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Mechanist: Is it overperforming?


AliamRationem.5172

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I wonder if "benchmarks, open world play, AFK playstyles" are enough for Anet to label something as overperforming? Unfortunately, they don't reveal nearly enough of their patch-to-patch balance design philosophy for us to know what they were even aiming for.

 

With that said, there are some things we could try to infer from past experiences. Last couple of years or so we have seem the rise of the Scourge/Firebrand/Renegade meta to the point where no other classes were taken at all to much of the instanced content (T4 fractals and raids come to mind, but pretty ubiquitous otherwise as well). We all know by now the reason for that overrepresentation, this combination had one of the most overpowered cleaving skills in the game (epidemic) combined to immense self-sustain of builds which also pack an incredibly accessible amount of high DPS without giving up on said sustain.

 

Anet has majorly addressed this with the release of EoD by killing off self-sustain all across the board. In general now, if you do want high values of barrier/healing you have to invest into healing stats to do so, and most of the emerging builds that provide alacrity/quickness, and most importantly, 25 stacks of might, do still and in addition require you to actually invest anything from 20% to even 50%+ of increased boon duration to achieve full uptime. In other words, the trade-offs in between damage/boons/healing have been laid out at this point and it remains to be seen where they will amplify/reduce this trade-off for specific classes in the upcoming summer patch.

 

Note however I used the word overrepresentation to speak of the FB/Scg/Ren meta and that is very different from overperformance. The problem simply being that we can't properly define performance without Anet's design intentions laid bare: do they consider statistics of successful encounters vs squad composition? Are benchmarks taken into account? Is there any relationship at all in between complexity of playstyle vs payoff for mechanical precision? None of these points are clearly known to anyone but Anet's design team because they do not disclose this directly. So all we can really go for is how much a class is represented, AKA how players see a class - and we can finally get to my simple but rather dependent on the previous context point: Mechanist does not seem to be overrepresented at all across the last month. There is no new "Condition mechanist/FB/Alacrity mechanist" meta being enforced in raids/fractals, the AFK farmers are still turret engineers, and wherever you go, taking another class other than the Mechanist is just as accepted by the community and not really seen as being such a bad choice that you should simply just take a Mechanist instead. And if there is no such peer pressure that is an indication (but nowhere close to a proof, mind you) that players are not really seeing the Mech performance as something that is so large as to ruin their experience. Even this also needs more time for us to have more data, but so far things are nowhere close as the "90% of all groups take only scourges, FBs and Renegades to fractals" era we had a few months ago.

Edited by maxwelgm.4315
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If you mean being able to pump every single boon including 25 might except quickness and resistance permanently, about 25-30k absorb per second on party (6k per player) while having capped damage reduction and good breakbar and incredible healing through dispersion field & medkit, and being able to get through most content by autoattacking and pressing F2/F3 occasionnally. Then yes.

Basically it is pretty godlike PROVIDED that people don't get hit by oneshot mechanics as it is not the best healer at reviving (maybe the worst of the dedicated healers even ?)

If you mean open world... hmm not sure if it matters but probably yes, it is up there is the land of infinite sustain that was nerfed out of other professions.

 

It is probably overperforming, but it has some very few shortcomings :
-Practically unusable underwater. 

-Position of mech is finnicky and important.

-Mech sometimes get oneshot by some mechanics, very rare but i've seen that in fractals with my mech. And without it, you are utterly useless.

-Low vulnerability output.

-Mistlock doesnt reset mech abilities, so not very cool for prebooning. (Why ??)

 

That is a short and minor list compared to what it brings to the table, and I'm pretty much expecting a nerf because if druid spirits no longer provide unique effects and simply provides boons, I see very little reason not to stack mechanists as healers.(Except the lack of powerful revive) Not to mention, as reported earlier that this boon updtime does not require high boon duration, and the mechanist does all that by attacking meaning that it's not a choice between dps and healing/absorb, except for the very short windows where you use kits.

Edited by Atomnium.1532
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20 minutes ago, Atomnium.1532 said:

If you mean open world... hmm not sure if it matters but probably yes, it is up there is the land of infinite sustain that was nerfed out of other professions.

What's it with people saying that "infinite sustain was nerfed out of other professions"? They went after a specific subset of mainly "on hit" sustainment and several builds that relied on it can now suck it but sustain as a whole was largely untouched.

 

Edited by Tails.9372
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They basically nerfed all no-investment passive sustain for a lot of outlier professions. Scourge barriers now require healing power to have any relevant effect, battle scars, thief critical healing, scrapper self barrier.
Mechanist has it because it's baked in his mace.

