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Focused Feedback: Necromancy Revamp


The Curator
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So I went and double checked it, its actually fully enhanced values. Forgive the poorly formatted DATA. I also tested resistances because why not at same time.

 

Zombies      
HP Default Base:  575 Upgrade: 626 Result: +51
HP Enhanced 95%: 677 127.7%: 692 159.9%: 709
       
Grave      
HP Default Base: 769 Upgrade: 822 Result: +53
HP Enhanced 95%: 874 127.7%: 891 159.9%: 908
       
Lich      
HP Default Base: 964 Upgrade: 1012 Result: +48
HP Enhanced 95%: 1058 127.7%: 1073 159.9%: 1088

 

So like if you take the +51 hp a zombie gets, multiply it by 2.599 (159.9% enhancement value), you get 132, add that to their default hp of 575 and it gets you to 707 (so my laziness in not using all the decimal points is probably why hp is off by 2)

 

So as you can see I was slightly off, Lich actually gains the least hp both % of total hp and raw amount and my non math estimates of "150" were only because I went all in on over enhancing. Still, the maximum values were simply 6 basic 50+5 IOs and Alpha slot but that results in basically 23% more hp total. A bit overkill in slotting but I was curious what a simple maximum was, and then also did a more 'normal' maximum of 3 SOs and then somewhere in between to represent set bonuses and such. Still it could be really nice especially if you can hit resist or dodge caps....

 

And while at it I tested the resist numbers with same basic enhancement plan

Zombies      
Base: 20.25% 56%: 31.77% 75%: 35.46% 99%: 40.25%
       
Grave      
Base: 27% 56%: 42.24% 75%: 47.28% 99%: 53.67%
       
Lich      
Base: 33.75% 56%: 52.65% 75%: 59.1% 99%: 67.09%

 

Edited by Ryko Nailo
Fixed Typos
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My quick test earlier on a level 33 Necro / Elect lead me to believe that the HP buff was a fully enhanceable 5% of the base HP for the henchman's level.  Not the henchman's normal HP, but the base HP before AT/class multipliers.  So for the Lich at 33 the buff appeared to be working off 811 HP, not the 730 the Lich started with.  And the level 31 Zombies worked off 757 HP instead of 409.  Due to the different levels of the pets the buff isn't the same amount for all.  And it's not a straight percentage of starting HP because the buff is additive, not multiplicative.  That is, it effectively adds 0.05 * (1 + enh) to the class multiplier for each henchman tier (0.9 for the Lich, 0.72 for the Knights and 0.54 for the Zombies).

 

Scrap's numbers are odd though.  They don't quite fit what I saw in my test.  The Zombies are 2 pts low and the Lich 8 pts.

 

[Edit:]

I don't care enough to hunt down the discrepancies, as the answer I got fit with the sort of implementation I'd expect.  But if you're going to start trying to figure it out, you should start with the Wiki page for pets.

 

[Edit 2:]

Or maybe just get Booper to tell you what it is.

 

Edited by csr
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So... the zombies get a +maxHP buff now? Did they always??
 

1 hour ago, csr said:

Scrap's numbers are odd though.  They don't quite fit what I saw in my test.  The Zombies are 2 pts low and the Lich 8 pts.


This is going to be due to level differences. Grave knights are -1 your level and minions -2. Their values are slightly less as a result.

Anyway! I'm here to report on the spectres being intangible change is very good. They no longer have hitboxes that block, and you can move right through them without worry. Unlisted in the notes here is that they're now much more translucent and ghostly than last patch, which is a really good change. I like them being visible, but not too distractingly visible with everything else that's going to be going on.

Also reporting they are killed by /release_pets (which is good, they should be)

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'Did some running around with Ananka this morning (Necro/Thermal/Heat) and everything seems to be working as it should. I love the spectrals being "walk-through" now, and having a couple of them out there with all of the extractions and the guys was pretty high on the Horde-of-the-Undead spectacle meter. It may not be as large a group as a good Gang War, but it's right up there. Love that. 

 

Comparing the dead man's party on beta to running the very same mission with the boys on Live, the Brainstorm version was a total stomp-fest. It took about two thirds of the time to clear all of the goons out of the same +1 x8 Council mission that I had held on both versions.

 

Going back in at +4? The zombies were still prone to getting shredded in both cases, but the beta grave knights and lich fared a little better. 

