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What's the deal with Controllers at 50?


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1 hour ago, Mercurias said:

I don’t know how on earth they would have done so. I’m not saying a change like that would’ve been unwelcome, but I just don’t know how they could have done it without either completely reworking the order at which you get powers in each primary to let you get pets at level 6-ish or by trying to slap an attack in somewhere.

 

They could have just worked on the powersets that weren't leveling up at a decent rate pre-pets. Liking giving Mind something to boost damage... maybe extra damage boost on Terrify if the mobs are also Slept or Confused, etc. And then revisited the damage done by the Immobs for Earth and Ice, which seem like they could also use a damage boost. It didn't have to be an AT-wide reorganization.

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9 hours ago, Mercurias said:

I don’t know how on earth they would have done so. I’m not saying a change like that would’ve been unwelcome, but I just don’t know how they could have done it without either completely reworking the order at which you get powers in each primary to let you get pets at level 6-ish or by trying to slap an attack in somewhere.

I personally don't think a complete rework or reordering of powers is required to make the lagging sets more solo friendly. What I think is needed to assess the primary sets is a "Time Under Control" (how well can it control) and a Time To Kill (How quickly can it defeat an enemy) baseline; I don't think anything like this exists. Without a standard you can't have an informed discussion on how to bring the lagging sets to parity.

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  • 2 weeks later

The easiest solution might be to look at existing powers and add more damage to lower tier powers where there currently is none and maybe nudge up existing ones a bit. The hard part for some controller primaries is building a decent attack chain. As Gravity I can build one and feel fine but that is not every sets experience.

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8 hours ago, HeroReborn said:

It would make a fantastic addition to some FF powers.

Begs the question of whether that combination of mechanics might make Force Field too strong. It does make a lot of comic-lore sense to have something that "breaks down" and softens incoming damage, maybe eventually allowing some things in as the shields "fail" (burn out Absorb), like you see in a lot of Sci-Fi Space shows involving "Shields." But in CoH terms, Defense applies first, then what comes through hits the absorb field, then HP. How much Absorb do you give? How quickly do we get to stack it? What gives it? How many times can I stack it? Can I give a player 100% absorb by just firing my bubbles over and over?

 

It has the potential of making a player unkillable.

 

As an example, see Bio Armor.

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I was just waxing earlier today on my own Ill/FF toon I rolled. Since looking at the various Stealth powers in the game, I really wanted a character with Superior Invisibility.
This seemed like a valid option for those arguably few subterfuge mishes where you "click on glowies", or get to the end and talk to prisoner/contact. (Though you may have to defeat a boss or some lieutenants toward the end). Since Superior Invis. is only available to Controller archetypes in the primary Illusion power set, this seemed like a no-brainer. Controller has Force Field as a secondary power set, so...Sue Storm homage toon!
Now let me say that this a bit tongue-in-cheek but it has the pale veneer of truth to what I am going to say. The plan wasn't to get her to be the best toon ever (obviously) or even be able to solo many missions, but to be able to route through specific subterfuge mishs unscathed solo. As I've been playing, I've noticed a couple of things. First; the primary power set of Illusion, pretty much sucks in every way possible for solo until you get to the higher level powers. And secondly that the secondary set of Force Field comes in at a very close 2nd or 3rd for that title of "Worst power set ever".
Though some of the powers on Illusion seem to share similarities with Mind Control and Psionic Assult, they are as different as night and day.

