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  1. #1
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    Tactical Damage mechanics in SoM

    As you have probably read, if you are following the changes in the combat system, in the expansion there are some significant changes to how combat damage is calculated.

    Most of these changes "come out in the wash," as it were, but this post is an attempt to explain a few of the changes as they pertain to LM.

    Tactical Damage Rank on Staves

    One big change is that melee DPS is fixed on staves, and cannot be ranked up by adding legacy points. Instead, all staves get a Tactical Damage Rank (TDR) legacy which functions very similarly to the DPS rating on a melee or ranged weapon. This legacy can be ranked, and affects the damage of our tactical skills.

    LM's below Level 50, without a legendary staff, have a TDR equal to their character level, I believe. I have not studied how low-level LM skill damage changes, so I won't discuss this case further.

    An LM above Level 50 wielding a non-legendary staff has a TDR of 50. Otherwise, your TDR is determined by the rank of corresponding legacy on your staff. These legacies start at TDR 1 (for LIs around Level 50) and go up to TDR 18 (Level 65 3rd Age). I have not seen a Level 65 2nd Age, but the maximum TDR rank is probably 19 or 20 on those.

    The TDR Rank on your LI should be added to 50. Thus, with a maxed L65 Third Age (TDR18), your TDR is 68. This is shown on your character panel, near melee weapon DPS.

    The legacy point costs to rank up TDR are identical to the costs to rank up melee DPS on staves now. You can max the TDR once the item is at least Level 22.

    TDR and Tactical Skill Base Damage

    All of our tactical skills now do variable damage based on the TDR of our staff. Again, this is quite similar to melee and ranged skills, which usually have a tooltip which reads something like "Main-hand Weapon + X damage". (However note that in SoM, the tooltips have been simplified to list only the minimum and maximum damage, taking into account relevant bonuses).

    TDR is equivalent to "Main-hand Weapon". Our skills appear to have a component which scales with the TDR, and a constant component. Adding one rank of TDR adds a fixed amount of damage to a given skill. In other words, going from Rank 10 to Rank 11 adds exactly as much damage as going from Rank 17 to Rank 18. All skills also have a fixed component which does not depend on the TDR. Thus, TDR rank does not correspond to a percentage increase in damage, rather each rank provides a fixed bonus to the base skill damage (although this bonus is different skill-to-skill). For example, each rank of TDR adds roughly 2.5 points to the base damage of Burning Embers, but adds about 8 points to the base damage of Ents.

    Another change from Mines of Moria is that our Tactical Skills do not do fixed damage, but have a range between a minimum and maximum. This range appears to be a fairly constant +/-17.5% of the average for all skills.

    To develop a model of how various bonuses stack, in what follows, I will call the damage determined from the TDR the "Base Skill Damage", B.

    The Base Skill Damage is calculated as:

    B = C*(TDR) + D

    where C and D are different for every skill, and TDR is the Tactical Damage Rank determined by your level or your staff. C and D may be dependent on character level as well; I have only studied a Level 65 Lore-masters.

    Oddly, the *initial* damage from SoB:W and SoB:WF does not seem to be affected by the TDR, but DoT from these skills and Burning Embers *is* increased by the TDR.

    Tactical Offense Rating

    Tactical Damage Rating is analogous to a melee or ranged weapon's DPS rating. A completely separate (but also new) concept is the Tactical Offense Rating (TOR). TOR is analogous to the new Melee Offense and Ranged Offense Ratings in SoM.

    All three of these Offense Ratings are increased by stats.

    Might -> Melee Offense Rating
    Agility -> Ranged Offense Rating
    Will -> Tactical Offense Rating

    For LMs, each point of Will adds 10 points to your TOR.

    In addition, gear and relics can add to your Tactical Offense Rating. The Adamant Gem of Dreams, for example, no longer says "+5% Tactical Damage," it says "+1200 Tactical Offense Rating".

    At Level 65, 260 Tactical Offense Rating points are *roughly* equivalent to +1% Tactical Damage. There are diminishing returns, but they are not particularly painful.

