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Melee as a close combat skill -> Arena Problems

Character : Knight -> Sentinel (Currently level 21)

Skills: Shield Rush , Hammer Throw , Erasing strike , Shield Throw, Rive

As another player mentioned, Close quarter combat seems to be suffering from several issues. (I have to mention that I am not aware of the current Arena difficulty setting, as in what sort of performance Wave completion to expect per player level)

1: Stuns, lack of movement.
2: Mana cost of AoE spells
3: Time delay between attacks and/or spells cast.

So far I have only managed to reach Wave 4, mainly because I am either trapped/surrounded by mobs and can’t move or my spells just aren’t ready/powerful enough. I have tried about 6 times in a row but with the same result, which tends to blow my enthusiasm right out of the water…

Having to use a attacking spell that costs 50% of my mana just to be able to move out of a mob pack isn’t viable, or doable with Erasing Strike costing 75%.

Also, the delay between stopping an attack and moving is too long… It could be an FPS issue but I seem to be fighting three steps ahead of myself and therefore can’t be time-effective with my movement attacks.

Trying to keep an eye on the mobs, where I need to move to, what is coming AND my Mana reg/level is proving to be a difficult task. I don’t mind having to kite or moving but I can’t even do that mostly. I can’t even tell if I am stunned or if I am in a puddle of something I shouldn’t be in.

It would seem that the mobs AI isn’t finely tuned enough to give you a way out, whereas with D3 you can normally see a gap and move through it, or use an ability to get you out of a bad situation. I am just becoming surrounded and stuck only to perish. Mostly at Wave 1 or 2…

I think you might be wrong, i’ve been playing knight as well but i can spin around forever with tempest and my mana regens while i’m at it if i’m not using the damage increase aura (forgot the name). There is even a bug that i found if your mana is full while spining (weather be due to leveling up or simply your mana regen hit the top) even if you open your damage aura that increases damage and mana cost, which would normally start to drain mana a bit, you will still have max mana and have no cost for some reason.

Right now my only problem with the arena is that from 10th to 15th waves my fps drops to near 0 and later when arena resets at 15th to 20 i’m cool then again from 20 to 30 etc… which often makes me die :frowning:

Nwm the fps part, i hadn’t tried the last patch before i typed but now it seems all cool with fps :open_mouth:

OK, so we have to be careful here… Wrong about what?

It would seem that the Sentinel Knight is a one trick pony? Tempest ftw…

Of course I can try that, but that wouldn’t be the point of having varying skills and abilities. Unfortunately I don’t have access to your build and skills to see what differences you have, also regarding your equipment and level etc.

Whilst levelling I find the Erasing Strike to be ideal to deal with trash mobs which leaves me to deal with bigger mobs easier. As I stated in a previous post, due to resetting my Skills I am 7 points down atm, which could also be a problem.

The issue is that if there are several larger mobs combined with a group of trash, the trash surround me and I can’t move away, if the Erasing Strike doesn’t kill them I don’t have enough mana left to use Shield Rush to escape. The Knight, I presume isn’t a just-stand-toe-to-toe character, it doesn’t have enough defensive skills for that, and it has some pretty good ranged ones, so a combi fighter.

I have:
Shield Rush (level 6): 4/4 Warrior Entrance 1/8 Splintering Impact 1/6 Consuming Path
Hammer Throw (level 7): 3/3 Winged Hammers 6/8 Rapid Throw
Erasing Strike (level 5): 5/5 Obliteration

223 HP and 110 Mana / 39% Block 55% Dodge 93 Stun Avoidance 408 Block Protection + 37% IMAS and 15% Spell Damage, 52% Melee Damage + 75% Throw Damage with 30% Increased Movement. This combines to give a Basic ADPS of 48.

Actually I thought the levels corresponded with the points placed, but that seems to be a wrong assumption.

It could be that I have a great Levelling build/skill set up but it doesn’t cut it for the Arena, I previously had Tempest too but I found it drained mana too quickly.

The Build is more of a Kiting / Ranged build are therefore not too good at close combat. However, I should be able to run through more than a single wave, I have already stated the problems.

Unanswered questions are : Does the Arena scale with the player Level? Is there a way to display the actual in-game FPS

I will continue to run the Arena because thankfully there doesn’t seem to be an on-death penalty. I don’t see any real chance of success though.

EDIT: I have read the Knight Thread about passives etc… I just didn’t want to go down the same path.

I dunno about arena scale but you can show fps by pressing “k”

I respect that i personally don’t like to do what others do my self, prefer to carve my own way.

Thats the reason i prefer tempest, it makes you move where ever you like.

