Jump to content

Two possible changes for Stalker...


Recommended Posts

Posted (edited)

Posted this in discord feedback, but I guess it would probably do more here...

 

I feel like Assassin's Focus needs to have a shared timer for all 3 stacks that is refreshed when you use an ability, so when you finally choose to use your Assassin's Strike, a charge doesn't unexpectedly fall off and ruin the whole setup. It's too inconsistent, and slightly annoying, when trying to target mobs that don't need a huge burst like that and it would be better saved for something more deserving, but then misses because you took too long to act.

 

I also think Assassin's Strike from stealth should do 5x damage instead of 3x. I find it pretty ridiculous that almost all high level Stalkers, or at least the opinion, is that they don't even utilize this class "strength" since it's so much more "efficient" to just combo up and get the instant strike instead, so it seems like, to me, it should at least do more damage than all of the strikes necessary + assassin-insta combined, and would also make placate useful again. Arguably Stalkers are already pretty terrible at everything else, so they really need some sort of change like this, imo, and on the surface, I don't think it would unbalance the game all that much, plus make them more enticing in this playing field that's completely dominated by mass AoE.

 

Also what I've noticed is that my Blaster (Beam/Atomic Manip) can just as easily delete a single target, and perhaps even better than my Stalker, and this is not even considering the other tools they, as an AT, have (with AoE's). With the numbers crunched, maybe it is or isn't true that Stalker DPS is already very high comparable to other AT's... but that's against a single target... that also doesn't move (since everyone likes to do tests against Pylons), but let's just say, for the sake of argument, that, in general, Stalker DPS is really high... that's cool and all, but no one is lining up to play them because let's just be frank here; Stalkers are pretty plain and boring in the greater scheme of things. They have all these cool tools that differentiate them from other classes, and yet they are, as a class overall, mediocre in comparison. MAYBE with heavy set slotting, a lot of time, effort and patience, Stalkers really start to shine, but that doesn't really do anything for anyone but the most dedicated Stalker.

 

I suppose I will probably get some arguments about this, and that's fine... tell me where I'm mistaken and we can discuss it more thoroughly, but I've tried half a dozen Stalkers since I started playing again recently, all to around 40+, and they just aren't all that they're cracked up to be. I want to like them, maybe they're just "not for me", which I think is a cop-out for their clear design problems, but maybe others can tell me different - obviously there will be people out there that have put much more time and effort (I call that pain) into this than me.

Edited by Madae
  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with fixing the Assassin's Focus.  It does fail a lot for no apparent reason, and sometimes doesn't build as expected.

 

And in my experience some sets are worse than others. For me Elec Melee has the most problems with the mechanic, whereas on my Dark and Energy Melee Stalkers it works much much better.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I definitely haven't played all Stalker combos, so maybe others, like you said, perform better than some options.

 

I typically find that my Assassin's Strike isn't nearly as cool as I would want it to be, at any rate. It should literally be overkill: "the button", like for example I'm running +2, maybe even higher, I should have no problems at any time deleting a boss with a stealth Assassin's Strike, but as it is, results often vary from set to set, and it's most often I need a follow-up or two (or three) to finish the job on even same-level bosses sometimes (most likely a resist issue, but still), which I think defeats the purpose of a Stalker altogether. If a bunch of other AT's can have fun massacring big groups, even single targets, and have all these flashy attacks, etc, I should feel the same way about my ability to remove that single threat from the fight easily. The problem should then be about my ability to actually hit the target, whether or not I can get away without dying, or something else. The fact that a Stalker is in melee and already in danger adds to their problems, so it needs to be better offset with the strength of being an extreme glass cannon on single targets aka insta aggro, and if the mob happens to survive the hit (like an Elite Boss or Arch Villain), they are now in trouble and probably soon to be dead from retaliation, which would make the Stalker revert to the more classic damage damage damage insta combo to avoid drawing too much attention that they certainly should not be able to handle all that well.

Edited by Madae
Link to post
Share on other sites

Stalkers are probably OP right now to be honest. 

 

Any improvements like these would have to be accompanied with survivability reductions.

 

Or you know whatever.  Peeps love power creep.  

  • Like 4
  • Thanks 2
  • Thumbs Up 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Haijinx said:

Stalkers are probably OP right now to be honest. 

I don't see where anyone can come up with this. What exactly makes them OP? Is this a end game, 100 hour, set IO filled OP? Because that's pretty much every class in one way or another. Or is it the "Stj has the highest DPS on a Pylon" OP that I read somewhere? I need more info.

  • Thumbs Up 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
33 minutes ago, Madae said:

I don't see where anyone can come up with this. What exactly makes them OP? Is this a end game, 100 hour, set IO filled OP? Because that's pretty much every class in one way or another. Or is it the "Stj has the highest DPS on a Pylon" OP that I read somewhere? I need more info.

