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[Beta] Patch Notes for April 24th, 2021


Jimmy
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Leave Kinetic Melee alone on stalkers. It's already and underperforming set, and kicking it while it's down doesn't seem healthy to me. If standardization is a goal, that's fine...but just put that line of code in when the entire set gets the revamp it needs, or when stalker aoe as whole is improved. I think doing it now, ahead of either of those other goals just punishes the few people playing it for no apparent reason. Call it political, but sometimes just maintaining a positive perspective for the players is a better choice. 

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I think committing to making a revamp pass on KM overall in the next page should be the approach. Stalkers wouldn’t be picky about this effect if the set was good in general. If GM’s can say they’ll look at the set overall, I would then see no reason for KM stalkers to complain.

 

I think it goes without saying that animation times and Power SIphon are the two core issues.

Edited by arcane
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While I can understand the outcry for Burst's nerfmalization, I can also see where the devs stand on this. Despite what some have said, I personally do not think that letting a power keep a borderline bug-y feature under the idea that it's the one thing that makes the set playable is a reasonable approach. If the set is so lackluster that one bug fix breaks it, it does indeed need a rework. Devs asked for opinions on how to fix it without letting the faulty power as is, and I can respect that. So, instead of bemoaning the loss of something that shouldn't have been, let's brainstorm for suggestions that can make KM once more fun and unique, yet still in line with the rest of the melee sets.

 

One thing I'd ask, first and foremost, is that if the 100% crit feature is removed from Burst, its radius should indeed be increased, at least to the 10' that seem to be the norm for Stalker PBAoEs those days. That would sweeten the bitterness of that pill. As it stands, Burst is already tough to use effectively.

 

Other than that, I'd ask that the set play more effectively to its theme and strength. KM's secondary effect is a -dam effect, and Kinetic's overall theme were always power transfer and speed. This was, in theory, reflected in Power Siphon (which Stalkers don't get) and Concentrated Strike's ability to recharge build-up (which, as far as I can see, no one really likes.)

 

I'd suggest the following then : drop Burst's ability to crit to 50% like every other AoE, but up its -dam effect on every target, and add to KM's crits a +damage mechanic to emulate what Power Siphon lets other ATs do. Crits are such precise strikes that they actually steal some of the strength from the foes and give it to the Stalkers. That way, the set gets its unique gimmick for Stalkers too, and losing guaranteed AoE crit damage would be mitigated by the follow-up attacks hitting harder for a time. All while keeping Build-up, since apparently Power Siphon was too cool for ninja types.

 

Secondly, replace CS's instant crit recharge of Build-up with an instant recharge of ASSASSIN STRIKE. This would make the T9 far more appealing in building a very strong ST chain. AS, proc the Stalker's ATO, crit CS, combat AS again, potentially getting a crit on another attack (obviously not another CS, but now would be a good place to Burst.) This would give KM an identity as a burst DPS machine, and thematically fit with its concept of fluid, tai-chi-like energy flows. Obviously there would be some balancing act to figure out there, but I think this track would fit both the theme and the need for better high-end powers in KM, as well as detract from the need to save hide procs for Burst.

 

Anyhow, those are my 2 cents. But hey, you devs did ask.

 

Oh and on a completely unrelated side note, I love you guys so, SO much for that locking trays gimmick. I've been wanting that since issue 16, I kid you not.

Edited by netphenix
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    • Add the ability to lock tray numbers, which removes the little arrows from power trays (both regular and floating)
      • Trays can still be changed using commands, binds, and macros
    • This option can be adjusted with /optionset LockTrayNumbers 1 or 0, or it can be found in the Windows tab of the options menu
    • Right-clicking on a power tray (both regular and floating) now includes "Lock Tray Numbers" and "Lock Powers in Trays" shortcuts

     

 

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Please stop Standardizing things simply for the sake of standardizing them, ESPECIALY when it nerfs a set and ESPECIALY when it isn't a particularly well preforming set. The 100% crit on burst is honestly pretty cool and very satisfying,  its one of the few draws to what would otherwise be one of the worst AoEs available to stalker. I know people who picked up the set for that very reason. This is one of those cases where I would make it a "Feature" and simply place info in the powers description about it. I still agree Kin melee overall needs a look, but removing a feature of the set that was one of the few draws to it is not the way to do it, especially when you aren't reworking the set at the same time.

