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Morganis

Agro management (main concern with healing skills)

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Greetings all

 

Let's see how far I get into this and if I manage an actual suggestion. If nothing else I suggest that agro management and/or AI is discussed in detail.

 

Goals of the discussion: Discuss current mechanics versus goal of the develeopment team versus player request /fun factor/game concerns

 

My motivation for starting this is two fold. Firstly, through chats with guild mates and other players on Sunset I have a built up notion that healer classes encrue a lot of xp debt and destroyed equipment during raid style play. Consequences of this will be discussed later. Secondly, I performed some simple tests in Antares myself and further questions came up than questions answered.Addressing my test first my observations were the following:

 

Damaging mob tends to gain agro (although I had a few occasions where agro dropped again after some time without damage, and random targets were chosen).

Device activation and skill activation similarly gains the attention of said mob.

 

Healing generates agro and amount of damage done by other ship to shift agro was roughly the amount of the heal. So a 30k heal required 30k damage to switch agro. This happened for me if: fight starts with 1 single shot to mob, wait for shield regen to kick in for mob and then "start" fight with heal (no distinction between heal and overheal as far as I observed), when starting fight with all out shooting, healing done and agro switched where upon damage could reverse agro switch over time. This is a mechanic that makes sense and may or may not seem balanced. But there was a problem in my testing. The mob I did the most of testing on was a cl48 voltoi with around 120k hp. At the max I waited until 15k hp remaining to fire the second highest rank of shield recharge (around the 30k mark shield gain). Shield recharge prompted the voltoi to switch targets to the healer. In general it seemed agro was gained with first shield recharge no matter what. In extension it seemed like there was no "agro buildup" by doing a lot of damage to the mob. In other words agro from healing had to be overcome by "new damage" each time it was performed. This view was obstructed by a couple of lower level shield recharges that sometimes failed to draw attention of the voltoi. I was unable to pinpoint the exact circumstances of this event though. 

 

Now, these observations were simple, quick and quite possibly flawed. They should only serve as a starting point of the hopeful constructive debate. I will pass this subject along for discussion with the following questions that I would like answered:

 

Is Earth and Beyond a game where the tank/healer paradigm is a desirable by the community and a goal of the developers?

Are there currently flaws in the mechanic of agro tables or AI in the game, when compared with the actual goals of the developers?

What kind kind of paradigm would be best fitting to suit the memory of the game lost, the engine we work with, and game play issues in a forward view?

Is it desirable for the development team to spread the knowledge of the internal workings of agro rules / AI twitches, or is it another learn and explore issue?

Is the current system fair and manageable? (in my view based on my testing, it is not)

Are your observations different?

 

I guess I will finish off with a suggestion of my own:

I believe in the tank/healer paradigm, and that agro should be balanced between damage, skill use (hereunder healing), item usage, and possibly visibility/distance. Agro table should be cleared perhaps on full shields regained and maybe a reduction upon incapacitaion/cloaking. It wouldn't hurt if skills like befriend and enrage played a larger role in this agro game than it did in live.Balancing this agro game should be nontrivial in a raid scenario. With multible targets almost always present this would be very simple, even with a lowered agro gain from healing, since healing is AOE and damage is not. If it is difficult to maintain agro as "tank" on a single target, harder mobs will require further spamhealing, resulting in having the incapped/js game, or outfit healers as tanks and everone else is just there not taking damage. So I propose a scenario where there is an equal (or close to) chance of being incapped regardless of role.

 

With a wish of a good discussion

 

Yours truly

 

Morganis/Killcrasy

 

 

 

 

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To lend more point of view,

I play a Sentinel. While this excludes me from most of what this topic has to offer, I too feel the pain of Item and Skill use on the Tank or the group's damage-dealing classes. My main focus as a Sentinel is to fire my guns on occasion, buff and otherwise skew the odds in the group's favor, and provide Jumpstart services to downed group members. Most, somewhat elitist groups would altogether shun the inclusion of a Sentinel on a Raid in favor of a Jenquai Explorer, (for his reactor renewals and such). My last use is not class-based. It is that I'm willing to drive, that is to free up needing to point the group at targets because my Scan skill is superior to Tanks such as the Warrior and the Enforcer, (inferior to the Defender who uses Telescopium device and and has maximum Scan).

