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As the game has progressed we have seen a definite trend in how characters are played and what powersets are popular:

 

  • Damage is King, powers that don't contribute to damage directly are less valuable on average
  • AoE >>> ST. Sets focused on being ST specialists very rarely "shine" with how the game plays out.
  • Teams are too fast / self-defense is too potent for CC to be valuable as it once was 

 

These three trends combined leads to a ton of both perception problems as well as design/player choices that shape the way the game is going. It's also shaped tons of discussions on the boards when it comes to suggestions. You can see it in threads like the Energy Melee one where people want it to have more AoE, or where people want powers to have certain secondary effects added so that they can slot Damage Procs, adding -Res as the go-to for buffing a power otherwise, and so on.

 

I would like to see if we can actually measure why this appears to be the case, as well as offer suggestions on what could be done to existing encounters to allow for "non meta" builds to shine and actually be "meta" in their own ways. 

 

Lets start with AoE/Damage

 

To best understand what we are observing, lets take a look at what we're actually damaging:

 

image.png.9b394ced462485e3b8505d09f7661a1f.png

 

Looking at both ends of top-level play (outside +1 level shift), the HP of enemies effectively doubles at +4 thanks to their Damage Reduction reducing damage taken by 0.48x before any native resists/etc. But how much does this really matter?

 

In order to find out I parsed through and looked at the damage of non-nuke AoEs that hit 10 or more targets across Melee and Blast sets and averaged them out. On top of this, I looked at all the native Damage Scales of AT's (such as a Blaster's 1.125 ranged scale, a Defender's 0.65 scale, etc) to find out what the average would be there too.

 

Avg Damage Scale = 0.91

Avg damage of an AoE with 0.91 scale = 50.57 base

 

So now we have a measuring stick that we can "Assume" is being used per member of a team. With 95% damage enhancement, and I'd reckon about an average of +60% damage boost from things like Crit Chances over time (you name it), Fury, Build Ups, Aims, Assault... that leaves us at a final damage of 128.95 per AoE

 

Lets apply that AoE power to our NPC's both Solo and as part of a full team:

 

image.png.1f978b45064dcdfa3a48b04fe2d80888.png

 

So, what does this mean? What is eye opening to me is that at both +0 and +4, the opening volley of AoE on average should just eliminate minions. You have much more leeway at +0 with only 3-4 damage dealers needed, while at +4 you need 7. That said... only Defenders, Corruptors, Controllers, and Brutes would on average have AoEs that fall under the average here, and of those you can gain Fury, Scourge, Containment damage on your epic fireball, or simply provide high enough damage boosts to offset that to where these values ring true.

 

At +0, Lieutenants fall as well and at +4 the 2nd wave of AoE (assuming fast rech too) should also clear them out with 8 players. Bosses are left at either just over 1/2 hp by the opening volley of 8 AoE attacks, or have a significant dent at +4. EB's similarly get dented, but are very rare to encounter. 

 

What balances this is target caps, as you're likely to not hit everything in a x8 spawn with all 8 AoEs, but anything that overlaps is certainly wiped and makes the rest of the fight much faster! Minions get wiped very quickly, as do LT's which leaves Bosses for the ST specialists... except "being awful at ST but great at AoE" is rather rare, and when there are 8 of you focusing fire then even a bunch of Bots/ MMs or Spines/ characters can make short work of bosses. If you happen to be using a set where AoE is not emphasized, unless there is an EB or above the team can and will outdo your contribution with the AoE flurry + ST cleanup.

 

What could we do here? There are many options but here are two examples off the top of my head:

  • Increase the base HP of Bosses/Elite Bosses by 20%. This would require 3/6 8 man cycles at +0, and 7/13 cycles at +4 for your normal AoEs to wipe out these targets, while allowing ST DPS to shine as you can still take down these tougher targets faster while the AoE specialists wipe Minions and LT's and still contribute
  • Give Bosses/Elite Bosses inherent AoE defense. Not sure on the number here, but maybe something like 15%ish sounds right to allow them to sometimes just flat out "deflect" the AoEs that wipe out their underlings, and over time allow ST damage to shine brighter against them

 

I much favor the latter as it does not mess with lower tier encounters as much where the boss having more HP could be troublesome, but either way I feel that they could use some buffing to give ST characters something to chew on and contribute with other than the odd AV fight. 

 

 

Control vs Damage

As noted above, your average team is going to be wiping out the vast majority of enemies in 1-2 attack cycles, which decreases the value of controlling them first since most of them will be dead or near dead by the time control takes effect. Combine this with how infrequent control AT's are sort of allowed to toss out AoE mez and how player survival has gone up, its not hard to see how Damage has sort of become king. 

