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Showing content with the highest reputation since 04/30/20 in all areas

  1. 26 points
    Hello All! A handful of people over on Discord were talking about a lack of an updated Wiki for Homecoming, I've cloned Paragon Wiki to https://hcwiki.cityofheroes.dev/wiki/Main_Page and encourage folks to update it with current information for Homecoming. There have been a small handful of updates so far but there is lots of work to be done. So create an account and go nuts! As a note, I've removed ALL User: pages from the import of PWiki to remove any user information that people may not want copied, feel free to bring your User: page over from PWiki if you would like.
  2. 19 points
    "No weapon" for fire/ice/stone melee.
  3. 18 points
    Hello again everyone! Today marks 9 months of me leading daily Hami raids and iTrials on Everlasting. Coincidentally today also marks the 600th Hami raid that I will have led. I am making this post now due to the fact that I am not entirely sure if I'll make it to the 1-year mark. I am trying, but the burnout is quite real (as are IRL issues resulting from COVID) and I may have to call it quits before then. That said, Everlasting has been a terrific community and I'm glad to have had the chance to help so many people in it get the harder badges and gear out their characters. I only ever played City of Heroes for a total of 6 months back in 2006 and only found out about the private server in March last year purely by random chance. I was a cynical, jaded, anti-social downer that had just recovered from a life-threatening illness, and frankly I just didn't want to be like that anymore: I wanted to be a new person. When Homecoming opened I took the opportunity to try and reinvent myself as an upstanding and professional leader to prove to myself that anyone can change and become whatever they want through force of will and constancy. I have tried my best to lead through example and to avoid clamping down or snapping at anyone giving me problems, and while I haven't handled every issue perfectly, I feel I've done a fair job of it so far and intend to keep at it to make it a permanent and natural lifestyle to me. Thank you all for your faith and kind words, and for giving me my initial chance to lead content (I was a newbie when I started)! Since there might not be another breakpoint for me to post it, here's the raid leader statistics / dragon hoard as of the 9-month mark: 598 Hami raids led 585 iTrial badge runs led 238 "Master of" task force runs led (counting Apex+TinMage as one) 2,507 Players eaten Veteran Levels 3,768 Astral Merits 2,934 Empyrean Merits 4,041 Incarnate Shards 10,000 Incarnate Threads 83 Very Rare Incarnate Salvage 166 Rare Incarnate Salvage 169 Uncommon Incarnate Salvage 811 Common Incarnate Salvage (A lot of these are from getting rid of excess Threads) Villains Defeated: 1,103,145 Damage Inflicted: 666,537,730 Damage Taken: 135,510,066 Healing Given: 12,272,806 Total XP Earned: 2,147,483,647 XP Debt Acquired: 5,065,580 --- Anyways enough about me, I'll see you all at the 600th Hami raid! Thanks to everyone who joins and especially to the regulars who target in Hami raids and attend iTrials to help with Incan chains and other required roles! (Outside of the daily ELTFs schedule, we are currently speedrunning on task forces with an end goal to get a full team of speeders to finally give the Excelsior runners some competition. If you're interested in playing the game super hardcore with min/max strats and builds, hit @Elmyder up, he'll proc your ears off about it!)
  4. 17 points
    Development work is always ongoing! I can't say when we will have something to announce, but be assured that the team has plenty of plans to move forward and an internal roadmap.
  5. 16 points
    I just want to say, on behalf of the entire CoH community, Thank You for all the hard work that all of you put in as unpaid volunteers. It is truly appreciated! and thank you for bringing back the game that we love and missed!
  6. 16 points
    Things people say when you're naked.
  7. 16 points
    Gold Gorgon, Champion of Medusa Stone/Martial Dom ~~~~ A modern day descendant of the mad gorgon herself, she works to right the wrongs of the past
  8. 16 points
    Minimal FX for everything. Been one of my longest standing wishes. I'm a huge proponent for allowing players the authority to really get in there and define their own characters. The more tools toward that objective, the better. And to that end, I'd also like to encourage any animations with the same activation time should be shared with any Powers that use said activation time. But, of course, one of the other big ones, which was more recent . . . some kind of "/ignore" command specific to other player-characters' appearances and/or customization. Now, I understand some folks might find that a little incongruent with my previous statement about giving players more authority over their characters, but some debates over Henchpet Customization opened my eyes to an issue. While we can ignore the messages of problematic players, we can't ignore their garish powers or emotes. That's a huge disruption for quite a few players. I believe that it would be in the best interest of the stability of the community to provide all players with the tools to ignore troublesome players. Some kind of slash command which would "repaint" a target player-character with a Generic Body and Generic Power Customization, with Generic Emotes. I have no idea how challenging this might be to implement from a technical standpoint, but I believe it's worthwhile. No one should be forced to endear harassment or even borderline harassment when they're just trying to play the game. Putting the power to disregard troublesome players in the hands of the user would likely also provide a reduction in the number of petition filed due to problematic conduct.
  9. 15 points
  10. 15 points
    and a couple of cool other ones to end my spam lol: Boneshredder (placeholder name really) Brass Knuckle Kryonis Death Charge Cryosite Konu Oni Thunder Dragoon:
  11. 15 points
    Secondary Sets... I was kidding when I said that the primary sets were the sexy sets. On Sentinels, your choice of secondary and how you handle it contributes a lot to effectiveness of a build. While folks love to chat about what sets do the most DPS, they may not be thinking about which secondaries allow that to happen. The Secondary sets are the unsung hero of the AT. Its the general reason you're probably interested in or playing a Sentinel, but it is the facet of build most casually tossed to the side. Its like an assumption that having an armor set is going to carry you through. Its there, its protecting you, and most of the time you don't need to micro manage it. At the time of this writing, not all secondaries are created equal. Not all builds are created equal. The decisions you make with your secondary can determine how you handle your primary. The secondary sets are the yin to your yang. Hopefully, my experiences will help you see where to put a balance, when to go all in on damage or go all in on defense. I find it incredibly disheartening for so many posters to complain about the AT as a whole while leveraging the same tired build ideas. Sentinels are a different kind of AT and perhaps building it as if it were some other AT isn't that productive. Sometimes it is, and sometimes it isn't. Soft Capping and How to Break a Build (or Make it Amazing)... Let's chat about soft caps for a moment. Soft capping is a hugely popular topic. OMG, gotta hit 45%!!! HOW DO I SOFTCAP ALL THE THINGS!!!!!! First off, soft capping to 45% defense is f*ing awesome. It can make you practically unkillable. It can also force you make decisions on slotting your primary that deprive it of possible damage options. When you purposefully design your build in this manner you may get angry that you never die and things never die around you in a timely manner. Heavy investment into building mitigation plans through IOs can come at a damage additive cost. You may scoff or brush this off, but its true. Some Sentinel primaries have few, if any, additional proc options. Those sets also trend towards being rather self sufficient without them. Those are the kinds of primaries you want to pair up with build plans that abuse the stacking of all the Winter IO sets. Fire Blast is a great example. Fire Blast does fantastic damage all on its own and using full sets to raise defense is a smart decision. You may pick a set like Assault Rifle and wonder how is it even possible that I play it without tickling everything to death. Its because I paired with a secondary that soft-caps with little extra help (Super Reflexes). Due to this pairing, I have a number of slots that are not needed for defensive IOs. Quickness grants me +20% global recharge which is also hugely important for realizing the attack chain I use. The bonus slots turn away from defensive and recharge bonuses in favor of damage options. That helps. I tend to think that common forum knowledge also has created an impression that if you're not always running +4/x8 that you are somehow doing it wrong. This seems to instill a sense of fear into players that aren't that experienced with the game into thinking they absolutely have to close every mitigation gap possible with all tools on the table. Quite frankly I wish that would stop. It won't, but I can dream. The content you plan to take part in matters too. Do you really need to build every single Sentinel secondary to be a brick house? No. You don't. You really don't. OK, you might if your intention is to try and complete all content in the game at +4/x8. You need to be as durable as you possibly can be, but for some reason folks forget that you need to do damage too. If you're not capable of doing high enough damage to chew through the amounts of health that +4 Bosses/EBs have, its going to be SLOOOOOOW. The longer it takes for you to defeat the enemies the more chances they have to hit you. In this game you cannot guarantee you won't get struck. It will happen, and sometimes bad luck will floor you. That can happen if you soft-cap or not. I'll let that sink in... Sometimes aiming to soft-cap one or more defense types is a wise choice. Gimping your damage options for the sake of converting every secondary into a ghetto version of Super Reflexes is not always the best use of your resources. Let that sink in too... Many of the Secondaries I am about to get into have multiple mitigation types. They may have resistance and defense and healing. They may have absorb shields, they may have more of one type of the mitigation than another. Some are largely passive, some are highly active, and many are mixed. Having multiple mitigation types can be just as beneficial as having soft-cap defense. Soft-capping is not a cure to all things, and sometimes it can be counter productive. Here are some milestones I like to hit when I can: 20% defense, 32.5% defense, 45% defense, 59% defense. 