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  1. #1
    Community Member khangharu's Avatar
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    Default Celestia, Brightest Star of Day: this sword is really awkward (mechanically)

    As a newly-converted bastard sword user, I was really excited when i found out that the new raid had not one, but TWO relic named bastard swords.

    In theory, Celestia could be awesome. If you're a rogue, you can use it as a short sword. If you're a melee arty like me, you can wield it like a bastard sword and do respectable melee damage. Thus, it would be probably the most versatile weapon in ddo history. In practice though, the mechanics are actually pretty awkward and make it difficult to use. In fact, they seem to go against what would make sense.

    In the description on the weapon it says "This magnificent bastard sword appears to somehow have been made from a ray of solidified light. It is nearly weightless, and despite its size, is able to be wielded effectively by anyone who is proficient in the use of short swords."

    Note that is says the sword is a bastard sword which is able to be wielded as a short sword, not the other way around.

    While it's true that the sword itself can be wielded as a short sword, all of the mechanics such as improved critical feats act as if the sword was actually a short sword in practice. This is important because short swords are piercing, bastard sword are slashing. Basically, while the sword can be wielded as a bastard sword, it's much less effective as one since its applicable modifiers need to be piercing. Therefore, bastard sword users who'd like to use Celestia are going to have 50% less critical threat than they would with any other bastard sword.

    Recommendations
    So here's a few ideas that I've been tossing around:
    A) Turn Celestia into a longsword. Since longswords use slashing modifiers it would work perfectly with Celestia's alternate usage as a bastard sword. Plus, I'm assuming that most builds that have short sword usage that would actually want to use Celestia would also have martial weapon usage (like fighters or rangers) and wouldn't have it restricted to bastard sword usage only.

    EDIT: due to popular opinion, option A is no longer an option. Shorties need some love too.

    However, I'd also like to hear some feedback here. Does anyone out there actually use a pure shortsword build who would be hugely nerfed by this change? If so, there's also an alternative option that might work but it's much more technically difficult.

    B) Allow users of Celestia to benefit from piercing weapon bonuses pr slashing bonuses. I'm not exactly sure how this would work, but looking at weapons that can alternate between charisma, dex, or strength as their attack or damage modifier I'm assuming Turbine has the tech that could do this. The only problem is that all these Celestias are already out there in the world, and they're all short swords. Would Turbine be able to retroactively change it on all characters into a long sword? Would they be able to give players the option to exchange it somewhere ingame if not?

    To conclude, I know there probably aren't a whole lot of bastard sword users out there and it's not a gamebreaking issue, but as a bastard sword user, this change would bring a lot more variety to a build that really doesn't have too many stellar options out there right now.

    PLEASE support the bastard-lovers of Stormreach!
    Last edited by khangharu; 11-21-2012 at 08:51 PM.
    Athrenn - WF Artificer - Khyber

  2. #2
    Community Member Desdemonte's Avatar
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    No Way.

    It's a Sunblade. i.e a shortsword with bastardsword damage.

    Do not Change! There is already an awesome Bsword in that raid greedy bugger!

  3. #3
    Community Member Arkat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Desdemonte View Post
    No Way.

    It's a Sunblade. i.e a shortsword with bastardsword damage.

    Do not Change! There is already an awesome Bsword in that raid greedy bugger!
    This.

  4. #4
    Community Member Brennie's Avatar
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    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that this sword behaves exactly like a shortsword in all ways, aside from the bit of flavor text.

    I think the problem here is taking the flavor text too literally. Just like the Sun Blade, the weapon is mechanically a shortsword for all intents and purposes, and just has some fluff to make it seem like a magical super-light bastard sword.

    Personally, I think the only "problem" with these two weapons is that their flavor text is confusing. Instances of "bastard sword" should be changed to reference some generic larger-than-a-shortsword type weapon, rather than referencing a weapon that has specific gameplay qualities in DDO, so as not to confuse players.

    So, in response to your well thought out suggestion, i have to /not sign. Celestia is a shortsword, it is meant to be a shortsword, and that's the long and short of it (See what i did there?). Not only that, but changing the base type to longsword would be brutal to rogues and the occasional ninja spy who use the weapon.

  5. #5
    Community Member redspecter23's Avatar
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    It's a magically enchanted bastard sword that behaves as a short sword in all aspects. If you were to be a typical bastard sword user and picked up this blade it might look familiar to your character, but the weight would be different, the balance would be off and it just wouldn't feel quite right. On the other hand, a short sword user might hesitate at first to pick up this weapon but after a few swings would find that this huge blade performs just as any short sword he has ever used. He's comfortable with the blade, despite what his eyes tell him.

    Long story short, it's magic. Leave it as is.
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  6. #6
    Community Member rest's Avatar
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    My ninja-spy monk says no. Short swords ftw.

  7. #7
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    Here i came thinking that OP would refer to Celestia's unintuitive interaction with artificer (or ED) dr breaking imbues, some cases where mob dr should be bypassed but isn't or the annoying visual bug introduced in u16. Oh well...

