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Developer Blog: Cleric Changes

By Julia (nitocris83) | Fri 01 Mar 2019 07:00:00 AM PST

Cleric will undergo dramatic changes in Undermountain. If you haven’t already, take a look at the introduction to classes developer blog which discusses the class changes overall as well as high level adjustments to healing and tanking. This post will discuss the upcoming changes to cleric in detail.

With the release of the expansion various changes throughout the game will make healing more significant than ever. Changes to cleric will refocus the class on its original core concept: a powerful healer who keeps their party alive with divine magic.

By far the largest change comes in the form of a complete rework of the divinity resource. Astral Change is gone, as is the entire concept of divine and empowered versions of powers. Divinity is now a straightforward pool of divine magic which you will rely on to cast many of your encounter powers.

Encounter powers that are straightforward healing and damaging spells like Bastion of Health and Daunting Light will now cost divinity to cast. Encounter powers which cost divinity will have no cooldown and can be cast consecutively, but cannot be cast if you have run out of divinity. Divinity regenerates naturally over time, regenerating more quickly out of combat or when the cleric uses the new class mechanic Channel Divinity to pray to their deity.

With healing spells linked to divinity instead of relying on simple cooldowns, healing will become more flexible and more active. Dungeons and trials have been rebalanced so that enemy attacks will be less deadly, meaning there’s more of an opportunity to react to damage and heal. You can make up for mistakes by spending extra divinity to heal more, but be careful not to run out.

Clerics can select one of their two reworked paragon paths to specialize in healing and play as the Devout. When compared with other healers like the oathkeeper paladin and the soulweaver warlock, the devout relies on straightforward powerful heals, heal over time effects, and effective divinity management. 

The cleric’s second reworked paragon path allows them to play as the Arbiter. Arbiters are instruments of divine retribution who seek out and dispatch evil in the name of their god or goddess. For the first time, clerics will be able to queue as a dedicated DPS by playing as an arbiter.

Arbiters focus on providing complex gameplay with deep damage dealing rotations based on the shifting scales of their deity’s judgement. By switching between spells that deal radiant damage and spells that deal fire damage, arbiters can unleash devastating holy fire on their enemies.

New spells like the daily Celestial Prominence will allow the arbiter to summon a mote of concentrated astral energy at a location, detonating it immediately to deal damage to nearby enemies or allowing it to grow in strength first before unleashing its full potential. The arbiter will rely on setup and execution while providing utility for their party that should satisfy clerics who enjoy the current, damage and party-enhancing focused cleric meta.

Hopefully you’re as excited as I am for you to try out the big changes coming to cleric! Neverwinter: Undermountain will be coming to our preview shard on March 1, so look forward to more information in the coming weeks, and preview the changes yourself if you have the time. See you on the Sword Coast!

Systems Designer

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