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Compress the range of Recharge values


aethereal

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The Status Quo

 

If a power has a 30 second recharge base, an optimized level 50 build will have permahasten (+180% global recharge) and (at least if you aren't chasing procability) will probably get +75% or so local recharge from a set, call it +250% recharge, for a total cooldown of (30 / 3.5) = 8.57 seconds.

 

Even in non-endgame, a reasonably slotted, low-priced build will have the +75% recharge and let's say +20% global recharge for a total cooldown of (30 / 1.95) = 15.38 seconds.

 

But haha, did you just pick up that power or are you super low level?  Well, enjoy the 30 second recharge time.

 

This is what we have to balance around.  The assumption that a large percentage of players will be dealing with 1/3rd of the listed recharge times, or less, for essentially every power without trying.  That means that any time you DON'T have that, the game kinda just...  doesn't work.  If we try to make a power good when its recharge is 20 seconds, then it's too good when it's recharge is 8.5 seconds.  If we make it good when its recharge is <10 seconds, then it's bad when its recharge is >20 seconds.  This is a pretty serious design constraint in CoH and it has led to the nearly universal chasing of large levels of global recharge in all endgame characters.

 

The Proposed Change

 

  1. Every power in the game gets its recharge cut down by 1/3rd (without changing damage or other values).
  2. Recharge enhancements go from schedule A to schedule B.
  3. All sources of global recharge get their values reduced by 50%.
  4. Reduce the recharge cap from 500% to 350% (this should have little effect on anything, both are pretty unattainable) (note that you can express recharge cap as 500% or +400%, and 350% or +250%.  I know that the recharge cap isn't +500%).

 

So what does that mean?  The 30 second recharge power is now a 20 second recharge power at base.  If you had +180% global recharge before, you now have +90% global recharge.  If you had +75% local recharge before, now you have +45% local recharge.  So your modified recharge for an end-game build is now (20 / 2.35) = 8.51 seconds (functionally the same as before, very slightly better).

 

The non-endgame, reasonably slotted build now has +45% local recharge and +10% global recharge for a total cooldown of (20 / 1.55) = 12.9 seconds (considerably better than before).

 

And the just-picked-up the power lowbie character has a 20 second recharge time (much better than before).

 

So basically this buffs low-end recharges substantially, gives a significant buff to mid-end recharges, and leaves top-end recharges roughly the same.

 

What about Hasten?

 

You may have noticed some sleight of hand there.  We had permahasten for the top build prior to this, hence the 180% global recharge, and I then reduced it to 90% in the proposal.  Does that actually give us permahasten in the modified build?

 

Hasten has a base recharge time of 450 seconds, and a buff duration of 120 seconds.  That means that it needs 275% recharge to get to perma.  We usually get it there with 95% local recharge and 180% global recharge.  It supplies 70% of the global recharge itself, so you need 110% global recharge (or so) without it.

 

In the modified world, Hasten would have 300 seconds base recharge time, still with a buff duration of 120 seconds (but the buff would only be +35% global recharge).  That means we need 150% recharge to get it to perma.  95% local recharge would be about 55% local recharge after the schedule change of enhancement slots, so we'd need about 95% global recharge.  Hasten would supply 35% of that 95% for itself, so you'd need 60% global recharge build from set bonuses and other powers.  That's a little harder than it used to be -- it'd be the equivalent of building 120% global recharge instead of 110%.  If we liked we could reduce the recharge of hasten a little more, or we could make it a little harder to get permahasten -- both seem fine.

 

Okay, what about Domination?

 

Domination is as far as I can think of unique among major, important powers that people seek perma status for in that it can't take local recharge.  It has a 90 second buff duration and a 200 second cooldown.  Under the proposed change, its cooldown would drop to 133 seconds.  It would need 48% global recharge to become perma -- the equivalent of 96% global recharge in the old world.  This seems fine to me.

 

Why?

