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Player getting stunned - what does this add to the game?

The stun mechanic works the same for both:

  • player stunning enemy
  • enemy stunning player

For a really long time when playing a character the player doesn’t need to bother if he gets stunned. It barely happens and when it happens, the impact isn’t very huge.

The other way round, stunning the enemy happens very frequently, making the game easier at the beginning and adding the feel of impact for combat (because for most enemies it’s the only hit indicator since there’s no stagger, except a few exceptions).

This completely shifts around when the character progresses:

  • With enemies getting more health, stuns happen less often
  • With enemies getting more damage, they stun you very regularly - often causing critical situations and player death

Theres one stat we can use against stuns and one or two uniques that have on stun effects. I know hp and damage mitigation prevent from getting stunned, but this doesn’t scale well for the player. Stuns happen very regularly on already relatively low corruption levels.

Admittedly I never build stun avoidance on purpose. There are already some minor issues for me with gear progression and the different defensive layers.

Let me jus iterate a bit on that:
We build towards certain defenses right from the start, depending on class/mastery. Resistances, armour, block/- effectiveness, dodge, health and ward are available from the start. Later we get endurance/ threshold and crit avoidance. Theres a point where e.g. crit avoidance becomes more important and it maybe necessary to drop some other defenses for getting CA. This happens regularly, because people build their gear using all 4 available affix slots on items. So when there are new affixes available you need to get rid of some other affixes to create the space for those new affixes. This may lead from being res capped to not being res capped anymore in favour for having some CA.

Also higher quality bases change their implicits. It’s not that I get low level gloves with 10% fire resistance and higher quality bases just increase that value. Higher bases all of a sudden change their element. Higher level gloves change to void resistance with a higher stat range. So if I want to have maximised implicit defenses, theres only one choice per item slot. And my implicit defenses need to shift item slots.

I don’t say that this is a bad thing. It makes itemisation more complex and interesting. But it also means that in some edge cases to have long term maxed stats, I need to go with a less optimised loadout when I start that alternation.

What does this have to do with stun avoidance?

Stun avoidance can completely be ignored until a certain difficulty level and then all of a sudden I need to build into it. I have to go through a new alternation progress with my gear. When I already have done this maybe 2 times. At that point also I have very high requirements for my gear so the search for new stuff even gets harder.

And all of this only makes sense if stun avoidance really works as a life saver on higher difficulty. Does it? I don’t know.

The stun mechanic in general is nice. But I dislike how it shifts around. My character should become more powerful when I progress and not become weaker (in terms of stun capabilities) and more vulnerable to stuns.

With infinite scaling systems like corruption and arena there’s no way that enemies stunning the player will ever be something that does not feel frustrating.

So I’m asking myself if that mechanic should stay in the game. Is it adding something useful to gameplay and player progression? From my point of view it is not.

I’m ok with my character having reduced stun chance on higher difficulty. That’s something you can work against until a certain point with stun chance and shock. And we also have skills with guaranteed stun effects (my favoured way of implementing a stun mechanic).

But the current meta of getting stunned by enemies is unbalanced. Already squishy characters like Marksman or Sorcerer will get stunned with almost every hit around arena wave 200. You may barely survive the hit that stuns you but not the hits that follow while you are stunned.

My suggestion would be to give the player the unfair advantage if being stun immune. Always.

A not so drastic way would be to change the stun chance formular to have a soft cap at some point (would be nice for the enemies stun avoidance, too). Don’t let it scale infinite. Or/and add sources of stun avoidance that are easy to get.

I’m really curious what you guys think!

:v:

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“Player dieing, what does this add to the game?”

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It’s not exactly the same. Imho you can’t compare those 2 things.

So you’re ok with the current stun meta? Is stun avoidance something you use on your builds? At what value does it make an impact?

while i think that comment is hilarious, the OP has a point.

if it becomes trivial for monsters to stun you, but difficult for players to stun monsters, that’s an unbalanced situation that needs to be resolved.
however, the problem is “you can stun monsters” is very dependent on build. I want to believe that if i build a stun dedicated build that it would work and would be an effective offensive strategy. I don’t know that though.

