A Closer Look at Foot Knight

After spending some time playing FK recently, I’ve found a few issues that make the class frustrating to play but that can be easily fixed. Additional suggestions or critique is welcome.

Valiant Charge is a good disruptive ability that has a unique defensive niche in stunning bosses repeatedly. Compared to Zealot charge it sucks, but I chalk that up to the Zealot additional temp HP talent (which desperately needs to be toned down). Still there are some bizarre effects of the charge:

  • Getting hit out of the charge shouldn’t consume the ult, only cancel it. Or make it so that the amount of meter lost is related to the distance traveled. So if you get hit out of it right after you start running, you barely lose any meter, but if you get hit near the end, you lose most of it.
  • Enemies that are knocked down from charge teleport to their feet after you hit them while they’re on the ground. This rewards not hitting them until they get up which is counterintuitive.
    *Startup animation feels extremely clunky. Zealot feels much better because he doesn’t have such a long windup. Removing or speeding up the animation would make the skill feel more smooth to use.

Protective Presence

  • Aura size is tiny. I’d like to see either an increase in aura size or an increase in effect by transferring some of FK’s innate damage resist to the aura so it feels more meaningful. Currently, I doubt anyone even notices the damage resist aura.
  • Add an option to show aura indicators so that you can position yourself in such a way that the most amount of your team benefits at once. It’s a minor change that would add an additional layer of complexity, which FK desperately needs. A transparent ring on the ground would work best, similar to what they gave Lucio in Overwatch.
  • Aura talents are a good idea but 5% damage resist versus 5% move speed or an additional stamina shield is no choice at all.

Talents

  • Tier 1: I’d like to see Bulwark (+50% block/push angle) changed to a stamina cost reduction for blocking. It would allow players to go for heavily reduced stamina cost block builds. I’m guessing the rationale behind Bulwark is it synergizes with Hold Ground, the level 25 talent that reduces block cost by 100% after charging. The problem is no one picks that talent. More on that later.

  • Tier 2: These talents are okay, but Counter-Attack needs reworking. It’s absolutely horrible and I can’t imagine a scenario in which you would pick this over the other two. Regroup is boring but effective and fits FK design. Build Momentum is great but heavily dependent on weapon choice, which is fine. But if you use a Halberd, you’re stuck with regroup since counter-attack isn’t even a legitimate choice and you don’t use heavy attacks enough to make it worth bringing Build Momentum.

  • Tier 3: Already addressed the aura talents. Defensive formation needs some love by either increasing the % or something else. Maybe increasing aura size by a significant percentage? Has to be a large increase for it to be considered a worthwhile alternative to the stamina shield or move speed.

  • Tier 4: Generic T4 talents, not much to say.

  • Tier 5: This needs addressing. Glory Hound is insane and the only talent keeping FK from being a total garbage can career. You could bring Glory Hound down to 15%, make it a passive innate to Valiant Charge, and FK would still be very weak compared to Zealot. Life of Battle is useless as the CD already allows charge to be used multiple times in fights and Hold Ground is pointless. The opportunity cost of not picking Glory Hound is too high and will gimp you severely.

I’d recommend giving FK a power boost after using charge (10-15%?) without talents. Replace Hold Your Ground with something totally different. Maybe a damage steroid that would increase the damage enemies hit by charge take by 20% for 10 seconds, giving groups more reasons to want a FK over a Merc.

I’m only addressing the core of the career here, I won’t talk about weapons since they’re likely to be changed. I also want to avoid direct comparisons to IB or Zealot if possible, though I had to make some since Zealot charge and FK charge are so similar. Currently Zealot is obviously overpowered while IB seems to be in a good spot design wise, but FK needs some time love and care. As is, I see no reason to bring him over Merc, and I feel guilty if I play FK in a group that has a hard time with legend. It should be the opposite - I should want to choose FK to help a weak team with auras and charges and to carry books. However, in their current state. these things are not enough to warrant bringing FK to legend+.

6 Likes

Yeah the FK definitely needs some buffs and changes. His damage resist aura should be doubled in size and the tier 2/3 talents should be replaced with better ones.

Here’s an example of what some better tier 3 talents could look like.

Blitzkriege (translates to “speed war” in german, i believe): Your aura increases attack speed, reload speed, weapon swap speed and movement speed by 5%.

Defensive Formation: Your aura grants 2+ stamina, increases damage resistance by 5% and grants a further 30% damage reduction vs AoE attacks (i.e blightstormers, fire and gas rat attacks)

Group Synergy : Your aura speeds up healing and revive actions by 30%. Your auras radius is increased by 50%. Lastly your aura provides everyone a 7.5% power increase when everyone is inside the aura.

Basically you’d have 1 offensive focused talent, 1 defensive focused talent and one multipurpose/utility talent. Now the above might not be completely balanced, but it’d make your talent choices matter a whole lot more then they do currently.

1 Like

I agree on practically all of these, but I do have a few comments to make.

