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Focused Feedback: Pool Powerset Revamp: Sorcery


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7 minutes ago, Haijinx said:

The attack is fine.  Its competing with things like Flurry, Boxing and Air Superiority.  Its not really competing with Fire Blast or Burst. 

 

Assuming 3 damage SOs, on a Blaster:

 

Fire Blast: 85.995 dpa

Arcane Bolt without Arcane Power: 91.18dpa.
Flares: 103.7205 dpa 
Blazing Bolt (fast): 180.47dpa

Arcane Bolt with Arcane Power: 182.36dpa.
Blaze: 264.97 dpa

 

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With the new cast time, Arcane Bolt is actually better than Fire Blast if equally slotted (plus adds knocks down) even without Arcane Power. Note all the following comparisons are made against fully slotted Fire Blast powers:
With Arcane Power, and no enhancements, it is better than Fire Blast, and slightly behind Flares
With Arcane Power, and a single SO , it is unquestionably better than Fire Blast and Flares
With Arcane Power, and fully enhanced, Fully enhanced, it is better than any Fire Blast attack but Blaze.

So, even if you opt not to dedicated more than the base slot to the power (assuming you get enough global accuracy, something easy to do with sets even without planning) Arcane Bolt can earn its usage when empowered.

The gotcha for this is that the power cant be constantly spammed, is random so cant have a predictive spot on your attack chain, and it's empowered availability cant be accelerated by extreme builds (yet another reason for the special mechanic to be required.)

 

Numbers from the powers people, I'm just the messenger.

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After having tried the re-vamped power pool, I feel as if the changes are a mixed bag - some good, some less good.

 

Mystic Flight:  I'm fine with the changes here; they aren't revolutionary.  They keep this flight option comparable to normal Fly, and the teleport part continues to be nice to have, especially with the now lower end. cost, but it doesn't really add to the power meaningfully.

 

Arcane Bolt:  The lowered animation time as well as the potential for increased damage really helps make this previously lackluster power feel useful.  I use this on my controller to have some form of an attack chain, and these changes allow me to use it regularly rather than as a filler attack.  That said, I wish [Arcane Power] didn't power up off of every power; it happening just after I exit a mission when I toggle mystic flight or PFF feels like a waste.

 

Spirit Ward:  Making this a toggle makes it great for pre-combat or mid-combat buffing to keep an important teammate, pet, or escort alive.  So, that's good.  But, the high endurance cost and limited duration makes me wary of using it as regularly on a team as I had previously.  If the endurance cost were dropped to 0.33 from the 0.52, I think it would be great.

 

Rune of Protection:  The most recent changes to this power a a bit of a problem for me.  Although I read a number of folks having problems with the reduced duration initially (i.e., the 90 to 60 change), it didn't bother me on a power that I treated more-or-less as a crashless Tier 9 Armor.  The recent changes, however, are more concerning.  I feel as though 40 seconds is a bit too low for its duration; to me, that's about enough to protect against the initial volley but not much more in more challenging/risky fights (I believe many enemy debuffs last 30 to 60 seconds, for instance).  The lowered recharge is very nice, but locking out recharge enhancements effectively makes slotting sets in to the power wasteful because a third of the enhancing (recharge reduction) is going to waste.  To me, this makes the power either a mule for global defense ios or one-slot-wonder filler powers like vengeance (i.e., nice to have by happenstance rather than worth building for).  While I don't think the changes completely ruined the power, I'm certainly debating its place in the few builds that have it.  I wish the power were reverted to the changes in Build 2, with the recharge on the power cut down from 10 minutes to 7 and a half minutes (i.e., base recharge for hasten).

 

Enflame:  This power is also a bit of a problem to me.  The changes don't make it less fickle to use or more impactful.  On my controller, the beta version does 8 ticks of 5.10 damage (about 40 damage overall) in an AoE patch.  However, the high fear effect (MAG 50) and small radius effectively makes it a single target attack (or a deterrent for melee enemies when cast on my suicidal pet).  Making it a mandatory 60 second high-endurance toggle doesn't really encourage me to use the power more frequently with its new 10 second cool down.  To me, the problem with this power is its low damage or its fear effect.  Addressing these would make these changes to the power more appreciable.

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Since this has become a sticking point, I’d like to restate and expand on my enjoyment of the proc mechanic for arcane bolt, inspiration proccing included. I also have a distaste for the encroachment of gimmick/combo/minigame mechanics internal to individual powersets and I wish there was a location to have a frank discussion about them, but arcane bolt’s execution isn’t effectually different from, say, the Assassin’s Strike mechanics. As a stalker main, I’ll attest it’s actually much simpler and more graceful in execution. It’s restricted to one power, it does not fundamentally alter what that power does, the time limit is generous enough that you don’t have to immediately stop what you’re doing to smack it, and it doesn’t step on the toes of other internal powerset minigames. 
 

