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How to improve Mercs?

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6 hours ago, Redlynne said:

So I think this is the distinction we need to be looking at, and why Mercs might have been saddled with the animations (and sounds) that they've got ... and why changing those MIGHT not be such a good idea for the overall "feel" of the set when listening to it.

They got a 6s full auto animation for a very specific reason.

 

Everyone had a 6s Full Auto animation until Jan 2009 IIRC. Critters and players alike. When they went and lowered the animation to 4s; they just didn't port the changes to mobs.

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Correct me if I'm wrong--it has been a while--but doesn't the Medic have shorter range than the other Soldiers?  He definitely should not be the one sticking his neck out.  I really really really want to remove brawl from all ranged pets, so that could also save him from getting squashed more than the others.

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Just going off the top of my head based on the testing I've done.

 

Give them overall much longer range. In fact, allow to slot MM pets for range in general, or add it to pet sets. These guys also have much lower base damage compared to many other MM sets (based on my research). Also serum needs to boost damage by 200% or something to make that extremely long cooldown worth it. Either that or make it 100% damage increase but put the serum on a 2-3 min CD or something. It's a single target buff so it should not be such a long cooldown lol.

 

Mercs - Give the medic some type of AOE heal and ability to buff damage of other soldiers. Make their long cast animation attacks actually do extreme amounts of damage, they have some 3 second animations that do really low damage..

Spec Op - Give them better/higher damage attack chains, add -def to their snipe so it can be procced. Give them knife melee attacks that do bleed damage or crit or something. They are very underwhelming overall. These guys are spec ops like 90% of their attack chain is throwing grenades lol. Give them ability to have ranged crits(can say in description it's their ability to accurately kill or get headshots or something), especially with snipes. In fact they should have multiple snipes with much higher base damage than they have currently.

Commando - For how long the animation of full auto is, it really needs to be doing like 2-3x more damage. LRM rocket's cooldown needs to be severely reduced, and their actually needs to be a proper animation for this where the commando pulls a rocket launcher out or something. If the cooldown is to remain this long the damage needs to be increased 3-4x to make it even remotely viable. I feel commando should be the strongest t3 ranged pet among all MM pets but it feels like by far the weakest.

 

These are just basic observations I make regarding mercs for pvp. But even just base numbers wise for pve they are the weakest I feel by a long shot, feels like they were designed very early on and way undertuned and overdue for severe buffs.

 

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I like Redlynne's overhaul, even if the 'feel' of the set changes.  I'd like to see brawl go away too, I'd prefer a no melee pet set to help differentiate from the other pets.   If they have to have a melee power (why?) make it pummel or even better - bayonette from SoA, longer recharge time would probably help.   I'm not sure about giving both the other T1's frag grenades though, but it would be better than giving it to the medic.  

 

I also am confused as to why thugs have leadership, but mercs don't, would seem to fit better the other way.  

Edited by Justisaur

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53 minutes ago, Justisaur said:

I like Redlynne's overhaul, even if the 'feel' of the set changes.  I'd like to see brawl go away too, I'd prefer a no melee pet set to help differentiate from the other pets.   If they have to have a melee power (why?) make it pummel or even better - bayonette from SoA, longer recharge time would probably help.   I'm not sure about giving both the other T1's frag grenades though, but it would be better than giving it to the medic.  

 

I also am confused as to why thugs have leadership, but mercs don't, would seem to fit better the other way.  

Well, regarding thugs getting leadership and mercs not, I look at it like this:  As the gang leader, you rely upon your enforcers to backup your regular thugs and the bruiser.  As the leader of a group of mercenaries, you are the squad leader, and just order them around more directly.  I realize that a lot has to do with thugs coming later, and I certainly agree that mercs need some love, but both sets function quite differently...

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1 hour ago, biostem said:

Well, regarding thugs getting leadership and mercs not, I look at it like this:  As the gang leader, you rely upon your enforcers to backup your regular thugs and the bruiser.  As the leader of a group of mercenaries, you are the squad leader, and just order them around more directly.  I realize that a lot has to do with thugs coming later, and I certainly agree that mercs need some love, but both sets function quite differently...

