System Mechanics: Buffs, Healing and Shields

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JayBezz
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System Mechanics: Buffs, Healing and Shields

What did you like about CoX heal system? What would you change? What do you think about separating holds from debuffs? In this thread, I'd like to talk about for the "Controller" class, and the combat implications between heals and buffs and what we want to see in City of Titans.

Systems creation is likely only in talks (as animations and FX usually take priority and are less likely to change in testing) so I thought it a good time/place to ask.

(Moderator: If this belongs in the General Topic please feel free to move it)

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I think the biggest threat when it comes to healing is "passive healing" or the ability to heal over time without actively casting an ability. This is for both self heals and ally heals.

If I can heal myself while still dealing DPS in combat, this takes a lot of the purpose of the class away. The other side of the argument is that lairs then would require "Trinity Play" where without a healer the entire team is doomed (something that is not exactly prevalent in superhero lore).

I tend to think that healing takes as much focus as damage and the two should not be possible to do at the same time. The same way I have to cast a damage attack, the healer should have to counter that.

What do you guys think?

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Healing (others) per Second is usually, by design, much stronger than damage per second. But most people who play healers want the ability to heal multiple targets at once. While we don't know how pets and team size factor in, What are some things that you think healers generally need innately to function?

Range for instance.. It's often in comics to have a melee range healer but I have yet to see this translate well to video games (Often rooting the healed target). Are there people who would WANT to play melee range healers and should there be some innate advantage to being so much more vulnerable in Melee instead of from range.

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Revive/Rez is often the BIGGEST skill a healer has in their back pocket, but many games have now gone to the "any class can rez" model and it's received alot of praise from gamers. Do you guys think reviving defeated players is something that the class needs to be useful or do you think that reviving can be open to all classes (perhaps with advangages for being in healer role).

For me (my opinion) the ability for anyone to rez is AWESOME. I would however put a long cooldown on the ability and have that cooldown shortened for the Guardian role. Maybe other benefits like the cast time of the revive is greatly shortened as well (usually you are not allowed to revive while receiving damage in combat).

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Buffs are awesome ways to strengthen your odds in a battle. As a Guardian I see this class has buffs/debuffs listed. I have given my opinion that debuffs are usually more for controllers than gardians while guardians do "buffs".. what are your thoughts on this?

What kind of buffs would you like to see? I hope to see things like:
Increase Ally (self?) Damage Resistance
Increase Damage
Increase Movement Speed (Freedom from Crowd Control?)
Increase Attack Speed (lower cooldown or give more energy.. mechanic not really released yet)
Grant Allies ability to use Z Axis (Levitate/fly/etc)
Increase attributes (Stats system? CoX System?)
Increase Stealth (no one likes to talk about stealth)
Decrease Threat (no one likes to talk about threat)

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One thing I posted in the Commander forum is that I hope Buffs and Debuffs are qualitative and based on a "Buff Points" system just as damage is on a "Damage Points" system and Health is on a "Health Points" system. This means that if a player wants to focus their attributes on Buffs instead of Heals they are given the option of having stronger potency buffs instead of a static 15% buff over varying time.. they may be able to use the same ability with maxxed out characteristics to for 40% buff (over a static amount of time).

What do you guys think of this?

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Finally, something alot of people are asking about .. Shields/Force Fields/ Etc.

This mechanic is hard to pin down. One thing I do want to say about Shields is that I hope they vary on the damage type they shield from. Having a Force Field may absorb Damage Points from Electric Damage and Physical damage.. but not supernatural (magic, psychic) damage. I hope IF there are "bubbles" and "shields" available to players they are not universal to all damage types. It makes casting them more dynamic and keeps one type of shield from being the only neccesary power.

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TL:DR
How necessary should Healing be?
Should Healing have inherent distance benefits?
Should Guardians be able to revive (while others can't or can't as well)?
What attributes should gaurdians Buff?
Should buffs be quality based (strength based on value)?
Should guardians or commanders be the debuff class?
How do you envision Fields/Shields?

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Catherine America
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Range for instance.. It's

Range for instance.. It's often in comics to have a melee range healer but I have yet to see this translate well to video games (Often rooting the healed target). Are there people who would WANT to play melee range healers and should there be some innate advantage to being so much more vulnerable in Melee instead of from range.

Could all debuffs, buffs, heals and damage powers (ranged, AoE and PbAoE) become less effective over distance? I think that would present greater challenges to both soloists and teams. Or is everyone okay with a more passive and static playstyle like we experienced in CoX?

In the context of soloing, wouldn't Sentinels/Defenders need different potency-over-distance numbers than Partisians/Corruptors, than Directors/Controllers? Would that be too many numbers to commit to memory for the alt-aholics?

Or forget those questions and ideas, and give the player the ability to boost/slot her powers for potency-over-distance, which would be different letting them slot for range.

