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Focused Feedback: Energy Melee Revamp


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8 hours ago, drbuzzard said:

Tried this on a stalker (EM/EA). As long as you always remember to do the TF-ET as a combo, it has a lot of the classic feel of EM or perhaps even better since TF isn't so slow anymore. Power crash is nice, but I almost get the feeling it crits more than expected even out of hide. This has not been quantitatively measured, but I almost always seemed to be a critting at least some of the targets in hide or not. 

 

Test was running an ITF solo. Made it to the last rommy, but bailed after one of the add spawns piled on and killed me. I had rommy down half before that. The new EM is likely to be single target king the way I was able to beat down AVs well past their regeneration. 

Out of hidden status, Stalker AoEs get their 10-31% chance to critical all the time depending on teammates in range - I'd say that this is likely normal, especially if you were teamed.

 

20 minutes ago, Croax said:

My problem was that BS would consume EF stacks and just be a gimmick which i could ignore. In fact i came to a situation where i would random crit TF, use one stack on ET and now i was avoiding BS because i hoped to get another fast ET instead of a stupid BS that consumed the stack.

While not specifically referring to Stalkers or Scrappers, this is what I was talking about in my earlier post - yes, it's no worse than what's on live and technically is a "bonus," but it feels punitive using Bone Smasher because it takes away the fast ET.

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10 hours ago, Troo said:

Were you using the -special and -regen at all?

My interface slot was cognitive to get some psi damage to beat down the EBs during their unstoppable use, so no. I had no envenomed daggers either.

 

Build had hecatomb in ET (full), superior stalker ATOs in AS and TF (Stalker's guile in AS), and Armageddon in Power Crash.

 

Honestly I'm not sure why anyone would be shocked by beating down Rommy (and Requiem) in mission 3. He's not all that tough. I've done the TF solo on live with a psi/SD stalker before without a whole lot of trouble.

Edited by drbuzzard
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Derp. I found the Dominator Energy Assault post in "Other" changes. Moving this there.

Edited by Rejolt

Improve Hamidon Enhancements! Add Recharge to Ribosomes. Add Recharge or endurance modification to Golgis (or both!). Interrupt reduction to Centrioles, slows to Lysosomes and Enzymes, recharge to endoplasms and endurance reductions to peroxisomes.

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3 hours ago, TotalThunder said:

Maybe I'm missing something, but it seems like Energy Melee and Kinetic Melee's heavy hitters got this weird crit nerf while other very similar powers are allowed to function as normal.

 

I'm not arguing that it's balanced, but there is an argument for it, as follows:

The heavy hitters for Street Justice, Psy Melee, etc, will CONSUME resources such as Insight. And they crit for full damage.

The heavy hitters for Energy Melee and Kinetic Melee will GENERATE resources (Energy Focus or a Recharge to BU). They crit for limited damage.

 

Clearly, the balancing is the idea that generating resources instead of consuming them is worth some damage. Whether the amount of damage lost is worth the gain could be argued, but the concept is obvious and inescapable.

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1 hour ago, drbuzzard said:

Honestly I'm not sure why anyone would be shocked by beating down Rommy (and Requiem) in mission 3. He's not all that tough. I've done the TF solo on live with a psi/SD stalker before without a whole lot of trouble.

I wasn't shocked. I merely asked the question to clarify, that's all.

"Homecoming is not perfect but it is still better than the alternative.. at least so far" - Unknown  (Wise words Unknown!)

 

Sooo.. I guess I am taking a non-voluntary break until November?!

 

Si vis pacem, para bellum

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5 hours ago, Croax said:

I hope that EM will see some more adjustments before it hits life.

I found that if you just accept not doing AS from hide, you can get a hell of a damage chain going. Start from hide with TF, then ET, BS, (also EP depending on recharge) then a critting AS from visible. Wash rinse and repeat.

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12 hours ago, aethereal said:

I found myself starting to gasp for endurance at level 10, running only one toggle (temp invul).  It's not unusual for melees to have endurance problems at low levels, but I'm having particularly large ones.  I noticed this also on an EM/WP Brute I had HC live.  I cheated myself the ATOs at level 10 and slotted most of each set in Bone Smasher and PC, and kind of expected that to make it go away, but while it helped, I still often have to rest for endurance after every second or third spawn.  This feels like a temporary problem that will go away as I level and invest in sets, but it's pretty noticeable at this level.  Maybe reduce the end cost of either EP or Barrage a smidge to help lowbies out?  Shouldn't affect high-end performance much.

