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Hardboiled Hero

Are Player Defenses too high

Player defenses and possible "fixes"  

163 members have voted

  1. 1. Are Defenses (and resists) too High and should they be nerfed? (Multiple choice)

    • Defenses are fine as they are.. my characters die plenty!
      102
    • Defenses are too low.. My characters die too much!
      0
    • Defenses are too high.. they should be nerfed
      20
    • Defenses are too high.. enemy accuracy should be improved
      7
    • Mobs are too easily killed/controlled/debuffed for defense to really matter
      34


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Posted (edited)

I'm curious on where other players stand on this.  Especially whether people feel strongly enough about this issue that they would leave the game if one decision or another were made.

 

  I've been thinking about it a lot over the past few weeks and I feel like there may be a big problem with how survivable player characters are right now.  This issue came up when discussing how "worthless" Force Fields is as a support set.  I also feel like it rolls into why the Sentinel AT has some problems fitting into the game (AKA doesn't seem to have a clearly defined role).

 

P.S. I realize the answers can get relatively nuanced..  perhaps defense is too low for tankers and too high for another AT or whatever..  I'm asking for a general impression in the poll, and maybe give a more detailed answer below.

Edited by Hardboiled Hero

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I don't think any of those options describes the reality, but the first is closest.

 

1. Defense and resistances are fine.

 

2. Enemy accuracy is fine.

 

3. Some times you have the perfect synergy on a team and you steam roll.

 

4. Some times your synergy is off and you struggle but still succeed.

 

5. Tanks shouldn't due a lot under 99.9% of circumstances. It's easy to build the majority this way.

 

6. Scrappers, stalkers and especially brutes can mimic tank survivability and do increased damage - especially where scrappers and stalkers are concerned.

 

7. Blasters, defenders, controllers, corruptors, dominators, etc - squishies can be built more durable with set bonuses, Incarnates etc but realistically can't survive hard target encounters indefinitely like tanks/melee can without circus tricks.

 

8. Combine all the above with good synergy in any multiples of combinations and thats where you get your steamroller teams.

 

So the non problem above is very complex.

 

The actual issue is with content and options.

 

There should be more incarnate level content and also an elite mode that makes things a bit harder kinda like you would select options in oro.

 

Thats the state of the game right now from someone that plays each night with a variety of players and content.

 

It may seem too easy but thats an illusion because the playerbase are vets and just need more challenges and more options.

 

For your average new player it can still be quite difficult and I run across this often also.  And we help them along as best we can. 

 

Which is why its a great community.

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I would probably say "yes".   The game was never really properly balanced to take IO sets into account, and when it is entirely possible to build basically every AT in the game to the point where you have at least 1 positional defense capped + capped defense vs most of the common types (smash/lethal) AND high resists to most stuff, it means it is entirely possible to nearly trivialize practically everything in the game.

 

Now, this needs to be taken with a grain of salt, and a bit of context, in regards to the fact that the current "end game" we have is basically incomplete.  The current game was balanced around SOs.  Then the devs rolled out IOs and Incarnate bonuses, but before they had a chance to balance the game around IOs or actually complete what they intended to do with Incarnate content, the game shut down.  Which leaves us in the state that the Homecoming team resurrected it in: We are basically demigods, in a world where the actual "god level" content was never fully implemented.

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I don't think Force Fields is worthless as a support set, not everyone caps their defence and if they do, it is full of caveats and holes unless you are something like super reflex.

 

You only have to fight mobs that do -def or have +to hit to suddenly start getting into trouble very quickly. If anything, if more mobs utilised this sort of powers then things would get pretty hairy pretty quick. 

 

I think this slips into an overall discussion about the games difficulty, which we've had a lot on the forums, and that usally ends up discussing how Judgement powers will clear an entire spawn in one cast, or how players generally are doing a lot more damage. But its not universally felt and I don't see much consensus on the way forward. So we just carry on as we are for now... I still have fun at 50, but I will be honest, other than itrials and the odd TF, I tend to do most things solo at 50 unless I'm exemplering, I don't find level 50 teams that fun usually.

 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Infinitum said:

I don't think any of those options describes the reality, but the first is closest.

 

1. Defense and resistances are fine.

 

2. Enemy accuracy is fine.

 

3. Some times you have the perfect synergy on a team and you steam roll.

 

4. Some times your synergy is off and you struggle but still succeed.

 

5. Tanks shouldn't due a lot under 99.9% of circumstances. It's easy to build the majority this way.

 

6. Scrappers, stalkers and especially brutes can mimic tank survivability and do increased damage - especially where scrappers and stalkers are concerned.

 

7. Blasters, defenders, controllers, corruptors, dominators, etc - squishies can be built more durable with set bonuses, Incarnates etc but realistically can't survive hard target encounters indefinitely like tanks/melee can without circus tricks.

