Weapons. July 17th.
It was my favorite toy throughout levelling Kruber, but as I found it easier and easier to make my way around with it, I switched to toying with other stuff and haven’t used it a lot since.
Executioner’s sword is very forgiving because, despite lower cleave and body damage, it has two perfectly horizontal strikes to outright kill most infantry instead of interacting with it’s supposed weaknesses. It also has decent armor damage on headshots even with light attacks, making it very prominent on Mercenary.
Once a meme, in an attempt to equalize the power struggle versus prevalence of armor on higher difficulties, armor sliding was added along with crit chance on heavy attacks, making it versatile against mixed hordes as well.
This change will rattle bones and spew forth salt, but I think it’s worthwhile to ponder on in order to tone it’s versatility and return it to being a specialist weapon that will require you to rely on allies more.
- Reinstate the previous Attack Speed.
- Remove armor sliding from L1 and L2.
- Add armor sliding to L3 and Push Attack.
- Make Push Attack chain into L3.
- Increase Monster damage.
This will bring it back to a strong, single target annihilator while retaining it’s strength versus pure horde and still giving options against mixed, will solidify Greatsword as the proper all-rounder and add a thematic specialization against executing monsters.
In a game about teamplay and staying together, selfish one-handed weapons with no options against armor will never be relevant regardless of how many dodge length and active dodges you give them.
It’s current niche that’s being reinforced is the ability to deal with pure horde, those basic rats or zombies that come out for you after a horn every couple of minutes. While ambushes and pure horde were THP farming memes before, they pose feasible threat now, yet they don’t warrant a whole weapon to specialize around them.
When you pick Kruber’s 1H Mace or Bardin’s 1H Hammer, you know that you have options against armor and cleave with stagger against hordes. When you pick Bardin’s 1H Axe, you know that you will struggle with hordes, but have armor damage and can remedy hordes with a Drakegun. It’s incomparably better to have low horde damage, but high stagger and cleave, while retaining anti-armor, than having pure horde and no anti-armor.
The 1H alternatives to 2H weapons are also appealing for tanks that don’t chase damage overall and value their mobility and comparable defensive stats, only then you start to think about extra dodge and stamina, since you trade them for lesser, but present options in terms of versatile damage.
- Give Push-Attack an armor piercing profile.
- Make Push-Attack chain into L3.
I don’t see 1H sword ever becoming relevant, but if you want to take steps in those directions, you need to give it real anti-armor options. As much as you wanted your game to have horde/armor specializations, that’s not the reality of the situation.
I dislike this change mainly because it’s not a nerf or a buff, but a change that makes the weapon feel worse and changes the utility of the Push-Attack.
The animation itself is not a horizontal strike, more of a downward/diagonal slam, it doesn’t cover a lot of ground and doesn’t guarantee a heavy attack in any meaningful way. And it honestly just feels weird.
Halberd and 2H Hammer share the same Push strength, higher than other weapons, so on Footknight it was feasible to play around it and get enough stagger power on Push to break Stormvermin overheads and occasionaly do a small stagger on other armor. In this case a Push attack was a useful tool for fishing out singular Elites within a mixed horde to dispatch while stunning lighter foes with the Push itself, or following up with it after a second Push on a Shield Stormvermin to do a quick 1-2 with a light attack.
All in all, I don’t like the change of utility on the Push attack. Footknight has a whole talent in Crowd Clearer to remedy what this change tries to do, and I don’t think it’s the way.
- Revert the Push attack.
- Make a small, but direct buff in terms of attack speed, push strength, push arc, etc.
2H Hammer has it’s niche, it might be a bit underwhelming on other careers or, conversely, be too strong on Slayer, but that’s not a 2H Hammer problem inherently. It also might be a personal preference, but I liked the single-target profile of the Push attack.
I don’t have anything particular to say about the Greatsword, I think it’s in an acceptable place for now and small, quality of life and differential (light vs heavy attacks) changes are welcome.
