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Mini contentious rant (empaths)


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Every single "healer" I have ever met in City of Heroes has been worthless, and every team that asked for a "healer" has been a disaster. The word is a giant red flag for me now.

 

This, a million times!

 

Conversely, every person I've run into who thinks like this is absolute trash tier when it comes to maintaining buff cycles (kins who can't keep up SB even with the AoE buffs, FF and Colds who will buff once at the start of a mission, never to be see a shield again, etc etc.  You don't *need* a healer, but pretending the buffs and heals brought by empathy make for a "worthless" character just shows blatant ignorance on how the game works. :)

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If you keep playing that trio long I doubt the heals will get much use.

 

Depends on what we're doing.  Anything trying to get there with smashing, lethal or fire damage in places where the tank can easily cluster them? Yeah, they're probably not going to break the passive regen on the tank.  Heavy psychic or toxic damage will bring the heals out in full force, as will very large groups of things with defense debuffs, devouring earth +ATK emanators, that Rularuu thing with the stupidly high +to hit, probably some other circumstances I'm forgetting since its been so long.  The nice thing about heals is that they're almost universally applicable, while the other mitigations have holes of varying sizes.

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Conversely, every person I've run into who thinks like this is absolute trash tier when it comes to maintaining buff cycles (kins who can't keep up SB even with the AoE buffs, FF and Colds who will buff once at the start of a mission, never to be see a shield again, etc etc.  You don't *need* a healer, but pretending the buffs and heals brought by empathy make for a "worthless" character just shows blatant ignorance on how the game works. :)

 

Uh, not from my experience.

The contention here is people who are 'just healers', that only use thier 'heal' powers and ignore eveything else - they are simply not good players.

 

Empaths are great. "Healers" in CoX - not so much.

We are talking about a very specific case, which has always been very prevelant in this MMO.

 

"Healers" are the ones who do not understand, IME.

I get plenty more from good players who use all poers available.

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The great thing about this game is you don't need any specific build to play the vast majority of the content. Except Corruptors, you should always bring a Corruptor. Your entire team should be all Corruptors for that matter.

 

Seriously though, I have the same feeling about Tanks. People would always ask for a Tank back in the day. I would laugh and bring a Permadom instead.

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The great thing about this game is you don't need any specific build to play the vast majority of the content. Except Corruptors, you should always bring a Corruptor. Your entire team should be all Corruptors for that matter.

I disagree, you should always have a team full of Defenders. You can fill with a Corruptor or two if you can't find enough Defenders but you can never have to many Defenders.

Defender Smash!

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The great thing about this game is you don't need any specific build to play the vast majority of the content. Except Corruptors, you should always bring a Corruptor. Your entire team should be all Corruptors for that matter.

I disagree, you should always have a team full of Defenders. You can fill with a Corruptor or two if you can't find enough Defenders but you can never have to many Defenders.

 

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The great thing about this game is you don't need any specific build to play the vast majority of the content. Except Corruptors, you should always bring a Corruptor. Your entire team should be all Corruptors for that matter.

 

I love this. Except I would change that to Scrappers. 8 of them going full Scrapperlock is glorious!

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I've played Empaths to 50 before and I know outside of, say, a Statesman/Miss Libery TF or a Hami Raid or a few other trials, they aren't your first choice for a buffer.  And yet I've seen so many people asking for heals lately that I thought, what the heck, I'll recreate one of my old Empaths.

 

I even took my rez and ran multiple DFB's with three different teams, and I kept waiting for someone to die so I could use it.  Then the brute who kept running ahead of the team and really TRYING to die, as far as I could tell, finally bit it... and hit the hospital button in a nanosecond.  :P

 

Anyway that's my "healer" story.  Although I didn't set anything to auto and I shot stuff a lot so I probably wasn't a healer.

 

But yes, to reiterate Adeon... you can literally break the game by stacking same-type Defender buffs/debuffs.  A team full of kins, a team full of rads, a team full of bubblers, even a team full of empaths can steamroll like nobody's business.

