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bowlingballhead

Debuff Devicess

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First, I don't think this is going to be changed soon. I like to bring it up occasionally so that it won't be forgotten, however.

Debuff devices are currently very poorly balanced, and it's almost entirely because of the existence of the Rada. Plasma is already a desireable damage type, because mobs have more shields than hull and bio mobs currently count as all shields instead of all hull. It's also a very common damage type available to both Terrans and Jenquai in a variety of weapons. With the Rada, plasma becomes king. It's easy to get, hardly worse than a Chimera in debuff, has a longer range and is much more energy efficient.

This really does have a distorting effect on the game. Oguns are not the fabulous dps machines people think, but they are once you get a Rada. The 'plasma is uber' impression is so great that Progen tend to ignore their Basilisk because they know plasma is better for everyone else.

I'm not saying to get rid of Radas. I'm saying the system is cockeyed in favor of plasma damage. Without the Rada, in the low to mid (say, up to 5 or 6 level equipment) range Terrans can easily debuff impact, Progen can easily debuff chemical, and Jenquai can easily debuff Plasma. Plasma is less available for Jennies than energy, but it's readily available. Progen get a moderate amount of chemical damage. Terrans don't get impact damage at all that I'm aware of. JSs get energy debuff, which is nice, and TSs get explosive debuff, which is really nice, except the range is almost 0 on a salamander and that's kind of a dealbreaker for a missile user. And then you have the Rada - decent range, cheap to use, debuffs one of the most common damage types in the game.

And once you get past L5 the secondary effects are a little screwy, too.

My point is, this just isn't well designed. It leans heavily in favor of plasma damage. The idea that nobody can easily debuff their own favorite damage type I can get, but plasma was barely less effective to Terrans and Jenquai already. So you've kind of thrown the concept out the window there. Then you go into higher levels, and Chimeras and Basilisks are still awesome, and the Terrans better just hope they can get a Taniwha.

I'm not sure how to fix it. It needs to be redesigned from the ground up, almost, or the Rada flat out removed (which STILL penalizes Terrans and will make me cry). A major game balance adjustment like this is highly unlikely in the near future, and I know it. But I'd like people to be aware that there really is an issue here.

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Simple solution, give some mobs resistance/Immunity to Plasma, and make it so that all toons, regardless of race, have to take into account what the mob is resistant to. Energy resistance/immunity was something that we JE's commonly encountered in Live. Saw few if any mobs that Plasma didn't damage.

Edited by Terrell

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It's an idea, but I think it might be a cure worse than the disease. I strongly dislike the existence of any mobs that are completely immune to any damage type, because it's not exactly easy to carry around and switch out weapons. But if plasma was the most common damage type for mobs to have moderate resistance to, that would skew things back to make people want to look into other damage types instead. So you're right about that. But you know, even a 25% plasma resistance would be a big alteration in basic difficulty of the mob, and still wouldn't overcome the advantage of plasma that the Rada brings. You've got a side effect there that you're making mobs tougher with no compensation for players, especially since they'd have to have a pretty heavy duty plasma resist to not make the answer 'You need a Rada EVEN MORE.'

EDIT: An interesting alternative. Adjust the ranges in Salamanders and Gorgons to make them useful (2.5k would be plenty. I think it's perfectly fair to make kite-heavy Terrans flirt with the edge of common enemy attack range to get a debuff.) Then add some extra ammo types to a bunch of missile launchers - impact versions. Impact does make sense in missiles, it's just a missile that relies on ramming force instead of a warhead. Right now, impact is pretty much restricted entirely to projectile launchers. Very minor change to overall game balance, adds some variety, requires fairly minimal database alterations, and suddenly the Rada is great, but plasma is no longer King Damage Type.

Edited by Bowlingballhead

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I would not favor putting Plasma resistant mobs, in the same nav, raid, or orefield as those ones that you have to use plasma to kill (Immune to energy, impact, or explosive). Since all 3 races have weapons that use Plasma, while Explosive, Energy, and Impact are more race specific, I don't think that a mob that's resistant to Plasma should be resistant to energy, impact, or explosive, nor should they be at the same nav as mobs that are resistant/immune to energy, impact, or explosive. (edit: didn't mean to say plasma there)

So it should work like this, from the perspective of a JE. I'm going to mine an orefield guarded by Manes (something that's commonplace). I know for sure that Manes are totally invulnerable to energy weapons (high level ones actually were healed by energy), so I equip 2 Pitts and a Ruby (until I get better L9 beams), that orefield may also have other mobs in it, but none of those other mobs should be resistant to Plasma (other mobs depending on the size of the orefield, in Live there was a huge one in BBW near where the Paramis gate is now, and a gravitational anomoly requiring E-Shield). However if they're guarded by the mobs I proposed in this thread, that are immune/resistant to Plasma, then I would load out 3 Ghost's Edge beams, but there would be no Manes gaurding the orefield (or Voltoi for that matter).

IOW, I think that if you're going to a specific spot to hunt, one set of weapons should work for all the mobs in that specific place, whether it's a nav point, an orefield, or a major raid, however if you are done there and moving on to somewhere else, you might need to use different weapons at that other place (but not always).

