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MrNorris

Barbarian Carnage with stilettos is silly...

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There are a few aspects in the game that are a bit annoying when it comes to seeming inconsistent such as hatchets having a deflection bonus over swords, but I really do think that there needs to be a increased difference between tiny one handed weapons and large two handed weapons -- especially when it is tied to the Barbarian and the Carnage skill.

 

Carnage is meant to represent the Barbarians large sweeping attacks, which in this game seems most effective built with two tiny stilettos.  The developers really should make a change so that the carnage skill increases with the size of the weapon, or only applies to slash and crush weapons (which you could theoretically hit more than one person with).  Hitting multiple targets with a single knife stab for a barb is immersion breaking.  I would also like this change to be made to reduce the need for intelligence, as opposed to having to build the worlds smartest barbarian in order to max his damage.

 

The armor piercing difference between large and small weapons should also be increased significantly.  This should also apply to smaller bows.  The fact I down a plate clad paladins with a few hits from my stilettos is stupid... it should require a special talent in the rouge tree to make knives more effective -- and shouldn't be the most effective weapon for an area of attack barbarian.

 

My two cents.

Edited by MrNorris
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I think this is a case where overly focusing on realism would get in the way of balanced and fun. It would not be a good idea to restrict the Barbarian to two handed weapons and reduce the number of viable build options. I just visualize it as the Barbarian either making one powerful, sweeping blow or launching a flurry of rapid attacks.

 

I would also like to note that dual wielding as the Barbarian is not a clearly optimal choice. A pair of basic Stilettos will hit for an average of 11 damage and the resulting Carnage will deal 7.3 damage. A two-handed weapon will hit for an average of 17 damage and 11.2 from Carnage. Against an enemy with 5 DR it would take about 3 Stiletto Carnage hits to match one two-handed Carnage hit. In general dual wielding is better against low DR enemies and two-handed weaponry better high DR enemies (though things get weird against enemies with incredibly high DR).

 

As a melee DPS class Barbarians are in a tough spot as they have to balance damage output and survival. Two-handed reach weapons offer a convenient solution to this dilemma by allowing Barbarians to attack from behind the front line and stay alive while minimally armored. Reach weapon also make it far easier to avoid engagement, giving the Barbarian the freedom to reposition to wherever his carnage can be best utilized. Thus it is not surprising that one of the most popular Barbarian builds involves utilizing a certain Pike that can inflict prone on crits.

 

My guess is that a lot of your problems are a result of playing on a lower difficulty. I have long disagreed with PoE's design that only boosts enemy stats once you reach PoTD - easy/normal/hard differ only in the quantity of enemies. This results in a very uneven difficulty scale. Going from normal to hard is a bit more difficult; going from hard to PoTD is a massive jump. CRPG veterans playing PoE for the first time are in a particularly bad spot, as PoTD is likely too difficult while any other difficulty becomes increasingly trivial as competence and levels are gained. My hope is that when 2.0 comes out the enemy stats will scale up smoothly with difficulty.

Edited by HoopleDoople
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There are a few aspects in the game that are a bit annoying when it comes to seeming inconsistent

First. I get that what you mean is "inconsistent with reality," but you should try to be clear about that to start with. There's a difference between that (external consistency) and being consistent with itself and its own material (internal consistency).

 

Second. Look, you can't actually map the intricacies of the martial arts to a game system. In an action game like Mount and Blade you can sort of pretend to, but individualized combat does not break down to simple math. A system like PoE's might be able to simulate hilt infighting. It might be able to simulate the way armor can be built to perform best against firearms or blades or bludgeons but not all of them. It might be able to simulate the way disarmed fighters were trained to attack opponents with their helms. But it would become impossibly complex in so doing, and I could raise an infinite number of other ways it still wouldn't reflect the sophistication of real fighting and the real martial arts.

 

Systems like PoE's are not designed to provide a simulation of reality, but firstly to be fun, and secondly to provide verisimilitude - the feeling of reality derived from an approximation. Frankly, I doubt you'd like an accurate simulation much. Most of what people assume about historical European martial arts is wrong, so efforts at simulationism usually just end up not resembling reality in a slightly different way.

 

And while this doesn't necessarily preclude quibbling about details, if you get too hung up on why a mechanic absolutely has to represent this one thing, you can take a functional system and introduce needless complexity for the sake of ideas that don't make sense in the first place.

