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Focused Feedback: Power Level Availability Changes


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28 minutes ago, Faultline said:

Irrelevant - for crying out loud, go make a separate thread titled "Is changing the power levels power creep?" and have the arguments/discussion there.

Boom.

 

I'll now leave you to your regularly scheduled beta testing.

I'm out.
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19 hours ago, Captain Powerhouse said:

 

I understand your concern. This thought did not escape our minds. For the most part, though, players at those level ranges are still limited by power slots. Someone that decides to start taking many of these powers earlier is likely going to have to make a harder choice by taking those instead of many actual sources of power creep, like leadership, hasten, fighting pool, and so on.

 

Some builds will indeed become a bit more powerful, but this mostly applies to ones that were comparatively weaker to their peers in progression. 

 

Picking many of the capstone powers by passing on many of the other powers in the path there will also result, at those level ranges, with plenty of idle play due to not having enough abilities nor the recharge to make those abilities cycle fast enough. Either way, we will be monitoring things. Difficulty is something we have been looking at for a long time and trying to adjust over time, even if not directly, we always are trying to create foundations for future changes that will get us there.

 

If you do find some situation that becomes game breaking, potentially some thing that was never meant to be (maybe nukes become usable in a task force that was obviously never meant to have anything nuke things away) please bring up those situations so we can evaluate the content. Might not change immediately, but we will look at them.

 

As for everyone else, please respect others opinions.

 

You are only governed by power slots if you are playing through it the first time.  If you exempt down you've got it all at a much lower level.

 

I am scratching my head why this was needed.  I know why it was *wanted*.

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28 minutes ago, Number Six said:

 

Aside from testing whether or not the mechanics work properly... does it improve the flow of power selection when leveling? Does it make the experience at low-medium levels better, worse? Does it make you completely overpowered at those levels or is it balanced out by lack of slots and fighting for power picks with pools and other options?

 

Subjective feedback is absolutely fine for something like this, just without all the back-and-forth.

This is pretty much the discussion that was happening when all the posts were hidden.  These changes are more in line with game theory than just simple number crunching and bug reporting.  I’m glad you’re allowing subjective feedback on this topic. 

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4 minutes ago, Yomo Kimyata said:

 

You are only governed by power slots if you are playing through it the first time.  If you exempt down you've got it all at a much lower level.

 

I am scratching my head why this was needed.  I know why it was *wanted*.

 

I think it was done to make the levelling process more fun.

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I'm still not seeing how it's "power creep" for everyone to get decent powers a tiny bit earlier. I can name a good chunk of powersets that essentially god stomp the game from pretty early on. This only makes the early 20s more fun for the majority of ATs.

 

Are we still humoring this fantasy that all sets are created equally?

 

Good changes.

Edited by ScarySai
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9 minutes ago, ScarySai said:

I'm still not seeing how it's "power creep" for everyone to get decent powers a tiny bit earlier. I can name a good chunk of powersets that essentially god stomp the game from pretty early on. This only makes the early 20s more fun for the majority of ATs.

 

Good changes.

 

Edited by Sovera
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1 hour ago, laudwic said:

Just to add in one more, mitigating, aspect, the most important IO sets are not available until 27.  That, with lack of slots, will limit the ability to slot IO sets thus limiting the amount of bonuses.


True.  But this issue is about much more than even level characters facing even level content.  It's also about characters exempted down from higher levels.

For example: Without this change, there's simply no way to get a T9 into Yin - it caps at 25 and T9's are level 32, seven levels above the cap and outside of exemplar range.  With this change - T9's are level 26, well inside exemplar range.  At some cost, someone as low as lvl 32 could pop into a Yin with their T9 fully slotted.  And of course lvl 50's have even less of challenge to facing Clamor and her horde with a fully kitted T9.

As I view it, that's the real potential for problems - high level toons exemped down into lower level content with a heavy hitting power previously unavailable in those ranges.

And then there's Masterminds.  Their T9 doesn't need slots to produce an instant and practically always on increase in power.

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I'll say at the very least having options in your first secondary power to choose from will give people more to scrutinize when they are looking at these powers. 

