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An Issue of Defense (Force Field suggestion)


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There are so many ways that I could have titled this post, as well as different ways in which I could have started it.  Though lack of other options to "wow" my future audience, I have simply started here.  I will preface this to point out, before anyone else does, that I rarely post on the forums.  That is a personal preference.  I talk through in-game chat with friends, and I have a number of people I know IRL that I talk with about the game.

 

All this being said, I do not claim to be an expert.  This post will not go into numbers, as I feel that, in this case, the raw numbers are lying to us or, more specifically, we are misunderstanding what the numbers have to say.  To whit:

 

Resistance and Defense are NOT equivalent.

I could say that they are not equal, and many, if not most of you would agree.  Some, possibly many, of you would say they are equivalent though.  Unfortunately, through more than twenty of my own characters on live, with my experiences with more than fifty characters here, and extensive rehashing of "what went wrong" in multiple different situations they have never felt equivalent.  In fact, I state that they have never been equivalent, but individuals like the late, not so great, Statesman himself, told us they were, and we accepted it, while tossing out much of what he stated as fact, calling it flawed and narrowminded.

 

The issue is that Resistance is a Degree, and Defense is Boolean.  Better put: Resistance is Analog and Defense is Digital.  What this means from a simple standpoint is that when Defense fails; and with Streak Breaking, a 5% minimum to-hit value, defense debuff powers, and other similar in-game items, defense will fail; you are hit for 100% of the damage.  When Resistance fails, you loose a portion of your resistance, not all of it.  Sure, this portion of failure goes up over time...but it is still a proportional failure.

 

I could try and go into the math of probability here, which would suggest that, mathematically, they are equivalent.  If you have a person with 50% resistance who gets hit 50% of the time, or a person with 95% defense who, by streak breaking, will get hit at least 1 in 20 attacks, then they both have a 100% probability of taking 100% damage.

 

And then, there is the fact that 1 shot code will prevent the defense person from dying from a single shot, and it begins to seem as though defense is better than resistance, which is a perception that the dev staff espoused to us.  From a numbers perspective, ignoring regeneration, healing, and everything else, they are right.

 

Why, then, is it easier to keep a Resistance based Sentinel on his feet than a Defense based Sentinel, especially at end game?  Because the game has regeneration, healing, and other things that aid in making a Resistance set more resilient than a defense set.  I know people who refuse to play Force Field.  Sonic Resonance, they say, provides more safety than Force Field.

 

I lean in this direction myself, having played both FF and SR defenders.  That being said, Frost Domination is better than either of them, being a mixture of defense and resistance.  Both of these together are always better than either of them alone, even if Resistance by itself is better, from experience, than Defense by itself.

 

Does that mean that resistance heavy sets, like Sonic Resonance, don't need a pass to make them better?  Of course not.  That being said, Force Field was one of the original sets released with the game.  It has also never really been adjusted since then.

 

That's all well and good, but what do we do about it?

Now, here we get into an opinion that I've had for a fair amount of time.  I like the idea that it represents, especially with additions to the game that have been made over the years.  This is: Add Absorb to defense sets.  I get the reason that they never added a heal to sets like Force Field in the past.  They were trying to make it a Support set that didn't have a heal.  I get that.  Absorb isn't Heal though.  

Force Field has a duplicate power in everything but name.  Force Bubble and Repulsion Field do basically the same thing.  Yes, one of those is Repel (Force Bubble) and the other is Knock (Resuplsion Field), but they are both high cost fields around the hero that push their enemies away.  They are so expensive, that you would rarely, if ever, run both of them at the same time.  They are absolutely redundant.

