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  1. #1
    Community Member Jerevth's Avatar
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    Default The year ahead: Melee improvements?

    Reading the Producer's letter I like the upcoming changes- We don't know the impacts yet so no point in gnashing teeth over the level cap increase. (Thanks Cocomajobo, for the statement: "We are quite a ways out from being prepared to announce specifics on our plans for character progression past level 30. What we are willing to say at this point, however, is that one of our goals is to NOT increase the amount of XP required to complete an Epic Reincarnation".)

    The goals for this year are ambitious, overall, but I'd really like to see improvements focused on bringing melee builds up to par with the other two (ranged and caster).

    But I am not as versed in true melee as many others are.

    What would those more familiar with the melee classes want to see to bring melee classes (Fighter, Barb, Pali) up to snuff?
    My own thoughts were:

    -An enhancement tree that compliments the combat styles (2handed/2weapon/Sword and shield.)

    -Improvements to heavy armor defensibility (PRR/ MRR specific selection; reinforced armor/ rune etched armor)

    -Allowance of evasion (With a small penalty: 1- to -3) for medium armor.

    -Addition of a Crowd Control AOE such as daze or stun.

    -Dash attacks to close the gap to a selected target faster, and automatic attacks of opportunity/ auto trip (DC based) when a nearby target jumps back. (Ranged mobs and kobolds).

    I think it would be best to lock the defense improvements to the frontline classes: Melee, Fighter, Pali. Caster melees already have buffs and quirks that make them viable melees

    Feel free to shoot these down based on a more valid experience base- I just wanted to start the ball rolling and possibly bring the devs to the table.
    Last edited by Jerevth; 01-24-2020 at 09:41 AM. Reason: Topic made more eye catching
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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerevth View Post


    -An enhancement tree that compliments the combat styles (2handed/2weapon/Sword and shield.)

    -Improvements to heavy armor defensibility (PRR/ MRR specific selection; reinforced armor/ rune etched armor)

    -Addition of a Crowd Control AOE such as daze or stun.

    -Dash attacks to close the gap to a selected target faster, and automatic attacks of opportunity/ auto trip (DC based) when a nearby target jumps back. (Ranged mobs and kobolds).
    Yes to the defensive boost.

    We already have dire charge that stuns for CC. Unless you are wanting it to be available much earlier.

    Playing melee is my favorite thing to do over caster and ranged. But as things are now
    they are parked and not played.
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  3. #3
    Community Member Jerevth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LOOON375 View Post
    Yes to the defensive boost.

    We already have dire charge that stuns for CC. Unless you are wanting it to be available much earlier.

    Playing melee is my favorite thing to do over caster and ranged. But as things are now
    they are parked and not played.
    Fighters have the dash but I don't recall the same for Barbs or Palis.
    I'm. Playing warsoul 2wf with falconry myself atm. Hybrid cheeze but viable since it was built on tomes, PLs and gear.
    Sometimes I'm too clever for my own good. Bear in mind I'm probably trying to be humorous. Like dodge, it's hit or miss.// Looking for a guild on Orien? Send a tell or mail to Magnifique to join the "Fidelic Brotherhood".

  4. #4
    Community Member Kinerd's Avatar
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    defense and offense

    defense - as long as other builds can avoid damage by avoiding being hit at all, melee needs either the same ability (via CC) or the ability to sustain damage. if the latter, it's critical that melee have avenues that ranged builds simply cannot use, because when these systems have diminishing returns or hard caps (which they must) it's too easy for ranged to have pretty much the same defenses as whatever melees have, and right out of the box ranged frankly has way better defenses... my PM/EK causes 44% miss rate just with Wraith Form and Blur and gets identical PRR via enhancements as a barb, how is that supposed to work?

    offense - melee need to either be competitive in AoE damage or significantly superior in single target damage. the alternative of just making encounters long enough to exhaust caster SP pools doesn't work since every build has limited use abilities, which means every build will find those encounters a boring slog

    additionally, melee needs to be BETTER than specifically casters when looking at just these two because melee are way behind on giving buffs and healing

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    Agree defense and offense.

    I just finished running 'Night Falls On Stormreach' on Epic Elite.
    I am at level cap. Pure Paladin. 63 strength. Two handed fighting. 1544 HP. Died 6 times.
    Could not even fight the salads. They would just take turns knocking me over and do 800 damage a hit.
    Finally had to kite them back to the storage room and jump onto the shelves, spend 10 minutes each ranging them.

    A 2 1/2 hour ordeal of futility, frustration, kiting, jumping about while healing.
    The kicker was not a single piece of blue gear out of it. Not even a rare filigree.

