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Focused Feedback: Battle Axe Revamp


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29 minutes ago, Gobbledegook said:

It may not hit as many but it is hitting them much harder than the other AoEs.  Axe Cyclone brings them in, follow with Pendulum for more AoE, you could even add an epic pool AoE on top, then finish the few/boss remaining with Cleave which hits pretty hard and take out any others remaining also. It easy to chain an AoE rotation.

 

If cleave were the only AoE i could see your point but it isn't. With Axe Cyclone pulling enemies in it is better being a small AoE than a cone. The old cone arc was small and you needed to reposition if there weren't and mobs left in the frontal arc.  This version is easier. Maybe the radius could be increased to 4ft though, need to keep it realistic without losing it's damage.

 

The set now has 3 AoE attacks with one being quite small but hitting much harder than the others. It will hit more than one foe and with it's decent damage is not bad at all.

 

I like the new changes. Try it out a bit more and hopefully you will like it also 🙂

 

 

Another issue this presents, is IO slotting. This takes away 2 more pbaoe sets which have good bonuses. The ranged aoe sets are generally trash.

 

I could see one changing, but not both. Even if both were to remain as is, ome should still flag for pbaoe sets.

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So, I spent some time on both Beta and current the last few days on a lvl 50 BA/Energy scrapper v. +4/x8 carnie paper missions.  Some thoughts:

 

-  I almost overlooked the power order changes.  You are going to give a formerly T9 power to scrappers at level 8 now.  I'm not sure if you are saying that it was a terrible T9 power or that you have improved Swoop, Axe Cyclone, and Cleave drastically.  This re-ordering is INCREDIBLE power creep and seems like a precursor to do the same thing for every melee set.  Big dislike.

 

- Beheader and Chop, looks good.  In my opinion, the only thing you really needed to do to bring this entire set up a bit would have been to add defense debuffs to every power and allow slotting of DD and ADD IOs.  But to every power, not just the T1 and T2.  Thumbs up for adding DD on these two powers but thumbs down for not adding it elsewhere.

 

- Gash and Swoop, pretty neutral to slightly positive.  Slightly faster recharge, lower proc chances by a few points. 

 

- Axe Cyclone.  Big hit on proc chances.  I see that trend in a lot of the changes you have been making, and I guess it's one way to revamp the PPM system so they go off less frequently.  I'm a proc fan myself, so I don't like to see that.  I'm not sure what the benefit of the tractor beam is when the radius has been expanded -- maybe to draw them in so your other attacks in your chain can hit?  I dislike the radius change a LOT because, well, we're already in melee range with these jokers so it really comes across as you trying to come up with ways to reduce PPM proc activation.

 

- Pendulum and Cleave.  I want to say that this is an interesting concept of adding more range to melee sets, and I'm all for it *as a new power set*.  Start from scratch and work from there.  Cleave at 40' range is terrible for attack chains, especially if that is what you lead off with, and is immersion breaking for me.  Am I throwing my axe?  Is my axe now an Arachnos Mace?  Changing from a cone to a targeted AoE makes it much simpler to get more than one target in the attack, but it cuts the proc activation rate significantly (I'm seeing a trend).  If you are fighting a big mob, it's not difficult at all to get 2-5 people in that cone.  [EDIT: the cone that is currently is.  The new sphere makes it several times easier, which is just too easy].  Please, PLEASE don't dumb this down like you did with Shadow Maul.  Pendulum becomes a worse power, since your effective arc is now significantly smaller than 180 degrees.  If I were a lot closer to my geometry and trig days, I'd probably be able to figure out what the effective arc is now, but I'll make a quick guess at 90?  And if you are going to make these a targeted AoE, you really should switch over the IO slotting to targeted AoE sets.

 

Overall, and plenty of you are going to dislike my opinion, there are some really interesting ideas in this proposal, and I strongly encourage you look to institute them in a brand new set.  I doubt that is going to happen, because I have seen that when something has been introduced on HC, it's pretty much going to happen one way or another.  If we have to have a targeted AoE set, make it pendulum, and make it Targeted AoE IOs like Spinning Strike.  Keep Cleave as it [EDIT: currently, not as proposed] is, maybe add some more damage or something else interesting if it's going to be the T9 signature power.  Add DD and ADD to every power, not just the first two ST powers.  If you are going to intentionally reduce proc chances, add more base damage to the power.  If you are going to move a T9 to a T5 then cut the damage and power accordingly and if you are going to move a T5 to a T9 make it significantly stronger.

