Flail of the Ascended- bugs and problems

First off, I wanna say I adore Flail of the Ascended. I always loved Roland's Legacy, and this weapon reinvigorated my love by adding a satisfying cadence to the playstyle. It's very satisfying rushing around the battlefield, stacking Shield Bash hits, then turning around and burning an army alive. While I know Roland's isn't competitive, I'll still gladly run it, as it is by far my favorite of the Crusader sets, and I have Flail of the Ascended to thank for making it even more fun.

That said, Flail of the Ascended has 2 very serious problems. I'm not talking about balance problems (and they are legion), just things that need addressing with the item's effect itself.

First, it's buggy. Sometimes, Shield Glare just straight up won't do any damage. You spent the past couple seconds stacking shield bashes, you turn around and use SG on a pack of enemies. Aaaaaand they are unscathed. They're blinded, you got wrath (cause let's face it, you're using Zealous Glare), but no damage has been done.

I've attempted to find the cause of this, but it appears completely random. Some people theorize it's a dead zone, but it can't be because it's clearly worked both at point-blank and at long range. I thought maybe there's a line of sight thing possibly, but that can't be it because I've sprayed straight through entire mobs and even through Waller barriers.

I even considered timing as an issue, so I tried waiting a second or two after my final Shield Bash to use it, but the problem persists and still occurs no matter how long or how little you wait.

I don't know what is causing this to happen, but it shouldn't be happening at all. It needs to be reliable. For the most part, it is. but when it fizzles out, it's just... Really obnoxious.

Second, its damage is not always clear. The effect's description seems simple enough to understand; The combined damage of up to your last 5 Shield Bashes is dealt to all enemies hit by Shield Glare. Should be simple as that, except it's not.

If the above were as simple as it sounds, then me critting one enemy, 1hitting it, should allow me to use that single Shield Bash charge and Shield Glare down an entire army of the same enemy. This does not happen... At least, not always? Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes 2 non-crit shield bashes is stronger than 5 crit ones. Sometimes I killed one of an elite pack in 5 Shield Bashes, so naturally I should be able to turn around and Shield Glare their buddies and they'll be dead, but instead it does piddly damage that maybe equals one non-crit Shield Bash at best.

It appears that there's no rhyme or reason to what damage modifiers Flail of the Ascended takes into account when adding the Shield Bashes together. I've seen it take the crits into consideration, other times it doesn't care. Sometimes it takes AoE damage (for Non-Pound runes) into account, other times not. It's almost like a flip of the coin. There are times when it seems to calculate Drakkon's Lesson's bonus, or the elemental bonus from CoE (for either when you were using Shield Bash or when you cast Shield Glare), and there are times when it feels like it's calculating damage from back when you were level 50.

I'm aware that the Shield Glare damage itself can crit. I take that into account, damage still seems totally nonsensical.

If I'm simply misunderstanding the damage problem, then please educate me because I clearly cannot fathom what the formula is- even so, that formula needs to be clarified, because right now the effect is not doing what it advertises.

However, the bug problem is very real no matter how you look at it, and is honestly pretty unacceptable considering how important that big nuke really is.

I hope these problems, or at the very least the bug, is fixed in the near future, because I love Flail of the Ascended. Ever since I first found it, I've been adoring my time using Roland's again.
Great post, I also regularly experience the Shield Glare bug, where my nuke only blinds and doesn't damage the mobs at all. I still enjoy Roland's set while using Flail of the Ascended and hope the bug gets fixed ASAP. How high can you go in rifts using your build?
I believe with CoE is double dips at least. As you get more damage from SB pound while physical coE is up and that converts into SG hitting hard. And then you get holy on CoE and zeal glare on SG hits harded cause of it. (i really hate CoE mind you)

I have noticed the no damage stuff. I chalked it up to not being in physical/holy on CoE but looking back ya, it was flat out no damage. Very annoying and I'm wondering if it has to do with the previous animation bug SB had.

I've also seen that SB i gains charges from breakables like pots. It will give you a stack for SG as if the game calculated you breaking a pot like it was hitting a normal mob. And shield glare hits hard from this breakable creating a stack as well.

Flail is a great idea but they sure as hell got no testing with it since rolands has been left int he dust.
05/20/2016 08:36 PMPosted by deckardpain
Great post, I also regularly experience the Shield Glare bug, where my nuke only blinds and doesn't damage the mobs at all. I still enjoy Roland's set while using Flail of the Ascended and hope the bug gets fixed ASAP. How high can you go in rifts using your build?

