To Ratbeard: Discussion of Hidden and Scent

1
AuthorMessage
Gunner's Mate
Dec 16, 2009
208
The change to hidden is a huge one and has obviously caused waves throughout the PvP community. While many agreed that swashbucklers being so easily taken out of hidden should be reevaluated, this buff where an opponent literally cannot remove a swashbuckler from hidden is huge. This means that for the duration of hidden a swashbuckler is immune to single target hits and the opponent is under the constant threat of x2 damage. With only one current in-game counter I would like to make a suggestion that was first mentioned by Nesogra on P101central. Have the rank 3 approach epics(overwach, repel boarders, readied spell)become sneak attacks and remove hidden if they hit. This is fair to both sides as it adds a counterplay measure for other pirates while still allowing a swashbuckler a good chance to still make use of their buffed ability.

My second commentary is in regards to scent as given by fins goggles. I believe scent to be a poorly implemented counter to hidden. This talent provides total immunity at all times to all copies of hidden for a player pirate. No other power in the game is rendered so completely ineffectual against an opponent pirate by one talent. You stated that your reasons for changing the hidden was because players were too easily ending hidden. Well scent makes it so at all times hidden is a non-factor for the player character and any adjacent companions. Furthermore the priority of scent means that a Fins goggles buccaneer now has an uncounterable hold the line rank 3. This means that any approach or even adjacency will guarantee a swash loses his dodge which means he will be defeated the very next round.

Here are my suggestions:
1)Make the Rank 3 hidden epics(overwatch, repel boarders, readied spell) sneak attacks that if they hit will remove hidden.
2)Change the dynamics of scent- Make scent a chance to activate(base 35% becomes higher with boosts to your main stat).

In this way hidden will have multiple counter play options and fins goggles won't be an instant cancellation of a classes key talent.

Developer
Eric Stormbringer on Aug 21, 2014 wrote:
The change to hidden is a huge one and has obviously caused waves throughout the PvP community. While many agreed that swashbucklers being so easily taken out of hidden should be reevaluated, this buff where an opponent literally cannot remove a swashbuckler from hidden is huge. This means that for the duration of hidden a swashbuckler is immune to single target hits and the opponent is under the constant threat of x2 damage. With only one current in-game counter I would like to make a suggestion that was first mentioned by Nesogra on P101central. Have the rank 3 approach epics(overwach, repel boarders, readied spell)become sneak attacks and remove hidden if they hit. This is fair to both sides as it adds a counterplay measure for other pirates while still allowing a swashbuckler a good chance to still make use of their buffed ability.

My second commentary is in regards to scent as given by fins goggles. I believe scent to be a poorly implemented counter to hidden. This talent provides total immunity at all times to all copies of hidden for a player pirate. No other power in the game is rendered so completely ineffectual against an opponent pirate by one talent. You stated that your reasons for changing the hidden was because players were too easily ending hidden. Well scent makes it so at all times hidden is a non-factor for the player character and any adjacent companions. Furthermore the priority of scent means that a Fins goggles buccaneer now has an uncounterable hold the line rank 3. This means that any approach or even adjacency will guarantee a swash loses his dodge which means he will be defeated the very next round.

Here are my suggestions:
1)Make the Rank 3 hidden epics(overwatch, repel boarders, readied spell) sneak attacks that if they hit will remove hidden.
2)Change the dynamics of scent- Make scent a chance to activate(base 35% becomes higher with boosts to your main stat).

In this way hidden will have multiple counter play options and fins goggles won't be an instant cancellation of a classes key talent.
1) Hide is not x2 damage, it's +100% weapon power. It's a bonus hit. One action, two hits.

It's the same as the Swashbuckler just hitting you two turns in a row-- but with some added defensive benefits.

2) Every class lives under constant threat of a bonus hit from every other class, whether it be due to an auto-crit card, a triggered epic, an AoE that hits two of your units at once, or a power with a built in damage multiplier (bear trap, sneak attack, mojo blade/reaver, etc.).

How about those bomb powers? It's a double hit every time: once on the way down, and a second hit when you try to move out. Rain of Mortarshells is a x2 spell power hit for anybody in the middle of the blast. One action, two hits.

Tempest of Torpedoes is worse: a x1.5 hit on the way down, leaving x1.5 bombs all around, that just might bounce you into another x1.5 via knockback. One action, x3 hits minimum.

Any concerns? I'm hearing crickets.

3) Similarly every class lives under constant threat of "awarding" their opponent a bonus hit by missing their own attack, failing to trigger an epic, or smacking into a shield or fortress. You also award your opponent a bonus hit by losing a companion-- every time your opponent gets a turn, he's going to get one more hit than you (and he's going to focus more and more of his damage onto a smaller and smaller pool of potential targets).

4) This game is about winning the economy of actions. If you both can take 9-12 hits (per unit on the board), it becomes very important to make sure that every action maximizes your damage output, minimizes the chance that you will fail to realize a hit/action, maximizes the chance that your opponent will miss a hit/action, and tips the balance of successful hits to you.

Different classes express their advantages on the economy of actions in different ways. The melee classes get ahead on the economy of actions through direct, single target attacks and epics (mostly). MSK and WD get ahead on the economy of actions (mostly) through AoE attacks. The Privateer gets ahead on economy of actions (mostly) by negating or mitigating your actions.

5) It may well be that this change makes Swashbucklers too powerful in PvP.

However, it does nothing other than make them as powerful in PvP as they are in PvE -- except, perhaps, slightly less, because you can still see and attack the hidden unit (the AI cannot), and you can-- I hope-- out-think the AI. You certainly have more resources in your deck than the AI.