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Kai's Diary: The Scrapbook of a Sorcerer's Apprentice

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Not sure the soul extraction change was *needed,* but it's very much *appreciated.* 🙂 Have to get used to using it like gang war and waiting for the minions to be in combat, I think.

 

About the only thing I'm kind of going back and forth on is if the spectre that gets summoned should be at the target's location instead of where I am or not. Mostly because there are times enough it'll just hang back with me. I'm not really set one way or the other on it, though.  I wouldn't mind it using a different model, though, since ... COT. Maybe the old Soul Extraction sprite?

Primarily on Everlasting. Squid afficionado. Former creator of Copypastas. General smartalec.

 

I tried to combine Circle and DE, but all I got were garden variety evil mages.

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1 hour ago, Greycat said:

Not sure the soul extraction change was *needed,* but it's very much *appreciated.* 🙂 Have to get used to using it like gang war and waiting for the minions to be in combat, I think.

 

About the only thing I'm kind of going back and forth on is if the spectre that gets summoned should be at the target's location instead of where I am or not. Mostly because there are times enough it'll just hang back with me. I'm not really set one way or the other on it, though.  I wouldn't mind it using a different model, though, since ... COT. Maybe the old Soul Extraction sprite?

 

Re the CoT element... I actually found the sound effects matching CoT to be distracting at times.  When I ran the final Hollows mission and in Wheel of Destruction I found myself thinking there was a CoT spirit left to defeat somewhere a couple of times.

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Started a new Necro/FF to try out two new things at once.

 

Thanks for making the Specters not have a collision box.  But if we aren't going to add them to the pet box can we at least make them a little less transparent?  They are super hard to see if you aren't right on top of them.

 

More feedback after I log a few more levels. . . .

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Just curious, but do you need to be able to see them? You can't heal them or control them, and they die gradually over time. They kinda just exist and you can't do anything about it. I guess some buffs might work on them if you think it's worth the trouble.

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2 hours ago, Greycat said:

Not sure the soul extraction change was *needed,* but it's very much *appreciated.* 🙂 Have to get used to using it like gang war and waiting for the minions to be in combat, I think.

 

About the only thing I'm kind of going back and forth on is if the spectre that gets summoned should be at the target's location instead of where I am or not. Mostly because there are times enough it'll just hang back with me. I'm not really set one way or the other on it, though.  I wouldn't mind it using a different model, though, since ... COT. Maybe the old Soul Extraction sprite?

 

Make it an option. I, for what are probably obvious reasons, love the current Circle spectral models.

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I'd just like to know if they're there or not.  Hard to tell sometimes with just 2 zombies.  Once I have a full complement I assume it will only be harder.

 

Option would be best of both worlds.  Hey! Does coloring the power change the color/transparency of the Specter?  Let me check.

 

EDIT:

Nope.  Changing color just changes the summoning animation color, not the Specters' color, just like Lores.

 

Although, having this different color is helping me recall a bit which power summoned one last.  It would be great if they could inherit some of that color as an aura or the color of their cloak or sash.  I know, I know *standard code rant* but a bug can have dreams.

 

Edited by Bionic_Flea
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Just now, Bionic_Flea said:

I'd just like to know if they're there or not.  Hard to tell sometimes with just 2 zombies.  Once I have a full complement I assume it will only be harder.

 

It gets pretty wild once you have all five of your guys, five extractions and a handful of specters out there in a fight. If you use your attacks often, it isn't unusual to have three of them out there drifting around.

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Kai's Diary: The Scrapbook of a Sorcerer's Apprentice

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Am I crazy or do the summoning times seem even faster on beta? I knew they had shortened them some already, but I swear I summoned my zombies at lightning speed just now.

 

Edit: Also kind of funny to see "You have defeated Specter." in the combat/chat log when they fade away and desummon. xD

Edited by TygerDarkstorm

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; Lurking Monster - Human-Form WS; Environmentabot - Bots/Nature MM; Miss Fade - Ill/Traps Controller; Sister Apocalypse - Beast/Dark MM; Dr. Elaina Wrath - Plant/Rad Controller (Join the House of Wrath, and spread the word of science!); ACE 9000 - Fire/Rad Sentinel

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Would it also be possible to make the floating orange and purple shield icons optional around our pets when the +res/+def enhancements are slotted? Since you're doing a mastermind revamp. Very interesting changes, you all rock!

