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Weekly Discussion 68: Energy Melee


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@Sir Myshkin weren't you working on something with energy melee in your tank proc monsters thread? I realize that procs aren't a desirable way to go just to make energy melee decent, but I had thought Myshkin had found some proc opportunities to make it so that EM doesn't just totally suck. Just thought I'd mention this as I haven't played EM since... Idk, a long ass time ago, and not long enough to remember it pre-nerf and post-nerf. But the suggestions most people have to help it out seem really reasonable so that it doesn't have to be procced out just to be decent/good.

Global: @Valnara1; Discord Handle: @Valnara#0620

I primarily play on Everlasting, but you may occasionally find me on Indom. ūüôā

Notable Characters: Apocolyptica - Demons/Storm MM; Lurking Monster - Human-Form WS; Environmentabot - Bots/Nature MM; Miss Fade - Ill/Traps Controller; Sister Apocalypse - Beast/Dark MM; Dr. Elaina Wrath - Plant/Rad Controller (Join the House of Wrath, and spread the word of science!); Ruff Ruff Boom - AR/Devices Blaster

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37 minutes ago, KC4800 said:

For instance. ST blasts on a blaster dont need ENDRDX, why should ST melee attacks on a Brute? I have played Scrappers that could attack constantly in their mid 30's, but not this Brute.

This is off-topic, but since it was brought up as a complaint about Energy Melee, and the way to reduce endurance consumption over time using the design formulas is to reduce damage over time - something that is a hard NO for me - I want to address it here.

 

For Brutes, Fury creates more damage (+2% per point of Fury) than slotting for damage, so especially at low levels you should slot accuracy and endurance reduction before damage. Blasters (now) get sustain powers that help their recovery or else refill their endurance. All Invulnerability provides for endurance management is some drain resistance, while also running toggles with mid-to-high endurance costs. Sure, the drain resistance helps a little since the Brute is also likely to be attacked by the mobs with endurance drain and -recovery effects since that's part of their role on the team, but that isn't a fair comparison taking a set that offers endurance help with one that doesn't. As for the Scrapper, unless it was also Invulnerability (which I am assuming it was not) it's the same situation, with several secondaries including the ever-popular Bio providing +recovery and/or endurance refills which Invulnerability simply does not have.

 

Energy Melee is no worse than other primaries for endurance consumption, although Whirling Hands should hit harder than it does or else have a larger radius based on the design formulas. But Energy Transfer also violates the endurance cost formula (costing less than it should for the recharge), instead paying for extra damage and an endurance discount with self-damage.

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And just because it's been brought up that this thread hasn't had a lot of discussion and that it's been in other threads... here are a few from a very quick perusal of the Suggestions & Feedback section.

 

 

 

 

 

 

It's almost like this has been talked about a lot already.

 

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2 hours ago, TygerDarkstorm said:

weren't you working on something with energy melee in your tank proc monsters thread?

It was one I did run through testing with, yes. It was also one of the harder hitting sets in the end too, took down a Pylon in 2:25 which ST performance is supposed to be its specialty in the first place. Didn't get to SS's performance level, but it was still above the majority. The boil down point was just getting 2-3 procs in all of the attacks to add that marginal average gain, and then fire off Energy Transfer as much as possible (Total Focus was entirely a joke to even consider). Adding in some procs and the Overwhelming KD Unique to Whirling Hands definitely helped AoE a bit, but that is the biggest draw back there. I know a lot of folks feel like it's a terrible set, but it really isn't that bad.

 

Not saying it doesn't need and deserve some tweaks/love, but it isn't exactly limping along like some would make others believe.

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49 minutes ago, Sir Myshkin said:

It was one I did run through testing with, yes. It was also one of the harder hitting sets in the end too, took down a Pylon in 2:25 which ST performance is supposed to be its specialty in the first place. Didn't get to SS's performance level, but it was still above the majority. The boil down point was just getting 2-3 procs in all of the attacks to add that marginal average gain, and then fire off Energy Transfer as much as possible (Total Focus was entirely a joke to even consider). Adding in some procs and the Overwhelming KD Unique to Whirling Hands definitely helped AoE a bit, but that is the biggest draw back there. I know a lot of folks feel like it's a terrible set, but it really isn't that bad.

