Author Topic: Guardians Feedback Thread  (Read 1138 times)

Xerephus

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Guardians Feedback Thread
« on: February 11, 2021, 05:40:28 pm »
Hello all!

Welcome to our feedback thread for Guardians. Hop on into Almost Tested and try em out, give all suggestions and feedback below.

Nekrovile

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Re: Guardians Feedback Thread
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2021, 02:07:59 am »
These are some of the things I found when looking through all of the guardian powers. You can find where I originally posted these things on discord. I did not bring over things that the devs said were intended. Hopefully I didn't forget anything.



Earth Assault:
- Stone Fist incorrectly says it has -resistance in it.
Melee Moderate DMG(Smash), Foe Minor Disorient, -Res (all)
Your stone covered fists attack swiftly for moderate damage, and may Disorient your opponent. This power can bruise an enemy, making them more vulnerable to damage. Damage: Moderate, Recharge: Fast


Fire Assault:
- Cremate might be using the wrong color for the power's icon. I am not sure for this one.


Gun Fu:
- Some pistol attacks have effects that mention standard ammo.


Hellfire Assault:
- Hellfire Smash's description says "leaves your foe set on fire" but it does no fire damage. The dot is toxic damage. The power also doesn't mention the knockback that it can do.
- Hellfire Smash has no sound.
- Hellfire Blaze's short description says "Ranged Cone, Moderate DMG(Fire/Toxic), Foe -Res" when it is a single target attack. I also am not sure if "moderate" is the correct word for it. (What the words represent have always been a bit of a mess in the live game, so this may not be a big deal.) Crack Whip says "High" when it does less damage.


Ice Assault:
- Bitter Freeze Ray says it does "High" damage in one part and "moderate" in another.
"This power can Hold your opponent frozen solid in a block of ice. The victim can be attacked and will remain frozen and helpless. After the ice thaws, the victim emerges chilled and Slowed. Damage: Moderate, Recharge: Slow"
"Ranged, High DMG(Cold), Foe Hold"


Luminous Assault:
- Luminous Smite's shorter description doesn't mention the damage that it does. It just says "Disorient, -DEF, -Fly"


Martial Assault:
I mentioned this one before, but I don't remember when I did.
- Shuriken Thrown does some toxic damage, but it is not mentioned in the description. The same is true for the dominator version


Psionic Assault:
- Telekinetic Blow does not accept knockback IOs, but it accepts knockback SOs. According to Paragon Wiki, the power accepts knockback IOs in Psionic Melee.
- Subdue does not accept Immobilize IOs, but it accepts Immobilize SOs. According to Paragon wiki, the power accepts Immobilize IOs in Psychic Blast for Defenders and Corruptors and in Psionic Assault for Dominators.
- Psychic Shockwave does not accept Stun IOs, but it accepts Stun SOs. According to Paragon Wiki, the power accepts Stun IOs for Dominators.
- Psychic Scream and Psychic Shockwave's descriptions do not mention being able to grant insight, but the smaller description says "Self +Insight." I tested them a few times. Psychic Scream was able to trigger insight, but I have not been able to trigger it with Psychic Shockwave. I don't know the percentage for it to work and did not test it too many times, so the power may still have it. This is consistent with Psionic Melee's Mass Levitate. It's larger description doesn't mention giving insight, but the shorter one still says "+Insight"
- Insight's description still has the text from Psionic Melee. Insight lockout is okay.


Radiation Assault:
- Atom Smasher does not accept Stun IOs, but it accepts Stun SOs. I checked on my Brute with Radiation Melee, and that version of Atom Smasher accepts both Stun IOs and SOs


Thorny Assault:
(This thing that I found is also in the Dominator version of the set. I don't know if the original devs intended it or if it was an error.)
- Thorn Barrage cannot accept Defense Debuff IOs or SOs. Besides thorntrops and build up, every other power in the set accepts those. This is consistent with the Dominator version of the power.


Umbral Assault:
- Umbral Smite has a small chance for a stun. It lasts way too long in PvP. It is 7.15s
- I don't know if the original devs intended this one. Shadow Bolt is missing the -jump speed and jump height, but this is consistent with the warshade version.
- Umbral Smite's shorter description does not mention the damage that it does. It just says, "Disorient, -Recharge, -SPD, -Fly"
- Essence Drain, Gravitic Emanation, Shadow Bolt, Dark Extraction, and the description for the Extracted Essence mention "Nictus" in their description. I don't know if that is intended or if the wording is supposed to be changed.



