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Changing/Balancing Combo Escape Skills and Passives

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  • Class: {{esusrinfo_class408350}}
    Level: {{esusrinfo_level408350}}
    Guild Name: {{esusrinfo_guild408350}}

    Changing/Balancing Combo Escape Skills and Passives

    We do have character revamps (supposedly) being developed, so I felt like this might be a topic worth touching on.

    I've heard quite a lot of complaints about moves and passives that let the user escape at reduced or zero cost, and wondered about possible alternatives that we could consider. This is essentially just an idea dump, but I'd like to discuss their worth.

    Knight Emperor - Auto Guard

    Auto Guard, in its current state, is an automatic stoic pulse that will KD anyone nearby that isn't in super armor or I-frames. It happens on a random chance on receiving any attack, and can occur once every 45 seconds.

    Knight Emperor is already a class with several passive defenses that let him tank attacks fairly well compared to most classes - having a passive that might, by chance, force the opponent's combo to end and let him get out for free, retaining all the resources he got from being hit, does sound really dangerous.

    Equally, though, I have to wonder if this one occasionally bites him back. The passive has to actually trigger, which might not happen with bad luck. If the opponent happens to be in super armor or I-frames at the time, the passive is wasted and does absolutely nothing. Part of me wonders if it causes interruptions for him in PvE as well.

    However, this is the one I struggle the most to find a good replacement for. One idea was to bring back the variation of the passive that just let him block attacks from the front (like Empire Sword and Vishnu do), potentially with a clause to instantly trigger his Awakened Will Transcendence passive (defense increase after receiving 5 attacks) on blocking an attack (just to make it a bit more unique). It doesn't feel all that impactful, though, and I wonder how much more of a tank Knight Emperor would become with that setup.

    Furious Blade - Evacuation

    Some attacks in the game might end up being seen as hitting the other side of the opponent (e.g. an attack from the front the game might see as hitting the opponent's back). In the cases of blocking passives, this might occasionally mean losing some damage to random blocks that shouldn't happen. In Furious Blade's case, however, this can outright end a combo by giving Furious Blade a free escape. Ironically, this is going to be most painful for Raven, whose basic sword commands are constantly confused regarding what side they're hitting.

    By its concept, I think this passive needs to be transformed completely - the passive can trigger a free escape if he's hit from the back, and some characters simply hit him in the back whether they wanted to or not.

    Instead, I wanted to focus on the concept of movement and actually getting distance from the opponent after being assaulted. It would play both to the concept of the passive, as well as Furious Blade's swiftness as a whole.

    My idea was this:

    On being knocked down, gain 4/6/8/10% (depending on your character's level) movement and jump speed for 15 seconds. Effect can stack up to 3 times.

    At max stacks, Furious Blade would have a lot of means to jump away from the opponent and try to get combat back into a more manageable position. It's not guaranteed... but the fact that escape isn't certain is the whole point.

    Laby - Andromeda!

    As it stands, this is the only usable move in the game (outside Elrian Clock) that lets a character escape while already being attacked. It does have a high cooldown in PvP, but the actual costs of the move concern me.

    My main complaint here comes from observing how it's used: a strategy for Laby I've seen is that in a match, if you get caught first, tank hits. After a while, Laby will have a good supply of MP and will probably be in awakening by this point. Then, Laby just uses Andromeda, loses a relatively small amount of MP, doesn't have to mana break, and now has plenty to contest the opponent with... that can be a problem, particularly with Nisha, who usually wants to get a good amount of MP to start pressuring the opponent with summons and special actives.

    However, Andromeda is not a high cost move. After it's enhanced (-20% MP cost), it requires 40 MP to use it. Andromeda also has the Light trait for 80% skill cost (32 MP), and even worse, Regenerating 1 for a 50% chance to regain the entire cost of the move (meaning on average, Andromeda is essentially 20 MP). Compare this to the cost of mana breaking the incoming attack (100-120 MP or more, as well as being much closer to the opponent currently trying to kill you than an Andromeda teleport would put you).

    Andromeda's cooldown can also be somewhat subverted, not just by standard cooldown reduction, but also by placing it in a Trans. slot (on Laby, who automatically enters awakening). Every time the Trans. slot skill effect triggers (happens once every 20 seconds), 7 seconds are taken off the cooldown of moves in those slots in PvP. If Andromeda was used right as the first Trans. slot effect triggered, assuming a default cooldown of 180 seconds, Andromeda would be able to have its cooldown reduced 6 times, making it 138 seconds instead. Put more cooldown reduction into play, and seeing 3 or more Andromeda uses in a single 1v1 match isn't unlikely.

