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MCD and implications for game meta

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    MCD and implications for game meta

    It's unfortunate that the forum update also erased my post on MCD idea. Instead of rehashing the idea, I will discuss a few of the game meta implications should MCD becomes reality.

    Recall MCD is an idea borne of controlling the overwhelming impact alacrity has on skill cool down.

    Eternium skill resource is just time. This makes anything that shorten the time between skill refresh critically important. Alacrity does too good of a job shortening that time, hence compelling all competitive builds toward high AR, high attack speed.

    1) High attack speed build is no longer a must
    2) greater differentiation among short CD and long CD skills.

    Generally speaking mobile players stand at a slightly smaller disadvantage when using long CD skills. I was initially thinking along the lines of having several short CD skills that cater to PC spammers and several long CD favoring (or I should say less disfavoring) mobile players.

    But how about the concept of an escalating skill CD based on the skill level itself?

    Currently higher level skill is ALWAYS better than the lower level skill since the CD is the same regardless of the level. Here is an opportunity to offer more choices/trade offs.

    Skill 1-10, at level 4, 7, CD can take a big jump. For example a currently 30s base CD skill, for level 1-3 can have a CD of 20s, 4-6 25s (25% longer CD), 7+ 30s (50% longer CD). This gives player choice on what level skill they want to take to battle, trading power for quicker CD. This can potentially be beneficial for those that wants quicker spam (think Arc 6 buff), singularity triggering RoTS (this might be something that need to revisit, my view is any skill attack that doesn't replace normal attack shouldn't trigger procs based on normal attack) has greater scaling with shorter CD.

    For those that want the nuke version of the skill, they can go for the max level skill.

    Which leads to the idea a skill pt system to replace the current setup. Right now raising skill level is just a matter of waiting or spending gem (time gating). But it's a one time investment. If instead, a skill pt system is employed, one can have a gem cast for respeccing. This can be come a constant gem sink as future meta changes can lead to players to change the skill pt layout periodically to try out new builds.

    The skill pt system can work like this
    whenever a skill becomes available, it's automatically lv1. To raise it one has to spend a skill pt.
    Two skill pts are gained each level from 2-70. That's 138 total skill pts. It takes 72 total skill pts to keep 2 normal attacks, 3 active skills and 3 passives at max lvl 10. So this means a player has some freebie pts allocated to other unused skills. But unless one plans ahead very well, respec will become a frequent occurrence, thus working as a reliable gem/gold sink.


    I don´t like much either suggestion (or even the whole GCD thing, to be honest), but then again I'm a PC-only player, so...


      Arionthe, I read through your post several times and believe I understand your premise. In my case, just trying for personal best, I am disappointed by changes which decrease my "score" and happy about things which increase it. I do try to notice techniques which seem to increase the effects of my weapons, but I would not focus on doing a particular procedure in order to increase the probability.


        The motivating factor behind MCD is to broaden the scope of competitive builds in Eternium. The meta dictates what works and what doesn't. By decreasing the importance of certain elements (namely alacrity), it allows the meta to be more inclusive. Ideally that game should be balanced enough that we the players don't HAVE to play the developers' vision of fire/frost mage, arcanist, stalker, assaulter, havoc'er, SW, DW etc. Rather we can mix and match the skills and the equipment to our own liking. At that moment, we are playing our own takes on those archetypes. If those off the wall builds can approach 90-95% effectiveness of the cookie-cutter/intended builds, then Eternium will really be in a good place where replayability is immense and player imaginations are rewarded.

        Anyway, skill pt system, escalating CD time might be too radical of a departure to what is currently in the game. So here is another idea to supplement the current scheme.

        Skill Perks/Runes.

        Perks or Runes that can apply to active skills. Players gain Perks as they go up in CL. First perk at CL500, next at CL1000, next at CL1500 and every 500 CL thereafter. They improve the skill effect in some fashion at a cost of longer skill cool down.

        Perks/Runes gained
        CL500: Extend
        CL1000: Empower
        CL1500: Continuous
        CL2000: Maximize

        1) Extend: Extend the duration of the active skill by 50% while increasing the cool down time by 50%. Can apply to any active skill with a duration. Examples: blink, singularity, blizzard, whirlwind, mag trap, shield block etc.

