The Nak Abides - Ascent - Argonnessen
Tanak Arcarius (TR) ~ Xanak the Irregular (TR) ~ Sanak the Streak (TR)
Ganak Goblinjuicer (TR) ~ Panak (TR) ~ Wanak Ryuha (TR) ~ Vanak Ahriman (TR)
Manak Bloodscreamer (TR) ~ Qanak the Absolute (TR) ~ Kanak (TR) ~ Fanak Voltaic(TR)
I know it says defensive stance, but I have to ask.
Could you make it so I can have the Stalwart Defensive stance activated at the same time as the Swashbuckler stance? Both are designed to use a shield (obviously defender moreso, but you did intend on using bucklers)
This would make the build options a bit nicer. Also you would be able to use adrenaline in SB stance which you can't in SD.
- Every row of a tree should have more than 2 icons, even tier 5.
- It will be very irritating if each time I equip a Heal scroll, my Swashbuckler stance turns off (especially if that also deactivates defensive features like Evasion and Slippery Mind).
- It'd probably be fine if all the defensive features (Evasion, Slippery Mind, Dodge, whatever) were separated from the Swashbuckler stance and become purely passive. That'd definitely be simpler and less annoying; if someone wants to spend THAT many AP into Swashbuckler without using the weapon type, it's OK to give him those non-weapon bonuses.
- It's good to get Evasion in a Bard enhancement, but putting it into t5 would be better than using it as the capstone. (That still means getting it later than any other pure class; a few levels after Ranger). Then it could be used in some heroic content (otherwise someone working towards heroic TR is still strongly pushed to a Rogue2/Bard18 build)
- Longsword should be Swashbuckle-compatible. Just watch the movies: that kind of character often has one.
- Boosting crit of various weapons is good, but it leads to a few problems. These enhancements make Shortsword exactly as good as Rapier, but Rapier would be a much better fit for the stylistic image of swashbuckling. At a minimum, I suggest granting Rapier +4 damage alongside the crit bonus.
- A particular problem with the crit range is what happens with special named weapons, like those assorted Shortswords that come as 18-20/x2. When used by a Swashbuckler Bard, they will be far better than any existing Rapier within that level range. It'd be unfortunate if large numbers of Swashbucklers actually wind up prefering shortswords and daggers to any available rapier.
- The En Point attack is kinda neat, EXCEPT for what happens if you roll a crit anyway. If you roll a natural 20 on En Point, then you've spent spellpoints for a WORSE result than a regular attack. It should be changed so the -1 mult only applies on rolls outside of your regular crit range. (Note that En Point is especially bad in combination with tier 5 Exploit Weakness)
- I don't like a ton of clicky attacks, so it might be nice if En Point were changed to an addition to Blow By Blow (like how Warpriest adds features to a single clicky attack).
- Since Divine Might is already available with one level of Cleric or FVS, this tree needs something to add Charisma to normal melee attacks. It should not stack with Divine Might! (So making it an exact duplicate would be the simplest approach).
- Kinda impossible to accurately judge Swashbuckler enhancements without seeing the One Weapon Fighting feats.
- I don't quite like the idea of One-Weapon Fighting working with S&B, because it means S&B characters would need both the old Shield feats and these new ones (or else they'd drop some shield feats, becoming less protected). I'd probably prefer if the S&B feats automatically give you bonuses similar to the One-Weapon ones (subject to different equipment requirements)
- Aqua Vitae is a temp hp effect, which is pretty weak for a Bard (a class that already has healing spells). It would be better changed to something with a percent to proc when you get hit. (And it could include a bit of Positive spellpower)
- Fast Movement: So a Bard19/Barb1 will run faster than any other character? It'd probably be better if Bard and Barb speed just didn't stack.
- The enhancements that enable Orb or Runearm use are pretty weak. They could easily have 10 spellpower (5 general + 5 sonic+pos or force+pos) added to the first one, and then 20 spellpower in the second.
- An easy thing to add to Swashbuckler tier 5: an icon that does a normal melee attack, which also casts your regular Inspire Courage. Basically a way for a melee-oriented Bard to save time rebuffing.
- It would be nice if the enhancement that gives Evasion was on a multiselector, so that someone who already had Evasion (like from Epic Shadowdancer) could choose another bonus.
If you want Swashbuckler to count as any kind of Throwing support, you'll need to give it bonuses that closely mirror the Shuriken-specific things a Ninja can get.