 

First, I would like it if we removed the power Repulsion Field and rename Force Bubble to Repulsion Field.   This would leave an empty spot in the power list.  I would suggest an Absorb barrier power with an absorb in line with the heal from Cauterize from Thermal Radiation.   To keep it in line with being a Force Field set, though, I would add an Absorb barrier to every shield power.  This would not be a big Absorb barrier, somewhere between 1% and 5% at max, but have them stack.  Having the Barrier refresh tick once every 5 seconds for the full amount, and have the old buff fade at the same rate, would keep the new Absorb single target useful.

 

Thematically, this would fit as well, because even when the shield 'fails' it is reducing the damage that finally penetrates into you.

 

If we want to get really crazy, I would suggest replacing the Resist all from Personal Force Field with a 40% Absorb barrier.

 

Won't this cause problems with balance for Sonic Resonance?

Glad you asked.  Since Regeneration and Resistance go well together, all of the Sonic shields should get a bonus to regeneration.  This will keep the thematic elements of having 2 Support sets that don't have a heal, per se, but would increase their ability to provide survivability to the group.

 

TL;DR

I think that it is beyond time that Force Field be brought in line with newer Support sets, and made something we will see invading CoH in the future, not something people avoid.  Add Absorb to the shields.  Thank you.

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Personally I think the first thing they should do is give Force Field the Super Reflexes perk of great DDR. That would mean Force Field gets to be distinguished even in a world of general high defense.

Edited by arcane
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I feel like your analysis is ignoring a number of facts:

 

1) Defense is stronger than resistance against debuffs unless the resistance has an equivalent amount of specific debuff resistance. Defense is also better against enemy attacks like Dark Regeneration, Siphon Life, and Follow-up.

 

2) 45% defense is roughly equivalent 90% resistance by the math. Every archetype can hit 45% defense, only tanks and brutes can hit 90% resistance.

 

3) Defense characters benefit from regeneration too.

 

I'm not saying that your suggestion for Force Field is bad, I'm just saying that your section on Resistance vs. Defense is poorly argued and ultimately unnecessary to your point about improvements to Force Field.

 

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3 hours ago, Major_Decoy said:

I feel like your analysis is ignoring a number of facts:

 

1) Defense is stronger than resistance against debuffs unless the resistance has an equivalent amount of specific debuff resistance. Defense is also better against enemy attacks like Dark Regeneration, Siphon Life, and Follow-up.

 

2) 45% defense is roughly equivalent 90% resistance by the math. Every archetype can hit 45% defense, only tanks and brutes can hit 90% resistance.

 

3) Defense characters benefit from regeneration too.

 

I'm not saying that your suggestion for Force Field is bad, I'm just saying that your section on Resistance vs. Defense is poorly argued and ultimately unnecessary to your point about improvements to Force Field.

 

For point 1, sure, maybe.  I don't have anything to say here.

For point 2 I think we're reading the math wrong, because "real world" testing seems to show resistance ahead of defense.

for point 3...regeneration is more effective for more smaller hits that fewer bigger hits.  There is a reason I stopped using the Regeneration sets for blaster secondaries.

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21 minutes ago, Faeriemage said:

For point 2 I think we're reading the math wrong, because "real world" testing seems to show resistance ahead of defense.

What do you consider to be the evidence for this?

 

The only thing that's obvious to me is that the best mitigation is both, but beyond that I'm not sure. 

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35 minutes ago, Faeriemage said:

For point 2 I think we're reading the math wrong, because "real world" testing seems to show resistance ahead of defense.

for point 3...regeneration is more effective for more smaller hits that fewer bigger hits.  There is a reason I stopped using the Regeneration sets for blaster secondaries.

You've made an assertion, but I've seen no data. But from abstraction, it is accepted that 45% defense is equivalent to 90% resistance.

 

Regeneration is more effective for lower incoming DPS. High defense means you get spikes of damage, but ten seconds of regeneration is ten seconds of regeneration. If the defense character is taking the same amount of damage as the resistance character, then they're getting the same benefit from regeneration.

 

The advantage of resistance is that it's more regular, more predictable.

