Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.

Messages - Redlynne

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 8
I strongly suspect that Ninjas were the second Mastermind Primary that the Cryptic Studios devs worked on (with Mercenaries being the first) ... mainly because Ninjas and Mercenaries contain a lot of "mistakes" in judgement about the usefulness of powers (and how they "mix" to generate overall performance) that were not replicated in other Primaries (looking at you, Gang War). Smoke Flash and Serum are simply the two most glaring examples of this "abandoned mentality" when it comes to Level 18 powers.

The way I see it is that the biggest and worst problem with Smoke Flash (and Serum for that matter) is that it requires the Player to switch $Target to a Pet ... activate the Level 18 power on that ONE PET ... activate the Level 18 power (at ridiculously enormous expense to Endurance!) ... before you can go back to doing whatever it was you were doing, prior to this action. The fundamental flaw is that both Smoke Flash and Serum are coded as being Single Target Ranged powers that require targeting of a Pet in order to activate them.

Serum at least has the saving grace that it buffs the Pet it is cast upon, so it's pretty much guaranteed to "do something" when used.

Smoke Flash, by contrast, is a complete dog's breakfast of an implementation that does a Grant Power: Placate debuff to a (20ft?) PBAoE around the $Target Pet. This means that it cannot be effectively used in a proactive manner before the Ninja Pet enters melee range. The Ninja Pet (singular) needs to be within 20ft of whatever they are using the Smoke Flash "against" in order for it to have a useful effect, adding an additional complication to the tactical positioning of how and when to use it.

Even writing up a keybind that enables Target of My Target functionality won't save you when it comes to proper use of Smoke Flash ... because that only works one of your Ninja Pets has aggro, which is obviously not guaranteed when in a Team-2+ situation, let alone when the actively working a Tankermind condition in which the Mastermind wants to keep and hold aggro to reduce damage taken by the Pets.

A FAR SUPERIOR implementation of Smoke Flash (and Serum too!) would have been to rig the powers up as a 60ft (Supremacy radius) PBAoE around the caster that requires no target. When cast, ALL of "Own Pet (Alive)" within the radius are affected simultaneously by Smoke Flash (or Serum) so these powers become collective "Pet Team" powers, rather than just single $Target Own Pet (Alive) powers that force you to pick "who do you like best right now" during chaotic combat conditions and contexts (especially in Team and League play).

Idea being that with Serum, ALL of your Mercenaries within Supremacy range get injected with the Serum effect simultaneously. No need to drop your $Target in order to "pick your favorite" to give the Serum buff to. Just stay within 60ft Supremacy (and Leadership toggles!) range of your own Mercenaries and they'll get the buff ... each.

With Smoke Flash, it would be largely the same thing ... but because Smoke Flash operates through a Grant Power mechanism, all of your Ninjas would Placate debuff any Foes within 20ft around them ... which in and of itself is potentially problematic. It means that if the Ninja Pet(s) are attacking from standoff range (with Shurikens or other Ranged attacks or whatever) they could be "too far" for the Placate debuff to take any useful effect. That is because Placate is ... really weird ... in how it works (as I've found out first hand while doing Keyes iTrials with my Tanker Redlynne, since some of the Anti-Matter Clockworks use it). Placate is basically an "anti-Taunt" in that it means you canNOT be targeted (so $Target drops), unlike Taunt is means that ONLY YOU can be targeted (so $Target shifts and locks).

Smoke Flash thus becomes this sort of Rube Goldberg contraption of a power ... in which it only "works" when cast upon your own Ninja Pet (Alive) who is within 20ft of what they need to be Placating when the Smoke Flash goes off, meaning you only want to use it on Ninja Pets who are functionally within melee range and already engaging. Even worse, the Smoke Flash "Hide for automatic Crits" effect only sustains so long as the Ninja Pet (who cast the Placate effect) isn't hit or takes any damage ... so it's a "Fragile Hide" kind of deal. This means that if the Smoke Flashed Ninja Pet is standing in a fire patch (taking DoT damage) or if their Mastermind is Tankerminding and sharing damage through Bodyguard Mode, the "Fragile Hide" effect will get canceled early.

In other words, in order to make ACTUAL USE of Smoke Flash, neither the buffed Ninja Pet NOR the Mastermind can take any damage ... and the only thing protecting either from taking any damage is the Placate effect ... which has only a 20ft radius and is quite useless when used preemptively before combat starts (with no Foes in range to be Placated). As soon as the Ninja Pet gets attacked by anything that WASN'T Placated, or takes damage from Bodyguard Mode damage sharing, the Smoke Flash "Fragile Hide" effect ends prematurely (the Stealth buff that foils perception and therefore targeting stops).

It's kind of hopelessly convoluted and messy, the way that Smoke Flash was encoded to work.
Worse, Bodyguard Mode for damage sharing via Tankerminding was developed and introduced AFTER Smoke Flash was designed and implemented, meaning that Smoke Flash was not conceptualized with the notion of Tankerminding even being possible. So Tankerminding as a strategy indirectly nerfs Smoke Flash yet again because of the Rube Goldberg way that Smoke Flash was originally coded (no doubt by a Dev running solo tests, rather than in group play with lots of AoE splash being thrown around everywhere by hordes of Foes).

As is, Smoke Flash displays its TRUE full power effectiveness in such a vanishingly small and narrow range of tightly controlled conditions as to barely be possible "in the lab" ... let alone out in the wilds of actual gameplay experience. Smoke Flash is SO OVERTUNED into its absurd niche role as originally envisioned that most of its potential winds up WASTED very nearly 100% of the time. The "stop to pick and choose" factor alone makes for a high hurdle to get over, but then when you add in the fact that it's basically operating as a "Build Up On Demand For ONE Pet" which represents a super-minority fraction of a Mastermind's total damage output (basically 1/6th of 2/3rds) and you're looking at a roughly +11.11% overall damage increase in a "Build Up EXCUSE" type of power, rather than any kind of +50%/+80% type of "REAL Build Up" power like other Archetypes get.

The best thing that could happen to Smoke Flash (and Serum, for that matter!) would be to alter the power(s) such that they become 60ft PBAoE that affect both My Pets (Alive) and ALSO THE CASTER.

Serum for Mercenaries would affect ALL of your own Mercenary Pets (Alive) within your Supremacy aura radius, and YOUR MASTERMIND as well(!) ... so you ALL benefit, as a "Mastermind Team Group" from use of Serum simultaneously.

Smoke Flash for Ninjas would affect ALL of your own Ninja Pets (Alive) within your Supremacy aura radius, and YOUR MASTERMIND as well(!) ... so you ALL benefit, as a "Mastermind Team Group" from use of Smoke Flash simultaneously. Only other modifications that would be necessary/highly desirable game mechanically would be to increase the Placate radius of the Grant Power effect from 20ft to 60ft along with removing the "stealth radius breaks when damage taken" condition. I would also recommend rewriting the tooltip for the power to better spell out HOW the power works than the garbage obfuscation that explains next to nothing about how Smoke Flash ACTUALLY WORKS so Players can stop "using it incorrectly" based on misunderstanding what it is supposed to do and HOW it is supposed to do what it does.

Do all THAT for Ninjas and Mercenaries and these two Primaries will see a resurgence in popularity among Those Who Know™ ...

Player Help/Guides / Re: Main Tanking vs Lethal Force Authorized
« on: March 03, 2023, 01:42:03 am »
  • 30% of (current) Max HP of $Targets, subject to con level modifiers (x1.33 for being +3 to the PC) ... which means that characters with lower Max HP take less damage than higher Max HP characters with otherwise identical specs (think Dull Pain in an On vs Off state).

Looks like this might be the answer (or at least, closer to the answer).

According to Kewpie Gusto who was main tanking Underground Trial tonight, they had 2748 Max HP, 90% Energy Resistance (so 10% of the damage "leaks through" to be taken) and were taking 117-127 damage per tick from Lethal Force Authorized doing 30% of Max HP in Energy damage per tick.

2748 * 0.3 * 0.1 * 1.44 = 118.7
2748 * 0.3 * 0.1 * 1.55 = 127.8

1.44 is the damage multiplier for +4 con differential (in the mob's favor).
1.55 is the damage multiplier for +5 con differential (in the mob's favor).

The best fit that I have then from this anecdotal reporting is that Lethal Force Authorized needs to be assumed as using a damage formula that amounts to this:

PC's Max HP (not their cap) * 30% * (100-Energy Resistance%)/100 * Con Level multiplier of 1.55 = Damage per DoT tick (4 ticks over 4 seconds)

This then provides me with a rough estimation of a "minimum damage" floor that needs to be survived (in theorycrafting). It also means that in some very important respects, +Absorb is superior to +Max HP for defending against Lethal Force Authorized. That would be because as Max HP goes up, so too does the amount of damage delivered by Lethal Force Authorized (because the attack deals 120% of Max HP before factoring in Energy Resist and Con Level differential multipliers).

