Not so long ago, I found out about this project, thanks for its creation.
But for a long time I played as an engineer on various servers and was a class leader in one of the major guilds.
This is my favorite class. It allows you to experiment with weapons and armor of any class and has great flexibility. At the same time, in previous servers with a certain skill, he could compete in damage with MM and Evo, and sometimes surpass them. Now it can not be compared with other classes. (I played different ones.)
This sharply lowered the value of this project in my eyes.
Please tell me which … XXX came up with making it as clear support class, despite the fact that support in this game is not so necessary and ruined an unique class?
To begin with, on the question itself; noone. Our tastes on classes hopefully don’t affect how classes are treated (you’ll find I’ve publicly advocated for Summoner nerfs before, for instance), but noone dislikes Engineers either way.
Our only tweaks on the class so far have been buffs, such as the earlier Hunter gun buffs or the more recent Bot and Drone buffs. The state of the class is otherwise what we got from the TC, which was where FSS’s work was left. Now, the class itself does lack a functional Tactical Mode, which is a very central skill towards damage, so that also plays its part.
That aside though, there’s a few different points to be made on this subject, so.
That’s true. That stems from two key points; where the class itself lands role-wise, and how dedicated damage-dealers perform in comparison.
On the former front, the support role was the result of FSS. I can’t know if it was intentional (creating/maintaining a support class for an MMO setting) or accidental (their early shutdown prevented an Engineer reroute towards damage/solo performance), but it wasn’t our decision. Global, and any other versions that had a similar approach, decided against that - whether their decision was motivated by generating revenue through the Nanoforge, pushing a minion-based class towards critcapped nuke Strikes in the process, is anyone’s guess, but it was what it was.
On the latter, TC damage-dealer classes already came with the distinct advantage of being designed around dealing damage, whereas the Engineer was arguably not. Most such classes have since received buffs to boot, which could only widen the gap that’s now observed.
Whether those performance levels themselves are healthy is highly subjective, as is whether Engineers should match them; players have often argued that Summoners, Engineers, and Guardians should not deal as much damage because they inherently come with more defensive assets and are thus more suitable to solo play. Others have also argued that support itself should be made viable again, which would in many ways clash with such classes becoming equally competent damage dealers - in that argument, having support/defense classes be able to reach such damage levels on top of inherent support/defense assets would invalidate pure damage-dealers.
But be that as it may, what’s being observed has not been our choice; the Engineer is still on the table, and how it develops will depend on such feedback.
I’d imagine that’s a crucial point, one that informs how one evaluates Engineers and support classes/skillsets. That context should inform where the class goes; if support is to be made valuable again then Engineers should mostly develop towards it, if it’s to remain “not so necessary” then they should be made comparable to the dedicated damage-dealers (although some would argue against it on grounds of inherent assets, as above).
What makes support unnecessary would be an interesting discussion in itself, for that matter, and it could inform views on the Engineers’ future.
I understand that you received such a product with such an engineer, but people who have played on older servers for years are unlikely to understand this state.
You probably know that few people very willingly play with pure support classes. Of course, it is possible to stimulate playing the role of support, but coercion very rarely gives a positive result.
And if earlier I had 3 engineers: for the team, for solo, for HC, now I doubt whether it is worth having it at all. And this is in the past my favorite class, which I played several years.
Already, many have an opinion: an engineer is weak to play, it makes no sense.
I completely agree that classes with more protection should not do as much damage as pure attackers, but they should be at least comparable.
At the same time, play as a summoner and engineer in the current state (I did this) and you will understand why I am so outraged and upset. They are simply incomparable, although the summoner is not a pure damageer either.
Conclusions: it is necessary to make the engineer, even if not equal, but at least comparable in damage to other classes, which was done on other old servers. Since the current state makes the game poorer compared to previous servers and in fact one of the most interesting classes and its lovers will be lost.
People who worked on previous servers realized this. I hope you understand too.
I sincerely wish good luck for your team.
No worries whatsoever. If anything, your replies are thorough, which I do appreciate.
So, to begin with, we agree;
What I meant to argue was that this was not our choice - we’ve actively buffed the class compared to its TC state, and intend to continue. How those buffs will develop will depend on feedback, discussions such as this one, and the overall context of the game, which is where opinions will likely differ.