 

The characters with armor secondary's I haven't bothered to look at since I take mostly all the armors available.  The characters with an assault I went ahead and logged most in to have a better look at those first two powers and I must say aside from my Doms I don't see much I will be reworking. 

 

My tank getting an attack with a very slight uptick in dpa isn't all that consequential to me when I consider with the t1's much faster animation I am afforded quicker responses to grab extra aggro or fix myself if some attack got through.  Same for my blasters, it'll be hard to drop a ranged attack I can use while mezzed.  My defender's t1 does some nice extra debuffing compared to a slight upgrade in damage with the t2 which I don't feel is better.  

 

As far as the rest of the powers being available earlier I understand the problem with the nukes but those nukes are already OP as it is, that's more of a nuke problem than a power availability problem.  There's a much broader pallet of powers I now have to realize to be more choosy with.  The most noticeable thing aside from the t2 power option is how deep you can get with the epic pools.  

 

To me the most intriguing part of this is the t2 option and the epic pools.  Other than that it's hard to pretend we weren't already well past power creep especially for exemping what with all the extra slots and fully fleshed out builds of lvl 50 characters.  

Edited by Mezmera
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9 minutes ago, ScarySai said:

I'm still not seeing how it's "power creep" for everyone to get decent powers a tiny bit earlier. I can name a good chunk of powersets that essentially god stomp the game from pretty early on. This only makes the early 20s more fun for the majority of ATs.

 

Are we still humoring this fantasy that all sets are created equally?

 

Good changes.

When you change things from “10” power sets/combos that can roflstomp the game to “50” that’s a pretty sizable power increase.  Hypothetical numbers.  

 

You might on occasion encounter one of those 10 builds while leveling and it’s a sight to be seen.  When it’s almost guaranteed to have one on your team it becomes an issue.  

 

The OP build was probably already an issue but it was easily ignored/tolerated.  Once they are all over the place it can’t be ignored/tolerated.  

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I "tested" this with my MM's on test server in that I ran missions with a couple of them at level 30 to get a feel for some of the set changes.  It definitely made level 30 a bit easier as a MM, and I think MM's are probably one of the AT's that will benefit most from this change.  My opinion though, they are an AT that needs the help, so it was welcome.

 

My "compromise" on this change is still that it should go forward (I very much love it), but get rid of the getting up to +5 levels worth of powers when you exemp.   Then this change makes it a bit easier to level on the way up, but for exemping it actually works out to about the same as it is on live.

 

Can't say I know what the reasoning was for the extra powers given to exemping in the first place, but it seems an odd choice anyway.  Exemp'd characters already tend to be more powerful compared to natural level characters,  so why do they need a +5 power availability boost?  Other option would be to cut it to +3 so that it is the same as the buffer you get for IO bonuses?  At least then it'd be consistent.

 

Also, that would then make some of the higher level tf's actually a bit tougher.  No more incarnate powers on the level 45 ones.   Let the downvoting begin. 🙂

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All of the Dominator secondary tier 8 powers which are snipes are still listed as available at level 35 on the powers selection screen, though they can still be picked at level 28.

 

Powers affected:

Dark Assault -> Moonbeam

Energy Assault -> Sniper Blast

Fiery Assault -> Blazing Bolt

Martial Assault -> Masterful Throw

Psionic Assault -> Psionic Lance

Radioactive Assault -> Proton Volley

 

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1 hour ago, Riverdusk said:

Can't say I know what the reasoning was for the extra powers given to exemping in the first place, but it seems an odd choice anyway.  Exemp'd characters already tend to be more powerful compared to natural level characters,  so why do they need a +5 power availability boost?  Other option would be to cut it to +3 so that it is the same as the buffer you get for IO bonuses?  At least then it'd be consistent.

