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Focused Feedback: Advanced Difficulty - Imperious Task Force


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4 hours ago, EnjoyTheJourney said:

It makes confusion harder to balance when confused mobs always attack former allies. It also doesn't really fit with the usual definition of confuse. 

 

A confused mob could re-evaluate its choices every few seconds. Possible choices could include 2 or more of ...

 

1. Move in a random direction for the next 2 seconds. Use a movement power or not when moving.

2. Random targeting of friend or foe for whatever action(s) are taken next. 

3. Random (de)activation of powers. Target could be friend or foe for buffs / debuffs / healing, as per 2 above.

4. Random choice of any attack not on cooldown.

 

Confusion resistance could not only lower confuse duration, but also lower the probability of attacking a friend instead of a foe. Also, the use of confusion in teams becomes something to more carefully consider because a confused mob will be less likely to be influenced by taunt effects. 

 

Confuse doesn't have to always make mobs attack one another. It also doesn't need to either be extremely effective or completely ineffective. A more probabilistic AI for determining the choices of confused mobs would still make it easier to balance, still worthwhile to cast in many situations, and more interesting as an addition to the game. 

 

Another power could be added in place of confusion in its current state, a power that's sole purpose is to force mobs to buff the caster's teammates and allies and to debuff, control, and attack their former allies. That power could perhaps be named "Command" or "Recruit", instead of Confuse. It could be more heavily restricted in which mobs can be "Recruited", to make it easier to balance in light of its game-changing potential. 

 

 

Agreed. Just like Neverwinter Nights had Improved Invisibility be an important buff because it had a 50% chance of making enemies miss so does Confuse have room to be an important power.

 

But as it is Confused is more like Mind Controlled with mobs 100% hitting each other and 100% ignoring players. Things that would/may make Confuse less cheese might be:

 

- Friendly fire is turned on. Enemies now hit themselves with AoE, or, players get hit by AoEs from NPCs but NPCs also will be affected.

- 50% (numbers to be tuned) chance of enemies hitting their allies instead of players (true confusion either because they are blinded by a fog or spores increased their paranoia).

 

I'm just rehashing what Enjoy said but it does seem like a better version for Confuse, though not the current OP one. In particular a single Plant player makes a mockery of the game with Seeds of Confusion in a 15 second cooldown that affects a whole spawn.

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4 hours ago, Sovera said:

50% (numbers to be tuned) chance of enemies hitting their allies instead of players

How about the percentage being determined by amount confusion magnitude exceeds protection.  E.g., Clamp( 0%, (control-protection)/(protection+1), 100%).

 

And I'm also feeling like we're getting off feedback to this one page 4 feature and going off onto full on systems rework suggestions. Changing confusion mechanics would hit a ton more stuff than just the Advanced ITF.

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22 hours ago, laudwic said:

 

Ideally, my suggestion is to have Confusion mitigation powers, like the Shout power described in this thread that gives a duration Confuse Protect available but otherwise do not implement any additional innate Confuse protection except upon EBs and higher.  It is valid to have powers to mitigate or provide defense against confuse, just as it is reasonable for the enemy to try to debuff defense or resistance.

 

With EBs and higher, increase the level of protection a minor boost when triangles are down and a massive boost when up.*  It will still be possible, but hard, to confuse any enemy for a period of time, and make it impossible to perma-confuse EBs and up.  If a player is solely focusing on limiting one enemy with all their attempts, they are heroes, they should be able to hamper an enemy.  Also, that is why the minion cannon flodder is there, if you focus completely on the BBG the minions should take you down.  

 

Part of the problem you identified is that confuse is applied without danger, it misses nothing changes.  While that is a concern, the bigger one that really should be addressed is inactivity when a confused ally attacks.  In my ideal world, that would trigger the anti-confuse buff response and other responses by enemies rather than just standing there and taking it.  You don't want enemies fighting each other more, but they should take some positive actions rather than standing there.  I am ignorant on the programing aspect, but it would make a whole lot of sense that enemies with an anti-confusion AoE ability would activate that ability when they are damaged by an ally rather than just standing there.  I think that is a better way to address your concern than make Confuse essentially not work.    Again, I fall on the side of counter not nerf.  If there is an enemy mob that does an anti confusion, reward players that work to negate that mob.  For example, one of my most common uses for single target confusion is Sappers.  