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to reiterate Adeon... you can literally break the game by stacking same-type Defender buffs/debuffs.  A team full of

darks who walk onto the Rikti Mothership raid and introduce everyone to the PSIONIC RESISTANCE CAP is nothing to be trifled with either. : )

See me on Excelsior as Eridanus - Whisperkill - Kid Physics - Ranger Wilde - The Hometown Scrapper - Firewatch - and more!

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I'm taking the heals, because there's 5 different axis on which to passively mitigate damage (Res, Def, Healing, -Damage and -Recharge), and they all stack multiplicatively.  Healing is the only axis with linear scaling, which makes it worse in general than the other 5 that all have strongly non-linear mitigation until capping, but it is also the one with the fewest holes, the only one with no cap, the only one that doesn't need to be used if it isn't needed and the only one which can be retroactively applied to damage that has already occurred.  Building out our team's mitigation along that axis ends up making the team several multiples more durable, as it repairs damage which must first be filtered through forcefields and fire shields

 

 

The cap on healing is the Blaster, who will find a way to take a dirt nap no matter how hard you heal.  :P

 

 

But yeah, layered defenses and mitigation are always nice and heals are good as a safety net beneath all the prevention, as you described.  I'd definitely never tell a Defender not to take their heals from the Primary (except Absorb Pain, that one's definitely debatable) since they're typically meant as a tool to work within the set they're using.

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You all are free to join our little SG the Brotherhood of Non-Empathy Related Superheroes (BONERS) on Torch.  For the record, we are opposed to any character that isn’t actively engaged in playing, but the pure-healbot-focused emp and the teams asking specifically for a healbot originally drew our ire on live and now on homecoming. Heck, be a healbot, but crack a few jokes and have a good time in the moment and we’ll be happy to consider you a boner.

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But yeah, layered defenses and mitigation are always nice and heals are good as a safety net beneath all the prevention, as you described.  I'd definitely never tell a Defender not to take their heals from the Primary (except Absorb Pain, that one's definitely debatable) since they're typically meant as a tool to work within the set they're using.

 

Absorb/Share pain is one of those powers that can be super useful sometimes.. but I rarely see a need for it. It's the only power in Empathy my Empath mastermind is skipping.

Always happy to answer questions in game, typically hanging around Help.
Global is @Zolgar, and tends to be tagged in Help.

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My first hero (after having 10odd lvl 50 vills) was an Emp/Psi fender. And it was a pure support Empath.

 

I only had Mental Blast and the Sleep attack (for the cheap purple set). I had speed, leaping, stealth, that was it. None of this healing pool rubbish I have seen emps taking. The other thing that 'could' be handy is a 2nd rez, and if people are dying that much, either you are a crappy emp, or they are being silly (or an incarnate trial, which means extra rez powers anyway).

I played my emp in normal/incarnate content, and pvp, and in all the time I played, I only saw about 3 emps as good as me, and a few better.

The pure support emp does NOT need attacks. You dont need to be attacking when you can give 5-7 team members Fortitude (with some overlap in durations) and constant Clear Mind. If everyone HAS fort and clear mind, the actual healing needed is very very minimal. I think that is what most emps dont get. Empathy is a set with healing, but it is the buffs that make it amazing.

I also have no time at all for Troller Emps in any team I put together. They are always too busy trolling to buff. That said, many, many fender emps are just clueless, or useless. In a pug team a few nights ago, we had a brute, blasters, troll, and TWO fender emps. And the brute was dying. With TWO emps. I casually mentioned that if just one would wake up and start buffing, the mission would go so much easier.

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  • 4 weeks later

If you keep playing that trio long I doubt the heals will get much use.

 

Depends on what we're doing.  Anything trying to get there with smashing, lethal or fire damage in places where the tank can easily cluster them? Yeah, they're probably not going to break the passive regen on the tank.  Heavy psychic or toxic damage will bring the heals out in full force, as will very large groups of things with defense debuffs, devouring earth +ATK emanators, that Rularuu thing with the stupidly high +to hit, probably some other circumstances I'm forgetting since its been so long.  The nice thing about heals is that they're almost universally applicable, while the other mitigations have holes of varying sizes.

