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Focused Feedback: Pool Powerset Revamp: Sorcery


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1 hour ago, Arbegla said:

Call me crazy, but I'm really beginning to think that out of the 5% of people who actually took Sorcery (for therefore RoP) 100% of them maxed out recharge to get near immunity to Mez Protection, via RoP and chaining other powers together. Completely negating an entire aspect of the game that they should have had to worry about.

 

Which, was never the intention of how RoP should have been used. If your character doesn't have inherent Mez Protection, even from an Epic Power Pool, it shouldn't be able to get it via an Origin Power Pool that everyone can access.

 

Squishies should have to worry about Mez. Its really that simple.

I didn’t have a single build that had capped recharge and I highly doubt it was the norm. The recharge I had for rune of protection on all of my characters with always within a few seconds of 180s. This is at about perma hasten levels of recharge and is fairly common for higher end builds. That gave 50% uptime for rune and left plenty of gaps in coverage. 
 

I will also say again that rune was used for more than just mez protection. There were people such as myself that used it mainly proactively and for resistance every bit as much as mez, if not more in some cases. I hate that the whole resistance attribute has just been swept under the rug. Resistance uptime has been nerfed along with the mez protection uptime and is an equally valid complaint for those who have tested and don’t agree with the change. 
 

I also think the argument of chaining powers together to negate an entire aspect of the game is flawed. First off, you can entirely negate the mez aspect of the game with break frees and p2w powers regardless of archetype or power picks. If this were really a problem, then break frees and p2w powers are guilty of this as well.  If the goal post is then shifted to powers being chained together to synergize too well together to provide a strong bonus, I think that is equally flawed. Other powers can be chained together to provide strong synergy and power outside of rotating RoP with incarnates.

 

Where do we draw the line of what synergy is allowed?  What makes RoP such an obvious outlier that it had to be nerfed? It is not the only power than can be rotated or synergize with other powers to create a strong effect.  If the answer is that it negated a mechanic of the game, then I reiterate that inspirations and p2w powers exist. Not to mention the shenanigans that the entire IO system has allowed.
 

I don’t want inspirations nerfed, p2w powers removed, and certainly don’t want the IO system removed. I just find it odd that rune of protection is being held as such an outlier for reasons that don’t make sense given the other things that are in the game.
 

But it doesn’t matter. The decision has been made. I respect the devs authority to do whatever they want with the game. I appreciate all the work they do. I especially appreciate that they put the full revamp in for testing along with the rune nerf. But, I don’t have to agree with the changes they make do nor do I have to agree that their reasoning makes sense.

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The entire paradigm of "mez is a constant bane to squishies but simply irrelevant to melee" has always felt broken. The melee has never paid an appropriate price for their safety compared to other damage dealers and it's only grown more apparent as that relative safety has morphed into often easily achieved near-indestructability.

 

Seeing it so ruthlessly reinforced just drives it home.

 

I want to believe that the devs have a grander plan in mind than just "We don't care how many build sacrifices you made to get there, Blasters aren't Blasters if they're not getting mezzed. These builds are now Invalid."

 

Can't say I'm seeing it yet, though.

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1 hour ago, Arbegla said:

 

The big thing is RoP is available to EVERYONE. and Indom Will is only available to Controllers, and only if they take Psi Mastery (and the other Epic Power Pools are powerful enough to make that an actual choice, not a must have.)

Aren't controllers "squishies"?  Or is it ONLY blasters that should have no option whatsoever to get real, reliable mez protection?  

 

Also...if "you have to choose to take psi" matters, then "you have to choose to take Sorcery" matters. 

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So far, I am looking at three builds using Sorcery if these changes go live. I even pulled a 39 out of cryo-sleep in preparation for Page Two.

Playing CoX is it’s own reward

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31 minutes ago, Puma said:

 is it ONLY blasters that should have no option whatsoever to get real, reliable mez protection?  

 

That IS how the game has always been. And there's Clarion if you can't get your defense high enough.

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1 hour ago, PeregrineFalcon said:

concerned about Domination next?

 

I was looking for "you will be" but could only find:

 

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semi topical delete bait I'm sorry

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3 hours ago, America's Angel said:

After testing out Rune of Protection some more, both in PVE and PVP, I think 60s uptime with a 180s recharge would be ideal. (Especially as Unleashed Potential and Adrenal Booster are going to be changed in Page 3 to match Rune of Protection.)