I tend to play in a comfort zone, so I don't know the full extent of my current build. I lack some defensive and offensive stats, as well as some good/essential drops, so I feel kinda flimsy. Currently the mid 50s is where I tend to farm, but if I were to really push it, play smart and safely, I could maybe hit at the very least 60.

I know that there are some Rolands users who are getting pretty high, into the mid 80s I think, but that's where it seems to start petering out and Invokers or LoN starts being flat out essential for progress.
So, I've done some testing over the past two days in regards to what damage is and isn't calculated. Mainly, I've been using Convention of Elements to test, but also Power Pylons to test when damage is snapshotted and when it isn't.

From what I'm seeing, Flail of the Ascended flat out doesn't snapshot damage modifiers until Shield Glare cast. In other words: no temporary bonuses to Shield Bash's damage matters. You can have Power Pylons, Convention of Elements boosts and more going when you're casting the Shield Bashes- the only thing that Flail of Ascended cares about is when you cast Shield Glare.

Let me explain using 3 scenarios.

--With Convention of Elements, you'd expect that the boosted damage of your element of choice (to keep it simple, we'll just assume you're using Pound, so Physical) will carry over to when Shield Glare is cast. So, you get the Physical boost, you cast your Shield Bashes, racking up mad damage, and then the element changes. Oh darn, now your Shield Glare won't be boosted either (as I've found through testing that Shield Glare's damage type is the same as your Shield Bash's rune, even if SG is considered "holy") but that's no big deal, because you had 5 huge crits! So you cast Shield Glare... And your damage is pathetic. What the?

--In another scenario, you've racked up 5 Shield Bashes before CoE switches to Physical damage. Damn. Well, you may as well use Shield Glare since you're low on Wrath. Wait, what? Now Shield Glare hit like an absolute truck! What happened?! Ooohhhh, your damage is boosted NOW, rather than BEFORE. Well, that sucks, but whatever. You just cleared a room!

--But wait, if that's how the damage works, then... It must mean that getting 5 Shield Bashes off, AND a Shield Glare all while you have the Physical CoE boost will mean INCREDIBLE damage, right!? So you wait for it, you get those sweet, juicy crits, and you cast Shield Glare! BAM... Wait, the damage was the same as when you used Shield Bash before CoE switched to physical... What the Hell?

What happened here is that, as I said, Flail of the Ascended doesn't give a damn about what damage you did while you were using Shield Bash. All it cares about is what damage modifiers you have when you cast Shield Glare.

This appears to happen with Power Pylons too. You do damage during the Power Pylon's bonus, and you expect Shield Glare to hit like a truck even if the Pylon went out; not true. The damage bonuses are not snapshotted while you're actually using Shield Bash. I admit I haven't done testing with something like the Traveler's Pledge+Compass Rose bonus (...cause they won't drop), but I have no reason to think it'd be calculated any differently.

It does seem to take Roland's set bonus damage into account as the least, and possibly Drakon's Lesson (I can't really test with or without Drakon's Lesson without seeing rather large damage differences due to stats) but it does not seem to take anything that's temporary into account.

I'm not sure it takes crit into account at all. I typically see the same numbers from Shield Glare whether I crit with my last 5 Shield Bashes or not (though the number of stacks do matter, as 4 stacks will of course do less than 5)

This is very bad. This is most definitely not what the item's effect is advertising, and it's gimping the weapon's, and Roland's, potential. It essentially makes anything that doesn't permanently increase Shield Bash's damage totally worthless. It's a dodgy and clunky mechanism now that I know how it's working. Convention of Elements, Endless Walk, even Power Pylons; you have to time everything around Shield Glare rather than the ability that Shield Glare is supposed to be dependent on, Shield Bash. That's. Bad.

  • Further Testing Done
  • --Tested Focus and Restraint temporary bonus damage. As expected, while damage with Shield Bash is increased, if you cast Shield Glare after the bonuses have faded, the damage goes back to normal as if you never had the bonuses. Shield Glare Damage is of course buffed while the bonuses are active as usual.

    Interesting thing about Focus and Restraint: Flail of the Ascended doesn't seem to like it when you switch out items. For the sake of being thorough, I was switching out a ring with Restraint, and doing the Shield Bashes before equipping the ring and then activating the damage bonuses via Sweep Attack; the damage comes up extremely small. Like, not even a single Shield Bash worth of damage. I'm not sure what sort of interaction is happening here.

