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How could rogues be balanced out?

Paddy Fitzpatrick
Maxen
I don’t see any reason to even discuss the “OP”ness of builds until ALL systems are in place and you can do a true balancing. Nerfing something because it seems to give an advantage now in an incomplete game is short-sighted. Something nerfed now may become completely underpowered when everything else is in place and now you have to do double work to fix it.

This is still Early Enrollment. Systems are incomplete. As Bob said, unless something is unfairly taking advantage of a system issue that would need to be addressed for all classes, like melee AI, then I don’t think any valuable development time should be spent on it.

Just my $0.02.

Unless there are other systems or features besides the domain system coming in that affect class builds, this is it.

If after the domain stuff comes in there will be no further additions, then the class systems will be feature complete for all intents and purposes.

It is why I think it is a good time to talk about these things. We all have a good idea of what the domain and alignment system will most likely do. We know what kinds of builds they will affect already.

Are there any other systems in the works? Or will it be time to look at balancing everything sooner rather than later?
Paddy Fitzpatrick - Rí Ruírec of Fianna, roaming bands of noble warriors!
Member of Aragon Alliance and home of bandits, privateers, and anyone looking to get away from the shackles of law.
Find us on PFO Discord
Bringslite
I certainly hope that there are other "features" coming in as well as other keyword feats to match with them. Those are basically the building blocks for new roles and how to expand and flesh them out. New or existing. That is where I feel that effort should be turned rather than mechanics designed for huge populations that are missing.

It isn't too difficult to grasp the desire/goal of "getting ready" for much more large player bases, but giving them variety and interests to keep them engaged is pretty important, IMO.
Virtute et Armis
-Unknown
Bob
There's a mix of smaller features/fixes we're planning to do that will affect various aspects of the game balance, but that's not nailed down enough to be able to make some kind of "final balance" decisions. Even if they were, every change has the potential to affect game balance, and MMOs are constantly changing, so you're always revisiting balance issues to some extent. At this particular point in time, we're trying to stick to balance adjustments where things are causing pretty serious issues. If something's just a little overpowered, especially if it's only overpowered in particular situations, then it's not worth trying to tweak it to perfection while things are in this much flux. If something's so overpowered that everyone wants to learn it and will regret doing so in the future, or that it's making the game less fun for everyone (sometimes even for those taking advantage of it, who can ruin their own experience in the long-term even while enjoying the resulting fat loot in the short-term), then it's worth at least taking a quick stab at bringing it back in line with the rest of the game for now and revisiting it when other systems come online.
Bob
As far as ammo goes, adding ammo to Star Slinger would involve quite a bit of work (because knives don't use ammo containers) to rebalance one feat. Sometime in the future it would be interesting to talk about throwing weapons, or special divine attacks that use charges despite not having a traditional ammo container. However, cool as those things could be, they probably wouldn't make the cut for the immediate roadmap.

Minor adjustments that use existing systems, like adding a cooldown or other disadvantage, are much more feasible, but even those should only be used if Star Slinger is really causing serious problems. If it's just really advantageous in certain circumstances, but plenty of other similarly-priced options provide similar loot/time ratios for similarly experienced players in other circumstances, then there's no need to make adjustments right now.
Paddy Fitzpatrick
The problems I have with star slinger specifically are its spammability, its insane synergy with all other rogue abilities to the point where you don't need to use anything else, it has the plus sides of both a ranged and melee attack with the downsides of neither, and also that this is the only attack of its kind. Maybe if there were a few more throwing weapons in the game more classes could have their own thing. Put in some form of throwing axes for axe fighters for example.

Maybe after the domain stuff hits it may balance things out more than I realize. I still wonder if that will be enough. If other throwing weapons were in the game maybe things would be different?
Paddy Fitzpatrick - Rí Ruírec of Fianna, roaming bands of noble warriors!
Member of Aragon Alliance and home of bandits, privateers, and anyone looking to get away from the shackles of law.
Find us on PFO Discord
Bringslite
Bob
There's a mix of smaller features/fixes we're planning to do that will affect various aspects of the game balance, but that's not nailed down enough to be able to make some kind of "final balance" decisions. Even if they were, every change has the potential to affect game balance, and MMOs are constantly changing, so you're always revisiting balance issues to some extent. At this particular point in time, we're trying to stick to balance adjustments where things are causing pretty serious issues. If something's just a little overpowered, especially if it's only overpowered in particular situations, then it's not worth trying to tweak it to perfection while things are in this much flux. If something's so overpowered that everyone wants to learn it and will regret doing so in the future, or that it's making the game less fun for everyone (sometimes even for those taking advantage of it, who can ruin their own experience in the long-term even while enjoying the resulting fat loot in the short-term), then it's worth at least taking a quick stab at bringing it back in line with the rest of the game for now and revisiting it when other systems come online.
I do agree that anything more substantial would require quite a bit of mathematical consideration as well as realtime play to smooth out. Isn't that part of all such work though? Wouldn't it be nice to try and get "some" interesting new roles in the game that we all have been waiting for from before the first day of alpha? They are only, basically, feats and features… IMO, lack of graphics can simply wait. Expanding the variety available for play options seems like a vital key to me for OE. I am not sure if you guys agree or not. I do realize that prioritizing your time is pretty important and we won't always agree what those priorities are.

Is there a better time to try expanding and adding roles than when there is a smaller pop, more like a beta group?

PS: I also agree with you, If I read you right, that Perfect Role Balance is an illusive and probably impossible goal without creating a very static and rigidly boring system. Everyone wants to be a star at level 1 and through to level 20, which in reality is boring.
Virtute et Armis
-Unknown
Bob
Bringslite
Is there a better time to try expanding and adding roles than when there is a smaller pop, more like a beta group?

