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  1. #1
    Community Member Ironclans_evil_twin's Avatar
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    Default Concentration a useless skill? Lets talk

    Okay I've seen some crunchy types say around here on more than one occasion that concentration is functionally useless because of how much damage mobs do later in the game and the way spell interrupts are based on a percentage of your hp's in damage dealt to you, while the skill is ALSO based on overcoming that large chunk of damage. Effectively so I've heard: any hit big enough to interrupt you is also big enough that you wont make your skill check.

    My seat of the pant feeling is that it does seem to be pretty nearly useless as every hit on my 25 FvS for a couple years now, seems to interrupt non quickened spells (decent Con, +15 item worn for a long time and 23 ranks), so all my spells that matter are quickened. Lately my BB is the only exception and I consistently get a fail with it if anything at all hits me before the cast is over (Obviously I adjust my tactics when it's time to lay down a BB and most of the time I get them off)

    Forgive me I'm not generally a crunchy bits type, so if I get any of this wrong please be as patronizing and smarmy as possible; no just kidding, trying for conversational here (I don't pretend to know everything about this game and don't believe anyone who does, except perhaps Mr Cow, it's a complex beast and all the better a game because of it) I did search on this and found very little of use Anyway: As I understand it you would need to roll a 20, have 23 ranks, a +10 con modifier, and a +15 item on to pass a concentration check for a 68 point hit... any more damage than that will always interrupt. and very likely significantly less damage than that will also interrupt because of course A) you aren't always going to roll 20 and B) you might very well not have a 30 Con and C) you probably don't have room for a +15 skill item.

    So I guess practically speaking we're talking about a d20, 23 ranks, no item and a +8 con bonus, meaning 51 damage is 100% interrupt, and 32 damage is a fail on a 1.

    Does this leave us investing 23 skill ranks just to avoid interrupt by archers? Granted they are annoying...

    For the hell of it I've recently left concentration completely off a newer Pali, a Battle Cleric and Bard, and I have to say, it feels like I am interrupted about the same as my FvS with 23 ranks. I'm now making a Bladeforged Sorc, and 8 INT leaves precious little skill points, UMD being very attractive

    So I suppose the question is beyond anecdotal evidence, has anyone tested this? Is it even useful against archers? DO archers tend to do enough damage to cause a spell interruption? There's not many places in the later game where Mobs don't hit for more than 31 damage even on a full S&B PRR Pali.

  2. #2
    Community Member WruntJunior's Avatar
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    Personally, I found concentration extremely useful for spell casting/item activation (not counting monks and ki, it's always useful there) in two different areas in EE content - getting off a scroll while getting hit by ranged (not spell, just arrow) damage, and in general for my shiradi sorc (having 55+ concentration meant not having quicken on for my spam spells).

    Against a melee hit, though...it's practically impossible to have enough concentration.

    Remember, assuming DDO follows the formula given in the PHB, a concentration check to not lose an ability is 10 + spell level + damage taken. This means, if you have the 31 concentration you mention, and you're casting a level 1 spell, you can take 21 damage and still succeed on a 1 - by comparison, you can take 40 damage max to succeed on a 20. Technically, heighten SHOULD make it count as a level 9 spell, but there's no telling if that's how it works, or exactly how concentration to cast a spell is figured in DDO...but I'd assume it functions as the d20srd can provide until proven otherwise.
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  3. #3
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    It's still useful in heroics, unexperienced wizzy without sp regen/spell point items with quicken on all the time , hmm ...

    At cap, for monks/monkchers mandatory, or anyone that uses ki bar.
    For scrolling with umd/dilly, chances are, if cocoon is on timer and you resort to scrolling, you are trying to get out of reach of melee mobs, evading spells and only stray arrow hits you, that 50 -60 conc can make a difference.
    Something like rogues, they are maxing conc too.
    I absolutely loathe having 0 conc on fighter.

    But thank God cocoon has no conc check, and that with solid amp and 120 devo is really all you need to heal in elites.

    Same could be said about balance, how often does it make a difference ? Yet you are glad you have it

  4. #4
    Community Member FestusHood's Avatar
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    The point where damage will consistently break concentration, assuming you invest in it, comes pretty late in the game.
    Scrolls can't be quickened, so it's useful for that, at least through most of the game.

    My ranger didn't have quicken, and was rarely interrupted up into epic hard. You may want to move to where you aren't getting hit when you cast, in which case it would just be archers mostly that you would worry about.

  5. #5
    Community Member PermaBanned's Avatar
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    I don't have hard data or maths to offer you, but yes once in the high heroic levels and in most epics, concentration for non-monks feels useless. When under a barrage of incoming damage, non-quickend spells are as likely to fail as scrolls. If you account for this with tactics and or displacement etc, concentration is still useless as you're not making concentration checks anyway.