    The only thing worthwhile was 645 cannith essence from deconstructing the **** gear.

    Logged off mad. Again.

  6. #6
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    I'm spitballing here. If I don't see at least someone saying this is "overpowered", I've done something wrong and aimed too low.

    DDO comes from a game (Dnd) where you can, theoretically, only get hit 5% of the time (or less) and can be immune or nearly-immune to everything thrown at you.

    Assuming the d20 likes you and the DM doesn't torpedo your shenanigans, anyway.

    Problem is, a lot of that goes to casters, who arguably need it the least.

    I was exposed to City of Heroes at a formative age, and that sorta informs both these walls of text and my view on melee characters in general.

    Definitions

    A "Melee" is someone that hits things in melee for a living. A "Tank" is someone who, by CC or taunts or sheer damage, attracts and directs the threat and attack options of enemies.

    Being "tanky" means you can take hits without immediately turning into a blood-filled balloon.

    "Melee" can be a "Tank", and "Tanks" are often "Melee".

    But you can be "tanky" without being a Capital-T "Tank", and if you're going to live in melee, you'll need to be at least somewhat tanky, as danger often amplifies the closer you get to things trying to kill you.

    TL;DR: I don't mean to invalidate Tanks with this, but I also don't subscribe to the view that being "hard to kill" automatically makes you a "Tank", or is the provenance only of Tanks.

    You may be the last one standing on every party wipe, but that doesn't mean you're more qualified to Tank a raid if you can't make enemies do what you want them to do, when you need to.

    That last bit's where actually building a Tank comes in, but that's not the scope of this.

    Anyway.

    Philosophy:

    Dedicated melee characters should be tenacious and hard to kill (through whatever means).

    If you can't take a punch (through willpower or hit points or armor or dodging or having gigantic pecs or whatever), you shouldn't be trying to punch things for a living.

    If you're the type of crazy/skilled/righteous/valorous to take on stuff like Dragons and Beholders with the evolutionary variant of a pointy stick, you should be the thing that enemy Archers have nightmares about, and enemy Casters specifically make Contingencies for.

    You should be the one thing that stuff like Oozes and Umber Hulks don't try to eat.

    Because you JUST...WON'T...DIE

    If the internet or a magical equivalent existed in Eberron/Forgotten Realms, high-level dedicated melee fighters should get stuff like Chuck Norris jokes written about them. Except, y'know, funny.

    Melee shouldn't have to complain about Ranged and Casters kiting or CCing things. They should be able to laugh that they have to.

    Melee, out of the box, should be riding the line between seeing a large group of incoming enemies as "overwhelming enemy odds" and seeing them as "good enemy density" that some good ARPGs get you to.

    There was a term from CoH called "Scrapperlock" that encapsulated that distinction, and I feel like that's the "ideal" melee character sweet spot.

    But I may just be weird.

    The existing game systems do a pretty good job at adding offensive power through Filligrees, gear upgrades, past lives and etc. But they don't do all that much for survival relative to incoming damage.

    This is an attempt to change that without completely invalidating the existing chase of defensive power/survival, as it'll all stack on top of this. You'll especially want saves, because not auto-failing on a 1 doesn't automatically mean you're going to pass it. And this does jack-all for saves beside the "no auto-fail" thing.


    New Feat Idea:


    "Live by the Sword":

    Toggle stance auto-granted at Fighter/Barbarian/Paladin Monk class level 4. This persists through death and lasts until manually toggled off.

    Granted to Druids upon taking their first Wild Shape feat.

    Rogue Acrobat, Assassin, Battle Engineer, Tempest and Swashbuckler all gain "Live by the Sword" at their level 6 Core, in addition to all other benefits that Core already provides. Not trying to remove anything (other than spellcasting/ranged ability when you have this stance on).

    "You prefer to face your enemies at close range. You'd best be able to survive doing so."

    • While the feat is active, All incoming damage is reduced by 25%, after all other defenses and miss chances are taken into account.
    • While the feat is active, Action Boosts heal you for 25% of your max HP when used and apply a Restoration effect, in addition to their base effect.
    • While the feat is active, the character benefits from a 10% Festive Movement Speed bonus that stacks with all other movement speed bonuses.


    Activating this feat clears all beneficial spells currently active on your character, including buffs from the Arcane/Divine lists. It does not disable buffs cast on you after the feat is turned on. Intent is to not allow self pre-buffing. Period. Even for Paladins, but that's why they can cast once it's turned on.

    This feat disables non-Paladin Spellcasting, SLAs, Wand and Scroll use while toggled on.