 

Without going into the specifics of each power / powerset, I think there are a few universal changes that could be made to mezzes to make them carry more weight throughout the game:

 

  • Sleeps provide an non-resistible -50% damage resist debuff while the target is slept
    • Sleeps are often seen as the worst Mez type as nearly any other effect will break the mez on your target, rendering it useless. Adding a sort of incentive to actually allow the enemies to be slept *then* hit for a large amount of bonus damage will give it more utility in the current game. This circumvents the frustration of waking up sleeping targets by hopefully making it a mini-game to want to sleep then smack.
    • Maybe even have the bonus grow the longer they are kept asleep!
  • Make AoE holds Mag 4 in PvE
    •  Given that anything less than a boss is going to be slobberknockered anyways, why not make the AoE hard-controls of the game effect them for safety? As is, AoE hold powers are often seen as not worth it. They currently cannot be perma'd in any way so allowing them to be true "show stoppers" when they are available is a worthy trade off for all their other drawbacks.
  • Take a look at the general secondary effects / synergies of different Mez types
    • A much broader talking point, but to sum up some personal feelings: Fear = Stun = Confuse = Hold =sorta= Sleep . We have 4 types of Mez that all take an enemy out of the fight for a time, with Fear and Sleep being weakest as you can interrupt them, Stun and Confusion being sort of in the middle as Stunned targets wobble around a little but cannot harm you while Confused ones can move freely but attack enemies and can't harm you anymore, and of course holds being total lockdowns of the target. We touched on sleep already and it has a niche where you can actually bypass the mez protection of some enemies using them but for the rest it seems that they are interchangeable? They all "lock down" the enemy where they either don't attack you or better yet attack other enemies while not attacking you. This leads to certain mezzes being way more potent based on the powers themselves (Seeds... certain AoE stuns... etc) and effectively throwing powerset balance out of whack a little while still facing the problems talked about above where even if strong, the majority of targets are gonna be thwacked anyways making it kinda moot.
    • It would be nice if the mez types got a review to maybe add some fun new effects dependent on the mez. What these are are up for debate but like with Sleep adding in bonus to damage for waking them up, leaning into the current meta that folks enjoy with the other types could be fun and make those types of powers much more rewarding. 

 

IMO, tweaking encounters like making bosses a bit tougher to take down in opening volleys, and mechanics like sleep more "up to speed" with the way the game is played would go a long way to bringing a bunch of sets and play styles up. What do you all think? What else do you think could be done to make certain effects/styles competitive?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)
12 minutes ago, Galaxy Brain said:

Control vs Damage

As noted above, your average team is going to be wiping out the vast majority of enemies in 1-2 attack cycles, which decreases the value of controlling them first since most of them will be dead or near dead by the time control takes effect. Combine this with how infrequent control AT's are sort of allowed to toss out AoE mez and how player survival has gone up, its not hard to see how Damage has sort of become king. 

 

Without going into the specifics of each power / powerset, I think there are a few universal changes that could be made to mezzes to make them carry more weight throughout the game:

 

  • Sleeps provide an non-resistible -50% damage resist debuff while the target is slept
    • Sleeps are often seen as the worst Mez type as nearly any other effect will break the mez on your target, rendering it useless. Adding a sort of incentive to actually allow the enemies to be slept *then* hit for a large amount of bonus damage will give it more utility in the current game. This circumvents the frustration of waking up sleeping targets by hopefully making it a mini-game to want to sleep then smack.
    • Maybe even have the bonus grow the longer they are kept asleep!
  • Make AoE holds Mag 4 in PvE
    •  Given that anything less than a boss is going to be slobberknockered anyways, why not make the AoE hard-controls of the game effect them for safety? As is, AoE hold powers are often seen as not worth it. They currently cannot be perma'd in any way so allowing them to be true "show stoppers" when they are available is a worthy trade off for all their other drawbacks.
  • Take a look at the general secondary effects / synergies of different Mez types
    • A much broader talking point, but to sum up some personal feelings: Fear = Stun = Confuse = Hold =sorta= Sleep . We have 4 types of Mez that all take an enemy out of the fight for a time, with Fear and Sleep being weakest as you can interrupt them, Stun and Confusion being sort of in the middle as Stunned targets wobble around a little but cannot harm you while Confused ones can move freely but attack enemies and can't harm you anymore, and of course holds being total lockdowns of the target. We touched on sleep already and it has a niche where you can actually bypass the mez protection of some enemies using them but for the rest it seems that they are interchangeable? They all "lock down" the enemy where they either don't attack you or better yet attack other enemies while not attacking you. This leads to certain mezzes being way more potent based on the powers themselves (Seeds... certain AoE stuns... etc) and effectively throwing powerset balance out of whack a little while still facing the problems talked about above where even if strong, the majority of targets are gonna be thwacked anyways making it kinda moot.
    • It would be nice if the mez types got a review to maybe add some fun new effects dependent on the mez. What these are are up for debate but like with Sleep adding in bonus to damage for waking them up, leaning into the current meta that folks enjoy with the other types could be fun and make those types of powers much more rewarding. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interesting suggestions and I will support them

Edited by Chance Jackson
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I think it would be worthwhile to have some (not all!) enemies have substantial damage mitigation powers that are detoggled or suppressed by mezzes.  Something that packs a punch, like a 50% DR or substantial self-heal.

