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Ordinator Guide: Utilizing Timed Blocks

Tags: #Dragonborn1721  #Tips and Tricks Ordinator  #Tips and Tricks Guide 
  • August 1

    Timed Blocks are a fairly simple concept that pop up in a lot of different mods since...well I guess as soon as it was possible to script it into the game. The idea is to reward the 'turtle playstyle' (crouching behind a shield for 16 years) less and to encourage a more, active, reflex-based sort of block system that requires a bit of skill.  Essentially it's all based off of the Quick Reflexes perk but a lot of mods take it in more interesting directions.

    In Ordinator, Timed Blocks are truly the major focus of the Block tree. 10 perks in some manner have an effect that either triggers a timed block or somehow boosts it to make them more effective (not including perks that increase blocked damage). And rather than the somewhat more common Quick Reflexes*1000, the Timed Blocks of Ordinator tend to focus more on increasing damage and armour for a short time. The major thing that I'll be doing today is breaking down each perk and the possible boosts that it can give the Block skill (blocking damage with your shield) and how other skills can effect that perk to create a simple and effective style of play that revolves around the mechanic.

    Timed Block

    Assume a defensive position for 1 second after raising your shield or weapon, blocking 30% more damage and staggering attackers in melee range. (If you do not block an attack during this time, you cannot attempt another Timed Block for 2 seconds/1 second.)

    So this is the baase perk that allows the Timed Block to actually mean something, you can activate a timed block without the perk (1) but it doesn't include the bonus blocked damage effect and only staggers a single enemy. The main bonus here in my opinion the fact that it doesn't just stagger a single enemy but staggers all enemies in melee range. I'm not sure what the range is exactly (my guess would be around 2-3 feet) but it's something that shouldn't be ignored. There's very little to say about this perk for now, and the only boosts I can think of for it are Force Without Effort (which would increase the power of the stagger) and of course anything else that increases how much damage you block.

    Poke the Dragon 

    After a successful Timed Block within 8 feet, you may retaliate with increased strength, increasing your attack damage and critical strike damage against the attacker by 25% for 5 seconds.

    So here we have the first major boost to the Timed Block perk. Poke the Dragon is part of the more offensive uses of the whole...tree of perks, yeah that'll work. Anyway, it's a rather simple bonus that lets you hit things harder, but the Critical Strike bonus is remarkebly cool when you throw it in with some of the Light Armour perks. Or well it works extremely well with Lightning Strike which gives you a 75% boost to critical damage when wearing all Light Armour, so combined they can create a fairly effective defensive start to combat. Throw in some basic perks from One-Handed and you've got some insane potential starting up. One-Handed Mastery will give you 200% bonus critical damage at 100 One-Handed. Smite allows Maces to do 3/6 times critical damage (in other words a 300% or 600% boost) with Undead being 4/8 (400%/800%) which is just insane. Shieldbiter works well against enemies that block by allowing you to do 5 times critical damage with a Waraxe Power Attack. Toll the Bell is a sideways Mace power attack that also does 1% more damage for each point of Stamina you have. Go for the Throat is a fairly insane perk that gives you 250% extra damage per instance of Wolfstooth (a perk that lasts 30 seconds after a sideways power attack and is stackable) and there are a few more. Honestly, the sort of thing that you can do with a quick Timed Block followed up by Power Attacks is fairly insane.

    Apocolypse Proof

    Perform a Timed Block to mitigate incoming fire, frost and shock spells and effects, reducing their damage by 50%/to zero.

    So to be honest, I don't know how useful this is. In theory it's awesome, I mean blocking a large portion (or all) fire, frost or shock damage with a Timed Block does seem cool but it's not something I've tested. I mean, just thinking about it I'm not sure how you'd go about blocking a spell, or if Timed Block would even trigger against Flames or Fireball (or even Firebolt which would hit you but...). Anyway, it's something I'll be looking into but for now, I mean... it can be useful sometimes but just overall I can't see it blocking much damage, and it definitely isn't as good as enchantments.

    Dragon Tail

    After a successful Timed Block, bashing the attacker within 5 seconds deals double damage.

     

    Dragon Tail is actually rather cool from what I can tell. A timed block followed by a bash is a rather simple but effective strategy in combat and being able to double the damage of even a basic Bash is pretty good. However, what makes it really quite good is that Block has a number of other perks that would increase the damage (I mean, makes sense, better than having those perks show up in Alchemy or something like that). Anyway, Power Bash is fairly similar to the Vanilla perk if not identical. Skull Rattler is really cool because it adds 3% more damage per point of Stamina, so a base of 300% more damage with it not being impossible to get into the thousands fairly easily. Cast Aside lets you knock down an enemy if you interupt their attack. All in all you've got a really easy potential to multiple that base by more than 10 as well as the normal staggering and knockback effects that a Shield Bash has.

    Timing Streak

    Performing 3 successful Timed Blocks in a row completes a Timing Streak, restoring 75 points of Stamina. (Taking an unblocked attack or blocking an attack outside the timed block window breaks the combo.)\

    Dragon Scales

    You take no damage from attacks during a Timed Block as long as you have Stamina remaining

     

    Okay, so now this is where Timed Blocks start to get interesting in my opinion. Obviously the restoration of 75 Stamina isn't too huge of a deal but when you pair it with Dragon Scales, well you've got a fairly awesome combination starting. Being able to essentially block all damage with a Timed Block whenever you have Stamina is a somewhat overwhelming ability, throw in the ability to restore stamina without potions, spells, natural regeneration or anything else and you've got a fairly decent system starting.