 

I agree with you that confuse has certain bonuses, but you cannot ignore its negatives.   Disorient isn't as good as holds as mobs wander, but using Gravity - Wormhole to take an entire group, and shove it into a corner with some DoTs and AOEs are very effective and with little to no risk.  Full XP.  Gravity ->Wormhole has the same lack of aggro problem when it misses (all your buddies teleported away - continue to act like nothing happened).  With the last update, Sapping is far more viable.  I currently have a defender that is able to effectively sap groups of mobs with the application of two powers.  At most the mobs will get a single attack in.  That strategy is effective on most EBs as well admittedly with the use of three powers not just two.  (I mainly soloed the character, but I had no problem taking out all the EBs necessary for the Portal Jockey Accolade that way.)  Drain End completely, enemies are trivial.  No change to xp.

 

(* The only reason I am suggesting a boost when the additional triangle protection is down as I don't think the game was designed with Perma-Dom in mind.  Double magnitude for dominators is a game changer for that class.  It should be hard to hold EBs even for a short time.  I do not suggest a large increase because Controllers still need to be viable, and it is bad enough for the solo controller dealing with EBs as you rely upon the damage bonus you get from holding a foe.) 

 



In my AE challenges I have made provisions against lone or single dominators who will be inclined or will desire to walk through mobs with mass confusion or seeds. 

I have used "engineers" with traps or some sort of dispersion bubbles.  
So, for example, Cimerorans have a shout that acts similar to Clear Mind. 
Now imagine that in conjunction with a dispersion bubble. 

The Engineers in the Cimeroran enemy groups, they could be given that thematic power.  

Initial reaction to contact, they engage the bubble and engage the shout. 

If your confuse power misses they will trigger the event.  
If the mobs are dmg'd at all, in any degree, they give the shout.  

Right now Cimerorans give the shout when low in health.  

Do not grant any of them an innate Mag 10 protection.  

Have them engage the shout and dispersion as soon as any dmg is received. 
Or, as soon as enemy proximity is detected. 

This would be an ideal scenarios for Stalkers to become valuable in the ITF, taking these engineers out, and make it so Stalker could really kill them easily more easy than anyone else.  Make them weak or vulnerable vs Stalker dmg. 

I have buffers in my AE that grant protection vs confuse so no one has done them via using confusion alone since I made the changes. 

Yet, not a single one of my mobs have Mag 10 protection.  

This is similar to some Arachnos  bosses like Fortunatas who have an additional layer of protection, now imagine that layer with a friendly nearby who grants protection vs confuse.  

Along those lines is what I am getting at. 

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Thinking on the ITF I ran Tuesday night with a team of half regular people I knew and half PuG. The main issue we had was the number of hostless, to be slightly retuned I understand and just identifying them in the crowd without the use of a a find target macro.

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Just as a heads-up, there's a known issue currently where the hostless Nictus can successfully begin channeling their body hijacking but the hold power falls off due to what I assume is hard coded limitations on how close a target must be in order for a targeted toggle to stay active.

This will be fixed next patch, if a hostless Nictus grabs you they will teleport you to them with a hold, so there's no discrepancies/ability to move out of their range and it's also very obvious which one grabbed you.

Most the strange behavior currently is people not realizing they were being hijacked because the hold portion didn't take effect and then suddenly dying from far away (only the initial power in the hijacking chain checks for range).

I imagine the Level 1 bug would be because the hijacking checks the level of the hostless Nictus that stole your body to set the doppelganger's, but if you moved too far away from the hostless Nictus, the game can't check its level to set the spawned doppelganger's and thus defaults to 1.

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1 minute ago, golstat2003 said:

@Cobalt Arachne Will players be able to resist that with Orange Inspirations or will this teleport they will now do override that?

The hostless Nictus' teleport is unresistable since as players have reported, if you move away from the hijacking chain it can get a bit buggy; Since this is for a micro-event, not an ordinary enemy teleport.

