Decided to make this its own thread, and my descriptions of the talents have been updated.
Cross-posted from the official forums, I thought some folks here might appreciate this.
For curiosity’s sake, I decided to run some tests on the new talents. I used Handmaiden and Shade, but with no power boosting talents (other than Enhanced Power for that column, obvs) or “vs” increases. Hit the unarmored target dummy. For “unboosted” I used Mainstay, and did each attack one at a time to get a “baseline” damage per attack, so that column doesn’t show the “natural” bonus of stagger. This was done at level 30, and I only tested three weapons to get a feel for it - the 1H Sword, the Glaive, and the Elven Axe.
For the other columns, I did three-attack combos in sequence, to see how the stagger bonus interacted with talents and the damage built. The clear winner overall was Mainstay, though it seems to lack the ability to one-shot the weakest enemies in one attack, at least without some boosting (though that shouldn’t be hard to achieve). I did not test Bulwark, because Kerillian doesn’t get it on any of her careers, and I’m an elf main, so of course I was gonna test her (and obviously I wanted to be able to compare for the same weapons). Percent Increase is how much total damage was increased over the unboosted damage, but that’s probably clear enough.
This is not intended to really prove anything, but I felt it was relevant to at least attempt to understand this system. I am certain a dataminer will get all this info out soon, but I was curious, so I went ahead and did it.
Short description of stagger: You have 3 stagger levels. 0, 1, and 2. And you by default get +20% dmg per stack for 0%, 20%, 40% bonus dmg.
For a convenient reminder of what each talent does:
- Mainstay: Enemies at 0 Stagger don’t take any extra damage, but staggering them to level 1 will mean they take 40% increased damage instead of 20%. Staggering them to level 2 means they take 60% bonus damage.
- Assassin: Assassin talent gets and increase of stagger value where headshot grants a 2 + half normal bonus. (used to be 1 + half normal bonus). This means that headshots are even more powerful and that they can now go above the max bonus, since a stager value of 0,1 and 2 would mean 40%, 50% and 60% damage bonus upon headshots.
- Enhanced Power: Increases total Power Level by 7%. This is calculated before other buffs are applied.
- Smiter: Smiter talents will now always have a min stagger value of 1 (adding 20% to the final damage for the single, first target hit). This means that for hitting an enemy with stagger value 0, 1 and 2 the damage bonus output will be 20%, 20% and 40%.
- Bulwark: While I didn’t test it in my limited testing, the patch notes say that you add an extra 10% dmg taken buff to all enemies staggered by you for 2 seconds on top of any stagger-damage bonuses.
r/Oxydo89 has pointed out that the official talent descriptions are not correct, so I’ve amended them to what the patch notes thread says they do. Thanks for this correction, honestly those patch notes were so incredibly dense that I glazed over and that’s why I originally just tried to test this to see what they do in practicality.
I gotta say; this IS convoluted as hell. :S My head is spinning from all this, and I feel like it’s not going to be a matter of trying to min-max this stuff to kill specific enemies faster, but to pick one that suits our general playstyle/preferences, or just sticking with one to avoid a headache.
This makes me wish that there was like . . . a way to view the hard numbers, but also a summation. ASSASSIN IS GOOD IF YOU LIKE TO STAB FACES, for example.