Defensive or Evasive?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Slayzz, Apr 11, 2018.

  1. Slayzz

    Slayzz Member

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    I searched the forums for the answer to this and couldn’t find anything 100% concrete so I wanted to pose this question. I did find a thread on how armor works here and there were discussion on the discs but I guess I’m asking if there are any general rules to follow when using one or the other. I typically always just roll with Defensive but want to be as accurate in my play as possible so any further insight would be much appreciated. Thanks for any knowledge dropped or response in advance!!
     
  2. Pithy

    Pithy People Like Me

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    This is a tricky question. The answer depends both on the mob's stats and on your defense skill and AC. It also depends on what you care about: do you want to minimize the average damage taken over a three-minute disc, or the odds and severity of damage spikes?

    Some background: Without discs, mobs hit for DB + N*DI, where DB is damage bonus, DI is damage interval, and N is a random integer between 1 and 20 whose distribution depends in complicated ways on the mob's offense rating and your mitigation. To find a mob's DB and DI, record its max and min hits (non-disc). DI = (max - min)/19. DB = min - DI.

    Defensive cuts a mob's hit to DB + N*DI/2. Evasive makes mobs miss more.

    Intuitively, you wouldn't want to use defensive on a mob with a DB of 1000 and DI of 2, because it'd just change the possible hit spectrum from 1002, 1004, ..., 1040 to 1001, 1002, ..., 1020. The damage reduction from defensive would be on the order of 1%. On the other hand, for a mob with a DB of 1 and DI of 100, defensive is amazing: it shifts the hit spectrum from 101, 201, ..., 2001 down to 51, 101, ..., 1001, and might cut your average damage taken by half or more. Defensive is good when DI is much bigger than DB.

    That intuition gives a rule of thumb of the sort that it sounds like you're looking for: "use evasive only if DB/DI > X". The correct value of X is the big question, to which only Torven probably knows the answer. Without getting into too many details, a reasonable value is 6ish for undergeared tanks on heavy hitters like Kael bosses, or 4ish for decked-out tanks on wimpier bosses.

    If a mob has a nasty proc, like Trak's lifetap, use evasive. Mobs can't proc on misses.

    Evasive refreshes quicker than defensive, so if you want to save healer mana in an exp group, use evasive regularly.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2018
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  3. Torven

    Torven I Feel Loved Staff Member

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    The answer is fairly subjective. I could run simulations of millions of hits and give you average DPS for both discs, but even if evasive were slightly better in average damage against the NPC, it would still be spikier and therefore riskier.
     
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  4. Loraen

    Loraen Well-Known Member

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    I wrote some code to simulate tanking on P99 as I have a Warrior there. The answer was basically always defensive and by miles. IIRC, for Derakor the Vindicator Sakuragi needed something like a 2s CH chain normally, 2.5s while evasive, and 4s while defensive to have a 99% chance of surviving 3 minutes (P99 is overtuned). Evasive is I believe a bit weaker there (it increases the NPC's miss chance by 50% and raid mobs don't miss all that much), but I guess the results aren't **that** different. Whenever you have a CH chain on you and your damage comes from only a few attack rounds the worst case will dominate the average case and defensive will work better. Defensive also results in huge amounts of damage shield damage. I farmed Xenovorash duo with a Cleric and Ro's Breath + Kilva's Skin of Flame did 80% of the damage.

    So the math corresponds pretty well with everyone's intuition. I also feel that it suggests Warriors should focus on HP over AC, since when it matters you'll be defensive and the value of AC will be halved. I'd only value 1 AC at maybe 2 HP on a Warrior, so for example I'd take the CT brain over the Orb of the Deep Sea.
     
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  5. Pithy

    Pithy People Like Me

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    Yeah, I wrote a similar simulator for the last open source version of Torven's defense code. There've been changes since then. I included some of them (evasive, dodge skills). I'm sure I'm missing others. Hopefully it's still decently accurate, though.

    The code simulates millions of swings and outputs the empirical distribution of the number of swings a given mob takes to knock a given tank into frenzy health. The 99th percentile of that distribution is a decent proxy for the longest CH rot delay you can get away with.

    I just ran a bunch of simulations with a bunch of different values of mob to_hit/offense/DB/DI and tank HP/AC. The results agree pretty well with Raev's. If you care about surviving a CH rot, defensive almost always wins. Even when DB is 10 times bigger than DI. Evasive on TAKP is great at reducing the average or total damage taken, but defensive is way better at tamping down damage spikes.

    A tldr rule of thumb, then: evasive in groups and on bosses with nasty procs, defensive otherwise. That'll be wrong in some edge cases where a boss's DB is much larger than DI, or tank AC is astronomical compared to the boss's offense, but that's why they call 'em rules of thumb!
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2018
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  6. Tryfan

    Tryfan Active Member

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    /disc mightystrike or riot

    Isn't the point of this game to get the biggest crits you can and make sure everyone can see them?
     
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  7. Darchon

    Darchon People Like Me

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    /disc fortitude.

    All you have to do is live for 10 seconds until the boss is slowed and then you've won.

