More ToA Musings (in General)

QBsutekh137 November 28 2005 8:06 PM EST

MegaMan has inspired me to get back to my ToA bashing. Thanks, MM!

I am going to make some musings, then make a daring idea, and then (hopefully) learn a lot as people blast my idiocy. Come on, making fun of idiots is fantastic! I AM A BUSTED RETARD! I WILL CUT YOU WITH A RUSTY SCISOR!

Here are my musings:

- On CB1, there was never any NW/PR linkage. As tanks grew, they got stronger and stronger. Other than a massive PR advantage, a "mature" tank would dominate (e.g. Spid, and now tons of tanks).
- Here, there is a NW/PR linkage. So, should not a "base" mage and "base" tank be equivalent? By "base", I mean a team that buys no BA, where the mage spends all money on gear and the tank spends all money on gear. The teams should be dead even. If not, why not?
- Well, they're not. Hence, the need for the ToA. The ToA is an odd tattoo. It isn't a familiar, it isn't a Rune, and it isn't as straightforward as a ToE. The ToA is fake. A means of trying to level the tank versus mage playing field until tanks could grow more mature via time and/or USD. This has come to pass. Huge tanks (even "natural" one's like Kitty's) are very strong, and are just about the only style of team that has the luxury of being able to beat every other strat (granted, usually not until they are in the Top Ten). There are mage-buster teams out there, but does anyone have a strategy that is a "ToA buster" (and not just by using another ToA)?

On to crazy idea time:

Why can't "base" tanks and mages be made more comparable, and then make the ToA work on _both_. If a minion yields a weapon, the ToA augments as it does now. If the minion has only a DD spell, it augments the magic (in whatever split-out seems reasonable...maybe HP and a percentage of DD?)

I understand a mage has fewer necessary stats, so augmenting a mage could be tricky. If the augmentation was for the DD spell only, that would be a mighty concentrated tattoo. So there are issues. And I have no doubt that DD damage would have to be reduced across the board.

To me, at this point, the ToA seems like a tacit acknowledgment that "yeah, tanks suck". Why must this be so? Why can't straight tanks and mages of equal total PRs draw every time?

Yes, my musings tend toward the single minion team, and I realize the complexity grows (as does the fun!) when minions are mixed and matched. But what if the base minions were evenly matched, and ALL tattoos could be used by ALL teams.

QBJohnnywas November 28 2005 8:15 PM EST

Taking away the ST/DX power of the ToA and turning it into a tattoo that just augments whatever offensive weapon/spell was being used might level it a bit more. Forcing tanks to put XP into ST/DX of a comparable amount to that a mage puts into a DD spell. If you did that you might have to lower the power of the trained DD spell. Give the DD spell a PTH maybe? And increase the amount that ST affects the weapon damage at higher levels possibly? Or make ST /DX cheaper in the XP stakes to balance XP spent on DD spells?

Doing this would level the minions in terms of HP spend. One of the problems with the ToA would appear to be the fact that a tank can put almost all his XP into HP, making absolutely huge minions. So far only NUB mages have managed to catch the tanks in the HP stakes....

Despite this I like the ToA as it is. ;)

QBJohnnywas November 28 2005 8:22 PM EST

Ok, not entirely accurate on the HP standings - but you know what I mean...

Relic November 28 2005 8:23 PM EST

You are seriously asking for a DD spell buff? Let's be serious now. DD damage completely outweighs tank damage without massive NW, period. It would be silly to make mages even more of a viable and cheap strategy, by buffing their DD spell, you eliminate the need for CoI and AG items.

QBsutekh137 November 28 2005 9:14 PM EST

Glory, as I say in my original post, DD damage would have to be reduced to create the mythological "base" tank/mage equality.

Grant November 28 2005 9:23 PM EST

I think non-ToA tanks will be seen to be competitive with ToA tanks, at least on 1 or 2 minion teams. A TSA + EC + MS combo could be extremely attractive.

