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Focused Feedback: Sonic Attack Revamp


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Okay, I ran through about five paper missions and a mayhem, split between 25 where my sentinel is now and 35 to future test it. I ran the missions at x4 for 25 and x6 for 35.

 

And yeah, I was wrong. It feels great, the meatier siren's song is a great add to spitting the cone trio out, and shockwave/howl/siren's song is a really good bit of control, enemies on their back, damaged, and then slept. The set is buttery smooth with chaining attacks now, the changes in damage and recharge speed and timing all come together really well. 

 

However, the fly in the ointment is the changes in sentinel target caps. You feel them in play even at x4 enemy density when ambushes start approaching 7-9 enemies, at x6 it starts to become a serious problem, and I suspect at x8 density it's going to become a painful issue. It *Feels* bad firing into a crowd and only hitting a few enemies. I understand the reason of standardizing it across sentinels, but it feels sucky in motion. I can't agree with going out of your way to make a sentinel set *worse*, especially not in the name of standardization.

 

I would suggest leaving the target caps where they are currently until there's time for a balance pass on the sentinel as a whole rather than singling out Sonic Blast.

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5 minutes ago, Crasical said:

Okay, I ran through about five paper missions and a mayhem, split between 25 where my sentinel is now and 35 to future test it. I ran the missions at x4 for 25 and x6 for 35.

 

And yeah, I was wrong. It feels great, the meatier siren's song is a great add to spitting the cone trio out, and shockwave/howl/siren's song is a really good bit of control, enemies on their back, damaged, and then slept. The set is buttery smooth with chaining attacks now, the changes in damage and recharge speed and timing all come together really well. 

 

However, the fly in the ointment is the changes in sentinel target caps. You feel them in play even at x4 enemy density when ambushes start approaching 7-9 enemies, at x6 it starts to become a serious problem, and I suspect at x8 density it's going to become a painful issue. It *Feels* bad firing into a crowd and only hitting a few enemies. I understand the reason of standardizing it across sentinels, but it feels sucky in motion. I can't agree with going out of your way to make a sentinel set *worse*, especially not in the name of standardization.

 

I would suggest leaving the target caps where they are currently until there's time for a balance pass on the sentinel as a whole rather than singling out Sonic Blast.

Thank you for testing and providing your feedback. It's refreshing to read it and I want to pass along my appreciation. 

 

Powerhouse mentioned previously on the target caps, but I'll reiterate it here. The only reason why Sonic Attack had the blaster standard of 10 tgt caps on cones was because the set lacked a target AoE (which blasters would have a 16 tgt cap and sentinels would have a 10 tgt cap). It also probably was helped by the fact Sirens Song used to hit for a meager 0.5 scale damage (now 1.19) and shockwave hit for 0.64 scale damage (0.8652) and were incredibly slow to cast. Howl had a 2.33s (now 1.6s) animation, Shockwave had 2.17s (1.67s), and Siren's Song had 2s (1.86s). Paired with the overall damage increase it should prove out to do more AoE damage in typical gameplay despite the drop in max tgts. For that reason, I would not want to have a revamp to their AT preventing them getting this version of Sonic Attack.

 

 

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6 hours ago, AustinSmith said:

Y'all are straight up ignoring the massive DPA buffs to the set, huh?

Screech alone is a MASSIVE damage buff; 0.2 damage scale all the way up to 2.28s.

Screech was basically only worth taking because of the short cast and relatively long -RES debuff it applied, allowing you to easily stack that multiple times.

The gimmick and how Sonic competed wasn't because of high numbers, of which Shout was reduced somewhat (but probably evens out) rather it was the -RES which is reduced here overall.  By a rather not insignificant amount I should add.

Slightly increased damage numbers here or there doesn't really make up for you not being able to double/triple stack the -RES from a specific power which was the entire point of the set.

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2 hours ago, kingsmidgens said:

Slightly increased damage numbers here or there doesn't really make up for you not being able to double/triple stack the -RES from a specific power which was the entire point of the set.

"Slightly" increased the damage? I don't think you get what damage scales translate to. 0.2 to 2.28 is a 1,140% damage increase. That is anything but slight.

Yeah, the -Res in the set took a hit, and to be honest it may have been overnerfed. IMO, the 12% debuff is the part that should stack and the 8% debuff should be the replace effect.

All in all though, this is a massive upgrade to the set, even if it doesn't play quite the same way it used to.

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49 minutes ago, Booper said:

I would not want to have a revamp to their AT preventing them getting this version of Sonic Attack.

