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Game Balance & The Endgame


The Curator
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I hope people focus on Page 6 information right now and not the roadmap discussed for future Issues.

Guessing what may or may not happen is futile and will not help anyone at this point. Waiting for actual information before speculating is the more sensible (and way less dramatic) option.

I also hope this gets more people interested in beta testing...so their actual voice can be heard on actual changes...instead of just guessing and causing unneeded drama. 

 

Thanks for the info. I look forward to testing the new features/powers.

Please continue to keep us informed so we can feel like we are more involved in the process.

 

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While I don't disagree that the pursuit of balance and endgame content is a potential (and I apologize in advance for the use of this idiom, but) fool's errand, particularly if it blinds anyone to alternatives that would offer a greater net positive . . . I understand where members of the Homecoming Team have likely developed the perspectives which lead to those decisions.

Broken Record Mode Activate:  A key reason I would like to have the underlying philosophies which the Team are operating under made public is so that the community can better address any detrimental assumptions or narrowed points of view.  Criticism in a vacuum is just conjecture, and that's not really helpful to anyone.  I don't doubt the team is doing what they believe is the correct decision.  It's just very, very difficult to address those beliefs when they're hidden.

The express plans of balance tweaks to facilitate endgame content development is very helpful.  It gives us the opportunity to see what they're trying to do, and (very importantly) why.  There's more to the puzzle, of course, and I hope we get there some day soon.  Still, for the meanwhile . . . 

 

Being concerned about the efforts the Team are putting forward is entirely valid.

Please just remember to be respectful with your criticisms so that it doesn't undermine your entire perspective.

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What ill say here is that HC looks at quite a few metrics when it comes to balance. Anything from base level, basic SO slotting, permahasten lvls of recharge, map layout, npc powers, or even npc hurtboxes and how they mesh with AoEs,  and everythingin between. There's never just one thing they point to for adjustments, so rest assured its never just some knee-jerk change! 

 

When a set performs incredibly well across multiple criteria is when it becomes troubling though. Let's take Katana, currently it wins out when you directly compare it to Broadsword in most every way as they were clones at one point before Katana got changes. There is not much that BS does that Katana does not match or do better in a 1:1 comparison. In this particular case, Broadsword is the one that needs attention as the comparison does not hold true between Katana and many other sets. This example would change if say, Katana outdid most of the other melee sets by a margin across multiple criteria. In that case, where multiple melee sets are in a good spot with 1 standing out above that spot, it makes sense to adjust that one back into that zone.

 

Historically, HC has done more "adjustments" than straight nerfs as well. So while the aspects that push a set to be well above the rest may be toned back, I have faith that other benefits will come to the set to even it out.

 

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

To date, we’ve looked at Tankers, Dominators, Snipe powers and a few individual powersets.

You looked at Dominators? Really?  Because they are still way way way under-performing. 

 

How do I know this? Lot and lots of practice.  Take the ITF as the testing bed.  ITF is good for this because you don't have to worry about too much mez, or heavy psi, while still having a lot of goals/objectives to complete in each mission so even attempting to speed them still requires a great deal to complete, and really engages and tests your characters.  It requires being able to handle a lot of max aggro situations, many bosses at once, many EBs at once, and even multiple AVs.  Maybe you have heard of the ITF Challenge (On Excelsior)?  If no we run short-man Master (no deaths or temp powers) of ITF at max notoriety (+4/8) w/o inspirations.  Typically we ran 4-man squads of the same AT.  The results are interesting. 

The current best successful master runs by AT are:

Scrappers 14 minutes

Brutes 22 minutes

Blasters 23 minutes

Corruptors 25 mins

Stalkers 26 minutes

Defenders 26 minutes

Tanks 26 minutes

Controllers 31 minutes

DOMINATORS 32 mins

Sentinels 37 minutes

MMs never tried

 

So yeah Dominators should be like to Blasters, what tanks are to Brutes, but not even close.  For starters, maybe try a simple damage modifier change to be the opposite of a Blaster: 1.125 Melee and 1.0 Range.  

