Concerning Weapon Balance

Dev-Cole

Developer
Staff member
Per Dev-Muerte,

Recently, several players have come to the staff with concerns about various weapons and how they under or over perform. Hopefully, in this post I can give some examples and explain why you’re getting the data you’re getting.
We’re going to start off with a few important things.

First off, and the most important thing to note, is weapons are balanced around how good they are in a raid scenario. If something over performs in an exp group situation, this is not inherently a problem.

Next you need a bit of info about mob ac. As you can see in this forum post https://forum.shardsofdalaya.com/threads/general-information-from-wiz.6941/
The relative value of ac scales based on how much of it the target has. The less ac a target has, the larger damage reduction value each point of AC provides.
The next thing we need to talk about is charisma. Taken from the sod wiki: “Charisma plays a significant factor in how resistant foes will be to your spells.”
Now why do these things matter specifically to raid mobs? Because raid mobs are greatly debuffed, where most enemies in group content and raid zones are not.
Think about what debuffs high tier characters have access to. Things like Cripple and Archaic: Tarhyl’s Raging Curse provide large debuffs to enemy armor class. These are only two examples. There are several other armor class debuffs available to players.
We also have resist debuffs that increase caster damage in the forms of things like Malosini and the aforementioned Archaic: Tarhyl’s Raging Curse. However, charisma is also factored into these calculations.

So what does this all mean? Well here’s some parses to illustrate the point I am trying to make.

Magma:

0FB52531-75EC-4D27-BC35-C2D12780DADE.png

Beyondling:

5C3EA162-C852-471D-85E4-2E577356C257.png

In both parses I’m a shadowknight with every aa (this includes emberflow tomes) and a full set of Silent Halls gear with a supreme charm. I’m wielding a Venandi, Spirit’s Envy and an Os, the bulwark. For buffs I have Call of the Predator, Glory of Enthann, Spiritual Vigor, Essence of Tarhansar, Essence of the Wild, Gift of Aegolism, Jayla’s Boom, Ward of Nature and Combine Supremacy. I’m attacking the enemy from behind. I have max specializations and max skills for my class.

This first parse is from me fighting a copy of a beyondling with a gigantic amount of hit points.
This second parse I’m fighting a copy of Magma who has been fully debuffed by common raid debuffs. (Druid Archaic, Malosini, Fatebind, Cripple, Runic: Denon’s Dissonant Duet, Relic: Chant of Destruction, Spirit of Tearing. There are others that are not included).
Also you’ll notice, the melee damage difference between the two parses is quite stark; the fully debuffed Magma takes about 50% more melee damage than the beyondling does. He took slightly less damage from spells but most of that is from the difference in procs (6 more procs for approximately 4200 extra damage). So effectively the proc damage is unchanged in a non debuffed scenario while the melee damage is drastically reduced.
So what I’m ultimately saying here is that the parameters we balanced these in are much different than the parameters in which you are testing them. So yes, random t12 weapon where a large portion of its damage is from a proc over performs in exp scenarios. It does not mean that weapon is unequivocally better than a t14 weapon. It means in the scenario you are testing it is.
 
Last edited:

Kedrin

Dalayan Pious Diety
It would be cool if players had the ability to parse their weapons and gear.

A parse mob that could change level, body type, resistance, and/or AC. It would also be cool if you could just straight up copy raid mobs. Example: walk up to Parse mob NPC -> Hail -> #Magma -> now you're parsing against an NPC that has similar stats as Magma.

Basically every game and MMO I have seen has parse mobs that not only help players determine that the best gear to use would be in any given situation, but also what rotation (order of abilities) they should be using.

Players having more information will only help test and result in a more balanced game. It would also result in devs having to parse for a few hundred less hours. Also, more importantly it would help players morale. It can definitely feel like some devs treat players as idiots that don't know what we are talking about as they activity make changes so players can gain less information when in game.
 

Tevinter

Dalayan Pious Diety
there are a lot of situations, even in raid, where you fight mobs that are not fully debuffed. Spells are often able to fully penetrate the resistance of "easy" enemies, yet melee has no real equivalent. Melee is also more reliant on buffs for damage than spell damage is.

Do the devs consider it a problem that melee damage is reliant on buffs and debuffs to such a large degree? Playing a character that is incredibly reliant on others just to do similar or worse damage than classes that are more "independent" typically isnt a good feeling. This doesnt even include things like bane damage gearing or carrying different weapons for different mobs (aka more investment than a caster, who can generally wear the same items in every single situation and still perform at max).

This doesn't even include other melee vs caster trade offs, like casters being very resilient vs spell damage (the overwhelming majority of all damage in raids) and having much better defensive bp itemization, kaoms heart wrist, not having to deal with riposte, lower threat threshold to rip etc.

Its cool the weapons are balanced in scenarios where people have the exodia combo of buffs and AC debuffs but the reality is you fight a lot of monsters in this game that die too fast to justify debuffing, or you're doing content that isnt a full raid of 18 with a proper comp. Look at any raid fight that spawns multiple adds at once. Having my character do worse than healer dps in exp because its balanced around doing at minimum 50% more damage from fighting debuffed mobs (not including whatever im missing out on by not having full buffs and using a shitty potion) feels really bad. Especially when in the same exp group the wizard is just sending a full rocket power flash flame every global.
 

Swight

Dalayan Elder
and maybe on a parse mob have an option to simulate raid debuff if that is the type of parse you want so people can independently give the numbers you feel relevant rather than having to gather a group every time they want to parse.
 

