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Physical Mitigation

First off, many thanks to those who came to support the mock-battle on the PTS yesterday. Had some fun fights and actually got to show people places they’d never seen before. My particular thanks to Developer Sean McNair for joining us in the fray and assisting with rezes of accidentally killed film-crew members and the slaughtered masses

Yesterday Steve Engle started a thread about upcoming proposed changes to Physical mitigation. Pretty much the Devs have admitted that the 1.4.0 post RR80 armor sets and weapons have made careers go ‘beyond their intended expectations’. The issue lay with the fact that in these new sets melee classes’ armor values are at the physical mitigation cap (75%) while tanks well exceed this value (rendering armor debuffs useless on them) and light armor classes approach the intended armor threshold of medium armor classes. The end result is that tanks are nay un-killable if specced defensively, yet can afford to speck offensively with relative comfort around physical dps classes; melee dps for the most part spec defensively because they can put all their renown points into offensive stats and simply by wearing defensive gear they become un-killable due to ProcHammer at its best. Mr. Engle asks the community what they think the caps should look like. He explains that simply adding more weapon skill or giving classes magic attacks is but a band-aid on the whole issue. Well Mr. Engle, I applaud you for your communication, but let’s be frank – adjusting physical mitigation is but one part of the problem and doing only this would be a band-aid on the whole issue.

The truth of the matter is that this approach to adjusting physical mitigation is primarily to address the issues of physical range dps, and a blanket change to all physical mitigation in the game is not what I believe to be the optimal resolution. WEs and WHs can bypass armor completely, which in and of itself is an issue; no class should have a spammable armor-ignore ability – this ability should either be reduced in potency to 50% armor ignore OR have  a cooldown. WLs and Marauders both have a hefty armor debuff, and to add to this Marauders have a core tactic which makes their mutation abilities (most of them) ignore 50% armor anyway – stack these two (and while you’re at it stack the 180 wounds debuff and toughness debuff) and they can butcher whoever they like. Slayers and Choppas suffer slightly from physical mitigation, but somehow they manage to do fine. The most humorous complaint comes from tanks complaining of low dps values… I guess they forgot they rolled a tank. And then most healers, SMs, BWs, Sorcs, Magi, and for the most part Engis deal magical damage (with the exception of the Rifleman tree of the Engineer which few spec into these days). In the end the true victims of physical mitigation are the Shadow Warrior and Squig Herder, and by far the SW hurts the most.

First off for my proposition, many people break down the armor between ‘light’, ‘medium’, and ‘heavy’ armor. This approach lends the most sense to it, but given the helm of this ship I would delve further because in truth the game is currently divided into five armor categories – light robe, light armor, medium robe, medium armor, and heavy armor. Before I delve into my figures I would like to say that I believe that magical mitigation must be tied into armor sets. It is simply unfair that physical classes have to stack weapon skill to bypass 75% mitigation while magical classes have no comparable stat to bypass a lower mitigation of 40%. Also, it is incredibly unfair that true culprits of magical dps (BWs and Sorcs) deal the same amount of damage to every classs, irregardless of their armor. It doesn’t take a genius to line up their 5 abilities on their keyboard and run their finger across them leading to the end result of five abilities procing at once dealing obscene totals of 6-10k dmg (ignite, slow boil, boiling blood, fireball, sear, nova, withering heat – all abilities hitting within a second or two due to flight time and your target is dead).

So for my proposition you can go with the simple formula of Light – 25% Physical Medium 50% Physical, and Heavy 75% Physical but this leaves magical where it is at – at its current levels which lead to the glaring imbalance of Physical v. Magical dps. I would take this a step further and simply do a 100 formula of combined mitigation. So you have Light having 25%P/75%Magical, Medium 50/50, Heavy 75% Physical/25%Magical. Or if you want to go a step further you wedge in Light and Medium Robes with higher Magical resistances. And then the tanks cry that they will be nuked and rendered useless by magical damage. Well, this may be news to many tanks, but you do have a shield – and shields can block magical damage. So when you’re done pretending to be melee dps, you can slap on a shield and play your class to its intended role. Oh whats that? Light armor will suffer greatly at the hands of the melee? Well then maybe your tanks should go back to guarding healers instead of steam-rolling with the melee trains and guarding a melee class.

While the end result would upset many players and their play styles, I think it would put the game at a point where it should have been. Classes should not be able to have the best of both worlds; you shouldn’t be able to heal yourself and deal stupid amounts of damage. You shouldn’t be able to sit at 90% physical mitigation and deal incredible amounts of damage. 1.4.0 took away the need to chose between survival and killing-power, because with the new sets most classes (melee dps, tanks, WP/DoKs, and BWs) were given the option of speccing fully into offensive stats while donning defensive sets.

However, restructuring physical mitigation is but one step in this problematic situation. Unless dps values are lowered this change will do nothing but completely neutralize the survivability of light armored classes – not even with a guard will they be able to survive. TTK is out of whack because you have so many classes which not only ignore armor, but also are given weapons with insane dps values.

In truth, this problem cannot and will not be fixed with an overarching change to all classes. We have seen overarching changes to AoE, intended to weaken bomb groups – these changes unnecessarily hurt Shadow Warriors, Squig Herders, and Engineers. We have seen over-arching changes to absorb bubbles which severely hurt Swordmasters. We have seen the elimination of armor set uniqueness by the rolling up of all armor sets into archtype models with no uniqueness amongst them. Each and every single class in Warhammer is unique. Each and every single class in Warhammer needs to be approached individually. Over-arching changes DO NOT WORK.

