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Thread: Why 51 point abilities and 31 point abilities shouldn't be amazing.

  1. #1
    Shadowlander
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    Default Why 51 point abilities and 31 point abilities shouldn't be amazing.

    A pretty common trend of the various souls is that the top skill in the tree, and the bottom root of the tree, aren't the best abilities in the tree itself. There are a few exceptions that exist, for instant 51 point Void Knight or Riftblade both massively improve the soul, but overall the final abilities are usually cooldown abilities that do nothing more than slightly up your dps/heals/tanking or act as a burst or Oh Crap button.

    I believe this is designed correctly, because it does two very important things:

    1. Allows Hybrids to exist. If every tree had a 51 point ability as strong and important to the soul as Void Knight or Riftblade, it would be hard to justify playing a hybrid most of the time. What if the final talent of every soul gave you 20% more damage/tanking/healing or more, you would almost always be gimped playing a hybrid. One of Rift's biggest claims was a unique class system. If they made every final ability really strong, this game would have 32 classes and nothing more. Granted, that IS an impressive feat, but it would definitely lower the uniqueness of the soul system.

    2. Allows you to really be unique. Most of the 51 point and 31 point abilities are very unique. Because hybriding out is usually the best min/max option, people who really want to be a true Paladin or true Necromancer remain fairly unique with there final abilities.

    This is just my opinion.

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    Ascendant Taemek's Avatar
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    I disagree.

    The balance should be in the fact that the 51 point soul tree specs should be as powerful as the hybrid spec to assist in the selling point of Rift, which is verastility.

    Hybrid sepcs should not be all end all, period because there is always one cookie cutter spec that majority follow anyways.

  3. #3
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    I think that 31 point abilities should be good enough that I want to pick it up if I'm going more than 30 points into a soul (Not a lot can manage that...) they should also make me feel like I should aim for at least 31 into a soul to make it nice and rounded before I splash into another soul.

    I think that 51 point abilities should be either something fairly pleasant after picking up the other talents because you liked them all (Currently no souls do this, they all have one crappy or mediocre talent in that are only very situationally useful or completely pointless outside of PvE/PvP/Solo), be nice unique abilites that are to the flavour of the soul (Such as a nice DoT affect for a DoT based soul, a nice opener for a burst based soul) or be something to fix up a souls weakness (But not to the extent a hybrid build would) such as a mobility ability for a soul that is fairly immobile, something to help with sustained damage for a burst based soul.

    Hybrid or Pure should be a choice that is determined by playstyle but it cannot happen because of the amount of utility a pure soul gets and the fact that even after going 51 points into a soul you still have 15 left over (Which can go a fair amount into another soul)
    Sonora - 50 Rogue - 8 Bladedancer/51 Riftstalker/7 Ranger - All round tank build.
    Teralia - 50 Warrior - 22 Reaver/24 Warlord/20 Paladin - A fun to play AoE threat build.
    Karis - 46 Mage - 24 Chloromancer/27 Pyromancer/10 Warlock - A high burst support heal PvP/Solo build.
    Tarille - 50 Cleric - 5 Templar/27 Warden/34 Sentinel - A powerful AoE healing PvP build.

  4. #4
    Ascendant Marrocco's Avatar
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    It's not about amazing.

    They should be a choice, though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Goodtank View Post
    A pretty common trend of the various souls is that the top skill in the tree, and the bottom root of the tree, aren't the best abilities in the tree itself. There are a few exceptions that exist, for instant 51 point Void Knight or Riftblade both massively improve the soul, but overall the final abilities are usually cooldown abilities that do nothing more than slightly up your dps/heals/tanking or act as a burst or Oh Crap button.

    I believe this is designed correctly, because it does two very important things:

    1. Allows Hybrids to exist. If every tree had a 51 point ability as strong and important to the soul as Void Knight or Riftblade, it would be hard to justify playing a hybrid most of the time. What if the final talent of every soul gave you 20% more damage/tanking/healing or more, you would almost always be gimped playing a hybrid. One of Rift's biggest claims was a unique class system. If they made every final ability really strong, this game would have 32 classes and nothing more. Granted, that IS an impressive feat, but it would definitely lower the uniqueness of the soul system.