    Back to topic:
    /not signed.

  8. #8
    Community Member voodoogroves's Avatar
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    I support option B, as that's what the core 3.5 rules support.

    http://www.d20srd.org/srd/magicItems/magicWeapons.htm

    Quote Originally Posted by SRD
    Any individual able to use either a bastard sword or a short sword with proficiency is proficient in the use of a sun blade. Likewise, Weapon Focus and Weapon Specialization in short sword and bastard sword apply equally, but the benefits of those feats do not stack.
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  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by khangharu View Post
    PLEASE support the bastard-lovers of Stormreach!
    I thought this was a support of the Bastard Sword Lovers out there.
    The Dual-Handed BS Swingers of Stormreach, of which I consider myself one. An off-hand Bastard Sword (as in no off hand penalties)?
    Meaning I can start swinging this in my off hand, supporting any number of other Bastard swords without shelling out for the Oversized Two-Weapon Fighting feat? I gotta get me into that "new" raid...

  10. #10
    Community Member khangharu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brennie View Post
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that this sword behaves exactly like a shortsword in all ways, aside from the bit of flavor text.

    I think the problem here is taking the flavor text too literally. Just like the Sun Blade, the weapon is mechanically a shortsword for all intents and purposes, and just has some fluff to make it seem like a magical super-light bastard sword.

    Personally, I think the only "problem" with these two weapons is that their flavor text is confusing. Instances of "bastard sword" should be changed to reference some generic larger-than-a-shortsword type weapon, rather than referencing a weapon that has specific gameplay qualities in DDO, so as not to confuse players.

    So, in response to your well thought out suggestion, i have to /not sign. Celestia is a shortsword, it is meant to be a shortsword, and that's the long and short of it (See what i did there?). Not only that, but changing the base type to longsword would be brutal to rogues and the occasional ninja spy who use the weapon.
    Ahh! Several good points there, I hadn't thought about ninja spy builds. Considering there aren't a whole lot of shortswords out there I suppose robbing them of the one good endgame weapon would be cruel, even for those sneaky little buggers.

    However, I stand by my argument that Celestia's bastard sword qualities aren't just fluff. I've been testing it ingame on my arti with B-sword proficiency and it does glancing blow damage. Also, while I haven't been able to confirm this on a spreadsheet, I've been testing my dummy hits with power attack and it seems to be applying double damage from power attack (16 instead of 8) which is how it normally works with two-handed weapons.

    Quote Originally Posted by voodoogroves View Post
    I support option B, as that's what the core 3.5 rules support.

    http://www.d20srd.org/srd/magicItems/magicWeapons.htm
    Nice find! I didn't know it was in the rules for 3.5

    P.S. Just got an idea for a rogue monk ninja spy build built around sneak-attacking with dual bastard swords. I dub thee the "Sneaky Bastard"!
    Last edited by khangharu; 11-21-2012 at 08:43 PM.
    Athrenn - WF Artificer - Khyber

  11. #11
    Community Member redoubt's Avatar
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    Please no.

    Making it a longsword would ruin it for any finesse fighters (who are probably extatic to have a 1d10 weapon for a change.)
    /sigh

  12. #12
    Community Member AbyssalMage's Avatar
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    Hmm...
    After reading the OP and then reading the comments I decided to look at DDO Wiki for further information (OP should of provided a link )
    Celestia, Brightest Star of Day
    Anyways, a possible solution would be to add:
    1) (a) Slashing damage to the type (They have the tech to do this). So it would be Pierce and Slashing. (b) Or change it to Slash damage period. I personally like option (a)
    2) Add Keen to expand the crit range (Not sure if that would solve the OP's problem).
    3) The weapon has Supreme Good on it! Shouldn't it be "type: good" and "type: magic" in addition to "type: light" for purposes of DR?

    That's all for now.

    p.s. I'm falling asleep here so hopefully this is as coherent to everyone as it is to me atm.

  13. #13
    DDO Catalog MrCow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AbyssalMage
    Shouldn't it be "type: good" and "type: magic" in addition to "type: light" for purposes of DR?
    For a weapon that does physical damage, yes. However, Celestia is a fairly unique weapon. It does not do physical damage. Instead, it deals its base damage in the form of light damage (and elemental/energy damage isn't subject to physical Damage Reduction).
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  14. #14

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    No.

    You wanna have imp crit: slash added to it? Cool.
    No reason to change the proficiency required, tho.
    Last edited by SableShadow; 11-21-2012 at 10:00 PM.
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  15. #15
    Community Member Oliphant's Avatar
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    Does it make glancing blows when used with a shield like a bastard sword? That would be a real distinction for a short sword user.