Now, I am not asking for a fix in the Tank/Healer paradigm. If it were to be 'fixed', then there would no longer be a need for Jumpstarters, (and I Jumpstart fast with a Tactical Advantage from Ag*****!) What I am suggesting is a boost in the aggro controlling skills and items. Befriend, Powerdown, Enrage, just to name a few need to reduce, zero-out, and raise respectively their aggro modifications. As they are now, the aggro control skills are considered by many pilots to be wastes of skill points. With the systems I can field, I can have up to 4 skill levels in Powerdown and never spend Skill Points in what amounts as a waste of Raid time.

At a recent Mordana run, I was called upon to Jumpstart about 4 or 5 times. This is not unreasonable given that run because of the breaks between locations and the triggered nature of the run. At a Controller Raid, I was called upon to Jumpstart maybe 3 times, though I was late to two of them, (stolen by those awful Jennys). While Raids are meant to be fun, they are also meant to challenge and leave scars. Pilots who can't take the heat, need to consider their favorite role in group dynamics.

"You don't have any fears, Pakkrat. You're just a Sentinel," a group member might say. True, but I'm contributing and making the run or the Raid go smoother. There have been times my level IX aa Gahtu has gotten me derelicted because I thought Magoo's Warrior needed to do some serious damage with his six-guns. I offer this: I'm willing to put my tail on the line, even if I only get a snowball's chance in Hell at a peachy-keen drop from the run or the Raid. Boost the skills that modify aggro to meet the needs of the Tank/Healer dynamic, so that pilots will feel the weight of considering those skills again instead of pushing them aside as useless. I don't know a single Terran Trader that has felt a need for Befriend to this date. They can describe it, yes, but for practical use? No. Even your Q-ship, non-Builder Traders poo-poo the skill. I was one of them in EA Live. I played Pakkrat, a Terran Trader on Orion.

Next is the new frontier of N7 Entertainment's Live. There is much debate as to the diversion from or keeping faith with EA Live. Some pilots want the game they remember 10 years ago. Some adventurous pilots are willing to see what the Developers can come up with that is wholly new and groundbreaking. I myself came back out of nostalgia. Now that we are N7 Live, I'm in the second camp of wanting new and interesting Content. Mind you, I love the Storyline and hope to see it progress as intended. There is room for side stories, Guild interactions, and many other details oft-overlooked by "grizzled gamers", (yes I am quoting someone).

My bottom line is: change something, but don't change everything. Everybody loves the game. We just need to transcend Winning and Losing. It's not whether you win or lose 45 times over, but how you play the game.

From the soapbox at NET-7 SOL, this is the Pakkrat. Edited by Pakkrat
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Our classes in game are not "classic DnD" tank / healer / DPS / uiltiy setup. You can not place most classes in this algoritm.  

 

Healers in classic DnD are almost most weak in shields, least DPS, here 2 of 3 instant healers have L9 shields and 4 weapons.

Tanks in classic DnD does not have DPS while main Tank role here as PW has 6 weapons and almost best DPS

 

That's why it is best that you do not think of it as classic DND and aggro listing.

 

Healer mechanism works as follows:

 

No matter how much aggro you built initially, entire aggro list "RESETS AT HEAL"

 

What does that mean?

 

It means there is no such thing as overaggroing of healer. 

 

Here how it works:

 

- Tank / DPS builds aggro (that works as whoever does bigger damage gets aggro) 

- Healer heals, aggro build resets to zero, adds aggro to healer for "beneficial help" to previous aggro players

- Now all other players has zero aggro , healer has initial healing aggro and next hit of mob is guaranteed to hit healer. But that's all... 

- Tanks / DPS continues and easily grabs aggro back, meanwhile Healer takes a few hits for the team (see L9 shields of healers, can take a few hits)

- Healers has tools, especially main healer (TT) has a skill called "Befriend" which almost instantly soothes mob against himself to prevent more aggro

 

However we have something in common with other DnD's, some classes are designated to be roles...

