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  1. #1
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    Post The Difference Between Maximum HP and Current HP

    Ever since 2011, I think it was, a character's Hit Points are now visible to others in their party. This has enabled a lot of grief (especially for new players and veteran specialists) when playing in parties with folks who are obsessed with Maximum Hit Point numbers. (Theirs and other's.) I have heard of folks getting dropped from parties and/or being treated improperly because someone thought their Maximum Hit Points were too low. I have heard of players receiving poor advice on their builds, such as "EVERYONE needs a high Maximum Hit Point total." Such bad behavior in our community should stop, of course, but there is not much we can do in controlling others. So I decided to offer this thread as a way to equip new players with more game knowledge to help them feel secure and confident in their characters, as well as to offer veterans an opportunity to relate to the material herein. The purpose of this thread, then, is for constructive and positive conversation to take place, of which this community always needs more.

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    There are two kinds of Hit Points in Dungeons & Dragons Online (DDO): Current HP and Maximum HP.

    A character's Current Hit Points are a matter of life and death. If he goes below a Current HP of 1, then he cannot participate in the quest. If he goes below a Current HP of (-9), then he will be dead and will need to be resurrected in order to participate. Keep in mind, however, that a player remains alive so long as his Current HP is above (-9). Also, in order to stay alive and have a chance for the Perfection Bonus at the end of the quest (+10% XP!), all players will need to keep their Current HP above (-9) at all times and never go below that. The best way to ensure a Perfection Bonus to XP, then, is to have sufficient healing in your party. In a massively multiplayer online (MMO) game, you will have the opportunity to balance your parties with up to six or twelve other players. Balancing parties with specialists is a great way to keep everyone alive and succeed in the quests' objectives.

    A character's Maximum Hit Points are not a matter of life and death. The only thing that Max. HP provides is the ability for a character to survive big hits (either qualitatively or quantitatively) a bit longer so that the party healer can increase his Current HP to a safer level so that he can take even more big hits. That's it. It does not matter if your character's Max. HP is 1,800 or 180 - he will only be alive based on his Current HP (which must be above (-9)).

    So when building your character, consider how you are going to actually play him. Team strategies will determine if you need to worry about certain statistics. But it is a good idea to always know your role in a party, to do your job, and to help others do their jobs. After all, MMOs are all about meeting nice, fun people and then playing to team strategies. Being a good team player and being friendly will help you and everyone else succeed.

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    The characters who need a high Maximum Hit Point number are typically the front line combatants. These are characters who either expect or WANT to take big hits from enemies. A prime example is the Tank unit, which is the melee character in the party whose job it is to grab ALL enemy Aggro and hold it. When he succeeds at this, then the team can just wail on bad guys and support the Tank. (Works like a charm.) In that case, the Tank will need a very high number of Maximum Hit Points. The reason is because he will be taking numerous hits (quantity) and huge-damage hits (quality). As a result, the party's healer will have to constantly cast spells on the Tank in order to keep his Current HP above (-9) (hopefully above 1!) at all times so that the Tank can do his job for the team. With the Tank having his Current HP going down so fast and so often, having a high amount of Maximum HP enables the healer to keep him going longer.

    Another character that needs a relatively high Maximum HP is the Infantry unit of the party. This front line combatant is usually busy flanking the enemies whose focus is on the Tank. With all the enemy fire coming towards the Tank, the nearby Infantry unit should expect to receive a fair amount of big hits, both quantitatively and qualitatively. Hence, a higher Maximum HP will help the party's Medic to heal them both more easily.

    In the two above examples, any character being played as a Tank or an Infantry either WANT or EXPECT to receive big hits. As a result, they will need high Maximum Hit Points so as to give the party's Medic a chance to keep their Current Hit Points in the positive.

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    The other way to play a character is from the back line of combat. Usually back there are the Spellcaster class types and the Specialist class types, all performing ranged duties. They play from a safe position and rely on the Tank to keep enemies off of them. Back line combatants neither want nor expect to receive big hits. As a result, they should be built to specialize on their ranged, back line duties and not on the front line duties. Hence, Maximum Hit Points is not a concern for back line operators (like the Combat Controller, the Medic, the Artillery, and usually the Engineer). But while Current HP is everyone's concern (and thank goodness for those who play Medics in DDO!), Maximum HP will not help the back line do their jobs better, especially when they are busy avoiding damage altogether.

