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If you could change the sentinel (or not) which would you choose?(Poll/Opinions)

Sentinel Poll  

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  1. 1. If you could revamp sentinel as something entirely different or just gently tweak it what would you choose?

    • It's fine as is, no change necessary.
      16
    • Keep the archetype and opportunity mechanic largely the same, just increase the rate it builds up and increase it's buff and debuff values.
      40
    • Change it's opportunity mechanic to an active marked target power that adds primary power set specific effects, debuffs, bonuses to the sentinel or effect procs for attacking a marked target.
      45
    • Give it dominator style hybrid offense and make it's mechanic increase your ranged power as you melee, and melee power as you attack with ranged.
      14
    • Completely change it! Go crazy with it, Make it a tanker controller, a scrappy defender, a mastermind mashup- Anything else but this!
      24

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  • Poll closed on 07/03/20 at 11:02 AM

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Posted (edited)

I was deeply curious how sentinel players themselves felt about the sentinel. I have fun with it from time to time but I really wondered... Beyond a suggestion thread or random murmerings here and there...
If you COULD decide the fate of the entire Archetype and how it was approached, balanced or changed. What would you choose?

And I think that would yield more interesting results numerically than a thread of suggestions. So I'm posting this poll here.

Edited by Vulgaris

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2 hours ago, Vulgaris said:

I was deeply curious how sentinel players themselves felt about the sentinel. I have fun with it from time to time but I really wondered... Beyond a suggestion thread or random murmerings here and there...
If you COULD decide the fate of the entire Archetype and how it was approached, balanced or changed. What would you choose?

And I think that would yield more interesting results numerically than a thread of suggestions. So I'm posting this poll here.

I would not do any of these, I would simply increase their damage so they are closer to Blaster,Scrapper etc... . I would still let them be last, just a lot closer.

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I'd start with simply increasing the damage multiplier from .95 to 1.0.

 

Then I'd suggest a balance pass of the epic/patron power pools.

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I would have them keep their mediocre AoE damage, but retool the Opportunity inherent's mechanic to more often/reliably apply the debuff in order to effectively give them almost Blaster-like ST damage.

 

Stalkers have their controlled crits, let Sentinels have something similar with controlled Opportunities. We like to call Sents 'ranged Scrappers', but I'd rather see them as ranged Stalkers without Hide.

 

I don't think I would change their damage multiplier right away, but perhaps after a balance pass. Changing the inherent takes priority imho. Right now it's an unfun mess and I hate how I have to use my T1/T2  to trigger two different kinds of Opportunity. And I hate how it can miss. Either give us two Domination-style buttons for autohit Offensive- and Defensive Opportunity, or combine them into one effect and trigger it with either the T1 or T2 (or a single Dom-button).

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Posted (edited)

From what the devs themselves have said, they're supposed to be like "ranged Scrappers." Unfortunately, I think they rather missed the mark on this particular front.

 

In my truthful honest opinion, I really really really do not like the Opportunity mechanic at all. It is focused for low amounts of debuff on one target. I would much prefer more AOE-focused mechanics or personal self-enhancing mechanics much more like what Scrappers and every single AT has (yes, even Stalkers because they can still crit AoEs). 

 

Personally, I would like to see either a Fury mechanic type of power (obviously not going to do as much % damage bonuses as Brute Fury, but as the Sentinel hits more does more damage type of ordeal) or for these "Opportunity Strikes" to have a set of given Critical hits for a period of time. 

 

The epic/patron pools could use some investigation, I find the PBAoEs extremely anemic for starters on an AT that's kind of "low" on AoE besides the T9 "nuke."

 

Also, it's time now for the Sentinel to receive the Snipers. If Dominators can get snipes and they're both on the same .95 scalar, and the Sentinel now has access to achieving a Sniper power auto-cast with just using a ranged hit, there's no reason for them not to receive snipes. The repel effect in what they have that replaces snipes is pretty universally undesirable. The whole reasoning behind why Sentinels didn't get a snipe was because it didn't have Build Up and thus would have a much more difficult time achieving the use of a snipe, but now that this has been changed, there's just no reason anymore.

 

 

Bottom line with this Inherent is this: the mechanic for teaming and live gameplay is just not keeping up. It's nice for solo **sometimes** and can be **useful**  against hard AV-level targets. That is it. On groups the mechanic goes much like this: you're in say, a team, and you're looking at a big mob, you get opportunity, you place it on a boss (being forced to use your weakest blast powers to activate it), that boss dies in 3-4 seconds after everyone has demolished everything. It barely makes any difference in the actual time it took to kill said boss. That's it. It probably won't be up again until the next 2 or 3 mob battles. That is TERRIBLE. Compare that Inherent with legitimately any other AT's, and it beats it. I actually like my Sentinel for the fact she's so tanky and doesn't have to chase around mobs, but that's really the it, she's unimpressive in almost every other way. It's just the truth. 

Edited by Zeraphia
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I think it would work well if, when the Opportunity bar is full, both the Tier 1 and Tier 2 powers that trigger Opportunity would instantly recharge, so you can pick what you want instead of being left to the vagaries of what is recharged and available.

 

I wish there was a way to enhance or improve the values the Opportunity gives. 

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Posted (edited)

Didn't click the poll.  There are several of those things that could be possible fixes when combined but no one change is going to "fix" the AT.  

Personally, I think the snipe power replacers are fine.  Lacking snipe isn't the issue and it never was.  Repel isn't an issue, its also only in 1 power in 1 primary, but I wouldn't regret seeing it removed from Blazing Blast.  Lacking Build-Up wasn't an issue.  Aim has more To-Hit in the first place.  I actually like some of the uniqueness of the AT from its Blaster/Corruptor/Defender cousins.

Opportunity uptime isn't much of an issue either.  I'm honestly a bit surprised this can even be seen as a 40-50% uptime kind of thing.  Do people that really want additional damage not consider trying to optimize the Sentinel inherent at all?  Do you just ignore that Stalkers and Scrappers have means of optimizing their crit rate?  I mean I seriously doubt it.  Maybe Fire Blast isn't the best measuring stick for how Opportunity works.  Other primaries like Psychic Blast, Water Blast, and Assault Rifle (yes, Assault Rifle) are capable of far better than 50% depending on how you build it.  BUT, that is also a problem.  Maximizing opportunity is build dependent.  Maximizing opportunity is possible but it isn't nearly as easy as it is on other ATs.  The Sentinel ATOs also really suck for this, with some primaries being an exception, and therefore the AT doesn't have an easier means to accomplish this like the Scrapper or Stalker do (who seek to maximize criticals with their ATOs in specific powers).

As I stated in the previous sentence, the Sentinel inherent can have wildly fluctuating uptimes on a wide range of builds.  That is an issue.  A blanket assessment that all Sentinel primaries are only capable of 40-50% isn't accurate though.  I have multiple characters capable of sustaining higher than 50% uptime minimum with a few primaries capable of going towards 60%.  You really can't reliably push uptime like a Dominator's Domination or a Brute's Fury.  The sets that can do it would be outliers.  If anyone built for recharge, at all, the meter should be building to 90% in under 15 seconds (because that's the duration you want to beat).  Most recharge intensive builds should be building 90% meter in 13 seconds with some that can do it in just over 11 (Assault Rifle - very specific build).  Sets that can more reliably trigger Opportunity Strikes will see momentary bursts of higher uptime.  The fact that most enemies drop before a full Opportunity duration (15 seconds) runs is also a problem.  It locks out 20% resistance debuff, which is extra damage, for the remainder of a fight.  As a mild compensation Offensive Opportunity will still continue its procs against anything else for the rest of the time limit, but you have to take the power it is linked to.  This is a problem for a lot of players.  AVs don't resist Sentinel debuffs more.  They resist them all the same as long as the effect can be resisted at all.  Despite that, negative resist in any form is almost always the best bet for improving one's damage beyond adding additional procs.  This is why I develop my characters the way I do.  To try to get as much uptime on Opportunity as possible.  

