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A note on Rune of Protection changes


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We understand that this change is not one that most people will like. The patch notes are, I am afraid, a bit misleading. The duration of the power was changed to 60s, something that matches the duration of other origin pool T5s, but this is not done to match those. Internally, the team has agreed Rune of Protection has been an over-performing power for as long as it's been around. It is one of those powers that made it out a bit unfinished due to the circumstances of the game shutdown (specifically, it never actually graduated to the live servers).


All new Origin Pool T5s have been designed around 60s durations is entirely because of how strong RoP was - it wasn’t a mistake we wanted to see repeated. We were always planning to tone it down sooner or later.


I know many of you will not agree, but RoP was an incredibly strong power, to the point where RoP it was often taken by players who disliked the Sorcery theme and didn’t even use the other powers in the set. Some even consider it to still be too strong even with the reduced duration.


It isn’t the main reason for the duration reduction, but “just take RoP” being part of the standard mez protection discussion was not an insignificant factor in this decision. Like most things, this is one that we wish had been done a lot earlier, but we’re a small team and can't get around to do everything on our list of goals at once. The primary reason this is being done now, is because we were working on the revamp.


I know well most of you will never like the change, and I understand that. Some of you will likely no longer want the power on their builds, others will retain it. That is understandable, and respecs should be available for those who want them, as is usual when we make large power changes.

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  • Homecoming Team

I feel I need to chip in here as well. Keep in mind these are just my personal views, not a sign of any plans we may have.


I usually give Powerhouse a hard time when nerfing things and really do push him to ensure it’s justified - but there’s just no real ground to stand on here to oppose the nerf to RoP.


There are some unrelated concerns which may certainly be valid but are not reasons to keep RoP in its current state:

  • The rest of Sorcery is underwhelming: I agree with this. Perhaps it would’ve made more sense to adjust RoP at the same time Sorcery was looked at, but there’s no telling if and when that would happen. Either way, Sorcery not being great in general is not a valid reason for RoP being as strong as it is. It shouldn’t need to be strong enough to justify 3 picks - each of those picks should justify themselves.
  • The other Origin Pool T5s are underwhelming: Maybe. I actually feel this is more related to the above point - the Origin pools are in general underwhelming, which means for Force of Will and Experimentation you need to take two underwhelming powers in order to pick up an OK power - and that OK power isn’t strong enough to carry the entire pool in the same way that RoP is.
  • Mez on squishies is bad and I don’t like it: That’s fair. But it’s a systems-level discussion, not an issue to be resolved by a single overtuned power.

But RoP itself, even after this change, is still an incredibly strong power. It was simply ridiculous before. It should not have been released that way, and it shouldn’t have been left this long, but there’s no point dwelling in the past.


Something which I think is being overlooked is the impact of the other adjustment to RoP: You now get the full effect even when using it to break mez. This is actually great for lower-end usage of the power. Average builds never had it permanently chaining with Melee Hybrid, and using it reactively to break mez / deal with a tough engagement is a more realistic use case  for them.


RoP is now much stronger for this purpose, and is situated to be used in a far more active and dynamic way - with actual decision making - instead of just existing to be chained in order to obsolete a part of the game.

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The way this is communicated, it sounds like a lot of the justification for this change came down to opinions.  Can you present numbers on how many characters (and of which ATs) used RoP to back up the claim that it was over-performing?  Anecdotal experience would suggest that it wasn't such a widely used power, and that would seem to reinforce the idea that RoP was either not overpowered, or that there are even more powerful options that most players chose instead.  Of course, the plural of "anecdote" is not "data," and only you can pull the numbers that would back up this argument one way or the other.

Edited by Blackbird71
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Request: give the community a list of things considered experimental/will-be-nerfed.

I realize this is asking for a lose/lose of you - sorry.

 

Here's what I know of so far:

  • Epic recharges breaking PPM
  • Procs in general
  • Bio is expected to get some minor slaps
  • Master Brawler "choice" implementation is hanging by a thread - expect that to replace Practiced Brawler entirely for Sentinel?
  • Anything else?

 

My thinking:

Most nerfs are really only noticed by people who are aware of them (i.e. forumites and folks seeking builds).  For all the rest of us, it might be a good idea to get us used to the idea that building around a particular component won't last forever.

This only works if people honestly acknowledge that Homecoming has yet to "ruin" any sets.  Titan Weapons is still top-performing and feels better than ever.

