Jump to content

History Question: What Was Behind The Rise and Fall of Fire/Kinetics?


oedipus_tex
 Share

Recommended Posts

Okay, maybe "the fall of Fire/Kinetics" is an overstatement. ūüôā¬†I'm taking some dramatic license.

 

 

On live you couldn't go go give feet without tripping over a Fire/Kinetics Controller. They were the premier farming build, but also hot (sorry) for tasks like the ITF.

 

A lot has changed since those days. Fire Farming in the AE taking over as the main farming method had a lot to do with the changeover. But I think there's a lesson in the game's meta behind the huge popularity of the Fire/Kin followed by it falling out of favor.

 

What are the reasons you'd list for:

  • Why was Fire/Kin so popular in the first place?
  • Why is it less popular now?*

 

* Keeping in mind I don't think anyone thinks Fire/Kin is bad. But it's interesting to see many fewer of them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My first toon I rolled when Homecoming started up was fire/kin troller. Because a) I knew you could farm with it and b) who doesn't want a /kin on a team?

So it is a very versatile combo. I think that's why it was so popular. 

 

As to why it is less used now, I dunno, I do play mine from time to time but not often. Too busy with all the new toons 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Fire/kin was popular for farming namely because it killed things faster than a fire tanker, and after the agro limit was put in place fire/kin was more efficient. Then CoV came out and we used fire/kin trollers blue side and a blend of fire/psy domis or fire armor brutes for farming red side. Brutes beat out domis because they we're easier to survive with and did pretty good damage.

 

Once going rogue came out and you could get a brute blue side, fire/kins became obsolete. Now a days they are rolled for nostalgia.

  • Like 2
  • Thumbs Up 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I remember once on live back in the early days, playing a Kinfender - around I7/I8 from memory, I had a stone tank (remember them?) offer to pay me a million inf (when the cap was about 6 mil IIRC) to keep him speedboosted in a mission. I didn't actually take him up on his offer, for reasons I no longer remember but mostly I think there's a combination of factors.

 

The game's been dumbed down immeasurably since Inventions onwards, and Incarnates especially. There's also builds that are "in vogue" at any given time. I remember Fire/Rads often superseding Fire/Kins in popularity if not effectiveness. Then there's the plethora of travel powers, additional pool powers, new power sets, that just make their general efficacy less productive.

 

And of course, although this environment is reasonably well populated, it's less busy than many of the live servers.

 

It's not just one single factor, but a combination of smaller factors that mean they are less necessary than they once were, and given we have so many additional choices that are almost as good if not better... 

"Hipness is not a state of mind, it's a fact of life"
Cannonball Adderley

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Fire farms weren't really a thing on live, winter IOs were harder to get. 

 

People got smarter and realized that they can make fire farms and take an AT with the best survivability/damage ratio to that content.

 

People also got dumber as a result because now most people don't even know how to play anything has any semblance of complexity.

Liberty, Torchbearer, Excelsior, Everlasting

Jezebel Delias

Level 50 Fire/Elec/Mace Blaster

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My first-ever Homecoming character was a Fire/Kin Controller because a) I knew I could farm with it (Warrior Earth map, but others exist) easily on -JUST- SO's and/or generic IO's and b) it would be quickly eclipsed by a "real" brute fire farmer.  Fire/Kin with the changes to Bonfire turned out to be uber effective and I still pull this toon out on occasion, but the sole reason to build it was to use it to power-farm other alts until I was able to level a Spine/Fire brute in AE.  

 

At the time HC released, I wasn't sure that AE was going to allow fire farms the way Live did.  And I didn't have any idea what the marketplace was going to be like for IO's (didn't even know they would be seeding it that the time).  Thus, I leveled the easiest, cheapest farmer I could, a Fire/Kin controller.

 

Since then, just about everything has eclipsed this.  But I keep her around for nostalgia.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Fire/Kins did it before IOs existed.  Who needs softcap defense when all the mobs are stunned and immobilized and Fulcrum Shifted?   Any damage they deal is easily healed.  So firekins were a legacy FOTM long after they were theoretically obsolete, which was issue 8.  If you ever decide to have a go at playing with just SO enhancements, you can't really make a stronger choice.  But if you use all the tools of the modern game to stack defense and recharge and damage boosts on a brute, the Fire/Kin can't really compete in a solo setting.

