[Beta patch #7]
[updated Mace and Shield for July 29th update]
A footknight’s perspective on the balance beta
Hi, Stop_Hitting_Me here. On Twitch I’m also Stop_Hitting_Me, and on steam I’m known as Stop Hitting Me. My friends call me Shme for short. I’m a small time streamer, known for my love of footknight, shield weapons, and hyper-aggressive shield play. I play on Cataclysm difficulty, usually with pugs. If I’m in a premade I’ll usually add twitch mode, grab grims, or do a deed. I’m hoping that this will be a good perspective for some feedback on Kruber’s classes and weapons, especially the shielded variety in respect to what makes a shield weapon good – overall feel, flow, and offensive/defensive capabilities.
I am also a huge procrastinator. I intended to do this at the beginning of the balance beta, but well, here we are.
I’ve thought that mercenary could use a bit of a tweak for a while, and the choices made in this Beta are a good tweak, I think. My concern with Mercenary is that he is a fast-hitting powerhouse with The More the Merrier and Paced Strikes, on top of being unrivaled support with an ult that does knockback, applies temp hp, and hefty damage reduction. Nerfing Walk it Off and buffing Ready for Action were smart choices, but from what I see there is still a clear best option in Walk it Off. On yer Feet also suffers because it causes people to be prone to holding on to it, waiting for a situation that might never come up. In Overwatch, Mercy’s Ult used to have the same issue. I would recommend combining ready for action and on yer feet. Hopefully that would make people hoard it less, knowing it will be up again sooner, and make it a good contender for Walk it Off. You would then need a third talent for that row. Maybe a minor offensive buff of some kind? 10% power seems like it would be reasonable.
Huntsman is a class that should reward precision aiming well. Now, with it’s free headshots it feels more like a point and click adventure game. Especially with blunderbuss. I would recommend, instead of gaining stacks of sure shot as you walk, make it a reward for playing well. Maybe every, or every other, natural headshot gives you a stack of Sure Shot. This would make the free headshots feel more like a reward instead of a freebie. I also feel like giving max stacks with Reset is a bit much. That many free headshots on a lower cooldown makes it a must pick over the other two talents, and also makes it so you never run out of ammo at all. My reccomendation would be to get rid of the cooldown reduction and lower how many stacks it gives. Maybe to 5? If a lower cooldown ult talent is still desired, I would recommend getting rid of the increased duration talent Head Down and Hidden. Increased duration never did much for the huntsman ult since you’re visible, and at some point you are likely to switch to your melee weapon anyway.
My bread and butter, saving the best for last. I LOVE what has been done with Footknight currently. My favorite talents are all still there, but now there are actual options. Nothing feels too powerful on him, or too weak. He’s a great, aggressive frontline tank/support. That is exactly what Footknight should be. Even without changing weapons or gear, I will choose my talents based on what I feel like the group needs or what I feel like doing at the time. The only talent row that is a sure pick for me is bull of Ostland. That seems to be a personal preference, as many people swear by numb to pain or the new wide charge, and not a balance issue.
What DOES need to be fixed is how wonky the stagger from the charge can be. Valiant charge is the biggest stagger in the game, and as such it should overwrite ALL other stagger effects. You shouldn’t fail to knock a chaos warrior on his butt just because someone else made that chaos warrior barely flinch. Things also shouldn’t immediately stand up the moment someone breathes on them.
Executioner sword. Even with the nerf, it functions decently on Footknight and well on Mercenary. I never liked it on huntsman since I love attack speed, so I haven’t tried that in the beta yet. It’s no longer as mindless to play, which is a good thing. You should not be falling asleep while playing Cataclysm.
Greathammer: Changing the push attack to a cleaving attack instead of single target was brilliant. The only time you would do a push attack against a single target is if you’re footknight and have crowd clearer. Making the push attack a cleave makes it function much better in the times that you need a push attack. No complaints, good stuff.
