Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Global Agenda’s Design Failure: DPS Medics

EDIT: Please note that this post was written before Global Agenda 1.3 was released. This was before solo PvE was possible. The open world did not exist when this post was written. Please keep that in mind. (In other words, this post may be irrelevant.)

gaevizaer In Global Agenda, Medic is the only class that can be a dedicated healer. Robotics can plant medicrates that heal nearby allies for a fixed amount every second or two, and they can buff allies’ damage through planting sensors or defense through planting forcefields between allies and enemies. Medics can buff as well as robotics, if not better, and they can heal other characters anywhere on the map.

Every class in Global Agenda has three talent trees. All classes have a “balance” tree that provides general improvements like a bigger power pool, faster power recharge, and extra defense. The other two trees are specific to each class. The medic has a healing tree and a poison tree.

The poison tree is a design failure for three reasons.

Reason #1: Poison Medics throw off Team Balance

In Global Agenda, you always play with a team. You play 4-man instances if you’re doing PvE, and 10v10 matches if you’re doing PvP or AvA (Agency vs. Agency; conquest).

Global Agenda balances teams based on class composition. Each team will have roughly the same number of medics (there may be one more on either team). If each team has three medics, but one side has two poison medics and one healer while the other has three healers, you’ll notice that, if skill is even between the teams, the team with the healers will always win.

Keeping allies alive in Global Agenda is paramount—an ally waiting 10 seconds to respawn and running back to the fight location is not helping his team for as much as thirty seconds per death. Perhaps the medic-spec imbalance would not be an issue if poison spec medics could do significant damage, but poison medics are easily foiled because they are reliant on poisons and debuffs that any heal-specced medic can dispell with the press of a button once per minute.

Poison medics act to spoil team balance. Especially when all PvP is through pick-up groups (you can only have a 4-man group when queuing for PvP, but teamsize is 10), a DPS medic takes away a surprising amount of utility from his team because others cannot adjust to fill the roles needed—only medics can fill the role of dedicated healer.

Reason #2: Poison Medics are Redundant

Other classes have DoTs. Other classes are better at doing damage. Why let a support class spec so that it can do comparable damage to classes that are meant to do damage primarily? Other classes do what poison medics do—everything except healing on demand.

EDIT: And other classes can use off-hands and certain weapons that do the same kinds of debuffs that poisons allow. If anything, the Recon class should use poisons. Otherwise, giving medics the ability to counter medics is poor design, considering other classes can just shoot the medic who is healing and kill it before moving on to the teammate he was earlier healing.

Reason #3: There is No Soloing

Why do you need a DPS tree in the medic class if there is no reason the medic should be using it? Damage trees became popular among support and healing classes in other MMOs because healers needed some way to solo so they would be casual-friendly—but you never solo in Global Agenda!

The Third Tree Should be “Buffs”

HiRez should remove the poison tree and replace it with a buff-centered tree that gives  bonuses to different buffs’ durations and magnitudes. A buff-centric medic supports other characters and will be able to heal effectively at any time.

I’m not against medics having a few offensive off-hands—but allowing the medic to essentially substitute his or her entire healing capacity in favor of dealing damage has too many downsides and almost no upside.

[EDIT: I'm arguing that medics shouldn't be encouraged to DPS through dedicating an entire tree to it. I am NOT saying that medics should be unable to defend themselves. Medics should be able to do reasonable damage to foes, but they should not be encouraged to eschew the point of their existence, healing, in order to do a little more damage.]

59 comments:

Anonymous said...

You're wrong for the most part. You failed to actually look at what poison does. It shuts down opposing medics. When specced in it smacks all received healing and protection. While it's easy enough for a medic to help his teammates his serious self heals and only self cure are offhand dependent. The poison medic is the best suited class/spec to destroy an opposing medic. Maybe it is a little silly for a medic to counter medics but most other classes are very effective against their opposite spec.

Granted I wish that the matchmaker factored in spec but a good medic regardless of spec recognizes what they should be bringing into a fight when they see the team composition. A decent poison medic will also be bringing a heal gun and likely a heal grenade so they can contribute to healing.

evizaer said...

other classes counter medics as well. JUST SHOOT THE MEDIC (who is not being healed, if there are multiple medics). Other classes have incoming healing debuffs on off-hands and certain weapons. No need make a spec on the only real healing class that sucks at healing.

Anonymous said...

Robo and assault have no heal debuff or player protection debuffs. Recon has the scorpia, venom bomb, and technically the emp bomb. I would love to see a recon who can maintain the scorpia debuff on more than three or maybe four targets at a time. The heal tree gives you a max of 25% more to the heal gun and 23% more to the aoe heals. A poison medic may heal less but speccing poison doesn't automatically reduce your healing. A poison medic can lower enemy healing,lower protection, strip buffs, and put out serious damage.
The large majority of poison medics are just worthless loners but a poison medic who knows what he is doing can easily provide healing and shut down the opposing medics.

evizaer said...