One thing I posted in the Commander forum is that I hope Buffs and Debuffs are qualitative and based on a "Buff Points" system just as damage is on a "Damage Points" system and Health is on a "Health Points" system. This means that if a player wants to focus their attributes on Buffs instead of Heals they are given the option of having stronger potency buffs instead of a static 15% buff over varying time.. they may be able to use the same ability with maxxed out characteristics to for 40% buff (over a static amount of time).

What do you guys think of this?

I like the idea.
Let me slot/boost my Fulcrum Shift for both -DMG and +DMG...in addition to ACC, RECH and END, of course.
Some folks' Fulcrum Shift will recharge sooner for a bit more -DMG, and just the base +DMG.
While some folks' will keep the base recharge, but "give 3 slots" to both -DMG and +DMG.
Once you factor this into set bonuses (2 slots, 3 slots...6 slots), that exponentially increases diversification, but not too the degree where we'd have "City of (a whollllle lot of average) Titans". That's some pretty dynamic and interesting self-determined Enhancement Diversification, if you ask me. Character buff caps still apply, of course.

(Currently developing the Sapphire 7 Initiative)

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If I can heal myself while

If I can heal myself while still dealing DPS in combat, this takes a lot of the purpose of the class away.

One thing I found out about healing...,

- ...and one of the main reasons why Defenders got an endurance discount through their inherent - Vigilance; healing, buffing and blasting is astoundingly TAXING! Even reserving one's position to merely heal would cut into endurance over a long period of time, and while healing...the Defender wasn't contributing to damage. If another AT acquires the ability to heal, there's nothing inherently wrong with that...as long as it's understood that the character is healing, not attacking...hence reducing their overall DPS AND taking a chunk out of their endurance that they would otherwise normally employ towards attacking. There is a nasty trade off, which was why I had such a hard time playing Defenders because I really liked the Empath Power Set...but it certainly wasn't a very aggressive secondary (...especially when soloing...), and when you're blasting and healing - the one thing you could never have enough of...is endurance. Adrenaline Boost, Recovery Aura, Regeneration Aura and Healing Aura did help balance out the initial inherent limitations...but it was still an endurance draining ordeal to solo for the most part.

Are there people who would WANT to play melee range healers and should there be some innate advantage to being so much more vulnerable in Melee instead of from range?

-YES-!!!...,

- ...of course, a Melee Damage AT that can Buff (...i.e. - Heal...) is going to be relatively lacking in the Defense department...and while this has proven to not be a significant problem for Scrappers and other characters whose Defense relied solely upon their ability to Recovery and Regenerate - it leaves one to wonder how effective a Melee Healer would be? Perhaps having the ability to radiate a Healing Aura or Heal at a distance might be nice, but they may need to bring a lot more to the table than just healing if they expect to survive some of the AOE intensive environments that most Melee fights tend to be. Empathy, besides Healing...makes for a poor Defense... :/

Do you guys think reviving defeated players is something that the class needs to be useful or do you think that reviving can be open to all classes (perhaps with advangages for being in healer role).

I like the way CoX dealt with that quandary...,

- ...make it Power Pool accessible...with the inherent limitations therein (...maybe make different graphics and animations options, though, that'd be nice...). Long interruptible activation time (...can be reduced...), long recharge time (...likewise reducible...), a healthy endurance cost (...reducible again...) with almost no range (...may or may not be increased...) should keep said power from being overly sought out or "exploited". I liked the idea that if there was a character whom I wanted to have the ability to heal/rez...then it didn't really matter what kind of character I played - I could do it, but nowhere near as good as a character whose defining power sets revolved around healing and rezzing.

As a Guardian I see this class has buffs/debuffs listed. I have given my opinion that debuffs are usually more for controllers than gardians while guardians do "buffs".

I've seen Controllers and Defenders...,

- ...use the Buff/DeBuff sets mutually instead of exclusively as it really boils down to play style instead of AT. Now, with that being said...I've seen Controllers elect to employ more Buff orientated Power Sets because they generally only have to worry about mobs not under their control...and for the most part, that was seldom. In a group, a Controller rarely has the means to lock down excessively high level mobs, such as bosses, so buffing was a naturally fall back plan when controlling ceased to be an option. Defenders, on the other hand, can be rather offensive so picking Power Sets that helped them be more offensive...such as those that would DeBuff, were a common choice and since Defenders Buffed/Debuffed better than Controllers for the most part - their DeBuffs were in high demand. I generally saw Controllers as Hard Control, with Soft Control options whereas a Defender was Soft Control with Ranged Offense.

I hope Buffs and Debuffs are qualitative and based on a "Buff Points" system just as damage is on a "Damage Points" system and Health is on a "Health Points" system.

