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View Full Version : Weapon Finesse Improvment Idea.



Memnir
05-11-2011, 04:48 PM
This is an idea I posted a while back in a differant thread (http://forums.ddo.com/showthread.php?t=316920), but I wanted to post a more refined version of it in it's own thread to see if this idea has legs.


As the thread I linked to is correct in saying - there is currently a gulf between Dex and Str builds. And, this may be a way to bridge that gulf a bit by making Dex have some options not open to Str builds - and make Weapon Finesse a feat worth taking. It does involve some changes to the feat as it exists, but I think they are compelling without being overpowering and would help give Dex builds some compelling options.

I would make the following two changes:

Weapon Finesse would keep the Dex-to-hit, but also give the character an additional stacks-with-everything 5% chance for a double strike.
Since Dex fighters are lighter on their feet and use more rapid and nimble strikes, I think that this change is keeping with the flavor of Weapon Finesse.

Secondly, taking the Weapon Finesse feat would open up a line of Enhancements to further the character's mastery of lightning fast and unerringly accurate strikes on their opponent.

Improved Weapon Finesse I
prerequisites: Weapon Finesse Feat, x level
AP cost: 1
Grants: An additional 2%, stacking, double-strike chance. This brings the double-strike chance to 7%


Improved Weapon Finesse II
prerequisites: Weapon Finesse I, x level
AP Cost: 1
Grants: An additional 3%, stacking, double-strike chance. This brings the double-strike chance to 10%.

Improved Weapon Finesse III
prerequisites: Weapon Finesse II, x level
AP Cost: 2
Grants: The character can now bypass one-half of their Dexterity bonus of an opponents' fortification.


My reasoning is that a character with Weapon Finesse can see the chances to strike where it hurts, and is fast enough to act upon it. It also gives a Dex character alternate avenues to be effective then Str characters possess - and give them a way to flourish. I haven't put in what levels for these only because I know that for most classes 6th, 12th, and 18th levels are already pretty tight for taking PrEs... but it would make the most sense (I think) for the enhancements to go at those levels as well.

Also, since this option of boosting a feat via enhancements exists for other feats as well (Stunning Blow, for example), this idea could work without bending existing rules too much.

Thoughts?

SolarDawning
05-11-2011, 04:50 PM
Everyone using a finesse weapon would then take Weapon Finesse, even if they dumped dexterity and went with strength.

That's an awful lot of benefit for one feat and a couple enhancement points.

Memnir
05-11-2011, 04:52 PM
I had originally considered suggesting making the benefits go into a separate and new feat Improved Weapon Finesse. Maybe that would be a better way to go, then?

SableShadow
05-11-2011, 04:53 PM
Very interesting ... it's kinda the same way dex/str is balanced in PnP, higher dex gives you the option to open greater TWF feats, so dex gets attack rate where str gets higher base damage.

You'd want to tweak min dex requirements on the enhancements (and probably the feat), else someone would just take the feat to open the doublestrike enhancements w/o actually doing the whole dex thing (e.g. the whole "15 and go" TWF advice).

Memnir
05-11-2011, 04:54 PM
You'd want to tweak min dex requirements on the enhancements (and probably the feat), else a someone would just take the feat to open the doublestrike enhancements w/o actually doing the whole dex thing.Agreed, and wish I'd thought of that. :)

SolarDawning
05-11-2011, 04:55 PM
I had originally considered suggesting making the benefits go into a separate and new feat Improved Weapon Finesse. Maybe that would be a better way to go, then?

I agree that any changes should leave Weapon Finesse alone, and instead be a new feat with Weapon Finesse as a pre-req.

However, while the doublestrike idea is interesting, I'm not so sure it's needed. Finesse would be fine as a weapon style if, say, there was a new feat to also let you use Dex as your damage stat.

New feat: Weapon Finesse 2 Super Cool Best Ever Amazing Fun Happy Family Time
Prereq: Weapon Finesse
Description: You use either your strength or dexterity modifier for damage with finesse weapons, whichever is higher.


Really, I'd just leave it at that. Though the name could use some work.

SableShadow
05-11-2011, 04:58 PM
Agreed, and wish I'd thought of that. :)

A lotta things got weird in translating str vs dex balance over to DDO.

