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Recommendation for Equalizing Thundering Blade BD with Other Classes


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Hello. I'm a player who has been a Light BD for a very long time, and have been playing BD for many years. I am one of the most geared remaining Blade Dancers on NA. 
It's become more obvious lately that BD has fallen farther and farther behind in damage compared to other classes at endgame. 
This trend has also lead to an exodus from the class, both in KR and NA - most of the higher-tier Blade Dancers in NA have either quit or used a Class Change voucher, while BD is largely avoided entirely in KR. 

This is mainly due to the DPS differential between classes in addition to higher effort required compared to most classes for what is ultimately still significantly less DPS. 
I do not seek to reduce the effort required for light BD, as that is part of what gives it a unique class feel and is an appealing aspect of the class's identity. Instead, I would like to propose a couple of simple tweaks that would fix the damage issue while still maintaining the class's feel and experience. 

------Background------
Currently, there is a talent that we have called Turn The Tide which grants a stacking AP boost and other rotation-critical resources upon a parry with Bladeguard. It is also intended to boost our damage on Lightning Flash at low HP. The main issue is that in most content where offensive capabilities must be at peak performance, there are simply not enough blockable attacks spaced enough to stack and maintain this boost. Additionally, our base ratios and attack rotations simply don't deal enough damage at the moment to keep up with most other classes' current damage-dealing capabilities, especially ranged classes. The low HP aspect also does not work well. 

When we have the boosts from Turn The Tide fully activated and are frequently parrying, such as in Twisted Serpent's Den against the easier version of Shadow Fury Myung, the class takes on a much more dynamic feeling, with rotations smoothly flowing between multiple flash steps and fatal blades as attacks are deflected. In such moments, the developer's concept of a nimble class elegantly deflecting attacks and counterattacking for massive damage is brought to life and shines brightly. Unfortunately, that simply cannot be replicated in most endgame content. 


------Proposed Changes------
I'd like to make the feel from an optimal fight more available throughout content.

A lot of this is already present in-game with the current form of Thundering Blade, so my alterations will be bolded. 


Turn The Tide Talent:
Upon successful Bladeguard or Fatal Blade, grant the Overflow buff. Overflow grants +13% Attack Power for 12 seconds, stacking up to 3 times. 
Stack one Bladepoint and one Shinespark on Successful Parry with Bladeguard. 
At 3 stacks of Overflow, gain a 50% chance to grant an additional Bladepoint upon a successful Fatal Blade hit. 
Remove the additional damage to Lightning Flash against a low HP target. 


Thunderstruck Talent:
Increase base ratio of Lightning Flash from 9.00x AP to 15.00x AP
Increase base ratio of Awakened Lightning Flash from 16.00x AP to 23.00x AP

Increase Fatal Blade casting speed and grant one Shinespark on successful Fatal Blade hit

------Why these changes?------
When Turn the Tide is fully active, our damage begins to approach those of other classes and the persistent influx of Bladepoints creates a much more efficient and smooth rotation. The changes to this allow us to stack the buffs from the talent even when blockable attacks are not frequent enough or timed well for upkeep through Bladeguard. Adding the additional Bladepoint opportunity allows us to more frequently access the alternate feel of the class when Bladeguards are successful. This is a chance to activate rather than a guarantee because there should still be incentive to Bladeguard as well, in addition to it being the main method for proccing Insignia such as Timestitcher: Parry, Breakmancer: Parry, and Sentinel: Parry. 

Since the Low HP component of Turn the Tide doesn't really work, let's remove that and give a lesser, but more consistently available version through another talent whose intent is also to focus more on fluidity of skill activation. We can turn to the Thunderstruck talent for this. 

Thunderstruck technically lowers the damage of Fatal Blade compared to the other two options in that talent row in exchange for boosting the cast speed of Fatal Blade. While Thunderbolts and Lightning yields notably more damage overall, it feels awkward and causes gameplay to have an uncomfortable pause while waiting on Fatal Blade to execute, and this also leads to more chances of being knocked out of Fatal Blade since the resist wears off before the attack executes. As a result, Thunderstruck is much more commonly used in NA due to its increased fluidity. 

While the Turn the Tide change gets us closer to other classes' potential right now, it isn't quite enough by itself. I mentioned earlier that the low HP component of Turn The Tide is fairly ineffective and so we would do better with a more consistent version. The proposed changes to Thunderstruck increase the base ratios of Lightning Flash to be more in-line with other classes' key attacks. While you may think 15x is high, let's compare that to the AP ratios of the key abilities of several other classes, leaning more towards other melee:

Phantom Assassin's Night Reaver: 43.80x
Madness Warden's Blade Frenzy: 10.50x
Madness Warden's Bloodstorm: 26.00x
Guardian Warden's Sword Salvo: 38.50x
Guardian Warden's Divine Strike: 95.00x 
Singing Blade Blade Master's Flash Step: 72.00x
Arsenal Gunslinger's Machina: 40.70x on first hit, more on successive hits
Shifting Blades Dual Blade's Drive Strike: 50.00x
Shifting Blades Dual Blade's Decimate after a Splinter Mode Drive Strike: 119.60x
Shifting Blades Dual Blade's Onslaught: 34.00x, doubling on repeated uses

Many of these attacks also deal significantly more damage on a broken target or also have other buffs associated with them. Light BD does not get any attack-specific bonuses against a broken target. The awakened lightning flash buff is similarly just increasing its output so that the 7.00x AP ratio gap between the current form and the proposed form remains the same. 

Finally, the shinespark change is to cover one of the weakpoints of Flash Step - it displaces the BD significantly such that either a second flash step or a gapclose must be used immediately to regain proper positioning. This change is to help increase the likelihood of being able to do a double flash step instead of having to wait for Thunder Slash or using Raid outside of a CC window. 

With this, you would be able to pull off more fun rotations even if you don't get a reset and Storm Cleave is on cooldown. One example:
V -> fcfrfrVfz -> W+C , spin camera, W+C -> xfcfV.

In English:
Fatal Blade (hit the 50% and gain two bladepoints + one shinespark) -> Lightning Flash -> Lightning Draw (Three Bladepoints) -> Lightning Flash/Flicker [x2] -> Fatal Blade -> Lightning Flash -> Flaming Scourge -> Flash Step -> Flash Step -> Thunder Slash -> Lightning Flash -> Lightning Draw -> Lightning Flash -> Fatal Blade. 

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