Of Updates and Privateers: A Discussion

AuthorMessage
Gunner's Mate
Dec 16, 2009
211
The test realm has bought some exciting and frequently requested changes. Among other things, companions can now be benched, new bosses and ships are available and the rare loot has been balanced to drop at an equitable rate for all classes. Along with that came a long awaited rebalancing of the Bucaneer class with an improved Epic Talent, better gear and an upgrade of Leviathan's Call.

However great these changes are, I have seen the potential for some changes to unbalance Privateers in comparison to others. Already considered the top PvP school by many, there is an active debate on whether it's ability to stack buffs among other things renders it overpowered. Now with the proposed test realm changes, Privateers have a very real chance of moving from arguably to definitively overpowered. I will be highlighting Test Realm Changes that I feel have the potential to throw class balance decidely in Privateers favor. As such I would like to start a premptive discussion among players. Do you feel that the test realm changes and their anticipated effects as expounded in this article will overpower the Privateer Class?

Power Organization: The Test Realm proposes a way to prioritize your powers. Powers placed near the top of your list will appear more often than powers lower down the line(much as companions currently work). This has the potential to overpower privateers by allowing them more reliable access to all their key cards at exactly the moment they need it. Currently, one of the only weaknesses of Privateers is the fact that within their large list of powers the ones they need may not show up. This forces them to delete some other powers that they may have been able to use and also allows other classes the chance to approach and deal some damage before privateer buffs renders direct assaults ineffective. Already the large PvP battleboards give privateers an advantage by prolonging approach times, allowing them to find the powers they need. This organiation change compounds the problem and is a potential overpowering issue.

Effective Buff Stacking: The test realm allows buffs to add on to current stats, not just base statistics as in live realm. What does this mean? It means that buffs become more and more effective the more buffs you stack. This situation is easily seen in wizard 101 where the multiplicative nature of blade stacking can allow a base hit of 100 to reach a walloping 1,000,000. A less extreme but similar situation will happen by allowing buffs to add on to buffed statistics in this way. Here is a comparison of privateer buffs as they work as of now and in test realm. For simplicities sake, we will assume a 1v1 privateer that starts at base 80 dodge, cast their +50% dodge, +25% dodge and El Toro's +25% dodge

Live Realm- 80 dodge+50%(40)+25%(20)+25%(20)= 160 dodge

Test Realm- 80 dodge+50%(40)+25%(30)+25%(37.5)= 187 dodge(rounded down)

To be continued in the comments section due to length restrictions.

Administrator
The test realm allows buffs to add on to current stats, not just base statistics as in live realm. What does this mean? It means that buffs become more and more effective the more buffs you stack.

Just wanted to let you know that this particular update note has been clarified, "Damage bonuses will now take buffs into account instead of just the base statistic."

*One-Eyed Jack, Your Pirate101 Community Manager*
Developer
Buffs do not compound.

If the base is 80 and you have three buffs of 50%, 25%, and 25%, the result is 160.

And then we add any "+" type bonuses.

***

There are a couple of exceptions to this, most notably Armor equipment which adds to the base, before buffs, so that players can actually benefit from talents that increase armor.

***

To be clear, as of today, I have no intention of nerfing Privateers to address balance issues that may or may not even exist as a result of anecdotal evidence from a PVP system that is still incomplete.

This is not to say that I am dismissing this feedback out of hand; quite the contrary, I am paying attention and keeping notes. What I am saying is that anytime you are tempted to say, "They went ahead and nerfed this..." or "They really ought to nerf that..." as a result of PVP feedback, you're spreading incorrect information.

PVP is still in "information gathering" mode. We are not yet in "act upon that information" mode.

I'll address PVP when it's time to address PVP. At the moment, our focus is on improving and expanding the PVE experience.

Gunner's Mate
Dec 16, 2009
211
One-Eyed Jack on Feb 20, 2013 wrote:
The test realm allows buffs to add on to current stats, not just base statistics as in live realm. What does this mean? It means that buffs become more and more effective the more buffs you stack.

Just wanted to let you know that this particular update note has been clarified, "Damage bonuses will now take buffs into account instead of just the base statistic."
Excellent, thank you Jack that clarifies things.

EDIT:Buff stacking(accuracy and Dodge) has remained the same with no changes in test.

