In the theme of the 'Let's talk about' series here on the forums, I'd like to hear people's thoughts on PVE balance these days. I think it's been heavily implied, if not outright said, by both word and action, that the Pools believes there to be 'PVE Power Creep', and clearly removing the caramel chocolate was one step in them attempting to resolve this.
It's been also said, a few times, that they have 'future plans' for the Hunting skillset. Obviously they added Overdrive recently.
What I am curious about is...is there some sort of general PVE revamp or rebalance on the horizon? As someone who has five classes now, and has dropped a few others besides that and played them all extensively while bashing, with like, peak bashing artifacts and stats and things, the lack of balance on PVE DPS at the very least, is super egregious and apparent.
It's been no secret that I like using Oneiromancer in PVP since I got it, but I feel like I often have to switch to Templar if I want to actually bash reasonably well. There's a good deal of power gap when it comes to bashing between a lot of the classes. I'd like to know if this will be addressed in any future plans with PVE and the Hunting skillset. I think it feels god awful to have to choose between different classes due to PVE imbalance, instead of just like, 'I want to choose this class because I enjoy its flavor today or this week'.
There's a long standing Bashing DPS numbers thread that has a lot of good information from a lot of folks. In my experience these last few years of playing these classes and this character, there are a few things that I think are undoubtedly true:
1.) Classes that use weapon runes are the best in PVE
2.) Classes that hit once per balance aren't as good
3.) Audit differences arent as important when you have almost 100% Vigor uptime from high crit rate
I want to know what people think here. Is it cool or flavorful, or something we enjoy for the different classes to have such a huge gap in speed/usefulness when bashing? Or would it be better if everyone's numbers and effectiveness in bashing were generally leveled out?
PS: Yes, I know there's a lot more variables to all this than I listed, but I would simply say that if you've ever bashed with Syssin or Indorani/Oneiromancer you know exactly what I'm talking about.
Childhood's over the moment you know you're gonna die.
AP: L1, L2, L3 statboost
- A rune of empowerment, boosts your weapon's stats by 6 points per level of the rune.
L1 statboost 200 cr
L2 statboost 400 cr
L3 statboost 800 cr
* Empowerment cannot be attached to bows.
* Empowerment will NOT affect the balance usage of Dhuriv, despite boosting the speed of the
Dhurive. Dhuriv balance usage is not based on weapon speed.
Sentinels, famously from what I can recall people saying about it, do hilariously low damage in PVE, despite it being relatively fast, I think?
I have not played the class, do not have current DPS numbers.
And yes, Zealot is good, but it's also because the damage is not in the basement like it is for Monks, and because it can hit twice, combined with the random balance increases from Disunion. It has a lot going for it. I would say it's definitely the best of the unarmed classes. I'd probably put it at top 3 with Warden/Carnifex and Templar/Revenant, with the 3 being interchangeable for the most part.
As for one hit classes, I've tried out Archivist, Indorani, and Bard.
Archivist: Slow, stable bashing with occasional bio stimulant to speed it up. Tanky with link and bio knitting for heals over time, crux damage scales with intelligence and magic potence. Sublimation adds a few more resists, while dilation doubles astronomy star effect for a short period of time which when paired with starchart is pretty awesome. You'll almost never die as Archivist, which makes up for the slowness of the class.
Indorani: Slow, stable bashing with putrefaction for increased cutting audit, gravechill for increased fire audit. Bonedagger damage scales with dex and magic potence, the benefit for extra dex is better dodge/divert. You can heal yourself with priestess, and even your mana with magician, which is actually really underrated.
Bard: Weave Tearing packs a punch, int/magic potence increases its damage. Tempo relies on dexterity and weapon stats. Both on semi-decent bal cost with bal enhancement. Squish class though relies almost exclusively on mitigating damage if possible, high dex for better dodge/divert, aurora and sheath add a bit more resists. Euphonia and halfbeat makes healing yourself with youth pretty decent. Somehow I fell in love with its bashing enough to buy Lv 2 hunt_bard and have been bashing predominantly now as this class. Really good as a group bashing class too!
