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Minion scaling

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TheInternetJanitor
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Minion scaling

I saw some discussion of different types and numbers of minions we can expect. What I haven't seen is mention of scaling. I don't just mean level scaling of minions vs the player, CoH did that and I read in previous dev posts that CoT will basically be using a similar system.

CoH mastermind pets also scaled alright using loot just like any other power, although they needed a variety of stats compared to most powers since they had their own defensive stats which made things a little more complicated.

I never played CoH all the way up to raids and endgame stuff, I always kept making new characters, so perhaps this issue was addressed years ago.

My concern is that many games have late game methods of character power growth in addition to the standard stuff, and content is developed around having that power. But pets might not share in that power increase. If pets only scale from a player's level, for instance, and they gain benefits that don't increase their level, the pets get left behind, punishing commanders compared to other archetypes.

I don't know if CoT is going to use inspirations in a smilar manner to CoH, but a similar situation comes up with those as well. If they only affect the player they are inherently weaker for a commander compared to other classes. My memory is foggy here, I seem to recall there might have been a way to share inspirations with your minions in CoH. It has been a few years.

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Even things like an Underling

Even things like an Underling or a Pet as defined by CoH had their own levels so they scaled up and down like everything else. And of course any "Group Buffs" you used would protect your pets as well. Basically if you were in a well balanced team pets could have practically dozens of buffs on them to keep them "relevant" against end-game enemies.

CoH player from April 25, 2004 to November 30, 2012

TheInternetJanitor
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I remember them scaling

I remember them scaling levels but (and perhaps I am wrong) I thought they didn't benefit from things that improved players in other ways besides levels. Games have lots of ways that they have done that, like temporary (single target) buffs, equipment set benefits, and character advancements independent from levels (talents, items, stat boosts, etc).

Games often have trouble balancing pets for this (among other) reasons, though many have tackled it in various ways. Some simply make pet stats scale as an percentage of the player's stats for example.

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TheInternetJanitor wrote:
TheInternetJanitor wrote:

I remember them scaling levels but (and perhaps I am wrong) I thought they didn't benefit from things that improved players in other ways besides levels. Games have lots of ways that they have done that, like temporary (single target) buffs, equipment set benefits, and character advancements independent from levels (talents, items, stat boosts, etc).

Games often have trouble balancing pets for this (among other) reasons, though many have tackled it in various ways. Some simply make pet stats scale as an percentage of the player's stats for example.

I'm sure if you mapped it out precisely you could show that Pets in CoH did technically "fall behind" their masters in terms of not benefiting from any "player only" buffs towards the end-game.

But as someone who played a Fire Controller as one of my "main alts" I had 1,000s of hours of end-game experience with Fire Imps and I never noticed them becoming so far "left behind" or inferior as to be noticeably useless. Between my own group buffs and other buffs I'd commonly get from teammates I routinely had a line of buffs spanning half-way across the top of my screen for them. Even when soloing level 50+ content I never noticed the Imps being any less effective than they had been at earlier levels.

Basically if CoT handles that issue more or less the way CoH did I don't foresee any significant problems here.

CoH player from April 25, 2004 to November 30, 2012

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I assume you are talking

I assume you are talking something like World of Warcraft's Legion superweapon and iLevel equipment, where a noob 110 with low 800s gear is easily 1-shot by a 110 with 930+ gear.

Their gear stats rocketted up exponentially.

However, as pets are superpowers, they should benefit from the same kind of stuff that amps "regular" superpowers -- stats, slotting, etc.

No fireball spell, nor claws swipe will be left behind, so pets shouldn't be, either.

Unless they goof :)

I will tell you CoH had pets toughen up as you earned Incarnate levels and powers. I know this because I cloned my thugs/traps down right down to the purps with a second paid account so I could 2-box, 800 million inf later.

This one lacked the Incarnate beyond alpha, and was significantly weaker.

My main could eke out soloing a +8/+4 fire AE, the gold standard for farming, but the other one just quickly died even tagging along.

That's full identical slotting.

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You make a good point in that

You make a good point in that CoH didn't have this issue nearly as much as other games. Part of that was that it didn't have generic stats and items that had blanket increases on character power, the powers themselves had their own improvements. On top of that, game development for CoH didn't focus nearly as much on extending "endgame" and players were heavily encouraged to make alts instead. Even when they put in incarnate stuff the benefits it gave were new powers, not stat increases, right? And item sets in CoH had relatively minor and specific benefits (some of which I think did improve pets?).

So yes, following that example could work out for a long time. If CoT was successful enough in the long term and development stretched into alternate character growth content it might become an issue and pets could be reworked then I suppose. Other games did that well after launch I think. It might even be more useful in terms of development resources to worry about that later even if it takes more time and effort to revisit pets just because there will potentially be more staff and resources available at a future date.