    --I smacked some random debris to get 5 stacks of Shield Bash. Technically no damage was done at all; enemies were not present. All I hit were the pots on the way to the Skeleton King. Damage was the same as if I had hit enemies.

    --Tested AoE with hitting debris, to see if "total damage" was something to take into consideration. Damage was pretty much exactly 4 times smaller than usual. Supports the idea that Drakon's Lesson is indeed being taken into account with the Shield Glare damage (as Drakon's Lesson was being overridden by hitting a bunch of targets).

    So, my conclusions are: The only things Flail of the Ascended takes into consideration for Shield Bash are, again, permanent bonuses. Nothing else. However, the Shield Glare's damage can be affected by any and all damage modifiers, but still ignores any bonuses you had while actually using Shield Bash.

    This is seriously misleading stuff. Frustrating too.
    Thank you for testing and posting your finidng. I'm happy to know I wasn't going crazy thinking I was getting Shield Glare damage from breaking pots.

    As though, there was no real testing done withthe flail. Rolands is !@#$ty and most people were either worried about akkans not being redone and invoker/LoN dominating again. So the flail get a minor test and ignored.

    That's a seriously over complicated method of damage and it's obviously bugged to hell and back since at times there is no damage.

    I'm think endless walk might be part of the problem with seeing damage blanks. If changing a ring in and out of F+R caused you to do next to nothing then I'm thinking the 2 buffs of endless walk being in constant flux %^-*s something up. Switching to hellfire ammy+coe+JL and then an element immune or zodiacs in cube might be better, or rather less buggy.

    I'm not sure how I feel about SG's damage being static off SB. On one hand you will have a rough idea of it always being the same since you can hit breakables to get stacks. On the other hand SB wants you to have very higher CHC+CHD. Since running judgment+resolved rune provides another 20% CHC you could be getting some trillion damage numbers assuming SG would crit off crits. Which if you hit low means it does squat but it still be more than the bugged blank hits we've been seeing.

    Bottom line is the flail is fail. It was a great idea but got no testing and was passed over caused the roland's set is crappy.
    That SG isn'T snapshoting the modifiers when we used SB isn't the real problem. I think it's still fine if it is only affected by the modifiers when cast, but this bug is just killing the whole fun of that flail. I can't say I played a rift without having this bug not a single time, more likely 5-10 times at best case. It's just not enjoyable to stack up 5 SBs, using SG and expecting huge numbers, but then seeing it doesn't damage at all and still consuming all of our build up stacks. Overall the flail is a pure disappointment and I really hoped I could play SB with Rolands, also using this flail, but no chance, it's not reliable to be used efficiently.

    Some things I would wish for the SG when using the flail:
    1) Fix the bug, which causes SG to deal like nearly zero damage.
    2) If we got to time our SG, please give us the possibility to store up to 10 charges of SB and let SG consume 5 of them at a time.
    3) Make the tooltip more accurate. Add sth. like: "Each stack equals the damage of one Shield Bash cast AND takes the same element type which Shield Bash has. (Ideal would be if you would color the SG effect to the element type aswell)
    4) In the details we'll get a confusing value for +20% Shield Glare damage, when using the "Towering Shield" passive. Make this value show the actual bonus given by Shield Bash or totally remove this value, since we can't increase this value by other stats.
    5) Optionally snapshot if the SB cast where crits or not and let the SG deal damage dependend on those SB crits, not the crit calculation when casting SG. This would might do the peak damage lower, but also gives a better minimum damage if SG isn't a critical hit. Or if you want to avoid this, make SG always crit.
    6) Optionally make SG restore 30-50 Wrath with each SG use. (2 free SB with Piro Marella or 1-2 without)

    And maybe you might make some adjustments independend of this flail, like...
    7) Redesign "Emblazoned Shield" rune, since the damage it does for the real awful conditions is just bad. Sth. like: "SG deals damage equal to 150-200% of your block chance." (for 75% in best case an +1200-1500% damage ability, maybe doing it lightning damage, since it's a rare used element and most lightning runes are just stuns)
    8) For http://us.battle.net/d3/en/item/the-final-witness
    Add the rune effect "Zealous Glare" or "Divine Verdict". Just for turning a conical effect into a round effect is not enough to make it beeing a good choice.
    Some things I have tested and found as well:
    If you cast shield bash and miss, it still counts as a stack and effectively lowers your damage.
    If you cast shield bash on a barrier to get through a door, same thing.
    If you cast it on an enemy that is shielded and it takes no damage, same thing.
    If you cast it on an enemy that requires you break its shield to do damage to it, same thing.