You still haven't given me a good reason why the poison tree should be in the medic class and not, for instance, in the recon class. You're justifying the existence of poison as a mechanics, but not that it should be a mechanic that belongs to the medic. My beef is not with the mechanic, but with the fact that the medic class has the mechanic as a possible central trait.

Logan said...

i play a Medic... currently only lvl 12 but i was up to the low 20s in CB... honestly the medic's healing is perfectly fine without any upgrades from the healing tree... it takes at least 3+ enemies firing on 1 group member for them to burn through my healing, and even then i have heal grenades and that self targetted aoe heal if necessary... so if healing is already more than adequate, might as well put some points in dealing damage (although the actual talents are pretty lackluster IMO, which is why i've just got everything in the Balance tree currently)

but the real issue is that the way you tell a great medic from a good medic isn't by the healing they do... but by how they can switch back and forth between healing and dmg dealing as necessary.. a good medic can easily do a lot of healing, but it takes a great medic to do a great healing AND decent damage... if you take away the damage dealing abilities entirely, then you take away the best way for medics to show off their skill... which effectively lowers the skill cap for the class... so that now you don't have to be a very good player to maximize the ability of the medic class...

but like i said, i don't personally fancy the poison tree, at least not yet, once i get to the lvl cap then maybe it'll be a different story... but i do believe that the 3rd tree should be something dps related.. buffing would be pretty boring and too easy to play well, in my opinion at least.

motstandet said...

I, as Explosives Assault, can incapacitate many more players in the same amount of time than any Poison Medic. Thus they are inefficient.

A Medic with the poison gun out or throwing a poison 'nade is a Medic not using a healing skill. This opportunity cost has lost many games. Thus they are bad teammates.

I'm not saying that their debuffing capabilities are defunct. They are situationally tactical, and therefore not acceptable for a primary role.

I don't run around with an AOE Shield if opposing Robos and Assaults are using bullet-based guns. Medics shouldn't be running around with heal debuff devices if our team is dying.

Logan said...

true.. an assualt can deal much more damage... but what's a medic to do when there is no healing to be done? ... a good medic can switch back and forth between dealing damage and healing when needed... just because they aren't the best at dealing damage doesn't mean that they should never ever do damage, there are many many opportunities for a medic to deal damage... if you limit them to ONLY healing, then the class becomes pretty boring, especially since there are a lot of times when healing isn't necessary and a little extra damage can really make a difference.

i'm not saying that the class is currently balanced well... but trying to say that medics shouldn't have the option to deal damage since they aren't the most efficient at it, is just silly... they don't have to be the best at it to still contribute meaningfully.

motstandet said...

I'm not advocating that Medics be stripped of their offensive abilities.

The application of offensive devices for Medics should be situational, which it is. Then the design should relay to the player this intent. This is currently not the case since Medics have numerous offensive devices and talents.

The remedy would be either: 1) to limit or remove some of the offensive devices; or 2) to remove the poison talent tree. Then either it is impossible to be a Poison Medic or doing so would result in a severely ineffectual character. I'd prefer option 1 assuming poison-spec'd Medics can indeed keep up with healing.

Logan said...

i think maybe you've just been grouped with poor medics and that's coloring your opinion...

it's very possible to heal effectively without any points in the healing tree... similar to how in WoW back in the early TBC days i played a feral druid but was still able to heal 5 mans in my healing gear as i leveled up... nobody ever questioned my spec because i was able to heal perfectly well... so nobody noticed or cared that i wasn't the spec they thought was the most effective. (but if i would have failed, you can bet that they would have noticed my spec and given me an earful about it)

i think a poison/offensive medic could do just as well at keeping a group alive as a heal spec medic... but it takes more skill.. and i don't think that many poison medics have the necessary skill required (but not all poison medics are silly recon/pew pew wannabes).. so maybe that's why they're viewed as a waste of space.

i don't really care one way or another... i just don't think utility should be taken away from a class because some players don't know how to effectively use that utility... it seems to me that's a problem with the players, not the game.

motstandet said...

When you healed 5-mans with your feral druid, did you also attack in cat form?

Logan said...

lol... i kinda figured you'd say that.

the answer is no, i did not attack in cat form while healing 5 mans.

but the reason for this is that the Medic in GA and the Druid in WoW are designed to handle flexibility differently... in WoW, a druid is not meant to be able to switch back and forth between forms at will, depending on what the situation requires... switching forms takes mana, it uses a global cooldown, and you can't switch gear in combat... so basically in WoW you have to pick a role at the beginning of the instance and stick with it... but in GA it's different... all it takes is about .5 seconds to switch from your heal gun to your damage gun.. that's it... that's the only restriction on flexibilty, which basically allows a good medic to switch roles at will depending on what is required... this makes them much more flexible and allows them to deal damage without really compromising their healing abiltity.... it's not possible for a druid to do the same because of the restrictions i mentioned earlier...

so no, i didn't attack in cat form, but the druid and the medic are designed completely differently, the medic is meant to be able to change roles at the drop of a hat... the druid is much more restricted.

but both roles share a common thread of just because they're not the most efficient at something, doesn't mean they are useless or should stick only to what they are best at.

but anyway.. i'm done here, we obviously aren't going to agree so no point arguing any further.

spinksville said...

