ToE tank: long term impossible? Looking for advice. (in General)

Vaynard [Fees Dirt Cheap] October 18 2005 2:03 AM EDT

Yeah, I know it's not the most common strategy out there. And that's why I love it. Aside from Shadowsparkle's Failure, my Stalker, and maybe a couple of others, there are not many. But it is a good strat, that lets you outgrow even ToA tank teams (as long as you play enough) and take lots of damage.

However, I have to wonder how much longer this strategy will work for me. Already fireball mages with ToE's or FF's can whoop me in a few rounds even without NW as well as 100k MPR below me. So my biggest weakness is magic- especially fireball or CoC, which both deal massive focus damage on one minion. And as we go, my ToE will only absorb so much damage. It will go up slowly, but not nearly enough to keep pace with larger and larger spells, and even weapons.

So what should I do in the long run? I've already dismissed the idea of hiring minions and going ToA- I don't wanna be another cheap imitation team. I'm considering switching to a heavy tank perhaps. Why not?

Option 1: I would probably switch to an Adam or MC, SC, TG, HoD, MS, EB, BoTH, and my AXBow. This would let me have a huge AC, and hopefully large enough EB would let me cancel my dx bonus for the most part.

Option 2: Okay, maybe I should go single ToA tank. I could unlearn much of my natural ST and DX and focus on HP and AMF. I could also go with high penalty armors, such as TG, CML, HoD, and MS. But my AMF would take a hit then. I would probably have to trade my AXBow for an ELBow.

Option 3: You tell me. What should I do? I really don't think my ToE strategy will continue to work as well the higher I go. Things keep hitting harder, and I can only stop so little of it.

Lumpy Koala October 18 2005 2:10 AM EDT

Choice 1 is redundant. If you keep TOE, it's as good or better than having an Adam + SC, as far as damage absorb is concerned. And having TOE let's you have much higher dex.

Shayde October 18 2005 2:23 AM EDT

umm well you could hire 2 minions, an enchanter and a wall, train AMF + GA on the enchanter, since your a ToE team and can withstand lots of damage, "mirror" damage would be a nice way to damage them back.. and the wall.. well a wall with good ac and ToE aura would make your ToE team last even more rounds.. and having more minions means DD damage is split so less damage on your tank :)...

but yeh, what would i know, ive only been playing less than 2 months :)

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] October 18 2005 2:56 AM EDT

The problem is the ToE. It's a fixed reduction, which while great at lower levels when facing smaller damage, is quickly outpaced.

In the higher Ranks, AC will be better than a ToE as it is a percentage reduction and therefore scales with your attackers.

To get the most out of a ToE you have to use it in conjunction with other minions, preferably to give a Wall the small aura.

ToE s also fare better when facing Tanks, as tanks hit more times, but for less amounts than mages. For FB/CoC additional minions could be used to break down the damage making it 'spread' and gaining an aura.

Personally, I think a ToE is a team tattoo, not a single minion one.

MrC [DodgingTheEvilForgeFees] October 18 2005 2:57 AM EDT

First off, I'm going to use a little example from back in CB1.

Remember the ridiculous concept of a meat shield? I used that myself, simply because most people thought it was a waste of EXP. Worked very well.

Now, look around at characters these days and wall minions are common. Because someone finally drove the point home that they are worth using.

I'm not trying to tell you to get a wall. It's strange how everyone likes to have the exact same strategy, it's also boring. I'm simply saying that a ToE tank quite honsetly sounds like a dumb idea. Therefore, I insist you use it! Unique=good (harder for opponents to counter you if you're not using the same strategy as everyone else), so long as you can make it work.

So how are we going to get it to work?
I'm not sure. But a few steps in the right direction would be to drop maybe 150k of DX and put it into AMF.
Why? Because as it is, you are unlikely to be really using your axbow, you already dominate opponents' DX and therefore don't really need it to get two hits. And this way you will either get two hits or be hitting the same amount as they are, either way you're likely to win.
That DX is also wasted against mages, and that's what you're struggling against.

Another idea is to trade that BoNE for a MH. By the looks of it your strategy is to outlast opponents. Just get to melee and take full advantage of your big damage. A MH is more than capable of doing big damage and it will give you a big boost for your VA.

It may also be your ranged damage that is causing you problems. Perhaps just putting more money into it will fix this problem against mages?

Finally, as a last resort I'd suggest you hire another minion, train HP, AMF and VA. Untrain AMF and VA on your tank and you should now be doing great against mages. Yes, I am aware that I said I wasn't going to tell you to get a wall, and ended up telling you to do exactly that. But it's only a last resort.

