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Weekly Discussion 52: Darkness Affinity!

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Weekly discussion 52 - Week 5/24/20-5/30/20:


🌟🎉Before we get started with this weeks discussion, lets talk about our huge milestone. ONE YEAR OF DISCUSSIONS YALL! I want to thank everyone who continues to make these ones of the best parts of the week for me. I love to see how much you love the game and all of your amazing ideas and suggestions to make it even better. As a special prize for making it this here - I am giving out 5 raffle prizes of 300 merits in game and one special permanent golden title in game "Weekly Discussion 1 Year Anniversary". 🌟🎉


To enter all you have to do is talk here or the forums this week!


⚔️YOU VOTED: Now that our Archetype discussions are over let's focus on a few powersets you guys voted on that you would like to talk about.

Next up is: Darkness Affinity!


 Things to think about:
>Here is a link on Darkness Affinity: https://archive.paragonwiki.com/wiki/Darkness_Affinity
>How does it compare to other support sets?
>What would you change?
>What do you love?


Don't just use these prompts, talk about whatever you want from this weeks prompt!


Let's Chat 😄

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Much like our recent talk about Darkness Control . . . I'm wondering if maybe there was a problem with the polling software?  User input error?  Something?

Are there concerns about Darkness Affinity (and Dark Miasma)?  I must say, I'm ignorant to such problems.  Both Sets seem VERY strong, without trespassing in to the Too Strong territory.  Really, if anything, I think Dark Affiasma represents an excellent benchmark for other Sets to be balanced toward.

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  • Retired Lead Game Master

I have a feeling someone(s) was just dark crazy. But I promised we would talk about the top voted - so here we are! 😄

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Darkest Night = awesome and terrible at the same time (serious agro magnet)


Black Hole = skippable?


side note: how did a power set available to so few make the top of the list?

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

Si vis pacem, para bellum

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Should we at least merge discussions about dark affinity and dark miasma together? I'm guessing miasma is coming given the current trend but they are more or less the same set. We could kill two 'they are basically very good sets' birds with one stone. As a side note I'm going to be very annoyed if this dark theme ends before we discuss the only dark set I'd really like make a couple of changes to: dark blast with its wonderful array of mismatched cones.


Anyway, back on topic. Dark affinity (and miasma); basically very good. Black hole is an auto skip as troo says which is a shame. I also have a small gripe about the cast time of darkest night (and all other toggle debuffs in the game for that matter). In today's fast paced team game these become quite unwieldy to use. Also the change that leaves it running on dead anchors is fine until you engage the next spawn and find you forgot to detoggle it from the last one. Maybe a small reduction in the cooldown?

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2 hours ago, parabola said:

As a side note I'm going to be very annoyed if this dark theme ends before we discuss the only dark set I'd really like make a couple of changes to: dark blast with its wonderful array of mismatched cones.

This. Although the Blaster version is fabulous.


Anyway Dark Affinity is an amazing set. The Fade fix kinda normalized it but it's still great. Fade being on a 60 second timer is kind of annoying compared to Farsight and Black Hole is entirely skippable.  Darkest Night I tend not to bother with unless it's an AV where the -Dam might be useful. 


And apparently Tar Patch is currently marked to ignore resistance, I assume a coding error from when they were separated into individual AT versions in the last big update. Surprised that hasn't been fixed yet. 

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Absolutely love almost everything about Darkness Affinity. The conditional Heal/Resurrection/Buff effects are something you don't quite see in other games. Howling Twilight stands as my favorite and most memorable ability in City of Heroes.


The only ability I dislike is Blackhole. Not every line has to be perfect with highly valuable tools. If I had to propose a change for this ability, Detention Shield from Force Fields, and Sonic Cage from Sonic Resonance would each be changed into Toggles so they could be optionally toggled off rather than waiting on the full duration of intangibility each cast. As alternate proposal for Blackhole would be to make it function like like a deployable vacuum that would draw monsters inward toward the center.

Edited by Nayeh
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3 hours ago, Nayeh said:

As alternate proposal for Blackhole would be to make it function like like a deployable vacuum that would draw monsters inward toward the center.