Continuation

Heavy Armor Updates: The difference between light and heavy armor has been increased. While the extent of this increase is unknown it does have some potentially unforseen consequences. The heavy armor update was intended to make bucaneers more competitive and it can be argued that they needed it. However, heavy armor isnt restricted to this class, privateers also have access to this talent. Currently there are 2 main ways to take down a privateer. Companion elimination, so that privateers have nothing to buff or privateer elimination before they can buff their companions. Already, privateer elimination is a tough proposition due to their damage reduction talents and abundance of heals. How much more so will it be with the addition of a stronger heavy armor?

Now discussion time: Will Power Organization and stronger Heavy Armor overpower Privateers?

Petty Officer
Dec 22, 2009
71
Eric Stormbringer on Feb 19, 2013 wrote:
The test realm has bought some exciting and frequently requested changes. Among other things, companions can now be benched, new bosses and ships are available and the rare loot has been balanced to drop at an equitable rate for all classes. Along with that came a long awaited rebalancing of the Bucaneer class with an improved Epic Talent, better gear and an upgrade of Leviathan's Call.

However great these changes are, I have seen the potential for some changes to unbalance Privateers in comparison to others. Already considered the top PvP school by many, there is an active debate on whether it's ability to stack buffs among other things renders it overpowered. Now with the proposed test realm changes, Privateers have a very real chance of moving from arguably to definitively overpowered. I will be highlighting Test Realm Changes that I feel have the potential to throw class balance decidely in Privateers favor. As such I would like to start a premptive discussion among players. Do you feel that the test realm changes and their anticipated effects as expounded in this article will overpower the Privateer Class?

Power Organization: The Test Realm proposes a way to prioritize your powers. Powers placed near the top of your list will appear more often than powers lower down the line(much as companions currently work). This has the potential to overpower privateers by allowing them more reliable access to all their key cards at exactly the moment they need it. Currently, one of the only weaknesses of Privateers is the fact that within their large list of powers the ones they need may not show up. This forces them to delete some other powers that they may have been able to use and also allows other classes the chance to approach and deal some damage before privateer buffs renders direct assaults ineffective. Already the large PvP battleboards give privateers an advantage by prolonging approach times, allowing them to find the powers they need. This organiation change compounds the problem and is a potential overpowering issue.

Effective Buff Stacking: The test realm allows buffs to add on to current stats, not just base statistics as in live realm. What does this mean? It means that buffs become more and more effective the more buffs you stack. This situation is easily seen in wizard 101 where the multiplicative nature of blade stacking can allow a base hit of 100 to reach a walloping 1,000,000. A less extreme but similar situation will happen by allowing buffs to add on to buffed statistics in this way. Here is a comparison of privateer buffs as they work as of now and in test realm. For simplicities sake, we will assume a 1v1 privateer that starts at base 80 dodge, cast their +50% dodge, +25% dodge and El Toro's +25% dodge

Live Realm- 80 dodge+50%(40)+25%(20)+25%(20)= 160 dodge

Test Realm- 80 dodge+50%(40)+25%(30)+25%(37.5)= 187 dodge(rounded down)

To be continued in the comments section due to length restrictions.
FatesKin,

I understand your point - BUT

Why don't you go make a privateer, and SLAVE away to lvl 50 with Gunnery, Artillery, and Big Guns. That is ALL we get as attacks.

We need the buffs to complement companions to the greatest extent and our buffs need to stack. Since all the other schools have EL Toro - And they also have some supporting buffs for their-selves. If Privateers didn't have an excessive amount of buffs - they'd be underdogs of the game.

I have realized you have to be the school to understand why KI made them the way they are (except the buccaneers which YAY - they did listen and fix :))

(Thank You for being great listeners KI)

Privateers are not too powerful. After all - they have NO epics and thats just kinda raw...

Also - they said (Damage buffs will stack) - Since they didnt and they were supposed to.

Ensign
Jul 06, 2008
7
Although I am a Privateer myself, I agree with RatBeard. I believe they should enhance regular battling before they enhance PVP, just like they did in Wizard101.

Bosun
May 10, 2010
396
So far, I have seen absolutely no proof that Privateers are overpowered in any way in PVP or PVE. Yes, they have advantages and disavantages, as do most classes.

Accuracy and Dodge buffs are nice, but that does not make or break a battle. You still have to realize, strategies, pvp area size, classes. There are many many options for every class and it is possible, even with buffing and resistance, etc, to take out a privateer in 1 round.