 

These are my opinions and experiences from having played a lot of Axe.  Yours may differ.  I agree that it is not as good a set as some others as currently stands, but these changes will completely change playstyle and seems to be one step towards making all characters extremely powerful at extremely low levels, as well as one step towards reducing the effects of procs without revamping the PPM system.

 

 

Edited by Yomo Kimyata
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2 hours ago, WindDemon21 said:

Another issue this presents, is IO slotting. This takes away 2 more pbaoe sets which have good bonuses. The ranged aoe sets are generally trash.

 

I could see one changing, but not both. Even if both were to remain as is, ome should still flag for pbaoe sets.

 

Was wondering about this as well, so went on test.  There are no ranged aoe flagged powers with this change.  Pendulum, Cyclone, and cleave all still take melee aoe IO sets per the power tooltip.  Just to make sure, slotted an obliteration into each, no problem.

 

Pendulum works the same as touch of fear now and ToF is also still melee aoe, so I see no good reason why that one would change. 

 

Only one I could see maybe changing would be cleave if they decide to actually change it.  Considering the range part of cleave is unenhanceable I could see that one also staying melee aoe though.

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Testing Axe/WP Brute

Level 12, outfitted with DOs 
Build: Chop, Gash, Pendulum, Taunt, HPT, MoB, Fast Healing, Indomitable Will (skipped Beheader, set has enough ST but I may regret this at low levels)
Running on +0x1 with bosses on doing Skulls arc
Initial Observations: Pendulum is a TAoE now which still has a description about swinging the axe in an arc in front of you, so that should probably be changed

Mission 1: Uhhhhhh, hehehe. These Skulls were dead when I got here officer, I swear. Anyway, blowing through enemies fast, and the AoE on Pendulum is IMPRESSIVE. I have no problem hitting multiple people with it, even when I feel like someone was out of range for it. And it's CRUNCHY when it hits a few people. I will have to turn up the diff quite a bit for the next one. I am currently suffering from the long recharges on powers, but that's my fault for skipping Beheader. It's not even that bad with prestige powers at this level. Also getting use out of Taunt by grabbing a couple spawns to bunch up for Pendulum. Also boss didn't stand a chance.

Mission 2: I bumped it to +0x3. Yup, those groups of Skulls charging over to fight me at the corner all got bonked pretty bad. Pretty funny waiting for a group to run over and then sweeping them all off their feet. Also amusing watching Pendulum hit people who are BEHIND me. I'm not complaining though. Twin bosses went down fast, though I was careful to pull enemies so I didn't get swarmed. I'm not sure how much the -DEF is helping but it did seem to offset the -ToHit I was getting at least enough to not whiff attacks. Anyway that was pretty easy and I'm ready to move on.

Level 22, switching to SOs (not making THAT mistake again)
Build: Adding Combat Jumping, RttC, Swoop, Quick Recovery, Axe Cyclone
Running on +1x3 with bosses on, decided to start Ray Cooling's arc in Talos

Mission 1: Family. The pull from Axe Cyclone is surprisingly fast, wasn't expecting that. And it has a big radius which sets people up for Pendulum. So it's a good thing Pendulum is such a good power! I think in the future I'd slot Cyclone for recharge before damage given the utility of it. The mission went well playing wisely with positioning. Cyclone actually seems especially useful against a group like Family who will prefer not to close into melee unless you force them.

Mission 2: Rogue PPD. Blah. Those extreme levels of -DEF and -rech are not making this easy. Maybe not a good group to test against because of the disgusting amount of debuffs. (Did they seriously drop me from 50% DEF to -50%? Yes they did). Anyway moving on because I'd rather do anything but this. Why did I choose to do this arc again?

Level 32, sticking with SOs, dropping one Shield Wall +5% RES all in CJ
Build: Adding Heightened Senses, Cleave, Build Up, Kick, Tough
Sticking with +1x3 to see how it goes, doing newspapers in FF

Mission 1: Sky Raiders. They don't like to group up but that's not too much of a problem because I can force them to! Cleave is hitting multiple targets MUCH more consistently than I thought it would (which is a good thing). If I'm parsing the numbers correctly it still has an end cost like a single target power (like it used to, and like powers like Head Splitter). The ranged aspect also helped a couple times when I wanted to hit something (like a forcefield generator) and didn't want to move. I like the flexibility it offers. Really cool.

