Concerning THP talents

First off, this thread is not about the level 5 talents for THP gains but for the level 30 active skills talents.

The question is as simple as controverse: Should (all) THP talents stay in the game as they currently are?

I didn’t mind so far but I read recently a comment in the forum (in the wake of the change for Ready for Action) that to many THP talents can make the game once again easier as intended (like so many other talents or traits which never got properly adjusted). This is especially noteworthy if you have two (or more) careers with you which provide team THP. To give a short overview of possible arguments:

  • Keep them (all):
    • Talents are simple but effective
    • Talents are time-gated
    • Player has to sacrifice other boni in order to get the THP
    • Players are used to swim in THP so that they can parry attacks with their face instead of the sword in their hand
  • Remove them (all)
    • Talents while being effective are uninspired and could be replaced with more interesting mechanis
    • Talents allow for overly sloppy gameplay especially if multiple THP talents are at work

There are probably more arguments on both sides why to keep or remove some or all of these talents. I just want to shine light on one more argument.
Active skills are trump cards, they can turn the tide of the battle, help to overcome helpless situations and save your life in crucial moments. This is their intend and their design, to give you power for a very short amount of time.
However, THP talents (and to a lesser extent cool down reduction talents) differ fundamentally from this approach. Why is this so? Because their effect stays even after your active skill has been used. As example: 25 % Damage Reduction for 10 seconds is exactly that, less damage when getting hit in these 10 seconds. If you get hit after 11 seconds? Tough luck. Same can be said about damage talents. They give you a boost for some seconds. Every enemy appearing afterwards has nothing to fear though (other than a murderous pack of “heroes”). Same can be said about boost talents. A few seconds and your crit bonus has vanished. Not so THP talents. Even after 20, 30, 40 seconds (if occasionally hitting an enemy) the effect of THP talents still lingers. In some cases their effects lingers until the active skill (or a similar active skill) is used anew. That makes stacking THP by active skill talents extremely easy and stronger than comparable talents.

If this is a good or a bad thing, everyone has to decide for himself. So how many THP talents are currently in the game and how do they differ from each other (I will probably forget one or two):

Tier 1 - Team THP talents:

  • Mercenary - Morale Boost: Probably the strongest variation of team THP talents. Has a far reach, circular spreading from Mercenary. Has a low cooldown of 90 seconds which can further be reduced and is default of Mercenary’s active skill, so no matter what he chooses, he will always have the effect. Removing the THP talent from Mercenary would need a major rework of the whole Mercenary talent 30 row.
  • Unchained - Bomb Balm: Similar to Mercenary, has an okay reach, circular spreading from the player. Has however a longer cooldown of 120 seconds and is a specific choice instead of being default to the skill. Can however be abused by usage of Burning Dregs to deliver team THP in a minute tact. Talent is okay for Unchained and can be explained within her identity. However, removing it would work if replaced by a talent of similar thought which is more interesting. Suggestion for this has been made.
  • Ranger Veteran - Smoke Health Buff: The most limited of the team THP talents. Does regenerate THP in a slower manner and needs the player to stand inside the smoke bomb for the time. Has an equally long cooldown to Bomb Balm, however without talent-provided means to shorten it so less abusable. Does come with additional benefit of increased attack speed though. From the three team THP talents the least “problematic”.

Tier 2 - Solo THP talents:

  • Pyromancer - Bonded Flame: As far as I remember right now the single career which is left with a solo THP talent. Comes with a short cooldown of one minute but only counts for Pyromancer itself. Is still rather uninspired but this is for the whole of the Pyromancer level 30 talents. Due to low health very effective and sometimes “needed”. However, Pyromancer could really benefit from more interesting active skill talents which would favour a removal.

Tier 3 - THP gaining talents as side-effect:

Depending on how pedantic one will be, this group can be even larger (for example by including the increased attack speed of Slayer and Zealot). However, for the moment I just want to single out two careers for this:

  • Grail Knight Blessed Blade and Shade Infiltrate: Both talents themselves do not grant THP. However, both careers provide THP on kill and have a high, single target damage active skill which counts as melee attack. It is basically impossible to not gain THP while using the active skill making these active skill stronger than similar counterparts for ranged careers (mainly Locked and Loaded on Bounty Hunter, and no BH gaining THP for that is not an adequate solution). This comes with very low cooldowns of 40-60 seconds and the ability to kill at least two elites per active skill. So basically, with both classes swimming in THP is quite easy (Zealot and Slayer do too but for slightly other reasons).

So, this is more or less a listing of the different tiers and talents of THP talents. As you see, this is quite a lot already. I don’t expect major changes to these talents, especially in the current BBB. However, it may be worth a discussion if this much THP should be provided to the player or not.

