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Help Needed: Which melee AT *really* is the 'strongest'?

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With the current testing underway on Pineapple, I've seen enough discussions as to 'what does what' as far as comparing Stalkers, Scrappers, Brutes, and Tankers as far as their individual single-target damage is concerned. I thought I knew... now I'm not so sure, and I'm not exactly sure anymore what can be attributed to changes specific to homecoming, changes in previous issues, typos/errors in hero planners, common misconceptions/myths/bugs, and what-have-you.

 

Ever since the advent of ATOs and the inherent changes for Stalkers way back when, I was under the impression that the 'spectrum' from best ST dps to worst was always:

 

1. Stalker

 

2. Scrapper

 

3. Brute

 

4. Tanker

 

 

Now as arguments get heated and suggestions fly... can anyone (hopefully a dev) explain this one and hopefully put this to bed for me, once and for all, as far as the current build on Live is concerned?

 

All other things being ignored (resistances, individual powerset differences, etc), who is supposed to do the best ST DPS? Feel free to use team sizes, damage caps, inherents, ATOs, or whatever to prove your point.

 

 

TL;DR: Which AT does the best ST damage, why, and if possible, *how*?

 

Thanks in advance.

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Best single target damage over how long?  5 seconds?  5 minutes?  Is the enemy just standing there, or are they actively fighting you?  You're not going to do any damage if you're dead, and a stationary non-attacking enemy will allow you to set yourself up for maximum damage.  I mean, an assassin strike w/ build-up from stealth is going to do a lot more than a brute with 0 fury.  A T9 attack from a tanker will probably do more damage than a non-crit scrapper's T1.  If all you want to do is look at a spreadsheet and see what damage is the highest, on average, then fine, but that's not an effective way to determine which AT does the most damage, (or how that's really very relevant).

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9 minutes ago, biostem said:

Best single target damage over how long?  5 seconds?  5 minutes?  Is the enemy just standing there, or are they actively fighting you?  You're not going to do any damage if you're dead, and a stationary non-attacking enemy will allow you to set yourself up for maximum damage.  I mean, an assassin strike w/ build-up from stealth is going to do a lot more than a brute with 0 fury.  A T9 attack from a tanker will probably do more damage than a non-crit scrapper's T1.  If all you want to do is look at a spreadsheet and see what damage is the highest, on average, then fine, but that's not an effective way to determine which AT does the most damage, (or how that's really very relevant).

Assume it's a training dummy in RWZ. Just standing there. And you have pocketbuffers on demand. 

 

And say "Best single target damage, on average over a longer period of time." if you need a specific time, then lets use an hour. That should be plenty of time to gather datapoints and correctly calculate for how much crits would add on average, yadda yadda.

 

Quote

If all you want to do is look at a spreadsheet and see what damage is the highest, on average, then fine, but that's not an effective way to determine which AT does the most damage, (or how that's really very relevant).

Well, considering the arguments folks are having regarding Tanker and Brute roles, I don't exactly see how this is different in the long run.

 

Are stalkers supposed to do more damage than scrappers (likely in exchange for being squishy) or not? If yes, how/why?

 

 

If you prefer, we can flip it around or use different ATs.Iis a brute supposed to be more sturdy than a scrapper or not?  If yes, how/why? 

See, it's pretty simple with that question, because we can say "well one has X hp, the other has Y, and they have such-and-such caps for resist/defense/etc, here's a quick calculation that takes that into account and gives you their EHP, which is a pretty decent approximation of how sturdy both are, and you can then plainly see that these sets of numbers for this AT are higher than the other."

 

 

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1 minute ago, Ljhalfbreed said:

Assume it's a training dummy in RWZ. Just standing there. And you have pocketbuffers on demand. 

Then it's a useless metric.  That's not what actual gameplay is like.  Each of the 4 ATs mentioned have different roles to play;  A tanker isn't there for their damage.  A stalker isn't there for their prolonged DPS.  I'm not going to gather the data for you.  You mentioned a methodology, so get to it and let us know.

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11 minutes ago, ShardWarrior said:

The question sort of proceeds from an incorrect premise and ignores balance among ATs and powersets as well.

Can you explain?
 

I mean, I can look at Pines and easily determine Tankers are obviously a lot more sturdy and can take a lot more damage than say, your average defender. Sure, outliers exist, as do things like incarnates, exterior buffs, and whatnot.  But we can say "This AT has X HP, and their protective caps top out at Y. This AT only has B HP, and their protective caps top out much lower at C."

 

So, how do we quantify *damage* then, for ATs, if survivability is kind of cut and dry, right there? Seems like there should be a simple calculation somewhere that says "Look, generally speaking, this AT does X when it comes to this case." 