 

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

To date, we’ve looked at Tankers, Dominators, Snipe powers and a few individual powersets. In the near future we’re going to be rolling out improvements to Energy Melee, Trick Arrow and Blaster secondary sets, whilst also reworking Titan Weapons, one of the most overperforming sets.

So you want to nerf TW before you fix a set that is way more popular?  Namely: Super Strength?  Especially fixing Rage!?  That would be super laaaaaaame...........

 

Seriously what are the numbers?  Anecdotally I see maybe 1 TW character to ever 10+ SS characters.  

 

On 9/20/2020 at 10:42 PM, Kanil said:

so when is fire blast gonna get nerfed if we're talking about overperforming sets

It's not overperforming, and that's its secondary effect more damage (no control)

Edited by FUBARczar
highlight DOMINATORS and update times
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9 minutes ago, FUBARczar said:

So you want to nerf TW before you fix a set that is way more popular?  Namely: Super Strength?  Especially fixing Rage!?  That would be super laaaaaaame...........

 

Seriously what are the numbers?  Anecdotally I see maybe 1 TW character to ever 10+ SS characters.  

Popularity does not matter. Performance does. As for TW, all single target attacks do 10% more damage than the design formula dictates, all cones do 18% more damage, and WS does 44% more damage. Everything overperforms. Not to mention the DoTs that FT and WS gets.

 

Add to that, it is an outlier in both clear time tests and single target damage tests. It beasts. And it outperforms the next best sets by a considerable margin... I'm talking the gap between #1 and #2 is similar to the gap between #2 and an average set.

Edited by Bopper
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12 minutes ago, FUBARczar said:

So you want to nerf TW before you fix a set that is way more popular?  Namely: Super Strength?  Especially fixing Rage!?  That would be super laaaaaaame...........

 

Seriously what are the numbers?  Anecdotally I see maybe 1 TW character to ever 10+ SS characters.  

You can see the stats here:

 

Edited by Xanatos
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11 minutes ago, FUBARczar said:

So you want to nerf TW before you fix a set that is way more popular?  Namely: Super Strength?  Especially fixing Rage!?  That would be super laaaaaaame...........

 

Seriously what are the numbers?  Anecdotally I see maybe 1 TW character to ever 10+ SS characters.  

I would think quite a few players don't care for the wind up mechanic of TW, i know i don't. That could be influencing the numbers as TWs is very powerful.  Rage crash is annoying but everyone wants to be Superman 😛

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1 hour ago, Bopper said:

Popularity does not matter. Performance does. As for TW, all single target attacks do 10% more damage than the design formula dictates, all cones do 18% more damage, and WS does 44% more damage. Everything overperforms. Not to mention the DoTs that FT and WS gets.

 

Add to that, it is an outlier in both clear time tests and single target damage tests. It beasts. And it outperforms the next best sets by a considerable margin... I'm talking the gap between #1 and #2 is similar to the gap between #2 and an average set.

1: Buff under performing sets before you think about nerfs.  Nothing is so broken to warrant taking time away from fixing badly performing stuff.

 

2: You are really only talking about scrappers, otherwise all of the farmers would be using TW instead of Spines, Radiation or SS.

 

3: There needs to be some reward for the slow animations and such.

 

4: Popularity does matter.  Resources should be allocated to powersets that would make the biggest impact to the most players.

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That's an interesting test, @FUBARczar. Though I play exclusively on Excel and never heard of it being run (feels bad, man).  In any event, it makes sense: Doms are supposed to be a pure offense AT, but they trade raw power for control, and controls don't work very well against +4 enemies. Doms don't have any self defense, buffs, or debuffs, unless you go out of your way to build for it. Also, are all these characters SO's only, or are they all loaded with VR ATOs, IO sets, incarnate abilities and/or P2W buffs?

Because those later few things would skew the results a LOT, especially if we're talking about baseline damage and the ability of controls to affect the mobs.

