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Weekly Discussion 76: Noticeably underpowered sets. What needs an emergency buff?

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Assault riffle
In my opinion, assault could use something reflecting the penetrating effect of bullets, schrapnel,etc. Also only in a movie you'll see a guy hit by a bullet being pushed away like this.

Power  >> my issue with it  >>  my suggestion

Burst  >>  I don't use it >> 20% chance of mag 2 stun (multiple impacts) or very minor unresistible dot (internal injury, no idea what amount)
Slug >> KB >> change it to KD, saving a slot and a keeping soft control tool
Sniper Rifle >> standard AR issue vs S/L res >> negate part (10%, 20%?) of S/L resist
Buckshot >> range, KB effect  >>  increase from 40 (iirc) to at least 60, 80 would be optimal, cones being less user friendly than TAOE, change KB to KD, + 10% chance of mag 2 stun
M30 Grenade >> KB mainly, and standard AR issue vs S/L res >> change KD to KD, change damage as someeone allready mentionnet it to Lethal/ fire, + minor irrestible dot
Beanbag >> fine by me, though I usually don't use it >> add a moderate-to hit for a few sec?
Flamethrower >> long cast time, very short range, low dpa >> my vision is that this one is burning gas. It's "just" a flame. ==>quicker cast, better range,
Ignite >> long cast, ridiculous area, fear effect >> My vision is tha this one is napalm. if you're in the splas area you're it by persisting burning liquid/paste ==>you can flee, you still get a huge fire dot
full auo  >> lonnnnng cast, relatively narrow cone, target cap, not that high damages >> widen a bit the cone, up the target cap, lower the cast time

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7 hours ago, @Ghost said:

Stone Armor's been totally workable for a while and I'm sure Combat TP will help a bit, it's just that Granite invalidating 4 other powers in the set and piling drawbacks on you is terrible design. It's not an "emergency numbers buff" candidate imo, it needs a lot more rethinking because the mutual exclusivity gimmick just sucks.

Oh it's certainly workable, it's just very unpleasant. With combat teleport, the things which made it too unpleasant to bear for me to play, have be mitigated.

 

Yes, the design certainly is a bit of a mess, but many of the suggestions I've seen would make the set unrecognizable.

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Mind control
Loved the set, untill plant control... I dislike pets, never use them except PA on illu (and strangely no one ever seemed to notice it at least I nerver had any complaint about that). so mind control was my thing.
power >> issue with it >> suggestion

mesmerize  >> ok with it mostly >> I'd made it a Mag 4 on first apply ==> garanteed boss sleep, but with the sleep effect unstackable on secpnd apply : 1 apply on the target sleep + damage, second apply within the sleep duration only does damage
levitate >> fine with it >> I saw a small aoe suggestion aerlier on the thread, i'll second, with less damages on additional target though
mass sleep >> well... not so usefull in team, as it can't last, and ha no secondaty effect >> I'd add moderate -tohit, -recharge, 5 to 10 sec  after the target's awakening, as he's coming out of slumber. maybe add a chance to keep the sleep effect after the first hit taken.
Tk >> can't event start to find any usefullness. Not sure I ever saw it beibg used on HC, and very few times on live >> no idea here, exept replace it.
Mass confusion >> great power.. if you don't pekk at seeds of confusion >> reduce the cooldown, and add a "mind" signature effect, like may be a berserk (fortitude-like) effect on confused foe.

 

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1 hour ago, kazrack35 said:

Mind control

I'm leveling up a Mind/- Controller through regular play, and while I know that Confuse will be much improved when I can slot Coercive Confusion at level 50, I'm having some serious issues in solo play with Elite Bosses. I was hoping that Confuse could bridge the 'control' gap by keeping their aggro off me while I try to stack other controls/debuffs/damage, but this strategy has been seriously unreliable so far (even with Mass Confusion as a backup application).

 

I'm reluctant to as for an emergency 'buff' to the single-target Confuse (a T4 power), but I am non-plussed that the (from the Mind Control primary) control effect of Sleep is available to be 'doubled up' at (T1/T8; level 8), Hold is at (T3, T7; level 18) but that to get a 'fast (high Magnitude) application' of Confuse it has to be (T4/T9; level 32).

 

Legit question, no snark intended: Would it be game altering to increase the magnitude of the single-target Confuse? I suppose it would allow AVs to be confused quicker...

Edited by tidge

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I'd cast my vote for taking a good look at all underperforming MM specs, Mercs especially but not the only ones.