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Perhaps LT and up HP and resist should scale up based on group size? Like 8 heroes is tougher NPCs?

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11 minutes ago, aethereal said:

I think it would be worthwhile to have some (not all!) enemies have substantial damage mitigation powers that are detoggled or suppressed by mezzes.  Something that packs a punch, like a 50% DR or substantial self-heal.

There already are some. A sleep will shut down pretty much any FF bubble, for instance, that's not generated by something like a Sky Raider shield drone (and those can be confused.) Even if the enemy is woken up right away, there's a recharge time on that power being used again. (I still, frankly, say sleep is undervalued since what's concentrated on is "oh, it gets broken so easily" versus what else it's actually done.)

 

A lot of buffs they get or defense can also have AOE holes, though (come to think of it, I think Nems affected by the leadership buffs of a LT dying have this.)

 

Of course, holds keep anything from happening - but we have some enemies who just become stupidly resistant. (Shouting romans make control annoyed.)


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49 minutes ago, Galaxy Brain said:
  • Increase the base HP of Bosses/Elite Bosses by 20%. This would require 3/6 8 man cycles at +0, and 7/13 cycles at +4 for your normal AoEs to wipe out these targets, while allowing ST DPS to shine as you can still take down these tougher targets faster while the AoE specialists wipe Minions and LT's and still contribute
  • Give Bosses/Elite Bosses inherent AoE defense. Not sure on the number here, but maybe something like 15%ish sounds right to allow them to sometimes just flat out "deflect" the AoEs that wipe out their underlings, and over time allow ST damage to shine brighter against them

Here is my criticism: this doesn't solve anything honestly, especially the latter option. The latter option is easily undone by the team stacking Tactics or the Build Ups and Aims used on the AoE nukes are just giving such substantial accuracy that 15% defense is not going to save them. 

 

Another criticism I have... I really don't think AoE is that valuable much anymore, sorry, but that's my opinion. Don't get me wrong, I'd rather have it than not, I'd take all my T9 nukes, of course! But, I'd much rather a Stalker join my teams than a Water Blaster (that's NOT saying I'd reject them, do not get it twisted) due to the fact they're going to actually bring down the AV's faster. The end-game and meta is favoring ST DPS over AoE right now, everyone has a judgement, Defenders and Corruptors have their own T9's, just those two facts alone are enough normally to cover the AoE department. But you know what a lot of people lack? Hardcore ST DPS to down the AV's quickly, THAT is very important and that is what most people in the true "meta" are realizing.

 

So I disagree with the principle that ST damage dealers are under-valued, and I also do not think this is a solution that will ultimately prove any better to what we currently have (sorry). 

 

As for controls, it's a much more complicated issue, that honestly, isn't rooted in turning normal content harder, I think if people want to judgement and nuke the mobs how they are now, who are you or I to judge them or their playstyle? What you and I wish for, is content that was actually exceptionally hard enough to warrant controls to survive mobs that would challenge you, and I think there is definitely a place for that type of content that is very difficult/hard, but I don't think it should be carried over into older/easier content.

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Posted (edited)

While I may disagree with 1 or 2 points here (particularly the value of ST vs AOE), in general I support some of your points. I especially think the role of mez in the current game needs attention. The fact that it rarely does anything against the hardest targets in the game is such a hamper. This is especially true on incarnate trials where most of the AVs have mag 1000 protection to all mez.

Edited by Mikewho

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One of the things you DON'T want to do is make soloing any harder than it already is for team-oriented characters. Any kind of scaling HPs or defenses needs to be done with that in mind. You additionally don't want to discourage teaming at all, so creating any 'team-based nerfs' needs to be done extremely carefully.

 

With that in mind, I think that the *right* way to address this problem is to add more content to the game in the form of new NPC enemies. We've seen a little bit of this work already in the form of Super Stunners bosses for Freaks. For those not familiar with them, Super Stunners discourage melee attacks in favor of ranged attacks by having a 'dark consumption' fueled rez. When defeated they drain all players within a short range, fueling their HP regeneration upon rez. The ideal way to defeat them is entirely from outside their drain range. That, of course, is almost impossible on most teams, meaning that you end up with a 'lingering' boss that has to be defeated a second time-- not that severe a penalty, but one that does slow down 'faceroll' teams-- like those who try to speed through Penny Yin's TF on higher difficulty, only to have strings of rezzed Freaks and Super-stunners causing serious problems from 'behind'.