 

8 hours ago, Safehouse said:

Glad I’m not the only one experiencing the end issues. I’ve pretty consistently caught myself chugging blue insps to get by.

 

Out of curiosity, were the two of you taking advantage of the fact that you can buy SOs at low level now? And if so, had you slotted stamina?

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1 minute ago, kenlon said:

 

 

Out of curiosity, were the two of you taking advantage of the fact that you can buy SOs at low level now? And if so, had you slotted stamina?

I was not.

 

And, look, I'm sure this is solvable.  But on HC live, I don't usually have to.  I can just get to 17 and put Performance Shifters into stamina, and start accumulating set bonuses and whatever.  Like, yes, there may be a bit of a rough patch right before I hit 17, but nothing unmanageable.  Energy Melee seems worse at lowbie endurance economy than other melee sets.

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I think at least one of TF or ET should crit. It's like taking away what Scrappers and Stalkers are about, crits!

 

But on the other hand I think if they did allow at least one of them to crit then the damage may well get reduced. This would then hit the tanker and brute badly.

 

It would be worth them allowing one to crit in next build update, to see how it works out.

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21 minutes ago, kenlon said:

 

 

Out of curiosity, were the two of you taking advantage of the fact that you can buy SOs at low level now? And if so, had you slotted stamina?

I started with SOS at about level three. I’ve kept at least one fully upgraded stamina enh on each of my skills, but actually updated after level 20 to have at least two stamina in each of my toggle skills. The effect is noticeable. Although, in truth, I do share @aethereal’s observations regarding EM seeming more end heavy at low levels; I haven’t usually had to slot that much stamina. It probably will naturally go away as I level up and I really should try to collect some data on this. It might help to share more than “feels end heavy” if I can.

Edited by Safehouse

Liberty and Virtue server refugee. Everlasting resident.

 

Main/Planned Characters:

  • Astellus - Kinetic/Energy/Mu Scrapper (Magic)
  • Blue Bowshock - Radiation/Energy/Flame Blaster (Science)
  • Safehouse - Energy/Energy/Mu Scrapper (Mutation)
  • Neonstar - Luminous/Luminous Peacebringer (Natural)
  • Faerwald - Gravity/Energy/Psionic Dominator (Science)
  • Fomalhaut - Rad/Rad Sentinel (Science)
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29 minutes ago, aethereal said:

Energy Melee seems worse at lowbie endurance economy than other melee sets.

This isn't too surprising, as this is a common issue when good attacks have fast cast times. I assume early levels you're using Energy Punch and Bone Smasher quite a bit. They both have longer recharges, so they do more damage (which makes them good) and cost more endurance. So what you might be experiencing is the fact you are doing more Damage per second (DPS), but it is accompanied with more Endurance per second (EPS). Your damage per endurance is the same as it would be for most powersets, however you're spending that damage (and endurance) faster than the other powersets thanks to the faster cast times.

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Endurance - Yes, increasing the Energy Punch endurance cost combined with encouraging more use of Whirling Hands and Total Focus adds up.

"Homecoming is not perfect but it is still better than the alternative.. at least so far" - Unknown  (Wise words Unknown!)

 

Sooo.. I guess I am taking a non-voluntary break until November?!

 

Si vis pacem, para bellum

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Continuing Lowbie Explorations:

 

I finished up the Skulls arc, which took me to level 14, cheated up to level 16, then just did the Laura Lockhart Arc which took me to 18.

 

Veles gave me trouble at the end of the Skulls -- he killed me twice.  I think this was more due to it being not a great match-up for invul than anything about energy melee, but EM didn't close the gap for me (this was as an EB -- I've been at default difficulty so far).

 

I did the beginning of the Lockhart arc without any problems besides annoyingly long breaks to recoup endurance, leveled to 17 and put a Perf Shifter attuned endmod and the proc into stamina.  This didn't make my endurance problems completely go away, but moved it from "really frustrating" to "mildly annoying."

 

I did the big mass of underlings thing at the end of the penultimate Lockhart mission with just PC, and really did surprisingly well!  Ate a couple of blues, had a somewhat hard time with endurance through the sustain, but I was successful and not really in danger.  The final EB was actually more difficult than the masses of underlings.  Lion-o or whatever his name is wasn't any trouble either.