I recommend, for starters, that you respond to a Swashbuckler going into hiding with a considerable amount of ALARM and RESPOND ACCORDINGLY.

That this change upsets the balance in PvP is not an argument in favor of continuing to force Swashbucklers to suffer a diminished experience in either PvE or PvP.

6) There is no reason whatsoever to assume that there is now, should be, or ever will be, a specific "counter" for anything your opponent can do.

7) You've convinced me on Fin's Goggles-- I'll remove Scent.

Ensign
Aug 17, 2012
29
My Buccaneer's already feeling the pain.

Have you considered changing how Scent works? Instead of revealing hidden enemies, why not just allow the user to directly target hidden enemies with regular attacks? The hidden person keeps their damage increase and the attacking person isn't forced to play defense. Don't get me wrong, I still feel like increasing your ability to survive the impending attack is probably the smartest thing to do. However, players rarely enjoy feeling backed into a situation with no choice or no control, especially when competing against other players.

But seriously, Ratbeard, thanks for taking the time to look at all this. I know working with players who all have different things to say on one particular topic can be difficult.

Petty Officer
Dec 21, 2008
50
Just my two cents:

I'm thinking this was a much-needed change for Swashbucklers (and I don't have one, so I'm not particularly biased), as hidden was sort of a silly move before this in PvP with everyone's AoE attacks and unlimited-range hits. Now it'll be more usable.

My one concern is that I've seen the way hidden is used in PvE. It can not only turn the tide of a battle (which it should), but also very quickly shift things into the favor of the people using it. I'm just thinking that if a Swash and his or her team move in close and use Black Fog, you may simply be out of luck. There's not a really strategic counter to that, as you can't target any of them, and being that they're in a 3x3 square for Black Fog, you can't even hit all of them at once.

I like the change with Double Tap / Blade Storm / Mojo Rising hitting and removing hidden, but that's pretty situational. I think hidden should definitely get this update and be more power, but I'd like to see at least one more viable counter to these powers. I think that Scent is an excellent thing to have, and essentially keeps the whole update balanced. Or perhaps there should be some other anti-hidden ability or power available.

Long story short, Swashbucklers DO need this powerful update to hidden, but there should also be reasonable counters rather than leaving them with absolute immunity for a number of rounds.

Ensign
Feb 17, 2013
22
Ratbeard on Aug 22, 2014 wrote:
1) Hide is not x2 damage, it's +100% weapon power. It's a bonus hit. One action, two hits.

It's the same as the Swashbuckler just hitting you two turns in a row-- but with some added defensive benefits.

2) Every class lives under constant threat of a bonus hit from every other class, whether it be due to an auto-crit card, a triggered epic, an AoE that hits two of your units at once, or a power with a built in damage multiplier (bear trap, sneak attack, mojo blade/reaver, etc.).

How about those bomb powers? It's a double hit every time: once on the way down, and a second hit when you try to move out. Rain of Mortarshells is a x2 spell power hit for anybody in the middle of the blast. One action, two hits.

Tempest of Torpedoes is worse: a x1.5 hit on the way down, leaving x1.5 bombs all around, that just might bounce you into another x1.5 via knockback. One action, x3 hits minimum.

Any concerns? I'm hearing crickets.

3) Similarly every class lives under constant threat of "awarding" their opponent a bonus hit by missing their own attack, failing to trigger an epic, or smacking into a shield or fortress. You also award your opponent a bonus hit by losing a companion-- every time your opponent gets a turn, he's going to get one more hit than you (and he's going to focus more and more of his damage onto a smaller and smaller pool of potential targets).

4) This game is about winning the economy of actions. If you both can take 9-12 hits (per unit on the board), it becomes very important to make sure that every action maximizes your damage output, minimizes the chance that you will fail to realize a hit/action, maximizes the chance that your opponent will miss a hit/action, and tips the balance of successful hits to you.

Different classes express their advantages on the economy of actions in different ways. The melee classes get ahead on the economy of actions through direct, single target attacks and epics (mostly). MSK and WD get ahead on the economy of actions (mostly) through AoE attacks. The Privateer gets ahead on economy of actions (mostly) by negating or mitigating your actions.

5) It may well be that this change makes Swashbucklers too powerful in PvP.

However, it does nothing other than make them as powerful in PvP as they are in PvE -- except, perhaps, slightly less, because you can still see and attack the hidden unit (the AI cannot), and you can-- I hope-- out-think the AI. You certainly have more resources in your deck than the AI.

I recommend, for starters, that you respond to a Swashbuckler going into hiding with a considerable amount of ALARM and RESPOND ACCORDINGLY.

That this change upsets the balance in PvP is not an argument in favor of continuing to force Swashbucklers to suffer a diminished experience in either PvE or PvP.

6) There is no reason whatsoever to assume that there is now, should be, or ever will be, a specific "counter" for anything your opponent can do.

7) You've convinced me on Fin's Goggles-- I'll remove Scent.
Instead of removing scent, how about changing how it is applied?
Instead of revealing hidden opponents, why not have scent allow the user to be abled to target the hidden opponent? Kind of like sniff them out for an attack, but not see the hidden opponent coming when they attack (like a sneak attack). I believe in the update notes it mentioned that if someone that was using hidden is hit, that they would still remain hidden. Maybe even put a limit to the range scent would allow you to 'sniff out' an opponent like over-watch, but since it's not an automatic reaction like over-watch then 4-6 squares would sound about right. That would up the ante and without compromising 'hidden'.
So that would give scent the proper application of being able to hit someone while they're hidden, and after taking damage they would still remain hidden.