 

Carnage is meant to represent the Barbarians large sweeping attacks,

This is a game where wizards can send a guy flying back by smacking him with a book, monks can become literally combustible on impact, and fighters can shoot a grappling beam. Every character in PoE relies on the power of their soul, barbarians included. You can interpret Carnage as sweeping around, but I always assumed it was the barbarian hitting a guy so viciously that their rage formed into a literal shockwave, ripping at enemies' bodies and souls.

 

which in this game seems most effective built with two tiny stilettos.

Debatable. Some people stand by maces as superior, and I personally advocate estocs. Sabers are solid. Others will argue pikes, or greatswords (just for Tidefall). There's gotta be somebody who stands behind morning stars.

 

The armor piercing difference between large and small weapons should also be increased significantly.

(a) IRL, armor penetration is less a function of size and more a function of the type of armor and particular weapon employed.

 

(b) This would be less fun.

 

The fact I down a plate clad paladins with a few hits from my stilettos is stupid...

As per point (a) above, heavy, thick-bladed daggers are one of the most effective tools for armor penetration at extremely close range.

 

it should require a special talent in the rouge tree to make knives more effective -- and shouldn't be the most effective weapon for an area of attack barbarian.

Per point (b) above, I don't see why anyone should have to be a rogue to play a knife-swinging lunatic.

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If I'm typing in red, it means I'm being sarcastic. But not this time.

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Yeah, +1 to what gkathellar said. Besides, this is no more 'silly' than having a Wizard in your party that can command the fundamental forces of nature, but he can't open that locked door without the key. And what's the constant beef with intelligent barbarians? Hell, Conan, one of the inspirations of the Barbarian class in RPGs, was extremely intelligent. Just not particularly well educated.

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Couple issues : 

1.  As to tying down builds, I never said that the Barbarian shouldn't be able to carry knife weapons, just that differences between two handed weapons (reach and non-reach) as opposed to small weapons should be larger -- especially with the carnage effect.

1.  As to the game already having magic and that you can do damage hitting enemies with a Grimore; even though lore and games have magic does not mean they don't strive for a degree of consistency, especially for elements that are not meant to be magical.  The stilettos aspect is not suppose to be magical.

 

2.  Difficulty

I am playing on hard and POTD

 

3.   gkathellar : "As per point (a) above, heavy, thick-bladed daggers are one of the most effective tools for armor penetration at extremely close range."

Stilettos are not thick bladed short swords, nor is this historically accurate.  As per history, the response to plate was not a mass of short swords, but heavy crushing weapons and lances (estocs).  

 

None of these responses address why a smaller carnage range for small weapons would not be appropriate.  That a battle axe (apparently not a reach weapon) should not have wider reaching carnage than a stiletto.

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3.   gkathellar : "As per point (a) above, heavy, thick-bladed daggers are one of the most effective tools for armor penetration at extremely close range."

Stilettos are not thick bladed short swords, nor is this historically accurate.  As per history, the response to plate was not a mass of short swords, but heavy crushing weapons and lances (estocs).  

 

None of these responses address why a smaller carnage range for small weapons would not be appropriate.  That a battle axe (apparently not a reach weapon) should not have wider reaching carnage than a stiletto.

 

Heavy crushing and lances weapons weren't solution against plate armors. Maces, War hammers, axes, etc. were upgraded so that they got better in penetrating plate armors by adding spikes and other things in them. But these weapons were mainly used by people that wore also plate armors, because their lack of reach made them poor weapons for rank and file troops, which is why they mainly used spears, pikes, halberds and pollaxes as their main weapons and swords/daggers as side arms.

 

There is really no relation between weapon type bonuses in PoE and how those weapons work in real life. Weapon type bonuses are there for gameplay reason not because weapons try to be realistic.

 

Also barbarians' carnage is really planed to be soul powered ability that barbarian class only has access, which is why it isn't depended on which weapon barbarian uses. Although changes to PoE's lore have made this bit obscure thing, to give barbarian less magic powered feeling.

 

But really reason why carnage is same for all the weapons is to make sure that players option to choose weapons for their barbarians isn't restricted by disadvantages caused by game mechanics (of course some could say that current system still puts some weapons in disadvantageous position because of better carnage + weapon type bonus combination effects). Also carnage is same to all weapons because it is easier to implement single factor that determines size of carnage area than system with multiple factors that effect how large carnage area is. 