"Damage trees became popular among support and healing classes in other MMOs because healers needed some way to solo so they would be casual-friendly."

I wonder if there is more to it.

I suspect a lot of people liked the damage trees because what they really wanted was to be self sufficient and play a dps class that could also heal ... itself. And maybe a bit of light off-healing but not as a main objective.

But other players wanted specialist healers and support.

Is it a design failure, or just a failure of other players to play the way you think is optimal from your point of view?

evizaer said...

It's a design failure because the auto-matching system is designed to treat all medics as if they are healers. It makes matches lopsided and painful when both of your healers are busy DPSing while they have one healer who is healing well.

My argument is not to prevent medics from dealing damage, but instead to prevent them from focusing on dealing damage. Having a skill tree dedicated to DPS tells people it's intended that medics should be a DPS class (half the time).

Chris said...

This is a great topic for discussion. I started a medic this weekend to try them out and am in no way an expert. I was naturally going to go with the healing tree, but after reading this I'm definitely going to go with the poison tree instead.

You say that the poison tree doesn't belong to the medic due to the imbalance of the teams. Perhaps the balance needs some work but I think the concept is sound. Say you have 2 teams with 3 medics each, like your scenario. Two of the medics on your team are nasty poison medics. Well, the idea that 1 poison medic can counter 1 healing medic (to a degree) while still being able to heal with his heal-gun sounds like it balances out to me. Like I said, I'm not saying that it is working this way, but I think the concept is fine.

Now, the reason why I have been inspired to play opposite to your recommendation is because it sounds like a lot of fun to me. Trying to shut down the enemies healer while trying to support my own teammates sounds very fast paced. Just walking behind the Assault guy holding the heal-gun on him sounds really boring now.

What I mean is, a lot of people think of medics as AI controlled heal bots whose sole purpose is the keep "whoever" alive. They're not. They are people who are trying to have fun. Some players have fun only supporting, but some like to do both, and others like to play a character exactly opposite to how you think it should be played. Having the developers remove the ability to spec pure dps (which can still heal btw) will only reduce the number of people playing medics. (ie, the ones who liked pure dps while being able to heal will likely play another class) But maybe that is an advantage in your opinion. I see it as "less medics".

evizaer said...

You're missing the point. I'm not saying that medics should not have a poison ability or two. In fact, keeping their offhands as they are may be fine. I just don't see the purpose of letting them SPECIALIZE in poison to the extent that they would no longer be willing or able to heal.

Chris said...

I see your point evizaer, and I may even agree with you that it wouldn't be a great plan to ONLY spec poison. I just disagree about taking away the option to do so. I don't think the developers should dis-allow a player to fully spec into any tree. If a player wanted to fully spec into the Balance tree there shouldn't be any game mechanics stopping him from doing so. Now whether or not it would be a good idea to do something like that would be up to the opinion of the player. Hopefully if his skill choices are leading to lost match after lost match, the medic might chose to try a different spec.

In my last post I admitted that I was new to the medic class, so last night I did some homework on the skill bonuses. A fully spec'd healing medic (super medic) will heal +25% on all of his heals. A fully spec'd poison medic will reduce healing on a target by 25% which technically isn't negating the other medic completely, but it is negating his full heal spec bonus plus some. I'm not saying the build will be uber. I'm say that it may be viable, but most importantly I am saying that I think it should be allowed.. regardless of its usefulness.

I think this guy plays a bit more offensively than I would play as a poison medic, but I think he does quite well. Poison Medic

evizaer said...

Once again, I'm suggesting that offensive abilities remain, but that the poison tree be replaced by a buffs tree.

Watching half of that poison medic video, I noticed that the guy did a lot of deathmatching. Though he has better aim than most and avoids dying, I don't see how he's benefiting his team as much or more than a healer with his assault holding a point. Several times he watches teammates die and only gets one kill out of it himself. If he had been a healer, he would've gotten an assist and his friend and him would still be alive. Doesn't seem comparable to me.

He is playing other classes' roles throughout the video. If I wanted to see someone fill one of those roles, I would like the actual class designed to have that role fill it.

Poisonmedic said...

This anti-poison medic argument is foolish. I play a poison medic because

A) People suck in this game and I have to defend myself when people go into melee tunnel vision.

B) 25% healing resistance, stacking protection debuffs, 650 dmg aoe, and a 250 dmg dot from just a single grenade is far more powerful than 25% healing on aoe and single target.

As for your argument about how I cannot heal while I dps...have you played medic? I can be firing my healing gun and take maybe a half a second to drop a grenade that could route an entire team off of a payload.

I am a good medic and I know that my first priority is to heal my teammates. I maintain my healing gun at rank 3 out of 4 ranks so I can heal my teammates up faster and return to assisting in dps/debuffs.