    Other things I have noticed:
    The pure attack speed you get from being at 5 stacks makes a lot of other things buggy. I have noticed that if I am just spamming away and maintaining my 5 stacks of rolands that I wont be able to heal or do anything unless I completely stop everything because you simply can not click your keyboard fast enough and beat the server side attack speed that you are doing. That has been an issue with Roland's from day 1. I have successfully gotten around that by testing with macros - a macro can beat the attack speed but is a terrible solution.
    I do think this no dmg thing should be looked into. It's not just shield glare, with the item that I have felt this no dmg, but with lots of other skills, condem, shieldbash, justice, and smite. Tons of other too. I think this no dmg thing, effects a wide range of skills/powers.
    I finally got the full rolands build and had been running a non-ancient flail for a couple days until I finally got an ancient + the ancient shield that send shield glare to all enemies around you. I too thought I'd be killing everything in site with SG. Unfortunately, I've not been able to do any real damage with this build too. I've also seen the stacks at 5, hit SG with an elite pack, and BAM, nothing happens to their health. That's definitely a bug as I'm using the shield that sends SG 360 degrees.

    Anyway, I hope this gets fixed too, I got tired of the "one hit wonder" thorns build that has no AOE. This or condemn would be a nice change of pace to doing LoN Bomb and riding a horse through enemies to kill stuff - how boring!

    Played the Roland Bash/Glare combination for few days as i was gearing for Hammadin.

    Didnt seems buggy to me. If your Bashs aint crit and tha 5 stacked Bashs aint crit too - it isnt much dmg at all. But never had an shield glare doing "no dmg" if i had stacks of bash.
    Congrats, one person doesn't have a bug while others do. move along.
    This is now for reference / archive. Skip to next post for more accurate info / solution.

    It definitely uses up charges on misses / dodges, doors / breakables, shielded targets, 1 shots, etc. and stores them up to your max stack of 5. So even if you keep bashing.....you can only store the first 5 "hits".

    I've also noted that the first bash always fails to register a counter tick on your bash icon. At first I thought this was a quirk of how blizzard did the counters..but since it caps at 5 ...it seems like the glare effect doesn't know whether you are at 5 bashes or 6.

    I think the effect is suffering from a similar issue that rhythm and explosive palm does for monks. If you get a change in state ( like a level up, shrine / pylon, temp buff wears off, etc. ) the game "forgets" you have the effect still going.

    I've noted in particular that If I get 5 stacks and wait to use it until my next first attack after several seconds have passed....it does no damage. If I use it immediately after a 2 or 3 stack...it seems to always land and do dmg. I run focus and restraint...so If either one of the buffs fell off ( that 5 second wait ) ..it could account for the bug. And when I don't wait for a 5 stack, it's staying within the 5 second rule of both buffs staying up. ( This was without the 6 piece bonus ).

    Its entirely plausible that the legendary effect keeps a running total, even though it's not suppose to, when it comes to buffs; and its when the buffs drop off that the "running total" ends up going into the negative. For example: ( Simplifying )


    Your shield bash does 1000 dmg
    5 shield bashes gives you 5000 glare damage

    Your shield bash does 1000 dmg + 500 extra from akarat + 1500 extra from focus / restraint
    5 shield bashes gives you 15,000 glare damage

    Except your buffs ran out before you casted glare, so the game subtracted 50% dmg from akarat and 100% from f/r . 3000 - 1500 - 3000 = -1500 = 0 or 3000 - 1500 - 750 - 350 = 350

    ( Using either a simplified f/r being 100% total or 50% then 50% again. Just for example's sake )


    It would be super wonky if that was the case...but worse things have happened when coding. They opened themselves up to these kinds of issues when they made the effect take into consideration your running total...rather than just "5 base shield bashes" like almost every other effect in the game does.

    I have though not extensively tested this for hours on end / anything resembling statistical. These are anecdotal observations over a given hour of rifting / bounties; trying out different thoughts as I went. And the "math" part..being purely speculative, based on past errors in similar situations.

    What is not speculative, is that like others have pointed out, there is a clear and "repeatable" occurrence of no damage. And frankly...I'm surprised this was not picked up on and/or addressed by Blizzard on the PTR. ( No..not really surprised. They do this all the time. ) It's like they literally never loaded up a test character with the weapon and killed mobs for 30 seconds. ( I'm sure a lot of their testing is theoretical coding with no Q&A ) "Its using the same function as X ..so it should be working just fine"

    And it's killing any fun I was regaining with Rolands this season.