- Ditto...

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I think that debuffing

I think that debuffing defintiely has a place in the Guardian role. In CoH, my dark/dark defender did all of her damage mitigation via debuffs. It was rare that she needed to use her healing ability, as with enough negatives to their accuracy, our foes never hit anyone.

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In CoH healing was really

In CoH healing was really just another buff (literally, in the case of Regeneration Aura). Just about the only time healing became mandatory was if the team did not have enough other buffs and debuffs*. IIRC the closest thing in the game to a true healing power set was Pain Domination (even empathy only counted four heals among its nine powers), so one could argue that there was no 'healer' in CoH.

If CoT mostly stays with the idea of heals as buffs, as opposed to the "here, have a dollop of hit points" variant, it becomes entirely possible to have a power set that could buff another person with the ability to heal by doing damage. I.e. Every time they do damage, or as long as they do damage, they trigger a PBAoE or aura that heals everyone close to them. Perhaps even have a variant that causes a person to heal based on how much damage they take (which I totally didn't steal from the Pain Domination concept).

* Or there were huge numbers of enemies and everyone was attacking everything, and getting attacked in turn, but that almost never happened.

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rookslide
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Personally I think you have

Personally I think you have some excellent ideas here! I especially like the ability to build the strength of buffs/debuffs if a character wants to build in that direction.

I would add a mechanic for heals/buffs/debuffs along the lines of experience building as well. So players can build their character to suit and still be able to gain respectable amount of xp as they play.

I think self rez is absolutely necessary especially for those without travel abilities. Saves tremendous time but I agree long cooldowns are called for here.

I would love for controller AT to feel more powerful sooner than they did in CoX.

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My favorite characters are

My favorite characters are healers. Empathy and Pain Dom. I couldn't care less about DPS - if you have fun min/maxing your build to take out purples in a single shot, go for it. That's not my thing. If you're fun to play with I would love to be on a team with you, though. I enjoy helping others be mightier. To me, that feels heroic, and I know that makes me odd in the world of gaming.

I *hated* people who put Healing Aura on auto and just ran around - or worse, just attached to someone on Follow. Sure, there are certain times that's the best practice, but by and large that shouldn't be your default setting. To me, that's probably one reason people treat "healer" like a dirty word. Any class should require some degree of skill as you advance, and having HA on auto isn't a good demonstration of that.

I always wished COH had some kind of ranged AOE heal - like you could target a teammate or even an enemy and center an AOE heal on them. I'd be OK with it having a longer animation, or maybe being less potent than a targeted single person heal or a PBAoE heal.

And, I always wished my rez was the best in game - faster recharge, more protected time, something. I also HATED it when my rez went off at the same time they popped an awaken. Either I rezzed something or I didn't. Same thing with something like Absorb Pain on something that just died - shouldn't be possible.

One thing I do like about CO is that you can target yourself with some of the healing stuff, but also target them on bad guys. A heal on a friendly heals them, but a heal on an enemy damages them. That's nice when soloing, though I've never been able to set up the keybinds in that game like I could in COH (at least, not for the type of teaming I normally do). I like to have numpad1 target teammember1, numpad2 target teammember2, etc.

I don't think the healing class should be *necessary* for a team, but I think that should be true of ANY class. I think you should be able to construct a team comprised solely of any type of class and, if you are smart, you should be able to rock-and-roll. You should never be sitting around saying you can't start until you can find a tank, or a healer, or whatever. With some smarts and planning you should be able to make any team combination work.

Oh, look, a soapbox...

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InOnePiece wrote:
InOnePiece wrote:

I always wished COH had some kind of ranged AOE heal - like you could target a teammate or even an enemy and center an AOE heal on them. I'd be OK with it having a longer animation, or maybe being less potent than a targeted single person heal or a PBAoE heal.

CoH did have this in the flavor of Transfusion from Kinetics.

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InOnePiece wrote:
InOnePiece wrote:

To me, that's probably one reason people treat "healer" like a dirty word.

It's certainly one reason. Another was the distressingly common event of a team broadcasting 'Need healer' who would kick any non-Empathy defender from their team.

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CoX didn't allow for personal

CoX didn't allow for personal targetting...,

- ...so powers that were able to heal the character were either in the form of self-buffs, AOE powers or used on your character by another character (...outside the use of inspirations, of course...). I liked this mode and model of Buff/Healing because it helped set the stage regarding how effective the character's ability was. A Heal/Buff that could only be used on other characters were decent, a Heal/Buff that could only be used on yourself was fairly respectable, but AOE Heal/Buffs (...though appearing somewhat weak...) improved far more than the first two. For example: a single target Heal/Buff might improve someone by 75%, a self only Heal/Buff might improve the character 50%, but a Heal/Buff AOE...even if it were only 25% - the overall bonus would be a whopping 125% (...25% per character...).

