CCM, and why removing it might make some sense

Hello!

Disclaimer before we begin; I don’t hate Evokers. I love Evokers. There is no room for class biases when discussing game balance, so this is not an attack on my Cabalist brethren; it is CCM as an affix that I object to, not Evoker performance. More on this near the end.

Now then, before delving into the concept of CCM itself, let me contextualize this analysis with 2 key factors.

#1 SP had massively higher CC/CCM values than MP, presumably for practical reasons, and Flagship had started nerfing down both CC and CCM values by the time of TCv4. Crit-based Rounds had also already been reworked into on-hit ones.

#2 The only 2 classes that, up until the TC, supported crit builds through their skills were BMs and MMs. Even in terms of gear, and even assuming that Ferals were a conscious (if experimental at that) choice aimed at both Cabalist classes (though the set’s focus on melee may cast doubts on even that), Evokers only ever had <30% base crit chance intended to be at their disposal; Ripshards have such an inconsistent design with the rest of the foci types and numbers, and are so focused on Summoners (in terms of their Uniques’ designs), that one cannot reasonably assume they were ever intended for Evokers. They are even dubbed in the data as “Summoner foci”, along with Bloodshards, while Glyphshards are dubbed as “Cabalist foci”.

Now then, let’s analyze how the skillsets of those 2 classes handle crit builds before CCM.

Blademasters.

The crit options of BMs are as follows.
-Surge of Wrath; up to 15% - requires 3 Surges, max 33% chance per hit to trigger, 12 seconds of duration.
-Aura of Zeal; 2 to 16% - 2 per enemy within the Aura.
-Sword Master; 50%, exclusive to Crosscutter and Sword Typhoon.

In terms of gear, the class only gets crit through Face of the Crusader and swords themselves. The only other global source of crit lies in the base 1%, plus 4% from the Surgical Precision expertise.

So, assuming a 0% base crit sword, after investing 18 points and including the 1% base and 4% from Precision, they get a cap of 36% crit for all skills and attacks. 15% of which lasts for 12 seconds unless refreshed, and 16% of which requires 8 targets to be within range. Thus the actual single-target cap is closer to 22-24% (1-2 targets in range), most of which is on a timer to boot.

The highest they can get then, using Sword Master/Sword Typhoon, is 72-86 (depending on targets in range) for a single attack (ST) that has a 15 second CD, and no other attacks. All this being circumstantial, on a timer, after conditions are met, and limited to 1 attack (which has a larger CD than SoW even lasts - unless refreshed), after investing 37 points and thus being locked out of a myriad of other survival/damage/mobility skills.

Marksmen.

The crit options of MMs are as follows.
-Dead Eye; up to 7%, generic.
-Master Sniper; up to 10% (+200% CDB), only applicable while in Sniper Mode.

In terms of gear, the class can get up to 2% from their helmet (Somberg’s Guise or Eyes of the Maverick), 2% from SuE Steadiers, and 3% from Duellos of the Duelist.The 2 global sources, ie base 1% and 4% from the Surgical Precision expertise, are also available.

So, assuming 0% crit guns, after investing 20 points (assuming one does not max Sniper Mode and just uses it for Master Sniper), the class can get up to 29% crit chance. 10% of which comes with the direct disadvantage of having to use Sniper Mode, which comes with perks but also a plethora of drawbacks; limited field of sight, reduced armor and mobility, even reduced RoF and increased skill CDs. All very considerable drawbacks for a ranged glass cannon class, especially considering the TC-era Techa set’s further reduction of movement speed.

Evokers then.

The pre-TC options of Evokers were as follows.
-Veiled Threat helmet; 2%.
-Balbi’s Ring belt; 3%, at the cost of (hidden) -power regeneration.
-Lenses; 8%, at the cost of fewer slots.

