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  1. #1
    Community Member AestorTheKnight's Avatar
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    Question DDO Devs - Please Balance Melee Vs Ranbged Vs Spellcasting.

    Dear DDO Devs,

    Please Balance Melee Vs Ranged Vs Spellcasting.

    I'm sure this has been raised before. But it's something I feel is really important for the game.

    Because right now, Melee Vs Ranged Vs Spellcasting are not balanced at all - in terms of power levels. Not even remotely balanced.

    I mean this is my understanding - please correct me if I'm wrong, but Melee is basically worse in every way than Ranged AND Spellcasting.

    Let me give you a few examples.

    With my level 12 Artificer, Arcanotechnician, with good gear, and maxed out Spell Power, I can walk into a room, and kill everything in the room with 3 or 4 spells. Lighting Motes 1st, hits for 250-400 and gives electric vulnerability. Blast Rod, SLA - hits for 600-1200 electric damage (Yep at level 12). Electric Sphere for 250-400 and everything is ussually dead. If anything has survived, a Lightning Bolt, or Static Shock will finish them off. Whole room clear in 5 seconds.

    12th Level Air Sorc, same story, except it's 2 spells. Chain Lightning hits for 700-2000 electric damage (yep at level 12) and Ball Lightning for 500-1200 - and whole room of mobs is dead.

    Deal is slightly harder with a Ranged Character, but the new Inquisitor tree is just OVER POWERED as heck! Can easily clear a whole room with No Holds Barred, before mobs even get close to me.

    Now compare that to a fully DPS specced Fighter Kensai. I go into a room at level 13 with a Riftmaker, with improved critical, buffed to 50/60 Strength and do a Cleave. Max hits are like 600-800 slash damage - but of course, some of the attacks miss, and some mobs dodge them. And then all the mobs are close and gank me fast - even worse against Reapers, who often have huge DR Vs Melee, and can't be stunned.

    And I know you've added Eldritch Strike to buff Melees, but it requires taking Wizard / Sorc Levels and this just feels like such a cop out way to make Melee Viable.

    And I mean Eldritch Strike is 10x more Powerful than anything at Tier 5 of any of the Melee Class trees - and it's a Wizard Ability!

    The top tier Melee Abilities just feel sooo weak, compared to top tier casting / ranged abilities.

    And it gets worse as you go up levels.

    A few lives back, I went into Enter The Kobold with a Level 18 WF Wizard, and 2 SHOTTED Pyrypion the Efreeti - first with a Lightning Strike for 14,000 electric, then with an Iceberg for 9000 Cold damage. - Yes at Level 18! And i don't even have to get close to the boss.

    Compare that with the pathetic 1500, crits I can get at level 18 with a Riftmaker, as a Kensai or Paladin?

    How is that balanced at all? :-)

    I'm not saying Nerf Casters, or Ranged. I'm saying Melees need a Buff to bring them up to par with Ranged and Casters and make them viable classes to play.

    That's my 10c. Of course I welcome other players opinions on this matter.

    But I personally would really like to see Melee Buffed. Specifically with vastly more Powerful Melee Weapons. Personally, I think Melee should have the highest DPS at all levels, because of the risk it poses to the Melee Combatant.

    Why can an Arrow or Shuriken do 75,000+ damage? When a Greataxe swung by an insanely strong Half Orc, can only do a pitiful 20,000? Doesnt make sense to me.

    Thanks for reading! :-)

    On this subject I've made a Youtube Video, with a comparison of Melee Vs Caster gameplay:

    Check it out here:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wLxF...ature=youtu.be
    Last edited by AestorTheKnight; 11-18-2019 at 12:45 AM.
    So in everything, do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

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  2. #2
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    First just a tangent: They didn't fix EK to help melee, they fixed EK because it was broken levels of bad.

    Second, you cannot compare max hits to average hits or DPS, these are not the same thing, and only the last two matter. Try to be consistent.

