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Monos King & Galaxy Brain's Mastermind Changes

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Mastermind Global Changes

Addressing survivability, enhancement viability, and ever-cherished fun factor, these changes are proposed to help MM's across the board wrangle the all too familiar issues with the Archetype. This thread unveils proposals for Global changes, and the links to the Primary Powerset Proposals are below. There's a lot to unravel, so take your time! 

 

Robotics

Necromancy

Mercenaries

Ninjas

Thugs

Demons

Beast Mastery


 

MM's need help. Despite being a very popular AT overall (3rd place behind Blasters and Brutes respectively!) they drop off significantly in the number of lvl 50's to where only 4.7% of MM's ever hit lvl 50, where the average for all other AT's is 9%. (Source Below)

 

Spoiler

 

 

The reason? 

 

At higher levels, the consensus appears to be that MM's drop off in effectiveness rather harshly due to four key factors:

 

  1. MM Damage scales / end costs make it so it is troublesome to be effective at all without pets, somewhat forcing the "Tankermind" play style to be effective
  2. Pet survival at higher difficulties that other AT's can handle severely cripples MM effectiveness
  3. Due to the above, the Pet Aura IOs (And MM ATO's) are more or less required to participate in mid-higher end content
  4. Due to the above and kinks with pets in general, slotting becomes difficult and non-renumerative.

 

These four, along with some quirks here and there, feed into one another to make MM's have a sort of bell curve where they start weaker, get very strong, but then weaken again as your character is expected to take on more and more challenges. Crunching the numbers, there are a few changes that could be made that will help MMs at the high end while having a minimal impact on the low end.

 

 

Mastermind Stats

Starting with the Mastermind themselves, the AT as a whole is in an odd spot in that thematically and mechanically, its all about your pets. This is super fun for many of us... but when pressure from high end content or the variety of builds available to other AT's with IOs comes up, pet-centric limitations can be constraining. This is because henchmen cannot be slotted with the same pool of IOs others have, such as melee damage, and are limited to secondary effects and pet damage in slotting. To make up for their poor personal performance, almost all MM's default to "Tankerminding" thanks to Bodyguard Mode. While in Defensive stance, and setting the pets to anything but "Attack my Target", masterminds shift to being an incredibly tanky class as they split their damage between up to 6 pets within Supremacy Range, and since the pets will attack those who attack you or them re-actively, this sets the sort of standard of how to play as your MM can be incredibly tough while maintaining their pets, but this shoehorns them into one path that has problems when you scale up to higher content. And, due to the low damage and exceptionally great endurance cost of mastermind abilities, there is little reward for straying from the path.

 

Solution: More dynamic Supremacy Stances

MM's have two other major stances to work with, Aggressive and Passive, and in those neglected modes there can lie a solution. In the former, your pets will simply attack on sight and go full aggro mode. This bares little functional utility, as they attack the same as they would provoked in defensive mode, and you lose Bodyguard and thus put yourself at extreme risk with little reward. Some MMs simply put this on during a team setting if others have Aggro, leaving their pets to fend for themselves while they are reduced to a discount Defender. If you turn on Aggressive mode and try to keep up and contribute with your team / pets, you'll find yourself suffering from the endurance penalty, sucking endurance down rapidly and dealing little damage overall while having less pet control.  Passive mode has your pets halt all actions unless directed by you specifically and is mostly used when travelling so that they don't pick up extra aggro, or to pull back and retreat effectively. 

 

The common gripe with these other stances is that they have nothing to really compete with the advantage of Bodyguard mode. So:

 

 

Defensive Stance Gives the MM access to Bodyguard Mode
Aggressive Stance Provides the MM with a 5% Damage Bonus and a 5% Endurance Discount per pet 
Passive Stance Provides the Pets with a 150% Regeneration and Recovery bonus

 

Lets add some perks to the other two stances! 

 

Starting with Aggressive Mode, when you switch to this your MM gets an average 30% bonus to Damage and a 30% Endurance Discount (with 6 pets and you going ham) in order to not only allow the MM to do a bit of damage with what attacks they do have, but also get an endurance discount on their abilities to allow them to actually play "unleashed" like their pets. Plotting out with 3 Damage SO's and 1 End Redux SO, we see the following (assuming 30%):
 

 

Aggressive Math: Base Dmg Base End Aggressive Dmg Aggressive End 3 Dmg SO 1 End SO Defender Dmg Defender End
Burst 33.04 6.5 42.95 5 74.34 3.99 76.13 4
Slug 50.16 10.66 65.21 8.2 112.86 6.54 115.6 6.56
M30 27.53 18.98 35.79 14.6 61.94 11.64 63.43 11.68


Using the Mercenary Primary's attacks, we see that with similar Slotting + Aggressive mode, an MM is about on Par with a Defender using the same powers in /Assault Rifle (without Vigilance boosts). MM's get far fewer attacks to use compared to a Defender, and the damaging support moves they get will be on par but with far worse secondary effects... along with a fraction of the personal defense if they get hit outside of Bodyguard mode. This is aimed to make being truly "Aggro" with an MM a viable strategy compared to turtling up at all times.

 

The Passive Mode change is to help more with the Pet's survival and downtime in general. Often there can be cases where you may be in over your head, and backing off to reset the situation takes a bit of time esp when needing to resummon or heal up. With this passive mode change your pets will have much less downtime and overall better sustain between fights.

 

Pet Survival

Next is easily the biggest and most important. To put it simply, the way enemies scale vs your pets is not ideal.

 

Once you have all 6 pets, your Boss Pet will be = to your level, the LT's will be -1, and the Minions will be -2. That latter portion is a killer for them as on average, the minions make up ~27% of the damage output of each MM primary, even WITH them being -2! With them being killed so easily, this would be like if any other AT's damage scaled down as they lost health, and a solid hit taking away 25% of their HP meant they did 25% less damage. Even worse, when playing at the maximum difficulty the T1 pets get hit extra-hard by enemies thanks to the Accuracy Formula:

 

image.png.acca3ce29025231e75dbf6c6466379af.png

Source: https://paragonwiki.com/wiki/Attack_Mechanics

 

Spawning at -2 to you, a +4 enemy to the MM will be +6 to the poor T1 minion. If an enemy were to target them, they get a bonus 5% ToHit on top of a 1.5x accuracy modifier.  To illustrate how bad this is, lets take a look at the Hit Chance formula:

 

HitChance = Clamp[95%]( AccMods × (1 - TargetElusivity) × Clamp[5%]( BaseHitChance + ToHitMods – DefMods ) )

 

Now, lets assume a +4 enemy minion is taking a swing at our -2 T1 minion:

 

HitChance = Clamp( 1.5 × (1 - 0) × Clamp( 0.50+ 0.05 – 0) )

HitChance = Clamp( 1.5 × (1) × Clamp( 0.55) )

HitChance = Clamp( 1.5  × Clamp( 0.55) )

HitChance = 82.5%

 

Thanks to that +5% ToHit, the "Soft Cap" to hit the 5% clamp on that side of the formula would need to be 50% defense. Even with that, we see (1.5 x .05) = 7.5% chance to be hit at the absolute minimum. This effectively makes each point of defense you give them a smidge less in value as they need that much more to Soft Cap, and even when they do they still lose out on the minimal chance thanks to the Accuracy bonus. If they are against a LT, Boss, or AV? The acc mods stack up even higher.