 

ATOs are the best available. 

 

They have a GLOBAL Proc ATO that gives free buildups.   

They have a Proc ATO that puts them back into Hide, allowing them to 100% crit 

Both sets have good bonuses and a nice fat recharge buff

 

And these both work together.  

 

---------

Armor sets almost as good as Scrapper, but with much lower threat.  While some sets are less good, many are just as good as the scrapper variant.   And Stalkers get the same base values as scrappers and brutes, not reduced ones like Sents 

 

--------

Progressively building crits, crit increase based on team size, etc.  Though TBH these are just icing on the cake.  

 

--------

All the newer primaries have the same AOE potential as scrapper sets.  

 

====

So really unless you pick an Older primary with poor AOE, and one of the secondaries that aren't as sturdy, your Stalker is going to play like a Scrapper with more reliable crits and lots and lots of extra buildups. 

  • Like 6
Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Yes, the ATO's synergize well, but that is exactly the point I was making that most of the "help" Stalkers get come from outside sources, more or less a bandaid for the problems inherent in the class, and does nothing for people who don't have those things yet, ie the "level 50 stacked set OP" Stalker. The fact that their old power sets are mostly garbage and only the newer power sets are good really highlights the problem the AT faces, and if the solution to Stalker is "out with the old, in with the new", we're still not really solving the problem, you're just avoiding it and potentially limiting the pool of Stalkers to very few power sets that work instead of changing some questionable things about the AT in general... that seems like more work to me when you can just make all of their older sets viable by increasing base Stalker potential and adjust things as you go along and find out new issues with those changes.

 

I don't really consider any of this OP territory to be honest. If they were truly OP, I would think I'd be seeing a lot more of them around, and that is simply not the case. Other classes do generally the same things, but "better" or "safer" or "consistently", however you want to put it, and this isn't even getting in to the part where AoE rules the game and AT's that everyone ends up playing because it's just more fun or more efficient or just altogether easier to accomplish and do well with, plus the other toys they generally come with compared to a very specific set of melee options + some defensive clickies and that's it for Stalker.

 

And one other more important thing to point out I think is that if the method is adjusting their new power sets to include things that they were historically missing, you're basically just making the Stalker a Scrapper to cover it all up, only slightly worse defensively, and doesn't really do any of the unique things that Stalker comes with (see not even bothering to stealth strike since it's a waste of time). I find that an odd choice for a fix instead of trying to play to their strengths.

Edited by Madae
  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

i think the biggest problem generally is what you have mentioned -- how powerful AoE is in the game... and the fact that melee, outside of specific damage auras, are just overall generally lacking in that department.  stalker ends up going even deeper into the limited AoE functionality than other melee which makes the problem even more apparent.

 

your argument, as i understand it -- IF it is a clear design choice for stalkers to be terrible at AoE, THEN stalkers *SHOULD* be the king of single target deletion... and honestly its hard to say that that is in fact the case.  ranged classes can become very durable and dont need to worry about maintaining melee range with critters running away constantly.  the single target damage of a blaster or corrupter doesnt feel 'lacking' either when compared to a stalker. 

 

it does seem really odd that the focused/channeled assassins strike is entirely ignored and unwanted even though it is a hallmark piece of the class... that should probably be reviewed. Perhaps consider some of the following: reduce channel time on assassin strike, remove interrupt from cast time on assassin strike, add a debuff to the enemy struck by assassin strike, add a buff to the stalker after performing a successful hidden assassin strike.  there are a lot of interesting possibilities here but nobody has a desire to use the mechanic because it is just not worth the time investment currently.

 

also, as someone else mentioned, the stalker ATOs are, by far, the best in the game and the only thing that comes close is the scrapper crit proc... none of the other ATOs are remotely close to the power these offer.  that said, it takes these overpowered ATOs to make stalkers *feel competitive*... not overpowered.  thats where the oddities of a thin margin for balance comes into play... because of how strongly these ATO procs can scale out other power creep.

 

ultimately i think it boils down to design decisions of deciding WHO should be the 'king of damage'? the squishy ranged blaster?  or the melee assassin?  and we can look back at the quick snipe changes to see that the design team was favoring the squishy ranged blaster (ironically also helped stalkers and scrappers, despite being intended to help blaster powersets).  that leaves the melee assassin somewhat homeless in terms of effective functionality.  obviously thematic character design is a different topic (play what you want, blah blah blah).

 

my opinion -- i think tankers are very obviously a slow-go chunky boy.  scrappers and brutes hit the mark of being the more 'dps focused' melee and have clear distinctions between each other.  stalkers are most similar to scrappers, but dont really seem like they have a clear identity that makes them 'better' as an alternative than scrappers... aside from having a 'free' stealth button baseline.  it often comes down to some scrapper power sets are simply designed better on the stalker side (elec melee being a good example)

Edited by Sancerre
  • Like 5
  • Thumbs Up 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

You can slot the ATOs starting at level 7 or something like that.