    Third, how the **** do you hit for 600-1200 damage with a Blast Rod at L12? it has an average base damage of 65. Say 500 spell power fully kitted out with Emp/Max, that is 65*65*1.15=450 even with vulnerability, or 900 if crit. Maybe around 600 damage if you average over crits, but the lower end of that range should be more like 350 than 600.

    Unless they managed to break Blast Rod and gave it Lightning Bolt base damage. You might have a case with lightning bolt.

    Fourth, I actually agree that casters and SLAs are OP in heroics. This is because Max+Emp give a flat bonus that is the same at L1 as at L30. They also really didn't need the boost from the Ravenloft belt in Heroics, that was a mistake. The sustained DPS is not as great, but if you can wipe an entire room via multiple SLAs, that only matters for bosses.

    They should make Max/Emp partly level-based instead, and nerf the heroic ravenloft belts.
    Last edited by LurkingVeteran; 11-17-2019 at 08:23 PM.

  3. #3
    Community Member AestorTheKnight's Avatar
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    Hey Lurking Veteran. Thanks for your reply.

    With my Artificer, Arcanotechnician, with Ravenloft gear, I'm definitely consistantly getting 600-800 crits, after theyve been hit with Lightning Motes, and I'm certain I've seen the occasional crit exceeding 1000+ Maybe against electric vulnerable mobs or the like.

    Lightning Bolt, if it hits twice, can easily exceed 1000 damage - one shotting nearly any enemy at level 12 - and it's an SLA so basically free.

    Right... maybe they didnt change EK to help Melee. But a lot of Melee builds are splasing Wiz to get Eldritch Strike cos its vastly more powerful than anything in any of the Melee Trees - which is kind of silly in my opinion.

    I really thnik you can compare Max Hits to DPS over time - not on a 1 - 1 basis, but just in terms of pure Gameplay Power / Efficacy. Being able to deal out multiple 1000s of damage in seconds, in a large Area of Effect, with spells is vastly superior in terms of clearing mobs, both in Heroic and Epic + the fact that casters can do it from Range, and don't need to also tank their opponents.

    I'm sure a top tiered Melee can match the sustained DPS of a top Tier caster, but the caster can deal that damage much faster, and in practice, that makes blasting through enemies a lot easier. Long term DPS equivalence is only relevant vs very high HP Bosses.

    I mean, I do think the SLAs and Ranged are OP. But I don't think the players will be happy if they are nerfed. So I don't think nerfing is the answer.

    I'd prefer to see the Devs Buff Melee to be equal in power. Honestly the Kensai Tree, Ranger Tempest, Ninja Spy, Knight of Chalice, are pretty pathetic compared to Eldritch Knight. I'm not sure about the Barb trees cos I don't play them, but I reckon they suffer from the same issues.
    So in everything, do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

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  4. #4
    Community Member fatherpirate's Avatar
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    here is the main issue (btw, you are correct in OP)

    melee and of course fighters heavily depend on FEATS
    problem - feats have BARELY been touched since day 1

    case in point - feat based cleave
    requires power attack and then gives you a partial AOE of....drum roll... +1W damage
    same as it did on day 1
    now enhancements are changed and updated all the time.

    all them melee attacks in feats should have significantly BETTER versions in the various melee class trees
    The fighter version of cleave should be AT LEAST as good as the mage one

    so, OP you have a point.
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  5. #5
    Community Member SynalonEtuul's Avatar
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    You are right about melee being weaker than ranged and casting, but I don't want them to be buffed. If they are, then most content will be even more of a cakewalk. Ranged - particularly inquisitive but also some throwing builds - and casting - particularly sorcs - just need a damage nerf.

  6. #6
    Community Member AestorTheKnight's Avatar
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    Good points Father Pirate.

    Synalon, I really donr thnik Nerfing is the answer. Players will be so upset / annoyed if their new favourite builds get nerfed. I don't see why Melee's should be the weaklings of DDO. If Casters and Ranged can put out serious powerful DPS, so should Melee be able to!