20% defense isn't that hard to get to on any set that has 0 defense already in it. Sets like Fiery Aura, Regeneration, Radiation Armor, and Electric Armor. This defense level still works with inspirations. A small purple inspire moves you into the second milestone, and a bigger one moves you into soft-cap town. You may need to take on pool powers like Weave, Maneuvers, and Hover/Combat jumping, but that's how it goes. You either build up your defenses for solo or tone that difficulty down or you team up and let others close your gaps with their buffs. There is no shame in having teammates buff you. 32.5% defense is a bit trickier to hit on the resist-only sets but is fairly reasonable on any thing else that is mixed type. Dark Armor can be a little tricky to reach this level, but it is possible. I promise that since my Water/Dark hits this metric and she is more survivable than you'd think given the layers she has. 45% defense is pretty easy to hit on Super Reflexes, Energy Aura, and Ninjutsu. On everything else you need to stop and really think about the repercussions of the decision to hit this milestone. Is it worth it to you? Can your primary do enough damage without procs? Are giving up any recharge? If the defense trades don't significantly hurt your expected damage, then go for it! If you're playing any of those primaries that can greatly benefit from damage procs, then proceed with caution. You may still pull it off, but the build might be real tight on slots/sets. 59% defense is an Incarnate goal but Sentinels often need to leave damage on the table to do this. Its usually not worth it, but it can be possible with some pairings like Fire Blast and Super Reflexes. Both sets are largely self sufficient and allow a player to push extreme levels of defense. This will not be true for most other combinations. If you can live with running less difficult content like +2/x8 (or less, I suppose) than any combination can work. Its only when you really want to push the hardest challenges solo without much reliance on inspirations, temp powers, or teammates that soft-capping starts to really matter. I have multiple characters that handle different scales of difficulty. Some of those are Sentinels. Do not be so proud that you break your build to try to complete content you'll be disappointed in or even fail at. Its not worth it. Quick comment on Alpha slots... Agility is almost never worth the investment on a Sentinel in my experience across all of the builds I have crafted over the past year. Generally you are looking at roughly 2% more defense. The recharge benefit can be easily obtained from Ageless Destiny, IO bonuses, or Hasten. You may not even need that much recharge. The endurance benefit can be largely a wash. This one just doesn't do enough most of the time to warrant the materials. Let all the other ATs decide on how to fit this in their build, but strongly consider passing on it for your Sentinel. Sentinels are often claimed to be weak on damage. So why wouldn't you pursue any of the Alpha options that improve that perceived weakness vs chasing defense you may not even need? Musculature Core, Radial, and Intuition Radial are very strong picks. Generally, you shouldn't need any of the others for mitigation other than Cardiac. Cardiac can be very worth while to use in some builds, but you'll be giving up some damage for defense. So, in most cases go for any of the +damage Alphas. You can thank me later. Cardiac can be a great alternative for quality of life, but ideally get your end under control some other way to pick up +dmg. Picking the Right Outfit for the Ball... Despite how important secondaries truly can be, I want to keep this fairly short. I'll give a quick overview of the set (focused, or mixed) and let you know if I found it worth soft-capping or not. I'll point any shortcomings of the set to give you an idea on what to expect. Bio Armor Bio Armor is a mixed mitigation set using various passive defense and resistance combinations as well as active click healing powers including absorbs. Bio Armor is quite strong all on its own. It is very tough to softcap all of its categories without going all in on defensive IO bonuses. I do not feel it is worth it do that with more primaries, but it is certainly possible. Dark Armor Dark Armor is a jack-of-all-trades style set. It has a little bit of everything. It completely lacks a T9 defense power and instead has a self revive as well as crowd control toggles. Dark armor is as good as you invest into it. It can also be tricky to difficult to hard cap certain resistances and also soft-cap defenses. You can do it, but its going to have a price and it can get steep (in both powers, slots, and bonuses). You can end up with a respectable mix of mitigation and even the CC toggles can be useful. Enemies still like to run into melee and Oppressive Glooms stun stacks with a lot of different primaries. This set does not have the ultra powerful Dark Regen and its passive recovery option (tied to the Dark Regen replacement) can run out quickly. So endurance can be an issue but that depends a lot on your build. Electric Armor ElA leans heavy on the resistance side, but it does have some high regeneration potential. End management isn't much of an issue and the set has some other bells and whistles. Piling on more defense is always great, but you really don't need to break the build chasing 45% defense. This is especially true if you pick up an immobilize from the Patrons/Epics to keep more dangerous foes away or if you wish to chase hover-blasting. This holds true for every secondary in this list. Energy Aura EnA is a mixed type set that leans heavily on typed defense. Should you soft-cap? Yes. There is little reason not to soft-cap an Energy Aura character. You even get some resistance boosts in the set, and loads of endurance management. Sentinel Energy Aura can be a very strong set. Should you Incarnate soft-cap? Probably not for most builds, but it can be possible to get there or very close to it. Fiery Aura Fiery Aura can be just as squishy as it is on any other AT but you don't have the benefit of the damage aura. You do still get Burn and FA on Sentinels has a passive healing power as well as a clickable. Its a bit better than other versions in that regard and especially so if you can lift its defense value out from the dirt. Still, soft-capping defense can come at a very steep price and I generally haven't found it worth it to do that. It can be a bit easier to focus just on melee or smashing/lethal defense to make Burn a bit safer to use. Endurance benefit is still tied to Consume and Consume isn't that great. Cardiac Core was a big benefit to me before T4 Ageless. This set is s probably my least favorite option. Its a very risky set and the reward isn't that high. Ice Armor Ice Armor is a mixed set. It has a little bit of everything. It does lack a lot of Fire and Cold defense. That is easy to gain through IO sets though. Can you soft-cap with Ice Armor? Yes, you can absolutely bring this to 44-45+% defense to multiple types. Should you though? Eh, maybe. Depends on what you pair it with and just how important it is to you. The T9, Icy Bastion, is pretty awesome and I've ran this with both 35% and 45% defense values. The higher the defense you get the easier things are, but it wasn't hugely detrimental to ease off that number either. Endurance management is not great. The set itself isn't that expensive to run, but it doesn't have a nice passive option. Instead endurance restore is linked to a cooldown power and its pretty underwhelming. Icy Bastion will improve your recovery though so with enough leapfrogging of effects it is doable. Its not a particularly exciting set to level. Furthermore, Ice Armor includes more sources of +hit point than you can effectively use. This makes one of the final powers a total dud if you have Hoarfrost on perma. The absorb shield the set offers needs a serious review because the amount it generates is very low. You can skip that power too as it isn't worth the slots. Ideally that power functions like a modified version of the one that exists within the Blaster AT, but until then... pass. Ice Armor is a decent set to run once you full complete it, but it is a labor of love to play. I wouldn't fault anyone for never touching it in its current state. Still, I like it better than Fiery Aura, and that's saying something. Invulnerability Invul is a mixed resistanced and typed defense set with heavy emphasis on smashing/lethal resistance. You gain bonus hit points and an endurance power. Yes, there is an endurance power in Sentinel Invul. Its one of the better versions of the set, but losing out on the scaling Invincibility is a bummer. Still, this is a strong all around set. Can you soft-cap it? Yes. Should you? Probably not, unless your primary can handle it. You can reasonably hardcap S/L resistance and reasonably hit high 20's to low 30's on defense. You'll cap your hit points fairly easily too. Invul is durable enough on its own that soft-capping is a nice to have but not critical factor. Ninjutsu Ninjutsu on Sentinels is a bit different from the Stalker version. Its somewhat mixed in scope but includes a CC power that other sets don't get. Can you soft-cap it? Yes. Should you? Yes, doesn't matter the primary you run. You can very high defense values and that is one of the strongest perks to the set. On top of this you have a lot of control over you hit points and endurance through click powers. You are stuck with a click Mezz protection but it is incredibly comprehensive and it stacks with itself. Blinding Powder can be skipped or used for utility or its slotting options. Its an underrated power but it isn't critical either. Should you Incarnate soft-cap? Probably not. Ninjutsu's values are generally less than those of Super Reflexes making it more costly to get there. Its possible to do it, but probably not ideal. Radiation Armor Rad Armor is like Bio Armor in that it can be considered a top of the line armor set... on many other ATs. On Sentinels it is still really good. Like Bio Armor and Fiery Aura, Rad brings more direct offensive aid. Both Ground Zero and Meltdown are damage increasing powers. There is no native defense in the set, but it doesn't really need it for most content. You gain options for healing as well as damage with Meltdown also granting more resistance. Any extra defense is always welcome but you don't need to break a build to softcap. Regeneration Regen has a reputation in the melee ATs that can be all over the place. You have fans of it, and you have those that hate it. Sentinel Regeneration chances a few things and turns the set into a very strong secondary. Second Wind works as both a revive if you fall or a scaling heal based on current health. Instant Regeneration grants you a regenerating absorb shield that is far more handy in practice than it sounds. Its not a lot of absorb but it will continually restore itself as long as the toggle runs. Any defense one can add is always welcome, but soft-capping isn't necessary. Super Reflexes Sentinel Super Reflexes has some slight changes from the melee counterparts. Most notable is the choice between Practiced Brawler and Master Brawler. MB pushes mezz protection into the set's toggles and grants a strong absorb power. Additionally there is a passive endurance power unlike other versions of the set. Should you soft-cap it? Yes. Doesn't matter what you're using you should soft cap. Should you Incarnate soft cap? Probably not with most pairings, but it is certainly possible. This is one of the few secondaries that can allow it without too much risk of breaking a character for it. Willpower Willpower is the last set on the list. Its a mixed type between typed defense, resistance, and regeneration. It has a lot in common with Invulnerability in that regard. Willpower can be a tricky set to deal with on Sentinels. Its a jack-of-all-trades style set like Dark Armor, with some slight advantages, but it generally has no other means to handle damage. Its playstyle isn't that far off from the melee variants, but will feel risky in melee at times. As a pure ranged build option it can be a reasonable with the potential for high levels of regeneration. Should you soft-cap it? Probably not. You can push defenses into the high 20's to low 30's and that can work fairly well when combined with ranged damage. All of the sets above can enable any characters to deal the damage they need to being doing either solo or as part of a team. The power sets with easy options to soft-cap trend towards all around play. Sentinels are a lower hit point AT so defense-heavy sets tend to be some of the stronger options for handling universal content. That shouldn't scare anyone off from playing a resistance heavy set. If you can keep your distance on any Sentinel, then any of them can be quite survivable. Enemy melee attacks often do more damage than their range options. Many enemy types also have more melee options than ranged. So not only is the damage per hit from a ranged attack less but their frequency of attack may be less. You can hover out of range, hop around, immobilize enemies, or make them scatter. Any one or combination of things can go a long way to surviving more challenging content. Conclusions... Sentinels may struggle for some players and there a lot of reasons that can contribute to this. A review of the AT that puts them in a positive position within the community would be welcome. Though the hyperbolic damage is probably already done. There are still folks that think Stalkers play the same as they did on CoV release. Sentinels will likely always have the reputation of being the lowest damage DPS AT and having lower damage than support sets. That's not going to go away overnight with a patch. That's the community's fault, and we all need to own that. If you've read all of this, thank you. I'm very likely to take a break from posting in this subforum for a while. I've just dumped all of my thoughts about the AT and its various sets into this one repository. I pretty much have nothing else to say. That said, I'm just a direct message away if anyone wishes to ask questions.
