Author Topic: SR/MA = NO GET HITSU!!  (Read 72 times)

Redlynne

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SR/MA = NO GET HITSU!!
« on: November 14, 2022, 11:42:12 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, but without Incarnate slots filled in yet (that exercise is left to the Disinterested Reader to work out for themselves).

Note that with respect to Enhancement Boosters, only 10 powers are given +5 boosting (as noted below), for a very reasonable expense of only 50 Enhancement Boosters needed to complete the entire build as presented (although there is certainly "room" to apply more if desired).




511.73% Regeneration of 2768.87 HP = 138.4435 HP every 2.35s = 59.04 HP/s






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This Hero build was built using Mids Reborn 3.4.7
https://github.com/LoadedCamel/MidsReborn

Click this DataLink to open the build!

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

Power Pool: Sorcery
Power Pool: Medicine
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: Mystic Flight
  • (A) Winter's Gift - Slow Resistance (20%): Level 10
Level 6: Practiced Brawler
  • (A) Regenerative Tissue - +Regeneration: Level 10
  • (29) Numina's Convalesence - Heal/Endurance: Level 31+5
  • (29) 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) Perfect Zinger - Chance for Psi Damage: Level 21
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 - Defense: Level 27
  • (21) Shield Wall - Defense/Endurance: Level 27
  • (23) Shield Wall - +Res (Teleportation), +5% Res (All): Level 10
Level 16: Agile
  • (A) Luck of the Gambler - Defense: Level 27
  • (23) Luck of the Gambler - Defense/Endurance: Level 27
  • (34) Luck of the Gambler - Defense/Recharge: Level 27
  • (37) Luck of the Gambler - Defense/Increased Global Recharge Speed: Level 25
Level 18: Lucky
  • (A) Serendipity - Defense: Level 27
  • (25) Serendipity - Defense/Endurance: Level 27
  • (34) Serendipity - Defense/Recharge: Level 27
Level 20: Focus Chi
  • (A) Gaussian's Synchronized Fire-Control - Chance for Build Up: Level 21
  • (40) Gaussian's Synchronized Fire-Control - To Hit Buff: Level 22
  • (40) Gaussian's Synchronized Fire-Control - To Hit Buff/Recharge: Level 22
  • (42) Gaussian's Synchronized Fire-Control - To Hit Buff/Recharge/Endurance: Level 22
  • (42) Gaussian's Synchronized Fire-Control - Recharge/Endurance: Level 22
  • (42) Gaussian's Synchronized Fire-Control - To Hit Buff/Endurance: Level 22
Level 22: Aid Other
  • (A) Numina's Convalesence - Heal/Endurance: Level 31
  • (48) Numina's Convalesence - Heal: Level 31
Level 24: Aid Self
  • (A) Preventive Medicine - Chance for +Absorb: Level 20
  • (45) Preventive Medicine - Heal: Level 27
  • (46) Preventive Medicine - Heal/Endurance: Level 27
  • (46) Preventive Medicine - Endurance/RechargeTime: Level 27
  • (46) Preventive Medicine - Heal/RechargeTime: Level 27
  • (48) Preventive Medicine - Heal/RechargeTime/Endurance: Level 27
Level 26: Quickness
  • (A) Healing IO: Level 50+5
  • (27) Healing IO: Level 50+5
Level 28: Crippling Axe Kick
  • (A) Pounding Slugfest - Accuracy/Damage: Level 27
  • (31) Pounding Slugfest - Damage/Endurance: Level 27
  • (31) Pounding Slugfest - Damage/Recharge: Level 27
  • (31) Pounding Slugfest - Chance for Disorient: Level 15
  • (33) Debilitative Action - Chance for Disorient: Level 10
  • (33) Hamidon Origin: Nucleolus Exposure (+2 Acc/Dam)
Level 30: Field Medic
  • (A) Recharge Reduction IO: Level 50
Level 32: Maneuvers
  • (A) Reactive Defenses - Scaling Resist Damage: Level 20
  • (43) Reactive Defenses - Defense: Level 22
  • (43) Reactive Defenses - Defense/Endurance: Level 22
  • (43) Reactive Defenses - Endurance/RechargeTime: Level 22
  • (45) Reactive Defenses - Defense/RechargeTime: Level 22
  • (45) Reactive Defenses - Defense/Endurance/RechargeTime: Level 22
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 - Chance for Disorient: Level 15
  • (40) Hamidon Origin: Endoplasm Exposure (+2 Acc/Mez)
  • (48) Hamidon Origin: Peroxisome Exposure (+2 Dam/Mez)
Level 41: Tactics
  • (A) Hamidon Origin: Cytoskeleton Exposure (+2 To-hit/End/Def Buff)
Level 44: Assault
  • (A) Endurance Reduction IO: Level 50
Level 47: Spirit Ward
  • (A) Numina's Convalesence - Heal/Recharge: Level 31
  • (50) Numina's Convalesence - Heal/Endurance/Recharge: Level 31
Level 49: Rune of Protection
  • (A) Steadfast Protection - Resistance/+Def 3%: Level 10
  • (50) Gladiator's Armor - TP Protection +3% Def (All): Level 10
  • (50) Unbreakable Guard - +Max HP: Level 20
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) Panacea - +Hit Points/Endurance: Level 10
  • (9) Miracle - Heal: Level 27+5
  • (17) Miracle - +Recovery: Level 20
  • (25) Numina's Convalesence - Heal: Level 31+5
  • (27) Numina's Convalesence - +Regeneration/+Recovery: Level 30
Level 2: Stamina
  • (A) Performance Shifter - Chance for +End: Level 21
  • (13) Performance Shifter - EndMod: Level 27
  • (23) Performance Shifter - EndMod/Recharge: Level 27
  • (33) Performance Shifter - EndMod/Accuracy: Level 27
  • (34) Performance Shifter - EndMod/Accuracy/Recharge: Level 27
Level 1: Disintegrating
Level 50: Freedom Phalanx Reserve
Level 50: Portal Jockey
Level 50: Task Force Commander
Level 50: The Atlas Medallion

Set Bonus Totals:
Spoiler (hover to show)

Set Bonuses:
Spoiler (hover to show)

Proc chances:
Spoiler (hover to show)
« Last Edit: November 14, 2022, 11:45:38 pm by Redlynne »


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Redlynne

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Re: SR/MA = NO GET HITSU!!
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2022, 11:42:46 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 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 (which I will get to in a moment).








