Blademaster is a bit of an odd class as it stands. I’ve been playing through as a BM on my current seasonal stream and I’ve encountered some serious issues, part of which comes from (in my opinion) a very confused identity.
What do I mean by that? All other classes have mechanics that inform well into the playstyle of the class.
Marksman have access to grenades, strikes, the Tactical stance tree, sniping, rapid fire tree (all befitting the remnants of the British Military which they represent) with a little of stealth in Escape and Camouflage to break aggressive AI. Marksman don’t get any heals but they get the only stealth in the game and the ability to deal damage at a much longer range than other classes.
Engineers get access to untargetable bots, a drone, and some skills from Marksman (tac stance, rapid fire, beacon) they can’t do it as well but their strength comes from their summons which are not exclusive to each other, and they have the glorious Haste Bot which is by far the strongest over all buff that can be applied to a team that doesn’t heal.
Evokers get mid range damage in every flavour of type and choices between AoE or single target damage. They get shield restores through Arcane Shield (which just straight out adds hundreds of shields on cast) as well as increased shield regen through Arcane Resilience. Brom’s curse for on-hit heals for the entire party and drain life to necromantically drain the life from your foes.
Summoners summon anywhere from a small army to a full on regiment of elementals, demons, and if you’re going Dark Form, mini-zombies. They also get Brom’s and Drain life, albeit not as powerful in some respects as Evokers, while also having skills that Evos also get like Word of Fear scaring foes away with magic.
Guardians get armour, taunts, heals, prayers, up to 3 auras (if you take Aura Stability) and it is the epitome of a tank. Also Great Defender is a party wide buff that increases size, health regen and armour.
Blademasters unfortunately have a problem in that your main damage output skills (SoJ, SoA, WW, etc) all require melee to work, while having less ability to take a hit compared to Guardians who have had a massive spike in damage with the shield rework and the more recent guns for Templar being overall more useful in the hands of Guards due to their natural tank stats as well as Anchor as a much better source of damage multiplication.
Essentially, as I see it on live, Blademaster doesn’t do anything that other classes can’t do better, with less risk and with less gear specific requirements. Sniper would be the next nearest in gear requirements but then you’re comparing a skill that can one or two shot mobs at 70m+ with a melee centric class. For those of you who would jump in and talk about going one pistol-one sword, that’s not fixing the problem as you can’t proc the surges you need for healing, crit, or “velocity” with ranged attacks.
Is there anything anyone can think of that Blademaster outshines any other class because I’m having serious issues finding the niche of the Blademaster when all other classes have dedicated roles, if Blademaster is a generalist then what’s the point of having so many skills spec up to 10. You’re not putting 9 points into a skill (9 base +1 from a helmet) without getting a bunch of equipment to back up either survival abilities like running double Unconquered Sun to get +6 on Surge of Restoration, which then locks you out of other weapons which might be better to do that whole dps thing that the class is designed to do. I know there are many players out there who’ve been Mastering that Blade for longer than I have and I’d really like to know where you guys see the class. What role does it do that others can’t, or when do you think “if only we had a BM here”?
(Edit: added an “a” to the paragraph on Guardian. Damn my fast typing)