Also, I don't see the updated version of hidden to be an issue towards over-powering swashbucklers, because hidden is a very easily attainable ability. Anybody of any class is able to find the hidden ability, whether it be by using practice points, item equipment, or granted by pet.
If anything the added defenses to hidden seems like it should have been there from the start, like they just filled in all the holes. For that I'd like to say thank you, and congratulations to Ratbeard and all of the developers involved; I really do love what you guys are doing with this update.

Gunner's Mate
Dec 16, 2009
208
Ratbeard on Aug 22, 2014 wrote:
1) Hide is not x2 damage, it's +100% weapon power. It's a bonus hit. One action, two hits.

It's the same as the Swashbuckler just hitting you two turns in a row-- but with some added defensive benefits.

2) Every class lives under constant threat of a bonus hit from every other class, whether it be due to an auto-crit card, a triggered epic, an AoE that hits two of your units at once, or a power with a built in damage multiplier (bear trap, sneak attack, mojo blade/reaver, etc.).

How about those bomb powers? It's a double hit every time: once on the way down, and a second hit when you try to move out. Rain of Mortarshells is a x2 spell power hit for anybody in the middle of the blast. One action, two hits.

Tempest of Torpedoes is worse: a x1.5 hit on the way down, leaving x1.5 bombs all around, that just might bounce you into another x1.5 via knockback. One action, x3 hits minimum.

Any concerns? I'm hearing crickets.

3) Similarly every class lives under constant threat of "awarding" their opponent a bonus hit by missing their own attack, failing to trigger an epic, or smacking into a shield or fortress. You also award your opponent a bonus hit by losing a companion-- every time your opponent gets a turn, he's going to get one more hit than you (and he's going to focus more and more of his damage onto a smaller and smaller pool of potential targets).

4) This game is about winning the economy of actions. If you both can take 9-12 hits (per unit on the board), it becomes very important to make sure that every action maximizes your damage output, minimizes the chance that you will fail to realize a hit/action, maximizes the chance that your opponent will miss a hit/action, and tips the balance of successful hits to you.

Different classes express their advantages on the economy of actions in different ways. The melee classes get ahead on the economy of actions through direct, single target attacks and epics (mostly). MSK and WD get ahead on the economy of actions (mostly) through AoE attacks. The Privateer gets ahead on economy of actions (mostly) by negating or mitigating your actions.

5) It may well be that this change makes Swashbucklers too powerful in PvP.

However, it does nothing other than make them as powerful in PvP as they are in PvE -- except, perhaps, slightly less, because you can still see and attack the hidden unit (the AI cannot), and you can-- I hope-- out-think the AI. You certainly have more resources in your deck than the AI.

I recommend, for starters, that you respond to a Swashbuckler going into hiding with a considerable amount of ALARM and RESPOND ACCORDINGLY.

That this change upsets the balance in PvP is not an argument in favor of continuing to force Swashbucklers to suffer a diminished experience in either PvE or PvP.

6) There is no reason whatsoever to assume that there is now, should be, or ever will be, a specific "counter" for anything your opponent can do.

7) You've convinced me on Fin's Goggles-- I'll remove Scent.
Thank You for the detailed response , it is always a pleasure knowing that a developer puts actual thought into his player base's feedback. Anyhow down to business:

1)Yes it is, I am used to thinking of it how i is written on the card. That being said: the nature of hidden goes back to the economy discussion you presented below but more on that when I get there.

2)Yes each class lives under the threat of an extra hit however hidden allows the stacking of a huge amount of damage all at once. Their is no comparison between the damage a dropped trap can deal in one go and the damage a hidden assassins strike can deal in one go. This is what makes hidden so dangerous offensively, the ability to "burst" a huge amount of damage in one round.

3)No real argument here lol.

4)This is where we get into the meat and bones of the discussion. Massive Economy is precisely what hidden is winning at any point in the battle. As soon as you hide you gain:
-Immunity to single target hits(Including the most powerful hits in the game- Super Hits, Assassins Strike and Mojo Reaver)
-Immunity to Movement based Epics(no damage from overwatch, repel boarders any approach epic, ignores movement epics such as hold the line and more importantly ignores the stat drops from said power)
-+100% weapon power allowing you to take out almost any companion or unprotected pirate in 2 moves.
As you can see hidden increases defense, movement possibility and attack economy. It doesn't get more economical than that.

5)That being said, the main complaints are not about the nature of hidden. I am perfectly fine with hidden giving all of those benefits. Most disagree with the change only because their is very little they can do to respond to it. When a swash goes hidden "responding accordingly" entails 2 possibilities: AoE's which only 2 classes have access to in sufficient volume and damage(assuming a thinking opponent who remembers adjacency rules) and going defensive which leaves your companions wide open to destruction. Most PvPers do not want swashbucklers to suffer a diminished experience, they simply want the tools to adequately respond to what became a very potent class tool.
-That being said, I am pleased to see that Bladestorm and follow through will end hidden. If that is also applied to double tap and mojo rising then that would be a sufficient counter and I would have no protests against the buff to hidden.

6)This statement surprises me, One of the most appealing things about Pirate 101's combat system is its huge variety of play and counterplay options. Classes are well designed with mechanics that check other mechanics. You have almost religiously added counter-mechanics to the game(intentional or not) which makes for a unique and rewarding experience. While I don't presume to know your plans for the future I must say I hope that you keep the dynamics of class interplay in mind moving forward.

7)

Developer
Swordroll on Aug 23, 2014 wrote:
Just my two cents:

I'm thinking this was a much-needed change for Swashbucklers (and I don't have one, so I'm not particularly biased), as hidden was sort of a silly move before this in PvP with everyone's AoE attacks and unlimited-range hits. Now it'll be more usable.