 

No point waiting until 50.

 

And while it may be annoying that so much AT performance is tied up in ATOs, that was the decision made.  If you buff them so the ATOs aren't as important, do you then Nerf the ATOs?

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Madae said:

Yes, the ATO's synergize well, but that is exactly the point I was making that most of the "help" Stalkers get come from outside sources, more or less a bandaid for the problems inherent in the class, and does nothing for people who don't have those things yet, ie the "level 50 stacked set OP" Stalker. The fact that their old power sets are mostly garbage and only the newer power sets are good really highlights the problem the AT faces, and if the solution to Stalker is "out with the old, in with the new", we're still not really solving the problem, you're just avoiding it and potentially limiting the pool of Stalkers to very few power sets that work instead of changing some questionable things about the AT in general... that seems like more work to me when you can just make all of their older sets viable by increasing base Stalker potential and adjust things as you go along and find out new issues with those changes.

 

I don't really consider any of this OP territory to be honest. If they were truly OP, I would think I'd be seeing a lot more of them around, and that is simply not the case. Other classes do generally the same things, but "better" or "safer" or "consistently", however you want to put it, and this isn't even getting in to the part where AoE rules the game and AT's that everyone ends up playing because it's just more fun or more efficient or just altogether easier to accomplish and do well with, plus the other toys they generally come with compared to a very specific set of melee options + some defensive clickies and that's it for Stalker.

 

And one other more important thing to point out I think is that if the method is adjusting their new power sets to include things that they were historically missing, you're basically just making the Stalker a Scrapper to cover it all up, only slightly worse defensively, and doesn't really do any of the unique things that Stalker comes with (see not even bothering to stealth strike since it's a waste of time). I find that an odd choice for a fix instead of trying to play to their strengths.

I strongly agree with this, but also want to add that I think any sort of buffs to stalkers might want to focus on the early/massively underperforming sets. The sets that are bad on stalkers are bad.

 

Though the Assassin's Focus change sounds like how it really always should've worked.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Some really good stuff here. Sancerre really nailed down what I was trying to say, too.

 

4 hours ago, Haijinx said:

You can slot the ATOs starting at level 7 or something like that.

 

I think it's 10, and sure it's low, but you'll most likely be 50 by the time you slot both sets, unless you already have some alts that farmed a lot of it for you. For the new player coming in to the game and thinks "Hey, Stalker sounds cool", they will likely find themselves in a position of being extremely disappointed at how well they fare vs literally every AT they end up grouping with. It definitely takes a very specific mindset and what you want to go about doing, mostly for thematic reasons I think, that keeps a Stalker player - the type of player that cares more about how "cool" they are, versus how effective they are, and with enough work, you can get there for sure, but that's a lot of investment in comparison to other AT's.

 

I've never quite been a fan of the argument "It's an MMO, the "real game" starts when you hit 50" - not that you're saying that, but just as an added note here - where generally I think the most fun part of MMO's is everything in between the start and finish, and this is where you see Stalker being that red-headed step-child that everyone finds tolerable, but could otherwise completely live without.

 

4 hours ago, Haijinx said:

It helps to remember Stalkers and Brutes were not designed to team with scrappers and Tankers originally.

 

Thus all the overlap

 

That's a good point... but if we're going to play in this mess, so to speak, we should definitely be considering balance even more because of it. Also, it was possible to switch sides in launch, yeah? I never did it personally, but I wouldn't guess that you'd automatically become a scrapper if you did. I didn't really play Stalker all that much in live, because I generally found them pretty lame back then, too, so this is a long-running problem at this point.

Edited by Madae
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Re OP:  475+ ST dps, and I'm not even trying.  I'd hate to see what an offensively built stalker could do.

Yes I have armored blasters that subjectively 'feel' like they perform as well, but they do not objectively.  The Armor itself is the same, subjectively that armored blaster feels great, but objectively Stalker armor is better and easier to deal with. 

 

Re Slow-AS:  Yes definitely something could be done. 

Because mobs 'twitch' and interrupt AS.  After 2 or 3 tries, I frequently find myself just saying '^@#$ IT!', and Critting with my highest damage non-AS, then following up with Quick-AS.  The current mechanic is THAT annoying.

I'd be happy if it just rooted so I could Follow/AS and if the mob moves it doesn't break AS.  As is it's clunky to run up, STOP, WAIT, then AS and hope the mob didn't twitch during a server tick.

If you want to buff it, then by all means, make it half the cast time, and leave the damage as-is.  Between not breaking because the caster or mob twitched by accident, and a bit faster cast, it should be fine.  I hesitate to increase damage, as it's already very high.  (at least on the top tier sets)

 

Re Lower-Tier-Sets:  Yes, these should be looked at. 

