Friday, October 31, 2008

Of things to come!

Heya lads,

I wanted to throw this out there so you know what to expect from this blog. I'm not, by nature, an organized person, however this is a small "calender" of sorts to indicate what my next posts are going to be about.

There are many concerns/theorycrafting that needs to be addressed concerning the Engineer. I have charts to write, theories to test and, most importantly, the damn game to play so I can bring you this state-of-the-art knowledge! Believe it or not, having a good time in game is more important to me than dissecting it!

So to start, I plan to publish an exhaustive chart showcasing Engineer damage coefficients. This is an undertaking and, since my play time is not unlimited, I'll be taking it in sections. I'll start with 'Core' Engineer skills, then progress through the mastery trees. It takes alot of time to thoroughly test these numbers, so it will take time.

I am also in the process of writing a complete Engineer guide, from level 1-40! The largest problem is that I do not want to write a guide without being 40 myself; I consider than somewhat fallacious! So, while I have a good chunk of the guide complete, it will not be ready in it's easy-to-navigate PDF goodness until I have actually reached rank 40 and have made final tweaks to it. Another problem is that I will likely include many of the charts and diagrams in with it and I will likely have completed those on this site rather than do them *for* the guide.

So, I think I have a full platter for now; complete coefficients chart, Engineer guide, and actually getting to level 40! I also need to append my previous "Theorycrafting 101: Ballistics vs. Weapon Skill" to make the charts more meaningful.

Anyhow, hopefully that'll give you an idea of what's to come!
Papa Gwan

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

AoE Grinding 101: Basics

Heya lads!

Here is my shameless plug! I made an AoE Grinding Video recently, finally got it posted. It is an overview of the basics of AoE Grinding at level 29+ as a Grenadier.
AoE Grinding 101!
Things to note:
-Grind in PQ area after prime time; lots of mobs to be had and the extra influence is a plus!
-Keep "Flak Jacket" up and use "Ancestral Inheritance" for the extra mitigation.
-Use a solid set of wounds/toughness gear. You should have around 5500+ health by rank 29 if you stack wounds! In the video I only have 4500, but that's because I have been playing Rifleman and don't need to stack wounds.

Anyhow, check it out, might be useful for you!
Papa Gwan

Theorycrafting 101: Ballistics vs. Weapon Skill

Welcome to Theorycrafting 101!

This is a comparison between Weapon Skill & Ballistic Skill: which you should stack and when! Firstly, I am going to lay down the base formulae for all of the stats I am going to use. Next, I'll pump out some basic data using a simple calculator and the formulae. Then, since I'm such a nice guy, I'll organize the data into charts for ya'! Ain't I great?

Note, this is for Rifleman. I'll likely do a Grenadier rundown later, but Rifleman is more demanding at this time.

So, the formulae:
Weapon Skill: Armor Penetration % = ( ( ( Weapon Skill / ( ( Level * 5 ) +50 ) ) * .25 ) * 100 )
All we care about on this one is the Armor Penetration. This makes it so our Rifle shots go through some of the targets armor, effectively dealing more damage. Is it good? Better than Ballistics? Got you on the seat of your pants? Lets read on!
Ballistic Skill: +DPS = ( Ballistic SKill / 5 )
Easy one! +DPS means that you can multiply casttime * +DPS to figure out how much damage will be added to said skill. For instance, say Gun Blast deals 400 damage base. With +100 Ballistic Skill, you get +20 DPS. 20 * 2 seconds = 40. Gun Blast now deals 440 damage. Easy enough? Good!
Armor Mitigation: Physical Damage Reduction% = ( ( .9083 / 40 ) * Armor Value )
The above formula is calculated assuming level 40. So, 1000 armor at level 40 will give you ~22.7% damage reduction.

Right! SO we got the boring stuff out of the way! Let's create a chart of test values which we can apply these formulae to! Since I'm so awesome, I already have the charts!