I would counter that, from an RP perspective, it would make sense for the tier 3 pet to have Leadership, as second in command/ senior NCO.

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4 minutes ago, Malclave said:

I would counter that, from an RP perspective, it would make sense for the tier 3 pet to have Leadership, as second in command/ senior NCO.

Except that the tier 3 mercenary pet is a heavy weapon specialist, not a commander/leader.  Mercs basically consist of generic submachine gunners, (and a medic), 2 swat-like riot police/CQC/breaching specialists, and a heavy machine gunner - they're actually more of a rag-tag bunch of misfits than an actual tight-knit and highly disciplined military squad.

Edited by biostem

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7 hours ago, biostem said:

Well, regarding thugs getting leadership and mercs not, I look at it like this:  As the gang leader, you rely upon your enforcers to backup your regular thugs and the bruiser.  As the leader of a group of mercenaries, you are the squad leader, and just order them around more directly.  I realize that a lot has to do with thugs coming later, and I certainly agree that mercs need some love, but both sets function quite differently...

No... As the Mastermind, I'm the Mercenaries' employer. I'm not part of their squad. I just pay them to do my bidding.

 

Also, only the Medic has an SMG. The regular soldiers have assault rifles. And the Spec-Ops guys are special forces types, they are snipers who also have some (Really awfully bad) CC grenades and backup guns.

 

Edited by kelly Rocket

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Actually, I was honestly wondering (while on my way to my Day Job today) if an ideal solution would be to REMOVE the Medic from the Tier 1 Pet summon, so just have 3 Soldiers instead, and then reconfigure the Serum power to work along the lines of Gang War to instead summon the Medic (or perhaps 2 Medics) TEMPORARILY on a faster recharge than what is used for Gang War ... and then give the summoned (temp) Medic(s) the ability to use the Serum power on a MUCH shorter cooldown, so they can administer the Serum more than once during the duration of the Medic(s) in addition to their Aid Other and Injection powers.

 

In other words, turn the Medic in a "get a corpsman over here!" Level 18 power borrowing from Gang War but in a much more focused way so as to drop the recharge down to something like maybe 60-90 seconds with summoned the Medic(s) having a duration of 15-20 seconds during which they patch up everyone and load them up with Serum for good measure before retreating off the front lines.

 

Kind of have to wonder how well that would work.

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Verbogeny is one of many pleasurettes afforded a creatific thinkerizer.

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Just now, Redlynne said:

Actually, I was honestly wondering (while on my way to my Day Job today) if an ideal solution would be to REMOVE the Medic from the Tier 1 Pet summon, so just have 3 Soldiers instead, and then reconfigure the Serum power to work along the lines of Gang War to instead summon the Medic (or perhaps 2 Medics) TEMPORARILY on a faster recharge than what is used for Gang War ... and then give the summoned (temp) Medic(s) the ability to use the Serum power on a MUCH shorter cooldown, so they can administer the Serum more than once during the duration of the Medic(s) in addition to their Aid Other and Injection powers.

 

In other words, turn the Medic in a "get a corpsman over here!" Level 18 power borrowing from Gang War but in a much more focused way so as to drop the recharge down to something like maybe 60-90 seconds with summoned the Medic(s) having a duration of 15-20 seconds during which they patch up everyone and load them up with Serum for good measure before retreating off the front lines.

 

Kind of have to wonder how well that would work.

What if they added or replaced one of his regular attacks with a version of "injection" from the medicine power pool, (or maybe add an enemy debuffing attack and an ally buffing one).  Get rid of the melee attacks from all of them, and replace it with a simple "single shot" attack to round out their attack chains.

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I wouldn't mind Mercs borrowing two powers from the Nemesis group.

 

1) Bayonet replacing Brawl

 

2) Vengeance being granted to the lieutenants. I.e. when a lieutenant dies vengeance is automatically cast. 

