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Tank (im)balance


Prog's Avatar


Prog
08.26.2019 , 04:05 PM | #1
So I am not sure if there is another thread about this, but I have a lot of things to express, so might just start another one.

Intro

I am mostly a PvE player who enjoys Master Mode operations, so my thoughts are going to be from the perspective of top tier PvE content. Let's look at current tank balance on the live servers.

How many Powertech tanks have cleared 5/5 of Gods of the Machines Master Mode? What about Juggernauts? I am pretty sure those who did at least one boss feel pretty proud of themselves and their team because it is a rather heroic feat.

The main reason for that being that Assassin have Shroud and Force Speed absorption and other tanks have nothing comparable. These two cooldowns are short and overly strong. They have no RNG and, if applied correctly, reduce the amount of damage taken to an extreme extent. They basically address spikes - large hits with the potential of killing tanks who are not at full health.

The overall design is quite clear - Juggernauts and Powertechs are high armor classes with high base damage reduction, they are meant to handle spikes more passively. Assassins are squishy - they have relatively low armor, and rely on precise use of defensive cooldowns. Tanks with long cooldowns won't have enough abilities to counter the regular spikes, and dealing with these regular spikes is the bare minimum to clear the hardest content.

Sure, Juggernauts also have some spike-proof abilities like Saber Reflect, Endure Pain, Mad Dash, etc. but these are not sufficiently reliable! Blade Blitz involves relocation and is often impossible. Saber Reflect also doesn't help in all situations. Endure Pain is great, but it has a one minute cooldown, while Force Speed is 15 seconds and works on absolutely everything except scripted death.

Powertechs are completely unfit to deal with spikes. Their defensives are mostly RNG (shield/defense) and when it comes to big spikes, RNG can easily fail you: Heat Blast absorb - if you dont shield you die; Oil Slick - if you don't parry you die; Explosive Fuel - if you don't parry/resist you die; Energy Shield - while good itself, if it is on cooldown, you die.

Average damage reduction potential

So I did some calculations that exclude RNG stats like Defense, Resist and Shield. Pure DR, average potential of each tank class, their guaranteed durability for the case when damage is dealt in a linear manner, continuously, not discretely. Why did I exclude those stats? Well, they are RNG and I want to examine the situation of the worst possible luck.

These calculations were done from the PTS in full 306 gear.

Spoiler

So yeah I assume you did something like this before you thought that Spike was good to add. But...

Potential of managing burst damage income

You might think: Hey, without Spike the Assassin will fall so far behind! You would be totally right if only tanks were taking same amount of damage constantly. But it doesn't happen. Damage is delivered in spikes and not constantly. Sometimes it is big damage, sometimes there is no damage. Tanks swap as well. Damage taken is a discrete value. Calculating the variance of each tank's damage reduction would be great, but it is easier for me to write a simulation script. Let us take a look at how big damage reduction each tank can reach for just 1 second and how often it is possible.

Spoiler

This gives an idea of the variance of values, considering that average DR is roughly the same for these classes.

Obviously no sane tank would ever use all cooldowns at once, but the potential still matters. Juggernauts also have Endure Pain, Assassins have Shroud and Stealth out. What do Powertechs have? 1.5 second Translocate cast...eh. Kolto Overload - good, but doesn't help against high burst damage.

Internal/Elemental DR potentials

It is well known that Assassins are well ahead of other tanks on I/E DR. This kind of damage is not dealt in direct tank attacks mostly, but there are obviously many exceptions. Just posting some quick numbers:

Spoiler

Almost double the difference.

Summary

It is very fun to tank when there is some spike damage. It makes you active. I believe all Assassin tanks love timing their Force Speed to the bosses high damage attacks. But why don't you give other tanks something like that? On the average they may look balanced, but Juggernauts and Powertechs just feel obsolete compared to Assassin even on the live server. And the situation is becoming even worse with current state of the PTS.

Of course the classes are different by design. Juggernauts have unique abilities to play with their hitpoints - Endure Pain and Enraged Defense. They can trick death in many ways, not just by not taking damage which seems most obvious.

