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Focused Feedback: Sentinel Archetype Revamp


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Does the vuln -resistance to regeneration work like Acid arrow in TA where it allows the rest of the team's -regen to work better? If so, sentinel has a real chance at having a competitive spot in a 3 or 4 star ITF

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2 minutes ago, naraganeun said:

Does the vuln -resistance to regeneration work like Acid arrow in TA where it allows the rest of the team's -regen to work better? If so, sentinel has a real chance at having a competitive spot in a 3 or 4 star ITF

 

That's exactly how it works, and it ignores level differences.

Edited by Wavicle
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Took one of my recent Sentinels out on Brainstorm (fire\inv) to see how he'd perform.  One of the things I almost immediately noticed, compared to the production servers, is that he huffing a lot (low END).  Admittedly he's still a baby (lvl 31), but even with (2) performance shifters (+END) and 1 Panacea (+HP/+END) and 1 Numina (+REGEN/+Recover) the removal of Defensive Opportunity (that I utilize all the time on live servers with some builds like this guy) seems to be very noticeable. 

 

I know that the vast majority of Sentinel's go for Offensive Opportunity on the production servers (even I do often), but some builds I prefer Defensive Opportunity since the extra HP and END makes this more ... manageable (secondaries like /SR and /INV typically benefit from this while leveling).  I appreciate the capability that the new Opportunity gives, but it doesn't offer up any sort of compensation for losing Defensive Opportunity.  Is that because most Sentinel's don't tend to use defensive opportunity, so it's considered a fair trade since it offers an all-out offensive based inherent?  Most of the more popular builds use a secondary that has an endurance recovery built in so this may not be a big issue for some, but I'm surprised how much my proced out Fire/Inv Sentinel is gasping for air compared to how he performs on the live servers.

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3 minutes ago, evetsleep said:

Took one of my recent Sentinels out on Brainstorm (fire\inv) to see how he'd perform.  One of the things I almost immediately noticed, compared to the production servers, is that he huffing a lot (low END).  Admittedly he's still a baby (lvl 31), but even with (2) performance shifters (+END) and 1 Panacea (+HP/+END) and 1 Numina (+REGEN/+Recover) the removal of Defensive Opportunity (that I utilize all the time on live servers with some builds like this guy) seems to be very noticeable. 

 

I know that the vast majority of Sentinel's go for Offensive Opportunity on the production servers (even I do often), but some builds I prefer Defensive Opportunity since the extra HP and END makes this more ... manageable (secondaries like /SR and /INV typically benefit from this while leveling).  I appreciate the capability that the new Opportunity gives, but it doesn't offer up any sort of compensation for losing Defensive Opportunity.  Is that because most Sentinel's don't tend to use defensive opportunity, so it's considered a fair trade since it offers an all-out offensive based inherent?  Most of the more popular builds use a secondary that has an endurance recovery built in so this may not be a big issue for some, but I'm surprised how much my proced out Fire/Inv Sentinel is gasping for air compared to how he performs on the live servers.

One of my first thoughts hearing about the inherent revamp was that I was going to have to reconfigure a number of sentinel builds for better recovery since we won't have Defensive Opportunity anymore.  That thing can really be a godsend in some situations (Defensive Opportunity + Nuke = full or nearly-full end bar so you can keep on slaying).  I'm hoping that the damage increase will speed up the kills enough to help make up for it, but honestly I'll probably just increase the difficulty and have end problems anyway.

 

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On 10/13/2022 at 3:29 AM, KeepDistance said:

I almost forgot this:
 

 

I would strongly urge the team to reconsider ignoring level differences. Under most circumstances, it's only a moderate advantage, but in certain circumstances like Magisterium Really Hard Way attempts and +4 Katie Hannon runs, it's broken compared to other powerset mechanics.

 

I guess at least Vulnerability doesn't stack, but it still smacks of a one-trick-pony effect.