Meanwhile i believe the other valid point is the number of things that a build must defend against. It would be very easy to load up offensive behaviors by monsters to such an extent that you couldn’t defend against them all.

so, for example, if you make sure you are stun immune, then you must give up, let’s say crit avoidance. if either effect is guaranteed to kill you, and you can’t defend against both at the same time, then that also points to a balance problem.

so , OPs point is valid in the broader context, is stun an effect that significantly favors enemies ? does it create a defensive need that can’t be met without giving up some other defensive need which can also get you killed with a very high probability ?

I just recently got my first character into empowered monos and they were kicking my ass. after a LOT of runs i finally figured out i was getting stunned. a lot. solution ? immune to stuns after teleport for 3 seconds idol. if i hadn’t of found that i probably would have deleted the character, i couldn’t figure out what i could do about it.

that’s great if you’re a mage, what happens if you are not ?

not sure. i think i’ll go make a stun build…

1 Like

Glad to hear I’m not the only one with issues with the stun characterization in the game. I have been considering making a post about if stun should be in the game.

I haven’t had as much of an issue with getting stunned as you, although I have had those issues, but I’ve also been playing a lot of Sentinel lately with high health which helps. I have however tried to go the stun build once and had very high stun and it got to where I hardly stunned anything but trash mobs, which died right after they were stunned any way.

I abandoned that build when I couldn’t stun Lagon (story line) even once but I could freeze him with other characters (often).

The stun mechanic needs some serious balancing work or to simply go away in my opinion.

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IMO the only thing it adds is an increased chance of players saying “Bullshit!” out loud.

I strongly believe that crowd control which affects player characters should not exist in any PvE content. It’s much more “cutting the ends off the ham” than it is good game design - just a relic that exists out of tradition and not for any good reason.

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I dont necessarily think that stun mechanic on player should be removed, but i believe the current stun avoidance scaling towards that mechanic should change.

I honestly dont like any of the no cap infinite scaling formulas that are in-game.
This includes but not limited to:

  • Stun Avoidance
  • Freeze chance
  • Stun Chance

The reason I do not like these as when your playing a game that has infinite scaling content (Corruption/Arena) that you will always reach a point of “feel bad” due to mobs scaling ever higher and you cant do anything to scale against it. Mobs at an accelerating rate get out of control by multiple increased and more stats, while you run out of affix slots and hit ceiling caps of crafting limits.

In short, I don’t mind being stunned, just like i don’t mind being critical struck, but i want a way where i can build into (with enough time and grind) making it not happen if i choose to go that route.

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And skill points to help mitigate the issue. :slight_smile:

We just have to be careful not to go too far with the monster castration, because:

a) Infinite numbers of monster waves probably no one wants to knock. (Arena 10k+ anyone?)

b) At some point, the enemies should just kick all of our asses together.
→ Whether that’s because of too many stuns, too much general damage, or whatever, it doesn’t really matter, BECAUSE IT SHOULD JUST HAPPEN at some point.

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well , there’s infinite scaling in the sense of the math and infinite scaling in the practical effect.

clearly the formula that implements the effect can be tweaked such that infinite scaling of the stat provides almost no practical effect past a certain point.

the formulas that i’ve looked at all have diminishing returns.

so the problem is not so much that the effects are “infinite” but that the formula need to be tweaked so that the point of diminishing returns happens sooner.

wouldn’t that fix the problem ?

Anything with diminishing returns against a system.of accelerated scaling is doomed to ever feel good and or balanced. The amount of tweaking would be an inefficient way to spend man hours not to mention be a constantly revolving number due to any new content that appears in game. Caps always work better and are easier to maintain. It’s why critical.strike avoidance is not the issue here and stun avoidance is

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This is something that many of us “vets” have been harping on for a very long time now. Boardman is here talking about it, and @LizardIRL has discussed it on many occasions, as have I. The current stun system causes frustration at the very early game and the late game, and its almost nonexistent in the mid game. So when you’re just starting out stun sucks, and when you’re pushing content with great gear, stun sucks, which are the two times when I would think it would either be a) less punishing because new players or b) something we have geared ourselves into being protected from. It’s also extra punishing to melee, since every hit has a chance of stunning (yes, literally any hit could stun you) and melee get hit more often.

