A Quick word on ToE vs armor (in General)

Warchild April 24 2005 5:30 PM EDT

Lets make the ToE thing real simple.

A ToE that blocks 75% is the same as having a second set of armor with an AC of just over 357 (and it is applied to magic as well as physical.) Mind you that is with no magic or dx penalties.

Using the cb1 calculator (and i believe that the numbers are the same for cb2) getting the highest AC armor (ie the lowest upgrade cost) it would cost 136,068,029 to get the same reduction on physical damage and a whopping 2,218,588,308!!!, thats right folks 2 billion cb2, to get the same magic reduction from armor. And that is not even considering the 40% magic penalty and 20% dx penalty that that particular set of armor gives.

ToE is overpowered plain and simple.

Devil Burrito April 24 2005 5:33 PM EDT


slurpz April 24 2005 5:36 PM EDT

don't forget...the toe only takes up the space of a cloak and a body armor...the ToE minion could still wear head gear, gloves, boots, and shield for more AC

Arorrr April 24 2005 6:37 PM EDT

You forget that ToE blocks AMF damage also, THE only item that does it.

slurpz April 24 2005 6:38 PM EDT

corns, HoIs, CoIs, and EGs all block AMF damage indirectly (because they raise spell level)

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] April 24 2005 7:08 PM EDT


It gets better when you combine it with mediocre AC and protection...

I made a post about it a while ago, but it didn't create too much interest.

QBRanger April 24 2005 7:37 PM EDT

Yes, and the fact that TOE mages are getting more and more powerful by getting better rewards this whole month is very very fair to all the other characters in the game.

By the time a TOE nerf comes, if there is one, they will be so powerful anyway the TOE will have to be near useless. Imagine when/if they become tanks.

Starseed^Lure April 24 2005 9:34 PM EDT

The ToE single mage is overpowered, but I've yet to see an example of the same being true of any other char strat. I'd actually be curious if someone could prove me wrong on that. I think, that being the case, that we focus on the center of the problem of ToE: the ToE single mage. I there are many strategies where the ToE is far from overpowered because it takes up the tatoo slot for a group and even that much damage reduction can't save the char. Therefore, I think that we need to look at applying balances that make it tougher to effectively use a ToE with a single mage. But perhaps Jon plans to alleviate this problem by introducing power shields that a ToE mage would not be able to equip. It will be interesting to see how Jon reacts this change month.

QBsutekh137 April 24 2005 9:44 PM EDT

Ranger, you mean the same way that budice is sitting on a ToJ of epic proportions (38% larger than the second place ToJ in game), riding the wave of rentals that made it so huge before Jon fixed an imbalance issue we were all clamoring about since CB2's inception? *smile*

In all fairness to budice, he has turned it up a notch on BA usage (guy's a machine, and it takes one (albeit former) to know one), so a lot of the growth is due to that too... But the guy already has a tattoo so large so as to be crazy invincible, and he can swap it out for a massive ToE or ToA any time he wants...

Chocolate Thunder April 24 2005 9:48 PM EDT

/me notes that Markxe has the same PR as I do.... he beats me with another overpowering item..... Net Worth!

So in actuality there's two options at the mo... SMTOE or USD :)

[FireBreathing]Chicken April 24 2005 9:48 PM EDT

it blocks up to 75%.

QBRanger April 24 2005 9:48 PM EDT

Chet, you misunderstand what im saying.

Budice is one person with one tattoo. There are a lot of SMTOE's.

Chocolate Thunder April 24 2005 9:53 PM EDT

Also, comparing the ToE to armor is unfair. That much Armor always blocks 75% (i think). My ToE doesn't block 75% of the big FBs and CoCs, and the ELBs are starting to surpass my 75%

Mags April 24 2005 9:54 PM EDT

"But perhaps Jon plans to alleviate this problem by introducing power shields that a ToE mage would not be able to equip."

I would suggest the Mage Shield was an attempt at neutralizing some of the massive damage mages can do. It hasn't had as great of an impact as I think many of us hoped.

