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Current state of fractal balance


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Just now, Tails.9372 said:

Moving the goalpost I see, you asked for a "dedicated DPS build that low" and I provided. It not being an e-spec weapon set is irrelevant as many other builds which are based on "non-e-spec weapons" do "make the cut".

I'm not moving the goalpost. You mentioned a build that I have never seen before being used by anyone other than level 40 Thieves in open world. You bring that into Raids or Fractals you might even get thrown out.
Based on that logic I could say that Scourge is not OP because Dagger-Focus Scourge doesn't have high DPS. 

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Inspired by a reddit post about class popularity in raids i wanted to compare it to fractals and the results are very sad to say the least. Here the distribution: https://imgur.com/a/cZWySoU

100% agreed. Grabbing popcorn to see how many players will come in and tell everyone how balanced guardian, necromancer and revenant are. In revenants defense: it's the safest alacrity source ava

This is straight up lie. Another lie. Condi for speedrunning is faster on Ai and on Ensolyss   Weaver is still very much alive in raids and strikes It always was, literally n

43 minutes ago, Bakeneko.5826 said:

Renegade will be taken regardless of what comes out. It's only class providing 10 man alac without sacrificing anything valuable. Scourge is not OP, it is over represented, but it stems from it having some valuable utilities in fractals (namely epi for 100CM), and negligible ammount of barrier for itself, or party, depending on how you trait it, and from lazy fractal design, that put heavy favour on certain types of dmg (ranged condi) over smart design choices where well timed CC would provide skilled players different approaches. In current fractal meta, with breakbar change, favour is tipped towards scourge due to three factors: breakbar bonus damage, ranged CONDI dmg being favoured and Ai 2nd phase shades being vulerable to all damage. By changing how much boss moves, or how shades work (vulnerable ONLY to CC), whole pug meta would shift into heavy cFB/cSLB/cRene/cThief/cWeaver side. If we changed how breakbar bonus dmg work and how much Ai moves, whole fractal meta would shift towards power based builds. You are blaming classes for design flaws of encounters and lazyness of community. Shift how CM100 works and pugs will change their play style for whole fractal run, not just 100.

 

 

and this solves the over-representation of scourge in raids, or explains it, how?

 

Yes, changing how for example exposed works would shift metas. That's what happened last time it got changed too.

 

So, if barrier and utilities are to blame, what exactly speaks against having harbinger as primary condi spec for necromancer once it releases? Givung players a choice between, if reduced in dps, scourge with barrier and harbinger as full dps. Wouldn't solve all the other utility unbalances, it would solve barrier and scourge utilities though, no?

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15 minutes ago, IAmNotMatthew.1058 said:

I'm not moving the goalpost.

That's exactly what you're trying to do.

15 minutes ago, IAmNotMatthew.1058 said:

You mentioned a build that I have never seen before being used by anyone other than level 40 Thieves in open world. You bring that into Raids or Fractals you might even get thrown out.

Yes and as I said the low DPS is a major reason for that.

15 minutes ago, IAmNotMatthew.1058 said:

Based on that logic I could say that Scourge is not OP because Dagger-Focus Scourge doesn't have high DPS.

You're comparing apples to oranges: Scourge is an e-spec, not a build. Everything thats underperforming in spite of having good build synergy / investments is a valid answer to the question you posed.

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7 minutes ago, Tails.9372 said:

Scourge is a class, not a build. 

I will clarify then, my Dagger-Focus condi Scourge build is low DPS therefore Scourge is not OP, because I just mentioned a kitten build despite there being meta builds that perform much better, like you did with mentioning P/P DE/DD despite there being much better builds for them.

Using a weak build just to be able to say there are DPS builds with less than 31-32k DPS will not make nerfing Scourge's damage by 5k reasonable.

I can bring up a build that is meta and powerful and just slap different weapons on it. Weapons that are not used because the build doesn't perform that well with them.
There is a reason why Daredevil uses Staff or D/D instead of P/P.

Edited by IAmNotMatthew.1058
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Imagine that ... meta builds are overrepresented in websites where people submit data about optimal content runs. 👏

The best part is that there isn't anything shocking about the current state of any instance group content ... people aren't aware there has always been a meta for all instanced group content?

