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Melee/Support class?


Knyghte
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Are we ever going to get a melee primary class with support features?

 

Ideally, Secondaries that split support features and armor features would be really nice. They'd never quite be the healers and buffers of the ranged classes, but it would be nice to drop a shield, put up whirlwinds, or throw some heals on the party at ground zero.

 

 

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13 hours ago, Tyrannical said:

It's come up a few times. Long story short; support powersets aren't optimised for close range, so they would have to be revised in order to adapt to the new melee oriented style of play.

Blappers and Dominators would beg to disagree. There are also support sets that have explicitly close range abilities like PBAoE. They could probably just copy Tanker primaries, adjust the damage scale, attach them to Defender support sets and be done with it.

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On 11/16/2021 at 7:56 AM, Knyghte said:

Ideally, Secondaries that split support features and armor features would be really nice. They'd never quite be the healers and buffers of the ranged classes, but it would be nice to drop a shield, put up whirlwinds, or throw some heals on the party at ground zero.

The Rebirth Community has the Guardian AT, which do this, and which, I admit, I really enjoy playing (though their inherent is wonky and unimmersive).  HC's made clear that they don't want to be accused of copying others' work and thus probably wouldn't do anything too similar, though.  Plus, they'd probably (maybe?) rather focus on making this community's own unique AT less janky first.

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Support / Melee or NO DEAL!

(I'm not seriously "or no deal" on this, but I do think with Stalkers, Scrappers, and Brutes all being Melee Primaryists, with Controllers, Corruptors, and Masterminds all being Support Secondaryists, only Defenders being Support Primaryists, and only Tankers being Melee Secondaryists, we'd feel more level-handed with Support / Melee instead of Melee / Support.)

 

Here are a taste of some past ideas:

https://forums.homecomingservers.com/topic/15350-a-minimalist-take-on-a-supportmelee-at/

https://forums.homecomingservers.com/topic/21398-melee-support-at-concepts/

https://forums.homecomingservers.com/topic/7894-regulator-meleesupport-at/

https://forums.homecomingservers.com/topic/3856-defiler-meleesupport-at/

https://forums.homecomingservers.com/topic/6850-protector-meleesupport/

https://forums.homecomingservers.com/topic/13318-new-archetype-protector-supportmelee/

https://forums.homecomingservers.com/topic/13326-building-a-melee-support/

https://forums.homecomingservers.com/topic/6713-archetype-concept-the-paladin-support-melee/

https://forums.homecomingservers.com/topic/14721-new-at-idea-overlord-meleesupport-with-a-twist/

https://forums.homecomingservers.com/topic/2442-at-proposal-meleesupport/

 

(If one might not be able to tell, I have a personally vested interest in Support / Melee as an Archetype.)

 

The general nay-sayings revolve around thoughts that such an Archetype would "need" to be squishie, and that presumed squishieness would some how be too much to bear in melee.

Given current Defenders can survive in melee solo, I've always found that particular complaint to be a little baffling. 

 

This thread proposed a new variation of that by suggesting that Buff Powers are Ranged typically, so that's somehow incongruous with a Melee Attack Set?

I think @Hjarki's response sums up the retort to that.

 

 

What it really boils down to is making sure that the Inherent and the replacement for Confront/Taunt/Placate mesh together and define the Archetype's roles in both solo and team play.

I proposed a PBAoE Escape/Placate that would be available starting at level 10 (replacing Taunt from the Tanker loadouts for Melee Sets).

And an Inherent which provides such an Archetype with additional Survival stats while solo, but those values drop as teammates go up (like Vigilance does for Defenders).

Ultimately, my ideas are to craft something that rewards flexibility and mobility.  Positioning oneself in any given battle to maximize the benefit to allies, while dishing out a little hurt to enemies to fill in the time.

 

Thematically, my Support / Melee would be less of a paladin, and more of a trickster.  

Think Loki, for example, as Kinetics / Dual Blades.  Gets up close and personal for the violence, but pops around the battlefield and debuffs enemies with poison barbs spit from the lips (a.k.a.:  Demoralizes and confounds people with his words).  Granted, some folks might argue Loki as a Stalker, or a Controller.  And those are both valid too, given how many variations there are of the character.

