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Weekly Discussion 64: T9's Part I


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Weekly discussion 64 - Week 8/16/20-8/22/20:

 

⚔️YOU VOTED: Let's talk about T9's! We are going to separate this a little to keep the chat clean. This week is all about T9's from Scrapper, Tank, Stalker, Brute, and Sentinel Armors.!⚔️ 

 

Things to think about:

>What T9s do you always take?

>Which do you avoid like the plague?

>Which need some TLC?

 

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My main is a Claws/WP Scrapper and I actually took the t9 there.  It's basically like an extra Orange inspiration to pop every now and again, and his recovery is enough that I almost never even notice the crash unless it comes simultaneous to getting hit by a Sapper or something.  The thing is, I also rarely notice that the power's doing anything while it's on either.  It's an extra drop of survivability on a character that's already got a mountain of it, more or less, to the point that I question whether the "crash" is really even needed.

 

I also tend to take the self-rez t9s.  Kind of a "might as well" thing since they don't need any extra enhancement slots, and I take a very "if you ain't dyin' you ain't tryin" approach to melee characters.  Still, they're kinda situational at best, and ironically, when I'm, say, playing my Pain/ Defender, I hate people self rezzing 'cause I wanna come at 'em with a Vengeance and a Conduit of Pain for buffs all around.

 

The "hard crash" t9s on the other hand, are always just hard skips.  They don't make enough difference to be worth the fact that you're either dead or dead weight at the end of 'em.

 

Ideally, I'd say give smaller crashes to the big t9s, remove the crashes from the little ones.

Edited by Lazarillo
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Icy Bastion is what I consider the golden standard for what others should aspire to be. It increases a stat (resistance) that the set doesn't really get a lot of, gives boosts to both regeneration and recovery so you get some value out of it even if the defense manages to work, it's long enough to do what it needs to do and it's on a short enough cooldown that it works as a defensive cooldown analogous to other MMOs. If I could change all the other T9s to this, I would.

 

Parasitic Aura is in a similar boat. Moment of Glory floats around there as well, but it just doesn't quite last long enough (and it's too strong to last longer, probably).

 

T9s with a crash are borderline unusable in a meta with IOs. Willpower and Shield Defense's softer crashes are manageable, but they're such extremely minor boosts for what they are. I'm pretty sure that the recovery boosts they give means they're actually a net-positive for END, but they're like an orange insp at best. (1.67*.3*120 = 60ish). Rezzes are rezzes. Granite Armor is both great and absolutely horrible. Hibernate is cool but has limited uses in the grand scheme of things.

 

If any change is made across the board, it's that the need to kick in the moment I click them. Any delay makes them even worse at what they do. I'd go so far as to say that these kind of T9s should have no (character model based) animation, but that might be a step too far for some people.

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Agreed; at this point it feels like the T9 should either make a set or fill its holes. For armor, that means they should be filling holes /without/ crashes.

 

icy bastion is great. Granite has way too many downsides.

 

electrical is useless. 

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Crashes are bad game design - the product of a mindset that was obsolete before this game ever launched.  There's not one power in the game that does enough to justify blowing up your blue bar at the end of it.

 

Get rid of the crashes, and then we'll talk.  As-is, these things can never be worth the power pick.

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I'm just the opposite. I think T9s *should* crash (barring something like rise of the phoenix.) They should be useful to the point people want to take them, and have a cost that makes people think "Do I want to use this now?" so there's some tactical thought in it. (This includes nukes, btw, which I know aren't being talked about.)

 

Having them ignorable - or crashless - just makes them another button to push that disappears into the mass of other buttons.  (And yes, this is the same sort of reason that keeps me from wanting to hit perma-dom. That's boring. I like having to decide when to use it.)

 

Of course, with IOs now there's just not much point. What are you going to do, buff beyond your already capped defense plus incarnate stuff? IOs have just ... bland-ified a lot of the game. But that's a whole other discussion.

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Primarily on Everlasting. Squid afficionado. Former creator of Copypastas. General smartalec.

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Wanna talk about useless T9s? How about SR's Elude? Yes, we KNOW you're already at the softcap but have some more defense! And some extra run speed that you don't need either. Hey, we'll throw in some recovery but then we're gonna crash you out for no good reason even though we didn't do anything for you in the first place but give you a groovy backflip to show we had done it.

