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Focused Feedback: Sonic Attack Revamp


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These changes should have been specialized to the archetype, like the difference between Dark Miasma on a Defender and Dark Affinity on a Controller.

 

Giving Screech the Clobber treatment seems nice, and we got some more damage. Great, Blasters love it. But people also loved the strong debuff potential the set had if you played in on Defender. CC powers are also great support sometimes. So ideally if you ask me, we should have let Defenders have them, with the strong debuff, and then gone full damage mode for Blaster. Why couldn't we have modified Sonic Blast to give it a snipe, and replace some of the CC powers? There's no reason you can't specialize it that way. I mean Psionic Blast is like that between plenty of archetypes. Then maybe make some kind of in between for Corruptor, whatever's clever. Then you could nerf the -res values on the Blaster because it's obviously going to deal more damage.

 

Making general sweeping changes for a set that is played on multiple archetypes I think will only cause problems. Dark Affinity is great for Controller because it's Dark but it was given special powers and specified to the archetype it was put on. We should be doing more of that.

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54 minutes ago, Galaxy Brain said:

 

I have a long running test environment for comparing primary sets (So far for Melee [Scrappers], Ranged [Blasters], and Masterminds).  The goal is to test sets in a "mission" environment instead of a farm or pylon to get a more "average" performance benchmark.

That's quite interesting.  Any chance you've done additional testing on Elec since its revamp?

Edited by Generator
its vs it's is hard
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1 hour ago, Biosphere said:

These changes should have been specialized to the archetype, like the difference between Dark Miasma on a Defender and Dark Affinity on a Controller.

 

Giving Screech the Clobber treatment seems nice, and we got some more damage. Great, Blasters love it. But people also loved the strong debuff potential the set had if you played in on Defender. CC powers are also great support sometimes. So ideally if you ask me, we should have let Defenders have them, with the strong debuff, and then gone full damage mode for Blaster. Why couldn't we have modified Sonic Blast to give it a snipe, and replace some of the CC powers? There's no reason you can't specialize it that way. I mean Psionic Blast is like that between plenty of archetypes. Then maybe make some kind of in between for Corruptor, whatever's clever. Then you could nerf the -res values on the Blaster because it's obviously going to deal more damage.

 

Making general sweeping changes for a set that is played on multiple archetypes I think will only cause problems. Dark Affinity is great for Controller because it's Dark but it was given special powers and specified to the archetype it was put on. We should be doing more of that.

you know, i had honestly forgotten about stuff like that, and this is a great point too-- granted, it's 'more work' in the long run, but also could probably get away with leaving it as is on def and maybe corr and just change it for sent and blast? but there WERE also people who seem to want the new version on corr / def too, which makes this solution less ideal feeling...

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So coming from my minimal testing and someone who is not an elite player or who knows how to slot well, I rolled up a TA/Sonic defender, jumped it to 50, and then just let the auto-enhance feature do its thing (I realize this is not idea, but I'm half asleep and don't know enough about making builds to have spent a long time just figuring out how to assign slots and enhance powers when I wanted to jump in and test Sonic even with my half-arsed slotting). Anyway, jumped to PI and picked up a Council radio mission at +0/x4 (again, I'm okay saying I'm kind of a noob and didn't want to overwhelm myself since I haven't played this combo before), and I have to agree with many of the others who have tested the set that it feels like it plays really well.

 

It was quite fun to set up some of the arrow powers, then whack them with the cones, and whittle down any LT's still left standing. I admittedly haven't played sonic blast at the high levels, but the adjustments in the beta so far make it feel fairly powerful, even on a defender. The attacks flow smoothly and I didn't feel like I was hitting like a wet noodle like I tend to do when I play /Sonic on a defender. I know a lot of people are worried about the reduction in the -res applied, but idk, I kind of like the sonic attacks having a bit more oomph behind them, especially when the majority of content, stuff dies too fast for the -res buffs to really have time to stack and be effective. I do hope that many of the naysayers are actually on Brainstorm testing them so we get more than just armchair feedback. I look forward to playing with the set more and trying it out on a blaster and seeing how it feels leveling and facing different types of mobs (since I realize Council are just lolpunchingbags).