 

This change is designed to have little effect on level 50 existing builds while making it somewhat easier to forgo chasing very high levels of recharge -- making builds that do not chase those very high levels of recharge be less disadvantaged than other builds.  It would presumably change the meta of level 50 in a few ways, probably making it easier for people to focus more on defense than on recharge.  It would probably make Hasten somewhat less of a must-have power -- but still a pretty useful one.  It would buff lower-level play significantly (which seems fine to me -- there's lots of headroom in low-level play, nobody is soloing at +4/x8 at level 12.  (Yes, yes, I'm sure someone is.  You're very good at this game).

 

If we're worried that this constitutes too much of a buff, we could cut base cooldowns by 25% instead of 33%.  Then this would still be a buff to low-power builds, but a significant nerf to high level builds.  I doubt people would go for it.

Edited by aethereal
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A well argued idea. I like the idea of diversifying builds but I suspect this would be a problem for the already fragile endgame difficulty (or the lack thereof). Currently high recharge often comes at the expense of defence or vice versa. Winters have defence but not recharge, purples are mainly the opposite. The same is true of many sets, it tends to be rare to get both defence and recharge. If we free up build pressure on recharge we will effectively make it easier to build for yet more defence and that's probably not a great thing.

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1 hour ago, parabola said:

A well argued idea. I like the idea of diversifying builds but I suspect this would be a problem for the already fragile endgame difficulty (or the lack thereof). Currently high recharge often comes at the expense of defence or vice versa. Winters have defence but not recharge, purples are mainly the opposite. The same is true of many sets, it tends to be rare to get both defence and recharge. If we free up build pressure on recharge we will effectively make it easier to build for yet more defence and that's probably not a great thing.

Yeah, I agree that that's the most worrying aspect of it.  On the other hand, chasing defense past 45% doesn't do much, and below about 30% doesn't do much, so this arguably just makes more builds competitive with the tip-top of the old meta, which had perma-hasten and a bunch of defense right at 45% anyway (ie, they benefit less, other builds benefit more).

Edited by aethereal
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13 minutes ago, aethereal said:

On the other hand, chasing defense past 45% doesn't do much


Except provide a buffer against debuffs and cascading Defense failure.  And Incarnate content....

 

13 minutes ago, aethereal said:

below about 30% doesn't do much,


Except that 25% Defense roughly halves your damage-taken numbers.
And every point of defense is more valuable than the last.

The whole point is that these powers grow, enhance, and gel together AS YOU LEVEL UP.

You don't take a power and insta-godmode.  There are tradeoffs.

 

 

2 hours ago, parabola said:

Currently high recharge often comes at the expense of defence or vice versa.


Yet it's possible to get a balance of both.

So you aren't a Tank, but you also aren't "Ze speed boosts!  Zey do nuzzink!"

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1 hour ago, Super Atom said:

Hasten is the actual problem in a lot of power creep situations.

 

Controversial balance time, Nerf it to around 25-30% recharge and make it an auto.

 

😉

I mean, that maybe would have been a good idea from the outset, but it'd be incredibly disruptive now.  Whereas my suggestion -- while not at all the solution I'd pursue if I were designing a CoH-like game from scratch -- I think could plausibly be implemented without completely breaking thousands of character's builds.

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17 minutes ago, aethereal said:

I mean, that maybe would have been a good idea from the outset, but it'd be incredibly disruptive now.  Whereas my suggestion -- while not at all the solution I'd pursue if I were designing a CoH-like game from scratch -- I think could plausibly be implemented without completely breaking thousands of character's builds.

Absolutely it would, because Hasten is a mandatory power that instantly deletes half the power pools in the game because why would you ever skip such an OP ability

 

I could take it or leave it, but what your suggesting is an over complication to an otherwise easier answer, in my opinion. Without Hasten being front and center for every build, you immediately diversify.