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Gorgon wrote:
Gorgon wrote:

I assume you are talking something like World of Warcraft's Legion superweapon and iLevel equipment, where a noob 110 with low 800s gear is easily 1-shot by a 110 with 930+ gear.

Their gear stats rocketted up exponentially.

However, as pets are superpowers, they should benefit from the same kind of stuff that amps "regular" superpowers -- stats, slotting, etc.

No fireball spell, nor claws swipe will be left behind, so pets shouldn't be, either.

Unless they goof :)

I will tell you CoH had pets toughen up as you earned Incarnate levels and powers. I know this because I cloned my thugs/traps down right down to the purps with a second paid account so I could 2-box, 800 million inf later.

This one lacked the Incarnate beyond alpha, and was significantly weaker.

My main could eke out soloing a +8/+4 fire AE, the gold standard for farming, but the other one just quickly died even tagging along.

That's full identical slotting.

Ah, I didn't realize CoH had incarnate pet stat benefits. That is an another approach to the issue.

My initial point was that pegging pet stats to the character from the start is one way to help future proof them and avoid issues before they ever come up.

My concern is premature, certainly. Not only is the game not out but pets won't be in at release.

I'm just another person excited for what the future holds.

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So insofar as end game extra

So insofar as end game extra advancement adds hidden extra levels, pet-tied levels should increase just like any level-tied power.

Remember a full-Incarnate had effectively 51 levels for normal content, and up to 53 levels for incarnate missions. Pets went right along with it.

Insofar as extra goodies come from end game extra-advancement, I would assume there would be some for this or that pet just like this or that other power, or applicable whatever just the same.

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Yeah as Gorgon pointed out I

Yeah as Gorgon pointed out I usually had my "pet powers" on my main alts slotted up with the best IO sets money could buy so my pets usually benefited from as many "internal buffs" as possible. And obviously when I was Incarnated up to level 53 my Imps would tag along at level 52 as expected (after a series of nerfings Fire Imps were eventually hardwired to be -1 level relative to combat level).

CoH player from April 25, 2004 to November 30, 2012

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TheInternetJanitor wrote:
TheInternetJanitor wrote:

...
My initial point was that pegging pet stats to the character from the start is one way to help future proof them and avoid issues before they ever come up.
My concern is premature, certainly. Not only is the game not out but pets won't be in at release.
I'm just another person excited for what the future holds.

That is a good point. For example, if a commander picks a tertiary powerset with a self-buff perception-boost power, will it automatically apply to their pets as well? If not, their pets may not be able to target hidden enemies.

Same for reserves. A Ranger who uses a 50% damage-boosting reserve gets the full 50% increase to their damage output. Unless reserves are auto-applied to a player's pets when the player uses them, a Commander (whose pets are possibly doing 80% of their total damage output) applies that 50% reserve boost to just the 20% portion that they are dealing...and only gets a 10% increase in total damage output.

Once we get into beta and can see the functioning of reserves and buffing powers, we'll be in a better position to gauge their impact in future commander development. I think there are a good number of us who want to make sure pet-users are fairly treated under these conditions as well as some others that have a tendency to get overlooked or are a haven for bugs in pet AI... instance maps with odd geometry, enemy NPCs that flee into other spawn groups and may drag aggro'd pets with them, pets behaving badly under certain control effects, rooms with damage auras killing pets too easily, boss fight splash zones, bosses that self-buff based on the number of players and pets nearby, etc.

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I'm less concerned about area

I'm less concerned about area effects murdering pets as long as players have good options to control them. If you have good pet controls you don't have to worry as much about them dying to area damage any more than players themselves would have to worry about it. Granted, most games have terrible pet controls so area damage is a big threat to pets. CoH had decent controls though, so I'm really hoping CoT will as well.

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Good pet controls can work

Good pet controls can work for a number of cases involving AoE damage to pets, but I think a few are not covered by that alone.

The balancing issues with area damage that I've seen (COH zombies, for example) tend to involve pets with very low health compared to players, which are forced into melee range with either a boss or a high level AoE-heavy spawn group (Arachnos, Cimerorans, etc) by their no-ranged-powers design, and given few protections. That pet design would be perfect for a pet powerset designed around rapid summoning of disposable pets like vines, insects, and nanobots, or pets that are meant to do most of their damage upon defeat, like explosive drones and toxic spore carriers. Unfortunately, no amount of pet management could reliably keep weak melee-using pets like the zombies alive through such a fight -and- make them useful at the same time. In contrast, the solid design and (usually) decent AI of CoH robot minions and thug minions enabled them to nearly always contribute and survive even in endgame and full-team missions, especially when the skillful player pulled them back to range on the occasion their AI decided that Punch > Laser/Pistol.