I like your thinking. Black Hole would still suck, but it'd be a good thing!

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Underrated powerset. I don't see many (if any) using Dark Affinity. Black Hole is a skipable power, which is okay when you are taking every other power in the set.


Speaking of Intangible powers, I would  like to see Intangible getting a prompt like teleport or Mystic Fortune to prevent griefing. I personally find Intangible powers to be one those powers not suited for random pug groups in my opinion.

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4 hours ago, Redlynne said:

Give Black Hole the Dimension Shift (Gravity) treatment ... and it ought to be good.

I came here to say this !

Really the only problem with the set is Black Hole, but what set doesn't have a power or 2 that is skippable ? the Dark sets (Miasma and Affinity) are so good that it doesn't really matter if 1 power is noob trap level bad

Edited by Seigmoraig
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Turn black hole into a single target wormhole.  Preferably a three stage power similar to Ki Push.  Initially the target suffers repel in the direction of the teleport, then they teleport to the selected area, finally they exit the teleport with mag 1000 kB along the same vector as the repel.  


Maybe still not the most useful power, but it would sure be fun, and it would keep its initial idea of being able to remove a single target from the fight.  In a building you could send them flying down a hall or across a room.  Outside you could send them across the map or straight into the air.


You could target practice on the blimp in Atlas.  Hold shooting contests, or HORSE contests.  The possibilities are endless.  Of course this would make the whole set extremely OP on the fun scale and the rest would have to be nerfed.  


Executioner Shot animation with your hand in the shape of a gun.  The rest of your animations would be the simple “go away” hand wave emote with no particle effects.  Like, “I am doing something over here but I don’t really care what it is, and neither do you, because whatever it is, it’s not black hole!”

Edited by Brutal Justice

Guardian survivor

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4 hours ago, Redlynne said:

12 responses in a week (ahead of this one).

Yeah, there was a huge pent up demand to talk about this powerset (apparently).


/em snerk

I think it's likely that folks are just doing other things. Seems like the forums have been quieter overall this week.

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Back in the early days of COH when I thought defender = healer (and then I fell in love with bubbles...we won't go there), I never really got Darkness Affinity.  Truthfully, even after I understood that debuff = very nice, I never used it.  Fast forward to Homecoming and I have a Thugs/DA Mastermind that wrecks face.  I'll second the idea of making Black Hole a targetable drop rather than an intangible thing.  Drop + disorient with minor damage would be nice, especially if I can just grab a group and drop them, disoriented, right into the tar patch my minions are standing in.

Edited by Skyhawke
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Sky-Hawke: Rad/WP Brute

Alts galore. So...soooo many alts.

Originally Pinnacle Server, then Indomitable and now Excelsior

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Really looks like a group of people all hit Dark on each vote for some reason and only Dark Melee/Dark Armor really warranted the discussion (Dark Blast's wonky cone situation notwithstanding). Darkness Affinity is pretty fine overall, and while I'm not fond of having powers that are basically auto-skip in nearly all situations I'm also not terribly keen on sets that make you want to take every power in them as that limits Pool selection and character diversity. That said, Black Hole could get a really nice usability update if it were converted into something similar to Worm Hole where you pull one group of foes to another location. This has nice synergy with both Tar Patch and Darkest Night and still fits in the theming idea of what a Black Hole sorta does.


With that out of the way, though, there are three powers I think could use a minor tweak: Tar Patch, Darkest Night, and Fade. Both Tar Patch and Darkest Night are similarly troublesome at times due to their long activation and animation lockout. There are times where I'd throw a patch down in an area, and during the animation someone pulls the spawn to them and half the group isn't debuffed. One could argue that I should wait to debuff them, I suppose, but it can also happen solo if you get too close to a group and facepull them. Darkest Night is in this same kind of boat where the duration to summon the debuff is so long that the enemy spawn could be defeated and the guy you anchored it to is half-dead by the time it kicks in. In all honesty, this seems like a combination of a slow cast time and too much outgoing damage compounding on each other but the point remains. Plus, as another poster stated, while the change to allow anchors to remain active on defeated foes is very nice and welcome, this can leave the power recharging too slowly overall if you don't cancel it "in time" for the next pull so maybe a second or two of recharge reduction for these types of powers is in order.


