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  1. #1
    Community Member Nayus's Avatar
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    Default Sword and Board -- How viable is it?

    I'm fully aware they're entirely unnecessary in 95% of all content but the playstyle still intrigues me, I found some S&B builds out there and I believe the pure melee hack'n'slash approach is a big no since it doesn't solve any of the bigger problems of the build.

    Anyway, has anyone "normal" had any success with it? I mean "normal" because if you're going to spend millions getting your gear you'd have success with just about any character, I'm speaking in relative terms: How much success did you have compared to how much you could have had with a standard character?

  2. #2
    Community Member Teh_Troll's Avatar
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    it's pretty terrible in the current state of the game.

    Even if you go full-****** with the gearing it's horrible. So going "normal" is LOLZWHUT?

  3. #3
    Community Member Mahalko128's Avatar
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    It can be very successful in the right hands! What class are you planning to S&B with?
    Keep on rollin'.

  4. #4
    Community Member Nayus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mahalko128 View Post
    It can be very successful in the right hands! What class are you planning to S&B with?
    How about going out with a bang?
    6 cleric levels for Energy Burst and other stuff
    A lot of fighter levels for feats and tactical feats
    And barb levels for Occult Slayer

  5. #5
    Community Member count_spicoli's Avatar
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    It's far better than it ever has been by a long shot. It's the only reason to stay pure fighter. You can be in full stance and get all the benefits of Kensai whereas before you had to choose one or the other. You can even get Kenai capstone. I would go helf with FvS or cleric dilly for decent self healing tho.

  6. #6
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    At its best you can get up to;

    55% chance to proc hits on 3 hits per sequence - 44% "per swing"
    15% doublestrike
    Glancing blow procs

    It can come pretty close to 2 weapon damage output if you're will to go for it, which is nice.

    How viable in end game? I don't know. All I know is that my little level 13 Fighter is able to take on any physical dps monster that I've come across. Magic of course is a different story (I'm a fighter after all) but S&B is letting me mindlessly win level 17-18 content, so there ya go.

    Oh and PS: It makes leveling up those first 5-8 levels stupid easy. I'm goofing around with a Barbarian build right now that's got no real AC and MAN do I take a lot more damage.
    Last edited by Xianio; 12-20-2013 at 09:29 PM.

  7. #7
    Community Member Mahalko128's Avatar
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    My profession is only that of the S & B Fighter. I could tell of you of a great tanking baddie with full fighter levels, but I believe you're looking to cross your genes across paths I have yet to venture.
    Keep on rollin'.

  8. #8
    Hero LOOON375's Avatar
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    It comes down to damage output. You need to kill the mobs before they kill you. And right now, I would probably say that it is at the bottom or towards the bottom.

    That's not to say that you can't be successful with it.

    If it works for you and you have fun doing it, just do it and decide for yourself.
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  9. #9
    Build Constructionist unbongwah's Avatar
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    S&B did get some dev love in U19:
    • Dwarf Fortress adds up to +7% to S&B DPS (must be in full plate).
    • Block & Cut (T5 Stalwart D.) adds 25% doublestrike for 10 secs. (20 sec. cooldown), which AFAICT stacks w/everything.
    • Shield bashing appears to finally be WAI; or at least you can get more procs than you used to.


    Unfortunately, there were a few major nerfs too:
    • Defensive stance provides less PRR than before (25 vs 40, IIRC). Pallies can add another +25 from Harbored by Light (T5 Sacred D.), but it costs 6 APs (plus all the APs you spend to unlock it).
    • The Gtr Defensive Stance bonuses (+STR/CON/HPs) are now S&B-only. Since a lot of tanks prefer to use 2H or TWF and save S&B for "real" boss fights, this was a nerf to their DPS & survivability outside of S&B.
    • Also, because you lose the HP bonus every time you swap out a shield or swap in a non-weapon (e.g., a wand or scroll), it can cause your HPs to fluctuate wildly. E.g., say you have 600 HPs normally, which goes up to 720 HPs in stance while S&B; you could start out with 720/720 HPs, then drop to 600/600 HPs when you switch to a 2H weapon, then have it go back to 600/720 HPs when you switch back to S&B. I.e., you are not autogranted those extra HPs; instead, it just increased your HP cap.
    • The ftr doublestrike capstone is now in the Kensei tree; and the Stalwart D. capstone is rather weak, IMHO. It is possible to take the Kensei capstone and mix it w/T5 Stalwart D., but that chews up most of your APs: at least 41 in Kensei, at lease 33 APs in SD to unlock T5 and add Block&Cut. Hope you weren't counting on too many racial enhs! Similar problem with the pally tree; the "good" capstone is in KotC.