1) Spectral wounds is high dam, which makes it as effective or perhaps even more so than Psionic Dart from PA. This is one of the few compliments I will give to the set. This feels a bit OP for a level 1 toon to have.
2) Superior Invisibility is great, When I first got it, the first thing I did was walk right to bosses and did the Smack emote standing on their toes! It's the best power....UNTIL....you interact with ANYTHING. Then your 100pt. perception buff drops to -35. In a room with no bosses or Lts. on a mish set to -1; the minions spot me from 30 feet away and simultaneously went full agro the split second I clicked on a glowie. Boo! I can do the exact same thing with any AT using power pool Stealth (toggle) plus a Stealth IO at lev 12, or a Stalker's Hide at Lev 1.
3) Okay. I will give you that Spectral wounds is pretty nice, and Phantasm and Phantom Army are MM-in-training-powers. But every other power from level 2 to 18 is a veritable wasteland; go/give invisible (until you interact with something) or distract the enemies to give me a few seconds to go invisible and get the heck out of dodge. If anyone is aware of a contact that give you the mission instruction "I need you to sneak into the base and then run away from the first mob you encounter without actually accomplishing anything." This is the optimal powerset for that story arc. So if you're planning on soloing, expect to invest in a few P2W or Power Pool powers just to fill level slots. Does anyone seriously run solo missions with an Ill/FF toon? I imagine a giant virtual waste bin full of crafted IC/FF toons of levels 3 to 12 that people have hit the delete button on.

 

Force Field...how you disappoint me. Let me count the ways.
1) You get Personal Force Field at lev 1, which seemed so awesome when I took it. Hah! Okay, so I can't do anything offensive so long as I'm in this bubble. That's not great. But I'm INVULNERABLE!!
Those level 1 Hellions shooting at me are just wasting bullets! Suck it you stupid Hellion! THIS IS AWESOME....<Hellion drops gun, whips out knife, runs-up and stabs me to death.> Oh...so I guess in the description the words "impenetrable to all attacks" they failed to associate people stabbing you with a sharp piece of metal as an "attack". 

2) Force Bolt is a bit lamer Telekinetic Thrust. Both avail. at 4th level, both have serious KB. But TT has a smash + psionic component that gives it a considerable edge.

3) Detention Field. "But Rocket", you say, "It's just like Telkenisis or Gravity Distortion field" in that you are holding an enemy "helpless" for a duration and you get it at the low-low level of 10. Oh! But it is SO MUCH WORSE, Captain Optimism! Detention field is a single target. And with Telekinisis and Distortion field, you/teammates can still damage the affected target. But the Detention Field actually makes the target INVULNERABLE. I took 2 levels in Concealment with another toon, and a level 14 just so I could get Phase Shift just for this exact same ability on myself to mitigate damage when I'm getting mobbed! "Hey! Thanks Control-Girl, you just gave that EB time to heal-up and also stack a few buffs! Great Job! Did you want to hang out for a bit and see if you can fill out an application to join Arachnos? Or maybe you can demonstrate that special power that sets the rest of your team mates on fire, while simultaneously disabling their toggles all at once and converts their slotted purple IOs into TOs!"
4) Force Field as a power set is all defensive purpose. I do get that, but only 2 powers in the set do any ancillary damage what so ever (not great for solo). One is Force Bolt (minor),
and the other is Repulsion Bomb (moderate) which you don't even get until level 35 when you're eyeballing those epic power sets! And when on teams, let me tell you any melee folks will LOVE you for setting off a Repulsion Bomb.  Melee types LOVE having to chase down all of the mobs they just invested time in grouping into a single tight ball. And nothing will make you feel that grinding through 35 levels was worth the while than when you do it with an IC/FF and start dropping those awesome Rep-bombs scattering enemies like leaves in the wind. And you thought honest healers got no love in this game? Oh if only the game didn't censor explitives that were being shouted at me. I would probably have a few words in my vocab.

5) In a similar vein, Repulsion Field and Force Bubble. try whipping out either of these on a team mission where you have a few melee folks doing most of the DPS (See Repulsion bomb above) 
If you think it's entertaining to watch people lose their collective S, get yourself "accidentally" booted off of a team AND simultaneously put on people's global ignore lists; then I must highly recommend you order from this menu the filling triple dose of Repulsion Bomb, Repulsion Field and Force Bubble on the same mob. Bingo! You're off this task force Sue!


 

Edited by Rocketeur
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Illusion pairs well with some secondaries and doesn't play well at all with others. It's a very specific powerset and yes, it is godawful until you get PA.

