Ranger's thoughts on PL. (in General)


QBRanger September 12 2006 7:20 PM EDT

PL is a very tricky skill, not one I think any of us completely understand how to use best.

Here are some thoughts I have had on it:

1) If your strat depends on GA damage, then PL is certainly not for you. Take NWO. He relies on GA for a big part of his damage. If he used PL, then there would be no GA done on the PL part.
2) Using PL on a Wall with high AC or MR is not the best of ideas. If you do that, then your bleeding HP to those low AC enchanters/mages especially during FB and COC blasts. Yes, it may help them stay up another round or 2, dispersing the DD damage, however in the long run, the bleeding of HP from the Wall is the antithesis of what a Wall actually should be doing.
3) PL works great on a low AC minion, with some HP especially if you have a high AC/MR minion. This lets you get both minions HP for the expenditure of one minion's armor.
4) In my mind there is a debate whether PL is helpful or harmful vs FB/COC. Some times I think helpful, since your letting your other minions live longer, dispersing the damage over more minions, but then I think it is worse since your bleeding HP to low AC enchanters. I am leaning to the harmful but cannot yet completely prove it.
5) It used to be needed vs axbows and exbows, however with the recent changes, just use an AOI on your tank and you should be fine vs those weapons.
6) PL can of course, backfire. Some people count on having 3 blockers for their mage/tank. With PL on a minion, that minion may die before becoming a blocker. So be careful with the level of PL you use.
7) The correct level of PL: I personally would have it to about 1/2 the maximum blow done to the minion receiving damage. Not to the MPB since that will be wasting xp. Not many times will you take a maximum blow, but you certainly will take 1/2 max blow. Better expenditure of the xp.
8) On a low AC team, or one composed of only mages and enchanters, it might not be best to use PL. On such a team, it may be far better just to use the xp towards your enchantments, boosting their effects. The same can be said of a tank team with 3 low AC enchanters.
9) PL should almost never be used on a mage or tank. Use the xp to boost their damage dealing ability.
10) Some may say that your taking 9 actual damage for every 10 done, so PL is great. However, using PL for that reason may not be advised, since the xp can be used to boost enchantments as in point 8 above. Another 50k in AS might offset the 10% less damage you take using PL while that minion is alive.
11) Putting PL on a 20 HP enchanter hoping your AS will booster its HP is not advisable since DM and wreck that strat and your not getting any benefit from the PL. However the one exception to that rule is for those that use the ROS, and possibly those with super high AS's like Crisis once had.
12) These are just my thoughts, please feel free to critique it.

AdminQBnovice [Cult of the Valaraukar] September 12 2006 7:24 PM EDT

Well said, I've always been of the mind that PL had a serious downside verses spread damage, it always appeared to be it's only balancing factor to me.

QBsutekh137 September 12 2006 8:37 PM EDT

I agree with everything, except the FB/CoC thing... If the PL is being used solely to give damage dealers just one more round, then it doesn't matter what kind of attack it is: the PL minion is simply a bleed-off valve.

That is, unless the PL minion has enough MPR to do something else useful. If not, then a PL sink and a kill-slot function are as good as any. *smile*

QBRanger September 12 2006 8:40 PM EDT

Sut,

Yes I thought about that, but if you can get enough PL to save your tank 1 round, you should be able to use that XP in a better enchantment to boost your tank, such as a VA/Haste/As etc...

And someone commented on the VA side effect of PL, that is nerfs opponents VA.. I consider that a nice side effect, but not one to use or not use PL.

PoisoN September 12 2006 8:55 PM EDT

1) Wrong. According to the statistics GA is my worst damage dealer ;-)

QBRanger September 12 2006 9:01 PM EDT

Poison,

A lot of TOA tanks have a lot of problem with your GA. When I was running TAB, your GA gave me a world of fits. So much so I had to unlearn dex and be vulnerable to Jayuu at the time. Only by pumping up my DB's and my axbow did I finally beat him.

While your GA is not a major damage dealer for you, it certainly, IMO, is a big part of your strategy. Again, PL for your character would be foolish as you obviously know.

QBRanger September 12 2006 9:03 PM EDT

'1) If your strat depends on GA damage, then PL is certainly not for you. Take NWO. He relies on GA for a big part of his damage. If he used PL, then there would be no GA done on the PL part.'

Perhaps that should be change to

1) If your strat PARTIALLY depends on GA damage, then PL is certainly not for you. Take NWO. He relies on GA for a SOME of his damage. If he used PL, then there would be no GA done on the PL part.

