You can ignore this post if you’re not interested in another discussion about Riposte. If you believe I am spamming, please report me so I can learn the error of my ways.
I’ve made this post because I don’t feel I’ve ever adequately explained why Riposte should work like this (I think this post goes into thorough detail). It is my hope that Fatshark restores and enhances a very high skill talent that made the combat system even more exciting and dramatic.
The Problems with Riposte
The main problem with Riposte is that it is not realistic to be landing ripostes when fighting hordes, especially on Cata, and enemy health is not high enough on Legend and below to justify its usage. Even with the Rapier’s speed, the lack of stagger and safety makes it difficult to find windows to land a riposte. Weapons that have enough reach often struggle to land a riposte swiftly enough to avoid being hit by nearby enemies (especially adjacent elites) if they do not stagger them. As WHC has no unique sources of power, staggering multiple elites with a push is unrealistic, with SV being the only exception to this. This designates Riposte to being mostly a talent that you can show off with against ambient elites which is hardly relevant.
In addition to this, Riposte is atrocious vs CWs as their slow, high stamina drain attacks make chaining ripostes impractical and slow. Riposte cannot compete as a direct dps talent in its current form, and I do not think it should become a direct dps talent.
Riposte Before, and What it Could be
Riposte’s main use pre-crit/headshot flinch removal was for safety through timed crowd control vs elites. It let WHC get out of bad situations. An under high pressure/clutch talent. It cannot work as a dps talent as the basic premise of timed blocks does not synergise with teamplay, unless you gut the core concept and make it something like pushing grants a crit with a cooldown of 5 seconds, which would be terrible and boring. This means it needs to be a defensive talent that enables offense in dire situations.
The best part about Riposte pre-crit/headshot flinch removal was that it encouraged timed blocks and more in-depth interaction with enemies on a micro scale. Actually engaging with groups of enemies through a mechanical interaction with not just your own weapon, but with the enemies themselves through their attack animations instead of raw, constant stagger and sustained dps.
This video shows roughly what it could be like. Forgive the shaky camera.
I used the mod Team Damage Mutator to increase stagger power by 20%, letting the Rapier stagger SV out of their light attacks (not their overheads or pushes) with a critical push. Since Riposte makes pushes count as crits until you land the crit with a strike or the 2 second timer runs out, this means you can parry an attack, push attack safely and land a kill even in very high intensity situations like fighting 20 Stormvermin, but only if you parry and at the cost of raw dps because it sits on the same row as Deathknell and Flense. This makes it work very well defensively when kiting in the hands of a skilled player. The example is not perfect, as random critical pushes will still stagger the SV, and double pushing after parrying will result in sending the SV back instead of just flinching them again which is too much stagger as a reward, but it demonstrates how it could work or at very least the concept. This would not just benefit the Rapier, as Saltz’ other weapons do not stagger all elites out of their light attacks with critical pushes, which means they would still benefit from it. Ideally the flinch stagger would not move/push back elites at all (unless of course the weapon’s stagger strength was already that strong) and would simply keep the elites in place and lightly stagger them.
This effect is very beneficial to WHC, as it allows WHC to hold off a horde solo for some time (with enough skill) due to the flinch stagger. WHC cannot replicate this strength with other talents, and otherwise has very low stagger vs stagger resistant targets outside of Animosity (an ultimate on a 1:30 cooldown). This is incredibly powerful when kiting and/or fighting massed elites, not only enabling a swfit kill but also helping make elites come in waves, as the front rank is overtaken by the second rank while it is flinched, helping prevent massed running attacks from occurring all at the same time, as seen throughout the above video.
What made Riposte weak pre-crit/headshot flinch removal was that any random crit push would flinch elites, as well as headshots, and the fact that Riposte didn’t (and still doesn’t) come with Parry, making Riposte inherently dependent on a trait to function properly defensively and offensively when under high pressure, unlike the vast majority of talents. It could only truly function on the Rapier because of its strong block. Restoring flinching on the critical bodyshot will enable use of the Greatsword on WHC that is not reliant on high dps from Flense, as parrying an attack then pushing and following up with a heavy attack (the Greatsword’s heavy attack is an armour cleaving sweep) would be an effective form of crowd control.
My suggestion is thus:
- After parrying, any push made would flinch elites out of their normal attacks. It should not flinch them out of pushes, overheads, Chaos Warrior upswings/kicks. You would be able to flinch with pushes until the Riposte buff was used by hitting something, or the timer expired.
- The melee attack made that uses the buff (so the first strike that hits something) would also flinch the elites it hits.
- It should not flinch Packmasters out of their grabs, or Warpfire Throwers/Ratlings out of their ranged attacks (so these specials would only get staggered if the critical push/strike was enough to stagger them in the first place).
- Parry should be added to make it safer for Saltz’ other weapons and not dependent on a gear trait/properties to function.
- The timer should be extended to 3 seconds to enable more effective and consistent usage on Saltz’ slower weapons without attack speed stacking (it likely would still require some attack speed, but all of these changes would make it not inherently dependent on it).
It would look like this:
Parrying costs no stamina and causes your next melee attack within 3 seconds to be a critical hit. Pushes and melee attacks will flinch elites out of light attacks until either the critical is used or 3 seconds pass.
This is a simple description that should encompass the entire talent. Most know what a parry is, so I decided to omit the description of one as keeping it alongside the changes made the talent’s text longer than is standard for the majority of Fatshark’s talents.
Possible alternative descriptions:
- This one is more true to the original text:
Blocking just as an enemy attack is about to hit costs no stamina and causes your next melee attack within 3 seconds to be a guaranteed critical hit. Pushes will flinch elites out of light attacks until either the critical is used or 3 seconds pass.
- This one is updated with Fatshark’s usual where of describing parrying as seen in the Parry trait and in Graik Knight’s talent Virtue of Discipline:
Timed Blocks cost no stamina and causes your next melee attack within 3 seconds to be a critical hit. Pushes will flinch elites out of light attacks until either the critical is used or 3 seconds pass.
Parrying is not the hardest thing in the world, but this level of reward is proportionate to the level of risk and skill required, and because of the raw-dps not gained from using the other two talents. At 0:21 in the video I make a mistake by not keeping an eye on the mid rank of SV, and I am punished for it, so the talent would not make WHC invincible by any means.
To those that would say parrying is not a relevant concept because of ping – I disagree. It is relevant on reasonable ping and consistent provided the connection is not unusually unstable. Above 150 it may not be practical, but there are two other talents on that row. Not every talent should be designed with lag in mind, nor should lag be an argument to eliminate a unique talent that massively heightens the skill ceiling and lets a player take on many more enemies if they are skilled enough in an interactive way that involves timing and reading animations.
Plus, it’s also just cool to parry an enemy and watch several elites get flinched. It definitely wouldn’t be overpowered, but in the game’s current environment would stand out among other talents. What are everyone else’s thoughts?
Tl;dr: Riposte should let the crit pushes from the buff flinch elites out of light attacks. The time to use the crit should last for 3 seconds instead if 2, and it should have the parry trait effect.