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Focused Feedback: Robotics Revamp


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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 think @Neiska really summed up the issues well with the Bots changes here. Playing bots has become extremely endurance intensive and tight on power slots. I understand and agree with other posts that yes you can still solo AVs/GMs with these Bots changes but it is undoubtedly more difficult to do so with the loss of (what I consider) a premier element of the Assault Bot (the -regen) and the greatly increased endurance costs of attacks, compounded by the player needing to now use more personal attacks to apply -regen. Lastly, I'd add that I don't agree with the AVs/GMs being such a small part of the game considering what a larger part they are in TFs, at lvl 50, and on Redside especially. Sure most AVs can be downgraded to EBs, but for many of us they are a core feature throughout leveling a character. 

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Perhaps I am just a terrible bots player, but I don't know how I feel about the changes. I copied my Bots/Nature over to beta and equipped her with some IO's since she's not built at all on live and got wrecked on the final mission of the Scorpion arc - mission was level 46 and I had left my settings at +4/x8 from radios I had been running (and I have a t3 level shift thingy). Decided to leave it since the Malta inside were then even level to me. I didn't take any of the personal attacks as I just wanted to see what the DPS of the bots felt like.

 

I got my ass beat... handily. Now, I'm not gonna say it's because of the lack of -regen from the AssBot; I'm fairly sure it's my lack of skill as a player and not knowing how to build a toon. I thought I had built in some decent mez protection in my set bonuses, but I was constantly being mezzed and frantically trying to keep my bots up on their feet, leaving barely enough time to use my attacks from my epic pool, let alone if I had had any of the pulse rifle attacks. I kind of sort of got a strategy going, but if I got mezzed at all, even the second or so needed to pop a break free would be enough to start causing cascade failure for my pets to stay up. I ended up giving up because I need to go pick up my daughter and to let some of my frustration cool down and come back to rethink my diff settings and strategy. I couldn't tell if my bots' damage had increased or not; my fault for not playing the toon regularly on live I suppose.

 

Slightly more relevant feedback: I like the new Maint. Drone dude. I dislike that he can't obey any sort of pet command and thus follows me when I'm trying to go pluck a mob and dart back to my faerie patch/bots setup, but that's a minor issue. His showing up in the pet window doesn't bother me either because I'm used to using that window for many other pets that function in that same manner (e.g., Illusion pets, Traps "pets"). I use it to monitor how the drone is faring so I know when I need to resummon it.

 

Slotting definitely still feels tight, especially for someone like me who already struggles figuring out where to put things. Reading the feedback, I thought it would feel more opened up, but oof, it's still tight without maintenance drone being able to be used as a mule like in some of the other sets.

 

I tend to be more of a team player than a soloist, but I will come back to this at some point and see if I can't get it working as I like to learn. I don't like to do AV/GM solo stuff typically anyway, so I feel I will probably be okay with not taking the personal attacks and losing the -regen there if I can get my bots to stay on their feet and do damage.

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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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2 hours ago, Neiska said:

And you are talking to someone with over 30 t3 or t4 robot MMs specifically on 3 accounts with over 1000 net vet levels.

Even if you had more collective vet levels than me, you'd still be wrong, but good to know.

 

Let's focus on the facts, yes? One more reply and we can let it be.

 

2 hours ago, Neiska said:

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.

 

2 hours ago, Neiska said:

The damage the pets do is irrelevant in this regard.

The problem here is you are overblowing the value of the -regen, while intentionally ignoring the massive, and I do mean massive dps gain the bots have received, particularly in single target, as their aoe was always kinda cracked.

 

See, you can't disregard the damage gain, because it's actually very significant here. -regen at the end of the day, is in fact, effective dps. -regen doesn't actually do anything by itself, unless you are doing damage, you see. Adding dps does in fact, make up for the loss of -regen and has the benefit of being better on things that aren't just big sacks of hit points. Once again, this only comes into play against AVs and gms.

 

2 hours ago, Neiska said:

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.

 

You didn't test it if you actually think that. The maintenance drone is actually kinda lowkey insane, by the way.

 

Your drones and assbot no longer get animation locked by the flamethrower/laser aoes, firing it off quickly and continuing to blast. This is also why they are having a bit more end problems than before, by the way. They also gained a decent chunk of new, very potent abilities. Your assault bot and protectors get a heavier hitting plasma blast, the drones get photon grenades, bunch of stuff like that. 