Edited by Terrell

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I agree with the ranges you mentioned on those other devices, esp for the top level ones.

There were some low level mobs in Yokan and Dahin, back in Live, spindles I think, that were somewhat resistant to energy. Plasma was significantly more effective against them, even without a Chim.

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i think your initial premise is based on our current reality rather than on what most of us know should be, start thinking finished game balance rather than balance around incompleteness. we know that mob AI is still in need of reworking and that most mob ranges and abilities are not balanced. once most mobs hit at over the 2.5k range with damage and special abilities that slow you, sap your energy, unequip items on your ship, etc. people will not be willing to get close enough in many casses for these sorts of devices to be common. in live most people just couldn't spare the device slot so JE's were very popular as debuffers for groups in addition to the fact that their small sig and low threat level from damage meant that they were usually not targeted even with the threat that the debuff caused, this is when having an equipment engineering buff was standard and you'd probably die without it.

i remember terrans and progens kiting from range while Jens whose damage was reduced when over 50% of their max range waited in cloak near the mobs to debuff and gank after the kiter had solid agro. currently we don't have that cripling range/damage reduction on jen weapons and many mob ranges are low or abilities not assigned so anyone can feel safe to get close and debuff and they don't need that greasemonkey plus to make sure their reactor reinstalls in time to keep shooting.

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Actually, I'm thinking about live, too. Just about everyone I knew that wasn't a progen had a rada, used plasma preferentially, and had a mono (but that's separate). Unless you were a fanatical kiter, it was hard to be sure you were staying out of attack range anyway.

In the higher levels, once you got past level 5 equipment, things started getting murky. You have less equipment options in higher levels, but mainly it was psi resistance. In live, lower level devices stopped being reliable against higher level enemies. It's a mechanic the current version doesn't have. So that rada wasn't going to work anyway, and plasma became much less devastating.

The thing is, people talk about higher level balance more, but up to level 5 equipment is at least half the game, maybe more. It's very important to balance it. And debuff devices aren't balanced. They're just designed kind of randomly, and some of these limitations do stretch into higher levels. You can debate how important it is, but I hope it's pretty clear how haphazard the current system is, and how biased towards the plasma damage people leaned to anyway.

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One thing I've noticed about debuffing that contradicts how things worked in live is a lack of failure. I can debuff aren'zael the master CL66 with a L5 Rada... it works every time. In live, probably 9/10 attempts or more would fail, a L9 chim would have better success rate...

Also if I'm not crazy, the debuff device used up reactor regardless of if the debuff was successful. I actually really liked this feature and hope it comes back.

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The only objection I've got to the emulator is that the flawed items and balance is also being emulated.

Items need a MAJOR overhaul from the group up. Not in the least because three new professions are being added

But also because the EA dev skeleton-crew just wrote down item stats without thinking and then implemented them.

Can an item dev comment on this thread please and tell us this thread is pointless so we can all STFU and move along?

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i think your initial premise is based on our current reality rather than on what most of us know should be, start thinking finished game balance rather than balance around incompleteness. we know that mob AI is still in need of reworking and that most mob ranges and abilities are not balanced. once most mobs hit at over the 2.5k range with damage and special abilities that slow you, sap your energy, unequip items on your ship, etc. people will not be willing to get close enough in many casses for these sorts of devices to be common. in live most people just couldn't spare the device slot so JE's were very popular as debuffers for groups in addition to the fact that their small sig and low threat level from damage meant that they were usually not targeted even with the threat that the debuff caused, this is when having an equipment engineering buff was standard and you'd probably die without it.

Hi

I don't think I could say it much better. We will look at the balance of items when we have the mob AI implemented and the item buffs/debuffs working correctly.

Riia

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How to reply some thoughts...

Any progen who avoids chem once they can use a lvl 8 Basilisk is quite foolish. -57 Deflect from a 200% LVL 8 Basilisk is awesome!! Furthermore ... that deflect is relative to the same dmg being done by plasma+rada combo for Terrans, which I remind you is the ONLY combo debuff that Terrans have when they are alone, and then this combo for progens has an extreme advantage vs. any mob with a Hull. Only the Terran Scout can use the device out there that debuffs Explosive, so for one terran there is some hope because from the sound of this post if people have their ways and ravage the only device Terrans have for a dmg type advantage then TT/TE's are going to be pretty screwed. It worked great except when doing CL65/66 mobs, and in this case, that’s what a RAID was for... you had multiple classes around so that you don’t have to worry about someone having a lvl 8/9 chimera or basilisk to debuff dmg types or maybe a TT willing to carry the high end weaken energy beam device to hook up the Jenqu i(can’t recall the name of this device). Hell, as a Terran, if I could use the Basilisk device, I'd load out full Chem and go to town myself just to see how it does!

Mobs with resistances? Why do it ... unless that said mob is necessary for a mission or some item desired to map, nobody would kill it. Adding resists randomly really won’t solve the problem, only add a dead spot in the game hardly anyone visits unless they have to for some requirement. Some mobs like the afore mentioned manes, have immunities as is which is almost restricted to higher end Manes. But for the Jenqui, with their awesome Chimera devices and an easy swap out of plasma beams can easily overcome this obstacle.

