What Could I Possibly Be Doing Wrong? (in General)

QBsutekh137 April 1 2005 1:52 AM EST

I like Ranger. I really do. He will be the first to agree. So this is not personal. This is not Sutekh vs Todd-Spydah type stuff (in case you think that was ever personal), I assure you.

I decided to break Ranger's win streak tonight. I thought to myself, "Three battles, tops. Heck, I have more PR! I'll show you APOCALYPSE!"

Five battles later, then off to buy more, and then 6-7 battles after that (sorry, I lost count), I finally won. I thought to myself, again, "He must have added some AS to be that tough to beat in _multiple battles_!"

Nope, no AS.

Even at his toughest, with AS, me with higher PR, Spid took me 2 battles to beat over on CB1. _With_ AS. Without AS I guarantee he could not have lasted more than two battles when my PR was higher than his.

Now it takes more than 5 battles to beat an opponent with lower PR than me. By the way, I unequipped my Katana on my tank, so Ranger's CBF only ate my ToJ. Gotta love those CBFs. Gotta love anything that absolutely, flat-out, no holds-barred REQUIRES a competitive Top Twenty character to own. That's just fricking lovely.

Oh, I should have mentioned, this IS a rant.

I am the epitome of balance. One Tank, One Mage. And a middle-of-the-road tattoo thrown in. And it takes me six battles to beat someone with less PR than me.

What exactly is the point here?

Ranger rocks. He rocks _hard_. His strategy dulls my senses every time I look at it because I am all like, "how the heck didn't I think of that?" He is a nice guy, to boot. He is helpful. He says "please" and "thank you". This has nothing to do with how I feel about Ranger.

But something is...ridiculous. Maybe it will level out, but -- when? 4 million PR? Five?

What could I possibly be doing SO wrong? Does not 5 battles to win indicate at least some sort of imbalance? Do I have THAT much wasted PR on my team? If so, what, pray tell?

QBJohnnywas April 1 2005 2:04 AM EST

Ranger has, IMO, the best equipped team in the game - apart from Gyaxx - another great tank based strat. And, here as in CB1, NW is everything where tanks are concerned. Hell, NW is everything where CB is concerned!

I'd advise sitting back, pouring a drink and gazing in admiration. And be thankful that there are still challenges left in a game you've been playing for ages.... =)

Duke April 1 2005 2:43 AM EST

How i look at it almost everyone on the top have a huge AMF that eat almost 1/4 of there exp so 1/4 of your Pr is useless vs ranger.
2 thing everything on ranger is well balance is Va equal the amount of max dammage he do his Ga equal the biggest MM he can hit by.So he will alwayse have the max of the exp spend and some USD invest.

Only weak point i see is DM a small 1 about 50K will bring all is ench down and will leave much more exp to spend on other stat.The only thing if someone take this road he will receive full dammage from all mage team.

CoBF take care of tank
AMF take care of mage

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] April 1 2005 5:22 AM EST

;) Chet, that's why I'm so drawn to a 3 minion team.

1: AMF + Prot
2: HP + CBF + MgS
3: Mage + ToE

The only thing this would be weak to is seekers, and only then if the Mages HPs + ToE can't deal with it. Apart from that, I can't see anything beating this kind of set up. You could swap the mage out for a physical damage dealer, like an archer.

For you, the problem seems to be that your Mage is getting reduced by firstly a large AMF, then (you're still MM right?) stopping dead on the high HP/MgS minion, after the 20HP punching bag is destroyed.

Then it's a tough choice for your archer. Unequip your melee weapon, and take ages in melee to damage anyone, while he's chipping away at you, or equip your melee weapon and know if you don't kill the CBF wearer in ranged you're archer will die to it in melee...

Tough. Until physical damage + VA (including a BoNE/BTH) can overcome CBFs splash damage, or until a pure melee tank with a CBF (if that does stop the splash damage, I'm not sure...) is used I don't think this set up will be beaten easily.

The combination of CBF and MgS makes a mockery of FB and to a lesser extent MM (MM will hit that minion for little, and stop there..), add in a preliminary reduction by AMF... Even CoC would have a hard time, but at least it'll do a little more damage to both minions...

Maybe a Pure HP/Str/Dex Base Prot CBF wearing tank with a VA granting melee weapon is the only way to go. Use a A/Exbow in ranged to try and even the odds versus ToA tanks. Slap on a MgS for a psuedo 40% AMF.