    Fwiw: Combat Casting feat adds another +4, and Greensteel can add another +6. Epic levels, Spider Cult mask, completionest and other things I'll think of after the coffee kicks in will push your concentration-tolerable amounts of damage higher, though at best your getting into epic norm range - and that's on a max concentration spec'ed toon.

    For casters, I will always take Ballance over Concentraion when I have spare skill points. Casters are like turtles, once they're on they're back, they're ....ed.
    I would still like to see... Something that tests character versatility and player adaptability rather than character focus strength and quest knowledge.
    I play the quests for the content of the quests not just as an XP/min merry-go-round.
    Actual play experience is worth infinitely more than theorycrafting...

  6. #6
    Community Member Wanesa's Avatar
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    As a sorcerer, i thank for concentration casting under drow archers' fire. Concentration may be less usefull in EE content, but still helpful in EH and other content and while fighting against junk mobs
    Last edited by Wanesa; 06-05-2013 at 08:43 AM.

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  7. #7
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    Yes, it's broken in epic, like pretty much everything else really, player spell resistance since enemies have caster levels in the 60s, player dispelling magic since enemies have caster levels in the 60s, saving throws for the vast majority of characters since DCs are so high, player DCs since enemy saves are so high etc. Why make the system everyone spends 20 levels getting used to work when they can make an epic destiny system that ignores DCs and spell resistance and doesn't need concentration and while they're at it toss in poison as an unresistable damage type and wipe their ass with the mechanics the game was based around?

  8. #8
    Community Member Ironclans_evil_twin's Avatar
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    maybe the biggest problem I have is slotting a concentration bonus, not a big deal when my gear sucked and I made a Pirate Hat with Archmagi and +15 conc from cove the first time around... But when you have raid gear and epics the slot for +15 or more conc is non existent... if they make some Diamonds or Topazes of + skill it would be a little easier (if they already exist then I'm not seeing them)...

    Obviously if Conc is mostly only effective in the less challenging content AND with a skill item on, I suspect at that point any ranks I put it in are a waste of skill points. Yes it sucks to be interrupted, but it sucks to put 23 ranks in a skill and still be interrupted just as much because you aren't gearing for "max conc".

    The idea of forgoeing Charisma skills on a shroud item to make Con skills (which will dictate some of your other choices, though I'm not sure how bad as I've never considered doing that to look) makes me even more dubious.

    This seems like one of those wonderful opportunities for a crunchy bits kind of player to do some real A/B testing, at what point in EH and EE do points in Conc have a greater than zero chance to resist interrupts... I suspect even a grazing hit from an archer in EE is going to interrupt most of the time without the max conc investment, I base this on my brief experiences when my FvS had Conc skill.

    I really suspect that those points are going down a black hole.

  9. #9
    Community Member moomooprincess's Avatar
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    Default I don't always run Epic Elite

    I run lots of quests all over the servers, I find that having points in concentration allows me still cast my spells.

    On Epic Elite, Concentration is useless, along many other things, yada yada yada. Turbine has pretty much made Epic Elite the be all end all at this time, IMHO.
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  10. #10

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    My ranger and pally didn't have concentration on their first lives, and they got interrupted while leveling to 20 all the time. (This was well before MotU.) I couldn't even dream of casting cures during combat, and even running away and being plinked by arrows I still couldn't heal.

    Starting with both of their TRs I emphasized concentration. Max ranks (which is now 28, soon to be 31), luck +2, greater heroism, +2 from a hybrid single shroud item (+25 hp, +100 sp, concop, +3 cha skills, +2 con skills, +1 str skills) and a +13 item. That +13 item is typically my single cannith crafted item with a LGA of +20 hp, though I'm ditching those the moment we get colorless skill augments.

    Anyway, switching from no effort to real effort in term of concentration, the vast majority of time in EH and under my concentration is sufficient to self-heal reliably while being actively pounded by multiple mobs. Some very high level heroic elites are too much for concentration -- eg: xoriat demons in the reign of madness chain -- and some individual mobs are also too much -- eg: the Bebilith in Reclaiming the Rift -- but on the whole concentration is incredibly useful for my purposes.

    I fully expect concentration to be literally useless in EE, but then again much of the game's design is literally useless in EE. Because it's such a different game I don't actually play EE at all. (Any time my wizard would do better with a necklace other than his torc is when I choose to do something else.)

  11. #11
    Community Member redspecter23's Avatar
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    Epic elite changes the way the game is played. Whether that's a good or bad thing is a bit subjective. Mob CR skyrockets so anything based off of that becomes broken. I'm looking directly at the AC system here that is based around "at level" mobs. These simply do not exist in epic elite so AC becomes the weakest defense. The ability for mobs to break fortification with sneak attacks is also based on CR so that has a huge effect there as well. Mob incoming damage (in general) also skyrockets so anything based off of that in the calculation also breaks (concentration for example).

