Conduit Tactic: Discussion on its issues

BitterSteelBitterSteel Posts: 8,860 ★★★★★
I wanted to start a little discussion about the new tactic and a few issues I have with how it's been designed. This has two main parts; one to do with the attack tactics, and one with the defence. This'll be a long one, so there's your warning.

Attack Tactic Issue
This part of my issue with the global is to do with the ratio of champions in the attack tactic that have class advantage to the champions in the defence tactic. So for example how many Science attack global champions are there compared to Mystic defence global champions (4 attackers with the sick and tired tactic compared to 5 defenders with the conduit tactic) . Let's take a look at what this looks like for the whole tactic



As you can see, there are some disparities within this. Most notably, you can see there are 7 Cosmic defenders but only 1 Mystic attacker. Every other class has a reasonable number of attackers compared to the defenders in the other tactic, except Tech but I'll explain why that's fine a little later (not to mention some have many more attackers, like 4 mutants for only blade, or 8 cosmics for the 4 techs).

Luckily, Sym Supreme is a great attacker, but when you take a look at how hard the defenders are you cannot use Sym for all of them on every node. Galan is immune to nullify (not to the stagger, but still an extra challenge), Sersi, Hyperion are hard but doable, Surfer and Angela could be tough depending on the node, and King Groot and Terrax are immune to bleed which takes away some of the debuffs he can place - leaving him only with SP2 in order to counter the tactic.

In fact, Cosmic has 7 defenders, and each of the other classes averages 3.6 defenders. Mystic has 1 attacker, while the rest of the classes average 4.8 attackers. Just to put it into perspective about the weighting.

Now, why is this a big deal? In my opinion, it's a couple things. Firstly I believe Cosmic is the class in the game that is most directly countered by it's class advantage. And that's because Cosmics are all about buffs, and Mystics are all about buff control. They are the two classes most defined by these things. Other classes have a bigger range of identity on defence. Take another class relationship, Skill to Science. Science defenders tend to evade, apply debuffs, have abilities that trigger on hit, have strong physical resistance. Well, skill champions counter evade really well, shrug off really well, reduce DAAR and have DOT to get around resistances. But other classes can do that really well too, there are evade counters, other champs who reduce AAR and DOT or energy dealing champs. And for debuffs, there are champions with immunities, though none (or not many) that shrug really.

It's different for Mystic and Cosmic, of the cosmic defenders all but two are pretty much neutered without their buffs. Cosmic defenders tend to be only threats when they have buffs. Air Walker, Annihulus, Galan, Gorr, Heimdall, Hulkling, Ikaris, King Groot, Medusa, Nova, Sersi, Surfer, Skrull, Champion, Aarkus - all of these cosmic defenders are almost blank champions if you take their buffs away. Terrax and Knull are the exceptions here, as their challenge comes from something else but they're outliers. And I'm also not saying cosmics can't be countered by other classes, like power gain buffs with petrify, or autoblocks with true strike - just that fundamentally, anything challenging about almost all cosmics are buffs.

So because the cosmic class is so heavily reliant on buffs to be a challenge on defence, it makes sense that the mystic class has been designed to counter them by being so heavily reliant on buff control. To effectively counter this class, you need to control their buffs. That's why I think cosmic is the class that is most directly countered by it's class advantage. The one unifying aspect of those defenders is buffs. There are a handful of cosmic champions who can control buffs themselves like VP, CGR, Kamala, venom etc and a couple of science with stagger, but this is nowhere near the extent that other classes counter science for example. If you look at a list of science defenders they don't have on unifying challenge like cosmic does.

I could go more into detail about this, but I don't want to make the post too long. If you don't think cosmic champs are countered by mystics more than others then I'd be interested to hear that view point. Clearly every class counters the class they have an advantage over, to me, I just see mystic -> cosmic as one of the strongest due to the nature of cosmic buffs.

But moving on from the mystic/cosmic relationship, and onto the global and how it interacts with the cosmic/tech relationship.

