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Focused Feedback: Robotics Revamp


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13 hours ago, Neiska said:

Because now if you want the -regen, you have to take the personal attacks, which makes the primary with the tightest slotting, even tighter.

Not only that, but instead of trading off healing for damage when slotting your Protector Bots, now enhancing their repair ability is pulled out into a separate power, where slotting healing does absolutely nothing for the Battle Drones or Assault Bot, squeezing the slotting more. Yes, you can argue that you're just moving the slots you would have put Healing in from Protector Bots to Upgrade Robot, but it makes using the Accurate Healing sets useless -- slotting an Acc/Heal would make your Protector Bots' attacks more accurate, letting you shade the damage loss from slotting heals, but with this change the healing enhancements go in a separate power where they can't contribute Acc back to the bots.

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51 minutes ago, srmalloy said:

Not only that, but instead of trading off healing for damage when slotting your Protector Bots, now enhancing their repair ability is pulled out into a separate power, where slotting healing does absolutely nothing for the Battle Drones or Assault Bot, squeezing the slotting more. Yes, you can argue that you're just moving the slots you would have put Healing in from Protector Bots to Upgrade Robot, but it makes using the Accurate Healing sets useless -- slotting an Acc/Heal would make your Protector Bots' attacks more accurate, letting you shade the damage loss from slotting heals, but with this change the healing enhancements go in a separate power where they can't contribute Acc back to the bots.

How is that squeezing the slotting more? Upgrade used to have nothing worth slotting for. Now you get to slot it for healing instead of trying to cram that into the ProtBots.

 

The set is still too tight on slots because of the half-dozen aura IOs that are essentially required, not having a T7 that accepts them, and ProtBots still needing Defense enhancement, but in no way is being able to shift some pet slotting to Equip and Upgrade a bad thing.

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1 hour ago, Draeth Darkstar said:

How is that squeezing the slotting more? Upgrade used to have nothing worth slotting for. Now you get to slot it for healing instead of trying to cram that into the ProtBots.

 

The set is still too tight on slots because of the half-dozen aura IOs that are essentially required, not having a T7 that accepts them, and ProtBots still needing Defense enhancement, but in no way is being able to shift some pet slotting to Equip and Upgrade a bad thing.

No more KB -> KD tax for bots either, which should help alleviate some of the slotting as well. 🙂

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9 hours ago, gameboy1234 said:

Side note: someone mentioned using Pylons as damage tests.  This works at 50 but a lot of gameplay doesn't occur at 50, especially if we're aiming to make changes that are friendly to new people.  Some test dummies that you can actually kill and measure time on would be handy (my Bots/FF I copied over is currently level 30).  Not sure how this could work because we'd need a comparison with Live.  Maybe a Dev sponsored AE mission?  Something like that where we can run a consistent mission with consistent enemies that work well for testing, spawned at any level, might help the testing in general.  Just thinking out loud mostly...

 

I made something like that for AE:

 

 

Only thing is, I couldn't publish it because you need to run it in Test mode. The enemies have no attacks, so you have to use the testing mode option to be invisible to keep them from immediately running away.

 

There's also @Galaxy Brain's Mission Simulator AE arc, which I believe is arc 3281 on Brainstorm.

Edited by Vanden
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Thanks, I tried out the mission test beds. @Vanden  So first report is clear times were very similar, 8 minutes live vs. 8.25 minutes on test.  The most noticeable difference was endurance usage, which jumped at least on Force Bolt from 6.5 to 12.  I ran low on End constantly and even completely out at one point on test.  Never got close on Live.  I have one Performance Shifter proc but that's it.  Of course this is a live build so Force Bolt was completely unslotted, this is likely fixable with just some slotting.

 

Though I kinda agree with the "slots are tight theme," not sure where I'd get a couple of extra slots.

 

 Equip Robot without any Resist IOs didn't seem to hurt anything.

 

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I did some very brief testing by digging out an old Bots/Poison that I'd stowed away.  Just a couple small notes, mostly focused on Maintenance Drone:

 

1. Bots/Poison is not a Mastermind Combo I have a knack for.

2. Bots seem pretty hefty despite this.

3. Maintenance Drone takes Endurance Modification Enhancements and sets, but doesn't actually restore Endurance.  This is presumably a carryover from when it was Repair (which did)?

