Sunday Musings: The Halidon Familiar (in General)

QBsutekh137 April 1 2007 5:40 PM EDT

Hey all, I turned my familiar into a Halidon this morning, and have some fun stuff to talk about...

First off, a big thanks to Google Spreadsheets! I started taking data on a local Excel sheet, but then put it up on Google and worked from there. I love it! I took damage figures with my familiar as an FF, and then after I re-inked it into an HF. The resulting Goolge spreadsheet is linked below:

Click here for analysis.

The spreadsheet says a lot, and I don't want to make all that many deductions. Folks can see for themselves how the HF worked out, putting particular emphasis on the commentary towards the bottom.

From my side, I'd like to start by making an appeal to Jonathan concerning what I am thinking could be a bug. I did not get any triple hits with my HF, not ever. Assuming that the dexterity gap (against a target with no dexterity) would be enough for numerous double hits, any pth the HF weapon/ammo trains should have accounted for a third hit at least once in a while. Not a single triple was observed, even going 50 rounds against a opponent with no DBs, no Evasion, no Dexterity, and no Haste. Jonathan, is this how it is supposed to work?

More thoughts... The HF has advantages for balance in that it attacks from the front and attacks using physical damage. Attacking physically, though, has many demerits. The HF can be nuked by EC, Evasion, DBs, and AoI -- just like any tank. The only problem is, a so-so tank is almost worse than nothing. A bad tank might as well not be a tank at all. The HF has a hard time against other tanks, and he can't learn Evasion. Yes, I could junction some additional dexterity into him (and it would be at 150% since my junction is 1.00). but that's not going to really do what needs doing.

The HF can't kill himself on AMF, at least. And instead of an FF that fries my team come melee, the HF keeps fighting (albeit at a much-lowered dexterity). I thought the extra HP would be a boon, but it isn't, really. At high levels, everything hits so hard that extra HP doesn't go very far.

On the damage side, the HF at my level (with 12% increase from rented BGs) does around 400K per arrow against a "soft" target. That brings me to the main reason I wanted to try the HF -- to see if it hit harder enough so as to overwhelm the ToEs up here.  No, it didn't.  I still couldn't dent Oxcha, and all of my blows still fit right into his ToE and PL strategy (a great one, I must say).  For the record, I reduce Oxcha's Ablative Shield almost to nothing, so it's not the AS beating me.  I am formulating thoughts for a second post about the ToE, but it is not material for this discussion.

I think I already summarized the HF the best above when I called it a "so-so tank".  We all know that a so-so tank is worse than nothing.  It can't hurt other tanks, it can't hit hard enough to overwhelm walls (especially ToE-reinforced ones), and as a mainly-ranged damage dealer, it has tremendous trouble with Evasion.  As a primary damage dealer, the HF simply doesn't cut it.  I like that it attacks concentrated from the front (since there is no ranged magic that does so), but throw in the AoI and even that quality can be foiled.

My verdict?  I like the fact that the HF can't kill itself and that he doesn't fry my team in melee.  But I could have the same thing by going all the way back to an SF.  Plus, an SF never mises and hits hard enough to overwhelm a ToE better than the HF's arrows.  I'm going to stick with HF for a bit to play around (especially once people read this and have other ideas on what I can try/test), but will probably switch to an SF eventually.  I hurried with the FF, wanting something to clear out the chaff.  But now that I see how my fightlist doesn't really change even in lieu of having spread-fire, I think I need to try the SF again.

Thanks for reading.

[T]Vestax April 1 2007 5:49 PM EDT

Thanks for the update. All helpful to know.

TBH never enough gabber April 1 2007 5:52 PM EDT

I noticed The same thing when i had the HF and have been thinking, it would be better balanced if we kept it's damage where it is now but allow it to reduce the evasion bonus for ranged, but only for itself.

QBOddBird April 1 2007 5:52 PM EDT

Well that is definitely interesting. Seems to me that the PTH on the HF should grow at least as fast as that on a ToA - which means he should've hit triples at some point or another, no?

QBRanger April 1 2007 5:54 PM EDT


One thing that can be deduced from your testing is that junction is a must.