 

The way opportunity works, for most sets, is like this: 

 

The T1 grants 8 meter (its the only attack to do that).  The T2-T4 grant 13 meter with a few outliers granting a point higher or more.  It only takes 90% meter in order to activate an opportunity of your choice.  You can map out just how fast that takes with calculating animation times of your chain then adding how much meter they build per activation.  There is 0 reason to use a T1 or T2 in a normal rotation if there is an alternative power that is stronger.  Instead what you do is you slip in that T1 or T2 as needed.  Conversely, I found great success in tacking on my Opportunity spender at the end of my chain that was pre-calculated to trigger the effect.  For example, I'll use Executioner's Shot - Pistols - Suppressive Fire - Pistols.  I don't do this just because it works out well as DPS on paper.  If Opportunity didn't exist, where I put Pistols doesn't matter unless I have a specific effect proc (e.g., Achilles' Heel) in it.  No, I put Pistols at the end of that chain because Suppressive Fire will be the last attack I used that takes me from below 90 meter to 90+.  That means my next Pistols use (as long as it hits) will trigger Opportunity without me having to worry about it.  That's fine on AVs/GMs.  It can feel like a waste against anything less than a boss and even more so on groups.  That too is a problem.  Also, not all primaries have completely crap T1 powers.  There are several primaries with T1s or T2s that are core skills in a fully matured rotation.  Placement of where that T1 or T2 ends does impact uptime and that does have a very real impact on DPS done over a long period of time.  Its also FAR too complicated for what it is.  

 

AoE powers grant more opportunity meter per activation with 10 target spheres granting more than cones.  Ranged T9's grant opportunity.  Melee T9's (PBAoE) grant... 1 pt.  Seriously.  I've tested it a few times.  So some primary sets blessed with a ranged T9 can start their attacks with Aim + Nuke, get more than 1 pt of meter, and continue into the rotation to build towards 90%.  The disparity between powers and sets is also a big problem.  Been a while since I have tried Radiation Blast so I'm not sure if powers like Irradiate (PBAoE) also generate 1 pt or if Short Circuit is like that (haven't checked yet).

In other words, here are my "issues" with the Sentinel after having played it since April of 2019: 

 

1) The inherent is far to complex to maximize for what it ultimately yields.  I've gotten used it, but it is obvious that other players do not care for it at all.  I'd MUCH rather the inherent be easier to use or at least more broadly applicable.  No other AT needs as much work in order to leverage its inherent like the Sentinel does.  Dominators can build for recharge, easy.  Scrappers can put their critical ATOs in strategic places, easy.  Stalkers can put their ATOs in strategic places, easy.  The other ATs have inherents that just work behind the scenes without a lot of thought needed (e.g., Scourge, Vigilance, Gauntlet, Fury, etc).  Bodyguard on Masterminds takes some thought on using a mode, but it isn't exactly rocket surgery.  

2) The changes to snipes over the last year-ish have probably widened any initial damage gaps between all of the ranged ATs.  
3) The Tanker changes have absolutely widened damage gaps.  
4) The Sentinel pays a number of taxes for just existing.  It pays a scalar tax on its powers to not exceed Blasters or Scrappers while getting potentially over shadowed by other ATs.  It pays a scalar tax on defense powers, within its own secondary, so it doesn't overshadow Scrappers/Stalkers.  Sentinels are plenty durable.  Though same can be said for Stalkers these days.  Or... Even many Blasters.  Sentinel durability is a tax on damage due to a fear of being overpowered that not only doesn't exist, but likely never existed.

 

Some possible solutions: 

 

1) Inherent rework.  Whatever that ends up being it needs to be broadly accessible to the player base or otherwise the effort will likely be a waste of time.  

2) General damage tweaking.  I'm not sure if just changing the scalar upwards is enough.  Maybe it is but there are power sets in general that also need a look.  
3) Just general secondary scalar consistency.  I think 70% value on the Secondaries makes no sense.  Sure, you can build the AT to be durable and hover-blast, but is that really worth knocking the entire AT's modifiers down 5%?  A 5% reduction because it is possible to hover blast?  I doubt that was the real balance reason, but it is what it looks like.  "Range is its own defense".  My biggest peeve here is the modifier seems to bleed into everything like Life Drain's heal.  
4) Some role defining.  I don't think this needs to be overly complicated.  The Sentinel should be a damage dealer but how it gets there needs refinement.  This can tie back to points 1 and 2 or both. 

5) Certain Sentinel Epic powers are disproportionately powerful.  The Epic themes aren't created equal, at all.  Some have very good single target melees and holds which can be mini-nukes.  The idea that these powers can be such cornerstones to a build is a blessing and it is a curse.  It is somewhat unique that Sentinels can gain so much damage out of their Epics.  However, at the same time it is a really big loss if you exemplar below the accessibility of those powers.  I don't want Sentinel epics to be useless because I rather like many of them.  I'd much rather the swing of DPS to be less dramatic.  

 

Overall though I think the Sentinel gets a very bad reputation for what it is.  Overall its balance is actually refreshing.  However, current power creep will turn people off from the AT and continue to push wedges until it is addressed in some form.  

Edited by oldskool
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22 minutes ago, oldskool said:

Didn't click the poll.  There are several of those things that could be possible fixes when combined but no one change is going to "fix" the AT.  

Personally, I think the snipe power replacers are fine.  Lacking snipe isn't the issue and it never was.  Repel isn't an issue, its also only in 1 power in 1 primary, but I wouldn't regret seeing it removed from Blazing Blast.  Lacking Build-Up wasn't an issue.  Aim has more To-Hit in the first place.  I actually like some of the uniqueness of the AT from its Blaster/Corruptor/Defender cousins.

Opportunity uptime isn't much of an issue either.  I'm honestly a bit surprised this can even be seen as a 40-50% uptime kind of thing.  Do people that really want additional damage not consider trying to optimize the Sentinel inherent at all?  Do you just ignore that Stalkers and Scrappers have means of optimizing their crit rate?  I mean I seriously doubt it.  Maybe Fire Blast isn't the best measuring stick for how Opportunity works.  Other primaries like Psychic Blast, Water Blast, and Assault Rifle (yes, Assault Rifle) are capable of far better than 50% depending on how you build it.  BUT, that is also a problem.  Maximizing opportunity is build dependent.  Maximizing opportunity is possible but it isn't nearly as easy as it is on other ATs.  The Sentinel ATOs also really suck for this, with some primaries being an exception, and therefore the AT doesn't have an easier means to accomplish this like the Scrapper or Stalker do (who seek to maximize criticals with their ATOs in specific powers).