 

I mean, defenders 'support' better right? They have higher stats/etc for their support powers compared to say, Masterminds. If you want to know which set heals the best, you'd say 'okay, this set heals for X, this one for Y, so this one is objectively better for healing."

 

I'm not trying to be difficult, just trying to determine what roles/situations these ATs are expected to be in, specifically for Homecoming.

 

 

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Just now, biostem said:

Then it's a useless metric.  That's not what actual gameplay is like.  Each of the 4 ATs mentioned have different roles to play;  A tanker isn't there for their damage.  A stalker isn't there for their prolonged DPS.  I'm not going to gather the data for you.  You mentioned a methodology, so get to it and let us know.

Thanks for the help, best of luck. 

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7 minutes ago, Ljhalfbreed said:

Can you explain?

Do we really need to explain that there are built in differences between the different melee archetypes and powersets?  I mean, they are kind of designed that way...

Edited by ShardWarrior

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1 minute ago, ShardWarrior said:

Do I really need to explain that there are built in differences between the different melee archetypes and powersets?

Honestly? Yeah. because it seems like there's a lot of misinformation going around. I'm not trying to be a jerk, I'm just trying to figure out why it's so difficult to discuss this. 

 

I can look at a sheet/Pines/Paragonwiki and say "Oh hey, you know what, this Tanker has a huge HP cap. They also have some pretty solid resistances. Against stuff that doesn't pound away at my Psi-hole, I can definitely say that it will survive a lot more punishment than this Blaster I never picked any secondaries for, just because the Tanker straight has better HP and better resists/defenses."

 

I realize that DPS is a big ego thing for a lot of folks which is probably why I'm getting flak here. I'm not trying to start crap. I'm honestly trying to determine if the following sentence is true (for example):

 

"Stalkers generally out-damage Scrappers at the Single Target level, when averaged over time. Scrappers outdamage Brutes similarly. And Brutes outdamage Tankers under those same conditions."

 

I mean we can argue all kinds of stuff about what types of enemies, their con level, resisted damage types, and so on and so forth... I get that. There's a dozen or more combos for practically every powerset. BUT, there's only a handful of ATs. 

If I was wanting to be a solid team buffer and supporter, would you recommend I play a Defender, or a Blaster with the medicine and leadership pools? Defender, right? Because they have a distinct set of powers with the supplementary effects/etc to help them achieve that, and generally achieve it better (again, on average) than say, a Blaster using pool powers. 


So, how would I calculate this kind of thing to determine if Stalkers do the same, better, or worse DPS than Scrappers? Brutes vs Tankers? Tankers vs Scrappers?

 

The big kicker seems to be those recent-ish changes (i21? 22?) to the stalker archetype that added additional chances for crits and so forth.... but was that to set them apart from scrappers? Balance them with scrappers? Make them better at a specific task (eg: single target damage)? Differentiate them to where scrappers were better for sustained dps, and stalkers strictly for spikes only? 

Instead, when I ask the question, folks get standoffish and defensive. I'm just trying to get a question answered honestly. This isn't some weird powerplay ego stroke BS, i just want to know *how* they're different, if at all, how best to calculate and display it, and of course, how best to understand it.

 

Considering that the beta is discussing changes to tankers (that may/may not seem as though it'd affect the capabilities of brutes), i want to make sure I'm understanding what the current devs are working with, and not just assume "Well, stalkers were absolute garbage when I first tried one in issue 6, so they're still trash obviously". 

 

Stuff changes, you know? I'm just trying to wrap my head around it, and make sure i'm not furthering BS/misconceptions/lies if I say "Well Scrappers are always going to outperform Stalkers in single target, and it becomes more obvious when you compare a Broadsword Scrapper to almost every Stalker powerset combo, and you can verify this with  this calculation <calc here>" 

 

Does that make more sense?

 

 

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TW I believe is the current DPS king based on pylon threads. Since Stalkers don't get it, it is harder to do an actual comparison. I think a tricked out stalker with similar sets would at least compare if not succeed a scrapper. Factor in something like an IO which can rehide a stalker and the damage potential is quite good.

 

I also don't see as much value in DPS as others might. Melee builds move around so much DPS is less important. This is why BS on a stalker is so good. 

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Without Pause Claws/wp brute, Nothing But Flowers Plant/storm, Waterpark Water/temp blaster, Sneakers StJ/en stalker,

Current obsession(s): Earth/earth dom, Rad/bio brute.

