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


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On 4/11/2021 at 10:47 AM, Troo said:

Hopefully this is what was being asked.. (maybe I've over simplified it)

 

In character creation.  It says choose type of character - ranged damage, support, etc.  Then each category gives you a list of AT's.  Then each AT gives you a list of powersets.

 

Imagine if you said "I want buff/debuff abilities and I want control." Then you might get recommended controllers, dark defenders, dark masterminds, and fortunata widows.

 

  • Or you might say "I want a defender that buffs my allies outside of combat defense and resistance" you would get force field, sonic, cold, and thermal.
  • Then you might say "I want to be able to heal my allies".  That eliminates force field

 

You could require someone to read all of the powers including the numbers to figure out how much defense FF provides or how much -Res sonic provides.  But it would be much easier if there were a description:

 

Force Field:

  • This set provides high defense to all of your allies, but not yourself.  It provides allies with mez protection.   These can be applied before combat.  The set allows you to knockback foes for control. 
  • This set does not  have healing, resurrection, recharge or endurance boosts, or debuffing.  It has no way to increase your teams damage.

The description can include what matters to players when choosing powersets besides them - since the theme is in the name.  So for Dark Armor it would say it uses a lot of END.  But electric attacks saying they can return some END for you would be left out if players decide that is a useless ability. 

 

The discussion over the description would help highlight how devs and players view the powers.  Maybe players say the END drain is useful for pvp but not useful for pve.  The set could be flagged as recommended for pvp not pve, or the pve powers could be made better separate from the pvp versions.

 

And if players all say that Force Field having knockback is a negative not a positive, maybe the devs will change it to knockdown.

 

 

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35 minutes ago, Wavicle said:

Support/CC:

Damage Mitigation Support and CC can be treated as being on the same spectrum, it is helpful when exploiting Controller set synergies or discussing balance.

 


 


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6 minutes ago, 5099y_74c05 said:

Damage Mitigation Support and CC can be treated as being on the same spectrum, it is helpful when exploiting Controller set synergies or discussing balance.

 

Agreed. Although, generally the reason I put them together is that, unlike tanks, CC and Support powers take TIME to use. Tanks only have one power (besides self heals and such) that takes time away from attacking, Taunt.

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30 minutes ago, Wavicle said:

Agreed. Although, generally the reason I put them together is that, unlike tanks, CC and Support powers take TIME to use. Tanks only have one power (besides self heals and such) that takes time away from attacking, Taunt.

That is the one of the issue of Tankers (Taunt) vs Controllers (Mezz), if the ATs were intended to be interchangeable in a shared role. I'm not saying these should be or can be interchangeable at this point (City of Statues was looked at as a negative) but the factors you pointed out should be considered if it is the vision of this game version. Mag, Uptime, Duration, etc would be examined.


The active playstyle of Controllers is why they are my preferred AT even if Tankers are better CC/Aggro management.


 


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In general I actually think Support and CC sets are fine. It's only in the upper levels that those sets start to get devalued. But the devs are aware of this and are going to try to fix it. May take a while, but they're on it.

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1 hour ago, DougGraves said:

In character creation.  It says choose type of character - ranged damage, support, etc.  Then each category gives you a list of AT's.  Then each AT gives you a list of powersets.

For non "support" ATs I think it is possible to guide players to a combo, there aren't many dimensions to navigate for these. For the ATs using Support sets I think the breakdown would need to be more granular than the buff or debuff distinctions folks commonly use and you probably can't account for all synergies or compliments.

 

As far as using this as a mechanism to help guide set improvement I think those exists as metrics in the FotM threads. Buffing underutilized sets and powers would be be my starting point. The trick is balancing them fairly for the ATs they are shared with.


 


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1 hour ago, CaptTastic said:

I would describe Blasters as Pure Damage. They’re literally given nothing else and in that sense the AT is wholly unique. 

My OCD hair-splitting "well, technically...." tendancies require me to dispute this.

An awful lot of Blasters get more in the toolkit. 

 

Even a Fire/Fire blaster gets Immob's, and Hot Feet for some localized dmg / fear, and doesn't Rain of Fire cause some "run away", too?

