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 Post subject: Weapon Master nerfs
PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2017 12:47 pm 
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so the weapon master is a very, very, very powerful class, at least in PvE, and they also make balancing weapons more difficult more than it should be
also, I think that giving a lvl 40 fighter +5 passive AB would be a too much if weapon masters were nerfed the way that this post would detail, but considering current weapon master it isn't so bad atm
to put this relatively short, I've done extensive(edit: apparently not extensive enough) research on weapons in NWN before joining this server a few days ago, and I wanna at least put these ideas somewhere and maybe get some feedback too

the following list is about how much average damage per hit that a character would gain by adding ONE POSITIVE ENERGY DAMAGE(barring resistances/etc) to their weapon(the first number after the colon), and the number after the last comma on each line is how much average damage per hit they would gain by adding ONE MASSIVE CRITICALS to their weapon, barring immunity to critical hits
the list assumes that all 10 situations involve a keen weapon with the associated improved critical feat

20/x2 critical, 7+weapon master: 1.5, .25
20/x3 critical, 7+ weapon master: 1.75, .25
20/x4 critical, 7+ weapon master: 2, .25
19-20/x2 critical, 7+ weapon master: 1.8, .4
18-20/x2 critical, 7+ weapon master: 2.1, .55
20/x2 critical: 1.15, .15
20/x3 critical: 1.3, .15
20/x4 critical: 1.45, 15
19-20/x2 critical: 1.3, .3
18-20/x2 critical: 1.45, .45

and of course thats before changing the weapon master class... also given the current game mechanics 18-20/x2 weapons have the best scaling for weapon masters, and I am very, very sure that the above list is correct

so a 20/x2 weapon in the hands of a fighter can be 18-20/x2, but in the hands of a weapon master(for that weapon), it can become 17-20/x3

it may not look like a big boost, but its HUGE; to put it in a different perspective, with 18-20/x2 criticals you, barring massive criticals, do double damage 3 out of 20 times, and with 17-20/x3 criticals, you do triple damage 4 out of 20 times
now compare 19-20/x2 with 20/x3; barring massive criticals and (current)weapon masters and damage resistance/reduction/immunities/vulnerabilities, both a regular longsword and a regular warhammer would put out an EXACTLY equal amount of average damage, since critting twice for x2 is as much damage as critting once for x3 then making another attack that doesn't critically strike
2+2=3+1
by that same logic with the mentioned exceptions, 18-20/x2 is equal to 20/x4 in terms of average damage, since 2+2+2=4+1+1

so, given the above, one could say that having 17-20/x3 criticals is like having 13-20/x2 criticals, barring massive criticals, which is a LOT more than having 18-20/x2 criticals



so I'll propose these changes to weapon masters(and two other changes)... hopefully they could possibly be implemented without getting the source code from Bioware, whether by removing feats and replacing them with new custom ones or not:
increased multiplier is changed to basically function as overwhelming critical((1d6 massive crits per multiplier)-1d6), AND stack with overwhelming critical, as well as other sources of massive criticals

ki critical now doubles your threat range instead of increasing it by 2; with keen or improved critical added to that, its tripled, and with all three, its quadrupled

ki damage also adds 1/4th of your weapon master level, rounded down, to your damage roll when used... because ki damage sucks, and with that change, it won't suck

at weapon master level 13, increased multiplier's massive criticals use d12 die instead of d6 die, so a scythe would gain 3d12 massive criticals from increased multiplier instead of 3d6 massive criticals


furthermore, since weapon masters can achieve such a high attack bonus compared to everyone else except your server's versions of pure fighters; I ALSO propose these changes:
epic superior weapon focus now granted at weapon master level 19, and will grant +1 attack bonus per 9 levels after 10, instead of +1 attack bonus per 3 levels after 10(so weapon masters would get +3 AB from superior+epic superior weapon focus at level 28)

