I would like to share my point of view concerning retaliation effects and the Forge Guard mastery that is, to me, the mastery that should shine for retaliation builds :
First of all, there are currently 2 different retaliation effects : one that is a flat retaliation damage whenever someone hits you. The other one is a % damage reflected. For the flat retaliation, it is fine as it is but the values are imo too small. It is really strong in early game but it completely falls off during mid-end game in comparison of other builds and damage sources. The main reason is that both retaliation effects don’t scale with any stat. For the % damage reflected, it could be strong in late but there one huge issue : it is calculated AFTER mitigation. This is completely weird and underwhelming. What’s the point to make a tanky character if the retatiation is weakened the more tanky you get ? Right now if you want to maximize those %damage reflected, you need a huge HP pool and take the biggest hit possible. Any mitigation sources makes it really weak. Having 200 hp and 0 protection is better than 100 hp and 100 protection since you would take more damage even if you tank the same amount of damage, this is super weird.
So, here comes 2 things that should be changed for retaliation effects :
- All retaliation damage (flat and %) should scale with stats. Maybe adding a new affixe that is “increased retaliation damage” ? Also retaliation damage should have a damage type (physical, fire or whatever) and scale with the corresponding stat (and also global damage increase).
- % damage reflected should work on the pre-mitigation hits. In that way, you can make your character tanky and still reflect the full damage (it might need a slight nerf on the % damage reflected you can reach though). Retaliation builds always rely on having a tanky character, what is the point to have weaker retaliation if you are tankier ?
Then, I have some suggestions regarding the Forge Guard that is to me the perfect mastery for retaliation build :
It needs retaliation passives :
- Molten Shell : you reflect X damage to the attackers as fire damage. Those damage reflected equals Y% of your fire protections.
- Spiky Armor : you reflect X damage to the attackers as physical damage. Those damage reflected equals Y% of your armor.
–> Those 2 passives make the Forge Guard mastery bonus a bit more appealing, I always found this armor/fire protection buff a bit useless.
- Forged in battle : whenever you are hit, you get X flat reflection damage (the flat reflection damage type is the same as the hit you took) for X seconds (can stack).
- Reflective shield : if the damage you reflect come from a blocked hit, the damage reflected are increased by X%
- A standard passive that just grant increased retaliation damage.
I think you can add some skill nodes to give some love for retaliation builds :
- Rebuke: Add a major node that says : “Rebuke doesn’t explode at the end of the channeling. Instead, every hit during the channeling increases all retaliations damage by the same amount during the channeling”. You can then add a few retaliation flavored nodes behind this major node. (the Rebuke skill tree is underwhelming in its current state anyway). A fun node could be “X% of your flat reflected damage stat are dealt around you every second (those damage are dealt as retaliation damage).”
- Vengeance : A lot of the current vengeance nodes are never used and feel really useless. You could clean a bit the tree and add a retaliation-oriented part to the skill tree. A bit like rebuke : “While preparing to ripost, retaliation damage are increased by X%”. “Whenever you ripost with Vengeance, X% of the hit that triggered the ripost is converted into flat retaliation damage for the next X seconds”. “Whenever you ripost, you get X% damage reflection for the next X seconds (can stack)” etc…
- When the Juggernaut Stance gets a skill tree, it will be a nice skill for retaliation nodes imo.
Well this is it, I think new ideas will come later. I hope it can make EHG think a bit about retaliation builds (I love those builds) and also hope some people will react to this post and give their thoughts. Bye !