My one concern is that I've seen the way hidden is used in PvE. It can not only turn the tide of a battle (which it should), but also very quickly shift things into the favor of the people using it. I'm just thinking that if a Swash and his or her team move in close and use Black Fog, you may simply be out of luck. There's not a really strategic counter to that, as you can't target any of them, and being that they're in a 3x3 square for Black Fog, you can't even hit all of them at once.

I like the change with Double Tap / Blade Storm / Mojo Rising hitting and removing hidden, but that's pretty situational. I think hidden should definitely get this update and be more power, but I'd like to see at least one more viable counter to these powers. I think that Scent is an excellent thing to have, and essentially keeps the whole update balanced. Or perhaps there should be some other anti-hidden ability or power available.

Long story short, Swashbucklers DO need this powerful update to hidden, but there should also be reasonable counters rather than leaving them with absolute immunity for a number of rounds.
I like the change with Double Tap / Blade Storm / Mojo Rising hitting and removing hidden, but that's pretty situational.

I regret that this update note was ambiguous.

DT/BS/MR do not remove hidden from the target.

We fixed a bug where a hidden attacker would sometimes get to Bladestorm or Follow Through and stay hidden. (Because both the Hide effect and Bladestorm were looking for an "end of turn" event, you would occasionally see the Bladestorm trigger again before the Hide effect removed itself.)

To be 100% clear: There is no specific "counter" to Hidden.

This is not a game of spells and counter-spells; it is a game of position and opportunity.

PvP players will need to devise counter strategies to combat Swashbucklers and their companions.

Lieutenant
Aug 09, 2013
156
Eric Stormbringer on Aug 21, 2014 wrote:
The change to hidden is a huge one and has obviously caused waves throughout the PvP community. While many agreed that swashbucklers being so easily taken out of hidden should be reevaluated, this buff where an opponent literally cannot remove a swashbuckler from hidden is huge. This means that for the duration of hidden a swashbuckler is immune to single target hits and the opponent is under the constant threat of x2 damage. With only one current in-game counter I would like to make a suggestion that was first mentioned by Nesogra on P101central. Have the rank 3 approach epics(overwach, repel boarders, readied spell)become sneak attacks and remove hidden if they hit. This is fair to both sides as it adds a counterplay measure for other pirates while still allowing a swashbuckler a good chance to still make use of their buffed ability.

My second commentary is in regards to scent as given by fins goggles. I believe scent to be a poorly implemented counter to hidden. This talent provides total immunity at all times to all copies of hidden for a player pirate. No other power in the game is rendered so completely ineffectual against an opponent pirate by one talent. You stated that your reasons for changing the hidden was because players were too easily ending hidden. Well scent makes it so at all times hidden is a non-factor for the player character and any adjacent companions. Furthermore the priority of scent means that a Fins goggles buccaneer now has an uncounterable hold the line rank 3. This means that any approach or even adjacency will guarantee a swash loses his dodge which means he will be defeated the very next round.

Here are my suggestions:
1)Make the Rank 3 hidden epics(overwatch, repel boarders, readied spell) sneak attacks that if they hit will remove hidden.
2)Change the dynamics of scent- Make scent a chance to activate(base 35% becomes higher with boosts to your main stat).

In this way hidden will have multiple counter play options and fins goggles won't be an instant cancellation of a classes key talent.
Not everything is about PvP. Think about the enemies you fight in the game. Swashbucklers fighting enemies will only become slightly easier. The game has more to offer that PvP. If you lose to a Swashbuckler in PvP then don't fret. Please realize you can't win them all. I even managed to defeat a Swashbuckler in the Test Realm, so I wouldn't exactly claim them as the strongest See you in the Spiral

Ensign
Aug 17, 2012
29
Ratbeard on Aug 23, 2014 wrote:
I like the change with Double Tap / Blade Storm / Mojo Rising hitting and removing hidden, but that's pretty situational.

I regret that this update note was ambiguous.

DT/BS/MR do not remove hidden from the target.

We fixed a bug where a hidden attacker would sometimes get to Bladestorm or Follow Through and stay hidden. (Because both the Hide effect and Bladestorm were looking for an "end of turn" event, you would occasionally see the Bladestorm trigger again before the Hide effect removed itself.)

To be 100% clear: There is no specific "counter" to Hidden.

This is not a game of spells and counter-spells; it is a game of position and opportunity.

PvP players will need to devise counter strategies to combat Swashbucklers and their companions.
Strategies will come down solely to Witchdoctors and Musketeers on that matter. Buccaneers have no options; they buff themselves or die.

And that's actually the problem. It's not even about having a counter, but more that you'll see Buccaneers being unused. Add in the fact that their options for companions aren't very good (which is partly my beef with the new system of wounds, but that's a discussion for another day) and you've got a class most people will see as "useless".

If you don't want to have a counter to hidden, that's fine. But every class can get it from many different sources, shouldn't every class have a practical means to do something about it?

Gunner's Mate
Dec 16, 2009
208
Scurvy Anthony Wal... on Aug 24, 2014 wrote:
Not everything is about PvP. Think about the enemies you fight in the game. Swashbucklers fighting enemies will only become slightly easier. The game has more to offer that PvP. If you lose to a Swashbuckler in PvP then don't fret. Please realize you can't win them all. I even managed to defeat a Swashbuckler in the Test Realm, so I wouldn't exactly claim them as the strongest See you in the Spiral
This is not a PvP vs PvE argument. I am not asking for this buff to be removed. I am simply asking for the players to be given the tools to counter it.

Developer
Eric Stormbringer on Aug 23, 2014 wrote:
Thank You for the detailed response , it is always a pleasure knowing that a developer puts actual thought into his player base's feedback. Anyhow down to business:

1)Yes it is, I am used to thinking of it how i is written on the card. That being said: the nature of hidden goes back to the economy discussion you presented below but more on that when I get there.