 

As to force field, the power I consider to be redundant is Insulation Field. Combine all the effects of Deflection Shield and Insulation Field into one power to free up a power slot.

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Hmm... little bit of a slippery slope here. OP not trying to talk numbers. Most of the OP feedback is based on qualitative... well let's be honest its anecdotal evidence at best. I would prefer in game numbers be the basis for an argument to buff a set if I'm being honest. 

 

I did appreciate the TL:DR at the end, props for that. 

 

Edit: OP not other posters, oops!

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I've been beating the drum for FF to have Absorb for months. Thematically appropriate and boosts the set's viability. Same for Cold. Moar absorb please!

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6 minutes ago, Aurora_Girl said:

I've been beating the drum for FF to have Absorb for months. Thematically appropriate and boosts the set's viability. Same for Cold. Moar absorb please!

I'd agree for Cold Domination if it was added to Frostworks only. I feel the shields offer plenty for their five minute duration.

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My feeling is/has been that there's way too much Defense obtainable through IO set bonuses, but I recognize that, at this point, the HC community is never going to accept a nerf to that. Defense sets might see revitalized use in the new difficulties with higher enemy to-hit, but I guess it wouldn't hurt to give FF a little bump.

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On 11/23/2021 at 12:34 PM, Faeriemage said:

The issue is that Resistance is a Degree, and Defense is Boolean.  Better put: Resistance is Analog and Defense is Digital.  What this means from a simple standpoint is that when Defense fails; and with Streak Breaking, a 5% minimum to-hit value, defense debuff powers, and other similar in-game items, defense will fail; you are hit for 100% of the damage.  When Resistance fails, you loose a portion of your resistance, not all of it.  Sure, this portion of failure goes up over time...but it is still a proportional failure.

 

This is somewhat wrong as far as I understand it.

If you don't have Resistance against a certain damage type it doesn't help at all. If you have resistance against something, you always get the resistance. It mitigates the damage. Your resistance can be reduced by -res debuffs.

 

Resistance is mitigation. Stops spike damage most of the time (snipes and nukes aside)

Defense is avoiding being hit. Susceptible to spike damage when fails.

 

You will note that most tank armors are resistance versus defense. Tanks are intended to take damage/attacks from multiple foes. 

Those with defense are generally meant to fight single targets and/or fight from a range.

 

On 11/23/2021 at 12:34 PM, Faeriemage said:

And then, there is the fact that 1 shot code will prevent the defense person from dying from a single shot, and it begins to seem as though defense is better than resistance, which is a perception that the dev staff espoused to us.  From a numbers perspective, ignoring regeneration, healing, and everything else, they are right.

 

The more targets you fight, the more likely they will hit you.

Not being able to be 1 shotted doesn't stop the next attack from going through nor does guarantee  you time to heal yourself before the next attack hits you.

 

On 11/23/2021 at 12:34 PM, Faeriemage said:

Why, then, is it easier to keep a Resistance based Sentinel on his feet than a Defense based Sentinel, especially at end game?

 

They don't play the same.

If you play a defense-based character like a resistance-based character, it is going to fall.

You can play a defender the same way you play a stalker and expect the defender to do the kind of damage that a stalker does with an assassin strike, you are going to be disappointed.

Apples and Oranges?

Yes. Resistance and defense are "apples and oranges". You can't make an apple pie with oranges.

 

On 11/23/2021 at 12:34 PM, Faeriemage said:

I know people who refuse to play Force Field.  Sonic Resonance, they say, provides more safety than Force Field.

 

Certain power sets, power picks, and enhancement slotting are prefered by a player-based on what works for their playstyle and what is enjoyable (usually based on their playstyle).

What is "better" for one isn't necessarily "better" for others.

I don't have any sonic bubblers. My bubblers are all forcefield. 

Are the thermal "bubbles" better than the sonic?

What about the ice "bubbles"?

Just because they don't look like bubbles doesn't mean that they aren't defense or resistance applied by one character to another.