 

Not saying it doesn't need and deserve some tweaks/love, but it isn't exactly limping along like some would make others believe.

Yeah, your work with it has me considering rolling one when I can stop fueling my altoholism so much and actually save up the inf I would need to build it. ūüėõ¬†I've always liked the way Energy Melee looks, but was sad to see how many people say to just skip it. Which is why I figured I would tag you since I knew you had done some work with it that gave it some positive results.

Global: @Valnara1; Discord Handle: @Valnara#0620

I primarily play on Everlasting, but you may occasionally find me on Indom. ūüôā

Notable Characters: Apocolyptica - Demons/Storm MM; Lurking Monster - Human-Form WS; Environmentabot - Bots/Nature MM; Miss Fade - Ill/Traps Controller; Sister Apocalypse - Beast/Dark MM; Dr. Elaina Wrath - Plant/Rad Controller (Join the House of Wrath, and spread the word of science!); Ruff Ruff Boom - AR/Devices Blaster

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I'd probably give it a cone or slash damage attack, especially the Tank/Brute/Scrapper versions. Let it keep up with the Jones's, so to speak. At the very least, buff Whirling Hands' damage.

I played an Inv/EM on live, and while I never minded the single-target focus of the set, I also skipped half of it. When I recreated the character here, I made her Inv/Rad instead, not just to play with the New Shiny, but because I recognized that a Tank, who's always surrounded by dudes, should probably have more than one AoE option (And Rad has a cone, a patch, and an PBAoE, AND a chance for all of its powers to do splash damage?! Dayum!). So in that regard, EM isn't a great set for Tanks, at least, not in my opinion.

If changing what powers are in the set isn't an option, then maybe a slight endurance and recharge reduction is in order. If it's supposed to be a single-target damage factory, let it be a more efficient one. Yeah, it's ST damage would then be slightly off-curve, but you're still talking about being out-done by most other tanker secondaries when you consider kills per hour or XP per minute or whatever other larger-scale metric you can think of.
 

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7 hours ago, Sir Myshkin said:

The boil down point was just getting 2-3 procs in all of the attacks to add that marginal average gain

I'm not sure a "balance" around how a set performs with procs slotted should really be a benchmark.

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exChampion and exInfinity player (Champion primarily).

 

Current resident of the Everlasting shard.

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Reverting the nerf would be a great start, and for most (self-included) that would be fine to make it feel like a "viable" set again. That is the first and foremost. Everything else is "nice" but could be lived without imo. 

 

Popular ideas:

 

-Turn Stun into an AoE damage power (that Stuns one enemy target and "splashes" outward like Thunder Strike), or at least replace it with Whirling Hands on Stalkers so that they have a singular AoE power. 

-Allow Stalkers to crit EM hits. Yes, they will hit like freight trains, but we have GPB and Devastating Blow now so EM's "crazy numbers" aren't as much of an anomaly as they once were.

-Animation cut slightly on Total Focus.

-Port the set to Scrappers, they're the "middle" of all the melee ATs, if Stalkers and Tankers can have it, I don't see why Scrappers can't anymore.

 

All of these are very nice, a combination of all of them could lead to an "overpowered" set but I think it is a mixed bag. Personally, I think one of the best things would be experimentation. See how the set interacts with the various different buffs recommended by the community and judge as a team and community whether or not these buffs are overpowered or lead to the set feeling more "complete and modern."

Edited by Zeraphia
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13 hours ago, KC4800 said:

ST blasts on a blaster dont need ENDRDX, why should ST melee attacks on a Brute?

Because you are attacking NONSTOP,  frantically in a furious frenzy of Fury.

 From level 22 until you can afford sets   Slot 2 ACC 2 END 2 DAM.
Never miss. Never stop. Never get tired.
Let the damage bonus from Fury take care of that missing 3rd DAM enhancement.

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3 hours ago, ForeverLaxx said:

I'm not sure a "balance" around how a set performs with procs slotted should really be a benchmark.

I don't think either @Sir Myshkin or myself are advocating to have the set balanced around how it performs with procs. I tagged him for his input because I remembered seeing he had done some work with it regarding procs as part of the proc adventures he's been doing for the different AT's and wanted to see his thoughts on it. You took one small part of his post and then took it out of context.