RIKTI MAGUS ARE MY NATURAL PREY  8)

Back on Virtue server, I would often bring my Issue 2-24 MA/SR Scrapper ... Redlynne ... to Mothership Raids (on mondays). It was here that I first started demonstrating to a larger audience that Super Reflexes (on a Scrapper, not a Tanker!) could be a viable option without being a disappointing "self-gimp" of a choice to pursue. True, as a Scrapper, the best I could manage was to barely get over the 45% Defense soft cap vs M/R/AoE with a LOT of help from set bonuses (which in turn put really tight constraints on my build to actually get all those set bonuses!) ... but I could do it.

In those days, the biggest threat to a Mothership Raid Group was ... Rikti Magus.
If left to roam free, a single Rikti Magus could mez-lock all the squishies in the center bowl on top of the Mothership (which would be "BAD") ... so it was the "duty" of the Melee Monsters (with Mez Protection) in the Raid to hunt down the Rikti Magus and dispose of them with all possible haste. At the bare minimum, we needed to pull their attention (and AoE Mez) away from the group at the center of the Raid, since they couldn't withstand the incoming.

As a Scrapper, I felt it was my "duty" to attract the attention of Rikti Magus away from my league-mates.



The first time "it happened" was after I had decided to respec (then Scrapper) Redlynne into a build that included Aid Self, so that I could recover from taking damage (because Defense doesn't prevent 100% of incoming damage). I also took the Scrapper Taunt (Warrior's Challenge) so as to more properly style myself as what I thought of Redlynne being (as a Scrapper) ... a "Pocket Tank" (not a "real tank" just a minor one).

So I was cruising the rim around the central bowl of the Mothership, on the lookout for Rikti Magus spawning in ... and I started a ... collection of them.
The first one I could handle without effort. Wasn't going to defeat the Rikti Magus in a hurry, but their HP was going down while I could keep my HP topped up, no problem.
The second one I could "juggle" via Taunt with barely any additional effort.
Then I added a third.
And a fourth ...

By the time I got to the point where I (a mere Scrapper!) was holding the aggro of FIVE RIKTI MAGUS simultaneously by rotating my Scrapper Taunt between them while continuing to kick the daylights out of Rikti Magus #1, I was starting to near my limit ... but I could keep going.

Scrapperlock set in HARD.
I was "in the zone" and all five of these Rikti Magus were MINE(!) ... and I was taking them down ... SOLO.

That went on for more than a minute (I honestly don't remember how long I was soloing those FIVE RIKTI MAGUS clustered up on me), since full power Scrapperlock does strange things to your sense of time when it happens ...



At any rate, after about a minute or so ... the "cavalry" of other Melee Monsters cruising around the rim spotted my cluster of FIVE RIKTI MAGUS and headed my way. They expected to arrive and need to pass a "wakie" to whoever was unfortunate enough to be at the bottom of that pile of aggro (that could easily cause a Raid wipe if left unchecked!). Plenty of them were shocked beyond belief to discover that I (Redlynne) was "under all that aggro" AND STILL KICKING. They helped me clobber the pile of Rikti Magus into the deck plates before pausing long enough to marvel that I hadn't needed to Rez from taking all that aggro by myself.

People started talking about it, during the Raid that was still in progress.
They simply couldn't believe what I'd just done.
I'd taken the full brunt of the aggro of FIVE RIKTI MAGUS ... and survived.

People thought it was fluke ... until I did it AGAIN during the next Mothership Raid ... and people noticed it that time too.
But the real kicker was a few days later when I did it AGAIN ... TWICE in the same Raid!

After that ... I kind of got a little bit of a reputation and was convinced to change my Title over to being "The Extraordinary Death Defying" Redlynne, because ... well ... I'd EARNED it.

I also had no problem getting invites to Mothership Raids for some reason ... until Virtue shut down.

Why?
Because Rikti Magus are my natural prey ...  8)

Ah, the good ol' days!








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.
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.

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).

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.

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.

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.

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 ... and being able to Heal yourself (via Aid Other).



In short, given a choice between the Fighting Pool and the Medicine Pool, I would vastly rather have the Medicine Pool at my disposal ... both for myself and for others on my Team. That then ties back into another reason why I hold no great love for the Fighting Pool (and Tough in particular) ... the age old choice between Fighting: Weave and Leadership: Maneuvers.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2022, 11:46:22 pm by Redlynne »


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Redlynne

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Re: SR/MA = NO GET HITSU!!
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2022, 11:43:16 pm »
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 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.

Because ...








Notes on the Sorcery Pool

Rune of Protection ... is the answer to a whole host of Resistance related concerns for Super Reflexes as a powerset.
Why?
Because it is a Resistance Power that can slot Resistance sets.

Tough now has ... competition ... as the "go to" Resistance Power choice.



Now in my case, I'm just using Rune of Protection mainly as a set mule power and as a "break glass in case of DERP!" option, hence why I take it so very late in my build strategy ... but even as a Final Power Pick that will be rarely used, the impacts on the build overall are incredibly profound.

First of all, being able to slot the two +3% Defense(All) set IOs available to Resistance sets (grrrr...) makes a MASSIVE difference in terms of what set bonuses are needed to reach the Defense Soft Cap (or in my case, the Incarnate Defense Soft Cap of 59%!) ... just like being able to use Storm Kick for +10% Defense(Most) also makes a huge difference in being able to achieve this "lofty goal" without needing to resort to Elude. But perhaps more importantly, because the desired Enhancements are actually procs, you can acquire Minimum Level procs and they will be "operative" even when the Rune of Protection Power itself is unavailable due to being Exemplared. In other words, the Enhancements that can be slotted into Rune of Protection are FAR more valuable to the overall build than the active use of the power itself!

Furthermore, unlike with the Fighting Pool (again), there are "no wasted Power Picks" when taking the Sorcery Pool in the overall context of this build.

