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  1. I think one of the best things about CoH is how playable pretty much every combination is. There is no MM combo you can't take to full incarnate, solo or teamed. Nothing is unplayable (although I found merc/ff reeeally boring it was still playable). However, raw power wise, I do think that, all things being equal, Bots=thugs > demons > ninja=beast=necro > merc. With certain slotting or secondaries those can be flipped, or sub par sets made very good (I think /storm is one of the strongest pairings for /mercs imho), however in general a merc/dark is going to be "weaker" (slower at clearing, basically, but still fine!!) than bots/dark. Ranking secondaries depends on the primary paired with and whether you are primarily a team or solo player. However, I would put /dark, /time, /cold and /traps near the top of the power spectrum. Personally, I can't stand playing anything /emp, /son or /ff. Not a fain of /pain either, but it's more interesting than empathy (which I don't think MMs needed but no harm done for the sake of proliferation parity). This is because I primarily solo and I find those really boring solo.
  2. I don't think so. These are buffs to both the melee attacks (over the previous patch, which was a bigger nerf, which overall winds up as a slight nerf in damage, but the DPA on these attacks is still very good), and it looks like a damage boost to the T1. Envenomed Blades is crazy good, this will just make it slightly less so - but it's still going to be up most of the time, giving you that extra damage (and tohit, which will boost insta-snipe!). Keep in mind that this is happening in parallel with the insta-snipe change, which is just a flat out buff to every set with a snipe (including MA). As far as EB specifically, my understanding was that the proc amount was based off the attacks total damage, now it will just be based off of the base. Still a solid amount of extra damage, just not as overboard. EB is very strong. When I started playing on HC and looking at this I couldn't figure out how it went live as is...Embrace of Fire is 30s duration with 180s recharge and NO tohit buff, EB is 40s duration, 160s recharge WITH a tohit buff. It looked like someone's fantasy power that hadn't been properly balanced. This is doing some of that balance.
  3. I never understood the rational for the patron pet duration + recharge numbers. I get that patron/epic pools are supposed to be "less" than a primary power, but there are other ways to do that - and none of them are powerful enough to make much of a difference at all to late game players, what's the harm in letting them be permanent without obscene levels of recharge? Is this something that could be looked at adjusting in the future? Making them last until death like most other pets would be ideal (then the long recharge is OK), but even just as far as making them permanent with 2 rech IOs (360-400s recharge, unstackable - new summons override) would go a long way to making them more usable. Pushing the end cost up to 40-50 would be an acceptable trade off to me (and encourage end red slotting).
  4. Yes, that's why I mentioned another power would need to change to offset that. It's probably overkill and as I don't know how much work you guys are wanting to put into each subset as you go through the powers...it would probably be more effort than the return anyway. I was just trying to think of how to make it a good power worth slotting without upsetting the balance, and my thought was "well, replace it with one of those powers and make that power something more optional". I like where you are going with this. What about being able to be used while mezzed like the blaster primary/secondary (except in this case it would be *only* the secondary T1)? This would help a bunch pre-permadom. Like the trigger for those bonuses is "has less than 5 end OR CC'd", so it couldn't be taken advantage of in non-dire situations. I know having something usable when a sapper hits you and you have no blues, etc. would be nice and I'd probably even slot it, at least for leveling up. ...or what about each hit with it gives you a couple seconds of low mag CC protection, so if you somehow manage to get 2-3 of them to connect you could temporarily "break free" of weaker control effects or something (max of mag 2-3?) This could be tied to that condition or not and could be an interesting way to give dominators practice with a mini permadom?