Lots of other games (BDO, FF14, even CoH for earth controllers) solve it by giving any melee pet high health and good protection rather than decent pet controls...but they also tend to limit the pet count to 1, which doesn't fit so well with the CoH Mastermind style I believe CoT will mostly follow. A single tough melee pet would be a nice feature for a CoT commander powerset designed around upgrading it, or as a power that absorbs minor pets into one stronger pet if the situation demands it. However, if we want at least some weak melee pets for flavor, I hope they are given specific AoE evasion or defense, or much cheaper/faster/automatic resummoning, just to keep them fairly balanced with the similarly-weak ranged pets.

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Minion Scaling


Minion Scaling

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My fishmen minions have been

My fishmen minions have been avoiding me all day. I think one of them saw my screen yesterday...

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Scott Jackson wrote:
Scott Jackson wrote:

For example, if a commander picks a tertiary powerset with a self-buff perception-boost power, will it automatically apply to their pets as well? If not, their pets may not be able to target hidden enemies.

If the buff is self only then it is self only and doesn't apply to Pets.
If the buff can be cast on self or others, then it can be cast on Pets.
If the buff is an AoE (point blank or targeted) then Pets can be affected by it.


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I think the point Scott was

I think the point Scott was making is what happens if we're limited to the classic system you're describing Redlynne. Namely that it forces commanders to play as support type characters to be effective and limits power selection. In CoH this wasn't much of a problem because masterminds were designed around having support abilities. The class was built for that role. But CoT plans on having several flavors of mastermind, one of which is essentially a blaster with pets I think.

You could still use that system and basically say they are all still support focused, but some lean more into control, support, or damage.

The point is that it limits power selection and class flexibility in a way other classes don't have to deal with if pets don't scale. If 50% of your power is in your pets and you get a "charge up before a fight" power it helps you half as much as it would help another class if it doesn't buff the pets. Just an example.

That old system could be made to work, it did before. But there are other possibilities.

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Lets not forget that

Lets not forget that summoning a pet is a cast and slotted ability. And like all other cast and slotted abilities, the summoning ability can receive augments and refinements. So if we want to buff our pets' abilities we can put the buff in their summoning spell itself in the form of augments and refinements. After that, I agree with Redlynne in post #15 that once summoned, our pets should be treated like any other team member. So should not be subject to self buffs or buffs cast upon the Commander.

Having said that, however, I also fully believe that some of the abilities our Commanders get will actually include in their descriptions that they affect our summoned pets or not. In these cases, the question answers itself.


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I understand how it worked in

I understand how it worked in CoH. I'm mentioning that scaling means taking away headaches involving balance and opens up more build possibilities. Red was right when she mentioned that CoH had much less of a problem with scaling than other games. There were several key reasons for that, and CoT looks like it will likely be similar enough that those will still apply in the same way. No blanket stat benefits that affect all powers, only individual powers. No power boosting (items, stats, etc) that is independent of levels. And so forth.

Imagine a blaster. He picks up some powers or benefits. These only work on half of his attacks. This makes him a sad blaster, and he regrets getting those powers.

Now imagine they work on all of his attacks. He is a happy blaster. He can use those powers and not regret it.

The first example is playable if he limits himself to only picking things that work for him.

The second gives more build options and less balancing work for the devs. It would also only continue to generate free development time as more powers are created as special mastermind only power sets don't have to be developed to be viable and any tertiary (and most secondaries) that comes out can be used by any class without worry. It also means you could make masterminds that fill whatever role you want fairly easily. Glass cannon or burly brick wall. Control, support, damage - anything goes.

It could also mean that different mastermind sets could have pets that scaled in different ways in order to make more distinct sets. Two sets could be similar, but one gets less offense scaling and more defense scaling for example. That makes the pets play very differently. The powers themselves could be tweaked to reflect the role shift, sure, but (for example) pets focused on control and tanking would be bad at their role if they weren't fairly sturdy.

Other games have solved these problems before. Some (I'm pretty sure WoW did this) started with non-scaling pets then rebuilt pets to scale later after it became obvious that things were getting wonky. Even if CoT never falls into the sort of issues that other games have (and CoH largely avoided) scaling still has benefits when it comes to making powers easily work together.

Perhaps I'm missing something obvious, but scaling also doesn't seem to have any real cons to it.

It doesn't have to be an intrusive and complicated scaling that constantly recalculates. It could be something as simple as making self or targeted buffs (party buffs work normally) that hit masterminds also give a % reduced effect to their pets. In this way they would get the same benefit as any other class. Since the game doesn't have stats or items this by itself would probably be all you needed to effectively scale pets in nearly all situations except making it easy to add different pet sets with varied stats.