 

 

Ignoring level difference is not ignoring how resist mechanics work. Having a 20% resistance to type also means a 20% resistance to resist debuffs to that type. So for a Pylon, that means, well technically nothing since they're even level, but it means it's a 12% rebuff because it resists 20% of the 15% debuff. Hell, I wish it was just a flat 15% no matter what. Then it would be a damn good inherent that almost keeps pace with Defiance and crits.

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I did some tinkering with my DP/SR build and toying around with both Hybrid Assault Core and Radial. 

Core's +damage was expected to pull away from Radial's Doublehit. On Live, for me these have been pretty competitive, but on Brainstorm Core pulls a bit away more. I figured it would and its nice to see it does. 

The poor Pylons have taken quite a beating as I wanted to work on how I use Vulnerability in my rotation. I was able to increase some of my previous damage attempts and started to get more consistent 300~ DPS attempts. That's just using Dual Wield, Suppressive Fire, and Executioner's Shot with 4 procs each. The 2 remaining slots have 125% damage modification with Musculature Core Alpha. 

Regular missions Vulnerability's biggest win will be for folks leveling up Sentinels or those that aren't really min-maxing to the gills. For those of us with builds pushing optimization pretty hard, Vulnerability is kinda 'meh' because of the combination of generally better base damage + proc abuse. However, for others not doing this, I can see more frequent castings even against LTs just to knock them out of the fight faster. The ability to have 2 of these up in a minute has its own tactical uses in solo or group play. 

It *is* clunky. Putting the Opportunity Strikes ATO in an AOE isn't a bad choice because it might help spread Vulnerability around when group hopping. I'd still prefer some other ATO proc options, but I do think the general community will see some benefits they aren't right now. 

All in all, this seems pretty successful. I haven't encountered any major bugs where the Vulnerability button didn't work. My findings have mostly been QOL where I may forget that 50% of my meter is available (I have it combat monitoring). Practice will correct that. 

If anyone feels as if the sky is falling here, I'd really just urge you to not be worried. I'm *not* seeing a true 15% damage increase on single target. I have been getting closer to an 11% improvement more consistently in that space, and certainly see a slightly better (14-15%) improvement on AoE minion/LT chainsawing. On the HC live server, I can already do much of what I am doing on Brainstorm. These changes did not suddenly make my Blaster obsolete, but they did make some of my Sentinel's gameplay smoother. 

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I only tested on my kitted out lvl 50 (+incarnates), but it seemed like an improvement. I know some Sentinels rely on Defensive Opportunity, especially at lower levels, to address endurance issues, however as an /Elec Sentinel I don't have issues with Endurance after I get Energize.

Also, I felt that the extra click felt clunky and meant I was far less likely to use Vulnerability unless I am in a drawn out fight. If it were a toggle I could use a bind to attach it to attacks, but as a clicky that is impossible.

Archetype Concept Compilation -- Powerset Concept Compilations: Assault Melee

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The Great Archetype Concept Battle: Final Round

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Archetype Proposal Amalgamation

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Just now, Zepp said:

I only tested on my kitted out lvl 50 (+incarnates), but it seemed like an improvement. I know some Sentinels rely on Defensive Opportunity, especially at lower levels, to address endurance issues, however as an /Elec Sentinel I don't have issues with Endurance after I get Energize.

Also, I felt that the extra click felt clunky and meant I was far less likely to use Vulnerability unless I am in a drawn out fight. If it were a toggle I could use a bind to attach it to attacks, but as a clicky that is impossible.

You can set it to auto if you want. And you can make a key bind to set it to auto.

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On 10/14/2022 at 3:46 PM, Underfyre said:

 

 

Ignoring level difference is not ignoring how resist mechanics work. Having a 20% resistance to type also means a 20% resistance to resist debuffs to that type. So for a Pylon, that means, well technically nothing since they're even level, but it means it's a 12% rebuff because it resists 20% of the 15% debuff. Hell, I wish it was just a flat 15% no matter what. Then it would be a damn good inherent that almost keeps pace with Defiance and crits.