I definitely feel, see, and can objectively measure, the difference in the best sets vs even the 2nd tier sets, and the difference is striking.  But also, good luck with that.  It's a baked in fubarred bias from as long as the game has existed.  The game was originally balanced on DPR and DPA was completely ignored.  I'm not even sure the original devs knew what DPA was.  It was only much later that DPA ever even got looked at.  The best melee set is 2.5x better than the worst set.  This is a HUGE can of worms, and I just don't see anyone wanting to try to tackle it any time soon.

 

Re Focus:  I've noticed this too.

I feel like, but can't objectively say, that it should just be straight up made a 100% chance per primary power use, and it should indeed have all the timers refreshed when any primary power is used.   More frequently than I'd like, it drops before I can actually hit the next target.

Edited by Linea
  • Like 3

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.

Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, Haijinx said:

Stalkers are probably OP right now to be honest. 

 

Stalkers are the least played standard AT of all of them.   We're not some well-kept secret.  If we were actually OP, the min/maxers would know it and be all over it.

 

What you're missing, I think, is that all the tricks with controlled crits, even the ATOs which are absolutely wonderful (not denying it) serve only to bring our damage output UP to Scrapper standard.  We burst better.  That's about it.  Scrappers have a higher base damage modifier which means better starting damage, better enhanced damage, and better damage buffs.  And they have a random crit rate (lower than ours usually) and their own crit-enhancing ATO too.

 

All that taken together, Stalkers and Scrappers are really pretty close to one another.  And that's probably fine.  The difference comes down to a slight advantage to Scrappers in durability thanks to higher hit points and a slight advantage to Stalkers in burst damage thanks to controlled crits.  I certainly prefer the latter and that's why I play Stalkers.

 

I don't think we need a buff, but overpowered?  Hardly.

 

What I would like done is probably something the devs won't do which is revisit all those old melee sets and exchange one of the too-many ST attacks for the AoE most of them are missing.  When you look at Martial Arts, there's just no need for SIX single-target attacks on top of Assassin Strike.  Even when Assassin Strike was only usable from Hide, this was a dumb decision.  Nobody needs more than 3 single-target strikes added to AS and that always leaves room for at least one cone and one PBAoE if the set has it on Scrappers, Brutes, and Tankers.

  • Like 4
  • Thumbs Down 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, ZemX said:

 

Stalkers are the least played standard AT of all of them.   We're not some well-kept secret.  If we were actually OP, the min/maxers would know it and be all over it.

 

What you're missing, I think, is that all the tricks with controlled crits, even the ATOs which are absolutely wonderful (not denying it) serve only to bring our damage output UP to Scrapper standard.  We burst better.  That's about it.  Scrappers have a higher base damage modifier which means better starting damage, better enhanced damage, and better damage buffs.  And they have a random crit rate (lower than ours usually) and their own crit-enhancing ATO too.

 

All that taken together, Stalkers and Scrappers are really pretty close to one another.  And that's probably fine.  The difference comes down to a slight advantage to Scrappers in durability thanks to higher hit points and a slight advantage to Stalkers in burst damage thanks to controlled crits.  I certainly prefer the latter and that's why I play Stalkers.

 

I don't think we need a buff, but overpowered?  Hardly.

 

What I would like done is probably something the devs won't do which is revisit all those old melee sets and exchange one of the too-many ST attacks for the AoE most of them are missing.  When you look at Martial Arts, there's just no need for SIX single-target attacks on top of Assassin Strike.  Even when Assassin Strike was only usable from Hide, this was a dumb decision.  Nobody needs more than 3 single-target strikes added to AS and that always leaves room for at least one cone and one PBAoE if the set has it on Scrappers, Brutes, and Tankers.

I agree stalkers are roughly on par with scrappers as long as you don't pick underperforming powersets. 

 

Expecting stalkers to outdamage scrappers by a noticable amount is probably unrealistic.  The two ATs are very close together on DPS/Surv

 

That whole ST specialist stuff people toss around is just wishful thinking.  

 

If you redesigned COX today you wouldn't have both ATs.  You'd just have the /nin powerset for scrappers and possibly add some hide crits to sets like EA and DA

   

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
28 minutes ago, Haijinx said:

I agree stalkers are roughly on par with scrappers as long as you don't pick underperforming powersets. 

 

Expecting stalkers to outdamage scrappers by a noticable amount is probably unrealistic.  The two ATs are very close together on DPS/Surv

 

That whole ST specialist stuff people toss around is just wishful thinking.  

