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Game Balance & The Endgame


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19 hours ago, Noyjitat said:

Making the same mistakes paragon made all development wasted on balancing, nerfing and dictating how others play instead of making new content, new powers, proliferating more powers to use. You guys never will learn.

This needs to be repeated until it sinks in.  Well said and I'd upvote a million times if I could.  definitely seems like we're on the road to all the same mistakes being made all over again.  I guess no one learns.  Hopefully the folks here will do better than Paragon did.  I'm sure they're up to it.

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17 hours ago, zenblack said:

1.) The Incarnate system rigs 35+ stuff to obsolescence. There is no scaling, just full blown Incarnates destroying content intended to be 1/3(ish) of the game. This should be looked at and modified so that either the inclusion of unbounded Incarnates is considered or how much of the game needs to be operating under full Incarnate status.

Spot on and hence why many have said for a long time, Incarnates being powerful is not the problem.  There is little to no content designed specifically for and balanced around them is.

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23 minutes ago, ZacKing said:

This needs to be repeated until it sinks in.  Well said and I'd upvote a million times if I could.  definitely seems like we're on the road to all the same mistakes being made all over again.  I guess no one learns.  Hopefully the folks here will do better than Paragon did.  I'm sure they're up to it.

Unfortunately it’s a minority opinion.

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31 minutes ago, ShardWarrior said:

Spot on and hence why many have said for a long time, Incarnates being powerful is not the problem.  There is little to no content designed specifically for and balanced around them is.

Paragon was getting ready to start adding some serious big-bads for us to beat on, I'm pretty sure incarnate-level Malta was on the cards. There were two others as well, and that's not even getting to the Battalion, which probably would have been ridiculous.

 

Definitely would like to see harder content being added over nerfing the incarnate stuff.

Edited by ScarySai
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5 hours ago, FUBARczar said:

no, no and no please.  Don't remove flavor from the menu.  Why would want to strip a unique set of it's uniqueness?  We might as well drop Soul Drain and replace it with BU, same with Claws and Dual Blades.  How about remove Staff Mastery from Staff?  Not every set needs to be the same.  Not everybody has to play every set.  Please let us retain uniqueness and payoff for any pain.  TW is fine it's Kinetic Melee, and others than greatly need attention.  

TW's mechanic is terribad. Yes, please do remove it's idicoy of slow as molasses animations and tempo.

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I like the idea of game balance, but I also like the idea of seeing underperforming sets be made stronger before nerfing overpowered sets. Obviously, the latter will take precedence. Seeing Force Field or Sonic get an absorb shield would be nice. Seeing -recovery/-end do something to mobs would be nice (it's nice in PvP). 

 

My question for the mods would be: what sort of questions could the player base answer to help you gauge what/where would be the best thing to look at? Or is this just being done by the lovely individuals over on the closed beta server so there isn't too much discourse that would influence it? I'm sure series of questions that could be answered without whataboutism would provide a lot more answers than emotion fueled responses.

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13 minutes ago, golstat2003 said:

TW's mechanic is terribad. Yes, please do remove it's idicoy of slow as molasses animations and tempo.

I highly doubt it's getting removed, might be adjusted to be less frustrating, however.

 

The nerfs themselves will likely just be damage tweaks.

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9 hours ago, macskull said:

If your argument is debuffing sets aren't as useful as buffing sets because the purple patch exists, 1) you're wrong

It's absolutely the case.  Debuffing sets are competitive to buffing during normal level ranges but as levels rise they are left behind.

 


- Buffing sets get full value while debuffing sets get 50%/30% of their original value vs +4/+5.  Vs the hardest targets this scales down even further to 15% vs AV/EB/GM.


- Buffs uptime is based only on duration/recharge considerations...if your buffs are up 100% of the time then they have ~100% uptime, perhaps as low as 95% due to application delay depending on recharges/team organization.  Debuffing set requires application every new mob so your recharge needs to be as fast as your clear speed for you to have 100% uptime.  A debuff with 30 second duration and 20 second recharge still does not have anything close to 100% uptime.


- Buffs are on before a fight starts, debuffs require time to apply at the start of a fight. 

- If the team splits your buffs are still helping everyone they are on 100%.  If the team splits your debuffs only affect those people near you.

- Targeted AOE debuffs respect the AOE cap, thus an AOE buff that hits your whole teams works on everyone but a targeted AOE that attacks an enemy mob often dos not effect the entire mob.   This is actually something Trick Arrow does not have to worry about and that's a noticeable advantage of the set, especially with large pulls, multiple pulls, or ambushes into the same area.  But it can be a significant concern for other debuffing sets.


