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Game Balance & The Endgame

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4 minutes ago, Mezmera said:

You should reread what I said.  How can these conclusions be made when Stalkers/Scrappers are near identical, so just to be different we're gonna call them blasters when they share not one thing in their builds but for maybe Total Focus...?

 

Brutes and Tanks are near identical too and always have been, especially more so now with the damage upgrade to Tanks.  

 

That leaves Masterminds who have a buff/debuff secondary (kind of like a controller) and Dominators who share a lot of assaults with Blasters where in place of nukes you get hard aoe control.  The nuke is pretty much insta-kill all and a perma-dom with the aoe hold is insta-hold all.  Controllers don't control the battlefield like a Dominator, they're more Mastermind-ish in nature.  

As said previously: look at them less from a mechanical perspective, and more from an overarching villainous/heroic counterpart perspective. Theme wise, it checks out, even if in practice it doesn't work that way.

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14 minutes ago, Blackfeather said:

As said previously: look at them less from a mechanical perspective, and more from an overarching villainous/heroic counterpart perspective. Theme wise, it checks out, even if in practice it doesn't work that way.

And regardless of anything else, doms have damage as a secondary. Full stop.

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Harm no other and do as ye will. It ain't rocket surgery.

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1 minute ago, Blackfeather said:

As said previously: look at them less from a mechanical perspective, and more from an overarching villainous/heroic counterpart perspective. Theme wise, it checks out, even if in practice it doesn't work that way.

This game is all about math and mechanics.  It doesn't take Sherlock levels of deduction to discern closely resembling AT's.  But you can role play however you like.  

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14 minutes ago, Bill Z Bubba said:

And regardless of anything else, doms have damage as a secondary. Full stop.

And controllers have a heal/buff/debuff secondary with some light aggro control kind of like a mastermind.  End transmission.

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22 minutes ago, Mezmera said:

And controllers have a heal/buff/debuff secondary with some light aggro control kind of like a mastermind.  End transmission.

And yet they still do damage, just like dominators. Who should, much like tanks, never do damage above defender level damage output.


Harm no other and do as ye will. It ain't rocket surgery.

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1 hour ago, Mezmera said:

Well doms are more cousins to blasters than to controllers by default of having available in their assault about all of the best attacks a blaster gets in their kit aside from the nukes.  

 

Yeah Tanks are the cheesecake characters on this game and everyone has one.  They're an easy to build unkillable bag of hp that should be keeping the team upright.  Some just wanted to damage like a Brute so they got to have their cake and eat it too.  But each time when I see a tank without their taunt like a brute I slightly die inside.  

 

If you look at the design of Hero to Villain it pretty much goes: 

Tank = Brute

Scrapper = Stalker

Defender = Corruptor

Controller = Mastermind

Blaster = Dominator

Peacebringer = Sentinel (gimped version) 😜

 

But they each have a pretty unique divergence which makes them stay special little butterflies unto themselves.  

Nope. This is wrong. If you look closely in the character creator the ATs are listed in OPPOSITE order: Heroes in Alphabetical order (ignoring Sentinels and Kheldians) and Villains in the opposite order from what their ATs match (confused?).

Blaster

Controller

Defender

Scrapper
Tanker

 

Brute
Stalker

Mastermind

Dominator

Corruptor

Tank=Brute

Scrapper=Stalker

Defender=Mastermind

Controller=Dominator

Blaster=Corruptor


and if we go further:
 

Sentinel=Sentinel
 

Kheldian=Arachnos

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Dominators were built for Villain content, which meant they were the only source of controls on those teams. They've seen a lot of changes over their history. The original design had even lower damage, with a +Damage buff in Domination to compensate.

 

We can get a pretty good idea of what developers intended from early descriptions of them, which is pretty explicit:

 

As a Dominator, you control a devastating combination of control and assault powers. A Dominator can freeze foes in place, render them unconscious, or cause them to flee in terror. Dominators can also smite their foes with a selection of single-target melee and ranged attacks, albeit not with the same power as a Corruptor. However, each time a Dominator attacks, he comes closer to unleashing his true sadistic power of Domination. With so much emphasis on diverse offensive powers, Dominators lack in defenses and work best with teammates who can provide protection.