2)Yes each class lives under the threat of an extra hit however hidden allows the stacking of a huge amount of damage all at once. Their is no comparison between the damage a dropped trap can deal in one go and the damage a hidden assassins strike can deal in one go. This is what makes hidden so dangerous offensively, the ability to "burst" a huge amount of damage in one round.

3)No real argument here lol.

4)This is where we get into the meat and bones of the discussion. Massive Economy is precisely what hidden is winning at any point in the battle. As soon as you hide you gain:
-Immunity to single target hits(Including the most powerful hits in the game- Super Hits, Assassins Strike and Mojo Reaver)
-Immunity to Movement based Epics(no damage from overwatch, repel boarders any approach epic, ignores movement epics such as hold the line and more importantly ignores the stat drops from said power)
-+100% weapon power allowing you to take out almost any companion or unprotected pirate in 2 moves.
As you can see hidden increases defense, movement possibility and attack economy. It doesn't get more economical than that.

5)That being said, the main complaints are not about the nature of hidden. I am perfectly fine with hidden giving all of those benefits. Most disagree with the change only because their is very little they can do to respond to it. When a swash goes hidden "responding accordingly" entails 2 possibilities: AoE's which only 2 classes have access to in sufficient volume and damage(assuming a thinking opponent who remembers adjacency rules) and going defensive which leaves your companions wide open to destruction. Most PvPers do not want swashbucklers to suffer a diminished experience, they simply want the tools to adequately respond to what became a very potent class tool.
-That being said, I am pleased to see that Bladestorm and follow through will end hidden. If that is also applied to double tap and mojo rising then that would be a sufficient counter and I would have no protests against the buff to hidden.

6)This statement surprises me, One of the most appealing things about Pirate 101's combat system is its huge variety of play and counterplay options. Classes are well designed with mechanics that check other mechanics. You have almost religiously added counter-mechanics to the game(intentional or not) which makes for a unique and rewarding experience. While I don't presume to know your plans for the future I must say I hope that you keep the dynamics of class interplay in mind moving forward.

7)
There's a big difference between developing counter strategies, and an expectation that there must be explicit counters for specific powers.

Yes, the swashbuckler is capable of delivering large bursts of damage, focused onto a single target.


That is the defining feature of the class. It always has been.

And they were not able to live up to that role in PvP.

The "" part of this update is that PvP players are going to finally experience the same, frightening, full capabilities of the Swashbuckler as the enemies in the PvE experience.

I've done nothing to increase the threat of the Swashbuckler other than close a loophole that was handicapping them in PvP. Simply due to technical reasons with Hide, no other class suffered such a huge disparity between how the class played and felt between PvE and PvP.

Yeah, it's a big change-- but only relatively speaking. I dare say most Swashbucklers won't even notice it in PvE-- because in PvE we already played fair with the Swashbuckler and did not break them out of hiding with "counters."

As I said before, it may well be that the Swashbuckler is overpowered in PvP; but I do not believe it to be the case.

Certainly, as regards this subtle but significant change to Hide, it would first be a call for rebalancing the class for PvE-- since the Swashbuckler you are about to experience in PvP is the same scary guy our mobs experience in PvE every day of the week-- but with fewer resources and a lot less brain power to deal with it.

Lieutenant
Dec 19, 2011
114
Ratbeard, wouldn't it be fair to make purge magic get rid of hidden? It will be limited to one or two uses in a pvp match depending on gear, but would at least give the opponent a chance. Right now, if I, as a witch, have levy, valor armor, valor fortress, etc, then a hidden swashbuckler can use purge magic if they have the gear, and remove all my protection and buffs. Meanwhile, the swashbuckler would remain hidden.

Lieutenant
May 09, 2013
156
Could you consider making an item that gives your opponent repel borders for a turn or two? :P

Ensign
Aug 17, 2012
29
If we're looking at rebalancing classes, why not take a harder look at Buccaneer before Swashbuckler? Cool Ranch and MooShu have been horrible for that class since launch, partially because Buccaneers play like companions, and partially because of the choice of companions.

I assume it was intended for the Buccaneer to be used as a meat shield so that they could have Musketeer companions deal damage. Unfortunately, I've never seen proof that "Loud" actually does its job. I have seen an entire team cross the map towards El Toro in stead of me when we were both at full health, however. Because of this, a lot of the squishier companions you're given go down after a single turn whether you "let" them or not. Advanced companions hurt the class a lot as a result. Buccaneers are not capable of really changing their teams after losing three companions to either a bad fight or a disconnection (I would like to point out that if you disconnect during the "treasure gathering", you get credit towards any related quests, but it's still considered a loss and your team will be penalized). I could make my Musketeers scatter and run every fight while my character slowly cleans up, but that's not fun. Buccaneers really don't have the tools available to protect their non-Buccaneer companions.

Have you considered moving Gallant Defense over towards Buccaneers and making it an Epic that triggers when the Buccaneer is above 50% health? This would remove the immediate risk of Kobe or El Toro dying within the first few turns, and would hopefully smooth the PvE aspect of the game for them.

Ensign
Jun 06, 2014
7
Ratbeard on Aug 24, 2014 wrote:
There's a big difference between developing counter strategies, and an expectation that there must be explicit counters for specific powers.

Yes, the swashbuckler is capable of delivering large bursts of damage, focused onto a single target.


That is the defining feature of the class. It always has been.

And they were not able to live up to that role in PvP.

The "" part of this update is that PvP players are going to finally experience the same, frightening, full capabilities of the Swashbuckler as the enemies in the PvE experience.

