GU73: Overall Damage Balance

Discussion in 'Testing Feedback' started by Mighty, Jul 18, 2017.

  1. Mighty Committed Player


    Thanks for stopping by to talk damage. This chart represents many, many weekends of testing over the course of the revamp. What CrappyHeals and I have attempted to do here is assess the general balance between the different powersets and play styles currently presented on test. We hope that this data will help bring around some final touches to the damage role that bring the powersets better in-line with each other. We think we're close to balance, and perhaps closer than the game has ever been before, but there are still outliers on damage potential and power consumption that we feel need to be addressed for GU73 to be successful.

    METHODS: What we did
    Crappy and I ran five minutes of mistake-free 30-second parses, then averaged the DPS output for the chart. For the precision/WE builds, we played like a hybrid -- stacking passive damage and clipping weapon attacks with bursts and short DOTs. On powersets that we didn't know as well, we reached out to friends and peers for advice. By no way do we think we're the best with every powerset, but we feel confident that most of these numbers are pretty close to a power's top DPS potential on test. All tests were conducted on the three league hall sparring targets.

    Crappy started with precision specs, and I started with pftt specs and we mostly worked the same powers at the same time so that we could bounce ideas off each other. For our specs we used 201 CR special forces gear, all special forces DPS mods (might or precision depending on the focus) in our gear and our generators. Kuro provided two macro'd trolls in his league hall to give us a two-troll power pool. After completing our respective focuses, we swapped and tested each other's numbers to ensure we could replicate them.

    BACKGROUND: Why this matters to us
    Crappy and I have both mained DPS role since before GU36 set up the Weapon Mastery and AM era of DCUO. Crappy's favorite power is nature, mine is light, although we have both enjoyed playing most all of the other powers in our time with DCUO. The WM/AM era brought with it, however, severe imbalances in DPS potential, countless revamp cycles, power creep, and a general lowering of the skill ceiling to DPS which Crappy and I were not in favor of.

    Additionally, Crappy and I both found ourselves at times torn between playing the powers we love, and playing powers that simply performed better in elite content and Survival Mode. We feel strongly that this shouldn't be the case.

    When reading the chart above it's important to note several things:
    • First - Earth's Crystal and Mental's terror tendrils are broken and do too much damage. Their numbers were not computed for the damage averages. The pftt ranged mental parse was achieved by simply clipping solar flare HB attacks with terror tendrils and menace, at full range.
    • Second - Electric and nature are special cases. In the chart above I parsed a 13.1 ranged with nature using a three-dot setup that's not entirely practical in most AOE situations (ads die too fast). Crappy's test utilized a two-dot setup. Additionally electric parses higher when more targets are introduced because tesla ball's and arc lightning's design don't allow them to split the same way that other powers do.
    • Third - You'll notice no WE parses for the combo powers, or munitions. In the last iteration of the revamp (1.7) we spent an afternoon trying to integrate weapon combos with combo powersets and munitions. While weapons port pretty seamlessly to most all powers, combos and munitions are the exception. Lack of passive damage, long combo chains, and clunky inputs (ever notice that like every celestial combo begins with a melee tap?) make it essentially impossible to do comparable weapons damage with a combo based powerset. Absent significant, impractical overhauls to these powers, they need to be considered non-weapon powers for balance purposes, and their Pftt parses need to be balanced with other powers' weapons specs.
    In the next few posts, Crappy will outline his Weapons Expert (WE) build breakdowns, and he'll detail the challenges facing the current paradigm between WE and Power Mastery (PM) specs. Next he'll analyze pet powers and touch on the issues with Crystal. I'll follow with an assessment of power consumption per damage output and the impact on combo powers. Then Crappy will detail a list of bugs and clearly out-of-line abilities and weapon combos we've uncovered, then I'll close with a brief summary and some suggestions on moving forward to a successful GU73 launch.
    • Like x 23
  2. CrappyHeals Devoted Player

    So to start off I think the balance between power vs power using a Hybrid playstayle is pretty darn close (not including combo powers cause they don't play well with weapons). If you look at the chart above even things overall are pretty good. The only things that stick out is Pet damage is a bit high and combo powers are to low with the exception of rage which is in a pretty good spot. As for Pftt some play ok like that but all powers don't and expecting all powers to preform well from the tray is unrealistic in my opinion.

    Weapons for the most part are in a good spot, for example i can use just about any 4 tap hold or equivalent combo length and reach roughly the same numbers. There are a few weapon combos that need adjustment and the WM combos i tried still needed some work but in time i hope we can iron out those wrinkles and i'll also be listing some of the things i think need to be looked at.

