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PvP vs PvE Balance - The root cause of poor class balance are energy related skills.

 
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9/14/2018 0:51:55   
Goony
Constructive!


In my opinion balance has reached a point of no return. It's been like that since Omega and perhaps for some of Gamma. The core issue relates to Boss/PvE battles. When legendary bosses need to have 20k HP and 18k EP just to make them a challenge then there is a lot wrong with balance and the core skills that some classes now have has led to this situation.

I'll be upfront here and state that my preferred class is Mercenary, always has been and always will be.
Mercenaries do ok at PvP, but they are simply unable to heal loop enough to be able to beat the bosses now. Structurally the mercenary class skills lean towards strength and support.

All classes start with pretty much the same stat point distribution and have 1 common skill. Let's just evaluate that skill for now and look at what the impact of having the same skill across all 6 classes has.
Field Medic:
Skill Details
Improves With: Skill Level
Level 1: 265 Health Points
Level 2: 290 Health Points
Level 3: 315 Health Points
Level 4: 340 Health Points
Level 5: 365 Health Points
Level 6: 390 Health Points
Level 7: 415 Health Points
Level 8: 440 Health Points
Level 9: 465 Health Points
Level 10: 490 Health Points
Level Changes: Improves by 1 Health Point every 0.15 levels above 20.
Weakens by 1 Health Point every 0.15 levels below 20.
Cool Down: 4 Turns
Energy:
150 Energy (+20 per skill level increase)
Level 1: 150 Energy
Level 2: 170 Energy
Level 3: 190 Energy
Level 4: 210 Energy
Level 5: 230 Energy
Level 6: 250 Energy
Level 7: 270 Energy
Level 8: 290 Energy
Level 9: 310 Energy
Level 10: 330 Energy
Stat Required:
16 Technology (+3 per skill level increase)
Level 1: 16 Technology
Level 2: 19 Technology
Level 3: 22 Technology
Level 4: 25 Technology
Level 5: 28 Technology
Level 6: 31 Technology
Level 7: 34 Technology
Level 8: 37 Technology
Level 9: 40 Technology
Level 10: 43 Technology


*These are ED wiki stats, I think the health/energy stats are correct, but the others are wrong. Also can't find any info on core stat point increases per level for health and energy.
Mercenary Base Stats > Level 40 stats
Health: 550 > 750 so increases 5 points per level
Energy: 540 > 600 so increases 1.5 points per level

Strength: 23 > 18
Dexterity: 19 > 22
Technology: 18 > 19
Support: 20 > 21


So looking at Field medic in isolation the Wiki states that:
Level Changes: Improves by 1 Health Point every 0.15 levels above 20.
Weakens by 1 Health Point every 0.15 levels below 20
.
At character level 40/field medic level 1 the heal is 265+(20*0.15)=268 That's obviously incorrect data because at level 40 the heal is 398, so 398-265 = 133/20 =6.68 per level...
It's going to be hard work to discuss balance when the community doesn't have the time or desire to update the base stats function of the classes.

I'll just use what is there is on the wiki or on my level 40 character for the sake of trying to explain some of the flaws in balance.

Level 20 (wiki stats) 265/150=1.77 health per energy point at level 1 Field Medic
At level 40 398/150= 2.65 health per energy point at level 1 Field Medic
At level 40 423/170= 2.48 health per energy point at level 2 Field Medic
At level 40 448/190= 2.38 health per energy point at level 3 Field Medic
up to
At level 40 623/330= 1.89 health per energy point at level 10 Field Medic

Like most skills there is a diminishing return for the invested skill points. The rationale, I believe, is to negate skill stacking.

And I get to this point and remember why it is so hard to discuss balance. Sorry if the stats or calculations I have used are wrong!

Now every class has the same health gains from field medic, but not every class has the same ability to regenerate energy... Lemme think, there must be a reason why some classes need to be able to regen energy more that others... It's the reason why Rabblefroth introduced energy regen to Mercs... There must be a reason???

It's because the stats improve damage output more for melee, guns, auxes and bots across the different classes... Nope, that's wrong... All stat points increase each class the same!
Maybe it's because they need to use their core skills more because they have weaker skills... Hmmm, wrong again... In fact some classes that can regen more energy have the best damage output per energy point.
It could be that the energy regen was made higher for some classes because some other classes can remove or steal more energy than others... Wait, I think I'm onto something here...
Why can some classes gain rage from stealing/regen... Oh yeah rage... totally broken, that's another topic altogether... move on....
Some classes need an unblockable energy regen option because it's hard for those classes to invest in dexterity... That

That's something to think about, but why do we need to have so many variations of energy regeneration and/or stealing. Oh yeah... Boss fights, we need players to either grind or buy varium so that they are obliged to class change in order to defeat bosses now. Hmm, why don't bosses steal energy... Nah, joking that would break the game. Wait the game is already broken, players voted with their feet and left the game in high numbers. Maybe that's why the current mods/testers just troll people ingame when they enquire about balance.