I've done nothing to increase the threat of the Swashbuckler other than close a loophole that was handicapping them in PvP. Simply due to technical reasons with Hide, no other class suffered such a huge disparity between how the class played and felt between PvE and PvP.

Yeah, it's a big change-- but only relatively speaking. I dare say most Swashbucklers won't even notice it in PvE-- because in PvE we already played fair with the Swashbuckler and did not break them out of hiding with "counters."

As I said before, it may well be that the Swashbuckler is overpowered in PvP; but I do not believe it to be the case.

Certainly, as regards this subtle but significant change to Hide, it would first be a call for rebalancing the class for PvE-- since the Swashbuckler you are about to experience in PvP is the same scary guy our mobs experience in PvE every day of the week-- but with fewer resources and a lot less brain power to deal with it.
ratbeard the truth is swashbucklers are really overpowered in pvp how do you not believe this to be the case? when fighting quentin to see how powerful they really are he made 1 mistake and didn't leviathans call first round BIG mistake i vicious charged him next round with goronado and my main and guess what he died that same turn i hit him. you may argue oh his companions are still alive yeah that's not really going to matter if the main is dead first/second round.

Developer
Seadog Swampy on Aug 25, 2014 wrote:
If we're looking at rebalancing classes, why not take a harder look at Buccaneer before Swashbuckler? Cool Ranch and MooShu have been horrible for that class since launch, partially because Buccaneers play like companions, and partially because of the choice of companions.

I assume it was intended for the Buccaneer to be used as a meat shield so that they could have Musketeer companions deal damage. Unfortunately, I've never seen proof that "Loud" actually does its job. I have seen an entire team cross the map towards El Toro in stead of me when we were both at full health, however. Because of this, a lot of the squishier companions you're given go down after a single turn whether you "let" them or not. Advanced companions hurt the class a lot as a result. Buccaneers are not capable of really changing their teams after losing three companions to either a bad fight or a disconnection (I would like to point out that if you disconnect during the "treasure gathering", you get credit towards any related quests, but it's still considered a loss and your team will be penalized). I could make my Musketeers scatter and run every fight while my character slowly cleans up, but that's not fun. Buccaneers really don't have the tools available to protect their non-Buccaneer companions.

Have you considered moving Gallant Defense over towards Buccaneers and making it an Epic that triggers when the Buccaneer is above 50% health? This would remove the immediate risk of Kobe or El Toro dying within the first few turns, and would hopefully smooth the PvE aspect of the game for them.
Unfortunately, I've never seen proof that "Loud" actually does its job.

It's frustrating, and we've gone back to the AI several times to make sure it's working. Maybe we need to turn that dial up some more to make the BUC as "sticky" as he's supposed to be.

Have you considered moving Gallant Defense over towards Buccaneers?

No, but (interesting historical footnote) at the same time that we implemented Gallant Defense for the SWB, we penciled in a parallel power for the BUC-- because, you're right: they should have something similar. The BUC's power proved more difficult to implement than Gallant Defense (which is saying something!) so it was shelved "temporarily." I haven't yet found an interesting time (or urgency) to bring it back onto the To Do list. If we can fix it by adjusting the AI again, I'd prefer to do that (so that you don't have to waste a turn doing what you're supposed to be able to do for free).
ratbeard the truth is swashbucklers are really overpowered in pvp how do you not believe this to be the case?

Experience plus Patience.

Gunner's Mate
Dec 29, 2012
212
Ratbeard on Aug 25, 2014 wrote:
Unfortunately, I've never seen proof that "Loud" actually does its job.

It's frustrating, and we've gone back to the AI several times to make sure it's working. Maybe we need to turn that dial up some more to make the BUC as "sticky" as he's supposed to be.

Have you considered moving Gallant Defense over towards Buccaneers?

No, but (interesting historical footnote) at the same time that we implemented Gallant Defense for the SWB, we penciled in a parallel power for the BUC-- because, you're right: they should have something similar. The BUC's power proved more difficult to implement than Gallant Defense (which is saying something!) so it was shelved "temporarily." I haven't yet found an interesting time (or urgency) to bring it back onto the To Do list. If we can fix it by adjusting the AI again, I'd prefer to do that (so that you don't have to waste a turn doing what you're supposed to be able to do for free).
ratbeard the truth is swashbucklers are really overpowered in pvp how do you not believe this to be the case?

Experience plus Patience.
Please, please turn up the dial on Loud for Bucs. That (to me) is a class defining feature, but one that has not materialized in PvE or PvP to date. In PvE, enemy companions simply bypass the Buccaneer....even if the target is not lower health than the Buc. This is even after the rules you outlined back in 2012 (link below) regarding target priorities. Even when my Buc is dishing out massive DPS, he will still get ignored for most attacks.

https://www.pirate101.com/forum/a-pirates-life/summoner-companions-8ad6a4143b225808013b3f05c4236a40/8ad6a4133b4bb5a1013b4dd1b9831124?fromSearchResult=true#8ad6a4133b4bb5a1013b4dd1b9831124

Ensign
Jan 17, 2010
8
Ratbeard on Aug 24, 2014 wrote:
There's a big difference between developing counter strategies, and an expectation that there must be explicit counters for specific powers.

Yes, the swashbuckler is capable of delivering large bursts of damage, focused onto a single target.


That is the defining feature of the class. It always has been.

And they were not able to live up to that role in PvP.

The "" part of this update is that PvP players are going to finally experience the same, frightening, full capabilities of the Swashbuckler as the enemies in the PvE experience.

I've done nothing to increase the threat of the Swashbuckler other than close a loophole that was handicapping them in PvP. Simply due to technical reasons with Hide, no other class suffered such a huge disparity between how the class played and felt between PvE and PvP.