I know how resistance debuffs work, thank you very much. I stand by my previous post.

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On 10/13/2022 at 2:17 AM, KeepDistance said:

Weird. I copied my top performing sent from live, which is elec/regen - 2:15 pylon time. On beta I got 2:35 and 2:45 in back to back runs. In the first run I didn't use Vulnerability, then the second run I did use it.

 

Really not sure what to make of this.

 

I did a bunch more testing.

 

First off, I copied a different sent (fire/dark) with a 4:20 live pylon time over to test and scored a 4:00 without even using Vulnerability, and 3:31 with using it. So those results are consistent with what others have reported.

 

I did more testing with the elec/regen sent and continued to get numbers that in the 2:35-2:45 range. Thinking that something was off specifically with elec blast, I checked the two most obvious things: lack of a scale change to the blast set, and somehow messing up the Shocked mechanic. Neither seemed to pan out; Shocked still happens on test and the damage scale seems about right looking at the combat logs.

 

Then I started thinking I had done something wrong in my original pylon test, so I went back and redid that. I did two tests. In the first test, I more or less ignored the Opportunity debuff because I had kind of forgotten how it works, and got a 2:45 pylon time. The second run, I monitored it more closely, and made sure to reapply it as often as possible even though the attack I need isn't always the highest priority to throw otherwise. In that run, I scored close to my previously reported top time, 2:19.

 

In that last run I noticed that I was able to maintain a debuff on the target most of the time. It's hard to pay attention to every detail of the fight while it's underway, so I don't know exactly how I managed to do that, but my current theory is that Voltaic Sentinel's attacks on live build Opportunity, thus allowing the debuff a much higher uptime than for other Sentinel sets. Since on test the Vulnerability uptime is always the same regardless of the attack chain, this would partially explain why a relative advantage on live has evaporated.

 

However, I still have no explanation for why tests with elec blast on Brainstorm seem to fall in the same range with or without any use of Vulnerability, but only for that one blast set.

 

I think it would be useful at this point for the HC devs to double check this set's implementation for any oddities and/or for someone else to replicate my results.

 

FINALLY

 

One last thing I noticed when comparing damage numbers live vs. test is that procs scored less damage on Brainstorm than on live, specifically about 5% less. It's not enough of a difference to account for the pylon times but it's really got me curious. Was this a global nerf to procs, something specific to pylons, or something else? Would love to get more info on that.

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1 hour ago, KeepDistance said:

One last thing I noticed when comparing damage numbers live vs. test is that procs scored less damage on Brainstorm than on live, specifically about 5% less. It's not enough of a difference to account for the pylon times but it's really got me curious. Was this a global nerf to procs, something specific to pylons, or something else? Would love to get more info on that.

 

You're probably noticing the difference between the resist debuffs that you do on live (5% for normal ST attacks, plus 20% for Opportunity) and on beta (no resist debuff normally, 15% for Vulnerability).

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23 minutes ago, aethereal said:

 

You're probably noticing the difference between the resist debuffs that you do on live (5% for normal ST attacks, plus 20% for Opportunity) and on beta (no resist debuff normally, 15% for Vulnerability).

Voltaic sentinel was shown to apply its own 5% debuff on live.  I’m sure it’s lost that with the changes.  That’s why elec blast is showing this difference and none of the other sets are.  

 

I think it was pets in general, just electric blast has one while the others would have to pick one up from the epics.  

 

Edit:  I actually meant to quote and respond to  @KeepDistance   Not sure what happened there.  

Edited by Brutal Justice
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6 hours ago, Wavicle said:

What's clunky about it?

 

Fair question.

 

In more fast pace situations, I found the use of the button very distracting. I found myself trying to manage an understanding of when I should press this again in order to try to keep it on cooldown while maximizing its benefit. 