Mystic Flight is (in my opinion) an out of the box superior option compared to Fly (and the Flight Pool in general). Being able to "short range teleport" using Translocation (bundled with Mystic Flight) inside indoor maps creates tactical movement opportunities that simply are not available from other options (at least, not without requiring more Power Picks). Being able to "bypass" choke points and/or reposition yourself to best tactical advantage to start an engagement (or scout around corners) has a value that is difficult to appreciate until you've experienced it first hand.

In early iterations of this build, I was looking more towards Arcane Bolt as the necessary stepping stone towards prerequisite access to Rune of Protection ... but then I later shifted over into a desire for extreme Regeneration set bonuses and the option of using multiple 2-slot Numina's Convalescence set bonuses became the beyond obvious choice to reach that overarching goal. At that point, it was an easy decision to swtich to Sorcery: Spirit Ward, primarily as a set mule for additional Regeneration global bonus stacking, but also as a supplement to the Medicine: Aid Other choice of prerequisites in that Pool. The combination of Aid Other and Spirit Ward then makes for a remarkably potent "OH NO YOU DON'T!" response when a teammate is in danger of getting faceplanted. The added buffer of a +Absorb like Spirit Ward was thus simply too compelling of an option to pass up.

I chose Mystic Flight at Level 4 simply so that no matter what Level I have to Exemplar to ... I can always fly.
If I didn't need Level 6 for Practiced Brawler (Mez protection as early as possible!) then I might have considered choosing Mystic Flight at Level 6. However, given the ... imperatives ... of getting Super Reflexes set up (and slotted up!) as quickly as possible, selection of a Travel Power after Level 4 would have been a very long wait indeed ... so Level 4 was the only logical slot available for this Power Pick. Since I don't care for the Rune Aura that comes native with Mystic Flight, I just go into the Tailor and set the Power for Minimal FX on Mystic Flight and move on with enjoying the game.








Notes on the Medicine Pool

As previously alluded to in my "Rikti Magus are my natural prey..." rant above, I am a big believer in the value of the Medicine Pool (and Aid Self in particular) to the Super Reflexes survival scheme. Being able to "erase damage taken" through use of Aid Self is simply game changing!

I mean, having lots (and lots!) of Regeneration is ... nice ... but it's not the same as having a Heal on demand as a Power.
Aid Self is really a "clutch" Power for Super Reflexes.

Except ... with the Preventive Medicine set slotted into Aid Self, it's even better!
Why?
Because of the +Absorb proc and set bonuses (all of which are lovely!), all of which increase the odds of surviving an "unlucky double boxcars" dice roll result rather dramatically. Any attack that might take you out in 2 hits can (potentially) be disrupted by the +Absorb proc slotted into Aid Self ... giving you enough reaction time to actually USE Aid Self and not need a Rez.

But the synergy goes even beyond that ... because Super Reflexes is a Defense (Soft Cap) oriented protection scheme.
Yes, Aid Self has an Interrupt built into it ... but Super Reflexes can stand in the middle of a crossfire of hatred and have a pretty fair chance of NOT GETTING HIT (and you'll hate DoTs the most when you do get hit!), meaning that the odds of being able to "ignore" that Interrupt time are, well ... better than average (or at least, better than you would expect just looking at the outside label on the tin).

The cast time for Aid Self is 4.33s (4.448s arcanatime for animation), but the Interrupt duration is only 1s ... so if you can simply not move or take damage for the first 1s of the animation, you can successfully Aid Self to heal yourself ... and with Super Reflexes, this is a LOT more reliable than it would be with other powersets. Just don't stand in Caltrops (or any other Damage/Mez over Time AoE) and you should be good to go! Back on Virtue, I developed a "habit" of knowing when the 1s Interrupt phase of casting Aid Self was finished and would actually start moving(!) before the casting animation was finished (but after the Interrupt time had already elapsed). That way, I didn't have to "stand still" for the entire casting animation ... just the Interrupt time. This allowed me to reposition for my next attack volley while Aid Self continued animating, with the Heal successfully getting cast on myself, which could sometimes make difference in relative positioning during rapidly evolving combat situations.

When you can have FIVE RIKTI MAGUS pounding away at you in melee during a Mothership Raid and STILL be able to use Aid Self without interruption most of the times you attempt to use the Power ... yeah, you're good!  8)



Originally, I was going to choose Injection as my Power Pick prerequisite to get to Aid Self ... but then I started really reading Field Medic and ... a possibility presented itself that I hadn't considered before.

Without an Interrupt, Aid Other could be used while on the move(!) (no need to stop to wave the green tricorder around!) and Aid Self would actually turn into an Endurance GAIN Power(!), in addition to being a Heal(!) ...


Being able to use Aid Self to top up both the green AND blue bars was simply too good of a synergy to pass up ... especially since this build overall was turning into a very Endurance hungry endeavor (Crippling Axe Kick and Eagles Claw only have 21.06% Endurance reduction slotted natively, and Dragon's Tail is even worse with only 18.43% Endurance reduction slotted natively!). Although I had the Panacea, Miracle, Numina's Convalescence and Performance Shifter procs in the build giving me access to more Endurance ... I know from past experience that it might not be enough (when needed).

Enter Field Medic modifying Aid Self into being an Endurance booster ... PERMANENTLY ...

The alternative would have been to take Leadership: Victory Rush instead ... but Victory Rush has a fixed recharge and duration, giving it a 40% uptime (at best, since it's a 2m duration on a 5m recharge that cannot be reduced). By contrast, Field Medic MODIFIES Aid Self in such a way that Aid Self becomes an Endurance GAIN every time that Aid Self is successfully cast (and with all the Defense offered by Super Reflexes, it can be cast pretty darn reliably so long as the Player isn't full of DERP!). This combination then "solves" to a remarkable degree any kind of "endurance starvation" the overall build plan might have encountered when unleashing its full power over an extended duration of long combat.

I tried multiple variations of this build ... some with Field Medic and some without ... but I always kept coming back to the overriding need to "heal blue" in addition to the need to "heal green" as a necessity for survival. In the end, I dropped a different Power in favor of keeping Field Medic, and now I'm glad I did ... because I discovered something.



