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View Full Version : PvE has become too easy



Tekrunner
01-10-2014, 08:59 AM
Note: this post does not talk about surge bolters because I assume that they are getting changed soon, as they are currently not working as intended. This post is written in the context of a post-surge bolter game, and focuses on things that are, as far as I can tell, working as intended.

In the recent past, arkhunters have benefited from some fairly significant buffs:

Weapons of higher rarity do more damage (up to 15% more for legendaries)
Many weapons that could only have up to 3 bonus rolls now have up to 5, as they can receive white and blue bonuses. Many useless rolls were removed, increased the likelihood of getting good weapons.
Many weapon classes received direct damage buffs: most rocket launchers (almost +60%), most detonators (+20%), semi-auto sniper rifles (+30%), pump and combat shotguns (+20%), charge weapons (varies by weapon)
Weapons with increased base stats were introduced: Extra Life (each has a +20% damage bonus) and Arkbreaker (various bonuses, leading in most cases to an increase of 10 - 20% in sustained DPS) weapons. If you can beat the Warmaster consistently, getting orange versions of these weapons won't take very long.
Damage spikes can double damage for almost 30 seconds
Healing stims give players a lot of margin before they risk death, lowering the need to take cover and letting them unload their weapon straight into their enemies' critical spots
Shotgun magazine rolls were fixed, which can produce pump shotguns that can deal very high DPS for a long time before they need to be reloaded
This is a minor point, but purple mods were introduced, which can add a few percent more DPS


On the other hand, enemies didn't get any buff. In fact, it seems like enemy HP scaling was lowered, which means that each player fighting an enemy increases its health less than before.

The result is that almost all of PvE has become way too easy. The game has never really been hard, but it did contain a few pockets of interesting challenge (soloing Dark Matter arkfalls, fighting Volge solo, playing Sieges with 5 people or less, and of course PvP...). Nowadays there's only one semi-challenge: the Warmaster, and even that is fairly easy if you know what you are doing and you are with the right people. PvP could work too, except that it is affected by that power creep as well: even if surge bolters are fixed, there are now too many weapons in the game that can kill in barely over a second for PvP to be as enjoyable as it once was.

I know that part of my problem is that I am an EGO 5000 player who knows the game inside-out and has all kinds of excellent weapons. But the thing is that, right now, enemy difficulty is exactly the same no matter your own level or equipment. I really believe that the changes I listed above were for the best, and improved the progression and loot system greatly. However, we now need some form of progression in difficulty as well. One of the few things that I liked about Firefall was that each event had 4 possible levels of difficulty. Defiance could really use a similar system, where level 1 is doable by anyone solo, and level 4 requires either a sizable group or a low number of very, very well equipped players. This could be applied to several existing events, which wouldn't require expensive implementation of a bunch of new content: arkfalls, sieges, coops, even conflict sites...

I'd like to give a few concrete examples of the effects of this powercreep.

1. A typical modded VOT Grind Fragger used to have a mag of 10, damage 160*8 and fire rate 2.8. That meant DPS of 3584 that could be maintained for 3.6 seconds.
I now have a purple VOT Grind Fragger with double mag bonus. It has a mag of 20, damage 211*8 and fire rate 2.8. That means DPS of 4726 (+32%) that can be maintained for 7.2 seconds (+100%)

2. My best PvP weapon used to be a blue VOT Fragger with a x1.03 DMG mastery. Its damage was 93*12, with a card fire rate of 5.3 (measured value: 2.8). DPS while firing: 3125. Assuming a 50% hit rate, this could kill an enemy with an optimal PvP loadout in a little more than 3 seconds.
Now I have an orange Volge Breacher. Its damage is 138*12, with a card fire rate of 7.3 (measured value: 3). DPS while firing: 4968 (+59%). With the same 50% hit rate, this can kill an enemy in PvP in less than 2 seconds.
Using my Breacher, a damage spike and overcharge I killed Nim's last form in about 5 seconds.