  5. Lobster's (Rambling) Guide to Mastermind Epic Pools (I'll be editing this to fix formatting and update as time permits, apologies for any errors in the initial post!) Background info: This is in part a guide to the mastermind epic pools, it's also prep for another post I'll make with suggestions for improvement, hopefully providing good examples as to why they are semi-terrible and, in my opinion, the worst collection of epic+patron powers (compared to the other ATs). Incarnate 50s on live: Bots/dark, Nec/dark, Nec/pain, Demon/pois, Merc/storm, Nin/Time, Beast/traps Non 50s on live : 30 level 30+ of varying combos. Current MMs: 50 Thug/cold, 50 beast/time, 38 nec/nature: 20s-mid 30s: Merc/rad, Demons/dark, merc/storm, demon/kin. What do *I* think an epic/patron (hereafter I'll just say "epic" for both) pool should provide? At least one of the following: It should give the AT access to something they can't typically do that affects how they can play and what they can do: for example blasters getting armors, controls and debuffs, scrappers getting ranged attacks, debuffs and controls, etc. It should provide a compelling and distinct reason to pick a given set over another. There is a marked difference between choosing Body Mastery (conserve power, focused accuracy, physical perfection) or Leviathan Mastery (snipe, ranged attacks, hold, pets) on a scrapper, or Ice Mastery vs. Leviathan master on a dominator, for example. What should it NOT do? Give the AT worse versions of what they already have (most attacks in the MM pools). Give the AT access to something they can't typically do in a sub-par fashion that doesn't let them do anything they couldn't do before : the attacks in the MM epics also fall in this category for me. Give them things that archetype doesn't want or need (more taunts for tanks, armor "nukes" for masterminds) Be basically the same as another epic pool but with a damage/element type shift. Mechanical background : MM attacks, ROUGH stats: T1 blast : ~30/3-4s/5.5-6.5 end T2 blast: ~50/6-8s/9.5-10.5 end Cone: ~45/14s/17 end Aoe: ~27/16s/19 end Energy Defender ROUGH stats for comparison. Note that other other than the sort of weird higher cone damage (For more end and more recharge), defenders do more damage across the board, and are a low damage AT. T1 blast: 36/4s/5end T2 blast: 60/8s/8.5end cone: 35/12s/12end aoe: 33/16s/15end The pools So, what does each having going for them? Charge Cone: 28/12s/15 1T HOLD 66% duration godmode (31% uptime with 155% global recharge) Melee (with minor pbaoe): 60/36s/12.7 Aoe hold (EMP: comes with penalties, huge recharge) Chill Range: 31/8s/10.6 Aoe sleep Long timer dull pain [25s downtime with 175% rech) ARMOR: S/L defense, C/F res Hibernate Field Range: 31/8s/10.6 ARMOR: S/L res Cone: 29/24s/14.8 Aoe: 27.5/16s/19 66% duration godmode (31% uptime with 155% global recharge) Heat Bonfire Range: 40/8s/6.5 Aoe: 38/32s/19 1t HOLD Self Res Leviathan Cone immob Cone: 36/32s/19 Melee: 109/40s/23 (for comparison, tanker KO Blow s 158/25s/18.5, and they can pair it with Rage) ARMOR: S/L/C res 1T Hold Mace Aoe immob ARMOR: S/L/E defense, tox res Aoe: 30/32s/19 POWER BOOST 1T hold Mu Cone: 30/32s/19 ARMOR: S/L/E res Aoe immob with -KB Melee: 60/36s/12.7 1T HOLD Soul Cone: 33/20s/16.4 ARMOR: S/L/N/T res Oppressive Gloom Cone immob 1T HOLD You'll note that I bolded some powers. These powers are the powers *I* label as the defining powers in a set - the powers (or power in some cases) that make that set unique and worth taking. These are the powers that either bring something new or unique to the table or are just plain good or fun. Digression: I DO NOT CONSIDER "DAMAGE VIA ATTACKS" as a thing for masterminds. I know some people like to use the attacks, or play crazy petless MMS, but I would argue that those people are playing against type (which is fine, but don't expect special consideration for it, it would be like a tank trying to play without their armors and focusing on soft controls or something). Therefore, if an epic pool is going to have attacks in it, it should provide them in a way that do significant damage, letting us do something we wouldn't normally do. A good comparison is the single target holds in the scrapper epics : they are pretty usable if you want to take them and, while worse than controller/dominator holds, when slotted they are very good at what they do. I would argue that all the attacks in the mastermind