 

Comments:

 

  • I had somehow confused myself into thinking that PC was a melee targeted AoE instead of a cone.  This is probably mostly just because I confused it with ToF in Dark Melee, but I note that the power effect with the big expanding energy circle makes it look a lot more like a targeted AoE than a cone.
  • My AoE rotation, now that I have whirling hands, feels somehow in better shape than my single-target rotation?  Even with a bit of global recharge, a little local in both EP and Barrage, and a lot of local recharge in BS, I still have a loooong gaps in my ST.  Because of this, misses are a big deal.  If I miss with Barrage or, god forbid, Bone Smasher, it's a little grim.
  • With the final mission, I definitely started to feel like I need to turn up the difficulty.  Probably could've a little earlier.  Certainly could've if I gave myself a full IO build, but I'm intentionally leaving some gaps here.

 

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Excellent stuff. @aethereal which AT are you using?

 

I might skip some to the late mid levels. I am curious to see the impact of switching the powers around.

"Homecoming is not perfect but it is still better than the alternative.. at least so far" - Unknown  (Wise words Unknown!)

 

Sooo.. I guess I am taking a non-voluntary break until November?!

 

Si vis pacem, para bellum

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5 hours ago, drbuzzard said:

I found that if you just accept not doing AS from hide, you can get a hell of a damage chain going. Start from hide with TF, then ET, BS, (also EP depending on recharge) then a critting AS from visible. Wash rinse and repeat.

Despite being a larger hit, Assassin's Strike from hidden status is worse DPA and so it's usually better to accept skipping it from hide for all primaries. Energy Melee Stalkers essentially get two conditional 'fast ET' attacks, since Assassin's Strike is scale 5.0 in 1 second with Assassin's Focus, and Energy Transfer is scale 4.56 in the same time frame with Energy Focus.

 

8 hours ago, Coyote said:

I'm not arguing that it's balanced, but there is an argument for it, as follows:

The heavy hitters for Street Justice, Psy Melee, etc, will CONSUME resources such as Insight. And they crit for full damage.

The heavy hitters for Energy Melee and Kinetic Melee will GENERATE resources (Energy Focus or a Recharge to BU). They crit for limited damage.

 

Clearly, the balancing is the idea that generating resources instead of consuming them is worth some damage. Whether the amount of damage lost is worth the gain could be argued, but the concept is obvious and inescapable.

My argument is that given the gain, the damage tradeoff is not enough; there are trade-offs in spending stacks of Energy Focus already in terms of how it affects which powers you can use.

  • The "consumer" powers you list will already critical for full damage whether they consume anything or not.
  • Concentrated Strike in particular has issues with its production alone:
    • For Scrappers, it is a flat rate that is not affected by critical rate adjustments.
    • For Stalkers, the ATO co-opted the effect so that it is not worthwhile: every set can do it.
  • Devastating Blow in Rad Melee is both a producer and consumer that does scale 3.08 damage and has a full damage critical.

If the issue is hitting too hard then limit it to scale 6.16, which would be a critical for just over 74% of the base damage and match the highest scale "producer" (Devastating Blow). Instead Total Focus gets just over 28% and Concentrated Strike gets nothing (and hits later than even the old Total Focus animation). Even if you feel Contamination doesn't equal the bonus of Energy Focus, I feel as if there's room for adjustment between the current 28% and the 74% it would be if it matched Devastating Blow.

 

Here's a short list of the primary powers available to Scrappers that hit for a critical harder than Total Focus (3.56 base, 1.0 critical; 4.56 scale damage total):

  1. Cleave, scale 2.72 -> 5.44 on a critical
  2. Clobber, scale 2.92 -> 5.84
  3. Crushing Uppercut, scale 3.18 -> 6.36 at combo level 0
  4. Devastating Blow, scale 3.08 -> 6.16, additional 0.296 scale on Contaminated targets
  5. Freezing Touch, scale 2.915 -> 5.835 (critical damage is slightly more than base)
  6. Greater Psi Blade, scale 2.76 -> 5.52, additional 1.38 scale for Insight
  7. Head Splitter, scale 2.6 -> 5.20
  8. Incinerate, scale 2.5 -> 5.0
  9. Midnight Grasp, scale 2.76 -> 5.52
  10. One Thousand Cuts, scale 2.36 -> 4.57 (reduced damage on critical, was probably intended to be 4.56)
  11. Rend Armor (slow), scale 2.92 -> 5.84
  12. Sky Splitter, scale 2.76 -> 5.52

Greater Fire Sword goes over scale 4.56, but only because of DoT - it's scale 2.28 for base damage and critical.

