The mechanics of most instant melee attacks will be modified to improve item balance upon the release of patch version 1.8. Currently, instant melee attacks do damage based on the damage range of the weapon, plus a bonus for the player?s attack power. This bonus is then multiplied by the speed of the weapon. As a result, slow weapons do more damage than is intended, and fast weapons are considered inferior by most players. We are changing the way the attack power bonus is calculated for instant attacks. This change will NOT affect attack power calculations for normal melee attacks. Instead of multiplying by the speed of the weapon, the attack power bonus will be multiplied by a fixed number pulled from the following table:
Two-handed weapons: 3.3
All other one-handed weapons: 2.4
As a direct result of this, many weapons will shift position in their relative power. In particular, many epic (purple) quality items will now be more powerful than slower superior (blue) weapons. For the purpose of instant attacks, the Arcanite Reaper and the Barman Shanker will drop slightly in relative power, while Typhoon and Alcor?s Sunrazor will increase in power.
We expect to see the total damage output of a Mortal Strike warrior go down about 4% with the Arcanite Reaper, and up about 4% with Typhoon. We expect the total damage output of a Backstab rogue to go down about 2% with the Barman Shanker and up about 2% with Alcor?s Sunrazor.
This change was not made to reduce the power of instant attacks, but to correct the relative imbalance of weapon itemization. At a given level requirement, epic quality weapons should always be more powerful than superior quality weapons.
Please also note that all normal weapon swings will be completely unaffected by this change. The following abilities are affected by the design change: Sinister Strike, Ambush, Backstab, Whirlwind, Mortal Strike, and Overpower—Eyonix.