 

While being hit 7.5% of the time doesn't sound too bad, remember that the purple patch also affects damage taken, and damage dealt! At -6 to your targets, the T1 minions will take 1.66x damage BEFORE resistances, and in turn will deal a paltry 0.15x damage in response!

 

(More info on lvl scale and damage: https://paragonwiki.com/wiki/Purple_Patch)

 

Even when teamed, you cannot realistically buff them enough to not have them survive well enough and thus you constantly lose out on damage that other characters simply do not have to. There are two additions that will solve these issues. 

 

 

 

Addition 1: T1 Pets Gain +1 level (Past lvl 18)

The simplest solution is to ensure that the T1 pets (not underlings like Gang War or Hell on Earth) stay as -1 Level to you past lvl 18.

 

Right away, this will increase their relative defense values by 1.1x as they retain a 45% soft cap vs even the strongest of normal enemies like all other pets and characters, instead of 50%. They also gain effectively 11% resistance to damage as they go from taking 1.66x damage to 1.55x damage vs +4 enemies (likewise, they go from taking 1.22x to 1.11x at even level),. and deal 15% more damage to +4 targets as they leap from 0.15x to 0.30x damage! (Vs even level, this is a 10% jump from 0.8x to 0.9x). 

 

This one change will even the playing field to have the T1 pets provide ~31% of the DPS at -1 across all MM primaries (averaged) , and be minimally impactful at lower levels and difficulties. If anything it will help smooth the progression for many sets in that awkward phase between 18 and 32! It was decided not to bump up all the pets to get +1 level, or match your level for consideration of the lower levels of gameplay and the effect that would have. Simply smoothing out the weakest link in the T1's will go a long way for a new foundation combined with the other changes being proposed below.

 

Addition 2: T1 and T2 Pet HP increase

Combined with the level shift (which provides a very, very small HP boost), the hp growth of the T1 and T2 should be increased by 10% and 5% respectively. The HP growth refers to the ending HP they get at lvl 48-50 as all 3 tiers start with ~91 base HP:

 

Minion (49) LT (49) Boss (50)  
576.6 768.8 963.8  
59.83% 79.77% 1 % of Boss
634.26 807.24 963.8  
65.81% 83.76% 1 % of Boss
10% +HP 5% +HP    

 

With the T1 at lvl 49 as well, smoothing out the HP between the three pets gives them just a bit more survival overall and comes with a wealth of benefits.

   

Pet Movement

All pets gain a 35% base run speed boost

Somewhat related to the survival concerns. While not as directly impactful as a +1 lvl shift on T1 pets past lvl 18, one thing that had changed on live was the introduction of Inherent Fitness. All characters, including MM's, having swift efectively made the game faster by about (35%) as players could traverse the environment quicker even with all movement powers turned off. Pets did not get this luxury, and often are stuck trailing behind the MM even if the MM is going as slow as they can. A simple base speed increase will help with the positioning of pets for both survival, offensive pressure (Melee pets), and general utility.

 

Removal of Automatic Distance Based Teleport, Addition of a "Come to me" Command

Not only a practicality-seeking proposal, this suggestion would offer greater customization and control of pets behavior. The Come to Me Command, or "Come" from the pet menu, would simply be a manual pet teleport functioning exactly how the auto-spawn teleport works now. Upon selecting "Come" much like "Follow" or "Stay", the henchmen would teleport to the casters location. There would be no control over where the pets spawn; the pets will simply appear at your location at the time of selection. Removing auto teleport would not only allow more convenient travel by use of "Stay" and "Come" commands in concert, but would also improve the application of "Stay" for fun activities like leaving your pets at multiple locations across the zone as amusing objects for players to discover. Roleplayers could find themselves setting up "watch-points" or what not, as they direct their pets to speak zone wide.

 

 

Pet IO "Tax"

Possibly the most controversial.

 

There are currently two major pet ranks. "Pet" and "Henchmen". Henchmen are the types of pet that Masterminds cast, with varying strengths between the Minion, Lieutentant, and Boss types. Pets are the class summonable by control type ATs. Henchmen, however, are substantially less equipped.         

 

Villain Damage Modifiers
Archetype Melee Range
V archetypeicon corruptor.png Corruptor 0.750 0.750
V archetypeicon dominator.png Dominator 1.050 0.950
V archetypeicon mastermind.png Mastermind 0.550 0.550
   Ninjas CallGenin.png Henchman 1 0.450 0.350
   Ninjas CallJounin.png Henchman 2 0.550 0.450
   Ninjas CallOni.png Henchman 3 0.650 0.550
V archetypeicon brute.png Brute 0.750 0.500
V archetypeicon stalker.png Stalker 1.000 0.600
V archetypeicon arachnos soldier.png Arachnos Soldier 1.000 1.000
V archetypeicon arachnos widow.png Arachnos Widow 1.000 1.000
Temporary WarWolfWhistle.png Pet 1.000 0.800

 

Now, henchmen should be weaker than pets, but it isn't their damage that's troubling, it's their protection. As a result of what we discussed in Pet Survival, their troubles range from highly unsettling to completely fatal in many situations.

 

Their paper thin protection is such that there exists a suite of IO's designed to boost the durability of pets. Both of the MM ATO's boost pet longevity though either Resistance or Defense,  4/5 pet uniques also boost survival for all pets within a radius, with the 5th providing less Taunt/Placate protection than simply taking assault by a large margin. While the non-ATO pet IO's can be used by other ATs with pets, they *really* appear to be designed for MM use, and talking among other pet users there are rare, if existing, occupation of these auras because of their different priorities, slotting for damage themselves, or they have a mix of potent control and end effective shielding which they can protect their pets with. Not to mention, "Pets" having generally higher level, health and defenses than "Henchmen", with Jack Frost's defenses being nearly double that of it's closest analogue, The Demon Prince. Due to the reality above, MM's are somewhat corralled into needing 6 IO's dedicated to simply allowing their pets a fighting chance.