BG's and a HoC are essential to using a HF well.

AdminNightStrike April 1 2007 6:09 PM EDT

"Assuming that the dexterity gap (against a target with no dexterity) would be enough for numerous double hits,"

DX gaps can only get your chance to hit up to 166%, which is only enough for a double hit 2/3 of the time. To get a double hit all the time requires at least some PTH.

QBJohnnywas April 1 2007 6:11 PM EDT

I've just attacked you a few times; even against my 20 dex walls your familiar sometimes only hits once. That looks suspiciously like a bowman without archery trained; hits from only dex and PTH. You would at least expect a double hit on a 20 dex minion....

QBOddBird April 1 2007 6:14 PM EDT

"DX gaps can only get your chance to hit up to 166%, which is only enough for a double hit 2/3 of the time. To get a double hit all the time requires at least some PTH."

From the post directly above yours, Johnny. I'd say it is simply a Familiar with DX, ST, HP, Archery trained - there's no PTH on it.

QBJohnnywas April 1 2007 6:17 PM EDT

Yeah, possibly; it's definitely missing a hit from somewhere.

QBsutekh137 April 1 2007 6:33 PM EDT

Sorry about the Beleg error, it is 3% per +, not 1.5%. I need to learn how to read.

Jonathan mentioned about HF pth when updating the damage 70%. Said something to the effect that the pth on an HF is sort of linked to damage. In any case, it _should_ have pth, and that pth should have, at some point, yielded a triple-hit.

A point I forgot (another weakness of HF) is that it become vulnerable to specialty xbows. That can also nuke an HF's ability to be useful.

QBRanger April 1 2007 7:21 PM EDT

'A point I forgot (another weakness of HF) is that it become vulnerable to specialty xbows. That can also nuke an HF's ability to be useful.'

Since the HF does not have evasion and cannot get it from junction that means the HF will be hit most easily from axbows or exbows.

However, the minion learning junction can use a set of DB's, but they are not nearly as effective in evading missiles then the skill.

AdminNightStrike April 1 2007 8:17 PM EDT

Remember that when boosting the ST of the HF via Junction or other, the Archery skill drops below 1.0

GO PATS April 1 2007 10:34 PM EDT

I think you should try and test HF vs. SF, because FF is meant to be more powerful, but harms you in melee... SF is a one shot type, like the HF, so if they're damages are compatible, then it would be more clear if HF needed improvement... if the SF does more damage, or equal damage, then it is better, because it hits every time... just my thoughts...

QBsutekh137 April 1 2007 10:37 PM EDT

Yeah, I had an SF before, and it will work... I was just hoping for something a bit more...novel...from the HF. And I still don't understand the lack of triples. Jonathan has bigger fish to fry right now, though, with the new server going in... *smile*

Nerevas April 1 2007 10:51 PM EDT

The P2H its supposed to get is bugged and non-working.

lostling April 2 2007 6:54 AM EDT

just hope jon will fix it soon =\... personally i feel HF should not need to train archery at all...

horseguy001 April 2 2007 10:20 AM EDT

What about junctioning a good set of elven gear with an AoF? You could get pretty close to +100% on archery and a nice dex bonus as well. Wouldn't really fix the damage, but might be able to handle evasion minions a bit better, which never have oodles of AC anyways.

Even with just on AoF and EB, after the 150% is applied you could realistically get +82.5% to archery, +37.5% to dex, and +45% to str with BG and a HoE.

I guess that would round the stats on your HF to
~850k hp
~1.8 mil str
~1.7 mil dex
~600k archery

Guess it just looks better on paper then it works in battle :D

This post turned out a little longer then I thought too, hehe

[T]Vestax April 2 2007 12:27 PM EDT

True, you could increase Archery by increasing DX by the same percentage as you increase ST.

QBsutekh137 April 3 2007 11:03 AM EDT

There are a lot of things I could do to try harder for triples... I don't see the point, though. If there is any appreciable pth at all on the HF's weapon and or ammo, I should have seen a triple by now. I'm not going to spend any more donkey work on trying to solve this "mystery" when we can simply be told if the HF has pth or not. I am keeping the HF on so I can test if there is a bug, but I'm not going to keep it for much longer considering it is just about useless (even with triples).

