Are there really only 2 ED spells? (in General)

QBRanger April 22 2009 8:49 PM EDT

From the statistics of CB, top 50% of active users. XP trained:

Enchant defense
Ablative Shield 21.2%
Guardian Angel 6.1%
Vampiric Aura 0.5%
Giant Strength 0.1%
Steel Skin 0.1%
Haste 0.1%

So, it seems only AS or GA are being used.


I suspect that the others just stink.

Not enough bang for the buck so to speak.

They all can be dispelled which is a major negative to their use.

One by one:

VA: Tank only. Usable only in melee.
SS: Given the fact armor now is less valuable, and you have to train it to your HP, it is a lot of xp to gain a little more AC. That may not even make a difference.
GS and Haste: 60% return sound great. But again, it is a tank only spell can can be dispelled.

So we have only AS and GA left. How boring.

I have little ideas on how to fix it. I suspect these 4 spells are mostly used on ROS characters.

And perhaps we need a mage specific ED spell.

Wizard'sFirstRule April 22 2009 9:02 PM EDT

3x AS + GA is the most common configuration, and I think the result Ranger posted is consistent with that theory. Something is wrong with that I think.

AdminTitan [The Sky Forge] April 22 2009 9:03 PM EDT

I thought about posting something about this in your other thread, but it just got carried away, so I never did. I would be careful with boosting SS though, AC would be too amazing again.

QBOddBird April 22 2009 9:23 PM EDT

VA is underestimated.

Haste and GS are really only good if you're trying something clever (and chances are, if you're using Haste or GS, you're just not that clever.)

SS is only really useful for walls, which are on the decline, and you don't have to train it very high - not that you'd want to - which makes it more susceptible to DM.

More AS is always good, more GA is always good, and both are useable on just about any strat.

Goodfish April 22 2009 9:27 PM EDT

The problem with Haste and Giant Strength is that you need to be geared like a tank for them to be worth using (although Haste + Evasion might make for some interesting strategies). This might not seem like a big deal but since Haste and GS are really only worth doing for 2+ targets, that means you need 2+ tanks on your team, which means 2+ huge NW weapons. In theory, it's an incredibly solid team (RoS'ed AS, GS, GA, Haste, 4 huge SoDs, full tank gear), but it's so reliant on massive NW (and non-Sutekh targets, wink) that nobody wants to try it.

Thak April 22 2009 9:32 PM EDT

agree with oddfish VA is under rated

Lord Bob April 22 2009 9:42 PM EDT

"I suspect these 4 spells are mostly used on ROS characters."

Like me!

TheHatchetman April 22 2009 9:42 PM EDT

"I would be careful with boosting SS though, AC would be too amazing again. "

Shhhhhhhh!!! 0=)

Wizard'sFirstRule April 22 2009 10:16 PM EDT

"I would be careful with boosting SS though, AC would be too amazing again. "

Cube April 22 2009 10:34 PM EDT


[MG]Mecca-Devilbot [Clan of One] April 22 2009 10:46 PM EDT

VA is good.. if it's not completely dispelled.

Vs. a GA team (And there's lots!!) I can get 60% of my damage back.. and i take 60% of the damage i deal. So it's a wipe..

Wish there was a way to reduce GA damage more. AC does work, but it's
1) expensive
2) slow
3) requires SS to reach full effectiveness. or a ToE

Wizard'sFirstRule April 22 2009 11:01 PM EDT

I have to agree. undispelled VA is really good.

QBOddBird April 22 2009 11:05 PM EDT

Devilbot, that means with a VA trained to your weapon damage (on a MH or BoTH for 60%) we'll say you are training 100% of the damage...someone correct me if I'm wrong, doesn't GA need to be something like 2x the damage in order to achieve maximum effect? So you train half as much in order to essentially nullify GA, and against non-GA teams, you still gain HP.

So you have an ED that can counter GA (VA) and an EO that can counter GA (DM) for tanks.

Goodfish April 22 2009 11:08 PM EDT

The only "problem" with VA is that most teams can't take huge advantage of it. DM slaughters it, and most teams only have one damage source (occasionally two, most often a familiar when there's two though), so VA only works for one minion usually. PLUS... many teams don't even bother with physical damage, so that makes VA even less appealing.

I agree, though. It can be absurdly potent for high physical damage-dealing teams, and it gets more and more attractive as your MPR rises and fights are inevitably drawn to melee (and to longer and longer round counts).