 

Why is the cap for sentinels lower to begin with? Why is it a problem for them to get the same amount of AoE that all the other ranged archetypes get? Especially on an underplayed, underperforming archetype. 

 

Don't get me wrong, the powerset's in a much better place after this pass, I feel. But I hope that the target cap is something that you'll consider increasing going forward, and not something we'll have to wait possibly another half-year for a Sentinel Rework to see.

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5 minutes ago, AustinSmith said:

"Slightly" increased the damage? I don't think you get what damage scales translate to. 0.2 to 2.28 is a 1,140% damage increase. That is anything but slight.

Yeah, the -Res in the set took a hit, and to be honest it may have been overnerfed. IMO, the 12% debuff is the part that should stack and the 8% debuff should be the replace effect.

All in all though, this is a massive upgrade to the set, even if it doesn't play quite the same way it used to.

One power got a large damage increased but a massive decrease in -RES potential which reduces the damage potential of all other attacks, which I consider slightly increased.  Yes that one power got a large number increase, but it didn't make up for the loss of -RES stacking.

It's still got a niche identity but it has less utility than it did before which I think is a bad thing for what was one of my favorite blast sets.

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1 hour ago, Booper said:

Howl had a 2.33s (now 1.6s) animation, Shockwave had 2.17s (1.67s), and Siren's Song had 2s (1.86s). Paired with the overall damage increase it should prove out to do more AoE damage in typical gameplay despite the drop in max tgts. For that reason, I would not want to have a revamp to their AT preventing them getting this version of Sonic Attack.

 

The problem is still much greater than you realize though. Shockwave was the biggest part of sonic blast, not because of damage, but because of the sheer knock mitigation it offered. Even if the damage was lower, it was really effective to be able to alternate howl and shockwave and have it hit most of the mob. This nerf REALLY negates its use for group knockback/down, and is honestly nowhere near worth the damage change. The change to siren's, terrific, but as someone mentioned, casting these cones and having it only hit less than half of the enemies in a mob just feels REALLY bad. Especially for those cones that are extremely useful for mitigation like shockwave. energy torrent, and umbral torrent. The problem is, thinking that sentinels should even have a lower target cap to begin with, when they already have a much lower damage scalar and range decrease on some of these. The target caps should not be lower, definitely not anything less than 10 targets.

 

This also means, HAVING to take a 3rd cone attack power, and slotting it, to reclaim some of the damage lost. Where honestly it was fine before. the damage/rech would manageable if the animation was just sped up, but definitely not by nerfing the target caps on these key powers, and the less affected -resist from howl.

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3 minutes ago, kingsmidgens said:

One power got a large damage increased but a massive decrease in -RES potential which reduces the damage potential of all other attacks, which I consider slightly increased.  Yes that one power got a large number increase, but it didn't make up for the loss of -RES stacking.

It's still got a niche identity but it has less utility than it did before which I think is a bad thing for what was one of my favorite blast sets.

 

Two powers went from "basically not damaging" to "solid damage output."  Three powers got major cast time reductions (and two got minor cast time reductions), which also has a big effect on damage.  Sonic had a big problem previously that it only had the three standard ST blasts and one of those blasts had an incredibly slow cast time.  Now it has four ST attacks, and they cast faster than before.  That's much better ST damage output.  Having the three cones now all do solid damage and cast time reductions on them as well makes for a big damage output improvement across the set.

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Out of everything I've heard about sonic's utility, shockwave spam is certainly not something I've heard many good things about.

 

Set feels great on blasters now, I'm still a little worried for how the res changes might apply to defenders/corruptors, if anyone more experienced with the set on those two ATs can chime in.

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Just now, ScarySai said:

Out of everything I've heard about sonic's utility, shockwave spam is certainly not something I've heard many good things about.

 

Set feels great on blasters now, I'm still a little worried for how the res changes might apply to defenders/corruptors, if anyone more experienced with the set on those two ATs can chime in.

You just need to put a kb-kd in it. You probably don't hear good things about those who do not do that and use it willy nilly, but it is HUGE if you know what you're doing. On non-sents, the already 10 target cap on its main aoes though, was also what hurt it compared to other sets. It needs said again, all ranged cones on non-sents should be 16 targets to match their taoe counterparts, and 10 on sents. There is no reason this really should have ever been the case to begin with for ranged cones :/.

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My sentinel already already had all 3 cones before this update, incidentally, so I was already in the rythm of shockwave/howl/sirens to deal with groups and then picking one enemy to bully with my single targets while the rest slept. The summer blockbuster knockback is a primo choice in Shockwave, it keeps them grouped for the future cones and makes some enemies hit by the proc portion do a funny double-flop that keeps them down longer than usual. I still found it to be up Enough, since I mostly use it to keep enemies ragdolling while I sneak in Howl before applying or reapplying Siren's.

