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Sentinel Feedback


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I have what I think are three very solid suggestions for improving sentinels. So far, my sentinel is my favourite, and I would love to see not only her but also other builds better supported.

 

Per a comment on this reddit post:

 

"42 (as of writing) Water/Regen

 

I have a mostly positive opinion of my sentinel. Please bear with me while I break it down.

 

Leveling: Sentinel feels weaker until 32+ and slotted, at which point it feels like it holds its own solo or grouped. I recommend at least DFBing one up to 22, slotting it, and giving it a whirl.

 

Soloing: The AT feels very solid, and quite safe, but it's slower than a brute or scrapper. The overall effect is bland. The exception to this is when you challenge yourself; I think dedicated soloists could get a kick out of a sentinel.

 

Grouping: Contrary to what other people are saying, I found two very clear niches in groups. In most circumstances, by which I mean fighting hordes of enemies, I serve as a sort of offtank, pulling aggro at the start of the fight with heavy burst AoE damage, recovering, and picking off individual targets. I fall into a sort of mid-range groove--not running up to melee enemies, nor keeping at a distance, but trapping mobs in the right spot for the squishier team members to help blow up. That smoothly transitions into the second niche, which is essentially just taking advantage of the sentinel passive to let my team nuke big bads. Yes, a blaster or scrapper may selfishly hit harder, but substantially buffing an entire team's damage for free is amazing. In both cases, I feel rewarded for charging forward and blowing things up, which I think is the ideal play experience for a sentinel.

 

Complexity: I think this depends mostly on your build. I would guess that good sentinel play is moderately or very complex for most players. This entails properly triggering your passive (meaning with your fast attack).

 

Water Primary: Water is an extremely complicated set to play, because you have to repeatedly make split-second decisions about targeting, which payoff power to use, and whether or not it's worth building up tide first. However, I think it's also very well suited to a sentinel for three reasons. First, the inherent CC and burst-heavy AoE nature of the set is perfectly suited to the mid-range role I described above. Second, Dehydration is a really great attack that serves to help you recover from initial aggro. Third, and *MOST IMPORTANTLY BUT LEAST OBVIOUSLY*, your basic rotation--light attack, heavy, light--feels like it's designed around the sentinel passive. You're usually trying to target the biggest single threat, you're spamming the attack that triggers vulnerability, and, since you almost always use your heavy attack right after your light attack, you will almost never accidentally trigger the defensive mode. (Unfortunately, that means you can't *intentionally* trigger it, but, frankly, it might as well not exist for all practical purposes.)

 

Regeneration Secondary: Regeneration pairs well with an end-hungry set like Water, since it gives free bonus recovery and passive buffs. It also works well for the initial AoE aggro role that my sentinel plays, as it provides bonus max hp, and an absorb as needed. Being able to pick myself back up is nice too, though I almost never need to. I have to imagine that other sets, with more toggles and actives but less burst protection, do not pair well with sentinel primaries.

 

Epic Pools: These feel lackluster because they don't have anything to do with the sentinel's defensive half. SEE SUGGESTION BELOW!!!

 

Overall Impressions: I enjoy my sentinel, but it seems like your mileage will vary heavily based on which sets you use and your intended playstyle. If you want top personal dps, this isn't for you. If you want to main tank, look elsewhere. If you want to support, get good at nailing the passive to the right target.

 

Worst Problems: 1) The offensive passive is useless if everything is dying left and right, and it's counterintuitive (or just plain wrong) to hold back. 2) Most (meaning active and end-hungry) secondaries do not suit the aggro tank playstyle, and they could actually hurt dps. 3) The defensive passive is useless and decreases dps when triggered.

 

Suggestions for Improvement: 1) Merge the passive triggers into one effect that debuffs the enemy and buffs/heals/absorbs the sentinel. This reduces the likelyhood of feel-bad situations and reinforces the sentinel's dual nature. 2) When a target dies while under the effect of the passive's debuff, it should restore a chunk of the sentinel's endurance based on the remaining duration of the debuff. This would help end-hungry builds to function and make the passive more useful in AoE situations. 3) *MOST INTERESTINGLY*!, please, PLEASE, replace three powers in each epic pool with PokeVoke, a single-target taunt, and an AoE taunt! (That is, brutes' hidden aggro-grabbing passive.) If not all three, at LEAST PokeVoke, perhaps stapled to a def/res/hp buff. This would make me so happy...

 

(Edited to include epic pool considerations.)"