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1. As to tying down builds, I never said that the Barbarian shouldn't be able to carry knife weapons, just that differences between two handed weapons (reach and non-reach) as opposed to small weapons should be larger -- especially with the carnage effect.

You did say that, but you didn't say provide any good reason why that should be the case (the reason you provided was "simulationism," which is not a good reason.

 

1. As to the game already having magic and that you can do damage hitting enemies with a Grimore; even though lore and games have magic does not mean they don't strive for a degree of consistency, especially for elements that are not meant to be magical. The stilettos aspect is not suppose to be magical.

No, but what I said was that Carnage is magical. It is, and that's not surprising, considering that in PoE, All Power Is Soul Power.

 

2. Difficulty

I am playing on hard and POTD

O...kay? Did anyone suggest otherwise?

 

3. gkathellar : "As per point (a) above, heavy, thick-bladed daggers are one of the most effective tools for armor penetration at extremely close range."

Stilettos are not thick bladed short swords, nor is this historically accurate. As per history, the response to plate was not a mass of short swords, but heavy crushing weapons and lances (estocs).

Larger weapons with high penetrating force, such as the Lucerne hammer and warscythe, were one of many responses to the development of heavy plate. Most of these weapons simply attempted to modify older designs for the new era, resulting in a trend of exaggerated characteristics, like the specialization of the sword into the estoc and a general shift in pommel design toward what were effectively maces (if we go by training manuals, some knights even held their swords by the blade like baseball bats, swinging pommel first!). This is because to penetrate steel plate, increased weight is less important than the improved ability to focus weight on a single point. Hammers of the period demonstrate this design goal nicely, as they increasingly resembled ice picks, and sometimes incorporated an actual pick onto the reverse side of the head. Small, fast maces with heavy heads and good shape had similar advantages over their larger brethren in dealing with plate, as the damage they inflicted was concentrated in a smaller area.

 

Even so, many of these penetrating weapons were only effective at particular ranges, or against particular targets. The aforementioned Lucerne hammer, for instance, was very good at caving in helmets from a distance, but wasn't much use by the time an opponent was in sword range. And what use is an estoc when your opponent has pulled you from your horse, put you in a headlock, and decided that the pommel of his sword is your express ticket for the Concussion Train? It's very easy for combatants of similar skill to end up at wrestling distance, and heavy, thick-bladed daggers, designed for piercing and prying apart armor, were useful for inflicting harm at this kind of extremely close range.

 

Of course, as you say, those aren't stilettos. But honestly? Neither are the battlefield-capable "stilettos" in PoE. They're semi-generic six-inch stabbing blades with a name that differentiates them from the game's semi-generic knives - knives that are called "daggers" in spite of being single-edged.

 

And you know? That's fine. PoE cannot accurately simulate reality, nor is it trying to. What it can do is look and sound enough like Renaissance violence that players can relax, suspend their disbelief, and have fun. That's verisimilitude, yo.

 

Also: estocs are not lances. That's like saying that jian are the same thing as katana because they're both swords from Asia.

 

None of these responses address why a smaller carnage range for small weapons would not be appropriate.

Because it would make using smaller weapons a worse build choice for no mechanically compelling reason?

 

That a battle axe (apparently not a reach weapon) should not have wider reaching carnage than a stiletto.

Game balance, dawg.

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None of these responses address why a smaller carnage range for small weapons would not be appropriate.  That a battle axe (apparently not a reach weapon) should not have wider reaching carnage than a stiletto.

 

Because clearly they don't think realism in this case is worth sacrificing variety, which I agree with. All your suggestion would accomplish mechanically is making barbarians never use certain weapons. Radical thought: Just don't use the ones that offend you in your games and it's fixed.

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I have to agree with gkathellar.

 

At some point you have to acknowledge that this is not intended to be a historically accurate combat simulation of feudal Europe circa 900-1400AD.

 

This is a throwback/shout out to that time when we gathered around the dining room table and cut off the plastic wrap on that blue box with the 2 books and 5 funny shaped dice and 1 normal one (and all the versions since then.)

 

In any case where 'realism' is pitted against fun, fun is going to win.  Every time.

