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Thread: Problems which are impediments to Balance

  1. #1

    Problems which are impediments to Balance

    Introduction

    There are a few systemic problems which are actual impediments to balance. Regardless of the effort Michi puts forth in attempting to balance the game, these issues will continually impede progress.

    I will discuss them here, and I encourage others to chime in.

    Problem #1 - Perk checks

    This is by far and away the most significant problem in game currently, that is not only a serious threat to current balance, but will continue to be a significant threat to actually achieving balance.

    TL;DR

    Roll back ALL perk checks to 100% skill vs 100% relevant defence.

    Justification


    In order to understand how seriously dependent perks are to balance, we only need to look at the incredible success that Agents are currently (not) enjoying in PVP, the level of OPness which was prevalent with ranged advy's in the last 5 years, and the incredible amount of QQ 1hb/1he enforcers generated in that time as well.

    Agents:
    Many agents say PVP is simply too easy. That's how bad it is. Why is it so easy? Agent perks have very low checks which means that they can simply do a fast debuff then queue several hard hitting perks, pop an AS in the middle and targets drop like flies. Fair? No. Is there a defence? occasionally, but hard to use with agents often leading with a stunning perk.

    Advy:
    When pistol perks went to 80%, advy also got the tro'aler pistol and the peh'wer pistol, these two changes paved the way for an unprecedented level of success which really went unmatched for years. Was advy OP as hell? yes. did everyone roll an advy? almost. Was it stupid? Yes. It was stupid.

    Enforcer:
    QQ. What's that? I can't hear you, you must be at reclaim. While it wasn't necessarily the perk check that was the problem, it was a known exploit, with far less HP across the board for every prof, the enforcer perk alpha was devastating. With the changes to HP and gear, and some new nanos... this would be less of a problem today.

    So, the first thing we must do is simply RESET ALL perks to their BASE checks - not just for agent, for all profs.

    And do some minor tweaking on perk chains/damage.

    General Perks

    All general perks should be reset to a standardized system.
    CONC/COLI/COLA/COHA/COHI - reset them to AMS vs DR/EC Or even for a more aggressive balance, reset to AR vs 100% DR/EC

    The reason for this change should be obvious. With this change, all profs revert to their Pre-adjustment power level.

    Opi genome perks are incredibly strong, and may warrant some review as well.

    With this change, we can next get a TRUE understanding of what each prof is capable of killing using perks.


    What kind of AR is common in Current Game?

    In a maxed out setup here's an example of some Ballpark numbers, including raidbuffs, but not towers or breed buffs/debuffs.

    Enforcer: 3600 buffed AR (1hb AR) challenger
    SMG Soldier: 3600 base AR (SMG AR)
    AR soldier: 3700 base AR (AR AR)
    2HE Keeper: 3700 buffed AR (2he AR) insight
    ME keeper: 3700 buffed AR (ME AR) insight
    MA: 3700 buffed AR (MA AR) moonmist
    Agent: 3600 buffed AR (rifle AR) concentration
    advy: 3600 buffed AR (pistol AR) frenzy of fur
    fixer: 3400 base AR (SMG AR) <-- edited, thanks for clarification!
    shade: 3700 base AR (piercing AR)
    AMEP Engi: 3700 base AR
    non AMEP Engi: 3200 AR base (pistol AR)
    Crat: 3200 AR base (pistol AR)
    Bow MP: 3200 base AR (bow AR)
    Trader: 3700 buffed AR (shotgun) drained
    Doctor: 2900 base AR (pistol)
    NT: ?? 3600 MC+AAO AR

    These are just ballpark. But there is a very obvious trend, which is that profs who do not have pets or huge heals (doctor), have about 500 less AR than "direct" combat profs.

    Possibly irrelevant discussion about game historically

    Traditionally, the game was balanced using weapon specials: if your weapon required landing many bullets/perks/hits in order to do damage, you got either higher static AR, bigger buffs to AR or debuffs to lower the checks:

    soldier/keeper/enforcer on the high AR side, soldier got debuffs and high static AR, keeper got perkbuffs and some debuffs, enforcer got big buffs to AR

    fixer/agent with next highest static AR but big debuffs to go with them

    MA's/advy/shade were sort of in the middle AR wise, and MA got buffs and debuffs, Advy got AR buffs but better defence to wear down opponents, and shade got high static AR, but is required to land debuffs to boost AR

    Then came the control profs: low AR, but had pet damage to boost damage:

    Engi/crat/MP had the lowest AR of the profs that needed to hit people to kill them: engi got no buffs and debuffs to remove some defences, crat got some weird evade debuffs that didn't work, so their toolset was fleshed out to include init debuffs, and MP's didn't get AR or evade debuffs, but instead got nanoskill debuffs which in theory should stop several profs from getting combat buffs or getting off combat debuffs.