 

On 11/23/2021 at 12:34 PM, Faeriemage said:

That being said, Force Field was one of the original sets released with the game.  It has also never really been adjusted since then.

 

It seems to work fine for me.

Bubblers are great for keeping a team from falling while leveling.

 

Are you an "end-game"-only player?

 

On 11/23/2021 at 12:34 PM, Faeriemage said:

They are so expensive, that you would rarely, if ever, run both of them at the same time.  They are absolutely redundant.

 

There are alot of sets with redundant powers.

Note you are talking about using two powers that both have a chance to make it so that multiple enemies can't attack when they are affected by the power until they can get back on their feet. This can be very powerful in gaining time so that the rest of the team can take out enemies.

 

It's a matter of playstyle and what you enjoy playing ... and even more critical to me - character conception.

 

On 11/23/2021 at 12:34 PM, Faeriemage said:

Thematically, this would fit as well, because even when the shield 'fails' it is reducing the damage that finally penetrates into you.

 

If we want to get really crazy, I would suggest replacing the Resist all from Personal Force Field with a 40% Absorb barrier.

 

Sounds like a different power set to me.

A "bubbler" powerset based on Absorb barrier would be interesting as an additional powerset, but not as a replacement.

Force Field is "classic" City of Heroes powerset. I would not like to see it significantly changed to the extent that you are suggesting because of that.

 

On 11/23/2021 at 12:34 PM, Faeriemage said:

Won't this cause problems with balance for Sonic Resonance?

Glad you asked.  Since Regeneration and Resistance go well together, all of the Sonic shields should get a bonus to regeneration.  This will keep the thematic elements of having 2 Support sets that don't have a heal, per se, but would increase their ability to provide survivability to the group.

 

I guess you haven't played on teams with multiple type bubble/shield stacking with characters with group heals.

Well performed teaming can greatly act as a force multiplier.

A "team" of players playing solo don't take advantage of this and often think that powers are weak.

I don't play with you or your teams, so I don't know what you are doing, what your teammates are doing, what power sets you are running with or what archetype mix are in the group.

I know that when I'm playing, I am always looking for ways to use my powers to augment the other players even if they are not trying to work as a team. This is to say, even if they aren't bothering teaming with me, I'm trying to team with them.

 

I spend spend probably half or less of my game time running duo's. The other player has focus issues. To try to keep them focused I let them pick who they want to play and then I pick a character that has powers that will augment their powers, grant me some level of survivability, and, hopefully, with a character conception that would make some sense for them to be teaming together.

 

And that's more or less my point.

Playstyle and working as a team can surpass what is seen as a flaw by those that aren't willing to change their playstyle and/or work as a team.

 

On 11/23/2021 at 12:34 PM, Faeriemage said:

TL;DR

I think that it is beyond time that Force Field be brought in line with newer Support sets, and made something we will see invading CoH in the future, not something people avoid.  Add Absorb to the shields.  Thank you.

 

I don't any of the bubble/shield sets need to be changed. Players just need to learn how to adapt to their differences.

 

Players play styles, teaming experience, and personal preference influence their power picks, how they interact in the game, and how the team's powers interact during combat.

There is no reason to tweak powers because players with a certain playstyle play a powerset less than others. We don't need to have an "invasion" of something to prove that something is good.

Anything that is going to cause an "invasion" to a power set means that it is OP/flavour-of-the-month. I don't think that there is any reason to do that.

 

How about make a new shield/bubble powerset based on Earth? You get rock encasing that is ablative/absorb versus the other bubble/shield powers?

Could you work with that?

 

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I've long thought of adding Absorb to the shields as a potentially good thing, but I think I'd change the absorb in my mind to DDR as that would be more useful I'd argue.

 

If I could change powers in the set, I'd make PFF a click based buff like Mind link but only affect self, and allow the user to affect others. Naturally I'd scale the buff values down, and add some DDR as well.

