# Thread: Negative Level Max HP Effect on Monsters

1. ## Negative Level Max HP Effect on Monsters

I couldn't find anyone had done testing on the impact of neg leveling a monster, so I have decided to do some testing. So far, I played with the hobgoblins in epic elite bargain of blood. At least for them, it follows a clear formula:

MaxHP = StartingMax * 0.9^(neg_level_count)

Equivalently, each negative level reduces a mob's maximum hp by 10% of its current max hp.

With the known exception that when the neg_level_count >= monster_CR, then the monster dies.

Here are the measured values for a CR45 EE Hobgoblin.
6639 (Starting hp)
5974
5377
4839
4355
3919
3527
3175
2857
2572
2314
2082
1875
1687
1518
1366
1229
1106
995
896
807
726
653
588
529
476
428
385
347
312
281
252
227
205
184
165
149
134
120
108
97
88
79
71
63
0 (45th neg level = CR, Mob dies).

The formula follows it almost exactly (never off by more than 1 or 2 hp).

2. Interesting, that's different to that for players (which is 'current max HP = base max * (1-0.05*#negs)) with Stalwart stances counting as 2, 3 or 4 'positive levels'.

3. hmm, agree, interesting. +1 for adding some data to our understanding of game mechanics.

4. Nice work! If I'm reading this correctly, this means energy drain gives a fairly standard "damage". Interestingly, from the starting HP to 8 negs later the mob appears to have lost 3464 HP (assuming I'm reading this correctly). Mobs HP fluctuates, but in my experience not by a huge variance. This means I am guaranteed a ~3k hit with energy drain against this particular mob. (Correct me if I'm wrong)

EDIT (never mind energy drain isn't always 8 negs)

Now if you would be kind enough to help someone who looks at math like a poisonous snake:

could you recommend a cut off? In other words, my sorc uses Energy drain as DPS for at least the first hit; this softens the mob and lowers its HP in one package. From there I return to standard DPS spells (Polar ray, etc).

Based on these findings, how many energy drains are effective?

What I'm hoping to see as a response is something like when your DPS spell does x damage vs a y CR mob then it's better than using an energy drain. Like a CR 12 mob energy drain is foolish. A CR 54 mob energy drain x2 if your average DPS spell does 3k. Something like that. Since energy drain is variable (2-8 neg) this seems complicated to me.

Much, much appreciated if this is something someone could puzzle out.

5. +1 and I'm curious about a cutoff too, but for melee (i.e. Nightmare etc...). I like the woo-woo sound but I realize it's not always the best option^^ Is it really just good vs orange nameds or when you really want to lower saves and such?

6. good job.
Would have loved seing you doing it - must have required lots of patience

7. +1
Originally Posted by Syllph
Nice work! If I'm reading this correctly, this means energy drain gives a fairly standard "damage". Interestingly, from the starting HP to 8 negs later the mob appears to have lost 3464 HP (assuming I'm reading this correctly). Mobs HP fluctuates, but in my experience not by a huge variance. This means I am guaranteed a ~3k hit with energy drain against this particular mob. (Correct me if I'm wrong)

EDIT (never mind energy drain isn't always 8 negs)

Now if you would be kind enough to help someone who looks at math like a poisonous snake:

could you recommend a cut off? In other words, my sorc uses Energy drain as DPS for at least the first hit; this softens the mob and lowers its HP in one package. From there I return to standard DPS spells (Polar ray, etc).

Based on these findings, how many energy drains are effective?

What I'm hoping to see as a response is something like when your DPS spell does x damage vs a y CR mob then it's better than using an energy drain. Like a CR 12 mob energy drain is foolish. A CR 54 mob energy drain x2 if your average DPS spell does 3k. Something like that. Since energy drain is variable (2-8 neg) this seems complicated to me.

Much, much appreciated if this is something someone could puzzle out.
Another 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.

8. 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.
I believe the wiki is wrong. In testing, using displacement's duration, the epic elite hobgoblin's recovered from a negative level every 3 seconds. It sufficiently fast, for example, that I couldn't really build negative levels on them at all using necrotic ray (which would have advantages for testing, since it gives a known number of one negative levels per cast). It may vary by difficultly level, however. I haven't tested the recovery rate in epic hard or epic normal.

9. Don't epic mobs regenerate negative levels faster?

Isn't that part of "Epic Ward" or something?

10. Originally Posted by Syllph
Nice work! If I'm reading this correctly, this means energy drain gives a fairly standard "damage". Interestingly, from the starting HP to 8 negs later the mob appears to have lost 3464 HP (assuming I'm reading this correctly). Mobs HP fluctuates, but in my experience not by a huge variance. This means I am guaranteed a ~3k hit with energy drain against this particular mob. (Correct me if I'm wrong)

EDIT (never mind energy drain isn't always 8 negs)

Now if you would be kind enough to help someone who looks at math like a poisonous snake:

could you recommend a cut off? In other words, my sorc uses Energy drain as DPS for at least the first hit; this softens the mob and lowers its HP in one package. From there I return to standard DPS spells (Polar ray, etc).

