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

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1 hour 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. 

Ive played MA on both stalker and scrapper at 50.  The stalker is much better ST.

 

Its not even close on a full team with stalker atos slotted.  

 

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11 minutes ago, Derekl1963 said:


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.

 

Considering how many wide ranging changes have been made since paragonwiki was 'active', that's not the case. Heck, even snipes have been changed more often in the last month than would ever reflect on paragonwiki, for example.

 

And if you could explain to me the difference between the apples and oranges (in this context), I'd greatly appreciate it. all I mostly see is folks saying "Well they're just *different*" without any explanation or otherwise quantifying the difference.

 

Again, I'm not trying to be an obtuse idiot here. Are they two sides of the same coin, or do they fit disparate and unique roles? And of course, what's the data/etc that supports that? I'm not challenging anyone, I just would love to see some sort of explanation.

 

To use your analogy, the responses I'm getting is "Apples and oranges are different, you can tell by the names. There's simply too many varieties of apples and oranges to tell you which one is which." 

 

Shoot, I know *someone* out there has done the calculations, especially when I see stuff like PPM google sheets and so forth. 

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3 hours ago, Ljhalfbreed said:

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

(1) Which AT is doing the best sustained single-target damage? Or, (2) Which AT should be doing the best sustained single-target damage?

 

'cause those have different answers, and different methods of determining the answer.

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3 minutes ago, Ljhalfbreed said:

Considering how many wide ranging changes have been made since paragonwiki was 'active', that's not the case. Heck, even snipes have been changed more often in the last month than would ever reflect on paragonwiki, for example.


The basic roles and nature of the AT's have not changed to any great degree.
 

3 minutes ago, Ljhalfbreed said:

To use your analogy, the responses I'm getting is "Apples and oranges are different, you can tell by the names. There's simply too many varieties of apples and oranges to tell you which one is which." 


There's a reason why you're getting those answers...  But you're not happy with an answer that doesn't fit your impossible criteria, so we keep going in circles.

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21 minutes ago, Tsuko said:

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

That makes sense. I've got a TW/Bio that whoops serious booty. No bigs. But I also have a StJ/Bio that *feels* (and that's the operative word here) that it does comparable, or even *better* damage than my TW, at least with regards to single targets. It also feels like a moot point because we're trying to compare the whirlwind superpower of Titan AoE chains with 'lemme spam buildup during this sweet mostly singletarget chain'... but I never thought it would be this difficult to discuss.

 

But is my math wrong, or my feelings wrong when comparing the two? Herostats seems to no longer work for me, nor SNBR. Pretty damned annoying to manually parse hundreds of combat lines, you know? 

I just figured i'd have folks be able to pipe up with a simple maxim of (for example) "Stalkers do best in single targets, scrappers do better with multiple targets." Instead I've got folks arguing that I don't know how to read Paragonwiki (which hasn't been updated since live, and it's never going to) and so on.

 

Which hey, it's fine. Maybe it's a question that was never ever supposed to be answered. Maybe i'm secretly infuriating some hidden 'Protect our secret AT imbalance' crowd. Who knows?

 

But I can say just from looking at pines (or the stuff in-game) it honestly looks like Stalkers are designed to be single-target focused for the most part, and Scrappers are designed to have a bit more AoE, with Stalkers trading off some survivability (that the scrappers get) in order to do CRAZY INSANE SPIKE+SUSTAIN DAMAGE, or whatever. But if I'm wrong in thinking that, I'd like to know why it's wrong, so I can learn. That's all.

 

No ego. no fighting. just want to learn and understand. 

 

 

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7 minutes ago, Sunrunner said:

(1) Which AT is doing the best sustained single-target damage? Or, (2) Which AT should be doing the best sustained single-target damage?

 

'cause those have different answers, and different methods of determining the answer.

Please... either. Honest. I'm not picky at this point. 

 

My assumption from my playtime is "Scrappers are technically doing best sustained single target damage, especially with the combo of TW and Bio. Stalkers, however, are supposed to be doing the best sustained single target damage." 

