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My hopes for commanders.

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blacke4dawn
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My hopes for commanders.

While we won't get Commanders at launch it will be an interesting addition to the game and an interesting AT once they do launch it, especially considering that it may have every specification MWM implements, at least if go by the updated chart.

What we do know is that the specific playstyle for Commanders will be centered around the number of pets and my thoughts are they are going to be either 1, 2, 4, 6 pets or 2, 4, 6, 8 pets. Having different amounts of pets is golden since not everyone likes or can actually handle that many pets simultaneously. Another big improvement seems to be that the upgrade-posers will be passives, not active ones like in CoH. That never really made sense to me since why should I, as the "master", have to do field upgrades/training and possibly having to carry around large amount of equipment to facilitate that, instead of just having that as the "base" level right after summoning the pets.

While Tannim has stated that we won't get Stalwart proportions between offense and defense I'm hoping for Gladiator/Gunner levels. I'm also hoping that we'll get at least Partisan/Bodyguard proportions between support/control and damage, thought hoping more for closer to Guardian/Operator levels. This is mainly based on that we'll get damage focused secondaries (assault guarantied with melee and ranged a possible future) and having damage focused pets with a damage focused secondary is not that great a combination imo. Not having the possibility of having differently focused primary and secondary would also "break" the basic AT setup in that the primary and secondary have different purpose.

So this then leads to what kind of builds I hope for the most, and that would be having two (maybe four) pets that run either support or control with "me" running assault/ranged (most likely focusing on defensive tertiaries). Essentially using the primary set in a "pocket healer/controller" fashion and me just going wild through the secondary. By extension this could lead to me doing all of the offensive abilities (regardless of it being damage, control, or debuffing) and the pets doing all defensive abilities and due to being able to have different specification I could have a more damage focused build for solo and perhaps a non-damage build for teams.

McJigg
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I think Commanders are going

I think Commanders are going to turn out as a 'jack of all trades' kind of class. Pets will deal damage yes, but, but I doubt only damage. Some sets may have some control (blinds, knockbacks), debuffs, or even buffs. Then we have ourselves choosing another speciality, whether it's support, control or 'assault' for more damage.

Sure you could take the pure damage pet with assault to be Team Damage, but you could also choose a pet that does more control like things (remember the amount of knockdowns/knockbacks from Mastermind's robots?) with a support secondary. Which would also make sense because you're essentially playing a team with your pets.

I don't think their control would ever match Operator levels, an Operator chooses a control set as their primary, but certainly more than anyone who takes control as their tertiary. Speaking of which, Commander tertiary sets! It's been said that anything that is a secondary power is a candidate for tertiary powers, so grab yourself some defensives, of if you went a very low damage route, use tertiary powers to supplement it.

Commanders are going to have a lot of choice in how they play. It's hard to say exactly without power examples like we have for other classes, but I really think there will be a lot of freedom to play your Commander the way you want.

blacke4dawn
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Ohh, without a doubt

Ohh, without a doubt Commanders will be the most versatile AT since the class/spec chart currently lists them to be open to having every specification. Considering that I feel that there is a need for Commander primary sets with a higher level of control/support than what CoH had.

I'll have to check on it later but I don't remember that many knocks from robots, something in my head tells there more or same from the abilities used directly by the player.

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I'm not sure we're reading

I'm not sure we're reading the same chart. Commander is Primary Offense/Mitigation with 3 choices for secondaries; Support (Mastermind equivalent), Assault, and further Offense/Mitigation. Where are you getting they get access to all of them?

blacke4dawn
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The other secondaries don't

The other secondaries don't have dashes through them, and that has been indicated that they may be future additions. All named ones are fully planned to be included but there will most likely be more combinations given enough time.

Lothic
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blacke4dawn wrote:
blacke4dawn wrote:

The other secondaries don't have dashes through them, and that has been indicated that they may be future additions. All named ones are fully planned to be included but there will most likely be more combinations given enough time.

Like you say there are no dashed lines excluding the possibility for the following:

Off/Mit Pets + Melee
Off/Mit Pets + Ranged
Off/Mit Pets + Defense

but if you think about it those particular combinations are still practically pointless for various reasons.

If we do end up with the Commander/Taskmaster (which would be the Off/Mit Pets + Assault combo) why would we need the Melee or Ranged versions? Assault would already give you a mix of Melee and Ranged attack powers so being "specialized" into either of them seems very nitpicky.

