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Buff-stacking. Yes or No?

DamoklesDamokles Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
Well, well, well here we are again!
Damokles here with the next question for the community:
Do you think that you should be able to stack buffs?

It could end up being incredibly OP, but it could also incentivise people to bring more true support classes like the bard (and depending on how he will end up in design, also the summoner).

I am imagining around 5 melee Bards synchronising in a raid to boost the damage dealers to the next level xD


  • bloodprophetbloodprophet Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    You mean stacking the same buff from multiple players on one player?
    I would say no to that. I think that would lead to mudflation of buffs and people finding ways to cheese the content.
    But I could be wrong and it might be a good thing.
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  • Wandering MistWandering Mist Moderator, Member, Founder, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    I can't think of an occasion where class-stacking is ever a good thing, plus buff stacking is incredibly hard to balance for raid content. Remember that when designing a raid encounter, the developers have to account for different raid compositions so if you allow for buff stacking, you have to assume that players will take advantage of that and adjust the raid difficulty accordingly. This will inevitably result in raids that require class stacking in order to complete.
  • DamoklesDamokles Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    @wanderingmist Well class stacking will occur (40 man raids cant be all unique main classes after all) :D
    But if you meant class/subclass combination stacking, then that wasnt what i meant ;D
    What i meant was for example that WoW currently only lets you have one buff from one person (one buff from a paladin etc), and i want that one class can just THROW buffs at you at once until you puke ;D
  • WololoWololo Member, Phoenix Initiative, Hero of the People, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    I think some should stack in intensity, some duration, and some not at all depending on balance. Just like at GW2 where you can stack vulnarabilaty and might boosting overal damage or damage taken, but buffs like swiftness/slow/cripple wich effect movement speed stack in duration. Next to that some class unique buffs seem to not stack at all. Imo it creates a real nice balance.
  • I'd rather buffs that give you the same bonuses just merge. Lets say Buff A gives you a large stat boost but it is on a short timer, Buff B from a different class gives you the same stat buff that is smaller but it has a longer timer.

    So instead of just stacking the game should give you the largest stat boost with the longest time, or something.

    I don't think buffs should just continue stacking because the devs just end up either having to nerf all the buffs or stop them from stacking down the road as raids become easier when people just over buff everyone.
  • AzathothAzathoth Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    I would prefer buffs not stacking at all. In 40 man raids there will likely be multiple bards giving out buffs, but those should apply to the closest number of allies that do not already have the buff. Overall I don't think Buff stacking will be a huge deal, but if you have an 8 man group with 3 bards and they keeping bouncing and multiplying and extending the duration of the same buff on the other players, that could get crazy over powered.
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  • MeowsedMeowsed Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    edited May 2019
    I like the idea of stacking buffs as long as Intrepid avoids a few abuse cases involving multiplicative or runaway stats.

    Disclaimer(s): None of this shit is new. Game designers have known all of this for decades. Which is kind of my point: Intrepid should be able to easily design around the problematic cases, and give us plenty of stacking buffs. Also, this is a long post. The TL;DR is everything before this, plus final paragraph I guess.

    Anywho, as far as I know, these are the pitfalls that need to be avoided:

    Multiplicative stat buffs get better the more there are. Things like [Power, Crit Chance, Crit Damage, and Attack Speed] get insanely strong if you have a lot of all four stats. (Note: This is a made-up example, but I'm going the distance with it.) So there should be limits on buffs that affect some (but not all) of those stats. Power is just a basic additive damage stat, so Power buffs can be infinitely stack-able, and lots of characters can have Power buffs on their abilities. Crit Chance buffs should be more rare, and they shouldn't stack (only the strongest buff counts), especially since Crit procs tend to be super important. As for Crit Damage, it's just a bad stat. I don't think any class should be able to give Crit Damage buffs to others. Crit Damage should probably only change for specific abilities that are meant as Big Attacks That Make Big Red Numbers With "!!!!" For Emphasis. And attack speed should just have a hard cap of like +25%, for many gameplay reasons besides buff-stacking -- animations and latency especially become problematic if you let attack speed stack too high. Also, it turns out, doing everything faster is really fucking powerful in general. But, limited in this way, it's acceptable to have some temporary/single-target Crit or Attack Speed buffs, while also having a lot of stacking Power buffs being thrown all over the place. Letting +10% damage stack ten times (for +100% damage total) is okay, as long you don't also have 100% crit chance and +200% crit damage and double the attack speed all being funneled onto one overpowered character (1200% DPS in total).

    Percentage buffs (like +5% fire damage) are, by nature, multiplicative. So they should be rare, and only the strongest one (for each particular effect) should count. Note however, that there is more room in the game for these kinds of buffs if they are all more specific. You can have +10% fire damage, +10% slashing damage, and +5% damage from behind, and all of them can be useful because they all trigger in different situations/on different attacks.