QBsutekh137 April 24 2005 9:54 PM EDT

Ranger, I understand completely, and was attempting to agree... I was focusing on your point about "nerfing" being too late at times.

Considering the game is barely 4 months old, letting an entire month pass when an imbalance seems apparent starts sounding like a 25% head-start for the people benefitting from the imbalance. Sure, in a year it probably won't seem like much, but that won't matter to anyone who threw up their hands in disgust in April 2005.

As for budice only being one, I don't really care. One is too many if your goal is to be at the top of the list. *smile*

[FireBreathing]Chicken April 24 2005 9:56 PM EDT

didn't Todd have around that much defense? If i recall properly, he had roughly 200 million networth and was blocking over 90% of physical. And keep in mind that blocking 90% is 250% more effective than blocking 75%.

Keep in mind that Todd blocked over 90% with AC, and that ToE blocks up to 75%.

[FireBreathing]Chicken April 24 2005 10:00 PM EDT

oh please. For the first 2 weeks ToJs were several times stronger than they are now. Also, range weapons were exceedingly powerful on CB1 for several months before anything happened. Things always even out. eventually.

And maybe..
It could just be *your* fault that you didn't see this oppurtunity and seize it.

[FireBreathing]Chicken April 24 2005 10:12 PM EDT

Lets see you try to put a value on extra strength and dexterity.

Mags April 24 2005 10:14 PM EDT

"It could just be *your* fault that you didn't see this oppurtunity and seize it."

I really don't like this sort of line of thinking. It reduces CB to a blood-thirsty choice of strategy based on whichever is most powerful at the moment. The coolest thing about CB is(or, will be) the rock-paper-scissorsness of it all. A wide variety of strategies, and if any one becomes overpopulated, its scissors grows in popularity until it falls back into line.

A war of SMTOE PR's, or whatever takes over, is not quite the same.

[FireBreathing]Chicken April 24 2005 10:16 PM EDT

All tattoos are overly strong. If we were back in CB1, how much would you pay for an extra minion?

QBsutekh137 April 24 2005 10:17 PM EDT

Chicken, who exactly are you speaking to? And does it really require three posts. *smile*

For the record, Todd-Spydahs's final 70-75 AC points were from Protection. Protection is revamped here. It is an entirely separate layer (read: non-cumulative), and only required level 90K or so to achieve. Additionally, Protection in CB1 had no Dispel working against it.

See? Only needed one post. *grin*

[FireBreathing]Chicken April 24 2005 10:26 PM EDT

fine :/
But it doesn't cost even close to 2.2 billion to block 75%.

Also, I think ToJ is similar to ToE, and just as debatable as ToE in terms of being overpowered.
ToJ gives you another minion, which means AS, GA, Haste will have a much greater effect. ToJ also has endurance which according to some of you guys, blocks 75% of damage (it doesn't). It trains its own hp. Generally, it only takes one or no hits from tanks due to its high dex and evasion.
oh yeah, and it even attacks! :p

QBsutekh137 April 24 2005 10:30 PM EDT

I totally agree about the ToJ having several advantages, but the proof does not appear to be in the pudding vs. ToEs. I don't see single mages sporting ToJs running around doing so well. Do you?

The issue appears to be with a single minion being able to concentrate so much in one spot, and the ToE protecting it all. A ToJ is more effective when other minions are helping to bulk it up, but at that point, dilution has already occured.

CB has always rewarded concentration of focus. Now the ToE makes that concentration more possible and long-lived than ever.

QBRanger April 24 2005 10:31 PM EDT

Yes, but a TOJ has one major weakness: COBF. It has no defense vs that item. So the rock/paper/scissor analogy works.

A SMTOE has no real weakness. Yes, you can say AMF but a single mage has a very high DD spell. I have the highest AMF now at over 290k and don't get over .45 on the high level TOE mages. And the AMF backlash is reduced as well from the TOE.

So your analogy of the TOE to a TOJ is not entirely accurate.

