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View Full Version : Sword and Board improvment: A different type of suggestion



RavenStormclaw
11-25-2009, 01:49 PM
Ok so recently I have been playing a lot of Dragon Age Origins ( a great game by the way) and it has a very real time active combat system kinda like ours. They have some interesting abilities in that game that inspired my thoughts here.

Sword and shield type warriors are a staple of mythic legends and yet in the higher end game content they tend to fall to the wayside dps and AC can lag behind other front line tank classes and often its a trade between AC and DPS. That being said I have also been in numerous debates on improving them most center around ways to increase AC or damage reduction. I won't beat that dead horse.

Instead I would like to focus on using the shield as a weapon. There are shield bash and improved shield bash feats in the game but they seem next to useless. Based on my experience in Dragon Age I present two enhancements that may be of interest.

Shield Bash: Knockdown
Pre-req: shield bash and improved shield bash feats, level 3
Activated ability: The warrior makes a concentrated bash with his shield if the blow hits the enemy is knocked prone for 1d6 + level seconds. Strenth check to resist DC: 10 + character level + str modifier + shield modifier (see below). Coolddown 12 seconds

Shield Bash: Pummel Stun
Pre-req: shield bash Knockdown
Activated Ability: The warrior makes three quick thrusts with his shield the last being quite powerfull. If all three hit the last blow will deliver a crtical hit and stun the enemy for 1d6 + character level seconds. DC 10 + character levl + strength modifier + shield modifier (see below) Cool down is 12 seconds

Shield modifer: I added this because it makes sense to me that if you hit something with an increasingly heavier object you are more likely to knock it out. So the modifier is as follows:
wooden buckler: +1
Steel buckler: +2
Wooden Heavy shield: +3
Steel Heavy shield: +4
Wooden Tower shield: +5
Steel Tower shield: +6

Mithral to be treated as wooden equivalent
Adamantine to be treated as +1 higher

Thoughts, suggestions, discussion. No flmaing plz fetsivult is almost here!

WolfSpirit
11-25-2009, 02:02 PM
Not bad, not bad at all.
Gives those feats some use, AND more value for S & B players.

Ralmeth
11-25-2009, 02:13 PM
Ok so recently I have been playing a lot of Dragon Age Origins ( a great game by the way) and it has a very real time active combat system kinda like ours. They have some interesting abilities in that game that inspired my thoughts here.

Sword and shield type warriors are a staple of mythic legends and yet in the higher end game content they tend to fall to the wayside dps and AC can lag behind other front line tank classes and often its a trade between AC and DPS. That being said I have also been in numerous debates on improving them most center around ways to increase AC or damage reduction. I won't beat that dead horse.

Instead I would like to focus on using the shield as a weapon. There are shield bash and improved shield bash feats in the game but they seem next to useless. Based on my experience in Dragon Age I present two enhancements that may be of interest.

Shield Bash: Knockdown
Pre-req: shield bash and improved shield bash feats, level 3
Activated ability: The warrior makes a concentrated bash with his shield if the blow hits the enemy is knocked prone for 1d6 + level seconds. Strenth check to resist DC: 10 + character level + str modifier + shield modifier (see below). Coolddown 12 seconds

Shield Bash: Pummel Stun
Pre-req: shield bash Knockdown
Activated Ability: The warrior makes three quick thrusts with his shield the last being quite powerfull. If all three hit the last blow will deliver a crtical hit and stun the enemy for 1d6 + character level seconds. DC 10 + character levl + strength modifier + shield modifier (see below) Cool down is 12 seconds

Shield modifer: I added this because it makes sense to me that if you hit something with an increasingly heavier object you are more likely to knock it out. So the modifier is as follows:
wooden buckler: +1
Steel buckler: +2
Wooden Heavy shield: +3
Steel Heavy shield: +4
Wooden Tower shield: +5
Steel Tower shield: +6

Mithral to be treated as wooden equivalent
Adamantine to be treated as +1 higher

Thoughts, suggestions, discussion. No flmaing plz fetsivult is almost here!

This concept is a great idea. However as I play a Pally DoS with limited feats I'm not thrilled with the idea of needing to use lots of feats to get it (i.e. the shield bash pre reqs). One way the developers could implement this is to simply add effects onto shields that add to your stunning blow and improved trip DC. That way you could decide to take improved trip or stunning blow and if you get yourself a good shield that adds to your DC significantly enough so that it actually works on a fairly regular basis, that would be a lot of fun.

