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So, after considering things and the fact that "good" ranged damage + mezz protection seems to be too much, how about we change that up?

 

With tanks getting boosted damage/aoe-numbers, I'd surmise that it isn't resistances/defenses that the developers are leery of, but decent defense/mez protection with medium-high ranged damage.

 

So instead of boosting the damage, how about bumping the Resistance cap to 82.5% along with a (roughly) 7.5% boost to Def/Resist/Regen numbers?

 

Maybe add a hard single target taunt effect and turn Sentinels into something between a scrapper and tank in toughness?

 

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Hard pass.

 

While I agree that Sentinels really need a performance boost, their secondary powersets actually perform quite well, sometimes better than the versions seen in other archetypes.

 

Adding a single target taunt onto Sentinels is also very counterproductive, as many of their powers rely on AoE, so removing an enemy from a large mob would make it harder to position attacks properly.

 

And why up the Resistance cap on Sentinels, but not Scrappers and Stalkers who would arguably need it more? Sentinels do not attract as much aggro as melee archetypes, so I see no reason for their Resistance numbers to be adjusted.

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I thought I explained it, but it's because they (the developers) seem to be very adverse in buffing the damage of Sentinels as they are ranged with mezz armors. Buffing their armor sets with a res-cap boost and small levels boost would make them 'tougher' and tacking on a single-target taunt would allow them pull some aggro onto their new toughness.

 

Scrappers and stalker have much, much higher damage. Boosting their caps that much might be an overbalance. Sentinels do a much lower amount of damage (less than tanks used to, if I understand it right.)

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As I said, the main issue with Sentinels isn't their Resistance/Defence numbers.

 

I don't think it's strictly up-front damage either, I think it mostly falls down to their Inherent Power (Opportunity) being a less effective version of Corruptor's 'Scourge'. In fact, I'd say the main reason why Scrappers and Stalkers have much higher damage as you say is because they can reliably deal out critical strikes, whereas Sentinels can only deal 'micro crits' in a manner of speaking when their inherent power briefly comes into play.

 

Another reason Sentinels underperform is that they don't really have a niche to fill. which circles back to the idea that their Inherent power is flawed. Sentinels fall short compared to other Archetypes when it comes to the role they're supposed to fill, which is something of a ranged Scrapper, since Blasters and Corruptors outperform them in ranged damage, and all other Melee archetypes are better able to utilise their armor powersets.

 

Pushing them towards filling an already existent role (ie. Tanking, ranged DPS) is likely not going to be enough. Redesigning the Sentinel's Inherent power to make the archetype more viable is probably the best way to go.

 

 

Edited by Tyrannical
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I kind of think that a lot of the ATs at 66% damage should all be bumped to 75% and move them a slightly bit closer to the 'median' of 100%. Not all sets get good damage boosting. I mean, weren't tanks moved from 66% damage and smaller attack groups and suddenly they were fine?

 

And I fail to see what's wrong with a 'tougher' version of Sentinels that doesn't have more hit points. It isn't going to make it Tanker or Brute tough. It might get close to Kheldians, but without an AOE or Single-Target taunt it isn't direct competition to melee taunts, it's more of a softer control on the skirting/outside. Sort of a 'legal' kiter, if that makes sense?

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If you're fighting an AV, GM, or other superpowerful enemy (The Incarnate Trial bosses, for example) a single Sentinel can mean a -lot- more damage from the team during specific burst windows, since the debuff affects proc damage and is unresistable.

 

Unfortunately it's plagued by 4 important problems.

 

1) It charges based on attacks, meaning you often can't pull it out on a spawn without "Wasting" it since many enemies are dead, or badly wounded, leading the Sentinel to hold it.

2) While holding it, you cannot use two of your baseline attacks, often cutting into attack chains and making the character feel syncopated rather than smooth.

3) When you do use it, it doesn't feel -strong- or -powerful-. It honestly doesn't feel like much of anything, even though the rest of the team is hitting harder.

4) Damage values feel universally low, making the archetype feel like it's floundering.

 

We already know that Sentinels are Opportunists, so how about Containment?

 

Containment, specifically doing extra damage to targets that are currently stunned, held, asleep, immobilized, or under a Fear effect, could make them feel stronger without significantly altering their overall damage output, and give them an explicit role on the team: Taking out controlled targets before they break free. An the narrative role of taking advantage of openings and opportunities.

