HoH post-changes feedback and suggestions

#1
Hey,

(please note that I've been running it on midgard only, so my experience only covers that)

As a quick introduction, I just wanted to state that I've been running HoH since its inception and went from liking it to finding it rather boring when done using the latest midgard-pbaoe group composition.
When we first ran HoH on midgard, we used trolls to kill things, that's what they're good at after all ;)
Then, considering there was no CC, we decided to try to pbaoe them, and things went south fast.
Trash pulls became considerably easier, and some boss mechanics could simply be ignored.
I'm thinking about the brothers here; they were a great fight, with good coordination required and all, and
suddenly became pushovers.
People started to even push the idea further going with more and more pbaoe, up to 5 SMs and using a... skald (!) to tank.
We went from speed-runs lasting about 40 mins to runs below 30 mins with little effort.
That was bad; instance became too easy, and I fully agree that some balancing was needed;
because it didn't become easier only as we learnt how to do it better, but because we found a way
to bypass some of the mechanics through sheer damage.

Now onto the current state of the instance.

Beluna: wasn't changed, was actualy one of the hardest to do with pbaoe groups.
Brothers: wasn't changed, still piss easy with pbaoe. the real change on this one actualy comes from the enhanced HP on tanks that makes healing the 95% gaze harder.
Halgartha: quite harder; doable with pbaoe, not sure how that would fare with a melee group (aka would the melee be able to kill adds before they heal the boss).
(for that one too the tank HP boost is actualy nerfing us more I'd say as the healer has to pump a bunch of power into the group after the culling)
Maschunga: bit harder; doable with pbaoe, not sure if melee would be able to cope up with the HP up of the adds (probably).
Mother: wasn't changed. why ? she was already by far the weakest of all. I even tank her with a 2H so my healer doesn't die of boredom. we killed her with only 5 persons and probably can with 4.
Szregoo: became super hard, even with pbaoe - I barely see this guy being killed with a melee group w/o using some advanced form of kiting, was that the point ?
Ogoga: lightest change I'd say; still largely doable

And now onto my conclusion/observations/suggestions.

I believe the real balancing that was needed was to prevent the instance from being farmed so heavily using pbaoe groups (at least on midgard).
But the changes you decided to implement don't solve that problem at all imho; they make some of the bosses pretty much impossible to kill with a more classical melee setup, which means people will simply have to use higher realm rank pbaoe or completely skip some bosses, as most groups already started to do.

One change that I believe would have been more efficient and probably not so hard to do is give all bosses and possibly all trash some form of resistance to aoe damage; hence negating part of what makes the pbaoe so stronger than anything else.

For the brothers, you could also make it so the troll doesn't simply unspawn when Zorsch dies; that might be enough to force people to actualy play the (nice) mechanics you created for those guys.

Though that is unrelated to the current changes, one other thing that was slightly 'abused' is the character change for Ogoga.
As the Ogoga fight was rather annoying to do with pbaoe, most groups swapped pbaoes for melees.
That probably should be blocked one way or another (such as locking the instance to a given character/account pair).

As a last note, I'd like to say that this doesn't reflect my opinion only, but that of several friends I've been running the instance with a lot.
Please, think again about those changes, and do something 'better' than the current state.

Thanks for the hard work, Skal.

Re: HoH post-changes feedback and suggestions

#2
I ran HoH in alb with reaver setup once after the patch, and thought melee setup in hib/mid would be very tough to do the job.
Fight became way longer, and thx to necro battery, healers could bare that long fight.
Before patch, necro was helpful but not a mendatory.
But now, I'm pretty sure your healers will go oop very fast without battery.

We had a very close fights on Halgratha, Maschunga basically because healers lacked power.
And on Szregoo, it became a mess with 10+ adds. 2 reavers died and I barely managed to kill the boss.
Was a bit more entertaining thou :P

I think some kind of nerfing pbae was needed rather than boosting hp of the boss.
Now ppl started to ask bombs to take WP5+ instead of changing the tactic or composition, and I don't think this is what devs intended.

Re: HoH post-changes feedback and suggestions

#3
Thanks for your insight.
And yeh healer has a hard time on Halgratha now (but as I said, imho moore because of the HP boost than the boss up).
We went once with a healer who was full SC but rather low rank and no (or very low) instance bonus and he just couldn't keep up (even with potions, chunk and all).
Pumping 3k HP into the main tank after the culling (and the rest of the group) was a pain for him.
This 'indirect' healer nerf is what hurts us the most on this boss;
and the result is that ppl with no instance bonus will simply be rejected more now.

And on Szregoo, even groups fully filled with 'strong runners' struggle to get him down. As I said in the first post, some 'advanced kiting' seems in order but I doubt the fight was initialy designed for kiting. We all believe that fight was designed to be a simple DPS check - kill him before you get overwhelmed - but right now it's close to be impossible using anything but an army of high rank pbaoe and some luck - which is the perfect opposite of balancing that we needed.