 

If you redesigned COX today you wouldn't have both ATs.  You'd just have the /nin powerset for scrappers and possibly add some hide crits to sets like EA and DA

   

 

 

It depends on the damage you're expecting them to out perform on. Stalkers should absolutely be better at single target, imo... but since the way its going, we just seem to be getting stalkers more equalized with scrappers by giving them access to the powers they didn't have in the past... instead of buffing their unique power that I think they should focus on instead. Scrappers are better, or were better, at AoE. Stalkers were designed for single target. I don't see a problem with that as long as some things change, but it is what it is.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Madae said:

 

It depends on the damage you're expecting them to out perform on. Stalkers should absolutely be better at single target, imo... but since the way its going, we just seem to be getting stalkers more equalized with scrappers by giving them access to the powers they didn't have in the past... instead of buffing their unique power that I think they should focus on instead. Scrappers are better, or were better, at AoE. Stalkers were designed for single target. I don't see a problem with that as long as some things change, but it is what it is.

 

If you call ST focus "boss killers" stalkers are the best, that's where the extra build ups and crit on demand come in.

 

If you mean EB, AV, GMs progressively not so much.  Of course some of that is due to sets.  

 

You can't do TW or WM on a stalker for instance.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Linea said:

Re Lower-Tier-Sets:  Yes, these should be looked at. 

I definitely feel, see, and can objectively measure, the difference in the best sets vs even the 2nd tier sets, and the difference is striking.  But also, good luck with that.  It's a baked in fubarred bias from as long as the game has existed.  The game was originally balanced on DPR and DPA was completely ignored.  I'm not even sure the original devs knew what DPA was.  It was only much later that DPA ever even got looked at.  The best melee set is 2.5x better than the worst set.  This is a HUGE can of worms, and I just don't see anyone wanting to try to tackle it any time soon.

 

this is a big problem with the game, generally.... not limited to melee powersets.

 

often times it might sound fun to build out a certain theme of a superhero... but... the realization sets in quick if you have played some of the 'better' powersets... that you just feel like a lame duck.

 

i think titan weapons (pre adjustment) was a big offender of this (and is arguably still overbearingly strong) -- back then, you could look at any other melee power set, compare it to titan weapons and ask yourself WHY you would objectively want to play anything else.  the only reasonable answer was theme. you are certainly allowed to enjoy powersets that offer the fantasy of playing a certain theme, but it would be nice if the balance was more closely aligned.

 

all that said, we need to be careful about advocating for powersets to all follow some homogeneous formula.  each powerset should feel unique and have its own flavor... otherwise i could just take fire blast power set, color it white-ish blue... and suddenly i am ice blast??.  color it green and i am atomic blast!  i think a successful example of powerset unique style is titan weapons momentum mechanics, or the energy melee focus proc.  even if these 2 sets ended up having the same baseline buttons (yes i realize they dont) of 3 single target attacks, a cone attack, a PBAoE attack, 1 taunt... etc etc... the unique mechanics would provide different feel and unique flavor to each.  i dont think each powerset needs its own unique proc that changes the flow of how you press buttons necessarily however (as i just referenced)... dark melee, for example, proceeds to be unique by offering its own take on a build-up activation via soul drain (dark melee has its own... challenges... present anyways).

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Stalkers do NOT need a buff.  They're better than fine.

 

The only thing Stalkers need is Battle Axe/War Mace, Titan Weapons, Super Strength and Stone Melee.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
58 minutes ago, Naraka said:

Stalkers do NOT need a buff.  They're better than fine.

 

The only thing Stalkers need is Battle Axe/War Mace, Titan Weapons, Super Strength and Stone Melee.

 

This post would be better if you offered up an opinion on why you think this. It sounds oddly familiar, by the way, and isn't very helpful (see previous posts). I mean, if you don't want to have a discussion, that's fine, but it's not a convincing argument and does nothing to change opinions on the subject. I'm also very suspicious of any claims from people that apparently "enjoy the class so much" that they think absolutely nothing is wrong with it, or it couldn't be better.

Edited by Madae
Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, Madae said:

 

This post would be better if you offered up an opinion on why you think this. It sounds oddly familiar, by the way, and isn't very helpful either.

 

Since you're new here, sure.  I'll catch you up.

 

On 6/9/2021 at 5:50 PM, Madae said:

Posted this in discord feedback, but I guess it would probably do more here...

 

I feel like Assassin's Focus needs to have a shared timer for all 3 stacks that is refreshed when you use an ability, so when you finally choose to use your Assassin's Strike, a charge doesn't unexpectedly fall off and ruin the whole setup. It's too inconsistent, and slightly annoying, when trying to target mobs that don't need a huge burst like that and it would be better saved for something more deserving, but then misses because you took too long to act.

 

 

Frankly, I don't have a particular issue with this point but it's very minor.  At best, it's merely an inconvenience and a lot of powers/ATs have their "less than stellar" points but that doesn't mean they all have to be completely ironed out to make them as smooth as possible.  Why?  Because the overall game, as is, is very simple and very gamable.  Think of those issues as being curves in a track that you have to then keep adjusting to while you cruise through the course.  You don't live curves in your course?  Scrapper is a straight NASCAR "just turn left" AT.  Not every player wants a (more) braindead gameplay loop in this regards.