4. Speaking of Enhancements, how about letting it accept Recharge Intensive Pets sets.  Come onnnnn, it does damage, technically... (that one's pie-in-the-sky, admittedly)

4. Can Maintenance Drone be attacked/damaged? I don't think I ever saw it lose HP to anything other than its own healing, but I'm curious.

5. It also feels like the Drone would work better as a "click and it's summoned to my location" rather than having to place it, a la Force Field Generator (or Soul Extraction).

6. I redundant-healed with it and Alkaloid more than a few times.  Probably means Bots will work best with Secondaries that don't use much/any healing themselves.  Traps, or Cold maybe?

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21 minutes ago, Lazarillo said:

Can Maintenance Drone be attacked/damaged? I don't think I ever saw it lose HP to anything other than its own healing, but I'm curious.

 

Yup. It can also body block you, for now.

21 minutes ago, Lazarillo said:

Probably means Bots will work best with Secondaries that don't use much/any healing themselves.  Traps, or Cold maybe?

 

Traps was already the best pairing, imo. This just kinda solidifies it. Though, cold and storm are definitely unholy beasts as well.

6 hours ago, Doc_Scorpion said:

The Maintenance Drone *poofs* on zoning.   Bug or WAI?  (If the latter, it's mildly annoying but so far doesn't feel like a deal breaker.)

 

Wai I believe. Pets don't actually follow you into zones, they basically just get resummoned as you enter. It likely doesn't have this feature, and really doesn't need it due to its expendable, fast recharging nature.

 

 

6 hours ago, TygerDarkstorm said:

No more KB -> KD tax for bots either, which should help alleviate some of the slotting as well.

 

You'll still want to convert for assbot.

 

Couldn't make it totally free, I guess (sadly).

 

As for the -regen thing, I believe I dispelled the idea that losing that is a nerf on the first page. Those who are willing to provide data to counter that can debunk that if they get tired of theorycrafting.

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Plasma has always been -regen (as in the white blasts from the assault bot) not just for the robotics set, but others such as the Longbow Cataphract, Warworks Victoria, and Robotic Drones.
Now plasma does not do -regen for some reason only in Robotics due to this change, but a laser pulse rifle does.

Not a fan of this change to a canon power type.

Maybe it works for balance? But it does not for graphic and world power standards keeping in line with other powers in game.

And with this drastic change, we still have KB on the plasma cannons?
That actually could have used a change to keep it from being a negative to the Robotics damage for players only slotting SO's 

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I just did a quick test on my bots/dark/mu. My comparison was a fresh copy of my current live build. running some sweeps in the North of  Grandville.

 

What I noticed was my live toon was very survivable, My beta copy struggled to keep henchmen alive, my bots were running out of end, I was running out of end, and in general.

 

I will need to do more testing, but not a big fan of these changes so far., My build is very solid, and I feel it will nerf not enhance several aspects, by forcing new power choices and slotting . which will drastically change my play style. I will have to do some more controlled testing, but all of these extreme changes to the core mechanics of the game in the last issue, plus these potential changes to my main, are really starting to sour me on the whole coming back to play City of heroes experience.

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I copied over my lvl 29 bots/FF from live, and she pretty much cruised through street sweeping in Bricks and a number of Alignment missions.  (Especially when I leveled to 30 and picked up Upgrade.)  I'm currently running a low level bots/EA through King's Row on Brainstorm and not noticing any significant problems.  Both on default difficulty.

The lvl 29 especially felt more lethal.  No changes were required to my usual playstyle other than becoming a bit bolder with my bots/FF.

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Second try on Brainstorm, I respect'd my Bots/FF with the new changes in mind, moving slots around and adding more End Redux.  I skipped two powers to add in Maintenance Drone and Upgrade Robot (the second pet buff, now available at 26 instead of 32 I think).  This reduced my clear time to 5 minutes from 8, although at least part of that was me being more familiar with the map and enemies.  I also looked more closely at the power descriptions -- Force Bolt (now Repulsion Bolt I think) and the MM attacks apply their debuf for 30 seconds but recharge in about 10 secs or so.  So I started using them more sparingly.  This plus the reslotting for End Redux fixed all my personal End problems. 