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] October 18 2005 3:00 AM EDT

"Now, look around at characters these days and wall minions are common. Because someone finally drove the point home that they are worth using."

Hehehehehe... MrC, it's more that Walls are the only type of minion that can really be used with (the now removed) CBF + MgS.

And MgS s are brilliant for reducing magic damage. I'd even go so far to say almost a must.

Remove the restrictions on MgS s and I'm sure you'll see a lot of Walls disapear. :)

MrC [DodgingTheEvilForgeFees] October 18 2005 3:05 AM EDT


It was just an example >.<

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] October 18 2005 3:38 AM EDT


QBJohnnywas October 18 2005 5:15 AM EDT

You have two problems from the mage teams where you're concerned. One is the amount of damage you take in ranged. The other at the score level you're fighting at is the amound of mage teams with dispel magic.

The first thing that comes to mind, echoing Mr C is get yourself a Morg/Both (shame you just missed one of those in auctions for 800k!). Then you could transfer the xp from your VA into your other stats, maybe boosting your AMF? If you boost that then you'll be taking less damage in ranged so you'll last long enough to do your damage in melee.

Vaynard [Fees Dirt Cheap] October 18 2005 5:16 AM EDT

Thanks for the opinions so far. I'm definitely going to have to keep pondering this.

In the long run, I have no doubt AC will make the ToE look puny. Perhaps I'll hire a second minion, give him the ToE, and have him train AMF, HP, and VA. Then my tank can concentrate on HP, ST, DX, his armor, and maybe even a respectable Protection. Of course, I'll have to wait until my stats are massive. Maybe 1 million each?

But I'm still up for listening to you guys. Thanks for all the input so far.

AdminJonathan October 18 2005 9:46 AM EDT

not sure why GL keeps repeating this "ToE quickly gets outpaced" falsity

ToE absorption increases linearly, just like DD damage

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] October 18 2005 9:48 AM EDT

Jon, on my single Mage, I could train xp into my DD spell faster than my Tattoo gained levels. Granted, I never loaned my tat out to power level it.

The spell is a liner increase in damage, so it the ToE. But at a fixed (and slower) rate.

Outpaced by training, outpaced by weapons.

Ilovehellokitty October 18 2005 9:52 AM EDT

I still can't beat Failure. Very awesome strategy !

QBSefton [Black Cheetah Bazaar] October 18 2005 11:48 AM EDT

I personally think a wall is the way to go here. high AC with a MgS. First, with high HP it will divide those pesky fireballs, second in front of the tank, it will take all magic missles, and third on CoC it takes the brunt. Also there is not better feeling than watching you opponent whittle away your wall while you attack from behind it. Only ex and ax bows will get around the wall, so in most cases you are forcing them to deal with the wall first tank second. Lastly, what is the cost for your new minion? What ever it is, take 1/3 of that and that is how many untrained exp you get (which is 1/9 of the exp on your highest exp having minion) My gut tells me, that unless you dump all of it into the HP of the wall it will be woefully underpowered by comparison trained in EDs, EOs, or even DDs. You end up with a second rate enchanter that most DM's will run over, or a slight add on to existing EOs. But with all of it cranked into HP, adding a bunch of AC without fear of damaging stats, and a MgS, I think you will find it effective. As a side note to that, train a little ST and DX, give him little ranged and melee weapons, and use him to sweep up any no HP having enchanters and mages with 20 DX and 20 ST :)

AdminJonathan October 18 2005 12:04 PM EDT

GL: yes, you can increase DD faster, but (assuming the xp trained to DD doesn't vary) the ratio of DD:lvl is constant

that's what "both linear" means

AdminJonathan October 18 2005 12:05 PM EDT

... that said, I wouldn't recommend a ToE for a single tank character.

AdminQBnovice [Cult of the Valaraukar] October 18 2005 12:12 PM EDT

Heavy tanks are back! ditch the ToE (or better yet hire another minion to train AMF/ Prot or VA and slap the ToE on them. Give your tank an MgS and as much high AC / STR boosting items as you can, since fighting the high lvl ToA tanks is out of question, go mage hunting and trade the Axbow for an elb. With the possible combined protection of Heavy AC, a ToE and a well trained Prot, you could easily find your self killing off mages above your PR.

