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What should the aggro cap on Homecoming be?


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One of the devs, I forget if it was 6 or Powerhouse, opined that raising the agro cap actually makes Tankers even LESS desired on a team, because you need fewer Tanks to control all the agro. If one tank can herd an entire room/floor/map, why bother with a 2nd tank, especially when the need for more AoE damage becomes more apparent?
 

I was fairly on the side of raising the cap until I read that, and really have had a really hard time trying to come up with a suitable a rebuttal.

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1 hour ago, oedipus_tex said:

There are lot of reasons people thought changing the cap may be impractical. For years it was unknown if the number was limited by the size of an internal array or there was some other limiting factor.

You are mischaracterizing the previous discussions in order to minimize them and continue to beat a dead horse long past any reasonable standard. The request that was considered difficult was splitting the aggro cap for different ATs, less so globally for everyone. Regardless of that, the point is moot: @Captain Powerhouse has stated that if it was easy to split the aggro cap for different ATs and he made changes to the aggro cap, the Tanker cap would remain where it is and everyone else's would go down.

 

And no, I'm not looking for the post about it this time like I have several other times when this keeps coming up because people won't let it die.

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I have always wanted to lower the taunt limit to 8ish and give tankers a Bodyguard mechanic like the Masterminds do for their henchmen but for their teammates. Like 10% of a teammate's damage is redirected to the tanker for the full team, or a tanker chooses to take one teammate under their wing and only that one teammate funnels 50% of their damage to the tanker. The idea came from Master Blaster in Mad Max.

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1 hour ago, siolfir said:

You are mischaracterizing the previous discussions in order to minimize them and continue to beat a dead horse long past any reasonable standard.

 

I thought the question was reasonable. It's a discussion happening among developers across multiple servers as they iron out which deviations from the OG CoX combat engine they will be deploying. Homecoming has already deviated from vanilla CoX in a number of ways. This particular mechanic had enough questions raised by teams that the modders moved the setting to a config file to make it more accessible to more servers. 

 

1 hour ago, EmperorSteele said:

One of the devs, I forget if it was 6 or Powerhouse, opined that raising the agro cap actually makes Tankers even LESS desired on a team, because you need fewer Tanks to control all the agro. If one tank can herd an entire room/floor/map, why bother with a 2nd tank, especially when the need for more AoE damage becomes more apparent?
 

I was fairly on the side of raising the cap until I read that, and really have had a really hard time trying to come up with a suitable a rebuttal.

 

Thanks for a reasonable and well thought out reply.

 

I can see an argument for changing it or an argument for leaving it alone. Part of the question is "How similar to OG CoX is Homecoming determined to remain?"

 

My thought is that on the one hand a player could end up herding huge groups of enemies that it could make the game pretty boring. On the other hand I feel like if a player can herd at that many enemies and not die and the problem is solved with an aggro cap, what can you throw at them with 16 enemies that could take them down? I'm personally leaning toward an aggro cap around 24-40, but that may be too big a deviation for some servers. Homecoming is both pretty avante garde and fairly conservative so it may not match up with their tastes. I like what the devs on this server have done overall and will trust their judgment for their own server.

Edited by oedipus_tex
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If they increased it with some of the farming builds I have seen and use for various ATs, it would make farming stupendously easy.

 

And as has been already said, why would you ever invite a second tank to the team, especially when EVEN MORE AOE would be needed.

 

Some folks already say the game is too easy with "City of AOEs". I'm  . . . not seeing how this wouldn't make the game even easier. And those folks would not be pleased.

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4 hours ago, SuperPlyx said:

I never really understood this need to raise the aggro cap.

If tanks have a raised agro cap, say 25 or 34, they would have increased utility in teams. Making them more useful instead of more powerful. It would be worth a teams time to let their agro management experts control the flow of battle. There is a lot of space between current agro cap and no agro cap, it isnt one or the other. Maybe letting null the gull set the cap at set points, 16,24,34,40. The numbers arent important, that would be for the devs to decide. But it would give tanks/brutes a reason to be.