[MG]Mecca-Devilbot [Clan of One] April 22 2009 11:56 PM EDT

Well, that and the fact that GA is reduced by AC.

So even if they have a max'd GA, and you have a max'd VA + MH/BoTH, you *should* be reducing their 60% return down. If you can cut it below 40$, just VA alone would return health. If you have a MH, your now gaining 20%+ damage.

But the point of VA is not to counter GA.

It's to let your tank survive long enough to kill them. Since your VA is nullified, you don't have the health at lower levels, nor the armor, to survive as a tank.

But people usually don't run single-minion tanks either...

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] April 23 2009 12:14 AM EDT

remember that va and ss are only required to be trained as a ratio to another stat. with that in mind, minions training is likely a better stat to look at than xp spent.

Enchant defense
Ablative Shield 19.0%
Guardian Angel 9.9%
Vampiric Aura 2.2%
Haste 6.7%
Giant Strength 6.7%
Steel Skin 0.5%

QBRanger April 23 2009 12:19 AM EDT

Actually no Dude as people can train low level ED spells.

I see hardly any Haste or GS trained. Certainly not at levels high enough to see 6.7%. Perhaps people train low level ones for minitanks?

The largest SS is 400k, which is very low and easily dispelled.

VA a bit more, but again it has to wait till melee to work.

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] April 23 2009 12:23 AM EDT

yep, i think the va and ss are like the old protection. train it to base just for a little extra boost in case dm is not present.

one downside to dm, overpowered or not, is that it stifles ed's. that was likely the reason it was implemented though.

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] April 23 2009 12:25 AM EDT

and the 6.7 percent is how many minions have that spell trained. i am not sure though if that stat is active characters only or includes retirees.

Xiaz on Hiatus April 23 2009 12:29 AM EDT

DM shouldn't be have a linear effect, 80% is absurdly high.

And the fact it lowers each enchant equally is an imbalance, it should negate each spell in some sort of order, i.e. a 100k DM would fizzle a 100k ED, then it is 'used up,' and can't dispell any other ED.

QBRanger April 23 2009 12:30 AM EDT

Top 50%, only active characters, by minions training spell:

Enchant defense
Ablative Shield 22.1%
Guardian Angel 9.5%
Vampiric Aura 2.2%
Giant Strength 1.0%
Steel Skin 2.1%
Haste 1.6%

[MG]Mecca-Devilbot [Clan of One] April 23 2009 12:32 AM EDT

But then you would expect the same thing of AMF.

It's an Area Effect spell. It is equally spread out among one target or 5.

DM is balanced enough based on the fact that you can't cast EO's on them without nuking them severely, or barely touching them with DM.

kevlar April 23 2009 12:32 AM EDT

*sigh* the same thing was raised about EO.... *puts faith in Jon/NS*

QBRanger April 23 2009 12:32 AM EDT

I would prefer DM to negate a % of the spell rather than have a 100% effect.

IE a 5M DM effect vs a 5M AS would negate 80% of the AS but 1M would still cast.

Obviously any ED above the DM would work at 100% efficiency.

Wizard'sFirstRule April 23 2009 12:37 AM EDT

DM shouldn't be have a linear effect, 80% is absurdly high.

And the fact it lowers each enchant equally is an imbalance, it should negate each spell in some sort of order, i.e. a 100k DM would fizzle a 100k ED, then it is 'used up,' and can't dispell any other ED.

even without compensating for the loss efficiency, it would still favour AS/GA team. The only reason DM has any chance against AS/GA is that it works against multiple ED (often not enough given a RoS), take that away and AS/GA is the only way to use ED (although still the case now).

Wizard'sFirstRule April 23 2009 12:38 AM EDT

I would prefer DM to negate a % of the spell rather than have a 100% effect.

IE a 5M DM effect vs a 5M AS would negate 80% of the AS but 1M would still cast.

Obviously any ED above the DM would work at 100% efficiency.

That idea I do like, make it work like AMF.

three4thsforsaken April 23 2009 1:06 AM EDT

Note that nerfing DM will only happen if EDs are too weak. Since this is obviously not true and DM has shown no in game imbalance evidence other than, "Omg, 80% looks like a big number!" it will not be changed.

Whenever I've brought up GA being too powerful in the past people have said that it isn't OP because of DM. Those same people turn around and say that DM is too powerful even though they conceed that it is the only efficent way of dealing with GA.