 

That's the story with everything in CoH though, some powersets complement each other so marvelously that you create proper Supermen, and others don't go together at all. (And then there are scrappers). And illusion and FF don't work together at all.

 

I would honestly leave Illusion alone for the most part, aside from maybe ditching the healback mechanic. A well built and played Illusion controller can achieve  sub-2min kill time on a pylon or "hold" (for all intents and purposes) any AV or GM. Besides rearranging powers, there is no room for buffs, I think.

 

FF on the other hand... Yeah... That could use help.

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On 6/15/2019 at 2:31 PM, Sovera said:

Though I was shouted down when I said it it's still my opinion that controllers are completely obsolete in the game as it stands now. Even as we level I don't feel it matters if we are there or not. We can be all proud of ourselves by locking a pack down and the team is killing it without a problem, but then go AFK and come back to see the team kept on going and had no problem in our absence. We do not add damage and our control is hardly needed.

 

We may *feel* we are useful, but in fact we are a lot of flash and little substance.

 

At 50 it just gets worse when people start slotting up for real. So what I do is work towards buffing and damage. We may not be *needed*, but we can speed things up to it takes less time. Taking less time is always appreciated. We work damage in so that we can help some, because, again, speed things up.

 

Playing a corruptor or even a mastermind is more useful than a controller, in my opinion. A MM in particular can set their pets on aggressive on a pack along with the team, do damage, and just focus on their secondary to do some locking up or add buffs/debuffs. A corruptor will do this but with even more damage and no need to re-summon things.

 

Me, for the heck of it and because I like the imps, I'm playing a fire/kin. Notice how it works with what I said. I'm buffing the party so they mow down faster, and with containment and pets and hotfeet I'm adding damage. And, yeah, I guess, I can do a bit of CC for the heck of it, but as you've noticed no one really cares about it. Even half slotted teams will mow down a TF.

 

Now that said you picked an unfortunate combo. FF is weak nowadays. You could have gone for Cold and achieve just a smidgen less defense in your shields but also add a brutal -regen on AVS which *would* help the team defeat an AV faster, and a nice combo of CC and -res to help kill faster with Sleet. Nothing in FF is really helping PA either though neither will Cold.

 

Time is a good baby since you buff your party, debuff the enemies to take more damage, has a heal you can spam and keep everyone topped off, and important, helps you boost your own defenses so you are not squishy (you can reach the defense softcap with it). Squishy is just a bad idea.

 

There are those here (because we are in the Controllers sub-forum, and those who are here do so because they love their characters) who will say that no, Controllers are useful, but, eh, I say join a group, help them kill a few packs, then say you need to pick up the phone and watch them. Does their HP dip? Does anyone die? Is their progress slowed?

Absolutely agree with the above. 'Trollers were my thing back on live, but i just can't see the point on homecoming. 

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1 hour ago, Necessity Bear said:

Absolutely agree with the above. 'Trollers were my thing back on live, but i just can't see the point on homecoming. 

 

That's interesting. They seem stronger on Homecoming, due to the ability to use procs to pick up better single-target damage, and the AoE damage that they usually lack.

They're STRONGER as characters.

The "problem" is that characters overall are generally stronger since IOs are much cheaper, and thus defense is less useful on teams. But that's not a Controller problem, that's a game balance post 50 problem. Any character not oriented primarily towards damage seems... far below optimal, once a team is capable of facerolling without worrying about danger.

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I would love to see new post-50 content that addresses how the game plays at that range. 