 

Yes, Energy Melee needs some love and some changes, but with everyone crying about how awful it is, I asked for Myshkin's perspective because his work showed that if Energy Melee is really something you want to play in the current meta, that you can, and that it won't be awful if you proc it right.

Global: @Valnara1; Discord Handle: @Valnara#0620

I primarily play on Everlasting, but you may occasionally find me on Indom. ūüôā

Notable Characters: Apocolyptica - Demons/Storm MM; Lurking Monster - Human-Form WS; Environmentabot - Bots/Nature MM; Miss Fade - Ill/Traps Controller; Sister Apocalypse - Beast/Dark MM; Dr. Elaina Wrath - Plant/Rad Controller (Join the House of Wrath, and spread the word of science!); Ruff Ruff Boom - AR/Devices Blaster

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On 9/15/2020 at 1:36 AM, nihilii said:

Bring back the old ET animation.
Port the Dominator Total Focus change (faster animation, still looks nice) to TF.

Done. This is all EM needs.

EM does not need an AoE buff or any fancy new mechanic that would distract from restoring/improving the original feel of the set, which, I think EVERYONE who got to play with old ET, would agree was awesome. I don't mean to poo poo on anyone's suggestions here; but there was something that was beautiful, and it would be better to make that beautiful thing available again. New mechanics can be used on new stuff or on stuff that was never fun to start with.

This! 

 

I would also like to see the faster total focus ported to all versions of the animation, tremor for example.  

 

Also  also, I want stalkers to have full crits instead of a special crit and a half crit.  There is no reason total focus shouldn’t have a full crit when newer powersets have, equally or harder hitting attacks, that have full critical damage.  Devastating blow, greater psi blade, crushing uppercut, etc.  Make energy transfer crit the self damage portion also.  Risk vs reward.   

 

Full critical concentrated strike as well.  

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I’m going to be tremendously unpopular here and say that I think that simply reversing the ET nerf would be a lazy and improper solution. The original change was made for a reason. Maybe an animation in the middle of now and then would be ok though.

 

But even then ET is not an underperformer itself right now, so I would prefer to just make total focus and whirling hands better instead.

Edited by arcaneholocaust
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12 hours ago, Sir Myshkin said:

It was one I did run through testing with, yes. It was also one of the harder hitting sets in the end too, took down a Pylon in 2:25 which ST performance is supposed to be its specialty in the first place. Didn't get to SS's performance level, but it was still above the majority. The boil down point was just getting 2-3 procs in all of the attacks to add that marginal average gain, and then fire off Energy Transfer as much as possible (Total Focus was entirely a joke to even consider). Adding in some procs and the Overwhelming KD Unique to Whirling Hands definitely helped AoE a bit, but that is the biggest draw back there. I know a lot of folks feel like it's a terrible set, but it really isn't that bad.

 

Not saying it doesn't need and deserve some tweaks/love, but it isn't exactly limping along like some would make others believe.

The highlighted portion here is also part of the problem: Energy Transfer deals self-damage and the damage hits all of 0.1 seconds before the damage from Total Focus (2.2 vs 2.3 hit time). By that point your target is probably dead on a team unless it's a large target, so you're saying that the way the set is competitive is taking self damage while frequently hitting corpses on teams. The old Energy Transfer hit 0.5 seconds into the animation and so on teams that damage actually was highly likely to get applied, and the faster hit provided additional mitigation that the set otherwise lacks while the faster overall animation allowed you to use other powers for mitigation.

 

Yes, the set lives and dies on Energy Transfer. The problem is that Energy Transfer isn't worth dying for anymore.

Edited by siolfir
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My two inf.  I had an Energy Melee Brute back during the Live days, before and after the big EM changes.  I haven't really played EM since, other than using the same powers available to Blasters and Doms, but i'll give my thoughts.

 

I do agree that Energy Transfer's current animation is too long, however I also believe the original insta-punch animation that it shared with Blaster's Power Thrust was too short for such a powerful attack.  I personally think ET should have an animation time somewhere in between, maybe on par with other heavy hitting attacks like KO Blow, Crushing Uppercut or Radiation Siphon.  Also be sure to apply this to Dom's version of ET.

