Mantorok wrote:Since I was the squeaky wheel here let me comment.
Fact 1: There are no groups like there used to be. The player base is basically separated into the 78-85 guys and the newbies. While it's not unheard of to get a group outside of Nameless, it is exceedingly difficult and levels are not usually close to each other. In the level range of 18-50 when people are in Cobrahn, one is fortunate to find a hunting partner, much less a group. Even then, you're likely to have levels anywhere from 18-50. Getting groups pre-18 is almost unheard of (sorry new players).
This changes the dynamic of leveling from 18-50 dramatically. Yes, mentalists can burn and possibly clear areas as quickly as others their level. However, a mentalist cannot survive the auto-hit mechanic of the faster scenarios. There is no 'avoid the macers and giants'. You get caught on screen, you're dead. End of story. You can't burn in a faster scenario. This means mentalists can either hunt Timmy caves forever and fall behind any other class (namely Paladins, Barbarians, and Martialists), or they can...
No, that's all they can do by themselves. There's no area a mentalist can hunt in Cobrahn that gives decent gains and doesn't kill them in one round. End of story. If you think otherwise, you're wrong, and I suggest you try growing your own mentalist through that scenario without leeching.
Fact 2: The meta-game has changed since the release of Cobrahn. Melee classes outclass PSI-users in damage 90% of the time. Even 50 and under, the weapons available in Cobrahn deal hundreds/thousands more than any psionic discipline, without drawing upon a resource (EP) or aging as dramatically/at all. You can be skill 12 in any given weapon, pick one up off the floor in Timmy caves, and deal as much or more damage than a skill 20 mentalist with ENERGYSPEAR.
This is problem is only compounded by the fact that several amazing end-game weapons were added to Cobrahn, but not a single discipline has been added since launch. Lazloth, Improva, Sons of Grragh - so many weapon choices that hit for 1000+ on regular hits. Consider that each melee class gets abilities to multiply that damage, along with excellent hits. It's insane. Mentalists get ENERGYSPEAR. Which leads to the next topic...
Fact 3: New ENERGYLANCE is awesome. No, it's not overpowered at all. For 70 EP and moderate stress it deals great damage, and half is physical (bypasses psi-cutters and resists). At skill 30 with a Loriapi staff, full damage ranges between about 1200 (600 psionic, 600 melee) to 2500 (1250 psionic, 1250 melee). In essence, this is the most I will ever hit for without tiers. Actual damage is usually about half what I listed, since the psionic portion is still subject to cutters and resists and is less damaging than ENERGYSPEAR. It's the melee half of the damage that shines and allows me to actually kill things. Would another class my size (30/30) be able to handle more dangerous areas with better rewards? Absolutely (unless you're a healer). But once I got skill 24 and ENERGYLANCE, at least I've been able to hunt in areas outside of Timmy caves, and it's more bearable playing.
Fact 4: Getting from skill 14 to skill 24 is awful, exceedingly grindy, and nearly impossible to do in today's meta. It's a solo game now - at least before Nameless. If you can't hunt solo, you can't hunt. Period. Ten years ago there were groups aplenty and melee classes weren't given the royal treatment with incredibly powerful weapons, but this is a different game today. Even then, a standard Curvy longsword out-damages anything a mentalist can do until skill 24. There needs to be an area that's very friendly to PSI classes (no psi-cutters, low HP, detrimental effects that are resolved through mentalist/healer disciplines, etc). Maybe an area where melee attacks are "psi-cut" down to 1/6 of their intended damage, but psionics deal full amounts. I don't know, I'm just a player.
But, as it stands and as it was stated, I never recommend that a new player play a mentalist or healer. It's just entirely too difficult once you get to about 18/15 with the tools given. ENERGYLANCE is a decent solution for skill 24+, but there are ten grueling skill level between point A and point B where most players will lose interest.
I feel your pain, early cobrahn yes, about the only NPC's you feel strong against are the staff guys in Timmy.
You also have Earthcrush, which is Melee damage and hits everything on hex, Firebreath(with quirks this is even better) which hits the full screen, maybe if your having problems with NPC's hitting you, dont let them see you to hit you(hint hint)
Ments are all about being resourceful, its not supposed to easy, certainly not if your just sitting there expecting to bash the same key over and over like a barb.