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Isn't balance skewed too much towards Deflection ?

balance defence tank tanking DR deflection metagame

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#41
Achilles

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The OP is asking, why are there so many ways to stack Deflection when there are so few ways to stack DR.



#42
b0rsuk

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So what the OP is saying is, it sucks that there is really only one way to build a tank? 

 

More less.

 

I'm having this idea of a DR tank floating in my head.

Race: Fire Godlike

Class: Barbarian (Blooded passive!)

Dual wielding spears with Valiant (+10 Accuracy and +25% damage when below 50%)

Eventually wearing He Carries Many Scars (1.5X DR when below 25% endurance), Mantle of the Dying Boar (+5 regen below 33%)

Supporting teammates: Paladin with Aura of Endurance, Chanter with Dull the Edge, Blunt the Point.

 

Barbarian is the only class that can benefit from having Endurance below 50%. "Valiant" is a powerful weapon enchantment. Barbarian can get Thick Skin and Defiant Resolve, whose effect would be greatly improved with high DR. Because this build benefits from a paladin, why not borrow the breastplate from Pallegrina in early game ?


Edited by b0rsuk, 05 May 2015 - 12:10 AM.


#43
koski

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Also, better AI that knows when to disengage and go after a weaker target.

 
It would be really interesting to see this. As how it currently stands there is little to no reason to not disengage from the tanks. I bet the whole community would be shouting shenanigans if that started to happen. I mean everyone and their mother tends to build tanks for survivability, which always leads to less damage that ends up with their disengagement attacks not being any real threat. In fact, the current NPC AI actually hurts from targets doing disengagement (my tanks tend to start following the designated target and if that is the one who disengages the tank will happily take attacks from the rest of the guys he is engaged with). In the end tanks would hold no aggro as its always smarter to just take the hits and run to one-shot the wizards/priests in no armour/cloth. Every fight would be reduced into huddling in the corner covering all paths to your squishies (like many of us do against shadows/phantoms/shades) or just the usual door blocking.
 
The real way to fix these problems would be to give enemies ranged attacks. Currently, only designated ranged attackers use ranged weapons but the game would change completely if the enemy would be able to use the same tactics as you. Having your fighter block the door while the rest of the party attacks with reach weapons or ranged/spells? How would you like it if the enemy at the second row would switch to using a pike or the knight in the back row to his crossbow and return the favour against your squishies? Suddenly you'd be in a hurry to deal with the tank blocking the door to get inside to deal with the actual threat. Its hard to justify a person in a fantasy world that would not carry some sort of ranged weapon with them. When it is about life or death, you'll want to at least have a shot of ending the fight before it even starts. Many enemies even have bows, but they never switch to them.
 
That is really what the AI needs, not something that breaks the whole engagement system and reduces the whole thing to anarchy.
 
As for the whole topic at hand. There is a huge difference in building a tank in the "approved potd"-Mazeltov way and building it like Achilles does it. If your Tank™ is there sitting with 3 might, 3 dex, 3 int (if fighter) and per,res and con capped then of course you should wear the heaviest armour available. The tank will be dealing no damage so there is zero difference between wearing no armour and wearing full plate so why not wear full plate? And if you build your "Tank" in a way you'd build a damage dealing warrior with talents towards tanking (which is what I am assuming Achilles is doing), you might actually have a reason not to wear plate. Though to be honest I think Achilles might have to check his math on when 5% faster attack rate is better than 3 DR. The fight will have to be over a whole lot faster with that 5% recovery gain for it to offset even a single graze that ends up doing reasonable damage.


Edited by koski, 05 May 2015 - 12:30 AM.

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#44
b0rsuk

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That's a false dichotomy - there's middle ground between: "1 tank should be enough for everyone" and "Every fight would be reduced into huddling in the corner.". If you had two line holders, you would be causing double disengagement attacks. Most enemies would be severely weakened after that. If they still go after your "squishies", switch to two-handed weapons and cut them in half. "Squishies" can equip large shields and have defensive tricks, in worst case - potions. And "squishies" just got a buff in 1.05. Cipher, Wizard got more health and endurance. Even priest got more health. Not every melee line is worth getting through.

 

Giving all encounters ranged attacks to fall back is not foolproof. Cipher has a hard counter to ranged attacks in the form of level1 spell Eyestrike. It inflicts Dazed and Blind in an area. Besides, at least one of the spirit types already has a ranged attack, and does it really work ?

