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[Suggestion]: Sonic Attack - Echo Mechanic

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Sonic Attack does one thing well...and it does that one thing well for essentially one archetype. Overall, the set could use some love. So why not add a new mechanic that would be thematic to the set? How about we give Sonic Attack an Echo?

 

I propose a mechanic that would apply a unique Damage over Time effect that diminishes in strength for each tick of damage. This would be 3 ticks of damage, with the 1st tick doing 20% of the attack's damage scale (enhanceable), the 2nd tick doing 10%, and the 3rd tick doing 5%. Each tick will be cancel-on-miss and the percent chance for each tick will be dependent on the power. So your T1 and T2 (Shriek, Scream) may have a 75% chance for their ticks, but Shout could get an 80% chance for their ticks. *All numbers are simply thrown out as examples*. The ticks would be spaced by 1s with the first tick having a 1s delay.

 

The nice thing with this DoT, the extra damage will be able to benefit from the power's own resistance debuffs and possibly follow-on attack's resistance debuffs. So it synergizes nicely in that regard. But let's look at just the damage portion, how much of a buff is this, exactly? It will depend on the percent chance of the ticks, but let's assume an 80% chance:

 

Extra Damage = 20% x 80% + 10% x 80% x 80% + 5% x 80% x 80% x 80% = 16% + 6.4% + 2.56% = 24.96%

 

So roughly, it is a 25% increase to the attack's damage, but spread out over a span of up to 3 seconds. That increase will benefit from the resistance debuffs, but the majority of that benefit exists during the opening burst of attacks as sustained attack chains will level out and the increase in damage settles back to the same 25% increase.

 

If we look at 65%, the numbers become:

Extra Damage = 20% x 65% + 10% x 65% x 65% + 5% x 65% x 65% x 65% = 13% + 4.225% + 1.37% = 18.60%

 

Overall, the weights, the percent chances, and the number of ticks can all be configured to something that feels balanced. 

 

Challenges:

Implementing a dampened DoT is probably not as easy as it sounds. Especially if it will be cancel on miss. If it wasn't cancel-on-miss, this could easily be implemented by replacing the DoT with a delayed damage effect for each "tick". So 20% happens at X% chance after 1s delay. 10% happens at X% chance after 2s delay. 5% happens at X% chance after 3s delay. However, that is a lot of effects to add just for a thematic mechanic.

 

If we were to aim for a cancel on miss, this may require a DoT that does a grant power, with that granted power being the weighted damage. Could get messy, but still seems do-able.

 

Anyways, that's the proposal. Short, mostly simple. 

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Bopper said:

Sonic Attack does one thing well...and it does that one thing well for essentially one archetype. Overall, the set could use some love. So why not add a new mechanic that would be thematic to the set? How about we give Sonic Attack an Echo?

 

I propose a mechanic that would apply a unique Damage over Time effect that diminishes in strength for each tick of damage. This would be 3 ticks of damage, with the 1st tick doing 20% of the attack's damage scale (enhanceable), the 2nd tick doing 10%, and the 3rd tick doing 5%. Each tick will be cancel-on-miss and the percent chance for each tick will be dependent on the power. So your T1 and T2 (Shriek, Scream) may have a 75% chance for their ticks, but Shout could get an 80% chance for their ticks. *All numbers are simply thrown out as examples*. The ticks would be spaced by 1s with the first tick having a 1s delay.

 

The nice thing with this DoT, the extra damage will be able to benefit from the power's own resistance debuffs and possibly follow-on attack's resistance debuffs. So it synergizes nicely in that regard. But let's look at just the damage portion, how much of a buff is this, exactly? It will depend on the percent chance of the ticks, but let's assume an 80% chance:

 

Extra Damage = 20% x 80% + 10% x 80% x 80% + 5% x 80% x 80% x 80% = 16% + 6.4% + 2.56% = 24.96%

 

So roughly, it is a 25% increase to the attack's damage, but spread out over a span of up to 3 seconds. That increase will benefit from the resistance debuffs, but the majority of that benefit exists during the opening burst of attacks as sustained attack chains will level out and the increase in damage settles back to the same 25% increase.

 

If we look at 65%, the numbers become:

Extra Damage = 20% x 65% + 10% x 65% x 65% + 5% x 65% x 65% x 65% = 13% + 4.225% + 1.37% = 18.60%

 

Overall, the weights, the percent chances, and the number of ticks can all be configured to something that feels balanced. 

 

Challenges:

Implementing a dampened DoT is probably not as easy as it sounds. Especially if it will be cancel on miss. If it wasn't cancel-on-miss, this could easily be implemented by replacing the DoT with a delayed damage effect for each "tick". So 20% happens at X% chance after 1s delay. 10% happens at X% chance after 2s delay. 5% happens at X% chance after 3s delay. However, that is a lot of effects to add just for a thematic mechanic.

 

If we were to aim for a cancel on miss, this may require a DoT that does a grant power, with that granted power being the weighted damage. Could get messy, but still seems do-able.