AdminNightStrike April 3 2007 12:09 PM EDT

With the way to-hit works, if you ever see a single, you will never see a triple (given the same scenario). For instance, if you get a single hit against minion M in round R, then if nothing changes in the setup, you will never get a triple against minion M in round R.

QBsutekh137 April 3 2007 12:27 PM EDT

I completely disagree. What is your reasoning for that?

Let's say I have a huge dexterity (gap) over an opponent. You yourself said that corresponds to 166% chance. Dexterity, therefore, can give me one or two hits.

No add on pth. Let's say pth is +50. So, I could land one or two hits from dexterity, and then have a 50% chance at another hit:

1 hit: one hit from dexterity, but 50% pth misses.
2 hits: two hits from dexterity, or one hit from dex and one from pth.
3 hits: two hits from dexterity, and the 50% pth hits. (never observed with my HF).

Is that not how things work? I assumed that if you put two random things together (dexterity is very random as far as one hit or two, and pth is "random" based on the percentage), you would get a varying result. How can you say single hits totally negate triples given such a random array of variables?

(I'm not really saying you are wrong, but can I get more explanation on your interpretation of how dexterity and pth work?)

[T]Vestax April 3 2007 12:52 PM EDT

I thought you simply had a 216% chance to hit. Meaning you hit twice all the time with a 16% chance of getting a third hit. This makes physical damage less random.

QBsutekh137 April 3 2007 1:23 PM EDT

I still thought dexterity hits and pth hits were separate. I know that Evasion/DBs can be large enough such that they eat into dexterity after gnawing away all the pth, but I did not think that meant the dexterity and pth hits were entirely lumped together that way. I have absolutely no proof of that, however.

Even if it were all lumped together, I don't understand NightStrike's comments. I _know_ the dexterity gap I had against Neji was large enough to induce doubles. With any appreciable pth at all, combined with the 166% of dexterity, that should put the overall combined chance at over 200%. If not, that means the dexterity gap was not even getting me to 100%, so that the pth plus dexterity was somewhere between 100 and 200%. Since when would a dexterity gap of 1.2 million not be enough to make the dexterity portion greater than 100%?

QBsutekh137 April 4 2007 4:15 PM EDT

Never got any response about HF triples/pth, so I'm done messing with it. Went back to SF and it is better all around. Beat everyone on my fight list consistently now, am back to giving End of Days a run for his money (all depends on whether he lands a shot on Joe in round 1 or 2), and still don't even scratch Oxcha (takes three battles to beat him).

So, mage teams out there, all I can say is that you probably can forget about ever being able to beat large ToE/PL/leech/TSA teams. I have two of the largest DD shots going, and 8 of those shots can't even kill a single of Oxcha's minions. The damage is downright pathetic (depending on the randomness of the damage delivered, his PL minion can actually GAIN HP in certain rounds). If you want to try something else, do what Popsicle Man told me to do -- think ToE too, and maybe think about real dedication to Decay and/or some sort of VB-tank hybrid team. Beyond that, just forget about magic -- go ToE tank and spend USD if you've got it to spare.

Pure magic offense will never stand a chance against a tight ToE build, not even with appreciably higher total PR.

And for anyone considering an HF? My recommendation: don't.

AdminJonathan April 4 2007 4:36 PM EDT

"With the way to-hit works, if you ever see a single, you will never see a triple (given the same scenario)"

NS is correct. Another way of phrasing that is, you won't ever get 3 unless you're first guaranteed of getting 2.

QBsutekh137 April 4 2007 5:00 PM EDT

So the dex and pth is all lumped together?

Then I can assume the pth on the HF is very, very weak, as in less that +34 for a 2.5 million level familiar?

If a huge dexterity gap is roughly equivalent to 166%, then pth would only need to be +34 to get in the 200-300 range. That's why I was still assuming something was awry with the HF's pth, since I assumed such a large familiar would have more than a paltry +34...

In other words, I still don't get it, but also don't really care any more... Thanks for the response.