    Other bonuses to Tactical Damage stack with the bonus from your TOR in an additive fashion. For instance, the 3/5 bonus for MoNF adds 5% directly to this bonus (it is not a rating and therefore not subject to any cap). Your character panel shows your TOR and the overall percentage bonus to tactical damage.

    The net tactical damage bonus T is a percentage multiplicative factor to the base skill damage B. I will call this Modified Base Skill Damage, M. Then

    M = B * (1 + T) = (C * (TDR) + D) * (1 + T)

    Skill Damage Bonuses and Tactical Direct Damage Legacy

    Other bonuses may apply to specific skills or sets of skills. For instance, you may have a legacy that increases Burning Embers Initial Damage by X%, a Y% bonus to Fire Damage Skills from Flame of Anor, MoNF set bonuses and/or the Watcher set bonus, and a Z% bonus from the Tactical Direct Damage legacy. These bonuses generally do *not* appear anywhere on your character panel.

    Each of these bonuses appears to stack additively, but separately from the tactical damage bonus.

    The Final damage F which hits the target (and is subject to mitigation) in this case would be:

    F = M * (1 + X + Y + Z)

    or

    F = B * (1 + T ) * (1 + X + Y + Z)

    or

    F = (C * (TDR) + D) * (1 + T) * (1 + X + Y + Z)

    To summarize this final equation:

    F: Final damage
    TDR: Tactical Damage Rank of staff
    C: TDR-dependent damage component of skill
    D: TDR-independent damage component of skill
    T: Tactical damage bonuses from MoNF, Tactical Offense Rating gear, and Will
    X, Y, Z: Fire damage bonuses, skill-specific bonuses and Tactical Direct Damage legacy

    Healing Skills

    I haven't studied in nearly as much detail, but I strongly suspect our healing skills work in a similar fashion, but of course they are affected by different ratings and bonuses.

    In particular, it is worth noting that the amount of power transfered by Share the Power now depends on your Outgoing Healing Rating (and thus, your Will) and also on the Tactical Healing Rank legacy on your book. There is also a new staff legacy that gives a % bonus to Share the Power.

    Will is therefore much more important now for a performant build, whether in a support role or DPSing.

  2. #2
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    Re: Tactical Damage mechanics in SoM

    Dang, nice work LD, I'll have to reread again when I'm not falling asleep.
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  3. #3
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    Re: Tactical Damage mechanics in SoM

    I'm a little tired to read all of this right now, but it will be thoroughly read tomorrow. Thank you very much for the work put into this, very curious about some of the new mechanics
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    Thumbs up Re: Tactical Damage mechanics in SoM

    Excelent job clearing that up.

    This should stickied.
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  5. #5

    Re: Tactical Damage mechanics in SoM

    If I'm reading this correctly, then it sounds as though if we stack will, we will be more viable healers than before, and our power sharing capabilities will be expanded.

    Is that correct?

    It also sounds as though Melee DPS doesn't contribute nearly as much as it does in MoM, so the KoA Flank-n-Tank playstyle will be reduced in effectiveness.

    Are there any changes to KoA skills to increase pet damage to make up for the loss of Melee DPS in this playstyle?
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  6. #6
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    Re: Tactical Damage mechanics in SoM

    Quote Originally Posted by Ravenhall View Post
    If I'm reading this correctly, then it sounds as though if we stack will, we will be more viable healers than before, and our power sharing capabilities will be expanded.

    Is that correct?

    It also sounds as though Melee DPS doesn't contribute nearly as much as it does in MoM, so the KoA Flank-n-Tank playstyle will be reduced in effectiveness.

    Are there any changes to KoA skills to increase pet damage to make up for the loss of Melee DPS in this playstyle?
    I didn't test at 65, but Staff DPS damage is auto-ranked to maximum. You only need to rank the TDR. Melee is still a big part of our solo damage. Tank'n'Flank is as viable as ever.
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  7. #7
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    Re: Tactical Damage mechanics in SoM

    Quote Originally Posted by Ravenhall View Post
    If I'm reading this correctly, then it sounds as though if we stack will, we will be more viable healers than before, and our power sharing capabilities will be expanded.

