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Pain Domination vs Empathy


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If you want a more specific breakdown, let's start with what the 2 sets have in common:


1. PBAoE heal.

2. Ranged single-target ally-only heal.

3. Another ranged, single-target ally-only heal, but heals for more and deals some damage to you, while also preventing you from healing yourself for a short while.

4. Rez power

5. Ally-only mez protection


Where they diverge:

1. Empathy has the 2 "RAs"; Recovery Aura and Regeneration Aura

2. Pain Dom has Soothing Aura (HoT) or Suppress pain (PBAoE +regen)

3. Pain Dom has World of Pain, which is a PBAoE +dmg, +tohit, +RES

4. Empathy has Fortitude, which is a single target ally +dmg, +tohit, +DEF


There are more differences as well - check the links in the 1st response I gave for a full breakdown...

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Excellent summation by @biostem.  For me the biggest standout differences going from an Empath to Pain Dom character would be

  1. the presence of Anguishing Cry and its PBAoE debuff of both resistance and defense.   It's a nasty debuff in and of itself exceeding the values of RadEm's toggle debuffs (for resistance and defense) but in a click and forget for 30 sec format
  2. Adrenaline Boost's massive recharge buff (100%) and slow/recharge debuff resistance values
  3. The total Regeneration buff on a target of both RegenAura and AB (which would be pushing the regeneration cap for most support characters once you include their base passive regeneration 1600%+).   Killing something at both the defense soft cap and 1600+% regen is pretty problematic.
  4. And lastly I'd personally notice the lack of a defense buff along the lines of Fortitude.  Which as biostem alludes to I'd countered by greater overall damage buffs available to a Pain Domination.
Edited by Doomguide2005
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Pain is a bit more solo friendly than Emp, IMO. In the current post 50 meta, World of Pain’s +Res probably covers a few more holes than Fort’s +Def, and Anguishing Cry doesn’t really have a parallel in Emp. You also get a nice perk (+31.25 Dam) from Pain’s big ST heal, which is additive with the Defender inherent, World of Pain, Assault, etc. You can use it on dumb things like P2W buff pets when solo.

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There are posts stating that pain is more offensive and emp is more defensive. Pain and emp differ in the mitigation and offensive buffs they provide, e.g. +res from pain vs +def from emp, and there are situations where one is more effective than the other. However, viewed as a whole they both have high defensive and offensive capacity.


The real differences are:


Emp is more small-group-focussed, while pain is much less so. Emp has two powerful buffs that are single-target (fort and AM, both of which comprise much of its defensive power), pain has only one (Painbringer, and it's slightly weaker than AM for a variety of reasons beyond the scope of this discussion). Like Ant-Man, Emp gets proportionally stronger as the team size shrinks, up to a limit; on 4- and 5- mans, a good emp can powerboost-fort every single player except themselves easily.


Emp potentially has significantly more endurance management capacity. Even though recovery aura can't be made permanent, it can have very good uptime on permahasten+ builds, and Pain does not have anything comparable so you cannot as easily counter drain-heavy environments.


Emp has a considerably higher skill floor (minimum skill level needed to achieve acceptable performance) than emp, and it is possibly the most skill-demanding support set - which doesn't say much for a game that's overall very easy to play at all levels, but still. This is especially true since emp's critical buffs have multiple uses, both offensive and defensive, and myriad interactions with other players and powers. Optimal play of emp involves not only high battlefield awareness, but also efficient decision-making skills backed up by extensive game knowledge. For example, identifying when a critical teammate is suffering from slow and diverting the next AM to them to prevent a wipe (because you know that it gives slow resist), all in the middle of upkeeping fort on most of the party, spot healing, blasting, and keeping an eye on the recharges of multiple critical powers (fort, auras, powerboost). For Pain you mostly just need to upkeep your area buffs and decide who is getting painbringer.

Edited by Zect
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