That's what I'm saving up for, at any rate :)

QBsutekh137 November 28 2005 9:38 PM EST

You really think EC is going to combat the dexterity gap? (it was the only thing you mentioned that might sorta help). The dexterity is the whole story.

AdminJonathan November 28 2005 9:54 PM EST

A tank on a two minion team will easily have more DX than a 4M-team tank + TOA. A 3M-team tank would be in the right ballpark, particularly with a TSA allowing you to pump more DX.

I think you're oversimplifying.

Lumpy Koala November 28 2005 10:23 PM EST

MgS + TSA + EG + EC + HOE + DB/EB

On ET team, with the E learning AMF + AS + any type of Mage Familiar or TOJ

At very high level, this setup is better than TOA tanks.

YOU November 28 2005 10:45 PM EST

Isn't it what i have right now? :P

QBsutekh137 November 29 2005 12:10 AM EST

Yes. I like things simple. Sorry. *smile*

Starseed^Lure November 29 2005 1:32 AM EST

Yes, thanks, MM!! ......*grumble mutter*

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] November 29 2005 3:24 AM EST

Approximate Tank stats on different sized teams.

I'm basing this roughly on the total levels, MPR and Max Tattoo level I have.

At nearly 300K MPR I've a total of around 765K in trained levels. It's over simplified to just split that into different stats, but I'm gonna do that anyway. ;) I've also got a Max tattoo level of around 500K.

A ToA at my max would add (I can't remember the exact percentages, is it 60% to each?) 300K to Str and Dex.

Tank stats with XP split evenly over HP, Str and Dex;

Single Tank: 255K each

Two minion Tank: 127.5K each

Three minion Tank: 85K each

Four minion Tank: 63.75K each.

Using a max ToA for their MPR size, a four minion Tank team would have (on average, with three stats trained evenly) 108.75K more str and dex than a single tank of the same size. For each stat, the Single tank would need around a 42% increase from armour to reach a four minion ToA tanks stats.

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] November 29 2005 3:47 AM EST

Looking back at my post, I think it's interesting to note that at my MPR and Max tattoo level (if the ToA gives 60% to each, I'm sure it's 60% to Dex..) a ToA gives over 100% of the Str and Dex I would have if I've trained just trained HP, Str and Dex evenly. Not including training skills or any enchantments...

Derek November 29 2005 5:30 AM EST

TOA gives 60% STR and 40% DEX, also at high levels it's unreasonable to assume TOA = max tattoo level. Using your numbers but with Tattoo level equal to 70% of Max (even this is probably too high at the top where it's more like 50% I'd guess), a 350k TOA gives 210k STR and 140k DEX

Also, lets assume the best case scenario for a non TOA tank in terms of stat enhancing equipment i.e using TSA, EC, EB's, TG's, HoE and BoM.

A 1M NW investment in each of these gives +33 TSA, +10 EC, +14 EB, +15 TG, +14 HoE and +18 BoM

So thats 10 + 14 -1 = 23% DEX bonus
and 33 + 15 +14 +18 = 80% STR bonus

So adding these bonuses to GL's numbers:

Single Tank: 313.65k DEX and 459k STR
2M Tank: 156.8k DEX and 229.5k STR
3M Tank: 104.6k DEX and 153k STR
TOA Tank: 140k DEX and 210k STR

So the TOA tank that has no learnt STR or DEX comes in somewhere between a 2M tank and 3M tank which seems ok.

Yes, not every tank will use this combination of gear but then again a 1M investment into each item isn't that much and increasing the investment will increase the bonus to STR and DEX possibly allowing some equipment substitutions.

Yes, investing in armor will increase PR but then again if the tank is using an RoE then it won't have to deal with the big increase in PR that a tattoo gives.

Peter at home November 29 2005 6:00 AM EST

As far as I remember there was a nerf and ToA gives only 40% of DX and 60% of ST.