 

Tight formations like hugging a corner have a strong counter - area attacks. Even one enemy per encounter with an area attack would change the way you fight.


Edited by b0rsuk, 05 May 2015 - 01:02 AM.


#45
koski

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That's a false dichotomy - there's middle ground between: "1 tank should be enough for everyone" and "Every fight would be reduced into huddling in the corner.". If you had two line holders, you would be causing double disengagement attacks. Most enemies would be severely weakened after that. If they still go after your "squishies", switch to two-handed weapons and cut them in half. "Squishies" can equip large shields and have defensive tricks, in worst case - potions. And "squishies" just got a buff in 1.05. Cipher, Wizard got more health and endurance. Even priest got more health. Not every melee line is worth getting through.

 

Giving all encounters ranged attacks to fall back is not foolproof. Cipher has a hard counter to ranged attacks in the form of level1 spell Eyestrike. It inflicts Dazed and Blind in an area. Besides, at least one of the spirit types already has a ranged attack, and does it really work ?

 

Tight formations like hugging a corner have a strong counter - area attacks. Even one enemy per encounter with an area attack would change the way you fight.

 

Its not about one tank being enough. Its about no one bothering to stick to any tank, as they wont be any kind of threat even with disengagement attacks. The problem is probably in the engagement system itself, which is a blessing and a curse. Two tanks would not cause any more engagement attacks, as unless they're fighters, specced for tanking they will not be able to aggro even the mobs they're supposed to hold themselves, let alone have enough engagement slots left for the "extra" guys to double hold for the second tank.The point however is, that if the AI was designed to take disengagements every now and then, then most of the times they would do that would pretty much include all the time. On all tanks. No tank would be able to hold aggro as there is little to no actual reason to attack the tanks.

 

a) they got too high deflection to actually hit -> any smart AI would just leave them there, good thing the AI is not smart.

b) they're wearing too heavy armour to damage properly -> any smart AI would just leave them there and kill them last, good thing the AI is not smart

c) they deal little to no damage and pose no threat -> any smart AI would just ignore them and go for targets with actual threat, good thing the AI is not smart

 

Add a,b and c together and you got foes going towards your mage, ranger, priest, rogue, whoever else than the tanks. This is what you do as a player too. You stick your fighter towards the big guys running straight at you and focus down the mages. Up to the point where you'll get your ass handed to you in a second if you do not do it but the whole fight is a cakewalk and you'll lose no HP on anyone if you do it.

 

And to be honest, eyestrike is a hard counter for pretty much everything. Blind & dazed opponents rarely do anything useful. But you know who else doesn't do anything useful? The guys who are standing in line to be slaughtered one by one.

 

Shade is probably the one you mean with the ranged attack? And yes, it does work. They gank Aloth almost every time. Spirits in general are the representation on what would happen if foes were able to freely ignore engagement. And I can't really say I've ever heard anyone praise the spirit type enemies. Quite the opposite. They're probably the most hated creatures along with the vampire things.

 

And yes, AoE attacks hard counter corner hugging, but its a risk you have to take when your tanks have no way of holding aggro. Then again you could build every party member like you'd build a PotD solo character. Able to tank for himself and deal with any enemy. That'd be fun.


Edited by koski, 05 May 2015 - 04:33 AM.


#46
Raven Darkholme

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Also, better AI that knows when to disengage and go after a weaker target.

 
It would be really interesting to see this. As how it currently stands there is little to no reason to not disengage from the tanks. I bet the whole community would be shouting shenanigans if that started to happen. I mean everyone and their mother tends to build tanks for survivability, which always leads to less damage that ends up with their disengagement attacks not being any real threat. In fact, the current NPC AI actually hurts from targets doing disengagement (my tanks tend to start following the designated target and if that is the one who disengages the tank will happily take attacks from the rest of the guys he is engaged with). In the end tanks would hold no aggro as its always smarter to just take the hits and run to one-shot the wizards/priests in no armour/cloth. Every fight would be reduced into huddling in the corner covering all paths to your squishies (like many of us do against shadows/phantoms/shades) or just the usual door blocking.
 