Dark Composition:
- Tar Patch's icon color does not match the rest of the set.
- Tar Patch does not take slow IOs. The corruptor and controller versions can use slow IOs.
- Shadow Fall's Description does not mention the to hit debuff resistance that it grants.
- Soul Absorption has something odd, but it may not be an error. It can accept accurate to hit debuff IOs, but not accurate heal IOs. This is consistent with the controller version, so it might be intended. (Oddly enough, the controller version accepts end cost SOs even though it costs no endurance.)


Energy Composition:
- Inertial Siphon and Fulcrum Flip have an incorrect message in the combat log. They both will say "The Fulcrum Shift has increased the damage of your attacks!"
- Fulcrum Flip cannot accept range enhancements. This might be intended. According to City of Data, Fulcrum Shift does accept them. They technically are different powers, so there is less reason for them to be consistent.


Ice Composition:
- Sleet does not accept accurate defense debuff IOs or defense debuff IOs, but the defender version of sleet does. The guardian version still accepts defense debuff SOs.


Organic Composition:
- Evolving Armor for guardians doesn't display the damage resistance debuff when looking at the numbers in character creation. I tested it in game and the debuff still works. Other ATs display the debuff when looking at the numbers.
- Environmental Modification can accept Endurance Modification IOs, when it shouldn't.
- Inexhaustible should be able to accept Endurance Modification IOs, but it cannot.


Radiation Composition:
- Particle Shielding can accept endurance modification SOs, but does not benefit from them. It is not like that for tanks.
- Ground Zero can accept accurate heal IOs while the tank version cannot. I am unsure if it is an error. The power does take accuracy, but I don't think the heal portion can miss


Reconstructive Composition:
- Fortitude Aura can accept range SOs even though it is a PBAOE buff. Unless these range enhancements can increase the radius of the buff, I don't think they do anything.


Stone Composition:
- Rocky Armor should have a comma between after the word "Confuse" in the smaller description " Toggle: Self +DEF(Smashing, Lethal, Psionic), Res(Knockdown, Immobilize, Confuse DeBuff DEF)" and in the larger description ". . . Rocky Armor also grants you protection from knockdown, immobilize, confuse and Defense DeBuffs effects. . . " (or at least I think it is supposed to have commas there. I am no expert when it comes to proper grammar.)
- Rocky Armor's description does not mention the Repel protection that the power grants.


Temporal Composition:
-  Chrono shift still has some parts to give a greater buff if a player is accelerated. Is this intended to be here? Even though guardians cannot accelerate players, it probably will work if players are buffed by time players who are able to give the accelerated buff.
- Practiced Brawler constantly makes a noise when toggled. The sound persists a few seconds after you detoggle it. I personally am fine with it, but I don't know if that will be a problem for some players. I never leveled super reflexes too far and that version's practiced brawler is a click, so I don't know if the same thing happens there.



Ice Mastery:
- Ice Storm has an error in it. I think it has containment from controllers.


Leviathan Mastery:
- Summon Corlax has a problem regarding enhancements that probably carried over from the original version of it. It can accept knockback IOs, but the Corlax Blue Hybrid has no knockback powers. It doesn't even accept knockback SOs. Another oddity is it does accept slow SOs, but it cannot accept slow IOs. It has one slow power.


Mu Mastery:
- Thunder Strike accepts endurance modification IOs and does not accept knockback IOs. However, the power does not accept endurance modification SOs and it does accept knockback SOs. According to paragon wiki, Thunder Strike in Electric Melee and in Charge Mastery for masterminds accepts knockback IOs/SOs and not endurance modification IOs/SOs. The power does have a knockback and -end component to it, so I assume it would benefit from both sets of IOs.


Primal Forces Mastery:
- The set incorrectly says "Primal Forces Mastery Dominator" when looking at a power's description and detailed info. This is not when picking a power, but when the player right clicks the power and selects "info." For example, it will say it right underneath "Melee, Extreme DMG(Energy/Smash), Foe Disorient, Self -HP" when looking at the detailed info for Energy Transfer. I just noticed this text error right now and have not checked if the previous epic powers have a similar error.
- Physical Perfection is missing a letter in the description. It says "... two other Primal Force Mastery Powers..." but it should say "Forces" instead of "Force."