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15 hours ago, Bionic_Flea said:

I'd just like to know if they're there or not.  Hard to tell sometimes with just 2 zombies.  Once I have a full complement I assume it will only be harder.

 

Option would be best of both worlds.  Hey! Does coloring the power change the color/transparency of the Specter?  Let me check.

 

EDIT:

Nope.  Changing color just changes the summoning animation color, not the Specters' color, just like Lores.

 

Although, having this different color is helping me recall a bit which power summoned one last.  It would be great if they could inherit some of that color as an aura or the color of their cloak or sash.  I know, I know *standard code rant* but a bug can have dreams.

 

 

Hi there! The Specters should inherit a glow that matches the power customization. Are they not for you?

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31 minutes ago, Player-1 said:

 

Hi there! The Specters should inherit a glow that matches the power customization. Are they not for you?

It isn't for me. My MM's stuff is colored pinkish and the specters were pretty much yellowish when playing last night.

 

Also, not sure if WAI, but Specters are able to be buffed with the /Sonic shields.

 

screenshot_221008-19-58-01.jpg

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

Notable Characters: Apocolyptica - Demons/Storm MM; Lurking Monster - Human-Form WS; Environmentabot - Bots/Nature MM; Miss Fade - Ill/Traps Controller; Sister Apocalypse - Beast/Dark MM; Dr. Elaina Wrath - Plant/Rad Controller (Join the House of Wrath, and spread the word of science!); ACE 9000 - Fire/Rad Sentinel

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7 hours ago, AxerJ said:

Would it also be possible to make the floating orange and purple shield icons optional around our pets when the +res/+def enhancements are slotted? Since you're doing a mastermind revamp. Very interesting changes, you all rock!


Would definitely be really happy with this, if it's realistically within the scope of things we're looking at. They're very distracting for RP purposes.

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I played around with a Necro/FF on Redside. Overall, I like how the Necro MM played. It felt super aggressive, especially outdoors where the specters aggroed whatever as quickly as they could.

 

A couple of things seemed unusual:

  • Spectres don't attack vault doors (not a huge deal, but MM attacks aren't known for their damage, so every little bit would help)
  • Zombie minions didn't attack vault doors, even when the door was targeted and the minions were set to Aggressive (this felt like a bug)
  • Enemies attacking spectres did not trigger minions when set to Defensive mode (this might be working as intended, as I was not attacked, just the spectres)
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15 minutes ago, Kent Tomorrow said:

I played around with a Necro/FF

 

I tried out the same combo; the zombies -tohit combines very well with the defense from FF.  But the endurance use is crazy! 

 

Soul Extraction - 30 base endurance

Repulsion Bolt - 12.74 base endurance

Force Bomb - 21.19 base endurance

Gloom and Life Drain - 10.66 base endurance

Enchant and Dark Empowerment - 11.38 base endurance

 

Even with decent slotting at level 35, I have to monitor endurance very closely or find my toggles dropping.  I appreciate trying to make the MM personal attacks worth taking and I do really like the Specters, but taking them and only using them sparingly makes me think that I might still want to skip them and save the endurance.

 

Oh, and with regard to the Specters, I had not noticed that they have a power Icon under your health bar when active.  I didn't notice until I switched to numerical stacking and saw it go to 2 when the second Specter appeared.

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44 minutes ago, Kent Tomorrow said:

 

  • Zombie minions didn't attack vault doors, even when the door was targeted and the minions were set to Aggressive (this felt like a bug)

I can't speak to the other stuff, but this is a known issue even on live with MM henchmen. You have to use the Attack my Target command, and sometimes go so far as to place them on go-to to the door, and then to attack it.

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

Notable Characters: Apocolyptica - Demons/Storm MM; Lurking Monster - Human-Form WS; Environmentabot - Bots/Nature MM; Miss Fade - Ill/Traps Controller; Sister Apocalypse - Beast/Dark MM; Dr. Elaina Wrath - Plant/Rad Controller (Join the House of Wrath, and spread the word of science!); ACE 9000 - Fire/Rad Sentinel

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9 hours ago, TygerDarkstorm said:

Also, not sure if WAI, but Specters are able to be buffed with the /Sonic shields.

 

Capt P said he has them unaffected for 10s when summoned and able to be buffed after that.  So WAI for now.