Then consider the Off/Mit Pets + Defense. Why the heck would a Commander need personal Defense powers when his/her army of henchmen are supposed to be his/her defense? Basically if a Commander would ever actually NEED Defense then you're fundamentally playing it wrong to being with. There's also always the chance of the Off/Mit Pets + Defense combo being too powerful by default. As we all know the key weakness of the Commander/henchman group dynamic is the Commander him/herself. If you make the Commander individually too hard to kill then overpoweredness ensues.

Just saying the combos that are currently just "blank" and not "dashed out" are still highly unlikely to ever happen for all sorts of various reasons.

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TheInternetJanitor
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Lothic wrote:
Lothic wrote:
blacke4dawn wrote:

The other secondaries don't have dashes through them, and that has been indicated that they may be future additions. All named ones are fully planned to be included but there will most likely be more combinations given enough time.

Like you say there are no dashed lines excluding the possibility for the following:

Off/Mit Pets + Melee
Off/Mit Pets + Ranged
Off/Mit Pets + Defense

but if you think about it those particular combinations are still practically pointless for various reasons.

If we do end up with the Commander/Taskmaster (which would be the Off/Mit Pets + Assault combo) why would we need the Melee or Ranged versions? Assault would already give you a mix of Melee and Ranged attack powers so being "specialized" into either of them seems very nitpicky.

Then consider the Off/Mit Pets + Defense. Why the heck would a Commander need personal Defense powers when his/her army of henchmen are supposed to be his/her defense? Basically if a Commander would ever actually NEED Defense then you're fundamentally playing it wrong to being with. There's also always the chance of the Off/Mit Pets + Defense combo being too powerful by default. As we all know the key weakness of the Commander/henchman group dynamic is the Commander him/herself. If you make the Commander individually too hard to kill then overpoweredness ensues.

Just saying the combos that are currently just "blank" and not "dashed out" are still highly unlikely to ever happen for all sorts of various reasons.

Lothic, it would be perfectly OK to have a commander style that used personal defense as a core feature. It would be a reversal of what most people think of as a pet class (hiding behind a meatwall pet throwing support) with the player being the tank and the pets being the support.

Commanders could really fill any and all archetypes, it just comes down to what abilities go into the sets. Pets don't have to be tanks and hold aggro at all. That might be the more common way to run a pet class, and I'm sure lots of people will want to play that way, but it certainly isn't the only one.

blacke4dawn
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Lothic wrote:
Lothic wrote:
blacke4dawn wrote:

The other secondaries don't have dashes through them, and that has been indicated that they may be future additions. All named ones are fully planned to be included but there will most likely be more combinations given enough time.

Like you say there are no dashed lines excluding the possibility for the following:

Off/Mit Pets + Melee
Off/Mit Pets + Ranged
Off/Mit Pets + Defense

but if you think about it those particular combinations are still practically pointless for various reasons.

If we do end up with the Commander/Taskmaster (which would be the Off/Mit Pets + Assault combo) why would we need the Melee or Ranged versions? Assault would already give you a mix of Melee and Ranged attack powers so being "specialized" into either of them seems very nitpicky.

Then consider the Off/Mit Pets + Defense. Why the heck would a Commander need personal Defense powers when his/her army of henchmen are supposed to be his/her defense? Basically if a Commander would ever actually NEED Defense then you're fundamentally playing it wrong to being with. There's also always the chance of the Off/Mit Pets + Defense combo being too powerful by default. As we all know the key weakness of the Commander/henchman group dynamic is the Commander him/herself. If you make the Commander individually too hard to kill then overpoweredness ensues.

Just saying the combos that are currently just "blank" and not "dashed out" are still highly unlikely to ever happen for all sorts of various reasons.

So?? I just see them as that they are just not outright dismissed at present. How viable they are become will be determined in the future when MWM has actual game-play data.

While all three of ranged, melee, and assault may be "too much" two of them has a high chance since three other ATs will have assault coupled with either ranged or melee as secondary options. As for defense, well as TIJ says it is something different enough to established standards to be worth examining.

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TheInternetJanitor wrote:
TheInternetJanitor wrote:

Lothic, it would be perfectly OK to have a commander style that used personal defense as a core feature. It would be a reversal of what most people think of as a pet class (hiding behind a meatwall pet throwing support) with the player being the tank and the pets being the support.

Commanders could really fill any and all archetypes, it just comes down to what abilities go into the sets. Pets don't have to be tanks and hold aggro at all. That might be the more common way to run a pet class, and I'm sure lots of people will want to play that way, but it certainly isn't the only one.

blacke4dawn wrote:

So?? I just see them as that they are just not outright dismissed at present. How viable they are become will be determined in the future when MWM has actual game-play data.

