CoC - Left out in the cold? (in General)
Simple: Is there any situation or strategy where CoC is superior to MM?
Complex: Ranger and I got into a debate over whether when using a ToE, is CoC or MM better. Ranger presents some convincing arguments that MM is better. Unfortunately for me, my NCB is too disimilar to my main team strategy to make an apples to apples comparison and changing from CoC to MM on my main strategy would cost me well over 250K exp. So I pose the question to the masses. Is there a strategy where CoC is superior to MM?
If the answer is no, well that is sad. Decay will always have its place. Fireball certainly has its place. Magic Missile has its place. Does Cone of Cold? I mean, when anyone talks about adding DD spells everyone trots out the 4 current choices. But if CoC is so inferior to Magic Missile, then that is not much of a choice. We all know where Decay belongs, and honestly with less than say three minions we all know where Fireball belongs. So are we really down to Fireball for 2 minions or less and Magic Missile for 3 minions or more? If so that is no choice at all.
I think one of the GREAT things about AMF and DM is, there is not clear winner in the which one should I choose. It is almost strategy specific. Same can be said about the many ED's. But if our DD's are reduced from a even choice of 4 (ok really a choice of 3) to if less than 3 minions Fireball and more than 2 minions Magic Missile, well either get rid of CoC and replace it with something that is a choice or make it better.
I will add to the upcoming change month, that with 3 DD choices, that still is not very much, and I would like to see more choice in DD spell option. If you consider how many choices a tank based team has, 3 DD's pales in comparison.
You'd have to setup a very specific situation for CoC to be more effective...
any time AMF comes into play CoC is at a serious disadvantage...
It's true that mage don't have enough diversity. Look at tank, they have a multiple choice on what weapon to choose and what skill to take (and it seems like dualweapon will be had).
I see multiple strategy with a tank, but with a mage, it' always a evasion fireball or a double MM.
how can you be stronger than other mage if you alway have to build the same strategy than other cause there are the only one good.
Well that is sort of my point, I setup what I considered to be the best possible strategy to leverage CoC and I am being told that still MM would be better. Without a way to easily test it myself, it fairly speculative, but Ranger is very convincing. So what would be the strategy where CoC would be better if not the one I am using on Sefton?
With the ToE, the Mage busting PL battery in back, and the CoC protected by an AoI, that is about the best possible set up I can think of to a) last to melee and b) do some damage when I get there.
So I would like to see a strategy that is very specific, and shows CoC as better choice than MM.
November 8 2006 12:03 PM EST
For my strat, during the free untrain time, I tried switching my COC mage to MM and the MM seemed to work better. I left it as COC however. I did this because:
a) Mages have been throughly hosed and I was sure at some point Jon would even it out.
b) COC is obviously the black sheep of the family and needs some love thrown its way. I figured the next change month would hopefully involve some kind of change to the spell and I didnt want to get caught having to untrain and relearn back to COC.
c) I'm a stubborn guy who doesn't like changing his strat.
We'll see if "a" and "b" come true.
November 8 2006 12:10 PM EST
An old team of mine used to do pretty well. CoC ToE mage, AMF enchanter, TWO mage shield walls. Not too dissimilar to your current team there Seft....
It worked really well against the then fashionable Single FB mage with DM and FF. Having no ED's on the team meant that a large DM was instantly useless. The walls and their mage shields and the ToE helped spread FB's attack across the team, seriously minimizing it. This meant that my team was able to last into melee where the two FB attacks would burn each other into a crisp with friendly fire. Or where CoC would unleash huge damage against the mostly single foes I was hunting.
It worked well enough that I could take on opponents twice my size.
If I were to go mage I would probably try it again.
Both spells have the plus points and downsides. CoC has a huge amount of damage to consider, even when it's spread across multiple minions. However not starting until melee means that you need some serious damage reduction going on to ensure it works how you want it. But the average Morg-tank team does just that.
MM is more like archery, big damage but unleashed straightaway. However the way it targets, front to back means that you can protect yourself from it on a multiple team really easily.