 

 

However, what the original team intended and what works well in the game 15 years later don't necessarily align.  

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Mezmera said:

You should reread what I said.  How can these conclusions be made when Stalkers/Scrappers are near identical, so just to be different we're gonna call them blasters when they share not one thing in their builds but for maybe Total Focus...?

Stalkers have also moved closer to Scrappers over time.  Originally, they were considerably more glass-cannon-y than they are today.  Yes, they have always had melee and armor powersets, but they weren't the toe-to-toe fighters that they became, and the comparison to blasters made more sense.  (Of course, blasters also became less glass-cannon-y).

Edited by aethereal
Added last bit.
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Posted (edited)
48 minutes ago, aethereal said:

Stalkers have also moved closer to Scrappers over time.  Originally, they were considerably more glass-cannon-y than they are today.  Yes, they have always had melee and armor powersets, but they weren't the toe-to-toe fighters that they became, and the comparison to blasters made more sense.  (Of course, blasters also became less glass-cannon-y).

Um you must have been making some junk Stalkers then.  They've always been the way they are defensively.  What makes them feel more Scrapper-esque is the nice ATO proc that lets you fight seamlessly like a Scrapper does without having to placate and AS.  Unless I'm mistaken Stalkers had no change to their armor sets while the game was away.  They were made more team friendly by the nature of their ATO's, insta fire AS and the improved critical ability on larger teams. 

 

 I do believe they buffed the Stalker hp up a bit to match Scrappers which is reasonable.  There's other advantageous things that have come along since Live.  Like say Rune of Protection which round out Defense based Stalkers/Scrappers nicely and vice versa for Resist based and Unleash Potential.  Other than that they are in no less of a defensive disadvantage than they ever were in compared to Scrappers.  Take for instance my SR stalker compared to SR scrapper they are both in the same precarious position when they start getting hit as they ever were.   I just have Rune of Protection to help out in that regard.

Edited by Mezmera

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3 minutes ago, Mezmera said:

Um you must have been making some junk Stalkers then.  They've always been the way they are defensively.  What makes them feel more Scrapper-esque is the nice ATO proc that lets you fight seamlessly like a Scrapper does without having to placate and AS.  Unless I'm mistaken Stalkers had no change to their armor sets while the game was away.  They were made more team friendly by the nature of their ATO's and the improved critical ability on larger teams. 

 

 I do believe they buffed the Stalker hp up a bit to match Scrappers which is reasonable.  There's other advantageous things that have come along since Live.  Like say Rune of Protection which round out Defense based Stalkers/Scrappers nicely and vice versa for Resist based and Unleash Potential.  Other than that they are in less of a defensive disadvantage than they ever were in compared to Scrappers.  Take for instance my SR stalker compared to SR scrapper they are both in the same precarious position when they start getting hit. 

They buffed max hp, added Assassin's Focus, added the ATOs, added crit-chance, added chance-for-AoE terrorize & minus-to-hit, and gave fast-Assassin's-Strike out of hide.  You are correct that most of those bonuses are offensive bonuses, not defensive (though note that the ATOs add 5% S/L Defense, 6.5% S/L Resistance, and 5% AoE defense as well as their offensive bonuses).

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7 minutes ago, Mezmera said:

Um you must have been making some junk Stalkers then.  They've always been the way they are defensively.  What makes them feel more Scrapper-esque is the nice ATO proc that lets you fight seamlessly like a Scrapper does without having to placate and AS.  Unless I'm mistaken Stalkers had no change to their armor sets while the game was away.  They were made more team friendly by the nature of their ATO's, insta fire AS and the improved critical ability on larger teams. 

 

 I do believe they buffed the Stalker hp up a bit to match Scrappers which is reasonable.  There's other advantageous things that have come along since Live.  Like say Rune of Protection which round out Defense based Stalkers/Scrappers nicely and vice versa for Resist based and Unleash Potential.  Other than that they are in no less of a defensive disadvantage than they ever were in compared to Scrappers.  Take for instance my SR stalker compared to SR scrapper they are both in the same precarious position when they start getting hit as they ever were.   I just have Rune of Protection to help out in that regard.