- This is where Defenders excelled because a group of Defenders all using AOE Buffs/Heals (...along with their single target Buffs/Heals...) were a truly impressive force to be reckoned with... ^_^

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I definitely want there to be

I definitely want there to be buffers as a separate class than Controllers. I see nothing wrong with a serious debuffer filling that role...he's just doing it in a different way. One of the considerations is the team though. If there's a buffer in the team he can announce 'X Buff going off in 5...4...' and the team will move closer if they want the buff. For the debuffer the enemy likely won't be so willing to cooperate. This might affect the radius or range of the buff or whatever.

Something else I'd like the mechanics to consider: Size of the team. Say you have a PBAoE Heal that generates (just to guess) 500 HP a shot. Why not have to distribute this over ALL the friendlies in range instead of giving them each 500 HP? It changes the team dynamics immensely. One buffer with two friends will be buffing them a LOT while one buffer in a team of 8 is generating the same amount but spread over more allies. Just spit-balling here.

I'd like to see less 'click - heal' and more 'Healing over time'. The former just seems to be too repetitive and boring while the latter means the team mates still have to be aware of what's happening or they'll get overwhelmed.

I remember when Star Wars was cool...a long, long time ago...

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Comicsluvr wrote:
Comicsluvr wrote:

Something else I'd like the mechanics to consider: Size of the team. Say you have a PBAoE Heal that generates (just to guess) 500 HP a shot. Why not have to distribute this over ALL the friendlies in range instead of giving them each 500 HP? It changes the team dynamics immensely. One buffer with two friends will be buffing them a LOT while one buffer in a team of 8 is generating the same amount but spread over more allies.

If we're going to be selective...,

- ...regarding how effective Guardians can Buff/Heal with their AOE's...then we'd have to apply the same mechanics to how much Damage a Ranger deals with their AOE's inasmuch as we would have to moderate how much Damage an Enforcer dealt with their PBAOE's. What makes AOE's dangerous isn't so much the amount that they do...it's the raw number of individuals they can effect, and the more they can effect - the more powerful the AOE. If the AOE's are moderate enough, they won't be overpowering...but still do enough to warrant appreciation. Yes, I know...there will be those who will want to spam an AOE (...i.e. - like 'Healing Aura'...), it's my hope that they elect to develop some sort of Buff/Heal Toggle to resolve that quandary like was done with Triage Beam, Spirit Tree and other constant healing aura pets in CoX.

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Had a thought:

Had a thought:

What If Commanders focus on Debuffing enemy Offense (giving the class a survival tactic in boss fights (assuming bosses will not get mezzed)
while
Guardians focus on Debuffing Enemy Defenses? (Giving the class, which already has survival tactics, a chance to add damage to a boss fight)

Thoughts?

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I'm with you. I loved healing
Quote:

My favorite characters are healers.... I enjoy helping others be mightier. To me, that feels heroic, and I know that makes me odd in the world of gaming.

I'm with you. I loved healing THAT felt heroic. My favorite was empathy/radiation. I liked the challenge of slapping a heal on individuals as their bars indicated they were taking damage while watching all the rest of the group. I built towards being as pure a healer as was practical and my favorite days were spent teaming with a pure damage dealer- as a matter of fact we often made the bargain "you do the bleeding I'll do the Healing". I liked doing nothing towards damaging the enemy and thereby generating no agro. Man that was good gaming. (Wistful sigh).

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Here's a wacky possibility

Here's a wacky possibility for AoE Healing, that may or may not be possible/practical at game speed, but which makes for interesting conceptual thinking.

AoE Healing would have a "pool" of HP to distribute to everyone in the AoE. Rather than healing everyone in the AoE "by that amount" (regardless of whether they need it or not) simultaneously in parallel (fire and forget) ... instead what happens is that the target closest to the caster gets healed up to full *first*, and the points required to do so are deducted from the "pool" of HP to distribute into the AoE. Then the next closest target to the caster gets healed up to "full" and those points are deducted from the pool ... and so on and so forth until either the "pool" of HP is exhausted or all the targets within the AoE have been healed up to full. Essentially, build a "prioritizing" system for AoE healing that prioritizes near first and far last, rather than just setting a number that everyone gets and have done with it.

Why would this be a useful change? Well, because ... it would mean that keeping your highest priority healing target(s) on the edge of your AoE range might not be the optimal place to position yourself as the caster for healing. It would also lead to a justifiable level of "proximity is LIFE" in terms of how people play the game and assume that healing powers "function" with regards to them. It would lend game mechanical support to the notion that "forcing" you healer to chase after you is a bad way to receive healing ... and also speak to the age old truism of raiding:

Quote:

When the Tank dies, it's the Healer's fault.
When the Healer dies, it's the Tank's fault.
When the DPS dies, it's their own damn fault!!