 

It still provides great support for a variety of team comps, though.

  • Like 1

Can't kill me, I'm zeroes and ones.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

IIRC, the big result of its fall was two nerfs (well, one overt nerf, one tweak that ended up being a nerf to Fire/Kin specifically):

 

First, the Imps got their level knocked down.  They were originally summoned at the player's level.  At some point, that got knocked down so that they became -1.

Second, pets were changed to be immune to any changes in their Recharge values, as that could wreak havoc on their AI, something that Fire Imps, only having their one brawl attack, didn't have an issue with, and instead, just became little brawling machineguns when Speed Boost-ed.

 

Between these two changes, the unstoppable flaming vortex that was Fire/Kin just couldn't keep the Imps killin' like it used to, and the combo fell out of favor with farmer types, though it remains a pretty grand combo in terms of overall synergy and usefulness.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

FYI, based on the HC stats from March 2020, Fire/kins are still way more popular than any other combo, 2,459 versus Ill/rad at 973. Dark/dark is #3 with 594 so we are talking Fire/kins being roughly 4x as popular as the #3 combo. You just might not see them being played since they are more rolled to aid in farming these days. I honestly don't look at people's powersets they use on their controllers all that much. 

  • Like 1
  • Thumbs Up 1

Without Pause Claws/wp brute, Nothing But Flowers Plant/storm, Waterpark Water/temp blaster, Sneakers StJ/en stalker,

Current obsession(s): Dual boxing CoV(Savage/rad brute, Dark/savage tank)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It was having 12 to 15 fulcrum shifted fire imps that made them so popular.  When they got limited to only 3 you can imagine how much of a nerf that would have felt like.  They are still popular but doing 1/5 of the damage, from the imps anyway.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Taking some of the points above and a few more:

  • Were great for farming but now brutes are more efficient
  • Had a ton of damage with multiple imps, now limited to 3 -- other AT's now better to solo with
  • No one (really) needs stamina in teams any more -- other AT's now more team friendly
  • No one (really) needs heals in teams any more -- debuffing AT's now more popular
  • Doesn't really seem to get much of a buff from Incarnates or new IO sets as much as other AT's, making other AT's superior for content when Incarnate powers are available

 

 

  • Thumbs Up 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, oedipus_tex said:

What are the reasons you'd list for:

  • Why was Fire/Kin so popular in the first place?
  • Why is it less popular now?*
  1. I think the reason they got as popular as they did is because they were a cheap, easy farming build in a post-burn-nerf world. Spines/Dark Scrappers were somewhat popular as well but they required a different playstyle.
  2. It was a series of events which sounded the death knell for Fire/Kin as a premiere farming build:
    1. Issue 12: Mental Manipulation is released for Blasters. Arch/Mental was a very popular farming build after that, arguably faster than a Fire/Kin with enough IO investment.
    2. Issue 14: AE is released. It's sort of telling how almost every patch between I14 and I15 involves some sort of AE-related bug/exploit fix. Fire/Psi Dominators are the farming build to beat, at least until the Dominator rework in I15.
    3. Issue 16: Scrappers get Fiery Aura.
    4. Issue 18: side-switching and elimination of side-specific ATs means I no longer have to wait until level 35 to get PL'd by a Brute or Dominator in RWZ, I can just do it right from level 1.
    5. Issue 25: Brutes get Spines. Radiation Melee is released. The end.
  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
  • Thumbs Up 1

@macskull/@Not Mac

Proc information and chance calculator spreadsheet (last updated 25JUL20)