    But there are rare instances when the back line combatants will pick up enemy Aggro. Because they invested their precious build resources into AVOIDING damage and not into Maximum Hit Points, they will be vulnerable to big hits. But fear not, for big hits can almost always be avoided: such as by not walking through armed traps, not soloing mobs with a Robe on, and learning more about a quest as you read up on them on the DDO Wiki or practice them with your friends.

    The ways that a character avoids taking damage (especially big hits) is by building, gearing, and playing for such a thing. Building on Hit Points does nothing to help a character avoid taking damage. Hit Points also do not make your character stronger, nor does having a high Maximum HP guarantee that you will live. So let's consider what WILL help a character live when he is not focused on his Maximum Hit Points number. (That is, a character who avoids taking damage at all, thus reducing or eliminating the need for a high Maximum HP number.)

    1) Playing from the back line means that you are in a safe place. Playing from safety instead of in danger is a great way to avoid taking any damage, which then lets you focus on doing what you do better than anyone else can do.

    2) Try not to get Aggro. (A.k.a. "Stay low on enemy Hate Lists.") There are great ways in DDO to avoid grabbing Aggro:

    (A) always stay in the back line and let the Tank grab all the Aggro (a.k.a. "Help others do their jobs");

    (B) don't be the first person that an enemy sees, or you will be at the top of his Hate List, and then he will attack you (because you grabbed his Aggro);

    (C) coordinate your attacks on those targets that you know for sure are focused on the Tank (so that you don't accidentally pull them)

    (D) utilize Threat-reducing techniques, such as with gear (like the Stealth Strike item enchantment, which is easy to Craft, by the way) and Enhancements (like Wizard/Sorcerer Subtle Spellcasting).

    3) Shed any Aggro that you do get. The primary Skill for shedding Aggro is the Diplomacy Skill. If you get Aggro somehow, then pull the enemy to the Tank and click on the Diplomacy Skill. It is good, therefore, to build up on this Skill for all back line combatants, because they do not want Aggro. Diplomacy only works on enemies that can be Influenced, however. This means that you might have to pull your enemy to the Tank or Infantry and hope that they can pull the Aggro off you by repeatedly hitting the enemy until he switches to where he pays attention. Be patient and helpful for your teammates, as that will help you to live, as well.

    4) Sometimes you just need to move. Sometimes the battle will shift and endanger you. Sometimes you are standing in range of an Area of Effect spell (like Cometfall, which can knock you down). Pay attention and move to or remain in safe locations.

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    There are other ways to avoid damage. The four methods listed above deal predominantly with gameplay strategies. But there are also ways to build your character that enable him to avoid taking damage, even when he does pull Aggro or is standing in a dangerous place. But nevertheless, the idea is for these back line characters to help themselves minimize or avoid taking any damage at all, as well as to avoid grabbing and keeping any enemy Aggro.

    So let's review a more comprehensive list of ways to avoid taking damage:

    * Operate from safe locations
    * Help the Tank do his job
    * Correspond your attacks (optimal targeting)
    * Reduce your Threat output
    * Utilize the Diplomacy Skill near the Tank
    * Move out of the way of danger
    * Have high Saving Throw scores
    * Sneak around undetected
    * Have a high Armor Class score
    * Increase your Damage Reduction (DR)
    * Increase your Spell Resistance (SR)
    * Buffs, buffs, buffs!


    Notice that all of these methods will help you keep your Current HP high enough to live, while none of them rely on Maximum Hit Points whatsoever. (Though buffs can increase your Max. HP, which is more of a byproduct or bonus.)

    ------------

    There are characters that are built around their Dexterity score. Rogues, Monks, and Rangers come to mind, as having a high Dexterity score boosts their Reflex Saves (used for their Evasion class Feat), their survival Skills (Balance, Hide, Move Silently, Tumble), their Amor Class, and the ability to deal damage, sometimes. (Not all Rogues, Rangers, and Monks are built the same, of course. But these are the most likely classes to survive on their Dexterity score more so than any other.) Specialist class types and Monks can certainly rely on their Dexterity score in lieu of spellcasting abilities and high Max. HP numbers, but Diplomacy remains the best Skill to build upon for shedding (and pre-emptively avoiding) enemy Aggro for any character so interested.

