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AnalogKid
08-29-2007, 02:59 AM
This is written to stimulate discussion, not because I think I know everything about the game. I've only played the Demo so far, so things can change and also the experience at higher levels may be very different than I expect. I am generally a pretty good power gamer, though, and I'm very good at exploiting rules systems so I feel like this is a pretty decent "first impression". I'll edit this first post over time (with appropriate credit) based on other posts here. If nothing else, this will give the dev team one gamer's opinion of their Demo game balance.

Other classes are on their way (each written in a mostly positive way, I'm not trying to comment too much on the relative balance of each class).


Why Play a Warrior?
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- Good defense
- Widest selection of magic items (better chance to find something great that you can use)
- Easy to kick ass (very effective in almost all situations, few ways to build a poor warrior)

Why Not Play a Warrior?
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- No healing
- No ranged attack

Direct Comparisons:
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- Like a rogue, but better (more damage, more health, more defense)
- Like a melee Priest, but better (but no healing magic)
- Spellcasters (Mage/Priest) have ranged attacks, but must recharge to attack (mana or faith). Warriors can just keep hacking 'till they drop. Thanks to the teleport stone, it's not hard to go get healed, and everyone needs to use it (or food/potions) anyway (except Priests).

Key Skills:
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- No single "must have" skill. Lots of options can be effective, especially the passive skills.
- Passive skills are all active at the same time, so you get the full benefit of every skill point at all times. Compare this to spellcasters, where pretty much only one skill at a time is being used, and all the skill points spent in other spells are wasted at that particular instant. Other classes have passive skills too, but not as many that can all stack at once.
- Choose only one or a very few rage-fueled skills to maximize skill point usefulness.

Other Comments:
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- NPC warriors are great for raiding parties. Spellcasters run out of mana/faith and start swinging, which dramatically reduces their effectiveness. Warriors always kick ass, and are hard to hurt as well. If you outnumber your opponent so much that all your followers can't melee attack, you're going to win anyway so why complain about lack of ranged attack?
- NPC warriors regenerate over time (like all followers). This dramtically reduces their one real weakness.
- NPC warriors are prone to chasing monsters, thereby attracting a huge mob. Be careful. Better yet, play the warrior yourself and use a spellcasting follower if you want.

Skill-by-Skill Review:
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Offense Skills:
1 Power Strike (+20% dmg per point)
Good. Better rage skills available.

1 Gut (8Dmg/3sec + 5dmg/sec per point)
Good. It does good Damage over Time so it can "stack" with other rage skills. Cheap enough to buy. Damage isn't % of base attack, so will become out-dated at high levels.

2 Bash (-33% dmg, +5% atk, prevent skills/spells for 4.5sec, +10% dmg and +5% atk per point)
Only control skill (prevents target from using spells/skills), but only affects 1 target. Might be worth small investment just in case you encounter boss-mage.

4 Cleave (attack extra target, -25% dmg , +10% dmg per point)
Great. With investment, gain bonus damage to multiple targets. Considering cost & chance of being totally surrounded vs. chance of 2 enemies, probably the best rage skill.

4 Crushing Blow (+20% crushing blow per point)
Useless. Passive. Would take 30 skill points to get x2 chance of crushing blow. Just not worth it when there's so many better skills to take.

4 Bleed (+10% Deep Wounds per point)
Useless. Only a _chance_ of extra damage, and then only a little extra damage. Even though this is passive, Gut is night-and-day more useful.

6 Crush (+20% dmg & +10% crushing blow per point)
Useless. Spend skill points in Crushing blow instead, then use a different rage skill. (compare cost vs. Power Strike!)

6 Devastating Blow (+10% dmg, +2 dmg per rage, +10% dmg & +1 dmg per rage per point)
Average. Might be very cool if you can build up a lot of rage, but doesn't seem useful compared to other +%dmg rage skills (it's expensive and the dmg/rage is a fixed #, not a percentage so it won't scale as the Warrior grows in power). In any case, only useful against big enemies, which limits its value.

8 Whirlwind (attack 4 extra targets, -40% dmg, +7.5% dmg per point)
Poor. Expensive, starts with big dmg penalty, and assuming not normally surrounded, +% dmg/point isn't as much as with Cleave or Power Strike.



Focus Skills:
1 Taunt (+50 Hate per point)
Poor. Should be killing monsters to keep them off your follower, not wasting time attracting them to you.

1 Precision (+10% Attack per point)
Awesome. Passive % bonus to attack, and CHEAP. Can't beat it.

2 Focus-Armor (+5 % armor per point)
2 Focus-Damage (+4 % dmg per point)
2 Focus-Rage (+10% rage gain per point)
Great. Not quite the bang-for-buck as other passive skills, but eventually will be cheap in comparison and will stack with others. Also has some flexibility depending on situation or build.