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On 10/7/2022 at 12:33 AM, WindDemon21 said:

I only saw this and thought radius, not range of cast, but PLEASSSSSSSEEEEEE make these upgrades, if not going to auto's, a pbaoe buff so you don't have to actually target the pet to cast them. Please make them pbaoe, so you can just fire them off right after you summon the pet without needing to target them.


Team PBAoE is the way to go, like how Speed Boost for Kinetics was changed.
 

On 10/6/2022 at 9:46 PM, summers said:

It would be really great if the Spectres could have no player character collision detection like the rest of the summons.


This is a must-have to be honest.  Please fix?
 

On 10/6/2022 at 3:28 AM, Scrapulous said:

These are exciting changes. I'm glad MMs are getting attention and I think the changes you're making are fun, thematic, and interesting. I was excited to test.

 

Some initial thoughts:

 

The Blasts:

  • The specters have very minimalist graphics, just a sickly-green floating tennis ball trailing a bunch of streamers below it. Energy Font and the Dominator version look much better. I'm more able to notice the specters by the leadership and IO aura buff icons rotating around them than by their actual physical appearance. It feels pretty underwhelming.
  • "These Specters cannot be healed or regenerate, but have decent resistance to all damage and defense against AoE attacks". What this means:
    • 4 mag protection to Terrorize and Sleep
    • 1 mag protection to Stun
    • 50% resistance to Terrorize and Sleep
    • 100% resistance to: healing, run speed, and recharge
    • 38.04% resistance to smashing, lethal, fire, cold, energy, negative energy, psi, and tox damage
    • 19.99% defense to AoE
  • I don't think this is really going to change my thinking on my necromancers. I already take Gloom and Siphon Life because they deliver procs at a decent rate. I don't take Dark Blast, because it does not. Summoning the specters is a neat trick, and may be a real help while leveling (especially if they can take aggro), but I don't see getting all three as anything especially important.

 

The Pets:

  • "Powers have been adjusted for area and duration" - what they're saying here is that the zombie AoEs are bigger and will try to do more damage. Details:
    • Projectile Vomit
      • Wider arc. Live: 40ft, 20deg cone;  Brainstorm: cone arc increased to 30deg
      • Longer DOT.
        • Live: has a DOT component that is 6 ticks of 90% chance for 1.25 over 5.10 seconds after a 1s delay
        • Brainstorm:  16 ticks of 80% chance for 1.17 over 15.10 seconds after a 1s delay
        • This may sound sexier than it is. My understanding is that when that DOT tick chance fails, it cancels the rest of the DOT.
        • 8.5 potential damage (if the target lives for 6 seconds) becomes 18.72 potential damage (if the target lives for 16 seconds). Compared to what I heard they did to mercs, this sounds like peanuts.
    • Zombie Vomit
      • Larger AoE. Live: 8ft range, 5ft radius Targeted AoE. Brainstorm: radius increased to 7ft.
      • Longer DOT. Identical parameters before and after to Projectile Vomit's dot.
    • The Lich cones all looked unchanged to me, but the tedious nature of comparing the two code states means I was relying on my memory of cone dimensions from playing my dark defender. I may easily have missed something.
  • It would be pretty cool if more detail were available here. It's fussy to compare pet powers across the two states. I know it's a pain in the butt to keep notes on the changes you make, but not as much of a pain in the butt as it is to compare the two code states as a player. I was hoping to test two MMs tonight, but I spent a lot of time decoding the patch notes, so... less feedback, I guess.

Enchant Undead:

  • "Henchmen passive resistances have been moved to this upgrade." There is a lot hidden in this patch note. Here's a quick before and after of the Necro resistance scene:
    • Zombie Resistances:
      • Live:
        • Mez Protection: mag 4 Sleep & Terrorize, Mag 1 Stun
        • Mez Resistance: 33% Sleep & Terrorize
        • Damage Resistance: 25% Smashing, Cold, NE, Psi, Tox
      • Brainstorm (additions underlined )
        • Mez Protection: mag 4 Sleep & Terrorize, Mag 1 Stun; Mag 1 Hold and Immobilize
        • Mez Resistance: 50% Sleep & Terrorize; 50% Stun, Hold, and Immobilize
        • Damage Resistance: 20.25% Smashing, Cold, NE, Psi, Tox (this is lower at base, but can be enhanced - on Live it can't be enhanced)
        • with a single level 50 resistance IO slotted, the resistance becomes 25.41%
    • Knight Resistances:
      • Live:
        • Mez Protection: mag 4 Sleep & Terrorize, Mag 1 Stun
        • Mez Resistance: 33% Sleep & Terrorize
        • Damage Resistance: 26% Cold, NE, Psi, Tox (no Smashing; value is 1% higher than Zombies)
      • Brainstorm (additions underlined )
        • Mez Protection: mag 4 Sleep & Terrorize, Mag 1 Stun; Mag 1 Hold and Immobilize
        • Mez Resistance: 50% Sleep & Terrorize; 50% Stun, Hold, and Immobilize
        • Damage Resistance: 27% to Smashing, Cold, NE, Psi, Tox
        • with a single level 50 resistance IO slotted, the resistance becomes 33.89%
    • Lich Resistances:
      • Live:
        • Mez Protection: mag 4 Sleep & Terrorize, Mag 1 Stun
        • Mez Resistance: 33% Sleep & Terrorize
        • Damage Resistance: 26% NE, Psi, Tox (no Smashing or Cold; value is 1% higher than Zombies)
      • Brainstorm (additions underlined )
        • Mez Protection: mag 4 Sleep & Terrorize, Mag 1 Stun; Mag 1 Hold and Immobilize
        • Mez Resistance: 50% Sleep & Terrorize; 50% Stun, Hold, and Immobilize
        • Damage Resistance: 33.75% to Smashing, Cold, NE, Psi, Tox
        • with a single level 50 resistance IO slotted, the resistance becomes 42.36%
  • "Lich's Petrifying Gaze has been moved to this upgrade"
    • I like this change. Getting both hard controls at 32 is a big step and I prefer the idea that you gradually earn your hard controls for the Lich rather than getting them all at 32 (or 26 or w/e the t9 power comes).

 

Dark Empowerment:

  • Now gives the life stealing attack upgrades to all three pets (before it was just Zombies and Knights; Lich got theirs from Enchant Undead)
  • The life stealing attacks have a stealth buff: each of them gives a maxhp buff worth ~25% of their heal effect. This can't be enhanced or buffed. This does not exist on Live.

Soul Extraction:

  • The Soul Extraction ghosts are noticeably slower than the zombies. Masterminds already suffer hugely from most of their power being unable to keep up with even a moderately fast team; this problem is made worse when half their power arrives well before the other half; worse yet when you consider that you want Gang War-style chaff generators in times of extreme need. Please match the pet speeds.
  • The ghosts all have:
    • Resists: 50.35% to Smashing, Lethal, Cold, NE, Tox
    • Defense: 13.07% to Melee, Ranged, AoE
  • The changes to this power are where the set's offensive buff sits. My proc offense build, which sits at 155% global recharge with Hasten running and has a single +5 acc/dmg/rch enhancement in Soul Extraction, has a 1:46 recharge time on this, meaning 60 seconds of Ghost Time, and 46 seconds of Sad Time. That's a massive increase in offense over live, and it shows. Ideal play is to get the recharge nice and low and mash the Soul Extraction button with your paw whenever it's up.

 

 

Then I did some tests. All my tests were DA dailies from Maharaj, on my 50+3 Necro/Dark who has all pet auras slotted (which gives +35% res to all and +10% def to all to pets within range).

 

The Cakewalk: +0/x0, which, given my level shift, meant that minions were grey. This was mainly to get some initial power impressions that you see above. As on Live, this was a total stomping of the enemy.

 

The Moderate missions: +4/x4 (but remember I'm +3, so this is effectively +1), and my only use of my secondary was sometimes opening with Fearsome Stare because letting the pets open was risky. Oh, and Shadow Fall, except on one escort mission. No use of active incarnates. Otherwise it was just Necro blasts (Gloom and Siphon) and providing Supremacy/Leadership/IO auras.

  • These were okay, but not comfortable. The pets occasionally died. One of the missions was the one where you have to escort some CoT mage to an altar, so I had to have Shadow Fall off. At the altar you get ambushed. I got aggro from an enemy spawn at the same time the ambush showed up, and those two spawns thoroughly and quickly crushed us. I think I would have died even if I had been using all my powers and playing well.
  • I ran one and a half missions just setting the pets to aggressive and letting them start engagements. That went mostly okay - their health would drop from the enemy alpha strike, but then they'd heal themselves up. Occasionally one would miss the heal and die. I did all this without using Soul Extraction because I wanted to get a handle on the corporeal pets on their own, because they have survivability problems.
  • When pets miss a heal, they're very vulnerable to dying from the next attack wave.