 

 

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4 hours ago, esotericist said:

Obviously the solution is to make the medic the commander unit in the squad. Nothing can go wrong with this plan.

He should also be the radio operator. There's not a tanker in the world who could pull aggro off of someone who combines all three jobs.

 

Reminds me... I need to move macros up in my priorities for relearning the game. So I can have all my mercs salute my MM while saying "Sniper check!"

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There are numerous things that could and should be done to bring Mercenaries up to parity with some of the better sets (looking at you, Demons and Bots). The commando needs to be overhauled, Serum needs to be revamped entirely (1000s cooldown? Seriously?). The other mercenaries need their damage and animations tightened up. Etc.

 

The fact that the commando's LRM Rocket has a 240s cooldown is absolutely ridiculous, for one. It should be around a 24s cooldown, comparable to the other tier-3 pets' abilities. Hell, the Assault Bot's two missile swarm attacks have 16s cooldowns. The original devs were just really lazy with mercenaries. And with a lot of mastermind stuff, if we're honest. They just didn't really like masterminds all that much, so never really gave them the attention they needed.

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On 9/6/2019 at 11:37 PM, Redlynne said:

Actually, I was honestly wondering (while on my way to my Day Job today) if an ideal solution would be to REMOVE the Medic from the Tier 1 Pet summon, so just have 3 Soldiers instead, and then reconfigure the Serum power to work along the lines of Gang War to instead summon the Medic (or perhaps 2 Medics) TEMPORARILY on a faster recharge than what is used for Gang War ... and then give the summoned (temp) Medic(s) the ability to use the Serum power on a MUCH shorter cooldown, so they can administer the Serum more than once during the duration of the Medic(s) in addition to their Aid Other and Injection powers.

 

In other words, turn the Medic in a "get a corpsman over here!" Level 18 power borrowing from Gang War but in a much more focused way so as to drop the recharge down to something like maybe 60-90 seconds with summoned the Medic(s) having a duration of 15-20 seconds during which they patch up everyone and load them up with Serum for good measure before retreating off the front lines.

 

Kind of have to wonder how well that would work.

My idea was just to make Serum an AoE (without the crash) and reduce the cooldown to around 200-240 seconds. Such that even if Merc's damage output/utility is garbage, they could at least carve out a niche for being extremely durable.

 

But I like your idea a lot better. An extra summon power would also help with slotting set procs.

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On 9/1/2019 at 8:26 AM, esotericist said:

The DPA for Mercs on their AR attacks is astoundingly awful. I believe direct comparisons show Mercs has typically around 2/3rds the DPA of analogous Thugs attacks. More recharge doesn't fix DPA.

 

The cooldowns are a problem, especially for the utility attacks (Spec-Ops, i'm looking at you), but the truth is even with reduced cooldowns they'd still be in bad shape.

 

...

...

Alternately, if it needs to be a clickie, possibly a Merc-pet-only analog to Farsight/Mind Link.

 


I think a DPA boost (as highlighted in other excellent comments), killing(?) brawl & changing Serum would go really far towards bringing the set up to an even level.

 

I love the idea of a "teamwork" buff that is a timed buff and not a toggle ("come on guys, get it together!").  It could provide simple defense, or a combination of def/tohit/damage.

 

I think swapping out Serum for a temporary (recharge based, maybe perma-able) Medic and converting the T1 medic to another soldier is also a great idea!  So many solid ideas....

Another idea I really like is taking the ammunition toggle idea from DP and either replacing Serum with that,  giving it to the player for free along with the T1 mercs, or changing the T1 or T2 buff to have multiple options, each of which changes the damage type for all mercs (to make it simple). Basically they do say 50% Lethal to start, then you can choose between lethal, toxic, fire or cold for the other 50%.

 

Solid, doable suggestions.  Hopefully the HC team takes a pass at MMs soon (especially the epic pools! *points to his signature*).

Edited by lobster

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On 9/11/2019 at 8:05 AM, lobster said:


I think a DPA boost (as highlighted in other excellent comments), killing(?) brawl & changing Serum would go really far towards bringing the set up to an even level.

