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Let's talk about the Estoc...

Estoc Weapon Balance DR Reduction Two-Handed

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#1
Matt516

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So. I see that there are a few balance changes going into the latest patch. Awesome.

 

I'm a bit confused by the absence of the Estoc, though. It's the best 2H melee weapon in the game as far as damage goes - the only edge case in which it's not better is the case in which Piercing DR is more than 5 higher than Slashing (for the greatsword) or Slashing/Crushing (for the poleaxe). Or if the enemy has less than 5 DR, which, let's face it, is hardly ever going to happen.

 

Am I the only one surprised that this weapon got left off the balance list? Am I greatly overvaluing it?

 

I should note that the game is fantastic and this is really a nitpick. Not a huge deal - I just noticed that they were still making balance changes so I thought I'd ask if anyone else thinks our favorite piercing dynamo of a weapon is an obvious choice for a wee bit of nerfing. Maybe just tonight the DR reduction down to 4 or something. As is, I feel like an idiot if I give my 2H wielders anything but an Estoc.


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#2
Emptiness

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It's okay for a weapon to be good.  The estoc is good, but not overwhelmingly so.  The counterpoint to estoc goodness is their rarity, especially the rarity of magical ones, at least in my play so far.  I have only seen ones with fine/exceptional...no special magical effects.  This is in contrast two two-handed swords; I have seen a couple special ones, including one so good that my second playthrough will be with a character designed specifically to use it.

 

Edit: Even finding a non-magical estoc to buy is a chore.


Edited by Emptiness, 02 April 2015 - 04:26 PM.


#3
Matt516

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It's ok for a weapon to be good, but the different weapons in the same tier (fast, average, 2-handed) are all ostensibly balanced against one another. It's a bit odd to have one be such an outlier, especially with the emphasis in the game on making various builds viable.

 

That said, I'm happy to hear that they are fairly rare and that greatswords are more numerous - gives me hope that my 2-handed sword barbarian will have a fun time. Now I just need to figure out how/if Carnage scales with weapon damage.. :p


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#4
Jasta11

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I don't know, the range advantage of pikes and quarterstaff can be really useful, especially if you have more than 2 melee characters and even more on melee dps. Morningstar's interrupt is useful vs foes with crushing vulnerability and/or low concentration (such as Ogres). The Estoc is probably the best for everyday use, but other weapon categories are still very useful. I'm actually pretty impressed at the balance between weapon types.



#5
Voss

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It's okay for a weapon to be good.  The estoc is good, but not overwhelmingly so.  The counterpoint to estoc goodness is their rarity, especially the rarity of magical ones, at least in my play so far.  I have only seen ones with fine/exceptional...no special magical effects.  This is in contrast two two-handed swords; I have seen a couple special ones, including one so good that my second playthrough will be with a character designed specifically to use it.

 

Edit: Even finding a non-magical estoc to buy is a chore.

The game literally hands you one when you arrive at Cad Nua. A fine one, in fact.

 

And magical ones... there are a few. 

 

 

@Matt516-  I've said it before, but I'll say it again.  The emphasis on making various builds viable entirely failed.  It may have been a goal, but it is not something they even came close to achieving.  Many, if not most, character creation options are traps.


Edited by Voss, 02 April 2015 - 05:29 PM.

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#6
EmilAmundsen

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The Estoc is best because it is a weapon designed for maximum armor-penetration in a fiction where every monster is clad like in 40th millenia power-armour. I wish they would unbalance the weapons more. No weapons should be best for every situation, but DR-penetrating weapons should certainly be best against DR. Pre-patch the Arbalest is better at armour penetration than the firearms, which was a shame.


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#7
Matt516

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I've said it before, but I'll say it again.  The emphasis on making various builds viable entirely failed.  It may have been a goal, but it is not something they even came close to achieving.  Many, if not most, character creation options are traps.