  12. 14 points
    Mastermind Global Changes Addressing survivability, enhancement viability, and ever-cherished fun factor, these changes are proposed to help MM's across the board wrangle the all too familiar issues with the Archetype. This thread unveils proposals for Global changes, and the links to the Primary Powerset Proposals are below. There's a lot to unravel, so take your time! Robotics Necromancy Mercenaries Ninjas Thugs Demons Beast Mastery MM's need help. Despite being a very popular AT overall (3rd place behind Blasters and Brutes respectively!) they drop off significantly in the number of lvl 50's to where only 4.7% of MM's ever hit lvl 50, where the average for all other AT's is 9%. (Source Below) The reason? At higher levels, the consensus appears to be that MM's drop off in effectiveness rather harshly due to four key factors: MM Damage scales / end costs make it so it is troublesome to be effective at all without pets, somewhat forcing the "Tankermind" play style to be effective Pet survival at higher difficulties that other AT's can handle severely cripples MM effectiveness Due to the above, the Pet Aura IOs (And MM ATO's) are more or less required to participate in mid-higher end content Due to the above and kinks with pets in general, slotting becomes difficult and non-renumerative. These four, along with some quirks here and there, feed into one another to make MM's have a sort of bell curve where they start weaker, get very strong, but then weaken again as your character is expected to take on more and more challenges. Crunching the numbers, there are a few changes that could be made that will help MMs at the high end while having a minimal impact on the low end. Mastermind Stats Starting with the Mastermind themselves, the AT as a whole is in an odd spot in that thematically and mechanically, its all about your pets. This is super fun for many of us... but when pressure from high end content or the variety of builds available to other AT's with IOs comes up, pet-centric limitations can be constraining. This is because henchmen cannot be slotted with the same pool of IOs others have, such as melee damage, and are limited to secondary effects and pet damage in slotting. To make up for their poor personal performance, almost all MM's default to "Tankerminding" thanks to Bodyguard Mode. While in Defensive stance, and setting the pets to anything but "Attack my Target", masterminds shift to being an incredibly tanky class as they split their damage between up to 6 pets within Supremacy Range, and since the pets will attack those who attack you or them re-actively, this sets the sort of standard of how to play as your MM can be incredibly tough while maintaining their pets, but this shoehorns them into one path that has problems when you scale up to higher content. And, due to the low damage and exceptionally great endurance cost of mastermind abilities, there is little reward for straying from the path. Solution: More dynamic Supremacy Stances MM's have two other major stances to work with, Aggressive and Passive, and in those neglected modes there can lie a solution. In the former, your pets will simply attack on sight and go full aggro mode. This bares little functional utility, as they attack the same as they would provoked in defensive mode, and you lose Bodyguard and thus put yourself at extreme risk with little reward. Some MMs simply put this on during a team setting if others have Aggro, leaving their pets to fend for themselves while they are reduced to a discount Defender. If you turn on Aggressive mode and try to keep up and contribute with your team / pets, you'll find yourself suffering from the endurance penalty, sucking endurance down rapidly and dealing little damage overall while having less pet control. Passive mode has your pets halt all actions unless directed by you specifically and is mostly used when travelling so that they don't pick up extra aggro, or to pull back and retreat effectively. The common gripe with these other stances is that they have nothing to really compete with the advantage of Bodyguard mode. So: Defensive Stance Gives the MM access to Bodyguard Mode Aggressive Stance Provides the MM with a 5% Damage Bonus and a 5% Endurance Discount per pet Passive Stance Provides the Pets with a 150% Regeneration and Recovery bonus Lets add some perks to the other two stances! Starting with Aggressive Mode, when you switch to this your MM gets an average 30% bonus to Damage and a 30% Endurance Discount (with 6 pets and you going ham) in order to not only allow the MM to do a bit of damage with what attacks they do have, but also get an endurance discount on their abilities to allow them to actually play "unleashed" like their pets. Plotting out with 3 Damage SO's and 1 End Redux SO, we see the following (assuming 30%): Aggressive Math: Base Dmg Base End Aggressive Dmg Aggressive End 3 Dmg SO 1 End SO Defender Dmg Defender End Burst 33.04 6.5 42.95 5 74.34 3.99 76.13 4 Slug 50.16 10.66 65.21 8.2 112.86 6.54 115.6 6.56 M30 27.53 18.98 35.79 14.6 61.94 11.64 63.43 11.68 Using the Mercenary Primary's attacks, we see that with similar Slotting + Aggressive mode, an MM is about on Par with a Defender using the same powers in /Assault Rifle (without Vigilance boosts). MM's get far fewer attacks to use compared to a Defender, and the damaging support moves they get will be on par but with far worse secondary effects... along with a fraction of the personal defense if they get hit outside of Bodyguard mode. This is aimed to make being truly "Aggro" with an MM a viable strategy compared to turtling up at all times. The Passive Mode change is to help more with the Pet's survival and downtime in general. Often there can be cases where you may be in over your head, and backing off to reset the situation takes a bit of time esp when needing to resummon or heal up. With this passive mode change your pets will have much less downtime and overall better sustain between fights. Pet Survival Next is easily the biggest and most important. To put it simply, the way enemies scale vs your pets is not ideal. Once you have all 6 pets, your Boss Pet will be = to your level, the LT's will be -1, and the Minions will be -2. That latter portion is a killer for them as on average, the minions make up ~27% of the damage output of each MM primary, even WITH them being -2! With them being killed so easily, this would be like if any other AT's damage scaled down as they lost health, and a solid hit taking away 25% of their HP meant they did 25% less damage. Even worse, when playing at the maximum difficulty the T1 pets get hit extra-hard by enemies thanks to the Accuracy Formula: Source: https://paragonwiki.com/wiki/Attack_Mechanics Spawning at -2 to you, a +4 enemy to the MM will be +6 to the poor T1 minion. If an enemy were to target them, they get a bonus 5% ToHit on top of a 1.5x accuracy modifier. To illustrate how bad this is, lets take a look at the Hit Chance formula: HitChance = Clamp[95%]( AccMods × (1 - TargetElusivity) × Clamp[5%]( BaseHitChance + ToHitMods – DefMods ) ) Now, lets assume a +4 enemy minion is taking a swing at our -2 T1 minion: HitChance = Clamp( 1.5 × (1 - 0) × Clamp( 0.50+ 0.05 – 0) ) HitChance = Clamp( 1.5 × (1) × Clamp( 0.55) ) HitChance = Clamp( 1.5 × Clamp( 0.55) ) HitChance = 82.5% Thanks to that +5% ToHit, the "Soft Cap" to hit the 5% clamp on that side of the formula would need to be 50% defense. Even with that, we see (1.5 x .05) = 7.5% chance to be hit at the absolute minimum. This effectively makes each point of defense you give them a smidge less in value as they need that much more to Soft Cap, and even when they do they still lose out on the minimal chance thanks to the Accuracy bonus. If they are against a LT, Boss, or AV? The acc mods stack up even higher. While being hit 7.5% of the time doesn't sound too bad, remember that the purple patch also affects damage taken, and damage dealt! At -6 to your targets, the T1 minions will take 1.66x damage BEFORE resistances, and in turn will deal a paltry 0.15x damage in response! (More info on lvl scale and damage: https://paragonwiki.com/wiki/Purple_Patch) Even when teamed, you cannot realistically buff them enough to not have them survive well enough and thus you constantly lose out on damage that other characters simply do not have to. There are two additions that will solve these issues. Addition 1: T1 Pets Gain +1 level (Past lvl 18) The simplest solution is to ensure that the T1 pets (not underlings like Gang War or Hell on Earth) stay as -1 Level to you past lvl 18. Right away, this will increase their relative defense values by 1.1x as they retain a 45% soft cap vs even the strongest of normal enemies like all other pets and characters, instead of 50%. They also gain effectively 11% resistance to damage as they go from taking 1.66x damage to 1.55x damage vs +4 enemies (likewise, they go from taking 1.22x to 1.11x at even level),. and deal 15% more damage to +4 targets as they leap from 0.15x to 0.30x damage! (Vs even level, this is a 10% jump from 0.8x to 0.9x). This one change will even the playing field to have the T1 pets provide ~31% of the DPS at -1 across all MM primaries (averaged) , and be minimally impactful at lower levels and difficulties. If anything it will help smooth the progression for many sets in that awkward phase between 18 and 32! It was decided not to bump up all the pets to get +1 level, or match your level for consideration of the lower levels of gameplay and the effect that would have. Simply smoothing out the weakest link in the T1's will go a long way for a new foundation combined with the other changes being proposed below. Addition 2: T1 and T2 Pet HP increase Combined with the level shift (which provides a very, very small HP boost), the hp growth of the T1 and T2 should be increased by 10% and 5% respectively. The HP growth refers to the ending HP they get at lvl 48-50 as all 3 tiers start with ~91 base HP: Minion (49) LT (49) Boss (50) 576.6 768.8 963.8 59.83% 79.77% 1 % of Boss 634.26 807.24 963.8 65.81% 83.76% 1 % of Boss 10% +HP 5% +HP With the T1 at lvl 49 as well, smoothing out the HP between the three pets gives them just a bit more survival overall and comes with a wealth of benefits. Pet Movement All pets gain a 35% base run speed boost Somewhat related to the survival concerns. While not as directly impactful as a +1 lvl shift on T1 pets past lvl 18, one thing that had changed on live was the introduction of Inherent Fitness. All characters, including MM's, having swift efectively made the game faster by about (35%) as players could traverse the environment quicker even with all movement powers turned off. Pets did not get this luxury, and often are stuck trailing behind the MM even if the MM is going as slow as they can. A simple base speed increase will help with the positioning of pets for both survival, offensive pressure (Melee pets), and general utility. Removal of Automatic Distance Based Teleport, Addition of a "Come to me" Command Not only a practicality-seeking proposal, this suggestion would offer greater customization and control of pets behavior. The Come to Me Command, or "Come" from the pet menu, would simply be a manual pet teleport functioning exactly how the auto-spawn teleport works now. Upon selecting "Come" much like "Follow" or "Stay", the henchmen would teleport to the casters location. There would be no control over where the pets spawn; the pets will simply appear at your location at the time of selection. Removing auto teleport would not only allow more convenient travel by use of "Stay" and "Come" commands in concert, but would also improve the application of "Stay" for fun activities like leaving your pets at multiple locations across the zone as amusing objects for players to discover. Roleplayers could find themselves setting up "watch-points" or what not, as they direct their pets to speak zone wide. Pet IO "Tax" Possibly the most controversial. There are currently two major pet ranks. "Pet" and "Henchmen". Henchmen are the types of pet that Masterminds cast, with varying strengths between the Minion, Lieutentant, and Boss types. Pets are the class summonable by control type ATs. Henchmen, however, are substantially less equipped. Villain Damage Modifiers Archetype Melee Range Corruptor 0.750 0.750 Dominator 1.050 0.950 Mastermind 0.550 0.550 Henchman 1 0.450 0.350 Henchman 2 0.550 0.450 Henchman 3 0.650 0.550 Brute 0.750 0.500 Stalker 1.000 0.600 Arachnos Soldier 1.000 1.000 Arachnos Widow 1.000 1.000 Pet 1.000 0.800 Now, henchmen should be weaker than pets, but it isn't their damage that's troubling, it's their protection. As a result of what we discussed in Pet Survival, their troubles range from highly unsettling to completely fatal in many situations. Their paper thin protection is such that there exists a suite of IO's designed to boost the durability of pets. Both of the MM ATO's boost pet longevity though either Resistance or Defense, 4/5 pet uniques also boost survival for all pets within a radius, with the 5th providing less Taunt/Placate protection than simply taking assault by a large margin. While the non-ATO pet IO's can be used by other ATs with pets, they *really* appear to be designed for MM use, and talking among other pet users there are rare, if existing, occupation of these auras because of their different priorities, slotting for damage themselves, or they have a mix of potent control and end effective shielding which they can protect their pets with. Not to mention, "Pets" having generally higher level, health and defenses than "Henchmen", with Jack Frost's defenses being nearly double that of it's closest analogue, The Demon Prince. Due to the reality above, MM's are somewhat