 

Main healer is Terran Tradesman, it has all the tools to be best healer role. Others are just warriors/explorers with some healing ability. You can not say PP & JT even TS are not healers but definitely not the MAIN healers. Like JE's are true explorers while other's are Warriors with prospect ability. 

 

Same goes for Tanks, PW is the ultimate Tank, others have also Tanking tools but definitely not as good as PW, like HDC, Enrages etc. 

 

Long story short, from what I've seen from community, tanks are not putting skill points to main tanking abilities like Enrage etc to be real tanks, I've never seen another TT also putting skill points to  Befriend... Most of us expect healer to be always safe, never take hits because of other damage while they have best level shield unlike other games...   People tend to use skill points mostly on skills that is good for solo... 

 

Just do a small poll on TT's, how many have Befriend maxed, another poll on TW's and PW's, how many have Enrage maxed? You will get your answer...

 

 

My advice if you play healer, "Right after heal, use Befriend" , you will be suprised and never EVER spam heal. Just when it is needed, you don't need to keep Tank always at 100% shield or 100% hull, they are built to take much more hits than that... 

Edited by SiSL

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I apologuise for not including the explorer class predicaments in my post and I'm happy that you managed to cover some of it in your post. The role I see for explorers are JSing, buffing and debuffing. I haven't tested this myself much, other than JS'ing seems not to generate agro. For me, again this role should be played, so that it's possible to die doing it, but with proper skill use, this chance will decrease. That is the ideal I hold for all roles. The problem this game has in this kind of thinking is the limitless JS nature of the engine. The fail/wipe scenario didn't really come to play in live, unless the lag monster proved too much. Since you could technically brute force something for a very long time, encuring many deaths. This is in contrast to most MMO's where recovery from in combat death is seldon and costly (mainly in cooldown of skill).

 

But a scenario where healers, and perhaps buffer/debuffer get's targetted down and killed too many times during an encounter, the game become sluggish and not fun. Especially considering the (comparetively) low amount of content and (comparetively) low amount of reward.

 

Let's hear more people on this topic.

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Interesting SiSL. Are you verifying my observation that healing causes agro reset? And is this the case on first heal of fight, or every heal? I have yet to play with enrage/befriend, since I'm still leveling up from player wipe in november. I would love to hear if the perceived benefit of those skills is actually positive. Most of us deemed them useless in old live and old things are hard to delearn. Before wipe I tried using enrage, but had problems landing the skill and stuff like grav link/hacking seemed to generate a lot more agro.

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Interesting SiSL. Are you verifying my observation that healing causes agro reset? And is this the case on first heal of fight, or every heal? I have yet to play with enrage/befriend, since I'm still leveling up from player wipe in november. I would love to hear if the perceived benefit of those skills is actually positive. Most of us deemed them useless in old live and old things are hard to delearn. Before wipe I tried using enrage, but had problems landing the skill and stuff like grav link/hacking seemed to generate a lot more agro.

 

Am I verifying reset? :)

 

I'm sure of it because it is what happens, this is confirmed info from developers, this is how it works and how it is intended with shields of healer is good as tank setup, not classic DnD.

 

This is for every heal. Even smalles Befriend works like charm after. Let's see my TT fighting against L55 RD's, without any damage of me, they are green to me, with heal they are blinking red, with befriend after they are green again (since I'm not only one mobs are fighting). Easy to test... And it is also adviced method to healers on every chance at Developer chats.

 

Most deemed useless because people does not see their benefits in solo game play and claim(!) they are useless or not worth the skill points.

 

 

PS: About landing skills, it is same as any other landing, CL of mob vs. CL of player always effects chance to land it, also Psionic resistance of mobs play its role on this.

 

PS2: And people need to realise resist items are better to place on slots than increase warp speed items when they start combat. They are much cruicial than anything on defense  ;)

Edited by SiSL

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Thanks for verifying that for me. I'm still stuck in the way I think in the holy trinity paradigm mmo's, and I have a difficulty adjusting. So there's a whole slew of things going on agro wise and then there's the healing spell that wipes the stuff completely clean. Seems like such an odd and clumsy mechanic. I can see it's an easy way to create a little challenge, at least for the healer.