 

I disagree. I think they did quite a good job. Not every single conceivable stat distribution is viable, and some are a bit more optimal than others (always gonna be true), but in general they've opened up a good deal of build flexibility. You can do what you want, as long as you adjust your playstyle accordingly with whatever your build is. Could they have done it better? Always. Did they do it? I think so. Especially compared to the D&D 2e ruleset the inspiration games were based on.


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#8
Matt516

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No weapons should be best for every situation, but DR-penetrating weapons should certainly be best against DR.

 

The problem with this is that most enemies are going to have at least 5 DR, thereby benefiting fully from the Estoc's ability. You get no more benefit from using the Estoc against someone in Plate than you do from using it against someone in Leather. Which is silly.

 

I'd prefer it if it was more along the lines of "penetrates 50% of DR or 5 DR, whichever is less". That way it's actually an anti-armor weapon and not an anti-everything-that-isn't-naked weapon.


Edited by Matt516, 02 April 2015 - 05:37 PM.

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#9
Grand_Commander13

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I wish they would unbalance the weapons more. No weapons should be best for every situation, but DR-penetrating weapons should certainly be best against DR.

 
I feel the complete opposite way. As much as I like the game I hate the damage type and DR systems. All it does is force me to gauge the enemy's DRs and switch to the weapon that does the highest DPS to it, which is just a chore. If weapons just had a few niches (probably high-interrupt [two-weapon], high defense [shield], high damage [two-handed]) and otherwise were just aesthetic choices I'd be much, much happier.
 
The other matter is how incredibly annoying flat DR is. I've tinkered with some RPG systems of my own in the past and found that, just like the video game Gothic demonstrates, that a system of flat DR is incredibly difficult to balance well. You touched on PoE's big problem earlier in your post: heavy armor is too common, which means the high damage-per-hit weapons are the clear choices (long live the Estoc/Poleaxe combo!). Of course if heavy armor was too rare then dual-wielding would be the obvious choice, but that wouldn't be so bad since the toughest fights tend to have more DR so who would kit themselves out based on how to handle the easy fights?
 
Armor should just be a simple increase to deflection. It's much simpler and doesn't bias the game towards one weapon type or another.

Edited by Grand_Commander13, 02 April 2015 - 05:52 PM.


#10
dirigible

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Just from a fundamental design standpoint, you're gonna want armor-piercing weapons to ignore a percent of enemy armor, not a flat amount of enemy armor.

 

With percent-based penetration, the weapon gets more and more effective the more armor the target has.

With flat penetration, the scaling of effectiveness tends to be very narrow. You run into issues like what Matt516 said, where an armor piercing weapon is equally good against light armor and heavy armor. When everything you hit has more armor than you're penetrating, your penetration might as well be extra damage.

 

If the Estoc dealt 6 less damage than its peers, but ignored 50% of enemy's armor value, then it would be increasingly effective against creatures with 12 or more armor, and decreasingly effective against creatures with 11 or less armor.


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#11
dirigible

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Armor should just be a simple increase to deflection. It's much simpler and doesn't bias the game towards one weapon type or another.

It would bias the game towards single-wielding a rapier or dagger, and HEAVILY PUNISH using a shield.


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#12
Rawrsong

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Armor should just be a simple increase to deflection. It's much simpler and doesn't bias the game towards one weapon type or another.

It would bias the game towards single-wielding a rapier or dagger, and HEAVILY PUNISH using a shield.

 

 

Agree'd shifting armor to increase deflection instead of DR would just shift the bias towards accurate weapons inplace of DR bypassing weapons.



#13
Grand_Commander13

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It would bias the game towards single-wielding a rapier or dagger, and HEAVILY PUNISH using a shield.

 

No, for two reasons: rapiers and daggers wouldn't have accuracy bonuses (remember, the intention of my suggestion is for there to be just three weapon choices), and having an empty second hand wouldn't give you an accuracy bonus either. Heck, the shield probably wouldn't have an accuracy penalty. Even if it did, putting a shield in your hand would be prioritizing defense anyway, so if it lowered accuracy or increased recovery time it wouldn't be the end of the world.

