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Force Field (Cottage Rule Needs Not Apply)


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From Issues 3 through 23, a Force Field character was my main character.  I started off with a Gravity Control/Force Field Controller, then later on added a Robotics/Force Field Mastermind, a Force Field/Dark Blast Defender, a Thugs/Force Field Mastermind, and finally a Force Field/Fire Blast Defender.  All of them made it to level 50, and all but the Controller were Incarnated out.  I think I have a fairly good grasp on Force Field.  That said, I haven't been able to make one on Homecoming.  Why?  Force Field is absolutely terrible past the mid-level range.  It brings very little to nothing of value to high level to endgame teams.  IMO, to fix Force Field to be of decent value at high levels and endgame, the cottage rule needs to be discarded.

 

1. Personal Force Field - Lower the amount of +def by a little less than half, add some refreshing ticks of +absorb.

 

2. Deflection Shield - Leave unchanged

 

3. Force Bolt - Change knockback to knockdown, up the damage a little, add -res to give Force Field some minor debuff.

 

4. Insulation Shield - Leave unchanged

 

5. Detention Field - For the love of $deity, change it to a hold or even an immobilize.

 

6. Dispersion Bubble - Replace the +def with refreshing ticks of +absorb, and add Sleep protection.

 

7. Repulsion Field - I'm at a loss for this one.  IMO, it should be entirely removed for something better as I never, ever used it in the six years I played bubblers on live.

 

8. Repulsion Bomb - Lower the animation time by half, up the damage by about a third.

 

9. Force Bubble - Honestly, I like it as is.  It's not great, but it has its uses, and the popular suggestion of lowering its radius by half would remove those uses IMO.

 

Those are my suggestions.  What are yours?  Remember, in this thread, the cottage rule needs not apply.

 

 

Edited by Apparition
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What happened that made it so absolutely terrible now? Was there a big nerf or did something break?

"Homecoming is not perfect but it is still better than the alternative.. at least so far" - Unknown  (Wise words Unknown!)

 

Sooo.. I guess I am taking a non-voluntary break until November?!

 

Si vis pacem, para bellum

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1 minute ago, Troo said:

What happened that made it so absolutely terrible now? Was there a big nerf or did something break?

 

IOs, other power sets, and Incarnate powers happened.  With IOs, at high levels and especially at endgame nearly everyone is soft-capped to either S/L or melee or ranged.  Add Cold Domination, Time Manipulation, and the Barrier Destiny, and all of the +def that Force Field brings to the table is wasted.  The only other things that Force Field brings are knockback and making NPCs intangible.  Uh... yeah.  'Nuff said there I think.

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1 hour ago, Troo said:

What happened that made it so absolutely terrible now? Was there a big nerf or did something break?

its great on leveling teams before they have IOs 

 

On teams with actual builds though .. 

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I'm definitely in the camp of supporting a major rework for Force Fields. I think it needs a lot of help, more than minor tweeks.

 

I will first say that I don't think the set is bad, but I don't think *any* set across any AT is bad. Every set can be made to work and can shine in specific situations. I think Force Field works fine in a vacuum, but I think it doesn't work in the game that we have.

 

To your specific suggestions, App, I think it probably hinges on what is done with Repulsion Field. Toss it in favor of Sleet or Enervating Field or Tar Patch and it's a whole new ball game, so it's hard for me to say what anything else needs with that wild card on the table. I *do* think the level of help FF needs is as drastic as those examples, though.

 

In conclusion, I think FF is fine but largely irrelevant in the current state of the game, and I think serious consideration needs to be given to outside-the-cottage changes to bring FF back into the fold.

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I had this big thing typed up about how to make it the same now but give it a late-bloom mechanic for end game but... Honestly, any amount of defense bubbles are an overkill amount for a def-based Tanker that has enhancements. You don't need min/maxed set pieces to see these effects, as low as the 30s.

 

I should mention though, those of us without a lot of FF experience still tend to just think about it as a +defense set and ignore all the (easy to screw up) utility the other set's powers offer, which makes it difficult to size up.

 

I think if it ended up with a +absorb power, it should provide only small amounts of +absorb per tick, but a somewhat larger +max absorb. This would make it so the less frequently you get hit, the more benefit the Absorb is. This way characters who bring a bit of their own defense to the table get a bit extra out of it, instead of silently wishing they had invited a Kin instead.

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It steps into Kinetics territory, but if we're dispensing of the cottage rule, I could see sheathing allies in force fields that augment their attacks. So +damage instead of -resist.