 

Even with a rework I would still prefer burst to retain its 100% crit from hide (balanced around this of course), as people generally consider it currently to be a feature of the set, its usually one of the first things mentioned about Kinetic melee when the topic comes up on the stalker forums.

Edited by Riot Siren
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4 minutes ago, Riot Siren said:

Please stop Standardizing things simply for the sake of standardizing them, ESPECIALY when it nerfs a set and ESPECIALY when it isn't a particularly well preforming set. The 100% crit on burst is honestly pretty cool and very satisfying,  its one of the few draws to what would otherwise be one of the worst AoEs available to stalker. I know people who picked up the set for that very reason. This is one of those cases where I would make it a "Feature" and simply place info in the powers description about it. I still agree Kin melee overall needs a look, but removing a feature of the set that was one of the few draws to it is not the way to do it, especially when you aren't reworking the set at the same time.

 

Even with a rework I would still prefer burst to retain its 100% crit from hide (balanced around this of course), as people generally consider it currently to be a feature of the set, its usually one of the first things mentioned about Kinetic melee when the topic comes up on the stalker forums.

Is it a feature of a powerset or a bug? Would you agree that the distinction is important when describing changes made to a specific powerset?

 

And question - just looking back at the patch notes, is the Stalker > Kinetic Melee > Burst change specific to just PvE or does it also apply to PvP (as the other Stalker power changes make note of)? I am unable to verify on brainstorm.

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12 minutes ago, Glacier Peak said:

Is it a feature of a powerset or a bug? Would you agree that the distinction is important when describing changes made to a specific powerset?

I would say when its been this long standing, its a feature. At a certain point, the distinction no longer matters, people have had enough time to know the set and the powers for that reason. Regardless of if it is actually a bug, the players view it as a feature and have for some time, on top of that it hardly makes the set over powered (it still underperforms if anything). My suggestion would be to embrace it as a feature and balance it accordingly. Even if the set was reworked and burst's 100% crit removed but rebalanced, I guarantee you players would be unhappy with losing the 100% crit chance, even if the overall power was better. It's just cool.

Edited by Riot Siren
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1 minute ago, Riot Siren said:

I would say when its been this long standing, its a feature. At a certain point, the distinction no longer matters, people have had enough time to know the set and the powers for that reason. Regardless of if it is actually a bug, the players view it as a feature and have for some time, on top of that it hardly makes the set over powered (it still underperforms if anything). My suggestion would be to embrace it as a feature and balance it accordingly.

Thank you for your input. I also agree with the idea of making the Kinetic Melee powerset have a unique draw that also keeps it balanced with other Stalker primary sets. To me that means fixing the 100% critical rate bug to 50% in line with the other Stalker primary powersets AND THEN adding a unique feature/gimmick to ensure it remains enjoyable and balanced.

 

And I would caution offering the "people's opinion" of something unless you have quantifiable data to support this assertion. Then it becomes a matter of "oh yeah well everyone thinks this" versus "nuh uh! everyone thinks this" circular arguments. 

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6 minutes ago, Glacier Peak said:

Thank you for your input. I also agree with the idea of making the Kinetic Melee powerset have a unique draw that also keeps it balanced with other Stalker primary sets. To me that means fixing the 100% critical rate bug to 50% in line with the other Stalker primary powersets AND THEN adding a unique feature/gimmick to ensure it remains enjoyable and balanced.

 

And I would caution offering the "people's opinion" of something unless you have quantifiable data to support this assertion. Then it becomes a matter of "oh yeah well everyone thinks this" versus "nuh uh! everyone thinks this" circular arguments. 

