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Here be Dragons
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Please explain what makes an incarnate Sentinel so OP that it has to be crippled with a 6 max target cap for almost all AoEs?

 

I have not yet seen anyone complain that Sentinels are over powered in Incarnate content. And yet we are crippled in our ability to deliver damage to typical groups of incarnate level foes. It can't be the survivability that a Sentinel has, because time and again I see builds posted for Blasters that match a Sentinels survivability, plus have an inherently greater damage scale, and damage bonus cap, AND hit far more foes with their AoEs.

( @Linea, @Voltak, you're both also RO and post amazing builds for most every AT, but for end game content, is there any reason to even try an advanced build for a Sentinel? )

 

The reason that I am posting is that running incarnate content with teams on my Sonic/SR sentinel, I at least contribute -res to assist the team. Now that is due to be doubly nerfed with the reduction in -res values, but more especially with the intended reduction from max target cap from 10 down to 6. The justification for which appears to be, "We're just standardizing, it should have been 6 all along".

 

Which doesn't explain why sentinels are apparently so OP that they should have both a low damage scale, AS WELL AS, the lowest target cap???

 

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Yes, my opinion, what I think about sentinels - should be avoided. 
I have a better SR style Sentinel in my Fortunata, if I wanted to compare a psi blast with a defense armor set. In that case a Fortunata will blow the Sent out of the water. 
Really, if I wanted to play a character similar to a Sent, I log in and play my Fortunata.  
That's perhaps the biggest reason I never cared to make a Sent. 

If you want a sturdy or hard to kill  blasting character, go play a Time or Dark Miasma or even a Sonic Resonance Corruptor or Defender. 

You can even build a Kinetics corruptor to be sturdy or hard to kill
You can build a storm corruptor to be sturdy or hard to kill

I understand Sentinels - range dmg toons with armor, and if players were asking for that kind of character, then they got it. 
There's a price to pay for that. 

My respectful recommendation is to just avoid the AT altogether and play something with more dmg and you can then use IOs and the power sets to make it sturdy or harder to kill. 

 

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25 minutes ago, Voltak said:

if players were asking for that kind of character, then they got it. 
There's a price to pay for that. 

 

And do you feel the price we pay is a fair price? Doesn't seem like you do since you refuse to touch the AT.

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6 hours ago, Here be Dragons said:

Please explain what makes an incarnate Sentinel so OP that it has to be crippled with a 6 max target cap for almost all AoEs?

 

I have not yet seen anyone complain that Sentinels are over powered in Incarnate content. And yet we are crippled in our ability to deliver damage to typical groups of incarnate level foes. It can't be the survivability that a Sentinel has, because time and again I see builds posted for Blasters that match a Sentinels survivability, plus have an inherently greater damage scale, and damage bonus cap, AND hit far more foes with their AoEs.

( @Linea, @Voltak, you're both also RO and post amazing builds for most every AT, but for end game content, is there any reason to even try an advanced build for a Sentinel? )

 

The reason that I am posting is that running incarnate content with teams on my Sonic/SR sentinel, I at least contribute -res to assist the team. Now that is due to be doubly nerfed with the reduction in -res values, but more especially with the intended reduction from max target cap from 10 down to 6. The justification for which appears to be, "We're just standardizing, it should have been 6 all along".

 

Which doesn't explain why sentinels are apparently so OP that they should have both a low damage scale, AS WELL AS, the lowest target cap???

 

 

The simple answer is that the devs who created (or at least 'finished creating' via Homecoming) the AT didn't quite understand the mechanics of the game.  So they created a mishmash of powers, threw in some crippling modifiers and just abandoned it to its fate.

 

Don't seek reason where there is none.  It's just not a well designed AT.  Needs quite a bit of work, and I think the current dev team has recognized that, but it's just not been their priority thus far.

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39 minutes ago, Crysis said:

 

The simple answer is that the devs who created (or at least 'finished creating' via Homecoming) the AT didn't quite understand the mechanics of the game.  So they created a mishmash of powers, threw in some crippling modifiers and just abandoned it to its fate.

 

Don't seek reason where there is none.  It's just not a well designed AT.  Needs quite a bit of work, and I think the current dev team has recognized that, but it's just not been their priority thus far.

That would be understandable, except that Page 4 will include changes to further weaken Sonic Blast on sentinels. That is the opposite of saying this isn't on the devs radar.