Global: @Valnara1; Formerly @TigerGoddess on Live

I primarily play on Everlasting, but you may occasionally find me on Indom. 🙂

Notable Characters: Apocolyptica - Demons/Storm MM; Human Mosquito - Water/Sonic Corruptor; Elfvira - Human-Form WS; Environmentabot - Bots/Nature MM; Illiana the Shroud - Fire/Dark Controller; Kincatic - Beast/Kin MM

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8 hours ago, Galaxy Brain said:

Alrighty, lets look at ye olde Sonic Attack at x8 difficulty:

 

Blaster - 0/8x difficulty, SO values, Primary Powers only:

 

image.png.7439230f68fe4a6564a2bd1c87f982e4.png

 

 

 

 

 

 

And now, the beta build:

 

image.png.03cac12e268fb05ea7148e00041dd86e.png

 

 

 

 

The DPA and Rech changes are no joke, going from the absolute worst to being the near mid-point is a big jump.

 

Nice work (I was using your office map for testing various powers like new Ice Slick yesterday too). 

 

Problem is this is great for Blasters but at the expense of Defenders. Personally I like some sets being more "supporty" so I think the balance needs to swing back to support a bit more. I ran a respecced Defender build yesterday and Sirens is good now, as is Screech but the -Res nerf still hurts, as does the placement of "good powers". 

 

It definitely needs another pass for Defenders. 

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Overall my experience has been that all three ATs solo a bit better.  I haven't been able to team with them, but I can do math, so I know they'll be less effective in large team play and MUCH less effective in large leagues.  But I think -Res is grossly OP in those Big Bag O' Hit Points fights as is, so I'll live with that nerf.

 

What I don't like...

  • The two best powers in the new set (Screech and Siren's Song) are two of the most skipped powers in the Live version.  This means that most Sonic Blast toons will need to respec to see much of the benefit of the changes.
  • Blasters who take both T1 and T2 to use while mezzed may have trouble finding enough picks and slots to maximize the buffs and minimize the nerfs.
  • Sentinels who take both T1 and T2 to use their inherent fully have the same problem.

None of these are major problems, IMO.  The last two are the consequence of a choice in Max -Res.  Allowing 8% more would get rid of both of them and at the same time simplify the explanation of how the set works.

Edited by csr
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My take is that the set was probably too much of an outlier in both directions previously. No other blast set provided anything like as much support making it the almost uncontested go to for those defenders who had no interest in anything but support. And we all know how weak it was for anyone who actually wanted to blast.

 

This change seems to be designed to normalise the set somewhat. It now seems to do reasonably well on the damage front at the cost of no longer being quite so far ahead of the pack in support. That's a reasonable trade off to my mind. I still can't see it losing its crown as the go to support set because of this.

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One thing to think of and maybe hope for is that in the dom version, people complained that sonic did not match the new Symphony Control set and a dev mentioned that it was not supposed to and it doesn't preclude the possibility of a sonic control set one day.

 

That also doesn't preclude the possibility of a Symphonic Blast set for defenders that is more along the lines of what people here are asking for.

Edited by Marshal_General
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12 hours ago, Biosphere said:

These changes should have been specialized to the archetype, like the difference between Dark Miasma on a Defender and Dark Affinity on a Controller.

 

100%

 

These changes are good for a blaster, but as expected, fall short for the other ATs.

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48 minutes ago, ScarySai said:

 

100%

 

These changes are good for a blaster, but as expected, fall short for the other ATs.

They’re fantastic for every AT. I will actually play the set now. And I mean that for both my Blaster and my Defender.

 

Can someone please provide real numerical testing data if they believe Defender’s have been given a net nerf here? 
 

Thank you @Galaxy Brain

Edited by arcane
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18 hours ago, RenownedGibberish said:

So, full disclosure, I haven't tried it out yet, but the numbers definitely don't look great.

 

Previous to this change, stacking -80% resistance was not difficult, and -100% for a while after Dreadful Wail.

 

Now, we have -12%, non-stacking, plus 8% stacking depending on which powers one is using, up to another -40%, for a total of -52% (-44% without Wail).

 

Numbers-wise, that means a sonic defender is dealing only 55% of the debuffs (s)he was doing before (without Wail), or 52% with Wail.  Now, sure, you can up the DPS and lower the activation time (further increasing the DPS), but even adding 100% damage to all Sonic attacks barely makes up for the reduced debuff potential, and that's all talking about solo play.