QBJohnnywas April 1 2005 5:30 AM EST

Your 3 minion setup, GL,- If anyone swapped the mage for an archer, say, the thing to do as well would be to chuck a base decay on the enchanter. It would be useless for the most part, but would serve as a distraction for those pesky seekers! =)

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] April 1 2005 6:13 AM EST

;) Unfortunatley seekers go for the highest DD spell. But towards the end of CB2 I did have a 2 minion set up planned with a high decay on the first minion. ;)

But If on a single CBF Tank you find DD spells are still too much of a problem even with a MgS, especially decay, then you might want to consider a second minion. The standard AMF + Prot/GA enchanter.

Number 1 reason CBF rocks as FB eater.

It's a direct reduction last, after percentile ones... And unlke the MgS, it has no cap to what it can possibly absorb.

AMF % reduction, then MgS direct reduction, then AC direct reduction, then AC % reduction, then Protection % reduction and finally CBF direct reduction. Phew.


QBJohnnywas April 1 2005 6:13 AM EST

Chet, maybe you should move your mage to the back, change MM to CoC, as you've an archer to cover ranged, and add a AMF/AS/Decay enchanter at the front, covered by the ToJ. I suspect that decay will be the main weakness of Ranger's huge hp minion for the moment.

Of course you could just admit defeat and leave Ranger alone...

like I said, pour that drink and relax. =)

QBJohnnywas April 1 2005 6:16 AM EST

Ah decay, decay decay. My favourite of all spells. I love the smell of decay in the mornings...

I'm working way too hard! Time for a weekend =(

RIPsalt3d April 1 2005 6:37 AM EST

You're smart enough to figure it out, Chet. Maybe you just want attention. ;) What you aren't, however, is the epitome of balance. The game alone can lay claim to that title.

It's the least I can do to give you a full-blown, step-by-step analysis of your character's inability to defeat a character over which it holds a whopping 5% PR advantage. So here goes.

Let's start at the beginning, shall we? Your mage has AMF, which does nothing against Ranger. You'd be a fool to give that up, but we have to consider it wasted PR in this instance.

Next, he may be hiding behind his familiar, but he still attracts seekers. Fired from a x67 ELB, I'm guessing your mage would be lucky to see the second round. Ranger's MPB is 70k, so it's not inconceivable that he hits for 50k regularly. All he needs is a double hit and he's reduced your mage to a Protection enchanter. At best you're looking at a single round of MM.

Now for your tanks. In getting rid of the CoBF minion, your familiar is all but useless; more 'wasted' PR. Your opportunities to do damage are limited, since you're firing every second round, all the while copping a hammering from the biggest MH in the game. Seems to me that would take a few fights.

Since you did beat him eventually, I'll have to assume that your tanks hit his archer occasionally, but I'd wager they miss more often than not. You're looking at a 2:1 DX ratio against your real tank, and probably more against your familiar.

I don't know how big your tattoo is, or how much damage the familiar does, but your weapons are what I would call sub-standard for your PR. Your Compound Bow isn't even in the top 50, so it must be weaker than x30 +20. Before you start ranting about how you made it big with crap equipment in CB1, remember that CB2 is a different game. Tattoos, CoBFs and ELBs didn't exist two years ago. We're not in Kansas anymore, Toto.

I think your perception of imbalance is due to your unwillingness to take score and NW into account. Focus on the (minute) PR difference all you like. To me, the fact that someone 3/5 the score and 1/4 the NW of their opponent takes six battles to win sounds entirely reasonable.

QBsutekh137 April 1 2005 10:18 AM EST

Excellent points, all.

Yes, my stance is sub-par right now because of the MgS on my tank, though it hardly matters. Mage gets pretty well clocked in ranged because of seekers. So I suppose that is part one of the problem. Gyaxx does the same thing to me.

Actually, that is part 1 thru n, as the mage is essential in my strategy because of a couple more things: my weak net worth and opponent CBFs rendering tattoo and tank useless.

So I will switch my rant to rail against NW, the CBF being the epitome of what I dislike.

I know we are not in Kansas any more, but I thought the net worth problem would get BETTER here, not WORSE. And maybe it will get better as the factor differential lessens. I mean, right now a 20 million NW difference represents a factor of 3 or 4. Later on it will only represent a factor of 1.5 or 2.

Yes, a challenge is one thing. A white whale that I have no interest in chasing because it is, quite simply, unbeatable, is a different matter entirely. If net worth remains basically the only thing that matters, it is a shame.

