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Dark Melee Future [re: Dark Melee Update]

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@Captain Powerhouse I would just like to say the initial Dark Consumption tweak was inspired and a thing of beauty in my opinion.

  • It kept the existing functionality and provided some additional aoe damage in a unique way.
  • Lowering the recharge and increasing it's viability in both low endurance and high endurance situations.
  • Bonus damage applied to targets closest to the caster opened up an opportunity to do same real damage without clearing entire spawns. Very elegant.

Sure criticals were going to be too much and the curve would need adjustment. Hopefully this will be the starting point when/if this gets picked back up.

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I'd like Touch of Fear to be a narrow cone, that would be fun for me. I personally don't have much use for a single target fear, especially on a Scrapper. 

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A little cone for Fear and -ToHit but not damage. Absolutely.

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1 minute ago, Troo said:

A little cone for Fear and -ToHit but not damage. Absolutely.

Agreed, don't need damage added. Whatever procs fit in there now would be more than good enough. I'm not even sure I'd use them or even slot the power a lot of time beyond an accuracy and/or recharge. 

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I think another possible avenue to seek to keep the crit on Dark Consumption for Scrappers (I was in the camp that didn't want to remove AT abilities from various powers) is just make it so the %crit for it is lower and not affected by outside buffs.  Similarly, powers like Spine Burst for Stalkers has a toned down crit chance when used from Hide.  All in all, I really wanted DC to keep its power, even if it was at the cost of not making the optimal situation for its use off of recharge.

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My thoughts:

 

1) Midnight Grasp could do "Splash DoT" around the target you hit, say in the same radius as Thunder Strike (7~8 ft) and able to hit 10 targets. This would spread an additional 67.05 damage in a crowd (SO damage enhanced), or 108.35 damage when you have Soul Drain (per Mids). With a single Recharge enhancement, you would be able to toss this out every 11.25 sec, or every 7.38 sec with hasten. 

 

Compared to the 1st iteration of the "new" Dark Consumption, that could toss out IIRC 250ish damage every 54 - 38 seconds with 2 Rech SO's / hasten. Lets compare these at base damage and at reg / hasten recharges:

 

MG = 5.96 / 9.09 AoE DPS 

DC = 4.63 / 6.57 AoE DPS

 

While the burst isn't much, the DPS is there over even the nuke DC of build v1.

 

 

2) Dark Consumption could have stayed as the Build V2, but with the close-range sweet-spot. In my testing, the v2 build would really only wipe out enemies if I poured a ton of damage into it. If it were to be redesigned again, I would think buffing the "sour-spot" v2 damage to be 9-12ft radius would be nice, and then keeping a 3ft radius "sweet-spot" for bonus damage would work great in tandem with a splashing MG. Enemies touching you would be wiped out for sure, but that is a much smaller amount than would take a decent chunk of damage from the larger sour-spot. The new Shadow Maul and MG with AoE DoT could then easily pick off survivors, but still offer time to be hit back as a balance.

 

 

 

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3 minutes ago, Galaxy Brain said:

My thoughts:

 

1) Midnight Grasp could do "Splash DoT" around the target you hit, say in the same radius as Thunder Strike (7~8 ft) and able to hit 10 targets. This would spread an additional 67.05 damage in a crowd (SO damage enhanced), or 108.35 damage when you have Soul Drain (per Mids). With a single Recharge enhancement, you would be able to toss this out every 11.25 sec, or every 7.38 sec with hasten. 

 

Compared to the 1st iteration of the "new" Dark Consumption, that could toss out IIRC 250ish damage every 54 - 38 seconds with 2 Rech SO's / hasten. Lets compare these at base damage and at reg / hasten recharges:

 

MG = 5.96 / 9.09 AoE DPS 

DC = 4.63 / 6.57 AoE DPS

 

While the burst isn't much, the DPS is there over even the nuke DC of build v1.