I have to agree with this. I'd like to see Rune of Protection at 60 seconds with a 180 second recharge and immune to all recharge buffs. Partially because this duration matches with Emerge, the tier 2 break free inspiration. I just can't understand why a power with 2 prerequisites should have a duration less than that of a common inspiration.

 

Here's the other reason why I think Rune of Protection should be changed back to a 60 second duration:

 

Developers: "We've lowered Rune of Protection's duration to 60 seconds. Please give us feedback in this thread."

Players: "ZOMG!!! Please don't do this! Please don't nerf Rune of Protection!"

Developers: "Thank you for your feedback. Since a single power should not be able to bridge a gap that results in entire parts of the game being obviated, we've decided to further nerf Rune of Protection by reducing its duration to 40 seconds and make it immune to all recharge buffs. Please give us feedback in this thread."

Players: "What? Now its duration is less than that of a tier 2 inspiration. And, why did half of my posts in the feedback thread disappear? Ok, well at least tell me you guys aren't going to nerf perma-dom, which is also a single power that results in entire parts of the game being obviated."

Developers: ***crickets***

 

And FYI, please don't think I'm angry about this. I'm just home from work, drinking a beer, and giving you all my feedback.

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3 hours ago, Arbegla said:

I have actually heard, and seen, plenty of people leave because the game became too easy, because things weren't a challenge, because powers were simply too powerful. I know quite a few people who got 1 character to max level, got some IOs in them, and then bounced, because it just wasn't a challenge anymore.

 

The current game can be plenty hard enough.  Take a look at @Linea's 801 maps and work your way through them.  I've fought in teams on a lot of them with well tuned toons and they are tough.  Or the new arcs.  They had some tuning issues like too many ambushes.  I was on a team on the Hero-side one that lucked out and could stand them.  Or even a lot of the other content at +4x8, like in Dark Astoria.

 

City of Heroes can be made plenty tough.  There's no need to add extra "difficulty" by brutally nerfing powers left and right.

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1 hour ago, PeregrineFalcon said:

Developers: "We've lowered Rune of Protection's duration to 60 seconds. Please give us feedback in this thread."

Players: "ZOMG!!! Please don't do this! Please don't nerf Rune of Protection!"

Developers: "Thank you for your feedback. Since a single power should not be able to bridge a gap that results in entire parts of the game being obviated, we've decided to further nerf Rune of Protection by reducing its duration to 40 seconds and make it immune to all recharge buffs. Please give us feedback in this thread."

 

You may not be aware of this, but that change was a result of player feedback after discussing multiple choices:

 

image.png.dd75d8bd702c317795e310e8a179acf2.png

 

The forums are not the only place where feedback is gathered, and the changes to Sorcery were discussed at length in the Beta Testers discord for several days before hitting Brainstorm. Trying to paint this as "Developers ignoring feedback and doing whatever they want" is quite inaccurate.

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45 minutes ago, Coyotedancer said:

Well, I guess that does make it crystal clear which group of players' feedback actually matters... 

Everyone is free to volunteer to join the testing Discord. It's not some exclusive club.

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Coming back to day 2 of testing, I hadn't realised enflame could still be used on enemies! It's a lot better that way. Still, the damage feels very anaemic, now that I can see it clearly. Even on a controller that doesn't have many better options! I guess it's probably not fair to compare to *roots,* of all the aoe immobilises. I checked enflame's damage by throwing out vines first, my taoe hold, so I wouldn't have other damage numbers cluttering my screen. The problem might just be that the ticks are too slow. You could probably trick my psychology into thinking it's better than it really is if the damage ticks were sped up. I'm not sure that 5 targets within 8 feet is a great ratio, either - both small, and a tiny amount of max targets? If it's going to be as small as it is and as costly as it is, I'd really rather it'd permit something like 8 targets. (Gosh, the visual effects for enflame are pretty.)

I think arcane power just procced off me eating an inspiration. Completely awesome, but I'm so certain it's not WAI. Still, if there was a way to allow certain categories of non-damaging abilities to retain their ability to proc it, I'd be very happy about it. For controllers, a number of spammed controls don't do damage, and entire support sets too. It'd open arcane bolt up as an alternative pick for some types of defenders - being rewarded, basically, for priorising support sets. I'm very excited by the implications.