    It's sad because it's true. 75% slow was possibly the dumbest thing they could've added to the game. That or complete heal.
     
  8. Loraen

    Loraen Well-Known Member

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    99% is actually a very aggressive CH timing. If you have, say, a 3s chain you need to survive through 60 heals before your disc fades. So IMO it's more like 99.9% and that will push it even more towards defensive.

    I have thought about trying to tank the Statue or something similar with Stonestance :D But I think the real problem is the PoP resist system. Verant's classic spells are simply way too good across the board: long term mez, pbae stun, 75% slow, charm, pacify, etc. P99 is much more balanced than TAKP IMO because NPCs resist everything frequently (can you imagine a charm break where your pet actually resists stun? It's not the charm durations that are OP here). TAKP will balance out in PoP when all of these overpowered spells are mitigated or level capped out.
     
  9. Pithy

    Pithy People Like Me

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    lol, yeah, PoP slow mitigation was much needed
     
  10. Darchon

    Darchon People Like Me

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    P99 offsets that balance with weird aggro mechanics and everyone having a baggable Soulfire + Reaper. Its all easy with enough preparation and know how.

    But what I like about raids is you need multiple people to be doing their thing simultaneously or it all falls apart. The group game is too easy to get right with how OP so many abilities are against mobs of your level. In PoP the only extremely challenging areas were PoWater due to water and visibility issues, and PoAir cause every mob has an annoying ability (lolspinstunspiders).
     
  11. Torven

    Torven I Feel Loved Staff Member

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    I'm glad my aggro mechanics aren't weird :p

    I'm fairly curious as to how the resist system worked before the late Luclin era revamp. I wonder if p99 used hard data for their system or just did the best they could based on old commentary. I don't envy them for some of the tasks they had to do. We had it much, much easier regarding resists.

    Although I doubt resists worked too much differently, else Sony would have had to change all NPC resists; which would have been a very non-trivial task as they used flat files instead of databases at the time. (hell, not sure they moved to DBs at all)
     
  12. Loraen

    Loraen Well-Known Member

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    Nilbog, for whatever reason, seems to care far more about the quests and zones work than the game mechanics. Project 1999's mechanics could easily be way off. For example, they are aware that AC should be hardcapped at 289 until late Luclin, but they have a softcap system anyway. I just feel their resist system is much more balanced than TAKP where you can easily slow red cons on the first attempt etc.

    Personally I think raiding is far easier than grouping: you use a smaller fraction of your class abilities and you have people to back you up. Especially here without time pressure. Maybe Luclin/PoP raids will be harder, though.
     
  13. Torven

    Torven I Feel Loved Staff Member

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    Well, quests are important too. TAKP always needed a dedicated quest guy. (or another content dev at least) Rob and I are certainly capable, but there is just too much to do so lower priority things get back burnered.

    Here is the Sept 3 2002 patch notes regarding resist mechanics:

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    I speculated that the old curve looked like the PvP curve (which is bow shaped instead of linear), with diminishing returns around 200 resist:

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    [​IMG]

    Incidentally AK was actually bugged in PvP in that resists after a certain point actually made spells resist LESS.
     
  14. Ravenwing

    Ravenwing I Feel Loved

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    Wizards hated that, because it applied to self-targeted spells as well, which meant well-geared wizards were liable to snare themselves with Atol's.

    Our of curiosity, is the standard "25 vs everything" resist situation for trash mobs on TAKP also the default on live, or does it simply reflect the fact that gathering resist data for thousands upon thousands of NPCs is not a feasible undertaking?
     
  15. Torven

    Torven I Feel Loved Staff Member

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    It was originally a guess, but I later found that it was in fact the default that Sony seemed to have used. I did however make it 15 for very low level NPCs, (like < level 10) which seems to not be right.
     
  16. Darchon

    Darchon People Like Me

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    Dunno, at low levels I agree with you. I regularly landed spells on yellow and red cons while leveling up.

    But at level 60, mobs that are 60+ regularly Resist without being exceptionally resistant or being extremely high level. ToV is a fairly good example of this. Even con Flurries on Vulak Ring you can frequently eat 3-4 Resists before landing if not fully debuffed. Even when fully debuffed you are eating a few Resists. I know I've gone 6-7 Resists in a row on an even con with Malo+Tash on Snare.

    The group game just isn't a challenge generally because the content is never really equal in level to you in these expansions. The highest level mobs were designed to be raid content like juggernauts or ToV trash. Luclin steps this up a bit with some level 60 camps like FG, Ssra, Deep, and Umbral. We will see how those camps are at level 60.
     
  17. Cadsuane

    Cadsuane Member

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    Indeed. The difference between just Malo+tash, vs malo+tash+sini+oos+fufils, is "crapton of resists" versus "almost guaranteed to land on the first cast". I presume that is as intended.
     
  18. Torven

    Torven I Feel Loved Staff Member

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    Vulak ring NPCs were made to mimic resists from regular ToV NPCs since the ring isn't available anymore. Most ToV NPCs have 185 MR. This was carefully parsed.