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The problem with using Befriend is that of the 3 healer classes (TT, JT, PP), only the TT has it.

I remember Magoo said that of the 3 classes the TT heal is less desirable since the TT does not have the necessary energy to do it continously compared to the other 2 healer classes, due to their superior Reactor management skills. (That was before the heal-aggro change, mind you).

 

May be that is balanced, (TT has befriend and HullPatch, but lack reactor-friendly skills), but IMHO, the issue of Aggro-table-reset-on-heal should be revisited.  Yes I observe that behavior too, especially I see my JT died too often when I use him as a healer (weak shield et al, since they are all trader types, and emphasis was placed on build skills).

 

I remember the devs said the healers ought to use single-target heal instead of area-heal, and that makes sense, except that my JT/TT/PP don't have area heal yet, and yet, the aggro switch to them immediately after a heal, regardless of how small the heal he made.  I believe that support SiSL's claim that the aggro table resets on heal, since a small heal (lv5 recharge shield) should no way be larger than the aggro made by the TE/PW over time (lv7 ML/lv6 PL).

 

I no longer take the JT to group hunt, because he dies too easily, doing the very role he is asked to perform in the group hunt.

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The problem with using Befriend is that of the 3 healer classes (TT, JT, PP), only the TT has it.

I remember Magoo said that of the 3 classes the TT heal is less desirable since the TT does not have the necessary energy to do it continously compared to the other 2 healer classes, due to their superior Reactor management skills. (That was before the heal-aggro change, mind you).

 

May be that is balanced, (TT has befriend and HullPatch, but lack reactor-friendly skills), but IMHO, the issue of Aggro-table-reset-on-heal should be revisited.  Yes I observe that behavior too, especially I see my JT died too often when I use him as a healer (weak shield et al, since they are all trader types, and emphasis was placed on build skills).

 

I remember the devs said the healers ought to use single-target heal instead of area-heal, and that makes sense, except that my JT/TT/PP don't have area heal yet, and yet, the aggro switch to them immediately after a heal, regardless of how small the heal he made. 

 

I no longer take the JT to group hunt, because he dies too easily, doing the very role he is asked to perform in the group hunt.

 

I pretty much agree with this.  I think that the TT should do the lion's share of the healing.  IMO the JT and PT should be secondary healers, but each should bring other utilities, in addition to Recharge Sheilds, unique to themselves.  The PT does have the ability to put out more firepower than the other Traders, but I don't think that the JT's reactor buffs are enough, by themselves to get her to where she needs to be.  I proposed, a while back, a device effect called dispel, to remove debuffs as something to add exclusively to the JT. 

 

I think that it's necessary for the JT, and to the Scout as well, as to have additional unique utility.  Utility that's not covered by the original 6 classes, in ways that are new, unique to their respective classes, and useful in a new and needed way.  IMO that's where all 3 of the new classes fall short, though the PT having good DPS for a non-warrior, helps there.   JE works well as a utility class, despite his poor shields and weak weapons.  Scouts and JTs need to be as versatile as the JE, in terms of unique things brought to the table, while not taking away the viability of any of the original 6 classes.

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Mobs must think JE's aren't worth the time to kill in a group. For me, I rarely get attacked when using jumpstart, E shield on someone, debuffing a mob, using fold space on a mob, or using shield leech in a group. Maybe I'm just lucky.

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That's because JE don't heal LOL. The point of this thread is that the recent change in healing has made life miserable for healers.

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That's because JE don't heal LOL. The point of this thread is that the recent change in healing has made life miserable for healers.

 

I very much doubt that...

 

What recent change has done that you can not heal untargeted full area outside of the group where you can be safe and sound (in a way exploitation) if that has made life miserable, I don't know what kind of life expectation do those have... 

 

 

And your post above, yes if healer used "Single target heal", it is easier for others to grab aggro than a massive group heal after full reset. Beside it is waste of precious reactor to spam heal to entire group including most that does not need to be healed unless AoE hit of mobs. 