This broadly matches the results I was seeing during tonight's Underground Trial.
It also tells me that my RI5 build for Redlynne falls 776 points short of (undamaged) Max HP plus Practiced Brawler Absorb. Powers such as Elude and Force Barrier can certainly fill in that potential deficit in ability to "soak" incoming damage from Lethal Force Authorized.

Tanker / Re: [RI5] SR/MA Tanker = NO GET HITSU!!
« on: March 02, 2023, 02:50:51 pm »
Notes on Super Reflexes (and the slotting thereof)

OBVIOUSLY something has shifted (extremely radically!) with the release of RI5.

My previous RI4 era SR/MA build did not include Elude(!) and I was using the Sorcery Pool to reach for Rune of Protection (as a slot mule for Resistance set procs). Later, I attempted an alternative using Hover+Stealth in lieu of the Resistance set procs (+3% Defense each) ... which worked, but wasn't entirely satisfying for me as a work around solution.

RI5 "shifted" enough of the fundamentals underpinning things that some pretty massive reorganization needed to take place. Being able to slot Resistance set IOs into Dodge, Agile and Lucky directly completely removed the need to even worry about the Sorcery Pool ... opening up the possibility of taking Gadgetry instead in order to reach for Force Barrier (a second +Absorb power to alternate with Elude).

The problem was, I didn't have enough slots to go around after making changes to the new RI5 paradigm. Ranged Defense was falling short of 59% baseline (not by much, but it irked me all the same) and I was having trouble finding places to put the Heal procs (that need to be in active powers to actually proc). Throwing away the Medicine Pool let me reclaim 2 slots, but I "needed" those slots elsewhere for a "well rounded" overall build strategy. Health and Stamina both lost 2 slots each in the reshuffle, which put a big dent into my Regeneration (down about -80% from RI4!), Max HP (also down slightly from RI4). Even my global damage buff and recharge buffs fell slightly relative to the RI4 build plan ... but being able to slot up both Elude and Force Barrier for RAPID recharge and HUGE +Absorb made all the difference, as did being able to slot Resistance Set IOs into Dodge, Agile and Lucky.

Practiced Brawler with 6-slot Numina's Convalescence (for the huge +3.75% Ranged Defense!) is what unlocked the puzzle since it meant I could get a lot more +Absorb every 10s than previously in RI4, while simultaneously taking the pressure off needing to overslot (and boost) Focused Senses and Agile (and Maneuvers into the bargain!) in order to have a "standing around idle" Ranged Defense of over 59% at Level 50(+1), when it is needed.

Lucky CAN BE 4-slotted with yet another Luck of the Gambler set, but I chose not to in order to build additional margin against net endurance budget issues (when consistently using Dragon's Tail) and also to provide additional "blue buffer" against the Avatar of Hamidon's Cripple attack as well as other endurance draining attacks (looking at YOU, Malta Sappers). The only attack power that "suffers" for missing the extra +9% global accuracy is Energy Gauntlet, since all the Martial Arts attacks are over 100% accuracy against +3 Foes (and Energy Gauntlet is 88-89% accurate against +3 Foes). Given a choice between a little more regeneration (not enough to notice, really), a little more Max HP (also not enough to notice really) and a smidgen more global accuracy ... I figured that a little diversification into more Max END, Recovery and Fire/Cold Resistance would ultimately wind up being the smarter play.

Just to test that proposition, I tried out a Lucky: Luck of the Gambler setup on the Target Dummies in RWZ, going full out on the attack cycle to test the endurance budget.

EC . TK . SK . CAK . DT . (repeat)

I was noticing that my Endurance was slowly draining away ... slower than it had been under the RI4 build (which was less friendly to the endurance budget), but still net negative. I didn't test my way to detoggle, but I had the definite feeling of being "on the clock" until running out of endurance and detoggling while using Dragon's Tail in the attack rotation.

Then I used unslotters to pull enhancements out of Lucky and Vengeance so as to put the Luck of the Gambler proc into Vengeanceand a 4-slot of Gift of the Ancients into Lucky as seen in the build post above. Redoing the full out attack cycle test on the endurance budget, I was still net negative ... but the balance was so close to break even that I would need to be attacking for MINUTES without pause before it would become a problem. The shift over to Gift of the Ancients was actually making enough of a difference that I could easily envision going flat out on attack rotations (including Dragon's Tail) and not risk drawing down my Endurance too low before Elude would recharge and could "solve" the net recovery deficit quite easily. That ... shift ... in the "max attack chain" endurance budget gave me sufficient peace of mind to choose the Gift of the Ancients option as the better "longer term" solution for the build overall as a whole.

Elude is also somewhat interesting (now that it doesn't "crash" when its duration ends) because it "solves" multiple edge case problems while also having some utility. In addition to being a big +Absorb (6-slotted with Preventive Medicine) it's also a "Run speed" power for fast(er) travel (Swift+Hurdle+Ninja Run+Sprint equivalent is my "run around town" go to). Although Elude does add a little bit of jump height, it's not enough to really notice when traveling. The Recovery buff however makes Elude a really serious countermove against Endurance Drains.

With a fast recharge yielding a theoretical uptime around ~50% ... Elude stops being a "clutch" power that you only want to use when desperate and turns into a "use it when recharged" kind of power (except in the minutes before a big boss fight where you know you'll need to have it recharged). Having Elude as a "backup Absorb" when Force Barrier is recharging, however, CAN BE that "clutch" move you need. During last night's Underground Trial where I was Main Tanking the three Extinction War Walkers again, I needed to use Elude during a "gap" in uptime by Force Barrier to stay alive against Lethal Force Authorized, so having redundant "massive" +Absorb powers (on the order of Dull Pain scaling) there was absolutely Debt Saving.

Tankitty Tank Tank TANK!

Notes on Martial Arts

From the beginning, I wanted Might of the Tanker 6-slotted into Thunder Kick ... and Gauntleted Fist 6-slotted into Storm Kick.
Bread 'n' Butter.

From Level 2+ the bread 'n' butter of the attack chain side of things rests on a foundation of Thunder Kick and Storm Kick. Once you can get these two Powers slotted up with their ATOs, it's just GRAVY. Using Thunder Kick twice as often as Storm Kick (usually in a TK/SK/TK/pause rotation) yields plenty of opportunities to proc both the +Resistance (stacks up to 3x) and +Absorb, making you very sturdy despite your lack of Powers and Slots.

At low levels (Exemplar 1-22), this minimalist attack chain needs to be augmented with Inherent and Temp Powers ... Brawl, Throwing Knives, Nemesis Staff, Ghost Slaying Axe ... you know the drill. Nice thing is, being able to get a combined +27% Accuracy from 4-slot Luck of the Gamblers makes a difference not only to the slotting of Martial Arts Powers, but also your Inherent and Temp Powers that you use for attacks! It's so NICE to not have to worry about MISS!ing half the time with Powers you can't slot Enhancements into!

And just as an aside, I find the Ghost Slaying Axe to be more useful than the Sands of Mu in a lot of cases due to the automatic double damage to ghosts/spirits/undead/etc. that the Ghost Slaying Axe delivers. Makes quite a difference when taking on the Circle of Thorns and the Banished Pantheon, let me tell you!

It's also a rather LONG CLIMB from Level 2 (Storm Kick) all the way up to Level 28 (Crippling Axe Kick) ... and you need to get all the way up to Level 33 to finish slotting CAK, but by the time you do, it's all starting to come together.

Dropping the Medicine Pool and shifting slots around into new configurations, along with the NEED for more Energy Resistance (in order to survive getting hit by Lethal Force Authorized meant that Crippling Axe Kick wound up with a 6-slot Superior Vampire's Bite ... which just so happens to have a Heal proc in it. Net result ... no need to waste animation time on Aid Self anymore(!), just let Crippling Axe Kick procs top up any losses that aren't regenerating fast enough. Just keep attacking to heal yourself!

Focus Chi with 6-slot Gaussian's Fire Control is simply MONSTROUS. I've run the calculations and for 5 seconds, Focus Chi (with a proc) will put my build very close to the Tanker Damage Buff cap.

TK/SK/CAK = 101.37% Damage buffed
Focus Chi = +80% Damage buff (10 seconds)
Gaussian's proc = +80% Damage buff (5 seconds)
Global set bonuses = +8.5% Damage buff
Assault = 10.5% Damage buff

100 (base) + 101.37 + 80 + 80 + 8.5 + 10.5 = 380.37%

The Tanker cap on Damage is 400%.
Even without Support Hybrid buffing, I'm still getting within ~20% of the Damage buff cap for Tankers when using Focus Chi (for the first 5 seconds). I like to make that "opening salvo" following use of Focus Chi COUNT, because it's my turn to open the can marked "This Side Towards Enemy" (or words to that effect). And because Focus Chi recharges so fast (31.88s with a 10s duration) it too can be "used routinely" without needing to worry about "saving for later, just in case" when fighting. So long as you need to dish out more than 4 attacks in a row, wind 'er up and let 'er rip!

With close to 30% uptime, there's precious few reasons to NOT be using Focus Chi when recharged ...