Stalkers at CoV launch were one-trick ponies that people didn't like having on teams because they did zero things a Brute couldn't do. Once you blew hide on AS or another power, you were just a mediocre low-HP Scrapper that did less damage and couldn't crit. Sometime around Issue 11 or 12 they added the "scaling crit chance based on team size when not hidden" mechanic which helped but your biggest attack was still a one-and-done thing. Issue 22 is when the current Assassin's Focus mechanic was introduced, as well as a buff in max HP, but those changes went live about six months before the shutdown was announced so many people just didn't know about them. Combine all that with the two ATO procs and Stalkers are pretty insane now.

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Proc information and chance calculator spreadsheet (last updated 25JUL20)

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Bill Z Bubba said:

While I agree completely that the EATs are just gimped Sentinels.... it was supposed to be (based on original dev statements:)

Tank = Mastermind

Scrapper = Brute

Defender = Corruptor

Controller = Dominator

Blaster = Stalker

 

Granted, they were out of their minds.

 

But no.. Blasters do not equate to dominators. Doms have a damage SECONDARY just like tanks and defenders. They should not be pushing damage like any AT that has damage as a primary.

Yes they said that in some interview way later as they laughed about it.  But no one recognized that from the get go, and all the live development was in the direction of Brutes = Tanks:

Brutes = Tanks - (This was obvious to everyone see as they have taunt, hold aggro, and identical powersets in reverse order.)

MMs = Controllers - (when teams look to fill roles, they dan't say hay I need a pet class, the say I need a buff/debuff and look for Def/Cor/Cont/Def.)

Stalkers = Scrapper - (geez almost every power and inherents are the same.)

Corruptors = Defenders - (this one is as obvious as Brutes and Tanks)

Dominators = Blasters - (These two classes are both glass canons.  Both have limited access to buff/debuff, to heals, etc.  That leaves Damage as the primary goal for both, and their playstyles are remarkably similar. )

 

6 hours ago, Blackfeather said:

Tanker <take hits : get others to take hits> Mastermind

ROFL when have you ever seen a team say we need a "tank" and then they grab a MM?  Never because they have no aggro control.  MMs play the roll of buff/debuff.  

 

6 hours ago, Bill Z Bubba said:

So a combo that is control/melee-blast could easily be seen as something that should at least be doing defender/tank level damage with their secondary.

By that logic Brutes (and Sentinels) should have the same defense numbers as scrappers/stalkers because they are all secondary armor sets.

And corruptors blast sets should be on the same level as Blasters, b/c they are both primary blast sets.

Primary/Secondary is really neither here nor there.  That view is too narrow, not giving flexibility to design.  One set simply has to be first and one second.

A Doms role on a team is primarily to add damage to the team, CC is a side thing.  Same for Controllers, CC is a side thing, on a team it's their buffs/debuffs that matter most despite that being their secondary as well.  

 

6 hours ago, Mezmera said:

I'd advocate more for blaster damage to be toned down a smidge, let them still be top dps fine but not by such a wide margin.  

Whoa now you have gone too far.  Blasters aren't way ahead by a wide margin. If they were they would be 1st on MoITF w/o inspirations +4/8  4-man challenge.  

All TW/BIO SCRAPPERS 14:45 @Acidalia @Mr.FUBAR @lucas @Raw 

(ROFL)   e/ ducks   here comes the nerf bat!

1ST 22:54 BRUTES @EV(Rad/Fire) @Impedix(Spines/Fire) @lucas(SS/Fire) @Sparta(Staff/SR) 
2ND 23:59 BLASTERS @Acidalia(Fire/TA) @dayday(Fire/Temp) @FUBAR(Fire/Temp) @Raw(BR/TA) 
3RD 25:09 CORRUPTORS @dayday(Fire/Time) @Midnight2(Fire/Dark) @FUBAR(Fire/Kin) @Stubb(Fire/Time) 
4TH 25:28 SCRAPPERS (Non-TW) @dayday(Elec/Fire) @FUBAR(WM/SD) @Gio(Psi/EA) @lucas(Spines/Bio) 
5TH 26:18 STALKERS @dayday(StJ/DA) @EV(Fire/SR) @FUBAR(Psi/Rad) @lucas(Elec/SD) 
6TH 26:21 DEFENDERS @dayday(Cold/Dark) @FUBAR(Dark/Fire) @Midnight2(Time/Ice) @Stubb(Kin/Elec) 
7TH 26:23 TANKS @DaCrusha(Rad/DM) @dayday(Elec/SS) @FUBAR(Bio/TW) @Turtumos(Fire/Fire)
 

Best Dom run is 29 mins, but it had 1 death.

