Monday, November 21, 2022

New World 300 STR and the Grit problem

 New World has five attributes: strength, dexterity, intelligence, focus, and constitution (STR, DEX, INT, FOC, and CON).  Investing 300 points into any one attribute unlocks a final bonus for that attribute.  In the case of 300 STR that is grit on all heavy and light attacks.  This is a problem; grit is strong and no other attribute's ultimate ability comes close to the grit provided by 300 STR.

 Grit is important in that it helps prevent a player from being staggered.  Normally grit is reserved for specific attacks or abilities and thus players can plan around those specific moments and what grit brings to that moment.  With grit on every light and heavy attack the nuance is gone and the power is obvious as the 300 STR attacker stays upright and doesn't suffer staggers that every other player has to either dodge or endure.  There is no trade off being at 300 STR.

 Compare 300 STR's grit passive to 300 FOC 300's.  FOC 300 grants faster mana regen when mana is down.  300 FOC bonus mana regen in a game where there are mana potions and mana regeneration potions you can quaff!  300 FOC has a pointless bonus.

 Now combine 300 STR's grit bonus and the fact it is a primary damage attribute and it gets even nuttier.  Any STR weapon player is going to want to get 300 STR for the damage; grit makes it a no brainer.  Throw in the Thwarting Strikes perk that gives +12% damage to attacks with grit and voila!  Top damage stat and one of the best passives in the game to help you stay upright to dish out that damage?  Sign me the freak up!

 Obviously I am ranting on the 300 STR passive for grit but anyone that knows the weapons and builds I like to play knows that I abuse that 300 STR.  In fact I've played with it so much that when I swap to any other build that is not 300 STR I feel like I am playing an entirely different game as I am stuttered across the battlefield.  Grit just unlocks "smash left click" mode and without it the player has a little more thinking to do.

 The question is: does grit on all attacks make sense anywhere?  Actually it does: for tanks.  Tanks need to stay up right and out of stagger to do their job.  Grit on attacks being tied to 300 STR means tanks are almost exclusively going 300 STR.  Ideally tanks would be encouraged to go 300 CON. Some tanks do because the hit points are nice and for PvP the 300 CON passive that increase duration of roots/slows/stuns can be helpful (though no where near grit on all attacks), but giving up grit on all attacks means as a tank you spend a lot of time not doing your job in PvE and PvP.

 Is there fixes to the situation?  Yes; two jump right to mind.

 The first change that could be made is to tie grit on all attacks to 300 CON.  CON is not a damage skill so it makes sense that it could gain an advantage in attacking by giving 300 CON players grit on their attacks.  It fits right into tanking where this sort of benefit is a great synergy without dipping into the "it's just broken" category. 

 The second approach to take is to give grit on all attacks to heavy armor users.  It makes thematic sense and mechanical sense.  Heavy armor is penalized a huge loss in damage (30%) and gets a much worse dodge.  It would make sense to reward heavy armor with the ability to not get smacked around easily.  Other than PvE tanking heavy armor doesn't have much of a clear role.  Giving it grit on all attacks would give it an immediate role.  

 The only issue with grit on all attacks being moved to heavy armor is this bridges top damage attributes with grit on all attacks (heavy armor + 300 STR) so just shifts the problem somewhere else.  That is why I think the first proposal makes so much sense.  In fact if I was sitting in a development meeting about balance that would be the first thing I'd question.

 Hopefully AGS is listening because this conversation is on repeat in the community and most recently exasperated by the popularity of the greatsword which is a top target for 300 STR.  Knowing that AGS wants to both improve heavy armor and melee in PvP I am hopeful addressing the 300 STR grit issue will be top of mind.  Until it's addressed I will just keep on using it because without it this is an entirely different and clunkier game.


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