epics are garbage in the sense that while they do provide that attack, they don't provide it at a significant level to be relevant. I would be totally fine with an epic pool that had 2-3 attacks, mean for MMs who really want to attack, that were significantly stronger than the base mastermind attacks (in the same way that pool attacks - I've heard - are better than you would think because they don't suffer the mastermind damage penalties). The powers Armors: The resist armors are "fine" - and if you are taking a set with the armors and have room there's no reason not to take them, but they're not letting you do things you couldn't before. You were already tanky if you make the best use of bodyguard. They just make you a bit better at that. The defense armors (of which there are only TWO for 8 sets, we'll come back to that) however, are great, because they can let you hit the defcap for smashing and lethal, which is a new thing and can have a noticeable effect on play. Aoe immobilizes : There are a lot of them, so I don't consider most of them as set defining (except for Mu's, which has -KB which can be amazing to counter your pets knockback and keep enemies in bot burn patches for example), but they do give most sets access to a new, useful tool and are worth taking. Single target holds: These are sort of a middle ground in the sense that they do let some sets do things they couldn't, and make others much better at locking down bosses. However, they are present in many sets (like resist armors) so I don't rate them as set defining. However, I definitely recommend taking those whenever you have one available. The godmodes I have rated as unique and set defining but I personally view them as a waste except as set mules, but I understand others might disagree so I highlighted them in case that's your thing. Probably more relevant to tankermind builds who don't mind having the right inspirations available to offset the annoying crashes. AOE controls: the sleep from chill and EMP from charge : limited though these are, they are still aoe controls - something most secondaries lack - so they can be useful. That being said, I have never felt a need to take EMP (or the energy pool in general…), but I have use the sleep on occasion to aid with split pulling or to keep a second spawn from aggroing. Not much use in mid to late game teaming, basically a soloing aide. Hibernate & Rise of the Phoenix are unique and if you like them, worth taking the pool for. Power boost is amazing for many secondaries (goes great with /time's Farsight!). Strange that it is missing from the Energy pool, as it was a signature power in the blaster energy secondary to start…. It's also frustrating that it's only in a set that was already very good. KO Blow : I have never taken it because 23 end for an attack that does less damage than a Scrapper T1 (to give you an idea of how much of an enemy's life% you will hit for) is silly to me, no matter how cool the animation is. E very set has a terrible damage cone power, and some also have terrible damage blasts or single target attacks (yes, TF looks huge compared to our other attacks, but it's less than a scrapper T1). Tl;ndr: Why pick one pool over another? Charge - Pick it if you want EMP. For me, I can't think of a non-thematic reason why I would pick this pool - I don't think EMP is good enough to be worth the drawbacks and recharge. Also, as I said above, I don't think the attacks or godmodes - as they are - are good mechanical options for masterminds. Chill - pick it if you want to cap S/L defense and don't want mace. Dull pain and hibernate are also solid and more like the kind of long recharge defensive power I would want on an MM (compared to the godmodes), so overall it's a solid defensive set. Field - Don't pick this set? The only thing it has going for it is a godmode… It looks like it wants to be the ranged attack set, but the #s on these attacks are so bad I can't recommend them. This set should have had at least power boost or boost range going for it. Heat - Pick this for Bonfire. The attacks are crap, luckily you can skip them and grab Char (and Rise of the Phoenix if you really want a self rez). Bonfire was good before, now with the kb->kd proc it's an amazing control for MMs, with some damage (probably more if you run a bunch of procs). Leviathan - Take it for theme? I dunno, unless you want to throw sharks or spit vomit, I don't see anything special