QBJohnnywas October 18 2005 12:39 PM EDT

The mage shield high AC wall as a second minion is where I would go. Keep the ToE and then chuck as much AC onto that wall as possible. If you're determined to keep the ToE you need to maximise it's effect as much as possible and to do that you need lots of HP and damage reduction.

This is a typical round from one of my battles - this one is versus 'The Slayers', a team that I beat regularly who beats up on Glory's top 5 character on a regular basis lately.

'Giga Slave takes damage from his own Fireball (51524)!
Giga Slave's Fireball hit Mist Amongst The Trees [5132], Dinas Bran [5658], Jack Crow [17695], Chaos String [20832], Ragna Blade [34254]'

Two things about this that may help you out:

Jack Crow is wearing the ToE, Mist and Dinas are the mage shield walls, each with over 200 AC. There is a 250k level AMF at work as well.

Firstly, look at the difference in the damage taken. Over three times more by the ToE mage than the walls. The second thing to consider with this battle is the FB team's friendly fire. If you maximise the ToE, ie make it work properly by making you survive a long time you will find that FB mages kill themselves.

I can sometimes beat Black Card Situation. He has pretty much twice the MPR and PR that my char has. How do I do it? By surviving into 5 or more rounds. If a team has more than one minion and a FB mage who lasts a long time they will kill themselves if they go further than 5 rounds....

Just stuff to consider....

QBOddBird October 18 2005 1:06 PM EDT

Probably the fact that you have it on a single minion character.

I took advantage of the ToE by putting it on an enchanter in front, adding HP, and letting the ToE's reduction make the enchanter into a ranged shield. Aura helps the back guy, and he gets to wear extra armor.

Having an enchanter would also let you use a MgS, which would stop the mages from having you for lunch.

Just food for thought. Check my character if you like, the strategy is quite effective.

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] October 18 2005 2:45 PM EDT

Jon, you just made my night! :D

Maybe I chose the wrong phrase with out pace then, but a characters potential to inflict damage, be it from a linear DD spell to a physical weapon increases faster than the ToE s ability to soak it.


Ilovehellokitty October 18 2005 3:30 PM EDT

Jonathan, 12:05 PM EDT
... that said, I wouldn't recommend a ToE for a single tank character.

Can someone please convince Failure to switch to non-TOE sing tank, please? Even Jonathan doesn't think it is a good idea at all :P

/me is trying to help.

QBRanger October 18 2005 4:02 PM EDT


Let me explain to Kitty why she loses to Failure:

1) Failure has DB's you don't.

2) Much Much higher dex on the tank

3) NW 51 Million on 1 minion vs your 38 Million on a few minions

Thats the reason. Also your MH is not that great x wise so his TOE is reducing your damage quite a bit, while your taking full damage from his BoNE.

If you got DB's like Failure OR upgrade your MH a bit, you would easily win.

AdminJonathan October 18 2005 5:55 PM EDT

"a characters potential to inflict damage, be it from a linear DD spell to a physical weapon increases faster than the ToE s ability to soak it."

no, that is completely wrong.

if a ToE absorbs a 60% of someone's DD, then 500k PR later the ToE will still absorb 60% of that DD, assuming everyone keeps investing XP in the same ratios.

I don't know how I can be plainer than this.

QBJohnnywas October 18 2005 5:59 PM EDT

So, what you're saying Jonathan is that if I keep fighting with my ToE team and my opponents keep fighting with their team all at the same rate, my ToE will be as effective in my battles at any point along the way as it is now? There is no decline in it's effictiveness? No plateau?

QBJohnnywas October 18 2005 6:00 PM EDT

*effectiveness lol

AdminJonathan October 18 2005 6:12 PM EDT

weapons are a bit trickier than DD, especially at the top where USD pumping skews things

but for DD it's very cut and dried; there is no loss of effectiveness

QBJohnnywas October 18 2005 6:19 PM EDT

Thanks for confirming that. =)

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] October 18 2005 8:05 PM EDT

"if a ToE absorbs a 60% of someone's DD, then 500k PR later the ToE will still absorb 60% of that DD, assuming everyone keeps investing XP in the same ratios."

I get that. The problem is the investment level of XP is not keep in the same ratio. It *can* be, but a Mage charcater, especially a Single Mage, is able to invest more XP in thier DD spell than the tattoo gains in the same amount of time.

For example. I have a 200K ToE that I assume reduces (I'll go with 15% here to be generous) 30,000 from every attack (Ignoring the 75% cap).

I have a 200K FB that does (for ease, 1/2 it's level to a single target) 100K. The FB would reudce 30K from it, or 30%.