If you want to fix balance, start with the basic skill trees and make them unique per class. Then reduce this reliance on heal looping to beat bosses. TBH the best thing would be a static energy pool for each class that improved on a per stat point invested basis for each individual class. Get rid of energy regen/stealing skills and maybe have some form of effective skill that like field medic that is the same for each class to regain energy.

Remember skill point investment is important in this conversation as the distribution is what creates diversity. Where did I put that too hard basket again?

That's ok thou, because a lot of players will return or start playing since there are new weapons and achivements :/

Epic  Post #: 1
9/14/2018 1:57:26   
  WhiteTiger

Majestic Feline of AQ3D & ED


I'd just like to point out that you did the calculation incorrectly.

"Improves by 1 Health Point every 0.15 levels above 20."
That means for every 15% of 1 level you have above 20, Field Medic improves by 1 Health Point. What you're doing is for every 1 level you have about 20, Field Medic improves by 0.15 Health Points.

The actual calculation for Level 1 Field Medic at level 40 is 265 + (20 / 0.15) = 398.

All of the information we have for skills came directly from Nightwraith pulling the data from the game, so we can guarantee it's 100% accurate as of August 21st, the date he gave me the info. You can use your own judgement whether or not we made the correct assumptions on what changed based on any balance changes after that date.
AQW Epic  Post #: 2
9/14/2018 2:14:41   
Goony
Constructive!


Thanks for clearing that up WhiteTiger, but the calculation statement is confusing. Always good to see that AE staff is quick to pick holes in a discussion, I mean statement because no one will reply from AE about the actual balance issues.

i.e.
Zeus/The PuppeteerToday at 11:26 AM
@everyone Don't forget everyone, if you have thoughts you would like to be seen in balance, feel free to post on ED Forums. We look at the posts daily and see if they are able to be implemented without breaking such classes or ideas. Good luck and battle on peeps!

We look at the post, but won't ever actually use the forums for a discussion, because we might get misinterpreted... But, we'll go out of our way to point out any mistakes you make.
Epic  Post #: 3
9/14/2018 2:51:17   
  WhiteTiger

Majestic Feline of AQ3D & ED


I thought the statement was pretty clear, how would you suggest rewriting it to make it more clear?

I make an effort to address any post that mentions the wiki because that's my domain of expertise. I don't engage in balance discussions because I don't know enough about balance to make any meaningful contributions. Teufel/DaBombExpert and Nightwraith read the forums for suggestions and balance.
AQW Epic  Post #: 4
9/14/2018 3:18:31   
Goony
Constructive!


"Improves by 1 Health Point every 0.15 levels above 20."

To me that reads for every 6 levels above 20 you get 1 health point, the every could be changed to per. But, I can now see how I got it wrong

Should read:
"Increases health by 6.67 per level above 20"
Epic  Post #: 5
9/14/2018 3:26:02   
  WhiteTiger

Majestic Feline of AQ3D & ED


I'll update it to "per". Changing it to the other way you suggested would require editing of a lot more pages and further calculations on our end, which is another touchpoint for inaccuracies, so I'd rather keep it how the game has it.
AQW Epic  Post #: 6
9/14/2018 10:24:43   
.Lord Ginger.
Member

Preferably remove all these energy generation moves instead and bring back passives into the game.

If youíre going to keep BH energy drain trash, BM energy drain garbage, and keep merc static, battery, static charge so high giving back in energy, I donít see the point in keeping all these energy regeneration moves because people are gonna complain til they say all the moves are balanced in their own way, which probably wonít happen, ever.

Having passives made it a whole lot easier because we didnít have to worry about these energy draining skills.

Now we are worried about literal infinite heel looping because you can do that now against some builds.

Passives would be a great solution.

It is also especially hard to make focus TM good without making Caster TM broken thanks to past balance changes.

Iíve already specified how medic needs a buff

Classes back in Gmma still had medic as an overlapping skill, the 3 new classes hit that (obviously), but I would say the game was more balanced in Delta/Early Omega when we had passives.

To be completely honest, balance wonít be fixed until we get a dedicated team of balancers and testers who are good at their job, as well as someone who can code quicker and better.

Now NW is trying, but itís just not enough.