about this set. KO blow would be cool, except for the whole "less that T1 scrapper damage". Shame we didn't get the Arctic Breath option from brutes, that at least has -def and -res debuffs. One thing you can do with this set is use KB blow for the hold and get two holds from the set…I mean, that's something? Mace - pick this for Power Boost AND capping S/L defense. It also has a solid aoe immob and a hold - oh and a random skippable cone (same damage as your existing aoe but double the recharge!). If there's a "best" set for raw power, this is it. Mu - Pick this for Electrifying Fences (what??). Seriously. It's the only aoe immob we have access to that has -kb on it. Meaning that it will hold enemies in your Bots burn patch instead of letting them get knocked out of it by all the other blasts. It's also good to a lesser degree with mercs and thugs/ for the same reason. If you don't want to spend precious slots slotting KB->KD procs, and you're bots/, and none of the other epics scream out at you, grab the armor (b/c you have to and it's not bad), the aoe immob and the single target hold. Attacks are garbage. Soul Mastery - Pick this for Oppressive Gloom. If you're going to be in melee all the time (/time, /nature, etc.) having a permanent pbaoe stun aura is great! It only takes out minions, but that's still a decent amount of damage negated and can mag stack with other stuns (/storm's Thunderclap is the main one that comes to mind, but some pets have stunning attacks as well). Thoughts and hopes for the future I'm not happy with where the MM pools are right now, compared to other AT's pool options, but it is what it is - and there are some solid options in there! The recent dominator and snipe changes on the beta have given me hope for interesting balance changes going forward. I'm not sure how sweeping they'll be, but who knows! So I thought it was worth putting out my thoughts on these pools, after having spent ….way too many hours on too many masterminds on live and now. With this in mind, I'm working on a suggestion post for later tonight or tomorrow.
  6. Agreed. /fiery was great on live. Changing snipe to be a viable attack in the chain (and now, without the tohit requirements) seems like a huge enough buff already. I haven't felt a need to play a /fiery yet in this new era because I played the hell out of it before, and it was solid. Re : buffing T1s : this would be great as well. It was a long term frustration I had on live with the number of offensive secondaries where the T1 did not fit into mid to late game play. However, for the reasons you stated I can see why leaving it locked makes sense. For some ATs, designing a secondary offensive T1 is much easier (blasters), I think dominators are one of the more difficult ATs to find the right balance on an attack power everyone is forced to take. I'm not even sure if I can disagree with the choice of making them all ranged, even though 90% of the dominators I play and would play spend most of their time in melee. In all the characters and builds I've done so far (except one of my /fierys on live, on which I forced myself to use flares for some reason), I leave the t1 as a useless, empty attack, but I get that others might not and why you wouldn't want to put a melee attack or even the mid recharge blast in that spot. However, that's the only real idea I have at the moment - making the T1 an ~8s attack and changing the set's existing ~8s ranged attack to something else (maybe filling in something else that's lacking OR putting the T1 there with debuffs attached?) - but that could make things frustrating for new players.
  7. Gotcha, thanks for the clarification. I agree, if it's that solid it will be a pretty tough choice, as we really don't need all those attacks, but they are all good options. I'll just play it out and see how it feels. One of the other servers implemented being able to choose either of your first two secondaries, I'm hoping we get that eventually. Having dead powers is annoying. I have a fire/thorn I'm working on and was planning on skipping either Skewer or Impale, pre-patch changes. Now I'm just not sure. Typically I consider skipping the cone, but the dimensions of Fling Thorns just make it so usable...Ripper and Thorn Burst are both clunky on live, but good enough that I generally take them anyway, and now Ripper is getting even better. Thorns is looking really competitive when this goes live.