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"Walk away, before you get hurt." [benevolent] - Luma Akasha

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Yeah, stilettos are silly. My Orlan barbarian prefers kinky boots with platform soles.

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Everyone knows Science Fiction is really cool. You know what PoE really needs? Spaceships! There isn't any game that wouldn't be improved by a space combat minigame. Adding one to PoE would send sales skyrocketing, and ensure the game was remembered for all time!!!!!

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Yeah, stilettos are silly. My Orlan barbarian prefers kinky boots with platform soles.

 

Hey my barbarian is the king of stilettos!   Jimmy Choo's the name and carnage is his game!  o:)

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Not all those that wander are lost...

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Carnage is carnage. Nothing about 2h. He can be simply doing very fast cleaving attacks with smaller weapons. Like slitting couple of throats or arteries with a single swing.

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A direct relationship of weapon size to Carnage size (how is this measured? a Radius? a number of enemies?) would make all the sense in the world, balance wise.

 

And frankly, I agree with the idea that carnage should probably not apply to pierce weapons. At least not without an animation of your Barb flailing about punching and kicking people while he also stabs them.

 

The issue of DR penetration based on size of weapon ALSO makes a lot of sense too. I mean, in general, there isn't much variation on base weapon types in this game due to size, when there probably should be.

 

I like all of OP's ideas and would subscribe to his newsletter.

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Also: estocs are not lances. That's like saying that jian are the same thing as katana because they're both swords from Asia.

It's worse than that, even. At least with your example, one could argue that the katana is a direct, if distant, descendant of the jian.

 

The last common ancestor of the lance and the estoc is probably the stone knife.

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Heya,

 

It's not like you see a big animation for carnage anyways, like a big sweeping attack like its described. So what's it matter if it's a dagger or a poleax. You had to suspend your belief and imagine he did a big animated swing, since it's not happening in the game when carnage triggers.

 

Very best,

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One of PoE stated goals was to remove the weapon restrictions per class that were so prevalent in D&D and to open all weapon choices to be viable regardless of class - thus opening the possibility of playing whatever sort of character you wish including a barbarian using stilettos or a mage wielding a pike if that's what you wish - why would they want to subvert that goal now?

 

Choice is good - if you think stiletto for Barbarian is silly - then don't play one - don't ask the devs to enforce your preferences on everyone else.

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Nomadic Wayfarer of the Obsidian Order


 

Not all those that wander are lost...

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One of PoE stated goals was to remove the weapon restrictions per class that were so prevalent in D&D and to open all weapon choices to be viable regardless of class - thus opening the possibility of playing whatever sort of character you wish including a barbarian using stilettos or a mage wielding a pike if that's what you wish - why would they want to subvert that goal now?

 

Choice is good - if you think stiletto for Barbarian is silly - then don't play one - don't ask the devs to enforce your preferences on everyone else.

Weapon types in general, sure, but I think there's a balance argument to be made here on weapon size VERSUS speed and the carnage ability of Barbarians specifically.

 

Carnage potentially hits enemies in, I think, a radius outward from the Barb's selected target, yes?

 

Smaller weapons generally attack a lot faster than larger ones, yes?

 

With small stilettos wielded in each hand, and the same RANGE on carnage as compared to using a two-handed greatsword let's say, means carnage will constantly be ticking on as many enemies as a the greatsword at far faster a rate. Since Carnage only does piecemeal damage compared to a main attack no matter what the original damage really is, it's more beneficial for it to work to hit more often than it is to hit harder. And if small weapons ALREADY have a speed advantage - and they do - then having the same carnage range AND the speed advantage is just a bit too much, balance-wise, because you now have a build superior to all others. It's just a bit over-powered compered to the larger weapons, which will hit harder, but not wide enough for carnage to be advantageous, comparatively.

 

Good (meta)game design is a lot about managing player behavior, and a goof rule of thumb is to always assume that most players will take the path of least resistance on the road to maximizing their potential, mechanically. So if Stiletto Barbs are obviously dominant here, then everyone maximizing efficiency (which is usually a majority of players) is going to feel compelled to play stiletto-barb, regardless of whether or not they truly want to.

 

So basically, this hippy dippy "all weapons for everyone" philosophy is breaking in this instance for this particular class ability, and actually providing less perceived flexibility rather than more. It's an exception.