 

Anyways, that's the proposal. Short, mostly simple. 

I'd personally substitute "well" for "fantastically" and "quintessentially." The -res that Sonic Blast brings to Defender is unequivocal, a thing of beauty IMO. It does its "magic" not as a "seen" force or really something you'll necessarily get "thanks" on, it's silent but always there. Having 10 Defenders in my lineup now with Sonic Blast, and reading your post I'll give my feedback on it. I really do like this idea, and it is one of the issues that I have with this set a little bit personally, it takes so long to kill things by yourself. While still amazing in group play, it takes so much longer to say, destroy cables in MLTF than any other secondary (or get weapon caches in Lambda, etc.) To be quite honest, if procs didn't exist the only "real" attack I'd feel out of the set was the T9 (thankfully they do and an Apoc + Glad Jav proc in Screech helps a bit.) I find the tick damage would go a bit toward improving the set's personal DPS without really turning Sonic Blast into the monstrous territory, especially as a DoT unlike an upfront chance of proc damage because it can possibly "miss" the better window for -res applications.

 

Overall, a wonderful suggestion and something I think that would go a ways to improving the set.

 

Oh speaking of Sonic Blast, in addition to this, we really need to get the alternative animations shortened. Their cast rates are unbelievably long and definitely need to be addressed. This is a known bug and sincerely deserves attention.

Edited by Zeraphia
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4 hours ago, Vanden said:

I’ve never played Sonic Blast, is it really in such a bad place that an across-the-board damage increase of ~20% is actually justified?

Probably. The resistance debuffs help its effective DPS, but overall the animation times are soooo long on so many of the powers that there's a reason why the set is rarely used outside of Defenders. There's not one attack in the set (outside the nuke, which is fantastic btw) with a DPA over 1.0.

 

image.png.243264faf1f4f0e93982eaf583ba1d10.png

 

There is simply nothing in the set that helps in terms of a strong quick attack. There's no snipe, so no quick-snipe to save it either. Sonic Attack is the only set that has no non-nuke attack with a DPA over 1.0 (it's best DPA attack is Shriek with 0.84, Scream and Shout are 0.79). Here's a list of blast sets with attacks that have DPA > 1.0. (I'm using Cast Time, not ArcanaTime)

 

Archery: Blazing Arrows and Ranged Shot 

Assault Rifle: Burst, Buckshot, Sniper Rifle

Beam Rifle: Disintegrate, Lancer Shot, Penetrating Ray

Dark Blast: Gloom, Moonbeam

Dual Pistols: Executioner's Shot (standard ammo...incendiary ammo adds Pistols to the list)

Electrical Blast: Zapp (Charged Bolts, Lightning Bolt, and Ball Lightning are all above 0.93, though)

Energy Blast: Sniper Blast, Power Burst

Fire Blast: Lulz

Ice Blast: Bitter Ice Blast

Psychic Blast: Psionic Lance, Telekinetic Blast, Will Domination

Radiation Blast: Proton Volley, Cosmic Burst

Water Blast: Water Jet

 

So every set has at least one attack that is 20% higher than Sonic's highest DPA attack (its T1 shriek). And 25% better than Sonic's main ST attacks (Scream and Shout). Scream is ok when factoring in the resistance debuffs, not sure if anyone like's Shout with its 2.67s cast time. The resistance debuffs carry the set since teammates all benefit. Force multiplier, yada yada. 

 

But to your point...25% on average buff might be too much. The suggestion is more the DoT effect in general, but I'll leave the balancing of numbers to the professionals.

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Solid conceptually, thematic and definitely worth exploring.

 

How would you handle Siren's Song?  A DoT effect on a sleep is obviously problematic.  I assume it would just be added as an effect to individual powers as appropriate  rather than the set as a whole.

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1 hour ago, Doomguide2005 said:

Solid conceptually, thematic and definitely worth exploring.

 

How would you handle Siren's Song?  A DoT effect on a sleep is obviously problematic.  I assume it would just be added as an effect to individual powers as appropriate  rather than the set as a whole.

Correct, it would. Since Siren's Song would not be intended to deafen you to sleep, it would not gain the Echo. Excellent idea.

 

16 hours ago, Monos King said:

I was actually under the impression sonic was one of the hardest hitters out of all the ranged moves.

It can certainly ramp up to a hard hit. With the standard ST attack chain, I suppose Blasters could ramp up to 40-50% resistance debuff. So factoring that in as increased damage, you probably land somewhere in the middle?  That puts its 3 best attacks somewhere in the 1.20 DPA range, which I suppose it fine if it's sustained damage over time on the one target. But each target you face would require the ~8 seconds to reach that performance. 



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Posted (edited)
13 minutes ago, Bopper said:

That puts its 3 best attacks somewhere in the 1.20 DPA range, which I suppose it fine if it's sustained damage over time on the one target. But each target you face would require the ~8 seconds to reach that performance. 

