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Wondering about Sentinels


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11 hours ago, Cancrusher said:

In my experience, my Sents don't primarily die because their mitigation up close is inferior to other combat AT's.  They die, because the Sentinels damage output is too low to thin the herd fast enough to prevent the incoming damage from chewing through their armor.

 

That's anecdotal, of course, but that's been my experience with playing Sentinels, so far.

 

And I don't think your experience should be discounted. I've experienced what you're describing myself. However, I haven't had the same experience on every Sentinel I have played. 

Some Sentinels are remarkably stronger than others (surprise surprise that a common CoX problem is in this AT too). Some power combinations may have much smoother leveling experiences and/or much easier build decisions later down the road. 

The Sentinel, overall, is very very backloaded. It can be incredibly easy to dismiss its value early on. Additionally, the effort it takes to shrink the gaps could be replicated on other ATs with much greater return on investment. I think a lot of this mindset is what drives discussion points from naysayers or those pondering the value of the AT. They aren't wrong, but they also aren't completely accurate in all situations either.

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Posted (edited)

@oldskool  I do enjoy the class, oddly enough.  I have an nrg/SR, BR/nrg, fire/inv, and dark/dark.  Thus far, I've only levelled the 1st two to 50, though.  The Sentinel was designed to be a sturdy, ranged combat AT, but the damage output generally makes it feel more like a fire support AT.  The other pure combat AT's in CoX are such highly efficient DPS, though, that fire support simply isn't needed (and often not very impactful) in team play.  I actually enjoy the class more in solo play, I think, where it provides an interesting and challenging play experience.

 

I would like to see a little bump to the AT's damage, though.  Either that, or a major improvement to the opportunity mechanic to make it much more effective.  Obviously, you don't want to bump the damage to the extent that it makes blasters irrelevant.  I think that concern is probably why the devs originally erred so strongly on the side of caution.  That's generally the right attitude, they just took it a bit too far (IMO). 

 

Regardless, for certain character concepts that I have, Sentinels (underperforming, or not) are sometimes the only things that will satisfy me in exploring that concept. 

Edited by Cancrusher
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50 minutes ago, Cancrusher said:

I would like to see a little bump to the AT's damage, though.  Either that, or a major improvement to the opportunity mechanic to make it much more effective.  Obviously, you don't want to bump the damage to the extent that it makes blasters irrelevant.  I think that concern is probably why the devs originally erred so strongly on the side of caution.  That's generally the right attitude, they just took it a bit too far (IMO). 

 

Funny enough, I can count on one hand the number of players that are vocal about the AT being just fine and still have multiple fingers left. Like, at the core, this isn't really a debate in regards to community consensus. 

What tends to get people riled up into a frenzy is the degree to which one's own bias and perception creates an opinion about performance. Those fun chats often get deeply hyperbolic and aggressively absurd to engage in arguing for argument's sake.

Anyway, one thing that is interesting about your point is the experience you've had. Energy Blast is just a weak set for damage and has been for a long time (not just limited to Sentinels). It isn't really top of the list anywhere, but it has some minor potential with proc abuse. Beam Rifle is a weird flip side to its counter parts elsewhere. The snipe changes benefited BR massively and made its single target DPS top notch. Its not really a fair comparison against the Sentinel anymore and hasn't been ever since that change rolled out. However, the Sentinel on the other hand has a better choice for a 10 target AoE in Refractor Beam that doesn't exist anywhere else. It isn't even like BR on Sentinel sucks. It just doesn't have the same degree of potential due to changes to Penetrating Ray. How much of a problem it may be to have a 20% DPS gap between the two is a source of inflated pages of argument. (Oh but it isn't really 20% its double!!1 OK, evidence shows in your set up its more 45%, my bad! See! Its's weak! Well, that isn't really double... It's awful though! My T1 MM henchman does more damage with Brawl!!! Rawwwarrragggh!!!)

I can totally get how Sentinel BR can feel anemic in the leveling process. It feels like hot garbage and if you switch to any other ranged AT suddenly you have an on-demand snipe capable of instant gratification feel good numbers. I can also completely understand how a Dark/Dark Sentinel can feel fragile early on. Dark Armor on Sentinels is considerably different in design and playstyle than its melee counterpart. Dark Blast early on isn't going to realize much of its potential. The pairing is going to force some serious trade off and consideration later on depending on content choice. Do you want more damage to take advantage of all of the cool procs that DB has or do you want to shore up the mitigation holes in DA? You cannot have both. 