    Damage Reduction is usually augmented by items that you find, but can also come from buffs or other special circumstances. Relying on DR, however, is not a good idea for a back line combatant, just like relying on Maximum Hit Points is not a good idea. DR helps, but it will not save you, and so building for more DR is generally unnecessary. On the other hand, DR is fantastic for front line combatants who expect to take multiple hits. (DR and Max. HP are really just front line statistics. Back line combatants can work fine without building for these.)

    Lastly, always get your buffs! Buffs keep you alive longer and help you to survive most situations in this game. The buffs that you receive from Spellcasters and Airships are liefsavers, and they tend to augment just about every single thing that your character normally does or could use at any given moment. Wait until everyone is inside the quest, then wait for the Spellcasters to buff, and then head out according to your team's strategy. The game will be so much more fun and survivable if do that.

    ------------

    As you can see, the difference between Current Hit Points and Maximum Hit Points is made more clear in understanding the party roles (this is, after all, a role-playing game) and what the back line characters do in contrast to the front line characters. Everyone needs a Current HP number of (-9) or greater, while only the front line combatants need high Maximum HP numbers. Naturally, back line Spellcaster class types need more in the way of Spell Points and sometimes also Spell Penetration, Spell Difficulty Class (like with Spell Focus), and things that boost their spellcasting abilities (like Spellpower).

    As a team, you are balanced when each and every function in the game is handled by some specialist within the party. Characters who are mediocre at numerous game functions on their own are sometimes dead weight in a group and tend not to be too reliable except for, maybe, some minor melee function. When everyone is the best at their position, however, then the team is balanced and success is more likely, which always increases the fun of the game.

    So never forget who needs Current HP (everyone!) and who provides it (the Medic!), as well as who needs the high Maximum Hit Points (the front line combatants). That way, when you build to how you want to play your character, you can better understand the game in general, as well as carry about an air of confidence when someone from the community does not fully understand or apply these game concepts, or if he tries to belittle you or your build. Stay strong and positive, and don't let anyone tell you what you did was wrong - the game and this community are much bigger than that.

    Take care.


    Snootch

  2. #2
    Community Member pelaaja's Avatar
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    While I somewhat agree on OP's post...

    ...DDO's rushing gameplay needs everyone to have moderate HP.

    The OP's post only happens when:

    1. It's a raid boss
    2. It's a static group
    3. When a miracle happens

    I do wish it was like this: You need a tank to take the hits while other DPS goes there, while casters stays far away to hit enemies or heal allies.
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    Of course the trick is in knowing just how to bend the halfling...otherwise they never come back.

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    This is not a tank/healer/dps game (there are exceptions, but they are 1% of the game), everyone should try to have a decent number of hp and be somewhat self sufficient; it doens't mean that you have to give up everything else for HP, but there's no excuse for having less than 400 hp at cap on any class.
    Last edited by IWCoppercrest; 02-01-2013 at 08:59 AM.
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    Conceptually the OP's post is sound.
    For Pen and Paper works great, for other MMO's.. sure...

    Practical application in DDO.. not so much.

    Many mobs do not retain aggro or reset aggro periodically.
    AOE attacks are rampant.
    Higher level mobs in many cases hit for more than they relatively should..

    IF you dont have a nannybot, perform your part in the party efficiently and don't die, then great.

    The real test is survivability.. as a contributor in a quest if you die regularly... you are a drain to the party.
    Loss of buffs, SP spent rebuffing, loss of CC or DPS or Spell damage while you are dead.

    It is a team oriented game and each party member makes the whole party stronger, you dont want to be the weakest link.

    There are points that make sense, utilizing gear and options to maintain a sufficent amount of HP in a balanced toon may be more beneficial then investing everything into Hitpoints and making yourself a big useless meatshield swinging wet noodles, or lack of HP and be a Glass Cannon. In other cases these may be preferred.