    Equipping a Ranged Weapon will disable this feat until unequipped.

    TL;DR: You take 25% less damage, all the time, forever, no matter what. But you can't do ranged or caster stuff while this is on. Also your Action Boosts heal you.




    "Die by the Sword"

    At character level 12, all characters that possess the "Live by the Sword" feat gain "Die by the Sword", an additional auto-granted Passive Feat.

    "You chose to live your life on the battlefield. You may die that way, eventually. Let's hope not."

    • Live by the Sword now reduces all incoming damage by 50% (up from 25%), after all other defenses and miss chances are taken into account.
    • All effects below require Live by the Sword to be toggled on.
    • Action Boosts heal you for 50% of your max HP (up from 25%) and apply a Greater Restoration effect.
    • Blocking an attack with the Block Button heals you for 5% of your max HP. This can occur once every three seconds.
    • When reduced to 0 HP, you auto-stabilize unless struck by a successful melee hit while downed.
    • You are immune to anything but melee hits while downed.
    • You no longer automatically fail Saves on a 1.
    • All other effects of the initial feat still apply.


    All restrictions on spellcasting, scroll use, wand use and ranged weapon use still apply.

    TL;DR: You now take 50% less damage, all the time, forever, so long as your feat's on. You still don't get to do Ranged or Caster things while it's on. Action Boosts heal you for more, blocking heals you while you hold it, and you can only be "killed"-killed by a melee strike after being downed.

    Also you don't auto-fail saves anymore.


    "Thrive in Battle"

    At character level 20, all characters that possess "Live by the Sword" gain "Thrive in Battle", an additional auto-granted passive feat.

    "You've learned to thrive in melee against all manner of foes."

    • Every 10th melee attack you hit with heals you for 1% of your max HP. This can only occur once every five seconds.
    • You are immune to Knockdown and Ability Damage while Live by the Sword is active.
    • While "Live by the Sword" is active, any time a Positive Energy spell is cast on you by another player character, you gain 10x your Con score in Temporary HP, as an effect called "Healer's Boon".
    • Healer's Boon Temporary HP last for 20 seconds or until removed by incoming damage.
    • Healer's Boon Temporary HP can stack up to three times.
    • Each stack of Healer's Boon you gain grants you 20 stacking Melee Power for 20 seconds. This stacks up to three times (as Healer's Boon), for a total of 60 Melee Power.
    • Turning off Live by the Sword immediately removes the Healer's Boon Temporary HP and Melee Power buffs.


    All restrictions still apply.


    TL;DR: Healers give you scads of Temp HP when they heal you, and also a Melee Power buff. You heal by hitting things. You don't get knocked down or ability damaged anymore, and you have all the above benefits as well.

    You still don't get to do Ranged or Caster things while this is on.

    __________________________________________________


    Notes:

    Self-Healing

    I use a lot of "heal x% of your maximum HP" in this. That should be unaffected by both positive buffs (ie: Heal Amp) and negative debuffs (like Reaper). It should also not generate threat.

    I'm not sure if the game can mechanically do that.

    But the intent is to give melee a stable way to self-heal in all game modes that scales with them regardless of level or gear. Yes, it'll mean they self heal WAY better than Ranged or Casters in high Reaper. That's entirely 100% intentional.

    That's also why they auto-get a thing to convert incoming heals from other people (not hirelings, if tech allows) into delicious stacking Temp HP, because the only thing better than a self-healing juggernaut is a self-healing juggernaut that you can also shield cheaply.

    The healing is attached to (and contingent on) the following:

    * Using an Action Boost (available at 4 or 6 unless you multi-class and take melee late)
    * Blocking attacks using the block button (available at 12)
    * Hitting things in melee (available at 20)

    Action Boosts are the "burst" heal tied to a limited resource. Blocking attacks are a big heal that's free but stops you from attacking. Hitting things in melee is the "upkeep" heal. The "upkeep" heal comes last because available-to-everyone castable/controllable healing seems generally tied to Epic Destinies without the use of consumables, and I'm trying to stick with that.

    Yes, this means that turtling with Block held could probably make you functionally immortal in certain circumstances. I don't think it really matters, because you won't be taking other actions or generating threat. Unless there's something I've missed, which I probably have. Not sure if Intimitank builds will love or hate me.

    Survival

    My intent with the damage reduction is simply to make melee more survivable, period, with no bells or whistles and no strings attached besides "commit to doing melee things a lot". If you want this durability, you disable all ranged/spell options while it's active. There might be some I've missed.