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1 hour ago, ivanhedgehog said:

If tanks have a raised agro cap, say 25 or 34, they would have increased utility in teams. Making them more useful instead of more powerful. It would be worth a teams time to let their agro management experts control the flow of battle. There is a lot of space between current agro cap and no agro cap, it isnt one or the other. Maybe letting null the gull set the cap at set points, 16,24,34,40. The numbers arent important, that would be for the devs to decide. But it would give tanks/brutes a reason to be.

Meh tanks and brutes already have a reason to be. To me having the cap be increased would give LESS reason for a SECOND tank or brute on the team, and more reason to invite more AOE. If they do it great, but I can see it making this game even easier than some folks complain about already. I'm okay with making the game even more easy though. 😄 

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11 hours ago, oedipus_tex said:

 

While I appreciate it has been talked about before, the topic was discussed when it was thought impossible or impractical to change the cap. Now that that is no longer the case and there are other CoX servers running with different aggro caps it's worth talking about whether Homecoming should stick to 16 or go with something else.  

why is it worth talking about?  If someone wants that, they can play on those other servers.  I don't see why those other servers should dictate what we do here.

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There are some interesting takes and ideas.

 

Back on live even Arcanaville didn't really have any intel on the aggro cap (that she shared anyway). The developers were notoriously quiet about the specific mechanics. I remember one time a discussion with a convoluted solution involving psuedo pets with shared HP to work around what was presumed to be an ironclad limit on the number of enemies that could be tracked at once that was sort of similar to some of the suggestions, but that was just to make the aggro cap work. 😂

 

We thought for a long time the cap was the size it was because enemies were tracked in a C array that carried the risk of "out of index" errors. I have enough experience with CoX's nuts and bolts that I know a missing power animation can crash the binning process, and the code was always described as "spaghetti," so the idea that the aggro cap would an absolute mess was reasonable. The fact that it's apparently a clean piece of code is shocking. I've always loved this game but its reputation for being "built in a garage" precedes it. 

Edited by oedipus_tex
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2 hours ago, wjrasmussen said:

why is it worth talking about?  If someone wants that, they can play on those other servers.  I don't see why those other servers should dictate what we do here.

It's worth talking about because you can discuss what kind of play experience different levels of aggro cap lead to, if those are better, worse or just different and if any of those play experiences are a better fit for what this server team is trying to accomplish.

 

Other servers don't dictate what is done here but they can inspire analysis and discussion.

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8 hours ago, EmperorSteele said:

One of the devs, I forget if it was 6 or Powerhouse, opined that raising the agro cap actually makes Tankers even LESS desired on a team, because you need fewer Tanks to control all the agro. If one tank can herd an entire room/floor/map, why bother with a 2nd tank, especially when the need for more AoE damage becomes more apparent?
 

I was fairly on the side of raising the cap until I read that, and really have had a really hard time trying to come up with a suitable a rebuttal.

I think this would be a great response if we were in a situation where even one Tanker (or Tank at all in some upper-level content) was preferred, but we just aren't. When the desired number of Tankers for most content is zero, multiplying how many I want or need still leaves me with zero.

There is no min/maxed content where I actually want a second Tanker in any situation at the moment, and exceedingly little where I want a first one. at the same time, I'm not going to reject a Tanker for any content at the moment either. The current aggro cap is irrelevant to this; we'd either have to have a punishingly small aggro cap for me to really think "maybe we need a second tank" from a min/max perspective, or we'd have to have content that throws difficult to kill, gruelingly strong hordes of enemies at us at reliable spots. This game has neither.

As an aside, off-tanks exist in other MMOs because other MMOs have tank swap mechanics. If any given Final Fantasy 14 or WoW or whatever other MMO team could drop a tank class for another DPS, they would in a heartbeat; CoX lets us do so, and so we (theoretically) do, except there's not really any content where people feel the need to push the envelope that hard.