 

 

Solution: Replace the Unique IO effects, and bake the originals into the T1 and T2 Upgrades

A straight-forward suggestion as this predominantly affects Masterminds is to bake the survival upgrades into well, their upgrades! This of course will require the uniques to be retooled, which we will touch on momentarily, but first lets look at how this could work.

 

Tier 1 Upgrade (Lvl 6): Now grants base 10% Res vs All, while in Supremacy Range (60ft from MM). This bonus grows with level, starting at a base of 10% (at lvl 1) and scaling up to 23.94% resistance at lvl 50. This power can now take Resistance Enhancements. 

 

Starting with the combined resist aura effects, this is attached to the T1 upgrade as at low level the slight bump to durability will help out without being too unbalanced. As it grows, the value also increases at the same relative rate as the Pet's own resistance powers until it maxes out at ~1 SO away from being that value of the combined auras. If you choose to devote more slots to the upgrade power (taking away form other powers mind you!) you can net more resistances if you so choose.

 

 

Tier 2 Upgrade (Lvl 32): Now grants base 3.25% Defense vs All as well as bonus 3.25% AoE Defense (7% total), while in Supremacy Range (60ft from MM). This bonus grows with level, starting at a base of 3.5%/7% (at lvl 1) and scaling up to 7.78%/15.56% defense at lvl 50. This power can now take Defense Enhancements. 

 

The combined defense auras are attached to the T2 upgrade as the defense boost compounded with everything else you have will be a significant buff to survival at that point in the game. As it grows, the value also increases at the same relative rate as the Pet's own resistance powers until it maxes out at ~1 SO away from being that value of the combined auras. If you choose to devote more slots to the upgrade power (taking away form other powers mind you!) you can net more resistances if you so choose.

 

 

With the defense boosts growing by level and as you slot and upgrade pets, that leaves a lot of room left over to give the IO's a makeover:

 

 

Command of the Mastermind
 (50% chance of KB Protection on Pets), 5% +Damage aura to all within Supremacy Range (Self, Pets, Allies)
S. Command of the MM
 (75% chance of KB Protection on Pets), 7.5% +Damage aura to all within Supremacy Range (Self, Pets, Allies)
Mark of Supremacy
 3 PPM Negative Damage Proc (Slottable into Primary Attacks)
S. Mark of Supremacy
 4 PPM Negative Damage Proc (Slottable into Primary Attacks)

 Pet IOs

 
Call to Arms
 Chance of Lethal DoT on Pet Attacks (2 ppm)
Expedient Reinforcement
 25% Pet Movement Speed and Debuff Resistance (all)
Sovereign Right
 Chance to proc -5% damage debuff on Pet Abilities (2 ppm)
Edict of the Master
 Pets gain Mag 4 CC Protection (Immob, Sleep, Stun, Hold, Confuse, Fear)
Commanding Presence
 Pets gain 100% Regen and Recovery

 

These have all been redesigned to offer more utility or damage opportunities to not only MM pets but to other pets as well.

 

The MM ATO's are now designed to give a bit of a bonus to team mates as well as yourself and pets by providing a bonus within Supremacy Range, and helping your pets avoid knockback similarly to the PvP Teleportation IO. The 2nd IO bonus offers a Negative Energy damage proc that can be used on any and all MM abilities, which will prove quite useful depending on the pet or power!

 

Call to Arms is similarly a proc that can apply on any pet attack, but applies a DoT with much less of a proc rate. Similarly, Sovereign Right can apply a stacking Damage Debuff. Expedient Reinforcement and Commanding Presence give the pets good sustain and utility with debuff resists, movement, and regen/recovery. Finally, Edict of the Master gives all pets CC protection to the major CC's aside from Knockback.

 

These should all be valuable, but now with other options covering the basic needs (MM attacks and the upgrades may be worth slotting now!) they are no longer so "mandatory" for MM performance, and likewise still offer great utility to non-MM pets.

 

 

Primary Overview (Damage Comparison)

In the following threads (links at the top), we'll be going over major shake ups to primaries that will re adjust the balance of power between DPA and ST / AOE DPS. The end results will be as follows:

 

 

DPA in 1 "Cycle": (VALUES ARE NON ENHANCED)

image.png.c8b841db2219fbb0b4ae0afb56816407.png

 

Defined as the damage dealt within 1 rotation of their powers as a unit, this eyeballs the burst-offense of the sets with different X factors shown in the colored sections. In general, our goal is to have primaries that are stronger defensively have a bit less damage, and vice versa, with the primaries that require a lot of setting up also being rewarded. This is why despite Demons having solid defenses overall, they still remain very damaging once they stack up -Res and the Hell on Earth minions / Bonuses.

 

Just a special note, but Jounin Caltrops can theoretically do a dumb amount of damage naturally if you are able to stack them / crit them and keep an enemy in the radius. This is why we have a Ninja-Trops section.

 

ST DPS:

image.png.209aba1052fddcfcba24a4ce8e9933e9.png

 

The average DPS over time of all their abilities. Similar to the DPA above, a distinction is made where generally tougher pets deal less DPS, and specifically AoE heavy sets deal a bit less ST damage.

 

 

AoE DPS:

image.png.1674f89d0b86c8f5c569db891412886d.png

 

Lastly, factoring in the Area and Target values for the AoE attacks seen in each primary, we get these DPS values for total damage dealt across a spawn using only AoE attacks. The ST attacks of pets spread across different targets is important as well, but very hard to quantify. 

 

 

 

Conclusion

These changes combined should set up a new foundation for MM's in the current meta to be much smoother across all levels, and especially at end game. In fact, based off of responses gathered from discord and in-game discussion, they should be of great use to other pet casters who gain little to no benefit from the auras to begin with. Some of these changes may be controversial, but if even some of them are considered officially, I would consider it a big step up for the AT as a whole. And if you all feel the same way, good news -- there are many more proposals where that came from!

Edited by Galaxy Brain
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17 minutes ago, Galaxy Brain said:
Defensive Stance Gives the MM access to Bodyguard Mode
Aggressive Stance Provides the MM with a 5% Damage Bonus and a 5% Endurance Discount per pet 
Passive Stance Provides the Pets with a 150% Regeneration and Recovery bonus

Interesting notion, but may need some tuning, particularly the Aggressive Stance proposal.  Definitely like the idea of using Passive Stance as the Henchmen equivalent of using Rest so they can heal up without requiring use of healing powers on them.