[FireBreathing]Chicken April 24 2005 10:36 PM EDT

decay? could be your scissors.
1 minion teams tend to suck against decay.

QBRanger April 24 2005 10:40 PM EDT


Please look at the SMTOE's.

They all seem to have at least 10k worth of AMF. That easily takes care of decay.

QBsutekh137 April 24 2005 10:41 PM EDT

Excellent point, Ranger.

I hate Cloaks of Balrog Flame too. *smile*

If I had a choice on complete elimination, I would choose to eliminate CBFs from the game far before ToEs. Not that anyone is asking. *grin*

Chocolate Thunder April 24 2005 10:50 PM EDT

The current top 10 in score (a decent indicator of who beats who):
Shield (639887)
The Apocalypse Book (583611)
Nardo Polo (555194)
Black Card Situation (549202)
Jochumia (542166)
Black Belt Jones (542002)
Susan Death (499515)
The Steveh (450861)
DragonSpooker (435391)
Bartlett (424731)

4 of us are evil SMToE mages.
2 use USD
3 lent/rented out their tats.
And Bast obviously cheats but i can't prove it yet.

So basically to be in the top 9, you have to have used one of those methods....

/me thinks 3 nerfs are in order!

QBsutekh137 April 24 2005 10:56 PM EDT

Now you're talking!

I am pretty sure Bast doesn't cheat...check most battles challenged -- she grew that ToJ honestly, and her strategy is hard to fault.

Becoming April 24 2005 11:00 PM EDT

Bah, I would still be up there if I hadn't sold out like a chump. ;)

QBRanger April 24 2005 11:03 PM EDT

Battles as Challenger

Shield (136336)
Bartlett (135958)
The First (132168)
Cougars (131852)
The Steveh (131353)
The Apocalypse Book (128750)
Kaiousama (115022)
Nardo Polo (114666)
HypnoToad (113283)
Becoming (106922)
Black Card Situation (105354)
cromar (105069)

This explains why most of the top 10 scores are there. BCS would be higher if that character was not sold twice and one of those used it for forging. It used to be Cylo and before that I forget whom.

Jochumia has used USD to get where he is but the analomies in the top 10 scores are SMTOE's. The others can be explained simply by fighting a lot of fights.

QBsutekh137 April 24 2005 11:59 PM EDT

Mr. Chuckles before it was Ice Cold Cylo. Might as well keep the historical record intact. *smile* If Chuck had kept at it from the start...well -- tough to beat. He was one of the first to realize the power of the ToE/CoC combination, and he had the high-PR character and high ToE to go along with it.

[FireBreathing]Chicken April 25 2005 1:44 AM EDT

If their AMF is too big for your decay, get AS/GA/Protection.
Decay is still your scissors. If they pull out both rock and paper, you counter with scissors and paper.
Translation- If they have amf, than they're playing a different card which can be countered.

[FireBreathing]Chicken April 25 2005 1:45 AM EDT

And this game isn't about playing rock paper scissors, its about balancing the *4.

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] April 25 2005 1:50 AM EDT

I agree with MAgs that MgS s were introduced to try and combat the amount of damage Mages can do. Originally, I thought they would have a greater impact than they have.

Their penalties make them far to situational to use and are less of a benefit in reducing DD damage than a ToE is.

As an aside, why can't MgS s be used with tattoos? With no physical form (no AC) and no dexterity penalty, how do they get in the way that body armour/cloaks do?

Mags April 25 2005 2:48 AM EDT

I think the belief was that power shields + tattooes on a single minion would be too powerful. Wouldn't you just love to see all those SMTOE's wearing MgS' or the next power shields too?

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] April 25 2005 2:54 AM EDT

But that's just it, a MgS would reduce a tattoo wearing single mages DD spell and enchantments to zero. So even if they could, they wouldn't.

Mags April 25 2005 2:57 AM EDT

I extrapolated "Their penalties make them far to situational to use and are less of a benefit in reducing DD damage than a ToE is. " to suggesting just such a modification, which when re-reading your post, is clearly not the case. Sorry. :D

moser April 25 2005 3:25 AM EDT

Why can't a 'power shield' item be just that, a power you add to an existing shield?