What's the intention here? What role is a one-weapon Bard supposed to fill? Is it really the right time to add a fourth melee style (Swashbuckle), given that the existing 3 styles (TWF THF S&B) aren't really balanced yet?Originally Posted by Vargouille
If you try to make one-weapon DPS competitive with TWF, that would seem pretty weird, and it'd be easy to accidentally get overpowered. But if the DPS isn't competitive, why would someone use it?
My suggestion for the Swashbuckler role: It's the way for a Bard to become halfway good at melee without spending any feats in TWF, THF, or Shield mastery. Someone who is focused on healing, buffing, and CC can still put a small number of AP into Swashbuckler and improve both his melee damage and survival.
But if the Bard character wants to improve melee some more, then she will choose TWF or THF feats and use enhancements in Swashbuckler or Warchanter to support it. The Swashbuckler tree would therefore need more features added that work with swash-style weapons even if you're holding more than one. Currently 13 of the 28 icons in this tree depend on Swashbuckling. That's probably too many; reduce the number requiring that mode, but make them stronger. Change many of them to apply to any swash weapon in your main hand (regardless of having another weapon in the offhand). The idea is that the tree is also highly attractive to a TWF Bard; only a person who won't spend feats on TWF or who wants further defensive features would pick the icons that limit your offhand items.
If you choose to use this suggestion, you would delete the planned One Weapon Fighting feats. The benefits for One Weapon Fighting would be added to existing Shield feats or the Swashbuckler tree. (Then you guys don't have to do all the hard work balancing OWF for general kinds of characters)
Another way for Swashbuckler to fit the role of "healer+CC guy wants to help with melee" is to give some large melee bonuses which deactivate when you're below 50% health and turn into large defense bonuses. That way, the healer guy can step into battle without too too much risk he'll die and leave his team hanging. (But he can't take over for tanks, because that defense just stops him from dying, not from losing a ton of hp)
PS. It would be a bit bad if Bard splashes were better than pure Artificer or Art/Fig for the purpose of doing damage holding a Runearm. It'd be safer to drop all Runearm support from Swashbuckler (unless you have a lot of extra time to work on that balance).
Last edited by Scrabbler; 04-30-2014 at 01:54 AM.
Considering we only really have swashbuckler from crystal cove, can we please add the option of alchemical crafting buckler? We have the other shields there but no bucklers
OkarisRage, artificer master crafter
Caldrick, mabar cleric - soon to become a mabar paladin
Noellal, spellsinger loremistress
Comprehensive list of cormyrean attributes
A lot has been said about moving evasion down.
There are some things wrong about moving evasion down to 12.
First, it really doesn't allow for much multiclassing. It only allows for 8 levels of multiclass.
Second, it allows evasion to be more of a class skill for Bard as oppose to a skill for swashbuckler.
So your war-chanter and your Spellsinger now both have evasion. Should warchanter and spell-singer have evasion? Do you seriously think this is good?
I know if it got moved to 12, or even 18, I would go spellsinger so I could have evasion, Heal, and Wail of the Banshee. I'm not sure if you'all thought through your recommendation . . . You would have to have something pretty dang powerful to replace it with and make me not want to have Heal. (Or maybe you did think it through . . .)
It would be better to move it onto the fifth tier to at least allow some multiclassing and shut out the other 5th tiers. Of course this creates other problems. Who would want to have 5 levels of Bard with the requirement of 31+ points in the swashbuckling tree, when you can have 2 levels in rogue?
Some have said that evasion is not good enough for swashbucklers. They seem to think taking 2 levels of rogue is better. Now, I can understand how some feel this way. Trapping in a very nice skill. However, it is better to say that trapping is a very nice set of skills. Yep, trapping is spot, search, disable device, and open locks. Bards have exactly zero of those as class skills. So, bards start with 6 skill points. You're now at negative 2 per level. I guess you have to add 6 points into intelligence and play a human. You're now at positive one skill point. I guess you can take Perform now. . . How about UMD? Tumble? Jump? (you can only get +10 with a potion or scroll. . . )
You are making a sacrifice by going for trapmaking as a bard. It's not as simple as just taking 2 levels of rogue. And the bonuses for having 19th and 20th level of bard is far higher than the +d6 sneak attack you get from rogue. That's it. Without evasion, 2 levels of rogue gets you +d6 sneak attack. . .
Evasion (Improved evasion with swashbuckling) is an awesome ability as a capstone for swashbuckler. I hope it stays there.
I still can't get excited about this whole Swashbuckling thing, for a couple of reasons.