Like I mentioned above, removing the Interrupt from Aid Other means that Aid Other can be used while moving (casting does not "root" you in place to cast!) and Aid Self adds 5% Endurance five times over 8.1s of duration (easily more than the endurance cost to cast Aid Self, so net gain in blue bar!). What I didn't know was ... what would happen when I Exemplared? Would the fact that Field Medic was taken at Level 30 mean that the modification to Aid Other (no Interrupt) and Aid Self (Endurance gain) only "work" at Levels 25+ when Field Medic is "accessible" as an active Power to Click?

Actually ... no.
Once you have Field Medic in your build ... it permanently modifies Aid Other and Aid Self ... regardless of your Exemplar Level.

I found this out on a Synapse Task Force (Level 20 enforced) where my Aid Other power retained the No Interrupt property, even though Field Medic was "greyed out" and unavailable.

This means that (theoretically speaking) ... if you wanted to ... you could take Aid Other at Level 4 and Aid Self at Level 6 ... and Field Medic at Level 49 ... and both Aid Other and Aid Self would be permanently modified regardless of Exemplar Level. This means that Field Medic is quite possibly THE ABSOLUTE IDEAL LEVEL 49 POWER PICK for any build plan to be use as a Level 50 Respec.

Field Medic doesn't "need" slots like other Powers do.
The only Enhancements that you can slot into Field Medic are Endurance Reduction (very likely a waste with Aid Self in play!) and Recharge Reduction ... and that's IT.

A Level 49 Power Pick that doesn't need any slots but which still modifies Aid Other and Aid Self in AWESOME WAYS regardless of when you selected those Powers for your build when you Exemplar??!
YES PLEASE!!

The only reason why I haven't exercised that option here in this build as presented above is because I want this build as recorded to be a leveling path from 1-50, rather than present it as a Level 50 (only) Respec option (and how you get to 50 is Your Problem, Scrub).

The other reason for configuring the sequence of Power Picks the way that I have in this build, with Field Medicine at 30 (rather than at 47 or 49), is so that Aid Self (which is available at Exemplar Level 19!) can be used as a "blue bar heal" before things get ... expensive ... for the Endurance budget with the addition of Maneuvers, Assault and Tactics, on top of the endurance guzzling attack powers of Crippling Axe Kick, Dragon's Tail and Eagles Claw. One of those cases of making sure the "endurance budget" would be capable sustaining long duration heavy combat before introducing the "cure" for that particular ailment.








Notes on the Leadership Pool

Maneuvers? YES.
Assault? Yes.
Tactics? YES (because +4s happen when running ITFs and Trick or Treating!).
If I had more Power Picks to spare, I would have added Vengeance and/or Victory Rush to the build plan.

Leadership is the ONLY Pool that makes entire TEAMS better at what they do.

Some people eschew Maneuvers, feeling it's not worth the buff for the endurance cost.
For an individual soloist, that may be true ... but in a team context (small or large team), that calculus quickly changes.

Some people figure that Assault isn't worth the endurance cost either, especially on Archetypes with less than favorable modifiers (like Scrappers and Tankers). If you look at the numbers in Mids, toggling Assault On/Off, it is really easy to get discouraged ... seeing attack power damage numbers move up/down by such paltry single digits.
Again, for the individual soloist, that may be true ... but in a team context, it can wind up be the equivalent of a Team-9 effort rather than a Team-8, which CAN make a difference.
And if everyone on a Team-8 has the Assault Power ...


Tactics ... is a bit of a special case, because of the Gaussian's Synchronized Fire Control set and proc.

First of all, in any (and every!) Super Reflexes build strategy ... if you aren't 6-slotting Gaussian's Synchronized Fire Control SOMEWHERE in your build YOU'RE DOING IT WRONG!!

Depending on how the Build Up proc calculates here on Rebirth, Tactics is either a very good or a very bad place to 6-slot the Gaussian's set.
  • If you get a proc chance per Teammate within the PBAoE (every 10s), then in a Team-8 context you can get a lot of Build Up procs (the cumulative dice rolling every 10s raises the proc chance).
  • However, if you only get 1 proc chance per 10s (regardless of the number of allies being simultaneously buffed by the aura), then Tactics is going to be a bad place to put the Gaussian's proc, since it will only have a 6.5% chance to proc every 10s.
For a very long time, I resisted the temptation to add Focus Chi (the Tanker build up) into the build and I was 6-slotting Tactics with Gaussian's ... but then I remembered that "most" of the enhancement value of the Gaussian's set was "wasted" on Tactics (endurance reduction, okay fine I'll take it, but recharge reduction has little to no value in a quick recharging toggle like Tactics!).

However, where the Gaussian's set WOULDN'T be wasted and could deliver "full power benefits" of slotting more reliably would be in an actual Build Up Power ... such as Focus Chi.

And then I remembered that because Focus Chi, like so many other build up type powers, has a long (90s) recharge ... it would actually offer an extremely high proc chance to the Build Up proc in the Gaussian's set.

So I went looking for the 90% chance "recharge breakpoint" for a Power with the parameter values of Focus Chi (90s recharge, 1.17s casting time/not arcanatime) ... and found that the 90% chance to proc breakpoint lay at 73.35% recharge enhancement.

Well at Level 27 (except for the proc), the Gaussian's set offered under 60% total combined recharge natively ... meaning a 90% chance for a DOUBLE BUILD UP (for 5s) if Gaussian's was moved from Tactics into Focus Chi. I ultimately wound up choosing Level 22 instead of Level 27 as my Enhancement Level preference for both Focus Chi AND Maneuvers so as to be able to access their set bonuses at low as Exemplar Level 19(!) without losing too much enhancement value throughput into the final power effects (~0.15 Defense for Maneuvers and a loss of ~1.6s of recharge time on Focus Chi).

The net result is that as slotted, Focus Chi buffs damage by +80% for 10s ... and the Gaussian's proc has a 90% chance to stack an additional +80% during the first 5s of those 10s (hence DOUBLE BUILD UP) ... with the fine control of being able to do this On Demand(!) ... and you had better believe I found a "use case" for that demand (but more on that later).