Mace & Sword
I didn’t test it extensively, and I can’t open Armory to compare the stats (thanks Grail Knight, very cool), but if the aim of the change is to make each weapon more pronounced while keeping overall DPS and utility, it is welcome, since from my prior experience lights didn’t feel particularly different and were just a seamless single combo.
I’ve seen a thread that implied Mace & Sword could be a bit overtuned, so I’ll definetely try to give it a more in-depth go, but other than that anything that makes using a weapon a bit more thought provoking is welcome.
Until recently I haven’t used the Halberd that much, but as it shares the Push strength with 2H Hammer, I’ve found my own spins on it and enjoyed it very much.
I view this as mostly a quality of life change. If previously if you had to think more about how you chain your attacks, now it’s more streamlined than ever before, yet it’s done in a way that’s intuitive, gives you more control over your range and just feels good to poke things from afar, letting you get close and personal when you need to.
All of this while retaining it’s most vital combos, providing some new ones and still allowing you to cancel L1, while giving you the option to chain it instead.
The most creative and interesting change in all of the Beta hands down.
To be honest spears are not my thing and I didn’t jump on the Tuskgor bandwagon during it’s prime, so for the longest time I didn’t know it had a Shield stagger (on Push, Push attack or both/either, still not sure) plus enhanced defence.
From what I’ve read it’s main selling points were exactly it’s defensive properties. I think toning them down is the right way to go, since the weapon itself is long range, and give people time to accustom themselves to it.
1H Mace/Mace & Shield
I see what you’re doing and it’s the right idea, but it shares the same fundamental problems as the 1H Sword.
Let me preface that whenever I use a shield (S&S mainly), I put a little bit of attack speed on it and it lets me comfortably crowd control by canceling the bash into itself without investing any stamina. Then I proceed as required - anti-horde or anti-armor combos.
Point one: shields were very underwhelming due to the overall state of the game and were slowly, but surely brought up from the ashes. If I remember corretly Sword & Shield didn’t have the moveset if has today before, you couldn’t chain L1 into H3, you couldn’t chain l2 into H2 (both chain onto themselves). The H2 was also buffed and is accessible from the aforemention combo or after a Push Attack.
The availability of Shield Bash and it’s changes during the previous Beta gave you all the control you could possibly want, redesigned combos have you strong options both against armor and a horde. Long story short: shields for Kruber were more or less fixed, but all the proper fixes and changes that the shields needed manifested only in S&S. Bardin didn’t have this problem, since his Shield & Hammer/Axe fulfilled their niche, while a S&S, much like 1H Sword, didn’t bring anything major to the table.
Point two: by extension, Mace & Shield is now just a re… slower cousin of Sword & Shield. While making the Shield Bash availible as H1 does make it more viable, it does lose it’s identity. The problem isn’t that Mace & Shield’s identity was good and unique, it didn’t have any real identity to begin with, and will continue to be that S&S cousin if you go down this path. The main reason for that is the same principle as 1H Sword. Pure horde upon horde, pure crowd control upon crowd control, very few options and low armor damage.
I don’t know how it will fare with Shield & Hammer, since Bardin’s alternative is a proper anti-armor weapon, while Kruber’s is a 1H sword. Thus, if you decide to go down this path, much like S&S and S&A are different, S&H and S&M will be different, resulting in 4 properly different pairings.
What S&M needs is it’s own identity, and one way to do it, in my opinion, to make it a more specialized anti-armor weapon with less horde damage, a lot less versatility than S&S while reverting the H1 Shield Bash. Thematically, I never understood while blunt shield weapon are so bad against armor, and even S&S stab does twice as much as a Push-Bash. 1H Mace ties into it with it’s own spin.
- Revert H1 to a sweep, H2 to a Bash.
- Switch 1H Mace and Mace & Shield light movesets.
- Give a proper armor-damage profile, or share the July 17’s buff between Push Attack, L3 and L4.
- Make Push Attack chain into L3 (same as now, but the 1H Mace L3).
