This thread is about melee and ranged character balance, specifically at endgame in regards to destiny choices; it makes no attempt to look at caster balance or how casters compare with physical damage characters. It is solely about getting physical damage characters on par with each other.
There are many different and equally valid approaches to game balance. Some involve only nerfs, others involve only buffs, others involve complete redesigns(this seems tobe the most common method at turbine). My design goals/philosophies for this thread will mainly focus on bringing weak or under-performing abilities up to a useable level, but also to tone down the extreme cases (to avoid power creep) while providing meaningful compensation for any direct loss of power. I also try to make as few build and class altering changes as possible. That is to say, the strongest builds should continue to be the strongest, and will generally still function in the same way. (but possibly to a lesser degree) Since this is mainly focused on epic levels and destinies, no change should drastically alter what class or class splits are considered optimal, nor should it break a build to the point where it needs to be completely rebuilt.
Legendary Dreadnaught and Blitz
Quad damage is fun! Permanent quad damage is even more fun! However, its not very good for game balance,and it can have drastically different benefits depending on where your character gets its damage from (think crits vs sneak attack vs weapon effects). This causes build limitations and damage type biases, as well as discouraging the use of other destinies. These changes are intended to keep blitz fun (possibly even more fun), but within a more reasonable manner on par with other epic moments. Compensation changes are then centred around improving the tactical theme of the destiny.
- You are no longer required to cleave your party members at the entrance of a quest for no apparent reason
- Dodge cap removed
- Stack limit removed and stacks no longer fade
- You now begin blitzing at 10 stacks instead of 1 or 2
- Each stack now grants +10% damage, +10% doublestrike, +10% doubleshot, +1 tactics DC and +5% dodge instead of +25% damage
- Duration is now capped at 30 seconds
- No longer grants a flat 50% dodge chance
- Momentum Swing cooldown reset bug fixed and can now be reset by all tactical feats
- Momentum Swing now procs offhand attacks while TWF
- Improved Power Attack now grants +1[W] instead of +0.5[W]
- Critical Damage now adds 3/6/10 damage on critical hits instead of 2/4/6
- Tactical Genius is now a passive ability instead of an active and reduces the cooldown of all tactical feats to 5 seconds
- Volcano's Edge, Lightning Mace, and Anvil of Thunder now deal 200 elemental damage instead of 100
- Advancing blows now adds one stack of vulnerable on critical hits
Unyielding Sentinel and UndyingVanguard
Godmode is fun! Wait...no its not. Its extremely boring (unless you enjoy role-playing as a rock...) and does next to nothing for your character if you do no damage. These changes are intended to give Unyielding Sentinels some real power in exchange for removing some of that redundant defence.
- Duration increased to 30 seconds
- Automatically triggers an intimidate effect on use and every 6 seconds thereafter
- +50% doublestrike
- Melee attacks cleave all nearby enemies and generate +100% threat
- +50 PRR/MRR, +10 to all saves and you no longer fail saves on a 1
- All physical and magical attacks against you grant 100 temporary hp (refreshes but does not stack, effectively reducing all attacks and spell damage by 100 after all other mitigation has been factored)
- No longer gives +10000 temporary hp
- Stand Against the Tide now grants +1[W] damage per stack instead of +1 damage
- Endless Smiting now grants +1/2/3 uses per rest and regenerates 33%/66%/100% faster
- Endless Lay on Hands now grants +1/2/3 uses per rest and regenerates every 3/2/1 minute(s)
- Legendary Shield Mastery now grants +5%/10%/15% doublestrike and shield bash chance
Shadowdancer and Dark Imbuement
There is nothing witty or useful to say about Dark Imbuement... much like the ability itself! These changes are intended to give Shadowdancers an epic moment that is actually worth using, as well as removing some unnecessary complexity.
- Deals 10d6 untyped damage on hit instead of 2d6 unholy damage
- Deals 10d20 on ranged explosion instead of 10d6
- Grants +10d6 sneak attack dice for the duration
- Your attacks have a 10% chance to apply a deception/bluff effect
- All attacks now apply the Shadow Mastery debuff (5% physical amplification, sneak attack immunity removed)
- No longer generates or requires Dark Imbuement charges
- You can retain +1 shadow charge
- Now costs 5 shadow charges
- Shadow training IV now grants +10% doublestrike for finesse weapons instead of +3%
- Shrouding Strike/Shot now states that you automatically gain 1 Shadow charge on successful uses of Assassinate or Executioner's Strike/Shot
- Executioners Strike/Shot now has a 100% proc chance when used from stealth or on targets under 50% health, and receives the same DC bonuses as assassinate
Archery, Manyshot and Monchers
Ranged combat has undergone many changes and much progress has been made, but unfortunately the same issue remains. Basic auto attack damage is still significantly weaker than melee, and burst damage is significantly stronger (and safer) than melee. These changes are intended to continue bridging this gap a bit by buffing the general use of ranged combat and ranged combat options, but also toning down the extreme use cases. Monchers are not specifically targeted (nor do they need to be), but rather additional options are made available so that full-time archery is a viable path for non-monks as well.
- Archer's Focus no longer requires you to remain stationary. It now adds +2% doubleshot in addition to +2% damage per stack and is not deactivated by manyshot or 10k stars (but will immediately reset to 0 stacks if another archery stance is activated or a melee weapon is equipped).
- A new feat is available to all classes that has the exact same effect as 10k stars, but costs 20 spell points and uses your dexterity modifier instead of wisdom
- Manyshot and 10k stars no longer apply a -100% doubleshot penalty and the 1st shot per volley can doublestrike (resulting in 5 arrows instead of 4)
- Manyshot and 10k stars now more closely match the PnP version. Additional arrows beyond the first cannot critically strike and do not apply on-hit effects. Instead, they now have a percentage chance to proc on-hit effects equal to your doubleshot chance (similar to THF glancing blows) If you doublestrike during manyshot or 10k stars the extra shot can still crit and will apply effects as normal.
Fury of the Wild Compensation
- Fast healing now grants [2/4/6]d4 health every 6 seconds rather then [2/4/6]d20 every minute
- Overwhelming Force now applies a limb chopper effect when adrenaline is used with ranged weapons (75% movement speed penalty, 50% attack speed penalty)
- Fury Made Placid now additionally grants 50 PRR/MRR while active and no longer requires a DC check to paralyse attackers
- Fury Eternal now has a 50% chance to regain Adrenaline uses instead of 33%
Shiradi Champion Compensation
- You gain Fey Favor on 7% of all ranged attacks instead of only on vorpal
- Fey Favor now additionally grants +1% doubleshot per stack
- In the Weeds now charges your archer's focus at a rate of 1 stack every 2 seconds while you remain in stealth
- Track now additionally reduces fortification by 1% per stack
- Stand and deliver now adds +2% doubleshot per stack
- While Rain of Arrows is active, your ranged weapon attacks also have a 7% chance to deal 10d100 damage of up to 10 damage types
Divine Crusader, Grandmaster of Flowersand Primal Avatar
While these destinies are used by melee classes, they are more hybrid/caster in nature and not the topic of this thread. That said, they are currently some of the more balanced destinies in my opinion and likely shouldn't change much.
Thanks for reading