Yeah, it's a big change-- but only relatively speaking. I dare say most Swashbucklers won't even notice it in PvE-- because in PvE we already played fair with the Swashbuckler and did not break them out of hiding with "counters."

As I said before, it may well be that the Swashbuckler is overpowered in PvP; but I do not believe it to be the case.

Certainly, as regards this subtle but significant change to Hide, it would first be a call for rebalancing the class for PvE-- since the Swashbuckler you are about to experience in PvP is the same scary guy our mobs experience in PvE every day of the week-- but with fewer resources and a lot less brain power to deal with it.
I agree this update was necessary. I agree on almost all your points about the reasons. I object to one(and a half) things about this, since hidden was brought up.

Why is the ability called hidden when the enemy can see you, spectators can see you, and they can aim AoE when they are seeing you? If I was given the choice, I would choose total invisibility in the field over 2x damage any day. Maybe rename "hidden" to "I am ready to pounce on your face" because hidden does not fit in the it's English definition.

That brings my other point. Coleman said the traps will be totally invisible before he left the company a few years ago, as I recall. They are still visible today. Um, so, just like hidden, Claw trap and Bear trap barely have ANY use in PvP against a semi competent opponent. They see it; it takes up one square; they walk around it. The insane damage scaling matters not since it is easily negated by simple roundabout walking. Does that sound familiar? The Hidden line of power suffered the same problem. Too easily negated in PvP, yet useful in PvE. Does this not seem like a glaring discrepancy between PvP and PvE for musketeers?

My point in illustrating the hiddens and traps is this; make invisible things BE invisible. If you can engineer that, with this complicated of a battle board, my hat is off to you. If you can't, then you get the hidden fiasco, with non swashbucklers complaining ignorantly about their newfound power and swashbucklers rebutting ignorantly about it.

Captain
Feb 02, 2013
721
MasterReflex on Aug 25, 2014 wrote:
ratbeard the truth is swashbucklers are really overpowered in pvp how do you not believe this to be the case? when fighting quentin to see how powerful they really are he made 1 mistake and didn't leviathans call first round BIG mistake i vicious charged him next round with goronado and my main and guess what he died that same turn i hit him. you may argue oh his companions are still alive yeah that's not really going to matter if the main is dead first/second round.
If the main dies first its very unlikely someone would be able to pull a clutch against a player and his or her own conpanions

Ensign
Jun 06, 2014
7
Ratbeard on Aug 25, 2014 wrote:
Unfortunately, I've never seen proof that "Loud" actually does its job.

It's frustrating, and we've gone back to the AI several times to make sure it's working. Maybe we need to turn that dial up some more to make the BUC as "sticky" as he's supposed to be.

Have you considered moving Gallant Defense over towards Buccaneers?

No, but (interesting historical footnote) at the same time that we implemented Gallant Defense for the SWB, we penciled in a parallel power for the BUC-- because, you're right: they should have something similar. The BUC's power proved more difficult to implement than Gallant Defense (which is saying something!) so it was shelved "temporarily." I haven't yet found an interesting time (or urgency) to bring it back onto the To Do list. If we can fix it by adjusting the AI again, I'd prefer to do that (so that you don't have to waste a turn doing what you're supposed to be able to do for free).
ratbeard the truth is swashbucklers are really overpowered in pvp how do you not believe this to be the case?

Experience plus Patience.
so you giving them 8 hiddens and 2 of those are group hidden's isn't overpowered? along with like 10 assassins strikes and critical buffs? swashys were never bad in the first place its just only bad people played them plus if you believe they're not overpowered how about you actually fight someone in the pvp community with any class besides a musk because they're the only real class with an advantage due to the 20 sets of bombs

Gunner's Mate
Dec 16, 2009
208
Ratbeard on Aug 24, 2014 wrote:
There's a big difference between developing counter strategies, and an expectation that there must be explicit counters for specific powers.

Yes, the swashbuckler is capable of delivering large bursts of damage, focused onto a single target.


That is the defining feature of the class. It always has been.

And they were not able to live up to that role in PvP.

The "" part of this update is that PvP players are going to finally experience the same, frightening, full capabilities of the Swashbuckler as the enemies in the PvE experience.

I've done nothing to increase the threat of the Swashbuckler other than close a loophole that was handicapping them in PvP. Simply due to technical reasons with Hide, no other class suffered such a huge disparity between how the class played and felt between PvE and PvP.

Yeah, it's a big change-- but only relatively speaking. I dare say most Swashbucklers won't even notice it in PvE-- because in PvE we already played fair with the Swashbuckler and did not break them out of hiding with "counters."

As I said before, it may well be that the Swashbuckler is overpowered in PvP; but I do not believe it to be the case.

Certainly, as regards this subtle but significant change to Hide, it would first be a call for rebalancing the class for PvE-- since the Swashbuckler you are about to experience in PvP is the same scary guy our mobs experience in PvE every day of the week-- but with fewer resources and a lot less brain power to deal with it.
It seems like we are arguing 2 different sides of the same coin. We both agree on the abilities of the swashbuckler and we both agreed that hidden needed a buff. The point of contention seems to be our view of potential counter strategies. You believe that we as pirates already have the tools necessary to counteract hidden while I believe that the tools we do have access to are insufficient.

As for PvE, swashbuckler seems well balanced on that front, he does just as well as my buccaneer and witch doctor(in fact the easiest time I have had in PvE is with my witchdoctor). Changes to PvE that may help an enemy counteract hidden would be the addition of aoes like scattershot, environmental obstacles such as the fire room in the Tower of Moo Manchu or more enemies with scent.