The second reason I think the 1:7 Mystic to Cosmic ratio is odd is that this entire tactic is built for tech champions. Healing is a specifically tech and science ability to deal with - and most of the science champs have been wiped off the board with the immunity to regen reversal. So you're left with generally tech champions who are the non-tactic champions who deal with heal. Of the 22ish champions who can heal block, 17 of them are tech. This is why it doesn't matter there are only 3 tech attackers for the conduit global mutants - there are 20 champions who can heal block in the tech class including the tactic.

This leaves Proxima Midnight, Ghost Rider OG, Gladiator Hulk, Magneto with a synergy and Archangel as the last non attack tactic champions who can realistically take a fight without class disadvantage against a cosmic with this global. Note only GR is mystic, and his heal block is hidden behind SP3 (and to have decent up time, behind SP1, Sp2, MLLLM, MLLLL and Heavy), so that's not realistic. This gives Cosmic and Science an extra attacker, and mutant two extras. And it's not like they'll even be *that much use* archangel will be amazing for the 4 non bleed/poison immune, Mags will be good for the 1 metal champ. So again, you're stuck with not too many useful options for Cosmic.

So of the champions who directly counter healing against this tactic, 17 of the 22 heal block have an inherent class disadvantage (not only does this manifest itself in attack loss and defenders hitting harder, but some tech champions have abilities built around being worse against cosmics, see Warlock's infection).

Not to mention that this attack tactic also has a condition attached to it's usefulness. Something that sets it apart from defiance last season (this is one of a few reasons that of sick and tired and Mistic dispersion one is problematic and one isn't). Defiance was just binary, a champion is buff immune. Boom, global shut down.

Sick and tired however, you need debuffs up in order to counter the global. That's alright for some champions like Apoc or Knull who constantly have debuffs. But Bishop? Sp1 spam isn't great for him and those incinerates are short duration. War Machine needs SP1 spam, not great for his playstyle. CMM has armour breaks which generally will be up but that's RNG. Angela has short duration armour breaks. Hit Monkey has short duration bleeds. This isn't the same as the defiance 'activate and shut down the global'. The equivalent would be "Sick and Tired attackers immediately passively heal block defenders at the start of the fight", if it were the same as defiance.

But then speaking of defiance, that had a massive disparity with classes, I mean, there were only science and skill champions who had the attack tactic, but a range of defenders with it. How come it's fine for misstic dispersion, but not for conduit? Well, I'm glad you asked.

Defence Tactic Issues

Addressing my imaginary question, I think the reason that Conduit is different to Misstic tactic is what happens when you bring a non-global champion into the matchup that doesn't specifically counter it. So imagine a non-miss counter champ brought against Misstic dispersion, and imagine a non heal block champ brought to counter conduit. Which match up goes better? Well in the miss tactic, there is a miss that occurs that you can intercept to get rid of and then there's a cooldown that you can play normally during. Pretty straight forward. There are some less ideal champions, but if you keep an eye on the cooldown you can always avoid the global and it's never a roadblock.

But with conduit, first of all, your energy damage inflicting champions instantly do 40% damage. Your coldsnap, shock, plasma, incinerate champs instantly do 20% damage. Any champion that needs to knock the opponent down whether with heavies or specials instantly does 20% damage. This in war, is pretty much a roadblock for those champions. It takes a bunch of the most versatile champions in the game and says to them they can't use heavies or specials, which blocks out so much utility or damage needed to take a fight. Tigra, Nimrod, Void, Kitty Pryde, Claire Voyant. All excellent staples of an AW attack that deal energy damage, knock opponents down, inflict incinerates etc. None of these champions were defiance champions, but could easily handle a misstic global fight.

Now I'm not saying it's an entire game roadblock and it's broken get rid of it, we can obviously get around it by not knocking the opponent down as much. But my argument is that it is poorly designed, and too constricting.