Nevermind the Blastroller of Ice/Ice with Slows, Holds, Sleeps, and a Ice Slick.

Energy and all it's glorious "fly the friendly skies!" Knockback.

 

There's soft control and mitigation tools that Blasters get too. Some much more than others, but nobody is 100% pure damage, even if it's clearly thier main focus.

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42 minutes ago, MTeague said:

My OCD hair-splitting "well, technically...." tendancies require me to dispute this.

An awful lot of Blasters get more in the toolkit. 

 

Even a Fire/Fire blaster gets Immob's, and Hot Feet for some localized dmg / fear, and doesn't Rain of Fire cause some "run away", too?

Nevermind the Blastroller of Ice/Ice with Slows, Holds, Sleeps, and a Ice Slick.

Energy and all it's glorious "fly the friendly skies!" Knockback.

 

There's soft control and mitigation tools that Blasters get too. Some much more than others, but nobody is 100% pure damage, even if it's clearly thier main focus.

Yeah I definitely get what you mean, but I suppose I just see soft control across every single powerset in the game. It’s sort of a constant in CoH, so hard to really take into account when analysing what makes an AT unique. 
 

My way of thinking is that, for example, tanks are armour set and melee damage set, trollers are a control set and a support set, defenders support and ranged damage, etc. But blasters are ranged damage and melee damage. 
 

It’s all just semantics at the end of the day though, isn’t it?

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It's one thing to know what a power or powerset is for, it's another to how to utilize it great effect. GW2's classes, their utility skills and traitlines are no different in that respect.
Part of the fun is discovery, becoming familiar with a powerset in a hands-on sense will tell you far more about how to use something, that just knowing what it was intended for. 

I'm not sure a new list will be universally helpful in aiding people with choosing powersets but it certainly couldn't hurt (assuming it's not rife with inaccuracies). 

Perhaps updates to the character creation screens are in order to help guide players to powersets that might interest them. That being said, players have been known to break the conventions of what certain AT's or powersets are capable of and what they were meant for, so definitions for certain skills/powersets many vary wildly depending on who you ask.

 

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Proper powerset selection, synergy, and IO use can definitely help break an ATs mold, but that's more of an advanced thing. You have to understand the game in a way that would make a list like the one being discussed obsolete.

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On 4/13/2021 at 1:11 PM, DougGraves said:

if players all say that Force Field having knockback is a negative not a positive, maybe the devs will change it to knockdown.

Players don't all say this, which is why KB>KD is an option not a given.

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On 4/10/2021 at 1:09 PM, TemporalVileTerror said:

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

Nope.

 

I came to post exactly that. ^^^

 

Seriously, CoH broke the mold for MMOs.  The forced teaming and cookiecutter team of the idiotic trinity doesn't exist in CoH.  Sure, you still have your DPS, and Control classes, but de/buff is now meaningful, and healing far less relevant.  So pick which role looks interesting to you and play it.

 

Edit:

So since everyone else was making lists, I thought I'd post mine.

I put roles into 4 classifications, as listed above;

 

DPS

Control

De/Buff (buffing and debuffing

Healing

 

/Edit

 

As one wag put it, "The difference between playing different primaries of Scrappers is like the difference between playing squash and playing racquetball.  The difference between playing different Defender primaries is like the difference between playing hockey and playing piano."  It's these differences that make CoH almost endlessly replayable.  Or (segue from previous paragraph) pick a powerset that looks interesting to you.  Take every power in it, develop your own playstyle for it and then respect out of powers that don't mesh with that playstyle.  Then, and only then, read any guides for that powerset.

Edited by Col. Kernel
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On 4/13/2021 at 2:46 PM, Wavicle said:

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

 

 

You're looking at this all wrong.

Tank is a control AT.  Taunt is a control.

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On 4/13/2021 at 2:53 PM, 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.

Can the Blaster survive managing aggro?  If yes, then they are aggro management, i.e. control

 

On Live I had a Storm Def who could tank the entire ITF until the 4 AVs at the end.

