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If You Could Change Sentinels, How Would You Do It? (Another Take)


If You Could Change Sentinels, How Would You Do It? (Another Take)  

87 members have voted

  1. 1. Do you value the Defensive Opportunity Mechanic?

    • I feel very strong that I want it.
      13
    • I see its purpose sometimes, but I could go without it.
      19
    • I have used it a few times, but I think it's rather ignorable.
      15
    • It has way too many issues, like being tied to the T2 and not being high enough in the heal/end value to have any merit to me.
      47
  2. 2. Leaving the Defensive side out of Opportunity (not saying it won't be there, just putting a "hold" on that topic), how would you like to see the Offensive opportunity buffed?

    • I'd like to see it changed into a Domination bar that grants critical hits during a limited time window to truly turn it into a "ranged Scrapper." Also not tied to your T1/T2 primary powers.
      25
    • I'd like to see it changed to include critical hits, but not necessarily the first suggestion (comment below!) Also not tied to your T1/T2 primary powers.
      15
    • I'd like to see the bar turned into a fury-like mechanic that grants a damage boost. Also not tied to your T1/T2 primary powers.
      21
    • I'd like to see it turned into something completely different (comment below!) Also not tied to your T1/T2 primary powers.
      15
    • I'm fine with more or less what it is now.
      11
  3. 3. It was a fairly general consensus that the damage scalar for Sentinels should be raised (currently is .95). By how much?

    • 1.000 (slight bump and Stalker-level)
      26
    • 1.125 (bigger boost but justified due to no snipe/AS to match Scrapper-level)
      31
    • I'd like to answer this question when I see what they do with the inherent rework.
      30


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2 hours ago, oldskool said:

If the first part bothered you, then I apologize.  Was it too far to use "bestest"?  Perhaps, and I'll be careful on that.  

For the latter, I think you're looking for insult where none is given.  Not once did I call you elitist.  I wrote "It comes across as".  I do get how that could be taken personally, but that is a misunderstanding.  The indictment is against the use of certain loaded language and not the authors themselves.  If we can't have a discussion where a party expresses how it feels to read degrading commentary, then we really can't get very far in conversation here.  I find some of the loaded commentary I mentioned inflammatory.

 

I don't disagree that the AT could use a buff.  However, the current role is ranged DPS.  Just because it may not live up to whatever potential it should doesn't mean it doesn't have a role.  It just isn't as good at that role as it could be.  Much of your statement is really no different for Tankers as it is for Sentinels.  The difference is the perception of current effectiveness.  Since the Sentinel isn't as effective as it should be, it therefore it has no role.  Am I missing something in this interpretation?

 

It has a wide range of reasons when you start reading between the lines.  

 

1) Some people are holding on to how ranged blast sets function in legacy ATs like Blasters, Defenders and Corruptors.  This is a lack of acceptance that Sentinels do not do the exact same thing with the same powers.  

2) Some people do not understand the inherent, and that isn't their fault.  It is too complex for its own good.  Its effects are also measurably weak and exacerbated by the lengthy downtime of the clickable effect.  
3) Some people are making direct comparisons, apples to apples style, with other ATs.  Most notably the comparison point is the Blaster, and this seems to be a leading cause of the misunderstanding.  Sentinels aren't comparable to Blasters.  That's not just for damage, but due to entire AT mechanics including secondary power interaction.  Sentinels are, conceptually, more comparable to Scrappers.  It is plain as day to see where discrepancies lie.  
4) Some people are making direct comparisons with outlier builds as justification for comparisons to Sentinel failures.  Maybe we're not seeing that directly in this thread, but some posters here have done exactly that in the past.   

5) There are inevitable comparisons to experiences of only a portion of play and not holistic view.  

6) There is the occasional parroting of common forum knowledge.  It can be apparent, at times, when some people haven't really explored the AT beyond a certain point.  That's fine to find that the AT in its current form isn't meeting expectations.  Its not cool to diminish others based on a narrow band of experience. 


I don't intend for the above to be all inclusive either.  Some folks just won't like anything about the Sentinel because it won't click with their style.  That's unlikely to ever change until it fits within whatever box they've decided to build.  
 

Sorry, I need to cut out some of the extra text.  I'm not real sure they do a good job of supporting your argument so I'm looking at what stands out.  

We already know that the dev team does not feel like the current implementation is the best it is gonna be.  You can sideline this AT if you don't like it as that is your prerogative.  However, we know it is going to change.  