As it’s designed, arcane bolt explicitly rewards using control sets and support sets as much as if not more than attack sets. This is a great boon for defenders, controllers, and MMs, and I can’t think of another example of a conditional effect bending in their favour over other ATs in the existing game. It’s very exciting! 

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26 minutes ago, Katharos said:
29 minutes ago, Captain Powerhouse said:
On 3/16/2021 at 4:10 PM, Katharos said:

why isn't sentinel bioarmour's athletic regulation getting a look?

Oversight, it will be addressed in the next build.

Oh no. Oh god. What have I done? 

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1 minute ago, Faultline said:

 

Assuming 3 damage SOs, on a Blaster:

 

Fire Blast: 85.995 dpa

Arcane Bolt without Arcane Power: 91.18dpa.
Flares: 103.7205 dpa 
Blazing Bolt (fast): 180.47dpa

Arcane Bolt with Arcane Power: 182.36dpa.
Blaze: 264.97 dpa

 

Numbers from the powers people, I'm just the messenger.

Yes, but Fire Blast (the power) is the weakest T2 for DPA because of the animation time was normalized to 1.67 seconds but the recharge (and damage) is that of a T1. The rest of the set makes up for it, though.

 

do think that it's a good buff, but was also thinking that it's likely going to be nerfed based on the numbers with Arcane Power active and would rather have an easier-to-test consistently good power.

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5 minutes ago, Faultline said:

 

Assuming 3 damage SOs, on a Blaster:

 

Fire Blast: 85.995 dpa

Arcane Bolt without Arcane Power: 91.18dpa.
Flares: 103.7205 dpa 
Blazing Bolt (fast): 180.47dpa

Arcane Bolt with Arcane Power: 182.36dpa.
Blaze: 264.97 dpa

 

 

Numbers from the powers people, I'm just the messenger.

 

Sounds like its doing good then.

 

Don't see the reason for the complaining. 

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5 minutes ago, Vigilant Vergil said:

 

Rune of Protection:  The most recent changes to this power a a bit of a problem for me.  Although I read a number of folks having problems with the reduced duration initially (i.e., the 90 to 60 change), it didn't bother me on a power that I treated more-or-less as a crashless Tier 9 Armor.  The recent changes, however, are more concerning.  I feel as though 40 seconds is a bit too low for its duration;

 

I've got some bad news to tell you about Shadow Meld and Moment of Glory then. 

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3 minutes ago, Haijinx said:

 

I've got some bad news to tell you about Shadow Meld and Moment of Glory then. 

 

Well, I wasn't saying the problem is unique.  However, for a power that is more useful on characters with little to no mitigation options, RoP stands in contradistinction to either MoG or Shadow Meld, which are only available to characters with preexisting mitigation.

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4 minutes ago, Katharos said:

As it’s designed, arcane bolt explicitly rewards using control sets and support sets as much as if not more than attack sets. This is a great boon for defenders, controllers, and MMs, and I can’t think of another example of a conditional effect bending in their favour over other ATs in the existing game. It’s very exciting! 

 

It's a pool power, not an epic. Expectations of it magically exceeding it's place performance wise are all smoke and mirrors.

 

18 minutes ago, Katharos said:

I wish there was a location to have a frank discussion about them

 

Me too, and probably others on both sides. It would get removed as do many of a similar vein..

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17 minutes ago, Haijinx said:

 

I've got some bad news to tell you about Shadow Meld and Moment of Glory then. 

 

That is Blink of Glory sir!

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"Homecoming is not perfect but it is still better than the alternative.. at least so far" - Unknown  (Wise words Unknown!)

 

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I figured the controller damage was the limiter on what traditional balance could handle, as that's exactly the use case I had in mind.  I am personally ok with Arcane Power, though I would want to keep gimmicks as a sparingly used balancing tactic.  Here I feel it's thematic enough to work.

 

The other Arcane Bolt use cases I'm planning (for non-controllers) are more situational, definitely not part of an attack chain.  For those, it's Arcane Bolt versus a ranged attack they can get from another source, so the competition is close, and I lean toward the free (no build impact) Blackwand as an equally good thematic option.  For those characters, and due to the origin pool lockout, I hesitate to pursue Arcane Bolt since the Sorcery Pool generally is not a good fit for them...  Many of my armored chars, no matter how thematically magical, often need to avoid Fly/Hover movement due to only-cast-when-grounded powers and power graphics at foot-level that obscure enemies even after customization.  They also gain only very situationally from RoP's anti-mez.  All this is fine, since choice exists, but does push Bolt further into its niche.

