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Things to consider when balancing the Champion


Yumx
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This is mainly a message to ACE @thomasblair , but decided to write it on forum to spark a discussion.
These are some things to consider, when you are going to make a balance pass in the future.

This is my opinion, and as an avid champion player, I thought I'd let ACE know about my concerns.
I've been playing champion for a .. little over a year now, been through every patch as champion, and now it has become boring and op.

Overall main problem: Champion has too much dmg AND survivability.

But let's go into details on what happend on the way to this broken monster of a class :D
First, around when disciplines were introduced, the champion had their Ultimate Warrior buffed, before it was an iframe with a rage regen and a damage buff, suddenly they would now also heal 25% of their max HP every time they used it, making the champion incredibly tanky.

But it was fine, because you wouldn't die in a few seconds, and the champion actually had to do some work to do damage!

Then something happend with the soulpower, every class could suddenly use their ultimate power way more often (this is an overall problem with every class, but it made the champion much stronger), because suddenly you had an insane panic button.

Then, they finally "fixed" Rend, but by "fixing" it, they just removed the only fun part about the power, they removed the small jump forward (10m), which required the player to think when they were to land it.

Then the champion got revamped (Dominance)! Awesome! But all they did, was make sure the champion just had 100% crit on their class powers ..
And with this change, the champion was suddenly one of the most tanky classes, with the most damage.
Now you didn't have time to kite and outlast the champion, because all he had to do is touch you for a few seconds.

To add on top of this revamp, they also changed the hurlbat. Before it was a projectile, hard to land, but very rewarding because you would have your target slowed for a long time. Then they changed it to raycast, meaning 100% uptime on a long slow.

Now it was even easier for the champion to stay on you.

And to add to that, you made it possible to retaliate everything apart from slows.

So this is where we're at, a dumbed down, super high damage, super tanky brawler.

Everyone and their mother can now roll a champion, keep dominance stacks up with Jump before fights, spam hurlbat till they reach their target, then use auto critting Rend almost without aiming. It's almost an epidemic at the moment :D

I know you're not balancing yet, which is why I wrote things to consider for future balancing.
You could (several possibilities in some areas):
Ultimate Warrior
- Remove or reduce the healing from it.
- Remove the iframe from it. (The iframe is probably the biggest problem)
- Make the healing happen over a few seconds, so you have a chance to interrupt it.

Ultimate Power - Neckbreaker (soulpower)
- Increase the amount of soulpower needed for the Neckbreaker.
- Reduce the damage and keep the knockdown.

Dominance
- Remove this system (it doesn't really add to the class, you just have it fully stacked before a fight and throughout the fight you keep your stacks up from jumping after targets, and healing with UW.)
- Change it so you actually have to damage players with a power to gain dominance stacks (like every 3 hurl bats or something).
- Reduce the amount of crit chance to like 75%, so it's not guaranteed crits. (Just an overall dmg nerf to be honest)

Rend
- Change it back to the 10m leap, making it harder to hit again, making it more engaging for the player.
- Reduce the damage of the initial hit, and keep the dot high (like the Knight AoE bleed)

Hurlbat
- Change it back to a projectile, would ensure not a 100% uptime for most players (requires more skills)
- Reduce the slow duration
- Increase cooldown
- Make it area targeted like Supression Shot (just a smaller area, fitting for a hurlbat, like the rangers bomb throw)

And an overall suggestion:
Make retaliate only work on stun/knockdown again.

In my opinion you dumbed down everything engaging about the champion, making it way too failsafe and easy to just brute force your way out of mistakes.

Edited by Yumx

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Projectiles are a little wonky and I think hurlbat's raycast implementation is fine. I'd rather see a 1s or so cast time (that doesn't root the user) attached to the power and allow it to be dodged as well as blocked.

Overall the game is a bit too heavy with instant ccs that rely on cleanse to mitigate them rather than noticable casts to mitigate with iframes. Dodge with built in iframes is a pretty standard system that makes combat designed around it a bit more appealing.

Edited by PopeUrban

LMAO my website is broken please click this to apply to Flames of Exile (maybe, if that's not busted too)

On 5/11/2015 at 1:48 PM, CAWCAWCAW said:

Rub rock on face and say "Yes food is eaten now time for fight"

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4 minutes ago, PopeUrban said:

Projectiles are a little wonky and I think hurlbat's raycast implementation is fine. I'd rather see a 1s or so cast time (that doesn't root the user) attached to the power and allow it to be dodged as well as blocked.

