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Ceno 09-12-2015 05:34 AM

Everything Cadence
 
Preface: It's 1:30AM and I have a writer's block on work which might be considered "productive" so everything below is likely to be some jumbled up rambling. Bare with me.

I've been thinking about Cadence a lot. I mean, actually, A LOT. With recent updates (B27 and related Hotfixes), Cadence has been tampered with a bunch but there hasn't been very much discussion on it. Yet I feel there's so much to talk about. So, let me start by throwing down a table of contents:
  1. Energy Cost
  2. Discord
  3. Dual Wield
  4. Sword + Board
  5. Conclusion
1. The newfound Energy Cost of Cadence has seen some discussion, but I wouldn't consider any results (if there were any) to be substantial. When the subject was first broached, I argued that the introduction of the energy cost was a step in the right direction and that Cadence very much deserved to play the energy management game. I still maintain that opinion.

But having leveled up a new Cadence build from 1-50, I'm finding it a little worrisome. I mean, I haven't (yet) burnt myself out or been forced into Energy Potion range, but I have gotten low in extensive combat, particularly against the Dermapterans where one is virtually consistently being attacked from several swarming enemies. Its bothersome, certainly, but hasn't yet been prohibitive.

Probably the most annoying piece to it is that every attack, whether utilizing the Cadence strike or not, deducts one's Energy. I'm not really a fan of this. I'd rather see only the Cadence attack itself cost Energy, and in turn see an increase to the Energy Cost to compensate. This would feel better, from a gameplay perspective.


2. There's been a lot of talk with Discord to revamp it on account of the new Conversion mechanics. There's problems with that, however. How much physical damage ought to be converted? How much of that which is converted is split between Chaos and Elemental Damage? I don't have reasonable answers for this.

Discord has always gotten a lot of flack for generally being very bad. This is still the case, in my opinion. Perhaps one solution to all of these problems would be to forget about conversion altogether and instead turn to the "%damage modified" stat. A reduction to Physical Damage% on Cadence (as Discord presently has) along with a positive Damage Modification Multiplier could better promote magical Cadence builds. Magical builds could still convert off the reduced-Physical Damage, too, with gearing/IEE/SWF.

But is Discord the right transmuter for Cadence to possess? Leaving this question unanswered until point 5.


3. Dual Wield Cadence was too strong. It's very much more balanced now, due to the reduction in Cadence's damage and the transfer of DW procs from Physical to Piercing orientation. But how much balancing is too much? Yes, DW Cadence was brought to a reasonable level, but what are the ramifications of that?


4. Sword and Board Cadence has taken a very large hit due to the DW Cadence balancing. Pistol/Shield Cadence is in an even worse position, as it lacks the AoE component of Fighting Form. The reduction of Physical Damage and Weapon Damage has seriously crippled the ability of such builds to reach respectable offensive potential.

One could argue that you can't have it all. One could argue that the defensive potential of shields is so great that some offensive sacrifices need to be made. Both arguments would be true; however, its not that equipping a shield reduces the damage one does. It's that DW and 2H Cadence is still taking full advantage of Cadence's potential due to [very high attack speed]/[very high base damage], respectively. Whereas utilizing one weapon + an offhand does not allow one to capitalize on Cadence's strengths well enough, and so the recent nerfs to Cadence's innate power seriously dampened the potential of these builds.


5. So what conclusions do I draw from all of this?

To recap, we have
  1. A pretty bad transmuter
  2. Balanced DW/2H
  3. Underpowered 1H/offhand
To me, this sounds like the perfect position for a new transmuter to take Discord's place.

So, scrap Discord, buff Cadence back to where it was damage-wise (keeping the energy cost, or adjusting it as mentioned in point 1.), but make Cadence innately not function when utilizing DW (melee; ranged is fine imo because no AoE) weapons. In turn, add a new transmuter that reduces the effectiveness of Cadence but grants the ability to wield two (melee) weapons and use the skill. DW was never part of the innate Soldier mastery anyways, but that's what transmuters are for, right?

This could put Sword/Pistol + Board Cadence back in a respectable position while keeping DW Cadence balanced. Maybe tack 2H onto the transmuter as well, but that's kind of awkward because 2H DOES fit with the Soldier mastery and it wouldn't make much sense to not be able to use it at first.

Edit: Alternatively, keep Cadence as it is, but make the transmuter required a shield and grant some bonus offensive potential. This could be a simpler change.