 

edit; end of day though, we're unlikely to ever see sweeping balance changes on Homecoming to a degree so steep it modifies the meta. You're better off hoping for +5, +6, and +7 to self balance the power creep. Maybe have those use incarnate values / shifting so they have higher accuracy checks etc.

Edited by Super Atom
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2 minutes ago, Super Atom said:

Absolutely it would, because Hasten is a mandatory power that instantly deletes half the power pools in the game because why would you ever skip such an OP ability

FWIW, I think a Hasten that was an auto-power that gave +25-30% global recharge would be pretty mandatory as well.  Like, certainly not as strong for high-end builds as the current thing is, but still it's hard to imagine people giving that up, especially since it wouldn't require the kind of extensive slotting support that current Hasten does.

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Just now, aethereal said:

FWIW, I think a Hasten that was an auto-power that gave +25-30% global recharge would be pretty mandatory as well.  Like, certainly not as strong for high-end builds as the current thing is, but still it's hard to imagine people giving that up, especially since it wouldn't require the kind of extensive slotting support that current Hasten does.

You're right, You'd certainly have to fix some of the other power pools before doing that to Hasten.

Gonna upset some folks but oh well, maybe if Concealment outside of pvp, presence, and medicine weren't terrible a reduced hasten could be skip-able. The min/max cookie-cut is basically always Jumping/Flight, Speed, Leadership, and Fighting. If you're feeling spicy or have a specific target, you can replace one of those with Sorc/Force/Exper.

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3 hours ago, Super Atom said:

Absolutely it would, because Hasten is a mandatory power


MANDATORY?

Uh.  No.  This is a lie.  Or, at best, rampant hyperbole.

NOBODY is twisting your arm behind your back and screaming at you to "Take Hasten OR ELSE!!!"

If you want to come up with a justification, come up with a justification.

This is deception and weasel-wording to push a narrative.

Edited by Hyperstrike
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Spoiler

 

4 hours ago, Hyperstrike said:


MANDATORY?

Uh.  No.  This is a lie.  Or, at best, rampant hyperbole.

NOBODY is twisting your arm behind your back and screaming at you to "Take Hasten OR ELSE!!!"

If you want to come up with a justification, come up with a justification.

This is deception and weasel-wording to push a narrative.

This is a big old yikes. "Weasel-wording", really? You're pretty toxic, i don't think Imma interact with you. Disagree with me that Hasten is important on every build all you'd like, but this is just toxic.

 

so to get back on topic with OP's suggestion i may have been too quick to say your suggestion is too complicated, it's really not. I also don't disagree with your changes either. Recharge plays too large a role in too many areas, especially dominators who rely heavily on perma domination in end game to strive.

Edited by Super Atom
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46 minutes ago, Hyperstrike said:


MANDATORY?

Uh.  No.  This is a lie.  Or, at best, rampant hyperbole.

NOBODY is twisting your arm behind your back and screaming at you to "Take Hasten OR ELSE!!!"

If you want to come up with a justification, come up with a justification.

This is deception and weasel-wording to push a narrative.

Hasten is pretty much mandatory on 99% of builds.

 

I agree with OP on pretty much all fronts, otherwise.

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11 hours ago, aethereal said:

 

 

This change is designed to have little effect on level 50 existing builds while making it somewhat easier to forgo chasing very high levels of recharge -- making builds that do not chase those very high levels of recharge be less disadvantaged than other builds.  It would presumably change the meta of level 50 in a few ways, probably making it easier for people to focus more on defense than on recharge.  It would probably make Hasten somewhat less of a must-have power -- but still a pretty useful one.  It would buff lower-level play significantly (which seems fine to me -- there's lots of headroom in low-level play, nobody is soloing at +4/x8 at level 12.  (Yes, yes, I'm sure someone is.  You're very good at this game).

 

If we're worried that this constitutes too much of a buff, we could cut base cooldowns by 25% instead of 33%.  Then this would still be a buff to low-power builds, but a significant nerf to high level builds.  I doubt people would go for it.