 

8. Combine all the above with good synergy in any multiples of combinations and thats where you get your steamroller teams.

 

So the non problem above is very complex.

 

The actual issue is with content and options.

 

There should be more incarnate level content and also an elite mode that makes things a bit harder kinda like you would select options in oro.

 

Thats the state of the game right now from someone that plays each night with a variety of players and content.

 

It may seem too easy but thats an illusion because the playerbase are vets and just need more challenges and more options.

 

For your average new player it can still be quite difficult and I run across this often also.  And we help them along as best we can. 

 

Which is why its a great community.

QFT, Pretty much nails my opinion overall.  There have been AT's from the get go that could posses high to capped defenses and resists with minimal effort solo.  There were teams, even small teams, that could do either or both while running purely on SO's ... 3 Empaths could all but HARD cap an entire teams regeneration rate (just shy of 3000%, almost double a Regen scrapper running IH), while hitting the Incarnate defense cap individually, before it even existed, on SO's for example.  Tanks could and did herd huge mobs without dying on Unyielding (the difficulty setting not the power) again on SO's.  They tweaked the ability to round up such mobs by limiting aggro but notably not by tweaking defenses or resists in a large measure overall.  So it seems obvious the Devs were aware that it was possible to cap a teams defenses without any IO's or sets and were fine with that in general.  

Edited by Doomguide2005
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Posted (edited)

Another thing to add to my previous post.

 

If You play +4/8 long enough like my group does on a regular basis, ordinarily its routinely smooth, however eventually you are guaranteed an off the rails event that will tax you to the limits, that you literally do hundreds of times even with the same team and that one instance kicks your butt.

 

Its happened to us on the Khan, there was a glitch where the black hole generator wasnt working.

 

Its happened to us on the ITF where the shadow cysts were running on luck and were playing on what seemed should have been +8.

 

It happened on the lady gray, controls wouldn't control hami and then the double av fight seemed like they had unlimited regen.

 

Stuff happens if you play tough long enough to test you.

 

My point is I wouldn't want that to become the norm, because in my older years I don't have time or patience for that on a recurring basis.  That's why you work hard and slot up synergetic characters and teams to hopefully run any content efficiently and smoothly.

 

That's why my stance is for more content and options because the game feels fine, just incomplete honestly.

Edited by Infinitum
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The question is too broad in scope.  It needs to be narrower.

 

Example:  Are Defense/Resistance buff totals too high at max level and accounting for IO set bonuses?

 

Probably.  But that can easily be countered with minor adjustments to critters.  What can't be easily countered, and would be seriously detrimental, would be approaching the problem without recognizing and considering all of the variables.  Defense and Resistance are only parts of a larger equation.  Failure to account for other parts of the equation will create more problems, and in actuality, resolve nothing.

 

Let's examine a hypothetical scenario in which the HC team reads this thread, looks at the server data and concludes that all Defense and Resistance buffs, from any source, need to be adjusted downward by 25%.  Now everyone who built up significant Defenses and/or Resistances experience a moderate increase in difficulty... but those who relied on smaller amounts of these buffs, "just enough to make it through a tough fight", may be struggling significantly more.

 

Additionally, you haven't reduced ToHit debuffs or Damage debuffs, the inverse portions of the equation, and consequently attached much greater emphasis on them.  These debuffs become more powerful by comparison, and concurrently, more important, because they restore the previous status quo.  You've also left out Regeneration, Absorb and Heal, which, while less effective than high degrees of Defense or Resistance, are still strong enough to allow players to sidestep GDN 2.0.

 

And then there are status effects.  Preventing attacks has always been the strongest and most versatile method of damage reduction.  This is why, when the original developers decided that there was little challenge or risk in AV fights, they didn't increase AV damage, or jack up AV hit chance, they gave AVs partial near immunity to status effects.

 

In the end, all that has happened in this scenario is a shift the meta.  Fewer people bothering to play melee archetypes, more people playing debuffers and mezzers.  And "healers"... God or gods help us all.  We're right back where we started, asking if the game is too easy.  The difference, this time around, is that when the entire equation is gone over and all of the variables are altered, the changes which were intended to "encourage teaming" and "improve the feeling of challenge" for the end game crowd will hit the entirety of the rest of the player base like a Mack truck and make soloing easy content a tedious, defeat-laden slog.  And everyone who wasn't narrow-mindedly chasing IO set bonuses would have to now, just to play the game as it was originally intended.

 

This is why I suggested that your question should be reconsidered and focused.  You can't ramp up the difficulty for some players and not for others.  You can't ramp up the difficulty across all levels to address a lack of difficulty at one level.  You can't ramp up the difficulty based on IO set bonus availability without addressing the players who aren't building around those bonuses.  You can't ramp up the difficulty for those who use buffs without doing something similar to those who use debuffs with comparable net effects.  You can't ramp up the difficulty across the board to address outliers in edge case conditions.

