Sorry about the wrong forum, but this account doesn’t own D2R, so I have to post here.
As someone who has played an Assassin extensively, including all the blade skills, It makes me a little sad that the Assassin’s Blade Skills got their synergies with each other. Why? Because they really don’t work that well with each other!
Blade Fury is the most commonly used, and is the core aspect of the build. It’s the part that’s doing most of your damage, but because it has that huge windup, you don’t want to alternate with anything else, and you don’t want to be near your enemies. Which means no casting Blade Sentinel; at most, you might throw a single sentinel and then swap into blade fury, but that’s barely anything! And since taking damage can interrupt Blade Fury, which requires that same delayed casting time all over again, you also don’t want to be near enemies, which makes Blade Shield useless for you, as well!
I feel like each different Blade Skill benefits a different build type, and so they should get their synergies from there if possible. Blade Fury is great all on its own, of course, but Blade Sentinel is best for melee damage dealers (like kickers) that need a source of aoe damage, and blade shield is best for less-physical characters that want to get some life leech and mana steal while not doing that much physical damage themselves.
It would be really nice if the different skills got synergies that helped them stand alone, rather than essentially requiring all of them to work, which keeps you from using them with other builds!
What I’d really like to see is something more like this:
Blade Fury should get its synergies from Fire Blast and Shock Web, not Sentinel and Shield. Shock Web especially is rarely used at higher levels, so it would be pretty cool if these two were made to synergize more with each other, making them both more useful and fun as their own build!
Blade Sentinel should get its synergies from Claw Mastery and maybe Venom. Why Venom? Because right now, Venom significantly reduces the power of Blade Sentinel. If you have a single poison charm, blade sentinel can poison and cancel the regen on an entire group of mobs! But if you have even a single point in Venom, all that poison gets reduced to 0.4 seconds, meaning it will almost always cost you more damage than it gives.
I’d love to see something like, Claw Mastery gives +10% damage and +5% weapon damage per level(so at level 0 Blade Sentinel does 75% weapon damage, and at level 20 it does 175% weapon damage), and Venom gives it a 2% chance to cause Open Wounds per level. That way you could have your cake and eat it, too! Get the bonus from Venom AND cancel out enemy regen.
As for Blade Shield, the first thing I would like is to separate it from Blade Fury, and make it more like the Sorc Mastery skills. Let players pick it up without needing to needlessly invest in Fire Blast, Blade Sentinel, and Blade Fury. That alone would make it an awful lot more accessible.
After that, synergize it in ways that remembers that it’s primarily a defensive skill. The damage it does with just one attack per second at point-blank range is never going to be enough to really compete with your dedicated damage dealer. 1500 damage per second to 3-6 enemies really cannot complete with skills like Phoenix Strike doing 10x that or Dragon Tail doing 20x, and it’s weak enough most of the time you won’t even be able to tell the difference.
With that in mind, instead have it synergize with skills like Weapon Block. Maybe have it boost block chance and block speed, to better boost your defensive capability, or maybe Mind Blast, so it can occasionally stun nearby enemies briefly!
I’m thinking something like, +0.75% block chance and +1.5% increased block speed per level of Blade Shield. That’ll take her up to a max of 73% weapon block chance and put her 2 ibs below the 3 frame block breakpoint. Then add 1% chance to stun per level of Mind Blast and you’ve got a darn decent passive defensive skill!
That way, these skills can shine separately, helping their different builds, rather than being bound together and being useless doing so.
Thanks for reading.