Ensign
Aug 17, 2012
29
It really struck me odd that Swashbucklers got an ability that made the AI target them when they were also given Peaceful, an Epic that was meant to make the AI not target them.

Now that you mention having worked on Loud before, I recall reading about it being bugged when the game was young.

With the added offensive capabilities to Buccaneers with the latest Test Realm changes, I feel like the only thing they're really missing is a way to keep their Musketeer/Swashbuckler companions alive. Like I said before, there's not much stopping the enemy from waltzing on over and utterly annihilating them (especially in MooShu where there are a lot of Epics on the enemies).

There's also the possibility of Loud creating a bigger problem than anticipated; do Buccaneers have the health pool needed to be the primary target? I know for certain that Privateers do, as well as having a healthy dose of Armor and Resistance. And even when they're about to fall, they have the capabilities to keep themselves alive through healing. Buccaneers don't get that luxury. They have a smaller health pool than Privateers, and no real means to sustain themselves. Perhaps a fixed percentage of health regen at the end of every turn could help, but that would take serious tweaking in order to not make PvE too easy. Otherwise, Nadya and Bonnie would be practically mandatory for every fight.

Gunner's Mate
Dec 16, 2009
208
Quick question Ratbeard: Can Burst Fire/Relentless "see" a hidden enemy like follow through does?

Dread Pirate
Jun 17, 2013
2674
Issac Newton on Aug 26, 2014 wrote:
I agree this update was necessary. I agree on almost all your points about the reasons. I object to one(and a half) things about this, since hidden was brought up.

Why is the ability called hidden when the enemy can see you, spectators can see you, and they can aim AoE when they are seeing you? If I was given the choice, I would choose total invisibility in the field over 2x damage any day. Maybe rename "hidden" to "I am ready to pounce on your face" because hidden does not fit in the it's English definition.

That brings my other point. Coleman said the traps will be totally invisible before he left the company a few years ago, as I recall. They are still visible today. Um, so, just like hidden, Claw trap and Bear trap barely have ANY use in PvP against a semi competent opponent. They see it; it takes up one square; they walk around it. The insane damage scaling matters not since it is easily negated by simple roundabout walking. Does that sound familiar? The Hidden line of power suffered the same problem. Too easily negated in PvP, yet useful in PvE. Does this not seem like a glaring discrepancy between PvP and PvE for musketeers?

My point in illustrating the hiddens and traps is this; make invisible things BE invisible. If you can engineer that, with this complicated of a battle board, my hat is off to you. If you can't, then you get the hidden fiasco, with non swashbucklers complaining ignorantly about their newfound power and swashbucklers rebutting ignorantly about it.
I would like to offer another explanation and/or meaning of the word Hidden. Hidden can just mean out of sight, or undercover & unable to be directly targeted for an attack. It doesn't have to mean that you don't necessarily know where the hidden object is, you just can't get a bead on it. In real world situations, a Hidden target in essence is concealed, but it doesn't mean that you don't know where it is & that it can't take consequential or collateral damage based on attacks near the Hidden target, from knowing where it is -- without actually seeing it. Perhaps that is what Ratbeard & the developers may have been trying to convey with the game's own use of Hidden, in the realm of PvP.

In real world situations, to remove an object from hiding, you try to flush it out to expose it by targeting an area in which you know the Hidden item is relatively close to. The only way to do that in the scope of PvP may be to actually be able to see the icon of the item, since you already have an educated hunch as to where the hidden object is anyways. IRL you have a mental image of where the hidden object is, so you target an area close to it. Being able to see the hidden pirate in PvP is perhaps the games way of providing a mental image & educated hunch (simulating the intellectual and perceptive human mind) as to where the pirate is hiding. Artificial intelligence doesn't perceive things the way we humans do, so perhaps that is why in PvE, the AI can't see what the human mind can perceive. I am not disputing whether the pirate should actually be invisible (which to me differs from hidden, anyways), but am just giving my take on what the actual term hidden can mean or imply. You can be hidden from sight, but not entirely hidden to the mind and intellectual perception. Relatively speaking, in my opinion, although they are similar in nature, hidden & invisible can be very different in meaning.

Also, I wonder how making all hidden allies actually invisible on the battle board would affect PvP gameplay. If the enemy can't see your pirate or icon, then it seems fitting your allies would & should not be able to either. With 4 pirates, their crew and possibly a dozen or more hidden allies (from team hiddens) potentially invisible, it would get quite chaotic and probably slow the PvP process down. Players would have to actually chat every position and hidden for every ally to each player, to make sure strategies are properly carried out. Not that it would necessarily happen, but if up to 12 allies were invisible to all players on the same team, which they would have to be if made invisible to the enemy, I can only imagine it would be quite a headache to know where everyone is and to plan accordingly. If players want total invisibility from hidden, it would mean total invisibility for foes and allies. With your reasoning, if hidden should mean total invisibility on the PvP board, then only you should know where only your hidden crew is, when any hiddens are active.

Developer
Eric Stormbringer on Aug 26, 2014 wrote:
Quick question Ratbeard: Can Burst Fire/Relentless "see" a hidden enemy like follow through does?
Question rewrite #1: Can Burst Fire/Relentless currently "see" a hidden enemy like follow through does?

No.

Burst Fire and Relentless (and the Mojo analog) all target the same enemy you originally targeted. If you couldn't target him in the first place, the follow up won't, either.

But for the record, Glancing Blow can (as in, it already does).

Question rewrite #2: Would you consider changing it so that Burst Fire/Relentless can "see" a hidden enemy like follow through does?

No.

EDIT: Rewrote "Follow Up" (our internal name!) as Relentless for clarity!

1