20 minutes ago, Galaxy Brain said:

Addition 1: T1 Pets Gain +1 level (Past lvl 18)

This is a good idea.  Tier 1 Henchmen are overly penalized by level shifting when they get shoved down into being -2 Levels to the Mastermind.  It's enough to make me wish I had 2x Henchmen and Level -1 instead of 3x Henchmen and Level -2.

22 minutes ago, Galaxy Brain said:

All pets gain a 35% base run speed boost

With Inherent Fitness for All (except Henchmen) this makes sense.  The Henchmen really ought to be able to have a chance of keeping pace with their Mastermind.

23 minutes ago, Galaxy Brain said:

Removal of Automatic Distance Based Teleport, Addition of a "Come to me" Command

The problem with this notion is that if the Mastermind gets far enough away from their Henchmen, then the Henchmen will despawn.  That would then prevent the "Come to me" from being able to summon a Henchman from a long (too long) way away.  Besides, if this is really an issue you ought to be Dismissing your Henchmen and then resummoning them once you get to your destination.  A whole other power for doing the same thing is not required nor needed.

26 minutes ago, Galaxy Brain said:

Pet IO "Tax"

I'm sorry, but you completely lost me in this section.  Writing in alternative implementations of Invention sets that applies only to Masterminds is an inherently flawed idea, I'm thinking.

 

The FAR easier and simpler solution would be to just allow Pet, Recharge Intensive Pet and Mastermind ATO sets to be slotted into the Mastermind's personal attacks (of which there are 3 powers) in their primaries.  That then takes the "pressure" off needing to spend as much as 1/3 of the 18 slots in the T1, T2 and T3 powers on bolstering wholly inadequate protection baked into summoning/upgrading powers themselves as a structural matter.  The problem arises when trying to cram that many slots into 3 or 4 powers, with a huge advantage being inadvertently given to primaries that can slot Pet, Recharge Intensive Pet and Mastermind ATOs into their Level 18 powers, since that allows those primaries to "offload" their protection slotting out of their actual T1, T2 and T3 powers in order to better slot them for Accuracy, Damage and Endurance Reduction.

 

Allowing Pet, Recharge Intensive Pet and Mastermind ATOs to be slotted into the 3 personal attacks however "levels the playing field ENOUGH" to not need a wholesale rewrite of how entire CATEGORIES of enhancements "work" for Masterminds.  At the same time, it would also make it advantageous to actually take (and slot! what a concept!) the personal attacks, rather than "discarding" them as being ... worthless ... to the Mastermind playstyle, particularly in light of other options (such as pool attack powers).

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12 minutes ago, Redlynne said:

The problem with this notion is that if the Mastermind gets far enough away from their Henchmen, then the Henchmen will despawn.  That would then prevent the "Come to me" from being able to summon a Henchman from a long (too long) way away.  Besides, if this is really an issue you ought to be Dismissing your Henchmen and then resummoning them once you get to your destination.  A whole other power for doing the same thing is not required nor needed.

Right, that feature would be what's getting removed. They don't technically despawn, but they do have the resummon effect as They teleport to you. They would begin to act like non MM pets, such as those of controllers or temporary power origin.

Edited by Monos King

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2 minutes ago, Redlynne said:

The problem with this notion is that if the Mastermind gets far enough away from their Henchmen, then the Henchmen will despawn.  That would then prevent the "Come to me" from being able to summon a Henchman from a long (too long) way away.  Besides, if this is really an issue you ought to be Dismissing your Henchmen and then resummoning them once you get to your destination.  A whole other power for doing the same thing is not required nor needed.

Should have been a bit more clear here, but the main intent is to help in situations where you'd need your pet un-stuck or to come back to you asap. They already do this if you move far enough away, so shortening it or turning it into a direct command would be helpful. 

 

 

3 minutes ago, Redlynne said:

I'm sorry, but you completely lost me in this section.  Writing in alternative implementations of Invention sets that applies only to Masterminds is an inherently flawed idea, I'm thinking.

The unique IO's that are not ATO's would still be applicable to non-MM pets for those who wish to use them. Polling discord and in-game we found that very few non-MM players bother with the defense auras, which makes them a unique issue for MMs who get much, much more value from them (due to Henchmen and not Pet-tier... pets). 

 

3 minutes ago, Redlynne said:

The FAR easier and simpler solution would be to just allow Pet, Recharge Intensive Pet and Mastermind ATO sets to be slotted into the Mastermind's personal attacks (of which there are 3 powers) in their primaries.  That then takes the "pressure" off needing to spend as much as 1/3 of the 18 slots in the T1, T2 and T3 powers on bolstering wholly inadequate protection baked into summoning/upgrading powers themselves as a structural matter.  The problem arises when trying to cram that many slots into 3 or 4 powers, with a huge advantage being inadvertently given to primaries that can slot Pet, Recharge Intensive Pet and Mastermind ATOs into their Level 18 powers, since that allows those primaries to "offload" their protection slotting out of their actual T1, T2 and T3 powers in order to better slot them for Accuracy, Damage and Endurance Reduction.

What do you think about the proposed changes to the upgrade powers providing defenses to the pets in general?

 

While allowing these IOs to be slotted into the primary attacks could work, part of the problem is that MM's essentially need all the auras for pets to have passable survival as they advance in levels. If this were attached to the upgrade powers in some way, this would make builds a bit more lenient overall and allow for the pet uniques to possibly become something more "unique".

 

3 minutes ago, Redlynne said:

 

Allowing Pet, Recharge Intensive Pet and Mastermind ATOs to be slotted into the 3 personal attacks however "levels the playing field ENOUGH" to not need a wholesale rewrite of how entire CATEGORIES of enhancements "work" for Masterminds.  At the same time, it would also make it advantageous to actually take (and slot! what a concept!) the personal attacks, rather than "discarding" them as being ... worthless ... to the Mastermind playstyle, particularly in light of other options (such as pool attack powers).

Ideally the change to Aggressive Mode should help make the primary attacks more valuable on top of this. Also, these are not wholesale rewrites of entire categories but rather the just what the unique IO's do.

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1 hour ago, Galaxy Brain said:

Pet IO "Tax"

Possibly the most controversial.

 

There are currently two major pet ranks. "Pet" and "Henchmen". Henchmen are the types of pet that Masterminds cast, with varying strengths between the Minion, Lieutentant, and Boss types. Pets are the class summonable by control type ATs. Henchmen, however, are substantially less equipped.         