QBsutekh137 April 1 2005 10:32 AM EST

Oh, and Salt, not sure how my gear could possibly be considered "sub-standard". Allow me to elaborate.

My Tattoo matches my PR level perfectly (I barely moved when Jon did the pseudo-rescale). So, nothing sub-standard there (if anything, it is slightly big for me).

I am a decent money manager and do not blow a lot of money on ammo or meaningless upgrades.

I have purchased a lot of BA in the past, but that is actually quite "standard". The PR is necessary to be competitive, and more battles also help with clan points. Again, very standard.

I brought in no money from CB1, nor do I spend USD on anything other than supportship and supporter items. Pretty standard there too, or at least can be considered a "base line" type of thing -- I see no external money influx as the default.

So, going back to the original subject, what would you say I am doing wrong so as to have "sub" standard equipment? A Katana is a plenty decent sword, and I actually got it for a very decent price. And in case you haven't checked recently, ELBs are a bit hard to come by. I would say my gear is slightly above average for my PR, not below. What would you have me change in order to magically conjure up a bunch elite items for my team?

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] April 1 2005 10:54 AM EST

"What you aren't, however, is the epitome of balance. The game alone can lay claim to that title."


I think that's a little lop sided. CBFs are unbalanced, as is magical damage. To such an extent that it's either too powerful unless stopped and too easy to stop now.

UC is too poor to mention and rarity doesn't balance power.


[EG] Almuric April 1 2005 11:05 AM EST

Chet, I've come to the same conclusion: CoBF is a requirement above a certain level. I've been renting one pretty steadily - whenever I don't have one due to unavailability, my score drops precipitously.

I was gonna put in a long rant about how it's unbalanced and stuff, but they're being sold constantly, so if anyone really wants one, all they have to do is save up for one. Which is what I guess I'm doing now. It'll take a while, but what choice do we really have? It really is a 'must-have' item for most strats.

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] April 1 2005 11:18 AM EST

Heh, all that matter now is how you build your character around you CBF.


Maelstrom April 1 2005 11:28 AM EST

Do the flames from CBF still hit your own minions? Or was that removed long ago?

Grant April 1 2005 11:35 AM EST

1. Power difference: (351-333)/333 means he is giving up 5.4% difference, power-wise. That's approximately a 1:1 ratio. The power gap is illusionary, especially when you consider that his outsize tattoo is only counted at 0.7 power.

2. He has VA (and 2 tanks). VA teams are very hard to kill with low damaging strats (cough, bow in melee, cough). If you want to begin to fight VA teams with low damaging strategies, then you need DM instead of AMF. (However, do you really want to adjust your strategy for someone you're not about to beat anyway?)

3. He has 4 times your net worth, with better base items. This multiplies the effectiveness of VA. (Big damage + VA = nearly invincible).

4. His strat is better than yours, anyway :)

Seriously though, You have a TMT team (counting TJK), and he has a ETT team. All three of your minions are weak attackers, plus your first tank is underpowered and melee-only, so it's damage potential is pretty much wasted. His strategy concentrates power onto his second and last tanks, so he has 2 stronger attackers.

In summary, he matches your power, uses VA, has better items and uses a strategy that is more exp-efficient. I wouldn't want to be fighting him, either.

QBsutekh137 April 1 2005 11:35 AM EST

Maelstrom, they do, but I have been told the damage is very minimal, like a 3K "splash" from a 50K flare up...

Almuric, as usual, you have crystallized my point perfectly (I value that more than you know and seek out your posts when I go on one of my rants... *grin*). Yes, I cannot beat you when you have a CBF, and since I refuse to play the "inspection" game every time I have to build a fight list, I just don't fight you any more. *smile*

And your point says it all. CBF is no longer a choice. Might as well add it to the FAQ: "At what point should I buy a CBF to remain competitive?" That's why they are silly. Everyone needs one, and then once everyone has one, it is just a money-drain canceling each other's CBFs out. Wow. Please excuse me while I contain my bubbly excitement over such an item. Whee.

AdminJonathan April 1 2005 11:40 AM EST

Wow, ranting 2 hours into a non-change month. It's going to be a frustrating 30 days for you, Chet. :)

[EG] Almuric April 1 2005 11:48 AM EST

I love Jon's sense of humor.