So what's it going to be? Keep GA super buffed? Or nerf DM cause I am seeing a very clear crusade of interest in these agruments.

QBOddBird April 23 2009 1:14 AM EDT

I still don't see a problem with DM, and if anything GA would just have the damage return cap lowered. It's just a very versatile, usable ED.

AdminTitan [The Sky Forge] April 23 2009 1:16 AM EDT

OB: "So you have an ED that can counter GA (VA) and an EO that can counter GA (DM) for tanks."

Don't know if this has been mentioned yet, b/c I'm too tired to read the entire thread right now, but VA does nothing to help those that have the most problem with GA, spread teams. CoC, SoD, FB none of those get the benefit of VA. Also, the only people who do get the benefit of VA is melee tanks, which isn't a large number of people. So, VA is hardly a suitable scissor for the GA paper.

QBOddBird April 23 2009 1:21 AM EDT

It isn't a universal scissor for the GA paper.

AC is more universal. TSA works as an indirect counter to GA, as well.

How many counters are needed, btw?

three4thsforsaken April 23 2009 1:28 AM EDT

AC has minimal effect on GA. TSA is hardly a counter for GA unless of course you're taking 3% total hp in retribution damage. That's like saying TSA counters damage. If you are taking damage and having a problem put on a TSA and it solves it! Or not.

QBOddBird April 23 2009 1:30 AM EDT

If you'll note, I didn't say any of those were "the magic answer" to defeating GA. They're just more counters. EC is a counter to physical damage, for example, though it doesn't kill it all at once unless you double your opponent's STR in it.

AdminShade April 23 2009 3:31 AM EDT

I haven't looked through the entire thread so plz don't flame me.

Also when looking at EO spells, EC isn't being used very much either. This sort of hold a similar line with Haste and GS, not?

QBJohnnywas April 23 2009 3:43 AM EDT

I used haste on a 4 minion team with a toa tank. I decided that DM was unavoidable and that I would just go ahead and use it, because I had a spare spell slot on the team.

In that situation it was worth using. It boosted the tank nicely, but it also gave my enchanters dex which helped cut down the amount of enemy tank strikes. It actually worked out as useful against tank teams as having a ToE, because of how much damage it reduced. And it gave my tank more damage output as well.

Hugely underrated as well as underused.

Lochnivar April 23 2009 3:44 AM EDT

I was wondering if this was a viagra/cialis debate.....

... apparently not.

Brakke Bres [Ow man] April 23 2009 3:50 AM EDT

Little AC of SS? Innate armor 90

I get 90 AC from my small 350k Spell. And you only need to train it up 1/8th of your HP. Clearly you never the tried the spell.

The only crappy thing about this spell is the fact that DM kills of about half the nw of my 360 AC and without SS it only works like 250 AC

So yeah, SS sucks, but is not useless.

Perhaps we need to make DM less overpowered? Or ED less underpowered

QBJohnnywas April 23 2009 3:54 AM EDT

I think we might be seeing the start of a nerf DM campaign.

Wizard'sFirstRule April 23 2009 10:01 PM EDT

nerf AS by a bit, and nerf DM, we might actually see some ED being used.

(nerf everything more broken then DM, then nerf DM, we have a fair system)

QBsutekh137 April 23 2009 10:17 PM EDT

What is the answer to this question:

If you want to be immune from DM, why not just avoid using DEs?

Anyone? Can anyone answer? Can you tell me anything other than, "Because I HAVE to Sut! DEs are just so damn TASTY!!!!!"

I agree. They ARE tasty. So, taste them, sleep in them, bathe in them. Find targets without DM and be content. There are PLENTY. Remember, trained stats show if someone has it trained to ANY extent. How many folks have a massive AMF and then a little DM just to quell smallish GAs or ASes? Has anyone run those numbers? A lot of the DM out there is self-defeating. Serves a purpose, but one could hardly call it OP in the scenarios where it is used in slight conjunction with AMF or EC.

As far as the the folks who simply want to be able to beat EVERY target, you apparently think you can have it all. You can't. Get used to it. Good gravy, this DM crap is getting old. Nothing else in the game is a slam dunk, yet folks want to be able to beat every target, and they whine to high heaven when they can't. Meanwhile, I have posted on several threads and returned CMs to at least 4 people over the last two days who have been trying to tell me ways to beat Conundrum -- someone for which my DM should give me that very chance... And I don't care. I can't beat Con and I don't care. I find other targets and am content.

