I want to start off by emphasizing just how essential the Nature's Speed skill is for SharpShooters - having relatively much lower damage than Rangers and quite a limited set of skills, they rely heavily on dealing a large portion of their damage using auto-attack. Without the skill's effect to boost their auto-attack damage, their killing competence is underwhelming to say the least, when compared to other classes.
As of now, even with reduced cooldown on Nature's Swiftness, (from skill points and armor set effects), as well as increased duration of Nature's Speed, (from set effects alone, by about 30%), a SS still has to deal with a roughly 17 second time window when they are unable to use Nature's Speed.
You may argue that 17 seconds is not that big of a deal at all. However, in battle - and especially in PvP - absolutely every second counts.
Essentially, I'd like to suggest that Nature's Speed is modified in a way which will allow a SS to use the skill all the time, (much like how Gladiators can have Vitality and Violence active permanently), while still ensuring it is balanced.
In order to potentially change the duration and/or cooldown of Nature's Speed and to keep it balanced, I think the best option is to apply a side-effect to using it.
After some consideration, I decided that a suitable side-effect could be rapid SP draining - much like how Violence drains a Gladiator's HP while it's active. However, I understand that Nature's Speed is quite a lot stronger than Violence, and so the rate at which the player's SP is drained would have to be faster.
While Violence drains 10 HP per second when active, I reckon that the draining of SP when Nature's Speed is active could be somewhere around 3-5% per second, (of course this is just an initial idea). Such a side-effect would increase the maintenance of the skill considerably.
With a major debuff like that, an alteration to the skill's duration and/or cooldown shouldn't be a problem.
Although after some thought I decided that completely removing a SS's reliance on Nature's Swiftness to cancel the massive cooldown of Nature's Speed could be irrational, there are many other options for how the skill should be buffed:
- Extend the base duration of the skill, whether that be by 15, 30 or more seconds, (depending on the actual rate of SP drainage).
- Allow the duration of the skill to be extended via skill points, (number of seconds are adjustable depending on rate of SP drainage).
- A combination of the two options above.
Currently, I'm not sure if these changes should be applied to Nature's Speed at all levels, only past level 100, or perhaps even exclusively for the SharpShooter class.
Needless to say, these ideas are not set in stone - I recognize that there are many people out there who know lots more about balancing classes than I do.
Feel free to discuss this! All constructive comments are welcome. I hope I made some valid points here.