What to do with these danged IO's

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Buffalo Six
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What to do with these danged IO's

Post by Buffalo Six » 22 Jun 2007, 14:24

From Scrap (again)

I see a lot of questions on test about ideal ways to slot. I also see a lot of sentiment that "IO sets are worse than HO slotting" and people who are discouraged with what Inventions offer.

I suggest that there is more meat to be had in the IO sets than some people are finding, and that this meat is to be found by mixing and matching, as the rednames themselves have suggested.

For the purposes of this discussion, let's look at AE holds, because they have a straightforward slotting convention that makes for easy comparisons. Note: all enhancement numbers are taken for level 50 enhancements.

AE Hold

First let's establish a baseline:

SO slotting: 2 acc, 2 hold, 2 rch
acc: +66.6%
hold: +66.6%
rch: +66.6%
total: +199.8%

Let's use this as our current popular Live slotting for baseline comparison purposes.


Now let's see how common IOs compare:

Common IO slotting: 2 acc, 2 hold, 2 rch
acc: +84.8%
hold: +84.8%
rch: +84.8%
total: +254.4%

The non-set IOs take us into impressive territory compared to SOs. This represents a 27.3% improvement over SO slotting, which is not too shabby. This is good news for all characters who don't have or aren't high enough level to use HOs.


Let's look at how things stack up for those who do have and can use HOs:

HO slotting: 3 acc/mez HOs, 3 recharge SOs
acc: +95.5%
hold: +95.5%
rch: +95.5%
total: +286.5%

This HO slotting has every major enhancement category pushed to the ED caps, and represents a 43.4% improvement over SO slotting and a 12.6% improvement over Common IO slotting.


So lets dig into the most enhancement-potent hold set, Essence of Curare:

Set IO slotting: 6x Essence of Curare (acc/rch, end/hold, acc/end, hold/rng, acc/hold, acc/hold/rch)
acc: +100.7% (treated as 95.5% for totaling purposes)
hold: +100.7% (treated as 95.5% for totaling purposes)
rch: +47.7%
end: +53%
rng: +16% (normalized to schedule A, 26.5% for totaling purposes)
total: 318.2%
Set bonuses:
fear, confuse and stun resistance: +1.65%
hold duration: +1.5% (unconstrained by ED so not included above)
ranged defense: +1.88%


This slotting gives us more total enhancement, but spread across more categories. It is nominally 11% better than HO slotting, but some of that enhancement is in less-desired areas (end, range). For the Control Holy Trinity of acc, mez and recharge, its total is only 238.7% and thus it's actually 16.7% worse than HO slotting.


But let's look at how we can mitigate that with a little creative mix-and-matching. There are a couple of ways to approach this, but mine has been to eliminate the hold/rng and acc/end enhancements, since those enhance less important facets of the power. This gives us:

Combo: Essence of Curare x4: acc/rech, end/hold, acc/hold, acc/hold/rch; 1 acc/mez HO, 1 IO rech
acc: +107.5% (treated as 95.5% for totaling purposes)
hold: +107.5% (treated as 95.5% for totaling purposes)
rech: +90.1%
end: +26.5%
total: +307.6%
Set bonuses:
fear, confuse and stun resistance: +1.65%

This slotting gives us slightly less enhancement than the Set IO slotting. But when we look at the Control Holy Trinity, it fares much better: 281.1%, which is only 1.9% worse than HO slotting, plus we get a small break on endurance and a few set bonuses.


This can be done with Ghost Widow's Embrace, too, which might be more attractive for those who are looking to stack set bonuses.

Combo: GWEx4: acc/rech, end/hold, hold/rng, acc/hold/rch; 1 acc/mez HO, 1 IO rech
acc: +81%
hold: +107.5% (treated as 95.5% for totaling purposes)
rech: +90.1%
end: +26.5%
rng: +16% (normalized to schedule A, 26.5% for totaling purposes)
total: +319.6%
run +5%
health +1.88%
end +2.25%

GWE is a little less flexible than Curare because it has a non-enhancing psi damage proc instead of Curare's excellent acc/hold. But even without the acc/hold to play with, we still get very respectable numbers. The total enhancement is actually higher than the Essence of Curare example (because we're not losing effective enhancement to ED caps). The Control Holy Trinity comparison is not unfavorable, either: 266.6%, only 6.9% worse than HO slotting, and we get much better set bonuses than Essence of Curare.


Hopefully this demonstrates how a mixed approach to slotting can bring together some of the best of both worlds: the ED-capped (or near-ED-cap) goodness that we've come to know from HO slotting, and the set bonuses from IOs.