Anyway. I see you and support you, fam. 🙂 

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  • 2 weeks later
Posted (edited)

If I think of the "Word" Sentinel, it makes me imagine someone who is searching for what is hidden. If this class had a bonus to detecting stealthy units, it would be neat... but there aren't enough stealthy NPCs to Justify an entire Archetype... and this might really tick off Stalkers in PvP.

 

Alternatively, when teamed up, the Sentinel could get bonuses for attacking enemies that landed a "Final" blow on a teammate, knocking them out. This wouldn't really translate to Solo Mode, so the Sentinel would need to have an Inherent that flexes based on if they are teamed up or not... Frankly, I would like a power that increases Tip drop rate (Or other drop rates.) If it was an inherent, I wouldn't mind that at all.

 

Some people feel the Sentinel is balanced. Some people feel it isn't because less survivable classes can eventually make themselves survivable and the sentinel doesn't have the kill power to compete. I hear people mentioning target caps being an issue for the Sentinel.

 

Another alternative is to not give a perception boost, but give a damage boost to attacking enemies that have left the hidden portion of their stealth powers. However... it's so situational....

 

The nice thing with a situational power on an otherwise "Balanced Jack of All Trades" that doesn't shine in most circumstances is that they have a chance to be super useful to a team... But Stalkers would certainly want some sort of highlighting system in PVP so visible Sentinels would really stand out to them. This way they could avoid them more consciously.

 

Another thing to play with is that the Sentinel is survivable, but it doesn't want to get mobbed. You could tinker with kill bonus mechanics, but each kill boosts your aggro. Then the Sentinel either needs to lose the aggro or flee.

Edited by FDR's Think Tank
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After a few tries, I find that the only useful sentinel is the one with +Range and +Damage into its secondary. (Like Bio)

 

with this secondary, you do a good amount of bonus damage/+hit AND you get almost the range of a blaster.

 

Now all you need is a primary that get's you enough ST AND AOE damage and you're set (Controls is a bonus.)

 

I can't understand any other way of playing a sentinel really, it's a worst Blaster/Corruptor if you don't optimize you power choices to the limit of the Archetype.

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On 5/17/2022 at 4:21 PM, urukai said:

After a few tries, I find that the only useful sentinel is the one with +Range and +Damage into its secondary. (Like Bio)

 

with this secondary, you do a good amount of bonus damage/+hit AND you get almost the range of a blaster.

 

Now all you need is a primary that get's you enough ST AND AOE damage and you're set (Controls is a bonus.)

 

I can't understand any other way of playing a sentinel really, it's a worst Blaster/Corruptor if you don't optimize you power choices to the limit of the Archetype.

 

My main Sent is a fire/bio so I fully grok what you state on that front.

 

For that last bit, all the combos work when you just want to sit back and hover-blast away with no fear of ever being mezzed or faceplanted. It's a very laid back AT.

I will never understand the "only buffs, no nerfs" crowd. Only being satisfied with an "I Win" button is no way to balance anything.

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Yes a few archetypes require a buff, unless you play an OP build almost every primairy/secondary will be better on other ATs

 

Sentinel is a worst blaster

Scrapper is a worst stalker

Dominator is horrible for leveling

Tank is a worst brute

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3 hours ago, urukai said:

Yes a few archetypes require a buff, unless you play an OP build almost every primairy/secondary will be better on other ATs

 

Sentinel is a worst blaster

Scrapper is a worst stalker

Dominator is horrible for leveling

Tank is a worst brute

 

Sentinel is a worst blaster:  Agreed

Scrapper is a worst stalker:  Don't agree.

Dominator is horrible for leveling:  Non-optimal, but not horrible.  Certainly less horrible than a controller.

Tank is a worst brute:  Used to be true, but no longer.  Some now complain a Brute is a worst tank.  Having several lvl 50 tanks and brutes (both are great AT's) I would say a brute is the happy medium between scrapper and tank and right where it should be.

 

 

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I consider Sentinels really nice low key chars that when they got introduced were made to definitely not be overpowered so that they didn't have to be pruned down to be reasonable.  I do think a buff is warranted and I'd prefer a different mechanism to Opportunity, but I they're very playable as is.  And really a nice beginner or casual AT to play.