 

This same *style* of NPC could be added to most enemy groups. And by 'style', I don't necessarily mean an enemy that rezzes. Consider adding an enemy to each or even just most villain groups that  breaks the mold when it comes to 'AoEs wiping out everything but bosses'. This could be in the form of enemies that have great AOE defense, but lousy ST defense. It could also be done with enemies that convert certain damage types to heals. For example, consider a hellion boss that converts a percentage of fire damage, one of the few AOE damage types available at low levels, to health. If you didn't want to single out just the fire AOEs at low levels, you could also add an 'Alternator Knight/Duke/Prince' enemy to the Clockwork roster that converts a percentage of energy damage to health.

 

Another good example of enemies with anti-AOE features is the Praetorian Ghoul enemy group. Their 'heal others on death' ability makes them extremely dangerous to try to AOE down in larger groups. (Unfortunately, nobody groups against them since Praetorian content is so underutilized.)

 

The general goal when adding new NPC types should be for most groups of 11 or more NPC enemies to leave a larger sprinkling of 'Didn't catch the AOEs' enemies behind that are, for whatever reason, easier for ST-types to take down. I think that adding new NPCs rather than adjusting existing NPCs removes the intense initial reaction from Players. (Holy crap! They buffed the @#$# out of Hellions!) The groups have only been changed slightly, affect solo players minimally, unless those solo players are playing at increased team sizes in normal missions, and serves to slow teams down to deal with lingering threats.

 

 

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24 minutes ago, aethereal said:

I think it would be worthwhile to have some (not all!) enemies have substantial damage mitigation powers that are detoggled or suppressed by mezzes.  Something that packs a punch, like a 50% DR or substantial self-heal.

That was actually a suggestion I once made to assist in giving more benefit to certain types of mez.  You'd first need to give more of the foes more powers that are meant to keep them alive or suppress your team, things like armor toggles, debuff auras, etc.  Then you also have to vary the detoggle effect.  Like for Holds, I feel these are more the universally useful mez so limiting Holds to have a low chance to detoggle every few seconds.  Things like KB have a moderate chance upon knock to detoggle one power that greatly increases in chance on the magnitude of the knock.  For Sleep, if they are put to sleep have a 100% chance to turn off a toggle and an additional toggle every few seconds they remain asleep.  I suppose if Fear can inhibit actions, retoggling will be limited.

 

56 minutes ago, Galaxy Brain said:

Lets start with AoE/Damage

You could actually use a combination of approaches too.

 

On top of that, if we're looking more into adjusting things hypothetically, I recall an interesting suggestion to vary power effects depending on number of targets, either the calculation of the dice rolls or diminishing returns from piling more foes up.  It doesn't have to be drastic if other kinds of changes are combined.

 

Another alternate approach might be to lock a kind of "synergy" bonus for sets, giving like powers positive gains on ST and negative gains on AoE and positive gains on secondary effect per power.  For example, in the Darkness Blast set, taking the AoE powers boosts the damage of AoE powers and reduces the damage of ST powers.  Taking more/all of the Darkness Blast power will neutralize any bonus but increase the -ToHit effect.  You could try to create a build for teams that focuses on AoE by not taking some ST powers (maybe aiming for ST powers outside of the set) or vice versa.  That would require a lot of rebalancing and probably better for a power tree with like 14 powers instead of 9...

 

1 hour ago, Galaxy Brain said:

Control vs Damage

You'd probably want to reassess mez received as another aspect since you have ATs that literally ignore mez.  Like if the detoggling aspect were considered for players so it doesn't have to actually mez you to have the detoggle chance (with the mez protection powers being immune to this mechanic), mez can still be dangerous to everyone.

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Good well reasoned post, +1!
 

I think that *most* play is either 8-person teams or solo.  Personally, I mostly play solo for a number of reasons ( @Bionic_Fleagave a good breakdown in another post).  
 

I’d support making bosses tougher, but I really don’t want to see mez made more powerful just so people feel they want to be contributing more damage to a team.  Because any changes made to mez will also affect solo players, and make their play markedly easier.  It would be shrinking the size of the chessboard.
 

Ex:  my mind/poison controller has just about every power in his primary, and uses them all.  Sleep is near useless if your team is going to wipe out every minion in one round of AoE; it’s incredible when you are able to use it solo to neuter x8 mobs to take out one at a time.  Immobilize as well.  Holding a boss with one application will certainly make a zerg team faster, but for solo play it would be like playing poker with hearts and diamonds wild.  Yeah, it’s fun to get 5 aces, but not every hand, every play session.

 

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Galaxy Brain said:
  • Damage is King, powers that don't contribute to damage directly are less valuable on average
  • AoE >>> ST. Sets focused on being ST specialists very rarely "shine" with how the game plays out.