    On this subject I've made a Youtube Video, with a comparison of Melee Vs Caster gameplay:

    Check it out here:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wLxF...ature=youtu.be
    So in everything, do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

    Cannith: Arqa - Celduin - Gnossos - and others.

  7. #7
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    Default Challenge not nerf

    < Please note that these are my views and do not challenge or invalidate yours if you disagree with them>

    For me, the key to balance is challenge and not nerfing. Nearly all of the monsters in past and more recent modules have anti-melee tactics, but far fewer that are anti range or spellcasters.

    Let's take the humble Kobold:

    A group of Kobolds turn up and the party decides to attack them. The mage casts sleep and the x-bow wielding maniac mows down the Shaman and any that don't instantly go into the Land of Nod; the warrior stands around watching the action. At the next encounter the warrior says, "leave it to me girls!", and runs towards Kobolds whilst trying to avoid the lightening bolts heading her way; wounded the warrior engages the Kobolds and gets ready to use her mighty cleave and all of the Kobolds jump backwards in unison and the cleave misses. Of course the warrior is still taking damage from the lightening bolts and the massed Kobolds surrounding her. The the mage and xbow'er take pity on the warrior and dispatch the Kobolds in seconds.

    It is a bit of a silly example, but it is there to show how a simple monster with basic tactics can frustrate a melee but have no effect on other types of damage dealer. If you look at all of the creatures in Ravenloft, Sharn, KoB etc, a significant number have anti-melee tactics but nothing that challenges others.

    In most role-playing games mages and ranged have specific limitations - mages are restricted in the number of spells cast able per day or more limited spell points and ranged can only carry a limited store of bolts/arrows. On my mage, I rarely run out of spell points and have so many materials to make this restriction meaningless and my ranged carries a major deciduous forest worth of bolts or can just summon up 500 flaming arrows or 1000 bolts.

    I am not suggesting making life easier for melee, I love the challenge and want more (I love playing my melee character); what is needed is ways to challenge spell casters and ranged. I have just taken my wolf/fighter and PM/EK/blaster through KoB and the difference between them is ridiculous, the wolf has far more heroic past lives and is an epic completionist and the PM has two wizard past lives. The PM completes epic elite with ease, but the wolf has a much harder time.

    Please make some encounters that challenge non-melee:

    Silence 15' radius (this spell has been standard anti spell caster fare for decades)
    Walls of wind
    Null magic spots
    Wild magic spots
    Warp Wood ( temporarily makes a bow useless)
    And many many more.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by LurkingVeteran View Post
    Third, how the **** do you hit for 600-1200 damage with a Blast Rod at L12?
    It's as easy as 1-2-3



    Sorc is even more amusing. Non-meta'd sorc spells:



    So who wants to use a Moonbeam? Heh.
    Last edited by Tilomere; 11-18-2019 at 09:35 PM.

  9. #9
    Community Member janave's Avatar
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    Cool

    (IMO) Mistakes of balance comparisons:

    Number 1

    Old content vs new builds and new gear bonus. Generally old content has hp > defense stats on mobs. This indeed makes casters immediately look op as they never seem to miss with the newer stats, new content on the other hand are pretty high on saves. Try to say run Toxic Treatment, or more recent stuff, if you really wanna challenge your first life Sorc go into EE Borderlands, I guarantee you wont hit a thing with your DCs.., while you can still chop away with any well built DPS melee and eventually complete

    Number 2

    People cannot separate build from gear, and layers that are disconnected from "class" as a universally available layer. This is a huge problem for Sorcs in particular as gear crit and spellpower bonuses make them look far stronger than what they really are.

    Potency item (universal spell power), in the old days where old content was designed it was a flat 60 in heroics (usually on rarer gear). Thats it, no implements, no insightful, no quality, exceptional, artifact, and a lot are sources were not there.

    There was also no ranged and melee power, also DR bypasses are easier than ever with augments .