 

I can verify that I checked it out myself and that's around the level of debuff you get now, so there's some quoted numbers.

 

You might not think it's a big deal, but it is. Taking a trade where your sonic blast itself might do something like 150 more damage is nowhere near as beneficial to having 50% stronger debuff which lets your entire team deal more damage. Carnifax and others have brought this up specifically for Defender because it is not seen as a good trade for the set.

Edited by Biosphere
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I would be happy to test a /Sonic Defender solo on live before and after changes. Obviously that testing will be better after the changes.

 

I’ll leave the team test to you guys. If it can be proven that completion times are increasing post-changes, you guys will have a good argument for tweaking the set further just for Defender’s.

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It won't be that hard to find a situation where it's a nerf to a teamed character: just go find an AV or GM, especially at +0.  It'll survive long enough for the debuffs to actually matter, and the debuffs do go higher on live.  And there's no way that the difference between one character's low-end blast set and mid-end blast set is worth an extra, I dunno, 20% or 40% damage for a whole team.

 

But is that important?  AV and GM fights are a very small part of the game, and on a large-ish teams are very foregone conclusions.  Is chopping ten or twenty seconds off a fight that happens once or twice in a TF, and 0.1 times in an average arc, a role for an entire powerset?  Is the new sonic blast actually any worse in non-AV/GM fights even on a full team?  I'm highly dubious.

 

In a classic large-team zerg attack, what debuffs was a Defender applying?  One Howl to give everything -20% -- which you still do.  Then maybe a couple of ST attacks on a boss, assuming you don't have something better to do from your, you know, primary powerset.  But now your ST attacks are better and faster, and that partially compensates for the lower stacking.  Is there anything observably slower here?

 

People just tend to overestimate how good -res debuffs are.  Ask @Sovera.

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1 minute ago, aethereal said:

It won't be that hard to find a situation where it's a nerf to a teamed character: just go find an AV or GM, especially at +0.  It'll survive long enough for the debuffs to actually matter, and the debuffs do go higher on live.  And there's no way that the difference between one character's low-end blast set and mid-end blast set is worth an extra, I dunno, 20% or 40% damage for a whole team.

 

But is that important?  AV and GM fights are a very small part of the game, and on a large-ish teams are very foregone conclusions.  Is chopping ten or twenty seconds off a fight that happens once or twice in a TF, and 0.1 times in an average arc, a role for an entire powerset?  Is the new sonic blast actually any worse in non-AV/GM fights even on a full team?  I'm highly dubious.

 

In a classic large-team zerg attack, what debuffs was a Defender applying?  One Howl to give everything -20% -- which you still do.  Then maybe a couple of ST attacks on a boss, assuming you don't have something better to do from your, you know, primary powerset.  But now your ST attacks are better and faster, and that partially compensates for the lower stacking.  Is there anything observably slower here?

 

People just tend to overestimate how good -res debuffs are.  Ask @Sovera.

 

 

Nailed it. Testing done (for a blaster) showed a remarkable improvement for the set. Raw damage counts too but it is not being accepted in practical terms. Like the reasoning behind certain things being the mythical 'damage cap' because in a spreadsheet a Kin can fully buff a team. But in practice people are exploding the minions most of the time before the kin has even gone close to the spawn.

 

The extra damage is bound to help more for 95% of the game and still be a damage boost for the team when finding a hard target.

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16 minutes ago, aethereal said:

It won't be that hard to find a situation where it's a nerf to a teamed character: just go find an AV or GM, especially at +0.  It'll survive long enough for the debuffs to actually matter, and the debuffs do go higher on live.  And there's no way that the difference between one character's low-end blast set and mid-end blast set is worth an extra, I dunno, 20% or 40% damage for a whole team.

That’s why the testing should be on clear times for an entire TF or mission. Of course anyone can cherry pick the one AV fighting scenario where those debuffs make a big difference. But that fight is diluted by every other fight in the TF or mission. 
 

/Sonic Defenders are better at damage across the board now. Their -res changes need to be impactful for more than just AV fights for the sacrifice for better damage to be a bad thing.