    I've typed these as "Festive" bonuses, because they should stack with everything. What's the occasion? The doom of your enemies.

    Since Live by the Sword cuts a percentage of incoming damage and gains healing of a percentage of max health healed, it shouldTM scale decently through Heroics into Epics, but I don't know if the current numbers do that.

    The movement speed buff from LbtS is intended to combine with the upcoming Charge abilities to make melee more maneuverable as well as far more survivable. The ones on Lammania, from the devs.


    Restrictions

    The new Toggle Feat (Live by the Sword) that's the starting point for the "melee" feats is auto-granted at level 4 for Fighter, Barbarian, Paladin, Monk, and granted to Druid upon taking their first Wild Shape at level 5.

    Build it into the level 6 cores for Battle Engineer, Assassin Rogue, Stick Rogue and any of the other "melee" class trees I've missed.

    With the exception of Eldritch Knight, because they have their own toys. They wouldn't want this one anyway, most likely.

    I'm also excluding Alchemist, Cleric, Favored Soul and Warlock. They'll want to multi-class with some other melee class if they plan to live-full time in melee, and they can pick up LbtS there.

    Intent is that no character that's likely to be a full-time caster (in terms of in-battle actions taken) gains access to LbtS on their own. That's also why the buff-wipe is in effect when it's toggled on, and why it prevents spellcasting/spell item use. I may have missed some tricks.

    Interaction with other Party Members

    Healers (and especially buffers) should still be useful to melee characters with these changes (because that's how they get buffs, now), but I'm hoping to cut down on the feeling of needing a pocket healer until you've got a pile of past lives and etc.

    Both my main (was a Cleric, I gave up and he's now a Favored Soul) and my "main alt" (a Favored Soul Arcane Archer) are healers, and this is the level of power I'd be personally comfortable with JoeMcRandomelee having right out of the box just for turning on a stance.

    If Melee can't leverage their full potential (due to not being able to stay in melee range) and aren't fun to play (due to dying all the time), there's no way Melee can be balanced with Ranged/Casters, no matter what changes to Ranged/Casters are made.

    This is likely never to be implemented or go anywhere by anyone ever, so the numbers are probably all over the place.

    A bit on Power Creep

    It's inevitable, full stop.

    Resources to "roll it back" or "get rid of it" are infinitely harder to obtain than resources to add something. Because removing things in complicated systems breaks things that may not even be related to them.

    The better solution is to embrace the potential for power creep and steer it to places that don't completely invalidate your content.

    This is intended to make melee the bar-none, no-contest, out of the box most survivable characters in the game, and it's intended to immediately jump in front of all the other mitigation options the game offers.

    But I still don't think it's an example of "bad" power creep.

    Why?

    Because it's tied to two basic things in MMO combat design:

    You can't win every fight just by being an unkillable bag of hit points.

    You need to be alive to kill things.

    Specifically in DDO (again, unless there's something I missed), you can't "live" your way through a TR. You have to kill your way through it, or outsource your killing to others.

    Offensive actions are required, and the game does a very good job of incentivizing chasing upgrades to those. This just means "dedicated melee" characters will chase their offensive TRs before their defensive TRs.

    Damage is the universal MMO currency, and once players achieve "enough" survival ability, damage is always going to be chased. This just lets people who choose to chase enemies around with no ranged options cut in line to focus on that instead of being able to survive chasing them.
    Last edited by FuzzierSage; 01-23-2020 at 02:28 AM.

  7. #7
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    Their plan for improving melee is to nerf ranged until both styles are equally flawed and unsatisfying

  8. #8
    Community Member Jerevth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by droid327 View Post
    Their plan for improving melee is to nerf ranged until both styles are equally flawed and unsatisfying
    Yep. And there are forumlings now targeting casters for the next round of nerfs. Just because intel is a dump stat for many characters doesn't mean it should be for the players- It would be better and smarter to demand Melee be improved, not gimp the other teammates.

    ~~~With regard to Tanks- I don't like that the game requires the sacrifice of significant DPS to become a viable tank in the higher level/challenge quests.
    Why? With a melee focus, a fully armored tank (Including shield- not 2HF/2WF) should be able to do significant damage anyway. Yet, the best tanks need casters and ranged to do the killing while they turtle and intim. Sorry, a dude hiding behind their tower shield and not moving/ not posing a significant threat is not that intimidating. The one sweeping a four foot plank of sharpened adamant and bludgeoning with a shield the thickness of a House K vault door- that is intimidating.