Psionic Mastery:
- Psionic Tornado's shorter description says it does knockback when it does knockup. According to paragon wiki, this is consistent with Psychic Blast. However, this is not consistent with Mass Levitate, which is also available in Psionic Mastery.


Soul Mastery:
- There looks like there is an error for the "summon widow" power, but it is not isolated to Guardians. I noticed the pet accepts To-Hit Debuff IOs, but not SOs. The blood widow also doesn't benefit from To-Hit Debuff enhancements. According to paragon wiki, Scrappers and Stalkers get this power, but it summons a night widow instead. The night widow does have a power that benefits from To-Hit Debuff enhancements. It says that the Stalker version does allow To-Hit Debuff SOs. I assume the mix up from the original devs caused the potential error with the enhancements.



Debuff Resistance in Guardians and other ATs:
- I found a potential error in Organic Composition and Bio Armor. Every defensive in the set has resistance to debuffs for PvP. I believe this was put into place to help melee characters since they can easily be kited in high end PvP matches. Usually this is located in the mez protection of the set. These sets do not have this extra PvP protection for some reason. I don't know if this was intended or if the old devs just forgot to put it in. It wouldn't be the first time that aspects of a power were accidentally left out of the PvP version of a power.

- Radiation Armor and Radiation Composition are in a similar situation. They have all of the debuff resistances in PvP except for defense debuff resistance. These sets were never finished, so it makes more sense for it to be missing here.

- Stone Composition is also missing the extra defense debuff resistance in PvP, but stone armor has it. The debuff resistance was in rooted, but rooted isn't in stone composition. Different parts of it were given to different powres, but the defense debuff resistance portion was probably just accidently left out.

I can't think of any PvP balance reasons why these would be left out of the sets.

Etc:
(I included these in here because I found these while looking at guardians)
- I may have found an error in the dominator version of energy assault. According to the numbers that can be seen when making a character, whirling hands does not benefit from domination.
- The corruptor epic power of greater fire sword might incorrectly have a taunt component or accept taunt enhancements. I am not sure, since I am focusing on guardians right now. I don't want to take time away from guardians to test it.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2021, 05:57:06 pm by Nekrovile »

MuonNeutrino

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Re: Guardians Feedback Thread
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2021, 04:17:30 pm »
Regarding the archetype in general, resolve is still a bit meh feeling. It's just hard to notice it doing anything, even when it actually is. This might not necessarily be a *problem*, after all it's not like vigilance or the damage buff portion of defiance are immediately visible either, but it's still worth noting. The other thing I notice about resolve is that it's a rather snowbally mechanic. You get stacks of resolve for killing things, which means that it helps you win harder if you can already kill stuff but doesn't help at all until you get those first few kills. As a result I've noticed a distinct tendency when pushing the pace solo, where I can jump into a spawn and either die before killing anything or wipe the floor with them and finish healthy depending on whether I can manage to get the first couple targets down quickly. In other words it's a mechanic that pushes encounters away from stability, it takes winning and amplifies it by giving you absorb, and it takes losing and amplifies it by not giving you any help at all. Again I'm not sure if this is a bad thing or not, and in teams it may not work out quite the same way, but I almost wonder if having resolve, in whatever form it ends up being, as a simple on-hit effect instead of triggered might work better. I still like that resolve is a team defensive thing triggered off of the guardian's offense, that seems very thematically fitting for the AT, I'm just not sure about being triggered off of kills now that I've had more experience with it.

Another general AT thing I've noted is that guardians are endurance hungry. The combination of a full slate of attacks (including epic AoEs with their usually high costs) with both armorset toggles (also often including tough/weave) *and* often-endurance-expensive support powers leaves them with high usage overall. This is not necessarily a bad thing, endurance limitations can be a valid balancing tool after all (e.g. energy composition's high costs on inertial siphon and fulcrum flip are definitely necessary IMO). What concerns me a bit is that the ability to cope with these costs does not seem even across the archetype.

Specifically, almost all guardian secondaries include some form of endurance support, with the exceptions of stone and (partially) temporal. (Temporal does have chrono shift, but between its high cost, long recharge, short duration on the recovery effect, and likely lack of room for endmod slotting in most builds this power is by far the weakest among the secondary sets from a net-endurance-over-time standpoint, to the point where I wouldn't really consider it to count.) Having experience contrasting temporal with other guardian sets this does seem to be an issue in practice - I am *constantly* out of endurance on my /temporal guardian to the point where I am converting everything to blues if I don't want to be forced to stop and wait between spawns or forgo using some of my stronger powers, where my other guardians also frequently run low but have the tools to bounce back. On the other hand temporal is very strong when you do have all your abilities in play, I'm just not sure I like this form of balancing is all.