 

I have read the Beta Patch Notes forum, and despite comments asking why Sonic Blast on Sentinels needs lower max target caps, the devs are still intending:

 

Changes to Max Targets:

  • (Non-Sentinels) Siren's Song max targets increased to 16 (up from 10). Sentinels still have max targets set to 10.
  • (Sentinels) Howl max targets reduced to 6 (down from 10).
  • (Sentinels) Shockwave max targets reduced to 6 (down from 10).

 

In incarnate content, the *buff* to the individual Sonic Sentinel DPS against a single target is totally overwhelmed by the ~40% reduction in targets hit by Howl and Shockwave. The target reduction for Shockwave also reduces the survivability for the caster (and their team), with an increase of posssibly 200% more incoming damage (assuming a group of 12 foes).

 

So, @Captain Powerhouse what can we do to raise this as a priority?

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2 hours ago, Underfyre said:

 

And do you feel the price we pay is a fair price? Doesn't seem like you do since you refuse to touch the AT.

I understand the price 

But the price is a way of reflecting consequences of heading one way. 

Range dmg plus armor sets ... that's VERY complicated to consolidate in most games already, this or other games I can name here. 

I understand the price so well that I don't touch the AT because w/e this AT aims to do, others do it better. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Crysis said:

 

The simple answer is that the devs who created (or at least 'finished creating' via Homecoming) the AT didn't quite understand the mechanics of the game.  So they created a mishmash of powers, threw in some crippling modifiers and just abandoned it to its fate.

 

Don't seek reason where there is none.  It's just not a well designed AT.  Needs quite a bit of work, and I think the current dev team has recognized that, but it's just not been their priority thus far.

I am fully aware of this. 
Frankly, I do understand this is a very complex issue. 
IF I had to turn back time, I would have this AT not exist in the game. It is inviting a plethora of challenges

Those challenges are not only in CoH but in every game similar with RPG, the range character who also commands powerful defensive armors... 
It's a balance nightmare. 

I just would not touch it. 
I don't want to get involved with that as a player either. 

 

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8 hours ago, Here be Dragons said:

Which doesn't explain why sentinels are apparently so OP that they should have both a low damage scale, AS WELL AS, the lowest target cap???

They're balanced on being slightly less powerful than the average SO-Only built scrappers, no incarnates, no ATOs.   Roughly 95% ST damage and 125% AoE Damage.   The problem there is:  "Who wants an average scrapper?", particularly when scrapper variance (best to worst) is 2.5x and "Who builds SO only?"

 

I have an 801 sentinel that runs 250 dps, can solo a +4x8 ITF, and probably a 1-Star Hardmode ITF as well. ... And ... the 801 scrapper runs 400 dps.  Max variance vs Averages hard at work.  Oops.  (And a full offense glass cannon proc built scrapper can hit 700 dps, but would get obliterated in Hard-mode.)

 

Another related point, Sentinel Variance is the least of any AT.   This IS good design.   But it's also bad design when every other AT has a 2.5x or 3.0x variance, resulting in sentinels having a very very solid 'average' performance with little hope of ever exceeding average.   But that is NOT the sentinel's fault, that's all the other ATs.   No AT should have one attack set that is 3x better than another.

 

And then you can throw Proc Builds on top of that, and push offensive based scrappers to 700 dps, and you'd be lucky if the same sentinal hit 300 dps, maybe 350 at a stretch.  But again, that's not the fault of the Sentinel, that instead lands squarely on the shoulders of Procs and how they help some sets drastically and not others not at all.

 

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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I don't see the issue, you have the laziest AT in the game, its durable right out the box and has mez protection and you can just pew pew away with no clickies. Its the perfect AT for new players or players with 0 inf to throw at toons or players who don't want to bother with working out how the set system works or spend time in mids tinkering. They can just take hover and blast stuff from range and have fun with the game. You can't expect the AT to compare to any of the others in terms of damage or buffs/debuffs its got a blast set and what is essentially scrapper defence/resists. I like them as they are, i never have to worry about getting mezzed and i can switch my brain off completely when playing them. So they don't kill stuff fast, lots of combos don't. Aren't sentinels supposed to be Mr. Average?