Those oranges will work against the Elite Boss Cimeroran Beast's Shadow Slip though.

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Now that I have ran through s complete relentless run here is my two cents...

 

* The new atmosphere is awesome

* Love the changes to the traitors, and nictus.

* The unbound and possession is a great idea

 

Change suggestion:

Players shouldn't be held by possession attempt, they should be able to fight until they are overcome.

I think a player could be marked for possession like players get marked in some of the iTrials (underground, TPN, etc).  This would notify players to find and mez or kill the unbound.

 

CRITiques:

The twins and the new ROM fight add a lot of unnecessary length and they are disruptive the flow of the ITF.  

For whatever it's worth this is coming from a very early member and one of the current administrators of the Master ITF channel, IMHO it wrecks the spirit of the TF.

The ITF was the best all around TF in the game for various reasons such as having difficult/unique enemy groups (several types of damage, -def, and other aspects that challenged builds when played on the high end) clear objectives that allowed players to still speed through missions without avoiding major danger (free Sybils, destroy crystals, kill generals, ambushes, EBs, and more), was good for various types of runs, speed runs, +4/8 kill most, etc., is co-op, and the length is within a perfect range (30-50 mins for a +4/8 KM depending on the players/team and the best we've managed to do on Speed +4/8 MoITF runs without inspirations or P2W are: 4 scrappers 14 mins, 3 players mixed 18 mins, 2 players is like 24 mind at most).  High intensity, medium length I think is the sweet spot.  

Now I know this was beta run with most players running the TF for the first time but just under 3 hours, minus our break before the last mission, and 140 deaths was a bit much.  Perhaps the mechanics concerning the unbound possessions, the twins and the Rom fight will improve and with some more experience we can get it down to what I think would be an acceptable range of 1-1.5 for a relentless speed run.  IMHO the benchmark should be that an experienced team of players with min/maxed builds and relentless ITF experience should be able to do a speed relentless in about an hour.  That would beat sweet spot.

 

Mish two, make the ambush EBs must-kills.  Like crystal guardians.

 

Mish 3 my vote would be to get rid of the twins (the cut scene didn't work for me, so I didn't really get them at all) plus I thought the point of shutting down the computer was to destroy them from being completed???

 

Mish 4 I would absolutely make Rom more aggressive, never running away (after all he thinks he's just become a god, "I am Nictus!!!"

 

Rather than have the Rom fight be more like a the LR fight on the MLTF, make it more like fighting the old Statesman on the old LRSF. 

 

Up the hit points and/or Regen on the fluffies to make them undesirable targets to kill without forcing them to be consumed by reanimating/possessing Rom after each death.

 

Possibly tweak the damage on the auto-hit AoE but give it to Rom and all the fluffies.  Make the fluffies also aggressive to possibly go after fliers and support.  

 

Or something, because not a great fan of the new Romulus fight which is now more MC-Giant-Robotesque.  

 

Also Have more ambushes from the left, right and center doors just behind where Rom spawns.  (More Barracuda-Reichsman-like on steroids)

 

 

 

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Hello there, 

 

Tested it in relentless yesterday night , totally agree with a lot of point adressed by Fubar so won't repeat it. 

 

 

Mish 3 Make twins hitbox larger : even with full distance cam, it's very confusing on the screen as melee

Mish 3 : Wouldn't be more interesting if the twins landed near computer ? Lorely speaking, it's the objectiv they need to defend.

 

Mish 4 : Romulus fight : Make his nova beam unresistable damage if we don't leave the area (a kind of apex blue patch)

 

Hostless : Make the link between nictus and player more visible on screen. An energy negative laser for exemple ? Something more blatant

 

Thx Team for your work 

 

Kobi

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1 hour ago, Kobiboom said:

 

Mish 3 : Wouldn't be more interesting if the twins landed near computer ? Lorely speaking, it's the objectiv they need to defend

 

That's where they were initially, but the canyon area is too small to pull them apart if you want to fight them one at a time.

 

Also, there was no way to remove the scaffolding, making it an even tighter fit, plus they would also clip through it a lot, making the whole thing kinda weird.

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Plus spawning them out towards the sea implicates that you must stop them before they make way off the island and off to destruction.  