Powertechs can do their Kolto Overload and some passive healing from AoE damage, but we can see that these do not compare with what the Assassin tanks have.

Avoiding melee/range attacks with Oil Slick or Explosive Fuel is similar to Saber Ward and Deflection on other classes. The Resist part of Explosive Fuel kinda gets in line with Shroud and Endure Pain/Blade Blitz/Saber Reflect, except it's RNG. Energy Shield, Overcharge Saber and Invincible are relatively close potential abilities, and are more or less balanced. However Force Speed and new Spike on Assassins - Powertechs and Juggernauts don't have anything like these tools to handle the situations where healers encounter high pressure and won't be able to heal the tank sufficiently.

Suggestions

So here are a couple of ideas that may not be hard to implement and they won't break any in-game balance. They will improve the experience for the currently underpowered Juggernaut and Powertech tanks.

For Juggernauts:
Spoiler


For Powertechs:
Spoiler


So, what do you say devs? Would you please consider making Juggernaut and Powertech tank depend less on their low shield chance and defense chance and more on some user-input defensive usage? It is really not fun to stick to one class for Gods From The Machine progression, and seeing this happen in next expansion is really disappointing. I promise I won't make any of my friends unsub if you make tank classes fun again

P.S. About Assassins once more, everything is good up to a certain limit. Assassins are interactive enough as it is on live servers. Adding Spike to the active rotation is likely to have this class too complicated and self-centered instead of encounter-centered. A more passive DR buff would be more sensible and satisfying.
Always available on discord: nom#7342

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Restoman's Avatar


Restoman
08.27.2019 , 12:28 PM | #2
Well without a real active mitigation short-cooldown button comparable to Force Speed the pt and jugg tanks are just useless for ops, whatever else compared to sin they bring it is not good enough; seems there were no plans to change it with 6.0 and developers are fine with sin being the only tank worth taking. There is no way that they could possibly not know such an obvious thing about the state of game of course
If it was planned we would already see some propositions on the early stages of pts... a thread with suggestions for active mitigation changes perhaps. Like a tactical that makes Mad Dash immunity last 4 seconds (cause on gcd), roots you in place instead of moving you and reduces its cooldown by 10 seconds... On PT Stealth Scan has a 20 second cooldown, it can get a defensive + damage component and will finally be useful during boss fights, Deadly Onslaught has a 20 second cooldown as well without alacrity.
To sum up ofc the thread is right, If PT/jugg tanks don't get an active mitigation skill, whatever else happens - they will still be pretty much pointless to bring. If they get it - nice, if they don't - well nothing's changed, everyone will just keep playing sins.
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fire-breath's Avatar


fire-breath
08.27.2019 , 03:54 PM | #3
Erhm ...... I think you take the wrong approach here ......

Tanks are not balanced indeed. But what needs to be done is remove the dcd on force speed or nerf it hard.
The ability itself is broken like this and way to strong. You can't balance PvE content based on something like this. I mean ..... 60% on a 12s cooldown???

So yes. Tanks are not balanced. But force speed needs to go .....



Next to that I believe that saber reflect needs to be removed or nerfed (from a dps perspective). Its silly that guardian tanks can almost out dps a dps on EC fire brand and stormcaller.

All in all. If you got 3 classes with 1 class majorly outperforming you bring the 3rd class back in line. You don't go over buff the other 2. That will break gameplay even further.


PS: yes I play shadow tank. In fact, I wanted to switch to vanguard tanking again. But then the silliness called force speed as a defensive cooldown got introduced. As I would be silly to reroll vanguard I stayed shadow.

