[Abilities] Reconsider the design of Pain Suppression and its passive No Pain, No Gain(referred to as NPNG), and potentially similar percentage based healing abilities on tank weapons.
To preface, from a pure mitigation standpoint Pain Suppression without any passive investment is on par with the Chaos ability Twist Fate’s passive Backlash - Both effectively reduce damage taken by half. This is fine on its own because Twist Fate comes with extra protection and Backlash with a reflect component, but Pain Suppression’s passive NPNG is what blows the ability’s mitigation out of proportion. With No Pain, No Gain the tank will heal for 113% of damage taken before damage is taken which is functionally 8 seconds of immortality on a 20 second CD provided the tank’s HP pool is capable of sustaining a singular hit. This means Pain Suppression is no longer a damage mitigation ability - With NPNG it becomes a full healing passive on a tank weapon.
In practice, NPNG is a longer Immutable that in combination with Immutable and Thick Skin nullifies the healer’s role in both low level content and high level content - The only requirement is to have these abilities and passives unlocked. I choose to focus on suggesting tweaks to Pain Suppression & NPNG as the primary culprits because where Thick Skin is centered around preventing damage, NPNG allows the tank to become a more reliable main healer than a dedicated healer can be which is one cause of our current Sustain Tank meta(1 Tank, 4 full DPS).
However, under ideal circumstances(E10 NYR) the healing from NPNG alone can generate similar threat to a tank spamming pulverise. This may be an unintended benefit but it’s actually very good design for tanks because an extra source of threat generation is in line with their role’s intended obligation. This function should be preserved, because with some tweaking it can also help struggling low level tanks maintain aggro over higher level DPS.
Therefore, Pain Suppression & No Pain, No Gain’s three primary issues are:
- It is a healing ability on a tank weapon with a percentage value which is not based on Healing Power.
- 113% of damage received as healing for 8 seconds is a longer, more reliable and often more powerful heal than even the best Fist/Blood/AR healing abilities(which are all subject to Healing Power).
- The combination of above factors when used with other Hammer/Chaos mitigation abilities mean any healing from another player is redundant - Tanks have enough healing built into NPNG(and Immutable) to sustain themselves indefinitely.
So, how do we solve these issues?
Instead of Pain Suppression & NPNG’s current forms I’ll suggest three options. The intended goals of these suggestions are to balance all tiers of meta in favor of incentivizing healing to be the healer’s job, while reinforcing mitigation and threat generation as the tank’s job:
- Pain Suppression and NPNG could have better synergy with their names and Hammer’s specialty. They could perform something like:
While Pain Suppression is active, # extra rage is generated when hit but rage can not be spent while Pain Suppression is active. Damage taken will be significantly reduced based on the amount of rage stored. (2 rage = 1%-1.5% damage mitigated? Max rage would be 50% or 75% damage suppressed - Less than 113%, but still very meaningful.)
No Pain, No Gain is the release of what pain wasn’t suppressed. All damage received during Pain Suppression is gained as additional hate(but not subject to 10x hate generation). (Therefore with low rage more threat is generated but with high rage more damage is mitigated.)
Or, preserve Pain Suppression as is and change NPNG to no longer heal for 113% of damage dealt but to instead count all damage received throughout its duration and turn that value directly into threat generation. Additionally, gain even more extra rage when hit which will result in more frequent enraged Pulverises(which means more frequent healing from Pulverise’s passive)
Or, preserve Pain Suppression as is and base NPNG’s additional healing off of Healing Power, balanced so that 8 seconds of immortality can’t be achieved without overwhelming investment into Healing Allocation.
Simply reducing the duration of Pain Suppression, while it would have some effect, wouldn’t meaningfully incentivize healing to be the healer’s job and tanking be the tank’s job in the meta. Healers would still have little or nothing to heal, but sustain tanks would feel like weaker(yet still immortal) tanks.
Option 1, IMO, creates a fun and powerful ability for hammer tanks without being “8 seconds of immortality powerful” or reinforcing redundancy for healers because healing would eventually need to come from another member of the party. After the ability ends the tank will have a (nearly) full rage bar to spend on Percussive Maintenance. Temporarily maintaining full rage also synergizes with Bristling Rage. However, any of the three options would be an effective first step to incentivize having a healer in a meta group’s composition without unjustly nerfing hammer tanks.