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Redlynne wrote:
Redlynne wrote:
Scott Jackson wrote:

For example, if a commander picks a tertiary powerset with a self-buff perception-boost power, will it automatically apply to their pets as well? If not, their pets may not be able to target hidden enemies.

If the buff is self only then it is self only and doesn't apply to Pets.
If the buff can be cast on self or others, then it can be cast on Pets.
If the buff is an AoE (point blank or targeted) then Pets can be affected by it.

If CoT uses the CoH design, then you're correct - though as TheInternetJanitor noted, we're considering the usefulness of self-buff powers to the mastermind and commander archetypes, and what can be done to make sure commanders and their main way of participating in combat (pets) can benefit from buffs in a balanced way. It would be unfortunate if tertiary powersets contained lots of self-buffs that turn out to be great for everyone - except commanders. Another potential issue comes up with buffs in that second category (single-target cast on self or others). Those types of buffs avoid the first problem...but the commander would need to apply the buff 6 extra times (once per pet using CoH as an example), while a non-commander can simply apply it to self and immediately get the full benefit. This has some consequences...in CoH, we saw players leaving minion-tier pets un-upgraded at times because the upgrade benefits weren't worth the mastermind's time and endurance, especially on a fast-moving team that was fighting tough enemies where those pets were likely to die regularly. The CoH devs fixed this imbalance by changing the upgrades to affect all pets simultaneously.

There are a number of "visible to the player" ways to make commander buffing feel fair and simple to execute in combat: make most buffs AoEs, make buffs applied to the commander automatically spread to their pets, or make the pets' current stats scale off of their commander's for easy buffing and use of reserves. There are some less visible ways to balance it too: perhaps the collective power of the pets is made greater than that of a single player character to compensate for buffing difficulties, and thus pets can perform just fine without the non-AoE buffs. CoH used a mixture of these solutions to do a very good job of making a unique and fun-to-play pet class. Its balance between the mastermind secondary powersets was a bit off in regards to buffing, however, which led to Zombie-Dark being preferred over Zombie-ForceField due to game-mechanical advantages, among other things. Those ease-of-buffing imbalances were mostly solved with Issue 20.5, in which the single-target shield buffs were changed to AoE buffs, and similar buff powers elsewhere were made into AoEs.

To a certain extent, the same design considerations spill over into general buffing powersets. As a buffer, would I rather have a power that buffs the whole team with one activation (e.g. CoH Accelerated Metabolism), or a power that must be activated once per team member (e.g. CoH's original insulation shield)? One power will feel quick and useful; the other may feel laborious and repetitive on a big team and may then either go unused, or become a source of irritation if the team asks for it without realizing that the buffer can then start feeling like they have much less time to fight. A good power designer will take these things into account, by making all buff powers of a certain tier equally easy to apply, or by making a difficult-to-apply buff power stronger in exchange for its downsides.

Beta testing will give us that first real look into whether CoT power design is already being done with care and consideration for this kind of balancing (like CoH after Issue 20.5) or not. If the answer is yes, commanders are more likely to be well-designed on the first pass - both in their balance compared to non-commander archetypes, and by making each of the commander's primary and secondary powersets roughly equal in effectiveness - while preserving a unique feel to each set at the same time.

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1. Commanders have a

1. Commanders have a Specificstion with Support as their Seconday.

2. Tertiary Set version of Support Sets will exist.

3. Theirs are many buffs that apply to each individual target in the area ofneffect (like shield buffs). These don’t require re-casting.

4. Many single target buffs that don’t apply to each target in an AoE (as in truly single target) have longer recharge times so you won’t be applying them to each pet multiple times.

5. As for the Commander receiving a buff or having a self buff that also applies to their pets...that is something that “breaks the rules of the game”. If only there were this system of powers you chose that was meant to do that...


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I just realized you guys

I just realized you guys haven't really said anything about Masteries for Commanders... =0

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MeSoSollyWan wrote:
MeSoSollyWan wrote:

I just realized you guys haven't really said anything about Masteries for Commanders... =0

That is because they aren’t slated for launch of the game. It doesn’t mean we haven’t planned things for them ;)


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I get that you're alluding to

I get that you're alluding to the later game stuff that lets archetypes play outside their normal role, and that's cool, but it would be weird if "being fair and balanced, making future design easier, and opening up build possibilities" was considered "breaking the game".

It also wouldn't feel much like an exciting big boost compared to what another class would get. "Hey I became super duper awesome man, I can now make the lasers I shoot out of my eyes into double lasers!"

"Cool, my new special ability is that I get equal treatment compared to my teammates from the game mechanics and I only had to wait this long to get it".