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55 minutes ago, Without_Pause said:

TW I believe is the current DPS king based on pylon threads. Since Stalkers don't get it, it is harder to do an actual comparison. I think a tricked out stalker with similar sets would at least compare if not succeed a scrapper. Factor in something like an IO which can rehide a stalker and the damage potential is quite good.

 

I also don't see as much value in DPS as others might. Melee builds move around so much DPS is less important. This is why BS on a stalker is so good. 

Okay, and that's fair. I expect certain powersets/combos to excel at in certain situations.

 

But are stalkers supposed to be better, worse, or similar to scrappers? And if so, in which ways?

 

I mean, it's easy to point and say "Hey, Scrappers get way better defenses/etc so they can survive some facetanking", but is that the scrapper's "role"? Or are they supposed to be deeps, or a mix, or whatever?

 

 

Because in my head, my argument is that "If Stalkers are supposed to be kings of ST damage, with some of the lowest survival powers, then perhaps Tanks should be the kings of AoE damage, but with the best survival powers."

 

Again, not trying to be difficult, and I appreciate your response. I'm just trying to figure out why folks are so adamant about not talking about this, you know?

Edited by Ljhalfbreed

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1 minute ago, Ljhalfbreed said:

But are stalkers supposed to be better, worse, or similar to scrappers?

Stalkers are supposed to be the burst damage experts, specializing in taking out high-priority targets quickly and stealthily.  They aren't supposed to wade into a group of enemies and just slog it out, (but of course you can play against type if you spec properly).

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6 minutes ago, biostem said:

Stalkers are supposed to be the burst damage experts, specializing in taking out high-priority targets quickly and stealthily.  They aren't supposed to wade into a group of enemies and just slog it out, (but of course you can play against type if you spec properly).

Okay cool. thanks. Now how, and why? I mean, is there a 'timeframe' where they excel in, or is it a general average, or what?

 

Again, i don't mean to come across as confrontational or a giant jerk. Honest. I'm just hoping someone can explain to me if they're supposed to be better (at ST damage) the same (again, in ST damage) or worse (again, just ST damage) than scrappers (for example).

 

Looking at the powersets and the numbers, it *looks* like Stalkers excel at those single-target takedowns, and start to crumple a lot faster than scrappers in the same scenario once you start adding additional enemies. On the other hand, scrappers seem to have much more aoe, and less single target.

 

 

 

Just for example... In a pylon test, (one single target), should scrappers be doing better, worse, or the same as a stalker with a comparable loadout/etc? And now is that the way it's *supposed* to be according to what the devs here on Homecoming want, or is that something that should (*eventually*) be addressed?

 

 

 

 

 

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9 minutes ago, biostem said:

Stalkers are supposed to be the burst damage experts, specializing in taking out high-priority targets quickly and stealthily.  They aren't supposed to wade into a group of enemies and just slog it out, (but of course you can play against type if you spec properly).

That's Tutorial copy paste 🙂

 

Incarnate Stalkers can just "powerhouse" the whole content (as all AT)


Just another French Player

So Excuse my old, bad and too french English !

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1 minute ago, Tsuko said:

That's Tutorial copy paste 🙂

 

Incarnate Stalkers can just "powerhouse" the whole content (as all AT)

Let's stick to normal play, which probably 99+% of players experience.  That's also why I mentioned "playing against type".

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1 hour ago, Ljhalfbreed said:

Honestly? Yeah. because it seems like there's a lot of misinformation going around. I'm not trying to be a jerk, I'm just trying to figure out why it's so difficult to discuss this. 

There is nothing wrong with discussion, I just don't understand the question.  You're asking what AT does more single target damage, yet some of the ATs you ask about are not designed to be DPS machines whereas others are.   Or are you expecting a tanker be able to do equal damage as a stalker using AS from hide?

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4 minutes ago, Ljhalfbreed said:

Okay cool. thanks. Now how, and why? I mean, is there a 'timeframe' where they excel in, or is it a general average, or what?

 

Again, i don't mean to come across as confrontational or a giant jerk. Honest. I'm just hoping someone can explain to me if they're supposed to be better (at ST damage) the same (again, in ST damage) or worse (again, just ST damage) than scrappers (for example).

 

Looking at the powersets and the numbers, it *looks* like Stalkers excel at those single-target takedowns, and start to crumple a lot faster than scrappers in the same scenario once you start adding additional enemies. On the other hand, scrappers seem to have much more aoe, and less single target.

 

 

 

Just for example... In a pylon test, (one single target), should scrappers be doing better, worse, or the same as a stalker with a comparable loadout/etc? And now is that the way it's *supposed* to be according to what the devs here on Homecoming want, or is that something that should (*eventually*) be addressed?

