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Playing as a melee shield warrior is the worst experience this game has to offer for now

Saw all the shield block nodes and thought of making a retaliation sentinel. For comparison I died about 20 times in the ancient tunnel, I died 0 times with everything else I’ve tried so far no matter how poorly built.


  1. It is very hard to increase your life without heavy crafting I guess. Meaning characters who can move and dodge attacks are vastly superior to everything melee at least in the early game.
  2. Potions run out very quickly and are hard to replenish. Cant go to town to buy some, right? So you must have some source of healing. Thing is the only node the sentinel has, the heal on block one, is clearly not enough and does nothing to mitigate big hits. Which means after the potions run out unless you got some ranged attacks or enjoy running around for minutes you are dead.
  3. One handed weapons deal pathetic damage. I was doing 20 damage per hit with normal attacks by level 20 while with 2 handed weapons I could easily get 80+. Killing mobs 3-4 times faster is obviously much better at mitigating damage than a shield is.

These are only observations up to level 20, I’ll keep torturing myself with the melee shield build a bit more cause I want to test Paladin. But as far as early game and new characters go everything else is much better than this.

I’m running a Vengeance S&B retaliation Sentinel (Pala now) and I had no issues so far.
Very tanky and can dish out a respectable damage. I had to craft Void protection on my gear tho, maybe you just got very low resists.

Well, I’ve tried vengeance build for sentinel. I can agree that it’s notably harder than any range build / class, but I’m not sure that difficulty difference is so obvious, when we compare other melee builds. At early stages you’re still able to use hammer skill, even not specialized. Also rebuke always reduced enemy damage by 75% which is pretty good safe.

The only thing with sentinel tank, upsetting me sometimes, is much longer mob killing. But isn’t that an obvious consequence of increasing “tank” parameters?

  1. Life increase: no need to increase life - you should increase resistances / protection and armor.
  2. Potions: See 1-st: no need to use potions regularly. It’s for elites, bosses etc.
  3. 1H damage: well, yes, it’s small. Though you still have hammers, vengeance, erasing strike. Although vengeance is not so damaging skill, it also grants defense. And if you’re specialized on it, it’s damage and attack speed increases greatly. This increase is much stronger than many other skills have.

I’ve reached wave 68 just after I finished alpha-version story. Can’t say it’s something great, but it’s not bad.

dont level with vengeance
its too reliant on you getting hit to do its damage, if you have squat stats early on you will get wrecked even if the skill gives a good chunk of mitigation.

its more of a filler/support skill later on, when you get paladins/forge guards burst skills

Umm… it’s beta, you know? :blush:
Skills are often added with no trees first, but obviously they appear some time later.
And yes, I also would love to get all and at once, but … :slight_smile:

As melee gameplay fanatic and lvl 100 pala hc i can say that you are wrong with your thoughts.

  1. You can rise your ehp with few layers of defence. As pala i have 1200 hp without a single t5 hp craft, 91% (93% reachable) block chance with like 1500 bp and lots of free resistances thanks to sentinel res on block passive. With right skill magement i have 2k-4k res full time even without block.
  2. Potions can’t help you alot since you need 3-4 pots to recover half of your hp. I personally use both life on block passives, leech, life on hit and reversal to survive anything this game throw in my char.
  3. Check my 1st point. And onehanded weapons have better base attack speed which can’t be covered with better increased attack speed craft for twohanded. It could give much more damage if you have other source of flat damage, if your use elemental build and can stack shock effects on the target or if you are playing with DoT effects build which utilise bleed, ignite, poison etc.

Melee builds have their weak and strong points. In my opinion all 3 sentinel specs may be a solid choise.

I also play solely hc, hitting 100 isnt very meaningful seeing as Arena, which is where we get our xp, is not able to kill us. Its literally just shows you care to grind more than some of us.

I would like to see what waves you have met in arena, much more meaningful number than hitting 100.

Rank 4 or so, 400+ wave. Every time killed by this op glacier bear.

1 Like

Now that is quite respectable, ya those bears are jerks haha.

This man speaks the truth.

1 h shield is basically the best spec for melee imo.

To the op: if you think a build is underpowered there’s a really good chance you’re doing it wrong because most classes are pretty effective at this point when made correctly. Rethink your build. Do you have enough flat damage modifiers and enough % increases to support them? Are you balancing your defensive stats ? Not too much hp or dodge rating but a good amount of both. Are you focusing on stats the work in more ways than one for your build etc.

Playing as a melee shield warrior is the worst experience this game has to offer for now.

Pushing end game arena, block retaliation is absolutely without question the strongest build.

Have you SEEN counter attack and banish? ridiculous.


Woah, how did you get to 91% block?

How high does shield block chance get by the end?

So I’ve been messing with 2h warpath + void spec (I’m not home and had to roll a new char on my laptop) and like my vengeance char I had a hard time only because of low resists til my early 20s.
After crafting more res and getting life/void leech nodes Warpath is a beast (I still prefer my retal char, tho).
Tl;dr the only issue here us the lack of resists, melee is in a pretty good spot atm.

39+14 shield (it can be 40+15), and all block passives of sentinel, fg and pala.

Congratulations on 100 levels! amazing :smile_cat:

Ty man. Was kinda fun. Finally something similar to my 1st PoE experience.

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