 

Breaking out of my feeling "Sorcery isn't meant for (most) armored characters" by doing something in-scope for this page would require something like an also-applies-to-self Spirit Ward, I think.

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2 hours ago, Blackbird71 said:

I'd argue that the unpredictability of the boost effect makes it significantly less powerful than you're giving it credit for.  If it's being used in an attack chain, and the effect doesn't go off, now you're stuck either 1) effectively using it as another T1 attack, or 2) pausing your attack until another power comes off cooldown to jump start the chain and try to get AB's effect to trigger again.  

 

 

"Surprising" isn't fun; it's annoying.  I like my powers to be reliable.  This iteration of Arcane Bolt is not, and as such, I'll be passing it over.  Honestly, there's nothing about the Sorcery pool revamps that make me excited for the pool.  I solo too much for Spirit Ward, Enflame seems like a pain with the terror effect, taking Fly over Mystic Flight at least puts me in the same pool as Hover for some combat defense, and RoP, well, I hardly found it worth it before the nerf.  It's a shame because thematically I have characters that I'd like to use the pool on, but the set still offers too little benefit over other options.

 

I'm one 100% with this.  I do think that the power could use a buff, and I'm OK with a situational buff, but for me to enjoy it it needs to be a PREDICTABLE situational buff.   
I'm going to give my suggestions for Sorcery changes and then go into a request/thoughts about communication briefly before suggesting it gets opened in a separate thread by Jimmy. 

Arcane bolt:  Keep the Arcane Power boost, but "create" arcane power differently, in a more predictable way- 
Arcane power is built up -when you cast arcane spells on someone else-.    If a player has arcane power, arcane bolt will fire instant cast and double damage, or regular cast/double damage.  Firing Arcane Bolt places the "arcane power" effect on the caster if the caster does not already have the affect on them. Mystic Ward and Enflame will grant the arcane power effect on the caster after a 20 second delay and every 20 seconds thereafter.  Arcane Power will not stack, and using arcane Bolt with Arcane power will leave you unable to gain arcane power for 10 seconds.   
Mystic Flight and RoP will not grant the arcane effect because you are not affecting other with your spells.  

This way, Arcane Bolt's damage is predictable but also gated. To get the greater damage you have to build up that chance, but how you build it can be planned around to make it a less annoying, random part of your playstyle.  You know that to get the "superior" Arcane Bolt you'll either have to rely on the normal attack then wait for it to recharge before firing the better one, or you know that it will only happen once every 20 seconds from the toggles, and work it into your chain with that timing in mind.  

 

Mystic Flight/Translocation:  I like the proposed change and am fine.

 

Spirit Ward:  I would be OK with this if the end cost were seriously reduced. The last thing most characters need is an end toggle this heavy for an absorb shield for someone else.  It's simply far too costly, imo.  Right now I take Spirit Ward for placing on pets and my vet buff put, and to slot the absorb proc.  If this goes live as is I'll probably respec out and just place the absorb proc somewhere else.  

Enflame:  Same issue.  The end cost is insane, and the running from the patches is the real problem with this power.  Would it be AT ALL possible to change it from a toggle patch power to a toggle fire aura power?  Even if you wanted to keep the animation the same, make it so the enemy isn't running from a patch on the ground.  If not, and it must stay a patch instead of placing a fire damage aura, then definitely still reduce the end cost. This power is best used in long fights on bosses. That is EXACTLY when you dont want to run any more end heavy toggles than you need to because you're already spending so much end on the long fight.   

 
RoP:  Keep the 90 second up/600 second recharge, lower the mez protection and resistance by 1/3, and allow it to be affected by recharge.  I'd rather have to deal with a weakened version that can be useful for often than a stronger one that isn't as reliable.  Again, like RoP, I dont need more to micromanage.  

 

 

 

As for communication:

You said that you see this as "collaboration".   I appreciate that, and I hope that's true.  But "collaboration" to me is not "This power is bad and we're going to fix it so here is what we're thinking, what do you think" in my mind, when I don't even think the power is bad to begin with. I'm about to be hyperbolic but that's a bit like someone trying to steal your car saying that they see it as collaboration because they're letting you decide if they should smash in the windows or break the door handle.  That may not be how you see or meant this thread (and other) about changes recently, but it's how it -feels-, at least to me, sometimes.  It's even more frustrating when myself and others who have similar desires as myself get attacked in -every single thread- when we share our concerns about what we see as nerfs and rebalancing by people who never seem to question any decisions being made. I mean, it's fine if they agree with the changes, but we do get attacked.  We get dismissed and even get told to "go play elsewhere" or that we've been abusing the game, etc.   That doesn't feel like collaboration either. That feels like a cartel trying to tell anyone rocking the boat to shut up.    