3. My best sniper used to be an FRC Bolt Action Repeater with a x1.15 crit mult bonus and a x1.15 barrel. Damage on a critical hit was: 1259 * 3 * (1 + 0.15 + 0.15) = 4910.
Now my strongest sniper is a purple Extra Lifesteal Rifle, with x1.05 DMG and x1.20 crit mult bonuses, and a x1.15 barrel. Damage on a critical hit is: 1500 * 1.05 * 1.1 * 3 * (1 + 0.15 + 0.2) = 7017 (+43%).

4. A regular modded VOT Pulser used to do 177 damage per bullet, with a fire rate of 15, a mag of 96 and a reload of 1.4. Sustained DPS (= DPS taking reloads into account) was: 177 * 15 * (96/15 / (96/15 + 1.4)) = 2178.
Now my orange Castithan Springer does 214 damage, with a fire rate of 17.3, a mag of 111 and a reload of 1.3. Sustained DPS: 214 * 17.3 * (111/17.3 / (111/17.3 + 1.3)) = 3078 (+41%).
And of course if I really need to utterly destroy something, I can put a damage spike down, and my sustained DPS will soar to 6156.

Remember when SAWs were overpowered compared to every other weapon and were nerfed as a result? A SAW modded with x1.5 mag had a sustained DPS of 2495. That's like, total crap compared to what we can achieve today with a springer, needler, blaster, extra lifesteal machine gun, etc. I believe that Trion once stated that they wanted to bring all or most weapons to the level of a VBI Assault rifle. Well, they've way overshot the target.

Kenshin X
01-10-2014, 09:05 AM
Dont even need a gun anymore. Everything has been nerffed so badly you can just charge blade your way to victory over anything.

It was when this DLC hit, everything became a joke. Sieges (volge more so) are suuuch a joke now.

Saminator
01-10-2014, 09:09 AM
I've definitely noticed the enemy health scaling not being as much as it used to be, I talked to my clan about this too and we all think that's true. Those elite enemies with higher health don't seem like they have much anymore which sucks.

Tekrunner
01-10-2014, 09:10 AM
Dont even need a gun anymore. Everything has been nerffed so badly you can just charge blade your way to victory over anything.

It was when this DLC hit, everything became a joke. Sieges (volge more so) are suuuch a joke now.

Yes, I even forgot about blades. Sonic strike + intimidation + brawler spike = ridiculous damage, but at least that doesn't work quite as well against large enemies that have strong close-range attacks themselves.

Fuzzy
01-10-2014, 09:15 AM
Thanks for that thread/post, Tek!

I agree with everything you said on here. I'm still waiting on the Surge Bolter nerf, but you're right. They're not the only problem.
Stims and spikes are way OP. I'm not using health stims, I'm using power stims all the time. Power stims recharge your EGO power completely. That's really Op, especially in PvP or the WM. I can run around in cloak without using any EGO power recharge perks for double the time I can normally be in cloak.
In the WM, I can shoot with Overcharge and deal for double the time the increased damage. I use them, but I do think power stims shouldn't recharge your ego power completely as health stims shouldn't heal for shield/health completely.
Protection spikes are also OP. Try killing a person in PvP who's standing in a protection spike without using a Surge Bolter. As it is now, a fully charged headshot kills people in protection spikes, sometimes. Sometimes, no damage numbers show up. Don't know if these people are cheating/hacking or the protection spikes don't work correctly.

As Tek said, everything is easy now. One shot, dead. I used to have problems when I first started this game. It's my first MMO really. So I'm not that experienced but I'm playing Defiance since release. I know the game. I have one char at level 5.000 and another at level 3.000. That didn't take me really long.

I really hope enemies get a buff so Defiance gets a little harder, but not too hard so everyone can keep playing it.

Tekrunner
01-10-2014, 09:26 AM
As it is now, a fully charged headshot kills people in protection spikes, sometimes. Sometimes, no damage numbers show up. Don't know if these people are cheating/hacking or the protection spikes don't work correctly.

As far as I know, protection spikes can stack with perks. So if you shoot from behind and the person has Rear Guard, or you shoot while Thick Skinned is active, then you shouldn't deal any damage.


I really hope enemies get a buff so Defiance gets a little harder, but not too hard so everyone can keep playing it.

I believe that they need to add different difficulty levels wherever possible. That's the only way to keep everyone happy, newbies, casuals and hardcore players alike.