This would effectively end my time playing on Homecoming. I bet for a lot of other folks also.

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1 hour ago, Crimsanotic said:

Hasten is pretty much mandatory on 99% of builds.

No, it isn't. Not even close. If I have it on 5% of my (many) builds, I'd be surprised. If I counted my (300? 400?) live characters, it *might* push it to 7%.

 

Hasten is as necessary as an ice cream churn in the core of a nuclear reactor.

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On the suggestion:

 

Thank you, @aethereal, for putting this suggestion together and posting it.

 

I agree with your analysis on the difficulty of balancing City of Heroes when aspects of powers, like recharge time, can vary so much.  I don't agree on the necessity of high recharge.  Many builds can get by on power enhancement recharge reduction and about 50% to 70% global recharge.  This is often best provided by IO set bonuses and there is rarely a need for Hasten in every build.

 

@aethereal's proposed solution is interesting.  But I don't think even if it was done, it could be done only as he's specified.  I suspect many powers would need special tuning and even other aspects changed.  The change to IO bonus recharge reduction may need other changes as well.

 

It's likely too radical a change to be done in full strength or without a lot of though, alternate ideas, and revision.  But it's good to think about such radical changes.

 

 

On Hasten:

 

To include Hasten in a build requires 1 of 4 Power Pool picks, 1 of 23 Power Picks, and 1 of 67 Extra Slots.  These are significant resources in a game where the toon builds are always tight.  Like Build Up and similar powers, there is added complexity having to mind yet another click power while tactically employing the toon in combat.  The cast time of the powers is always lost to other use and the buffs they provide can be effectively lessened.  Only one click power can be on auto and even that has its own complexities.  Consider a mature Incarnate can have--besides attack powers--a click Mez Protection, a Destiny Power, self-buffs, team buffs, and debuffs, with many powers that can never be perma or even close to it and need to be used tactically or in a cycle like Rune of Protection and Hybrid.

 

Off-times it's better to build without Hasten (or the Build Up powers) to simplify the running of the toon and focus on tactics.  Hasten also has a small Endurance crash at the end that can cause toggle failure for toons low on Endurance.

 

Hasten is really only necessary if the toon has very long recharge powers and there is very great benefit to getting one or more of them close to perma or back every group of mobs or every other group of mobs (thus every 15s to 45s).  Thus Domination, Illusion's Phantom Army, Shadow Meld, etc.

 

I have many toon designs that are tough and still forgo Hasten (and the Build Up powers, especially the non-melee build ups).  Others include them where I consider it worth it.

 

I like the idea of making Hasten an auto power.  This one change alone would be helpful.

 

EDIT:  On second thought, Hasten really couldn't be changed without some changes to Recharge.  And changes to Recharge would need a change in Hasten as well.

 

On Stealth:

 

This is the universal in my builds.  I always include a Stealth Power, from the Primary or Secondary Powerset or Concealment Stealth.  If it isn't Boss-level PvE stealth (65ft+), I add in a Celerity: Stealth in Prestige Power Surge to take it to Boss-level.  I rarely use Superspeed, but if a toon does use it, I'll consider using it for stealth.  I really like stealth and not getting hit by mobs before I'm ready to hit them.

 

I have one toon right now who won't have this level of stealth.  That's my Claws/Dark Armor Scrapper, who's my toon running @ineffablebob's Classic Hero Challenge.  Still will have Cloak of Darkness. 🙂

 

Edited by Jacke
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I like your post. The main miscommunication I always run into is i feel its mandatory even if it's not really trying to perma anything. It's a flat 70%  recharge and not hard to perma. It has no negatives and is insanely good for being a power pool ability. TO me, there is little to no reason to skip it unless you just feel like you want to do something else. It increases damage potential, increases your healing potential, debuffing potential, and your buffing potential. Its literally a no lose power that only needs 1 additional slot at most. Hard to beat. People can  disagree that's fine it's your character. Just how I see it.

