Sign in to follow this  
Arkade

State of the Knight 5.6

Recommended Posts

I haven't done one of these in a while. For a time, I wasn't even playing a knight as I was so disappointed with the direction they were taking him. Thankfully, they changed the knight from stamina to energy and the class is significantly better as a result. No more having to choose between blocking, sprinting and attacking.

To kick this off, I'll start by looking at the knight's resource system.

Every knight starts with 1000 energy. There are no skills to increase this amount, however there are skills that will improve the Power Cost Modifier (improving PCM will result in lower costs for abilities). PCM can also be improved significantly via weapons, and energy can be increased via jewelry. On live, I think I have 1062 energy and I think at one point, I managed to drop Pursuit from a cost of 375 energy to 260. This makes a significant difference.

I think energy cost/modification is in a good place, but energy regeneration still needs some work. AFAIK, there is no way to increase the rate at which energy regenerates. That isn't really a problem, given that we can increase our max energy and reduce our ability costs. Rage and Fury work the same way. That said, the only way we can regenerate energy faster than the base rate is via the Oath of Will ability. Anyone who knows me likely knows that I hate this ability. It has always felt tacked on because it was. When the knight was first introduced, he used mana and had extremely limited regeneration via basic attacks and blocking. Other than that, there was the in-combat mana regeneration, which could be improved via skills, but the knight was still in a bad place in terms of resource management. So, probably to shut me up, Blair added Oath of Will. Of course, that didn't shut me up :) Oath of Will became a must use ability every time it was up and, even though we are now on energy, that really hasn't changed. Even with good PCM and increased energy, it is easy to run low on energy as some of the abilities in the base kit cost a lot.

I would still like to see Oath of Will integrated into other abilities, rather than being an ability by itself. For example, if you look at the Myrmidon, he has the Gore ability. Like with the knight, this ability is in the 2nd part of a combo, but it has some key differences. First, it does damage in addition to providing regeneration, whereas Oath of Will is only regeneration. The damage isn't very high, but it is something. Second, Myrms have the option of using either Gore or Colossus Smash as the 2nd part of the combo. This is significant because while Colossus Smash has a 9 second cooldown, neither Gore nor Bloodied Swipe (the first ability in the combo) have a cooldown. Given that Gore returns 5 fury per second for 20 seconds, it effectively does have a cooldown, but it can be used at any time. Oath of Will has a 23 second cooldown, and Noble Blood also has a 23 second cooldown. Because of the cooldown on Noble Blood, we are locked out of using Oath of Will, whether we use it or not. They could remove the cooldown on Oath of Will and nothing would change. This basically means that we should use Oath of Will every single time we use Noble Blood, whether we need the regeneration or not.

I would like to see this be reworked so that we have more control/options on when to regenerate, rather than just doing it every 23 seconds. If it's just going to be something we do every time we do Noble Blood, then just combine the abilities and be done with it.

Okay, I think I've belabored that point enough, so let's move on to the other abilities in the base kit.

Basic Attacks - These attacks are fine and provide the knight with some utility in the form of triggering Shield Bash and applying a slow on 3rd hit. The tooltip needs to be updated to indicate that it does the slow. This was originally a "hidden combo", but there's no reason not to just state in the tooltip.

Pursuit - This is better than it was, but still not perfect. Running into a target will stop the forward momentum rather than having the knight slide past the target, but there is still no way to end the movement early. We have to wait for the full animation to play out before the stun is triggered, giving the target time to move out of the way.

Shield Bash - The utility this ability provides is decent, but the damage is kind of low, even with being able to guarantee a crit, and given the requirements to enable its use, it's hard to justify using it over other abilities. When this ability was first introduced, we were told that it would be rolled into Shield Slam. Shield Slam would work as normal, but when the requirements to trigger Shield Bash were met, the ability would do Shield Bash instead of Shield Slam. I'm not sure if that is still in the plans, but given the extremely limited use of Shield Slam, I'm not sure how much that would help.