Including the 1% base and 4% from Precision, then, pre-TC Evokers could get up to 18% crit chance. Their skillset did not support this approach in any way, and DPS sustainability was further hampered by both Balbi’s -power regeneration and 2 notable changes by the time of TCv4; lv50 power costs had increased by 7%, and WILL power regeneration had been decreased from 3 to 2.
It is notable, however, that all of the skills of the class could benefit from crit equally.

Skillpoints VS mod slots, and affixes VS affixes.

The first issue that arises with CCM then is its availability, as well as its value compared to skillpoints and other affixes.

While Flagship had already limited specific affixes to specific mod types, the same does not apply to CCM; a 6-slot gun or a set of 2 3-slot foci can have ~200% (6x~33%), a 5-slot sword can have ~160% (5x~33%). That is before weapon/foci augments, which can also be an added ~45%.
This approach does enforce some balance between weapon types, such as 1-handed and 2-handed guns in the case of MMs, but the fact that it’s not restricted to mod types makes it available across the board.

Of course, CCM multiplies one’s base CC; if one’s CC is low enough, a ~33% CCM mod may yield less benefit than a 2% CC mod, when the former is caste-specific and the latter is global to boot.
Therefore, low base CC values that could only be increased through specific gear and skills (many of which came with drawbacks or enforced playstyles, as discussed above) kept CCM in relative check.

However, CCM could already be more valuable than skillpoints; for a MM with 29% CC, a single ~33% CCM mod could already translate to ~9.5% more CC. While this may seem fine, given the situational/conditional circumstances by which such base CC is possible, such value allows for such skills to be bypassed with 6-slot weapons; bypassing the cumbersome Master Sniper becomes very possible when 19% CC can be elevated to ~66% (under ~250 CCM). A “nemesis” (+5% CC) weapon, or any weapon with 5% inherent/total base CC, can reach ~84% CC (24x250%), to the point where Master Sniper could allow for a critcap (95% CC) but the loss is too little (11% CC) compared to its inherent drawbacks and skillpoint costs.

In short, at 19% base CC, a single CCM mod can be ~6.6 extra CC, being already 3 times higher than regular CC mods and more than half of the total benefit of Master Sniper.

What’s more, a crit build benefits more from +ele affixes than it does from any other mod affix. Since mods can have 2 affixes at once, crit builds don’t have to face the choice between using a mod to buff base damage or CC; both can be found on the same mod, and no other affix matches either in value.

Caps and CDB.

While this state of affairs may not be without complications already, what truly stresses the depth of the issue is maximum values; namely, 95% CC and 1000%+ CDB. A far cry from “regular” crit builds of other games or from Hellgate’s own CC/CDB skill values, both of those numbers are quite possible.

At the core of the latter lies ACC; 2% CDB per point allows any class to cover their feeds and then invest in ACC for CDB. While this investment would otherwise make little sense with low CC values, CCM allows this to become a profitable approach.

This critcapped state then produces magnificent results, since it can be a permanent x10+ boost to one’s damage. From comical results such as there being few class skills worth pausing autofire for (since, say, Grenades don’t crit and have fixed damage values - ones that are lower than autofire), to unregulated results such as all skills of a class benefitting from crits (such as Evokers, in stark contrast to the BM skillset design), critcapped states invariably produce the same undesirable result; absurdly high damage that cannot be rivaled by most/all other options.

Thus, it is my firm belief that CCM is an undesirable affix that should either be removed, or have its effects be further limited by reducing maximum base CC values and/or its amounts or source availability. The game already includes crit options that could be buffed if need be, within reason, without such a widely available BiS affix.

Evoker alternatives.

This section is an absolute necessity, as such discussions very often end up revolving around Evokers. This is the one class that seems to value crit builds the most, so it’s an inevitable presumption that nerfing crit builds would in turn nerf Evokers.