Mission 2: Freakshow. These guys DO like to group up and I feel sorry for them for it! Not much to comment on here, other than the bosses take a while to chunk down. I don't think they have S/L RES or anything though so it's not a unique weaponset problem.

image.thumb.png.af26784e0837f54f3c59c92821a1ffb7.png
Tiny mouse takes on Freakshow.

The AoEs are excellent and it's great taking on groups of enemies with this set now.
The fact that they're targeted AoEs now makes them much easier to aim and use, and visualize where they're going to hit.
Overall I'd say for groups that already cluster it doesn't change a lot, but Cyclone will sometimes still be useful to drag someone closer.
For groups that don't like to cluster (Council, Family) it's extremely useful for dragging people in to be in range of your other AoEs.
For groups that refuse to cluster like Sky Raiders it's not exactly going to make them stand still or not teleport, but it's still handy.

Overall really fun set and good improvement to what was there. I hope other sets like BS/katana get similar treatments.
I'm still not sure this excels over similar other non-weapon sets. The pure S/L aspect of these sets and their lack of potent secondary effects always seems to hold them back. Though the targeted AoEs and vacuum power might give it a niche in broader play.

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4 hours ago, BrandX said:

 

I don't know, having a Fire/Axe Tanker, I like it.  So much so, I would think to change my fire demon firewoman from tanker to scrapper if I thought the Fire Armor changes would actually make a Fire Armor user survivable 😛

 

Right now, I feel sturdy on my tank with just Max Resists and High Recharge (more Healing Flame!)

TANKER. They get 50% more radius on their aoes. Thats a bonus that should not be ignored in this calculation. This is so non-tanks don't get screwed out on aoe.

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2 hours ago, Riverdusk said:

 

Was wondering about this as well, so went on test.  There are no ranged aoe flagged powers with this change.  Pendulum, Cyclone, and cleave all still take melee aoe IO sets per the power tooltip.  Just to make sure, slotted an obliteration into each, no problem.

 

Pendulum works the same as touch of fear now and ToF is also still melee aoe, so I see no good reason why that one would change. 

 

Only one I could see maybe changing would be cleave if they decide to actually change it.  Considering the range part of cleave is unenhanceable I could see that one also staying melee aoe though.

Thank god. Also, Spinning Strike in street justice has the exact same range/radius stats as touch of fear, and it slots ranged aoe sets, not melee ones. That power should also severly be changed to pbaoe, not how it is now, even the animation supports the pbaoe nature.

 

As per cleave, you can't enhance it's range, so was like i figured how taser is on devices. so that's good if it still takes pbaoe sets.

 

As per pendulum, a pbaoe vector of whirling axe/typhoon whatever, puts them around YOU, not your target you're looking at, so that actually can be more detrimental to an aoe surrounded on the target, and not you. It's the exact reason, I have abandoned many of my higher level street justice scrappers, cause that (outside of tankers with the extra radius) simply does not work with such a tiny radius. I don't have an initial problem with the power working that way, dependent on the radius. The radius being more of the issue, it should easily have a radius on a taoe power like that, (as well as tof, and spinning strike, though that should still be pbaoe) of 10ft so it actually hits the aoe.

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The pull from Cyclone Axe is not affected by the Tanker inherent.

 

At 21f the mob is untouched

 

image.png.348e681cb41316768466edcf0b2fee39.png

 

At 15f it does.

 

This might be on purpose but then might want to add the info to the power such as other similarly not affected by the inherent powers also have.

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First thing, for correlation, I may have read it and forgotten.  Cleave is now 40ft.  Power says ranged.  It however looks to still take PBAOE enhancements.

 

If it's a ranged attack and it's a matter of not wanting to be able to increase the range, why not lower the range to say...30ft?...and change sets it can take?  Mind you, I may or may not want that, seeing as how mine's slotted with Armageddon.

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Ranged and Targeted AoE sets are definitely not as good or useful for a melee class as the melee sets are (which tend to have S/L/melee DEF or RES in them). Though I know ranged attacks in melee sets tend to take ranged sets, I wish they didn't. 

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At the same time it can be nice to have one that is different.  Another place to put a different purple set if you are chasing recharge.  You miss out on that if they are all melee aoe, unless you take an epic that happens to be ranged aoe.  Myself I probably wouldn't mind either way for cleave.

