PvE DPS Balance Initiative: Scaling and Midrange

Discussion in 'War Room (Powers, Artifacts, & Builds)' started by Sore, Aug 31, 2015.

  1. Black Jaq Devoted Player

    I am a bit of a purist. I thought the whole point of testing was AM balance. SC (except for a few) RS, supply drops and trinkets are all extras outside the AM. I have an Electricity loadout that uses both a SC and RS. If I am able to activate my AM with 4 powers and someone else applying PI, why should my AM damage be penalized because I can use both.
    • Like x 1
  2. L T Devoted Player

    I vote Yay.

    I understand that it complicates your record keeping, but I think it's more fair since a lot of people actually run with it.
  3. Sore Steadfast Player

    I guess I'm a bit biased as a Nature player. I have an AM that requires all 6 load out slots to be occupied to be able to hit the balance targets. Should my AM be given an extra 0.6K DPS because of it? Or should 4-5 slot powersets just get that free damage. Let's say we pick 30K as the melee baseline for live tests. That 0.6K is 2% of that baseline. If we are trying to get within +/- 5% and Nature starts at 97%, is it fair that Fire is at 104% in these tests but then gets a free 2% more (taking it effectively up to 106%) but I don't get that same 2%?
    • Like x 6
  4. Black Jaq Devoted Player

    I think that should definitely be taken into consideration with the baseline. Electricity technically uses all of its slots too. The greater problem with Electricity is having enough PP to get everything and create a usable loadout.
    • Like x 2
  5. ChillCat Loyal Player

    I vote no for Sidekick for a few reasons...

    1. Sidekick is power agnostic, so whatever dmg it provides is outside of a powers-specific effectivenesd It's just an extra pewpewpew.

    2. Sidekick does not contribute any ancillary benefits like Dazing or Crushing for Earth, as an example

    3. The primary focus here is balance of powers not maximization of loadout. I don't see those two things as the same. Technically, I could create a whole loadout (and I have) with just iconic and movement dmg powers, which doesn't help this effort at all.
    • Like x 7
  6. Mighty Committed Player

    RSK should be factored in. It's a variable. Some powersets don't allow for that free power point or slot in the loadout. It's analogous to, say, comparing celestial vs. nature and debating on whether or not to account for weapon damage. With one power there's no room for weapon damage, with the other there is. Same goes for the bot.
  7. ChillCat Loyal Player

    Little more context to that 3rd point. If a particular powerset needs Sidekick to stay on par with the dmg output of other powersets, that really speaks to the inadequacy of the powerset and not a problem with Sidekick's legitimacy. If you decide to factor Sidekick in, you'd have to factor into ALL powersets as an optional build and we'd have to re-test all poweresets with Sidekick included for consistency. I believe that would create more work and take more time than the value of what Sidekick provides.
    • Like x 2
  8. pitbullb3 Devoted Player

    The balance should have power type loadout only
    • Like x 1
  9. Remander Steadfast Player

    I'll throw this out to chew on. Should we be testing with Gag Glove for Earth, since it hits harder than the burst abilities from the powerset, and it still sets up Dazed? If we do that, are we really balancing the powerset?

    I think RS should be left out, just like SCs, Trinkets, Seasonal Pets, and all the extra goodies like that. If it's possible to create a viable loadout with abilities outside the powerset, then fine. If there are empty slots in a viable powerset loadout that allow for something like RS, then fine. If the argument use that some powersets can do that, but not others, I think the conversation should be about the powerset differences. I think that balancing a powerset around damage that's done with abilities outside the powerset isn't the right approach.
    • Like x 7
  10. Remander Steadfast Player

    Here's another consideration. In using RS, you're introducing a damage variable that doesn't scale with range or from TT to LT. That means the percentage DPS it accounts for will change with scenario. That's only going to muck up balancing efforts.


    Relative DPS contributions of RS (assumes static 600 DPS) for Ice using the numbers on Page 1:

    TT Melee = 2.96% of DPS
    LT Melee = 1.91% of DPS
    TT Range = 4.19% of DPS
    LT Range = 2.99% of DPS
  11. Mighty Committed Player

    I actually think SC's should be factored in at some stage of the process. Cursed idol is a great example of a supercharge that fits very well with its power and AM and can be used frequently. Compare that to, say mental, which has really awful SC options. If you balance mental against celestial on pure AM baseline, then balance the scaling and account for range variations, celestial will ultimately pull away on live based on its clearly superior SC option. Or use HL as an example, to pop its one decent offensive SC requires you completely restart your AM just for the sake of using a power that you won't even be optimally specced for based on the might/precision split. Hell, I'd hazard a guess that with the recent buffs to the constructs, strafing run is a DPS loss for HL.

    I also think SC and RSK balance is different than trinket balancing. For SC or RSK you're burning at least one power point for either, as well as hotbar spots. Some powers (ice is a poster child for this argument) can do this seemlessly. When I ran ice DPS in the past SM I was able to spec both a SC and RSK and have enough to optimize my AM damage. When I ran celestial DPS in the SM prior to that, I didn't have that luxury because of spec restrictions.

    Celestial and HL especially need this kind of stuff to enter the conversation. Both are power-point expensive powers, with celestial going the extra mile of being hotbar-crowded.
  12. Sore Steadfast Player

    I think supercharges, consummables, and trinkets are variables people use during live play but are not easily controlled. Players will use them in vastly different ways in tests and we'll have inconsistent results and tests that take a long time to setup. I think the difference with Robot Sidekick is that it is easily controlled and we know players will use it on the live server. My preference is that this initiative accounts for what players will actually be doing. So if the best Earth loadout is with Gag Glove, we test with Gag Glove. Personally, I'd rather have practical results that translate directly to player perception of balance. I feel if we don't include the things players have access to, our results will become academic. The powersets will get balanced in theory but not in practice. I think having a disconnect between theory and practice is why this initiative started in the first place.
  13. Remander Steadfast Player

    Should we then balance on burst time? Some powersets do damage in chunks, rather than steadily over time? How about powersets that use weapon attacks? Should we balance for different weapon attacks? How about for full SC vs not, as some weapons do more damage with full SC? What about trinkets and supply drops? How about WM combos? Hey, where's WM in this whole balancing? See where I'm going? You can take this out to a ridiculous extent.