For specific (secondary) sets, I've tried out fire, energy, organic, and temporal composition with various primaries.

Temporal is very strong both defensively and offensively. I paired it with umbral for the heal and ended up basically never needing it, because between the native defense, farsight, the -tohit and -dam in time's juncture, and the absorb in PB I almost never actually took significant damage. Given that it also brings good offensive support with slowed response and chrono shift and provides most of its benefits to the team as well between debuffs and team buffs, I wonder if this set might perhaps be slightly over-tuned. As noted above it's also even more endurance hungry than most, so I personally might consider de-tuning a little bit in exchange for some reduced endurance costs. Perhaps as a start knock the defense in farsight back from scale 1.25 to scale 1 (which I think should be done to the regular version of the set too TBH), and then drop the endurance cost on time's juncture to 0.3 end/s or something like that.

Organic and energy I rate fairly similarly, namely strong but I'm not as worried about them. Energy is powerful but is held back by basically needing to never ever miss with transference. Organic is beefy but also clicky and reactive to stay alive. I would guess they're on the high side of the average performance level of guardian secondaries, for sure, but I wouldn't consider them as needing significant changes.

Fire is, frankly, pretty disappointing. It's extremely squishy and doesn't feel like it has enough upsides to make up for that. Compared to fire armor it is even *weaker* defensively - at least fire armor has an above-average heal - and doesn't bring any of the set's personal offense. Compared to thermal it loses almost all of that set's defensive contributions, and I don't think the team offense that's left is enough to make up for it. Melt Armor is arguably the worst -resistance power available to guardians, with either the worst or tied for worst -resistance value, radius, and recharge. (Heat loss has a longer recharge, but is only partially a -res power and is extremely powerful in other ways.) It's not *bad*, but it's not as good as what other sets get either. Reforge is alright, but is actually not a very big buff on guardian numbers - compare to Overgrowth, which is 66% stronger with close to the same uptime and has an endurance discount as well. And Heat Exhaustion is a fine power that is simply irrelevant 95% of the time. Ultimately this set is extremely squishy on a personal level, brings minimal team defense, and its offense is arguably worse than at least a couple other sets and IMO definitely not strong enough to make up for it overall.

I think fire definitely needs work. One simple possible change would be to knock the recharge on Soothing Flames down to 12s or so, mimicing how fire armor's Healing Flames has a faster recharge than something like Reconstruction. This would help somewhat with both the personal squishiness and minimal team defense issues, but would still be held back by animation time and endurance usage. I don't think this would be nearly enough by itself, but it could help. Another option might be to swap out the junk power of temperature protection for something else - not sure *what*, exactly, and one would want to be careful to abide by the rule of not obsoleting either parent set, but it's an obvious candidate for change if need be. And lastly, well, I already sent in that overly-wordy proposal for a replacement/modification for Power of the Phoenix, but I want to elaborate a bit on how and why I think that would be a particularly good fit here. Looking back at fire armor, that set is also squishy, and so Rise of the Phoenix is a particularly well-fitting and thematic addition there - not only giving the set an option to recover from defeat, but even to turn it around and *use* that defeat to blast the fuck out of the baddies and fulfill the set's theme of offense. Guardian fire composition, as it stands, is even squishier than fire armor but yet is missing the tool that set has to deal with that. And the set is also currently not really as high on offense or defense as it IMO needs to be to make up for its drawbacks relative to thermal or other guardian sets, and swapping out Power of the Phoenix for the Phoenix Renewal power I proposed also gives the set something that would be a big splashy offensive and defense tool when you're not using it as an omni-rez. And of course it's also just thematic as fuck for a fire set. (Yes I know I'm probably starting to sound like a broken record about this idea, but darnit I really like it. ^^)

I'm sure there's more I could go on about (like primaries), but this is probably enough for now and I'll probably come back later. But yeah, fire composition totally should get that Phoenix Renewal power, yo. ^^
« Last Edit: February 27, 2021, 04:22:46 pm by MuonNeutrino »
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Nekrovile

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Re: Guardians Feedback Thread
« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2021, 06:07:09 pm »
One reason why I feel some sets are disappointing while others feel powerful may be how Guardians were designed. I think they were mostly focused on trying to not outshine the original sets and not enough focus was put into comparing them with each other.