I still really like the idea of giving the equips the aura buffs. If I had a suggestion, I would like to see selecting the equip powers unlock the res and def buffs as an aura as that would be more convenient to newly respawned pets. Much needed regardless, +1

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Simply being able to slot Pet, Recharge Intensive Pet and Mastermind ATO sets into the equip/upgrade powers ... simply so as to provide an alternative location to slot the Pet Protection proc uniques ... would be an acceptable solution to the problem.

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9 hours ago, Redlynne said:

The FAR easier and simpler solution would be to just allow Pet, Recharge Intensive Pet and Mastermind ATO sets to be slotted into the Mastermind's personal attacks (of which there are 3 powers) in their primaries.  That then takes the "pressure" off needing to spend as much as 1/3 of the 18 slots in the T1, T2 and T3 powers on bolstering wholly inadequate protection baked into summoning/upgrading powers themselves as a structural matter.  The problem arises when trying to cram that many slots into 3 or 4 powers, with a huge advantage being inadvertently given to primaries that can slot Pet, Recharge Intensive Pet and Mastermind ATOs into their Level 18 powers, since that allows those primaries to "offload" their protection slotting out of their actual T1, T2 and T3 powers in order to better slot them for Accuracy, Damage and Endurance Reduction.

 

Allowing Pet, Recharge Intensive Pet and Mastermind ATOs to be slotted into the 3 personal attacks however "levels the playing field ENOUGH" to not need a wholesale rewrite of how entire CATEGORIES of enhancements "work" for Masterminds.  At the same time, it would also make it advantageous to actually take (and slot! what a concept!) the personal attacks, rather than "discarding" them as being ... worthless ... to the Mastermind playstyle, particularly in light of other options (such as pool attack powers).

 

8 hours ago, Redlynne said:

Simply being able to slot Pet, Recharge Intensive Pet and Mastermind ATO sets into the equip/upgrade powers ... simply so as to provide an alternative location to slot the Pet Protection proc uniques ... would be an acceptable solution to the problem.

Redlynne has come much closer to identifying the problem and proposing a solution to the problem of enhancing Mastermind Henchmen with IO choices.

 

There are by my count 4 non-ATO aura IOs (2x Defense, 2xResist) and 2 ATO auras. For the MMs with only 3 pets, in order to slot each one of these auras, a MM essentially has to pass on the equivalent of one full pet slot worth of IOs. I'm not sure I've even considered ever getting a 5-slot bonus from any Pet IO or Mastermind ATO set!

 

It would be so much more straightfoward (from a build planning POV, coding issues aside) to be able to slot Henchmen boost globals in a Mastermind primary powers (such as attacks, or the upgrades). We all know that there is very little (game) mechanical reason for an MM to take the attacks, and I can't think of a good reason to invest any slots in the upgrade powers, as is.

 

I feel like almost all of the performance issues for henchmen can be addressed with better Enhancement choices/options. Even as a type this I am willing to concede:

  • The Purple Patch is more problematic for Masterminds than any other AT because of the level scaling (costing them both offense and defense)
  • Some Henchmen have 'flaws' that may not be balanced (Soft Ninjas, poor single-target Bots)
  • Some players don't invest in IOs (but such players are unlikely to be trying to punch way above their level without IOs no matter the AT)

I appreciate the deep look at Masterminds, but to be honest I'd rather have more build options (i.e. enhancement choices, reasons to take different powers) to play with before anything else more radical.

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1 hour ago, tidge said:

I appreciate the deep look at Masterminds, but to be honest I'd rather have more build options (i.e. enhancement choices, reasons to take different powers) to play with before anything else more radical.

Luckily the other points in the OP try to address issues like the purple patch, and there are individual threads links for the specific primaries.

 

Aside from the IOs changing, what are your thoughts on allowing an MM to enter aggressive mode for self-offense (trading bodyguard to be more active), or the upgrade powers carrying inherent defenses to the pets to bridge the gap between the base and the IO auras? The latter is why we provided alternative IOs given the upgrades grant defenses and stacking them all up would be a bit ridiculous, but at the same time they are somewhat needed if you want to play an MM at high level and we see that they go from being the 3rd most popular to being the LEAST at high level so there is definitely a problem with them at that point.

 

Edited by Galaxy Brain
*offense, not defense

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I'm all for anything that brings Mercenaries up. It would be interesting to see these suggestions on Test.

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13 minutes ago, Galaxy Brain said:

Aside from the IOs changing, what are your thoughts on allowing an MM to enter aggressive mode for self-defense (trading bodyguard to be more active), or the upgrade powers carrying inherent defenses to the pets to bridge the gap between the base and the IO auras? The latter is why we provided alternative IOs given the upgrades grant defenses and stacking them all up would be a bit ridiculous, but at the same time they are somewhat needed if you want to play an MM at high level and we see that they go from being the 3rd most popular to being the LEAST at high level so there is definitely a problem with them at that point.

I am sensitive to "stacking" (by any mechanisms, for both offense and defense): Masterminds certainly should be able to solo, but they aren't supposed to be a one-man team of 7 full-kit players. There are pieces of the proposal that I like! I'll circle back, but I have one low-level concern about any individual proposal it is that it feels like shifting a few pebbles has started an avalanche. I think a Babylon 5 gif is called for, but perhaps not the one you may have expected...

giphy.gif

 

Circling back to the upgrade powers... as I wrote above, no matter what the AT, I expect to find value (my meaning is consideration for both "pick a power" and "slot a power") from most primary powers. Sorry T9 Tanker choices, don't expect many invitations to the dance. Masterminds have always struck me as odd because It is not just acceptable to skip 3 (or more) powers from a Primary, but that most MM builds are more effective when they do exactly that.

 

The upgrade powers strike me as equally odd: they are vital to the primary, there are two of them, they are used very infrequently, and once taken they require zero investment. I 1-slot them with Endurance reduction, as I suspect most others do. Adding anything to the Upgrades would provide value. Personally, if they are going to be one-cast-and-done, I'd prefer them to provide a passive benefit; as Redlynne suggested, just being able to hold the MM damage enhancement auras would be a HUGE win. Your suggestion that they simply apply boosts is an alternative, but then drives many other changes that I'm not sure I would want to follow all the way to the end.

 

I'm neutral on the idea of the stance changes... I'm either directing the henchmen to "fight, kill, die" or "absorb for me, fight, die" while I am either fighting or supporting... you can try to sell me on the idea that I need more tools in this area, but that doesn't mean I'd use them.

 

I can write more about my personal feelings for the Mastermind AT versus others, but I will limit my written concerns (playing an AT I enjoy) to this: My experience is that the main way MM builds offer the sort of variety that comes naturally to other AT is mostly through the Secondary set and one (sometimes two) Power pool choice(s)... and that it is the chance at variety that drives interest in an AT. The lack of diversity in enhancement choices (and where to slot them) takes a lot of the fun (for me) out of Mastermind character design, more so than any perceived performance issues from the henchmen.