What this does is give 1H Mace a proper horde moveset, without the clunky single target attacks and uppercut, removing the need to cancel after L2 or doing a Push Attack, and keeping it’s anti-armor, single target damage on heavies where it belongs.
Conversely, it gives Mace & Shield essentially the same July 17 toolset, but visually it’s more fitting, as it will look like and overhead -> uppercut -> overhead, and Mace & Shield would welcome concentrated single-target damage, while it’s unfitting on 1H Mace lights. It makes L4 fulfill the same role as L3, giving an extra anti-armor attack before resetting.
All this while retaining the basic L1 - L2 - H2 anti-horde combo and giving you an ability to access Shield Bash after L1. The single-target armor damage needs to surpass S&S stab, but in return Shield Bash returns to H2.
TLDR: this is a very roundabout way of making L4 also pierce armor and increasing armor damage on those attacks. But, in my opinion, it’s very fitting at the background of changing 1H Mace and S&M movesets, giving 1H Mace a proper light moveset as a bonus.
Talents. July 14/17th
I don’t know how much of this thread influences the changes, but I see a couple of ideas floating around here implemented, so I am glad you’re giving various ideas a chance.
I personally like most of what you’ve done, so I’ll leave things out that I don’t find particularly troublesome and focus on what remains.
- Crowd Clearer.
Still a litttle redundant in my opinion, but if your stats say otherwise I can see it. Usually, if I need attack speed, I run Bull of Ostland, but with stronger off-tank alternatives in the last row this could see a lot of use, plus a smaller buff to Counter-Punch would directly synergize. On both of these down below.
Addendum: I see a lot of discussion on viability of Kruber as a pure tank, and while I’ve talked on this at length and have my own spin on it, it’s not a bad idea to reinstate 40% Stamina Regeneration on Strong Attacks in one way or another, or a flat Stamina Regen talent, and I wouldn’t mind it in place of Crowd Clearer. It could be put in some other slot as to not compete on row 2, or so it could be coupled with Stagger power, but a choice between Stagger strength and Stagger sustain could be acceptable.
- Auras, aka row 20
Once again, I dont know if the double aura was taken from here, but I want to reiterate the intention:
I wanted to put a double aura talent and buff auras in a fun way to make it a viable alternative. Whether it was good enough or not, and whether Crowd Clearer warranted removal, was highly debatable.
The way it was implemented into Rock of Reikland doesn’t solve the main aura problem: it’s negligible.
Let me reiterate: nobody thinks about Kruber’s aura when he’s in the game. You never think “If I stay close I’ll get 15/20% DR, or if I stay close I’ll be better at blocking by 20%”. If people have a BCR build, 20% can is significant in raising it to 80%, but it still does very okay at 60%. If people don’t run BCR, it’s negligible. To doubling the aura on a negligible Talent doesn’t solve the problem. When FK is in the game, he basically just “forces” his buffs onto allies by existing and nobody acknowledges them at the time.
That’s Bloody Teamwork:
As proposed and explained previously, a stacking DR buff of 30% on your whole team can be very significant now, you’re invited to actively participate and position together for a meaningful buff. I do believe people will need to play around it for a bit and get used to it to feel it’s impact, but I can see how doubling the aura as a separate, non-aurial Talent or a smaller, general buff to it’s radius could switch this from a situational, positional Talent to an overpowered effectively all-time buff. Depending on how situational it is and how people adjust to it, I could see it capped/changed to a 25% cap, but we’ll really need to test DR changes and the Talent itself, so no judgement yet.
So, as a result of That’s Bloody Teamwork, you have a separate Talent that’s at it’s most effective at all times, provides an offensive edge and instead of heavily benefitting the aura, focuses it on one ally, that’s the other way to solve the issue. Despite the DR stacking changes I can see it as a bit heavy haned, though. While in comparison to a theoretical 30% DR team-buff, 50% on a single target doesn’t seem that drastic, mind you it’s always at it’s full and provides a power buff, I could see it toned down to at least 40%, or a thematical 45% as a sum of three basic Protective Presence buffs.