+Damage (smashing, lethal) if you want to be a bit realistic (you can encase a bullet, but a fire bolt..?)

 

EDIT: I realize that doesn't actually break the cottage rule if just added onto existing defense bubbles. But it's still a pretty big thematic departure.

Edited by Replacement
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9 hours ago, Troo said:

What happened that made it so absolutely terrible now? Was there a big nerf or did something break?

It's not terrible, but everything else BUT FF has gotten better over time, and FF has been hardly touched, except for the changes to how single target buffs work, and the slight buffs that Castle made to Repulsion Bomb.

 

Now, I do have my "Buff FF" thread, as I'm sure you all know. But I want to thank @Apparition for opening THIS thread for reworking the whole set. That being said, how would *I*, the resident Force Fields Guru (my former forums title on the live boards 😉 ) handle a total re-haul and revamping of the set, ignoring the Cottage Rule entirely? This is what I would do, and here's what I see for powers if I could do literally ANYTHING that I wanted. Here's the powers that I would have, in the order that I would have them:

  1. Force Bubble - (Level 1) This isn't the "old Force Bubble", but rather a merger of Personal Force Field and Detention Field. It brings back the "glass dome of DOOM", but makes it a toggle that can affect ANY target. It uses the "untouchable" effect and the "cannot attack" effects, so the target cannot interact with the outside world, and the outside world can't interact with the target. Target is also immobilized. However, the target can still use abilities on itself. The toggle would have an endurance cost that would increase every second, until the field was no longer maintainable and would HAVE to toggle off, so that it couldn't be abused. You can cast it on yourself to give yourself a breather, and could potentially use Rest while inside of it. You could cast it on an AV (no accuracy check needed!) to take the AV out of the fight and give your team a break, for a while. You could cast it on an ALLY to save that ally from any incoming damage that's not already applying DoT on them (perfect pairing with a Tanker to take the alpha after they taunt or jump in?). The number of uses for this power, and the tricks you could pull off with it would be... innumerable.
  2. Force Bolt -  (Level 1) A bolt of pure force. Knockback guaranteed 100% on hit (Accuracy/ToHit check still required though, like any other attack), though the KB-KD can still be applied to change it to knockdown. Tier 3 Blaster Bolt damage, and an added Disorient effect for 20 seconds. Can be a part of an FFer's standard attack chain due to the good damage output.
  3. Defense Shield -  (Level 2) A merger of Deflection and Insulation Fields, provides the same level of Defense that the other two fields did, but for ALL damage types, as well as Melee/AoE/Ranged and even untyped damage (like Hamidon attacks). Makes the FFer much more popular during Hamidon raids, and missions against enemies with either untyped damage, or damage that's usually not protected against (I'm looking at YOU, negative energy!).
  4. Dispersion Bubble - (Level 6) The same, but plug the Sleep hole, and add a small tick of Absorb to all allies in range every second. Not much, but it helps minimize cascading defense failure.
  5. Repulsion Field - (Level 8 ) The same, but reduce the endurance cost for maintenance of the field to negligible levels so that it can be permanently on, to protect the FFer from melee attacks at all times. Same cost per "hit" of the attack when it actually hits an enemy.
  6. Force Crush - (Level 12) The reverse effect of the knockback that Repulsion Bomb USED to do - instead, knocks all enemies within a certain range of the target (let's say, a range of half the size of Dispersion Bubble) in TOWARDS the target. It would use the same effect as the "first half" of Gravity control's Wormhole, without the second half, so I know the effect is already in the game. This would make the FFer the best friend of Tankers that want an easier way to gather all of the enemies, as it would LITERALLY gather them. Also does Tier 1 Blaster Bolt damage to the enemies.
  7. Force Wall - (Level 18) A translucent, place-able wall of Force. Cannot be moved after it's placed. Either a toggle, or a click power with a set timed duration. Breaks Field of View for the purpose of attacks for all entities on both sides of the wall, as attacks CANNOT go through the wall, either way. Could be used while inside of a mission to "give everyone a break", or possibly used to help "herd" enemies towards a desired location by making an obstacle. Could also possibly be used for players to reach areas by jumping that they normally wouldn't.
  8. Repulsion Bomb - (Level 26) Equivalent damage to a Blaster's Nuke, without the crash. Give the FF player access to a second nuke, thus substantially increasing their damage potential to add to the team. Maintain the Knockdown component and disorient component for any that survive the nuke.
  9. Impenetrable Field - (Level 32) What the "old" Force Bubble should have been, a "perfect" Repel field against enemies. Half the diameter of the old Force Bubble, and enemies CANNOT push in - even AVs. Let's call it say a THOUSAND mag of Repel against non-allies, just to be ridiculous. But, as with the "new" Force Bubble, the field cannot be maintained forever, as it will have an exponentially increasing endurance cost. However, teammates can sit inside the field in perfect safety from Melee attacks, only Ranged and AoE attacks can get through. Could be used to "pin" even AVs against a wall, or make them "fly off" far in the distance. Can also be used to help cover a tactical retreat, or for the FFer to "hold the line".