The reason’s I’ve found the Charge to be annoying to use is three- or four-fold, depending on how you look at it. First problem is the windup: it’s noticeably long and the Skill can be interrupted during it, making the Skill hazardous during the most intense situations - arguably, when it’s most needed. With knowledge and good playing, this can be worked around though, so while problematic, it’s not huge. Second problem is the way the rush hugs the ground: It makes it quite easy for the Charge to get stuck on environment. I think a balance point could be found where the ability wouldn’t feel too “floaty” but would still allow travel over truly minor obstacles. Third (combining with the fourth) is that your actions are very limited during the Charge. Unlike Zealot, Slayer and Handmaiden (the other three Career Skills with a physical movement component) you cannot attack during it, either defending or leaving yourself open. Combine with the slow movement of the Skill and leaving yourself open is leaving yourself very open indeed. Then, the Skill needs to be self-interrupted fairly often (to limit its range, to avoid getting into trouble immediately after). This gets much harder when you need to block during the Charge, as doing both is a relatively complex technique to use in the middle of intense situations, and still leaves you momentarily open. It can still be learned, but it’s not easy.

Another comment concerns the aura and its Talents. I feel that an indicator for the aura size (if only in the Keep, just to get used to it), possibly visible to everyone, would already help a lot. The problem with enlarging the aura is that a good size is a relatively thin line; it either feels too small (like it’s now for many) or it turns so large that the aura aspect is nearly irrelevant. While there likely is an inbetween state, where it’s just right, that probably changes on a player-by-player basis too. For this reason, I’d be very careful increasing its range. Of the Talents, I find the Movement bonus to be the strongest, but the unreliability of the aura makes it hard to use. Damage Reduction is useful, and it simply adds to an existing thing, so it’s a practical choice. With the added Stamina the unreliability comes to play again (and even worse, I think, than with the speed boost), together with one more Stamina (probably added to 3+, as those who want more will get some from their equipment) not being too useful outside inexperienced players or very well-coordinated groups (even though I play practically always with friends, we don’t coordinate our builds that much), so it gets left out as an actual choice.

The level 25 Talents are pretty much as you say (turning the Knight into budget IB isn’t useful as you have no real way to take aggro for that, and you want to be aggressive when the enemies are down), though I think there is some room for the CDR Talent for certain control-focused builds. It’s still boring, though.

1 Like

I use this nearly every game on FK. It’s a great “oh shít” button for when you are being gang banged by CWs or boss. I mainly use it for saving downed team mates. You can charge right into them as they are surrounded by multiple enemies and have 100% block to ress them with out being interrupted, even if multiple SV or CWs are smacking you. And of course, anything you hit while charging, you take agro for.

He does need a slight power increase and I like the idea of the 15% power always being applied on charges with that talent being changed to damage increase for enemies hit.

Also, everyone is aware you can hold block while charging to guard against being interrupted during the wind up and the actual charge.

2 Likes

Honestly, while I can understand the frustration of being interupted out of charge, I’ve never been myself cancelled (and I run the 30% cdr so I charge QUITE a lot, and in a lot of different situations)

Blocking before charging prevent you from being interrupted, as soon as the windup end release block, and re-block when you want to stop your charge. Sure it would be good if it wasn’t so tedious to do, but with a bit of training (and I really mean a bit, I didn’t played that much Kruber) charge becomes safe and decent… Except for enemies on the ground. That’s an annoyance.

1 Like

I always found it interesting that people were getting interrupted during charges when it is so simple to counteract. Sure the skill needs some major tweaking to make it more usable and the wind-up time is really crazy compared to the other dashing/charging skills in the game but i never found the interruption to be one of the problems.

When it comes to the talents … well my personal opinion has been since the launch that they vary from okish to absolute garbage tier. First tier could be ok if bulwark is reworked into something more interesting.
2nd tier ? I honestly have no idea why people would ever pick up regroup or Counter-attack in this game.

Regroup literally has no use in higher tier game-play because you either go down before you get revived or you get revived back up and don’t really have any time to use this thing. Just delete this and make something more usable. (Not to mention the fact you never wan’t to be downed in the first place)
Counter-attack is one of those talents that sounds so good on paper but is practically never useful. Just make something completely new to replace this.
Build momentum is actually surprisingly useful and pretty much the only thing you should consider on this tier.

Level 15 talents ? Just pick the one which sound less useless in your own mind. I have seen people run all 3 of these in every kind of circumstance but none of them really alter how the aura works in any major way not to mention the aura radius is so laughable in the first place that its mainly about do you want extra stamina (which you already have plenty of) 5 % dr or some movement speed.
In short i think this tier needs total rework while also remaking how the aura works.

On the last tier i really have no comments on because all 3 seem just so lackluster its just choice between being unkillable for 10 seconds or finally doing some damage.(really surprised if someone still runs cdr one at this point) Hey at least we finally get to decide something on the career we are playing.

Overall i think the talents need some massive re-thinking. There are really few ones which i consider to be even decent (the 5 % attack speed and build momentum) rest are just so lackluster that you might as well play the class without any talents in the first place.
Honestly how many here think that the talents somehow massively alter how you play the career ? When you pick up this career you pretty much play it for the charge and the tankiness and those are the things you already have the moment you pick up the career without spending any points in the talents.