Fair, though I am still under the impression that would be the response, but you are correct that just leads us into circular arguments. Regardless, I feel like this change should not make it through, and this is a discussion we should be having when Kinetic melee gets revamped.

Edited by Riot Siren
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It's also a matter of resource availability and time needed to work on the overhaul the set needs. I'm cool with fixing the "bug", it's just not worth upsetting the people who are currently enjoying the set to fix it now, and then have a revamp comes x months later.  Make it part of the larger revamp rather than an iterative adjustment.

 

No one is exploiting the the 100% crit chance. Those kin stalkers sent running farms, soloing itfs, or otherwise pushing to new limits of performance.

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I just logged off of the test server a few minutes ago.

 

1) Brainstorm is always a little laggy for me. I suspect this is because it has less dedicated hardware, which makes sense. Today however it is extremely laggy with constant rubber-banding. Not complaining, just letting you know.

 

2) I absolutely love the locking power and locking tray numbers. It doesn't lock macros in tray though, which was kinda surprising. If you can, the third change that would make the UI perfect would be the ability to lock all UI elements in place so that I don't accidentally drag them around, which seems to happen now in place of dragging a power around.

 

3) I'll wait on further Kinetic Melee feedback until the patch goes live. If I'm wrong then I'll happily acknowledge it, and I'll smile while everyone laughs at me.

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14 hours ago, kelika2 said:

1.) stalkers are not popular as it is

2.) stalkers already have a lower base damage to compensate for high chance/auto crits

I'm also opposed to the Burst change but wanted to address these:

  1. Stalkers are the least-popular non-epic AT (by which you're implying "popularity = effectiveness" but that's not really true because if we used the same logic then Empathy would be the best support set when that's clearly not the case) but that's at least partly due to two factors:
    1. The huge QoL buff that turned Stalkers into absolute beasts happened late in the game's pre-shutdown life so many returning players aren't aware of it
    2. The description and apparent playstyle doesn't appeal to players who don't know what the individual ATs really do
  2. The only ATs that have higher melee damage scales than Stalkers are Scrappers and Dominators. Scrapper melee scale is a little more than 10% higher than Stalkers get and Scrappers don't get reliable crits most of the time, and Dominator melee scale is only 5% higher than Stalkers but they only have access to 2-4 melee attacks depending on their secondary.
Edited by macskull
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13 minutes ago, macskull said:

I'm also opposed to the Burst change but wanted to address these:

  1. Stalkers are the least-popular non-epic AT (by which you're implying "popularity = effectiveness" but that's not really true because if we used the same logic then Empathy would be the best support set when that's clearly not the case) but that's at least partly due to two factors:
    1. The huge QoL buff that turned Stalkers into absolute beasts happened late in the game's pre-shutdown life so many returning players aren't aware of it
    2. The description and apparent playstyle doesn't appeal to players who don't know what the individual ATs really do
  2. The only ATs that have higher melee damage scales than Stalkers are Scrappers and Dominators. Scrapper melee scale is a little more than 10% higher than Stalkers get and Scrappers don't get reliable crits most of the time, and Dominator melee scale is only 5% higher than Stalkers but they only have access to 2-4 melee attacks depending on their secondary.

 

I'm going to go out on a limb and take a guess based on my own bias, but the reason stalkers are not more popular is that no one, no one, likes runners. Someone over the Stalker forums was mentioning their first baby stalker and how if it was normal for fights to take so long (ok, they had the difficulty at +3 thinking it would be better that way) since mobs would run all over the place making him chase them. That's my experience as well and why I don't play Stalkers.

 

I could be wrong and speaking just out of my own perceived annoyances with the AT, buuuuut...

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2 hours ago, Glacier Peak said:

Is it a feature of a powerset or a bug? Would you agree that the distinction is important when describing changes made to a specific powerset?