You can talk about energy moves all day but that wonít change the fact that focus TM is going to best extremely bad against strength without any other fixes

< Message edited by .Lord Ginger. -- 9/14/2018 11:01:50 >
AQW Epic  Post #: 7
9/14/2018 12:25:33   
8x
Member

quote:

Thanks for clearing that up WhiteTiger, but the calculation statement is confusing. Always good to see that AE staff is quick to pick holes in a discussion, I mean statement because no one will reply from AE about the actual balance issues.

i.e.
Zeus/The PuppeteerToday at 11:26 AM
@everyone Don't forget everyone, if you have thoughts you would like to be seen in balance, feel free to post on ED Forums. We look at the posts daily and see if they are able to be implemented without breaking such classes or ideas. Good luck and battle on peeps!

We look at the post, but won't ever actually use the forums for a discussion, because we might get misinterpreted... But, we'll go out of our way to point out any mistakes you make.

Wait, what?? You made a claim that the wiki is incorrect, someone from the wiki corrected you. If it was me seeing this post before WhiteTiger did, I would have been the one to point out your mistake. Your post makes it seem like WT is a puppet of AE and only here to oppress you, which is not the case.

I just felt, I needed to address this. I don't have any desire to discuss balance, so I'm out.
Epic  Post #: 8
9/14/2018 17:01:14   
Goony
Constructive!


And here we go again, the friendly forums... Just a plain and simple domination by AE puppets puffing out their chests and leading the discussion into negative territory yet again. Take a good look at these forums and you'll realise why most players have a poor attitude about using them.

Yep, I am not writing in a very healthy or friendly way either, but that comes from years of watching players spend time writing ideas and suggestions just to see them go to waste or get nit picked apart by over zealous staff who have no ideas to bring to the table themselves.
If you don't want to discuss balance here with the community, that's fine get out we don't need you here derailing the discussions with your petty comments. If you actually took the time to read my original post (it's not edited) I had already apologised if I had used the Wiki information incorrectly.

@ Lord Ginger, I agree about the removal of energy regeneration/stealing skills, but not bringing back passives. The skill tree revamp is something that was needed a long,long time ago, was always part of the overall plan and yet is still not a high priority!

Back in Beta we had 2 slots for a health or energy booster, it was simple. I'd just like to see it being field medic and battery backup as common skills for all classes. This creates a standardised basis point to start re-balancing the game. The skill trees can then be more about offensive/tactical skills and additionally having cores to add the variety to gameplay.

There are some massive posts about the skill trees from years ago. Very detailed with specific skills for each new class and in addition to that there are core suggestion threads. My suggestion for balance is that some of these existing suggestions are actually used!
Epic  Post #: 9
9/14/2018 17:11:31   
.Lord Ginger.
Member

Classes without debuffs will be at a serious disadvantage seeing how strong debuffs are right now.

Mercenary and Tactical Hybrid/Mineral Armor helped keep these balanced.

So did blood mage Blood Lust and Deadly Aim to keep it even with Smoke, and it intimidate.

So I'd say passives are a good thing for sure, especially with class identify. Having certain skills like the armors for mercenary, blood lust, reroute were really nice to have skills to have, now they're just another buff or an energy move which is annoying.

Game can't be re balanced over 6 classe like this anytime soon.

Would be best to start over with like 6 skills and 3 classes so they can balance as they go, to be completely honest with you.

As someone who has played the game a lot during the passive -> active change, I can say that a lot of classes are extremely similar.
Take for instance a focus build - Robot, Aux, Heal, take energy, repeat and occasionally do another skill that is just for the class but I mean seriously, hardly anything.

< Message edited by .Lord Ginger. -- 9/14/2018 17:22:21 >
AQW Epic  Post #: 10
9/14/2018 17:43:30   
Goony
Constructive!


As a merc, the hybrid/mineral armor was in no way equivalent to re-route or bloodlust. Basically it was a free rage gain mechanism for your opponent and can be easily bypassed due to crits or rage, whereas the other passives were more effective on crit or rage... Sorry not a fan of passives in their original design, most of the time players just maxed these out and used them as a crutch.

The issue is the skill tree revamp can't be done by Nightwraith, he needs Titan to do the coding and judging by the experience that I had during the Omega launch he will be highly reluctant to open that can of worms again... He was going to tell the community what happened back then, but instead he moved on to other games. Maybe one day I will ask for permission to write some notes about that experience. But, just one quote from Titan during that time might help players understand why is "We have reached the limitations of viability for AS3 (Action Script 3/Flash)" He worked his backside off during that time, much respect should be given to his skills in programming and ability to find a work around for some very unforseen bugs. Omega was supposed to provide a stable platform for the game to grow, but instead it just highlighted the limitations of the platform being used.

