Disclaimer – I still really enjoy the play style that the balance mechanic brings, part of the reason I really enjoy my sword master. I also don’t feel underpowered nor that we need some great buffs or that we suck. But…..
The balance mechanic does bring a bunch of drawbacks I’m not sure if other classes face similar things and I’m left wondering why our abilities don’t seem to be compensated for the lack of being able to use them all the time like other classes. Here are some examples:
Quick Incision – Our snare to stop people from running. This ability is in our second stance, meaning we have to hit the enemy with one attack before landing this. This is a huge drawback in many ways, they could be sprinting then get out of range, or we could get KB, disabled, rooted, or one of many many other things before we get the chance to land this. Honestly this should be in opening stance because of this reason, but its not. Other tanks all have it right there as openers, some melee dps classes too (if not all not sure). Ours we not only have to wait on, BUT, also have it compete with many other important second stance moves. All of that and if you do use it, its no better than other classes snares, shouldn’t it be better for all the drawbacks we face?
Eagle’s Flight – Our parry buff to help us parry when we use it. For one this ability is also in second stance competeing with all of our other abilities there. For two it lasts only 5 seconds! That’s barely one stance cycle, other classes have similar abilities, some are even spam able! Yet ours has a built in cycle restriction (meaning they get out of melee range or any type of cc on you and you once again can’t use it). So we have to use it every cycle forgoing all else in our second balance, and we have to cycle through balances to get to it. Shouldn’t this be more powerful than our counter parts that can spam this at will due to all these restrictions? Or at least last as long as theirs?
Blurring Shock – When this was more powerful it used to be something sword masters would use in perfect balance to set up the next cycle. Now in its weakened state nobody uses it. The reason? We have to use this as our perfect balance attack which takes the longest to get to and again has many important abilites there. If we use this we have to wait to use our knockback, (specced silience, knock down, ether dance for damage) or our damage reducer DT (which only last for 4 seconds!!! I won’t list it again but shouldn’t it be as powerful or more powerful than other classes who don’t have a restriction when they can use theirs?), or dazzling strike which increases enemy build times. So who can substitute this in for a weak dmg proc on crit? It really should be made an opener (so Khaine specs have a new option for openers which is our least diverse balance set) or buffed back up to levels where one might consider it as a finisher.
There are lots more examples but lets start with that. I know some classes have cool downs and other things, but I’m not sure they make up for the fact that they can choose when and how they want to use those important abilities, while we can only choose when and how if we happen to have enough time to cycle to the proper stance and then use it. Thank goodness for PoH moving balance, if they took that away I may really be frustrated. Whenever I spec out of it I feel so restricted in what I can do. For a class where stances are supposed to be powerful and advantageous I’m not seeing where they actually give the SM any benefit unless for some reason our skills and abilities we have in total are better than other classes. On that note maybe there should be some baseline ability like PoH to help SM's who aren't Hoeth and give them better tools to get to their abilities.
What do you think, does the balance mechanic actually offer any advantages to the SM? Do we have extra abilities or something better about our abilities to justify having to dance to get to them?