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Suggested New Epic AT: Transformation Master


RedwoodElf
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OK, so before anyone says it, this is NOT just a rehash of Kheldians with a new coat of paint, this is completly different.

 

Inspiration for this archetype is characters like Go Nagai's Cutey Honey.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lUFwLPoovNE

 

The archetype is based around change. Like the earlier Epic Archetypes, there would be unlocks, but these unlocks would work differently. They would not prevent someone from playing the archetype itself, but each transformation archetype would be separately unlocked by having a character of that archetype on any server at level 20 or higher.

 

At first level, the character picks one archetype as their "Base form" - Ironically, this will be the weakest of their forms, as this is the only form that, when training, can use their power selection to pick another archetype to transform into. These alternate forms are picked from a special pool containing all the other archetypes in the game. Access to this pool is the archetype's special ability, which they get in place of the regular special (so, for example, if their base form is a corrupter, they do  NOT get the Scourge ability. Nor do any of their other forms get their archetype's special abilities, making them weaker than a "Pure" version of that archetype.)

 

As compensation for having none of the normal specials, the base form can slot the pool powers for each archetype. These slots are donated to that sub-archetype for use on that archetype's powers. All the sub-archetypes are 1 level lower than the base archetype for the purpose of training, thus capping out at level 49 when the base form is level 50.

 

When a new archetype is selected, the first time the pool power is activated, the player is put in the character creator, and builds the new archetype from the ground up, choosing body type, costume, power sets, and starting powers. They are locked into the archetype of that transformation, but everything else is picked at will. The sub archetypes HAVE the transformation pool, but can't pick new transformations or add slots to them when they train up. They only have the pool so they can transform to the other archetypes and the base archetype. The new archetype, once it is created, must then go to the trainer and train up to one level less than the base form. At the first Enhancement slot training level, it gets the extra slots the main form has in the pool for its archetype. (If slots are added later, they  become available at the next slot training level)

 

For example, assuming that the player has a single character of every archetype at level 20+, at level 50, The Transformation Master could be level 50 Scrapper, and level 49 in everything else. Note that slotting out such a character would be ruinously expensive in terms of Inf and other resources. Each form has its own set of toolbars, but shares storage with all the others.

 

For those who still think this is "Just a reskinned Kheldian", show me one Kheldian who can be a Fire/Fire Blaster, an Illusion/Kinetics controller and a Zombies/Darkness Mastermind in their three forms.

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I'm not vehemently opposed to the idea.  But I would probably never roll one of these. 

 

I would just roll a Fire/Fire blaster, and roll an Illusion/Kintroller, and roll a Necro/Dark MM, and just load up whichever one I felt like playing at that moment.

I get that, for whatever reason, you want one single character that act like multiple different characters.  I'm just not feeling it.  I prefer making more alts to this idea.

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On 2/9/2020 at 11:15 AM, MTeague said:

I'm not vehemently opposed to the idea.  But I would probably never roll one of these. 

 

I would just roll a Fire/Fire blaster, and roll an Illusion/Kintroller, and roll a Necro/Dark MM, and just load up whichever one I felt like playing at that moment.

I get that, for whatever reason, you want one single character that act like multiple different characters.  I'm just not feeling it.  I prefer making more alts to this idea.

So you get to the end of a trial or TF as a blaster, and the tanker in your group just can't cut the mustard, or disconnects and doesn't come back. You don't think the ability to shout "Honey Flash!" and transform into a tanker form would be useful? How would you pull in your tanker alt in this situation (Just curious) Yes, I Know Kheldians CAN fill this role, but I thought if they're going to make new archetypes, this could be the opportunity to do something I wanted to do from day 2 (maybe 3) of live.

 

Note that I did make a requirement of having an alt of that archetype at level 20 to unlock the transformation (This is so you have a good chance of knowing the basics of an Archetype before you add it to your repertoire)

 

If you're not into Transforming Magical Girl type superheroes, that's your choice, but having this as an option would give us  Altoholics the chance to make some truly unique combinations.

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I feel like the number of times I ever find myself in a set of circumstances where being able to switch to a gimped version of a different AT would be really useful would nowhere near make up for having to play a gimped version of an AT the entire rest of the time.  Especially when CoX is already so flexible when it comes to AT roles, and there are very, very few problems that can't be solved with a handful of insps.