Edited by FUBARczar
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4 hours ago, Mezmera said:

This game is all about math and mechanics.  It doesn't take Sherlock levels of deduction to discern closely resembling AT's.  But you can role play however you like.  

Sure, some archetypes may play more similarly to each other than others. But I don't really see how that detracts from the whole "how things were originally envisioned" vs. "how it actually turned out" thing. "Villainous counterpart" != "plays similarly to the other", which seems to be the line of reasoning that you're putting forth.

 

I think there's been a bit of a misunderstanding here? @Bill Z Bubba and I have been talking about the original design intent of the Redside archetypes, and how each one works as a thematic villainous/selfish mirror of the Blueside ones, but have both acknowledged that in practice, the villainous archetypes end up playing in different ways.

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34 minutes ago, FUBARczar said:

Whoa now you have gone too far.  Blasters aren't way ahead by a wide margin. If they were they would be 1st on MoITF w/o inspirations +4/8  4-man challenge.  

All TW/BIO SCRAPPERS 14:45 @Acidalia @Mr.FUBAR @lucas @Raw 

(ROFL)   e/ ducks   here comes the nerf bat!

1ST 22:54 BRUTES @EV(Rad/Fire) @Impedix(Spines/Fire) @lucas(SS/Fire) @Sparta(Staff/SR) 
2ND 23:59 BLASTERS @Acidalia(Fire/TA) @dayday(Fire/Temp) @FUBAR(Fire/Temp) @Raw(BR/TA) 
3RD 25:09 CORRUPTORS @dayday(Fire/Time) @Midnight2(Fire/Dark) @FUBAR(Fire/Kin) @Stubb(Fire/Time) 
4TH 25:28 SCRAPPERS (Non-TW) @dayday(Elec/Fire) @FUBAR(WM/SD) @Gio(Psi/EA) @lucas(Spines/Bio) 
5TH 26:18 STALKERS @dayday(StJ/DA) @EV(Fire/SR) @FUBAR(Psi/Rad) @lucas(Elec/SD) 
6TH 26:21 DEFENDERS @dayday(Cold/Dark) @FUBAR(Dark/Fire) @Midnight2(Time/Ice) @Stubb(Kin/Elec) 
7TH 26:23 TANKS @DaCrusha(Rad/DM) @dayday(Elec/SS) @FUBAR(Bio/TW) @Turtumos(Fire/Fire)
 

Best Dom run is 29 mins, but it had 1 death.

Ah I getcha so what you're really saying is nerf Brutes!  Especially /Fiyah.  After TW/Bio that is...

 

That'll never happen since the farming community would go on strike.

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6 minutes ago, Blackfeather said:

Sure, some archetypes may play more similarly to each other than others. But I don't really see how that detracts from the whole "how things were originally envisioned" vs. "how it actually turned out" thing. "Villainous counterpart" != "plays similarly to the other", which seems to be the line of reasoning that you're putting forth.

 

I think there's been a bit of a misunderstanding here? @Bill Z Bubba and I have been talking about the original design intent of the Redside archetypes, and how each one works as a thematic villainous/selfish mirror of the Blueside ones, but have both acknowledged that in practice, the villainous archetypes end up playing in different ways.

Well it's quite obvious just based on the design of each AT and how they "mirror" each other that: Brutes are the opposite to Tanks, Stalkers to Scrappers, and Corruptors to Defenders.  

 

That leaves Controllers and Blasters to choose their dance partners from Masterminds and Dominators.  They can say whatever wishy washy altruistic intent of the AT's left how they should "mirror" each other.  But Blasters sure don't play like Masterminds that's for sure and Dominator's sure seem to so....  

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48 minutes ago, FUBARczar said:

Whoa now you have gone too far.  Blasters aren't way ahead by a wide margin. If they were they would be 1st on MoITF w/o inspirations +4/8  4-man challenge.  

All TW/BIO SCRAPPERS 14:45 @Acidalia @Mr.FUBAR @lucas @Raw 

(ROFL)   e/ ducks   here comes the nerf bat!