 

Frankly, I don't consider unilateral nerfs to be a solution to anything, unless the problem is game-wide, and even then, I believe there are better options than nerfs.  Enemies can be buffed and/or given new abilities, scripts can be changed, creative solutions can be devised, resolutions can be implemented as targeted solutions which don't degrade the playing experience in a sweeping and unpleasant manner.  If you succinctly identify the problem, you can tailor an appropriate solution without undue nerfs.

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At this point I don't think you can fix the mechanics of the "Main game"

 

Maybe there can be a shard with a more difficult ruleset, and they can see how popular it is.  

 

 

 

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I voted for option 3, but want to add that I specifically think some of the IO defense bonuses are too high. I don't think 5% defense bonuses should exist; these provide more defense than things like stealth, manauvers, weave, Combat jumping, etc. when they're fully enhanced (depending on AT modifiers). Certainly, you should also not be able to have multiple 5% bonuses. 

 

There are also some sets that provide ~3% defenses for only a 3 or 4 slot investment, and I think these should be reserved for 5 or 6 slot investments. 

 

But why, Kelvin? Well, most defense based armor sets will be able to hit the softcap regardless of these changes, which they need to do to perform comparably well. Armor sets that layer both resistance and defenses should still be able to reach respectable numbers. It would primarily scale back the numbers that characters with no inherent defenses can obtain, returning some value to defense buff support sets. 

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You are missing an option:

 

Defenses and Resists are fine. I don’t die much. I’m a super powered being. Working as intended. 

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15 minutes ago, Haijinx said:

At this point I don't think you can fix the mechanics of the "Main game"

 

Maybe there can be a shard with a more difficult ruleset, and they can see how popular it is.  

 

 

 

Or a game mode option

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Posted (edited)

Defenses are fine as is.

Edited by SwitchFade
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12 minutes ago, KelvinKole said:

I don't think 5% defense bonuses should exist; these provide more defense than things like stealth, manauvers, weave, Combat jumping, etc. when they're fully enhanced (depending on AT modifiers). Certainly, you should also not be able to have multiple 5% bonuses. 

If you are talking about ATO and Winter set bonuses it REQUIRES you to 5 or 6 slot them to attain.  And you can only use that particular bonus once.

 

You are talking at minimum of 180 million on purple winter sets if purchased outright in the AH, or 600 merits +6 enhancement catalysts.

 

Thats a sizeable investment in time and influence for just one bonus.  Its much more easy to pick a power than slot this, especially for newest players.

 

Now if you could slot more than one type of the same set I would agree with you, but you can't, they are unique.

 

Different vectors of attacks have different set trees though so that isnt unfair to duplicate at that point with another 180 mil or 600merit +6catalyst set.

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@Hardboiled Hero It's more situation and not straight forward across the board.

  • While leveling up, defenses and resistances might be just right or a little low.
  • After hitting 50 and playing down to level 45 with IOs and Incarnates it may definitely be over kill.
  • Content past level 50 with IOs and Incarnates might be just right or a little high. Without IOs and Incarnates.. doom.

Honestly, I don't mind some ATs having great survive-ability. Living longer isn't a bad thing. Enemies defeated so quickly there is no challenge (especially +1 thru +4) could be more of a concern.

 

Just random thoughts, might change my mind..

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I do not think Force Fields are worthless.  I do think there is a persistent PERCEPTION that they are by a vocal group of players who are focused exclusively on "endgame" to mean incarnate content. 

Frankly, I think that's carp. 

 

Incarnate content is fun every so often. I much prefer flashbacks, exemplars, AE storylines (not farms), and I am always glad to see a Bubbler on my team.  

 

And when you DO run incarnate content?  It's not just the bubbler.  probably half the players could be removed from any given iTrial and you'd still succeed because incarnate powers are THAT game-breaking.  So I wouldn't overstress about the bubbler alone.

 

For that matter, the real endgame isn't running incarnate content on the same character again and again until you're bored stiff with the same encounters.  the real endgame is alts, the real endgame is writing AE storyline content. 

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Posted (edited)
3 minutes ago, MTeague said:

For that matter, the real endgame isn't running incarnate content on the same character again and again until you're bored stiff with the same encounters.  the real endgame is alts, the real endgame is writing AE storyline content. 

OR.....

 

Rolling another character, whether it be for theme, challenge, or just because.

Edited by Infinitum
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I have found some players who are WAY too defensive.

 

Oh wait.

 

You mean game mechanics.  Have you met my blasters?  They say HAI from the hospital.

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1 hour ago, Infinitum said:

Or a game mode option

I don't think that will work.  Seeing how unpopular Challenge options for Task Forces are. 