The in-game numbers for Hemorrhage show a scale 2.60 critical, but the base damage doesn't show correctly.

Edited by siolfir
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Endurance is easy enough, especially with the early SO's

 

I think the biggest problem EM is facing right now is not having a second builder. EP/BA should probably just have a chance to build EF since the EF effects on bone smasher are actually pretty good and i can see why they're attached to bone smasher. The learning curve of not wasting your EF on bone smasher isn't a difficult one so no problem there. Making use of EF on Power Crash and Bone Smasher earlier than TF even if only a chance would probably improve the sets early play a lot.

 

Having a second builder works for Energy Assault, you get a good opening to the system early without it being too much since it's just a chance and you can make use of its buffs early for improved early game play and it feels smooth and nice, no reason to deviate now

Edited by Super Atom
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1 hour ago, Troo said:

I might skip some to the late mid levels. I am curious to see the impact of switching the powers around.

 

Having TF at 20 with its high end cost (along with being a requirement) really doesn't help sub-level 30 endurance issues. Right now I'm feeling like EM is going to be a slog for end on Tankers until after getting ET at 38. Sets that don't have endurance management will feel it most, that's how it is on my invuln tanker thus far anyway. It also doesn't seem to be worth the endurance hit using TF>BS and that is the only "combo" available until level 35 on tanks. 

 

At higher levels, having no endcost on ET helps a good deal. If you only use the TF>ET combo it's like halving the endcost of TF for +2x the damage. I'm not sure if that completely makes up for hellish levelling conditions below 38 though.

 

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I can see the issue with end costs being there, but personally I overbuild like crazy for recovery. Totally crazy like. Nothing upsets me more than getting stunned because i flatlined blue and wasn't paying attention, dropped toggles, and faceplanted as a result. The second most upsetting bit related to blue bar is burning it all down, and then looking at my horrible recovery not giving me blue with a whole raft of attacks ready to fire (or NEEDING to fire a heal, or +end, or something), and getting whittled down/killed as a result.

 

Hearing this comment just makes me look at doubling down on +recov.

 

 

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It just seems off. TF > BS is just not shining for me either. I love stunning stuff but..

 

"Hey look what I can do... wait hold on, let me rest for a second. Just stand still, I'll be there in a second"

"Homecoming is not perfect but it is still better than the alternative.. at least so far" - Unknown  (Wise words Unknown!)

 

Sooo.. I guess I am taking a non-voluntary break until November?!

 

Si vis pacem, para bellum

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1 minute ago, Troo said:

It just seems off. TF > BS is just not shining for me either. I love stunning stuff but..

 

"Hey look what I can do... wait hold on, let me rest for a second. Just stand still, I'll be there in a second"

Old TW?

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Expanding on my earlier complaint about lack of other ways to generate focus: due to how quickly we get ET after unlocking TF, I feel like focused bone smasher is mostly a trap for rotations. I'm focusing my tests on stalkers, but it really should apply to all energy users.

 

That's not to say bone smasher with focus is bad, far from it - it's actually pretty good - the problem is it has to compete with ET for a very limited resource. PC is fine, because it does something ET can't do - AOE, but in every situation I can see focused bone smasher being nice to have, I don't see it being nicer to have than the massive nuke to the face that fast-ET is.

 

Perhaps if there were other ways to generate focus, or at the very least we were able to pool it, I could see myself weaving in a focused BS from time to time, but as of right now, it feels more like a trap. 

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9 minutes ago, ScarySai said:

Expanding on my earlier complaint about lack of other ways to generate focus: due to how quickly we get ET after unlocking TF, I feel like focused bone smasher is mostly a trap for rotations. I'm focusing my tests on stalkers, but it really should apply to all energy users.

 

That's not to say bone smasher with focus is bad, far from it - it's actually pretty good - the problem is it has to compete with ET for a very limited resource. PC is fine, because it does something ET can't do - AOE, but in every situation I can see focused bone smasher being nice to have, I don't see it being nicer to have than the massive nuke to the face that fast-ET is.

 

Perhaps if there were other ways to generate focus, or at the very least we were able to pool it, I could see myself weaving in a focused BS from time to time, but as of right now, it feels more like a trap. 

Bolded part by me. Tanks have an 18 level wait between getting TF and getting ET, and a 15 level wait for Power Crash... so it's not that quickly for us. That said, I really do think there should be at least one other way to generate focus at the very least. Build Up is a good candidate IMO

 

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