Experience Woes: DPS vs. Leechers


Not everyone enjoys a party.

Not everyone enjoys a party.

The problem of players gearing for experience gain rather than DPS, and thus depending on other players to do the work while they profit, has been growing since RoS was released, and seems to be coming to a head. Thanks to the power creep in Patch 2.2, characters can gear to do huge damage… or not. And that’s a problem, since the “not” is able to score far more exp in games.

Fans have taken notice and are complaining about this issue, and the Blues have replied, with slightly more than platitudes. Experience Woes: DPS vs. Leechers:

No one wants to play DPS. Why would they when they can gain double more more XP as a support class?
Tyvalir: Thanks for bringing this up, BeerLeague, and thanks to everyone who’s added to the constructive discussion in this thread. This issue is actually connected with the ability to perma-stun enemies, which we’ll be looking to remove in an upcoming patch.

In fact, the ability to perma-stun enemies is one of the reasons support builds in Greater Rifts are able to gear heavily toward experience gain while ignoring defensive stats. Regardless of the specific changes we make to stun skills, our goal will be for defensive affixes on gear to become more valuable. This should bring the leveling speed of players using support builds more in line with those using DPS builds.

(Also, in case you missed it, we previously mentioned our goal of addressing perma-stun builds in our last Tavern Talk livestream. At the time, Wyatt mentioned that we’re “not cool” with these builds, and would be making changes to them.)

Perma-stun needs to be fixed, but it’s only part of the issue here. After all, gearing to inflict perma-CC requires gear nearly as specialized as high DPS gear. The real problem is when players gear so they’re gaining huge exp with Cain’s or Born’s set, Leoric’s or Hellfire Ring, Ruby in hat, etc, and that comes at the expense of providing DPS or support. Doing this with your friends and taking turns playing as the DPS or the leech is fine, but when people clog up public games wanting to provide “support” while all geared up in +EXP equipment, other players feel ripped off.

The usual suggestion to fix this is to add up all the extra exp and then share the bonus throughout the party. That solution has drawbacks as well; after all, a well-geared char can add some exp and still be the strongest in the group, so why should they share their profit? Other suggestions are that exp is awarded depending on damage dealt, but of course that would completely ruin things for real support chars and make carries or Power Levels impossible.

As always, making/balancing video games is hard. What do you guys think should be done about this issue?

The OP’s post had some good details beyond what the Blue quoted:

TLDR: XP gains need to be shared evenly between all party members the same way MF was shared way back in early Vanilla.

The Situation

For those unaware, the current farming meta revolves around around speed 42-46 grift runs in a four man party with two (or three) DPS characters (usually DH, Barb or wiz) and two (or one) support character. The DPS characters, particularly DH, are capable of about 30b XP per hour. The support characters are easily able to double this amount and in some cases almost triple it.

The Problem

There are actually two problems. The first of which is that this creates group tension at higher levels. No one wants to play DPS. Why would they when they can gain double more more XP as a support class? It also creates arguments in groups. I can not count how many monks I have run with who try and justify not using Palm or FoAT in groups. Or WDs who think that running crown and borns sword are superior choices. Or Saders who don’t even have enough CDR to do their job.

Outside of seasons this has slightly been eliminated by the trend that Zdps or support brings the keys and the DPS merely recycles. However, this is not the meta in seasons and is infuriating beyond belief. I sure has hell to not want to share my keys with someone who is there simply so we have a 4th.

Don’t get me wrong, support has their place and can be fun to play when played and geared correctly. However, having a meta that encourages straight leaching is not enjoyable and is exactly the same situation that Blizzard didn’t like with MF.

The second problem that arises is from Paragon power. A person min/maxing that knows how to play and gear their class can currently go from Paragon 0 to paragon 800 in about 200-250 hours (only averages around 10-15b per hour) on seasons while playing a DPS class. Zdps can do that in about half the time. Sub 800 paragon comes quickly and easily no matter the class you play and there is very little power spike at all between 600-800. After 800 though, players can amass a huge amount of power that allows them to much more easily complete higher level Grifts solo and in groups. For those who are unaware, the difference between paragon 800 and 1000 is massive.

Let me be clear, I have no problem with people who spend time in the game being rewarded with power. That is good game design. However, in order to get these paragon levels players are ONLY able to play zpds support characters if they hope to achieve the goal in any reasonable amount of time.

This season, paragon 1000 will be achieved in less than 300 hours of play for Zdps classes if played efficiently. A DPS class player who does not play support will take 800+ hours.

The Solution

Balance XP between all party members. If one member has a 50% bonus, another has a 60% bonus and two others have 200% bonus, simply average the bonus XP and apply it to the party so all members would enjoy a 127% increase to XP.

This fixes the need to play ZDPS as the only way to gain XP at an efficient rate past 800 and also helps solve the leacher problem in groups as groups would strive to clear as fast as possible instead of focusing solely on XP for themselves.

This will NOT decrease the need for support classes in groups as they will still be wanted for their mob control and their overall net XP gain to groups.

Peace

Thoughts?

Comments

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  1. If you are serious about paragon then yeah a leech class is optimal but personally I enjoy playing the DPS even though I have a leechsader already built. There are tons of grifting communities and I never have any issue playing either when I want to and getting a group. So I am not sure what the major complaint is.

    • The complain is we shouldn’t play the game for just for paragon points but for pushing higher greater rifts and if i have zdps idiot in my party who is not doing his job and i am dying because of him then you have lot of people getting pissed.

  2. Maybe it is time to require players to actually be damaging an enemy to receive the party buffs?

  3. Do not forgett the Wizards new “Tal Rasha Perma frost specc”, looks little like the old CM-specc.
    http://www.diablofans.com/builds/53721-grift-55-solo-melee-tal-rasha-perma-lockdown

    This specc is also a CC specc, you can perma frost many of your mobbs. But even do a huge DPS.
    But the CC is not so effective like the zDPS WD. But that is a nice combination with a cc perma frost and a really big DPS. It’s greate and have one of this Wizard in a party, both for the CC and DPS 🙂

  4. “…a well-geared char can add some exp and still be the strongest in the group, so why should they share their profit?”

    This is your problem here.

  5. “As always, making/balancing video games is hard.”

    It’s only hard for Blizzard because they insist on keeping it online only for PC, thus forcing them to referee every single aspect of the game. This is something that Blizzard does not excel at. This is something that Blizzard has NEVER excelled at. IMO Blizzard’s strongest point used to be developing great core games, that could then be modded/hacked/tourneyed & have like minded players build niche communities around said games. Nowadays Blizzard’s strongest point is marketing to the masses…

  6. Reward experience for both support and DPS roles. If you damage a lot then get you a large XP reward for doing that (no XP gear required, you simply get more of a percentage of the monster kill XP), if a player is purely crowd controlling then give them a smaller share of the XP (because they can do their job and still wear things like Borns or Cains and be effective in lower Grifts).

    If a player sits in town and does neither the whole rift, they get nothing at all, as does players who just follow the group around doing nothing but leeching XP. Sure allow power leveling (normal XP to level 70) but paragon points should be earned by playing, not sitting AFK in town or following a well geared group around.

  7. Maybe they just need to admit that leveling is a boring, old mechanic? You can gate content, player power and gear w/ a better system than simply experience points. How about objectives? Achievements, conquests, etc. Paragon still pretty much sucks, especially gold find.

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