Scrap

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Slotting Health

Post by Buffalo Six » 22 Jun 2007, 14:26

From Scrap again

IO slotting example: Health

Health is an odd duck. It's often seen as a stepping stone to Stamina, and because of this often gets no slots. Tankers sometimes three slot Health because it capitalizes on the one of their inherent traits: high hit point totals. I'd like to look at how the new world of IO affects health slotting.

Basics: Health gives a 40% regeneration buff unenhanced. It also gives sleep resistance, but that's unenhanceable and therefore outside the scope of this discussion.

Assumptions:
1) We're considering a level 50 character using level 50 enhancements.
2) ED has a hard cap at 95.5% for Schedule A. This is emphatically not true, but it's an assumption I'm using to save myself the trouble of calculating tenths of a percent of benefit at the high end of enhancement schedules. It also allows us to illustrate the relative benefit of the seemingly small but unbounded-by-ED set bonuses.


One Slot

Let's look first at the folks who can't or don't want to spare the slots to enhance Health. They have one slot and it's all they're likely to use. I believe that this is the most common Health slotting on Live in i8.

SO slotting:
1 heal SO
heal: +33.3%

This is pretty basic - there are no other options in i8. The regen buff becomes 53.32%.


Common IO slotting:
1 common heal IO
heal: +42.4%

Common IOs are better than SOs. The regen buff grows to 56.96.


Set IO slotting #1, regen:
1 Regenerative Tissue +25% regeneration global IO
heal: +0%

Here's where we start to see the real effects of IOs. Assuming no other regen buff powers and no other set bonuses, the regen buff is now 65%, which is considerably better than the previous two options.


Set IO slotting #2, recovery:
1 Miracle 15% recovery global IO
heal: +0%

This is an alternate approach which eschews regen buffs in favor of recovery (that is, how fast endurance comes back, the same stat that Stamina buffs). The regen buff remains at the unenhanced 40%, but stamina recovery is buffed 15%. That is 3/5 as effective as unslotted Stamina. Another way of looking at it is to look at what each enhancement slot in Stamina does for your recovery boost:

1 even level SO endmod in Stamina: +8.325% recovery
1 even level IO endmod in Stamina: +10.6% recovery
1 Miracle recovery global IO in Health: +15% recovery

For builds that plan to maximize regen buffs with minimum investment, the Miracle +recovery global IO is an excellent approach.


Set IO slotting #3, compromise:
1 Numina's Convalescence +20% regen, +10% recovery global IO
heal: +0%

This third option is an excellent compromise between the two. For builds that can use extra recovery and more health (like, say, a fire/fire tank without Consume), this is a strong option, providing a 60% regen buff and a 10% recovery buff.


Three Slots

Three slots will be the next situation we examine, because it represents the greatest efficient use of slots in Health by i8 standards, so it's probably the next most popular i8 slotting configuration after one slot. This gives us a chance to compare again how i9 impacts i8 builds.

SO slotting:
3 heal SOs
heal: +95.5%

Again, the basic i8 3 slot Health. There aren't other options. The Regen benefit here is 78.2%, which is more than the best single slot option we explored above (65%), but not by much. This tells us that we can probably do some interesting things with IOs in our three slots.


Common IO slotting:
3 common heal IOs
heal: +95.5%

This is identical to SO slotting (78.2% regen buff), but it's worth observing that only two slots with common heal IOs would give 84.8% heal benefit, which results in a total regen buff of 73.92%, which is only 5.5% worse than SO slotting. This could be a nice way to shave a slot off an i8 build for minimal loss in effectiveness.


Set IO slotting #1, regen:
1 Regenerative Tissue +25% regeneration global IO,
1 Numina's Convalescence +20% regen, +10% recovery global IO,
1 Numina's Convalescence heal IO
heal: +42.4%
Set bonus:
regeneration: +12%

This uses the two unique heal set IOs that provide independent (non-set-bonus) +regen, and the third slot takes the heal IO from Numina's Convalescence, giving us our first set bonus, which is the excellent +12% regeneration from Numina's Convalescence. The total regeneration buff here is 113.96%, which is 45.7% more than SO slotting. There is also a 10% recovery buff, (2/5 of unslotted Stamina). This represents a huge improvement over i8 performance.

Incidentally, you could also lose the heal IO slot for a total regen buff of 85%. This frees a slot and still beats 3 SO heals and 3 common IO heals.