Shield Swipe/Shield Stun - This is a staple of the knight's kit. The damage is decent and the stun is nice, but the abilities have different cooldowns. Swipe has a 23 second cooldown and Stun has a 30 second cooldown. Like Chewbacca living on Endor, this does not make sense. If we use Swipe while Stun is still on cooldown, then we have to wait 46 or more seconds between Stuns. To avoid that, we have to wait 30+ seconds between Swipes. Either the cooldowns should be the same, or the cooldown of Swipe should be half that of Stun, so that we can use Swipe twice for each Stun. Make the cooldowns 23/23 or 15/30.

Onslaught Combo - The Onslaught ability is fine. The damage is okay and it only has a 5 second cooldown, so we don't have to wait long between using the knockdown or the bleed. The Brutal Strike and Twin Assault abilities serve different purposes. One is a low cost, low damage attack and the other is a high cost, high damage attack. They both have a 9 second cooldown, which more or less makes them re-usable whenever Onslaught is available. Unless you are using the combo twice in a row and using the same secondary attack both times, you aren't going to hit these cooldowns. Shockwave and Obliterate are both useful abilities. I don't see any issues with how either works.

Noble Blood/Oath of Will - I've already talked about my dislike for Oath of Will, so I won't rehash that here. My concern with Noble Blood, like most barriers, is that it doesn't scale. AFAIK, the shield is 500 HP. The tooltip doesn't specify and there's no visual indication that I am shielded other than the "Shielded" buff in the top right of the screen. Because barriers don't scale, this makes them strong against weak opponents and weak against strong opponents (not counting immunity barriers or barriers that stop much larger amounts). A barrier of 500 can be destroyed with 1 basic attack from a properly geared and trained player. Barriers should scale as a percentage of max HP. This would allow them to remain useful regardless of damage scaling and would allow them to synergize with abilities that raise max HP.

Chain Attack - This works way better than it used to. Targeting is more forgiving without being too easy and the target is actually pulled to our location rather than past us or rubberbanding back into place. 

Shield Slam - As I mentioned, this ability isn't very useful. Having to stand in place and charge the ability in order to guarantee a crit would be okay if the ability actually did significant damage, but the damage is way too low, even with a crit, to warrant slotting this ability. It is situationally useful because of the knockback and it does count as Block while charging, so it's not all bad, but the damage should be higher for being a charged ability. This used to be the knight's best ability, but sadly has fallen on hard times.

Whirling Leap - This ability is still pretty underwhelming as far as ultimates go. It is still just as likely to send a target flying away as it is to pull them in, though if the goal is to knock someone off a high place, I guess that's a good thing. The damage can be significant with gear/training. Honestly, I'd rather they scrap this ability completely and replace it with something more defensively focused. A group barrier or mitigation buff, maybe. 

Resolve - I've never been a fan of this passive. The problem with it is the trigger. It happens automatically when HP falls below 20%. However, if HP is already under 20% when the passive comes off cooldown, it won't trigger. You actually have to heal to above 20%, then fall below 20%, for it to trigger. Fixing it so that it triggers whenever it is not on cooldown and the knight is below 20% would help. Compare it to the Champion's Second Wind, which has the same 90 second cooldown, but can be triggered at any time the Champ is under 50% by getting out of combat for 4 seconds.

Block - This is the defining ability for the knight. It has seen a lot of changes, both good and bad, since it was introduced. At this point, it's less about mitigating damage than it is avoiding CC. It is supposed to also provide protection for players behind the knight, but we have yet to see that in game. In all, it is still a valuable ability. 

Shield focused disciplines: 

Master of Shields - The crushing damage bonus can be obtained by using Master of Maces, which I think is a better choice for Knights. Basic Block does nothing for a knight and Numbness, while useful, is a waste if you are using the Shield Fighter disc. The Shield Glare combo is good, which blinds the target on the 2nd attack (30 second cooldown) and does decent damage, but for my money, I'll take Skullcracker from Master of Maces. It does better damage, stuns the target on 2nd attack, and has a shorter cooldown (23 seconds, though the tooltip does say 30).