 

The twin fight is pretty epic but those extra ambushes feel like a bit much.  Those twins are already a handful to deal with. 

 

As for the Romulus fight I actually kind of liked it.  Once the team got the hang of seeing the barriers come back up they learned to leave my tank and kill those barriers and then back to Romulus.  I don't mind the usual ambushes on this fight but I'd maybe trim down all the extra ads in the area to start.

 

These two fights add a significant portion of time to the task force which I think trimming down a bunch of the ads in specific areas on these last two maps would do a great deal in not making it feel like such a slog.  I like these additions but now it feels like there's just too much needless ad pruning that needs to happen which undermines these two new features.  

 

As for the hostless tech it's a real neat addition.  They are a bit hard to identify in a crowd and it does feel like there may be a few too many that spawn but altogether I like it.  The biggest thing I would do is to look into how if the hostless gets controlled to stop taking over your teammate that your teammate shouldn't die after bit now that they were freed and the time ran out on killing that hostless.  But I think that is something you're looking into.  

 

We had a bunch of control on the team which it felt pretty strong compared to how it could have been with the old shout mez protection.  I don't think control was left behind at all on this and feel like 2-3 control characters would be ideal to have.  

 

I'd say some ad pruning is in order other than that fun stuff!

Edited by Mezmera
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First off, I see everything and I mean EVERYTHING done to ITF even at 1 star is the slow down that BS we've been getting away with on normal. No more 1 guy solo'ing mission 1 and 2 while the rest of the team deals with the mobs. No more pulling everything under the arches and burning through the bosses on mission 3. Mission 4 having a bit more involved then what've been doing to rommy is amazing. A lot of my group had to leave for lunch yet at lease we got to experience what this update is gonna offer.

It was AMAZING for somebody like me who will at times run back to back KM ITF's. Now you have to think, stick together and be aware of what enemies to kill last out of a mob.

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The ITF is one of my favorite Task Forces so I am excited to see it get this makeover. So far I have played through this Task Force three times.

  • 2-star run: Ice/Dark Dominator (success, lasted about an hour 30)
  • 4-star run: Symphony/Fire Dominator (success, lasted 3 hours, 20 min)
  • 2-star run: Ice/Radiation Dominator (failure, mainly due to losing three team members at the start of the final mission)

 

 

Overall I have mostly positive feedback.

 

My favorite new thing are the soul-stealing Elite Bosses. They are scary enough to keep the team together, and there's something very comical about being the person who gets cloned and proceeds to beat the team's behinds once killed.
 

 

The one area of improvement I wouldn't mind comes in the fight with the two giant robots at the end of Mission #3. The robots themselves are very cool, and I love that you took what was originally a background detail and incorporated it into the mission (there were a lot of "whoahs!" in that chat when they first came to life). The fight itself went on for a very long time though. It didn't feel like there was a lot for me to do besides keep hitting attack buttons, and the size of the monsters made the fight feel a little awkward. Maybe give us a way to optionally make this fight faster but forfeit a badge? Alternatively, you could make the robots extremely vulnerable to some common mezz... perhaps Sleep... and have that shut off any Resists they have after each hit, so there is some way to game them.

 

Other item on the wish list: I love the clones. Love love love fighting them. I wish there was a segment in here where no matter how well you play, the team is forced to fight a huge ambush of their own clones. Right now, if you play well enough, you could go the whole TF without getting to battle them. There are a lot of places in the TF where I can picture a big group of them showing up. 

 

 

Again many thanks for the updates. Looking forward to running this TF a lot more often in the future.

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Agree with several others who really like the changes, especially the Hostless TwinkiesTM, but that the Colossi at 4-Star are a bit of a slog.  I also found Romulus at 4* to be slog and repetitive.  However, at 2* I found it difficult but thoroughly enjoyable.

 

I understand that as people learn the new stuff it will get better and quicker and I might change my mind.

Edited by Bionic_Flea
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Just ran all but the last mission on difficulty 2 with my usual group.  Everyone had a really good time with it.  The colossi got a lot of oohing and aahing.  New mechanics were really fun.  