From simple napkin math, it *looks* like this is the case, and is further exacerbated by larger teams. Stalkers get an increasing boost to crit chance the more folks that are on the team. Add in the ATOs, and it *looks* (again, i need to stress that it merely LOOKS) like Stalkers are supposed to be Single Target Takedown Kings and Queens, giving up a fair share of survivability in order to do so. Scrappers sacrifice ST damage to gain more AoEs and also more general survivability as a result. Seems like it makes sense on paper, and looking at the tooltips/windows in HC, and a bunch of builds created in Pines/Mids/whatever-it-is-now.

 

 

Maybe we want to further break down spike vs sustain vs avg. Maybe it will never ever matter how much damage a stalker could put out (ST or otherwise) because they can never survive long enough to deal it all out. Maybe we can just point to a dev post that says 'Stalkers should never outdps scrappers because X. sorry'. Or "All scrappers that arent */Bio are all terrible and will be buffed down the line to compensate." Or whatever.

 

 

It just feels like I'm taking crazy pills when I can say "What AT has the strongest support powers" and everyone will stand up in unison and shout Defender, and if I ask "What AT has the strongest ST attacks" and everyone goes 'well, just go google it I guess we're busy and you're being obstinate'.

 

Heck, for part of a hot new york minute back in the day, /EM *blappers* were some ST dps kings. Sure they'd eat turf instantly as soon as an attack landed on them, but until that point, they'd be pom-pomming all kinds of mobs into the dirt with zero sweat off their backs. And if I said 'whoa wait, how are they the best?' and then someone would say "Well according to the damage values for these powers, when combined with buildup and aim, you can plainly see that the outgoing damage is incomparable to any other AT, regardless of powerset. If you could somehow keep this blaster alive long enough to cycle its attacks ad infinitum, the average DPS would be XXXXX, which far, far exceeds these ATs and powersets, which have a maximum of XXX under the same conditions."

 

 

Why we gotta be difficult about comparing and contrasting Scrappers and Stalkers? I just don't get the reasoning behind the negativity.

 

 

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16 minutes ago, Derekl1963 said:


The basic roles and nature of the AT's have not changed to any great degree.
 


There's a reason why you're getting those answers...  But you're not happy with an answer that doesn't fit your impossible criteria, so we keep going in circles.

Again, how is it impossible?

 

If I ask you which AT has the strongest buff/debuff values, which would that be? Would it suddenly be blaster just because they have a powerset that can slot a few extra procs? Or would it be defender, and you'd be able to back up your claim with "Here's the values for debuff scalars for these ATs, and you can see Defenders get the strongest magnitude/effect/bonus"?

 

Or if you prefer... who does better single target ranged damage... Defenders, Corruptors, Sentinels, or Blasters? My gut instinct is Blasters because they have buildup and aim (or their equivalents) and higher ranged scalars for their attacks. That should mean that generally speaking, they'll put out a lot more damage than other ATs just from simple math. But all I'm hearing is that "It's apples and oranges, you can't compare them" like all the numbers and values are in this big black mystery box we can't view like it's issue 2 all over again, or worse...  everyone is comparing Dark/Dark/Dark lvl 50 fully incarnated defenders with Sentinels they only picked power pools for going 'gosh this is too hard to figure out what's more numbers gooder' or whatever.

 

 

 

 

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This question is impossible to answer without more constraints.  Not only do we have four different ATs, but we have over a dozen attack sets many of which overlap from AT to AT, but some that do not.  And then we have secondaries that not only help the characters survive, but some also have damage auras or buffs that significantly improve damage delivered.

 

And finally, but perhaps most importantly, you need to take into account a build for each.  The stalker and scrapper ATOs increase damage by a HUGE amount if you slot them.  But it's not just slotting them that determines the outcome.  You have to account for the power it is slotted into and the attack or attacks that follow it.  And to do that, you need to come up with an attack chain.  And to calculate an attack chain, you also need to know the recharge of all the powers in the chain, which requires you to know what is slotted in the power as well as your global recharge from other powers, set bonuses, and I-powers.

