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Is Forecefield Worth Taking as a Primary Anymore?


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I'm coming back after a long absence, and I was thinking of making a FF defender, but I look through the forums, and I don't see much discussion about them. Are they no longer any good for a team?   

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They're great for levels one through 34.  35+?  No.  If you plan on teaming at levels 35+ a lot, go with something else instead.  Cold Domination, Time Manipulation, Dark Miasma...

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I have a Force Field Defender on each of the servers. I never solo with these characters and people, regardless of level, are always happy to have bubbles. That's not to say that it's the best, cause it's not, but I'm not sure why they suddenly suck at levels 35+.

 

My advice, for what little it's worth, is play the support set you want to play. If you know what you're doing people will always be happy to have you on the team.

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2 minutes ago, PeregrineFalcon said:

I have a Force Field Defender on each of the servers. I never solo with these characters and people, regardless of level, are always happy to have bubbles. That's not to say that it's the best, cause it's not, but I'm not sure why they suddenly suck at levels 35+.

 

My advice, for what little it's worth, is play the support set you want to play. If you know what you're doing people will always be happy to have you on the team.

 

 

Because by then, most people have started to slot IO enhancement sets and are getting to (or at level 50, have reached), softcap defenses on their own where Force Field's +defense is largely overkill.  The only other tricks FF brings are +mez protection (nice, but then there's Sonic Resonance, Electrical Affinity, Trick Arrow, Clarion Destiny...), and... knockback.  'Nuff said about knockback.

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Well, there's two problems with what you've said:

 

1) Not everyone that plays is on the forums, turning all of their characters into Billion INF softcapped monsters.

 

2) Knockback, especially when well done, is great mitigation and is not universally despised in-game the way it seems to be on the forums.

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Posted (edited)
29 minutes ago, PeregrineFalcon said:

Well, there's two problems with what you've said:

 

1) Not everyone that plays is on the forums, turning all of their characters into Billion INF softcapped monsters.

 

2) Knockback, especially when well done, is great mitigation and is not universally despised in-game the way it seems to be on the forums.

 

 

You don't need to spend a billion INF to have a good build, and people using SOs or generic IOs at level 50 are a rarity.  I know, because I look at people's builds and I'm always surprised when I come across one because of how rare it is.  I think I've seen perhaps... two in the past six months?

 

I agree, knockback can be great mitigation when done well.  The problem is that the vast majority of the time, it is not done well.  Having to restart a mission because someone used a knockback attack which knocked a mob into a wall on a defeat all mission is not my idea of a good time.

 

Look, I get it.  I want Force Field to be good.  I played five Force Field characters on live.  I soloed two Force Field Defenders on live from levels one through 50 with the XP off for the majority of the time.  One was my main character with the Bug Hunter badge.  I currently have a Water Blast/Force Field Corruptor at veteran level 100 with XP turned off.  But the reality is, a team would be better off with nearly any other support set.

Edited by Apparition
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Force Field is a decent set, though it does tend to be out-shined by other sets.  There's nothing wrong with it Per-say but in the current end-game meta, other sets outperform it.  My advice? Play what you want.  Even if it isn't the best of the best, it still is decent.

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What this team needs is more Defenders

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Posted (edited)

FF makes a nice Sentinel, and potentially more durable, but less damage.  I tend to prefer Huntsman in that role, but I have FF in the role as well.

FF Water Dark - Soul Drain - Overwatch 1 - [i25].mxd  FF Water - Budget Build 2 - [i26].mxd

FF DP - Hound 9a - [i26].mxd  FF DP Defender - Dark Beta 1b - [i25].mxd  FF DP Scorpion Def - STF SLE 1c - [i25].mxd

Edited by Linea

AE 801 (link) is a variety of missions for fun and challenge, and is designed for a team of 5+ Incarnates.  Just search '801' in AE.  Difficulty Varies: 801.0 Easy, ..., 801.2 Standard, ..., 801.5 Hard, ..., 801.8 Extreme, ..., 801.A Epic, ... 801.F Death.

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I'm using the FF/DP SLE build to lead teams in 801 up to 801.7.  She's not immortal, but she outlives most of the the tanks.

Hound is cheap.

Overall I'd probably recommend Quarterback or Dark Beta.  Tough enough for standard content, and extra offense to boot.

PBU Build, incarnate cap the whole team. *rolls eyes* ... If you want a PBU build, I'll have to dig around for that, not sure I did a DP variant of the PBU build.