However, buffing it cannot be as easy as copy-pasting, say, the Global Strikers. Not only are 2038 and Global very different at their core, but many players actually object to this “form” of the class.
To me, how such a class is to develop will depend on 3 factors; what role should the class have (and whether such roles as support are viable), what performance levels are desirable, and how the class skillset itself will accommodate both.
On its role itself, the skillset provides very unique utilities - Inhibitor and Haste are unique in their effects (whereas other Bots could be seen as just dealing damage), and the Drone itself provides a customizable offtank that can use non-Hunter gear and provide Medpak for teams.
If the class is to be buffed, then, one should consider how those affect it; HC players have already said they prefer Engineers to Marksmen due to the Drone, for instance, so further buffs carry the risk of making Marksmen even less appealing for those players. In the same vein, a Drone with Medpak can offer survivability that the Marksman skillset can’t, so if total damage output is equalized the Engineer might become strictly superior due to those assets.
What performance levels are desirable is also a very crucial point; one could very well argue that, comparing Engineers to Marksmen, it’s not Engineers that underperform but Marksmen that overperform.
So one would need to establish what power levels and killspeeds are actually productive; perhaps high killspeeds are what invalidates support as a role to begin with, or perhaps enemy power is too low for a Drone to be necessary as a party tank. Performance levels inform the context of the game as a whole, affecting the viability of roles and skillsets, and they do affect how far into SP or MP the game ventures. Of course opinions will differ drastically, but that’s why it’s important to have such discussions.
Lastly, on how the Engineer skillset can accomodate buffs in either direction, let me provide two comparisons; one with Marksmen, one with Summoners.
Marksmen come with a distinct affinity for crits, as well as skills that modify and multiply autofire; the sheer power they can reach then is undeniable, when critcapping a weapon is very possible, CDB values are well over 1000%, and Multishot/RF can roughly triple such a weapon’s output.
Following the concept of Engineers as a minion-based class, they would need to match such performance through Tactical Mode, a skill which sadly they don’t have yet. To do so they would need to 1) create such a weapon themselves, which can be done, 2) have the Drone be able to equip it (due to feeds) and use it with comparable efficiency (due to AI), and 3) cover the inherent crit advantage of Marksmen over Drones (due to skillsets, gear, etc) with +minion damage which should effectively bridge the gap.
This is a monumental task, strictly due to the numbers at hand. That’s why it might be productive to discuss whether such power is actually desirable, before attempting to elevate more classes to it. That is where opinions will likely differ too; Marksmen may object to Drones matching them while also being minions whose death doesn’t matter, Engineers may want to have their unique assets become useful, and so forth.
Summoners come with a similar context; they can sustain 21 Elementals, 7 Shadows, and a Demon, all of whom benefit from +minion damage. One could likely compare personal damage values, but certainly not minion damage.
In this case I’d argue that the issue comes from strict comparisons - Elementals to Bots, the Drone to Demons. Bots cannot match Elementals in either numbers or power, in part because their role differs; Elementals have become damage sources, while Bots are sources of either damage or utility and come with a hard cap of 2. Demons also offer more utility than the Drone, at the cost of being specialized; a Drone can both deal damage and heal (albeit less so) while the WD can only heal and the Warper can only deal damage, a Carnagor can tank much more efficiently due to Meatshield but can mostly only tank.
The Engineer skillset could be forced to match this performance, by buffing Bots to match Elementals and the Drone to match the Warper (although the issue of inherent assets would still remain - Warpers die more easily, can’t be customized, don’t heal, and can’t be healed without Blood Link’s cost). But it becomes an impossible task as well; condensing the current power of 21 Elementals into 2 Bots comes with scaling risks, especially when Bots don’t have the Elementals’ sustain costs, and having the Drone match a Warper damage-wise makes it strictly superior on grounds of defense, healing, and customization.