 

However I also noticed that my Bots were running low on End.  I don't know if that caused any delayed attacks or power problems, everything seemed OK.

 

I think getting the Assault Bot earlier will help with the mastermind "hell levels" around 18 to 26.  I really don't want to try to manually grind through those levels, though I'm hopeful they'll be a bit better.

 

Overall, my build is a bit tighter (I had to give up two powers, though maybe I could have cut out one personal attack).  Power level seems about the same.  I think some folks are going to gripe that without large changes it's kind of a pain to have to respect a character for some relatively small but important changes like these (I'm talking about moving -Regen from the Assault Bot to the personal attacks), and this is my main concern.  You're basically forcing two to three powers into a bots build, and it's just enough for folks to feel they need to address it, but also it isn't going to change that much in the long run, so why do it?  Is there a way to let people keep their current powers until they respec?  That would seem ideal to me.  Don't touch the build and you have the same (old) powers, only if you create a new character or respec the current one do you have to deal with the new stuff.

 

Edit: This is for my level 30 Bots/FF on Brainstorm, Iron Miss.  In case you want to look at the build(s) (I have the original from live on Build1, and the revamped one on Build 2).

 

Edited by gameboy1234
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Playing my bots/EA into their mid-teens, and dang am I glad I have a heal [Rejuvenating Circuit] because otherwise these levels are sucking without the support previously provided by the Protector bot.  Secondaries w/o a heal and/or builds w/o the Healing pool are going to be at a serious disadvantage in these levels.

Proposal - take a leaf out of the Mercs powerset.  The first Protector Bot summoned is a CSU (Combat Support Unit) with the ability to cast Force Shield and and to perform minor repairs on other robots.  (I.E. it has the current Repair ability, but w/o requiring Equip.)

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I did some initial testing with my bots/time MM and I have to echo what @gameboy1234 and @Mr. Apocalypse said, the Protector Bots and Assault Bot use significantly more endurance when compared to live and ran out of it quickly causing them to idle and do nothing. I also disagree with removing -regen from the Assault Bot and adding it to the blasts, it forces the player to select powers which are low on damage and heavy on endurance just to keep -regen in the build. I could understand dropping the Assault Bot's -regn to 300-400% but outright removing it seems overly punitive simply for the fact it forces the player to select subpar powers to maintain the -regen in the primary. While /Time and many other secondaries offer -regen not all of them do, this accompanied by the changes to repair (now maintenance drone) seem like far to many changes to a set that was already performing more than fine.

 

The changes made to necro, mercs, and ninjas all seem like nice added perks that can only help existing builds, these changes to bots do not entirely follow that theme.

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Thought I'd offer some clarity.

 

1: the -regen on the assault bot blasts (reportedly) only triggered the -regen 30% of the time.

 

2: that -regen only matters on avs and gms. It's not doing anything for you in most content.

Edited by ScarySai
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7 minutes ago, ScarySai said:

Thought I'd offer some clarity.

 

1: the -regen on the assault bot blasts (reportedly) only triggered the -regen 30% of the time.

 

2: that -regen only matters on avs and gms. It's not doing anything for you in most content.


3. That -regen was being used as a crutch to disguise the robots’ bad damage against everything.

Edited by Astralock
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Pulse Rifle Blast, Pulse Rifle Burst, and Photon Grenade - Improvements across the board. I like even if I normally go for my secondary's attacks. These are now much better options and the bot damage increase makes moving regen here not really impact things.

 

Repair (now Maintenance Drone) - I would skip repair before but like the maintenance drone.

 

Equip Robot - I'm fine with the change. Still debating slotting.

 

Upgrade Robot - I'm fine with the change. Still debating slotting.

 

Henchmen - Changes make them more lethal. Not having as much KB2KD tax is very nice. Still playing with new slotting.

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36 minutes ago, Astralock said:

That -regen was being used as a crutch to disguise the robots’ bad damage against everything.

 

Not -everything-, burn patches are fun for melting crowds.

 

But otherwise, yes. Bots objectively had the worst dps, now they are in a pretty good spot.