Like I said, I didnt notice much before and only noticed after reading a comment. However, with the possible abuse of Burning Dregs and the newly gained Ranger Veteran talent there is a significant increase in available team THP talents. For the sake of discussion I neither advocate for the removal of these talents nor for keeping them as they are.

Did I forget something?

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Personally i think it would be good to just remove ultimate talents. Ultimates are already strong and unique for every career, but this is probably only me holding this opinion.

To be less extreme, i don’t have an issue with 1 career having temp hp, but i do have an issue with stacking temphp, which enables alot of careers. Especially bypasses the downside of using heat weapons (sienna). Pyro on it’s own with temp hp is already strong i would say, doesn’t need to be able to stack with merc.
I would also remove it on uc, as it enables her to use range more, especially now with her new hp to cdr talent.

I don’t really have an issue with shade’s or gk’s being able to get alot of temp by using their ultimate. It is strong and ‘free temp’ aswell. I’ll have to think about that one.

Overall alot of ‘nerfs’ have already been made. Ranged cdr, which affected pyro alot (was needed) so she couldn’t keep spamming ranged and bonded flame; temp hp decay (even though on higher difficulties you’ll most likely always be fighting enemies with little downtime).

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The big issue for me is not that hit-trading is possible, but that it’s easy and simple for a lot of high dps careers. Ideally it should require active decision making and smart positioning to decide which hits you’ll take and which you won’t. Currently though, GK, Slayer and Zealot can all face tank mindlessly. This applies a bit to Shade as well, but not to the extent of the other three (still has it’s own other problems though).

How about this - gaining temporary hp increases the damage the player takes by 10% for the next 4s. This only applies to temp hp gained from the the first talent row’s temp hp talents.

I would personally shake up the theme and replace heal share with a unique talent for each career. Healshare could be changed into a necklace trait with a slightly stronger effect. Here’s some rushed and probably imbalanced ideas.

Ideas
Kruber
  • Mercenary - Cleave one additional shielded enemy.
  • Huntsmen - Headshotting enemies outside of your weapon’s normal (before Huntsmen’s passive Poacher’s Mark is calculated) effective range increases your melee damage against enemies of that armour type by 10% for 10s.
  • Foot Knight - Enemies you stagger stay staggered for 0.25s longer.
  • Grail Knight - Deal 7.5% more damage to enemies that aren’t staggered (call it Knight’s Honour or something). Excludes bosses and bombs.
Bardin
  • Ranger Veteran - Tagging ammo, pots or healing items increases the amount of ammo restored/health gained/pot duration for the tagged item by 10%. Or allies picking up an item tagged by the RV increases RV’s range damage by 7.5% for 15s.
  • Slayer - No idea. Any suggestions?
  • Ironbreaker - While Gromril Armour is up, Guard can no longer be lowered by enemy pushes and the IB can not be moved by enemy attacks. While it’s down, the IB cannot be interrupted while attacking (could be called “Immovable and Unstoppable”).
Kerillian
  • Waystalker - Letting loose an arrow while next to an enemy increases both attack speed and movement speed by 5% for 5s.
  • Handmaiden - Increase dodge count by 2 and decreases the movement speed penalty while blocking by 15% (weapons that have a penalty smaller than 15% simply have no movement penalty while blocking with this talent, they won’t make HM move faster while blocking than while not blocking).
  • Shade - No longer deal additional damage when backstabbing enemies. Instead, enemies you have backstabbed take 20% more damage from allies. Does stack with other effects. (Not sure about this one. I haven’t thought of anything else yet).
Saltzpyre
  • WHC - If the WHC tags an enemy they focus on the WHC for 4s. Cooldown of 10s. They can stay aggroed on the WHC after 4s but they’ll be subject to the normal aggro mechanics.
  • Bounty Hunter - Decrease weapon spread by 25% and decreases the amount of aim punch Ratlings and friendly fire cause by 25%.
  • Zealot - Probably needs a rework before this is even thought about.
Sienna
  • Battle Wizard - Being near burning enemies while not blocking increases the burn’s dot damage by 10% (boring I know, if you can think of anything better please do).
  • Pyro - Critical hits increase your crit chance by 1% per crit. Stacks up to 5%.
  • Unchained - All attacks deal at least a small amount of burn damage. Overridden by innate burn effects and does not stack with them.

These are all just rough ideas of course.