Edited by Obtena.7952
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I don't dispute at all the popularity of Scourge Firebrand and Renegade. Since the May update I've seen power builds dry up slowly and more and more Scourges appear in t4 dailies. Often these players don't know what they are doing and would probably be better going back to DH or weaver or whatever it was they were playing before someone told them "scourge is best dps it's so easy!"

But I have three points I want to make.
First that his data collected is from people paying particular attention to the meta, this isn't average player usage. I see Scourge in pugs about as often as I saw Dragonhunter back at it's peak (1 per group). It's also based on CMs where the meta has always been pretty rigid compared to the rest of T4. You can even see that in their data from the past where there is a narrow range of builds (druid/weaver/chrono) dominating over the others.

Second, if your choice of fractal supporters is as narrow as it is right now of course Renegade and Firebrand are at the top. They have to be in the group to provide those boons reliably alongside other support options like reflects and boon strip. Anet keeps making support options unlike each other and so what we have is not enough stability and reflects on other classes. We're finally getting more barrier (and maybe good alac/quickness) in EoD but it's open question whether that will offer another quality supporter to put a dent in what we have now.

Third, the solution here isn't to nerf these classes. What needs to happen is some major changes and buffs to other classes to give them the type of diversity and utility enjoyed by FB/Scr/AlacRen. It wouldn't even be that hard to fix chronomancer up and get it right back to parity with the firebrand, they just need to stop nerfing the tar out of mesmer every update. The current drought of power builds is entirely a result of the exposed buff and to a lesser extent the torment changes. For the most part power builds still clear t4s as fast as they did before (with good players anyway). But what has happened is players keep telling each other that "Scourge is the best dps for fractals" and they follow what everyone says is easiest because no one wants their daily fractals to be harder. If they did these builds wouldn't be the most used.

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DPS are normaly not so important to me. Normaly i play my power-engie, because the burst is the best . In other fractals, i swap between axe-Mirage and necro, because of epi when needed. But all in all, i see a wide variety of classes in the DPS-section in my run's.

What bothers me more are the Supporter. I hate it, but if I set a LFG then only with Alac and Heal, which nowadays are automatically only Guard and Rev. Mir-alac is still a possibility. But I'm very reluctant to take this class, because I've never had a good one that really brought what everyone always says abut it.
On the other hand, I personally don't see any big differences compared to the past. There has always been a meta and those that use it for easy, smooth run's.
You don't have to follow that meta and you still get your run most of the time. I follow it because I often play with friends who often don't make more dps than the healer ^^''. There as the only high-DPS I need every buff and safe-spot I can get.

But that's just my opinion as a very casual-fractal-runner these days. Fractals aren't as appealing to me since Twilight, I hate that effects storm(especially the new cm's ...). The fractals are not hard, I do them here and there and then have enough of fractals again for a while, because I get dizzy from all the effects. But i am also very sensitive to this, motion-sicknes and all these beautiful things hit me hard.

But also from friends I hear again and again that they prefer to avoid the new fractals. In low tier fractals it was hard for me to find people who run these fractals.
Therefore, I understand when people hold on to the safest meta, so as not to sit frustrated for hours on a fractal.

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1 hour ago, Vidit.7108 said:

I don't dispute at all the popularity of Scourge Firebrand and Renegade. Since the May update I've seen power builds dry up slowly and more and more Scourges appear in t4 dailies. Often these players don't know what they are doing and would probably be better going back to DH or weaver or whatever it was they were playing before someone told them "scourge is best dps it's so easy!"

But I have three points I want to make.
First that his data collected is from people paying particular attention to the meta, this isn't average player usage. I see Scourge in pugs about as often as I saw Dragonhunter back at it's peak (1 per group). It's also based on CMs where the meta has always been pretty rigid compared to the rest of T4. You can even see that in their data from the past where there is a narrow range of builds (druid/weaver/chrono) dominating over the others.

Second, if your choice of fractal supporters is as narrow as it is right now of course Renegade and Firebrand are at the top. They have to be in the group to provide those boons reliably alongside other support options like reflects and boon strip. Anet keeps making support options unlike each other and so what we have is not enough stability and reflects on other classes. We're finally getting more barrier (and maybe good alac/quickness) in EoD but it's open question whether that will offer another quality supporter to put a dent in what we have now.

