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Does Champions Online excessively encourage specialization?

pantagruel01pantagruel01 Posts: 4,689 Arc User
edited January 12 in Power Discussion
So, out of curiosity, I decided to see 'what would happen if I added a ranged attack, a melee attack, or a heal to an existing ranged dps, melee dps, tank, or healer'. Powers chosen for examination were Force Blast (full charge), Gauntlet Chainsaw, Psionic Healing (full charge), as I don't have those powers on any of the characters checked but it does work with my passives. I also tested the dps in hybrid role with no passive, to simulate what you'd get out of a hybrid with a defensive passive but otherwise statted for offense.

Ranged dps: FB 2,721, GC 782, psi heal 1,185. Effective hit points (HP*mitigation) 11,452
(Hybrid): FB 1,958, GC 651, psi heal 1,640
Melee dps: FB 1,816, GC 1,076, psi heal 1,185. Effective hit points 9,801 (more dodge/avoid, though)
(Hybrid): FB 1,654, GC 812, psi heal 1,631
Tank: FB 1,223, GC 664, psi heal 1,185. Effective hit points 47,310 (note: I play a high offense/low defense tank, relatively speaking)
Healer: FB 1,142, GC 474, psi heal 7,585. Effective hit points 13,819

Ratio of best to worst, ranged: 2.38 (crits would increase this ratio)
Ratio of best to worst, melee: 2.27 (crits would increase this ratio)
Ratio of best to worst, heals: 6.40 (!)
Ratio of best to worst, hp: 4.83

Do these ratios seem too high? What should the ratios be?

Does Champions Online excessively encourage specialization? 10 votes

Ratios are fine.
60%
aiqanbkxsspinnytoptheravenforcekamokamiqawsada 6 votes
Ratios should be somewhat lower.
20%
pantagruel01roughbearmattach 2 votes
Ratios should be a lot lower.
20%
nique554therealwraiven 2 votes

Comments

  • nbkxsnbkxs Posts: 307 Arc User
    edited January 12
    Ratios are fine.
    I think the hybrids should disappear completely. The exception to this would be where some overlapping roles can still achieve specialized levels using the same base build, and use double forms, and double passives.​​
    [NbK]XStorm
  • roughbearmattachroughbearmattach Posts: 4,527 Arc User
    edited January 12
    Ratios should be somewhat lower.
    The healing ratio is bananas, especially since it, too, can benefit from crits.

    I wonder how the role choice affects CC magnitude/duration.

    Otherwise, keeping ratios around 2:1 makes the choice of a specialty meaningful. One thing I've seen in several games I've played (including tabletop games) is when choices make a character marginally better at some things, but not really worse in others. In these cases, I felt as though my choices didn't matter much , and that made character builds less interesting.
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  • pantagruel01pantagruel01 Posts: 4,689 Arc User
    Ratios should be somewhat lower.
    CCing actually has even more extreme ratios than healing, because dps role actually includes a penalty to CC, whereas it just has no bonus to healing (support role multiplies both by 1.2).
  • pwestolemynamepwestolemyname Posts: 652 Arc User
    This seems to confirm the theory that healing is OP. I mean, my personal experience is not as such, but I think that's because I still suck as a healer and spend much of my time sucking dirt. But, a lot of people say healing is OP.

    Specialization is a good thing. If you lower the differentiation, everyone just becomes pretty much the same thing. We just end up with a bunch of tankmages who can do everything. OR we end up with a bunch of gimped toons who can do everything, but none of it well.

    Also, with specialization, we end up with more interdependence, which is good. Even Superman needs Batman's help sometimes.
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  • flowcytoflowcyto Posts: 7,894 Arc User
    Last I checked, general healing bonuses don't DR like general passive dmg bonus/strength does. That may explain some of the disparity, but I'm not sure.
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  • pantagruel01pantagruel01 Posts: 4,689 Arc User
    Ratios should be somewhat lower.
    flowcyto said:

    Last I checked, general healing bonuses don't DR like general passive dmg bonus/strength does. That may explain some of the disparity, but I'm not sure.

