Topic: Defense Skill Tree Discussion

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  • #2515
    Sky
    Participant

    New day new beginnings.

    Nothing makes you imagination fly free more than a boring eventless day at work. So I decided to fill it in. And the topic will be Skills. I’d like to start a discussion about the current skills in their current state now at the start of Early Access v0.4.0.22 . This is based on my play session so far. I’d like to encourage all players to give their opinions, share their point of view together we might get the feedback the devs are looking for and improve the game we all obviously would like to succeed and give us, the players as much fun as possible. When replying to specific skills please keep the format “skillname: opinion” and an empty row between skills.

    Before we start let me just paint the picture a bit more. I jumped in the game blindly, all info I had was from few gameplay videos on Das’s channel on youtube. Had even no idea what the lvl cap is. My first band the “wolves” died on the first day by werewolf hunters. This is my second start. After the first day rape thought only the expensive guys aren’t expendable and that early game I should focus on the possibly cheapest sellswords. When starting I had in mind a balanced party with all weapon types. Was going to do dedicated defenders and attackers. Thought the skill trees as usually in other games will force the chars to a specific role rendering them much weaker or even useless in others. Well… I couldn’t be more wrong. And that’s fantastic. When I started to realize this still in early game, decided to pick a big variety of skills just to see how they work and what combos can be made. So yeah, did a lot of not so good choices. And still the warband lives long and… sometimes loses a few members making it possible for me to try the high cost high upkeep guys and getting them skills I never had before.
    Defensive Tree (BB_DefenseTree.jpg)

    TIER 1

    Colossus: Nice simple skill. It stacks with backgrounds. For 2h users with farmer or similar it is a very nice saving skill. Having 100hp guys is not a dream anymore. Very very nice in early game, and remains till the very end. Good as is.

    Shield Expert: If your sellsword has a shield he desires this skill. Boosts the defense nicely, very useful thru whole game. Maybe a little too useful. Should be tier 2.

    Deflect: A good skill, but as some others is mostly for early/mid game. Saves a lot of shields and lives. Later not so much. Did like it, did take it for most of my shield bearers now the last few recruits did not get it, armor makes up the difference. Is fine as is.

    Battle Forged: Well… Absolutely OP. From start to finish. You know what I mean when you can barely see the damage done to your armor. Archers? Forget about them, just ignore and go on. Probably should be nerfed or at least put into tier 2.

    Dodge: A nice balanced skill. The balance comes from the initiative, the heavier the armor the less initiative. Has its use, can even help create a light fast unit even mid / late game. Balanced.

    Hold Out: Useless. Has a small use maybe at the very very start. As soon as you get the utility skills for commander in the group this skill has definetely no place. Sure it sounds good, but practically had absolutely no use. Should be redone or removed. Maybe if it had a 1-2 tile aura effect inspiring chars next to it. Definitely not like this.

    TIER 2

    Fortified Mind: Never met anything that had any of the effects this skill supposed to give immunity for.

    Nine Lives: Rarely useful and never triggered it. If when activated you automatically move back, out of zone of control from enemy unit all is good. If you do not disengage, then absolutely useless and needs to have disengaging effect.

    Nimble: A very specific skill. Combined with skill dodge, your light assault brigand is happy and safe. Unfortunately my light assault did not make it. Maybe I did something wrong. Probably was too cocky with the illusion of his invincibility. Good skill for specific scenario, would be more useful in tier 1 making it a valid choise.

    Anticipation: An other early game skill in the second tier. Yes the bonus is very nice but with decent armor is simply not needed. If my light assault had this skill he wouldn’t have died from an arrow one shot in between his eyes. Should be in tier 1 to be a valid choise.

    Steel Brow: First choice at mid/late game. No more fluke shots from enemy archers, no more lucky hits from their melee. Immunity to crits is superb. Perhaps should be a tier 3

    Rotation: If you chose to go the spartan way and do a shieldwall or perhaps the dwarven shield turtle, this is a must have skill. Do you know the fear of realization that the zombie horde will win just because your troops have no more stamina? With this skill it won’t happen again. Tired of feeling hopeless when your guy is being beat up by the enemy? Just rotate him back and save his sorry ass. Superb skill. Right drawback, right place. Saved me countless times. Thanks for this skill after midgame had to dig only 4 graves.