    Then finally were the oddballs who were kind of in their own class: Doc/trader/NT which rely on crippling a prof to wear down and kill it in the case of doc/trader, and NT's are nukers.

    That was the traditional balance system, and to some degree it worked quite reasonably. But some things were a bit out of balance.


    How we got to where we are now

    The first of the big problems started when advy's thought they should be high AR profs despite being the KINGS OF DEFENCE. GD's gave in and lowered pistol checks to satiate advy professionals. This was the beginning of the sh*tstorm.

    With pistol checks getting a 80% check, every other prof started wondering why they shouldn't get the same. Well, pistols, it was argued, were a "support" weapon, and since so many profs used pistols (advy/doc/MP/engi/crat <- note these are all the low AR classes except advy), it made sense that support classes should be able to kill something using perks.

    But was this change a good one?

    Does a doctor deserve 80% pistol perk checks? Doctors aren't pistol masters, are they? they are healing masters.
    Does a crat deserve 80% pistol perk checks? Are crats pistol masters? As I recall, they use pistols out of default.
    Does an engi deserve 80% pistol perk checks? Are engi's pistols masters? Engie's so far are the best choice, but still not really masters
    Does an MP? MP's are not pistol masters.
    And advy? Advy is the jack of all trades, masters of none. Advy should never have got this unwarranted boost.

    So if not one of the profs really deserved the 80% check.... why did it go ahead?

    This is the first and most important check to roll back.

    Then every check can be rolled back, and evades can actually mean something again - AND, more importantly, balance can be achieved since original definitions of balance can be respected and worked with.

    Conclusion

    Perk roll back will reset balance to a level which was pre-whiny Advy, pre-bad decision.

    Yes, there were some problems in game back then, but realistically, we should be able to address those problems individually, without operating in the broader broken perk context which places an inordinate amount of value on AR, and disproportionally devalues evades.

    Why are evades devalued?
    Last edited by McKnuckleSamwich; Jan 19th, 2016 at 05:22:41. Reason: formatting, got rid of excees fluff

  2. #2
    I assume, when you say you want to roll back the checks to "100% skill vs 100% relevant defense", you include the multiplier from aad and aao. Correct?

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Eedesti View Post
    I assume, when you say you want to roll back the checks to "100% skill vs 100% relevant defense", you include the multiplier from aad and aao. Correct?
    instead of AMS vs DMS (which is relevant skill+AAO+AAO vs relevant evade+AAD), it rolls back to relevant skill+AAO vs relevant evade+AAD

  4. #4
    Resetting every perk to 100 skill vs 100 defense brings a lot of other problems
    - effectively makes low AR proffession perks useless, the only solution will be then unify AR over all profs. And AMEP way isn't the right way to do it.
    - did nothing against perk queues. This is game mechanic that should have gone long ago as it nullifies almost all active defenses
    RK1: Amickson 220/30 ENG - equip, Aztea 220/30 MA - equip, Adirae 220/30 ENF

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Amickson View Post
    Resetting every perk to 100 skill vs 100 defense brings a lot of other problems
    - effectively makes low AR proffession perks useless, the only solution will be then unify AR over all profs. And AMEP way isn't the right way to do it.
    - did nothing against perk queues. This is game mechanic that should have gone long ago as it nullifies almost all active defenses
    Resetting every perk to 100% skill vs 100% defence brings no problems. you haven't backed up your statement with any kind of proof.


    You're incorrect about low AR profs becoming useless. And AR, as I've already shown, is broadly unified already: support profs have 500ish AR less than direct combat profs.

    Low AR classes have:

    1. pets or nukes in order to do damage (engi, MP, crat, NT, Doc)
    2. heals (doc/MP to a lesser extent)
    3. debuffs (doc/MP/Crat/engi, NT)
    4. highly noteworthy team buffs (crat, doc, engi)
    5. highly effective nukes/dots (doc, MP, crat, NT)

    All of which become stronger when AR setups are abandoned. The true hidden issue is lack of AS or a hard hitting capped hit which most people feel is necessitated in PVP.

