The new patch might make for more fun abilities based on speed in the future, looking forward to it!
In the mean time, I have some thoughts and feedback I want to discussion around building for damage based on speed rather than attack, luck or hp.
First lets look at how to increase the amount of damage from the speed stat:
Nature mage: Can deal 62.5% of your speed stat as damage when attacking.
Other mages: Deals 25% of tour speed stat as damage when attacking.
From this, it is obvious that any build going all out for damage from speed must be a nature mage.
Now the party buffs: Are there any at all?
This leads to a certain problem concerning the new stat-based damage abilities. While attack, luck and hp can stack multiple sources of added / multiplicative bonus to their damage stat, speed can only rely on % damage abilities to do more damage. While not that bad when focusing on using normal attacks (1), this becomes very obvious with the stat-based abilities, as a build around attack or luck can boost their stats easily to double (luck even more) the amount you can get from speed, probably higher if you really try.
Looking at the damage dealt from Infection and Disease, they both deal 50% of speed and luck respectively. While this is fairly balanced concerning enemies applications of these buffs (since they are, for the most part, less well organized than player teams), the speed based Infection debuff has a lot lower damage potential than the luck based Disease debuff.
Some of the same problem arises with the Carrion Swarm ability, since it is fairly well balanced “out of the box” so to speak, but suffers from a lot lower damage potential. This is also a problem considering the bat is not available early on, when the skill would have its time to shine. I do see some cases where it could offer some nice effects, but those are usually better handled simply sticking more % damage on the creature instead.
The only uses I can see the Carrion Swarm ability fit, is if you go for a speed build without being a nature mage (huge nerf considering you probably have enough emblems to switch by the time the creature shows up), you want one of your fast support characters to deal some extra damage (id say there are still better options for this) or early game (creature not available).
I would not suggest buffing the % on the skills to balance them out for potential damage builds, as that would make them severely overpowered when encountering them as enemies.
One way to make them more useful is to make more team/row/column/specific creature type buffs apply to the speed stat. This suggestion is ofc without having any information on future plans regarding the speed stat or how this might impact the balance of the game. Although reading around here, it would seem that the pure attack builds are still preforming alot better than speed, or are at least a lot more popular among the “deep realm runners”.
(1) Has anyone tried using a speed attacker for deeper realms, I would assume speed builds do well against nethers with high defence if you stack only % damage, but got no setup to truly test this with. They would also be equally bad agains high hp targets, so not really that effective I would guess.
Hope the wall of text didnt scare people away