Miss counter can be played around by any champ in the game, there is no matchup that stops you from beating the fight due to the global. Conduit immediately makes it impossible for a huge chunk of the game to even attempt fights. And then add all of this with everything else I've mentioned about the attack tactic being conditional on debuff duration, class relationships, and some fights being a pure roadblock, I think the tactic is too constricting. And then when you think about how this affects the cosmic/mystic relationship, how many mystic champions deal energy damage? A ton, it's kinda a staple of their class. How many mystic champions spam specials and have damage coming from specials? A ton, it's a staple of their class. So you can't even play around the global with many mystics.

So it's another hammer blow for Sym supreme who is carrying the entire mystic class on his back for this tactic against some very tough defenders who can be put on some very tough nodes which rule him out. We need more variability to choose specific counters. If Sersi is put on a bleed node, how is Sym gonna take that?

What can change?

Now, this is a long post raising a fair few concerns, I don't think every one of them needs to be addressed in order to improve it to where I'd be happy. I don't need everything to be perfect and for there to be no challenge. I really enjoy defence and attack tactics, I think they provide a great amount of variety and challenge from season to season. I don't think the defence tactic necessarily needs to be changed to be less restrictive right now, I would like it to be looked at (and I wouldn't complain if there was a cooldown added to the DOT being applied, or the % regen was decreased), but it doesn't need changing right now. Nor does the attack tactic, it doesn't need to be an automatic shut off, I was just highlighting one of the things that makes this global harder.

I think to fix this, there only really needs to be one change. There should be roughly an equal amount of attackers in each class compared to the defenders in the class they have advantage over. There are 4 mutant attackers for one skill defender, take a couple from there, there are 17 tech champs who can heal block, take a couple from the tech global attackers. Cosmic has 8 compared to 4 tech defenders, take a couple from there. If that causes issues with those who ranked, say Sunspot specifically for this tactic, then just add the mystic ones outright. This defence global is so restricting I'd say it's alright not having equal numbers of attackers and defenders. I mean, just look at a Galan boss, or Galan on hazard shift. The numbers of realistic counters are vanishingly small, and even with Sym Supreme, it's not a fun match up.

Add 4 or 5 mystic champions to the mystic global, they don't all need to be top options, but there are plenty to choose from with debuffs. Tigra, Claire, Diablo, Iron Fist, Sorcerer Supreme, Guillotene, Sasquatch, Voodoo, Man Thing, Rintrah, Wiccan etc. I just feel we need some more options to choose from. At the moment, it's too easy to place restricting match ups in my opinion. My view will refine over the season and perhaps I'll change my mind, new counters will come out that we'd previously not thought of, and the tactic will end up being fine. But as of now, with an off season where I've been treating the map as if the tactic worked (just in case anyone wanted to say "but how do you know because it's been bugged"), I can't help but feel that there's a big imbalance here.

And if nothing else, if this feedback doesn't affect the global this season and the next few at all - I hope at least it's remembered when the next tactic is designed. Thanks for reading if you got this far, I look forward to the (hopefully respectful) discussion about it.

TL:DR

There are too many cosmic global defenders compared to mystic attackers.
Conduit is much more restricting compared to miss-tic dispersion last season with energy damage, knock-down reliance and the 4 DOTs being essentially roadblocks, this makes it much harder to handle
sick and tired has conditions, compared to defiance just being active and shutting down the global

All of this means I think we should have a few more (mystic) attackers added to the attack global, to combat how restrictive it is.

Comments

  • ScottryanScottryan Posts: 434 ★★★
    Should have put the tldr at the beginning, lol

    I do agree tho. The lack of mystic champs is brutal
  • Carmel1Carmel1 Posts: 577 ★★★
    this tactic is awful. The fact that some defenders are road block to many attackers is just a poor design.
    even with the older tactic, if you used bad matchup you could still make it through by using boosts\revives or skill... but now, it's impossible.
    Many champs has energy damage (most mystics, some mutants and few others) and they are unusable vs this tactic.
    Add to that the fact that some defenders\nodes have limited number of counters, and that you need to build a team for entire path+minis...
    #NoFun
  • pseudosanepseudosane Posts: 2,558 ★★★★★
    Very well said @BitterSteel

    Covers all the points I would love to cover.
    I agree with every aspect that your discussion covered.