 

Total Focus also suffers from being a little slow.  Perhaps speeding it up to match Dom's TF might help, and doing the same for Blasters would also be nice.  It doesn't need to get the mag 4 stun back; every other power is already capable of stacking stuns that TF is overkill in that department with a mag 4.

 

Stun (the power, not the mechanic) is garbage.  The long animation and general redundancy of the power just isn't useful and the power is pretty much a guarenteed skip.  Something needs to be added or the power overhauled to make it more enticing but as it is now there's no reason to have it.  The same is true for the Blaster variant.

 

As for the rest of the set, most everything else about Energy Melee is fine.  The lack of AoE isn't a huge deal for me.  An extra AoE wouldn't hurt, but, depending on the paired armor, it might not be a stretch to invest in Cross Punch to help in that field.

Currently playing on Indomitable as @Zork Nemesis; was a Protector native on live.

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The old Energy Transfer was fantabulous although I will concede that the old 1 second animation didn't feel as intimidating as the damage that followed it.  To pick up on Zork's suggestion, If there'd be a way to configure a new epic animation that strikes fear in the hearts of heroes that may be slower than what it was originally but sped up from what it is now that'd be one nice step forward.  The damage feels ho-hum for the animation time wasted on what's supposed to be the most fearsome ST attack in the game.  

 

I'd say a good approach would be to pick up on what happened with the Dom's Energy Assault but fine tune the mechanic to give an absurdly good ST attack.  Default I'd speed up TF to the dom speed then an Energy Release mechanic would be cool but instead of the big boon for doms it being Whirling Hands I'd make it so that Energy Transfer benefits the greatest from the mechanic.  Let Energy Melee claim king of ST that it was.  

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8 hours ago, arcaneholocaust said:

I’m going to be tremendously unpopular here and say that I think that simply reversing the ET nerf would be a lazy and improper solution. The original change was made for a reason. Maybe an animation in the middle of now and then would be ok though.

 

But even then ET is not an underperformer itself right now, so I would prefer to just make total focus and whirling hands better instead.

The original change was made for a reason. Balancing PVP.

 

You could be right, ET is not an under performer (in ideal conditions). BUT ideal conditions are hard to come by. When we factor in non-hits it is a horrible under performer.  

 

What do I mean about non-hits? Basically single target corpse blasting.

  • Power is activated with target at 1/2 health, but by the time the animation finishes the target is defeated. All costs still occur and it needs to recharge before next use.

 

It's not necessarily the animation time that is the issue. It's when the damage is applied.

 

A 'proper' way to address this could be to cancel the power on target defeat. No cost and available. I don't think this exists, could be an unrealistic amount of work and testing.

Another 'proper' way to address it could be to move the damage to the front end of the animation. Again could be an unrealistic amount of work and testing.

 

We can avoid experimenting and unnecessary development + testing time. Just change it back to what it was. We already have the numbers and the animation.

 

Edited by Troo
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@siolfir Those hit times are a great addition to the conversation. Where did you get them?

 

 

Edited by Troo

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

Si vis pacem, para bellum

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Castle screwed the set around same time he screwed up PvP, he fixated on numbers as opposed to actual play experience so only ever had half the story.

 

Yes EM was king of PvP but then he screwed PvP into an ungodly bastardization and STILL messed with EM, probably to make it "fit" into a higher damage bracket of PvP attacks as he changed it to factor off animations, who knows, he was a nut because EM was a terrible set for 99% of the game but a god in PvP which is what he was fixated on. I remember him saying how good Whirling hands was.....

 

I dont know what to suggest though, make energy transfer a chain?

 

Good luck.

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3 hours ago, Troo said:

@siolfir Those hit times are a great addition to the conversation. Where did you get them?

