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Xandyr

Change Mercenary's Serum power

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It is almost unanimously agreed upon that Serum is one of, if not THE worst, power in the game. It has also been noted that Mercs underperform in every category. Could you change "Serum" to "Swap Ammo" (from Dual Pistols)? This would give the Mercs a "small" boost to their performance while addressing the uselessness of the Serum power. Having Swap Ammo, and choosing whether your Mercs use incendiary, cryo, or chemical rounds, would give such a nice boost to their usefulness.

 Thanks.

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Like I said the last time this idea came up, I seriously doubt letting Mercs change a portion of their damage type is going to result in any meaningful increase in performance.

 

Serum isn’t so bad or so out of place in the set that breaking the cottage rule for it is called for, anyway.

 

Edit: @summers, what part of my post was confusing to you? I'm happy to elaborate if you need me to.

Edited by Vanden
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Cottage rule left with Castle, in the two years after he retired from Paragon Studios we saw a great many changes that challenged his rule and made the game what it is today.

I'm all in favor of Serum having a complete change in functionality, or even a replacement power with better performance.

 

Edited by Tyrannical
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6 minutes ago, Tyrannical said:

Cottage rule left with Castle, in the two years after he retired from Paragon Studios we saw a great many changes that challenged his rule and made the game what it is today.

I'm all in favor of Serum having a complete change in functionality, or even a replacement power with better performance.

What changes were made that would actually have broken the rule?

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4 minutes ago, Vanden said:

What changes were made that would actually have broken the rule?

This is a very good question since, at the heart of the Cottage Rule is "don't remove any function that would effect IO set slotting" as I've seen. So basically the Cottage Rule is less "build up cannot be changed so it builds up a small cottage" as it means "Build up CAN build a small cottage but it must still be capable of slotting all the same enhancements and general functions" meaning somehow residential contracting will boost ToHit and Damage in this scenario. The rule's a lot more flexible than you'd think, like the only thing the blaster changes altered to one of the powers tends to be 'adds on +recovery and/or +end and possibly also restores HP in some way or another' along with all original functions sans usually the removal of being able to slot non-set endurance cost reduction powers. (as normally +recovery and/or +end powers do not have end costs)

Edited by Sakura Tenshi
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2 minutes ago, Vanden said:

I'm not seeing it; Touch of the Beyond is still a ranged single-target fear, Frigid Protection is still a PBAoE slow aura, Cauterizing Aura's still a damage aura, etc. No broken cottages there.

The cottage rule is a change in the core functionality, is it not?
 

Several powers have had their functionality changed, deviating from their original purpose, which is most evident in Blasters.

Castle was quite adamant that a powers remain the same, but may have their performance adjusted... what's happened to Blasters is far more than a simple adjustment.

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I wish the cottage rule itself was taken out back behind another cottage to be shot.

 

It makes sense that, as a general principle, it's nice to keep things at least a little recognisable to their original form to minimise bad feelings from people who are quite attached to those powers. But, as a rule, it's not a good one, and it stifles change where change is good. It is repeated as a mantra against good change. Each change should be taken on their own merits, not some arbitrary rule from someone who no longer develops the game.

 

And serum has no merit. Dump it.

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9 minutes ago, Tyrannical said:

The cottage rule is a change in the core functionality, is it not?
 

Several powers have had their functionality changed, deviating from their original purpose, which is most evident in Blasters.

Castle was quite adamant that a powers remain the same, but may have their performance adjusted... what's happened to Blasters is far more than a simple adjustment.

Those powers have new functionality that in most cases has eclipsed their old functionality, but they still fill all the same roles they did before they became sustain powers. A player who relied on Touch of Fear for the tohit debuff and Terrorize effect can still do so with Touch of the Beyond. Thus, the cottage rule isn't broken.