    2. Allows you to really be unique. Most of the 51 point and 31 point abilities are very unique. Because hybriding out is usually the best min/max option, people who really want to be a true Paladin or true Necromancer remain fairly unique with there final abilities.

    This is just my opinion.
    My only issue with this comes with the relative uselessness that the majority of 51 points come with in their current form. As it stands now, nearly all the best roles are occupied by some form of hybrid build. I'm not against this in any way, since I don't have a single 51 point build that I would even consider using outside of 51 VK and even that is questionable considering my gear level.

    For Warrior specifically (I can't speak to any other class with much authority) there are zero 51 point DPS builds that can even compare to a hybrid build. This is for no other reason than for the majority of the trees, anything past 30-38 becomes incredibly lackluster. They aren't within any amount of dps of what a reasonable player would accept compared to Hybrids. I would like to see 51 point builds brought to within acceptable ranges of the best hybrid builds, for no other reason than to add more choice.

    I know a handful of people who play a Sub-par 51 point build because it is what they enjoy, and they love the feel of that soul specifically it .. calls to them. Sadly, in a compeitive PvE environment they must go back to their hybrid builds for no other reason than social responsibility, as its their duty to perform to their maximum potential and contribute as much as they can to the overall success. I personally believe that any abilities that are truly pvp specific should be removed and added into that callings pvp tree, which is what the whole thing is meant for.

    You mentioned Riftblade as a soul with a great 51 point skill, and while I agree the skill is the only saving grace of the 51 point build, the skill is in itself lacking. As is the 51 point Paragon Flurry, and the 51 point Champion skill. Why? Because there are so many fluff or pvp centric talents on the way to 51 that you drop too many worthwhile passives or attack abilities that just completely outweigh any usefulness of 51 point warrior builds.

    I see no downside to having 51 point souls brought in line with hybrids, as long as they remain competitive in the end game. Variety is the spice of life is it not? Would I prefer to be a Dual Wield warrior? Absolutely. Is it viable? Not currently, but maybe soon. Would I love to play a 51 point paragon? Give it some flare and make it fun and competitive and I'm game. Hybrids and pure's both have their place, and I don't foresee any future where there is suddenly a war between pure and hybrid players. Hybrids have too much of an advantage in being able to cherry pick talents and avoid utility and pvp oriented talents for better passives and abilities in another tree.

    For the moment, I think your position and desires are more than safe.
    Last edited by Kiska; 06-14-2011 at 06:26 AM.

  6. #6
    Ascendant Stigas's Avatar
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    There needs to be a static increase. For the sake of argument, let's say that all 31 point talents should be a 15% increase to that trees abilities. 51 point talents should be a 30% increase.

    This would give someone the opportunity to take two 31pt talents and get the same increase as going 51 in, but give varying utility/playstyle or whatever.

    Of course, those numbers mean nothing. I know that they aren't really a fair allocation since 62 > 31. They should not be copy/paste since some souls are amazing secondary trees and others are obviously primary trees.

  7. #7
    Shield of Telara Kayden Fox's Avatar
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    31 point skills should be better than any ability before it. This for sure isn't the case with a most -- Planar Switch, I'm looking at you. 51 point abilities shouldn't be utterly pointless. Body and Soul Parity? Feral Aggression?

    In most souls, the last 20 branch skills don't merit going to 51, and rarely does the 51 point justify picking them up.

    51 point souls aren't competitive. Plain and simple. Hybrids can pick the best out of three souls: SIN/BD +anything = GG. Pure souls get everything... and for 20 more points, you get 3-4 more mediocre root skills and a bunch of points wasted on branch skills/passives.

    For rogues, Nightblade is pretty much the best soul to go pure with and still no one does it because even though it ignores armor, has a free CP generation, ranged damage, great passives, great cool downs, great aoe, great single target, and amazing skill synergy as a soul... the extra points just pay off better picking up the 17 passive points in assassin and then deadly dance in blade dancer.

    Pure souls are not only NOT competitive, they're usually not even within 30% of it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Taemek View Post
    I disagree.

    The balance should be in the fact that the 51 point soul tree specs should be as powerful as the hybrid spec to assist in the selling point of Rift, which is verastility.

