If you want to know what the biggest game changer of Neverwinter’s Module 11: The Cloaked Ascendancy is going to be, just count the pages in the official feedback threads. The Weapon Enhancements Changes has 21 at the time of this writing, more than twice as much as all others combined. In case you completely missed what’s going to change tomorrow, here’s a very brief rundown: From the current set of Enhancements, only Vorpal, Dread and Feytouched scale with player power. All others pretty much grant a static DPS boost which is negligible in relation to the overall DPS of endgame players. That’s why nobody is using them.
The devs now changed all Weapon Enhancements to scale with player power and make them viable next to Vorpal and Dread. This in most cases means that the percentage of additional Weapon Damage done by the Enhancement is drastically increased. Because it scales, stronger players will see a higher %. So your average Joe will deal 20% of additional damage as Fire damage from Flaming, endgame Joe 50%. These are example numbers, just know that the shown percentage is a number that changes with every toon. It’s not a constant value. That’s a rather important fact you should be aware about in order to correctly understand and evaluate the new system.
So not better than Vorpal you say?
I honestly don’t want to make this post too nerdy, but we’re quickly going through the most important stuff. If you like theorycrafting and tons of interesting charts and information, just read through the official feedback thread. You’ll find quality work like this write-up from Sharpedge.
Vorpal and Dread are no longer best in slot
While the devs stated that they do not intend to make the changed Enhancements better than Vorpal or Dread, they did just that. It’s not a definite statement for all DPS builds, but the changes are so strong that it makes most sense now to generate a maximum amount of procs from those. Multi-proccing spells like the CW’s Icy Terrain or Conduit of Ice perform insanely better under the new system than one-time heavy-hitters. Since you want to proc Weapon Enhancements as often as possible, even At-Wills might make more sense than encounters in some cases. Again: This is very raw information. We also received word from some players that they will actually stay with Vorpal/Dread. So by all means go to preview and do your own testing before switching. The devs made all the Weapon Enhancements available there.
Nonetheless Bilethorn (single target) and Lightning (AoE) have surfaced as early favorites in terms of DPS. They offer the heaviest procs and in some cases double character damage compared to old Vorpal/Dread builds. Yes, you read that right. Twice. As. Much. Unsurprisingly the prices of Shards for them have gone through the roof.
Flaming has the highest percentage of Weapon Damage dealt, but most of it’s damage comes from the DoT, which is capped at three. So rapid procs do not linearly increase the damage output. Same applies to Plague Fire, which is primarily a utility/debuff Enhancement anyway though.
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Debuffers and Tanks are fine
If you were using Plague Fire or Frost you can continue to do so. Both still offer sizable debuffs that are not capped at 200%. Frost got some extra utility and makes sense for classes like DC that might have trouble maintaining PF stacks. Additionally the Tank and PVP favorite Feytouched was already great and got buffed as well.
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Best of the rest
It’s still not looking too great for Holy Avenger, sorry, and Terror will probably remain an Enhancement with exclusive viability in PVP. Lifedrinker got an substantial upgrade as well, but most toons already have enough healing from multiple sources. Bronzwood has not been touched in this balancing pass because it works differently than the rest.
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Other notable changes
There are two other notable changes for Armor Enhancements. Barkshield has been severely buffed and now absorbs 20,000/40,000/60,000 and 80,000 damage on Transcendent level depending on the amount of Bolstered Bark. It’s now absolutely viable for everyone, especially Tanks that operate at the DR cap an want additional damage reduction.
A longer standing issue with Elven Battle has also been fixed. The Enhancement unintentionally reduced CW’s Chill stacks from targets, which was especially annoying in PVP.
Overall the Weapon Enhancements changes are major. All builds will have to reevaluate their situation and look whether the new buffed ones make more sense for them now. Everyone using the currently underpowered Enhancements should get a DPS buff, which is at the very least great for solo play. I’m slightly concerned about Bilethorn and Lightning though. The devs specifically said those shouldn’t be better than Dread and Vorpal, yet they are. So there is a slight possibility that a nerf could be imminent. The content is already easy. We don’t really need DPS classes that are able to pump out even more damage with the new Enhancements.
What’s your take on the rework? Share your thoughts in the comments below or visit the corresponding thread on our message board!
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