/rant
Progression raiding toons on the big RED
Macewindy - Sab Slinger since patch 1.2 through ups and downs
PugsloveHP - the 96k HP commando DPS/healer
(4.0 HP, currently updating it to 5.0)

Restoman's Avatar


Restoman
08.28.2019 , 01:10 AM | #4
Not quite right, assassin with force speed is pretty much a perfectly made active mitigation focused tank design similar to wow, but still keeps arguably many abilities. It would be a shame if it was changed, instead I believe all tanks should follow that approach, a meat-shield pt tank is not an engaging gameplay design. And frankly I really doubt this utility has a chance of being removed if it was on the 1st phase of pts.
Jaed - <B a d a s s i t u d e> sales officer
Darth Malgus server
NiM mounts and titles sale runs for credits:
https://goo.gl/LUzMsD

Prog's Avatar


Prog
08.28.2019 , 01:57 AM | #5
Quote: Originally Posted by fire-breath View Post
Tanks are not balanced indeed. But what needs to be done is remove the dcd on force speed or nerf it hard.
The ability itself is broken like this and way to strong. You can't balance PvE content based on something like this. I mean ..... 60% on a 12s cooldown???
Is it really 12s? Maybe my understandings are slightly outdated. Anyways, this active mitigation thing is really something that makes tanking fun. I love it. Maybe Force Speed itself needs a slight redesign to not be so powerful, but personally I would leave it like it is, design top tier content that is impossible to run without smart usage of Force Speed and then give other tanks something like that. It would really make tanking skill threshold high. Not just 'taunt that, keep aggro, use some random dcd when healers tell you, move some targets together, now farm some dps, boi'. Tanking shouldn't be about maximizing dps, tank should be quite busy with his own survival kind of stuff.

Quote: Originally Posted by fire-breath View Post
Next to that I believe that saber reflect needs to be removed or nerfed (from a dps perspective). Its silly that guardian tanks can almost out dps a dps on EC fire brand and stormcaller.
Saber Reflect became a part of this game in 2.0. EC was released in 1.x. The fact that they work together in a weird manner is really worth forgiving. Saber Reflect is great for PvP and for raids that were designed with Saber Reflect in mind - it should provide a place to use it, but not everywhere and not when it will become too overpowered. I genuinely love Saber Reflect, it is a great feat and I would hate to see it go.

Quote: Originally Posted by Restoman View Post
And frankly I really doubt this utility has a chance of being removed if it was on the 1st phase of pts.
Yeah sorry I got back from my vacation not so long ago and couldn't make my deep analysis earlier
Always available on discord: nom#7342

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_Harbinger's Avatar


_Harbinger
08.28.2019 , 11:57 AM | #6
Quote: Originally Posted by fire-breath View Post
remove the dcd on force speed or nerf it hard.
The ability itself is broken like this and way to strong.
Remove entrench, trauma regulators, doubled kolto overload (merc edition), ruthless agressor, force camo. That's strong too.
Quote: Originally Posted by fire-breath View Post
60% on a 12s cooldown???
it is 15sec cooldown with utility (20 without). And it really matters on some pve content. Like if it was 12sec, You'll get it for every pulverize on Bestia, every Thundering blast on Tyrans etc.
Also let me calculatorate some:
You're sin tank and getting spike damage (let it be Hand of Brontes on burn with some stacks, potential hit is 150k kinetic/energy force damage). 258armorings give sintank 43,45% damage reduction + 4% from depredating volts = 47,45% reduction. So if we're unlucky with shield we take 150000*0,5255=78825 damage. And Force speed absorbs 60% which is 47295 damage (31.5%, not 60 exactly). If shield procced, it absorbs even less.
Quote: Originally Posted by fire-breath View Post
saber reflect needs to be removed or nerfed (from a dps perspective).
Exactly, remove reflect from juggs/guardians and give it to sorc or sniper. Or make a second reflect for mercs.
Quote: Originally Posted by fire-breath View Post
Its silly that guardian tanks can almost out dps a dps on EC fire brand and stormcaller.
Will not outdps jugg/merc/operative dps since they have reflect too.

TBH I see that sin tank is overperforming right now, pt is almost useless right now (so rng dependent), jugg way too situational (shines on EC and master&blaster). Hope someday i'll return to jugg tanking but let's see.