Set IO slotting #2, recovery:
1 Miracle 15% recovery global IO,
1 Numina's Convalescence +20% regen, +10% recovery global IO,
1 Miracle heal IO
heal: +42.4%
Set bonus:
recovery: +2.5%

This uses the two unique heal set IOs that provide independent +recovery and the heal IO from the Miracle set. The set bonus here is a respectable +2.5% to recovery. Our recovery buff is 27.5%, 10% better than unslotted Stamina. Our regen buff is not bad, either: 76.96%, almost as good as SO slotting.


Set IO slotting #3, combination:
1 Miracle 15% recovery global IO,
1 Regenerative Tissue +25% regeneration global IO,
1 Numina's Convalescence +20% regen, +10% recovery global IO
heal: +0%

This employs all of the unique Heal set IOs. The total benefit is an 85% regeneration buff (8.7% better than SO slotting) and a 25% recovery buff (equal to unslotted Stamina). This is an interesting middle road, although it's worth noting that it's not far different from the recovery slotting above: about 10% better regen and 10% worse recovery. This is a small example of how set bonuses can start to mitigate otherwise


Six Slots

I'd like to look at what we can do with six slots next. This is illustrative of another often overlooked facet of the invention system: powers which previously only benefited from a few slots can now perform well with more. Our baseline SO slotting will remain 3 slots, because that's the maximum efficient benefit that can be found in i8.


SO slotting:
3 heal SOs
heal: +95.5%

This is our i8 baseline; 78.2% regen buff.


Set IO slotting #1, regen:
1 Miracle 15% recovery global IO,
1 Regenerative Tissue +25% regeneration global IO,
1 Numina's Convalescence +20% regen, +10% recovery global IO,
1 Numina's Convalescence heal IO,
1 Numina's Convalescence end/heal IO,
1 Numina's Convalescence heal/rch IO
heal: +95.4%
Set bonuses:
regeneration: +12%
max health: +1.88%
heal: +6%

This uses four of the Numina's Convalescence set to acquire three set bonuses. The straight regen buff is 135.16%. This is 18.96% better than the best 3 slot scenario, and 72.8% better than SO slotting.

This ignores the effects of the max health set bonus: the way regeneration works, increases in max health increase the regeneration amount. My understanding is that this works not additively (which would result in a 137.04% effective regen boost), but multiplicatively (which results in a 137.7% effective regen boost). But since many characters have health boosting accolades and powers, I've left the effects of the health boost out of my numbers. Suffice to say that it boosts survivability along two axes, not just one, and consider that it is a common and easily stackable set bonus.

The 6% heal bonus may or may not apply to regen. I suspect that it does not, because heal and regen are discrete effects, but I don't know certainly one way or the other. If you have no heal powers or would prefer more recovery, the next slotting option is likely to be better for you.

The endurance and recharge enhancement values from the Numina's end/heal and heal/rch are wasted in Health, and so I haven't counted them.

So the final analysis for this combination gives us a 135.16% pure regen buff, a 25% recovery buff, a 1.88% max health buff, and a 6% heal buff which applies to all heal powers. These bonuses are all passive.


Set IO slotting #2, recovery:
1 Miracle 15% recovery global IO,
1 Miracle heal IO,
1 Regenerative Tissue +25% regeneration global IO,
1 Numina's Convalescence +20% regen, +10% recovery global IO,
1 Numina's Convalescence heal IO,
1 Numina's Convalescence heal/rch OR end/heal IO

OR:

1 Miracle 15% recovery global IO,
1 Miracle heal IO,
1 Miracle heal/end OR heal/rch IO,
1 Regenerative Tissue +25% regeneration global IO,
1 Numina's Convalescence +20% regen, +10% recovery global IO,
1 Numina's Convalescence heal IO,

heal: +95.5%
Set bonuses:
regeneration: +12%
recovery: +2.5%
max health: +1.88%

Here we have split the set bonuses across Numina's Convalescence and Miracle. The second set bonus in each set is identical, so it doesn't matter whether you pick it up by slotting 3 Numinas or 3 Miracles.

This slotting represents a very slightly better regen buff than the last one (because the two single-effect IOs take us to 95.5% enhancement, our hypothetical enhancement cap). The total regen buff here is 135.2%. The recovery buff is 27.5%, and the max heath buff is 1.88%. This slotting seems to be the best 6 slot option for anybody who doesn't have deal powers.


Health is an interesting case; because there is no room for HO slotting, so IOs beat i8 slotting in every case. This is an example of how even the most effective i8 slotting available is inferior to IO slotting.

Scrap

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Buffalo Six
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Slotting for Melee

Post by Buffalo Six » 22 Jun 2007, 14:28

From Scrap again................

