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  1. #1
    Developer Eladrin's Avatar
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    Default Summary of Combat Changes in Menace of the Underdark

    Major changes are being made to the hit formulas in Menace of the Underdark to address several Armor Class and mitigation issues that plague the system we currently have on the live servers, and become especially apparent in extreme content. Armor Class is intended to provide indirect damage mitigation over time – it makes sense that the less the monsters hit you, the less damage you take.

    We've put this thread together to try to explain what we're doing and why. (Several changes have occurred since earlier beta rounds - if I don't mention something, it's probably been removed.)

    The biggest issue that we have is that against any particular monster, there is only a “functional AC band” of 20 points, where each point of Armor Class matters. Let’s look at a mid level example, ignoring critical hits for now, where a monster with +20 to hit is attacking a player:

    Attachment 561
    Figure 1: Mid Level AC – Monster attacking Player

    The mitigation curve with the live system looks like this. Against a monster with a +20 to hit, if you have a 21 or lower Armor Class (the first red zone), you are hit 95% of the time, since monsters miss on a roll of a natural 1. It doesn’t really matter if you’re at 10 AC, 15, or 21 – you’re still getting hit 95% of the time. At an Armor Class of 40 or higher, once again, each point of Armor Class is excessive – the monster is only hitting on a roll of a Natural 20, so your Armor Class is “wasted”.

    Major problems start arising when character AC’s in a party are 20 or more points apart – monsters can barely touch one character but are almost always hitting the other character. The low AC character is taking an astounding nineteen times as many hits as the high AC character. Meanwhile, to challenge the high AC character, monster to-hit numbers have crept up significantly, until we reach our current epic level content, which has charts like this:

    Attachment 560
    Figure 2: Epic Lord of Blades - Monster attacking Player

    The Epic Lord of Blades, without serious debuffs, hits everyone’s Armor Class in the game right now 95% of the time, from the angriest Frenzied Berserker in a loincloth to a Stalwart Defender wearing the best defensive gear in the game.

    Since Epic quests, until now, have been designed for a certain extremely hardcore crowd, this was somewhat acceptable, but in Menace of the Underdark we’re opening them up to a wider audience (including Casual, Normal, Hard, and Elite modes).

    Players have often told us that the Armor Class system is broken, and the charts above clearly indicate that they’re absolutely right! It’s completely true, especially in high level content. The system functions only in a very narrow band of 20, but player AC ranges wildly from single digits to hovering right around 100. This unsurprisingly leads to characters discarding any attempts to increase their Armor Class, since there’s no way for them to get it to the point where it has any actual effect on gameplay. (Tabletop D&D has a few systems that address the disparity, such as additional attacks per turn at increasing penalties - even if the first attack will hit you 95% of the time, the second or third attack might miss if you have some focus on AC.)

    We would like Armor Class to matter to everybody. We would also like everyone to gain some benefit if they acquire an item that increases their Armor Class by another 3 points, regardless of how high their Armor Class already is.

    Our solution is to change the way Attack Bonus and Armor Class are compared. Instead of adding 1d20 to a monster’s Attack Bonus and directly comparing the values, we’re calculating a hit chance separately. Each point of Armor Class increases your chance to be missed, while each point of the monster’s Attack Bonus increases their chance to hit you. The tooltip on your Armor Class value of your character sheet will display your chance to be missed by the “average monster” of your level.

    Attachment 558
    Figure 3: Defense Chance in the AC Tooltip

    A general rule with the new formula is that every doubling of Armor Class pretty much doubles your mitigation. A character with 30 Armor Class will be hit approximately half as often by a specific monster as one with a 15 Armor Class, and one with a 60 Armor Class will be hit approximately one quarter as often as the 15 Armor Class character.

    Players will use the same formula, but will have a 25% bonus to hit if they are proficient with their weapon. Unlike monster attack rolls, player to hit rolls will be mapped to a d20 by rounding to the nearest 5% - if you hit on a 13, you’ll hit on a 13. Players will also graze opponents on a roll of 2 or higher on the d20 instead of a 10 or higher – if you character looks like it hit with your weapon, it should do some damage on anything but a roll of a 1.