    I'm personally not a fan of these sort of astronomical jumps compared to other difficulties. I enjoy the challenge, but feel that some aspects of epic elite are challenging for the wrong reasons. I'm all for fighting very difficult mobs, but altering the CR and all the things that go along with that across the board has an effect on characters such that one built to excel in epic elite could look quite different from a toon that excels in epic hard and lower.

    Concentration, which is a very useful skill for everything up until epic elite is just one example. Could we add a +100 concentration item to the game? It seems to be what would be necessary to allow the skill to be used for its intended purpose. However, in doing that, you completely ruin any sort of remaining balance in lower difficulties.

    Perhaps a hybrid skill item could be useful here. This hybrid ability could perhaps have a 5% chance to drop on any appropriate loot gen item over level 20. Named items could have this ability placed occasionally. Or perhaps augments could have this ability.

    Belt of Concentration
    +15 bonus to concentration (increased to + 50 if epic elite)

    That's just a quick example, but perhaps that's one way they could go to help maintain balance between difficulties while still allowing a skill like concentration to have a use in epic elite.

    Another example

    Ring of Natural Armor +5
    +5 natural armor bonus (increased to +15 in epic elite)

    We need higher AC values than what is currently available in order to see some damage mitigation in epic elite. Right now, other than dedicated tanks, any other toon gets the majority of their defense from concealment, incorporeal and just plain tactically moving around. AC is such a small factor, it might as well not exist.

    Anyway, those are my thoughts on how to maintain gear balance between epic elite and epic hard without directly sacrificing the difficulty of epic elite content.
    Last edited by redspecter23; 06-10-2013 at 06:40 PM.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by oweieie View Post
    Yes, it's broken in epic, like pretty much everything else really, player spell resistance since enemies have caster levels in the 60s, player dispelling magic since enemies have caster levels in the 60s, saving throws for the vast majority of characters since DCs are so high, player DCs since enemy saves are so high etc. Why make the system everyone spends 20 levels getting used to work when they can make an epic destiny system that ignores DCs and spell resistance and doesn't need concentration and while they're at it toss in poison as an unresistable damage type and wipe their ass with the mechanics the game was based around?
    LOL! +1

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  13. #13
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    My sorc has concentration in the mid 60s. It is boosted by various items, for example the MageWright goggles have a stacking +5, Greensteel con skill boosts, a regular +15 item somewhere, a pretty high constitution score and GH helps as well. But I also have 10 DR from a mabar cloak or the Djinn ring. So it takes it up to the mid or even high 70s effectively.

    On epic hard I do not notice ever failing a con check. I don't even have the Quicken feat. I think I lose many more spells to lag and bugged targeting than to failed concentration checks. In fact I am quite sure of that.

    On epic elite I fail every concentration check. If they hit me the spell is gone, no matter what. I don't bother with EE unless I am in a group that can keep the mobs off me. I suppose I could take quicken, but EE just isn't that important to me.

  14. #14
    Community Member ZeebaNeighba's Avatar
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    My bard has concentration in the 70s. I make concentration checks a lot of times, especially against archers, DoTs, and just in general weaker spells being thrown around like Sunburst.

  15. #15
    Community Member AtomicMew's Avatar
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    A lot of you need to stop only playing the forum and theorycrafting the DDO. Do you guys even play this game? Concentration is an essential skill especially in EE, not the other way around. On a sorc that generally doesn't quicken most spells, you need concentration to avoid interruption by archers and dots (melf's, burning blood etc). Both archers and slow dots are super common in EE and you'd be quite the special flower indeed if you think you don't need to take concentration to counter them, especially since doing so is super cheap build-wise.

    Of course melee hits should interrupt you without quicken. Players should take a pretty severe penalty for being so bad. If you get hit in melee more than once a minute in a full party on a caster you deserve to be a soul stone. You have freaking displace, dodge, full ranged DPS, run faster than mobs and a whole bunch of meatshields. The trick is to not be terrible.
    Last edited by AtomicMew; 06-11-2013 at 03:30 AM.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by AtomicMew View Post
    A lot of you need to stop only playing the forum and theorycrafting the DDO. Do you guys even play this game? Concentration is an essential skill especially in EE, not the other way around. On a sorc that generally doesn't quicken most spells, you need concentration to avoid interruption by archers and dots (melf's, burning blood etc). Both archers and slow dots are super common in EE and you'd be quite the special flower indeed if you think you don't need to take concentration to counter them, especially since doing so is super cheap build-wise.

    Of course melee hits should interrupt you without quicken. Players should take a pretty severe penalty for being so bad. If you get hit in melee more than once a minute in a full party on a caster you deserve to be a soul stone. You have freaking displace, dodge, full ranged DPS, run faster than mobs and a whole bunch of meatshields. The trick is to not be terrible.
    Nods sagely and tries to look wise...