3 Arms Mastery (+10 atk & +4% dmg per point)
Great. Bonus damage is small, but at least is a %. Bonus atk is small and also not a %, so pretty weak. But it's passive, it'll stack with other skills, and it will eventually be cheap compared to increasing specialization of other skills. Also, it applies to all weapons, so it can be bought without committing to a weapon type.

4 Sword Mastery (+10 parry & +10 def & +15 atk & +8% dmg per point)
Awesome. Passive. Best of all weapon masteries (when coupled with Riposte or Over Power). Just awesome. Only choose 1 weapon mastery to make best use of skill points.

4 Axe Mastery (+15 atk & +8% dmg & +4% crit per point)
Awesome. 2nd best weapon mastery. Only choose 1 weapon mastery to make best use of skill points.

4 Mace Mastery (+15 atk & +8% dmg & + 5% crushing blow per point)
Good. Similar bonuses can be found cheaper with other skills. Plus, since maces are usable by Priests, one expects they are not the most damaging base weapons in the game. Only choose 1 weapon mastery to make best use of skill points.

6 Enrage (+40 Hate per point)
Poor. Like Taunt but better, because area effect, but expensive.



Passive Skills:
2 Riposte (+2% crit & +5 dmg per point) (only after Parry)
Average. Parrying will happen often enough. Big problem is that +dmg is fixed points, not percentage. Not as good as Over Power, but cheaper. Only choose one of the two to avoid wasting skill points.

2 Revenge (+25% atk, +25% crit & +15% dmg per point) (only after being critically hit)
Useless. You shouldn't be getting critically hit.

2 Shield Mastery (+5% def per point)
Good. Small bonus, but it is a %, so it will scale as your character gets better gear. Requires equipped shield (so no 2-handed weapons).

4 Blocking (+15 def & +15 blk per point)
Average. Block chance will detract from Parry chance if you're using Riposte. But you should be using Over Power, so this'll be worth getting. Stacked defense bonus is nice, but it's small and not a %.

4 Deflection (+15 def & +15 deflection per point)
Poor. Why deflect when you can Parry/Block? Stacked defense bonus is nice, but it's small and not a %. Can't even trigger Over Power.

4 Parry (+15 def & +15 parry per point)
Average. Helps to trigger Riposte or Over Power. Defense bonus is not a %, so not as good as Shield Mastery.

6 Over Power (+5% crit & +5 dmg per point, freeze target for 5sec) (only after Parry or Block)
Good. Probably 2nd best rage skill. Get Axe Mastery instead if you want damage + crits. This +dmg is not %, so it won't be nearly as good at high levels. Better than Riposte, but more expensive. Only choose one. Almost a control skill (freeze target), but can only be triggered by Parry or Block, and if target is a spellcaster, probably out of luck.

6 Quick Temper (+10% more rage gain per point)
Useless. You shouldn't be wasting points building rage to use other wasted-point rage skills. Just kill the monsters, already! If you really really need rage, shift your Focus skill (which you should have LONG before choosing to not get this skill).

8 Retaliation (+5% crit & +5 dmg per point, +6 rage, +2 rage per point) (only after hit)
Poor. Expensive. Tiny rage bonus. +dmg is not %. + % crit is useless, and if using this skill, then not using many much better rage skills (esp. Over Power, or Cleave). Might eventually be worth dumping a few points to help build Rage once all other skill are specialized and cost lots of skill points to increase.

15 Plate Armor (allows wearing plate armor)
Awesome. Get it.

Shadow
08-29-2007, 10:46 AM
Very good writeup AnalogKid.

Delilah Rehm
08-29-2007, 10:47 AM
I can't wait to see what you have on the priest! :)

Shadow
08-29-2007, 02:56 PM
Just a couple notes on these.

The demo doesn't explain critical hits, crushing blow, and deep wounds chance stuff at all. For all of these, if you have a skill that gives a % bonus to one of these, the bonus is in relation to your normal chance of getting that special hit. So if your base critical hit chance is 5% and your skill gives you a 100% bonus, your real chance for a critical hit is 10%.

Also for parry, deflection, block and other defense stats: they are relative to each other and the attackers attack number. Basically the higher your defense compared to the attackers attack value, the more likely the enemies attack will miss you. If it is a miss, then the higher a particular miss type like parry is compared to the overall defense determines if the miss is that type of miss. So points in parry will make monsters miss you more and you will parry more. Points in deflection will make monsters miss you more, you will deflect blows more, but as a result you will parry less.