In a sense what I'm saying is that if mechanist existed before EoD, it would probably have it's mace barrier follow the same course and have little to no effect without healing power and considered one of the outliers.

 

But yeah some very sustainable builds still have their survivability untouched like mirage or soulbeast.

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24 minutes ago, Atomnium.1532 said:

They basically nerfed all no-investment passive sustain for a lot of outlier professions.

Passive sustain has been pretty much untouched in its entirety, the things they went after were additional actives regardless of whether or not the professions were "outliers".

Edited by Tails.9372
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I see a ton more Mechanist now, was in Dragonfall and swear it was 80% of the zone.  I play one because it is braindead easy to survive and grind through content (like doing Skyscale with mine) but do fear the nerf bat around it.  I know in my guild all the HFB have now brough a Mechanist up to replace or aument.

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1 hour ago, Gibson.4036 said:

What's the baseline for comparison?

The baseline for comparison is whatever you like.  I didn't set any hard parameters for the discussion.  I merely want players to discuss the pros, cons, and whatever else about mechanist. 

For my part, I'm a bit confused about nerfing catalyst down to a 33.5k benchmark because it was providing quickness and top DPS.  Now it provides quickness worse than other options and is extremely low on DPS as well.  Meanwhile, a class like mechanist is nearly top DPS and can also be one of the best healer/support specs as well.  It's also looking pretty great for solo play, with the ability to deal (imo) too much damage with ranged option + the best AI tank in the game.  It feels like renegade all over again and I'm wondering why that's a thing when we've been begging for classes like renegade and firebrand to be toned down.

They even admitted they wanted to "make room" for other specs.  So what's the logic here?  Is it not as good as it appears?  Is this not renegade levels of ridiculous?

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54 minutes ago, AliamRationem.5172 said:

or my part, I'm a bit confused about nerfing catalyst down to a 33.5k benchmark because it was providing quickness and top DPS.  Now it provides quickness worse than other options and is extremely low on DPS as well. 

Anet's balancing scheme for ele should not be applied to .... anywhere.

Edited by ArchonWing.9480
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51 minutes ago, Obtena.7952 said:

For the effort a player needed to play it, yes, it's too good for what it can do. 

Did Anet ever confirm anywhere their approach for balancing involves "effort to play it" in any way at all? Why assume the profession should not perform as well as a hard to play one if Anet doesn't directly refer to this as part of their balancing criteria? Seems like people are just imposing their expectations on what doesn't seem to be the case (that Anet cares if a class is simple or not when addressing balance).

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5 minutes ago, maxwelgm.4315 said:

Did Anet ever confirm anywhere their approach for balancing involves "effort to play it" in any way at all? Why assume the profession should not perform as well as a hard to play one if Anet doesn't directly refer to this as part of their balancing criteria? Seems like people are just imposing their expectations on what doesn't seem to be the case (that Anet cares if a class is simple or not when addressing balance).

No they didn't as far as I know. I do think there is an unspoken expectation that good game design has a balance between effort and results. I mean, let's not pretend Anet goes through the work to create challenging content ... just to remove that with cheap gameplay.

Mechanist is way off that mark. I'm figuratively walking through EoD with a blindfold pressing 1. 

Edited by Obtena.7952
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just gonna paste what I said on the other thread, casue I can't be bothered to retype it:

Well, I played over 100 games this season, initially as scrapper and holo, then as mechanist. Mechanist, to steal a phrase from Bobby Fischer, is best by test.