 

I love the idea of a "teamwork" buff that is a timed buff and not a toggle ("come on guys, get it together!").  It could provide simple defense, or a combination of def/tohit/damage.

 

I think swapping out Serum for a temporary (recharge based, maybe perma-able) Medic and converting the T1 medic to another soldier is also a great idea!  So many solid ideas....

Another idea I really like is taking the ammunition toggle idea from DP and either replacing Serum with that,  giving it to the player for free along with the T1 mercs, or changing the T1 or T2 buff to have multiple options, each of which changes the damage type for all mercs (to make it simple). Basically they do say 50% Lethal to start, then you can choose between lethal, toxic, fire or cold for the other 50%.

 

Solid, doable suggestions.  Hopefully the HC team takes a pass at MMs soon (especially the epic pools! *points to his signature*).

I like the toggle mode idea but perhaps a with a bit more of a mercenary flavour-

-Suppress fire: 10% chance to knockdown or something like that

-Return Fire: 10% buff to damage

-Take cover!!!: 10% buff to defense

 

The idea is to lead with Suppress fire then switch to Return fire and then Take cover if things are going south. The actual values are just something I pulled out of my head. It would need to be balanced.

 

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I figure one thing that can be done is to change the attack chain on Soldiers from Burst -> Heavy Burst -> Full Auto to Single Shot -> Burst -> Heavy Burst. This should cut down on activation times by a good amount.

 

You might extend this to Spec Ops as well. Frankly, snipe doesn’t serve them well and the CC grenades make their theme work fine by themselves. Go from Burst -> Heavy Burst -> Snipe to Single Shot -> Burst -> Heavy Burst. Keep that nice snipe sound and use it for single shot though.

 

This also has the effect of having each “bullet” do more damage. It just kinda bothers me seeing six guys with assault weapons furiously mag dumping on one minion to kill it. Mercs go through far more ammunition than they can possibly carry in any given mission.

 

Of course that’s just one action out of several that would help Mercs.

Edited by Shazbotacus

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"When a player identifies a problem, he is almost always right.  When a player proposes a solution, he is almost always wrong."

 

Let me be more clear.  I think the discussion is still worth having for two reasons.  One, it lets the Homecoming Team know that we are thinking about this issue.  Two, it may generate an idea or inspire something that can someday be implemented as a game-mechanic.  There is an opportunity here to be creative and add something unique that will set Mercenaries apart from the other primaries. 

 

I will speak in generalities because there are others that can directly address issues with specific powers more accurately than myself.  To be plain, we want Mercenaries to be better.  Better than they are currently.  But in comparison to what?  Clearly the measuring bar is in comparison to Thugs, and specifically, the Enforcer's leadership powers.  This is a mechanic that probably should have gone to Mercenaries in the first place.  But it is too late for that now.  The ship has sailed.

 

So you have Thugs and their tighter hierarchical command structure.  The Enforcer, through a combination of charisma, intimidation, and outright threats, keeps the rest of the thugs in line, fighting together as a cohesive unit.  Thematically speaking [if not also mechanically], they will always have this advantage over mercs. 

 

Perhaps what the mercs need is to display better training.  Most of them are likely ex-military, law enforcement, or special forces.  They are the best.  The elite.  The disciplined.  The decorated.  The bravest, strongest, and fastest.  Together, they are the most lethal fighting force ever assembled.  The moment you summon a mercenary, amateur hour is over. 

 

Whereas thugs are poorly trained but highly organized, perhaps mercs are simply more loosely organized but highly trained.  They need no enforcer to keep them in line.  They do not look to a squad leader for direction.  Their battlefield commander is the Mastermind himself.  They already know what their employer expects of them.  They need only be pointed in the enemy's direction, and they will sort out the details of that enemy's demise in short order.  This does not mean that they are unable to work as a team.  Rather, that they are simply less dependent upon each other in the furtherance of their objectives. 

 

Every finger a knife.  Every hand a bayonet.  Every man an army. 