So, to reiterate, I love Evokers. This suggestion does not intend to nerf the class to the ground, but only to suggest that this way of building such a class and having it only reach such numbers this way and by no other means may be absurd. As much as we have come to accept this as a normal way of building our Evokers to their ceilings over the years, this approach flies in the face of the design of the class itself, the design of other classes with actual affinity for crit builds, and frankly the very concept of a crit build.

To me, then, logical theoretical alternatives to boosting damage would include:

  1. Additional “evocation” damage based on WILL.
  2. Additional sources of the +evocation damage affix, such as armor, mods, trinkets, and dyes, and potentially higher caps of said affix.
  3. Additional skillgroups, such as “Nature” and “Spirit”, whose +damage affixes would stack with +evocation.
  4. Damage multipliers on skills themselves, including additional projectiles and higher attack rates.
  5. Damage synergies between skills of the same tree.
  6. Additional damage in Concentrate Damage.
  7. Increased base foci damage.
  8. Potential new burst-type damage booster skills, similar to Crusader Wrath.
  9. Additional focused damage boosts through potential new passives and/or post-lv50 specializations and Expertises.
  10. The addition of debuff effects such as those of Hamper and Beacon to such skills as Spectral Curse.
  11. Treating such skills as Tempest and Swarm as minions, as Spectral Serpents are now, so that they also benefit from +minion damage.
  12. The ability/option to build the Ember as a minion more comparable to Demons, and/or modifying it to affect the player’s own damage.
  13. Additional damage to targets that are affected by sfx.
  14. Additional sfx damage.
  15. Modest crit options.

The same approach could be applied to any class that may face similar performance concerns; a multitude of class-bound factors can be modified to allow a class to reach a desired performance level, before us resorting to CCM for what I believe to be a bandaid solution to the shortcomings of class design.

Of course I do understand the argument that this is a popular build, and that such performance may be desirable. However, I believe that performance concerns can be tackled locally, and that popularity should not prevent us from entertaining such ideas if they have enough merit to potentially rebalance the game for the better.

TL;DR

My objections to CCM, and thus critcapped builds, stem from the following premises.

  1. Not all classes should have equal crit possibilities, since all classes come with distinctly different designs and capabilities.
  2. Dedicated crit builds should be reserved for classes that have some affinity for them by design.
  3. A crit build, by definition, should not reach such high numbers as the ones that are currently possible (95/1000+).
  4. No class should have its maximum potential strictly depend on crit, unless a class is specifically designed to function this way.
  5. Builds that are based on the design of a class should be comparable to, or at the very least reasonably behind, crit builds.
  6. Desirable performance levels can be made possible through class-bound means, without the need to resort to crits.

Any and all thoughts welcome, and my kind thanks for your time :slight_smile:

3 Likes

I love this idea ! I like attribute based build, and it would go with power regen for comfort.

I love that to, because it feels the skill is evolving, visually and gameplay wise.

I like most other suggestions, but these 2 are my favorites :slight_smile:

Agreed 100%

As i stated on an other topic somewhere, i feel that CDB is more of an issue than CCM. I would ALWAYS prefer having 100% CC + 500%CDB rather than 50% CC and 1000%CDB, for simple consistency purpose.
I don’t like seeing the HP bar only moving when a crit lands, especially on low HP target, when a bad luck streak happens, a small mob is staying alive and then suddenly take 10 times his live as damage from a crit.
So i would highly prefer to have CDB reduced rather than CCM.

However, as for the Evo, i agree that having such an easy time reaching super high CC is not healthy, but thast would be an ok build option if the CDB was lower i think. We would have the choice of going crit, instead of feeling forced into it because of such an easy access to a x10 damage multiplier.
MM need a better access to crit compared to other classes i think though.
Haven’t played BM ever so can’t comment for them.

1 Like

I say it again, Caste CCM has to leave and evokers crit options are way too high compared to other classes.
It also doesnt make sense that the Evoker has the best crit options. A Sniper, yes he should crit. A blademaster too. But what qualifies an evoker for being the crit class.

