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Posted (edited)

gamefaqs is busted so failing a guide update i'll put some of my findings here.

Basically, I think it's safe to say that one-handed style is avoided by a bunch of players. I've called it a borderline trap build based on how much of a drop in DPS it is compared to dual-wielding or even 2h (which also is a drop from dual-wielding but makes up for it with extra PEN and/or reach). Basically it only existed in my mind as a setup that desperately wants crits on PotD (where even the much higher number of attacks from 2w might not make up for the fact that you have 0% chance to crit, if you rely on those crits), but there's not really that many builds that care *that* much about crits.

But one place where single-weapon style starts competing well with dual-weapon style is on characters that are already very fast.  Yes, Action Speed is Linear Returns. But if you have multiple dimensions that feed into damage and a fixed amount you can put into those dimension, you maximize your outcome by balancing those dimensions (the area of a square is larger than the area of a rectangle, if their perimeters are equal). So for very fast characters, you start doing better if you make each of those weapon attacks ''better'' instead of making yourself even faster by dual-wielding.

Keep in mind you have to be very fast or effectively very fast for the trade-off to make sense - you just get so much action speed for "free" by dual-wielding. It takes a lot for the single-weapon case to be noticable versus the consistent returns on increasing action speed. You need high dexterity (20+), with action bonuses ('''Deleterious Alacrity of Motion''', '''Frenzy''', '''Swift Strikes''', ''Cat Flurry', or consumables), with minimal armor encumbrance (at most comparable to light armor, even better if it's a piece of light armor with a recovery time bonus, cloth, or light armor with a pet or passive that reduces armor recovery penalty). On top of that, it helps to be a swashbuckler with a -50% recovery time bonus, or a monk that gets a bunch of free attacks from '''Swift Flurry''', or some other class that can abnormally boost your effective attack rate--even the barbarian's barbaric retaliation would help.  At that point, the fact that you aren't getting as many attacks as a dual-wielder is made up for the fact that your attacks are doing more damage overall and critting more often.

Aside from this, even with "conventionally" fast characters, single-weapon style is great for when you're expected to underpenetrate the enemy.  In such a situation, even a more normal single-weapon user can overperform a dual-wielder who has to flip on a weapon modal that grants +2 PEN for +50% recovery time penalty.  This is all because of the fact that crits get a 1.5x multiplier to your PEN, so getting more crits from both +12 accuracy and a hit->crit rate is a huge win over time, even if on any given individual hit it seems like the +2 PEN on a dual-wielder with a weapon modal would do better than a single-weapon attacker without a weapon modal.  For a martial character with spare weapon slots (like a Blackjacket or someone equipped with Fleshmender) it might even be more worth investing a point into single-weapon style and reserving one weapon slot for single-weapon-wielding, even if that's not your main focus, for precisely these PEN-related reasons.  This PEN effect also has the implication that if you like using weapons like daggers, flails, and hatchets, which don't have a +2 PEN modal, you may want to consider a partial single-weapon style setup over pure dual-wielding setup for precisely the underpenetration cases. (This is much more of an issue on Veteran/PotD than on lower difficulties)

 

I ended up making single-weapon style work pretty decently on a SC barbarian wearing basically cloth (actually, the changeling's mantel with the -10% recovery time bonus and Nalvi) and who would get a Quick buff from a chanter. Aside from the calculations, it definitely "felt" ok, too, and it was a huge difference between cloth/fast light armor and even medium armor - with normal medium armor it still "felt" bad compared to dual-wielding. (Though in the end, spamming Driving Roar is what really ended up mattering :) )

Edited by thelee
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I think if you have PEN issues you should switch to a 2h weapon instead.

 

I mostly use 1h style if I really want to use a particular 1h weapon by itself and/or want to proc special effects on critical hit, e.g. with Current's Rush. More so if I'm mostly using primary attacks anyways.

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I watched a guy soloing the giantt fire construct megaboss with a Monk wielding a single pistol on YouTube the other day. The idea was to generate max resonance and then release it as a massive damage output. I guess (not sure) that hitting was more important than damage in that fight (otherwise I have no idea why he used a single weapon).

I guess one-handed weapon can work with pistols/blunderbusses as it negates their inherent accuracy penalty. In the specific case of blunderbuss it might increase wepon DPS by achieving more crits per burst (higher accuracy - more crits) - but I haven't made the math to see whether damage is actually better than dialling firearms.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, NotDumbEnough said:

I think if you have PEN issues you should switch to a 2h weapon instead.