The real way to fix these problems would be to give enemies ranged attacks. Currently, only designated ranged attackers use ranged weapons but the game would change completely if the enemy would be able to use the same tactics as you. Having your fighter block the door while the rest of the party attacks with reach weapons or ranged/spells? How would you like it if the enemy at the second row would switch to using a pike or the knight in the back row to his crossbow and return the favour against your squishies? Suddenly you'd be in a hurry to deal with the tank blocking the door to get inside to deal with the actual threat. Its hard to justify a person in a fantasy world that would not carry some sort of ranged weapon with them. When it is about life or death, you'll want to at least have a shot of ending the fight before it even starts. Many enemies even have bows, but they never switch to them.
 
That is really what the AI needs, not something that breaks the whole engagement system and reduces the whole thing to anarchy.
 
As for the whole topic at hand. There is a huge difference in building a tank in the "approved potd"-Mazeltov way and building it like Achilles does it. If your Tank™ is there sitting with 3 might, 3 dex, 3 int (if fighter) and per,res and con capped then of course you should wear the heaviest armour available. The tank will be dealing no damage so there is zero difference between wearing no armour and wearing full plate so why not wear full plate? And if you build your "Tank" in a way you'd build a damage dealing warrior with talents towards tanking (which is what I am assuming Achilles is doing), you might actually have a reason not to wear plate. Though to be honest I think Achilles might have to check his math on when 5% faster attack rate is better than 3 DR. The fight will have to be over a whole lot faster with that 5% recovery gain for it to offset even a single graze that ends up doing reasonable damage.

I agree and said this before myself.

#47
Raven Darkholme

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So what the OP is saying is, it sucks that there is really only one way to build a tank?

 
More less.
 
I'm having this idea of a DR tank floating in my head.
Race: Fire Godlike
Class: Barbarian (Blooded passive!)
Dual wielding spears with Valiant (+10 Accuracy and +25% damage when below 50%)
Eventually wearing He Carries Many Scars (1.5X DR when below 25% endurance), Mantle of the Dying Boar (+5 regen below 33%)
Supporting teammates: Paladin with Aura of Endurance, Chanter with Dull the Edge, Blunt the Point.
 
Barbarian is the only class that can benefit from having Endurance below 50%. "Valiant" is a powerful weapon enchantment. Barbarian can get Thick Skin and Defiant Resolve, whose effect would be greatly improved with high DR. Because this build benefits from a paladin, why not borrow the breastplate from Pallegrina in early game ?

That wouldn't work btw because Raedrics armor sadly only gives a bonus DR when below 25% HEALTH I wear the armor with my solo pala and never really use the bonus. So basically the only use is EN reg for non fighters.

#48
Kaigen42

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@koski The problem with programming the AI to actually disengage is that as it currently stands, it's very difficult (if not impossible) to make a tank that is both very durable and very dangerous. They would either need to boost tank damage high enough to be threatening, which would make dps specialists marginal as you could have someone doing similar damage with better survivability, or else give tanks tools to punish disengagements in other ways ala 4e D&D, which would require them to program an AI intelligent enough to assess the various penalties they might take for disengaging vs. the tactical advantage of hitting a more vulnerable target. All of which might end up with a properly built tank having disengagement attacks so nasty that it's never a good idea to disengage, leaving us back where we started.



#49
b0rsuk

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AI smart enough to disengage once in a while would encourage more balanced fighters, who are reasonably tough while still dealing good damage. And that would be good.



#50
Kaylon

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No matter how you build your tank they will always do very low damage compared to casters and monsters should always attack the latest first. In other games developers gave tanks the ability to "taunt" in order to justify why monsters are attacking them. Engage is just that - an excuse for having monsters not attacking casters in the first place - it has nothing to with disengage damage "scaring" the monsters.



#51
KDubya

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No matter how you build your tank they will always do very low damage compared to casters and monsters should always attack the latest first. In other games developers gave tanks the ability to "taunt" in order to justify why monsters are attacking them. Engage is just that - an excuse for having monsters not attacking casters in the first place - it has nothing to with disengage damage "scaring" the monsters.

 

 

If you make your fighter with max might and dex, use two handed weapons, take weapon spec, focus and mastery, and armored grace you'll out put consistent accurate heavy hitting around 40 damage per hit at a fairly fast rate.