 

As others have said, some of the T9s we still have came from a different game. One that actually was "balanced around SOs." But the newer sets have much better ideas. Shield, Willpower, Bio, all decent even if you do still skip them. Example: I don't have parasitic aura on my bio/claws tank. Just couldn't fit it in even though I would have liked to.

 

But Elude? I actively tell everyone to skip it. Same goes for Unstoppable.

 

Were I to have my wish for SR, it would get the Master Brawler treatment from Sent SR to get rid of the click mez (if you so choose) and then turn elude into a continuation of the concepts behind the scaling resists. A bit more scaling, a bit more absorption, a bit more plus speed/recharge and call it a day.

Edited by Bill Z Bubba
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I skip almost all of them.  Self rez?  I've got an inspiration for that.  Adding more of what you are already soft- or hard- capped to?  No thanks.

 

The value added ones, imo, are those that are a legitimate oh shit button when things really go pear shaped.  I don't mind the endurance crash in principle, but in practice it makes the powers unusable.  Or Parasitic Aura.  I like that one.

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I think everything that can crash (Tier 9 or otherwise) should have a Two-Click system.

 

Click it once to get something between 1/10th and 1/5th the usual strength, with no Crash.

Click it again while active to bump it up to full potency, but also assure the Crash comes when it expires.

 

We have the tech now for this.  Give the players the power of choice.  A little extra "oomph" when you need it, or a LOT of extra "-OOMPH!-" when you /really/ need it but with an impending trade-off.

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41 minutes ago, Bill Z Bubba said:

Wanna talk about useless T9s? How about SR's Elude? Yes, we KNOW you're already at the softcap but have some more defense! And some extra run speed that you don't need either. Hey, we'll throw in some recovery but then we're gonna crash you out for no good reason even though we didn't do anything for you in the first place but give you a groovy backflip to show we had done it.

 

As others have said, some of the T9s we still have came from a different game. One that actually was "balanced around SOs." But the newer sets have much better ideas. Shield, Willpower, Bio, all decent even if you do still skip them. Example: I don't have parasitic aura on my bio/claws tank. Just couldn't fit it in even though I would have liked to.

 

But Elude? I actively tell everyone to skip it. Same goes for Unstoppable.

 

Were I to have my wish for SR, it would get the Master Brawler treatment from Sent SR to get rid of the click mez (if you so choose) and then turn elude into a continuation of the concepts behind the scaling resists. A bit more scaling, a bit more absorption, a bit more plus speed/recharge and call it a day.

As long as we're talking Elude, something I would like to see (in its place? In addition to a weaker version of what's already there? idk), would be SR's T9 giving not only another small boost to Recharge and Speed, but also inflict a PBAOE -Rch -Spd as well. It'd be a cool take on the "speedster in a slowmo scene" thing that movies like to do, and emulates that feeling of "I'm reacting faster than anyone else possibly can."

 

But yeah, I generally agree with what's said previously. T9s kind of need to do something special for the set. ESPECIALLY for a set as linear as SR is, that T9 needs to provides something flashy, useful, and DIFFERENT. There has to be a really really tasty draw that isn't just "I give this set more of what it already does amazingly well." 

 

I also don't think T9s should have crashes unless they are truly absolutely stellar. Absolutely stellar as in, better than anything we already have on any set. Blast sets aren't punished for using their T9s. Neither are control sets. Neither are support sets. And neither are melee sets. Only armor sets are. If you want to make them tactical, just keep 'em on a long cd.

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As long as they have crashes I won’t be using them. They just aren’t worth it. 
 

Parasitic aura isn’t bad, but I also don’t go out of my way to fit it in like I would most t9 melee/blast powers.  If it filled a hole rather than going overboard on what the mitigation set is already good at, and also did not have a crash, then that would be good. 
 

Honestly, as long as there are crashes I don’t see anything happening that will get people to seriously consider taking them. 

Edited by Saikochoro
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T9s with Crashes might be fine if the same t9 also didn't have crashes. I mean let them be more strategic by giving us at least two options in the same power.  Conceptually, it would be awesome if we could get a slider bar (toggled forms like staff, i.e. "safe","risky", "dangerous", "ready to die") on a logarithmic scale and people could choose on the fly.  At the lowest end there is no crash and low benefit.

