Author Topic: Brands  (Read 3801 times)

Tregolani

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Brands
« on: September 22, 2013, 01:38:32 PM »
Skill(s)Fire Brand, Ice Brand, Lightning Brand

Changes:  Lower flat damage.  Possibly add in debuffs instead.  Add in higher cooldown between firing

Reason:  Brands, by themselves, are fairly tame.  At lower levels, brands tend to be negligible at best and generally hard to use, since applying elemental effects is tricky.  However, at higher levels, brands fire almost constantly due to weapons having nearly all elements, which results in stupidly high damage spikes.  Skills like Prismatic Bolts, Shockbolts, Shocking Orb, and Magma Spear tend to abuse this to ridiculous levels (e.g. My level 70 lightning mage [300 str, 250 dex, 650 foc, +200% ele dmg] can spike over 300k in a single attack with Shockbolts)  Brand cooldowns tend to be based per missile, not per cast, but I haven't tested extensively.

RaymondLi

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Re: Brands
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2013, 01:43:04 PM »
According to my test, their CD is near 1.2-1.4 second.
It may need some devs to post the skill internal mechanism tho.

I agree to lower the flat damage.
Or maybe onetime if it can only proc one brand in the same time on hit, does this sound reasonable?
« Last Edit: September 22, 2013, 01:48:41 PM by RaymondLi »
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Tregolani

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Re: Brands
« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2013, 03:14:54 PM »
According to my test, their CD is near 1.2-1.4 second.
It may need some devs to post the skill internal mechanism tho.

I agree to lower the flat damage.
Or maybe onetime if it can only proc one brand in the same time on hit, does this sound reasonable?

The flat damage does need a nerf.  Maybe make it so that Fire-type damage can only proc Fire Brand (and same for Frost and Electric), even if the target has the other statuses on it.

Also, one brand type per hit is how it's supposed to work (it works that way with Arc Beam on a dummy), but against actual mobs, I think the engine just fires them all...all the time.  Especially with multi-missile attacks like Shockbolts. 

I keep going back to Shockbolts because I'm having the most trouble balancing the skill for my own mod.  I've lowered the damage, but increased bolt launch amount and added a "split on hit" chance, trying to give it more of a "Diablo 2 Charged Bolt" feel - cover the screen with bolts that all do meager damage individually. However, everything, even Hero monsters, die almost instantly, and I think it has to do with a combination of brands and weapon "skills" (Meteor, Glacial Spike, etc.).  I've gone through the floors after the Gold Thief King in the Deserted Goldmine without taking a hit, obliterating everything even before I can see it. Without brands, the skill is absolutely useless, doing ~4k dmg per damage display at lvl 100 with full gear.  With brands, it wipes maps out without even thinking. 

All that to say, Brands are the main culprit to that insane imbalance, and thus they need to be toned back severely. Once that happens, we can then rebalance skills around the fact that we won't have to worry too much about ludicrous damage spikes due to Brands all firing simultaneously.

Craftea

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Re: Brands
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2013, 06:27:20 AM »
Each Brand has an internal cooldown of approx. 1s, meaning e.g. Fire Brand can only proc once per second no matter how many targets you hit. (I think it is exactly 1s cooldown)

I'm not sure if a Deserted Goldmine run with a test skill that hits many, many times with procs is the best judge of whether the Brands are 'OP' or not.

The Lv100 Brand damage is 2215-6634, based off the in-game description. For 45 skill points (investing 15 in all the Brands), you can get 6645 - 19902 damage (6k - 20k approx.), which seems pretty reasonable to me.

The fact that the damage output is coming from 4 different skills, and gear should also be considered.

Although perhaps there is something to be said about the proc condition being too easy (i.e. procs on any kind of damage, except DoTs I think, and only requires an elemental affix to be on the monster).

Tregolani

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Re: Brands
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2013, 08:22:57 AM »
Each Brand has an internal cooldown of approx. 1s, meaning e.g. Fire Brand can only proc once per second no matter how many targets you hit. (I think it is exactly 1s cooldown)

I'm not sure if a Deserted Goldmine run with a test skill that hits many, many times with procs is the best judge of whether the Brands are 'OP' or not.

The Lv100 Brand damage is 2215-6634, based off the in-game description. For 45 skill points (investing 15 in all the Brands), you can get 6645 - 19902 damage (6k - 20k approx.), which seems pretty reasonable to me.

The fact that the damage output is coming from 4 different skills, and gear should also be considered.

