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Empathy: A New Vision for a Classic Powerset


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2 hours ago, LeoTheCat said:

Right, but it has no endurance cost and no recharge with a self-healing debuff. This proposal is to adopt the no/low recharge of AP on HO and chop the animation time in half. I'm not saying that it's a one for one numerical comparison; I'm comparing intended design and functionality.

??

 

     The recharge is listed as 15 sec for AP at least in the CoD database.  And the recharge on HO is 4 sec which doesn't really mean much for a high recharge build since that is going to be less than the animation time of HO.   What my memories are fuzzy on is does the animation need to complete before you can recast or does it cut the animation short?

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I like most of your ideas Leo. I often think about rolling an Emp, as I used to truly enjoy playing them, but then I think to myself, "Why?". 

 

I think in addition to some or all of the changes you suggest, how about an option to raise the difficulty level beyond +4? To +6 or even +8, but with, and this is important, with NO additional XP or INF reward past what +4 already offers, to add some additional difficulty for those who desire it, just for the love of the challenge. The game, while still more fun than a barrel of monkeys, has gotten too easy. Team composition no longer matters much. Every now and then I run into "We need a...", but it is very rare. 

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     Simply upping the notoriety by level will top out at about +6.  After that purple patch and other game functions will basically mean even if the team could survive the team would take a very long time to kill even a single minion.           And numbers faced when you're talking a team that's crushing existing content isn't really any harder. If they can survive and defeat 20 they can likely do so endlessly.  That is +4/×12 or +4/×30 are essentially the same difficulty.  A team full of folks capable of solo vs +4/×8 are not going to be much more challenged by increased numbers except by the rendering capabilities of the players equipment.  If each grabbed their share that's well over 100 foes (aggro limit is 17×8, before pets etc., etc.).

    Now if you want difficult at +4/×8 you can find it, folks as a whole just avoid it.

 

     But at best this is just peripheral to a "how to buff Empathy" discussion in a any case.

     

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Hey Doomguide, good catch on live Absorb Pain. I probably should have rchecked the numbers before making an offhanded comparison.  The point still remains, however: HO and AP are designed to be emergency reactive heals. At the current animation speed and recharge, they don't do their job quite as well as they should (and AP should be converted into a low recharge single target absorb buff that can be maintained on all party members). Even with high recharge (as a properly built Empath should have), there is still a lag time between casts. Also if we lower the animation speed per the proposal, we should correspondingly lower the recharge so that the ability can be sequentially cast without interruption. 

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I love love love so many of these suggestions.  The only thing I would add is that Clear Mind should be a team-wide (or those within range) buff.  This upgrade has been made to all similar buffs in other support powersets and is long overdue for Empathy.  I don't mind the click-heavy playstyle of emp (it's one of the things that makes it fun), but on my /kin or whatever, I can now (finally) buff everyone with one strike at the main group (and then hit stragglers if need be).  On my emps I have to hit everyone individually with CM, and this is ridiculously, unnecessarily tedious on lower level teams  -- on higher level teams, you don't really need to CM the tank/brute/scrapper/stalker/warshade types, of course, but early game, you do have to hit every single team member.  Individually.  On an 8-person team, this can become crazy and undoable, so you wait for people to type in "zzz" or whatever, and that's no good because they should all be buffed, but you can't buff them all because by the time you finish the 7th buff (you can't target yourself with CM, which is fine), you need to start all over again.  So awful.

 

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16 hours ago, Doomguide2005 said:

??

 

     The recharge is listed as 15 sec for AP at least in the CoD database.  And the recharge on HO is 4 sec which doesn't really mean much for a high recharge build since that is going to be less than the animation time of HO.   What my memories are fuzzy on is does the animation need to complete before you can recast or does it cut the animation short?

 

Its actually that the power recharging doesn't even start until after the animation completes. So the fastest you'll be able to it again would be the activation time of 2.27s plus the recharge time (base of 4s). So for no recharge in the build or power, you can heal someone with HO every 6.27s. With approximately 100% recharge from enhancements and 150% recharge in the build (though you'll probably have more since empathy needs a lot of it), then the recharge of HO is down to 1.14s, but you still can only heal someone every 3.41s.

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From Champion (Hero) and Infinity (Villain), currently playing on Everlasting.

