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For player understanding and balancing, can each AT and powerset be described with its niche?


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My personal description for Blasters would be High Risk Damage. The AT gets very little innate protection. Its best defense is ending fights quickly, its second best defense is exploiting range, and its third best is its, relatively new, sustain powers. A blaster who stays at range is safe, insofar as they don't have to worry about melee attacks, but a lot of mez powers, debuffs and other dangers are ranged. Its far more effective to delete a Sapper than avoid melee attacks, for example. Snipe powers can allow for a blaster to do both, but a second might call for a T3 Blast plus Melee combo to eliminate as quickly as possible. A blaster has to gauge these situations carefully while a Scrappers response is always dive in head first and scrap, let the armor toggles sort it out.

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10 minutes ago, HelBlaiz said:

My personal description for Blasters would be High Risk Damage. The AT gets very little innate protection. Its best defense is ending fights quickly, its second best defense is exploiting range, and its third best is its, relatively new, sustain powers. A blaster who stays at range is safe, insofar as they don't have to worry about melee attacks, but a lot of mez powers, debuffs and other dangers are ranged. Its far more effective to delete a Sapper than avoid melee attacks, for example. Snipe powers can allow for a blaster to do both, but a second might call for a T3 Blast plus Melee combo to eliminate as quickly as possible. A blaster has to gauge these situations carefully while a Scrappers response is always dive in head first and scrap, let the armor toggles sort it out.

I have one blaster, rushed to fifty to use for ebil marketeering purposes. I compulsively built it as best I could along the way for damage output, and this description fits very well. I was amazed at how survivable it was simply by rapidly defeating threats. And getting out to distance when things were too dangerous next to the tank.

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I like O_T's breakdown into Raw Force archetypes and Multiplying Force archetypes. But I would follow the metaphor more closely and call the first group the Additive Force archetypes.

 

And none of them are purely in one or the other; e.g., if a tank has maneuvers or assault, that's multiplicative. The tanks management of aggro, done skillfully, is a multiplier. Defenders and corrs have some mostly additive attacks, and so on.

 

So perhaps a 1-10 rating for each archetype for being Additive or Multiplicative would make sense.

 

Except, the choice of primaries/secondaries is huge, too. And the pools, and then the slotting. And even then, some players can play multiplicatively, or others additively, by their skill and understanding of game tactics. 

 

I don't think an exhaustive list is practical. 

 

Which takes me back to O_T's list, which with the caveat "YMMV",  I like very much.

Edited by Andreah
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as others have said the game is very versatile and doesnt really fit into a one size fits all category for the most part. however the ATs can work on some simple basic parameters most times

 

Blaster Glass Cannon ranged Artillery

Scrapper strong boss killer and goon sweeper

tank  hard target and close agro control

Controller ranged crowd control and debuffs

Defender strong support and debuffs

Sentinel Mid Close ranged direct fire support

 

Kheldians
Peacebringers Versatile Close to mid ranged assault capable of providing direct damage at any range needed to support the team

Warshade Focused Close to mid range damage dealer with the caveat of the more bodies around the better also supports the team

 

Brutes Supreme goon sweepers and secondary tanks

Stalkers Dedicated high burst  Boss killers with decent clean up skills

Corruptors Offensive defenders or Offenders corruptors debuff in order to do damage

Dominators direct damage crowd control  able to lock down bosses and even AVs at certain points

Masterminds Force multipliers and battlefield controllers 

 

Soldiers of Arachnos

Widows Close ranged stealth damage  an team ssupport

Forutnatas ranged psy damage and artillery and team support

 

Bane/Wolf spiders mid to close ranged direct damage  and team support

Crabs close to mid ranged artillery and team support

 

Both VEATs and HEAT are noted as team support because they benefit the team and are benefited by team members

 

Kheldians get specific buffs for each AT on a team  that boosts them considerably

 

Spiders/widows have team leadership buffs that benefit teammates 

 

in closing each AT has its place on teams and can operate for the most part solo with a little effort

 

quick edit to add that i agree with others posted above about raw force and multiplitive force adders

Edited by catsi563

My Dear you deserve the services of a great wizard but youll have to settle for the aid of a second rate pick pocket

~Schmendrick

 

So you mean you'll put down your rock, and I'll put down my sword; and we'll try and kill each other like civilized people?