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. March 20, 2011 at 2:01 AM

    With my luck these changes, albeit needed, will come just as I painstakingly finally reach rr100 in 10 months and just as the veterans who had been abusing the armor sets had left the game due to boredom. Still, actually being able to kill Ironbreakers and KoTBS, and having squishier WHs and AMs will improve my life tremendously. Besides, on my marauder I spec for crits- I’ve given up the bajillion debuffs because while I’m stacking the myriad of them on a rr100 WP/AM hoping they won’t dodge/parry I get three-shotted by ’em anyway.

    On a side note- the values you propose I’m not too comfortable with- I’d say roughly 35%phys/65%magical on light, 55-60%phys/45-40%magical on medium and 80-85%phys/20-15%magical on heavy armor should be decent resistance/armor caps.

  2. Elemenstor
    March 20, 2011 at 8:01 AM

    I do think that an overarching change like, “changing the amount of armor it takes to reach 1% mitigation” would be a bad idea. Something like that is an uncontrolled nerf/buff with unforeseeable effects. On the other hand, it seems that the problem principally comes from the armor mitigation formula being impacted by the level of the person attacking you. Bruglir’s reverse-engineered formula is:

    mitigation = [armor / (attacker’s level * 110)]

    This becomes a problem when apparently, the game gives a hidden level to someone every level they hit after RR80, so a RR90 person is counted as level 50 for the calculation. This formula is intended to give balance in the lower tiers, but obviously before doomflayer and warpforged, the values used in the equation from R40/RR40 -RR80 were all the same. So it seems to me that a perfectly adequate solution would to simply REMOVE the impact of levels on the calculation in Tier 4. the calculation becomes:

    mitigation = (armor / 4400)

    which treats everyone as being at career rank 40. The values of doomflayer and warpforged can be lowered accordingly, the result being reduced DPS and mitigation on behalf of all RR81+ players against lower RR ones, higher DPS of all RR81+ players against higher RR ones, and reduced mitigation against DF/WF all around. And all WITHOUT having to restructure what would amount to pretty much the entire game. It’s less work for the devs too, since they only have to change the armor values on DF/WF instead of every other item.

    • March 20, 2011 at 12:01 PM

      El, I think this is but one step to addressing the issue, while a step in the right direction. However, the problem for physical RDPS existed before these new sets and irregardless of how they readjust armor for DF/WF physical RDPS would still need focused attention. Also Magical resistances would need focused attention. This problem is more endemic than the devs think. Fixing armor wont fix everything, you still have to readjust scenario weapon values, magical resistances, and physical RDPS’s dependency on weapon skill.

      On the forums someone ‘kindly’ replied that this change was catering to the whiny physical RDPS and they should just ‘stick to targeting light armored targets and not tanks’. Well I assume this individual has not seen these new sets and their armor values. To put it bluntly once a player hits RR90 and gets their Doomflayer it is no longer possible for them to be a light armor target. If you are fighting all RR90+ players not a single one of them will have armor that classifies as ‘light armor’ because their physical mitigation will be well beyond the intended physical mitigation of light armor classes in the original game-design: 25%. It is closer to 50%, toss in a armor pot and you go higher. In the world of RR90+ light armor doesn’t exist, and for this reason physical RDPS hurts more and more as the game progresses.

  3. Elemenstor
    March 20, 2011 at 12:24 PM

    Oh, I know that there’s more to it than just physical mitigation, but right now that’s all the thread is focusing on. I’m fine with Mythic taking baby steps to fix this, considering that the last time they made major changes to more than one mechanic at a time we got 1.4.

    Incidentally, here are the current armor values and mitigation for full Doomflayer:

    Heavy: 5733 armor (130% vs. RR80, 104% vs. RR90)
    Medium: 3812 armor (86% vs. RR80, 69% vs RR90)
    Light: 1907 armor (43% vs. RR80, 34% vs. RR90)

    I do think that resistances should have different caps by archetype, not by armor class. I think something like 30%/40%/50% would be suitable for tanks/DPS/healers. This makes tanks slightly squishier to magic damage, keeps DPS mostly even, but encourages MDPS to hit clothies, where they’ll be the most effective (also, it’s a closet boost to Swordmasters, who now become the anti-mage tank with their high disrupt rates). This reinforces the rock/paper/scissors mechanic that we want. But I expect a separate discussion will emerge at some point focusing on magic damage, though not until after focused discussions on the SW/Engi/Magus.

    Incidentally, I think engis/maguses might me helped/fixed if they were changed to medium armor classes. If they could survive longer to take better advantage of their close-range attacks, they might be a lot better.

  4. March 20, 2011 at 9:22 PM

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k49Xa0R5UeM check it out eka. Tell us what you think.

    • March 20, 2011 at 10:30 PM

      Lol nice shout out, thanks =P I’m hoping I can begin to unveil my huge project soon… just waiting on the art end of things.

  5. Elemenstor
    March 21, 2011 at 9:31 AM

    Victory! Mythic is “dramatically reducing” the increase in Effective Levels.

  6. petpeeved
    March 22, 2011 at 12:04 AM

    Really great analysis, Eka.

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