        2) Empower: Skill damage is increased by 50% while skill cool down is increased by 50%. Only skill damage is increased, and only the direct damage part of the skill is affected. So no doubling of AOE, or burning/freezing duration etc. Definitely no doubling of shockwave finisher.

        3) Continuous: Extend the duration by 100% while skill cool down is doubled

        4) Maximize: skill damage up by 100% while cool down is doubled.

        One can apply up to 2 perks to a single skill. Twice the damage and twice as long? Sure, CD will be 4x then.

        Liberally borrowed from tabletop DND
        GAQO KITO REZO 1934


          I get your motivation but how does nerfing cooldown resets solve build issues? Doesn't make any sense.

          You say you want creativity in builds to be rewarded, well that has more to do with gear sets, special effects and skill synergies (how they work together, not the bonus stats for having skills upgraded) balanced against the scaling of trials. You've picked an odd beef claiming alacrity is a problem, when outside of arcane bolts on an arcanist build, regular attacks account for next nothing for functional DPS. So your solution will do nothing but decrease DPS for all classes and builds, stunting overall progress and do nothing to help create build diversity. Even the "perks" you've listed wouldn't do anything to promote build diversity. Every build, whether it be one of the cookie cutter or off the wall builds, benefits and is reliant on being able to activate skills as quick as possible. The reason the "cookie cutter" builds are dominant is because those are the builds that receive the most benefits through skill synergies and gear bonuses.

          Some things that would help: standard attack buff/rework, new unique and set items, more and/or reworked skills and passives, and weapon damage value adjustments.

          If I wanted to get real creative and out there with suggestions, I could say that the entire skill tree could be replaced. Currently we have attack, active, and passive skills. Some of the "active" skills are simply buffs, or activated passives, such as Battle Rage, In The Zone, Shield Block, Time Warp, Paradox, and Smokescreen. A few more similar skills could be added and attack actives and passive active skills get their own category of two slots each, allowing a build to have two attacks, four activated skills, and the three passives. Another slot could be added that does not require a sign to activate but is a triggered skill (similar to how sets and other skills have a chance to trigger another skill) that can be chosen out of either of the two active categories. With more skills, attacks, items, and balanced damage between attacks and skills there would be more viable options. As it stands, choices are too limited.
          ROJO CIXA XITO 9019


            Originally posted by Xeros View Post
            I get your motivation but how does nerfing cooldown resets solve build issues? Doesn't make any sense.

            Thought the alacrity issue is self evident. But apparently not everyone shares my concern on this game mechanic. So I will explain my thinking a bit and why I think this mechanic funnels everyone to a singular build (high attack speed, high AR).

            Eternium is an ARPS, which means it's all about DPS and not dying at the same time. Focusing on the DPS part, there are three sources of DPS, normal attacks, active skills, and finally procs. Ignoring procs at the moment and focus on the normal attacks and active skills. You said it yourself that normal attacks make up a minuscule % of the overall damage. This is especially true for warrior.

            Normal attack is almost like autoattack, the base automatic damage dealer. It's quite acceptable and expected that active skills should outdamage the normal attacks. Because active skills should be special, awe-aspiring, world shattering. Now if you are spamming active skills every couple of seconds, how special can the skill(s) really be? You see this wasn't what the game designers had in mind. Precisely because the active skills are being spammed to the point that it becomes the fault action of the character, active skills loses that special status and relegated to "just stronger" normal attack status. Since they are inherently better than normal attacks DPS wise, the ability to cram them into the space of a few seconds make the gap between skill DPS and normal attack DPS as wide as an ocean. In fact precisely due to how spammable active skills have become, the mob hp needed to be scaled in such a way that further reduces the apparently effectiveness of them. Hence I call normal attacks wet noodle attacks. They are literally meaningless except for accelerating the spam of active skills. So you get this spiral of, active skills aren't special, so they can't be that effective each casting instance since they are being spammed 10x a minute, mob hp scales more to compensate and normal attacks feel weaker and weaker still as a result.

            Without slowing down the active skill spam, you can't have proper awe inspiring skills. How spectacular can your nuke skill be if you are lobbing it 10x a minute? And apparently every mob takes 20 nukes to kill. Is that a fun experience?

