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Discussing "unusual" skill forms


Mevelios

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Ahoï hoï, fellow blademasters!

 

So, behind that generic title, I was wondering what were your thoughts on various skill forms, for which I either don't get the principle or usefulness, either find lacking (maybe due to misuse on my end, hence this post: tell me of your experiences!). I mean those skills:

-Honed slash F2 (24s CD, breaks defense, upon that stun + defense disable for 8s).

-Flash step F2 (45s CD, monotarget, rear charge, range 8m).

-Block F1 (=blade strike, 1.5s CD, one-time deflect).

-Blitzblade scourge (removes soulblades, as the whole skill).

For all of them, I'm thinking of uses in both PvP & PvE.

 

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-Honed slash F2: first of all, obviously, it is a skill meant for PvP, that I don't mind since the two other forms can be used in PvE. However, the fact it has a 24s CD sure is legitimate considering it's quite punishing if it breaks any defense, but then (IMO) the CD makes you lose your main damaging skill, whether you succeed at breaking a defense or not. That fact leads me to using the standard honed slash (investing only 1 point for potential focus recovery), as I definitely feel unable to deal proper damages without it.

 

So, what are your thoughts on this? If it ever had to be changed, I'd see (pretty much as with lunar slash F2) this 24s CD working only on the defense breaking (+subordinate effects), and not to make it too powerful, while under cooldown the additional damages on targets under blade storm/CC would be unavailable as well.

 

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-Flash step F2: I don't get this one, I really don't understand its purpose. Its only meaning in PvE would be to avoid a frontal AoE, but in this case, we can easily make use of blindside & evade. In PvP, the rear charge allows a bit of messing with the opponent's view, but it won't make that huge a difference as (s)he should react within the consecutive use CD (may even allow predicting those consecutive uses, opponent could counter it by using a Q/E skill depending class). Not to say that we have the usual comparison: F2 damages are way lower than the first form, and that same way as the latter, you must use it consecutively (if you landed a crit) not to lose the additional cast... In addition, F2 has a 1s CD before next use (just the same way as you're stuck in the animation frame for F1), it enables reacting if needed but while testing it, I never felt it being necessary. Considering F1 moves quickly and far (7m AFAIK), there isn't much difference towards movement. Only little perk would be in PvP the autocrit on dazed/stunned opponents (and even at this point, considering the 1s CD, you'd have to make use of a 3s-long CC not to expect any retaliation), which doesn't strike me as a powerful improvement when F1 deals flat-out half more damages for a CD almost halved (anyways, since this part is about PvP, I'm a fan of bladeguard).

 

So once more, what do you think of this? IMO this is the form that most definitely needs revision. Various points bother me: first of them, the attack speed. F2 = 1s consecutive use CD, F1 = a-frame. F2 shouldn't have any consecutive use CD at all in my eyes. Second point, damages: flat-out 50% more for F1 compared to F2, when F1 is an AoE. F2 needs something distinctive to put it at least on par with F1 when focusing a boss/PvP target; damages could be another possibility, but most definitely not my favorite. Third point, the classic CD: almost the double of F1 when F2 already feels much weaker. Fourth (and minor) point that may seem stupid, the element: F2 is a monotarget skill, just the same way as the fire skills. Fifth and last point, we can't ignore honed slash T2F1 that reduces every crit flash step's CD; dragontongue should be able to do the same since flash step F2 suits the fire build's behavior.

 

In the end, this is how I'd see a rework of flash step F2: same damages as currently, fire element, targetted skill, same range (8m), CD down to 24s (maybe 30?), rear charge, auto-crit kept against dazed/stunned targets, same bonus damages on consecutive uses, no consecutive use CD.

And in addition, to remain coherent with honed slash T2F1, dragontongue's crits would reduce flash step's CD by 1s.

 

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Block F1 (blade strike): I love using this one on occasions, but I feel it... frustrating? ATM I find its current perks great when upgraded, and I can stand in PvP the fact that ranged opponents' attacks will still hit you when he got caught in your deflect, and his attacks (following the one that triggered your parry) will still hit you. However, something I hardly stand is the fact blade strike is an offensive defense, not a counter. Meaning, no matter what happens you'll land an attack; if your opponent happens to be using a counter at the same time, your deflect will be wasted and even become a punishment as it'll hit their counter. Same thing with opponents using an offensive-defense (think of those spinning!): they're immune to stuns during their spin, meaning the deflect won't stun them, however the attack from your blade strike will hit their deflect, stunning you. So I'd rather go with block F2 that'll block as well without risking hitting an unfortunate counter/off-defense, especially when some skills ignore deflects but not blocks. Only use I found great was against assassins in stealth when I could deduce their movements, but then again, you mustn't be casting together your blade strike (for the BM) and decoy (for sin): blade strike will end up hitting decoy, granting stealth to the assassin that may know blade strike goes under a 1.5s CD.

 

That part was for PvP; when it comes to PvE, I just find close to no use to blade strike, even while not tanking. Most bosses using 360° AoEs (don't get me started on the fact only melee classes are concerned with those) will hit multiple times; deflecting only one attack and going under a 1.5s CD is the same as enduring all of them, so you have to resort to a Q/E dance that leaves no room for even a 0.1s mistake. Then if we continue with tanking, well, since most "regular" attacks are unique you can take it and deflect them, but a simple cast of consecutive hits force you into using your Q/E, making it quickly annoying. But maybe that part is me lacking experience in tanking while running blade strike, I must admit that the comparison with F2's consistency made me fall for it easily.