Don't forget on a blaster each of those longer activations get a higher defiance damage buff than its equivalents. That's besides the point though since that's exclusive to blasters, and other blasters get defiance too, which with their superior DPA offsets this advantage. I like this idea. So...

 

No vote, you didn't call it reverberation.

 

 

Edited by Monos King
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4 minutes ago, Monos King said:

Don't forget on a blaster each of those longer activations get a higher defiance damage buff than its equivalents. That's besides the point though since that's exclusive to blasters, and other blasters get defiance too, which with their superior DPA offsets this advantage. So...

 

No vote, it isn't called reverberation.

 

 

True. So the inherent would get boosted by the resistance debuffs whereas other sets would not (win for sonic). However other sets have higher DPA attacks, so inherents are more beneficial to those sets. So i treat that as a wash.



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From an efficacy POV, this seems like a great boost to the set.  But, in my opinion, it doesn't address why I, and seemingly others, don't find the set "fun": the animation times. This seems like a work around instead addressing the core problem.  

 

On paper, this would help bring the set up to par for Blasters, Sentinels and Corruptors but the terrible animation times just make the set *feel* sluggish.  I'd rather the set get an animation time revamp, dropping the animation time of Shout and Howl, and taking a look at Screech's damage and animation.  

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14 minutes ago, Omega-202 said:

From an efficacy POV, this seems like a great boost to the set.  But, in my opinion, it doesn't address why I, and seemingly others, don't find the set "fun": the animation times. This seems like a work around instead addressing the core problem.  

 

On paper, this would help bring the set up to par for Blasters, Sentinels and Corruptors but the terrible animation times just make the set *feel* sluggish.  I'd rather the set get an animation time revamp, dropping the animation time of Shout and Howl, and taking a look at Screech's damage and animation.  

That certainly is a problem. However I think they want to limit the animation time from being reduced because that would lead to resistance debuffs stacking faster and higher. A defender can hit 90%+ resistance debuffs on average. Reducing animation times can significantly increase that. I suppose you could change the effects such that they don't stack from same caster, but not sure if folks would like that.



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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, Bopper said:

That certainly is a problem. However I think they want to limit the animation time from being reduced because that would lead to resistance debuffs stacking faster and higher. A defender can hit 90%+ resistance debuffs on average. Reducing animation times can significantly increase that. I suppose you could change the effects such that they don't stack from same caster, but not sure if folks would like that.

Yeah, I get that.  Maybe balance that with reduced duration on the debuffs.  That way we don't have to get into changing AT scales or anything, we increase the "speed" and DPA of the set and don't overpower the debuff aspect.

 

The biggest feeling whenever I play a Sonic character is that the other set doesn't feel like it matters because all of my animation time is monopolized by Sonic.  My Sonic/Energy Blapper never really has time to bother with Blapping because they've been Shouting for the last week.  My Sonic Defender might as well just be a Howl/Shockwave/Screech turret that uses their primary once an hour because they dont have time to do anything else.  It does make me consider giving a Sonic Sentinel a go due to the passive nature of armor sets, but talk about undertuned combinations....

Edited by Omega-202

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2 minutes ago, Omega-202 said:

Maybe balance that with reduced duration on the debuff

 

2 minutes ago, Doomguide2005 said:

Or tweak the durations of the debuffs

Great minds think alike. I have no problem with that implementation: reduce animation time, reduce debuff duration.



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I think this idea fits thematically,sand the numbers look reasonable to offset some of the shortcomings of the set.

 

Question though, would procs have the ability to proc during an echo or only on the initial application?

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Posted (edited)
44 minutes ago, Bopper said:

 

Great minds think alike. I have no problem with that implementation: reduce animation time, reduce debuff duration.

I honestly don't think it would take that much to fix the set.  The real issues are Shout, Howl and Screech, in my opinion.  Shriek and Scream's less than stellar DPA is balanced by the debuff and can be left as is.  Howl should get its animation dropped to ~1 s with a ~7 sec debuff (down from 2.33 and 9.83 respectively), Shout can go down to 1.3 s with an 8 s debuff (down from 2.67 and 10) and Screech should just clone the revamped Freeze Ray damage and animation values and drop from 13 to 11 s debuff.  

 

Do those, then see where the set sits and tweak more if needed.

 

Edit: with caveats that you'd need to look at all the shenanigans that were done to Sonic in the past where it was taken off of the  standard AT damage scales.  Can't remember off hand what they did back on Live, but I recall the devs borking with Shout's damage in some way to make it not god awful.  But my memory may be playing tricks on me and that might have just been in PVP, where they tried to balance DPA based on animations.

Edited by Omega-202

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Posted (edited)
51 minutes ago, SeraphimKensai said:

I think this idea fits thematically,sand the numbers look reasonable to offset some of the shortcomings of the set.

 

Question though, would procs have the ability to proc during an echo or only on the initial application?

Only the initial cast, just like it works now with DoTs 

Edited by Bopper


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