 

Unfortunately I do think the developers made a mistake with the Incarnate powers. Destiny and Judgment in particular. I think there were better ways to balance these end-game abilities so they wouldn't take over high level play. Right now, we really have only a few options:

  • More enemy groups and missions with abilities that ignore defense or resistance altogether
  • More enemy groups with absurd hit points or resistance values

 

 

I'm not sure how realistic it would be to add even more new content to the game or whether its even something the dev team here is interested in. If I were on that team, though, some things I would consider are:

  • Lots of enemies with -Defense of some kind (Cimerorans provide a good model of this), which rewards sets that are 'true' defense sets, because they have resistance to this debuf type, where IOs and Destinies do not provide this
  • Provide enemies with strong toggle-based powers that reward teams who manage mezz them
  • For some enemy groups, provide them with a form of mezz protection much weaker than standard protections, rewarding a team that brings an unusual mezz type (example: a group of enemies that is unusually susceptible to Fear)
  • For some enemies, instead of giving them strong innate resists, give them toggle armors that contain the resists, rewarding players who work to detoggle the armor (either through mezz or endurance drain)
  • Create some enemies with toggle powers that provide +Max HP, causing a huge drop in HP if they are detoggled
  • Incorporate some powers into the game that exist in the AE but not are currently in the core game because they were considered too difficult for players to deal with
    • Arctic Air
    • Synaptic Overload
    • Hot Feet
    • Power Sink

 

With work, it is doable. The question of course is what the rewards for these post-level-50 missions might be. That's something for another post. 🙂

 

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I’d say I still contribute to teams in high level play just fine on my controllers. A lot of that, like with playing Dominators at high level, revolves around the secondary. 

 

My Elec/Kin controller turns teams into super-speeding buzz saws, and when things get tough my controls are plenty potent. 

 

My Fire/Dark troller is an honorary corrupter. It locks things down, debuffs, damages, and heals. It even has the strongest Rez in the game. 

 

My Grav/Time controller makes parties effectively invincible and is able to group up enemies for easy mass destruction. 

 

Sure you you can play a defender and so some of that, but I like the combination. 

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17 hours ago, Coyote said:

 

That's interesting. They seem stronger on Homecoming, due to the ability to use procs to pick up better single-target damage, and the AoE damage that they usually lack.

They're STRONGER as characters.

The "problem" is that characters overall are generally stronger since IOs are much cheaper, and thus defense is less useful on teams. But that's not a Controller problem, that's a game balance post 50 problem. Any character not oriented primarily towards damage seems... far below optimal, once a team is capable of facerolling without worrying about danger.

Yes, i think you're right. I always felt that 'trollers come in to their own during prolonged battle. So id say that's usually if team dps is lower than normal, or if additional, unsolicited aggro comes in from a patrol, or a blaster woopsy. The teams stamina is really put to the test in those situations and aoe controls really help.

But on HC i just don't find that 'prolonged battle' scenario is that common. 8 man teams are just so powerful, its usually click, click, dead and move on.

Ofc you can engineer that scenario by building smaller teams, adjusting difficulty etc. (and i do). But you have to go looking for it.

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  • 2 weeks later

I think that containment needs to be removed and damage needs to be adjusted back up to more tolerable levels.  There’s already too many barriers to damage for most combos such as having weak attacks and no appreciable aoe outside of fire.  There are many control resistant mobs late game which makes the problem worse.  

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Got on some high level teams recently. Not Incarnate level, but late/end game AV type. The lack of support/debuffs was obvious. One AV wrecked us until proper support was added.

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Without Pause Claws/wp brute, Nothing But Flowers Plant/storm, Waterpark Water/temp blaster, Sneakers StJ/en stalker,

Current obsession(s): Earth/earth dom, Rad/bio brute.

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The problem is that ff is boring. Its boring because its broken and overpowered. Bubble at the beginning of every mission. Keep everyone in big bubble, the end. Mission is done before bubble refresh...pull harder/faster. Proc monster out what you can. Lead teams. 

 

Trollers require the right type of teammates. If you have time to type or scratch an itch then its to slow

 Kill kill KILL!

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9 hours ago, Hongxiquan said:

Huh, that's odd.  My Fire/Rad controller is doing quite well.  Also it's good to see the martyr complex stuff again on game forums.

As someone noted above, every single archetype forum has some version of this thread. 🙂 (Since, really, it doesn't take a full team/task force of incarnates to deal with anything.)