1. Thematically it just doesn't fit. Bard? Really? Seems like a Rogue or Fighter to me.
2. Single weapon fighting is now a prestige enhancement? Why? What's so special about fighting with a single weapon? An expert fights with big two handers or equips a weapon in both hands - that's special. But heck, the untrained peasant or thug can fight with a single weapon. That's WHY it takes an expert to fight with a weapon in each hand or wield a big weapon that the normal foot soldier, pirate, bandit, thug, or peasant would have a hard time with.
3. A "swashbuckler" to me is just a name applied to a person who fits the role, not a special skill set or class. A Kensai with rapier or shortsword specialization and weapon finesse who wears a feathered hat and says "en guard" could be a swashbuckler. Or a rogue with dex-to-damage and weapon finesse who wears a red scarf and says "Arrgh, ye scurvy dog".
Put me down as "I just don't get it". What's next, a prestige enhancement called "Bandit", or "Bodyguard", or maybe "Adventurer"?
Last edited by Fedora1; 04-30-2014 at 06:57 AM.
If you make single-weapon fighting, all by itself as a weapon attack style, exciting enough that any class might want it, then suddenly Swashbuckler becomes a competitive enhancement tree.
I did found it a very good move that you let us peak into this tree this early on. And I personally like the direction it goes.
But would you please give some in-depth reactions to some of the reoccurring concerns and suggestions. I don't say you have to comment on everything but there is lots that keeps coming back.
You did this to have us involved I guess don't lose that opportunity by hardly answering or giving very general answer that don't say anything. (And yes we know everything you say now doesn't mean it will end up that way, but at least don't bring down your own initiative)
Lets first look at who plays bard (apart from getting 7 lvls in a mix build to get your Bard live rid of). What motivates them to go pure here? Evasion isn't it, because you can get that easier, and with better side benefits (the trick off course is to always take your FIRST lvl as rogue for 32 Skillpoints without any INT investment), from splashing rogue. If you feel motivated to get a lot of investment in Swashbuckler to improve your Spellsinger, why on earth would that be not WAI, if it finally makes a full Bard a character that CAN do a lot of things very solidly?
Warchanter and / or spellsinger having evasion - the ones that don't do it by taking rogue lvls anyway (or a deep Ranger splash for TWF guys even) would be fine with getting it, a Warchanter loses evasion anyway if they do take the medium armor. They are not going to be even near OP with or without evasion. Giving it at lvl 12 still means a BIG investment into swashbuckling not many are going to take "just" to get evasion. Locking you out of the spellsinger tier 5 (or any other t5) by putting evasion in there is even less usefull than putting it in the capstone, because there are far better T5 enhancements both for a pure Bard and certainly for others.
I am not at all excited about this Swashbuckler prestige. There are a few nice things scattered about in there, but there is so little there that I would want that I will just ignore this tree altogether. Anyway, thanks for making it clear you're going to leave bards broken. At least I know not to get my hopes up. My bard will continue to just be a bank toon and occasional hagglebot.
You are right that you have to make sacrifices for the Evasion & trapping splash, but the skill situation itself isn't bad. Many (most?) trapper splashes drop Spot. It isn't necessary once you have some quest knowledge under your belt. Put 4-6 points into intelligence, play as human, maybe buy a +2 tome, and now you've got at least Search, Disable Device, Open Locks, Perform, UMD, and Concentration. High Jump is really nice, sure, but there's almost no content that requires Jump to be capped. When you do need Jump that basic +10 is often enough, these days epic items go up to +20, and if you are really hurting for it then later on you can farm up a Morah's Belt from Amrath: 45 minutes of +30 Jump skill ought to be enough between shrines. There are uses for high Tumble but Featherfalling items cover 75% of them and 1 point in Tumble covers 20% more, which doesn't leave a lot of uses. You can also skimp on Open Locks if you like since it is less critical and put those points elsewhere - OL gives you Optionals and can speed up some quests, but no quests are completely uncompletable without it. So, sacrifices? Yes. Critical ones? Not so much so.
The main thing splashing Rogue 2 costs you is access to the capstones since Bard 18 vs Bard 20 isn't that big a change (2 spell penetration, a few SP, and a spell slot, but meh). For Spellsinger the capstone is Heal & Wail & some USP, and those are pretty good reasons to stay pure. So for that I think there's a decent balance between what you lose and what you gain for each choice so both options are valid. For Swashbuckler, the capstone you would lose is:
Once you remove the Evasion part from that since you are getting it from Rogue 2, the remaining bits are not that compelling to me at least. It's certainly not in the same league as Heal & Wail. So to me, if I knew I wanted a Swashbuckler build - which means that I've already decided to sacrifice Heal and Wail - I would always splash so I have an easier leveling process and a more capable character in general. The only real sacrifice is that I don't have the option to respec into Spellsinger to get its capstone at some later point without a LR+x.Evasive Maneuvers: +2 CHA, +2 DEX. While Swashbuckling, you gain the Evasion feat, +1% Doublestrike, 1% Doubleshot, +1 Damage, and the weapon in your main hand gains an additional +1 to its Enhancement bonus.