Eagle's Claw is now the "control" power of the build, since it can reliably Mag 3 Stun for 7.8s, with a chance for bonus Mag 2 Stun of 8s on proc. Thunder Kick also has a 10% proc chance for a Mag 2 Stun to stack with Eagle's Claw ... while Crippling Axe Kick provides the Immobilize and -Fly/Run/Jump debuffing and Dragon's Tail delivers Knockdowns. Eagle's Claw also delivers an automatic +33% Damage buff for 3s after 2.5s (which is a little wonky) but can be easily worked around simply by doing:

EC > TK > SK > CAK > DT ... repeat

I've tested it on the Target Dummies in RWZ and so long as you cue attacks before they animate, you can get the +33% Damage buff relatively reliably on BOTH CAK AND DT before repeating the cycle. Makes for a tasty little multiplier when outnumbered. Timing is TIGHT on this, however, so you really need to practice doing this to get the muscle memory down before trying to use it consistently when soloing or in team/league play.

Tanker / Re: [RI5] SR/MA Tanker = NO GET HITSU!!
« on: March 02, 2023, 01:20:37 pm »
Okay, with the build details and Mids Reborn data chunk dealt with ... let's dig into the details and specifics of all the synergies and "stuff" going on in this build (and yes, a lot of this won't make as much sense if you aren't looking at Mids for the fiddly bits).

Yes, this is where the WALL OF TEXT CRITS YOU!!! warning becomes relevant again (as usual) for my build posts.
You have been warned (again).

Notes on choice of Levels for Enhancements to be slotted in:

So what's up with picking enhancements that all seem to be either Level 22, 27 or 31 ... except for procs, common IOs and of course, HOs?

In a word ... EXEMPLAR.
Or to put it into two words, a desire to make the build Exemplar Friendly.

The first time I tried to create a build plan after Issue 9: Inventions released, I did what most people probably did at the time ... I used all Level 50 sets and common IOs for my build (MAXIMUM POWAH!!!).

Imagine my surprise when practically my entire build plan fell apart(!) any time I had to Exemplar down to Levels 1-46 because all my set bonuses had a lower bound cutoff of Level 47 (because the enhancements were all Level 50).

That rather ... rude awakening ... had be dive back into Mids and try to find a "sweet spot" of going as low as possible on the Enhancement Levels without dropping below the throughput performance of SOs (spoiler alert: Level 26 is the parity point between IOs and SOs).

Later, the Flashback System was introduced and it had very clearly defined Level Range Bands built into it for replay of old content. For the purposes of wanting to slot Enhancements into a Mids build, the most relevant Flashback Level breakpoints then became Levels 19, 24 and 29 ... because SOs "began" at Level 25 (and could be slotted as early as Level 22). Furthermore, some Invention Sets had minimum Level ranges of 25-50 or even 30-50, so some flexibility in this area was called for.

The system which I eventually settled upon, and which you will see represented in pretty much all of my build posts, is that the Enhancements themselves (with only some exceptions) will typically fall into either being:
  • Level Minimum For The Set: This is usually done for any procs (or proc-like) IOs, so as to maximize their ease of slotting and flexibility if ever unslotted for use in other builds (where "mobility" of Enhancements can become an issue)
  • Level 22: Some powers are so "underwhelming" in their default buff throughput that "downgrading" an Invention Set's IOs from Level 27 down to Level 22 yields an acceptably small reduction in overall throughput for the power being enhanced. This is most often true of a power such as Leadership: Maneuvers where the "demotion" of a full 6-slot of enhancements will yield a reduction of ~0.15% Defense(All) in throughput differential (an acceptable reduction in the overall context of a build). The advantage of making this choice, despite the loss in enhancement power is that the global set bonuses offered by the slotted Invention Set are available over a wider range of Exemplar Levels ... in this case all the way down into the Level 19 Limit Flashbacks as well as the Level 20 Task Force and Strike Force options.
  • Level 27: This is going to be the Enhancement Level assigned to "most" Enhancements slotted into a build, because these Enhancements are still "operable" and generating their global set bonuses when Exemplared down to Level 24 for that range of Flashback content, in addition to the Level 25 Task Force and Strike Force options.
  • Level 31: This Enhancement Level choice is an outcome of the fact that some Invention Sets are limited to Levels 30-50, so the option to select a Level 27 version of that set is not available. The choice of Level 31 instead of Level 32 (as might otherwise be expected) is largely a function of the fact that the Moonfire Task Force exists ... and having global set bonuses "not get switched off" while running that Task Force is enough of a consideration to warrant the use Level 31 instead of Level 32 for Invention Sets limited to the 30-50 range (such as, most prominently, Numina's Convalescence). Yes, this is less of an issue for Villains (who can't participate in the Moonfire Task Force), but is a consideration for Heroes, Vigilantes and Rogues ... so on the whole I figure it makes for a Best Practices standard, even when dealing with intentionally Villain Only builds (just in case).
  • Level 50: Anything that doesn't offer a set bonus (and isn't a proc of some sort) automatically gets slotted as a Level 50 Enhancement. Without any set bonuses to worry about, there's no advantage to "slotting low" on these Enhancements.
  • (+2) HOs: Despite everything the Invention System brought in terms of slotting options, there are yet still some combinations of enhancement that produce the best results when using HOs. Accuracy/Damage, Accuracy/Mez(All), Damage/Mez(All), Damage/Range, along with other possibilities in the Endurance/Movement as well as some multi-Buff and multi-Debuff combinations ... HOs still offer the highest "enhancement density" value per slot in some notable contexts. Also, just like TOs, DOs and SOs, you can combine HO enhancements to raise their effective Level above 50. Until I can test exactly how "far" you can go with combining HOs, I'm presuming the limit is still going to be a maximum of +2 Levels (requiring a minimum of 3x HO per slot so combined, assuming no failures to combine).
So why those numbers?
Well, because ...

19+3 = 22
24+3 = 27
28+3 = 31

Since parity of enhancement "strength" lies at Level 26 for IOs, slotting set IOs for set bonuses in the range of Levels 22, 27 and 31 (aside from procs) then represents the "sweet spot" that can be found between Low and High for the broadest possible range of Exemplar Levels that yield consistently reliable performance from global set bonuses.

Notes on Defense Softcapping:

Attentive readers of this thread will no doubt have noticed that the "baseline" Defense vs Melee/Ranged/AoE are all well in excess of 45% in this build ... and there's a reason for that. It's because some Foes get a +To-hit and/or Accuracy bonus (most notably in Incarnate Trials) in addition to having a buffer margin against Defense Debuffing by more "ordinary" adversaries (in large numbers!).

The real "secret sauce" of this build as far as Defense goes is that Storm Kick (when it hits...) adds +10% Defense to All but Toxic and Psionic (and Untyped, of course) Damage Positions and Damage Types. That means that with a single hit from Storm Kick, this build (when complete and at Levels 24-50 for all set bonuses) can be sitting pretty at +64.X% Defense vs Melee/Ranged/AoE and still be softcapped against Incarnate Trial Foes with "room to spare" for Defense Debuffing.

That said, there are (of course) some "Kryptonite" counters to this protection scheme ... the most dangerous of which (in my experience) is the Devouring Earth Quartz summoned by Lieutenants along with multiple stacks of Vengeance caused by defeating Nemesis Lieutenants. Both enable large quantities of Foes to "shift the balance in their favor" against the Defensive Softcap, effectively "nullifying" the protection offered by Super Reflexes.

Another "Kryptonite" counter to Super Reflexes is the Mind Control powerset, with psionic attacks that have a a Damage Type (psionic) but not a Damage Position (because there is nothing "physical-ish" to defend against, it's "all in your head"). Mesmerize can't stack its Sleep MAG, due to how the power also does damage, but Dominate can be stacked against Super Reflexes, overcoming the protection of Practiced Brawler. Others include (of course) Ghost Widow's MAG 100 Hold power and other outliers ... such as (Raid) Hamidon's deliberately Untyped Damage which cannot be Defended against (Resist, sure, Regenerated out of, sure, Defense ... not so much).

At its core, a Defense based protection scheme (especially when soft capped) is extremely powerful against adversaries ranked as Elite Boss and below. Against Hero/AV and the Monster/Giant Monster class of opposition, Defense alone isn't going be enough to keep you alive, you will need ... MORE ... than just a pure Defense strategy. In Incarnate Trials, particularly the Underground Trial, there are threats such as Lethal Force Authorized used by Extinction War Walkers (3 of them) which can easily overwhelm this build's (nominal) Max HP and Energy Resistance in the absence of +Absorb (now provided by Elude and Force Barrier!) to be able to "soak" the incoming damage from this devastating attack. The Avatar of Hamidon's Cripple attack will inflict a -100% Recovery Debuff in addition to "damaging" Endurance by -10 per second for 15 seconds (which is usually enough to completely drain to detoggle a facetanker), but which this build can now counter using either Elude and/or Victory Rush in order to "power through" getting hit by Cripple.