 

Edit: Upon further consideration, adding pokevoke only to the epic pools would mean that sentinels still can't hold aggro at most levels. Perhaps add it as a hidden passive, a new baseline active (like how MMs get extra actives), or an addition to a passive or toggle in each secondary set?

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My Sentinel is now 50. I noticed a substantial dps drop in the 40s, and of course I'm still too squishy and non-taunting to tank. It's made me feel like I have to play other toons in order to contribute. Please fix?

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It could be your slotting/power choices. My Sentinel is 50 and solos quite easily without any "eek" moments. Water/Ninjitsu. Regen looks meh on Sentinels.

 

My Sentinel is now 50. I noticed a substantial dps drop in the 40s, and of course I'm still too squishy and non-taunting to tank. It's made me feel like I have to play other toons in order to contribute. Please fix?

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i got a DP/WP sentinel i love it its powerfull however becausse whe are ranged tanks its annoying to have use so many acc inspi's

to even hit a target missing all the time aint funny and some powersets should have a bit more range for solo it could be great iff you where atleast able to hit something and filling your self whit enchancements on lvl22 aint do-able becausse off the cost money gain 30k money per enhancement is just expancive when i played the game when it whas still under NCSOFT

prices wherent that high actually reasonble lower like 10k less for enhancements around you lvl range

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Sentinels feel like the solution to my "I would really enjoy soloing with a non-melee toon and still have status protection" problem. Really, that's what I'm there for. Sure Blasters can enjoy some heavy hitting melees in their secondaries, but all the damage they need is in a proper attack chain from their primaries anyway (past lvl 10 anyway).

 

So yeah, you do a little less damage than a blaster and have a little less variety in your tray to chose from, but you get status protection and some survivability baked in. Slower, safer, but still useful.

 

I had an El/El blaster that due to his PBAoE awesomeness was always face planting in team play. An El/El Sentinel wouldn't have that problem.

 

I fundamentally don't understand their feature power and never use it properly. But that's on me to learn, I suppose.

Svengjuk, Formerly Alice, Empty Man, EM Riptide, Silver Mouse, and many more... SG: Hero Dawn

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Their Inherent ability feels kinda... clunky to me. Necessitating you keep both of your first two powers, one of which you might not even pick up, in order to activate both halves of it, and it activating just whenever as opposed to you being able to control when it's used like Dominators can.

 

Eh.

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The issue isn't my build. Soloing is fine, but group contributions are where, I feel, sentinels are lackluster. Can't tank, can't dps, and unreliable with their passive unless you want to waste even more dps on holding your bread and butter powers in reserve. I agree that accuracy stacking is a problem. Overall, it just doesn't feel as good as it did at lower levels.

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Sentinels are ok. Beam Rifle sentinels are comically OP. Dual Pistols sentinels are ass cancer

 

My advice is to look at both of those powersets and see what makes them great and shit, respectively, on a Sentinel, and use that to improve the AT's innate ability.

 

(protip: it's the lack of Build Up)

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I explained some of the noteworthy aspects of water above, chuef among them the handling of the passive and tidal power, the latter of which actually plays quite well with my goals as a dps. Unfortunately, the raw damage just isn't there. I may try another sentinel at some point, but first I'll need to overcome my disappointment... and get my dom up to 50 so she can finance the new toon's 0 influence gain.

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I'm not entirely convinced Sentinel needs a big rework. If their inherent power was fixed to not be clumsily worded and implimented that would help.

 

Or hell, just change it to what it sounds like, each subsequent hit on an enemy gets a damage boost, like up to 25%

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The issue isn't my build. Soloing is fine, but group contributions are where, I feel, sentinels are lackluster. Can't tank, can't dps, and unreliable with their passive unless you want to waste even more dps on holding your bread and butter powers in reserve. I agree that accuracy stacking is a problem. Overall, it just doesn't feel as good as it did at lower levels.

 

You don't have to have the best DPS or the best at tanking in a group to contribute. I don't know how many teams I've been on with multiple tanks where one tank was the primary tank. Where did that leave the other tanks? Can't DPS, don't need their tanking, so why have them? Because everyone who participates in a team contributes to the team.

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You don't have to have the best DPS or the best at tanking in a group to contribute. I don't know how many teams I've been on with multiple tanks where one tank was the primary tank. Where did that leave the other tanks? Can't DPS, don't need their tanking, so why have them? Because everyone who participates in a team contributes to the team.

 

Your analogy is interesting because the "redundant Tanker" problem starts (like you said) when there's already one Tanker in the group.  The "redundant Sentinel" problem starts before that.