FF Water Soul - Heavy Support 57-74 - Overwatch 1 - [i25].mxd FF Beam Soul Sniper - Heavy Support 57-74 - Overwatch 1 - [i25].mxd

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AE 801 (link) is a variety of missions for fun and challenge, and is designed for a team of 5+ Incarnates.  Just search '801' in AE.  Difficulty Varies: 801.0 Easy, ..., 801.2 Standard, ..., 801.5 Hard, ..., 801.8 Extreme, ..., 801.A Epic, ... 801.F Death.

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I think Force Field is great, especially if you have a very active secondary that demands a lot of your attention. My current project is a Force Field / Beam Rifle Defender.
I think Force Field is fine for the great majority of the game, especially if you have other useful abilities like the Sorcery or Leadership pools. Though, I admit that if I were doing something challenging, like maybe starting a +4 Doctor Quarterfield TF, and I noticed that I was the only Defender... I might switch to a character with a more comprehensive set of (de)buffs and heals.

 

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I mean.. in the endgame you might as well just have a bunch of blasters running around.

 

I'm of the opinion that Force Fields is one of the least valuable sets in the game.  At the same time, I have a couple Bubblers that I enjoy playing and they can actually be well loved and fun for the whole team..  This is because they are at their best when other people are playing their "not fully optimized" characters.  In other words, having a bubbler on the team encourages players to use the characters that they have more fun playing as well.  Even though they are "useless" in end game content, many end-game groups will still include bubblers simply because they love seeing them in other content, and the community on Homecoming is usually pretty supportive.

 

  So I think the answer to the question really depends on what you mean when you say "is it worth taking".  The character can be fun and helpful to those that enjoy playing characters that might otherwise struggle.  Once people get their characters optimized, they won't really need bubble support, BUT they generally won't mind if you're playing a bubbler.

 

  My personal issue though is that, even if other people are willing to carry me through end-game, just as I was carrying them before, I simply feel bad playing a character that needs to be carried.  This makes the Bubbler "unfun" for me..  to be fair to the powerset though, support powers in general simply aren't as valuable at end-game.

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Force field does one thing well and that's defense. You can basically softcap the whole team.

 

The rest is kb and repel which are soft control. If you want to do that it's fine, but you might as well just play a controller. (there is something to be said for slotting kb to kd and bowling the enemy spawns). Force bubble is extremely frustrating as it splits the mobs up in most cases, though in the right team comp you can use it to protect the squishies or herd.

 

Other than that, FF is fairly passive. Take it if you want to focus on your secondary. That makes it more useful for other ATs, MMs in particular can just bubble up their pets and focus on that.

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Posted (edited)

I think Force Field is better than popular wisdom may indicate. I want it to see some buffs and I think the knockback/repel powers with the exception of Repulsion Field are mostly toys and not real powers, but it does have a few solid abilities.

 

For one thing, Force Field is actually really good for incarnate trials if you combo it with Power Boost. As in, that one character could potentially determine whether the team succeeds or fails. There are few other sets that can boast that, so at least Force Field has that. I'm always happy to see a Force Field league member.

 

That said there's a lot of situations where Force Field feels lackluster. For some reason its pot of abilities is the one other archetypes and systems keep borrowing from. Even AoE mezz protection is now an incarnate power. The set could certainly stand to see some love to make it more relevant in everyday content.

Edited by oedipus_tex
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Posted (edited)

Sorry to post twice, but just so I am not editing my post above a dozen times to add things:

 

 

What Force Field specifically has is on-demand shields that cover a wide area and that can be Power Boosted. You can get Power Boost down to around 30-35 recharge and provides a 15 second window to provide the shields, so roughly a 50% uptime to cast. The effect lasts 4 minutes when it lands, long for an AoE buff.

 

While on paper Time Manipulation can match this performance, Farsight does not have the ability to blanket an area like Force Field can and should. Unlike regular missions, iTrials kill players a lot, so re-shielding them ASAP is paramount. Patches of Doom also mean that traditional gather and spank mechanics no longer work, adding value to long-lasting shields.

 

On top of this, Lore pets are coming and going, and boosting their survivability has a huge impact on the team's DPS. You can't IO Lore pets for Defense so any shields they get add pure survivability. (The inability to heal them like Time can does count against you a bit though.)

 

A Force Fielder on an iTrial has one major role: fortify everyone and refortify constantly to re-shield anyone who may have died. Only Cold Domination can match the abillity to re-shield,  but Cold's shields are half of Force Field's strength due to inability to Power Boost. A Force Fielder with Power Boost is as good as two Cold Domsin terms of defense. That's Force Field's advantage for anyone who wants to press it. It may be a limited role, but a Force Fielder built for that specialization does add a lot of value.

Edited by oedipus_tex
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My main is a FF/Rad bubbler.