Based on these findings, how many energy drains are effective?

What I'm hoping to see as a response is something like when your DPS spell does x damage vs a y CR mob then it's better than using an energy drain. Like a CR 12 mob energy drain is foolish. A CR 54 mob energy drain x2 if your average DPS spell does 3k. Something like that. Since energy drain is variable (2-8 neg) this seems complicated to me.

Much, much appreciated if this is something someone could puzzle out.
One key problem in computing it is actually the exponential decay in the effectiveness of energy drain. On a typical EE white name trash mob (who has, say 7k hp), your first energy drain will do an average of almost 2.9k damage. Assuming no one else energy drains it, your next cast (by which time it will have recovered 1 neg level), will inflict 5 negs (net 4), dealing just 1.4k. The next one just under 1k.

This chart may help. The first column is the number of casts. The second is the max hp of the mob. The 3rd is the damage for the cast. The 4th is the cumulative damage done. Note that this is computed assuming an energy drain every 3 seconds Definately faster than a wizard could do it. In spamming energy drain without quicken, I was seeing 1 - 2 (often 2) neg levels recovered between casts. A sorc might be able to hit this rate alone, though.
0 7000
1 4133 2867 2867
2 2712 1421 4288
3 1779 933 5221
4 1167 612 5833
5 766 401 6234
6 503 263 6497
7 330 173 6670
8 216 113 6784
9 142 74 6858
10 93 49 6907

There a couple of key take-aways. First, solely neg leveling a monster to death is generally a big waste of resources. Using energy drain, the last few casts would barely do 1 damage per sp. But the first few negative levels are very efficient.

Another useful note, multiplying the starting hp by 10, for example, multiplies everything in that chart by 10. So, the first energy drain on someone like EE Sobrien, who has around 63k hp, will deal almost 26k damage - probably better then your other options.

Even then, their still comes a point when you are better to use attack spells (the 10th energy drain, on average, would deal a mere 490 - less then a polar ray even if he didn't take extra from cold). None of that, ofcourse, accounts for the variance in the number of neg levels energy drain deals (I am assuming it does its average of 5 each time. Which works out if you cast it a lot).

To hazard a rule of thumb, an energy drain quickly followed by an enervate (it needs to hit before 3 seconds have passed for full effect), will drain half or a bit more of the target's life. Assuming no metas, that means 75sp for 3.5k on a trash mob, or 5 to 10 times the damage on an orange mob. Doing that combo again will deal about half the damage it dealt the first time, and so on. Barring an orange name, I doubt it is worth more than one or two casts.

Also note - your group shouldn't bother doing any other damage to the mob that is being drained, until you are done draining it. That damage is wasted if it is less then what the next neg levels do (if it is more, then the neg levels deal no damage).

Anyway, when I get a chance, I'll try to add some clear formula's and examples. Similarly for melee type effects. But really, when neg leveling, their comes a point when everyone should switch to a different tactic on the mob. And do them as fast as possible for greatest effect, with no wasted intervening damage.

11. Originally Posted by gphysalis
Don't epic mobs regenerate negative levels faster?

Isn't that part of "Epic Ward" or something?
From what I can tell by testing, epic elite mobs seem to recover 1 every 3 seconds.

12. This makes wail of the banshee a serviceable nuke, even if your necromancy DCs are worthless. For example, if you open with it (so that the mobs are undamaged), against an EE white named mob across the 3 ticks you deal around 3k damage - about half its life, though in testing the variance is somewhat significant. The minimum is about 1.2k on a 6k hp mob. The maximum, of course, is that they roll a 1 die. Since it does 3 ticks applying to 2 mobs, naturally you should have at least 2 mobs in range.

At two mobs in range, 6k or so would be the expected total damage. The best damage actually comes from 6+ mobs in range.. Ideally, each mob would be struck only once, losing an average of 2.5 levels - 23% of its hp. Against 6k hp mobs, that would be 6 hits of about 1.4k, for a total of 8.4k damage. And that is no save damage - as it is dealt on the assumption that they pass the save, though spell resistance still comes into play.

For strong 7k - 8k trash mobs, the damage increases proportionally. So, 8k hp mobs take 33% more damage than 6k mobs.

13. I am not 100% sure your math is correct at all. Here is my testing:
Lvl 28 Drow arena spiders
Hp 1300-1600

My weapon: grave wrappings (1d3 negs on a 20)

In 54 runs i have NEVER seen this do less than 300 damage when it first procs, mobs don't last long enough for me to really average 2nd or 3rd procs. It does an average of 300-400 damage, more so on the spiders with 1500hp.

I would have noticed if a proc only did 130-150 damage (which it never has out of 600+ kills) but I should have seen that 33% of the time if your math was right. I think more testing is needed.

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