I'm sure it was meant more along the lines of how much more powerful those buffs can be if shared, and I'm sure that is exciting, but every other archetype would benefit from sharing their buffs to groups too and gets full use out of them for themselves from the first second of play. It serves to reinforce my original point.

Although this is a little off track since we're just talking about buffs now instead of scaling in general, but it is related.

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I’ve already point d out how

I’ve already point d out how buffs apply. They apply to pets as Wells’s player characters.

No one else has something that makes a buff cast solely on them is automatically shared with others. If it did, it wouldn’t be a single application, that is hoe buffs in general work.

Every Archetype has access to a series of Mastery Powers that we use to affect how the Archetype functions. We half-jokingly refer to these as stuff that “breaks he rules”.

Consider this: as a player you can normally down a Reaerve for a buff for yourself. Or you can pass off your Reaerve for someone else to use (including a pet).
Now consider that there was the ability to down a Reserve and it not only affected your character, but imparted some effect to your pets as well.

What if a Power Set you had as a Secondary imparted a self-only buff...


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Hey man, it might be a good

Hey man, it might be a good idea to read this update if you haven't:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/missingworldsmedia/the-phoenix-project-city-of-titans/posts/858157 *NOTE* This was back when the "Controller" Archetype was named Commander. It's now named Operator. Commander (Mastermind) Masteries have not been revealed.

It really shines light on what the Mastery system is, and some of its intricacies. Tannim didn't say they "break the game" he said they broke the rules. Essentially the way it works is as you level up you get choices to start to put "points" into the Mastery system, denoting specific changes to how your character works / how your powers behave. We really just don't know what their Masteries will be yet. Maybe some are exactly what you're looking for, maybe some aren't?

The cool thing about it is you can triple down your points to be Really Good at one of those things (0/0/3/0/0), or you can mix and match like 0/1/0/1/1, 2/0/1/0/0, etc. so the outcomes could end up being vastly different than, say, how another Commander that is the exact same powersets as you performs.

Another good thing to read through, if you haven't, is Pyromantic's Compilation thread here:

https://cityoftitans.com/forum/compilation-information-city-titans

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Thank you, Tannim...the extra

Thank you, Tannim...the extra buff details (and mastery hint) show that these concerns are already being considered and addressed at least to some degree, which is good to hear.

I won't presume to say what the best method is for handling commander balancing, given my lack of knowledge on the limitations of UE4, the fact that any operator pets also need to follow some rules for consistency, and all sorts of other factors that are related (like how smart the pets will be, their threshold value for being controlled by enemies, etc). Whether the right solution uses some scaling as proposed here, or just good QoL power design (as in the buffs you mentioned), I am open to anything that works well for us as players and is easy to develop & maintain.

**

I've been interpreting the references to masteries "breaking the rules" as being used somewhat jokingly, as a way of saying all of our characters are meant to do extreme things that most other games wouldn't allow. CoH (and CoT) will allow us to break the generally-applied game rules in one controlled way of our choosing...so technically still within the rules for a superhero game. How desirable each one may be (the commander's pet buffing rule adjustment mastery, in this case) depends on how much else is included in the mastery (bodyguard mode?), as well as how powerful the pets are by default. Stacking what would otherwise be self damage & protection buffs and maybe even applying reserves to all pets - on top of pets possibly having a combined base damage output [edit - and health pool] above that of a single ranger or enforcer if used by a skilled commander - that could feel very powerful, and allow us to duplicate what a CoH mastermind could accomplish.

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MeSoSollyWan wrote:
MeSoSollyWan wrote:

I just realized you guys haven't really said anything about Masteries for Commanders... =0

I've decided to make (when the Commander is released) a hero wearing Napoleonic-era British Navy Commander's uniform, with either sailor minions or insectoid minions. Hint: target the lesser of the two weevils. ^_^

What Masteries the Commander takes, of course, must wait until we learn what Masteries are available...

Foradain, Mage of Phoenix Rising.
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Millennium City Refugee.
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Huckleberry
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Masteries:

Masteries:

https://cityoftitans.com/content/mastering-your-character-primer-masteries

Just know that what we call an Operator today was called a Commander when that article was written.


I like to take your ideas and supersize them. This isn't criticism, it is flattery. I come with nothing but good will and a spirit of team-building. If you take what I write any other way, that is probably just because I wasn't very clear.
TheInternetJanitor
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It seems like the original

It seems like the original idea I had for the discussion has become a bit lost. It was simply that, historically, many games have had issues balancing pet classes for several reasons. That hasn't stopped games from trying, and some have found great ways to eliminate most of the issues in various ways. Some better than others.

warlocc
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TheInternetJanitor wrote:
TheInternetJanitor wrote:

I'm less concerned about area effects murdering pets as long as players have good options to control them. If you have good pet controls you don't have to worry as much about them dying to area damage any more than players themselves would have to worry about it. Granted, most games have terrible pet controls so area damage is a big threat to pets. CoH had decent controls though, so I'm really hoping CoT will as well.

