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Ideal Tank Stat Distribution

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Classes > Roles
Ideal Tank Stat Distribution

KeyboardNinja's Avatar


KeyboardNinja
03.28.2013 , 11:41 AM | #1
Update (Mar 22): Critical chance devaluing shield is now correctly computed (this results in a very bizarre set of stat curves for shadow tanks in PvP). Distributions are now computed solely using values from Nightmare Dread Fortress (data curtesy of Thok-zeus and Drop it Like it's Hoth). Also, bosses will now be grouped into low, mid and high M/R, to facilitate those who want to carry multiple gear sets. The average profile remains.

Update (Mar 12): Kinetic Bulwark/Dark Bulwark calculation has been revised and made much more accurate (the value is slightly lower than assumed; special thanks to dipstik!). Self-heal contribution to survivability has been corrected to post-mitigation (rather than pre-mit, as before). Self-healing is no longer overvalued on bosses with single-swap mechanics. Corrupter Zero's Sweeping Slash has been corrected and is now considered a force/tech attack. Defense minima for PvP gear are now based on Obroan rather than Dread Forged.

Update (Dec 26): Relics are now part of the fundamental calculation; you no longer need to include them in your stat budget! Riot Gas has been dropped from the Vanguard bonuses (reasoning long and dull). Defense minima have been reworked, resolving a serious bug where vanguard minima were underestimated while shadow minima were overestimated.

---

For a quick overview of the methodology used in this post, hit the spoiler.

Spoiler


Using The Tables

To determine your target itemization, add up the defense, shield and absorb ratings from your character sheet including stim. This is your current stat budget. Using this, find the nearest entry in the appropriate table below for your class and stat budget. Your goal is to get your defense, shield and absorb rating as close to these recommended values as possible by swapping mods, enhancements and augments. This will maximize your achievable mitigation from defensive stats.

Note that these tables were all generated assuming use of the best in slot relic types: Reactive Warding and Fortunate Redoubt. These tables are not fully accurate with other relic combinations! They will be close, but not quite correct. Because these relics are included in the optimization process, there is no need to consider the relic proc value in your stat budget (as was previously required). Simply use your character sheet values; no need to calculate!

As an example, imagine that my shadow's character sheet shows a defense rating of 520, a shield rating of 1100, and an absorb rating of 900 (with stim activated). Thus, my total stat budget is 520 + 1100 + 900 = 2520. Rounding to the nearest value in the "Average" table below for shadows, we find the following entry:

{2500,{defense->557,shield->850,absorb->1092}}

My current defense rating is 520, which is low by 37 (almost exactly 1 enhancement). My shield rating is 1100, which is too high by 250. Since the only way to increase shield rating over the minimum is to stack shield augments, this should be a very easy problem to fix. Finally, my absorb rating is 900, which is too low by a whopping 182 points. If I swap one enhancement from bulwark to bastion (i.e. from absorb to defense), and then swap all eight of my shield augments to absorb, I should be just about perfect. I'll end up a little low on defense, a little low on shield and a little high on absorb, but it should be good enough. In most cases, it is impossible to achieve precisely the optimal stat ratings. Just get as close as you can.

Average

M/R+K/E: 73.1878%
F/T+K/E: 19.6532%
F/T+I/E: 7.19721%
DtPS: 7510.1

For those who don't want to carry around three gear sets�

Shadow

Graph

Spoiler


Guardian

Graph

Spoiler


Vanguard

Graph

Spoiler


Low M/R (Corruptor Zero, Brontes)

M/R+K/E: 35.4055%
F/T+K/E: 51.5776%
F/T+I/E: 13.0169%
DtPS: 7558.1

Shadow

Graph

Spoiler


Guardian

Graph

Spoiler


Vanguard

Graph

Spoiler


Mid M/R (Draxus)

M/R+K/E: 77.1131%
F/T+K/E: 10.9340%
F/T+I/E: 11.9530%
DtPS: 3590.65

Shadow

Graph

Spoiler


Guardian

Graph

Spoiler


Vanguard

Graph

Spoiler


High M/R (Nefra, Grob'thok)