-Number on the top row are Armor Values
-Numbers on the far left column is the test +value to the stat in question
-For the Ballistics Chart, just pick an armor value, look down the rows till the appropriate +stat, and you have the +damage modifier after mitigation at level 40.
-For the Weapon Skill Chart, the values given are the amount of armor reduced by each point, given the above armor value.

Ballistics Skill:

500 1000 1500 2000 2500 3000
+10 1.77 1.55 1.32 1.09 0.86 0.64
+20 3.55 3.09 2.64 2.18 1.73 1.28
+30 5.32 4.64 3.96 3.28 2.59 1.91
+40 7.09 6.18 5.28 4.37 3.46 2.55
+50 8.86 7.73 6.59 5.46 4.32 3.19
+60 10.64 9.28 7.91 6.55 5.19 3.83
+70 12.41 10.82 9.23 7.64 6.05 4.46
+80 14.18 12.37 10.55 8.73 6.92 5.1
+90 15.96 13.91 11.87 9.83 7.78 5.74
+100 17.73 15.46 13.19 10.92 8.65 6.38

Weapon Skill:

500 1000 1500 2000 2500 3000
+1 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3
+2 1 2 3 4 5 6
+3 1.5 3 4.5 6 7.5 9
+4 2 4 6 8 10 12
+5 2.5 5 7.5 10 12.5 15
+6 3 6 9 12 15 18
+7 3.5 7 10.5 14 17.5 21
+8 4 8 12 16 20 24
+9 4.5 9 13.5 18 22.5 27
+10 5 10 15 20 25 30

Easy enough? I hope so. It's pretty elementary so far! The key is interpreting it! And for that, I have us a special guest! Here are the above charts organized in a visual manner;

Ballistic Skill(top) and Weapon Skill(bottom):

So what do these charts and raw data mean? Well, here's the gist of it in case you weren't following along; the higher the armor value, the less damage return you get from Ballistic Skill, while the higher the armor value, the larger return you get on Weapon Skill! The Ballistic Skill chart above shows how much extra DPS you get for each 10 points of Ballistics Skill. The Weapon Skill chart shows how much additional armor is bypassed for each point of Weapon Skill, given the above armor value.

Doing a quick calculation in me 'ead, it's at around 2000ish armor that Weapon Skill begins to give a better damage, point for point, than Ballistic Skill!

If, as a Rifleman, you want to focus primarily on low armor classes such as non-melee healers and other RDPS classes, stack as much Ballistic skill as you can! If, however, you want to be more well rounded, dealing more damage to tank classes, medium RDPS, and Melee Healers try to stack Weapon Skill. In any case, +WS on higher level items is not in nearly as much abundance as +BS, so stack accordingly.

Remember, 2000 armor, where the Weapon Skill stat seems to succeed Ballistic Skill in damage is a decent amount of armor! Basically, this is Medium Armor and up. RDPS careers and non-melee healers have Light Armor, as do the Light Melee careers like WItch Elf and Witch Hunter. So, to kill everything but tanks and brawlers, stack Ballistics!

I hope this has been a help to some, I will eventually do a writeup on all Engineer skills and their coefficients, which will give you a better idea of what to stack.

Till then!
Papa Gwan

Addendum - Weapon Skill Chart

Mornin' lads!

I was pondering over this post the other day, realizing how poorly the Weapon Skill chart was made out. Sure, it shows how much armor is negated at said level and armor value, but it shows little in terms actual damage mitigated and bypassed. And so, I have created this new chart!