Example - Unstoppable (which to me is poorly named, because its guaranteed to stop you): 

Base Recharge: 1000s  Duration: 180s these two fields stay consistent

No risk:  benefit: 3 damage resistance,  i.e. +3% recovery 10 resistance to control effects,, also can act like a 6 minute "break free" crash: none

Some risk:   benefit: 30 resistance to damage and control effects+ 20% recovery, crash: lose 30% of health and 30% of endurance

Large risk:  As the power is now.  benefit: 70 res 100% recovery, crash: "drained of almost all health and endurance".

Extreme risk:  As the power is now AND + 50% damage.  Crash as is now + you are hit with a guaranteed extreme magnitude stun 

 

I think this could add a lot of personal strategy and keep the original flavor of the powers while still matching them to the modern game.

Edited by zenijos10
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7 hours ago, Black Zot said:

Crashes are bad game design - the product of a mindset that was obsolete before this game ever launched.  There's not one power in the game that does enough to justify blowing up your blue bar at the end of it.

 

I really disagree - I think the game lost a lot of risk when blast sets lost their crash on the nukes. In a game where it's easy to end up fairly overpowered, we need more powers with a calculated risk. 

 

Anyway, I do use the Rad T9, although it's very much more of the same. To be honest, I don't think I really remember to use it a lot of the time. 

 

What I really like is Dark Armor and the nonstandard T9 being a rez power that does control and damage - as DA is a very tanky control set, I think that really works. Do I use it? No, DA is bloody indestructible, but I like having the option of something more mechanically interesting than "be a bit more tanky for a bit". 

Edited by Gulbasaur
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The prevailing wisdom as I remember it was that if you needed to use the t-9, you were just putting off the inevitable, so forgo the pick and get something that will be more helpful so you won't need the t-9. 
 

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In order to be in any way worth it t9's need to be providing something that the rest of the armour set doesn't have much of. Sadly in too many cases the opposite is true. Adding more defence to a defence set, or resistance to a resistance set is often pointless in the IO world. This is particularly true when the t9 doesn't even address the specific protection holes the rest of the armour set has, psy or toxic being common examples.

 

I like the self revive t9's and try to fit them in for flavour if nothing else. I think it does depend on how you view defeat; when playing with a self revive I only consider myself truely defeated if I've gone down a second time and am having to make a hospital run. My only major gripe with them is having to spend most of the untouchable period retoggling. This is where hibernate really shines and I consider that a generally underrated power.

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I generally avoid T9 powers in defensive sets as I'd rather maintain a consistent level of durability without the 'Oh Shit' button. I have barrier for that which costs me neither a power nor slots and doesn't crash. Given IOs, I can usually build in enough durability to satisfy, and I rarely pop barrier for that matter.

 

Oddly enough, the only T9 I take regularly from the defensive sets is Rise of the Phoenix simply because it's a good damage dealer. I don't die all that often, but I like getting in a bit of payback if I actually do.

 

For me to have any interest in the powers at all, they would have to be drastically changed into a non 'Oh Shit' power, but I doubt that's what others would want. I like consistency in performance, and build around that, so any defensive power which has too massive a cool down to be even in the same county as permanent doesn't much interest me.

 

Now, as for crashing T9s, those are just silly. Perhaps they can be dramatic as a desperate struggle against the clock, but when your 'Oh Shit' power actually kills you (unstoppable, power surge), I have to say that's just no good.

 

Oh, then there's granite, which is a great and awful power all on its own. A little while ago I made a stone/WM tanker thinking about giving it a new shot since you can overcome much of the slowness with IOs. Then I played up to the point of rooted and deleted it remembering how much I abhor leveling up stone armor (probably shouldn't have left the 100M influence on it when I deleted it though DOH). Even with granite as the end prize, I didn't want to put up with the suck. Though if the cottage rule means anything, granite kinda needs to stay as is.

Edited by drbuzzard
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6 hours ago, Ukase said:

The prevailing wisdom as I remember it was that if you needed to use the t-9, you were just putting off the inevitable, so forgo the pick and get something that will be more helpful so you won't need the t-9. 
 