Now there's Fade. Great power; pretty strong and welcome teambuff for what it gives. I do not like how it constantly flickers, though. I don't have epilepsy or anything, but the way everything affected by it is constantly flickering starts to grate on my eyes after awhile. It's such a good buff that I don't want to avoid using it, but I feel like I'm being physically punished for doing so. Maybe something can be done about this? I admit I haven't played my D3 Controller recently and maybe this was already taken care of, but if not, please please please have a look at adjusting the persistent animation effects.

Edited by ForeverLaxx
Added Black Hole discussion; various grammar fixes
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exChampion and exInfinity player (Champion primarily).


Current resident of the Everlasting shard.

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You know ... if people weren't averse to setting cottages ON FIRE and dancing the night away ... I'd love to completely reimagine Black Hole, so as to change it from something "useless" into something that would be "useful" (so to speak).


Legacy power link: Black Hole (Controller)

Basically it's a Click power that imposes a 30s duration Intangible in a 20ft radius sphere around a Target Location on a 120s recharge.

Because it's a Click instead of a Toggle the duration cannot be canceled early on demand like with Dimension Shift ... which basically does the same thing, but in a better way game mechanically speaking.




So if Black Hole were to be ... reimagined ... what could it possibly do instead?


Well ...


Why not convert Black Hole into a Location AoE Teleport Foe?

Specifically, a power that would "scoop" all Foe $Targets within 20ft of the selected location and Teleport them "to" that same location and "dump" them there?


Essentially, make Black Hole "pull" everything within 20ft of the selected location to that same location (so it's not a copy of Wormhole, which can pull from one place to dump in another).  The behavior would be an "in place" implosion (using Teleport mechanics).  So, basically one of these ...




But we also know something else about Black Holes (the real astronomical ones) that we didn't know back in the 2000-2004 years when Cryptic Studios was working on City of Heroes ... that Black Holes tend to do ... well ... THIS ...






So in game mechanical terms, what I'd want to see done to the Black Hole power in Darkness Affinity is basically this ... (changes bolded and in larger font to make them stand out) ...


Level 35
Type Click
PvE damage scale 0.000000
Accuracy 1
Modes required  
Modes disallowed Disable_All
Range 50 feet
Activate period -
Interrupt time -
Cast time 1.03 seconds
Recharge time 120 seconds
Endurance cost 13
Attack types AOE, Negative_Energy
Effect area Sphere
Radius 20 feet
Arc -
Max targets hit 16
Entities affected Foe
Entities autohit  
Target Location
Target visibility Line of Sight
Nofity Mobs Always



  • PvE3 Immobilized for 30s
  • PvPSuppression0.3 Immobilized for 0.6s
  • 0 Translucency for 1.5s
  • 4.1 Teleport (mag 3) (after 0.9 second delay)
  • 18.694 Knockup (after 1 second delay)
  • No Buffs-75% Str(Range) for 30s




That's all you have to do.

The "new" Black Hole power would "scoop" (via Teleport) all Foes within a 20ft radius of the Target Location and teleport them to that same Target Location (not a different one like Wormhole, the same one!) ... clustering them all up at that point.  The power would then "toss" them all UP (via KnockUP) ... rather than "hurl" them sideways (via KnockBACK) like Wormhole does ... so they fly upwards (like an astrophysical jet) and then rain down in place around the same Target Location.  The power then "limits" the Range of their ranged attacks (Black Holes are known for their "deep" gravity wells which take a lot more energy to escape from) for the 30 seconds of the power's effects after Click.


This would effectively allow the Darkness Affinity powerset to "forcibly herd" a Target Location AoE onto that specific Target Location.

  • Got some idiots who haven't stepped into your Tar Patch yet?  Use Black Hole to "plop" them into it!
  • Did someone use an AoE Immobilize before all the $Targets dogpiled onto the Aggro Magnet (in the dumpster, that's now on fire)?  Use Black Hole to "plop" them into it!
  • Got a runner (or runners)?  Use Black Hole to "plop" them so they can't keep running!
  • Need to "herd" a pile of XP for T9 Nukes?  Use Black Hole to "plop" them together where they can't get away!