Even with good controls, pets are useless if their stats are significantly lower than what the content needs.

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blacke4dawn
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warlocc wrote:
warlocc wrote:
TheInternetJanitor wrote:

I'm less concerned about area effects murdering pets as long as players have good options to control them. If you have good pet controls you don't have to worry as much about them dying to area damage any more than players themselves would have to worry about it. Granted, most games have terrible pet controls so area damage is a big threat to pets. CoH had decent controls though, so I'm really hoping CoT will as well.

Even with good controls, pets are useless if their stats are significantly lower than what the content needs.

Add to that that just standing there re-summoning pets à la zerging because they die almost instantly due to boss AoE's wouldn't be very fun for most.

@thread in general
The thing is that pet-classes present a fairly unique challenge in terms of balancing due them being compromised out of several effectively independent entities. That means that not only do they have to look at the individual performances of each entity but also the aggregate total over all of them in the three main categories of damage done, damage taken, and utility. For a pet class the main utility aspect is not so much in the powers themselves (like CC buff debuff) but rather the simultaneous capacity of launching several abilities at once, and I think that is what has been lost in the discussions here.

There's also the little detail that when we enhance a non-summon power we only enhance that specific power while when we enhance a summon power we enhance all of the summons abilities (well, every applicable one at least), probably getting much more "bang for the buck" out of it.

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blacke4dawn wrote:
blacke4dawn wrote:

@thread in general
The thing is that pet-classes present a fairly unique challenge in terms of balancing due them being compromised out of several effectively independent entities. That means that not only do they have to look at the individual performances of each entity but also the aggregate total over all of them in the three main categories of damage done, damage taken, and utility. For a pet class the main utility aspect is not so much in the powers themselves (like CC buff debuff) but rather the simultaneous capacity of launching several abilities at once, and I think that is what has been lost in the discussions here.

There's also the little detail that when we enhance a non-summon power we only enhance that specific power while when we enhance a summon power we enhance all of the summons abilities (well, every applicable one at least), probably getting much more "bang for the buck" out of it.

Yeah, my original point was that some games have figured out that treating pets as an extension of the player (mechanically and from a design standpoint) essentially removes these issues to a large degree. Realistically, that is exactly what they are. Just another power, same as a fireball or heal or whatever. Pets combine a bit of control (if they can keep enemy attention) and offense. Plenty of other abilities end up performing a similar job without any balancing headache because they are entirely based on the player's stats. At some point a designer realized they could do that with pets as well.

As for enhancing a summon power being more efficient that is only true if these enhancements increase static numbers instead of scaling percentages. I seem to recall that nearly all buffs and debuffs in CoH worked as percentages. Am I remembering that right? Buffs and debuffs to accuracy, damage, defense, or anything else were a %. This means no matter what gets hit with them, they perform the exact same way.

If we're talking about effects that increase a set amount, like +X damage per attack, then yes, the more targets you hit the better it gets. I don't think CoH worked that way though.

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warlocc wrote:
warlocc wrote:

Even with good controls, pets are useless if their stats are significantly lower than what the content needs.

Ninja Minions ...
... with 7% Defense vs All (base) in city of Heroes.

7%

If you expended 3 Enhancement slots (wastefully!) on Defense Enhancements, you could increase that to a whopping ... 11% Defense vs All.
So instead of getting hit for FULL DAMAGE 50% of the time ...
... instead they got hit for FULL DAMAGE 39-43% of the time. Woo ...
All the NPCs had to do was sneeze and the Ninja Minions would keel over and faceplant like the disposable cannon fodder they were.

Needless to say, Ninja Minions tended "fold like cheap origami paper" so easily that it felt like they came pre-creased out of the box (complete with "fold here" instructions). Their survivability against well ... anything ... was next to nothing. Calling them glass cannons would have been an overestimation of their survival rates. Soap bubble cannons would have been more accurate.


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TheInternetJanitor wrote:
TheInternetJanitor wrote:

As for enhancing a summon power being more efficient that is only true if these enhancements increase static numbers instead of scaling percentages. I seem to recall that nearly all buffs and debuffs in CoH worked as percentages. Am I remembering that right? Buffs and debuffs to accuracy, damage, defense, or anything else were a %. This means no matter what gets hit with them, they perform the exact same way.