 

For those that want an actual data point to work off of, here ya go.

 

 

Edited by ScarySai
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Alright, so I ported my Bot/Traps/Mu over to test, respec'ed it to adjust some slotting and grabbed Maintenance Drone, slotted up Equip Bot to boost pet resistance, and got Pulse Rifle Burst instead of Arcane Bolt.

 

I also swapped around 2 enhancements in the pet powers themselves, as I did notice some endurance issues in the Assault Bot and Battle Drones. Managed to keep the same set bonuses, just slightly different enhancement slotting.

 

First test was normal missions running at +1/x8. Set didn't feel much different, except I didn't have to wait for Battle Drones and Assault bots to finish animating before moving onto the next group. Overall, clear times were faster, and the bots seemed more responsive to commands (probably because they weren't stuck in Animation Hell)

 

Second test was a +4/x8 Solo ITF. I've only ran a +0/x1 Solo ITF on live, but its not much different really. I noticed that with the buffed resistance, the Assault Bot wasn't getting 1 shot, even against +4 mobs. I checked the numbers, and they now have a pretty large Resistance value (70+ in lethal/cold/psi) where they don't have that on live. It seems like the resistance values got scaled different, because Battle Drones actually have slightly less Resistance now, but all in all it seems ok. Maintenance Drone was amazing, as it was a full heal on the Battle Drones, and while occasionally the Protector Bots and the Drone would heal the same thing, it wasn't often enough to matter. Romans died fast, and the build performed very well.

 

Third test was a solo Mother Ship Raid. This is meant to be a stress test, as you're trying to beat the clock on the respawn times on the pylons. This is where I really noticed the endurance being an issue and why I swapped out those two enhancements I mentioned earlier. On Live, I can solo basically down to 4 pylons, but I can't get them down completely, as the respawn time is too fast. On test, however, I was about to get it down to 1 to 2 pylons before the next respawned. I did have some player error and bad luck with the Drop Ship killing my pets, but overall the DPS increase MORE than makes up for the reduction in -regen in the Assault Bot.

 

Yes, bot/traps already has amazing -regen in the form of Poison Trap, and I did use my Pulse Rifle Burst often (I put a +rech proc in it) but All in all, this is a massive boost to the powerset with minimal changes to my overall build.

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@ScarySai

 

Look, I think you are reading into things that I never stated or said. Not once did I say the pet DPS wasn't enough, or good, or too good. If you go back and read every one of my posts, I have not once looked at the pets themselves. Because as you suggest, I couldn't offer insight either way realistically. Every one of my imputs has been from the building standpoint. Not a performance standpoint. Not once have I mentioned numbers, or specific performance. Every one of my feedback posts, has been what I have access to and knowledge of. I hope you would be fair in agreeing with me there, yes? I have made no claims either way about knowledge I have no access to.

 

However, that said,

 

From a building standpoint, this change does limit options. Not all secondaries have -regen built in. Not everyone plays Cold, Dark, or Traps. In fact most Robot MMs I see are Electric and Time. So from a building standpoint, as in picking powers and what the kit offers, I most certainly can disregard pet damage, as they have nothing to do with it. How much damage a pet does or doesn't do has zero impact on how many powers you can take, or how many slots you have. Which has been my point this entire time. That is to say, they are effectively making personal attacks more required on robot MMs, while at the same time penalizing you if you do not. Penalizing not in respect to damage, but into build and playstyle options when compaired to before.

 

You want -regen? Well, you have to give up Haste, or Tough/Weave, or Tactics/Maneuvers, or Hover/Fly/Group Fly, or Teleport/Fold Space, and so on. And numbers won't change that either way.

 

I do respect you and all the effort you put into this. Truely. But you aren't hearing what I am saying. I have not said anything at all about the pets themselves. You say the -regen is moot with the pet boost in damage. I say it is not, because its not the damage I am addressing, it's the number of powers available in a build, and options. And either way no matter what your numbers say, this will make Robotics which is already the tightest primary, even tighter, with regard to power picks and slotting. And no matter how much damage the pets do now, that isn't going to change.

 

Hope this helps me make my point. In a respectful manner.