Fuzzy
01-10-2014, 09:45 AM
As far as I know, protection spikes can stack with perks. So if you shoot from behind and the person has Rear Guard, or you shoot while Thick Skinned is active, then you shouldn't deal any damage.


That's even worse. But AFAIK, Thick Skinned is broken or did they ninja fixed it? And I run Sucker Punch in my PvP loadout. That should compensate Rear Guard. Well, not completely, since Rear Guard is 30% and Sucker Punch only 15%.
But even IF it stacks, there should be at least a damage number shown. And if it is 0, like when shooting at the shield of a Monitor.
I think, they are broken. Sometimes, 6 people shoot at me and I don't die. They don't just shoot in my back, they shoot from the side at me or from the front and sometimes, I die through only one shot by a Surge Bolter. This can't be right and cannot be working as intended.

bigguy
01-10-2014, 09:48 AM
as i stated in another thread we all know the main problem is trion doesnt get the nerfs/buffs right they either nerf too much or buff too much idk if true balance can ever be achieved

Tekrunner
01-10-2014, 09:49 AM
That's even worse. But AFAIK, Thick Skinned is broken or did they ninja fixed it? And I run Sucker Punch in my PvP loadout. That should compensate Rear Guard. Well, not completely, since Rear Guard is 30% and Sucker Punch only 15%.

Thick skinned appears to still work, but not on the hit that takes away your shield anymore. That's why it's so much easier to 1-hit kill people now. I really wish that change was reverted.

bigguy
01-10-2014, 09:51 AM
can trion disable spikes and stimd for pvp only so at least we can go back to the old way which was closer to balanced

epsire
01-10-2014, 10:16 AM
When i first time encountered the Volge(it was 200 EGO or something) i thought "whoa man now you're ****ed". But 5 mins later they were all dead and i was like "whoa man did i just beat all of those Volge with my ****ty assault rifle? wat?"
Just saying.

Manstan
01-10-2014, 11:21 AM
Quoting myself from a different thread.

"I'll point out here it seems things have been eased off a bit. You used to drive close to a mission site and walked in because you had to think before you acted. Now you can just drive right in, go spray and pray, and get it done. Not saying its real bad, but I never could get the shutting down the refinery done by myself before. The refinery was one it was best to wait out side of till you saw a couple more players show up to do it".

Overtkill21
01-10-2014, 11:26 AM
PvE is a complete mess now - I suppose this is what Trion meant by "balance" - PvE is now a joke like PvP!!

Yay?

Manstan
01-10-2014, 12:08 PM
Could be worse, could be LOTRO. My lore master has a bobcat to fight for her, it can wipe out a squad of orcs passing gas lol

DanteYoda
01-10-2014, 02:33 PM
Agreed they seem to have lowered the health and maybe damage/accuracy across the board when DLC2 hit, before volge were epic and 99% death solo before, now they are 1% death solo with maybe a saw or something..

I personally like the last weapon pass especially Shotguns now (mostly) the surge bolter/splitshots are stupid now though.

maverick07
01-10-2014, 06:23 PM
I guess Trick said today that scaling wasn't changed any. And that the reason that enemies feel weaker is because of all the buffs we got.

I am not sure I am convinced though lol. I know it's not really possible to test now (not like we have any means of testing it if it did change any :)). But enemies still seem to go down faster than they should be with a lot of people around. Even when myself and a friend are the only ones shooting something with a lot of folks around us not shooting the same target it gets dropped pretty quick.

Like you said though Tek (and I think Trick mentioned it today too) the buffs we got to weapons were pretty big. They could be so big that the current scaling can't really keep up. I believe someone tested way back that the scaling is lower than an 100% increase for each player around. So with these massive buffs we got the scaling system might not make as much of a difference now.

I know for a fact that the Visceras got a nerf with Arkbreaker though. When they do their charge attack, ANY hit scored on them when he's blue is a Crit, and there's like a 25% boost to those Crits as well.

DanteYoda
01-10-2014, 09:35 PM
I guess Trick said today that scaling wasn't changed any. And that the reason that enemies feel weaker is because of all the buffs we got.

I am not sure I am convinced though lol.