    Edit: Edited in top message because of recent understanding.
    Instead of just editing my long post and trying to fit in new information that counters what I just said and/or deleting it for that matter, I'm just making a new post.

    After some actual testing on my part, I figured out exactly what the issue is, and it is 100% reproducible. In fact...it's made me even more angry when figuring it out.

    Picking up or interacting with items breaks the effect.

    Do a couple bashes, pick up an item / click a fountain, zero damage.

    Why this makes me angry? Because it's the same stupid bug that's plagued this game for over a year now. Monks losing their health all the time, witch doctors having issues, etc. This bug shows up every patch.



    They say they fix it, but it just breaks something else with the same bug.

    Anyway...now I just have to make sure to never pick up items or click on shrines......
    ..which should be easy to do in a Diablo game.

    The good news...if you can call it that....is that this seems to not be the case for stack-able items that you already have in your inventory prior. So crafting mats / gems / etc that youve gathered during a normal rift should be fine. If its the first time picking them up though...then it will still bug out.
    06/12/2016 09:33 PMPosted by JoeShmo
    Picking up or interacting with items breaks the effect.

    Do a couple bashes, pick up an item / click a fountain, zero damage.

    But wouldn't it mean it isn't an issue anymore if it comes to GRs where you'll feel it only when you click for pylons? I haven't played with it since a while, but I think I can remind it would also occur in GRs where you usually don't have to bother with items( or did you count those health/nephalem globes or bonus globes from elites aswell?)

    But alone this single fact could also make me rage, actually. I want to know why they don't fix this problem(even if I can sense "why").
    06/13/2016 03:39 AMPosted by Evildrake
    06/12/2016 09:33 PMPosted by JoeShmo
    Picking up or interacting with items breaks the effect.

    Do a couple bashes, pick up an item / click a fountain, zero damage.

    But wouldn't it mean it isn't an issue anymore if it comes to GRs where you'll feel it only when you click for pylons? I haven't played with it since a while, but I think I can remind it would also occur in GRs where you usually don't have to bother with items( or did you count those health/nephalem globes or bonus globes from elites aswell?)

    But alone this single fact could also make me rage, actually. I want to know why they don't fix this problem(even if I can sense "why").

    I haven't tried running many GRs on my sader ( just started it yesterday? ), but I would presume that you wouldn't run into the bug inside them for the fact you pointed out...no items / etc. to click on other than pylons ( or the empty bodies / chests that still spawn ). I don't think globes trigger it..but I haven't actually tested that ( I'll make a note to ). Pylons would though, but they are so infrequent that it doesn't matter.

    You still need to run torments for keys though..so I guess at some level that becomes easier too if all you worry about are breaths / guardians.

    I've noted that transitioning to new floors / areas triggers the bug ( still need to test that more ), which removes easier / quicker boss kills when doing bounties / conquests.
    I'm on my second HC character this season (chose a Crusader after my Paragon 7 Demon Hunter died) and have been carefully leveling for about a week. I just cubed my first HC weapon this season - Flail of the Ascended. I thought I was going crazy seeing no dmg more often than not using Shield Glare with 5 stack Shield Bash. Googling got me here right away.

    Thanks to everyone here for posting and testing - especially JoeShmo for the reproducible find!!! At least knowing what triggers it, I can continue to use it. Now to find a Roland set this season before I kill this HC char too XD.

    Hopefully Blizz will fix soon!
    Playing on console, only bug i seem to find is the pickup bug everything else seems to work as intended. I would like an identifier as to how many stacks i have though. I have no issue counting in my head but if im panic bashing my way out of a bad spot (i play HC) and lose count i sigh a lil bit
    This post seems a bit dated, and the glaring issue with the no damage bug seems to be fixed, at least for me, but I thought I'd drop in to reinforce that the damage of the last 5 shield glares is still not working properly. I can shield bash with CoE up 5 times for 30 billion, then shield glare for 20 right after, same with a power pylon, it doesn't amp the damage up at all. It seems that temporary buffs to your damage don't effect what the flail gives you in terms of shield bash damage. If this was fixed I believe the build would be a lot more viable then it is now, and if one more damage modifier was added (legs, belt), the build could potentially be gr90+ viable.
    I was experiencing no damage earlier today. This flail is really buggy. It's a shame to, I much enjoy this Play style, but it is broken.

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