 

The Hard mission: +4/x8. I used my secondary plenty. Only passive incarnate use.

  • This one was rough. It was against the Talons of Vengeance, and there was a T intersection with one spawn right inside each branch of the T, within about 20 feet of each other.
  • That intersection killed me many times. I tried plenty of things to make it work: opening with Darkest Night on one pack and Fearsome Stare on the other while Darkest Night took effect; trying to pull one group with Darkest Night; letting the pets open; using bodyguard mode and taking the first alpha myself.
  • Bodyguard was especially rough on the pets - they dropped hard when I used it. I always got mezzed and it wasn't a good approach. More on this below.
  • I even switched to my Scorpion Shield tanky build with softcapped SLE defenses, in the hopes that my higher defense would mean bodyguard mode hit the pets less hard and allowed them to survive longer than 15 seconds or so. It didn't work.
  • It may not need saying, but the blasts and their little pets were meaningless in this encounter. I had much more important things to do with my animation time and two more bodies that don't interact with Bodyguard would not have made a difference even if they were summoned passively at the start of the fight.

 

My Thoughts:

 

An aside before we dig in: did pet attack mechanics get changed? On live they're kind of derpy and sometimes stand still doing nothing even when they should have recharged attacks available, or they get stuck standing 9 feet away from their target and so can't use any of their 8 foot melee attacks, or whatever. I didn't see any of that on Brainstorm. Attacks flowed smoothly and quickly and the zombs were moving through their attacks like they had purpose. Could be purely a perception thing. On to the set feedback.

 

The increased offense from new-look Soul Extraction is really nice. The tuning of the power now is such that it will be very tempting just to wait for it to recharge if you're soloing x8 missions at or near your capacity to handle. I don't know if that's something you want or not.

 

The changes to the blasts are thematic and fun, and maybe valuable while leveling up, but I can't see them making the blasts good at 50. Why not? Because...

 

The zombies are super brittle. They're admittedly tougher than p4 zombies, sure. But only very marginally tougher. Yes, Knights got Smashing res and Lich got Smashing and Cold res. That's nice, and it was a bizarre omission in the first place. But going from 0% Smashing res to 34% is not a huge deal when you have a small health pool to begin with; and most especially when you still have 0% Lethal res.

 

Which is the big problem, in my opinion. Zombies have 0% resistance to Lethal, Fire, and Energy. These are not exactly uncommon damage types. You could have buffed the SCNPT resistances to 80% across the board and I don't think it would have changed my experiences much; with 0% LFE resistances, they are always going to be a short step away from death. This is even worse because your tankiest minions, the ghosts, are incredibly vulnerable because they die when their corporeal counterpart does, and that happens a lot.

 

Bodyguard mode makes this even more obvious. As the MM takes damage and the undead are hit with splash damage, you can watch the pets' health drop. Once the first pet drops, each other pet starts taking more damage via bodyguard, and another follows, and suddenly there's a cascade and it all goes bad very quickly.

 

My guess is that the maxhp buff was meant to counter this. But let's face it, a 5% maxhp buff is not a meaningful layer. If the goal is to give them more room to float while they wait for their heals to land... I mean, Grave Knight will only see a difference there if the difference between life and death is less than 38.55 hp at level 50. Plenty of attacks will push right through that without having realized it was there.

 

But they're tougher than in p4, so why is this an issue? Well, part of it is that they're not great in p4, either. But I think it becomes more obvious in this situation because of the higher offense they have via the bigger aoes and the Soul Extraction ghosts. Necro hits harder in p5, so you want to take them against tougher enemies, but they're glass cannons. They can't really hang in there against enemies they want to be fighting because they have three enormous holes in their defensive scheme. And they don't have the blaster-style approach of just melting everything before they can counterattack, so bad luck or the wrong enemy group (fire-based or energy-based or lethal-based AOE, I guess) can just trash them.

