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Angelus_dead
05-20-2008, 08:32 PM
This is something pointed out to me in yesterday's WDA (http://forums.ddo.com/showthread.php?t=147086), which has an important implication that may not be obvious (prehaps not even to the devs)

# NEW Stealthy two weapon fighters with the Two Weapon Fighting feat should now make attacks with each hand when stealth.

It's been fairly well known for some time that triggering a melee special attack while attacking with two weapons at once causes the special effect to trigger twice on the victim. This applies to Trip, Sunder, Stunning Blow, and Smite Evil. It also might apply to Sap and Slicing Blow, but doubling them provides no advantage. It does not work with Cleave or Feint, because those effects replace your normal attack animation instead of augmenting it.

Note that the benefit only applies if you are attacking with both weapons at once, which depending on your BAB and your TWF feats may not happen all the time. Once you get GTWF, though, you make twinned attacks for each swing, except when sneaking. (And soon that will change too)

When the Death Attack active ability from Way of the Assassin II was announced, the initial assumption was that it would function like the above feats, meaning a TWF assassin could force two fortitude saves with a single action. No matter how high the monster's saving throws, there's always at least a 10% chance of an instant-kill (a single natural 1 on either saving roll). And if the monster was stronger and could pass the save on an 11 or higher, then the TWF assassin would have a 75% success rate compared to 50% for the guy with a single weapon.

Clearly that meant adding TWF to Death Attack made it much more powerful- whether or not that degree of power was justified by the investment in TWF feats or not is a separate topic. But, in the next update to Way of the Assassin II, a change was made so you had to be in Sneak mode to use a Death Attack. And since you can only get one attack roll at a time while sneaking, the TWF Death Attack benefit was nerfed to oblivion.

Now, however, it has changed back. The sneaking attack animation is changing so that you can TWF from stealth (which is always what the animation has shown, even though the offhand weapon never got an attack roll). So it means that the double-death thread ability of the two-handed assassin is back on the menu.

I wonder if the developers are considering removing the ability to use a special action twice at once with both hands. It doesn't seem logical that you can do this, because multiple uses of the action are supposedly separated by a cooldown timer. But to change it at this point could be upsetting to the many TWF tactics fighters who have been built with that feature in mind.