This is a guest submission by our reader Omar! Enjoy!
It doesn’t take too much time in the game to realize that in most of the level 70 content your health bar is either full, will be full in two seconds or you’re dead. It seems impossible to consistently fight in between these two states. The consistent damage gets outhealed fairly easily and the only way around it is to hit harder than your enemy is healing. This applies to the PvE enemies attacking us and to any PvP player. But I don’t think the problem is the healing per se. The sustain each player has is merely a response to the damage this game is making us receive.
Too many ways to heal
Neverwinter is probably the game that has the most resources directly related to healing that I can remember. We have stats like LS, LS Severity, Incoming and Outgoing Healing, Regeneration, Insignias, Mounts and Companions. Each class has at least one Power or Feat that offers healing and on top of all that there are Boons for practically everything.
That has to be enough, no? Well, there are also all sorts of Consumables and even some Armor and Weapon Enchantments affecting the aforementioned stats. Consumables like two kinds of level 70 vanilla Health Potions, Vault of Piety stuff, Stronghold and Seasonal Food, Alchemy Potions and two Health Stones.
The game is full with all sorts of healing material and the developers seem to like adding more without cleaning or purging the old or the almost-never used ones.
Is overgear even a thing?
For this game in particular, I think it IS a thing! I also think it’s the product of miscalculations on the devs behalf. We simply were never meant to deal this much damage. So now its spiraling out of control with no real way to stop or even challenge the players. For PvE we see the overuse of one-shots, and for PvP we see stuff that almost looks random. Like giving HRs piercing damage. So everyone have means to kill everyone, exception being the healers of course (DCs and OPs), which, in the devs eyes, should only be healing.
Damage is over the top
I don’t know if anyone remembers the strategy for killing Kessell at the end of Kessell’s Retreat? What about the strategy for ECC’s Traven Blackdagger? There are strategies for all bosses, and some date back to the day when overgear wasn’t a real issue. All of them are still valid to this day, but in the rush to get one more run, to get the fastest clear time or even to out-damage someone else, we’d all but forgotten this strategies and that the bosses’ mechanics even exist.
This isn’t the player’s fault though. The end-dungeon rewards leave a lot to be desired (and that’s a completely different problem on its own). Any other MMO raid or even any RPG dungeon can take you up to hours, but at the end it’s worth it or at least you have fun doing it. Neverwinter’s Fangbreaker Island is taking 15 min or so now and at the end the reward chance isn’t in your favor. So you’ll need to run that same dungeon looking for one specific item a bunch of times.
It could be that some raids are meant to be melted this way, like Demogorgon or Tiamat (being timed raids). But even eDemo’s Goristro is getting completely destroyed in like a minute or less now, making his mechanic completely trivial. And Tiamat’s too! Nobody remembers to avoid fighting close Linu and her gals because everything is dying too fast. It’s pointless now.
Also in PVP
In PvP something similar happens. Most classes have the chance to one-shot or one-rotate anyone if the opportunity arises. Most of the time without giving the opponent any chance to survive. And sadly it’s the way it has to be, because like I said before, the only way to kill an enemy right now is to overcome their healing ability. But this isn’t completely wrong. In Final Fantasy in example something like this also happens when it comes to BiS PvP, sort of.
The thing that is wrong in NW is the matchmaking. You can’t face a 4.3k PvE character vs a 4.2k PvP character and you can’t put a 1.6k character against either of these. New types of queues like solo, due or tiered matchmaking have been suggested many times. But all of these ideas have been refused due to the number of players queuing right now. Which is pointless because if you don’t change a thing, how could you possibly know how people will react?
How to balance?
The real question here, how to balance Neverwinter? Any decent game out there that uses the tank, healer and DPS trifecta is always trying to find a balance between the three.
Some games achieve a balance with their heals by making healing have some kind of disadvantage. It even goes as far as to make the player be as careful as possible to actually avoid the healing. Spells have long cooldowns, high mana costs or cast times that leave you vulnerable for quite some time. So healing becomes unspammable and with enough skill you can even avoid it in general.
Others make it so that there’s only one stat that heals you, Regeneration, working as it works right now in Neverwinter. For combat you only have one life and no tangible way to regain health. Most MMOs and MOBAs manage healing by giving enough to survive, to correct some mistakes, but not enough for anyone to be always at full health. Heals regain something around 5-10% of the total HP, always scaling based on one of the healer stats (like Power, let’s say). Sometimes a massive heal gives around 30% HP, but has a ridiculous cooldown. Neither of these have a need for Incoming and Outgoing Healing or LS Severity.
All of these ideas are not viable in NW right now, because the mobs’, bosses’ and even our damage is way too high for our own good. If you aren’t at full health you are at risk of anyone one-shotting you and in a way, that threat is even present at full health.
The damage dealers, DPS, or referred as ‘carry’ in some games, are the ones capable of dealing the most damage, but are often the most squishy. In most games, they tend to sacrifice HP and Defense in order to get more Power, more Armor Pen, more attack damage, but in Neverwinter that’s not the case. There isn’t any real punishment to go full offensive. In fact there isn’t any possible way to sacrifice a substantial amount of Hit Points in order to get more Power, for example.
Some games make a balance in the manner of stats. If you invest in offense, you can’t be investing in defense at the same time. If armor gives us Power, Armor Pen and Crit, it shouldn’t provide any Hit Points, any Defense nor Deflect. LS is the only ‘defensive’ stat available for anyone that focuses on offense. NW is bypassing this simple mechanic after you get to level 60. You can call it as you like, but Boons, Offense and Defense slots are almost equally distributed for all classes. Armor that gives all kinds of random combinations of offensive and defensive stats always gives HP. Its only the beginning though, because for each healing mechanic I mentioned, there’s an opposite mechanic to deal more damage. That’s not completely wrong, but the miscalculations in our BiS damage made all the possible enemies’ mechanics trivial now.
All the mitigation and healing the DCs and OPs have, the Insignia Bonuses, the de/buffs, the Boons and some needless (in my opinion) stats serve to help the player survive the too hard hits everything’s dealing. But in this effort to help us out, we end up with more and more survivable characters, which in turn generates more and more one-shotting enemies since this is the only way the developers have to “challenge” us by now. It has become a vicious cycle that needs to end as soon as possible for the betterment of the game.
Thanks to our reader Omar for the guest submission about the one-shotting world we’re living in. In case you have any questions or remarks, make sure to share them in the comments below or visit the corresponding thread on our message board!
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