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Latest patch made some power tweaks so I may as well do a comparison for beta vs live.

Battle Drones: Laser Burst sped up, RES moved to Equip
Equip: Heavy Laser Burst sped up and KB is KD 
Upgrade: Full Auto Laser significantly sped up, now gets Overcharged Burst attack (KD)

Protector Bots: Laser Burst sped up, RES moved to Equip
Equip: Heavy Laser Burst sped up and KB is KD, now gets Plasma Cross attack, no longer gets Repair at this upgrade
Upgrade: Photon Grenade sped up, Seeker Drones sped up, now gets Overcharged Burst attack (KD), gets Repair (significantly sped up)

Assault Bot: Plasma Blast sped up and KB is KD, -regen moved to MM attacks, RES moved to Equip
Equip: Dual Plasma Blast significantly sped up and KB is KD, Flamethrower significantly sped up, now gets Heavy Plasma Blast attack (KD)
Upgrade: Swarm Missiles* significantly sped up, Incendiary Swarm Missiles significantly sped up, now gets Overcharged Burst attack (KD)

* Swarm Missiles is the only power that's still a KB. I don't know if this is intended or not, just noting it

TL;DR version: Most power cast times reduced, more attacks here and there, nearly all KB is now KD

Current observation is that the Assault Bot and Protector bots now struggle a lot with endurance. They burn out fast, even with 1x End slotted in them. 

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Seeing the other feedback here from people saying they've noticed an increase in performance from their Bots MM's tells me that it's pilot error on my end that I had borderline opposite results, lol. It probably doesn't help that I don't have a lot to compare my beta attempt to from live since I haven't played that toon much since it hit 50.

 

I am thinking that while Bots/Nature is decent, it's probably not the *best* performing primary to pair with Bots in terms of soloing large spawns of more diff mobs or something (e.g., trying to go x8 on Malta even with a level shift). So far the main benefit I've had over some of the other reports here is that, so long as I didn't get mezzed and could keep the faerie patch up, place my bots on go-to in it (I have it slotted for end mod), they didn't seem to have quite the endurance issues.

 

I feel like with how good maint. drone is, that the baby Bots/Cold MM I have on live will become more potent; might be one worth testing and bumping up on beta to see if it feels better to me. And heat loss should help the bots w/ endurance.

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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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49 minutes ago, Neiska said:

Not all secondaries have -regen built in. Not everyone plays Cold, Dark, or Traps. In fact most Robot MMs I see are Electric and Time.

 

50% -Regen for 25s in Discharge (Electrical Affinity), 20s base recharge.

50% -Regen for 20s in Time Stop (Time Manipulation), 16s base recharge.

 

And Kinetics, Nature, Poison, Rad, Thermal and TA also apply -Regen in varying amounts.  11 mastermind secondaries have -Regen, 5 don't (Empathy, Pain, FF, Sonic, Storm).

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I'm going to force myself to try these out... combined with not having to take Web Grenade at level 1, my 'Bots/Traps/Mace is going to have to make some hard choices. that character currently has several ranged attacks for soft control (%knockdown), %debuff (-Res), and are used for drawing aggro. Photon Grenade, Pulse Rifle Blast and Mace Beam Volley all serve this role for me (currently), each is 6-slotted. I don't really spam these attacks, they are basically to allow the henchmen to stay in Bodyguard mode.

 

Going in, I have two things to look for:

  • I have many enhancement set choices to boost MaxEnd and Endurance Discounts already... I will want to keep those. It's crazy but I've leveraged a LOT of set bonuses for Endurance help already. At first glance, my peculiar(?) slotting choices (including 6-slots in Triage Beacon) may already be 'optimal' for the revamp.
  • I have a pathological need to see how a "one big robot" build plays.

I hate how the Assault Bot-only plays. More than any other casual test, I feel like that build drives home how poor the DPS is. I felt it was ironic since I had the luxury to slot the henchmen/pet mules in the other henchmen powers but the big guy could not be made that fearsome. (I did a lot of testing on the Blue-side Midnighter Club introduction arc... shudder) I'm curious if that (odd) choice does any better.

 

Aside from the changes to the robots, I think the change to making power choices available earlier will have a bigger effect on all my builds, including this one. Because of available slots during leveling, those changes will primarily keep me having alternate power picks while leveling versus at level 50.