    Runaway stats have the opposite of diminishing returns: the more of that stat you get, the better that stat becomes. Take armor for example: This is a stupid way to formulate armor (no game does this): Every point of armor gives 1% damage reduction. 10 Armor means you take 90% damage, 50 armor means you take 50% damage AND OH LOOK NOW YOUR INVINCIBLE WITH 100 ARMOR HOW DID THAT HAPPEN. (However, I think it's acceptable to let DR stack like this for temporary buffs, if you look at it from a flat damage-mitigated perspective. But it's not okay for permanent armor/buffs.) Even if you make armor stack multiplicatively, like Damage Taken = 99% ^ Armor, then you still end up with the multiplicative stats/buffs problem. This is why armor/DR formulas tend to be complicated, with the design goal being that armor stacking works the same as HP stacking. If they do that, then you can stack all the armor buffs you want.

    Now the thing to focus on in all of these examples is the marginal value of each buff, that is, how much the buff is worth when combined with the other buffs. If the first buff is worth roughly the same as the 2nd, 3rd, 10th buff, then there is no problem. Then you can stack buffs on one character, or spread them around the team, or just forget the buffs smash more skulls yourself and it doesn't matter; each tactic nets you the same amount of damage (roughly). What matters then, is focusing your buffs on the targets that need them the most (to survive) or using them opportunistically when you know an ally is getting ready to make a big attack. And if all this is done right, having one or two support characters in a team of 8 is probably optimal, but having none or having 6 is probably okay too (assuming there is at least 1 guy doing damage who can receive all the buffs.)
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  • NoaaniNoaani Member, Intrepid Pack
    Buff stacking can be a tricky thing.

    There need to be a number of controls, especially in regards to 40 man raids.

    To me, one of the easiest way to control it is via the class system.

    Lets assume a fictional buff that all tanks can cast on their group. It adds 100 HP to everyone. If that tank then goes tank/tank, the buff adds 100 physical mitigation to that HP gain, if the tank goes tank/mage that buff gains 100 spell resistance on top of the HP.

    In a group with multiple tank/X characters all with this buff, each player gains the HP boost only once, but gains the additional benefit of each different class. So in the group above, each player would receive 100 HP, 100 mitigation and 100 spell resistance.

    Another way to curb buff stacking is to have four tiers of buffs. Have buffs that only affect the caster, have buffs that only affect one target, have buffs that only affect the casters group and have buffs that are raid wide. The fewer number of people a buff affects, the more powerful it is. This opens up the potential for multiples of any given buff class within one raid, as it would (design dependent) be the individual group of 8 players within a raid of 40 that stand to gain the most from the buffing class.
  • AzryilAzryil Member, Leader of Men, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    I think buff stacking leads to some pretty janky gameplay. I think if they plan on having multiple support classes each class should handle different utilities(buffs/debuffs)
  • mcstackersonmcstackerson Member, Phoenix Initiative, Royalty, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    I'm also against buff stacking. It's something that can get out of hand and i'd imagine it would force them to make individual buffs weaker to help balance. I'd rather buffs be stronger but not stack.
  • jodypsejodypse Member
    Buffs are inherently magic in nature though some can be motivational or equipment based instead.
    I think each type of buff should only count the strongest one as actually giving benefit to the character(s) while any weaker ones with longer duration are still active in the background and will be kicking in once the stronger ones with shorter duration have expired.
    In effect a +10% Fire Damage buff would not have any effect on a character already under the influence of a +15% Fire Damage buff. Think of it as having two torches, both on fire but with different fuel bases, one burning at 800°C and the other at 1'200°C. If you put them next to each other their total temperature together will still not exceed 1'200°C.
  • seaberseaber Member, Intrepid Pack
    leonerdo wrote: »
    I like the idea of stacking buffs as long as Intrepid avoids a few abuse cases involving multiplicative or runaway stats.

    Disclaimer(s): None of this shit is new. Game designers have known all of this for decades. Which is kind of my point: Intrepid should be able to easily design around the problematic cases, and give us plenty of stacking buffs. Also, this is a long post. The TL;DR is everything before this, plus final paragraph I guess.

    Anywho, as far as I know, these are the pitfalls that need to be avoided:

    Multiplicative stat buffs
    Percentage buffs
    Runaway stats

    You seem to have misunderstood additive and multiplicative buffs. There are loads of places you can read up on them if you google.
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  • MeowsedMeowsed Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    @seaber I'm pretty confident in my knowledge on the subject. Unless you'd like to tell me specifically what you think I got wrong, then I'm just gonna continue on with that confidence.
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  • murummurum Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    I prefer no buff stacking, in regards to large group raids where multiple of the same roles occur having no buff stacking allows for those roles to tweak their builds to bring different utilities into the raid, it's what will bring diversity and creative builds into the game imo. other than that i would prefer buff overwrites to be around(stronger buff overwrites) and/or duration stacking only(probably with diminishing returns)
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