  16. #16
    Community Member khangharu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oliphant View Post
    Does it make glancing blows when used with a shield like a bastard sword? That would be a real distinction for a short sword user.
    Not sure (haven't tested it yet) but it's been making glancing blows with a runearm so I'd assume so. I'll have to test that tonight!
    Athrenn - WF Artificer - Khyber

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by AbyssalMage View Post
    1) (a) Slashing damage to the type (They have the tech to do this). So it would be Pierce and Slashing. (b) Or change it to Slash damage period. I personally like option (a)
    The point there is that celestia deals neither piercing, nor slashing damage, it deals all it's damage in the form of light damage instead, which is not subject to the normal damage reductions, but instead to "energy" resistance. (I have to add though, very few mobs actually resist light, which is nice)

    Quote Originally Posted by AbyssalMage View Post
    2) Add Keen to expand the crit range (Not sure if that would solve the OP's problem).
    It would solve part of the OP's problem, except I do believe that in regards to 'weapon specific' abilities (like the kensei enhancements) it will still function as a short sword with added glancing blows if the offhand is not using a weapon.

    Quote Originally Posted by AbyssalMage View Post
    3) The weapon has Supreme Good on it! Shouldn't it be "type: good" and "type: magic" in addition to "type: light" for purposes of DR?
    A month or two ago, when I was on my artificer life with my main I obtained a Celestia for my own use, and played around with it for a bit, as I was an artificer, I had sufficient resources and time to test some things with it.

    Adding the 'good', or 'magic', or 'cold iron', or any extra descriptors that normally function properly on weapons to Celestia makes it behave awkwardly. Adding damage types to celestia, or increasing it's enhancement bonus (battle engineer prestige enhancement included), adds those damage types to it (in the case of enhancement bonus increases, it adds the "magic" type) as it should, but completely ruins the ability to not care about physical DR at all, instead it will acts as a non-magical weapon that received that augment instead.

    I tested the prestige enhancement, cold iron, silver, adamantine, enchant weapons, align weapons, and the cold iron/evil outsider bane from fury on it, and with any of those effects it started dealing reduced damage to mobs that had more then 1 resistance (draeglolth, horoth, harry, suulomades, demon queen as examples that I tested) it stopped dealing full damage, instead displaying "you deal x damage after y was blocked by [type] resistance" in the combat log.

    About the power attack thing, the bastard sword in DDO is a one handed weapon, so should only receive a bonus to damage equal to the penalty to your attack roll (in most cases 5, enhancements can make it more), instead of double that, as is the norm for two handed weapons. I would expect that you are seeing the dummy in it's helpless state instead, and are assuming the increased damage (+50% on pretty much everything) is a function of it behaving like a two handed weapon.

    And yes, it deals glancing blows with shields, rune-arms, and an empty offhand

    Mechanically, it's a shortsword with the possibility of glancing blows that completely ignores all forms of physical damage reduction. And in my opinion (for whatever it's worth) the OP is just reading to much into the flavor text. I do agree though that if they say it's a bastard sword that can be wielded as a shortsword, it should be able to function off of both feats (and enhancements in regards to the kensei stuff). I'll have to echo though: leave it alone, it's a shortsword, finesse fighters (in whatever shape they come) and ninja spies can properly use it as it is, if you make it a longsword/bastard sword, it won't be finessable and it will uncenter dark monks, ruining it for them, and the raid already has a bastard sword as is.
    Last edited by Forgeborn; 11-22-2012 at 11:03 PM.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Forgeborn View Post
    Adding the 'good', or 'magic', or 'cold iron', or any extra descriptors that normally function properly on weapons to Celestia makes it behave awkwardly. Adding damage types to celestia, or increasing it's enhancement bonus (battle engineer prestige enhancement included), adds those damage types to it (in the case of enhancement bonus increases, it adds the "magic" type) as it should, but completely ruins the ability to not care about physical DR at all, instead it will acts as a non-magical weapon that received that augment instead.
    You can add Paladin capstone to the list of things that break Celestia too.
    At least now I have a better idea of why it doesn't work. I wonder if having and artificer cast the appropriate metal type would "fix" it or just cause the weapon to be more confused?

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Krelar View Post
    You can add Paladin capstone to the list of things that break Celestia too.
    At least now I have a better idea of why it doesn't work. I wonder if having and artificer cast the appropriate metal type would "fix" it or just cause the weapon to be more confused?
    I was on an artificer life, so I didn't exactly have access to weapons of good, but I assume that any effect that would normally add a form of DR bypass will break Celestia's special 'feature' of being pure light.

    This should be most effects, but I probably missed a few:
    • Artificer: battle engineer
    • Artificer: Enchant weapons
    • Artificer: metal type spells (Adamantine, Byesk, Cold iron, silver)
    • Artificer: planar weapons
    • Druid: animal forms (including align fang/enchant fang)
    • Exalted angel: blessed blades if you're anything but true neutral
    • Fury of the child: Gird against demons
    • Paladin: Weapons of good capstone
    • Unyielding sentinel: Purify/anoint weapon when in standing against the tide

  20. #20
    Community Member Chette's Avatar
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    Just put keen on it or make it work with IC-slashing. That would be fine.
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