As I stated in the previous sentence, the Sentinel inherent can have wildly fluctuating uptimes on a wide range of builds.  That is an issue.  A blanket assessment that all Sentinel primaries are only capable of 40-50% isn't accurate though.  I have multiple characters capable of sustaining higher than 50% uptime minimum with a few primaries capable of going towards 60%.  You really can't reliably push uptime like a Dominator's Domination or a Brute's Fury.  The sets that can do it would be outliers.  If anyone built for recharge, at all, the meter should be building to 90% in under 15 seconds (because that's the duration you want to beat).  Most recharge intensive builds should be building 90% meter in 13 seconds with some that can do it in just over 11 (Assault Rifle - very specific build).  Sets that can more reliably trigger Opportunity Strikes will see momentary bursts of higher uptime.  The fact that most enemies drop before a full Opportunity duration (15 seconds) runs is also a problem.  It locks out 20% resistance debuff, which is extra damage, for the remainder of a fight.  As a mild compensation Offensive Opportunity will still continue its procs against anything else for the rest of the time limit, but you have to take the power it is linked to.  This is a problem for a lot of players.  AVs don't resist Sentinel debuffs more.  They resist them all the same as long as the effect can be resisted at all.  Despite that, negative resist in any form is almost always the best bet for improving one's damage beyond adding additional procs.  This is why I develop my characters the way I do.  To try to get as much uptime on Opportunity as possible.  

 

The way opportunity works, for most sets, is like this: 

 

The T1 grants 8 meter (its the only attack to do that).  The T2-T4 grant 13 meter with a few outliers granting a point higher or more.  It only takes 90% meter in order to activate an opportunity of your choice.  You can map out just how fast that takes with calculating animation times of your chain then adding how much meter they build per activation.  There is 0 reason to use a T1 or T2 in a normal rotation if there is an alternative power that is stronger.  Instead what you do is you slip in that T1 or T2 as needed.  Conversely, I found great success in tacking on my Opportunity spender at the end of my chain that was pre-calculated to trigger the effect.  For example, I'll use Executioner's Shot - Pistols - Suppressive Fire - Pistols.  I don't do this just because it works out well as DPS on paper.  If Opportunity didn't exist, where I put Pistols doesn't matter unless I have a specific effect proc (e.g., Achilles' Heel) in it.  No, I put Pistols at the end of that chain because Suppressive Fire will be the last attack I used that takes me from below 90 meter to 90+.  That means my next Pistols use (as long as it hits) will trigger Opportunity without me having to worry about it.  That's fine on AVs/GMs.  It can feel like a waste against anything less than a boss and even more so on groups.  That too is a problem.  Also, not all primaries have completely crap T1 powers.  There are several primaries with T1s or T2s that are core skills in a fully matured rotation.  Placement of where that T1 or T2 ends does impact uptime and that does have a very real impact on DPS done over a long period of time.  Its also FAR too complicated for what it is.  

 

AoE powers grant more opportunity meter per activation with 10 target spheres granting more than cones.  Ranged T9's grant opportunity.  Melee T9's (PBAoE) grant... 1 pt.  Seriously.  I've tested it a few times.  So some primary sets blessed with a ranged T9 can start their attacks with Aim + Nuke, get more than 1 pt of meter, and continue into the rotation to build towards 90%.  The disparity between powers and sets is also a big problem.  Been a while since I have tried Radiation Blast so I'm not sure if powers like Irradiate (PBAoE) also generate 1 pt or if Short Circuit is like that (haven't checked yet).

In other words, here are my "issues" with the Sentinel after having played it since April of 2019: 

 

1) The inherent is far to complex to maximize for what it ultimately yields.  I've gotten used it, but it is obvious that other players do not care for it at all.  I'd MUCH rather the inherent be easier to use or at least more broadly applicable.  No other AT needs as much work in order to leverage its inherent like the Sentinel does.  Dominators can build for recharge, easy.  Scrappers can put their critical ATOs in strategic places, easy.  Stalkers can put their ATOs in strategic places, easy.  The other ATs have inherents that just work behind the scenes without a lot of thought needed (e.g., Scourge, Vigilance, Gauntlet, Fury, etc).  Bodyguard on Masterminds takes some thought on using a mode, but it isn't exactly rocket surgery.  

2) The changes to snipes over the last year-ish have probably widened any initial damage gaps between all of the ranged ATs.  
3) The Tanker changes have absolutely widened damage gaps.  
4) The Sentinel pays a number of taxes for just existing.  It pays a scalar tax on its powers to not exceed Blasters or Scrappers while getting potentially over shadowed by other ATs.  It pays a scalar tax on defense powers, within its own secondary, so it doesn't overshadow Scrappers/Stalkers.  Sentinels are plenty durable.  Though same can be said for Stalkers these days.  Or... Even many Blasters.  Sentinel durability is a tax on damage due to a fear of being overpowered that not only doesn't exist, but likely never existed.

 

Some possible solutions: 

 

1) Inherent rework.  Whatever that ends up being it needs to be broadly accessible to the player base or otherwise the effort will likely be a waste of time.  

2) General damage tweaking.  I'm not sure if just changing the scalar upwards is enough.  Maybe it is but there are power sets in general that also need a look.  
3) Just general secondary scalar consistency.  I think 70% value on the Secondaries makes no sense.  Sure, you can build the AT to be durable and hover-blast, but is that really worth knocking the entire AT's modifiers down 5%?  A 5% reduction because it is possible to hover blast?  I doubt that was the real balance reason, but it is what it looks like.  "Range is its own defense".  My biggest peeve here is the modifier seems to bleed into everything like Life Drain's heal.  
4) Some role defining.  I don't think this needs to be overly complicated.  The Sentinel should be a damage dealer but how it gets there needs refinement.  This can tie back to points 1 and 2 or both. 

5) Certain Sentinel Epic powers are disproportionately powerful.  The Epic themes aren't created equal, at all.  Some have very good single target melees and holds which can be mini-nukes.  The idea that these powers can be such cornerstones to a build is a blessing and it is a curse.  It is somewhat unique that Sentinels can gain so much damage out of their Epics.  However, at the same time it is a really big loss if you exemplar below the accessibility of those powers.  I don't want Sentinel epics to be useless because I rather like many of them.  I'd much rather the swing of DPS to be less dramatic.  

 

Overall though I think the Sentinel gets a very bad reputation for what it is.  Overall its balance is actually refreshing.  However, current power creep will turn people off from the AT and continue to push wedges until it is addressed in some form.  

I like where you're going with this, but I have to point out, like I did in the last post, the inherent (just as it is entirely) isn't exactly something you can use to a "great effect" to even optimize in so many actual gameplay situations...

 

I can't tell you much about the defensive so if you truly believe the defensive is amazing and well worth the tax, then there you go you can disregard everything I'll say from then on. That said, I notice absolutely no survivability increases from it, I can't count on one hand how many times it has "saved my life" because the number is 0, but perhaps your experience could be different and I'd be glad to be enlightened on that!

 

That said, it is still a resistance debuff. The problem as it exists now is that the resistance debuff is only on one enemy and only -25% res debuff and forces you to use your lowest hitting attack. Now, it is an OK buff to yourself, and it makes for a decent buff to your teammates against AV's, not nearly as much as other AT's can with (Sonic/Storm/Rad)/Sonic defenders/corruptors or proc'd out TW, -res procs, etc., but still decent. Now you can use those in conjunction with the Sentinel's offensive to argue that it can become a decent damage multiplier on an AV for a team, but that's going to come down to individual builds. However, this buff to the team isn't necessarily just by itself on a team (others contribute -res), so you're not really alone going to make the team deal almost 1.25x more damage, still decent for a team against a very hard target. However, that is probably less than 5% of the actual game, your inherent legitimately feels useless against most mobs in group play on the other 95% of the game and that's what I have an issue with, no other inherent legitimately feels useless against 95% of the game quite like this one so frequently does.