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I could get behind increasing the aggro cap on Tankers to 24 or something like that. But unlimited? Hard pass.

 

In a lot of these threads there's usually a few people reminiscing about how 'cool' and 'awesome' it was to wait 10 minutes for the Tanker & their pocket healer to round up all the mobs, then everyone wails on blob of enemies with no chance of retaliation. I can enjoy mindless, risk-free violence myself from time to time, but an entire meta-game based around that? Snoozeville.

 

One thing that always sticks with me with City of Heroes is the dynamic combat. In other MMOs, enemies tend to stand in one place until they die. In City of Heroes, when the team starts combat, everyone is engaged in their own battles. The Tanker is keeping most of the attention on themselves, while a Defender & Scrapper mop up the stragglers. A Blaster snipes away at fleeing enemies, while a Controller locks a boss down to stop them from attacking. If another group of enemies gets involved, that just adds to the mayhem. Contrast that with the above, enemies standing still, unmoving and unflinching while they sit in a nice, risk-free kill box. It's just .. so boring to me. And I don't want to see the game become as stale and sterile as other MMOs.

Edited by AerialAssault
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Oh? You like City of Heroes?

Name every player character.

I'll be waiting in my PMs.

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It's also near as I can tell far more involved in "aggro" than simply a cap in the number.  Tanks can readily hold the attention of foes because Threat mechanics dictate they end up generating far greater threat than pretty much everyone else.  The maximum length of that list is what we're talking about as I understand it.  We could tweak all sorts of other aspects of Threat besides the max length of that list.  But again why?  Is something lacking that needs adjusting?  If there is are there ways to do it without involving adjusting the "aggro limit"? 

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11 hours ago, oedipus_tex said:

I thought the question was reasonable. It's a discussion happening among developers across multiple servers as they iron out which deviations from the OG CoX combat engine they will be deploying.

Other servers may be deciding what they'll do now, but Homecoming already decided a while back and publicly posted the answer. Thus, I see this as a repetition of the same old threads which keep cropping up, presumably hoping for a different response.

 

4 hours ago, Blastit said:

It's worth talking about because you can discuss what kind of play experience different levels of aggro cap lead to, if those are better, worse or just different and if any of those play experiences are a better fit for what this server team is trying to accomplish.

But that's already been talked about. In many, many, many other threads.

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10 hours ago, golstat2003 said:

Meh tanks and brutes already have a reason to be. To me having the cap be increased would give LESS reason for a SECOND tank or brute on the team, and more reason to invite more AOE. If they do it great, but I can see it making this game even easier than some folks complain about already. I'm okay with making the game even more easy though. 😄 

right now there is less reason to invite a second tank or brute. they do less damage. It would make teams that coordinate easier, which is as it should be. there are some roles that you wouldnt want multiples of on a team. empath or rad are good examples. you sont need an empath, rad or tank right now, but they do come in handy.

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9 hours ago, wjrasmussen said:

why is it worth talking about?  If someone wants that, they can play on those other servers.  I don't see why those other servers should dictate what we do here.

They dont dictate, but people might want to play with their friends here. It is just discussion. the changes to em were great, should they not have done them because someone else did them too?

 

we have been playing cox again for well over a year now and we have experience(if we wish) on servers with different changes. discussing what we liked and what we didnt like is a good thing. Right now there is little team coordination, the tank/brute runs in and the controllers/doms lock everything down wherever it happens to be. People complain about herding but it maximized dps damage and made for orderly progression, as opposed to everyone soloing in a team.

Edited by ivanhedgehog
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22 hours ago, oedipus_tex said:

However, just because you can doesn't mean you should. So there's the question: What should the aggro cap on Homecoming be?

17

 

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3 hours ago, siolfir said:

Other servers may be deciding what they'll do now, but Homecoming already decided a while back and publicly posted the answer. Thus, I see this as a repetition of the same old threads which keep cropping up, presumably hoping for a different response.