 

 

2) Dark Consumption could have stayed as the Build V2, but with the close-range sweet-spot. In my testing, the v2 build would really only wipe out enemies if I poured a ton of damage into it. If it were to be redesigned again, I would think buffing the "sour-spot" v2 damage to be 9-12ft radius would be nice, and then keeping a 3ft radius "sweet-spot" for bonus damage would work great in tandem with a splashing MG. Enemies touching you would be wiped out for sure, but that is a much smaller amount than would take a decent chunk of damage from the larger sour-spot. The new Shadow Maul and MG with AoE DoT could then easily pick off survivors, but still offer time to be hit back as a balance.

 

 

 

NAILED IT

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they could at least keep the faster animating Shadow Maul.

 

Just saying.  

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4 minutes ago, Haijinx said:

they could at least keep the faster animating Shadow Maul.

 

Just saying.  

They are, the Shadow Maul changes are staying in (disclaimer: still in beta, subject to change).

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1 minute ago, Sif said:

They are, the Shadow Maul changes are staying in (disclaimer: still in beta, subject to change).

well good 

 

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I am fairly surprised and disappointed at this result. Looking at the thread, there seems to be an ~5 hour gap between (paraphrasing mine) "We're going to try the new thing and see if we can balance it to a suitable level" to "We talked long and hard and we're not doing it anymore, kthxbi"

 

I think Dark Melee is one of the more interesting sets in the game, but it tends to fall a bit behind in the modern gameplay environment in terms of AOE damage. I will echo other peoples comments that the idea and feel of making the damage scale to endurance was a really interesting one, and could lead to fun moments. Objective testing put the phase 1 buffs in the top 50%, from being pretty much bottom of the pack. Even Phase 2 with the over tweaking had it in a better place than Live and would be a preferable place to be in than the current live version.

 

I think we all understand the need for testing and tuning to get things right. I'd just love if you guys were able to stick with it and develop this out now rather than a nebulous future date.

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Kind Regards,

Spellward

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8 minutes ago, Spellward said:

I'd just love if you guys were able to stick with it and develop this out now rather than a nebulous future date.

These changes were meant to be something fairly quick, but ended up dominating time and attention. Continuing on DM would mean Electrical Affinity, Experimentation, and the new sets would suffer and be delayed.

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17 minutes ago, Spellward said:

I am fairly surprised and disappointed at this result. Looking at the thread, there seems to be an ~5 hour gap between (paraphrasing mine) "We're going to try the new thing and see if we can balance it to a suitable level" to "We talked long and hard and we're not doing it anymore, kthxbi"

 

I think Dark Melee is one of the more interesting sets in the game, but it tends to fall a bit behind in the modern gameplay environment in terms of AOE damage. I will echo other peoples comments that the idea and feel of making the damage scale to endurance was a really interesting one, and could lead to fun moments. Objective testing put the phase 1 buffs in the top 50%, from being pretty much bottom of the pack. Even Phase 2 with the over tweaking had it in a better place than Live and would be a preferable place to be in than the current live version.

 

I think we all understand the need for testing and tuning to get things right. I'd just love if you guys were able to stick with it and develop this out now rather than a nebulous future date.

Keep in mind, it's a very small volunteer team. They are pushing two new power sets and four new enhancement sets, all of which were getting less attention due to some tweaks to Dark Melee that were supposed to be small but proved to be much bigger. They rightfully chose to prioritize what needs work now and shelved the changes to Dark Melee until they can properly be addressed. 

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Posted (edited)

Going back and reviewing the information from Build 1 and seeing the comments and concerns, I can't help but to think man...they were really close with that first Dark Consumption design.

 

The power was fairly basic, it was Lightning Rod without the Teleport, and its damage was scaled by your character's endurance percentage. Basically, it was this:

8 ft radius does 2.2525 x Endurance% scaled damage

3 ft radius does additional 0.9275 x Endurance% scaled damage

 

In some ways, I thought, just fix the critical hits issue (that was a bug, simple to remove), but there was concern with how powerful soul drain can get (and perma'd) that would lead to a SD+DC pairing being too powerful. Fair point.

 

So they tried something new and renamed it Dark Equilibrium, and I thought "Why not play with that name...Equilibrium"? So I proposed something in the 2nd build's comments that was fairly basic, but I figure I'll reintroduce it here with numbers that actually match the power. Basically, I think the damage AND the endurance should scale with the character's Endurance% (equilibrium).