The Sentinel not really bringing anything unique isn't really going to change much unless the devs truly due a full uprooting.  Just working the inherent into something different doesn't change the fact the AT still has blasts with shields.  You're also making the comparison of "weak blaster" here.  You're entitled to your opinion, and I want to respect that.  However, Blasters have a lot of flaws in comparison here.  Yes, the Sentinel has less than a Blaster's AoE capability.  However, that isn't the point of comparison.  The Sentinel has larger AoE than Scrappers.  The Sentinel has an AoE nuke for a T9 that Scrappers do not have access to.  I'm not going to bother debating the merits of the level of quality of this AoE difference.  I'm just stating that the intent of that design is what has been expressed.  
 

I feel you're making my point for me.  You could substitute "Sentinel" with "Blaster" and it works just as well for the first 2 sentences.  You play a Fire Sentinel, or Energy Sentinel for their effects and for that reason or theme.  Whether or not the Sentinel is worth playing for your goals is going to be personal preference.  I get the impression you'd rather play something else.  That's great, and there is an AT that exists that checks the boxes in the Blaster for you.  However, this mindset is not universal.  Even in its current form, the Sentinel fills a void for some players (my self included) that hadn't existed in the game.  We can agree to disagree on whatever points you wish here.  

If you like we can take this to PM and not derail this further.  As it is, I think I'm done.  I'm not really offering ideas to change anything of the Sentinel at this point but merely discussing semantics on where to drive productivity.  My efforts aren't probably doing much of anything at all other than to get misconstrued in a manner I don't want. 

As i said we do sort of agree. 

 

No offence taken, its forgotten.

 

I have only given ideas to mull over. A dps increase is not out of the question due to the decreased targets and range than a blaster and lower survival than a Scrapper. They will still be behind blasters and Scrappers, but by a lesser amount. that is just one idea but a dps increase is not the only way to help improve them.

 

They could be given something far more interesting than the Opportunity that we now have. I made a few suggestions and so have others. I do not think Criticals brings anything new to the table though.

 

Yes the thread is How to improve Sentinels. I have given a few of my ideas and that is as far as i am going to take it also.

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I agree that people who say, "Blasters are plenty durable now, why do you need to sacrifice a bunch of damage for better mitigation when mitigation is already 'good enough'" are overly focused on the very tip-top of endgame with expensive builds.  There's a pretty clear role for sents every place before that as durable ranged DPS, and if they pale in comparison to any AT in the levelling game, it's not blasters, it's scraps/stalks/brutes.

 

I do think it would be interesting to imagine what a buff to sents would look like that both tried to give them more parity with scraps/stalks/brutes in the levelling game, and also gave them a bit more of a separate identity from blasters in the very tip-top of endgame, though.

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I think Sentinel class should play more like a Arachnos Fortunata. I recently got my Fortunata to 50, and she plays very well. I took all range powers on her. Sentinels damage should not be as high as blaster, but they do need a boost. Also i feel that they could use an endurance reduction on there attacks and or toggles. Again this is just what I have been experiencing with this AT. Just give the sentinel some love please DEV Team 🙂

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On 7/15/2020 at 2:55 AM, SwitchFade said:

Res debuff is capped at -300

Resistance is capped at -300%. Resistance debuff has no limit.

 

So let's say your target has 50% resist. You'd need -650% resistance debuffing to hit the limit. A Cold/Sonic Defender (the most serious -resist debuffing in game) could maybe hit in the -180% range against a single hard target (less than a third of the way to cap). Entire Leagues often don't floor Resistance against the AV they're facing. So it's not unreasonable to disregard the cap from consideration - the likelihood that you'll hit it is so low on a target of meaningful difficulty that it might as well not even be there.

 

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20 hours ago, Spectre7878 said:

I think Sentinel class should play more like a Arachnos Fortunata. I recently got my Fortunata to 50, and she plays very well. I took all range powers on her. Sentinels damage should not be as high as blaster, but they do need a boost. Also i feel that they could use an endurance reduction on there attacks and or toggles. Again this is just what I have been experiencing with this AT. Just give the sentinel some love please DEV Team 🙂

IIRC, Sentinels have a higher base damage than Fortunatas.

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I play this game because it is fun. I find certain ATs more fun then others. Over time, I have gravitated to Scrappers and Stalkers. I branched a bit into Brutes. I played these ATs because I felt that the journey of progressing from new hero (or villain) to elite incarnate was a nice smooth gradual growth. Getting IOs and incarnate abilities did not fundamentally change the powers, how I used them, or what I could do. I just found that my toon became more effective the more powerful they became. You can look at my post history and see that I am by no means a power player in this game. I find that part of the fun is I can do mostly whatever I want and still end up being "good enough" that I can keep up with my friends.

