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    Request: rebalance defense stats

    I know it has probably been brought up in this subforum before, but pvp in this game is really ailing. My request is that one or both of the two main damage calculations be rebalanced such that defensive stats matter. They currently don't matter to a very large degree.

    As I see it, there are really only two small changes that would have great impact:
    1) defense stats should be scaled higher in damage calculations
    2) defense stats should be factored in to AP-based unison effects (attack damage and heal amount)

    I think implementing #1 is the safest, but even skipping that in favor of #2 could get people putting stats into defense again.

    tl;dr - I think the downsides of doing this are few, the implementation should be trivial, and the justifications for why it's needed are overwhelming. The main risk is upsetting pve balance, but I think that's unlikely or negligible.

    I attend guild battles mainly so my team will have to suffer less CPU "companionship" but a lot of my group either never shows up to gb or enters and leaves again just to qualify for the daily/weekly gems.

    Generally speaking, the deciding portion of a guild battle happens in the first 30 seconds. If the initial skirmish favors one side (which may even mean "losing" the skirmish because of uni gain mechanics) there is usually not much the other team can do to win. Barring some kind of mistake or attendance/connection issue, the side with advantage will win. Even room to make mistakes is minimal, as that consists of missing cheers in crystal assault or throwing the wrong monster. Actual play is mostly absent.

    Colosseum is borderline unbearable, and as far as I can tell the community favorites among the special rules are those which either make players into super tanks or prevent uni altogether.

    In my opinion, from a mechanical perspective the game penalizes players who build defensively. If there is to be some limitation on gear usage (which makes sense to differentiate class usages) then players must choose whether to add gear with defensive or offensive stats. Because offensive stats are absolutely needed to win, defensive stats are by comparison less useful. On top of this, defensive stats are scaled poorly compared to offensive stats in game mechanics, so the incentive to build offensively is compounded.

    We used to be able to mitigate damage to keep people alive, but as piercer attacks and monsters with frenzy/hero buffs become more common there is no reasonable approach to damage mitigation anymore. Barriers and mirrors are useless here, and even in ordinary circumstances mirrors have lost their deterrent effect because of mirror damage reduction constants*.

    Piercer / frenzy / hero attacks also ignore procs**, meaning the primary use of armor is "proc null damage or die." This further incentivizes withdrawal of cost from armor slots among damage dealers.

    I understand that turtle battles are un-fun for most people, but one-shot races are disheartening as well. In terms of pvp much of the game now consists of racing to kill the enemy cannons and then resting while enemy support stands there helplessly. The dead are helpless (not having fun), support are helpless (not having fun), and the victors are more or less idle while they cheer or regain cost (which wouldn't be fun except that winning feels good).

    Healing used to be an effective means to keeping people alive, but this is also mostly a thing of the past. Mechanically there is no problem here imo, but because of the atmosphere in pvp it is not wholly unreasonable to play as glass cannons. As people abandon defensive stats, damage taken increases. As people cling harder to attack stats, damage inflicted increases. The synergy of this effect in opposing teams means people often die too fast for a healer to react***.

    Because of the overwhelming tilt toward attack stats, surviving unison is so difficult that in many cases it makes no sense to try. Building toward surviving unison takes away from dealing damage, so the only incentive for many people is to race toward their own unison. New monsters can give defensive buffs with priority, but enemy monsters can just wipe all mitigation effects anyway.

    *Even the option of constant damage reduction gear is inferior to mirror damage mitigation. Even where mirrors are effectively reducing damage they return only 1hp, so there is no need for caution against a foe who might use mirrors. Both the psychological mitigation and the penalty of attacking mirrors are gone, leaving ordinary mitigation.

    **Because defensive stats have been abandoned it is useless to equip uni reduction gear on offensive players. Defensive players will often fall to a team uni even with both uni damage reduction constants and two damage down constants. Non-tanks shouldn't even try. Somebody's own damage (via mirrors) is the largest real threat they face, so reflection reduction takes priority over damage down constants. The only truly valuable armor pieces imo are null physical, null magic, opening concentration, opening ward/resurrection, opening damage down, and opening hp up. Proc null or die.