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7 minutes ago, aethereal said:

 

Two powers went from "basically not damaging" to "solid damage output."  Three powers got major cast time reductions (and two got minor cast time reductions), which also has a big effect on damage.  Sonic had a big problem previously that it only had the three standard ST blasts and one of those blasts had an incredibly slow cast time.  Now it has four ST attacks, and they cast faster than before.  That's much better ST damage output.  Having the three cones now all do solid damage and cast time reductions on them as well makes for a big damage output improvement across the set.

It was never a set that was about doing big damage on it's own and the lack of AOE was sort of by design.  It was a team AT.

In a vacuum it's still fine.  This change hurts the team utility it provides which I think is bad as it chips away at the idea of different powersets overall having their own function and just further homogenizes things.

As it stands, the debuffs would need to be increased quite a bit to make up for them not stacking, even with the increased damage numbers with the exception being AOE potential which again wasn't really what the set was ever known or used for because it just didn't have that functionality.

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2 minutes ago, Crasical said:

My sentinel already already had all 3 cones before this update, incidentally, so I was already in the rythm of shockwave/howl/sirens to deal with groups and then picking one enemy to bully with my single targets while the rest slept. The summer blockbuster knockback is a primo choice in Shockwave, it keeps them grouped for the future cones and makes some enemies hit by the proc portion do a funny double-flop that keeps them down longer than usual. I still found it to be up Enough, since I mostly use it to keep enemies ragdolling while I sneak in Howl before applying or reapplying Siren's.

Up enough, it's close but still impacted. The bigger issue here is easily the target cap issue on it.

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Just now, kingsmidgens said:

It was never a set that was about doing big damage on it's own and the lack of AOE was sort of by design.  It was a team AT.

 

Teams are heavily all about AoE.  If you're going around trying to stack ST res debuffs on things on a team, man, everything's already dead.  Even if you were at Defender levels, if you're dealing with +4 opponents they're taking half of your -res.  Two hits would put around a 20% debuff on something before, now it's a 14% debuff.  Is the 6% debuff actually that big a deal?  Let me submit that it's not.

 

Like, I get it, there were a few situations where it was really nice to attack a single hard target and stack up major resistance debuffs.  But they were a small minority of the game -- mostly, what Sonic was was a low-performing set that paid for resistance debuffs by having bottom-of-the-barrel performance in both ST and AoE.  In solo play, you spent a whole bunch of time stacking up -res just to get yourself back to par.  In team situations, most of the time, by the time your second or third debuff hit something, it was already long dead.

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5 hours ago, Booper said:

There is an AT modifier. The 12% and 8% are defender values. 

 

I was playing around with the Dom assault and saw the 7.5% -resistance but nowhere was it stated about the other portion which would be the 12% like the Defender value.  Is there somewhere to find that out?  

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2 hours ago, Mezmera said:

 

I was playing around with the Dom assault and saw the 7.5% -resistance but nowhere was it stated about the other portion which would be the 12% like the Defender value.  Is there somewhere to find that out?  

What you're referring to is Sonic Assault, the dominator set; this thread is for Sonic Attack, the blaster/corruptor/defender set.

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18 minutes ago, AustinSmith said:

What you're referring to is Sonic Assault, the dominator set; this thread is for Sonic Attack, the blaster/corruptor/defender set.

 

Okay I was assuming as they were creating the new Sonic Assault that some of those powers they would allow to partake in the same festivities.  I guess they will be shafting their new shiny the same way dominator Electric Assault was left kicking rocks.  

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9 minutes ago, Mezmera said:

 

Okay I was assuming as they were creating the new Sonic Assault that some of those powers they would allow to partake in the same festivities.  I guess they will be shafting their new shiny the same way dominator Electric Assault was left kicking rocks.  

Sonic Assault and Sonic Attack are different sets and have different rules. In the case of Sonic Assault, since it only has 3 -res attacks (Shriek, Scream, Shout), all three individually stack with each other. You also have Disruption Aura as a 4th source of -res in the form of a toggle.

 

If you have more questions about Sonic Assault, they can be answered in its Focused Feedback thread.

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7 hours ago, Booper said:

So a compromise/solution was made. The debuff stacking from Shriek and Scream was removed from each other, but it was replaced by a 12% resistance debuff that all powers would get. This allows you to get 2 stacks of debuff on the first attack (faster application of debuffs) and you no longer have to take both Scream and Shriek (power tax lessening).