 

I'm open to there being some differences between the weapons, actually. I don't see much benefit (I mean, you can look at your character's accuracy and the deflection of your enemies and decide if an accuracy boost, a damage boost, or an increase to critical damage is more helpful and the entire point is to get rid of those fight-by-fight optimization problems), but if some cool differences could be found I'd be down.

 

I mean, "these enemies are all over me, I need my shield" being followed by "he's alone, time to try to stun lock him"? I think that's a good use of the quick slot. A bad use of the quick slot is "this guy is vulnerable to crush damage, but some guys in his group are strong against it".



#14
EmilAmundsen

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No weapons should be best for every situation, but DR-penetrating weapons should certainly be best against DR.

 

The problem with this is that most enemies are going to have at least 5 DR, thereby benefiting fully from the Estoc's ability. You get no more benefit from using the Estoc against someone in Plate than you do from using it against someone in Leather. Which is silly.

 

I'd prefer it if it was more along the lines of "penetrates 50% of DR or 5 DR, whichever is less". That way it's actually an anti-armor weapon and not an anti-everything-that-isn't-naked weapon.

 

 

Your first point is valid for a discussion about monster design, not weapon design. When I first started playing PoE I was a bit confounded to find that every monster had monsterous armor, thereby making every light weapon rather silly. It stands to reason that it should be silly to attack a dragon with toothpicks. We were perhaps expecting DnD, and in PoE stark naked bipedal bats carry more effective armor than a DnD dragon. It does serve to make monsters monsterous, but it also validates the point that character builds based on toothpicks will fare bad in this monster-killing game. Maybe the character-build screen should tell the player that they included small weapons due popular demand, but that they are not designed to act effectivly against monsters in this game. That would atleast be lightyears better than give in to the ppl who can't adjust, and simply must be a dagger-wielding giant-slayer.

 

Your second point is a discussion about weapon-mechanics in general. I personally think that train has left trans-central, but I also think the current mechanics for DR penetration is just fine. Making mechanics just to accomodate ppl who insist on using navel-lint as a weapon is anathema to me. It seems strange that they even offer the player the choise of building around small weapons in this game, and they should atleast warn about it (or maybe they don't realize how bad they are?), but the combat mechanics themselves far surpass for example DnD.


Edited by EmilAmundsen, 02 April 2015 - 06:36 PM.


#15
Starthief

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Armor should just be a simple increase to deflection. It's much simpler and doesn't bias the game towards one weapon type or another.

 

 

I actually like the fact that -- even if you ignore the recovery penalty -- armor is much more useful as a buffer for your front line fighters (who get hit frequently) than it is as insurance for your strikers (who shouldn't be getting hit frequently).  

I.e. if you take 100 damage as 10 hits of 10 damage each, DR does a lot more for you than if you take 100 damage as one hit of 100 damage.  


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#16
dirigible

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It would bias the game towards single-wielding a rapier or dagger, and HEAVILY PUNISH using a shield.

 

No, for two reasons: rapiers and daggers wouldn't have accuracy bonuses (remember, the intention of my suggestion is for there to be just three weapon choices), and having an empty second hand wouldn't give you an accuracy bonus either. Heck, the shield probably wouldn't have an accuracy penalty. Even if it did, putting a shield in your hand would be prioritizing defense anyway, so if it lowered accuracy or increased recovery time it wouldn't be the end of the world.

 

I'm open to there being some differences between the weapons, actually. I don't see much benefit (I mean, you can look at your character's accuracy and the deflection of your enemies and decide if an accuracy boost, a damage boost, or an increase to critical damage is more helpful and the entire point is to get rid of those fight-by-fight optimization problems), but if some cool differences could be found I'd be down.