 

Just going off of the testing done in this thread MM Primary Comparison: Standardized Environment Testing

 

In terms of clear times (Which is the best measurement for DPS I can tell from those charts) Necro, Robots, and Mercs are all noticeably worse than the other MM sets. Doing the same controlled environment run, Mercs took 50% longer to clear the same content, while Necro and Bots took 25% longer. When he starts in on IOs and procs, Robots drop to dead last. All 3 need some form of boost to damage to bring them closer to the rest of the pack.

 

Ninjas were able to clear the content rapidly but at the cost of having to be re-summoned CONSTANTLY because they were dying in DROVES holy crap. You'd think zombies or Robots would be the 'suicide into the enemy' option but nope, that's ninjas.

 

IMO Mercenaries is the most in dire need of a boost, followed by a smaller buff to bots and necro to bring them closer to the other MM sets and make them more competitive. Ninjas would probably be a lot more viable with some melee positional +Def to balance out how they get in close and get massacred a lot.

Edited by khy
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5 hours ago, kazrack35 said:

mesmerize  >> ok with it mostly >> I'd made it a Mag 4 on first apply ==> garanteed boss sleep, but with the sleep effect unstackable on secpnd apply

Mesmerize is already a guaranteed boss sleep on one application, and you can’t stack it with itself because the damage will break the first sleep.

 

5 hours ago, kazrack35 said:

1 apply on the target sleep + damage, second apply within the sleep duration only does damage

I can’t understand what this is trying to say.

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10 hours ago, Vanden said:

No power should be an "emergency numbers buff" candidate. We can see with Energy Assault/Whirling Hands and Dark Melee/Shadow Maul that players get attached to any sort of change, so if you make a buff intending to reverse it when there's finally time to do a proper balance pass players protest vehemently when the other shoe finally drops.

Sort of? "Emergency" is probably a misnomer in this situation. I think there are plenty of sets that are fine as they're designed, but just lack in the numbers department. Probably no coincidence that the holy damage formulas don't actually take cast times into account, and sets like DP/Staff/KM are considered poor performers - and you have instances of dev intent to revise DP's animations. You don't need to reinvent the wheel like what might be necessary with Stone Armor, just some tuning.

 

I do agree to avoid any more situations like you mentioned, though. I don't think those would go over well even with proper communication of the intent.

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Revisiting AR could conceivably bleed over into improving Mercs, as their ARs would be improved. Synergy! But the super-long recharges on half of the commando's powers (which he doesn't use particularly smartly, and he can't hasten unlike a player) is one thing that could have some emergency treatment. One thing they do surpassingly well is behave, I guess. You can order them to just stand back and they rat-tat-tat away without getting in anybody's way (they benefit from Group Fly pretty well. Maybe they should steal some Wing Raider jetpacks in-set :))

Commando's LRM reminds me, that blaster ancillary pool he stole the power out of is sort of wimpy itself. I have a flavor-themed blaster who took Munitions but it's not exactly a great app set.

Edited by UpandAtom

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I'd like to see Electric blast just get added damage to targets as their endurance gets lower. Like powers would deal an extra 5% damage if the target has 90% end left, up to 50% extra damage if the target has 0%  endurance left. Lets you keep the classic effect since there are people out there who love to play the endurance drain game, and gives a reward draining in the form of bonus damage which is Elec's real issue for most people I think.

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10 hours ago, Vanden said:

Mesmerize is already a guaranteed boss sleep on one application, and you can’t stack it with itself because the damage will break the first sleep.

 

I can’t understand what this is trying to say.

10 hours ago, Vanden said:

Mesmerize is already a guaranteed boss sleep on one application, and you can’t stack it with itself because the damage will break the first sleep.

 

I can’t understand what this is trying to say.

 

Edit 😅 oups, edit with the wrong account, original post was with kazrack35

 

I haven't play mind control for the last past year, so I wasn't sure. I seem to remember that sometimes sleep applied on boss without containment, sometimes not. I figured it was some twist between the sleep application vs the damage application.

 

The global intent here was to assure a sleep on the boss (if there's no interference betwen sleep and damage on application), but to prevent some kind of abuse by killing them stacking only sleep.

So the first mezmerize would do : damage then sleep the boss

the second, IF the sleep was still active would only apply damage, ie awaken the boss 

 

And also as I said first, I'm mostly okay with mesmerize, this was just a slight buff intended

Edited by cazaril

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On 11/8/2020 at 3:29 AM, Lunchmoney said:

I think there is a different forum for Ass Rifles.... 😉

This option is only available to Masterminds with the C.L.I.N.T. set. 