Alternatively, Batman could be interpreted as this sort of Archetype, as Traps / Street Justice.  Using devices and doodads, then going in to finish a weakened target off with a well-placed punch to the jaw.  And, in desperate times, Batman has been there to give the rest of his team a lift; supporting them in times of need with his various equipment.

Of course neither of these are a perfect fit.  I don't even like to use examples like that, as I'd rather people use Archetypes to create their own original characters.  But some people seem to expect these sorts of examples be made . . . so there are two.

 

Some non-specific examples of other concepts using this Archetype (credit to @HelBlaiz for half of these):

Trick Arrow / Dual Blades - hunter-trapper
Kinetics / Staff Fighting - warrior maiden
Empathy / Martial Arts - mystic monk
Time Manipulation / Kinetic Melee - arcanist
Kinetics / Katana - Tsoo Red Ink Man
Dark Miasma / Titan Weapon - grim reaper
Poison / Spines - alien or mutant monster
Force Field / Broadsword - guardian angel
Pain Domination / War Mace - inquisitor

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I love the idea of a melee hybrid tank like the DnD Paladin.  I could see a long recharge single target heal, an AoE protection aura against fear, Cure Disease could perhaps be something like Clear Mind, and for spells at higher levels a self buff and team buffs.  I dunno, I'll give it some thought for something more specific, but I really dig the idea. 

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8 hours ago, Hjarki said:

Blappers and Dominators would beg to disagree. There are also support sets that have explicitly close range abilities like PBAoE. They could probably just copy Tanker primaries, adjust the damage scale, attach them to Defender support sets and be done with it.

 

Emphasis on optimised.

 

Trick Arrow and Traps for example would have a very hard time in melee compared to Radiation or Pain. There's also knockback powers like Repel, Hurricane, Repulsion Field and Force Bubble that run counter to the melee playstyle, and there's also the fact that not many of these powersets offer personal protection, which is something a melee archetype needs.

 

The biggest hurdle preventing Melee/Support from happening is quandaries like these.

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23 minutes ago, Tyrannical said:

Trick Arrow and Traps for example would have a very hard time in melee compared to Radiation or Pain. There's also knockback powers like Repel, Hurricane, Repulsion Field and Force Bubble that run counter to the melee playstyle, and there's also the fact that not many of these powersets offer personal protection, which is something a melee archetype needs.

 

The biggest hurdle preventing Melee/Support from happening is quandaries like these.

Neither Trick Arrow nor Traps have any particular obstacle for being in melee range from the standpoint of game mechanics.

 

Powers like Repel aren't any more inimical to melee range than 1+ force Knockback AE in existing melee sets. Repel effects like Hurricane and Force Bubble are often used to trap enemies in corners.

 

As for personal protection, both AT with Assault sets (Blasters, Dominators) already have even less personal protection than virtually any support set provides.

 

I really don't see the problem. Certainly you could go back and forth about what is 'ideal', but a naive direct port of the existing melee sets from Tanker -> Defender/Corruptor wouldn't break the game.

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Traps -thrives- in melee range thanks largely to Poison Trap.

Given Trick Arrow's duration on most Powers, you pluck yew from range to soften everyone up, then dive in while the Debuffs are applied.  Reapplications of further Debuffs as necessary from point-blank range work just as well.

 

Hurricane is definitely an issue.  But replacing one Power with a new one, say a Anti-Repel version like what they've added to Singularity, and suddenly you'll have people clamouring to have a Storm/- Trickster on their team!  Of course, they would need to reduce the To-Hit Debuff just to make sure this replacement Power isn't completely overpowered.

 

Force Fields as a whole set is overdue for a looking at for every Archetype, so problematic Powers there could potentially be addressed while that's getting an overhaul.  Alternatively, of all the Support Sets, if Force Fields are just something that's not available to a Support/Melee Archetype, it would hardly be the first time a new Archetype didn't get everything proliferated in to it upon release.

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Melee/Support would make for an interesting new AT, but I'm not sure very many of the existing support powersets would even work with that setup.