Notes on backstopping Defense Protection schemes:

As anyone with experience playing Willpower will tell you, softcapped Defense is fine and all ... but without "something else" to back it up, you'll still wind up faceplanting when your opposition rolls double boxcars on you. It doesn't happen often, but when it does, you've got next to no reaction time to do anything about it ... so it comes as a shock to both you and your team when you Drop For Debt.

The typical "answer" to this problem is to reach for Resistances and/or Regeneration and/or Absorb.
Resistances make the incoming damage "hurt less" when taken, letting you "soak more" incoming damage.
Regeneration makes the incoming damage "hurt less" by making the damage taken "evaporate" faster.
Absorb makes the incoming damage "hurt less" by effectively giving you a "deeper pool" of health that needs to be burned through before you drop for Debt.

The difference is that Resistances are Typed (S/L/F/C/E/N/Tox/Psi) while Regeneration "responds against everything" (given time to do so) and Absorb also "works against everything" too.

My understanding is that most Players instinctively reach for Resistances FIRST as their primary means to shore up the weak points of Super Reflexes, with Fighting: Tough being the long standing "go to" option for doing this. However, I personally have never been a "fan" of the Fighting Pool, viewing the need to pick up Boxing or Kick as a prerequisite for Tough (with the option of Weave) as being more trouble than it's worth. RI5 has also introduced alternatives to Weave in Acrobatics (Leaping), Aerobatics (Flight) and even Blink+Blink Blitz (Teleport) as additional sources of useful +Defense aside from Hover, Combat Jumping and Stealth.

Paragon Studios eventually revamped Super Reflexes such that the three Passive Powers (Dodge, Agile, Lucky) offered scaling Resistances as HP went down, to partially mitigate against the fact that Super Reflexes, as a Powerset, was "too pure" to have any Resistances built into it at all from game launch. On a Tanker, this means a 0-20% scaling Resistance(All) for each of the three Passive Powers (for a combined 0-60%).

Tack on the scaling resistances proc from the Reactive Defenses set along with the up to 3x stack of +Resist(All) from the Might of the Tanker ATO proc (+5% normal, +6.7% superior) and you're looking at a LOT of potential resistance available without needing to resort to selection of an actual Resistance Power.

Still, a Resistance Power that can slot Resistance sets is highly desirable, since there are Resistance set procs that can add 2x +3% Defense(All) along with the Unbreakable Guard: +Max HP proc ... and now Dodge, Agile and Lucky can all slot these procs natively in RI5.

But the way I figure things, given my past as a MA/SR Scrapper on Virtue, is that Resistances are "nice to have" but Regeneration is NEEDED ... and Absorb covers the edge cases.

The scaling resistances offered by Dodge/Agile/Lucky combined with the Reactive Defenses proc and Might of the Tanker proc (stacking) can yield "plenty" of resistance when the chips are down and it is desperately needed ... but the rest of the time, what I (personally) would consider more valuable than Typed Resistance is ... Regeneration. I have found through combat experience that with sufficient Regeneration and strong Defenses, resorting to the Medicine Pool for Aid Self is no longer necessary (and Field Medic does not work out as well as I had hoped in terms of synergies).

With FAST recharge on Force Barrier (47.32s on a 30s duration) and Elude (176.9s on a 90s duration) when factoring in T4 Agility Radial Alpha slotting for heaping helpings of +Absorb when you really need it to survive "Way Too Big" hits ... and/or give yourself some extra margin against edge cases ... so long as you don't overcommit on long animations at inopportune moments, this build will give you everything you need to survive against MOST opposition (including Incarnates).

And yes ... since I don't have (or need) Hasten in my build, I can put T4 Rebirth Radial Destiny on autofire and have a "permanent" bonus to my Regeneration with close to 100% uptime (it's REALLY NICE!) I don't even miss removing the Medicine Pool from my build plans and strategies.

Notes on why Maneuvers is a better choice than Weave

Back in the days (now over a decade ago), there was something of a fierce debate over the merits of Weave vs Maneuvers when it came to the Super Reflexes powerset in the Scrapper forum of the original CoH boards. The way I eventually came to appreciate the differences basically came down to this:

Weave is the Selfish Choice.
Maneuvers is the Altruistic Choice.

To oversimplify things, 1x Weave = 2x Maneuvers for a soloist.
That's just a function of the basic buff level offered by the respective powers.
It's not exactly that, but it's close enough for our purposes of conversation.

That basically meant that if all you cared about was ... yourself ... then Weave was the superior choice for you, as a soloist.
But if you cared about group play ... Maneuvers was the superior choice, and you were only "losing out" relative to Weave when soloing.

The best way that I can illustrate this is with a Team-8 comparison.
Let's say that you've joined a Team-8 and your character has Weave and no one else does. What does that do in the team context?
  • 1x Weave
  • Nothing
  • Nothing
  • Nothing
  • Nothing
  • Nothing
  • Nothing
  • Nothing
Okay ... so what happens if two of you have Weave on that Team-8?
Well ...
  • 1x Weave
  • 1x Weave
  • Nothing
  • Nothing
  • Nothing
  • Nothing
  • Nothing
  • Nothing
Well ... DUH ... tell us something we don't already know! (I hear you cry)
Alright ... compare and contrast the above, with what happens with Maneuvers instead if you're the only one on the Team-8 with Maneuvers.
  • 1x Maneuvers = x0.5 Weave
  • Nothing = x0.5 Weave
  • Nothing = x0.5 Weave
  • Nothing = x0.5 Weave
  • Nothing = x0.5 Weave
  • Nothing = x0.5 Weave
  • Nothing = x0.5 Weave
  • Nothing = x0.5 Weave
And now look at what happens when two characters on the Team-8 have Maneuvers ...
  • 1x Maneuvers = x1 Weave
  • 1x Maneuvers = x1 Weave
  • Nothing = x1 Weave
  • Nothing = x1 Weave
  • Nothing = x1 Weave
  • Nothing = x1 Weave
  • Nothing = x1 Weave
  • Nothing = x1 Weave
I don't think I can stress the difference in value any more clearly than this.

The Fighting Pool (and Weave specifically) as an alternative to Leadership (and Maneuvers) is a choice between selfishness and altruism.

If you take Weave from the Fighting Pool ... you're the ONLY ONE who benefits.
If you're a soloist who never joins a group ... that works just fine (for you).
When the only one you care about is yourself, the selfish choice is (clearly!) the superior option.

But as soon as you start adding teammates into the calculus ... that all changes.
When YOU yourself have Maneuvers ... all you need is ONE TEAMMATE who also has Maneuvers to give everyone on your team the equivalent of the Weave power (and if more than one teammate has Maneuvers, you're ALL doing better than picking Weave).

To extend the comparison to its logical conclusion, compare and contrast THIS:
  • 1x Weave
  • 1x Weave
  • 1x Weave
  • 1x Weave
  • 1x Weave
  • 1x Weave
  • 1x Weave
  • 1x Weave
With THIS:
  • 1x Maneuvers = x4 Weave
  • 1x Maneuvers = x4 Weave
  • 1x Maneuvers = x4 Weave
  • 1x Maneuvers = x4 Weave
  • 1x Maneuvers = x4 Weave
  • 1x Maneuvers = x4 Weave
  • 1x Maneuvers = x4 Weave
  • 1x Maneuvers = x4 Weave
Now, you tell me.
Which team would you rather be on among the above choices?

When it comes time to making Power Picks, it's important to think about more than just yourself and how your build affects YOU when you play. You also want to be thinking about what your character brings to a Team when you join a group, beyond just your DPS and Mez potential (and so on and so forth). Leadership is the only Pool that makes entire teams BETTER just by having you around ... and the Fighting Pool doesn't do that (or at least, not in the same way or even to the same degree, usually).

The Fighting Pool is a SELF multiplier set of Powers.
The Leadership Pool is a TEAM multiplier set of Powers.

There's a reason why I'm always trying to find room in every build I make in Mids for all three Leadership toggles in my build plans. That's because I would rather be counted among those who contribute to the success of my fellow Players, rather than merely looking out for #1 and leaving everyone else to fend for themselves.

Yes, Weave "looks better" on paper (or in Mids) when all you care about are your own numbers ... and for a very long time, Tough was the ONLY Pool Power available to Super Reflexes that offered access to a Resistance Power that could slot Resistance sets ... making this choice a very difficult one for many builders, but that is no longer the limiting factor choice anymore ... not on Rebirth.

This same mentality informed my choice of Hybrid Slot.

Assault is the SELF multiplier option.
Support is the TEAM/LEAGUE multiplier option.

Consequently, I never have to worry about "is this the right time to activate my T4 Support Radial Hybrid?" because the answer to that question is ALWAYS YES (except, perhaps, in the minutes before a big boss battle). Toggle on Support whenever it is recharged while clearing trash, since it multiplies the damage output of the entire Team/League (within the 80ft PBAoE). Stacked with Assault (Tanker), you're adding between 10.5-18.5% extra damage to everyone nearby to you, which can quickly add up to being a lot more added damage than you would ever be able to deliver yourself (even when averaging out the on/off of Support damage buffing relative to the "always on" Assault passive damage buffing).