IIRC, the justification had to do with the standardization of characters to mission level.  Back in the day, everyone went in a mission at whatever their present level was, and exemping (and sidekicking) was on a one-to-one basis.  So if you were a level 50 teamed with a level 26 and a level 28, you went into the mission, picked one of them, and your level would be the same as which one you picked, with no extra powers (thus, you'd always want to pick the 28).  TFs, granted, were an exception.  Anyway, when the system was changed, there was concern that people wouldn't want to join teams where whoever the highest level character wasn't also the leader/mission holder, so the changes were made to be more friendly to lower level characters trying to start PuGs, by allowing the higher-level characters to not have to handicap themselves as much.

 

That said, I'm not sure that issue ever really materialized, and I do think removing the "bonus 5" again would be a decent, if unnecessary, compromise if people are really that concerned with exemplars "ruining" play.  As it is, I'm fine with the leveling changes anyway, especially for certain ATs that are frustratingly late-blooming (Tankers and Dominators, for example).

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2 hours ago, Riverdusk said:

Can't say I know what the reasoning was for the extra powers given to exemping in the first place, but it seems an odd choice anyway

Depending on how low you exemp'd to, each individual power you had available was actually weaker than an at-level character with the same slotting due to the scaling applied. The extra levels meant you had access to other powers those at-level did not, making you stronger than them overall. It should probably get reduced to +3 now though, if they want to keep it at all with this change.

 

To the point of the thread, the only part I like about this change is the ability to take either T1 power from your Secondary. That opens up some builds and lets people trim what is often seen as a "useless" forced power pick for some powesets/combinations. I will say it's odd that that does mean Stalkers can now skip Hide, but that might not be something that's strictly necessary to have as a Stalker anymore. I know BillZ might make a Stalker after this change since he hates Hide.

 

Beyond that, though, I don't think I'm really a fan of earlier "high tier" power picks. Early mobs are already balanced around the assumption that players have lower damage potential and lower mitigation potential and this change will either necessitate early mobs getting their HP/Damage buffed in order to accommodate a new assumption, or they'll be left alone and we're stuck with even more powercreep immediately after an update with changes that could have been "powercreep" but were explicitly (and pointlessly) kept from being so for nebulous reasons.

 

It's at this point I wonder what is acceptable powercreep and what isn't. I do know that the mobs below 35 weren't designed to handle Nukes, though.

Edited by ForeverLaxx
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1 hour ago, Hamborgini said:

All of the Dominator secondary tier 8 powers which are snipes are still listed as available at level 35 on the powers selection screen, though they can still be picked at level 28.

 

Powers affected:

Dark Assault -> Moonbeam

Energy Assault -> Sniper Blast

Fiery Assault -> Blazing Bolt

Martial Assault -> Masterful Throw

Psionic Assault -> Psionic Lance

Radioactive Assault -> Proton Volley

 

Dang! Ya stole part of my feedback! 😛 

 

Yeah I think that’ll be an issue with APP/Patrons too. Lots of references to levels there

I'm really just kinda tired of being negative, so instead, I'll try being a little more like the opposite. Heard that leads to more of a fun time.

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Honestly this wasn’t the topic I thought would get the most feedback. So tickle me mildly surprised. 
 

 

Anyways, good change overall but I do think it diminishes the difference between primary and secondary a bit. Not a big deal but something to consider. 

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Playtested a 30 mish with a friend(I was an Ill/Dark dom, they were FA/TW Tank)  and the intro to Posi part 1, seeing as it's the lowest lvl of which you could exemp in a TF.  My takeaways are listed below:

  • Lower levels still suck for doms, literally nothing changed(End is still bad)
  • Slots really keep these level changes in check. I didn't feel like I could just break the game now that I had Midnight Grasp. In fact, it missed almost every time I used it!
  • Posi didn't feel worse or smoother, it felt like Live Posi.
  • There weren't any issues leveling up to 50 after completing the lvl 30 mish.

Overall, like I was saying earlier alongside others, these changes don't do all that much. TFs feel...more or less the same? I'd need to test Pen Yin for a better picture, but I'm guessing it'll be like Posi; pretty much the same.

 

Edited by Seed22
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I'm really just kinda tired of being negative, so instead, I'll try being a little more like the opposite. Heard that leads to more of a fun time.

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12 minutes ago, Seed22 said:

I'd need to test Pen Yin for a better picture, but I'm guessing it'll be like Posi; pretty much the same.

