There is but one truly serious gamedesigning problem, and that is Reaping Arc. Judging whether the relic is or is not been balanced amounts to answering the fundamental question of patch 220.127.116.11. All the rest— whether or not the Dreeg's Evil Eye became viable, whether the stun jacks are still clunky — comes afterwards. These are games; one must first answer.
Albrecht Camil: The Myth of Scorvius
And so we (mainly @banana_peel) did all possible damage types RA to compare its strength to other 2H melee builds. Whilst we indeed faced some complex issues, the process of creating was rather an easy one. The grind was as tiresome as usual, ofc.
The main goal of the “”“research”"" is to understand the reality of 2H melee meta, compare it to other archetypes, mainly DW, suggest what can be done about it and to answer the question: "Does RA break or fit game’s
Firstly rolled with similar WH - https://youtu.be/LT0--X5yA5E, but despite seemingly superior stats build was rather terrible at surviving and had low damage output. My only explanation is CoF.
And yes, i believe in dervish supremacy.
As all vitality builds has problem with clearing thrash, so bloodknight’s summons really help. Also the fastest melee vitality build ever.
Physical Deathknight - 4.31 CR GT
Feels a bit faster than usual BA DK, but might be on par.
0 * 245% = 0
Obvious ones - both have no flat damage to begin with, no way to convert vitality damage, poor itemization, grava sending his best regards and etc. Garbage remains garbage. Banana did assemble the fire one though.
So in our mind RA’s %WD should be nerfed. Here’re the reasons.
It completely overshadows any 2H with WPS. They are already in a bad spot due to the fact, that most animations there are abysmal, the only exception being Zolhan and to a lesser extent Ferral Hunger. WPS’s animation for 2H weapon should be improved along the board and RA/BA just hide the problem, rather than solve it.
There’s a reason why beronat’s %wd is relatively low - to prevent classed like binder/reaper stacking max flat damage (which they’re totally capable of) or in infil’s case to utilize double pierce rr with maximum utility. Those classes been balanced around the fact, that they don’t have acces to spam skills with stupidly high %wd.
It’s virtually free. No point investment, no need for modifiers or even to pick a certain mastery.
It doesn’t help weak melee damage types (with the exception of vitality, where it solves its main problem - lack of aoe). And again, types that are predisposed to high weapon damage gain to much of it, (because in the first place they’ve been balanced in a different way).
I saw a ‘‘drama starter’’ reply but it vanished fast
Anyway, it was apparent before testing. Most players who experienced variety of melee skills with or without wps (and different damage types)have predicted this result. Though some of the builders obviously did their best with GDstashing greens(And piloting as always) so for casual players you can add 30-45 secs to the timers.
I’m gonna repeat my first response to this matter. I don’t want devs nerf this one to the ground because of the hype. %190 WD and some increase to the vitality/decay damage(for both vit and phys melees) or %205 WD would be balanced enough. Maybe some lesser arc at most. Making it %160-170 would be too harsh.
As it’s well known; melee archetypes always been the worst when you compare it to the pets, retaliations and casters. If devs somehow decide to spend more time to improve GD, then I’ld definitely be glad to see some more melee changes but since we passed through the second ‘‘last’’ patch I can’t complain about it. But hell it can go till 18.104.22.168
I wanna add to this. It’s not just about freeing up skill points that could’ve been for blade arc or whatever your main skill could be. It’s also freeing up item slots that used to be for your main skills, now they’re instead being used for getting more weapon damage/ % damage/RR. In that sense it’s not even just free. It’s a gain in terms of itemization since most builds are more limiting in that aspect.
Some people might see that freedom in itemization as a good thing and it should be. But for a skill as strong as current RA, since every other 2h skill is worse than it (even BA since BA is on par with RA on soldiers and BA can’t be on binder and other classes), it’s not a good thing.
Yes. I meant the RA build I played and the BA build I played are on the same tier. But RA in general is way better than BA just by the fact that you can use it on all classes, not yet counting what grey said which I all agree
I have no idea why grey decided to post the feedback on his own but whatever, what’s done is done.
First of all i’d like to thank the devs for the addition of a universal melee skill which can be used both as main skill and a filler skill for good sustain. The balance can’t be perfect on the first iteration so i want to help in that regard.
