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  1. I’ve written up a proposal for improving Mind Control before, and this is done in the same vein, except with a cooler twist – there’s another Control Primary powerset out there that could do with some love (something that I’ve mentioned in my thread to allow Controllers to lock down AVs/GMs): Ice Control! As for why I decided to look at improvements to this powerset in particular, read on. Ice Control: The Competition Heats Up Unlike Mind Control, it’s a fairly standard Control set, with five of its powers following the regular pattern: one single target/AoE Hold and Immobilize, along with a pet power as its capstone. Additionally, its secondary effect can be quite potent. Its combined powers provide enough -Recharge/-Movement to slow most enemies to a crawl, and attack as much as four times slower. Given that, it’s what Ice Control’s other four powers do cumulatively that make it hold up somewhat less well compared to the other Control primaries. Generally, most of them have an early way of locking down groups of enemies for a prolonged period of time, even before their AoE Hold comes into play: Control Primary Power Name Effect Level Darkness Heart of Darkness PBAoE Stun 12 Earth Stalagmites AoE Stun 12 Electric Static Field Patch AoE Sleep 12 Fire Flashfire AoE Stun 12 Illusion Phantom Army Decoy Summon 18 Plant Seeds of Confusion Cone Confuse 8 The only exceptions to this are Mind and Gravity Control, which are both more damage focused than the other powersets – they get their other lockdown power at level 26 (Terrify and Wormhole respectively). Ice Control: Slow on the Uptake By level 12, most Control powersets have ways of immediately locking enemies down hard and for prolonged periods of times, preventing them from acting against players. In comparison, Ice Control at this level gets: Arctic Air (6), a solid PBAoE Confuse toggle: useful, but slow acting, giving enemies time to retaliate Shiver (8), a potent Recharge/Movement debuff: useful in prolonged fights, but does nothing against the initial wave of attacks Ice Slick (12), a location based knockdown patch: great at keeping enemies on the floor, but doesn’t immediately stop them from attacking the user The only power that bucks this trend is Flash Freeze, gained at level 18, which puts a group of enemies to sleep. Unfortunately, this does little in the way of locking down a group for a prolonged period of time, an issue it shares with other Sleep powers, given how the effect is broken via damage, or even being knocked down. A pattern comes into play here. Ice Control excels in long, drawn out fights, due to being able to slow down the amount of damage that comes their way over time via its recharge and movement debuffs. However, it also lacks an immediate way of persistently locking down enemies, resulting in more damage taken from the unmitigated initial attacks. This leads on to the meat of this proposal, mainly figuring out a way of locking down enemies at an early level while keeping Ice Control’s main strength of working well against prolonged fights. Every other aspect of this proposal is secondary to this. Powerset Revamp: Ice Control Ice Control has received a number of changes aimed at improving its ability to initially lock down the battlefield, something that almost all other Control powersets are capable of doing from a low level. In addition, there are now more avenues for it to deal damage, placing it more in line with other Control powersets. Power Changes Shiver: Ranged (Cone), Foe -Recharge, -SPD, Foe Hold, Minor DMG(Cold) 50% chance to Hold (Mag 2) Deals minor Cold damage Can now be slotted with Hold and Targeted AoE enhancements Ice Slick: Ranged (Targeted AoE), Foe Knockdown -SPD, -Jump Can now be slotted with Slow enhancements Can now be slotted with Knockback enhancements Flash Freeze: Ranged (Targeted AoE), Minor DMG(Cold/Lethal), Foe Sleep, Summon Ice Formations Each affected enemy now summons a fragile, short lived ice formation Summoned icicles apply -Recharge and -Movement in a small area Has a small aura of immobilisation and taunt that affects the targeted enemy Deals minor Cold/Lethal damage to targeted enemy if prematurely destroyed Can now be slotted with Taunt and Slow enhancements Glacier: PBAoE, Foe Hold, -Recharge, -SPD Duration of -SPD debuff increased to 24 seconds Alteration Justifications The main change of note here is Shiver, which is meant to act as a go-to opener for Ice Control in most cases, allowing it to cut down the amount of actual attackers in play from the start. This change was