I haven’t talked about strikers a whole lot because they’re kind of straightforward. Also, the ground is pretty well-covered, right? If you know what DPS stands for, you know what a striker does, right? Right?

Surprisingly, only maybe.

I’ve avoided the subject of strikers because I thought I said what I had to say — and some of it was even kind of “revolutionary” as things go, that perhaps every class should be built as a striker first, to figure out how it deals damage.

Here and there, I’ve touched on subjects like, “the striker should attack every turn,” the methods and implications of well, making that happen.

Movement powers, for example.

Special modes of movement, like flight and teleportation.

But even in light of this, these I mean, things. In light of these things, I kind of disrespected strikers a little because they didn’t interest me personally. I mean, strikers attack, they hit, and they deal damage. Big whoop, right?

Again I say, only maybe.

Yesterday on the train I was recompiling my notes about the combat roles and trying to come up with punchier, easier-to-remember shorthand for the role mechanics when I made a silly volleyball metaphor that stuck.

Bump, Set, Spike.

Volleyball has a zillions of variants but the one I learned in school was based on the idea the first player slowed the ball (“bump”), the second player primed it (“set”), and a third player sent it hurtling over the net (“spike”).

Easy enough.

I swapped these terms in for the leader’s “buffs” and “granted attacks,” to parallel the striker’s “spike.” A spike in this case refers to a sudden, dramatic increase in damage output — generally applied to a single target.

This term, I borrowed from the Guild Wars metagame.

I was mulling over the three parts of the striker role I could recall offhand — move, spike, and push — when my mind tripped over the term, “volley.”

Defenders have an emphasis on MBA replacements (melee basic attacks) largely because they’re instrumental in performing successful interrupt attacks.

But no roles emphasize ranged basic attacks.

Originally, I had no intention of expanding RBAs because there’s no game for them. Traditional RPGs are “hack and slash,” not “run and gun.”

But if you know me, and you’ve followed this project at all — then you already know how much I am for bucking traditions that have outlived their purpose.

Strikers then, have a job to attack every single turn.

If a striker isn’t attacking, they aren’t doing their job. To this end, a striker has two methods at their disposal — move powers to get them in position, and now volley powers to assure a ranged attack. Many will be RBA replacements.

Even a controller’s knockdown effects will barely slow a striker. But that’s okay, the controller’s job is to keep the defender in check — not the striker. The defender’s job is to keep the striker in check. And so on, and so forth.

Of course this change will mean revising leaders again. #LeSigh