            MCD is about slowing the active skill spam by focusing on the single game mechanics that allowed such spam to exist in the first place: alacrity. The game can then be balanced as it should: normal attacks produce respectable damage, skills are truly spectacular, mobs aren't 100 head monsters that takes 10 nukes to kill a non elite.
            GAQO KITO REZO 1934


              Arionthe kind of presumptuous to say the devs never intended something. They put alacrity in the game. They designed the way AR reduces cooldowns, put in items like Integralas Mantle, designed skills like ITZ and you want to claim they never intended this? By your same logic of people loading certain stats into their gear, CR and CD are even more of a problem.

              There are four direct damage stats. Haste, Power Critical Rating, Critical Damage. Ability rate does not add to "damage" but it is a damage stat in that it's simply Haste for active skills. Since every CL after 750 gives 2 power, most people forsake rolling power on gear at higher champion levels. Since legendary gear offers four rolls for stats and the only way to increase damage output beyond the four direct damage stats is to reduce skill cooldowns which brings us to the intended mechanic of Ability Rate. Sadly the only play options this game offers are story mode, which doesn't require much to complete, and trials, which are increasingly difficult time attack stages. There's not much reward in the way of gear in story mode and once you've beat it, you don't progress any further. That means the majority of gameplay is time attacks which leads to maximizing damage output and since there are only 5 stats that determine damage output, one of which we get in abundance for champion levels, of course people are going to focus on them.

              If Haste and Ability Rate were as game breaking as you seem to think, why do people rely so heavily on gear sets and uniques to get boosts and procs? Wouldn't simply having high stat values be enough, allowing players to get away with running generic legendaries?

              As for abilities having some sort of "world shattering" status, where do you get that idea? They're not even called special attacks. What would your suggestions of removing alacrity and increasing ability cooldowns (even if buffing the damage) do to solve your problem of everyone rolling Haste and Ability Rate? If normal attacks are buffed, more reason to run haste. If abilities get massive damage boosts accompanied by significantly lengthened cooldowns, more reason to run Ability Rate. What stats would you have people roll instead?
              ROJO CIXA XITO 9019


                Xeros Since your forum join date predates even mine, I assume you know that LoH was once Life Steal %? That basically made everyone immortal so the mechanic was changed to LoH instead. This is just an example of a mechanic can be in the game without it function as intended by the game designers. How do I know that alacrity is a problem from the point of view of the developers? Leaving aside of private conversations with developers, let's look at the example of Battle Rage. It used to have a duration of 7secs. Then it got changed to 5secs. If alacrity is working as intended, why bother changing the duration from 7s to 5s? Because it wasn't designed to be an always on buff except you can stack AR and haste high enough to make that change still irrelevant.. So the 5s BR is still a permanent buff. Let's look at the most recent change to alacrity... 3s to a single CD instead of 2s to all three. Why this change if not an attempt at lessening the impact of alacrity? (2*3= 6s raw CD vs 3s raw CD). Of course then the industrious players figured out they can perm RF with this new scheme so this quickly got reversed. These are examples of game changes that tried to address the impact of alacrity (lessening it). So from these changes (failed or not), you can glean what the game designers are trying to do.

                I had made a long post in the past complaining about how 13x CD is ruining non crit attacks. Now it's 17x. So yeah count me in the Critical Damage is too damn high camp. But one battle at a time.

                MCD is meant to cap the effectiveness of alacrity on shortening skill CD. In the now erased post, I made a comparison between 2250 AR and Alacrity working at 1500AR.

                2250 AR reduces CD by 60%.. so a 60s base CD becomes 24s

                Alacrity working at 1500AR reduces that same 60s base CD to 8.5s on its own, without any consideration to 1500AR's effect to CD.

                That is the problem. Alacrity is too good at what it does. It renders all attempts to make active buffs tactical irrelevant.

                I don't have a problem with people stacking AR to sky high levels, because even if you stack it to 5000AR, it would only reduce that 60s base CD to 13.8s without alacrity.