heavily inspired by Poison’s Neurotoxic Breath power, which is similar in nature to Shiver, except with a small chance to Hold an enemy (25%, Mag 2). More unreliable than other openers, it’s designed to keep Ice Control’s more gradual lockdown at the forefront while providing some further safety alone. Combined with the other Recharge/Movement debuffs that Ice Control is capable of, any attacks after the initial burst should be fairly infrequent, or give time for Arctic Air’s confuse to kick in. Additionally, some minor damage to the power provides Controllers with a little more means of whittling down opponents somewhat faster, something of an issue for Control powersets in general, but especially the case for Ice. In that vein, Flash Freeze also received similar changes – Sleeps tend to be more effective when combined with other more lasting effects (Electric Control’s Static Field is a nice example of this). By creating fragile summons that apply slow debuffs and taunt, even enemies who prematurely wake up from being put to sleep will still end up being occupied for a little longer, attacking the constructs that trapped them in the first place. Other than that, the changes to Ice Slick are meant to provide Ice Control with more slotting options (Shiver and Flash Freeze included). Similarly, Glacier’s recharge/speed debuff duration is surprisingly low for its recharge and duration – only 10 seconds, which even Ice Control’s single target hold exceeds. Ice Control: Now Even Cooler And these are the changes that I’d make to Ice Control – modifications designed to fill in some gaps in its toolbox, as well as improve its existing abilities and strengths. In other words, it attempts to keep its previous feel while also improving its speed and effectiveness. With this all written up, I turn to the forums: what do you think? Is this something that you’d like done to Ice Control? Does it bring it in line with the other Control powersets, is it too much, not enough? Would you do something else entirely? Looking forward to everybody’s responses!
  2. Willpower looks like it's 15 seconds long now, unless I'm reading it wrong (which is a very good chance). Please don't ruin my dreams though!
  3. The Current Situation Controllers are one of my favourite archetypes - capable of changing the course of a battle with a single well aimed power, and aiding their allies while debilitating their foes, it makes for a character that prefers to facilitate victory, rather than getting their hands dirty in the middle of a fight. However, while they can easily disable weaker enemies with their numerous abilities, much of their arsenal is rendered ineffective against stronger foes, which have inherent levels of protection against status effects. That is to say: the raison d'être of a Controller's entire Primary power set (i.e. disabling or otherwise hindering the enemy) becomes an accessory to their other abilities while facing Archvillains and Giant Monsters. No other category of powers invalidates themselves against stronger enemies to this wide of a margin - buffs and debuffs work, as do powers that deal damage. While they function at a diminished rate, they still do something. In comparison, status effects are binary: they either affect the enemy or they don't, and in the case of Archvillains and Giant Monsters...they usually don't. While it is true that it is possible to stack enough status effects to overcome this inherent protection that these stronger foes have, one Controller alone is very unlikely to be able to do this - why else would Archvillains have a cycling period of higher/lower status effect immunity? As it stands, Dominators are the better choice for actually locking down stronger enemies due to their inherent: the doubled strength of their control powers mean that they're much more capable of exceeding the status effect protections that such enemies possess. The Proposed Change Controllers actually have an inherent ability that lets them bypass the protections of some enemies to a degree. This comes in the form of 20% chance of increasing the magnitude of a status effect inflicting power by 1 (denoted by the word Overpower on use). Since most status effects have a magnitude of 3, this lets them occasionally affect Boss ranked enemies in a single hit. However, this does little to nothing for higher ranking enemies, which have much higher levels of protection. This proposal (which I'm calling Overwhelming Overpower) attempts to change this, giving the Overpower mechanic the chance to grant higher levels of magnitude than just 1. As a result, Controllers now have