Nice work on the guide, although it's indeed full of personal preference, it'd surely help out some people.
Cracked Earth is a really good AoE skill and if you add up all the damage it does quite a bit of damage, and although I really like CE, I don't think it's worth the legacy since a lot of encounters require single target dps, in some cases AoE isn't even allowed. I also think it's good to not totally focus on fire damage since a few encounters have fire immune mobs or mobs with very high fire mits (sammath gul first boss, fornost fire 2nd half of the instance).
Lotrd has a high base damage on it's own, even though it doesn't benefit from the fire damage bonuses, so a +15% boost to that is pretty significant. If you want to stay with AoE damage, I'd rather choose gust of wind (which IS useful for dps, but only for AoE) over cracked earth, since gust of wind does about the same damage as CE non-crit (less for each target, but it affects 6 targets instead of 5), so an increased base for gust of wind would definitely benefit your AoE dps, assuming you actually use that skill. But I rather focus more on single target and burst AoE.
It can do a ton. I think the best way to explain is by showing a practical application. To make one, I ran through three level 85 Sambrog instances solo while using Combat Analysis. Not including boss fights, there were eighteen total encounters all with at least six mobs and some with much more due to all of the adds that wights can spawn. The shortest pull was 1:19 while the longest pull was 3:03 with an average of length of 1:49. I think that’s a fair length of time to show what sustained Lore-master dps can look like.
Originally Posted by Charian
Here is a screenshot showing a breakdown of the damage dealt over all eighteen encounters. My average dps for the entire test is a little hard to see, but it was 2,381. That was with a tactical mastery rating of about 34k and a critical rating of about 8.4k, although I do use gear that give the will and crit proc buffs.
For those unfamiliar with Combat Analysis, it’s a plugin that saves all of the combat events that are generated by you or your pet plus all of the combat events done to you or your pet. The first column is the skill name. The second column is the number of attacks generated by that skill. The third column is the total damage dealt, and the fourth is the average damage dealt per attack. Note that this is per mob hit, not per skill use. In other words, Cracked Earth may hit five targets on one use of the skill but all five targets hit will get counted as a separate attack. For skills with more than one damage source, like Staff-sweep which has one from your staff and one from your sword, each source gets counted as a separate attack as well. For the Staff-sweep entry, you should multiply the average by two to get a better idea of how much damage was done to each mob on its use.
You’ll notice two entries for Sticky Gourd. The one labeled ‘Sticky Gourd’ is actually the damage dealt by the hotspots the skill lays down. These hotspots always deal the exact same amount of damage; they do not have a range of damage nor do they crit. Ever. The second entry, ‘Improved Sticky Gourd’, is the damage done by the initial, direct damage from the skill. This damage has a range and can crit, just like any other skill.
Right away, this shows the large portion of aoe dps Improved Sticky Gourd comprises. Combining the two entries, it accounted for 1,871,400 of the 4,669,000 total damage dealt or 40.1%. That’s about double the the second highest damage dealing skill.
Look at that second highest damage dealing skill. It’s Cracked Earth. Not only that, but the damage dealt by Cracked Earth is greater than the damage dealt by the direct damage portion of Improved Sticky Gourd. Now, know right away that the data is skewed a little by my gear. I use the Cracked Earth Damage legacy but not the Sticky Gourd Direct Damage legacy. If I swapped legacies, the numbers would be closer, but Cracked Earth would still probably come out ahead.
Crazy, right? How is that?
Cooldowns. There were 324 attacks done by Cracked Earth as opposed to 186 attacks done by Improved Sticky Gourd. The far right column shows the average damage was far less, but the sheer number of attacks makes up for it. If you’re vigilant in using Cracked Earth whenever it’s off cooldown, this can happen a lot of the time. Plus, as you know, trait other colors and Sticky Gourd turns into a mediocre, single-target dps skill. Cracked Earth loses some damage but otherwise remains exactly the same. That’s why I wrote that, for PvE, the Cracked Earth Damage legacy is probably more useful than the Sticky Gourd Direct Damage legacy in the long run.
Now, let’s look at Cracked Earth versus Gust of Wind. As you can see, there is a huge, huge difference between the damage dealt by each, and I’m not just talking about the difference in total damage. Look at the difference in average damage. Cracked Earth dealt an average of 2,776 damage per attack. Gust of Wind dealt an average of only 1,068. Let’s break down why that happened.