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Posted (edited)
18 hours ago, 33053222 said:

I like where you're going with this, but I have to point out, like I did in the last post, the inherent (just as it is entirely) isn't exactly something you can use to a "great effect" to even optimize in so many actual gameplay situations...

Where did I write "great effect"?  Are you conflating optimize with "great effect"?  Optimize: to make the best or most effective use of (a situation, opportunity, or resource).  I already noted that Opportunity, as a mechanic, cannot achieve the heights of ones like Domination or Fury.  That doesn't mean you can't optimize it.  That is to make the most effective use of the inherent as it currently exists.  

The inherent doesn't work as well as you would like it to, and I can certainly empathize.  That is a problem.  That doesn't change the idea that the inherent can be made to work better than you're suggesting it does.  I have multiple Sentinels that I have done this with.  It is a fundamental part of my build strategy with the AT.  However, that is also my complaint with the inherent.  People shouldn't have to do that level of deep dive on it for it to work at faction of effect when compared alongside other ATs.  

Optimization on a Sentinel doesn't reach the level of optimization on all other ATs.  That doesn't suddenly mean that players can't optimize the AT.  This goes towards the opportunity cost of such optimization and whether or not it is worth it for an individual to pursue in the first place.  As it stands right now, it probably isn't worth for a broader audience.  Yet another reason why the AT could use a review.

 

18 hours ago, 33053222 said:

I can't tell you much about the defensive so if you truly believe the defensive is amazing and well worth the tax, then there you go you can disregard everything I'll say from then on. That said, I notice absolutely no survivability increases from it, I can't count on one hand how many times it has "saved my life" because the number is 0, but perhaps your experience could be different and I'd be glad to be enlightened on that!

I actually really enjoy the endurance sustain from Defensive Opportunity.  I'm not sure where I wrote that "I truly believe the defensive is amazing and well worth the tax".  I know there is an "if" before that, but I don't think I came close to suggesting that line of thought, at all.  I think you're putting some words in my mouth in both of these statements.  I'm not mad.  Just noting this. 

While you haven't had any survivability increase from it, I actually have.  Every hit for the next 15 seconds will restore both health and endurance.  The endurance is a flat rate too.  This effect does function on AoE and it works best when combined with a 10 target attack.  I've definitely noticed the health recovery when using AoE, not ST, during my play.  That health return is in no way shape or form better than the kinds of clickable heals within certain Secondary sets.  However, it isn't something that should be so casually dismissed either. 

 

Will the health return completely save you if you bite off more than you can chew?  Not all.  Will the health return buy you a few seconds to click a heal or convert inspires to a green?  Yes, and this has been my experience with it.  Also, can I live without?  Yes to that too.  I don't always take T1s or T2s.  I take one because I have to, and I use them for a variety of reasons.  As I said in the very first statement of this reply, I like the endurance sustain it can provide with some builds, but the health return is an after thought.  Finally, not once in my original post did I sing praises about the mechanics of Defensive Opportunity.  I didn't mention those mechanics at all.  

 

18 hours ago, 33053222 said:

That said, it is still a resistance debuff. The problem as it exists now is that the resistance debuff is only on one enemy and only -25% res debuff and forces you to use your lowest hitting attack. Now, it is an OK buff to yourself, and it makes for a decent buff to your teammates against AV's, not nearly as much as other AT's can with (Sonic/Storm/Rad)/Sonic defenders/corruptors or proc'd out TW, -res procs, etc., but still decent. Now you can use those in conjunction with the Sentinel's offensive to argue that it can become a decent damage multiplier on an AV for a team, but that's going to come down to individual builds. However, this buff to the team isn't necessarily just by itself on a team (others contribute -res), so you're not really alone going to make the team deal almost 1.25x more damage, still decent for a team against a very hard target. However, that is probably less than 5% of the actual game, your inherent legitimately feels useless against most mobs in group play on the other 95% of the game and that's what I have an issue with, no other inherent legitimately feels useless against 95% of the game quite like this one so frequently does.

It is one instance of -5% which is available from every attack all the time (doesn't stack) and a second instance of -20% which is available only during Opportunity.  This can be seen with a power analyzer.  That makes it a bit worse.  

 

There is the lowest hitting attack again in bold.  I'll repeat myself; not all T1s are crap.  More to the point though, not all "low hitting" attacks are wastes of time.  While those attacks may not have the largest numbers their efficiency can be quite high.  Some primary power sets actually value their T1 or T2, but not all of them do.  For example, Beam Rifle has no real need for its T1 or T2 outside of the extra mechanics they provide.  You'll interrupt your otherwise higher damage attack routine with a lower attack once per 13-15 seconds.  I think you're overestimating how much of a damage decrease that is especially when combined with Offensive Opportunity that will be effecting every attack against every target (because that's how the energy proc works) for the next 15 seconds.  I also feel the same way if we're talking the inclusion of Mind Probe and Dominate.  1 use of an attack once per 15 seconds isn't that awful, or doesn't need to be, if you're enhancing the power.  (Edit: There is an issue of player agency and choice in the inherent that does not sit well with others.  That is a reason why I have suggested decoupling the inherent from those attacks or making the inherent stronger where using those attacks is more meaningful.  I think you circle around this point and I can't help but feel that the illusion of choice is a core issue to you.  At least, that is how I interpret the issue for many.) 

 

Final thought on Offensive Opportunity because I'm sure I'll catch flak for it.  What I'm not saying is this... "Offensive Opportunity is great!".  What I am saying is that the difference of singular digit DPS loss over a period of time from using a T1 to trigger that effect is very likely offset by the bonus damage granted to all attacks (including AoE) for the next 15 seconds.  The total value will vary if you're playing any of the sets that can push Offensive Opportunity uptime higher than others.  The damage bonus from Offensive Opportunity is also somewhere in the single digits for DPS gained.  Basically the loss of DPS and the gain of it could be a wash with the only thing making any lick of a difference is the resistance debuff.  This is yet another problem.  The damage bonus gain from Offensive Opportunity isn't so high that it overvalues against Defensive Opportunity.  Ultimately, what really matters is the follow set of questions: 

 

1) Is your T1 or T2 the better choice of the mandatory attacks?  Pick the one that does the best DPA for a final build.  Pick both if it is a rare set where both lowbie attacks can be rotational (e.g., Sonic Blast, Dual Pistols, etc.)

2) Is your build one that actually makes use of the T1 or T2?  If yes, place this attack at the end of the chain if possible in order to maximize uptime the easiest.  

3) If playing a set with high endurance costs, then consider favoring the T2 over the T1 OR take both to expand your options.  

 

Another note that is 100% important in my opinion.  When discussing the buff of the AT and review of its primary powers, I am not... I repeat: NOT,  talking about the inclusion of Mind Probe/Dominate.  Mind Probe/Dominate are separate, but related, issues.  When I discuss the 3 points above, I am assuming we're talking about powers available within a primary with rotations not dependent on pool powers that unlock at 35+.  That is where I think the core problem of the damage balance lies.  If it wasn't that big an issue, then damage procs turning sets like Radiation Blast into power houses wouldn't be a discussion.

