I remember the Developers of this game redesigning the mechanics in Mod 6 in order to promote the DPS + Healer + Tank trinity. Currently, random queues insist that we have 3 DPS, 1 Healer and 1 Tank.
However, why I am only seeing “1 DPS + 4 Support” or “2 DPS + 3 Support” party compositions in specific end-game content? This is probably going to be unpopular, but I think that the multiplicative buffs are the reason. Why fill the party slot with a DPS character if a hybrid DPS/Support or pure Support character will bolster total party DPS better?
Let me explain with the current king of the single-target DPS meta, figuratively and literally, the GF Tank
Let's take a look at the mechanics of the class, in particular a Conqueror DPS build:General Feats:
Strength focus (3/3): Increase the effectiveness of Strength by 5/10/15%.
Powerful attack (5/5): Increase the damage of your Encounter and At-Will powers by 2/4/6/8/10%.Conqueror Feats:
Wrathful Warrior (5/5): When you have Temporary Hitpoints you deal 3/6/9/12/15% more damage.
Staggering Challenge (5/5): Gain 4/8/12/16/20% damage bonus to Griffon's Wrath when the target has recently been struck by Staggering Challenge empowered Griffon's Wrath. Additionally your damage bonus from Knight's Challenge is increased by 2/4/6/8/10%.
Tactical Superiority (5/5): You deal 1/2/3/4/5% more damage and Combat Superiority grants an additional 1/2/3/4/5% damage.
Reckless Attacker (1/1): When struck in combat you gain Reckless Attacker. Reckless Ataccker increases your damage by 5% and Critical chance by 2%. Reckless Attacker lasts 10 seconds and stacks up to 5 times.Protector Feats:
Staying Power (5/5): Weapon Master's Strike now also reduces your targets Mitigations to your Encounter powers by 2/4/6/8/10%,Tactitian Feats:
Crushing Pin (5/5): Your control powers cause the target to take 2/4/6/8/10% bonus damage for 3 seconds.At-Wills:
Weapon Master's Strike: Briefly increases the damage the target takes from your At-Wills (30% at Rank 4).Class Features:
Shield Warrior's Wrath: When you successfully Block an attack, you gain 1% increased damage stacking up to 5 times (20% at Rank 4 and full stacks).
Combat Superiority: When a foe hits you, you deal 5% additional damage to them and they deal 5% less damage to you for 8 seconds (8% more damage at Rank 4)Encounters
Knight's Challenge: When challenging a foe, you and your target deal double damage to each other and half damage to anyone else. When used against other players, you deal 50% more damage instead of double damage.
Into the Fray: Temporarily increases your party's Run Speed, Action Point gain and Damage. In addition all party members receive a small portion of your Max HP as Temp HP. Recovers 15% of your Stamina over 8 Seconds. (20% damage buff for the party at Rank 4)
Griffon's Wrath: You lash out with a heavy overhand blow that briefly Stuns your foe. This ability has 3 charges. (Note synergy with Staggering Challenge, Conqueror Feat)
Commander's Strike: You strike your foe and command your allies to attack. For the next 5 seconds, the next Encounter attack each ally makes against a Marked foe deals +10% bonus damage per rank (40% at Rank 4)Tab Mechanic
Mark: Your target will have lowered Damage Resistance (20% debuff for self, 8% for allies) and you build twice as much threat when striking them.
Say your GF has 20 Strength (+10% damage), with Strength Focus at 3/3 this is increased by 15%.
And you have the feats, powers and features listed above.
Combat against a single target would be something like this: Mark, ITF (procs temp HP, procs Wrathful warrior), Knight's Challenge, Shield and Block 5 attacks (procs Shield Warrior's Wrath, Combat Superiority, Reckless attacker), use Griffon's Wrath.
What happens to the personal buffs summation in the damage calculation for Griffon's Wrath is this:
Product of Buffs =(Strength Focus)*(Powerful Attack)*(Wrathful Warrior)*(Tactical Superiority)*(Reckless Attacker)*(Crushing Pin)*(Shield Warrior's Wrath)*(Combat Superiority+Tactical Superiority)*(Knight's Challenge+Staggering Challenge)*(Into the Fray)*(Griffon's Wrath+Staggering Challenge)
Then you calculate the debuffs in the asymptotic formula:
Sum of Debuffs = (Staying Power)+(Weapon Masters Strike)+(Mark) = 10+30+20% = 60%
Using the Debuff function
generated by Janne, the Damage Multiplier is 58.06%=1.58
Hence total multiplicative damage
= 7.601* 1.58 = 12.01
Now throw in other buff multipliers from gear, artifacts, mounts, other players' then you've got yourself a beast of a weapon, as the buffing powers are all multiplicative. A high base damage with high self buffing/debuffing powers will outperform any lesser builds and or classes that cannot reach the base multiplicative damage that this class can.
Say we have a DO DC + AC DC in the party (just as an example, but you can substitute the class for any other unique buff/support class)
Terrifying Insight: +20% damage
Empowered Break the Spirit 3/3: +21% damage
Divine Glow: +12.5% buff +17.5% debuff
Prophecy of Doom, unempowered: +12.5% debuff
Empowered Forgemaster's Flame 3/3: +15%
Empowered Exalt 3/3: +27%
Multiply our buffs
= 7.601*1.2*1.21*1.125*1.15*1.27 = 18.13
Sum our debuffs
= 60%+12.5%+17.5%=90%; Damage multiplier = 84.17%
Total Multiplicative damage with two DCs:
As you can see, anything which multiplies the buffs will result in ridiculous numbers.
Add in a Mythic Soul Sight Crystal?
For 10 seconds damage to the target is increased by 50%, hence the GFs damage for that particular Griffon's Wrath (once all the buffs are aligned) will be multiplied by 50
Add in more debuffs, even though it is an asymptotic function, the damage multiplier will increase.
What is the solution to the 4 support 1 dps meta? This may be unpopular, but I think a start would be
capping self / team buffs
making buffs additive. Then you wouldn’t need so many buffers in a party. But if you were to do so, I think there must be a corresponding decrease in content difficulty. This would require some fine-tuning indeed.edited Brilliant Divine Glow = 12.5% buff to allies, not 17.5% (thanks @meirami)