 

We have a mechanic like this already in Gamma Boost, which is an Auto power in Radiation Armor that provides a +Regeneration and +Recovery boost. The way that power works is when the character's Health is high, there is no need for Regeneration, so your Recovery boosts is heightened. When your Health is low, the need for Regeneration is prevalent, thus you take away some of the effectiveness of the Recovery boost and apply it back to a Regeneration boost. It's equilibirium.

 

So I propose the following: Remove the bonus damage that came from the 3ft radius; after all, this is still a utility power. Working with a maximum of 2.2525 damage scale, we break it up into what's scaled to Endurance%. At the same time, we can do the same for the endurance return. I think this would be fair:

Damage = 1.2525 + 1.0000 * (Endurance%).

Endurance Return = 7.5 + 10 * (100% - Endurance%)

 

This will create the new power Dark Equilibrium, which will do:

At 100% Endurance: 2.2525 scaled damage and return 7.5 Endurance/Target

At 90%: 2.1525 DMG, 8.5 END

At 75%: 2.0025 DMG, 10 END

At 50%: 1.7525 DMG, 12.5 END

At 25%: 1.5025 DMG, 15 END

At 10%: 1.3525 DMG, 16.5 END

At 0%: 1.2525 DMG, 17.5 END

 

Now, scaling to the extremes can be a bit clunky, as you can't cast a power at 0% Endurance or have 100% after casting a power... I don't know when the Endurance% would be determined. Either way, you could limit the extremes to something like 10% and 90%, where the minimum performance is set at 10% endurance or less, while max performance is set at 90% endurance or more. Then we could have something like this instead:

Damage = 1.2525 + 1.2500 * minmax( Endurance% - 10%, 0%, 80%)

Endurance Return = 7.5 + 12.5 * minmax( 90% - Endurance% , 0%, 80%)

 

This 2nd formula would do the following:

At 100% Endurance: 2.2525 scaled damage and return 7.5 Endurance/Target

At 90%: 2.2525 DMG, 7.5 END

At 75%: 2.0650 DMG, 9.375 END

At 50%: 1.7525 DMG, 12.5 END

At 25%: 1.4400 DMG, 15.625 END

At 10%: 1.2525 DMG, 17.5 END

At 0%:  1.2525 DMG, 17.5 END

 

Personally, I like the 2nd formula better. It gives you a window of knowing whether or not you'll get max damage (or max endurance) from the power. Also, I figure this solution would alleviate some of the concern caused by Soul Drain as the 0.9275 extra damage is removed. At 250% damage bonus (100% from enhancements, 150% from maxed out Soul Drain on scrappers), the power would max out at doing 7.88375 damage (which for Scrappers is ~493 damage).

 

I dunno, I figure that's a fair balance. But I'm open to constructive feedback. What do you guys think? Perhaps the endurance return is tuned too high, but that could be paired down as well...something like a 7.5-17.5 range as opposed to the 10-20 range. That way it still averages 12.5 Endurance/Target.

Edited by Bopper
Decided to use a 7.5-17.5 endurance return range, instead of 10-20.
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I'm still disappointed Dark Consumption/Equilibrium changes got pulled.  It seemed to me that they just needed to tweak the damage up a little bit from Ver2.

 

Oh well.

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Posted (edited)

How about: Touch of Fear becomes a Targetted AoE power (akin to Spinning Strike)

The power has no damage currently so there is no worries about it becoming AoE (wont lose access to ST Melee sets.)

If balance is a concern, the Fear and -ToHit could always only affect the main target (I'm sure recharge might have to go up a bit, though...)

I think Touch of Fear is only available to Melee ATs also, so no worries about renames because some other AT has access to it or what not.

I leave numbers to the pros, just saying its a good spot to add AoE damage without messing with the cottage rules.

Edited by Super Homer
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@Bopper Very interesting. Clear easy to adjust levers. Definitely viable.

If they decide to go away from the mini-nuke concept this does to stay true to the existing power while adding some oomph.