 

And question - just looking back at the patch notes, is the Stalker > Kinetic Melee > Burst change specific to just PvE or does it also apply to PvP (as the other Stalker power changes make note of)? I am unable to verify on brainstorm.

I tried looking into it last night. From what I can tell, the crit from hide was always 100% in PvE yet was always 50% in PvP (I had to use web archive to go back as far as possible then looked at patch notes to see if any tweaks to Burst happened that impacted crits). Combined with the fact no mention of the elevated crit chance is mentioned in the description makes me think it was a bug and not a feature. That's my opinion based on the evidence presented, but if anyone can find archived developer discussions that stated this was the true intent of the power, then that would certainly change my opinion.

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4 hours ago, Riot Siren said:

I would say when its been this long standing, its a feature. At a certain point, the distinction no longer matters, people have had enough time to know the set and the powers for that reason. Regardless of if it is actually a bug, the players view it as a feature and have for some time, on top of that it hardly makes the set over powered (it still underperforms if anything). My suggestion would be to embrace it as a feature and balance it accordingly. Even if the set was reworked and burst's 100% crit removed but rebalanced, I guarantee you players would be unhappy with losing the 100% crit chance, even if the overall power was better. It's just cool.

 

Here's where I go into Once Upon A Time story-mode... 

 

I was in the closed beta for Going Rogue, when KM was introduced. I tested the set on a Stalker (She was remade later when GR was released. That was Shade in Shadow, my first Praetorian-) and at the time, the 100% crit rate for Burst when used out of Hide was brought up as a possible bug. We were told that it was not one... That that was working as intended. I want to say it was excused as a trade-off for the set's over-all slow animations and resulting poor DPS, but I may be misremembering that. It was a long, long time ago.  I also wish I could remember exactly which of the devs to attribute that statement to, but I only really remember it coming up rather than who was involved in the conversation. 

 

So... no. Even way-back-then, it wasn't a bug. It was a feature of the set and always has been. (That's why I thought it was a little odd in the other thread when Mac tried to tell me that this crit rate nerf "didn't happen". 😝

 

In any case, The Great Standardization Push is probably a foregone conclusion regardless of original intent, so looking at the set in general, and Burst in particular is probably the best route forward. As one of those few, crazy people who actually play the set... My main here is a KM/Bio Stalker, after all... I'd suggest leaving the damage where it is and adding to radius/number of targets a bit. Debuffs also wouldn't be a bad thing. We are, after all, knocking these goons right on their butts from out of nowhere. It wouldn't be inappropriate for that to put them at a disadvantage.  

 

 

Edited by Coyotedancer

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6 minutes ago, Coyotedancer said:

Here's where I go into Once Upon A Time story-mode... 

 

I was in the closed beta for Going Rogue, when KM was introduced. I tested the set on a Stalker (She was remade later when GR was released. That was Shade in Shadow, my first Praetorian-) and at the time, the 100% crit rate for Burst when used out of Hide was brought up as a possible bug. We were told at the time that it was not one... That that was working as intended. I want to say it was excused as a trade-off for the set's over-all slow animations and resulting poor DPS, but I may be misremembering that. It was a long, long time ago.  I also wish I could remember exactly which of the devs to attribute that statement to, but I only really remember it coming up at the time. 

 

So... no. Even way-back-then, it wasn't a bug. It was a feature of the set and always has been. (That's why I thought it was a little odd in the other thread when Max tried to tell me that this crit rate nerf "didn't happen". 😝

 

In any case, The Great Standardization Push is probably a foregone conclusion regardless of original intent, so looking at the set in general, and Burst in particular is probably the best route forward. As one of those few, crazy people who actually play the set... My main here is a KM/Bio Stalker, after all... I'd suggest leaving the damage where it is and adding to radius/number of targets a bit. Debuffs also wouldn't be a bad thing. We are, after all, knocking these goons right on their butts from out of nowhere. It wouldn't be inappropriate for that to put them at a disadvantage.  