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] November 29 2005 6:33 AM EST

Derek, apples and oranges... Yes ToA tanks can forgo learning natural Str and Dex for HP. But they don't have to. I'm comparing tanks training the same amount of HP, Str and Dex. (For one reason, if you use a ToA, why on earth throw away your Dex advantage by not training natural dex).

Let's assume that the non Tattoo tanks do gain 23% increase to dex and an 80% increase to Str, while the ToA tank gains a 14% increase to Dex and 29% increase to Str. And we'll look at a 70% of max Tattoo.

Single Tank;
Str: 459K
Dex: 313.65K

2 Minion;
Str: 229.5
Dex: 156.825K

3 Minion;
Str: 153K
Dex: 104.55K

4 Minion Team + ToA;
Str: 292.237K
Dex: 212.675K

In this case, it's only the Single Tank that comes off better than a 4 minion + ToA tank team. It should also be noted, we are ignoring the other 3 minions. They could (for arguements sake) contribute to this discussion by providing EC for example. (but then so could the other minions on the 2 and 3 minion teams...)

The single Tank also gains more HPs but again, this is skewed by multiple minions. three meat shields will provide three rounds of total security from a single tank. Than instead of EC, AS could be trained... The list goes on.

I still think it's valid to look at a max tattoo giving more Str and Dex (combined) than natural training (if split even;y over HP, Str and Dex...) will give. With re starts from NCB I'm sure we'll see more max tattoo levels hit.

QBBast [Hidden Agenda] November 29 2005 6:45 AM EST

"(For one reason, if you use a ToA, why on earth throw away your Dex advantage by not training natural dex)."

Because you don't have to? Training 2/3 HP, 1/6 ST, 1/6 DX will get you advantageous ST & DX and huge HP. (or enough ST & DX to stand up to most tanks and enough HP to stand up to most mages, which is not a bad combo, leaving any/all other minions free to add further to the team's total power. )

AdminShade November 29 2005 6:46 AM EST

My character:

PR / MPR: 794,978 / 566,581 Max tattoo: 1,111,000

ST: 573,812/200,000 DX: 431,208/200,000

named ToA lvl 601,020

does this make me all powerful? hardly...

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] November 29 2005 6:49 AM EST

High levels...

The largest ToA in the game (1,365,000) gives an increase of;

Str: 851,760
Dex: 567,840

Wearing the +80% Str and +23% armour from above, a tank would need, to just equal what a ToA would give (In addition to the ToA tanks natural Str and Dex...) natural stats of;

Str: 473,200
Dex: 461,659

Just to equal the bonus the ToA gives. While wearing nothing but high stat increasing armours.

Now take into account the natural Str and Dex on the ToA tank itself...

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] November 29 2005 6:54 AM EST

Ah Bast, but having a massive dex makes you unhittable by all Tanks (if we leave the my NW is bigger than your NW game of weapon pth versus DB out of this) bar other massive dex ToA tanks. ;)

OK, versus mages, it does nothing, you'll be hitting the max attacks anyway... ;)

QBBast [Hidden Agenda] November 29 2005 7:02 AM EST

Fine, leave the ToA as is, and buff up my EC. That makes the ToA just as impervious as ever to all but those who invest in some tankbusting. :P

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] November 29 2005 7:24 AM EST

I'll second that! Boost EC! ;)

QBJohnnywas November 29 2005 7:30 AM EST

Third that - boost EC! It's not like AMF which has it's focus on one place - you're doing around 200k off st/dx with yours right Bast? The same amount level of AMF would block a hell of a lot more damage from a mage and do damage to them in return.


AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] November 29 2005 7:32 AM EST

Shade, restart with the NCB and level your tat some more... >;P

AdminJonathan November 29 2005 9:10 AM EST

max ToA isn't a naturally occurring phenomenon. Compare with a normal ToA instead. :)

Maelstrom November 29 2005 9:13 AM EST

By boosting "EC", do you mean Ethereal Chains or Elven Cloaks? Both would have the effect of reducing the DX difference against ToA tanks...