While all three of ranged, melee, and assault may be "too much" two of them has a high chance since three other ATs will have assault coupled with either ranged or melee as secondary options. As for defense, well as TIJ says it is something different enough to established standards to be worth examining.

Part of the reason Pet classes are hard to balance is because you're giving a single player an "army" to play with by default. It's hard to make sure that kind of thing isn't overpowered right out of the box.

So if the Devs of CoT can figure out a way to make a Commander with strong personal defense powers "work" without the whole thing becoming a silly Tank-Mage scenario then more power to them. I simply suspect that unique poweset combination (Off/Mit Pets + Defense) would be far harder to balance than it might initially seem and why the Devs wisely put it off as a "longshot" class that will not be happening anytime soon (if ever).

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

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If MWM can get a Brigadier,

If MWM can get a Brigadier, Partisan, and Bodyguard (/support) to be on par with each other and Ringleader, Hunter, and Striker (/manipulation) with each other then I don't think that it would be that much harder to get pets/defense, Gunner and Gladiator to be on par with each other. Yes there will most likely be some artifact that makes a significant difference but I'm not so sure it will make it harder, just different. There will already be a lot of data on the difference between the pet sets and the ranged and melee counter part primary sets.

The pets + defense combo, if it ever comes, will most likely be the last one for Commander.

And one thing I kinda ignored from before:

Quote:

Basically if a Commander would ever actually NEED Defense then you're fundamentally playing it wrong to being with.

Exactly what are you basing this on? Why shouldn't I be able to be the front guy and use my pets more as "backup"? That to me is the same as saying that playing a Guardian as a front-line tanker is fundamentally wrong.

While Commanders are not exactly designed for it and in general it is the most used way for pet based classes in general there are exception. Personally I have only run across it in one other game, Age of Conan. There the pets from the pet classes couldn't get aggro at all and all of it fell on the summoner instead.

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blacke4dawn wrote:
blacke4dawn wrote:

If MWM can get a Brigadier, Partisan, and Bodyguard (/support) to be on par with each other and Ringleader, Hunter, and Striker (/manipulation) with each other then I don't think that it would be that much harder to get pets/defense, Gunner and Gladiator to be on par with each other. Yes there will most likely be some artifact that makes a significant difference but I'm not so sure it will make it harder, just different. There will already be a lot of data on the difference between the pet sets and the ranged and melee counter part primary sets.

The pets + defense combo, if it ever comes, will most likely be the last one for Commander.

And one thing I kinda ignored from before:

Quote:

Basically if a Commander would ever actually NEED Defense then you're fundamentally playing it wrong to being with.

Exactly what are you basing this on? Why shouldn't I be able to be the front guy and use my pets more as "backup"? That to me is the same as saying that playing a Guardian as a front-line tanker is fundamentally wrong.

While Commanders are not exactly designed for it and in general it is the most used way for pet based classes in general there are exception. Personally I have only run across it in one other game, Age of Conan. There the pets from the pet classes couldn't get aggro at all and all of it fell on the summoner instead.

The mere fact that people played "Blasters" as "Blappers" proves that anybody is likely to try to make an AT do anything whether it was specifically "designed" for that playstyle or not. ;)

Just saying if your primary mindset is to use your queen in chess as a "sacrificial pawn" there's nothing that makes that "against the rules" but it is arguably the "wrong way" to play the queen. You'd do that as a last resort, not as an opening gambit.

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

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You can always make a

You can always make a combination viable. If there is a primary/secondary combo that, all things equal, is considered over-powered, then give certain of their powers debuffs to even it out. I like to think of their "Make Anyone" as being able to apply to classes and playstyles as well. It doesn't have to make sense if that is a class combo someone wants to play as long as its "balanced".

Compulsively clicking the refresh button until the next update.

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Actually pet / Protection is

Actually pet / Protection is something I’m highly leery of. For one, it can leave Commanders with very little to actually do in comparison to other sedondary sets. It could also skew certain metrics when it comes to some of the planned Mastery Powers.

You have to remember, the Archetype chart was decided not only before what game play mechanics we would have but also before how we would make them function. It is possible certain combinations of current planned primary / secondary may not make it or if they do, with some serious distinctive mechanics to make them feel more unique to play.

I wouldn’t speculate on those empty spaces really.


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Any archetype can be worked

Any archetype can be worked into a pet class. A pet class just means you are controlling a group of entities rather than a single entity. The abilities given to the pets and player can be just as versatile as any other class.

The pets don't have to be durable and able to control the flow of combat in addition to having other benefits. You'd balance them just like any other class.