For instance, it would be interesting to see where the class/racial game balance would move just by bumping GTWF up to min dex 19 (vice 17) and adding in STWF with a min dex of 21.

PurdueDave
05-11-2011, 04:59 PM
I had originally considered suggesting making the benefits go into a separate and new feat Improved Weapon Finesse. Maybe that would be a better way to go, then?

Maybe. Some tough DEX reqs might be necessary. Even with two feats to get it I could see every STR based monk taking both. Maybe not so bad either way.

QuantumFX
05-11-2011, 05:00 PM
Everyone using a finesse weapon would then take Weapon Finesse, even if they dumped dexterity and went with strength.

That's an awful lot of benefit for one feat and a couple enhancement points.

That’s an easy enough fix. Have it only apply when DEX is used for the to hit bonus.

Asketes
05-11-2011, 05:13 PM
the requirements should be more than 17/18 b/c most twf will have one or the other base dex

Aesop
05-11-2011, 05:14 PM
I'd say this isn't a bad suggestion overall. I kinda wish we had some more Feat Based Enhancements. Thing that are more subject to build than the current class/race system has.


I would probably change it slightly though.


Weapon Finesse itself would grant the Dex bonus to attack rolls in place of Strength and the initial 5% Double Strike; only when the Dexterity was higher than the Strength score though.

The Enhancements however I'd make 5 tiers each costing 1 AP and each only granting an additional +1% at BAB 3,6,9,12, and 15.

Somehow though I think the issue would end up being with gaining the initial 5% at BAB 1.

I think was where the Improve Weapon Finesse came in at a higher BAB.


Say

Weapon Finesse:
Requires: BAB +1, Dex 13
Allows the user to substitute his Dexterity Bonus for his Strength bonus to attack rolls when using a Light or Finesse weapon or fighting unarmed. Addtionally grants a 2% chance to Double Strike.

Improved Weapon Finesse:
Requires: BAB +11, Dex 19, Weapon Finesse
User has learned to strike at the weak points in armor reducing the effective Fortification of a target by 15%. Additonally the chance to Double Strike is improved by 3%.



Finesse Fighting I
Cost: 1 AP
Requires: BAB +3, Weapon Finesse
Improves Double Strike chance by 1%

Finesse Fighting II
Cost: 1 AP
Requires: BAB +6, Dex 15, Weapon Finesse
Improves Double Strike chance by 1%

Finesse Fighting III
Cost: 1 AP
Requires: BAB +9, Dex 17, Weapon Finesse
Improves Double Strike chance by 1%

Finesse Fighting IV
Cost: 1 AP
Requires: BAB +12, Improved Weapon Finesse
Improves Double Strike chance by 1% and bypasses an addition 5% Fortification (total 20%)

Finesse Fighting V
Cost: 1 AP
Requires BAB +15, Dex 21, Improved Weapon Finesse
Improves Double Strike chance by 1% and bypasses an addition 5% Fortification (total 25%)


Of course the problem here is the increase in Feat Cost for low feat classes. Of course if they let rogues replace the Rogue Special Feats with Feats in general then that would help a touch.

Aesop

Monkeytoe
05-11-2011, 08:48 PM
Everyone using a finesse weapon would then take Weapon Finesse, even if they dumped dexterity and went with strength.

What would they give up for it? Power Attack or Improved Crit?

Talias006
05-11-2011, 10:39 PM
Change Aesop's version of the Improved Weapon Finesse to be an activated stance. It makes sense to me, being that CE is just added AC at the expense of attack bonus, while PA is increased damage at the expense of attack bonus. So IWF could be an increase in double-strike and decreased enemy fort at the cost of not being able to use those and other stances. Plus the negating factor missing from the stance is that it's the 2nd Feat of a chain, whereas PA, CE and other stances are the 1st (and only) Feats in their perspective chains.

Dysmetria
05-12-2011, 01:50 AM
I thought the balance between STR and DEX builds was that STR builds increased damage and finesse builds increased AC?

FuzzyDuck81
05-12-2011, 02:08 AM
/signed in part

With the boosts as stated in the OP, you'd likely end up with even str based characters taking it just for the doublestrike chance.