Given the choice I'd personally go for CoC, but then I've always been about creating a team that can last past the first three rounds. And I'm fond of specializing where opponents are concerned. But if I was to say what's best for the upper levels, then I'd say the more damage you can do early on the better.
Versus Single Targets, MM does the least damage out of the three DD spells. CoC the most.
All we have to do is work out how much the three ranged rounds give MM, then we can say if your fight lasts longer than 'x' rounds, CoC will do mor damage overall than MM.
CoC is also better when facing an AC/ MgS/TSA rear minion. MM would get bogged up on it, CoC at least damage the rest of the team. ;)
GL, I hope Ranger will see this thread and post here, because he is very articulate in saying why what you posted simply is not true. He has tested it, I have not. I agree with you in principle and in theory. Your reasoning is exactly why I went with CoC from the start over MM. The predictable nature of MM can be used against it, and CoC does more damage and spreads the damage. But Ranger offered me compelling arguments against those ideas in chat, and I would be doing a great disservice to try to reiterate them here myself.
November 8 2006 2:03 PM EST
Up until yesterday I swore by CoC on my AoI mage, and then realized I had a buttload of xp that wasn't even being used for 3 rounds. (which can really be a big difference). Sad to say as much as I loved CoC, with it's current setup, it's too much of a cost vs. output ratio.
Sef, if we assume that the three DD spells were designed to have have equal Damage at the start of CB2, I can only find two changes to DD damage in the Changelogs;
"increased CoC damage 40%
Jonathan, January 27 2005 10:51 PM EST
enjoy, you 3.9% of DD users :)"
"Jonathan, September 22 2005 8:57 PM EDT
FB damage reduced by ~20%
MM damage reduced by ~16%
CoC damage reduced by ~14%"
CoC has been buffed and has had the least reduced. It has to have more Damage Potential than MM.
Unless MM was designed to do more damage than CoC from the beginning, but I'm sure this wasn't the case in CB1. :/
But, the increase of an extra ranged attack has increased MM overall damage (with a 30% penalty to that rounds).
November 8 2006 2:26 PM EST
There are many reasons MM is better than CoC, but I will state the ones I think are most important.
1) Let us examine the following combat : CoC mage vs FB mage: FB mage gets 3 free attacks while the COC mage gets none.
Now to use a CoC mage most people admit to needing to use a TOE to live long enough to start to cast. However most FB mages now use a SF. So that is 3 free rounds of damage before you even get 1 round of damage in.
Now if that CoC mage was a MM mage, you would get 3 MM's in, possibly killing the mage or the familiar before melee rounds even start.
Result: Less total damage to you over the battle AND better chance to win.
IE vs NWO if I were a CoC mage, I would be taking 6 magic missiles (3 from his mage and 3 from his familiar). With MM, I take out his familiar in round 2 or 3 of missile, thereby lowering the damage he does to me.
Yes, in a longer battle, you will do more damage with CoC, but remember it is not only the damage you do, but the damage done TO you. If you take less damage, the greater it is you will live long enough to damage your opponent.
Versus a lot of my opponents, my MM takes out a damage dealer by round 1 of melee. Thereby lowering the damage done to me.
2) Less AMF damage: So will say "what??". But it is true. Lets say someone has a 1M CoC and a 1M level MM. The damage they both do are different. The CoC will do more total damage. Thereby the AMF will be higher at the same 0.xx AMF. The % AMF does splashback damage is based on level AMF vs level DD spell. However, the damage the AMF does is based on the damage the DD spell will do (subject to AC, prot, and TOE).
Therefore I take far less damage using a TOE with MM than using CoC. Now the kicker. The TOE has a cap it can lower damage. With CoC, I was finding I was frequently over that cap when going against high AMF opponents. So I was taking a portion of the AMF damage as full damage. With MM, the TOE easily covers the AMF backlash. Therefore I have more hp left to survive vs GA. If you are not using a TOE, the damage will be less but remember the MM is doing less overall damage than CoC. This point is primarily for TOE users, which almost all CoC mages are.