Formerly Negative_Man on the CoH forums (I'm more positive nowadays)

 

"I don't want it to appear that I'm willing to settle for anything. No-one likes a zombie without standards." -UnknownSubject

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Random Musings:

  • They need to be built around single shot powers and reserve bursts for their best, most damaging attacks. This is practical insofar as reducing their animation times, and stops driving us all absolutely insane listening to the entire British Machine Gun Corps expend their entire ammo load every time I engage three homeless men wielding lead pipes. The current situation also has an extreme psychological effect insofar as people are going to think their pets suck when they fire all these bullets and do sod all. I bet, I BET that people would just plain feel like their set wasn't so suck if all those bursts did their damage in a single hit instead of millions of minuscule ticks.
  • The Spec Ops can use as many grenades as they want as long as they use a grenade launcher, instead of spending an entire ice age taking out a pineapple and winding up to throw it.
  • If these idiots are going to have a melee attack, it had better be pummel and it had better have the same ability to disorient.
  • Just....just make the tier 1 soldiers not look like crap. Please. PLEASE.

As far as rebuilding the set entirely, I'd make it more military and stand out from Thugs by making the Mercenaries actually use a variety of military weapons. I'd have the tier 1 as basic riflemen (and medic) using an actual rifle and not the SMG models.

 

At tier 2 the Spec Ops would be out. Bye bye Spec Ops, this is a coherent military squad, not a mashup of tropes. Either the whole squad is Spec Ops or it isn't. They would be replaced by the heavy weapons troops. These guys are intended to diversify the damage types and go freaking mental on AoE damage. They could be grenadiers or rocket launcher guys using heavy explosives with fire damage, or venom munitions, cryo munitions, whatever. This is a squad of military mercenaries and this is how the military deals with problems....judicious and aggressive use of explosives. This is what really sets them apart from Thugs. Maximum firepower at a level of expense that gangbangers simply can't dream of.

The tier 3 is the squad leader. For the sake of gameplay he retains similarity to the Commando insofar as he's carrying the machine gun and is a grizzled murder machine. As we all know, Authority Equals Asskicking, so of course the squad leader isn't just another rifleman. He ONLY uses his machine gun, unlike the Commando, but there are two ways for this to not be a problem: the first is he simply does such high damage that lethal resist just isn't going to slow him down much. Not particularly my favourite solution but it's easy to implement, understand, and play. The second is that his attacks inflict useful debuffs, and because they're all burst fire cones he can apply them to lots of enemies and thus helps out the whole squad. -Def Debuff is easy for 'suppressing fire' themed attacks, but you could even put a -Res debuff on a power due to armour piercing ammunition or something. It doesn't even have to be -Res to everything, it could be a heavy -Res to lethal damage so suddenly this guy makes your tier 1 riflemen get more done (and Assault Rifle blasters hug him like a brother before Full Autoing everything).

The squad leader would also be a heavy team buffer. I don't really care about the specifics. If he can't use leadership skills, which is reasonable because Thugs already took them, he can continually throw down powerful individual or AoE group buffs themed around....shouting at the men. I'm totally serious. It would be hilarious if this guy was buffing men to do more damage by just shouting mangled military nonsense at them, "FULL ATTACK! GO GO GO!", clearing status effects by just screaming, "GET YOUR HEAD TOGETHER SOLDIER!" at them, and if you really want it to get silly (hilariously), he can literally be healing soldiers by just shouting at them.

 

EDIT: I just remembered the Starship Troopers movie. The squad leader can buff the recharge of the whole squad with, "HOLD WHAT YOU GOT!" I've been laughing about that for a couple of minutes now as the movie's theme wafts through my head. 😂

Edited by SaintD

The idiot formerly known as Lord Khorak

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I had a thread in the suggestions forum detailing my understanding of Mercs’ problems and a way to address them. Maybe I should go and copy that first post here too. Eh, why not. I'm gonna touch up my original post like a second draft and post it here.