 

The worst ranged damage set in the game jumped straight into the middle of the pack guys. That’s not a minor buff. I for one am ecstatic.

Edited by arcane
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Overall these Sonic Changes have me VERY excited for the set. Before it was realistically a defender only set, with a few niche applications outside of just being a debuff set. Yes you will stack less -res than last time, but if we are being honest, that isnt going to affect a whole lot considering the MASSIVE overall dmg output from the set. This set went from the worst blast set in the game to an actual decent blast set with a sustainable attack chain while still retaining a large portion of its -res for teams. 

I have played Sonic Blast a ton on live and on HC and I liked how it was before, but this is just SO much better overall. In fact, I just created a Sonic/Poison Corruptor to stack the -res and see how the new DPS on Sonic will work with Scourge. I anticipate it being much better than past attempts at a Sonic Corruptor.

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1 minute ago, Marshal_General said:

If the -res isn't substantial or really needed for most gameplay like some people are saying, then does the damage buff really matter when we can just pick a different set that does better damage?

Sonic Attack is on the subcategory “Ranged Damage” sets. It is not primarily a support set. It is a damage set. It should have the same opportunity to do reasonable damage as any other set. 

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1 minute ago, arcane said:

Sonic Attack is on the subcategory “Ranged Damage” sets. It is not primarily a support set. It is a damage set. It should have the same opportunity to do reasonable damage as any other set. 

That is my point. If the -RES is important, then it should be substantial. If not, then the damage needs to be substantial. Right now, it looks like neither are.

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5 minutes ago, Marshal_General said:

If the -res isn't substantial or really needed for most gameplay like some people are saying, then does the damage buff really matter when we can just pick a different set that does better damage?

 

Why Doesn't Everyone Just Use Fire Blast?  I mean, it's a real question, to be sure.  It's one of the reasons why I'm not on board with all the people who are like team "we should fully divorce mechanics and aesthetics, so that I can make a 'Banshee' that shoots sonic waves from her mouth which is Fire Blast."

 

Howl giving -20% res to 10 targets at the start of each spawn seems like...  not the biggest deal in the world, but a notable advantage.  But new Sonic Blast still has it.

 

Putting accumulated -res on a hard target has a niche, it's just not a big enough niche to justify the entire rest of the set sucking.

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20 minutes ago, Marshal_General said:

That is my point. If the -RES is important, then it should be substantial. If not, then the damage needs to be substantial. Right now, it looks like neither are.

Substantial isn't an absolute term tho, what do you consider substantial? Specifically in terms of the debuff.

 

It's -44% resistance you can expect to maintain compared to approximately -0% from any of the other blast sets, which seems pretty substantial to me.

Edited by Arcadio
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Fire used to be top dog for damage, because that is all it did. The new electricity can give fire a run for its money if not pull fire's shorts up over its head and take its money while still doing more than just damage.

 

Sonic had good support and bottom of the barrel damage. I loved getting a sonic on the team for a SBB. I knew the AVs were going to melt.

 

Now the damage has gone up and the support has gone down. My question is wether or not the new damage justifies the decrease of the support or did they just move the damage to middle of the road and the support too far towards the bottom of the barrel and all we have done is exchange problems?

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34 minutes ago, Marshal_General said:

That is my point. If the -RES is important, then it should be substantial. If not, then the damage needs to be substantial. Right now, it looks like neither are.

They both are substantial now on beta. On live the -res is slightly more substantial and the damage is complete trash. I choose door 2.

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2 hours ago, arcane said:

That’s why the testing should be on clear times for an entire TF or mission. Of course anyone can cherry pick the one AV fighting scenario where those debuffs make a big difference. But that fight is diluted by every other fight in the TF or mission. 
 

/Sonic Defenders are better at damage across the board now. Their -res changes need to be impactful for more than just AV fights for the sacrifice for better damage to be a bad thing.

 

The worst ranged damage set in the game jumped straight into the middle of the pack guys. That’s not a minor buff. I for one am ecstatic.


Sometimes the team barely has enough damage to take down the AV.  My dark/sonic has proven helpful in those cases.  I for one am not at all excited about nerfing my niche.  I agree sonic needs help for damage ATs but would prefer this not come at my main’s expense.

 

 

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