The Vulnerability button is as active as you want it to be depending on situations. In order to try to test out and get a sense for the overall damage impact, I felt pushed into a sense of trying to keep it building from 0 - 50% as much as possible. Leaving this at 50% or allowing it to build back up to 100% is leaving effects of my inherent on the table vs the more passive nature of everything else except for Dominators. 

The other flipside of this, is that the overall impact for action taken, doesn't feel all that impactful since it is limited on targets. In faster paced gameplay, like jumping spawn to spawn or general teaming, the uptime of Vulnerability isn't really going to feel worth my time. This is in part due to just how much damage an entire group is going to leverage. Do I just press an AoE attack or do I decide to slap Vulnerability on that target? If the team is moving quickly enough without Vulnerability, then it doesn't seem worth the time to use. If I do use both charges between the first two spawns, then I will have some downtime which is more a nuisance than anything. When the reward for introducing complexity and new cognitive load isn't seen as matching the effort, then people will likely stop doing the action. Adding a mechanic to force feast-or-famine should feel impactful, but this really doesn't do that. Its either really distracting to me or near useless. 

So, "clunky" is to mean awkwardness or cumbersome. The Vulnerability button meets those thoughts, in my opinion, in play testing. 

That said, I may change my mind over time as I get used to including Vulnerability in my gameplay cycle. This is more an element where gameplay and muscle memory will overcome a system that I may feel is needlessly cumbersome just to get a benefit out of it. 

I guess while I am at it, this active use of an inherent that is limited to a single target will likely always stay in the back of my mind as something I dislike. For giggles, I decided to put my STJ/SR Stalker, without any Incarnates slotted at all and no heavy proc use in its build, against a Pylon. It performed 6% less effective than my Incarnate maxed Sentinel using 4 procs per attack and trying to maximize the uptime of the vulnerability effect. The caveat here though is my Stalker does have the Hide ATO and that contributes a significant amount of damage. This allows me to follow-up and Assassin's Strike into a Combo 3 finisher with a critical hit quite often. I haven't bothered to do the same with my DB/SR Scrapper because I am pretty sure I know the outcome. 

Again, that is going to sit in the back of my mind that the feeling of weaving the Vulnerability button into my attack routine adds a new layer of complexity solely for me to underperform vs other AT options. 

Ugh, I wanna be careful here, and be clear. I enjoy my Sentinel. I enjoy my Scrapper and Stalker. I sometimes enjoy playing my Blaster. The ultra competitive mindset on effectiveness isn't necessarily a reason why I play any of these. However, I would be remiss if I ignored that when you play a Sentinel, and try to play it as optimally as possible, you literally have to work harder for less reward. That is what the Vulnerability button represents to me. Is it something I can adapt to and deal with later on? YES. Would I much rather prefer something else in its place? Absolutely. However, I don't think that is going to happen. I'll just accept what I can get. 

Also, when a lot of other Sentinel subforum discussion was going on, I *really* wanted to see a scalar increase. I was FAR less concerned with what Opportunity actually would be. The 1.1 scalar is more than I originally hoped, and using Vulnerability (as limited as it is) is still something.

 

My feedback overall is still mostly positive. 

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I think that Vulnerability suffers from being just slightly underwhelming for its level of effort.

 

Like, a Stalker has to watch for Build Up recharging -- that definitely complicates play and demands attention.  But hitting Build Up is also like, "YEAAAH!"  With the likely slotting of the Chance for Build Up proc in it, you get 5 seconds of 160% damage bonus and another 5 seconds of 80% damage bonus (which helps you against ST and AoE opponents).  It's very clearly worth it to pay attention to Build Up being auto-recharged.

 

Vulnerability is like...  meh.  Worth it against hard targets.  But it's not "YEAAAH!"

