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As I'm trying to recreate some characters, I'm finding a problem exists that I remember having even back in live days.


The issue is it's impossible to get some kind of consistent balance for my custom NPC enemies.


Basically, it amounts to this.  If I want to make an epic enemy, that the heroes need to pull out all the stops against, they're SO ridiculously powerful that they're practically oneshotting the player characters.  Then, if I make them lower rank, to reduce their absurd damage output, they become absurdly flimsy, and offer no real challenge at all.


For example, I created a version of my Tank character, the Canadian Shield.  I had originally planned on making all my NPC actual heroes and supervillains Elite Bosses, the logic being that WE are stronger than bosses, but weaker than Arch Villains.  However, I knew ahead of time that making Tanker type characters as EBs makes them too strong, so I started as a Boss and figured I could upgrade him as necessary.


As a boss, his attacks were doing 200-800 damage, on average.  This is enough to nearly oneshot my L35 Mastermind.  Considering he's got to face absorbing dozens of such attacks, there's basically no way for him to survive an encounter with the Canadian Shield as a Boss, let alone as an Elite Boss... and even thinking about making an Arch Villain... there's just no way.


Meanwhile, my NPC character based on my Electric/Traps Controller was obliterated almost immediately when created as a Boss.  The discrepancy between the power sets is pretty extreme, and the discrepancy between the ranks (ie. Minion through AV) is also pretty extreme.


I feel like a balance pass is desperately needed.

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It's not just rank you have to look at.  You can balance an EB/AV NPC character with your power selection for them.  I've run into similar as you and while MY character I am trying to recreate has Build Up, Aim, Darkest Night, or other such buff/debuff powers, and even though they are available to NPC in AE... I find it's best to not give them those types of powers because like you say, they'll one-shot the player.


You can still make a Tanker NPC and give it powers from the powersets you want - but look at what buff/debuff powers you give them.  Critters/NPCs in AE are more like we are and less like Critters in PVE.  The powers you give them work similar to the ones we get and not the dumbed down versions critters in PVE get.  For example, Invulnerable set's Invincibility... CoT demons get this power (or a version of it), but it is a mere fraction of what we get as players.  In AE, the NPC gets our version and it's much stronger - they get more Def and more ToHit than the PVE Critter version.  


When selecting your powers for your EB/AV NPCs (and even bosses too)... give them the "flavor" you want.  Don't just check off every power on the list, even though your character that you're recreating has them.  This should help you balance your NPCs.


Good luck!


PS - I'm also NOT saying to never use those buff/debuff powers - as the story goes, it may be part of that character that they have a super one-shot ability or a massive debuff that you have to be careful of.  There are already AVs/GMs in game that have this and you have to avoid it somehow, which is part of the challenge and fun of the game... you just have to warn the player ahead of time with the story that this will happen.  


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Ya, I always cherry pick the powers I want them to have, but even at that it's nearly impossible to properly balance them.  For example, the NPC version of Canadian Shield was doing more than 200 damage with Punch, compared to the 40 damage the actual character was doing... and that's when I made him as a BOSS.  Making him an EB or AV would only make things worse.


But, beyond that, there's the discrepancy between the types.  Canadian Shield as a Boss is an almost indestructible juggernaut capable of obliterating any PC in seconds, while Dr. Solomon the Controller is defeated in seconds himself, without being able to do much of ANYTHING to a PC.  I understand, it's likely difficult to balance things when you can have combinations not possible for players, but I still feel like a balancing pass is needed.

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