Totally agree i am not convinced either, i soloed Volge emergencies with a BMG and nothing else multiple times and i'd do it again simple enough, there was no chance of that before DLC 2 and no one in their right mind would have even tried that either.

Obviously something is changed outside of weapon boosts stims/spikes etc

Tekrunner
01-11-2014, 01:15 AM
I'm not convinced either, but something else that worries me is that Trick appears to think that a 50% buff to weapon power (which we should keep in mind can become a 200% buff with a spike) is not a big deal. If I got his response right, he said that now players were not forced to use specific weapons to succeed at most things, they could use pretty much whatever they wanted. The problem with this is that it may not work when playing with other people. I play this game to shoot stuff, not to run around watching enemies die left and right. If I use a birdshot pump in a coop while someone else is using an orange springer or an Extra Life thunder, I'm not going to be able to hit much of anything at all, and that's not fun to me. So most of the time I'm still going to use my most powerful weapon, and only compound the problem.

The other part that worries me is that when asked about hard mode by WhiteF8ng (I'm guessing as a follow-up on the last livestream when he mentioned hard mode for coops?), Trick was like "wait crap, have I mentioned hard mode before? I shouldn't have".

I really don't think you can keep such weak enemies for players whether they're EGO 100 or 5000. It's good that there's more progression in loot now, but we need some progression in game difficulty to match it.

Lucky13X
01-11-2014, 02:01 AM
Dont even need a gun anymore. Everything has been nerffed so badly you can just charge blade your way to victory over anything.

It was when this DLC hit, everything became a joke. Sieges (volge more so) are suuuch a joke now.

You two may be complaining, but as a new player I appreciate this. It will make it easier for me to get into the game and then help join your queues to give you an additional player for your battles. Isn't that a good thing?

Btw, love the name Kenshin.

DanteYoda
01-11-2014, 02:07 AM
I'm not convinced either, but something else that worries me is that Trick appears to think that a 50% buff to weapon power (which we should keep in mind can become a 200% buff with a spike) is not a big deal. If I got his response right, he said that now players were not forced to use specific weapons to succeed at most things, they could use pretty much whatever they wanted. The problem with this is that it may not work when playing with other people. I play this game to shoot stuff, not to run around watching enemies die left and right. If I use a birdshot pump in a coop while someone else is using an orange springer or an Extra Life thunder, I'm not going to be able to hit much of anything at all, and that's not fun to me. So most of the time I'm still going to use my most powerful weapon, and only compound the problem.

This is actually a really good point Tek, i agree and everyone uses the best gear for a reason :), watching the live stream i saw they said not all detonators were buffed because they were not being used much on the servers.......well there is a reason for that Devs :) because they suck compared to the buffed ones :D

Tekrunner
01-11-2014, 03:11 AM
You two may be complaining, but as a new player I appreciate this. It will make it easier for me to get into the game and then help join your queues to give you an additional player for your battles. Isn't that a good thing?

Btw, love the name Kenshin.

I realize that these changes were for the best, and that they don't affect new players negatively. But once you've been playing the game for a while and have guns that are twice are powerful as the ones you have now, do you really think that you will still like fighting the same enemies at the same difficulty level? I'm fine with enemies being easy in Mt Tam and Madera, but once you get to Sausalito and San Francisco you should be required to have some good gear to do well. Right now that's not the case.

Lucky13X
01-11-2014, 03:14 AM
Ok, I can concede that point.

WhiteF8ng
01-11-2014, 04:14 AM
This is actually a really good point Tek, i agree and everyone uses the best gear for a reason :), watching the live stream i saw they said not all detonators were buffed because they were not being used much on the servers.......well there is a reason for that Devs :) because they suck compared to the buffed ones :D

Other way around. They weren't buffed because they didn't see a decline in player usage. Now mind you, I like the Auto and Rebound Lobbers but ain't no way those explode on impact detonators got used more than the others like the Big Boomer.

Arsenic_Touch
01-11-2014, 04:24 AM
I guess Trick said today that scaling wasn't changed any. And that the reason that enemies feel weaker is because of all the buffs we got.

I am not sure I am convinced though lol. .

I know I'm not. I've tested it on newer characters with white items. Even with the nerfed weapons that you start with and they're going down faster.