1ST 22:54 BRUTES @EV(Rad/Fire) @Impedix(Spines/Fire) @lucas(SS/Fire) @Sparta(Staff/SR) 
2ND 23:59 BLASTERS @Acidalia(Fire/TA) @dayday(Fire/Temp) @FUBAR(Fire/Temp) @Raw(BR/TA) 
3RD 25:09 CORRUPTORS @dayday(Fire/Time) @Midnight2(Fire/Dark) @FUBAR(Fire/Kin) @Stubb(Fire/Time) 
4TH 25:28 SCRAPPERS (Non-TW) @dayday(Elec/Fire) @FUBAR(WM/SD) @Gio(Psi/EA) @lucas(Spines/Bio) 
5TH 26:18 STALKERS @dayday(StJ/DA) @EV(Fire/SR) @FUBAR(Psi/Rad) @lucas(Elec/SD) 
6TH 26:21 DEFENDERS @dayday(Cold/Dark) @FUBAR(Dark/Fire) @Midnight2(Time/Ice) @Stubb(Kin/Elec) 
7TH 26:23 TANKS @DaCrusha(Rad/DM) @dayday(Elec/SS) @FUBAR(Bio/TW) @Turtumos(Fire/Fire)
 

Best Dom run is 29 mins, but it had 1 death.

Being first at a very specific challenge that is relatively far from ordinary play is a data point, but it's hardly the beginning and end of the matter.

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1 hour ago, Mezmera said:

Ah I getcha so what you're really saying is nerf Brutes!  Especially /Fiyah.  After TW/Bio that is...

 

That'll never happen since the farming community would go on strike.

lol but hey there is an /SR in there!  

 

I think it looks pretty good overall except Dominators and Sentinels, they are fighting for who will be last.

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Just now, Mezmera said:

Well it's quite obvious just based on the design of each AT and how they "mirror" each other that: Brutes are the opposite to Tanks, Stalkers to Scrappers, and Corruptors to Defenders.  

 

That leaves Controllers and Blasters to choose their dance partners from Masterminds and Dominators.  They can say whatever wishy washy altruistic intent of the AT's left how they should "mirror" each other.  But Blasters sure don't play like Masterminds that's for sure and Dominator's sure seem to so....  

Well, that's the thing. We've already talked about how the archetypes ended up gameplay wise - nobody's refuting that. What we're talking about was how they were originally envisioned, even if they didn't work out that way.

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Just now, FUBARczar said:

lol but hey there is an /SR in there!  

 

I think it looks pretty good overall except Dominators and Sentinels, they are fighting for who will be last.

Well you ARE comparing all 4 TW/Bio Scrapper's.  

 

Gimme 4 Mind/Nrg dom's that play like me and well, yeah we're not touching that TW time but we could get up there with the blasters and brutes.  

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9 minutes ago, Mezmera said:

Well it's quite obvious just based on the design of each AT and how they "mirror" each other that: Brutes are the opposite to Tanks, Stalkers to Scrappers, and Corruptors to Defenders.  

 

That leaves Controllers and Blasters to choose their dance partners from Masterminds and Dominators.  They can say whatever wishy washy altruistic intent of the AT's left how they should "mirror" each other.  But Blasters sure don't play like Masterminds that's for sure and Dominator's sure seem to so....  

This presupposes that someone said, "All five ATs must have a one-to-one mirroring."

 

And what's the implication of the rest of your post?  That Masterminds are a mirror to controllers?

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1 hour ago, aethereal said:

Being first at a very specific challenge that is relatively far from ordinary play is a data point, but it's hardly the beginning and end of the matter.

It's a good measuring stick b/c there are varied enemies, varied objectives, etc., varied lvls (minions, LTs, Bosses, EBs, AVs) and so on.  You could play it on easy street and have as many deaths as you want and run at +0, I don't think the order of the standings will change much.  I see similar results whether it is running MLTF, TinPex, Kahn, PI missions or whatever.

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Just now, aethereal said:

This presupposes that someone said, "All five ATs must have a one-to-one mirroring."

 

And what's the implication of the rest of your post?  That Masterminds are a mirror to controllers?

