Sword Master and Focused Offense Tactic

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Posts: 9

Sword Master and Focused Offense Tactic

Post#1 » Tue Mar 31, 2020 7:19 pm

Hi all,

I'm hoping to hear from some high level SM's about the Focus Offense Tactic. Is that 33% reduction to armor worth the 15% damage increase?

At face value, I don't think it is, but I'd rather hear from more experiences SC focus SM's.

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Re: Sword Master and Focused Offense Tactic

Post#2 » Tue Mar 31, 2020 7:22 pm

No off tanks should ever slot this tactic, being a SM or not.
I would even say that this tactic is a meme in this community.

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Posts: 279

Re: Sword Master and Focused Offense Tactic

Post#3 » Tue Mar 31, 2020 7:31 pm

ToXoS wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 7:22 pm
This tactic is a meme.

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Re: Sword Master and Focused Offense Tactic

Post#4 » Tue Mar 31, 2020 7:33 pm

You do not get enough damage in return for the armor loss

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Re: Sword Master and Focused Offense Tactic

Post#5 » Tue Mar 31, 2020 7:35 pm

I like the IDEA of Focused Offense: Trading some armor in return for more damage when necessary.

But in practice, it's just not very good. Given the armor meta, throwing away 33% armor for 15% damage increase just doesn't make sense, particularly with the relatively low damage thresholds that the game has. I tend to slot something like Ensorcelled Agony instead; I think the steady DoT ends up doing more for you overall than the 15%, without sacrificing armor.

Let me explain with some math.
Let's say that you land an Ether Dance hit for 800 damage (which is pretty reasonable). If you had Focused Offense, you'd do an extra 15% (120), coming out to 920 damage. For simplicity's sake, I'm not going to factor in mitigation that the target has for this.

At level 40, Ensorcelled Agony gives 560 damage over 5 seconds. 560 / 5 = 112, which is only 8 points below the 120 granted by Focused Offense, and it has 4 more ticks of 112 to go, AND you aren't trading 33% of your armor to get it.

Now granted, these numbers can fluctuate wildly depending on who you're hitting and what your gear is and so on, but given that we have only 4 tactic slots to work with, I just can't find room for FO in an offensive SM build. There are too many other, better tactics to take that slot.

Don't use Focused Offense.

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Re: Sword Master and Focused Offense Tactic

Post#6 » Tue Mar 31, 2020 7:40 pm

Focussed Offense in PvP?


Chinesehero what can u tell us about that? :roll:

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Re: Sword Master and Focused Offense Tactic

Post#7 » Tue Mar 31, 2020 7:49 pm

Only real man slot FO 8-)

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Re: Sword Master and Focused Offense Tactic

Post#8 » Tue Mar 31, 2020 8:00 pm

CytheX wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 7:49 pm
Only real man slot FO 8-)
This is what I thought. :D

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Re: Sword Master and Focused Offense Tactic

Post#9 » Tue Mar 31, 2020 8:44 pm

Focused Offense has always had a place in this game, but you gotta know when and how to use it. Saying its a meme or that nobody should ever slot it it's the meme (because it's wrong).

So it just depends on A) what the heck you are doing, and b) why you are doing it. Generally speaking though, it's roughly a curve of "incoming damage". Basically, you reach a threshold fairly quickly where you will take more damage then you gain from FO, and those are the situations where it's bad.

So let's look at it from two opposite perspectives, where FO is at it's "best" and where it is as its "worst".

FO is at its best when you are literally taking 0 physical damage. In these cases, it's basically a raw 15% damage tactic, which is fantastic. These could be situations like, 1v1ing casters! Or maybe even 6v6 or even up to 12v12 scenarios where the enemy groups aren't running melee trains. For instance, if you load up into a scenario (gonna use Destro as an example, since this is more likely), and you see that lets say 5 out of the 7 DPS classes in your scenario are Bright Wizards, you can probably put FO on and go to town.