Temp Talents
  • Crit/headshot - Headshot only, but buffed to three temp hp on headshot or left as is.
  • On Kill - When an enemy dies, the amount of temp hp a player receives scales of off the damage dealt by said player. No longer requires landing the killing blow. Nerf the amount recieved to compensate. Somehow make Skaven hordes scale with it better than they do now.
  • On cleave - Very small nerf to the amount gained.
  • Stagger - Not an expert on this one. Certain weapons do give too much with it though, like the Fire Sword.
  • All careers get access to all temp talents (problematic, as on crit/headshot could be very powerful on Zealot + Rapier, Slayer + Dual Axes, Handmaiden + Dual Daggers or Pyro + Crowbill. Needs to be thought about/discussed).
  • The idea of making temp talents into weapon traits is also potentially a good one that has been brought up by other players. Decent competition for Swift Slaying anyway.

I have no opinion on the ultimates, as I haven’t thought about them enough yet.

In my opinion THP is the core problem behind all the imballance in the game, reballancing the weapons is just trying to compensate for all the problems THP causes.

Every class can generate such huge amounts of THP so consistently that small hits dont matter, 90% of the time, the thing that kills you is a big spike of damage.

We should be afraid of huge swarms of minor enemies just as we are afraid of overheads from elites. as it stands, swarms are just a speedbump, so what if you get nipped by one? one second later you’re on full hp again.

This means that defensive crowd clearing builds arent all that important, why build around the speedbump when you should be building against the elites who can actually hurt you. Why be defensive when you can regain hp faster by being agressive?

You can see this reflected in the weapon ballance- All the buffs went to defensive or crowd clearing specialists, they got buffed by making them stronger vs elites.

The current meta is raw killing power over everything else, being a glass cannon isnt a risk/reward, because again you can heal so fast.

You can see this in the ballance between Zealot on Unchained- both are framed as high risk/reward bruisers. Zealot is wildly more tanky than Unchained because he is a THP machine who fears nothing, Unchained uses a different resource and truly fears smaller enemies, as she cannot so easily shrug off their presence.

My solution is not simple however; THP should always be draining imo, no ‘grace period’ where it remains as long as you generate it (even if this means a slightly slower drain speed). Healing of all kinds should be harder to come by and weaker overall. This will make attrition scarier- small hits from trashrats will have an affect over minutes of gameplay rather than over seconds.
To compensate, I think damage would need to be a little lower across the board, otherwise the difficulty spike will upset the community too much.

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Disclaimer: sorry for a rant, I know the topic discusses particular THP Ultimates, glossed over it at the time, if I’m honest.
I’ve touched on the topic of THP recently and didn’t find a better place for a text wall.

I think the core problem lies with the raw design of the game. As a precursor I’ll mention their design philosophy, and although I tried, I couldn’t find the particular video, but I distinctly remember them mentioning general combat categories.

They’ve talked about having Smiters (only remember this term from the video, the rest might be different), Mainstays and the like as a core division between playstyles.
“Man-thing hit slow, but hard”, “Man-thing hit often, but weak”, “Man-thing hit a lot, but slower”, “Man-thing hit weak, but controls”, etcetera.
Correlates perfectly with the intended enemy design.
“A lot of rats, but small and weak”, “A big and strong rat, but few”, “The biggest rat, but rare”.

The THP Talents were present and tried to fullfill a supporting role to define the above.
“Critical hits - Health”, “Kills - Health”, “Defeat boss - Health”.
They were very few, only two of them were useable and they got very elaborate with time. But what also changed is their main design:
Careers had 5 rows (and 3 columns), THP was on the 4th row. As you progressed through the game, you conquered new difficulties, and as you approached Legend you were given a tool to adapt to a difficulty spike. You had no concept of temporary health as you went through the early game.

Amongst the many blights and plights of the ranged meta were the THP Talents that triggered on ranged interactions, and so they were toned down and tied to melee only.
Yet they were also moved to the first row. Instead of a stepping stone on your path it became the foundation, and with it stems the overaching problem.

The game Fatshark developed and envisioned ended up way more complicated and nuanced than planned for. There is no strong denotion of Horde, Armor, Boss and Special, there is no extreme career specialization to deal with each one neither, but for exactly this reason things like 1H (human) Sword exist.

  • On one hand you have very varied playstyles and compositions. You are not required to metagame the drafting stage and can roll with 4 tanks or 4 damage dealers, each has drawbacks but neither lacks fundamental tools to deal with task at hand.

  • On the other hand the game shifted towards mix and match of all the mechanics, you’re not punished hard enough for not bringing a particular specialization, which deprives certain depth of teamwork and smoothes the gameplay loop, for worse or the better (this is not relevant to Cata+ and beyond, but it’s not because the game becomes harder by virtue of additional depth like new movesets, and you’re not required to bring a balanced specialization roster, you’re just inclined to pick the overall best things in the meta to deal with sheer density of it all).