My approach to boosting weapon finesse would be to keep the feat as it is & have an improved weapon finesse feat (prereqs BAB 4, dex 17 & weapon finesse, also able to select as a fighter, monk or rogue bonus feat) that gives access to enhancements which stack with all other doublestrike sources: 1st tier boosts doublestrike chance by 0.5% per dex modifier (2 AP, level 6), 2nd tier 1% per dex modifier (4 AP, level 12) & 3rd tier 2% per dex modifier (6 AP, level 18)

phum
05-12-2011, 02:36 AM
/signed

except I don't see the need for an extra feat, if the dex requirements and enhancement costs are high enough. Something like 18, 20, 22 would be enough of a sacrifice for a str build imo. Also the percentages could be 3, 6, 9 for double strike n the last giving some stacking percentage for fort bypassing e.g. 15-25%. It's a good idea and would be very much of an improvement. Really not sure if it would be worth taking if it would require 2 feats n 12 AP total..

DrNuegebauer
05-12-2011, 02:47 AM
/not signed

I don't think you want to "fix" a feat in this fashion.


Clearly the main point of finesse is to offer something for toons who have a (?much*) higher dex than strength.

The way to FIX it is to give added benefits to a higher dex score. I suppose this might involve making AC more viable at end game? It might involve making dex based skills more useful? It might even involve something crazy like basing run speed on dex modifier?
I'm not making suggestions on HOW to fix the benefits of a high dex score, but rather pointing out that the sole incentive to take the feat 'weapon finesse' is a high dex. So make the feat more useful by making a very high dex more useful!


*(since anyone can get +2 str from the rage spell, and madstone boots are not impossible, it makes sense to suggest that finesse is almost worthless unless dex score is 6 points higher than str)

pHo3nix
05-12-2011, 03:00 AM
A lotta things got weird in translating str vs dex balance over to DDO.

For instance, it would be interesting to see where the class/racial game balance would move just by bumping GTWF up to min dex 19 (vice 17) and adding in STWF with a min dex of 21.

I think this would be a nice solution: a 21 base dex needs some sacrifice, and probably you need to put more build points in dex or your lvl up in dex. It could actually make sense to make a melee that is not a halforc ( from a powergamer POV, i still love elves and halflings :)).

Aesop
05-12-2011, 05:20 AM
I thought the balance between STR and DEX builds was that STR builds increased damage and finesse builds increased AC?

In PnP that may be nearly balanced though not nearly as much as some think. In DDO it does not balance at all.

The problem is that a high dexterity is supposed to improve overall damage mitigation and because of inflated ... everything, it does not. In many cases either the requisite AC can be reached without a high Dex or no one can reach a helpful AC. In either case the extra damage removes the threat faster and thus mitigates damage more effectively than a dex based AC character can.

Additonally the extra Feat cost and limited weapon selection mean they Dex based can't use higher DPS weaponry. Rapier is quite nice for the Dex based but it is still lower than Khopesh.

Strength Based can aldo reach higher to hit marks than Dex based further increasing the Strength based potential to remove threats faster and with higher mitigation than dex based.

essentially, for the cost, Finesse based combat is not currently worth it. You arebetter off starting with a 15 Dex and putting the rest in strength skipping the Weapon Finesse feat and grabbing a Khopesh. Your AC won't be significantly different and your to hit and damage will be higher.

and add to this Grazing Blows that ignore AC in general. (not that I think Grazing Blows are bad in general just that they do effect high AC dex builds more than other builds).


Aesop

Aesop
05-12-2011, 05:32 AM
/not signed

I don't think you want to "fix" a feat in this fashion.


Clearly the main point of finesse is to offer something for toons who have a (?much*) higher dex than strength.

The way to FIX it is to give added benefits to a higher dex score. I suppose this might involve making AC more viable at end game? It might involve making dex based skills more useful? It might even involve something crazy like basing run speed on dex modifier?
I'm not making suggestions on HOW to fix the benefits of a high dex score, but rather pointing out that the sole incentive to take the feat 'weapon finesse' is a high dex. So make the feat more useful by making a very high dex more useful!


*(since anyone can get +2 str from the rage spell, and madstone boots are not impossible, it makes sense to suggest that finesse is almost worthless unless dex score is 6 points higher than str)

A dex score would need to be signifiantly higher than that to warrant the feat cost, and that is assuming they don't have some further Strength improvements beyond this.

