I am sure many of you are aware, that Hitta Choppa's are not valued in the community, and I have been actually excluded from groups for things such as ORVR and City Sieges, and even Dungeon-run's, and told to respec my character or I can not participate. It has been very frustrating for me, as a long time Choppa (rr90 back on live) player, and I find the only way this situation can be addressed, for as far as I know every other class in the game doesn't suffer this kind of humiliation, is to have the specialization be COMPLETELY Overhauled. This may sound like a daunting task for anyone to look into, but I can assure you, it is the tactics, abilities and 40 Skill Tree Morale that requires addressing, and it isn't really that complicated. The spec only needs a few tweakings, a change or two and some innovation to be respectable and considered viable by the community again. Lets address the following that should be reviewed:
The problems of Da Hitta Spec are not insurmountable. It is by all accounts, a very fun spec to play, but only on paper, and very gear reliant, even for a choppa spec. It doesn't have any of the benefits of the other specs, such as an AoE Vortex Pull or Skill Cool Down Reduction like Da Wrecka, or self healing and an AoE Damage Boost Morale like Da Savage does. It also has some very situational or underwhelming abilities, as unlike Savage, unless you spec into only 1 or two of the abilities in the Hitta tree, you can not take what is considered "the meta". And that pigeonhole's Choppa's into a position no one should be forced into. Choice is a fair right to have for any player, and so this needs to be addressed. Let's move onto the abilities and tactics of the spec, and what could be done to improve them. The focus of Da Hitta spec is after all, being reckless and making snappy decisions to hit hard. Likewise, the Spec Tree and abilities should provide such benefits, but woefully under perform, especially in group-related events and even certain PVE related circumstances.
1. Bleed Em' Out.
This ability, by all accounts of any Choppa skill, is one of two most underwhelming skill available to us from Da Hitta spec. It isn't that it doesn't do enough damage or looks impressive, that isn't it's purpose per say, but more so...it's just a basic DoT. Now, Choppa's are not known for strong DoT based abilities, outside of the AoE Bleed Ability, "Yer All Bleedin'!", but then it has to be able to serve a purpose outside of being just a DoT. It isn't an AoE DoT, I literally just mentioned it, but that the damage it does is woefully pitiful compared to Throat Slasha, another single target bleed ability that does literally more damage with the hit-based damage and bleed based damage combined into one, from Da Savage spec. it's also a standard ability, and costs no points to take. "So what is the point of Bleed Em' Out if there's better abilities I can use that won't cost me any AP, skill points or clicking time to use?", you must be thinking. Sadly, there isn't. It's quite a worthless skill. It's just a placeholder for your keyboard, and even if you bleed a target with it, chances are they will just be healed by any opponent, or the damage outside of a glass cannon Witch Hunter will barely scratch them. And the damage you are doing with your critical attacks and basic attacking abilities will outrun it beyond the sunset. So in essence, our first underwhelming ability. What can we do to fix this? It's simple, actually.
Offered Fix/Change: No Choppa ability has anything that is detrimental to an opposing player's UI system that lasts very long, other than the Choppa's Second Tier Hitta ability "Tired Already?", which increases the Cool-Down Rate for abilities on a target. However, that doesn't mean we can't improvise from the concept behind "Bleed Em' Out" itself. In real life, when a target of an attack is bleeding profusely, an interesting effect happens to the body: It begins to tire out, becoming rapidly sluggish and uneasy to concentrate. That is because the muscle functions of the body are beginning to lose proper blood flow and moderation, therefore the muscles can't function because there is no blood flowing through them, as adrenaline increases blood flow throughout the body, so too will the body more profusely bleed out as a result and the target will rapidly expire. This is why sharp edged weapons have a benefit over blunted-weapons in most cases. So, "Bleed the target out profusely for x amount of damage over time and their AP by x amount over 10 seconds. The amounts rapidly increase as the timer ticks down." This would make the ability actual worth using and beneficial to 1v1 fights, and having the amount of damage and AP drain cost being based on the level of the ability would make all the difference, naturally. As natural as the effect is in real life (don't try this at home, kids).
2. Reckless Blow.
Back in live, this ability was terrible. Whoever designed it clearly didn't know what they were doing, because they gave it this effect: Increase you chance to be critically hit by 5% on hitting a target." Yes, I know, you may laugh. It's just pathetic. The even sadder part is that this effect WAS intentional, as they had it active from Day One of Launch on the Live servers and it was never addressed until RoR come along. However, it has one positive side effect that wasn't mentioned in the description, that you had to realize for yourself by playing with the ability, which in a way paid off as a two part effect: The first being it had no cool down, so it could be spammed relentlessly (or...Recklessly?) with the tactic Wot Rules, the one that prevents your Rage Meter being exhausted. The second effect being it would have a higher chance to critically strike, perhaps even more so than Weaklin' Killa. Although this was never truly confirmed, any professional Choppa who played around with it often enough could see the value in it. It was truly a Reckless ability. However, the RoR devs removed the debuff effect, and just made it a basic damage staple. While that's all well and good, it still isn't as decent as other abilities in terms of damage and application. Not to mention, Choppa's who won't use Hitta will find it frequently unused unless it's a 1v1 against a White Lion or a Rune Priest, and even then you are better off spamming a different attack that does more damage and lets you save you Rage for Wild Choppin' and Cant Stop Da Chopa/Furious Slash. Overall, the fix for this ability, is to make it a utility ability, beneficial for the class overall, not for one spec alone.
