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Passives, and the lack of it in MQ

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2/7/2014 23:49:58   


Passive effects. You know what I'm talking about. From weapons that provide additional EP Regen (EDSP, Nightmare Claw, 12 12 12 HD, etc.), weapons that gives a boost to battle effects (Shield Bash, WB Detonator, Component Thief) and to weapons that adds to your stats (O'Cloverblade, Snow Day Launcher O.ops, Clovershot O.ops).

Weapons (and to a certain extent, mechas) that have passive effects have always had a soft spot in my mechanical heart, for (with the right weapon combinations) it provides a certain edge whenever I fight anyone who stands in my way. It somewhat makes the fightin strategy in MQ a bit more complex.

Now with that being said, why does the staff only release such few precious weapons? Or better yet, why not start putting passives in every weapon (and mecha) release? The passives that they put it are IMO not that gamebreaking anyway and it will put make MQ's gameplay evolve to a whole new level.

As for mechas with passives, I kind of want to see every default weapon with a certain passive. Kinda like Mechatron with its insane crit passive, only this time it gives a bonus to different areas.

What do you guys think?
Post #: 1
2/8/2014 9:25:21   


I kind of want to see every default weapon with a certain passive.
Well, maybe not EVERY default weapon, but maybe the Chasis most of the time? But yeah, I kinda wanna see more passives in this game now.
AQ DF MQ AQW Epic  Post #: 2
2/8/2014 11:12:33   

I've had some thoughts on this topic for a while now. However, current approach is unlikely to bring MQ to a new level. Most passive buffs are not big enough to be useful, and sometimes a wrong strategy is chosen, when passives are favoured over everything else (note Golden Katana and Snow Day FA). Let's start analyzing.

1. Battle effects - Boost, Bonus, Defense
These are great, especially when passive, and mess up with enemy's strategy. However, considering the huge nerfing possibilities, they are only useful in the beginning of the battle. To be of any use, passive Boost and Bonus should at least be as high as half their cap, which is not-so-appealing. Defense is a different matter, as it prevents hits from landing, but when they finally do, defense nerfs are even greater and it also becomes useless.

2. Additional effects - Hit, Crit, Dodge
These can be felt however small they are (note MR and Vladek mechas, not sure what Hit stat precisely does though), and are therefore very useful, yet hard to obtain (well, excluding Crit). However, when given proper attention, they become frustrating and impossible to counter (note certain bosses), which also has to be dealt with.

3. Stats
Not all of them are equally useful and we need loads of them to feel the difference, plus they take long to set up and retrain. They have potential yet are underdeveloped to serve us well.

4. Resistances
This is where game-breaking potential lies. This approach would need mass re-balancing, but would produce best results. I mean, making certain weapons/effects/abilities useless in certain situations would make MQ much more tactical and players would be careful about weapon choice. However, everyone still has to have a chance of beating quests with none to minimum NG expenditures and possession of rares.
MQ  Post #: 3
2/8/2014 14:24:18   
Bionic Bear

This reminds me of that advanced combat class (or was it the normal class? I don't remember) when we had to defeat an enemy with 100% resistance to ballistic damage. That was among the hardest things for me, and I had to get all the laser weapons I could to win. I think things like that would be nice, preferably like 20-30 to ballistic/explosive etc. It would make us have to strategize more in the place of rushing in blindly with full damage weapons.
I like the idea of default weapons giving passive bonuses. Full steam ahead on that one.
Post #: 4
2/20/2014 15:10:38   

I'm interested in this discussion, so I'm making it an FAQ for the moment.
Post #: 5
2/20/2014 16:34:50   

I think I just hope they never change this game to where I'm constantly having to switch weapons like I have to in the other games. It brings on sensory overload and really shortens the time that I can enjoyably play a game.


I am Tam. Tam I am. I like green eggs, but I don't like ham.
AQ DF MQ AQW  Post #: 6
2/20/2014 17:00:33   

I agree Tam that's what I liked about MQ as well. some combination work better but once you have found your preferred one it's fine and constant changing is rarely necessary.

And my favorite passive is on the earth day shoulder. So much regeneration I love it. More of that would be much appreciated.
So far only the luck stat has a passive on weapons. A weapon with power, accuracy etc. would be a nice idea, or a hidden stat if things like that exist in calculations?
AQ  Post #: 7
2/20/2014 21:36:12   


Now with that being said, why does the staff only release such few precious weapons? Or better yet, why not start putting passives in every weapon (and mecha) release? The passives that they put it are IMO not that gamebreaking anyway and it will put make MQ's gameplay evolve to a whole new level.

The limited amount is mainly to make sure that they are special when they are released. When you have an item, that isn't a mod, that gives bonuses to certain stats, it provides more options. The downside to that is it sometimes loses a little in terms of damage or effect potential because you're getting that extra. A little bit doesn't do much but a weapon that, for example, lets you regain more EP per turn is going to suffer from more drawbacks to make up for that fact. When they are a really limited thing then you can usually handwave the penalty for it because it's for a unique event, see the earth day shoulder, but when it becomes a common thing you have to start seeing where that extra is going to come from.