the chance to affect higher ranking enemies with just a single use of a status effect inducing ability. While this makes them less reliable than a Dominator, they can potentially reach far greater heights. As the table below shows, Overpower can now actually, well, overpower enemies, regardless of their rank. Additional Magnitude Chance per Overpower Chance per Power Usage Floating Text +1 = affect a Boss 50% 10% = 10 in 100 uses Overpower +4 = affect an Elite Boss 25% 5% = 5 in 100 uses Overpower! +54 = affect an Archvillain 20% 4% = 4 in 100 uses Overpower!! +100 = affect a Giant Monster 5% 1% = 1 in 100 uses Overpower!!! This was partially inspired by the idea of saving throws in D&D. Naturally, higher level enemies tend to be more resistant to effects, but there was still the chance that a bad roll of the die could leave them affected. As seen in the table above, Archvillains now have a 25% chance of being overwhelmed by a status effect inducing ability, if it is Overpowered. In other words, rolling a natural 1 on a d20 (20% chance of Overpower, then 25% chance of a +54 or higher Magnitude boost). I also added in a section that allowed Elite Bosses to be instantly affected as well, since they have somewhat higher protection levels than Bosses do - it also serves as a way of giving Controllers some additional magnitude to play with against Archvillains/Giant Monsters to some degree, making it a little bit easier to overwhelm them. I figure that these numbers strike a fair balance between making control powers completely godlike and essentially useless - with enough attempts, a Controller can now lock down powerful enemies, even if they can't build enough stacks to brute force their way through an enemy's protection. However, people more versed in numbers than I am, please feel free to correct me, or suggest changes to these chances. Potential Further Ideas Smoother Overpower Magnitude Curve One idea I've been toying with is the idea of having Overpower's magnitude be more variable. Instead of a flat chance for specific magnitudes, perhaps using a logarithmic scale with higher/lower magnitudes might be more potent. My main concern here is that this might be a bit too powerful, depending on exactly how this scale might look. Extremely high values would occur at approximately the same rate as before, but it'd also provide the opportunity for status effect magnitudes to stack a little better (e.g. a chance of having a Mag 40 Hold, followed by a few regular Mag 3 ones, just enough to Hold an AV). This could further boost the Controller's ability to lock down Archvillains and Giant Monsters, even if they don't exactly hit the right threshold the first time around, by stacking additional status effect points to just reach the limit. Were I more versed in maths, I'd draw up a graph of the likelihood of a specific magnitude on an Overpower under this model...but sadly I am not. +Chance to Overpower Another idea that's come to mind is letting the actual chance for the Overpower effect occur more frequently depending on a stacking bonus, similar to how Stalkers can build higher chances for critical hits. Potential ideas for 'stacks' (of let's say 5%) could be: Stacking percentage based on how many status effects on an enemy are applied (even if they aren't affecting them) E.g. Controller attempts to Hold + Sleep + Confuse an AV, chance to Overpower is now 20% + (5% + 5% + 5%) = 35% chance Stacking percentage based on how many recent control powers have been used (time pending) Stacking percentage based on previous controls that weren't an Overpower (increase chance if it hasn't happened lately) E.g. Controller's previous two controls were regular ones, chance to Overpower is now 20% + (5% + 5%) = 30% chance Increased chance based on amount of magnitude left until it exceeds protection (Current Magnitude Inflicted / Enemy Magnitude Protection) * 100 = additional chance to Overpower E.g. Controller Holds AV for Mag 3, resulting in a 26% chance to Overpower (3 / 50) * 100 = 6% additional chance Overpowering Overkill Two points that have been brought up a few times in this thread: Controllers are a little bit slow at actually clearing out enemies in regular play Overwhelming Overpower does little against weaker enemies (Lieutenants and below) As such, this additional proposal aims to address these two points in the following manner: An Overpower or above will instantly defeat Underling ranked enemies and below 20% chance for instant defeat on power use An Overpower! or above will instantly defeat Minion ranked enemies and below 10% chance for instant defeat on