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6 hours ago, Cancrusher said:

Tank is a worst brute:  Used to be true, but no longer.  Some now complain a Brute is a worst tank.  Having several lvl 50 tanks and brutes (both are great AT's) I would say a brute is the happy medium between scrapper and tank and right where it should be.

 

Worse tank than a Tanker but similar damage, worse damage than a Scrapper but similar defense values. Sounds like Brutes got Sentineled. I'd feel more content if Sentinels at least did Brute damage.

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16 hours ago, underfyre said:

Worse tank than a Tanker but similar damage, worse damage than a Scrapper but similar defense values. Sounds like Brutes got Sentineled. I'd feel more content if Sentinels at least did Brute damage.

Brutes do more ST damage than tanks (AoE is complicated by tanks increased max targets and radii). Brutes have better defense values than scrappers due to higher hit points and resist cap. Comparing brute and sentinel damage is tricky due to Fury and Opportunity, but sentinels do have higher base damage.

Uunderdog - Radiation/Radiation Scrapper | Uundertaker - Radiation/Dark Corruptor | Uun - Martial Arts/Invulnerability Scrapper | Uunison - Gravity/Storm Controller | Uuncola - Ice/Temporal Blaster |  Uundergrowth - Plant/Martial Dominator

Uunstable - Super Reflexes/Staff Fighting Tanker | Uunreal - Fire/Time Corruptor | Uunrest - Dark/Tactical Arrow Blaster | Uunseen - Illusion/Poison Controller | Uuncool - Cold/Beam Rifle Defender | Uunderground - Earth/Earth Dominator

Uunknown - Mind/Psionic Dominator | Uunplugged - Stone/Electric Brute | Uunfair - Archery/Trick Arrow Corruptor | Uunsung - Dual Pistols/Ninja Blaster | Uunflammable - Fire/Nature Controller | Uunflappable - War Mace/Willpower Brute

Uundead - Dark/Dark Tank | Uunfit - Water/Martial Blaster | Uunwrapped - Dark/Dark Dominator | Uunchill - Ice/Kinetics Corruptor | Uunpleasant - Energy/Energy Stalker | Uunbrella - Radiation/Radiation Sentinel | Uunsafari - Beasts/Traps MM | Uungnome - Nature/Seismic Defender

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  • 3 weeks later

Broots, in my experience, make the best use of Resistance based sets.  You want to get hit to generate Fury, but mitigate those hits as much as possible.  Not that I think Defense Brutes would be starved for Fury, but I get more mileage out of Res on Brute.  I like the balance between Tanks, Brutes, Scrappers and Stalkers in a sliding scale of damage vs. survivability.  There's also nuances to which ATs favor ST, AoE, sustain, avoiding damage, mitigating damage, etc.  

 

At least, I'm pretty sure avoiding attacks via Defense means not building Fury.

 

I think for Sentinel there's room for growth/buffs for more inter-powerset/stat nuance that the Melee ATs have that isn't strictly limited to a sliding scale of damage vs. survivability.  Or just bump the damage a bit.  Back before my hiatus I got into some pretty heated debates about Sentinel and how much damage in should do compared to Blaster (my unpopular opinion is that Sentinels should match Blasters range damage modifier while Blasters would still do more damage via their stronger melee attacks and PBAoEs and higher target caps and what not, but I stopped arguing that as it was *truly* an unpopular opinion lol) but these days I just embrace The Broot* and play Sentinels as concept characters.

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3 hours ago, dangeraaron10 said:

Back before my hiatus I got into some pretty heated debates about Sentinel and how much damage in should do compared to Blaster (my unpopular opinion is that Sentinels should match Blasters range damage modifier while Blasters would still do more damage via their stronger melee attacks and PBAoEs and higher target caps and what not, but I stopped arguing that as it was *truly* an unpopular opinion lol) but these days I just embrace The Broot* and play Sentinels as concept characters.

 

Honestly, matching the Blaster damage modifier would just be a gesture. Blaster inherent, plus larger caps, plus their stronger secondary modifier are a pretty potent combination that just boosting the range modifier for a Sentinel wouldn't overcome. Anyone shouting you down either doesn't play their Blaster right or just has no concept of how the game works.

