Thanks a lot for transcribing this Nibel.
(1) Acrobat: Use dex to hit with staffs.
It's nice that this comes so early in the tree unlike some of the other alternative stat to-hit/damage enhancements, but...what if I don't want to use dexterity to hit?
What if I really, really prefer strength?
How does this work in conjunction with power attack, and tacticals? Am I to just assume then that I now have to raise dexterity against my will, have zero change to land stunning blow and a moderate trip DC that's nowhere near even the worst equipped fighters/barbarians/paladins?
(3) Stick Fighting (2 AP): Use dex to damage with staffs.
Again, what? I really don't want to use dexterity for my damage.
I want to pump strength since it's far easier with Dreadnought, Rage, Madstone, Titan's Grip, etc. and get decent stunning blow DC, 1.5 damage power attack mod, and qualify for overwhelming critical. Why am I being forced to take dex to-hit/damage?
(6) Tumbler (2 AP): You can tumble through enemies.
Cost is too high for an ability I wouldn't even necessarily take if I could avoid it, which I can't. I'll also probably get this for free from twisting Unearthly Reactions to get my dodge to cap.
(12) Kip Up (2 AP): Immunity to knockdown and slippery surfaces.
(18) Cartwheel Charge (2 AP): After tumbling you gain a +2 morale bonus to Str and Dex for 6 seconds.
This ability is worse than useless--it is counterproductive!
A morale bonus? I'll already have that from a rage potion or much higher from primal scream. It essentially nets you +1 damage from the dex bonus that's actually a net loss of HUNDREDS damage or so from not hitting your target and tumbling away from them in all likelihood, spending time in a useless animation when you can be actually whacking them to death.
READ: This ability is a TRAP.
Tumbling is problematic, as anyone that's actually used it knows that the lag between initiating and ending the tumble is equivalent to pausing and activating two action boosts with no way to use a tactical to interrupt the pause.
It suffers from terrible desync and targeting errors.
Coupled with the tumble animation's duration, you're losing a lot more DPS from not just standing still and auto attacking. This morale boost should last longer, as by the time you're done tumbling you will probably get a maximum of three hits in.
This ability is very weak and probably more of a trap than a boon.
(20) Followthrough (2 AP): Passive +2 Str/Dex. After tumbling, for 6 seconds your staff attacks hit two targets per swing instead of one. On vorpal, your target is knocked down.
This is a better buff than cartwheel charge but still suffers the massive problems of the tumble animation itself.
As Oradafu pointed out, if the vorpal knockdown effect only persists for the six second buff after tumble (read: 1-2 seconds of actual buff if it's initiated when the tumble starts rather than when it ends), then this ability is close to useless. You'd have to sacrifice an incredible amount of DPS rolling around on the floor while your party looks upon you with contempt, waiting for a vorpal trip that will likely never come that lasts for a pitiful amount of time.
Monks and assassins can instakill with their melee enhancements. The trip vorpal should apply to any and all acrobat staff attacks.
Staff Training (2 AP): +1 hit/damage with staffs.
Acrobatic (1 AP): +1/2/3 to Balance, Jump and Tumble. +5%/10%/15% staff attack speed.
This is too low in the tree. Giving up the acrobat's signature alacrity to every henshin or what have you seems like a poor idea for maintaining acrobat identity. Tier it higher, and make it 6/12/18%. On live, we were *supposed* to get +20% from acroII but it was bugged to give a lower benefit.
So now they're just keeping it as is instead of coding it to give the bonus that was originally intended and putting it so low in the acrobat tree that literally anyone can purchase it?
Charming (1 AP): +1/2/3 Bluff, Diplomacy, Haggle and Intimidate
Sly Flourish (1 AP): Melee Attack. +0.5/1/1.5 [W] damage with a +1/2/3 crit threat range, and reduces your threat by 100/200/300. On sneak: Intelligent target also gains -1 to balance, Reflex and Will for 20 seconds (stacks 5 times). Cooldown: 12 secs.
Faster Sneaking (1 AP): +20%/35%/50% sneaking speed.
Staff Training (2 AP): Requires Staff Training I. +1 to hit and +2 damage with staffs.
Trip Focus (1 AP): +1/2/3 to Trip DC
This enhancement is 100% garbage if acrobats don't get dex as their tactical modifier as their strength will never be high enough to consistently land trips beyond epic normal.