While all enhancements in CoH were percentages the pet ones applied to more "powers" then the one they were slotted in. Unless I've completely missed something the enhancements put into the summon power also applied to the powers gained by the upgrade powers. Even though the upgrade powers were effectively spread across three summon powers (for full potential) they only needed three enhancements across five powers to gain the full benefit of one-slotting all of them while others needed five enhancements for the same benefit, thus more bang for your buck.

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That would be like saying

That would be like saying your blaster's charge up can affect all your other nukes so enhancing it is too powerful.

That is kind of the point of the ability right? Lots of power sets had moves like that.

And they were balanced around that.

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TheInternetJanitor wrote:
TheInternetJanitor wrote:

That would be like saying your blaster's charge up can affect all your other nukes so enhancing it is too powerful.

That is kind of the point of the ability right? Lots of power sets had moves like that.

And they were balanced around that.

I have a hard time understanding what you are trying to say there.

There is a big difference between what is effectively an addition to baseline performance and what is much more a "tactical buff" used for high bursts of damage. There was no need to add more slots to the upgrade powers since it didn't really add anything to long term performance, while adding more slots to such a self buff will add significant benefits to long term performance. I also never said and never meant to imply that that would make something "too powerful", just that they get more bang for their bucks so to say in such a "system".

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The Tick was not worried

The Tick was not worried about attacking Ninjas.

Be Well!
Fireheart

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Fireheart wrote:
Fireheart wrote:

The Tick was not worried about attacking Ninjas.

Be Well!
Fireheart

The Swiss, on the other hand...

TheInternetJanitor
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blacke4dawn wrote:
blacke4dawn wrote:
TheInternetJanitor wrote:

That would be like saying your blaster's charge up can affect all your other nukes so enhancing it is too powerful.

That is kind of the point of the ability right? Lots of power sets had moves like that.

And they were balanced around that.

I have a hard time understanding what you are trying to say there.

There is a big difference between what is effectively an addition to baseline performance and what is much more a "tactical buff" used for high bursts of damage. There was no need to add more slots to the upgrade powers since it didn't really add anything to long term performance, while adding more slots to such a self buff will add significant benefits to long term performance. I also never said and never meant to imply that that would make something "too powerful", just that they get more bang for their bucks so to say in such a "system".

My point was that it affected multiple abilities, which was in response to a previous post. You're right, it is temporary. So compare it to any other longer term effect or toggle in your head instead that affects your characters.
These are generally blanket effects too, directly changing your character's stats instead of one individual ability.

My point is that there really is no mechanical difference between them and a buff improving a pet power. A buff that improves your fireball that makes up X% of your damage or your pets that make up X% of your damage for the same % amount has an identical return. If the buff is % based, you don't have to worry at all about how much it affects each power, since it automatically scales to any archetype and any relevant power.

It already works that way (or did in CoH) for any non-pet power. Making it work differently for pets just makes the game harder to balance and reduces viable power selection options for pet classes.

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TheInternetJanitor wrote:
TheInternetJanitor wrote:
blacke4dawn wrote:
TheInternetJanitor wrote:

That would be like saying your blaster's charge up can affect all your other nukes so enhancing it is too powerful.

That is kind of the point of the ability right? Lots of power sets had moves like that.

And they were balanced around that.

I have a hard time understanding what you are trying to say there.

There is a big difference between what is effectively an addition to baseline performance and what is much more a "tactical buff" used for high bursts of damage. There was no need to add more slots to the upgrade powers since it didn't really add anything to long term performance, while adding more slots to such a self buff will add significant benefits to long term performance. I also never said and never meant to imply that that would make something "too powerful", just that they get more bang for their bucks so to say in such a "system".

My point was that it affected multiple abilities, which was in response to a previous post. You're right, it is temporary. So compare it to any other longer term effect or toggle in your head instead that affects your characters.
These are generally blanket effects too, directly changing your character's stats instead of one individual ability.

My point is that there really is no mechanical difference between them and a buff improving a pet power. A buff that improves your fireball that makes up X% of your damage or your pets that make up X% of your damage for the same % amount has an identical return. If the buff is % based, you don't have to worry at all about how much it affects each power, since it automatically scales to any archetype and any relevant power.

It already works that way (or did in CoH) for any non-pet power. Making it work differently for pets just makes the game harder to balance and reduces viable power selection options for pet classes.

I think I get what you are trying to say, lets see if I can communicate the point I was trying to make. I wasn't talking about general buffs (they work the same regardless of they are placed on a PC, NPC, or pet) but rather the level 6 and 32 pet upgrade powers.

Pet "permanent buffs" (a.k.a pet upgrades) worked with enhancements placed in the power that if buffs (a.k.a the pet-powers themselves) so that the only enhancements the "buff" itself took was cost and CD reductions and range increase. No other buff worked in that way iirc, if you wanted to make general buffs "stronger" you had to place appropriate enhancements in the buff-power itself. Hence my comment about getting "more bang for your bucks".