    That's where some of it comes from, but most of it has to do with healing strength bonuses vs damage strength bonuses. Total out-of-specialty damage bonuses (stars, superstats, reduced form stacks) tend to be in the 150% range even for healers or tanks using the wrong range type attacks. By comparison, total out-of-specialty healing bonuses are likely to be in 20% range.
  • pantagruel01pantagruel01 Posts: 4,689 Arc User
    Ratios should be somewhat lower.
    so, I just checked. On a ranged dps, electrocute has duration 9.7s. On ccer it lasts 69s (ratio 7.11)
  • flowcytoflowcyto Posts: 7,894 Arc User
    edited January 13
    I assume that's w/ 8x Manip? Hold strength is another thing that doesn't really DR, afaik.

    *shrug* I guess they could implement a DR on them, though I wouldn't make it as sharp as for dmg bonuses, and it would be a nerf to healers and CC'ers that encounters may have to be re-balanced around. There should be generally larger incentives to do anything other than dps, imo, as that's usually going to be the easiest and most popular route to take.
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    - Themed Tanks // Misc Build Dump // Ayonachan's Gift Horse (stat data)
    - Be safe and have fun, champs - for science!
  • pwestolemynamepwestolemyname Posts: 652 Arc User
    flowcyto said:

    There should be generally larger incentives to do anything other than dps, imo, as that's usually going to be the easiest and most popular route to take.

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  • stergasterga Posts: 2,220 Arc User
    Does CO encourage specialization? Yes and no.

    The overwhelming majority of content doesn't need specialization. However, the game tries to push specialization in characters, powers, and roles. It creates a weird disconnect between what devs are pushing on paper and the experience of playing the game.

    If someone is geared up as a Cosmic tank, they are way overqualified for tanking anything else in the game. What does a dedicated healer do in most other content? Not a whole lot. Especially when you have that Cosmic geared tank anywhere else. How much healing do they really need? And what is going to be controlled in a party that can slaughter everything in seconds? Most bosses are still immune to a lot of controls, right?

    The only roles that aren't unneeded or pointless in most of the game are DPS and hybrids. Being able to heal on the side without a build dedicated to it is a lot more enjoyable to play than "nobody needs my healing so... yeah". Same for control. Considering most content can be tanked by a beefy dps, having someone at Cosmic tank level is beyond unnecessary.

    Then we also have a problem with so many things being character bound. We can all make alts, but what if you have that character you really love? And it was made to specialize in a small portion of the content? But isn't needed anywhere else? Another disconnect between what the devs try to push and how it feels to play the game.​​
  • aiqaaiqa Posts: 2,352 Arc User
    edited January 13
    Ratios are fine.
    Healers and CCers need a lot more powers that are not overly useful for anything except playing their single role in specific content. "Balancing" healers or CCers should not only be numerical, but also look at the game meta where there overall viability should be competitive with other rules. And since they are significantly weaker in anything outside their niche (compared to a dps or tank), they should be significantly stronger in their niche.
  • aesicaaesica Posts: 1,744 Arc User
    Overall, I think the ratios should be a lot lower. Healing and tankiness in particular--especially healing. This game has already fallen deep into the trap of "the healing is really strong, so in order to challenge healers, we need to make things hit harder--based on how much the best-built tanks can manage because we need to challenge them, too. Aaaand now everyone else can enjoy being a 1-shot." Worst of all is that healing has no real limiting factors due to energy's high spend/recovery rates, so healers can pretty much crank it up to 11 for the entire fight.

    In contrast, games like WoW give healers a larger overall resource pool, but this pool refills much more slowly. Healers have a combination of weaker, but more energy-efficient heals they can spam endlessly (overall positive resource gain) mixed with more potent, but expensive heals (negative resource gain) that will dry them up if spammed for too long.

    I know one argument in favor of high specialization gaps is that it "forces" you to depend on and team up with other people, but against high-hp targets, large numbers of targets, encounters with lots of damage, or encounters with mechanics that simply require more out of participants besides just beating the crap out of something until it stops moving, you're going to need other people anyway. Relaxing role gaps means players have more leeway in terms of who they can bring along for such content, and in a limited-population game like CO, that's an improvement on SOOO many levels.
    sterga wrote: »
    Does CO encourage specialization? Yes and no.