I think fire definitely needs work. One simple possible change would be to knock the recharge on Soothing Flames down to 12s or so, mimicing how fire armor's Healing Flames has a faster recharge than something like Reconstruction.
I like this idea. Fire Armor's heal does recharge faster than almost any other heal in a defensive set. Giving Soothing Flames a shorter cooldown could help it out and reflect that.

From what you said MuonNeutrino, I like the idea of some powers being replaced. I think it needs something like Burn or a damage aura to feel more offensive. That would justify it feeling more squishy than the other sets. It is still on the test server, so the cottage rule doesn't apply yet.

MuonNeutrino

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Re: Guardians Feedback Thread
« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2021, 05:06:12 pm »
One reason why I feel some sets are disappointing while others feel powerful may be how Guardians were designed. I think they were mostly focused on trying to not outshine the original sets and not enough focus was put into comparing them with each other.

Overall I agree. I do think that both considerations are important, the sets *shouldn't* outshine their parents and it's good that this is a design rule. But they do need to be reasonably balanced compared to each other as well, and while honestly the archetype as a whole has fewer problems in this regard than I might have been worried about at first glance, I think Fiery Composition definitely is an example.

Regarding power replacements, the set actually did have Burn in its original version a year ago, that got replaced by Reforge in the current version of the set. I actually don't think just giving it Burn would be the fix, though. Partially this risks running afoul of the 'don't obsolete the parent sets' thing, because Burn is one of the last significant things Fire Armor has that this set doesn't. But also partially I don't think Burn would be enough, it's ultimately just a decent PBAOE attack, but I think the problems with the set extend beyond just 'not enough offense' to also include 'not enough support' and also 'not enough defense'. I thoroughly do agree that this is the time to contemplate changes, though, since the cottage rule indeed doesn't apply yet at this point.

Anyway, on to the giant huge long wall of text second part of my overall guardian feedback!




Having continued playtesting, I have more feedback on various guardian ~things~ and sets and animations and stuff.

First, as I noted on discord, the more I test various guardian secondaries, the more I feel that Fiery Composition really is underperforming. It is consistently far less survivable than every other secondary I've tested (which is all of them except reconstructive, because tbh I don't understand or have any real interest in that set) and honestly does not feel significantly ahead of most of them in terms of offense.

One way of looking at this, I think, is to note that a full third of the set doesn't significantly contribute in normal play, either because of being a naff power (temperature protection) or just highly situational (power of the phoenix, heat exhaustion). None of these powers are a problem by themselves, but when you put them all together it adds up. Meanwhile, other sets like organic (or, honestly, *most* of them) have every single power doing something pretty useful most of the time. Even if the remaining powers *were* as good as the best from other sets, this would still leave the set worse off. And when you look at the remaining powers, you've got three self-only powers (shields, consume), which are alright but not the important part, and three team powers which just don't cut the mustard by themselves. Reforge is a not-very-strong buff on only a 60% uptime after slotting, melt armor is as previously noted probably the worst -resistance power available to guardians, and soothing flames is a standard heal but not enough to carry the set. Ultimately the set just doesn't have the tools to keep up.

Fiery is pretty clearly the squishiest of all of the secondaries both in a personal and team sense, having only moderate resistances and no special tricks for the guardian and just one relatively weak heal for the team. A set like that ought to be top of the heap by a good margin for offense, but it is IMO not only pretty clearly *not* top of the heap, honestly it doesn't even feel better at offense at *all* compared to many of the sets. Energy blows it out of the water, atmospheric/ice have a *stronger* -res debuff that is available twice as often and brings mitigation to boot, temporal also has a better debuff and adds recharge, radiation has its debuff as a toggle up as often as it needs it and then adds both recharge and damage in AM and even has an AoE attack too, and even pain has a bigger radius on its debuff and a better uptime on its offense buff to partially offset the smaller numbers. For offense the only sets I'd put fire *clearly* ahead of are dark, organic, reconstructive, and stone, or in other words it's middle of the pack at best. That isn't where the hands-down-squishiest set should rank.