RavenStormclaw
11-25-2009, 02:47 PM
This concept is a great idea. However as I play a Pally DoS with limited feats I'm not thrilled with the idea of needing to use lots of feats to get it (i.e. the shield bash pre reqs). One way the developers could implement this is to simply add effects onto shields that add to your stunning blow and improved trip DC. That way you could decide to take improved trip or stunning blow and if you get yourself a good shield that adds to your DC significantly enough so that it actually works on a fairly regular basis, that would be a lot of fun.

Oh I agree that the feat requirement is high. I did that on purpose. With these feats you can achieve a significant DC especially on the stun one which would (like stunning blow) grant auto crits. Conceivably you can see a dc of >40 which means there is not much in the game that could resist that reliably thus the cost should be significant to get it. The extra feat cost will be worth it to some and not to others.

As a dc example: A power surged kensai using a steel tower shield at say level 12 (minimum level to get power surge) 40 str (base 32 eaay to obtain + 8 from power surge) thus the strenght modifier is 15 the dc would be 10 + 12 + 15 + 6 = 43 or lets take a Paladin using a steel tower shield dc 10 + 12 + 10 (30 str concievable at level 12) + 6 = 38 ... the feat cost is the price to pay for this kind of ability.

Borror0
11-25-2009, 02:56 PM
While neither of those are bad additions (similar abilities are often seen in may MMOs), neither would not fix the core problem: there is no reason to lower your DPS by wearing a shield; you'll only end up slowing down quest completion and potentially increase the risk of failure.

For as your goal is to make S&B more fun, rather than balanced, those are fine suggestions. The main problems that I see are that the feat requirements are pretty high for both (they would be better offered as enhancements, possibly with a feat requirement) and that there is not enough mobs vulnerable to those to really matter.

Woundwolf42
11-25-2009, 03:07 PM
What about simply adding a blur/dispacement like effect to your character while equipping a shield? Only instead of calling it a concealment miss chance, call it a Blocking miss chance. Same could be done while in defensive stance while TWFing, call it a Parrying miss chance.

Thats probably my only gripe with the melee system, If i build a dex oriented char, or a str oriented char who uses a shield, I cant time blocks for a chance to escape an attack, or parry the attack with a well timed weapon block.
A shield should do more then just add damage reduction, it makes no real sense, If an attack hits your armor but doesnt do damage, why should an attack hitting your shield do damage? I think simply adding the miss chance ala blur/displacement would give the desired effect without alot of coding changes, although it would lack the style of watching the block/parry in real time.

leowen
11-25-2009, 03:08 PM
My suggestions:

Change the big two Defender PrC, the fighter and pally ones to:'

level 1: when you are using a shield, you take 10pct less dmg
level 2: when you are using a shield, you take 15pct less dmg
level 3: when you are using a shield, you take 20pct less dmg

That would make for some good tanks for sure. EQ2 had a pretty good system for making sword and board viable, debuffs, lots of debuffs and buffs.

Hard to implement in ddo, the DoS tries with Magic circle and sheild of faith, which is great, btw...but lets soak up some dmg too

Maegin
11-25-2009, 03:14 PM
Those feats are in the game, improved trip and stunning blow.

WolfSpirit
11-25-2009, 03:18 PM
OR just add in a fast Auto-Shield bash attack that does not break your attack chain. Wouldn't that help the dps aspect? Be a good cause for more shields with ele/alig attacks (Like the Undead Ward shield I think it was called)

Borror0
11-25-2009, 03:23 PM
Those feats are in the game, improved trip and stunning blow.
The DCs for those feats would be much higher than those of Improved Trip and Stunning Blow, though. Plus, they are not mutually exclusive.

dormetheus
11-25-2009, 03:31 PM
The core argument, gone over so many times, is a combination of inflated mob hp and to-hit.

To get a workable AC, you have to make too many sacrifices. There is no real dps v. ac middle ground (balance).

It seems like if you have AC where you get hit only 50% of the time, you're probably giving up a whole lot of dps.

Defense in this game is rarely probable or desirable. Quests are usually about mowing down swaths of mobs as fast as possible. The faster you kill them, the less damage they can do.

p.s. iirc a "shield bash" is a knockdown move.

