In the process of writing my Sexy Boot Overview (Shadow Warrior Guide) I decided to fully test the Assault Path and thought I might as well share my experience and observations with anyone interested.
|Session 1 - Full Melee|
I must admit that I had a lot of fun with my full melee Shadow Warrior,
but I have to warn you this is definitely not for everyone. I died nearly 200
times testing the Assault path in one weekend and I still need to test
Assault/Skirmish... In addition, this build can seriously tax healers and guards ( if
you have any, ) I actually made a macro to let healers know I was testing full melee
and cautioned them not to overwork themselves trying to keep me alive. I cannot honestly say that a full melee Shadow Warrior would be viable for the vast majority of players. ( more commentary... )
|My biggest problem was with rdps, during testing I did put renown points into dodge and disrupt and that did seem to help, although I found combining spiritual resistance in block one and magical resistance in block two to be cheaper than spending the points for disrupt in block three. Higher weapon skill and initiative would also be a good choice, I was running at 196 and it was much too low. I also highly suggest using the moral 1 Concealment.|
I absolutely love Exploit Weakness, in my opinion it is by far the best mastery ability in the tree; were it not so high in the tree I would definitely pick it up for my usual Scout/Assault build. Swift Strikes is now a part of my usual Scout/Assault build, I find the multiple attacks very useful for higher block/parry rated mdps and tanks. I had a lot of fun with Sweeping Slash and it came in quite handy with all those rubber armed
enemies out there. Between Counterstrike / Opportunistic Strike and Brutal Assault I was
able to keep the majority of my targets from doing too much damage to me. *Note: for testing purposes I attempted to limit my ranged ability usage to only Broadhead Arrow.
The damage was more than I expected and the surprise factor garnered me more than a few kills. Running 996 Strength and 538 Weapon Skill, Brutal Assault and Exploit Weakness both gave me semi- regular 1-1.5k hits, Swift Strikes was averaging 200-250 per strike, and Sweeping Slash was in the 200-250 range without Vengeance, Steady Aim, or Unshakeable Focus. Draw Blood ticked at around 150, Grim Slash was hitting for around 400. Counterstrike and Opportunistic Strike seemed to range quite a bit from 100-400, but between those and Brutal Assault I was able to keep quite a few targets from doing too much damage to me.
In my session 2 video I took on some of the "big boys" to get a better idea of the damage capabilities, the stats are exactly the same so you might want to check that out. Shintto is a RR80 Chosen in full Warlord. At the end is Axewoof, a RR80 full Tyrant S&B Black Guard, one of the best on the server; unfortunately, my liniment wore out and I didn't notice until it was too late. I had him down to 90% once... ;)
The Sinister Assault tactic is pretty much a must have. I was not happy with No Respite, but I did put a renown point into increased parry so it might be handy if you chose not to do that. I only ran out of action points a couple times, mostly when fighting higher renown rank tanks, so I did not take Merciless Soldier; although I've always had a knack for AP management so you may find it worth taking. My favorite tactic set was Sinister Assault, Expert Skirmisher, Wrist Slash, and Bullseye, though I found Pierce Defenses handy as well. ( hide commentary... )