 

I mean, "these enemies are all over me, I need my shield" being followed by "he's alone, time to try to stun lock him"? I think that's a good use of the quick slot. A bad use of the quick slot is "this guy is vulnerable to crush damage, but some guys in his group are strong against it".

 

That's the problem with proposing a single solution without explaining that you also mean to rewrite the stats for all weapons & change several other systems.

 

You say you don't like sizing up your opponents before the fight starts. I'm sorry, but the entire game is built around that. There is literally no reason to have different armor types (crushing, slashing, fire, corrosive, etc) unless you intend the player to try to optimize their damage against certain groups of enemies.

 

With your proposed system, you may as well scrap all DR types and resistances. Hell, get rid of Fortitude, Reflex, and Willpower, too, since those force magic users to consider which spells they should be using.


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#17
EmilAmundsen

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I wish they would unbalance the weapons more. No weapons should be best for every situation, but DR-penetrating weapons should certainly be best against DR.

 
I feel the complete opposite way. As much as I like the game I hate the damage type and DR systems. All it does is force me to gauge the enemy's DRs and switch to the weapon that does the highest DPS to it, which is just a chore. If weapons just had a few niches (probably high-interrupt [two-weapon], high defense [shield], high damage [two-handed]) and otherwise were just aesthetic choices I'd be much, much happier.
 
The other matter is how incredibly annoying flat DR is. I've tinkered with some RPG systems of my own in the past and found that, just like the video game Gothic demonstrates, that a system of flat DR is incredibly difficult to balance well. You touched on PoE's big problem earlier in your post: heavy armor is too common, which means the high damage-per-hit weapons are the clear choices (long live the Estoc/Poleaxe combo!). Of course if heavy armor was too rare then dual-wielding would be the obvious choice, but that wouldn't be so bad since the toughest fights tend to have more DR so who would kit themselves out based on how to handle the easy fights?
 
Armor should just be a simple increase to deflection. It's much simpler and doesn't bias the game towards one weapon type or another.

 

 

 

I do agree that flat DR is incredebly difficult to balance. In fact in real life they didn't manage to balance it at all. They raced towards heavier armor and weapons, leaving lighter ones in the past..until they found the weapon that penetrates all armor they could conceivably wear. After that they stopped wearing armor, as it was almost pointless or even worse than not wearing it. This gives the unbalance in PoE an extra immersive dimension.

 

I don't care about the "balance" of weapons  in the game because that concept is moot in a 'single-player. I don't like character creation traps, but I really detest the idea of killing the well-functioning single-player mechanics just because some people can't cope with their pre-conceptions being broken.


Edited by EmilAmundsen, 02 April 2015 - 07:02 PM.

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#18
Grand_Commander13

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With your proposed system, you may as well scrap all DR types and resistances.


Yeah, scrapping those was kind of the point. It's a horrendous system that adds nothing except busywork for the player. Yes, I'm smart enough to get Weapon Focus: Adventurer and to hover over the enemy's stat block before I fight, please quit making me prove that I have mastered weapon-switch technology. It's not as satisfying in the same way that, say, landing the perfect fireball or choosing who to Pain Block is.


Edited by Grand_Commander13, 02 April 2015 - 06:36 PM.

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#19
Epsilon Rose

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I wish they would unbalance the weapons more. No weapons should be best for every situation, but DR-penetrating weapons should certainly be best against DR.

 
I feel the complete opposite way. As much as I like the game I hate the damage type and DR systems. All it does is force me to gauge the enemy's DRs and switch to the weapon that does the highest DPS to it, which is just a chore. If weapons just had a few niches (probably high-interrupt [two-weapon], high defense [shield], high damage [two-handed]) and otherwise were just aesthetic choices I'd be much, much happier.
 