AdminShade November 29 2005 9:24 AM EST

she meant ethereal chains.

and about comparing with a normal ToA, try mine :p

stats are in the thread already.

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] November 29 2005 9:53 AM EST

Shade, yours is the 15th largest in the game, so if that's normal the 'super sized' ToA's are only causing problems because they are so big? Then maybe they need to be balanced...

Jon, Shades ToA would hit my max! ;)

What's a naturally sized tattoo? One a third of your MPR? But isn't the max tattoo level an indication of normal sizes? Wasn't that why it was implementated? To stop people using over size tattoos?

Therefore, anything at my max should be considered normal, shouldn't it?

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] November 29 2005 9:54 AM EST

Good word that, implementated... I wonder where I dragged that from...

QBJohnnywas November 29 2005 10:12 AM EST

Shade's tattoo is actually smaller than a lot at the level he is fighting at. Shade's ToA was the equivalent of my ToE - grown naturally and currently sitting in the 500k+ area. But people fighting at the same level were boasting at least 100-200k level larger...

Derek November 29 2005 4:16 PM EST

Ok, my example was a simplification, there are many many other factors I didn't take into consideration, here's just a couple:

1) The non TOA tank doesn't have to split xp evenly into HP/ST/DX, if I was a non TOA tank looking to compete in the DX game I would probably go for something along the lines of 1/4 HP, 1/4 ST and 1/2 DX.

2) I doubt many 4 Minion TOA tanks would train 1/3 into HP, ST and DX, most seem to train alot into HP, a reasonable amount into either Bloodlust and Archery, leaving only a small amount to be trained in Dex (or Strength). Yes a non TOA tank still has to consider a skill as well, but it will take up a lower proportion of xp trained. Looking at our example again the TOA tank with 210k ST from his TOA requires a 55k BL or Archery (almost a third of total XP on that minion), allowing for say 1/2 in HP it leaves only about 1/6 to be put into DX or ST.

3) We haven't considered the non - TOA tank using a tattoo, if it doesn't use a tattoo its PR will be much lower than the TOA tank so it isn't really a fair comparison.

There are alot more factors to consider when comparing a TOA tank with non TOA (TOA tank can wear DB's, gets a bonus to PTH etc etc) but I think the addition of the TSA does level the playing field somewhat for TOA vs non - TOA. The STR bonus from the TSA is HUGE, a +50 TSA (which isn't out of the question NW wise) gives a 50% bonus to STR!

I do think it would be possible to build a reasonably normal tank on a 2M or 3M team that can compete DEX-wise with a 4M TOA tank at the same PR.

Josh [Cult of the Valaraukar] November 29 2005 6:34 PM EST

There is always going to be an elite item in every item category, with other items not so great that may be chosen for a certain strategy.

More importantly, there will be an elite item for the entire game. In CB1 it was the ELB, in CB2 its the ToA. Get used to it. Instead of putting so much effort into changing the ToA, think up a strategy that doesn't require one and can still do good. It is possible. And if the thought is USD + ToA = elite, I still have to disagree. If the entire list of top characters is going to be 4 minion ToA tanks. All you really need to do is counter one strategy and you'd become the elite.

One possible thought. Assuming you have 4 equal minions on a character in the area of 1mil MPR, I believe you have the ability to train about 1mil into a single stat. I could very well be wrong, but I'm assuming. 2 of those minions could be EC enchanters with 1mil EC a piece, and reducing what I assume to be somewhere around 800k STR/DX. Now granted you'll have no HP on those minions but do you really need HP if the only minion that can attack is a tank with little to no STR and you have 2 other minions? With those two minions you can do what you want to counter mages and deal damage. And you have your tat of choice depending on the strategy you choose.

If this works. I'll have to ask that this strategy be declared, The Josh Strategy, or short, TJS. =)

At the very least I could see this mixing up the top as characters would begin countering this strategy and leaving themselves open to another.
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