[.11] Combined Strike feels very underwhelming

Discussion in '{Archived} Alliance Rules 2.0 Playtesting' started by jwconvery, Oct 11, 2018.

  1. jwconvery

    jwconvery Spellsword

    Especially when compared to United Blow.

    United Blow gives an adept more options and a substantial increase in potential damage in combat.
    Converts spells to Body at x 10 per level. (versus 5 per level normally) Yes, there is a positioning requirement for melee.

    Combined Strike is mostly a Quality of Life change. The spells do no more damage, the delivery is just changed some.

    I was making my Celestial Spell Sword build, and I was trying to figure out why I would need to take Combined Strike. The only thing is does is allow me to carry less packets, and remember less incants.

    Even using it invalidates a lot of my spent XP in Martial. Since it overrides the weapon.

    United Blow for an adept is a potential capstone ability. Once you get it, your options change. Earth signature spells turn into damage (legally), Celestial can get access to an undead-killing carrier, or just double their evocation damage.

    Combined strike should feel like a capstone or build defining skill for a spell sword, but it doesn't really change what you can do. Just a little of how you can do it. <incanted> 10 spell Flame becomes 10 weapon strike flame. I'm not discounting the QoL. It is helpful to not have to incant things. I just want the capstone ability to create some kind of merger and take advantage of the two classes I've put XP in.

    What would the community at large think of having Combined Strike include your weapon damage with the swing. So my 5's + a 2nd level spell would do 15 flavor, can't be combined with other abilities, like slay or eviscerating blow. Then you are at least getting rewarded (outside of QoL) for spending XP in both martial and scholar.

    If that's too much then remove the strike carrier, and we can mem them back when blocked, and throw when we need massive.
    Christopher and DiscOH like this.
  2. Tantarus

    Tantarus Squire

    I agree it is underwhelming. It is okay for celestial for earth it is pretty narrow in use. Where as United blow gives earth adepts a bit boost in damage, combined strikes doesnt do much for earth templars. Cant even affect non undead any better like adepts.
  3. Durnic

    Durnic Squire Owner Oregon Staff Marshal

    I used it at the last playtest and I loved it as a Celestial Spellsword. I honestly had so much fun whippin' my Evo around as "spell" (weapon) strikes I could not imagine making a Celestial Spellsword without Combined Strike.

    Do I think United Blow is better? Yes, absolutely. Not only do you get an increase in power you also get a change in delivery. Combined Strike could be buffed or changed, certainly, but I do not think Combined Strike is bad.

    I will definitely agree that it is not great for Earth unless you are in a very heavy undead campaign, while United Blow is amazing for either Earth or Celestial, since it is changing that carrier from Healing (or whatever element) to Body. That's pretty slick.
  4. Bruvah M.

    Bruvah M. Newbie

    Would adding your swing damage, much like United Blow, to the attack change your mind at all?
    jwconvery likes this.
  5. Tantarus

    Tantarus Squire

    5-10 damage, meh.
  6. Feldor

    Feldor Artisan

    I think there are a few separate-ish issues here:
    1) Combined Strike isn't scaling with the martial skills that are its prerequisite. This seems to break the pattern that is present in United Blow and other skills that require pre-reqs in two different areas.
    2) Earth Combined Strike is really only useful against undead. For a capstone ability, this feels underwhelming.

    The feedback on Celestial Combined Strike seems to be that swinging your damage spells as weapon strikes is good fun.

    The Earth Combine Strike issue could be fixed a variety of ways: maybe by allowing them to be healing-spell-strikes -- and thus usable to heal friends without packets; or by allowing earth casters to have the option to drop the 'healing' aspect so they can just swing for more damage by expending a spell; or by changing it from swinging healing to swinging body (like united blow).