One of the reasons that I'd advocate for both the decreased recharge on the heal and the replacement for Power of the Phoenix is that, while the set being a bit squishy does make sense, I don't think fiery necessarily has to be quite *this* squishy. Fire armor is squishy, sure, but even it isn't *this* fragile, and thermal is a relatively evenly balanced support set between defense and offense. As such I think there's room to make the set slightly less frail while still remaining within the envelope defined by its parents, and this also means any improvements to the set's offense don't need to be quite as drastic as they'd have to be otherwise. This is also why Phoenix Renewal being a multifunction offensive and defensive 'nuke' would be IMO a good thing. And by this point I imagine I'm probably annoying you with how much I've been going on about this, so I'll stop now. ^^

(Also, as an aside, why does consume have to be this bad compared to power sink etc? It's got a larger radius and less upfront end cost, which aren't very important because it only takes a few targets for either power to give a full bar anyway, and pays for it by not being autohit *and* giving less end per target (even counting the trivial recovery) *and* having triple the recharge? Seems a bit much. Maybe make the recovery bit last as long as the debuff resistance? Or just drop the recharge to 2 minutes instead of three? And this question applies to the regular version of the power too honestly.)

Exploring the various other secondaries, my previous thoughts on endurance usage are a bit modified, mostly because a few of the other secondaries ended up being even more endurance heavy than I expected just from looking at their power lists. Notably, Ice has a *gigantic* total toggle cost, and while heat loss is great it's got a long downtime so it spends a lot of time running dry. And while Radiation has AM, it also has Enervating Field and that is just a great big 'no endurance for you' button. Dark isn't bad if you don't use Cloak of Fear, which is alright with me because I wouldn't touch that power with a 10 foot pole, but if you're one of those silly weird people who likes it then you're also gonna have a fun time with that endurance bar. And as expected stone is almost as bad as temporal. So in other words the problem, if there is one, extends to more sets than just temporal.

I'm *still* not sure if this is a bad thing or not. I think it's probably intended that endurance is a limiting factor, and in the abstract I think I'm ok with that. The thing that worries me though is still how some sets really don't have the tools to deal with it nearly as well as others, which makes me worry about imbalance between the sets in the AT. It also makes me worry a bit what happens when you IO and/or incarnate enough to remove that constraint. I mean, yeah, IOs and incarnate stuff are meant to be powerful, but I have a feeling they'll make an even bigger difference on guardians than on most ATs. Removing the endurance leash from Temporal at endgame would be a big boost to that set, for example. Again I'm still undecided what I really think about this whole issue, but I'd be a lot less conflicted if it were at least more uniform across the AT.

On the level of individual sets, I have a few other comments in addition to my general ones above. First, Stone and Ice need power order changes, both for the same reason - it's ridiculous to make them wait until level 28 for their E/N shield. For ice, I'd simply switch Glacial Armor and Arctic Fog - 20 is still a bit late for the last major shield, but a lot better than 28 and it's a simple change. For Stone, I'd rearrange a bit more - I would move Quicksand to level 4, Crystalline Armor to level 16, and put Stone Skin at level 28. This gives a bit more support capability early on, especially as that's when the -def of quicksand is most useful, gets the E/N shield in at a good time, and leaves the much less important minor resistance auto as a later choice. Both of these are already quite late blooming sets with their best two powers coming last, so *also* having to wait until level 28 just to finish out their basic self protection is especially grating.

I was thrown for quite a loop when I saw that Stone's version of quicksand has a 90 second recharge. That seems rather extreme to me, I don't think stone is a top tier secondary to start with and quicksand in particular is a good power but does not seem to warrant tripling its recharge. Quicksand is a 'sauce' sort of power IMO, it's a good power to make everything else you do a bit better, but is not actually *that* strong of a power in the long run. It's an aoe slow and -def, it's helpful but it doesn't actually bring any direct mitigation or killspeed increase. And making it such a long recharge hurts the power particularly when it is most helpful - at low levels, where the -def is actually quite useful but when it's harder to get a good amount of +rech in it. Having it available more often wouldn't really increase the performance of the set at high levels, as the power will end up available more or less whenever you need it at those levels anyway and having it stacked isn't really adding much, so I would prefer shortening the recharge to make it more useful at low levels, perhaps to 45-60s. This is especially relevant with my suggestion to move it to level 4, because having it on a reasonably short recharge at a low level would give the set much more useful support capability early on (which is a thing that many guardian sets are lacking in IMO) when the set is otherwise very late blooming.