Also consider the implications of running a Pool Heal instead of a "Direct" Heal on AoE healing, in that if you've got a group of people who are all beaten up pretty badly but are still hanging in there, the "Direct" Heal method where everyone in the AoE receives some measure of healing gives everyone a bit more breathing room before they faceplant. But if you're in a Pool Heal mechanic, only the people closest to the healer get healed up to full, while everyone else has to "wait" for the next AoE heal cycle to "get theirs" for healing. It basically places more of a premium on POSITIONING and brings something of a mini-game (both for the caster and the recipients) to what could almost be thought of a "Formation Fighting" in a sense, where Who is close to Whom starts to matter, instead of being irrelevant.

Not necessarily something I'd WANT to do to healing in City of Titans as a broad default assumption for How Things Should Work ... but more an interesting Thought Experiment that leads to a thought provoking imagineering of how such a difference would influence BEHAVIOR, and the incentive structure prompting that behavior, in multiplayer settings.


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I hope that I'll be able to

I hope that I'll be able to take something like a Healing "power pool" to supplement whatever my Primary and Secondary power types are, and that I'll have *at least* one AoE major heal ... well *before* Level 50!

Please!

Pretty please!

Pretty, pretty please ... with sugar on top!

*saddest kitty eyes of them all*

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I always loved playing the

I always loved playing the healer myself can't wait to see what lies ahead

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Pets kitty...../e milk

Pets kitty...../e milk

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Redlynne wrote:
Redlynne wrote:

Here's a wacky possibility for AoE Healing, that may or may not be possible/practical at game speed, but which makes for interesting conceptual thinking.
AoE Healing would have a "pool" of HP to distribute to everyone in the AoE. Rather than healing everyone in the AoE "by that amount" (regardless of whether they need it or not) simultaneously in parallel (fire and forget) ... instead what happens is that the target closest to the caster gets healed up to full *first*, and the points required to do so are deducted from the "pool" of HP to distribute into the AoE. Then the next closest target to the caster gets healed up to "full" and those points are deducted from the pool ... and so on and so forth until either the "pool" of HP is exhausted or all the targets within the AoE have been healed up to full. Essentially, build a "prioritizing" system for AoE healing that prioritizes near first and far last, rather than just setting a number that everyone gets and have done with it.

I would not use this kind of mechanic for every AoE- heal, but I certainly like it. Power sets should be diverse and this idea of yours can be used to achieve just that.
Especially the Bodyguard- class could benefit from it. I cannot envision this class as supporters with many ranged abilitys anyway.
But this would not necessarily have to be a mechanic for PBAoE only. If something like the kinetic sopport ability "Transfusion" makes it's way nto this game, your idea would be perfect for that. You'd have to be monitoring the fights closely to pick the right enemy to best heal those who need it most.
And all this somehow reminds me of my old Guild Wars 1 days. The ritualist had a Spirit he could summon that could heal every team member over time. It was very strong, but it lost life equal to the healing it provided. Also the cooldown was very long so you had to now when your party needed it most or it would be wasted. This could be a nice thing for other powersets to handle pool based healing. It could be a healing- generator with limited battery or some kind of totem which uses up it's enchantment.

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In your mind would pets count

In your mind would pets count in the "pool" of HPS sent out in your scenarios or would pet healing be an entirely separate mechanic?

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I have not thought about that

I have not thought about that yet. It would definately be not good if pets use up heal the party urgently needs. Excluding Pets from this kind of heal would solve the problem but then it would not be a practical mechanic for Operators.

How about this: This kind of heal prefers players over pets. It would first heal the players in it's range and the rest is used to heal pets. Operators could have those priorities deactivated or even inverted, to be able to keep their pets alive better.
As for the example with the summoned spirit that heals and uses up it's life points doing so: those kind of heals could just heal pets less, using up not as much of their energy.

In addition I think that sets focused on healing should have a classical AoE heal as well, which would just heal everyone a little. So that you have something up your sleeve for every situation.

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Automatic HP replinish when

Automatic HP replinish when at rest.. good thing or bad?

In Neverwinter its a great way to add value to healers and players have generally accepted it.

Will "every build self heal" as is the current gameplay of Champions Online? What is it that makes playing a guardian useful and exciting?

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Do you mean the kind of rest

Do you mean the kind of rest we had in CoX? Definitely good; how does one play solo without it?

Spurn all ye kindle.

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Cinnder wrote:
Cinnder wrote:

Do you mean the kind of rest we had in CoX? Definitely good; how does one play solo without it?

depends on the game... some games have a food mechanic, others have "faster" regen when out of combat (so 1 minute to full health for example)

SWTOR has a "rest" ability... it has a minimal recharge (its something like 2 second recharge), and will take you to full in about 10-15 seconds from very low health.