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AE SFMA: Zombie Ninja Pirates! (#18051)

 

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4 hours ago, RedwoodElf said:

So you get to the end of a trial or TF as a blaster, and the tanker in your group just can't cut the mustard, or disconnects and doesn't come back. You don't think the ability to shout "Honey Flash!" and transform into a tanker form would be useful? How would you pull in your tanker alt in this situation (Just curious) Yes, I Know Kheldians CAN fill this role, but I thought if they're going to make new archetypes, this could be the opportunity to do something I wanted to do from day 2 (maybe 3) of live.

 

Note that I did make a requirement of having an alt of that archetype at level 20 to unlock the transformation (This is so you have a good chance of knowing the basics of an Archetype before you add it to your repertoire)

 

If you're not into Transforming Magical Girl type superheroes, that's your choice, but having this as an option would give us  Altoholics the chance to make some truly unique combinations.

The number of times in City of Heroes, whereI have needed to shazam myelf into a different character without logging out, can be counted on zero fingers.   Soooo... yea.  I'm saying I can't see it being terribly useful.  Maybe I've just been really lucky. Maybe my experiences differ wildly from yours. Maybe I've just forgotten a few nights where it did happen and it's just gone from the memory banks because I didn't care that much. All things are possible.

 

This kind of thing is certainly one reason why I liked having a couple of Druids in the raid group back in the WoW days,  Back in WoW, having raid members with mutliple sets of loot and dual-specced and COMPETANT enough to play varied roles could reallllly help on certain progression raid fights.

 

In City of Heroes... sure it could have stylepoints... and like I said I dont' really oppose the idea.... but my reaction, is indeed, "Meh".

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3 hours ago, Grouchybeast said:

I feel like the number of times I ever find myself in a set of circumstances where being able to switch to a gimped version of a different AT would be really useful would nowhere near make up for having to play a gimped version of an AT the entire rest of the time.  Especially when CoX is already so flexible when it comes to AT roles, and there are very, very few problems that can't be solved with a handful of insps.

Gimped? Read it again. Though they don't get the special abilities of the AT, they can get up to 6 extra enhancement slots from the base form by the base form slotting their pool power. If that's "Gimped" then I am not sure you know what that word means.

 

If you think about it, you are basically playing the "Vanilla" version of each Archetype, as they were at release, before the special bonuses were added.

Edited by RedwoodElf
Clarifying "Vanilla" versions
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How would persistent effects work, and how quickly can the change(s) be pulled off?  For instance, if my base form was a shield tanker, could I click active defense, then change into my rad defender form, give myself AM, and finally switch to a blaster and just devastate enemies?  Would all such buffs be dropped between forms?  What about longer-lasting debuffs that you could apply?  Would they cancel out as soon as you change forms?

 

IIRC, and to use your example, didn't Cutey Honey have her combat form, and the rest were profession-centric, (like a professional racer form, a doctor form, etc)?  Maybe focus on that aspect of the character instead?  You functionally have the same powers across all forms, except for maybe switching out a few key powers.  There would be 4 "forms" that you unlock at different levels/milestones throughout your career.  Perhaps your base form would be one of these, or would be a very underwhelming one that only used some simply pistol or martial attacks, and you had to build up a bar in order to change forms.  These forms could be named "brawler form" for the melee-centric one, "marksman form" for the ranged attacker, "exploiter form" for the control-heavy one, and "supporter form" for the buff/debuff/healing one.  For instance, maybe you have various "expertise" powers, which translate into different abilities like this:

 

Dark Expertise:

1. Shadow punch (brawler form), dark blast (marksman form), shadow binds (exploiter form), twilight grasp (supporter form)

 

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8 minutes ago, biostem said:

How would persistent effects work, and how quickly can the change(s) be pulled off?  For instance, if my base form was a shield tanker, could I click active defense, then change into my rad defender form, give myself AM, and finally switch to a blaster and just devastate enemies?  Would all such buffs be dropped between forms?  What about longer-lasting debuffs that you could apply?  Would they cancel out as soon as you change forms?

 

IIRC, and to use your example, didn't Cutey Honey have her combat form, and the rest were profession-centric, (like a professional racer form, a doctor form, etc)?  Maybe focus on that aspect of the character instead?  You functionally have the same powers across all forms, except for maybe switching out a few key powers.  There would be 4 "forms" that you unlock at different levels/milestones throughout your career.  Perhaps your base form would be one of these, or would be a very underwhelming one that only used some simply pistol or martial attacks, and you had to build up a bar in order to change forms.  These forms could be named "brawler form" for the melee-centric one, "marksman form" for the ranged attacker, "exploiter form" for the control-heavy one, and "supporter form" for the buff/debuff/healing one.  For instance, maybe you have various "expertise" powers, which translate into different abilities like this:

 

Dark Expertise:

1. Shadow punch (brawler form), dark blast (marksman form), shadow binds (exploiter form), twilight grasp (supporter form)

 

Persistant effects would last for their full duration. This aspect would be no different than a warshade doing human and tanker mire effects then going to nova form and nuking an entire group of enemies.

