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Weekly Discussion 73: T9s Part 3 - Support


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The only support set I can really get my head around is Poison, this mostly because most of the powers are aimed at enemies rather than teammates, and not having to worry about  the durability of your 'anchor' makes it much more fun to play.  I have a poison/dark defender at 50, also a plants/poison controller. 

 

Venomous Gas is underwhelming, one of the few Poison powers I might suggest is skip-worthy.  It basically works as a taunt aura.  Most of the time you will be avoiding melee on such a character, so it's rather hard to say how valuable its debuff is.  Most of the time what it does is get you killed, where you forget to turn it off and it spoils your stealth.

 

I do have Time on a Beast/Time MM, but I don't have a whole lot of time racked up on the character. 

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Fulcrum Shift, Heat Loss, Venomous Gas, Overgrowth, Chronoshift, Dark Servant, and Lightning Storm are all great as they are, all worthy of t9 status and how they shape their respective powersets.

 

Then there is Adrenalin Boost, Painbringer, and Amp Up. I'd say here the issue isn't that they are weak powers, but an issue with buff sets as a whole being overshadowed by the effect of IO slotting on the metagame, where more characters than not are going to be self sufficient. It would be great to see these powers have their recharge reduced so they could be placed on two allies at a time rather than just the typical one. Empathy in particular needs a little more in the way of pros for taking the set, and it would be great to see the RAs combined into one power to make room for something new.

 

Melt Armor is horribly overshadowed by Sleet/Freezing Rain and really wants 30-60 seconds shaved off it's recharge timer.

Liquefy similarly has an awful cooldown, but possibly increasing its damage to mini-nuke levels would be good too, or adding a -res component.

EM Pulse needs the self recovery crash removed and its cooldown reduced.

EMP Arrow in the same boat but I'll hold my breath as I await the full set of changes coming to Trick Arrow.

Time Bomb is a mess.

Force Bubble is a mess, as is the rest of the set, and needs some more attention than just looking at the t9. Same as Empathy.

 

 

 

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OK, the ones I have on HC.

 

Amp Up: fairly meh to me. I've got it on my EA defender, but I'm not the biggest fan of a T9 being a single target buff even if it is a pretty big one. The buff is rather powerful and does a wide variety of stuff, but picking a target, and rotating the target is honestly more bother than I like. It's a YMMV situation, so some might like it even if don't. This could be called a matter of play style preference more than anything. Power is probably fine as is.

 

Fulcrum Shift: Easily this is the best of the T9s, and honestly might be deemed the point to match for current balance. Of course it would require buffs of many others for this to be the case. A well run kinetics buffer on a team has a huge effect.

 

Liquefy: The power is fairly good in terms of effect but the duration to recharge ratio is rather meh. Even on a perma hastened build it's not really up enough to be deemed more than an 'oh shit' power. Thing is, it's not so great that it will save your bacon in a lot of 'oh shit' moments. I have it on my sonic defender, and I do use it, but I've got trouble thinking of an instance where it really turned a battle.

 

Chrono Shift this is a solid power. While it's not a hell of a lot better than speed boost (now that speed boost hits everyone at once), it does hit the user which is nice and adds in healing. One might be able to make a case that it's a touch underpowered, but given how good Time Manipulation is otherwise, and that it works on the user, I'd say it is fine as is.

 

Time Bomb: Only good thing I can say about this dumpster fire is that I know what power I can skip to use on pools or EPPs.

 

EM Pulse: This power is an immediate 'skip' for me. It's not the dumpster fire that time bomb is, but I still wouldn't bother with it in any build I can imagine. I have a ill/rad and I sure didn't bother with it there.

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I can only speak to the T9s I carry around myself, but here goes...

 

Electrical Affinity - Amp Up.  Very far from a set-defining power, but I suppose if a great support set is going to have a skippable, I would prefer it to be a T9 so I can spend more time doing what the set does best, and get my pets/Epics fleshed out that much sooner.  If I could, I would have it use the chaining mechanic the rest of the buffs in the set are known for, with first target hit getting the best portion of the buff, and every subsequent target getting less, and have the buff factor in how much Static you have built up.  THAT would feel like a T9.  But... I still probably wouldn't take it on most EA builds.