Pitstop is definitely going to be where the biggest changes are (well, that, and the equivalent Silver Mantis, Redside).  You from access to tiers 8 and 7 of your primary and secondary, respectively, to 9 and 8.  Tier 9 primaries tend to be pretty game changing on anything other than a Tanker, and probably have the most power-creep-iness.  On the other hand, tier 8 secondaries tend to be game changing in a more positive way, since several ATs are fairly late-blooming when it comes to getting attacks (aforementioned Tankers, again, as well as Dominators and Defenders).  So it'll probably depend a lot on what ATs you bring.

 

I'd be happy to help out and bring an alt along if our schedules allow for overlap. Do you put test runs in the LFG channel?

 

(On another note, I think SBB will probably be the next biggest difference, and would like to give it a try, too.  Might even try LFG-ing it on beta later this evening if folks want to investigate.)

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2 minutes ago, Lazarillo said:

Pitstop is definitely going to be where the biggest changes are (well, that, and the equivalent Silver Mantis, Redside).  You from access to tiers 8 and 7 of your primary and secondary, respectively, to 9 and 8.  Tier 9 primaries tend to be pretty game changing on anything other than a Tanker, and probably have the most power-creep-iness.  On the other hand, tier 8 secondaries tend to be game changing in a more positive way, since several ATs are fairly late-blooming when it comes to getting attacks (aforementioned Tankers, again, as well as Dominators and Defenders).  So it'll probably depend a lot on what ATs you bring.

 

I'd be happy to help out and bring an alt along if our schedules allow for overlap. Do you put test runs in the LFG channel?

 

(On another note, I think SBB will probably be the next biggest difference, and would like to give it a try, too.  Might even try LFG-ing it on beta later this evening if folks want to investigate.)

I can, but I'm not sure when I'll do it.

 

I'll try for Saturday, but no promises! And yeah that's why I wanna look at that TF(Silver I would do but let's be real, unfortunately no one realizes yet that redside bestside so it's run less often.) those T8 and 9's are like you said; game changers. If I get enough, we'll go through the whole thing, if not? I think doing the first mish then skipping to clamor should suffice.

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I'm really just kinda tired of being negative, so instead, I'll try being a little more like the opposite. Heard that leads to more of a fun time.

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To expand on my earlier observation, here are all the powers visible at character creation with either the wrong level listed in the power description, or no level listed at all (except for tier 1 & 2 since that's likely on purpose).

I took a quick look at the regular client, too, for comparison, and this issue is present on many of the same powers there, as well.

 

Anyway, there's a lot of these, so the affected powers are in spoiler tags so that this post isn't a mile long.

 

I sadly don't have time to check all the epic/patron/pool powers, so if anyone else feels like taking up the torch on this very minor issue, be my guest.

 

Powers that do not list their level requirement (not including tier 1 & 2):
BLASTER (11 powers)

Spoiler

Archery > Ranged Shot
Assault Rifle > Sniper Rifle
Beam Rifle > Penetrating Ray
Electrical Blast > Zapp
Energy Blast > Sniper Blast
Fire Blast > Blazing Bolt
Psychic Blast > Psionic Lance
Radiation Blast > Proton Volley
Seismic Blast > Tombstone
Water Blast > Water Jet
Energy Manipulation > Stun

 

BRUTE (5 powers)

Spoiler

Energy Melee > Energy Transfer
Savage Melee > Rending Flurry
Titan Weapons > Titan Sweep
Titan Weapons > Rend Armor
Titan Weapons > Arc of Destruction

 

CONTROLLER (1 power)

Spoiler

Nature Affinity > Rebirth

 

CORRUPTOR (3 powers)

Spoiler

Seismic Blast > Tombstone
Water Blast > Water Jet
Nature Affinity > Rebirth

 

DEFENDER (12 powers)

Spoiler

Nature Affinity > Rebirth
Archery > Ranged Shot
Assault Rifle > Sniper Rifle
Beam Rifle > Penetrating Ray
Dark Blast > Moon Beam
Electrical Blast > Zapp
Energy Blast > Sniper Blast
Fire Blast > Blazing Bolt
Psychic Blast > Psionic Lance
Radiation Blast > Proton Volley
Seismic Blast > Tombstone
Water Blast > Water Jet