Former member of the Hammers of Justice on Champion.

Mains: Trickery Girl (Ill/Rad Controller), Burk (Sword/Shield Stalker) , Burk Venator (Archery Blaster),

    Salva (Bio/Savage Tanker), Poison Dart Bot (Poison/Sonic Defender), Dr. Burk (Grav/Time Controller)

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1 hour ago, Burk said:

 

Its actually that the power recharging doesn't even start until after the animation completes. So the fastest you'll be able to it again would be the activation time of 2.27s plus the recharge time (base of 4s). So for no recharge in the build or power, you can heal someone with HO every 6.27s. With approximately 100% recharge from enhancements and 150% recharge in the build (though you'll probably have more since empathy needs a lot of it), then the recharge of HO is down to 1.14s, but you still can only heal someone every 3.41s.

     Thanks, I haven't been ingame for a year do to a dead computer and was only back for about 5 months before it up and died on me ☹  No Mids and memories getting old again.

    So the best way to improve the "cycle" time would be to reduce the animation time since recharge is more than sufficient already.

 

Edited by Doomguide2005
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Hi all, first I apologize in advance for the many grammatical/ typo errors I'll make, french guy here with a lack of practice in english writing 😁

this topic started by @LeoTheCat inspired me, so i'll come with my thoughts about it.

 

What I’d like to have would be some kind of synergy likes the one existing in temporal selection, or in medecine pool, and a form of « reward » for the empath for being a real caretaker of his team. in my post that synergy will be called fortified and an effect affecting a target with fortitude on him.

So i'll quote / comment  the initial proposals :

On 5/31/2021 at 4:47 AM, LeoTheCat said:

Empathy_HealingAura.png.f99392c0d091a44573769cc8219be24f.pngHealing Aura

Add: Heal 8 Endurance (all affected targets).

Comment Why not, but far less, like 2 points

My wishes :

  • a quicker cast, like 1.67 sec
  • If target is fortified : target get an non-enhanceable absorb for 2 to 5% base HP, duration 30 sec, can stack up to 4 time
On 5/31/2021 at 4:47 AM, LeoTheCat said:

Empathy_HealOther.png.0d0ab442d9fb6b419ffeae8783279e87.pngHeal Other

Change Cast Time to 1.47 seconds.

Change Arcanatime to 1.708 seconds.

Animation Time to 1.467 seconds.

Change Recharge Time to 1 second.

Change Range to 100 ft.

Change Endurance Cost to 10.

Add: Heal Other is not affected by line of sight (can affect targets through terrain and objects).

Comment : 

  • cast time Yes definitively
  • Other changes nope

My wishes :

  • If target is fortified : Any overheal is bounced back to the caster, cap at [to determine)
On 5/31/2021 at 4:47 AM, LeoTheCat said:

Add: Heal Other is not affected by line of sight (can affect targets through terrain and objects).

Comment

  • Feels sympathetic, though range should be halved or even lower. this effect should be with a timer like 10, 20  sec or more to prevent abuses.
On 5/31/2021 at 4:47 AM, LeoTheCat said:

Empathy_AbsorbPain.png.6d7eba2389a71b1b695c3ed24d6eaac6.pngAbsorb Pain

Remove Self-Healing Prevention Debuff (Resist Heal Dmg and Regeneration).

Remove Heal.

Change Range to 100 ft.

Change Endurance Cost to 13.

Add Absorb to Target: value comparable to Healing Aura, Max 20% of Target’s HP (with both absorb amount and max % affected by +Heal/Absorb Enhancements).

Add Absorb Duration: 180 Seconds.

Add: Absorb Pain is not affected by line of sight (can affect targets through terrain and objects)

Comment : nope for all, except for LoS, same conditions as in healotherr.

 

My wishes

  • a very quicker cast/ apply effect. for me that's panic heal button, 2,5 sec arcanatime is just too often a death sentence for the target
  • If target is fortified : caster don’t suffer the  resheal effect, still take the damage. Target also get à % hplost/base HP absorb, scaling down from initial value to 0 in 5sec. ex defender base HP is 1017 (I'll round this down to 1000 cause I'm lazy), so for a fender with 150 hp left that would be a 850 hp absorb, that will fade to 0 in the 5 next sec,
On 5/31/2021 at 4:47 AM, LeoTheCat said:

Empathy_ClearMind.png.1fdaafebda4d9585be30af3282ed07c4.pngClear Mind

Change Duration to 180 Seconds.

