Rebuilding the Swordmaster – Version 2.0

This is the english version of my blogpost over here.

All values, that are both, fat and italic are meant to adjust to the abilities level, i.e. to mastery level and level. All values are assumed to be for a rank 40 renown rank 0 character without any mastery points spend.
Obviously percentage-Values and range do not change by level, but by mastery only.

Racial tactics

  • Centuries of Training: Reduces the AP-costs of all abilities by 10%.
  • Swiftness of Asuryan: Increases Initiative by 80 und your chance to evade by 5 percentagepoints.
  • Endless Battle: Increases both morale and ap-regeneration by 5/second.

I’m aiming for increasing the usfulness of the racial tactics, since at the Moment, they are beyond a bad joke at the moment. Hopefully these above are a bit more useful and balanced with the carrier-tactics. I know, that other races do also need some of their tactics redone.

Core Tactics

  • Isha’s protection: Increases incoming healing by 20%.
  • Impeccable reactions: Every time you parry an attack, you will also parry the next attack within 3 seconds. This effect can not trigger itself.
  • Vaul’s Buffer: Every time you successfully avoid an attack, you get protected by an absorb of 350 for up to 10 seconds. This effect can’t refresh itself.
  • Guardian of Hoeth: As long as you have Guard active and are within range of your guarded target, both of you will take 5% less damage.
  • Champion of Hoeth: Every time you disrupt an attack, up to 3 enemies within 30 feet will take 300 spirit damage each.
  • Swift Step: increases basic speed by 15% and halfs the duration of all slowing effects.
  • Power of the Asur: Adds a 3 second knockdown to „The anvil’s weight“ and a 3 second silence to “whispering Winds”.
  • Magic weapons: Substitutes all physical damage dealt with spiritual damage.

All Tactics here are meant to helt mitigate weaknesses of a specific build.
Isha’s protection , Vaul’s Buffer and  Impeccable reactions are meant to help a swordmaster keep enough defence without having to reduce his chance to hit to much due to low strength.
Guardian of Hoeth, Power of the Asur and Swift Step are meant to make a swordmaster more interesting for a group. Hard to keep away from the guardee, reduced damage  for both of them and with some useful cc, should make him a useful addition to any group, where the damage dealers can’t take a punch.
Magc Weapons and Champion of Hoeth are meant to ease life for offensive Swordmasters, making Weaponskill entirely meaningless and allowing a high amount of hits per timeframe to trigger blade enchantments.

Core Abilities

Since most of the core abilities are chared among all tanks, there are no changes here. Only Sudden Shift get’s removed in favor of “Wall of Darting Steel”, making sure, that the mechanic can not be circumvented.

Career specific moral abilities

  • Elven Will – Moral 1:
    Each time the swordmaster is hit within the next 10 seconds, he regains 10 AP.
  • Blessing of Isha – Moral 2:
    Each enemy hit by you within the next 10 seconds will get a backslash of 30% of his damage or heal the swordmaster for 30% of his healing done. This effect does refresh itself.
  • Bladeshild – Moral 3:
    Absorbs up to 3600 for 10 seconds against you and deals back 600 damage each time attacked. Heals your group for 150 after 10 seconds for each attack absorbed.

Path of Khaine – core abilities

  • Bloody Thrust: You thrust for your enemy dealing 125 damage. Additionally the enemy will take 10 damage per half-second for 10 seconds. Normal balance, leads to improved Balance.
  • Blazing Blow: You interrupt your enemy dealing 200 damage. Improved balance, leads to perfect balance. 10 seconds cooldown.
  • Blurring shock: Deals 250 spirit damage and 200 additional spirit damage for each critical blow recieved. Perfect balance, leads to normal balance.
  • Arcane rigor: You bring Khaine’s Attention to your enemy, making him take 50 damage every half second. Additionally he will move at 70% speed only. Normal balance, leads to improved balance. 5 seconds cooldown.
  • Weaponmaster: You put your whole skill on the line, making the next attack within 5 seconds undefendable. 15 seconds cooldown.

In general I tried to find buffs and debuffs, that would not make the swordmaster on his own more dangerous, but would help him make his group more dangerous.
Next to a rather hard-ticking dot, there is an option to disrupt and the additional damage on critical hits, making the swordmaster more dangerous in assists and against casters.
A movement barb combined with the slow completes the “soft” cc a swordmaster could provide, making sure, that a target will need to think twice about running away.