The first two don't really use weapon runes, the last example does for tempo.
I hear Teradrim also bashes pretty good, it is a one-hit class and Tina is currently bashing exclusively on the class while Borminchia bashed to 199, 99% on it, so it can't all be bad.
I am curious if Monk is any good with the damage boost. I haven't had a chance to really mess with it in detail. It still seems pretty low to me, but crits multiply damage by a lot.
I also think you might be overstating vigor. It's definitely necessary, but it's not up nearly 100% of the time (and its heals are damage-based, so if you only get a crit on one 2x strike, you're only getting half the heals that a heavy-single-hitter is on the same crit).
There are some classes that lack the tools to be bash in a fun way, though, and they should be looked at. Syssin comes to mind. Sciomancer...I've not optimized scio so I'm not 100% sure on that one either way. It's very squishy.
I think something I've come to appreciate over time, though, is that "the bashing experience" is likely going to be different from person to person. One of the things I like about Revenant, for instance, is I don't have to give a crap about hounds and re-upping defs. It's very "set it and forget it." Some poeple wanna get the most kills and xp they can as quickly as they can, others want a low credit investment with high payoff. And I do want to avoid every class becoming a carbon copy of one another.
I guess what I'm getting at is that it can be very difficult to compare one class versus another, given how wildly different their kits are.
I'll post again tomorrow, though, hopefully with some numbers, especially for Prae, which I feel like could use a damage boost or something.
I can only assume it is like this for Carnifex/Warden, as I haven't played Carnifex since I had it about 6 years ago on my last character. I do not recall. However, on Templar, if on a doublestrike or doubleswing, you kill your target on the first hit, your balance consumed will be halved. This is an absolutely humongous damage/speed boost over classes that only hit once.
Example: Room with say, 3-5 myconids, or 3-5 animals in Tcanna. Person has high crit rate, gets lucky, crit kills every single NPC. For Athame/Bonedagger this would take 9.78s for 3 mobs(3.26s per Athame in my experience), and using my own bastard sword as an example, it would be 1.53s per mob, so 4.59s. That's absurdly faster, and happens more than you'd expect. Especially with Compendium crit bonuses, eggnog, grimstim, critical field, critical_chance, etc etc(Another PVE power creep example).
And certainly, I agree, that there is something to be said for increased tankiness for certain slower classes, particularly Indorani/Oneiromancer and Teradrim, and so on and so forth. But it feels like when you reach a certain level of toughness from artifact power, that increased defensive capability is not nearly as useful as, as you all say, xp gained per hour(dps).
Also as a side note, Shapeshifter, despite getting 2x hits as well, does not get the same half-balance advantage as said example above. I asked Keroc why this is, months ago, and he said it's just inherent to how the class was designed(combo command I imagine), and at the time felt like(in my own opinion) that it just wasn't worth it to fix.
I do not have experience with quite a few classes still obviously, so I can't speak to all of them, but I have had peak bashing artifacts and experience for Syssin, Templar, Shapeshifter, Shaman(Just got it recently), Oneiromancer, Wayfarer, Zealot, and Ascendril.
It is very true Shapeshifter have very high DPS. Of the non weapon runes classes they may have the highest base dps, but they, as I said, suffer from the above current design flaw. That being said, I would always rather use them to bash, than say, Oneiromancer, or Syssin, of my current classes I have.
There's a lot of variance in the pros in cons of all the classes when it comes to bashing, but I just think the speed gap is pretty nuts between weapons and non weapons classes at the moment. I know there's some good solutions out there too, but the crux of the question(no pun intended after Archivists mentioned by @Elene), is this even a problem? Are we meant to have such huge differences in bashing speed? Is it just something we live with, or is it something that can be reasonably changed or evolved into something different with the evolution of the Hunting skillset?
I don't know, but I do find the conversation fascinating.
Dying gets very costly the higher you get in levels, so if you don't want to die as much and save the heartache of spending hours getting back the experience you lost, the tanky but slower classes should be good options. Even with all the hunting artifacts that Teani got, her hunting as Shapeshifter has seen her dying a lot while bashing, because she is also squishy with shifter audit, and shock/burnout forces her to skip some rooms in order to not die.