Here's a test I would propose: SO's only, no incarnates or outside buffs, regular run at +0/x8. See if Doms stay on the bottom compared to other ATs doing the same test or not. I predict completion times will be higher, and that some ATs will trade places (I feel like the 4-man Controller group were all Illusion/*, good luck keeping a good time WITHOUT perma PA!)

Though I guess an argument could be made that the Devs here are looking at endgame performance, and that DOES mean IOs and Incarnates and all that, so if WITH all that Doms fall behind, then it is something worth looking at. Maybe allowing Domination to up the secondary effect/debuff mods on their blast powers?

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8 minutes ago, FUBARczar said:

1: Buff under performing sets before you think about nerfs.  Nothing is so broken to warrant taking time away from fixing badly performing stuff.

 

2: You are really only talking about scrappers, otherwise all of the farmers would be using TW instead of Spines, Radiation or SS.

 

3: There needs to be some reward for the slow animations and such.

 

4: Popularity does matter.  Resources should be allocated to powersets that would make the biggest impact to the most players.

Those are examples of "whataboutism". Instead of discussing a change on its own merits, you're pointing to something else and saying "but what about this? this needs a change more".

 

It's not a valid argument and the devs will not listen to it. If you want to suggest Rage should get looked at, make that argument (I would point you to the Suggestions and Feedback Forum). But if you're saying Titan Weapons shouldn't be looked at because Rage should first, that's not gonna happen. The developers will prioritize buffs and nerfs on their terms, and seeing as how there have been more buffs than nerfs on Homecoming, I would trust their judgement.

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1 hour ago, EmperorSteele said:

That's an interesting test, @FUBARczar. Though I play exclusively on Excel and never heard of it being run (feels bad, man).  In any event, it makes sense: Doms are supposed to be a pure offense AT, but they trade raw power for control, and controls don't work very well against +4 enemies. Doms don't have any self defense, buffs, or debuffs, unless you go out of your way to build for it. Also, are all these characters SO's only, or are they all loaded with VR ATOs, IO sets, incarnate abilities and/or P2W buffs?

Because those later few things would skew the results a LOT, especially if we're talking about baseline damage and the ability of controls to affect the mobs.

Here's a test I would propose: SO's only, no incarnates or outside buffs, regular run at +0/x8. See if Doms stay on the bottom compared to other ATs doing the same test or not. I predict completion times will be higher, and that some ATs will trade places (I feel like the 4-man Controller group were all Illusion/*, good luck keeping a good time WITHOUT perma PA!)

Though I guess an argument could be made that the Devs here are looking at endgame performance, and that DOES mean IOs and Incarnates and all that, so if WITH all that Doms fall behind, then it is something worth looking at. Maybe allowing Domination to up the secondary effect/debuff mods on their blast powers?

The problem isn't control.  For instance there is no problem with immob., fear, sleep, confuse.  Stuns somewhat and holds a bit harder.  The real issue is damage.  Since Dominators don't really have any debuffs to speak of it is really the AV fights that drastically slow things down the most, then EBs of course.  Doms are still really fun to play, they just don't perform to a reasonable level.

 

B;asters and Dominators should have more parity.  They do kinda of thematically, in their own ways, pretty equal but different, except damage output on totally different levels.

 

Blasters:                                 - Dominators:

Defiance (ie more Damage)  - More Control (especially w/ Domination)

& crashless nukes                

Sustain Powers                      - Mez Protection (via Domination)      

 

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This is all very promising, thank you Homecoming Team! All of this work during a pandemic and unpaid as volunteers, we are extremely lucky to have you!

 

I'd love to see more serious changes than I think anyone will stomach, such as how effortless it is for IOs to hit defence caps on just about every AT, or how prevalent extreme damage AOE is (both from crashless T9s on lightning fast global recharge times and via Judgements). These I feel are the elephant in the room for why content at 50 is trivial but I don't know if it will ever be palatable 😞

 

To leave it on a positive note, I'm very excited for the Energy Melee changes in particular - I love the look and sound of them and I look forward to seeing what your team has done to it! Thank you!