 

 

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I've never stuck with an MM long enough to trust my own opinions, but I will always back changes that make ATOs into upgrades, as opposed to "required just to perform at the same tier as other ATs."  

 

That, along with making the Upgrade abilities slot-able for Defense/Resist, would both go a long way towards adding enhancement diversity, which is always good.

 

Implementation: You have a lot of changes, @Galaxy Brain.  I feel like a good way to ease into it would be the "Aggressive stance" change and the decreased minion level penalty. 

 

The aggressive stance stuff seems like a lot, but it really cannot compete with Tankerminding, so it sits in the space of creating options without much danger of a sea change on how CoH is enjoyed (caveat: everything I say is under the assumption that we would beta test any changes and tweak/scrap as necessary). 

 

The minion level increase, well, I think that's just universally a thing people want to see.  The alternative would be incentivizing people not to use their t1 minions.  I'm not sure how thrilled I am about that, but we've seen threads on the topic of reduced pets come up here and there (example: reversing your Endurance discount so it shrinks as you add more pets).  You can imagine a scenario where you might perform better aggressively with only 3 pets (LTs and boss) and then throw out your minions when you need the additional Supremacy soak.  In that sort of scenario, yeah, maybe it's better to leave them at -2.

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1 hour ago, Galaxy Brain said:

Aside from the IOs changing, what are your thoughts on allowing an MM to enter aggressive mode for self-defense (trading bodyguard to be more active)

I would only want to consider that change AFTER having made any and all other changes.  In other words, I would put a LOW priority on anything in this direction.  Reason being that making other changes may make any kind of Pet Stance change on top of those other changes too much of a pendulum swing.

 

So looking at things from an incremental point of view, I'd want to increment through the other options FIRST and then leave any kind of Pet Stance modifications for LAST with the explicit intent to determine if the Pet Stance modifications are even NECESSARY after having made the other changes FIRST.

 

Hope that is sufficiently clarifying for you on MY stance on the question.

2 hours ago, Galaxy Brain said:

upgrade powers carrying inherent defenses to the pets to bridge the gap between the base and the IO auras?

The problem is that doing that would have to be done via a Grant Power mechanism or some sort of "keyed" modifier buffing on the Pets themselves (if you have Buff A then also apply Buff B).  However, if you're going the Grant Power route the way to enhance Defense and Resistance is with ... wait for it ... Defense and Resistance IOs and sets, NOT with Pet, Recharge Intensive Pet and Mastermind ATO sets (which, spoiler alert, are all DAMAGE sets!).  AND, you would STILL be able to stack the Pet Aura IOs on top of all of that which would become "quite broken" in a remarkable hurry.

 

I know what you're trying to do.  The goal is laudable.  The means you're choosing to get there however will have side effects that will not be acceptable in terms of disruption to overall game balance and build metas.  Nice idea ... bad means/execution to get there.

 

Among other things, you keep trying to take the most convoluted path to achieving the outcome you desire, making everything extremely complex (and thus much more likely to fail, perhaps even spectacularly).  What you need to be looking at are SIMPLE solutions that require only minor tweaks to the existing codebase structure (which is NOT inherently stable to start with!), rather than urban renewals that will slash and burn entire swaths of legacy codebase.  In other words, try to work with WHAT YOU HAVE rather than with what you WISH YOU HAD.

 

The simpler and easier solutions are much more likely to not only happen, but also to ENDURE ...

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Verbogeny is one of many pleasurettes afforded a creatific thinkerizer.

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So, here's the problem I have with Masterminds; they're a support Archetype (nominally) that for some reason is expected to punch well above their weight class when it comes to both survivability and damage. The AT, as you say, transitions away from the pet-wrangler and into a primarily tanker style of class that off-blasts (indirectly), off-controls, off-debuffs/buffs. Their primary powersets are a cruel joke that has almost zero wiggle room for choice and essentially zero interesting in-set interactions. 3 mandatory pet powers, 2 mandatory upgrade powers, 1 "thematic" power that is often worse than pool power alternatives, and 3 underpowered, overcosted personal attacks that nigh-on everyone skips in favour of ... literally anything else, entirely because they do nothing to support the primary method of play that Masterminds have settled into. 

 

I understand where you're coming from with respect to buffing up the class' primary in the late-game, but the primary is a sort of... broken mess to begin with. Bizarrely it has too many mandatory powers and too many skippable powers all at the same time.

 

How do you fix the Archetype? Well, in my opinion you're going about it backwards. You've made the Pets even more mandatory (if that's even possible), without making the other powers a viable supporting voice in the choir. Make the personal "attacks" more support focused, debuffing your foes. Have them bring the opponent to their knees while your minions actually do the dirty work. For some of the sets that wouldn't make sense for debuffs, then rework them into non-attacks that are an extension of your ability to command a group of allies, and have them as buffing powers that work well on your team... not just upgrades to your henchmen.

 

My 2 inf on the matter. Really love the idea @Galaxy Brain & @Monos King to make the Mastermind more relevant in the lategame. This is something the AT sorely needs, having fist hand experience of a Robotics/Cold MM well into post 50 content, I often feel that the only real contribution I am making to the team is Benumb. Some of the individual ideas I really like, the Robotic's repair/buff drones in particular; that is a step in the right direction. But I don't agree to most of the changes put forward on design principle. I wouldn't fix a problem by accentuating the disparity between what's well done, and what's half-baked. Identifying the problem Masterminds have in the late game is part one, but saying why they're underperforming almost certainly has more to do with half their primary powersets being skippable trash, rather than the pets not quite being up to snuff. You're putting even more of the heavy-lifting on the responsibility of the pets, to get the job done. Sounds like putting way too many eggs in one basket to me.

 

In short: The primary powerset shouldn't have 4 or 5 powers that are not just skippable... but actively dead weight. The changes you proposed to the various individual sets ether ignore this aspect, or would not go nearly far enough to make the powers a desired part of most peoples MM builds.

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I propose that the +Defense/Resist pet IOs should be removed for MMs and the stats should just be inherent to the henchmen as leveling and having to wait for more pets while you depend on your absolutely worthless MM attacks makes leveling not so easy alone. I will tell anyone that wants to disagree that pet IOs are currently a huge waste of slots they have clearly never played an MM before. And allowing us to be dumping them all into a MM attack is a terrible idea as you are now wasting 5 slots AND a power choice.

Having to spend a 6 Slot tax in addition to the other taxes everyone else pays (+defense in resists, +resist in defense, LotG) is just unbalanced.