    Converting to a system like this increases the band of “Effective Armor Class” dramatically, but also results in high Armor Class characters being hit more often. If we did nothing to address that, the mitigation curves for above charts would look like this:

    Attachment 553
    Figure 4: Mid Level AC Comparison of Systems – Monster attacking Player

    Values from 17 to 305 Armor Class are supported with this mid-level curve.
    Attachment 554
    Figure 5: Epic Lord of Blades Comparison of Systems – Monster attacking Player

    The Epic Lord of Blades now acquires a chance to miss at 66 Armor Class, and the curve doesn’t reach a 95% miss chance until 1244 Armor Class.

    While these curves dramatically assist characters with Armor Class lower than the Attack Bonuses of their opponents, this isn’t sufficient to keep high Armor Class characters “tanking” as well as we would like. There are two additional changes that we’re planning to help them out there, and one for the lightly armored dexterous classes out there.
    • More Armor Class for wearing Armor
      We want armor to mean more to your character than it does today. Currently on live, a character with a 90 Armor Class is likely to be getting 16 or fewer points of their Armor Class from the suit of armor they are physically wearing. We’re creating multiple “tiers” of armor that provide increased bonuses, starting around level 7.

      Named items will be retroactively upgraded to grant bonuses appropriate for the tier that they drop at. The Epic Red Dragonplate Armor, for example, will provide 27 total points of Armor Bonus instead of 16.

      We didn’t forget about the Warforged – Docents will now also grant different amounts of Armor based on your body feats.

      Several feats and enhancements have been modified to provide greater amounts of Armor Class or percentage boosts to Armor Class.

    • Physical Resistance Rating
      Heavily armored or defensive characters will be taking decreased damage from physical (bludgeoning, piercing, or slashing) damage due to a Physical Resistance Rating score.

      If you are proficient in your armor, you will have a starting Physical Resistance Rating, modified by whether it is light, medium, or heavy armor, that increases as your Base Attack Bonus increases.

      Shield Mastery, Improved Shield Mastery, Two Weapon Defense, various Defensive Stances, and the monk’s Earth Stance all provide various amounts of stacking Physical Resistance Rating.

      Your Physical Resistance Rating will be visible on your character sheet, and the tooltip will let you know how much it's helping.

      Attachment 557
      Figure 6: Physical Resistance Rating Tooltip

    • Dodge
      Dodge bonuses now give a chance to evade attacks entirely instead of providing Armor Class. Your passive Dodge percentage is capped by the Maximum Dexterity Bonus of your armor, shield, or body feat, but short duration effects can go well beyond it.

      Several feats now provide Dodge bonuses that did not have defensive benefits before – Mobility and Spring Attack each grant 2% Dodge, and abilities like Uncanny Dodge and Improved Uncanny Dodge now grant a massive Dodge bonus instead of a small amount of Armor Class.


    If we include a 30% Armor Class Boost into our formulas, our Stalwart Defender III tank (wearing heavy armor and a tower shield, with Shield Mastery and Improved Shield Mastery) can expect approximately the following improvement to survivability against the Epic Lord of Blades:

    Attachment 555
    Figure 7: Includes Physical Resistance Rating and AC increases

    Our 100 AC tank on live should be going from 5% mitigation to around 64%. The Physical Resistance Rating boosts give a large amount of durability to the character, and very importantly make a healer’s job easier by making the incoming hits smaller.

    In our mid level example, we’ll drop our tank down to Stalwart Defender II (reducing their Physical Resistance Rating), but retain heavy armor and a tower shield. Against this opponent, overall mitigation drops some at high AC values (since it’s no longer really possible to get to 95%), our 40 AC tank on live is still at 78% mitigation overall:

    Attachment 556
    Figure 8: Includes Physical Resistance Rating and AC increases

    Overall Summary:
    With the new combat formulas, we’re hoping to have Armor Class matter at all levels, for every character. Each point of Armor Class that you gain will help you mitigate damage, whether it’s your 17<sup>th</sup> point or your 117<sup>th</sup>. Armors provide increased Armor Class bonuses as well as Physical Resistance Rating. It’s not really possible to reach the 95% plateau anymore, but a high Armor Class character’s survivability will still be high, and the formula is much more forgiving to middling-AC characters.

    We hope that this post helps people understand the scope of and the reasons behind the combat changes, as well as providing clarity to make them easier to understand, and we welcome further questions and feedback here in the forums.
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    Last edited by Tolero; 06-06-2012 at 05:32 PM.