That's what *I* would do, if I could redesign City of Heroes Force Fields from the ground up, with no limitations. The FFer would have SUBSTANTIALLY increased damage output, but not from passive buffs, but rather active powers/attacks, and by merging powers, we have more room for even MORE positional "tools" in the FFer's arsenal of enemy positioning tricks.

 

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Edited by The Philotic Knight
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1 hour ago, Replacement said:

I had this big thing typed up about how to make it the same now but give it a late-bloom mechanic for end game but... Honestly, any amount of defense bubbles are an overkill amount for a def-based Tanker that has enhancements. You don't need min/maxed set pieces to see these effects, as low as the 30s.

 

I should mention though, those of us without a lot of FF experience still tend to just think about it as a +defense set and ignore all the (easy to screw up) utility the other set's powers offer, which makes it difficult to size up.

 

I think if it ended up with a +absorb power, it should provide only small amounts of +absorb per tick, but a somewhat larger +max absorb. This would make it so the less frequently you get hit, the more benefit the Absorb is. This way characters who bring a bit of their own defense to the table get a bit extra out of it, instead of silently wishing they had invited a Kin instead.

 

IMO, if the absorb mechanic were in the game at Issue 0, Force Field would be a complete +absorb power set with no or very little +def as absorption much better fits the concept of force fields than extra defense.  But since people are so accustomed to Force Field providing +def, that's why I think it's a good idea to leave Deflection Shield and Insulation Shield unchanged so that it still provides some +defense.

 

 

48 minutes ago, Galaxy Brain said:

Dont add -Res, that is too cookie cutter

 

I'm fine with -damage or -regen or some other sort of debuff, but IMO Force Field needs a minor debuff somewhere.  Even Electrical Affinity eventually gained minor -regen.

 

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53 minutes ago, Galaxy Brain said:

Dont add -Res, that is too cookie cutter

In the other thread talking about nerfs and buffs and when they should happen and I made an example of Electric Affinity and buffs to Force Field, I had a longer portion of that part of the post that I deleted.  I had a set of bullets of stuff they'd add to Empathy and Force Field, not to broaden their capabilities but rather to assist min/max faceroll/steamroll teams.

 

The bullets for Force Field had +Absorb, damage, +damage, +rech, -resistance and -regen.  I guarantee you, when they start doing passes for the support sets but don't reign in stuff like duration, target caps and so on, they will have to add copious amounts of at least 3 of those above because it has to approach sets like Time Manipulation.  And people ask why you need to nerf before you buff?  Because people would complain if the changes didn't get FF to approaching TM's capabilities but won't admit no one needs that much support anymore...unless it increases damage more.

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Alternate Power Suggestion for Corruptors:

 

Force Wall (Level 18) replaced with Force Snap - Insta-kill power on any enemy except an AV/Giant Monster/Purple. The theory here, and I've never seen this suggested in any medium before, but it comes instantly to my mind when I think of force fields/telekinesis, is that someone with the power to generate fields of force or telekinesis could potentially be the PERFECT assassin. All they would have to do is to literally "scramble the brains" of a target inside of their own head, or create a force field INSIDE of their head. BAM, instant kill, with no trace from the outside - it'd just look like an aneurysm. I frankly don't know why this wasn't thought of or used in books/movies/etc before, be because when I first read about Sue Storm, I was TERRIFIED by that possibility instantly popping into my head (pun intended).

 

Of course, The Philotic Knight would NEVER use such a power. The Misotic Knightmare however....