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18 minutes ago, FUBARczar said:

Buff under performing sets before you think about nerfs.  Nothing is so broken to warrant taking time away from fixing badly performing stuff.

Please don’t make comments like this. It completely undermines anything of substance you might have to say.

 

Feedback is important, but ultimately it’s up to the volunteers to decide which projects they spend their time on.

 

Just dial it down a bit, ok? 🙂

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2 hours ago, Chimeran42 said:

I read it more like veiled threats from the nerf bat than comforting reassurance that they will 'fix' things. I would love to hear how this happy medium is planned to be achieved.  Broad strokes are nice, but some detail is appreciated.

What even is considered "working as intended" in the power range they hope to match?  It mostly just sounds like they want to make the game harder.

There would be nothing wrong with that. The game is very, very easy. 

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12 hours ago, Bopper said:

Those are examples of "whataboutism". Instead of discussing a change on its own merits, you're pointing to something else and saying "but what about this? this needs a change more".

 

It's not a valid argument and the devs will not listen to it. If you want to suggest Rage should get looked at, make that argument (I would point you to the Suggestions and Feedback Forum). But if you're saying Titan Weapons shouldn't be looked at because Rage should first, that's not gonna happen. The developers will prioritize buffs and nerfs on their terms, and seeing as how there have been more buffs than nerfs on Homecoming, I would trust their judgement.

Do you know the definition of whataboutism?  I did nothing of the sort.  FYI whataboutism is a logical fallacy where you "argue" that the person is a hypocrite while ignoring the issue

 

Anyway, there are endless discussions about rage which is why that should be settled first.

 

my first point addressed a logical approach towards continued development

my second point refuted you broad claim, and narrowed you argument down to really only be about one AT

my third point expressed my opinion that feel matters, and like someone else said, they won't play TW because of the long wind up, supporting what I said

my fourth point was also addressing priority logic.  IDK maybe you work from least important to most, that would be really unique, quirky

 

12 hours ago, Jimmy said:

Please don’t make comments like this. It completely undermines anything of substance you might have to say.

 

Feedback is important, but ultimately it’s up to the volunteers to decide which projects they spend their time on.

 

Just dial it down a bit, ok? 🙂

Sure, I didn't think it was very EMO though, just making a plea seemingly consistent with the posts on the boards to address bugs, things not working as intended or under performing stuff vs requesting nerfs.

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Just my two cents, but please consider a total rework for defensive T9s. The abilities are legitimately pointless with IOs on the table, it's just signing up for an endo crash at a later date. Which is a shame, because they're supposed to be capstone powers. I think you could solve a lot of issues with defensive sets (by defensive, I mean def and res) by creating T9s that either enhance their strengths, diminish their weaknesses, or introduce something new.

 

A theoretical example: as a Ninjutsu Stalker main, my T9 provides me with more def when I'm already def soft capped, and the set only has one real weakness which is defense debuff resistance. So I don't need more +def, and the set has one weakness (good!), so in this case it would just be something new. Personally I think turning the T9 into a 30s damage steroid would be really cool. Ninjutsu is an easy set to pick as it only fits the criteria of having a pointless T9, it's a pretty good set to begin with; many sets will need more tinkering. But I think leaving the T9s as-is would be a huge mistake and there's a lot of potential for great ideas here.

 

Tl;Dr: Current defensive T9s are a waste considering they offer nothing to an IO'd character but there's a lot of potential for interesting, unique powers that could replace them.

Edited by TC
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42 minutes ago, Jimmy said:

Please don’t make comments like this. It completely undermines anything of substance you might have to say.

 

Feedback is important, but ultimately it’s up to the volunteers to decide which projects they spend their time on.

