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Assault/Defense Archetype Inherent

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I think I might have just solved the issue of an Assault/Defense hybrid melee/ranged character...


One of the big reasons that Assault/Defense characters are generally frowned upon as an archetype concept is that there's simply no reason to not get in melee and just stay there, using such a character. Your defenses (Plus IO Sets) offset the danger, and ranged attacks can't have a -minimum- range they fire from, so why not?


One of the common suggestions is to create some sort of "Stacking Buff" mechanic which causes all the ranged powers in the Assault set to get Combo Levels based on how many melee attacks you've fired off, and vice versa. But that doesn't solve the inherent problem, it just encourages people to combo up their ranged attacks by doing a bunch of melee and then staying at point blank for the ranged attacks.


So what if their inherent actively cost them damage for doing so?


What I propose is an inherent similar to Invincible or Evolving Armor. One which gains stacks based on how many enemies are nearby. Each stack of this power would provide a Damage Debuff and a "Defensive Strength" Buff. To keep it from being -too- drastic, let's keep the Debuff at 2% per target, and the buff at 3% per target.


At maximum Saturation, 16 targets, you would have a -32% to damage. All damage. And a +48% bonus to Defense Strength. What do I mean by Defensive Strength? Same thing that Power Build up modifies: The amount of defensive benefit you get from powers, not a direct bonus to resistance or defense.


For the sake of argument, let's say you're using /Bio Armor. You've got Hardened Carapace toggled on granting you 17.5% Smashing/Lethal/Toxic. 3 SOs you're at 27%. Get into full saturation and you're Resistances jump to 40.4%. Got 16.38% defense to Energy/Negative with 3 slotted Environmental Adaptation? Get into full saturation and it climbs to 24%.


But you -lose- 32% of your damage. That's a big pile of damage lost. Meaning an Assault/Defense character would need to decide when to jump into melee, or out of it, to keep themselves in fighting shape. Should you fire off your ranged attacks, first, and only close to melee once there's only a few enemies left standing?


Or should you dive in, right off the bat, to gain the increased defensive strength to soak an alpha? Should you jump into melee once the team's support drops or would that only delay the inevitable?


Further, should we allow -control- strength also play a part in this? If you're at full saturation, should your KB hit with 48% more strength as a way to get out of full saturation? Could be an interesting way to go with it.


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