If you ask me, the coreshredders 25% inherent crit should only apply to melee. Then all Chars are in the base 20-30% crit range. Thus a 10% multiplier yields an additional 2-3% crit which is ok and an option over dmg mods in case you are heavily into crit damage.
I would start with those two measures:coreshredders and crit related caste affixes (change them to plain dmg). And see how far that takes.

1 Like

I like everything but:

As ZeeL mentioned crit chance is nothing without crit dmg.
I am more on the side to lower crit dmg by a lot.
As mentioned, for a crit build it feels way better to have a higher crit chance and reasonable cirt dmg
instead of having a lower crit chance with insane crit dmg. Because of the consistency, you can see your build progress.
I am also on the side of making MM and BM the crit classes. With that i mean they have the best crit possibilitys and not thats the only way they can make thier builds!
Lets say MM and BM can go to 95% crit. The other classes can only archive 60-70% crit and have lower crit dmg as an example.
I like build diversity. I would love to have Crit/ flat-dmg/ novas/ minion/ status (burning and co) as viable build options for every class (Well, besides Minions).
But then some classes should have thier specialtys.
For example:

  • MM crit/ status (burning and co) / (T-stance)
  • BM crit
  • Summoner Minions/ flat-dmg (flat-dmg = %damage/ %eledamage) /(Demon form)
  • Evoker Minions/ status
  • Guardian Novas/ status
  • Engi Minions/ Novas/ status? (They can have two 2h guns because of the drone. Sooo more chance for novas, status effect was my thinking?)
1 Like

In general I approve of this idea. From what I have read though the issue the current state of the game has is that your damage is ludicrously gear dependent, on things like novas/shrapnel and crit, which are not easily obtainable especially at lower levels where many classes and builds feel extremely anemic.

A general trend of moving the majority of this potential damage from these specific things to weapons and skills in general would be a very good plan for the health of the game in my opinion as it would allow many of each class’s other skills compete with the current meta of skills which revolve around either exploiting crit or on-hit effects.

Reducing potential crit damage would be a very good move in this direction, reducing crit chance however makes the mechanic harder to specialize in and reduces build diversity. That said there is probably room for improving the state of crit, perhaps a move away from CCM mods and putting more crit in the skill tree which forces you to specialize in it would be a good plan.

A side note on crit and novas/shrapnel is that they should be in general a form of specialization that has some sort of drawback. Crit builds should heavily rely on it to do damage if they choose to heavily invest in it, on-hit effects are a bit trickier though. There is possibly some things that could be done with the affix pool on mods where on-hit novas block other important affixes but im not nearly experienced enough with this game’s endgame to know where to start there.

The point being though whatever builds and damage options are available they must remain choices you need to make and not things you can add to any build with success is my view on the matter. Doing this gives you much more design space for buffing everything which isn’t crit or novas to comparable levels.

1 Like

What? Lower levels are fine. When shrapnel and crit would be good obtainable during lower levels, then the early game would be destroyed.

What? The majority of it IS on weapons and skills (and through mods wich are put in to the weapons)
And putting these from gear to skills would destroy the hole gearing process for those.

I think you didnt understand the hole problem. Wich is fine let me try to explain.

  • Shrapnel (and those), crit for evoker/ BM and the BM ability “soj” got buffed (because it didnt work, was to weak or for testing purposes)
  • All builds wich used those and evoker/ BM are now because of that to strong
  • Now we try to figure out how to “debuff”, so it is not OP in endgame anymore.

And then we can figure out how to balance and add more from there.

What? Lower levels are fine.

That has not been my experience having leveled several classes to 40+, most classes that are not evoker or Blademaster struggle to do even decent damage while leveling while these two classes tend to destroy everything while leveling with ease, especially BM. That said, the changes to Summoner have also made them a breeze to level so progress has been made here.

When shrapnel and crit would be good obtainable during lower levels, then the early game would be destroyed.