But even when I compare Swashbuckler with Spellsinger on a pure Bard with the thought that I might respec between the 2 capstones depending on content, if I wanted Evasion for certain quests I think that I would just stay specced as a Spellsinger and change my ED to one that grants Evasion instead of reseting my enhancements to take Swashbuckler instead of Spellsinger. The rest of the Swashbuckler capstone is not compelling at all.
RE: your final point, I may have missed something but as far as I can tell this tree isn't offering "improved evasion with swashbuckling", it's just offering vanilla Evasion with Swashbuckling. Many players are calling for the Improved form for the capstone but AFAICT no one at Turbine has commented on it as a possibility.
Sarlona resident (PureMouse, PlushMouse, [& other little mice], Cryosite)
Former lurker/resident of Argonessen (Shyelle, Cheyelle, Moonsparkle)
While the thug can pick up one weapon and be proficient in it, a prestige class that focuses on a duelist style can outclass them. Believe it or not, it doesnt take more "skill" to use 2 weapons, it takes more repetition to learn it due to most people being left or right handed but not ambidexterous. It takes a long time to create sufficient muscle memory for the mind to treat both sides equally rather than favoring one over the other. For a right handed person, think about what it would take to throw a baseball left handed as well as you can with your right.
Advocating repeated nerfs in the name of "balancing the game" then complaining about how DDO is moving away from D&D, is a direct contradiction in logic - D&D 3.5 (what DDO is based on) is not a balanced game. We can either have a balanced clone MMO with homogenized classes, or we can have a D&D game. We cant have both.
As the pre goes, it takes that a step further, enhancing the capabilities of having a free hand. Like being able to use a scroll while holding a buckler.
And if you want to add more to the capstone, I won't argue with that. I see no problem with that. +10% doublestrike and doubleshot. +500 hit points. +1000 spell points. Heal and greater shout as a spell-like abilities with a 1 second cooldown. Blade Barrier that improves with sound power . . .
Well, maybe I'm going a little overboard. I don't have a problem with people adding to the capstone. You mentioned a bit of my own wishful thinking there at the end.
Were you afraid that you couldn't get more added to the capstone while evasion was there? Is that why you wanted it moved down? You make some valid points about the capstone not being enough. What do you want the capstone replaced with that you feel the developers won't let you have if evasion stays there? Couldn't you just add it to the capstone along with evasion?
I forgot to answer your first question. Someone who wanted evasion moved down mentioned that they wanted to do so because it would allow for multiclass options. There are not many level 12 multiclasses with Bard. Yes there are great builds with 12 levels of other classes, but not bard. Part of this is due to the fact that Bards are already a type of Jack of all Trades and that they have UMD as a class skill. I was fighting the argument that moving evasion down to level 12 swashbuckler will open new multiclass possibilities that would "enrich" the game. This is not the case. There are no well known level 12 bard multiclass builds and evasion at level 12 wouldn't change that. Especially with Monk 2 and Rogue 2 as possibilities.
Last edited by Hilltrot; 04-30-2014 at 08:08 PM. Reason: forgot to answer first question.
The one-handed "fencing" style evolved out of social pressures (you didn't walk around in heavy armour or tote a kite shield in the city, and your 4 ft longsword would get in the way as well as get you mocked for your lack of fashion sense). Use of a buckler, dagger, cloak, or just your off-hand was also taught, but many fencing techniques were actually more similar to those of the longsword than a one-handed weapon (since one-handed battlefield techniques emphasised shield use.)
Think about it this way: in all the time that the TWFer is training his off-hand to be effective, a SWFer has available to simply get better at using his weapon.
Personally, while SWF feats shouldn't skimp on providing viable damage, I'd give them a different niche to the other styles. TWF in DDO is already the "single-target, rapid hitting" style available, so simply trying to make SWF do the same thing through doublestrike seems a waste. SWF feats could concentrate on more vital blows (through fort bypass and crit range) or versatility (bonuses to tactical feats since off-hand is available to grab, shove and punch).
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