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Sebastien
04-20-2005, 07:11 AM
<div></div>Many thanks to the kind players on Test who helped to provide data for this study. =)  We have learned some things, but we still have some things to learn.  I will post our tentative "rules", as well as source data, and I will try to keep this thread editted/updated as rules are revised or new aspects are discovered.<font color="#ff0000" size="4"></font><font color="#ff0000" size="4">The Basics</font>Base avoidance for most characters will be around 20%.  This will not improve as you level, since avoidance is relative to a mob of your same level.  You will gain 0.2% avoidance each mini-ding, but it will reset back to 20% when you ding.Another way to express this would be:  Base Avoidance = 20 + (Defense / 5) - Level(technically you should divide all terms by 100 since avoidance is a %)The short and simple version is that most characters avoid hits from white mobs about 20% of the time.<font color="#ff0000" size="4"></font><font color="#ff0000" size="4">Armor</font>Very Light Armor provides no bonus or penalty to avoidance.Light Armor provides no bonus or penalty to avoidance.Medium Armor incurs a 5% penalty to base avoidance.Heavy Armor incurs a 15% penalty to base avoidance.<font color="#ff0000" size="4"></font><font color="#ff0000" size="4">Armor Rules</font>The penalty to avoidance created by Medium and Heavy armors is calculated per piece.  There are seven pieces of armor total.  The game assigns a portion of the total penalty to each individual piece of armor, according to the following scheme:<font face="Courier New">Armor Piece    Portion    Medium Penalty    Heavy Penalty</font><hr><font face="Courier New"> Helmet          10%         - 0.50%          - 1.50% Breastplate     25%         - 1.25%          - 3.75% Shoulders       15%         - 0.75%          - 2.25% Wrists          15%         - 0.75%          - 2.25% Gloves          10%         - 0.50%          - 1.50% Legs            15%         - 0.75%          - 2.25% Boots           10%         - 0.50%          - 1.50%</font><hr><font face="Courier New">Totals          100%         - 5.00%          -15.00%</font>Many thanks to Tranmek for getting nekkid and patiently dressing and undressing himself for me... you stud. =P<font color="#ff0000" size="4">Questions</font><b>How do Defense Buffs factor in?</b>In a simple world, buffing your Defense would give you 0.2% avoidance per point of additional Defense, since that is how it works in the basic formula.  This does not seem to work with Defense Buffs.  Either you get less of a benefit from buffs, or there is a very short cap on this.  It is possible that the cap on avoidance from Defense is as low as 0.6%.  This requires further testing please.<b>How does AGI factor in?</b>The short answer is that it practically does not matter, at all, in terms of avoidance.  I am pretty disappointed with what I have seen from the current mechanics, so far.  It seems like as much as 300 AGI provides as little as 0.7% avoidance.  Typical AGI's of 50-100 might get you an extra 0.1%.  This is just silly, as far as I am concerned.  You might as well not have the stat or AGI buffs at all.Further testing is needed, but initial results are that AGI does practically nothing at all for avoidance.I will post my data points later.. right now I am logging on Neriak to crawl with my guildmates in RE.  I hope this is helpful for folks, and provides a starting point for discussion. =)<div></div>

Sebastien
04-21-2005, 10:26 AM
More on the Affects of AGI In order to attempt to see how much AGI can impact avoidance, I gathered the following data with the help of testers.  Predicted Avoidance is what the base avoidance "should" be, according to the formula in by above post, taking into account armor penalties.  Actual Avoidance is what the tester reporter their base avoidance to be.  AGI error is the difference between the two, which I assume to be related to AGI. <font face="Courier New">Level    Defense   Armor Type   Predicted   Actual    "AGI error"     AGI</font> <hr><font face="Courier New"> 12        61        Light        20.2%      20.2%          0.0%       16  19        96        Medium       15.2%      15.2%          0.0%       23  25       125        Medium       20.0%      20.2%          0.2%       85  38       191        V. Light     20.2%      20.2%          0.0%       70  35       178        V. Light     20.6%      20.6%          0.0%       52  11        58        Light        20.6%      20.5%         -0.1%       23  42       220        Heavy         7.0%       6.8%         -0.2%       89  41       208        Medium       15.6%      16.3%          0.7%      314   </font> <hr> Notice that, for most characters, the formula I described works exactly, and AGI provides them with no benefit whatsoever.  One player, with AGI of 85, received a 0.2% bonus to avoidance.  There are some "penalties" being displayed, and I am not sure where they come from.  For the Guardian with 220 defense at level 42, we are seeing some sort of cap effect again. Notice that even 314 AGI provided only a 0.7% bonus to avoidance.  The AGI stat seems almost entirely obsolete? <div></div>