    Heavy armor and tower shields, combined with a level of mastery, should make bolts and arrows nothing more dangerous than confetti. The toon should be able to actively block (Shift key) most of the spells thrown their way (PRR and MRR caps need bumping when blocking) and dragon breath. But they should still be vulnerable when swinging their weapon.

    A tank should have a cannon, not willow branch, for a weapon, figuratively. Imagine gaining +1 hit and damage per second for a special AOE attack while actively blocking with a melee weapon. (Cool down and capped. Maybe the max value will include a crit bonus as well.)

    And keep it out of the hands of splashers. Requires Fighter/Palidan/Barb as the dominant level, as well as wearing heavy armor or blocking with a tower shield and the requisite skill pertaining (Heavy armor training/ shield mastery.) Code it like a pact or veil so it precludes PMs and Warlocks?

    Again, spitballing suggestions and trying to keep this under the rigor of melee only and out of the realm of splashing onto PMs, EKs, etc.
    Last edited by Jerevth; 01-23-2020 at 09:07 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerevth View Post
    Heavy armor and tower shields, combined with a level of mastery, should make bolts and arrows nothing more dangerous than confetti.
    What a marvelously simple solution! Armor alone maybe not so much - that's essentially what the AC mechanic is describing, your armor fending off blows, and a well-placed arrow or especially a crossbow bolt can absolutely penetrate even plate mail - but shields are definitely much more effective against missile weapons than they are in the game.

    Give shield bearers an innate % chance to ignore physical missile attacks - 10% bucklers, 20% small shield, 30% large shield, 40% tower. Double when actively blocking; perhaps half during attack animations. +5% per level of Shield Mastery (doesnt change when blocking or attacking). Its not perfect cover, but the bigger the better. Not only is that a big improvement for tanks, and a needed extra benefit for S&B style, but it also means that shield-wielding *mobs* become a foil for ranged characters, but not for melee - restoring some of that ranged-melee balance they're so awkwardly trying to create with ham-fisted IPS nerfs... Sunder could set the % chance to zero, making Sunder mobs more of a threat to shielded players - and also making Sunder more valuable against shielded mobs, especially ranged Sunder from BE, giving needed value to BE in the current ranged meta.

    Imagine a tower shield-wielding Orc dreadnought charging an Inquisitive, only doing 60% DPS, then he stops and blocks and suddenly you're only doing 20% DPS while he's turtled up - buying valuable time for his caster and DPS friends to get some extra rounds of damage on you. Maybe they could even make it so it disables IPS pass through, so you cant just shoot through him and hit who's behind. That's definitely a tactical consideration that a melee party member would be valued for, being able to Spring Attack over and take out the shield tank.
    Last edited by droid327; 01-23-2020 at 09:47 AM.

  10. #10
    Community Member TedSandyman's Avatar
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    Default Armor Class Maybe?

    Quote Originally Posted by LOOON375 View Post
    Yes to the defensive boost.

    We already have dire charge that stuns for CC. Unless you are wanting it to be available much earlier.

    Playing melee is my favorite thing to do over caster and ranged. But as things are now
    they are parked and not played.
    I have switched to an inquisitive from melee, just to see what the hubbub was all about. I have meleed almost exclusively and am amazed at the things you get away with by being ranged. It's not even close how the level of difficulty is increased for melee by the smallest of things. Reapers at low level are almost impossible for melee, become trivial for inquisitive. (I know, some of you do just fine with reapers and melee. But it is possible to not have a thousand past lives and still think of reapers as a nuisance only as a ranged. That is not true for lower ability melees.)

    I recently soloed a catacombs run on R1 and had at least 10 reapers appear. Killed them all without thinking about it too much. I had to be careful of course, but it was pretty easy.

    I don't know if people realize it but ranged get an extra protective ability. One that isn't in the rule book. An extra dodge if you will. In pen and paper, someone targets you. They roll an attack die, that determines if you get hit. You roll a dodge to see if you can dodge it. Then you roll damage if necessary.

    The extra layer of protection that ddo gives is this; "can the enemies even target you to begin with". Jumping around like a wild chicken gives you the ability to not even be targeted in the first place. It's as if you said in pen and paper "I stand in the back and jump around randomly for the entire fight so that they cant even begin to start the process of attacking me" and the dm goes, "OK. You take absolutely no damage for the entire fight."

    Now a melee could possibly get away with this, but he is close to the combat, so close that the angle or amount that he moves is much less and far less likely to cause a miss. I often move, stop and attack, and I find it cuts down on trips. If I am melee fighting in a mob, it does cut down on the damage from ranged enemies. But it means melees are going to get more close combat targets and more of the adverse affects that those attacks can cause.