    Is that correct?
    All skills (damage and heals) have been re-scaled, I think, because they assume you will have a fair amount of Will. So it is not like you get a huge bonus on top of what we already do.

    But yes, it is possible to improve your healing and power sharing ability through stacking Will, putting points into the Tactical Healing Rank on your book, and using the new staff (Share the Power) and book (Beacon of Hope) legacies that give percentage bonuses to those skills.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ravenhall View Post
    It also sounds as though Melee DPS doesn't contribute nearly as much as it does in MoM, so the KoA Flank-n-Tank playstyle will be reduced in effectiveness.
    There is no evidence of that from parsing. You will do more auto-attacks now, if in melee range, and the damage range of your melee weapons will be higher. Basically your staff comes with the melee damage already ranked up to high value (70.3 DPS for a L65 Third Age, 75.7 DPS, IIRC, for a L65 Second Age) without putting in any points.

  8. #8
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    Re: Tactical Damage mechanics in SoM

    Quote Originally Posted by Ravenhall View Post
    If I'm reading this correctly, then it sounds as though if we stack will, we will be more viable healers than before, and our power sharing capabilities will be expanded.

    Is that correct?

    It also sounds as though Melee DPS doesn't contribute nearly as much as it does in MoM, so the KoA Flank-n-Tank playstyle will be reduced in effectiveness.

    Are there any changes to KoA skills to increase pet damage to make up for the loss of Melee DPS in this playstyle?
    I noticed a small drop in melee damage, but nothing earth-shaking. I think this is a small stealth buff to Nature's Fury LMs and tiny nerf to melee centric types. It sounds worse than it is though. I can't really parse a direct comparison to because my LM is 63 now, but I can say that my typical solo fights don't really last much longer and it was only a problem in one area in Mirkeaves with a really fast respawn.

    As Laguna points out staves have a static damage on them so you don't have to put legacy points in them. Legacies and points seem to have been adjusted as well so I wouldn't say that's a huge buff. For example SS cooldown is 4 tiers on live for -5 sec, on BR it has 9 tiers still maxing out at -5 sec with small increments in between.

    My Reforged 2nd Age staff went from this on live:
    96 - 131

    to this on BR:
    111 - 185

    I have 157 might on Live with 4.7% melee crit. On BR I have 4.3% melee crit, 129 might that produces 387 offensive rating for 16.5% melee offense (I'm not sure what the percent on offense actually signifies).

    With Will affecting my tactical skills and the tactical offensive legacy I'm doing better damage with my skills. Without the ability to gather meaningful data between Live and BR to back up my claim I will say that I feel it's a wash. If I had a great Nature's Fury staff (My staff isn't great. It has -5 SS c/d, + Burning Embers range, and +% Burning Embers initial damage) I would probably see a decent damage increase over Live.

    It's important to look at the bigger picture when considering the melee nerf.

    Also thanks to Laguna for working some math out.
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  9. #9

    Re: Tactical Damage mechanics in SoM

    Quote Originally Posted by LagunaD View Post
    Tactical Offense Rating

    At Level 65, 260 Tactical Offense Rating points are *roughly* equivalent to +1% Tactical Damage. There are diminishing returns, but they are not particularly painful.
    Great summary.

    I am curious how you tested TOR with respect to your statement that DR wasn't "particularily painful". In addition to my main calculations, I tested ToR, but only briefly and at lower LVL (61). I found it to be more noticeable than you mentioned.

    I am just curious why our conclusions were different.
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  10. #10
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    Re: Tactical Damage mechanics in SoM

    Quote Originally Posted by wyldcyde View Post
    Yeah the bi question on my mind is how far do i rank this legacy factoring in that it may take away points from other important legacies.
    Becomes a very important question for my RK.