 

I started off today trying to figure out an MM combo that would both be able to fit in the various sorcery powers and actually get some utility from them they couldn't elsewhere. That proved to be something of a problem for me. Beast Mastery and Demon Summoning really benefit from having the in set attacks, so I wrote those off pretty quickly. I wrote off Necromancy next - I was planning on picking a healing-lite secondary so I could really get a feel for how big of a difference spirit ward can make in that area, and zombies are just too fragile to not have AOE healing on the table. Besides, I think the Necromancy attacks are worth taking. Ninjas I wrote off for the same fragility reasons. Robots I wrote off because they're pure ranged, I honestly haven't seen enemies be able to reach them to attack them on my live characters, and I didn't want to futz overmuch with their upgrades. That left Thugs and, um, Mercs. I settled on Thugs because, well, Mercs... I think that's a full statement, actually. Well, Mercs...

 

I'm actually pretty sure Thugs is going to make for a great test. No internal pet healing, and right out of the gate I know the bruiser's going to be eating every alpha. I went on to pick cold for a secondary because it's a solid, well-rounded set for MMs except for its lack of healing, it's got a number of powers that are good for skipping, and heat loss can justify the entire leadership set and then two thirsty sorcery toggles on top of that. I almost went time, which does nice things for the endurance too, but Time's too good to be representative of the larger selection of support powers, and it's one of the best healing sets in the game. It doesn't need help from spirit ward. It really doesn't. A shame for sorcery, because thematically they're a great match.

 

I really debated including the above paragraphs because it seems a bit more of a discussion about the state of MMs than sorcery, but I've decided to include it because I think it's representative of how a subset of players approach the origin pools as a whole, and I do think the sorcery changes are specifically appealing to MMs and controllers in particular. I feel obligated to take as many choices from an origin pool as possible because it's locked me out of the other origin pools, and I need to make it feel like it's worth that loss. I think it might be worth revisiting the origin pool lockout. Or at least, restating the logic behind it.

 

It's worth mentioning I had the ability to pick up boxing/tough/weave in this build (not a guarantee on MMs) and decided against it to test sorcery. That's not a weird decision for an MM to make, but it's pretty dang weird on any other AT. Again, don't think the build's incredible as far as MM standards go - I got s/l def softcapped, took all of leadership, sat at 185% global recharge, around 20-40% resists, very little in the way of proc monkeying. Before I go in, I expect ROP to not be very important at all. I find mezzes on my MMs are a non-issue, because enemies would have to lock down me and all six of my pets to actually make me useless, but that'll be true of live ROP, too. I kind of only took it because I didn't need an extra LOTG mule on this combo, I'd already picked up 5 power pools, and power boost is useless on cold. 


Going into this test, I had hoped sleet would be enough to keep enemies from running away from enflame. My hope was, of course, poorly conceived. I'm not sure why MM sleet has half the duration of sleet on other ATs while still costing about double the endurance but I'd blame that for why it didn't stop the scatter. Enflame proved to be something of a problem because of that - the bruiser would chase down cowards into other groups, drag the groups over, classic MM shenanigans. Luckily that kind of behaviour is manageable with the go to command, but it proves that the terror is a significant hindrance on the effectiveness of enflame as an aoe attack. Which is a shame! When sleet did keep enemies locked down, I thought it really synergised well with MM play, where you've got your pet window up by default and managing pets is an expected feature of the AT as a whole. The only other way to get an AOE immobilise on MMs is via mu mastery, which wouldn't work as well on this combo. Oh well. (I guess I could use glue arrow from trick arrow, but trick arrow has just about no skip powers, and would struggle to fit sorcery into its build when leadership is an MM must-have. But it's something I'd think about, if I *really* insisted on having enflame. I guess it would set off oil slick...)

I should temper my Spirit Ward feedback with the acknowledgement that I did six slot preventive medicine into it, so it was operating the best it possibly could under in game conditions. It ended up being around a third of my bruiser's health bar at full size, and he has 964 max hp, which is a good chunk! I felt like Spirit Ward did a very good job shoring up cold's lack of healing support, and made quite a difference on the alpha salvo. It's a bit opposite of traditional healing because of its cooldown and its build up. Very anti reactive casting. I found, if a pet started receiving undue attention that didn't already have spirit ward on it, I could not swap spirit ward to that pet fast enough to make a difference. (It was ALWAYS my arsonist. Always! Everyone was right, he is a little idiot.) I'm not sure the balance of the recharge on spirit ward compared with the amount of time it takes to build up a nicely sized absorb shield was balanced so well, because the build up time is effectively an extra amount of recharge on the power. It really effectively meant swapping spirit ward mid combat was a bad idea. 