S.

Re: HoH post-changes feedback and suggestions

#5
HoH and maybe DS will be looked at again sometime this or next week.

It is likely that there will be some general change to deal with pbae stacking, however, this still requires internal discussions, there would be 3 potential solutions
1) Allow only at most 2 of each class in a group, this is a bit heavy handed but would have the advantage of making any kind of class stacking impossible
2) Have some trash and/or bosses have some pbae stuff
3) Have alternating melee and magic resist on trash / bosses to force hybrid groups

As for the individual bosses:

The fight duration on Halgratha seems fine now, a potential change here might be to make targets that are affected by the heal debuff to not be affected by the culling as well. In turn we would then break the daoc spreadheal mechanic on this fight and have this heal debuff affect it as well. I kinda would prefer it if there were a lot more emphasis on killing the adds but no idea how to do it without making it a tight dps race.

Maschunga seems fine now.

Rorsch / Zorsch will likely see more of a rework, most likely candidate right now would be both having their own mark requiring that the mobs (or the groups) switch sides multiple times throughout the fight, for that the meteor would be changed to something that wouldn't result in rng insta gibbing when combined with the mark tick but still require everyone to pay attention and act, the other would receive something comparable. It's likely that the hp of both will be noticeably increased, in that case their mark will also be a power heal so that the execution becomes once again the important part and not the resource constraints due to the hp increase which itself is only to not have it cheesable / to require multiple switches.

Szregoo is now more in line with what we had in mind when making it, the difficulty was always supposed to be dealing with the adds.

Ogoga might see a small hp reduction again and may or may not receive another mechanic. Right now the difficulty is basically that it's somewhat boring yet requires one to pay attention for a rather long amount of time, the hp increase actually made mistakes a lot more likely :p

Mother should see an update, the basic encounter idea is rather problematic however and not entirely sure yet what an updated version might look like.

Belluna seems fine, rather easy with many options to kill it.

Re: HoH post-changes feedback and suggestions

#6
And what - after some people having hoarded gazillions of feathers - really is the point in the recent (and up to come) changes?

Feathers will be getting even scarcer for John Doe or Mr. Freshman who need to buy their feather gear even more than now mostly for plat. Perfect match to the fact, that with the latest gold farming nerfs plats will get scarcer now also. Casual players or those new to the game will face an even harder time to get temped because their class, gear and/or skills cannot match up the needs/wishes of "New-HoH"-groups, which will be needed to do the "enhanced" instance. I only see a shift of one meta to the other without doing any good but making things worse.

Re: HoH post-changes feedback and suggestions

#8
You need a test server... or long tests before going live.

Honestly, stop nerfing things some have enjoyed for months and therefore new-to-it are screwed in comparison.

5 weeks ago I planned a slow Reroll Session on Midgard, one evening per week and convinced everyone to first make a SM so we can equip the team.
I will not threaten to quit phoenix or start a prophecy of doom, it's still a great server and the constant energy your team puts in it is fantastic, yet some nerf/boost decision are really annoying and somewhat depressing (from an in-game pov, I still sleep well).

HoH is meant to be hard. Fine. Make it so there are strategies to figure out (which you did). have a ratio in mind feathers/hour and once a setup appears on top of the rest, just lower a bit in function of the feathers/hour you had in mind.

Plan a dungeon for 8 to be done in 90 minutes and be worth 20k. Players find a way to do it in 30 min, nerf to 10k feathers for instance.
Remember you introduce the instances as race against the clock too, you should be proud of those who actually find strats and compo to fight the dungeons that fast instead of trying to stick it up the a$$ of "dungeon-newcomers" somehow... I know, I know, that's not what you want to do but it sure feels that way.

Honestly, if you want something for melees mostly, do another dungeon, that will for sure make everyone happy and you can introduce a melee friendly mechanic just for it. Just one option from the top of my head, that should hopefully not be too difficult to implement, add a double gauge for melee damage and magic damage and if the magic gauge is too big compared to melee gauge, the boss enters in rage or cast a random one shot or suck someones mana.... This gauge system could trigger effects and be reset so the magic would need to hold to cautiously avoid the next devastating effect and so on. But really, once something is live, don't nerf the players power vs mobs; let them enjoy if they found a way and move to the next instance.

Re: HoH post-changes feedback and suggestions

#10
Chaskha wrote:
Wed Nov 20, 2019 3:29 pm
[..]
I'm a bit confused when you mentioned nerfing the feather rates...imo that similarly punishes late-comers as they can't farm as others have done.
If that is the alternative i prefer them reworking and rebalancing the dungeons regularly to get closer to a overall balanced experience while maintaining the reward/time ratio.


Splitting melee dungeon and magic dungeons only makes sense on paper. There is almost no way to balance them against each other, even in theory.
The settled farmers wouldn't switch to a new melee-dungeon if the yield is "just the same" and newcomers that could focus on either will go where they find more groups.
And that is assuming that both are balance in theory