 

To that end, while I always take hasten, I feel it's a bit OP.

Edited by Super Atom
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11 minutes ago, Super Atom said:

I like your post. The main miscommunication I always run into is i feel its mandatory even if it's not really trying to perma anything. It's a flat 70%  recharge and not hard to perma. It has no negatives and is insanely good for being a power pool ability. TO me, there is little to no reason to skip it unless you just feel like you want to do something else. It increases damage done, increases your healing potential, rebuffing potential, and your buffing potential. Its literally a no lose power that only needs 1 additional slot at most. Hard to beat. People can  disagree that's fine it's your character. Just how I see it.

 

@Super Atom, I updated my post above with more details and better flow.

 

Hasten doesn't always increase damage if there are enough powers with enough non-Hasten recharge to form a near-solid attack chain.  And there's a diminishing return for more recharge that's significant.  A build that approaches perma-Hasten often has enough recharge without Hasten.

 

Two points from above:

  • To include Hasten in a build requires 1 of 4 Power Pool picks, 1 of 23 Power Picks, and 1 of 67 Extra Slots.  These are significant resources in a game where the toon builds are always tight.  Like Build Up and similar powers, there is added complexity having to mind yet another click power while tactically employing the toon in combat.
  • Hasten is really only necessary if the toon has very long recharge powers and there is very great benefit to getting one or more of them close to perma or back every group of mobs or every other group of mobs (thus every 15s to 45s).  Thus Domination, Illusion's Phantom Army, Shadow Meld, etc.

For example, my Rad/Rad Defender would like to consider Hasten, but already has 4 Power Pools picked: Concealment, Fighting, Sorcery, and Teleportation.  I cannot drop any of these Power Pool picks to free up one for Speed to add Hasten, because to do so would remove powers from the build I want.  I build the toon to get enough recharge from IO set bonuses along with powers' recharge enhancement and the 30% boost from Accelerate Metabolism.

Edited by Jacke
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I can appreciate skipping it to achieve a desired build. However on the damage end, having hasten let's me skip attacks because I can form a tight chain with fewer picks, freeing up space for other choices. It allows me to focus more slotting for other things over recharge. Hasten is a very important tool for me on pretty much every build. Which is why I find it to be personally mandatory. Like I said though, I see your thought process and appreciate your approach 🙂

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29 minutes ago, Super Atom said:

...on the damage end, having hasten let's me skip attacks because I can form a tight chain with fewer picks, freeing up space for other choices. It allows me to focus more slotting for other things over recharge.

Two excellent points.

 

Powersets with attacks often have various attack chains that require certain levels of recharge, of which enhancements will only give something in the 95-100% range.  Global sources are especially important if exemplaring is considered and no boosts from Incarnate powers or even later power picks are available.

 

The importance is the tactical employment of the toon overall.  No toon attacks continuously.  A small gap in a chain isn't that detremental and often provides a point to easily add in repositioning, Inspirations, or other click powers like buffs and debuffs.

 

The two points I mentioned in my last point still hold:  Adding Hasten so it can be used effectively requires limited resources.  Only some cases truly benefit from the levels of recharge that is reachable with Hasten added in.

 

At this point, it comes down to what is possible in a build.  As an example, excluding the cases I mentioned above that truly benefit from Hasten, you could PM me a build of yours, as well as under what conditions you want to play the toon (difficulty, exemplaring, etc.) and I'll try my best to recast it in the same style but without Hasten.

Edited by Jacke
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I only have three level 50s (although I had more on live) and only one of them uses Hasten. I still have perma-Light Form and perma-Mental Link on the two that don't have Hasten. I started using Hasten before it was seen as the ultimate power boost, but I don't see it as being the end-all-be-all of high-end builds.

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Archetype Proposal Amalgamation

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