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Enhancement Catalysts


betaflex1

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The tooltip for ATTUNED associated with an attuned enhancement reads: "This enhancement's effective level is always the same as the user's. In addition, its effectiveness will increase when the user levels up."

When putting the sentences together, it makes it sound like an Attuned enhancement will "level up" and stay at the user's actual level. However, it turns out that exemplaring still affects Attuned enhancements, which heavily devalues the purpose of catalyzing and also makes the tooltip sound misleading on what ATTUNED does. Yes, catalysts are still recommended for making Superior Winter/ATO sets and prevent fracturing set bonuses for IO sets that are neither PvP nor Purple, but there ends up being little point to using catalyzed IOs since they're just as much impacted by exemplaring as their non-catalyzed counterparts (barring the set bonuses thing). They're great for using to level up if there's a build in mind and wanting to fluidly transition into the build, but then comes the issue of having to pull them later to get an uncatalyzed version to use Boosters on.

Why not have the Attuned enhancements lock in effectiveness based on the char's actual level so that exemplaring does not affect attuned enhancement effectiveness? It would be much more faithful to the tooltip text and give a greater purpose to catalyzing. After all, IOs can either be catalyzed or boosted (not both), and once done it cannot be undone outside of using unslotters or a respec to remove the enhancements, sell them on the AH, and rebuy them or recraft them.

If there's a balance issue involved in that, then the tooltip should definitely clarify about the impact of exemplaring, something like: "NOTE: attuned enhancements will still have effectiveness reduced when exemplaring or malefactoring to a lower level."

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While I admit that the magnitude of exemplar effects should be looked at, now that SOs are available at level 5, with TOs and DOs being deprecated, but retaining full IO values when exemplared hands too much of a benefit to the exemplared character. Take a level 50 running Posi 1 -- other characters running it at level will only have a few slots in their powers; even with an Acc SO and two Dam SOs in three attacks, that's not going to compete evenly with a character that gets two extra powers because of the max+5 cutoff, with powers slotted to give 90%+ modifiers to Acc, Dam, and 70%+ modifiers to End cost and Rech.

 

Even worse, this gives a much bigger advantage to high-level characters going into PvP zones, raising the disincentive for players to go into these zones with anything other than a level-50 character.

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"This enhancement's effective level is always the same as the user's."

 

It says it *right there*. This is a non-issue. They have always functioned this way. As with anything in an MMO, there are pros and cons to something like this to make it a decision worth pondering. If you attune an IO set that is normally only available up to level 40, you'll get more bang for your buck out of it while still getting the associated set bonus when you are at level 50. They scale much the same as IOs would anyway, so there is no issue there, and in fact I believe they actually offer *better* enhancement than normal IO scaling when exemped, though I haven't looked at the math recently. An equal level enhancement value versus a percentage of a higher level enhancement tends to come out in favor of the equal level enhancement though.

 

The only example I can think of where it kinda depends on the situation is Panacea, because the unattuned piece will give you a flat number tick of healing and endurance (which I forget off-hand but want to say is 50-something), while attuned will scale with level, meaning you'll get less of a tick at lower levels (to reflect your lower HP though, so it's still healing the same general *amount* of your HP bar) but at 50 is actually MORE than the base unattuned piece will give. I have an attuned one equipped to my current main and it ticks for 64 HP every time. You choose to have even better performance from it at max level in exchange for reduced performance at lower levels. In every other case, you're more or less choosing to be more powerful at lower levels than standard IO scaling, or slotting an IO piece that you won't ever have to worry about upgrading as you level if you know exactly which sets you want to use ahead of time.

 

This doesn't even need to be a thing, but as Srmalloy pointed out, if anything might need looking at it would be the exemp effect on them versus non-attuned. They can and should always have reduced performance as that is how they are intended to work, but if the devs feel that they should be slightly more effective at lower levels owing their special nature then that's their decision to make. I don't know that that would even be possible though, or if attuned sets work on a set scale that would also affect other enhancement scaling.

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I don't know the math for how enhancements scale when exemplared well enough to, off the top of my head, compare the enhancement value against level-scaled attuned set IOs (or against SOs, now that they're available before 22), but the biggest benefit isn't the raw enhancement values; it's the fact that you still get the set bonuses down to the minimum level you could slot the set -- five-slot a ranged attack with level 50 Thunderstrike IOs, and you lose the set bonuses if you exemplar below 47. Attune them, and you keep the set bonuses down to 27. Getting both the set bonuses and the unscaled enhancement values overpowers exemplared characters.

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3 hours ago, srmalloy said:

I don't know the math for how enhancements scale when exemplared well enough to, off the top of my head, compare the enhancement value against level-scaled attuned set IOs (or against SOs, now that they're available before 22), but the biggest benefit isn't the raw enhancement values; it's the fact that you still get the set bonuses down to the minimum level you could slot the set -- five-slot a ranged attack with level 50 Thunderstrike IOs, and you lose the set bonuses if you exemplar below 47. Attune them, and you keep the set bonuses down to 27. Getting both the set bonuses and the unscaled enhancement values overpowers exemplared characters.

QFT

And that is THE rather significant advantage of an attuned enhancement, namely keeping your set bonuses when exemplaring.

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1 hour ago, Doomguide2005 said:

QFT

And that is THE rather significant advantage of an attuned enhancement, namely keeping your set bonuses when exemplaring.

There we go then. Regardless of whether or not IO scaling is more or less powerful (I'm pretty sure that it's either slightly more powerful or such a small difference as makes no matter) keeping set bonuses all the way down makes them instantly way more powerful.

 

I actually just exemp'd down for a signature arc (farming Magmite Lords in Who Will Die FTW) and noticed that I was basically untouchable even as a level 20. Those defense bonuses and such from my entirely attuned build made me ridiculously hard to kill at lower levels, and I can't imagine the damage output of someone slotted with a bunch of damage boosts and procs and such.

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Yeah they don't scale perfectly and often owing to more slots allotted the powers you come out ahead in the totals for an individual power but they did design exemplar scaling to come close in terms of whether the enhancement is a slotted 25 damage, purple damage (at level 25) or an attuned level 50 damage enhancement operating at lvl 25.  The other edge sometimes forgotten or overlooked while exemplaring is a level 50 inspire storage and often value of those inspires (Righteous Rage vs an Enrage).  Especially when going down to something like Posi 1.

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