I don't personally know of any other things that are seen as "well that's just a bit much" unless we want to suddenly lift the ban on acknowledging Fulcrum Shift exists.

Edited by Replacement
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Some of it gets back to the design paradigm that squishies should never get mez protection out side of expensive defense amplifiers.

 

Which also shows how schizo the devs are with a cruddy options that exists, so therefore is not too imbalanced but flatly disregarding any calls for give a minor base level of mez protection like into the epic armors. (4 mag base to everyone obviously doesn't make everyone gods otherwise it would be the choice.)

 

Rune of protection giving a boost it did now allowed people to semi-permanently become much much tougher.

 

I think the thing that should be looked at is it the bonus should be smaller over the same time, or change it to be a opener/emergency power.

 

Most people would rather have a smaller buff over the longer time rather than to just make the power more situational.

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1 hour ago, Captain Powerhouse said:

Internally, the team has agreed Rune of Protection has been an over-performing power for as long as it's been around.

I still don't understand why you would ever think that.

 

What was the methodology to test it, numbers, what scenarios does it overperform, and how is it any more game breaking than all the crazy garbage we can do with other powers?

 

To me, and I consider myself one of the better character builders out there, it sounds like a disconnect from reality.

 

It reminds me of when toxic dart took a hit because t1/t2s could be forgoed in favor of it, or how weaken resolve was just kind of randomly reduced. Just sort of arbitrary and not rooted in any meaningful gameplay scenario.

 

Like I'm sorry, "it was strong, believe it!" Isn't compelling enough. Every build you could show me that uses rune to great effect could be adjusted to be just as good, if not better without it.

Edited by ScarySai
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I have to agree with Scary (but not Scariest) Sai and Blackbird71.  I think many of us understand and appreciate that overperforming things might eventually get tuned down and underperforming things might hopefully be tuned up.  And players generally prefer the boosts and dislike the nerfs.

 

But it would be helpful to know what is considered "overpowered"?  How is that defined or measured?

 

I have a handful of characters with Rune.  Most of my guys don't have it because I prefer certain powers from other pools and I can only have so many.  While I consider all of my characters powerful, I don't find any of them to be overpowerful.  But maybe I'm not seeing it the way you are seeing it. 

 

How do I know if I'm overpowered?

Edited by Bionic_Flea
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I can understand the justification for nerfing RoP based purely on its high value as a choice on squishy archetypes or even ones that just scaled phenomenally well with it (widows and SR tankers get a lot of bang for their buck here, in the absence of needing any actual mez protection).

 

The problem is that squishy archetypes that absolutely would take RoP for the mez protection (every single defender, controller, and MM that I play) are going to feel gutted by this, because RoP has nothing even remotely like it to be compared to. Defense amps and break frees are fine, but annoying to maintain, and Clarion doesn't come online until 50. Making viable builds for squishy archetypes already feels like paying your taxes: you have to compensate for an incredible number of holes in your survivability in exchange for, in my opinion, nowhere near a proportionate amount of power. It's a complicated facet of the game's design that might make sense on paper, but in practice, it just feels terrible.

On its own, that kind of heavy-handed nerfing seems fine to fix a glaring issue with the efficacy of the power pool choices available here, and a difference of 30 seconds isn't exactly going to bring the sky crashing down, but it does seem to be tone-deaf with the current state of the game. Arguably, RoP is a band-aid and I definitely treat it like one in all of my builds. At best, it's an equalizer that helps to bridge the gap between squishy ATs and non-squishy ATs. And it only costs a power pool, 3 power choices, a lot of global recharge and constant vigilance to maintain a comfortable level of survivability relative to the others. I'm not exaggerating my opinion when I say that post-tanker patch, every squishy AT feels like a chore to play at best (and just kinda redundant at worst). But that's on the high end, trying to make like-for-like builds comparing things that matter like survivability and damage parses.

Getting mezzed in this game is the absolute worst. Half the archetypes in the game never have to worry about it. The other half has to jump through hoops to make sure they get enough of it, to no real advantage over the archetypes that get it naturally. Plenty of things in this game are broken, but the current state of RoP in my opinion was doing more to fix a problem and exacerbate it.

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1) Thank you Captain Powerhouse and Jimmy for posting this.

 

2) I think we all know that the entire binary mez system is this game sucks, but that's something the original developers should have fixed 17 years ago, not something that the current Homecoming developers can really address and still call this game City of Heroes.