Given the analysis of alternatives, if I could find a way to squeeze Focus Chi into the build, I could repurpose Tactics as a One Slot Wonder power and move all 6-slots of Gaussian's into Focus Chi ... but at that time, the build I was using (not the one I posted above) didn't have any room left over for Focus Chi, so I would need to drop something else. For a while I tried dropping Field Medic, but the results that yielded were consequentially unpalatable, so for a couple of weeks I was basically stuck. I needed 25 Power Picks to do everything I wanted to do, but only had 24, so something else needed to go. I couldn't drop anything out of my Super Reflexes primary ... everything except Elude was beyond MANDATORY!

So something needed to "give" ... and when it did, my build would wind up flirting with the damage cap for Tankers ... but that story is coming below ...
« Last Edit: November 14, 2022, 11:46:34 pm by Redlynne »


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Redlynne

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Re: SR/MA = NO GET HITSU!!
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2022, 11:43:42 pm »
Notes on Super Reflexes (and the slotting thereof)

Simply put, 4-slot Luck of the Gambler is just TOO GOOD to pass up on when it comes to slotting up Super Reflexes toggles (that +Accuracy global set bonus solves so many priorities elsewhere!). The problem is ... 6-slotting Luck of the Gambler is a waste of slots, thanks to ED ... unless you really really REALLY need those Resistances (S/L, Tox/Psi) as a part of your build plan (which will cost you!).

If I can get enough Defense(Ranged) global set bonuses elsewhere in a Super Reflexes build, my go to preference is for Luck of the Gambler in the toggles. If I need more Defense(Ranged) to reach the Defensive Soft Cap, there isn't much choice except for going with a 5-slot Red Fortune in the toggles.

And if I have to 5-slot a Red Fortune into one of the passives in order to "make quota" on the soft cap ... I am one unhapper camper!



Now, normally, what I do with the passives (Dodge, Agile, Lucky) is just 2-slot them with common IOs and call them done, so I can spend slots elsewhere (on more important Powers!) ... but this time I wound up with a ... surplus(?) ... of slots and nowhere else to put them (usefully). Even after adding slots to Health and Stamina ... I still had a surplus of slots(!) left over, and remarkably few places to put them for useful gain.

Definitely a problem I wish I had more often with my Kheldian builds!



A really big problem I was having at this point in the getting the build plan to "settle" into place overall was that fact that I kept bumping up against the Law of Fives for global set bonuses. Because I had been so ... aggressive ... in stacking up +Regneration and +HP set bonuses already throughout the build, I was running into "overflow" problems in terms of which sets to pick for remaining Powers. A surprising number of sets (that are worth slotting) have something of a "pileup" onto the exact same set bonuses going on ... so in order to not "waste" any set bonuses, I had to start looking somewhat further afield among sets than I usually do.

I couldn't squeeze any more Luck of the Gambler into the build, and Red Fortune didn't give me what I really wanted (and needed). Reactive Defenses would create conflicts at 3-slots with other +HP set bonuses elsewhere, so that was out. Shield Wall was both expensive(!) and really only useful for what I needed up to 3-slots (and started conflicting with Luck of the Gambler's 2-slot set bonus) ... so ... I was forced to start looking at the ... leftovers ... of the Defense sets.

Honestly, the only reason to look at Karma is for the Knockback protection proc (full stop).
The only reason to look at Kismet is for the (mislabeled) +To-hit proc.
Serendipity is ... just WEAK and all around lackluster.
Gift of the Ancients ... well if you can 4-slot it, it'll start making a difference in your endurance recovery budget (and if you can 6-slot it you'll pick up a lot of Resistances) ... but I didn't have quite that many slots available, and what I really wanted was more +Regeneration and +HP global set bonuses. I wanted more GREEN, I didn't need more BLUE.

I also had (previously) the Vampire's Bite set 6-slotted into Eagles Claw and those set bonuses were blocking all kinds of slotting options elsewhere too!

What to do? What to do?



I tried a large number of combinations of different options, but eventually realized that if I've maxxed out on +10% and +12% Regeneration set bonuses elsewhere, then I'm left with underwhelming options for adding on still more. My overall build Regeneration was hovering in the low 400s (I think I was trying to settle for around 420-430%) when it dawned on me that I could manage to get just a little bit more +Regeneration and +HP out of some of the "forgotten sets" ... like Serendipity?

Now, at first, this option felt like I was just gimping myself ... swapping 2x common Defense IO (50) for a Def (27) and Def/End (27) set IOs in Agile ... but then I noticed that the reduction in overall Defense(Ranged) was actually hardly noticeable and that my HP/s of Regeneration for the entire build increased by an amount that felt like it was making a difference.

I tried 3-slotting Stamina with Performance Shifter so as to be able to 4-slot Agile and Lucky with Gift of the Ancients with a Kismet proc slot left over. Ultimately, I decided that 5-slotting Stamina with Performance Shifter was the superior choice overall as a solution to my endurance budget problems (and to take the pressure off Aid Self+Field Medic).

In the end, I actually chose to put a fourth 4-slot Luck of the Gambler into Agile, even though the 2-slot bonus exceeds the Law of Fives until the Gauntleted Fist ATOs in Storm Kick can be catalyzed into their superior version ... simply because the other set bonuses for slots 3 and 4 (not to mention another global recharge proc) were just "too good" in the overall context of the rest of the build.

Ultimately, this experimentation in search of more Regeneration is what led to 5-slotting both Health and Stamina the way that I did, along with 2-slotting Numina's Convalescence so many times.



One of the things that I was NOT expecting to see with this build was the usefulness of +5 boosting IOs before reaching Level 50. When I realized that +5 boosting the Heal and Heal/End set IOs in Practiced Brawler (to increase the Absorb protection) and the Miracle: Heal as well as Numina's Convalescence: Heal set IOs in Health (to increase Regeneration even further) ... it also dawned on me that I could +5 boost the 2x common Heal (50) IOs in Quickness (after reslotting at Level 47) and ... total Regeneration for the entire build was verging on 500%.