There are definitely advantages to adding in content when there's a smaller audience that's accustomed to lots of iteration. However, we'd likely need to recycle existing art very heavily to do anything like that, and the more we do that the more noticeable it gets. And, of course, adding such things is never as easy as one hopes, and would have to be balanced against all the other things we could be working on. Not saying we won't decide to do something along those lines, but at the very least my feeling is that social features and enchanting would take priority over it, and there are quite a few other things that would give it a run for its money.
Edam
Paddy Fitzpatrick
While on the subject of cross class builds, I have always wondered why wizard cleric syngeries were never made. Cleric can cross class well with the other two but it definitely does not cross with wizard very well. There is definitely not any sort of mystic theurge build that can be done (not even being able to get those channel smite type feats that all cross class cleric builds get). There are no cross class capabilities with fighter or rogue either. So we will never see spellswords or arcane archer among other possibilities.

Maybe instead of just calling for nerfs buffing other build types and creating new build possibilites should also be done.

The more cross class builds the better as far as I am concerned. A game where every player you meet has some cookie cutter variant of a standard build gets boring quickly. Especially so if you only have the four "roles" we have here.

The downside of wizard/cleric is the arcane penalty once you get out of cloth. There are light armor swashbuckler wizzies around but they are not common. That said there are quite a few wizards around that slot auspicious critical and carry a focus so some cross classing is common. Wizard/rogue combos also exist in game.

The opposite combo of cleric/wizard also works. Edam's highest role is cleric and he wears cleric armor and packs a focus, sanctified weapons and holy symbols. However he also packs sanctified (rogue) and firemastery (wizard) and bleeding attack (rogue). When using a cleric domain he slots firemastery and coldmastery instead (both wizard). Before the nerf on devourers caress and energetic field he would commonly carry wizard weapons though he only has those at T2+3 not T3 so the arcane penalty in medium armor was a bit of a hit. If we are ever going to see effective Gish builds there will need to be a way to avoid the arcane penalty in heavier armors.

As far as the overall game balance goes I think people need to stop micromanaging, take a step back from individual builds like starslinger/daredevil being overpowered and look at the big picture. These are the major game balance issues as I see it:

  1. ammo has been a good thing for the game but is overly annoying to make and carry. Hence the attraction of things like starslinger. We probably need to tweak the amount of ammo we get per batch and the amount of ammo that fits in a quiver/charge gem. IMHO we could probably double the amount of ammo per batch and double the amount a quiver holds and it would still be balanced.
  2. At low tiers big alpha attacks such as provided by great swords and longbows are extremely effective and at one stage were seen here on the forums as OP, hence the great longbow nerf. However ……
  3. By T3 the hitpoints and resistance of targets (regardless of PvE or PvP) means the slow big hitting weapons are no longer optimal. Stacks are the only way to get things down in a reasonable time. Once we eventually get stuff like Dragons in game this issue will get even worse.
  4. Increasing the alpha of these big hitters will firstly introduce issues at lower levels, and secondly not really do enough to help at T3 anyway. These weapons need a good way to apply stacks and at a fairly high rate as they are slow weapons. Whilst big slow weapons CAN utilise feats like daredevil most people who are going to go the daredevil root will chose a faster weapon (shortbow/focus/etc)
  5. the real issues arising at T3 are not actually things like "too many people use Daredevil and starslinger" its issues relating to ammo to some extent but mainly stacks in general. It is too hard for non rogues to get good stacks on without cross classing to rogue and too easy for people using rogue feats to maintain full stacks solo even on a T3 boss.
  6. It is possibly also just a little too easy to maintain full stacks which can kill anything in the game, player or mob, regardless of hitpoints, in just 18 seconds.

TL&DR Version:

Double the amount of ammo per batch and double the capacity of current quivers and gems to make ammo less of a PITA to reduce the attraction of things like starslinger.

Invent some stack inducing attacks suited to slow weapons to make them useful at T3 and reduce the need to crossclass rogue just to get stacks.

Consider reducing the stacks typically applied by fast weapons like shortbows and starknives by 10% or so and maybe tweak maximum recovery rates at T3 for both players and NPCs a bit so its a little harder for rogues to maintain a full 30% per round of damage solo.
Bob
As an aside, when I stated that it's okay for certain builds to be significantly more effective under certain circumstances as long as other builds are significantly more effective under other circumstances, I was somewhat understating exactly how asymmetric our balance is intended to be. From a purely PvP perspective, our design goal is to have clerics generally defeat fighters, who generally defeat rogues, who generally defeat wizards, who generally defeat clerics. There are variants that play around with that, but overall that results from whether a build dishes out more physical or energy damage, and whether a build better resists physical or energy damage. A side-effect of this is that rogues will generally feel like fighters are overpowered if they meet them in PvP regularly, wizards will feel the same about rogues, and so forth.

This carries over to PvE in that clerics will generally do much better against fighter-style mobs than will others, and particularly better than rogues. For any given mob type, some builds should do better against it than others. In turn, we expect that players with a build that's particularly effective against certain mobs will actively seek out those mobs. As a result, other builds watching those builds regularly do well against those mobs may feel that the build is overpowered, but they might just not be seeing how badly that build does against other enemies because the player is avoiding those other mobs as much as possible.

If a particular build defeats every other build in PvP, that's a problem. Same if it's better against every type of mob than any other build. However, it still seems like most of these potentially problem builds still have plenty of situations they're much less effective in, both for PvP and PvE, and find themselves regularly dying under those circumstances.
 
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