While I have no evidence to disprove what you claim, you also aren't presenting any evidence either to support what you say. Until such evidence can be presented I am leaning towards this as being a bug.

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23 minutes ago, Glacier Peak said:

While I have no evidence to disprove what you claim, you also aren't presenting any evidence either to support what you say. Until such evidence can be presented I am leaning towards this as being a bug.

 

Given that the old closed beta forums from the Live days don't even exist in the Wayback Machine's archives, I'm not sure what "evidence" I could really offer you... 

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16 minutes ago, Glacier Peak said:

While I have no evidence to disprove what you claim, you also aren't presenting any evidence either to support what you say. Until such evidence can be presented I am leaning towards this as being a bug.

I don't think the "feature or bug" discussion is really relevant as unless someone manages to dig up relevant forum posts from 10-11 years ago we will never know with 100% certainty which is true. Additionally, what might have been originally intended as a "feature" in the context of the game at the time might no longer be true given how much things have changed since then.

 

That being said, the reasoning for the change matters far less than the effects of the change. KM is a middling set with the main appeal of getting a single-target attack chain early (additional bonuses for Stalkers are a faster-than-normal fast-cast AS and the higher crit rate from hide on Burst). Outside of that KM is plagued by slow animations, a T9 that can't crit in exchange for resetting BU/Power Siphon, and (on non-Stalkers) a BU replacement that by most measures is inferior to other sets' BU replacements. Reducing Burst's hidden crit rate nerfs the set for the only AT with an appealing version of the set and doesn't solve the problem of the set being mediocre.

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25 minutes ago, Coyotedancer said:

 

Given that the old closed beta forums from the Live days don't even exist in the Wayback Machine's archives, I'm not sure what "evidence" I could really offer you... 

Eye witness accounts are still evidence. I appreciate your input and I hope more can corroborate. Ultimately, though, the set sounds like it's going to get looked at sooner than later and whatever is decided is going to be temporary either way. As a tester/data analyst, I would rather see live play testing done with it set to 50% that way the developers can have evidence as to how much the set needs to be tuned. Having data to something that isn't representative with their intent will make it more difficult to find the balance point when the revamp comes. It could result in the revamp leaving the set still undertuned, which nobody would want.


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6 hours ago, Glacier Peak said:

@Troo I am confident that what you are referring to is working as intended.

 

Well, you're wrong. It's okay that you're wrong but you need to understand you are wrong.

 

The intention was not to eliminate accolades that were earned and make them available less than 50% of the time.

Edited by Troo
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23 hours ago, Jimmy said:

Invisibility_Stealth.png.2486cdaff867e131e33de6dc409b97ab.png Stealth

  • The stealth component is no longer split into two different effects with different rules
    • All stealth now only suppresses after attacking, being hit or clicking a mission objective
  • -Threat will now suppress after attacking, being hit or clicking a mission objective
  • Defence will no longer suppress upon activating any power
    • Defence will now suppress on all attacks, including pseudopet attacks, and will still suppress when buffing an ally, commanding a pet or clicking a mission objective

 

Thought the exclusivity of travel powers was being removed. Stealth de-toggles when using Infiltration.

 

While this was the case formerly with Invisibility, it seems Infiltration should not behave the same in this regard. Instead behaving similar to Fly and Hover.

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14 minutes ago, Troo said:

Well, you're wrong. It's okay that you're wrong but you need to understand you are wrong.

 

The Siren's Call vendor locking when your side (hero or villain) doesn't own the zone is working as intended, and has been since Issue 6.

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2 minutes ago, Faultline said:

 

The Siren's Call vendor locking when your side (hero or villain) doesn't own the zone is working as intended, and has been since Issue 6.

🖐
🎤

 

You can be wrong too Faultline.

 

Was the intention to eliminate accolades that were earned and make the replacements available less than 50% of the time? No it wasn't.

 

Engaging with players is a sarcastic and snarky manner is simply poor form and sends mixed messages.

Edited by Troo
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