  8. * Earth : YESS to the mud pots range boost. My ice/earth will love this. * Elec : Looks like a solid buff to thunderstrike. I need to do some damage testing with Voltaic Sentinel and see if it makes the set worth it. * Icy : Double YESS the set now has a much more "signature" signature power. This and the previous changes I think make ice solid contender. Looking forward to rolling up a new ??/ice after the changes go live. * MA : Reasonable nerf to EB, it just felt way too strong. It's still keeping the duration and tohit though, which is going to keep the set a really strong performer. The melee changes are also solid. The DPA lovers are going to love this even more, and the rest of us won't complain either ;). * So what was the issue with the Savage changes? They seemed solid to me (and I've got a dark/savage @ 38 I'm working on 😉 :). Then again, the set is pretty close to solid on live, so leaving it as is isn't terrible. * Thorny : Not sure what's going on with Skewer here. I'd be more OK with its conversion to a fast attack if we had the option to choose either T1 or T2 secondary at creation. In the interim, I'll likely still keep skipping it. So, Impale now has the same damage as on live but a 2 second longer recharge? Seems like an error? The ripper changes I'm really going to have to play with a bit to inform my opinion. Thorn Barrage seems solid, it's now a very heavy hitter - the heaviest T9 range, I think. This seem fitting for the long cast time (which I am fine with! I don't think every attack should be super fast). Overall looks pretty solid and I look forward to taking some things for spins. EDIT: I Fired up a plant/elec on Justin and put in some time on /elec. The combination of the snipe changes and the animation speed boost [It feels nice and smooth too!] to thunderstrike make the set FEEL way better, just smoother to play. Whether or not a secondary has a snipe is now super relevant, the damage there (with tactics for +TOHIT boost) was really, really significant. I wonder if the "insta" animation time shouldn't be made a tiny bit longer? I need to go look at the numbers on them... REQUEST: Could we get the sentinel showing up in the pet window please (even the dominator fiery orb proc is in there!) so we can tell when we need to recast without looking around and trying to find it on a potentially crowded battlefield?
  9. I wonder if it would be possible to just give them the choice of the 3 attacks and separate that choice from the primary itself? So you pick dp+demons or whips+bots or whatever. I don't see any balance issues with that. I've only taken an attack on one MM anyway, but I get that people want to...for reasons. I still think they shouldn't have given them attacks in the first place, as it gives players the wrong idea about what the set is about. HUH. OK. Now I'm on a roll here. Pull all the attacks out, make them separate little choice pools that every mm gets to pick, and they fill in the same levels, etc. BUT also, add a couple extra support mini-pools for those of us who dgaf about attacks. Mini buffs and controls that are thematic, etc. Quick ideas off the top of my head, not well thought out at all: One could be an improved presence pool, for those actually wanting to be Tankerminds : single target taunt, aoe taunt and a power that makes your targeted pet do a taunt. A military buff style set, similar to what you suggested - have a "bunker down" power that locks the pets in place (just forces them to play a specific emote, then roots them, no new gfx) and gives them some +def, but also debuffs their max range or something (so it doesn't become the flat out best option), maybe have a single target heal, and maybe move the merc serum power here, buff it, and give Mercs a real power. A magic style set, similar to sorcery. Can use the animations from the demon buffs, sorcery, etc. Give a minor all-pet resist buff, a minor aoe debuff (say, slow+-tohit or something), maybe a single target heal - would go great with a set like /FF.
  10. ...can you elaborate? 🙂 I had this on my plant/poison, but switched it to Spirit Ward because it didn't seem to be doing much....but maybe with procs? Also the gale thing sounds hilarious, definitely trying. My favorite controller thing lately is entirely visual: Stacking Hot Feet+Entangling Aura+World of Confusion & color to taste. Primarily Entangling+WoC is just the right size to make a neat effect. I'm amused enough that I've held off on respeccing into a patron pet (which I almost always do on controllers, doms & veats). Also, I mean, it's solid synergy all around. Stuff you stand next to has problems :P.