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Did some farting around with my lvl 30 bots/FF and lvl 14 bots/EA last night...

At low levels of difficulty, robot endurance wasn't really an issue on either toon.  Streetsweeping against orange and red conning mobs, endurance wasn't quite an issue but the Protector Bots and the Assault bots were very low by the end of the fights.  I can see how higher difficulties and longer fights could have problems.

Maybe a bit of a Regen boost to help offset the increased END usage?  Or add something to Supremacy or the Maintenance Drone? 

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I fired up a Bots/Cold on Brainstorm and bumped her up to level 30 and slotted her with some IO's. Much better experience so far compared to my Bots/Nature; granted, I kept my diff at +0/x4 and wasn't fighting Malta. 

 

I can definitely see the improvement in the Bots' damage now--took them to Croatoa to do missions there. I've had other AT's doing that first kill all Tuatha in the sewers just crumple, but the bots mostly held sturdy. Had a couple of issues where it didn't seem like the maintenance drone was making a point to heal the bots that were taking damage. I took the AoE pulse blast just because I don't like being bored and my recharge is still fairly slow. Dunno how much of a difference it made, even with a proc plopped in it, but like I said, I don't like standing there doing nothing.

 

I also noticed something interesting with the maintenance drone and wanted to see if it's WAI or not: Maintenance Drone can have the cold shields and frostwork applied to it (idk if Frostwork actually boosts its health or not, but figured it worth mentioning).

 

screenshot_221007-10-33-28.jpg

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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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22 hours ago, Neiska said:

@ScarySai

From a building standpoint, this change does limit options.

 

It does move the -Regen into the list of options instead of just having it as something you would get with a power you will always take and slot.  In exchange we get more DPS, a much improved power over Repair and the ability to slot up the enhancement powers to make our bots better.

 

It leads to a tougher build to be sure.  And this isn't the first time a change has done that.  The Stone Armor revamp turned it into an absolute slot pig if you want to get everything you can out of it.  But you can get a very good Stone Armor build without going to that extreme.  The Sonic Blast revamp had some of the same problem, but it was muted considerably by the final iteration and it basically became a -Res nerf for more DPS.

 

I think any time a Dev wants to make a power difficult to pass up - which I think should be the case for almost all powers - we're going to get this.  Take the buffed powers?  Slot the buffed powers?  Or just keep doing what we're doing and live with any nerfs that may have come along with the buffs.  With the current Bots build the last option actually doesn't even appear to nerf you, as the DPS seems to offset the lost -Regen even against the foes most hurt by -Regen.

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In case people were wondering what the "further adjustments" were, Assault Bot now gets Conserve Power by default (50% uptime). I don't see any other changes (Swarm Missiles is still KB for instance). I watched him for a bit and he'll use it when his endurance gets below about half. It's not going to solve all his endurance problems, but it should help a lot. Ideally you're going to want to slot more endurance reduction in him (which has always been the case for the high end pets anyway).

Maintenance Drone changes: It is now indeed non-solid, and you can push it around, which is nice! It should no longer get in the way of anything. I will point out they still act "aggressive" and will try to stick to enemy targets rather than follow you when retreating, unless you run far enough. That's not as much of a problem when they aren't solid, but it does mean they might lag behind and not be available to heal your bots.

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Why can't Mastermind Pets just be the same level as the Mastermind & receive the same set bonuses & procs as the Mastermind too. That would be a game changer that would make me want to play my Mastermind again.

 

 

Edited by RoboKnight
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1 hour ago, RoboKnight said:

Why can't Mastermind Pets just be the same level as the Mastermind & receive the same set bonuses & procs as the Mastermind too. That would be a game changer that would make me want to play my Mastermind again.


All MMs should work this way TBH, the purple patch is extremely harsh on pets, and every MM has at least two -1 pets and three -2 pets. Fighting +6 enemies just isn't feasible no matter what buffs you have.

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4 hours ago, Dispari said:

I don't see any other changes (Swarm Missiles is still KB for instance).

 

The burn patches are back, but bugged against higher diff mobs, and also under-tuned on top of that.

 

 

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41 minutes ago, ScarySai said:

 

The burn patches are back, but bugged against higher diff mobs, and also under-tuned on top of that.