AdminNightStrike April 4 2007 5:13 PM EDT

I thought you finally understood this the last time we hashed this out.. and the time before that. Read (again) the wiki page I wrote that details it. It's callled "to-hit".

Roughly --

It's all about CTH - Chance to hit.
DX CTH + weapon PTH = Final CTH.
Multi-hit penalties are 100% per hit
X-Handed bonuses/penalties go away for triples and above
A positive result after all penalties are applied sees a 5% bonus (this is probably a mistake visible because of randomness and rounding)

So that means that to get a triple hit with a max DX gap, you need a +51 weapon. 150% from DX and 51 from a weapon yields 201. 201 - 200 = 1% CTH. Add the 5% because it's positive, and you're left with a 6% chance of a triple with a +51 weapon and a max DX gap.

Read the wiki page to understand why the DX CTH drops from 166% to 150% on the third hit. With a two-handed weapon, it goes up from ~135% to 150%.

One final note -- I take no credit for figuring any of this out. Similarly, direct all complaints to /dev/null if it's wrong.

AdminNightStrike April 4 2007 5:16 PM EDT

Put an Evasion of 55 on a 20 DX minion and hit it with a HF. If you never hit in round 1, then there's zero PTH on the HF. That Evasion should be tripled in round 1, which should nullify the DX hit chance leaving only PTH. Similarly, if you do hit, figure out the percentage over a large enough spread, and you'll get the PTH at your level.

QBsutekh137 April 4 2007 5:34 PM EDT

NS, I do understand now, especially with Jonathan's confirmation. I was still operating under the erroneous assumption that dexterity-based hits and pth-based hits were two separate buckets. They apparently are not. That's consistent, acceptable, and fine.

From there, we are in violent agreement (except I was saying 166% instead of 150%). So what you are telling me, (and Jonathan is all but directly confirming) is that the pth on the HF must be something rather pathetic, maybe something in the 50-60 range (max). No, I am not going to test any more. I've done and had enough, and used up enough lower-reward BA on the matter.

It's all well and good, I just assumed the lack of triples meant there was a bug (no matter how chance-to-hit is calculated), because such a worthless pth on a familiar that size is, well, even a bigger joke than the RoBF. A bigger joke than double chain-mail. That's frustrating. Why even add such a worthless piece of garbage to the game? Why would anyone _ever_ choose an HF over an SF? Just because it shoots from the front? Oops, wrong. AoI can completely control that too. Like I said, a weak tank is worse than no tank at all. A weak archer even more so (because of Evasion).

The HF is utterly, totally, preposterously worthless.

So yes, I get it now. I just still happen to very, very incredulous.

[T]Vestax April 4 2007 5:44 PM EDT

"...because such a worthless pth on a familiar that size is, well, even a bigger joke than the RoBF. A bigger joke than double chain-mail."

It was April fools after all. The HF must have been a prank familiar created far far in advance knowing you would choose April 1st for your testing sutekh.

As a side note, why does noone trust in what I say? First Evasion + EC and now DX + PTH. I know I've been tripped up on a few changes that have been made, but come on. Give me the benefit of the doubt. *begs*

QBsutekh137 April 4 2007 6:22 PM EDT

/me gives Vestax benefit of the doubt...

Like I said, either way I figured pth was broken for being so low. *shrug* Glad I at least got some education out of it. NS, you should add Jonathan's de facto confirmation to the Wiki, the fact that cth is a combined pool of dexterity and pth, not a separate check with number of hits summed together at battle time. Good way to hush up crazy non-believers like me. *smile*

And I do like the April Fool's angle... *grin*

AdminNightStrike April 4 2007 6:35 PM EDT

"I just still happen to very, very incredulous."

I need a translator.....

Regarding the uselessness of the HF, perhaps it can be very useful at lower levels.

BootyGod April 4 2007 6:44 PM EDT

Why, of why, would anyone use the HF over a SF at lower levels? Or FF?

QBsutekh137 April 4 2007 8:52 PM EDT

I am incredulous that the HF exists. Do I need to link to the definition of the word? Do I need to reiterate _again_ that I agree with you about chance-to-hit? Can a fellow have a strong opinion, at least on his own thread. NS? Do you actually think a pth of around 60 is acceptable for an archer familiar north of level 2 million?