That was never suggested, and I agree would not be the ideal solution. In-fact this statement could be extended to endgame as well.

What? The majority of it IS on weapons and skills (and through mods wich are put in to the weapons)
And putting these from gear to skills would destroy the hole gearing process for those.

No this is incorrect, from my understanding, and the topic of this thread in general, is that weapon >MODS< are too strong, specifically ones that add on-hit effects or multiply your crit chance. Sure some weapons have these benefits built in but those are far from common and actually besides the point. The weapons themselves, that is the damage they deal without these mods, skills, or similar affixes, is vanishingly small compared to when you do have them.

My suggestion was to have weapons themselves deal more damage without the need for crit or shrapnel/novas so you could then lower the power of these mods and affixes without totally destroying several class’s ability to do damage at all at endgame, while also achieving the goal of allowing more build diversity, or at-least creating a scenario where it can be later introduced.

Also I didn’t intend to suggest skills are weak, I was suggesting a portion of the power you obtain from mods should be moved to skills as well as buffing weapons, as is appropriate for the class (i.e BM doesn’t need much of this, while MM might).

I think if you read my post more carefully you will find I am actually on the same page here, and I am trying to suggest ways to achieve the goal of moving the current game balance away from crit/shrapnel or bust

Yes! This is the difficutly of the game. Not the other classes are to weak, evoker, BM are to strong.
This is not an easy game like Diablo 3 is.
Or got London:2038s enemys defence buffed? I dont think so, does anyone know?

Thats odd:

Thats how i understand it, excuse me if that was wrong.

Ah. You meant only the Mods, got it.
But again, it would be a lot easer to nerf the dmg from those instead of changing the gearing system.

Making the weapons so much more powerful would make the game and gearing process to easy.
And i qoute myself: “it would be a lot easer to nerf the dmg from those(Mods) instead of changing the gearing system.”

So you say i wouldnt do that? …odd.

The game isnt balanced around crit/shrapnel, its just to strong and needs a nerf.

Yes! This is the difficutly of the game. Not the other classes are to weak, evoker, BM are to strong.
This is not an easy game like Diablo 3 is.
Or got London:2038s enemys defence buffed? I dont think so, does anyone know?

I know, in fact. You can boot up HGL single player and have a very different experience. I also played the original HGL back when the servers were up, and I do not remember ever struggling to do damage as much as in the version of the game 2038 uses.

I also disagree that the difficulty comes from dealing damage to normal enemies, or spending minutes auto-firing against a rare enemy. Difficulty comes from being challenged in a way you must respond to or lose. You can’t really respond to having really poor damage numbers, assuming a well crafted build, except by getting better gear.

At the moment the “better gear” is a huge part shrapnel and CCM mods which aren’t a practical option while leveling and we are discussing nerfing at endgame.

Granted the longer a fight goes on the more chances it has to become dangerous, this is true, but extending the time-to-kill for every enemy, without introducing interesting mechanics to compensate, will turn the game into a kiting slog for a class like MM.

I think the sensible thing at-least for your average normal enemy would be to reduce the time-to-kill and make them challenging in other ways such as improved damage in some cases.

So I return to my original point: something needs to be done about damage while leveling for certain classes, specifically MM and Gun-guardian but overall as well.

Thats how i understand it, excuse me if that was wrong.

No that’s alright I wan’t clear enough and implied something unintended. The meaning of these two paragraphs are not separate though they may appear to be

…damage is ludicrously gear dependent, on things like novas/shrapnel and crit, which are not easily obtainable especially at lower levels where many classes and builds feel extremely anemic.

A general trend of moving the majority of this potential damage from these specific things to weapons and skills in general would be a very good plan for the health of the game in my opinion…

To be crystal clear, I don’t want more crit or shrapnel available while leveling, and you correctly observe it would make leveling very easy if it was prolific in its current state. Instead, while leveling and just generally across the board, more of that damage in my view should be concentrated in the weapon’s base damage or class skills where this is appropriate.

