Rage and Predation (Enforcer Masteries)

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Roachnaut
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Rage and Predation (Enforcer Masteries)

Since my understanding is that enforcer class is the umbrella under which brutes, stalkers, and scrappers will live, let's just recap the Masteries that are supposed to differentiate their playstyles:

Rage: The more you fight, the stronger you get. (Brute)
Surprise Strike: You gain bonuses for attacks against unsuspecting targets. (Stalk)
Predation: You are the single-target master, gaining bonuses the longer you fight the same enemy. (Scrap, I think)

Because you are supposed to be able to combine these, I worry about whether these in particular will be stacking multiplicatively- because they all boost your damage output differently.

Brutes could get up to a 200% damage bonus. But they only did 67% of scrapper base damage, to keep things from getting totally out of hand. Scrappers had a 5-10% chance to deal double damage. (And I think some attacks had extra chances.) So on average they weren't super far apart.

Both of the CoT passives for brute and scrap have a "builds during the fight" aspect. If you slap these two together, would you end up with, say, a double damage boost from rage and double damage critical hits (here "crit" is however they implement the bonus) from Predation, quadrupling your damage? Maybe throw in a placate and a point of Surprise strike for even more multipliers?! Rage gives you more damage from fighting, and so does predation. I guess it'll have to be a careful balancing act- I would hate to have a system where one point of these masteries doesn't do much, to counter this kind of stacking, making you feel wimpy at level 1 and making mixed playstyles kinda meh.

On a related note, do you guys think these masteries should alter base stats to allow for more late game potential? As an example, Scrappers had a scaling of 1.125 melee, and a buff cap of +400% and self boosts had a 1.25 bonus, while brutes had .75 scaling and an 675% cap.
Again, I don't expect rage to garner too big a bonus if you have the same base damage as a predation toon. I wouldn't mind something like -10% base damage per rank, but a +50% max buff per rank. Numbers obviously just for example.

Obviously this is scattered in the wind if they have more than damage- like extra accuracy in predation, or ignoring resistance, and maybe Rage making you "stronger" also helps you defensively! That way it isn't so apples to apples- but if they allow us to have 2 full masteries eventually, let's say, I'd be worried about the sheer power once you cobble the high rank bonuses together on these two.

EDIT: Brute buff cap was actually 675%.

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Tannim222
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Until we reveal more of the

Until we reveal more of the combat mechanics and more importantly as players get used to playing with / in it, the attempts at comparisons will fall short. Especially if the comparison is directly to that of the old game. The old game may be the inspiration for mechanics and indeed may play similarly, but how we get there can be very different.

Yes it will be possible to use multiple combinations of masteries, each mastery has 3 tiers, each tier providing either additional benefit in a new way or new benefit gained the same way as the tier before it. Each tier requires the prior tier in order to pick it.

A player that goes pure Rage Mastery may have the ability to build up a damage buff while having to maintain it (through momentum).
Another player taking the first tier of each mastery would have highly situational spikes of damage: if they haven't been building up Rage t1 they can attack an unaware opponent and do more damage, but if they had built up some Rage and attacked an unaware opponent they 'll do more damage. If they can fight a single opponent for a period of time they will boost both Rage and Predation but not have any benefit from Surprise Strike t1.

One of the cool aspects under the hood we can apply is how different power sets and masteries that use Momentum can be tuned to expected bounds of performance.


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Plexius
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A max-Rage double-crit

A max-Rage double-crit Assassin's Strike? Yeah buddy! One-shot ALL the things!

My current understanding of Masteries is that you will have to allocate some kind of "points" into each one. I assume that allocating less points to a given Mastery means that it's less effective. Thus, I think a key balancing point (no pun intended) will be to give players a very limited number of these points so that they can't overload on all of them.

In the actual update about Masteries, it was noted that City of Titans will launch with three Masteries for each class. If there are three levels per Mastery (as it was stated), then players shouldn't be given 9 points because they'd max out everything. Having 3 or 4 points would probably be more balanced.

The devs could also make certain Masteries mutually exclusive, but I'm just thinking out loud about that. Hopefully we wouldn't end up with a tangled web of Masteries should the devs go this route.

That's my take on it, anyways. It's up to the devs to make sure they don't allow players to stack Masteries to crazy extremes.