Energy composition is still very top tier, I would have to get more experience with it in a team setting but I could see it being perhaps a little bit too strong. It's basically kinetics with self protection, which is really quite good. It is very endurance heavy for sure, but transference really steps up to the plate there as long as you don't miss or mess it up, plus energize helping as well. If it's 'too good' one possibility might be to shave a few off the target cap for fulcrum. It does a 40% boost from self plus 20% from each target with a current cap of 10, so 240% maximum. If it had a cap of, say, 7 instead, that'd be a max of 180%. This would also be a 'rein in the extremes' sort of nerf rather than an across the board nerf, which I tend to like better.

On the topic of energy, inertial siphon is also honestly *too* much movement increase IMO. If you get a capped hit (which you of course are always trying to do, for the recharge) it's more movement increase than having both siphon speed and speed boost on you at the same time. It makes trying to control your character honestly kinda obnoxious and not fun, especially on uneven terrain where you suddenly find yourself shooting off at 9999999 mph because the game decided you were in the air for an instant. It's worse than speed boost. I'd personally do the 'frontloaded buff' thing here that many other buffs do. Assuming it operates by summoning a stacking pseudopet at self for each target hit that applies the buff, I'd make a copy of the pet with no recharge buff but twice as much movement increase and have it summon that once non-stacking, and then cut the movement increase on the stacking pseudopet by a factor of 3. That would mean you'd have a larger movement buff if you hit only 1 or 2 targets, the same if you hit 3, and less if you hit more, keeping things more controllable.

For the other sets in general, Dark is solid and also IMO slightly boring. I don't think it needs my proposed modification to howling twilight in a balance sense (which is fine because it's not as big of a difference as fire's), but it'd be a fun power to play with. Atmospheric and Radiation kinda both feel like 'baseline' sets to me, solid and with a good variety of tools. They've each got staple mitigation, a few different options for additional mitigation or utility or team buffs, and the ability to ramp it up and go all out in extreme situations. Ice feels... erratic. It's like atmospheric that swaps some of its more staple powers for more situational or longer recharge ones, and as mentioned it's got major endurance issues. It still functions, I just don't care for the design as much. Pain is deceptively good, mostly because of the regneration aura I think. Its direct mitigation feels a bit weak up-front, but the aura adds up to a surprising amount of health over time. I don't think it's too strong or anything, just that it might look weak at first glance but isn't. Stone is definitely a bit of an oddball with the short recharge aoe 'heal' being an absorb instead, it demands playing differently but I think it can definitely work and it's got a good amount of mitigation. And its 'nuke' t9 is actually pretty fun, it's kinda like what I was envisioning for fiery, though stone's is actually even stronger so maybe I was a bit conservative in the numbers on mine, though better to start low and adjust up if needed rather than the other way around. (Regarding the nuke, the fact that the DoT lasts so much longer than the fire FX is a bit disconcerting, it feels weird. I'd personally make the FX last longer or the DoT happen quicker so they're the same duration, having them still be taking damage after the fire vanishes just feels off.)

I don't have as many comments on primaries, but still a few. For starters, there's still a couple of attacks with bad DPA that imo need looking at. For Earth Assault, Stone Spears moving to a 6s attack helps its DPA a lot. It's still mediocre, but it's not as terrible and the 80% knockup is nice. I still think hurl boulder should move to a 10s attack as well, though. It's currently the same DPA as stone spears with a longer animation and a much less useful secondary effect, and given the entire set only has two ranged attacks of any sort I feel they ought to be at least half decent. (I still wouldn't take it even then because I hate the animation, but it would be an easier sell.) Meanwhile, Mace Assault still has an even worse problem in Mace Beam, which is afaik the lowest DPA (single target) attack available to the entire archetype by a significant margin. Making it a 6s recharge attack wouldn't be as good of a solution here since the set then wouldn't have a 4s attack at all. I personally might just give it a 'free' energy DoT secondary effect, noting it would *still* be fairly mediocre even if it had a full 6s recharge attack's damage for free. One of those 80%/4x scale 0.15/cancelonmiss DoTs would raise its average damage to scale 1.35 and its DPA to 35.6, which is still poor but not quite as abysmal. (It'd then be the same DPA as stone spears, i.e. still poor, and imo the shorter recharge would balance out not having stone spears' pretty good secondary effect. Neither of them would really be *good* attacks still, but more passable.)