Secutor - Group blind immunity is nice, but we are still waiting on the Form Up ability to be added to the game.

Shield Fighter - Provides crushing damage, but there are other disciplines that give the same bonus. Brutal Slam is a good ability. Long cooldown, but reduces physical mitigation by 20 for 30 seconds and does decent damage. Mighty Shield Slam is a better version of Shield Slam, though if your stamina is low, the damage is weak. Maybe this can replace Shield Slam in the base kit and Shield Fighter can get a different ability. I see no reason to have 2 abilities which basically do the same thing. Mighty Shield Slam currently has a bug though where you are rooted for a couple seconds after using it. Throw Illusion Shield is okay. The damage is low. The biggest issue is finding space for it on the melee bar. The Molon Labe passive is an upgraded version of the Numbness passive, as it also improves the damage bonus/duration from blocking.

Shield Whiz - This improves the Throw Illusion Shield ability. The bonus ricochets and falloff bonus hardly make a difference. The only reason to use this disc is for the passive which slows the targets. If I'm not using Shield Whiz, I wouldn't bother using Shield Fighter either, instead opting for Holy Avenger or Adjudicator for crushing damage builds.

 

I think the knight is in a pretty good place right now. There are some things I'd definitely like to see changed, but overall I am happy with it. Thoughts?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For the most part I agree with you.  From a historical, standalone perspective, knight is in a pretty good place.  I would like to see the dodge pip removal power rolled into one of the other powers rather than needing a separate power slot.  Knight has too many necessary powers in the main kit compared to other classes (you could say that means it has a good base kit, but there's no room for discipline powers).

Knight suffers when you compare it to Champion and Myrm (and to much lesser extent, Templar).  End game myrms with 100% berserk uptime are ridiculous, and Champions are far too tanky to be high dps skirmishers.  It feels like knight is about right on the balance scale, while Myrm and Champ need a nerf to match.

I don't like doing the state of stuff at the start of a build because you can't see how the class will do at maturity.  So I may change my mind a few weeks into 5.6 on LIVE.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Shield Slam is now incredibly useful with the physics/knock-back component being so powerful on vertical terrain.

Block get's completely countered by expose (duelists and assassins can do a number on them), but that's by design.

Compared to Champs, Myrms and Templars, Knights don't have nearly as much sustain and do similar amounts of damage. The champ heal should be toned down similarly to what happened with the Druid retaliate and the Myrm perma rage should be looked at. With those two changes out of the way, Knight should be a viable fighter choice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Knight's value to me has been CC harasser. Nobody can stick to a target and lock them down like a Knight. 

Myrm (HG) lacks mobility. Champion lacks CC. Templar has similar mobility to a knight, better defense/sustain, but less CC. 

That said, it does seem like Knight's sustain is too low compared to the other 3. Knights need more sustain. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

the dodge pip removal is unique, interesting and brutal to wood-elves and nethari [and shortly fae] especially. [still general issues due to the nature of the regen ticks though]


what is your evaluation/ranking of the different race choices for knight?


p.s. won't energy regen be effected by "resource restore effects" from allied druids/clerics or niche disciplines like eminently punchable's hit me - or is that not working?


AoE knockdown on 30sec cooldown versus increased rates of retaliation these days? meh also isn't templar's radiant sweep knockdown still on like a 8 second cooldown and faster combo?


what do you think about hp adjustments - now that the knight no longer has more hp than most of the other melee classes [even the dps] and how hp was moved over to armor and buffs more?

Edited by Tinnis

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

My only problems are that certain abilities, like oath of will  and the barrier shout are kinda boring. Also not a fan of the C ability.

Edited by izkimar

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.