This would allow Black Hole to become an Escape Denial power (which sounds about right for a BLACK HOLE, wouldn't you say?) in addition to being a Reposition Your Foes power.  It wouldn't be quite as versatile as Wormhole in the Gravity Control powerset, which can move $Targets "through walls" when teleporting them from Here To There (since the pickup and drop points don't have to be the same for Wormhole) ... but then you'd want Black Hole to be a different kind of power anyway that PULLS STUFF IN (and throws stuff out at the polar jets) right where the Black Hole is.  That way, Black Hole is similar to, but not an exact copy of, Wormhole ... while also serving much the same service.




Your turn, Homecoming Devs ... 


Verbogeny is one of many pleasurettes afforded a creatific thinkerizer.

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As cool as an actual black hole Power would be, I don't think Dark Affiasma's Black Hole is the one for that.   After all, it's about the Nether World Powers being used to support your team, generally by messing with your opponents.  Your proposal for a black hole Power there, 'lynne, would strike me as a great Gravity-related Power.  Maybe a Tier 10?  There's a pipe dream for us all.


For Dark Affisma's Black Hole, though . . . I think something more like Event Horizon.



Similar premise to what you suggest, making the enemies disappear for a few seconds.

When they come back, though, have them play a random animation from the following list:   Grief, Despair, Tantrum, Tarzan, et cetera.

Have a guaranteed application of one of the following Control Effects at random:  Stun, Confuse, Hold, or (especially) Fear.  At Mag 2-to-5, for 2-to-10 Seconds (Enhanceable).


That'd be fun.

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Oh I missed this thread because I didn’t notice we were now talking about Dark Affinity not Dark Control  😆


So let me summarise real quick, because the last thread I mentioned I play Dark/Dark controller. 

Dark AFFINITY is a great set with an awesome toolkit or buffs, debuffs, controls and pets. Actually I would say it is close to being an over performer. As such it would probably be near the bottom of the list of buff/debuff sets to tweak imo. 

I won’t go threw the pros and cons of each power so I’ll just pick out a few I would have an opinion on:


Howling Twilight is a great power. I’m going to be naughty here and say the power shouldn’t really be auto-hit, there should be an accuracy check on the stun and -regen. I compensation I think the stun on this power (and Thunderclap from /Storm) should be Mag 3 not Mag 2. Stunning Minions is not worth it. Luckily Howling Twilight brings a lot more to the table (with a longer recharge). 

Fade - I wish we could double the duration of this power and up the recharge to compensate. Having to recast it every 60 seconds is annoying, especially for a team buff. It should be 90 seconds at least. Its a very powerful buff (arguably too powerful) which I’m sure all Dark Miasma brothers and sisters are peeved that they can’t get. 
-Big thing with this power is it makes you look invisible even though you aren’t. I’d probably rename it ‘Soul Empower’ and just give everyone the glowie eyes, if I could. 

Soul Absorption - another dark affinity power I’d argue is too effective but.. meh. I love this power. The main drawback is the long activation time and short duration. It’s very easy to cap both regen and recovery with this power which does feel too good, and it also does -10% to hit. I wouldn’t clamor to nerf this power - rather id use it as an argument to buff Empathy’s recovery and regeneration aura. Probably to combine the 2 powers for Empathy in order to give space for something new.


Black Hole - yeah it’s crummy, but every set needs a crummy power and tbh there are a lot of sets ahead of the queue in needing attention. Particularly of support sets! In fact if I were to balance Black Hole I’d probably only do it for Dark Miasma and not Dark Affinity. Ideally you could give them soul absorption rather than Black Hole...


Dark Servant - would really like this pet to be made permanent like Controller primary pets. Otherwise tweaking his AI might be good, but likely to annoy some while pleasing others no matter what you do.


Edited by Peacemoon

Retired, October 2022.

Fallout Engineer Rad/AR Defender || Peacemoon Empathy/Psi Defender || Svarteir Dark/Dark Controller

Everlasting || UK Timezone

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