M/R+K/E: 93.5418%
F/T+K/E: 3.90938%
F/T+I/E: 2.61895%
DtPS: 9421.83

Shadow

Graph

Spoiler


Guardian

Graph

Spoiler


Vanguard

Graph

Spoiler


PvP

M/R+K/E: 30.6%
F/T+K/E: 54.1%
F/T+I/E: 15.3%
DtPS: 7000

These numbers are based on a spreadsheet tabulated by Ilmar. As he is a Scoundrel DPS and not a tank, the exact percentages are going to be a bit different for tanking. However, these still represent the most authoritative values we have. Assuming a 25% natural crit chance (on average) and adding the auto-crit attacks found in Ilmar's spreadsheet, we assume a 33.25% crit rate overall (thus reducing the value of shield). The 7k DtPS value roughly approximates two geared DPS focus firing with all cooldowns available over a span of roughly 12 seconds. Average values over an entire match are clearly much lower than this, but also much less interesting since the healer (and tank) is primarily concerned with who is being bursted and by how much.

Shadow

Graph

The "spikes" in the graph are caused by a discontinuity in the derivative of the mitigation function. Basically, multiple extrema are competing in that budget region, causing the optima to jump from one allocation to the other and back again. This is a consequence of the way that critical chance is weighed against shield chance.

Spoiler


Guardian

Graph

Spoiler


Vanguard

Graph

Spoiler



One somewhat hilarious thing you will notice in both the stat budgets and the graphs is that the ideal defense rating actually decreases as your stat budget increases at a certain point. This is true for shadows and vanguards, but vanguards show the most precipitous drop. This is not a typo or a mistake, and has been verified formally and justified with informal arguments. It does make sense from a mathematical standpoint, but it's a little bizarre. Just go with it. :-)

Another weird thing that you can find is the high-budget inflection of shield and absorb in the shadow PvP stat allocation graph. This is a case where the ideal defense rating rises, falls, and then rises again! This is due to the fact that shadows alone (among the three tanks) have a high enough shield chance to clip into the point where shield% + crit% > 100%, which is the point at which shield chance gets gutted by crit chance. This cutoff point causes defense and absorb to suddenly rise in value.

For reference, this is the Mathematica notebook used to generate this post.

Overall Survivability

Note This section previously counted self-healing pre-mitigation. This is inaccurate, as any self-healing mechanic is applied to damage taken post-mitigation. Thus, self-healing mechanics were previously undervalued by a substantial margin. This error has been corrected, resulting in a slightly different balance picture than before.

What follows is the comparative tank survivability including all buffs, damage and self-heals in each operation (higher is better). In other words, you should be able to predict your net external healing required by multiplying an operation's DtPS by 1 - # where "#" is the survivability value from below. For PvE survivability, I'm assuming full 78 armorings and a stat budget of 2721 for each tank (in other words, full min-maxed Dread Forged). For PvP survivability, I'm assuming full min-maxed Obroan with maxed augments and a stim. Expertise is ignored as it only functions to cancel out the damage bonuses from another max-geared player.

Defensive cooldowns are not included in the calculation!

Low M/R (Corruptor Zero, Brontes)
  • Shadow: 66.4072%
  • Guardian: 66.8745%
  • Guardian (hybrid): 66.9502%
  • Vanguard: 66.0365%

Mid M/R (Draxus)
  • Shadow: 72.0175%
  • Guardian: 74.0619%
  • Guardian (hybrid): 74.6270%
  • Vanguard: 70.8083%

High M/R (Nefra, Grob'thok)
  • Shadow: 76.6456%
  • Guardian: 77.0023%
  • Guardian (hybrid): 77.6602%
  • Vanguard: 75.4475%

PvP
  • Shadow: 57.3984%
  • Guardian: 58.0277%
  • Guardian (hybrid): 58.0214%
  • Vanguard: 58.1033%

Or, if you prefer the graphical approach, here is what the relative balance looks like. Note that this is a relative graph, meaning that the best tank for a given piece of content is taken to be 1, and all other tanks are a percentage of that value. If all tanks are balanced to within 5%, then all of these bars should be at 0.95 or higher.

