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Lifesteal Options

VDragunov

Terrarian
"[Name of Nurse] may help heal your body, but I can make you embody healing." [Proceeds to never sell any item that remotely relates to healing] — Witch Doctor.

Well I want to have that quote make some sense, and since the Witch Doctor relates mostly to jungle/summoner stuff (vial of venom being an exception, so I guess mats are ok), here's to a long list of lifesteal options...!
The following suggestions should be taken in individually, as a general "brainstorm" towards the topic, because having it all would probably be too much.

Vampire Fangs - A material sold by the Witch doctor for 5G, you need to have either the vampire knives or the Scourge of the Corruptor in your inventory, they're used to craft the following items:

Parasite Arrows: 75/100 wooden arrows, 1 shroomite bar, 1 vampire fang; they heal for 5% the damage done, otherwise, their stats are similar to chlorophyte ammo.
Parasite Bullets: Same as above, just change the wooden arrows for musket balls.

Soul Snatcher Staff: 20 Chlorophyte Bars + 7 Vampire Fangs. Summons a white soul that shoots a white non-piercing-projectile with xeno-staff-like speeds; the projectile heals the player for 10% of the damage dealt by the minions. Damage-wise, it's meant to be a bit inferior to the xeno staff, in order to compensate for this bonus.

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Cresnik Bars: Created by mixing vampire fangs with chlorophyte bars, they're meant to be the summoner counterpart to spectre's mage, shroomite's ranger & beetle's melee.
Tiki and Spooky armor already do that but let's just ignore 'em because they don't have tools.

Cresnik Chesplate: two minion slots. 9 defense points.

Cresnik Leggings: +30% summon damage. 8 defense points.

Cresnik Crown: +20% summon damage. 8 defense.

Cresnik Helmet: one minion slot. 8 defense.

Set effect (W/ Crown): Minion damage heals the player with the lowest health by 5% of the damage dealt.

Set Effect (W/Helmet): Minion attacks don't add piercing inv frames, but respect them. (Similar to luminite bullets).

Yes, I know the Stardust Dragon makes both effects broken into oblivion, but have you seen what mages can do with the spectre hood and a bubble gun/razorpine?

As for the bar-themed tools: Shroomite gets the fastest digging tool, spectre gets painting tools, so why not give cresnik weaponry? I mean, Cresnik itself is a reference to a vampire that eats vampires, as a species, that's about as combat-oriented as you can get... it also fits the witch doctor theming because they're created through voodoo shamanistic magic.

These weapons are meant to follow the "summoner is meant to be played impure" archetype by being melee, ranged and mage, but they're also meant to be
specially useful for summoners because of their alternate fire, which does deal summon damage.

Cross Scythe: The melee weapon, it works just like a death scythe, but it's alternate fire summons a scythe sentry that teleports towards targets between it's range and spins to damage them.

Unlimited Fireworks: The ranger weapon, a bow that fires a volley of 4 arrows close to each other (so… like the tsunami), the alternate fire summons a portal that actually shoots the arrows for you, yet it still deals summon damage.

Kazıklı Bey: the mage weapon, even though it looks like a lance, it actually shoots stakes in a manner similar to the Sky Fracture. It's alternate fire summons a vampire sentry that shoots the stakes at nearby targets for you, it's rate of fire is compensated by the fact that each stake fired still eats your mana, despite doing summon damage.

Just like staves, these weapons are meant to have low base damage because summoners kinda drown themselves in damage buffs.

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Though vampire fangs could just as well be farmed from enemies in the jungle similar to how ectoplasm is acquired in the dungeon, by this point in the game both things should be annoyingly easy for the player, so having the Witch Doctor sell items that relate to healing sounds fitting.

Also, the Soul Snatcher staff could be made with Cresnik Bars, that'd be a neat option as well, as it'd fit even more the Castlevania reference I tried to pull with it.

Intended to add more content before posting, but I pressed enter by accident, F.
 
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J Bame

Terrarian
Yes please, make the Witch Doctor deserve the second word in his name. I also love the idea of the Cresnik weapons and it's the perfect way to give summoner non-minion gear.

There are however, multiple (mostly balance) problems with this:
  • Parasite ammo: Completely Broken. There is a reason the two forms of lifesteal (Vamp Knives and Spectre Hood) are as weak as they happen to be. Even if this is worse DPS than regular ammo it would still be the main thing people use because it's not as devastating to your DPS as switching to the Knives/Hood is. Not to mention that Ranger is the last class you give lifesteal to.
  • Soul Snatcher and Cresnik Crown: See above. Lifesteal is super hard to balance in this game, you don't just make it "a bit" weaker than normal things. Especially since any class could summon a Soul Snatcher and make use of the healing.
  • Cresnik Helmet set: Clashes with Tiki/Spooky armor while being worse than those two, has a set bonus that only affects Stardust Dragon and that isn't even good since Phantasm/Vortex Beater don't pierce and those are already the two weapons a preML summoner should use.
And the main thing, why add another crafting material sold by Witch Doctor when Venom Vials exist and they are already underused? Wouldn't expanding on those, making more Venom items that are also somehow related to healing be a better idea?
 

VDragunov

Terrarian
There are however, multiple (mostly balance) problems with this:
  • Parasite ammo: Completely Broken. There is a reason the two forms of lifesteal (Vamp Knives and Spectre Hood) are as weak as they happen to be. Even if this is worse DPS than regular ammo it would still be the main thing people use because it's not as devastating to your DPS as switching to the Knives/Hood is. Not to mention that Ranger is the last class you give lifesteal to.
  • Soul Snatcher and Cresnik Crown: See above. Lifesteal is super hard to balance in this game, you don't just make it "a bit" weaker than normal things. Especially since any class could summon a Soul Snatcher and make use of the healing.
  • Cresnik Helmet set: Clashes with Tiki/Spooky armor while being worse than those two, has a set bonus that only affects Stardust Dragon and that isn't even good since Phantasm/Vortex Beater don't pierce and those are already the two weapons a preML summoner should use.
And the main thing, why add another crafting material sold by Witch Doctor when Venom Vials exist and they are already underused? Wouldn't expanding on those, making more Venom items that are also somehow related to healing be a better idea?
There's a reason this is the first suggestion I use numbers: I'm pretty bad at using them when it comes to balancing. I thought of 1% or even lower, but even then I ain't sure because the ranger class happens to be based around hitting its targets a lot anyway.

On the point of the soul snatcher… well, don't summoners already use the vampire knives already to get free life steal? This would just give the rangers a similar option (since melee and mage already have better ways to get lifesteal effects, melee thanks to the class bonuses and mage from the spectre hood set).

As for the helmet set: It benefits the twin and spider minions as well (mostly the twins), though I guess by that point you'd jump straight to sharknados/the xeno staff, making the point a bit moot.

My idea for the cresnik armor is this: slightly inferior to both the spooky and tiki armor sets in terms of raw stats, but with a good set bonus to compensate, the reason I went for the lifesteal one for the crown is because there's already two classes with that as an extremely viable option, it sounds fair for everyone to get a choice for it.

On to why I didn't think of making use of the vials of venom: Well, it's supposed to be extremely toxic, and that simply makes me think of debuffs, hence why I suggested a different item for the cresnik bar recipes. Now, it'd be a different story if the witch doctor sold a crafting station that combined both items into Cresnik bars in a way that made sense… but I can't even think of a name or concept for it, tbh.
 
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