/rambling

Discuss, as you will. If anything is unclear, let me know and I'll try to clarify my thoughts after giving my head a rest. Cheers!

Manic Wolf 09-12-2015 06:19 AM

Cadence's problem was that it was a balanced skill. It correctly accounted for the Soldier's inherent lack of damage by giving him a steady "falcon punch" when he needed it (back before NB or 2handed weapons were even introduced).

That being said, with the inclusion of factors outside of the original design, the skill became ridiculously OP when used with DWing. So I'm with you on the change in transmuter. It's just that I'd love for elemental/choas/aether Cadence to be a viable choice (especially as a Battlemage/Witchblade taking Soldier as more complementary rather than primary).

jalex3 09-12-2015 06:44 AM

"scrap Discord" Please don't:confused:. Its great with witchblades and battlemages.

Marney 09-12-2015 07:27 AM

Yeah, not sure why Discord is getting any hate. I think it's a pretty good transmuter.

I don't really think 1H Cadence needs to be buffed relative to 2H because the inherent attack speed makes it trigger more often. I switch between 1H and 2H setups depending on what I'm fighting and they seem equally good to me.

Palarmutsi 09-12-2015 08:05 AM

I have 1hander + shield soldier. I dont have any problems with him, I only hated that my block dmg reduced 300 since B27. it used to be around 1300-1500.

corporateslave 09-12-2015 08:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Marney (Post 265467)
I don't really think 1H Cadence needs to be buffed relative to 2H because the inherent attack speed makes it trigger more often. I switch between 1H and 2H setups depending on what I'm fighting and they seem equally good to me.

I beg to differ. Ceno's post prompted me to try out my sword and board Cadence battlemage which I haven't touched since B26. He lost ~1/3 of his damage and now has mana issues (chugging mana pots slightly more frequently than he finds them). I could solve the mana problems with some gear swaps or by placing points in IEE, but I'll lose even more damage if I do.

I'm thinking I'll go back to using a 2-hander because the DPS loss from wearing a shield doesn't currently justify the increased survivability. Although I might feel differently if I played HC Vet instead of regular Vet.

adoomgod 09-12-2015 08:59 AM

Sword and board is suppose to be slower but tankier. I'm not saying you're wrong, but could you give me a one handed skill from the soldier tree that's better than cadence? Is that even a bad thing?

Soldiers are so fricken good and tanky. They shouldnt have equal damage to other class trees.

But if you're saying the loss for sword and boarders is TOO great, that's another story. There shouldn't be a huge disparity. Is forcewave not fine for shield users?

My dualwield and two handed cadence builds are definitely fine.

jackx 09-12-2015 09:04 AM

The only real use for Discord I could see is with minimal investment in Cadence itself on a caster weapon, so you spent 5 points total for a double-hit every third strike and +100% chaos/elemental. That'd likely be a build where melee attacks aren't your main damage source, though.

With conversion, at the skill stage of damage calculation, you want more phyiscal damage, not less, and you want %dmg to be applied from gear/attributes, after converting from your (high) physical damage.

Then there's the fact that conversion unsupported by skills isn't very appealing, and both auto-attack replacers do a much better job at supporting their associated magical damage type than Cadence ever could.

Discord was designed for when stacking large amounts of flat magical damage was how you made a non-physical melee build...

adoomgod 09-12-2015 09:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jackx (Post 265489)
The only real use for Discord I could see is with minimal investment in Cadence itself on a caster weapon, so you spent 5 points total for a double-hit every third strike and +100% chaos/elemental. That'd likely be a build where melee attacks aren't your main damage source, though.

With conversion, at the skill stage of damage calculation, you want more phyiscal damage, not less, and you want %dmg to be applied from gear/attributes, after converting from your (high) physical damage.

Then there's the fact that conversion unsupported by skills isn't very appealing, and both auto-attack replacers do a much better job at supporting their associated magical damage type than Cadence ever could.

Discord was designed for when stacking large amounts of flat magical damage was how you made a non-physical melee build...

This is actually a very good point about discord. It should probably be reevaluated

corporateslave 09-12-2015 09:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by adoomgod (Post 265486)
But if you're saying the loss for sword and boarders is TOO great, that's another story. There shouldn't be a huge disparity. Is forcewave not fine for shield users?

Pretty sure that's exactly what I said. Sword and board Cadence was in a good place back in B26 - a good tradeoff of clear speed for survivability. Not so much now, which is why I will probably switch back to using a 2-hander.

Haven't tried Forcewave, so I can't comment on that.


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