 

Combine with the current Sentinel Mechanic and you'll have a Sentinel and any control characters attempting to nuke AVs while the Purple Triangles of Doom are down.

 

Further, outside of Dual Pistols, Energy, Fire, and Water Blast, the other blast sets all have the ability to randomly, or specifically, apply stuns, sleeps, or holds to targets, usually while doing very nice damage. And each of the Epic Pools has one or more Control Powers for Sentinel characters, ensuring every Sentinel, whether Solo or on a Team, has options to benefit from this aspect of their inherent power.

 

Give their AoE attacks a 25% chance to do +50% damage and their ST attacks a 50% chance to do +50% damage to controlled targets and I think you'll have a winner.

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1 hour ago, Coyotedancer said:

Sentinels make great soloists... I tend to think that *THAT* is the "niche" they fill. But I get that more team-oriented players wouldn't be terribly satisfied with that. 

 

They're not any better at soloing than blasters, stalkers, scrappers, or MM, all are the main ATs I play. I've played Sentinels, they are lacking and I do think it's their special that is to blame.  That special is good against a target that lasts awhile (AVs), but isn't all that great when solo.

 

I much prefer the damage boost over the heal. The heal is too little. 

 

I love snipe powers and Sentinels not having one means I'll roll a new blaster again and again before I ever play another sentinel.

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19 minutes ago, Steampunkette said:

If you're fighting an AV, GM, or other superpowerful enemy (The Incarnate Trial bosses, for example) a single Sentinel can mean a -lot- more damage from the team during specific burst windows, since the debuff affects proc damage and is unresistable.

 

This is a persistent myth.  Sentinel resistance debuffs are not unresistable.

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I think it's just that they need to see how Blasters are doing across the board with the new secondaries before they can tell how much they can bring Sentinels damage up. That's my guess anyway.

Edited by Wavicle
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I think they'd want to do small, gradual steps unless somebody shows them numbers that it's performing poorly. And considering they still have the damage of Defenders, but a higher soloability, that's probably not too easy to produce.

 

"Not soloing like a scrapper or brute!" isn't quite the meta. 😛

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The game is not balanced around solo performance, it’s balanced around team contribution. Safety and solo performance are secondary balancing points. Since a sentinel does not have taunts it needs to do closer to as much damage as a scrapper, it lives very near melee with short range attacks and has only a small support element. It should still be the lowest damage out of sentinels, scrappers, stalkers, and blasters, but it should be in the same range. Right now it’s outside the range.

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Posted (edited)

That's going to have to be shown with some harder numbers, I think. I mean, technically a Sentinel has the same base damage as a Defender, but little to distract it from dishing out damage. It doesn't need to buff, debuff or heal. You can just chug away at hitting things and optimizing your attack chain. So I'd bet that on a team, you actually do effectively more damage, but don't impact helping everyone else out as much.

 

It also isn't as dependent on having 'support' ATs to allow it to do its job unimpeded. A blaster in the same position would be stuck using its 1 or 2 first tier attacks until it gets unmezzed.

 

It may need to be on a 75% or 80% damage scaler (I wouldn't say no to a boost in damage), but I kind of think Defenders could use a small boost there too.

 

Perhaps the AT opportunity power could be remade so that more of a small bonus to damage around you instead of a -Res debuff on the target. It may technically be the same numbers, but bonus numbers feel better to see than invisible debuffing that you can't tell on an NPC.

Edited by arthurh35353
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I think I may have an idea for Sentinels to help them better compete with other ranged DPS archetypes, while also giving their secondary powersets a little more purpose, and finally giving the archetype a proper niche;

 

Just like Tankers, we up their maximum target cap by 25%, which would help set them apart from other ranged archetypes, while also justifying the decrease to range they have. It would also mean that their secondary powers would come into play more, as they would inevitably draw more aggro.

 

But that's not all, we should change the Inherent power in order to support this change. So instead of the standard effects of Opportunity dealing more damage, we instead do this;

 

COLLATERAL: Sentinels excel at providing area damage, and many of their powers have a chance to deal extra damage to foes surrounding your primary target. Occasionally, your single target attacks will deal splash damage to nearby foes, dealing a percentage of the base damage in a close area of effect. Additionally, your standard suite of AoE attacks sometimes have higher chance ToHit.