 

When I started playing on homecoming, the Sentinel AT really excited me. I never liked the fast-paced floor tanking of Blasters. I understand that the AT becomes very powerful with full set of IOs and incarnates, but the journey itself was something I personally found frustrating. I looked at the Sentinel as a something very exciting to me. The chance to play a blaster where I gave up some DPS for greater survivability. I considered that a fair trade-off, and on the whole, I find it fun. This seems to fit well with what @oldskool thinks,

 

I am probably one of the few people that actually like how every target I hit gets a slight debuff. I wish it was bigger or enhanceable, but I still like it. My favorite part with the inherit is when I shoot a target with the Offensive Opportunity and they get the lovely spinning yellow target point. My entire regular group always targets that mob in particular. Anything with the yellow spinning target dies quickly, except for a EB or AV, but it is noticeable difference. To me, the weirdest part of the inherent was that I always felt like I was cutting into the Defender's or Corruptor's focus area, and then doing it poorly. That said, I would be sad to lose the spinning yellow target of doom.

On 7/5/2020 at 2:45 PM, Captain Powerhouse said:

The goal is for Sentinels to have comparable DPS to scrappers, but with the following concessions:

More Range [obviously], lesser than-stalker survivability.

More sustained AoE damage than scrappers, less sustained ST damage than scrappers.

 

@Captain Powerhouse I really had no idea the Sentinel was supposed to be like a Scrapper. This clears some things up for me.  I honestly thought they were a cross of a Stalker and Corruptor. With them supposed to have better sustained AoE, I am really sad that we have the smallest target cap of any AT. (Please correct me if I am wrong community). I would like us to have the same target cap as a Stalker or Scrapper.

 

However, the main reason I wanted to post if that I have spent a fair amount of time thinking how I would like the Sentinel to work if I could change anything. (My thoughts are clouded from the idea of them being more like a mix between a Stalker/Corruptor, so fair warning about the crazy ideas.)  I had two very different thoughts on how this should work. My first thought was a form of reverse scourge, Sentinels have a change to do double damage against enemies with more than X% health (like 75 or 90). This would need to be tuned to ensure we don't suddenly start one-shotting large groups of minions, at least not worse than a blaster can. However, this has a couple of nice advantages. This is a crit like system that is visible to all players (one of the big bonuses of scourge). The first shot always does the most damage for the AT, which keeps in the line of a lookout - they get in the first shot and make it count.  We would get a nice damage boost with increasing the base damage, even accounting for the lost -res debuf. This would be always on and very visible and likely not "too much" work. This is honestly my favorite idea and would fit the ranged scrapper theme pretty well too.

 

My other idea is much more drastic. Every Stalker powerset has the inherent built into it in the form of three powers removed from the set and replaced with Assassinate, Placate, and Hide. That is there inherent. (There is slightly more to it with the crits and the buildup to guaranteed crit AS outside of hide.)  I was thinking every T1 power should become "Designated Target". It should do some damage, and provide a large debuff to that one target (either -res or -defense). Maybe it should be the T4 power, like for Stalkers to get a reasonably larger debuff. Key points are single target and same level for all power sets in the Sentinel. Since this is supposed to be a "spotted" target from a lookout, it should have "snipe" range, but not snipe damage. This power would result in the visual of the spinning yellow circle of doom I love.

 

Then either T5 or T6 power shout be a targeted AoE of some kind. The idea would be that this provides a giant spinning yellow of circle of doom on the area covered by the AoE. This should provide a similar, but smaller debuff to all enemies in the AoE for a short while (10 seconds?) This could be something like "Target Area". This does not need as long of a range, but should not be a cone.

 

This also works without increasing the the Sentinel's base damage. provides an effect visible to party and the Sentinel. The user controls when the effect occurs by using the appropriate powers. They can be used out of the gate, without a "rage" meter. The debuff could be enhanced, recharge can make them happen more often, etc.

 

The bad is that this requires all those powers and powersets to be touched. This also kinda steps onto the Defender/Corruptor area (which I originally thought was okay, but maybe not now). 

 

Quote

person or thing that watches or stands as if watching. a soldier stationed as a guard to challenge all comers and prevent a surprise attack: to stand sentinel.