 

Team of 7, all 50s: tank, brute, two blasters, controller, two defenders.  We had to slow down and work together, watching our aggro and handling ambushes as they came rather than our usual method of running off and pulling everything we can see when we got bored.  We teamwiped a few times, especially when we got three hostless nictus and we wound up fighting half the team.  

 

We're all really psyched to take on the last mission when schedules permit regrouping, and everyone had a great time.  Can't wait to see what hard mode will look like on other TFs, and we all agreed regular mode ITF is probably a thing of the past for us.  This is just way more fun.

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I think that Rommy needs to be susceptible to taunt, even under the protection of his Barriers.  As a tank, I could not pull his aggro off another player until the barriers went down.  Or if his taunt immunity is part of the design goal, then I respectfully request that a certain barrier be the one that prevents taunt and then allows it once defeated,

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Last night we ran a team at 4 stars.  The twins were much less of a slog, but Rommy was still a pain.  I'll repeat my caveat above that I expect it will get better, faster, easier as we all learn the tricks and traps.

 

Linea was on his Ill/Rad and trying to control the Emerald Barrier and I'm not sure how successful that was.  But it seems to me that we do better burning down all the barriers and then Rommy.  Maybe it's the loss of one player's DPS, or maybe it's that the Emerald Barrier is so hard to control, maybe both or something else entirely.  What do I know? I am but a tiny insect in a world of supers.

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Overall I like the ITF hard mode.  Some of the key feedback so far:

 

1. Keep the ITF in the spirit of the ITF.  Meaning, keep it flowing.  Good to see that twins slog has been toned down, length-wise.

 

But even at an AV level there could be ways to make them hard to fight together, like AoE buffs strengthening the other making them more desirable to fight separately.

 

2. I really like the idea of being marked for possession and not held.  That would be clear to everyone aand would make it more ominous to the marked player.

 

3. The new Romulus fight is fine in principle.  Any refinement would be awesome.  

 

I do like the idea of Romulus gaining the power of the Nictus that is controller.  And not get weaker/ less dangerous the deeper into the fight was go.

 

 

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14 hours ago, Bionic_Flea said:

I think that Rommy needs to be susceptible to taunt, even under the protection of his Barriers. 

I agree.  A tiny bit less chaos.

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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I take it that the Emerald Barrier has high mez protection/resist so that you're not just going to get that nice -regen from a blaster spamming an ice hold.  Maximum efficiency would probably call for a Dom to be on that Emerald Barrier since they'll be able to maintain control the easiest. 

 

As for tanking Rom I found he snuggles nice and close by making a concerted effort to keep him in range of the taunt field.  No one else on the team had a taunt field so that made things easier and I would just spam taunt just in case it actually did do something through that "Unaffected".  For me it was really being able to survive through the moments solo when everyone else should leave my tank to kill those barriers.  I would spare all of my tricks for when I was solo since once everyone got back to Rom I was getting team buffs again and he was well debuffed that I didn't really need my good stuff until I was alone.  

 

I don't mind that he is outright untauntable but if the tanker taunt field has an effect to keep Rom's priority on you especially if there's no one else all that close then I think that's fine if it takes a little extra effort than just spamming taunt.  

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2 minutes ago, Bionic_Flea said:

I think the problem was that someone else got too close to Rommy before me and he aggroed on to them and i couldn't pull them off.  If you got to him first he probably imprinted on you.

 

For me every once in a while he'd aggro to a squishy taking out a barrier which I'd need to run over and stand next to him and then he'd get back to my tank.  I think the most problems can arise from extra melee with a taunt field of their own accidently dragging aggro across the courtyard away from the lead tank.  Probably best to tell those scrappers to turn off Against All Odds.   

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Thanks for this New Romulus Fight, less cyclical, more dynamic. I Noted that aggro amount is preserved during barrier refresh. Only first round is a mess.  Don't know if it work as intended or aggro is suppose to reset each time barriers are up.

 

This fight look more a real Hard end game fight, really appreciate it.

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6 minutes ago, EV-300 said:

What is ITF?

 

Imperious Task Force, as mentioned in this thread's title.  It's the Task Force in Cimerora, Levels 35 to 50.

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