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Inconsistent area of effect flags


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Hi all!


Recently I got the feeling that on certain characters, Nemesis have become harder to hit than they used to while buffed with Vengeance. The meta was (and is) to kill them with AoE attacks while venged, which I remember working fine on pretty much any character. So when some characters that I hadn't used in a long time suddenly had problems with that, I started looking for a reason.


And I found that a lot of AoE attacks are not flagged as such with regard to defense. The worst offender here (that I have found on my own toons) is the Claws set on Brute. It has three AoE attacks (Spin, Eviscerate, and Shockwave), all of which are flagged as "melee" and "lethal" damage types, but not AoE. Only attacks that also have the AoE flag are able to ignore Vengeance on Nemesis. Fighting Nems with Claws is just frustrating, you have three supposed AoEs that you'd think would work, but none of them are of any use, so you basically just sit there and wait for Venge to be over before you start dealing any significant amount of damage again.


Now the thing is, I get why some of the attacks (such as Spin and especially Eviscerate) might be considered purely melee, since defenders would likely deflect them the same way they would a melee attack. With longer-ranged cones such as Shockwave, this seems less logical. And once we consider that the literal same attack (namely, Fire Sword Circle) has the AoE flag on some ATs but not others (Sentinel epic pool has the flag, Scrapper Fire Attack does not), it becomes weird.


I was wondering if I just misremember this whole thing* and that those characters always had trouble fighting Nems, or if this is a recent and deliberate change. I would also request to make sure that each set that has AoE attacks also has at least one that has the corresponding flag. I'm all for making content harder to beat (love the Aeon SF and the changes to Crey!), but in my opinion this is a matter of making things more annoying rather than harder.


Cheers and thanks for your consideration,


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I *think* it has something to do with damage modifiers... If I understand correctly,  things tagged as AOE use the AT ranged modifier, regardless of whether the attack is melee or ranged.  What this means is flagging melee AOE attacks as AOE instead of melee would make them weaker on melee toons.

What this team needs is more Defenders

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I sort of want to say your Claws character should be rocking enough stacks of Follow-Up to hit anyway.

But I also tend to dip into Leadership, and often run Tactics. 


Honestly enemies using Vengeance is usually more of a problem for me with them getting a big to-hit bonus.

Even my /SR character may need to pop some purples when I cause piles of Nemesis to pop Veng all at once.

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Going through the brute versions as a starting point, I'm seeing:


Whirling Axe, Pendulum

Slice, Whirling Sword, Head Splitter

Spin, Eviscerate, Shockwave

Typhoon's Edge, Sweeping Strike, One Thousand Cuts

Jacob's Ladder, Thunder Strike

Fire Sword Circle

Flashing Steel, The Lotus Drops, Golden Dragonfly


Dragon's Tail

Psi Blade Sweep

Proton Sweep, Atom Smasher


Guarded Spin, Eye of the Storm, Innocuous Strikes

Sweeping Cross, Spinning Strike

Defensive Sweep, Titan Sweep, Whirling Smash, Arc of Destruction

Whirling Mace, Crowd Control


All of the above flagged as Cone or AoE Effect Area, but not AoE Attack Type.


And the powers which are flagged as AoE Attack Type:


Shadow Maul, Touch of Fear, Dark Consumption, Soul Drain

Lightning Rod

Whirling Hands, Power Crash

Frost, Frozen Aura

Repulsing Torrent

Mass Levitate

Irradiated Ground

Spine Burst, Quills, Throw Spines

Fault, Tremor

Foot Stomp


There's no discernible pattern.  Some cones are flagged AoE, but others aren't.  Some PBAoEs are, others aren't.  It's not only cones, or only PBAoEs, or only ranged cones/AoEs, or only cones/PBAoEs above a minimum recharge time, or only cones/PBAoEs with less than a set radius/arc.  In fact, only about a third of the cones and PBAoEs are flagged as AoE Attack Type, despite all of them being listed as Cone or AoE in Effect Area (except Irradiated Ground, which is given SingleTarget Effect Area, but spawns a pseudo-pet which uses AoE Attack Type).


The revamped sets, like Stone, Dark and Energy, are properly flagged.  Some of the powers in older sets, such as Spines and Ice, are properly flagged.  But even within sets, there are discrepancies.  Spines' Ripper isn't flagged AoE, but the other three cones/AoEs are, for instance.


And, again, this is just combing through one archetype.  I'm not looking at scrappers, stalkers, tankers or sentinels, or pools, just this one sampling.


Yeah, this shit needs to be straightened out.  There's no consistency in this, and there should be.  Having only a third of the melee cones/PBAoEs flagged as AoE leads to players making uninformed decisions based on the expectation of cones/AoEs being treated as cones/AoEs.  Some hard and fast rules about what qualifies for the AoE flag need to be drawn up and corrections made ASAP.


I would've turned Castle's ears red if I'd seen this ten years ago.

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Get busy living... or get busy dying.  That's goddamn right.

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Oh, it seems I have stumbled upon a more serious issue here! Whoopsie ... but yeah, I would also appreciate a bit more consistency here, while also taking into account cases like fighting Nems. Flagging those attacks as AoE and adjusting their base damage and/or the ranged multiplier to get the same end result should do the trick, right?