 

I want to be clear, I'm not saying that Vulnerability is terrible or worthless.  It seems straightforward that if you are fighting a hard target, it's worthwhile to use Vulnerability.  But it's probably not worthwhile against normal spawns, and even when it is worthwhile, it's not like super awesome.  And so it feels more like a chore than like a chance for you to do Really Cool Shit.

 

Design of Sentinels has been and I think continues to be dominated by some kind of really intense fear that Sentinels are poised to become a superpowered Archetype that obsoletes all other ATs.  I think that's just not engaging with reality.  Yes, really safe play is possible with Sentinels -- but it's also possible with all the other armored ATs, and at least Tankers, Brutes, and some Scrappers can better utilize that very safe play (via taunts).  As long as Sentinels have their target caps, they will never, ever, ever displace Blasters from their niche, even if Sents did significantly greater damage than Blasters (which they are very far from doing).  A Sentinel that had a huge damage increase that affected every attack they made might start to impinge on Stalker/Scrapper niches, but they'd need an across-the-board additional 20% or so damage increase on top of their Beta performance to get near that point.

 

Beta Sentinels are, like...  Eh.  They've gone from being significantly undertuned to moderately undertuned.  If this were the first in a series of steps in the right direction, it'd be great, but my sense is that this is The Big Sentinel Change, Goodbye, and it's not a good Big Sentinel Change.

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10 hours ago, Wavicle said:

You can set it to auto if you want. And you can make a key bind to set it to auto.

I know that, but I am running /elec, so I keep Energize on auto (which is kinda necessary for my build, so using auto or a switching bind is not ideal. (I tried, and ended up losing a lot of durability and sustainability)

Archetype Concept Compilation -- Powerset Concept Compilations: Assault Melee

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Great Archetype Concept Battle: Final Round

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Archetype Proposal Amalgamation

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I would try to dismiss the feeling that one has to use it all the time.

 

You have increased perception and tohit resist all the time, and you have Vulnerability for when you really need it: AVs, EBs, some Bosses, specific mobs like Sorcerers, Sappers, etc.

 

It can sit there unused sometimes and it's no big deal. The red ring doesn't mean "use me now", it just means "2 charges are ready".

 

 

Edited by Wavicle
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12 hours ago, Brutal Justice said:

Voltaic sentinel was shown to apply its own 5% debuff on live.  I’m sure it’s lost that with the changes.  That’s why elec blast is showing this difference and none of the other sets are.  

 

I think it was pets in general, just electric blast has one while the others would have to pick one up from the epics.  

 

Edit:  I actually meant to quote and respond to  @KeepDistance   Not sure what happened there.  

That explains it, thanks. I had forgotten about the flat 5% resistance debuff.

 

Looking at the numbers and thinking over this change... I dunno. It feels like the AT still needs a redesign. I'm certainly not going to be any more likely to play a sent after this change than I was before. Sents are stronger now, mostly, but they're not any more interesting.

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Rather than weighing in on the click-y nature of the beta sent (I'm on the fence, it's not that bad, but it's not great either), or on the metrics which plenty of other people have covered, I wanted to weigh in on a fairly obvious solution for people that miss defensive opportunity - harping back on aethereal's suggestion for high opportunity effects, and also their suggestion that tactical tension is desirable. 

 

Rather than high opportunity giving yet more damage, I would argue it should apply a scaling (depending on your opportunity level) buff to regeneration and recovery, although it would feel much more satisfying if it added a scaling chance for an hp/end heal to all attacks, similar to the global toxic chance on the Spider's Bite ATO, even if the numbers worked out the same on average .

 

I recognize that most people weren't leaning heavily on Defensive Opportunity for heals, but they were there, and in some builds they were even significant.  (Sovera's deprecated Hidden Gem Sonic/Bio comes to mind during the leveling process, and Sarah Bellum's Elec/Elec Sent combined Defensive Opportunity with 6x Power Transfer procs, too, which has been a gem to play.)    Keeping that, and the endurance boost, alive in some fashion seems not only appropriate, but desirable. 