    Hybrid sepcs should not be all end all, period because there is always one cookie cutter spec that majority follow anyways.
    i agree with this and i bet trion does to. Just so happens and as everyone predicted before the game launched balancing the soul system as it is is pretty much impossible to do with all the possible soul combinations. Balancing within reason a 51/15 build with a 38/20/8 and a 30/24/12 build is proving to be very hard and will constantly be a thorn in this games side for as long as it exists.
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    Champion Vaeranth's Avatar
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    As long as each calling has viable/competitive builds available, who really gives a ****.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vaeranth View Post
    As long as each calling has viable/competitive builds available, who really gives a ****.
    Well that's a rather close-minded, ignorant response.

    What if, just what if, the community wants to spec 51-points into something and still be viable/competitive?

    For example, I have never been a fan of pet classes yet every single top dps build (as far as Warriors and Clerics are concerned) require that you have a pet or you are gimping yourself by about 200-250 dps.
    I have also never been a fan of ranged classes. Therefore my cleric has literally 1 option - Shaman.
    Fortunately for me, Shaman is actually my favorite soul in this game. Unfortunately, it's also the least viable MDPS spec in the entire game due to it's (over)reliance on RNG factors.

    Perhaps I'm too optimistic but some day I hope that Trion will make 51-point builds viable. When and if that day arrives, I'd literally take a day off work just to respec my Cleric from the boring cookie-cutter 31/21/14 spec.


    TLDR edition to the following: Give 51-point abilities multiple passives that help emphasize the strengths/uniqueness of the soul but still keep dps between pure and hybrid souls similar/competitive.

    Anyways, while we're on the topic of 51-point builds, I definitely think that they are in dire need of revamping. There are some 51-point builds that work but are still overshadowed by hybrid builds.
    What I think a 51-point talent should be is NOT just another ability but something that is truly soul-defining or I guess you could say pinnacle ability of that soul. If I've dedicated 51 talent points to the Shaman tree, I am a Shaman or as some people say a "pure" class. To elaborate on what I mean by "truly soul-defining" here is a VERY quick example:

    51-point talent in Shaman will still give the ability Vengeance of the Primal North. The only change I'd make to this ability is to remove it from the cooldown and still allow Vengeance of the Winter Storm to remain active or simply (or somehow) surpress 'winter storm' for the duration of 'Primal North'.

    It will also grant the following passives:
    -Increases the damage done by Massive Blow by 20-25% (or perhaps give it an armor penetration value or as suggested by some on this forum - convert a portion of it's damage to air damage.)
    -Increases the chance to proc Long Memory by 20%. As much as I'd like to remove Shaman's dependance on RNG, an extra 20% to reset Massive Blow (the defining ability of deep Shaman specs) is welcomed.
    -Increases the duration of Lightning Hammer's DoT portion by 4 seconds. DoT can now stack up to 3 times. Once DoT reaches "4th stack", consume the DoT, and explode dealing X air damage to target.
    -Allows two Vengeance buffs to stack, similar to how Rogues can get 2 stack poison abilities. Similar to my above thought re: Vengeance of the Primal North but it's more along the lines of allowing a Shaman to buff Vengeance of the Winter Storm and the "5% increase to physical damage Vengeance" for solo play or 5-man groups. Maybe even Vengeance of the Primal North + the snaring Vengeance for PvP.

    -This is more of a personal thing (not a 51-point ability but I'd like to make mention of it). I'd like to see the "Courage" buffs reworked. They have no use in a raid environment as they are easily replaced by 2 Bards (Fanfare of Power and Fanfare of Knowledge) or 1 Archon (cannot recall the buff's name). I'd like to see the "Courage" line of buffs become a personal buff that stacks with Archon/Bard buffs or make them similar to the Armor lines from Inquisitor with a more Shaman-istic feel.
    -To follow-up with my above line of thinking, if the Courage buff remains as a "stat stick", the 51-point ability should also allow a Shaman to stack two of them together or heck, roll them all in as one!

    That pretty much ends my quick idea with how I feel a 51-point talent should be. Long and short of it - grant a unique ability but not overpowered and give multiple passives that increase the strengths or the unique abilities of said soul. It would obviously be subject to heavy testing to make sure that it works in both PvE and PvP.