I do still think and encourage having a more fleshed out Hunting skillset. Perhaps it might reward different bashing styles while adding more value to using Hunting abilities. Overdrive is just the first of what we've seen. I hope we get to see more!
Anyways, I'm not trying to be confrontational and argumentative on my end. I recognize everyone has different opinions on this stuff, and maybe the fact that theres such differences in effectiveness from class to class, and in opinions in general, is a good thing? I suppose it can also be differences in method too. I don't usually power bash or actively bash unless I'm on chalice and chocolates and trying to maximize my time on the little bit of free time I get to do it, so I'm not say, able to trigger shock as often as some other people.
My bashing dps while getting 200 was a lot higher because of caramel + ring + hunting field + a LOT more crittiness (72-73% most of the time) though.
But I am willing believe Indo bashing is probably on the very slow end of the scale, but they also have a near perfect escape, active healing, and a godly audit. Seems a world with some asymmetry in bashing is healthy and ideal, I would hate to have something like Lusternia, were you buy a gnomish weapon and then you are the exact same as everyone bashing wise.
I am also aware that Decay/Starlight is 3.01s equilibrium(with enhancement points set to equilibrium), however, if one was to set their enhancements for bashing as Oneiromancer/Indorani, to increase equilibrium speed, they'd be doing themselves a big disservice in PVP, given that they use Balance for card/hyalincuru flings.
So basically they could just turn a knob and decrease it to like 2.8s in PVE and it would be more or less on par base DPS wise. However, one of the things I was pondering about this, and trying to get out of the Pools themselves is - is this still something, PVE balance, that we should Classlead in future classleads? Or is it something that is on their radar to balance out when they do these continued PVE changes, Hunting skillset changes, etc? I have no idea.
Either way, with all my artifacts and boosters (including white chocolate for a good few weeks to see if that helped and it made a tiny bit of difference but not enough to change system settings to not skip rooms), optimizing my route to use wormholes and teleporting in all ways possible, my routes saw me skipping plenty of rooms that others would stay in and kill everything, making for slower xp/h by a good 1.5 million margin on a really good day, more on a regular day compared to, for example, Mjoll. I believe I was on par with Rihrin, though I died more often, that's for sure.
I was burning gold transmuting wisdom every hour, with a chalice, mint, compendium xp, talisman xp, and all those other little xp boosters that everyone can get, and my crit rested in the 72%+ range most of the time, thanks to crit4, compendium, talisman, the ylem field, grimstim, and a monocle.
And of those boosters, I lack the talisman (both xp and crits), monocle, grimstim at all times, and only have crit3, so my crits were "just" shy of 70%. I was also transmuting wisdom whenever that dropped or close to it at least.
Some recommendations I would have: make sure you're using priestess and magician. For example, in places like Clawhook or Dovan which do lots of bleeding, I can clot my mana away to survive, and my answer to that is mana sips (slow) and worrystone (rng). Indorani could simply fling magician and be done with it. Priestess is hella strong, too.
Moreover, I think if you're bashing in areas where you don't feel entirely safe, you should use Hermit - since I have a script that runs through areas for me, I would simply add to the movement script to set a hermit point at the beginning of each bashing area, and replace my bashing attack with fling hermit at ground if I'm in dire trouble, like in a situation where I'd want to touch crystal. That'll give you time and breathing room to heal up, put another hermit down, and zip back in. Should improve survivability by a lot.
With a 3.26 balance time Indorani doesn't use overkill quite as well as multi-hit classes, especially Carni/Rev which lower their balance time when they kill something on the first swing and can cascade like that, but I think it evens out with the sheer utility Indo brings, and their single damage hit can still rip through stuff. Speeding them up to 2.6 would require them to do substantially less damage in exchange, otherwise they'd actually be a better bashing class than the 200 classes.
Tl;dr: Indo is probably high mid tier, but distinctly not top tier. It's probably better than Luminary, maybe Praenomen.