3) As stated in point 1 above, with MM you have the chance to kill an opponents damage dealer before melee rounds start. Therefore you may take less damage---therefore you can possibly decrease healing costs. Over time, that can add up to tons of cb2 given a lot of people that buy their BA fight over 1.2k battles a day.
November 8 2006 2:49 PM EST
and i saw a change that gave MM an extra round of firing... to adress GL's latest point
Thank you Ranger!
So what could "fix" it without overpowering it?
Obviously it could start a little sooner.
I was thinking about some sort of variable damage based upon minion order, where the one in front took a little more damage and the one in back took a little less. Something that would penalize all of the AoI hiding minions stuck in front of the battle order. Magic Missile hurts from the back, CoC hurts from the front, something like that.
Thats just some off the cuff ideas, if someone would like to take the idea and run with it, that would be great.
Remember the end result is NOT to make CoC more powerful than MM, just make it an actual choice of equal power.
Another thought, what if it simply got a reduction in AMF backlash damage, or increase in apparent power when AMF was applied such that the 0.XX affect of AMF would be less for CoC and MM of equal levels?
November 8 2006 3:01 PM EST
How about something completely different for CoC: a slight damage reduction, perhaps 5 or 10%; but that percentage of xp becomes Protection, in much the same way as the Morg has a built in VA, or UC has evasion. A fixed level, (20) perhaps, that stacks with trained Protection.
Would perhaps offset the damage you take in the first three rounds a little....
November 8 2006 3:07 PM EST
Next thing will be people asking for decay to be amplified...
Not sure what that is supposed to mean th00p. What I am asking for is some equality between Magic Missile and Cone of Cold such that, its not just either Fireball or Magic Missile depending on the number of minions you have.
If you believe them to be already equal, please show me a strategy that makes Cone of Cold to be the better or even equal choice to Magic Missile.
November 8 2006 3:18 PM EST
I'm just saying, maybe they aren't all made to be equal - if they were, decay would obviously be used a lot more. Shouldn't we just leave it be?
Well again, start a mage team th00p, with 4 minions, what DD will you choose? Start a mage team with 1 minion, what DD will you choose? If you answer is MM and FB respectively, and if everyone's answer is MM and FB respectively, then why even have CoC at all? Decay is a special animal. It has its place and will be used in its place. How many mages teams do you know that Decay is the largest amount of trained exp? I am certain it is none. But, Decay has its uses, if CoC does not, then either make it have its uses or getting something else in there that does.
If I ask you which should I choose for my new 4 minion team, AMF or DM, what is your answer? I know it will be, I need more info, because without knowing what your strat is, I cannot tell you. If I ask should I have AS or GA, what do you say? Again, I need more info. What about VA or Haste? Again, not enough data, and this is a GOOD thing. But if I say what DD spell, and you say, well 4 minions has to be MM, that is a bad thing.
When a new player walks in and says, what is better AMF or DM, there is no "pat" answer. When a new players asks which is better, GA or AS, again no "pat" answer. But they ask which DD and you say well if you go single mage go Fireball, anything else go Magic Missile, that is a "pat" answer and quite frankly that sucks eggs!
November 8 2006 3:51 PM EST
Even if I built a team to last over 15 rounds my answer would be the same -- MM over CoC. I don't care if CoC does damage equal to its lvl (although then it might be tempting for half a second), I'd still choose MM.
November 8 2006 4:52 PM EST
Sefton, I think if some form of elemental damage is introduced CoC could make a comeback in a big way. Similar to the RoBF, if we had items that only gave resistance to FB or MM or CoC, you would probably see a large number of teams load up on FB and MM protection. This would obviously cause an increase in CoC users, and would provide some balance.
Back to the point:
"Is there a strategy where CoC is superior to MM?"
