One of the largest flaws with the EoC is that it encourages spamming of basic abilities to gain adrenaline. There is a difference between random spamming and a “rotation,” but neither of these should be something that should be encouraged. Basics should be used for their tactical effects, not just because they give a nice 8% adrenaline. The update that put threshold drain in place was good, however it only exacerbated this problem. Right now, the best basics are those that have the lowest cooldowns (slice, piercing shot, wrack). Then, a “rotation” is set up, alternating between hitting this ability and hitting a different one, and this rotation is repeated. This results in the fastest adrenaline possible.
This is simply a bad thing to encourage. Abilities should be used for their effects, not for adrenaline fodder. This is especially irksome when it comes to defensive abilities. Many people will use provoke or freedom randomly, just because this will result in 8% adrenaline. There is absolutely no reason to use the ability beside the fact that it gives adrenaline. Abilities should be used strategically, saving them for the right time. This can only be done a limited amount in the current system, because if you are saving an ability, that means you are sacrificing 8% adrenaline.
Basic abilities provide the best damage AND the best adrenaline gain right now. Why should that be so? There should be a conscious decision to either do good damage by spamming basics in the short term, or save up for that devastating threshold combo or ultimate later.
Right now auto-attacks give a mere 2% per hit, and that’s only IF they hit. There are only three main attack speeds (the dark bow and granite maul have their own speeds). The fastest speed can get in 25 attacks, fast 20, and average 16.666 in one minute. Iff dual wielding, the offhand weapon CANNOT create adrenaline. For every auto-attack whether or not it hits, it would create adrenaline. Fast attacks would create 8.5% adrenaline, fastest 7.5%, and average 10%. These values, when applied to adrenaline per minute, are approximately equal, and would result in full adrenaline in approximately 40 seconds (depending on if you are starting from out of combat (no cooldown) or in the middle of combat (cooldown on the first ability)).
Slow speed (granite maul) can do 14 attacks per minute. 11.5% adrenaline would be created by each auto-attack. Slowest speed (dark bow) can do 8 attacks per minute. Slowest speed would create 17% adrenaline each auto-attack.
The MAXIMUM adrenaline that basics could give would be 4%. At 4%, ability adrenaline gain would be equal to auto-attack adrenaline gain. Again, I believe that the system would be much better if basics gave no adrenaline or reduced adrenaline. Even at 3% they would give decent adrenaline (full adrenaline in ~60 seconds), but significantly less than auto-attacks.
I believe that the system would work better if adrenaline was only generated when damage is actually done. Missing the target shouldn’t generate adrenaline, as it is currently with auto-attacks. However, if this is the case, then it has to be the SAME for auto-attacks and abilities. If, for some reason, it is very hard to implement for abilities or for any other reason, then both abilities and auto-attacks must give adrenaline whether or not they hit. It would be better if both of them only gave adrenaline if they hit, however. Either way, they both have to be the same.
I would also like to point out that this would help with some other problems as well. For example, it would make things that work only for auto-attacks more powerful, such as barrows sets. Additionally, it would free up more room on the action bar so instead of having 5+ basics, two or three of the better ones could be used. Also, some abilities that aren’t currently used because they aren’t very good for adrenaline generation (snipe, fury, etc) would become slightly more useful.
Many people think that this would go too much back toward the old system, of non-interaction and afking. However, this could not be further from the truth. The best way to use the system would be to use a basic right after an auto-attack landed, similar to how it makes the most sense to eat right after you attack. It would also introduce much, much more strategy into combat, instead of just mashmashmash.
Many Runescape Gold games out there rely on this “rotation” setup. It is simply not a good setup, with no strategy and constant mashing. The system that I have described is much better balanced, with a trade off between damage and adrenaline, discouraging mashing and encouraging tactical use of abilities.