 

Progression Servers are sort of popular though.  Extreme Hardmode mods for some games (Skyrim Requiem, etc) have some popularity as well.  

 

I think it would have to be locked in to work.  But forcing it on the rest of the community would be unpopular.  

 

So you'd need a server where you couldn't transfer characters, funds, etc.   With a different set of rules.  And so on.  

 

But the game mode option would be easier to try I'm sure.  Maybe offer some reason to use the current challenge settings other than just "Hey anyone wan't to set this Dr Q to No Enhancements? No?  Yeah.  Me either."     

 

 

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1 hour ago, Haijinx said:

I don't think that will work.  Seeing how unpopular Challenge options for Task Forces are. 

 

Progression Servers are sort of popular though.  Extreme Hardmode mods for some games (Skyrim Requiem, etc) have some popularity as well.  

 

I think it would have to be locked in to work.  But forcing it on the rest of the community would be unpopular.  

 

So you'd need a server where you couldn't transfer characters, funds, etc.   With a different set of rules.  And so on.  

 

But the game mode option would be easier to try I'm sure.  Maybe offer some reason to use the current challenge settings other than just "Hey anyone wan't to set this Dr Q to No Enhancements? No?  Yeah.  Me either."     

 

 

ooo Doc Quaterfield with No Travel Powers, No Enhancements, No Temporary Powers!

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Rather than nerf things to make others feel more valued, why not either buff the sets that feel undervalued (preferred) or just remove the “useless” sets entirely?  
 

I never quite understand the desire to remove something of value for the majority of the player base rather than just remove Or buff the underperforming minority.

 

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6 hours ago, Luminara said:

Example:  Are Defense/Resistance buff totals too high at max level and accounting for IO set bonuses?

 

Exactly. I said that Defense IS too high... but I only mean at high level and with IO builds.

Powersets that are meant to have defenses are fine... it's the IO sets that push them over the edge.

Builds that aren't meant to have defenses are only too strong with a high-IO-set build... without that, they're fine.

 

In the end, lowering the +Defense set bonuses would pretty much solve the issue, IMO... so some sets can cap Defenses on SOs? That's fine, they're balanced that way.

 

Consider: the highest +Damage bonus in IO sets that I can recall is 4%. The highest +Defense is 5%. So IO sets give Defense bonuses at a higher rate than Damage bonuses. But in the game, a +20% Damage buff isn't considered much, and a +40% Damage buff is good but not gamebreaking. But a 20% Defense buff is awesome, and a 40% puts most characters well over the soft-cap. So, in the game, Defense buffs are (properly) balanced around being much lower than Damage buffs. And base enhancement of Defense powers is also at a lower rate than base enhancement of Damage powers.

 

Do you see ANY builds around that are considered very strong... because someone built up +Damage bonuses from IO sets? Absolutely not, because the IO set bonuses for Damage, compared to powers that give +Damage, are quite low. But when you look at IO set bonuses for +Defense, many of them are higher (albeit usually not to all attack types) than many actual Defense powers. If Defense (and Resist, but not as much) set bonuses were balanced around being comparatively as strong versus Acc,Dam, and Recharge set bonuses as Defense powers are, we wouldn't be seeing most of the problems.

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57 minutes ago, Crysis said:

Rather than nerf things to make others feel more valued, why not either buff the sets that feel undervalued (preferred) or just remove the “useless” sets entirely?  
 

I never quite understand the desire to remove something of value for the majority of the player base rather than just remove Or buff the underperforming minority.

 

You cannot balance a game with only buffs. Well, theoretically, you COULD, but it requires far more work since then you'd have to buff all of the opposition, in effect "nerfing everything first" and then buffing the weak sets.

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3 hours ago, Haijinx said:

I don't think that will work.  Seeing how unpopular Challenge options for Task Forces are. 

...

But the game mode option would be easier to try I'm sure.  Maybe offer some reason to use the current challenge settings other than just "Hey anyone wan't to set this Dr Q to No Enhancements? No?  Yeah.  Me either."     

This is the crux of the issue right here: there are already plenty of options out there for players to raise their own difficulty. I can use the difficulty options, I can run task forces and flashback arcs with things disabled, enemies buffed, players debuffed, things like that... but most players don't use those options because there are no extra rewards for the greater challenge. The existing options to make the game more difficult are rarely used and maybe, just maybe, it's because most players don't actually want the game to be harder. I'd much rather have the option exist to make the game harder if I want to than be forced to play a more difficult game. Oh, and if there were actual rewards other than lolbadges for running content at higher difficulty I'm sure we'd see those options utilized more often.

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No solution that doesn't keep IO builds will work.  No one wants to give up their build. 

 

To a lesser extent this includes incarnates.  Though I think people are less attached to those overall.  

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