    While my above ideas might be deemed as "OP'd", what if they could bridge the gap between the dps of a "pure" Shaman soul and a hybrid Druid/Shaman/Inquis spec and make both specs competitive/viable to one another? A pure spec in my eyes should be just as capable at doing it's job as a hybrid spec if not ever-so-slightly better - not by a great margin though. Let's not kid ourselves - a Shaman who is heavily invested in the Shaman soul is there for one purpose and one purpose only - doing dps. A hybrid spec on the other hand has more options available to them and with that brings versatility. This does not mean in my eyes that they should do substandard damage to a pure spec - otherwise, as someone previously mentioned, you will end up with 32 classes and...that's it. Maybe in a PvP environment is where you'll see people taking advantage of a hybrid spec more often but who knows?

    One last thought - I'd like to see the "Heart" buffs removed from the Shaman tree and replaced with something useful. The resistances it provides are lackluster at best and do not help a Shaman do their primary (and quite literally, only) job at all. It'd be nice to receive something that will either help us dps more effectively or perhaps some 'escape / oh crap' tools for PvP.

    Please do not get me wrong though. I do not want to covertly make this post sound like a "Buff Shaman" post (even though I believe they are in dire need of a buffing). My entire intent behind this post is to explain my thoughts behind what I believe a 51-point talent SHOULD look like instead of some situational "nice-to-have-but-not-necessary" ability. I was only using Shaman as the prime example since it's the soul I have the most experience with.

    Hope anyone has read this far!

    Miraodus
    Last edited by Miraodus; 06-14-2011 at 08:51 AM.

  11. #11
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    There is however one argument that hasn't really been explored here.. and that is: What is the difference between the various damaging/heal/support/tank specs?

    Warriors have the most variety in tanking, but severaly lack in dps. They have Melee Dps or Melee Dps. They currently have 4 available souls, 1 of which provides (even if it is brought on par) nothing more than a cosmetic change. They could justify a magic-based damaging spec for enemies with high armor and low resists, an aoe melee spec and a single target melee spec, but the fourth one? Who knows.

    Mages have support, heals, aoe damage, and single target damage, yet they have 8 souls. Sure you could justify 1 of them as a solo build, and with the changes to dominator you may be able to argue a second support spec.. but that still leaves 2 souls that have absolutely no purpose.

    Without going to far into this, it is obvious that trion wasn't really planning out how many builds would actually be viable for use, and they seem to be doing very little to address this. Even with the changes they have planned for warriors to make the other trees more competitive, it is highly likely that they won't go about it in a way that provides a real - not cosmetic - difference to how these builds function.

    This is beyond upsetting.

  12. #12
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    Some of the 51 points are fine and make it worth going all the way in such as Bard and Verse of Joy. That spell MAKES the bard worth it for raiding. And the 31 point virtuoso is just as good. The only real problem to the bard is that it doesnt synergize for hybrid builds. The battle bard is a decent concept, but lets face it, there aren't too many other builds that will remotely work for a bard.

    Others, not so much. The 51 point Riftstalker ability is the EXACT same as the 44 point Nightblade. And what's worse is that you're already forced to go 51 points into RS to be a viable tank.

    There are so many 31 pointers that are worthless, and many of them are actually a DPS loss that they're skipped in normal rotation.

    I would love to have the ability to pure build be on par with hybrids, but sadly there are very few instances (at least in rogue) that I've found that to be true.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CdrRogdan View Post
    it is highly likely that they won't go about it in a way that provides a real - not cosmetic - difference to how these builds function.

    This is beyond upsetting.
    It really is beyond upsetting. When I had first heard of Rift back in February, I was so enthralled by the various classes that they that had to offer. There was something fresh and exciting and having something different than "You're a warrior. You carry a big axe. You do damage with big axe." I liked, no loved, the fact that as a Warrior, you could spec many different ways. However, anyone who plays 'new school' MMOs will inherently know that you will NEVER be able to play the exact class that you want to play.
    Whether your role is tanking, dps, or healing - MMOs from this point going foward will always be a numbers game. If your favorite soul combination isn't performing as well as the tried, tested and true cookie cutter builds - you are deemed a liability and will be replaced by someone who is willing to suck it up and go with that best min/max spec out there. No matter which way you slice it, you know this is true. How many Warriors have cried out that they absolutely HATE having to spec BM but do so out of necessity "just because it provides top dps".