    United Blow is strong and feels like a real capstone ability. It both doubles normal spell damage and makes use of the required stealth skills -- such that a first level spell could easily be generating a strike that hits for 20 damage; and does this regardless of celestial or earth school. This sets a solid bar for comparison.
  7. jwconvery

    jwconvery Spellsword

    Yes, that would help enough for me to take it.

    I agree that combined strike is better for Celestial than Earth. However, thats a real low bar of comparison because it's so bad on Earth. I don't think combined strike is additive for Celestial, or Earth, at all. Combining spell damage and weapon damage would be a nice addition.

    I think an easy change that helps Earth lot would be allowing the combined strike to swing the magic carrier, on both schools. Just raw energy and power in the swing.

    That plus combining weapon damage, makes it a capstone, imo.
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2018
    Tantarus likes this.
  8. Draven

    Draven Count Seattle Staff Marshal

    For an E Spellsword using Healing vs Undead, adding 5-10 isn’t all that bad at all. It means you have a better chance of taking them out without having to burn another spell, or maybe it means you use lower level spells and keep the bigger ones in reserve.

    Don’t be grumbling, old man. :p
  9. Tantarus

    Tantarus Squire

    5-10 more damage does not make the skill suddenly good for earth. Being able to do body or even just normal damage would. The adept version is really strong for earth, the templar version is lacking. I would be lying if I didnt way I was disappointed with 2.0 earth templars. (Yes I have done a playtest, it felt pretty meh).

    I am glad hoblings can be fighters atleast.
  10. Draven

    Draven Count Seattle Staff Marshal

    I’m actually pretty cool with Roguebuilds being more tempting than Fighterbuilds. You gotta work harder for those openings.

    Fighters might feel meh, but that’s a good thing. If Fighters and Rogues performed the same in numbers, we’d be back to the idea that you should only play a Rogue for Dodges.

  11. Tantarus

    Tantarus Squire

    The issue is the adept version actually changes the spell to be more effective against more target types, which is huge for earth. Where as the templar version does not change anything other then the mode you resolve the effect. Hardly a capstone ability, hardly worth taking as you have to memorize healing. Flex casting is so much better for templars. You can memorize alot more liberally. I suspect most templars will be very unhappy with build spent in this skill a year down the road. And it is not a small amount of build.
  12. Alkalin3

    Alkalin3 Administrator Chief Technology Officer South Michigan Staff Marshal

    I'd support adding your damage to the call. So you could be adding between 2-10 (on handed) to 3-15 (two handed)

    Combining this with slays feels real good. Spellswords who slay, always do it with bonus damage and through weapons. I like that a lot.

    There's a reason for Ranged Spellswords to take it.

    That makes it great against undead, which makes the earth one more useful. (albeit super specialized still).

    Rouges could benefit from this a lot too. Since backstabs are adding 2 per from behind.
  13. Feldor

    Feldor Artisan

    I don't think any class should feel meh.

    Rogue builds will still be quite tempting, because the fighter build gets spell_level x5 while the rogue build gets spell_level x10 (even via bow!) -- adding the weapon damage will not change this difference between the skills.

    I like the idea of giving earth casters the option of an "effect" of either healing or magic, so that they can reliably use their capstone skill (given that I've been to multiple events without undead this year).
  14. Bruvah M.

    Bruvah M. Newbie

    I agree, making the earth templar’s capstone function against foes other than undead would be a great way to balance it against the celestial version. Celestial templars get to be super effective against elementals and such, while earth templars get to be super effective against undead.

    I feel that it’s also important to note the damage types of United Blow vs Combined Strike, when measuring power discrepancy. One gives you consistent access to the most powerful damage type in the game (that being ‘Body’). And the other gives you damage types that occasionally are as effective as ‘Body’, are usually as effective as anything else or have no effect.

    The difference in power between the two capstones is dramatic because of this facet alone. If United Blow was instead reduced from always swinging for Body, to having to use elements/magic or earth/chaos. I think Combined Strike wouldn’t need as much of a buff.
    Feldor, Sage of Legaia and Tantarus like this.

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