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On 11/8/2020 at 5:56 AM, Veelectric Boogaloo said:

Ass rifle as well - if the tier 9 roots you for more seconds than enemies you hit with it, there's issues

Unfortunate truncation, but I feel the whole set could be fixed simply by removing root from EVERY power. It's handheld for Peter's sake!

My AR/EM pretty much owns TFs, but that's because of the pairing. Boost Range really sells it. Don't forget the speed of the recharge.

 

Mercs - This is definitely priority one.

Everything else I've seen ppl mention isn't pressing.

Kinetic Melee? On a stalker! You aren't playing it right. Although if you can skip the final four powers of the set, something is off.

Edited by xl8
2 cents

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AS most people said, sets that need emergency buff to me are (from what I experienced):

 

MM Primaries:

-Mercs

-Ninjas

 

Blaster primaries:

-Energy ( please do something about that KD thing, I know there are IO but at which cost... I mean you have to sacrifice so much bonuses...)

-Assault rifle needs a buff too

-Electricity :/

 

I haven't test everything so certainly there re more, like Im questionning myself about ice melee and Battle axe for melees. I see very few of them...

Edited by Dazou

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1 hour ago, xl8 said:

Kinetic Melee? On a stalker! You aren't playing it right. Although if you can skip the final four powers of the set, something is off.

Kinetic Melee is decent on a Stalker (having the fastest of fast Assassin's Strikes does that), but there's no excuse for Concentrated Strike.

  • Despite having a shorter animation, the damage hits later from power activation than Total Focus - even the slow one and not the faster beta version, so you end up blasting corpses with it more often than any other single target attack in the game. Unlike slow Energy Transfer, at least it doesn't hurt your hit points.
  • For Stalkers or Scrappers, it provides no critical damage, instead recharging Power Siphon or Build Up - except it doesn't do it at the rate it should for criticals on a Scrapper, since it's not affected by things that affect the critical rate, and the benefit is moot for Stalkers since with the ATO every attack has a chance to recharge Build Up.

And as you said, having a situation where ignoring half of the set consistently gives you better performance than actually taking and using any of the powers means that something is wrong.

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1 minute ago, siolfir said:

Kinetic Melee is decent on a Stalker (having the fastest of fast Assassin's Strikes does that), but there's no excuse for Concentrated Strike.

  • Despite having a shorter animation, the damage hits later from power activation than Total Focus - even the slow one and not the faster beta version, so you end up blasting corpses with it more often than any other single target attack in the game. Unlike slow Energy Transfer, at least it doesn't hurt your hit points.
  • For Stalkers or Scrappers, it provides no critical damage, instead recharging Power Siphon or Build Up - except it doesn't do it at the rate it should for criticals on a Scrapper, since it's not affected by things that affect the critical rate, and the benefit is moot for Stalkers since with the ATO every attack has a chance to recharge Build Up.

And as you said, having a situation where ignoring half of the set consistently gives you better performance than actually taking and using any of the powers means that something is wrong.

Not a priority tho. Put my kin/ stalker on a tf and it will kill everything faster than the rest of the team put together.

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On 11/12/2020 at 1:20 PM, khy said:

I'd cast my vote for taking a good look at all underperforming MM specs, Mercs especially but not the only ones.

 

Just going off of the testing done in this thread MM Primary Comparison: Standardized Environment Testing

 

In terms of clear times (Which is the best measurement for DPS I can tell from those charts) Necro, Robots, and Mercs are all noticeably worse than the other MM sets. Doing the same controlled environment run, Mercs took 50% longer to clear the same content, while Necro and Bots took 25% longer. When he starts in on IOs and procs, Robots drop to dead last. All 3 need some form of boost to damage to bring them closer to the rest of the pack.

 

Ninjas were able to clear the content rapidly but at the cost of having to be re-summoned CONSTANTLY because they were dying in DROVES holy crap. You'd think zombies or Robots would be the 'suicide into the enemy' option but nope, that's ninjas.

 

IMO Mercenaries is the most in dire need of a boost, followed by a smaller buff to bots and necro to bring them closer to the other MM sets and make them more competitive. Ninjas would probably be a lot more viable with some melee positional +Def to balance out how they get in close and get massacred a lot.

I do want to point out a massive caveat for bots: I did not run the set with fully saturated enemies (x6 or more). This would for sure have an impact on their performance.