If both the ToE and FB advance at the same rate, to say 300K the ToE would reduce 45,000 from 150,000. Or 30%. Keeping the ToE on a even reduction to the DD damage it faces.

But, (Although I have no data to back this claim up) I'm 100% sure that in the time it takes a Tattoo to level 100K, you get enough possible xp to train more than 100K into a DD spell. Some might, some won't. But you can still increase your damage potential faster than a ToE grows to absorb it.

Maybe someone could do some analysis over time to prove me wrong! ;)

But the only way I can see ToE and DD increasing together in equal measures is if ToE s gain levels at the maxmimum rate spending all gained xp in a single stat would (So if you started at base, with a base tattoo, but the time the tattoo was level 100, you would only be able to have one stat at 100 *if* you trained all your xp into that one stat), or if Tattoo leveling and the xp it gains is somehow tied (in a so far unrevealed mechanic) to the xp you train and how you train it, not the xp you gain from winning a fight. But that doesn't gell with casual observations that at least in my case, I was able to gain more levels on a couple of my stats than my tattoo did.

I hope this makes sense, it's late and I have a cat tray to go empty... :(

AdminJonathan October 18 2005 10:22 PM EDT

you say you get it, then you prove that you don't

quit spreading disinformation and go back to remedial math class

I think that's the only solution.

QBOddBird October 18 2005 10:28 PM EDT

I think what Jonathan's trying to say in a plainer sense is that at least with DD, the ToE damage reduction will piggyback ride the DD spell's linear increase. With weapons, dumping in USD affects it, but the DD spell can't outpace it.

At least, that's what my simple little brain got out of it. I shouldn't know, I hated maths. Never went past Cal and never will.

Derek October 18 2005 10:39 PM EDT

GL put it this way - lets say a single mage can learn two levels of FB for every point level of ToE. Both start out at 0 for simplicity.

The FB will always be twice the size of the ToE, the ratio between the FB and ToE will always be the same (1:2), therefore the ratio between the damage the ToE stops and the damage the FB inflicts will always be the same (since FB damage is proportional to FB level and ToE damage reduction is proportional to ToE level).

So the ToE will always reduce a fixed percentage of FB damage regardless of the levels of FB and ToE.

QBRanger October 19 2005 12:25 AM EDT

I think what GL is trying to say is that a TOE has a predetermined xp/level gain from a battle. But a FB mage can determine to put as much xp as s/he wants to into FB and HP (or other skills/spells)

Therefore the FB mage can raise the level of his DD spell faster than the levels of the TOE can raise, thereby outstripping its ability to protect.

So, while both are linear in their growth and effect, the DD spell caster can raise his spell faster than the TOE can grow.

GL, correct me if I can wrong.

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] October 19 2005 2:01 AM EDT

That's it Ranger. And Jon, you could always help by pointing out where I'm wrong, rather than being insulting.

Derek October 19 2005 2:17 AM EDT

I think Jon's problem was with the statement you made which was -
"The problem is the ToE. It's a fixed reduction, which while great at lower levels when facing smaller damage, is quickly outpaced."
Which is slightly misleading as the TOE isn't outpaced as such, rather it just sucks against massive FB's regardless of whether fighting at low or high PR's.

QBJohnnywas October 19 2005 4:33 AM EDT

The damage reduction of a ToE is a percentage reduction - and therefore will remain the same percentage no matter what size the tattoo.

So, providing that your growth is matching your opponents - where mage's are concerned - you will block the same percentage.

Obviously there are variables to consider - your opponent has the opportunity as GL says, to invest more XP into their damage than the ToE grows. But the percentage of damage blocked will remain the same.

This is not a weakness in the ToE, simply a fact of the game. Some people will be able to outpace you because of their choice of investment into damage output.

QBsutekh137 October 19 2005 10:46 AM EDT

Disinformation is exceedingly easy to pull off when the only person who knows the "truth" gives the facts out in dribs and drabs.

I have absolutely no idea how the ToE works, and could never figure it out no matter how hard I tried. I was under the distinct impression that it was not just a straight % reduction...that there was some sort of ceiling on all that. I just know that against smaller blows it rocked, and against larger blows it sucked.

Here is what the Wiki (which is about the same as the text from meta-stats) has to say about the ToE:

Reduces damage taken. Aura affects companions to one-third of the same degree. (similar to Protection)

Let me translate:

"Reduces damage in a way of which we really have no idea. Aura also affects companions, though since we don't know fully how the main thing works, the aura is obviously a mystery too. Oh, and it is similar to Protection, another spell we have no idea on how much it actually reduces damage."