First, traiting four red gives you a +15% bonus to all tactical skills but gives you a further +25% or +35% bonus to your fire skills depending on if you include Flame of Anor as one of your red traits. Second, two out of the three most common incoming damage debuffs a lore-master can apply only help with fire damage. Warding Circle helps both, but Benediction of the Raven, the Raven’s first skill, applies a -10% Fire Mitigation debuff which only helps Cracked Earth. Sticky Tar, same thing, -10% Fire Mitigation.
There are also gear bonuses for fire damage skills, which for the record, I did not use in this test. I wore some defensive gear in the head and shoulder slots and four pieces of the Hytbold Animal-friend gear in the rest. Needed to be able to survive to get some data. If I had worn gear with a fire damage buff, the gap would've been wider.
Fire damage buffs and fire mitigation debuffs are not the whole story, however.
Here are screen captures showing a breakdown of the damage applied solely by each skill. On the left is Cracked Earth; on the right is Gust of Wind. You’ll want to pay special attention to the statistics under the Criticals header.
Cracked Earth critted on 54.0% of its attacks and devastated on 8.1%. That’s a crit or devastate on 62.1% (!!!) of its attacks which all get an extra 25% bonus to damage from the Fire Skills Critical Multiplier legacy if you choose to slot it. Gust of Wind critted on 16.9% of its attacks and devastated on 8.1%. That’s a crit or devastate on 25.0% of its attacks that, being frost damage type, do not receive a critical multiplier bonus. 25.0% is still good, but that's not even in the same league as 62.1%. That's Improved Staff-sweep's buff at work which, during this test, I didn’t even use for Cracked Earth every time. Whenever Improved Sticky Gourd (62.4% crit rate) and Ents Go To War (69.2% crit rate) were off cooldown, I used the buff for them instead. Yet even still, crits on 62.1% of Cracked Earth's attacks.
And that's the story right there. Debuffs, crits, and the Fire Skills Critical Multiplier legacy are why Cracked Earth's legacy can be a lot more useful than Gust of Wind's. When talking about their range of usefulness, Cracked Earth and Gust of Wind do have similar floors. However, given all the bonuses for fire skills available to a Lore-master, the ceiling for Cracked Earth towers over Gust of Wind's. That's why I advocated for choosing Cracked Earth's legacy and avoiding Gust of Wind's.
Since we're touching on crits, here are the numbers for all five fire skills over the eighteen trash pulls:
Skill Attacks Crits Devs Crit %
Cracked Earth 324 174 26 61.7
Improved Sticky Gourd 186 105 11 62.4
Improved Burning Embers 212 64 7 33.5
Ents Go To War 39 26 1 69.2
Wizard’s Fire 155 41 0 26.5
Total 916 410 45 49.7
@kriskrosed didn't want to mention the skill consolidations, largely because I'm clearly repressing all memory of that bit.
That said, a tweak for the guide -- BE range is a minor, not major. Which is why it is on most of my staffs. A few points invested and you can get a single target pull from almost as far as gust of wing in PvE (OK I'm lazy; but it is nice).
Originally Posted by Vulcwen
There is a few things that I'd pick up in from this. First, for me for certain Gust of wing does significantly less damage than cracked Earth, simply because Gust of Wind does frost damage, and so doesn't benefit from the stack of fire bonuses you build up when set up for DPS (Minimum damage per target for me at 600 VS 900). I agree about LORD, but even then, the legacy is around 4th/5th choice for me, and isn't on my current staff.
Secondly I'd highlight the difference between legacies, in particular majors and minors. LM Staffs are lucky(?) in that they have a lot of very strong Major legacies, married to the fact that a lot of our Minor legacies are very lackluster. A perspective is that I'm using a first age that is wonderful in almost every respect except on leveling it I only got 3 majors, which gave me the headache of what to leave out.
If it had 4 Majors, I'd still be weighing up options, and with 5 I'd happily drop all the legacies I want in, without a second thought about minor legacies I couldn't have.
Minor legacies simply take the slots you have left over, and their value is in comparison with the other minors, not on an absolute scale with the major legacies. Sadly being best on that list is not difficult. If you look at the others:
Test of will damage boosts a skill that is rarely used because LORD is better in almost every way.
Storm lore is a great skill, but if you care about its damage, then you are missing the point.
The sticky gourd legacy's issues are highlighted in the op, and I am sure its existence is a subtle joke by Turbine that I just don't get.
The lightning storm legacies boost a skill that you use at most once every 5 mins.
That leaves 4 legacies that are worth using, and you may have 3 slots to fill on your staff.