I know why this happens.  It's something I brought up to Arbiter Hawk, Synapse and Black Scorpion at dinner during the 2012 Player Summit, who were the Powers Team Devs at Cryptic Studios.  I've posted this argument before, but I'll repost it here for clarity.

 

 

 

Let's say for the sake of argument and illustration purposes that you've got a $Target that you need to hit 4x with an unenhanced power in order to defeat them (just to keep the math easy and convenient).

What happens when you add damage, endurance reduction and recharge reduction (individually) to that power in SO strength enhancement amounts (+33.33%)?

 

Unenhanced = 4 attacks = 4x animations, 4x damage, 4x endurance, 4x recharge

1 Damage SO = 3 attacks = 3x animations, 4x damage, 3x endurance, 3x recharge

1 Endurance SO = 4 attacks = 4x animations, 4x damage, 3x endurance, 4x recharge

1 Recharge SO = 4 attacks = 4x animations, 4x damage, 4x endurance, 3x recharge

1 Endurance SO + 1 Recharge SO = 4 attacks = 4x animations, 4x damage, 3x endurance, 3x recharge

 

If you're paying attention (and I really hope that everyone is who is following this topic) ... you'll notice something wildly asymmetrical about that very simply put layout of factors affecting gameplay.

 

1 Damage SO >> (1 Endurance SO + 1 Recharge SO)

 

Let me say that again, just to be absolutely clear.

One damage enhancement is BETTER than 1 endurance reduction plus 1 recharge reduction enhancement.

In other words, damage is better BY DEFAULT by more than what you can get out of the combination of two other enhancements COMBINED.

 

 

 

The net result of this is that Damage enhancement winds up being "overtuned" in just the way that @Galaxy Brain is talking about.

Damage enhancement is worth more because Damage enhancement is WORTH MORE than other types of enhancement.

 

 

 

The ... solution ... that I proposed to Arbiter Hawk, Synapse and Black Scorpion at dinner during the 2012 Player Summit would be to have Damage enhancement function on different Schedules (A and B, instead of just A) depending on what type of Damage power the enhancement was being slotted into.

 

The basic idea being that damage slotted into Single Target powers would remain on Schedule A (+33.33%) ... while damage slotted into AoE powers would shift to Schedule B (+20%).

 

 

 

What this would do is that it would "widen the gap" between Single Target and AoE damage powers in terms of their throughput efficiency and help combat that enormous power creep that combined AoE attacks were capable of due to their high (on Schedule A) enhancement values.  In practice, the difference would be between enhancing up to 2x damage (Single Target) versus 1.6x (AoE) using the same damage enhancement slotting, which while not a whole lot of reduction/nerfing would be enough to change the mental calculus among Players as to the perceived "value" of Single Target attacks relative to AoE.  Basically, it would "open a space" in which AoE damage doesn't "win by default" due to excessive value gained from damage enhancement.

 

 

 

It was ... kind of fun ... watching Arbiter Hawk, Synapse and Black Scorpion basically have a "face fault" moment there at the table as they all collectively recognized the problem I'd put my finger on for them, especially since it was one of those things where once you've seen the problem outlined THAT WAY, it kind of becomes hard to say that it isn't there or have any influence over the perception of relative value among Players who pay attention to these kinds of details.

 

They immediately turned to the point of ... The Players Would NEVER STAND FOR IT ... which I readily agreed would indeed be an issue, since it would functionally mean nerfing every AoE damage power in the game used by Players.

 

However, Black Scorpion then pointed out to Synapse that it MIGHT be technically possible to instruct the game engine to use different Enhancement Schedules for damage enhancements depending on what kind of damage power the enhancements were slotted into.  So apparently they recognized that the TECHNICAL hurdle of making the game do what it needed to do in order to implement the idea didn't fall into the utterly impossible category.  It would require WORK to implement, of course (because it always does), and they had NO IDEA if they'd ever be able to put the request on the SCHEDULE to actually do it if the approvals ever came through ... but it was very clear that there was NO expectation that the approvals would ever be made, because the anticipated backlash from the community would rival the combination of the Global Defense Nerf and Enhancement Dysfunction (that basically melted down the official forums for THREE DAYS!!! under the withering rejection of the forums community to those changes).  Cuppa Jo still got a fearful look in her eyes whenever I mentioned that experience to her at the War College event for Tabula Rasa, so I know that she at least was really traumatized by that episode in the history of City of Heroes.

 

 

 

However, if you're going to contemplate messing with the meta-game ... you can't just throw more HP at the $Targets.

You need to ... change the SHAPE of what the Players can do in order to make the game more complex than just "nuking" everything with AoE as fast as possible.