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4 minutes ago, The Philotic Knight said:

Alternate Power Suggestion for Corruptors:

 

Force Wall (Level 18) replaced with Force Snap - Insta-kill power on any enemy except an AV/Giant Monster/Purple. The theory here, and I've never seen this suggested in any medium before, but it comes instantly to my mind when I think of force fields/telekinesis, is that someone with the power to generate fields of force or telekinesis could potentially be the PERFECT assassin. All they would have to do is to literally "scramble the brains" of a target inside of their own head, or create a force field INSIDE of their head. BAM, instant kill, with no trace from the outside - it'd just look like an aneurysm. I frankly don't know why this wasn't thought of or used in books/movies/etc before, be because when I first read about Sue Storm, I was TERRIFIED by that possibility instantly popping into my head (pun intended).

 

Of course, The Philotic Knight would NEVER use such a power. The Misotic Knightmare however....

I don't mind this kind of thinking but to balance it, I'd just make it do a lot of damage (some foes have weird anatomy or can survive without their brain or heart or can recover from such attacks) and having very low accuracy (projecting a small force field right in the small space inside a person's body should be tougher) thus requiring lots of accuracy slotting/bonuses and +ToHit to maximize the power.

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Ah, that's kinda what I thought. In a sentence: Force Fields is a victim of power creep and end game.

 

I'll read the posts. I think folks will have the same ideas I would. Adding some late game actual force field like capability could be a boost. Additional opportunities may exist with Genesis, Mind, Vitae, and/or Omega (these may be a little too late in the game for what @Apparition is saying).

 

Spaghetti on the wall ideas

A little +absorb does seem appropriately force field-ish.

 

Maybe some type of action could be done while using personal force field. Something simple like being able to use detention field could be interesting.

 

What might make it really interesting could be one or two late game functions.

  • Being able to totally protect one player from an alpha (short duration, longer recharge)
  • Being able to totally block an alpha from enemies (again, short duration, longer recharge)
  • Adding some +resist to late game damage types
  • Maybe Interface should work something like Force Bubble, or another
  • Maybe Hybrid should

wait, no. maybe it needs to do things it doesn't already specialized in.

Maybe the high level force fielder is able to start using their power not just to protect but to deal some damage.

 

Damage being added in relation to distance of knockback & knockup would provide additional damage without actually changing force field and could have benefits to other sets as well.

 

Edited by Troo

"Homecoming is not perfect but it is still better than the alternative.. at least so far" - Unknown  (Wise words Unknown!)

 

Sooo.. I guess I am taking a non-voluntary break until November?!

 

Si vis pacem, para bellum

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Random idea if we are tossing "anything" at the wall:

 

Force Fields cast a Pet that is anchored to your target. The pet has X hp, and gives the person you cast it on defense to all. The pet also has 100% bodyguard while it is alive, meaning any hits you happen to take, goes directly to the pet. 

 

The pet cannot be affected by anything but the damage it yoinks off the players it is cast on, and further FF powers which can refresh or heal it. The idea is to essentially let FF creat an actual tangible barrier between you and the world, and multiple FFs can stack to divide damage even further which is something *no* set can do.

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Rather than retype all this, I'm just gonna repost my suggestion from Philotic Knight's thread:

 

I love Force Fields conceptually, my main was a Force Fields Mastermind from the launch of CoV until sunset, but it's one of those sets where my honest feedback is, "Screw the cottage rule, this design needs to be taken back to the drawing board."

 

My honest wishlist:

  • Force Bolt: Gains a -Res, -Def debuff and slow.
  • Deflection Shield: Moved to Tier 1 for Masterminds. Effect changed to +Def (All), +Resist(Defense debuffs, slow, recharge reduction)
  • Insulation Shield: Effect changed to +Resist (All damage types, -recovery, endurance drain).
  • Dispersion Bubble: Defense buff magnitude increased to Time/Farsight level.
  • Repulsion Field: Removed entirely. This set has two powers that both serve to do the exact same concept of a PBAoE knockback field and neither one of them works worth a damn right now.
    • New Power - Insulation Bubble: PBAoE +Absorb toggle, same size as Dispersion Bubble.
  • Repulsion Bomb: Gains a -Res, -Def debuff and slow.
  • Detention Field: Changed to Hold with extremely significant -Regen.
  • Force Bubble: Size reduced to Dispersion Bubble radius, repel magnitude increased dramatically, endurance cost reduced dramatically.

This would return Force Fields to being the premiere damage prevention support set, give it potent single-target debuff potential and adequate AoE debuff potential, without altering the conceptual purpose of the set or most of its powers. It would still have no heal, no res, no offensive or utility buffs, markedly worse debuffs than the offensive support sets, and its one really unique utility would still be largely hated for group content due to the scatter, but every power would at least be worth considering to use and it would have one thing that it was outright better at than every other support set to compensate for its weaknesses, which is how it should be.