In this case, too, one could argue that it’s Summoners who overperform; Elementals deal the majority of one’s damage, and fights tend to not be long enough for the WD to be useful. Demons then don’t define one’s role, the way an Engineer’s Drone setup would, and the class outgrows its skillset and performs very well in terms of damage (as many players have argued that recent buffs have made the class OP overall). Perhaps the ideal solution doesn’t lie in buffing current Engineers to match current Summoners, then, but in nerfing Summoners down to desirable levels and tweaking Summoners to match Engineers by design.
It’s a very complex subject at its core, is all I mean to say. I agree that Engineers are lackluster as they are, but there are many factors to be negotiated while that’s being adressed.
It pleases me that you recognize the weakness of the engineer.
The position of people claiming pure support classes is not clear in a game where some characters can kill solo team bosses in seconds. Someone thinks we will collect raids on them?
As for the HC solo, the Summoner is now definitely more effective in this category as well.
Now I had to transfer to the summoner in both modes. Despite the fact that the engineer was my favorite class and I played with him for several years.
The universality of the drone at the moment lies only in the fact that it tanks and damages equally poorly .-)
As for the medical pack and the shield generator, over the years of the game I do not remember that I or someone used them effectively. They are simply not needed in this game.
it’s difficult for the MM to play only at the beginning. Then the engineer critically lags behind him.
You repeat several times about equality with MM, but all MM in the guild say that the engineer is in a deep hole compared to them. And I checked, it really is.
In the Global server, they decided to increase the engineer’s playability for a reason, he became competitive.
You may find other ways, but I hope you understand that measures are needed.
We do agree on the general premise, by all means. Not just the two of us, I’d imagine, but most observers involved.
That said, I think there have been a few misunderstandings.
I don’t claim the two are equal. I am entertaining the thought of them becoming equal, how that might happen, and how inherent assets play a role in this.
This might have been due to my phrasing here;
So, to clarify, this was all strictly hypothetical. I proposed a direct comparison between the “spearhead” damage skills of the two classes, and followed it to the conclusion that it can’t be done; Engineers don’t have a functional Tactical Mode, they can use a Marksman “type” weapon on the Drone but feeds may likely be an obstacle and it can’t use it as effectively due to AI, and stacked +minion damage can’t match the inherent CC/CDB/gear advantages of Marksmen.
Even if those options were to be equalized, however, I identify a core issue - Engineers do have inherent assets that Marksmen don’t, and vice versa. That is why I brought this up, equally hypothetically;
I don’t claim that Drones match Marksmen at the moment. I’m only raising a very common point in advance; if they were to become equal, some players would very likely object to it due to the Drone’s inherent advantages. The same mindset that players have expressed when comparing Carnagors to Guardians (and Summoner assets to Guardian assets) when discussing if and how Summoners could take up the role of tanks.
Now, whether those inherent advantages and assets play any role now is a fair point, one you made here;
With this point I absolutely agree;
So I’m arguing that a few different factors affect our analysis. Our overall vision for the game can drastically affect how we analyze what’s at hand;
Should support become viable, be left as it is, or be completely discarded?
Answers to this will vary very wildly based on one’s views. A very MMO-minded individual might want it to be both viable and necessary, a dedicated SP player might want it to remain a fun but optional route.
1a) If it’s to be made viable, what factors make support unnecessary?
1b) If it’s to be left as-is, how should classes that have such support assets match their DPS counterparts without becoming strictly superior to them?
Should all classes match their faction counterparts in terms of damage?
This would immediately face issues if we were to compare Blademasters to Guardians, of course, but that best exemplifies the issue of inherent assets; if DPS Guardians match Blademasters in damage, while also having all their inherent defensive assets, what purpose would Blademasters be left with?
2a) If they should, how are their skillsets best suited to facilitate this?
2b) If they shouldn’t, what role should they have, and how would that role be necessary enough to validate the non-DPS classes themselves?
Should class concepts dictate how a class plays?
Addressing 2a, in a way, and also why my initial thought of equalizing Marksmen and Engineers through comparable skills (MS/RF and TM) as opposed to shared skills (Strikes). Many players have argued that the Evoker meta skills should not be Serpents and Tempest because they feel too much like playing like Summoners, and others have argued that Engineers becoming Strikers again would make them play like Marksmen.
3a) If they should, how should skillsets then facilitate any such goal as #1 and #2?