Gosh, I wonder how disinformation gets spread so easily?

(Pardon the grumpiness, but I consider GL a very good friend and a tremendous CB asset, so I feel every bit as insulted as he does.)

QBSefton [Black Cheetah Bazaar] October 19 2005 12:29 PM EDT

My question is this Sut, did Jon give away a some information on the nature and or speed in which a tattoo grows, or simply state the mathamtically obvious which is that if fireball does X damage and ToE reduces Y damage, then if both grow at equal levels, the percentage stays the same.

AdminJonathan October 19 2005 12:40 PM EDT

why is this so hard to understand?

you keep pulling out this "the DD guy can dump more xp in" as if you have some magic infinite-xp hack.

all my explanations have been predicated on "xp ratios don't change" to simplify things. that doesn't mean the DD guy can't dump 100% of xp into DD, it only means that if he's going to, he has to have done it constantly. it just makes the math simpler.

let me bust out some really simple algebra here, since I know at least two of the people saying I'm just being mean here can follow it and maybe then the light will dawn.

DD works like this: dmg = k1 * lvl1. _on average_. k1 is a constant. That is what linear means.

ToE works like this: absorbed = k2 * lvl2. k2 is also a constant.

So far you're with me, right? Nothing new here. The only simplification here is we're assuming the ToE isn't hitting its absorption cap.

Now here's where xp gain comes in. _it doesn't change the fundamental linearity here._

lvl1 = N1 * time

that is, over time, the DD level is proportional to the % of xp you invest in it. (here I'm assuming that char1 and char2 gain the same amount of xp over time, so we can just say it's a function of time instead of xp gained.) This is a slight oversimplification since one point of DD costs more at a higher lvl, but past a certain point it starts to go up _really_ slowly so we'll just treat that as constant too.

Now for the ToE:

lvl2 = k3 * time

here the user has no control over k3; it's just the inherent tattoo lvl constant.


dmg / absorbed = k1 * N1 * time / k2 * k3 * time = k1 * N1 / k2 * k3 = k4 * N1

where k4 obviously = k1 / (k2 * k3)

I.e. _ToE effectiveness vs DD does not depend on time at all_ which is what I've been saying the whole time. It only depends on N1 but if you hold that constant -- even at 100% of xp, I don't care -- like I've been saying this whole time, the ToE effectiveness stays constant.

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] October 19 2005 12:52 PM EDT

Sef, that is my quandary. I agree that if both Tattoo and DD grow at the same rate, the percentage reduction remains the same. I even provided a quick example.

But I'm still sure that it is possible to increase the rate of your DD growth above that of a ToE. Which must then lead to the DD spell outpacing the ToE.

I can understand Jons reluctance to give away game mechanics, I've worked out what I can about how the ToE works (I can't remember exactly, but it's in an old post..), more than that I can't work out.

If my understanding is incorrect, by all means explain to me where I've gone wrong, constructive criticism will better everyone's understanding of the subject. But to dismiss how I think a process works with an insult doesn't help any one.

QBSefton [Black Cheetah Bazaar] October 19 2005 1:00 PM EDT

Well I am far from a math genius but I do know that if you can fill in all the other data, the k "constants" can be determined :)

[Tranquility]-USDForger [Azn Forgesmith] October 19 2005 1:02 PM EDT

I love it when Jon puts things into math form. So much easier to understand :P

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] October 19 2005 1:04 PM EDT

Thanks Jon!

Sorry to have been a pain! :)

QBsutekh137 October 19 2005 1:08 PM EDT

To round out the thread (and illustrate my legendary laziness), can someone re-mention what the absorption cap on the ToE is?

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] October 19 2005 1:12 PM EDT

It reduces some where around 10% of it's level (maybe between 9-15%). The amount reduced is capped at 75% (Now I'm questioning myself.. Was the cap changed to 70%?) of the damge inflicted.

QBsutekh137 October 19 2005 1:14 PM EDT

The 70-75% sounds familiar.

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] October 19 2005 1:20 PM EDT

Cap is 75%. AMF Backlash reduction is 5.75% of Level. Normal Damage reduction is higher than this. :)

Untouchable October 19 2005 8:46 PM EDT

you are correct Vanyard, having a ToE on your tank efectivly reduces the amount of damage taken from a FB mage, thus giving you the advantage.... :D

(i love talking like im smart, but it's true lol)
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