The weird detachment of players

I’m big into observation.

I’m not big into math. To me being able to figure out exactly what my DPS will be, or my damage mitigation is, makes sense to people who want big numbers. But to me it’s about ‘did that get the job done?’

That’s why I have never built or played an exploiter build. Ever. In any game I play. Sounds weird right? But it’s true. I don’t exploit build. I don’t look up other peoples builds and see which one can give me maximal benefits. I observe.

And this works for me. I’m usually fairly high up in DPS and kills. Those are not good measurements I know, but it works for me. I’m also into stuff people for most part ignore because it doesn’t produce the big numbers. To me tactics are actually – tactics.

When I read about what people liked from the old Epics – the mushy nostalgic idea about ‘the good old days’ I ask myself if people understand that those were not really tactics. They were exploits.

That taking agro of something and using a shieldwall to stop that creature from getting to the agro taker is not tactics. It’s exploiting. It exploits the scripting that stops a creature from seeing the threat ahead of it while trying to get to something else.

CC is not a tactic. It Exploits the fact that everything is math. Once you hit the magic DC to overcome the save of a creature it’s an absolute event and not a chance anymore. No tactics are trips and stuns. It’s how you use terrain and how you set traps. Sure, in a sense you exploit the agro script against a creature by luring it around a corner to get stuck in a web before it can attack you, but now you’re using environment and features to accomplish goals. And not the poor scripting and pathing.

That’s why I’ve used tactical feats from the very first time I started playing DDO. And I’ve found it very useful.

I mention this for a couple of reasons. There are those that are making an argument against MRR about the new balance changes. To them it makes no sense. Yet in order for them to make that statement they ignore what was prior to armor up. Some would like us to believe the major change was the PRR changes, but the reality is that the worst problem facing heavy armor users were magic damage.

The reason why so many went ranged and arcane and with evasion was because it limited exposure to physical damage and avoided most grievous AOE/magical damage. Being ranged or arcane become the exploit of a rampant increase in enemy DPS and HP and a safe way to avoid taking those heavy gluts of damage.

It was also for another important reason – the end of the healbot era.

Diversity have a price and the greatest price was pigeonholed classes. Very few had an interest in healing mana sponges. That one or 2 heavy DPS guys that demanded constant HP refill. It started to get boring and quaint before MOTU and definitely after. Plus as the player base dwindled it got harder and harder to find dedicated healers. Few wanted to play healbot when the diversity allowed them to mix and match a casting or melee experience.

And with that came the era of self healing. An era where cocooning became part of the vernacular.

The truth is the death of the big brute wasn’t instant. But it was for sure. And the armor up with MRR was the ‘savior’ in the sense that it allowed the big brute to lower the spike damage from physical and magical damage and mitigate enough for self healing to work.

It is for nothing that in most group the fighter is undoubtedly going to die first. Look at any group and if someone’s going to die, it’s the fighter hybrid with a blue bar. He’s still the worst at self healing. Despite PRR and MRR. This is not going to change much with the removal of MRR. What will happen instead is that fewer people will play the big brutes and migrate into something that can survive.

I predict 2 handed Pally because that’s still getting the benefit from the changed Holy Sword. That means more bladeforged 2 handed fighters. You’ll see less Pally Sword and board since shield no longer benefit from holy sword.

You’ll see a few more specialized vanguard fighter tanks. Due to the new armor fighter specific feats. Shield still get MRR.

Barbarians will still be fine and swashbucklers will adapt.

Tempest rangers are going to drop off. I’m already thinking about changing mine. First, the 2 weapon fighting damage is going down as part of the changes, MRR is gone so that means the spike damage is going to get higher. Divine grace is changing to be level based so if you splash 2 Pally levels it’ll be a minor and often useless bump and dividing your stats between strength, dex, wis and con will be a stretch. As a result strength based rangers will go by the dodo bird and there will be a few dex based using scimis. Most will go AA and wis. I know I am.

I’m thinking about going pure. Sure – it’s nice to have a few more feats from fighter but it seems quaint and un-needed.

There are some reasons for this;

Without a higher save the spike damage will be higher than it is now. It’ll take longer to kill something due to lower DPS which means more time in combat. No MRR and adjusted PRR means less mitigation. Less mitigation and longer time in combat means more damage. More damage means greater strain on self healing, which means you spend more time self healing and less time killing. Less mitigation means more time healing.

This is the reason why I stopped using my ranger to begin with.

Also – change in manyshot burst. Less burst damage for tempest – because of less investment in shooting. It’s now going from what was 4 arrows to be adjusted to something like 3 something. The change of threat range makes crits less likely which means less burst damage etc.

Note – Turbine is not adjusting some of the higher DPS and HP on critters that was introduced with ToEE. The debuffs will still be there. The enormous flood of spawning creatures are still going to be there and the massive pile of HP will still be there.

The result is very easy to observe and predict.

People will take the path of least resistance. Some will go to the melee with the least amount of change. Others will go into ranged and evasion. And some will simply reassess their investment of time in making the char they liked and now see it fundamentally changed.

It happened after MOTU and after Shadowfail and stabilized after armor up and is now being re-balanced. I don’t know what Turbine and the many who want to ‘do something about power creep’ thinks, but human nature is still there to observe.

To me a lot of this seems like wishful thinking and a dollar late.

This is something that should have been on the mind when DDO had a big thriving player base. Carving at huge balancing acts when the servers are tethering on the brink seems like folly. While I get these changes and I’m trying to understand why, so much of it seems to be wishful thinking.

Champions are not going away; they were added to add challenge. Reaper is probably going to happen. Why is that needed if we re-balance player power?

And finally; anyone that think armor changes will somehow magically retain lots of heavy armor users need to tell me what they’re smoking. Because if it ever become legal I’d like to try some of it.

It’s a pity that they’re doing this so close to the release to E shroud. But there’s one nice thing; Fallout 4 is coming so taking a long break from DDO won’t really be that much of a concern. Eventho most of the raids will be picked over thanks to raid bypasses by the time I come back.

I know – it seems silly to threaten a break just because of changes. Silly only if you disregard all the time I’ve spent leveling toons and chasing gear just to get slapped in the face with major changes that will force me to start re-arranging everything again.

That’s exhaustive and boring.


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