Ok, so imagine a typical same level, same team size group of enemies, where you might have 5-6 minions, 1-2 LTs, and a boss.  The stalker sneaks past the others to the boss.  The team stays out of aggro range.  As the team starts to move in, (or just before), the stalker hits BU, assassin strikes the boss, follows up with a placate then their other heaviest hitting attack.  Said boss should be dead by that point, and the team has a significantly easier time of things...

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3 minutes ago, Ljhalfbreed said:

Okay cool. thanks. Now how, and why? I mean, is there a 'timeframe' where they excel in, or is it a general average, or what?

 

Again, i don't mean to come across as confrontational or a giant jerk. Honest. I'm just hoping someone can explain to me if they're supposed to be better (at ST damage) the same (again, in ST damage) or worse (again, just ST damage) than scrappers (for example).

 

Looking at the powersets and the numbers, it *looks* like Stalkers excel at those single-target takedowns, and start to crumple a lot faster than scrappers in the same scenario once you start adding additional enemies. On the other hand, scrappers seem to have much more aoe, and less single target.

 

 

 

Just for example... In a pylon test, (one single target), should scrappers be doing better, worse, or the same as a stalker with a comparable loadout/etc? And now is that the way it's *supposed* to be according to what the devs here on Homecoming want, or is that something that should (*eventually*) be addressed?

 

 

 

 

 

The real thing is that nobody knows cause it would be "unpolite" to say the truth on the Forum.

 

Truth like Empath are usefull only in Raid for their Auras.

 

Or Tanker became useless with incarnates not finished by Devs. (just take a look at the september 19 patchnote, when devs buff so much an AT, there is a reason)

 

Or Sentinels...

 

It's the exact same situation that Final Fantasy 14 🙂

 

All people says they want to do "endgame" content, but if they do BS with awful AT, we are "rude" to told them 😄


Just another French Player

So Excuse my old, bad and too french English !

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Just now, Tsuko said:

The real thing is that nobody knows cause it would be "unpolite" to say the truth on the Forum.

 

Truth like Empath are usefull only in Raid for their Auras.

 

Or Tanker became useless with incarnates not finished by Devs. (just take a look at the september 19 patchnote, when devs buff so much an AT, there is a reason)

 

Or Sentinels...

 

It's the exact same situation that Final Fantasy 14 🙂

 

All people says they want to do "endgame" content, but if they do BS with awful AT, we are "rude" to told them 😄

This sounds both elitist and conspiratorial.  Most people don't play incarnate content and aren't fully tricked out with IO sets.  Most people don't consider their character only relevant at 50+.  All that top-tier content needs to be excluded from these discussions, because we are talking about generalities across all level ranges...

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2 minutes ago, Tsuko said:

The real thing is that nobody knows cause it would be "unpolite" to say the truth on the Forum.

While I honestly do not want to start any drama, i'm honestly feeling like what I was "told" on the old live forums was either made up, a lie, or worse. I figured I could get a quick explanation, but it  definitely makes me feel like I pulled a major faux pas.

 

Which, you know... fine. I get it. Nobody wants to step on toes. I just would like to chime in on how I feel the tanker buffs "should work" but then I realized that I have almost no frame of reference. I figured with all the various theorycrafters, minmaxers, pvp'ers, pve'ers, and such on this forum, folks would be able to say something like (JUST AN EXAMPLE)

"Scrappers out-dps all current melee ATs, except for X, Y, and Z combos for A, B, and C powersets. If you want to max out single target damage with little regard for any other metrics, pick Scrapper and go with AA/ZZ combo"

 

Again... that's *for example*. I'm not new to the game, I'm just not sure entirely what changed between say... i23 and HC (and the patches inbetween). And I feel like it's important to know that.

 

if folks don't want to talk about it, that's fine.... but you're the first person to point out that 'we don't talk about it'.... so thanks i think...

 

 

Much appreciated for the response. Have a good one.

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Part of the issue again is what scrappers get and what stalkers get. "Generally speaking" stalkers will lose out on an AoE to gain AS. This is not always true, see SJ. Stalkers also have far better control over their crits compared to scrappers. A stalker should to a fault crit on their opening AoE depending on the situation. A scrapper might do it, but a stalker can guarantee it. In other words, a scrapper might have more AoE attacks, but a stalker might use their AoE in a way for the battle to end in a shorter amount of time and thus not need the extra AoE as much. Again, see stalker's Chance to Hide IO.

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Without Pause Claws/wp brute, Nothing But Flowers Plant/storm, Waterpark Water/temp blaster, Sneakers StJ/en stalker,

Current obsession(s): Earth/earth dom, Rad/bio brute.