 

I think the above changes would help give Sentinel it's own identity besides just being the 'Ranged Scrapper' or 'Non-Squishy Blaster', we would give it a real niche to capitalise on; the AoE powerhouse.

 

So here are the pros and cons of making such a change;

 

Pros:

  • More competitive AoE damage to compensate for lack of range and snipe powers
  • Higher target cap, making it stand out from other ranged archetypes 
  • Less reliance on dealing extra damage through a small window of opportunity 
  • Armor powers have more value, as you will receive more aggro with a higher target cap
  • No more need to withhold your first two attacks for the purpose of Opportunity 

Cons:

  • The Sentinel is more likely to be overwhelmed without backup
  • Less overall single target damage since Opportunity is removed
  • Endurance cost of powers may need to be increased to compensate for higher target cap
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9 hours ago, Tyrannical said:

I think the above changes would help give Sentinel it's own identity besides just being the 'Ranged Scrapper' or 'Non-Squishy Blaster', we would give it a real niche to capitalise on; the AoE powerhouse.

I feel like blasters are already the AoE powerhouse, and they do it well. I'm personally more interested in sentinels being a ranged single target dps, because quiet as its kept blasters' st dps is not at all comparable to these melee ATs'. I think this was also the idea behind the AT in the first place since they have the reduced target caps and an inherent that only affects one target, it's just not as big an effect as it needed to be. 

 

People compare sentinel blasts to all the other ranged ATs blasts, but gloss over the fact that defenders and corruptors have the ability to massively increase their damage with their secondaries and do so all the time. And blasters' defiance damage really stacks up in a longer fight too. Sentinel's sometimes damage boost really doesn't compare.

 

I really like the idea of exposing a weakness on one target, but I feel like the -res route is a little limiting. You can't make it too much, because it boosts everyone's damage. I would be more interested in the sentinel being able to score crits on an exposed enemy to increase their personal damage or something like that, but I know many people love the -res.

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Blasters are the AOE powerhouse. Sentinels need to have single target damage almost as good as that of scrappers, not quite as good as that of blasters or stalkers.

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What I would do?

Give Sentinal's a damage boost when they're Attacked.  

 

I'm not talking "when they're low on life", like oldschool Defiance.

I'm saying kind of like Brute Fury. 

Much lower damage bonus cap Fury Bonus Cap (+100%?) because you're not supposed to outperform Brutes or Scrappers damage when you have the benefit of being at Range.

And probably it would wear off faster than Brute Fury by a good bit. 

 

But that way, you kind of use both your Primary AND your Secondary.

If you offtank for a team (or solo), lots of mobs attack you, you hurt things more. 

But if you're hanging back and blasting and no one is attacking you, your damage is meh. 

Edited by MTeague
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Since they don’t have taunt, and since the problem is that they don’t do enough damage on teams, they’re fine solo, that isn’t going to work.

 

Maybe if their damage increased when teammates got attacked.

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1 minute ago, Wavicle said:

Maybe if their damage increased when teammates got attacked.

Philosophically, I don't like inherents that only function when teamed.   /eye Defender,  /eye Khelds.

That said, they are fine soloists, and it's really "what do you bring to the team" that people gripe about (in my experience), soooooo okay.  I could live with that if need be.

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Just now, MTeague said:

Philosophically, I don't like inherents that only function when teamed.   /eye Defender,  /eye Khelds.

That said, they are fine soloists, and it's really "what do you bring to the team" that people gripe about (in my experience), soooooo okay.  I could live with that if need be.

Maybe it’s both? 
 

But the problem isn’t just damage bonus, the problem is base damage and damage cap.

 

I think the inherent just needs to be improved so that it contributes a lot more.

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3 hours ago, Wavicle said:

Blasters are the AOE powerhouse. Sentinels need to have single target damage almost as good as that of scrappers, not quite as good as that of blasters or stalkers.

 

While I agree that Blasters are the current AoE powerhouse, they're also the single target powerhouse, because no other archetype besides Corruptors can contest them.

 

I think if you were to up the target cap on both Blasters and Sentinels, Blasters would find themselves overwhelmed, while Sentinels would be able to power through because of their secondary powers providing far more survivability.

 

So with that in mind, giving Sentinels the opportunity to flourish with a higher target cap would make them the new AoE powerhouse, while Blasters would still retain their position as the single target powerhouse, rather than holding both titles.

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