Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Survivabilty Analysis

"Which of my tanks is tougher?"

I found myself asking this question lately regarding my two tanks. They're both fun, and concepts that I like. One is completely finished with regards to the build, and the other is still a wee hero of level 24, but I have a build planned out. Well, to answer the question, I realized another question I needed to answer first.

"Exactly how tough is each tank?"

With that I went about developing a tool to help me analyze and compare my tanks. It's really nothing more than an excel spreadsheet with some equations, but if you're interested, follow this link. That will open the spreadsheet in your browser using Google Documents. If you open it up now, you can follow along whilst I ramble about the calculations and the results. Further, by the end of this post, you'll know enough to be able to perform the same analysis on your tanks - or any of your characters, for that matter.
The first sheet details my Dark Armor / Fire Melee tank, featured in this video. The first block is about mitigation. You can see I've broken it down to each damage type, with separate columns for defense and resistance. The column after those is for total mitigation, a percentage showing exactly how much of each damage type reaches my hit points. You may notice right away that I've highlighted fire and cold defense, and there's a reason for that. Fire/Cold defense on this tank is my lowest value; melee and ranged are both higher. The value I put into the table is an average of my fire/cold, melee, and ranged defense, which assumes an equal amount of melee, ranged, and AoE attacks. This is not the case, but it is a conservative estimate.

All of these numbers assume even con minions, which is fine when this tool will be used to compare tanks. You may also notice that Toxic damage is not accounted for. Toxic damage lacks a defense type, and although I could create some average of melee, ranged, AoE, lethal, and perhaps a pure toxic value (0%) together, I don't think the resulting number would mean anything. I also do not believe Toxic damage to be prevalent enough to worry about.

Now look down the sheet a few rows. You'll see I have a place to put total hitpoints, regeneration, and extra healing abilities. HP and regen are easy enough to grab straight from Mids, but Dark Regeneration required some math. I broke it into two different scenarios as well: Single foe and a huge mob. The formula for HP/sec is written out in the spreadsheet, but for this sheet I assumed capped accuracy (95%) because my character heavily slotted ACC and has a few ACC bonuses. When looking at the huge mob scenario, accuracy is no longer an issue thanks to the streakbreaker and the need to only hit three enemies before my health is completely full. What I did assume is the maximum effectiveness of Dark Regeneration is attained when I use it at 5% health in such a mob.

Now that I have both Total Mitigation and a Total Regeneration, I can determine exactly how much damage I can sustain indefinitely. Any more than the numbers in this column and my health will drop faster than I can replenish it, eventually leading to defeat. The formula for this is very simple, but is still listed on the sheet. I have two columns, one for each scenario (single foe and huge mob). What this does is really draw out the weaknesses of my tank. I used to worry about energy damage because of the low resist value, but I now find that I do better against energy than I do against psionic damage! Fire and Cold damage are by far my weakest points. I can see how much survivability increases if I use Dark Regeneration at the optimal time.

There is one more column which has debatable use, but I've called that the "Fatal Burst." It's a measure of how much damage has to hit at the same time to drop my tank. I call it a "burst" because you cannot technically get one shotted. This only takes into account resistance and max hitpoints. It's a way to imagine what it takes for a bad streak of RNG numbers to kill you, which again, is of debatable use.

Now let's look at the second sheet. This is the same analysis performed on my Willpower / Dark Melee tank, but with an extra section to deal with its godmode. Strength of Will was easy to account for, especially since it has an ignorable crash and a fixed uptime percentage. Regardless, I left duration and recharge as variables in the sheet (downtime gets calculated). Next, I put in two columns for resistance with SoW up and SoW down and added a third column to calculate the weighted average. The rest of the survivability analysis is the same. Again I assume 95% accuracy on Siphon Life and have the same two columns for one foe and many. You'll notice that none of this is counting on the -tohit in Dark Melee. All of that is single target and not reliable. Likewise, I ignore the -tohit in Rise to the Challenge because the target cap is limited, doesn't affect enemies at range and it can be resisted.

The cells that I've highlighted here are where my WP/Dark performs better than my Dark/Fire. Like the first sheet though, it draws out where my real weaknesses are. Despite the psionic resistance and defense, my WP/Dark still has the most to worry about from a psionic enemy.

Alright, I've got one more sheet I want you to look at. The next one is labeled Dark/Fire*. I created this one to see exactly why Cimerorans hurt. I "debuffed" my defense to the floor of -45% to see how much that changed the Survivable DPS. My reaction cannot be described by mere words, so you'll have to look at the numbers for yourself. I'm pretty sure a group of Cimerorans can easily throw out 512 damage per second, which is the maximum I can sustain on my own. Any more than that and I will begin to take more damage than I can recover from.

There's only one more sheet left, and that's the Template. I created this sheet so anyone can do their own analysis. So how is this tool useful to you? For the exact same reason it was useful to me, of course! Comparison and analysis. Let's say you want to know which character of yours is better suited for a specific challenge. Or perhaps you wanted to know how much the psionic resistance/defense you built for really helped. Maybe you want to know how PvP diminishing returns affects your character. One more use may be to determine whether enhancing your regen or your resistance will do more for you. This tool will allow you to do all that and more.

Some final instructions before I go:
-The Template itself is protected, but if you left click on the sheet, you'll see the option to "duplicate" it. I want it protected so it's always there for anyone who comes by this tool.
-I shaded all the input cells of the Template so they're easy to spot.
-Most of the numbers for this you can take directly from your Mids builds or in game numbers. The sheets do not account for the ceilings and floors, however, so you'll have to remember to keep defense within 45% and -45%.
-If you are going to use the Tier 9 Weighted Resistance, you will have to copy those numbers up into the cells used for the Total Mitigation column.
-For positional defense based characters: I would average your melee/ranged/AoE defense and copy it throughout the types.
-Hovering blasters can average ranged/AoE defense for a good representation of their mitigation.
-To see what happens as critters increase in level and rank, simply include the corresponding multiplier (found here) in the Total Mitigation column.
-If you have something you'd like to add to the tool, notice any problems, or have any questions, feel free to let me know. This tool is a work in process.
-Masterminds can use this tool as well. One way would be to multiply your health points by the appropriate number of henchmen you have in bodyguard. The other is to multiply the resist values by the ratio of damage reduced from bodyguard mode. I haven't tried it myself yet, but the math should work out the same.
-When you copy the template, please rename your sheet to the powersets you're analyzing. Feel free to add notes that describe the character.


  1. Thanks, that's a handy, simple tool to have in my docs collection. I'd suggest adding fields for -recharge and -damage effects, but that's easy enough to fudge by multiplying the regen field by the appropriate factor. It does look like you neglected Chilling Embrace in your calculations for the Ice/Fire Tanker though.

  2. Keep in mind the tool is essentially open source, the Ice/Fire tanker is not a sheet of my doing. The locked sheets are the only ones done by myself.