 

Force Field - Force Bubble.  I actually *like* Force Bubble as an idea, even though it is useless on MOST teams, has an insane endurance cost for what little effect it actually has AND it completely invalidates the T7 from its own tree.  For being a T9 with that kind of endurance cost, the bubble should pulse Hold instead of Repel, or floor Regen or some other massive, game-changing effect.  

 

Traps - Time Bomb.  Awful cast time, awful delay, awful damage.  Would rather see this ditched altogether and replaced with a "swap ammo" or "equip robot" kind of power, wherein it makes your other Traps powers a little differently in a given situation.  

 

Trick Arrow - EMP Arrow.  Shave a minute off the recharge and remove the -Recovery component, and you've got a legit T9 here.   As it stands, if I'm in a situation where I need to fire off EMP Arrow, I am probably also in a situation where I can't afford to go without endurance recovery for 15s.  I understand they just ported it from Rad, warts and all, but  unless an EMP Arrow weighs 15 pounds, there's no reason I should be exhausted after firing it.

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12 hours ago, Zepp said:

 

Needs a complete overhaul.

  • Radiation Emission - EM Pulse - Possibly the worst of the T9s on this list. No -Rec makes the -End not very useful. Only damages robots, a crash, terrible recharge. What is there to like? Oh, it does kinda look cool...
  • Trick Arrow - EMP Arrow - Almost as bad as EMP, but the fact that it's ranged means you aren't in the middle of the melee when you crash.

I'm not going to try to defend EM Pulse as a great power, but it has a 60' radius. If you're in melee range while using it, that's on you.

 

That it seems "meh" otherwise is more of a referendum on AoE holds in the game in general. Let's compare EM Pulse to a standard control set's AoE hold, using Controller numbers:

 

Power EM Pulse Cinders
Accuracy 1.0 0.8
Base Hold 27.938 sec (mag 3) 14.9 sec (mag 3)
Additional Hold 27.938 sec (mag 1, 50% chance) 11.175 sec (mag 1, 20% chance)
Targets Hit 16 16
Radius 60' 35'
Recharge 300 sec 240 sec
Endurance Cost 20.8 15.6
Additional Effects

-1000% regeneration (target, 15 sec)

-40% endurance (target)

-1000% recovery (self, 15 sec)

50.16 energy damage (robots)

 

 

From the perspective of an AoE hold, it's actually a nice power - it doesn't suffer from an accuracy penalty like other AoE holds, has a better chance of holding bosses, holds for a longer duration, has the same target cap, drains endurance from the targets while crippling their regeneration, and does damage to robots. Would it be even better without -recovery? Sure, but what it does, it does well. 

Edited by siolfir
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6 hours ago, DreadShinobi said:

Melt Armor is horribly overshadowed by Sleet/Freezing Rain and really wants 30-60 seconds shaved off it's recharge timer.

It's not just the recharge that's too high. The endurance cost is too high, and the radius is too small.

 

So, I put my thoughts on Melt Armor here when there was a discussion about how Bruising compared to debuffs, but I'll quote it again since we're talking about it:

Quote

Off-topic, but I personally think that the recharge on Melt Armor is too high (15' AoE, 150 sec recharge, 18.2 end), and the numbers for similar powers are all over the place - just look at Sleet/Freezing Rain (60 seconds, 18.2 end), Anguishing Cry (25', 120 sec, 13 end), and Slowed Response (25', 90 sec, 15.6 end). It's one of the reasons I never made a Thermal once Homecoming went public.

I struck out the off topic part since it's on topic for this thread.

 

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@siolfir, I didn't catch the radius. that is decent. However, your assessment of it being easier to control bosses would only apply to Trollers or Doms because they have inherent benefits to increase magnitude that affect control AoE Holds' chance for increased magnitude. In other words, a Defender would have a lower chance to hold a boss with EMP than a Troller or Dom with a standard AoE Hold.

 

Basically all the AoE Holds need to have their recharge reduced. I also agree that the power could be good with reasonable recharge and either a shortened or removed crash. Basically, as it is, you are creating a lot of aggro while losing your ability to defend yourself. From a solo perspective the powers are completely useless. From a team perspective, you are sacrificing too much to make it a good move against anything other than a GM (where that -regen outweighs removing yourself from the fight for 15+s).

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3 minutes ago, Zepp said:

@siolfir, I didn't catch the radius. that is decent. However, your assessment of it being easier to control bosses would only apply to Trollers or Doms because they have inherent benefits to increase magnitude that affect control AoE Holds' chance for increased magnitude. In other words, a Defender would have a lower chance to hold a boss with EMP than a Troller or Dom with a standard AoE Hold.

