One of the major issues that we’ve been working on is the dps lag problem in high level content (especially raid content). We’re attacking this problem from many angles, and since some of the changes we’re considering will have significant impact on many characters, we’re interested in your feedback before it goes to Lamannia or live. We're trying to aggressively attack the issues that cause these lag problems and are interested in feedback regarding how aggressively we should be attempting to tackle them.
My post is a bit more technical than I normally write for public consumption, but I want to make the issues and the reasons we’re considering these changes extremely clear.
Some people may have noticed that problems occur most often when there are many monks or two weapon fighting characters that are loaded with many on-hit effects attacking en masse. These characters currently perform many attacks very quickly, and each attack is pretty heavy performance-wise. Rather than attack the problem by changing common heavy-load equipment, we’ve already taken some steps to optimize the way we perform attacks, and are considering the following changes to reduce overall performance loads:
Currently a single two weapon fighting attack makes a physics detection check with your main hand, followed by a second detection check for your off hand (roughly 0.15 seconds after the first one). Instead of making multiple physics checks, all two weapon fighting attacks (weapons or unarmed) would now make a single check for your main hand attack, and would “piggyback” on that detection check and have a chance to proc (trigger) an off-hand attack based on the number of two weapon fighting feats (or related enhancements) you possess. Off-hand attacks would have a chance to proc on any main hand attack now, instead of being predetermined on certain attacks. Having more TWF feats increases the % chance of proccing an off-hand attack.
We would now assume that if your opponent was within range for your first attack, it will still be in range 0.15 seconds later. We also go about determining whether or not a particular swing gets an off-hand attack in a much cleaner manner than before.
We’re also considering introducing a new mechanic to replace some speed bonus effects, called double strike:
A character with a double strike chance has a chance to make an additional attack roll with their main hand weapon any time they make a main hand attack, on the target of the first attack. (Note that two handed weapons count as “in the main hand” for these purposes.)
The Fighter Alacrity capstone, and the Paladin spell Zeal would be changed to a +10% bonuses to double strike.
A TWF Paladin that Smites something under the effect of Zeal would attack with the main hand, have a 10% chance to attack with the main hand again, and would have a chance (based on TWF feats) to attack with the off hand in one sequence. Level 20 Fighters with the capstone would simply always hit twice 10% of the time with their main hands. For a future update, we’re considering revisiting some old items (such as Jorgundal’s Collar, which currently doesn’t stack with Haste) and replacing the effects with a double strike effect.
For those that are interested in the “how does that help? You’re still making 11 attacks in 10 swings” – double strikes, like the proposed off-hand attacks, would bypass the additional physics detects and secondary characteristics of normal attacks such as glancing blows, while still providing an increase to overall damage over time. It would have the advantage over speed boosts of sometimes proccing on special attacks, and opens up a new itemization and enhancement pathway. (Warchanters, for instance, are likely to end up with a double strike song in a future update.)
A character with no two weapon fighting feats has a base 20% chance to proc off-hand attacks.
The Two Weapon Fighting, Improved Two Weapon Fighting, and Greater Two Weapon Fighting feats grants a +20% bonus to proc off-hand attacks.
Monk Air stances now grant a +2.5%/+5.0%/+7.5%/+10% insight bonus to double strike chance instead of an insight bonus to attack speed. (Enhancement bonus to attack speed remains.)
Ranger Tempest I and II now grant a +10%/+20% bonus to the chance to proc off-hand attacks when dual wielding instead of a bonus to attack speed. Ranger Tempest III now grants a +5% double strike chance while wielding two weapons.
Monk Air Stance and Ranger Tempest I and II now stack with each other for these purposes.
Attacks with two handed weapons while moving no longer perform Glancing Blows.
Fighter Alacrity (capstone) now grants a +10% bonus to double attack with the main hand instead of a 10% speed increase.
The Paladin spell Zeal now grants a +10% Sacred bonus to double attack with the main hand instead of a 10% speed increase.
Things like the Shield Bonus and to-hit penalty reductions that Tempest grants when wielding two weapons, or the enhancement bonuses to speed from Wind Stance remain unchanged.
For example, a Ranger 18 (Tempest III) / Monk 2 in Wind Stance I would have a 100% chance to proc off-hand attacks per swing and a 2.5 to 7.5% chance to double strike (depending on whether they are fighting unarmed or with a pair of kamas), while a completely unskilled character would only generate off-hand attacks 20% of the time. A Monk 20 in Wind Stance IV would have a 80% chance to trigger off-hand attack hooks, and a 10% double strike chance.
I won’t hide that these proposed changes do reduce the effectiveness of off-hand attacks, which reduces the two weapon fighting style’s extreme dominance over two handed fighting. Skipping the extreme outlier of the Epic Sword of Shadows (we got a little carried away there, didn’t we?), estimated damage output over time for the two styles should be extremely close to each other if we go this route. (Which style is superior ends up being heavily dependent on your character's abilities.)
It’s likely that we’ll change Glancing Blows to operate in a similar manner in the future as well (chance to proc based on feats/enhancements rather than guaranteed on swing X), but right now I have to stay pretty focused on TWF and monk unarmed combat.
These are not the only things we’re currently investigating, and will not solve all of the dps lag issues - it’s one of many steps we’re taking to pursue them. I also highly recommend reading this post and thread - especially the part about intra-DAT fragmentation[step 3] if your install is a year or more old - if you’re suffering serious problems, it may help with some client-side issues.
We wanted to get your reactions and comments to this now though, before (and after) it hits Lamannia.
Some sample attack percentages with this system (assuming you took all possible available feats and enhancements) would be:
---Code:INVALID CHART FOLLOWS: Build Main-hand Off-hand 20 Ranger (Tempest 3) 100% 85% 20 Monk (Wind Stance 4) 100% 75% 20 Fighter (Alacrity) 110% 55% 20 Paladin (Zeal) 110% 55% 20 [Other] 100% 55% 12 Ftr/6 Rng/2 Mnk 100% 70% 15 Pal/3 Mnk/2 [Any] (unarmed) 110% 60% 14 Pal/6 Rng 110% 65% 18 Rgr/2 Mnk 100% 90%
Thanks for the massive amount of feedback all.
We're currently thinking of adjusting the numbers to:
* Only when wielding two weapons.Code:Doublestrike Bonus Main hand Off hand No feats 0 20% 100% 20% TWF 0 +20% 100% 40% ITWF 0 +20% 100% 60% GTWF 0 +20% 100% 80% Tempest I 0 +10% 100% 90% Tempest II 0 +10% 100% 100% Tempest III +5%* 0 105% 100% Wind IV +10% 0 110% 80% Zeal +10% 0 110% 80% Alacrity +10% 0 110% 80%
This set switches Wind Stance and Tempest III to doublestrike bonuses, increases the benefits of the TWF feat chain, and adds an additional feat for high BAB characters.
All of the bottom rows assume that the person has GTWF.
Updated information in the main post to reflect the most recent changes.