Add Resist Confuse, Terrorize, Hold, Immobilize, Stun, Sleep to 196.25% (the same as Sleep).

Add Resist Damage: Psionic +15%

Comment :

  • a change of duration could give some comfort, but up to 120 rather than 180 will do the job
  • no real need for the mezz res imo
  • psionic damage seems a bit "alien" (although "clear mind" may justify that) to the pool, but would be a fine bonus

My wishes

  • If target is fortified : caster get a 1.5 mag protection against all effect (those covered by CM) for each cm active on teammate/leaguemate(all pets excluded ?),  (cast by the player,double cast on any target doesn't stack, cap at mag 7
On 5/31/2021 at 4:47 AM, LeoTheCat said:

Empathy_Resurrect.png.b78881235269af707a451405824dd87b.pngResurrect

Change Range to 100 ft.

Change Recharge to 30 seconds (previously 90 seconds).

Change Endurance Cost to 8 (previously 26).

If not accepted by target, recharge immediately (if this can be done).

Add: Resurrect is not affected by line of sight (can affect targets through terrain and objects)

Comment : recharge down from 180 to 90 sec would be okay to limit the waste or non accepted rez

 

My wishes

Resurrect by empath should be preferred to res by P2W power. So addusefull secondary effect like : 
30 % def all for 15 sec, unaffected by buffs
40 % res all for 15 sec, unaffected by buffs
20 point mag protection all 15 sec
50% debuffs resistance for 15 sec
Intended effect is to let the resurrected player time to retoggle, flee or fight without them, and still being able to get buffs from the team
 

On 5/31/2021 at 4:47 AM, LeoTheCat said:

Empathy_Fortitude.png.601215ad344c4ceeda5e3ef15fcd626f.pngFortitude

Change Duration to 180 Seconds.

Change +ToHit to 25%.

Change +Damage to 45%.

Change Recharge to 40 seconds.

comment : a slight up of duration would make it more manageable for a full team care (and being the only support in a 8 member party playing The Freakish Lab of Dr. Vahzilok (Villain, Level 30-39) at +4 mobs buffed players debuffed no inspi make one try do cast it on everyone 🥵)

 

My wishes : 

Bread and butter of the empath, to me that’s the signature power of the pool before AB
To emphasis the proactive/empathy-ish behavior of the empath, a teammate affected by Fortitude would gain the effect status « fortified », that can boost some others powers in the pool

  • Up the duration du 150 sec
  • add a signifficant (40%?) Defense debuff res to target
  • If target is fortified : caster get an non enhanceable 1%def, 1% res, stack up to 4-5 times (so if seven teammates/pets are under fortitude , caster  "only" have that 4-5 % def/res)

 

On 5/31/2021 at 4:47 AM, LeoTheCat said:

Empathy_RecoveryAura.png.c12ae913ce17084709b8fb77a8c52903.pngRecovery Aura

Change Effect Area to AoE, all targets within range (like Thermal or FF’s Shields).

Change Max Targets Hit to 255.

Add +64.875% Resistance (-Endurance, -Recovery) for 90s (all affected targets).

Add +Recharge: +25%.

Change Recharge to 240 Seconds

Comment :

  • radius is already fine, 25', 30 would be more efficient sure
  • stick to 16 (or actual number if not 16) targets
  • agree with the Resistance (-Endurance, -Recovery), but with lower numbers (40 to 50)
  • lower the recharge to 450 (base 500)

 

My wishes

  • for each target  fortified : caster get 1 point end discount to cast the recovery aura for each (max7) fortified teammate from base cost 26
On 5/31/2021 at 4:47 AM, LeoTheCat said:

Empathy_RegenerationAura.png.300294ebe5eeb5a8f6402d587d67a86e.pngRegeneration Aura

Change Effect Area to AoE, all targets within range (like Thermal or FF’s Shields).

Change Max Targets Hit to 255.

Add Resist All: +10%.

