Developer's Diary – Captain Updates

by OnnMacMahal


Hello everyone! I’m OnnMacMahal, and I’m here to start talking about the upcoming Captain class changes.

The captain is a unique class: captains are flexible melee warriors and healers focused on supporting allies rather than maximizing personal output. While each trait specialization should be able to competently fulfill its primary role (healing, dealing damage, or holding threat and mitigating damage) they should each retain a focus on supporting allies rather than being entirely self-sufficient. We don’t want to lose sight of this core element. Even when wading straight into a melee, captains embody the sacrifices of leading by example while staying out of the spotlight in order to make their allies shine. Captains are team players, through and through.

Current State Overview

Why make any changes to the captain, you ask? “Captains make great tanks, and I always see requests for ‘rCap’ in LFF.”

Captains specializing in Hands of Healing (blue) make great raid-group support healers, providing lots of passive, AoE healing, but fail to keep up with other main healers when it comes to single-target healing and responding to large damage spikes. Additionally, some of the specialization’s core mechanics like Inspiriting Presence and Valour are semi-passive, making them hard to account for or plan around, and ultimately making them feel unreliable and unhelpful in moments where you really need them.

Captains specializing in Lead the Charge (red) make fantastic raid-group DPS supporters, provided your primary DPS players are physical-damage dealers. Red-line captain support unfortunately doesn’t extend as well to tactical-damage classes, and the value of a red captain drops precipitously as your group size decreases. A solo captain, even fully-equipped in offensive gear, who is questing, delving, or fighting monster players on their own will struggle to produce meaningful damage, even when compared to non-DPS specializations of some other classes.

Captains specializing in Leader of Men (yellow) make wonderful tanks for multiple group sizes. This specialization is by far the most broadly useful of all current captain specializations, without regard for content type or group size. However, gameplay for the yellow-line captain still suffers from the lack of a second skill to open the Battle-Readied state, as well as a relative dearth of defensive mechanics, compared to other tank specializations. Much of the value a yellow captain brings the group comes from Motivate (a passive buff that’s not an interactive combat mechanic) their in-combat rez (which can act as a full reset for 3-person groups) and the benefits from always-on skills and effects like On Guard, Inspire, Revealing Mark, and Battle-Hardened damage reduction.


Captains need a moderate damage increase across the board. Regardless of trait specialization, you should feel like you’re wielding a weapon of war.
Though the ability to summon a herald is a longstanding aspect of the class, players shouldn’t feel overreliant on their herald. Especially when solo, your herald should feel like they’re augmenting you and supporting you, not tying up half your skills and leaving you completely useless every time they decide to wander off or get stuck in a corner.

For Hands of Healing captains, we want to improve your capacity to fulfill a main-healer role. That means increasing your healing to your shield-brother, improving your ability to react to large amounts of damage in a short window, and reducing some of your passive, always-on AoE healing. You should also be rewarded for playing like the aggressive front-line melee leader you are.

For Lead the Charge captains, we plan to add a “solo” stance that dramatically improves your personal damage output at the cost of group-wide support. When running on your own, you gain little to no benefit from group- or ally-oriented skills, so replacing those with personal damage comes at no cost when you’re alone. When you’re in a group, we still want the group support to outweigh the benefits of this stance, but in cases like 3-person groups, you still ought to be able to fill a damage role yourself by foregoing group support (since you might well have no DPS-specialized allies in that scenario).

For Leader of Men captains, there are no major concerns we have about your current ability to fulfill the role of tank, so changes will be focused around smaller QoL adjustments and changes. We want you to be able to more actively rotate through battle-states, and for your core/frequent skills to have a greater impact on your role efficacy, so they don’t end up feeling like inconsequential filler. 


Captains have a lot to love, so don’t expect things to change too drastically. We want you to be able to shine in all three specializations, in all sorts of content! That said, we’re looking forward to sharing a more detailed look at what’s coming soon. For now, thanks for reading!