Originally Posted by

**Kinerd**
+1Another tricky part is negative level regeneration, both how long it takes and how much it gives back. According to the wiki epic warded monsters regenerate 1 per 10 seconds, which seems about right. For a sorc, Energy Drain has a cooldown of 3.5 seconds and does 5 negative levels on average. We can therefore map out how said sorc will do spamming Energy Drain:

time = 0; energy drained to 5 negative levels

time = 3.5, 10

time = 7, 15

time = 10, regenerates to 14

time = 10.5, 19

time = 14, 24

time = 17.5, 29

time = 20, 28

time = 21, 33

time = 24.5, 38

time = 28, 43

time = 30, 42

time = 31.5, 47 => dead

And compare that to how the sorc does alternating Energy Drain and Polar Ray (Max, Empower, 120 item, Super Lore, 7/5/5 enhancements, call it 906 damage).

time = 0, energy drained to 3919 HP, polar rayed to 3013 HP

time = 3.5, ed to 2314 HP [first pr was pointless], pr to 1408 HP

time = 7, ed to 1366 HP [second pr was pointless], pr to 460 HP

time = 10, regen to 1518 max HP and(?) 612 current HP

time = 10.5, pointless ed followed by pr to dead

So 10 energy drains, 4 energy drains and 4 polar rays, or 3 energy drains and 2 polar rays.

.

But suppose you're really bad at timing instead of really good? Then we have:

time = 0, ed to 3919 HP, pr to 3013, regen to 4355 max and 4339 current

time = 3.5, ed to 2572 HP [first pr still pointless], pr to 1666

time = 7, ed to 1518 HP [second pr still pointless], pr to 612(!)

It's not intuitive (to me at least), but you end up in the same spot.

.

Ok but what about a general case? Five negative levels is 59% of the previous total, so if your polar ray (or whatever) does less than 41% of a target's current HP then it does nothing for you. That's pretty straightforward (and I wish I had just led with that), and we can include the regen factor as follows:

Every 10 seconds we get 10/3.5 * 5 negative levels and 10/10 * 1 positive levels, or a net of 4.65 negative levels per 3.5 seconds. Putting that in the same formula gives 61% instead of 59%, so the same basic rule applies.