No I get that they have the divergent differences with the intent that they are Villainous to what the Heroes are.  Just taking a step back from any predisposed bias and you can see how there's an obvious 3 pairings that mirror each other.  The other 2 pairings you'll have to base on whether you think a Blaster plays like a Mastermind or a Dom.  And whether you think a Controller plays more like a MM or a Dom.

 

Controllers with their heals/buffs/debuffs DO end up playing more similarly with MM's with a sprinkle of Dom control but it's much lighter and more in line with the softer aggro control you get from MM's.  So yes it's that Villainous sprinkle.  

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Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, Mezmera said:

No I get that they have the divergent differences with the intent that they are Villainous to what the Heroes are.  Just taking a step back from any predisposed bias and you can see how there's an obvious 3 pairings that mirror each other.  The other 2 pairings you'll have to base on whether you think a Blaster plays like a Mastermind or a Dom.  And whether you think a Controller plays more like a MM or a Dom.

 

I mean, it's super obvious that a Controller plays more like a Dom than a Mastermind.  Is anyone willing to say with a straight face that this isn't true?

 

But more to the point:  you're still making the assumption that each villainous AT has exactly one "pairing" with a unique heroic AT.  That's just...  not necessarily true.  It seems clear to me that some kind of pairing and mirroring was a concept in play at some point, like it's not crazy to point out that some of the villainous ATs look a lot like some of the heroic ATs, but there's a big jump between there and, "each villain AT was designed from beginning of Cov development to release of CoV with a mandate to mirror one unique heroic AT."

Edited by aethereal
Made timespan clearer.
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1 hour ago, Mezmera said:

Well you ARE comparing all 4 TW/Bio Scrapper's.  

 

Gimme 4 Mind/Nrg dom's that play like me and well, yeah we're not touching that TW time but we could get up there with the blasters and brutes.  

I know we differ, but honestly I think 4 Fire/Psi would have the best time b/c of the -regen and lots of AoE damage with hot feet, bonfire, and PSW.  

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5 hours ago, Mezmera said:

So an Illusion/Kinetics controller is different to a Thug/Kinetics Mastermind how?  In no way does a Mastermind control the aggro like a Tank with a taunt does.  They passively control some aggro and buff the group just like a controller does.  

Note should be made that Illusion Control is the least "controlly" control set in the game.  Not saying it's ineffective but rather it's such a departure from any other control set that exists, the devs thought it wouldn't work well on the other control AT (dominator) because it wouldn't get any benefit from Domination.

5 hours ago, Mezmera said:

You should reread what I said.  How can these conclusions be made when Stalkers/Scrappers are near identical, so just to be different we're gonna call them blasters when they share not one thing in their builds but for maybe Total Focus...?

Scrappers are also built to be back-up tanks.  Stalkers are not.  In fact, Stalkers have a tendency to *drop* aggro, especially if you consider their premiere release set, Ninjutsu.

 

Initially, Stalkers had no options for aggro management outside of using hard/soft control.  Scrappers, on the otherhand, have a taunt and often times an aggro aura built into their sets.

7 minutes ago, aethereal said:

This presupposes that someone said, "All five ATs must have a one-to-one mirroring."

 

And what's the implication of the rest of your post?  That Masterminds are a mirror to controllers?

It was always to my understanding that the villain ATs were supposed to be corrupted versions of the hero ATs, or amalgamations that altered its overall style:

 

Brute = blend of Scrapper and Tanker

Stalker = blend of Blaster and Scrapper

Corruptor = blend of Defender and Blaster

Mastermind = blend of Tanker and Defender

Dominator = blend of Controller and Tanker

 

Another aspect that is sort of being ignored when talking about the "intention" of Dominator is their inherent.  At the start, a portion of the AT's damage was actually in Domination mode.  It was designed to be a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde AT so even if it had good damage, it was intended (at least initially) to be temporary and under certain conditions.  I don't feel that warrants it being "close" to Blaster since it's current implementation is suppose to focus on aggro management with a secondary in damage.  I will say, however, Doms should totally outdamage Controllers through and through.  I'm not up to snuff on Controller metas, but I want to say some of their support sets really give Doms a run for their money, that much I'll admit.  I still don't think Doms need more damage...maybe some normalization of powers...maybe even shortening some animations, but not a modifier buff.

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