 

For me at least, the answer to that challenge is to keep the maximum damage throughput for Single Target attacks where they are (and always have been), while "nerfing" the potential maximum damage throughput of AoE attacks ... for what ought to be obvious reasons in the context of this discussion.  This then "widens the gap" between what can be done with Single Target versus AoE in a way that makes the relative value of each a bit more complex and potentially dynamic.

 

 

 

Because as I explained to Arbiter Hawk, Synapse and Black Scorpion at dinner during the 2012 Player Summit ... in City of Heroes ... Damage Is KING ... and AoE wears the crown.

 

It was kind of disappointing to find out that all three of them agreed with me on the points that I had made, but they felt constrained in what they could do about it out of a (very real!) feel for the potential backlash that would occur if anything ... ANYTHING ... was ever done to knock AoE off its throne as the be all, end all, solution to every problem of generating enough DPS.  And don't get me wrong, the reasons for not making those kinds of changes (then) were very very VERY real ... but the foundation for them was really a matter of social expectations and preferences than they were upon the basis of technical hurdles.  Time resources needed to make the shift would be considerable, but the structure of the game engine code did not foreclose on the possibility due to premature optimization.

 

In the end, the shutdown announcement happened a mere 6 months later, and the whole issue was essentially rendered moot due to the actions of The Battallion NC$oft.

 

 

 

And the rest ... is ancient history ...

Edited by Redlynne
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3 hours ago, Zeraphia said:

Here is my criticism: this doesn't solve anything honestly, especially the latter option. The latter option is easily undone by the team stacking Tactics or the Build Ups and Aims used on the AoE nukes are just giving such substantial accuracy that 15% defense is not going to save them. 

True, but +AoE specific defense is better than +HP for all levels. It solves a problem of ST damage being a bit overshadowed in normal gameplay.

3 hours ago, Zeraphia said:

 

Another criticism I have... I really don't think AoE is that valuable much anymore, sorry, but that's my opinion. Don't get me wrong, I'd rather have it than not, I'd take all my T9 nukes, of course! But, I'd much rather a Stalker join my teams than a Water Blaster (that's NOT saying I'd reject them, do not get it twisted) due to the fact they're going to actually bring down the AV's faster. The end-game and meta is favoring ST DPS over AoE right now, everyone has a judgement, Defenders and Corruptors have their own T9's, just those two facts alone are enough normally to cover the AoE department. But you know what a lot of people lack? Hardcore ST DPS to down the AV's quickly, THAT is very important and that is what most people in the true "meta" are realizing.

 

So I disagree with the principle that ST damage dealers are under-valued, and I also do not think this is a solution that will ultimately prove any better to what we currently have (sorry). 

This I have not experienced too much if at all. As mentioned in my OP, very few sets if any have "bad" ST damage, and when you have 8 players stacked on an AV you're most likely gonna win. 

 

An AV encounter is one thing, but compared to the rest of the game it is almost a niche task compared to the waves upon waves upon waves of  enemies fought on normal missions.

 

3 hours ago, Zeraphia said:

 

As for controls, it's a much more complicated issue, that honestly, isn't rooted in turning normal content harder, I think if people want to judgement and nuke the mobs how they are now, who are you or I to judge them or their playstyle? What you and I wish for, is content that was actually exceptionally hard enough to warrant controls to survive mobs that would challenge you, and I think there is definitely a place for that type of content that is very difficult/hard, but I don't think it should be carried over into older/easier content.

Not so much "harder" as much as "competitive for control". Look at the sleep example, that would allow a Mez effect to compete with an AoE attack given they can combine for greater effect,

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Interesting..

 

@Galaxy BrainI agree with the premise you are putting forward.

 

Initial random brain dump (not thought out):

  • Increase perception range of targets
  • Increase reward for team of six rather than eight (likely mission completion reward)
  • Raise AoE resist slightly for LTs and Bosses across the board
  • Add taunt to AoE (AoE russian roulette solved by controls)
  • Raise AoE def significantly for random Bosses

Anyway. raising HP is just increasing button munching. Something more elegant that could require recognition and reaction would be preferred.

 

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Posted (edited)

@Galaxy Brain Thanks for putting a heady topic out there. This sure beats bumping old threads.

 

Edited by Troo

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14 minutes ago, Troo said:

Raise AoE resist slightly for LTs and Bosses across the board

I do wonder if this in particular is a possible knob for the devs to turn...

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It should be, shouldn't it?

 

I think increasing perception range might also be interesting. Can't get into melee AoE without spooking them and raises the possibility of triggering another close spawn.

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1 minute ago, Troo said:

It should be, shouldn't it?

 

I think increasing perception range might also be interesting. Can't get into melee AoE without spooking them and raises the possibility of triggering another close spawn.

We have positional defense, but nowhere is there a positional resistance outside of Melee/Ranged damage mods on AT's

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6 minutes ago, Galaxy Brain said:
21 minutes ago, Troo said:

Raise AoE resist slightly for LTs and Bosses across the board

I do wonder if this in particular is a possible knob for the devs to turn...