 

Dispersion Bubble would get some self stacking absorb added to it, so the caster and allies can get absorb in that bubble.

 

I'd up the damage on Force Bolt and Repulsion Bomb to make them reasonable additions to an attack chain.

 

Force Bubble I would have apply a -Defense/-Regen over time effect to anything in the Bubble in addition to it's current repel, as the force Bubble is overwhelming the target as it pushes them out of the vibe. This would be an incentive to trap mobs in a corner or foldspace mobs inside, and give the power greater usage.

 

Detention Field, I would include a DoT effect and some text flavor to make it so the target is suffocating while inside the detention field.

 

Overall trying to keep the set similar to how it is with just some tweaks.

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45 minutes ago, Vanden said:

I don’t think Absorb fits thematically for Force Field. They’re supposed to be a barrier that prevents attacks from landing on you at all, but Absorb still lets those attacks land, and you also take all the debuffs attached to those attacks.

I disagree but I understand your perspective. I see absorb as a layer added to protect me from taking damage to my actual health.

 

An example in real life. I do mixed martial arts and when I take a punch it can hurt. Now if I'm wearing my pads, they have gloves on it hurts less as those layers are absorbing some of the incoming damage making that punch hurt less. I still feel it, and can get knocked down or off balance, or even stunned, but it absorbs some of the damage.

 

A force field could be seen as absorbing some of the force of the blow from a thematic point.

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7 minutes ago, SeraphimKensai said:

An example in real life. I do mixed martial arts and when I take a punch it can hurt. Now of I'm wearing my pads, they have gloves on it hurts less as those layers are absorbing some of the incoming damage making that punch hurt less.

 

Thats not analogous to what Force Fields are supposed to be, though. Force Fields are supposed to be a physical barrier between you and the enemy attacks, not just padding or armor. If the Fantastic Four are fighting, like, spider monsters and the monsters try to inject them with a poison or web them up and Sue Storm (who is a major influence on the set) blocks it with a force field, there’s gonna be no effect on the team, because those attacks did not land at all, they were blocked entirely.

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3 hours ago, Vanden said:

[SNIP] ...and Sue Storm blocks it with a force field, there’s gonna be no effect on the team, because those attacks did not land at all, they were blocked entirely.

True. And the entire attack being stopped is reflected in the high defense. But there's nothing wrong with adding in some Absorb, so that if the attack does get through the force field has at least slowed the attack somewhat.

 

Also, I agree that Force Field should also come with a high DDR. Force Field will be absolutely worthless at max level, especially during the new challenge mode, if every fight is just going to debuff the force fields to zero. Without DDR the challenge mode teams will just say "No FF lol. We need da hEalz0rs!"

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

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43 minutes ago, PeregrineFalcon said:

I agree that Force Field should also come with a high DDR. Force Field will be absolutely worthless at max level, especially during the new challenge mode, if every fight is just going to debuff the force fields to zero. Without DDR the challenge mode teams will just say "No FF lol. We need da hEalz0rs!"

The new challenge mode is exactly why I factored in DDR as it would make FF toons actually sought after given the massive debuffs of Relentless.

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The Force Field post has been posted countless of times in the Suggestion Forums. 
Force Field needs revamping.. 

Since IO's came out along with changes and new power sets, it became apparent that it does not take 8 players to do a Task force or 16 to an Itrial.  

Pre IO Force Field was great, no one complained about a bubbler on the team. 

Forget the numbers.. It just needs changes and revamp. 

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On 11/26/2021 at 9:28 AM, plainguy said:

The Force Field post has been posted countless of times in the Suggestion Forums. 
Force Field needs revamping.. 

Since IO's came out along with changes and new power sets, it became apparent that it does not take 8 players to do a Task force or 16 to an Itrial.  

Pre IO Force Field was great, no one complained about a bubbler on the team. 