Granting the class Moderate Melee damage and weak to moderate defenses, and mixing the support onto procs/toggles in Scrapper/Stalker primaries and secondaries does open a few options though:

  • Sapper: Applies weaker debuffs, some DoTs on melee hits.  Loki was mentioned above, I could totally see this style slowly building up a bunch of Toxic DoTs along with a lot of -regen and some slow.  Thematic toggles could further weaken regen, or also take a bite out of recovery.
  • Saboteur:  Apply strong debuffs / moderate controls on melee hits.  Sort of like a swordsman who focuses on crippling his opponents before delivering the final blow (Instead of a Scrapper, where the swordsman would focus on overwhelming his opponent's defenses to go straight for the kill).  Lots of -damage/def/acc and Immob/sleep on hit, with specific powers granting stun/hold/conf.  Toggles would be more defensive, granting -perc or -acc. to enemies.
  • Paladin (also mentioned above): Hits apply modest buffs / healing to nearby allies, toggles provide weak status protection (like Tactic's 3 mag Conf. protection).  Buffs could be weaker, short duration, AoE versions of the usual support buffs (like Fortify's +tohit, +damage, +def).

One of the big things that sets this AT apart from defenders/MMs/Controllers is that much of their kit does nothing outside of combat - you want to buff your allies, find an enemy to buff them with.  For example, said Paladin above couldn't heal / remove status effects without attacking - you'll still want the usual support classes for out of combat top offs, or for preemptive buffs.

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Seeing as how I want to see a Temporal Aura Defense set for melee (as I posted in the Epic Recycle Thread), I wouldn't mind a StJ/Temporal Manipulation to make up for it if needed.

 

I feel they'd need mez protection, but I'd like to see them actually do damage.  I'm afraid these class would be weak damage wise.

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Currently you have to take pool powers or ancillary/patron powers to get any melee on classes with support.  The pool powers are kinda gimped and ancillary pools arent available till 35 with many players waiting till 41 to make a selection from one.  So having some decent melee while exemplared goes down to lvl 30 at the lowest and something in the 40+ range to have a small selection of melee.  Id enjoy having melee from the start.

 

Im in agreement with them being squishy while leveling but once you throw set bonuses and incarnate abilities that goes away.  And it isnt anything new as most characters without armor need to be careful while soloing .  Like others have said,  it doesnt need to be a direct port either and some of the powers that would be weird on support/melee (yes support/melee,  melee has plenty representation as a primary and support only has one) could be adjusted for some light survival.  An inherent could be anything as well although id prefer something that sets the class apart a little more then a survival boost.

 

I would play one right now.  Id play a sentinel if they had assault instead of or in addition to blast for their primary.

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2 hours ago, Bill Z Bubba said:

 

Often.

 

Ten points for Griffin's door. 

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@Aurora Girl - Excelsior - BSOD
 Aurora Girl  (Blaster)- Energy/Atomic, Queen of Faceplants and former Mayor of Pinnacle Server  Straye  (Brute)- Savage/SR, Survivor of +4 ITF Nictus Crystals and Bobcat's Bane  Aurora Snow  (Corruptor) - Ice/Cold, AV Humiliator  Terraflux  (Controller) - Earth/Rad, Bass Exploder  Spynerette  (Arachnos Soldier) - Night Widow, Super Spy of Sneakiness and Stabbing  Snowberrie  (Tank) - Ice/Spines, Disco Ball and Lady of Winter

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I've been thinking assault/support might be more appropriate for a mix of ranged and melee attacks.

 

Assault as a primary has also not been done before. Some of the very late blooming dom assault sets like /fiery would feel great with earlier power spikes. Assault instead of a pure melee set would work better for support sets that have no reason to be close range like kinetics, time, or poison do. Assault sets often have a built in power boost to bring synergy to the secondary. Assault sets have a good mix of aoe and single target, melee and range making it solid as a stand alone attacking set.

Currently on fire.

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14 hours ago, Akisan said:

Melee/Support would make for an interesting new AT, but I'm not sure very many of the existing support powersets would even work with that setup.