Anyway, most of this is all speculation, nothing of factual value, so I appreciate Ratbeard stating that they are listening and taking in peoples opinions, but as RatBeard said, PVP is still in developmental state and not in the state to nerf or overpower classes.

Right now, classes are being made a bit more equal to eachother and I dont see Privateers as being highly overpowered, even in a 4 privateer team. As always, it's the person and team with a strategy that is overpowered, not the specific class.

Gunner's Mate
Dec 16, 2009
211
Ratbeard on Feb 20, 2013 wrote:
Buffs do not compound.

If the base is 80 and you have three buffs of 50%, 25%, and 25%, the result is 160.

And then we add any "+" type bonuses.

***

There are a couple of exceptions to this, most notably Armor equipment which adds to the base, before buffs, so that players can actually benefit from talents that increase armor.

***

To be clear, as of today, I have no intention of nerfing Privateers to address balance issues that may or may not even exist as a result of anecdotal evidence from a PVP system that is still incomplete.

This is not to say that I am dismissing this feedback out of hand; quite the contrary, I am paying attention and keeping notes. What I am saying is that anytime you are tempted to say, "They went ahead and nerfed this..." or "They really ought to nerf that..." as a result of PVP feedback, you're spreading incorrect information.

PVP is still in "information gathering" mode. We are not yet in "act upon that information" mode.

I'll address PVP when it's time to address PVP. At the moment, our focus is on improving and expanding the PVE experience.
A big thanks to Ratbeard for communicating. To be clear I am not advocating a nerf as of now, I am simply spreading information and identifying and putting up for discussion potential issues. Of course it is up to the developers to use this information(along with their access to the large amount of data we players can't see) as they see fit to balance the game for all players PvP and PvE. I really hope to avoid the PvP vs PvE dynamic so I am glad that Ratbeard has made it clear that changes will not and are not being made on the basis of PvP but that the information is being gatherd and discussed.

Gunner's Mate
Dec 16, 2009
211
Darth JT on Feb 21, 2013 wrote:
So far, I have seen absolutely no proof that Privateers are overpowered in any way in PVP or PVE. Yes, they have advantages and disavantages, as do most classes.

Accuracy and Dodge buffs are nice, but that does not make or break a battle. You still have to realize, strategies, pvp area size, classes. There are many many options for every class and it is possible, even with buffing and resistance, etc, to take out a privateer in 1 round.

Anyway, most of this is all speculation, nothing of factual value, so I appreciate Ratbeard stating that they are listening and taking in peoples opinions, but as RatBeard said, PVP is still in developmental state and not in the state to nerf or overpower classes.

Right now, classes are being made a bit more equal to eachother and I dont see Privateers as being highly overpowered, even in a 4 privateer team. As always, it's the person and team with a strategy that is overpowered, not the specific class.
I respectfully disagree with your thoughts on dodge and accuracy. From how game dynamics work, accuracy and dodge can and do make or break a battle. In a game where companions can have 2 guaranteed attacks at most, the natural attacks quickly take precedence and if one team is severely outgunned in terms of accuracy and dodge that team will quickly go down.

That being said, what Ratbeard stated is exactly the point of this thread: information gathering and discussion. I am not sure if my thread was misinterpreted but I am not advocating a nerf, I am simply pointing out and putting potenial issues up for discussion. Let us gather information and discuss rather than quickly breaking out the nerf bat and wildly clubbing down classes.

Gunner's Mate
Dec 16, 2009
211
Xiriganism on Feb 20, 2013 wrote:
FatesKin,

I understand your point - BUT

Why don't you go make a privateer, and SLAVE away to lvl 50 with Gunnery, Artillery, and Big Guns. That is ALL we get as attacks.

We need the buffs to complement companions to the greatest extent and our buffs need to stack. Since all the other schools have EL Toro - And they also have some supporting buffs for their-selves. If Privateers didn't have an excessive amount of buffs - they'd be underdogs of the game.

I have realized you have to be the school to understand why KI made them the way they are (except the buccaneers which YAY - they did listen and fix :))

(Thank You for being great listeners KI)

Privateers are not too powerful. After all - they have NO epics and thats just kinda raw...