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4 hours ago, dangeraaron10 said:

Broots, in my experience, make the best use of Resistance based sets.  You want to get hit to generate Fury, but mitigate those hits as much as possible.  Not that I think Defense Brutes would be starved for Fury, but I get more mileage out of Res on Brute.  I like the balance between Tanks, Brutes, Scrappers and Stalkers in a sliding scale of damage vs. survivability.  There's also nuances to which ATs favor ST, AoE, sustain, avoiding damage, mitigating damage, etc.  

 

At least, I'm pretty sure avoiding attacks via Defense means not building Fury.

 

Getting attacked and attacking, regardless of hitting on either side, builds Fury. Def brutes are in NO shortage of Fury - It's just that due to AT modifiers and whatnot, you're better either running Scrapper or Tank (depending on damage or toughness), than running a Def-based Brute. Perfectly competent, but min/max will pull you to another AT for the defensive powerset.

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Death is the best debuff.

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On 4/12/2022 at 9:54 AM, arcane said:

The point of a Sentinel is to fulfill the wet dream of a Tankmage in a balanced way that any sane dev team would allow. And the only way to possibly balance a Tankmage is to water everything down.

 

Whether they do less damage than Corruptors is up for debate. Why they would ever do as much damage as Blasters ofc is a question with an obvious answer. 
 

Find it pretty amusing the OP mentioned the lack of support but not the presence of personal armor. Some people do such a hilarious job of blatantly ignoring all the obvious mechanisms of balance. You read the OP and you’d think they didn’t even come with secondaries.


Sentinels are dear to me. 

They helped me increase my love and appreciation for my Fortunata and for Peacebringers. 

😊😊😊🌹🌹🌹

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  • 2 weeks later
10 hours ago, Marshal_General said:

So how is a sonic/bio sentinel on the damage survivability scale?

 

It looks good on paper due to the +dam and -res on bio added to the -res of sonic for the damage part.

 

So here's the situation. On paper, yes, it seems like you would be getting a few stacks of -9.6% res going. In practice, you will be using 3 primary (Shout, Screech, and Shriek on occasion to activate Opportunity) abilities, so it's going to average out to 12.5% in the best conditions since your epic attacks will simply yield better results than your primary. That said, Sonic is a middle of the pack kind of set.

 

Sentinel Bio doesn't have a -res component.

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What limits the Sent the most is aoe cap 2nd is  almost useless  AT bonus 3rd is damage.

 

Simple fix 

Remove aoe cap on Sent

2nd  Make opportunity bonus a proc on all powers for examples have the 25% res debuff as a proc when opportunity bar fills


Those 2 simple fixes would complete sent

 

The problem at the end of the day isn’t really sent it’s damage is king at end game everything dies fast. When confronted with harder content with def cascade or res  De buffs sent shine.  The content endgame doesn’t give much benefit to Sent.   Sent are bad at farm because of aoe cap. 

To the op question 

Sent are by far one of the best leveling toons in game because that is one of the few times sent extra survivability shines. Unfortunately bio is almost a must endgame to be competitive in damage.  Proc build shine on Sent so do massive debuff based off of short nukes, again limited by aoe cap. 
 

Leveling sent are great role off tanking ,range , damage throughout the leveling process 

 

Endgame one of the best 6 cap limited debuffer can also be made to survive extreme situation which is rare endgame. Moderate damage or high if bio spec. 


End of the day if you like collecting badges and playing all the TF throughout the leveling range and doing content being leveled down.  Sent will be good almost all leveling but putter out max level do to end game content being damage focused.
 

Sent is the best pvp class which is again almost useless in the game. Ice/Regen

 

Edited by Ironscarlet
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On 6/28/2022 at 10:03 AM, Marshal_General said:

So how is a sonic/bio sentinel on the damage survivability scale?

 

It looks good on paper due to the +dam and -res on bio added to the -res of sonic for the damage part.


Sonic/Bio is good also because it can chain a permanent knockdown cone. It’s one of the better builds in the sent format. 
 

Play style  it’s a range cone monster throughout leveling process.

 

I would also suggest to try out a Sonic/Ninja blaster for a blapper (melee) play style. Sonic debuffs with golden dragonfly + knockout blow is almost a guarantee 3k combo haven’t seen numbers that high on other builds.
 

Diffrent play styles 

Sonic/bio range, team debuff, survivability, Moderate damage aoe focused. Not expensive great leveling all ranges

 

Sonic/Ninja blaster best ST burst damage in game IMO, mainly  ST de buffs or can be built to 45% def to all. Bad at leveling. Endgame build  Extremely expensive 500mil +


I hope this illustrates how different the same power set  can play.