    Believe it or not, there ARE real, functional differences between each soul. However, things like "DPS", "Mitigation" "Healing output" are all "cosmetic" values and as I mentioned above, people will spec what puts out the best numbers.

    Gone are the days where you pick a class that you want to be and just roll with it.

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    Champion of Telara xeshaka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miraodus View Post
    It really is beyond upsetting. When I had first heard of Rift back in February, I was so enthralled by the various classes that they that had to offer. There was something fresh and exciting and having something different than "You're a warrior. You carry a big axe. You do damage with big axe." I liked, no loved, the fact that as a Warrior, you could spec many different ways. However, anyone who plays 'new school' MMOs will inherently know that you will NEVER be able to play the exact class that you want to play.
    Whether your role is tanking, dps, or healing - MMOs from this point going foward will always be a numbers game. If your favorite soul combination isn't performing as well as the tried, tested and true cookie cutter builds - you are deemed a liability and will be replaced by someone who is willing to suck it up and go with that best min/max spec out there. No matter which way you slice it, you know this is true. How many Warriors have cried out that they absolutely HATE having to spec BM but do so out of necessity "just because it provides top dps".

    Believe it or not, there ARE real, functional differences between each soul. However, things like "DPS", "Mitigation" "Healing output" are all "cosmetic" values and as I mentioned above, people will spec what puts out the best numbers.

    Gone are the days where you pick a class that you want to be and just roll with it.
    Lol, it's always been like that if you are in a "hardcore" raiding or pvp guild. Find a guild that accepts you for who you are! Or solo! All my setups are unique and my own. I have 4 different builds that I use. I take hints and tips from the forums but I like my specs to be my own. If you can't stand up for yourself, you'll always fall for something
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    Quote Originally Posted by xeshaka View Post
    Lol, it's always been like that if you are in a "hardcore" raiding or pvp guild. Find a guild that accepts you for who you are! Or solo! All my setups are unique and my own. I have 4 different builds that I use. I take hints and tips from the forums but I like my specs to be my own. If you can't stand up for yourself, you'll always fall for something
    Not in MMOs such as Everquest 1. Generally the only requirement that they had was to make sure that you have all of the best spells/skill ranks available to you and continue to get better gear and ensure that you are playing your role properly. Noone TRULY cared how much relative dps you were doing compared to the person beside you; as long as your guild/raid group was able to finish the encounter as quickly and efficiently as possible.

    Take a look at EQ Druids. Their DoT damage was beat out by Necromancers by a long shot, their direct damage spells were lackluster compared to Wizard or Magician and their healing abilities were eclipsed by Clerics. In today's MMOs, Druids would be one of those alienated classes as they are the "jack of all trades - master of none". They MAY be brought to raids if only for their few unique buffs (which I believe were a health buff and a damage shield but even then "you'd be better off bringing another dps"). If all this is true, what made Druids one of the most popular classes to play? Versatility.

    In a game like Rift where versatility through the "create-a-class" system is supposed to be number one selling factor, why is it that speccing "Your way" is deemed the "wrong way". Numbers. If you aren't pulling the 100% potential of your calling, you may as well not be there - and this is the mentality of today's MMOs.

    I once made a post very similar to this one about how noone cared about how much dps you were doing and received a reply from someone. Allow me to paraphrase - He basically said something like "How much dps you were doing relative to the person beside you did not matter as in a PvE environment, you only needed to complete the encounter. Once PvP was included in the mix, and thus competition, came a necessity to be better than the person beside you." No, I'm not trying to take cheap shots at PvP.
    The person who responded to me is very accurate in his statement. I'd also like to include that back in the days of EQ, encounters such as "dps checks" did not exist, nor did enrage timers and thus, no need to be pulling "balls to the wall" dps. /rant off
    Last edited by Miraodus; 06-14-2011 at 11:34 AM.

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