 

Right now, I think you should consider giving pets total resistance coverage. The idea of defense holes is interesting and thematic when you're a scrapper trying to plan your build or when you're choosing your IO sets. I don't think it's fun and thematic when it's something you have no control over and no way to plug the gap. I have never heard an MM say anything like, "Well, you know zombies are weaker to lethal damage, so we'd better avoid enemy groups that have it." And the IO system gives us no way to plug these holes. Right now it's just a thing that makes pets brittle and that we can do nothing about, so sometimes your pets just die real easily and there's not a meaningful player choice that can be made to prevent or avoid it. If there was some way a skilled MM could direct specific damage types to herself in order to spare her pets, this setup might be interesting and fun, but there is no such thing in this game, so it just feels arbitrary. "Oh, pet 1 died instantly and pet 2 just got scraped. I guess one of them took the wrong damage type / got a bad roll / was in an aoe / got the wrong aggro"... in a CoX battle, there are so many possibilities it doesn't bear thinking about in the middle of a fight, it just winds up feeling like the pets are fragile... because really, they are only as strong as their biggest defensive hole.

 

I guess another thing you could try would be letting the Specters be part of the bodyguard economy. This might make me reconsider the value of the blasts. Because their health decays, you can't really bank them as bodyguard health for long periods. It also would make repeated blasting a more tactical decision than just summoning the little things at the beginning of the fight and then moving on to your real work; if your pets are taking a beating, getting a couple more Specters out would become a priority. That would require some indicator of which blast power has a specter out and which doesn't, but I think it would be worth the work, because players would have tactical decisions to make based on your new mechanic, which I think would be a mark of a successful feature.

 

I think these changes are cool. I like the ways you're thinking. I like that you want to make Necro the swarm set. I like that you're trying to make the blasts meaningful and I like the ways you're thinking about doing it (even if I think you need to go bigger with the blast effects across the board if you want to succeed). I love that you're finding interesting and thematic ways for the vintage sets to do more damage.

 

Caveats:

I have only tested with /Dark Miasma. It may be that the res buffs sit better on a /Sonic or a /Cold MM. If I have testing time, I'll give a necro/cold MM some time on Brainstorm.

 

I realize testing using incarnate dailies is not a conventional way to test. If folks have better ideas about how to test this, I'm open to ideas. I'd also love to hear from other experienced necro players what their impressions are on Brainstorm.

 

I don't do a whole lot of solo x8 play on MMs because it's super tedious, even on the ones (bots/cold) who can handle it fine, so maybe there are some big brain strategies I'm missing.

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I agree with almost all of this

I especially like the idea of Necro being a swarm set.  Especially if it's one that gets a large swarm as enemies start dying. That would also

I don't agree with giving the undead minions resistance to fire.
If anything they should have a small inherent vulnerability to fire, and a inherent bonus resistance to cold and negative.  It fits the theme, and yes that matters, IMHO.
And to balance it, one of the buffs you apply to your horde can buff ALL resistances across the board.

Also please make it Resistance and HP buffing, not Defense and Healing buffing.
The undead are scariest when they are hard to kill.  They don't need to be the highest DPS, leave that to things like Gang War and Robots.  But they should definitely be one of the toughest, especially because melee is their main mode of attack.  They need to survive to close the gap.
This should be significant enough that a Necro MM can at least be helpful on a 2-star ITF or Aeon, rather than a liability for the team.

Also I very much don't like the idea of tediously individually having to cast (or re-cast in case of a pet's death) buffs spells one-by-one.
Make it a PBAoE, one & done, please!
Once they're buffed, it lasts either indefinitely until they die or for a certain amount of time.  But it reminds me of the wonderful change that was made with speed boost changing into a team PBAoE versus something like Clear Mind which you have to cast repeatedly one-by-one and doesn't last very long.
 

I feel it's more important to focus to be on the actually gameplay and your pets positioning in combat, not micro-mangling buffs.
It's the tedious micro-managing that has mastermind as my least favorite archetype, if I'm being blunt honest.
To use a comparison, imagine you had a game like Starcraft II or Warcraft III (the RTS, not the MMO) and you had to apply "global upgrade" buffs to each one of your little troops one by one, rather than it simply applying to all of them or being an auto-cast toggle.
 