I can’t remember my build on top of my head but will check and tell for sure, my tempest doesn’t drain mana infact it regens it after few points tbf.

  1. Yes 2. Yes, “K” key by default.

As a side note, if you’re having difficulty with the stand time of skills keeping you from moving and standing in AoEs, I might suggest investing some points/affixes into attack speed. It both increases your damage output, and the responsiveness of your character.

Unfortunately, the Sentinel Knight thread I wanted to post with relevant stats and ideas wasn’t posted due to having posted too many threads within a time period…

I have +37% Increased Melee Attack Speed and + 30% Increased Movement speed.

Crafting isn’t always going my way and I am trying to improve my equipment / stats.

Hey guys, thanks for raising these issues. We’re aware that the Knight > Sentinel isn’t in a great place. We have some large changes in the pipe regarding these two specific classes that I won’t announce just yet but just know that these problems are known and not falling on deaf ears! We’ll see what we can do about some short-term solutions as well.

Thanks Mox, that is great news…

I don’t have a problem doing the levels, even the Armoury where you have lots of mobs at once, which leads you into a false sense of ability.

For me, either the various levels are set too easy or the arena is set too difficult. I also noticed that there was a lot less space to move around and even with plus 30% movement I couldn’t outrun some of the larger mobs, The Erasing Strike spell hasn’t got the damage per mana point it requires with the 50% extra cost / 100% damage bonus. My feeling is that is should be a ‘nuke’ everything spell whereas you kite mobs together and them drop it on them ‘boom’ …

I am not asking for an easy mode, and I enjoy the challenge of having to think and move and living on the edge between failure or success but atm it’s just not possible.

Have you guys considered timers instead of straight mana reduction costs?

I got to wave 170 of the Arena using a Shield Rush Sentinel build.



Thanks for the scrennie…

Its’s all in the details, you have a slightly different build and obviously are at a higher level. If you could add some of your stats that would make it easier to compare. My current feeling is that Erasing Strike just isn’t worth the skill points same as Shield Throw. The crass difference in Waves is so striking, would you also write out your method -> gameplay style. Also your Graphic setting and FPS.

I am using High, and have 35ms and 28FPS and DoF. I will go into the Arena and check to see if it drops off considerably. I’ll try to post a screenshot of my latest run.

OK, it would seem that it stays quite constant around 28FPS and 45ms so that isn’t an issue.

I tried using the Juggernaut Skill for toe-to-to rather than kiting but I still cant survive.

What I have noticed is that I am being caught via the spikes on the ground, (Mob attack) and that Erasing Strike does much too little damage… Rive is also almost worthless against the larger beasts.

There is a HUGE disparity between running around the various levels to the Arena. I can almost decimate a mob pack with Rive in one swoop whilst levelling but in the Arena it seems to have almost 0 effect. Damage numbers around the 10s rather than high 25s…

It is probably the build coupled with my playstyle. This does lead onto the discussion about non viable builds and cookie-cutters though, hmm.

@Azerko, you are quite welcome to try my Char and build, the comparison between your Arena success and mine would cement the theory. If you are happy to try I can send you my Log-in details, at let you have a run at it?


Ok, after checking it would seem the damage numbers are fairly constant, around 20-30 for Rive and around 90-110 for Erasing Strike.

The main problem is having certain Mobs, which is probably just my bad luck, but as you can see, I just couldn’t kill these three quick enough, using Hammer Throw are Erasing Strike for damage and Shield Rush for a quick getaway.

My stats are slowly improving, I now have 74 DPS but I am only wearing mainly Green equipment.

At least atm I can push towards Wave 2-4 but 170 hahah a long way off.

I took a few screenshots of my build. Basically, the strategy is to hit enemies with Vengeance for the 36% damage reduction and 100% increased Melee damage then immediately follow up with Shield Rush. Try to keep Vengeance up all the time and alternate between the two skills.


Shield Rush


Life Leech is the only affix required on your weapon. Just stack as much armor, resist, glancing blow and crit as possible on other pieces of gear. The only thing you really need to look out for with this build is being stun locked. Hope this helps and good luck with your build!

Just wanted to confirm that we’re aware Rive isn’t in a great spot at the moment.

The team has discussed it, but we haven’t decided what to do with the skill just yet.

That’s going to be a toughie considering that Azerko has managed to reach Wave 170 using basically just two skills…

I have reset my Passives because its only for Gold but I am weary of resetting my Skills due to the loss of points penalty. Just need to fine tune them, although I don’t feel it will bode well for future up to Level 20 F2P players I am getting trashed even though I thought I had invested in a decent skill and equipment set.