    The overwhelming majority of content doesn't need specialization. However, the game tries to push specialization in characters, powers, and roles. It creates a weird disconnect between what devs are pushing on paper and the experience of playing the game.
    I couldn't possibly agree more. I'm sorry to say this because I know a lot of folks have made it their way of life in CO, but this problem really started around the time of TA and the cosmic revamps. The extreme nature of this content and the requirements for clearing it has strongarmed a lot of players into hanging up their hybrids, less-optimal-but-themed/fun builds, and such in favor of more specialized, less-flexible characters with limited usefulness outside this specific content. Sure, there has been minmaxing going on long before this content, but it never really became a requirement until these things came out.

    With these things changing the way more and more people make their characters, the older content begins to feel easier and outdated. In turn, this gets players wanting to see it brought up to the "modern" standards and...

    ...that's how a "build-whatever-the-hell-you-want" game gets converted into a trinity-or-die wow knockoff. Yay.​​
    (Hopefully) Useful CO Resources: HeroCreator (character planner), Blood Moon Map, and more (eventually, anyway).
  • jaazaniah1jaazaniah1 Posts: 2,223 Arc User
    I thought this thread was going to be about players moving to an almost single SS style of play, where one stat is pushed to 550 or well above for optimal effect in the end game content, while other SS get no, or maybe a single mod.
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  • aiqaaiqa Posts: 2,352 Arc User
    edited January 14
    Ratios are fine.
    aesica said:

    Overall, I think the ratios should be a lot lower. Healing and tankiness in particular--especially healing. This game has already fallen deep into the trap of "the healing is really strong, so in order to challenge healers, we need to make things hit harder--based on how much the best-built tanks can manage because we need to challenge them, too.

    That has nothing/little to do with ratio's, that is due to absolute numbers. Ratios are about "what fights should I be able to tank with my high health dps character", or "how good a healer should I be with my hybrid build".
  • spinnytopspinnytop Posts: 11,558 Arc User
    edited January 15
    Ratios are fine.
    I agree with those saying the ratios are fine. If you lower them too much, specialization disappears completely and we lose a huge chunk of our build diversity. If the effect of picking a role is minimal, then the choice doesn't matter, and the last thing we need to be doing is rolling back the clock and going back to having a bunch of meaningless choices ( those of us who were playing the game when it had a lot of those know why that would be bad ). The way things are right now is just about right, because you have a real choice when it comes to making a specialist or something less-specialized. As much as people want to say things one way or the other, this has been proven in game. Anyone saying that you have to specialize is flat out wrong, you can make a non-specialized toon that contributes just as much or more than a specialist. I know cause I've done it and I've observed others doing it. When people tell you to make a specialist, it's because they're pretty sure you couldn't build an effective hybrid.


    PS - I always find it amusing that the same people who seem to be so against a system that revolves around specialized trinity characters are often the same people using WoW or other much more strictly trinity games as an example of how CO should do things. :3c
    5tCNJWa.jpg
    Deal with it.
  • aesicaaesica Posts: 1,744 Arc User
    edited January 16
    aiqa wrote: »
    That has nothing/little to do with ratio's, that is due to absolute numbers. Ratios are about "what fights should I be able to tank with my high health dps character", or "how good a healer should I be with my hybrid build".
    It has plenty to do with it, actually. If the ratio between tank HP and non-tank HP wasn't as high as it is, you wouldn't have the issue of damage intended to challenge tanks one-shotting everyone else. If the ratio between dedicated healer healing and hybrid/other healing wasn't so high, hybrid/offhealing would be less useless and main healers wouldn't be as overpowered as they are now. The absolute numbers are a symptom of the problem, not the cause.
    spinnytop wrote: »
    PS - I always find it amusing that the same people who seem to be so against a system that revolves around specialized trinity characters are often the same people using WoW or other much more strictly trinity games as an example of how CO should do things. :3c
    1) Just because a game "has trinity gameplay" doesn't mean that every example taken from that game has to involve "trinity gameplay"

    2) CO keeps trying to be WoW, even though the trinity model works poorly in an open-ended customization game such as this, where the developers have less control over balancing each role to their exact specifications. CO should've never tried to become a trinity game in the first place.​​
    (Hopefully) Useful CO Resources: HeroCreator (character planner), Blood Moon Map, and more (eventually, anyway).
  • spinnytopspinnytop Posts: 11,558 Arc User
    edited January 16
    Ratios are fine.
    If we make the ratios 1:1 by giving everyone the highest bonuses of each role then what you consider problems still remain. The absolute amounts are in fact the cause of what you consider problems. Just imagine if everyone has the HP of a tank, the healing of a healer, and the dps of a damage dealer potentially at their disposal no matter which role they choose. The problem would actually be even worse as they would have to balance the encounters around the highest possible survival ability you could muster with these new bonuses, meaning anyone that doesn't build that way is screwed.
    The ratios don't cause these effects, they make the roles distinct and create a reason to pick one or the other, and in fact having all these bonuses separated out this way lowers the bar that they have to balance around so the ratios technically prevent these effects from getting even more extreme.