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Testing Bots/Dark

Level 12, outfitted with DOs (mostly acc/end, some prestige enhancements for damage and procs)
Build: All 3 attacks, bots, equip. Twilight and Tar Patch
Running on +0x1 with bosses on doing Skulls arc
Pets Observation: They all have RES to lethal/cold/psi (18.75% drones, 25% protectors), with 13% DEF from the protector bot buff

Mission 1: Killing is going really fast, the bots do good damage and the plasma attack breaks up the sea of red. Damage wise, if in tar patch a volley from the whole crew can kill a lieutenant. Bots doing KD now is nice, though I noticed my laser attack still does KB (which isn't that big a deal). Bots stay where they are and I haven't noticed them moving around in combat at all. Boss fight was a little rough but no bot deaths. Might need to raise diff.

Mission 2: Set diff to +0x2 cause I know this mission has some ambushes and a double boss. Ambush went well, all 3 waves. Bots behaved and clustered up so they could be healed. Noticing the ages old issue of pets having trouble keeping up over long distance runs though. They lag behind a lot. Double boss fight was tense but managed without any deaths. At any rate, that's probably enough level 12 for now.

Level 22 bump, still on DOs because I'm stupid I guess (still some prestige enhancements)
Build: Adding Combat Jumping, Shadow Fall, Maintenance Drone, Fearsome Stare, Assault Bot
Running on +1x3 with bosses on, doing newspapers in Talos
Pet Observation: At this level you get 1 protector bot (other one comes at 24) so 5 pets. The DEF is up to 16% with 2x slots. Assault bot has 31.25% RES lethal/cold/psi. Maint drone actually has RES too (23.2% to same types). With Shadow Fall pets have around 20% DEF (all) and RES to most damage types (not smash, fire, or toxic).
Bug: Maintenance drone's information tab is a broken P-string.
Bug: Also not a bug but the right click description for the power is a bit repetitive.
Bug: Shadow Fall is currently blinking stacking between 1 and 2 stacks rapidly for some reason.

Mission 1: Tsoo. Sorcerers are annoying but that's not new. Killing is a bit slower now, probably because of the DOs, but it does feel disproportionately low. The Maint drone is throwing me off with it being in the pet window. I keep trying to heal it. My suggestion is maybe drop it out of the pet window? It's not like you can do anything about its HP. Might make it easy to lose track of not having but realistically I'm just going to recast it when the recharge comes up like I do for Dark Servant. Also the Maint drone lingers as dead for a pretty long time in the pet window. And WOW these sorcerers are a pain in the ass.

Mission 2: Sky Raiders, let's try something easier. Ran across a +2 spawn with a boss and it was like a 3 minute slog, boss kept two-shotting my bots. This might be a purple patch thing though. Trying to contribute with my own attacks burns me out of endurance fast due to those mastermind endurance cost penalties. Also wondering about the Maint drone. It explodes when it's done but you can't slot accuracy, damage, or pet sets in it. It does seem to have +20% accuracy but don't feel like that's enough. I wonder if it would make sense (and help the damage situation a bit) if it had a single attack it used? Even if it managed to draw aggro it's still doing its job of keeping bots alive. Also have to reiterate that it being in the pet window on low HP is really distracting. Anyway, at this point I'm ready to try out the final upgrade.

Level 32 bump, bumping to SOs. But adding Edict of the Master for 5% DEF and Sovereign Right for 10% RES.
Build: Adding Petrifying Gaze, Upgrade Robot, Darkest Night, Dark Servant, Hasten
Running on +1x3 but we'll see if I need to bump it, doing newspapers in Bricks
Pet Observation: All pets. DEF (all) is about 28%. Resists range from 10% (from IO) to 41% for assault bot, or 56% on psi (Shadow Fall). Servant gets bubble too

Mission 1: Freakshow. Damage is a looooooot better now, burning through minions in about a second and Super Stunner going down pretty quick. Will probably raise the difficulty after this. Protector bots are really struggling for end with 1x End slotted. Assault Bot is only doing okay on that front.

