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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.

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

    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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    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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    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.

  5. #5
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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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    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.

  7. #7
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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.

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    I'm so glad I only play solo or with friends... Nobody telling me how I should play my characters.

  9. #9
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    agree with the OP, some lives i don't pick toughness (cause i don't wanna lose an important feat only for getting more hp, only because other players would feel safer), most of em i don't maximize toughness enhancements, oh heck think i've never taken 3rd rank XD and during heroic lvls i NEVER used a GFL item

    trying to supply skill with hp is useless, u'll die no matter your hp in the trap/chain lightning/etc , and trying to force others to play like you prefer, is useless too, not everybody has the same skill, everyone should know their limits

    is good a 14 base con? dunno, my first life had 10 base, and then decided i would spend the minimal resources focused on hp, because it's useless if you don't know how to play

    not all toons are thought in EE content(in fact there's no need, it's not that hard lol) and in that content, the least important thing is your hp, no matter if you have 10000000 hp, you will need simply more swings, after your mates are dead because a bad pull/cc/whatever it's only time

    im more worried about fortification, that's a must, no matter class, 1 crit can blow up you easily, and you need what? 2-3 items? far better than investing in hp, dunno why all that "hp devotes" aren't focusing on it, they would discover the hp-mania is useless, except for melees

    if the only difference between a melee and a caster, is the hit dice, means you are doing it terribly wrong, or you solo a lot, there's absolute 0 relation between that and EE content, but if min/max is your playstyle then that should be good for you, repeat, for you, rest of mortals have their own opinion about what's fun and what's not, and there's no maths to demonstrate you are right in this point so:

    stop annoying other players with "get more hp, use this build, etc etc" if you have that real need, then stop pugging cause you are gonna kill the newcomers, no newcomers: bye ddo

    tolerance with other players, if they die tell him/her why you aren't gonna pug more with him/her, don't be so ******** as kicking someone because their hp, that's being really close minded and use to hide real life frustrations, because HEY IT'S A GAME!! and when i/you/they get bored of it, will leave it, there's no need of filtering toons by so silly reasons

    skill>gear, here and in every game so don't justify others' actions with number because u aren't capable of doing it
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  10. #10
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    there are a few good bits of advice scattered thru that long post.

    1. don't sacrifice class abilities for HP. if you took 7 toughness feats just for a big HP number, you're a gimp.


    2. if you aren't the beefy dude meant to take the punishment, try to avoid or ditch agro if you can via positioning, playstyle, feats/enhancements/gear.


    3. if you reach -10 HP, you're dead. try to avoid reaching -10 HP.


    I'll give him the benefit of the doubt this time because he never said "casters don't need 600HP they can get away with 200" he only said "not everyone needs max HP." and no. not everyone needs 1200... 1500... 2000+ HP.

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    Quote Originally Posted by psykopeta View Post
    agree with the OP, some lives i don't pick toughness (cause i don't wanna lose an important feat only for getting more hp, only because other players would feel safer), most of em i don't maximize toughness enhancements, oh heck think i've never taken 3rd rank XD and during heroic lvls i NEVER used a GFL item...
    What about a GS hp item in that multi-life journey? You're ahead of the game at lvl 11 when you can equip that without toughness as compared to someone without it on their first life....as you were with your build points when you TR'd.

    I can see not min-maxing, using TR benefits to have other capabilities. I, and just for my own game as I'm not going to tell anyone else how to play, have more fun if I can survive a disintegrate.

  12. #12
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    The OP posted alot about how D&D is supposed to work within the realm of forced cooperation within the realm of generic MMO style play - having specific roles and such.

    DDO isnt limited to this because almost all HP increases are linear and equal after considering the class based HP. Casters for instance, are not the low HP, low defense, glass cannon types you see in other games.

    I also dont see this "front line back line" stuff being as relevant. Anything a PC can do, an enemy NPC can also do, for the most part. So when people are claiming they take less damage on their ranged toons and casters, they get an archer spawn in one of the road quests and if those archers all target the same low HP ranged toon, that toon is likely going to die. Enemy casters can also easily attack the "back line" and alot of those encounters are programmed so that rogues pop out of stealth and attack during the battle. Its not as clear cut as other games where the "backline" combatant takes little to no damage. Also note that in many other games where this strategy applies, when the "tank" dies, its usually a party wipe in progress after that. DDO is simply not this limited to where all other toons can just hide behind the tank and be safe.
    Advocating repeated nerfs in the name of "balancing the game" then complaining about how DDO is moving away from D&D, is a direct contradiction in logic - D&D 3.5 (what DDO is based on) is not a balanced game. We can either have a balanced clone MMO with homogenized classes, or we can have a D&D game. We cant have both.