 

 

 

If I recall correctly, Burn Patches were a little overtuned on live because mobs were also feared by them, and would just run out.  Then overlapping Burn Patches became a problem, so the patches were made so that only one would be in effect, regardless how many overlapped, and the tuning was increased somewhat to compensate for the reduced damage.  If Burn Patches now look overtuned, that's why, they're a big big source of damage for Robotics, and if they get de-tuned it might have a serious effect if nothing else is done to compensate.  Obviously AOE Slows or Holds will massively increase the damage done, but that's the sort of power synergy that is supposed to happen in a game.

 

Maybe reduce the fear (substitute a chance for fear?) or something else to improve actual damage taken a bit (add a slow effect to the patch?).  The idea here is that if a held mob is seen as taking too much damage, then adding a slow won't increase the damage.  Holds are still synergistic, but they don't increase damage if the mob is also slowed.  (Personally I didn't test this yet, but "stuff dies in a burn patch" is a big part of how Robotics kill and feels strong.  Too much reduction here might weaken the set too much.)

 

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5 hours ago, gameboy1234 said:

If I recall correctly, Burn Patches were a little overtuned on live because mobs were also feared by them, and would just run out. 

They are being reduced to compensate for the overall buff to bots, yes - but they are bugged the same way old burn was on non-brutes in this build. Aside from that, they don't hit very hard in the newest iteration, so a slight buff to make them better than they are is a fair ask.

 

Fortunately, the bug is likely to be fixed soon. The "fear" you are referring to is actually "afraid", though. General "get out of the bad" ai has with burn patches and things like caltrops.

Edited by ScarySai
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Farted around with my lvl 30 bots/FF at +0x2...  Definitely hitting endurance issues with all three pet classes.  Never actually ran out in any one battle, but there were a couple of times it came close when I tangled with another spawn too quickly.  A touch or three of +recovery definitely seems in order.

Edited by Doc_Scorpion

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I'm curious how much endurance slotting you have in your pets? (Baby drones don't seem to run out so they aren't an issue really)

Ones I've done in the past have between 33% - 74% for Protectors and Assault.
33% it seemed wasn't enough for keeping up with endurance, even with the Assault Bot's Conserve Power.

One thing that makes this difficult is that Protectors still ideally want 1-2 slots for DEF, and there are no throwaway/junk pet powers you can drop the other uniques in (like Gang War etc). I think it would help the set a lot if the repair drone could take pet sets. It DOES attack and do damage when it explodes, and it would help with slotting so you can afford to devote more endurance slotting to the minions.

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I've never slotted endurance reduction in the past, never seemed to need it.  I never really looked until the discussions in this thread drew my attention to it.  But then I'm a casual/low level player, not a AV/GM hunter and in the past anything above +0x1 was often more than I could handle.  Now I'm running +0x2.  Might be able to handle +0x3...

That's why I was asking for a touch more +recovery rather than endurance reduction.  Not a big change, but enough to let the SO player and the less skilled make better use of the increased lethality without paying a slot tax.

I'll try comparing my Live toon to a new copy on Beta, but I'm not sure how valid the test will be because they're not playing in the same league... 

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50 minutes ago, Doc_Scorpion said:

I've never slotted endurance reduction in the past, never seemed to need it.

I will never believe anything you post, ever again.

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Even just going through normal missions on a casual +1x5 or so my bots were running out of endurance on beta with 33% slotting.

They have more and stronger powers now so this is expected.

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16 minutes ago, Dispari said:

They have more and stronger powers now so this is expected.

 

I think more importantly the bots are cycling their powers much more often, which increases End drain quite a bit.

 

I don't recall slotting my bots much for EndRedux either, but I also recall way back on Live that soloing with the bots was a major drag and their attacks were really slow before level 32. Which is why I started thinking about the rate of fire as the real culprit here.  But I think I did slot for EndRedux eventually on Live.  On HC I think I tend to start IO sets much early than back on Live, and it might now be a necessity.

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I'm used to mitigating the protector bots end, back in the day, they were already end hogs.

 

Assault bot can be dealt with to at least not be an issue in standard play, especially with the conserve power helping a little bit. Once I get to the comp I'll kinda drop my mids slotting here, it might help people out.

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