    I say "what you consider problems" because not everybody considers a few bosses doing big damage a problem. A T-Rex should do big damage when it bites you with a mouth the size of a mini-van.
    Post edited by spinnytop on
    5tCNJWa.jpg
    Deal with it.
  • aiqaaiqa Posts: 2,352 Arc User
    Ratios are fine.
    aesica said:

    It has plenty to do with it, actually. If the ratio between tank HP and non-tank HP wasn't as high as it is, you wouldn't have the issue of damage intended to challenge tanks one-shotting everyone else. If the ratio between dedicated healer healing and hybrid/other healing wasn't so high, hybrid/offhealing would be less useless and main healers wouldn't be as overpowered as they are now. The absolute numbers are a symptom of the problem, not the cause.

    What problem is that exactly? We have people that enjoy playing tanks being able to be useful as a tank, and dps being useful, healers being useful, CCers being useful. And hybrids still have the easiest time of all everywhere in CO, and a well build hybrid can easily do their part in endgame fights.

    People accepting to compromise their character in one way, to be able to excel in another way, should not feel punished for their choice, or be made to feel their compromise was meaningless. And people that want as little compromise as possible overall, shouldn't expect to compete with specialist. Why exactly should a non-tank be able to fill the role of a dedicated tank? Why should a hybrid be able to fill the role of a dedicated healer? That is not common practice on any MMO where such dedicated roles are available, and with good reason.

    As for hybrid offhealer being useless, that is just not true at all. The most a dedicated healer has over a hybrid, is the build in +25% heal bonus in their role, the rest is mostly gear and power choices. If your hybrid healer is using dps gear and a dps toggle, sure it wont compete with a dedicated healer, but why should it? If you spend 100% if your time healing, a dedicated healer should always be the most optimal choice, by a significant margin. But as a good hybrid you could help with dps when incoming damage is low, and switch to healing when incoming damage is high, and jump in to share damage with the tanks when needed. That is all very much possible right now, the real "problem" is that only a handful people are even trying. Of course many of the hybrids that do join the endgame content aren't able to do any of that. Their damage is lower than the tank (even when the tank is blocking 50% of the time), their health and resistance is to low to take even one hit from a boss, and they have no heals they can use on other players. That is not something inherent to hybrids, but is more due to the choices of players.

    All in all, CO is currently in the best place since it was released, in letting different builds contribute to fights. I would hate to see that messed up just because a few players feel they need to be able to compete with a specialist when using a generalist, when playing a specialized role.
    aesica said:

    2) CO keeps trying to be WoW, even though the trinity model works poorly in an open-ended customization game such as this, where the developers have less control over balancing each role to their exact specifications. CO should've never tried to become a trinity game in the first place.​​

    CO was designed from the ground up to be a trinity game. And it works quite well as one, as the newer endgame content clearly shows. The reason why it was considered a "hybrid focused game" for years, was due to content being so easy after "On Alert" that specializations were suboptimal.

    The fact that devs have less control over what builds people use isn't restricted to trinity focused content, that is just the whole of the game. And that is actually more an argument for using a trinity model for endgame content than against it. Since for endgame content you do need some challenges that are tied to performance requirements, with a trinity setup you can include some weaker players/builds far more easily.
  • stergasterga Posts: 2,220 Arc User
    I'm sorry to say this because I know a lot of folks have made it their way of life in CO, but this problem really started around the time of TA and the cosmic revamps.

    You're wrong. The problem started when ATs, largely trinity based, were added into the game during the F2P conversion. It used to be arguments over balance issues between ATs and FFs with content basically not being made at all that supported specialized classes.

    Now, we see FFs being pushed into specialists. Except the majority of the game still doesn't support that and likely never will. Basically, it's the same problem CO always had but now the balance difference is in the content not the characters.

    ¯\_(ツ)_/¯​​
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