So the balance change discussion is now reality with Update 28 Patch 1.
I suspected that none of my ranged characters should take a hit from this. In fact, I thought most should get a boost.
In case you’re a too-long didn’t read kind of person (not likely since you’re coming here to listen to me), here’s the change in a nutshell:
Both Manyshot and Ten Thousand Stars become feats to give brief bonuses to Doubleshot and Ranged Power. There’s no longer any Doubleshot penalties naturally for this reason. Rather than animating a flurry of arrows, your Doubleshot represents additional hits but also more powerful missile hits.
Manyshot = Current Doubleshot + (BAB * 4) with Current Ranged Power + (BAB *4).
Ten Thousand Stars is now aligned to your Monk level and WIS score. TTS Doubleshot = Current Doubleshot + (WIS) with (Monk level * 5) + Current Ranged Power.
So let’s show what I get with this new scheme through pictures. All characters are using Shiradi Champion level 5 and are level 28 unless noted. Weapon types here are less important than any spells, feats, enhancements or ED abilities that improve their BAB, Doubleshot, Ranged Power and WIS.
(Note: I am not strong in HTML and can’t easily correct the headers of the characters slamming against each other below. My apologies if it’s harder to read.)
Build: Drow Shuricannon (Ninja Spy Monk 28)
Uses: Ten Thousand Stars only. WIS 36 (Ocean Stance)
Before: Doubleshot: 2%, Ranged Power: 54
After: Doubleshot: 102%, Ranged Power: 90
Build: Elf Deepwood Stalker (Ranger Level 28)
Uses: Manyshot only. BAB 24
Before: Doubleshot: 35%, Ranged Power 73
After: Doubleshot: 131%, Ranged Power 193
Build: Elf Zen Archer (Ninja Spy Monk Level 23, Shiradi 4)
- Manyshot, BAB 22
- Ten Thousand Stars, WIS 39
Before: Doubleshot: 10%, Ranged Power 68
With TTS: Doubleshot: 110%, Ranged Power 122
With Manyshot: Doubleshot: 98%, Ranged Power 144
The numbers aren’t as telling as performance, and this varies because of the difference in weapons with the shuriken and bows. All of them blow the training dummy into sawdust in seconds with any of these modes.
Misty’s Manyshot, mostly because the Doubleshot effect adds an additional shot when over 100% now, combined with her high Ranged Power, definitely hasn’t lost the overall effectiveness to me. She holds the highest Doubleshot and Ranged Power scores, which is natural and expected for a Ranger. I would cry out “nerf!” myself if this weren’t the case as the Ranger is the natural archer class. In short, I’m seeing similar effects to the multi-arrow effect of the old Manyshot but with more damage per arrow. The best news here is that the power of Manyshot has greater control to the player. Increase your Doubleshot and/or Ranged Power elsewhere, and the damage increases. In fact, with Killer working, Doubleshot goes up further by 20% with Misty, so her true Doubleshot would be 151% as things die.
Szyncletica’s shuriken performance is weaker because she’s yet to add any significant standing Doubleshot gear. Unlike Pynthetica and Misty, Szyn also gains no additional Ranged Power outside of Shiradi and Epic levels. That said, being a full Monk with a decent WIS gives a reliable TTS performance, although weakest of the three as far as the numbers show. This is due in part because a Shiradi Shuricannon is already a multi-shotting thrower because of the combined effects of Shuriken Expertise and Ninja Spy’s Advanced Ninja Training, both of which add a chance to throw an additional shuriken per attack. Thus, the game squeezes in more stars per attack in addition to what Szyn already throws, and the animation shows that.
It’s Pynthetica that’s pleasantly surprising. My Zen Archer build shows its muster without full training in Shiradi and with four Epic levels (and its corresponding Ranged Power bonuses) yet to go. Pyn’s standing RP is higher than Misty’s RP at level 28. While Misty’s Doubleshot is best (she has the Epic Destiny feat of Doubleshot as well), Pyn comes in a strong second with TTS alone at 110%.(Pyn’s Elf enhancement with a ship buff gives 5% and she pulled a Dynamistic Quiver to get another 5%). Her Manyshot bonuses to RP were respectable as well at 144.
So, Pyn’s extra RP from Harper Agent helps. Being a full Monk helps, too, and Pyn has more damage to come. She used the revised feats in a Shroud run that night, and wasn’t displeased at all.
As I said in an earlier post, only the change in TTS is a nerf to splash builds like monkchers, since only 2 Monk levels or a lower WIS won’t give a lot of Ranged Power or Doubleshot boost. It should be interesting to see how those builds are revised.
In other news from this patch: I’m looking forward to the new Halloween event, which previews live for an in-game load test for us all today (10/23). I’m also digging the cleaner, more responsive look of the DDO Store. Nice work, devs.