 

Then again, what are your thoughts on this? If it had to be modified, first of all I'd make it a counter rather than an offensive-defense; and secondly I like the contradictory punishment-reward principle similar to bladeguard (waste your deflect and it goes under a CD, make it a success and enjoy the CD reset). So I'd love a blade strike going by that principle, I wouldn't even mind a higher CD on failures. It would make it more viable in PvE, and wouldn't make much of a change in PvP since a parry stuns (tab-escapes already pierce parries & blocks, so if blade strike were to be cast again in the hope of parrying it, that'd be a failure).

 

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-Blitzblade scourge: and finally, that one skill I consider, let's say it, useless. Definitely not worth monitoring your soulblades duration to cast it at the last moment: its unupgraded damages are no different from a zero-boost F3 flicker, and deals less damages than a T4F1 flicker (so both PvE builds don't need to even consider it, unless there REALLY is the need to dismiss soulblades for Z/X/C controls). Then if upgraded, AoE version is laughable (damages as low as the stunning F2 flicker), whereas monotarget version hits as much as the current T2F1 pierce.  Though the 4 focus generation could be interesting, it's still a skill point invested in something that (like blade call) can be used only once per minute, and you can get by without those 4 focus points.

 

In the end, IMO this skill feels as if it were thrown out just for the sake of having a soulblades dismissing skill for an extremely situational case you'd encounter not even once in a hundred fights. So I'd like to see it get a bit of love: IMO damages without upgrades (=T0) should be the same as pierce T2F1, T1 kept as is, T2F1 dealing as much damages as honed slash T0 (and no bonus damages against CCed/blade storm targets, though that could make room for interesting soulblades dismissals, still fear it'd be a bit powerful), and T2F2 still having the damages from T0/T1 for simply being turned into an AoE. Tell me your opinion on this! :)

 

 

 

I'll stop there then, finally realizing I've been typing down more stuff than I thought I would! Don't hesitate to leave ideas here, just try not to get out of the topic please! Thanks in advance! :)

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That honed slash is probably for times when you want to main something else as damage, maybe pierce? I don't really know, but pierce looks like the best choice besides other forms of honed slash.
I'm pretty sure Flash step works the same as flying sparrow - moves behind means it attacks from behind and ignores frontal defense - that means we can use it against other BMs and KFMs, maybe WL, too (lol). I've noticed that sometimes the enemy is not countering, but I get countered because ping, this may prevent that.
Block F1 is good for practicing timing mainly. Other than that, I see no other use but to have fun with it and mess with people. Also you don't get damaged by all hits you counter in that .5 sec period ("Parries multiple attacks").
Blitzblade scourge is useful when enemy runs from bladecall and you want him to get back here. It lets you use pull and 5 seconds before damage starts is enough to cast everything else. Also the extra focus is nice if we ever had points to spare.
I didn't really look much at what you want to change with them because changes won't happen.

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I would probably use Block F1 much more if the damage part was not counterable, because it's really stupid.

I've always felt like Honed Slash felt... underwhelming, not an ability but as the skillpoints you put in. Dragontonuge is very nice for me, but it will never work in PVP cause it works best with the other Flicker, which is for sustained damage, the type of damage you don't really have time to use. Blitzblade Scourge is in the same situation, never really useful or mandatory. On the same shelf of usefulness stand Raid T2F1, which... lowers cd and do nothing else. 

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Raid T2F1 actually helps me in PvE and i keep it on that. And I will definitely try dragontongue along with HM pierce - piercing pierce - when it comes out. Other than that, the points really do seem unnecessary for the skills you mentioned. Block F1 feels like it is made for practice. Even in PvP - it forces you not to sit behind your block like an idiot, and instead first think of your Q/E, and only block when you are sure you will catch your enemy - and do it at the right time. Bonus ducks for damage.

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10 hours ago, Stormpooper said:

I'm pretty sure Flash step works the same as flying sparrow - moves behind means it attacks from behind and ignores frontal defense

Well, sure; "rear charges" are simply skills making you move to the exact 180° opposite side of your opponent, taking as a base for rotation your original location. Meaning, any 360° defense (first kind that comes to mind are the deflecting spins) would still catch you. So for frontal defenses, I don't know their precise degrees cover (doesn't feel as 180° from using mine) but if your rear charge were to land within that range, if you weren't exactly in front of your target when you activated it, that defense will catch you... Which leaves me doubtful about the efficiency of that skill form. :/

10 hours ago, Stormpooper said:

Also you don't get damaged by all hits you counter in that .5 sec period ("Parries multiple attacks").

Can't help but have doubts on this when I'm using it, though I guess it's rather me having trouble observating that precise .5s frame.

10 hours ago, Stormpooper said:

I didn't really look much at what you want to change with them because changes won't happen.

Doesn't hurt still to debate on what could be interesting, I'm not expecting it (nor asking for it) to get any attention from the officials at this point, especially when we have various patches to catch up with. However, if next updates don't change anything in our skill set, it could be the beginning of a little something, at least for reflexion. The skill forms I've been listing here are (AFAIK) among the least used ones, being overshadowed by other forms that are way more efficient and/or polyvalent. So the few changes that I listed and that I'd find interesting for them have the purpose of making room for a choice in the eyes of the player, rather than dismissing them as either extremely situational, either useless! :)

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F2 Honed slash - this one basically means putting CD on your main spammable dps skill. Allowing to use T1 version while the T2 is on CD might by way to make this more viable. Or maybe some buff to pierce while the target is under the efect of T2F2 honed slash.

 

F2 Flash step - This one could be used as extra gap closer in PvP but the problem is the crit requirement which makes it unreliable.

 

F1 Block - I think this one is perfectly usable in PvE, the problem is that Winged protector (3 hits iframe for group + 10% heal) is just too strong to compete with.

In PvP if you want that 0.5s parry, the F2 is better because the F1 leaves you more open (0,5s parry with 1,5s CD vs. 0,5s parry + 2s block with 1s CD).

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