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4) I have seen more intelligence from an NPC AI in TR beta, than from most MMO players.

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Aye, doesn't matter what the

Aye, doesn't matter what the mechanic is as long as there is one.

Spurn all ye kindle.

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If I remember correctly for

If I remember correctly for CoX the *base* out of combat times were 60 seconds for endurance and 240 seconds for health. It was already notable at release for the "minimal downtime" that CoX had compared to other games... Now, it would be viewed as one of the "slower" downtimes for games.

Rest recharge was180 seconds.

Quote:

1) I reject your reality.... and substitute my own
2) Not to be used when upset... will void warranty
3) Stoke me a clipper i will be back for dinner
4) I have seen more intelligence from an NPC AI in TR beta, than from most MMO players.

summer-heat
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I personally like the ability

I personally like the ability to self-target as a healer. It keeps the powers selection from having a lot of doubled up powers. Allowing self-targetting would encourage powerset design to be more diverse and varied. Where this sore spot really glares for me was all the 2 minute ST ally shields (FF, CD, TR, Kin, etc) that eventually went aoe and still didn't affect the caster by design and prompted nagging to keep them up by the less than tactful pugs. If there are plans to build varied attack secondaries (already Vindicators are a named class as a buff/asault, Wardens as Buff/manip) playability will probably find that the more self-affecting a buff set is, the more successful it could be for melee or close ranged play, even if just from a survivability standpoint.

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I always like support char,

I always like support char, miss my doc nimrod,a dark power healer)

Tiny bot of def

Nyx Nought Nothing
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Personally i have never cared

Personally i have never cared for healing as a focus for any class. i prefer a more general buff/debuff/mitigation approach where healing is only one of the tools available to aid the team, not the defining characteristic. In CoH i was happy that i never had to play a healing-centric support character, that i could be more proactive instead of reactively playing health bar whack-a-mole.

My favorite support sets in CoH were Dark Miasma, Radiation Emission, Traps, and Storm Summoning; although i also enjoyed several with Sonics, Force Fields, and Thermal. i also played a Crab Spider, Night Widow, and Fortunata extensively as well. They also all had several powers from the Leadership pool to further augment their support abilities. Basically using a combination of buff, debuff, damage dealing, and healing to keep teams going with the emphasis depending on the character's capabilities and the situation.

None of my characters were healers, but all were support. Having to focus on healing over anything else in CoH meant someone had screwed up.

In theory there's no difference between theory and practice, but in practice there is.

On the CoH forums at the end i went by the name Schismatrix.

Post hoc ergo propter hoc.

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Hey there,

Hey there,

The CoH's empathy set was PRETTY good, but healing SHOULD take aggro!!!

Keep that in mind!, we (empathy fans) love new challenges.

Miguel (aka Anodina)

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Nyx Nought Nothing wrote:
Nyx Nought Nothing wrote:

Personally i have never cared for healing as a focus for any class. i prefer a more general buff/debuff/mitigation approach where healing is only one of the tools available to aid the team, not the defining characteristic. In CoH i was happy that i never had to play a healing-centric support character, that i could be more proactive instead of reactively playing health bar whack-a-mole.

Agreed.

Personally, I thought one of the best ways CoX used to break from the Trinity of heal/dps/crowd management was by not focusing on heals too much (the trinity was still there of course it was just now there was no hard and fast way to split up who was responsible for a part of the trinity). Most everyone had some form of self healing even if it was just inspirations. With the large variety of buffs and debuffs and the fact they were fire and forget for the most part allowed the defender and controllers to have a variety of options in play instead of just 'stand over there and make sure people don't die'

That said, I have no problem with a new mechanic for healing as long as it is not overly emphasized to the point where there is a 'healer' class.
In the end part of what made CoX so good was that it offered a variety of ways to play each and every character...even if they had the same powersets or archetype.

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My personal favorite Heal

My personal favorite Heal power in CoX was Transfusion, which was the only heal power in the Kinetic defender set. It was a little tricky to use, but did a really large AoE heal, centered on a badguy that you had to roll to hit. I also like it when the powers in a set are on-theme for the set itself and don't feel shoehorned in, but I agree that "healer" should not be a theme.

Unlike blaster sets where you can separate, to some extent, the effects (DoT, -def, endo drain, slow, etc) from the damage type (fire, radiation, electric, cold, etc) the buff sets seem more dependent on the theme to dictate what the powers should do. You have a pretty good idea what a set called "Force Fields" does without having to parse it, and I like the easy grokability of that. Even sets that are less obvious in terms of what they are supposed to do (like my beloved Rad Emisson) take on a character of their own in the game. I hope we don't lose that.