 

The same is true for Serum; granting a single pet mez protection, damage resistance, +recovery, +damage, and +toHit is a perfectly valid, potentially useful ability. The problem is the +damage and +tohit are so small as to be almost worthless, the power lasts only 60 seconds, it makes the pet useless for 20s because of the crash, and takes 16 minutes and 40 seconds to recharge. None of the functionality would have to be lost by buffing those downsides.

 

Unless you consider making the pet do nothing for 20 seconds one minute after you use it the core functionality of Serum. In which case, yeah, breaking the cottage rule would be called for.

Edited by Vanden

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6 minutes ago, Vanden said:

Those powers have new functionality that in most cases has eclipsed their old functionality, but they still fill all the same roles they did before they became sustain powers. A player who relied on Touch of Fear for the tohit debuff and Terrorize effect can still do so with Touch of the Beyond. Thus, the cottage rule isn't broken.

 

To my understanding, the cottage rule was intended to preserve the core functionality of a power. As you've stated, the new functionality has eclipsed the old, ergo breaking the cottage rule.

The examples aren't limited to Blaster, however. Powers like Dimension Shift, Disrupt and Pacify are all examples that had their functionality completely changed from the original powers that came before them.

 

Edited by Tyrannical

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Just chiming in that I also think Vanden has the right interpretation of cottage rule, you can add new bits, just don't totally gut the old. Don't think swap ammo would fix merc's damage by nearly enough, but if their version of swap ammo gave them +res, +to-hit, +damage and +recovery every time you swapped that would preserve cottage rule to my understanding, and while I think this cottage deserves to be torn down, a smaller boost to all pets for 30 seconds or so, no crash and about 1 minute cooldown to swap ammo types  might make the power worthwhile. Not sure how the power text would justify them being so pumped from swapping powers however.

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I'm still going to say the best avenue is to remove the Medic from Soldiers and add another Soldier as a replacement.  Make Summon Medic its own Power at Level 18, and give this new Medic a crashless AoE version of Serum which is suitably reduced in power to balance it out, while effectively also boosting the overall damage of the whole Mercenaries Set to midling damage output.

 

Do we have any solid reasons for why this solution isn't ideal?

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21 minutes ago, Tyrannical said:

To my understanding, the cottage rule was intended to preserve the core functionality of a power. As you've stated, the new functionality has eclipsed the old, ergo breaking the cottage rule.

That's a pointlessly semantic view of the rule.

 

23 minutes ago, Tyrannical said:

The examples aren't limited to Blaster, however. Powers like Dimension Shift, Disrupt and Pacify are all examples that had their functionality completely changed from the original powers that came before them.

Dimension Shift is not a violation, it's still an AoE foe intangibility power.

 

Disrupt and Pacify I'll grant you, but they're also examples of times where it's justified to break the rule. Repulse was a power that worked completely at odds with the player's goals; as an armor set on a melee class, a power that constantly knocks foes out of melee is counterproductive. It wasn't at all what you'd want out of an armor power set. Other existing powers that could qualify for this treatment would be Entangling Arrow in Trick Arrow, or Web Grenade and Time Bomb in Traps. These are supposed to be buff/debuff sets, so a single-target immobilize or a nuke aren't the kinds of powers you want or need from them.

 

For Pacify, Challenge was largely redundant with a power in the exact same set (Provoke). While anyone using Challenge specifically lost access to that functionality, they could still get mostly the same effect by just switching that power to Provoke in their build. Other powers that could qualify for this are Disruption Arrow and Acid Arrow in Trick Arrow (TA has a lot of problems). They're both AoE -Res powers. If you wanted to give Trick Arrow a new trick, you could double the -res in Acid Arrow, then give some new effects to Disruption Arrow while removing the -Res. You've technically broken the rule, but overall the set's functionality hasn't decreased.