Add Resist -Regen: 100%

Change Recharge to 240 Seconds.

comment : 

  • radius is already fine, 25', 30 would be more efficient sure
  • stick to 16 (or actual number if not 16) targets
  • agree with the Resist -Regen: 100%, but with lower numbers (40 to 50)
  • lower the recharge to 450 (base 500)

 

My wishes

  • for each target  fortified : caster get 1 point end discount to cast the regeneration aura for each (max7) fortified teammate from base cost 26
On 5/31/2021 at 4:47 AM, LeoTheCat said:

Empathy_AdrenalinBoost.png.2e2f384ae4c5c89cdc48ea724527d601.pngAdrenaline Boost

Change Duration to 180 Seconds.

Change Recharge to 90 seconds.

Comment

  • I agree duration/recharge could be polished, but with lower values

My wishes : tune those numbers so that the empath can have around 1,5 ab effective at a time with high recharge build

  • change duration to 120 sec (from 90)
  • change recharge to 240 sec (from 300)
  • If target is fortified : caster get  10 % of the base effect of ab affecting him (non stackable), ie caster gain a 80% recovery, 50% regen

 

 

thanks for reading me too, and thanx @LeoTheCat for inspiring me 😉

 

 

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     I'll start by saying I very much like the idea of some sort of mechanic for using your powers.  But I don't want to encourage or create issues with other players for spamming my powers either.  More than a few forum posts (not so much on HC, but definitely on Live) of players complaining about Emps with their HA on Auto either on teams or standing in the AH etc..  I'm no code writer so unsure how difficult it would be to ensure that any mechanic for using your heals occurs for healing allies that actually need the heal.  Same concern is why I stated +8 end might be a bit much to give back on using HA.  No desire for that to become an end positive net gain for the Emp (thus encouraging spamming HA).

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Kazrack, thanks for the awesome write-up and for your suggestions. I really like the idea of a stacking mechanic based on Fortitude. Very cool. If that happens, would it then make sense to move the power way earlier in order?  The suggestion of a time limitation on ignoring Line of Sight is also a useful and interesting proposal to prevent that benefit from getting out of hand (if such a limitation is decided to be necessary). 

 

Counterproposal, based on your Fortified idea: What if the Empath ignores Line of Sight for Heal Other only when the target is Fortified? This would have the potential to reward careful play and attention to detail from the Empath.

 

Doomguide, I also hear where you're coming from on 8 End possibly being too strong for Healing Aura. It would be worthwhile to playtest different values (4, 6, 8, etc.) in order to properly calibrate the ability.  All of these proposed numerical changes, from endurance, to recharge, to ranges, and all the way down, should get some scrutiny on beta. But I agree with your premise: careful clickery should be encouraged; spamming, not so much.

 

That said, it's cool to see that we're arriving at a consensus as a community that Empathy needs a buff and that there are several good ideas from everyone here in this thread for how to do it. Thanks for keeping this thread alive guys and putting in tons of effort for making Empathy a better powerset.

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Love how wordy this thread is but I did skim. Sorry if anything is repeated.

 

The original complaint is that healing and regen are ineffective at end game, and emp is too reactive. I would argue that that makes it more fun but OK.

 

As OP said, we have more mechanics now than issue 0, so let's use them.

 

  • Heals need to last longer. Absorb is a good suggestion, and AP sucks so I'm all for that. Needs to be big though.
  • +MaxHp, put it on fortitude and /or ab. Who needs defense?
  • Give heal other and healing aura booster heals. After a second or two, they get another heal effect, to catch any spill aggro, and keep them happy until next cast.
  • Make CM affect the whole team. Hear me out: cut the duration to like 5 seconds, but it casts like bubbles. You can slam it on your whole team in a pinch to get them out of trouble, but it doesn't last and you have to keep at it to maintain it.
  • Resurrect should be a better rez. Right now all it does is bring them to full health. Boring, it should go higher. Max HP boost, regen /recovery boosts,
    And a backup rez if they die again in under a minute. Maybe multi target? Those things are so in right now.
  • Ooh, how about a healing aura goes off around the rez target, and they buff nearby allies. Like a heal pet that thinks it's people. You could even get the same effect from a living target, so you aren't secretly hoping someone dies so you can use it.
  • RA is lovely, but make it an actual aura maybe? A toggle that boosts regen or recovery to everyone in it, based on how many people are in it. Just you solo? Barely worth. Whole team is melee? Amazing buffs. I'm on the fence on this, RA is crazy powerful as is. Range boost would be cool though.
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Going to chime in and say that I am not a fan, at all, of any sort of combo system being add with Fortitude. It just doesn't feel that into the spirit of the set to me, and I'm increasingly tired of combos being the go-to way to "fix" sets.