 

I agree that MM's also definitely need a large boost on the damage of their Primary attack powers as in their current state, you're crippling yourself by taking them (except for Demons AoE knockdown -res whip being an outlier). This in effect turns us not into a Mastermind, but a Primary-less Corruptor with lots of pets and worse Healing, Debuffs, etc.. Pets that currently get much worse in Incarnate content than normal pets.

I agree with the changes to the Mastermind Pet proc IOs, but I think we have to pacify everyone else and agree not to change the non-MM pet IOs for sake of every non-MM that uses them even if they don't help most pets much.

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I love these proposed changes and do hope they're considered seriously. Not all may actually work in actuality, but I do think each one should be individually examined for viability. My favorite is the proposed stance mechanic. It should work even if the other changes aren't implemented, and it gives Masterminds some much needed flexibility in combat (and less downtime between combats). Even if Tankermind is still the endgame best option, having some playstyle flexibility while leveling or soloing would make Masterminds more enjoyable.

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@Redlynne, either way you slice it the pets still have survival problems without those auras, and as mentioned here and elsewhere where the upgrades and attacks are often just dead weight and could be used to help in this regard. Slotting the IOs into them help, but at the end of the day you still need 6 of them for a total package + more power picks. 

 

If adding survival to the primaries was done via (upgrades), that in turn would require changing the IO auras as they would then stack. We opted to go for broke and just had the aura effects combined into the upgrades and swap out the aura effects for new unique ones, such as procs on pet attacks or a new supremacy aura that can help team mates and pets alike. Personally,  given how a chunk of the auras are cloned effects I think replacing them with unique ones would overall help slotting diversity depending on the pet and the effect. For example, the Lethal DoT proc suggested vs the -Damage proc could have different applications depending on which pet / primary, where before it didn't really matter as long as you slapped the aura in one of em.

 

Any method we pursue, even the simplest one of allowing them to be slotted in other powers, carrys pros and cons. I'd rather opt to make them less mandatory and ensure MM pets can more reliably keep pets alive naturally first, and worry about the IOs later though. 

 

 

 

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28 minutes ago, Hopestar said:

I propose that the +Defense/Resist pet IOs should be removed for MMs and the stats should just be inherent to the henchmen as leveling and having to wait for more pets while you depend on your absolutely worthless MM attacks makes leveling not so easy alone. I will tell anyone that wants to disagree that pet IOs are currently a huge waste of slots they have clearly never played an MM before.

You told me (and anyone else reading this thread). I don't think the Pet IOs are a "huge waste" of slots. There certainly is an offense/defense balance, but if a MM is distributing damage taken (via bodyguard mode) every bit of resistance is helping with the amount of damage being delivered to the Mastermind. My math may be off, but I think 6 henchmen in Bodygaurd mode are taking 75% of the damage meant for the MM (in addition to any damage they might take themselves) so resisting that damage is helping keep the MM alive. I'm not oblivious to the fact that the (especially solo) game resolves around dealing damage, I'm just questioning how 'huge' the waste of slots is.

 

I'd also point out that if a MM has a recharge-instensive pet, those pet IOs (including the /Recharge ones... presumably the least 'wasteful' choices) offer a Global Recharge bonus with 4 slots.

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2 minutes ago, tidge said:

You told me (and anyone else reading this thread). I don't think the Pet IOs are a "huge waste" of slots. There certainly is an offense/defense balance, but if a MM is distributing damage taken (via bodyguard mode) every bit of resistance is helping with the amount of damage being delivered to the Mastermind. My math may be off, but I think 6 henchmen in Bodygaurd mode are taking 75% of the damage meant for the MM (in addition to any damage they might take themselves) so resisting that damage is helping keep the MM alive. I'm not oblivious to the fact that the (especially solo) game resolves around dealing damage, I'm just questioning how 'huge' the waste of slots is.

 

I'd also point out that if a MM has a recharge-instensive pet, those pet IOs (including the /Recharge ones... presumably the least 'wasteful' choices) offer a Global Recharge bonus with 4 slots.

The waste of slots is large enough that the smallest issue is you're down an entire IO set compared to any other AT. You also lose on stats like, accuracy, damage, endurance, and recharge for your pet powers. You could also use those slots to make an actual damaging attack from Epic or Patron pools (hey look you can do damage). You can even do what you dreamed of, finally putting stats on Gang War 😲.


I don't understand the correlation between slots and recharge-intensive pets or bodyguard mode; but bodyguard mode also has big detriments against Attacking first, Supremacy's Line of Sight, AoE damage, and taunting, of which the taunt problem was covered in the first post and recharge-intensive pets aren't exclusive to MMs.

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33 minutes ago, Hopestar said:

The waste of slots is large enough that the smallest issue is you're down an entire IO set compared to any other AT. You also lose on stats like, accuracy, damage, endurance, and recharge for your pet powers.

It is almost as if the development team designed the T1 henchman (or perhaps non-offense T2) to act as mules for those pet damage IOs once the MM gets to a higher level... 

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11 minutes ago, tidge said:

It is almost as if the development team designed the T1 henchman (or perhaps non-offense T2) to act as mules for those pet damage IOs once the MM gets to a higher level... 

I don't buy this, if only because it's been stated the dev team balanced around SOs, not IOs. According to the guide to issues, IOs weren't even a thing yet when Masterminds were first made. I guess some changes since then might have been in line with this, save that it has been stated many times that the original team was balancing around SOs. 

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5 minutes ago, Lost Deep said:

I don't buy this, if only because it's been stated the dev team balanced around SOs, not IOs. According to the guide to issues, IOs weren't even a thing yet when Masterminds were first made. I guess some changes since then might have been in line with this, save that it has been stated many times that the original team was balancing around SOs. 

I almost edited my reply to say exactly this, but I thought I'd let someone else make this rebuttal. Even if the narrative doesn't stand, I have found that the T2 Protector Bots are perfectly happy to act as mules for most of the henchmen auras.

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7 minutes ago, Lost Deep said:

I don't buy this, if only because it's been stated the dev team balanced around SOs, not IOs. According to the guide to issues, IOs weren't even a thing yet when Masterminds were first made. I guess some changes since then might have been in line with this, save that it has been stated many times that the original team was balancing around SOs. 

MMs predate IO's by a few issues at least, and the unique aura IO's by at least 7 whole issues. I think it is safe to say the IOs were designed with MMs in mind, and not the other way around. 

 

@Nanolathe, I'm interested in your take. The pets are essentially the highlight of what makes MMs "click" for players (petless builds aside), so I think they should naturally be the meat of all them design wise. Can you expand on what you meant by this approach being backwards, and your thoughts on the upgrade powers?