Rock of the Reikland:
In comparison to the two other reworks this seems very pale, even if you can apply it further. The main problem lies in two sides of a medal.
- Nobody actively uses or acknowledges the aura.
Addendum: I’ve heard one person say they find the Talent useful, especially with bots. So, some people do acknowledge it, it would be rude to suggest otherwise. I personally still find it lacking and it’s a good reminder that the hot takes are mine alone.
- If you pick this Talent, you pick it for your own build and benefit, aura benefit is rudimentary.
This might be a bit much, but another rework is in order because of the third underlying problem:
- Two of the auras are defensive, just with different flavor.
It used to be the case that you could pick 20% BCR or extra 5% DR. Both are negligible, were mainly for your own benefit and fullfilled the same role: you are slightly better at getting pummeled.
With two new reworks, one being a strong single-target buff, the other a strong team buff, this is still making you slightly better at getting pummeled.
To make it more outlined, I propose a change that will give it a different supportive edge based on offense instead of defense, will fit the character’s design of strong presence and will also benefit from double range without breaking it:
Protective Presence range is doubled and it increases healing received by 20/25/30/XX%.
This will support your team’s offensive capability, help you rebuild or keep momentum after getting low, and the range will benefit people doing their job further away from you.
Granted, this will probably be weird with Zealot, but Zealot and THP in general is another basket of fruit. Depending on the numbers, it shouldn’t be allowed overlap with Merc too much or ultimates that grant THP, but could synergize with them.
Point being: there are ways to make it overpowered, perhaps it’s not the most elegant design, but something that benefits offensive actions of your team or buffs something other than being pummeled is an interesting space to explore to make the aura more attractive to be interacted with.
As alternatives are a bit more appealing now, I find it as less overbearing of a Talent in itself. While I can compromise that making it only proc on fallen allies is a bit too situational, I wouldn’t mind seeing a very small cooldown on it, or at least it not proccing on yourself. Buffing Counter-Punch in one way or another would also go a long way towards making the whole row relatively comparable.
I like that all utility is put into one row, all of them are interesting and you can pick what you’re most interested in, but, once again, in the same vein Counter-Punch is overshadowed.
It could be returned to it’s former glory, but, considering that if Rock of the Reikland is reworked, you can additionally/either place it’s previous buff onto Counter-Punch to reinforce it’s design and make Crowd Clearer more tempting to synergize with by extension.
Grants 20% Block Cost Reduction. Blocking an attack removes the Stamina cost of blocking for 1/2 seconds.
I FEEL like a Battering Ram, aka row 30.
The most controversial one, so a disclaimer is in order once again:
I trust the team’s judgement to incorporate feedback as they see fit based different sources and their own visions, hence I will not debate the validity of my claims. My claim is that the new Charge is overtuned and his base Charge should not be incorporated with any new passive buffs. If the base Charge is found lacking, it should be tweaked in cooldown and fixed in terms of it’s jank where it’s present. I would be glad to be proven wrong in the end.
I’ve put my thoughts in greater detail before, I’ll outline a proper row I can see as being an acceptable design choice based on current iterations and present or removed mechanics.
My main point is that the new Valiant Charge packs too many eggs in one basket, so my idea is to distribute the new and old buffs between rows to equalize Talents while also keeping them as strong modifiers of the base Valiant Charge.
Numb to Pain:
Valiant Charge grants invulnerability up to 3 seconds after the Charge and allows to pass through great foes.
The “Get in there” part of the battering ram. I’ve found 5 seconds Invulnerability to be overtuned on it’s previous iteration, but I’ve found 3 seconds to be meaningless. Much like Unchained’s damage dealt reduction on flaming enemies didn’t combo well with Searing Grasp due to the debuff fading, in much the same way a lot of Invulnerability is wasted due to control. While it is still situationally good against ranged specials and damage overtime, combining it with the ability to get into the thick of the fight and utilize invincibility to it’s fullest can give the edge it needs to stand on it’s own other than jank protection for when your Valiant Charge doesn’t proc properly.