 

From the above dictionary definition, a sentinel is a spotter or a protector. We can go both ways with that for an inherent. Ina  pen and paper game I would want to give them some for of initiative bonus and a chance to act during ambushes. In a MMO, that is really just player reflexes and not something we can code for. I spend quite a bit of time thinking of something that we could put into the secondary powersets towards an inherent. Like a to-hit bonus (for the perception -- spotting), sharing their defenses with the team (like the double maneuvers in VEATs/Widows). However, we would likely want this in the T1 to make it unskipable and I could not find something that would be useful and not overly powerful.

 

@Captain Powerhouse, have you and the other volunteer developers created any ideas around improving the Sentinel? I understand if they are too rough to share. Also, any idea when you would work on changing the Sentinel? How many other projects would you have on your plate first?

 

 

 

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I'm not sure that the design goals of "similar sustained DPS to a scrapper, less durable than a stalker, better AoE and worse ST than a scrapper" are coherent ones.

 

First of all:  are scrappers bad at AoE now?  This is kinda news to me.  Stalkers, sure.  But scrappers seem to me to have solidly good AoE, outside of maybe a couple of sets.

 

Second:  Is sustained AoE a thing?  After a round or two of Scrapper-level AoE, aren't we down to targets that we might as well single-target?

 

Third: If you do find yourself with a crowd that you can't burn down fast, isn't it going to suck having below-stalker durability and also (probably?) no way to get the enemies to group up?  If you need to reposition and maintain range to survive, doesn't that tank your AoE DPS?  I mean, I'm sure that people on the boards will design builds that can survive enemies getting close up, but going down that path leads back to "well, why not play a blaster," who will have way better AoE DPS and can be built pretty durable, too.

 

I think Sentinel as a single-target specialist makes sense, and I think that's largely what they are today.  Like a stalker, not in terms of stealth mechanics, but in terms of focusing damage on a single hard target and being durable enough to handle that single large target (but maybe not stand in a x8 spawn).  Current opportunity mechanics certainly support that, both in terms of concentrating their excess damage on a single target, on that res debuff largely being wasted on anything that's not at the very least a boss, and in terms of defensive opportunity giving a sustain kind of thing.  If I were interested in AoE, I certainly wouldn't play a current sentinel: tanks are great at AoE, brutes really are fine at it, scrappers are fine at it, and blasters are obviously great if you want something less durable.  Obviously, any DPS niche in this game is crowded, but AoE specialists seem to me to be particularly so, while single-target specialism seems a little less crowded to me.

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  • 1 month later

I quite like @Nymaen's idea for a dedicated "this power marks the target" attack per set. I'd vote for making it lvl 6 and either the T3 attack / CC attack they all get. Have the mark be essentially the exact same as now, but on a power you can somewhat reliably use to keep marking a target with outside of triggering Opportunity. 

 

I feel like a lot of focus is put onto the opportunity modes (rightfully so), but the more flashy part is the ability to mark a target. I don't think it'd be that unbalanced to keep it on 1 target at a time (new application deletes old one, doesn't stack nor spread among multiple targets at once). Being able to reliably pick out one dude and say "everyone, beat this guy's ass!" would be super fun, instead of it being an every so often thing.

 

 

 

 

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My main issue is that offensive only works on 1 target.  The only time you actually get anywhere close to optimal damage is when solo against AVs and GMs.  Otherwise stuff just dies too fast to make use of that function for its full duration.

 

My other issue is the nukes.  Most are fine but some of the weapon ones make no sense.  Inferno for example is fine.  It is on a 90 second timer instead of 145 for Blasters so I totally understand why it has reduced damage.  However, it makes no logical sense for Full Auto and Rain of Arrows to take 50% longer to recharge compared to the same Blaster powers and also do lower damage.  They should either be reduced to 60 seconds and have comparable damage or if they stay at 90 seconds, get a significant damage boost. 

 

Also not a fan of messing with the recharge timers and thereby lowering the base damage even more for some of the sets.  Ice for example on blasters has the first 3 single target attacks at 4, 8 and 10 seconds.  On Sents that was reduced to 3, 6 and 8 seconds.  And with faster recharge also comes lower base damage.  I can understand wanting to have a decent rotation at low levels compared to blasters who also have secondary attacks, but many melee characters are in the same boat and they do just fine. I believe that most Sent players would much rather have slightly longer recharge on their lower tier attacks (to at least the same as the same blaster attacks) if it meant higher base damage. 

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On 8/27/2020 at 11:46 PM, Galaxy Brain said:

I quite like @Nymaen's idea for a dedicated "this power marks the target" attack per set. I'd vote for making it lvl 6 and either the T3 attack / CC attack they all get. Have the mark be essentially the exact same as now, but on a power you can somewhat reliably use to keep marking a target with outside of triggering Opportunity. 