 

It would make sense - for game balance reasons AND just obvious common sense physics ones - to tie carnage range to weapon size. I mean, if I'm swinging around a big old Poleaxe, I think it should have more potential range than a tiny poke-knife, right?

 

This wouldn't even have to mean that you necessarily shrink the Carnage hit radius on small weapons all that much either. Rather, just go the opposite route, and raise the radius on the larger weapons. Then you get a system that makes sense, balances out well, and keeps the original "all weapons for everybody" philosophy in tact.

Edited by Zekram Bogg

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Good (meta)game design is a lot about managing player behavior, and a goof rule of thumb is to always assume that most players will take the path of least resistance on the road to maximizing their potential, mechanically. So if Stiletto Barbs are obviously dominant here, then everyone maximizing efficiency (which is usually a majority of players) is going to feel compelled to play stiletto-barb, regardless of whether or not they truly want to.

 

So basically, this hippy dippy "all weapons for everyone" philosophy is breaking in this instance for this particular class ability, and actually providing less perceived flexibility rather than more. It's an exception.

 

 

 

I feel like you don't really get it.  This isn't an MMO, it's not an FPS, it's not a tactical simulation, it's not The Witcher, etc.  I believe that the vast majority of people aren't playing this to "beat it", top the leaderboards, find the best race/class/talent tree/etc combo, snipe some guy in the head, or whatever.  Maybe I'm wrong.  It doesn't matter because even if they are, this isn't that kind of game.

 

This isn't that kind of game.

 

"Common sense" means all wizards studied in a white tower, all elves are archers from the forest, and there's no such thing as soul power.

 

This isn't that kind of game.

 

This is a computerized version of a table-top role-playing game.  Let me say that again: This is a computerized version of a table-top role playing game.

 

I'm not trying to be a pedantic jack-a**. Honestly, I'm not.  I trying to suggest the correct mind set to you.

 

No one is disagreeing that your ideas and assertions aren't correct in certain contexts.  What we're saying is that this isn't one of those contexts.

 

I could probably write a multi-page post explaining what the developers are trying to achieve, the target demographics, financial and marketing concerns, the historical development of the series and it's predecessors, the history of table top rpgs and subsequent evolution of crpgs, but neither I, you nor anyone else likely wants to read that.  I certainly would rather play my estoc wielding barbarian instead.

 

So, I'll just say this:  This isn't that kind of game.

Edited by Luma Akasha
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"Walk away, before you get hurt." [benevolent] - Luma Akasha

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Good (meta)game design is a lot about managing player behavior, and a goof rule of thumb is to always assume that most players will take the path of least resistance on the road to maximizing their potential, mechanically. So if Stiletto Barbs are obviously dominant here, then everyone maximizing efficiency (which is usually a majority of players) is going to feel compelled to play stiletto-barb, regardless of whether or not they truly want to.

 

So basically, this hippy dippy "all weapons for everyone" philosophy is breaking in this instance for this particular class ability, and actually providing less perceived flexibility rather than more. It's an exception.

 

 

 

I feel like you don't really get it.  This isn't an MMO, it's not an FPS, it's not a tactical simulation, it's not The Witcher, etc.  I believe that the vast majority of people aren't playing this to "beat it", top the leaderboards, find the best race/class/talent tree/etc combo, snipe some guy in the head, or whatever.  Maybe I'm wrong.  It doesn't matter because even if they are, this isn't that kind of game.

 

This isn't that kind of game.

 

"Common sense" means all wizards studied in a white tower, all elves are archers from the forest, and there's no such thing as soul power.

 

This isn't that kind of game.

 

This is a computerized version of a table-top role-playing game.  Let me say that again: This is a computerized version of a table-top role playing game.

 

I'm not trying to be a pedantic jack-a**. Honestly, I'm not.  I trying to suggest the correct mind set to you.

 

No one is disagreeing that your ideas and assertions aren't correct in certain contexts.  What we're saying is that this isn't one of those contexts.

 

I could probably write a multi-page post explaining what the developers are trying to achieve, the target demographics, financial and marketing concerns, the historical development of the series and it's predecessors, the history of table top rpgs and subsequent evolution of crpgs, but neither I, you nor anyone else likely wants to read that.  I certainly would rather play my estoc wielding barbarian instead.

 

So, I'll just say this:  This isn't that kind of game.