3b) If they shouldn’t, how (if at all) should such arguments as the above be addressed?
Is current (damage) performance desirable or not, why, and what does it affect?
This crucial point informs many others by definition; where one would say that Engineers should be buffed to match Summoners, another might say that Summoners should be nerfed to match Engineers. Performance affects such arguments as #1, and how it is achieved overlaps with #2 (2a).
4a) If it is, how do we address such issues as support? Is stat inflation desirable or not, and what would it affect?
4b) If it isn’t, what levels are actually desirable and why? Should, say, inherent sfx assets (2a/2b) play a bigger role in it or not?
And so forth. Tanking and the mechanics of minions could be added to this, but I believe the basics have been covered there.
So that’s why I don’t just concede that Engineers should get, say, Global’s Strikes and match our Marksmen, or that they should be buffed in general to match our Summoners. It might be that Marksmen overperform at a level that the Engineer skillset can’t match (without compromise in class concept, ie Strikers), or that current Summoners overperform and should be nerfed down to match current Engineers - Engineers can inherently fullfill a role that’s overshadowed by the game’s context, so this may need to be addressed instead. Then again, it might be that current performance of Marksmen and Summoners is desirable, but how the Engineer skillset can or should match it is to be debated.
It might be a myriad of other things, and my own opinions on the subject barely matter. For example, I absolutely agree with this being an issue;
I absolutely agree that, in terms of solo(/HC) play, Engineers and Summoners should be comparable.
How I view them both in their context doesn’t matter though - what I need to do is to collect arguments on it, ones that are as thorough as possible. One might find the Engineer performance satisfactory and the Summoner performance OP (an argument which has been made), or one might argue that the current Summoner performance is desirable but the Engineer faces individual issues that create this gap, and so forth. How one would support such views is where the most productive discussions take place.
What I’m trying to do in these textwalls, then, is to analyze such issues as well as I can, so that our suggestions come with a clear vision - what do they affect, where do they lead, how are they to be implemented, and what criteria shape them.
I absolutely don’t deny that Engineers are behind other classes, in this case, but I do suggest that there’s a very complex discussion to be had around the issue. We’ve already buffed the class because of this observation, but how both Engineers and the game itself develop will need to be informed by such discussions, ones that should ideally be as deep as possible.
As we already agreed, now support does not play a special role. People do well without it. IMHO support should be encouraged, but without coercion. Otherwise, the class will simply lose popularity, as this is happening to me.
Once again: classes that have an advantage in protection should not have the same damage as purely attacking classes. But the gap should not be as huge as it is for an engi now.
This is a common concept for most games.
In my opinion, ideally, classes should provide as much as possible the choice in which they should provide the opportunity to play both solo (such people are the majority) and in a team. Even better, if in a team they can choose the role of support or damage.
In the Global server, this was not ideal, but there was such a choice for the engineer. Now, an engineer, of course, is not bad with an haste bot in a team, but it practically makes no sense to play solo since classes exist much more efficiently. I’m just offended that my favorite class now can’t compete in the solo game, as it was before.
As for the ways to solve such a problem, I do not presume to evaluate the balance of all classes in the game. It seems to me easier to change something for one class than to change the whole concept of the game. It depends on your views on the game and of course the possibilities.
I just wanted to make sure that you understand the problem that I encountered when coming to your wonderful project.
Absolutely. We’re well past the point of agreeing that an issue exists, after all, so all that’s in the way is to figure out how to best tackle it.
That’s why I came up with that questionare-esque set of points too - I didn’t intend to use it “against” any point you’ve raised, but only as a point of reference. We’ve had many, many such discussions before, and still do, and views are as many as there are people. So I do need to highlight just how difficult it is to solidify them all and find ideal solutions, when we all have different answers to such central points.
That you answered it to an extent is very helpful though, regardless. The more clearly we can see the players’ overall vision for both classes and the game as a whole, the better
Thanks for the detailed answers. You are very kind to me, Bryan)
Since we have described the essence of the problem sufficiently, I hope that we will soon see your topic in which you will provide ways to solve it for discussion.