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50 minutes ago, Meknomancer said:

I don't see the issue, you have the laziest AT in the game, its durable right out the box and has mez protection and you can just pew pew away with no clickies. Its the perfect AT for new players or players with 0 inf to throw at toons or players who don't want to bother with working out how the set system works or spend time in mids tinkering. They can just take hover and blast stuff from range and have fun with the game. You can't expect the AT to compare to any of the others in terms of damage or buffs/debuffs its got a blast set and what is essentially scrapper defence/resists. I like them as they are, i never have to worry about getting mezzed and i can switch my brain off completely when playing them. So they don't kill stuff fast, lots of combos don't. Aren't sentinels supposed to be Mr. Average?

Mek, I specifically stated that the question is to do with Incarnate (but especially hard mode) content. A Sentinel is no more durable than an IO'd out Blaster, Defender, Controller, or Corruptor. But due to only being able to hit a small number of targets (mostly just 6), and having a low damage scale, and providing little to no support, any team leader should rightly consider whether a team slot would be better employed for just about any other AT.

 

So, yes, solo at up to +2/x4 settings whilst levelling is usually a breeze with a sentinel. But then when you get to 50, a Sentinel is essentially a waste of space on a team.

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@Linea, I always appreciate the thought that you put into your postings.

 

I do think that you are over estimating the AoE damage potential for Sentinels. At x8 settings (whether solo or teamed), the total delivered damage for sentinel AoE powers is severely hampered by the 6 target limit, versus the 10 or 16 target limit on all other ATs.

 

Sentinel Sonic Blast had been an exception, with Howl and Shockwave able to hit 10 targets, which made it viable but far from over-powered. With the Sonic Blast revision in Page 4, the devs are enforcing the 6 target limit on Sentinels. Which is why I am questioning the logic of all sentinels having such a severely limited target cap, especially for level 50+ content.

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2 hours ago, Here be Dragons said:

A Sentinel is no more durable than an IO'd out Blaster, Defender, Controller, or Corruptor.

Armored Blasters only rate somewhere between (2 - 4) on my durability scale, Sentinels rate between (3 - 6).   There IS definite overlap there.

 

I've lead over a thousand 801 teams with my blaster in 801.2, but above 801.3, I swap to the Sentinel and run teams with her up to 801.7.   801.7 and above I'm most likely to swap to Hornet or a Brute depending on the team.   Above 801.9 and up I usually swap to a tank.   As Exceptions I've run all sentinel 801.7s, but usually pick 801.6 for that.   The sentinel has also run on teams up to 15 (801.F), but it's really rare to get a good solid well balanced team that can do that, which is why I normally swap to something solid enough to anchor the team if all else fails.

 

Quote

I do think that you are over estimating the AoE damage potential for Sentinels. At

  • Only if you're teamed with something that can pack the mobs in tight enough, or pull to a corner.   I've always based AoE on things that don't cooperate and don't bunch up nice and tight without help.  
  • In-Game Testing.  Percentages vs Heavily Armored Fire/Atomic Blaster.
    • Pylon Testing (my heavy armor builds):  The sentinel rated 79, the scrappers rated (177, 123, 91, 102, 77).
    • MPL AoE Testing (my heavy armor builds): The sentinel rated 74, the scrappers rated (61, 61, 70, 58, 50).
  • There's also the Trap Door Testing Thread.  But I don't think anyone has ever sat down and complied that.

 

Edited by Linea

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 haven't seen any complaints about certain sent combo's such as fire/bio, dp/nin, dp/sr, fire/rad, dark/??? , i suspect the problem is the same as it is with blasters, sonic isn't a great aoe set, does worse debuffs on sent/blaster than fender/corr and has almost nowhere to slot procs to bump its already mediocre output and sr as a secondary isn't helping. I have a sonic/sr sent and of the 50-60 sents i've played i'd rate it as the 2nd lowest dps with only the dark/dark below it. I wouldn't even consider it for hard mode stuff. When they introduced the new settings on aeon and i was testing vs relentless mobs both sonic as a primary and sr as a secondary fared extremely poorly. I like the combo but i don't see the upcoming changes making an already bad combo worse as its already about as bad as it gets. So they drop the aoe from 10 targets to 6? I wouldn't even have noticed as the cones i cycle, shockwave and howl are probably only hitting that many anyway. mobs are spread out, range isn't fantastic and i have to keep repositioning just to hit 4-5 at once.