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9 minutes ago, biostem said:

Ok, so imagine a typical same level, same team size group of enemies, where you might have 5-6 minions, 1-2 LTs, and a boss.  The stalker sneaks past the others to the boss.  The team stays out of aggro range.  As the team starts to move in, (or just before), the stalker hits BU, assassin strikes the boss, follows up with a placate then their other heaviest hitting attack.  Said boss should be dead by that point, and the team has a significantly easier time of things...

Okay, and that makes sense. No argument from me.

 

 

Now lets say the boss stays the same, but the team disappears. Who has a better chance of taking it out faster? Your 'average' stalker, or your 'average' scrapper? What about an EB? AV?

 

I mean, i realize there are a lot of variables here, from how things are slotted, to *what* exactly is being fought and with what kind of damage... I don't expect a cut and dry perfect answer, as this isn't that kind of game.

 

But what I am trying to figure out is what, exactly, is supposed to be the difference between those two ATs, and eventually, the other melee-focused ATs. I would like to think if someone asked "What ATs are the best at surviving" I'd probably have somewhat equal groups of people arguing Brutes and Tanks, and then someone would likely come up with a calculation describing Effective Hit Points (EHP), survivability metrics, or similar. For most cases? I'm sure folks would likely prefer tanking over bruting for the 'best in surviving' award, if that makes sense. Defenders would get the 'best at support powers' award.

 

 

Who gets the best Single Target DPS award? Who can consistently take out hard targets? Is it Stalkers because they can combowombo hyperchain crits and hides and crits and buildup'ed crits? Or is it Scrappers who are designed to survive things a stalker just possibly can't ever, and win out over sustained metrics? Or are they really honestly neck and neck, and two extremely similar tools in the same 'toolbox', no different than a 10mm socket and a deepwell 5/8 sparkplug socket? THey're both really great at screwing and unscrewing (ha!) but have totally different applications and usage to do the whole screwing/unscrewing. (or you know, unbolting, if you prefer)

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17 minutes ago, Ljhalfbreed said:

"Scrappers out-dps all current melee ATs, except for X, Y, and Z combos for A, B, and C powersets. If you want to max out single target damage with little regard for any other metrics, pick Scrapper and go with AA/ZZ combo"

Full geared Titan Weapon / Bio armor Scrappers out-dps all curent ATs. (out of consideration of context, of course)


Just another French Player

So Excuse my old, bad and too french English !

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2 minutes ago, Ljhalfbreed said:

But what I am trying to figure out is what, exactly, is supposed to be the difference between those two ATs, and eventually, the other melee-focused ATs.


0.o

99% of what you're asking can be answered by simply visiting the Paragon Wiki.  The rest is just you going in pointless circles trying to quantify the difference between apples and oranges.

 


Unofficial Homecoming Wiki - Paragon Wiki updated for Homecoming!  Your contributions are welcome!
(Not the owner/operator - just a fan who wants to spread the word.)

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5 minutes ago, Ljhalfbreed said:

Okay, and that makes sense. No argument from me.

 

 

Now lets say the boss stays the same, but the team disappears. Who has a better chance of taking it out faster? Your 'average' stalker, or your 'average' scrapper? What about an EB? AV?

 

I mean, i realize there are a lot of variables here, from how things are slotted, to *what* exactly is being fought and with what kind of damage... I don't expect a cut and dry perfect answer, as this isn't that kind of game.

 

But what I am trying to figure out is what, exactly, is supposed to be the difference between those two ATs, and eventually, the other melee-focused ATs. I would like to think if someone asked "What ATs are the best at surviving" I'd probably have somewhat equal groups of people arguing Brutes and Tanks, and then someone would likely come up with a calculation describing Effective Hit Points (EHP), survivability metrics, or similar. For most cases? I'm sure folks would likely prefer tanking over bruting for the 'best in surviving' award, if that makes sense. Defenders would get the 'best at support powers' award.

 

 

Who gets the best Single Target DPS award? Who can consistently take out hard targets? Is it Stalkers because they can combowombo hyperchain crits and hides and crits and buildup'ed crits? Or is it Scrappers who are designed to survive things a stalker just possibly can't ever, and win out over sustained metrics? Or are they really honestly neck and neck, and two extremely similar tools in the same 'toolbox', no different than a 10mm socket and a deepwell 5/8 sparkplug socket? THey're both really great at screwing and unscrewing (ha!) but have totally different applications and usage to do the whole screwing/unscrewing. (or you know, unbolting, if you prefer)

Beware, prepare your umbrella, you gonna have soon the rain of "i play what i want" warriors 😄


Just another French Player

So Excuse my old, bad and too french English !

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