Superior Gauntleted Fist ... and Regeneration was tipping slightly past 511% ... which I honestly hadn't expected to even be possible, but in the end I figured that on balance it was better to have more HP and more Regeneration than it would be to have more (Typed) Resistances that wouldn't always match up well against what I might wind up needing to fight (creating "preferences" among enemy groups based on damage types). Besides, I had a LOT of scaling resistances to help me survive ... right? And there was always Rune of Protection (at Exemplar Levels 44+) if things got REALLY bad, right?

I mean, with all of those scaling resistances stacking up the way they do ... once a Tanker hits the resistance hard cap (of 90%), you really want to be investing more in regeneration anyway, right? Besides, I'm not using that many "skittles" as is and it's easier to get the occasional Resistance boost from Inspirations instead of Powers, right?



So that's why my build has the seemingly "bonkers" choice of a 3-slot Serendipity in Lucky showing up in it, when a "wimptacular" set like Serendipity usually wouldn't appear in anyone's build plan unless they were short on INF/Merits, desperate and/or didn't know what they were doing with Mids. In this case, that choice was the only option remaining to me (from a pretty lousy list of them) which could continue advancing +Regeneration and +HP set bonuses without coming into conflict with other sets. Yes it's the "dregs" of the Defense sets in there ... but in the final analysis it was the best of a group of otherwise poor choices that wouldn't have been my first preference either.

On the plus side though, I was able to squeeze far more +Absorb, +Regeneration and +HP out of the final build combination than I had ever anticipated. A previous version about a month ago was sitting at a mere 380% Regeneration point and I thought I was doing mighty fine with (merely) that!



But all of this wouldn't have been possible if I hadn't (ruthlessly) trimmed my Martial Arts powerset the way I wound up doing ...








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.
Why?
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 +36% 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.


For a very long time, I had Cobra Strike (also 6-slotted) as my Level 20 Power Pick.
I wanted that stunlock potential.
I really really wanted it!
I wanted to slot up Cobra Strike with the same slotting I've got (now) in Eagles Claw ... so the stun duration would be TRIPLE the combined animation+recharge time!
Triple stacked Cobra Strike stunlocking on Bosses! Woo hoo!

Oh I wanted it so bad!

With Cobra Strike and Crippling Axe Kick both "loaded for bear stuns" with 4-slot Pounding Slugfest, an Acc/Mez HO and a Dam/Mez HO ... I could "poor man's hold" hard $Targets with a combination of stun and immobilize, leaving Eagles Claw free to be 6-slotted with Vampire's Bite for Heal On Hit procs!

Oh it was going to be so beautiful!



And then Focus Chi tapped me on the shoulder, looked at Tactics swaggering around in a 6-slot Gaussian's Synchronized Fire Control and simply said ... "Really?"



I tried ditching Field Medic instead in favor Focus Chi, but the endurance budget faceplanted ... HARD ... and wasn't going to get up on its own.

I considered throwing away Assault in favor of Focus Chi ... until I realized that would be a mistake too.

I kept wrestling with the idea that I simply HAD to keep Cobra Strike in the build, trying all kinds of different combinations, rearranging slots, using different sets ... and kept coming back to the same problem.
I had one too many attack powers ... and I knew which one would have to go ... and I didn't want it to.

Until finally, Cobra Strike just looked at me and said ... "you know it's the only way" ...



So I took Cobra Strike out (previously the Level 20 Power Pick) and replaced it with Focus Chi (shifting the entire 6-slot Gaussian's from Tactics into Focus Chi).
Medicine got 3 powers again ... Aid Other, Aid Self and Field Medic.
Leadership kept the 3 toggle powers ... Maneuvers, Assault and Tactics.
Sorcery even had 3 powers ... Spirit Ward, Mystic Flight and Rune of Protection.
Super Reflexes had 8 powers (as befits a primary) ... everything except Elude.
And Martial Arts had 7 powers ... everything except Cobra Strike and Crane Kick.
3+3+3+8+7 = 24


With Cobra Strike gone, I needed Eagles Claw to pick up the slack on stun power, so out came the Vampire's Bite (freeing up set bonuses for use elsewhere) and in went the 4-slot Pounding Slugfest with 2x HOs. Crippling Axe Kick went through a bit of an evolution too, dropping the Mez buffing HOs in favor of additional stun proc and a capstone of Acc/Dam enhancement, backed up by Thunder Kick.

No ... ONE ... Power contained all the stun potential the overall build would need, but the combination of Thunder Kick, (procced out) Crippling Axe Kick and (proc augmented) Eagles Claw would certainly fit the bill. In the end, Crippling Axe Kick, with its new slotting, functionally "assimilated" Cobra Strike in such a way that Cobra Strike's animation time and endurance costs were ultimately rendered functionally "moot" against most opposition (up to Boss level, certainly).

When all the dust settled ... booting Cobra Strike from the build was the Right Choice.
I didn't want to have to do it ... but ultimately, making that one sacrifice allowed the jigsaw puzzle pieces to collapse into a new "tighter" paradigm of attacks, defenses and set bonuses supporting the entire endeavor.



It's not often that removing an attack from a build plan results in a higher survival potential along with a "smoother" attack chain that is more efficient at both single target and PBAoE cycling.

But that's where our story is headed next ...
« Last Edit: November 14, 2022, 11:46:46 pm by Redlynne »


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Redlynne

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Re: SR/MA = NO GET HITSU!!
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2022, 11:44:06 pm »
Notes on Eagles Claw (and how to *abuse it* properly!)

Eagles Claw has been something of a dividing line among Martial Arts builders for some time.
Plenty of people think that Eagles Claw isn't worth the slots, the animation time, the endurance cost, the inadequate damage output ... all kinds of things. Whatever Eagles Claw was "supposed to be" as a tier 9 attack, a lot of people felt that it was falling short.

Sure, it LOOKED cinematic and beautiful to use ... but when you're chasing DPS meters against Pylon Tests, who cares what it looks like?



In my opinion, Eagles Claw has not been properly understood ... at least in the Tanker context (Scrapper is a different beast, and I speak from experience on this point!).



The key insight that has been poorly grasped and all too easily misunderstood about Eagles Claw is ... it has a "preference" in what needs to follow it.