    This is a game of versatility and flexibility, optimizing to fit your particular playstyle is a factor. If you die alot then you need to address why and look at options to correct it. Whether it is a change in playstyle, gear, or build.

    DDO in higher level content AOE's and othe random damage effects can easily hit you for 300+ points of damage.. hense the often seen "Minimum 400HP" LFM's... this is a pretty generalized requirement.

    It is detrimental to you to level too quickly as a new player, too often I see new players zerging to high level content without any resources, gear or experience and get carried through this content by other players.

    Good gear is not allways easy to come by, as first time or new players take the time to play the appropriate level content repetatively to get good gear for your level. This may be transitional gear, but you want to be as close to the best you can be at each stage of levelling. This will help build your resources, experience, pool of usable quality gear.

    It is not required to race to endgame... enjoy the game as you play each stage.
    Jotmon - Let's not forget why we play these games - to have fun - ~
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    Update 24: Champions... "whew, it's ok, it's only a red name" .. sad day when trash spawn Champions and their one-shot ignore fort attacks instill more party fear than the Red named bosses.

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    Thank you Snootch for your unique perspective and welcome to DDO!


    Players who would like to further their gaming experience
    may feel free to check out the New Player Raid Training
    program on Sarlona:

    http://forums.ddo.com/showthread.php?p=4208724


    Participation requires being on my server, though anyone can
    still benefit from the various threads to get an idea how to
    succeed at various content.

    We also regularly discuss in channel TRing, gearsets, builds,
    quest/raid strategies, etc. People at all levels of play are
    welcome and encouraged to interact.


    Thanks again for posting, and I hope everyone is having a good day!

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    The Hatchery DarkForte's Avatar
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    Have fun being one-shotted. I sometimes see my monk go from 600 hp to 40 in the blink of an eye. Guess what'd have happened if I had less than 560 hp?

    Quote Originally Posted by SableShadow View Post
    While well worded, the OP's post is overstating the case to an extreme level.
    ******** doesn't become alright just because it's well worded.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DarkForte View Post
    doesn't become alright just because it's well worded.
    Indeed.
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  8. #8
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    kill em with kindness. nothing to complain about if one is perfectly polite ^_^

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    Wait a seconds, doesn't this same thread pop up here about once a year?

    And it always gets bashed to the ground if I recall right.

    Guess someone isn't taking the hint...

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    I'm sorry OP, but you are doing a huge disservice to new players.

    What you're saying to them will only be reinforced by their level 1-5 game play experience. Yep, those new players, who make a dex rogue, monk or ranger, who have no twink gear will probably not die early on, because the low quests are very easy, enemies will often get killed before they get a chance to fight back and starting AC can keep you alive.

    Once those 50 HP rogues hit level 10, wearing a +4 armor and +3 dex item, they will find out how quickly they start to die. Oh, they don't have a great armor, or +6 dex item, or both a high + protection and natural armor item?

    The fact that a vet can take a 6 con character and make it to 20, is not an indicator of anything, in fact, a character nearly made it to 20 with 2 con.

    There are multiple quests where you will take splash damage from spells (flame strike, comet fall, chain lightning,etc) or be immobile for a decent amount of time (severe stunning blow, trip, etc) or have a chance to take a lot of damage from spells (disintegrate, horrid wilting, DOTs, light damage, finger) or have spawns come from many different areas.

    The best way to not die, is not to get any aggro at all, which can be done by standing at the start of every quest, casting invis and waiting until it is done. For the sorc who has stop and spam diplomacy, he also had to spend points on the skill possibly increasing his intel (at the cost of something on a 28 point build) etc. The rogue can't stay in the back all the time, how about those traps ahead of the party?

    One final point. You always mention that you're fine as long as you have more then -9 HP. Well, being at 0 to -9 HP
    is nearly useless. You can't do anything for the group and someone has to spend an action to either heal you, or cast a spell on you (Rage, GH, etc) or make sure they bring enemies away from your body so a random attack doens't nick you.

    Stormraise

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stormraiser View Post
    I'm sorry OP, but you are doing a huge disservice to new players.