Overall the game is a bit too heavy with instant ccs that rely on cleanse to mitigate them rather than noticable casts to mitigate with iframes. Dodge with built in iframes is a pretty standard system that makes combat designed around it a bit more appealing.

I really despise what raycast did to the game in general :D
But maybe that's just me :)

Making it dodgeable - wouldn't it need to be projectile then?

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2 minutes ago, Yumx said:

I really despise what raycast did to the game in general :D
But maybe that's just me :)

Making it dodgeable - wouldn't it need to be projectile then?

Nope, just do what GW2, dark souls, monster hunter, etc. do and make dodging grant invuln for the majority of the dodge animation. In that system you're watching the casts, so in the case of a 1s cast you see the wind up, dodge, the attack lands while you're in the dodge animation and hits the invuln, and you've dodged the attack in a pretty natural way that requires timing and situational awareness.

Edited by PopeUrban

LMAO my website is broken please click this to apply to Flames of Exile (maybe, if that's not busted too)

On 5/11/2015 at 1:48 PM, CAWCAWCAW said:

Rub rock on face and say "Yes food is eaten now time for fight"

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Make dominance decay quickly when you're not dealing or taking damage/out of combat so you can't just build up on nothing, leap in, blow your wad and leave or just sit on the sidelines with stack of guaranteed crits ready to go. Hardly makes sense that you can dominate nothing. It should be built up in combat. More fitting too, since if you get kited, you're not dominating, and can't assert that with free crits. Side note, I think soul power should follow the same rules.
and/or
make it stack to only 5 giving a 10% chance to crit for each, removing all on crit.
If the heal on Ultimate Warrior is kept, it'd probably be more balanced as a HoT and maybe a touch weaker..
I like the Champion (been playing him since day 1) and I like the whole crit dumping thing, so I'm trying not to be too biased. I thought he was always pretty straightforward to play, but maybe it is a little too simple at the moment.
Those are just my thoughts as a player.

Also bring back Strength of the Mountain.

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The thing about nerfs is that you need to think how will the players ,that play that class because they like the whole concept of it, feel.Yea lowering the numbers and removing some op abilities will get the champ train to stop but you might have players that love the class that will feel like their class is now useless and they are forced to reroll, and in a game where you need to spend a lot of real life time into "leveling" a class you don't really want that.So i would rather have them changing how the abilities work rather than just nerfing the dmg by x amount and the healing by y amount. 

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13 hours ago, Yumx said:

Ultimate Warrior
- Remove or reduce the healing from it.
- Remove the iframe from it. (The iframe is probably the biggest problem)
- Make the healing happen over a few seconds, so you have a chance to interrupt it.

I agree the healing may need to be reduced but the iframe has to stay due to the animation lock. 

13 hours ago, Yumx said:

Ultimate Power - Neckbreaker (soulpower)
- Increase the amount of soulpower needed for the Neckbreaker.
- Reduce the damage and keep the knockdown.

This is a problem not just with the champion. The soul power mechanic needs to be revisited for all classes or just removed all together and go back to cooldowns.

13 hours ago, Yumx said:

Dominance
- Remove this system (it doesn't really add to the class, you just have it fully stacked before a fight and throughout the fight you keep your stacks up from jumping after targets, and healing with UW.)
- Change it so you actually have to damage players with a power to gain dominance stacks (like every 3 hurl bats or something).
- Reduce the amount of crit chance to like 75%, so it's not guaranteed crits. (Just an overall dmg nerf to be honest)

I already made some suggestions on the dev boards regarding this. I think 50% crit chance would be more reasonable. I think Leap shouldn't grant dominance, only UW and critical hits (dominator disc should be built into class, not require a minor). I also think ALL abilities should consume dominance so if you just LMB spam you'll waste dominance on lower damage attacks. That would add some skill to it. It should also decay faster so it cannot be pre charged on target dummies.