Duke April 25 2005 9:44 AM EDT


sasquatchan April 25 2005 9:52 AM EDT

I totally agree about the ToJ having several advantages, but the proof does not appear to be in the pudding vs. ToE. I don't see single mages sporting ToJ running around doing so well. Do you?

--Chet, April 24 2005 10:30 PM EDT

I believe that is because they all popped over to the tattoo artist and had their ToJ that were pumped up via rentals converted to a ToE. (Yes, I still think the artist should be dropped, and I voted against it. That or a hefty level reduction on the tattoo from the start, not "sometime in May"). Those that benefitted from the rentals to pump up their ToJ before that "feature" was removed still got to have their cake and eat it. (sure, a few had their tattoo dropped to a max of 70% of their PR, but all the work done to level it with out using ones own BA, and getting cash from it.. )

There were, what, 30 or so ToE after Jon auctioned off two lots of 10. Fast forward to after the artist introduction, and now there's 113 .. Go figure. No artist, no problem, supply/demand keeps up, no huge number of mage/ToE players.

And mags, I don't think you can wear a tattoo and a power shield.. Dummy be paid a stupid-tax on figuring that out. Jon did say in the changelog that one couldn't, but I didn't see that until afterwards..

Duke April 25 2005 9:58 AM EDT

Delete the ToE from the game that the only option.

Quark April 25 2005 10:11 AM EDT

Why go as far as deleting it? If you just changed the ToE cap to 50%, it would be more balanced.

QBsutekh137 April 25 2005 10:39 AM EDT

GentlmanLoser, MgSes most certainly do provide AC. The + counts toward AC. The MgS is not a bad little shield up to +25 or +30 or so.

Duke April 25 2005 10:40 AM EDT

cuz ToE on a multiple minion is not much of a issue it really on Single tank and single mage.
So how you make a Nerf that affect only Single minion.

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] April 25 2005 11:31 AM EDT


Oh... Nice Chet. I didn't know that. I was of the opinion that they functioned exactly like DB/CBF pluses. Increases only determined the amount of magic damage they could absorb.

But they get AC on top of that.


QBsutekh137 April 25 2005 11:44 AM EDT

Me too, GL. I was surprised when I saw that. The offset is that at higher + upgrades, an MS will be superior, plus the MS has a nice base AC.

QBJohnnywas April 25 2005 12:12 PM EDT

I'll just confirm that mage shield AC point. Once you hit about +23 or so it starts to get a bit pricey though. The jump from +23 to +24 is about 100k. And having a base AC of 1 is a pain. It's also no real replacement for a ToE (or any other kind of tattoo probably in the long run) or even AMF - you do miss the damage you can do with AMF.

What it is good for is forcing your hand in creating a 'vanilla' minion - only basic stats. It might mean that (again) in the long run you're weaker than a ToA tank for instance but having good basics means you get more benefit from the bonus giving armours. And it is quite refreshing to be playing in such an 'old school' way. I don't really like the tattoos much I've decided...

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] April 25 2005 1:43 PM EDT

Well, if CBF s aren't changed when ToE s are I'm gonna have to give up my tattoo for a CBF. In that case, I'll unlearn BL and replace that with a TSA, put on a MgS and plow my enchantment xp into my core stats.

A nice vanilla minion! Although I won't be hitting those pesky ToA tanks (who spend xp on Str and dex as well...) They be killing themselves on the non resistable massive fire splash my easy (cheap) to upgrade CBF does to them.

I can't see how anyone can think a melee tank can compete versus CBF s without wearing one (or a ToE).

At least my PR will lower.

Unless NW get's factored into it.

I have a feeling may is going to bring a lot of strat changes...

QBsutekh137 April 25 2005 2:46 PM EDT

GL, you put it perfectly -- there is no way for a tank to compete against a CBF without wearing a tattoo or a CBF of his/her own. Not to mention the fact that a large CBF makes mince meat out of ToJs as well (as Ranger pointed out).