This basically sums up my discontent with many of the T9s. From a design point of view I think most of them are flawed in two ways:

  1. Adding a huge amount of a stat most builds already have a lot of, be it +Res or +Def, is just pointless. You could just as well pop an inspiration or two, reach the hard or soft cap, and end up with the exact same survivability but without the crash.
  2. The hard crash of Unstoppable and any others like it. Those are some of my most hated gameplay mechanics, especially when we can't see the remaining time by the second. I don't want to pause gameplay for an unknown amount of time just because the crash might mess things for my whole team if it happened in a fight. I don't mind the more lenient crashes that just take 50% of your Endurance because you can quite easily play around them happening even mid combat.

Overall, though, most of the traditional T9s just offer so little benefit in the IO world for their cost (power pick and crash) that I probably wouldn't pick any of them. As for outliers, Parasitic Aura is great because everything it does stacks nicely with the rest of the set and there's no nasty crash. OWTS is also cool, the crash can be worked around and it stacks well with Shield's other stats. WP and Rad Armor also look like they have usable T9s, but I haven't played either set on HC so can't really comment on them. Scrapper/Stalker Ice Armor seems to have an excellent T9, but I also haven't played that so I'm just looking at the numbers here.

 

I think most T9s should move in the direction of Icy Bastion: stats that temporarily (though, meaningfully) round the armor set in areas where it's lacking, and with cycle times that are closer to 30/180 than 180/1000.

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I ignore every T9 that just gives the set more of what it already has (which makes it functionally useless, particularly in the world of IOs) or crashes when it ends. The only ones that get taken either have a unique effect worth consideration (Rise of the Phoenix), are the entire point of the set (Granite), and sometimes offer something the set itself doesn't already provide (Moment of Glory... sometimes. Current MOG is sad).

 

It's hard to justify a big "I'm tougher!" button when, statistically, it's not making you tougher at all and then robs you of your endurance bar at the end. SR is especially guilty of this and particularly so on Tanks where Elude offers literally nothing but a fancy animation and useless movespeed bonus (SR Tanks can softcap Defense with just regular SOs). These types of powers are, I feel, better suited to squishy ATs with little to no in-set survivability and probably should have been in place of the toggle armors in the PPPs but I'm sure that ship sailed eons ago. (yes, I know Blasters can pick up things like Force of Nature, but the toggle armors should just BE these powers and the slot filled with something else)

 

As it is, most of these T9s have no real place in any build beyond pure novelty. As much as I like having powers you can skip so that you can flesh out a concept or make room for other tough choices, having a power be skippable simply because it's *useless* shouldn't be considered a positive.

Edited by ForeverLaxx
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1 hour ago, ForeverLaxx said:

As it is, most of these T9s have no real place in any build beyond pure novelty. As much as I like having powers you can skip so that you can flesh out a concept or make room for other tough choices, having a power be skippable simply because it's *useless* shouldn't be considered a positive.

I agree. The main thing I like about most T9s is I feel no remorse skipping them. This is, though, poor game design because if a choice is presented, it really shouldn't be automatic (especially a skip).

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16 hours ago, Greycat said:

I'm just the opposite. I think T9s *should* crash (barring something like rise of the phoenix.) They should be useful to the point people want to take them, and have a cost that makes people think "Do I want to use this now?" so there's some tactical thought in it. (This includes nukes, btw, which I know aren't being talked about.)

 

Having them ignorable - or crashless - just makes them another button to push that disappears into the mass of other buttons.  (And yes, this is the same sort of reason that keeps me from wanting to hit perma-dom. That's boring. I like having to decide when to use it.)

 

Of course, with IOs now there's just not much point. What are you going to do, buff beyond your already capped defense plus incarnate stuff? IOs have just ... bland-ified a lot of the game. But that's a whole other discussion.

Personal perspective is that the cost is the cooldown. Unstoppable is 3 minutes up and almost 17 minutes down baseline (actually 16 minutes and 40 seconds). 17 minutes is honestly an eternity in this game before recharge slotting comes into play. I don't think Unstoppable or Elude or even Power Surge would be broken if the only limitation was the 3 minutes up/13 minutes and 40 seconds down limitation they would have unslotted, though the ones that offer huge amounts of +recovery would likely have to be looked at.

 

Recharge certainly complicates things, though.

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Meltdown from Rad Armor might be a decent example of a T9 that's in a good place. 

 

On a scrapper, for example, it's worth the extra 41.5% dmg; the extra +Res is okay for filling gaps, but the +dmg makes it for that AT.