corralled into needing 6 IO's dedicated to simply allowing their pets a fighting chance. Solution: Replace the Unique IO effects, and bake the originals into the T1 and T2 Upgrades A straight-forward suggestion as this predominantly affects Masterminds is to bake the survival upgrades into well, their upgrades! This of course will require the uniques to be retooled, which we will touch on momentarily, but first lets look at how this could work. Tier 1 Upgrade (Lvl 6): Now grants base 10% Res vs All, while in Supremacy Range (60ft from MM). This bonus grows with level, starting at a base of 10% (at lvl 1) and scaling up to 23.94% resistance at lvl 50. This power can now take Resistance Enhancements. Starting with the combined resist aura effects, this is attached to the T1 upgrade as at low level the slight bump to durability will help out without being too unbalanced. As it grows, the value also increases at the same relative rate as the Pet's own resistance powers until it maxes out at ~1 SO away from being that value of the combined auras. If you choose to devote more slots to the upgrade power (taking away form other powers mind you!) you can net more resistances if you so choose. Tier 2 Upgrade (Lvl 32): Now grants base 3.25% Defense vs All as well as bonus 3.25% AoE Defense (7% total), while in Supremacy Range (60ft from MM). This bonus grows with level, starting at a base of 3.5%/7% (at lvl 1) and scaling up to 7.78%/15.56% defense at lvl 50. This power can now take Defense Enhancements. The combined defense auras are attached to the T2 upgrade as the defense boost compounded with everything else you have will be a significant buff to survival at that point in the game. As it grows, the value also increases at the same relative rate as the Pet's own resistance powers until it maxes out at ~1 SO away from being that value of the combined auras. If you choose to devote more slots to the upgrade power (taking away form other powers mind you!) you can net more resistances if you so choose. With the defense boosts growing by level and as you slot and upgrade pets, that leaves a lot of room left over to give the IO's a makeover: Command of the Mastermind (50% chance of KB Protection on Pets), 5% +Damage aura to all within Supremacy Range (Self, Pets, Allies) S. Command of the MM (75% chance of KB Protection on Pets), 7.5% +Damage aura to all within Supremacy Range (Self, Pets, Allies) Mark of Supremacy 3 PPM Negative Damage Proc (Slottable into Primary Attacks) S. Mark of Supremacy 4 PPM Negative Damage Proc (Slottable into Primary Attacks) Pet IOs Call to Arms Chance of Lethal DoT on Pet Attacks (2 ppm) Expedient Reinforcement 25% Pet Movement Speed and Debuff Resistance (all) Sovereign Right Chance to proc -5% damage debuff on Pet Abilities (2 ppm) Edict of the Master Pets gain Mag 4 CC Protection (Immob, Sleep, Stun, Hold, Confuse, Fear) Commanding Presence Pets gain 100% Regen and Recovery These have all been redesigned to offer more utility or damage opportunities to not only MM pets but to other pets as well. The MM ATO's are now designed to give a bit of a bonus to team mates as well as yourself and pets by providing a bonus within Supremacy Range, and helping your pets avoid knockback similarly to the PvP Teleportation IO. The 2nd IO bonus offers a Negative Energy damage proc that can be used on any and all MM abilities, which will prove quite useful depending on the pet or power! Call to Arms is similarly a proc that can apply on any pet attack, but applies a DoT with much less of a proc rate. Similarly, Sovereign Right can apply a stacking Damage Debuff. Expedient Reinforcement and Commanding Presence give the pets good sustain and utility with debuff resists, movement, and regen/recovery. Finally, Edict of the Master gives all pets CC protection to the major CC's aside from Knockback. These should all be valuable, but now with other options covering the basic needs (MM attacks and the upgrades may be worth slotting now!) they are no longer so "mandatory" for MM performance, and likewise still offer great utility to non-MM pets. Primary Overview (Damage Comparison) In the following threads (links at the top), we'll be going over major shake ups to primaries that will re adjust the balance of power between DPA and ST / AOE DPS. The end results will be as follows: DPA in 1 "Cycle": (VALUES ARE NON ENHANCED) Defined as the damage dealt within 1 rotation of their powers as a unit, this eyeballs the burst-offense of the sets with different X factors shown in the colored sections. In general, our goal is to have primaries that are stronger defensively have a bit less damage, and vice versa, with the primaries that require a lot of setting up also being rewarded. This is why despite Demons having solid defenses overall, they still remain very damaging once they stack up -Res and the Hell on Earth minions / Bonuses. Just a special note, but Jounin Caltrops can theoretically do a dumb amount of damage naturally if you are able to stack them / crit them and keep an enemy in the radius. This is why we have a Ninja-Trops section. ST DPS: The average DPS over time of all their abilities. Similar to the DPA above, a distinction is made where generally tougher pets deal less DPS, and specifically AoE heavy sets deal a bit less ST damage. AoE DPS: Lastly, factoring in the Area and Target values for the AoE attacks seen in each primary, we get these DPS values for total damage dealt across a spawn using only AoE attacks. The ST attacks of pets spread across different targets is important as well, but very hard to quantify. Conclusion These changes combined should set up a new foundation for MM's in the current meta to be much smoother across all levels, and especially at end game. In fact, based off of responses gathered from discord and in-game discussion, they should be of great use to other pet casters who gain little to no benefit from the auras to begin with. Some of these changes may be controversial, but if even some of them are considered officially, I would consider it a big step up for the AT as a whole. And if you all feel the same way, good news -- there are many more proposals where that came from!
  13. 14 points
    -== Armour Set T9s - A Discussion Of Their Design ==- -- And How To Fix Them Within Their Current Intended Function -- - The Godlings- Some preamble. I need to justify where my intentions lay and give you my thought process before I just jump right into my proposal without context. For those that are interested I have my original thought in this spoiler bar. It was in a different thread before, but I include it here for the sake of completeness. Please read it if you haven’t seen it before. Additionally I’m going to call this a workshoppable idea, rather than a straight-up suggestion of what I think must be done. I don’t mean to be overly pedantic but there’s a crucial difference between the two. I am very open to additional ideas being added, or significant problems with the idea being reworked. I am not going to put hard and fast numbers into this proposal. That isn’t my style, partly because I’m not equipped to run every single number I might suggest through every conceivable in-game situation (I have but one life and this is better done with real data from real players, play-testing) but second, because I see an unhealthy number of suggestions being torn down that have solid foundations, but have put too much of their essence placed on certain percentages they feel are necessary. To me they’re a loose thread just begging to be unravelled, and tend to be hyper-fixated on, rather than people actually discussing the broader topic at hand. I’d rather save my time and energy to talk about the overarching concept, rather than the minutiae of its precise implementation. I’m going to split T9 Armour powers into two different types and see if this thought experiment makes any sense to everyone else. All the Armour T9 powers are trying to do one thing of course; keep you alive - but, there’s (broadly) two ways they can go about doing this in my opinion: Pre-Fight Prep, and Panic Mode. I will cover Pre-Fight Prep powers below because those are the ones that generate the most ire from the majority of players I see talking about them. It is a universal truth it seems that these kinds of powers - Unstoppable, Elude, Power Surge and so on - are terrible for a multitude of reasons. But "The Crash" is front-and-centre in a lot of these discussions. More on this later. I will address Panic Mode powers in a separate Part 2 post because there's so much needed to be unpacked, and is only tangently related to Pre-Fight Prep powers that it would only confuse things if it were here. There is a third type of power too, with a much lesser representation, but I'll get to them in either the next thread as an addendum, or as their own thread entirely. But I want to focus on just one of the types in this post today. So, with that said; What are Pre-Fight Prep Armour Powers? Pre-Fight Prep powers are just what you think they are. You'd use them before, or just as a fight begins. They increase your capabilities to M A X I M U M levels… or at least that’s what I’ve always assumed they do / are supposed to do. Often these T9 Armour powers are easily identified with the significant increase to defences or resistances, sometimes mez protection, and often some increases to your sustainability; some moderate increase in regen and/or recovery, for instance. With zero exceptions these powers layer over any toggled defences and will put you near or above the caps for your Archetype when enhanced for at least the more common damage types. As previously stated these powers are almost never used because either; You’re already hitting some of the caps through canny IO slotting and the side benefits of the power aren’t worth it to you. The cooldowns are long and you’re not sure if it’s worth popping the power on this group, or holding back for the next. As humans we tend towards the latter. It’s just how our brains work. You’ve overextended and have forgotten that this power even existed. Maybe you should have used it 40 seconds ago, but hindsight is 20:20 don’tcha know? Regardless, you’re probably going to die anyway. Previous experience has told you that if you’re the first to go down, your T9 wouldn’t have helped, and if you’re last to go down then surviving for another 20 or so seconds by yourself wouldn’t really have been worth it either. These are the problems that the T9 Armour powers are up against. Unlike a lot of people who think the game should only cater towards SO quality builds I think there is reason to expect your capstone armour power to be both useful and complementary to any player’s build; be that SOs, HamiOs or IOs with all the set bonuses. They don’t have to be catered specifically for IOs - I'm not suggesting that - but they at least shouldn’t be nearly invalidated by IO usage. I’m going to come right out and say now that I think the cottage rule against changing something “too much” is applied far too liberally on these issues. Some of these powers may need significant work to make them fit into the current game of CoX we find ourselves playing. That said however, I actually think the T9 Pre-fight Prep powers on the whole, don’t need excessive tinkering to make them work, and work well. The design goal they are trying to achieve isn’t an incorrect path to pursue, so I think they can retain their essence in pretty much their totality with just a few little tweaks to re-contextualise how they are used, not what they’re trying to do. This may sound radical to some, but the T9 powers need to feel powerful right out of the gate - Pre-Enhancement. The T9 powers need to feel impactful within general play and the T9 powers need to be more usable on a whim. Not without consequences for misuse, naturally; but they need to be easily experimented with while you’re levelling past lvl 38 (32 for Tankers) or someone's bad first experience with them is going to sour the whole deal. A T9 Pre-Fight Prep power is something you want to use to make the fight go more smoothly. However you are confronted with a hard limit of 60 seconds to get the job done for most, and often you’re worse off once the power’s buffs expire. If you’re not finished the power has now become a liability, and you're possibly even more likely to fail with the “crash” coming into effect than you would have been just ignoring the power and doing things more slowly. But that’s less fun in this game about whiz-bang-whollop! Or, at least it is for the Archetypes that use these Armour sets. How do we fix this? Most will advocate for just removing the crash and nothing else. This is a mistake. Flawed thinking. The "Down" is a necessary tool to teach the player about the ebb and flow of combat ant to provide some kind of contrast between the "High" of your T9s effects, and the aftermath. If everything is just a steamroller with no breaks, that’s not particularly fun. Contrast is necessary. But, having only the control of when to start your crazy buffs, and knowing that there’s a really nasty surprise waiting for you in 60 seconds regardless of how this next fight pans out isn’t very appealing. By using a T9 power your goal is to have greater control over the situation you’re about to engage in. Losing the control of when you suddenly stop being a superhero isn’t what you pick a power for. Let alone your capstone power. So how do you keep the crash without it being obnoxious. How do you keep the power, keep the player control, and keep the ebb and flow of being S U P E R powered versus your normal power level? You give the exact timing of when the crash is going to affect the player into the hands of that player. After setting