    Break their Teeth and Deliverance

    Completing a Timing Streak violently disarms the last attacker, staggering all within an 8 foot radius.

    Completing a Timing Streak grants 10% extra attack damage for 90 seconds. This effect stacks.

    So here's where it starts getting really, really cool. Well finishes getting cool I suppose. Break their Teeth is yet another staggering effect that adds on to the original effect of Timed Block (the feat) meaning that your essentially able to constantly stagger foes within close range as long as you can get those Timed Blocks off. Deliverance of course adds a bit more damage, and while a boost of 35% (10% from Poke the Dragon) isn't all that much to write home about, when you start to add on some of the One-Handed perks that I mentioned earlier, well it's all helpful isn't it. 

    Speech

    So, you might be thinking to yourself. Deebs, what on earth does Speech have to do with Blocking. I mean the two are so unrelated that it isn't funny even with Ordinator. And your 100% correct, technically speaking there is nothing in the Speech tree that directly benefits the Timed Block perks. However, there is a really awesome amount of synergy between the two skills when used less directly. The main source of this is the Earthquake Drum line of perks, a mid-late game perk (60 Speech) that allows you to do 50 damage to all enemies in a 30 foot radius periodically. This is a rather interesting effect because of the sheer range it has, and the fact that there's no reason you can't block everything that comes at you and still dish out plenty of damage to nearby enemies. This can be boosted by Witching Rhythem which boosts the damage to 75 points and also reduces the magic resistance of anyone hit by the drumbeats by 200% for 0.4 seeconds. The final perk for this line is War Drummer which heals allies and increases their attack power by 100% for 0.4 seconds. I assume that they don't stack since Enai is very forthcoming when it comes to what stacks and what doesn't but the overall effectiveness of the ability is staggering when combined with an effective blocking ability and the staggering that comes from Timed Blocks. Combined they can create an incredibly effective offense and defense with nothing else added to the mix.

    Of course, I'm not content with that, so throwing in Shouts is the natural next step when you consider the fact that you'd already need a heavy focus on Speech. There's a lot to go into [link to other discussion about boosting Shouts with Speech] but for now we'll focus on the two perks that I think mesh best with Timed Blocks. Thu'um of War is just perfect for adding to the power of the Earthquake Drum effect and the Timed Blocks because it allows you to stagger foes simply by shouting. It can be any shout, it doesn't actually need to hit them (so a Fire Breath will still stagger all foes near you) and it's got a 25 foot area of effect. On top of that it reduces the armour rating of enemies by 300 for 10 seconds and knocks anyone with 25% health or less to the ground. Already we've got two effects that stack with Break their Teeth and Timed Block as well as a relatively decent reduction to AR. And the Universe Listens is another useful shout that restores Health, Stamina and Magicka equal to your shout's cooldown. The main use for this is that it allows for a lot of abuse with Dragon Scales, as long as you have a single point of Stamina you can ignore all melee damage, and this just lets you restore it (and possibly weaken/damage/annoy enemies).

    Heavy Armour

    I feel like Heavy Armour is the logical next step in upgrading your defenses if you were focusing on Timed Blocks and so I'll break down some of the more useful ones and how the combine with our shield based defense. 

    Defiance is excellent, it gives a 15 point boost to AR that lasts 10 seconds everytime your attacked, not every time you take damage or are hit, but as long as your attacked you'll gain AR. Our Timed Blocks allow us to usually take barely any damage or even no damage from attacks which means that you could constantly gain AR without ever taking damage, which in turn would decrease how much damage you take if you do get hit. Revel in Battle further boosts this option by increasing weapon damage by 3% each time your hit (and it stacks by the way) meaning you can just become even deadlier when you do finally attack. Rise Above is also a useful perk with a similar effect because it reduces the attack of enemies within 15 feet  of you by 5% and increases your own attack by 5% for each enemy effected. This just adds more defense (kinda) and opens up our offense even more.

    Bedrock is almost a crucial element in my eyes. Basically what this does is allow you to have a 20% chance to become immune to stagger for 4 seconds whenever your attacked by an enemy. Staggers are, ironically enough one of this characters largest potential weaknesses because it restricts you from being able to defend yourself with Timed Blocks and really opens you up to attacks. Sovereign is another defensive perk that allows you to deflect enemy attacks for 1 second after you get hit, reducing incoming damage by 75%. That is all, I don't need to go into how effective Sovereign is, just...awesome. 

    There are some other perks that can offer various boosts, but these are the most useful ones in my opinion. They allow you to slowly start to build up an effective defense against archers by reducing the chance for them to stagger you, increasing your AR to godly levels and just generally making you more effective at what your doing with Timed Blocks. 

    Closing Notes

    There is a lot more that I think can be done with Timed Blocks, Frost Spells in particular are something that would be nice to look at later on (especially since I haven't even read the actual perks for that) and there might be some interesting combinations that can be achieved with Conjuration since some of the Block perks work well at boosting allies but generally speaking I believe this is a standard and incredibly simple way to make the best of Timed Blocks. You don't really have to set anything up, you don't need to down potions or enchant your gear or enhance it with smithing or any of the dozens of things that can make you more powerful but you can still devastate a lot of different opponents with this set-up. Of course, I feel like mentioning that your still not going to do much to Dragons, Dwarven Automatons or any bosses that can't be staggered but that's not entirely the point here so... yeah. If you want to know how to adjust this guide to work against said enemies, please feel free to ask whenever.

    Thanks for reading, if you'd like to check out more of my Tips for Ordinator then just use the Dragonborn1721 tag or the Ordinator Tip tag.