Lastly, you have to think about legacy points. I went back to the OP when I saw Charian's post and saw the link. I'll put money that it leads to the MMorsel tool which is brilliant, if 2+ years old. It is very much worth playing with, because even though the level cap keeps going up, the rules and numbers barely change.
What you very quickly learn is that even with the best staff (1st age, staff level boosted to 70, and tier 6 legacies), you've got enough points to cap Tactical damage rating and around four and a half legacies. You can juggle the points around a bit, but for the most part you are as well off to cap the key majors, which leave a few points to spread around the minors.
It makes the argument between the minors somewhat irrelevant, as you might be getting a 3-4% boost to gust of wind or Cracked Earth rather than the 10%.
It is why people will stick Will legacies on instead, or I use Burning Embers range, because none or a handful of points gets a noticeable bonus.
Personally I stick Ents damage on for the Fwakoom! factor (and I never get tired of the animation).
Apologies, this was actually planned to be short (Honest :) ).
Edit: @kriskrosed -- preempted by someone with actual stats dammit :)
Edit 2: Having now read it properly, it is worth highlighting that the stats are taken in a target-rich environment where our AOE skills really shine. Nothing wrong with that, but if you go Elite hunting instead, you'll get a totally different breakdown. Again have to say nothing wrong with the test; it amuses me just how few people realize how much AOE damage we can kick out if we need to.
The other thing to bring up is what is 4th on the list, and thats in an AOE heavy environment. People strangely still think we are not a melee class. In a less AOE type situation, our auto-attack contributes even higher -- cannot find it right now but I think it was Doc Holiday who put our melee attack numbers at around 40% of DPS in one study
Ah, gotcha. :) Me as well.
Originally Posted by Carolas
And thanks for pointing that out! I will change it immediately.
Originally Posted by Carolas
Excellent points. For balance, here is a screenshot of the three boss fights. I did not do challenge mode so this is a breakdown of purely single-target dps. Improved Staff-sweep would normally contribute more, but I save it for power regens on flanks when I solo bosses.
At first, if going for dps optimization, Cracked Earth >> Gust of Wind. I totally agree with that. But what about your dps if not traited red, all fire skills will lose 50% fire damage, and all others tactical skills about 15% tact damage. At this point fire isn't all that great anymore and gust of wind becomes a viable skill for dps, besides your melee skills. It also applies that nice miss chance debuff you will need to keep up anyway in a support role. Further it's also nice to get some boosts for a low cooldown non-fire based skill just in case you encounter enemies with nasty reflects (a lot of reflects only apply on common, westernesse and fire damage), or as I mentioned earlier, in cases enemies have high fire mits or are even immune to it.
Originally Posted by Carolas
LMs are pretty low overall on the dps scale anyway, any other class, if geared and traited for it, can out-dps LMs. The strength of LMs is the variety of skills available, so making GoW more viable for dps is what I see at least a valid option, not completely useless as written in the guide. Make it at least 2/5 for being situational :P, maybe don't slot it in place of CE, but instead of BE range or a stat legacy might be useful.
Edit: I don't want this to become a CE vs GoW topic. Cracked Earth is the clear winner. The point I want to make is that Gust of Wind CAN be a useful legacy if it fits the players playstyle, since LM can be played at more than one right way. Yellow/blue traited LMs, which I see regularly still, can get a good benefit from gust of wind damage if gust of wind is in their normal rotation. If you mostly run red traited, gust of wind should indeed be avoided. I'd run with CE damage too if I can get it, but the RNG isn't cooperating, for now sticky gourd damage serves me fine.
Not a bad guide but very focused on Master of Selfcrippling.
What about the 3 to 1000000 other traitpossibilities?
Gust of Wind is a good legacy if not only looked halfblind with the MoNF eyes.
Tons of paragraphs about explaining the reason to dump lots of point to get +9 BE-pulses but nothing about the weakness of Ents legacy ... 5 min CD and not that much damage for such a long CD. Maybe the title should be changed to "A soon to be obsolete guide to Lore-master legacies(MoNF point of view)"
Still a good guide but with an incomplete title.
You hve done a good job, though my words may not sound that way. I don't hate MoNF-LMs either, but i can't stand MoNF traitline and hate to use it for the 3-6 instances with friends. I really feel crippled using MoNF and being forced by the content to use it, if I don't want to "harm" my friends.
Sorry if it sounds too harsh English is not my first language and I haven't been that good at it. It's not easy to hit the right tone in a foreign language :)
Ah, lovely info. And what do you know, one of the trash 3rd-agers I was leveling to break down just happened to get both of the pet buff legacies. It now has a place reserved in my "bag of tricks."