    Number 3

    Encounters, the most important factor does little for balance, altho in some instances "meleeing" a monster is impossible, in some others "kiting" is nearly impossible or just insanely tiresome.

    Number 4

    Classes have different effects on dugeon scaling. (actually im not so fresh on this, but it used to be that way )

    Number 5

    Short quests will favor bursts over dps vs long quests without shrines, and typically raids.


    More opinion:

    TLDR; I think "some" not all melee need a 10-20% buff, especially the d10 classes when going at least 14-15 levels deep.

    d10 tanks definitely need help so they can do their roles fine without splashing Artificer, Wizard or Warlock


    //Ok; just watched the video, I hope you know every time you died on the Sorc, a well put together Barbarian would have lived right ? . Thats exactly the tradeoff for the classes. If all the balancing is DPS only, than class choice will be merely a cosmetic layer, if all DPS is near equal, people just take the stronger utility+defense options , then may as well eliminate class choices





    Quote Originally Posted by LurkingVeteran View Post

    ...more...

    They should make Max/Emp partly level-based instead, and nerf the heroic ravenloft belts.
    This
    Last edited by janave; 11-18-2019 at 04:45 AM.

  10. #10
    Community Member Kutalp's Avatar
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    There are points I agree at this post.










    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZnv6LXD9qs


  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by thedip View Post
    < Please note that these are my views and do not challenge or invalidate yours if you disagree with them>

    For me, the key to balance is challenge and not nerfing. Nearly all of the monsters in past and more recent modules have anti-melee tactics, but far fewer that are anti range or spellcasters.

    Let's take the humble Kobold:

    A group of Kobolds turn up and the party decides to attack them. The mage casts sleep and the x-bow wielding maniac mows down the Shaman and any that don't instantly go into the Land of Nod; the warrior stands around watching the action. At the next encounter the warrior says, "leave it to me girls!", and runs towards Kobolds whilst trying to avoid the lightening bolts heading her way; wounded the warrior engages the Kobolds and gets ready to use her mighty cleave and all of the Kobolds jump backwards in unison and the cleave misses. Of course the warrior is still taking damage from the lightening bolts and the massed Kobolds surrounding her. The the mage and xbow'er take pity on the warrior and dispatch the Kobolds in seconds.

    It is a bit of a silly example, but it is there to show how a simple monster with basic tactics can frustrate a melee but have no effect on other types of damage dealer. If you look at all of the creatures in Ravenloft, Sharn, KoB etc, a significant number have anti-melee tactics but nothing that challenges others.

    In most role-playing games mages and ranged have specific limitations - mages are restricted in the number of spells cast able per day or more limited spell points and ranged can only carry a limited store of bolts/arrows. On my mage, I rarely run out of spell points and have so many materials to make this restriction meaningless and my ranged carries a major deciduous forest worth of bolts or can just summon up 500 flaming arrows or 1000 bolts.

    I am not suggesting making life easier for melee, I love the challenge and want more (I love playing my melee character); what is needed is ways to challenge spell casters and ranged. I have just taken my wolf/fighter and PM/EK/blaster through KoB and the difference between them is ridiculous, the wolf has far more heroic past lives and is an epic completionist and the PM has two wizard past lives. The PM completes epic elite with ease, but the wolf has a much harder time.

    Please make some encounters that challenge non-melee:

    Silence 15' radius (this spell has been standard anti spell caster fare for decades)
    Walls of wind
    Null magic spots
    Wild magic spots
    Warp Wood ( temporarily makes a bow useless)
    And many many more.
    I normally avoid this whole ranged vs melee argument raging on.

    But I do agree with thedip here.

    Usually I don't care that much - I just play what I want to play, even while acknowledging that melee is more frustrating. Especially when in a party of ranged chars and kill-casters who just zap whatever it is you've just run up to hit. Constantly.

    Ranged will always have an advantage over melee, in that it's far safer and quicker to kill an enemy before he can reach you. It's kind of why ranged weapons were invented (in real life) in the first place! So I'm not sure all this talk of buffs and nerfs will ever really work very effectively without drastic and nonsensical changes.