Although perhaps there is something to be said about the proc condition being too easy (i.e. procs on any kind of damage, except DoTs I think, and only requires an elemental affix to be on the monster).

The main problem is that the damage you calculated doesn't take into effect the gear bonuses you get.  Since it's flat damage, it benefits both from +dmg% and from focus.  From what I understand, those work additively, not multiplicatively.  So, let's say you have, endgame, 1000 focus.  combine that with, say, 200% damage to your element of choice.

I don't know the exact numbers for Synergies' focus changes, but let's say that 1000 focus gives you 250% magic damage.  That means we're looking at +550% to that electric damage, or multiplying the damage by 6.5, giving us 14398-43121.

All that is before any sort of crit, as well.  At endgame, most people would have at least 50% crit, and probably around 250% critical damage.  So 50% of the brands will do an extra 3.5x damage, or a whopping 50393-150924 damage. 

Sure, this is only one of your brands, and the one you've specialized in.  However, I don't know an mage out there that doesn't at least put 1 point into all of the brands....I mean, it's free damage.  So add in the other 2 brands (at 1 point each, so just the base damage) with our current stats, we're looking at an extra 7752 per brand (15505 total), and an extra 27132 per crit (54264 total).  And that damage is based solely on focus +dmg%, not any other +dmg% that would obviously be on the gear (e.g. Invincible, The Dragonspine, The Earth Dies Screaming, Old Master Q, Ebola Syndrome, Skull of Yanfeer)

So the maximum damage from the 3 brands on a typical geared 100 mage would be 205188, per brand firing cycle, so about once every 2 seconds.  Endgame weapons usually have all elements on them, so if a mage is using Pris Bolts or a +WDPS skill, the statuses are nearly guaranteed, so those brands are close to guaranteed damage ON TOP of the skill damage. 

And yes, those damage numbers do not factor in enemy resistances, armor reductions from Staff Mastery or weapon affixes, or extra damage taken (Hailstorm, Firestorm).

TL;DR - I still think the damage at the endgame is a bit much for essentially free damage.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2013, 08:41:22 AM by Tregolani »

Craftea

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Re: Brands
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2013, 09:38:55 AM »
The main problem is that the damage you calculated doesn't take into effect the gear bonuses you get.  Since it's flat damage, it benefits both from +dmg% and from focus.  From what I understand, those work additively, not multiplicatively.  So, let's say you have, endgame, 1000 focus.  combine that with, say, 200% damage to your element of choice.

I don't know the exact numbers for Synergies' focus changes, but let's say that 1000 focus gives you 250% magic damage.  That means we're looking at +550% to that electric damage, or multiplying the damage by 6.5, giving us 14398-43121.

Elemental %WDPS skills, and every other flat damage skill also scale from the same things, so Brands are nothing special in that regard (which was why I neglected to mention any kind of scaling, since flat damage scales from the least number of things, especially flat damage skills with internal cooldowns).

With +200% to electric damage, and +250% to magic damage, the combined Brand damage is actually 3 (1 for each brand; base amount) + 2.5 * 3 (magic damage boost) + 2 (+elemental damage of choice) = 12.5.

The combined Brand damage would then be: 27687.5 - 82925 (27.5k - 83k)

Each Brand crits individually, and with a 50% chance to crit with +250% bonus crit damage, the crit damage without +ele damage is: 81266.5 (81k; 50% of the time). While crit damage with +ele damage is: 127704.5 (128k; 50% of the time)

(Crit always hits for the upper limit)

However, it should also be noted that +% cast speed doesn't at all improve this build.

That being said though, it still outputs an insane amount of damage to the point where it would possibly overshadow the damage from the main skills. (or at least contribute to a significant portion of it)

But such a build utilizes all 3 brands, which means you would have to proc all 3 affixes (Burn, Freeze, Shocked).

There are several ways to do this:

PBolt (doesn't output much DPS on its own compared to Brands)
Wand Chaos + Shockbolts (WC is massively nerfed in Synergies)
%WDPS skills w/ a multi-element weapon (i.e. Arc Beam, or Shocking Orbs)
%WDPS skills w/ gears that apply affixes (e.g. Transcendent set, iirc)
Pets using the Freeze/Fireball spell
Multiplayer

I feel that PBolt builds would be completely unplayable if Brands were to be severely nerfed.

Wand Chaos is completely underwhelming at the moment, and there would be no point discussing Brand interaction with WC when WC itself is so weak.