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There are no point

There are no point allocations with masteries, and I don't know where that misinformation came from. Masteries are powers that unlock at given levels and have prerequisites of having taken the previous mastery power within the same mastery set.


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Plexius
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Tannim222 wrote:
Tannim222 wrote:

There are no point allocations with masteries, and I don't know where that misinformation came from. Masteries are powers that unlock at given levels and have prerequisites of having taken the previous mastery power within the same mastery set.

Point allocation was my misinterpretation of the update, though I'd like to think I'm not that far off the mark. From the update, I quote...

Quote:

With three tiers in each group, and our plan to launch with three from each list, the ultimate goal here is to enable each of you to further refine your gameplay to meet your own preferences. Pick all three from the same Mastery, to get the Tier 3, or to pick the Tier 1 from each, the option is up to you.

I assumed that at some point during the leveling process that you'd get one "Mastery Point" or some abstract equivalent that you could spend on a Mastery. For instance---hypothetically---let's say you get to level 10 at which point Masteries become available. You can choose Rage (tier 1), Surprise Strike (tier 1), or Predation (tier 1). Then at some later level, you'd be able to choose another, which could be a tier 2 version of the Mastery you already chose, or it could be a tier 1 version of a different Mastery.

I also assumed that choosing the tier 3 version of every Mastery was not possible. Thus, points seemed like a logical visualization of selecting Masteries. Something similar to the old version of Talents in World of Warcraft where you can see the available selections and certain Talents have multiple tiers of effectiveness (like a 5-point talent to gain a 20%/40%/60%/80%/100% chance to crit with a certain ability).

So I clearly jumped to conclusions, but do I really have it all wrong? If so, then I think the process of how Masteries are meant to be selected is not clear. But assuming that players can't attain tier 3 in every Mastery, there must be some system to limit choices, whether it be points or some other mechanism.

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I think Plexius does have the

I think Plexius does have the same idea; as we level up it's like you described; but if you were looking at it from the perspective of respecing at 50, it's like point allocation as he was saying.

The same way you "allocate points" into your powers- i.e. if I forgo "Might of the Beard" in my secondary set I can afford to pick up "Magic Crowbar Circle" from a tertiary pool. Same tradeoffs with masteries, right? Tier 3 here or branch out to tier 1 over there, that kind of idea.

I mean, I interpreted it the same was as Plexius D:

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Ah i can see how that might

Ah i can see how that might be misinterpreted, though the example did intend to specify picking tiers of powers, not point allocation into tiers of mastery powers.


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Tannim, based on the KS

Tannim, based on the KS update and what you've said above, I'm not seeing how what Plexius and Roachnaut are saying is a misinterpretation. It sounds to me like you're all saying the same thing with different words. Can you elaborate on why/how you think we're seeing this in the wrong way?

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Its the examples of point

Its the examples of point allocations (4 points for this 9 for that to summarize). Which is not how selecting Mastery powers work . Each Mastery is a set of 3 tiers, each Mastery power slot opens at a set level, tiers 2 and 3 require the previous tier as a prerequisite.

The update's statement quoted above was meant to emphasize that choosing the different combinations of Mastery powers allows a player to design their character to play the way that suits them. 3 Mastery Sets, with 3 tiers each, tier 2 needing tier 1, tier 3 needing tier 2 results in each classification having 9 different mastery combinations.

I could use point allocation to "buy" mastery powers and still require prerequisites but its much simpler to have tiers unlock by level and from previous choice and do away with "points". Just like picking powers from primary, secondary, and tertiary sets unlock at given levels only masteries have that prerequisite previous tier selection.


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Plexius
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I'm still not sure if I get

I'm still not sure if I get it. Are Masteries selected at certain levels in lieu of normal power choices or augment slots? Like a power at every even level, an augment slot at every odd level, except one Mastery choice at every 8th level instead?

In any case, I think Cinnder is right in that we're essentially describing the same concept. What we're really debating is implementation. Any way you slice it, there are X available Mastery choices and Y available player selections such that Y is less than X. Balance will result from choosing a reasonably small value for Y.