 

I find my bubbler to be quite useful for nearly all of the game.  Nowadays, I mostly use him to run TFs.  With pickup groups, at least some of your team will be characters with suboptimal builds or without IO sets.  With the defense buffs, plus tactics, plus the rad def-debuffs, the team is safer and able to hit more reliably.  This allows me to safely run TFs at one level higher than I could with other classes.  Even then, the TFs go more smoothly.  I find this applies both on the low end, (I consistently run posi +2, and yin at +3), and at the higher end, (I've repeatedly run MC at +3 with never a wipe.  I don't do +4 solely for speed reasons.)

 

As for the endgame TFs or itrials, his usefulness is diminished but he's still useful.  Endgame non-melee classes can usually attain only partial defense soft-caps.  For example, blasters, dominators, and some defenders can only soft cap smashing, lethal, and ranged damage.  And it is in itrials when you start encountering strong AoE or typed damage.  It is only when people spam the Barrier Incarnate does the bubbles become inconsequential.  And in practice, people are sloppy in keeping the Barrier buff up.

 

As for playstyle, it is best to think of a FF bubbler as as SR sentinel that can share his shields with his team.  Applying bubbles is not very intensive, so you'll be spending most of your time blasting.  Also, FF defenders are quite sturdy and provide more slots for your secondary than many other defender classes.  As a defender, they benefit quite a lot from procs, so I recommend you go proc-heavy with your blasts.

 

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It’s not busy enough for my ADHD play style.

I run Bots/FF when I just want to chill.  "Minions, go do my bidding while I sit here with my feet propped up sipping Blood Wine"

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AE 801 (link) is a variety of missions for fun and challenge, and is designed for a team of 5+ Incarnates.  Just search '801' in AE.  Difficulty Varies: 801.0 Easy, ..., 801.2 Standard, ..., 801.5 Hard, ..., 801.8 Extreme, ..., 801.A Epic, ... 801.F Death.

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On 5/26/2021 at 9:30 PM, PeregrineFalcon said:

I have a Force Field Defender on each of the servers. I never solo with these characters and people, regardless of level, are always happy to have bubbles. That's not to say that it's the best, cause it's not, but I'm not sure why they suddenly suck at levels 35+.

My main in both live and in Homecoming is a FF Defender, and from my own observations I think it's because at those higher levels you start running into a lot of -DEF debuffs and enemy +ACC (looking at Nemesis, Rularru and DE in particular, but it's present in other groups as well). 

 

If there is ever a buff to +DEF sets like Force Field and Ice Armor, some +Absorb would probably go a long way to make these sets more useful at high levels.

Edited by OmegaOne
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On 5/27/2021 at 2:45 AM, Apparition said:

You don't need to spend a billion INF to have a good build, and people using SOs or generic IOs at level 50 are a rarity.

While that argument is fair, it's also a departure from "FF becomes useless at lvl 35+".

The average lvl 35-49 character is more likely to use SOs or generic IOs, maybe a few set IOs, than rocking a full IO set build focusing on +def.

 

8 hours ago, OmegaOne said:

If there is ever a buff to +DEF shield sets like Force Field and Ice Armor, some +Absorb would probably go a long way to make these sets more useful at high levels.

I'd love see some +absorb and even some DDR for FF. Cold doesn't need it, they have stellar debuffing abilities on top. Giving +absorb and +DDR to FF bubbles would make FF distinctively better than Cold or Time at defensive buffing... which is how it should be, given the offensive advantages those other powersets enjoy.

Come to think of it, the existence of Cold is my biggest hurdle whenever I feel like playing FF.

 

Make Force Bolt a 20s recharge, high damage attack... Double Repulsion Bomb's damage... We might just have something genuinely powerful and unique.... as opposed to just unique.

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7 hours ago, nihilii said:

I'd love see some +absorb and even some DDR for FF. Cold doesn't need it, they have stellar debuffing abilities on top.

I agree - sorry for the confusion I wasn't talking about Cold Domination I was talking about Ice Armor for Tanks (another DEF-heavy set that I think needs a bit of help late game). You are correct that CD has a nice array of buffs and debuffs along with the +DEF and +RES.

 

I'm not sold on DR for FF - I kinda look at that as bumping up against Sonic Resonance's schtick. I think +Absorb on one of more of the powers would fit the theme of the powerset better and it's something that not very many powers in the game do (plenty of +Def and Res).

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20 hours ago, OmegaOne said:

If there is ever a buff to +DEF shield sets like Force Field and Ice Armor, some +Absorb would probably go a long way to make these sets more useful at high levels.

If I were buffing Force Fields I think I'd add some Absorb and whole lot of Defense Debuff Resistance. This way bubbles would be useful even to those Billion Inf soft-capped monsters.

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Being constantly offended doesn't mean you're right, it just means you're too narcissistic to tolerate opinions different than your own.

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