Power, Precision, Crit and You!

Posted on September 29, 2012

I've been running these numbers for a long time now. Guild Wars 2 has been particularly challenging for two reasons. 1) No one has really figured out the damage formula. 2) Every skill has its own scaling factor. And while the factor is linear, some skills will fair better from Power while some won't. So numbers are easier to crunch for one skill, but it gets tedious for all of them.

I've been running off a damage formula that I believe is correct. It only computes raw damage and does not take into account Armor/Toughness or glancing blows and misses. It is simply "How much damage will a hit do on zero armor?"

At its most simplest form it is:

(Attack)(Scale)(1 - Crit % + (1.5 + Crit Damage) ( Crit %))

SAI, a member of my guild, Gaiscioch, plugged this formula into a gradient vector. Gradient vectors are basically used to measure rate of growth of each variable in a formula. We can use this to compare growth between Power, Precision, and Crit Damage and decide which one to add to most increase our damage. Pretty cool.

Here's a spreadsheet where you can plug in different values. You can either choose different armor or just type your values directly in on the Total row.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AsXyRg8kOHUXdG5IdHBWRVhuX1pNV3MtWEo4S29FX1E#gid=0

The armor sets in there are PvE/WvW armor so they have stats built right on. For sPvP, it's easier to enter your own values and see what you need. Then go get the runes and amulet to match.

What does is mean?

This is only useful for direct damage builds, as condition damage uses its own stats and mixing them will actually end up making your build worse. But if you are going for direct damage, we can find points along the way where it makes sense to choose stats.

For example, Power is always the most important until you hit 1326 Power. This isn't a lot of Power but it's worth noting that even if you are going for a Crit build, you need this level of Power.

And even more useful, Precision is still the worst stat to increase until you add at least 36 crit damage. At that point if you add just 10 Precision, you can see crit damage important rise to the top again. So basically, stack crit damage. Once you hit 1326, stack crit damage. Of course at this point, I only know how to get to 40 crit damage, at least for an engineer. (Rune of Air, Golemancer, or Rage and +30 from Tools)

So if you're going for a crit build, get 1326 Power and 40 crit damage before you even look at Precision. Then Precision is your best bet until the end.

What's wrong with this?

It's boring. Now I have numbers that are pretty much set for a direct damage build. Good thing I like condition damage so much!

Theorycrafting: Guild Wars Style

Posted on July 16, 2012

I realize most people reading blogs about an MMO that hasn't released already know about theorycrafting. However, I wanted to take some time to set up theorycrafting and its usefulness in Guild Wars 2, as numbers will be a large part of this blog post launch.

So... theorycrafting. What is it? Is it one word or two? A hyphen? Some people love it and some people think games would be better off without it.

The term came into existence among Starcraft players when debating strategy away from the game. Sitting around the lunch table arguing about which race would win a given scenario was a way to play Starcraft when you couldn't play Starcraft. Of course it was all theoretical, and therefore, Theorycraft. Sometimes the term was used negatively, like "He can't micro/macro/some other skill, he's just a theorycrafter", meaning the player has a head for Starcraft theory but is not a good player.

The term became more popular when it carried over to World of Warcraft. Players began reverse engineering the formulas used for their character's damage. Spreadsheets were made, simulators were built, and threads were filled with arguments (primarily on elitistjerks.com. All in the name of higher DPS, higher TPS, or higher HPS/M.

I always hated math, why would I do this?

First off, you don't have to: people like me who love math will do it for you. Theorycrafting is a great to figure out what works well without any bias. You may feel like massive crits are the way to go, but putting 50 small bleeds on an enemy might be the true fastest way to kill it. Theorycrafting can tell you this. Theorycrafting has brought new terms to gaming like soft cap. The game doesn't tell you that defense is less useful after a certain point, theorycrafters do.

TheoryWarring: Guild Wars 2 always has to be different, right?

In other MMOs I've done theory crafting just to figure out what rotation to use or mostly, which heal will give me the best HPM. Guild Wars 2 is going to be different though. Through the first two beta events I can already tell that the best DPS does not mean the best player. So I want to change what theorycrafting has been into a more suitable case for Guild Wars. I am dubbing this Theory Wars.

Theory Wars

Theorywarring should tell you not just the damage numbers, but help you make decisions while you play, because that's what Guild Wars 2 combat is all about. It's not about trying to take the human factor out of your perfectly theory crafted rotation. It's about position, support, control and damage.

We will have to crunch some numbers and figure out DPS and all that, but then, like a good Engineer, we have to take that theoretical science and apply it. Make some bridges. Let's build a great build, and learn to make decisions while playing that build that really make it shine. Let's learn how to fight more effectively with and against other professions and let's learn when to support and when to hit like a truck.

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The focus of this site is addons, theorycrafting and play mechanics for MMO's I play.

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