Overall, balance is surprisingly tight. Guardians sit on top for current content because of how low damage levels are and the non-scaling nature of self-healing mechanics. Shadows fall behind Guardians by about 0.8% on average. The most notable disparity is on Draxus, where the combination of relatively low average damage paired with a reasonably significant percentage of melee/ranged attacks has a tendency to favor Guardians even without accounting for their excellent cooldowns. Note that the periodic nature of the fight isn't accounted for in the math, which dramatically inflates the value of Blade Barrier (accounting for this would likely put all three tanks on nearly even footing absent cooldowns). Vanguards are a little over 2% behind Guardians for reasons of�their own. It's not clear exactly why this is, especially since Vanguards have the worst defensive cooldowns of the tanking classes. Despite their currently superior survivability, double-Guardian is the worst tanking combination by far, since Guardians do not provide the damage debuff (provided by Shadows in the form of Slow Time, or by Vanguards in the form of Ion Cell).

PvP balance is somewhat more varied, but not as disparate as most people believe. Vanguards are the best PvP tanks in terms of mean mitigation, ahead of Guardians by a mere 0.14% and ahead of Shadows by 1.13%. However, this is somewhat balanced seeing as Riot Gas does not work reliably in PvP as a defensive cooldown, meaning that Vanguards need to have a bit more in the way of baseline survivability. Neither Shadows nor Guardians suffer from cooldowns which are less effective in PvP, and thus we see a slight penalization in terms of static survivability.

Note that in PvP, Guardians cannot benefit from the debuffs of another tank (assuming 1-tank arena compositions), which means that they must be considered in the full absence of the 5% damage reduction debuff provided by Shadows, Vanguards and Watchman Sentinels.

Hybrid Guardians (as well as Shadows, for that matter) are currently omitted from the relative chart owing to the fact that the hybrid Guardian spec falls too far behind in the realm of defensive CDs to be competitive, and thus causes a very deceptive skewing of the relative numbers. A more complete analysis of the standard hybrid tank specs (most notably, Shadows and Guardians) is beyond the scope of this section. This is particularly significant for the "Low M/R" category, since a hybrid shadow has almost 30% more damage reduction across the board on Brontes, resulting in dramatically more survivability.

It's worth noting that these relative balance figures assume absolutely numerically perfect play on the part of each tank. A single GCD's worth of delay on Blade Storm for a Guardian or a single GCD early on a Kinetic Ward refresh for a Shadow and their survivability plummets. This might explain why Vanguards are somewhat behind the other two tanks, seeing as their active mitigation is far, far less susceptible to diminishment due to player error.

Overall, tank balance in 2.5 represents an impressive achievement on the part of Bioware's combat team. I don't agree with every decision they make, but credit where credit is due. All three tanks are viable, and absent the aforementioned double-Guardian composition, any tank may be slotted into any ops group without disadvantage.

Projected Survivability

One interesting thing to look at is how well the three tanks do not just in content now but in future content. By making the assumption that both armor rating and damage levels are linearly correlated with stat budget, we can examine this question. Note that this is a fairly significant assumption! This graph looks at the projected survivability of each tank plotted over stat budget (shadows = blue; guardians = red; vanguards = yellow). As you can see, the Guardian lead on the other two tanks shrinks consistently as damage levels and gear improves. Shadows don't scale quite as well as Vanguards do (on account of the heavy armor vs light armor distinction), but all three tanks are still within a hair's breath of each other by the time we get to the absolute numerical limit on current stat scaling (a budget of roughly 5k).
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Wanchope's Avatar


Wanchope
03.28.2013 , 11:58 AM | #2
Thanks for this. I really have come to rely on your number crunching for my gearing strategy.

I find it a bit odd that Absorb plays so little a role. I would not be surprised it Bioware decides they need to do something to make it more useful. For my guardian tank, I pretty much don't want / need any absorb. Thats just strange.

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GeckoOBac
03.28.2013 , 12:09 PM | #3
Interesting and weird, I was under the impression that defense was much less useful in 2.0.

Quite surprised at the low amounts of absorb too...