                Alacrity does not obey diminishing return rules. Worse still, haste already contributes to damage naturally be it more normal attacks per sec or certain skills that take into account of haste/attack speed to calculate damage. One stat becomes too central to effective builds thus becoming a limiting factor to build diversity itself (you are shooting yourself in the foot if you are not cramming that haste). Did I mention recovery also works off haste?

                edit: I have on good authority that the original intent behind alacrity was to introduce some randomness to skill cooldown. It is pretty clear that alacrity in practice is actually responsible for the vast majority of the skill’s actual cooldown. Goal for MCD is to remove skill cd penalty from NOT stacking attack speed to some very high levels. Basically someone attacking 4/s is on equal footing with someone attacking at 8-10/s. That is all. What players can do with the freed up stats? I have many suggestions covering that. But not until this mechanic is first fixed.
                Last edited by Arionthe; 11-12-2019, 02:31 AM.
                GAQO KITO REZO 1934


                  Arionthe BR also used to let you dash around utilizing the blazing speed attribute by using attack 2/two finger taps to move whether or not enemies were present. That was nerfed at the same time they reduced the active length. Games tend to go through balance changes over time. The fact that small adjustments were made to the way alacrity works tells me that they don't want to ditch the mechanic but have simply tried to find its balance within the game. I've never seen a game in persistent development that didn't undergo balance adjustments based on what they see players doing, whether it impacts other players or they simply wish to keep the game challenging.

                  The big point I'm making is your MCD suggestion being based on the prevalence of haste/AR focused builds won't do anything but lower everyone's DPM while changing nothing else because even adding a minimum cooldown or removing alacrity altogether won't change the rewarding stats from being rewarding and the others from being a wasted roll. I'm asking you what that would accomplish for build diversity. What would fewer ability casts do to incentivize loading a build with other stats? I can tell you more warriors would run ITZ and parry like they used to, but that's about it.

                  Arionthe I will say though, I do agree with the idea that we should have abilities that are guaranteed to waste enemies when we use them and that the current scaling of every trash mob taking insane amounts of damage to kill and certain elites being able to nuke heroes with over 2 million toughness better than even the boss of the same level is dumb. I liked when trials used to progress by increasingly massive swarms of marginally stronger enemies instead of just increasingly stupid strong enemies.
                  ROJO CIXA XITO 9019


                    I plan to write more about actual suggestions in the other thread I started. So I will leave those there. Keep an eye out, a post should be forthcoming.

                    to answer directly your question on what MCD will accomplish. More precisely, what a slower cadence of skill casting will do for build diversity.

                    this will allow different categories of skills to exist. Think short cd, spammable skills and long cd, nuke type of skills. One can start there and imagine all the possibilities.

                    most importantly any decrease in dpm can be compensated by lowering the scaling of mob hp. This will automatically help the oomph factor on the wet noodle normal attacks.
                    Last edited by Arionthe; 11-12-2019, 04:00 AM.
                    GAQO KITO REZO 1934


                      Arionthe looks like your posts got merged.

                      I like the idea of having spammable abilities alongside more powerful less frequently used special abilities. I've been in favor of a whole skill tree rework for some time. The thing I'm still not seeing is how these changes will affect people rolling haste and AR. Assuming balance between regular attacks and abilities is achieved and they adjust mob scaling in trials to match the lowered DPM is fine but I don't see it having any impact on builds. New skills and unique/set items as well as maybe work on other stats to make them more viable alternatives is the only way you'll achieve more build diversity.
                      ROJO CIXA XITO 9019


                        How about letting Haste and Alacrity act against each other and require the players to prefer one. This means, when Haste and Ability Rate are added together, This allows us to find %Haste and %AbilityRate. So new Haste_new = K * %Haste * Haste_old and AbilityRate_new = K * %AbilityRate * AbilityRate_old where K is a scaling factor.


                          Xeros See my post in game meta. Just need to give players reasons to tack on other stats.
                          PeterK it is usually better to not force the player into a certain mode. I think the preferred solution is to offer a platter of viable choices and let players decide for themselves what to do. This requires that no stat is demonstratively and objectively better than another stat.
                          GAQO KITO REZO 1934


                            Arionthe yeah, I made a pretty lengthy comment on it
                            ROJO CIXA XITO 9019