Author Topic: Viability of Piercing Damage on Swords  (Read 906 times)

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Offline Laionidas

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Viability of Piercing Damage on Swords
« on: 15 December 2017, 11:27:32 »
The role of Piercing Damage for Bow users has long been established. For melee toons, Spears seem to be the weapon to go to in combination with Piercing Damage.

What about Swords though? It is a known fact that lighter faster Swords have a higher Pierce Damage percentage. That mechanics must be there for a reason, and the Rogue class seems to be build around it: it is called "Blade Honing" after all, not "Tip Sharpening" as you would expect for Spears or Arrows. Yet, I've never in all these years seen any melee Piercing Damage builds using Swords.

Would a gladii style sword and board or dual-wield build be viable? Yes you're losing 10% Piercing Damage on your weapon, but you're also going from the second slowest type ("slow") of weapon to the fastest ("very fast").

Offline Hector

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Re: Viability of Piercing Damage on Swords
« Reply #1 on: 22 January 2018, 17:58:59 »
Interesting and reasonable.. the only problem comes into my mind is the damage rate against non-living targets.. even with supposedly higher damage dealer spears (the physical part), undeads are not going down easily and require a lot of hits.. mind you, I have over 150% AS with my spear and shield procs going like crazy already and still they don't go down fast.. at least in my game this is the situation..

Wouldn't swords be even worse in this regard against them? I mean you're reducing your physical damage which is more effective against undead while focusing on piercing that much.. Sure, your sword may take living things down faster this way but undead and constructs are like 1/3 of the enemies in the game, aren't they?
« Last Edit: 22 January 2018, 18:13:02 by Hector »

Offline MedeaFleecestealer

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Re: Viability of Piercing Damage on Swords
« Reply #2 on: 22 January 2018, 18:06:47 »
I would never use a spear with a Rogue toon unless it had Hunting as well, then I might consider it.  But otherwise my Rogue toons always use swords  And with the expansion giving axes some long needed love, they might use those as well.  :)

Offline Laionidas

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Re: Viability of Piercing Damage on Swords
« Reply #3 on: 22 January 2018, 18:17:13 »
Wouldn't swords be even worse in this regard against them? I mean you're reducing your physical damage which is more effective against undead while focusing on piercing that much.

But swords have a lower piercing damage conversion than spears, so you'd say they be more flexible at dealing with piercing resistant enemies as well. They have lower base physical damage, sure, but that's compensated for by a far superior hit rate.

I would never use a spear with a Rogue toon unless it had Hunting as well, then I might consider it.  But otherwise my Rogue toons always use swords.

Why though? Because of the poison damage that makes number of hits matter more that severity of hits?
« Last Edit: 22 January 2018, 18:49:08 by MedeaFleecestealer »

Offline Hector

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Re: Viability of Piercing Damage on Swords
« Reply #4 on: 22 January 2018, 18:25:39 »
Oh this needs a lot of thinking in numbers and some play testing I guess.. ???

If your right though, I may exchange my third mastery with Rogue.. or add it and make a four mastery char  8)

Offline MedeaFleecestealer

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Re: Viability of Piercing Damage on Swords
« Reply #5 on: 22 January 2018, 18:49:25 »
Wouldn't swords be even worse in this regard against them? I mean you're reducing your physical damage which is more effective against undead while focusing on piercing that much.

But swords have a lower piercing damage conversion than spears, so you'd say they be more flexible at dealing with piercing resistant enemies as well. They have lower base physical damage, sure, but that's compensated for by a far superior hit rate.

I would never use a spear with a Rogue toon unless it had Hunting as well, then I might consider it.  But otherwise my Rogue toons always use swords.

Why though? Because of the poison damage that makes number of hits matter more that severity of hits?

Simple - because I'm not a great spear lover.  i can see the possible advantage of using them when playing a Brigand, but for my Warden I'd be going with maces/clubs to make use of Defense's Concussive Blow skill along with a bow using Marksmanship, Volley, Art of the Hunt and Wood Lore.  My Hunting toons are always first and foremost bow users.  A Slayer (Hunting/Warfare) would go dual wield for close in work using a sword and probably axe or mace/club in the second hand.  It makes hits a bit slower, but adds more damage.  Or could be two swords, just depends on what I feel like.  Neither would use a spear.  It's just the way I like to play those classes.