 

Personal proposals

 

Absorb Pain - I think it'd be neat if the Caster got an absorb bubble for the amount they healed. In another world I'd say making this a toggle that works similarly-ish to Spirit Ward + Oppressive Gloom would be neat, but I think that ship has sailed. This power is honestly in a terrible place considering just how much Heal Other can heal, though, and it needs a serious adjustment.

Clear Mind - Add a lot of status resistance to this, and make it AoE. I think all the Clear Mind clones need to just be AoE at this point. Mez is honestly not an enjoyable mechanic but Clear Minding your team constantly is even less so.

The Auras - I really do think these should just be bigger AoEs. Gathering for Auras is incredibly unfun and I'm just going to do without 9/10 times. I don't think Empathy will ever be an "impactful" set without these being reliably applied to most of the team most of the time they're cast, and that's not going to happen with the current radii.

Adrenaline Boost - I've always felt like this would've been a good choice for being made immune to recharge, but with a massively reduced recharge (preferably low enough to be made perma). Right now a big issue with Emp is that it scales very well - too well - with recharge reduction, which means the baseline without that reduction has to be in an absolutely atrocious spot to be "balanced". While there are builds/teams out there that probably get the recharge under 90 seconds, I think a change to no-recharge/90 seconds recharge would be a welcome addition to the set on SOs while changing barely anything for IO'd out characters, significantly smoothing out the difference. Since both Auras will still scale with recharge, I don't think this would be problematic. I imagine this isn't the most popular suggestion, though.
 

1 hour ago, kikyoku said:
  • Resurrect should be a better rez. Right now all it does is bring them to full health. Boring, it should go higher. Max HP boost, regen /recovery boosts,
    And a backup rez if they die again in under a minute. Maybe multi target? Those things are so in right now.

I really like the backup rez idea - I think it's very in the flavor of Empathy as a set and is uniquely strong since you often only rez when things are going REALLY bad or when the same person keeps getting themselves in trouble.

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I'm not sure I'm down with AoE Clear Mind, but it might be interesting if Clear Mind was a low-radius toggle (15ft or so) and anyone who passed through it got mezz protection for 90 sec. That would preserve some of the not-always-on intent and also gel with the Empathy concept.

 

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CoH isn't balanced around the endgame/IOs. It's balanced around 1-50 on SOs.

 

In that context, empathy is fine.

 

If you think empathy should be rebalanced based on how it performs at 50 with IOs and incarnates, then that is a much bigger discussion, as every other set in the game will need to be looked at/balanced in the same way.

Edited by America's Angel

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55 minutes ago, oedipus_tex said:

I'm not sure I'm down with AoE Clear Mind, but it might be interesting if Clear Mind was a low-radius toggle (15ft or so) and anyone who passed through it got mezz protection for 90 sec. That would preserve some of the not-always-on intent and also gel with the Empathy concept.

 

     The main reason I would not favor a toggle version of CM is I would be unable to stack the protection.  Currently if I want a character to be unaffected by Rommy's stun on rez or by Ghost Widow's hold that's doable I can stack up enough CM to do.  A toggle presumably wouldn't allow that.

     I'm also a bit baffled by the desire to place additional/more mez resistance in the power.  I don't have any reason to think it's a bad idea but what would it accomplish?  The protection is more than enough typically and if needed is readily stackable to boot.  

    And I need to go back and read about power usage "mechanics"  As I understood it it's not so much a combo system but more like defiance in blaster.  Use any power or subset of powers in any manner or order to buff other powers in Empathy.

 

And what @America's Angeljust said in many respects.  Most of Empathy's issues are end game related and many of these changes will barely dent this.  

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10 hours ago, America's Angel said:

CoH isn't balanced around the endgame/IOs. It's balanced around 1-50 on SOs.

 

In that context, empathy is fine.