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I wouldn’t really say GW2 was really any more strict about roles than this. More or less every class had the option to be high damage vs tanky vs supportive. Pretty much all 3 light armor classes could be built to be insanely tanky.

 

Agree with others though, there are nuances down to the power/powerset level that make it not super helpful to define roles/niches by AT. 

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14 hours ago, Heraclea said:

To me the ATs divide into two even simpler camps:

 

Has mez protection:

 

- Tanker

- Scrapper

- Brute

- Sentinel

- Arachnos soldier

- Kheldian

- Stalker

 

Sometimes has mez protection, based on level of investment with merits/inf and build stage:

 

- Blaster

- Dominator

- Mastermind (not really, but can usually diffuse single target mezzes)

 

No native mez protection:

 

- Defender

- Controller

- Corruptor

 

 

I fall fairly conatantly in the 'mez protection' camp.  Characters with mez protection avoid the single most annoying and frustrating mechanic in the game.  They are fun to play on teams and fun solo.  They are the money and merit makers that support the rest of the roster. 

 

Characters lacking mez protection are team specialists for specific purposes.   Those characters need teams to be fun to play, and are built to be useful on teams, providing things like debuffs to help the team take down difficult targets.  My poison/dark defender comes out whenever anyone wants to run the Kahn TF, for instance.  She is fun because she makes the TF much faster and easier.  Not great for soloing, IMO. 

 

You have a great point.  This is also an important consideration when choosing an AT (and how you build them).  It's also one of the reasons that I really enjoy certain sets.  Willpower, for example, gets very broad mez protection, so it's a great choice if you find yourself frustrated by geting mez'd (I confess that I do.  Then again, who doesn't?  Maybe blasters, since they can still hit back via their T1/T2 powers).

 

I must confess (and yes, this is a bit off-topic, I suppose) that I've always thought choosing a particular powerset as your Primary should give you some mez protection against effects deriving from that particular kind of attack.  For instance, a controller with Psi as their primary should be protected from being confused/stunned/whatever by mez from psionic attack sources.  It just doesn't feel quite "right" that a powerful psionicist should still be vulnerable to being stunned by a psionic assault, when a simple bare-knuckled brawler can shrug it off.

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Mainly I have used the Multiplier/Raw as a rule of thumb when leading teams, especially prior to level 35, and especially in older versions of the game that were a bit harder.

 

If I expected a Multiplier but got Storm (a multiplier but leaning pretty raw) or prebuffed Trick Arrow (supposedly a multiplier but bad at it) I would keep looking for a multiplier. Adding a Raw with some distraction powers like control/tanking can help a little but won't usually turn things around. I wouldn't reject someone based on their class but I might raise or lower difficulty. 

 

For iTrials a Multiplier is always useful. A Raw can be useful but there are a few archetypes that really do lag here (sorry, most Sentinels, Dominators, and pre-buff off Tankers, but you are the weakest link). 

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Excellent question and discussion.


It is clear roles were intended in the game's original vision but were never properly implemented. Not all ATs were designed to solo but improving soloability was on the DEVs radar as an area of focus. From creation to Incarnates, a character's effectiveness in fulfilling its given role changes. IMO IO sets and Incarnates also diminishes buffing support characters as these grant +RECH, +DEF, and various other buffs normally only available via support oriented ATs.

 

If you look at the "what"  instead of the "how" it is clear two of the roles are DPS and Aggro Management. Support follows a hybrid model in this game and the sets generally overlap in capability; shared niches.

 

Support (sets) would break down into these main aspects: Damage, Control, Damage Mitigation(Buff/Debuff), Force Multiplication(Buff/Debuff), and Resource Restoration. Damage Mitigation covers +DEF, +RES, and Absorb, and it also covers their compliment debuff effects:  -ToHit, -DMG, and -RECH. Force Multiplication includes +RECH, +ToHit and +DMG buffs, and -RES and -DEF debuffs. Resource Restoration covers Healing/Regen (and Absorb if you don't like it the other category) and Endurance/Recovery. Most support sets are hybrids of this model with /FF being almost purely Damage Mitigation with some Control. Secondary effects are also a characteristic to consider as you can capitalize on synergy to a limit degree.