13 hours ago, Yumx said:

Rend
- Change it back to the 10m leap, making it harder to hit again, making it more engaging for the player.
- Reduce the damage of the initial hit, and keep the dot high (like the Knight AoE bleed)

Hurlbat
- Change it back to a projectile, would ensure not a 100% uptime for most players (requires more skills)
- Reduce the slow duration
- Increase cooldown
- Make it area targeted like Supression Shot (just a smaller area, fitting for a hurlbat, like the rangers bomb throw)

Disagree - their root motions and projectiles were clunky as hell which is why they were changed. 

13 hours ago, Yumx said:

And an overall suggestion:
Make retaliate only work on stun/knockdown again.

Disagree - this game has a LOT of CC so better CC breaks were a welcome addition. 

 

Edited by blazzen

Blazzen <Lords of Death>

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One way to tune the class  while keeping some of the elements people love would be to assign some of the current benefits to the champ-only disciplines. For example, Runescarred Gladiator could add a healing modifier (bringing UW heals up to current levels) while Destroyer could add a damage modifier (bringing UW damage buffs up to current levels). Then make the discs mutually exclusive (a bit like the Bloodhorn/Thrall discs from Shadowbane). This would force champs to make a choice: survivability or damage. We would see more diversity of builds as well.

And yeah, I'd like to see both Dominator and Relentless baked into the class.

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1 hour ago, pamintandrei said:

The thing about nerfs is that you need to think how will the players ,that play that class because they like the whole concept of it, feel.Yea lowering the numbers and removing some op abilities will get the champ train to stop but you might have players that love the class that will feel like their class is now useless and they are forced to reroll, and in a game where you need to spend a lot of real life time into "leveling" a class you don't really want that.So i would rather have them changing how the abilities work rather than just nerfing the dmg by x amount and the healing by y amount. 

If every game had to think about how the players would feel, they would never balance anything, you have lots of different people playing this class, and they all want different things.
Nerfing/buffing numbers is a part of balancing in every game.

 

48 minutes ago, blazzen said:

I agree the healing may need to be reduced but the iframe has to stay due to the animation lock. 

I don't agree on your reasoning on why the iframe has to stay. You would then just take a risk healing yourself, instead of having it as a failsafe panic button.
Confessors mana regen power is also an animation lock(channeling but you know), they don't get invulnerability while they cast it - they just get some physical mitigation.
If they kept the iframe on Blood of the Giant, and removed it from Ultimate Warrior, then myrmidons can still use it to prevent crashes, but champions are not invulnerable while they heal up.

45 minutes ago, blazzen said:

 This is a problem not just with the champion. The soul power mechanic needs to be revisited for all classes or just removed all together and go back to cooldowns.

Yes, removing soul power and go back to cooldowns would be much preferred.

48 minutes ago, blazzen said:

I already made some suggestions on the dev boards regarding this. I think 50% crit chance would be more reasonable. I think Leap shouldn't grant dominance, only UW and critical hits (dominator disc should be built into class, not require a minor). I also think ALL abilities should consume dominance so if you just LMB spam you'll waste dominance on lower damage attacks. That would add some skill to it. It should also decay faster so it cannot be pre charged on target dummies.

But if critical hits would create dominance stacks, and ALL abilities should consume dominance stacks.. How would that even work?
You have 1 dominance stack, you have 50% crit chance, you crit on your LMB hit, which then consumes the dominance stack, but also gives you a stack because you landed a critical hit? Isn't that just RNG?

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5 minutes ago, Yumx said:

But if critical hits would create dominance stacks, and ALL abilities should consume dominance stacks.. How would that even work?
You have 1 dominance stack, you have 50% crit chance, you crit on your LMB hit, which then consumes the dominance stack, but also gives you a stack because you landed a critical hit? Isn't that just RNG?

It would probably be easier to just bake the dominator minor disc into the class and remove dominance generation from leap. 

Blazzen <Lords of Death>

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In my eyes the health pool change was the main cause why the champion is so strong now % heal and a lot of health .... good idea .. also he is now a tank / best tank in game. in that position where the templar should be high health and good heals ...  sorry im not a big fan that all fighters have the same HP ..

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10 minutes ago, DravoiX said:

In my eyes the health pool change was the main cause why the champion is so strong now % heal and a lot of health .... good idea .. also he is now a tank / best tank in game. in that position where the templar should be high health and good heals ...  sorry im not a big fan that all fighters have the same HP ..