out the groundwork, here is my proposal: Make the Pre-Fight Prep T9s… toggles. No, I’m serious. Make Them Toggles. Toggles, so that the player has control over when they can start them up and when they can wind them down. Give the player control over when they want to slug it out for just a few more seconds or when they want to back off on the gas pedal because they’re tapped. I need to explain exactly why I think this is a preferable system, and what I hope to achieve with this change. So here’s why: The T9 Armour powers are sometimes referred to as “God Mode”. Now, going in, nothing in an armour set is ever going to live up to that moniker; it can’t. Not just for gameplay and balance reasons (and more besides), but mostly because that kind of expectation of anything is doomed to disappointment. So, I’m not going to try to make “God Mode”. These powers need to be more: Hero [Plus]. They need to be an expression of the player’s wish to push it to the limit. My goal here is to give players the ability to use these powers as they seem to have always been intended to be used, going beyond your normal capacity and saying “No. Guys, I’ve got this”. By changing these powers to toggles there exists a much finer granularity between Power On and Power Off. I want the “crash” to be something that the player has much greater control over, become something self-inflicted, rather than a delayed effect dolled out from upon high, and always at the worst possible time. I feel that this is at the absolute core of why the majority of these T9 powers are so reviled. They hurt you without you, the player, knowing exactly when it’s going to happen and the circumstances you’ll be in when it does happen. Removing this suckerpunch is the ultimate goal of the proposal. You need to be in control the whole time you’re using your limit break. I am firmly of the opinion that there needs to be a cost for increased power. But this proposal would mean changing that cost into a variable one, and solely in the hands of the player to manage or exploit as they see fit. How would this work in detail? The player’s new T9 would be a toggle with a pretty normal Endurance cost. It grants the full bonuses currently experienced by a typical a T9 armour power: Substantial Defence/Resists, boosted secondary effects, regen, recovery… the whole 9 yards. And then, after 60 seconds of being amazing, the player is given a choice. This isn’t a “Timed Toggle”, like the Hybrid Slot Incarnate powers. You are in full control of when this toggle is turned off. It obeys all the normal player-affecting armour toggle rules. Your power is never just taken away. You have to choose when you turn it off, or you choose to let it drain you dry. Because after 60 seconds the cost of the toggle changes. After the initial 60 seconds these new T9 toggles have a much steeper endurance cost introduced to their sustained upkeep, and I mean unenhanceable, non-reducible 6-8% of your max endurance per second steep, or thereabouts. Perhaps steeper, perhaps less so. I want to stress that the exact numbers for their usable uptime and the endurance cost spike afterwards isn’t important. I will not go to bat for these exact numbers. Numbers can be changed. Please don't @me about these numbers, alright? I'm using some baseline numbers that help conceptualise the idea, ok? What is important is that the player is confronted with a wall that they just can’t overcome… but it’s not immediate. It is in the middle distance. You can see it coming, or rather, you can see it steadily happening in real time. You don’t “crash”. You don’t have to turn this power off juuuuust yet if you don’t want to. You’ve probably still got enough in the metaphorical tank that is your Endurance bar, thanks to the power’s increased recovery buff, to hold on for a few seconds more. Time to retreat and regroup if that’s necessary while still keeping your defences up, or maybe just enough time to lay out that final boss or two before you stop. The endurance drain becomes painful, but you can make the drain stop. All you need to do... is give up the power… and you’ll be ok again. There would be zero lingering effects from these toggles. By turning them off, you are returned to exactly the same capability as before you turned them on. No -Recovery, no -Endurance, no -Damage, no -Health. You turn it off, and the power is just off, like any other power. Of course, when you turn off the juice the power has to go on cooldown. It behaves just like every other toggle after all. The Devs can set this recharge to something significant, but not unfair. (Let’s stay away from greater than 4 minute cooldowns, ok Unstoppable?) You can’t ever get enough recharge in these new toggle powers to ever make them permanent anyway, so keeping them semi-frequent on their uptime would be preferable - you want these powers to be used after all, not remain in a totally skippable state, or worse... forgotten in the power trays. Any lack of endurance you end up with, something that would normally have been referred to as a crash, you have inflicted upon yourself by keeping the toggle on for far too long. "The Crash" is now a consequence of the player's action or inaction, rather than something inflicted upon them from an outside source. After the first stage of the power where everything stops being all sunshine and rainbows, I’m imagining a “critical hit” style notification on your hud that tells you you’re now on borrowed time and your endurance is about to flow a lot less freely in about 10 seconds. Or not, if that’s too intrusive (and I can absolutely understand those that would say it is). Maybe something more on the player character FX side of things that would let the player know in short order that they’re running on fumes now. At the very least the change in situation needs to be immediately and noticeably visible, that’s what’s important. I think this introduces some interesting changes to how the player can approach the game with the Pre-Fight T9s set up in this way. The change from an all-or-nothing click to a player controlled toggle, albeit one with a stern disincentivising addition rather than the precipitous cliff of the current ones, means that the player will always be in control of the price they’re willing to pay for serious amounts of power. These powers have much, much more interesting and varied slotting potential as well. As a toggle you’re no longer chasing recharge reduction and can focus on the defences more, or up the recovery bonus, or tinker with any other secondary effects the power has without feeling like you’re wasting your time. But most importantly a Toggle power is viewed in such a different way than a click power. They are perceived as something you use in concert with other powers, rather than something that in isolation, has to be extremely powerful to justify itself. They're also something far less likely to be erroneously used as a "Oh God! Help me!" power. When panicking, you will rarely reach for a toggle and expect it to suddenly turn your fortunes upside-down. But the player, rightly or wrongly, often has the concept in their mind that a click power will, and that a click power should. It should give them a lot, and give it all to them immediately, rather than giving them something over a long period of time. So often the T9s are used incorrectly because they are formatted and presented to the player incorrectly. They're not like Build Up. This isn't a quick flash of extreme increases. Your T9 is a sustained drip-feed of moderate power that you will want to use early in a fight, not when you're half-way through and already having trouble. This style of power suits a Toggle far more than it suits a Click. What I would like to see is players really pushing the limits of this system. Trying to break it. Trying to get their recovery to a point where they can sustain this new T9 power for far longer than is usually possible. I'd like to see teams that really enjoy the extra freedom +Recovery powers give them. Teams with Accelerated Metabolism or Recovery Aura given a new lease of life thanks to how they would now interact with an endurance heavy toggle. I want to see people overextend with these powers, not from just forgetting about the timing as is the case now, but rather because they want to just hang on a few more seconds. Risk it. Go for it. Fight. W I N! The powers would change from something that you would have to pre-calculate their usefulness, to something that is a management decision on a moment-to-moment basis. Put it on cooldown early when you don't need it. Keep it running when you do need it! "Just a few more seconds... I just need a few more seconds... I've got this!" I know that this proposal isn’t an instant fix with no further work. I’m not suggesting it as such. Each power would still need revision and adjustment to function as intended within such a different design paradigm. However I do think that this is a fundamentally better way of dealing with some of the T9s that has some merit. At least enough to workshop it further within the context of each power set it would affect. Remember, this isn’t a call for ALL T9 armour sets to be handled this way. Some T9s aren't configured as a buff that is meant for sustained fighting. Ice’s Hibernate, Dark and Fire Armour’s Rez and Bio’s AoE based Absorb/Heal spring to mind as something wholly different. But Unstoppable, Elude, One with the Shield, and Power Surge? Those kinds of powers are more what this part of the proposal is covering. Thoughts? I mean… It wouldn’t make Unstoppable worse! Right? I’ll talk more about the other side of the coin - the “Panic Mode” powers in Part Two. *Some quick notes: Stone Armour is an interesting (sort of) precedent for this kind of T9 power. Now I will be the first to say that Granite Armour isn’t a perfect role model. It has heavy trade offs in both manoeuvrability, recharge and damage for its limitless toggle. And it takes away all your other toggles bar Rooted. That’s perhaps a little much for what I’m trying to do here, and it’s not a good idea to make everything the same carbon copy. But I notice it doesn’t get the same kind of hate that a lot of the other powers in armour sets get. It isn’t a joke. And there are those that are even able to make the power work, despite the extreme shortcomings it presents at first blush. It’s a build defining decision for Stone Armour players: Am I focusing on Granite Armour or not? The buffs Granite gives you are essentially unprecedented, but they do make the power worth investing in. The downsides are not insurmountable. So Yes, while keeping Granite armour in mind while workshopping this idea it is not the goal I am shooting for other T9s. My proposal is to still keep the uptime-downtime of our current T9s, but to give the player the ability to push themselves further than usual at a cost that slowly wears them down. Meltdown from Radiation Armour is an interesting one. It doesn't have a noticeable crash and the entire set is designed to replenish your Endurance and Health at a rapid rate. It also gives you a noticable increase to your damage value, rather than putting all its eggs into the +resist. It almost feels like a kind of Build Up (and also has better overall uptime than build up too) rather than the traditional T9. This is much better design, and apart from the, perhaps excessive, 8 minute cooldown, is far less causing of distaste than Unstoppable. I have it here for completeness' sake, but this power in particular is in less need of a rework. I don't think it would hurt the power for it to change into a toggle, as discussed above however. And speaking of getting better offence from a T9... Increased Offensive Capability is something that’s brought up a lot when it comes to the T9s and is something that I think is both essential, and yet, needs to be very carefully handled. Increasing the T9s possible offensive buffs, be that in the form of +Damage, +Endurance or +Recharge or a plethora of other possible ideas will almost certainly need to be considered to give these powers a more general performance increase, and make them enticing to players that have already hit the Defence or Resistance caps. I would personally like to see some added offence put onto the T9s in question here, but each should really follow the flavour of the set, rather than something generalised. I’m thinking that Super Reflexes’ increased offence should be very different from Shield Defence’s, and so on. If there’s interest in the idea then I’ll be happy to share more detailed thoughts on each individual powerset, but it’s beyond the scope of this initial post. It's long enough already. Lastly, the Scrapper - Stalker / Brute - Tanker divide may be brought up here due to the changes that happened to Hibernate and Icy Bastion from Ice Armour. Because Hibernate is the original power I feel like it, specifically can be talked about in greater detail in part two of this topic. The split is either something these kinds of powers (T9 Armours) could embrace and continue to diversify along the same lines (or at least parallel ones), or something to be abandoned entirely. For the moment, I am aware of the Ice Armour set being somewhat unique in how it handles T9s, but essentially it has divided them between Pre-Fight Prep and Panic Mode, which is actually somewhat convenient for me and this discussion. We can talk about Icy Bastion here, and talk about Hibernate later. Let's keep like-minded powers together for ease of discussion. In my opinion, not all Tanker/Brute powers need to be Panic Mode variations and not all Stalker/Scrapper powers need to be Pre-Fight Prep powers. This does not even have to be the only way the four Archetypes can be divided into two groups.