    What you're saying to them will only be reinforced by their level 1-5 game play experience. Yep, those new players, who make a dex rogue, monk or ranger, who have no twink gear will probably not die early on, because the low quests are very easy, enemies will often get killed before they get a chance to fight back and starting AC can keep you alive.

    Once those 50 HP rogues hit level 10, wearing a +4 armor and +3 dex item, they will find out how quickly they start to die. Oh, they don't have a great armor, or +6 dex item, or both a high + protection and natural armor item?

    The fact that a vet can take a 6 con character and make it to 20, is not an indicator of anything, in fact, a character nearly made it to 20 with 2 con.

    There are multiple quests where you will take splash damage from spells (flame strike, comet fall, chain lightning,etc) or be immobile for a decent amount of time (severe stunning blow, trip, etc) or have a chance to take a lot of damage from spells (disintegrate, horrid wilting, DOTs, light damage, finger) or have spawns come from many different areas.

    The best way to not die, is not to get any aggro at all, which can be done by standing at the start of every quest, casting invis and waiting until it is done. For the sorc who has stop and spam diplomacy, he also had to spend points on the skill possibly increasing his intel (at the cost of something on a 28 point build) etc. The rogue can't stay in the back all the time, how about those traps ahead of the party?

    One final point. You always mention that you're fine as long as you have more then -9 HP. Well, being at 0 to -9 HP
    is nearly useless. You can't do anything for the group and someone has to spend an action to either heal you, or cast a spell on you (Rage, GH, etc) or make sure they bring enemies away from your body so a random attack doens't nick you.

    Stormraise
    Well, the dying is more having to do with not knowing HOW to play a class, not a question of having high/low max health, though that does help some classes. The fact is that Specialists are there for support/ranged damage.

    All in all, if you are dying to quickly, you my need to rethink HOW your class is being played/how you are playing the class.

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    Quote Originally Posted by firelord1230 View Post
    The fact is that Specialists are there for support/ranged damage.
    This is terribly wrong. I have seen plenty of Bards, Rogues, and Rangers that can front line and even tank. My battle cleric can front line and keep the party healed; I've seen plenty of druids and favored souls do the same. You seem to have a very narrow view of what some classes are capable of.
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    Quote Originally Posted by firelord1230 View Post
    Well, the dying is more having to do with not knowing HOW to play a class, not a question of having high/low max health, though that does help some classes. The fact is that Specialists are there for support/ranged damage.

    All in all, if you are dying to quickly, you my need to rethink HOW your class is being played/how you are playing the class.
    If you specialize in being "support" damage then it is true, you are a specialist in support damage. When I hear that word support, it almost means mediocre to me.

    I specialize in healing, my character is here for just buffing and healing - no thanks.
    I specialize in support damage, my character does some damage, but not as much as others - why specialize in that?
    I specialize in traps, all of my stat points, enchantments and gear are for traps - say hello to the wizard/rogue in our party who does traps better then you, don't worry, if he goes afk, 2 others have rogue splashes.
    I specialize in CC, I'm not specced for damage, but in a pinch I can throw some dots and even survive a few hits in melee - Great, welcome aboard

    A "specialist" or "second line" character can dish out so much damage, that no amount of aggro reduction will prevent mobs from getting to them. I perfect example of this is the Necro 1 elite quests, where 1 arcane will often out kill the rest of the party combined. Besides who decides who should stay in the back? The divine casters that can run forward and hit a pack of mobs with multiple passes from a blade barrier at level 11-13? The arcane who can kill a beholder in one spell? The rogue who assassinates? The bard who can fascinate mobs, but also outdps half of the other melee characters because of better gear? It seems like the only one who really benefits from being behind is an archer, and even they need to be somewhat close to take advantage of +1W damage. So is thi specialist a non artificer (flame turret is great from levels 1-14 after which BB works well) archer?

  14. #14
    The Hatchery Enoach's Avatar
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    If we get down to brass tacks we can honestly say that the "Right" amount of HP is always greater than the next amount of damage being received.

    The question is always "What is the Right amount of HP?". And that number actually not only varies based on Class, but party role, quest, difficulty and playstyle. That's a lot of factors.

