Welcome, cleric players and other interested parties, to the results of the TownCrier’s first profession survey! In a two-part survey with a first part that ran from March 8 to March 29 and a second part that ran from March 15 to March 29, we asked players to share their thoughts on just about all things clerical in the world of GemStone IV.
Between both surveys, 68 unique cleric players responded–with a breakdown of 56 players filling out the first part and 47 filling out the second part!
All feedback will be passed along to dev GMs in unedited form to do with as they wish, but in the upcoming pages I’ve publicly summarized a representative sampling of prominent recurring themes and thoughts from players’ responses.
I’ve also highlighted comments that stuck out as exceptional for being either:
- Unique in view
- Unique in the way they were articulated
I quote players anonymously to protect their privacy and keep focus purely on the opinions expressed, but their clerics’ levels are included for context since discussions frequently revolved around specific level ranges. (Names will be passed along to GMs, however.)
Comments were chosen for quality over quantity; if ten people said to replace 311 Blind (not a real example) and one person said to keep it, at best I only include one comment from each perspective. (The exception would be if some of the ten give different reasoning to their arguments.) Emphasizing how many people simply like or dislike a spell or other element of clerics was left to bar charts instead of quoting anybody and everybody.
For more details on how comments were selected, please see the bottom of this page below the table of contents!
Table of Contents
Players share their love of clerics’ roleplay potential, selected as the most common primary reason why people continue to play their clerics, along with their love for the related topic of spiritual flavor and messaging in cleric abilities. Some players offer specific, detailed suggestions to add still more flavor.
Rescues and raises are chosen as the most common primary reason why people create their clerics, along with 318 Raise Dead getting top ratings as the most satisfying non-combat spell. Nonetheless, several players’ comments express concerns about the relevance or even viability of raising in the current GemStone environment. Others who love raising offer a few suggestions.
In this complex and lengthy section of the survey results, players approach the subject of clerics’ single-target CS spells from several angles: power level, the alignment aspect of Smite and Bane, mana problems, CHANNELing, and lack of variety in attacking options. Opinions on each subtopic run the gamut in this defining part of the survey.
Examining all three of clerics’ spell circles, players explain their stances on challenges posed to the usefulness of disablers and AoE spells. 301 Prayer of Holding and 316 Censure see the most positive response among disablers, but players’ preference remains to simply attack. Later, players dissect 335 Divine Wrath in both solo and group hunting contexts.
Players express a range of opinions on bolting, including some who like bolts but can’t justify the cost of training Spell Aiming in the current game. Others don’t like bolts available to clerics; still others make the case that bolting itself is flawed for any profession. Charts delve into the reasons players gave for why their clerics do and don’t bolt, and several players come forward with succinct, specific suggestions.
A series of charts briefly explore why some clerics use weapons. In written responses, comparisons to paladins draw split opinions from players on weapon use, with some open to and others opposed to improvements; meanwhile, comparisons to empaths come exclusively from players on the “open” side. Players offer suggestions both specific and vague and a couple of people give surprising testimonials.
Players share highly mixed opinions on lores. Negative takes on the state of cleric lores don’t find consensus on a single issue, but instead express misgivings for a variety of reasons both small and large in scope–and sometimes in direct opposition to each other. Even the more rare positive perspectives come with qualifiers. Meanwhile, on the overarching topic of build diversity, recurring themes from Parts 4-6 pop up again, now joined by a few new angles. Players give detailed comments and suggestions alike.
In this section rife with especially strong opinions, players tackle questions about whether clerics have enough unique mechanical appeal to be attractive as main solo characters, group hunters, or neither. Some players ultimately face even the larger existential question of whether clerics have meaningful purpose in the game today.
Spells like 220 Major Sanctuary, 325 Holy Receptacle, 340 Symbol of the Proselyte, 350 Miracle, and many others take turns in the hot seat as cleric players give brief takes on each of them. Though none of them were discussed in enough detail to warrant their own section, players still add some interesting insights and niche considerations.
Cleric players, having rated a permanent gear upgrade spell as the top addition that they’d like to see added to clerics out of fifteen options presented, offer varying suggestions on what such a spell could entail. This section also reviews the players’ interest in the other fourteen options and how those numbers line up with comments and trends seen in the previous nine parts of the results summary, looking back on the survey as a whole.
Leafiara’s player gives thanks to those who made this survey possible, then gives passing mention to some niche subtopics not covered elsewhere in the results, such as clerics’ society choices, Arkati choices, and use of outside buffs for everyday hunting. Questions left on the cutting room floor before making it to the survey also see discussion, including how one in particular might have tied in with responses from other players.
Notes on Comment Selection Methodology
Generally speaking, my goals while choosing comments to include were:
- Highlight almost every actionable suggestion that included details and was more than a few words long.
- Include at least two opposing perspectives on every major topic as long as each side has one substantive comment.
- Quality over quantity: cut the redundancy and focus on quoting unique angles that add to the conversation.
#3 means that if five people reached the same conclusion and each gave different reasoning, I’d quote all five–but if thirty people reached the same conclusion with the same reasoning, I’d quote only one.
I avoided quoting any of my own comments unless they passed all three goals, which I clearly note the two times it happens in the ten-part summary.
Please note that, overall, highlighted comments seemed to trend toward concerns or complaints. I tried to avoid this as much as possible in line with goal #2, but dissatisfied players just tended to give more detailed responses. Don’t take that to mean everyone’s unhappy with their clerics, but only that those who are happy very often didn’t elaborate.
(Maybe they were too busy having fun playing their clerics instead of spending an hour on a survey!)
Intro and Table of Contents