It's generally agreed that among the Mastermind primary sets, Mercenaries stands out in its mediocrity. As someone who loves the idea of leading a team of soldiers yet is dismayed at the mercs' lack of worthwhile strengths, I'd like to take a serious look at trying to put them on par with their competition.

 

To start off, we must first understand what is seen as wrong with Mercenaries. That is, there isn't much to say about it: Mercenaries lack both meaningful damage and survivability. Compared to Thugs they only have their inherent resistance against S/L and the Medic's one heal to keep themselves alive while Thugs Enforcers give all their henchmen about 15% defense against everything. Also compared to Thugs, Soldiers hover around 1.34 damage per activation cycle in their single target attacks while Thugs get around 2 and 1.8, or a little over two thirds more "DPS." Spec Ops look like they were meant to help survivability through hard crowd control and offense debuffs like the Lich from Necromancy, and that fits very well with their theme of using modern weapons to fight with. However these powers are on such long recharge timers (2-3 minutes) that they are not even available every fight. So let's get to addressing these issues.

 

Remove Brawl?

Let's get this out of the way. I won't be suggesting removing brawl here; that discussion is a topic unto itself that concerns Masterminds as a whole. I'd very much like to focus on just Mercs for this discussion please.

 

Addressing Damage

Part of what really hurts Mercs damage output is the obscenely long activation time of their standard shooting attacks. Burst -> Heavy Burst -> Full Auto all take a long time to finish firing. I'd suggest keeping their recharge and total damage and changing them to Single Shot -> Burst -> Heavy Burst, and setting the activation time of Burst to be more like what players get from Assault Rifle: 1.00 second instead of 2.67. Like this, we end up with activation times of 0.9, 1.00, and 2.67 respectively. This should bring the damage per activation cycle of the Soldiers' three attacks of this new chain to 1.94, 1.71, and 0.96 if my calculations are right, so much closer to Punks. It may also be desirable to change Heavy Burst to a higher damage single target attack. The arc was only five degrees anyhow, and damage went down the drain for it; up Heavy Burst damage per activation cycle from 0.96 to 1.8 or so and leave AoE damage to the Commando.

 

This might also carry over to Spec Ops, replacing their snipe with Single Shot and moving their Burst up to the next damage/recharge tier. Just use the firing sound of the Snipe for the Single Shot. What about Heavy Burst? That depends on how much we want to Spec Ops to focus on weakening enemies to protect the squad or just doing more damage. If we favor higher damage, then move Heavy Burst up another tier of damage/recharge so Spec Ops has a single target attack chain of 3 powers. Otherwise, let's explore what would help them cripple enemies better below in Addressing Survivability.

 

Moving on to Commando, my one gripe is LRM Rocket. It does decent damage but not for its 4 minute recharge. Like the Spec Ops, the Commando doesn't need a snipe. I'd replace this with just another AoE grenade: Incendiary Grenade as a heavy fire damage over time with similar damage spread over 6 seconds, shorter 80 foot range, and a much shorter 30 second recharge.

 

Personally, though, I hate the guy's ugly default assault rifle "frankenrifle." I really wouldn't mind replacing all his attacks with a bunch of grenade launcher powers using the PPD grenade launcher for a weapon model. It'd spice up the Mercs arsenal for visual appeal for sure. You've got all sorts of damaging ammunition available in 40mm like grenades that include frag, incendiary, anti-tank, and maybe even poison gas. 40mm has even been used with buckshot as well. If there's some curiosity about leaning more into melee, you could also make his brawl not suck (he's a super soldier after all) and give him Pummel, maybe even a "bayonet" attack where the weapon is smashed into the target like a battering ram (the grenade launcher is pretty big.) What the hell, I'm going to show you guys my fantasy Commando. Behold:

Basic:

Brawl: Except it's a good attack now.

Anti-Tank Grenade: This shaped charge bores through its target with a jet of molten copper for extreme single-target fire damage.

Frag Grenade: Single hit of decent smash/lethal damage in an area around the target.

Upgrade One:

Pummel: Straight smashing damage melee attack with the back side of the grenade launcher.