When my teammates are being thrashed I can throw poison aura and powervirus out then stick to healing gun until the encounter is over.

The only way to stop the immense damage I'll put forth is if another medic IS specced for heals, in which he will have to react and spend the same amount of time using offhands to heal poison.

If he doesn't I have greater HP/S than him because of my 25% healing debuff.


Essentially; play with better medics.

evizaer said...

If you're going to ignore the argument I'm making and blindly throw in your support for medics having offensive capabilities, just don't post a comment. For the third (or fourth?) time, this post is not about removing offensive abilities, it is about removing the offensive tree. Medics should be able to defend themselves, but they shouldn't be encouraged to try to all-out DPS in a game that has three other classes that can do great DPS. (e.g. every other class can out DPS a poison medic unless that medic is significantly more skilled.)

Poisonmedic said...

Also, Go play a pure healing, completely dependent medic yourself and let us know how much fun that is. People play this game for the same reasons as you and consequently DON'T play a pure healing medic for the reasons you play a class that doesn't heal.

The truth is that the only difference between the two specs is 25%ish healing with some other minor differences. THATS IT. It doesn't instantly brainwash me into think I should camp on a roof and spam agony until the match is over.

It just opens up a different playstyle.

evizaer said...

What are you even talking about? Are you paying attention at all? You sound like you're just making up the argument you think I'm making, then frothing at the mouth over it and being nearly incoherent.

I DO play a pure healing medic. My weapon is rank1. I put no points in the poison tree. I use powervirus grenade to help clear points, but aside from that I'm all healing all the time. It's fun. I played it for 33 levels. If you've got a short attention span and a need for your kill/death ratio to be high to stroke your ego, it's not for you. On the other hand, I'm doing my job well and people really appreciate it.

Poisonmedic said...

[Quote] What are you even talking about? Are you paying attention at all? You sound like you're just making up the argument you think I'm making, then frothing at the mouth over it and being nearly incoherent. [Quote]

Looks to me like you're the one name-calling and "frothing at the mouth" with whatever relevance that even has to this conversation.

I missed the point where you mentioned you play a pure healing medic. My bad.

I heal all the time on my medic too and occasionally throw down powervirus like you do. The only factual difference is what is explained in the tooltips in the talent tree. I know that the extra burst AoE and debuff is more beneficial to my team than a mediocre increase in my healing gun ability. At the same time I get to be formidable when I am the last man standing.

Poisonmedic said...

And you can't blame me for missing how you were a pure healing medic since you fail to mention it in the WALLLL O' TEXTTTT you call your first post.

Read it again and tell me who's incoherent.

evizaer said...

You still have not addressed a single one of my points. That's why I asked you what you were talking about.

You've said: "There's not that much difference between the specs!"

My point is: "There's not enough difference for poison medics to be potent enough for them to make up for the huge opportunity cost of not having a healer."

You have not addressed my point. In fact, you further support it.

You said: "I need to defend myself against melee."

And that has absolutely nothing to do with the existence of a poison spec. You can easily jetpack away and kill the meleer with a regular rifle or painish gun. You could also jetpack away and go near another teammate who will dispatch the meleer much faster than you can.

Defending against meleers has nothing to do with the viability of the poison tree (or the reason why it exists). The focal points of a poison build, the two grenades, will poison you as well as the meleer if used at close range.

You say: "HAHAHA, you can't heal and DPS at the same time? I can do that, and I do it well!"

Which addresses none of my points. I heal and do damage as well. I'm not going to get a lot of kills and I'm not going to be in the top half of the damage chart, but I can defend myself OK. Being able to DPS somewhat and heal effectively has nothing to do with the existence of the poison tree. If there weren't a poison tree, you could be just as effective--AND people would not be tempted to disregard healing in favor of doing a little more DPS as the medic (the game encourages people to play non-healer medics by dedicating a tree to poison).

I've yet to see you make a point that has anything to do with the argument I'm making.

Poisonmedic said...

Upon seeing your quotations of things you paraphrased I realize this conversation is going no where, but I'll try and shed some light here.

There's healing and there's damage.

Agonizer does 200+ dmg (before debuff) every .5 seconds. that's 400 dmg/s.

If you and I are each assisting an assault and I choose to shoot and you choose to heal then....

You heal 500 healing per second with Overheal AND healing talents. I deal 400 dps (goes well over 500 after debuffs and with zoom)

Your healing is negated by my damage and my assault will do more damage to your assault because I've stacked up protection debuffs.

In the end both sides are about even.

These are actual numbers from the game.

Hybrid builds are just as effective as pure healing builds.

Yes, it sucks that people will go pure dmg on a medic because they are noobs.

Yes, they would have been just as big of noobs as another class. If they ignore their healing abilities then they're probably the caliber of player who ranks in the bottom 3 anyway.

evizaer said...

You still haven't made an argument against the point I've made about the design of the medic class. You've simply proven that poison medics who are good at the game are a viable build in an isolated instance that rarely occurs.