    I believe that this ranged issue is what led to the reduction in the importance of AC (Armor Class). As the game progressed, ranged didn't really need AC and did just fine. Since it was only melee that really needed it, it fell by the wayside. You could after all, play the game with very little AC. SO people did play the game and AC wasn't given much thought. But, like a lot of changes, it affected melee more and with reaper and the advent of extreme damage, those issues that do affect melee more are coming to light.

    My issue with melee is that everything is already dead before I get to the fight. But JUST getting me to the fight faster wont really help that. It will still take a few melee swipes to kill the things and the blasters and murder magic will have them single shot killed before I get much of a swing in. So the proposed charge is nice, but wont solve a whole lot. I think the charge, without damage, should be a gimme ability for some of the melee classes.

    But my main point, to paraphrase a "great" leader, I would like to make AC great again. Make it so you don't have to have a ridiculous amount of AC to be useful or make it much easier to get a ridiculous amount, so that it really in a significant way starts reducing the number of hits you get. Kind of like the jumping around protection for ranged.

    Make it so melees are more easily able to get AC and make it so AC is tied in to DR, maybe as a percentage. I really think, with a few simple changes here, we could make it much easier to play as a melee.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by droid327 View Post
    What a marvelously simple solution! Armor alone maybe not so much - that's essentially what the AC mechanic is describing, your armor fending off blows, and a well-placed arrow or especially a crossbow bolt can absolutely penetrate even plate mail - but shields are definitely much more effective against missile weapons than they are in the game.

    Give shield bearers an innate % chance to ignore physical missile attacks - 10% bucklers, 20% small shield, 30% large shield, 40% tower. Double when actively blocking; perhaps half during attack animations. +5% per level of Shield Mastery (doesnt change when blocking or attacking). Its not perfect cover, but the bigger the better. Not only is that a big improvement for tanks, and a needed extra benefit for S&B style, but it also means that shield-wielding *mobs* become a foil for ranged characters, but not for melee - restoring some of that ranged-melee balance they're so awkwardly trying to create with ham-fisted IPS nerfs... Sunder could set the % chance to zero, making Sunder mobs more of a threat to shielded players - and also making Sunder more valuable against shielded mobs, especially ranged Sunder from BE, giving needed value to BE in the current ranged meta.

    Imagine a tower shield-wielding Orc dreadnought charging an Inquisitive, only doing 60% DPS, then he stops and blocks and suddenly you're only doing 20% DPS while he's turtled up - buying valuable time for his caster and DPS friends to get some extra rounds of damage on you. Maybe they could even make it so it disables IPS pass through, so you cant just shoot through him and hit who's behind. That's definitely a tactical consideration that a melee party member would be valued for, being able to Spring Attack over and take out the shield tank.
    I love the sound of this
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerevth View Post
    Yep. And there are forumlings now targeting casters for the next round of nerfs. Just because intel is a dump stat for many characters doesn't mean it should be for the players- It would be better and smarter to demand Melee be improved, not gimp the other teammates.

    ~~~With regard to Tanks- I don't like that the game requires the sacrifice of significant DPS to become a viable tank in the higher level/challenge quests.
    Why? With a melee focus, a fully armored tank (Including shield- not 2HF/2WF) should be able to do significant damage anyway. Yet, the best tanks need casters and ranged to do the killing while they turtle and intim. Sorry, a dude hiding behind their tower shield and not moving/ not posing a significant threat is not that intimidating. The one sweeping a four foot plank of sharpened adamant and bludgeoning with a shield the thickness of a House K vault door- that is intimidating.

    Heavy armor and tower shields, combined with a level of mastery, should make bolts and arrows nothing more dangerous than confetti. The toon should be able to actively block (Shift key) most of the spells thrown their way (PRR and MRR caps need bumping when blocking) and dragon breath. But they should still be vulnerable when swinging their weapon.

    A tank should have a cannon, not willow branch, for a weapon, figuratively. Imagine gaining +1 hit and damage per second for a special AOE attack while actively blocking with a melee weapon. (Cool down and capped. Maybe the max value will include a crit bonus as well.)

    And keep it out of the hands of splashers. Requires Fighter/Palidan/Barb as the dominant level, as well as wearing heavy armor or blocking with a tower shield and the requisite skill pertaining (Heavy armor training/ shield mastery.) Code it like a pact or veil so it precludes PMs and Warlocks?