Offline Laionidas

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Re: Viability of Piercing Damage on Swords
« Reply #6 on: 23 January 2018, 16:35:25 »
That makes sense, though there's just something about a spear Warden: You get all the shield procs from Defense, plus Volley from hunting, making you an LMB animation master. It's also the most traditional hoplite way  ;D  :P

Offline Hector

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Re: Viability of Piercing Damage on Swords
« Reply #7 on: 23 January 2018, 17:57:39 »
Hey Laionidas,

I'm sorta testing your theory in Act I Epic right now and it seems like your right :)

With Ajax's something sword, can't remember the full name but its that epic sword with 80ish base damage 10% pierce ratio, blade honing's extra kick somewhat shortens the time required for undeads to go down.. The rate is still more or less same with the spear but you get more passive procs due to extra speed so I think this is an advantage as you stated in your post..

Although, playing with no passive procs would be a better test I believe.. They kinda complicate things because once they happen, sword or spear don't matter anymore and every trash dies in two hits at most anyway.. Not to mention I also have Onslaught so everything undead or alive is slaughtered before they know it  :P

« Last Edit: 23 January 2018, 18:04:38 by Hector »

Offline Pazuzu

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Re: Viability of Piercing Damage on Swords
« Reply #8 on: 23 January 2018, 18:06:40 »
On my spellbreaker i remember using a sword and a thorny maul which has huge pierce damage
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Offline Laionidas

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Re: Viability of Piercing Damage on Swords
« Reply #9 on: 23 January 2018, 18:49:48 »
On my spellbreaker i remember using a sword and a thorny maul which has huge pierce damage

Thorny Maul is an odd one, being a mace with massive pierce damage conversion, and pierce and bleeding bonusses. I'd say it's a build defining item, in that it only really shines on builds made with that thing in mind. Most mace users will actually be handicapped by that much piercing conversion (because piercing won't be a damage type they're focussing on).

Hey Laionidas,

I'm sorta testing your theory in Act I Epic right now and it seems like your right :)

With Ajax's something sword, can't remember the full name but its that epic sword with 80ish base damage 10% pierce ratio, blade honing's extra kick somewhat shortens the time required for undeads to go down.. The rate is still more or less same with the spear but you get more passive procs due to extra speed so I think this is an advantage as you stated in your post..

Although, playing with no passive procs would be a better test I believe.. They kinda complicate things because once they happen, sword or spear don't matter anymore and every trash dies in two hits at most anyway.. Not to mention I also have Onslaught so everything undead or alive is slaughtered before they know it  :P

That'd be Ajax' Iberias? Another weird one, at least visually, as it looks more like a jian to me.

Blade Honing works simply because it increases overall damage, be it largely piercing. It shouldn't help against undead per se, or rather it should help less against undead than against the living. My point on Blade Honing was simply that it was not intended to be used solely in conjunction with spears or bows, as is generally assumed.

Using procs, yes extra attack speed helps (up untill a certain treshold), but even without procs attack speed should compensate for lower base damage, whatever the type or conversion. It's hard to set up a controlled test. Basically what you'd need is two controlled common (white) weapons of the same tier, but a different type. Say, a copper shortsword and a copper sudis. I think those are tier II. Tier I would be copper crude spear, and copper knife, but the knife is a knife, and there's no tier I sword. Make sure there are no enchantments or relics on them. Use a procless build, and see how they fare against undead compared to living enemies. My guess is the spear would have a much higher average damage, but the DPS should be roughly the same, while the sword kills undead notably faster (because it does a smaller percentage of its DPS as piercing damage).

Offline Hector

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Re: Viability of Piercing Damage on Swords
« Reply #10 on: 23 January 2018, 19:37:44 »
Hmm... Then the best time for test will probably be when I start my melee Brigand which is the next one actually.. Thanks Laionidas..

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