Conclusion:
Temporary health was an overly strict solution to the difficulty curve of a very fluid game. But instead of rethinking the idea of the difficulty curve, they just doubled down on THP and made it fundamental. It works to a degree, but it also makes the game a completely different experience from what it once could be, for better or for worse.
There is no elegant solution for THP. You either introduce a new solution to the problem it covers, or you tinker with it for each individual career, career talent and weapon until you reach an acceptable compromise. But still a compromise.
You’d just end up tightening the bandaid harder on a wound that needs to be cauterized.

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I like the idea of removing the grace period for THP decay. It could be an indirect way to tone down absurd THP generating machines like Merc.

I think THP is giving more options how we can play, the best example is blocking during reviving, it was considered a bug and for short period of time it was removed but it was so good for cluches and people made riot. Trading THP is important because it lets you eliminate more important threats at the cost of your HP.
In case of Merc and Ranger they are support classes so it is OK to have them. Unchained could get something else because Burning Dregs is good and you can use ult more often. You can always tweak values but removing good options from talents can make builds boring.
I think both GK and Slayer need good THP generation becouse of lack range options. Shade on the other hand can be very tanky which is not good for assasyn themed class.
Pyromancer is ok and the issue is that her ult is too random and needs fixing in the first place.
I think that the issue more important considering this talents are mostly what you could exchange it with. One good example is RV bomb on ult talent that is both usefull and interesting.

There is too much THP in the game. It makes it too easy. I liked the fact that THP on ranged kill and most THP on ult talents were eliminated from the game (except for Huntsman and pyromancer) back in a previous patch. I agree with the principle behind THP on melee kill - you only get the benfit of THP if you put yourself in a dangerous situation. No reward without risk.

I think merc should have the only team-wide THP on ult talent. This is the core of his identity as a support class. Giving similar ults to unchained and ranger veteran, just makes mercernary less unique and gives a team multiple bites at the THP on ult cherry providing a massive safety blanket for bad play. I think ults should really make different classes distinct. I would like to see the RV THP ult replaced with something that synergizes with potion use and unchained ults give her massive power boosts or damage taking boosts to reinforce her tanky and damage-dealing nature.

The Pyromancer Bonded with Flame and Huntsman Burst of Enthusiasm talents are less of a problem because they only provide free personal THP, but I’d like to see them replaced with something more creative and that reinforces their class identity.

As I said above, for the RV I would like the THP ult replaced with something that benefits potion use (like permanent team-wide or area effect proxy for potions the RV consumes or give the RV 2 uses of each potion); but, if Fatshark want to keep the talent as one connected to healing I would like it to be different than the Mercs: maybe, everyone in the cloud generates 100% more THP from melee for the duration of the ult - this would still require people to work for their THP; or, all healing effects are increased by 30% in the smoke cloud - so if you consume a healing potion you get more green HP, and also players get more THP on kills - this might be way too powerful when people use healshare but it means that at least one person can’t generate THP.

4 Likes

I really like this.
Emboldening Vapors — Activating Disengage consumes the currently held potion and applies it’s effect to allies in Bardin’s smoke.
The name is absolutely not stolen from Darkest Dungeon.

5 Likes

Thats an inspired idea, if a bit overpowered.

The bomb variant gives you one free bomb use, wheras this gives you THREE extra potion uses. A more reasonable ballance would be for it to give a significantly reduced version of the potions affect to the party.

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Which isnt to much of a problem for speed and strength potions. However, concentration potions are broken in that case as it will reset everyone’s active skill. Double broken if RV himself is affected. Team Cooldown regeneration …

At one point I should start answering posts :stuck_out_tongue:

Just to be clear because of the wording. You mean team THP active skills, right? Not all active skills.

Yea, Pyromancer THP skill feels nonsensical. A filler because she is rather boring. It should be replaced with something interesting for a change. As for Unchained, I think it is interesting that she has a ranged build and thematically Bomb Balm can somehow be explained. But I am bothered by the Burning Dregs synergy. One way or another it should be removed. Changing Bomb Balm to something more interesting in the same thematic vein would be one possibilty.

Honestly, I have trouble even noticing this. Probably because of the decay stop as soon as you hit something. On the higher difficulties you are not decaying that much.

I think it makes sense to replace some of the THP talents. It is a bit of a shame for RV as he just got it but maybe we can find something. A suggestion to build upon has been made here. For Unchained a suggestion has also been made.

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Remove the talent row for ultimates, aka the last one. Just keep the unique ultimate from the career.

Im not a fan of this.

Whilst some ability talents are boring/overpowered, the row opens up really important alternate playstyles- you can change a lot about a career by tweaking its core ability.

4 Likes

Yea its just my extreme opinion.
Don’t wanna make this about that, it was mostly a ‘side point’.

I’d be happy to discuss in another thread if u like

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