 

I feel like a lot of focus is put onto the opportunity modes (rightfully so), but the more flashy part is the ability to mark a target. I don't think it'd be that unbalanced to keep it on 1 target at a time (new application deletes old one, doesn't stack nor spread among multiple targets at once). Being able to reliably pick out one dude and say "everyone, beat this guy's ass!" would be super fun, instead of it being an every so often thing.

 

 

 

 

So it basically turns it into "Hunter's Mark" I think it'll be a good replacement for the "Aim" skills the AT gets since the timing is overall the same. Since the buff lasts 15sec or so and takes more or less a minute to comeback. Which could make "Opportunity Strikes" pull of some time off the CD of that skill. Making it an "Assassin's Mark" lite.

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2 hours ago, Doctor Megalomaniac said:

I'm just spit balling here. Personally, the thing that bugs me most about Offensive Opportunity is that if you're not going up against something that's going to last for a while you kind of feel like you waste it. I apply it to one enemy, blast him in the face, and then when he goes down that's it. No effect on the other enemies I'm going up against even if there's time left, and in a big group that kind of blows. My first instinct is to make it apply debuffs to your attacks instead of sticking them on the one mob you stuck with the opportunity so you're getting the full benefit. That would mean it didn't apply to the rest of the party, but I personally don't think that's necessary- none of the other DPS archetypes buff other players. If you absolutely wanted to keep that aspect opportunity could also be changed to an AOE that affects enemies within a certain range of the initial opportunity target. That way the entire group is getting a benefit, and it also allows you to use opportunity on more than one enemy within the time limit of the debuff. That would coincidentally buff Defensive Opportunity, since now you're taking less damage not just from one mob but the whole group. The effect could be scaled depending on the number of NPCs targeted. The "feast or famine" model being thrown around would be a lot more palatable to me if I knew I was getting the whole feast instead of just grabbing a couple of bites before the enemy I'm eating just up and dies. That metaphor got weird.

I've seen this conflating of "Offensive Opportunity" with just "Opportunity" a few times in this thread.  

 

We're all aware that the inherent has multiple effects, right?  Right?  

 

We all know that Opportunity in its current form will always apply a minor resistance and defense debuff on a target after the first successful hit, right? 

 

We all know that once you trigger either Offensive or Defense Opportunity that a single target gets a -20% resistance debuff for 15 seconds, right?  

 

We all know that both Offensive and Defensive Opportunity grant their own independent buffs that last for 15 seconds and are target agnostic, right?  

 

If you didn't know any of the above, then now you do.  Offensive Opportunity, the damage boost version, is not limited by target.  The big resistance debuff is, but not the damage boost effect.  Same goes for Defensive Opportunity.  The resource return applies to attacks being dealt during 15 seconds not a specific target.  The big resistance debuff is not a requirement to return health or endurance for the duration.  

 

Now, is it a problem that the largest damage boost of the effect (the big resistance debuff) is limited to one target?  Yes; I completely agree there, but I just want to make sure we all understand the current design while tossing around ideas here. 

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later

I haven't read the entire thread but I wanted to mention something:

 

Please do not put in any mechanics that incentivize you to go into melee range to do optimal DPS (like increasing damage if you are closer to the target).  I like Sentinels due to the fact that certain powerset combos let you stay entirely at range with no need to wander into melee, letting you hoverblast at your peak.  (Most) Blasters are already incentivized to go into melee (Blapping) to do the best damage.  I like having an AT that can play optimally entirely at range.

 

Not that I dislike melee, my main is a Savage/Rad Brute, but we already have so many ATs that are strictly melee (Tanker, Scrapper, Brute, Stalker) and two ranged capable ATs that are almost always in melee (Blasters and Dominators) to be the most effective.  Sentinel gives me that option to stay on the backline without also having support abilities, which I don't care for.

 

I wouldn't mind seeing any PBAoE abilities from Sentinel being replaced with Target/Location AoEs to further reinforce their ranged nature.  

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  • 3 weeks later

As per the direct ask.

 

I feel strongly that I would like to see the largest damage boost of 1.125.

I would like to see opportunity completely reworked., Personally if you give me a good damage boost I wouldn't mind if it was gotten rid of.

I love the overall concept of Sentys, but I don't play them because with a good build on a blaster I can cap or come close to capping all defenses and get enough s/l or S/l/e defense while majorly outperforming Sentys on damage.  Therefore I stopped playing them over a year ago.

 

Basically if you give me a tankier blaster that has to stay at range, that would be a lot of fun.

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