 

3) It amuses me that so many people are so against these changes while so many other people are blowing up the suggestions forum with "This game is too easy!! Please nerf us!!" threads. This goes to show just how difficult dealing with a large number of people, whom you can't just brig when they get out of line, really is.

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If you'd rather be Lame-O the Wonder Clown instead of Homelander then you're playing the wrong game.

 

Thank you doesn't even come close to the gratitude I have for the Homecoming developers for resurrecting Paragon City.

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If RoP was over-tuned or overpowered, why isn't the magnitude of the what power provides being looked at?
Uptime (duration) is only one consideration, and if it's being brought in line with the other T5's Origin Pool powers, you'd think these powers would be comparably powerful, except they aren't.

RoP even with the same 60's as Unleash or Adrenal Booster will still  be in a league of it's own as to what it provides. So standardizing the duration does little to reduce it's effectiveness when up compared to other similarly tiered powers, thus, changing the duration seems like pointless standardization, rather than careful balance to me. 

I know it's somewhat of a separate issue, but is there any intent to improve the lowered tiered powers in the origin pools? Currently, and with few exceptions, these pools are only providing the illusion of choice and this is certainly not exclusive to the origin pools mind you.

Is the intent is to keep power pools generally underpowered relative to primary/secondary power choices? I hear this being argued a lot as statement of fact but I've never seen it be formally stated by the HC team.

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1 hour ago, Jimmy said:
  • The rest of Sorcery is underwhelming: I agree with this. Perhaps it would’ve made more sense to adjust RoP at the same time Sorcery was looked at, but there’s no telling if and when that would happen. Either way, Sorcery not being great in general is not a valid reason for RoP being as strong as it is. It shouldn’t need to be strong enough to justify 3 picks - each of those picks should justify themselves.
  • The other Origin Pool T5s are underwhelming: Maybe. I actually feel this is more related to the above point - the Origin pools are in general underwhelming, which means for Force of Will and Experimentation you need to take two underwhelming powers in order to pick up an OK power - and that OK power isn’t strong enough to carry the entire pool in the same way that RoP is.

 

That first point is pretty much the crux of any argument I'd have which I think most are seeing as an issue as well.  We'll see how flight is as a travel with the revamp but still flight is a pretty undesirable travel of the bunch except for thematic reasons and then the first power is pretty much a dead power I'd slot that preventative medicine proc into.  

 

As for the 2nd point.  I do think that Unleash Potential is just right at the 60s and I'd think it's fair to bring RoP in line with that but the Force of Will pool has a great travel in leaping and a sneaky good ST debuff for AV fights when you drop in the achilles proc.  As a whole I find the power selections in FoW to be all pretty desirable.  That's my main takeaway is that I wouldn't feel slighted that I take FoW and yet RoP has a longer uptime.  

 

I do appreciate seeing diverse pool picks outside of the standard Hasten/Tough/Weave/Leadership/CJ and with being only able to select one Origin pool I'm fine with them being the stronger pools to take since everyone has access to them.  

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Overperforming as compared to what? Other powers in the same tier that are so bad no one takes them at all except for theme or for a crazy idea? RoP is a very niche power that only specific builds were trying to leverage, and in those builds, RoP was always just part of a cycle of defensive cooldowns like MoG or Shadow Meld in order to maintain some kind of defensive barrier. On top of that, this "barrier" was full of holes and had large moments of time where nothing was up and you were vulnerable. That sounds like a good design to follow, not remove.

 

Compared that to picking Hasten and +Defense pool powers to stack with your +Defense Epic armor/Secondary armors and you have 185% recharge and +45/+59 Defense all the time and Rune of Protection becomes even worse.

 

Unfortunately, my fear was confirmed with this post. "Internal discussion" said this niche, specific power was "overtuned" despite no one taking it so it gets the axe. Great.

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exChampion and exInfinity player (Champion primarily).

 

Current resident of the Everlasting shard.

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you have hard numbers on power picks, right?

 

'cuz i wanna know what the hard numbers on RoP picks vs. other origin pool T5s to where 'this is overpowered and the default pick to invalidate the game as a norm build-wise' comes from when it comes to just how many people actually pick RoP as a whole, esp. separated between 'squishy' chars that would take it

 

what's the public perception on those picks in the sense of 'hey it's arguable how strong this is, idk man' that's shown by the power pick numbers? why make powers that people are discouraged to pick and invest in? there's always an element of effort that seems strange to me about this kinda stuff when it comes to that.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Jimmy said:

It should not have been released that way, and it shouldn’t have been left this long, but there’s no point dwelling in the past.