Kromize
11-25-2009, 03:31 PM
They can put some more combat feats(including shield feats) once they rework the 'armor class' system, and make it realistic. As well as fortification, resists, and immunities.

What I mean by realistic is: All we have in DDO is ac, sure, we have some dr, but it just doesn't work. The system relies on ac to take no damage when attacked. Even while wearing heavy armor and a heavy shield, it just add's to ac, not dr?
We need to have a system with two types of armor class, one being the chance to dodge the enemy attack, and another the chance to take it, and block out all damage, as well as balance in between for those who use light/medium armors/shields.
And then, 100% fortification can go bye-bye. As well as other things, which I do not want to post at this moment, because I want to play games.


On the topic of immunities, it would it be interesting to allow a player to get 1 immunity. Like, a chain of feats/enhancements that, at l.20, grant a full-blown immunity to x(element)? Just a thought I had...

Aesop
11-25-2009, 03:40 PM
I'm still of the opinion that Passive Shield Bash attacks added into the chain would be the "best" way to improve the viability of S&B.

Have one Passive Shield Attack within original chain as a Hook (ala TWF) and have Improved Shield bash add another.

Secondly they should add Shield Spikes as a ritual addon for shields. A shield Spike could simply add/improve the damage of Shield Bash by one (or more) of several methods. Improve The Shield Critical Multiplier, Improve the Base Damage or Add Damage.

Since the Offensive Aspect of Shields are not affected by the defensive (ie the plus to AC doesn't seem to affect the plus to hit or damage) Shield Spikes could simply act as that plus adding upto +5 to hit and damage on a Shield it has been applied to. It could even add effects that are separate from the Shields effects; like the Ward of Undeath with its flaming and Undead Bane Properties could have a Shield Spike that adds upto +3 Holy to the shield.


not that your ideas are bad RSC infact I kinda like them, but I would like to see the style have more viability in a broader spectrum of content as well as some interesting diversity

Aesop

Borror0
11-25-2009, 04:00 PM
The core argument, gone over so many times, is a combination of inflated mob hp and to-hit.
False.

RavenStormclaw
11-25-2009, 04:32 PM
Thanks for the constructive replies:

To adress the DPS aspect directly. Intimitanks usually aren't dishing out a lot of DPS this would simply make initimitanks more fun. The cooldowns should be quick so that you fire off a number of these or at least the combo of the two fairly rapidly. Secondly that is why Pummel has a stun effect that gives auto-crits. No faster dps in the game then auto-criting for 10+ seconds (very few things couuld survive 10 seconds of auto-crits). Will dps be a fast as a TWF or as massive as a two-hander... probably not but factor in being able to stun something every 12 seconds with auto-crits and the numbers may be closer.

Aesop
11-25-2009, 05:02 PM
Thanks for the constructive replies:

To adress the DPS aspect directly. Intimitanks usually aren't dishing out a lot of DPS this would simply make initimitanks more fun. The cooldowns should be quick so that you fire off a number of these or at least the combo of the two fairly rapidly. Secondly that is why Pummel has a stun effect that gives auto-crits. No faster dps in the game then auto-criting for 10+ seconds (very few things couuld survive 10 seconds of auto-crits). Will dps be a fast as a TWF or as massive as a two-hander... probably not but factor in being able to stun something every 12 seconds with auto-crits and the numbers may be closer.



But these wouldn't affect the real targets of concern... Red and Purple names... even characters that have no TWF Feats and all S&B Feats are better served by dropping their shields in favor of another weapon against those... with the exception of Shield Block Tanking... which is boring as watching paint dry. I'm looking to get the style a little more viable as an all the time thing... it shouldn't be the top tier of dps but it shouldn't be so far behind that completely changing styles (without Feats) is still a better option.

Aesop

dormetheus
11-25-2009, 05:02 PM
False.

Untrue

Borror0
11-25-2009, 05:13 PM
Untrue
How inflated the mobs' HP are or how difficult it is to achieve effective Armor Class is completely irrelevant, here. Even if it was easier to achieve meaningful Armor Class or if the mobs' HP was lowered, S&B would not magically become stronger. All the opposite, S&B would become even weaker because the game would become easier.

If you want to make S&B better, you would rather make the game harder. If the game is easy, then there is no need for the survivability that S&B offers and DPS is preferred because it allows faster quest completions. Even if S&B characters would be literally immortal, they would still be unattractive to play because it would take so much more time to complete a quest and, as they say, time is money (or XP and loot).