    TIER 3

    Indomitable: Sound fun but at the time I last played was bugged and did not appear in battles.

    Return Favor: Sounds fun, unfortunately only on paper. At the late game I am, there was not one instance when I had a chance to successfully do it. To increase the chance took it with lot of dudes, just to carry around and never trigger. Not because the skill is bad or broken. Simply the enemy hits so rarely, that there is never a situation to use it. I’m on my way to challenge an “invincible” orc fort, perhaps they will be able to force me to use it.

    Please do write your thoughts, suggestions, comments, perhaps skill ideas. Together we are strong, together we are the battle brothers. Hehe.

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    #2535
    PsenBattle
    Keymaster

    Another great batch of good feedback. *taking notes

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    #2552
    Sky
    Participant

    Return Favor: The orcs did make showcase this skill. It’s quite a wiev to have the orcs stun themselves. It is nice by itself, and now imagine combining it with Push the Advantage that gives the +20% to hit and to hit head. A deadly combination. Even wondering if it’s a bit too good that 50% chance to stun. Definitely a tier 3.

    #2555
    GOD
    Participant

    They could switch Nimble with Battle Forged. I adore Battle Forged so I’d hate to see it nerfed, but you’re right in that it’s kind of a no-brainer right now.

    Steel Brow is great, but too weak for tier 3 perk. It’s just that it and Rotation are the only really powerful defence tier 2 perks, so it stands out.

    Maybe make Nine Lives work once per turn? Powerful in certain situations, but you’re already near death and your armour is probably gone – it would fit the idea of a guy who won’t stay dead easily. Just needs a double tap.

    Combine Hold Out and Fortified Mind into a single tier 2 perk. Move Anticipation to tier 1 and add another tier 2 perk. Being able to take both Anticipation and Nimble might be too useful for an offense oriented build, though, so it would require testing.

    Return Favour synergises really well with Taunt. The defence tier 3 perks do feel less tempting than the tier 3 offense and utility perks. Going to need to play around with it a bit more to see how they stack up.

    #2560
    Rap
    Keymaster

    The thing with ‘Fortified Mind’ is that there are just too few enemies yet that really attack your men’s resolve. We have a bunch more interesting planned with some skills such as charm/dominate, so the perk should end up becoming more useful in the future.

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    #2676
    Sky
    Participant
    #2742
    NewAgeOfPower
    Participant

    Personally, Return the Favor should be a passive, with reduced % stun probability. I like how the Utility and Offensive tree gives you an option between an Active and a Passive, both of which are fairly strong and viable choices.

    I mean, my non-nimble thief tanks are going into melee, and either shieldwall/spearwall or attack or bash. No extra AP to Return Favor on that turn.

    Fortified mind is rather useful vs Living Souls, that’s about it.

    Battle forged is somewhat strong vs Archers popping off Quick Shots, but a few hits from a crossbow and your armor is still going to drop real quick. Plus, it doesn’t stop you from getting WTFBBQ’d by someone with a Greataxe, at all.

    Rotation is insanely strong for keeping your frontline charged up.

    #2779
    GOD
    Participant

    The thing with ‘Fortified Mind’ is that there are just too few enemies yet that really attack your men’s resolve. We have a bunch more interesting planned with some skills such as charm/dominate, so the perk should end up becoming more useful in the future.

    Sounds good. That would also make resolve more viable as a stat to level up.

    Personally, Return the Favor should be a passive, with reduced % stun probability. I like how the Utility and Offensive tree gives you an option between an Active and a Passive, both of which are fairly strong and viable choices.

    I mean, my non-nimble thief tanks are going into melee, and either shieldwall/spearwall or attack or bash. No extra AP to Return Favor on that turn.

    Fortified mind is rather useful vs Living Souls, that’s about it.

    Battle forged is somewhat strong vs Archers popping off Quick Shots, but a few hits from a crossbow and your armor is still going to drop real quick. Plus, it doesn’t stop you from getting WTFBBQ’d by someone with a Greataxe, at all.

    Rotation is insanely strong for keeping your frontline charged up.