 

If they change it, it's not going to be the end of the world, but neither is it if no change is made.

 

On 6/9/2021 at 5:50 PM, Madae said:

 

I also think Assassin's Strike from stealth should do 5x damage instead of 3x. I find it pretty ridiculous that almost all high level Stalkers, or at least the opinion, is that they don't even utilize this class "strength" since it's so much more "efficient" to just combo up and get the instant strike instead, so it seems like, to me, it should at least do more damage than all of the strikes necessary + assassin-insta combined, and would also make placate useful again. Arguably Stalkers are already pretty terrible at everything else, so they really need some sort of buff like this, imo, and on the surface, I don't think it would unbalance the game all that much, plus make them more enticing in this playing field that's completely dominated by mass AoE.

 

 

While I can sympathize with you, no one cares.  Even at 5x damage, it likely would be a DPS loss because of the cast time/interrupt possibility.  AS from Hide is still a very useful tool if you want to reduce an alpha strike with demoralize.  You *might* be able to get the -ToHit or the fear chance increased, but increasing the damage is only asking to shake the boat on damage which is not something that needs to be done on a mere whim of "I think we should have this" argument.  You start adjusting damage numbers in a fashion that starts shifting gameplay and you upset the delicate/already turbulent quadfecta of melee ATs.

 

But overall, it's just not needed.  

 

On 6/9/2021 at 5:50 PM, Madae said:

Also what I've noticed is that my Blaster (Beam/Atomic Manip) can just as easily delete a single target, and perhaps even better than my Stalker, and this is not even considering the other tools they, as an AT, have (with AoE's). With the numbers crunched, maybe it is or isn't true that Stalker DPS is already very high comparable to other AT's... but that's against a single target... that also doesn't move (since everyone likes to do tests against Pylons), but let's just say, for the sake of argument, that, in general, Stalker DPS is really high... that's cool and all, but no one is lining up to play them because let's just be frank here; Stalkers are pretty plain and boring in the greater scheme of things. They have all these cool tools that differentiate them from other classes, and yet they are, as a class overall, mediocre in comparison. MAYBE with heavy set slotting, a lot of time, effort and patience, Stalkers really start to shine, but that doesn't really do anything for anyone but the most dedicated Stalker.

 

 

Yup, if you have a problem with that, you should just play Blasters.  And not all Blasters are going to delete single targets as well as a Stalker can (see: Dark, Sonic, Archery, DP and Water Blast).  Beam Rifle just so happens to be one of the more pominent options for Blasters to obliterate STs from range easily and it pays for that proficiency.

 

Another aspect of altering damage tends to get Blaster into the mix as well since it is the damage king period AT.

 

On 6/9/2021 at 5:50 PM, Madae said:

I suppose I probably get some arguments about this, and that's fine... tell me where I'm mistaken and we can discuss it more thoroughly, but I've tried half a dozen Stalkers since I started playing again recently, all to around 40+, and they just aren't all that they're cracked up to be. I want to like them, maybe they're just "not for me", which I think is a cop-out for their clear design problems, but maybe others can tell me different - obviously there will be people out there that have put much more time and effort (I call that pain) into this than me.

 

The prominence of Stalkers lies in their efficiency and their predictability.  On my Psi/Ice Stalker, I don't worry about doing the most damage or killing the most targets.  I only care that *MY* target dies and when it's dead, I already have another target in mind.  You can let the AoEs fall because you're prioritizing trouble enemies that you know will outlast those AoEs or that can extend the confrontation longer.  He can go in and BU+AS his target and it's most likely going to die pretty quick then use Mass Levitate to get his +rech proc going as well as likely get his BU back.  He then can start picking on other hard targets using BU+Insight+Placate+Greater Psi Blade for another massive punch or just go into a normal chain.  When everything looks like it'll be cleared up, I can skip out on the cleanup and start using Boggle on the next opponents then get ready for another AS+BU.

 

Others will tell you about specific attack chains for max damage, which is dandy, but you don't have to lock yourself into just attack chain DPS rotations/benchmarks in this game.  You can do other things with this AT, you just have to be willing to swallow your pride in order to do them.

 

On 6/9/2021 at 6:22 PM, Madae said:

I definitely haven't played all Stalker combos, so maybe others, like you said, perform better than some options.

