With the emphasis now on outliving your opponent, and layered defense over damage, I'm quite sure we're gonna see more Heavy Tanks/Walls backed by the usual PL/TSA etc.
If you don't include a VB as your weapon, or Decay in your team, are we going to be able to beat thorugh the minions with 300/400/500+ AC before even the new 50 rounds are out?
People will start respeccing to include more defense and specifically more HP (the only part of the survival layers that wasn't nerfed so far), to outlive, not outdamage.
September 6 2008 2:59 PM EDT
you forgot SG but i agree with damage reduced to the point it has been High HP, GA, PL, TSA, and ToEs in any combination seem to be the current superpower.
September 6 2008 3:01 PM EDT
Actually, I think we can call it "the return of the DM SFBM"...
1/4 HP, 1/4 DM, 1/2 FB, using ToE on defense and RoE on offense.
*is tired of repeating himself*
You'll do more damage to a wall with concentrated CoC than with SG.
*munches hat with a side of crow*
CoC doesn't match SG against LA's wall...
GL: I don't think Heavy walls are going to be the end all answer. Yes there is Decay and VBs, but they is also SG, and EF, and IF... I somehow doubt any team will be able to take 50 rounds of higher up familiars.
Sickone: NO! It is incredibly dangerous for single minions to have to have about more rounds of combat. Unfortunate for single minions, they have not kill slots, so every hit is a hit on your most important minion. Each round, since damage comes in chunks, makes your hp that much less effective. Also worth noting is that your FB is easier to be contained in ToE and higher backlash ratio with GA. If anything, SFBM got a minor nerf, it is far far from a sudden rise of SFBM. They can't even dodge half they way they used to!
September 6 2008 9:19 PM EDT
"Sickone: NO! It is incredibly dangerous for single minions to have to have about more rounds of combat. Unfortunate for single minions, they have not kill slots, so every hit is a hit on your most important minion. Each round, since damage comes in chunks, makes your hp that much less effective. Also worth noting is that your FB is easier to be contained in ToE and higher backlash ratio with GA. If anything, SFBM got a minor nerf, it is far far from a sudden rise of SFBM. They can't even dodge half they way they used to! "
Hmm, where do I start :)
I did run a similar SFBM myself for the better part of this character's life (converted to archer during the "free retrain" week a while ago), and I wasn't even using evasion MUCH.
I used to train about 1/3 HP and 2/3 FB, with just symbolic amounts of XP sunk into EO (usually some DM, tried AMF for a while too but didn't like it much), ED (tried GA, didn't use to be all that much help) and skill (Evasion, just 100k XP or so tops, usually less than 10k).
The full extent of evasion was a pair or displacement boots (around 80-ish, at most they reached around +100, but ended up disenchanting to +75 and then selling the eventually) and a nearly BASE evasion (never got over 110 evasion final effect), so yeah, I WASN'T using the most overpowered thing in the game and I was still doing well enough.
So... the list of changes since "back in the day"...
First the ToE gets a reduction from 50% to 40%, then shortly after it gets down to 30%. Just today, it got another 1/3 reduction, so I can only assume that means it's now at 20% main effect (and about 14-15% aura).
At 3.2 mil tattoo level (my current tattoo size), that's still 640k post-armor (if any) damage cap before "breaking" and letting all damage through... up to this point, you can basically consider a ToE as quadrupling your HP (the one stat that DIDN'T get nerfed at all recently).
Which brings us to the second major change, the damage reductions... sure, magic damage was reduced to almost 67% of initial value, but it still ignores (or is even amplified by) base armor.
Comparatively though, getting physical damage nerfed down to barely above 44% of previous value, now THAT hurts tanks of all kinds compared to mages, big time.
I used to deal about 1.1 mil damage per hit on average on unarmored targets (16 mil x_NW ELB plus 19 mil ToA fake +_NW, and over 6 mil effective ST), with a few lucky 1.6 or even 1.7 mil shots... now, it's more like 500k-ish average (less post-armor or any other things).
In other words, a ToE the size of my current tattoo would STILL be pretty much maximally effective against most of my shots (about 80% of them at least, I'd say).
Speaking of nerfs, the physical damage reduction might have been pretty hards, but the evasion nerf meant that mages can no longer nearly 100% evade that damage consistently... just avoid getting hit more than once... so, overall, it's relatively fair.
But like I was saying, I didn't use that "overpoweredness" at all in the first place anyway, and it still worked out just fine.
Comparatively speaking, the "just a token evasion, and mostly from boots" strategy I was using myself is not less, but actually MORE effective as it used to be... because the DB evasion didn't get any nerfs at all, and you weren't going to reduce enemy PTH below base anyway, so you're not wasting any XP compared to the previous scenario... yet the incoming physical damage got reduced an additional 1/3 compared to magical damage, so technically you're much more protected with this particular strategy as you used to be before the changes.
So all in all, anything from 1/3 HP 2/3 FB to 1/4 HP, 1/4 DM 1/2 FB should work just fine with a HoC+ToE combo (DB and either NSC or AG optional and desirable, AoI prefered but not needed, other amulets pretty much pointless).
The fight may no longer finish in 6 ranged rounds if it used to (if it didn't, it doesn't really matter, now does it?), but it will finish in the second melee round (8th total) for sure, one way or the other.
The only thing that got comparatively more powerful (when looking at this particular SFBM strategy) is enemy mages, especially the CoC/SG kind (damage much more focused on short-range, and fights now tend to want to go into some melee a bit more than before)... and GA enchanters (but not by much either).
Enemy physical damage-dealing minions (again, with THIS particular SFBM strategy), they're at best the same, usually worse off... in spite of the evasion nerf (like I said, you barely used it to begin with, so no harm done, and the compensatory overkill on physical damage actually boosted you).
Bottom line, you're not significantly worse off in just about any case, but you're noticeably better off in some others... that, in my book, more than qualifies as a "return of the" if I ever saw one such thing.
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