Mission 2: Circle. Turned diff up to +1x5. Even on x5 these guys don't stand a chance. The knockdown spam from the bots is pretty satisfying. Though I'm noticing now the maintenance drone tries to engage in combat even though it's not a combat unit. When I order my pets to fall back it doesn't, and unhelpfully floats near some badguys. And-- oop, server shut down. End of feedback I guess!

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2 hours ago, ScarySai said:

Thought I'd offer some clarity.

 

1: the -regen on the assault bot blasts (reportedly) only triggered the -regen 30% of the time.

 

2: that -regen only matters on avs and gms. It's not doing anything for you in most content.

2 hours ago, Astralock said:


3. That -regen was being used as a crutch to disguise the robots’ bad damage against everything.

 

And now for some clarity from the "nay" side.

 

1. The -regen matters to those of us who play on +4/8 on bosses, elite bosses, and it also matters in pvp. For those of us who play with bosses on, that is 99% of our content.

 

2. Attaching the -regen to MM personal attacks is a crutch to make robot MMs have to actually pick, slot, and use those powers, despite being some of the worst DPA abilities, with an END penalty, with secondaries that may or may not have any END tools to compensate (which are rare in MMs to begin with, only EA, Kin, and Cold offer off the top of my head), or secondaries that might be quite busy to begin with and don't have time to fit in more actions per cycle, especially against the before mentioned AVs and GMs which are what you really want those -regen debuffs on. This isn't even pointing out the MM's inherent low damage/END penalty either which I find amusingly absent in this entire thread. 

 

3. The MM personal attacks are optional, true. But for those that take -regen as a part of their kit find their build options reduced, not enhanced. And for some reason, the "pro-regen" crowd seems to think that is a good thing. And if the powers did "so little in most content" to begin with, why was the move necessary at all? To fluff up how much the set has been changed? I suspect this is in reality a "pro personal attacks" vs "anti-personal attacks" argument at its heart. But either way I will never support having to pay for something that I used to get for free or was inherently built in, even if pet damage was boosted 30% to compensate that would still "break even" which isn't a "buff" by any means.

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The -regen does not do anything significant on regular +3 bosses. The power of regen is directly tied to the HP pool of the recipient and all mobs (except power related cases) have the same regen rate. Something that regenerates 100 HP over 10 seconds is neglibile over something that regenerates 1000 HP. That's an extra 1000 damage that needs to show up to beat a mob.

 

Regular bosses have small HP pools and that is why -regen barely does anything to do since stopping those 100 HP is negligible (I'm using random numbers but can be tempted into diving into actual in-game numbers).

 

 

With all of this said I too don't like all these effects being spread to the attacks. It means finding room to take more skills, then the slots for them (though if only taken for their special effect, be it summoning specters or applying -regen, then the slots can be reduced to a skeleton), then, important, the endurance to use them since MMs have an endurance tax. And last but least, the APM since most MMs will have their hands full keeping their idiot children alive (and yes, I may mean the minions or I may mean their team mates) to be using all their skills.

 

I would definitely compromise on this and make all these special secondary effects (raising specters or applying - regen or -res) a stacking effect that any ONE skill can apply. Like that it means MMs can indeed take and slot ONE attack and inbetween healing and buffing and micromanaging pets, they can slip that one shot every once in a while not so much for the damage but for the special effect attached to it.

 

But 'having' to take all three just does not seem to vibe well for the above mentioned reasons.

 

 

This is my opinion.

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2 hours ago, Neiska said:

The -regen matters to those of us who play on +4/8 on bosses, elite bosses, and it also matters in pvp. For those of us who play with bosses on, that is 99% of our content.

 

You're speaking to someone that makes builds that chew and spit out 4x8 on the regular, and I'm going to reiterate: the -regen is doing precisely nothing for you, even on EBs - unless you fancy soloing EBs using only brawl and having your pets on passive.  Where the -regen shines is STRICTLY on avs and GMs. 

 

2 hours ago, Neiska said:

Attaching the -regen to MM personal attacks is a crutch to make robot MMs have to actually pick, slot, and use those powers, despite being some of the worst DPA abilities, with an END penalty, with secondaries that may or may not have any END tools to compensate (which are rare in MMs to begin with, only EA, Kin, and Cold offer off the top of my head), or secondaries that might be quite busy to begin with and don't have time to fit in more actions per cycle, especially against the before mentioned AVs and GMs which are what you really want those -regen debuffs on. This isn't even pointing out the MM's inherent low damage/END penalty either which I find amusingly absent in this entire thread. 

