offensive cleric brethren, is cleave(Master of Hammers) still coming? Is it going to be the same effect that the offensive ult has and how portable is the code for that cleave? I assume it would be similar or weaker?
Blocking - Lastly, and the one I expect the least movement on is blocking. I don't know how knights feel, but blocking just feels lackluster. Yes it has damage reducation and CC immunity but at the cost of doing NOTHING while blocking. I know this is vague and honestly don't have a good fix with how block is currently set up. Even though the cleric block makes it so you heal others, the reason you are often being hit as a cleric is because YOU are the focus target and your group mates are fine. The CD and justs low response on block also makes it hard to use reactively in small doses. I usually end up having to lay puddles down and block, but I still melt because of heal blocks and the fact I am now way less mobile and easier to focus by melee/assassins. Block play style just doesn't seem viable but with above changes who knows, that could be different.
For anyone who actually read the whole thing, thanks. I am trying to focus away from "nerf" talk and stick to my own class.