  17. #17
    Community Member Ironclans_evil_twin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AtomicMew View Post
    A lot of you need to stop only playing the forum and theorycrafting the DDO. Do you guys even play this game?
    Actually we do, and 99% of the posts in this thread are the same anecdotal offering of opinions based on actual game play as your post, only they don't all agree with you.

    I'm hoping someone with something BETTER than anecdotal in game experience will come along and relate something more concrete... until then speculation, confirmation biased and selection biased skewed opinions (mine and yours included) are all we have. Posting attacking other peoples observations with your own doesn't change the fact that we have no objective numbers to go by. All it does is suggest strongly that you think your opinion is fact, when it's not.

    Is Conc easy to max? Perhaps... but it's taking other affixes off of your load out doing that... it's got something gamers call "opportunity cost" and sacrificing 3 or 4 gear choices, maxing a skill at the expense of other skills (which might become really interesting when spell power becomes a skill (Spellcraft and Healing/Repair) and crafting something perhaps not the most optimal for your build might have a very high cost (losing exceptional Charisma skills on a UMD cross class toon for example)...

    So instead of pretending that you're the only one capable of making non-scientific observations and relating them on a forum, how about join the CONVERSATION instead of being preachy and condescending which almost every post in this thread so far except yours have managed to avoid?

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by EllisDee37 View Post
    My ranger and pally didn't have concentration on their first lives, and they got interrupted while leveling to 20 all the time. (This was well before MotU.) I couldn't even dream of casting cures during combat, and even running away and being plinked by arrows I still couldn't heal.
    Quote Originally Posted by Katie_Seaglen View Post
    On epic hard I do not notice ever failing a con check. I don't even have the Quicken feat.
    Quote Originally Posted by ZeebaNeighba View Post
    My bard has concentration in the 70s. I make concentration checks a lot of times, especially against archers, DoTs, and just in general weaker spells being thrown around like Sunburst.
    Anyone reading this thread, please do not be misled and think that concentration is a useless skill for casters.

  19. #19
    Community Member Ironclans_evil_twin's Avatar
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    Back on topic: as I've said my experience is based on non quickened blade barriers, the truth is with SLA's my FvS can easily afford to quicken even those, usually reaching shrines with half my SP left often more. Quicken as a meta is IMO highly underrated, it doesn't just make you un-interuptable... it makes your play experience much more fluid and smooth, as many of the casting animations make you go into slowmo mode (or hop around like a maniac) and thus disjoint the movement and responsiveness of your control inputs. Having no quicken but only conc on a few of my Pali builds also contrasts this. I wont specc a Pali without quicken now after my experiences, and thus conc is completely **** on a bull there. The fact is I wouldn't build a caster without quicken unless casting was purely buffs or something or situational spells like Arti's BB;s and flame turrets.... Even my Bard has quicken.

    It's not just 23 ranks, it's the skill item, the exceptional CON skills instead of CHA skills trade off, it's the +2 luck item (which I often do not slot)... so the opportunity cost appears to be: possibly 2 more INT build points or 23 skill ups, 2 item slots and -5 or 6 UMD...

    To gain what? As even the strongest proponents admit: effective against mostly archers and DOT's and not even all that effective against melee in EH, totally non effective against melee in EE. Melee and big damage spells being the only thing a character with an advisable amount of hit points should much worry about anyway.

    Also factor in that even without buying a single mana pot, they are plentiful (I usually loot 3 for every 1 I use)... I do not chug mana pots, but this seems like a way to further trivialize the investment in concentration... As the 10sp cost per spell of quicken is further reduced by proxy.
    Last edited by Ironclans_evil_twin; 06-11-2013 at 08:06 AM.

  20. #20
    Community Member Ironclans_evil_twin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silverleafeon View Post
    Anyone reading this thread, please do not be misled and think that concentration is a useless skill for casters.
    As you quoted plenty of people see a use for it, even if personally I don't value that use as much as they seem to, there's definitely a legit use there. However a Pali for example is always facing melee attacks, thus probably would make their life easier if they quicken their heals. I know the "step out and hope to get a cure serious off" dance quite well... it's not only easy enough to get dead from, it's a severe loss of DPS on a class that lags behind already. Yep I know that dance... because even with a conc item on and an amazingly high Dwarven CON score with DOS stance +6 CON on and 23 ranks .. My Pali's still had to do that dance or risk being interrupted.

    With the quicken specced Pali's I don't even lift my finger off the attack button, let alone step out of the scrum.

    I think we've established at this point that conc is not a useless skill so much as it is a skill with a very high opportunity cost relative to the benefit it gives. Still would love to see some real testing.
    Last edited by Ironclans_evil_twin; 06-11-2013 at 08:20 AM.

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