    The way I see it, there's two paths to take to improve this:
    1. Increase the MP cost of the move, so the escape is more costly and Laby gets to take fewer resources with her.
    -Base MP cost: 50 -> 100 MP (80 MP after enhance)
    -Change trait: Regen 1 -> Gigantic (Teleport distance is 130% of normal)

    2. Change the move from an escape move into a mobility move, akin to Aisha's teleport. Reduce the move's cost and cooldown accordingly. It would let Laby move across areas in various directions very quickly, but still requires cautious use due to Andromeda having no attack, as well as no super armor or I-frames.
    -Can no longer be used while being attacked
    -Base MP cost: 40 -> 20 MP (16 MP after enhance)
    -Cooldown: 5 seconds (in all modes)

    All in all, this is probably just spitballing, but I do wonder if some of these alternatives would result in healthier designs for these characters.

    Any thoughts about these ideas, or do you all have replacements of your own in mind for these escape moves? Thank you for hearing me out, either way.
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  • Class: {{esusrinfo_class408716}}
    Level: {{esusrinfo_level408716}}
    Guild Name: {{esusrinfo_guild408716}}

    Eve's Core shield + photon with regenerate trait. OP.

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    • Hitotsuoboe-solace-
      Editing a comment
      Core Shield does have the backdash, but it has a lot of end lag - Eve's really only going to escape with it if she's able to see a gap in the opponent's moves and timing the backdash accordingly; the opponent's just going to run up to her and keep attacking otherwise. Keeping a varied combo and reacting properly to any escape attempts should prevent most issues with it. If Core Shield does have a problem, it's that it occasionally doesn't react to hitstun properly and lets Eve use a skill (usually a special active) out of shield, the specifics of which I still don't entirely understand.

      Photon Flash isn't an escape move I'm describing, since she can't use it while being attacked. Photon also has a lot of recovery time after using it, meaning how effective it is depends on Eve's timing and the opponent's reaction time - it's punishable if she uses it in the wrong spot. Regen 1 could be switched out with a Light trait without much difference in gameplay.

    • Latale-solace-
      Latale-solace- commented
      Editing a comment
      core shield proc pretty much means a guaranteed mash or two atm

      not rly going to b an escape in the same sense as autoguard and andromeda becaus people dont have much business idling on the ground to be able to proc shield in the first place, but a lot more disgusting if used intentionally aka walking into hitboxes people leave out to get free mashouts
  • Class: {{esusrinfo_class410550}}
    Level: {{esusrinfo_level410550}}
    Guild Name: {{esusrinfo_guild410550}}

    The primary difference between Evacuation and Autoguard, I find, is that Autoguard is almost guaranteed to go off in most scenarios where Evacuation isn't.

    The general rule is that --unless you are running away-- you are usually facing your opponent. That means where Elsword doesn't have to change his gameplan much to trigger AG, Raven often has to either turn around mid-combo or hope his opponent is straight-up uninformed for Evacuation to trigger. In previous seasons, the former tactic was enabled by his increased A.Spd reducing his hitstun just enough to turn around between hits (pleading guilty now), but that's opened up a lot of holes on account of A.Spd overload.

    Evacuation does not have the same kind of impact that the current iteration of Autoguard does. In addition to consuming MP, Evacuation sets Shadow Step on cooldown, which means Raven's safest and most obvious way to re-close the gap is denied to him. Excepting corners (yes, pleading guilty again) which open up their own can of worms, the goal of the current iteration of Evac seems to be to set both players back to a neutral state. Laying grenades may be a good reversal option if your opponent is pushing you forward, but that's never guaranteed to work and you could be wasting your Evac on a bad idea. Autoguard, in addition to being resource-free, is strictly advantageous for Elsword in comparison: not only does Elsword have full access to all of his options, but an opponent who's knocked down has very few available.

    From my own experience, it also seems that if Evacuation triggers without the necessary MP, the "You do not have enough mana" message will appear and you will have to wait out the passive's cooldown before you can try to Evac again. Because Autoguard is completely free, this never happens for Elsword.

    Laby is a freak Feral Child and I will not be talking about Andromeda, except that it is in flagrant violation of the blanket escape button nerf that Ain triggered on his release.


    • Hitotsuoboe-solace-
      Editing a comment
      Sadly, Evacuation is quite the victim of circumstance here. There's the attack speed overloading you mentioned allowing him to turn around while being attacked, and then there are the moves that think they're hitting the wrong side of the opponent that can trigger Evacuation despite it not making sense. I'm glad that Evacuation also has some costs to the trigger, so the escape isn't completely free.

      Compared to that, Autoguard is certainly much more universal (assuming super armor or I-frames didn't negate it).
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