Third, the solution here isn't to nerf these classes. What needs to happen is some major changes and buffs to other classes to give them the type of diversity and utility enjoyed by FB/Scr/AlacRen. It wouldn't even be that hard to fix chronomancer up and get it right back to parity with the firebrand, they just need to stop nerfing the tar out of mesmer every update. The current drought of power builds is entirely a result of the exposed buff and to a lesser extent the torment changes. For the most part power builds still clear t4s as fast as they did before (with good players anyway). But what has happened is players keep telling each other that "Scourge is the best dps for fractals" and they follow what everyone says is easiest because no one wants their daily fractals to be harder. If they did these builds wouldn't be the most used.

The supports may have to be in the group but fb reaches almost 40% representation. Thats 2 per group on average. even broken weaver never went past 27% and that was a broken 47k dps build during a time when the 2nd best was like 35k. Maybe because it required some skill to achieve that dps and was risky to play? Even scourge went past broken weaver at this point. The meta was never even close to be this narrow in cms.

There is always one renegade so it has 20% representation with a fixed spot just like old chrono. But scourge sits at average 1,5 spots per group and fb at 2. 

Your last solution results in incredible power creep. You can even see wipes and fails go significantly down on that site after scourge and fbs started to gain popularity. Both of them turn the game into a snoozefest. Almost impossible to fail and t4 feels like a t1 with them.

Scourge isnt even the best dps just the most braindead. Cfb is the best dps. Yes all it needs is to revert exposed but thats what a lot of players demanded since they introduced it 8 months ago.

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1 hour ago, Obtena.7952 said:

Imagine that ... meta builds are overrepresented in websites where people submit data about optimal content runs. 👏

The best part is that there isn't anything shocking about the current state of any instance group content ... people aren't aware there has always been a meta for all instanced group content?

Can you ever produce an argument that isn't specious?  90% representation is a little beyond "overrepresented" and its reflected in lfg and any indicator you care to use.

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18 minutes ago, AliamRationem.5172 said:

Can you ever produce an argument that isn't specious?  90% representation is a little beyond "overrepresented" and its reflected in lfg and any indicator you care to use.

There isn't anything misleading about my argument. It's highly likely people posting data to Wingman are using meta builds ... so no one should be surprised that meta builds are overly represented  on that website.  

In otherwords, the data on that website is likely biased towards meta. That's not an indication there is a problem.  I mean, put it another way ... what is the problem if 3 classes are favoured in optimal play? I don't see one because instanced content is either 5 or 10 spots. The only problem that exists for meta is if a situation exists where the favoured optimal solution is to just stack only meta builds from a few classes. 

Edited by Obtena.7952
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All I have to say is you have to use a static group to prove your point then Nephalem.8921 is correct.

Also laughing at the suggestion of someone bringing a weaver into a PUG after exposed changes. Unless you are doing only 98+99CM with favorable instabilities and literally nothing else you are at the mercy of how well your supports are doing because of how dual attunements work. (Keep in mind unlike other classes you don't generate any might on the meta builds but at the same time the power build loses +300 power if you don't have 10 stacks.) Before the exposed change you had berserkers (commonly banners) and might see holosmith, dragonhunters, soulbeast, staff daredevil on occasion, weaver played by the masochists, etc but in the same patch soulbeast, holo, and DH all had burst nerfed. Realistically every power class in a PUG can have its actual damage factored by as much as 5% lower due to scholar uptime compared to condi.

If you ever play in PUGs and look at who does the most DPS when the quickness is lacking and alac is not pressing F4 for whatever reason (or someone decides to be creative and alac mirage vs exposed breakbars) it's probably going to be scourge or condi firebrand in current state of the game. That is precisely why before scourges were stacked it was firebrands with sanctuary and condi RR if people have it.