 

We've continued playing this trio, and are currently running at +3/x8 at level 33.  Contrary to my expectations going in, the heals actually get a lot of work out.  The Tank and Thermal are both fully IOed with spare-no-expense attuned enhancements, while the FF def is currently running a few uncommon sets and standard level 25 IOs.

 

The Tank is effectively invulnerable in almost all situations at this point as long as both sets of shields are on her; she's died once to cascade defense failure from Shivans, and has been forced to retreat a few times in certain circumstances, but is unkillable in most normal situations.  There are enough enemies to routinely get a few that overflow from the tank's aggro cap or that fail to cluster, and the FF defender at ~28% defense and ~35% resistance is not even close to durable enough to go up against multiple +3s without healing, especially if a boss gets involved.  For that matter, just soft-capped defense on the Thermal is also insufficient without some healing in these cases.  Also, enemies with significant scatter built into their AI will fly around and apply pressure to the defenders, any time we get an ambush or multiple spawn aggro things overflow the tanker aggro cap significantly and stuff goes crazy, defense debuffs are still problematic, etc.  There is actually significant demand for the healing still in many, though not all missions. 

 

We've been doing missions together, where we all take the same mission and choose to complete on success.  We hit our first failed mission just the other day; rescue Waylon McCrane.  We've saved Twinshot, Fusionette  and Doc Delilah (the first time I've ever seen her survive that mission, actually), though we were running at +1/x8 at that point.  The combination of multi ambush waves overflowing the tanker aggro cap, Waylon's blastery lack of durability and Fusionette style insistence on running headlong into anything he can find to aggro, and bosses that come with both AOE defense debuffs and melee attacks that can 1 shot either defender through the resist shields has made his rescue mission extremely challenging (I got haymakered for 1008.  I did not realize bosses could hit that hard in the mid 30's).  Since we failed, the other two people did not get an option to complete, so we tried again on +2/x8 with more planning.  We didn't die this time, but Waylon still did on ambush wave 2 when I was forced to split my healing attention between keeping the FF defender up and Waylon up, and he got himself in the middle of an ambush wave outside of the dispersion field and got shredded.

 

We're going to get a chance to try again since we want to clear the third person's copy of the mission, and I have some plans in mind for how we can tweak our positioning and performance to have a better shot at rescuing him, but its going to be dicey.  And you know, I really love that there are things that can stress even a trio this durable to need to use all of its skills to succeed.

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This really just boils down to not every power set compliments others. Blasters, love me some empathy, scrappers and brutes eh maybe if I am really pushing my limits. Tanks eh sure if I am not one of the sets with lots of healing.

 

But really a defender only healing is alot like a tank only tanking. There is a niche for the hyper focus in extreme challenge content. But in general since anything can solo any typical leveling content, why make something so gimp it actually struggles taking down frostfire.

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Can we add to the list Tanks who insist on doing complicated pulls on every spawn?

 

It's like if you don't want to initiate combat that's fine just pass me some purples and let me initiate, but don't waste everyone's time with unnecessary pulls.

This is also my #1 pet peeve.  If your team has no damage mitigation aside from "taunt mobs to stay on the tank and scrapper", okay, sure.  But if your team runneth over with control making the enemies helpless (and preventing the tank, and everyone, from getting aggro), debuffs making the enemies simply anemic, or buffs making your team members unstoppable gods...

And, granted, your AoEs WILL be more valuable if you stand and wait for everyone to get grouped up - sure! But, are they so much improved that it's worth having 7 team members sit around twiddling their thumbs while one player plays the herding minigame?

 

Also don't get me wrong - I love tanks and I think tanks definitely have a role on support and control heavy teams - it's running AHEAD of the team, pulling more and more mobs into the death zone.  Because why steamroll one spawn when you could do three?

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I've been playing a Bots/Empathy MM quite a bit recently, doing PUGs.

 

I am a support build, for the character concept, there is no offense built in to the armor suit, only support. (Basically the power armor is built to provide all the services of the emergency teleportation network, outside of the reach of the network, there are then battle ready robots to provide defense for those 'ported in to or out of danger.) If things are going super smoothly, I break out my prestige attacks, because... well, why not? But usually, there's buffs to apply and people and robots to keep alive.