 

Having to choose between better survivability/sustainability and damage output? That's the most fundamental kind of tactical tension there is, and unlike trying to increase damage at high opportunity, it doesn't tread on the devs' apparent fear of sentinels displacing the original archetypes.  

 

 

Edited by Kalean
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11 hours ago, aethereal said:

I think that Vulnerability suffers from being just slightly underwhelming for its level of effort.

 

Like, a Stalker has to watch for Build Up recharging -- that definitely complicates play and demands attention.  But hitting Build Up is also like, "YEAAAH!"  With the likely slotting of the Chance for Build Up proc in it, you get 5 seconds of 160% damage bonus and another 5 seconds of 80% damage bonus (which helps you against ST and AoE opponents).  It's very clearly worth it to pay attention to Build Up being auto-recharged.

 

Vulnerability is like...  meh.  Worth it against hard targets.  But it's not "YEAAAH!"

 

I want to be clear, I'm not saying that Vulnerability is terrible or worthless.  It seems straightforward that if you are fighting a hard target, it's worthwhile to use Vulnerability.  But it's probably not worthwhile against normal spawns, and even when it is worthwhile, it's not like super awesome.  And so it feels more like a chore than like a chance for you to do Really Cool Shit.

 

Design of Sentinels has been and I think continues to be dominated by some kind of really intense fear that Sentinels are poised to become a superpowered Archetype that obsoletes all other ATs.  I think that's just not engaging with reality.  Yes, really safe play is possible with Sentinels -- but it's also possible with all the other armored ATs, and at least Tankers, Brutes, and some Scrappers can better utilize that very safe play (via taunts).  As long as Sentinels have their target caps, they will never, ever, ever displace Blasters from their niche, even if Sents did significantly greater damage than Blasters (which they are very far from doing).  A Sentinel that had a huge damage increase that affected every attack they made might start to impinge on Stalker/Scrapper niches, but they'd need an across-the-board additional 20% or so damage increase on top of their Beta performance to get near that point.

 

Beta Sentinels are, like...  Eh.  They've gone from being significantly undertuned to moderately undertuned.  If this were the first in a series of steps in the right direction, it'd be great, but my sense is that this is The Big Sentinel Change, Goodbye, and it's not a good Big Sentinel Change.

Interesting take. I've read the other feedback and agree with many - this doesn't do a ton to improve Sentinels. The damage boost is sorely needed. However, the Vulnerability power seems to be very underwhelming. 

 

I will say again, leave the old Sent inherent and add Vulnerability. It still isn't that great but at least you can deploy the old inherent easily and it comes up often.

 

There were other ideas that were out in various threads and I was hoping for one of those. 

 

Anyway, can't please all the people all the time. Thanks again to an amazing Dev Team! Despite my opposing views from time to time, I think you guys rock!

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7 hours ago, BurtHutt said:

I will say again, leave the old Sent inherent and add Vulnerability. It still isn't that great but at least you can deploy the old inherent easily and it comes up often.

 

Forcing low-level attacks (tier 1-2) to be taken (and spammed) in all sentinels builds is a bad idea and it always was. We just got that removed from tanks and you want them back to sentinels.

I'd say to devs to just make the inherent passive as it should be. Enough with these clicky and bugged buffs, more so if they are weak and not worth the constant visual distraction from the action. Bugged, cause if you use auto-macros to activate them it will affect your animations for several seconds, randomly not going out, that's tested from me several times and reported several times (rage, energize, build up, hasten, all of the clicky buffs cause that when activated by macros), so macros are not an option to transform into "passive" things that should simply be passive from the get go.

There were some other developers in the past that said something like: "if something is meant to be passive, just make it passive". The players have enough strategy in the builds and positioning and rotations/vs/precision(conscious strategic attacks aimed with precision to some specific targets), no need to add fake layers that are just a distraction at best or annoying at worst.

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