 

Perhaps the easiest way to do this calculation is to ignore all that and just add up all the attacks in a set for each attack power set in each AT without regard to any slotting.  This information can be relatively easily pulled from Pines/Mids by clicking "window" then "power set comparison."  You could then compare fire to fire to fire, etc.  You could also add all the different power sets together and divide by the number of sets available for each AT and call that the average damage for the AT and compare the averages between ATs.

 

But again, as others have said, while this might be a fun philosophic or mathematical thought experiment, that experiment breaks down when you actually have fully built characters facing a variety of enemies and being piloted by players of differing skill and knowledge.

 

Otherwise, you can just take a look at the Pylon times thread as your answer.

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I feel like people are trying to be too specific. It's an impossible question to answer with specifics.

 

In general burst ST target damage will be Stalker > Scrapper > Brute > Tank.

For AoE it's generally going to be Scrapper > Brute > Stalker/Tank(not sure on this one. Tanks do less damage but generally have more AoE, so my assumption is Stalker does more). 

 

There are exceptions to this as TW/Bio Scrappers will outdo anything a Stalker can do. And Elec/SD Stalkers are better than Scrappers because of the way the two nukes don't crit and don't break Stalker Hide. Spines/Fire is better on a Brute because their taunt mechanics override the fear in Burn.

 

The damage obviously goes to zero if you face plant, so that's a consideration. If it stays alive a Stalker will generally take out an AV the quickest, but Stalkers have the least HP out of the four, so they also face plant the quickest.

 

Also, if the Tank changes on test go live as is, they are going to be moving up that AoE list.

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13 hours ago, Ljhalfbreed said:

To use your analogy, the responses I'm getting is "Apples and oranges are different, you can tell by the names. There's simply too many varieties of apples and oranges to tell you which one is which." 

Has nothing to do with apples or oranges.  A better descriptor is you're asking what does more damage to a target -  A .45 pistol or a 50 cal sniper rifle?  These are not even in the same league.  Not even close.

 

You're asking "what melee AT does the most single target damage" and including ATs that are inherently not designed to do high single target damage with ATs that are specifically designed to do enormous amounts of single target damage.

 

The built in, inherent programmed differences between the melee ATs are blatantly obvious.  The question makes no sense.  You're better off asking for a comparison between Scrappers and Stalkers.

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10 hours ago, MunkiLord said:

I feel like people are trying to be too specific. It's an impossible question to answer with specifics.

On the contrary, it's a question which cannot be answered without specificity.  Each AT has... what, 100+ combinations of primary/secondary, each of which will perform differently, plus pools, enhancements, accolades, the testing field (critter defenses and resistances, level differential, etc), attack chain and a host of other things to take into consideration.  Attempting to compare them based simply on the AT designation, like one would compare classes in traditional RPGs, is moot.  It doesn't work because the sheer number of variables is too large.

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16 hours ago, Ljhalfbreed said:

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.

This is debatable by design.

Play style can be a factor. Time can be a factor (spike vs sustained). Survivability can be a factor. Target type can be a factor.

 

It can be about more than just mashing buttons.

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15 minutes ago, Luminara said:

On the contrary, it's a question which cannot be answered without specificity.  Each AT has... what, 100+ combinations of primary/secondary, each of which will perform differently, plus pools, enhancements, accolades, the testing field (critter defenses and resistances, level differential, etc), attack chain and a host of other things to take into consideration.  Attempting to compare them based simply on the AT designation, like one would compare classes in traditional RPGs, is moot.  It doesn't work because the sheer number of variables is too large.

I get what you're saying and don't disagree in general. But with the OPs question as I understand it, I don't think that's really realistic because of all those variables. I feel a general ST damage Stalker > Scrapper > Brute > Tanker is best while mentioning a few outliers gives the OP the desired answer. Now if the question was a little more specific like which AT should I choose if I want to play Electric Melee, then we can give more specific information as that eliminates a lot of variables. Even then it's going to depend on specific slotting and character goals.

 

If the OP is wanting some master list of all the combos and ATs rankings, then I'm out. That's way too much work.

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11 minutes ago, Troo said:

image.png.026d63ab3fe139546005fd8e6e2f5994.png

Heh, Might Thor issue #489 (1995).  There is another panel of Hulk slugging Thor like this but a different angle.  It ended in a draw due to the story. 

