Reply To: Abuse Or Intended – A discussion about possible exploits.
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You’re right, that would still make it too good if you could effectively stun an opponent by keeping them drained of AP. I think a solution to that would be to lower the AP damage, like having it do 2 AP or 1 AP damage rather than 4. With 2 AP damage, it’s like you knock the unit back an extra step, without the positional advantage of actually knocking someone back by two steps. A stagger, rather than stun. With 1 AP damage, it’s more like you throw them off-balance and keep them from going all-out. I don’t have the numbers ready, but I imagine that 1 AP would mostly kick in to keep enemies from swinging big weapons or using multiple abilities, which would translate to the enemy their edge being slightly dulled without losing their lethality. By comparison, a full stun guarantees that the enemy won’t be able to do anything and under certain circumstances can slow them down in their next turn.
With 1 AP damage, there’d be very few scenarios where the perk actually makes any difference. Knocking a target towards an ally would still leave it able to attack normally with 8 AP. In most cases, a target knocked away and then closing in again would be able to make one attack afterwards – with or without a shield bash perk that drains 1 AP. The only scenario where I see this having any effect would be a target closing in again over difficult terrain or a height level difference if wielding a two-handed weapon. I doubt that this is enough to make the perk an attractive pick.
With 2 AP damage, the average target wielding a one-handed weapon would lose one attack. It could only make a single attack if knocked towards something it can attack right away, but would not be hampered at all in its ability if wielding a two-handed weapon. If closing in again after being knocked away, the target could in most cases still perform one attack with a one-handed weapon – but this is true with or without the 2 AP damage. On the other hand, it could no longer perform any attack at all with a two-handed weapon after closing in again, which in this case may make it disproportionally effective, close to a stun.
Just based on the way the whole system of Action Points works, I don’t see this working out in a balanced and even way, leaving it useful enough to make the perk an attractive pick, but not too strong against certain enemies to be easily exploitable. But, again, maybe I’m missing something?
With a debuff to melee and defence skill you’d get into weird situations though, like wanting to ping pong the enemy to another merc when you’re trying to make them easier to hit. Or having to chase down the enemies you hit away when you want to exploit their weakened defences. As a result, the enemy being moved away actually becomes a disadvantage, as its the debuff that you want and the movement only makes it harder to make the most of their temporary weakness.
Exactly. We considered this as well, but as you pointed out, knocking a target away and at the same time debuffing it are pretty much two conflicting effects.