-First Row is Armor Values
-First(left) column is +weapon skill
-Find the armor value you are hitting against, add the weapon skill, and that shows how much more damage you will deal against your target

500 1000 1500 2000 2500 3000
1 0.06 0.23 0.51 0.91 1.42 2.04
2 0.11 0.45 1.02 1.82 2.84 4.09
3 0.17 0.68 1.53 2.72 4.26 6.13
4 0.23 0.91 2.04 3.63 5.68 8.17
5 0.28 1.14 2.55 4.54 7.1 10.22
6 0.34 1.36 3.07 5.45 8.52 12.26
7 0.4 1.59 3.58 6.36 9.93 14.31
8 0.45 1.82 4.09 7.27 11.35 16.35
9 0.51 2.04 4.6 8.17 12.77 18.39
10 0.57 2.27 5.11 9.08 14.19 20.44

I think this shows, more clearly, the bonus of Weapon Skill over Ballistic Skill. I left the main post alone to the fledglings can easily see the direct Armor Negation chart. As you can see, this supports my main supposition that Weapon Skill surpasses Ballistic Skill point for point at about 2000+ armor.

Cheers mates!
-Papa Gwan

The Rundown

So, here we are...

I can feel it; a bunch of you little 'uns are gathered at my feet and say to me, "Papa Gwan? What is an Engineer? Why are they so special?" and I say to you, "Well, my son, an Engineer is thing of great beauty and grace, a fragile thing that needs love and tender care, lest it be broken and fall to ashes!"

Hah. Right. Actually, an Engineer is a long-rifle toting, ale guzzling, kevlar covered monstrosity covered in hair, and has a beard the size of Cincinnati. And don't forget the pipe! Lots o' smoking goin' on!

The Engineer is the Dwarf race's RDPS Archetype career in Warhammer Online. He is described as such by his developer's;
An explosion is the ultimate form of mechanical advantage, so it's no big surprise that the skills of the Dwarf Engineer extend well along these lines. From guns to grenades, he is a deadly ranged combatant who will pelt you with lead from afar and blast you to bits as you close in. He excels when fighting multiple opponents, as many of his explosive attacks are capable of devastating enemies who pack too closely together. The Engineer offers an outstanding blend of flexible firepower which makes him a truly deadly and clever combatant.
Somewhat accurate statement, though i have to say, not quite there. It is also stated by the Dev's that the Engineer is supposed to be a "Defensive RDPS career specializing in AoE and Area Denial." This is somewhat more accurate, at least the Defensive part.

My description is neither of the above. Sure, it may change later, I reserve the right to adjust my description as the class evolves, but for now, here is my take;
The Engineer is a "light AoE damage, highly survivable support career, specializing in Crowd Control and Area Denial mechanics."
Whew. Mouthful. But accurate in it's current incarnation(1.0.3) The Engineer, rather than being a strait DPS career like the Bright Wizard, has more to him; a plethora of CC mechanics, including Knockbacks, Knockdowns, Stuns, Inturrupts, Snares, and Roots. He can specialize further in Crowd Control by mastering the Tinkerer path. AoE damage can be boosted by mastering Grenades, while single-target spike damage can be increased with the Rifleman mastery path.

So, we have our description; what exactly does an Engineer do? That's hard to answer. The Developers of WAR really failed to give a design focus to Engineers. As a result, Engineers are kind of a "jack of all trades, master of none" kind of deal. Not pretty, but somewhat true! Does that mean that they can't excel in one area? No, it just requires lots of work!

Glad we got this one out of the way earlier, I will likely make a reference to out LAoEDHSSC-SCCADM-RDPS description/role often!

Papa Gwan

Monday, October 27, 2008


Heya Lads and Lasses!

My name is Gwan. Most call be Papa Gwan. I've always intended to start a Blog, but never really had a good reason to. Most blogs I see around are little more than personal journals that are public. Meh. Not my style.

HOWEVER, as I recently started playing WAR, and most people think my chosen career need of some dev lovin', I decided to start a Blog about it! I am a theorycrafter at heart and posting in the the Warhammer Alliance forums has been, shall we say, interesting.

Anyhow, I am in the process of creating crapload of Engineer resources, guides, videos, and theorycrafting charts to reference. Will it be done soon? No. I am fairly casual about gaming, though i try to play whenever I have free time. I am a student and I work, so free time is not often.

Anyhow, feel free to tune in here, I'll link back to this for most my posts at Warhammer Alliance!

Cheers mates,
Papa Gwan, the Kitchen Philosopher