 

 

You can thank @Bopper - I got them from the spreadsheet in this thread:

For those looking at powers from the other melee sets, I posted a short list in that thread here but will expand on it here:

Midnight Grasp: 0.53

Clobber: 0.7

Seismic Smash: 0.83

Crushing Uppercut, Golden Dragonfly, Follow Through: 0.90

Eagle Claw, Rend Armor (Momentum): 1.20

Cleave, Head Splitter, Greater Fire Sword, Greater Ice Sword, Shatter: 1.23

Radiation Siphon, Arc of Destruction (Momentum): 1.30

Impale, Stun: 1.43

Knockout Blow: 1.60

Greater Psi Blade: 1.67

Eviscerate, Ripper: 1.70

Total Focus (Energy Assault): 1.77

Energy Transfer, Devastating Blow: 2.20

Rend Armor (no Momentum): 2.27

Total Focus (non-Dom), Thunder Strike: 2.30

Arc of Destruction (no Momentum): 2.47

Concentrated Strike: 2.53

 

I ignored primarily DoT attacks (Freezing Touch, Hemorrhage, One Thousand Cuts) since that damage isn't really fully dealt until the DoT ticks off, but included Midnight Grasp because the initial hit is still significant. For giggles, I included some of Titan Weapons with and without Momentum, and Follow Through (which requires it), in italics. Stun was only included because there were suggestions to use that animation for Energy Transfer - I don't like that idea because the animation just looks like a throw: that's fine for Impale, but bad for a punch. It's off-topic for this thread, but Concentrated Strike is the worst offender, and should probably have at least one of the hand-waving circles removed from the animation to bring the hit time down - I don't know why any single-target attack should have a hit time over two seconds.

Edited by siolfir
added editorial on Concentrated Strike
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For some additional context, although having a quicker Hit Time is good for making sure your attack's damage is applied before something dies, there are detriments to having too early of a Hit Time. Here are some made up examples. Let's say there are 2 powers, both with a 2s cast time and both apply a Resistance Debuff of 10s duration. However, one of those powers has a hit time of 0.5s and the other has a hit time of 2s. Which do you prefer?

 

Well, the 2s hit time means the debuff is applied at 2s, giving you 10s worth of debuff starting with your next attack.

 

As for the 0.5s hit time, its debuff starts at 0.5s, but your next attack doesn't happen until you finish animating this attack. This results in you getting only 8.5s worth of debuff window for your next attacks.

 

That last part sounds bad, but it's not if you are playing in teams as it would allow you to debuff the target more quickly, allowing for your teammates attacks to get the benefits of the debuff more quickly.

 

So I won't say one way or the other which is best. I will say the answer depends on situation.

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19 hours ago, ForeverLaxx said:

I'm not sure a "balance" around how a set performs with procs slotted should really be a benchmark.

I never called for balance around procs, only pointed out that it can make the set feel a lot punchier than it seems, and helps supplant the lack of AoE by amplifying the utility it currently possesses. Across the board if I took out the consideration for proc damage in the builds I had tested, the scaled performance would've still been (mostly) the same as I kept a relatively simple and consistent formula of maxing damage in each attack in combination with Musculature Alpha (within 2-3 slots) which meant that even without the proc additions, each tested set would've still tiered in relatively the same way. Honestly the bigger aspect of benefits came out of AoE's, making a bigger impact on creating damage with abilities that lacked (or were subpar) in that department, and enhancing standard attacks.

 

From a Single Target performance scale, with or without procs, Energy Melee is still up there, but it gets convoluted with the addition of Total Focus (in my opinion) because TF's long animation and propensity to cause considerable negative impact on performance with a miss. When you have multiple high-animation-time attacks, and one that causes self-harm to boot, with a lack of AoE... the set has plenty of stigma to itself, irregardless of whether it honestly does well enough either way. If we see a change to these two factors it'll be an incredible breath of fresh air for the set.

 

14 hours ago, siolfir said:

The highlighted portion here is also part of the problem: Energy Transfer deals self-damage and the damage hits all of 0.1 seconds before the damage from Total Focus (2.2 vs 2.3 hit time). By that point your target is probably dead on a team unless it's a large target, so you're saying that the way the set is competitive is taking self damage while frequently hitting corpses on teams. The old Energy Transfer hit 0.5 seconds into the animation and so on teams that damage actually was highly likely to get applied, and the faster hit provided additional mitigation that the set otherwise lacks while the faster overall animation allowed you to use other powers for mitigation.

 

Yes, the set lives and dies on Energy Transfer. The problem is that Energy Transfer isn't worth dying for anymore.