Tevinter

Dalayan Pious Diety
almost forgot, classes like beastlord with bad melee skills (lack of double attack outside of the aa) tend to prefer proc heavy weapons as weapon procs only trigger once per round to my knowledge. Also, mobs can aux players, reducing melee but not spell damage. More of a tank/exp group thing, but ya
 

Dev-Cole

Developer
Staff member
I think this was a general information reply to limit the number of requests for weapon balance. I think in this scenario venandi sword was mentioned (this is like 4 months old)
 

Dev-Cole

Developer
Staff member
Something I have talked to Jumbers about is opening the test server to players to assist with testing/class balance/item balance.
 

Dev-Cole

Developer
Staff member
Do the devs consider it a problem that melee damage is reliant on buffs and debuffs to such a large degree?
Some formulas are deeply ingrained into this project.

Disciplines using physical resistance, and splitting a melee characters AC dependent damage out into another avenue will help with this concern in the long run.
 

Nebi

Dalayan Pious Diety
Attached you will find our parse of Magma. as you can see it is substantially different than your parse. Vah backs, curses, clickies, and kitchen sinks.

I believe your parsing method is not quite the best to justify if something is overpowered. you might have to try all scenarios in order to truly balance an item / class. If you are saying its a raid scenario then put it in a raid scenario.

You also have to realize that some players are just better players than you. I understand that I am not a tier 1 level player. I am older and do not manage my cool downs as effectively as lets say Erude. Getting player feedback should be encouraged.
 

Attachments

  • unknown.png
    unknown.png
    80.9 KB · Views: 27

stever

Dalayan Elder
This all comes back to the players not having parse mobs and not being able to do accurate testing with all of the debuffs. We do what we can and find monsters that are reliable and can provide parses of a relatively similar length. If we, like Kedrin said, had access to mobs where we can set resists/ac/put debuffs on it, we would be able to more accurately provide numbers to the staff to help with fine tuning.

In my simple way of thinking, wouldn’t the damage to a fully debuffed monster just be higher than that of a non-debuffed one? The numbers will be different, but the ratio between the two should be the same. It’s all we can currently do as a player base to help.

When we bring up weapons needing tuning, the answer we get is “well, go parse”. We do that to the best of our ability, but are pretty limited in what to do that on.

Also, a shadowknight parsing with venandi sword is not all that realistic? Sure, it helps to get numbers for that sword to fine tune it, but I haven’t seen a knight wear that pretty much ever? If we want raid scenarios from a SH geared knight, perhaps a craedyl or lux would be better numbers to show that? I’m sure Muerte has done it with numerous weapons.

Parsing a knight straight melee is clunky too because how many fights are you straight meleeing? Knights are almost always casting spells/positioning adds/etc.

TLDR: we try to parse, we have no actual parse mobs, so we provide the information that we are able to gather
 

Nebi

Dalayan Pious Diety
When we had the aggro event I participated on my warrior but also had my GM character logged in at the time. I was able to see the numbers and got a very respectable number on my warrior compared to Kedrins number because I spirit bomb enraged at the start of the fight. The response to that was wow they are doing great numbers. (since my warrior was under tiered)

I tried it again and showed him what a normal set up was. I parsed substantially worse than kedrins warrior not using a spirit bomb dump. I feel if I didn't have a direct line to Cole and ability to explain myself that it would have been looked at like warriors were fine,

PS: remember when paladins were supposed to be the worse level of aggro?
 

Dev-Cole

Developer
Staff member
I’ll probably continue to make developer parse mobs and have players assist. It allows them to play a part in the development and I get different perspectives, especially the more players involved.
 

Nebi

Dalayan Pious Diety
I think that essentially the player base can see we're making strides in the right direction in terms of quality of life changes. I know the reason why we do not have parse mobs in game. With that being said maybe we need to revisit and possibly change that.
 

sheer1

Dalayan Elder
As a person who has a lot of experience with data and analysis I know one single magma parse is not enough to communicate deficiencies in a weapon setup ( much less with how much variance a fight could have to begin with due to outside 'a tank dying' circumstances ) and wondering how many magma parses it might take to get a good data set for consideration.

I lieu of that I find other mobs to parse on, but I just have bard songs and nothing else. Those are not deemed sufficient to contribute to balancing discussions unfortunately, but since its all I have to go on it is difficult to communicate concerns.

Maybe a reason a smaller group is making many of these types of posts is because we for some reason still really enjoy playing and want to see this thing we enjoy continue to be enjoyable, and are willing to spend time thinking about it, and doing what testing we can to help it in whatever way we can.
 

Dev-Cole

Developer
Staff member
As a person who has a lot of experience with data and analysis I know one single magma parse is not enough to communicate deficiencies in a weapon setup ( much less with how much variance a fight could have to begin with due to outside 'a tank dying' circumstances ) and wondering how many magma parses it might take to get a good data set for consideration.

I lieu of that I find other mobs to parse on, but I just have bard songs and nothing else. Those are not deemed sufficient to contribute to balancing discussions unfortunately, but since its all I have to go on it is difficult to communicate concerns.

Maybe a reason a smaller group is making many of these types of posts is because we for some reason still really enjoy playing and want to see this thing we enjoy continue to be enjoyable, and are willing to spend time thinking about it, and doing what testing we can to help it in whatever way we can.
Could you be specific? Which weapon setup are you concerned with.
 

sheer1

Dalayan Elder
I didn’t want to be too specific here since this felt like a general discussion about how players can test and how that may differ from the tools devs have access to. Don’t want to add extra discussion on a different topic. I’d be happy to discuss on a dm or different thread if that would be worthwhile.

I just want to know how the results I see in my non raid mob testing can be translated appropriately to balance folks since it is difficult to get good consistent raid mob data. I know I would be more than willing to help on the test server if that ever comes to fruition.
 
Top Bottom