Subtlety (1 AP): -20%/30%/40% threat generation (non-cumulative with other Subtlety enhancements)
Quick Strike (2 AP): Melee Quarterstaff Attack. +1/2/3[W] damage. You gain a 5%/15%/25% morale bonus to doublestrike for 10 seconds. Cooldown: 18/15/12 secs.
Very nice and great to have on rotation in addition to Lightning Mace in Dreadnought.
Haste Boost (2 AP): +10%/20%/30% attack speed for 20 seconds.
Staff Training (2 AP): Requires Staff Training II. +1 hit/damage with staffs.
Improved Glancing Blows (1 AP): 2%/4%/6% more chances to proc secondary weapon effects on glancing blows.
Cost improved from live, so this is good.
Shadow Dodge (1 AP): Toggle: +1/2/3 Dodge and Dex, -10%/20%/30% Fortification.
Wait, my own fortification goes down? That seems needlessly punitive.
This should be more like taking 10/20/30 seconds off the uncanny dodge timer, not some nerf to the live 4% dodge coupled with an extra nerf bat of decreased fortification. This is crazy.
Sweeping Strikes (2 AP): Requires Quick Strike at the same rank. Melee Quarterstaff Trip Attack. +1/2/3[W] damage to all nearby enemies and trips them (Balance DC 10 + half rogue + Dex). Cooldown: 30/25/20 secs.
Okay, so this uses a dex mod for the tactical, but what about our regular and improved trip attempts? They're useless except for this one?
Strength or Dexterity (2 AP): +1 to choosen stat.
Staff Training (2 AP): Requires Staff Training III. +1 to hit and +2 damage with staffs.
Improved Defensive Roll (1 AP): Requires Defensive Roll. Defensive Roll now triggers at 30%/40%/50% or below health, and reduces damage to 40%/30%/20% when successful.
This is actually kind of interesting makes me consider this as a feat.
No Mercy (1 AP): You deal 10%/20%/30% more damage to helpless opponents.
Nice, except how can my stuns ever land if I have poor strength and high dexterity?
Staff Lunge (2 AP): Requires Sweeping Strikes at same rank. Melee Quarterstaff attack: +2/3/4[W] damage as you dive through enemies in a line. Cooldown: 30/25/20 secs.
Neat, but I am already forced to purchase the enhancement to tumble through them and this sounds like yet another mobility option that merely reduces my DPS.
Staff Specializtion (2 AP): +1 competence bonus to crit threat range and multiplier with staffs.
Well, here's a silver lining.
Vault (2 AP): Wings. Requires a staff equipped. Cooldown: 15 seconds
Everyone is clamoring for a vaulting animation, and while I agree that would be cool, I'd much prefer this whole dexterity focus to be addressed.
What I'm perceiving acrobats lost:
- The promise of actual 20% staff alacrity
- 4d6 SA capstone
- Dexterity mod to sneak attack damage
- Enhancement to run/walk speed--where did that go?
- Showtime clicky. Mostly useless only the dex portion stacked and it consumed a haste boost, which is 99% more useful
- A whopping 4% dodge, unless you count a -30% fortification debuff and +3% dodge a net gain. It's not.
- THE OBVIOUS SYNERGY BETWEEN STRENGTH-ACROBATS AND TACTICAL DCs, OVERWHELMING CRITICAL QUALIFICATION, EASY-TO-ACQUIRE STRENGTH BOOSTS, LEGENDARY DREADNOUGHT, AND POWER ATTACK THF 1.5(DAMAGE).
That's huge. That's terrible. That's really crappy. Shame on you, devs. The only way to rectify this is to craft an enhancement that allows dex to be used if it's higher than strength for to-hit and damage, the use of dex for 1.5 damage with power attack, and the use of dex for all tactical abilities--particularly stunning blow and trip. The cost of the dex to-hit/damage that people shouldn't be forced to purchase anyway should be cut in half or autogranted.
- Vault, which is neat
- No Mercy (except almost no ability to induce helplessness themselves)
- Snazzier defensive roll (though I suspect most won't train this)
- Ephemeral post-tumble buffs (which are functionally useless since you're reducing your DPS to pause forever and tumble, reposition relative to enemy, and take advantage of the nanosecond of buff that you get from tumbling)
I was also expecting for some kind of mechanic that reduced the cooldown of uncanny dodge.