Doubles the width and length of Valiant Charge’s impact. Enemies take +20% damage for 10 seconds.
Brings back the old Trample along with better control. Modifies the basic Valiant Charge to be bigger and better, for those who find the raw crowd control in it’s current iteration lacking. Still requires positioning and timing, but rewards it accordingly. While a lot of abilities like Mercenary’s and Witch Hunter’s shouts provide crowd control, it is significantly weaker, but it’s only seen on Chaos Warriors since otherwise trash units and specials are knocked down anyway. Giving a broader impact range while retaining the strength of the knockdown could make it more appealing along other crowd control.
Bull of Ostland:
It’s just a perfect little pill for us hybrid masochists.
Talents. Pre July 14-th. Legacy.
A pile of my questionable hot takes intended as personal feedback on all things Footknight. While my aim is to describe my experience directly to the team, feel free to chime in.
To be expanded and redacted as hot takes on weapons and talents accumulate.
In my opinion Footknight is a very well balanced career that struggles to find it’s niche. While performing adequately in a nutshell, other careers, weapons and abilities can overshadow what he brings to the table.
Without a major overhaul, the right nudge can bring him where he needs to be. My goal is to find that niche while staying true to his intended design.
While attempting to stay within bounds of existing talents and mechanics, I will take some broad sweeps on what I envision as a good Footknight design, take it with a grain of salt.
Before Winds of Magic, Footknight had an array of personal buffs, ranging from extra Health and bonus Stamina to uninterruptible attacks and extra Power.
Onslaught, Counter-Attack, Drillmaster and Glory Hound provided offensive, brawler perks.
Bulwark, Build Momentum, Battle Drill and Hold Ground provided defensive, tanky perks.
Bastion of the Reik, Regroup, Defensive Formation and A Life of Battle provided sustain and utility.
Obviously, this is exaggerated and generalized, but you had a range of choice between offense, defense and something inbetween, yet some, if not most of these talents were underwhelming.
After Winds of Magic Footknight received an overhaul which redefined him into a more definitive, yet still fluid role.
Back Off, Ugly!, Staggering Force, Bulwark, Rock of the Reikland/Defensive Formation, Counter-Punch and Numb to Pain promoted a viable defensive playstyle, encouraging shield use.
Bloody Unstoppable!, Have at Thee!/Crowd Clearer, Mainstay, Taal’s Champion, That’s Bloody Teamwork and Trample/Bull of Ostland! provided a more offensive edge with a nudge towards either horde or Elite clearing.
The career found a strong niche within a shield playstyle and had weaker, but still possble hybrid alternatives.
Current iteration (Big Balance Beta, work in progress):
- Encourages a strict playstyle.
- Complicated and overtuned.
Instead of buffing, you’ve overhauled Talents to varying effect, which scrambles and disorganizes the whole tree.
Have at Thee! - (Reworked)
Staggering an elite enemy grants Kruber and his allies 100% increased cooldown regeneration rate for 0.5 seconds.
Strips Footknight of one of the few offensive Talents.
Other Talents on this row define his playstyle and are too important to skip.
Taal’s Champion - (Reworked)
Kruber takes 50% of the damage the closest ally takes instead of them. This damage can be blocked. Effect dissipates if Kruber falls below 10% health. Removes passive aura.
Unneccesarily complicated passive you have little control over.
Protective Presence is not powerful enough to warrant aura removal with any meaningful buff.
It’s Hero Time - (Reworked)
Resets the cooldown of Charge when an ally is incapacitated.
Overtuned, procs on all incapacitations: special grabs and boss grabs, including yourself.
Oversimplifies the Valiant Charge to the point of making it’s cooldown and situational management irrelevant with it’s already short cooldown.
Trample - (Reworked)
Doubles the width of Kruber’s charge and allows him to charge through great foes.