    Again, spitballing suggestions and trying to keep this under the rigor of melee only and out of the realm of splashing onto PMs, EKs, etc.
    I like a lot of those ideas here, a lot more than others that have been suggested.
    I'd like some of that to apply to all melees, well, all heavy armor melees at least.
    The charge attack at least has me interested, though I'd have it gain power when an attack is blocked, not just while holding the button, and increase the power by a very significant margin - after all, being able to handle attacks in higher difficulties and not simply moving out of the way or dodging requires enough dedication to be worth giving that level of power.

    Another idea would be shield spikes. 'Every blocked attack triggers a shield bash, with a cooldown separate by enemy. Requires blocking with a heavy or tower shield'.

    No need to forgo the splashing thing, nor tower shields, mostly because Paladins don't get the proficiency. Let them splash. Splashing is fun. It blocks THF, ranged, SWF and TWF already, and it turns off Evasion - it's not like the combat style didn't need help. EKs might finally find that the shield-based enhancement in their tree isn't a total waste of space (though going SWF and using an orb will probably end up doing more damage in the end still)

    Make sword and board a style worth seeing in-game, even on people that wouldn't normally use armor.

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    nevermind, I don't want to derail the thread with an xbow VS armor discussion... sry
    Last edited by Fenrisulven7; 01-24-2020 at 04:03 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fenrisulven7 View Post
    nevermind, I don't want to derail the thread with an xbow VS armor discussion... sry
    You made a valid point and I watched both videos. It supported one of the points (no pun intended) made above about a possible improvement. Monks can use deflection- it requires agility and perception. The big guy toting a giant slab of enchanted oak and/ or clad in exotic metal from top to toe, shouldn't need to worry about such- anything like that would bounce or glance right off.

    Such armor needs a degree of "0 damage". They aren't going to dodge, but then, why would they?

    I've refrained from posting much, wanting to hear more from others, and this is a great conversation so far- the ideas aren't completely off the wall and some are outstanding, complete with justifications based on the game mechanics.

    I am guilty of mixing the discussion up myself. I equate melees with heavy armor in many cases, but I see the heavier defensive gear and melee weapons being a married concept. They stand their ground inflicting the most damage possible in arm's reach.
    Sometimes I'm too clever for my own good. Bear in mind I'm probably trying to be humorous. Like dodge, it's hit or miss.// Looking for a guild on Orien? Send a tell or mail to Magnifique to join the "Fidelic Brotherhood".

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerevth View Post
    Reading the Producer's letter I like the upcoming changes- We don't know the impacts yet so no point in gnashing teeth over the level cap increase. (Thanks Cocomajobo, for the statement: "We are quite a ways out from being prepared to announce specifics on our plans for character progression past level 30. What we are willing to say at this point, however, is that one of our goals is to NOT increase the amount of XP required to complete an Epic Reincarnation".)
    They said the same thing when the cap was raised from 28 to 30 and then added another 2 million xp to the grind.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Loholt-UK View Post
    They said the same thing when the cap was raised from 28 to 30 and then added another 2 million xp to the grind.
    Their words were the same "it's not our goal" but happened, they could have raised the xp for capping without touching the xp needed for tr'ing but they thought it would make more sense increasing it and releasing an improved otto box
    psykopeta is finally baconpletionist because there isn't anything to delay it more - thelanis, where the gimps claim to be pros and noobs claim to be pros, no newbies allowed(unless they claim to be pros), we have enough drama w/o them. PS: I post only in the latest thread shown in main page, in the weird case u want something from me, feel free to send pm

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    Default Melee improvements:

    Stay on target, please.
    What improvements do you think would bring melee fighting up to the bar with the other two disciplines?
    Sometimes I'm too clever for my own good. Bear in mind I'm probably trying to be humorous. Like dodge, it's hit or miss.// Looking for a guild on Orien? Send a tell or mail to Magnifique to join the "Fidelic Brotherhood".

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerevth View Post
    Stay on target, please.
    What improvements do you think would bring melee fighting up to the bar with the other two disciplines?
    Well the fact that a dps ranged and casters can get nearly the same/same stat defenses as a melee despite getting hit an order of magnitude less should be a starting point.....

