(Also posted in the General Forums, in this thread and cross-posted here for posterity and more focused input. I will be updating both posts as required)
As it is, there are simply too many issues plaguing the post-Helm's Deep Champion. (A detailed list can be found here).
In particular, the lack of developer response our class has received makes the whole situation much more embarrassing, as Turbine hasn't even acknowledge these issues, much less addressed them. I swear, every time I look at the Champion change list in patch notes and find it virtually empty I die a little inside.
I've attempted to compile a list of potential solutions to some of those issues. I'll be editing this post with suggestions from our fellow Champion players in this thread, so feel free to contribute and hopefully Jinjah (our class developer) or someone else will consider implementing some or most of these.
If a developer does stumble upon this, here is a very simple list of solutions to implement that would go a long way to fixing most champion issues.
--- ALL LINES ---
Here are solutions to issues which affect all lines regardless of specialization:
• Revert Bracing Attack to it's previous Riders of Rohan version with the Heal over Time component. Fight On has too long a cooldown to make up for it. Should heal even if the skill misses.
• Give us back Hedge. Seriously. It's horrible to feel completely powerless when disarmed, specially since before we could shrug it off completely. Reintroduce Hedge as a specialization independent skill and have it remove disarms and actually prevent them for at least 15 seconds.
• Bonuses for unconsumed fervour pips make zero sense whatsoever, given that as a Champion you want to spend your fervour pips as fast as possible to maximize damage. There is no incentive for not spending those if you're losing out on damage. A possible solution would be introducing a buff that tiers up the longer you go without spending any fervor that increases skill damage and critical chance, so you can either spend your fervor for some fast damage or wait a bit longer for a "charged attack" with more damage. The buff could go on a low cooldown, so you could only perform charged attacks, say, every 20s.
• All three initial traits from all lines should be included by default (Second Wind, Brutal Strikes and Battle Frenzy). Replace those traits respectively by something along the lines of:
- Improved Second Wind: Includes a small power over time component like the old second wind.
- Improved Brutal Strikes: Gain one extra point of fervor on first strike crit.
- Improved Battle Frenzy: Gain one extra point of fervor every time an enemy is defeated like the old Red Haze.
• Fear Nothing is a legacy skill that has stuck around with us since the old days when removing Fear effects actually mattered, but on a 3 minute cooldown it doesn't get much use at all, even if it adds the occasional couple of fervor pips. Consider reducing the skill's cooldown to 40s and have it add a fervor point for each fear effect removed, up to 3, giving Champions additional fervor in instances that are riddled with Fear debuffs.
--- BERSERKER (RED) LINE ---
The main problem with this line is your damage output is fairly low, and the current traits are very unpredictable. Here are some solutions that could potentially make the Red line viable for DPS again:
• Make bleeds do considerably more damage and tier up in the same fashion as Rend bleeds, so the trait is actually worth taking.
• Make the extra strikes damage trait affect all strikes rather than just the last ones (otherwise it benefits heavily dual wield vs two handed builds, not to mention not synergizing well with Remorseless Strikes)
• Revert sprint bonus cooldown reduction to 120s, 30s is not worth investing in.
• Reintroduce Seeking Blades, add a trait that allows brutal strikes to reduce the cooldown of seeking blades by 5 seconds, like on old Hytbold Armour.
• Attack speed buffs should never expire. If they've tiered up, they should stay up.
• Emboldened Blades buff should tier down upon a crit rather than be consumed.
• Maximizing Hedge root duration is useless given subsequent damage often breaks the root. Have it disarm your opponent for 5 seconds in addition to the rooting when maxed instead, that would actually be useful.
--- DEADLY STORM (YELLOW) LINE ---
Surprisingly, this line is mostly fine, although a few smaller issues remain:
• Remove the finesse trait. It's downright useless. Consider replacing it with a flat +% chance of Blade Wall adding a fervor pip, in increments of 10% to 50%.
• Born of Combat should activate when YOU hit 10 times, not when you're hit 10 times. Also should do more damage than it does for a skill with a long cooldown/usage restriction.
--- MARTIAL CHAMPION (BLUE) LINE ---
This line is heavily changed from pre-Helm's Deep experience, and not necessarily for the best. Here are some solutions to making it viable once again:
• Remove the fervor cost of Bracing Attack when in blue line and lower the cooldown to 20s as it used to be. At the current 30s of cooldown, you can only use it twice before Dire Need is back (with legacy), leaving you with no other reliable means to heal yourself. Also consider making the skill immediate, I'm sure many Champions have died because Bracing Attack didn't proc the heal in time to save their lives.
• Martial Champion is painfully slow without Flurry. The only time it feels good is when True Heroics is up, but that lasts not even 10s on a 5min cooldown. Consider having riposte proc a +15% attack speed buff on crits that lasts for 15s, so you if you have enough parry responses it could potentially persist throughout the fight.
• Switch the location of the Vitality trait with the extra Second Wind power restore so that you're not forced to take any (useless) Vitality, and other lines can benefit from extra power from Second Wind (which, if you've been paying attention should be a general skill available to all lines by default), since the removal of stances has severely gimped our In-Combat Power Regeneration.
--- MISCELLANEOUS ISSUES ---
• Fix the fervor generation buff from the Helm's Deep Stalwart set removing Battle Frenzy. It actually makes your fervor generation worse. Consider having it sideline Battle Frenzy for the duration of the proc.
• Crafted horns are now inexplicably consumable, supposedly to allow for one more Champion consumable item. However, with 15 minutes of cooldown, it's simply not worth using them anymore and most players skip these completely now. Consider lowering the cooldown of Crafted Horns considerably to make them actually useful. Three minutes, like our other consumable, the Fervour Potion, seems like a nice middle ground, and might make it worth it investing the time and resources to acquire them. Additionally the Extra Stun Duration Legacy only affects crafted horns at the moment, and with 15 minute cooldown on those, it's simply not worth taking. If the legacy also affected our general stun, Horn of Gondor, that would be a very good legacy in turn.