So let's summarize what CBFs do:

- neutralize any tank that is not wearing his own CBF, a ToE, or a ToA (assuming the ToA can give the tank enough offense to kill before the fires consume him).
- neutralize FB (to a large extent)
- neutralize other CBFs
- neutralize splash from own team

Of those items, which one adds something balanced to the game? What cool new strategies have CBFs given us? Ah, the "Wall" minion. Yeah, that really adds a lot to the game. A minion who just stands there and doles out pain (or perhaps acts sort of like a tank). Is ANYONE using the CBF in a more imaginitive fashion? Susan Death tried, but eventually gave up and headed for a ToE (with successful repercussions, I might add).

CBFs have mainly boiled down to just competing with other CBFs. Long ago already, Ranger told me an opponent he was facing controlled wins and losses by CBF upgrades. One guy upped his, the other upped his. That's strategy? That's fun? It seems to be nothing more than an elite-ranks initiation. Reach a certain level of play, build a wall. Oh joy.

That is my precise definition of an item imbalance: when everyone needs to have it to remain competitive. And yes, I will be getting one as soon as I have 5-6 million to spend on one (the price keeps rising and I fully anticipate having to spend at least 5 million to get one).

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] April 25 2005 3:21 PM EDT

More eloquent than I Chet!

I don't think ToA's will help other than turning losses into stalemates. It doesn't matter if your tank can do 100/100/10,000 more damage sue to his tattoo, if in one round you can't take the 200K+ damage the CBF splashes back.

And turning a loss into a stalemate would just hurt you even more!

If you're thinking about using either a CBF or a MgS, you might as well use both together. They just complement each other so well in terms of their skill penalties.

But getting back to the original post, it's not just that ToE s provide around 357 pseudo AC, that's just what they would do if used on their own. It's combining a ToE with AC and Protection that really makes them shine.

And to beat them, lot's of smaller amounts of damage isn't as good as a single high amount, so DD will win out.

Maybe Endurance could be changed to only reduce magical damage (including AMF backlash and magic based GA returns, oh and CBF splashes...), or reduce more magical damage than it does physical.

QBsutekh137 April 25 2005 3:41 PM EDT

GL, I Was thinking a big enough tank with ToA could mow down enough of the opposition in ranged, as in later-stage CB1.

But I also wasn't thinking quite clearly. I was thinking that in later-stage play the tanks would have more AC (so wouldn't die and stalemate). I was forgetting that the ToA precludes high AC for the most part...

Caedmon [Revenge of the Forgers] April 25 2005 4:44 PM EDT

In defense of Mage Shields, by the way, they have no two-handed weapon penalty, unlike "normal" shields.

QBsutekh137 April 25 2005 6:00 PM EDT

Really? Hm, I asked Jonathan about that when they first came out, and got the impression that was a bug, not a "feature". Have you tested that out recently?

QBsutekh137 April 25 2005 6:06 PM EDT

Yeah, I confirmed...no 2H penalty with the MgS (Loch is still 2H here, right?) My dexterity was same at the end of the battle as before.

Shhhhhhh, maybe Jon forgot to get it changed. *smile*

slurpz April 25 2005 6:12 PM EDT

yup no dex penalty...one of my farms is using an exec with a MgS. dex stays the same

Barron [CB2BANK Investors Club] April 25 2005 8:10 PM EDT

The ToE is a pain in my butt. My tank generally hits for 50-60k with a mpb of 81k. Against an appropriate size ToE it does only 11-12k damage per hit. Wow! Now that's some armor! I'm actually considering converting my ToA back to a ToE, but I'll wait to see if the nerfs come next month.

Duke April 27 2005 9:45 AM EDT

I remember a month ago there were reply just wait that tank reach a high NW they will rock.

A month after thing got even worse.We cannot keep up with DD and will have a NW/PR link.I see thing getting worse and worse for tank.
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