Greatsword: Greatsword now feels like the cleave-happier, agile version of two handing. That’s great, and fits the look and feel of the sword. It’s specialty of horde management functions even better now. It still has a weakness against armor, but it does the job well enough with proper stamina. Functions well on both footknight and merc.
Halberd: It feels GREAT now. It already packed a punch, the only problem with it was it’s super wonky attack patterns. Now everything feels fluid on it, and versatile. Exactly what a halberd should be.
Mace: It definitely NEEDED that tank multiplier. It now can actually do its job – being a more agile version of the big hammer. The extra cleave makes it feel much safer, and manage the horde easier as well. I don’t think it needed the single target damage on it’s 3rd light attack, however. Making that single target lowers its overall crowd management, and the mace already has its heavy attacks to deal with armor. That’s only a minor issue, though. Overall an improvement.
Mace and Shield: [Copied my post from another thread. Changed to reflect July 29th update] So in the July 29th patch they changed mace and shield a little, and I like the flow of it more now. For those that don’t know, push attack now chains into the shield slam instead of the heavy sweep. This means that we can chain a push straight into a bash AND chain a push attack into the bash. If you prefer the sweep, then you can easily enough follow the push attack with the light 3 uppercut, which still chains into the sweep. Since the uppercut is so fast, there’s not much of a difference in how long it takes to get that sweep out.
This really increases the versatility of the weapon, which is nice. Testing the speed of the bashes though, it really seems like you can shield slam just as fast whether you push, or push attack. Kind of awkward, but I have the old push attack shield back combo back so I’m happy. The light attacks feel fast enough after the shield slam that they’re a functional enough horde combo, and with the push attack you get a chance to sneak in a little bit of decent armor damage and stagger against a single opponent while attacking the horde.
Overall, I’m pretty happy with where the mace and shield is now, and I’m surprised that was all it took for my opinion on the weapon to change. It definitely has it’s own identity: slower, but heavier stagger against hordes than the other shields. It can put down the hurt against single target armor without being so reliant on headshots when compared to the sword and shield, but it comes at the cost of being more stamina intensive than the other shield weapons. As a positive though, it’s easier to keep surrounding enemies controlled while doing so. It definitely has it’s place and I’m pretty satisfied with it.
Mace and Sword: I haven’t played with this one much, but now it feels like two separate weapons. This is good – you can block cancel the first two lights when you want more stagger, or push attack into the two sword swings. It’s very versatile now, and fun.
Sword: To be honest, I don’t like one handed swords. Not really my thing, so I only tried it once. A slight buff feels good for it.
Sword and Shield: I like how you didn’t change this at all. I’m assuming that’s because you can’t change perfection. It’s my favorite weapon in the whole game, being a very versatile and fun choice. I feel like it’s the weapon other shields should be measured up against. They need a good flow, with no awkward pauses, and a lot of variety in combos. This is the exact reason I DON’T like the bretonnian sword and shield. The flow is all kinds of off, awkward pauses galore. Brettonian sword and board needs to be tweaked a bit to improve the feel of it. The worst pause is after the light attack shield slam. Back to Empire sword and shield: The only tweak that might be done is to give it the block angle of other shield weapons. It’s perfect otherwise.
Spear: When the man-spear first appeared, I hated it. A lot. You’ve done a good job in nerfing it so that it is no longer encroaching on the territory of shield weapons. It’s still a good choice, providing some far reaching crowd control.
Axe and Shield: While I’m focusing on Kruber, axe and shield deserves a mention. It was a great choice to make it attack a bit faster. Like I mentioned earlier, flow is critically important for a shield weapon even moreso than other weapons, and now it flows better. I would still buff it’s push to be in line with sword and shield’s push in speed and reach.
That’s my current feedback on all things Kruber-related. I’ll try to update this as we get future beta patches. Feel free to let me know if you have any questions, if I missed anything, or if there’s anything you’d like me to expand further on. Overall, I’m loving this balance beta and the work you’re doing. There’s a bit more to do, but it’s definitely a huge improvement!
That guy who pushes a lot.
Edit: Block angle, not radius, on sword and shield