The other matter is how incredibly annoying flat DR is. I've tinkered with some RPG systems of my own in the past and found that, just like the video game Gothic demonstrates, that a system of flat DR is incredibly difficult to balance well. You touched on PoE's big problem earlier in your post: heavy armor is too common, which means the high damage-per-hit weapons are the clear choices (long live the Estoc/Poleaxe combo!). Of course if heavy armor was too rare then dual-wielding would be the obvious choice, but that wouldn't be so bad since the toughest fights tend to have more DR so who would kit themselves out based on how to handle the easy fights?
 
Armor should just be a simple increase to deflection. It's much simpler and doesn't bias the game towards one weapon type or another.

 

 

 

I do agree that flat DR is incredebly difficult to balance. In fact in real life they didn't manage to balance it at all. They raced towards heavier armor and weapons, leaving lighter ones in the past..until they found the weapon that penetrates all armor they could conceivably wear. After that they stopped wearing armor, as it was almost pointless or even worse than not wearing it. This gives the unbalance in PoE an extra immersive dimension.

 

I don't care about the "balance" or weapons  in the game because that concept is moot in a 'single-player. I don't like character creation traps, but I really detest the idea of killing the well-functioning single-player mechanics just because some people can't cope with their pre-conceptions being broken.

 

I can't believe I have to keep saying this, but that is not how balance works. You want a balanced game, believe me you do, because an unbalanced game is a broken game that will, at best, quickly grow stale. Go turn on the cheat console and do a run where you start at level 12 with 24s in all of your stats and you'll see what I mean. There is a difference between balanced and everything being the same or even on the same level. 


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#20
EmilAmundsen

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I wish they would unbalance the weapons more. No weapons should be best for every situation, but DR-penetrating weapons should certainly be best against DR.

 
I feel the complete opposite way. As much as I like the game I hate the damage type and DR systems. All it does is force me to gauge the enemy's DRs and switch to the weapon that does the highest DPS to it, which is just a chore. If weapons just had a few niches (probably high-interrupt [two-weapon], high defense [shield], high damage [two-handed]) and otherwise were just aesthetic choices I'd be much, much happier.
 
The other matter is how incredibly annoying flat DR is. I've tinkered with some RPG systems of my own in the past and found that, just like the video game Gothic demonstrates, that a system of flat DR is incredibly difficult to balance well. You touched on PoE's big problem earlier in your post: heavy armor is too common, which means the high damage-per-hit weapons are the clear choices (long live the Estoc/Poleaxe combo!). Of course if heavy armor was too rare then dual-wielding would be the obvious choice, but that wouldn't be so bad since the toughest fights tend to have more DR so who would kit themselves out based on how to handle the easy fights?
 
Armor should just be a simple increase to deflection. It's much simpler and doesn't bias the game towards one weapon type or another.

 

 

 

I do agree that flat DR is incredebly difficult to balance. In fact in real life they didn't manage to balance it at all. They raced towards heavier armor and weapons, leaving lighter ones in the past..until they found the weapon that penetrates all armor they could conceivably wear. After that they stopped wearing armor, as it was almost pointless or even worse than not wearing it. This gives the unbalance in PoE an extra immersive dimension.

 

I don't care about the "balance" or weapons  in the game because that concept is moot in a 'single-player. I don't like character creation traps, but I really detest the idea of killing the well-functioning single-player mechanics just because some people can't cope with their pre-conceptions being broken.

 

I can't believe I have to keep saying this, but that is not how balance works. You want a balanced game, believe me you do, because an unbalanced game is a broken game that will, at best, quickly grow stale. Go turn on the cheat console and do a run where you start at level 12 with 24s in all of your stats and you'll see what I mean. There is a difference between balanced and everything being the same or even on the same level. 

 

 

Sir, this thread starts with a complaint that one weapon is better than the others, and that it unbalances the game with the 5 extra points of damage it does against monsters who doesen't have extra protection against piercing attacks. I think it's safe to say you're missing the mark by a fair bit there.







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