I never challenged the viability of poison medics. I say that they're redundant. A redundant mechanic can be viable if the original mechanic it's reiterating was also viable.

I also say that medics don't need to be even DPS with other classes because of their significant healing abilities and the team-based nature of the game.

I also say that the opportunity cost of a medic going poison can be monumental. A poison medic represents a very small share of team DPS instead of doing a significant share of healing.

Proving that poison medics are viable does not counter any of these arguments.

Poisonmedic said...

By posting the statistical viability of damage versus healing it shows that as long as you are landing shots or healing you're assisting your team in an equally viable way.

Since you feel like my points are out in left-field I'll dissect your post.

[quote]
I also say that medics don't need to be even DPS with other classes because of their significant healing abilities and the team-based nature of the game.
[quote]

That's an opinion. You even formatted in such a way. The reason I posted the statistics before was so I could say : Other than your opinion there's nothing that says a damage/healing mixture is less formidable than a pure healing medic.

[quote]
I also say that the opportunity cost of a medic going poison can be monumental. A poison medic represents a very small share of team DPS instead of doing a significant share of healing.
[quote]

Small share of team damage? Wait what? Where did you get that information? My healing+damage is almost always greater than the healing of pure healing medics on my team.

My point with the statistics is to show that 1 point of dmg = 1 point of healing and the stats show that I can match healing with damage.

It proves that I bring as much assistance to my team by hybridization as if I were to go purely heals.

Chris said...

Okay, I'm not going to add any new information here, I am just trying to clarify.

Your argument (evizaer) is that the existence of the poison tree (the dps/anti-heal) tree tempts medics to disregard their duties as healer. You aren't arguing that the tree adds to their dps, and you aren't arguing that their dps is unneeded. You think that if the poison tree were replaced with a buff tree, medics wouldn't forget their primary role in the game.

Does that sounds accurate? If so, and in lite of my video-link which completely SUPPORTED your argument, I would like to say that on those points: I agree with you. The existence of the poison tree will encourage some people to ignore their healing duties to try and destroy the enemy.

Now for where I disagree. I do not think that the poison tree should be removed.

[quote "Poisonmedic"] Yes, it sucks that people will go pure dmg on a medic because they are noobs. [/quote]

In addition to that you will get very skilled players going pure dmg (like in that video) instead of supporting their team.

But the worst thing that will result in these happenings is you will lose a match. Or even worse, if you are playing conquest mode and you have a player in your alliance that refuses to play the support role, you may have to kick him out.

Due to the fact that the medics that spec full poison CAN be just as effective in an even match (which you've agreed to) I think the tree is fine as it is.

motstandet said...

Who is shooting an Assault when there are Medics prancing around?

evizaer said...

@Poisonmedic

"That's an opinion. You even formatted in such a way. The reason I posted the statistics before was so I could say : Other than your opinion there's nothing that says a damage/healing mixture is less formidable than a pure healing medic."

And that has nothing to do with the arguments I made. I didn't claim damage medics are not viable.

"Small share of team damage? Wait what?"

If you are a great DPS medic, you may do like 100k damage in a match. The rest of your team combined will probably have at least 400k damage.
That means that you have done 1/5 of the damage on your team.

Now let's say you heal instead of focusing on DPS. You have a good game and heal for 80k. In a balanced team, there will be roughly 3 medics. If they also heal, they will likely have around 120k healing between them. That means you've healed for 80k out of a total of 200k total healing points. You account for 2/5 of the healing done by your team. That's 40% of the healing (maybe a little less if you take into account a robo or two with well-placed medicrates).

What has more impact on the game? 25% more team damage provided by a DPS medic, or 66% more team healing provided by a healing medic?

Of course, these numbers swing in favor of having one DPS medic on the team if you have more than 3 or 4 medics--but that happens SO rarely it's barely worth discussing.

Looks to me like you lose more than you gain over the course of a game by a medic being DPS--even if that medic is very good at DPS.

DPS medics are also worse at holding objectives than healing medics are in a team environment.

@Chris:

Good comment. I appreciate the effort you took to actually understand my argument instead of building a straw-man. You've got my argument pretty much right.

I maintain that there is not much lost if the poison tree disappears, whereas the gains can be significant.

If poison tree is removed:

* Fewer medics play poison, which leads to better matches in general because it's easier to contribute as a healing medic in a significant way than it is to contribute as a DPS medic.

* The matchmaker isn't thrown off by medics who refuse to heal--the medic balance team-to-team will be more meaningful because medics all play roughly the same role.

The only potential problem it introduces: fewer people play medics because they are less versatile. But this isn't a problem because medics are necessary to field a reliable AvA team, so people will play them anyway.

The only real benefit of the poison tree is that medics can be more versatile and counter other medics. I don't see how these two benefits outweigh the benefits I listed above.

Chris said...

Okay now. I'm glad we are communicating.