Edited by Ironscarlet
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Ever since I learned of Homecoming, rushed to relive all the stuff I was yearning for when the game was live, then finally got into the Incarnate stuff, my outlook on the various ATs has changed somewhat;  I found that liked the Sentinels' single-target focus early on, but their damage and AoE capability quickly became concerns.  I've also moved more toward ATs that can provide some benefit to the team, besides just damage, damage, and more damage.  I do like how 2 Sentinel APPs offer heals, but besides that, they neither have the damage to quickly wipe out swathes of enemies, nor the durability to tank, (speaking generally here, not in terms of high-performing instances).  They are, though, a fun soloist, and fulfill an itch for that armored ranged attacker...

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Sentinels start out as survivable as an IO'd Blaster/Corruptor, which gives us some flexibility in chasing other, weirder bonuses/effects if we'd like.  I also like that there's not a rubber-stamped "everyone runs one of these" builds in this AT like there are in every other.  You're kind of free to fly your freak flag on a Sentinel; that comes at the cost of DPS.

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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

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44 minutes ago, roleki said:

You're kind of free to fly your freak flag on a Sentinel; that comes at the cost of DPS.

 

The community's low expectations of the Sentinel can make for moments where the player looks really good. Its a lowkey benefit plus potentially creative backhanded compliments. 😉 

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IOed Sentinels can rate up to 6 or 7 on my durability scale, while that IOed blaster will typically struggle with 2. 

 

Outside of Hard-Mode, 801, or similar content that level of armor is overkill.  A rating of 2 is the standard armor rating for 95% of the games content.

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. 

801 Difficulty Varies: 801.0 Easy, ..., 801.2 Standard, ..., 801.5 Hard, ..., 801.8 Extreme, ..., 801.A Epic, ... 801.F Death.

Angel Hornet (link)   -   Solo 2-Star ASF (link)   -   Solo 2-Star ITF (link)

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5 hours ago, Linea said:

IOed Sentinels can rate up to 6 or 7 on my durability scale, while that IOed blaster will typically struggle with 2. 

 

Outside of Hard-Mode, 801, or similar content that level of armor is overkill.  A rating of 2 is the standard armor rating for 95% of the games content.

Hey Linea, a bit of side-topic. I remember some of your DPS analysis/charts/comparisions. Do you happen to have one for Sentinels?

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Posted (edited)

Yes, but at this point they are ancient and obsolete, pre-sentinel balance pass, don't include any of the i25 to i27 changes, and don't include proc builds, and if you're on a sentinel, you'd really want to consider all of that.  And the entire thing ran on 12 year old tech that no longer compiles.

 

That said, sentinels have the least variance of any AT, best primary vs worst primary.  I don't think this will have changed.

 

Just guessing I'd say the top end (these days) is pushing 400 dps (~double vs 2014), I had some numbers somewhere from i27 in-game testing, but I don't remember now.  Considering scrappers can hit 600+ dps ...  that probably puts sentinels in line with proc built offensive tanks, or if they are lucky between proc tanks and proc brutes, but no where close to proc scrappers.  Balance was never based on procs, but more on non-incarnated SOs.  But I wouldn't quote me on any of this, either, things have changed too much in the last 10 years.

 

Spoiler

This version is just raw damage without all the multipliers and incarnates.  It also doesn't include eps.  ST DPS is green, while AoE is blue. AoE was based on a proprietary geometry and drafting model based on incarnate mobs that scatter.  Go find the most annoying incarnates that love to scatter and shoot from range on all sides and that's what I used.

 

Green is ST, Blue is AoE, Left Edge is SOs, Right Edge is IOs. No Incarnates, No Procs, No Proc Builds, this is from ~2014. 

Note, a Fire/Atomic Blaster literally breaks the charts with it's AoE potential literally off the charts to the right.

Sentinel.png

 

Edited by Linea
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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. 

801 Difficulty Varies: 801.0 Easy, ..., 801.2 Standard, ..., 801.5 Hard, ..., 801.8 Extreme, ..., 801.A Epic, ... 801.F Death.

Angel Hornet (link)   -   Solo 2-Star ASF (link)   -   Solo 2-Star ITF (link)

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