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:
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:
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.
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.
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.