Just to clear up another point:
quote:


To be completely honest, balance wonít be fixed until we get a dedicated team of balancers and testers who are good at their job, as well as someone who can code quicker and better.

Back in, I think Beta, the game code was hacked into and stolen. They created their own servers and attempted to duplicate the game, the funny part of the story is that they were unable to read the code because Titan used a cypher when he wrote it. While that helped a lot with the security of the game it also means that he is the only one who can understand it and update it. When Rabblefroth was bought in as part of the team it took years with direct help from Titan to be able understand it. So finding someone else to code the game quicker and better is not an option.

< Message edited by Goony -- 9/14/2018 20:32:46 >
Epic  Post #: 11
9/15/2018 10:12:12   
.Lord Ginger.
Member

^ well you see, Titan would be that person who would code quicker and better...

And to be honest with you, NightWraith needs more time to completely start changing skills, like way more. If we had an active community and the devs could have balancers and maybe do releases every few days to change broken things more quickly, then I can see things happening.

Now Iím more concerned in trying to fix balance, and yeah I know taking away overlapping skills are great ideas, although malfunction for CH is different than malfunction on TM, the same skills can still have different damages, energy costs and whatever, so thatís not just a change a skill thing to be completely different

However with things like adrenaline rush, field commander, I do think these things need an overhaul because I donít think people are going to use them unless theyíre broken, then a lot of people will use them and then we get complaints.

PVE balance isnít the reason why PvP is why it is.

Legendary bosses donít correspond to 1v1 battles at all. Not even close. If
You go into a 1v1 with a legendary boss build, youíre probably dead if you fight anyone relatively good at the game.


Now if youíre talking about things like battery or parasite making it easier to beat legendary bosses, then okay... maybe 3 classes, but parasite actually needs a buff (or a better change) and battery is just... interesting.

What are ways for you that you would think would make classes unique?

P.S.
Mercenary armor gave rage for opponents (Merc had adrenaline rush which increased their rage gain, so it negated it a bit)

< Message edited by .Lord Ginger. -- 9/15/2018 10:52:22 >
AQW Epic  Post #: 12
9/15/2018 11:14:52   
8x
Member

quote:

Yep, I am not writing in a very healthy or friendly way either, but that comes from years of watching players spend time writing ideas and suggestions just to see them go to waste or get nit picked apart by over zealous staff who have no ideas to bring to the table themselves.

Yup, that is pretty much me. I completely gave up on balance when I didn't like the direction the devs were heading into. You are still at a stage where you think ED can be saved, I'm at a stage were I just want it to be put out of it's misery and not messed up any further. I'd prefer it, if they would focus on something new and use the ED art style.

I know very well what the AE is like. Discussing the AE is an even bigger black hole than discussing the balance. I'll try to stay out of your thread. But no promises, I like to be negative and pessimistic these days. That's what seeing your favourite game slowly going to ruin does to you.
Epic  Post #: 13
9/15/2018 16:22:27   
Mother1
Member

If I remember correctly Merc's only got an energy gainer because people started complaining about how CH TM and TLM had energy regain, BH and BM had Health regain but Merc didn't have either (despite having blood commander at the time) and they didn't think it was fair that one class didn't have something like the others. (Like how Assimilate became sword friendly because others complained it would open up diversity when in reality they wanted the power of sword while being able to use energy drainers)

But to be honest G00ny while you might like the Passive to active change most (myself included) don't. It was this horrible update (along with adding costs to cores) that caused the horrible energy meta and horrible band aid fixes that came with it (EMP turning into Static grenade, Energy parasite which by existing completely caused all players who used high energy builds to stop because it completely destroyed them and so forth.)

However to be honest while I know it would be tricky to code moves should work differently according to wheather you are playing PVP or PVE. Like for example the Pyro fly should work as it originally did back in Delta against NPC's where as in PVP it should have a lesser effect so that it wouldn't be so broken in PVP. The same could be said for all the moves of the game including Energy Parasite and Battery backup.
Epic  Post #: 14
9/15/2018 18:56:12   
  Battle Elf
Has eight 1v1 wins


Don't kill the messenger here, just dropping in to remind everyone not to attack one another. Thanks

< Message edited by Battle Elf -- 9/15/2018 18:57:04 >
AQW Epic  Post #: 15
9/16/2018 4:21:47   
Goony
Constructive!