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8 minutes ago, Dispari said:

Ranged and Targeted AoE sets are definitely not as good or useful for a melee class as the melee sets are (which tend to have S/L/melee DEF or RES in them). Though I know ranged attacks in melee sets tend to take ranged sets, I wish they didn't. 

 

I like it, as it allows me to use some other sets.

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It WOULD only be one power, so I wouldn't like, die or anything. Plus you could put one of the ATO sets in it. Ranged sets are always a bummer when I do builds though.

In this case it would be a targeted AoE set I believe, so you could at least put Bombardment in it for S/L RES.

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From what I've tested so far, but I can't honestly say anything about ST DPS, I didn't build for optimal ST.

 

First, the AOE aspects of Cleave and Pendulum, I love it!  One, it makes the set feel different from other melee sets.  For the range on Cleave, I could honestly live without it, but it's not bad either,   I'd like to see a little more radius on Cleave, so I feel I can hit those same targets I hit with Pendulum and not need them as tightly packed.

 

Axe Cyclone is great and I love going Axe Clone > Pendulum > Cleave > (and in my case) Burn for some nice opening AOE 🙂 even if Pendulum is a bit weak on that radius.

 

Didn't do anything with the Defense Debuff slotting, as I'm just not going to switch out my slotting, which is based a lot on Resist set bonuses 😛  Beheader only being 2 slotted with Touch of Death for instance, but now, I could respec to Chop if it's the better attack.

 

 

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3 minutes ago, Dispari said:

It WOULD only be one power, so I wouldn't like, die or anything. Plus you could put one of the ATO sets in it. Ranged sets are always a bummer when I do builds though.

In this case it would be a targeted AoE set I believe, so you could at least put Bombardment in it for S/L RES.

 

Well if the Melee Ranged attacks would equal the fast snipes, the slotting of the range set may feel a little better.

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Intrigue.

 

I have a Shield/Axe brute.  L50.

 

Having played War Mace, I was disappointed with Axe's lack of fulfilled potential.  I mean, it's an axe set?  Give me some chainsaw massacre, right?

 

I'll roll one of these and text the changes.

 

*mouth waters.

 

Azrael.

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Tested out an axe/energy scrapper.  Have to say the set now feels fantastic to me.  As @BrandX mentioned the aoe combo of Cyclone->Pendulum->Cleave was super fun, and effective, even without burn 🙂

 

At the beginning I tried leading off with Cleave from range to start as I closed in and it worked okay, but honestly just running into the pack and doing the above chain worked out better I think.  Cyclone brings them close so that Pendulum and Cleave then hit more targets and it has a really nice synergy.   I like that it has that synergy, and yet doesn't force a combo system on you, very well done devs.

 

Anyway, probably the only time I'd really see using the range of cleave is for runners or flyers or those type of situations.  But I think that is fine and still nice to have something in those situations without waiting for an epic power for it.

 

Only drawback I noticed was the endurance drain was pretty brutal, even when I had energize going.  That was with 1 endred in most of the attacks, but without really any of the specials (numi, panacea, miracle, etc.).  So, might be okay once a full build is in place, but it is something I'd keep in mind.  With how good the set feels now though, I think that is reasonable to work around.

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9 hours ago, Riverdusk said:

Only drawback I noticed was the endurance drain was pretty brutal, even when I had energize going.


I don't know if this makes you feel better or anything, but all the "heavy" attack sets have high end costs. That goes for axe, hammer, super strength, earth melee, and so on. In fact, all of the powers cost exactly the same amount as they used to even with changes, with the sole exception of Axe Cyclone which now costs about 3.85 endurance more, though its radius also increased from 8 to 15, so I think this is reasonable.

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Welllllllllllllllll...

I took the time to do a quick high-end build mockup for my Axe/WP brute. I capped out S/L RES and S/L DEF, other DEFs at least high 30s, 2600 maxHP, about 70% global recharge. Set myself up to run +2x8

This set is a BEAST. Even with only moderate recharge I can basically cycle Cyclone, Pendulum, Cleave. Every time enemies drop you just Cyclone pull more in and continue with your AoEs. You don't have to aim to chunk several groups of enemies down. It's a whirlwind of death and destruction. It's fantastic.

image.png.93d0b2c2d7123d5b8921174dafb181c6.png

EDIT: Build for reference

Edited by Dispari
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15 hours ago, Golden Azrael said:

Having played War Mace, I was disappointed with Axe's lack of fulfilled potential.  I mean, it's an axe set?  Give me some chainsaw massacre, right?