Twitch | Youtube

Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 hours ago, macskull said:
  1. I think the reason they got as popular as they did is because they were a cheap, easy farming build in a post-burn-nerf world. Spines/Dark Scrappers were somewhat popular as well but they required a different playstyle.
  2. It was a series of events which sounded the death knell for Fire/Kin as a premiere farming build:
    1. Issue 12: Mental Manipulation is released for Blasters. Arch/Mental was a very popular farming build after that, arguably faster than a Fire/Kin with enough IO investment.
    2. Issue 14: AE is released. It's sort of telling how almost every patch between I14 and I15 involves some sort of AE-related bug/exploit fix. Fire/Psi Dominators are the farming build to beat, at least until the Dominator rework in I15.
    3. Issue 16: Scrappers get Fiery Aura.
    4. Issue 18: side-switching and elimination of side-specific ATs means I no longer have to wait until level 35 to get PL'd by a Brute or Dominator in RWZ, I can just do it right from level 1.
    5. Issue 25: Brutes get Spines. Radiation Melee is released. The end.

 

Good summary. I'd also add that folks learned how to farm on various other Pri/Sec combos also. (Some which you didn't mention above, but overall point is correct . . . pretty much anything was easier than fire/kin controllers as COH changed)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

16 hours ago, oedipus_tex said:

Okay, maybe "the fall of Fire/Kinetics" is an overstatement. ūüôā¬†I'm taking some dramatic license.

 

 

On live you couldn't go go give feet without tripping over a Fire/Kinetics Controller. They were the premier farming build, but also hot (sorry) for tasks like the ITF.

 

A lot has changed since those days. Fire Farming in the AE taking over as the main farming method had a lot to do with the changeover. But I think there's a lesson in the game's meta behind the huge popularity of the Fire/Kin followed by it falling out of favor.

 

What are the reasons you'd list for:

  • Why was Fire/Kin so popular in the first place?
  • Why is it less popular now?*

 

* Keeping in mind I don't think anyone thinks Fire/Kin is bad. But it's interesting to see many fewer of them.

To me, it's simple. If you're on a fire kin, you have to be active. Pro-active, even. 

If you've a choice between just sitting in the center of a map with burn on auto, or constantly hopping about, spamming Fulcrum Shift, etc...it's no contest. Who's got time for that? Easier to let it go in the background while you try new combos you haven't tried previously. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Ukase said:

Who's got time for that?

(raises hand)

 

Some of us like that hectic playstyle. If my current laptop didn't offer up screen shot style gameplay in certain cases, I would still be playing more Kin.

  • Thumbs Up 1

Without Pause Claws/wp brute, Nothing But Flowers Plant/storm, Waterpark Water/temp blaster, Sneakers StJ/en stalker,

Current obsession(s): Dual boxing CoV(Savage/rad brute, Dark/savage tank)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Like Bill and Zag said, I'd attribute most of the popularity to the oldschool 12+ imps Fulcrum Shifted. That, plus I think there was a time when epic Fireball used to do blaster-level damage with Containment on top, so it was about twice as strong as a normal Fireball. Then you added FS and the numbers got ridiculous. I vaguely recollect this around I5.

Edited by nihilii
Link to comment
Share on other sites

There was some weirdness with Epic Pools and Containment around Issue Tweenager. They were removed and thus Epics didn't do containment. Now they do again. But multi-Imps was removed at the start of i5 I believe and Containment added after that so there was no "Armies of Imps and Blaster level fireballs at the same time". 

 

 

 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not sure if it led to its "downfall" but as far as Controllers go, Fire/Kin was just godawful boring to play... and that's coming from someone who has earned nearly 16000 incarnate threads on the same map.  