AnalogKid
08-29-2007, 04:38 PM
The demo doesn't explain critical hits, crushing blow, and deep wounds chance stuff at all. For all of these, if you have a skill that gives a % bonus to one of these, the bonus is in relation to your normal chance of getting that special hit.
Ahh, that'll make a big difference in my evaluation of skills! I'll have to think about it some, but the obvious question then is: what's the base chance for those three?

Also for parry, deflection, block and other defense stats: they are relative to each other and the attackers attack number.
I kinda suspected, but wasn't sure. That means 2 things: the only real option is Over Power, because it can be triggered by Parry _or_ Block, and it'll be too expensive to keep specializing in just Parry. Also, it will probably be very hard to keep up with the monsters' attack bonus at high level since the Parry and Block bonuses are #s, not %. So don't depend on Over Power.

I'll revise my original comments eventually.

Shadow
08-29-2007, 05:45 PM
Ahh, that'll make a big difference in my evaluation of skills! I'll have to think about it some, but the obvious question then is: what's the base chance for those three?

I think currently base critical is 5%, base crushing blow is 2%, and base deep wounds is 2% but that might very well change.

AnalogKid
08-30-2007, 08:00 PM
I edited the original post to reflect your comments about crushing blow, etc.

Can you look into the possible Shield Mastery bug? I noticed that Priest Shield Mastery says it requires a shield, but Fighter Shield Mastery doesn't say so. If it does (or will in final release), then I'll remove my comments about it.

Shadow
08-30-2007, 08:12 PM
I checked this morning and it works correctly. I also added some description today about needing a shield so it will be more clear in the full game.

Edwin DeNicholas
01-20-2008, 10:54 PM
Crush has no reuse time. Coupled with any +rage skills, this makes for some hawt spam action.

kaeruu
01-21-2008, 11:35 PM
Devastating blow is the best for me. Patience is a virtue, and when you wait to have 80+ rage, then boom! Devastating blow really hits the spot.:D

RandomOracle
03-20-2008, 08:38 PM
For me, the key is using rage skills and the weapon with the biggest possible damage. Weapon speed is pretty much irrevelant here, since you swing instantly the moment you use the skill, which means that I've been mostly using the big hammers so far.

So far, I've put points in Power Strike and Cleave as well as gotten one level of Crush. I typically use Power Strike and Cleave as often as their recharge time allows me to and if I have plenty of rage, I start spamming Crush as well. As Edwin DeNicholas mentioned, Crush has no re-use time, which means that you can get a ton of hits in as long as you have rage.

As you might guess, getting rage is a key point for this strategy. Luckily, Focus-Rage is reasonably cheap and the 4 levels I've bought it so far have been essential. Moreover, my second weapon combination is a dagger + shield and I use them when I want to quickly build up some rage. In practice though, I don't need a lot of rage to keep on spamming Power Strike + Cleave as long as I keep Focus-Rage on. It's only when I want to start spamming Crush and/or switch to Focus-Damage that I want to have a bigger reservoir of rage.

The only thing that poses a problem for this strategy is bosses that drain rage, but the warrior is tough enough to handle them using normal methods. Everything else gets killed in a matter of seconds and even mobs can be made short work of thanks to Cleave.

Jorias
04-11-2009, 01:19 AM
crush..useless? well i guess my stratagy of taunting all the monsters on me and spamming crush doesnt work...oh wait im level 100..nm....

Jorias
04-11-2009, 01:23 AM
one expects they are not the most damaging base weapons in the game

wrong wrong wrong....considering maces only take Strength to use...and so far the DPS on all my maces has exceeded any sword and some axes...think about this for a minute..ur getting a weapon that only takes strength to equip....meaning u can dump all 250 points (u should only really spend that much in any one attrb imo) into strength as opposed to having to split it between dex

Jorias
04-11-2009, 01:27 AM
For me, the key is using rage skills and the weapon with the biggest possible damage. Weapon speed is pretty much irrevelant here, since you swing instantly the moment you use the skill, which means that I've been mostly using the big hammers so far.

So far, I've put points in Power Strike and Cleave as well as gotten one level of Crush. I typically use Power Strike and Cleave as often as their recharge time allows me to and if I have plenty of rage, I start spamming Crush as well. As Edwin DeNicholas mentioned, Crush has no re-use time, which means that you can get a ton of hits in as long as you have rage.

As you might guess, getting rage is a key point for this strategy. Luckily, Focus-Rage is reasonably cheap and the 4 levels I've bought it so far have been essential. Moreover, my second weapon combination is a dagger + shield and I use them when I want to quickly build up some rage. In practice though, I don't need a lot of rage to keep on spamming Power Strike + Cleave as long as I keep Focus-Rage on. It's only when I want to start spamming Crush and/or switch to Focus-Damage that I want to have a bigger reservoir of rage.