QBsutekh137 September 12 2006 9:31 PM EDT

Agreed, Ranger. I am talking about, oh, say, a huge single minion buying a second minion, needing a tattoo splot and help for the damage dealers. PL/HP is about the only thing that can make that worthwhile.

That and the kill-slot of course. *wink*

QBSefton [Black Cheetah Bazaar] September 12 2006 9:39 PM EDT

I have to agree on all points Ranger, and a few of them I can speak from experience. When I had 3 minions (which I pretty much started with) I had the PL on my wall. I soon realized this was foolish as it let damage in the back door circumventing my High AC by directly funneling damage from low AC minions into the wall. So I thought I know, I will add the 4th minion, and get his PL above the walls, that way, it will function first, then the wall can help out once we get to melee. This is wrong as that one crutial round in where the PL runs out, the other one wont pick up the slack, effectively exposing the needed protected minions to the full brunt of attacks. So I then unlearned the PL on the wall.

I trained DM to fight GA. The side benefit was it crushed all those people who trained AS/PL in hopes of gaining all the HP from AS to support PL, my team now loves those guys.

I will add this, I think the best thing to do with PL is make that guy your mage buster, put the TSA and the MGS on him. Why not? As said by those who know more about it than I, high AC on the wall is almost as effective as any mage buster gear, so giving the wall high AC equipment makes sense, and I think putting the mage buster gear on the PL minion makes sense. It also FORCES you to learn just the base protection, and train only HP and PL, which is nice considering the 20 million directions I want to go at once.

Now the "radical" part, I put the mage buster gear on the PL minion, then put him in back. Now wait, hear me out. You cannot put a damage dealer there, so if you put a low AC enchanter in back, the PL funnels that to the PL minion. So he is going to take as much damage as the PL allows from those MM's. But if the PL guy has mage busting gear, then the MM is drastically reduced before that minion takes the damage, in effect actually reducing the damage he takes when compared to what a low AC minion funnels in. If the MM kills the PL guy, which it will eventually, it actually take longer for him to die, than if the low AC enchanters funnel it in. Test it yourself, I did.

So again I agree with your thoughts Ranger and even added one of my own :)

PoisoN September 12 2006 10:07 PM EDT

I think I could almost live with that new wording. But as soon as PL does not absorb all damage done in a battle (PL minion absorbs less than damage done / dies) GA and PL *could* work together.

Say Evil Minions hits for 500k damage. If good PL minion absorbs 300k, GA could still reflect 200k. Maybe this could even be a nice and wanted effect (vs. "GA has reduced effect when its level is low relative to the damage done.")? But this whole thing causes me headaches and I'm not sure about the details & numbers ;-D

Rubberduck[T] [Hell Blenders] September 12 2006 10:26 PM EDT

I pretty much agree on all points but have some comments on a few.

4) Yes it can make you worse versus FB/CoC and it is not easy to discern how much worse/if it is always that way. I think the ToE is the tattoo it can really backfire with as your PL minion can die earlier giving less spread and more chance of your ToE being overwhelmed earlier in the fight.

7)I agree MPR of opponents is far too high but I'm not sure training it to any ratio of opponents mpb is the best way to go. As you say in point 10 the xp is often much better spent in HP/ enchantments. The rate you want will depend on your opponents blow size but also the HP the PL minion has/gets. My bottom line is does the PL minion die before the damage dealer it is absorbing for, if it does you probably have enough PL.

QBRanger September 13 2006 2:24 AM EDT

13) PL can work on a specialized type of minion, the PL/HP "mage Buster" type of minion. Such a minion uses a TSA/MgS and may have a base protection. Designed to live long vs MM but supply the PL to the wall or tank/mage in front of it if needed vs physical damage characters. In a 3 or 4 minion team, this would only really work if you have a high AC 'wall' in front taking the physical damage.

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] September 13 2006 2:24 AM EDT

"And someone commented on the VA side effect of PL, that is nerfs opponents VA.. I consider that a nice side effect, but not one to use or not use PL."

It also nerfs your VA. A minion training PL doesn't get any HP back from VA or a VA wepaon.

It put my plans of having PL on a Tank with VA to keep his HP topped off to rest. ;)

QBRanger September 13 2006 2:32 AM EDT

14) Remember you cannot use PL on a minion and have that minion leech with VA or a VA weapon. So be careful using it on a minitank type character. As stated in rule 9, it should almost never be used on a primary damage minion. The side effect of PL nerfing your opponents VA ability is a nice side effect, but it is not something to learn PL solely for.
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