    I would like to add some further suggestions for kabam if possible.
    For the sick and tired global, you have a lot of attackers not playing the way they should/ are most effective in. For example, Havok is stuck to using Sp1s, and heavies mainly, Bishop HAS to spam sp1s, etc.
    Maybe have an addition to the global that "Placing debuffs EITHER 1) increases its duration by a flat amount Or 2) places passive debuffs that deal no damage but activate sick and tired.
    This will help a lot in the matchups going forward.
  • BitterSteelBitterSteel Posts: 8,860 ★★★★★
    Scottryan said:

    Should have put the tldr at the beginning, lol

    I do agree tho. The lack of mystic champs is brutal

    I debated it, but I didn’t want people to read the TLDR and rush to comment before reading the whole post haha
  • BitterSteelBitterSteel Posts: 8,860 ★★★★★

    Very well said @BitterSteel

    Covers all the points I would love to cover.
    I agree with every aspect that your discussion covered.

    I would like to add some further suggestions for kabam if possible.
    For the sick and tired global, you have a lot of attackers not playing the way they should/ are most effective in. For example, Havok is stuck to using Sp1s, and heavies mainly, Bishop HAS to spam sp1s, etc.
    Maybe have an addition to the global that "Placing debuffs EITHER 1) increases its duration by a flat amount Or 2) places passive debuffs that deal no damage but activate sick and tired.
    This will help a lot in the matchups going forward.

    Thanks for the kind words and suggestion!

    Yeah I found the difference between how defiance was just a straight away flat out counter, and how sick and tired has requirements to be odd. Especially with how much more limiting conduit is
  • FiiNCHFiiNCH Posts: 1,434 ★★★★★
    Agree with the points you made @BitterSteel - it feels like this wasn’t very well thought out by Kabam, unless they’re trying to push up the deaths in AW.
  • BitterSteelBitterSteel Posts: 8,860 ★★★★★
    FiiNCH said:

    Agree with the points you made @BitterSteel - it feels like this wasn’t very well thought out by Kabam, unless they’re trying to push up the deaths in AW.

    That’s an interesting point to be fair, does a harder tactic that leads to more deaths make war better?

    I’d say maybe, but only if the health potions loyalty aspect was addressed. If it wasn’t so punishing to die or lose health and have to heal up, then harder wars makes sense. But right now, it can cost 100k or more loyalty a war (or 10% of a 6* awakening gem) just to get through it.
  • TheBair123TheBair123 Posts: 5,338 ★★★★★
    Great write up! I did find it really interesting that there are little mystic global attackers, and it could really pose an issue
  • pseudosanepseudosane Posts: 2,558 ★★★★★
    One of the biggest thing about this global is its roadblock capability. It can seriously just flat out stop players without the exact counters. Very weird they came up with this design after having fairly decent globals ( i hated UA though)
  • jdeck59jdeck59 Posts: 961 ★★★★
    You must be retired to have this much time for the game
  • BitterSteelBitterSteel Posts: 8,860 ★★★★★

    One of the biggest thing about this global is its roadblock capability. It can seriously just flat out stop players without the exact counters. Very weird they came up with this design after having fairly decent globals ( i hated UA though)

    Completely agree, i always viewed globals as something to make the current match up tougher and you had the attack tactic to help with that, I just think it’s too restricting now.
  • FunnyDudeFunnyDude Posts: 66
    One main concern: Dr Doom on node-25, conduit-3.
  • pseudosanepseudosane Posts: 2,558 ★★★★★
    FunnyDude said:

    One main concern: Dr Doom on node-25, conduit-3.

    there are actually plenty of really bad fights. Some of the best matchups are non viable now
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