 

@Super Homer are you thinking targeted AoE for the taunt? I only ask because you mention an option where it would only Fear and -ToHit the main target.. wait I see you're proposing adding damage to a targeted AoE version of Touch of Fear. Changing a single target to a AoE might result in reducing the Fear and -ToHit. Maybe that's a good trade off, would need some more numbers.

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6 hours ago, Troo said:

If they decide to go away from the mini-nuke concept this does to stay true to the existing power while adding some oomph.

The thing that boggles my mind and makes no sense to the power though, is that DM doesn't need a mini nuke. That's where all these problems are coming in to. The issue is that DM needs/is lacking consistent aoe damage. A mini-nuke would just turn it into electric melee with no backup aoe. The only other main issue is that the power grants endurance, which is fine, but that's a simple balance scale to balance damage, recharge, and end gain to keep all aspects of the power viable.

 

Now regardless of the damage issue, DC and consume in fire armor have always had WAYYY too long of a base recharge to really be useful. Even on a fully recharged out IO build, by that time the powers are largely unnecessary anyway for most builds. Electric armor, Energy armor, and Ice armor for example all have end gain powers, that are auto-hit no less on a 60s base recharge timer.

 

DC/Consume, not only had a base recharge three times that, but also require a to hit check as well. Of course being a damage power that also grants endurance is where the balance needs to happen. You're doing too much if you're also trying to balance it as a "mini-nuke" that the set doesn't really need to be like that, which is why this project was shelved as it was.

 

The better solutions would be to either change touch of fear, giving it a +end/recovery aspect, or what would make more sense adding that to siphon life, and then changing DC to a standard pbaoe attack like, or even swapping it with, engulfing darkness.

 

The other option, would be to simply balance DC out as an attack that grants endurance with basic numbers. Since it gives endurance it could obviously not be a power that recharges in 20s or less like other standard AoEs. The set however needs an aoe attack that has at least some base consistent use.. Also the whole end scaling with the power is far too much of a mechanic to even bother with for the most part. Scaling the damage per your end is interesting, but there is literally zero point to scaling the endurance. Since if you're at near full end you're not going to need much of the endurance boost anyway, and waiting till you're low for more damage defeats the purpose of working on your build to manage it's end better. More often than not your end is lower near the end of the fight, where you're not going to get much, or even want to use this power for just a couple enemies rather than waiting to start it on the next mob. (and yes i know you're thinking, "well then you're low when you start the next mob for big damage", but actual misisons/fights don't always work out like that, and by the time the next mob is set up where you want to use it, you've already recovered half or more of your endurance anyway unless your build is REALLY bad on end)

 

The sweet spot to address all these issues, would be to set the power at a 60s recharge, so that with recharges you can use it fairly often, but not spammable, and you can still use it for endurance on a more consistent level as well, and should also have a useable -to hit with a long duration as well. Damage wise, something like double the normal damage of a 15s recharging aoe would make the most sense, since it would have a much longer recharge, but the benefit of endurance as well. It also wouldn't be so much damage that there would need to be any seclusion of the power from critting on scrappers/stalkers, brutes get their fury, and tankers could even have a higher -to hit value.

 

Regarding the endurance, since it's recharge is being lowered the end gain would be adjusted as well. It wouldn't be out of context either to instead of having an end boost, to have it give a +recovery buff like drain psyche instead for a more consistent endurance management of the power, with more focus on the first target hit and scaling down, whether its +end or +recovery.

 

We can all agree as well, even looking at foot stomp, frozen aura, spine burst etc, which all have a recharge of 20s or less, that whatever version DC takes, it's radius has to be at a bare minimum of 10ft, if not easily 15 or 20ft wide.

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I'm not into mini nukes myself. I don't find them useful other than for solo. Their very power minimizes their use since BOOM, exploding the first spawn quickly means it will not be available for the second spawn, and by the time it recharges we are half way killing the second spawn, so we do not use it or otherwise we will not have it available for the third spawn after that. This is how nukes and mini nukes consistently feel like to me and I don't find it fun. I much prefer smaller damage but available in normal recharge times. Claws with Spin and Shockwave might be a stretch (though I could live with them being a standard so that we could stop being so focused on numbers and instead play sets because we like the theme, or the animations, but not 'welp, no decent aoe, I won't play this power set') but to me ALL SETS should have an early AoE (wide cone like new Shadow Maul (and NO MORE of this crap of narrow cones born out of spreadsheets) or PbAoE like Spin) so players can AoE things down from early instead of having the UGH of being surrounded by enemies but smashing them one at a time. Horrible feeling.

