It’s ironic but in a good way that hooked blade kind of feels useless (it isn’t, but really after level 14 specialized weapons lose out against superior dps) in the run up to 20 but after that in Epic finds a new life. Until they nerf it. I hope not, because that would cement all superior DPS weapons as the king. I built 2 green steel earth grab picks. They’re for anything very high level and epic. But I combine it with my hooked blade for some really impressive results. The thing about Epic is that unlike regular quests the mobs and bosses have tons of HP. Vorpal or insta kill spells are useless so it boils down to hold, stun or anything else that auto crits until the critter is dead.
High end DPS weapons are not bad, you just have to grind an aweful a lot and unless you auto crit you’re also spending a lot of time hitting the same target while it hit you back. Compare that to other quests where between level 14-16 a high end DPS will kill pretty much everything in less time than a specialized weapon like paralyze with paralyze and grind down a critter. 3 swings with a green steel DPS weapons against many more swings just to paralyze and kill. Vorpals work nicely too as well as smite or even in some cases banishing. Most high end quests are therefore a matter of zerging; resist, buff, sprint and kill.
That’s not really true with Epic mobs so the effectiveness of using earth grabbers and something like hooked blade makes sense. You either make it very hard for the critter to hit you back (slow) or you incapacitate through earth grabbing or stoning and then auto crit. Less chance to take a lot of damage and more chance to either slow down or auto crit an opponent.
I hope Turbine never change auto crit functions nor that things like limb chopper works on the critters. Those are the few tactics left to groups instead of having to grind and waste SP healing until a specific mob is down.