I mostly use 1h style if I really want to use a particular 1h weapon by itself and/or want to proc special effects on critical hit, e.g. with Current's Rush. More so if I'm mostly using primary attacks anyways.

that's partially true - i was focusing on the case where you want to use a specific weapon, in which case preferring 1h style is better than a modal. the story is definitely different if you just want to maximize dps.

i haven't run the numbers, but i do suspect there's also a case where when you are severely underpenetrating with 2h style (-2 PEN or lower) where it makes sense to use 1h style even over 2h style, thanks to how nasty those inversions start getting and how important crits become. though ideally at that point you have some other option than having to just eat the huge damage penalty at either -2 or hoping for crits at -3 and worse, though there are definitely cases where your options are limited (constructs, guardian of ukaizo with megaboss buffs). edit: estocs are super good for this case though, since like swords, you can get +2 PEN w/out any recovery penalty. too bad there's not a lot of selection for estocs in the game.

Edited by thelee
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3 hours ago, dgray62 said:

Thanks for sharing this, @thelee. I'm sorry to hear that you're unable to update your FAQ on Gamefaqs.

i was finally able to get someone at gamefaqs to fix a spam filtering bug on their end, so thankfully i was "only" locked out for a week

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Majorman said:

I watched a guy soloing the giantt fire construct megaboss with a Monk wielding a single pistol on YouTube the other day. The idea was to generate max resonance and then release it as a massive damage output. I guess (not sure) that hitting was more important than damage in that fight (otherwise I have no idea why he used a single weapon).

I guess one-handed weapon can work with pistols/blunderbusses as it negates their inherent accuracy penalty. In the specific case of blunderbuss it might increase wepon DPS by achieving more crits per burst (higher accuracy - more crits) - but I haven't made the math to see whether damage is actually better than dialling firearms.

ah yeah - the pistol modal + single weapon style is actually a special case of what i was talking about in OP. I mentioned it elsewhere long time back ago that pistol modal seems to be a really good case for single weapon style, because you can absolutely smash the results from dual-wielding style (even if you also apply pistol modal when dual-wielded). what i should have realized then is that what's special is the super high action speed (-50% recovery time bonus from modal), not the pistol per se, and you can replicate this success on other weapons if you have other ways to get a huge action speed boost. in fact, pistol is kind of hampered in this special case because firearms get a malus on their crits - so with weapons that don't have such a malus, you'll do even better.

with dorudugan, it's a sweet spot of both wanting to stack on those resonance stacks as fast as you can and needing to actually be able to get past his enormous defenses and at least graze. so that's a great use case for a fast 1h style.

Edited by thelee
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This is great information. I had related question: how bad is the  +20% action speed Malus on painted plate armor, if I use a streetfighters -50% action speed passive? If I add in two handed recovery skill? 

one path would be using a dagger for her (pukestabber or Marux amanth souldbound dagger). It would help overcome the pen issue. On a related note, is the plus action speed of 20 percent worth it over an incredible quality food such as hot razed skewers?

I am trying to build Mirke as a heavy armor melee streetfighter, but honestly I think it would be easier to just give her blunderbasses to proc her passive (Heating Up)

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i mean, patinated plate and the malus are all pretty bad. The streetfighter's recovery time bonus is very very good, but at some point it's just a cope, and not really excelling.

it's very important to be precise about what kind of malus and bonuses you're talking about, because they undergo different interactions with inversions and affect different parts of your action. The malus on patinated plate is a recovery time penalty, not action speed malus.

the ugly math - i'm converting all numbers to a single, unit-less measure.

maluses (the larger the worse)
patinated plate baseline heavy armor penalty +.55
patinated plate recovery penalty from "Bronze Juggernuat" + .20

bonuses (the larger the better)
streetfighter "heating up" +1.0 (inverted from -50% bonus)
dual-wielding baseline +.428 (inverted from -30% bonus)
dual-wielding style bonus +.176 (inverted from -15% bonus)
mirke's baseline dex +0 (only 10 dex, if the wiki is right)
"swift strikes" +.15

total maluses: .75
total bonuses: 1.755

subtract malus from bonus => 1.005
it's positive, so treat it like an action speed bonus, e.g. add one and divide it from the recovery to determine the final number

a 4s weapon recovery will become 1.995s (you'll see it as 2.0s in-game), and a 3s weapon recovery will become 1.496s (you'll see it as 1.5s in-game). so yes, you'll still be pretty fast (streetfighter's recovery time bonus can be thought of us "cancel out up to +100% in recovery time penalties"), but if you want to DPS you could be much much much faster by not bothering with patinated plate at all.

or related to the topic at-hand, you could try a single-handed mirke with swashbuckler and light armor. combined with the upgrade on swift strikes that lets you get bonus attacks on crits, you could pummel down enemies real fast, if you have a reliable way of triggering heating up.

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Thank you so much @thelee. This really makes sense. I think I’ll pass ok painted plate in that case; it simply too much of a slowdown, especially with the additional plus 20 percent; in reality, ranger attacks are what can reallly tear you up, not only melee.

 

 

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Thanks for the masterful post @thelee.