I still despise Dark Assault, mostly because of how obnoxious Night Fall's super narrow cone is to use. I would note that the guardian version of the set doesn't have to worry about an aoe immob competing with a control primary so having tentacles wouldn't be an automatic no-no... Really though this is more personal preference, similar to how I dislike Gun Fu because it IMO chose the dual pistols attacks with the most annoying animations. On the topic of pure aesthetic preference in animations, I'd personally prefer if Bitter Freeze Ray swapped its animation for the one that's used for Energy Transfer. They're almost identical (holding up the hands while powering up and then shoving them forward), but Fitter Freeze Ray has the character looking at their hands all goofily while Energy Transfer has the character looking forward at the enemy the whole time and looks much less silly. Finally, I don't like that in Psionic Assault subdue is almost a carbon copy of Mental Blast, I think subdue should be a 10s attack instead. Or, like, make one of them 7s and the other 9s, or something.

And lastly, Hellfire Assault. I like this set, it's cool, but I still think that the set would make more sense and feel more consistent if the whip attacks were all short ranged and the long range attacks were all 'normal' hellfire ones. Right now the set is really all over the place in terms of types of attacks and secondary effects, which really makes it feel like the cobbled-together patchwork it is. Even switched around it would still be a bit of a patchwork, but it would feel more like an intentionally designed cohesive set.

If I were able to wave a wand and rearrange the set, it'd go something like this. Corruption would become a 20 foot range, 8 second recharge melee attack (with appropriate changes to damage/end/damage modifier - note the FX still looks just fine when used at that range) and replace Hellfire Smash. Wrath of Hell would become a 20 foot range melee attack, also gaining slightly more damage thanks to shifting to the melee damage modifier and so being a bit more worth its very long animation time. And then I'd add a 'Hellfire Blast' ranged attack to take Corruption's former spot as a 6s ranged attack. The set would still have almost the same basic setup of attacks, overall shifting one ranged attack to melee but still having a good number of both types (and a set being a bit melee or ranged biased isn't a bad thing anyway - see energy and earth assaults). And this way the set would have a lot more thematic consistency, and honestly the whip attacks *look* better as melee anyway.

I'm not saying that this has to be done just because I say so or something, of course, especially at this late date. The set is perfectly functional the way it is, and I actually like it a lot, the unique t9 especially. This is mostly just my design OCD/sense of order protesting at something that feels messy and inconsistent.

I'm sure I will have more comments at some point, but that's it for now. I will close with some minor bug reports.

Minor bug reports. Some of these I've already reported on discord, but putting them here as well for completeness:
Stone Composition, the SFX for both Volcanic Armor and Crystalline Armor do not properly fade away after activation, instead continuing to play indefinitely.
Dark Composition, Shadow Fall has the same problem as above where the SFX does not properly fade away.
Guardian Psi Assault, Telekinetic Blow does not play an animation.
Guardian Ice Mastery, Ice Storm does not accept accuracy enhancements like it should.
Hellfire Assault, Hellfire Smash and Hellfire Burst do not play SFX.
Super Reflexes, Practiced Brawler still has the same 'SFX does not properly fade away' issue, though its animation works now.
Super Reflexes, Practiced Brawler - the absorb expires after 10s and has a 2s gap until it refreshes at 12s, this is due to the absorb having a duration of 10s and a 'non-stacking, does not replace' flag on a toggle with a 2s activation period. To fix this the activation period and the duration on the other effects should be set to 10s (with appropriate change to the endurance cost) and the absorb's stacking flag changed to 'non-stacking, replaces'. This also affects Temporal Reaction's version.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2021, 05:28:16 pm by MuonNeutrino »
Astronomer, teacher, gamer, and procrastinator extraordinaire

Gothic Alpha

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Re: Guardians Feedback Thread
« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2021, 10:59:00 pm »
Dark Composition: Tar patch power icon does not match the color of other powers in the set

Nekrovile

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Re: Guardians Feedback Thread
« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2021, 04:17:00 pm »
I found two minor text errors in the latest version of Guardians.

Luminous Assault:
- Luminous Smite says it does "Moderate" damage in the shorter description, but it says "Heavy" damage in the longer description.

Hellfire Assault:
- Hellfire Blaze's short description now says "Ranged," but the longer description still says "Moderate"