There are two sides of them: 1) skill performance compared to the dmg type, class and overall field 2) skill performance compared to playstyle, 2H melee
1) Aether variant is without a doubt the strongest of the bunch and the reason for that is the relic and its base are very suitable for the strongest class in the game, the relic has all relevant stats and +1 to necro and it abuses Binder’s WD stacking capability that previously could only be utilized in CT spam and Shard of Beronath. The build can achieve 4 mins Crucible and climb very high shards. RA’s dmg output feels too strong
Similar story goes for pierce Infiltrator. Pierce is very strong for melee, very strong in Crucible. Before RA, Infiltrator had only two sources to utilize WD for pierce: Belgo set and Shadow Strike.
Overall the bigger part of all these pierce builds overperforming is the strong base of several pierce items and affixes. For instance, Cuttroat’s prefix is just an omegaboost for melee output with its flat, AS and %cunning.
Vitality one, while not as fast, is vastly superior to any possible vitality melee and is probably faster than other current vitality builds. Elemental RA is also the fastest for the dmg type but i feel like people just don’t make enough ele builds to compare the results to the field. The dmg output of ele RA felt very strong, but the performance was not ridiculous.
As for the rest, i felt like they performed well compared to the dmg type, in the upper spectrum, of course.
Acid Dervish is no better than its acid competitors
Chaos is fast but very clunky to play, performs on par with Rahzin WH and chaos Sabo, below Darkblaze
Cold RA is slightly below the fastest dmg focused cold builds
Fire RA, Ember’s Dervish with lots of passive RR and converted LA, failed to Grava just as every 2H melee i tried before
Lightning RA i have a draft of, and as Druid it will probably survive, but i didn’t find a reason to build it over lightning PS or Savagery Druid which uses spam skill as filler and sustain mostly
2) Compared to 2H melee, it’s, of course, a different story. And it’s the main problem. Introduction of RA makes all other 2H melee options obsolete in terms of performance.
BA can hold its ground in some cases where you have BA ranks for free and lots of synergy from the items. Even still you get lots of free points from RA to use them on QoL stuff.
2H autoattcks just pale in comparison. The strongest, most stacked with WPS bonuses physical Avenger/Bloodrager Archon/Warder can only dream of performance and stability of RA.
But i don’t think it’s any reason to nerf RA to the ground. For once we have a universal melee skill that makes 2H weapon feel powerful. I’d suggest to make some radical changes to 2H melee AA:
first of all, remove the frame punishment period. 2H attack speed is already capped lower than 1H, WPS frame punishment just feels awful and makes more room for enemies to oneshot you.
introduce some universal WPS (with high proc chance) as a granted skill from component, medal or relic, increase proc chance of Burning Void for 2H. The vast majority of possible 2H AA builds only have 1 viable WPS at their disposal, and it just doesn’t work
increase base AS of 2H weapons across the board
introduce some generic ways for lightning and fire to convert vitality and melee sources to convert other sources of flat dmg. The ultimate melee nemesis Grava is very resistant to lightning and fire both of which suffer from lack of sustain not being able to convert vitality outside of Blazeheart - not a surprise, it’s the only viable fire melee weapon
Suggestions on RA
No matter which way you look at it, granted skill with 245% WD which mimics BA and surpasses it even at max ultimate ranks is no good.
But my main suggestion would be not to flat out nerf the skill but rather to shift its profile a little bit:
nerf the arc and the number of targets. This way we’ll get a higher skill ceiling skill which demands better positioning to work on several bosses at once, and the clear speeds will go down naturally.
Other than that, if one to insist on its BA profile, i think 200-210% WD is a sweet spot. Probably the relic giving +1 to necro is unnecessary here. Maybe shift the skill to unused Scourge?
Nerfing % dmg to 50-60% and making it all dmg wouldn’t be the worst idea either (aether and vit RAs are the ones that outperform across the dmg type).
I also suggest to replace some portion of flat or all of it with phys which would make it more generic for other dmg types to convert and will even tone down the phys variant because of additional armor check compared to the current state.
Personally i would rather really enjoy a strong skill with more single target focus (nerfed arc and number of targets).