Debuffs are competitive in +2/+3 level content because debuffing values are balanced much higher than buffing values and they affect the whole team targeting the debuffed enemy.  Acid Arrow for example gives a ludicrous -41% defense and -20% resistance to a single target and is spammable and when stacked with disruption arrow that's -40% res.  But you don't get that vs +4/+5.  You get 20.5%/10% -def/-res and 12.3%/6% -def/-res.  Vs AV/EB/GM its even worse at  6.15%/3% -def/-res.  Also because of the hardcap of 95% chance to hit it's never going to have 100% uptime and any accuracy targeted debuff will face that.

But lets take your example of Cold Domination stacking an absurd amount of -res.  You put -60% res before diminishing returns in AOE target with a theoretical 100% uptime on sleet and 50% uptime on Heat Loss.  Higher with recharge and hasten so for fun overkill let's just assume 1/3rd of the original recharge for a recharge of 20 seconds and 120 seconds.  Theoretically sleet should always have 100% uptime and Heat Loss should have 75% uptime.  But that's not how it works in practice.  In practice you apply those debuffs to a group and they die within 15 seconds, prolly less than 10 if you have blaster or sentinel nukes available.  And then you gotta let the someone go in first to engage/soak alpha so damage is often being done, sometimes entire nukes landing, before debuffs even land.  So realistic maximum uptime is closer to 60%-70% on sleet and like 10% on Heat Loss.  Sure on a well oiled team nukes will wait for your debuffs, but you described a version of the game in which most people take empathy as a healer set and ignore the buffs so we're already not assuming anything close to a well oiled team.  Also, your ideas of how defense scales and how people are built has some dissonance with your idea of how people play empathy even at high levels.  Remember, almost all of us on these servers are CoH veterans.  Either alot of the playerbase are derps who cannot expect to play well and build well (meaning healing also still has value) OR you're overblowing your comments about people playing empathy.  And again, a single incarnate on teams invalidates basically all impressions of how that team functions because incarnates can often force even bad teams to succeed for anything but the hardest content (since they can often solo or almost solo the entire mission themselves)....that hardest content being like 1% of the total content of the game lol.

 


On paper at face value debuffs are still good.  But realistically as kill rate increases debuffs get much worse (lower uptime) and as level scaling increases debuffs get much worse (lower values).  Both of these happen in very high level content.  Which is why my TA/A is dang near a paper weight in high level teams and my Empathy defender can still make a huge difference.  Oil Slick Arrow is a joke on high level teams while being amazing on mid level teams.  With a recharge of at least 60 seconds even at 1/3rd of base recharge it has a very low uptime when groups are dying in 20 seconds or less.  Even lower due to the application+lighting lag and the need to fire disruption arrow and acid arrow first to avoid sacrificing on their uptime.  And the damage/slow/knockdown vs +4/+5 is minor despite it being so strong against +2s.  Again, TA/A is a main of mine from sunset, I'm extremely well versed in it and it suffers severely from the problems I mention.

Edited by Ralathar44
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4 hours ago, parabola said:

I don't buy this argument. People play tw because it's op therefore it should stay op?

that's not the argument I made.  I was saying that people are not choosing TW b/c they value concept over performance, which seems to be the case for Super Strength.  Furthermore considering this on of the direct effect to a nerf (depending on how heavy handed it is) may be that people would probably abandon the power set and it would drop from being one of the most picked sets to one forgotten.  We don't want TW to become the next Energy Melee that was nerfed into forgotteness and only finally barely is being revived.

 

Also a lot of the OPness is only from the extreme builds.  Not to mention to OPness is evidenced in unique scenarios like pylon testing for scrappers only.  What's next nerfing Street Justice? Nerfing /Fiery Manipulation?  B/c the fastest pylon testing after a quick look was 1:03 TW/Bio, But an SJ/SR had 1:15, and an Ice/Fire blaster had 1:23.  And there are many other sets under two minutes.  So Is TW really that much of an outlier?  Is it really soooooo OP?  I think it is exaggerated a just a little.  It's also true that b/c of all the drawbacks with TW (wind up, redraw, etc.) people still won't play it even if it is strong.  

 

And BTW other people tried to repeat the 1:03 time with the same build and could not get below 1:20.  So it's only select one out of a select few at this point.  Hardly a problem.