I don't quite get how the pure class token thing works, but for fighters, it, from my understanding, would passively and until you rest or die, give a level 40 fighter +5 AB, AC, and 5 regeneration, among other things; I personally would
lower the pure lvl 40 fighter's AB boost(at 40) to +2, though I'm not so sure when I'd give the AB boosts

perhaps the paladin's Holy Avenger pure class ability could have the holy sword enhancement bonus lowered by 1, to (level/5)+1

with the above changes made, this is what that +1 positive energy damage, +1 massive criticals list would look like; this list also assumes that all 10 PCs have the relevant improved critical feat and are using a keen weapon:

20/x2 critical, 7+weapon master: 1.2, .2
20/x3 critical, 7+ weapon master: 1.4, .2
20/x4 critical, 7+ weapon master: 1.6, .2
19-20/x2 critical, 7+ weapon master: 1.4, .4
18-20/x2 critical, 7+ weapon master: 1.6, .6
20/x2 critical: 1.15, .15
20/x3 critical: 1.3, .15
20/x4 critical: 1.45, 15
19-20/x2 critical: 1.3, .3
18-20/x2 critical: 1.45, .45

so with those changes, a weapon master(greataxe) would have 17-20/x3 criticals with 2d12+2d6 massive criticals(from overwhelming crit and increased multiplier), while a pure fighter(greataxe) would have 18-20/x3 criticals

yes I do understand that I've been making that exception with massive criticals, but that can be fixed by just giving certain item types more or less massive criticals than other item types, though it'd probably be unbalanced before level 40

also, given the game mechanics for standard-no-changes-from-NWN1.68-server; overwhelming critical was designed very well; a regular longsword with overwhelming critical does exactly as much average damage per hit as a regular battleaxe with overwhelming critical; also the change I'd proposed to increased multiplier is of course quite similar to overwhelming critical
__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
EDIT: the stuff below this line is mostly irrelevant/wrong it turns out, though I hadn't figured that out when I'd made the thread; I'll leave it there anyway

now I'm not gonna ask you to rebalance weapons with the modifications I'd proposed, but IF you wanted to, weapon masters would no longer be a problem for weapon balance; you could feasibly, with alot of number crunching, make a sickle that, when dual-wielded, that puts out damage thats either equal or just about equal to a double axe wielded by the same character, were his weapon focus feats changed and he was given exotic proficiency for free if he'd picked double axe

but that'd pose a problem; since 20/x2 weapons would do much more damage on non-criticals than all other weapons and 20/x4 and 18-20/x2 weapons wouldn't do very much damage unless they critically strike, everyone would start using 20/x2 weapons exclusively unless they're RPing or aren't willing to reroll because some enemies are immune to critical strikes and 20/x2 weapons would hit the hardest(on non-critical hits) by alot
so to fix that, you can apply these changes(at level 40) to the bonus damage on weapons(not the enchantment bonus)
tiny: -2(extra unsure about tiny)
small: -2
simple: -2
20/x2: -2
medium: +0
martial: +0
19-20/x2: +0
20/x3: +0
large: +2
exotic: +2
18-20/x2: +2
20/x4: +2
double-sided: -4
that list I'm not entirely sure about, though, but at least the parts about criticals are the way I want it for sure

anyway, for example, a dire mace(apparently 20/x3 on NS4) would be given +2 damage from large and +2 damage from exotic, but would get -4 from being double-sided, for an overall +0 damage bonus compared to other weapons
though given what you're doing to two-handed weapon by multiplying their bonus damage and bonus massive criticals by 1.5, well, I didn't take that into account when I'd made the nearest above list, and I didn't change it with that in mind either

edit: considering damage reduction and such, I guess it'd be debatable which weapons would be better even without that final list applied at all


Last edited by Garn on Wed Aug 02, 2017 4:41 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Weapon Master nerfs
PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2017 2:17 pm 
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PKer
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Joined: Tue Dec 11, 2007 8:29 am
Posts: 1233
tldr;

Heavy flail is the best damage output in the game.