The question now is: are those distributions even realistic? I mean, shield mostly has stat slots by itself, and will likely be in overabundance in respect to the other stats. OTOH defense and absorb are tied for slots, so calculating the spread basing on an artificial, total stat pool kinda skews the numbers imho.
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dipstik's Avatar


dipstik
03.28.2013 , 12:21 PM | #4
i think shadows still have a strong argument to use the B mods for higher endurace, but im not even sure if those exist in 2.0. depending on the way blade barricade is calculated (i think it absorbs based on bonus healing), there may be some arguments about DimR vs. power augs or soemthing giving a more scalar responce to mitigation, but again... waiting on the final 2.0 numbers.

notice an x*b argument in absorb for the 2nd term and x*c in the third... not sure whats going on there. from what i can tell you are finding the weights for each stat (solving for a, b, c at an x), but this mixup for absorb messes that up.

when i was using maple lagrange multiplier method each calc took between 5 and 30 mins, and now with longer equations, i expect those numbers to go up. using the excel solver makes many of these problems go away, but you get local extrema only, which is bad. typically, by assuming that a=b=c (in your case) you will get a global extrema because you are farther away from the boundary of the set (so if i do a solver calc with shield at 1200 and the other two at 0 i will get a optimization set near that point, which will omit efense typically, but if i start with all at 400 i will get a good number... i think)

i wish they rolled out a more thoughtful change to the defense problem than gimping shield and absorb. taht being said, the stipulation that shield will always be 720+ gives defense a fighting chance.

you may want to attach your speadsheets to the OP so people know the equations used for everything.

thanks for the work

as a review, this is what i got taking 720 shield for solutions where shield was under 720 and setting the exchange of mitigation points to be between defense and absorb only and setting shield to 720... i will have to do this again for the underworld gear set, which will have a new base shield value... these numbers also assume 10% of kinetic/energy are force/tech, and of the 90% that is melee/ranged, 1/2 of those attacks are at 90% accuracy and the other half at 100% accuracy.

ASSASSIN:

d s a
1700 561 720 419
1800 615 720 465
1900 668 720 512
2000 721 720 559
2100 774 720 606
2200 828 720 652
2300 881 720 699
2400 934 720 746
2500 987 720 793
2600 1040 720 840
2700 1093 720 887
2800 1146 720 934
2900 1199 720 981
3000 1252 720 1028


GUARDIAN:

d s a
1700 980 720 0
1800 1080 720 0
1900 1142 720 38
2000 1195 720 85
2100 1248 720 132
2200 1301 720 179
2300 1354 720 226
2400 1407 720 273
2500 1460 720 320
2600 1513 720 367
2700 1566 720 414
2800 1618 720 462
2900 1671 720 509
3000 1724 720 556



PT:

d s a
1700 955 720 25
1800 1008 720 72
1900 1061 720 119
2000 1114 720 166
2100 1167 720 213
2200 1220 720 260
2300 1273 720 307
2400 1326 720 354
2500 1379 720 401
2600 1422 729 449
2700 1405 790 505
2800 1392 849 558
2900 1382 908 611
3000 1374 965 662

Docmal's Avatar


Docmal
03.28.2013 , 12:29 PM | #5
Interesting that absorb doesn't overtake defense on a shadow until a gear budget of 3300.

Any idea what the stat budgets Campaign, DG and even Underworld are? That way we can get an idea of how fast the budget grows per tier?

Kitru's Avatar


Kitru
03.28.2013 , 12:34 PM | #6
Quote: Originally Posted by GeckoOBac View Post
Interesting and weird, I was under the impression that defense was much less useful in 2.0.
That was back before the 3/15 changes to the Shield/Absorb DR curve. Since, when we first got access to the PTS, Defense was fundamentally worthless (except to Guardians, who took a little), the devs changed the DR curve which ended up causing the inverse: Absorb is fundamentally worthless (except for Shadows who take just a little).

Quote:
The question now is: are those distributions even realistic?
Those distros are actually entirely realistic. The only major constraint is one that Tam already accounted for: the functional "minimum" of Shield rating. Since Shield is pretty much on an island existing of itself for a majority of its itemization with the only real variability present in how much you choose to augment for, it's generally considered to be something of a static value for most optimization calcs. Defense and Absorb, on the other hand, are entirely fluid: *any* time that you can get Defense, you can get Absorb in the exact same amount (with the minor exception of ears/implants; even relics are fair game now thanks to the addition of the Defense proc relic).