I'd love to see a little bit of that style of apathy instead of "DM is overpowered!" Maybe just for a day? Half a day?

AdminTitan [The Sky Forge] April 23 2009 10:23 PM EDT

If DM gets nerfed and xbows don't have something done about them, I'm going to kill myself. For those of you who think I'm kidding I'm not, going to pull out my 12 gauge and blow my brains out. So Jon: Do you want my death on your hands?

(Gosh I hope no one takes me seriously)

QBsutekh137 April 23 2009 10:25 PM EDT

Oooof! Visceral!

Wizard'sFirstRule April 23 2009 10:31 PM EDT

I really like you Titan, but I can't resist seeing someone's brain blown to bits. Sorry Titan.


QBRanger April 23 2009 11:30 PM EDT


I think some people have gotten the 100% wrong idea of this thread.

It was not intended to say DM was overpowered or GA is or is not.

They are what THEY are.

Even with DM quite a lot of people use AS.

Why? Because it is so darn useful to use, it is worth the fact it can be dispelled. Same goes for GA.

However, the other 4 are almost never used. Why? Because they suck.

So, does anyone have an idea about how to make then so worthwhile it pays to learn them with DM out there.

Perhaps a mage specific one that does something. Perhaps combining GS and Haste may make it more valuable.

I do not see much to do with VA to make it better. I know I would train it a lot if it worked in missile rounds. Even with DM out there.

As far as SS, no idea what to do. AC has been so neutered given ENC and SS, I personally see few pure walls out there. I still believe it shoudl be a skill rather than a spell.

QBOddBird April 24 2009 12:38 AM EDT

I still don't think VA sucks, I just think it's under-used.

People forget that ranged has taken a huge damage nerf and melee has been extended to like 50 rounds....VA got an enormous indirect buff out of that.

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] April 24 2009 3:01 AM EDT

Elbows and SODs still do enough damage in Ranged that VA (which can be dispelled, not to turn this back to DM) is of much more use getting from a Weapon, which also makes it undispellable. It also happens one of the two Weapons that provide VA is in the Top 6 and can be used with funky stuff like the SoC.

GS/Haste are craptastic. You can maybe find a use for them, if you really want to try somethng funky. But there's no need, actually, no real use, for spreading STR/DEX across your whole team.

All people would really use Haste/GS for is either buffing a main Tank or a Familiar. So maybe get rid of the whole team aspect, and make them effect a single target. Maybe the one directly to the left/right of the enchanter?

"I'd love to see a little bit of that style of apathy instead of "DM is overpowered!" Maybe just for a day? Half a day?"

I'd love to sute. But I just can't be bothered atm. ;)

QBJohnnywas April 24 2009 3:07 AM EDT

I dunno, if you're running a tank multi minion team, with some kind of evasion on it then Haste would really come into it's own. So it can be dispelled? Well I guess you've just got to take that as inevitable.

Talion April 24 2009 7:17 AM EDT

I personally like all ED spells.

GA and AS are used more because they are extremely easy to incorporate into a strategy.

The other spells require people to use their brains in order to make them as effective as they can be.

Lets not say that there are not enough ED spells just because there is a lack of imagination.

QBRanger April 24 2009 9:37 AM EDT


We have a wonderful community full of people with tons of imagination.

If, in all of CB, people do not use these 4 spells, perhaps it is not a lack of imagination, but they just suck.

If this was CB1 without DM, I am certain these percentages would be different.

But in CB2, a change is needed to make them more desirable.

It is the risk/reward factors in play. There is too much risk learning them for the rewards they give.

GA has an incredible damage %. AS gives hp. Both of these spells have a great risk/reward ratio.

QBsutekh137 April 24 2009 9:56 AM EDT

I kind of think it is as simple as this (with DM, yes, adding some insult to the injury):

Ablative Shield -- HP is always good, no matter what type of team, no matter what level of concentration on the team. And the more the better (concentrated HP does not help in the same way concentrated STR or DEX would, for example). Also helps familiars.

Guardian Angel -- Does damage. No other DE does that. It is obvious why GA sticks out as a choice, and it always has. I remember finally using it all the way back on CB1, and it made me far more powerful than whatever the heck else I was using at the time. Something involving a two-handed flail and a halberd, I think.