With the weapons/crits you are discussing, the actual battle (assuming the melee fighter gets a swing or 5) lasts a total of 3 swings. Rarely longer than a full round. The reason this is important is because damage over time calculations are useless when considering the HP of the defenders. In a mathematical world vs infinite HP, your numbers might work out, but in the real world when 13-20x4 = 250-300+ and you get 2 swings before the defender has an action, none of the damage over time matters.

Another consideration is Damage Immunity/Damage Resistance (DI/DR). Weapons that are dual type damage (hflail, halberd,gith greatsword) will always result in more damage output (over infinite time) than a single damage type, like a scythe with slash. This is why NS4 is cool... you can go with 13-20x4 with hflail WM/Dev crit and get 300s or you can go 17-20x6 with scythe and get 500s. It's all about the flavor and who you are fighting against.

This is a PvP server, PvE balance is secondary and involves modification of the mobs to suit the rules/feats/skills/weapons of the players.

A dagger will never be the best weapon on the server, this is not skyrim with 15x backstab.

Finally, I would make the suggestion that you invest a bit more time into the higher level builds of the server before recommending changes and/or making final judgments of your own. If the server builds were as transparent as your math suggests, then everyone who migrated from a different server would have the ideal builds as their first 3 toons and then be done... but in all my time here, even the most experienced builders from other servers fail on their first 2 or 3 builds (for one reason or another). I will offer the same suggestion to you as I offer all new players:

Make some sort of cleric multiclass so that you can survive, rescue yourself and your party later on and also craft potions and scrolls.

Make a pure barbarian that is con based for EDR and roar and racial token. This will give you a survivable toon to level and get get gear and won't be completely useless when you are done.

Simple and to the point, get the gear and get the server knowledge necessary to prosper here.

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 Post subject: Re: Weapon Master nerfs
PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2017 3:51 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 20, 2014 1:10 pm
Posts: 25
I initially started of typing a detailed reply going into some of the math, but instead I'd just like to invite you to actually get some experience on the server, which you clearly don't have at the moment. Once you get a bit more familiar, I invite you to build the best weapon master you can and use it some glorious PvP. I'm sure you will quickly find out that weapon masters do not need nerfs, as you will get consistently destroyed by mages, archers and various dex based divine might/shield builds.

Actually I can't resist commenting a little bit on the math, because your analysis is extremely simplistic. Let me just say that you completely ignore di/dr, which makes me suspect you haven't seen any of the higher level content in the server. On top of that you ignore opponent AC vs your AB (Do you have a rough idea how much AB and AC certain types of characters typically get?), and you also never even mention threat rolls. If AC is high relative to AB, which it often is on this server, higher multiplier is much more valuable than higher crit range.


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 Post subject: Re: Weapon Master nerfs
PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2017 4:22 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 02, 2017 11:38 am
Posts: 9
well i guess you could /thread your own post tarias
figures it'd take some embarrassment for me to see the rest of the sides of the, uh, argument, in the first place
edit: no worries about being condescending long as its constructive, and it was


Last edited by Garn on Wed Aug 02, 2017 4:42 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Weapon Master nerfs
PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2017 4:33 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 20, 2014 1:10 pm
Posts: 25
When reading it back my post does come of as more condescending than I intended it to be. That being said, I think it's probably optimistic to post analysis like this when you don't have much experience with the rules on the server and expect not to get flak for it. :P I'd gladly expand on specifics though, if you think any of my points were unfair (asides from just being condescending). If you prefer a real time discussion I'm also often available in the discord server.


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 Post subject: Re: Weapon Master nerfs
PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 3:47 am 
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Absentee Ballot Dev
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Posts: 2377
To give a rough idea of numbers, anticipate ~ 76-84 AC on a well built dexxer, ~63-70 ab on a str/Dex toon under reasonable circumstances, and ~25%/20/- DI/DR vs most physical hits.

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