Reaping Arc was rarely used and it’s cool to see it being worthy. But as we can see granted skill, costing you just a relic slot can reach some obnoxious results. In my tests you can reach significant DPS, which doesn’t necessarily means actual damage and RA suffers from same weakness as Blade Arc and isn’t spectacular as non-2H build.
But big WD numbers allows for easy stacking of damage and abuse, cause your focus is flat and maybe conversion and not the usual +skill points/mods.
I would want to see nerfs but relic to still be useful. WD decrease is good start. Flat values shouldn’t be touched. If anything they look underwhelming.
Another thing i wanted to add. Sometimes the skill suffers from weird targeting issues i can’t explain. Like, you aim at the enemy, you press the button but your char just stands there or attacks someone else.
The example of that you can see in the pierce video, right at the end. I approached Benn, he trapped me, the trap fell off, but the char refused to close the gap and attack the enemy for several seconds.
You guys bring it up time and again, and once again I find no evidence of this “feeling”. We had some discrepancies in animation speeds a long long time ago, and they were all brought in line with each other across weapon types.
I have no idea what you guys think this “WPS penalty” is.
Just frames required for an attack compared to the basic swing. For instance, Markovian (and i believe Reaping and Burning Void use the same animation) for DW is quite smooth while for 2H it’s a different animation, it’s a huge jump with the weapon which requires more frames.
I have no complaint about Zolhan and Feral. Smite animations seems to be ok as well. Didn’t test Necrotic after the patch. But those jump animations are slow and it’s a single target hit so it’s very underwhelming.
Someone made a spreadsheet for attacks per minute with different WPS for 2H, i believe it was @supertolik
First off, thank you for gathering this build set.
The thread mostly confirms some other suspicions I’ve had, though Pierce performance did take me by surprise a bit. Given that it’s decked out in fantasy greens though, I think that mostly lends itself to the “problem” of rare Pierce affixes just generally being rather generous. Not sure I want to make any drastic changes there as it’s kind of always been Pierce’s thing and we’re talking about a build that would take a human lifetime to assemble. Perhaps an adjustment to an affix or two in the grand scheme.
I think the Pack of Treacherous Means also remains a bit too viable for Pierce melee when it’s intended to be a range supporting item, so we may shift its elemental conversion to the granted passive.
Aether damage stacking is particularly problematic with the Spellbinder combination, as you can imagine, which the results seen with Reaping Arc reinforce. I’d actually like to shift some of that flat power away from that mastery combo and give to other masteries (ex. shift some flat Aether on the Krieg set to Soldier rather than giving access to all of it with Spellbinder).
The rest fall roughly around where I expected they would, perhaps a little faster than is desirable.
The changes that have already been made for Reaping Arc pretty much align with what’s been discussed here, so I suppose I’ll share the general direction. That said, don’t take what’s posted here as gospel. Further changes may be made down the line as we work on v22.214.171.124.
Weapon damage reduced to 210%
Flat Aether damage removed, Vitality damage increased to 100 (yes, the Aether archetype does convert Vitality to Aether effectively, but the reverse is not as easy)
Target arc and max targets reduced to 210 / 6
Added 100% of Elemental dealt as Vitality
In light of this thread, we’ll also throw in the following:
Updated Jump Attack speed for 1h and 2h melee. This animation is used on many item WPS and melee skills as well as Soldier’s Markovian’s Advantage. Dual Wield has for a long time benefited from a snappier version of this animation. Should be a roughly 34% increase based on napkin math.
Increase Speed bonuses on Kraken for 2h AA builds.
P.S. I’ve seen some commentary elsewhere on omg how did X or Y take 3 months to make. I thought that this was apparent already, but maybe not…Crate has several projects in the works. The scope of what the company will be releasing in upcoming years has expanded dramatically. Someone isn’t sitting in the legendary items spreadsheet tinkering with numbers for 3 months straight.
On a similar note, I can’t say when v126.96.36.199 will be released as there isn’t exactly anything pressing that needs to be addressed, but supporting Grim Dawn is still very much on our minds. I can say already that there are some Epic sets that could use some love, so we’ll probably give those a pass for the patch as well.
Beyond that, we always appreciate the community working with us on making the game better for everyone and may do another patch discussion to get things rolling, so keep the feedback coming!