RavenStormclaw
11-26-2009, 09:34 AM
But these wouldn't affect the real targets of concern... Red and Purple names... even characters that have no TWF Feats and all S&B Feats are better served by dropping their shields in favor of another weapon against those... with the exception of Shield Block Tanking... which is boring as watching paint dry. I'm looking to get the style a little more viable as an all the time thing... it shouldn't be the top tier of dps but it shouldn't be so far behind that completely changing styles (without Feats) is still a better option.

Aesop

Ahh don't I know it. I agree that the red/purple named blanket immunities does hamper this some (negate it completely in fact) but as you have discussed before the fix has to happen on many fronts.

Both offensive aspects and defensive aspects of Sword and Board need to change. Many have offerenc the defensive aspects and I have offered several offensive ones. We can only hope the devs listen at least a little.

Even if the purple/red named immunities continue theese are stil viable feats. Afterall fighters get so many blasted feats that they should have several options including switching to an alternative fighting styel when need be. Paladins might be the ones to be hurt by this but they have there holy smits, divine sacrafice, and divine might to bridge that gap.

Dawn_Falcon
11-26-2009, 09:47 AM
The two shield feats which currently add DR 3/- while blocking could use improvement. Maybe DR 5/- and +1AC...

Raven - You've been playing Dragon Age, haven't you :)

Aesop
11-26-2009, 10:09 AM
Ahh don't I know it. I agree that the red/purple named blanket immunities does hamper this some (negate it completely in fact) but as you have discussed before the fix has to happen on many fronts.

Both offensive aspects and defensive aspects of Sword and Board need to change. Many have offerenc the defensive aspects and I have offered several offensive ones. We can only hope the devs listen at least a little.

Even if the purple/red named immunities continue theese are stil viable feats. Afterall fighters get so many blasted feats that they should have several options including switching to an alternative fighting styel when need be. Paladins might be the ones to be hurt by this but they have there holy smits, divine sacrafice, and divine might to bridge that gap.

True...


perhaps we could introduce some other aspects to this suggestion. Maybe have them have a a partial effect on Red and Purples....

Maybe have the Stun disorient and apply a minor slow effect to those of Boss or raid boss status... even a 15-25% reduction of RoAction would be a helpful. Perhaps the knockdown could simply "unbalance" allowing Sneak Attacks all around... for a duration obviously.

I think that the Devs in deveopment of Feats and abilities should come up with partial effects for the "Immune" mobs to make other aspects of play beyond DPS matter a bit more.

I mean for these bosses you can't CC (except with Intim and similar directional aggro control) and special abilities that don't involve direct damage are ineffective.

Aesop

Borror0
11-26-2009, 10:16 AM
Both offensive aspects and defensive aspects of Sword and Board need to change.
Why?

RavenStormclaw
11-26-2009, 11:21 AM
The two shield feats which currently add DR 3/- while blocking could use improvement. Maybe DR 5/- and +1AC...

Raven - You've been playing Dragon Age, haven't you :)

Yep which is why I have played like no more than 6 hours of DDO since November 3:D

RavenStormclaw
11-26-2009, 11:27 AM
Why?

Borror0 I seriously hope you are joking with that question? You know as well as I do that Sword and Board doesn't have the dps or the AC to compete with those classes that can achieve super high of either by taking a different route. Currently as Sword and Board you sacrfice dps for AC or AC for Dps. There is a balance where you should be able to do both and be effective. Thus both aspects need work and frankly if I have a shield why can't I use it... more effectivly then currently implemented? There is no reason other than lack of options. Which several suggestions including mine could help.

And for the recored stunned and prone opponets die a lot faster and do less party damage so the whole argument about slowing question completion really is moot... this would help not hinder and be less costly in resources.

Borror0
11-26-2009, 11:41 AM
Borror0 I seriously hope you are joking with that question?
No, it's about as serious as a question can get. I honestly don't see why you believe S&B could use more DPS. S&B DPS is only a concern when it comes to grabbing aggro, and the tools for that in DDO are poorly designed and buggy so that's a meaningless discussion for now.

