A fan on the EU forums brought up the issue of Toughness meaning nothing in higher Greater Rifts, and after a few replies brought up Pylons as a massive difference maker in Grifts, a Blue jumped in and exacta-quoted another Blue post by Grimiku from last week. This one, about randomness in the game and how it can be too much sometimes, ala Conduit shrines making or breaking Grift record runs.
I’m not going to quote the whole Blue again, even with a different author, but I thought the OP’s initial point deserved some
discussion. The issue has come up recently on the podcast and in other conversations I’ve seen — the fact that Toughness becomes largely irrelevant past about Grift 40. The reason is that Monster damage is so high at that point that almost anything nasty, including common and all-but-undodgeable Elite Modifiers like Jailer or Thunderstorm, will one-shot most characters. This causes players to push all their gear bonuses to the offensive side of the scale, and strongly impacts which classes/builds are the most viable.
And the toughness scaling issue is part of the reason that melee characters are at such a big disadvantage on higher Grifts, and why Hardcore characters, the best of whom can clear GR 30 about as fast as Softcore characters, are almost unseen past GR35.
A few weeks ago we posted a video showing a 150k HPS Wizard with under 3 million Toughness beating GR38 (in softcore, obviously). That seemed crazy at the time, but in retrospect… he had the right strategy, he was just utilizing it 5 or 6 GRifts too soon. Playing with radically too little toughness is a novelty below GR40, but above that level it’s pretty much the law of the land.
So what do you guys think? Does the ever-scaling difficulty of GRifts mean they’ll always be dominated by ranged characters? How could the game, or toughness, be changed to even things out? Better passives or gear bonuses for the tank classe? Lowered monster melee damage? Boosting the 30% melee char damage reduction up to 50%… or higher? Or just introduce 2 new ranged chars in the next expansion and say to hell with balance past GR35?