Having a tanky commander that plays a frontliner with pets that hang back and toss support is one way to mix it up but there are plenty of others. In this example the pets would likely be less durable, provide less control, etc compared to traditional "workhorse" pets. The player character has a larger percentage of the power.

There is no mechanical reason why a commander pool couldn't be made for basically any archetype or playstyle and balanced the same way that original archetype was. You're just splitting up a bigger contribution from a single character into smaller contributions from several sources, but the end result is the same.

Pets have their own benefits and drawbacks (not getting all taken out by single target high damage moves, being more vulnerable to AoE, potentially requiring more effort on the part of the player) but other than that it comes down to numbers just like any other class. Nobody is concerned about tanks, controllers, or any other archetype being boring to play. A commander with similar abilities and stats (once pets are factored in) shouldn't be any different.

Please don't think of all pets as tanky frontline workhorses. They don't have to be.

I'm not disparaging the traditional hide-behind-the-pet playstyle, it has plenty of merit. There is just a lot of room to explore the way different pools play.

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No you don’t balance

No you don’t balance something like Commanders “like any other class”.

The math beind how functional npc units are doesn’t support your theory of game design. If they were perfectly “equal by dividing up pc to npc abilities, things would get pretty messed up very quickly.

Just try that math with hit points and you’d quickly see that either you have very debilitated pets and player character.

By their very baiter of design in a game like this, the pet class actually out performs many other characters in certain metrics mathematically speaking. Of course performance will vary depending on setting.

But when you discuss a tank-Commander in the context of giving it a Protection secndary and the possible Mastery Powers, we have to consider how well the combinations will work, and also how a set may play, and how it plays in comparison to other combinations within the same Archetype.

As I said, I’m very leery of the combination. The pets sets and Mastery Powers are not being designed with protection secondaries in mind. And we would be doing a disservice to players if we have to change just about everything related to the Archetype as a whole to make an unplanned for secondary work wel.


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TheInternetJanitor wrote:
TheInternetJanitor wrote:

Having a tanky commander that plays a frontliner with pets that hang back and toss support is one way to mix it up but there are plenty of others. In this example the pets would likely be less durable, provide less control, etc compared to traditional "workhorse" pets. The player character has a larger percentage of the power.

Why on earth would you bother to be a "pet commander" in any tactical situation (not just in a game) and then decide that you (as the commander) should be main "aggro absorber" of that grouping. Sure when you say something like that fast enough then you can say anything is "possible" but in reality that's a monumentally silly and unlikely scenario. This is more or less like a Quarterback wanting to play in the same position that the Center usually plays in American football.

Putting "Defense" on a Pet Commander is like putting wings on a oyster. You could do it, but... why?

TheInternetJanitor wrote:

There is no mechanical reason why a commander pool couldn't be made for basically any archetype or playstyle and balanced the same way that original archetype was. You're just splitting up a bigger contribution from a single character into smaller contributions from several sources, but the end result is the same.

This statement more than any other leads me to believe you have either never played a "pet commander" type class in any game or that you have never tried your hand at designing the game mechanics for a "pet commander" type class in any game or likely both. Just because you say something is easy or equal doesn't make it true, right or feasible.

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

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Lothic wrote:
Lothic wrote:
TheInternetJanitor wrote:

Lothic, it would be perfectly OK to have a commander style that used personal defense as a core feature. It would be a reversal of what most people think of as a pet class (hiding behind a meatwall pet throwing support) with the player being the tank and the pets being the support.

Commanders could really fill any and all archetypes, it just comes down to what abilities go into the sets. Pets don't have to be tanks and hold aggro at all. That might be the more common way to run a pet class, and I'm sure lots of people will want to play that way, but it certainly isn't the only one.

blacke4dawn wrote:

So?? I just see them as that they are just not outright dismissed at present. How viable they are become will be determined in the future when MWM has actual game-play data.

While all three of ranged, melee, and assault may be "too much" two of them has a high chance since three other ATs will have assault coupled with either ranged or melee as secondary options. As for defense, well as TIJ says it is something different enough to established standards to be worth examining.

Part of the reason Pet classes are hard to balance is because you're giving a single player an "army" to play with by default. It's hard to make sure that kind of thing isn't overpowered right out of the box.

So if the Devs of CoT can figure out a way to make a Commander with strong personal defense powers "work" without the whole thing becoming a silly Tank-Mage scenario then more power to them. I simply suspect that unique poweset combination (Off/Mit Pets + Defense) would be far harder to balance than it might initially seem and why the Devs wisely put it off as a "longshot" class that will not be happening anytime soon (if ever).

And if balanced, people might feel the class lacks power, because while they may be doing the damage, it's a lot of little damage and not a big boom.