Spoiler

image.thumb.png.478fc85cf3bee197a868ad97044d6f81.png

 

Pylon Thread Here

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3 hours ago, ScarySai said:

People seem to have forgotten just how bad blasters were before I24. Mental was basically the only playable secondary for awhile.

funny thing is now mental is bottom tier with it's feast or famine nature, and poor performance vs a single hard target compared to other blaster secondaries.

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13 minutes ago, FUBARczar said:

funny thing is now mental is bottom tier with it's feast or famine nature, and poor performance vs a single hard target compared to other blaster secondaries.

Well blaster secondaries now make the AT too tanky for its role. 

I'd prefer some dmg boost, acc, rech etc or anything but absorb and heals

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1 hour ago, Phoenix' said:

Well blaster secondaries now make the AT too tanky for its role. 

I'd prefer some dmg boost, acc, rech etc or anything but absorb and heals

honestly I think that Blasters are doing fine.  They are not force multipliers like buffers/debuffers so they should be way ahead in damage.  And even with sustain I still use may a blaster as veng bait, tyvm.

 

Now Dominators should be in the same boat, but the have been left behind for now.  There ability to pump out damage should be increased for similar reasons.  Just up their performance, no other changes needed.

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24 minutes ago, FUBARczar said:

So Is TW really that much of an outlier?  Is it really soooooo OP?

Yes, because it combines top tier ST damage with top tier AoE damage and top tier force multiplying (-RES). And top tier survivability, because it does this DPS on the three "heavy" melee ATs. And, in the case of TW/bio scrappers, aggro control as well.

StJ/SR stalker barely scrapes behind on one metric, ST DPS. It's behind on AoE (StJ is notoriously bad there). It's behind on aggro (has none of it). It's behind on force multiplying (none of it either). It's behind on survivability (not by much these days, but still).

This is not a new point... TW discussions have gone on for months. Maybe some people are just new to them. But TW isn't defensible as balanced, with an objective look. It's overpowered in every possible metric, even at low level. Defensive Sweep is Divine Avalanche on steroids, as a cone - and yet top tier builds respec it out because TW is so powerful you don't even need a Divine Avalanche cone. TW does bonus damage according to the game formulas. TW is *more endurance efficient than just about every other primary*, but it also does SO MUCH DAMAGE that some players end up believing it is end hungry, because they think in terms of endurance-consumed-over-time rather than damage-done-per-endurance.

The whole "X is only OP in pylon testings" is also another argument I wish we collectively agreed has been debunked enough. There are some builds that look especially OP against pylons, demon/cold MMs for example. Storm. Basically anything where you want a static target and you don't fully control your damage output. But TW isn't one such build. You struggle a bit against fliers and it's not as flexible as others due to Momentum, OK. But in 95% of situations this is moot. TW overperforms if you want to solo a +4/x8 MoITF, or a RSF/STF, or a Khan, or a Lambda trial. TW overperforms on regular teams. TW deals stellar ST damage and does so through an attack chain that does respectable AoE as well (and "respectable" becomes "fantastic" on scrappers with Critical Strikes).

 

About the only argument against TW you might be able to make is that maybe, in the context of full teams of experienced players speedrunning content, you might be better off playing some other characters because managing Momentum isn't so easy and you might as well play a Fire blaster/corr with ~1s animations. Even then, that argument seems to pop up from players who, surprisingly, still play TW themselves, and still bring TW to highend content...

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1 hour ago, nihilii said:

Yes, because it combines top tier ST damage with top tier AoE damage and top tier force multiplying (-RES). And top tier survivability, because it does this DPS on the three "heavy" melee ATs. And, in the case of TW/bio scrappers, aggro control as well.

StJ/SR stalker barely scrapes behind on one metric, ST DPS. It's behind on AoE (StJ is notoriously bad there). It's behind on aggro (has none of it). It's behind on force multiplying (none of it either). It's behind on survivability (not by much these days, but still).

This is not a new point... TW discussions have gone on for months. Maybe some people are just new to them. But TW isn't defensible as balanced, with an objective look. It's overpowered in every possible metric, even at low level. Defensive Sweep is Divine Avalanche on steroids, as a cone - and yet top tier builds respec it out because TW is so powerful you don't even need a Divine Avalanche cone. TW does bonus damage according to the game formulas. TW is *more endurance efficient than just about every other primary*, but it also does SO MUCH DAMAGE that some players end up believing it is end hungry, because they think in terms of endurance-consumed-over-time rather than damage-done-per-endurance.