I think you have posted a good summary of the pros and cons, however I think it is more of an even wash than you say.

The second point "for" the suggested change I have no objections about. If you take away the dps focus tree, likely the "pwners" will play other dps classes, making matchmaking easier.
The first point, however, I don't think is a very good reason. I don't think making the class "easier" to know how to help your team will necessarily lead to better matches. If a more skilled player is playing a poison medic in what you and I would call "the right way" the match would still be very interesting and dynamic. So I really think the 2 points you made are hitting on the same one. (which is a good point I admit.)

However, consider this: the fact that the poison medic is more challenging to "play right" peeks the interest of people like me. As I said earlier, following around the Assault guy as his personal heal-bot sounds really boring to me. Mind you, some people like that role, but we aren't talking about them right now. If the poison tree changed to another "help team" tree those people would keep doing their thing. But you would lose out on the people who are intrigued by a medic being a more "hybrid" role.

So here is my sum-up. Keep the tree and you get:
* some amount of Heal spec medics supporting right
* some amount of poison spec medics supporting right (probably a lot less)
* and some amount of poison spec medics playing solo (for argument sake, lets say less than the first option but more than the second.)

Now get rid of the tree and you may have:
* some amount of Heal/buff spec medics supporting right that love it.
* and some amount of Heal/buff spec medics supporting right that hate doing it. (they play medic because someone has to and maybe it is their turn.)

I personally would prefer the first result.
Now, we may not agree on which is a "better" outcome and that is fine. I appreciate your opinion and arguments and I'm glad that you have heard mine. I hope that when others read this thread they will get a good view of both points and they will be able to form a good opinion of their own. If enough agree with you, maybe Hi-Rez will take notice.

Ty said...

Why get rid of the spec entirely when it just takes a smart player to balance the two? Just today, I managed to play a Payload game as a level 20 Posion Medic. I ended the game with 12 assists, 14 kills, 5 deaths and most Heal. It's not that it's a bad spec tree and that Medics should be hellbent on curing every little scratch and bruise on their teammates, it's about the balance of keeping local teammates alive and enemies injured for your team to finish up. Smart players don't ALWAYS need a medic to back them up. I'm not saying that Medics shouldn't be healing, I'm just stating that it's not their only purpose. If you're having trouble staying alive, it's not the medic's fault.

Anonymous said...

Honestly, as someone who has played medic for almost 40 lvls now, I would say I agree with your points... to an extent.
For AvA, where the teams are, mostly, organized, the poison medic does tend to throw things off unless played well, and a heal medic is general considered to be more useful.
Also, in PvE, poison medics are practically useless.
However, I think one thing that you might be missing, mate, when it comes to PvP, is that most people you end up queued with arent worth healing, the don't actually do anything worth while and will probably die either way.
Example: I play with a friend of mine, he plays assault, and whenever he plays, because we team up and talk to each other in game, I spec heal, and we keep each other alive. I watch his back and he shoots anyone targeting mine. However, when I'm not playing with him, I completely rearrange my points into poison, and trade all my heal offhands for damage, and I can almost be guaranteed to top the charts offensively, and usually rank pretty high in healing, though most likely not beating the heal medics. The reason I don't spec healing when playing with those I don't know? Most people won't keep you alive. Helping people is great, but I'm not going to die a lot just because most people suck.
So I play damage medic, I heal people when they need it, I watch their backs, mostly, and I go around and kill medics, knock out turrets, and harass snipers.
With these in defense for poison speced medic, I think that GA did something really quite incredible: they made a battle medic that is actually fun to play, while still having room to be moderately useful for healing.

Anonymous said...

all this back-and-forth seems pretty pointless to me, arguing over stats, arguing over what people would like the medic to be or not be, etc etc.

here's the facts -
(34 medic)

i enjoy healing. I spec pure heals in AvA, and PvE. Its fun.

in pug PvP, it is NO FUN to heal, so i spec poison. I regularly top the charts on objective points, kills, assists, and overall damage.

basically, i cannot rely on my teammates in pug PvP to keep me alive, as i can in PvE or AvA. So, all that happens in pug PvP when i spec heal is i lose stars, i'm constantly killed, and i have no fun (the most important).

in my opinion, the devs have done a very good job at putting together their vision, and the author of this does not agree with it, based on nothing substaintial other than classic healing classes from other games.

this isn't an mmorpg.

evizaer said...

Logic is substantial. I backed up my opinion with a number of reasons that rely on logically thinking about game design. If you do not think my logic is substantial, show me how it is flawed.

Saying "the game was designed that way, live with it" is not a valid argument for or against any design point.

Anonymous said...

the people that play pvp arent worth healing enough to make me want to spec heal. why should medic get poison? because its bloody fun to play, thats why, and healing nubs isnt.