DOMINATOR

Spoiler

Savage Assault > Rending Flurry

 

MASTERMIND (1 power)

Spoiler

Nature Affinity > Rebirth

 

SCRAPPER (5 powers)

Spoiler

Energy Melee > Energy Transfer
Savage Melee > Rending Flurry
Titan Weapons > Titan Sweep
Titan Weapons > Rend Armor
Titan Weapons > Arc of Destruction

 

SENTINEL (1 power)

Spoiler

Water Blast > Water Jet

 

STALKER (20 powers)

Spoiler

Broadsword > Assassin's Slash
Claws > Assassin's Claw
Dark Melee > Assassin's Eclipse
Dual Blades > Assassin's Blades
Electrical Melee > Assassin's Shock
Energy Melee > Assassin's Strike
Energy Melee > Energy Transfer
Fire Melee > Assassin's Blaze
Ice Melee > Assassin's Ice Sword
Kinetic Melee > Assassin's Strike
Martial Arts > Assassin's Blow
Ninja Blade > Assassin's Blade
Psionic Melee > Assassin's Psi Blade
Radiation Melee > Assassin's Corruption
Savage Melee > Assassin's Frenzy
Savage Melee > Rending Flurry
Spines > Assassin's Impailer
Staff Fighting > Assassin's Staff
Stone Melee > Assassin's Smash
Street Justice > Assassin's Strike

 

TANKER (5 powers)

Spoiler

Energy Melee > Energy Transfer
Savage Melee > Rending Flurry
Titan Weapons > Titan Sweep
Titan Weapons > Rend Armor
Titan Weapons > Arc of Destruction

 

 

Powers with the wrong level requirement listed:
CORRUPTOR (2 powers)

Spoiler

Fire Blast > Blazing Bolt (listed as 26 instead of 22)
Seismic Blast > Stalagmite (listed as 26 instead of 22)

 

DOMINATOR (6 powers)

Spoiler

Dark Assault -> Moonbeam (listed as 35 instead of 28)
Energy Assault -> Sniper Blast (listed as 35 instead of 28)
Fiery Assault -> Blazing Bolt (listed as 35 instead of 28)
Martial Assault -> Masterful Throw (listed as 35 instead of 28)
Psionic Assault -> Psionic Lance (listed as 35 instead of 28)
Radioactive Assault -> Proton Volley (listed as 35 instead of 28)

 

SENTINEL (1 power)

Spoiler

Seismic Blast > Stalagmite (listed as 26 instead of 22)

 

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Something to bear in mind: if this change specifically causes certain content to be significantly easier because that content just happens to ride level boundaries that suddenly get powers they never used to, it's actually feasible for the HC crew to tweak the content to account for it, rather than avoid the change. This could be relatively simple stuff, like tweaking just the main bosses/AVs in a TF, tweaking the level transitions for the critters in it (say, bringing some scarier mob versions that only appear at higher levels down 5 levels or something), or just adding a new boss type here and there.

 

I'm not attempting to trivialize this kind of change, but HC has some fairly active content devs. As long as such chances can be targeted just at specific content, I think it's feasible without being a big resource drain.

 

I point this out because the arguments against this seem to center around certain, specific TFs because they happen to lay at level ranges where some meaningfully potent powers come into view that were not before. That doesn't sound like a wildly sweeping problem. Sure, it will also affect any missions in the same level band, but I think that's far less of a meaningful thing for your typical arc - mostly because of TF merit rewards. Even if moving of powers down somehow exposed new crazy farming missions or similar exploit-y things that never mattered before. that would still be something that can be fixed in a targeted way.

 

I'm a huge fan of the T2 secondary change. I like the idea of  the other stuff moving down so that we don't have to fill levels up with pool powers so much, but I wouldn't keel over if we didn't get it. I'm salivating over the T2 secondary one, though, and don't think any power creep it introduces (mostly at very low levels) is worth sweating.

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