Stun avoidance is also practically useless, even if you did gear for it. The formula for stun takes into account how much damage you took vs. how much EHP you have (HP and ward) to determine how likely you are to be stunned. Stun avoidance just adds more EHP. So, if you have 2000 HP and you add 30 stun avoidance, you now have 2030 EHP for stun purposes, which isn’t going to move the needle at all. High investment into stun avoidance can probably get you a few hundred, so maybe it bumps you up to 2300, which makes you about 15% less likely to be stunned (give or take, I haven’t done the math for this particular example). Does that sound worth investing your affixes and passives into? AND, because it’s additive, it means the more EHP you have to begin with, the less benefit you get from stun avoidance, which means it’s less effective at endgame when you have a larger EHP pool. so that same 300 stun avoidance on a character with 3000 HP is something like 50% less effective than the one with 2000 HP.

Of the lingering issues LE has had since I started playing, this is my A+ #1 please please please do something about this because it’s been two years and it feels just as bad today as it did when I started. Even something as small as turning stun avoidance into a multiplier of your EHP would be a big improvement. At least then maybe I could get something like 100% stun resistance and instead of giving me an additive bonus it doubles my EHP against stuns. Or do what Boardman said and give us a stat that we can eventually get immunity from stuns.
I think these are somewhat bandaid approaches because they create gearing problems where affixes are already at a premium, and they don’t address the early game issues, but seriously at this point I’ll take it because I just want to have some sort of option to deal with stuns that doesn’t lock me into a skill like Warpath or Teleport in order to make the game feel good when I’m pushing high corruption or the arena.

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Idea

  • Every character + monster has a 5% base chance to stun.
  • Damage dealt is compared to max EHP, with diminishing returns formula, to calculate a bonus to that base. The formula not only has diminishing returns, but a cap (75% would work).
  • Then, players can have “Stun Avoidance” which would work as a FLAT REDUCTION to that chance. i.e. if I have 50 Stun avoidance, and the monster hits the 75% cap on a hit, that hit now only has a 25% chance to stun me.
  • Any character who therefore devotes 75 Stun Avoidance is immune to all stuns. This would require rebalancing of the Stun Avoidance stat such that you need exactly as many affixes of it to reach 75% as you would need to get Crit Avoid to 100% or a Resist to 75%.
  • EHG can then add a Monster Trait “Has higher Stun Chance” whose cap is 80% or higher (breaking the standard cap) as a bit of a challenge.
  • Player gear, passives & skills can have increases to stun chance (again, need to be rebalanced with lower #s) to make “stun” builds.

Or, just remove stun from the game. Easy Peasy, Lemon Squeezy.

Can’t say it better.

There is a reason channels make you stun immune, they would be literaly unplayable without it and the devs know it.

I would like to add that telegraphed stuns are good. If i get hit by a telegraph that has a 100% chance to stun, thats on me. Those are cool.

Also, lets not forget that the defense system got reworked, making us way less tankier but the stun formula was not touched accordingly. The problem has only gotten worst over time at it punishes those who spent the most time pushing end game and diving deep into it.

Like @McFluffin said, there are some attempts with some items to mitigate this but they are not what the game needs.

I asked Mike in the dev stream about this and he answered that stuns are there to make te player be scared of hard content, to always be a threat in case you decide to take a level 60 char to a level 90 area. I get that, but my GG character should not get stunned by a homing arrow that hits me for 50 damage end game. It just feels horrible.

In D2 they have “cannot be frozen” so as a player you “suffer” throught the cold mobs until you get that mod, and then you feel great cuz you no longer worry about it. Imagine D2 without “cannot be frozen” mod. Thats what we have in LE.

RNG based stuns counter brawling and the hand to hand visceral combat that LE is great for, forcing players into builds that “avoid” combat and “lap run” at the edges of the map.

Its great to think in combat scenarios “i can go in on this guys becouse i have 3k hp and they will only do 2k damage to me if i kill them in a full rotation, and i know i have enough damage! Ok im going in!”
Proceeds to get stunned by the first hit that has 5% chance to stun you! Unlucky hehe enjoy your next try!

If i die, i want to die to a mistake i make or to the lack of power of my hero, not to a random stun that makes me wanna stop playing.

Let us fight!!!