Wagerbane's Avatar


Wagerbane
08.28.2019 , 04:26 PM | #7
Quote: Originally Posted by Prog View Post
So I am not sure if there is another thread about this, but I have a lot of things to express, so might just start another one.

Intro

I am mostly a PvE player who enjoys Master Mode operations, so my thoughts are going to be from the perspective of top tier PvE content. Let's look at current tank balance on the live servers.

How many Powertech tanks have cleared 5/5 of Gods of the Machines Master Mode? What about Juggernauts? I am pretty sure those who did at least one boss feel pretty proud of themselves and their team because it is a rather heroic feat.

The main reason for that being that Assassin have Shroud and Force Speed absorption and other tanks have nothing comparable. These two cooldowns are short and overly strong. They have no RNG and, if applied correctly, reduce the amount of damage taken to an extreme extent. They basically address spikes - large hits with the potential of killing tanks who are not at full health.

The overall design is quite clear - Juggernauts and Powertechs are high armor classes with high base damage reduction, they are meant to handle spikes more passively. Assassins are squishy - they have relatively low armor, and rely on precise use of defensive cooldowns. Tanks with long cooldowns won't have enough abilities to counter the regular spikes, and dealing with these regular spikes is the bare minimum to clear the hardest content.

Sure, Juggernauts also have some spike-proof abilities like Saber Reflect, Endure Pain, Mad Dash, etc. but these are not sufficiently reliable! Blade Blitz involves relocation and is often impossible. Saber Reflect also doesn't help in all situations. Endure Pain is great, but it has a one minute cooldown, while Force Speed is 15 seconds and works on absolutely everything except scripted death.

Powertechs are completely unfit to deal with spikes. Their defensives are mostly RNG (shield/defense) and when it comes to big spikes, RNG can easily fail you: Heat Blast absorb - if you dont shield you die; Oil Slick - if you don't parry you die; Explosive Fuel - if you don't parry/resist you die; Energy Shield - while good itself, if it is on cooldown, you die.

Average damage reduction potential

So I did some calculations that exclude RNG stats like Defense, Resist and Shield. Pure DR, average potential of each tank class, their guaranteed durability for the case when damage is dealt in a linear manner, continuously, not discretely. Why did I exclude those stats? Well, they are RNG and I want to examine the situation of the worst possible luck.

These calculations were done from the PTS in full 306 gear.

Spoiler

So yeah I assume you did something like this before you thought that Spike was good to add. But...

Potential of managing burst damage income

You might think: Hey, without Spike the Assassin will fall so far behind! You would be totally right if only tanks were taking same amount of damage constantly. But it doesn't happen. Damage is delivered in spikes and not constantly. Sometimes it is big damage, sometimes there is no damage. Tanks swap as well. Damage taken is a discrete value. Calculating the variance of each tank's damage reduction would be great, but it is easier for me to write a simulation script. Let us take a look at how big damage reduction each tank can reach for just 1 second and how often it is possible.

Spoiler

This gives an idea of the variance of values, considering that average DR is roughly the same for these classes.

Obviously no sane tank would ever use all cooldowns at once, but the potential still matters. Juggernauts also have Endure Pain, Assassins have Shroud and Stealth out. What do Powertechs have? 1.5 second Translocate cast...eh. Kolto Overload - good, but doesn't help against high burst damage.

Internal/Elemental DR potentials

It is well known that Assassins are well ahead of other tanks on I/E DR. This kind of damage is not dealt in direct tank attacks mostly, but there are obviously many exceptions. Just posting some quick numbers:

Spoiler

Almost double the difference.

Summary

It is very fun to tank when there is some spike damage. It makes you active. I believe all Assassin tanks love timing their Force Speed to the bosses high damage attacks. But why don't you give other tanks something like that? On the average they may look balanced, but Juggernauts and Powertechs just feel obsolete compared to Assassin even on the live server. And the situation is becoming even worse with current state of the PTS.

Of course the classes are different by design. Juggernauts have unique abilities to play with their hitpoints - Endure Pain and Enraged Defense. They can trick death in many ways, not just by not taking damage which seems most obvious.