This is going to take some explaining to fully reveal the contours of what I've discovered here.



If you read the database info for Eagles Claw there are some very pertinent bits of info that need to be adequately understood.
Cast Time: 2.53s (arcanatime: 2.772s)
33% Damage Buff (to Self) for 3 seconds after 2.5s


Okay.
So?

What's the big deal? (I hear you ask)


The missing puzzle piece here is ... City of Heroes runs on a Resolve First/Animate After system of game mechanics (this is why projectiles will "arc toward you" if you're moving when they are launched at you, the animation is trying to keep up with what has already been decided and determined).

Yeah.
Okay.
So?
What's the big deal?
How is this AT ALL relevant to Eagles Claw (and why should I care to keep reading this)?



At this point, I need to get down into the "weeds" of how the game mechanics ... mesh together ... to make the gears turn, along with how the Martial Arts powerset is structured to make this discovery fit together (and why it might blow your mind just a little).



The best way for me to explain this is kinda/sorta visually, including numbers, spaced along a timeline.
I'm going to be using a (#) format to mark out the time points for animations on a timeline, and then demonstrate what I've found. Also, to keep this from turning into Word Wrap Spoo, I'm going to be abbreviating the names of the Martial Arts attacks involved in ways that will be familiar to old hands who have played Martial Arts a lot, but perhaps not quite so immediately obvious to newcomers.

TK = Thunder Kick (Level 1 power) (1.056s arcanatime)
SK = Storm Kick (Level 2 power) (1.056s arcanatime)
CAK = Crippling Axe Kick (Level 28 power) (1.848s arcanatime)
DT = Dragon's Tail (Level 35 power) (1.716s arcanatime)
EC = Eagles Claw (Level 38 power) (2.772s arcanatime)

So if we start the timeline of an attack chain at zero seconds (0/0) and begin with an Eagles Claw, the notation for the timeline will look like this:

(0) EC (2.772)

The important thing to know here is that the Cast Time is recorded in the database for powers, but the arcanatime is how long an animation takes before a new animation can begin (and arcanatime is NOT recorded in the internal database). What this means is that a new animation for casting a new power cannot start until the end of the arcanatime of the previous power has ended.

So although Eagles Claw "officially" has a casting time of 2.53s (used for all kinds of balance computations, including proc chances and so on), it actually takes 2.772s of animation time before a new power can begin doing its thing. To see arcanatime in your copy of Mids Reborn, go to Options > Configuration, choose the Effects & Maths tab, and then check the checkbox in the bottom lefthand corner for Use ArcanaTime to see the arcanatimes for powers to animate in your copy of Mids.

With me so far?



So if we start the clock on the sequence of events like so ...

(0) EC (2.772)

... then actual point at which the 33% Damage buff begins to take effect is actually more like this ... from 2.5 to 5.5 seconds on the timeline ...

(0) EC {2.5} (2.772) ... {5.5}



Okay ... but I still don't see what you're getting at here? (I hear you asking)
Well, for the sake of simplicity ... 5.5-2.772=2.728s of "useful duration" before the +33% damage buff expires.



Okay ... so ... so what?
How is that useful to know (or relevant to anything I ought to be caring about)?



This is where knowing the game mechanics and how they "mesh" together makes all the difference with the Martial Arts attack powers.

Two of the attack powers of Martial Arts (Thunder Kick and Storm Kick) have an arcanatime of 1.056s to animate ... while every other attack power in the powerset has an arcanatime for animation of 1.716s or higher.



Yeah ... so what?
That just means you can only make 2 attacks with the +33% buff before the buff expires!



WRONG!



Wrong?
Wait, wrong ... HOW exactly?



Like I said, this is going to take some explaining to make it clear.

Remember when I said that City of Heroes uses as system of Resolve First/Animate After?
That is directly relevant to what I'm driving at here.

All that needs to happen is for a Power to --> BEGIN <-- casting/animating before a buff expires to be granted the effect of that buff. If you cast a Power 0.1s (for example) before a buff expires ... no matter how long it takes to animate that Power before it "lands" ... it GETS that buff to it.



Okay ... I think I see what you're driving at here with this-



In the Martial Arts powerset, only 2 powers have an arcanatime animation of less than 1.7 seconds.
All of the other attacks in the powerset are 1.716s or longer.

So you can initiate 2 powers to attack within 2.728s after Eagles Claw finishes animating ... but can you squeeze in a THIRD attack before the +33% damage buff expires?

The answer is ... YES YOU CAN ... if you use the correct sequencing of attacks.
And it's at this point that I need to return to the timeline that I started this explanation with.



(0) EC (2.772)
(0) EC {2.5} (2.772) ... {5.5}



Thunder Kick (TK) and Storm Kick (SK) both have a cast time of 0.83s and arcanatime animations of 1.056s ... so if I slot them into the timeline (and add the numbers), you'll wind up with this:

(0) EC {2.5} (2.772) TK (3.828) SK (4.884) ... {5.5}

As you can see, doing an attack chain sequence of EC-TK-SK will have an arcanatime animation run from 0s to 4.884s ... but the +33% damage buff will last until 5.5s ... meaning that there is a window of 0.616s during which a THIRD ATTACK can be cast and benefit from the damage buff if/when it hits for damage, even though the damage buff will have expired before the damage is "acutally" dealt.

This in turn means that the Player has an OPTION for how to "end" this buffed damage attack chain ... either with Crippling Axe Kick (CAK) or with Dragon's Tail (DT). Here is what those timelines compute out as:

(0) EC {2.5} (2.772) TK (3.828) SK (4.884) CAK {5.5} (6.732)
(0) EC {2.5} (2.772) TK (3.828) SK (4.884) DT {5.5} (6.6)

The way that you achieve this feat, so you don't waste time an lose the opportunity to make 3 damage buffed attacks instead of only 2 damage buffed attacks ... is to use the action queue system we all know and love.

You click the next power to use before the previous action has finished animating.
So long as to queue the next power before the last one has finished animating, you won't have any gaps and the sequence of animations will unfold in the arcanatime durations for powers.