    I much prefer thedip's suggestion, that the way to counter this perceived in-balance would be to allow enemies more "intelligence" to counter such tactics. E.g: Making use of cover and having more variety of combat styles, such as more enemies using ranged attacks themselves against ranged chars and spellcasters in preference to the approaching melee chars, while other "defense enemies" engage the melee's instead.

    Of course, this requires considerable better A.I, which has never been DDO's strong point!

  12. #12
    Community Member ViggoEvan's Avatar
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    I don't know if just buffing melee is the way to because if the devs arnt carful it will start getting mega metahaul but on the other hand if you nerf stuf people would not like it when there sorc who could solo everything started needing... *gasp a party to clear quests.
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  13. #13
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    I'm a 2H melee main taking a brief sojourn into casters, and I'm pretty down with this. Despite having far better gear, habits, knowledge, and probably builds; my current life as a PM Wizard stomps any previous life as a melee. I'm not quite as tanky in terms of surviving oneshots, but if I don't die in 0.5s or less I'm basically immortal and I have far more burst DPS (not to mention instakills and CC) on everything except bosses (Rend the Soul + Arcane Pulse goes far on them though). I can basically sprint through low Reaper content at cap, and survive while contributing meaningfully at mid-high Reaper (I need to finish my gearing before I'll be solid there though).

    Don't get me wrong, I love melee, but it's hard to compete with DC casting plus Meteor Swarm lol. Also it's hard to argue survivability when my Wizard's Mass Hold lands pretty consistently in mid-Legendary Reaper.
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    Quote Originally Posted by zehnvhex View Post
    Warlock is basically a ghetto Shiradi Sorc. You gives up some of the damage and self sustain for the ability to just hold down left click and yolo blast your way to victory.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lynnabel View Post
    It's DDO. There are probably 6 different types of Evil damage.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tilomere View Post
    It's as easy as 1-2-3



    ...
    A screenshot of "big numbers" says little about averages though. 1-2-3 of what? Knowing you, there was probably some soundburst helpless shenanigans going too.

    Give me a breakdown of how 600-1200 is the range of average damage from 65 base damage Blast Rod.

    It's important to do an apples vs. apples comparison when talking about balance. That said, I agree that heroic caster burst, esp. on SLAs, is too good currently. SLAs have gotten more and more powerful (e.g. T5 PM SLA, or FvS sunbolt already at L3), and spell power more accessible in heroic. As Janave pointed out, new vs. old heroic content is also very different in difficulty, which is a complete mess. Making spell power from metas partially level-based (e.g. 20+5*level) would be a long overdue fix to mitigate this problem.
    Last edited by LurkingVeteran; 11-18-2019 at 12:17 PM.

  15. #15
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    The biggest issue IMO is that pretty much all of the anti-ranged stuff either hurts melee more or feels really hokey.
    Hokey, you say? Well, consider Sunrise in Ravenloft. In the end fight, if you kite him, Stradh will cast ruin at you. That's anti ranged...but the problem is, it creates the question, why the devil doesn't he just spam that if he can cast it? It is suspension of disbelief breaking and hence hokey. A lot of other anti-ranged techniques, like movement and cover, in practice hurt melees just as much, and pretty much all non-specific 'good basic tactics' are in practice anti-melee.

    Now, for specific fights, you can do things which favor combined arms, like mob stances or formations that have the effect of reducing damage from (melee, ranged, spell) massively unless they're also taking damage from the other 2 types. For a real world example, consider infantry, cavalry and artillery in the early 1800s. Cavalry will overrun infantry unless it goes into square. But if it goes into square, other infantry and especially artillery will shred it. So attacking a defensive position was done with combined arms. Cavalry would move up and force it into square, after which infantry in line and supporting artillery would shred it. In general, games are more fun when combined arms is favored, because 6 ranged is boring

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    Quote Originally Posted by LurkingVeteran View Post
    A screenshot of "big numbers" says little about averages though. 1-2-3 of what? Knowing you, there was probably some soundburst helpless shenanigans going too.