I won't pressure you for an exact description of how it's meant to work, Tannim222, but feel free to elaborate. It's not my intent to squeeze you for implementation details here. The main point I was trying to make in my first post above is that it'll be up to you (the devs) to make sure Masteries don't stack to crazy levels, and my understanding of the update was that limited choices would provide this balance.

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The way I understand it,

The way I understand it, Plexius' "point" = Tannim's "power selection," so they are the same concept with differing names. Using CoX's system of power allocation in absence of other information at the moment, when we reach a certain level we get a "power selection point" (to combine the terms) that we can spend on one power in the masteries, with the caveat that higher tier powers require selection/purchase of the lower tier powers.

I, too, am not pressuring for more detail; I just think we're talking apples and apples here.

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Plexius wrote:
Plexius wrote:

I'm still not sure if I get it. Are Masteries selected at certain levels in lieu of normal power choices or augment slots? Like a power at every even level, an augment slot at every odd level, except one Mastery choice at every 8th level instead?

That's pretty much it. And we will do our best to make sure the various combinations all perform within bounds of expected performance. Will we have to make adjustments and changes? Probably to most definitely - it will take time to fine tune things. One combination of Masteries may have highly situational improved performance, while others are more consistent, this too is by design to keep performance within expected bounds.


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Izzy
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I'm not seeing the big

I'm not seeing the big picture, i guess... and maybe we dont need to see it yet. ;)
But I'm kinda thinking this:

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Power picks are Primary,

Power picks are Primary, Secondary, Tertiary, Mastery each on their own schedule gated by level of the character. Mastery powers will also have a requirement of the previous mastery power tiers being taken. If you want Rage t1 you just have chosen Rage t2, Rage t3 would only be available if you have Rage t1 and 2. If Predation was selected at char-gen when the appropriate level is reached to open the ext mastery power pick you can select Predation t2, Rage t1, or Surprise Strike t1. At a later level he final Mastery power slot will open where if Predation t1 and 2 was taken, Predation t3 is a a available, or Rage / Predation's t1.

This results with 9 possible combinations of. Mastery builds within each classification.


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I count ten combinations of

I count ten combinations of three tiers distributed among three Mastery choices:

1. ABC (one each)
2. AAB (two of one and one of a second, six different permutations)
3. ABB
4. BBC
5. BCC
6. AAC
7. ACC
8. AAA (three all on one, three permutations)
9. BBB
10. CCC

^_^

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Oops I had forgotten a combo

Oops I had forgotten a combo that's what I get for not going off the internal docs and going by memory. :sheepish grin:


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I think the issue is that

I think the issue is that there MAY BE an assumption in there somewhere that different Tiers of Mastery require more "points".
IE:
Tier 1 = 1 point
Tier 2 = 2 points
Tier 3 = 3 points
so I have to "save up" my points to get higher Tier Masteries.

This is NOT how I understand it to work.
Rather each Mastery Unlock grants access to another Mastery option - either a new option Unlocked based on my previous selection or a previously available option
Example:
Level 5 I get to chose my first Mastery Option [A1 / B1 / C1]
I chose A1

At Level 10 I get my 2nd Mastery Option.
I can chose A2 / B1 / C1
I chose A2

At Level 20 I get my 3rd Mastery Option.
I can chose A3 / B1 / C1
I chose C1

So now I have Mastery Options A2 + C1

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cybermitheral wrote:
cybermitheral wrote:

Rather each Mastery Unlock grants access to another Mastery option - either a new option Unlocked based on my previous selection or a previously available option
Example:
Level 5 I get to chose my first Mastery Option [A1 / B1 / C1]
I chose A1
At Level 10 I get my 2nd Mastery Option.
I can chose A2 / B1 / C1
I chose A2
At Level 20 I get my 3rd Mastery Option.
I can chose A3 / B1 / C1
I chose C1
So now I have Mastery Options A2 + C1

That's close to the mark. The only correction is this:
You would end up with A1, A2, and C1 as your total mastery build.


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I just want to comment that

I just want to comment that the information on this thread is all very exciting to me. This system is clearly the next logical step in evolution from CoH.

I just can't wait to nerd out on my build again. Man I miss that.

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While not strictly akin to

While not strictly akin to the Scrapper's Critical Hit, i'd say that Predation fits their playstyle for the most part.