Tanker / [RI5] SR/MA Tanker = NO GET HITSU!!
« on: March 02, 2023, 12:38:00 pm »
This time around, I think I'll start with the build first ... WALL OF TEXT CRITS YOU!!! after, because ... reasons ...

This post shows where the build is intended to finish at by Level 50 with the Incarnate slots (now) filled in.
Alpha: T4 Agility Radial
Judgement: T4 Ion Radial
Interface: T4 Gravitic Radial (although this can be almost anything you want)
Lore: T4 Robotic Drones Core
Destiny: T4 Rebirth Radial
Hybrid: T4 Support Radial

Note that with respect to Enhancement Boosters, only 82 Boosters have been strategically spent on this build (as noted below) in order to "plus ultra!" a select few powers where such modifiers can have the greatest impact.

In-game Combat Attributes reporting (because Mids Reborn doesn't calculate this correctly):
  • 435.06% Regeneration of 2649.47 Max HP = 132.4735 HP every 2.76s = 48.03 HP/s
  • Practiced Brawler +Absorb = +294.85
  • Force Barrier = +1187.42 (+1482.28 total w/ Practiced Brawler)
  • Elude = +1464.19  (+1759.05 total w/ Practiced Brawler)

Code: [Select]
| Copy & Paste this data into Mids Reborn : Hero Designer to view the build |

This Hero build was built using Mids Reborn DBVersion 2023.2.302

Click this DataLink to open the build!

Level 50 Natural Tanker
Primary Power Set: Super Reflexes
Secondary Power Set: Martial Arts
Power Pool: Gadgetry
Power Pool: Leadership

Hero Profile:
Level 1: Focused Fighting
  • (A) Luck of the Gambler - Defense/Endurance: Level 27
  • (13) Luck of the Gambler - Defense/Endurance/Recharge: Level 27
  • (15) Luck of the Gambler - Defense: Level 27
  • (19) Luck of the Gambler - Defense/Increased Global Recharge Speed: Level 25
Level 1: Thunder Kick
  • (A) Superior Might of the Tanker - Accuracy/Damage: Level 50
  • (3) Superior Might of the Tanker - Damage/Recharge: Level 50
  • (5) Superior Might of the Tanker - Accuracy/Damage/Recharge: Level 50
  • (7) Superior Might of the Tanker - Damage/Endurance/Recharge: Level 50
  • (9) Superior Might of the Tanker - Accuracy/Damage/Endurance/Recharge: Level 50
  • (11) Superior Might of the Tanker - Recharge/Chance for +Res(All): Level 50
Level 2: Storm Kick
  • (A) Superior Gauntleted Fist - Accuracy/Damage: Level 50
  • (3) Superior Gauntleted Fist - Damage/RechargeTime: Level 50
  • (5) Superior Gauntleted Fist - Accuracy/Damage/RechargeTime: Level 50
  • (7) Superior Gauntleted Fist - Damage/Endurance/RechargeTime: Level 50
  • (9) Superior Gauntleted Fist - Accuracy/Damage/Endurance/RechargeTime: Level 50
  • (11) Superior Gauntleted Fist - RechargeTime/+Absorb: Level 50
Level 4: Jetpack
  • (A) Flight Speed IO: Level 50+5
Level 6: Practiced Brawler
  • (A) Numina's Convalesence - +Regeneration/+Recovery: Level 30
  • (34) Numina's Convalesence - Heal/Endurance: Level 31+5
  • (37) Numina's Convalesence - Endurance/Recharge: Level 31
  • (40) Numina's Convalesence - Heal/Recharge: Level 31
  • (42) Numina's Convalesence - Heal/Endurance/Recharge: Level 31
  • (42) Numina's Convalesence - Heal: Level 31+5
Level 8: Focused Senses
  • (A) Luck of the Gambler - Defense/Endurance: Level 27
  • (13) Luck of the Gambler - Defense/Endurance/Recharge: Level 27
  • (17) Luck of the Gambler - Defense: Level 27
  • (19) Luck of the Gambler - Defense/Increased Global Recharge Speed: Level 25
Level 10: Warrior's Provocation
  • (A) Taunt Duration IO: Level 50+5
Level 12: Evasion
  • (A) Luck of the Gambler - Defense/Endurance: Level 27
  • (15) Luck of the Gambler - Defense/Endurance/Recharge: Level 27
  • (17) Luck of the Gambler - Defense: Level 27
  • (21) Luck of the Gambler - Defense/Increased Global Recharge Speed: Level 25
Level 14: Dodge
  • (A) Shield Wall - +Res (Teleportation), +5% Res (All): Level 10
  • (21) Shield Wall - Defense/Endurance: Level 27
  • (23) Shield Wall - Defense/Recharge: Level 27
  • (23) Shield Wall - Defense: Level 27
Level 16: Agile
  • (A) Luck of the Gambler - Defense/Increased Global Recharge Speed: Level 25
  • (50) Steadfast Protection - Resistance/+Def 3%: Level 10
  • (50) Gladiator's Armor - TP Protection +3% Def (All): Level 10
Level 18: Lucky
  • (A) Gift of the Ancients - Run Speed, Fly Speed, Jump Speed +10.5%: Level 15
  • (25) Gift of the Ancients - Defense: Level 27
  • (25) Gift of the Ancients - Defense/Endurance: Level 27
  • (27) Gift of the Ancients - Defense/Recharge: Level 27
Level 20: Focus Chi
  • (A) Gaussian's Synchronized Fire-Control - Chance for Build Up: Level 21
  • (46) Gaussian's Synchronized Fire-Control - To Hit Buff: Level 22
  • (48) Gaussian's Synchronized Fire-Control - To Hit Buff/Recharge: Level 22
  • (48) Gaussian's Synchronized Fire-Control - To Hit Buff/Recharge/Endurance: Level 22
  • (48) Gaussian's Synchronized Fire-Control - Recharge/Endurance: Level 22
  • (50) Gaussian's Synchronized Fire-Control - To Hit Buff/Endurance: Level 22
Level 22: Maneuvers
  • (A) Reactive Defenses - Scaling Resist Damage: Level 20
  • (42) Reactive Defenses - Defense: Level 22
  • (43) Reactive Defenses - Defense/Endurance: Level 22
  • (43) Reactive Defenses - Endurance/RechargeTime: Level 22
  • (43) Reactive Defenses - Defense/RechargeTime: Level 22
  • (45) Reactive Defenses - Defense/Endurance/RechargeTime: Level 22
Level 24: Tactics
  • (A) Adjusted Targeting - To Hit Buff/Endurance: Level 50
Level 26: Quickness
  • (A) Healing IO: Level 50+5
  • (27) Healing IO: Level 50+2
Level 28: Crippling Axe Kick
  • (A) Superior Vampire's Bite - Accuracy/Damage: Level 50
  • (29) Superior Vampire's Bite - Damage/Endurance: Level 50
  • (29) Superior Vampire's Bite - Accuracy/Damage/Recharge: Level 50
  • (31) Superior Vampire's Bite - Accuracy/Damage/Endurance/Recharge: Level 50
  • (31) Superior Vampire's Bite - Accuracy/Damage/Endurance: Level 50
  • (31) Superior Vampire's Bite - Recharge/Chance to Heal: Level 50
Level 30: Assault
  • (A) Endurance Reduction IO: Level 50
Level 32: Elude
  • (A) Preventive Medicine - Chance for +Absorb: Level 20
  • (33) Preventive Medicine - Heal: Level 27
  • (33) Preventive Medicine - Heal/Endurance: Level 27
  • (33) Preventive Medicine - Endurance/RechargeTime: Level 27+5
  • (34) Preventive Medicine - Heal/RechargeTime: Level 27+5
  • (34) Preventive Medicine - Heal/RechargeTime/Endurance: Level 27+5
Level 35: Dragon's Tail
  • (A) Eradication - Damage: Level 27+5
  • (36) Eradication - Accuracy/Recharge: Level 27
  • (36) Eradication - Damage/Recharge: Level 27
  • (36) Eradication - Accuracy/Damage/Recharge: Level 27
  • (37) Eradication - Accuracy/Damage/Endurance/Recharge: Level 27+5
  • (37) Eradication - Chance for Energy Damage: Level 10
Level 38: Eagles Claw
  • (A) Pounding Slugfest - Accuracy/Damage: Level 27
  • (39) Pounding Slugfest - Damage/Endurance: Level 27
  • (39) Pounding Slugfest - Damage/Recharge: Level 27
  • (39) Pounding Slugfest - Disorient Bonus: Level 27
  • (40) Hamidon Origin: Endoplasm Exposure (+2 Acc/Mez)
  • (40) Hamidon Origin: Peroxisome Exposure (+2 Dam/Mez)
Level 41: Energy Gauntlet
  • (A) Apocalypse - Accuracy/Damage/Recharge: Level 50+5
Level 44: Force Barrier
  • (A) Doctored Wounds - Heal/Endurance: Level 31
  • (45) Doctored Wounds - Heal/Recharge: Level 31+5
  • (45) Doctored Wounds - Heal/Endurance/Recharge: Level 31
  • (46) Doctored Wounds - Heal: Level 31
  • (46) Doctored Wounds - Recharge: Level 31+5
Level 47: Vengeance
  • (A) Luck of the Gambler - Defense/Increased Global Recharge Speed: Level 25
Level 49: Victory Rush
  • (A) Endurance Modification IO: Level 50
Level 1: Gauntlet
Level 1: Brawl
  • (A) Hamidon Origin: Nucleolus Exposure (Acc/Dam)
Level 1: Sprint
  • (A) Celerity - +Stealth: Level 15
Level 2: Rest
  • (A) Recharge Reduction IO: Level 50
Level 2: Swift
  • (A) Run Speed IO: Level 50+5
Level 2: Hurdle
  • (A) Jumping IO: Level 50+5
Level 2: Health
  • (A) Regenerative Tissue - +Regeneration: Level 10
  • (9) Panacea - +Hit Points/Endurance: Level 10
  • (17) Miracle - +Recovery: Level 20
Level 2: Stamina
  • (A) Performance Shifter - Chance for +End: Level 21
  • (13) Performance Shifter - EndMod: Level 27
  • (23) Endurance Modification IO: Level 50+5
Level 1: Disintegrating
Level 4: Ninja Run
Level 1: Prestige Power Surge
  • (A) Run Speed IO: Level 50+5
Level 50: Agility Radial Paragon
Level 50: Ion Radial Final Judgement
Level 50: Gravitic Radial Flawless Interface
Level 50: Robotic Drones Core Superior Ally
Level 50: Rebirth Radial Epiphany
Level 50: Support Radial Embodiment
Level 50: Freedom Phalanx Reserve
Level 50: Portal Jockey
Level 50: Task Force Commander
Level 50: The Atlas Medallion
Level 4: Turbo Boost
Set Bonus Totals:
Spoiler (hover to show)
Set Bonuses:
Spoiler (hover to show)
Proc chances: (w/ Agility Radial Paragon Alpha)

