Author Topic: Sword and Board  (Read 3376 times)


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Sword and Board
« on: April 13, 2013, 10:44:23 PM »
     SnB has always been kinda meh.  When I first started TL2 as an engi I found the skill and thought it was awesome that there was some offensive incentive to having a shield.  The small amount of damage was off-set by the fact that most one handed weps swing very fast.  Down the road, unfortunately I found that the % armor to wep damage was always rather low especially considering the small amount of armor on shields.  The damage never really amounted to much.  I found myself choosing other passives and some actives in favor of SnB.
     This was before I started playing with Synergies.  The passive feels almost pointless now.  The damage return for the skill point investment is very low.  90% of the armor on Parma's Coal-Burner (175) is 157.5 damage.  On a .64 speed wep this is another 246.09 dps.  Added to a Netherblade's 948 dps is an increase of 26%.  This doesn't measure up to the dps increase a 2h user gets from Heavy Lifting, and it doesn't add any utility like Heavy Lifting's stun.  A stun that also melds with other passive choices. 
     Yes, it could be said that the added defensive benefit of wielding a shield outweighs any shortcomings SnB might have as a dps boost.  I won't argue against that, because its true. But it is still a boring skill that adds no utility for a marginal dps gain.
    If I were to change it, Id make it more intricate while adding synergy with other passives.  Adding defensive and offensive incentives to take the passive skill and max it.

Sorry that this is a skill remake.

Sword and Board:
"Extensive training with shields and martial weapons increases your chance to block and turns your shield into a dangerous weapon."

Using a standard attack with a 1h Melee weapon increases your chance to block by .5% for 2 seconds.
Blocking an attack causes your shield to reverberate with electric energy - building charge and causing damage to foes in a short but wide arc around the engineer.  Damage is equal to 3 times your shield's armor value as electric damage.

Each point spent increases your chance to block after attacking by another .5% before Tier bonuses.

Tier 1 Bonus, your bonus chance to block is doubled, and the damage your shield causes is equal to 5 times its armor value.
Tier 2 Bonus, your bonus chance to block is tripled and the damage your shield causes is equal to 10 times its armor value.
Tier 3 Bonus, your bonus chance to block is quadrupled and the damage your shield causes is equal to 13 times its armor value.

Rank 15 is a 30% bonus chance to block and a melee splash for 13x shield armor on block. 

This increases the SnB engi's offensive and defensive capabilities in a way that requires them to be fighting (2 second duration on buff) and puts the passive in line with the awesomeness of skills like Heavy Lifting and Bulwark. 

Put on the same Parma's Coal Burner and the reverberation damage is 2,275 electric base.  Not much at all.  But with the easily maxed out chance to block (75% I think) the damage scales very well with the number of monsters attacking you.  The charge buildup helps to fuel better use of the other engi skills; especially the high number of skills in the aegis tree that benefit from having charges.  Spamming these abilities might be possible with the help of SnB new passive, but the chance to block buff will drop off if the eng is not careful and forgets to use a normal attack.  The added chance to block also takes some of the pressure off dumping mad stat points into Vit to get their block up towards the cap.  This frees up stat points to be used in other stats to get a bit more dps (str and focus) or for some dodge. 

All together, I think this would be a much more interesting and dynamic version of the passive skill.  Just my 2 cents.   :)
« Last Edit: April 13, 2013, 10:50:00 PM by Tsumikiro »


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Re: Sword and Board
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2013, 10:55:40 PM »
:P I was going to start a topic on SNB too, but you beat me by a minute or so, lol.

So anyway, I'll just copy and paste everything I wrote here......

Sword and Board (as everyone knows) applies a % of your Shield's physical armor as physical damage.

However, the skill is relatively weak because it does not scale off anything else.

+% Physical Armor and Vitality does not improve the bonus damage of Sword & Board.

Strength / Focus does not improve the bonus damage of Sword & Board.

I'm currently unsure of how +% to All Damage interacts with Sword & Board, but I'm going to make a wild guess and say that such affixes function in a similar fashion to STR/FOC damage scaling, and thus do not affect Sword & Board.

I have a few suggestions to fix Sword & Board.

1. Allow Sword & Board to scale with +% Physical Armor and Vitality.
+% Physical Armor is a relatively useless affix, and this would give some use to it. Bulwark and Heal Bot also provide +% Physical Armor, so there is some skill synergy going on there. Vitality is always a useful stat for melee classes, and SNB Engineers are primarily a melee class. This would probably allow Engineers to scale into end game, since there are Enchantments and Sockets for +% Physical Armor.

2. Sword & Board considers total physical armor value instead of just the shield.
SNB would tie in well with Aegis of Fate which uses a similar mechanic, and SNB Engineers have a reason to try to get high physical armor values. (Of course, Aegis of Fate needs to be reasonably buffed first......)

3. Sword & Board considers all armor values (Ice, Poison, Fire, Electric) instead of simply just Physical.
This would outright improve SNB although certain Shields with Elemental Resistances would be favored. Naturally, Fire/Electric Armors would be favored due to Fire & Spark.

4. Sword & Board scales with STR/FOC.
Very self explanatory suggestion. Any skill which doesn't scale well sucks at the end game. This is one of the ways to have SNB scale.

5. Increase the % multiplier for SNB.
Another duh, but I guess it needed to be stated just for convenience/completion's sake. Hopefully, this would be the last option to consider.


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Re: Sword and Board
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2013, 09:48:58 PM »
What about tacking on a percentage increase to cast speed per rank? Like around 2-3% per rank.

This would fit thematically with the skill, as getting off attack skills quicker would make the engineer feel more offensive. I wouldn't think this would be too much for the skill; at 2%/rank you are at vanilla cast speed at rank 7, and only moderately faster at casting at rank 15.