Most of time I use charge as close quarter big push, or to close distance and knock down armored units. And I dont get stuck on something that much, way worse is on battle mage, you get stuck on anything at all

the team damge reduction skill neds to have broader, wider, bigger radius, to “protect” teammates more often, and 10% is few, maybe 15 as base and 20 if upgraded

the ultimate skill, the charge, should do more damage or stun enemies longer or have something to make it more useful

Well charge is mostly defensive skill instead of offensive like zealot. Its good like it is right now but could be better if they make it little faster ( and you can attack in charge if you want offensive :stuck_out_tongue: )

I do, but that’s because I run Sword and Shield. 100% block cost reduction isn’t quite useful cause I can get fine by block&bashing, and 20% isn’t enough to make me deal real damage. So I just charge and charge and charge again and again, and I let the damage to my team (Yeah, in case you wonder, I also use the 10% cdr on trinket on FK)

I was thinking his AoE damage resistance should scale with the number of player close to you (maybe could keep the radius small for balance). Say 10% per ally within the radius applied to every ally within the radius. So if by yourself its 10% then with 2 people you both get 20% up to 40% for everyone if you’re all really close.

Lastly a QoL thing could be to have this dmg resistance buff linger for a second or two when outside the radius to not so harshly punish being at the max radius and give a warning that you are outside with a decaying buff icon.

1 Like

Scaling AoE DR actually sounds interesting. I think 10% per friend would be too strong, at least for everyone, but making it 5-20% would be sensible. It actually sounds to me it’d be a nice replacement for one of the lvl 15 Talents (preferably the Stamina one).

Hm, now that I think about it, area increase for the aura could also be a useful Talent, for any of the Careers with one.

2 Likes

I really like this idea. Simple to implement and will make positioning more important both for FK and his team. It also fits his design as a career that wades into the middle of battle and takes pressure off his teammates by reducing the damage they take.

Also agree on the buff indicators. Auras as a whole are just not well implemented in my opinion. There’s no real decision making involved barring for example the lackluster talent, and they mostly go unnoticed.

I think most folks would agree that Merc is really damn good right now; he’s got temp health for days, stagger, extra cleave, oodles of attack speed, and lots of power bonuses. Why not . . . move something from his kit to FK? I would think the bonus cleave talent - after all, doesn’t it actually make MORE sense for the CC-focused career to have extra cleave? He’s supposed to be the front-line guy hewing into the enemy. I don’t think Merc will be anything close to bad after this change, and FK will actually have something on him.

And regarding Charge; I am cool with the wind-up being a thing, but why not make him immune to stagger while doing it? He could still take damage. Like others have said, he’s kinda limited in his actions while using the skill already.

Finally, I feel like this could be a level 25 talent, but what if his charge could do some direct-impact damage? Not a ton, but at least then you’d be contributing a little MORE than just CC when you stagger a whole crowd. Say it was 10 damage; that would kill Skaven Slaves and do over half the health of a Fanatic. It still wouldn’t be nearly as much as even two ticks of Handmaiden’s Dash, but that’d be okay; dealing damage IS useful if it brings down hits to kill for your allies, which 10 damage often would do (plus the CC!).

While I kinda agree on moving Merc stuff to FK, the increased cleave, even tho not needed for Merc, and could be useful on FK, is still a “part” of the core Merc gameplay, that’s what allows him to procs his passive no matter what weapon he use, and it just feels right to have it on Merc.
I’m not against some “Powerful strikes” on FK that allows him to have heavier stagger strikes.
Maybe something more complex, the aura feels pretty meh, especially considering Huntsman and HM both have an aura as a small passive.

Direct Damage on charge I say yes :smiley:
I’ve always though all the cdr talents should be changed to “15%-20% cdr and another small change to the ult” to make them more fun to play.

1 Like

I’m personally kinda against this. Sure we could borrow some aspects, i’m cool with that but to make extremely functioning class weaker to make other one better is simply non nonsensical in my mind.
One of the reasons merc is so powerful right now is simply the amount of ways you can build the dam thing and still do reasonably well. Removing some core parts say cleave just does not feel right.
Borrowing or heck even making the extra cleave its own talent for footknight is something i’m totally up for.

fk is a really tanky dps, much like zealots. but they are not tanks. the ib is a high dmging tank though :o

I just kinda feel that Merc is too heavy-loaded.

It probably is but nerfing the build diversity is not something i see as a meaningful tradeoff. Also i personally don’t consider merc to be yet in a level where it totally brakes the game in such a way as say shade or zealot does so touching the core mechanics should be done with extreme care.
I’d personally rather go touching the temp health generation engine if were to nerf mercenary but each on their own.

I’d rather see them just buff FK. Merc is a great class and really strong but as you said not game breaking like Zealot. If they look at Merc THP, then they’ll also need to look at Zealot and Bardin dual hammer THP and things will get messy quick.

FK just doesn’t feel very satisfying to play IMO. He can shine in bad situations when things are falling to pieces, but IB taunt does it better (mostly). His saving grace is access to the halberd and Glory Hound. Without those 2 I think he’d be dumpster tier…as is he just feels boring. Can’t imagine why you would bring him as is when you could have a Merc.

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