You're also cherry picking specific combos like Defenders taking Sonic, or TW especially with procs.  Like how do you reconcile making an argument that Titan Weapons, which is known to be over-performing, using resistance altering procs is in any way a fair comparison to the Sentinel as a whole AT?  Especially when talking about an inherent vs clear build choices.  This is the kind of hyperbole that drove me to write that long response in the first place.  I originally didn't want to bother at all with this thread, but I'm not good enough of a person to ignore this kind of stuff.  I care a lot of about the Sentinel.  I have 10 of them and more than a few billion influence spread across builds.  If the AT is going to get improvements, I sincerely want non-hyperbolic discussion to drive that change.  

 

Look, I feel for you that you feel the inherent is 95% useless.  I also don't think you're alone in that line of thinking.  I completely disagree though.  I don't think the inherent is useless (that doesn't mean I think it is great either, it isn't) but more to my original point - it is far more complicated than it needs to be.  In fast moving groups, the inherent is an afterthought.  However, I find that to be the case for a LOT of ATs.  That's not a perception I think of as being unique here.  Also, I don't like how the inherent has its most successful use against singularly tough enemies like AVs.  That's a level of focus that doesn't really have a place in the game.  A resistance debuff is nice team support since it is a damage multiplier but basing the entire inherent around it is clunky.  Its even worse that it is limited to a single target and has a downtime that can be longer than the duration if you're not actively building to change that

Edited by oldskool
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6 minutes ago, oldskool said:

Where did I write "great effect"?  Are you conflating optimize with "great effect"?  Optimize: to make the best or most effective use of (a situation, opportunity, or resource).  I already noted that Opportunity, as a mechanic, cannot achieve the heights of ones like Domination or Fury.  That doesn't mean you can't optimize it.  That is to make the most effective use of the inherent as it currently exists.  

The inherent doesn't work as well as you would like it to, and I can certainly empathize.  That is a problem.  That doesn't change the idea that the inherent can be made to work better than your suggesting it does.  I have multiple Sentinels that I have done this with.  It is a fundamental part of my build strategy with the AT.  However, that is also my complaint with the inherent.  People shouldn't have to do that level of deep dive on it for it to work at faction of effect when compared alongside other ATs.  

Optimization on a Sentinel doesn't reach the level of optimization on all other ATs.  That doesn't suddenly mean that players can't optimize the AT.  This goes towards the opportunity cost of such optimization and whether or not it is worth it for an individual to pursue in the first place.  As it stands right now, it probably isn't worth for a broader audience.  Yet another reason why the AT could use a review.

 

I actually really enjoy the endurance sustain from Defensive Opportunity.  I'm not sure where I wrote that "I truly believe the defensive is amazing and well worth the tax".  I know there is an "if" before that, but I don't think I came close to suggesting that line of thought, at all.  I think you're putting some words in my mouth in both of these statements.  I'm not mad.  Just noting this. 

While you haven't had any survivability increase from it, I actually have.  Every hit for the next 15 seconds will restore both health and endurance.  The endurance is a flat rate too.  This effect does function on AoE and it works best when combined with a 10 target attack.  I've definitely noticed the health recovery when using AoE, not ST, during my play.  That health return is in no way shape or form better than the kinds of clickable heals within certain Secondary sets.  However, it isn't something that should be so casually dismissed either. 

 

Will the health return completely save you if you bite off more than you can chew?  Not all.  Will the health return buy you a few seconds to click a heal or convert inspires to a green?  Yes, and this has been my experience with it.  Also, can I live without?  Yes to that too.  I don't always take T1s or T2s.  I take one because I have to, and I use them for a variety of reasons.  As I said in the very first statement of this reply, I like the endurance sustain it can provide with some builds, but the health return is an after thought.  Finally, not once in my original post did I sing praises about the mechanics of Defensive Opportunity.  I didn't mention those mechanics at all.  

 

It is one instance of -5% which is available from every attack all the time (doesn't stack) and a second instance of -20% which is available only during Opportunity.  This can be seen with a power analyzer.  That makes it a bit worse.  

 

There is the lowest hitting attack again in bold.  I'll repeat myself; not all T1s are crap.  More to the point though, not all "low hitting" attacks are wastes of time.  While those attacks may not have the largest numbers their efficiency can be quite high.  Some primary power sets actually value their T1 or T2, but not all of them do.  For example, Beam Rifle has no real need for its T1 or T2 outside of the extra mechanics they provide.  You'll interrupt your otherwise higher damage attack routine with a lower attack once per 13-15 seconds.  I think you're overestimating how much of a damage decrease that is especially when combined with Offensive Opportunity that will be effecting every attack against every target (because that's how the energy proc works) for the next 15 seconds.  I also feel the same way if we're talking the inclusion of Mind Probe and Dominate.  1 use of an attack once per 15 seconds isn't that awful, or doesn't need to be, if you're enhancing the power.   

 

Final thought on Offensive Opportunity because I'm sure I'll catch flak for it.  What I'm not saying is this... "Offensive Opportunity is great!".  What I am saying is that the difference of singular digit DPS loss over a period of time from using a T1 to trigger that effect is very likely offset by the bonus damage granted to all attacks (including AoE) for the next 15 seconds.  The total value will vary if you're playing any of the sets that can push Offensive Opportunity uptime higher than others.  The damage bonus from Offensive Opportunity is also somewhere in the single digits for DPS gained.  Basically the loss of DPS and the gain of it could be a wash with the only thing making any lick of a difference is the resistance debuff.  This is yet another problem.  The damage bonus gain from Offensive Opportunity isn't so high that it overvalues against Defensive Opportunity.  Ultimately, what really matters is the follow set of questions: 

 

1) Is your T1 or T2 the better choice of the mandatory attacks?  Pick the one that does the best DPA for a final build.  Pick both if it is a rare set where both lowbie attacks can be rotational (e.g., Sonic Blast, Dual Pistols, etc.)

2) Is your build one that actually makes use of the T1 or T2?  If yes, place this attack at the end of the chain if possible in order to maximize uptime the easiest.  

3) If playing a set with high endurance costs, then consider favoring the T2 over the T1 OR take both to expand your options.  

 

Another note that is 100% important in my opinion.  When discussing the buff of the AT and review of its primary powers, I am not... I repeat: NOT,  talking about the inclusion of Mind Probe/Dominate.  Mind Probe/Dominate are separate, but related, issues.  When I discuss the 3 points above, I am assuming we're talking about powers available within a primary with rotations not dependent on pool powers that unlock at 35+.  That is where I think the core problem of the damage balance lies.  If it wasn't that big an issue, then damage procs turning sets like Radiation Blast into power houses wouldn't be a discussion.

You're also cherry picking specific combos like Defenders taking Sonic, or TW especially with procs.  Like how do you reconcile making an argument that Titan Weapons, which is known to be over-performing, using resistance altering procs is in any way a favorable comparison to the Sentinel as a whole AT?  Especially when talking about an inherent vs clear build choices.  This is the kind of hyperbole that drove me to write that long response in the first place.  I originally didn't want to bother at all with this thread, but I'm not good enough of a person to ignore this kind of stuff.  I care a lot of about the Sentinel.  I have 10 of them and more than a few billion influence spread across builds.  If the AT is going to get improvements, I sincerely want non-hyperbolic discussion to drive that change.  