It definitely *feels* like the enflame and spirit ward changes were aimed at MMs more than other ATs. They felt very good there, even enflame, when I could work around the enemy scatter. I'm just not sure it would work on any MM powerset that didn't natively have something to fix endurance problems. But that's really more an MM problem than a problem with sorcery as a set.

Not much else to say on this one. Arcane power procced a lot less on my MM than my controller for some reason. You could blame the pets, but I felt like I was pretty active with benumb/sleet/heatloss/infrigidate, and more arcane bolts and enflame on the side. I guess both plant and storm are known for being good at proccing generally, so maybe that's what's going on there. Rune of protection continued to feel fine. Really did not make an appreciable difference on an MM. That's MMs for you.

Edited by Katharos
clarity passes
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26 minutes ago, Katharos said:
29 minutes ago, Captain Powerhouse said:
On 3/16/2021 at 4:10 PM, Katharos said:

why isn't sentinel bioarmour's athletic regulation getting a look?

Oversight, it will be addressed in the next build.

Oh no. Oh god. What have I done? 

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1 hour ago, Faultline said:

The forums are not the only place where feedback is gathered, and the changes to Sorcery were discussed at length in the Beta Testers discord for several days before hitting Brainstorm. Trying to paint this as "Developers ignoring feedback and doing whatever they want" is quite inaccurate.

Thank you! I did not know that there was a discord poll about this. I actually do appreciate your taking the time to let me know.

 

However, you missed the obvious point that I was making in that post. If you have a moment could you answer the question?

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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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1 hour ago, Katharos said:

I think arcane power just procced off me eating an inspiration. Completely awesome, but I'm so certain it's not WAI.

 

Everybody keeps saying this but it actually is WAI.

 

It's just supposed to be something that randomly happens as you do other stuff.

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Regarding Spirit Ward:

 

The enormous Endurance cost is going to move this from Rarely Use to Never Use for me. Isn't there some other way to do this that doesn't require making it such a high cost power?

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1 hour ago, PeregrineFalcon said:

However, you missed the obvious point that I was making in that post. If you have a moment could you answer the question?

 

There are lots of powers in the game that last a shorter time than inspirations, Build Up comes to mind. There's no design philosophy I'm aware of that says it has to last longer than an inspiration to be of value. In this case we're talking about a power that does what two inspirations do at once, so that has some impact on it.

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38 minutes ago, Bopper said:

It's not really a cost increase. It currently grants a 15s buff for 7.8 endurance. That averages to 0.52/sec

That assumes you cast it every 15 seconds... Right now it’s useful as an occasional patch. It’s being turned into an always on toggle. It is a huge cost increase.

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There seems to be a big fuss over a normal small sample polling. The folks who participated in that poll are the same folks participating in these forums so it's not exactly a separate source of input. It's not practical to poll absolutely everyone, even those who participate on the forums are not a majority of the game's population. So no matter where you perform a poll, it will always be a subset of the population. But that's fine, you take enough of a sample from the population and you get a general feel for preference.

 

Folks also seem to be overreacting over the lack of context to that poll. It was simply a question of wanting to try something different (based on feedback from the forums) and polling the audience on which option it preferred. C was to leave the changes as they currently were on Beta, B was to cut the duration and cooldown in half from what was currently on Beta, and A was to set the duration and recharge to a fixed value that would be usable more frequently but without as long of a duration. From those 3 options it was caveat that it was experimental only and whatever would get tested on Beta could immediately get reverted.

 

So option A won out, and we've been testing it on Beta. Everyone on the forums has had a chance to try the new changes and provide their feedback. So if you missed out on a poll, it doesn't matter. You can still test and provide feedback and tell the developers what you prefer. It's not like it hit Live yet, things are clearly still being worked on.

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2 minutes ago, Wavicle said:

That assumes you cast it every 15 seconds... Right now it’s useful as an occasional patch. It’s being turned into an always on toggle. It is a huge cost increase.

You can turn it off after 15s. The decision to keep it on longer is a player choice. 

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I'm sorry about my brevity but it's extremely late and posting from a phone. 

 

The team spent hours discussing what potential alternatives to test based on all the feedback gathered here, in the forums. Option B was actually taken directly from the feedback threads and A was more of a mix of things. 

 

The discord survey was simply done to gauge, from a small sample base, what approach to test. The point of the survey was not to have that vote define what goes live, but to pursue the test path that had the least potential friction alongside the other power changes to the set. 

 

Discord can simply be a better tool to get immediate feedback, forums are best for long, multi-day discussions. At the time of the survey, I had been working for two days, skipping meals, to get the ball rolling for this test ASAP. Getting this answer, again, just to decide testing approaches, was something I needed to get quickly. 