 

Just dial it down a bit, ok? 🙂

Eventually it will only be the volunteers playing if you continue to break and destroy our characters with what you feel is balanced. Not every player posts on forums, facebook or goes to playtests and eventually they find something they were enjoying is now useless to play  and then another character, and another and another is made useless. At that point they come on here and complain and see it gets them no where because the volunteers have spoken so its law. Don't be surprised when they quit.

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1 hour ago, TC said:

Just my two cents, but please consider a total rework for defensive T9s. The abilities are legitimately pointless with IOs on the table, it's just signing up for an endo crash at a later date. Which is a shame, because they're supposed to be capstone powers. I think you could solve a lot of issues with defensive sets (by defensive, I mean def and res) by creating T9s that either enhance their strengths,  diminish their weaknesses, or introduce something new.

 

A theoretical example: as a Ninjutsu Stalker main, my T9 provides me with more def when I'm already def soft capped, and the set only has one real weakness which defense debuff resistance. So I don't need more +def, and the set has one weakness (good!), so in this case it would just be something new. Personally I think turning the T9 into a 30s damage steroid would be really cool. Ninjutsu is an easy set to pick as it only fits the criteria of having a pointless T9, it's a pretty good set to begin with.

 

Tl;Dr: Current defensive T9s are a waste considering they offer nothing to an IO'd character but have a lot of potential for interesting, unique powers.

It really only concerns Electric, Energy, Super Reflexes, Ninja, and Invuln.  But also in a way looking at Dark and Fire as well.

 

Ice Armor is a great example of changing things up.

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Wow, there are people actually trying to defend Titan Weapon's output.

 

Titan Weapons has always been known to be overpowered, it has been that way since day one of the sets existence, the fact it was broken as heck was a freaking MEME for god's sake and people are still trying to defend it.

 

31 minutes ago, FUBARczar said:

things not working as intended

Power sets having damage numbers that are way outside any level of acceptable Variance is not working as intended.

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14 minutes ago, TC said:

Just my two cents, but please consider a total rework for defensive T9s. The abilities are legitimately pointless with IOs on the table, it's just signing up for an endo crash at a later date. Which is a shame, because they're supposed to be capstone powers. I think you could solve a lot of issues with defensive sets (by defensive, I mean def and res) by creating T9s that either enhance their strengths, diminish their weaknesses, or introduce something new.

 

A theoretical example: as a Ninjutsu Stalker main, my T9 provides me with more def when I'm already def soft capped, and the set only has one real weakness which is defense debuff resistance. So I don't need more +def, and the set has one weakness (good!), so in this case it would just be something new. Personally I think turning the T9 into a 30s damage steroid would be really cool. Ninjutsu is an easy set to pick as it only fits the criteria of having a pointless T9, it's a pretty good set to begin with; many sets will need more tinkering. But I think leaving the T9s as-is would be a huge mistake and there's a lot of potential for great ideas here.

 

Tl;Dr: Current defensive T9s are a waste considering they offer nothing to an IO'd character but there's a lot of potential for interesting, unique powers that could replace them.

This has been discussed a little bit and is definitely something people are interested in looking at, but we've not currently got any plans (as there's a lot of things on the list of things people are interested in looking at 🙂 ).

7 minutes ago, Noyjitat said:

Eventually it will only be the volunteers playing if you continue to break and destroy our characters with what you feel is balanced. Not every player posts on forums, facebook or goes to playtests and eventually they find something they were enjoying is now useless to play  and then another character, and another and another is made useless. At that point they come on here and complain and see it gets them no where because the volunteers have spoken so its law. Don't be surprised when they quit.

Take a look through the live patch notes and tell me where we've made characters useless. I'm not interested in hearing about your experiences with nerfs on live, because obviously we didn't have anything to do with that.

 

Don't worry, we're well aware that most players don't post on the forums, and we're also well aware when posts are all bluster and no substance.

1 hour ago, Burnsidhe said:

Don't forget that in the end, people *want to feel super* regardless of what power they take.

This is crucial IMO - but it cuts both ways. It's pretty difficult to feel super when one team member can solo the entire mission without breaking a sweat.

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