All those question marks = incredulous.

I'm not going to provide translation services when all you have to do is type "incredulous" into Google. *smile* I think you can figure it out from there.

AdminNightStrike April 4 2007 11:58 PM EDT

Sut, 1) stop being a jerk. Putting "smile" after things like that doesn't suddenly make it funny or nice. It's unneccssary. 2) Your sentence was not a complete sentence, and I couldn't decipher what words were missing to relate your meaning.

AdminQBnovice [Cult of the Valaraukar] April 5 2007 1:49 AM EDT

bah, putting a *smile* absolves all textual crimes short of grammatical homicide

QBsutekh137 April 5 2007 10:38 AM EDT


My sentence had a typo in it, yes (I'm finally noticing that, I honestly did not before this morning).

If you didn't understand my "incredulous" sentence, then why did you post anything at all? Was my typo and/or incredulity offending you in some way? Detracting from the thread? Off-topic? Was it, even with typo intact, stating something inaccurate or harmful to the game (or you)?

The overall sequence of this thread appears to go something like this:

1. I provide some analysis of an aspect of CB.
2. I also provide some of my own opinions on that analysis. In this case, I was not understanding why there were no triples on the HF (and even at that point, I did not understand how there were no triples REGARDLESS of how chance-to-hit is calculated -- I thought the HF should simply be "better" at that tattoo level).
3. You explained how you thought chance-to-hit worked, and I was under the impression it was some other way. You used condescending phraseology, ala "I thought you finally understood..." I said I disagreed (on another thread), that that was not my confirmed understanding of how it all worked. You did not really remark about anything related to the HF or my analysis thereof (surely there was still something to talk about other than just my apparent idiocy in regards to cth calculations?).
4. Jonathan 100% confirmed that your way was correct, thereby meaning my way was very much NOT correct. I conceded that point and remarked as such (even said you should add Jonathan's words to the Wiki, since Jonathan seems to have some pull around here *smile*). I also stated that regardless of how chance-to-hit is calculated, I STILL thought the HF should have more pth, thereby yielding triples (completely consistent with my OP).
5. Still no actual thoughts/opinions about the HF or the analysis from you.
6. I make a typo in a sentence.
7. You feel the need to comment one more time, mainly concerning the typo, before stating a comment about the actual topic of the thread.
8. I, not noticing my typo, post about the word "incredulous". Admittedly (since I did not see the typo), I am confused by your confusion. That definitely shows in the tone of my post, and I apologize for that. The *smile*s, however, were entirely genuine (again, didn't see the typo, got a bit of a blind side when it comes to my own writings *smile*).
9. You proceed to say I am being a jerk, you presume to know what is in my head by commenting on what my *smiles* mean, and then you tell me such things are unnecessary (though the thread is based on my OP, my analysis, and you have provided virtually zero commentary on the actual topic itself concerning HF effectiveness).

The reason I am hammering on the fact that you post plenty, but sometimes say very little about the original post, isn't to say you are off-topic or wrong for doing so. But when one finds time to post about errors (even harmless typos) and yet still says nothing about the original content post, what exactly is the point?

I am glad you helped me get the cth stuff sorted out (sorry I hadn't already "finally understood"), I really am (and have already said so in this thread). But as far as your thoughts on the actual analysis -- I have no clue. You've had time to correct inaccuracies, time to point out typos, time to say I am being a jerk, and time to tell me what my smilies mean, so -- you clearly have the time. Can I finally hear your overall thoughts on the HF? Do you think it should be better? What effective role could an HF play on a team? Can you think of a reason to use an HF over an SF? Can we rap about potential strategies that could make it effective?

I'm sorry I made a typo and didn't realize it (even later). And I am sorry I am sometimes thick about certain parts of CB mechanics that are abundantly clear to you. I heartily apologize to you and the Carnage Blender community.
This thread is closed to new posts. However, you are welcome to reference it from a new thread; link this with the html <a href="/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg.tcl?msg_id=0024SA">Sunday Musings: The Halidon Familiar</a>