It's even more disappointing since, in the very beginnings of this server, the Devs did seem interested in what players actually thought and wanted to pursue, asking -ahead- of trying to pursue them.  So it's disappointing when now, it seems the devs are just doing their own things and they'll let us chime in after they've made a decision on what to focus on, what's important, where energy should be spent, what's happening in the next patch, etc.  That doesn't feel like collaboration, either.   So I'm going to make a suggestion :  open up a thread specifically to talk about the -process- of alpha and beta testing.  Let's hammer out there what we'd all like to see as the process, both from the viewpoint of the Devs AND the players/testers.  You might get some good ideas from it for going forward.  And periodically revisit that thread to see if the process needs amending.  I think that, alone, would go along way to easing some concerns myself and others have.  And i would suggest annual checks with the player base on feelings about the direction things have been heading and should head in the future, before we're even close to alpha testing. 

 

That's my 2 cents. This is my last post until I get some more time to try the newest patch for more specific feedback.   

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1 hour ago, Faultline said:

 

Assuming 3 damage SOs, on a Blaster:

 

Fire Blast: 85.995 dpa

Arcane Bolt without Arcane Power: 91.18dpa.
Flares: 103.7205 dpa 
Blazing Bolt (fast): 180.47dpa

Arcane Bolt with Arcane Power: 182.36dpa.
Blaze: 264.97 dpa

 

 

Numbers from the powers people, I'm just the messenger.

The mere possibility of a pool power EVER having DPA close to a fast snipe should make everyone’s pants a bit moist, I’d think.. That’s incredible.

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2 hours ago, Luminara said:

 

There is no competition for Air Superiority.  Air Superiority is two fistfuls of awesome sauce.

 

I like how the overhead smash also has -fly. Sending Longbow Eagles to the ground is still the best thing. Abusing Falling damage is always fun.

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18 hours ago, Number Six said:

 

Everybody keeps saying this but it actually is WAI.

 

It's just supposed to be something that randomly happens as you do other stuff.

 

Dude, you're glowing with extra magical power!! What happened!!! 🤨
I have allergies, and sneezing sometimes makes my Magic Missile stronger. 😄

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2 hours ago, Luminara said:

Air Superiority is two fistfuls of awesome sauce.

 

And here I thought when people were talking about taking and using AS from the Flight Pool, I thought they meant Air Superiority. All this time, it was Awesome Sauce instead 😮

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Waiting to see the supposed new changes being planned. Short opinion so far:

 

Arcane Bolt: Great. As stated, it's a decent T1.5 pick without the occasional boost, and better than a T2 with it. It can fit well into a lot of builds looking for another ranged attack, but it's not so good that it'll fight for spots against real Blast sets. That's reasonable.

 

Spirit Ward: Solid change, though a choice. It felt a bit weak to me before as a "reactionary heal-like effect", with relatively slow animation, so I never thought to use it as a reactionary power. I liked keeping it on a single weak target or on someone drawing a lot of aggro, and this makes it a lot easier for that since it takes no animation time. The EPS cost of the power is not a major issue, as it had about the same cost before but as an up-front click instead of a toggle.

 

Enflame: waiting to see what happens and how usable it is with procs on a single target. It's generally a single-target use upon a Boss or AV, I think, unless you spam AoE Immobs, so if it's not worth the use on a single target then it's probably not worth taking as an AoE power, not with its small radius. I have no judgment yet on the power's result.

 

Mystic Flight: faster flight, who can complain?

 

RoP: we're already heard that they're using a new as-yet-undisclosed Duration & Recharge setup. I do like the 40s and shorter recharge, makes it more usable as a reactionary power since you rarely need 60s when used as a reactionary power, and it's better to have it up more often. If used in a build with rotating click defenses, 60s would be better as it will fit better in a rotation. While I prefer the reactionary use myself, I see a lot of players who put it into a defensive rotation, so I think it's reasonable to throw these players a bit of a bone and using a 60s duration. Either that, or go further towards a short power, and give it a 60s downtime, so it can be used to bookend some other defensive power or an Inspiration... 30s duration/90 recharge seems to work better both as a reactionary and a rotation power.