For example SoJ probably doesn’t need a buff, though a nerf to it and a buff to sword damage in general might make their other melee skills more attractive while having the side effect of boosting sword guardians, which basically don’t exist in a viable form in the current state of the game except as a stat-stick or to use Hamper for the debuff.

it would be a lot easer to nerf the dmg from those(Mods) instead of changing the gearing system.

I think at this point I’ve made the case as to why that might be an issue if that’s all we did. There is also the old adage of anything worth doing is never easy which I feel applies to the current state of the game.

From my understanding 2038 uses an in development version that was pushed just before the game was axed. It has many balance design changes which are incomplete or simply don’t make sense in current overall game state. If we are serious about finishing what they started then yes its going to involve wide-reaching and radical change almost inevitably in my view.

I have suggested a few basic strategies for doing that but this is a discussion the community needs to have, like we are doing now :wink:

Directly addressing your concern about buffing weapon damage making the gearing process too easy, you are correct and we will need to compensate for that by potentially adding new weapons to the game either to bridge the gap between the current endgame selection, after buffing it significantly as well as making it much rarer / harder to get, or to take its place as the powerful chase endgame items.

The game isnt balanced around crit/shrapnel, its just to strong and needs a nerf.

I have yet to see an endgame build, which is not minion focused, that does not focus on either of these mechanics, perhaps with the notable exception of MM grenade builds. Ultimately this is the issue, the power of these effects hurts build diversity overall and especially diversity in gearing options.

Which is why people will exaggerate and say that the game is balanced around them because, in a way, their experience of the game is balanced around it and I’m no exception.

I think I have the understanding that you enjoy the longer paced fights in 2038 and I respect that. But I don’t think I agree that the current state of damage in the game without these effects is in a good enough place to warrant reducing the damage ceiling by nerfing them, without also raising the damage floor.

That’s the thrust of my argument basically: If we remove or reduce CCM mods, Shrapnel etc then something should take its place in a far reduced but still significant form. Bonus points if that also smooths out the damage progression while leveling.

The game will become harder if you dont have that BM or Gundian or Crit Evoker in your group handling everything. That is for sure.
There will be whining when Squadro isnt dropped before his Minion died or you need like 2 hours for a 5x5 Molloch round instead of 1 or less. Though i assume a new meta will be around the corner.

But the game can be played with other builds and you can still beat Molloch and the Abyss bosses solo and get a sense of opness from time to time. We have to talk about Sydo though but i like one uber hard boss :slight_smile:

I am currently playing a Sword throwing BM, a dronless Engi, a Grenade Throwing MM and a pure Sniper MM (all R20-30). None of these use onhits or CCM but they do fine. They all did the Abyss Bosses solo with only Talox being a real pain in the ass at times. And when they reach R50 they will be super strong.

The latest patches did alot for them. Eg the new 120 rof fire weapons scale very good with Rapid Fire or my BMs guns (he uses gun and sword) like the Flamecaster or Peacemaker are much more of use now. They got buffed a bit so to say. We also got buffed moneywise via the piecemaker and the general better drops.

So if stuff gets harder and the different rarities not that easy to get we have to remember that they already got buffed alot beforehand.

I would therefore say objectively people should be able to cope with a straigtht nerf of onhits, SOJ and CCM and coreslashers. Subjectively it might be a different thing when your char loses opness.

It was also never said that it should lead to them being crap and i would not like it if going pure onhits would be off the table as they gotten totally useless. But the compensation for the nerf has already been delivered in some ways. So lets just do it and see how people will develop new ideas.

1 Like

Thats what i believed @aladinf.
So i think ZeeL has brought it to the point.
Crit chance is “ok” (litle nerf for evoker there), crit damage need a nerf.
Then i liked aladinf’s idea: “…the coreshredders 25% inherent crit should only apply to melee.”
And a lot of cool ideas from Bryan.