If range is an issue, then by all means, higher end devices should have range advantages, or like someone said, at least be 2.5k like the Rada. BUT ... keep in mind, the Rada was made by the Chavez with the 2.5k range for a Reason ... because even as the device says, it’s for striping away the plasma resistance to make their Ogun Plasma missiles more effective ... so, it has that range due to game story background and the fact that Chavez use missiles, so they don’t want to get closer than they have to. The item was put in there for a reason some very long time ago to give Terrans(TT/TE) something that actually does debuff that they can use. Otherwise the TT/TE have nothing except for a very similar lvl Taniwah's Pride(lvl5), which would run into the same problem as described before by another poster and again below in my post.

Now, if mobs gain a resistance to lower end devices again as it was in live, that’s fine, and makes some since, but mind you ... normal mobs lvl 60 and below were still almost always debuffed on the first pass with a Rada ... it was named/higher end 60+ that started to become a pain in the butt, but it never took more than 2 or 3 tries unless it was a boss 66, in which case, there is the wonderful Jenqui's handy Chimera at a raid to deal with that. Tenkaris brought this up, but I don’t ever recall it being so bad even with the Master to take 9 tries to get the Rada to debuff. Normally it was 3 or 4 at most, and if you really did have to do it 9 times, then man that’s some horrid luck. As for Bowlingballhead comment about "the rada wasn’t going to work anyway(during high lvl encounters I'm assuming)" wasn’t real either ... I kept it loaded up all time until I got a Dung ML's that did the plasma debuff for me ... Furthermore, that ML was added later with the already existing Hellbore for the specific reason of giving the TT/TE something that would debuff Plasma effectively at the higher ends because of the Rada's problem with resists on higher end boss mobs. And even with these ML's, I kept the rada handy. It does -7 more deflect than either one, so unless I was fighting something I couldn’t get close to, I would swoop in, debuff and back out.

In the end ... everyone’s going to use Chem or Plasma for an advantage on either hull or shields. Impact/Energy/Explosive all 3 have no advantage but slightly more dmg under normal circumstances VS Hull or Shields?(maybe? been useing plasma so long ... need to use some explosive to see what I dont remember), so why would anyone use them? Nobody will unless of course, the said mob is immune to Chem and Plasma both, then naturally, everyone would turn to the other 3 dmg types. Removing or making the Rada useless vs. high end mobs only screws over 2 classes completely without some high end ML solution ... the TT and TE. TS could fall back on explosive with that explorer only debuff device that’s out there which the name I can’t recall. Having this option for the TE/TT saves a lot on ammo ... a whole lot. Yet again, losing the rada option would make going back for ammo much more frequent than it is already. There are a lot of dynamics that has to be considered when bad mouthing the debuff devices. Mobs may be built in a manner that you need to play smart and use debuff devices to kill them at a proper rate for example. Saving on ammo for Projens and Terrans. Making sure each class has an option to use chem or plasma, which are the two advantageous dmg types in game. Makes me want to just give thanks and praise to the devs. It’s a great deal of stuff that has to be considered, and Riia quoted Moche which did just about say things as they are. We have to still wait for more to come and the game to be more like live before we can really access things.

This is my opinion anyway. Rada gives the TT/TE/TS an advantage to maintain a fight in the DPS curve. Truth be told, take it away or make it usless at high end game and we fall way behind or very dependent on others which is not a big deal during fleet events, but terrilbe for our day to day item hunt, money making, or general combat to gain xp.

Thorvald

Yes, I am a TE in game, and the thought of losing my Rada completely makes me shudder (even more so as the Dung ML's are not in game at the moment, which brings us back to the game not being near live state yet), so damn strait I plan to do my part to keep it useful if at all possible, even if I have to, later on, deal with some resistances by mobs to be debuffed.

Dont change what is, but instead, make some other stuff a little bit better to attaine balance!

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Dang it!

I'm partly wrong ... There is the bullywere eye, which I think is Warrior only Jenqui Restricted(so only works for 2 of 9 classes, that is lvl 8 and debuffs plasma .... So, once that is back in game officaly, then there is atleast for the Terran/Projen Warriors, an alternative to the Rada at the higher end.

Thorvald

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Dang it!

I'm partly wrong ... There is the bullywere eye, which I think is Warrior only Jenqui Restricted(so only works for 2 of 9 classes, that is lvl 8 and debuffs plasma .... So, once that is back in game officaly, then there is atleast for the Terran/Projen Warriors, an alternative to the Rada at the higher end.

Thorvald

it is... my te is rocking one :P

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Dang it!

I'm partly wrong ... There is the bullywere eye, which I think is Warrior only Jenqui Restricted(so only works for 2 of 9 classes, that is lvl 8 and debuffs plasma .... So, once that is back in game officaly, then there is atleast for the Terran/Projen Warriors, an alternative to the Rada at the higher end.

Thorvald

Progen can't use the Rada, but all Terrans and Jenquai can. Jens are pretty much set on debuffers with the Chimaera line of devices, goes all the way to L9. (JE/JW get L9 devices, JT L8).

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