 

For DPS balance discussions "melee vs ranged"" isn't as important as "ST vs AoE" and "Burst vs Sustained". For AT design "melee" damage is important to counter balance with complimentary sets; the same is true for the design of "ranged" damage ATs. Mechanically the game doesn't have a deep "area of denial" or cover system to properly support "ranged" combat. Most mitigation is done through self buffs and control.

 

I consider Brutes, Controllers, Dominators, MMs and Tankers as part of the Aggro management category. If any roles were intended to be interchangeable its clear the game fails to support this concept; Tankers and Brutes are the better aggro managers. Tankers/Brutes can taunt indefinitely and do not suffer from the restrictions other Status effects in the game do. You can argue MM Pets and Tankers are the better corollary, as they prevent damage by being bullet sponges. I only know of a few MM configurations that can be built this way effectively. In contrast most Tankers/Brutes can be built to main tank (I would guess Fiery, Regen and maybe one or two more are the exceptions). One advantage Mezz has over Taunt is preventing movement but at the cost of being subject to several other constraints.

 

Balance of Support sets is probably the most complicated to discuss and approach. It is clear Buffs have an advantage (up to the ceiling) over Debuffs especially in team play. Also one point of Buff =/= one point of its corollary Debuff, the buffs tend to be superior here as well. The various Buffs aren't necessarily comparable to each other nor are the debuffs vs debuffs. Most support sets don't fall into one niche and are shared across several ATs. I think the best way to attempt to quantify support sets for comparison would be to assess them across several dimensions including the perspective of solo and team (you can count MMs as a team), creation to Incarnate, buff vs debuff, ST vs AoE and the categories I listed above. It is doable but would be a very sophisticated and complex assessment.

 

I think the better option would be to look at the data mined utilization reports and start from the little end with buffs to make the less used sets more desirable.

Edited by 5099y_74c05

 


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Just now, 5099y_74c05 said:

They were intended to be at one point.

I've heard this claim many times and never seen a bit of evidence.

I guess it's possible that a dev may have said something like that at some point, but since they don't have taunts it clearly was never actually the case.

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1 minute ago, Wavicle said:

I've heard this claim many times and never seen a bit of evidence.

I guess it's possible that a dev may have said something like that at some point, but since they don't have taunts it clearly was never actually the case.

Taunting isn't a necessary component to fulfill the role.


 


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When I break the ATs into categories I do it likes this (keeping in mind Team Composition does not require ANY one particular class OR role, and again intentionally simplified):

Tanks:

 

Tanker

Kheldians

Brute

 

 

Support/CC:

 

Defender

Controller

Mastermind

Corruptor

Dominator

Arachnos

 

 

Pure Damage:

 

Blaster

Scrapper

Stalker

Sentinel

 

 

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1 minute ago, Wavicle said:

Either CC or Taunt is.  Just pets doesn't do it.

Negative. Threat can too. Roles and evidently the supporting mechanics were never implement properly as I noted in my first few sentences.


 


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Just now, 5099y_74c05 said:

Negative. Threat can too. Roles and evidently the supporting mechanics were never implement properly as I noted in my first few sentences.

By that measure a Blaster is aggro management because they cause high threat. The discussion is meaningless if you think of it that way.

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1 minute ago, Wavicle said:

By that measure a Blaster is aggro management because they cause high threat. The discussion is meaningless if you think of it that way.

You are confusing the what with the how. Its clear Blaster are meant to fill a DPS role.


 


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1 minute ago, Wavicle said:

Taunt is the mechanic that allows you to use Threat for aggro management.

I see PA uses Taunt in its attacks in addition to a high Threat multiplier. So I don't know off hand if any counterexamples exist.  Beyond Stealths and Taunts I don't think there are many mechanisms that manipulate "Threat" (GI does)


 


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2 minutes ago, 5099y_74c05 said:

I see PA uses Taunt in its attacks in addition to a high Threat multiplier. So I don't know off hand if any counterexamples exist.  Beyond Stealths and Taunts I don't think there are many mechanisms that manipulate "Threat" (GI does)

sorry, what's GI?

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