So as a short preface, i began this game as a necromancer, because i like summoners, it’s my jam, however i was swift to also try out Beastmaster (because summoners are my jam) and these two classes became my most played, most powerful builds for the majority of my time in last epoch as the “OG summoners” after a while i decided to give mages a shot and they were alright, but i just couldn’t tolerate sentinels playstyle as the only melee class (since i don’t play my beastmaster as melee)
however recently, upon reaching the mastery select on my third sorcerer (since respeccing is a pain in the ass i just made 3 sorcerers so i could have 1 of each element) i noticed that the mastery ability of runemasters (which aren’t available yet) was called “runic elemental” naturally, i could only assume that this meant it would be a minion class, and i got excited for another summoner option. then i got thinking to myself “wait, rogues have a mastery called falconer, i bet that’s a minion class too…” and it was only THEN that i learned that forge guards are a minion class, and now i have one at level 50 after an all day grind yesterday…
All 5 of the base classes are meant to have a minion oriented mastery, and for obvious reasons they are meant to play differently from one another.
Necromancers: Strength in numbers, Quanitity > Quality
Beastmasters: Individual, more powerful minions with their own baked in abilities.
Forgeguards: Minions that gain power from your power (something i’ve been wanting for necromancer since i started playing, and now understand why that isn’t the case).
and so now i’m anticipating runemasters and falconers to have a unique design philosophy, and will comment on my ideas for those below.
So for falconer, i’d actually already made a design concept here: (Rogue concept design part 4 (Falconer)) that i stand by (as it accidentally was a unique playstyle from necromancer and beastmaster, which are the only minion classes i had experience with at the time i made that post) focusing on a single, unkillable minion to augment your own abilities rather than playing mindless army or squad commander.
However for rune masters i got thinking: “What would be a different playstyle than those already available?” and after a few scrapped ideas, i came up with one which i felt i could present here: Modular, variable power minions.
now, what do i mean by that? well lets start with the single runemaster ability we know of: Runic elemental
what if it read something like this: “Channel for up to 3 seconds to summon a runic elemental with stats and duration scaling based on how much mana you spent while channeling.”
so that way you could decide “do i want a small army of 10 or so small bois to keep my enemies busy or maximize my minion elemental procs, or do i want a pair of big tanky bois to dish out hurt and hold a bosses attention?”
and then to follow that, what if, perhaps, you had an ability called something like “Runic Armor” and it read something like “Equip a suit of magic armor to yourself or an ally, increasing defenses for a period of time, increased effect on runic elementals.”
and it could have such talents as elemental damage auras which would be larger on elementals, increased life regen (which would effectively increase the duration of elementals) apply bonus elemental damage/ status chance on hit, thus granting it to elementals and so on.
you could then have another ability like “Runic weapon” which would be similar to the armor variant, but could also be used to change up the playstyle of runic elementals, like giving them a bow, granting them access to certain spells, causing them to dual wield and melee attack rapidly, among other things.
Basically my idea with runemasters is: You get one type of minion, but you get plenty of options to deck it out (and yourself) and alter it’s playstyle to suit any situation.