 

With defender and wary defender modal you can tank up when needed, turning it off when not. Throw in the critical defense that converts crits to hits to increase survivability and the self rez and you get a sturdy frontliner that will kill mobs while being durable.

 

Only fighters can take weapon spec and mastery for +25% damage with the entire weapon group, and armored grace for -16% armor penalty, roughly equivalent to 5 extra dex as far as action speed goes. A fighter with soldier weapon group can alpha strike with a arbalest or arquebus as hard as a ranger or cipher can and then switch to melee while requiriring minmal support.

 

Melee rogues can output bigger damage but are fragile, needing to flank or utilize reach weapons from safety. Barbs are similar in their fragility as their deflection is terrible and they depend on killing quicker than they themselves get dropped. Fighters can take the hits, survive and still output good damage.


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#52
Achilles

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KDubya - WF: Knight will give you a bonus with crossbows. Not quite as powerful as the weapons you mentioned, but does have the benefit of doing both Piercing and Slash damage. My PC fighter has sword/medium shield in one weapon slot and a crossbow in the other and is good to go for 90% of encounters.

#53
koski

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AI smart enough to disengage once in a while would encourage more balanced fighters, who are reasonably tough while still dealing good damage. And that would be good.

 

My point was, that unless the AI would disengage completely randomly there would be no real benefit to it. Programming the AI to react to reasoning (like it does now) is easier. For example what the AI seems to do is: Attack the guy with the lowest defence in range while avoiding movement if engaged. If you remove the "avoid movement when engaged part" from the equation, its your squishies and non tanks that get targeted. Always. This is because your tank tends to be the guy with the highest defence in every category and there is little to no reason to target your tank.

 

I do get what you mean. I would also like it if fights weren't just about

 

a) "hug the corner to cover squishies"-shades

b) stick your tank(s) on everything and they wont move for the rest of the fight

 

But having things disengage only causes every fight to be like option a. No one would like that, there is actually a reason why they made the engagement system and that would just undermine the whole thing. To be honest the system itself is a lot better than what most games have. And I prefer it over the usual "aggro" mechanics that are in most MMORPG games.

 

What needs to happen is that the enemies are actually smarter. Move into better positions. Don't just queue to the door but instead stay away from it shooting ranged weapons at the tank. You know far enough so they won't be able to retaliate without breaking the door blockage. Maybe even just fire a single shot from ranged weapons (towards someone else than the tank maybe?) before moving into melee range. Little things that the players also do to maximize their effectiveness in fights.



#54
b0rsuk

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I think a bigger problem with AI disengaging randomly would be that it would be possible to keep reloading the game until you get the result you want. For example, 1 weak "tank" character, reload until they don't disengage.



#55
Kaylon

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No matter how you build your tank they will always do very low damage compared to casters and monsters should always attack the latest first. In other games developers gave tanks the ability to "taunt" in order to justify why monsters are attacking them. Engage is just that - an excuse for having monsters not attacking casters in the first place - it has nothing to with disengage damage "scaring" the monsters.

 

 

If you make your fighter with max might and dex, use two handed weapons, take weapon spec, focus and mastery, and armored grace you'll out put consistent accurate heavy hitting around 40 damage per hit at a fairly fast rate.

 

 

 

 

40 damage is low compared to what spells can do and to multiple targets. My point is that a smart monster would never attack a tank  and the devs are forced to come always with artificial solutions in order to help them fulfill their role (protect the caster). IMO a more realistic way would be to use a bodyguard system - where the tank is able to protect people in a certain area around him (ie all the single attacks against people he's protecting should be directed to him)


Edited by Kaylon, 05 May 2015 - 11:27 AM.

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#56
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I think a bigger problem with AI disengaging randomly would be that it would be possible to keep reloading the game until you get the result you want. For example, 1 weak "tank" character, reload until they don't disengage.

 

But its pretty much the only way to do it without causing option a) all the time.



#57
Voltron

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No matter how you build your tank they will always do very low damage compared to casters and monsters should always attack the latest first. In other games developers gave tanks the ability to "taunt" in order to justify why monsters are attacking them. Engage is just that - an excuse for having monsters not attacking casters in the first place - it has nothing to with disengage damage "scaring" the monsters.

