Why is/was melee training so bad?

twilsemail

Visitor
So I’m missing something somewhere and I’m not sure why.

With the change prefaced in today’s Essentials preview everyone is talking about how much Melee Training needed a hit from the Nerf-Bat. I’m not at all sure why this is, and I don’t recall hearing this before today. I honestly thought the opposite was true. I figured that Weapon or Melee based classes deserved a MBA based on their primary stat even without a feat.

Well, ENWorlders, why do you think that Melee Training was too strong?

Here’s the situation. Gren, a Battlemind, can swing his hammer all day long, accurately and painfully, as long as it's on his turn. Half a second later, a goblin walks away from him and Gren as forgotten which end he’s supposed to hit with. Why does that make sense to most people? Why was it necessary to make a weapon based character worse at swinging his weapon?

This is a genuine question. What is it that feels wrong about viable MBAs fro non-Strength classes? Especially when those classes are Melee or Weapon based?
 
It allowed me to work off an effective five stat spread rather than a six stat spread with very minimal penalties. I've currently got a Dex 20, Str 8 monk with Melee Training. An MBA equal to a strength 20 warlord with a longsword. It was just too much. (On the other hand I'd love a Psionic Power MBA At Will for the monk).
 

twilsemail

Visitor
It allowed me to work off an effective five stat spread rather than a six stat spread with very minimal penalties. I've currently got a Dex 20, Str 8 monk with Melee Training. An MBA equal to a strength 20 warlord with a longsword. It was just too much. (On the other hand I'd love a Psionic Power MBA At Will for the monk).
And you can't dump stat Cha or Int for a Fighter?
 

Neurotrash

Visitor
As was already said, it really only became broken with the release of the new MBA-based classes in Essentials.

Using the Slayer as an example, for the price of one feat (melee training) you could make a Slayer with a 20 Dex. This gives you a melee basic attack that does [W] + 10 damage every time you hit (and all your attacks are MBAs), and with hide armor you're walking around with a 18 AC at first level, in addition to the Slayer's defender-level hp.

With the new fix to the feat, that falls to a [W] + 7, which is a little closer to other first level Strikers in damage output. Without the feat, with 18 Str 18 Dex you can get [W] + 8 damage, and a 17 AC in Hide (the same as if you were just wearing the Scale you're already proficient in).

Taking Melee training isn't a bad choice, but now it's not a "you're stupid if your Slayer doesn't take it at first level" choice.
 

Klaus

Visitor
And you can't dump stat Cha or Int for a Fighter?
No, the point is that the knight and slayer got benefits from two stats (Str for Melee Basic Attacks and Con or Dex for additional benefits). Through Melee Training these classes could get all benefits from a single stat.

A slayer could focus on Dex and get high AC, high attacks and lots of damage on melee and ranged from Dex alone. Without the need to invest in Strength, the slayer could put a few points in Con for extra hp and better Fort.
 
Here’s the situation. Gren, a Battlemind, can swing his hammer all day long, accurately and painfully, as long as it's on his turn.


Gren, a battlemind, is a fighter known for his methodical unrelenting swings (con attack). Once in the rhythm, he can pound through any defense.

However, his weakness is adaptation. An enemy moving away disrupts the rhythm, and the attack is weaker.


In other words, flavor can explain anything.
 

Infiniti2000

Visitor
However, his weakness is adaptation. An enemy moving away disrupts the rhythm, and the attack is weaker.
Then, Gren should give up the Speed of Thought power! Or any immediate power like Lightning Rush.

In other words, no it can't. twilsemail's comment is rhetorical. There's no good answer you can come up with to explain the crappy mechanics. Anything you do to try and justify the crap mechanics through flavor is just so much bs.
 

twilsemail

Visitor
No, the point is that the knight and slayer got benefits from two stats (Str for Melee Basic Attacks and Con or Dex for additional benefits). Through Melee Training these classes could get all benefits from a single stat.

A slayer could focus on Dex and get high AC, high attacks and lots of damage on melee and ranged from Dex alone. Without the need to invest in Strength, the slayer could put a few points in Con for extra hp and better Fort.
So in fixing an overpowered combination with the new material they're introducing, they've gimped all of the preceeding classes?

If this is a problem with the Slayer (who was just introduced) where did all of this "Melee Training has needed nerfing for a while now" come from?

Wouldn't a better solution have been to give the Slayer a new feature that replaced the standard MBA instead of nerfing every other MBA out there?

Power "Slaying Strike" Str vs. AC: 1W+Str Counts as an MBA
All new Slayer powers replace MBA with Slaying Strike.
 
So in fixing an overpowered combination with the new material they're introducing, they've gimped all of the preceeding classes?
Yup!
If this is a problem with the Slayer (who was just introduced) where did all of this "Melee Training has needed nerfing for a while now" come from?
Don't know. People are silly like that.
Wouldn't a better solution have been to give the Slayer a new feature that replaced the standard MBA instead of nerfing every other MBA out there?
Yup! But alas, it was not to be.
 

renau1g

Visitor
Well, they haven't announced a potential fix so perhaps when essentials comes out the melee classes that need the feat will have that somehow built into their class features (i.e. Cha-based paladin, battlemind, monk, rogue, etc.) and the feat can be done away with.
 
TBH, Melee Training was a too-elegant solution to the problem of stat stacking.