Yes, and I believe it is in a tankbuster strategy. If you have a high AC evasion wall, you can essentially avoid any ranged attacks from the tanks. Thus, your CoC mage and their tank would be attacking at around the same time. Given that CoC attacks the whole team with each hit, and that opposing tanks go one minion at a time, CoC would have the advantage. I think. :D
The Grid (2941502)
Cone of cold
Urza, Wizard Adept (1864363)
Magic missile 19.9%
Cone of cold 8.3%
Magic missile 8.4%
Cone of cold 3.6%
it's seems like CoC is not really popular too, maybe cause , like you all say, it's pretty inferior.
sorry for the 2 post, but I saw you did not talk about GA.
On a 4 minion team with GA trained, when a 100k MM strike the last minion, the damage dealt is stronger then what a 100k CoC does to every minions.
That's why the GA deals less damage on the MM mage cause it does not get it's 60% capacity, But when CoC does it's spread damage, the GA of every minion does a lot more damage to your CoC mage.
"Magic Missile hurts from the back, CoC hurts from the front, something like that."
I say, in order to 'fix' CoC, that it attacks the front minion and splashes at each successive minion for something like 1/2 damage. Instead of hitting each minion equally. This would make it useful for killing minions in front, giving it it's own little DD niche.
For example. CoC mage fights 4 minions + familiar. CoC mage hits all minions. First minion takes 100% damage. 2nd 50%. 3rd 25%. 4th 12.5%. 5th 6.25%.
Any less minions will add the damage of all the strikes together. IE; fighting 1 vs 1, CoC does 193.75% of the damage it would do to the first minion of a battle again 5 enemies.
Against any more than 2, any 'leftover' damage also hits the first minion. So 1 vs 2 would see the first minion take 143.75% damage, and the second minion take 50%.
Something like that I think would be a nice improvement over what it is now. It allows it to absolutely maul single minions (assuming the CoC mage can live long enough :D), and still be useful for taking out front-line AoI minions.
I'm not one for numbers and balancing things, but with the right damage, I think it could work. Just make it do less damage than it does right now. If the damage stays at 95% of the level, the amount of damage a CoC does would pass the damage of MM on the 2nd round of melee, assuming there's no damage reduction.
Unless that's what we want? Because CoC would be hit harder because of AC/ToE/Protection/other damage reducers because it has to hit multiple minions.
You should probably just ignore all my babbling nonsense, though. Just trying to think of some idea besides
"MM is more like archery, big damage but unleashed straightaway. However the way it targets, front to back means that you can protect yourself from it on a multiple team really easily."
MM does small damage, and it's back to front.
November 8 2006 7:12 PM EST
Yeah, that's what I meant. Try cooking and writing a post at the same time!
I stand behind that idea for CoC. The archer makes ready the way for the CoC power.
The strength of CoC is that it trains an effect at 95% of its level. You have to leverage that against a FB that trains at 65% and a MM that trains at 48%. The increase in damage output for CoC is far from neglible, and it's important to realize that its damage model is very different than for MM and FB. You could not easily swap out MM for FB, or Decay for MM. Likewise, you can't swap out any other DD for CoC.
If the strength is in raw power, the weakness is in spread. You are highly vulnerable to GA. The AMF argument is out, since a the ToE's 75% cap is based on damage received. Whether you're using MM, FB, or CoC, you can only reduce the backlash by up to 75%. The real counter is GA, as pointed out since GA will be much more lethal on spread damage. Solution: DM. You can't use CoC without DM. This will accomplish several things:
First, you'll get rid of AS, which EVEYRONE uses. You'll reduce the protection (everyone's got at least a base decay). Most importantly, you can easily reduce that GA damage to nothing.
I would do the following:
Archery with seekers to kill mages in ranged.
ToE CoC mage to kill tanks in melee.
Enchanter to cast DM and your ED of choice.
The archer will take out the mages, because it's easier for a tank to hit a mage (seeker ammo forces it, and they generally have low DX). The mage will take out the tanks, because it's easier for a mage to hit a tank (evasion, AC, and DX don't matter).
This goes against Ranger's philosophy of having two damage sources. However, like I mentioned earlier, CoC is a different beast than other forms of damage, and must be treated differently.