  • Like 1

Some 50ss: Burner Account (Fire/FF Ctrl) | Dr. Unconventional (Ill/Dark Ctrl) | Lawn Boy (Plant/Nat Ctrl) | Magma Lad (Fire/Kin Ctrl) | Metcalf (Grav/Kin Ctrl) | IcyBM (Ice/Trap Ctrl) | Jim With The Weather (Ice/Storm Ctrl) | Dr. Jonas (Mind/Poison Ctrl) | Coldwire (Elec/Cold Ctrl) | Pyrotoxin (Fire/Poison Ctrl) | Nature Jack (Earth/Poison Ctrl) | Voltswagen (Dark/EA Ctrl) | Time Vampire (Grav/Time Ctrl) | Tootboy (Fire/FF Ctrl) | Polarrhoid (Ice/TA Ctrl) | LoLEnEn (En/En Blast) | Draw (Rad/Rad Def) | Destroyo (Bots/Trap MM) | Con Carne (Rad/Bio Brute) | Senor Smoke (Rad/Fire Brute) | Something Else (TW/Bio Scrap) | Thermador (Rad/Fire Brute) | Electrovox (EA/Son Def) | Danzigawatt (Demons/EA MM) | Costumed Adventurer (Fire/EA Ctrl) | Obscured Face Guy (Dark/Storm Ctrl) | Ohm Gott (EA/Dark Def) | Full Recharge (Fire/Storm Ctrl) | Spacegrass (Fire/Nat Ctrl) | Embarrassing Wetness (Water/EA Corr) | Weather Permitting (Ill/Storm Ctrl) | Herr Fryer (Fire/Traps Ctrl) | Rainiac (Grav/Storm Ctrl) | Stokes (Fire/TA Ctrl) | Dismembrandt (DB/Bio Scrap) | Multidudes (Ill/Traps Ctrl) | Meshuggenaut (Inv/RM tank) | Miss October (Fire/Dark Ctrl) | Spastic Colonial (Elec/Dark Ctrl) | Heroic Pyromaniac (Fire/En Blast) | Gigantic Robot (TW/Fire Brute) | and there's more where THAT came from

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yall missed the part that traditional farms back on live pre-ae were typically longer maps. Tv don, dreck, demon farm, unai maps. Now with AE very quick reset maps are in play, like the moon map, and oh guess what? The insp vendor is right outside. Current AE highest performance revolves around red insp spam which reduces the value benefit of having your own fulcrum shift. 

 

Red insps + quick reset maps = kinetics drops on the tier list.

  • Like 1
  • Thumbs Up 1

Currently on fire.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wait-this was not a Nemesis plot?:-)

Looking for SFMA content over multiple arcs? Search for the following arcs under "cranebump."

Ordinary People [3 parts] Investigation of a series of thefts leads you deep into a vengeful plot that threatens all of Paragon City. Will you and Kings Row's "ordinary" heroes be able to stop it? Leviathan [5 parts] The  assassination of a local politician with national aspirations sets off a media frenzy among everyone's favorite reactionary network, NewsAnon. Among their targets? You. The Cage Series [3 parts]: The Iron Widow is back! Or...is she? Your vigilante philosophy is put to the test in this tale of shifting loyalties and outright deceit. The Port Oakes TF [2 parts] Enos Childs is calling on Villains like you to join his glorious quest to drive Arachnos out of the Rogue Isles. One Shots:  Of Guns and Asa Ronan; The Tenuous State of Grace; Garden of the Will; Gravity; The Book of Bond's

Link to comment
Share on other sites

22 hours ago, Carnifax said:

There was some weirdness with Epic Pools and Containment around Issue Tweenager. They were removed and thus Epics didn't do containment. Now they do again. But multi-Imps was removed at the start of i5 I believe and Containment added after that so there was no "Armies of Imps and Blaster level fireballs at the same time". 

 

 

 

 

Seconding that this is how I remember it.  Fire/kin didn't pick up in popularity until after aggro caps and containment were added.  Which came after the imp nerf.  If you pull up the issue 5 patch notes you can see where they were still making balance adjustments to controller pets when they added the aggro cap in.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 11/17/2021 at 10:53 AM, roleki said:

Not sure if it led to its "downfall" but as far as Controllers go, Fire/Kin was just godawful boring to play... and that's coming from someone who has earned nearly 16000 incarnate threads on the same map.  

 

you know, you die a little on the inside everytime you run that map..

 

 

Edited by Troo
spell check got me
  • Thumbs Up 1

"Homecoming is not perfect but it is still better than the alternative.. at least so far" - Unknown  (Wise words Unknown!)

Si vis pacem, para bellum

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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
 Share

√ó
√ó
  • Create New...