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Thread: Titus has no tangible reason to be picked over other frontlines - potential buffs

  1. #1
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    Titus has no tangible reason to be picked over other frontlines - potential buffs

    It's no doubt that out of all the frontlines, Titus is the most predictable and there are far better picks to fill whatever role you're going for with him. His main benefits are his aoe weaken (potential might, which is hard to fit in if you want to go for a heavy damage build - as it's all he's good for when every other frontline is way better at surviving) and his dagger being useful to track targets you know are planning to flee - but why would you ever use it otherwise? In majority of cases it's a wasted slot unless you're trying to make someone flee from an ulti only to follow them with the dagger and ult next turn - which will still get catalyst'd). He has his heals, but overall every other tank, as mentioned, has better survivability and more flexibility escapes.

    His Overhead Slam is objectively inferior to every other melee attack unless you're willing to invest three points in order to amp its damage, which comes at the price of basically having to thread the needle. Of course, most people go for the healing version, but it's honestly negligible in comparison to PuP's built in melee, which does more damage and heals for more without the need for mods. You're never gonna hit more than two people with it unless people are constantly clustered, which is stupid.

    His dash is incredibly predictable and can turn into a major drawback if the opponent has dashes or escapes of their own that you have to predict. It's honestly better saved as an escape than an initiation or aoe skill, but even then, if you're using it to escape, and you're not using Brain Juice to reset it, you've just left the fight for 3 - 4 turns and unlike other Freelancers, you're not going to be able to assist in literally any way while you return from getting health, or whatever. Unlike other dashes, you can't position it to avoid enemies while damaging them, nor does it auto-follow so you're stuck in place, hoping that the two squares they moved after the slow isn't behind cover (it usually is - no, the melee anti-cover mod is not good).

    His shout is his best skill, but even then, it's honestly not amazing. 4 turn cd on something that only slightly dampens damage. It's nice if you use might with it to buff your team's damage, but rarely will your team be close to you in the frontline to do that. If the enemies are honestly clumped up enough for you to get anything more than 5 hp out of the heal mod in most shouts, they deserve to lose. Titus has absolutely no effect on the scale in that regard.

    His dagger is his other useful skill in my opinion, but you waste your entire turn (you won't even make any real usage out of pairing your shout with it, either, as if you're tracking them, they're probably planning to jump away or not attack you, anyway). It's nice for semi-mindgames where you have ulti or know someone plans to escape, but even then, you're gambling your entire turn on the fact they plan to flee, rather than just hitting them with your sweep for one more damage (or seven more damage if you have the damage mod on your slam). The only valuable thing about this, in my opinion, is if you manage to find someone who will fall for your mindgames and predictions, you can pair it with a might buff and double up on might damage on the next turn, potentially doing a decent amount of single target damage (but it was still a two turn set-up - not worth it).

    His ulti is just a far, far, far worse version of Elle's (which is longer, deals more damage without the need for the executioner mod, goes through cover, doesn't have decreasing damage, and a knockback is arguably far more valuable overall than a root at best, which is also ridiculously short in distance). Honestly? Half the time I save it for five turns because it's so predictable and so, so, so easy to avoid. That means you either waste your ult because of how avoidable it is, or you may only get one usage per match, and it might not even be that great because people shouldn't cluster. Heck, you can't even get mods to get ANY of the benefits Elle's has by default. No cover/wall avoidance, doesn't get the same damage, the 'world shatterer' mod is another three point mod for basically no tangible benefit.

    In essence, he's just a far, far inferior version to basically every other Freelancer in almost all of his skills and doesn't have anything at all about him that sets him apart from the crowd. There's no reason to play him over Rask, Asana, Rampart, or PuP. Even Garrison has a number of one-ups over him and reasons to be picked. He seems to be made to seem like the most 'offensive' of all the frontliners, but his damage is subpar, and in order to get all of his mods that might make him even remotely playable as a full damage frontliner, effectively assigning him a role (which is already filled by PuP) that he might be able to play and have a reason to be picked, you have to invest into 3x 3-point mods (Melee, Shout and Ult). This also means he misses out on too much other stuff that he needs to have to even attempt this role. Otherwise, he's just a less survivable version of everyone else that relies so much on being next to people and not being predicted, and hitting 2 - 3 people per round to even come close to others in terms of survivability. Heck, there's not even a reason to focus him with his lack of damage and pressuring CC/followups.