    Lets just do a quick comparison. How much damage in a fight does engi get from perks?, crat, MP, Doc?

    Now, how much damage do you think they could get, under optimal conditions in PVM vs PVP?

    I'll give you a general answer which I don't know exact numbers for, but is probably broadly accurate:

    Support classes except doc: 3-4 % damage from perks (much less in PVP)
    sold/enf: 3ish % damage from perks
    fix/SMG sold: 4ish % damage from perks
    keeper: 7 ish % damage from perks
    Doc: 6% from perks (pre 18.7) using starfall (less in PVP)
    Shade: 30ish % damage from perks
    MA: 3% dmg from perks (less in PVP)

    trader, agent, NT I don't know. The rest of them I tested on tinydump last year (fixer extrapolated from SMG sold). But I'd hazard a guess that agents are hitting close to 40-50% in PVP which is beyond ridiculous.

    Really, is 4% of your total damage that important? for an engi pumping 350k DPM, that's only about 14k dmg. It's not make or break. What's more important is utility or being able to use your damage in a way that produces a kill.



    You're right about perk queues. That is something that most definitely needs fixing and I intended to address (but deleted a few subsequent posts). I think queuing 1 perk and one trailer is sufficient (I.e. if you press 1 perk, you can load 1 perk behind it, but that's it).
    Last edited by McKnuckleSamwich; Jan 15th, 2016 at 10:37:21.

  6. #6
    perk damage has almost always been irrelevant in PvM, apart from for shades, they're all such long cds and have very minimal impact.

    This means that any rebalancing that needs to happen, needs to affect PvP first and foremost.

    weaponskill+aao vs defence skill+aad with a 1:1 ratio means that balancing becomes a lot easier, all you need to change then are stats on equipment and makes it easy to manipulate if you feel certain profs need more of x or y by just adjusting their prof locked items (ofab is a fantastic platform for this)

  7. #7
    Weeeell...

    Very well said and placed. I am all for this change.

    Second thing to fix... Perk Ques... remove that.
    Quote Originally Posted by Michizure View Post
    This'll be fixed for the next patch

  8. #8
    NT's don't have 3600 MC, far from it. I seriously doubt bow MP's can reach 3200 AR. Doctor DoTs are far too slow casting/recharging, short lived, and hard to land keeping in mind the mountain of damage incoming against doctors and the limited time to use them. And support profs in general gimp themselves horribly for pushing AR to the max so making blanket statements like "support profs only have 500 less AR then combat profs" is not a realistic approach to balance. Nor do all support profs want to use pistol.

    I fully agree with you about advs having 80% perks on top of troa'ler. Also agents are retarded OP with the perks they have now. However I'm not convinced 100% skill vs. 100% defense is always the way to go for all perks. That makes things too black and white. I like perks similar to Blur from shades that have have a lower check and nerf defense allowing damage perks to land. Essentially opener perks that you need to use in certain situations to build an alpha. That way the retarded agent 4.7k AR from sneak stun lock 20k alpha in 2 seconds crap is avoided and some strategy and back and forth is in play.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Mountaingoat View Post
    NT's don't have 3600 MC, far from it. I seriously doubt bow MP's can reach 3200 AR. Doctor DoTs are far too slow casting/recharging, short lived, and hard to land keeping in mind the mountain of damage incoming against doctors and the limited time to use them. And support profs in general gimp themselves horribly for pushing AR to the max so making blanket statements like "support profs only have 500 less AR then combat profs" is not a realistic approach to balance. Nor do all support profs want to use pistol.

    I fully agree with you about advs having 80% perks on top of troa'ler. Also agents are retarded OP with the perks they have now. However I'm not convinced 100% skill vs. 100% defense is always the way to go for all perks. That makes things too black and white. I like perks similar to Blur from shades that have have a lower check and nerf defense allowing damage perks to land. Essentially opener perks that you need to use in certain situations to build an alpha. That way the retarded agent 4.7k AR from sneak stun lock 20k alpha in 2 seconds crap is avoided and some strategy and back and forth is in play.
    In an AR setup, NT's can get 3k MC. In a slightly more reasonable setup, say 2900. 400 AAO from setup + 100+75 = 3475-3575... so I think that's not far off. Note that I said MC AR, and not MC skill MC AR means MC+AAO.