Also - they said (Damage buffs will stack) - Since they didnt and they were supposed to.
Thank you for your comments. To be clear I am not advocating taking away Privateer buffs. I would no more take away Privateer buffs than I would a Swashbuckler's Poison. The point of my math was to show the difference in how buffs statcked currently and how I percieved they would stack in Test Realm. Thankfully my perceptions turned out to be the result of misinterpretation and Jack was kind enough to clarify things for me.
I certainly will be leveling my privateer after i get through with my current projects(witchdoctor and musketeer). I am actually looking forward to lvling my privateer as I dont forsee my privateer having any trouble wih attacks. Looking through my shared bank and privateers bank now I see gear with options for mojo storm, assasins strike, numerous shooty attacks and the list goes on and on.

Ensign
May 16, 2011
37
I also see no evidence that Privateers are overpowered, whether it is PvP or PvE.

I have the maximum levels on all the classes and found that my Privateer was the slowest to level up, followed by Buccaneer (which thankfully looks like it might be getting fixed).

Privateer is almost purely a support class, so it is one less hit per round (due to buffing or healing) compared to all the other classes. Example: A Privateer goes into battle with 4 companions. Those 4 companions usually are the only ones doing any damage against x amount of enemies. Naturally his 4 companions are taking all the damage so instead of being able to hit he has to look for heals, which means he is still not able to join the combat.

The other classes may buff at the start and then jump straight in to start doing damage and some of those classes can do widespread damage immediately.

I do understand a little frustration in PvP when going up against a Privateer but I would not say that they are overpowered at this stage.

Developer
If people are discovering that Privateers are tough to beat because they are buffing their companions to high heaven, that is evidence that the Privateer is working pretty much as intended.

That's the defining feature of the class.

That said, we didn't look at Privateers and their awesome buffs in the context of PVP.

And we still aren't.

Yet.

Ensign
Jul 26, 2009
35
I'm so glad y'all are focusing on PVE. So many folks start to get this idea that the game revolves around PVP and it ruins it for everyone else. I, myself, play for the story and collecting which is part of PVE. Privateers are doing as intended we are buffing our companions to help us in battle since that is our main focus. I understand PvP is the de facto form of side entertainment...no argument there..but it is optional aspect of the game in the end.

Brave Sam Laveer, Lv 50 Privateer

Lieutenant
Dec 18, 2012
187
Maybe we could develop another tactic in pvp: run and wait for other buffs to deplete , wins who will have more patience lol.

Lieutenant
Dec 18, 2012
187
Anytime i am more convinced that fights in this game need some form of Crowd Control (debuffing/interrupt/prolonged immobilization, etc) this because atm the only one CC available is the Hold the line, wich last only one turn . With for example a single use debuff skill some problem would be solved (no one would be pushed to stack buffs if he knows that a debuff is around the corner, meantime using a debuff would use an entire turn, seems a fair exchange ).

Bosun
May 10, 2010
396
While there is Buff Stacking, there is also DeBuffs and those can stack too. There are many debuffs in the game, not only on pirate classes, but also on Companions. Bonnie Anne has decrease in dodge for 5 rounds, now Buc's have 1 for -25% for 5, 1 for -50% for 5 and 1 for -50% for 10. Musketeers have -75% for 5, -50% for 5, and -25 for 5.

I am sure I can find others, but these are the main ones that come to mind. There are ways around buff stacking, as some state, waiting, barracading, bombs, traps, many different strategies and tactics to use.

What happens with Critspiration x 2 and a Swashy that uses his critical for 5 rounds, does that mean every attack that hits will critical? talk about OUCH!

So, what makes a class overpowered? What makes a class underpowered? Doing what your class is meant to do or working well with other classes, that makes you overpowered?

Of course in team pvp, people will want 1 or 2 privateers, but I think having a swashbuckler and like a musketeer or a witchdoctor with them would be far more powerful than having a 4 privateer team. After all, buffs may be stacking, but they are only adding in base stat, not giving base stat + boost.

So its: example:

Base Dodge is 50 buff of 25%, then another buff of 25%, then a buff of 50%

These would make dodge a total of 100

Not 50 + 25% + 25% + 50% = 117

Remember, this is just an example.

Petty Officer
Jan 10, 2013
58
Michael LifeSong on Feb 21, 2013 wrote:
Although I am a Privateer myself, I agree with RatBeard. I believe they should enhance regular battling before they enhance PVP, just like they did in Wizard101.
Just a heads up - PVP is currently incomplete. It's currently still a very basic system for us to play with, not a full-fledged one.