    But the real problem for S&B builds is monks got a lot more dev love, making them a better choice in most circumstances. Pajama "tanks" have better DPS, almost as much PRR (Earth stance + Iron Skin), Evasion (pretty big deal in epics if your Reflex saves are good enough), Shadow Form (25% incorp), etc. One w/Blade (T5 Kensei, req's 8 ftr lvls & Gtr Weap Focus feat) lets you be centered with any melee weapon; while higher-tier monk stances are now chooseable feats, so you no longer have to sacrifice Grandmaster stances on a MCed monk build. Quivering Palm is a lot more powerful and works w/ki weapons now. Pure monks are a bit lackluster, but that's more a testament to the power of multiclassing under the new Enhancement system than anything else.

    S&B builds can get slightly more PRR and extra Intim threat, but how often is either that important?

    All that said, some of us are still trying to redeem S&B builds. See my Dwarven Defender & Kundarak Wall threads, as well as Celcia and Dwarven Fortress in the ftr forums.

  10. #10
    Death's Dominator Eth's Avatar
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    Has anyone some actual numbers what DPS you could expect on a S/B (well built/geared, lvl28, Max Destinies etc.)? Just curious.
    Thelanis - Ethforged - Etherar - Fjirty --- Mitis Mors
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  11. #11
    Community Member Mahalko128's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eth View Post
    Has anyone some actual numbers what DPS you could expect on a S/B (well built/geared, lvl28, Max Destinies etc.)? Just curious.
    I have a level 27 well built fighter with solid gear for the most part, how would you like DPS to be determined?
    Keep on rollin'.

  12. #12
    The Hatchery Wipey's Avatar
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    Solo elite Shroud 1st part ?
    5 star lvl 28 + Ring of Fire ?

  13. #13
    Community Member Teh_Troll's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mahalko128 View Post
    I have a level 27 well built fighter with solid gear for the most part, how would you like DPS to be determined?
    EE Sobrien beat-down time.

  14. #14
    Community Member Mahalko128's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teh_Troll View Post
    EE Sobrien beat-down time.
    I'll get back to you on that when I have an ice based Alchemical Bastard Sword made :P
    Keep on rollin'.

  15. #15
    The Hatchery Wipey's Avatar
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    That's too fast to get any "results", try those 2 I suggested, it's a hoot. Not much randomness there.

  16. #16
    Community Member Mahalko128's Avatar
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    Those aren't monsters though, we're talking a straight test of Damage per Second on average, so how long it'd take to take down a single monster of a certain level (most likely same CR for testing purposes)
    Keep on rollin'.

  17. #17
    The Hatchery Wipey's Avatar
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    Maybe Giant in Break in the Ice or Lines of supply with hjealer keeping an eye on you, but that's more like ideal condition.
    Both Shroud part 1 and Cavern challenges don't give much breathing room, not much randomness and you just have to cross some dps or "offense " treshold. Cause some paper dps is utterly pointless since destinies were introduced.
    Same mobs, same hp.

  18. #18
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    If you're going to do a S&B viability test you're going to want to build for it. S&B is pretty solid but it's a niche offensive build option.

    Ideal scenario for S&B (probably):

    20 Fighter with kensai capstone and tier 5 StD (block & cut) using an offensive shield: Wall of Wood is a good pick but Madstone Aegis would be best.

    Lastly you'd want to Twist Legendary Shield Fighting (Striking?) from the Unyielding Sentinel ED for another 7% doublestrike. That's probably the "best case," as far as offensive shield fighting is concerned.

    Why? Well, one thing I learned today helps a bunch: Apparently glancing blows are also "doublestriked" when the appropriate attack in an animation sequence doublestrikes.

    All told,

    S&B combat gives: 15% doublestrike, glancing blows, 44% proc. rate (2 per sequence) and the added benefit of using your full strength modifier instead 50%. I'd like to see a practical test done but my rough work puts S&B REALLY REALLY close to TwF - if specially building for it!

  19. #19
    The Hatchery sirgog's Avatar
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    The issue with S&B is that you are sacrificing quite a bit of offense for very little defensive gain.

    While you pick up some more PRR, it's PRR beyond the point of steep diminishing returns, which is borderline useless. You also get some AC (which is better than Dodge% in easy content and weaker than Dodge% in harder content), but even with this, you can still be killed very, very fast by a swarm of EE trash.

    OTOH the pajama tanks have more rounded defenses. It's not just that they have evasion - they have improved evasion, which is critical with the damage and debuffs the Truthful One's breath inflicts. Plus the pajama tanks have access to the insanely good Shadow Fade.
    I don't have a zerging problem.

    I'm zerging. That's YOUR problem.

  20. #20
    Death's Dominator Eth's Avatar
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    Best DPS test in my opinion is Claive, the Carver in Ruined Keep: Sunset Ritual - if you can see HP of humans through monster manual unlock (really not hard to get it).

    - Red Named (no helpless damage)
    - visible HP (varies between 62-74k)
    - no fortification
    - timer running in the challenge itself
    - always spawns

    That's a way better DPS test than Sobrien... (can't even tell his HP...orange named...)

    Would be cool if you could do some testings there!
    Thelanis - Ethforged - Etherar - Fjirty --- Mitis Mors
    Ghallanda - Ethrayne - Ethryne --- Omnipresence
    Youtube channel: http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKVn...wLuzB2Q/videos

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