R.S.O. of Phoenix Rising

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Personally my biggest pet

Personally my biggest pet peeve with support classes is when they reduce you to nothing more than a source of healing. I enjoy lots of verity in the support role. I also don't like being forced to only support and never attack. I know their are lots of people who like to only support their allies, but I enjoy supporting my allies while also fighting that's just how I like to play. I'm actually probably more interested in the Bodyguard framework than anything. But if they Have a Power set like that I'd love it.

Good is not something you are, its something you do.

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Pbuckley wrote:
Pbuckley wrote:

Personally my biggest pet peeve with support classes is when they reduce you to nothing more than a source of healing. I enjoy lots of verity in the support role. I also don't like being forced to only support and never attack. I know their are lots of people who like to only support their allies, but I enjoy supporting my allies while also fighting that's just how I like to play. I'm actually probably more interested in the Bodyguard framework than anything. But if they Have a Power set like that I'd love it.

Right on, Pbuckley. I also enjoyed an active and diverse means of support, as did many players. Variety and versatility allowed a player to shine in a support role while still being able to play how they like. Echoing islandtrevor72's comment above, this was something that helped make CoH what it was.

One of my mainstays in CoH was my Dark/Sonic/Dark Defender. He did have a heal and a rez, but his -ToHit, -Dmg, -Regen, and stuns were more useful. He kept his allies safe by plunging his enemies into darkness and keeping them subdued. He was also great at melting hard targets with lots of -Resistance.

Healing still has its place because--let's face it--enemies do get out of hand no matter how well you plan and play. Pulling your allies away from death is sometimes exactly what they need. This is especially true in situations where your allies are taking it on the chin from something beyond your control.

Still, I'm of the opinion that buffs and debuffs should be at least as viable as healing as a means of support.

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Pbuckley wrote:
Pbuckley wrote:

Personally my biggest pet peeve with support classes is when they reduce you to nothing more than a source of healing. I enjoy lots of verity in the support role. I also don't like being forced to only support and never attack. I know their are lots of people who like to only support their allies, but I enjoy supporting my allies while also fighting that's just how I like to play. I'm actually probably more interested in the Bodyguard framework than anything. But if they Have a Power set like that I'd love it.

As I always said about defenders in CoH, "Sometimes defending means providing covering fire". My emp/arch put many an arrow into her foes' faces.

-----------------------------------------
I never set anything on fire accidentally!

The Titan Legacy - Defender of the Inner Flame

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I loved most of the Defender

I loved most of the Defender sets. Dark meant the other guy hit my team less often...and I did damage. Sonic meant that my team's damage hurt more...and I did damage. Rad meant that the enemy was easier to hit...and I did damage. Two most awesome teams I ever saw were all trollers and all Defenders. The sheer number of way you could mess up the other guy's day was staggering.

I remember when Star Wars was cool...a long, long time ago...

Pbuckley
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Yeah. But like I said im also

Yeah. But like I said im also pritty stoked fore melee support.

Good is not something you are, its something you do.

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When I think of the Defender

When I think of the Defender role (my personal favorite) in CoH, it always included damaging the bad guys. As a matter of fact, I designed my characters sometimes around the secondary abilities of the blast set as it related to the primary.

Trick Arrow/Ice allowed me to play ranged tank on TFs. Time/Ice was also unstoppable for most things short of an AV and could handle swarms of baddies designed for full groups. Nature Affinity/Dual Pistols allowed me to take on AVs (assuming mez. vitamins) solo. Sonic/Sonic was just a thematic triumph when it came out. These were some of my favorite defenders and they relied heavily on de-buffs and me taking an active approach utilizing the blast sets extensively.

For example: My NA/DP could pump out over 109% -Dam on a single target (~83% for groups of baddies). This was in addition to a very healthy regen, HoTs, -to hit, Absorbs, End. Discount, +Dam, -45% resistance (single target) and 23% resist for all... forgot the holds I could throw down too. Now that's what I called defending. It created many layers of viable protection for the team while allowing me ability to go all scrapper-lock on the bad guys.

... some of us altaholics love numbers so never think that things are too intricate for us. The best aspect of game mechanics behind CoH was their ability to make the game fun on the surface level (smash) and behind the scenes (numbers and numbers and numbers).

... my personal favorite melee healer comes from a different game and looking at his mechanics, I think, would be a great starting place for putting something like that in CoT. It was the Bear Shaman from Age of Conan. The character had a remarkable amount of HoT/Buff/De-buff that he could deploy that would trigger with offensive attacks. They were all short term and needed to be reapplied. They also focused on cones so the whole experience ended up being an intricate dance of buff/trigger/damage/angle location that was very impressive. In fact, they were one of the more popular characters because they could do tremendous amounts of single target damage while in melee and players loved them in pvp.