power use An Overpower!! or above will instantly defeat Lieutenant/Sniper ranked enemies and below 5% chance for instant defeat on power use An Overpower!!! will instantly defeat Boss ranked enemies and below 1% chance for instant defeat on power use This is flavoured as the Controller's higher magnitude powers fully overwhelming weaker enemies, and thus leading to their subsequent defeat. As such, the proposal might work well together with the previous suggestion of dynamically increasing the chance of an Overpower occurring. Conclusion With this proposal, Controllers should now be able to better lock down higher ranking enemies, rather than rely on their secondary abilities to help a team when facing them. Rather than building stacks of status effect points that will likely do little, or needing other team members to help them, a Controller can now know that their attempts in locking down that AV all have the chance to become something greater: an Overwhelming Overpower! Feedback as always is welcome - is this something that you might like to see? Any changes that you'd like to this proposal? Looking forward to any responses that come my way! History Initially, here was what the likelihood of Overwhelming Overpower looked like - after some discussion, I figured that it was a bit too low:
  4. Pretty much what it says in the title. I think Radiation Blast could well use an overhaul to bring it in line with Radiation Melee, Radiation Armor, Atomic Manipulation and Radiation Assault. The absence of Toxic Damage from Radiation Blast was always something that confused me, even from the start. Radiation is, after all, highly poisonous. I can understand why the original development team stayed away from it, since sources of Toxic Damage was intended to be 'rare' in the original production of the game, and was not intended to be used reliably. However, I think at this point that there should be a Toxic Damage element included in some, not all, of Radiation Blast's powers. I think the ones that aren't present in Radiation Assault would be good candidates, so we don't have to rebalance more than one powerset. So that leaves us with; - Irradiate - Cosmic Burst - Neutron Bomb - Atomic Blast Of these four, I would say that Cosmic Burst is the weakest candidate, but could still be included. Each of these powers would have to have their damage values modified to compensate for the inclusion of a Toxic Damage element, adjusting them as necessary in order to ensure that they balance out. Toxic is a highly resisted damage type at this point, so I don't think there should be much of a damage tweak in order to ensure that the powerset doesn't overperform. This kind of change shouldn't affect overall game balance all too much, since way back the only Toxic Damage powerset was Spines, and now we have Radiation Melee, Radiation Armor, Atomic Manipulation, Radiation Assault, Thorny Assault, Dual Pistols, Widow Training, Bane Spider Training, Demon Summoning, Ninja Training, Bio Armor and Experimentation that allow us to very reliably put out Toxic Damage. At this point, giving Radiation Blast a little Toxic Damage helps bring it in line both thematically and mechanically with all the other new Radiation powersets, and I think would aid the powerset in standing out a little more when compared to the abundance of pure energy based powersets we have already, especially Beam Rifle and Electrical Blast.
  5. I wanna fix mercs please. This is a topic I've given a lot of thought to, and Mercs is a set I want most to be successful and competitive with its fellow henchmen in the list of loyal henchmen available to our Mastermind players including myself. So no screwing around; let's get right to it. What's wrong? Mercs lack any strength relative to other sets, having very low damage with the dubious honor of the only set that can't break out of double digits in single target damage (assuming SO enhancements only), and no better survivability than even Ninjas. I want to address this problem by giving them a defined strength that'll make them stand out and fun to play. The Direction? I want to see Mercs be a set with solid damage and a respectable survivability through debuffs courtesy of real world riot munitions. I'm going to be getting most of my inspiration from how Necromancy gets its survivability: debuffs and control. So let's address the problem by going power-by-power, and I'll say what I think will help Mercs be worth leading into battle and why I want to make the changes that I do. Soldiers, Role: Single-Target Damage & Healing So, Soldiers, they need a cutting down on activation time of many of their powers to help their damage output. The Medic oughta be better specialized to healing so that slotting for healing is worth doing. Every power I list will use level 1 stats. I'm shifting over to single shot/burst/heavy burst to solve the Soldiers' problems with activation time. I'm making the Medic more specialized to healing. Soldiers, submachine gun base power: Single Shot (Dmg: 9 lethal & -3.75% Def for 5s, Rech: 4s, Act.Time: 0.9s, Range: 90ft, End.Cost: 5.2, Dmg/Cast Cycle: 1.84) As it looks for Soldier of Arachnos. 