    Having Return Favour be passive would make it way too powerful though. It would be like giving the merc a perk that gives them a passive chance at reposting every attack that misses.

    #2886
    lfish
    Participant

    Seems like Hold out and Fortified Mind could be combined, since they’re both rather weak on their own, and the ‘flavor’ of the skills overlaps a bit. I would like to have more skills that directly exploits or is tied to the resolve stat, and the defense tree seems like a good place to add those type of skills. Something that increases positive checks and doubles the effects of morale, on a unit (for good or bad) would be an interesting one.

    #2907
    Sky
    Participant

    I would like to have more skills that directly exploits or is tied to the resolve stat, and the defense tree seems like a good place to add those type of skills.

    Now this is truly a wonderful idea, to bind more perks to existing stats. This way the lvl up won’t be like melee atk, melee def, fatig. It will add in a lot of diversity. So far there have been only few skills that made me lvl up other stats than the usual. Colossus gave me a big enought reason to get in some hp ups since it is quite the beast for stacking with such backgrounds as farmhand. The dodge skill did make me lvl up the initiative since I wanted to try and was nicely surprised when it worked fine. Or in the utility tree the captain skill and the Rally the troops they both made it possible to lvl the resolve stat. So yes, i’d be happy to see more stat bound skills that make me lvl all stats instead of the usual 3. Cuz it is very specific to go for anything else, like the light assault unit who entirely depends on the evasive perks and is made for archer rushes and such. Can’t imagine many players will go for that type of play, since it is far more harder and needs a lot more consideration, caution, thinking through perks. Sure archers can lvl range atk and fatigue that makes 1 stat free but still… It’s so railed atm…

    #2908
    PsenBattle
    Keymaster

    I would like to have more skills that directly exploits or is tied to the resolve stat

    +1

    :)

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    #3242
    Sky
    Participant

    Come on guys, do share your thoughts.

    #3244
    GOD
    Participant

    I’ve got more of a question, actually. My playstyle pretty much consists of all offence, all day, every day. I therefore pay less attention to the defence tree, but I’d still like to know how people actually using Hold Out and Indomitable are liking the changes. Are they worth it now? I could see Hold Out having some synergy with Captain and Inspiring Presence.

    #3279
    Soar
    Participant

    Nimble can work out:

    My level-11 one-character-challenge Battle Brother there has 62 Melee Defense with Nimble, 82 once Confident thanks to Hold Out – in comparison, it would be 51 and 61 if using a heater shield, or 56 and 66 with Shield Expert. This is before accounting for Dodge. You’re looking at 14 dead Bandit Raiders and one dead Marksman. I ambushed the Marksman but there were a couple of Raiders nearby that engaged my character in melee – I figured I’d quickly kill them to get rid of their zone of control so I could retreat, but my character kept whiffing until the enemy’s main force arrived and I ended up completely surrounded. Preventable, and I wasn’t really expecting him to live through that, but thanks to high Melee Defense and Melee Skill, Riposte, and a blessing from the dice gods, that’s what happened.

    He’s not a strictly optimal character for a Nimble build, as he doesn’t have any Defense bonuses from background or traits (if he did, the gap in defense compared to a shield build would be bigger). His biggest vulnerability is that Nimble doesn’t do anything against ranged attacks; I keep a Kite Shield handy for ranged protection, and I probably should’ve gone for Shield Expert instead of Colossus for that reason and invested more into Ranged Defense during levelups. I didn’t grab Anticipation as most of my perks went into the utility tree (Battle Flow is a must-have for an one-character challenge, and without Weapon Master you’re going to have to carry a lot of replacement swords, although I suspect a defensive perk would’ve been more optimal in this particular case).

    Shieldwall is another method of reaching a very high defense value, but it’s difficult to sustain Shieldwall and Riposte simultaneously, even with Battle Flow. A Nimble build also does more damage per hit, thanks to the Double Grip bonus.

    #3280
    Sky
    Participant

    That’s the best example of how ~60 def is enough for a character to stay alive and do massive damage independent of the skill tree. That’s where the game shines. There are no right build, they are simply different. There is no need for 100 or higher def, even no need for a shield if you don’t like one. You are free to play as you wish.

    A very nice challenge indeed. Excited to see if there will be any takers.

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