Well, we certainly had a lot of different discussion about this issue already. And realistically we know that nothing will be done in this BBB anway. Maybe, there will be some adjustment at the end of the year BBB, together with traits.
I’m not opposed to the current system. For the most part it works. But it can certainly be said that certain talents overperform like Smiter or Assassin while other talents do not have the effect has inititally planned like Mainstay. Reason for that is simple. The talents have been designed for WoM Beta 1 where enemies had far more health. The initial damage bonus was not worth much more since enemies survived the first hit. Mainstay had an effect since enemies lived long enough to reach stagger state 2. However, the health between Beta 1 and 2 has been decreased sharply with the talents never been adjusted for this.
The result is a bias towards Smiter and Assassin which simply overperform. This is one reason why earlier or later a toning down and rebalance has to be done. The second reason is that a certain streamlining for these talents makes sense. So that no disparity arises between different careers.
In the same stroke the talents can be reworked in such a way that each of them caters to a different playstyle. There isn’t that much change necessary in my opinion.
As such I suggest the following changes:
- The stagger default of + 20 % damage versus enemies in first stagger state and + 40 % damage versus enemies in the second stagger state will be removed completely unless said otherwise in the talent
- The first talent will be reworked and be called Finesse and be a combination of Smiter and Assassin with the following characteristics
- First enemy hit gets + 5 % more melee damage
- Headshots deal + 15 % more melee damage
- Bodyshots deal + 5 % more melee damage
- The second talent will be an upgraded version of Mainstay and be called Bulwark (irritating, isn’t it :P) with the following characteristics
- Unstaggered enemies receive + 0 % more melee damage
- Enemies in light stagger state receive + 30 % more melee damage
- Enemies in medium to heavy stagger state receive + 60 % more melee damage
- The third talent will stay as it is and be called Enhanced Power. As now, in contrast to the other talents it adds power both to range and melee and not just melee damage
What would be the result of these changes? You would get talents which enable you different specialization at the sacrifice of versatility in other areas:
- Finesse will be the talent for high single target damage and finesse weapons, additionally you can easily calculate breakpoints, basically you opt out of stagger but for a requirement in a slightly bit more skill
- Bulwark will be the brute force talent which first needs to stagger enemies first but works well on such stagger weapons and/or weapons with high cleave values, also it is less reliant on headshots to deal out damage
- Enhanced Power would be the talent for ranged careers or if you want to emphasize on the stagger aspect of melee weapons in exchange for the increased damage
Each talent would fit a different bill.
Some simple math notions:
- Headshotting an enemy with Finesse will net + 20 % more melee damage, equal to the current Smiter but with more skill needed
- If you do two headshots against an enemy with Finesse he will get +40 % more damage, while + 30 % more damage with Bulwark, so Finesse is in favour
- If you headshot subsequent enemies with Finesse twice they will get + 30 % damage, the same result you get with Bulwark if the second hit is in staggered state, so with the second hit the talents will have equal impact
- If you can’t headshot reliable Bulwark will be the safer bet
- If you bring a Shield user with you, you can get a reliable + 60 % more melee damage if you chose Bulwark, the shield user can either chose Bulwark himself or Enhanced Power to increase his stagger power
- Not 100 % decided on range, but currently I think similar to the current live version with Smiter, Finesse will apply automatically to all ranged attacks. This means that headshots get the same bonus as right now, however bodyshots do less damage than right now. So range needs some more skill to be effective as one or two bodyshot breakpoints will be lost (which is a good thing), Enhanced Power will help to get some breakpoints again and additionally increase ranged cleave for horde clearing ranged weapons
Overall, we get talents which are more in line in each other and are more or less as strong as right now, however with more specialization and some more finesse needed