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4 minutes ago, Vanden said:

Disrupt and Pacify I'll grant you, but they're also examples of times where it's justified to break the rule. Repulse was a power that worked completely at odds with the player's goals; as an armor set on a melee class, a power that constantly knocks foes out of melee is counterproductive. It wasn't at all what you'd want out of an armor power set. Other existing powers that could qualify for this treatment would be Entangling Arrow in Trick Arrow, or Web Grenade and Time Bomb in Traps. These are supposed to be buff/debuff sets, so a single-target immobilize or a nuke aren't the kinds of powers you want or need from them.

 

For Pacify, Challenge was largely redundant with a power in the exact same set (Provoke). While anyone using Challenge specifically lost access to that functionality, they could still get mostly the same effect by just switching that power to Provoke in their build. Other powers that could qualify for this are Disruption Arrow and Acid Arrow in Trick Arrow (TA has a lot of problems). They're both AoE -Res powers. If you wanted to give Trick Arrow a new trick, you could double the -res in Acid Arrow, then give some new effects to Disruption Arrow while removing the -Res. You've technically broken the rule, but overall the set's functionality hasn't decreased.

 

Would you accept that Serum is justified in breaking this rule?

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10 minutes ago, Tyrannical said:

Would you accept that Serum is justified in breaking this rule?

No, Serum sucks because the numbers on it are garbage, not because it's wrong for the set from its very conception like some powers are. If the recharge was like 3 minutes and there was no crash it'd be a fine power. The biggest "flaw" would be that you can't use it to mule pet IOs.

Edited by Vanden

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I just think that Swap Ammo would be perfect for the Mercs. It'd definitely help with their utility and damage.

 And while I'm at a "wishlist", how about making the medic drop like a mini triage beacon instead of the crappy single target heal? 

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Serum has just terrible numbers. Improving those values and also maybe just outright making it an AoE that hits every henchman so you dope up each merc in the squad, would be a good start to salvaging it. Obviously would probably want that t9 godmode debuff crash at the end of it removed. That never made sense to me, as you could just dismiss that pet and ditch that debuff'd minion anyway....

I imagine adding in Swap Ammo isn't such an easy proposition as they use Rifle attacks and it would be a lot of fiddling around to change everything around to add an ammo type proc onto them. It would be like adding Swap Ammo mechanic into AR. *which would be pretty cool, too.

Edited by UpandAtom

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7 hours ago, Vanden said:

No, Serum sucks because the numbers on it are garbage, not because it's wrong for the set from its very conception like some powers are. If the recharge was like 3 minutes and there was no crash it'd be a fine power. The biggest "flaw" would be that you can't use it to mule pet IOs.

My interpretation of cottage rule is simply that you cannot remove function, but you can enhance it (increase values) or improve it (keep existing attributes to some degree and add new things). I honestly do not care in the slightest about cottage rule though and only acknowledge it as a courtesy to those obsessed with it. I don't mind for changes to be evaluated for their individual benefits juxtaposed with their sources individual problems...and wouldn't dismiss a change just because it is an overhaul entirely.

7 hours ago, Xandyr said:

I just think that Swap Ammo would be perfect for the Mercs. It'd definitely help with their utility and damage.

 And while I'm at a "wishlist", how about making the medic drop like a mini triage beacon instead of the crappy single target heal? 

I got a few links for you.

 

 

 

 

Check those out, tell me how you feel about them. Much like you shadowrex proposed an ammo-swap, and even I also originally envisioned an ammo change of sorts going where Serum went, along with a few other things. That idea just won't be enough to help mercs though, as mercs is genuinely stepped on and requires a lot of basic and general improvements before we can even consider how Serum factors in.


The Mastermind Enthusiast

MM Global Changes

The Wishlist

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13 hours ago, Vanden said:

Like I said the last time this idea came up, I seriously doubt letting Mercs change a portion of their damage type is going to result in any meaningful increase in performance.

 

Serum isn’t so bad or so out of place in the set that breaking the cottage rule for it is called for, anyway.

 

Edit: @summers, what part of my post was confusing to you? I'm happy to elaborate if you need me to.

I agree. Changing damage types will do nothing to help.

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