@Lord Ginger Yeah, I'm talking about the way that some classes can heal loop to beat the Bosses whereas other classes can't heal loop. But, the bosses have had to be buffed to the extreme to counteract the heal looping leaving some players no option other than to change class.
We did test having rage on NPC's but, it meant that all the NPC's would have to be totally reworked for it to work. Just another case of too much work to justify what would probably end up being shouted down by the community.

There are many skill suggestions that relate to the individual class skills. I'd like to see some more thought given to how each class can stack skills. An example of this is blood commander with any of the melee skills in merc tree. There are many other examples of this ingame, but the factoring of power of a skill is normally evaluated on a per skill basis and not as a chain of skills together. It's these skill chains that are doing the greatest damage to balance...
Also, I still think that weapon damage is way too high in the damage calculation methodology, when doing Omega testing I had advocated lowering weapon damage and buffing stat damage. In the end when Omega was released players blamed str builds, but the reality is that it was weapon damage that was the issue. So, we ended up with depreciating returns on strength to counteract the damage being done...

idk, but for me the process to create balance should be fix the class trees, have a good look at the energy meta, check weapon to stats damage components (i.e how much damage does the weapon do compared to how much damage is derived from the stats) and then adjust rage to suit the new skills and damage rates.

@Mother, I would consider restoring passive if there were only 2 reroute and bloodlust... Other than that the armors skills would need to have some sort of rage reduction factor for it too work. Assimilation is a broken skill and it got buffed by 5% per level when level 2 is too much rage gain Kappa. Also assimilation was not a skill on the merc tree when hybrid was a passive btw...
Epic  Post #: 16
9/16/2018 10:18:08   
.Lord Ginger.
Member

I think you mean adrenaline rush.
And it was added as a replacement to blood shield, so although it wasnít there at first, it was definitely there with hybrid.
Dunno about the 5% buff, but I still donít think people would use it until itís actualy proven good.

About weapon damage.

So what do you say about the damages in Delta/Gamma? Our characters have like the same stat points or worse than back then, why do you say the problem is weapon damage?

Wouldnít stat spam benefit more if strength scaled higher near the top with lower base damage so focus would be hurt more and strength befit more?

Iíd take a rage reduction factor for the armors to be honest to bring back passives although tactical didnít seem to be hurt by it, only merc Iím assuming since itís your class.

In some other games classes do have their ďpassivesĒ or whatever and I donít think this game should be that different. Especially how stat requirements of some skills can prevent builds.

Like how shadow arts had 42 support requirement so some people didnít use it and so on.

Even if theyíre beneficial and we need them, itís not like we donít already shove points in random spots anyways (besides Tlm and sometimes TM which sometimes runs out of skill points).

I donít think the energy meta will really go away until we do something with battery, parasite and static smash, (so like all the active made skills) and preferably id like passives back and they can just overhaul the legendaries when they get the time.





AQW Epic  Post #: 17
9/16/2018 19:09:44   
Goony
Constructive!


Yep, I did mean adrenaline rush :/

It's a bit off topic discussing weapon damage, but I'll give you a brief overview.

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DnP2n-kVsAAHKJi.jpg

So you can see in the image that armors have 120 def/res points in this case I have an even split distribution which means of the total 311-360 def and res I have, 60pts of that comes directly from the armor itself and the rest from stats. Note: I have 6 legendary points that are equally split into def/res

Now when you look at weapon damage, at level 40, primary damage is 350. So, if I was to strike someone, with the jester maul who had the same armor distribution. Disregarding the improvement from stat points the damage would be 290. Now my character has some stat improvement from from the 55 stat points in strength (23 of these come from base character stats) giving me a total of 480-506 damage. The final damage range when I strike another player with same stats is 120-195.

You can see that if I use the mean (average) damage of 493 then 350/493=0.71 so 71% of damage comes from the weapon and the stats only account for 29%. Now, this in itself isn't too bad as we need to be able to damage the opponent to win. The thing that breaks balance is that skills like double strike, massacre etc... are improved based on weapon damage alone. The stats do nothing to improve the damage of the skill. A level 10 massacre is a 130% increase on 350, so 805 damage is inflicted based on the weapon damage stat alone, meaning that the strength stat component of the skill can often be a very low % of the actual damage figure. This is what broke the Omega launch.

I'd really like to see either drop weapon damage and rescale the stat improvement or return to the old skill improvement method of using weapon and stat damage values to modify the skill or drop weapon damage, rescale the stats and use stats alone to improve the skill damage.

Bit hard to do any of this now as the work required would be a huge undertaking.


< Message edited by Goony -- 9/16/2018 19:12:22 >
Epic  Post #: 18
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