Thunder Kick: Superior Might of the Tanker (5.0 PPM, stacks up to 3x)
  • 5 * ((3 / ( 1 + 122.03 / 100 )) + 0.83) / (60 * (0.25 + 0.75 * (1 + 0 * (11 * 0 + 540) / 30,000))) = 18.18%
Storm Kick: Superior Gauntleted Fist (3.0 PPM)
  • 3.0 * ((6 / ( 1 + 122.03 / 100 )) + 0.83) / (60 * (0.25 + 0.75 * (1 + 0 * (11 * 0 + 540) / 30,000))) = 17.77%
Focus Chi: Gaussian's Synchronized Fire-Control (1.0 PPM)
  • 1.0 * ((90 / ( 1 + 82.35 / 100 )) + 1.17) / (60 * (0.25 + 0.75 * (1 + 0 * (11 * 0 + 540) / 30,000))) = 84.21%
Crippling Axe Kick: Superior Vampire's Bite (5 PPM)
  • 5 * ((11 / ( 1 + 95.49 / 100 )) + 1.6) / (60 * (0.25 + 0.75 * (1 + 0 * (11 * 0 + 540) / 30,000))) = 60.22%
Dragon's Tail: Eradication (3.5 PPM)
  • 3.5 * ((14 / ( 1 + 99.56 / 100 )) + 1.5) / (60 * (0.25 + 0.75 * (1 + 8 * (11 * 360 + 540) / 30,000))) = 26.14% per $Target
Eagles Claw: Pounding Slugfest (2.5 PPM)
  • 2.5 * ((12 / ( 1 + 44.06 / 100 )) + 2.53) / (60 * (0.25 + 0.75 * (1 + 0 * (11 * 0 + 540) / 30,000))) = 45.25%
Health: Panacea (3.0 PPM heal, 3.0 PPM endurance, checked independently of each other)
  • 3.0 x 10 / (60 * (0.25 + 0.75 * (1 + 00 * (11 * 0 + 540) / 30,000))) = 50% (every 10s)
Stamina: Performance Shifter (1.5 PPM)
  • 1.5 x 10 / (60 * (0.25 + 0.75 * (1 + 00 * (11 * 0 + 540) / 30,000))) = 25% (every 10s)

Player Help/Guides / Re: Main Tanking vs Lethal Force Authorized
« on: March 01, 2023, 04:31:34 pm »
City of Data v2.0 (for Homecoming): Lethal Force Authorized (link)
  • PvP or PvE 100% chance
    • 30% max health Energy damage (all affected targets) every 1.0s for 4.1s (100% chance)
    • if !target.VillainName>RoguesGallery_Desdemona_Underground && (target>enttype eq 'player')

Hmmm ... there are two ways to interpret this information, with important implications for how it all works under the hood.
  • 30% of (current) Max HP of $Targets, subject to con level modifiers (x1.33 for being +3 to the PC) ... which means that characters with lower Max HP take less damage than higher Max HP characters with otherwise identical specs (think Dull Pain in an On vs Off state).
  • 30% of Max HP for your character's Archetype and ignoring the con modifier (so no x1.33 damage for being +3) ... regardless of what your character's current Max HP is when the attack hits (so you take the same damage regardless of whether Dull Pain is On or Off).
I'm starting to think that the way that Lethal Force Authorized might be structured to work on the game mechanical back end as option 2, rather than as option 1.

Option 1 allows for some "peculiar edge cases" in which it is more advantageous to LIMIT the +Max HP gain in a build so as to take less damage from Lethal Force Authorized in absolute terms, thereby handing an "escape" mechanism to low HP builds.

Option 2, however, becomes more of a "pure survival check" where no matter what, having more HP is ALWAYS beneficial (as one would expect).

Option 1 allows use of +Absorb stacking on low Max HP values to be much more effective (less incoming damage means that identical +Absorb values are proportionally more effective mitigation).

Option 2, by contrast, yields a "no free lunch" scenario where no matter what you need to be able to withstand incoming damage on the order of 120% of your Archetype's hard cap for Max HP (which for a Tanker is 3534x1.2=4240.8 before Energy Resistance). Basic idea here being that the closer your character is to the Max HP cap for your Archetype, the less Energy Resistance you'll need in order to be able to survive taking a hit from Lethal Force Authorized (low current HP will need more resistance and/or absorb to prevent a faceplant).

I'm starting to think that Option 2 is probably how this is implemented, but I can't be sure. I'd need to tease some info out of the Combat Tab log of damage taken in order to be sure (one way or the other), and fights with the Extinction War Walkers are "decidedly noisy" combat events (with attacks and damage scrolling rapidly!). Still, might see if I can try to pull that data out the next time I participate in an Underground Trial.

Part of my anecdotal evidence line of thinking is that my RI4 build for Redlynne ought to have been able to withstand taking Lethal Force Authorized hits without needing to use inspirations for added energy resistance ... but I still got faceplanted a few times (which was both annoying and embarrassing, as a Main Tank). Consequently, I'm exploring options for how to "close this gap" with my RI5 (re)build for Redlynne as a SR/MA Tanker, which is proving to be quite the challenging edge case. I think I've got it, but testing will be required to prove the concept.

One of the side effects of undertaking this rebuild effort is trying to work out ways in which the Avatar of Hamidon's Cripple attack can be effectively mitigated/countered (aside from League support from Kinetics and Nature). I'm honestly thinking that Victory Rush (of all things) cast on a defeated Elite Boss (of which there are PLENTY in the Underground Trial!) ought to boost Recovery enough to at least break even while under Cripple (-10 END per second for 15 seconds AND -100% Recovery for 15 seconds). Additionally, the Recovery boost from Elude will ALSO work, creating an opportunity for either alternating (on long drawn out facetanking slugfests) or doubling up (if needed).

Live Bug Reporting / Valentine Tip
« on: February 27, 2023, 11:22:25 pm »
I had a Valentine Tip from Mandy Lebeaux which needed to be delivered to Synapse ... however the Skyway tram did not have a marker for either station indicating that the Skyway zone was a destination for any pending mission.

In stark contrast, Valentine Tips to be delivered to Diabolique (in First Ward via TUNNEL) and Positron (via Steel Canyon tram) were both deliverable and both showed that there were missions pending in First Ward and Steel Canyon before being completed.

I suspect that the bug with Synapse probably has to do with a Character ID mismatch between the Synapse standing post in Skyway and the previous version of Synapse that was in use when the Valentine Tip mission was originally written (I think I remember Synapse getting moved to his current location in Skyway at some point). Either that or there's a typo in the character ID that ought to be pointing to Synapse in Skyway coded into the Valentine Tip.

More of a nuisance than a crisis, really ... but I haven't dismissed the Valentine Tip mission on Redlynne so if a Dev needs to pull records to validate this bug (end to end) then that's where you can find the necessary Character Data to replicate the issue.