 

Basically all the AoE Holds need to have their recharge reduced. I also agree that the power could be good with reasonable recharge and either a shortened or removed crash. Basically, as it is, you are creating a lot of aggro while losing your ability to defend yourself. From a solo perspective the powers are completely useless. From a team perspective, you are sacrificing too much to make it a good move against anything other than a GM (where that -regen outweighs removing yourself from the fight for 15+s).

That's actually not true - all versions of EM Pulse have a 50% chance to hold bosses; only the duration changes based on AT modifiers (and Cinders would not have the 20% chance if not for the Controller inherent).

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19 hours ago, Heraclea said:

The only support set I can really get my head around is Poison, this mostly because most of the powers are aimed at enemies rather than teammates, and not having to worry about  the durability of your 'anchor' makes it much more fun to play.  I have a poison/dark defender at 50, also a plants/poison controller. 

 

Venomous Gas is underwhelming, one of the few Poison powers I might suggest is skip-worthy.  It basically works as a taunt aura.  Most of the time you will be avoiding melee on such a character, so it's rather hard to say how valuable its debuff is.  Most of the time what it does is get you killed, where you forget to turn it off and it spoils your stealth.

 

I do have Time on a Beast/Time MM, but I don't have a whole lot of time racked up on the character. 

I sort of agree with this honestly - Venomous Gas is a fantastic power but the implementation of it is so wonky that it often feels like more trouble than it's worth.

 

 

Otherwise, sets I think need to be looked at a little;

 

Force Bubble - I actually like this, but the existence of Hurricane in /Storm makes me really question why it's not... better? Like the few times where I've really felt like Force Bubble would be notably useful, Hurricane also would've worked.

 

Painbringer - Worse Adrenalin Boost is... sad? I don't personally see AB as being super great - it's not bad, but it's not like Fulcrum Shift or Chrono Shift - so having a powerset get a worse variant is really unfortunate.

 

Liquifey - Another power that's not terrible but being so meh while coming at the tail end of a set that is already somewhat unimpressive really makes me question this design choice.

 

Also, as a side note; it really does feel like the worse a set is, the worst it's T9 is. Sets where the first 8 powers are great get great T9s (Kinetics, Time, Nature) and sets that are sort of meh otherwise get terrible ones. What's up with that?

 

 

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Venomous Gas is fine.

 

That being said, Force Bubble is not.

 

Now I take it for funzies, but it really needs to do something different.  How about reduce its radius a bit, remove the repel and make it have a chance to do cast lift on targets in the aura... loool. 

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Thoughts regarding Support Tier 9s:

 

  • Cold Dom, pretty good as is, maybe slightly shorten the base recharge of Heat Loss
  • Dark Miasma, would be nice to increase the magnitude of the debuffs Dark Servant can do, as well as allow it to fly.
  • Empathy, this idea might be more radical, but redesign the power to turn AB into a self buff that boosts the healing magnitude of all the empath's healing/regen powers while also adding regen debuff resistance to powers to help against debuffs.
  • Force Fields, turn Force Bubble into a pbaoe +defense to all/+defense debuff resistance aura that can knock down enemies inside of it. I would remove the repel (and place the repel on personal force field instead).
  • Kinetics, Fulcrum Shift is pretty good as is. If any change perhaps expand the range of the targeted AoE buff some.
  • Nature Affinity, Overgrowth could stand to have a slight reduction to it's base recharge.
  • Radiation Emission, EM Pulse I would remove the -self recovery, and slightly reduce the base recharge.
  • Sonic Resonance, Liquefy is pretty good, but I'd increase the AoE size and reduce the recharge of the power.
  • Storm Summoning, Lightning Storm, I would extend the duration of Lightning Storm, and build a feature called Severity or such, so that as you summon lightning storms, the severity increases causing it's strikes to hit their targets with an increasing magnitude of disorient corresponding with the number of active lightning storms.
  • Thermal Radiation, Melt Armor is good but needs a reduced recharge time. As a stretch change any target suffering from Heat Exhaustion and Melt Armor is applied a new debuff called Heat Stroke (which causes the target to suffer a DoT that does minimal fire damage but stacks a regeneration debuff every 2 seconds up to 10 stacks, stacks expire after 20 seconds).
  • Time Manipulation, Chrono Shift, it's good as is.
  • Electrical Affinity, Amp Up, Perhaps a slight recharge reduction but otherwise a great power.
  • Traps, Time Bomb, change it to a time bomb you place on a target and it detonates 5 seconds after casting, or when the target is killed. Cast time reduced to 2.5 seconds, power also leaves caltrops scattered around the explosion radius.
  • Trick Arrow, EMP Arrow, redesign to EM Chaining Arrow. Arrow now hits a target and chains up to 16 nearby targets to the initial target restricting movement away from chained target while also jolting all the chained targets with light electrical damage, with large -end and -recovery, -jump/-fly, -speed. Recharge base 90 seconds, no self debuff.
  • Poison, Venomous Gas, tone down the end cost and then maybe a built-in proc that can cause enemies to throw up like players do from the rez.