Powertechs can do their Kolto Overload and some passive healing from AoE damage, but we can see that these do not compare with what the Assassin tanks have.

Avoiding melee/range attacks with Oil Slick or Explosive Fuel is similar to Saber Ward and Deflection on other classes. The Resist part of Explosive Fuel kinda gets in line with Shroud and Endure Pain/Blade Blitz/Saber Reflect, except it's RNG. Energy Shield, Overcharge Saber and Invincible are relatively close potential abilities, and are more or less balanced. However Force Speed and new Spike on Assassins - Powertechs and Juggernauts don't have anything like these tools to handle the situations where healers encounter high pressure and won't be able to heal the tank sufficiently.

Suggestions

So here are a couple of ideas that may not be hard to implement and they won't break any in-game balance. They will improve the experience for the currently underpowered Juggernaut and Powertech tanks.

For Juggernauts:
Spoiler


For Powertechs:
Spoiler


So, what do you say devs? Would you please consider making Juggernaut and Powertech tank depend less on their low shield chance and defense chance and more on some user-input defensive usage? It is really not fun to stick to one class for Gods From The Machine progression, and seeing this happen in next expansion is really disappointing. I promise I won't make any of my friends unsub if you make tank classes fun again

P.S. About Assassins once more, everything is good up to a certain limit. Assassins are interactive enough as it is on live servers. Adding Spike to the active rotation is likely to have this class too complicated and self-centered instead of encounter-centered. A more passive DR buff would be more sensible and satisfying.
Sorry, but there never a way for anyone go solo inside the Gods of Machine and master mode is not solo. All advance class characters not strong today and companions lost their modify gear bonus status is why their weak. The game getting close to incompetence advance class characters and companions if remove or prevent abilities. Will not be like Star Wars feeling. How about try use a gear with lower rate or remove your gear. If you win in master mode without any gear and you had a problem. You saying strong advance class and companions needs become incompetence. Hell no!

xSssoulx's Avatar


xSssoulx
08.30.2019 , 01:42 PM | #8
Would like to bring this post back to the front since the points made are very true about tank (im)balances and since there are no changes to "skill trees" and utility points ( yeah 3tiers vs 4tiers and 1extra point but still same things as in past) and looking through set bonuses and tactical for tanks assassins will be even more stronger, juggernauts got few things that helps them, while powertechs got nothing, not even one set bonus for them and tacticals are laughable Hot swap make someone else tank for 6s.

Prog's Avatar


Prog
09.06.2019 , 05:38 AM | #9
Just a small reminder that Juggernaut and Powertech still suck. I am pretty sure this isn't high on your priority list, dear developers, but if you at least agree to the base of this thread, I don't think that implementing the changes I've offered will take a lot of programmer's time. I am a software engineer myself and while I do not know how your game engine is exactly designed, I've observed enough of it to deduct that implementing all of the changes shouldn't take more than 1 day of a skilled developer's time.

Maybe you are hiring more keyboard hands Kappa
Always available on discord: nom#7342

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Benirons's Avatar


Benirons
09.06.2019 , 07:52 AM | #10
Shroud has always been far and beyond the absolute best CD for PVE tanking. Nothing comes even close to compare (saber reflect might be closest, but it does not work on everything force/tech).

A major issue in this game is that all relevant dmg is force/tech and usually internal. So most CDs do jack****, and defence stat is hot garbage (y it doesnt increase force/tech defence chance is beyond me).

Now, enter force speed. When i first saw the legenderay sin perk for force speed, i was absolutely bamboozled. How in gods name did that overpowered perk make it into the game? A 15 sec CD with i think the biggest flat DR? Like ***.

Im not opposed to having a short CD defensive that u need to use at the right moment. It adds a skill element/makes tanking more interesting in terms of being able to actively mitigate more dmg, but since jug and PT have nothing comparable they r severely shafted. Its like a sin tank is fighting with turbo lasers, while jug and PT r swinging wooden sticks, lul.