 

I'm also gonna add that it's disingenuous to blame power creep entirely for the state of Force Fields. It was never in the top tier of Support sets, but it had a niche that only it could fill for a little while, being substantial +Defense buffs.  The set has been obsolete since Cold Domination and Traps were added in Issue 6, though, on any AT that had them. Yes, it's gotten more apparent since IOs, and then those sets got proliferated around, and Incarnates and Time were added, but it's been the case for almost the entire history of the game.

Edited by Draeth Darkstar

@Draeth Darkstar

Virtue and Freedom Survivor

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Do whatever you want as long as the main functions of Force Bolt and Detention Field (high mag KB and targeted intangibility) aren't changed. Those powers are set-defining for Force Fields in PvP and the cottage rule simply must be invoked here (sorry thread title that tried to head off this inconvenient truth).

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kill off force bubble

Kill off all Repel effects

Magically code in a Draw In effect.

 

Force Bubble - Ground Target AoE that draws enemies in to the center.  Slowly shrinking bubble

Also do this for hurricane, black hole, dimension shift and rename it to .. black hole.

ya know

while you are at it

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On 3/13/2020 at 8:49 AM, Apparition said:

IMO, if the absorb mechanic were in the game at Issue 0, Force Field would be a complete +absorb power set with no or very little +def as absorption much better fits the concept of force fields than extra defense.  But since people are so accustomed to Force Field providing +def, that's why I think it's a good idea to leave Deflection Shield and Insulation Shield unchanged so that it still provides some +defense.

Given how superfluous +Def is once your team has IOs/proper builds, I say screw what people are accustomed to. Force Field primarily granting +absorb not only makes sense thematically but makes it unique and useful. If I had full control, I'd take @The Philotic Knight's idea but swap the +Def on the ally shield for +Absorb.

 

On live, I had a FF/Elec Defender who was basically Easy Mode for any team who struggled. I remade him on Homecoming, but haven't bothered leveling him past the 30s because Force Field simply doesn't add anything meaningful with the current state of the set.

Where are we going, and why am I in this hand basket?

Check out the Unofficial Homecoming Wiki! Contributions welcome!

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On 3/13/2020 at 12:37 AM, Apparition said:

3. Force Bolt - Change knockback to knockdown, up the damage a little, add -res to give Force Field some minor debuff.

This would encroach on Sonic Resonance territory, but it's not a bad idea to give it SOMETHING useful to do when it hits a target.

For example, being that you control forcefields and barriers, it would be thematically relevant, unique, and helpful if Force Bolt dealt bonus damage to Absorb shields, penetrated enemy defense stats, and lowered defenses.

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On 3/13/2020 at 12:37 AM, Apparition said:

5. Detention Field - For the love of $deity, change it to a hold or even an immobilize.

One idea I had for the intangible trap moves like Detention Field would be to give it a HP bar, and if you break that bar before it wears off, the enemy takes the damage dealt plus a bonus all at once.  You let the team sorta "collapse" the barrier on them by overwhelming it, and they get crushed in the implosion.

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On 3/13/2020 at 12:37 AM, Apparition said:

7. Repulsion Field - I'm at a loss for this one.  IMO, it should be entirely removed for something better as I never, ever used it in the six years I played bubblers on live.

 

9. Force Bubble - Honestly, I like it as is.  It's not great, but it has its uses, and the popular suggestion of lowering its radius by half would remove those uses IMO.

Honestly, I have always had issues with these from the start.  They have rare, situational uses, and those uses rarely make up for the immense endurance costs and the opportunities to screw up a team's fight strategy, lol.

If you made Repulsion Field do what Force Bubble does, but at a much smaller radius that you could use to finesse people into positions (like Hurricane), that would be far better than the knockback chaos.  To make it on-par with Hurricane, it would need some other benefit too, like maybe a reduction to enemy damage output (as you push bullets and weapons away, lowering their velocity) like how Hurricane reduces accuracy.

For Force Bubble, I always felt the Forcefield set in general was the IDEAL set to utilize the newer Absorb mechanics.  Force Bubble should be a single-target powerful absorb shield you can throw on someone in danger as a panic move (something FF lacks as a set).  It should also passively make Dispersion Bubble provide a small Absorb shield over time like "Instant Regeneration" and "Frigid Shield" for Sentinels, but to all allies in the area of the bubble.

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