 

I am trying with her to subtly help other support players figure out what they're doing, but using buffs, keeping everyone alive, usually if there's another support with a Clear Mind style power on the team I ask them to keep it up on me, along the lines of "If you can keep me under Increase Density, I can keep the rest of the party under Clear Mind."

 

Also, side note: Tip for any MMs with heals- Heal your damn pets, they're basically extra hit points for you.

 

Here is a better tip, MMs are the red side counterpart of tanks. MMs can easily hold aggro, sustain through it, and do good DPS. They are like the rage stacked SS tanks that kill everything and dont die.

 

MM are not Supporters, They are leaders. So lead the way.

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I mean, at least they're better than the "Healer Rads" who don't take their debuff toggles because "they're too expensive", but... still.  Even just throwing an occasional blast is much more contribution than spamming a undeeded healing aura constantly.

 

This reminds me of the character I met back in maybe I10 or so who was also a rad defender, but didn't have either of the toggle debuffs.  He chose Rad because with Accelerate Metabolism and Hasten he could have the fastest cycling heal possible, since he honestly thought that would be needed at end game.  I showed him at least how to corner pull with Radiation Infection, then stand in it with whiffing mobs and chat, but I'm not sure if I convinced him. . .

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Frankly the "Healer Only" mentality was quite prevalent from launch to shutdown as well.

Yep.

 

And it went both ways, too.  I started a Gravity/Empathy Controller, got on a team ... and got bawled out for not healing often enough.  Like, b_tch please, Empathy is my SECONDARY.  My Primary is for locking down the badguys, so they stand still while you pummel them.  BUT NO, "don't do anything but heal or I'll /kick you".

 

Turned me off of running Empathy for years, that did.

Global Handle: @PaxArcana ... Home servers on Live: Freedom Virtue ... Home Server on HC: Torchbearer


Archetype: Casual Gamer ... Powersets:  Forum Melee / Neckbeard ... Kryptonite:  Altoholism

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I will go against the grain here and say, I LOVE healers and buffers of all kinds. You are welcome on my team any time! I really don't mind people that just want to roleplay, or maybe they enjoy turning on (F)ollow and hitting one key repeatedly so they can eat their pizza and take in the scenery/enjoy the story arc. I'm fine with that, they're putting in minimal effort, but it's still some effort.

 

Unless it's a SUPER important mish, or trial where there's an expectation of 110%, I'll usually state that up front.

 

Generally speaking however someone wants to contribute, I am happy with. I actually feel bad for some healers: A tank runs in, draws aggro, scrapper or 2 in tow with  their AOE dam, and several glass cannons blast away with build-up RAOE damage. When the rest of you are all in synch, you can wipe out mobs in under a minute that will give the healer nothing to heal. They are relegated to a hovering disco-ball making pretty lights. And I feel bad for them when that happens. I'm sure they do feel like a 3rd person on a date. But they are on the team, and they are TRYING to contribute to the team effort. And the reality is that sometimes they are there in case s#!+ goes sideways. They are our plan B.

Maybe they are not the BEST plan B, but maybe my blaster build isn't the best either. Maybe I could max out my power set so that my autofire is macro'd a certain way, but mayhaps I don't want my toon using autofire! Maybe I don't want to "dump" slots into auto. Do I get bounced from a team when someone realizes I am not an OPTIMAL build? You don't have to ask me to leave. I'm already done.

 

You have a scrapper that can't hit anything, but you're in the mix EVERY mob? You're on the team!

You have a glass cannon that likes to blap it and face plants every 5 mins because you can't contain yourself and keep forgetting you can't stand quite a bit further back? You're on the team!

You have a 9' tanker who's just draw aggro and stand there, shrug attacks like fleas buzzing around you, ever throwing a punch, just so you can make the "Come and get some" emote and tell NPC Council jerks that they look like dollar store Darth Vaders? How are you NOT already on my team you big pacifist jerk.