    The last two ranks are 54 and 70 points iirc, thats a lot of points i could spend elsewhere.
    Each rank of the new "Tactical DPS" legacy adds 2.5-7 points of damage to the base* damage of the skill.

    The specific numbers I found are:

    Burning Embers, Cracked Earth, Gust of Wind, Test of Will, Storm-Lore: 2.52
    Sticky Gourd: 3.36
    LotRD, Lightning Storm: 5.04
    Ents: 6.72

    Did not tabulate Improved Sticky Gourd. For the SoB's, it has very, very small effects.

    (*)

    Base damage means the damage before any other modifications/bonuses, including Will/Tactical Offense Rating, set bonuses, etc. So the effects of the Tactical Damage Rank get scaled up depending on how you are spec'ed. 2.5 points with 0 TOR and no other bonuses is probably more like 5 points with a fully-kitted build, and 7-10 points on criticals.

    A decent general rule of thumb, I would say, is that each rank is worth approximately +1.5%.

    One major difference is that crafted staves like the True Golden Wood Staff will do *significantly* less tactical damage. In addition to lacking legacies and relics, crafted staves (even those with Minimum Level 60) appear to have Tactical Damage Rank = 50, which is 18 levels below the maximum on a L65 Third Age.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thorvaldheimdal View Post
    I am curious how you tested TOR with respect to your statement that DR wasn't "particularily painful". In addition to my main calculations, I tested ToR, but only briefly and at lower LVL (61). I found it to be more noticeable than you mentioned.

    I am just curious why our conclusions were different.
    Well, I did a least squares fit between TOR = 750 and 9690.

    The best fit for the conversion between TOR and +% is:

    Tactical Bonus(%) = 0.251*(TOR/Level) - 0.000583*(TOR/Level)^2 + 8.68E-7*(TOR/Level)^3

    This is consistent with the formula used for Melee/Ranged/Tactical Critical Chance and B/P/E. In MoM, I estimated this as

    Critical Chance(%) = 0.25*(Rating/Level) - 0.0005*(Rating/Level)^2

    This gives quite good agreement in SoM, but the cubic term seems necessary to describe the data to within 0.1% over the whole range.

    For example, using my MoM formula, the Tactical Bonus at Will = 650/TOR = 6500 should be exactly 20.0%. But the in-game tooltip gives 20.1%. Basically we never got high enough ratings to go beyond 15% crit chance/BPE in MoM, and the cubic term only starts to show up at very high rating values.

    So anyway, the second term is the "diminishing returns", and it is fairly small as you can see.

    At TOR = 0, +260 rating points = ~+1%
    At TOR = 6500 (~20% bonus), +325 rating points = ~ +1%

    So it is certainly not negligible, but I would say they are not especially severe, either.

    Visually, the diminishing returns correspond to the departure of this curve from a straight line:

    Last edited by LagunaD; Nov 23 2009 at 10:59 PM.

  11. #11

    Re: Tactical Damage mechanics in SoM

    I believe I have some incorrect data after about 140 Rating.




    EDIT: I believe you are correct, the DR isn't as noticeable as I had previously found. My data for 100 rating plus must have been calculated with some change in gear/stats. That is good news!
    Last edited by Thorvaldheimdal; Nov 24 2009 at 12:25 PM.
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  12. #12

    Re: Tactical Damage mechanics in SoM

    I predict that within 1 month of this going live creep whining will result in this being nerfed somehow.
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  13. #13
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    Re: Tactical Damage mechanics in SoM

    Quote Originally Posted by Viloxus View Post
    I predict that within 1 month of this going live creep whining will result in this being nerfed somehow.
    Nerf RK's first. kthx.

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    Re: Tactical Damage mechanics in SoM

    Thanks, Laguna - great post!
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  15. #15

    Re: Tactical Damage mechanics in SoM

    I hate when games start getting to the point people have to do math equations to figure it out. Its ridiculous and they are just making the game too confusing anymore. Its to the point I no longer care what Turbine posts for news. I even lost interest in their latest crafting news. I hate the weapon system the way it is now.
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    Re: Tactical Damage mechanics in SoM

    Quote Originally Posted by Cabbus View Post
    I hate when games start getting to the point people have to do math equations to figure it out. Its ridiculous and they are just making the game too confusing anymore. Its to the point I no longer care what Turbine posts for news. I even lost interest in their latest crafting news. I hate the weapon system the way it is now.
    Well, you don't *have* to.