General Suggestions and Feedback / New Mids Reborn version?
« on: February 26, 2023, 09:48:54 pm »
When would it be reasonable to expect an updated version of Mids Reborn to become available?

Tanker / Re: SR/MA = NO GET HITSU!!
« on: February 20, 2023, 11:52:11 pm »
Well, finally got to try out the RI4 rebuild tonight against Lethal Force Authorized and ... still got faceplanted ... even though I had 24.5% Energy Resistance.

Something just isn't adding up here.

If the Lethal Force Authorized attack is doing 4x 30% Max HP over 4s in Energy damage ... and if I've got 24.5% Energy Resistances ... that ought to yield a throughput of 120*(1-0.245)=90.6% of Max HP in Energy damage.

Except, that only applies for damage taken from +0 Foes.
A +3 Levels Foe (such as a 54 vs 50+1) does 1.33x as much damage.
So 120*1.33*(1-0.245)=120.5% of Max HP in Energy damage.
Grrr ...

For simplicity ... 120*1.33=159.6 ... so to give myself a tiny sliver of margin here, let's call it 160.

To knock down 160% of Max HP into the range of "merely" 100% of Max HP then requires 37.5% Energy Resistance (minimum).

The +Absorb from Practiced Brawler is running at ~9.7% of Max HP per 10 seconds.

What this then tells me is that in order to survive a Lethal Force Authorized attack, a minimum floor of ~38-40% Energy Resistance is needed (with more always being better) ... which I can now manage using my new build when consuming a single T2 Resist Inspiration (+15%).

Previously, I was needing to use 2x T2 Resist Inspirations (+30%) to stack onto the original baseline of having only 14% Energy Resistance in order to have enough safety margin (in excess of 40% Energy Resist), so in that respect the new build is certainly less inspiration consumption inefficient.

So although it was disappointing tonight to get faceplanted (again!) by Lethal Force Authorized ... twice ... that experience has now given me enough information to try and work out what is happening (and why). It also tells me that hoping to make up the shortfall in Energy Resist through Damage debuffing via Interface slotting is almost certainly a losing battle. After all, if the damage debuffing was working "at full power" (as opposed to being nerfed) then I wouldn't have been taking defeats from Lethal Force Authorized when not using inspirations. However, since I was getting one shot by Lethal Force Authorized anyway, even with 3-4x 5% Damage debuffing stacks from Interface procs ... that indicates to me that T4 Paralytic Interface is inadequate to the task I was asking it to do in the context of wanting to be protected from Lethal Force Authorized. It's likely that there are other factors at play "nerfing" the value of Damage debuff effect on the Extinction War Walkers, diluting the debuff's effectiveness beyond what can be usefully stacked by a soloist against such Foes.

May need to look into use of a T4 Degenerative Core Interface option next ...

Tanker / Re: SR/MA = NO GET HITSU!!
« on: February 18, 2023, 11:33:13 am »
Well, just loaded up the PTS and did a respec on Redlynne to test out the RI5 rebuild with Fly+Air Superiority+Aerobatics. The results look VERY PROMISING indeed!

Was able to validate that just standing around with toggles on (not doing anything) while standing on the ground, Def vs Melee/Range/AoE are all 59%+ thanks to Aerobatics, even when standing on the ground.

Elude recharges in less than 3 minutes from Click to Recharge Complete.

Running speed with Ninja Run+Prestige Power Surge+Elude+Agility Radial Paragon tops out at ~107mph.
Fly speed with no flight enhancement (other than Agility Radial Paragon) tops out at ~101mph.

Thunder Kick > Storm Kick > Air Superiority is an infinitely repeatable attack chain all on its own with Incarnate Powers active.
Eagle's Claw > Thunder Kick > Storm Kick > Air Superiority has a very brief pause when repeated for Eagle's Claw to finish cooling down.
Eagle's Claw > Thunder Kick > Storm Kick > Air Superiority > Dragon's Tail will actually add the +33% Damage buff (to base damage only) for BOTH Air Superiority AND Dragon's Tail before the buff brom Eagle's Claw expires, making for a really sweet Single+PBAoE $Target attack chain. However, this sequence of powers, when repeated indefinitely is slightly net Endurance balance negative ... which is easily overcome by alternating use of Conserve Power and Elude.

Did some KnockUP testing on Fake Nemesis out in Firebase Zulu and Air Superiority was keeping them "supressed" from taking further actions (via Knock juggling) no problem.

All in all, the RI5 rebuild is looking incredibly SOLID at this point, since I won't need to use the Hover+Stealth workaround to get enough Defense stacked up to reach 59%+ combat performance for Incarnate Trial content.

Tanker / Re: SR/MA = NO GET HITSU!!
« on: February 17, 2023, 10:42:07 am »
Always fun taking the "Live and Learn" approach to things.

Only realized after careful scrutiny that Kismet: +Accuracy is another one of those 120s duration after power is used type of enhancements, so slotting it into Vengeance @ 49 is remarkably wasteful ... because Vengeance can be used so rarely/chaotically, so I unslotted it.

Then I tried Gift of the Ancients: +Run as one of the few remaining procs that I could perhaps make use of ... and was underwhelmed even further. The +7.5% Run Speed global of this enhancement was adding ... +1.07mph ... to my run speed. It basically felt like a rounding error in terms of difference in performance. What makes this enhancement particularly galling is that it's limited to Run Speed ONLY(!) ... not all movement speeds, just run speed ... and it's +7.5% of your BASE run speed, not +7.5% of your MAX run speed, nor does it raise the run speed cap (or anything else that might be considered "useful").

Finally, I just accepted the inevitable and decided to reslot with Rectified Reticle: +Perception for a lack of any superior alternatives. I mean, I could potentially slot a Heal/Recharge (50) into Vengeance, reducing its recharge time by about -20s ... but that hardly seems worth the effort due to the fact that Vengeance can only be cast on teammates who have been defeated (which hopefully isn't going to be happening so often that there's someone conveniently faceplanting every 120-150s for you to target with Vengeance). Combined with Focus Senses and Tactics, slotting Rectified Reticle: +Perception increases my Perception Radius to 1100ft, offering a substantial buffer margin against -Perception debuffing.

The other thing that I've figured out is that ... Hover is lousy for /Follow (it tends to stop short of melee range) and Stealth slows down run+jump speeds while it is toggled on (flight speed is unaffected), which is NOT being reported correctly in Mids Reborn. The run+jump speed debuff is only -5.01mph (a -35% loss from base) but it's still enough to be felt.

The "final solution" would therefore appear to be swapping out:
In favor of the following once RI5 goes Live:
  • Fly (1-slotted for movement) replaces Hover
  • Air Superiority (6-slotted with Superior Vampire's Bite) replaces Crippling Axe Kick(!)
  • Aerobatics (enabling Group Fly and slotted with Luck of the Gambler: Defense/Increased Recharge Speed) replaces Stealth (and Hover) and is just left toggled ON at all times as a source of +6.6% Def(All) in order to reach 59%+ Def(Melee/Range/AoE) full time
  • Reslot Vengeance with Luck of the Gambler: Defense/Increased Recharge Speed to maintain overall global recharge
However, making such a change would also enable a reshuffle of which powers need to be taken when, because Crippling Axe Kick is not available until Level 26, while Air Superiority is available as early as Level 4.

I'm thinking that the progression of power picks would swap Focus Chi (20) for Air Superiority (20) and Crippling Axe Kick (28) for Focus Chi (28). Such a rearrangement would enable use of the Level 20 power (Air Superiority in RI5) during Level 15 Exemplar STFs, which would be a game changer in that bracket of game content. Air Superiority's reliable KnockUP (not down, UP!) has some really wonderful single target crowd control synergies built into it, especially when you can use it "fast enough to juggle" an opponent into a condition of perma-knock, preventing them from taking actions (this is especially useful against Fake Nemesis and Paragon Protectors to prevent them from extending fight durations).

So it looks like I'm going to be looking forward to the RI5 Freespec after all ...

Tanker / Re: SR/MA = NO GET HITSU!!
« on: February 16, 2023, 11:13:47 am »
Well, the build in this post is no longer the build that I am currently using at the end of RI4 prior to RI5 going live.