1st Upgrade: Burst (Dmg: 9x3 lethal & -3.75% Def for 8s, Rech: 8s, Act.Time: 1s, Range: 90ft, End.Cost: 8.53, Dmg/Cast Cycle: 2) Also as it looks for Soldier of Arachnos. 2nd Upgrade: Heavy Burst (Dmg: 6x6 lethal & -3.75% Def for 16s, Rech: 16s, Act.Time: 2.67s, Range: 90ft, End.Cost: 11.86, Dmg/Cast Cycle: 1.93) As it looks the Soldiers right now, but still single target. That makes three single target attacks. For weapon variety, consider giving one of the Soldiers one of these instead: Pump-action shotgun, for a close-range higher damage soldier. base: Narrow Spread Buckshot (Dmg: 18 lethal w/ 50% chance for mag 0.79 knockback & -3.75% Def for 8s, Rech: 8s, Act.Time: 0.9s, Range: 45ft, End.Cost: 5.2, Dmg/Cast Cycle: 2.02) A short-range heavy blast of single-target damage 1st Upgrade: Slug (just as it is, but with added -3.75% Def for 8s) 2nd Upgrade: Dragon's Breath (Same range, animation, end cost, and activation time as Incinerator for Sentinels, but with 16s recharge. 3.5 fire damage as 11 ticks over 2.5 seconds for a damage per cast cycle of 2.14. And -3.74% Def of course.) Battle rifle, for the designated marksman base: Hip Shot (it's just Single Shot) 1st Upgrade: Aimed Shot (Dmg: 20 lethal & -3.75% Def for 8s, Rech: 8s, Act.Time 2.67s, Range: 150ft, End.Cost: 8.53, Dmg/Cast Cycle: 1.87) Sniper rifle animation and sound. 2nd Upgrade: Incendiary Round (Dmg: 24 [12 lethal then 4 fire x3 ticks over 3 seconds] & -3.75% Def for 8s, Rech: 10s, Act.Time 2.67s, Range: 150ft, End.Cost: 8.53, Dmg/Cast Cycle: 1.89) Sniper rifle animation, Council marksman rifle sound. Medic, some kinda carbine/short rifle base power: Med Kit (Mostly as it is, but with its recharge lowered to 16s) Single Shot (see above) 1st Upgrade: Bio Shield (20-25% or so absorption for 90 seconds, Rech: 8s, Act.Time: 3.17s, End.Cost: 13) An absorb shield also enhanceable with healing 2nd Upgrade: Regeneration Treatment (+150% regen for 90s, Rech: 8s, Act.Time: 3.17s, End.Cost: 13) Another power that uses the medical tool animation. Applies a strong regeneration buff to henchmen and maybe even the Mastermind. Stimulant (Mostly as it is, but with a 4s recharge and 90s duration instead) Notice that the damage per cast cycle has gone up to around Thugs' level and that's mostly because activation time went down to reasonable levels, although the first two Soldiers boast a little more since I'd like to see the Medic specialized utterly to healing so slotting that becomes worthwhile and he will hopefully have a greater impact on Mercs' survivability which is presently very lacking. I also think they should have a bit of a range advantage, so we'll be seeing more of that going on here. On to the next. Spec Ops changes are going to focus on improving their ability to debuff the enemy's offense, and they will provide the bulk of Mercs' survivability through this. Spec Ops, Role: Offense Debuffs for squad survivability, Single-Target Damage All Spec Ops, weapon: suppressed assault rifle w/ Cryo Rounds base powers: Single Shot (As seen above, but with half lethal/cold damage and added -15% move/recharge) It should also use the SCAR snipe sound. It sounds great; we need more of it. Cryo Burst (Burst as above, but with half lethal/cold damage and added -15% move/recharge for 10 seconds on targets) Silenced burst sound, same Burst that Soldiers get, but with added slow effect to hinder enemy's pace of attack. Cryo Grenade (-20% move/recharge in 15ft. around target for 30s, Rech: 45s, Act.Time: 1.87s, Range: 90ft, End.Cost 13) Replaces Web Grenade. Hits a group of targets in a radius with a decent debuff to recharge and movement. 