View Full Version : Make Fortification Great Again

10-20-2017, 04:02 PM
This is a suggestion based around maybe finding a way to make a real tank actually have a place in the game again. So, what this suggestion is NOT, is "make everyone need more fortification". Adding one more thing to the list of junk you need to slot isn't the point, so the IMPLEMENTATION of this idea matters VERY MUCH. Also, it's a holistic suggestion, in that any part of it on its own is going to seem stupid or obnoxious because it depends on the other parts to make it work. Anyway, here it is:

Step 1: Reduce basic mob damage across the board in ALL difficulties. This is going to sound nuts. Cue the "what, you want to make the game trivial?!?!" rants. No, that's not what I'm getting at here, because of . .

Step 2: Give mobs--ALL mobs--more and bigger critical/sneak attack damage. And GIVE THEM SPELL CRITS if they don't already have them. Ideally, you want to hit a number where their overall "dps" is not really decreased much if at all (and may even be higher on someone with zero fortification) but the vast majority of their damage, as it is with players, comes from CRITICALS and ADD-ON damage like sneak attack etc. You may even want to classify the DOT effect some champions get as "critical" damage for this purpose. Also, you could get creative and hand out more stuff like Bleeding dots on rogue mobs, that sort of thing.

Step 3: make Fortification also protect against SPELL CRITICALS.

Step 4: change Fortification to not be an "all or nothing" system but instead reduce how MUCH extra damage you take from crit damage sources (sneak attack, crit multipliers, maybe DOTS).

Step 5: give tank-focused trees/builds access to MASSIVE amounts of fortification in their defensive benefits, but it requires investment or trade-offs, like you get 3x as much in heavier armor, most of the fort is bound to using a shield, etc. You *can* get to a goodish position on a non-heavy armor toon, but it's going to require some compromises. For Reaper, add some fort to the Guardian tree. Instead of increasing difficulty by massively scaling up raw damage, scale up fort BYPASS. Don't increase difficulty by massively scaling down player raw damage, scale UP mob fortification/prr. (And put some fort/prr bypass in the Reaper DPS tree, because that tree is a joke.) And don't give casters ANY crit bypass on spells. You know what caster spell crit bypass is? FINGER OF DEATH, that's what it is.

So, why do all this? Because mob damage in higher difficulties (reaper/legendary raids, etc) is, frankly, stupid. If you build a "tank", the only difference is--maybe--"the mob two-shot me before anyone could get a heal off instead of one-shotting me before anyone could get a heal off". It doesn't actually keep you alive any better, and you're just as dead if you get threat as anyone else. This won't really change anything for non-tanks . . . they'll still be getting hit hard and squished on a regular basis. But tanks will have multiple layers of defenses. The basic damage will be mostly absorbed by their PRR, and the bonus damage will be, again, mostly absorbed by their fortification, so the resulting damage that gets through will be in a reasonable range. There will be trade-offs again . . . you need Fort AND PRR, but there's a range between "good enough" and "ultimate" . . . even the "ultimate" won't ever reach an "I ignore all damagez!" stage, but at least they'll be out of the "fastest finger heals" competition (or, more like what it is now, the "fastest finger resurrection"). Everyone can get SOME fortification that helps them stay alive much better, but if you're aiming for Big Damage and don't want to be able to tank large numbers of mobs or bosses, you aim for "good enough" instead of "ultimate".

Isn't this kind of like PRR all over again? Well, yes, pretty much. AC was too much all or nothing, so it was put on a diminishing returns system, dodge was introduced, and PRR was introduced. And it was actually working well for a while, until ya'll went and MADE DAMAGE STUPID AGAIN. I don't mind having a frank "trololol" difficulty, but let's even out the trolling a bit, here. By all means, leave it stupid for everyone who isn't invested in tanking, in fact, I encourage it. But cut the tanks a break already, sheesh.

10-20-2017, 04:17 PM
Maybe I should also include the caveat that unlike AC (which never gets you to "everything misses me"--even in the old days a 20 would still hit you) or PRR (which never gets you to "absorb 100% of damage"), with fort it's perfectly okay for a tank to reach "nothing in this particular quest can crit me" status--because it never gets rid of the BASE damage. Since fortification only affects add-ons to damage but has ZERO effect on the Base damage, achieving "perfect fort" for a given level of difficulty is DANDY. For mobs, too. That's fine, because unlike with other "perfect" benefits it never has the potential to make you invulnerable in the first place.

10-20-2017, 04:34 PM
I agree that incoming damage is stupid in higher difficulties and the devs have designed themselves into a corner by using such a blunt instrument as their main solution to the difficulty problem.

In my view adding ten levels of reaper was essentially the same as them abdicating responsibility for the task of balancing their own game. It was better than doing nothing at all, in that it gave us something to do, but there are just so many silly things about this difficulty setting. Especially how uneven it is difficulty-wise for different playstyles.

Once you get used to playing reaper and can field a strong party that can cover the main tasks, a lot of the content just isn't that hard. And that's coming from someone who is definitely not a top player himself. The main danger in reaper these days seems to be getting hit by accident, because of the sometimes imperfect coordination between players. So getting struck or shot by a monster aiming at someone else who runs near you or is kiting behind you.

The thing is, remodelling how we take damage from the vast majority of monsters would mean very little for parties with good CC and instakill capabilities. As much as I like having a strong tank to hide behind on my main, I've run content up to and including r10 where it just wasn't required. Usually it's better to have another caster or ranged person.

I'd say the worst issue in reaper right now relates to boss fights. Not so much the damage they produce, though that can be stupidly high too. But more the fact that a substantial number of them have attacks with short or non existent tells and AOEs that make it such a gamble to be in melee range them on anything other than the most solid tank supported by a healer. That tends to turn those fights into a perching/ranging cheesefest which many other posters have rightly pointed out makes the game less fun.


10-20-2017, 04:40 PM
great recommendation.

That said, I absolutely loathe the ‘great again’ thread titles occasionally here.

10-20-2017, 04:51 PM
the devs have already said before they will not go back and scale mobs up or down across the board. you would have better luck suggesting changes in specific content.

10-20-2017, 08:35 PM
I'm not suggesting they change the scaling so much as where that damage comes from and how it's resisted, to an extent. They could even INCREASE the damage in a number of cases.

Pretty much all of the "all or nothing" defenses in the game got heavily tweaked. Fortification was tweaked SOME to try to make it imperfect, but the way it was done made it a lot like the old AC system where you just get it so high then ignore it again.

10-20-2017, 08:57 PM
I am glad that I am not the only one who thinks like this. Also, fortification must be handled differently in my opinion and this all or nothing rule is something that needs to be changed as you say.
Basically, we have still the old fortification with some tweaks that shift the problem but doesn't really solve anything.
So I can agree with this:

Step 4: change Fortification to not be an "all or nothing" system but instead reduce how MUCH extra damage you take from crit damage sources (sneak attack, crit multipliers, maybe DOTS).

But I am not sure about the other points. (e.g. whether fortification should protect against spell criticals) This is a question that should be in principle handled like it is in the newest Pen and Paper rules and if it is needed, it should be differently calculated in DDO.