    Give me a breakdown of how 600-1200 is the range of average damage from 65 base damage Blast Rod.

    It's important to do an apples vs. apples comparison when talking about balance. That said, I agree that heroic caster burst, esp. on SLAs, is too good currently. SLAs have gotten more and more powerful (e.g. T5 PM SLA, or FvS sunbolt already at L3), and spell power more accessible in heroic. As Janave pointed out, new vs. old heroic content is also very different in difficulty, which is a complete mess. Making spell power from metas partially level-based (e.g. 20+5*level) would be a long overdue fix to mitigate this problem.
    There's an odd effect with spell crits where if the the normal crit you'd calculate and expect is say 600, there's an occasional crit for double that, 1200. I've seen it on both Warlock and Artificer recently, it's great for eyecandy numbers but mostly useless, as it's fairly rare to get. I personally think one of the sources of crit chance is being applied separately, giving a chance for a double crit. I have it happen in both heroic and epic.

    Arcanotechs are just barely ok at the moment, they desperately need an immunity breaker for electric. Leave them out of your revenge against ranged/caster quest or you'll just look like a fool for picking on the handicapped build.

  17. #17
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    My biggest issue with melee is lack of ability to remove cripple/hamstring.
    On my ranged toon i don't even notice it, but melee, especially when you're chasing ranged mobs that run around like headless chickens...

    Harper pins don't remove it (both lesser and greater), and you'd expect healing to remove injuries, but no...

  18. #18
    Community Member SpartanKiller13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drunkendex View Post
    My biggest issue with melee is lack of ability to remove cripple/hamstring.
    On my ranged toon i don't even notice it, but melee, especially when you're chasing ranged mobs that run around like headless chickens...

    Harper pins don't remove it (both lesser and greater), and you'd expect healing to remove injuries, but no...
    Can take hundreds of minor injuries without slowing, but this one hurts extra bad lol. Where are the rest of the hits going?

    If I can magically heal from 95% dead to full, why not a hamstring? Are they not part of me? But they'll repair themselves in a few seconds regardless of healing?!?
    -Khysiria of Cannith
    Quote Originally Posted by zehnvhex View Post
    Warlock is basically a ghetto Shiradi Sorc. You gives up some of the damage and self sustain for the ability to just hold down left click and yolo blast your way to victory.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lynnabel View Post
    It's DDO. There are probably 6 different types of Evil damage.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by LurkingVeteran View Post
    Give me a breakdown of how 600-1200 is the range of average damage from 65 base damage Blast Rod.
    The question you should be asking isn't how to crit for 1200 in heroics with blast rod, but how to non-crit for 1200, while also trolling with style.


  20. #20
    Community Member AestorTheKnight's Avatar
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    Thanks for all your replies.

    To me it's really this simple: In my video, I give the example of a 15th level Sorc, Vs a 15th Level Fighter Kensai Monk with a Greataxe.

    The Sorc goes to the group of Reavers and 2 shots them with a Chain Lightning and Ball Lighting. 4-5 mobs dead in 2 seconds.

    The Fighter goes to the same group of Reavers, does a Cleave, hitting the mobs for about 1/4 of their HP, then gets surrounded, ganked and dies.

    If the Fighter, instead of taking some Monk and Paly levels, had instead Wizard Levels, and EK Tier 5, Eldritch Strike, He would have walked up to the Reavers and 1 shotted the whole group with Eldritch Strike.

    Why does a Wizard have the MOST POWERFUL Melee Attack in the Game?

    Honestly, I think the matter is pretty simple. Melee Classes are weak - and the game heavily favors Casters and Ranged.

    Personally, I think the Devs should do something about it.
    So in everything, do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

    Cannith: Arqa - Celduin - Gnossos - and others.

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