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ok. i had to think about this , but i’ll have to agree. I see your point and i think that a cap is just a cleaner, simpler design but you can still have balance problems even when such things are capped.

You mentioned crit avoidance which is a good example. you can actually get crit avoidance to 100%, and according to everyone who plays this game better than me, you HAVE to in empowered monos.

great, so now i HAVE to pay a “crit avoidance tax” on my gear.

so LE adds a couple of more things that i have to do, and now the game has a balance problem.

for example let’s say i can get stun avoidance to 100%. well’ that’s great, except now i have put 100% of stun on my gear or in my tree because high level content can stun me just like most of the time i’ll be the victim of critical strikes.

let’s say i have to do the same thing for freeze avoidance.

and voila, i now cannot possibly defend against everything, I don’t have enough passives and/or affix space, and something’s going to kill me and i have to avoid maps that have “extra chance to freeze”, or “extra chance to stun”, etc…

humorously i think this brings us back to OPs original point, why is stun in the game ? is it just an annoying addition to irritate us or does it actually add challenge ?

but with a hat tip to @Llama8 snarky comment, you can have this discussion about anything. why are resistances capped at 75 and not 80, or 70 ? Why is it possible to get crit avoidance to 100% ? why isn’t that 75 ? do we really need poison, necrotic AND void damage, wouldn’t 2 of the 3 be good enough ?

p.s. and honestly I’m not really sure why stun should be in the game. it’s not obvious to me that it makes the game any more interesting to play.

That answer makes no sense at all. the monster damage alone should make a level 60 character pretty much impossible to run in a level 90 area.

why in the world would you add a specific mechanic for that situation ?

if you take a level 60 character in a level 90 area it should be a threat because the enemies can kill you really easily.

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The problem obviously is more present to players that push high difficulty regularly. I’m aware of the discussion between the “vets” like @McFluffin pointed out. Out of lack of own experience I never felt affected by that.

Due to the past few community events we had, I pushed some builds and now I feel affected, although I’m not currently on levels some of the high level players here.

But the level of frustration I already encounter makes me want to speak about it. I feel like that for 2 patches now. It’s not gamebreaking, but something that bothers me from time to time.

At some point also casual players - that don’t have a big issue when they start - at some point will be there, where I’m currently am and other players already are for a while.

It has become easier to reach higher difficulty because of mechanical changes and introduction of more powerful items and how well known the game mechanics are nowadays thanks to guides created by pro players.

This exactly what I thought, too. The stun formular is a relic from the old times where the whole concept of defense was without hard caps. It should be adjusted to the new standard.

That’s absolutely ok. This is related to player skill and awareness. I’m fine with that, too.

That is also true. The purpose of my post is not to make enemies weaker to push higher numbers of waves.

The problem I have is with the effect the stun mechanic has at higher difficulty and that the player has no chance to work around. Were just presented a mechanic that accelerates/escalates way to quickly. The player has nothing to counter it.

EHG could also get rid of crit avoidance and say “at one point you should be critted and oneshot because enemies scale infinite”. But instead they have this mechanic that you can work with and delay that point where you get oneshot. And this is fun. The player gets control about the situation and a tool to get into higher difficulty.

If stun is meant to be the softcap mechanic to prevent hardcore players to progress infinite, then why have stun avoidance at all?

Also getting stunned feels more frustrating than being oneshot. Getting oneshot ends your run immediately. It’s frustrating, but it’s over.

Getting stunned by a small spider rendering you immobile and locking you from using any escape mechanics, forcing you to watch your character die is worse.

That’s why I think the stun mechanic doesn’t add to the experience. I get the reasoning behind it. But I don’t think the current mechanic is fun.

It looks like a problem for the “elite” that won’t affect everybody. But I think this is already shifting and not the case anymore.

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In the meantime or as “ultima ratio” you could introduce that during a stun you are still allowed to use any movement skill.
→ I mean, the Warpath already says: “You cannot be stunned while spinning.”

So you want a stun to not actually stun?

If you really are subject to a stun every time you get shot, you can/could at least escape once every few seconds with a movement skill. But then I would also concede this to the opponents.
→ Was just an idea.

Personally, I also very rarely build such glass cannons, so I’ve never really had problems with stun-lock-like and so on.