 

Sents are best played in melee, its like they were designed that way, same as any melee toon you'd want to herd mobs nuke everything up close then aoe/pbaoe , cones don't have that option and the vast majority of sents i see played are being played at range and are built that way, with a bunch of thunderstrike and artillery sets thrown in and no attempt to build up resists/melee/s-l/aoe def. I'd love to see these blaster builds that can come anywhere close to getting sent def/resist just from the fighting pool/leadership/sorcery/patron/epic pool. So many of the secondaries are awesome, invul, rad, energy, bio, electric. Built in heals/resists/ddr/def.....how can a blaster compare. The ones i've seen murdering their way through stuff are all running survival and offensive amplifiers and clicking insps like theres no tomorrow because a single mez and they face plant and they ususally have to hit up the base first to craft all the assists they can get. Its a simple tradeoff. If sents do damage to match blasters then whats the point of a blaster. You need the differences in target caps and damage to differentiate them.

 

Sents are just a weird AT but i'm glad we have them. I'd like to see other odd AT's introduced. A stone/kinetics tank combo with 0 offensive capablilities is on my wishlist. I don't want everything in the game to be OP and capable of soloing +4 tf's at 50 which is why the incessant bumps to the tank At annoy me. So sents are getting a small downgrade. Thats a good sign, i hope to see more stuff like that applied to other Ats. Who knows, maybe this is just a test on one of the lesser used AT's to see how players respond before they do the same to others.

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3 hours ago, Linea said:

Armored Blasters only rate somewhere between (2 - 4) on my durability scale, Sentinels rate between (3 - 6).   There IS definite overlap there.

 

I've lead over a thousand 801 teams with my blaster in 801.2, but above 801.3, I swap to the Sentinel and run teams with her up to 801.7.   801.7 and above I'm most likely to swap to Hornet or a Brute depending on the team.   Above 801.9 and up I usually swap to a tank.   As Exceptions I've run all sentinel 801.7s, but usually pick 801.6 for that.   The sentinel has also run on teams up to 15 (801.F), but it's really rare to get a good solid well balanced team that can do that, which is why I normally swap to something solid enough to anchor the team if all else fails.

 

  • Only if you're teamed with something that can pack the mobs in tight enough, or pull to a corner.   I've always based AoE on things that don't cooperate and don't bunch up nice and tight without help.  
  • In-Game Testing.  Percentages vs Heavily Armored Fire/Atomic Blaster.
    • Pylon Testing (my heavy armor builds):  The sentinel rated 79, the scrappers rated (177, 123, 91, 102, 77).
    • MPL AoE Testing (my heavy armor builds): The sentinel rated 74, the scrappers rated (61, 61, 70, 58, 50).
  • There's also the Trap Door Testing Thread.  But I don't think anyone has ever sat down and complied that.

 

 

That and in regular content the first AoE kills the minions and voila, we only have five or six targets left. Now we have hard modes and also 801's where 'minions' last longer (actually haven't run either in a while, but I assume so) and more sustained AoE is of import. But that is bleeding edge of content.

 

My Elec/Bio has a pretty decent pylon time for a fully ranged Sentinel, but it's deceptive since it relies on sapping for the Shocked mechanic. In short fights or sap resistance mobs the damage goes down. That said I'm fairly sure 80% of teams don't have their damage dealers doing 3 minutes on a pylon. Heck, most my Brutes run in the three minutes pylon times.

 

Trapdoor? Abysmal, 7:30 ish, but runners mess the testing. A Tanker in the test doing nothing more than run their toggles and healing themselves would probably decrease that time by a fair bit by balling up the enemies.

 

 

My point of view remains the same as before: Sentinels are a nice and lazy class. I compare them to WoW's Hunters (Beastmasters in particular). And the comparison actually goes further than that. Because at the bleeding edge of content the top tier players abandon their Hunters and play a 'better' class. Or they at least abandon the lazy Beastmaster spec.

 

But in practice most people are not as bleeding edge as they might think of themselves. The poo poo-ed Sentinel can (and I suspect it does) out-perform its specialized fellow ATs because it just keeps on trucking and any time the more fragile ATs spend worrying or using defensive clickies or running the Sentinel is pew pewing. Also the value of a nuke available at every spawn and not every two (again, Judgement steals value from this).

 

This is not easily quantified though. With DPS addons I don't need to apologize for playing a Hunter when I am consistently in the top three for damage both in trash and fighting a boss. But in CoH we lack this.

 

Same reasoning that makes players gravitate away from Brutes to Scrappers to eke more damage even knowing that they will be squishier is what makes players drop a Sentinel and roll a Blaster.

 

That said the AT does need some loving and it has been much delayed. More than it deserves. But it also reflects the idea that the AT is not as bad as players perceive. It fits its role.