Note that burning is not contingent on the target's movement, so firebrand should be hit before scourge or renegade are especially since there is such a large disparity between firebrand and StM chrono/quickness scrapper mainly due to required boon duration. It's not even just the DPS disparity versus exposed , it's also the fact that even if you are running cQB you have a <12s cooldown aegis which even if you go full on 50%+ BD Inspiration chrono with signets you would not match. Not to mention you would be missing might and fury output running chrono while having a condi-like damage ramp and scrapper's might generation is iffy (along with blast gyro launching things 600 range away). Talking about overall clear rate, firebrand has far more carry potential than a DPS scourge (as opposed to a plaguedoctor/heal scourge which people typically don't use in fractals) : you can clear without a scourge but it is highly unlikely to see a clear without a firebrand in the current state of the game.

Renegade had not been considered overpowered til the torment changes and for a long while we were fine with 24K DPS alac ren so even if it were hit by 10% on all builds it would still be played. It was ~33K on condi RR and ~37K full cDPS with a larger ramp time before torment changes. Especially when you consider Vindicator is coming out and the last beta had it at 37K with a single dodge and far less utility I would say it is in Arenanet's best interest for the sake of promoting the new elite specs. There used to be a hitbox disparity present due to Citadel Bombardment but after torment changes this is no longer the case. Soulcleave was nerfed already so unless you are celestial renegade then the healing is quite low as it is <800 per second (less than Breakrazor's Bastion on cele) , comes at the cost of DPS and doesn't even help much when people are affected by -70% healing from agony. The only true carry potential with renegade is breaking CC bars quickly ultimately , along with AoE boon rips on cele variants so you can push more power DPS which is why people ran Mallyx on renegade over pre torment change scourges to begin with. Banish enchantment was widely used as the case against scourges before the torment changes in fact. If for example Darkrazor counted for a quarter of the CC it does now (since the daze is 0.25 seconds) I don't think renegade would definitively push out alacrity mechanist or alacrity specter for example so it comes down to CC.

Scourge's only oddity is the barrier scaling and ease honestly: if base barrier from Desert Empowerment were lower and the scaling higher it would not be as strong a support on full DPS gear. For a fully ranged build it does more damage than expected, when it was 28K only I remember suggesting that boon rips cause CC bar damage on part with fear when no boons were removed as the defiance bar emulates stability. People were looking for 32-33K DPS at the time so 37K+ truly overshot it and I truly believe if CFB+renegade are rebalanced a 33K cDPS scourge would still see play. It is in Arenanet's best interest to lower scourge damage a bit to make harbinger more attractive as a cDPS if it turns out harbinger only outputs something like 37-40K cDPS as opposed to the first beta's 45K. If the game were to be balanced with that in mind since ranged single shortbow condi soulbeast is around 33K and is about as easy to play I think 33K DPS is perfectly serviceable for a cDPS scourge especially when you consider a power banner warrior is ~34K with swiftness (-10% without), power reaper is 34K right now , and so is power scrapper. Now a plaguedoctor scourge does 27K cDPS as opposed to pre-torment changes where a full cDPS scourge pushed 28K, I don't think that is remotely balanced at all when a spec gains +30% damage overnight even disregarding the exposed changes.

Ultimately it comes down to whether something will be played at all if nerfed. Any balance decisions shouldn't make things unplayable, just roughly on par with other options. That should be the litmus test. Would people play a 32-33K cDPS scourge (condi single shortbow soulbeast level DPS)? probably since the DPS uptime is high , barriers, and epidemic would still work. Honestly scourge isn't the balance priority however. Would people still play a 25K DPS alac ren or 33K condi RR? Highly likely since even when alac ren was 24K DPS it was played and condi RR was used in raids before the torment changes. Would people play a 25K cDPS cQB / 35K cDPS cFB? Definitely because of exposed being so lopsided and no other quickness options that output fury reliably.

It's pretty obvious Arenanet's intention is for a quickness support to be <30K DPS. If it wasn't then clearly the last beta quickness harbinger missed the mark and quickness scrapper and StM chrono (with min boon duration and zero support) are out of line. Because quickness is hands down the most powerful boon as it buffs even the people half-afk auto attacking (unlike alacrity) I would say Firebrand needs to be toned down way before any other class does. Even if not accounting for aftercast you are looking at 33% DPS increase  , if you account for aftercast sometimes it is upwards of 45%.

All in all, it should be the more support you provide the less DPS you can do. The top DPS should come from a pure DPS spec not a support spec plain and simple. What we have now is large amounts of support powercreep.