Logan said...

here's some logic for you...

a game should be fun... some people find healing fun... some people find healing AND dealing damage fun... so shouldn't a well designed game give the player the option to do both?

makes perfect sense to me... allowing medics to spec poison doesn't hurt the medics that want to heal... and it adds some fun for those that like healing but also want to do decent damage.

your logic against the poison medic is based on the assumption that a poison medic is not worthwhile to a group because the matchmaking system considers all medics to be healers... but that seems like a problem with the matchmaking system, not the medic class itself.

be especially careful when you claim YOUR logic is the ONLY logic... there is a lot of valid logic against your points (sometimes it's buried under biased opinions, but it's still there), don't be so quick to dismiss it.

evizaer said...

It's hard to have an argument about what is fun. We don't experience fun in the same--even one individual doing the same things at different times in the day will find that activity fun or not depending on a thousand contingencies and conditions.

Notice, again, that I'm not arguing that medics should not have poison abilities. I'm arguing that the poison tree leads people to believe that it's OK to be a medic that cannot heal. It's not OK according to the matchmaker, at least.

I have no problem with medics having offensive abilities. "Balanced medics" who heal and deal damage are very valuable for a team--they can be more valuable than heal medics if played well.

Logan said...

- "I'm arguing that the poison tree leads people to believe that it's OK to be a medic that cannot heal. It's not OK according to the matchmaker, at least."

once again, the first sentence is a problem with the PLAYER, not the class.... the second sentence is a problem with the MATCHMAKING SYSTEM, not the class.

the most basic goal of a well designed class should be to allow the player to have the maximum amount of fun, without being unbalanced and impeding other's ability to have fun... i think the medic does this pretty well... i won't deny that there are some issues, but i don't think the class design is the cause of those issues.

evizaer said...

The poison medic actually damages his teams capacity to have fun. The matchmaker assumes all medics fill the same role. A poison medic cannot fill the role the matchmaker assumes medics fill, so there is a much higher chance of the match being lopsided and not fun for most of the players involved. In this way, poison medics damage teh capacity of 19 people to have fun in a match more often than healing medics do. So if you're going for maximum fun, poison medics should be either broken out into a separate class or the tree should be removed from the game all together.

Canada said...

I agree that there needs to be a fix in the matchmaking system, but the poison side of the medic class as a whole is much more effective than you make it out to be. Since beta I have play poison and since beta I have excelled at the spec. I don't just want to say I'm good therefore the class is good so here it goes.

Think of a poison medic like a master of crowd control. Yes other classes have sustained damage and even some AOEs, but when a any of the effects of a poison medic has in store hits a mass of enemies essentially all hell breaks loose.

I got this far in my message and then noticed I was feeding a troll. If you want a game where medics heal and essentially only heal go play TF2, but if you want a game where you can design your character to fit your play style continue with Global Agenda. That is all.

evizaer said...

If you didn't want to feed "trolls", why did you post at all?

Reasoned opinions against the status quo aren't "trolling". The fact that you can play something effectively doesn't mean it's well-designed or has a place.

Canada said...

The true question is why make this original post in the first place. What happened in Global Agenda to you to make you feel this way. The easiest assumption is that you played some games that had poison medics in them and lost, and you blamed the loss on a lack of healing so you decided to go out and grief on a perfectly legitimate and tested class(why would Global Agenda be awarded best rpg of E3 if was untested and unbalanced). Now on the note of balancing I have a few other points to raise. Number 1: The robotics class, why does it exist? Global Agenda is a "skill" base "action" rpg. If the game is based on skill and has action why is there an entire class based around sitting around doing nothing. A single robotics drone can by itself take out multiple people. Not only does the robotics class have one tree that defies the action and skill base of the game it has two. As a robotics you can, on top of having drones decimate enemies, build turrets that can solo people without the twitch of your own mouse. Essentially the robotics class is the complete opposite of the advertised intent of the game. So what makes it any better for gameplay than a poison medic?

evizaer said...

Why do I dislike poison medics? I've outlined it several times in this comment thread. I'm not going to repeat myself yet again. Though you may just be looking for a reason to say "you don't understand the game". I understand the game better than most--partial proof of that is in the fact that I am the 3rd best medic that does pug PvP according to agendastats.com.

The robo class may be slightly more powerful than it should be due to the perfect aim of its pets. They don't do amazing damage, though, unless the robo puts a lot of points into talents to make them so. The robo has plenty of strategic options and a distinct role in the game, I don't see how the class has anything to do with my argument against poison medics.

Bomjus said...

So... today I was playing earlier and then came across this thread. And realized in my pve group we would burn through the mission and get to boss. and the whole time i never had to use my offhands cause we had a solid team. So, I did the third one in poison spec cause well we had a good team. We burned through in half the time. In pvp, I have played both poison and full heal. And I can heal people as poison, but i also realize they need less healing when the assault, rocket launching robots, and/or boss mob is dead. Poison doesn't discourage you from healing. It makes enemies dead, including their healer, so you only do touch up healing. it also is not the sustained healer behind tank type. Its the everybody focus fire and from cover and i will clean ya up when its dead type healing. Just thought i would throw in my two cents ehe.

Anonymous said...