 

Look, I feel for you that you feel the inherent is 95% useless.  I also don't think you're alone in that line of thinking.  I completely disagree though.  I don't think the inherent is useless (that doesn't mean I think it is great either, it isn't) but more to my original point - it is far more complicated than it needs to be.  In fast moving groups, the inherent is an afterthought.  However, I find that to be the case for a LOT of ATs.  That's not a perception I think of as being unique here.  Also, I don't like how the inherent has its most successful use against singularly tough enemies like AVs.  That's a level of focus that doesn't really have a place in the game.  A resistance debuff is nice team support since it is a damage multiplier but basing the entire inherent around it is clunky.  Its even worse that it is limited to a single target and has a downtime that can be longer than the duration i f you're not actively building to change that

I wasn't quoting you specifically, I'm putting it in a way someone who is just glancing over the AT may think of it based upon the way you portrayed the effect.

 

I'm glad you actually can make use of the defensive opportunity!

 

I wasn't trying to be hyperbolic, I said "not nearly as much as x can, but still decent" because it is a factor in group play and I'm trying to show a gauge of where the set lies in relativity to other things within a group. It is not to say I think it should be buffed nearly as much as those, it is to give it perspective within the group settings as to how much that inherent would be truly valued.

 

I really don't think the inherent for most ATs are "afterthoughts" even on fast moving groups by any means whatsoever... Domination is never an afterthought, Fury is never an afterthought, Vigilance is never an afterthought (the end discount), Scourge is never an afterthought, Critical Strikes is absolutely never an afterthought, Assassin's is never an afterthought, Contamination (double damage + help on lockdown) is never an afterthought, Supremacy is iffy on teams (MMs do not need a buff IMO other than making certain minions survive "better"... another thread), Tanker's Gauntlet is never an afterthought, PB/WS are their own sort of "thing," same with the VEATS. I really do not think any of these are "afterthoughts" and you can see these visibly make a difference in battles much more consistently and to a much greater extent than the Sentinel's inherent. Are there some that shine more than others? Yes. But are they in quite the same boat as Sentinel? I don't think so.

 

I wasn't speaking directly on the epic or patron pools.

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Posted (edited)

So reading reddit another server is running Sentinel with no target cap and the players like it. I know HC will never take off target cap but I believe we should go to 16 targets.

 

On top of that rework inherit and some powers in sets

 

For the inherit  keep the - res but make it a proc and allow it  on all attacks like a normal proc similar to the annihilations  - 20% res.  Keep Opportunity bar but make it like dominator ramp up click power Make the boost on click  gives you  25% damage boost and a small regen and recovery boost.  

 

 

1.Bigger target cap let sentinel fully use there extra defense

 

2. Changing -res to a proc like IO keeps team friendly play. 

 

3. Change opportunity bar  similar to dominator click power boosting damage and regen and recovery. Making the player build for recharge another option in the mix.

 

 

When sentinel rework happens there are also powers that need a look

 

Moister absorption needs to get some range

 

Molten embrace needs a look

 

Ice armor absorb shield needs a look.

 

 

Edited by Ironscarlet
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What I wish for: Opportunity rework that mostly respects what currently exists and just makes it better with less friction. Offensive and Defensive Opportunities blended into one, activated by either the T1 or T2. Being able to stack Opportunities between different Sentinels. Letting Sentinels apply Opportunity again if the previous Opportunity target died (I don't care about this one at all personally, but I feel it would really help the perception the inherent is useless on teams)

 

What I hope for: for whatever change happens to not be destructive to the current playstyle of the AT, nor influenced by forum hyperbole. I don't want to play a Dominator or a Brute, I have my Dominators and my Brutes for that. Sentinels have an unique role and a very distinct feel as a ranged attacker with armor, the core of it is convenience with special mechanics you are free to ignore. For that reason, if we posit Sentinels are underpowered, any Opportunity rework ought to be a straight buff with no frills and/or it'd be better to raise the damage and defense scalars of the AT.

Weirdly enough I hope we don't get more targets in our AoEs even though I loved the Tanker buffs. I personally struggle to justify playing Blasters over Sentinels, and I want them to keep their niche as ultimate damage dealers.

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I wouldn't mind having hybrid attack sets.  I would love access to dom attack sets thematically on my sentinels.

 

As far as the inherent I think it is rough to say the least.  Having it apply a debuff that is specific to certain attacks is overly complex IMO.  I think just having a pair of toggles that set the desired effect and then have every single target power trigger it.  Ex: You still have to fill the bar but when it is full it checks what toggle you have set (Offensive or Defensive) and then will proc the appropriate effect based on that.  It allows you to reapply the buff as long as the bar is full because your next single target attack after the current target dies will still have a full bar to proc it on the next baddie and alleviates the issues of "x is on cool-down so you can't use your inherent proc for a few seconds until it is up again" issue. 

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None of the above.  

I've said it elsewhere:

1) Up damage to 1.0 scale.

2) Up defense scale to match Scrappers and Stalkers

3) Completely drop Opportunity and replace it with something else

4) Revisit and test the AoE cap decreases to see if they are also still necessary after the above changes

 

I am honestly surprised that the priority has been put on fixing things like Dark Melee when the whole of the Sentinel AT is in such a bad place.  Kheldians probably deserve attention before them, but at least both PBs and WSs are ponies with one good trick, while Sentinels are hard outclassed across the board.  

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I don't care for any of those.

 

I'd keep it relatively as it is.  -5 Resist to target (as they all do) and then make opportunity not tied to the tier 1 or 2 attack.  Have it either do both with either attack or have it just do the damage one with with either attack.

 

I just don't feel the inherent should be tied to picking between the first, second or both attacks.

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5 hours ago, Omega-202 said:

None of the above.  

I've said it elsewhere:

1) Up damage to 1.0 scale.

2) Up defense scale to match Scrappers and Stalkers

3) Completely drop Opportunity and replace it with something else

4) Revisit and test the AoE cap decreases to see if they are also still necessary after the above changes

 

I am honestly surprised that the priority has been put on fixing things like Dark Melee when the whole of the Sentinel AT is in such a bad place.  Kheldians probably deserve attention before them, but at least both PBs and WSs are ponies with one good trick, while Sentinels are hard outclassed across the board.  

+1

 

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@Rathstar

Energy/Energy Blaster (50+3) on Everlasting

Energy/Temporal Blaster (50+3) on Excelsior

Energy/Willpower Sentinel (50+3) on Indomitable

Energy/Energy Sentinel (50+1) on Torchbearer

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Posted (edited)

I think there are two types of leading viewpoints on the Sentinel:

 

The first one believes the Sentinel's inherent should be less complicated to manage and should just be given minor tweaks to its damage and not much besides that.

 

The second one believes that there are many flaws with the inherent and want to see an AT that shines competitively amongst the other ATs. They want a completely new inherent altogether and/or a damage tweak and possibly target cap increase. 

 

The first viewpoint firmly believes that it already shines as an AT and that others who dismiss the AT are not running good combinations or are not giving Sentinels fair comparisons. The second viewpoint doesn't understand why the first viewpoint feels this way when so many things in the game feel so much more powerful than the Sentinel currently does to them. 

 

I think both of these viewpoints are valid, but I think it demonstrates that the Sentinel sets are imbalanced, that some sets are leaving a far worse impression of the AT than other sets are, further the mechanic is polarizing and not as easy to understand.

Edited by 33053222

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1 hour ago, 33053222 said:

The first viewpoint firmly believes that it already shines as an AT and that others who dismiss the AT are not running good combinations or are not giving Sentinels fair comparisons.