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20 hours ago, Wavicle said:

Although, generally the reason I put them together is that, unlike tanks, CC and Support powers take TIME to use. Tanks only have one power (besides self heals and such) that takes time away from attacking, Taunt.

Control and Debuffs are similar with respect to scaling and other constraints such as cast time. In terms of effect, Control prevents action (Immob is an exception) against the team debuff reduces attack rate or hit rate or reduces damage etc but still allows attacks. Taunt isn't a perfect parallel but it also prevents action against the team as Taunted mobs cannot attack other entities except the Taunter. The bigger distinction between Taunt and Control is mob mobility, unless you are Wormholing/Folding Space or Herdicaning the Tanker's Taunt does a better job at clustering. Controllers can use geometry to achieve the same effect by dropping a debuff toggle on an enemy and having the toggle aggro the whole room. At this point you are using your secondary and not your control set to pull.

 

Both, Taunt vs Control and Debuff vs Control,  are valid perspectives; the approach taken depends on the context and what the analysis is intended to discover.

 

20 hours ago, Wavicle said:

In general I actually think Support and CC sets are fine. It's only in the upper levels that those sets start to get devalued. But the devs are aware of this and are going to try to fix it. May take a while, but they're on it.

 

From a design perspective I would want to know what features of the game, such as sets, are under utilized and why. Based on the FotM threads, even when controlled for farmers, there are significant utilization disparities between the Support sets. Same is true for the Control sets.


 


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@5099y_74c05 - Sorry if i am late to the MM point, but I think you may have forgotten to mention something. MMs shine in one particular instance where no other AT's can, where aggro is concerned - the number of targets you can engage at once.

 

IIRC, the "aggro cap" for tankers is 16, and everyone else its 12 (feel free to correct me if I am wrong here), but the fine print says that both pets and rechargeable pets have their own aggro tables. This means that the MM can aggro far, far more than either the tanker or brute is capable of. I do it routinely on my MM all the time.

 

So Everyone else (without pets) - 12

Tankers - 16

Ats with rechargeable pets - varies by # of pets

Masterminds - 12 (you) + 36 (3 t1 pets) + 24 (2 t2 pets) + 12 (t3 pet) = 84 possible targets engaged at a time, in total. This is several times more than even a tanker is capable of. Now, with available space, distance between spawns, and other such things this makes such a lofty number unreachable in nearly every map. But I quite regularly fight 6-8 groups at a time with my MM just fine. I would argue in fact its more beneficial to fight in this manner, at least with my setup. As it takes me roughly the same amount of time to kill 16 mobs, as it does 40. so its just more efficient to fight "en masse". As far as I can tell, not many other people play their masterminds in this way, but it is certainly possible.

 

The amusing thing though? I farm far faster with two masterminds, than i do with two brutes. But no one in their right mind is going to argue that the mastermind is the OP farming class, and yet I can clear the moon map under 5 minutes with my MM team, simply by running to the middle and engaging as many targets as possible at a time, and then picking off the stragglers when the big battle is done.

 

So with all this in mind, when it comes to how "much" an AT can handle, I would argue that the MM is more than the brute and tanker are capable of, simply due to the MM effectively bypassing the target limit.

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On 4/13/2021 at 1:27 PM, 5099y_74c05 said:

Damage Mitigation Support and CC can be treated as being on the same spectrum, it is helpful when exploiting Controller set synergies or discussing balance.

 

If you are saying damage mitigation and CC can be summed up together I disagree.

 

I like control powers.  I want to hold a foe and see that effect.  Reducing their damage by 50% is not as visible to me and I do not value it nearly as much.  You could say it is equally effective, but from a playstyle standpoint they are very different and not interchangeable.

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22 minutes ago, DougGraves said:

are saying damage mitigation and CC can be summed up together I disagree.

 

I like control powers.  I want to hold a foe and see that effect.  Reducing their damage by 50% is not as visible to me and I do not value it nearly as much.  You could say it is equally effective, but from a playstyle standpoint they are very different and not interchangeable.

No not implied as interchangeably but when I am assessing my Controllers i put them on the same spectrum to determine overall capability and potential.