 

Here is a hypothetical break down of what the chains could have looked like without this change:

Example where all powers grant 10%

Shriek>Scream>Shout>Screech>Howl

10%>20%>30%>40%>50%

 

This implementation:

Shriek (or scream)>Shout>Screech>Howl

20%>28%>36%>44%

 

You can still use them both together, but you won't add more debuff. Still, we feel it is more desirable to only feel the need to take 4 powers instead of 5 to reach maximum debuff capability. 

 

for defenders that use sonic as a debuffing set however, this means previously where i’d fire off shriek and screech, i’d now need to cycle through 4 attacks to get the same debuff value

 

as someone who’s played my kin/sonic for the last 3 years this is an unfortunate change and mutes the superstar feel of the build

 

as a wider constructive feedback note to you and the team i’d like to comment that i find these “modern” power dynamics overly complicated, i’m put off playing powersets which are hard work to understand. simplifying the sonic debuff to 15% across all powers would be a preferable change.

 

often the development team seem to produce unnecessarily complex changes which incurs additional development time and diminishes the reception to the playerbase as people have difficulty understanding the change or new content

 

i know quite few people commenting on this thread and i expect this is the top 10% of people who are experienced in CoX, if this strata of the playerbase is finding the changes difficult to understand i expect the majority of casual players will quite rightly gloss over

 

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This read like a nerf to me, so I decided to remake my Elec/Sonic defender on Brainstorm. After visiting the walls in Cimerora I definitely agree with Crasical; chaining the cones together is smooth as butter and a joy. The set definitely plays and feels better with the reduced animations and cooldowns.

 

Whether it's a nerf or not I can't say, but it's now much more fun to play IMO.

 

Edit: Trick Arrow/Sonic Attack is fun!

Edited by Glorious
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I'm not sure if I'm liking the idea of upping the damage on Shriek (so much) as it was already a useful utility power for the quick cast, Stun, and longer duration -RES but it does make up for the set not getting a Snipe which pushed it further below the level at which other sets were climbing.

Siren's Song is perhaps inadvertently way too strong, though.

Not even considering that it's also a CC, I'd say the damage is no less than 2x what it should be.

Gotta reiterate that I really don't think the -RES needs to be fiddled with, especially not in such a convoluted way.  It's essentially less than half of what it used to be before you consider that it's going to be incapable of self-stacking.

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Tried a brief, unrespecced version of my Time/Sonic soloing some Council. Bear in mind I don't have Sirens, the KB cone or the Stun so can't test those yet. 

 

Overall a slight damage buff solo but the -Res nerf is going to make him much less useful on teams. So seems like a buff to Sonic Blasters and a nerf for Sonic Defenders (who picks Defenders for their damage output?) . 

 

Meh. 

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28 minutes ago, Carnifax said:

Tried a brief, unrespecced version of my Time/Sonic soloing some Council. Bear in mind I don't have Sirens, the KB cone or the Stun so can't test those yet. 

 

Overall a slight damage buff solo but the -Res nerf is going to make him much less useful on teams. So seems like a buff to Sonic Blasters and a nerf for Sonic Defenders (who picks Defenders for their damage output?) . 

 

Meh. 

You might notice more of a jump in damage if you take the other powers. Screech in particular will be a heavy hitter and provide additional resistance debuffs. Siren's Song will help considerably in the AoE department.

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Okay. Some power analysis on good old Pylon #17 and I'm still in the meh camp. 

 

The longer debuff durations are welcomed but it feels like the 8% and 12% are the wrong way around. Not sure why the tier 1 & 2 have to share a debuff as well. Just means Scream is hugely skippable on Defenders now unless you've the power pick available to treat the Tier one as a dead power., 

 

*Edit : That means really you're waiting for Screech at 35 for a decent single target chain on a Defender which is the sort of late-build power pressure Domis Assaults suffer from, which suck. 

 

 

 

 

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15 minutes ago, Booper said:

You might notice more of a jump in damage if you take the other powers. Screech in particular will be a heavy hitter and provide additional resistance debuffs. Siren's Song will help considerably in the AoE department.

Like I said I'm a defender. Who cares about my AoE damage output on a team of AoeTanks and Blasters?

 

Personally I'd

  • Switch Short to 8% and the rest to 12%
  • Give Scream it's own debuff so it can stack its new 12% with Shriek (so Scream & Shriek have a reason to both be taken if desired)
  • *Maybe* swap Amplify or Sirens with Screech. Maybe

 

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