  • It's braindead easy. First game I swapped to it, I didn't have keybinds set up. I literally just pointed the mech at my opponents and went about my usual engineer gameplay without the mech skills. I immediately started winning most matchups I would normally lose and just generally doing way better, despite barely knowing how to play the thing at all.
  • The mech never dies. I think the mech died at most 5 times across the ~50 games I played as mechanist. I wasn't even running the barrier signet or sustain traits. I basically didn't ever worry about its health. The times it did die, it's because I forgot about it in the middle of a point during a 4v4 with heavy AoE. I'm sure as I learn to micro it better, it'll die even less than that. It has 27,000 health. Players know not to focus it because if they do, the mechanist will just bring it back instantly with the elite skill instantly. It's not worth taking time to kill a player and a half that will just respawn.
  • The mech deals ridiculous damage.  I used the ranged option. I observed it doing 600-700 damage x2 every second, constantly. My big weapon damage skill as a player (Blowtorch) on a 15 second cooldown applies a burn that deals ~633 damage per tick. So this is like having two blowtorches on my target at all times. Yeah, occasionally the opponent can kite or LoS a bit and avoid a couple attacks, but a solid 3/4 of them land. What's more, it's power damage. Blowtorch is usually cleansed after a few ticks. The mech is always out there. It doesn't feel pity, or remorse, or fear, and it absolutely will not stop ever until the target is dead. It's dealing this damage while I'm kiting or defending. It's dealing this damage while I'm attacking, adding to my burst without costing me extra cast time. It's even dealing this damage while I'm downed.
  • The mech wins downed fights. Probably the most surprising thing is how powerful it is at winning otherwise lost fights. I almost always win downed fights because the mech is up pounding away for an extra 1200-1400 per second on enemies. A lot of times I'd be scratching my head wondering how our team just won a fight only to realize that the mech had powered through and finished off a player while I was busy trying to interrupt stomps.
  • The mech wins gamesMy win rate went up like 30% since I started playing mechanist. I feel OP as all hell, and a strong asset to the team, whereas on scrapper, I feel like a liability attempting to support with long cooldowns, or a lacklustre dps. On Holo, I could have good damage, but I spend so much of the match getting focused and trying not to die that I'm not actually doing much. On mech though, that's not an issue. I can kite and defend forever while my mech just sits there pounding out constant damage. What's crazy is that I know holo and scrapper (and core engi, but we don't talk about that..) really really well. I know the cooldowns instinctively. I know exactly when and how to use the toolbelt skills. I can manage forge heat and I can get clutch stealth revives with function gyro and sneak gryo... But even with all that experience, I can still just hop on the latest AI spec and faceroll my way to victory far more reliably.
Edited by coro.3176
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1 hour ago, anbujackson.9564 said:

The support it provides is too strong. You got massive boons and scourge like barrier except its more.

The barrier is actually quite weak unless you invest in healing power.
Barrier engine only works if the mech is up, which means if it is down you lose your main source of barrier and cannot use barrier burst or crisis zone. Barrier Burst was nerfed March 15.

Barrier Burst (F3) has the same limitation as empower but worse since it only is usable if the mech is alive and it has a longer base cooldown which cannot be reduced by traits. Barrier per pulse is 434+0.43* healing power over 5 pulses. With 600 healing power (such as on celestial or any non heal main stat gear) that means ~3.5K barrier on 30 cooldown (24 with alacrity) and with 1200 healing power you are looking at around 4.8K barrier. Fury is 3s base duration times 5 pulses which is 15 seconds meaning uptime depends heavily on boon duration unlike on firebrand. There's a massive cast time on it as well.

As barrier engine trait isn't mutually exclusive with Barrier Burst, it's worth to note it pulses 434 per 3 seconds (not per second) base value with 0.285 healing power scaling. With 600 healing power you are outputting ~202 barrier per second. ; with 1200 healing power ~260 barrier a second. This is on par with soothing mist (800+1.0*healing power per 3 seconds), virtue of resolve sharing (315+0.225* healing power every 3 seconds ; 105 +0.075*healing power per second), and more or less regen levels.

So let's move onto crisis zone (F2), which trades off almost all damage from your mech due to relying on the alacrity trait. On paper it does a lot, since it has alacrity, protection, aegis, and one stack of stability on top of 3 deep condition cleanse. However, it's on a 40s cooldown (32 with alac) and cannot be used on a pure DPS build. The alacrity is more or less to shore up any deficiency in uptime, it is a non-issue as it isn't mutually exclusive with Mech Frame: Channeling Conduits. I wouldn't be opposed to removing protection from it and keeping aegis + stability to be honest. If someone is running support mechanist they will likely trait Over shield for protection. I suspect that removal of protection won't happen due to the theme of the skill : it is more likely aegis is removed. For now, unless the aegis blocks a potentially lethal skill or hit then it is effectively 2 stability + protection + 3 condi clear.

What about mace? Is it is OP barrier that some people claim? It really isn't. It's 434+0.29* healing power and only occurs on the final hit of the chain. Compare this to guardian mace (mace has the same listed attack speeds and has 367+0.5*healing power on final hit) , elementalist staff (372+0.25*healing power every 0.75s seconds), or revenant staff (2 orbs with 197+0.15*healing power per orb) for example. This is truly the only thing that I think could use a revisit such that the base barrier is lower (especially if the mech is alive for balance and thematic reasons) but it isn't broken. Mind you , it is mutually exclusive to using med blaster (3 pulses of 70+0.2* healing power and additional 11+0.0125*healing power per boon , meaning at 1200 healing power it is 3 pulses of 310+26 per boon = 492 per pulse with 7 boons or around 1.5K heal and this is before a 20% med kit bonus) on med kit as you cannot use med blaster and the mace auto at the same time.