Even funnier is it'll take me more than a month to save up for a CoBF, so if they're going to be nerfed in May, it's alright with me because I won't have one yet. :p

Manta April 1 2005 11:50 AM EST

Maybe a CoBF is overpowered only up to say 300-400K PR, then it becomes less and less useful: in CB1 at least it is so, and you would have a hard time selling an oversized cloak.
Of course, I might be wrong: much depends on how expensive it is to upgrade a CoBF at the high levels.

How comes that CoBF is not in the spellcheck? What is the official abbreviation for the cloak we all love to hate?

QBsutekh137 April 1 2005 11:56 AM EST

Manta, the CBF upgrade curve is flat. 100K per point. So it does not get harder to upgrade. However, since it is linear in its output as well, the theory is that tanks will outpace it. A second theory (mine) is that USD will outpace the tanks. *smile*

I don't even know that I want CBFs to get nerfed. I guess I just don't understand their place in the game at all. One could argue, "But Chet, weaponry is the same way, more money, more damage, USD rules!" However, weaponry is more complex, as it involves two types of upgrades, ammo, STR, DEX, Evasion, DBs, etc. etc. Weapons are better mix of NW _and_ PR (remember PR?) CBFs are just a new, flat layer thrown in...why? To act as FB and tank busters? Why did FB and tanks need additional busting?

Jon, maybe I will make this rant into a 30-day rant. Poor me? Nah, poor you. :O

Todd April 1 2005 12:00 PM EST

Wow, ranting 2 hours into a non-change month. It's going to be a frustrating 30 days for you, Chet. :)
--Jonathan, 11:40 AM EST

If you are implying that a change is coming, the evidence was there long before March 31.

RIPsalt3d April 1 2005 12:10 PM EST

Chet, I'll concede the 'sub-standard' comment was a bit hasty. Perhaps I should have said your equipment is sub-standard compared to guys like Ranger, who have ELBs and MHs and big CoBFs. In terms of your character's setup compared to his, though, it makes enough of a difference. Maybe it's the seekers, maybe it's the CoBF. But maybe it's the fact that his strategy is really effective against yours, and the NW factor just exacerbates it.

Loser, the balance I'm talking is that whole rock, paper, scissors thing. I'd warrant that any strategy can be beaten by another of equal PR and NW, as long as it's distributed correctly. The fact that Ranger plays paper to everyone else's rock is no reason to think that something is unbalanced.

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] April 1 2005 12:16 PM EST

CBF is the spellcheck approved name. :)

Why the cloak is overpowered as is;

Upgrade is not only linear, but fixed. No other item in the game has an upgrade cost like this.

An uncapped direct reduction of a damage form last, after percentage reductions. Again, the only type of item that can do this.

Does a significant amount of damage to melee attackers. But at least it only does this once, not for each attack.

This is limited by;

Does not allow Skills or Enchantments to be trained on the minion wearing it.

Can not be worn with a tattoo.


AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] April 1 2005 12:17 PM EST


"The fact that Ranger plays paper to everyone else's rock is no reason to think that something is unbalanced."

Come on, if he's the answer to *everyone* elses strat, that's got to be an imbalance.


AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] April 1 2005 12:32 PM EST

Erm.. Just want to point out I'm not having a pop at ranger or his character, or that I think his character specifically is the answer to everyones strat...


RIPsalt3d April 1 2005 12:36 PM EST

He's the only guy over 300k PR with more than $20M NW. The fact that nobody has the right strategy to beat him doesn't mean that one doesn't exist.

QBsutekh137 April 1 2005 12:48 PM EST

And it should be pointed out that Ranger was one of the folks who came up with an effective "wall" type minion and made it very, very effective, so kudos to him for the tactical aspect of that.

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] April 1 2005 12:50 PM EST

But I'm taking credit for the name! ;P

QBsutekh137 April 1 2005 12:54 PM EST

OK, you can have credit...though I think someone actually talked about a wall minion waaaay back, even before the CBF era.

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] April 1 2005 12:56 PM EST


I'm sure it wasn't me that came up with the name...


[EG] Almuric April 1 2005 1:43 PM EST

Fark had 'The Wall' on CB1 a long time ago. 4 minions - 3 AS and 1 GA - or something like that. A farm team. Did pretty well, if I remember. Probably not even the original 'wall', but the earliest I remember.

Where is Fark, anyway?

AdminJonathan April 1 2005 1:45 PM EST

Valgasu is back -- he probably knows what Fark is up to.

QBsutekh137 April 1 2005 2:23 PM EST

Ah yes, Fark. For a second I thought is was pulk...haven't seen him around much either. :(
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