  13. #13
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    i had to cut off my thoughts before i was done because i had to run to work. continuing:

    everyone should strive to have the maximum HP that is PRACTICAL for their class/build without sacrificing something to get there. HP are a safety net. they keep you alive longer if something decides it wants to beat the tar out of you. the harder a difficulty quest you want to attempt, normally the higher you want that cushion to be. for example: my (multiclassed) bard sits unbuffed at nearly 700 HP and self/ship buffs up to over 800 currently. she fearlessly rampages thru just about any eNorm or eHard quest you can throw at her, and has even done a few EE quests here and there. however, on her first life, she had 326 HP at 20. yeah, you read that right. a great big whopping 326. and i was smart enough to realize that this number was far too low for me to do anything really difficult, and she leveled to 20 from vale and IQ... never having even set foot in Amarath, and TRed before even attempting any epics. i just didn't feel she was tough enough to not die quickly and repeatedly, despite my staying back and playing conservatively.


    i will say, tho, that some of the phrasing snootch used sounds more like he's playing a wargame of some sort than DDO. meh. i dunno.

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  14. #14
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    Dear op.

    I am a veteran player. I share your frustrations with some players that are hooked on hit point totals.

    Hit points are ONE form of defence, and its often the case that those with large hp totals have neglected other avenues of defence - AC, PRR, saves, misschance, self heals, heal amp.

    The biggest form of defence of course is positioning and manouverability - something that many overlook entirely.

    That being said I find your description of combat in ddo to be very narrow minded or inexperienced. What you describe is infact typical combat for many mmo's but it is not typical of DDO. DDO blurs the lines on roles, In some instances the wizard or the rogue may find them selves 'tanking' - and doing so purposefuly, not accidentaly.

    Who is 'front line' and who is 'back line' can vary from encounter to encounter as there are often situations where a traditional 'back line' character has the best defences vs what is confronting the party. It is also true that combat often occurs on many fronts at once. A prime example of what im taking about here is TOD raid and shadow tanking, the meles concentrating on a mele weak opponent whilst a caster holds off the shadows because the caster does infact have the best defences vs them and the best ability to hold them.

    I would advise all characters to have atleast moderate hit points, I beleive that no character should will fuly ignore thier max hit point total on the grounds they will be avoiding combat - because there will come a situation where your character CANT avoid combat.

    I agree with the mantra 'con is not a dump stat' - at least for new players. That doesnt mean however that all characters must have 14+ con. there is room to move on this, if you have less con then be sure to wear more hit point gear.
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  15. #15
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    What Bigolbear said. And +1, btw.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sirgog View Post
    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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    This is the way i look at it.

    There is no reason you shouldn't always be looking for improvements if there are any to be had. There are now so many ways to get more hp and most are quite ez or just require slight education(nicely) on how. Regardless of the reasons anyone believes whether they need it or not has no bearing on the fact that more is better in this case. (not withstanding gimping your build to get more, use common sense)
    Last edited by Miow; 02-01-2013 at 09:38 AM.

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    1) Don't expect new players to have Greensteel items
    2) Don't expect new players to have awesome guild ship buffs.

    Much of the rest I'm semi-OK with. Toughness, "Tough", False Life, + Health, Good starting CON, are all pretty accessible to new players even on their first life.

    But I do still believe that there are 300hp players out there who die a lot less than the 500hp of the same class who simply doesn't know how to play defensively.

    I am still new myself, so I really had to struggle to get to 400hp by 20 on my Wizard and Arti.

    As for those players that insist on gobs of HP and expert play for Epic Elite runs, they need to create a super-heroes guild and just run with their epic guildies all day long, rather than keep insulting newer players.

  19. #19
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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 - ~
    Guild: Degenerate Matter - 200 (Former Guilds: ChaosKnights, Big Damn Heroes, Shadowfiends, Order of the Drow, Unusual Suspects, Raided R)
    Argo-Jotmon(HC 28/42,EC 26/36,IC 12/12), Jotmonheals(Clr17/Rog2/Mnk1-EC 32/36), Whatthetruck(Raid farmer-2nd life).. and many many more alts..

    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.

  20. #20
    Community Member gphysalis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    909

    Default The Difference Between Maximum HP and Current HP

    Is the damage you have taken.

    Damage Taken = Max HP - Current HP
    Last edited by IWIronheart; 02-01-2013 at 10:23 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Eladrin View Post
    Grease is the only party buff
    Quote Originally Posted by MajMalphunktion View Post
    talk about your exploits
    Quote Originally Posted by Memnir View Post
    DDO is not PnP. This is by design

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