It's also not game breaking for certain passives but for others it causes issues. Yes, 10-25 Power on a weapon doesn't add too much to it but gives it a little bit of extra damage, in this case a few points, on top of what the weapon gets from the effects. The problem comes in when things like Boost are added. 5% boost is worth way more then +5 Power. +10 EP regen is worth more then +10 Efficiency. That's also going to factor into it.

The passives also have to be thematically appropriate which might limit the benefit of their use. For example, an imaginary FA weapon. It's a Gatling Gun. It does 100-100 damage and does 10 hits total. The effect of the weapon causes it to do +5% boost each hit, cumulative on each successful hit. (Nice round numbers for the example.) So hit 1 does 10 damage +5% boost, hit 2 does 10 damage plus 10% boost, hit 3 misses, hit 4 does 10 damage plus 15% boost, etc. A weapon like that would only thematically have either +power or +luck for the stream of bullets. It wouldn't be accurate, even with a scope, so +accuracy or +hit is out the window already. It's a massive gun so no +reflex and with that stream of bullets it's in no way efficient so that's nixed. It might qualify for +perception but that's kind of a long shot. It's already getting a +boost on the special itself so doubling that up when it has the potential to do crazy damage on the latter hits would be a no. The power or luck wouldn't do much in terms of adding anything to it since the +boost already provides way more damage. In that case the passive is pretty much just a wash unless it's a *really* large amount of passive stats and that makes the weapon way OP if it had too many passive stats. It'd be more of a tack on if anything and not really special.

Now this isn't to discourage the idea, it's a neat idea that's got potential for some things like bonuses for house mecha, special events, gear that's a reward from a hard quest or a limited time offer like "The End" Valoth weapons were, etc. But putting it on every item wouldn't really fit since not every item needs a passive and it might not work on some items at all for the above reason.

Another way I could see it working without a "penalty" to damage/effects or a thematic reason is if MQ started introducing "Overclocked" items. (AQ players would know it as "Mastercrafted" but I'm claiming this title for MQ =P) This would allow for passive stats on the weapon itself, including boost on a weapon with boost in the special already, at a higher credit cost to pay for the extra power from tweaking it well beyond what the other gear around it can do. Again, that doesn't mean every item released would suddenly be OC'd but it would provide a way to make cool gear even better and give you a reason to spend extra credits.

< Message edited by Ash -- 2/20/2014 21:40:03 >
AQ DF MQ AQW  Post #: 8
8/3/2014 19:36:40   
Legendary AK!!!

I'd been wanting to see MQ's own kind of "elemental damage," so to speak, for quite some time. Having enemies have natural resistance to ballistic damage, laser damage, or any of the others would really help force people to try developing new builds, IMO. As it is, I only ever create new loadouts whenever I'm bored, and if I get stuck, I invariably revert back to my old safe build.

Every case doesn't have to be as drastic as the one found in the Advanced Combat class, but having it be prevalent would really do wonders for this game. The problem is how much effort that it could take to implement fully, but I'd honestly rather see this than new weapons or small quests.
AQ MQ Epic  Post #: 9
8/6/2014 0:35:18   
Outsmarting Bugs

I'm personally not a huge fan of passive effects because I don't feel like they mesh very well with the active-oriented game that MQ has become over the years. A perfectly balanced weapon with a passive effect would almost never be activated unless the player was forced into it because the active effect would be weaker than normal to compensate for the free stats. This either means that the weapon has enough of those free stats to justify "losing" an equip slot or doesn't have enough free stats and nobody uses it. The latter is obviously not very good for anyone, the former is slightly better but still not great. I won't suggest that there isn't any strategic depth to passive stats, but by creating weapons that are valuable for their free stats and not for their active effects we have to sacrifice some of the decision-making that comes with activation orders. On a typical weapon you have to choose which effect you want to happen first. Sometimes it's fairly obvious, like if a weapon gives +30 boost then you'd probably use that one first. Other times it's a little less clear, like if one weapon has a DOT and another has +30 defense, and players have to think about what order to activate their weapons. Weapons with strong passive effects bypass some of this decision-making because you can get both the passive effect and the active effect upfront at the start of the battle.

Of course, this all assumes we're talking about a perfectly balanced weapon which is a pretty difficult thing to precisely nail down. Something like the Solar Panel is probably too powerful (not that I'm planning to touch it) because it singlehandedly eliminates potential EP issues when it's equipped (even though we're pretty generous about EP anyways) while still giving a really awesome active effect that is one of the best of its kind. On the other hand, there's a head in the newbie shop I think that gives something like +5 crit and that's probably too weak - this isn't DF where you stack a bunch of accessories to get a big effect so that +5 crit isn't really noteworthy at all. There's a very careful balance that needs to be struck and for some stats it might not even be possible to find that balance. Would anyone even blink at the chance to give up a "weak" weapon on a high damage mecha like Terri-Fi or Warbear for a passive +10 boost?