 

But that's already been talked about. In many, many, many other threads.

 

Hi siolfir,

 

I'll write you down as wanting to stick with 17. That's fine. I'm hoping we can stick to talking about that and allow other folks to answer. If this is the wrong space for the discussion I'll happily move the discussion to one of the other threads at the prodding of a forum moderator. Those folks work for free and I don't want to make their day any harder. So far this thread has had almost as many posts about why no one should be posting as posts about the topic.

 

The only motive I have is talking about a topic I care about on a CoX server where I highly respect the development team. I think Homecoming has one of the strongest development teams and I like most of the changes they've made. I can live with 17. Or 25. Or 40. But that number is a conscience decision and because of how editable it is now known to be --which despite posts to the contrary was not known to be the case until relatively recently--it will always be a subject of discussion, just like all other aspects of combat are.

 

Have a great day and thanks. 

Edited by oedipus_tex
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39 minutes ago, Rathulfr said:

17

 

Yeah...I see it now.  Thanks.  16....not enough.  18...too much.  It has to be ...correct.

 

And that's Numberwang!  Let's rotate the board.

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10 hours ago, Eldyem said:

I think this would be a great response if we were in a situation where even one Tanker (or Tank at all in some upper-level content) was preferred, but we just aren't. When the desired number of Tankers for most content is zero, multiplying how many I want or need still leaves me with zero.

There is no min/maxed content where I actually want a second Tanker in any situation at the moment, and exceedingly little where I want a first one. at the same time, I'm not going to reject a Tanker for any content at the moment either. The current aggro cap is irrelevant to this; we'd either have to have a punishingly small aggro cap for me to really think "maybe we need a second tank" from a min/max perspective, or we'd have to have content that throws difficult to kill, gruelingly strong hordes of enemies at us at reliable spots. This game has neither.

As an aside, off-tanks exist in other MMOs because other MMOs have tank swap mechanics. If any given Final Fantasy 14 or WoW or whatever other MMO team could drop a tank class for another DPS, they would in a heartbeat; CoX lets us do so, and so we (theoretically) do, except there's not really any content where people feel the need to push the envelope that hard.

You want at least ONE in some incarnate content. More than one, questionable. And you definitely need tanks in the Hamidon Raid.

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3 hours ago, ivanhedgehog said:

right now there is less reason to invite a second tank or brute. they do less damage. It would make teams that coordinate easier, which is as it should be. there are some roles that you wouldnt want multiples of on a team. empath or rad are good examples. you sont need an empath, rad or tank right now, but they do come in handy.

Right, which makes me question what the point of increasing the aggro cap would be. 

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3 hours ago, ivanhedgehog said:

They dont dictate, but people might want to play with their friends here. It is just discussion. the changes to em were great, should they not have done them because someone else did them too?

 

we have been playing cox again for well over a year now and we have experience(if we wish) on servers with different changes. discussing what we liked and what we didnt like is a good thing. Right now there is little team coordination, the tank/brute runs in and the controllers/doms lock everything down wherever it happens to be. People complain about herding but it maximized dps damage and made for orderly progression, as opposed to everyone soloing in a team.

Herding was boring as hell. I say hard pass on increasing aggro is that is where we intend to go back to. No thanks, the other servers can keep that.

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4 minutes ago, golstat2003 said:

Right, which makes me question what the point of increasing the aggro cap would be. 

increasing the cap for tanks/brutes would give them a mechanic to control the flow of battle. which makes them desirable for many people. That is the point.

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4 minutes ago, golstat2003 said:

Herding was boring as hell. I say hard pass on increasing aggro is that is where we intend to go back to. No thanks, the other servers can keep that.

It was boring for YOU. Not for others. Go ahead and make your teams of 8 soloers if you want, no one is stopping you. Other people want coordinated teams that actually work together. There is plenty of room in this game for all sorts of play styles.

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