    Now i do have some issues regarding Combo's vs Hybrid. The first thing that sticks out is a Combo playstyle can only spec into might and then they hit a wall where a Hybrid player can spec into precision and might and keep progressing and increasing his damage. That in my eyes is a pretty big issue that we now face that combos are only might based.

    Another issue i see balance wise is crit chance white mods for weapon buffs. Now every Hybrid power can use a buff and take advantage of this mod but combo powers are kinda stuck...on one hand sure you can just use the buff for the crit chance from the mod but on the other hand most combo builds struggle with power so they don't have the ability to run the buff just for the white mod. This is defiantly something to think about cause it will affect balance when this goes live.

    Combos are already lacking a bit so it might not be a bad idea to give them a might buff to help them out, that could possibly solve 2 issues with one change....It would bump up the damage output combos powers do and at the same time give them the option to run the crit change white mods. Of corse power costs still need to be adjusted to make this and some combo powers work correctly and be playable.

    Below i'll show a few graphs showing the percentages of weapon to powers as requested by some.

    Fire Hybrid Ranged

    Nature Hybrid Ranged

    Elec Hybrid Range. Now Electric might look a little bit weaker then some other powers but like Mighty's post mentioned the way it works in combat makes up for it. You can't always go 100% by what the parser says you also have to understand how things work in content.


    Next will be melee to give a idea on weapon to might percents.

    Fire Hybrid Melee
    • Like x 19
  3. CrappyHeals Devoted Player

    In this post im gonna touch on Earth and Sorcery's Pets.

    The first discrepancy between the two is Crystal attacks twice every other time you power it where Fury only attacks once per powering. Also i noticed Fortify Golem is a 300 cost but Offering is a 200 cost. Not sure the reasoning behind that. Another thing is Crystal simply does more damage then Fury. On average Fury's big attack hits for 3.4k while Crystal averages 5k-6k depending on what attack she does.

    Pets are still a bit to good in my opinion and I'd really like to see a non pet loadout be just as good or a tiny bit better. Sorcery's Fury isn't as bad as Crystal and i can run a slightly better loadout without the pet but with earth thats not the case. Crystal needs a serious looking at and some powers need to be adjusted in the earth power-set to accommodate a non pet laodout.

    Below are some charts on both the pets, you can clearly see Crystal is much better then Fury.

    Crystal [IMG]

    • Like x 13
  4. Mighty Committed Player

    DAMAGE PER POWER CONSUMPTION: and the problem with combo sets

    This graph borrows the data from the chart in the original post to show the relative DPS balance between the powersets (blue bar) and the corresponding power consumed in the 12-second rotation that generated these DPS averages. We chose to focus specifically on full-ranged specs (i.e. beyond EMP range) because that's the distance most commonly utilized in SM and elite content. Moreover, many of the issues that pop up at full range are replicated at melee distance for the powersets that can melee from the tray (note melee is different than mid-ranged, we feel that fight has been settled definitively). Several conclusions jump out from this graph.
    • Weapon Expert specs are generally more-power friendly setups (not surprisingly) save for some outliers (quantum).
    • Weapon Expert specs yield more damage than all play-from-the-tray Power Master builds save for rage, which performs incredibly well, but at the second-highest power cost in the game. NOTE: light, munitions, atomic and celestial all parsed best from the tray. Other channel powers (ice and fire) parsed best in WE specs, but try as we might, we could not generate decent munitions WE parses because of animation length and casters.
    • Light and atomic consume far too much power for the low damage that they produce. Light in particular has no way of increasing its damage potential without bottoming out on power, an issue that no other powerset or play style faces currently. Light and atomic's damage output was over-nerfed two test updates ago, with no corresponding reduction in power costs. They need to do more damage and the power costs need reduced. For light in particular, a 10% reduction in power costs could be achieved by nerfing ranged construct costs by 20% and leaving tray costs alone. Llight is best-utilized and traditionally most-enjoyed by light veterans in a power-construct clip power-construct rotation. If ranged constructs cost 20% less power, that will translate to a 10% reduction per rotation, bringing it more in-line with rage and making the power useable as DPS in end-game content.
    • Celestial, for the length of its combos and its vulnerability to being soft-interrupted (stuns, knockbacks, etc.) should parse above average. However all Pftt powersets parse below average, save for rage. We feel, for many reasons (stat wall, interrupts, complexity/skill ceiling, lack of passive damage options like pets and DOTs), that combo powers should be among the best-damaging powers on a sparring target, because their numbers will naturally drop when playing content where they can be stunned, interrupted, knocked back, or forced to break combos to block or pick up.
    • Power Mastery/combos/play from the tray generally needs help, some 10-15% damage buff to either combo sets specifically (in addition to power cost reductions for light and atomic), or targeted adjustments (making the buffs increase might damage instead of precision, which is useless to combo powers now) is in order. The main issue with a blanket buff to Power Mastery is rage, which already performs in-line damage-wise with WE builds. A blanket approach would need to also bring damage and preferably power cost reductions to rage's ranged staples (dreadful blast, bombardment) in order to keep it in line.
    • Like x 18
  5. CrappyHeals Devoted Player

    Things i think should be looked at......

