So I’m on my break at work and I check up on the Champions Online forums, what do I see but a tirade of abuse being hurled at Cryptic for their un-announced, un-documented across the board nerfings.
Uh oh, says me, seems like something big has happened. After reading a few posts the jist of it was:
- Cryptic had released a patch to the live server
- It reduced the effectiveness of defensive powers including heals by 50%
- It buffed Villains damage output
- This was documented in the line “Balance tuning to critter attack power and player defensive powers.”
- They reduced the speed of travel powers
- “Retcon costs have been lowered to their intended cost.” is a lie.
This lead to much wailing and grinding of teeth. With howls of pain from those who felt it necessary to spill their bile on the forums.
So eventually I get home, and log onto Lasair, my Archery/Gadgeteering hero. First thing I notice is that my Healing Drones appear to be a little stupider than ususal, not following me over flat ground, or just sitting there and not healing me at all during a fight, as opposed to just not following me through doors, like they were doing before. This lead to a situation where I’d have to dismiss and resummon before every fight. However, they also now have a habit of not responding to my dismiss command, leaving me bot-less.
The next thing I notice is that because of this, I can no-longer take on groups of 5+ enemies, unless they’re bunched together and I can AoE them.
This is not a bad thing, as to be honest, I was sleepwalking my way through the game. I doubt it would have held my attention for long after my first max level character waltzed through the Omega Missions solo.
My play style has changed very little on Lasair thanks to this patch. I’m watching my health a little bit more, and I’m second guessing myself when initiating combat, but that’s a good thing. Engaging my brain in a game, even just a little bit, is good. Otherwise I might as well sit and watch Britain’s got Talent, or endless repeats of Top Gear on Dave (actually, I have been known to do that last one)
I logged onto my level 10 Munitions hero, Mandrake, who, along with Axiom, ploughed through Burnside quite easily, although I did die once due to Axiom’s heal being on a cooldown (and with the fact that Winston’s a dozy pillock) and we breezed through the Sinisister quest instance.
Admittedly those are not ‘proper’ instances, and the first proper instance I’ve seen was the Viper base with all the turrets (which I soloed pre-patch, with slight difficulty on the last boss) which I’ll get to around level 20ish with Mandrake and Mitch.
Tonight I’ll likely try out with Mitch Hellbringer, as I didn’t get a chance to last night. He’s melee single-blade decked out for HP and Damage reduction. He’ll likely take the biggest hit from this patch, but we’ll see.
The nerf was not as bad as it seems so far, the nerf adds a sense of danger, but with the respec costs not fixed, the fact that there was no public testing of the patch, or that the patch notes were woefully inadequate means that atleast some of the complaints were valid.
Cryptic responded by creating a public-test shard for up-coming patches, which was welcomed. It remains to be seen how it’ll work out though.
On the whole, I welcome the nerf. You’re supposed to be a Super-hero, not God Incarnate (Unless that was your character concept, I have seen a few Jesus’ running around)