IO slotting example: Melee Attacks

Melee damage sets present a lot of opportunity to customize one's character, simply because there are so many of them. There are two control procs and two damage procs, and after the first two set bonuses there is considerable variety. This allows Tankers, Scrappers, Blappers, Stalkers, Brutes, melee Dominators and some Kheldians quite a bit of flexibility when planning for set bonuses.

I propose to examine some of the choices facing characters at the high end of the game and to compare maximum effectiveness in i9 against maximum effectiveness in i8.

Assumptions:

1. We're considering a level 50 character using level 50 enhancements.
2. I've abandoned my hard cap assumption for ED. I'm now using Circeus' formula to calculate total benefit.
3. Attacks are six slotted. I will mention opportunities to free up slots when they are apparent, but a core assumption is that the attacks we want to slot are worth spending many slots on.
4. Maximizing damage is a priority for melee attacks.
5. Slotting examples are PvE focused, because that's what I know. The trade-offs involved will be similar for PvP builds, but the ideal slotting will probably not. In particular, PvP will have a greater emphasis on high accuracy, so HO slotting may become more desireable in that context.



Earlier examples:
IO slotting example: AOE holds
IO slotting example: Health


CONSIDERATIONS

Procs

A "proc" is a process that is executed when a power is activated. In the case of melee attacks, the procs all have a chance of affecting the target of the attack if the attack hits successfully. There are two damage procs and two control procs. The damage procs are a chance to do additional lethal damage from Mako's Bite, and a chance to do additional negative energy damage from Touch of Death. The control procs are a chance to knockdown from Kinetic Combat, and a chance to disorient from Pounding Slugfest.

Slotting procs is a matter of personal taste. Procs can be streaky, and some folks prefer more predictable performance from their powers. Some would also argue that the damage procs do too little damage to justify an entire slot. A counter-argument to this is that proc damage is unaffected by ED, so while it's not guaranteed, it's also a way to make an already ED-capped power perform just a little better. Sometimes.

If you have a choice to slot a proc in multiple different powers, or if you're going to be stacking the same set in 5 different powers but only have one of the procs for now, slot procs in the most frequently activated powers first. Procs have the same damage, same duration and same chance to fire no matter what power they're slotted into, but you'll get much more benefit from slotting a proc into a fast-firing power that you use a lot than you will from putting it into a very slow or situational power. Put more simply, a 20% chance to disorient or do 40 damage is a lot better if that chance comes every 3 seconds instead of every 30 seconds.


Set Bonuses

Melee damage sets are the first example in this series to have so many sets that we can really look at choosing a set based on its set bonuses.

For example, let's compare Crushing Impact and Mako's Bite, the two level 30-53 sets. Crushing Impact is totally dedicated to power enhancement, by which I mean every enhancement in the set actually enhances a facet of the power that it's slotted in. Mako's Bite, by contrast, has a proc, so only five of the IOs in Mako's Bite enhance the properties of the power it's slotted in.

Let's see how the numbers add up:

Crushing Impact (acc/dam, dam/end, dam/rch, acc/dam/rch, acc/dam/end, dam/end/rch)
acc: +68.9%
dam: +101.5% [reduced by ED from 143.1%]
end: +68.9%
rch: +68.9%

The damage bonus is far beyond the ED diminishing returns cap, which tells us that if we want to slot other enhancements into a power with Crushing Impact, our best opportunity to do so is to lose one of the dual-effect IOs (ideally one of the diminishing returns types, like dam/rch or dam/end).


Mako's Bite (acc/dam, dam/end, dam/rch, acc/dam/end/rch, acc/end/rch, lethal proc)
acc: +66.2%
dam: +94.7% [reduced by ED from 98%]
end: +66.2%
rch: +66.2%

Mako's Bite doesn't have as much room to drop enhancements as Crushing Impact does - procs and global effects are very expensive for mix and matchers. Its acc, end and rch bonuses are competitive with Crushing Impact, and its damage is sufficiently over the ED cap as to remain competitive as well. Where it wins in this comparison is that 20% of the time it will do extra damage which is undiminished by the ED cap.


But things change a bit when we look at the set bonuses for these sets.

Crushing Impact:
immob resistance +2.2%
max health +1.125%
tohit bonus +2.5%
recharge reduction 5%
psi resistance +2.5%

Mako's Bite:
immob resistance +3.3%
max health +1.5%
damage bonus +3%
hold resistance +3.3%
ranged defense +3.75%

Both sets have the unimpressive immobilization resistance as their first bonus. In fact, 7 of the 10 melee sets do, and one of the three that doesn't has the equally unimpressive sleep resistance instead. If we were talking about double digit resistance levels, I'd say that these are stackable to appreciable benefit, but as things stand I'm going to call them both equal on this count.