 

Disagree, my monk super tank build could get higher Deflection with gear but I want to get hit in solo to get Wounds for TR. However I can assure you- you can put him in front and he will dish out more DPS than your DPS fighter with Torments Reach. Never underestimate Torments Reach. And he will still tank as good as tank paladin. Not as good as Fighter but he will at least dish super AOE (cone) DPS every second unarmed!



#58
Kaylon

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No matter how you build your tank they will always do very low damage compared to casters and monsters should always attack the latest first. In other games developers gave tanks the ability to "taunt" in order to justify why monsters are attacking them. Engage is just that - an excuse for having monsters not attacking casters in the first place - it has nothing to with disengage damage "scaring" the monsters.

 

Disagree, my monk super tank build could get higher Deflection with gear but I want to get hit in solo to get Wounds for TR. However I can assure you- you can put him in front and he will dish out more DPS than your DPS fighter with Torments Reach. Never underestimate Torments Reach. And he will still tank as good as tank paladin. Not as good as Fighter but he will at least dish super AOE (cone) DPS every second unarmed!

 

 

Don't understand what your monk has to do with the discussion and where I'm talking about my fighter? And a monk tanking like a paladin? It's a joke, yes? 



#59
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I've always disliked the tank paradigm, the towering guy who suffers as much damage as it inflicts: zero. It has become so dominant that many players and game developers have their vision of RPG combat constrained by the notions of tanks and aggro, which, IMHO, hurts gaming quality. Not to mention that the paradigm makes absolutely no sense whatsoever from a realistic point of view. As others have pointed out, who in their right mind would bother hitting a flat, inoffensive wall, when their whole party is being mopped up ?

 

No, decidedly, I much prefer combat where fighters are actual threats that an opponent absolutely wants to hold back, either with fighters or barrage attacks, because they are unstoppable juggernauts. A raging man with huge plate armor, a massive shield and a sword is not someone you want anywhere near you, you want him held back or dead before he reaches you, but he's really hard to kill so your team has to focus on his butt. His weakness is definitely not fire power nor is it protection, it's speed and range.

 

 

As for the concept of aggro separated from actual threat (e.g, tank aggro, taunts), do we need this notion when we have a realistic combat system ? We don't because threat immediacy is enough to gauge how much party resources should be allocated to a task. Tanks present no threat so an opponent should stop allocating resources to oppose them as soon as they become aware of the subterfuge.

 

The only advantage to this notion of aggro is that it saves development time by making AI simpler and game difficulty easier to control. But without it we unlock the possibility to have wizard battles, priests being taken down so fighters can be stopped, strategic movement, and generally a lot of fun and variety as opposed to fun but repetitive battles.

Pillars of Eternity doesn't have much of this variety because of its weak AI, not because the combat system is flawed. As it is, engagement is used a lot like aggro but there is no explicit aggro mechanism that skills rely upon. Only AI work stands in our way rather than the combat system and skills overhaul that other games would need on top :)

 

Calculated disengagement doesn't necessarily mean that enemies can pierce our melee lines disregarding everything though. It's an AI issue and AI programmers know how to deal with this without having recourse to aggro-like behavior ;)


Edited by Adragan, 05 May 2015 - 01:38 PM.

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#60
Voltron

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No matter how you build your tank they will always do very low damage compared to casters and monsters should always attack the latest first. In other games developers gave tanks the ability to "taunt" in order to justify why monsters are attacking them. Engage is just that - an excuse for having monsters not attacking casters in the first place - it has nothing to with disengage damage "scaring" the monsters.

 

Disagree, my monk super tank build could get higher Deflection with gear but I want to get hit in solo to get Wounds for TR. However I can assure you- you can put him in front and he will dish out more DPS than your DPS fighter with Torments Reach. Never underestimate Torments Reach. And he will still tank as good as tank paladin. Not as good as Fighter but he will at least dish super AOE (cone) DPS every second unarmed!

 

 

Don't understand what your monk has to do with the discussion and where I'm talking about my fighter? And a monk tanking like a paladin? It's a joke, yes? 

 

 

No. That was to you saying "how you build your tank they will always do very low damage compared to casters". All I wanted to say that you can build monk for a tank and he will do great DPS. Thats all. And yes, my monk can tank as good as your paladin, becasue he will actually kill stuff 4x faster while doing so and being very capable against any CC in game. Tested in solo 2x runs, so in party that would be tank in the park.


Edited by Voltron, 05 May 2015 - 01:11 PM.






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