 

Photon grenade is decent with procs, but if the complaint is that the -regen doesn't do enough to make these powers desirable without procs, I would agree. However, it does give them a purpose outside of theming at the end of the day, if you're truly that desperate for -regen, anyway. It's not a crutch though, because as previously stated, you don't need them, especially now that the bots do actual dps.

2 hours ago, Neiska said:

The MM personal attacks are optional, true. But for those that take -regen as a part of their kit find their build options reduced, not enhanced. And for some reason, the "pro-regen" crowd seems to think that is a good thing. And if the powers did "so little in most content" to begin with, why was the move necessary at all? To fluff up how much the set has been changed? I suspect this is in reality a "pro personal attacks" vs "anti-personal attacks" argument at its heart. But either way I will never support having to pay for something that I used to get for free or was inherently built in, even if pet damage was boosted 30% to compensate that would still "break even" which isn't a "buff" by any means.

 

You'll find I don't really care for most of the personal attack changes in this patch, except necro which does it in a kinda cool way. Let's think about all the most common bot combos here for a second. Cold, dark, storm and traps. Out of all those options, only storm loses -regen, effectively. Cold is cold, dark has howling twilight, traps has OVERKILL -regen via poison trap, and storm has a metric shitload of damage, soft control, and -res, which scales significantly better with bots doing better base damage now.

 

I even humored the argument with a pylon test earlier in this thread, intentionally not using poison trap and photon, I was still breaking the usual two minute times you'll find on the pylon thread right now, with deaths. Pylons are a situation where the -regen would actually swing things. If you have another test of your own design in mind, I'll happily perform and record it for comparison. 

 

As it stands, nobody is losing build options here, they are just getting a better set.

Edited by ScarySai
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21 minutes ago, ScarySai said:

 

You're speaking to someone that makes builds that chew and spit out 4x8 on the regular, and I'm going to reiterate: the -regen is doing precisely nothing for you, even on EBs - unless you fancy soloing EBs using only brawl and having your pets on passive.  Where the -regen shines is STRICTLY on avs and GMs. 

 

And you are talking to someone with over 30 t3 or t4 robot MMs specifically on 3 accounts with over 1000 net vet levels. Your experience doesn't trump mine, sorry. More ever, specifically in the beta forums rules it states not to let it descend into 1 on 1 bickering. You gave your opinion. I am certainly entitled to give mine in kind.

 

20 minutes ago, ScarySai said:

As it stands, nobody is losing build options here, they are just getting a better set.

 

Yes, they are. If someone wants to keep the same amount of -regen they had before, for whatever reason, they have to now spend 3 power slots to get it, before anything else. The damage the pets do is irrelevant in this regard. Those are 3 powers they could have spent on leadership pool, or fighting pool, or teleport pool. And not all secondaries have skippable powers either. Ergo, it is now a choice, between keeping the -regen in their toolkit and sacrificing 2-3 power picks elsewhere to keep it or giving up their main AV/GM/Elite Boss feature and take those other powers.

 

So yes. Fewer build options, at least if you want to keep the same toolkit you had before. I don't know how you figure otherwise if people have to take more powers now than before in order to have the same tools they had. That means less options, if you want to keep the same toolkit.

 

I mean, let's compare the MM set upgrades -

Mercs - Overall net positive gain, lost nothing. Cooldowns reduced and even a stackable damage buff.

Ninjas - Overall gain as well. No real loss. A similar stackable damage buff.

Necro - Can now summon many more temp pets, and some enhancement type adjustments.

Robots - You now have to pick other powers to keep the same debuffs, which is less optional powers in a build. And the Maintenance drone.

 

Robots are the only one that had this "lateral promotion" if we want to call it that. In effect the set made the easy things easier, and the hard things harder. It increased pet DPS, at the cost of END, EPA, and pet END cost. 

 

I do want to add, it isn't all bad. There are some features and changes I like. But just that -regen move is a real punch in the gut to us AV/GM hunters.

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