I'd have to heavily question the pretense of use with Energy Transfer at that point. Unless I had assurance I was the only one hitting a minion, and it was at full health, I'd never use Energy Transfer on one, ever. Lieutenant at 20% or less health? Maybe, maybe not. Boss and up all day long as a sliver in their pool could easily be a couple of hundred points. This is less about the animation time, but the general factor of wasting a heavy-hitting attack on a target.

 

I both accept, and understand what you're bringing to the discussion table with this concern, but most of it is quickly mitigated by player awareness above all. I've spent a lengthy enough amount of time testing Energy Melee, and even made expressed attempts at trying to get myself killed off Energy Transfers self-damage and found it to be more of an issue to intentionally find that casual (over explicit force) situation I might go "oops" than it naturally occurring in the wild. I'm not saying I like it, but I tend to find it more a nuisance than anything else. Either way, the voice is heard, this is after all an open mic night on Energy Melee.

Edited by Sir Myshkin
typo, probably missed another
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5 hours ago, Sir Myshkin said:

. This is less about the animation time, but the general factor of wasting a heavy-hitting attack on a target.

 

 

Corpseblasting is real! Justice for all the poor poor corpse blasters!

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17 hours ago, Jaguaratron said:

Castle screwed the set around same time he screwed up PvP, he fixated on numbers as opposed to actual play experience so only ever had half the story.

From the before times: I remember the distinct feeling that Castle was once handed his behind in PVP by a character using Energy Melee .

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11 hours ago, Sir Myshkin said:

Unless I had assurance I was the only one hitting a minion, and it was at full health, I'd never use Energy Transfer on one, ever. Lieutenant at 20% or less health? Maybe, maybe not. Boss and up all day long as a sliver in their pool could easily be a couple of hundred points. This is less about the animation time, but the general factor of wasting a heavy-hitting attack on a target.

 

I both accept, and understand what you're bringing to the discussion table with this concern, but most of it is quickly mitigated by player awareness above all.

True, but taking the time to analyze targets and select only those with sufficient health also cuts into your time dealing damage, making the set slower than it would be on a single hard target with tens of thousands of hit points. That's even ignoring the time to reposition to the new target so you don't corpse-blast the one you have targeted from target_enemy_near. When solo, this is less of an issue as spawns tend to collapse on you, but even then there were reasons to use it on anything: I used the old Energy Transfer as a fast target elimination for troublesome minions and lieutenants along the lines of Assassin's Strike. It no longer functions that way, and none of the stuns in Energy Melee apply as quickly as it used to.

 

And while target selection isn't unique to Energy Melee, the set also has poor AoE damage so target-swapping with multiple single-target attacks are how it clears large groups when solo. Obviously in this case picking a mob off in one second instead of three makes for better clear times.

 

11 hours ago, Sir Myshkin said:

I've spent a lengthy enough amount of time testing Energy Melee, and even made expressed attempts at trying to get myself killed off Energy Transfers self-damage and found it to be more of an issue to intentionally find that casual (over explicit force) situation I might go "oops" than it naturally occurring in the wild. I'm not saying I like it, but I tend to find it more a nuisance than anything else.

For what it's worth, I wasn't talking about dying to the self-damage from Energy Transfer in my last sentence when I said "it wasn't worth dying for anymore", I was referencing my statement that "the set lives and dies on Energy Transfer" referring to its performance competitive to other sets relies on how often you use it, and that it's currently not so much better than anything else to justify using it every time it's recharged. The double-meaning on ET providing neutral-to-negative mitigation (slow to hit, long rooting animation, self-damage) was unintentional in that case.

 

13 hours ago, Bopper said:

For some additional context, although having a quicker Hit Time is good for making sure your attack's damage is applied before something dies, there are detriments to having too early of a Hit Time.

This is definitely worth considering. But in the case of damage, the faster hit times means that the power acts more effectively as mitigation, since the target dies faster. I'm almost positive that's why originally pure DoT attacks were allowed to violate the damage/rech/end design formulas, with most doing about 10% more damage than they should. 

 

It also matters when it comes to stacking stun magnitude, but after a couple of attacks that's less of an issue for EM since the stun comes from so many sources, and you want that first stun applied as quickly as possible anyway to reduce the window of time the mob has to act.

Edited by siolfir
updating first part of the response
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