What I'm reading is "we have an official stance on the strength of pool powers, and that is that they cannot be that good." Am I getting that right? Because if that's how you guys feel, it'll surely guide a lot of conversations that take place on these forums. Nows a good time to clear that stance up.

5 minutes ago, PeregrineFalcon said:

3) It amuses me that so many people are so against these changes while so many other people are blowing up the suggestions forum with "This game is too easy!! Please nerf us!!" threads. This goes to show just how difficult dealing with a large number of people, whom you can't just brig when they get out of line, really is.

Side note, but I'll just go ahead and say the discussions between the 'value and strength of powers', and 'lack of challenge' in this game are two different conversations, and your conflating them needlessly here. 

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Subjective opinion warning:

 

I'm really struggling with the sense of entitlement coming from my fellow posters. Why does anyone need justification for a proposed power change? Or anything done in this game for that matter? This is a free game carried on solely by a volunteer team and our fellow players who have the spare time to keep this community going, test out beta changes, organize events, and foster a sense of belonging in a game that shutdown almost a decade ago.  If these people decided tomorrow that they can't support this game any longer, no ones opinions would matter either way. 

 

It feels to me like this reality is lost on a lot of folks when I read through beta feedback threads. The team is asking for help from us fellow players to find out if these proposed changes will break the game. No one should need to be told why they made these changes, it may be nice to know anecdotally, but it is irrelevant to what they are asking. 

 

Thanks!

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1 minute ago, Glacier Peak said:

Subjective opinion warning:

 

I'm really struggling with the sense of entitlement coming from my fellow posters. Why does anyone need justification for a proposed power change? Or anything done in this game for that matter? This is a free game carried on solely by a volunteer team and our fellow players who have the spare time to keep this community going, test out beta changes, organize events, and foster a sense of belonging in a game that shutdown almost a decade ago.  If these people decided tomorrow that they can't support this game any longer, no ones opinions would matter either way. 

 

It feels to me like this reality is lost on a lot of folks when I read through beta feedback threads. The team is asking for help from us fellow players to find out if these proposed changes will break the game. No one should need to be told why they made these changes, it may be nice to know anecdotally, but it is irrelevant to what they are asking. 

 

Thanks!

Factual Answer Warning:

 

Because they asked for our feedback.

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2 minutes ago, Bionic_Flea said:

Factual Answer Warning:

 

Because they asked for our feedback.

Am not positive feedback and demands for explanations/data are the same thing.

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2 hours ago, Jimmy said:

There are some unrelated concerns which may certainly be valid but are not reasons to keep RoP in its current state:

 

Firstly, I don't think 'unrelated concerns' is the right wording here, but besides that - honestly, it just feels like you cherry picked the weakest arguments and ignored any relevant cases for power and value that were presented in the various channels we have.

 

Detail would be appreciated, you're being incredibly vague with your back-up of PH's opinion, which leads me to believe there's no actually relevant information besides feelings at play, here. My squishy characters without rune will continue to destroy and never die without rune, my two characters with rune will probably drop rune and continue to destroy.

 

A resist capped squishy still isn't going to last a long time without defenses to back it. Mez protection isn't enough to bring a character to OP status. Melee ATs aren't taking rune. but if they were, so what? Resist cap a corruptor and take an alpha, tell me how tanky you feel.

 

We should be expanding options, not limiting them. Of course more focus is going to be on the leadership/hasten/fighting/jumping pools when you kill off anything that starts to give people options.

Edited by ScarySai
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6 minutes ago, Glacier Peak said:

Subjective opinion warning:

 

I'm really struggling with the sense of entitlement coming from my fellow posters. Why does anyone need justification for a proposed power change? Or anything done in this game for that matter? This is a free game carried on solely by a volunteer team and our fellow players who have the spare time to keep this community going, test out beta changes, organize events, and foster a sense of belonging in a game that shutdown almost a decade ago.  If these people decided tomorrow that they can't support this game any longer, no ones opinions would matter either way. 

 

It feels to me like this reality is lost on a lot of folks when I read through beta feedback threads. The team is asking for help from us fellow players to find out if these proposed changes will break the game. No one should need to be told why they made these changes, it may be nice to know anecdotally, but it is irrelevant to what they are asking. 

 

Thanks!

 

When the HC devs constantly insist that we present numbers and testing in our feedback on game changes, it only stands to reason that we also insist on numbers and testing to justify those changes in the first place.  What does it being a volunteer team have to do with requesting a consistency of standards in communication about changes to the game?  Are we not also volunteering our time to test their changes and provide feedback?  Should that not also receive consideration?