 

I typically find that my Assassin's Strike isn't nearly as cool as I would want it to be, at any rate. It should literally be overkill: "the button", like for example I'm running +2, maybe even higher, I should have no problems at any time deleting a boss with a stealth Assassin's Strike, but as it is, results often vary from set to set, and it's most often I need a follow-up or two (or three) to finish the job on even same-level bosses sometimes (most likely a resist issue, but still), which I think defeats the purpose of a Stalker altogether. If a bunch of other AT's can have fun massacring big groups, even single targets, and have all these flashy attacks, etc, I should feel the same way about my ability to remove that single threat from the fight easily. The problem should then be about my ability to actually hit the target, whether or not I can get away without dying, or something else. The fact that a Stalker is in melee and already in danger adds to their problems, so it needs to be better offset with the strength of being an extreme glass cannon on single targets aka insta aggro, and if the mob happens to survive the hit (like an Elite Boss or Arch Villain), they are now in trouble and probably soon to be dead from retaliation, which would make the Stalker revert to the more classic damage damage damage insta combo to avoid drawing too much attention that they certainly should not be able to handle all that well.

 

Well that's just dumb (talking about hide+AS being an "overkill: the button" part).

 

Stalkers are no longer special.  They fall under similar aspects of DPS as other DPS ATs.  Now there was a point where Hide+AS was being tested to do a % of the targets' HP, which would make you a big killer of hard foes but you now how standard DPS rotations.  Your special toy is no longer going to get polished because of that.

 

On 6/9/2021 at 7:00 PM, Madae said:

I don't see where anyone can come up with this. What exactly makes them OP? Is this a end game, 100 hour, set IO filled OP? Because that's pretty much every class in one way or another. Or is it the "Stj has the highest DPS on a Pylon" OP that I read somewhere? I need more info.

 

It's more like "Stalkers tend to have more melee sets where they do better DPS than other ATs using the same set" type of OP.

 

For a while, Savage Melee was just disgustingly OP on Stalkers, and now it's just regular OP on Stalkers.

 

On 6/9/2021 at 7:53 PM, Madae said:

Yes, the ATO's synergize well, but that is exactly the point I was making that most of the "help" Stalkers get come from outside sources, more or less a bandaid for the problems inherent in the class, and does nothing for people who don't have those things yet, ie the "level 50 stacked set OP" Stalker. The fact that their old power sets are mostly garbage and only the newer power sets are good really highlights the problem the AT faces, and if the solution to Stalker is "out with the old, in with the new", we're still not really solving the problem, you're just avoiding it and potentially limiting the pool of Stalkers to very few power sets that work instead of changing some questionable things about the AT in general... that seems like more work to me when you can just make all of their older sets viable by increasing base Stalker potential and adjust things as you go along and find out new issues with those changes.

 

I don't really consider any of this OP territory to be honest. If they were truly OP, I would think I'd be seeing a lot more of them around, and that is simply not the case. Other classes do generally the same things, but "better" or "safer" or "consistently", however you want to put it, and this isn't even getting in to the part where AoE rules the game and AT's that everyone ends up playing because it's just more fun or more efficient or just altogether easier to accomplish and do well with, plus the other toys they generally come with compared to a very specific set of melee options + some defensive clickies and that's it for Stalker.

 

And one other more important thing to point out I think is that if the method is adjusting their new power sets to include things that they were historically missing, you're basically just making the Stalker a Scrapper to cover it all up, only slightly worse defensively, and doesn't really do any of the unique things that Stalker comes with (see not even bothering to stealth strike since it's a waste of time). I find that an odd choice for a fix instead of trying to play to their strengths.

 

This is a *YOU* problem, btw.

 

If you don't like the old powersets, then play the new powersets.

 

As for not seeing a lot of Stalkers around, you do.  Most of them solo, for obvious reasons.  There was also a stigma on Stalkers for quite a while but don't base levels of OP on popularity.  The main reason Stalkers aren't doing Fire Farms is because they don't excel at the premiere aspect of the game that everyone is looking to exploit: AoE.  That isn't to say all Stalkers are terrible at AoE.  Just like there are Blasters that excel at deleting bosses, there are Stalkers that excel at AoE (see: Savage Melee, Spines, Elec or Rad).  

 

13 hours ago, Madae said:

 

I think it's 10, and sure it's low, but you'll most likely be 50 by the time you slot both sets, unless you already have some alts that farmed a lot of it for you. For the new player coming in to the game and thinks "Hey, Stalker sounds cool", they will likely find themselves in a position of being extremely disappointed at how well they fare vs literally every AT they end up grouping with. It definitely takes a very specific mindset and what you want to go about doing, mostly for thematic reasons I think, that keeps a Stalker player - the type of player that cares more about how "cool" they are, versus how effective they are, and with enough work, you can get there for sure, but that's a lot of investment in comparison to other AT's.

 

I've never quite been a fan of the argument "It's an MMO, the "real game" starts when you hit 50" - not that you're saying that, but just as an added note here - where generally I think the most fun part of MMO's is everything in between the start and finish, and this is where you see Stalker being that red-headed step-child that everyone finds tolerable, but could otherwise completely live without.