    You can pretty much assume that ranking a legacy called "Tactical Damage Rank" will...increase your tactical damage. If you don't care how much it increases, compared to other possible things you can spend the points on, then you don't need to worry about any math.

    Really the SoM changes make tactical skills work just like melee and ranged skills have worked all along. It's a bit different cosmetically, but actually no more complicated than what you should be used to.

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    Re: Tactical Damage mechanics in SoM

    I love looking at the math. It's fun for me. I don't really do the math in game though. I mean if I have two legacies that might be fighting for points I don't sit and calculate the effectiveness per point. If it really is important to me I'll pop in here and see what other players think.

    The cool thing is it doesn't matter now because you can farm a scroll via skirmish to reset all your points and configure your legacies differently if you don't like the choices you've made.
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    Re: Tactical Damage mechanics in SoM

    Quote Originally Posted by Cabbus
    I hate when games start getting to the point people have to do math equations to figure it out. Its ridiculous and they are just making the game too confusing anymore. Its to the point I no longer care what Turbine posts for news. I even lost interest in their latest crafting news. I hate the weapon system the way it is now.
    Quote Originally Posted by LagunaD View Post
    Well, you don't *have* to.

    You can pretty much assume that ranking a legacy called "Tactical Damage Rank" will...increase your tactical damage. If you don't care how much it increases, compared to other possible things you can spend the points on, then you don't need to worry about any math.

    Really the SoM changes make tactical skills work just like melee and ranged skills have worked all along. It's a bit different cosmetically, but actually no more complicated than what you should be used to.
    I'm kind of, not completely, with Cabbus on this. It used to be simple enough for a child to understand: increased dps meant increased damage. The actual formula may have been a bit more complex than that, but the simple rule-of-thumb was easily understandable, and easily "provable" because you could see the increased damage as it happened.

    Now, the damage calculations are complex, indirect, and freighted with enough unique jargon that if you aren't willing to do the math, and I'm not - this is a game I play for entertainment, you really can't know if your LP expenditures are well-enough spent. Turbine has forced most LOTRO players to take it on "faith" that damage will go up by some obscure but useful amount if we spend LP to rank up the Tactical Damage Rating.

    There is something to be said for the KISS principle, or as Admiral Gorshkov said: "Better is the enemy of good enough." I've worked with enough techies of all educational levels and academic degrees that I know the attraction this kind of complexity has for many techies. Of course, the question becomes: "Will the customers who pay for all this feel like they are getting better value than they were before?" And techies who get lost in their fun complexity usually forget the impact on customer satisfaction.

    I can only hope that you're right, LagunaD, that this is a "better" system than what we had. I love the game and will continue to play it notwithstanding its increasing complexity and loss of simplicity, which is where I seem to differ from Cabbus.
    Last edited by jeffm; Dec 25 2009 at 02:52 PM.
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    Re: Tactical Damage mechanics in SoM

    Wow Great Job there!!!! Thank You!!
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    Re: Tactical Damage mechanics in SoM

    Bump to make sure this great information stays on the forums.

  21. #21

    Re: Tactical Damage mechanics in SoM

    This reply is after F2P update

    My very basic question for a long time, that I have not found addressed elsewhere (my apologies if it has been), is:

    There are Legendary legacies for LMs that seem counter-intuitive &/or confusing. Especially *Tactical Skills Damage Resist* and *Fire Damage Skills Resist*...

    Fire skills ARE tactical skills. Do these stack (doubtful), or does Fire not apply to the rest of the generally Tactical.

    Similarly, does *Tactical Skills Direct Damage* NOT apply to Fire skills? What about Lightning skills? And now the Frost skill?

 

 

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