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I'm also incredibly mystified by the logic that squishies "just aren't supposed to have mez protection". Why? Because their primary/secondary powersets don't have +status protection toggles? Do we need to remove +KB protection IOs because they give sets like Fiery Aura that have no native KB protection the ability to protect against knockback, because "those sets just aren't supposed to have knockback protection"? Should we be restricting incarnates or inspirations that provide the same or are those exceptions, and by what logic are they exceptions? Feels like a very silly train of thought overall.

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5 hours ago, Puma said:

RoP:  Keep the 90 second up/600 second recharge, lower the mez protection and resistance by 1/3, and allow it to be affected by recharge.  I'd rather have to deal with a weakened version that can be useful for often than a stronger one that isn't as reliable.

That would be dismal considering the amount of defense Unleash Potential gives. RoP's resistance is already questionable on some ATs, and defense tends to just be better than resistance when comparing the two.

That being said, echoing what others have said about RoP: 40 seconds is way too short of an uptime. Forced cooldown is a little strange. Overall an unnecessarily complicated change.

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3 minutes ago, Crimsanotic said:

That would be dismal considering the amount of defense Unleash Potential gives. RoP's resistance is already questionable on some ATs, and defense tends to just be better than resistance when comparing the two.

That being said, echoing what others have said about RoP: 40 seconds is way too short of an uptime. Forced cooldown is a little strange. Overall an unnecessarily complicated change.

As many have noted, there are several powers that can not have their cooldown modified. And 1/3 uptime with no need for recharge is pretty good. I actually think the shift is good for players who use it as a situational get-out-of-CC-free card. It is also good for a top-of-the-battle buff that can be used more often now, although it may be less useful for extended conflicts.

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Archetype Concept Compilation -- Powerset Concept Compilations: Assault Melee

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The Great Archetype Concept Battle: Final Round

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Archetype Proposal Amalgamation

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1 minute ago, Zepp said:

As many have noted, there are several powers that can not have their cooldown modified. And 1/3 uptime with no need for recharge is pretty good. I actually think the shift is good for players who use it as a situational get-out-of-CC-free card. It is also good for a top-of-the-battle buff that can be used more often now, although it may be less useful for extended conflicts.

I'm aware that there are powers that follow this. But from my experience they also tend to be pretty unpopular. I'd say about half the Shield characters I see don't take One With The Shield, for instance.

A power that has a prerequisite of two powers gives it an opportunity cost. Abilities with an opportunity cost should be be pretty good. An ability that is basically a Break Free is not. The up/down time itself isn't too terrible, though definitely worse for basically anyone who has an even decent amount of +recharge. If it's going to keep the forced 1/3 uptime, I'd rather it last longer and have a longer cooldown to match.

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48 minutes ago, Crimsanotic said:

I'm aware that there are powers that follow this. But from my experience they also tend to be pretty unpopular. I'd say about half the Shield characters I see don't take One With The Shield, for instance.

A power that has a prerequisite of two powers gives it an opportunity cost. Abilities with an opportunity cost should be be pretty good. An ability that is basically a Break Free is not. The up/down time itself isn't too terrible, though definitely worse for basically anyone who has an even decent amount of +recharge. If it's going to keep the forced 1/3 uptime, I'd rather it last longer and have a longer cooldown to match.

It is basically moving from a 1/2 or better uptime to a 1/3 uptime. On the other hand, it did need to be nerfed in some way. I think this nerf is reasonable, and it is more useful in its current iteration than a 90s version. I would, however, suggest that a reduction in animation time would also be warranted.

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Thanks for your continued hard work. I really like some of the new stuff.

 

RE: RoP. Assuming you're not tired of thinking about it (LOL). What would make this attractive to me is it was an Auto power that provided all-the-time Mag 3 protection, with the condition that if the your mezz protection ever actually drops below 3, you get 20 seconds of Mag 10 protection and +resists, followed by 60 seconds of no protection at all. The rune activation graphic would warn you that your extra layer of mezz protection triggered. This would feel more effective and natural to me than a clickable that can't slot Recharge. 

 

Thanks again for creating a great game. 🙂

 

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My take on Arcane Bolt is simple--having the base damage according to the formula is fine, and having the bonus damage tied to a gimmick is fine--but it shouldn't really be random, it seems like a missed opportunity for specific interactions.

 

Perhaps, as it has a decent chance for knock back, have the bonus damaged tied to only affect enemies that are currently knocked down, for example.

 

Something like that might even make it more useful for melee characters, as a followup for knockout blow, etc.

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