 

Did some additional tests before server crash, A mid-level Enrage grabs aggro almost instantly if it is not resisted after heal...

 

May be Enrage initiation time might require some tuning to be faster. I can not quite be sure if Enrage also forces mob directly to face enrager regardless of aggro-meter like in live or grab the aggro by additional hate adding though, may need some clearance on this...

 

My suggestion about enrage is:

 

- Forcing mob / player to directly target Enrager for certain period of time (like 5-10 seconds max) THEN look for then one on top of aggro list, (that is how I remember from live and correct me please if I'm wrong)

 

- A shorter initiation time will be nice

 

- It will be nice if what description says actually work (can not really test like weapon accuracy of mob/player without a dev tool)

 

PS to Healers: Don't ever heal your tanks if they are whiny kids to see their shield at 100% ALL-THE-TIME... 

Edited by SiSL

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This may work in a solo mob environment, however there is no way to use a single target heal on a tank in a raid. The damage output of the mobs will kill the tank before you can blink an eye, compared to the level of repair of area heals.

 

Enrage is also a joke in a raid setting, most raiders have prolly CF'd it to oblivion already.

 

Befriend is also useless. A heal agro's anything close by, if you take the time to befriend each agro'd mob, your tank is dead before you can cast another heal. rinse repeat.

 

I have just gotten used to sleeping off debt by playing an alt. Just the way it is.

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This may work in a solo mob environment, however there is no way to use a single target heal on a tank in a raid. The damage output of the mobs will kill the tank before you can blink an eye, compared to the level of repair of area heals. Single target heal should be as much as higher as area heal does on a single target if skill is also ranked up. No word on that.

 

Enrage is also a joke in a raid setting, most raiders have prolly CF'd it to oblivion already. And noone thought of reporting its bug or suggested how it is intended to work?

 

Befriend is also useless. A heal agro's anything close by, if you take the time to befriend each agro'd mob, your tank is dead before you can cast another heal. rinse repeat. You know befriend also is AoE on higher level, right?

 

I have just gotten used to sleeping off debt by playing an alt. Just the way it is.

 

Red is nice... As it still comes to players gives more priority on their solo skills like Shield Nova etc. to put SP's than raid setup. 

Edited by SiSL

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Reset aggro list on EVERY heal isn't fair in raids i think.. Sorry reset is hard and after i been slapped many times in FB and on Troller/GoBB i understand now why... 

 

Sorry but i dont think this system works out.. i tried with myTE/TS/TT team in Antares (Yes my TE has maxed Enrage call me a fool but i tried to use it) and after every heal i fired off the enrage on cl 55 mobs the chance on miss is ok but on a cl 66 Raid boss a Warrior class would have to SPAM Enrage my TE doesnt have nuff energy for that kinda aggro work. Maybe a PW has nuff Reactor power to regain aggro on raidmobs over a time lets say 10 mins a TE does not..

 

Befriend... yeah i testes lvl1 at starting and found it useless since every heal i had aggro... again there is the lvl8 reactor energy problem... 10mins heal off in a raid and fire befriend after every heal?? 

If Main tank is not in my group i have to seek for maintank heal his hull (dont have energy to waste on shields since i need it for befriend) target Boss fire befriend/target MT/target Boss.....missed boss /or button for befriend/laaaag .. call a JS.. what a pain...

 

Cant we get a DMG done /healing applied aggro 1/1 Balance or what ever Value is ok by Devs i dont think spamming heal without getting targeted should be allowed but last time i was on Troller i healed my PW MT and could count 3/2/1 for the next JS. My TT runs a l9 Prototype shield and was fully shield charged/Rally was up but i dont have Ivory/Tolerance yet. I dont think Ivory/Tolerance would have saved me since when i gained aggro i DIED.... not that i saw a hit straight into my hull.. i symply DIED 

The Healers in that raid shield and Hull healers took a bad beating every heal and thas far away from fun as i see it.

 

Dont get me wrong i played Healers in other MMO's and i played a TT in old live. Overaggroing and mass heal spamming is the best way to get a beating but chance to Die on every heal is to hard in a raid i think..

Edited by Aru

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