Granting the class Moderate Melee damage and weak to moderate defenses, and mixing the support onto procs/toggles in Scrapper/Stalker primaries and secondaries does open a few options though:

  • Sapper: Applies weaker debuffs, some DoTs on melee hits.  Loki was mentioned above, I could totally see this style slowly building up a bunch of Toxic DoTs along with a lot of -regen and some slow.  Thematic toggles could further weaken regen, or also take a bite out of recovery.
  • Saboteur:  Apply strong debuffs / moderate controls on melee hits.  Sort of like a swordsman who focuses on crippling his opponents before delivering the final blow (Instead of a Scrapper, where the swordsman would focus on overwhelming his opponent's defenses to go straight for the kill).  Lots of -damage/def/acc and Immob/sleep on hit, with specific powers granting stun/hold/conf.  Toggles would be more defensive, granting -perc or -acc. to enemies.
  • Paladin (also mentioned above): Hits apply modest buffs / healing to nearby allies, toggles provide weak status protection (like Tactic's 3 mag Conf. protection).  Buffs could be weaker, short duration, AoE versions of the usual support buffs (like Fortify's +tohit, +damage, +def).

One of the big things that sets this AT apart from defenders/MMs/Controllers is that much of their kit does nothing outside of combat - you want to buff your allies, find an enemy to buff them with.  For example, said Paladin above couldn't heal / remove status effects without attacking - you'll still want the usual support classes for out of combat top offs, or for preemptive buffs.

So basically /Kinetics as an entire AT?

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6 hours ago, DMW45 said:

So basically /Kinetics as an entire AT?

 

No way.  It is true that /Kin is effectively useless outside of combat, but the other debuff sets don't fare well either.  That said, /Kin is one of the few support sets that could probably be ported wholesale (Tsoo Ink men, anyone?).  Other debuff sets might fare rather well with straight ports too, but a lot of the buff sets (especially Empathy) make for an almost useless pairing for a solo toon at range, forget in melee. 

 

You could probably get around this by making some buffs toggles (like Clear Mind) and others self-affecting clickies (Fortitude instead of Practiced Brawler), but many would have to be weakened to keep them from being straight better than some defense toggles (FF's bubbles come to mind).

 

The idea I posted earlier is based around procs - like a mace tank's Clobber also applying /kin's Siphon Power, or a claws scrapper's flurry applying a weaked Empathy Fort to all nearby allies.  Certain key armor toggles (like shield's Grant Cover) could also apply additional effects - like a 3 or 4 mag status protection to all nearby allies.

Edited by Akisan
Combined 2 posts; edited for clarity
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4 hours ago, Akisan said:

 

No way.  It is true that /Kin is effectively useless outside of combat, but the other debuff sets don't fare well either.  That said, /Kin is one of the few support sets that could probably be ported wholesale (Tsoo Ink men, anyone?).  Other debuff sets might fare rather well with straight ports too, but a lot of the buff sets (especially Empathy) make for an almost useless pairing for a solo toon at range, forget in melee. 

 

You could probably get around this by making some buffs toggles (like Clear Mind) and others self-affecting clickies (Fortitude instead of Practiced Brawler), but many would have to be weakened to keep them from being straight better than some defense toggles (FF's bubbles come to mind).

 

The idea I posted earlier is based around procs - like a mace tank's Clobber also applying /kin's Siphon Power, or a claws scrapper's flurry applying a weaked Empathy Fort to all nearby allies.  Certain key armor toggles (like shield's Grant Cover) could also apply additional effects - like a 3 or 4 mag status protection to all nearby allies.

 

Yeah, that's what I meant--support that effectively requires an enemy to be used.  I didn't mean it in a negative connotation, but rather that kind of playstyle.  It's interesting.  Though I imagine the melee sets would all have Follow Up over Build Up.

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Rebirth has this, it's called a Guardian AT. In their case, they basically use an Assault (from Dom) primary and a rejiggered support secondary that has some Support powers swapped out for Defenses to keep them from eating floor. Energy Aura and Kinetics are hybridized, for instance.

 

The passive is that enemy defeats give the Guardian and nearby allies 5% temporary HP and resistance to loss of control effects, stacking three times.

 

I've yet to do much testing on it to see how well it works. On the outset it seems like a bit too spread (melee+ranged primary and defense+support secondary) but some of the ideas seems solid.

Edited by ShogunGunshow
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