1st Upgrade: Beanbag (2 mag Stun for 8s, Rech: 16s, Act.Time: 0.9s, Range: 90ft, End.Cost: 10) Simple single-target mag 2 stun. Flash Bang (Mostly as it is, but the -To Hit goes up to -7.5% instead of -5% and lasts for 30s while the recharge goes down to 45s) Improved to provide better mitigation through more consistently applied debuff and CC. 2nd Upgrade: SCAR Snipe (Mostly as it is, but with half lethal/cold damage and Recharge reduced to 6 seconds for a new damage per cast cycle of 1.77, and with -15% move/recharge for 10 seconds) Council cryo rounds with a silenced snipe sound pretty much. Tear Gas (Mostly as is, but loses its Hold, adds -7.5% To Hit to debuff and extends debuff duration to 30s, and reduces recharge to 45s.) Same reasoning behind Flash Bang. Stealth (as is) So Spec Ops damage is going to go up a bit, but even more than that will its debuff and CC consistency and power, providing a lot of survivability for Mercs. Two Spec Ops firing their -To Hit grenades, without enhancements, should apply up to -30% To Hit between them both for a good while, and they can potentially have up to 4 mag 2 stuns out, potentially stunning 2 different bosses and everything around them below Lieutenant for a short while, or as long as both their beanbag and flash bang are affecting targets. That's nothing to scoff at. Commando should become an AoE damage machine, although not nearly as much as Assault Bot and that's fine. Commando, Role: AoE Damage Commando, weapon: assault rifle w/ under-barrel grenade launcher (not the frankenrifle please) base powers: Single Shot (as it is for Soldiers) Burst (as it is for Soldiers) 1st Upgrade: Buckshot (as it is) M30 Grenade (mostly as it is, but with 16 damage [6 smash/10 lethal] instead for a new damage per cast cycle of 0.89) So it doesn't suck. (edit in) Maneuvers (+10% Defense to all henchmen within 60ft) 2nd Upgrade: Incendiary Grenade (Shares most stats with M30 Grenade, but has no knockdown and does 24 pure Fire damage over 8 ticks [3 each] over 7.1s for a damage per cast cycle of 1.34) Good damage. Not multiple burn patches for Assault Bot good, but there it is. Replaces Flamethrower for an AoE power with less activation time. Toxic Grenade (Shares most stats with M30 Grenade, but has no knockdown and does 20 pure Toxic damage instead for a damage per cast cycle of 1.12) More solid AoE damage. LRM Rocket (Mostly as is, but with a 30s recharge instead for a new damage per cast cycle of 0.7) So it doesn't suck, pretty much. So my hope here is to make each Merc in the player's squad decent at what they do, and those roles should be pretty well defined here. It's kind of an involved overhaul, and it's for a set that's needed help since its first day on live over a decade ago. Well, I hope you guys like it too. Share your thoughts here. EDIT: Look, I think Serum should be fixed too. Here's a copy-paste from what I also said further down: Oh, right, addressing Serum. There's a few things I have in mind, actually. 1. Like ya said, Lynne, just take out the crash, cut down the recharge, and apply it to the whole squad. Well, you said take out just the -Recovery in the crash but I'd go further and say just all of it. However, rather than keep the anemic +Damage and +To Hit, I'd rather just drop it and let the power be purely a survival-boosting defensive buff. You mentioned adding a Regeneration component as well, and that might be considered so we'd be looking at strongly enhanceable properties as being resistance, recharge, and healing. That'd be the easiest way to do it. It doesn't feel particularly "mercs" to me though, so I have other things I hope get considered, such as... 2. Fire Support Beacon Place a Fire Support Beacon down with similar range and animation as calling in Seeker Drones. You can plop it right down in the middle of a group of bad guys. The beacon itself can be targeted, is very durable, and has a tendency to draw aggro. It will "fire" a number of PBAoE attacks around itself visually made to look like artillery and/or air strike munitions detonating around it, dealing high damage and drawing enemy attention to the beacon with a +threat component so it can tank for the Mercs for a bit. 3. Call Air Support Very similar in practice to the Fire Support Beacon, this power should call in a short duration temporary pet that makes a pronounced impact for its brief 60 second duration in battle. This pet, a repainted Longbow Chaser, is also targetable and very durable, and should be capable of laying down good area effect damage while generating threat with every rocket and bullet that hits before flying/teleporting off to refuel and rearm. Why'm I suggesting these things? Well, it's Mercenaries, right? Calling in air and fire support is a fairly common trope in military-themed games and especially shooters. I'd feel a lot more like a mercenary commander if I could call in such heavy assets. In-game, it'll have the role of adding some damage while drawing attention away from the squad, helping survivability while it's active.