 

That said, I do agree that Bots need a little somethin, but nowhere as bad as Mercs. Followed by Ninja needing some survival tweaks or just more raw damage to cement them as *the* damage Primary, and then Necro just needing a little extra TLC.

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16 hours ago, xl8 said:

Not a priority tho. Put my kin/ stalker on a tf and it will kill everything faster than the rest of the team put together.

A team of controllers? lol

 

I would like to see that. What secondary is it running just out of curiosity?

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On 11/11/2020 at 7:27 PM, CrudeVileTerror said:

Did my best to collect all the votes so far.

I tried to avoid double-counting any Sets which a single user may have posted on more than once in the thread, but I may have made a mistake here or there.

 

16    Assault Rifle
15    Mercenaries
8    Stone Armour
7    Regeneration
7    Kinetic Melee
7    Sonic Blast
6    Sonic Resonance
5    Force Fields
4    Ninjas
4    Ice Armour
4    Broadsword
3    Peacebringer/Warshade
3    Sentinel Archetype
3    Mind Control
3    Electric Blast (specifically Endurance Drain versus Recovery Debuff)
3    Mastermind Primaries (with request for the whole Archetype to get another week under the magnifying glass)
3    Beasts
3    Fire Melee
2    Bane Spider
2    Willpower
2    Pain Domination
2    Archery
2    Traps
2    Street Justice
2    Munitions Mastery
1    Staff Melee
1    Dual Pistols
1    Battle Axe
1    Ice Melee
1    Empathy
1    Ninjitsu
1    Robotics
1    Dark Melee
1    Medicine Pool
1    Force of Will Pool
1    Martial Combat
 

I honestly don't agree with some of these, but I can't argue with the top 5!

From the top down to Ice Armor are all sets I actively avoid choosing because I feel they are so out of touch, underpowered, or broken.  I used to enjoy my Mind/FF troller from the day, but it is so underwhelming with the lack of DDR and largely pointless powers, I wouldn’t take it.  I had at least 4 AR blasters/def/corrupters and cannot see doing it compared to current options.

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Ice primary for Doms needs a serious look over.  It's perhaps the only set I've tinkered with that was borderline unplayable.

Edited by Kazuuk

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This might not be good for an emergency fix, but the poison support set needs to be looked at. It banks on debuffs instead of buffs, which fits but has limitations that buff powers don't have. Specifically, you need to re-apply them every encounter.

 

It has some really good powers (neurotoxic breath) but the rest of it is limited by the small, basically melee range AoE areas and some odd decisions (A single-target hold at tier 7?!). People have mentioned splash effects or what have you, but the mere act giving Envenom and Weaken better areas and giving Paralytic Poison something so that it isn't just a worse Tier 2 control power would go a long way.

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On 11/10/2020 at 6:39 AM, Tyrannical said:

I was gonna comment on the whole Mastermind primaries thing, but thinking on it I think Masterminds need a week of discussion dedicated to just that.

 

Mercs, Ninjas and Beasts definitely underperform compared to the others, but that's going to need a lot of focused debate to figure out how to move forward.

But beasts don't actually underperform? Like, there's a whole thread dedicated to testing out the MM primaries and beasts were a long way from underperforming. I know that was in a specific environment and such, but I know I'm not the only beast MM player who agrees that their damage isn't as anemic as a lot of people make it out to be, especially when paired with /kin.


Global: @Valnara1; Formerly @TigerGoddess on Live

I primarily play on Everlasting, but you may occasionally find me on Indom. 🙂

Indom: Kincatic - Beast/Kin MM; Tyger Darkstorm - Dark/Storm Corr; Botanical Pathogen - Plant/Poison Troller

Everlasting: Helen Wails - Thermal/Sonic Def; Trixie Traxx - Crab Spider; Illiana the Shroud - Fire/Dark Troller; Lola Huntress - Night Widow; Frosty Forest - Ice/Nature Corr

The Saber Force Squad: Alpha - Fire/Rad Sent; Beta - Katana/Ninjitsu Scrapper; Gamma - Bots/EA MM; Delta - MA/Regen Scrapper; Epsilon - Rad/Fire Brute

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7 hours ago, Gobbledegook said:

A team of controllers? lol

 

I would like to see that. What secondary is it running just out of curiosity?

You know... I share what I've learned from playing the game, because there are too many ppl who are outright dismissive of a set/power/ because of their own experience.

There are many ppl who learn to leverage sets in interesting ways and in doing so discover they can achieve things in game that they won't find discussed at large in the forums.
I will say this, I read @sir_myshkin's advice on Kin melee and I adapted it to my toon.

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