  14. 14 points
    A spirit of righteous vengeance that protects police officers and punishes the wicked, the ghastly Grimslinger! (DP/DA Sentinel)
  15. 14 points
    Every time there's one of these events: "This has been going on too long, please stop it." "Don't stop this when you said you were going to stop it." "Why don't we do this forever?" "Sirs, this is an Arby's."
  16. 14 points
    Ok, I lied Player-1 Eng/Time blaster ~~~~ Getting back into a game is always fun, especially one that has been gone for years! Putting his state of the art VR equipment to the test, Player-1 logs back into the alternate dimension of Paragon City, where his in-game powers have real-life effect!
  17. 14 points
    Medicine pool but without the beep boop whirr machine. For the magicals.
  18. 14 points
    Sorry, this would conflict with the upcoming Tropical Fruit Control powerset.
  19. 13 points
  20. 13 points
    I think it's a fool's errand to try to put any of us in neat little boxes. Gamers are human and humans are difficult to classify that way in almost anything we do... The City's no exception. I'm a mostly-solo. Who also roleplays. And loves running her well-kitted, level 50+ support characters with mid-level teams. And on ship raids. And who also enjoys tearing apart farm maps with a tricked-out, you-don't-even-WANT-to-know-how-expensive, proc-monster bad-ass of a Brute. Sometimes I run with friends who are uberbuilder maniacs. Sometimes I run with friends who barely know what set bonuses are, and wouldn't have a proc to their name if I hadn't gifted them a Perf Shifter or a Panacea or a Kismet somewhere along the way. It's all fun. So, how about instead of trying to make silly distinctions and divide us all up into tidy little classification schemes we just step back and consider that what we actually have are just differences in opinion, born of different experiences and expectations that are the result of playing one hell of an adaptable, flexible game. It may not be "perfect" for everyone, but the fact that such a huge range of players STILL have enough interest to argue about it? That's an accomplishment in and of itself.
  21. 13 points
    Hey folks, For the last bit I've been doing sprite stuff for my buds. I'm pretty proud of my most recent stuff so I thought I'd do a dump of work I've done. Character Line-ups Portraits Animated GIFS Discord Emojis
  22. 13 points
    Corona = The outermost event surface of a star = An imported Beer that apparently requires a lime to be palatable = An Alias used by the Eternal Thena (Marvel ), soon to be played by Angelina Jolie Voight = City of Corona, CA = The Projecting part of a Classic Cornice, ( Architecture ) = Something suggesting a Crown = An appendage or series of appendages on the inner side of the Corolla of some Flowers = A long Cigar with the sides straight to the end to be lit and roundly blunt at the other end = Garland worn on the Head as a mark of Honor or emblem of Majesty = An Automobile manufactured by Toyota Corporation from 1957 - 2001 I don't think any of these are going away any time soon, nor should they. A character named CoVID whatever should be Renamed, and should never have been named, but banning the word "Corona" itself is questionable.
  23. 12 points
    I’m @Eda from Indomitable. I started running nightly Mothership Raids in the Rikti War zone in June 2019, and I am recording my now vast knowledge for posterity! I have not come by all of this information in a vacuum. Many people have raided with me in the past and present and contributed to the SCIENCE of a great MSR. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1jd6Og5IY-EamgRjGBGV9ij13LOdtBLzjG8PrktDKmOU/edit?usp=sharing
  24. 12 points
    I'm still trying to reconcile "casual player" and "purple sets". 🤔
  25. 12 points
    There's SO much power creep in the game already. I can't get behind adding Even More incarnate abilities until there's ALSO content that requires those abilties. Even that I don't know I'd support this idea. This isn't WoW and I wouldn't expect to be playing just a few "Main's" in a constant chase for "Progression".
  26. 12 points
    Maybe, oh I don't know, play the game you want to play with settings that already allow for what you want to do, and let everyone else play how they want. Sound good? Okay, thanks.
  27. 12 points
  28. 12 points
    The disconnect between the forum and the actual in-game players has always intrigued me.. On the forums : "This game is too easy, lets nerf stuff!" In-game: "Why did you choose Carnies/Malta/Longbow and not Council for the radio mish? /quit" People sit and talk about how easy the game is, but good luck getting a team of random people to run anything other than EZ-mode content.
  29. 12 points
    You are missing an option: Defenses and Resists are fine. I don’t die much. I’m a super powered being. Working as intended.
  30. 12 points
    Found some time to play again recently, which always means, NEW ALTS 🙂 These 3 are to be added to the robot army... ANNIHILATION, feared on the battlefield for the utter carnage this robot can inflict on the enemy! (Spines/Fire Brute) MONGROL, my homage to, well... Mongrol! (Elec/SS Tanker) And finally NURSE HATCHET, a slightly deranged med droid, who has a habit of causing more injury than she heals! (TW/Rad Brute) Cheers, probably more to come soon, hah 🙂
  31. 12 points
    Noctis Umbra, Champion of Nyx Dark/Dark/Cold controller ~~~~ Before there was day or night, before even Chaos was born there was the Primordial Dark. In this darkness dwelled the goddess Nyx. Oldest of all deities. She had watched the events of this day with curiosity. This Romulus had wielded powers drawn from a well similar to her own, but twisted to sinister ends by these people of other worlds and other times. It pained her to see darkness so turned to pain and suffering. Mortals, of course, suffered. That was their lot, but this was an insult to the darkness that was her very soul and essence to be so twisted and ... USED. Never again. She would create a champion to see it was so. There. That soldier lying near death. His dark hair suited her fancy. "Arise mortal child. I have work for you."
  32. 11 points
    This June, we'll be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the first Pride marches. We can't hold parades this year, but we can come together on City of Heroes / City of Villains! Come Together for PRIDE 2020 !!! Date: Sunday, June 7 Time: 1900 UTC (3pm EDT, 12pm PDT) Location: Everlasting Pocket D Sponsored by Q Patrol and friends We will hold three contests (prizes to be determined): Individual costumes Couple / group costumes Biography Everyone is invited to stay and mingle after the contests. Players from all shards are welcome!
  33. 11 points
    There are 10 types of people in the world: those who understand binary, and those who don't.
  34. 11 points
    6. Players who played City of Heroes before sunset, but largely stopped playing before IO enhancements, purple IO enhancements, archetype enhancements, or at least the Incarnate system. They don't recognize the game as it is now, and see it as too easy thanks to those IO enhancements, purple IO enhancements, ATOs, and Incarnate abilities. But instead of realizing that their era of playing CoH is well and truly dead and gone, and either learn to accept what CoH is today or move on, they stay and keep trying to push ways to make the game more closely align with how they remember the game, which just honks off the players who played through Issue 23 and like the game for what it is now.
  35. 11 points
    I don't think any of those options describes the reality, but the first is closest. 1. Defense and resistances are fine. 2. Enemy accuracy is fine. 3. Some times you have the perfect synergy on a team and you steam roll. 4. Some times your synergy is off and you struggle but still succeed. 5. Tanks shouldn't due a lot under 99.9% of circumstances. It's easy to build the majority this way. 6. Scrappers, stalkers and especially brutes can mimic tank survivability and do increased damage - especially where scrappers and stalkers are concerned. 7. Blasters, defenders, controllers, corruptors, dominators, etc - squishies can be built more durable with set bonuses, Incarnates etc but realistically can't survive hard target encounters indefinitely like tanks/melee can without circus tricks. 8. Combine all the above with good synergy in any multiples of combinations and thats where you get your steamroller teams. So the non problem above is very complex. The actual issue is with content and options. There should be more incarnate level content and also an elite mode that makes things a bit harder kinda like you would select options in oro. Thats the state of the game right now from someone that plays each night with a variety of players and content. It may seem too easy but thats an illusion because the playerbase are vets and just need more challenges and more options. For your average new player it can still be quite difficult and I run across this often also. And we help them along as best we can. Which is why its a great community.