 

Cutie honey had TWO strictly battle forms, the redhead swordswoman (Basically a Sword based scrapper), and the Armored Knight (Tanker IIRC). She also arguably had an AR/Traps blaster form as well, and a Ninja form (Stalker?)

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9 hours ago, RedwoodElf said:

Gimped? Read it again. Though they don't get the special abilities of the AT, they can get up to 6 extra enhancement slots from the base form by the base form slotting their pool power. If that's "Gimped" then I am not sure you know what that word means.

 

If you think about it, you are basically playing the "Vanilla" version of each Archetype, as they were at release, before the special bonuses were added.

Switching to an 'emergency tanker' that has no Gauntlet does not seem like it would be very helpful to the team.  Playing a tanker with no Gauntlet for most of the time would be...well, it's basically a low-damage scrapper with no crits, isn't it?  Bruising doesn't exist on HC now, it was replaced by the damage scale increases, so this AT would also have its tanker damage scales reduced, which would be a global 16% damage reduction to all melee attacks.  No Gauntlet means that they need to use their Taunt power to hold aggro, dropping damage even further since every Taunt is a missed attack.

 

The alt-form tank version is also going to be one level lower than the rest of the team, which maybe won't make much difference at low levels or low difficulty but can run smack into the purple patch for people running at high difficulty or playing incarnate content.  E.g. moving from +4 to +5 will roughly halve the effectiveness of a character's damage, debuffs , mez etc.  Overall, the alt forms are going to face a minimum of another 10% reduction in their powers' effectiveness relative to their natural level whenever they are fighting enemies that are even-conning or higher to their 'real' level, on top of whatever losses come from the lack of the inherent.

 

So our hypothetical alt-form tanker will be doing 25% less damage (at a minimum, remember) and will have no Gauntlet to help perform its actual tanking role.  This feels gimped to me, yes, and to me, anyway, the opportunity to add six extra slots to pool powers doesn't seem like it would make up for that.

 

ETA: I'm not saying that there are no weaker inherents where losing them would have a less significant effect on the AT.  For example, it would be pretty easy to get by as a Defender -- in teams, anyway.  Solo, of course, there's that 30% damage buff gone.  But there would also be the Assassination-less Stalker, or the Fury-less Brute stuck forever on their Corruptor-level melee damage scale, cases where the inherent is critical to the basic functioning of the AT.  'Lose the inherents' is simply too broad a mechanism to create a balanced AT.

Edited by Grouchybeast

Reunion player, ex-Defiant.

AE SFMA: Zombie Ninja Pirates! (#18051)

 

Regeneratio delenda est!

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9 hours ago, Grouchybeast said:

The alt-form tank version is also going to be one level lower than the rest of the team, ..

Actually, no. Read the OP a bit more carefully. It's only one level lower for the purposes of training (Enhancement slots and powers) NOT actually a level lower. It's all the same character after all. At level 50, the main form and all the transformations are all level 50.

 

If that's enough of a penalty, I'm not averse to letting all the forms keep their AT specials, but there has to be some extra penalty for the versatility of being able to swap out AT/Costume/Powersets at will. How about this: All forms share the same Incarnate slots. That would mean they'd have some incarnate abilities slotted that would be sub-optimal for some of their builds. On the plus side, they wouldn't have to construct abilities for every single form, and could fully slot their incarnate abilities as fast as any other character.

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seems like a lot of coding to avoid rolling a new toon

     ZetaForce              OmniForce            AquaForce          PsychoForce          RagnaForce        CosmicForce         MegaForce         MagnaForce
50 Brute Rad/Fire | 50 Stalker Em/Inv | 50 Corr Wa/St | 50 Dom Mind/Psi | 50 Scrap Tw/Elec | 50 PeaceBringer | 50 Blast Fire/Nin | 50 Blast Dp/Ma

                                                                              AND SO MANY MORE

   MetaForce        SigmaForce     MechaForce        TeslaForce          AntiForce          CryoForce           HyperForce         NecroForce        XenoForce
50 Sent En/Sr | 50 Brute Ele/Fi | 50 Sent Er/Inv | 50 Troll Elec/St | 50 Corr Ice/Kin | 50 MM Nin/Co | 50 Scrap Km/Rad | 50 Stal Bs/Sh | 50 Def Rad/Pain

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30 minutes ago, Saiyajinzoningen said:

seems like a lot of coding to avoid rolling a new toon

Did you read the OP? You have to roll a toon for every AT you want to use, and level it up to 20. That's pretty much the opposite of what you're saying.