    Dot dots got a huge boost in 18.7 - were you aware of that? Docs can actually do some pretty heavy dotting, especially with the level 10 proc, and using malp to nuke pretty decent. It costs a lot of nano, but if you don't have to heal a lot, it's pretty DPSy.
    The reason for returning to"black and white" is exactly why we need to do it.

    We can actually GET to balance without the "black and white". Currently there's all shades of black-grey--right up to white hot with some agent perks essentially NEVER missing.

    Fully agree about perks like blur/derivate/flower of life/and some of keeper's HM line.

  10. #10
    Main problem with perk balance is - that there are many perks that are used by different professions.
    I think most powerful (especially offensive) perks should be prof-specific, while defensive perks should be breed/group-of-profs specific.
    It's pretty hard to balance perks nowadays just because (for example, pistol perks) they're being used by both, high and low AR profs. And if you slightly nerf them - you barely harm high AR profs while nearly killing low AR profs, and vice versa.

    IMO first thing to do - is to totally rework perklines, no matter SL or AI ones. I'm completely sure that most used and effective perks should be prof-based.

    Then you can easily implement different modificators for each prof and their perks, and it won't break other things up
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  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Artyomis View Post
    Main problem with perk balance is - that there are many perks that are used by different professions.
    I think most powerful (especially offensive) perks should be prof-specific, while defensive perks should be breed/group-of-profs specific.
    It's pretty hard to balance perks nowadays just because (for example, pistol perks) they're being used by both, high and low AR profs. And if you slightly nerf them - you barely harm high AR profs while nearly killing low AR profs, and vice versa.

    IMO first thing to do - is to totally rework perklines, no matter SL or AI ones. I'm completely sure that most used and effective perks should be prof-based.

    Then you can easily implement different modificators for each prof and their perks, and it won't break other things up
    This is something that I considered mentioning as well, and I tried to briefly address it.

    my line of reasoning was relatively simple, and tried to focus less on the perks and more on the toolset:

    i.e. Advy gets 100% pistol perks => better balance
    Doc gets 100% pistol perks ==> doesn't matter, because they weren't landing them anyway in PVP, and simply forces docs to consider using alternate setups. (i.e Using CC on doctor with 80% checks MIGHT be a good idea, but using CC on doctor with 100% checking perks is dumb, this creates better opportunities to diversify setups)

    Same with engi, crat.

    I actually wrote out several more posts as addendums to the original Post but removed them because I wanted to hear other's views on the matter.

    Broadly speaking, though, I think you're bang on. Offensive perks should be prof specific, while defensive/buffing perks should be breed/group oriented. This creates a more unified approach that should both strengthen prof/group identity AND create better opportunities for prof balance.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Lazy View Post
    [removed]
    [edited by Anarrina]

    To get you sorted though, I'll just quote myself with a few word highlighted since you seem to be incapable of much beside selective reading:


    Quote Originally Posted by Lazy View Post
    In a maxed out setup here's an example of some Ballpark numbers, including raidbuffs, but not towers or breed buffs/debuffs.
    Ballpark means approximate. Also: https://www.google.com.au/?gws_rd=ss...fine:+ballpark

    If 3500 is too high, please advise.

    I assumed a fixer would have 100 AAO from awakening, 75 AAO from eye of predator, 60 AAO in hud 3 (in opposition to a crit/AS scope), 150 AAO in token board, all relevant self buffs, masterpiece ancient combat tuner, an ancient combat tuner, an evade module from DB3, and CSS/Ofab armor chest/head.

    In back slot I assumed Fixer wouldn't be using Aboc.

    I'm not familiar with endgame fixer AR, I haven't logged mine for a year or two, but I seem to remember having around 3150-3200 AR and when I added 100+75+50 from buffs and new gear, it honestly felt about right at 3500.

    You're welcome to add polite discourse, but any further rude outbursts and I'll report your posts.
    Last edited by Anarrina; Jan 20th, 2016 at 01:48:22.

  13. #13
    Well the only real issue here is.. People dont run around with 100+75+50 from buffs commonly. That part is just booring.

    But the rest is pretty good estimate. new PoH items give a lot of AAO. like 100-200, depending on profession and desire to give up something for it.

    When throwing caution to the wind, very high AR's can be attained by all professions. With mixed results.

    Pistol perks for soure should go 100%, Advies are OP without much problem, not sure pistol perks would change that much.