I would also say that, the mixture of Rage, Predation and Surprise Strike wouldn't necessarily go together because the situations that benefit the sets the most will often times be too different to be of use.

Rage, for example, if it functions like the Brute's rage meter, then it will build quickly and remain at maximum by staying in plain sight and wailing on bad guys without much deviation. Since rage was built based on how often you got hit, as well as how often you hit back, it would likely build the fastest when dealing with large mobs.

However, it can be said that a Rage character could also take Predation and be a dedicated boss killer, both in solo play and in teams (in fact, pairing it with a Battle Leader using Stalwart would net further bonuses)

Surprise Strike is where it falls down slightly. I assume, at this point, Predation uses a stacking buff based on how long you focus on one target, and if you switch, that buff reduces itself down to 0. Alternatively, it could function like a mark that affects targets you hit with single target attacks, and the more marks that are active, the less damage you deal over all (though I kinda doubt this last one). In this sense, both Rage and Predation require a continued amount of time with focus on one target.

Surprise Strike requires the target to be unaware of your presence. This doesn't typically mean that you'd be invisible, but as the devs had said, this is one method that such a thing can be accomplished. If Invisibility functions in the same manner that it did in City of Heroes, without some means of placation or disappearing right then and there, your remaining method of disappearing to set up another Surprise Strike would be to actively disengage your target, which in turn might leave you with your Predation and Rage buffs on a rapid decline, and in the case of PvE, your target regenerating or even completely resetting.

In short, to gain full benefit from all three buffs, you will likely be facing Elite Bosses or Arch Villain level opponents, with your routine functioning pretty much like the standard Stalker: Surprise Strike, Placate, Surprise Strike, fight a bit, Placate, repeat.

With lesser enemies likely being too weak to survive most base Surprise Strikes, gaining the full benefit from such high-level mobs will probably be very circumstantial. Regardless, it would be highly impressive to see a character mow down an AV equivalent NPC it very little time, and if it becomes easier for you to slip out of view of your target while aggro is focussed elsewhere, that combination may become the go-to DPS build for raids, task forces and other team-based shenanigans.

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The combination of all 3

The combination of all 3 Masteries may work quite well to make hard target combatants. In surprise strike the use of the word unaware is purposefully broad (hint: invisibility isn't an absolute requirement). We can also apply positional awareness to pawns so that it is possible to sneak up on them.

Against a hard target start off with surprise strike for burst damage, continue to fight them to gain an increase against that target (predation) and general increase as well (rage). Yes when the target is defeated or switched away from predation wipes. It may be possible to have scenarios where rGe has been built and is still available when using surprise strike again even on another target. There is more to predation and surprise strike that their basic descriptions cover that make them viable choices on their own or in combination. Part of the point is the combinations may be more situational requiring a perfect storm scenario but there is a pay are pay offs for the highly situational performance increase compared to the more steady performance gained by staying in one mastery path. Each have their own advantages so that multiple play styles are possible and each choice is viable (some requiring more strategic play than others).


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Tannim222 wrote:
Tannim222 wrote:

The combination of all 3 Masteries may work quite well to make hard target combatants. In surprise strike the use of the word unaware is purposefully broad (hint: invisibility isn't an absolute requirement). We can also apply positional awareness to pawns so that it is possible to sneak up on them.
Against a hard target start off with surprise strike for burst damage, continue to fight them to gain an increase against that target (predation) and general increase as well (rage). Yes when the target is defeated or switched away from predation wipes. It may be possible to have scenarios where rGe has been built and is still available when using surprise strike again even on another target. There is more to predation and surprise strike that their basic descriptions cover that make them viable choices on their own or in combination. Part of the point is the combinations may be more situational requiring a perfect storm scenario but there is a pay are pay offs for the highly situational performance increase compared to the more steady performance gained by staying in one mastery path. Each have their own advantages so that multiple play styles are possible and each choice is viable (some requiring more strategic play than others).

That's actually pretty cool, come to think of it. Described that way, it kinda makes me eager to explore certain paths.

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Is this 3 mastery limit

Is this 3 mastery limit linked to the level cap being 30? Ie when and if the level cap goes up, will we get more?

This hasn't been decided yet is of course an ok answer

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very enlightening, cant waint

very enlightening, cant wait to see em in action! :)