    After playing awhile a person could easily run into a large gambit of different characters with varying HP totals.

    I think the best method to help understand the "Right" amount of HP can first start with checking the basic HP at Character Level. Example a level 10 Wizard (d4) should have more than 60 HP (20 Heroic + 40 (d4x10) Class Base). Having only 60 HP or Less indicates no gear has been dedicated to the "Death Buffer". http://ddowiki.com/page/Hit_points has some additional information on Hit Points.

    Bottom line is take everything into consideration - with the goal that you don't want to die in a quest (think Permadeath style without the extreme delete character at the end if you fail). This may mean changing playstyle to help your ability to succeed. It may also mean shopping for gear with Guild Augment slots that you can use. It may also mean more "Sets" in gear to help maximize your survival.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Snootch View Post
    ...Tank unit...
    ...Infantry unit...
    ... Combat Controller, the Medic, the Artillery, and usually the Engineer...
    I'm not sure you wrote this on the right game forum, just saying.

  16. #16
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    Sometimes I make a mistake and invite a 450hp character into an epic elite run.

    They usually do their best to survive and avoid aggro. They attack the mob from behind, duck out of melee cleave attacks, and so on.

    Then a stealthed Netherese Footpad sneaks up on our little squishy that could and whacks them. With their 55% fortification bypass, they can crit for 500 easily enough. Squish goes the squishy. The same happens to the properly-built ranger next to them, and the ranger panics for a second and runs away at 230/730hp, surviving just long enough to be healed.


    Even funnier is the person that dies to ONE horrid wilting in Epic Elite Wiz-King or to rolling a 1 on ONE chain lightning from EE Lailat.


    The moral to this story: Don't assume you will never have aggro or that you will never roll a 1 on a save. Every character can be built to survive the mistakes you and other players make, just by being sensible and starting with at least 14 Con, taking one Toughness feat and all the cheap enhancements, and wearing level-appropriate Con, False Life and Fortification items. If you aren't willing to do that, you are not a team player.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sirgog View Post
    The moral to this story: Don't assume you will never have aggro or that you will never roll a 1 on a save. Every character can be built to survive the mistakes you and other players make, just by being sensible and starting with at least 14 Con, taking one Toughness feat and all the cheap enhancements, and wearing level-appropriate Con, False Life and Fortification items. If you aren't willing to do that, you are not a team player.
    Your post made this entire thread worth reading. Though I will confess I didn't really read the OP's post once I realized it was the typical long-winded attempt at trying to convince new players, since old players typically are smart enough not to fall for it, that HP isn't really useful and that tactics will win every single time.
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    The OP is wrong on many many points.

    The way he described situations MIGHT work in some quests in DDO. However, there are lots of quests when 'front' and 'back' lines either don't exist or switch places fast enough that one can not even consider them being there.

    Those 'back line guys' WILL take hits, regardless of their gameplay skills. So somewhat moderate HP is rather mandatory. However, going for MAX possible HP is not needed, because you the return of investment starts getting lower and lower after a certain point.

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    To the point about 'If you manage to not draw attention and don't stay on the frontline, you don't need hit points', there are way too many quests with area of effect spells that don't really care about who has aggro, where enemies spawn from all directions and there is no behind the lines, or enemies that randomly reset aggro. The OP's advice would severely restrict you from being able to contribute in such a quest. In addition, the characters he's giving this advice to are the kind that usually have the fewest ways to mitigate damage through PRR, which is a double whammy.

    Does everyone need the most possible hit points technically possible for their class, three barbarian past lives, etc? No, but there is simply no point in hampering your character from the start. If you want to be able to contribute in any meaningful way in the hardest content, you have to have at least 1hp, and a high hit point total is a must. Doesn't have to all be from CON - there is greater false life, toughness, guild augment crystals, greensteel, etc that can add over 100 to your hp total. But you had better expect and be able to take at least that 500+ hp hit in one shot in the toughest content.
    Last edited by IWIronheart; 02-01-2013 at 10:15 PM.

  20. #20
    Community Member Wendolyn's Avatar
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    Feb 2010
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    I'm so glad I only play solo or with friends... Nobody telling me how I should play my characters.

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