Path of Khaine -Mastery

  • 3-Point-Tactic:
    Art of swift strikes: Increases the amount of hits by Ether dance by two, but reduces the damage dealt by 10%.
  • 5-Point-Ability:
    Draining blow: Deals 130 spirit damage over 10 seconds while stealing 20 AP each second, 10 seconds cooldown. Normal balance, leads to improved balance.
  • 7-Point-Tactic :
    Great weapon mastery: Increases your chance to parry by 5% and the damage you deal by 10% as long as you have a twohanded weapon equipped.
  • 9-Point-Ability :
    Ether dance : 3 second channel, 5 hits with 170 spirit damage each. Perfect Balance, leads to normal balance.
  • 11-Point-Tactic :
    Balanced accuracy: Increases your chance to critically hit by 5% in normal balance, 10% in improved balance and 20% in perfect balance.
  • 13-Point-Ability :
    Curse of Khaine: Every time the target uses an Ability within the next 10 seconds, it recieves a backslash of 10% of his damage dealt or heals the swordmaster for 10% of the healing done. 10 seconds cooldown. Perfect balance, leads to normal balance.
  • 15-Point-Moral 4:
    Khaine’s Wrath: The Swordmaster curses his Target, reducing all healing recieved to 15% for 10 seconds.

This Path was more or less working already, so the changes are rather small.
Next to a cheap way to regain some action points, I changed the abilities position acording to the percived “strength” of each of them.
Since there wasn’t any ability worth 13  points avaible yet, I added a minor curse, that can be quite hardhitting…imagine an aoe-choppa recieving 10% of all the damage he does.
The morale ability in itself is meant to neutralise the ususal tank M4 on a single target, bringing healing recieved down to the amount of damage recieved.

Path of Vaul – core abilities

  • Smith’s wrath: A blow dealing 300 spirit damage over 5 seconds and removes 50 Moral from the enemy hit. Produces double agression in PvE, normal balance, leads to improved balance.
  • The anvil’s weight : A blow dealing 530 spirit damage over 10 seconds while reducing the enemies damage by 15%. Improved balance, leads to perfect balance.
  • Breaking the balance: An attack dealing 7 blows over three seconds for 100 damage on a random enemy within 30 feet each and kicks him a medium distance(75 Feet) away. Improved balance, leads to perfect balance. 30 Seconds cooldown.
  • Vaul’s chains: An attack slowing a single enemy for 75% during the next 5 seconds while dealing 300 damage during this time, perfect balance. 30 seconds cooldown.
  • Eagles Flight: An attack, that increase the swordmaster’s chance to parry by 20%, reducing the value gradually over 10 seconds to zero. Deals 100 damage to the enemy, improved balance, leads to perfect balance. 5 Sekunden Cooldown.

The second, rather strong slow is obviously dangerous if applied. But the rather long cooldown and low duration should make sure, a single target doesn’t often have to suffer this effect.
Dragon’s Talon, or rather the related ability, became a bit easier to apply, mostly due to longer duration, so that swordmasters can finally reduce the damage of a group of targets on their own.
Breaking the Balance is a substitute to out aoe-kick, having a way higher possible effect, but being easier to avoid and having a longer cooldown. Having the distance scale with mastery makes sure, that offensive tanks are not as effective here.
Eagle’s Flight got both, an increase of power and a decrease, making it less useful for not-vaul-spec swordmasters but making it more useful overall by increasing the duration.

Path of Vaul – Mastery

  • 3-Point-Tactic:
    Master of defence: Increases parry-chance by 5% in normal balance, 10% in improved balance and 15% in perfect balance.
  • 5- Point-Ability:
    Vaul’s Protection: Increases both evasion an disrupt by 15%-points for 10 seconds, 10 seconds cooldown. improved balance, leads to perfect balance.
  • 7-Point-Tactic :
    Inhuman reflexes: Icreases  your chance to parry by 33%of your chance to evade and increases your chance to evade by 33% of your chance to parry.
  • 9-Point-Ability :
    Guided attack: Disarms your enemy for 2 seconds without being influenced by immunities or causing any, 100 spirit damage, improved Balance, leads to perfect balance, 20 seconds cooldown.
  • 11-Point-Tactic :
    Eternal servitude: Reduce damage taken by 5% in normal balance, 10% in improved balance and 20% in perfect balance.
  • 13-Point-Ability:
    Battle order: Reduces the chances for critical success for all enemies within 30 feet by  10% for 15 seconds, dealing 120 spirit damage, perfect balance.
  • 15-Point-Moral 4:
    Guided Spirit: Increases the chances to avoid damage for all groupmembers(except for the swordmaster) by 50% of the defensive chance he has.

I was aiming for some additional survivability at a rather low cost, that was suitable for both, twohanded swordmasters and those among us using sword and board.
The morale ability obviously scales with how defensive the swordmaster is specced, starting at a base 25% boost for Wall of darting steel.