Personally, I feel that the developers were more than a bit heavy handed with the "fixes" to Shield/Absorb. Rather than finding a nice medium where all tanks stack all 3 stats, they simply reversed the value of Defense and Absorb. I'm personally hoping that, by the time 2.0 hits, they'll actually have come up with a *different* stat distribution allocation (much like they've said they've got a few other balance changes they're implementing with 2.0 that aren't being PTSd) since telling almost every tank that asks for advice that they shouldn't even *think* of touching Absorb until they're in full Arkanian is just not something I think makes for interesting gameplay.
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KeyboardNinja's Avatar


KeyboardNinja
03.28.2013 , 12:50 PM | #7
Quote: Originally Posted by dipstik View Post
i think shadows still have a strong argument to use the B mods for higher endurace, but im not even sure if those exist in 2.0. depending on the way blade barricade is calculated (i think it absorbs based on bonus healing), there may be some arguments about DimR vs. power augs or soemthing giving a more scalar responce to mitigation, but again... waiting on the final 2.0 numbers.
Blade Barricade is the defense buff. Blade Barrier is a heal (according to the game files) similar to Force Armor, so it scales according to Bonus Healing (thus, Strength and Power derived).

Quote: Originally Posted by dipstik View Post
notice an x*b argument in absorb for the 2nd term and x*c in the third... not sure whats going on there. from what i can tell you are finding the weights for each stat (solving for a, b, c at an x), but this mixup for absorb messes that up.
Typo in the forum post. The actual equation being solved has a lot of Mathematica-specific stuff in it, which I stripped out. I've double-checked, and it is using x*c for absorb universally.

Quote: Originally Posted by dipstik View Post
you may want to attach your speadsheets to the OP so people know the equations used for everything.
I'll do that. (update: done)

Quote: Originally Posted by dipstik View Post
as a review, this is what i got taking 720 shield for solutions where shield was under 720 and setting the exchange of mitigation points to be between defense and absorb only and setting shield to 720... i will have to do this again for the underworld gear set, which will have a new base shield value... these numbers also assume 10% of kinetic/energy are force/tech, and of the 90% that is melee/ranged, 1/2 of those attacks are at 90% accuracy and the other half at 100% accuracy.
I still think that allowing shield to float between 40% and 60% of the total budget is more accurate, since the constraints imposed on shield are soft constraints imposed by enhancement itemization. I say "soft" because you can get more or less shield budget with augments, and because increasing your stat budget (with higher level enhancements) increases your shield proportionally.

I'm also still dubious of the assumption that some PvE attacks have 90% accuracy. I can't disprove it, and I've never done a log survey looking specifically for that information, but it seems dodgy. I think the problem is that we would need an absolutely enormous number of logs to make any statistically-certain determination, one way or another.

Quote: Originally Posted by Kitru View Post
Personally, I feel that the developers were more than a bit heavy handed with the "fixes" to Shield/Absorb. Rather than finding a nice medium where all tanks stack all 3 stats, they simply reversed the value of Defense and Absorb. I'm personally hoping that, by the time 2.0 hits, they'll actually have come up with a *different* stat distribution allocation (much like they've said they've got a few other balance changes they're implementing with 2.0 that aren't being PTSd) since telling almost every tank that asks for advice that they shouldn't even *think* of touching Absorb until they're in full Arkanian is just not something I think makes for interesting gameplay.
I agree. The one thing here that I will point out is that the entire calculation is severely biased by the fact that we're assuming a 90/10 split on m/r vs f/t. This is accurate for Nightmare EC, but not accurate for things like HM TfB (which has closer to an 80/20 split). As I said, I don't know what the split is for HM S&V, which is obviously what's interesting. If we had a higher percentage of f/t damage, then shield/absorb becomes more valuable.