 

A tank can usually skip it unless they're really trying to max out damage (despite the lower buff).  Making it either optional, skip-able, or something to take to allow slotting flex.

 

Brutes/Stalkers, ymmv, I haven't rolled either with /Rad, but if the +dmg numbers match scrap/tank I'd probably think of them the same way.

 

The "crash" (mild -End, 0% Recovery for a bit) is there but easy to overcome with /Rad's other tools; and the cool-down is decent as well.  It's not a Gawd-Mode, so there's no reason to penalize it as one.

 

Some of the T9s that are auto-skips could perhaps benefit from a similar design idea.  Add a little gap filler and something else the set doesn't have for a lower cost.

 

Not all of them, clearly, variety in the way armors build and play is also key.

Edited by InvaderStych
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Are Kheldians their own beast or do Luminous and Umbral Auras count as Armors?

 

Asking because I feel like the best handled Armor-based T9s are Light Form and Eclipse. The biggest knock on those is that they somewhat fall into the "more of what the set already does (except for Psi-resistance in Eclipse)," but they are so good at it that once you get them slotted you don't have to run the other shields at the same time (which is also a good thing because the shields don't stay toggled through forms, but that is a different conversation).

- Solid base effects, especially for Human and Nova

- Good baseline uptime ratio (90/300 base and 90/155ish on just SOs), and permable with enough investment (so the T9-state reflects steady-state play).

- A fair crash for what they do, and even this can be leveraged.

 

The only other T9 I look at taking on sets I have played (have not rolled Rad or Bio, yet) is usually MoG. It supplements what Regen does not do well (eating alpha strikes) without invalidating the rest of the set, and is a space for any of the Resistance and Defense uniques, but its uptime ratio leaves a lot to be desired. What would have to change about the power to get a 30s duration?

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21 minutes ago, Eldyem said:

Personal perspective is that the cost is the cooldown. Unstoppable is 3 minutes up and almost 17 minutes down baseline (actually 16 minutes and 40 seconds). 17 minutes is honestly an eternity in this game before recharge slotting comes into play. I don't think Unstoppable or Elude or even Power Surge would be broken if the only limitation was the 3 minutes up/13 minutes and 40 seconds down limitation they would have unslotted, though the ones that offer huge amounts of +recovery would likely have to be looked at.

 

Recharge certainly complicates things, though.

I'd disagree, to a point. Especially now, as you mentioned - recharge complicates things. That said, they could cut the recharge in half and I don't think they'd be reducing the "cost" - again, to me. There's obviously a limit to how much a power's recharge should be cut (even if it can be flagged to ignore buffs to recharge) before that's not true.

 

Generally, I end up seeing thinking that armor T9s "need" to be usable frequently as being... not the point. They should be there for the "heroic moment," not part of the bread-and-butter, use it 50 times a day power choices. (But, given how IOs have changed things, there are fewer times for the ... even moderate IO user for those to come up. I mean, replace the cavalry in the charge of the light brigade with a division of modern tanks... it's much less risk!)

 

See, I like having these decisions in game - having to make these choices in what's otherwise a fairly just-bulldoze-through game. Like I said, I don't perma-dom, i choose when to use it and deal with enemy mezzes other ways. There are few other items like that. Absorb Pain leaves *me* vulnerable for a short time, so I have to take a second to decide if it's a good time to use it - will I die right afterward? Is *that* worth it? (so it's rarely used on, say, mothership raids.) The old ET, where you could do a lot of damage but would damage and could kill yourself. (The flip side being a Defender nuke just... wasn't worth it, often, unless you had a team to follow up. The damage (payoff) wasn't worth the risk (-recovery, etc.) )

 

Eh, I don't have the answers, just a perspective.

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T9s are usually pretty rough, but armour sets tend to be good enough that it's hard to know what to do with them.

 

I finished levelling a Ninjitsu scrapper and gave Kuji-in Retsu a go. I respecced it out after one try. It's the only option on Ninjistu for DDR, but the lack of uptime and the total endurance crash isn't worth it - it means you have DDR for, like, one fight out of every twenty. I enjoyed finding other ways of surviving debuffs, though, and have to play a little more outside of the box to survive sometimes.

 

If we could throw the cottage rule to the wind, maybe they could be team buffs or a 'guard' toggle that allows the user to take the hit that other players would.

Edited by Lines
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