Defenses come in two flavors ... Positional (Melee/Ranged/AoE) and Typed (Smashing, Lethal, Fire, Cold, Negative, Energy, Toxic, Psionic).

 

Resistances come in one flavor ... Typed (Smashing, Lethal, Fire, Cold, Negative, Energy, Toxic, Psionic).

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Another way to look at this is to do "Minion Equivalents" for higher ranks for their HP (and I'm going to round off for simplicity).

 

image.png

 

Minion = 1x Minion

Lieutenant = 2x Minion

Boss = 6x Minion

Elite Boss = 12x Minion

 

Now start thinking about what would happen if every $Target of Minion rank and above generated a small PBAoE field around themselves that granted +Resistance (All) to all the other $Targets of their Faction around them.  I'm thinking something like this ...

 

Minion = +1% Resistance

Lieutenant = +2% Resistance

Boss = +6% Resistance

Elite Boss = +12% Resistance

 

Needless to say, you shouldn't have any problems figuring out where I pulled those numbers from, given what I've been saying so far.

 

 

 

Now, what this would do in actual gameplay practice is that it would mean that massed hordes of $Targets herded up together would become harder to defeat than the exact same number of $Targets scattered around.  If you've got a "dogpile" of 10 $Targets that contains 2x Bosses, 3x Lieutenants and 5x Minions ... and ALL of their PBAoE Resistance auras are overlapping to cover everyone ... that's (12+6+5)= +23% Resistance(All) given to that "dogpile" of future XP, meaning you'll need to do more damage to them "together" than you would if they were all "apart" from each other.

 

You could even vary the radius of their PBAoE Resistance auras like so:

 

Minion: 7ft radius

Lieutenant: 14ft radius

Boss: 42ft radius

Elite Boss: 84ft radius

 

Again, it shouldn't be that hard to figure out the "pattern" of what I'm saying here, let alone the inspiration of where I'm pulling it from.

 

 

 

This is actually something that I kind of wish City of Heroes had done WAY way back, since it would mean that it would give "scattering" and Knockback potential advantages over the "pure" dumpster fire strategy of Herd & Burn.  At the very least, it would mean that using massed "nuke" attacks on closely packed high densities of $Targets would be "less effective" than doing so on more widely scattered clusterings.  Want do do more damage to your $Targets?  Well BREAK THEIR FORMATION you imbecile!

 

Is it a "perfect solution" to the problem?  By no means.

Would it mean that the "leadership" of Lieutenants and Bosses would "matter" in any meaningful way that the Players would need to adapt to?  You betcha they would.

 

And best of all, it would mean that tactical positioning (who is where next to what) would become a LOT more important than it is right now.

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56 minutes ago, Galaxy Brain said:

True, but +AoE specific defense is better than +HP for all levels. It solves a problem of ST damage being a bit overshadowed in normal gameplay.

This I have not experienced too much if at all. As mentioned in my OP, very few sets if any have "bad" ST damage, and when you have 8 players stacked on an AV you're most likely gonna win. 

Many sets actually do have "bad" ST damage. I do not consider 200 DPS "good" at this point in time now that we have procs, incarnates, level shifts, etc. There is definitely a reason for 10 minute Apexes versus 18 minute ones, and it is due to better team party buffs and higher ST damage against War Walkers and AV's, that is one example, but there are many. 

59 minutes ago, Galaxy Brain said:

An AV encounter is one thing, but compared to the rest of the game it is almost a niche task compared to the waves upon waves upon waves of  enemies fought on normal missions.

This is from the scope of someone who is probably doing PI radios on +4/x8 or ITFs at +4/x8, not from the perspective of speed runners, fast soloers, and people who enjoy speed task forces. It is not a niche specialty to down AV's much faster and shave minutes off of task force times and other tasks. Honestly for someone who wants to enjoy the game and do well in it, they may fair better running a low players setting at higher level difficulties and enjoy the game far more with the high ST DPS than AoE. Remember: the way you play is not the way that everyone plays and views it.

1 hour ago, Galaxy Brain said:

Not so much "harder" as much as "competitive for control". Look at the sleep example, that would allow a Mez effect to compete with an AoE attack given they can combine for greater effect,

My ideas range more on creating more "extreme" content, much nastier than Banished Pantheons. The theoretical enemy group would have high health values (much higher than the typical min/lie/bosses) and would do absurd amounts of damage that would feel stupid, and also have high mez resistances. These enemies would have to be chain stunned/held/mezzes to be able to get through it without totally incinerating the Tankers on the team. Now of course, that's something I'd love but I'm sure other people aren't as hardcore or want those things, but I recognize there is lots of content for these people who would not enjoy it, whereas I'd like to see that type of challenge for teams and myself. 