Path of Hoeth – core abilities

  • Curse of Magery: A blow dealing 120 spirit damage and increasing casttimes by 33%. Normal balance, leads to improved balance.
  • Protection of hoeth: Absorbs up to 450 damage, normal balance and 10 seconds cooldown.
  • Wrath of Hoeth: An AoE, dealing 150 spirit damage and reducing the enemies spirit resistance by 250 for 20 seconds. Improved balance, leads to perfect balance.
  • Whispering wind: Attacks your enemy twice for 200 spirit damage per hit. Afterwards  the Winds of Magic favour you and your group, reducing the cooldowns of all abilities used within the next 10 seconds by 3 seconds. Perfect Balance, 20 seconds cooldown.
  • Wings of Heaven: You jump to an enemy within 75 feet, dealing 100 damage and slowing everyone withing 20 feet by 15%. Cooldown 30 seconds, normal balance, leads to improved balance.

The higher aim of these changes is giving the swordmaster a bit more baseline group support, a weaker version of whispering wind.
Additionally Wrath of Hoeth has a quite high chance of triggering blade enchantements,  and obviously increases the swordmasters damage output.
Both Protection of Hoeth and Curse of Magery are already ingame in versions with higher costs, that just were not justified in my opinion. Only adjusted both of them to be a bit more useful.

Path of Hoeth – Mastery

  • 3-Point-tactic:
    Blessed by Isha: Every time one of your blade enchantments triggers, you heal your group for 200 over 3 seconds and return 20AP at the end of the effect.
  • 5-Point-Ability:
    Blessing of Isha: The swordmaster heals his guardee for 1000 over 9 seconds, 30 seconds cooldown, normal balance.(4 Ticks at 250 Healing each)
  • 7-Point-Tactic:
    Hoeth’s Power: All abilities from the hoeth-mastery now hit two additional targets within 30 feet of the primary target, but deal only 85% of their basic healing or damage.
  • 9-Point-Ability:
    Mark of Grace: The swordmaster marks a groupmember(or himself) with the mark of grace, increasing incoming healing by 10% for 10 seconds. 30 seconds cooldown, perfect balance. Deals 1400 damage over 30 seconds against the offensive target.
  • 11-Point-Tactic:
    Master of collaboration: Every blade enchantement that buffs the swordmaster, will now also buff his group for 20% of it’s value. If the enchantment already buffs the whole group, the value just increases to 120% of it’s base value.
  • 13-Point-Ability:
    Blessing of Hoeth: Additional to guard-damage(and with the same mathematics behind it), the swordmaster takes 15% of all damage hitting his group within the next 5 seconds upon himself. 30 seconds cooldown, no balance.
  • 15-Point-Moral 4:
    Whim of Hoeth: You curse all enemies within 30 feet around your target, draining 30 AP/second over 10 seconds. Those drained AP will be returned to your group at 1/6 of the total amount drained for each member.

With the group-support path being the path doing the least of what he advertised, since everything was either to expensive or just way to weak for the costs(i.e. the healing-tactics).
I kept the idea to help healers, but upgraded it a bit, so that it would actually make some sense.
Secondly making sure, that the blade enchantments all got some use for the group was  accomplished by adding a single tactic, that shouldn’t hurt anyone to much who needs more support for his or her group.
The 13-Point-Ability is actually meant as a kind of “Oh shi**”-Button, similar to detaunt, but affection the whole group. While making the group more durable, this could very  well cost a non-defensive swordmaster his life.

Blade enchantments

  • Blade of Wrath – Path of Khaine: With a chance of 20% per hit, the swordmasters chance to critically hit will be increase by 10% for 10 seconds.
  • Heaven’s Blade – Path of Khaine: With a chance of 20% per hit, the swordmaster reduces the enemies resistances by 200 for 10 seconds.
  • Phantom’s Blade – Path of Vaul: With a chance of 20% per hit, the swordmaster gets protected by an absorb of 250 for up to 5 seconds.
  • lone Warrior’s Blade – Path of Vaul: With a chance of 20% per hit, the swordmaster reduces his enemies immunities by 3 seconds and increases his own by the same duration.
  • Silent blade – Path of Hoeth: With a chance of 20% per hit, a single ability on cooldown of every groupmember of the swordmaster reduces it’s left over cooldown by 3 seconds.
  • Nature’s Blade – Path of Hoeth: With a chance of 20% per hit you steal 75 random attributes random enemies within 20 feet range of your primary target.

Mostly adding another three enchantments was meant to give some adaptability to a swordmaster, to both different kinds of groups and more than one similar specced swordmaster in a group.
While still not as adaptable or reliable as a knights groupbuffs, these should see better use.

Edit:

  • 15.03.2012 Reduced damage of “Smith’s wrath” from 750 to 450
  • 15.03.2012 Reduced duration of knockdown, silence and disarm by 1 second each
  • 26.03.2012 Reduced all Dot by about 33%
  • 26.03.2012 Reduced the Dot of Bloody Thrust from 20/0.5 seconds to 10/0.5 seconds

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