 

If you think empathy should be rebalanced based on how it performs at 50 with IOs and incarnates, then that is a much bigger discussion, as every other set in the game will need to be looked at/balanced in the same way.

 

 

I disagree, IMO Empathy is a poor performer without IOs. The Recharges on key powers are too long. It's a set that's only made manageable by global Recharge and even still isn't great. 

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9 hours ago, oedipus_tex said:

 

 

I disagree, IMO Empathy is a poor performer without IOs. The Recharges on key powers are too long. It's a set that's only made manageable by global Recharge and even still isn't great. 

While perhaps true, also true that heals have way more of a role to play without IO’s, since all the Blasters aren’t Tankmages yet, and all. Defense set bonuses and Incarnates and so on put the nail in Empathy/Force Field coffins.

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It's awesome to see more people throwing their ideas into the ring regarding Empathy revisions. It seems that the majority agrees that Empathy needs some help; we have a good dialogue happening on precisely how that should be achieved (this proposal, fortitude combo, rez improvements, CM, positional auras, toggles, etc.). Although some of these ideas are more popular than others, many of these ideas are mutually exclusive with one another, and perhaps combining all of them at once might be a little overpowered, it's still good to have all of them on the board as a resource for evaluating community perception and as a toolkit for redesign. Keep it coming :D

 

21 hours ago, America's Angel said:

CoH isn't balanced around the endgame/IOs. It's balanced around 1-50 on SOs.

In that context, empathy is fine.

 

There are several comments in this thread as well as half a dozen threads linked in the initial posts about how Empathy is not performing well at the midgame or the very endgame. The set is not "fine." 

 

In the alternative, even if Empathy were to be perfectly acceptable up to level 49, your standard of "1-50" includes 50, where there is a significant amount of group content and the set fails to perform adequately.

 

The general sense is that Empathy struggles even with IOs; without them, Empathy's performance is unusually poor compared to other Defender primaries. As Arcane notes, Empathy's problems are magnified at 50+ with IOs and incarnates, but those problems still exist even at lower levels. To the extent that the play experience from approximately 30 forward, fully inclusive, is not covered by your balance heuristic, then that heuristic itself should be rejected. If we too narrowly define the problems and measurement standards, then it's impossible to analyze, improve and control for them. This is why I suggested a set of performance and playstyle standards in the original post. I understand if you think that performance in that context is a useful standard (which it is), but should we be limited to that standard alone? Should we otherwise reject evidence and experience from the community out of hand? 

 

21 hours ago, America's Angel said:

If you think empathy should be rebalanced based on how it performs at 50 with IOs and incarnates, then that is a much bigger discussion, as every other set in the game will need to be looked at/balanced in the same way.

Per my initial post, discussion of improvements to Empathy does not have a preclusive effect on improving other powersets. This is a good "bigger discussion" to have, and, from the looks of the Suggestions and Feedback forum, people are already enthusiastically engaging in it.

 

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11 hours ago, oedipus_tex said:

 

 

I disagree, IMO Empathy is a poor performer without IOs. The Recharges on key powers are too long. It's a set that's only made manageable by global Recharge and even still isn't great. 

     It's not a poor performer without IO's or at least it's not that simple and straightforward.   It is fact that high recharge is extremely effective at making Empathy very strong.  Anyone who has experienced a full, post level 32, GM team on SOs only can tell you just how effective they become and in no small degree 170% global recharge is responsible for that fact (perma Hasten + AB).  Then top it off with soft-capped defense, hard capped regen and silly amounts of end etc, etc.. and that's one very effective team on just SOs.  But I do think Empathy 'suffers' from being very team oriented buffing set where several of their important buffs are single target AND all those buffs are in very direct competition with IOs set bonuses and what they can provide a build.  You want defense,  IOs provide.  You want no endurance issues, IO's provide.  You want recharge IO's provide.  You want to strike your target, IO's provide.  You want more regeneration, IO's provide.  And it all comes to a head in the endgame where IO's and Incarnate abilities can turn characters into tank mages.  At that point Empathy is left with "how do you buff a tank mage".