  2. #2
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    D0000m!!!

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  3. #3
    The Hatchery sirgog's Avatar
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    Quick summary of what this means for you at different levels, assuming you are a Fighter or other heavy armor class:


    Low level:
    New player that wears the best AC gear they find questing (+2 Full Plate, +2 Large Shield, saves Shield of Faith potions they loot for hard fights):

    - Live: Gets hit about 30% of the time in level 7 Normal quests
    - New system: Gets hit about 35% of the time in level 7 Normals. Has a few options (Physical Resistance Rating, etc) to take some of the sting out of each hit.


    Super-twinked veteran wearing the best AC gear in the game for their level and using a min-maxxed build (Unsuppressed Dusty Rose Ioun Stone, +5 Mith Fullplate, Barkskin potions, equips +5 Mith Tower Shield in hard fights):

    - Live: Gets hit 5% of the time in level 7 elites, and grazed for small amounts of damage 35% of the time. Basically godmode when combined with DR 3/- or better (which kills off the grazes).
    - New system: Likely to be hit 15-20% of the time in level 7 elites. PRR offers a minor way to take some of the sting out but will take more damage than live.


    Middle levels:

    Newer player in the best gear they can find (+5 armor, +5 shield, +4 Protection item, Barkskin potions)

    - Live: Gets hit 5% of the time in Gianthold Normals, and maybe 45% of the time in Gianthold Elites.
    - New system: Gets hit maybe 20% of the time on Normal and 25% on Elite.

    Super-twinked veteran (+5 mithril armor, +5 mithril tower shield, +5 Protection item, Crafted Dodge +2 item, Seal of the Earth, etc, shield used only for tough fights)

    - Live: Gets hit 5% of the time in Gianthold elites, grazed often. Some very specific bosses (VON3 Inevitable, General Taggerist, Tor dragons) have much higher To-Hit than this and will hit these players 50-70% of the time.
    - New system: Gets hit maybe 15% of the time on Elite, rising to 25% against the most melee-oriented bosses.


    Upper levels:

    Newer player in the best gear they've found, using a defensive combat stance

    - Live: Gets hit 50% of the time in Inspired Quarter Normal, and 95% of the time on Elite
    - New system: 40%-ish on Normal, 60%-ish on Elite

    Veteran in nearly best in slot equipment:

    - Live: Gets hit 10-20% of the time in IQ elites. Might see some grazes too.
    - New system: Gets hit 25% or so of the time.


    'Tanking' raids below Epic (VOD, TOD, etc)

    New player in the best gear they can find:

    - Live: Hit 80% of the time on Normal, 95% on Elite
    - New system: Maybe 50% on Normal, 60% Hard, 65% Elite

    Twinked at-level veteran:

    - Live: Hit 5% of the time on Normal or Hard, 40% Elite. Drop to 5% on Elite if they are super-twinked.
    - New system: Hit maybe 25% (N), 30% (H), 35% (E).
    - So don't expect to be able to have a bard soloheal elite Vision of Destruction any more.


    Character making no emphasis on defence (e.g ranger in light armor) in raids where bosses make cleave attacks (Shroud, VON6):

    - Live: Hit 95% of the time
    - New system: Should see a fair number of misses, but a lot less than defensively specced toons.


    Pre-U13 epics:

    Newer player:

    - Live: Gets hit 95% of the time
    - New system: Gets hit ~60% of the time. Again has some PRR to take some of the sting out of those hits. Bosses might hit 70% of the time.

    Veteran in all best-in-slot equipment (3pc eAbashai, epic Seal of Earth, epic Cavalry Plate, tier 3 Alchemical shield, Dodge 1/2/3, etc):

    - Live: Gets hit ~15% of the time by trash (frequent grazes too) and 95% of the time by bosses (less if bosses are actively debuffed)
    - New system: Gets hit ~25-30% of the time by trash, and ~50% of the time by bosses.
    Last edited by sirgog; 06-06-2012 at 07:07 PM.
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  4. #4
    Community Member Sgt_Hart's Avatar
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    Afraid it needs some re-attachment work due to the thread shifting(Me thinks it was shifted & cleaned)?
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  5. #5
    Community Member Jay203's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eladrin View Post
    The Epic Lord of Blades now acquires a chance to miss at 66 Armor Class, and the curve doesn’t reach a 95% miss chance until 1244 Armor Class.
    Dear Eladrin
    please tell me how we can be so uber as to reach the said armor class
    thanks~
    PS: Greensteel RUINED the game! and you all know it!
    less buffing, more nerfing!!!
    to make it easier for those of you that wants to avoid me in game, all my characters are in "Bladesworn Mercenaries"