 

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If you're just playing a controller without a detailed build plan or guide, I can completely understand the original sentiment of this thread.  You hit 50 with powers that looked like good ideas at the time and you're doing content with folks that can have a really huge variety of build levels.  If you're at the bottom end (a typical poorly slotted and powered fresh first 50), it can feel disheartening.  My Ill/Rad controller is a delight after a bit of polishing, but I felt really underwhelmed as recently as level 47. 

 

Of course, it can also just be a matter of who you're comparing yourself to.  While leveling, most of the folks around you are also leveling.  People that extensively IO while leveling are relatively rare, so you all kind of suck together.  When you get to endgame, you're maybe running along beside folks that are fully T4 incarnated and have hundreds of millions of inf in their sets.  They're all level 50, though, so it can be hard to judge why they're so much better than you (and veteran levels can help with that comparison, but they're not super reliable). 

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14 hours ago, ParaBruce said:

As someone noted above, every single archetype forum has some version of this thread. 🙂 (Since, really, it doesn't take a full team/task force of incarnates to deal with anything.)

 

Personally, I think it's hilarious. The way that people stubbornly refuse to grasp the idea that in an eight member team, no single person will be vital is comedy gold to me.

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I've played controllers too. I've just found them obsolete as well. If enemies were much harder and more difficult I think they'd be excellent but as it stands now, you're better off just being a corruptor or just abandoning the whole thing and being a damage-dealing character that's contributing a lot more to the party. Controllers have a big roll back then but as it stands now, content just dies too fast to really see their benefits. I find this archetype to be sadly one of the most lackluster ones in this state of the game. They just aren't upkeeping with the current state of the meta, that's sad but it's the reality. I love them solo and I love their affects but they are a lackluster AT at this particular point as far as the game mechanics are concerned sadly. That's at least my personal feelings toward the controllers I've made.

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On 8/27/2019 at 11:25 AM, Without_Pause said:

Got on some high level teams recently. Not Incarnate level, but late/end game AV type. The lack of support/debuffs was obvious. One AV wrecked us until proper support was added.

Flip side. Got on a team which honestly outside of the cake room of death had too much support in terms of needing control. We were cruising +2 in our 30s to where +3 likely would have been an option. I was on my Dark/dark and in the end I felt like a crappy D/d defender since a defender would have been putting out more damage. I think a good general rule would be two players for control, and anything else after that. Team splits, ambushes, etc. happen so a team could use a second player for control. Pretty much outside of that, damage and buffs/debuffs. Some sort of alpha strike taker is nice to have, but not required.

 

I did have a moment where I fell to the bottom of the cake room, was stuck finding a way back up, and was surrounded. I was frantic as death would mean not hitting 32 by missions end. Honestly thought I was done for and held off till teammates showed up so I was pumped about that.

Without Pause Claws/wp brute, Nothing But Flowers Plant/storm, Waterpark Water/temp blaster, Sneakers StJ/en stalker,

Current obsession(s): Earth/earth dom, Rad/bio brute.

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Interesting stuff,

I can only echo the above, i used to feel useful and wanted  as a troller, loved   / rad toons for the buffs/ debuffs but now it feels like i may as well stand in the corner of the map wit a PL meh plz signfor the amount of use i am .

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I know back in the day the clash was between tankers and controllers.  They both had a bit of the same "role" (controlling the battlefield), just a different approach.  With the proposed (pretty major) buffs to tankers on the test server now being tested, does this change things?  Make controllers have even less of a role on teams?

 

Still won't stop me from making controllers as I find them fun personally.  Just found it interesting I haven't seen it brought up, when it used to be a big thing.  Only complaints I see is how buffed tankers are encroaching on brutes.  Maybe brutes already made the argument moot.

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In regards to incarnates making content too easy, there’s nothing stopping a group of like-minded people from getting together and creating an SG to run content with their own artificially induced limits, such as no incarnate powers. Personally I’ve yet to create a character I thought was too powerful for the content.

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