 

We are already incorporating some feedback from this thread into the next iteration. The power won't go back to 90/600, but we are working hard to get to the best compromise, within the parameters we are trying to enforce. 

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Two pages of posts have been hidden. The short version is: Discord exists. We take feedback from Discord. If you provide feedback on Discord, it will be taken into account. If you were not aware that Discord exists and that Homecoming has a Discord server, now you know. If you do not like Discord and only post your feedback on the forums, it will also be taken into account. Neither avenue is given preference over the other. None of that is relevant to the Sorcery revamp.

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1 hour ago, Captain Powerhouse said:

 The power won't go back to 90/600, but we are working hard to get to the best compromise, within the parameters we are trying to enforce. 

In bringing up compromise, I am wondering is the parameters specifically: At the current values this power should have 33% uptime, and 40/120 feels like a good balance for 33% uptime. 

Or...

Is 50/120 something that would be considered, reaching a half way point between 33% uptime and 50% uptime. 

l-> remember that previously an SO build had absolutely horrible RoP uptime and this was just terrible to devote power choices to, and an IO build built for high recharge revolving around RoP uptime could reach 90/150, significantly over 50% uptime. I actually _really_ like, for this power specifically, that it is now unaffected by recharge. The discrepancy between IO and SO builds was too large, HOWEVER can we please punish the people that built their character around this less? I only have 2 characters that have RoP, but they feel very uniquely special compared to everything else I play and have built because of the RoP playstyle. 

 

40/120 = 33%

50/120 = 41.66%, 

50/130 = 38.4%

60/140 = 42.8%

 

<pre-adjustment IO build> 90/150 = 60% uptime

<pre-adjustment SO build, with 95% recharge enhanced into RoP and 35% global recharge (50% hasten uptime)) 90/260.9 = 34.5% uptime

--------> 33% uptime is too harsh

 

Has separating the power into 2 separate functions been considered? IE the power grants 2 buffs, each with separate durations with one click and one set recharge

Break Free + 30s mez prot, 60s damage resist, 120 cd

Break Free + 60s mez prot, 30s damage resist, 120 cd

 

What about scaling the damage resistance down over time akin to Incarnate-Barrier in favor of higher uptime or shorter cooldown?

 

What about leaving the power at 40/120 33% uptime, but adding a small passive damage resistance buff, like 3-5% that is always active even when the power is on cooldown, helping with the competition the power receives from always beneficial toggle powerhouses such as tough weave combat jumping and leadership.

 

What about reducing the -largely unnecessary- mag 10 mez protection to something that protects against single applications of mez affects but can be overcome when stacked. Similar to acrobatics but more broad, in favor of reducing the downtime. Benefits for the many players who take it to prevent toggle dropping on offensive toggles like Radiation Emission, Dark Miasma, Hot Feet Blasters, etc when hit by a 2 second stun. 

 

What about reducing the total damage resistance value from the click by half AND the total magnitude of mez protection by half in favor of better uptime?

 

What about making the recharge adjustable? If used while mezzed, increase the downtime. If used while not affected by mez, reduce the downtime.

 

What about making the ONLY way of reducing the cooldown of RoP from 40/120 by casting Arcane Bolt, Spirit Ward, or Enflame, which reduces the cooldown of RoP by 2-3 seconds per cast.

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24 minutes ago, Troo said:

 

'I am the law!' a comedy by Faultline.

 

Do any other pools have two 0.52/s endurance cost toggles?

Enflame is still broken.

Arcane Bolt is better but still a trash pick that will force the use of respecs when players realize this.

On Live, Flight has two toggles that are 0.65/sec. But Afterburner will be removed, and Evasive Maneuvers has already had its cost reduced from 0.52/sec to 0.26/sec.

 

What about Enflame is broken? The details would help in fixing the problem.

 

I disagree on the conclusion of Arcane Bolt is still a trash pick (it would help if there are details on why it's trash). The animation shaving now makes it an ok power to use in terms of DPA (not as good as a powerset attack, which a pool power shouldn't be), but with an avenue to only use it when it's ready for double damage makes it a great power DPA wise. 2.96 scale damage in 1.73s cast time from a pool power, yeah that's not trash.

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7 hours ago, Wavicle said:

That IS how the game has always been. And there's Clarion if you can't get your defense high enough.

 

Comparing a level 20 option to a level 50 Incarnate as an alternative shows a fundamental disconnect.

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