FO is at its worst when you are literally taking a **** ton of physical damage and aren't able to deal a lot of damage in return. In these cases, it's basically a -33% armor tactic with no benefit, which is awful. These could be situations like "most ORVR keep and warband roaming situations", "sieging a fort", etc...

So it really just depends on what you are trying to do and why. You can also swap it around at your leisure. For instance, you can start a scenario with it off, realize nobody is focusing or really dealing damage to you, and just plop it in to get that damage boost. If the enemy team wises up to your plan, just swap it back out, there you go.

It's just one of those tactics you can't keep on "at all times", but I'd argue keeping it off all the time is almost as bad as keeping it on all the time (assuming you are playing your tank in situations where you warrant using it, if you are playing a hyper defense S&B knight only in big ORVR situations for your guild or something, you'll maybe never bother slotting it unless you decide to roam 1v1 for shits and giggles).

Also to clarify since I've seen even further misinformation in this thread: Scaling Matters!!!!!! Saying things like ensorcelled agony are comparable to focused offense shows a degree of lack of understanding in this game. To clarify a little bit here, A) % damage boosts are the best source of scaling in this game overall, and scale with your gear/weapons as you level and get more damage, things like "set dot" tactics do not scale worth junk. B) You can't just look at the scaling of a single ability (esp a channeled one), and say "well 15% isn't much damage", that's a horrible analysis. It increases all of your damage by 15%, which includes all of your dots and other sources of damage. 15% is just 15%, it's a major damage boost and the equivalent to tactics like Flanking on MDPS which is the source of some of their highest damage boosts as well. This is one of the reasons why offensive tanks in this game can actually burst so hard, because with Taunt/Focused Offense up you can get a baseline 1.45 scaling modifier on your damage for as long as you can keep taunt up.

Honestly, I kind of regret writing this post now, since I don't want to have to deal with Swordmasters who can actually deal good DPS and threaten me. Ignore everything I said above, please use static non-scaling damage tactics and dps builds, I would love that, not tanky enough to survive and not damaging enough to be a threat, Destro needs more of you!

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Re: Sword Master and Focused Offense Tactic

Post#10 » Tue Mar 31, 2020 9:18 pm

Hmm, let's run down the check list:
A. 'I don't want to have to deal with SMs who can threaten me', obvious Destro main.
B. Writing from a DPS or healer perspective, clearly doesn't play a tank and has no conception of the amount of damage that tanks soak up even when mostly ignored.
C. Doesn't know that SM doesn't have DoTs outside of Ensorcelled Agony or Deep Incision, and that one baseline move that no one uses since it does very low damage and you can get more out of Ensorcelled Agony.

I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say that you don't know what you're talking about, and are just trying to keep an Order tank player from being effective so that your side can have easier wins.

Even when ignored, tanks are right in the thick of fights sucking up gigantic amounts of AoE AND damage from their Guarded ally. Yes, even offensive tanks Guard people. That Guarded damage is converted to a physical melee attack directly in front of you, regardless of original damage type or range, which means that armor affects it.

That whole 'situation where you're taking no damage' simply does not happen for tanks, even offensive off tanks.

As for your argument that FO increases DoTs, yes it does, but as I just mentioned, SM has precisely 1 (one) reliable DoT through either Ensorcelled Agony or Deep Incision. Otherwise the burst relies on lining up Wrath of Hoeth spirit debuff with your taunt and Ether Dancing like a madman, preferably while the target is knocked down and with debuffed stats from Nature's Blade. FO does nothing for WoH or stat debuffs. And even if it did, -33% armor is not worth that trade off when you can get almost the same amount of value through EA or DI (usually EA since it's spirit but DI is physical) within one damage window. SM doesn't HAVE delayed abilities or a multitude of DoTs to line up in one damage window for burst.

Lastly, you're technically correct in that scaling matters, but that works AGAINST FO more than it benefits it, because guess what, -33% armor also scales with your gear, making the cost effectiveness of the tactic even worse as you get better gear.

That's why the general opinion is that FO is not worth it.

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