Offered Fix/Change: "When critically hitting the target, increase your chance to critically strike by 10%, but also increase your chance to be critically hit by 5%." A simple change, one that maintains balance and encourages this ability to be used to give you that high risk but high reward potentiality when you are playing a different spec, or the Hitta spec, needing that extra chance to win at the cost of being butchered. It is then, a truly Reckless Blow. Also, every spec can take advantage of it, freeing up the need for critical chance based tactics that non Hitta spec's would usually want.
3. Weaklin' Killa. This ability doesn't need much attention paid to it, the icon is sexy, the animation is sexy, and the damage is (sometimes) sexy. But it does have one critical flaw: It doesn't crit often enough. Despite being an execution ability available to the Choppa, it is locked behind a 2 Handed Weapon requirement, and therefore it has to be viable for a Critical Strike focused build. While that is all well and good, if the attack itself doesn't have a high critical strike chance, it won't always serve to the best of its capacity that it should be. Therefore, a simple fix is in order, as the ability is not broken or poorly designed, it just needs a little "polish."
Offered Fix/Change: "If the target is at 35% or less health, this attack critically hits instantly." Taking a page out of the Marauder's Brutality playbook, that is the only thing this ability needs. It would therefore be a proper execution ability, and would be respected by the community as a viable spec to take to utilize this ability. It also would truly be, a Weaklin' Killa.
4. Hurtin' Time! This ability is a passive damage boost and receive damage taken ability. I don't see anything wrong with it, but if the damage could be increased to 250 a hit and 150 a hit taken at max level, that'd be fine by me. It doesn't need any major changes, but it sure does need a buff. It's hardly noticeable with single target attacks for Da Hitta. You notice it more with Wrecka specialized abilities due to the AoE spread, which is just...depressing
This tactic, is by all accounts, very pointless. It's a shame, the first tier tactic of Da Hitta tree isn't even as good as Da Wrecka, which is a small heal dot that triggers while you are Berserk. Even if that doesn't seem all that impressive, it can be used for leveling. To those who don't know, Long Lastin' gives you 0 AP cost for six seconds if your Exhaustive blows are defended. What this means exactly is unclear, but I believe that means it is generally defended, via parries, dodge, blocked, absorbed. However, this effectively makes the Tactic worthless, as there are different abilities and tactic's that excel past it and save you the single skill point you'd just waste on it such as:
Tactic - Easy Killin': 5 AP Cost Reduction while Furious, 10 AP Cost Reduction while Berserk.
Ability - Keep On Choppin': This ability refills your AP by 100 points upon hitting the target on a 20 second cooldown.
The ability is a natural staple in Choppa kits, and the tactic is standard, requiring no points or effort in investing. The fact remains is that this tactic is completely useless, and only players with no sense of Ap management would ever use it. Any skilled, professional Choppa player will never touch it. I certainly never have. Not to mention its a waste of a tactic slot. There are better choices, and so the only solution I can give, is a replacement.
Offered Fix/Change: "Bigga Choppin' iz Betta!". "When you inflict a critical strike, you increase your critical strike chance by 5%, up to 15% while decreasing your chance to parry and block by 15%, up to a maximum of three times that lasts for 10 seconds." A high risk, high reward tactic that any player regardless of their spec can take advantage of and use to the best of their ability. This tactic would increase viability and efficiency for Da Hitta spec and give non Hitta players something to utilize should they so choose to.
This tactic is an interesting form of "Wot Rules", the Choppa tactic that prevents Exhaustive blows depleting your Rage Points. It is a burst-focused format of it. However, it isn't that honestly satisfying. It is working as intended, but very few would take this tactic over Wot Rules for a specific reason: Using up your rage denies you access to higher tier abilities. Let's be honest, Devs, no one likes having their abilities taken away from them mid Fortress or Keep-siege in a huge crowd of players right as the action gets dicey. It's just doesn't work out the way you want it to, even if you get lucky and expent your rage on a target and lower him to have health, but then someone steals your kill because you got half your abilities shut down and itll take at least 10 seconds to get it back, if you'll live that long. In order to be competitive and viable for ORVR and serious fights, city sieges, dungeons, etc, you need to go full out, with everything you got. Every skilled choppa knows this, it's the way of Da Choppa. It's the way of Da Hitta. High risk, but high reward, and so, as above with Longa Lastin', I present another remake of this third tier tactic.
Offered Fix/Change: "Pent-up Rage: As your rage engulfs you, your focus sharpens intensely, eventually transfixing into a mindless rage. While Furious, your strength increases by 5% and your Weaponskill by 15%, your Strength increasing to 15% while your Weaponskill decreases by 10% when you are Berserk." Again, a high risk but high reward passive that plays on the Choppa's strengths and weaknesses, amplifying them them accordingly as the combat ensures. This would make a Hitta choppa think about his next move and force him to decide how he wants to plan out his next attack. After all, Big-brained boyz are very welcomed by any self-respectin' Warboss, as all Choppa'z know.
Last but not least, is the Morale (can't remember the name off the top of my head, but we all know of it). Honestly, I think a damage increase is all that's needed, to a 1800 damage per all within range effect that will let it compete with Stomp Da Yard from Da Wrecka spec, and be on even ground.