As for greater survivability, the only way that one can conclude S&B needs more survivability is to compare it to some TWF monk-splashed builds but, in this case, it's those builds that are out of line with rest than it is of S&B lagging behind. Besides, the fact that those builds so overpowered on paper are not all that overpowered in-game is just another proof that added survivability would not really salvage S&B.

Thus both aspects need work and frankly if I have a shield why can't I use it... more effectivly then currently implemented?
I don't disagree with your suggestion. I think they are good ones, although probably a bit overpowered, just not for the same reasons as you.

And for the recored stunned and prone opponets die a lot faster and do less party damage so the whole argument about slowing question completion really is moot... this would help not hinder and be less costly in resources.
When discussing balance, the expression "balanced but different" comes up often. I can see you being headed for the balance, but I call the different portion in question with your approach. That is, I could see balance taking place eventually, with you approach. Though, at that point, all fighting style will be extremely similar.

RavenStormclaw
11-26-2009, 01:11 PM
No, it's about as serious as a question can get. I honestly don't see why you believe S&B could use more DPS. S&B DPS is only a concern when it comes to grabbing aggro, and the tools for that in DDO are poorly designed and buggy so that's a meaningless discussion for now.

As for greater survivability, the only way that one can conclude S&B needs more survivability is to compare it to some TWF monk-splashed builds but, in this case, it's those builds that are out of line with rest than it is of S&B lagging behind. Besides, the fact that those builds so overpowered on paper are not all that overpowered in-game is just another proof that added survivability would not really salvage S&B.

I don't disagree with your suggestion. I think they are good ones, although probably a bit overpowered, just not for the same reasons as you.

When discussing balance, the expression "balanced but different" comes up often. I can see you being headed for the balance, but I call the different portion in question with your approach. That is, I could see balance taking place eventually, with you approach. Though, at that point, all fighting style will be extremely similar.

Hmmm I think we are headed in the same direction although from opposite sides. I guess then end all of my thoughts is that sword and board is nice but lets leave dps and ac out for now and concentrate instead on another factor. Fun! I think it would simply be fun to knock something on its arse with my shield or pummel it until its delirious (read stun) and whop on it until its dead and being defenseless that shouldn't take very long. Maybe at the end of the day all I really care about is having fun. Right now I don't have a lot of fun with my S&B pali since my shield sits on my arm nearly useless except for a tad of AC and some DR.

If you really think they are overpowered what would you do to change them? Change the dc or change what they do?

Dawn_Falcon
11-26-2009, 03:13 PM
Yep which is why I have played like no more than 6 hours of DDO since November 3:D

Always good to know my "spider sense" is working when it comes to spotting abilities from other games :P

Honestly, I think shield spikes would solve a lot of the issues. Okay, to some degree it'll make S&B fighters pretty nasty solo, but only against physical melee DPS...

(The issue of needing an insane AC...well...)

RavenStormclaw
11-26-2009, 03:27 PM
Always good to know my "spider sense" is working when it comes to spotting abilities from other games :P

Honestly, I think shield spikes would solve a lot of the issues. Okay, to some degree it'll make S&B fighters pretty nasty solo, but only against physical melee DPS...

(The issue of needing an insane AC...well...)

I take that if you spotted it you played it... correct? If so what do you think of it? I absolutely love it.

Dawn_Falcon
11-26-2009, 03:30 PM
I take that if you spotted it you played it... correct? If so what do you think of it? I absolutely love it.

I remain...unconvinced.

The settings quite good, but I feel the combat system is rather poor. The whole tactics slot system seems to fall over a lot, and even on hard the game isn't a challenge, it's just fiddly when you need to micro-manage power usage... (also, mages are hillariously overpowered)

There's a few really, really annoying bits to the game like the Fade as well.

Put it this way: I'm looking forward far more to Mass Effect 2 than Dragon Age 2.

RavenStormclaw
11-26-2009, 04:37 PM
I remain...unconvinced.

The settings quite good, but I feel the combat system is rather poor. The whole tactics slot system seems to fall over a lot, and even on hard the game isn't a challenge, it's just fiddly when you need to micro-manage power usage... (also, mages are hillariously overpowered)

There's a few really, really annoying bits to the game like the Fade as well.

Put it this way: I'm looking forward far more to Mass Effect 2 than Dragon Age 2.


While that is all true I play the game for the story aspects and the moral choices. Very interesting stuff.... besides any game where you can pull off a foursome is worth its salt no matter what:D