  6. #6
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    And how does the to-hit of a lvl20 barb change? Say, 60 str raged/2x frenzied? What's the average chance to hit epic mobs on hard?
    ME BARB, ME SMA-ok I stand here with pretty blue lines around me. ok I take damage. ok bye.

  7. #7
    Community Member Vellrad's Avatar
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    Could you add similiar percentage chance display to our saves please?

  8. #8
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    Why was the displacement spell changed, pointless nerf....
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  9. #9
    The Hatchery jejeba86's Avatar
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    We are missing a big part of the original post. Why that?

    Eladrin, could you or torc explain with numbers why the change to displacement?
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  10. #10
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    Default Gimp charter

    LOL grazing hits for all toons on 2 no matter how gimped they are or how high the AC of the monster.

    I wonder if there are any effects that occur with grazing hits?

    Sneak attack?

  11. #11
    Community Member Blank_Zero's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cashiry View Post
    Why was the displacement spell changed, pointless nerf....
    I just reread the whole thing. I must have missed something...

    edit:nvrmnd, found it.

    *** eladrin?
    Last edited by Blank_Zero; 06-06-2012 at 08:29 PM.
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    Community Member t0r012's Avatar
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    Displacement was obviously nerfed to self only because 50% miss will be a HUGE bonus. Being able to just willy nilly add it to every toon in a dungeon/raid coupled with the new mitigation bonuses would be a huge mistake.

    --------------
    I have to say I'm a bit disappointed with how the new system has given a disproportionately large boost to those that have done nothing or next to nothing for AC and in some ways penalizes those that put lots of time and effort into a high AC.
    Not having experienced the system first hand I can't say that is really the case but the way the number look in this post it seems that way.
    Move along , Nothing to see here

  13. #13
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    So... one question. How does this all relate to PNP?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blank_Zero View Post
    I just reread the whole thing. I must have missed something...

    edit:nvrmnd, found it.

    *** eladrin?
    Same reason that pretty little chart uses active boosts. Makes the system look better.

  15. #15
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    Against a 50 ac monster increasing your + hit will only increase your + hit by 1/5th of the old amount (1% instead of 5%). Against a 60 ac it will be 1/6th, etc. This will marginalize + hit equipment and + hit stats (there will be no point in taking weapon finesse, but strength will still be useful for the + damage and carry capacity). So before a +4 hit item was awesome, now don't bother.

    If you have an 80 ac and you were thinking of dumping 16 build points into dex (10 initial and 6 level up) then against:
    A +100 hit monster (something epic like ELOB) you are going from being hit 69% of the time to 63% (less than 1% per stat point instead of 5% per stat point).

    At epic levels the characters that benefit from this system are the ones that dump dex. Only large AC items matter (+8 epic full plate).

    I like the physical resistance and dodge stats.
    Please revert AC to how it was.
    You can move some of the AC bonuses to physical resistance and dodge bonuses instead so that you can lower some of the epic hit bonuses.
    Please revert displacement to how it was.

    The new system encourages you to dump AC. The only AC you care about is from large bonuses, ie your fullplate (especially if you are a defender). You should dump dex (aside from what you want for reflex saves). Before if you had a meaningful AC every point of dex was MAJOR. Now just equip AC items if you have empty slots that wouldn't be better filled with something else. If you are a monk you should consider dumping wis too if your DCs aren't viable.

    The new system encourages you to dump + hit bonuses. Now just equip + hit items if you have empty slots that wouldn't be better filled with something else. Weapon finesse is a waste of a feat. Before assuming you weren't severely under equiped every point of hit was MAJOR (ie keeping power attack on with full bonuses).

    The winners are people that dump AC, dump dex, wear fullplate and no shield (armor > shield with physical resistance). If not for the supreme cleave change the 18 barbarian/2 fighter would be the big winner (also gets uncanny dodge for 60% dodge).