 

Thanks.

Edited by SeraphimKensai
Sorry I forgot Poison, I can't believe I did as Poison is one of my fav sets.
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5 hours ago, kiramon said:

Venomous Gas is fine.

 

That being said, Force Bubble is not.

 

Now I take it for funzies, but it really needs to do something different.  How about reduce its radius a bit, remove the repel and make it have a chance to do cast lift on targets in the aura... loool. 

Lift/ hold, that would be an awesome sight!  Especially if it was mag 3 or higher- then the crazy end cost might be worth it.  That would be enough for me to finally make a FF character on HC.  You have my vote!

 

Liquefy I think is generally not that great or imminently useful. The fix I think is up the damage to something special or make the recharge much faster.  Or both!  I vote for both. 

 

Heat Loss is by far my favorite support tier 9 , followed by Fulcrum Shift.  I enjoy lightning storm, Overgrowth, and Chronoshift too!  Haven't tried the others.

 

I havent played the others.  I feel like from playing them myself and watching others, Liquefy and Force Bubble are the most skippable in a class of usefullness with a large portion of armor tier 9s.  That is, most not used in battle and generally just a curiousity.

Edited by zenijos10
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Yeah, going to add to the "Time bomb is horrible." It's just - ok, sure, it's somewhat thematic, but just doesn't work. And I don't mean "in today's fast moving teams." Even soloing I can't find a use for it.  I'd probably do something like replace it with... I don't know, "bouncing bomb," does knockdown as it rolls to its deploy range, detonates, damages, disorients.

 

Force Bubble, I think the only thing I'd do (going back to an earlier discussion) is reduce the radius to match Dispersion Bubble. It being larger does tend to throw things (not literally.) Just having one "edge" to worry about would simplify things.

 

... and in reaction to an earlier comment, no, very little to nothing "needs" hasten, not even support sets. Or perma-ing, for that matter.

Primarily on Everlasting. Squid afficionado. Former creator of Copypastas. General smartalec.

 

I tried to combine Circle and DE, but all I got were garden variety evil mages.

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I've always thought Venomous Gas should work for everyone the way it works for Masterminds: you target someone other than yourself.

 

EMP Arrow is pretty terrible.  I'd rather see it changed to something that has a chance to ignite Oil Patch.  It's always seemed odd to not have a method of igniting the oil in the set with the oil.  I know you can get origin powers to do it, but I really think the ignition should be another power in the set.  Like @SeraphimKensai's Chaining Arrow above, but with fire or energy damage that can light the oil slick.

 

EDIT: Or electric, I just can't remember if that lights the slick.

Edited by Sura
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1 hour ago, Sura said:

I've always thought Venomous Gas should work for everyone the way it works for Masterminds: you target someone other than yourself.

 

EMP Arrow is pretty terrible.  I'd rather see it changed to something that has a chance to ignite Oil Patch.  It's always seemed odd to not have a method of igniting the oil in the set with the oil.  I know you can get origin powers to do it, but I really think the ignition should be another power in the set.  Like @SeraphimKensai's Chaining Arrow above, but with fire or energy damage that can light the oil slick.

 

EDIT: Or electric, I just can't remember if that lights the slick.

Electric based attacks deal energy damage which can ignite oil slick. That was part of the reason I thought Electricity would be beneficial, as oil slick is targetable, so i figured it could be included in the chain.

As far as venomous gas, I really like it as a pbaoe, but at 0.65 end/sec its really costly to run, it would be so much better just toning down the end cost.