Also, this idea takes advantage of having fewer minions in melee to really let CoC shine.
edit: Evasion and DX don't matter. AC obviously does.
November 8 2006 8:11 PM EST
If you place a high evasion enchanter in front, you are clear of all archer trouble in ranged, extending up to the first round of melee. Depending upon the evasion level, you may be clear of tank damage in further melee rounds as well. This literally takes the tank out of the equation, and your only problem then on will be opponent mages.
btw, i have made a comparative study of the ToE vs SF in my CoC char AuraElf, and at low level [mpr 10k], the SF is way superior to the ToE, perhaps because it provides action in ranged rounds.
November 8 2006 9:17 PM EST
Now chuck, imagine how much better you would do if you had a MM mage and a SF.
Correction: "against Ranger's philosophy of *NOT* having two"
November 8 2006 11:11 PM EST
SF absorbs damage and deals it. It is the only choice for a MM mage.
What if CoC had different targeting instead of what it has now. When I think of FB I think of a big growing blazing ball bearing down on all minion while MM is like a bolt of energy shot at a target. Couldn't CoC be like a narrow cone of power that targets less minions, say 2 at a time, but delivers a powerful blow to those targets beginning in melee. Not sure if this would overpower CoC but it might make it a more viable option. With it's greater damage less targets would mean getting rid of those support minions quicker but then it would still be up to you to figure out how to survive until melee to achieve this. Oh and this would target front to back.
November 9 2006 4:05 AM EST
Maybe we should have CoC targeting from the middle like explosive shot ;) That way, there's no way of escaping from mages anymore :p
That's a pretty darned good suggestion.
November 9 2006 5:38 AM EST
its true, Ranger, an MM mage would trump CoC anytime :)
The only way to make CoC powerful would be to sharpen its focus, and make it like a seeker/slayer, targeting opponent's damage dealers first, perhaps in an explosive shot spread. Perhaps, some additional bonus, like it preventing opponent's PL from taking effect and/ or disabling/ reducing GA, would make CoC in its present form [melee only] worth its weight in gold.
November 9 2006 10:31 AM EST
Glad finally someone made a post about this. I kept putting it off until I had some data and Sefton did it for me. Woot.
I once decided to build a strategy around CoC. Pretty much, the only time to use CoC is when you are using GA or multiple damage dealers. GA and an archer or MM mage to hurt the opponent in ranged round. Then during melee use the CoC to finish it. Hopefully, CoC then wouldn't have to fire in more then one round to finish it (and thus not be killed by AMF or GA).
However, notice how it has to be with something else, completely unlike the other DD.
Here are a few things I thought might make CoC viable again:
- Gains AMF resistance compared with other DD spells.
- Let it fire in 3rd round of ranged. Even CoC would have some range, and it would at least give it one advantage over just going tank without bow.
- Give CoC trained minions resistance to other DD. Not sure how that would be done, but could make it viable on non-amf teams.
- Increase power the more minions it attacks. (1 minion only 90%, 2 minions 100%, 3 minions 105%, 4 minions 110%, 5 minions 120%).
November 9 2006 11:30 AM EST
ok, one more quick addition to the CoC wish-list:
you have a CoC mage, and put him in front with an AoI, but he gets hit in the first round of ranged with Decay. You do not have AMF coz you need DM to scupper opponent's GA, and Decay sees past the AoI and strikes the CoC mage in first melee round, just when CoC is about to get into action.
So, my CoC wish:
Make the CoC mage invincible to Decay, after all, the CoC would be more like cold storage, hence non-decaying :)
Or put an enchanters (preferably with 20 HP) with an AoI in front of the CoC Mage...
Or maybe the CoC mage could have a Frost Armor that as a 15%(or more or less) chance to make an additional CoC damage to the one that attacks your CoC mage.
So if a 4 minion with MM or Range attacks your CoC in range combat, well your CoC mage would counter only the one who attacked him with 100% of it's damage.
November 9 2006 1:06 PM EST
GL, that'll disrupt the battle line-up to counter MM attacks. The CoC mage with AoI is in front precisely to survive 3, 4 rounds of wipe-out MM attacks. btw, having a SF provides an additional meat-shield between MM attacks and the CoC with AoI in front.