Arc Beam / Shocking Orbs with multi-element weapons is interesting, because Shocking Orbs from what I've gathered seems to be a pretty powerful skill, and with the Brands it looks like it could easily get out of hand.

As for Arc Beam, nope, never had much experience with it, never heard much about it either.

I'm not too familiar with most of the affix adding gear (i.e. % chance to Freeze/Burn/Shock, % chance to cast Thunder/Glacial Spike/Firestorm/Meteor Strike), except for the famous spell trigger socketables I guess.

Pet Scrolls could be an issue for Fire/Ice Brand since they would be too easily added to any build.

And as always, MP is a can of worms. Having someone else stack the affixes for you isn't too far of a stretch, I suppose.

Tregolani

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Re: Brands
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2013, 12:01:58 PM »
With +200% to electric damage, and +250% to magic damage, the combined Brand damage is actually 3 (1 for each brand; base amount) + 2.5 * 3 (magic damage boost) + 2 (+elemental damage of choice) = 12.5.

The combined Brand damage would then be: 27687.5 - 82925 (27.5k - 83k)

Each Brand crits individually, and with a 50% chance to crit with +250% bonus crit damage, the crit damage without +ele damage is: 81266.5 (81k; 50% of the time). While crit damage with +ele damage is: 127704.5 (128k; 50% of the time)

(Crit always hits for the upper limit)

+100% damage means that the skill is doing double damage.  +250% means the skill is doing 3.5x damage, not 2.5x.   That does inflate your numbers a bit more.  Scratch that.  Your math is right, I just was being a bit slow. 

Also, doesn't all +% damage add together for a lump multiplier for the base damage?   So +250% from focus and +200% electric would be +550% total, or base damage x 6.5?  Or is it:  base damage + (base damage x focus multiplier) + (base damage x gear +% multiplier)? That second formula actually gives us a smaller number than the first (14398 vs 12183)...I've never really understood the formula for how it calculates the end number.

As for Arc Beam, if you have a weapon that has all 4 elements in its damage, it can apply all brand statuses, if I remember from my testing correctly.  The vanilla tooltip says it does x% of weapon DPS, meaning that any and all elements on the weapon are actually used in calculating the damage.  If it had said "x% of weapon DPS as Electric Damage", then I believe it would only apply the Shocked debuff. 

However, if your weapon has weapon skills, it can use those, with the exception of Arc Beam, as it specifically denies weapon skills from firing by using the boolean code "NOSTRIKEEFFECTS=TRUE".  A skill like Shockbolts (x% of Weapon DPS as Electric, doesn't have that code snippet) can and will use those extra skills, as it does with Wand Chaos, and those CAN apply the status effects. 

Regardless, I still think brands do an absurdly hefty chunk of an Embermage's damage, and are nearly essential to every build.  Are there really mages out there who don't take brands?  They should be a nice little extra boost to damage, but it shouldn't encompass over 50% of the mage's damage output, and definitely shouldn't be exceeding normal active skill damage.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2013, 12:45:08 PM by Tregolani »

dreams

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Re: Brands
« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2013, 12:38:29 PM »
They are a nice little extra boost to damage and don't encompass over 50% of the mage's damage output.

Frost wave and blazing pillar has similar damage but hits more times. Infernal Collapses has double the damage. thunder locus has the same damage at the same tick rate. This is just the flat damage portion.

With 2handers you can get 100+k per tick with shocking orbs. And when the boss is surrounded by 20 orbs, the brands are really just a nice extra boost. When built right anything can be strong.

Tregolani

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Re: Brands
« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2013, 12:49:22 PM »
With 2handers you can get 100+k per tick with shocking orbs. And when the boss is surrounded by 20 orbs, the brands are really just a nice extra boost. When built right anything can be strong.

Frost Wave and Shocking Orb both need a bit of a nerf, personally.  Either a higher cooldown or a higher mana cost to prevent just covering the room with them.  But we can make those two separate topics.

Craftea

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Re: Brands
« Reply #9 on: September 24, 2013, 06:42:37 AM »
Also, doesn't all +% damage add together for a lump multiplier for the base damage?   So +250% from focus and +200% electric would be +550% total, or base damage x 6.5?  Or is it:  base damage + (base damage x focus multiplier) + (base damage x gear +% multiplier)? That second formula actually gives us a smaller number than the first (14398 vs 12183)...I've never really understood the formula for how it calculates the end number.