Did you also consider that some people may want to play a Medic in PvE? And more than that play by themselves in PvE and as Medic? Given this option, which is more than viable for a choice of player, there is a good possibility that they may indeed want to focus on Poison (and thus damage) rather than healing.

evizaer said...

The game has changed significantly since I wrote this post. This post is now irrelevant.

Patrick said...

when i roll posion, i just use nanite, hit my teammates with a HoT, and get to work. They still are being healed, and i can still debuff and all that.

Anonymous said...

the poison medic is simply there to supress the enemy and exploit the weaknesses of pocket medic'ing
otherwise an assault with a pocket med would be near invincible

Anonymous said...

this post was a terrible idea, you of all people should know that,poison medics were ment toallow medics to cover both ends of the spectrum with various medians in between, you sound like an assault who cant survive 1 minute without heals, you might want to try being more self reliant

evizaer said...

You can always kill a medic by approaching from out of the assault/medic's sight and focusing him (as long as you have a reasonable amount of dps). Poison does not do a particularly good job of countering pocket medics, or at least it didn't when I played. The Recon's scorpia debuff is significantly more effective.

evizaer said...

For reference: Not long after I wrote this post I was one of the top 20 medics in the game.

This post may be wrong these days, by the L2P garbage is not necessary.

Anonymous said...

First of all, I agree with you, to some degree, the game is harder w/o a medic healing you, but you cannot remove the poison tree w/o removing all of the medics offensive weapons.

Every other class in the game has talents to buff its weapons.
Therefor, the only way you could improve your offensive weapons is thru mods, and OC weapons are rediculously overpriced, and crafted mods don't help much.

Silentdeathz said...

hey, Silentdeathz here, I'm umm... a year and a half late in seeing this post.

But since I played back then I feel I need to say that this post was extremely relevant and correct for that patch.

Poison medics were generally just a hindrance to the actual team and more of a fun/joke build than anything constructive.

I remember evizaer well, we used to play together, and I was a top Medic and Assault at the time, as well as being in the top Agency and an owner of the Season 1 winners Helm.

I can tell you that any "l2p" comments are ridiculous, and probably coming from people who werent even anywhere near his level at the time.

evizaer said...

Hey Silentdeathz! Good to hear from you again. :) Thanks for backing me up, too. I wish people would stop posting irrelevant/flamey responses to this. The post is so old at this point it's basically irrelevant to modern play. Over the past year or so I've had to delete probably 15 comments that were just saying "you are an idiot" without adding anything to the discussion.

Silentdeathz said...

Cant find any contact info so i'll post this up & you can delete it after

Add me on steam - sil3ntd3aths

Anonymous said...

dude. it doesnt matter. he said clearly that this post is irrevlevant. sometime i carry a posin grenade and a healing thingy that eats multiple people at once. i carry a agonizer and a boot thingy ( like purple looking). I am only level 15.

sometimes being only a posin medic cna be dangerous. i always hate it when i am posin medic i get squashed by a recon with db. but when i reg medic healing buddies, i use alittle posin to debuff him and everyone else just smashes him!



so evizaer... ur still right. but i would rather carry a agonizer than default gun.

Anonymous said...

Evizaer, even with the changes to the game your argument is still valid, but I feel it is still wrong. Here's why:

You're a min maxer. You feel that the best option is the only option. However, you're not actually looking at gameplay mechanics, you're analyzing other players tactics and saying "this is not optimal thus it should be removed."

You're not arguing about game mechanics, you're arguing about how powers play. True numbers show that not only can a poison medic heal almost as good as a non poison medic, but with his poisons rolling on the enemy medic the playing field is actually dead even. If numbers show that in this scenario both things are equal then there is no problem with the tree as a whole. In fact, if the poison medic gets his poisons off on more than the enemy medic / assault combo the poison medic is healing for the same amount and doing more damage! That's better than a pure healing medic. Technically this means the healing tree is obsolete and needs to be removed as far as pvp is concerned.

Now that I've dismanteled the argument from a mechanics standpoint lets get to the heart of your argument: players. A good medic should always be healing, even a poison one. However, the poison medic needs to know when to switch and pressure the enemy team with poisons. That said nothing will ever stop players from doing what they want even if it is sub optimal. I'd make the argument that even if the poison tree wasn't around medics would go balance and try to dps. Ever play vanilla wow? The game was balanced around each class having one viable spec. Still people tried shadow priests which did pitiful dps, balance druids which ran out of mana so fast it made your head spin, and everything in-between. Any game that has the ability to have multiple specs or equipment loadouts will have people that try to do the sub-optimal. Just because that is the case do you want a game with no specs, classes with set spells, and no ability for customization? Because quite frankly that's more what you are arguing for: forcing players into the optimal.

Anonymous said...

Medics in any of the armed services carry a pistol, for self protection. Some may even carry a Rifle or other weapon of small and/or compact designe (so as not to interfear with thier primary job of HEALING. The Healer/Medic depends primarily on the Soldier for his protection.