 

There are characters like this in the superhero genre. Basically every Magical Girl Transforming superhero, Ben 10, etc.

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1 hour ago, RedwoodElf said:

There are characters like this in the superhero genre. Basically every Magical Girl Transforming superhero, Ben 10, etc.


No.  The vast majority of Magical Girls have two forms, their normal human form and their Mahou Shoujo form.  (Which is also basically true of Cutie Honey.)  It's not unusual for a Magical Girl to receive a powered-up form, but it's generally either a replacement for the original Magical Girl form or requires an additional henshin or Power Up sequence to attain from the base or previous form.

Few Magical Girls can simply transform into or between multiple forms on a whim.

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9 minutes ago, Doc_Scorpion said:


(Which is also basically true of Cutie Honey.)
Few Magical Girls can simply transform into or between multiple forms on a whim.

Have you even SEEN Cutie Honey? She has lots of superpowered forms. I already cited several of them, above.

1: Her Default "Warrior of Love" Redheaded sword scrapper form

2: Her White-Iron Armored Tanker form (The first one she uses in the New Cutie Honey series)

3: A Ninja Stalker form

4: She once duplicated the appearance and powers of "Peeping Spider" - another stalker form.

5: Any form she takes is skilled enough at what they do to count as superpowered. If she transforms into a sniper, she's an AR Blaster for example. her "disguise" forms are just disguises, and don't count as an AT, but she could probably duplicate any AT you care to name, and simulate any powerset.

 

And you're just going to ignore my mention of Ben 10, aren't you? That is a definite instance of this type of archetype in a mainstream Superhero setting.

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Honestly speaking, I think that a better example would be something like Kamen Rider, since by now it has about nineteen years' worth of characters who deal almost exclusively in various specialized forms.

 

On one hand, I like the concept of this archetype, purely because I like Kamen Rider and the idea of playing as a proper Kamen Rider-inspired character, form changes and all. It's just appealing to my sensibilities.

On the other hand, I feel like this would be a bit of an annoyance to code, for what is basically a really quick character-switch option.

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41 minutes ago, DestinyPlayer said:

Honestly speaking, I think that a better example would be something like Kamen Rider, since by now it has about nineteen years' worth of characters who deal almost exclusively in various specialized forms.

 

On one hand, I like the concept of this archetype, purely because I like Kamen Rider and the idea of playing as a proper Kamen Rider-inspired character, form changes and all. It's just appealing to my sensibilities.

On the other hand, I feel like this would be a bit of an annoyance to code, for what is basically a really quick character-switch option.

I kind of feel like the "quickest" way to handle this AT would be to give it, say 4 mutually exclusive toggles, (or maybe your base form + 3 toggles), and have different effects baked into each power, based upon which toggle you have running.  So if you had a melee toggle, a ranged toggle, a control toggle, and a support toggle, then each power would do something different, (again tied to which toggle you had one).  Costume change binds could then complete the effect.

Edited by biostem
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On 2/11/2020 at 4:25 PM, biostem said:

I kind of feel like the "quickest" way to handle this AT would be to give it, say 4 mutually exclusive toggles, (or maybe your base form + 3 toggles), and have different effects baked into each power, based upon which toggle you have running.  So if you had a melee toggle, a ranged toggle, a control toggle, and a support toggle, then each power would do something different, (again tied to which toggle you had one).  Costume change binds could then complete the effect.

However, that WOULD make it basically a modification of Kheldians and not something completely new.  "Generic blaster form" and  "Generic Tanker Form" instead of being able to have actual Tanker or blaster powersets, being able to change body types, etc.  For example, imagine a character based on the classic Greek elements:

 

Form 1: Huge body type Earth/Earth tanker.

Form 2: Female body type Water/Water Blaster.

Form 3: Male form Fire/Fire Controller.

Form 4: Female Form Empathy/Storm Defender.

 

Alternately, this could be used to make characters with two powersets in one archetype (After all, if your base form is Blaster, and you pick the Blaster transformation, you have four powersets on the same character, so you could go from, say, Assault Rifle/Traps to Darkness/Darkness depending on the situation.

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