--- compared to DPS scourge , not even  plaguedoctor or heal scourge, Desert Empowerment is 572 barrier every <6s (~1.3K on plaguedoctor) ; Sand Cascade (part of DPS rotation) is 1188 barrier every <6s (~2.8K on plaguedoctor)

As the thread is about mechanist specifically, it is important to note that it does not provide "OP boons" as people are stating. For power alac (0 healing power) the boons are: 25 might , 100% alacrity , 80% fury, vigor 90%, 1 stack of stability, 30% protection ; for condi alac which has 4 kits (0 healing power) 25 might , 100% alacrity, 80% Fury, 80% Vigor, 30% Protection and 1 stack of Stability once every 24 seconds . The only difference between heal tempest and mechanist is really alacrity and barrier typically as if you wanted stability and aegis you'd bring firebrand anyway. Between heal scrapper and heal mechanist you gain barrier and fury/some might. To maintain fury you need more or less 100% boon duration, the meta builds only have 80% uptime.

Edited by Infusion.7149
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16 minutes ago, maxwelgm.4315 said:

Did Anet ever confirm anywhere their approach for balancing involves "effort to play it" in any way at all? Why assume the profession should not perform as well as a hard to play one if Anet doesn't directly refer to this as part of their balancing criteria? Seems like people are just imposing their expectations on what doesn't seem to be the case (that Anet cares if a class is simple or not when addressing balance).

I suppose players are allowed to feel however they want to feel about it.  I think there's something to be said for not making hard-to-play specs too rewarding.  At the same time, it seems a little unfair when some specs perform better at everything while also being easier to play such as it was with firebrand/renegade/scourge.  ANet seems to understand that, yet struggles to balance it.

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2 minutes ago, AliamRationem.5172 said:

At the same time, it seems a little unfair when some specs perform better at everything while also being easier to play

How so? I was always under the impression that the reward is the gameplay some people claimed to crave. I always hear people talking about how its about the challenge and not the "profit" and if simple specs are boring to play then the obvious solution is to just play something more complex.

That's the whole point of having build diversity, to provide players with options they then are able to choose from depending on their gameplay preference. This would also make it easier to create a baseline to balance the encounters around as player performance being all over the place leads to obvious issues.

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1 minute ago, Tails.9372 said:

How so? I was always under the impression that the reward is the gameplay some people claimed to crave. I always hear people talking about how its about the challenge and not the "profit" and if simple specs are boring to play then the obvious solution is to just play something more complex.

That's the whole point of having build diversity, to provide players with options they then are able to choose from depending on their gameplay preference. This would also make it easier to create a baseline to balance the encounters around as player performance being all over the place leads to obvious issues.

Are they mutually exclusive?  Can a person not have both objective and subjective reasonings for why they are drawn to a particular class?  I expect a lot of players love the idea of having a cool robot tank regardless, yet would be upset if it were objectively useless.  Build diversity also suffers when classes are poorly balanced, as we saw with the overblown representation of firebrand/renegade/scourge.

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Not really, no. Of course, if anet wants to tone down the support builds that can do some damage, healing, and assorted boons then I can see mechanist getting hit. But it really doesn't look any stronger than the usual assortment of meta setups we see floating around.

If it does get nerfed, tho (and I think it will), I hope anet is gentle. It's hard to point to any one specific thing because of how engi works, what with its kits and a lot of different things contributing to XYZ. It's support is also conflicting somewhat, as using medkit means you aren't doing anythign else while healing, yadda yadda. There are some builds floating around but they seem very...fragile in their role and look like they won't hold up as well during actual fight mechanics. It's possible to have perma alac running pistol/pistol and just the two alac generating traits (the one that gives alac on barrier and the barrier pulse), but doesn't seem to have a whole lot of wiggle room - ie have to move a little for some reason or do something differently and bamf, away goes your uptime.

Edited by Curennos.9307
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1 hour ago, AliamRationem.5172 said:

Are they mutually exclusive?  Can a person not have both objective and subjective reasonings for why they are drawn to a particular class?

If players have an objective reason (not rooted in "what your team currently needs" and the lack of choices for a specific niche) then it implies that something is actually overpowered in which case yes, it should be mutually exclusive. Having players choose what they play based on their gameplay preference is generally the ideal.

Edited by Tails.9372
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