Gunner's Mate
Dec 16, 2009
211
Darth JT on Feb 22, 2013 wrote:
While there is Buff Stacking, there is also DeBuffs and those can stack too. There are many debuffs in the game, not only on pirate classes, but also on Companions. Bonnie Anne has decrease in dodge for 5 rounds, now Buc's have 1 for -25% for 5, 1 for -50% for 5 and 1 for -50% for 10. Musketeers have -75% for 5, -50% for 5, and -25 for 5.

I am sure I can find others, but these are the main ones that come to mind. There are ways around buff stacking, as some state, waiting, barracading, bombs, traps, many different strategies and tactics to use.

What happens with Critspiration x 2 and a Swashy that uses his critical for 5 rounds, does that mean every attack that hits will critical? talk about OUCH!

So, what makes a class overpowered? What makes a class underpowered? Doing what your class is meant to do or working well with other classes, that makes you overpowered?

Of course in team pvp, people will want 1 or 2 privateers, but I think having a swashbuckler and like a musketeer or a witchdoctor with them would be far more powerful than having a 4 privateer team. After all, buffs may be stacking, but they are only adding in base stat, not giving base stat + boost.

So its: example:

Base Dodge is 50 buff of 25%, then another buff of 25%, then a buff of 50%

These would make dodge a total of 100

Not 50 + 25% + 25% + 50% = 117

Remember, this is just an example.
While it is true that debuffs do exist, they are in no way even close to buffs in terms of effectiveness or applicability. Whereas buffs affect an entire team and are independent of companion location and have an infinite range, debuffs are severely limited. In terms of musketeer debuffs: they last half as long as a privateer's strongest buff, have a finite range and can only travel in a straight line. Not to mention they only affect dodge. A bucaneers debuff runs into the same problem of only affecting one stat, and runs into the additional problem of only being able to target one companion/player at a time along with placing the bucaneer directly in the middle of enemy lines. Barricading is ineffective since it is a one square skill and even the earth guardian's multiple barricades have a measly 40-60 health. Yes traps can be effective but are only of any real use for movement denial en masse, which only one class can accomplish. Yes critspiration(discipline for those who don't know) x2 plus swash's critical will ensure a critical for the swash. But so will critspiration x3 or x4... and not just for the swash but for every companion on said team. I am thankful that KI isn't compounding buffs/debuffs but even in a 1v1 situation if you have a 75% advantage in accuracy and dodge, your companions far outclass your opponents.

Bosun
May 10, 2010
396
Eric Stormbringer on Feb 27, 2013 wrote:
While it is true that debuffs do exist, they are in no way even close to buffs in terms of effectiveness or applicability. Whereas buffs affect an entire team and are independent of companion location and have an infinite range, debuffs are severely limited. In terms of musketeer debuffs: they last half as long as a privateer's strongest buff, have a finite range and can only travel in a straight line. Not to mention they only affect dodge. A bucaneers debuff runs into the same problem of only affecting one stat, and runs into the additional problem of only being able to target one companion/player at a time along with placing the bucaneer directly in the middle of enemy lines. Barricading is ineffective since it is a one square skill and even the earth guardian's multiple barricades have a measly 40-60 health. Yes traps can be effective but are only of any real use for movement denial en masse, which only one class can accomplish. Yes critspiration(discipline for those who don't know) x2 plus swash's critical will ensure a critical for the swash. But so will critspiration x3 or x4... and not just for the swash but for every companion on said team. I am thankful that KI isn't compounding buffs/debuffs but even in a 1v1 situation if you have a 75% advantage in accuracy and dodge, your companions far outclass your opponents.
Yes, you do make excellent points and I do agree with a lot, I can still disagree with your "Outcome".

Yes, of course having a 4 Privateer team would be good, even a 3 privateer team, I still think a 2 Privateer Team with a Witchdoctor and a Swashbuckler or Musketeer would be even better. You can only get so many Buffs off at one time, even if you spent every round getting said buffs off, how would you ever get to said enemy to defeat them? Opposing teams do have same options of Buff/Debuff, of using Armor, etc. Once you cast a buff, you actually only get 9 rounds, since the round you cast it in counts as a round.

Also, we are talking KI math here, where 99% accuracy can still miss 3x in a row, hit once, and then miss again. So, just because you have 1 billion dodge and 1 billion accuracy, does not mean you can't or wont miss. Actually, with KI, I can promise you that wont be the case. lol

So, we agree to disagree. While your points have merit and sound reasoning, I don't see the proof. Because what I have seen, even with all the buffs, is miss, miss, miss, miss, miss, miss, hit. Even if I am or they are the one with all the accuracy dodge buffs. lol