Vampiric Aura -- First of all, it's tank only. That means it doesn't need to be on everyone. It is wasted on anything not swinging a melee weapon. Instant strike against it. And GL pointed out that weapons can already imbue a minion with VA, so that makes this DE even more of an also-ran. Could make it an amulet, in fact. Or a skill.

Giant Strength -- Tank only, again. Why waste a team-wide enchantment when we all know concentrating into one huge tank is far better than having four smallish ones? STR does nothing much more than help damage (no substantial defensive help), and even that depends on the weapon it swings in concert with. That means EXPENSIVE to make effective.

Steel Skin -- In this game, even Walls are better off when concentrated, plus PL batteries can be even more effective than walls anyway. So, again, who needs this shrouding their whole team? As the stats bear out -- oh yeah, just about no one.

Haste -- Same as STR, though dexterity IS a little more useful defensively, across the whole team. If we didn't have so many massive pth weapons in the game, Haste might be more popular. But that's the problem with gear -- it just keeps getting bigger, and it can be transferred. In a mature CB-land, large dexterity via Haste will probably only reduce one hit defensively, and that one hit might be out of three or four. There's no point to having your minion's corpse dodge that last blow. *smile*

So, maybe from a slightly different angle, the "problem", if it is a problem, is how much CB rewards concentration. Heck, some people even concentrate solely on a familiar! In CB1, there used to be TMMM, TTMM, TME, etc. teams. Then, toward the end, people got tired of stupid crap like the dexterity advantage entirely turning battles, and they grew weary of trying to gear up four minions. Concentrated tanks were born. Walls were born. Pure enchanters were born.

That's when these sub-par DEs started going to pot.

I don't have any ideas, other than: remove them. Seriously. Either change the game so that it isn't all about concentration, or banish these team-wide, mainly tank-based DEs. They are utterly pointless in a concentrated Blender.

QBRanger April 24 2009 10:10 AM EDT

Well concentration occurred, when DM came.

Then people could not count on the ED spells.

QBsutekh137 April 24 2009 10:14 AM EDT

I don't disagree that DM made it worse, but I do remember the area of time in which walls and pure enchanters were born... And that was on CB1 where there was no DM. So, maybe concentration is just part of CB's natural evolution, and then DM put it over the edge.

I think you could totally titrate spell popularity by modifying DM in some way, but I would bet you a case of beer that it would only serve to make AS and GA more popular. All the other DEs would still languish according to the analysis I lay out above.

QBRanger April 24 2009 10:43 AM EDT

I agree with your last statement.

Change DM and AS/GA become more powerful.

However, I would really like to see some choice for ED spells beyond As or GA. Something with so much use, that one is tempted to learn it even knowing DM is out there.

Beyond having to use a ROS of course.

IE, If you make VA work with missiles, that makes it very tempting to use.

But it would have to be something really tempting to try to learn it with DM out there.

Or making Haste/GS as one spell, getting 50% of your final level as dex and strength.

Or a new mage spell where you get additional damage, etc...

But it has to be something really tasty for people to try to learn it.

I just do not see it for the current Haste, GS, VA or SS.

Except if you just decide to fight only AMF characters. But then if your in a clan, you get creamed by DM ones.

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] April 24 2009 11:00 AM EDT

"IE, If you make VA work with missiles, that makes it very tempting to use."

I remember when VA used to work with Missile. We don't want to go back there. Especially not with SODs and 100% bth ELBows.

"Or making Haste/GS as one spell, getting 50% of your final level as dex and strength."

One spell would be a start, but it would have to be higher than 50%. Higher than the 60 odd % the individual spells get. Maybe 75%?

It's still a waste as you don't need it over all your minions. I'm sure they would get more use if they were tailored (somehow) to boost a specific minion.

Maybe a new Amulet, that if worn the buffing EDs cast by your team target only that minion (at an increased effect). Actually, make it a property of the Amulet of Focus. It increases the ED received, and focuses those cast onto one minion. ;)

QBRanger April 24 2009 11:11 AM EDT

With an amulet as you suggested, it would make AS/GA that much more powerful.

I would like to stay away from buffing levels of ED's, just find a way to make them at least tasty enough for people to try to learn them.

Instead of the current thinking of "They will likely get dispelled, and do not help that much compared to other places I can use the XP, so I will not learn them"

One has to make the risk/reward ratio so that one tried to learn them even though DM is out there.
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