    The fact is that this is an attempt to balance powerset AMs, not the whole friggin game. Sorry, buddy, I still vote no to RS. For a more logical reason, see my second post on the topic. ;)
    • Like x 2
  14. Remander Steadfast Player

    Are we balancing the powerset AMs? Or are we trying to balance the whole game?
    • Like x 1
  15. Sage-Rapha Steadfast Player


    Hopefully AM's get balanced out.

    RiP supercharges
  16. Superskull85 Devoted Player

    The problem this viewpoint is that there really isn't a design approach you can take with Light and force it to use 6 slots of its own unique traits without using a Supercharge. Then you have Munitions with its Supercharges extending its damage buff Bullet Frenzy. Rage's Berserk benefiting from its Advanced Mechanic damage and Vindictive which could help Rage stay in melee potentially longer at key points in a fight. At the same time Quantum's Supercharge Temporal Vortex is intended to help Time Bomb out directly. Also a rare case but Gadgets can use Bunker Buster in a Stealth clip if they wanted to. There is no downtime in Advanced Mechanic damage for them to activate it. Celestial can easily clip in Cursed Idol as well much like Gadgets could.

    Regarding trinkets powersets like Nature, Electricity, Earth and Sorcery have it the easiest out of all powersets to activate trinkets because all of them have a way to clip weapon attacks relatively frequently. Gadgets, Mental and Quantum can typically clip (if they are fast) at any point during their rotation. Celestial and Rage have some flexibility but nothing near the others. Fire, Ice and Munitions are at a disadvantage here and only able to safely clip every 12 seconds or so. Light is basically not using trinkets unless they mess up/something stops them.

    Note: This is a very general view. No specific oddities are explained in either case.

    You can rule out Robot Sidekick because only a small portion of the powersets could make effective use of it. However you really can't excuse trinket and Supercharges. You may see a Robot Sidekick used by an actual player. You will see a Supercharge/trinket used by an actual player if they can make effective use out of it. Thus if you want to figure out the true potential of a powerset (ie a live test) you're going to want to factor in anything that significantly helps that powerset out.

    That is not to say ALL players will make use of them but then again I doubt many players would be able to consistently live up to the performance of even a Tunso Test.

    (I don't comment much about this and this will probably be my only comment but I wanted to post because trinkets especially help out a lot and if you will not include them you won't find "true balance." Same goes for Supercharges used by particular powersets.)
    • Like x 2
  17. Mighty Committed Player

    My friend, I think this is chasing a slippery slope. At the very least, RSK should be factored in. Echoing Sore, if someone's going to use it in an optimal live build, it should be factored in. I think the powersets that require their whole hotbar deserve this specific variable to be accounted for here.

    At some point, I strongly urge considering SCs in the balance picture because that's also a pretty easy variable to test and account for. Example, if you run a loadout with a SC you build a full super (because any DPS worth his or her salt walks into a raid with a full super). Pop your SC and go into your rotation. When another SC is built, and it's the appropriate time in a respective AM rotation to pop it, you fire it off. For example, with celestial in the FoS SM, I'd go full SC and then run five cursed idols back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back with Dark Pact up and my AM running in the background. You know how great that SC is, especially with a 45% might buff running, you can't deny that me running five straight cursed idols is not going to raise serious balance issues if the baseline celestial AM gets balanced against a power like mental which won't be using a SC at all.
  18. Superskull85 Devoted Player

    And if a Supercharge factors into a powersets Advanced Mechanic, doesn't interrupt their Advanced Mechanic or directly benefits from their Advanced Mechanic? Sure balance just Advanced Mechanics but ultimately the player base looks at pure damage potential of a powerset. If they aren't happy with damage now why would they be happy when damage is still lopsided because Supercharges, trinkets and Iconics were not taken into account?

    Say "Pure Advanced Mechanics" (see above) are balanced now what if the player base still flocks to a particular powerset because of the Pure Advanced Mechanic + others = overall better damage? Will the Advanced Mechanic damage be messed with to account for those tools then? If so why not deal with the obvious damage increase now to prevent another round of passes?

    If you really want to truly balance Advanced Mechanics you can't just ignore obvious damage increases (even when some of them are intended to be used with that Advanced Mechanic).
    • Like x 1
  19. Remander Steadfast Player

    You guys opened this Pandora's Box. Have fun with it.
    • Like x 2
  20. L T Devoted Player

    After reading the responses, Remander's in particular, I'm ready to change my vote to a Nay.

    I still think that Robot Sidekick will have to be considered at some point, but there are a whole bunch of things that aren't being considered for this stage. Perhaps it's better to keep it simple for now. That may mean that Nature and Electric need an extra boost in the next phase of testing, but we already knew that the plan was to look at DOT vs Burst in a later phase.

    Since this phase is supposed to be about scaling from Tunso-style unmodded to fully buffed, I think we should just focus on the scaling factor for now. In particular, are we reasonably confident that once balanced at this point, the powers will continue to scale together? I don't want a particular power set to be nerfed only to have it underperform at cr140. Or the opposite.

    EDIT: and yes, I think all the supercharges should be looked at at some point as well. But not at this point.
    • Like x 4