 

But of -course- it proved to be problematic to bake a power like Dark Consumption that has utility on top of damage. Thank THE GODS that we didn't get that out of season first April joke of a 15 second DoT though. What a terrible idea. What a spreadsheet vision of the game that has no bearing with the current iteration of the game.

 

I'm into the suggestion above of giving DM's T9 a splash effect (besides, growing a forest of tentacles is fun). It does not even have to be huge. Five characters tops is fine. No more need to worry about new mechanics like max endurance giving damage or the problems inherent in trying to balance a power that gives endurance also doing damage. It may be a simple solution lacking flashyness but hey, works for me.

 

And as for the people complaining how DM is super well know for its strong ST and giving it AoE would dilute the theme, wat? DM has good ST damage, but just like Fire Melee it's not -amazing- ST. Where are these uber times of pylon destroying from DM (not that pylon breaking is a metric that matters, but it is still a measuring metric)?


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Still have to disagree.  Scrappers should Crit on attacks.  That's their whole inherent, and they're just getting rid of it.  Bad enough we get that already on other powers, like Kinetic Melee's tier 9.  I'll give, at least it gives something on a Crit though.

 

Scrappers crit, let's stop taking that away.  The power itself takes 90 seconds to recharge anyways, and this one is dependent on endurance level.

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While the Dark Consumption idea just needed a little tweaking (I felt the critical damage was too much, and either the no critical/reduced critical approach was the right way to go there), it also only aids the ATs that get it. The disappointment is somewhat funny since the Shadow Maul change is all that Stalkers were going to get, and now that it's all that everybody is getting now we need more changes.

 

The change to Midnight Grasp sounds good and would affect everyone, but I would hope that it would still keep the 100% critical rate from hide on the single target portion: playing a DM Stalker I wouldn't want to have my hardest hitting attack turned into a 50% chance for critical when it's always been guaranteed, just look at the complaints about Head Splitter.

 

Just now, BrandX said:

Scrappers should Crit on attacks.  That's their whole inherent, and they're just getting rid of it.

Stalker Energy Melee says hi. Then goes back to quietly crying in the corner.

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25 minutes ago, siolfir said:

While the Dark Consumption idea just needed a little tweaking (I felt the critical damage was too much, and either the no critical/reduced critical approach was the right way to go there), it also only aids the ATs that get it. The disappointment is somewhat funny since the Shadow Maul change is all that Stalkers were going to get, and now that it's all that everybody is getting now we need more changes.

 

The change to Midnight Grasp sounds good and would affect everyone, but I would hope that it would still keep the 100% critical rate from hide on the single target portion: playing a DM Stalker I wouldn't want to have my hardest hitting attack turned into a 50% chance for critical when it's always been guaranteed, just look at the complaints about Head Splitter.

 

Stalker Energy Melee says hi. Then goes back to quietly crying in the corner.

 

And I feel it should crit too!  Though, I wouldn't say that's their (Stalkers) whole thing.

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Excellent input all.

Thanks for documenting ideas and also avoiding some of the back and forth debate that can often deteriorate or derail a thread. It is appreciated.

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15 hours ago, Troo said:

 

@Super Homer are you thinking targeted AoE for the taunt? I only ask because you mention an option where it would only Fear and -ToHit the main target.. wait I see you're proposing adding damage to a targeted AoE version of Touch of Fear. Changing a single target to a AoE might result in reducing the Fear and -ToHit. Maybe that's a good trade off, would need some more numbers.

 

Not sure. I guess it could be anything, weaker AoE fear/-tohit, or just fear/-tohit the main target, do damage to all targets. 

 

Side benefit of adding AoE damage there: stalkers don't miss out.

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I look forward to seeing how the Shadow Maul change by itself plays out on live. That will give the devs a better idea of where their balance point needs to be with DC.

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