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, Zeraphia said:

Another criticism I have... I really don't think AoE is that valuable much anymore, sorry, but that's my opinion.

Yep. IMHO, AoE has been overvalued since the beginning of Homecoming. It's partly a perception thing and partly people doing too much AE farming, and it just doesn't translate as well in the real game.

 

A character designed to deal ST damage efficiently will generally wipe out minions with what little AoEs he has in the process of killing the bosses in a group. Sometimes lieuts may even fall as well. Adding more AoEs actually hurts you as the gap between lieut health and boss+ health is too big to be patched efficiently through AoE rather than ST (unless you've got a crapton of them on a full team, with so much overkill it's a challenge to find a target... at which point you're not worried for performance anyhow).

Don't get me wrong. I'm not going to skip Fireball nor Inferno. But all my characters are minmaxed for ST damage, with their AoEs as a byproduct. They perform better that way. The reverse would make them abysmal. ST damage is king. ST damage is required for anything that is actually a speed bump, from high con bosses to EBs to AVs.
 

3 hours ago, Zeraphia said:

Many sets actually do have "bad" ST damage. I do not consider 200 DPS "good" at this point in time now that we have procs, incarnates, level shifts, etc

Another point I strongly agree with. 200 DPS is also pushing it when we consider actual player builds ingame. Many people don't run attack chains, they click whatever. I'd estimate the average DPS of your typical spines/fire brute to be closer to 100 than 200. I've been on pickup itrials where the league literally didn't have enough DPS to take down the final AVs.

 

For that matter, I still don't have the Really Hard Way badge. Most PuG I end up with are clueless as how to do this except through exploiting Lore, Incan and team insps. Their builds simply don't have the ST focus to deliver damage without tricks.

 

The less optimized you are, the more ST DPS matters. There is a hard limit to how little damage you can deal and still outpace regen. Especially in itrials where there's timed conditions on top of it.

Edited by nihilii

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Regarding ST and AoE being on different enhancement schedules and players not standing for nerfing every AoE in the game, you could always do it the other way around and put ST damage enhancement on Schedule C or even D, so it's a buff to single target powers rather than a nerf to AoEs. Of course, that'd just make the problem of damage enhancement being so much more valuable than anything else even worse, without also buffing enemies at the same time and then it'd be hard to really call it a buff if the net result is still AoEs being less useful.


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Most people in this game don't really want to be challenged.  They like face-rolling.  Difficult enemies and difficulty settings already exist in the game.  People are happy to do +4/x8 Council or even the slightly harder Romans in the ITF.  But rarely do you see players advertising for +4/x8 Arachnos missions or using any of the other difficulty settings other than once for an Ouro Badge or for a Master Run.  There's a reason people don't play redside and goldside as much.  It's harder.

 

Yes, I know that there are many players that do enjoy a challenge and solo +4/x8 ITFs and try to get single digit times speed running stuff.  You crazy people are the exception . . . or should I say we crazy people.  And when you get a character that can solo +4/x8 and add another 7 bodies to add damage and buffs and debuffs things melt.  If all 8 of those bodies can solo +4/x8 then you'd better not blink or you'll just see a pile of NPCs on the floor.

 

I do want to have extra difficulty added but it has to be optional.  Perhaps an extra setting that adds random elite bosses with a full complement of player powers.  Think of what would happen if you suddenly ran into a Gravity/Time controller surrounded by friends . . . or a Force Field/Water defender . . .etc.  Maybe make it a clone or shadow of someone on the team.

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3 hours ago, Bionic_Flea said:

Maybe make it a clone or shadow of someone on the team.

I’d love to see more doppelgängers, especially doppelgängers with AV hp and res.

 

That’s why I think Posi 1 is so enjoyable for me.  Months ago I was on a Posi 1 with my rad/bio stalker and when we got to the doppelgängers, I suggested, “We should probably take out my clone first.  He’ll one shot all of us.”  Instead we charged and I got my clone down to about half health before he killed me and then killed four others.  Good times!

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5 hours ago, nihilii said:

For that matter, I still don't have the Really Hard Way badge. Most PuG I end up with are clueless as how to do this except through exploiting Lore, Incan and team insps. Their builds simply don't have the ST focus to deliver damage without tricks.


I wrote off the Really Hard Way badge a while ago.  All of the groups that run it want you to have specific Tier Four Lores, specific Tier Four Interfaces, team inspirations, all three P2W amplifiers, and to join their Discord server and voice chat.  Nope.  Never going to happen.

 

 I actually have everything that they ask for on all of my characters, but the fact that they are relying on everyone having and using them is a turn off.  Then on top of that, I only do voice chat with people I know and have interacted with in game for a while.  Voice chat with 20+ strangers isn’t my definition of Hell, but it is pretty close.

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