 

Edit: A: You buff resistance which IO sets don't do well (although more recent special IO's have dented that)and debuff their foes.  Neither of which Empathy can do.  Thermal and Pain do and that accounts for some of their increased popularity as 'healing sets'

Edited by Doomguide2005
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The point is Empathy is not very strong with SOs. It is also not very strong with SOs. Empathy has always been popular because of its concept and not because of what it actually does. 

 

Empathy's key powers have uptime to recharge ratios as such:

  • Regen Aura: 500 down to 90 up
  • Recovery Aura: 500 down to 90 up
  • Adrenalin Boost: 300 down to 90 up

 

I wouldn't even consider playing the set if IOs weren't part of that picture. The set has nothing else but some heals and Fortitude juggling.

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There seems to be a weird idea in the IO discussion regarding specced out blasters. If someone is running around at end game with soft cap defense from IO and incarnate powers, any support is going to be diminished.

 

What makes empathy stand out is that it focuses on restoring damage taken rather than preventing it. The reason this is underpowered at that level is because you can't normally heal above max hp, but you can always get higher defense and most aren't capped on resistance.

 

I think regen/max hp boosts/absorb are all criminally under utilized and represent an opportunity for empathy. Because of hard caps, you WILL get hit, and you WILL take damage. If you get them high enough, incarnate heals and regen will make up the difference, but if you can do that without external support then every support set is useless.

Edited by kikyoku
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1 hour ago, LeoTheCat said:

It's awesome to see more people throwing their ideas into the ring regarding Empathy revisions. It seems that the majority agrees that Empathy needs some help; we have a good dialogue happening on precisely how that should be achieved (this proposal, fortitude combo, rez improvements, CM, positional auras, toggles, etc.). Although some of these ideas are more popular than others, many of these ideas are mutually exclusive with one another, and perhaps combining all of them at once might be a little overpowered, it's still good to have all of them on the board as a resource for evaluating community perception and as a toolkit for redesign. Keep it coming :D

 

 

There are several comments in this thread as well as half a dozen threads linked in the initial posts about how Empathy is not performing well at the midgame or the very endgame. The set is not "fine." 

 

In the alternative, even if Empathy were to be perfectly acceptable up to level 49, your standard of "1-50" includes 50, where there is a significant amount of group content and the set fails to perform adequately.

 

The general sense is that Empathy struggles even with IOs; without them, Empathy's performance is unusually poor compared to other Defender primaries. As Arcane notes, Empathy's problems are magnified at 50+ with IOs and incarnates, but those problems still exist even at lower levels. To the extent that the play experience from approximately 30 forward, fully inclusive, is not covered by your balance heuristic, then that heuristic itself should be rejected. If we too narrowly define the problems and measurement standards, then it's impossible to analyze, improve and control for them. This is why I suggested a set of performance and playstyle standards in the original post. I understand if you think that performance in that context is a useful standard (which it is), but should we be limited to that standard alone? Should we otherwise reject evidence and experience from the community out of hand? 

 

Per my initial post, discussion of improvements to Empathy does not have a preclusive effect on improving other powersets. This is a good "bigger discussion" to have, and, from the looks of the Suggestions and Feedback forum, people are already enthusiastically engaging in it.

 

 

Empathy players don't have trouble soloing at+0/1 when playing 1-50 on SOs.

 

Empathy players are hugely useful to teams at +0/8 when playing 1-50 on SOs.

 

These are the metrics by which the the devs balance the game. So empathy is fine.

 

If you believe empathy should be balanced around other metrics, you need to make a case for this. And you cannot do it in isolation for Empathy, you must apply this same metric to every other set in the game.

 

So, for example, if Empathy should be balanced based on how it performs at 50 with IOs and Incarnates, then you have to look at how EVERYTHING balances at level 50 with IOs/incarnates. So you would need to revisit:

  • Everyone being able to softcap defense
  • The sheer amount of global recharge IOs provide
  • Armour sets being able to plug their res holes easily
  • Damage procs
  • Miracle, Performance Shifter, Numina, and other endurance-woe-curing globals
  • All alpha slots
  • All other incarnates

Trying to balance the above would most likely result in a huge bunch of nerfs.

 

A better approach would be to accept the following:

  • Empathy is fine playing 1-50 on SOs (the recharge on the auras is a little long, but that's pretty much it)
  • IOs (and possibly Incarnates) don't benefit empathy as much as they do other power sets.