Forget the numbers.. It just needs changes and revamp. 

This right here is one of the reasons I made this post.  Anyone who takes a moment to stop and think about it realizes that one trick pony sets, like Force Field, and Sonic to a lesser degree, need to be diversified a little.  My intent was to suggest a change that was somewhat thematically within the purview of the set.

 

While the idea to add DDR into Force Fields has merit, I think that isn't enough of a change.  Sure, add that in as well, make a FF just rock at the one thing he does.  That being said...unless the bubbles will add up to more than 45% defense, which they don't, then a solo FF on a team needs to bring something more than just defense.  Most other support sets bring a mixture of healing, debuffs, and buffs.  Empathy heals like a mamajama and still brings buffs to the table.  Force Fields and Sonic Resonance bring nothing else.  They just protect either Defense or Resistance.  One limited avenue of buffing is all they get.

 

I would still like to see FF improved a long time before I would like to see something done for Sonic Resonance.

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Sonic has it's resistance based shields, aoe mez protection, but where it really shines is all the -res debuffing it does. Sonic's biggest issue is that liquify takes half a year to recharge. Sonic isn't one trick pony as it's a hybrid buff/debuff set.

 

The same can't really be said of Force Field as the kb/repel is oftentimes more likely resisted, and because of the low damage scaling of the powers often ignored (and more often rightly so).

 

I do disagree to your assertion that the shields should just give more than 45% defense on their own. I think their existing buff values are significant in that regard as it puts a need for the player to build to their own defense as well to a lesser degree than if there was no FF on the team, or alternatively have another support toon such as a healer to cover the damage that does get through the holes. If Defection Shield and Insulation Shield each gave say 30% DDR a piece that would really distinguish the powerset and honestly almost make them an FOTM for the newer difficulties.

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58 minutes ago, SeraphimKensai said:

I do disagree to your assertion that the shields should just give more than 45% defense on their own. I think their existing buff values are significant in that regard as it puts a need for the player to build to their own defense as well to a lesser degree than if there was no FF on the team, or alternatively have another support toon such as a healer to cover the damage that does get through the holes. If Defection Shield and Insulation Shield each gave say 30% DDR a piece that would really distinguish the powerset and honestly almost make them an FOTM for the newer difficulties.

It would seem I stated it unclearly.  I meant to say that unless the Devs were willing to make FF have 45% on it's own...and then the rest of the line.  I don't disagree that the amount of defense as it currently stands is adequate.

And while I don't disagree that DDR could certainly help with the set, I don't think they should stop with just DDR.

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On 11/24/2021 at 3:34 PM, SeraphimKensai said:

I've long thought of adding Absorb to the shields as a potentially good thing, but I think I'd change the absorb in my mind to DDR as that would be more useful I'd argue.

 

If I could change powers in the set, I'd make PFF a click based buff like Mind link but only affect self, and allow the user to affect others. Naturally I'd scale the buff values down, and add some DDR as well.

 

Dispersion Bubble would get some self stacking absorb added to it, so the caster and allies can get absorb in that bubble.

 

I'd up the damage on Force Bolt and Repulsion Bomb to make them reasonable additions to an attack chain.

 

Force Bubble I would have apply a -Defense/-Regen over time effect to anything in the Bubble in addition to it's current repel, as the force Bubble is overwhelming the target as it pushes them out of the vibe. This would be an incentive to trap mobs in a corner or foldspace mobs inside, and give the power greater usage.

 

Detention Field, I would include a DoT effect and some text flavor to make it so the target is suffocating while inside the detention field.

 

Overall trying to keep the set similar to how it is with just some tweaks.

 

25 minutes ago, Faeriemage said:

And while I don't disagree that DDR could certainly help with the set, I don't think they should stop with just DDR.

Not sure if you saw above, but neither do I.

I could of very well misunderstood your meaning, I just drove 5 hours today back home so I'm a bit zonked.

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