Ceruline
04-21-2005, 06:55 PM
<P>Unforunately, that does indeed seem to be the case.</P> <P> </P> <P>I've asked on some of the profession forums to try to get some scout data on what the current avoidance effects are.  I'm hoping that by bringing together that current data with our post-change data we can show that it is enough of a falloff to require some sort of rethinking of how agility is currently working post patch.</P> <DIV>These changes to avoidance and defense were not thoroughly thought through.  While the changes eliminate one problem, the problems they create are far more wide ranging, and greatly hurt the very viability of an entire archetype in solo play.</DIV><p>Message Edited by Ceruline on <span class=date_text>04-21-2005</span> <span class=time_text>08:01 AM</span>

Sebastien
04-21-2005, 11:12 PM
What I would like to see is a table similar to the melee STR bonus, for AGI. So, it would look like this: AGI         Avoid Bonus 100             125% 200             135% 300             145% 400             155% That would give a scout with AGI of 200 (a nominal figure for many scouts), and medium armor, a base avoidance as follows: 20% to start, less 5% for medium armor, yields 15% x 1.35 (bonus from AGI) = 20.25% I really don't think that is unreasonable; it's like saying a scout can override the avoidance penalty of medium armor by getting his or her AGI to 200. A trobador like the one in this study would have a base avoidance of 21.75%. It's not a huge difference, but at least it would feel better than knowing that 300 points of AGI only gains you a 0.7% chance to avoid. <div></div>

Ceruline
04-22-2005, 05:44 AM
<div></div>Sebastien, the problem with that is that while an increase is nice, the current scout situation needs a lot more than that.  Scouts are not viable as a solo archetype at the moment (That's not to say I can't kill things, but the downtime is so much from a green or a blue that it's simply an exercise in frustration.   The other scout subclasses are actually struggling even more than Dirges...) Scouts do not have the health or dps to have their defensive capabilities reduced so much and remain viable.  It feels as if Scouts happened to be civilian casualties in the effort to prevent tanks from becoming invulnerable with stacked buffs. <div></div><p>Message Edited by Ceruline on <span class=date_text>04-21-2005</span> <span class=time_text>08:08 PM</span>

Sebastien
04-22-2005, 09:51 AM
Ceru- My suggestion wasn't to make scouts better at soloing.  It was more along the lines of feeling that changing AGI into a useless stat is a poor idea.  I would like to see us move in the opposite direction, where stats take on more meaning, not less. As far as scout soloing, I agree that in my experience this needs to be addressed.  Scouts, and particularly predator types, do not seem to have adequate soloing abilities.  However, I think the theme of this change is an adjustment to the relative solo tanking abilities of the archtypes, and I feel SOE will be reluctant to make scouts better soloists by helping them tank better. A more fitting solution would probably be to give them better DPS, or give them additional tools, such as stifles or stuns, for dealing with incoming DPS. <div></div>