The whole "X is only OP in pylon testings" is also another argument I wish we collectively agreed has been debunked enough. There are some builds that look especially OP against pylons, demon/cold MMs for example. Storm. Basically anything where you want a static target and you don't fully control your damage output. But TW isn't one such build. You struggle a bit against fliers and it's not as flexible as others due to Momentum, OK. But in 95% of situations this is moot. TW overperforms if you want to solo a +4/x8 MoITF, or a RSF/STF, or a Khan, or a Lambda trial. TW overperforms on regular teams. TW deals stellar ST damage and does so through an attack chain that does respectable AoE as well (and "respectable" becomes "fantastic" on scrappers with Critical Strikes).

 

About the only argument against TW you might be able to make is that maybe, in the context of full teams of experienced players speedrunning content, you might be better off playing some other characters because managing Momentum isn't so easy and you might as well play a Fire blaster/corr with ~1s animations. Even then, that argument seems to pop up from players who, surprisingly, still play TW themselves, and still bring TW to highend content...

As I said elsewhere above, that's really only scrappers so please be careful and not screw Brutes and Tanks.

 

"But TW isn't one such build. You struggle a bit against fliers and it's not as flexible as others due to Momentum, OK. But in 95% of situations this is moot."

It is more than 95%. Running on fast moving teams so much stuff is dead before I can even build momentum.  I have to literally go rogue or scout ahead to really go through attack chains, or wait for an AV.  

 

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3 hours ago, Phoenix' said:

You shouldn't then. 

Blasters were popular before i24 anyway. 

They are for dealing massive dmg and die easy. 

Thats the description of the AT


Mental Manipulation Blasters were popular the last couple of years prior to sunset.  That’s it.  Removing Sustain would just bring the game back to that.

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2 minutes ago, FUBARczar said:

It is more than 95%. Running on fast moving teams so much stuff is dead before I can even build momentum.  I have to literally go rogue or scout ahead to really go through attack chains, or wait for an AV.  

This is my experience as well and would say Kinetic Melee suffers the same due to animation length.  TW is definitely not on the list of choices for me on speed TFs or iTrials.  Far from it in fact.  To be honest, I do not think I have ever seen a TW scrapper or Brute on a TF or iTrial recently.  From my experience, they are an outlier and nowhere near as common as SS or StrJ.

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On 9/20/2020 at 2:19 PM, The Curator said:

how +special buffs interact with long duration +def powers

Going to say again, do NOT touch this. Powerboost boosting defense powers on it's own, is about it's only beneficial mechanic. Heals, too timely and circumstantial, to hit, not really affecting much end game there, holds/controls, already get pushed to the wayside most of the time endgame, and enemies are dead usually before they expire. As mentioned before, honestly I'd rather see a BUFF to powerboost, to also include regen and recovery buffs like AM, wild growth, etc, but as it stands using powerboost for things like FF shields are about the only real use for the power, and you have to usually get a crappy epic in order to get power boost.

 

Now how clarion interactcs with it, you could take a look at that and i wouldn't be too let down, but in NO way, should powerboost be nerfed because of long duration defense powers.

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But Jimmy, why can't you tell us what you are working on and your design philosophy?

 

On 9/20/2020 at 2:22 PM, Jimmy said:

Game Balance & The Endgame
Next up: We’re commonly asked what our goals are when it comes to game balance, so we’ve written a post explaining our goals, both for page 6 and the future.

 

Check out the post here!

But Jimmy, why can't you work on something else and have a different design philosophy?

 

 

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10 minutes ago, Apparition said:


Mental Manipulation Blasters were popular the last couple of years prior to sunset.  That’s it.  Removing Sustain would just bring the game back to that.

Can you support this statement with data? It seems contrary to the reality I remember. 

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1 hour ago, arcaneholocaust said:

Can you support this statement with data? It seems contrary to the reality I remember. 

of course they became popular, they were they only blaster with a sustain ability at that time.  The same reason why /Psionic Assault Doms were and are popular.  

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1 hour ago, Apparition said:


Mental Manipulation Blasters were popular the last couple of years prior to sunset.  That’s it.  Removing Sustain would just bring the game back to that.

 

35 minutes ago, FUBARczar said:

of course they became popular, they were they only blaster with a sustain ability at that time.  The same reason why /Psionic Assault Doms were and are popular.  


Not really. Energy and Fire Manipulation were more popular at that time.

As I said blasters should be squishies but dealing the most dmg in the game. That's the role this AT always had...
 

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