I do volunteer that you can tell Hulk that pretty blond man is strongest one there is though. 😉

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7 minutes ago, MunkiLord said:

I get what you're saying and don't disagree in general. But with the OPs question as I understand it, I don't think that's really realistic because of all those variables. I feel a general ST damage Stalker > Scrapper > Brute > Tanker is best while mentioning a few outliers gives the OP the desired answer. Now if the question was a little more specific like which AT should I choose if I want to play Electric Melee, then we can give more specific information as that eliminates a lot of variables. Even then it's going to depend on specific slotting and character goals.

 

If the OP is wanting some master list of all the combos and ATs rankings, then I'm out. That's way too much work.

The original post opens with that ranking as being a suspicion.  Then there is a lot of talk about various things and a circling back to "what feels like is right".  That being that Scrappers do high single target damage but Stalkers can trend towards higher performance in group scenarios due to more frequent criticals. 

The question really does seem to be a far more granular "what is the empirical proof that puts the argument to bed" and not just a generalized 30,000 ft view the classes.  The OP has already done the latter on a number of responses. 

There is also the question of "Should X AT be doing Y damage in Z context?".  So there is a lot to unpack and there are a lot of blurry lines as to how one thing should be and how things currently are.  My head is spinning just thinking about it all and I keep making typos due to it.

Anyway, to the OP, sorry for my Hulk derails but it was too tempting not to do given the context of all this.  Also, I feel your instinct on assessment is already answering your own question.  For anything further you probably do need some more specific data points for any other comparisons.

Edited by oldskool
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13 hours ago, Ljhalfbreed said:

Again, how is it impossible?

It's impossible because the answer depends on so many other things besides the AT. Basically you're asking something akin to "which are faster, motorcycles or cars?", to which you can't really give one universally true answer. Does faster mean higher top speed, better in a drag race or higher average speed on a track? What kind of track? Is it one lap or an endurance type of thing where refueling cycles and such matter? Are we comparing the best supercars/cycles or average performance over several price levels? Etc, etc. If you narrow down the specifics of the comparison, you can most likely reach some kind of conclusions.

 

The comparison between debuffers is much easier. Besides actual support sets, there's only one set that's worthy of mentioning when it comes to debuffing: Sonic Blast. Two debuff classes have access to Sonic Blast to stack on top of the debuff set and Defenders get the higher modifiers which results in more total debuff.

 

As for my personal opinion, I'd guess the DPS order (given ideal circumstances and comparable builds) should be Scrapper > Stalker > Brute > Tanker. Tankers get the most survivability, so they pay the highest price in damage. Brutes get the second most survivability (same defensive modifiers as Scrappers/Stalkers, but higher HP/Res caps). Stalkers have lower HP than Scrappers, but they get aggro avoidance tools and exceptional burst damage, so it makes sense to me that Scrappers should be allowed to do better sustained damage. Then again, Stalkers typically lose out on AoE so maybe they should have the edge in sustained ST? 

 

That said, I have no idea how universally that order holds when you start mixing in variables such as the various ATOs, varying levels of attack chain interruptions due to differences in survivability, enemies fleeing due to lack of taunt aura, differences in the damage sets and so on.

Edited by DSorrow

Torchbearer:

Sunsinger - Fire/Time Corruptor

Cursebreaker - TW/Elec Brute

Coldheart - Ill/Cold Controller

Mythoclast - Rad/SD Scrapper

 

Give a man a build export and you feed him for a day, teach him to build and he's fed for a lifetime.

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This thread is absolutely hilarious 🙂

 

OP I think there is a mix here in defensive responses and 'I am just so knowledgeable about how complex this is there is no answer to anything'.

 

To be fair, it's hard to answer and I think people retreat into the 'I need more information' corner rather than admit it. I never got great answers and this game does have a strange uniqueness to it because how it's programmed. Shield defense for example has skills anchored completely in base damage, this means that some rotations give a tanker better dps than a brute (thinking specifically burst here not over time).

