Most people (or Legos) who fight with swords use only one of them
Single-weapon fighting (SWF) has been getting a ton of attention over on the forums ever since Vargouille posted his original Swashbuckler thread last week. His updated version, presented in a second thread, eventually turned the focus away from the enhancement and more towards the fighting style.
Which is good, because as we discussed last week, if SWF isn’t perceived to be useful then very few people are going to be playing Swashbucklers: a shameful waste of such an awesome concept.
There has been a lot of back and forth in Vargouille’s thread. Normally I give up on giant threads like this, they end up wandering in every direction at once, and I don’t expect anyone from Turbine to try and sift through 22 pages of inanity. With less chance of Turbine reading comments, the thread posters are left only to argue amongst themselves and I don’t find that very appealing.
But for some reason I stuck with this one, and eventually Vargouille posted his updated version of SWF:
SWF: +10% Attack Speed (stacking)
ISWF: Upgrade to +20% Attack Speed, 150% Ability Score bonus to your damage (like THF)
GSWF: Upgrade to +30% Attack Speed, 200% Ability Score bonus to your damage
Other options discussed here today also included critical profiles, defensive bonuses, double strike, different new doublestrike, triplestrike, die sides, armor piercing, increase to all damage, etc. Some of these still may be on the table, some are less likely due to technical or design issues, but we’re still happy to hear discussions.
This is much better than the original idea (a strange all-new way to add to the size of the weapon damage dice), but I’ve been thinking about all this over the weekend, and I eventually decided this is still not right. Not because the melee bonuses are bad, they are not, they will appeal to many character types that do not want to be STR builds (or even DEX builds) and that is pretty cool.
But I think it may be short-sighted to focus on melee capabilities in the first place. I think SWF would be better served providing non-melee stuff like Dodge, to make it truly distinct from THF, TWF and S&B. You have to give SWF a dab of melee capability to give it better DPS than S&B, but stop there, and go in a different direction.
Vargouille already specified that Turbine is avoiding Dodge (dodging Dodge?) on purpose for armor-based reasons, so instead, what about something like this:
SWF: +1 to weapon enhancement, +1% to double strike, +5% to Concealment
ISWF: +1 to weapon enhancement, +1% to double strike, +5% to Concealment
GSWF: +2 to weapon enhancement, +2% to double strike, +10% to Concealment
Even if you disagree with the specific suggestion (maybe Concealment is bad for another reason?), the approach of adding a little melee capability plus a lot of defense gives every weapon style a distinct reason to exist.
Imagine that each weapon style was ranked for damage per hit, attack speed, and defenses, and that each style had a distinct ranking in each of those variables:
Ranking the Weapon Styles
The rankings in this hastily-thrown-together chart do not attempt to quantify the values of these attributes, just a relative ranking. For instance THF damage per attack is much higher than any other style but in this ranking is only one higher. Similarly S&B defenses are much better than any other. Etc.
TWF still looks pretty attractive. But everything else has it’s arguments too; it is harder to say which is “best” and easier to say which is better for specific situations and character types.
Which is what we want, right? Choices? Viable choices?