So the issue is IOs, not Empathy.

 

The solution is twofold.

  1. Create a new category of IO sets called Team Healing. Set every power that heals others to this category. Have this category able to slot both Team Healing IO sets and regular Healing IO sets.
  2. Create a bunch of badass new sets in the Team Healing category that will boost empathy in the endgame in such a way that "empathy players aren't useful at 50" becomes untrue.

 

That's the better approach, IMO. Because the main thing switching people off from Empathy is that team-mates don't really need healing in a world of IOs and Incarnates.

Edited by America's Angel

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48 minutes ago, oedipus_tex said:

The point is Empathy is not very strong with SOs. It is also not very strong with SOs. Empathy has always been popular because of its concept and not because of what it actually does. 

 

Empathy's key powers have uptime to recharge ratios as such:

  • Regen Aura: 500 down to 90 up
  • Recovery Aura: 500 down to 90 up
  • Adrenalin Boost: 300 down to 90 up

 

I wouldn't even consider playing the set if IOs weren't part of that picture. The set has nothing else but some heals and Fortitude juggling.

      Right.

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34 minutes ago, America's Angel said:

So the issue is IOs, not Empathy.

 

The solution is twofold.

  1. Create a new category of IO sets called Team Healing. Set every power that heals others to this category. Have this category able to slot both Team Healing IO sets and regular Healing IO sets.
  2. Create a bunch of badass new sets in the Team Healing category that will boost empathy in the endgame in such a way that "empathy players aren't useful at 50" becomes untrue.

I kind of love this as an IO solution. Give healing abilities more utility at high level endgame without having to redo everything from the ground up.

 

I maintain that empathy needs more pizazz at lower levels though. Empathy is great at healing but certainly isn't the only set for that. The fact is that Thermal heals are nearly as well and also provides res buffs and debuffs makes the benefits to empathy seem boring. Kin and rad both have some healing, but also do team wide buffs constantly.

 

Empathy needs something unique that makes it pop, even on a team with all supports.

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23 hours ago, America's Angel said:

CoH isn't balanced around the endgame/IOs. It's balanced around 1-50 on SOs.

 

In that context, empathy is fine.

 

If you think empathy should be rebalanced based on how it performs at 50 with IOs and incarnates, then that is a much bigger discussion, as every other set in the game will need to be looked at/balanced in the same way.

I disagree with this - it's incredibly common to have powerset combos, on SOs, that have individuals not dying. If no one is ever actually hitting zero then a healing set is redundant, full stop. And I'm saying this as someone who recently introduced several friends to the game and some of them didn't even update their SOs regularly. Players die from mistakes far more than content being too difficult, and honestly Empathy isn't even the best set for saving people from themselves. That's my issue with set.

 

1 hour ago, oedipus_tex said:

The point is Empathy is not very strong with SOs. It is also not very strong with SOs. Empathy has always been popular because of its concept and not because of what it actually does. 

 

Empathy's key powers have uptime to recharge ratios as such:

  • Regen Aura: 500 down to 90 up
  • Recovery Aura: 500 down to 90 up
  • Adrenalin Boost: 300 down to 90 up

 

I wouldn't even consider playing the set if IOs weren't part of that picture. The set has nothing else but some heals and Fortitude juggling.

This can not be stressed enough. Empathy, on SOs, is a massive underperformer outside of Hami raids. It's still an underperformer with IOs.

 

1 hour ago, America's Angel said:

Empathy players are hugely useful to teams at +0/8 when playing 1-50 on SOs.

I think this is an incredibly unfair metric - an Arachnos Soldier with double leadership toggled and fully slotted, set to auto follow someone, is hugely useful to a team at +0/8 when playing 1-50 on SOs. It's also less useful than said Soldier actually fighting mobs. We want Empathy to be on a similar level as other powersets on SOs, and I don't think that's an unfair ask. It's bad that Emapthy's rez is worse than other sets rezzes, it's bad that Empathy's cooldowns are prohibitively long for powers people can accidentally juke if your timing is off, and it's bad that those powers have situations, on SOs, where they're factually just not changing any outcomes.

That last point is the worst thing a support set can be, and an issue also found in Force Fields (but worse with the right/wrong team); (potentially) irrelevant.

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