For example, this is what the rating graphs look like if I assume a 75/25 split on m/r vs k/e:
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Kitru's Avatar


Kitru
03.28.2013 , 01:41 PM | #8
Quote: Originally Posted by KeyboardNinja View Post
I agree. The one thing here that I will point out is that the entire calculation is severely biased by the fact that we're assuming a 90/10 split on m/r vs f/t. This is accurate for Nightmare EC, but not accurate for things like HM TfB (which has closer to an 80/20 split). As I said, I don't know what the split is for HM S&V, which is obviously what's interesting. If we had a higher percentage of f/t damage, then shield/absorb becomes more valuable.
One of the things that I'm afraid might happen that I *really* don't want to happen is that fights are going to have massive vacillations in the ratio of M/R to F/T (on the level of Asation wherein it vacillates between next-to-no F/T and almost entirely F/T between different fights) which means that tanks are almost going to be forced into having multiple sets of tank gear: one set with almost no Abs for fights below 10% F/T (like Operative or TfB) and one with no Defense whatsoever for fights with next to no M/R (like Kephess the Undying).

Even worse, since you can swap out mods/enhs/etc pretty much freely, can you imagine all of the hell that would arise from having to figure out what the optimal ratio for each fight would be based upon the attack distribution? Tanks would have to have 2 mods/enh/etc for pretty much *every slot* for times when you have to alternate between massive Defense and massive Absorb depending on the relevant fight conditions. Honestly, it's the *biggest* problem with making it so that Shield/Absorb and Defense aren't similarly applicable (and one I worried about as soon as I saw that Shield/Abs was being tweaked to affect F/T). It makes it so that, unless the ratio is maintained with only minimal variation between bosses (such that stat swapping only provides a marginal improvement not worth the investment), tanks are going to be the only people that are functionally forced to have multiple sets of gear, which is *not* something I ever enjoyed about tanking in other games.
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KeyboardNinja
03.28.2013 , 01:54 PM | #9
Quote: Originally Posted by Kitru View Post
Even worse, since you can swap out mods/enhs/etc pretty much freely, can you imagine all of the hell that would arise from having to figure out what the optimal ratio for each fight would be based upon the attack distribution? Tanks would have to have 2 mods/enh/etc for pretty much *every slot* for times when you have to alternate between massive Defense and massive Absorb depending on the relevant fight conditions. Honestly, it's the *biggest* problem with making it so that Shield/Absorb and Defense aren't similarly applicable (and one I worried about as soon as I saw that Shield/Abs was being tweaked to affect F/T). It makes it so that, unless the ratio is maintained with only minimal variation between bosses (such that stat swapping only provides a marginal improvement not worth the investment), tanks are going to be the only people that are functionally forced to have multiple sets of gear, which is *not* something I ever enjoyed about tanking in other games.
Yeah, that is indeed concerning, and potentially exacerbated by the mod system in this game. We'll have to see once we have hard data for S&V. It is absolutely something that the developers will need to take into account very carefully.

One thing that would probably help matters is if defense rating affected Resist chance, since that would make both ratings applicable in both circumstances. So long as the proportion of I/E damage remains marginal (as it has always been), we wouldn't be in serious danger of the situation you describe.
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Kitru
03.28.2013 , 02:42 PM | #10
Quote: Originally Posted by KeyboardNinja View Post
One thing that would probably help matters is if defense rating affected Resist chance, since that would make both ratings applicable in both circumstances. So long as the proportion of I/E damage remains marginal (as it has always been), we wouldn't be in serious danger of the situation you describe.
While I was one of the people that initially suggested that implementation at the inception of the playtest, at this point, I don't really. In that case, I see Defense becoming overvalued compared to Shield/Absorb because it would be getting applied to. Of course, it wouldn't be to the same extent as the current state of Def/Shield/Abs so it would still likely be an improvement.

Honestly, in order to apply an optimal degree of parity, it's important that any change made actually make it so that Defense and Shield/Abs once again apply to all the same attacks. Without that, there's going to be vacillating value based upon said ratio of attacks which necessitates alternate sets of gear for tanks for optimal performance. Personally, if it were possible, I would try to have Defense rating provide either Resistance chance or outright damage reduction but *only* to K/E F/T attacks. The fact that Shield/Abs now applies to K/E F/T attacks suggests that it's at least *possible*.

My hope is that the DR curves we're currently seeing are both temporary *and* only a stopgap while they work on a more functional and balanced solution.
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