Yup

Knight/Templar hp went down, while champ went up (see also rogues)

Combine with hp increasing gear (even leather) and powers and ultimate warrior scaling...hah

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No doubt champions are strong in a 1v1 situation, but in a group fight (with experienced players) champs are just another class, I mean try fighting without UW and see how you fair in any fight, I have beaten champions 1v1 on assassin and ranger. I just feel like you guys are refusing to break your builds to counter what is most likely your builds counter, I have some video footage of just about every class going toe to toe with champions, obviously if your a squishy target and have no barriers/shields to counter any damage your going to drop like a fly. 

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5 hours ago, PAINDOTCOM said:

No doubt champions are strong in a 1v1 situation, but in a group fight (with experienced players) champs are just another class, I mean try fighting without UW and see how you fair in any fight, I have beaten champions 1v1 on assassin and ranger. I just feel like you guys are refusing to break your builds to counter what is most likely your builds counter, I have some video footage of just about every class going toe to toe with champions, obviously if your a squishy target and have no barriers/shields to counter any damage your going to drop like a fly. 

There's not enough of us that understand this.. Prepare for Champion to become a garbage class if the devs go along with what these threads are usually asking for. OP even boldly states that Champ is the most tanky class.. Willing to bet he just lost a 1v1  to a champ and didn't actually pvp with the all the frontline melee classes before he came up with that opinion. 

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59 minutes ago, AceSiN said:

OP even boldly states that Champ is the most tanky class..

My guildmates won a 4v6 by killing 2 Clerics, an Assassin and a Knight, then spent an equal or longer amount of time trying to kill 2 Champions, one of whom still managed to escape with his life. Regardless of the fact Second Wind was broken in the initial 5.5 build, that assessment is correct.

Hi, I'm moneda.

 

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1 hour ago, moneda said:

My guildmates won a 4v6 by killing 2 Clerics, an Assassin and a Knight, then spent an equal or longer amount of time trying to kill 2 Champions, one of whom still managed to escape with his life. Regardless of the fact Second Wind was broken in the initial 5.5 build, that assessment is correct.

Ok, so you 4 killed one of the Champions then? Here's the thing. Champions don't die from battle attrition. You can't spam left click and hope for the best. So, what changed that allowed you 4 to kill one during his kill window? Maybe you started landing cc  chains and  stopped giving the Champ free rein? As a Champion player that would be my first guess. If Champ can die in a 1v1 then they should die in group fights. Champions easily get hit by 90%+ of the CCs/Damage you throw at them. Their heal is only to supplement that lack of protection from not having block and all its benefits.  A good Myrm and Templar player will easily be the tankiest of the 4 frontline melees. A Knight is only hindered by his nonexistent healing and relies too much on barriers that don't scale, so he'll always slowly die from battle attrition, unless supported. 

As someone that has put a lot of time into Champ, I can say there's a big difference between trying to 1vX a group that allows me to rotate my skills to my own rhythm and 1vXing a group that disrupts it. I'll usually die 9/10 against the latter group. The former is just Youtube montage material. 

 

As for this thread: Almost every suggestion in the OP is horrible as per usual with the "nerf champion" threads. Blazzen is one of the few here that I may not fully agree with, but at least he doesn't try to completely butcher the class.  

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8 minutes ago, AceSiN said:

A good Myrm and Templar player will easily be the tankiest of the 4 frontline melees.

That's because that's what they were designed to do. Before the old archetypes were split into races and classes Myrmidons and Templars were designated as Tanks, Champions Melee DPS. Those roles aren't as steadfast as they once were but in addition to being made tankier Champion hasn't been dealt any significant damage nerfs (the Dominance system actually being a significant buff).

The current Champion is the second best Tank (Templar > *) and the best Melee DPS, and that makes for a broken class.

Hi, I'm moneda.

 

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3 hours ago, moneda said:

My guildmates won a 4v6 by killing 2 Clerics, an Assassin and a Knight, then spent an equal or longer amount of time trying to kill 2 Champions, one of whom still managed to escape with his life. Regardless of the fact Second Wind was broken in the initial 5.5 build, that assessment is correct.

people are basing their "OP" arguments off bug builds. Again fight a champ not running bugged to poorly made socks builds and build to counter them and watch them drop is all im saying.

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