 

The question for a Sentinel isn't "what can I do that will contribute to the team" because the answer's obvious: shoot things.  It's "why should I make a Sentinel if I plan on playing in teams"?  The answer there is less clear.  The OP notes that Offensive Opportunity helps them contribute, but it's honestly blown out of the water by singular click powers Corruptors can get (and can apply immediately at the start of a fight).

 

I don't have a real answer yet.  I have a few ideas, but I think to an extent the problem here is perhaps less of design and more by design.  Like most Villain archetypes, Sentinels trade group utility for solo efficacy.

 

Anyway, some ideas, most of which have problems of their own (brainstormed as individual ideas, not a collective proposal):

  • Significantly increase the duration of the enemy-affecting portion of Offensive Opportunity to something like 15-20 minutes, allowing the Sentinel to stack enormous debuffs on an AV over the course of a long fight.  (Add or rework similar long-duration debuffs into their EPPs.)
  • Rework Sentinel primaries and EPPs to have more AoE, particularly cones (primaries) and PBAoEs (EPPs) to take advantage of their resilience.
  • Make Defensive Opportunity place an effect on the target that restores HP and END to anyone who hits it for a few seconds, rather than a one-time Sentinel-only buff.  (Add or rework similar "battle cleric"-style buffs into their EPPs.)
  • Add a 10-20s (self) +recharge buff to either Opportunity (a shorter buff on Offensive would be more powerful, a longer buff on Defensive would help give it a stronger use case).
  • Enhance Sentinel T9 nukes.  Every Sentinel T9 was standardized to 90s recharge but they don't appear to have had their damage adjusted accordingly, making Rain of Arrows miserably bad and Thunderous Blast exceptionally good -- so at least they need a balance pass.  Most of them already have 3 mag, 9-15s mez effects; triple the magnitude and duration, and add a mez.  Give them a "crit" effect for additional bonus damage when the Sentinel is affected by either Opportunity.  Have them leave an effect on the field that debuffs enemies or buffs allies.
  • Give Sentinels much better (Defender-like) scaling on ally-affecting powers.
  • Give Sentinels a "power-build-up" aura that enhances the secondary effects of nearby allies.

No-Set Builds: Tanker Scrapper Brute Stalker

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I don't know that I'm qualified to speak on this, as there are power-sets and AT's I have yet to play to level 50, if at all.

 

My thoughts: there's absolutely nothing wrong with the Sentinel. In fact, the Sentinel - my Sentinel, a fire/rad/fire Sentinel IS the most fun, most survivable character I've ever played. More survivable than my fire/fire brute, or my fire tank.

 

Not as survivable as my invuln scrapper used to be, but where is it written that an avatar/character has to be survivable when you play poorly or make bad decisions in game?

 

We talk about "tanking" as a style of play. The alpha shots are what make tanking very hard for tanks with their high health points. Trying to do this with a Sentinel is a bit foolish. The Sentinel "can" tank, to a degree - the same degree to which a scrapper can tank. However, that depends on the circumstances and your slotting, your power selections, even the order in which you choose those powers.

 

Do NOT touch the Sentinel class. It's perfect as it is. Absolutely nothing wrong with it. That's just my opinion in having leveled to 50+ well over 50 times on a number of different characters. I've never had so much fun with a character, including my "main" ice/ice blaster, Ukase.

 

The blasters used to serve a great purpose (and still do) and that was damage. But, the secondaries just didn't work well with most primaries, in my opinion. Other than ice path and snow/ice storm, (and the forced to take chill blain), I never chose any of them. With the Sentinel, I took almost all of them!

 

The Sentinel is the fixed Blaster, in my opinion. If you're not a fan of the Sentinel, that's fine. Play something else.

 

I see no reason to play a character, note things that aren't quite to your liking and keep playing it. Play something that will meet your expectations. It's out there, you just have to find it.

 

Perhaps if I'd made my first Sentinel a water/invuln, I might have a different idea, but I'm in love with my fire/rad.

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I think the biggest problem with the archetype is that you are forced into taking both of your initial blasts to be able to access your archetype abilities.  I’d prefer to skip one of the first two powers in the blast set, but I need the first one for Offensive Opportunity and the second for Defensive Opportunity.  In contrast, Dominators get a button to activate their archetype ability without needing to choose a specific power to access it.  Changing the archetype to grant buttons to activate the opportunity would allow for a wider variety of builds.  Alternatively, just give a button for Defensive Opportunity, and have Offensive Opportunity activate when either of the first two blasts in the blast set are used.

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