 

I noted their differences in my follow up. One prevents attacks the other reduces overall rates.

 

EDIT: To clarify the comparison, Control for a controller is on a spectrum of extremes from Immob to Hold. When doing my assessment Debuffs sit above Immob but below Holds. The Slow (-Speed) debuff is below immob. It gets complicated if accounting for scaling.

Edited by 5099y_74c05

 


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@Neiska Yes. I believe it. MMs are one of the more interesting classes in the game. You can play them in so many ways from dragging pets around in an aggressive posture, Tankerminding or controlling each pet individually. It is the only other class besides Controllers that I find complex and fun to play. +6 extra targets on a 8 man team is a form of damage reduction.


 


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If the discussion of role is as an aid to help players find a build, then role can be anything you want it to be. It would require classifying the Support sets by capability and correlating these capabilities to roles. The non support ATs are straight forward otherwise.

 

If the discussion of role is to influence team composition, the implication of role is that they don't overlap with other roles. This is different than ATs overlapping with each other. If the role system isn't deep enough to allow variation you could easily and inadvertently "mandate" team composition more so than we do now. Not sure what this would add for the "fun" factor or if the game can get there with the current rule set, mechanics and AT configurations.

 

Depending on the design, a roles based system could be great if done well or it could generate something worse than the current system. I would imagine imposing this on the main HC servers would also tee off some players but I could see something like this on its own special rules server. The downside is this results in splitting a small community. There are also other server clusters experimenting with there own visions for the game.

 


 


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I feel like the archetype name sorta sums up what they do (though the villain tags might require slightly more explanation). If you're a first time player coming in, the Hero AT functions seem easily recognizable by name at a glance (Tank, Blaster, Controller, Defender, Scrapper). The Villain ATs are less easy to immediately pin down without a  bit of quick study: Brute, Corruptor, Dominator, Stalker (they aren't straight analogues of the Hero ATs). Mastermind, a Hero/Vill AT, is easily grokked at first sight (pets). Kheldians and Arachnos AT's are their own thing, altogether. You have to consult the verbiage/lore on the ATs (though, back in the day, once you played enough Blue content, you were pretty familiar with the Arachnos types well before you unlocked them).

 

Even so, you can't depend on the basic label completely. I have an AR/TA Blaster who can run somewhat like a Defender, thanks to acc debuffs, slows, immobs, stuns and KDs (all his KBs are proc'ed to KD). He'll never out-defend a Defender (no teammate buffs), but he can fill in to an extent on most teams, even when facing off against foes with high resistance to lethal/smashing. 

 

 

Still, he's very much a "ranged damage dealer," first and foremost.  So, the name covers the main thing he can do. It's not perfect, but it fits. The rest of the labels do, as well, once you school yourself a bit. I don't think it's too much to ask a new player to educate themselves on what's there, rather than haggling over how to more accurately define a general label, for a general spectrum of playstyles, in order to mitigate what can only be a small, and rather temporary amount of initial ignorance. 

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I still have the original manuals.

The first line from each description:

  1. Blaster - specializes in delivering massive damage at range*
  2. Controller - specializes  in manipulating the actions of foes, causing them to stand immobile in battle, or controlling their movements, or even turning them into allies.
  3. Defender - power focus on healing foes, increasing their buffing abilities, and decreasing foes' debuffing abilities
  4. Scrapper -specializes in hand to combat. [...go to e-to-toe with enemy]
  5. Tanker - the "big man" of the team combing massive defense with powerful but not exceptionally quick offensive punch.

In the early days of live you made choices that had hard limitations. As hard as Jack tried that turned out to not be the case. Case in point the *Blaster. Yes it has a BOOM stick to hit at range with massive damage.... it can then run up to you and hit you with said BOOM stick for massive damage. Blapping is perhaps the most fun I have at times.

 

There are no hard rules anymore. A scrapper can take the med pool and heal from the edges. A controller can tank. Etc. A kheldian can be squid only(range), lobster only(tank), human only, and of course all three.

 

Your hero. Your choice. Build as you wish. You have three builds to make.

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