    Support professions should gain kills from their toolset, not simple perks.

    And final recipient of awesome AR Agent?

    Agent should be tweaked. would 100% def check kill it off? Probably not, agent is quite stellar ganker now.
    Quote Originally Posted by Michizure View Post
    This'll be fixed for the next patch

  14. #14
    eye of the predator takes all of 2 seconds to get so i dont see the problem with including it. real raid buffs, however, should never be part of the maths. a standard endgame setup fixer would run around with ~3100 ar when perking MR and running a fairly offensive setup (aao huds/utils)adding in 75 aao from tokenboard (switching from old def board to new off board), 75 from eye of the predator and 500~1500 from MR gives us ~3250->~3750->~4750 ar.
    Last edited by Lazy; Jan 18th, 2016 at 15:52:31.
    Operator Elitist "Lazyfixer" Jerk || 220/30/70 trox Fixer || Fixer PVP Guide ||| Doctor "Lazydoc" Greenthumb || 220/30/67 nm Doctor ||| Ubringshame "Sarariman" Tofamiry || 220/30/xx soli crat || DD || Solo
    Quote Originally Posted by Baldios View Post
    U think u will obtain respect from Bryger if u herass him ? fool! u will only gain hate, more...hate...much more...hate

  15. #15
    I just logged my Fixer in, with Predator buff (and setup in my sig), it's sitting at 3277 AR without towers.
    With PoH Offence Token Board, it would be 3352. 15 more from Awakened Sleeve, and 5 more from Collatz R-Shoulder.
    Only thing further to upgrade would be +2 from a ql300ish EOE which would yield 3374 AR without 12 Man buff or towers and contracts.

    220s "Wakizaka", "Sneakygank", "Wakimango", "Wakisolja", "Tardersauce", "Bushwaki", "Midgetgank", "Bugfixxx", "Ramsbottom", "Paskadoc"
    200s Chrisd, Malema, Delbaeth
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    Proud President of Haven | TL5 PvP


  16. #16
    seems my math is somewhat correct. 100 ar difference from perking coli over MR. nowhere near 3500 ar.
    Last edited by Anarrina; Jan 19th, 2016 at 07:05:11. Reason: personal attacks
    Operator Elitist "Lazyfixer" Jerk || 220/30/70 trox Fixer || Fixer PVP Guide ||| Doctor "Lazydoc" Greenthumb || 220/30/67 nm Doctor ||| Ubringshame "Sarariman" Tofamiry || 220/30/xx soli crat || DD || Solo
    Quote Originally Posted by Baldios View Post
    U think u will obtain respect from Bryger if u herass him ? fool! u will only gain hate, more...hate...much more...hate

  17. #17
    So math "is" somewhat exagerated... But fixer is a support profession.
    Quote Originally Posted by Michizure View Post
    This'll be fixed for the next patch

  18. #18
    Beauty, thanks for the clarification, so I'll edit original post. 3400 AR isn't too far off, definitely still closer to 3500 than 2900/3000 of doctor/crat types.

    Back on topic:

    * Perks checking 100%
    * no more than 2 perks queuing at the same time

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by McKnuckleSamwich View Post
    Beauty, thanks for the clarification, so I'll edit original post. 3400 AR isn't too far off, definitely still closer to 3500 than 2900/3000 of doctor/crat types.
    considering crat/doc perks check either 80% or doublecheck aao they're actually right on par
    Operator Elitist "Lazyfixer" Jerk || 220/30/70 trox Fixer || Fixer PVP Guide ||| Doctor "Lazydoc" Greenthumb || 220/30/67 nm Doctor ||| Ubringshame "Sarariman" Tofamiry || 220/30/xx soli crat || DD || Solo
    Quote Originally Posted by Baldios View Post
    U think u will obtain respect from Bryger if u herass him ? fool! u will only gain hate, more...hate...much more...hate

  20. #20
    Jarring Burst: Dodge-Rng 80%
    Solid Slug: Dodge-Rng 90%
    Neutronium Slug: Dodge-Rng 90%

    Still a difference, crats not that much but Docs/MPs for sure.

    Just to clarify Docs cant get anywhere near 3.2k AR (fixers with 3.5k AR is more likely), I logged my doc and calced it AR to 2868 AR with a full set of CC, ABoC/AShoulder, PoH combat board, ACDC and Pred buff as a Solitus.

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