And yes. You have a defender/honest healer that has 1 dimension: Heal. But you have 9 buttons on your keyboard that do it in different ways or special colors? GET.....ON....MY.....FRIGGIN..... TEAM .

 

My favorite movie is not JUSTICE LEAGUE....it's Mystery Men.

 

If I have a problem with HOW you're playing. That's a point of discussion,, at the next Bio break, if I feel like "Dude, you're getting way ahead of the group and it's throwing off our SYNC....and here's why I think that." We're on a team. Get on the team. I'm sure we've all been guilty of being "that guy". Do the same with me. Sometimes all it takes is "Who's pulling when everyone isn't ready?!" to get me to raise my hand and say "Sorry! Finger spasm!"

 

Caveat: The only time I feel like someone is dead weight is when they join your team and then they sit back at the entrance while everyone else is trying to get that awesome synchronicity going, so they can just draw-up the experience. I've been on a couple of teams where the player face-plants the first mob we hit, and then just lays there for the entire mish while the rest of us work. Then when it's time to exit, all of a sudden they're back with us....Until we enter another zone and then...faceplant/AFK/repeat through the entire arc. Unless you have that discussion with the team FIRST that you want to leech to get an ALT built-up to be up (And I think you need to have a good reason) and everyone says "not a problem". If you're that guy who just assumes you're allowed to do that, you're not invited to my SG. I don't care if you can craft a Statesman level incarnate OP char.

 

Sometimes I think it mostly boils down to we don't have the discussions we need to be having. Too many assumptions are made on each person's side.

Trademarked Name (@Trademark)

Heroes: Joan (of Atlas), Monkey, Assault, Homunculous, Seismic & Fastball 

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<Really right on post - you should click the Quote link and read it>

 

 

I'd say QFT, but for brevity's sake I did not quote you.  However, I really, really dig your style on this.  Great affirmation of how teaming can be fun when you don't try to fit it into cookie cutter shapes...

 

+1 Inf

"The opposite of a fact is falsehood, but the opposite of one profound truth may very well be another profound truth." - Niels Bohr

 

Global Handle: @JusticeBeliever ... Home servers on Live: Guardian ... Playing on: Everlasting

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It honestly irritates me how me how many Empaths there are right now.  It wasn't like this long ago, at least not how I remember it, but then again I played mostly villains long before proliferation and alignments happened, so there was an established culture of "villains aren't Empaths."  I have always been of the opinion that debuffing is an extremely underrated and effective means of support.  No need to heal if the enemy is blind as a bat, hits like a wet noodle, moves like frozen molasses, and dies too fast to do anything.  There's a reason I love my Dark/Poison Corruptor.

 

It also helps if your tank is doing their job.  The people who claim Tankers don't need taunt are the same ones who think you need a healer.  They need a healer because they're a bad tank who can't keep aggro focused on one point, because they don't have friggin' taunt.

 

In my opinion, you can either be a proactive or reactive support.  I would rather be proactive.  This is probably the only game I enjoy playing support and tank.

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Can we add to the list Tanks who insist on doing complicated pulls on every spawn?

 

It's like if you don't want to initiate combat that's fine just pass me some purples and let me initiate, but don't waste everyone's time with unnecessary pulls.

This is also my #1 pet peeve.  If your team has no damage mitigation aside from "taunt mobs to stay on the tank and scrapper", okay, sure.  But if your team runneth over with control making the enemies helpless (and preventing the tank, and everyone, from getting aggro), debuffs making the enemies simply anemic, or buffs making your team members unstoppable gods...

And, granted, your AoEs WILL be more valuable if you stand and wait for everyone to get grouped up - sure! But, are they so much improved that it's worth having 7 team members sit around twiddling their thumbs while one player plays the herding minigame?

 

Also don't get me wrong - I love tanks and I think tanks definitely have a role on support and control heavy teams - it's running AHEAD of the team, pulling more and more mobs into the death zone.  Because why steamroll one spawn when you could do three?

 

Both Brutes and Tankers can excel at this task, it just takes a little more slotting to get the Brute there.

Playing CoX is it’s own reward

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