The formula is as such:

Base Damage * Multiplier * Crit bonus

Multiplier = 1 (base) + % damage of any type + % from FOC/STR (depending on what skill is in discussion)

Crit bonus = 1 (base) + % Crit damage + % from STR

Crit chance should be considered separately. The best way to explain this rationale would be:

1% chance to Crit for 1,0100% base damage would translate into an overall 101% DPS boost. But it would be significantly different in game because when you DO Crit, whatever you Crit on dies instantly.

As for Arc Beam, if you have a weapon that has all 4 elements in its damage, it can apply all brand statuses, if I remember from my testing correctly.  The vanilla tooltip says it does x% of weapon DPS, meaning that any and all elements on the weapon are actually used in calculating the damage.  If it had said "x% of weapon DPS as Electric Damage", then I believe it would only apply the Shocked debuff. 

There is a chance to apply an element debuff (Poison, Freeze, Shock, Burn) when you deal the respective elemental damage. If I am not wrong, crits with an element will always apply their respective debuff.

It does not care whether the damage is flat, or %WDPS, or from normal hits although I'm not sure whether DoTs will apply their respective debuffs.

As for what Embermage skills can activate procs, I usually just reference: http://forums.runicgames.com/viewtopic.php?f=43&t=47241

Which covers nearly everything that is relevant to game play.

Regardless, I still think brands do an absurdly hefty chunk of an Embermage's damage, and are nearly essential to every build.  Are there really mages out there who don't take brands?  They should be a nice little extra boost to damage, but it shouldn't encompass over 50% of the mage's damage output, and definitely shouldn't be exceeding normal active skill damage.

Yes, there are builds that don't take all 3 brands. (Basically all the non-PB builds) I've never really heard of any viable Arc Beam builds though. When you're utilizing a single Brand, the damage contribution to your overall damage isn't that significant.

Tregolani

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Re: Brands
« Reply #10 on: September 24, 2013, 07:36:33 AM »
Yes, there are builds that don't take all 3 brands. (Basically all the non-PB builds) I've never really heard of any viable Arc Beam builds though. When you're utilizing a single Brand, the damage contribution to your overall damage isn't that significant.

Arc Beam is fairly useless until the higher skill levels, since its range is short.  However, at 15 points and a properly-geared mage, it's brutal.  Stacking cast speed, +ele%, armor degrade, and a 2/3 ratio of STR-FOC exploits the fact that it hits ~5/second and just obliterates anything that isn't a boss.  It's not the most viable build, since it's endgame-only, but it works quite well in conjunction with Shocking Orbs, Thunder Locus, or Shockbolts (fire-and-forget spells)

As for Brands, I was always under the impression that one should max out their element of choice brand, and put a single point in the other two.  Doesn't give you the top-end damage, but it allows you to capitalize on any of the status effects applied by weapons or Elemental Attunement. Doing that, I still find that the other two brands usually hit for 20k or so each, while the element of choice hits for much higher.

RaymondLi

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Re: Brands
« Reply #11 on: September 24, 2013, 10:38:55 AM »
Do note that Arc beam is a special skill that will combine both 2 hands weapon DPS together into calculation. 
However it requires a wand or staff to cast.
It can only proc -armor and knockback from weapon.
Cast speed is only applied when initializing the skill (won't make the skill hit faster. This is a common feature for those channel skills like rapid fire, fusillade and shock burst).

I myself use Iceshard Dominator as main hand and a blue wand as off hand.
I think my build is viable: (I learn it from another one,
credit by Wingofslavery. Here is his video of Elite NG 5+ on a chinese video website.
http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XNDg4MjAyOTI4.html
although his build is on vanilla BTW his elemental DR is around 35-45% and physical DR is 60%)


For synergies I think we should have a base DR 60%, No shield so try to get more HP

Arc Beam 15/15
Blaze pillar 15/15(for charge)
Ice prison 15/15
Hailstorm 15/15
Immo Aura 15/15 +15%DR
Frost Phase 1/15
Death Bounty 15/15
Three Brands 15/15
Attunement/Charge mastery x/15

Str:Foc Near 1:1

Another thing is that if you have a weapon contains multiple elemental damage, the priority to proc an elemental effect would be burning>freeze>shock>poison.(i.e. when you have a weapon containing all kinds of elemental, burning is always proc'ed when you crit on a hit. Rest of them still keep same probability as normal hit around ~10%. )
« Last Edit: September 24, 2013, 11:12:04 AM by RaymondLi »
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