Overtuned, making other sidegrades irrelevant, combining both the impact Stagger and mobility with added width, nullifying positional and situational management.
Fill a niche according to character design.
Allow several viable playstyles.
Footknight is designed as a durable frontliner, able enhance his crowd control and protective capabilities or personal survivability and offensive edge, mixing and matching as appropriate.
The following is a farfetched theorycrafted build of what I see as solving some of his current problems while maintaining his original core and not going out of bounds.
Considering the previous iterations, it is roughly divided into three playstyles:
- Challenger: an offensive edge, spin on a hybrid playstyle.
- Protector: shield and crowd control.
- Warden: powerful utility and buffs.
1 (THP). Back Off, Ugly! | Bloody Unstoppable! | Templar’s Rally
2 (Playstyle). Staggering Force | Have At Thee! | Vigilance
3 (Stagger). Bulwark | Mainstay | Enhanced Power
4 (Aura). Rock of the Reikland | That’s Bloody Teamwork | Don’t Die on Me
5 (Utility). Hero Time! | Counter-Punch | Taal’s Champion
6 (Ultimate). Numb to Pain | Trample | Bull of Ostland!
Have At Thee - (Reworked)
Staggering an Elite increases Power by 5%. Stacks up to 5 times.
A powerful offensive buff along Mercenary’s and Grail Knight’s, but is specific to Elites and requires build-up.
Synergizes with Valiant Charge, allowing you to get 5 stacks immideately if used appropriately.
Vigilance - (New, replaces Crowd Clearer)
Doubles radius of Protective Presence.
A Talent to make it viable and more interesting to play around your aura, comes with relevant aura Talents.
Bull of Ostland solves all of your attack speed problems in a more efficent manner and doesn’t take an important second row Talent. In tandem with aura Talents, I hope to make this a viable alternative.
That’s Bloody Teamwork - (Modified, replaces Defensive Formation)
Increases Damage Reduction from Protective Presence by 5% for each nearby ally.
An attempt to make Defensive Formation more interactive and change That’s Bloody Teamwork from a self buff which, unlike Bardin’s simillar Power increase, rarely comes into play if you stick together, apart from AoE damage.
Don’t Die on Me - (New, replaces Taal Champion’s previous slot)
Protective Presence prevents downed allies from dying.
An alternative interactive aura that can become really powerful with extra radius, but serves as a safety net for hybrid playstyles that cannot afford to directly charge in due to build limitations or simply an overwhelming situation.
Can buy enough time to deal with problems at hand or give an ally enough time to come for a revive.
Hero Time! - (Modified)
Resets cooldown on Charge when an ally is downed.
By making it specific to downed allies you can guarantee that you have a Charge in a pinch when you need it while preventing making it too spammy, also preventing weird laggy interactions where you stagger a special just as they grab you, proccing the animation and the Talent due to ping essentially for free.
Counter-Punch - (Restored)
Blocking an attack removes the Stamina cost of pushing for 2 seconds.
Taal’s Champion - (Modified, replaces That’s Bloody Teamwok’s previous slot)
Staggering an Elite enemy increases the cooldown generation rate of the party by 100% for 0.5 seconds.
This Talent fits more along the line of other personal utility buffs like Charge reset of Stamina cost removal.
Trample - (Modified)
Allows Kruber to charge through great foes.
The added mobility to get in to a downed ally or get out of a pinch is already worth it.
Modify the breakthrough stagger on Elites (as you charge through them) to be significant, but not as powerful as the impact.
There are enough damage amplification effects, barely any of which stack with each other, so sparing Footknight and loading him with some damage upfront with Have at Thee while not gimping his survivability with previous Taal’s Champion is a reasonable compromise.
Numb to Pain - (Modified)
Valiant Charge grants invulnerability for it’s duration and 3 seconds after it ends.
To keep Numb to Pain competetive with a strong Attack Speed buff and modified Trample a quality of life change is in order.