I think passives really work best on weapons that have unique enough actives to never be crowded out of their niche even if they pay a price to give those passive stats. Something like the SC Challenge weapons would probably be a good candidate. This would let players have access to those passives if they want them, but at the same time would still allow the active portion of the items to be valuable in certain builds or against certain enemies. Outside of those kinds of weapons, I would probably leave passive stats to mods.

An approach similar to AQ's mastercraft system like Ash suggested might also be worth thinking about but for a game that isn't nearly as strict about balance it would be hard to find the sweet spot for price increases and extra effects.
AQ DF MQ  Post #: 10
8/6/2014 7:46:59   

The Question

Pricing in MQ has hardly been a problem. Other than the occasions where items are released at 5mill price-tag, then that might take a little more time to farm for.

AQ's version of MasterCraft, to MQ's version of OverClock are hard to compare. Because AQ does have non-MC items that are still not bad to use (although it would be more logical to get something more powerful than you already possess).

Although these "little" extra buffs are hard to come by the way we want them to be, their usefulness in battles is unquestionable; especially if you're to come up with a comparison sheet and compare a MC to non-MC item, the difference can be battle-changing.

(Nowadays in AQ, I don't see anyone who does not have an active inventory full of MC-items. Thankfully, the staff have taken great care in ensuring a balance of such)

I could see MQ having an OC, but definitely, it will have to come with a higher price - not credits based. Most likely, is a higher EP cost per usage. After all, if you're to overclock anything, you need more energy to do so, no?

< Message edited by GASKAL -- 8/6/2014 7:49:00 >
AQ DF MQ  Post #: 11
8/6/2014 9:04:53   

^So, for OC items (are the Planet 51 items considered the MC versions of AQ?) to actually happen it has to have the ff.:

-higher credit price
-higher EP usage

I also suggest them to have a higher-CD than normal (+1 maybe) so that low-to-zero CD weapons are appreciated more. And it makes planning your equipment a bit more interesting IMO.
Post #: 12
8/6/2014 18:25:53   

I've always wanted Damage Type to play a larger role in the MQ gameplay, especially since one of the earliest Mecha Combat 101 quests features an enemy with 100% Laser resistance. However, I can see why elemental resistances work better in DF than MQ - while one can change equipment mid-battle in DF, switching weapons during a battle is impossible in MQ. Maybe rather than giving them to every run-of-the-mill enemy, Damage Type resistance could be saved for the more challenging bosses?


DF MQ AQW  Post #: 13
8/6/2014 18:54:31   


(are the Planet 51 items considered the MC versions of AQ?)

Nah, those are just named like that for fun. If we do ever implement anything we'd change the names on them.

We can do that Golden, but it's an iffy thing to do because of the reasons you said. What we CAN do though is make some weapons "nerf" an enemy resistance to, say, Laser, so your attacks do more damage instead of some other effect. It would give the same kind of thing as a "Boost" buff but it would be different.
AQ DF MQ AQW  Post #: 14
8/7/2014 8:50:40   

The Question

That would sound logical, yet difficult. Since it would then limit your choice of weapons if your "OC" buff was to nerf the enemy's resistance on your weapon's damage-type. Unless of course, these nerfs aren't that important and having them or not doesn't matter a lot.

So one question in mind I would pose is (if the idea of OC ever be implemented):

How much impact should OC-items be in battles? From a range of 1 to 5.

Personally, I would say 3, it should be neutral. OC-items should be a gift and not a privilege.

< Message edited by GASKAL -- 8/7/2014 8:52:08 >
AQ DF MQ  Post #: 15
9/15/2014 20:23:47   
Shards Superior

It's a bit late, but I think there's still a point to answering this.

Passives have always been slightly involved in MechQuest, but have never taken a front role. From the first weapons that gave +5 hit, to Mogloween bug that added insane regen boosts, and the Burning Steampunk mechas, passives have been rather passive.

Not much has changed. They don't make enough of an impact in battle for players to build off of them, with a some notable exceptions.

The Arthurian Shield Bash: (+20 Defense) Anyone who still has this old Arthurian vs. Pirate War Rewards knows how strong that passive is. It spawns a whole litany of builds meant to skip through battle without being hit.
The EnergyRegen adding weapons are also a good example. However, Energy Regen is a bit overlooked in this time, when our mechas can simply end a battle in 4-5 turns, before EnergyRegen makes a difference.

Otherwise, though, the only passive that anything really has is the Immobility resist - which now also includes effects like Energy Drain, instead of just stun. (IIRC, this was added from the Wolfblade classic stealing all enemies' energy very quickly.) But nobody has ever looked at a mecha, and noted the lack of immobility resist, and decided not to try it out on basis of that alone.

On the other hand, if you look at it from a different light, Mechquest has had Stats since Omega build. Those are passives, right?
AQ DF MQ AQW Epic  Post #: 16
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