    -Staff tap 3x hold 2x, 2 Handed 5 tap, One handed 5 tap, Rifle 5 tap all do to much damage. Don't kill them just a slight decrease and they should be good. Well except Rifle 5 tap thats OP lol.

    -Terror Tendrils, This power is just to good and basically carries mental right now. By standards it should have a 3 second cooldown and do a bit less damage. When the power that applies the pi does more damage then the power that benefits form the pi...... :confused:Mental needs a bit of work but i'll post that feedback in that thread.

    -Stoked Flames. Stoked is a clippable power that applies a dot and cause its clippable you can clip it with say inferno and put 2 dots up but only for the time it takes to do one which is a bit to good. Stoked needs to remain clippable and it needs to apply the burring pi to things for tank stance so i recommend just taking the damage on it way down so its just a tiny double digit tick so it can't be abused for dps purposes.

    -Emp, says it has a 3 second cooldown but its longer then that. The issue might be cause upon use the cooldown hangs up and stays red for a while before it actually starts to cooldown.

    -Electrics Electroburst. This is electrics 300 cost melee ability but for some reason has a 6 second cooldown...? I'd like to see it moved back to a 3 like other melee 300's

    -Earths Earthquake supercharge needs a reduction. A 100% super does roughly 150k damage but Earthquake does about 250k.
    • Like x 14
  6. Mighty Committed Player

    In summary, the damage potential of all powersets is as close as it's been in a long time, and the development team should be commended for their efforts thus far. However some fine-tuning adjustments are still called for to ensure the competitive viability of combo and play from the tray powersets. Relative DPS balance, long scoffed at in this game, is within our reach, we just need to take the last few steps to get us there and finish the great job the devs have done. Significant passive damage advantages exist in pet powers, which upends the overall DPS balance.

    In addition to the general bugs outlined in Crappy's comments above, we strongly suggest the following changes as necessary to achieving relative DPS-role balance across the powers.
    • Grant a 10% buff to might-based damage when specced for Power Mastery. This will boost combo and pftt powers' damage output to keep it in line with the best-available DPS to non-combos.
    • Alter the buffs of combo powersets (atomic, rage, light, and celestial) and munitions to boost might instead of precision. None of these five powers can effectively utilize their buffs because precision-based damage is a DPS loss to them. Moreover, time capsule mods that boost crit chance for buffs are not on test server, and when the current meta goes live, weapons-based play styles and powersets will be at even more of an advantage because they all can utilize these buffs to boost both their precision and their crit chance. In fact, every WE build we tested utilized the precision buffs.
    • Light and atomic need power cost reductions with no reduction in damage in order to bring them in-line with every other powerset's DPS per power cost. In particular, a 20% reduction in ranged construct power costs will help curb light's aggressively out-of-line power consumption.
    We feel confident that adopting these changes will make the damage balance side of this much-anticipated update essentially complete, and will free up resources for finalizing the fine-tuning of support roles, pvp and other issues. We thank you for your constructive discussion on this topic, and we thank and appreciate the developers for their consideration of our findings and suggestions, and their work on this issue.
    • Like x 22
  7. CrappyHeals Devoted Player

    Quick reference on where Hybrid powers are on single target range.
    Note: Gadgets is a toss up cause we couldn't find a rotation we were comfortable with so take that number with a grain of salt for right now.

    In a day or so i'll have data for supercharges and some other power balance related stuff up.
    • Like x 14
  8. Charmed Legacy Dedicated Player

    You guys have worked so hard on this since Friday when the latest update released! You have done an amazing job! I agree with everything stated above and it should definitely be done. One of the points of revamp is to balance DPS so its not a FOTM situation. This shows clearly it'll be the same thing all over again if the appropriate changes aren't made. Again great work guys! Wish I had the Science emote for you 2 right now lol ;)
    • Like x 7
  9. Xibo Loyal Player

    Hybrid Mastery
    League Hall 3 targets
    CR 201
    60 SP on crits
    161 SP on precision






  10. CrappyHeals Devoted Player

    The link to your image is broken......never mind its working now.
    • Like x 1
  11. Xibo Loyal Player


    - Earth is doing 1123/s (12%) DPS more than Sorcery.