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10 hours ago, Here be Dragons said:

So, yes, solo at up to +2/x4 settings whilst levelling is usually a breeze with a sentinel. But then when you get to 50, a Sentinel is essentially a waste of space on a team.

 

Ever been on an all corruptor team? Every other AT becomes a waste of space.

 

Sentinels would be far less maligned if we WERE playing a SO only game but of course we aren't. And ya know... I soloed a max diff standard no insps ITF with my fire/bio sent and while I'll admit that it was a slog because the AVs took forever due to my complete inability to keep them from running all over the gorram map, it does show that they're not ridiculously weak. And in a race with a blaster buddy of mine where we each took a path in the last mission of another ITF, I didn't fall all that far behind him.

 

Which leads to the apparently necessary reminder that there is a game here that exists before we get a character to 50, T4ed with 500mil inf worth of IOs, and during that part of the game, my fire/bio sent was vastly more fun to solo to 50 than any other ranged character I've done it with. And we all know why.

 

Ya want to completely trounce all the uber-diff content? Bring 1 high aggro controlling brute and 7 corruptors. Nothing else need apply.

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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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On 8/5/2022 at 8:16 PM, Sovera said:

 

 

 

But in practice most people are not as bleeding edge as they might think of themselves. The poo poo-ed Sentinel can (and I suspect it does) out-perform its specialized fellow ATs because it just keeps on trucking and any time the more fragile ATs spend worrying or using defensive clickies or running the Sentinel is pew pewing. Also the value of a nuke available at every spawn and not every two (again, Judgement steals value from this).

 

 

That said the AT does need some loving and it has been much delayed. More than it deserves. But it also reflects the idea that the AT is not as bad as players perceive. It fits its role.

 

This sums it up for me.  The Sentinel can just keep trucking right along, doing consistent damage over time. Nuking a mob every spawn. My Dark Bio has 5 AoE attacks I can all the time. Six if you count Judgement. I dont get mezzed. I have good ability to heal myself and with Barrier T4 I'm very unlikely to die quickly.  

I find all my Sentinels fun to play. And thats whats most important to me. Fun. not a DPS spreadsheet. 

And for the record I have extremely high end builds on every AT in the game.  But fun wins every time. 

 

 

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I have an Ice/Ice and a Psy/Fire Sentinel. I can solo Fire Farm +4/x8 with both of them. Yay. Honestly though, they are mostly for show because as has been mentioned, there is nothing a Sentinel can do that another AT can't do better.

 

It's not easy trying to think of a fix that could work. I'd probably scrap the Opportunity mechanic which is counterintuitive. 

 

If you wanted something unique, then what if Sentinel damage had some Damage over Time component? I mean, they can have some pretty solid AoE chains. With the right tactics, clear time could be improved. Just a thought.

 

For defense, maybe a mechanic similar to Melee Hybrid, where more mobs give a Defense bonus? Of course, the messed up thing here the fact Sentinels are a ranged AT. 

 

I figure at the very least, if Sentinels are going to be basically Human-form Peacebringers that come in different flavors, then why not raise the RES cap to 85% to be in line with the other EATs? I don't know if it would do any good, but it wouldn't make them overpowered by any stretch. They're still going to struggle to shoot their way out of a paper bag.

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1 hour ago, arcane said:

There’s literally no way to balance a ranged damage / armor AT without something feeling watered down. This is basic stuff.

 

Range doesn't mean near so much without enough damage to prevent targets from closing the distance. 

Edited by Erratic1

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14 minutes ago, DarknessEternal said:

Every enemy carries a gun, or a hunk of street.

 

True statement but the amount of incoming damage is vastly lower at range.

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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1 hour ago, Erratic1 said:

 

Range doesn't mean near so much without enough damage to prevent targets from closing the distance. 

Regardless, the most durable ranged AT needs to be [at least one of] the least damaging ranged AT’s, because balance, and that’s why we’re here.

 

That said I understand the frustration with the target caps because even Defenders don’t have to deal with that. So my question is: would people be ok with Sentinel’s damage modifier decreasing from where it is now if that was the justification devs needed to increase target caps? Say between 0.1 and 0.15. Personally, I would say yes.

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24 minutes ago, arcane said:

Regardless, the most durable ranged AT needs to be [at least one of] the least damaging ranged AT’s, because balance, and that’s why we’re here.

 

If that's the case then we should get sentinels as close to blaster damage as tanks are now to brute damage.

 

🙂

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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