Saturday, April 4, 2009

Fighting for balance

It's not too difficult to come up with really powerful Fighter builds. On top of excellent defending capabilities, you can get absurdly high damage potential, often rivalling even the mighty Ranger. I already addressed the Battlerager Vigor class feature, but there are still a few powers that I consider broken enough to push Fighters over the top. I will take a look at them today, among other things, such as the pitiful at-will Sure Strike.

At-will powers

Comment:This change was directly taken from the WoTC errata forums, and I love it. Dual strike is typically the most serious offender in fighter damaging builds, and this removes that option, while adding a unique, fun dimension to Tempest Fighters. Comparison with Cleave is inevitable, but being both able to mark twice and restricted to dual wielding whould differentiate it enough.

Comment: This has nothing to do with overpowered builds, but Sure Strike was abysmally bad, and could lead inexperienced players to play poor characters. If my numbers are right, now it should be on par with basic attacks without the conditional bonus, and be a serious rival for other at-wills with it. I like that it encourages using different single-target at-wills, depending on the situation, as you generally have one that is just better all the time.

The following fixed at-wills just have minor modifications on them, so I list the changes rather than showing the full power blocks:

Brash Strike - In the Attack line, change 'Strength+2 vs AC' to 'Strength+1 vs AC'.

Comment: This might not be needed, but Brash Strike was undeniably strong and pushing the limits allowed to a fair at-will. I also think that the drawback turned out not to be that harsh, since it will be quite easy for enemies in melee to gain combat advantage anyways. Although this tones down the power, I think it should still be more than good enough to remain competitive.

Footwork Lure- In the Hit line, change 'slide the target into the space you left' to 'slide the target 1 square into the space you left'.

Comment: This was needed to prevent polearm users to attack targets from reach and slide them 2 squares, and makes this power the same as the Avenger's Overwhelming Strike, which was published directly with this limitation. In combination with the Polearm Momentum feat (that knocks prone after moving an enemy 2 squares), this power allowed to knock enemies prone every turn, which is quite abusive.

Encounter powers

Comment- Rain of Blows is a good candidate for power with the worst format in the game, and it leads to (oficially confirmed) interpretations suggesting that it makes between 2 and 4 attacks. This is unacceptably good, as it deals more damage than many daily powers of higher level. My suggested fix differs a bit from the original idea, but it has the advantage of being playable without the right weapons, yet not broken with them.

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