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    I've said it before and I'll say it again, Melee should be VERY tough to kill. They should not be able to do anywhere near the damage of a caster or ranged character, but they shouldn't die. If you want to race through a quest killing everything very quickly then you should be a caster who has the risk of dying from a single shot or trap. A fighter should take 4 times longer to kill stuff, but be almost unkillable in exchange. Just my opinion, and I know others won't agree. The melee players will want to be able kill like a sorcerer even though that doesn't make sense. Remember Legolas and Gimlee (spelling probably off) in Lord of the Rings where they are comparing kill count? The ranger kills 5 to the tanks 1, but tank is VERY TOUGH to kill. That's the way it should be imho.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Talam View Post
    I've said it before and I'll say it again, Melee should be VERY tough to kill. They should not be able to do anywhere near the damage of a caster or ranged character, but they shouldn't die. If you want to race through a quest killing everything very quickly then you should be a caster who has the risk of dying from a single shot or trap. A fighter should take 4 times longer to kill stuff, but be almost unkillable in exchange. Just my opinion, and I know others won't agree. The melee players will want to be able kill like a sorcerer even though that doesn't make sense. Remember Legolas and Gimlee (spelling probably off) in Lord of the Rings where they are comparing kill count? The ranger kills 5 to the tanks 1, but tank is VERY TOUGH to kill. That's the way it should be imho.
    Using the 4-letter world "balance" there should be give and take between damage and survivability, yes, but not on a ratio of 1:5, particularly when a ranged class can dip in many classes to outperform on the survival front. (EK and PM come to mind).

    I would rather be shot with an arrow than hacked with a greataxe. The great axe can crit but it also has a much larger area of impact. You can argue magic and precision for the arrow, but the same can be applied to the Gaxe. If Melee is going to stand on the front line with a weapon in hand (be it G. axe or Sword and Board) they should rightfully be doing damage and a lot of it.

    Ranged dance around, dodge nimbly-pimbly and kite; All valid tactics. They can dip rogue for evasion (Light armor or cloth only). Melee in medium and heavy armors are out of luck. (Evasion can be used only if the character is wearing light armor or no armor and is not heavily encumbered. As of Update 23 Evasion will no longer function for characters who have Heavy and Tower Shields equipped. )

    Melee should have an equal defense and equal capability to inflict death. Magic users have amazing CC, Amazing damage, amazing buffs available. And yes, they should inflict more damage because of the nature of their art. However, a Paladin tank should never be stuck in their development at a point where they need to group with one in order to finish a quest, and many melees are in that situation (or close to it.)

    A Fighter, Pali or barb should be terrifying within the reach of their weapons.

    Range has the longest distance of any tactic and with the right build can single shot 2-3, sometimes a bit more.
    Arcanes have the best CC (Hold) and AOEs at distance. They have the best single target damage tools, too. (Disintegrate, major damagers, etc).
    Divine have some decent CCs and 'ok' distance AOEs. A couple nice insta-kills with moderate range. (Destruction)

    So why isn't a well crafted melee the king within their area of control (That being the reach of their weapon)? They have significantly diminished range, very little dodge and only damage reduction for survival, whereas the other two tactics keep out of reach. Jig a little and incoming ranged attacks miss, too. As do ray attacks.

    -Furthermore, Melees have to increase several stats to get efficacy in their area of combat: Constitution, Strength, Intel (if they want some decent skills) and, if they are using something other than strength for primary damage type... wisdom, charisma, intel again. But strength can't be a dump stat since it's required for power attack, for carrying the armor, golf bag of diverse weapons for diverse threats and healing pots and rez scrolls (If they can afford UMD; Charisma based, by the way...) for when the mage or rogue finally gets hit and killed.

    -Ranged focus on two attributes primarily. Their Dex and the primary damage dealing stat (Intel- artis and rogues, or wisdom/ charisma for FvS)

    -Casters focus on their primary and everything else is a nice to have. "Control then kill them before they reach me".

    So, yes, Melee should be capable of doing SIGNIFICANT damage within the very limited area their weapon reaches, and they SHOULD be capable of surviving the incoming damage, too. Melee Tanks are the ones that draw the hits away from the ranged and casters- requiring points invested into intimidate, which is wisdom based; and it requires intel to get the points to keep it viable as levels progress. They need APs to boost survival, hp and healing, too. Casters don't need to invest so broadly.
    Nor do ranged.

    Melee is the most intensive, demanding build you can work with because their kill zone is so limited, but the enemy can attack from anywhere in the room and the melee can only kill small clusters at a time, moving to each one.

    I'm asking how we can bring melee up to equality with the other two tactics. I am not looking to take anything away from ranged or casters. But Melees work with a lot of negatives and few positives.

    *I acknowledge that casters have the blue bar to mind when casting. I don't want this to be a contest about what tactic is harder to manage. I want to discuss improving the lowest performer.
    Last edited by Jerevth; 01-25-2020 at 08:08 AM.
    Sometimes I'm too clever for my own good. Bear in mind I'm probably trying to be humorous. Like dodge, it's hit or miss.// Looking for a guild on Orien? Send a tell or mail to Magnifique to join the "Fidelic Brotherhood".

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