@MTeague: I have Tactics, and I have Follow Up stacks, but if you play +2x8 or +4x8 and have double or triple spawns (like in troll caves or at intersections), they're gonna have at least 5 stacks of vengeance. Most of my toons can handle that just fine, but the Claws Brute is just sitting there doing nothing except heal up from time to time because literally none of his attacks can do anything against them. Two venge stacks drop hit chance to around 45%, at 5+ it's around 10%. (I display Last Hit Chance, not To Hit or anything.)

Edited by Unedjis
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3 hours ago, Psyonico said:

I *think* it has something to do with damage modifiers... If I understand correctly,  things tagged as AOE use the AT ranged modifier, regardless of whether the attack is melee or ranged.  What this means is flagging melee AOE attacks as AOE instead of melee would make them weaker on melee toons.

While ATs do have different "ranged" and "melee" damage modifiers, these don't interact with how an attack is typed for purposes of defense.  In fact, for example, most of the ranged attacks from melee ATs' APPs actually do damage as "melee" attacks for the purposes of  damage modifiers and not being underpowered that way, but they do still properly tend to flagged as ranged attacks for the purposes of defense, as far as I can recall.

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I've been looking at a sampling of melee cones and PBAoEs from the other archetypes, and from what I see, it's as haphazard as the brute sets.  Banes, widows, stalkers, scrappers, tankers, they're all in the same state.  Some powers shared by dominators and blasters are also missing AoE flags.

Having played almost from the beginning, I know which sets were original release and which were added later, and if it were just the original sets missing the flag, or just the added sets, it would be explicable, but neither is true.  Some of the original cones/PBAoEs are properly flagged as AoE type, others aren't.  Spines, for instance, has three powers with AoE flags, and one without.  And it appears that when sets were proliferated or borrowed to cobble together Assault sets and blaster secondaries, they inherited whatever flags were on the powers initially, which explains why some of those have AoE flags and others don't.


The work @Captain Powerhouse has done on various Manipulation sets and melee revamps, as well as the sentinel *PPs, does appear to have been appropriately flagged (but i didn't dive deeply into the Manipulation sets, so there may be outliers).  But that still leaves between two thirds and three fourths of the melee cones and PBAoEs in the game missing the AoE attack type flag.  And poking around in the archived content from Red Tomax's original City of Data, they're not showing up there either (and that data is a snapshot of the game at closure), so this wasn't a ghost change or a mistake, they've always been a mess.


I have no idea what the original powers developer intended, since there is no design methodology behind the variances.  One set will have a PBAoE with an AoE attack type flag, and another set will have a similar PBAoE with no AoE flag.  A cone in one set will be properly flagged, and a statistically identical cone in another set won't.  Maybe it was intentional, but if it was, there's no indication of what was intended, or why.  If the AoE flag was originally supposed to be reserved for ranged AoEs, but mistakenly applied to some cones/PBAoEs and no-one caught it, then it wouldn't have been applied to cones and PBAoEs which were added later, especially powers which aren't copies of other powers.  If it was supposed to be applied to all AoEs, including melee, it was mistakenly left off of a shocking number of them, and that still doesn't explain why some cones have it and others don't.  There's no rhyme or reason to it.

Get busy living... or get busy dying.  That's goddamn right.

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We're going high on the barrel of monkeys here...I can say Spinning Strike doesn't work on Nems. 

@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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One of the reasons I often take Quicksand on brutes and tanks. 

Uunderdog - Rad/Rad Scrapper | Uundertaker - Rad/Dark Corruptor | Uun - MA/Inv Scrapper | Uunison - Grav/Storm Controller | Uuncola - Ice/Temp Blaster | Uundergrowth - Plant/Martial Dominator | Uunstable - SR/Staff Tank

Uunreal - Fire/Time Corruptor | Uunrest - Dark/TA Blaster | Uunseen - Ill/Poison Controller | Uuncool - Cold/Beam Defender | Uunderground - Earth/Earth Dominator | Uunknown - Mind/Psi Dominator | Uunplugged - Stone/Elec Brute

Uunfair - Archery/TA Corruptor | Uunsung - DP/Ninja Blaster | Uunflammable - Fire/Nature Controller | Uunflappable - WM/WP Brute | Uundead - Dark/Dark Tank | Uunfit - Water/Martial Blaster  | Uunwrapped - Dark/Dark Dominator

Uunchill - Ice/Kinetics Corruptor | Uunpleasant - En/En Stalker | Uunbrella - Rad/Rad Sentinel | Uunsafari - Beasts/Traps MM | Uungnome - Nature/Seismic Defender | Uunsavory - Poson/Sonic Defender | Uunicycle - BS/Shield Scrapper

Uuntouchable - Ill/Time Controller | Uunferno - Fire/Fire Tank | Uunthinkable - Psi/SR Scrapper | Uuncivil - Thugs/Elec MM | Uunnatural - Ice/Savage Dominator | Uunshockable - Elec/Bio Sentinel | Uunfathomable - Elec/Dark Controller

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