  6. So I've made threads about this in the past and each time I've learned something about making these suggestions for fixing Mercs work. I consulted users over the Discord and was advised to keep suggestions as simple and direct to the cause as possible, so that's what I'm going to do now. I have also consulted Mastermind players, also on the Discord, who share my concern with Mercs' poor performance since the day City of Villains launched with the Mastermind archetype. I'm going to keep things as simple as I can think of. I'm going to list each henchman, a list of proposed changes to its powers like patchnotes would be presented, and my reasoning for enacting the changes I propose to each henchman. I will then summarize my proposed changes, why they're beneficial, and why there should be minimal objection. All numbers provided will be at base level 1. Soldiers: Burst: Increase damage to 9.9 (3 ticks of 3.3), fix activation time to 1.0 like Assault Rifle -> Burst is for players. Resulting damage per cast cycle will be 1.98, or very slightly behind Thugs' Pistols Heavy Burst: Increase damage to 18 (6 ticks of 3), which will bring damage per cast cycle up to 1.69 or just slightly higher than Thugs' Dual Wield Auto Fire: Fix activation time to 4s like Assault Rifle -> Full Auto for players and widen the cone angle to 20 degrees. That will slightly increase damage per cast cycle to 0.9, or slightly above Thugs' Dual Wield, and allow it to hit far more targets than the current 5 degree cone angle does. Why?: This will bring Soldiers' damage output much closer to Thugs as a reference point, who are pretty close to other T1s in terms of damage while Soldiers' were far behind. So this just brings the T1 up to par with the rest. Medic: Replace Frag Grenade with another support power handed out in a manner similar to Stimulant: choose either an absorb shield or a regeneration buff enhanceable with healing. This power should have a duration of 90s and a cooldown of 4s. Stimulant should also have a cooldown of 4s and a duration of 90s. Why?: Medic having Frag Grenade is detrimental to its function and survivability, and the henchman could stand to have a stronger presence in improving Mercs' survivability as, indeed, is its function. Spec Ops: Burst & Heavy Burst: Enact the same damage and activation time changes that were done for Soldiers. Snipe: Reduce cooldown to 6s and change activation time to 2.67s similar to Assault Rifle -> Sniper Rifle for players. This will increase damage per cast cycle to 2.01 from its current 0.88. Web Grenade: Add 15 Toxic damage (5 ticks of 3 Toxic over 8.2s) and shorten the recharge to 8s. This means a damage per cast cycle of 1.52. Flashbang Grenade: Cut recharge down to 45s, increase -To Hit and other debuff durations to 30s. Increase -To Hit debuff to -7.5%. Tear Gas Grenade. Cut recharge down to 45s, change -Damage to -7.5% To Hit, and increase debuff duration to 30s. Why?: Strongly enhanceable -To Hit which, along with their hard control, applied much more consistently. Debuffs for half a minute, crowd control for 6s, should make Spec Ops a decent debuffing henchman that provides much of Mercs' survivability by reducing the enemy's chance to hit for a decent window of time. They also lack severely compared to some other Tier 2 pets' damage, and that would be addressed with the changes to their attacks and web grenade. Commando: Burst: Same thing done for Soldiers here. Full Auto: Fix animation and activation time 4s like Assault Rifle -> Full Auto for players, and reduce recharge to 30s. This changes the damage per cast cycle from 0.39 to 0.76. LRM Rocket: Simply reduce the recharge to 30s. This increases the damage per cast cycle to 0.67 from 0.09 (lol). Why?: This should help the Commando's AoE damage to be decent. Serum: Cut down the recharge to like 90s or something and remove the crash. Why?: Well sure it's like putting a tier 9 super armor on your pet, but the problem here is that it only protects a portion of your damage output from getting snuffed out, whereas for other players it protects all their damage and that makes it a lot more meaningful. Here, it's just a waste as you make one pet harder to kill but then neuter its offense by taking away all its endurance for 20s, a painfully long time, only a minute later. I wouldn't use this power even if it were given to me for free as it is. So why do all this? Why should no one object? I see Mercenaries was built to be a sort of utility set with decent damage like Necro was made to be, but it just doesn't perform this function with the source of its utility being on terribly long cooldowns that stops them from being present for a great majority of the time. They also suffer very low damage not just from their type being resisted, but because their damage output is just plain low. Increasing their damage values to approach other henchmen is the logical thing to do here, and fixing their activation times like has been done for players' AR is also needed to help them go through their abilities so they can have their effects out faster. They have almost no other defense outside of their Spec Ops' CC and debuffs. Imagine Bots without shields, or Thugs without Enforcers (and damage), or Necro without the Lich. That's what Mercs is like right now. Here is data produced by Galaxy Brain testing all Mastermind pets, and only pets, on SO enhancements. Mercs are dead last in single target. It also needs to be noted that Bots in the Single Target category, though only appearing ahead of Mercs by 10 DPS, is likely further ahead than this graph shows, so Mercs are relatively further behind than that.
  7. Recently, maybe 2 releases ago, I started noticing my empath's Recovery Aura not showing in the buff window. I've noticed that it occasionally appears when it's blinking to expire, but it is not reliably displaying. Recovery Aura is 6-slotted with an Attuned Performance Shifter enhancement set. It is definitely applying to myself and my teammates. The first screenshot is my healer's combat attributes showing the buff, but missing from my personal buff window and the team buff window: The second screenshot is a dual account seeing the buff in their combat attributes, but also missing from their own buff window and team buff window.