Note that what this functionally means, when done PROPERLY(!) is that although the +33% damage buff is designed to last for only 3 seconds (from 2.5s to 5.5s after starting to animate Eagles Claw) ... through clever understanding of how the game mechanics WORK "under the hood" ... you can meaningfully make that +33% damage buff "last" far longer than you might otherwise assume. After all, as previously explained, you've really only got 2.728s of animation time available to you within which to initiate attacks that can take advantage of the damage buff, right?

But because of the Resolve First/Animate After system of underlying game mechanics and how they function to process the actions we see on screen (and therefore care about), through Clever Use Of Game Mechanics it is predictably and repeatably possible (and desirable) to "extend" the value of that +33% damage buff through 1.056+1.056+1.848=3.96 second worth of follow up animation.

In other words ... by using the "most advantageous" configuration of attacks following use of Eagles Claw, you can extract 3.96/2.728=145%(!) of the useful duration of Eagle Claw's +33% damage buff duration ... by initiating a long duration attack animation just before the end of the buff's duration.

And while that might not seem like much of a difference, it will have some rather profound implications that carry over into other "time sensitive" granularity concerns ... such a Build Up powers and procs from enhancements, because those function in the exact same way!



So to expand on this framework even further, let's put some context on what is happening here.
Using my build presented above, here are the baseline damage outputs for the build at Level 50 as reported by Mids with Assault toggled ON, but no Focus Chi and no Eagles Claw damage buff.
Thunder Kick (TK) = 83.04 Smashing
Storm Kick (SK) = 132.1 Smashing
Crippling Axe Kick (CAK) = 206 Smashing
Dragon's Tail (DT) = 114.1 Smashing, 20.76 Energy (the Eradication proc damage is averaged) per $Target
Eagles Claw (EC) = 221.5 Smashing

Now, if I add in the +33% damage buff from Eagles Claw, which won't apply to Eagles Claw itself, but will apply to follow up attacks, we get these numbers in Mids:
Thunder Kick (TK) = 96.36 Smashing
Storm Kick (SK) = 151.4 Smashing
Crippling Axe Kick (CAK) = 237.1 Smashing
Dragon's Tail (DT) = 131.5 Smashing, 20.76 Energy (the Eradication proc is averaged) per $Target
Note that damage procs (such as Eradication) do not benefit from damage buffing (such as Assault or Eagles Claw).

So a sequence of TK-SK-CAK delivers:
Unmodified: 83.04+132.1+206 = 421.14 Smashing
+33% Damage: 96.36+151.4+237.1 = 484.86 Smashing (a +63.72 gain after EC) (a +15.13% througput increase)



Now, what makes this result especially interesting is ... it works with Build Up powers (like Focus Chi) and also with Build Up procs (like Gaussian's).



If I modify the timeline of events that I was detailing before, watch what happens as the various damage buffs carry through their duration ... and just for fun, let's include Eagles Claw in the buff cycle(!).

So start with casting Focus Chi (FC), which has an arcanatime of 1.32s and a (native) damage buff duration of 10 seconds.

(0) FC (1.32) ... {10}

Now add in the Gaussian's proc (90% chance, but let's assume it has for these purposes) with a damage buff duration of 5.25 seconds. The interesting thing about the Gaussian proc slotted into Focus Chi is that the buff icon for the proc does not "instantly" appear when casting Focus Chi. Instead, the proc buff icon appears near the end of the animation for casting Focus Chi, but before Focus Chi has finished animating. By contrast, the Focus Chi buff icon appears more or less "instantly" upon casting Focus Chi.

I interpret this to mean that the Gaussian's proc is "starting" on the timeline at the point of Focus Chi's database derived casting time (1.17s) before the arcanatime (1.32s) of Focus Chi has finished animating.

(0) FC [+G (1.17)] (1.32) ... {6.42} ... {10}

6.42-1.32 = 5.1 seconds of "usable" Double Buff time within which to animate the arcanatime of attacks
10-6.42 = 3.58 seconds of "additional" Single Buff time within which to animate the arcanatime of attacks
10-1.32 = 8.68 seconds of total usable duration of Focus Chi within which to animate the arcanatime of attacks

So if you were using my SR/MA Tanker build posted above, the following repeating attack chain is possible:

TK-SK-EC-TK-SK-CAK or DT ... repeat
TK-SK-DT-TK-SK-CAK ... repeat

What makes this "configuration problem" particularly interesting is ... my build can cast Eagles Claw every 8.844 seconds on repeat. This makes it perfectly possible to get "two bites at that apple" with Eagles Claw after casting Focus Chi ... once during the "double buff" duration, and once during the "single buff" duration ... with the timing of an attack chain that lasts 8.844 seconds just barely fitting within the 8.68 seconds of usable duration of Focus Chi.

However, if Eagles Claw is initiated toward the end of a Build Up's duration, then the "overhang" of actually animating Eagle Claw's long animation will effectively "extend" that damage buffing duration beyond the commonly accepted 10s duration that we all use as t thumbnail for such computations.

I could work out the preferred sequencing for such a "most deadly timing" of the attack chain, but I've been composing this post essentially ALL DAY and I'm tired now (and I didn't get to play much at all today!) ... so I'll leave that bit Dastardly Deviousness for the next post on this subject (whenever I can get around to doing that, possibly in the next few days).
« Last Edit: November 14, 2022, 11:46:56 pm by Redlynne »


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Redlynne

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Re: SR/MA = NO GET HITSU!!
« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2022, 11:44:22 pm »
Reserved.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2022, 11:47:06 pm by Redlynne »


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Redlynne

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Re: SR/MA = NO GET HITSU!!
« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2022, 11:44:43 pm »
Reserved. (just in case)
« Last Edit: November 14, 2022, 11:47:14 pm by Redlynne »


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FarmTank

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Re: SR/MA = NO GET HITSU!!
« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2022, 01:34:59 pm »
General question, what's your opinion on the how necessary getting tough is for the resists on SR?

Nevermind just saw that part.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2022, 01:38:42 pm by FarmTank »

Redlynne

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Re: SR/MA = NO GET HITSU!!
« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2022, 06:59:06 pm »


Verbogeny is one of many pleasurettes afforded a creatific thinkerizer.