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9 hours ago, SeraphimKensai said:

 

  • Storm Summoning, Lightning Storm, I would extend the duration of Lightning Storm, and build a feature called Severity or such, so that as you summon lightning storms, the severity increases causing it's strikes to hit their targets with an increasing magnitude of disorient corresponding with the number of active lightning storms.

 

If the storm clouds can't be made mobile, having a longer duration to set up a row (or ring) of clouds over time would be nice.

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I am curious and I might be misremembering... are IO enhancement procs changing at some point? It could be interesting with the interactions with psuedo-pets like Dark Servant and Thunder Storm.

 

I'd love to see Venomous Gas changed completely. I'm not a fan of a toggle aura that draws aggro on a squishy archetype, it just gets me killed. I was thinking rework into a team-wide or short ranger AoE Toxin damage buff, something similar to Toxins in Plant Manipulation. Or a Tar Patch effect that also does Toxin DoT.

 

I don't see many Force Field users. So I doubt just changing Force Bubble helps...that set as a whole set feels outdated.

 

Liquefy is fine. But optional IMO.

 

Trick Arrow is an oddity. The set as a whole is stellar on Controllers, not as nearly as effective for Defenders and Corruptors. That AoE hold as a Controller would just add another layer battlefield control...if the -recovery weren't attached. I'd like to see a different option for Defenders and Corruptors for a T9 power.

Edited by TalonBlue
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My take on Amp Up is that it is actually really great at what it does. It is equally effective on a small team as a large team, as the benefits it pumps out are huge. It can also be used as a crutch power for teammates maybe not slotted up to heaven with set ios, and that for me is an amazing benefit.

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On 10/19/2020 at 7:46 PM, Tyrannical said:

because in addition to matching Empathy's healing, it also benefits from having a series of secondary buffs that increase its versatility, and possesses much more reliable healing delivery. 

Share Pain has a +DMG buff, whereas Absorb pain does not.
Conduit of Pain has a whole assortment of buffs, while Resurrect gets nothing.

Enforced Morale has way more benefits than that of Clear Mind.

Soothing Aura/Supress Pain simply just outperforms Regeneration Aura

World of Pain is an AoE version of Fortitude, just without the +DEF.
and finally Painbringer is just a more favourable version of Adrenaline Boost.

 

In addition to giving Empathy slightly more healing so it can keep up, I would also suggest rolling Recovery Aura and Regeneration Aura into a single power, and creating an entirely new power that grants more buffs to allies, or maybe debuffs foes.

I find Empathy's biggest downer is [Fortitude], you have to cast it on one target at a time and it's such a tiny buff to damage.  Really would like to see that damage buff significantly increased, especially when it's a primary pool (Defender).  Also would be nice it actually matched the power's color, instead of always being pink-red.

 

Also yes I agree that [Enforced Morale] is way better than [Clear Mind], but that could be fixed easily by making [Clear Mind] and AoE effect like [Increased Density], or by having it's duration significantly longer. Or both, but really either duration or AoE is fine IMHO.

 

Just FYI: I one of my core/main 5 characters, named Ynnea, is a Defender Empathy/Radiation.  It would be nice if she wasn't always overshadowed by Kinetic secondaries on the team/league (i.e.: Fire/Kin Corruptors) in end-game raids & iTrials.  Ynnea in her "human" form/shape:

spacer.png

 

 

Edited by agentx5
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What if force bubble was a pet? Its only attack is repel and knockdown, but you can control it like a mastermind.  Goto follow and attack work like mm, defensive turns off powers. Make the pet untargetable.  Keep a toggle still, that operates as it does now.  Maybe balance requires a small cost all the time even if repel and kb are off, or an upfront cost when summoned or both.  Alternatively turn it to limited duration click that can be made perma relatively easily.

Edited by zenijos10
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On 10/24/2020 at 9:11 PM, agentx5 said:

Also yes I agree that [Enforced Morale] is way better than [Clear Mind], but that could be fixed easily by making [Clear Mind] and AoE effect like [Increased Density], or by having it's duration significantly longer. Or both, but really either duration or AoE is fine IMHO.

Enforced Morale is Clear Mind, that does damage to the target in exchange for a 5% (ie, miniscule) recharge boost. It's only better because you can say "the beatings will continue until morale improves."

Also, the mez protection in Increased Density isn't AoE, only the Smashing and Energy resistance.

Edited by siolfir
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