  8. In the recent discussions about "rebalancing", bug fixing and nerfing the PPM proc system, /Time, /Darkness Affinity, Powerboosted Def, etc. we've been mostly been caught up on discussing the relative merits, details and balance of those powers. Before embarking on major game changing overhauls I think it would be wise for us to take a step back, and think about the big picture impact and our priorities. We've been having a great time for the roughly year the Homecoming servers have been public....with powers and sets working largely as they do now. There's no immediate need to make major game changes and we'd do well to take a breath and think more carefully about what we as community want and how those changes are likely to impact excitement and enjoyment of the game. I would have liked more poll questions than the allowed two, but hopefully this poll will shed some light on players big picture priorities and this thread can be a discussion to fill in the nuances and gaps left out in the poll. Poll was edited to add "content/story arcs" in question #1 and "bug fixes" in #2. Only 4 people had taken the poll when the edit was made so hopefully shouldn't disrupt the results as much the better nuances will improve quality of answers...
  9. Ninja Blade has a niche problem that many probably don't care about but it's a rather huge flaw with the set that can be fixed easily. Quite simply, Golden Dragonfly does not crit when attacking out of hide. The reason for this is because GD is a cone, and not a single target attack. But it is a tiny cone, and rarely used as a cone. The cone is a rare occurrence that feels kind of cool when it happens, but is not really much of a feature of the power. Unfortunately, this small "feature" makes it so that GD does not crit when used out of hide. Which, when compared to many other sets, is a massive drawback that is pretty unnecessary. Just about every stalker uses AS out of hide, but this is then followed up typically with a placate and then their quintessential level 32 power for even more burst. For Street Justice this is Crushing Uppercut, for Energy Melee it's Energy Transfer OR Total Focus, for Kinetic Melee it's Concentrated Strike, for Martial Arts it's Eagle's Claw. The list goes on; just about every set (except for Broad Sword, that has the same exact issue that Ninja Blade has) their 32 extreme damage power does, in fact, crit when used out of hide or placate. Many of these powers already have a leg up on Golden Dragonfly simply because they're not S/L. My proposed change is simply to allow Golden Dragonfly to get the auto-crit when used from hide or placate; it feels really bad as-is. Especially considering the unique Stalker AT IO that randomly grants auto-hide... when you're in the flow of a rotation and you get that auto-hide just before you use GD and don't get the benefit of the IO proc because GD doesn't crit out of that randomly granted hide... that feels really, really bad. Tl;Dr: Golden Dragonfly doesn't crit when used out of hide due to a small technicality and it's unnecessarily harsh. Thanks for coming to my Ted Talk.
  10. The Problem Controllers often use status effects like Sleep/Hold/Stun..ect which are covered by the condition for containment damage. However they also use a bunch of other effects that certainly impede the victim's ability to act but do not count for containment damage. Two in particular: Fear and Confuse, often both prevent the enemy from attacking you or your allies and in the case of Fear, stops them moving too. One could say that Containment is only for status effects that 'lock down' enemies as the description states, but the effective message and gameplay perception of the inherent is that you get 'bonus damage from enemies under control effects'. The Suggestion Add Fear and Confuse to the list of applicable status afflictions for Containment to deal bonus damage. There's no reason to not include them as they are still strong statuses when used correctly. To denounce Fear because hitting them breaks the status early would eliminate Sleep as a status (and Fear eventually holds the attacked target after a short while too). And while Confuse doesn't stop the enemy from doing things, they might as well not be because aside from skimming off XP, a confused enemy can only be helpful to your team. In the case of a single confused enemy, they might as well be held. I would say straight up that Knock effects shouldn't count, they're not persistent status effects. Taunt and Placate are tricky, while the two statuses and Confuse definitely do change how an enemy behaves, at least Confuse prevents the enemy from hurting you or your team mates, which neither accomplish (Taunt drives them to hurt you, Placate drives them to hurt your team). For them to have an inclusion into Containment's effect it would have to be something like the below suggestion: Other control effects not currently included in Containment could be counted as a mini-crit grouping of damage bonuses, with Fear/Confuse/Taunt/Placate providing a smaller amount of bonus damage and in the event of an enemy having multiple statuses, takes the higher multiplier. An enemy with confuse could have something like +50% damage, while a Sleeping, Confused enemy would take the normal +100% damage. I still would like Fear and Confuse to be considered +100% damage statuses, but as a compromise, I can deal with it being made with mini-critting status effects so long as Containment can benefit from as many CC effects as plausible.
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