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  1. #21
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    Weapon Finesse has two niche's.

    1. For builds that favor/benefit from high AC/Reflex saves. A MAD class like monk makes a good example, since wind stance is so nice for faster attacks and doublestrike; you retain high reflex saves, high ac, while losing a small amount of damage, at the cost of a feat. Classes that rely on 'rider damage' such as sneak attack damage, or bursting rings in the case of the monk, are options as the loss of damage due to lower strength isn't as steep.

    2. 28 point builds with races that have a dex bonus: with finesse you can attain respectable hit modifiers while still having points left over for Con/Str/Secondary stats. Elf/Drow Elf/Halfling fall into this category; starting with a 16 dex costs the same as 14 str, and requires no tomes at all to qualify for the TWF chain.

  2. #22
    Community Member wax_on_wax_off's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Monkeytoe View Post
    I haven't noticed many people posting what they thought would be the point in str-dex divergence where str would be low enough (and dex high enough) to make the investment in finesse necessary in order to keep a character hitting consistently.

    If you start with 13 str 18 dex, for example (I'm not looking for a debate as to why or if any one would, or how it would effect their dps), a character might hit often enough with that +2 (because even a first lvl toon can wear a +1 str item) attack that it wouldn't be worth using a feat to get +4 from dex... But what about at higher levels?

    What is the largest str-dex split at which you think the attack bonus will not be raised enough to justify using weapon finesse?

    Thanks.
    I think you should be more specific in your example.

    I can think of a 2 primary builds that can be viable taking weapon finesse:
    assassin (still with enough strength to take power attack but all level ups in dexterity)
    monk (still with enough strength to take power attack but all level ups in dexterity and in wind stance)

    Another example is a build that I played or a variation of it:
    17 cleric, 2 monk, 1 fighter (strength of 8 let me take divine might III to make up the damage lost and starting dexterity of 16 put weapon finesse to good use). I put all level ups into wisdom.

    For this build, AB is important as clerics generally have low AB in comparison to a usual melee build. Things like madstone to boost strength aren't an option as they prevent spell casting (and I'm a cleric). Rage is a bad option as AC is important (which is another reason to favour dexterity over strength). Gear is restricted based on slots due to being a primary spellcaster and still wanting to fit in some melee stuff.

    Overall, I really enjoyed my clonk and found him to be a very competent character that suited my aggressive playstyle. One thing I did was swap out weapon finesse at level 8 as I got divine power for something more useful. I then picked up weapon finesse again at level 15+ when I started missing again. For leveling purposes, I'd say that if you are getting +4-5 AB that weapon finesse is useful.

    In the end, strength vs dexterity based is a cost/benefit analysis. If you already have a source of huge DPS (like sneak attack) then being dexterity based isn't going to dramatically decrease your DPS. It won't be optimal for DPS, however. Additionally, in situations where your traditional DPS doesn't work (such as against undead) you'll find yourself severely lacking.

    On my clonk I found that because I had other sources of damage (divine favour, prayer, divine power, divine might etc) that weapon finesse was a strong choice for me because it made my character better (evasion, AC, AB). On my dex/wis monk I've enjoyed having over 60 AC from level 13 and I usually top the kill counts in any group that I'm in just because I don't have to look at my HP bar and can be truly reckless regardless of where the party healer is. However, soon enough I'll cap him and then I'll TR him straight away as I don't see that the lower DPS will be particularly viable in the current end game (I started him as a flavour drow shortsword build to run with guildies and stuck with it just for the past life on a proper monk build; used fists after level 10 when I realised how gimp shortswords are).

  3. #23
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    Dumping STR is perfectly viable if you know what you're doing. If you don't know what your'e doing, don't consider it. For the most part, those who think that dumping STR is not viable (if you know what you're doing) simply don't know what they're doing.

    We see this kind of debate on the forums all the time because a lot of people don't know what they're doing. A STR dumped melee build is NOT recommended for most. Nevertheless, some such builds can solo almost all content in the game, and some such builds can perform quite adequately in Epic content.

    Some STR-dumped Finesse builds can tank Elite Suulo ToD, solo Elite Sins of Attrition, and solo Normal/Hard A Vision of Destruction. Those who think such builds fail simply don't understand the party role that's being built for. Sure, such builds don't kill as fast as other builds. But they don't need to be baby-sat either. Their slower killing is made up for by the fact that they have all the time in the world to kill what needs to be killed, since they're not at risk of dying. They have some of the highest survivability of any melee builds in existence, and can almost always guarantee that there will be no possibility of a party wipe. The desirability of having such a build in your party will only go up after U9 roles out, since Intimidate is getting screwed over.

    If the above sounds good to you, then yes, consider a Finesse DEX-based AC build that dumps STR. You get to laugh at the melee builds that kill quickly but would cry if they tried to solo A Vision of Destruction. The builds are different. They're good at different things. That your build doesn't kill at top speed doesn't mean it's bad. It means it's bad in certain contexts (namely those contexts in which killing at top speed is what is desired or required).

  4. #24
    Community Member transtemporal's Avatar
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    When your strength is 2/3's that of your dex or less, I think its worthwhile looking at finesse but only for a heavily dex-based character like an AA. I personally would never make the gap larger than 2/3's for a meleeish character of any kind.

    My rogue usually runs around with 28str and 44dex but I don't think I would do that again. The extra feat requirement is a bit of a trap.
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  5. #25
    Community Member AylinIsAwesome's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by transtemporal View Post
    When your strength is 2/3's that of your dex or less, I think its worthwhile looking at finesse but only for a heavily dex-based character like an AA. I personally would never make the gap larger than 2/3's for a meleeish character of any kind.
    Even for AAs, I think STR-based is still the way to go.

    No feat needed for Weapon Finesse means you can get both PA and IC for your melee-mode.

  6. #26
    Community Member transtemporal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AylinIsAwesome View Post
    Even for AAs, I think STR-based is still the way to go.

    No feat needed for Weapon Finesse means you can get both PA and IC for your melee-mode.
    I totally agree. I wouldn't do that again for any build. In fact my new AA project has Str, then Dex/Con.
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