Yesterday, I spent the afternoon reformulating the build plan into a new configuration that dropped both the Medicine and Sorcery pools(!) ... reclaiming 6 power picks and their associated slots. Replacing those power picks are:
  • Hover @ 4 ... 1-slotted with LotG: Def/+Recharge (25)
  • Dodge @ 14 ... 4-slotted with Shield Wall: Def/End, Def/Rech, Def, +Res (27)
  • Agile @ 16 ... 2-slotted with common Def (50)
  • Lucky @ 18 ... 2-slotted with common Def (50)
  • Maneuvers @ 22 ... still 6-slotted with Reactive Defense (22)
  • Crippling Axe Kick @ 28 ... 6-slotted with Superior Vampire's Bite (50)
  • Tactics @ 24 ... 1-slotted with Adjusted Targeting: To-Hit/End (50)
  • Assault @ 30 ... still 1-slotted with common End (50)
  • Elude @ 32 ... 5-slotted with Doctored Wounds (31)
  • Conserve Power @ 41 ... 1-slotted with common Rech (50)
  • Physical Perfection @ 44 ... 2-slotted with Numina: Heal/End, Heal (31)
  • Stealth @ 47 ... 1-slotted with LotG: Def/+Recharge (25)
  • Vengeance @ 49 ... 1-slotted with Kismet: +Accuracy (10)
Here is what the build I've now moved to looks like:

And here's what the throughput yield of that build computes to:

The net modification winds up being an exchange of:
  • -100 Max HP
  • -40% Regeneration
  • +22.5% more global Recharge
  • Elude uptime of over 50%(!!!) with a massive +Absorb bonus (among others) while up, (90s duration, 173.5s recharge)
  • Stealth + Sprint (with Stealth IO) enables "mission ninja" capability (need to toggle off Evasion to avoid Taunt aura aggro)
  • Conserve Power can be alternated with Elude for Endurance management, essentially on cooldown
  • 4-slot Sheild Wall + 6-slot Superior Vampire's Bite adds +10.5% Energy/Negative Resistance, improving from 14% to 24.5%
  • Smashing/Lethal Resistance improves from 23.75% to 25.25%
  • Fire/Cold Resistance improves from 20% to 21.5%
Hover+Stealth are required to reach 59% Defense vs Melee/Ranged/AoE (they add +3.3% Def each while toggled on) when solo and unbuffed by a Team/League ... which is the Incarnate Trial soft cap for Defense (59%).

So far, the rebuild has been tested against the Lambda, Dilemma Diabolique and Minds of Mayhem iTrials with reasonable success (although Penelope Yin gave me some blue bar problems last night causing a complete drain and detoggle while trying to set up for a dogpiling by the League). Haven't had an opportunity to test this new formulation out against the Underground Trial yet, but I figure that should probably happen tonight/over the weekend/next week sometime. I would like to think that the reformulated build I've got going on here will enable me to withstand Lethal Force Authorized attacks (lower Max HP vs higher Energy Resistance with more +Absorb available) from the Extinction War Walkers unsupported from now on (including no longer needing to use inspirations to temporarily cover gaps in the build). Of course, the adds around the Extinction War Walkers are attacking too, chipping away at the margins I've got configured into this new build, so we'll have to see if I've "closed the vulnerability gap" sufficiently or not.

One parameter that I'm especially interested in validating is the choice of using the T4 Paralytic Core Interface to see if it will add "useful margin" of mitigation against Main Tank threats for myself and others (Extinction War Walkers, Sentinel, etc.). Being able to keep a stack of 4x -5% Damage Debuff sustained on a $Target ought to help relieve some of their damage output pressure, both on myself and on the League as a whole.

I've also swapped from using T4 Ion Core Judgement over to using T4 Ion Radial Judgement because I feel like having a 25% chance of a Mag 4 Hold for 12s is a more useful crowd control neutralizer than a 20% chance of a little extra damage (which, in practice, will almost never be a deciding factor in how quickly a pile of mobs can be defeated). In terms of offense/defense, I've already found in the Lambda trial that on balance the Radial version is more "useful" than the Core version of this Judgement (both during the collection phase and when confronting Marauder+IDF support).

The choice of T4 Support Radial Hybrid stems from the fact that although Assault is "better" in the individual (soloist) use case, Support winds up being better in the league use case (which is most of what I do with Redlynne now). It's similar to the "force multiplier" effects of Leadership toggles ... subpar for the soloist, multipler for a group (and leagues are Big Groups!). The "always on" global Endurance Discount also helps mitigate any endurance issues my build may encounter in heavy combat where I'm needing use Dragon's Tail on cooldown a lot to deal with swarms of aggro.

Also, the higher global recharge in the rebuild means that Eagle's Claw now has a (native) 4.63s recharge time(!). This means that Eagle's Claw animates and recharges in 7.402 seconds ... but it delivers an 8.2s Mag 3 Stun (with a 51.84% to stack another 8s Mag 2 Stun on top of that!) ... meaning that Eagle's Claw can be used to perma-stun. Additional stun support comes from Thunder Kick (10% proc chance), making the throughput remarkably relaible (all things considered).

Crippling Axe Kick with 6-slot Superior Vampire's Bite has a 58.16% chance to proc a heal (requiring no diversion of animation time) and will easily outpace the amount of healing I ever spent animation time of securing via Aid Self.

Also, my theorycrafting of the value of Aid Self+Field Medic "healing blue bar" performance was decidedly lackluster in actual practice. The main use for Field Medic is removing the Interrupt Time from Aid Other, allowing you to cast Aid Other while in motion ... which is way more useful than it sounds, given that Aid Other has such a short range. But since I actually used Aid Other/Aid Self/Field Medic SO RARELY in actual gameplay, those powers functionally wound up as being little more than set mules and novelties, rather than powers that saw routine use or were frequently used as clutch moves ... so sacrificing the Medicine pool was less of a hassle than it might have otherwise been.

Overall, I'm really happy with where the v2.0 of this build has landed, especially since the global recharge is enough to bring Focus Chi close to 30% uptime (10s duration on 31.32s recharge) as well as Elude to over 50% uptime (90s duration on 173.5s recharge). Even Vengeance gets a really good uptime potential (120s duration on 146.3s recharge, although friendly corpses are required to use this power, which in iTrials seems to happen a lot more frequently than I would have assumed) and Vengeance offers some really good buffs (+Damage, +Defense(All), +Mez Protection/Resistance) which can turn things around for the survivors of someone else's misfortunes.

The other really nice thing about this rebuild is that you can still "throw away the Secondary" and slot in something other than Martial Arts ... and still wind up with a remarkably viable attack chain comprising 5 attacks (all 6-slotted) plus Tanker Taunt (1-slot wonder) and Build Up (6-slotted with Gaussian's). The rest of the build is relatively tight on power picks and slotting ... but there's still some room left over to work with if you want to go in a different direction (can swap Hover for Combat Jumping, for example, if that's your preference). But all things considered, I have to say that I think the basic framework of this build is the best that I can do until RI5 drops ... and even then, I'm hard pressed to think of anything I would really want to change, since there would be tradeoffs in edge case functionalities involved (such as reaching for Fly+Aerobatics=Group Fly at the expense of Stealth and Vengeance).

Anyway, I'll make a Proper Repost of the updated build once RI5 goes Live and Mids Reborn updates to the new paradigm (just in case).

And I would attach the .mxd file for the build to this post, but the forum software doesn't appreciate anything that isn't a doc, gif, jpg, mpg, pdf, png, txt or zip file format. Pity we can't add .mxd to that list of formats ...

Player Help/Guides / Re: A Guide to Utilizing Set Enhancements
« on: February 16, 2023, 09:08:31 am »
Aye, there's a LOT of Frankenslotting trickery that you can get up to with partial catalyzation to superior.

Toggle: Self +Jump, +DEF(All), +Res(Knockback, Hold)
  • Added moderate Defense(All) on par with Weave.  Acrobatics now accepts Defense enhancements.
  • Added moderate Jump height/speed.  Acrobatics now accepts Jump and Universal Travel enhancements.
  • Increased endurance cost from 0.26/s to 0.33/s.
  • Effects will suppress while Aerobatics (Flight) is active.
  • Weave will suppress while Acrobatics is active.

Aerobatics (formerly Group Fly)
Toggle: Self +FlySpeed, Res(-Fly), +Def(All), +Flight Control
  • Aerobatics now occupies the former Group Fly power in the Flight pool.
  • While Aerobatics is active, Acrobatics and Weave will suppress.
  • Group Fly
    • Obtaining Aerobatics now unlocks Group Fly mode for Fly.
    • If you previously had Group Fly you will now have both Aerobatics and Group Fly powers.

Just to confirm what ought to already be apparent ... it is perfectly possible (and indeed intended!) to have Acrobatics OR Aerobatics toggled on instead of Weave, even if not jumping or flying. It's not as if the +Def(All), etc. mods suppress when not jumping or flying ... correct?

In other words, Acrobatics/Aerobatics can be taken as "set and forget" toggles, much like how Weave is handled in that regard (no dependencies, it's just ON).

Granted, if you aren't jumping/flying around, having extra jump speed/height or extra flight speed/flight control isn't really "doing anything for you" until you move around "that way" ... but it's not as if the +Def(All) buff gets suppressed while just standing around (or fighting on the ground) ... right?

Player Help/Guides / Re: Main Tanking vs Lethal Force Authorized
« on: February 15, 2023, 04:41:43 pm »
If you're going to the +absorb route and you're no longer tied to Sorcery, have you considered gadgetry for Force Barrier.  That would give you another source of massive absorb.

I'm considering multiple things ... nothing is nailed down yet.
But yes, I have given thought to switching from Sorcery to Gadgetry. Whether or not such an option "makes sense" depends on how the rest of build and how everything fits together holistically.

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 8