 

 

Doesn't matter.  It doesn't matter if you don't have the ATOs, Stalkers are still great.  It doesn't matter about new players not knowing about the ATOs, they will learn.  This is not a subscription MMO or an MMO that is building players.  If you want to play Stalkers, play Stalkers.  You shouldn't have to be handed a golden scepter to play an AT.  Just play it.  I did the same with Masterminds, not knowing what the fuck I was doing but I wanted to give them a good college try and I have 3 in the 40s and they are different.  There is no point in trying to build "retention"  or trying to solidify a subsection of the playerbase.  Go play a Peacebringer because it's different, not because it has x,y and z better than everyone else.

 

6 hours ago, Madae said:

 

It depends on the damage you're expecting them to out perform on. Stalkers should absolutely be better at single target, imo... but since the way its going, we just seem to be getting stalkers more equalized with scrappers by giving them access to the powers they didn't have in the past... instead of buffing their unique power that I think they should focus on instead. Scrappers are better, or were better, at AoE. Stalkers were designed for single target. I don't see a problem with that as long as some things change, but it is what it is.

 

I think Stalkers get the upperhand on plenty of sets, ST or otherwise.  Electric Melee is a good example.  Dual Blades isn't a bad one either.

 

And one of the main reasons I say just give Stalkers BA/WM, Super Strength, Titan Weapons, etc is because those sets tend to have hard hitting attacks and hard hitting attacks is the premiere of what Stalkers do best at.  Besides SS needing to be rebalanced to have Build Up, being able to 50% chance to crit Whirling Smash or Arc of Destruction or 100% crit Shatter/Cleave or Knockout Blow is going to be devastating when combined with Stalker's tools.

 

  • Thumbs Up 1
  • Thumbs Down 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Better, but could have done without that tinge of attitude. I will consider your opinion as nothing more than that, and it appears that you've had this conversation before and need to justify it to "new people" often enough to be annoyed(?) by it, which leads me to believe it's not all that uncommon and I'm not the only one that thinks this (evidenced by some in this thread having mixed opinions about it as well). We can agree to disagree on how this topic could be addressed. I'm under no illusion that anything I think will see any actual development, but it's interesting to talk about at the very least and see what other ideas, suggestions and comments people have on it, so thanks for that at least.

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, Madae said:

Also, it was possible to switch sides in launch, yeah? I never did it personally, but I wouldn't guess that you'd automatically become a scrapper if you did. I didn't really play Stalker all that much in live, because I generally found them pretty lame back then, too, so this is a long-running problem at this point.

Iirc it was never possible at CoV launch. I thought the ability to switch sides came with Going Rogue?

Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, Linea said:

Re OP:  475+ ST dps, and I'm not even trying.  I'd hate to see what an offensively built stalker could do.

The thing with Stalkers is their very design makes for high floor and (relatively) low ceiling in DPS.

 

At the lower end of offensive building, you're helped by:

- ATOs

- fast AS having insane DPA

- fast AS rounding up an attack chain

 

At the higher end of offensive building, you're limited by:

- animation times

- need to stack AF

- need to fit AS into chain as much as possible

- reliance on Hide status for maximum performance (as in, getting hit by enemies during your animation post ATO proc ruins your next critical)

 

475+ ST DPS sounds awesome to me and I'd definitely have to try to get there. Either way, going all out with procs I never seem to top ~600 Pylon DPS on any Stalker. I think the Pylon thread shows that pattern holding, at least for people who care to share their results.

 

My own real world Stalker DPS is also nowhere near Pylon DPS, unfortunately. Stalkers require much more situational awareness in managing instaBU recharges, procced Hide crits and the low chance of stacks not going off. Better players can have better results, but for those of us with weaker twitch skills, it's a data point worth considering.

 

With optimized Scrappers, it's more like somewhere near 300 DPS when defensively built and up to 700 DPS when offensively built. Much bigger variance... and higher tops, while adding the benefits of higher survivability, aggro control, and AoE damage. And you don't have to do much beyond mash your attack chain keys in order.

Defensively-built Stalkers are probably an useful highend niche. You get to do more ST DPS than a defensive Scrapper and you're sturdier than an offensive Scrapper. But it is niche play, because 1) that survivability isn't required in most gameplay and 2) insps can make up for the lacking survivability in extreme gameplay that requires said survivability.

 

Dunno if I have a point. Just thinking outloud.

 

I like OP's suggestion of refreshing stacks. I think much of this thread has gotten more inflammatory than it needs, just because of the headline. Change "stalker needs buffs" to "it would be nice to have these slight improvements" and I don't know if there would be strong disagreement.

  • Like 10
Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, star_fury_lives said:

Iirc it was never possible at CoV launch. I thought the ability to switch sides came with Going Rogue?

Correct.  Years later. 

 

That's why the boundaries between the Melee types are so fuzzy. 

 

The Stalker was the redside scrapper analogue they were never designed to share the stage.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Madae changed the title to Two possible changes for Stalker...

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...