    - Could be reduce the power cost from Crystal to 200 and reduce damage accordingly;
    - Could be increase the power cost from Fury to 300 and increase damage accordingly;
    - Could be increase damage from Circle of Destruction;

    OFF: We need a devs response here, the guys are making and nice job.
    • Like x 1
  12. L T Devoted Player

    Thanks for all the work. I've been posting my results in the individual threads, and focusing more on individual abilities, but the results you and Crappy post here more or less mirrors my overall findings.

    About your "Nuances":
    First: I can verify that both of these are out of whack. I've posted about both. Crystal is *so* over performing that I'm actually surprised Earth isn't farther ahead than reported here.

    Second: I'll agree that they're special cases, but not with your conclusions. Electric DOT is weak, and I don't think broken damage splitting should be an excuse for it. Nature with 3 DOTs is very strong, adds aren't dying nearly as fast, and even if they are there's always Roar.

    Third: here, once again, I'm in total agreement. Combos need a little help.
  13. Ala Rebeldex Loyal Player

    • Like x 6
  14. CrappyHeals Devoted Player

    I don't think you see the whole picture with some powers. We pointed these things out specifically to try and help people better understand things so they wouldn't be confused by some numbers or think things were better then others or not good enough. We could have easily not said anything but we want people to truly understand everything we are putting out here.

    Electrics main dot really isn't weak compared to other power-sets, it also has great burst options to rotate at range. Where most powers only have a 300 and a 100 cost burst at range electric has two 300's and two 200's which gives it a good dot and some of the best burst. Not to mention tesla ball is also a good dot and it and arch don't split. I also wouldn't call it broken its just how it works but balances itself out overall. So while it might not look all to hot on the parser in content its a totally different story.

    Now for nature if your standing at the training dummies 3 dots can look good but in real content putting 3 dots on adds and doing well will never happen even with roar. Also using 3 dots and roar leaves you with no super and either no buff or no burst that keeps your dots going which will also tank your dps. While other powers drop a pi and start going to town with burst your gonna spend 4 powers with nature putting 3 dots up then spreading them with harvest.....ha no way. In those 4 powers none of them do any kind of even remotely good burst damage, one don't even have a initial hit and one is single target, also 2 of the powers leave a single target dot till spread. Thats a very significant damage loss trying to play that way. Max dots you want to put out on adds is 2 and in some cases just one cause of the speed at which things die vs the time it takes you to set up. Then you have to look at nature on single target, with 3 dots it does the damage of every other power but at the cost of having no super and to do just as good as the others you need all 3 dots, buff, voracious and harvest. Sure in a perfect world you can run carnivorous plants and have a super and a 3rd dot but you can only use the super for a dot and have to always have a super as a back up incase you die or your dots drop so you can't even use a super whenever like other powers can.

    Like we always say and keep stressing you can't always go by how things look on the parser or your not going to get the correct results with everything just like what happened in previous updates where setup times and how things actually worked didn't get taken into consideration. You have to understand how thing work and what will give you inflated numbers and whats going to mirror actual in game play. Just like people with these inflated melee numbers at the dummies, just cause smoke bomb looks great at the dummies does not mean its going to work like that once your in a raid. Smoke bomb is such a long combo and your are very prone to getting interrupted before you even get it off. So those high numbers you see at the dummies with smoke bomb don't reflect how smoke bomb actually plays out in content. We've been down this road so many times before about setups and how things actually work I can't believe we still have to go over it nearly every day....ugh
    • Like x 3
  15. Fatal Star 10000 Post Club

    Haven't really had time to read over the whole thread yet, but what I did read so far I commend you guys for the hard work done. Very useful tool in really showing the difference in dps.
    • Like x 1
  16. AnonymousEUPS Dedicated Player

    Leave stoke flames alone, fire needs something to help offset some of the lost DPS from an interruption on those stupid cast times!!! I'd rather get rid of cast time abilities completely... And dummies don't interrupt... Plus, doesn't it only apply a DoT from 'melee' range, like it does on live, or has that changed?
  17. AnonymousEUPS Dedicated Player

    Quoting for Sig... Is fire tanking really that bad on test?

    I'm dreading this revamp as a fire tank. As a player whose main has only been 2 powers in 6 years, I feel my DC days may soon be over if fire doesn't get some long overdue love... Worrying and potentially sad times.
  18. Fatal Star 10000 Post Club

    The sig is from DWF, my loadout was burning determination, stoke flames, immolation, back draft, engulf, and burn out, to give you a better idea so you can picture it. It's biggest thing is it needs more mitigation. That's an issue for 4/5 tank powers though.
    • Like x 1
  19. AnonymousEUPS Dedicated Player

    Ahh ok thanks, slightly less worrying but your tank comparison thread really had me worried first. Watching that health bar is still terrifying though lol.
  20. spack2k Steadfast Player

    the dot applies on mid range ,if they reduce dmg of the dot they need to increase the healing to compensate for it.