Use a MgS and TSA at back for MM.
But still, CoC doesn't need to be changed becuase of Decay...
And the counter attack would not be affect by AMF or GA or TSA or MgS
November 9 2006 2:13 PM EST
Hmm, just thought of this.
Give CoC a leech effect. You could switch name to be more realistic if wished, but still. I think giving CoC a 20%-40% leech would make it very useable.
Would counteract AMF.
Gives mages an EFFECT!!!
Give mages a way to increase health.
Just balances out, I think.
November 9 2006 6:07 PM EST
After perusing all the preceding posts, I have arrived at the following wish-list that is, imho, sensible in the sense that it can be implemented in any future changemonth:
 Provide the CoC spell, when used uniquely and in full, with a Rune of Solitude-like capability to dispel DM and to use both AMF and DM in an RoS-like manner. The level of this effect will depend upon the level of the spell. The CoC spell will need to be unique, i.e., that character has no other DD spell, else, people will simply train a base CoC spell to avail this benefit. Also, it will need to be in full, i.e., the CoC needs to be fully trained on one minion. Again, this is to prevent exploitation of this feature.
The advantage of this RoS-like capability is its ability to dispel GA, as well as the ability to use AMF against opponent decay.
 Since AMF backlash is the bane of CoC, the CoC spell can provide the mage with endurance similar to the JKF, i.e., only for itself.
This ToE-like function releases the character to use a SF or other damage dealing familiar to operate in ranged rounds.
 While the above two points will make CoC attractive again, additionally, the CoC spell can also target damage dealing opponents preferentially, acting like seeker/ slayer arrows, and dealing damage like explosive shot spread.
That's about it. Feasible, but, is there the will? That muffled sniff was the sound of the CoC crying out for some love . . . .
''Cone of Healing Cold'' XD
November 9 2006 6:49 PM EST
This is getting too complicated.
Should a Direct Damage spell be able to neutralize GA or give protection against DM or cast DM or do anything other than just damage?
November 9 2006 7:27 PM EST
Why not just lower the effect of AMF on CoC?
If you reduce AMF on CoC, what is the remaining strategy to counter CoC mage, GA you say, well but DM and it's no good.
I think it would be better, like I said before but no one took a look at it, to make CoC mage have a frost armor.
The FA would give a low amount of protection, like UC give a low evasion bonus, and it would give a certain % chance to cast a CoC on the one who attack your CoC mage and this CoC damage counter would not be affected by AMF.
November 9 2006 8:01 PM EST
"what is the remaining strategy to counter CoC mage"
Kill'em before melee.
Put a wall, or get evasion on your CoC mage and a ToE. AMF would would be useless against CoC.
What I mean by that is that I only win versus AoI protected CoC Mages by outlasting thier damage while they kill themselves on AMF backlash returns. Lower the effectiveness of AMF and any Tank would have no chance of killing a CoC minion on a multi minion team.
CoC is all about the damage. If it's not as attractive as FB/MM then why not up it's damage. Not up it's effect, but make it slightly different to FB in the way it spreads.
Instead of just dividing normal damage by the number of minions, let it do a higher percentage as spread damage.
Doesn't make it any more powerful versus a single minion (or as rounds progress versus multi minion team, as other minions in the team are killed off), but helps to make it attractive.
Plus, anything that penalises people for having more minions is a good thing.
GL, if that's the route you want to go, the best answer thus far has been changing the targetting to be like explosive shots. It makes sense for a cone shape anyway.
Ex Shots hit like normal physical attacks. It's only thier subsequent hits in a round that go wierd.
Maybe CoC should be changed to the CL type people have asked for.
Hit's fist minion for 70% Damage, next minion for 55%, then 40%, 25% and 10% (190% total).
Or something like that. ;)
And what if you reduce the DD penalty on armor for a CoC mage, so he could use greater AC armor without loosing all is DD train. It would help him survive.
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