… I don’t think that the regen was an incredible threat to Defenders. A much bigger threat was simple ignorance of what we brought to groups. Buffs and de-buffs were difficult to see and many (most?) players just didn’t realize all the goodness that a single defender brought. We all knew the strongest groups were actually full groups of defenders who could access the buff/de-buff multiplication principle to full effect.

My biggest complaint about defending was the time it took to gear up all the things we could bring. In a decent group we rarely got to bring our full regiment out as the group of baddies were all in faceplant position before our activation times were complete.

Looking forward, if I were to take a lesson from the limitations that were placed on defenders, it would be in AV or Monster fights. The 85% rule for their de-buffs was too harsh in my opinion and those powers should have been more effective (maybe 60 – 75% rule instead). I would balance this by making AV/Monsters stronger so that those groups who go in without a Guardian (mitigation) would more often feel the pain than they did in CoH.

And just in case there was any confusion, de-buffs belong in the Guardian class and should be strongest there. 

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I'm playing Wildstar and WAS

I'm playing Wildstar and WAS enjoying my medic character. I focused on Damage mitigation with Protection probes and trying to decrease incoming damage for my team.. but for some reason the devs there have decided to do a major nerf to the ability to buff teammates.

It was never my intent to have buffs be such an main part of my character but I will say this.. post launch nerfs to DPS and HPS are felt but can be marginalized. Post launch nerfs to debuffs and buffs really feel like you turn our characters from useful to useless. Please keep mindful of this when finding numbers for buffing so that i don't get so disheartened.

Every MMO i've played the Buffs and Debuffs are the first to get nerfed into obscurity and it's the main reason I leave a game (when my utility based build is no longer viable). Keep away from flat percentages. Let Buff points stack so that one buff doesn't cancel out another (encourage teaming) and make sure the numbers don't get out of control by using diminishing returns on Buff points.

Crowd Control Enthusiast

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My only recommendation is

My only recommendation is that, in the aggregate, healing be made USEFUL, but not essential...in other words, it should be just another buff. However the devs achieve this goal would be fine with me.

Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum viditur.

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Again, the City of Heroes

Again, the City of Heroes example where Buffs and Debuffs (and Controls!) were actually STRONG is a key component of what made the game successful.

ANY game can do the punchfest against a big bucket of hit points.
Few games allow players to control and alter the "flow" of battle around them in the player's favor as an intentional and sustained viable build choice.


Verbogeny is one of many pleasurettes afforded a creatific thinkerizer.
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I was a big proponent of

I was a big proponent of stacking buffs/debuffs. I played more Def/Controllers/Corruptors to fifty than the other 11 AT's combined. Perhaps my two favorite things in CoX were the Green Machine and Pinball Wizards. PW was an SG comprised off all Kinetics. Fast movement, incredible recharge boosts, damage boosts, and endless Endurance. GM was a similar concept utilizing all Empathy Defenders stacking Fortitude, RA's, and AB. On Green Machine teams there was virtually no healing required, and you were busy using all your Blasts from your secondary including rolling Nukes with no end crash due to massive recovery.

I was never a big fan of pure "Healer" builds and probably won't change my mind any time soon. However, if I understand the amount of flexibility in the way we will be able to create our individual characters it may be a good thing to make it so that pure "Healer" builds are possible due to the percentage of players who really enjoy that style of character.

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Agreed. I've built and

Agreed. I've built and played many empaths. And while none were ever a 'pure healer' sort one of the things I believe was CoX's strength was the great diversity of play styles and builds it supported even within a single primary/secondary pairing. We need to keep and encourage that diversity in CoT.

Reyna and Rianna of Green Machine

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I agree that many players don

I agree that many players don't realize the benefits from buffs and debuffs but then those often don't involve big green or red numbers. I had the same issue early on in CoH until I was on several teams where 1-2 players could leave (and then have others join) and the team seemed largely unaffected. But when the big buffer or debuffer left then you suddenly had a shift in the experience. Mobs that melted like butter last mission now lasted longer. Your End bar crept lower than before. You actually needed the occasional green pill once in a while.

I'm hoping that the CoT tutorial or some early missions will be able to emphasize the 'hidden' benefits of buffs and debuffs.

I remember when Star Wars was cool...a long, long time ago...

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Comicsluvr wrote:
Comicsluvr wrote:

I agree that many players don't realize the benefits from buffs and debuffs but then those often don't involve big green or red numbers. I had the same issue early on in CoH until I was on several teams where 1-2 players could leave (and then have others join) and the team seemed largely unaffected. But when the big buffer or debuffer left then you suddenly had a shift in the experience. Mobs that melted like butter last mission now lasted longer. Your End bar crept lower than before. You actually needed the occasional green pill once in a while.
I'm hoping that the CoT tutorial or some early missions will be able to emphasize the 'hidden' benefits of buffs and debuffs.

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