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1 hour ago, Obtena.7952 said:

There isn't anything misleading about my argument. It's highly likely people posting data to Wingman are using meta builds ... so no one should be surprised that meta builds are overly represented on that website.  

You seem to be more the type to like anecdotal evidence. Just logged in, filtered for "cm" and this is the result:

https://imgur.com/a/UEQYQTv

All those pesky wingman elitists just started their groups at the same time i guess?

Edited by Nephalem.8921
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3 minutes ago, Nephalem.8921 said:

You seem to be more the type of anecdotal evidence. Just logged in, filtered for "cm" and this is the result:

https://imgur.com/a/UEQYQTv

All those pesky wingman elitists just started their groups at the same time i guess?

Well .. no, that's not true. I'm simply pointing out that the observation that some classes are favoured for meta doesn't indicate a problem exists, especially if the data is obtained from a likely biased source. It goes without saying that a source of data that is biased towards optimal play will show you what classes are meta. 

Edited by Obtena.7952
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Just now, Infusion.7149 said:

LFG is not a biased source.

Well, it could be ... you don't know. We also don't know if it's statistically significant either because you don't know how many content runs are started from LFG compared to all content runs. 

Edited by Obtena.7952
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2 minutes ago, Infusion.7149 said:

If you play fractals every day since the exposed change you would not say that.

Hold on ... the frequency someone plays fractals has nothing to do with what is meta or not or if their anecdotes are statistically significant. 

Sure, some LFG groups want meta. That's not a problem. 

Edited by Obtena.7952
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Just now, Obtena.7952 said:

Hold on ... the frequency someone plays fractals has nothing to do with what is meta or not. 

?
If you played fractals every day in LFG and look at the comps people play you would not say that. How clear do I have to be for you to understand?

The complaint about diversity is a legitimate one. If the balance were more even it would be closer to pre exposed changes.

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1 minute ago, Infusion.7149 said:

?
If you played fractals every day in LFG and look at the comps people play you would not say that. How clear do I have to be for you to understand?

The complaint about diversity is a legitimate one. If the balance were more even it would be closer to pre exposed changes.

No, I would STILL say that because I suspect people that form teams on LFG are biased to wanting meta builds in their teams. 

The complaint about diversity is legit ... what isn't legit is when people claim it doesn't exist because of meta. 

Again, the problem is going to be meta stacking and we know Anet is sensitive to that happening because they have nerfed things in the past because of it. 

Edited by Obtena.7952
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Just now, Obtena.7952 said:

No, I would STILL say that because I suspect people that form teams on LFG are biased to wanting meta builds in their teams. 

Lol.

You know there's a precedent for nerfing things way overperforming. That's precisely why confusion was changed , because of SH  + TL in raids.

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2 minutes ago, Infusion.7149 said:

Lol.

You know there's a precedent for nerfing things way overperforming. That's precisely why confusion was changed , because of SH  + TL in raids.

Yes exactly ... that's why specific classes being meta isn't a problem ... it's stacking of meta classes that is a problem. I am keenly aware that precedent exists. 

The problem with this thread is that here is that the data being presented is not indicative that's happening ... or of any problem. Instanced content will always have a meta that is a combination of classes/builds. What those things are isn't not indicative of a problem. 

Edited by Obtena.7952
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3 minutes ago, Infusion.7149 said:

That's the point of the thread. If the scourges/firebrands/renegades weren't stacked they wouldn't be over-represented.
You miss the point entirely just to rant.

Then Anet will fix it ... because we know they are sensitive to that if it's true. I mean, what's the complaint actually about if we have lots of examples where Anet nerfed classes to prevent meta stacking? 

(... and no, it's not clear from the OP that THIS is what the thread is about)

Edited by Obtena.7952
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If you look in the T4 lfg every day, its very obvious that scourge and fb are overrepresented. And if only 3 classes dominate the pug meta for 5 man content you have a clear balance problem that should get addressed. In my opinion you could fix most of the problem by reverting the exposed debuff change and make it 50 50 again. Condi is stong enough to still be pug meta and power will be played more at least in 99/98 CM. Then fix vengeance bug and exchange fury for resolution in npng or remove the instab completely. 

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