People shouldn't have to run certain combinations to make the AT somewhat viable. I wouldn't call the AT imbalanced, I'd call it underbalanced, like they grossly overestimated the viability of the inherent's -res boost. I get that it applies to the entire league instead of just 1 team, but even just Assault out of Leadership gives 10.5% at the lowest end. Granting 20% when it goes active isn't quite enough either given the recharge time involved for its activation.

 

If you look at all the "viable" combinations, most all over them involve using Bio or one of the other secondaries with a damage boost baked in. Given that the AT was envisioned as a damage dealing class like scrappers and Stalkers, I think that EVERY secondary should have some variation of a damage boost, whether it be like Meltdown with it's relatively long recharge, or just a toggle like Molten Embrace. This is in addition to bringing their damage to a 1.0 scale like the other damage ATs.

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I don't like how 'opportunity' is tied to your 1st 2 powers.  I'd love to see a mechanic where you can choose when to use it, instead.  Honestly, I don't even bother with the defensive opportunity - the heal is so minimal it seems pointless...

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Well it could be something like Stalkers Assassin abilities when it just takes up an entire ability slot, but that just seems copy-paste to me. With regards to how it's used, I don't even care what one I use. I either take the T1 or the T2 with no regard to which opportunity I'm getting out of it. Whichever one yields the best dps results is the one I take. Either ability is invariably going to be part of your attack chain.

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, underfyre said:

People shouldn't have to run certain combinations to make the AT somewhat viable. I wouldn't call the AT imbalanced, I'd call it underbalanced, like they grossly overestimated the viability of the inherent's -res boost. I get that it applies to the entire league instead of just 1 team, but even just Assault out of Leadership gives 10.5% at the lowest end. Granting 20% when it goes active isn't quite enough either given the recharge time involved for its activation.

 

If you look at all the "viable" combinations, most all over them involve using Bio or one of the other secondaries with a damage boost baked in. Given that the AT was envisioned as a damage dealing class like scrappers and Stalkers, I think that EVERY secondary should have some variation of a damage boost, whether it be like Meltdown with it's relatively long recharge, or just a toggle like Molten Embrace. This is in addition to bringing their damage to a 1.0 scale like the other damage ATs.

Quite honestly, I am obviously in the second camp, however, there are clearly people who disagree with this (first camps). There are certain outliers within Sentinels (Fire/Rad) that are quite strong and there are some underwhelming ones (AR/Ice). As some pointed out in another thread, you can "make it work" to an extent, but you're looking at about a 180-240 DPS ceiling there (if that) and the AoE is abysmal, sure you survive fine enough, that can be a selling point. But clearly to us, that is extremely underperforming, and a far cry from "ranged Scrapper."

 

I am 100% in agreement as playing Fire/Bio/Psi (the theoretical "highest possible" ST for a Sentinel) and I'm still at a "whopping" 280-350 DPS going pretty "gong ho" with procs. In the game's current state, there are now 300+ DPS Tanker builds now running around and this just widens the gaps so harshly that it feels very saddening. IMO, Sentinel shouldn't pay a tax as a "damage dealing class" to have its damage around the same numbers or lower than Tanker's.

 

My biggest issue is that the inherent is targeted exclusively to a single target and not AoE with its inherently low damage values. The inherent is also one of the lowest damage-granting inherent bonuses of all ATs that have damage-granting bonuses. 

 

3 hours ago, biostem said:

I don't like how 'opportunity' is tied to your 1st 2 powers.  I'd love to see a mechanic where you can choose when to use it, instead.  Honestly, I don't even bother with the defensive opportunity - the heal is so minimal it seems pointless...

This is what I have concluded when I used it, but there are clearly some who value it.

 

Side note, I don't like how 'opportunity' is tied to your 1st 2 powers either. I'd agree with you except I just think the inherent as it is should probably be reworked into something entirely new or innovative.

On 3/8/2020 at 5:06 PM, oldskool said:

While you haven't had any survivability increase from it, I actually have.  Every hit for the next 15 seconds will restore both health and endurance.  The endurance is a flat rate too.  This effect does function on AoE and it works best when combined with a 10 target attack.  I've definitely noticed the health recovery when using AoE, not ST, during my play.  That health return is in no way shape or form better than the kinds of clickable heals within certain Secondary sets.  However, it isn't something that should be so casually dismissed either. 

 

Will the health return completely save you if you bite off more than you can chew?  Not all.  Will the health return buy you a few seconds to click a heal or convert inspires to a green?  Yes, and this has been my experience with it.  Also, can I live without?  Yes to that too.  I don't always take T1s or T2s.  I take one because I have to, and I use them for a variety of reasons.  As I said in the very first statement of this reply, I like the endurance sustain it can provide with some builds, but the health return is an after thought.  Finally, not once in my original post did I sing praises about the mechanics of Defensive Opportunity.  I didn't mention those mechanics at all.  

This is why I say that both opinions have value, while I may agree with you that I find the defensive opportunity largely useless, there are people who genuinely get uses out of it. 

 

15 hours ago, nihilii said:

What I hope for: for whatever change happens to not be destructive to the current playstyle of the AT, nor influenced by forum hyperbole

I want to address this, I was not being hyperbolic at all. Maybe it came across as hyperbolic upon initial inspection, but I was saying that it wasn't going to give the same type of debuffing properties that other popular things that exist in the game already do. Further, I said in 95% of teaming cases, the inherent feels useless. That is not a hyperbole, the majority of the game is done through mob-to-mob-to-mob-to-mob on missions, not mob-AV-mob-AV, I find that it feels exceptionally useless in most of these cases because the enemies you will apply it to will either/or 1. die so quickly with or without it that it will hardly make any actual difference 2. possibly miss a target with your T1 and make the battle against said boss in mob actually take longer 3. force you to use a T1 power instead of quickly chunking a boss if you want to use the offensive opportunity.

 

That aside, what is your opinion on what the "current playstyle of the AT" is? You weren't very clear on this, or what you envisioned it to be. I am operating on the assumption that the AT is supposed to be, as the Devs called, it a "ranged Scrapper," making it do anything other than to achieve this goal seems secondary to what the primary goal should be. I just want your opinion on what you actually see this AT as because we may just simply see it differently and that is totally fine and it explains why you may see what I have said as hyperbole despite how it really wasn't intended that way. I am critiquing it based upon its claim to be a "ranged Scrapper," you could be insisting it to be the hybrid Tanker/Defender and thus it leads us to different outcomes on the way we see this AT and how it should be buffed. 

 

I think this is actually a huge topic of discussion because I think trying to balance it as this "jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none" with the complicated and arguably lackluster inherent res debuff, Tanker-level single target damage, worse survivability by default than Stalker/Scrapper is massively hurting the AT from becoming a "ranged Scrapper." My ideas are to make it become more in line with a "ranged Scrapper" not a hybrid. This is critical when we discuss the AT. I think the -res debuff as an opportunity mechanic is hurting the AT's balancing from becoming a "ranged Scrapper," because it is trying to juggle a team-wide benefit without being "overpowered" which other damage-dealing classes are not burdened by all of these balancing issues like the Sentinel is, thus it should be changed. 

Edited by 33053222

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, 33053222 said:

Side note, I don't like how 'opportunity' is tied to your 1st 2 powers either. I'd agree with you except I just think the inherent as it is should probably be reworked into something entirely new or innovative.