 

We can get into all of that but generally the following should be true:

 

Stalker: Single target burst king

Scrapper: Versatile king

Brute: King when able to stay at 70%ish fury. This requires some gearing OR is true in fights solo or when getting hit constantly (many enemies)

 

I don't know everything and I'm sure a lot of the posters here refusing to give their take or answer you will be keen to tell my why I'm wrong. 

 

Where I think a better conversation could be had is : what AT does more dps with X powerset. I think more people can comment there.

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6 hours ago, ShardWarrior said:

Has nothing to do with apples or oranges.  A better descriptor is you're asking what does more damage to a target -  A .45 pistol or a 50 cal sniper rifle?  These are not even in the same league.  Not even close.

 

You're asking "what melee AT does the most single target damage" and including ATs that are inherently not designed to do high single target damage with ATs that are specifically designed to do enormous amounts of single target damage.

 

The built in, inherent programmed differences between the melee ATs are blatantly obvious.  The question makes no sense.  You're better off asking for a comparison between Scrappers and Stalkers.

Okay then what's the comparison between stalkers and scrappers?

 

 

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4 minutes ago, Ljhalfbreed said:

Okay then what's the comparison between stalkers and scrappers?

 

 

Stalkers will obviously do better single target burst damage whereas Scrappers in general are going to work better over time.

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5 hours ago, MunkiLord said:

I get what you're saying and don't disagree in general. But with the OPs question as I understand it, I don't think that's really realistic because of all those variables. I feel a general ST damage Stalker > Scrapper > Brute > Tanker is best while mentioning a few outliers gives the OP the desired answer. Now if the question was a little more specific like which AT should I choose if I want to play Electric Melee, then we can give more specific information as that eliminates a lot of variables. Even then it's going to depend on specific slotting and character goals.

What I'm pretty much looking for, realistically speaking, is exactly what you said in your first paragraph. So for example: "For general ST damage, Stalker > Scrapper > Brute > Tanker, for <reason>" 

 

The problem is that I don't know *why* that is, nor how to figure it out. I don't know what that 'reason' is other than some gut instinct, the feel of my different characters, and a bunch of numbers I can't quite figure out a formula for. Folks talk about burst damage, sustained damage, and so forth, but when I ask for the reasoning, there's a whole lot of confusion, withdrawal, etc.

 

Back on live, I felt that stalkers were great for one singular damage burst. Hide->build up->AS->'follow up'->'follow up 2'. After the changes late on live, they were given a lot of new tricks between the ATOs (chance to recharge buildup, chance to hide), along with a scaling increase to critical chance depending on team size. To me, that *sounds* like they are capable of both burst damage and a whole lot of sustained damage over longer timeframes. Hypothetically, if a stalker can get twice as many crits as a stalker can in the same timeframe, then unless the stalker has way way weaker attacks, then (again, hypothetically) the stalker will out-damage the scrapper. Now the way the game is built, that also means that the scrapper gets a lot more in teh survivability (and AoE damage) department, but I think that's fair.

 

All I want to do is be able to say  "For general ST damage, Stalker > Scrapper > Brute > Tanker, for <reason>" and know what the <reason> is. Special cases like TW/BIo scrappers and whatever? Sure that's fine. I'm just trying to figure out where the ATs are supposed to stand, if that makes sense. 

 

Quote

If the OP is wanting some master list of all the combos and ATs rankings, then I'm out. That's way too much work.

Hahaha no. I'll keep playing what I got and roll up new characters for whatever reason. I don't have time for that either. 

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Your answer lays in the Pylon thread over the scrapper forums. Despite being in the scrapper forums all ATs have been posting their times there. Since you're not adding enough constraints, like sustain and burst DPS, length of the fight (a 15 second fight will not  favor TW, and if we both start from range and need to approach and fight a Blaster will have shot a mob three times by the time a meleer has bounced to melee range) then that thread has your answers. Several scrappers, brutes and stalkers have posted their times so just have a gander.

 

Street Justice stalker and Titan Weapon scrapper are up there, and we're talking *up* there with one minute times and no gimmicks like -regen.


@sovera in Everlasting - I love teaming up so hit me up.

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1 minute ago, Ljhalfbreed said:

The problem is that I don't know *why* that is, nor how to figure it out.

The why is that is how they are programmed to operate under most circumstances. 

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