  36. 11 points
    Music-themed animations for sonic powers. The Sirens in the Talons of Vengeance already have some. I'd just like to make a music-themed superhero or -villain, and the discordant screeching that the sonic powers currently have does not fit that theme at all! Also, some of my rad armor characters are more in the "I was irradiated 'til I glowed" category, so having glowballs buzzing around them doesn't make sense. Can we get alternate animations for those powers, or even just Minimal FX options?
  37. 10 points
    After learning how to up the graphics and working on my "photography" a bit, I present my latest design: Busybee Tech Kinetics/Water Blast (colored to look like honey) Still working on an in-game bio. 😄 -AA
  38. 10 points
    Cyber Fox - I love making eyes out of not actual costume parts
  39. 10 points
    My newest Earth/Earth dom and Indiana Jones tribute - the earthbending adventurer from the land down under, Groundbreak !
  40. 10 points
    You want to make a TF *very* difficult? Use the "No Enhancements" challenge option. (already exists in game)
  41. 10 points
    IOs dropped in Issue 9, which launched in May of 2007. That was roughly 3 years after the game's launch, and more than 5 years before the game's sunset. Even if we disregard the ~7 years of nostalgia-tinged darkness afterwards, and the year or so of Homecoming's existence, IOs have been a part of CoH for far longer than they weren't. So whether the pre-IO (or anti-IO) group is "correct" about the game's balance scheme, which is an unanswerably subjective question, they have a pretty weak case when it comes to defining the essential character of the game as most players know and love it. Keep in mind that a sizable portion of the people who experienced the game prior to IOs also stayed for years afterwards. I'm one of those; my subscription was active from launch day to sunset. You can't convince me that the game would be more interesting or fun with only SO-era build options, even if you could somehow craft an intellectually unassailable argument that the game's balance would be "better." You'd have a hard time convincing me that such a game would even be recognizable as City of Heroes, anymore. I believe that was the point. We're playing an extremely old and officially dead game. There are changes you can justify, to improve, refine, or expand the experience, but for the most part people are here because they like the game for what it was (and is). This isn't a situation that lends itself to sweeping revamps.
  42. 10 points
    The HC community IS divided into 5 groups. Torchbearer, Excelsior, Everlasting, Indomitable, Reunion.
  43. 10 points
    Many Armour T9s are designed in a way that is not in line with their use. When you have a powerful 'click' power you are under constant pressure to hold off from using it until absolutely necessary. However, CoH gives the player very little information before a fight is started as to whether using the T9 is worth while, or better saved for a different fight. Consequently the T9 is not popped until either it is blindingly obvious that the fight calls for it (AVs, GMs, etc) or not used until it's too late. The average Armour T9 is not a "reset fight" button, and is rarely worth clicking as a panic button. If the idea of a T9 is a "prepare for a tough fight" power, then the only way the player will ever use it is if they feel they completely understand the odds against them, and feel that the T9 is able to swing the fight in their favour. However, it doesn't last long and (sometimes) has a period of weakness after the power expires. Meaning the player has to understand not only the strength of the combatants, but the likely time period in which the fight will occur and judge if they can win in time before the debuff kicks in. This is compounded by the possibilities of harder encounters further into the mission, and the long cooldown of most of these powers is a deterrent towards misjudging the use and being flippant with when you activate it. A player, unless they have back-to-front, upside-down knowledge of a mission, the enemy and the troubling spots ahead of when they need to be used is not given enough information to make these calls with any degree of accuracy. Experience is the only way to know these things, and once you have experience you don't need the T9 anymore; you've already learnt other methods for success that will be more effective, and dealing with the backlash of the power expiring will slow down your progress more than the T9 will speed it up. If the idea is for the T9 to be a "panic button" then many of these T9 powers are equally ill suited to their roll as they are not actually powerful enough to turn an imminent failure into a salvageable situation. Most don't heal you or give you a sudden burst of endurance to fire off your headliner attacks. Most don't give you enough time to regain the upper hand if you were already outmatched. Most won't let you finish the fight any quicker in your favour and you've still got that debuff coming down on you... and that's only going to make the situation worse! They're fundamentally unsuited to being a panic button, since unless you're experienced in how the fight is changing moment-to-moment, you're not going to see the suckerpunch coming. A major issue is that the Brute, Tanker, Stalker and Scrapper all get access to what is essentially the SAME power, that is supposed to compliment their vastly different pay styles. Each Archetype is going to want something different from a "Oh God, Help!" power. Again, the only time this could be used properly is if you're prescient by about 10 seconds. And the only time that could happen, your so experienced with the game that you'll avoid the situation before the T9 is necessary. There's one of two fixes needed. But first you have to decide which of the two situations the T9 is going to cater for. Is it's purpose success through superior planning, or snatching victory from the jaws of defeat? More thoughts on this as time permits. Edit: I have created a new thread, rather than derailing this one
  44. 10 points
    You can unequip your incarnate abilities at any time, thus removing your level shifts. Non-problem solved.
  45. 10 points
    Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no substitute for having a good Blaster.
  46. 9 points
    Are y'all sure you didn't accidently roll MMs? 😝
  47. 9 points
    Not to get -too- sassy, but . . . You want a REAL challenge? You want to prove that you're the best there ever was? . . . sort through the forums and create a comprehensive guide for every thread that is about the game's difficulty. Bonus points if you include an addendum which has a link to every post that has ever had a mere mention of game difficulty! Your time starts . . . NOW!
  48. 9 points
    You may or may not have meant it, but this does smack of elitism, especially with the "minimum difficulty allowed" bit. (If not, I apologize for the mini-rant.) But first you say you want challenge and then you cite things that might already add challenge. Hami is already challenging. Many of us are spoiled because there are already really good Hami raid leaders and teams. But it doesn't take much to have a Hami raid go sideways. You want more challenging TFs? Lead one, and turn up the difficulty. You can even put the same challenges as in Ouro arcs--click all 4 radio buttons and choose AT powers only from the drop-down menu--these will definitely put the challenge on you. For Incarnate Trials, don't slot your Level Shift powers--everything in them is already 54--or don't slot Incarnate powers at all if you're really L33T. But make sure you let people know up front. You want the game to be more challenging in general? Play a more challenging character. Not everyone is soloing +4/x8 on Fire/Kins and Brutes, so don't force choices for the rest of us.
  49. 9 points
    Primary Sets... Oh boy... its the sexy power time. Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, thoses, thems, or theys, we're about to talk about the DAMAGE powers. WOOOOOO!!!! The only powerset I have not messed around with in a test environment or live is Energy Blast. That's it. I've talked with others about it, and I get its fundamentals (I've played it before in other ATs). So I'm going to toss some ideas about it, but that's not the same as expertise with it here. I've played, either in test or live, the following sets and some more than once: Archery (3 times) Assault Rifle (4 times) Beam Rifle (4 times) Dark Blast (Twice... slacking) Dual Pistols (4 times) Electrical Blast (Once) Fire Blast (Once) Ice Blast (Once) Psychic Blast (4 times) Radiation Blast (Once) Sonic Blast (Once) Water Blast (3 times) Yes, that is 12 out of 13 sets. My current live favorites are Dual Pistols, Assault Rifle (I do love an underdog), Beam Rifle, and Water Blast. I do not play these because they are the highest DPS characters I have. They aren't. I just genuinely love playing those characters more than the others. Quick run downs... GO!!! Note 1: The following are my opinions. I want to keep my views within the realm of the AT in question and not try to apples to apples compare outside of that. So if you're scratching your head about why there aren't more direct comparisons, please read the other posts about such vacuum comparing. The colors for the sets are purely fun and has nothing to do with any kind of quality ordering. Note 2: Since these are my opinions there will be some operational bias. I've tried to be as objective as reasonable with the analysis. I've played a few of these sets not only more than once with a different pairing but different build configurations too. I'm taking an awful lot of time to share my thoughts, but I can respect disagreement. Archery I think Archery gets a bad rap. It is understandable criticism due to how it all works. Its still largely a perception issue when compared against sets within the AT vs outside the AT. Within the Sentinel AT, Archery is honestly pretty good all things considered. It can completely ignore the use of Snap Shot/Aimed Shot and focus just on Stunning Shot, Blazing Arrow, and Perfect Shot. Stunning Shot is that good. Pros: Fast attacks, always something available, better than it looks on paper Cons: Lethal damage resistance can be a downer, lack of slot options to abuse procs, redraw annoyance when stepping out of the set (I'm not fond of weapons suddenly appearing on my characters, YMMV) Assault Rifle Assault Rifle gets a bad rap too, and in general I agree with that. Assault Rifle gets a lot of AoE swapped out for single target attacks. Those attacks seem to be all over the place and it makes trying to build with it very tough. I've settled on a build that uses AR and currently I love it. I abuse the absolute hell out of recharge and procs to make the single target better than it typically trends. Incinerator is a deceptive power. Put the procs that it can take in it. Worry not about its core recharge if you can manage it. All you need is to get that sucker back on line within 4.224 seconds if you use Burst and Slug. If you're a player that loves full sets vs frankenslotting for procs, then yes AR is likely going to disappoint you. Still, it has multiple AoE options since it gets an "extra" in Flamethrower. Flamethrower breaks the general mold of; cones unlock at level 2, TAoE unlocks by 12, and then variables. Flamethrower subs in at 18 and it is quite strong even with its limited target caps. Pros: Shell casings on the ground and fire comes out your barrel. Gains Aim unlike other versions. You can do some interesting things with procs in Buckshot/M30 Grenade, Incinerator, Burst, and Slug. Disorienting Shot is an oddly strong T2 power can be a flexible addition to a build. Cons: Plan to bend over backwards to make it work. Its fun if you do, but will likely be disappointing if you're unwilling to use procs. Full Auto could use a quality of life pass on its long animation. Redraw annoyance when stepping out the set. Beam Rifle Beam Rifle is an odd duck, but it is a wonderful Sentinel set. Its quite possibly the best version of it in the game from a general functionality stand point. Beam Rifle swaps out its snipe for another AoE. AoE is generally lackluster on other versions of Beam so the chaining attack it gets is a welcome