It should be noted that:

  • BPM makes 1H style better if one wants to roll with it
  • Sun & Moon is a good 1H melee weapon but only applies its +12ACC to the first head hit which makes me very sad

 

I've not been through with it but toyed with/theorycrafted the idea of a solo devoted/monk wielding Aldris Blade of Captain Crow 1H and back up Fists. Aldris has +Crit chance, healing on crit, and add'l damage on crit - really nice.

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12 hours ago, Not So Clever Hound said:

Thanks for the masterful post @thelee.

It should be noted that:

  • BPM makes 1H style better if one wants to roll with it
  • Sun & Moon is a good 1H melee weapon but only applies its +12ACC to the first head hit which makes me very sad

 

I've not been through with it but toyed with/theorycrafted the idea of a solo devoted/monk wielding Aldris Blade of Captain Crow 1H and back up Fists. Aldris has +Crit chance, healing on crit, and add'l damage on crit - really nice.

Scordeo's Edge has better synergy and can trigger Blade Cascade and flurries like crazy. Grave Calling is also a good choice because once you start freezing enemies they become flanked and you get another 25% hit to crit for even more crits.

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Besides (pistols in general and) the early game where single weapon usage is really good bc. of the +12 ACC - which is a huge bonus compared to the overall low ACC/defense numbers at that point of the game - I only used One-Handed Style "seriously" with a Monk/Berserker + Stalker's Patience and the "0 recovery on 20% of crits" enchantment. The combination of Swift Flurry/HBD, Blood Thirst and the enchantment made it a lot of fun and the high ACC (+29 from Enduring Dance + single weapon + spear) also made it very viable against high deflection enemies.

In most other cases it just feels lackluster. It may have its uses in edge cases - but that's not enough to make it an attractive alternative for most of players who aren't too fixated on the fine details. It not only lacks broad mechanical impact - it also lacks (a) feature(s) that would make it more attractive. Dual wielding and two handers will always have their fans just because of how "cool" they are.

Maybe instead of giving increased crit conversion it would have been interesting to focus on the fact that you have a free hand... which could be used for all sorts of stuff during a fight (grabbing the opponent's weapon shaft, throwing random stuff at opponents, grappling, making offending gestures... ;)). Don't know how that would affect combat mechanically though (in a not too complicated fashion)... 

 

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Posted (edited)

i think mostly 2w style is just too powerful. my pet theory remains that they had no idea what they were doing with inversions when they first came up with the numbers, and they just over-tuned the recovery time bonuses. if they had functioned just like action speed (and wasn't inverted into larger numbers), i can squint and see the parallels with other styles (the fact that both 2h style and 2w style talents involve the number 15, and that 2h weapons are generally 30% more damaging than slow 1h weapons) but even then action speed is more valuable than additive damage bonus, and there are plenty of intangibles to just being more responsive in combat and having an extra stat stick. as a result, i think 2w just crowds out alternatives very easily for the general "don't think about it too much" case, even 2h style and even sword and shield (just because of how much faster you kill enemies; plus, a dagger in the off hand with a modal offers pretty good defense for the hard early game, as does sometimes a hatchet).

in AD&D and 3e/3.5e, the cool factor was such that you would have tons of penalties for anyone not dual-wielding as a ranger, or with tons of feat taxes. but ppl would still do it because it's neat (and also the intangibles of having an extra stat stick and such). you don't need to push 2w style to get people to use it. (relatedly i have criticisms for some systems since then for giving players too many options to opt out of penalties for 2w style)

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7 hours ago, thelee said:

i think mostly 2w style is just too powerful. my pet theory remains that they had no idea what they were doing with inversions when they first came up with the numbers, and they just over-tuned the recovery time bonuses. if they had functioned just like action speed (and wasn't inverted into larger numbers), i can squint and see the parallels with other styles (the fact that both 2h style and 2w style talents involve the number 15, and that 2h weapons are generally 30% more damaging than slow 1h weapons) but even then action speed is more valuable than additive damage bonus, and there are plenty of intangibles to just being more responsive in combat and having an extra stat stick. as a result, i think 2w just crowds out alternatives very easily for the general "don't think about it too much" case, even 2h style and even sword and shield (just because of how much faster you kill enemies; plus, a dagger in the off hand with a modal offers pretty good defense for the hard early game, as does sometimes a hatchet).

in AD&D and 3e/3.5e, the cool factor was such that you would have tons of penalties for anyone not dual-wielding as a ranger, or with tons of feat taxes. but ppl would still do it because it's neat (and also the intangibles of having an extra stat stick and such). you don't need to push 2w style to get people to use it. (relatedly i have criticisms for some systems since then for giving players too many options to opt out of penalties for 2w style)

Also I would argue that unique one hander are a bit above two hander in PoE2. At least for melee. Although it is a very complex topic.

Sabres and Flails for example have tons of options. Mowdyr is maybe the most well rounded unique... Not to mention Fists and Spirishift claws.

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