On 10/5/2022 at 2:26 AM, TygerDarkstorm said:

My initial thoughts in my brief testing tonight:

  • omg please, please look at the MM end tax, especially for Necro
  • These changes are really cool, even though I didn't have any specters appear that I could tell, but soul extraction has a pretty massive end cost, and we're supposed to be utilizing our primary attacks plus secondaries? Ouch
  • Not all of us gild our alts out with attuned IO's, or even basic IO's and such, so someone that hasn't built up a lot of inf to slot their necro character is going to struggle with balancing the primary attacks with everything else
  • For those who have auditory sensitivities, Necro is now almost as loud as Demons, though only in combat--that life-steal noise added into the second upgrade is pretty screechy
  • The zombies are pretty tough now, but kill speeds still seem a bit slow (granted, that's at level 28 with basically nothing slotted up yet because I hadn't added to the toon after copying it to beta; just wanted to see the changes before I went to sleep).
    • Yes, I know all the sets can't be amazing

Overall the changes seem nice, soul extraction is really fun. I look forward to messing with it more.


Yes please!
The END costs for MM's has always felt a bit too much, IMHO...

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@agentx5 If you've seen the more recent beta patch notes, they already have fixed the issue with the specters; they can now be walked through like other henchmen.

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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; Lurking Monster - Human-Form WS; Environmentabot - Bots/Nature MM; Miss Fade - Ill/Traps Controller; Sister Apocalypse - Beast/Dark MM; Dr. Elaina Wrath - Plant/Rad Controller (Join the House of Wrath, and spread the word of science!); ACE 9000 - Fire/Rad Sentinel

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1 hour ago, TygerDarkstorm said:

@agentx5 If you've seen the more recent beta patch notes, they already have fixed the issue with the specters; they can now be walked through like other henchmen.

I had not, that's good news! 😄

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I did another run, this time with a Necro/Cold with a build specifically tailored to the beta state of Necro. I ran it through the first mission of ITF at +4/x4 to compare with the ninjas/nature I did last night.

 

The ninjas run was fun, while the necro one was mostly a pain in the butt. The zombies suffer from a few problems in comparison:

  1. They're just more brittle than the ninjas are (feels weird to be writing that). They have 0% native resistance to lethal, which is not great for the ITF, which has plenty of lethal damage (you could also exchange "ITF" for "CoX", here). I spent a lot more time trying to keep them alive, which was harder given cold's more limited reactive toolset. I relied on inspirations and incarnates for Necro to get through spawns - Ninjas did not need this.
  2. The increased offensive punch of Necro 2.0 is bound up almost entirely in Soul Extraction, which is not always up. This is a significant difference from the other three sets that got revamped - even Mercs, which has a similar mechanic in Serum, has attack improvements outside of Serum. What's more, Serum is much easier to make permanent than Soul Extraction. This winds up meaning that 60% of the time, you're Necro 2.0. The other 40% of the time, you're OG Necro. This feels bad.
    1. I haven't tested at low levels, but it seems harsh that Necro (and to a lesser extent Mercs) relies heavily on recharge while other sets are just given their entire potential when they acquire their upgrades. Won't that create a situation where some sets are much better at lower levels while others just really want a pile of global recharge? I realize that's not exactly unique in this game, but is it something to build into new mechanics if it could be avoided?
  3. The Specters are somewhat better than I originally gave them credit for because they have their single target taunt. They are still not great, or even good, because:
    1. 70% chance to summon makes them uneven and requires that the player put a fair amount of attention into monitoring buff icons to see if a specter was summoned, and has to do their own mental accounting to remember which blast failed.
    2. The ghosts can't be buffed right away, so ghosts summoned in the middle of a hot melee are sometimes instantly deleted before they are eligible for buffs.
    3. They spawn on the player, so you can't use them to open a fight by shooting somebody and having the specter take aggro; instead, you shoot somebody, the specter is summoned, maybe aggros on somebody or maybe just hangs out near you, and maybe aggros on the person you want or maybe doesn't.
  4. Even when Soul Extraction is up and you're rolling with all 15 potential minions, you're still slower than ninjas.

 

I don't really know what necro's niche is intended to be. The self-healing pets, I guess. That doesn't work out especially well in practice, because they have no resists to Lethal, Energy, and Fire, which are abundant in the game; relying on self-heals as the sole layer against those damage types when you have a small health pool is not a recipe for success. I still maintain that necro needs something else to shore up its defense, whether it's closing their resist holes or giving them a larger maxhp boost. I think making them the high-hp pets would be thematic and could be interesting.

 

I plan to run this ITF test on Mercs and Bots as well, so I'll have a broader basis for comparison.

 

Edit: here's the build I used for this test:

 

Nuruhuin 10 - TEST mm revamp beta p5 - Mastermind - Necromancy - Cold Domination.mxd

Edited by Scrapulous
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