addition. Furthermore, this set plays with -resistance (and some other debuffing) in Piercing Beam. Piercing Beam can handle another -resistance proc (12.5% from Annihilation). All of that stacks with Opportunity to let you bypass more damage than it appears. Pros: Flexible build options, solid single target, unique mechanic, added AoE, and interplay with the inherent built in Cons: May not appear as strong on paper as it is in play, Cutting Beam is still a 'meh' power. Sudden weapon redraw Dark Blast (pure white because all black would be hard to read!) Dark Blast is a solid all around set and I have very few complaints with it. This is about as close as the AT gets to having a set with a Parry like ability. The melee kids their +def attack and still get Dark Melee. Sentinels just get Dark Blast with its stacking -5% to-hit debuff and the stupidly powerful Blackstar. Blackstar on other ATs can have a far higher debuff but its base cooldown is longer. A lot of Sentinel builds that go for high recharge can expect Blackstar to be available every 25 seconds (plus or minus 2 seconds). The debuff lasts 20 seconds. This means this power is granting a defensive debuff that lasts almost as long as the cooldown. A 3-7 second downtime isn't that much and the damage it does is pretty standard Sentinel T9 nukage. Pros: Loads of positive changes to Umbral Torrent, solid attacks generally, even better attacks if using procs, and loads of to-hit debuffing Cons: Might feel weak if not pushing recharge and/or procs. Life Drain kinda blows without damage procs. Dual Pistols I've grown to really enjoy Dual Pistols. It is somewhat an odd set like Beam Rifle. Dual Pistols never had a snipe to begin with and it never had Aim. It only upgrades one power, Suppressive Fire, and that's about it. It is one of the few sets in the entire AT that can be uniquely compared across all other variants as it is largely the same. However, the change to Suppressive Fire defines Dual Pistols within the Sentinel. Without the change to Suppressive Fire, Dual Pistols would be a carbon copy of every other AT. With Suppressive as it is, Sentinel Dual Pistols has additional options. I really don't care what AT you play. Dual Pistols is one of, if not the, most flexible tool set in the game. Very few sets have access to the wide range of attack chains that Dual Pistols is capable of, and the set can also change features of its effects. Due the variable nature of the powers, Dual Pistols works incredibly well with damage procs. That helps it pick up a lot of damage it may otherwise lack to some players. Though in reality what Dual Pistols gives up in burst it more than makes up for in consistency and flexibility. Pros: Fun animations if you're into the movies inspired by them. Potentially fast animating single target and AoE attack cycles. Potentially far higher damage than you'd expect with procs. Cons: Hail of Bullets is a bit long on the animation but high on the cool factor. Piercing Rounds can take a total backseat on Sentinels, it is skippable. Lack of Aim means no options for quick bursts of +dmg which can disappoint some players. The lack of aim makes the set feel weaker on Pylon tests than it really is. Sudden Weapon redraw Electrical Blast Electrical Blast is another set where the Sentinel version may be one of the better variants. The set offers some considerably strong single target (with the right build of course) and two AoEs that hit in a sphere (Ball Lightening and Short Circuit). While one of those AoEs is PBAoE, it does break the routine of Cone + TAoE that many of the sets use. I have very little complaints about Sentinel EB. Its a very strong set within the context of the AT. Pros: Zapping Bolt and Tesla Cage are a lot stronger than they look. Good AoE for the AT as a whole. Some proc slotting capacity in Tesla Cage. Cons: Thunderous Blast is slow, but other than EB is a great set. Energy Blast Noted, I hadn't bothered to play EnB yet. However, lets talk changes. Energy Blast has a lot of single target options. A lot. More than you really need. While some of the animations are bit long the set can still be a hard hitter. Power Burst, Power Push, and Focused Power Bolt can take on at least 2 damage procs, and a global recharge proc. While it can be hard to get all of the bonuses you may want while frankenslotting like this, you really only need to do it for these 3 powers. They can be considerably stronger than they look when constructed in this manner. I'd say that's a plus. Nova being available faster is also a nice perk but otherwise EnB is kinda boring to me. It fits the Ironman vibe so bad it hurts, but I don't play a character like that. Pros: Potential in using IOs to work around the sets faults. The big hitters of the set are probably a lot better than they look. Doesn't require as much back breaking as Assault Rifle to get it to work. 😉 Cons: A lot of things to consider as work arounds like knockback, do you want to use procs, just how far do you take those procs, and somewhat disappointing AoE. Fire Blast I'm not going to spend a lot of time on this one. This is the dead horse everyone beats. Pros: Its Fire Blast, you know its good. Cons: It over shadows everything else because its Fire Blast. Can be endurance heavy. Ice Blast Friends, I like Sentinel Ice Blast. If you could throw virtual stones at me, you might just do that. However, I'll explain why I like it. Sentinel Ice Blast is different. It changes up some powers and to some folks that is not in a good way. However, I like that Ice plays differently. Sentinels in general aren't that focused on whatever CC was in the attack in the first place. So Ice follows suit and removes a hold (yikes!). Still, Ice Blast is a proc carrier that few talk about. It was also a highly regarded PvP set due to that Sleep power many people hate. That purple placate proc in PvP does things that are mean. So mean. Still, for PvE, Ice Blast can be converted from what looks like a crappy blast set into something that hits like a truck. Chilling Ray can also include at least 2 general damage procs. Bitter Ice Blast can potentially take 3, and Bitter Freeze Ray can potentially take 4(!). That's not include two purple damage procs. Ice Blast is the set no one is talking about and maybe should be. Its AoE options can feel a little limited with just Frost Breath (I like the alternate animation personally) and Ice Storm. Ice Storm and Blizzard are decent places for the Sentinel ATOs, especially Opportunity Strikes. Ice Storm, Blizzard, and even Rain of Fire/Rain of Arrows will check a chance to trigger that proc on summon. It works, I've done it, and I highly recommend it. Pros: Waaaaay better with procs. Decent secondary effects. Better options on AoE than it sounds. Cons: Can be a total crap build if you're not careful. Changes to the powers may rub old players the wrong way without bothering to adapt. Highly reliant on Ice Storm for good AoE coverage which has a long cool down. Can get endurance heavy. Psychic Blast Psychic Blast is a deceptive set. Psi damage in general is wildly poo pooed on through the phenomenon of "common forum knowledge". Common forum knowledge would tell that you just cannot do damage with Psi powers in the end game. At least the hyperventilating arguments I have read would lead you to believe that is true. It's not. At most, the highest resistance of a robot minion is 60%. Most Arachnos robots are 50%. While it is true that many factions in the high end of the game have some resistance to psi, it is often in the realm of 20%. Guess what, boo f*ing hoo. Any smashing or lethal damage player had been dealing with 20% damage resistances long before level 40. Cry me a river. What Psychic Blast loses in whatever resistance it comes to, it more than makes up in brute force. Scramble Thoughts was converted from a CC power to a mini-T9 selectable at level 26. It is one of the few CC power conversions that was left in its tier and its damage reflects it. So what if the animation is 3 seconds? It hits like mini Psychic Wail at a single target. This power is as close as the Sentinel gets to Energy Transfer and Screech in Sonic is pretty freaking close. The AoE options of Psychic Scream and Tornado aren't nearly as impressive. They're serviceable, but not great. Pros: Potentially high single target damage. Potentially stupidly effective against AVs with no Psi resistance and bypasses the resistance in obnoxious powers like Unstoppable/Moment of Glory. Cons: Limited proc options, but doesn't really need them. AoE options are on the 'meh' end. Radiation Blast Rad Blast is honestly quite straight forward and it has a huge amount of potential. Its as good as you invest in it, but boy when it hits its stride it can do some damage. Rad has 3 AoE, one of those a PBAoE (YAY!! Set diversity!) and some pretty strong attacks in Cosmic Burst/Proton Stream. Proton Volley will be missed, but Sentinel Rad is still pretty good. Since inflicts -defense, it comes with a lot of slotting options to vastly improve its damage. Again, if you're not fond of or willing to use procs or whatever other tools exists, then the is going to disappoint you. However, if you want to explore various slotting options, then Rad Blast can be converted into a fairly strong set. This is one of the few sets I prefer on Defenders, but the Sentinel version can be as decent as you make it. Pros: Lots of potential. 3 AoEs other than the T9. Lots of -defense debuffing which is nice for your teammates. Laser can shoot out your eyes. Cons: Its only as good as you invest in it, has a PBAoE T9 AND as a regular option which may turn off some players. Sonic Blast HARRRAAAAAAAWWWW!!! HOOOOOOOOOOOWL!!!! BLEEEEEEERG!!!! I used to love Sonic Blast. Played a Sonic/Sonic Corruptor long ago. I honestly can't stand it now. 😉 Still, Sonic has some changes worth talking about. For starters, Sonic cones hit more targets than other Sentinel cones do (with few exceptions). All the cones hit 10 targets. Screech does damage. No wait, scratch that. Screech does a TON of damage. Screech used to be that kid you hated on Saved by the Bell. Well, not here. Screech no longer has a damage rating of 8. Screech does damage as if it were a mini-Dreadful Wail (well a high portion of it). Screech can let you skip Shout and still do very respectable damage all while still lowering resistance values. That's pretty awesome! Pros: Screech is the power you want to play Blackbolt, kinda... like if Blackbolt whispered "SCREECH". Still, Screech makes this set for Sentinels as well as the higher limit on the cones. Otherwise, it would probably suck. Cons: The sounds are obnoxious. Sometimes it is endearing, but other times not. I just keep the sound off when playing it. Cones. You get a cone, you get a cone, you get a cone! Lack of proc options. Can look weak, but the multiple resistance debuffs help on teams. Water Blast Never played this on live. This set, kinda like Dual Pistols, was one of the sets I really really wanted to try. Like Dual Pistols, I love it on the Sentinel. Unfortunately, Water Blast doesn't change much on the Sentinel. There was no snipe to replace and no CC power to convert. So instead you get a swapped selection between Dehydrate and Whirlpool. Big whoop. BUT!!! Water Blast retains higher than normal target caps across its powers. So while many cones hit 6 targets, Steam Spray hits 10. This puts Water Blast in tight competition with Fire Blast for AoE damage potential and gives it unique target caps for the AT like Sonic Blast. That's not a bad deal. On top of that Water Blast plays well with proc options. Want to push stupid damage on AoE? Proc out some powers! Want to improve single target? Put some procs in powers! Even without damage procs, Water Blast still does very good AoE. Its single target is where it struggles, and that's common on all the ATs, but procs help. Like Dual Pistols, this is one of the few sets where direct comparisons can happen. I don't suggest going into those rabbit holes because all they do is turn into navel gazing exercises, but it could be done. Pros: Slotting potential!! I like powers with options! Great AoE on an AT where people bemoan its AoE. Cons: Single target damage is pretty weak without procs or focus on the Tidal mechanic to fire off Water Jet twice.
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