IMHO, There was only one class that "needed" a melee-training power: Rogue. The other Martial Classes (Fighter, Warlord, Ranger) had their primary melee attacks based on Strength, so their MBA was never an issue (except for archer-rangers, but honestly, they could USE a weak-spot). However, rogue was a melee class that used dex primary, creating a guy who one second could use his agility and grace to strike through his enemies armor, and in another swing his sword like a kid wielding a baseball bat. Before MWT, I had a rogue-only feat (similar to Intelligent Blademaster) for rogues that did just that. It was called Weapon Finesse!

Beyond that, every other class that uses weapons primary either has "magic" to describe it (swordmage, paladin) or uses Str anyway (Warden). I liked Intelligent Blademaster, and a similar feat for Paladins wouldn't have broken my heart (if only to fix a glaring problem with defenders), but I'm not sure I needed warlocks beating you down with charisma, clerics whipping you with wisdom, or druids ripping you a new-one with their con. If you want casters with some primary stat basics, do like MM or EB and make a magic-based BA.

Some believability needs to exist. Using any stat you want for MBAs stretched me too thin on that.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Note this nerfs some warlords or those who took the feat so that they could work better with those warlords. Lets see make the martial classes work better with warlords make it impossible for others to work even half way decently with them.... is that a intentional pattern
 

twilsemail

Visitor
Beyond that, every other class that uses weapons primary either has "magic" to describe it (swordmage, paladin) or uses Str anyway (Warden).
With the exception of Ardents, Assassins, Battleminds and Monks? Three of those are [W]eapon classes and all three don't use Strength. Heck, the two weapon classes don't even get strength as a secondary.

"Magic" as a descriptor doesn't explain why sometimes the class is awesome at smacking you with a stick and sometimes they're awful.

Does it make sense for a Wizard or a Warlock to have melee training? Probably not (though spending a feat slot to represent training makes sense fluff and mechanics-wise to me). But a Monk should be good at punching people all of the time, not just when it's his turn. An Ardent should know which end of the sword is pointy the other 5 seconds of the turn.

As R1 said, we might see a fix in either the updates or in the new books themselves, though they make no mention of some of the PH3 classes that could sorely use a fix to their MBA.

Some believability needs to exist. Using any stat you want for MBAs stretched me too thin on that.
So, there sholdn't be non-strength based melee classes at all then?
 
Last edited:

Insight

Adventurer
A simple fix would be that classes make melee basic attacks using their primary ability, whatever that is. That fixes most classes, except charisma paladin and strength cleric... not sure who else.
 

Nichwee

Visitor
As someone who has a Wizard with Melee Training I personally don't mind the new idea of it only getting half-stat damage. I have the feat for RP reasons and my character makes a point of being in melee more than is sensible because of those RP reasons - and buys items/feats to go with the theme often to his detriment. Lowering the damage of his MBA may even help him not get himself into trouble as he would find it less sensible to melee vs use MagMiss/Scorching Burst.

Tho as a Wizard of the Spiral Tower I would like it if Intelligent Blademaster were extended to be available to WotST too (as they were the original Swordmages in 4th ED).

On the idea of why a weapon wielder may suddenly "get crappy" when not their turn: Well a Rogue (for example) can do a cunning trick to rip out his/her opponent's spine when he/she tries to, but an OA or a granted MBA isn't something he/she plans, and finds the right moment for. It is a split-second opening that needs to be taken right then or the chance is lost. Thus the Rogue just "swings out" with his/her sword, using STR, instead of waiting for the "sweet shot", using DEX.
Basically if you don't assume Sly Flourish was a "Oh I want to hit you, best swing my knife" reaction but a "Ok I've been swinging and drawing out your parry for a few seconds and I think I can get you to overextend yourself and get under your guiard" effect then the idea of OA and "free action MBAs" being worse doesn't seem so odd. They take no game time (as they are free actions/interrupt other peoples turns) so they are more "swing and hope" than normal attacks. And the arguement that then II/IR's should be "crappy" too is avoided when you note that those are specific responses to specific triggers - i.e. the Rogue trained to have a trick up their sleeve in response to an event they felt certain would arise often - so no "How do I react to this momentary opening just presented. Just swing and hope" as they have practiced how to respond to that specific opening before.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
So, there sholdn't be non-strength based melee classes at all then?
Well ofcourse not... in real life the first attribute somebody learns about in fencing is balance and after that you learn how practice and discipline and perception improves your timing and your forms then they teach you how invoking your spirit can really empower your attacks. I probably should find that study which showed how a spirited impassioned attack seemed to deliver half again the force of what a bland methodical one does.

And just because it takes a 5 strength equivalent in real world terms to kill somebody in one blow with one of these weapons doesnt mean anything.
 
Well ofcourse not... in real life the first attribute somebody learns about in fencing is balance and after that you learn how practice and discipline and perception improves your timing and your forms then they teach you how invoking your spirit can really empower your attacks. I probably should find that study which showed how a spirited impassioned attack seemed to deliver half again the force of what a bland methodical one does.

And just because it takes a 5 strength equivalent in real world terms to kill somebody in one blow with one of these weapons doesnt mean anything.
This may be true, but if you actually look at the people who are top fencers they're all rather strong. Fencing is also a fairly poor analog for what happens in a melee. I'm sure if you ask any expert in martial arts they will tell you that while strength alone is certainly not the be-all and end-all it very much is an important part of weapon use. Greater strength means the ability to more quickly move your weapon around at a basic level, which translates to speed and hitting power. Using a foil or an epee that may be negligible as the weapon is very light to start with, but if you're swinging an 3 pound longsword around it becomes a lot more handy. I'd say even using a dagger there's some significant advantage to being strong. For the most part this is reflected in a lot of martial classes, even many rogues benefit a good bit from strength, perhaps even the majority of melee rogues.
 

Advertisement

Top