  11. Thanks! Re-purposing chunks of this for my own dominator calculations 🙂
  12. First off: Could we get separate threads for the dominator and snipe changes please? These are significantly different things and the discussion is already getting muddled. Second, having just spent a bunch of time deep diving into dominator secondaries...I have opinions! 😉 For those of you wondering about the recharge time+damage changes: these are all straight buffs, 100%. Dominators run obscene levels of recharge and have very little use for quick recharging, low damage powers. Earth: I don't think earth need any buffs, but I'll happily take them - and the cast time reduction during tremor is likely going to be pretty noticable. One area that I wouldn't mind earth getting a buff on is the other signature piece (beyond single target damage) of the set: mud pots. Boosting the aoe SIZE a bit would be nice. The PB change is also significant. Energy : not much to see here, minor buffs. TF shortening will make for smoother chains...but I do love that animation, so we'll see how it feels going that much faster. Icy: Solid buffs, but same comment as above with respect to earth : the signature move of icy is chilling embrace, which has a radius of ten, getting that buffed to 15 or 20 would be great. Adding a -dmg component or something to that effect would help as well. Psionic : These will mostly be negligible to me, as when I play /psi I am not using either of these powers much (I don't slot the first attack on most doms) - generally on /psi you want to keep monsters clustered together so the KB from TK thrust is not ideal. However, I do use it sometimes as a 0-slotted 100% control power, so this will greatly increase it's functionality in that role. Rad : buffs to an already great set. However...these changes make dblow identical to seismic smash and contaminated identical to stone mallet. The set is now basically a slightly higher damage (due to the dot/contamination) /earth with -def debuffs and a snipe instead of an aura. I would like the set to have more than that to distinguish it. It needs a core unique power to build an identity around, which seems to so far be lacking. I forget, did the game every get knock-to (pull things toward you) physics? Maybe adding a pbaoe knock-to to atom smasher or radiation siphon? Just something that screams THIS SET IS UNIQUE.. Savage : seems OK. Nothing crazy. Will have to see how the unkindness change plays out, as right now it doesn't fit very well into the attack chain. Giving it a much wider arc (60+?) and shortening the range (if necessary) might help here, as this is a set that likes to be in melee. Martial : I thought the cone thing must have been intentional, glad to see it's not and they are cleaning up oddities like that. Trick shot is crazy good. I think this set should be renamed to 'Shuriken Assault" or someting, as it's NOT a good melee set as the word "martial" seems to suggest (aside from using your ranged attacks in melee range, which most dominators do) in the sense that the melee powers are both weak. However, it's a solid set all around and has 3 unique pieces: the special build-up (which makes the snipe even better), caltrops, and Trick shot. Thorny : I don't think Skewer needed to be made a faster attack (see above), as these aren't great for dominators. However, I've been skipping this attack on planned builds, and that will get even more relevant with the faster impale! The impale/barrage buffs are quality. tl;dnr: Great changes, but buff chilling embrace & mud pots and give rad a signature power and an identity.
  13. I'd say that doms are one of the most complex (if not the most complex) classes to play, so it can take quite a while to find your groove. More than any other class except maybe blapper style blasters, a good dominator has to be aware of : positioning, recharge times on powers, durations on powers, how many applications of a power it takes to lock a particular monster down, and how many attacks it takes to defeat a given opponent class (min/lt/boss). It's a lot to juggle, and not for everyone. There's also the playstyle changes that come with perma-dom (which you should absolutely aim for as a dominator), which can be significant. If you really want a heal, you could try /savage or /psi secondary. In addition to what the others have said, since you are dark, when fighting hold resistant monsters, you could try dropping confuse, then shadow field from around the corner - if you get lucky it will tick on the boss or resistant monster and you can follow up with dark grasp, locking them down. Slotting fearsome stare for -tohit can help too. You can also stack 2 confuses on the resistant monster before engaging.
  14. You can slot lifegiving stores for recovery. I didn't notice any end issues until 35 (when it is expected), and i haven't slotted numina, miracle or perf shifter proc yet, so I think it will work out fine.
  15. From what I've heard it's not difficult to cap damage with /kin, so that portion of the soulbound proc is wasted.
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