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  1. #1
    Associate Producer Cocomajobo's Avatar
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    Default U48.4 Preview 1: Balance Changes: Combat Styles

    Disclaimer
    Everything seen on the preview server, Lamannia, is not final and is subject to change or removal before live release.

    This is the BALANCE CHANGES: COMBAT STYLES portion of the release notes.

    Preface
    When looking at the spread, popularity, and usability of combat styles, we came up with a few concrete goals. We wanted to boost the DPS and versatility of SWF, expanding its usage outwards to better cater to hybrid builds. We also wanted to tone down the DPS of THF slightly while leaving the AoE capabilities top-tier, as that niche is part of what makes THF so compelling. We also looked at the DPS of TWF, and found that while we think it's in a balanced place offensively, the companion feats for TWF needed a lot of help to become more compelling defensive options. We ran through several iterations of Two Weapon Blocking before we decided to simply remove it entirely, merging it with Two Weapon Defense, and we also wanted to further incentivize it by adding a MRR cap boost. Natural Fighting needed adjusting to match THF, but it also needed some extra special incentives at the top so that both Bears and Wolves would be happy switching their feats to the new Perfect combat style feat. Finally, we wanted to add more compelling combat options for Shield Fighting. Its Perfect combat style feat is very defensive, but that's Shield's niche, and we wanted the style to retain its defensive elements at the top end. These are also coupled with some buffs to the Vanguard tree's T5 options, to help make that tree more of a competitive choice versus Kensei or Knight of the Chalice, and you can see those in the Balance Changes: Enhancement Trees/Misc Post.

    Single Weapon Fighting
    New Feat: Offhand Versatility
    • Req: BaB 8, Single Weapon Fighting
    • Your offhand item modifies your main hand:
      • Runearms and Orbs now grant: when you vorpal strike, your next spell automatically crits. This has an internal cooldown of 20 seconds (lasts for 20 seconds).
      • Nothing in your offhand increases your ability score modifier to damage by 25%.
    • Fighters may select this feat as one of their Fighter Bonus Feats.


    Perfect Single Weapon Fighting
    • Now also increases your ability score modifier to damage by 25%.
    • Now also grants an additional +10 combat style bonus to Melee Power.


    Two Handed Fighting
    The Two Handed Fighting, Improved Two Handed Fighting, and Greater Two Handed Fighting feats now increase your ability score modifier to damage by 25%.

    Perfect Two Handed Fighting
    • Now also increases your ability score modifier to damage by 25%.


    Natural Fighting
    The Natural Fighting feat now increases your ability score modifier to damage by 25% while in Bear or Dire Bear form.

    New Feat: Perfect Natural Fighting
    • Req: Level 26, maximum experience in one Primal sphere Epic Destiny, at least one copy of Natural Fighting.
    • If in Bear form, your Two-Handed ability mod increases by .25, and your Bear form's bonus to Armor Class is increased by 5%.
    • If in Wolf form, +15% competence bonus to maximum hit points, and you gain +2d6 sneak attack dice.


    Shield Mastery
    New Feat: Greater Shield Mastery
    • Req: BaB 13, Improved Shield Mastery
    • You are exceptionally skilled with the use of a shield, and your physical resistance is increased by 10 when using a buckler or small shield, 15 when using a large shield, or 20 when using a tower shield. Your doublestrike chance while using a shield is increased by 2% to 10%. Your Combat Style bonus to Melee Power is increased by 4 to 10.
    • (These bonuses do not stack with previous feats, so this is a net gain of 5 PRR with each type of shield (5 -> 10 for buckler/small shield, 10 -> 15 for large shield, 15 -> 20 for tower), 2% doublestrike, and 4 Melee Power.).
    • Fighters may select this feat as one of their Fighter Bonus Feats.


    New Feat: Perfect Shield Mastery
    • Req: Level 26, maximum experience in one Divine sphere Epic Destiny (same as other Perfect Combat Style Feats), and Shield Mastery.
    • You are the paragon of shield usage, able to effectively leverage all types of shields in close combat. Your shield gains +1W, and you gain +20% Shield Armor Class and +5 PRR.


    Two Weapon Fighting
    Two Weapon Defense
    • Now grants everything that Two Weapon Blocking did, as well as its original +1 AC and +5 PRR.
    • Now also grants +10 MRR Cap.


    Two Weapon Blocking
    • No longer a feat! Should no longer be trainable!


    Misc Combat Style Changes
    • Shield Mastery feats now contribute to Epic Defensive Fighting (including the new ones).
    Last edited by Cocomajobo; 02-09-2021 at 02:08 PM.
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    Two Weapon Defense

    Can handwrap monks use this?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cocomajobo View Post

    Two Handed Fighting
    The Two Handed Fighting, Improved Two Handed Fighting, and Greater Two Handed Fighting feats now increase your ability score modifier to damage by 25%.

    Perfect Two Handed Fighting
    • Now also increases your ability score modifier to damage by 25%.
    For the record, this means a total of +100% ability score to THF from feats, plus 50% base from the THF style itself for a total of 250% compared to the current 300%?

    If so that's a significant but reasonable nerf.