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For most of the sets though, T1 Henchmen's combined damage is the most of your DPS, so muling them is a terrible idea. If that was the original devs intention, MMs were doomed to fail at the start.

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6 minutes ago, Hopestar said:

For most of the sets though, T1 Henchmen's combined damage is the most of your DPS, so muling them is a terrible idea. If that was the original devs intention, MMs were doomed to fail at the start.

They all average to about 1/3 per tier actually (except Grave Knights which contribute 65% omg). But having them be so fragile means you lose out on 1/3rd of your damage 😞  

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@Galaxy Brain, sure thing;

 

To be brief, The upgrade powers are a tax to keep your minions "competitive" into the mid (upgrade 1) and late game (upgrade 2). There is no other powerset in the game that essentially requires you to take powers from your primary to keep other powers from your primary relevant. There's very little gameplay impact in using them other than making your set-up time fractionally longer, and massively cripple your endurance bar for a little bit... until you eat the blue pills and you move on with your day. I can only see it being a balancing factor for mid-combat resummoning. That's it though. A punishment mechanic for losing your henchmen, and a tax for having the gall to pick Mastermind as your Archetype.

 

As a tangent; It was absolutely paramount that you keep your pets alive in the old days, when you had to upgrade each minion, both times - ONE minion at a time, but that was patched out. I forget when (might have been Issue 20.5 alongside group buff QoLs). The exact rationale as to why? Probably meant as a similar QoL change, but it means that you don't get the ebb and flow of combat to downtime anymore. I'm betting everyone complained about being left behind / having to wait for the MM to resummon and re-equip their pets. At that time the upgrade powers were a balancing mechanic, something to slow down a very powerful AT. They were still a punishment mechanic, but also something to teach the player to pace themselves better... but I digress.

 

If they have to be a tax, then just make them an "auto" power that your minions get immediately upon summoning. Or for my preferred option, make them a long-recharge, short-term buff power that temporarily increases your minion's damage, defence, resistance, or whatever, while rolling in the expanded move pool that each upgrade would give into the levelling process, just like unlocking the 2nd and 3rd minion henchmen, or the second Lieutenant henchmen. This would give your minions a boost when you need it, and would preserve the cool animations! They needn't be overwhelmingly powerful, but rather a "nice to have" option for those Masterminds that don't have access to buffs in their secondary. You could even make each upgrade buff fairly unique to the primary set in question. Think more Hell on Earth or Fortify Pack kinds of buffs! Can we get MORE of those?

 


 

Saying that the pets are what the Archetype is, and should be the bulk of the design, is like saying that melee is what a Scrapper is and that melee should be the bulk of the design. Yes, it's fundamentally true, but you're painting with too broad a stroke. The Mastermind's primary powerset is to summon minions and enhance those minions. Their secondary powerset is support for those minions, and the team... but actually it's mostly needed to make the minions function beyond their normal ability, either with defences, or debuffs. It's a very synergistic pairing. The personal attack powers stick out like a sore thumb. They're not just bad powers for dealing damage, their cost in endurance, their total lack of more than basic utility... if any... did y'all know that the dual pistols don't even give -DEF for your attacks as is usually standard for guns? and your bow doesn't get ANY secondary effects? It boggles my brain.

 

The personal attacks don't synergise with your pets. They don't really synergise with over half the secondary powersets, especially those that focus on buffing allies (not yourself). For some reason it was deemed necessary to give the Mastermind a really awful personal damage scale, and then slap them in the face with not one, not two, but three personal attack powers! They don't contribute. The only personal attacks people take are for thematic reasons, or as some sort of "challenge mode". They are functionally a joke within the community at this point. They're arguably the worst powers in the game, and every Mastermind has to just avert their eyes and walk briskly along when presented with these absolutely laughable excuses for Primary powers.

 

Your original proposition is advocating for buffing the Masterminds already pretty solid pet focus to a point to which the personal attacks are even more vestigial. They've been relegated to ugly red-haired stepchild status for so long that I honestly think that people have forgotten that they could be made into something interesting, synergistic, thematic and... y'know... good.

 

Lets roll with your Robotics example of adding the disintegrating mechanic from Beam Rifle - that is a potentially interesting thought line to develop. Not for making it deal more damage though... there's only so many times I can see these forums say "just make the MMs attacks do more damage" before I tune out. Why not have it be something a little less direct, and solve some of your issues with minion tohit at the same time? How about;

 

Dismantling Shot - Lvl1: Your mastery of technology allows you to pinpoint and exploit an enemies weak spot. Hitting with this attack does only a small amount of damage, but massively decreases the target's defence for a short time, and also slightly reduces their damage potential as they reel from being shown to be so exposed. In addition, the negative effect compounds with multiple applications giving the target reduced defence debuff resistance, opening them up for even further punishment.

Minor DMG, Minor End, Very Fast Recharge, High Secondary effect potency 

 

High-Energy Blast - lvl3: Your rifle can produce a blast of energy so great that it can knock an opponent off their feet! Most enemies will be knocked down/back from the blast, but the truely dangerous part of the attack is the way it strips the target of some of their armour, reducing their damage resistance. While the attack does little upfront damage, it creates a weakness your robotic minions are only too eager to exploit.

Minor DMG, Minor End, Fast Recharge, High Secondary effect potency 

 

Photonic Burst Grenade - lvl8: You fire a capsule from your rifle that implodes upon impact and releases an astonishing amount of light and electromagnetic interference. Enemies caught in the blast take little damage from this, but are likely to be utterly blinded by it. The accuracy of their attacks is heavily penalised for a short time, and some enemies are so disrupted by this that they become stunned. Additionally the EM pulse is strong enough to cause heavy damage to any robotic enemies that might be caught in the blast. Luckily your own genius has made sure that your own robotic minions remain unaffected!

Minor DMG, Moderate End, Moderate Recharge, High Secondary effect potency 

 

The way I'm seeing these "attacks" is far more in line with a Corruptors / Controllers level of debuffing potential. The additional damage to robots is just a flavourful garnish on my part. I wouldn't be upset to see it replaced with a greater emphasis on the -tohit. Obviously I'm not putting any hard numbers to these effects, as that's not what I'm overly concerned with. What I'd like to see is the "personal attack" powers getting re-imagined into debuffing and light control style powers that scale well into the late game, keep your henchmen relevant even against tougher enemies and provide greater synergy with both your pets, and your efficacy on teams, acting as more of a "coordinator" that targets enemies, which then become much easier to defeat as a result.

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