I think it's fairly obvious I made a classlead about this stuff in the Hunting skillset. I do not know everyone's base balance for every class, and I don't even know, for example, if the half weapon balance thing applies to say, Sentinel. I just know that I hate having to pick between having my best bashing(Templar) and my best pvp(Oneiromancer). It's a pain. But maybe it's meant to be that way so I am encouraged to buy polymath? I don't know.
Lately, I think the biggest problem with PVE in Aetolia is how much wasted value we get from chocolates and chalices due to the enhanced level of bashing competition, with everyone bashing over each other and everything else. Feels like theres not much else to do, so everyone is doing it, which then feels like the money spent on the consumables is much more wasted in turn. Maybe bashing and rolling the dice on real money on consumables in a video game just isn't for me, either. Who knows.
As far as Indo vs Templar stuff, I think magician and priestess ARE useful for helping others, but they're INSANELY strong for helping yourself, too, since they can self-target. It's reminiscent of Carnifex's Soul Consume, which can be done for health or mana. I think with 21 dex, indo hunt3, and the appropriate crit arties, Indo could easily hit 5-6m/hr xp rates, which is fine. I think maybe you're caught in your head about being fully optimal, which isn't really truly necessary unless you're trying to do some insane 90 day 200 run. For my style, which is just bashing a few hours after work every day, Indo would probably be fine, if I were as invested into it as I am into knight classes. I think it might even have a higher overall potential DPS, because the magic potence artifact affects it.
If you have runes, I urge you to try 1h bashing instead of 2h bashing. It's probably better. Alternatively, both Warden and Zealot are crazy good bashing classes.
tldr agree with Xavin and Rij, give 1h a shot.
I've posted everything in the bashing dps thread that has existed for 3 years, multiple times. Yes. I have level 3 rune, 21 strength, red amulet, red orb and Damage: 180 (+21) Penetration: 92 (+21) Speed: 133 (+21), and hunt templar 3. I have it all.
On Oneiromancer, I have 20 dexterity instead of 21, and I have hunt_oneiromancer 2 instead of 3. Being able to compare 21 to 20 on multiple occasions with things like noon sun, people sharing Accuracy aura, I can soundly say its 30 dps more, and I don't have 2500cr in me for a 30 dps gain. I also know that paying 400 more cr is 5% gain, I can do math on all that(and have) to still come up short in raw DPS vs what I do on Templar, and that is before the advantage of having half balance.
As I've said before too, I know people value how tanky Indorani/Oneiromancer is, but, the health healing takes an entire balance to use. Many other classes have self heals that do not, a few of which I would also say are in the top 5 best bashing classes, like Templar/Revenant(Righteousness Absorb), Wayfarer(Fury Sustain), and Zealot(Purification Discharge). I'm not going to reach for Vocalizing/Shapeshifter either, because that isn't a reliable on demand one, even if it does exist as a self heal. Off balance self heals also would contribute to your exp per hour, I'd imagine. There are truly a lot of variables in this to be certain.
Also, I would say that the changes to Enchantment Augment definitely decreased the gap in dps between 1h and 2h for Templar/Revenant at least. Stine was, with luck, precision forging, and insane amounts of augments, able to hit 1k dps with 1hers(This is all in the old Bashing DPS thread). You can't really do that anymore since you cant augment more than 3 times. The lower crits like 4x can kill things with my higher base damage on 2h than I can with similarly forged/augmented/runed 1h weapons, leading to more crits that produce more 1.53s balance kills.
And no, my 1370+50 at 3.08s is not with caramels. You can insinuate it is all you want, but I stare at it every day I go bashing with this weapon. I can take screenshots for you, if you really want.
At the end of the day, it's hard to gather every single variable and provide true class bashing balance. It's hard to say even what balance is because everyone values different aspects of it. I really think that having half balance on your bashing attack a rather large percentage of the time, vs not, is an incredible boon, in particular to the way I approach bashing, since I have more spikes of it than the average basher. I don't bash every single day, or even every single week, I take particular days to do it for long periods of time to maximize my time I'm able to, so killing things faster is more important to me.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that everyone is right in their own way, and maybe I should just buy polymath and accept things as they are.