 

 

Look, I'm coming from tabletop too, so it's not like I don't get the "purpose" behind this game.

 

So let me put this another way: aside from money-making/marketing reasons, why do you think there are updates to table top rulesets?

 

It's because sometimes certain ideas don't work, whether for balance reasons, or for the current ruleset not promoting the intended style of play that the game's writer's wanted.

 

I get that there's a philosophy in PoE to allow total weapon use for all classes. That sure seems like something I've read from the devs online. Specifically Sawyer saying that (though I can't remember where I read it, to be fair).

 

What I'm talking about here isn't about altering this philosophy, but just balance, pure and simple. Stilettos have a DR ignoring ability along with a fast attack speed that makes them particularly effective for the Carnage ability; I can see why that might be a balance problem. That is if, and I agree that this is an if here, the devs would agree that this may be an oversight/balance issue. I'm not sure of it myself even because even though I have rolled a Barb, I didn't use stilettos with him (I might now though). If the devs don't think it's an issue, then fine, it isn't one. But saying "you just don't get it man" because you disagree that it's a balance concern is pretty presumptive.

 

If you think this is a game that doesn't want to stay balanced, then I'm afraid I'm not the one misunderstanding what type of game this is. Every decent game designer I've ever met, read, or listened to understands the importance of a balanced game, whether single player or multi-player. If this game didn't have a modicum of balance in mind, then every fighter should have unlimited knockdown attacks that have a 100% hit rate, friendly fire should be turned off, and you should be able to win any battle with your one magic spell "Greater Battle Winning".

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I don't see how you figure that dual stilettos are the de facto best way to use carnage. 

 

Carnage itself has a radius centered around the target based on your intellect and the damage is a percentage of your weapon's base damage. So a bigger hitting weapon  will cause a more damaging carnage. Carnage damage is affected by enemy DT so you need bigger hits to get through or else you are stuck at the 20% bleed through amount.

 

A two handed reach weapon, the pike or the quarterstaff allow you to safely engage from behind a strong defensive frontline. This would give the highest survivability for the barbarian plus give the largest base damage to be applied as carnage. A non reach two hander does not have any advantage beyond different enchantments or the estoc with its DT bypass.

 

Dual wielding would give you more carnage attacks but at a reduced amount. If enemy DT is an issue more, weaker attacks are not usually the solution. If enemy DT is minimal then going fast dual wielding would be the best.

 

I would think that going with soldier weapon focus would let you go two hand reach with pikes or dual wield war hammers for more carnage attacks plus ranged arquebus/arbalist, or peasant weapon focus for two hand reach quarterstaff and dual wield spears which also have +5 accuracy. If I was going for ruffian weapon focus for stillettos I'd rather use the sabre for the increased damage.

 

It all looks to be pretty well balanced, better to just role play and pick what fits your character concept.

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I prefer staff for barbarian, even if I'm standing on the front line. It allows the carnage AoE to be positioned far more effectively to hit more targets, and reach back row casters.


Everyone knows Science Fiction is really cool. You know what PoE really needs? Spaceships! There isn't any game that wouldn't be improved by a space combat minigame. Adding one to PoE would send sales skyrocketing, and ensure the game was remembered for all time!!!!!

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Im with the OP on this one.

 

Carnage should get a boost from using two handed. Two handed in general in this game could use some love.

Except the estoc is pretty decent, especially the special one you get from doing the bounty (the 8 damage pierce one).

Secondly the profiles of the two handed weapons should be buffed up a little. Increase the damage of two handed weapons. I dont like that scimitar basically gets to hit as hard as a great sword (check the damages of the weapons if you dont believe me).

 

Dual wield gets 20% faster attack so increase two handed spec damage from 15% to 20%. Secondly, it would be nice to have a great weapon that increases accuracy.

 

General comments about weapons:

 

The bonuses and damage for weapons could all be tweaked and switched around a bit. Why do they all need to have the same damage values? Why is dagger identical to rapier?

 

Imagine this:

Long sword: slash/pierce 10-14 +2 accuracy +3 deflection

Rapier: pierce 10-14 +2 accuracy 1 DR bypass

Dagger: pierce/slash 6-10 +5 accuracy 1 DR bypass

 

And so on.

 

Numbers just made up on the spot so might not be perfectly balanced but I think it would be cool if the weapons were all more different.

 

 

 

 

 

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