Obviously there are other things to consider but if I was a newbie F2P I wouldn’t truthfully be encouraged to buy the full version. I have also tried to craft some new items, and change some stats, but I haven’t yet manged to get past T2 on most things before a Fracture occurs.

Hopefully whatever you decide will create a better balance, and allow for a lot more variety in skills and builds.

Are you talking about Arena or Chapter One content?


I don’t think it’s fair to expect release-level balance at all stages of alpha development.

Getting ‘trashed’ is in the arena, sometimes depending on the which mob spawns I can’t even get past Wave 1, the Chapter One levels are sometimes challenging but have little in common with the arena in terms of difficulty. At least with the current build/equipment I have.

Either Chapter One is too easy or the Arena is too difficult, which can’t be true if some players can hit wave 170 with just two main skills.

Of course not, but the discussion should be had, or would you guys just prefer that Alpha players just told you you’re doing a great job and keep it up!

If we follow that discussion, then some skills are already ‘obsolete’ and will remain so into the final version. Unless you are aiming at a two skill situation whereas some skills are better suited to the Arena, and that begs the question what is your ‘end game’ vision?

For example ‘Rallying Block’ in the Sentinel Passives, I thought, wow a 25% HP booster on a block, which given enough of a block % could be a meaningful survival skill, but my current experience is that I am more likely to get a Fracture at 10% than a HP boost from a block at 25% chance.

Likewise with the ‘Peltast’ skill, it is great for Chapter One if you want to go heavy on defence (Equipment) and use that as an offence skill but in the arena it just doesn’t seem to be worthwhile, I have tried kiting the mobs but the ‘Hammer Throw’ just didn’t make an indent on their HP, ok for clearing trash maybe. but for the larger Mobs, that can close the gap (too quickly in my opinion) you might get two or three hammers off before you have to run again. At maybe 50HP a throw against a Mob that seems to have 1K + HP that is a long and tedious task.

I have the feeling that I am most vulnerable when I turn around to run away or to make some distance away from the mobs, and if I am facing 3 Large Mobs, then I seem to get 2-3 hitted, with the slow/stun mechanics, that is even a greater possibility especially if you have mobs that duplicate themselves with the same abilities. So I am guessing Dodge/Block only work from the front…

Now I am at the point of having to re-adjust my build in order to survive and advance in the Arena, throwing away my original concept which worked quite well in the Chapter levels and I am only at Level 25. If f2P players can only advance up to level 20 and therefore can’t unlock the skills needed or which are most useful in the Arena, they will, alike myself become disgruntled or disillusioned and possibly not become a B2P player.

Of coursed, it’s just my personal opinion, and food for discussion, but without such feedback how are you going to understand what or how the players think or feel?

Chapter One is balanced around being the start of the game - what new players first experience. The Arena is designed to be a temporary stand in for end-game content which hasn’t been developed yet. They’re different content with different goals.


That’s not a fair response. Nobody is asking you to refrain from giving critical feedback.

In the pre-alpha demos we had a Passive Grid system we spent a great deal of time designing and iterating upon. During the pre-alpha we got feedback from players saying that the system wasn’t intuitive, and that one of the two types of node points didn’t feel rewarding. That was critical feedback - we listened to it, acted on it, and now we’ve the current Mastery system instead. The game is better because of that feedback and that change.

If we’d spent 150 hours carefully fine-tuning each of the nodes in the Passive Grid, then removed it entirely, other areas of the game would’ve had 150 hours less development time invested into them. Imagine if Arena was available but Chapter One was not.

That’s the point I’m trying to get across. We absolutely want critical feedback - we didn’t spend a year working on and releasing free pre-alpha demos prior to our KickStarter for no reason. We did it precisely to receive feedback that forced us as a team to question our ideas, to improve what wasn’t good enough, and to consider other points of view. We just aren’t ready to try to get the numbers perfect when so much around them will change.


We’ll be dedicating a great deal of time during the beta to balancing skills. Skill balance will be more of a priority when all of the skills - and more of the content you use them in - is available. Skill balance is sensitive to various factors - how good is gear at level 10, 30, 50? At release all skills will have specialization trees, low-level itemization will be more balanced, and players will be trading with each other. You can’t balance around what isn’t there.

You can read about the various stages of development in this Developer Blog;


We do not currently plan to have Arena available at release.

The leveling experience will comprise of more than ten chapters - with quests - after which you’ll be able to start engaging with the endgame content outlined on this page.

I looked at the number of months between the game starting development and today, and between today and our currently scheduled release date. The game is closer to not having been started than it is to being released. That’s how early in development it is.

I sincerely appreciate you getting involved this early - being willing to spend time giving us feedback, being willing to support us financially, and being active on our forums. I just wish you’d try to view what’s currently available in context of what else is planned.