It's not about making it (I assume you mean general buffs) work differently between pets and PC's but that buffs and pet upgrades are fundamentally different types of powers that need to work differently to achieve their individual goals.

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My bad, I didn't realize you

My bad, I didn't realize you were talking about those specific powers. You're right, those do significantly boost those powers and they are basically free and permanent after casting them. They are essentially upgrades for those powers (pet powers). They are almost passive improvements. They could go down if you logged out or a pet died and you had to buff it again. So long fights against big threats could see weaker pets, potentially, but other than that the buffs stuck.

In that way they did provide a degree of "scaling" since players and enemies would naturally get more abilities as they leveled. It was more about giving more powers to the pets instead of changing their stats as I recall, right?

I would think a better way to implement that would be to have the powers a pet gets be set based on level and work similar to the sidekick/exemplar system. If a high level player with lots of powers got level adjusted down from 50 to 10 they would only have access to the powers they could have picked at that level if I remember right. The numbers would scale too, of course. So the pet buffs in CoX you're talking about was kind of a workaround to get that effect on pets, to make them have more abilities as the player gained levels so they could keep up.

It would probably work better if pets simply worked that way naturally. It would also save pet classes from having to take so long to get ready compared to other classes. When masterminds first came out those buffs were single target. I'm not even sure pets stayed alive through zone borders? They later improved on this, but having it work naturally would be nice. Is the pet level 10? It gets level 10 skills. Level 50? It gets more skills. It just works.

Thank you for bringing this up. When I originally mentioned pet scaling I was purely talking about adjusting numbers, but you are right. Scaling is more than that, since higher levels generally means more powers.

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I think the devs mentioned

I think the devs mentioned that CoT pets are going to have powers based on sets similar to what enemies use, so perhaps they already built this kind of "what powers you get is based on your level" scaling in. I would think a level 1 bad guy wouldn't have a ton of powers but a level 50 similar bad guy might have a handful, even if they fill the same combat role.

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Here's the reference that

Here's the reference that might be most applicable:

Tannim222 wrote:

I would avoid equating npc modules directly with player character power sets. They aren't the same. Modules is a dev - side tool we use to quickly create balanced npcs at various levels of play. Players do[ ]not choose modules, there are no primary / se[c]ondary sets for npcs.

They dictate basic play style such as melee, ranged, snipe, or utility. They apply th[e] rank of the npc and then give[] us the base stats of the npc and the number of powers at given level intervals.

I think it would be far safer to say that most pets will be offense related (again minimal viability), with sets having multiple pets having some variance with control and support powers mixed in.

The same will most likely apply toward damage type of summon sets, with a leaning toward one da[m]age type adding variability with certain sets with more pets.

Keep in mind this is still early design and subject to change.


I like to take your ideas and supersize them. This isn't criticism, it is flattery. I come with nothing but good will and a spirit of team-building. If you take what I write any other way, that is probably just because I wasn't very clear.
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TheInternetJanitor wrote:
TheInternetJanitor wrote:

I would think a better way to implement that would be to have the powers a pet gets be set based on level and work similar to the sidekick/exemplar system. If a high level player with lots of powers got level adjusted down from 50 to 10 they would only have access to the powers they could have picked at that level if I remember right. The numbers would scale too, of course. So the pet buffs in CoX you're talking about was kind of a workaround to get that effect on pets, to make them have more abilities as the player gained levels so they could keep up.

Actually when you exemplared down you got to keep improvements from 5 levels above, that is if you went down to 10 you get to keep the powers and slots up to level 15.

Quote:

It would probably work better if pets simply worked that way naturally. It would also save pet classes from having to take so long to get ready compared to other classes. When masterminds first came out those buffs were single target. I'm not even sure pets stayed alive through zone borders? They later improved on this, but having it work naturally would be nice. Is the pet level 10? It gets level 10 skills. Level 50? It gets more skills. It just works.

Yes, when CoV launched MM pets didn't survive zoning so you had to re-summon after entering missions and such.
As you say, it would be best if any additional powers is based on the effective "level" I can get powers from but if they can't make that happen then I hope they can at least make those powers passive so that we won't have to cast them every time we summon our pets. Thinking back to it now it really never made sense to have to re-train and/or re-equip whatever my pet was.

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Yeah, I am totally in

Yeah, I am totally in agreement blacke4dawn. Having the pets scale naturally would certainly make things easier on the players and would make playing and grouping with a pet class easier. Press your summon button and they come out ready to go. Summoning itself takes a moment, no need to stretch that out. Hopefully CoT doesn't have pets die on zone like CoX did early, since even CoX fixed that eventually.