    ***Regen used to be a useful thing, but the 5 second tick leaves tons of room to take damage. Reducing the tick timer (i.e. 1% every 1 second instead of 5% every 5 seconds) might help, but I am unsure if the extra load would impact game performance. It could certainly impact playability / visual clutter. Counter heals might be effective, but flat healing amounts are hard to scale. At low heal values they are ineffective for endgame players, but high heal values would probably be overpowered for weaker players. AP-based values would scale better from weak to strong players, but it may still be hard to balance.
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    #2
    It's too long and rambling in spite of my efforts to clean it up, but if defense could matter then players might start opting in again. For now there is no reason to do so, because defense won't save you.

    It doesn't have to be OP or very strong, but it needs to have some kind of use outside of 100% dedicated tank builds (which also suffer reduced functionality currently).

    I'll try to post later at work why I think this wouldn't be a problem for pve.
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      #3
      Do #1. But I'm scared of this honestly because a Rook with Hero in PvP will be able to eat up attacks easily, multi-hits in PvP will lose a metric-ton of damage, and monsters in PvE will need a damage increase (they're already capable of hitting 0s on players with the current def calculations).

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      • HotMessExpress
        HotMessExpress commented
        Editing a comment
        Rook is a potential juggernaut if this happens, but I'm not sure that's necessarily game breaking. Rook might get some dps play in pvp if hero buff became a popular approach, but rook dps isn't that great without abusing elemental advantage.

        As a tank, rook wouldn't be much better than a cleric. Sacrifice would still be an instant trip to 1hp, same as nuking down a loyalty soldier by hitting the squishy dps next to him.

        Either way, it's certainly not as game breaking as an unbuffed mage being able to one-shot a cleric, or having monsters capable of murdering everybody regardless of gear choices.

      #4
      I think for currently existing pve content it could shift people into more aggressive builds. Players would need less defense to survive, but monsters would be much tankier. Defense debuffs might even be important for something other than CB teams.

      I don't often get hit for 0s but surviving most carnage level content with sub-100k defense stats is no problem thanks to elemental sets. If defenses were rebalanced they could tweak the elemental aspect downward a bit and maybe I could stop kicking people with under 150 elemental defense.

      I've never gotten around to trying, but I've always been curious about trying to nail down the damage calc. I'd imagine a lot of current monsters have balanced stats or perhaps even higher defense stats than attack stats.

      If defenses counted more, future pve opponents could just be built heavier on attack stats, similar to how players build.

      At any rate, pve content is much more flexible on the game dev end because they have control over how that works. On the pvp side it is impossible to control how stats are built. All they can do is incentivize players to build defensively by making defense matter.

      Nothing will get better without some kind of systemic change, no matter how many barrier or resurrection monsters they release.
      Last edited by HotMessExpress; 01-12-2019, 12:20 AM.
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        #5
        I really like this idea, defenses became useless a long time ago, and literally the only thing that keeps me alive are nulls

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          #6
          The thing is, while I would love for defensive stats to be useful, I'm pretty sure it's done to increase profit. There are two types of defensive gear, armor and cloth. It doesn't matter that much which you equip to a class, meaning if u summon a 34 cost defensive gear, then that's great. You can use that on any class. Summon a 34 cost lance and you're a mage.... well tough luck. Better spend more gems. Weapons are a bigger barrier to progression meaning more profit to Ateam.


          I know this may sound kinda pessimistic, but I don't see how someone creates a formula in which defensive gear matters less than offensive gear with that gap increasing exponentially as our power increases. It was put in there for a reason. Balance is not that reason. Heck, clerics, rooks and soldiers to an extent are almost obsolete. It's only a matter of time before those players are gonna be forced to shell out more gems to build their dps classes as a main, deal with not being accepted by the community, or flat out quit. And I don't think the community minds it much. They really don't care about balance. They want power. This has been proven time and again by the increasing power of mons. That system is working. So while personally I would get much more invested into a balanced game, I'm part of the minority.
          Last edited by Phoenix; 01-18-2019, 04:54 PM.

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          • iwantfood
            iwantfood commented
            Editing a comment
            I agree, this game is just a bunch of p2w. All my friends have quit. And so have I, but I've recently returned to have some fun spawning the free gems I get from new quests and upgrading my gear score the most I can before inevitably quitting again.
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