My 2 cents since i am playing alot of Engineer lately:
He can get near to MM like dmg but it is way harder to get there since you need the same equip as a MM but with Minion dmg augs (Maverick next to impossible with +1 and minion dmg though). And you cant use a Ravager or Tropcical Storm in order to get those damage spikes that MM usually get from Multishot but you need a weapon that can utilize Rapid Fire - one of the few skills that grants MM-like burst. But when you coordinate everything (phase with Bomber, tank with drone, Spidermines up and then rapid) you can pack a punch maybe not as consistent as a MM but still enough to feel godly.
I also often still see players with Warts leg as a drone melee weapon which degrades you drone to a tank because whatever godly weapon you put on the drone to shoot it will not be used when the drone is in melee range. And at 300+ Minion dmg the drone does output decent dmg.
Aside from that, yesterday i tried to play the engi like a summoner which means not shooting only using spider mines and bomberbot crash and the drone and i was easily able to clear a St. Pauls Ancient blood (@340% Minion dmg). It is more fun and quicker though with shooting. And it is not as strong as summoner because imho summoner has been overbuffed.
But then you also dont have to forget that you have skills beneficial for groups eg haste bot which everyone loves and which increases the dmg output of the group greatly and should be counted towards the engis dmg. And most people neglect to put a point into Medpack Retrofit - the group will like it when suddenly the shields go up when Talox spawned its Toxic Minions.
There are only a few things that needs to be done for the engi imho. It is a great class and i see alot of Engis lately.
Summoner and Evo (the aoe variant) peak out atm and are the two classes that provide the easiest endgame experience - too easy imho given that the gear is also not that hard to get. Therefore imho balancing shouldnt have those two as a base but rather tone them down a bit (me ducking away).
P.S: the global engi also was kindof an exception in the “history of engis” as everyone played striker droneless because strikes critted and splash mods worked on strikes aswell. It was boring as fuck after some time but if you like that you might check out hellfire evo which is even stronger as it can put out those strikes every 4 seconds If it was about me i would remove crits from fields altogether across the board. But as it is now some fields crit some dont- but thats another topic.
Was talking about crit on fields, as that is inconsistant throughout the game anyways.
And the striker Engi was fun for a while especially solo. But what works solo doesnt allways work in groups imho. If we had the striker Engi in here it would be the same as with sumo and evos. Kindof a race who clears the screen with his one click skill. I was sceptical in the beginning too but imho strikes are good as what they are. Totally usable fully specced or even selective.
You may not have noticed, but even in MMO games, most of the time is spent by solo. And this is normal. There is not always a desire to play in a team.
To deprive an engineer of the opportunity to be an effective solo means drastically reducing his competitiveness for players. Despite the fact that I do not like magic classes, and for several years I played as my favorite engineer, now I am forced to switch to a summoner. An engineer cannot compete with him unfortunately now.
This highly reduces the significance of the entire project in my eyes.
I haven’t read the whole thread tbh but this is the original Hellgate experienced with some enhanced gameplay, convenience and content features. I dont think it can incorporate every Meta build there has ever been over the course of time. In every MMO there is a time for certain builds, then they get nerfed because they are too powerfull or some other build takes over the meta.
And if this was a strictly solo game then yes, you could buff the shit out of everything and let the user choose the dificulty and everyone should be happy. But it is an online Multplayer and some form of general balance has to be kept in order to not spoil the fun for others. For the solo experience there exist a ton of modifications. Not sure but maybe there is a mod that gives you what you are looking for.
But Engi is alot more variable in this Hellgate especially after the last patch. You can make it very powerfull it just needs some experiementing (which for me is the most interesting part) and a bit more item grind compared to the other classes. And afaik the Striker Engi also still exists in the Steam version.
I honestly disagree on the point that engi is weak- especially in groups.
You can go through Churchyard (probably the hardest encounter in the game atm) without shooting a single bullet just letting your bots/drone do their thing and supporting them with some spidermines and the occasionaly crash/repair.
And since you want to play with friends. Do you think they like it for long if you as an Engi clear whole screens for them with a 1-click skill? If you had an Evoker in your group you strikes will most likely go off late anyways and the screen has already be cleared by hellfire