Well, in fairness, I was the one who started it by using such harsh language against the Gust of Wind legacy and then having the hypocrisy to say
Originally Posted by Tatharil
Originally Posted by kriskrosed
So no worries on your tone. Didn't come across too harsh, and I’ve done worse. :)
I do want to challenge the notion that I wrote purely from a Master of Nature’s Fury perspective, however. On the contrary, I tried to take into account how useful legacies were across all trait combinations when deciding on ratings. In fact, the legacies that received 5/5 without qualification got them because they are useful no matter how you are traited.
It seems like a lot of objection comes from the rating given to Gust of Wind’s legacy. Gust of Wind’s legacy did not receive a low rating because it is a poor dps skill only when traited down the Master of Nature’s Fury line. It got a low rating because it is a poor dps skill no matter how you are traited.
Here’s a snapshot of Sambrog again, this time with a combination of five yellow traits along with Healer (blue) and Knowledge of the Past (red). Legendary traits were Force of Will, Ents Go To War, and Eagle-friend. The only gear set used was the Hytbold Animal Friend set. In other words, it was a strictly support build with, this is important, no bonus to melee damage. Here’s the picture:
This isn’t a perfect test since I didn’t use Gust of Wind quite as much as Cracked Earth. If I had, using the average damage per attack, Gust of Wind would have done around 260k total damage for the run.
The second highest damaging skill was and still would have been A Melee Attack. A Melee Attack is the label Combat Analysis gives to auto-attacks. So even in the situation most favorable to Gust of Wind—traited for support, geared for support, and, most importantly, large groups of enemy targets—it was out-done by auto-attacks. Single target auto-attacks. Auto-attacks not even buffed with the Sword and Staff legendary trait. It was also outdone by Improved Staff-sweep which, while only affecting three targets, hits over 50% harder per enemy and has no wasteful induction. Finally, fourth on the list, comes Gust of Wind.
Every other skill whose associated legacy received a rating greater than zero has at least one role in which it shines. The legacies that received the highest ratings received them because they remain strong across many combinations of traits, gear, and types of encounter. Case in point, the same legacies I valued so highly for MoNF aoe dps are again great to use here while traited Ancient Master: Cracked Earth Damage, Fire Skills Critical Multiplier (Cracked Earth critted 70.2% of the time this run), and the always useful Tactical Skills Direct Damage. Gust of Wind's legacy received 0/5 because it is hard to argue that there is ever a moment where Gust of Wind is the best or even second best skill besides, as Vulcwen pointed out, a few pulls in Fornost: Wraith of Fire.
That said, if all you ever do with your Lore-master is trait for support but still try to dps while always standing at range in a group instance that has lots of pulls with at least five enemies, then by all means, slot it. It's still not great but probably the fifth best legacy for that very specific situation behind the three mentioned above and a Legacy of Will. It will take at least a Second Age Staff with good legacy tiers leveled to 70. Do anything different with your Lore-master, though, like stick around to fight a boss in that instance and Gust of Wind’s legacy very, very quickly becomes a liability.
I’m sorry. I’m being hypocritical again, but this is one of the very few legacies I'll risk that on because it really is not very helpful.
Can somebody please do this sort of thing for the LM POST HD? please and thank you.
It is highly unlikely anyone will attempt anything like this until several passes have gone through the system to attempt to balance Loremasters and LIs back into something that seems sensible (assuming that someone then would take on the job).
Originally Posted by Daniyel
For perspective, if you look at the book legacies:
There was already discussion about the value of the resistance legacies after the introduction of finesse. It is impossible to assess where that stands post HD until a final level of challenge has been set in game to see if they are needed.
The SOP duration legacy has lost its connection to the skill that most people used it to boost in the first place.
Some legacies have gained no real extra value in the changes, and the rest have either completely changed or become much more focused -- Fire lore legacy is pointless unless you are traited yellow, pet minors might be worthwhile if you trait blue.
Staff is still damage damage damage with a power clicky. Basic build would probably be the same -- with LORD dropping down the list to the point where even I cannot argue for it any more. The big difference is that the lightning traits might be more useful if you are traited red, but again, until things have settled down, there is no way to know. As with the book, there are legacies totally dependant on traitline now (Ents for one).
When players find challenges that need them to think about fine tuning, there might be more discussion about this. Right now I'm just removing challenges with new, improved 'Sic 'em' (studies show that 60% of the time; it works all of the time), and that is a skill that is barely affected if at all by any legacy.