Aye.  It kind of feels like the AT had a random conditional buff/debuff power shoved down its throat, rather than a genuine class mechanic.  What about some sort of simultaneous debuff effect AND HoT effect, which scaled one way or the other, based upon how high/low your health is?  The higher your health, the stronger the debuff applied to the enemy & the lower your health, the greater the HoT is that's applied to you...

Edited by biostem
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The Inherent could be changed to where the baseline is a 15-20% debuff instead of 5%, then once your opportunity bar fills it could give an Assault Radial-like effect where you deal X additional damage for 20-30 seconds.

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5 hours ago, 33053222 said:

I want to address this, I was not being hyperbolic at all.

The comment wasn't meant to target you or anyone in this thread. Rather, I see hyperbolic statements against Sentinels on the boards as a whole.

 

A few days ago: "Sentinels do less damage than Defenders without damage procs". That is actual hyperbole, because factually impossible given equivalent care put into each build. Most if not all Sentinel primaries can reach 250+ ST DPS once fully built. A Defender without damage procs would struggle to reach 200 DPS. Perhaps Storm could do it, but even that is up in the air. Heck, for that matter I've had trouble reaching 250 DPS on a Defender WITH damage procs. My Time/Sonic built for DPS is under that.

And I'm giving Defenders the best case scenario here: ANY Defender vs MOST Sentinels (= picking the weakest). If you compare a FF/Nrj Defender to a Fire/Bio Sentinel, it's not going to look pretty for the Defender in a pure damage comparison.

 

I do have some problems with your own numbers, but not so much I'd call you "hyperbolic" in a passive aggressive way. 😉 You say your procced out Fire/Bio/Psi deals "between 280 and 340 DPS", but I've never managed to go *below* 300 DPS on my own Fire/Bio/Psi, even without Hybrid.

 

When it comes to Tanker builds dealing 300+ DPS, I think you will find those tend to be either Titan Weapons, Bio Armor, or both. In any balance discussion it's critical to recognize both sets are broken=overpowered (on melee ATs). Rationally TW needs a huge nerf, but it would be socially untenable to do so; so we have to be fair and exclude TW from balance comparisons (much like it makes sense for the HC devs to show us stats exclusing Fiery Armor brutes). As for Bio Armor, it's also brokenly good to throw a damage aura AND a -res aura AND a damage boost AND extra toxic damage. Sentinels get a somewhat more rational version thanks to lacking the auras... although it still makes /Fire sad in comparison.

This is also what rubs me off when I hear the idea a very select subset of Sentinel builds are viable and that it is what supposedly informs the opinion of people who think Sentinels are fine. I think the literal opposite situation is playing out. People playing TW or Bio Armor or Fire Blast on other ATs (Fire Blast is *also* fairly overpowered on other ATs, getting huge DoTs as free damage, while Sentinel Fire Blast is rebalanced into sanity), and comparing that to Sentinels. The fact is if you compare a Katana/Inv scrapper, a WP/Stone tanker or an Elec/Elec brute to a Dark/Inv Sentinel, a Sonic/Ice Sentinel or an Elec/Rad Sentinel, the Sentinels are going to look pretty great.

I don't agree with the perception Fire/Rad is some sort of power build. My Elec/Inv/Psi Sentinel already outdamages my Fire/Rad/Psi Sentinel (even if the difference is slight), and will likely outdamage my Fire/Bio/Psi Sentinel as well once she's T4 and Degenerative Interface is fixed. The perception of Fire Blast supremacy is IMHO a leftover from other ATs where Fire Blast *is* significantly stronger.

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7 hours ago, 33053222 said:

I am operating on the assumption that the AT is supposed to be, as the Devs called, it a "ranged Scrapper," making it do anything other than to achieve this goal seems secondary to what the primary goal should be.

Truthfully, I view it that way too. For me, Sentinels function perfectly as ranged scrappers.

 

For context, I've been playing since I3 and was mostly a scrapper player. I'm not saying this for some misplaced veteran "cred", but on the contrary to give some perspective on where I'm coming from and my potential biases. In the early years scrappers weren't aggromachines leading the team, only invul had an aggro aura. Scrappers were more like the blenders going on their own and doing their own thing, the element of chaos parallel to the more traditional tanker/blaster/defender/controller structure... the guys who could solo.

 

Sentinels embody this mindset to the fullest, with a power order reorg giving them their ST big hitters earlier (generally by level 8 ) and a comprehensive mez protection by level 10 or so. They get near Stalker level defenses, with the advantage of range - and it is a sizeable advantage, as enemies deal roughly twice as much damage in melee as they do at range. In that light I couldn't care less if Sents get 70% of defense values rather than 75%, to me it's like arguing about your electricity bill when your yearly takehome is in the 6 figures.

 

(Going even further, if it justifies boosting other aspects of the AT instead, like damage... all the better. Given how close we can get to the 75% resistance cap and how many ways there are to get defense in this game, I'd be happy to accept a damage buff in exchange for our current lower defense values.)

Range is defense, and I don't hoverblast, ever. Getting Combat Jumping enables effortless kiting. It's especially relevant in incarnate content, which is fond of anti-melee mechanics: Apex autohit toxic aura around Pylons, BM's blue patches of Doom, Marauder's Nova Fist, Antimatter's weird bubbles, and so on and so on. But even without dipping in incarnate stuff, I want to repeat for emphasis there is a sizeable damage output difference between melee and range against most mobs.

 

Solo, my Sentinels take on +4/x8 against every faction at competitive speeds. Only my TW characters and my /fire Dominators go faster. I don't know what to say beyond that because this is a scenario where the Sentinel is actually so overwhelmingly superior to me. The ability to nuke a full spawn down to a couple lieuts and bosses every half minute makes for impeccable highend performance. Attacking mostly at range makes the damage instant and reliable.

You take that solo performance and bring it to a team and it's fine already in itself. Sentinels can handle alphas and contribute competitively. They can follow the group or go out on their own, need no support but can benefit from it, can stick in the thick of things or protect squishier teammates by targeting their oppressors.

Now I've never been the kind of person who believes "Tankers must hold aggro", "Defenders must heal/buff/debuff", and so on. All my characters pursue self-sufficiency in dealing ST damage, AoE damage, having as many useful buffs/debuffs/heals as possible and enough survivability to stand upright on their own. So that may be where my incomprehension of the debate regarding a supposed lack of role for Sentinels stems for. In CoH all you need is to defeat mobs to win, and the corollary to that is that your performance is only limited by how fast you can defeat things while staying alive.

So when it comes to design space, I see uniqueness in Sentinels in that they are the most convenient AT to play, to me. There's no special mechanic to take care of if you choose to incorporate the T1 or T2 as part of your attack chain and act as if it didn't exist. There's no pets to manage.

 

More importantly there's very little constraints on your maximum damage output. Most other ATs, even the overpowered ones for that matter, have some constraints on their performance. The vaunted TW/bio scrapper must manage Momentum and fight ground-based enemies (AoD doesn't work in the air). Any melee character in general needs enemies in melee range. Squishies either need to manage their survivability or have someone else manage it for them.

 

Those constraints can range from inconsequential to unplayable, based on situation and playstyle. Nonetheless *I* enjoy having the "braindead" Sentinel AT where performance is as reliable as can be. And I think it's a good thing for the game as a whole that there is such a choice. Hence my preference for straight buffs to numeric values, and my distaste for radical reworks turning Sentinels into yet another micromanaged AT.

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