Incendiary Grenade: Long-lasting and very high fire damage-over-time applied to enemies in an area around the target.

Upgrade Two:

"Bayonet" Smash: Straight smashing damage melee attack by ramming the grenade launcher into the target.

Poison Gas Grenade: Drops poison clouds on enemies within the area effect, potentially doing extreme toxic damage to whole groups if they can not move away. Just like Assault Bot's incendiary missiles.

 

As you can see, I believe the Commando should take the premier role of area effect damage for Mercs. Just think of the Assault Bot from Robotics. Being in melee won't hurt this  guy quite so much if his attacks are mostly plain area effect as opposed to being cone-shaped. The Commando should be defined by high amounts of raw damage; no secondary effects, just plain killing power, and should be almost as effective as the Assault Bot in wiping out crowds of minions.

 

Addressing Survivability

There's not much to dealing with Medic. As a component of Mercs survivability, he is not adequately focused on his healing role. I'd replace his Frag Grenade on final upgrade with an area effect heal around himself or a friendly target. One might even consider making his Stimulant an area effect large enough to get the whole squad in one application.

 

Finally, Spec Ops again. I want to compare these guys to the Lich in that they seem like they were originally intended to focus on helping survivability by crippling an enemy's offense over doing much damage. Let's begin with Spec Ops' debuffing and crowd control powers. Web Grenade has a good Immobilize and -recharge component on it, but it's only applied to one target for 15 seconds out of a 30 second cooldown. I'd suggest some area effect at the least so it can apply its -recharge to multiple enemies and slow their rate of attack. Rifle Butt... might change that into Beanbag, basically ranged stun rather than melee. Now for the CC grenades, Flashbang and Tear Gas. Respectively their cooldowns are 2 and 3 minutes, do -5% To Hit and -20% damage, and CC with Mag 2 Stun and Mag 3 Hold. It's pretty clear why Tear Gas has a longer cooldown than Flashbang, but in both cases it's just too long. Spec Ops, to protect their squad, need debuff powers that can be available often enough to be used at least once every fight, and that have enough up time on their debuffs that it matters. Achieving a respectable amount of debuff up time might mean sacrificing a bit of hard CC, and I'm fine with that. One AoE CC is enough anyways, and I don't think this set should be so heavily reliant on the binary nature of hard mez effects. So I propose splitting them between hard, binary CC and a strong debuff with more up time, and it might look something like this.

Stun Grenade: Replaces Flashbang. Mag 2 Stun for 6 seconds (level 1) on a cooldown of 45 seconds. Loses vestigial -5% To Hit

Tear Gas Grenade: Loses Mag 3 Hold, keeps -20% damage, duration extended to 30 seconds, and cooldown reduced to 45 seconds.


Addressing Serum

Jesus this power is just bad. Possibly justifying a special case overturning of the "cottage rule" levels of bad. It's like an armor set's T9, but it crashes after just one minute, recharges in 1,000 seconds, and only affects one henchman. For realsies. Super soldier serums are a neat trope, but not specifically helpful for supporting the whole set of henchmen. What can we do with this thing?

 

1. Aerosolized Regeneration Serum - Assists Survivability

The player lobs a grenade-like canister and releases the ARS around a target henchman, affecting all nearby henchmen in a 25 foot radius with +600% Regeneration for 30 seconds on a 4 or 5 minute recharge. This, with base regeneration, should mean about 40% health regenerated every 12 seconds, or full healing done in half a minute.

 

2. ACE Support - Assists Damage

Teleport in a soldier wearing the ACE, Aerial Combat Exoskeleton, which is a full body suit of power armor with a jet pack for flight. He carries a scary grenade launcher like the one used by the PPD, and rains several types of destructive grenades for massive area effect damage and scorched earth on your enemies for a full minute before teleporting out to refuel and rearm. Like Assault Bot but purely area effect focused. Recharges in ten minutes. Can be targeted and shot down. Alternatively, summon a sky skiff with a similar armament of high-yield rocket propelled explosives, but that'd look silly to use on indoor missions which is most of them.