Edited by Blackbird71
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First, thank you for taking the time to explain the rationale behind nerfing RoP. At least we now understand the reasoning behind it. 

 

Second, there is perhaps a different perspective at work when evaluating RoP. On the one hand, selecting it means accepting hefty tradeoffs and it's finicky to use. But, with other origin power pool T5s (and armor T9s) being broadly less appealing than RoP, when looking one power at a time, it is (understandably, even predictably) challenging to avoid judging RoP without the "anchoring effect" affecting one's assessment.

 

The significant downsides of RoP and the cognitive bias of the "anchoring effect" are probably key reasons why RoP may be seen as overpowered, while in actual gameplay builds with RoP in them are far from being game-breaking and are in fact not necessarily overperforming at all. 

 

So, a disconnect still exists here. Some look at the power on its own, see an outlier, and think "nerf it." Others are looking at the effects at the level of builds they run and are saying "This isn't meta, not by a long shot, and it's not even overpowered. There is not a strong case for a nerf here." 

 

One player's take on this, FWIW. Whether I agree with this change or not, I still appreciate all the thought and care being taken by the devs to make the game better. 

Edited by EnjoyTheJourney
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2 minutes ago, arcane said:

Am not positive feedback and demands for explanations/data are the same thing.

It's a conversation.  And so far a respectful one.  They said they are changing Rune because it's overpowered.  We're asking why they think that.  Is there a metric?  It's a fair question.

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7 minutes ago, Glacier Peak said:

I'm really struggling with the sense of entitlement coming from my fellow posters. Why does anyone need justification for a proposed power change?

 

They can do whatever they want at the end of the day, but if you expect people to just lie down and go "oh ok, we're nerfing something that doesn't seem that OP for no reason, neat. I'll just ignore all the flaws with the reasoning provided!" without protest, you should know better.

 

The lack of any baseline or information that lead up to guiding this decision makes it seem to an onlooker that the reasoning is incredibly arbitrary. Even in this post meant to clarify the issue, it is incredibly vague.

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2 minutes ago, Glacier Peak said:

Subjective opinion warning:

 

I'm really struggling with the sense of entitlement coming from my fellow posters. Why does anyone need justification for a proposed power change? Or anything done in this game for that matter? This is a free game carried on solely by a volunteer team and our fellow players who have the spare time to keep this community going, test out beta changes, organize events, and foster a sense of belonging in a game that shutdown almost a decade ago.  If these people decided tomorrow that they can't support this game any longer, no ones opinions would matter either way. 

 

It feels to me like this reality is lost on a lot of folks when I read through beta feedback threads. The team is asking for help from us fellow players to find out if these proposed changes will break the game. No one should need to be told why they made these changes, it may be nice to know anecdotally, but it is irrelevant to what they are asking. 

 

Thanks!

You're right in a sense. Not necessarily about the entitlement part, that's your observation and that's fine. I don't agree with that but I digress... You are correct in the sense that we are at the mercy of the HC team's decisions for any changes/alterations made to the server.

However, the team is asking for feedback. I would like to think that would include feedback of all kinds, be it criticism or praise, rigorous testing or just insight/ opinion.
At the end of day, if the team decided to pack it in, that is their decision and we would all lose our ability to play on these servers and that would be the end of it.
In the meantime, if feedback is going to be asked for, it is my belief it should be honest and respectful but most importantly, without filter. Otherwise what is the point? 

 

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11 minutes ago, Blackbird71 said:

When the HC devs constantly insist that we present numbers and testing in our feedback on game changes, it only stands to reason that we also insist on numbers and testing to justify those changes in the first place.  What does it being a volunteer team have to do with requesting a consistency of standards in communication about changes to the game?  Are we not also volunteering our time to test their changes and provide feedback?  Should that not also receive consideration?

Run any scientific experiment and tell me what is more valuable to building a conclusion, subjective feedback.... or quantifiable data that can not only be replicated, but also allow for specific increases or decreases based on those numbers. The HC team hasn't insisted one way or the other, but it is clear from testing what is most helpful. 

 

As for your second question, perhaps running a volunteer organization would supply you with an answer - I personally do not need reasoning for a power change, other folks do - but regardless of whether I am told or not, I will still test a power change because that is how I can help this community.

Edited by Glacier Peak
if/than
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