EtoilePirate
04-22-2005, 06:26 PM
<BR> <BLOCKQUOTE> <HR> Sebastien wrote:<BR>Scouts, and particularly predator types, do not seem to have adequate soloing abilities.  However, I think the theme of this change is an adjustment to the relative solo tanking abilities of the archtypes, and I feel SOE will be reluctant to make scouts better soloists by helping them tank better.<BR><BR>A more fitting solution would probably be to give them better DPS, or give them additional tools, such as stifles or stuns, for dealing with incoming DPS.<BR> <BR> <HR> </BLOCKQUOTE> <P>My 27 Assassin, who was 26 before the change (changes over with me at 90% of a level, boy did that suck) soloed magnificently until these changes happened.  Sure I had to be careful what mobs I took on, but I could avoid enough hits that my very high DPS and ability to strike quickly took out the majority of encounters I faced.  When I wasn't careful, I died; that was my own fault for not being good at being an assassin.</P> <P>Same character now spends so much time stunned <EM>when fighting grey, green, and blue mobs</EM> that I can't get in any hits, and I've had to run -- or died from -- greys as a result.  Anything I can't kill with a single stroke (which is anything 8-9 levels below me) has a decent chance of doing me in, and it did not before.  That's the real problem.  With AGI -- the stat on which scout archetypes rely -- being rendered useless for avoidance, I spend so much time stunned (God, how I <STRONG>HATE</STRONG> seeing "Cannot Cast") that I can barely fight at all.  I've spent the same amount of time grinding to 30% of level 27 that I spent on all ov level 26.</P> <P>It's not a matter of scouts being able to tank or not; we shouldn't ever have mobs able to just wail on us the way they can on a shadowknight or something.  But when fighting mobs at the white, blue, green, or grey level, we should CERTAINLY not be hit so much that we can't retaliate.  In my head, a white mob should hit me 50% of the time, because it and I are of equal skill levels.  But as it stands it's hitting me roughly 70% of the time, and as a consequence it kicks my butt.  I should be moving to the Enchanted Lands by now but instead I'm grinding greens in Nek and the Steppes, because that's all I can handle without dropping dead.</P> <P>Sorry to vent it all on this particular thread, but THAT'S where the subclass stands right now, and it's not good at all.  There aren't very many Assassins on Test -- often a /who all shows I'm the only one, or that the other two are above level 40 -- so I feel like I have to stand up for myself.  I love playing my Assassin.  The play style suited me gloriously until these combat changes.  I spend 90% of my time in stealth, choose my battles carefully, then appear out of nowhere and kill things dead dead dead.  It's great.  But I can't even do that anymore.  THAT'S why avoidance and agility need to be fixed.<BR></P>

Ceruline
04-22-2005, 06:55 PM
<P>Sebastien -</P> <P>I have to disagree about the theme of this change.  As far as soloing goes, it has been explicitly stated that the existing balance wasn't intended to shift significantly at all.  The changes were intended to change the balance in group combat, in particular the performance of tanks with stacked buffs.  Unfortunately, what seems to have been primarily targeted was the influence of agility buffing on said tanks without due thought to the ramifications of this on other classes (Primarily Scouts, as they are both heavily agi driven, both through self buffs and natural progression, and a melee combat class)</P> <P>I do agree that stats need to have significant effects.  As a Dirge, a significant portion of my utility comes from stat and skill buffs, so I'm obviously concerned with that, given what I give up in dps in order to have that utility.  </P> <P>The problem is that Scouts are not viable right now, and going live like this will alienate a very large number of people, for no reason other than it was easier to go live than balance the shifts.  The issue that the avoidance change was put in to fix pales in comparison to the issues that the change is creating, both in terms of severity and number of players affected.  It's not an adjustment to preexisting relative solo tanking of the archetypes - Tanks are, and should be better at solo tanking, but that doesn't mean that Scouts ought to be incapable of it - in fact, because we generally need to be in melee in order to kill things, without being at least moderately viable defensively, our soloing ability goes out the window.  </P> <P>The shift in the solo tanking ability of the archetypes was caused by the unforeseen side effects of the defensive changes, not by design, and I only want our spot in the balance of power to be restored (And for the archetype to be as viable as it was before the changes - and even then, when someone asked what class to be if they wanted to solo well, Scout subclasses hardly ever entered into the discussion - but at least we could function adequately)</P>

Sebastien
04-22-2005, 08:16 PM
Well that is why I am thinking that making AGI somewhat more meaningful will address that concern? Basically, here is what I see as possibly being SOE's concern here: To the extent that scouts are given enough avoidance to solo-tank effectively, they are given enough avoidance to become untouchable in full-buff groups.  Maybe SOE needs to simply increase the relative effectiveness of Medium armor instead?  /shrug <div></div>

Sebastien
04-22-2005, 08:18 PM
<div></div>BTW, Ceru?  What does your "damage taken" stat come out to right now?  In theory you have about 5% less mitigation than a fighter, but 10% more avoidance.  That actually seems like a favorable tradeoff?  The other difference, which is significant under the new rules, is the shield.  Have you considered soloing with a good round shield? <div></div><p>Message Edited by Sebastien on <span class=date_text>04-22-2005</span> <span class=time_text>09:19 AM</span>

Corlin
04-23-2005, 02:27 AM
Anyone in a tanking role (including scouts soloing) should equip a shield now.  Its a huge boost compared to any stat buffs.  The downside is that for scouts (or anyone dual wielding) you effectively halve your ATK (mine goes from mid 700s to high 300s).