 

3. Simple Solution

Just cut that recharge down to like ten minutes, make it affect the whole squad, and remove the crash bro, like instead of the one needle it's an aerosolized gas from a grenade or something and spreads the Serum's effects to all your henchmen.

Edited by Shazbotacus

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Anyone read the changes being made to Mercs on the CoXG server? It's listed on r/Cityofheroes. Here's a copy/paste:

 

 

Mercenaries Update

 

Soldiers:

+ New Costume based on Spec Ops design.
+ 1 extra Soldier, due to medic being moved to own power.
- Removed Brawl
+ Gave Burst a 15-Arc Cone
+ Frag Grenade for early-level group control
+ Increased Resistances to soldier by ~12% & added Recovery + Health Regen

 

Medic:

+ New costume
+ Medic is now summoned separately from Soldiers. (A third Soldier takes his place in Soldiers.
- Removed Brawl
+ Medic has two heals, a single target heal and AoE heal, both on 10 sec cooldown.
+ Stimulant is now an AoE and places a Heal DoT on friendlies
+ Final Upgrade is Field Medic skill.
- Medic has NO ATTACKS

 

Spec Ops:

+ Web Grenade is now an AOE attack, 20 yds
- Removed Brawl
+ Replaced Rifle Butt for BeanBag Mag 2.5 Stun
+ Increased Snipe's Damage by 1.2%
+ Replaced Stealth with Targeting Drone as it really didn't help and snipe needed the Accuracy Buff
+ Increased Resistances to soldier by ~12% & added Recovery + Health Regen

 

Commando:

+ Increased Resistances to soldier by ~12% & added Recovery + Health Regen
+ Reduced Cooldown of Rocket Launcher to match Assault Bot Rockets
+ Reduced the frequency of Knockback/changed to Knockdown
+ Summon 2 Soldiers, they last 120 seconds and cooldown is 200 seconds.
- Removed Brawl

 

Equip Mercenary:

+ Passive Power, Once bought, every 5 seconds it Pulses to upgrade any new or re-summoned pets

 

Tactical Upgrade:

+ Passive Power, Once bought, every 5 seconds it Pulses to upgrade any new or re-summoned pets

 

Serum:

+ Increased range & turned into an AOE for pets
+ Duration set to 60 seconds
- Endurance cost raised to 25
+ Recharge time reduced to 100 seconds
+ Crash reduced to 50% of cur%pet powerpool
- Bonuses from Serum reduced ~3.7%

 

For us Necro fans, a change to Soul Extraction:

 

Soul Extraction:

+Toggle power, with minimal Drain (might change)
+Fires off every 10 seconds with an AoE than Summons a Zombie per dead foe nearby, no more targeting required, There is no upper limit to how many you can have, but they only last ~25 seconds

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Can someone please explain to me why Serum gets so much hate? I see it all the time. I've taken it recently on my first Soldiers MM and it seems fine to me. The buffs are pretty damn good tbh. Can the endurance crash be countered by recovery powers or is there no way they can recover back the end until the timer wears off?

 

My biggest personal problem is them using brawl. They have -guns- but I've seen my pets brawl so many times, its bothersome. If we could get that removed that'd honestly be the biggest buff they could get :') (at least from my limited experience)

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It's the crash, the fact it only affects one of your henchmen, the 1,000 second (16m 40s) recharge, and its short duration of one minute. It's not up nearly often enough to be worth... anything. It is, hands down, the worst level 18 power out of all the Mastermind primaries. It is indeed a solid resistance buff on paper, but it's severely outweighed by the above problems.

Edited by Shazbotacus

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3 hours ago, Ry said:

Can the endurance crash be countered by recovery powers or is there no way they can recover back the end until the timer wears off?

Adrenalin Boost and Painbringer can counter the end crash caused by Serum. Also maybe Ageless incarnate. Any power that provides more than +1000% recovery. Powers like Recovery Aura and Chrono Shift wouldn't be enough.

  • Thanks 1

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