    It just reinforces the melees should only put points into str and con train of thought.
    Last edited by maddong; 06-07-2012 at 04:53 PM.

  16. #16
    Community Member eterna1_drag0n's Avatar
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    So far this Combat system change is just making it new player friendly.
    I think the vets or toons that geared for AC are suffering. Your eLoB is not a good baseline! An AC system should not be made just to mitigate 1 boss, and frankly that's what I'm seeing here. Anyone with 100 AC should be only getting hit 10% of the time at most anyway, come-on. The problem in Epic is because the code for the mobs is way out of proportion.
    Ex. CR35 currently has like a 70+ to hit. That is the problem.

    I like the idea of your hit probability curve, but it needs a realistic cap not in the 1000s range. Bad enough eLoB has a 80+ to hit, you're intending to give him a +1000...

    I'm running a WF monk splash ranger on live right now; this is a DPS focused toon not AC focused. His AC is a bonus from gear and monk splash. I have un-buffed AC at @ 60 with the twink gear, I can self buff up to 70 which makes running around solo normals relatively easy ~+90% miss rate.

    With the new system they miss around 70% with dodge and blur included. The Physical Resistance is negligible ~6.8%, if in earth stance and wielding 2 weapons instead of hand wraps. WF body types are not monkable. Now in the new system i take off some of that AC gear i still get miss roughly the same amount only a +5-10% increase in landed hits. Maybe I'm just to used to the current +20 system...

    So the new system is nice for new players but AC will no longer be relevant enough to grind/buy twink gear for classes that are not intended to tank.

    Please just change your % miss system to cap out at 95% at a 150-200 AC. Same curve just change the slope to make it relevant in game

    Also changing the exceptional Plating on some named docents to a 10% fortification buff... WHY!!!

    My red scale on a composite body only give me 11 AC now; and that's with a +7 blue sloted, it was a +14 before. Not to mention it takes a 26 Dex to equal the AC bonus granted by Adamantine body in that armor alone.
    Last edited by eterna1_drag0n; 06-09-2012 at 01:11 AM.
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    would someone please explain how these changes effect monks? We used to have the ability to get high AC - now it seems that our AC will be going down &, unless we use mountain stance, we don't have anywhere near the PRR that armor gives. Even with mountain stance, we still fall behind in PRR compared to fighters & paladins.

    Now I know that we could theoretically get a higher dodge bonus than armor users but still, how much dodge is really feasable without totally gimping our dps? A fighter would get the majority of their AC & PRR from their armor and shield (if they bother to use 1) - anything else is just gravy. I can't see monks getting anything like a useful dodge from just their robes & bracers.

    So in summary, it would seem that a monk would have less AC & PRR than other melee classes without enough dodge to make up for it. Am I missing something?

  18. #18
    Community Member eterna1_drag0n's Avatar
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    Also add a spot on character sheet to show our dodge % please. As of right now we have to count feats, enhancements and items and hope it's WAI.
    Khyber: mislabeled, thekeymaster, nondevout, five

  19. #19
    Community Member BTIGER's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by t0r012 View Post
    Displacement was obviously nerfed to self only because 50% miss will be a HUGE bonus. Being able to just willy nilly add it to every toon in a dungeon/raid coupled with the new mitigation bonuses would be a huge mistake.

    --------------
    Actually it doesn't seem to be a really big difference over Blur, not even close to 30% if you do the math for a high AC character. Around 10% or less over blur. It really has the best effect on low AC characters. Not a flat effect as you might think.

  20. #20
    Community Member BTIGER's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eterna1_drag0n View Post
    Anyone with 100 AC should be only getting hit 10% of the time at most anyway, come-on.
    From what I can tell, it should be possible with ALL the buffs out there (meaning cloudkill,displacement, incorporeal) to get up to 10 or 11% miss rate (and it could be higher) on non true seeing monsters with normal range Attack bonuses (so might not be possible in Epics?)

    They change the AC to max out at 95% by itself and all those buffs become "newb" buffs. A measurement stick for what true tanks do not need. I don't think I agree it needs to be taken that far.

    I agree with one thing though. Monks are getting hit hard with this so far (literally), they need some more AC bonuses to help them along. Mountain stance should give more PRR too.

    Do some research into the Iron body techniques the Shaolin monks learn Devs..

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