The only thing that poses a problem for this strategy is bosses that drain rage, but the warrior is tough enough to handle them using normal methods. Everything else gets killed in a matter of seconds and even mobs can be made short work of thanks to Cleave.


If you do it right u can actually GET rage from spamming crush and power strike. get ur focus to level 20ish or so then u will see a big big jump in rage gain 4 levels is too weak. unless u spent points into quick temper

interesting
06-06-2009, 12:15 AM
Interesting information.

Cadfan
11-28-2009, 01:34 AM
This guide doesn't discuss weapon attack speed rules, which are a big part of certain skills.

For example, lets say that you're attacking at about 1 attack per second. And you select to use a Power Strike. Your character doesn't wait for the next official attack time in your one per second tempo, your character instantly launches the attack. And I'm pretty sure that the recover time after that Power Strike is reduced as well.

This means that certain powers are much, much stronger than they appear.

Anyways, these are things I'd change. First, I'd rate Power Strike higher, because its so cheap both in skill points and in rage, and it increases your attack speed. Even just enough ranks to get a double damage strike in every few seconds would be worthwhile.

Second, I'd worry less about skills that don't scale with level. Some things don't scale, and shouldn't, because your skill points per level scale. Some things don't scale per level, and shouldn't, because you have other things that are relevant to them that do scale and which therefore make them scale by backdoor math.

Third, because your skill points per level scale, skills that were once not so great eventually become excellent, particularly if they're passive bonuses or if they fit seamlessly into whatever else you do. For example, if your choice is between spending six points on a rank of your favorite attack skill or six points on a rank of increased rage gain chance, you might pick the attack. But later in your career when you could spend 13 points for one rank in your favorite attack skill, or 13 points for TWO ranks in increased rage gain chance, you might change your mind.

So here are changes I'd make.

Gut: Great skill for defense oriented barbarians. If you're wielding a shield and a one handed weapon, go for this skill and use it to kill bosses. Just be aware that you'll have to upgraded it periodically like a mage does his skills. You can't rest on your laurels or it will go out of date.

Crushing Blow: Wait until higher levels. Invest when you can buy two or three ranks of this instead of whatever else you're considering.

Deep Wounds: Damage over time is pretty good. Invest when you can buy two or three ranks of this instead of whatever else you're considering.

Crush: Good because it has no recharge time. Use a big, slow weapon and attack with this over and over again, because you'll completely avoid the regular attack speed rules while still getting the damage advantages of a big slow weapon.

Devastating Blow: Actually, this scales because it gives you bonus damage and a percentage increase. Its a fun way to slay bosses- build up a bunch of rage, then go nail them with this attack. This is a skill you can build your character around. Or ignore, really. Your call.

Enrage: Depends what follower you use, and what your build is. One of a selection of skills that are very good for certain characters, namely shield oriented warriors. Kind of lame if that's not you though.

Block/Deflect/Parry: Unless you're using a retaliation skill, there's really no difference. Invest in them all to get the best defense for your cost. If you are using a retaliation skill, only invest in the relevant ones.

Quick Temper: Not a first choice skill, but eventually you'll want it. It lets you use your other skills more often- what's not to like?

Retaliation: Unfortunately, no experience here, but I suspect its actually really good if you want lots of rage. Remember, these skills usually bypass your weapon speed. So think of it this way- which would you rather do, attack with a regular attack, or attack with Retaliation? Also, this does stack because critical hit chance is an auto stacking ability since it relates to your overall damage, which is a growing score.

So... recommended builds from me?

1. Crush Spammer. You want skills that build rage, because Crush is expensive. You want a hammer, because it maximizes damage and has the slowest attack speed, which you'll be ignoring because you'll be using Crush.

2. Cleaver. You want good ranks in Cleave, and at least some ranks in Whirlwind. Why both? Because you use Whirlwind while Cleave is recharging, so even if Cleave is a better deal, Whirlwind still has a role. And since you get rage every time you hit something, multiple attacks are a good thing.

Counter Attacker: Wield a two handed sword, put points in Parry and Blocking, and then put points in the defensive attack skills. For other skills go with the basics.

Devastator: Devastating Blow. Build up Rage, then nail the biggest enemy you can find with this skill. I'd probably use an axe just to stack a high crit chance onto this. You want to focus on things that give you rage fast, so consider Retaliate and the Rage skills, plus things that boost general damage.

Defender: Plate armor, shield, shield mastery, and some skills to manage enemy hate. Then pick up an ally who's really fragile, but does huge damage. Probably a mage. Absorb enemy attacks, and let the wizard do his job. For damage, consider Gut for big enemies since it bypasses your lower weapon damage. Try to get a wizard with the skill that lowers enemy hate change when he attacks.