 

Yes Chainsaw Visual please 😁

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Anyone feeling a little low on endurance now?

 

That said, attacks are so buttery smooth now. Thank you.

 

It just feels more end hungry and I'm gonna have to clearly respec. from the current power selections. I was toggle dropping (and died 3x) trying to defeat just one custom boss.

 

selections on a tank

image.png.8baf2e4d9ba23faced7bc02d2c913e7e.png

 

Kleos is an Ice Armor / Battle Ax tanker level 50 unicorn that mostly solos. (non incarnate)

Time allowing I want try out the changes on something other than Kleos as they are an uncommon pairing.

 

 

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

Si vis pacem, para bellum

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13 minutes ago, Troo said:

Anyone feeling a little low on endurance now?

 

That said, attacks are so buttery smooth now. Thank you.

 

It just feels more end hungry and I'm gonna have to clearly respec. from the current power selections. I was toggle dropping (and died 3x) trying to defeat just one custom boss.

 

selections on a tank

image.png.8baf2e4d9ba23faced7bc02d2c913e7e.png

 

Kleos is an Ice Armor / Battle Ax tanker level 50 unicorn that mostly solos. (non incarnate)

Time allowing I want try out the changes on something other than Kleos as they are an uncommon pairing.

 

 

 

I didn't, but my build does have IOs (transferred mine from live).

 

However, with shorter animation times, you'll be using the next attack sooner, so less end recovery time, could be what you're feeling?

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11 minutes ago, Troo said:

It just feels more end hungry

This is a common experience whenever a set goes through a DPA increase. The design formula directly adjusts damage and endurance based on recharge, so you will find all attacks that follow the formula to have a similar Damage per Endurance ratio. So when a power gets a DPA increase, it will also be accompanied with an EPA increase. 

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2 minutes ago, BrandX said:

However, with shorter animation times, you'll be using the next attack sooner, so less end recovery time, could be what you're feeling?

 

yes definitely.

 

1 minute ago, Booper said:

This is a common experience whenever a set goes through a DPA increase. The design formula directly adjusts damage and endurance based on recharge, so you will find all attacks that follow the formula to have a similar Damage per Endurance ratio. So when a power gets a DPA increase, it will also be accompanied with an EPA increase. 

 

Yep. as long as it's a known or as expected on your end.

These changes will result in a respec so it'll all shake out on the player end.

Edited by Troo

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

Si vis pacem, para bellum

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27 minutes ago, Booper said:

This is a common experience whenever a set goes through a DPA increase. The design formula directly adjusts damage and endurance based on recharge, so you will find all attacks that follow the formula to have a similar Damage per Endurance ratio. So when a power gets a DPA increase, it will also be accompanied with an EPA increase. 

 

In concert with the reduced animation times.  With shorter animation times, there are fewer Recovery ticks during any given attack chain.  If, for instance, the attack chain consists of 5 attacks with a total of 10 seconds of animation time, and the animation times are cut to an average of 1.33 seconds, the player is then using the same 5 attacks in 6.65 seconds.  Same endurance used for the attacks, but 3.35 seconds less time for Recovery to do it's thing.

Get busy living... or get busy dying.  That's goddamn right.

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This is probably my last chance to advocate for changing the names of the powers around since it makes no sense for the strongest sounding power name (beheader) to be the weakest attack.  All of the actual abilities would remain in the same order,  just the names would get shifted around so the 'stronger' names are on the higher tier abilities while attempting to keep in line with the names matching the function of the powers.  Current order in parenthesis. 

 

1. Chop  (Beheader)

2. Gash  (Chop)

3. Swoop  (Gash)

4. Build Up

5. Cleave (Pendulum)

6. Taunt/Confront

7. Pendulum (Swoop)

8. Axe Cyclone

9. Beheader (Cleave)

 

Changing power names around would probably ruffle some feathers too but Chop sounds the weakest to me followed by Gash and then Swoop.  The current Pendulum does AoE but i think of swinging back and forth of an actual pendulum like the knockup and then fall down that current Swoop does.  Cleave fills in the name for the AoE gap that was left from moving pendulum.  Axe Cyclone is obviously fine and then Beheader has its name rightfully moved to the t9 where it belongs.

 

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