    Here's my solutions, or at least a few suggestions, to his major skills -
    Give him a mod to make his dagger a free action, increase the cooldown as a result (much like Zuki's Big Bang mod or Lock's trap mod). This means you'd get benefit out of turns where you blow everything and can properly be rewarded for making a strong prediction.
    Put his ult on par with Elle's, or at least close to it. Inherent cover avoidance is the absolute basic start. - Potential mods involve making the entire thing root (or even make World Shatterer inherent). Higher damage in some way. For every target he hits, refund some energy, or something (or, vice versa, if he misses his targets, he gets a refund like other ults).
    Make his melee attack deal the 32 mod damage by default. It's still not as good as PuP's in any way. That alone removes the need to invest three points in something he should have by default. THEN add a mod to reduce the damage a bit more and bump up the healing to PuP's level (I'd prefer a mod to just make them equal, but that's not going to happen).
    His dash needs an auto-follow mod, or to have the option to use charges so that you can be aggressive and defensive with it to make up for missing. Heck, even a mod to reduce the cd by one on hitting (or not hitting - both would be great options for mods) a target would encourage more reliable play with it, promoting him as being one of the hardest to peel but arguably the easiest to focus of the frontlines. It'd, by default, give reason to focus him.

    Man, I really, really tried hard to make Titus work. I love the character, really. He was the one who I chose, when I first started, to be my potential main as I just love the Barbarian-type, aggressive two-handed blade users. I imagined him being the most offensive of all the frontlines, actively encouraging running into the enemy team, something Rask does ridiculously far better. I thought he'd be the kind who heals heavy amounts through damaging enemies, encouraging strong position (something that should have gone for his ult, too), but PuP does that far better without any mod investment. I finally tried him as pure defensive, as opposed to initially being completely offensive (which was a struggle with mod costs) and honestly, there is just no reason at all to pick him over any of the other frontlines in that regard.

    He doesn't even work well with the Helios Black Hole combo that many other tanks do. It's too easy to predict his dash if you see the Black Hole and he's just run into a wall, isolated from his team, and hit no one with either, thus wasting two skills and removing him from the fight with no way to return for a round or two - that's actually pathetic, really.

    I understand he's not completely worthless, but there's is absolutely no tangible benefit to picking him over someone else.

    tl;dr Titus is outclassed everywhere in every role you could try to play him, and there's no reason to pick him over someone else. You need to provide a reason why you would choose him over one of the other frontliners, something he doesn't have right now. He seems to be made to look to be the most aggressive of all frontliners, with mods made heavily impacting going aggressive and 'attempting' to deal heavy damage (which he doesn't, even with the mods). There's no reason to focus him and he ends up punishing himself if he has to make predictions, coupled with wasting entire turns on his dagger or missing someone with dash and being removed from the fight completely, or doing no damage at all).

  2. #2
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    I more or less agree with this - I was contemplating making this thread myself, but I had just enough doubt and few enough ideas for fixes that I held off.

    Free actions are hard to criticize, even if they're not as good as other lancer's free actions, because they're literally just added value. Titus' shout is usually much worse than Asana's shield, for example, but that would be OK if his normal actions were good enough to compensate.

    Right now though, Titus is by far the poorest Frontliner at keeping himself alive, and his only real benefit is the option coverage of his dagger. Having a different toolset than the other frontliners is a fine idea - after all, Titus is vaguely a D&D 3.5 Barbarian. But to keep with that theme, he's the crappy barbarian who took Weapon Focus and Toughness instead of Power Attack and Shock Trooper. HP is much less valuable than good defensive tools.

    That said, here are my criticisms of your ideas:
    1) I think making an ability like Dagger into a free action is less like Zuki's big one mod and more like Lockwood's free trapwire mod. This thing much more easily represents free damage on a predict, rather than filling a turn with no sight-to-target. I think if it's only a higher CD, it's an auto-take and makes the character blander for it. Personally I'm not fond of double free actions on one character.
    2) World Shatterer could maybe use some of these, but not all of them. It's certainly not the low point of his kit or anything.
    3) 32 might be a tiny bit much on default. I can't definitively say it WOULD be too much, but you'd be starting to outshine single-target damage then with the obligatory +damage mod. 30 felt better to me, and then they can baby-step it up again if needed. I agree with this concept though.
    4) OK this one I agree on, Titus' dash needs some compensation for being so limited compared to other dashes. Multi-charge mod would be a great 3-point option. I think auto-follow should just be a thing that this does by default, to be honest, though I guess the idea was that the slowed target is still in range because 3-tile-long-sword. You are just punished so hard for missing this skill - and while I cannot disagree with that notion of play, we need a bit more reward on confirm. Maybe, like +3 damage to the primary target as part of the default pre-mod package.

    As for mods, I can't help but feel Battlefield Triage (heal) is the only real option for his primary atm, while Cleaver (ignore cover) on his dash seems pretty garbage to me on skill that will always put you next to your target, especially as a 3. Mods for shout are probably sort of fine even if everyone uses Rage or the heal one. Dagger mods are OK I suppose, and even Cataclysm mods seem fair.

    Maybe we could brainstorm to replace some of the more awkward/worse mods.

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