Having initially been pretty down on the new poison changes, now I've fiddled around with it I think it's waay better than the old system.
While I've found APHEELSIK is workable, it's a far cry from its former self. It's very backloaded, growing relatively stronger as you level up. At very high high levels it's definitely improved over its old self, but for low-level characters it's significantly weaker, and that's where poison gets the bulk of its value. It is more convenient in terms of your timing options with fireballs, but those were easily worked around. I will agree that the change helped the Assassin capitalize on his attack bonus, but it really
hurts his opener at level 1/2 so I can't see this as a net benefit for the class.
At very minimum, APHEELSIK still needs to be buffed for very low-level characters. It works fine when the player:monster level ratio is within a 1.5 discrepancy, but it rapidly becomes useless as the level discrepancy increases. This makes poison extremely weak for 1st and 2nd level characters, and a poor performing for level 3-4 characters. Even as little as adding a +20 stack front-loading boost would be huge.
Also, now that poison actually has a numerical value rather than an all-or-nothing effect its interaction with magic resistance should be updated accordingly. Instead of a 50% chance to affect golems, it should apply 50% as many stacks. This would be consistent with the way that PISORF and BURNDAYRAZ work with resistances.
Venom Dagger might be tolerable now. TT poison really needs to be a bit stronger on the first hit, even if it's just a few piety more (2/level for 20/25 or so), since TT users can't really get the repeat hits in like other characters.
The current state of TT poison and the venom dagger is that they pretty much only work for Monks. Heavy resist stackers can get a bit of value out of them, but Monks are the only ones that will perform well. Their numbers are just too low for everyone else, since you need to hit 3 or 4 times to build up any appreciable amount of poison.
I'm seeing strong parallels between the current incarnation of poison and our historical issues with life-steal. Blood Hunger has a max-resist penalty tacked on to deal with its problems, and I think TT's poison boon will need a similar effect. The boon and dagger probably should be moved to 3 stacks per level per hit, but that would cause Monk troubles if it were done without a counter-balance.
Finally, to reiterate some things in the hope they don't get lost:Transmuter
needs a buff since he lost one of his primary tactics (strength stacking). It's understandable why it was taken away, but he needs something to compensate.Mystic Balance
was effectively nerfed by the APHEELSIK change, since the glyph now costs 5 MP and no longer benefits from this boon. Formerly there were three glyphs that gained full effect from this boon and two that gained half-effect. It was already kinda weak to begin with, but now that its utility has been drastically cut back by this change it definitely