    I like the SWF changes for EKs and merging TWF's defensive feats that nobody uses, Maybe consider sticking a token +2 melee power on oversized TWF because right now it's minor accuracy bonus is considered basically a wasted feat.

    new shield feats and EDF changes are good for vanguards.
    Last edited by FlavoredSoul; 02-09-2021 at 02:48 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cocomajobo View Post

    Misc Combat Style Changes
    • Shield Mastery feats now contribute to Epic Defensive Fighting (including the new ones).
    What does this mean, exactly?
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  5. #5
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    any chance of also touching bulwark of defense to make it more appealing? Maybe instead of +4 AC it could have a % boost to armor bonus?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arkat View Post
    What does this mean, exactly?
    if you take shield mastery, imp shield mastery, gtr shield mastery and perfect shield mastery epic defensive fighting would give you +25% competence bonus to hit points. (+5% per feat and +5% base)

    so it puts it on par with the THF, swf, twf and natural fighting (with the perfect natural fighting) lines
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    Community Member Epicsoul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arkat View Post
    What does this mean, exactly?
    Each feat will now grant you 5% HP, like other combat feats do.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arkat View Post
    What does this mean, exactly?
    It seems to me shield mastery feats will now contribute to bonus % HP EDF applies like other fighting styles do.
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    SWF versatility needs a handler for bards---specifically bucklers & swashbuckling.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Quikster View Post
    It seems to me shield mastery feats will now contribute to bonus % HP EDF applies like other fighting styles do.
    Correct.
    We don't only build for the builds that exist.
    We don't only build for the builds that are good right now.

    The fact that some changes are necessary is not diminished by the fact that other necessary changes have not happened yet.

  11. #11
    Community Member Epicsoul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cocomajobo View Post
    New Feat: Perfect Shield Mastery
    • Req: Level 26, maximum experience in one Divine sphere Epic Destiny (same as other Perfect Combat Style Feats), and Shield Mastery.
    • You are the paragon of shield usage, able to effectively leverage all types of shields in close combat. Your shield gains +1W, and you gain +20% Shield Armor Class and +5 PRR.
    Instead of +20% Shield Armor Class, a maximum armor dexterity bonus would be more useful.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ValariusK View Post
    SWF versatility needs a handler for bards---specifically bucklers & swashbuckling.
    It has one: +25% stat damage if your offhand is empty. Dashing Scoundrel gives an additional 6 damage and 10% doublestrike.

    Alternatively, as before, they can combine SWF and SM. It's always been expensive, but the combo now further incentivizes Fighter splashes, since SWFx3 + SMx3 + Precision + IC = 8 combat feats and nothing for utility (Quicken, FoP).

    With all six feats, Perfect SWF and Legendary Shield Mastery, they're sitting at 175% stat damage, 30% attack speed, 25 PRR, 10% dodge, and 17% doublestrike. They're probably close to the doublestrike cap at this point, so Perfect Shield Mastery is a better option than Perfect TWF. That sounds pretty competitive to me

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    Looks good! THF needed a nerf and other styles needed a bit of a boost to keep up. Tanks getting a bit of a bump is nice as well.

    Wolf competence bonus to hp is... strange. Doesnt stack with edf, I see no reason for this? Maybe make their stat an extra 50% to keep up?

    Thank you for the effort you put in!
    Last edited by Entyri; 02-09-2021 at 03:09 PM.

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    Two Handed Fighting:

    175% of ability mod damage total in Heroics?

    200% of ability mod damage total in Epics?

    Edit: Ok 50% base 225% Heroics and 250% Epics.

    Seems reasonable but why make it so high in the first place that you have to nerf it at all?
    Last edited by Coffey; 02-09-2021 at 03:07 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Discpsycho View Post
    It has one: +25% stat damage if your offhand is empty. Dashing Scoundrel gives an additional 6 damage and 10% doublestrike.

    Alternatively, as before, they can combine SWF and SM. It's always been expensive, but the combo now further incentivizes Fighter splashes, since SWFx3 + SMx3 + Precision + IC = 8 combat feats and nothing for utility (Quicken, FoP).

    With all six feats, Perfect SWF and Legendary Shield Mastery, they're sitting at 175% stat damage, 30% attack speed, 25 PRR, 10% dodge, and 17% doublestrike. They're probably close to the doublestrike cap at this point, so Perfect Shield Mastery is a better option than Perfect TWF. That sounds pretty competitive to me
    That only handles the empty hand version of swashbuckling. The orb and runearm cases are also handled. It should just add +25% stat damage for a buckler. That would simplify matters.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quikster View Post
    It seems to me shield mastery feats will now contribute to bonus % HP EDF applies like other fighting styles do.
    I see. So we'll get the full 25% to HP, then.

    Thanks.
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    Where do Hand and a Half weapons stand now with THF line?

  18. #18

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    Two Weapon Defense is a nice change.
    DPS solves all problems. R10 or bust. Khyber: Ying-1, Kobeyashi

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    Quote Originally Posted by FlavoredSoul View Post
    For the record, this means a total of +100% ability score to THF from feats, plus 50% base from the THF style itself for a total of 250% compared to the current 300%?

    If so that's a significant but reasonable nerf.

    I like the SWF changes for EKs and merging TWF's defensive feats that nobody uses, Maybe consider sticking a token +2 melee power on oversized TWF because right now it's minor accuracy bonus is considered basically a wasted feat.

    new shield feats and EDF changes are good for vanguards.
    Why. Why on earth did THF need a nerf. I just started having fun with the game. Casters/ranged dominate everything already. Why nerf the one play style that actually has to risk defenses to get a reward.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Carpone View Post
    Two Weapon Defense is a nice change.
    If it works for handwrap monks, yes, it would be nice.

    I'd finally be able to get my Monk's MRR cap raised to 100.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynnabel View Post
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