For damage mitigation purposes I did at one point propose a % damage mitigation ala Shield Mastery for Dexterity and Dodge bonuses. I believe Dexterity was 1% of Mitigation per 2 Dex Mod, and 1% Mitigation for 1 Dodge AC. This of course would be limited by Max Dex Bonus from Armor and Shields. Monk Wisdom bonus could count the same as Dexterity...

Of course this may just over complicate the issue here which is that Finesse fighting is too far behind Brute fighting.

Aesop

Templarion
05-12-2011, 06:23 AM
Everyone using a finesse weapon would then take Weapon Finesse, even if they dumped dexterity and went with strength.

That's an awful lot of benefit for one feat and a couple enhancement points.This is true.

Still, something should be done.

I always like the idea that finesse-type build would use special weapons and they didn't deal so much dps as brute barbarians. Specialized attacks to lower AC, SR, trip, stun, you name it...

Winteris
05-12-2011, 06:51 AM
It would be really overpowered feat. Even with high prerequsite dex base, difference between str and dex based char would be like maybe 8 ability points (5 lvl up, 3 tome). Few points of damage less and almost 10% doublestrike chance more ?

Adding another feat would also kill the benefit for one of the most feat starved classes in game - rogue. One of the downside of taking WF is that it occupied really needed feat slot so improving it by adding another feat is really bad idea IMHO. Other classes who r often dex based (ranger) also have no spare feat slots.

Monkeytoe
05-12-2011, 10:36 AM
Everyone using a finesse weapon would then take Weapon Finesse, even if they dumped dexterity and went with strength.This is true.

Again: Which feat would *everybody* give up to take finesse? If you look at the build outlines posted in these forums, the feat list for most builds is pretty rigid.

Aelonwy
05-12-2011, 01:17 PM
Requiring a 2nd feat, namely Improved Weapon Finesse, would only be acceptable if the feat appeared on the Rogue bonus feat list. Even then the whole idea of improving a feat by requiring another one seems ....well ludicrous. So set that aside a moment. The enhancement line makes sense to a certain degree and could stand on its own to improve weapon finesse so long as it had an extremely high Dex requirement, at least 20+.

However, I agree that the main way to make WF a more appealing feat, and dex based builds in general, is to make dex more valuable in the game. DDO is very, very, very DPS oriented which makes Str based builds the trump card.
Also having AC either take over your build for almost no DPS (DPS being the mainstay of the game) or be virtually unable to maintain a credible AC in favor of DPS (the usual choice) is basically the crux of the problem. If Dex AC trully mattered and I don't mean just for levels 1-10 then WF as is would be a fine choice, however at this time in the game the benefits of a high Dex just don't compare to a high Str... therefor choosing Dex over Str isn't usually a viable choice. Then requiring a feat (WF) to improve the benefits of Dex further exacerbates the downside of Dex vs Str, especially on feat starved classes.

Going back to the original idea requiring a 2nd feat to improve the benefits of the first (WF), which exists to improve the benefits of high dex... well you can see where this is going...

SableShadow
05-12-2011, 01:25 PM
Going back to the original idea requiring a 2nd feat to improve the benefits of the first (WF), which exists to improve the benefits of high dex... well you can see where this is going...

Yah, that's the old "we need to buff this" followed by "oh, but for balance we need to nerf it again/buff everything else".

If you need to 'rebalance' after a buff, probably better to take a look at what you're trying to buff in the first place.

Aesop
05-14-2011, 11:38 AM
I kinda wish that we used the Pathfinder Feat Progression.

Then again I wish we had a lot more useful Feat options. Would be nice. At least then people could build something a little different every now and then.

for those unfamiliar with Pathfinder, their Feat Progression is Every Odd level you gain a Feat. 1 3 5 7 9 11 13 15 17 19

as opposed to 1 3 6 9 12 15 18

three extra Feat would open up some options... Just need the Options to add in.

I could see some feats from the Tome of Battle being fun options. Heck even as is I would like to see some Tome of Battle Feats or Options.


Another thing though that would help the most prevalent Finesse Fighter would be to make the Rogue Special Training have the Feat Option.

So then the Improved Weapon Finesse idea would not tax the rogue.

Aesop