Both sets have the excellent max health bonus. Mako's Bite has the edge here, with a slightly larger bonus. The third bonus represents more divergence, with Crushing Impact adding global tohit buffs, and Mako's adding global damage; both of these are unbounded by ED. For the fourth set bonus, Crushing Impact offers an very good recharge reduction, while Mako's Bite has only an embarrassing hold resistance buff. For the fifth bonus, CI has something that many covet: psi resistance. It's not much, but it's stackable to respectable levels and will represent a very nice boost to survivability for those who can afford to stack it. Mako's Bite has a positional defense to ranged attack instead, and a rather large one. This is potentially very valuable to those who rely on SR and Ninjitsu for their defenses, but is merely a nice bonus for others, since it doesn't stack with the far more common typed defenses.

Which to choose?

Mako's Bite is the most attractive for those who want to maximize their damage and for those with positional defenses. Mako's Bite offers damage beyond ED caps in both the lethal proc and in the global damage buff set bonus.

CI should be more popular for folks who have accuracy problems or who plan to stack 4-5 CIs on top of other set tohit buffs in order that they can slot fewer accuracies into their other powers, or for people who plan to do the same with the -recharge time buff. It's also likely to be popular with tankers and other characters built to take hits with typed defenses: the boosts to max health combined with resistance to psi damage will represent a considerable boost in survivability for many tankers when stacked.


SLOTTING COMPARISONS

Let's get into the familiar format of comparing i8 slotting with potential i9 slotting and seeing how things shake out.


SO slotting: 1 acc, 3 dam, 1 end, 1 rch
acc: +33.3%
dam: +95% [reduced by ED from 99.9%]
end: +33.3%
rch: +33.3%
total: +194.9%

This is a safe generic slotting for melee attacks. It's not what everybody uses, but it's certainly a happy medium. This will be our baseline for comparison with current i8 slotting.


HO slotting: 3 acc/dam HOs; 2 rch SOs, 1 end SO
acc: +95% [reduced by ED from 99.9%]
dam: +95% [reduced by ED from 99.9%]
rch: +66.6%
end: +33.3%
total: +289.9%

One of the rch SOs could easily be replaced with an end SO, depending on the power and priorities for the build. In either case, the total is the same: 289.9% enhancement benefit, 48.7% greater than standard SO slotting. Of course, one of the benefits of HOs is that they allow similar investment for fewer slots, but let's maintain the six slotting convention for the sake of comparison. This is the maximum effectiveness that can be had in i8 today.


Common IO slotting #1: 1 acc, 3 dmg, 1 end, 1 rch
acc: +42.4%
dmg: +99.1% [reduced by ED from +127.2%]
rch: +42.4%
end: +42.4%
total: 226.3%

Not bad at all, and with no investment in sets or HOs. It's only 16.1% better than standard SO slotting,though, mainly because a lot of the IO potential is wasted in ED diminishing returns. So let's take a look at a less damaging but more efficient slotting scheme with common IOs:

Common IO slotting #2: 2 acc IOs, 2 dmg IOs, 1 end, 1 rch
acc: +84.8%
dmg: +84.8%
rch: +42.4%
end: +42.4%
total: 254.4%

Although less damaging per attack than the previous option, the total effective enhancement is much greater. This is 30.5% better than standard SO slotting, but still not as good as HO slotting. Let's see if we can do better with sets.


Set IO slotting #1: Mako's Bite, acc/dam, dam/end, dam/rch, acc/dam/end/rch, acc/end/rch, lethal proc
acc: +66.2%
dam: +94.7% [reduced by ED from 98%]
end: +66.2%
rch: +66.2%
total: 293.3%
Set bonuses:
immob resistance +3.3%
max health +1.5%
damage bonus +3%
hold resistance +3.3%
ranged defense +3.75%

Now we're talking! The total enhancement value is 50.5% greater than with SOs, even better than HO slotting. This doesn't even take set bonuses and the lethal proc into consideration.


Set IO slotting #2: Crushing Impact, acc/dam, dam/end, dam/rch, acc/dam/rch, acc/dam/end, dam/end/rch
acc: +68.9%
dam: +101.5% [reduced by ED from 143.1%]
end: +68.9%
rch: +68.9%
total: 308.2%
Set bonuses:
immob resistance +2.2%
max health +1.125%
tohit bonus +2.5%
recharge reduction 5%
psi resistance +2.5%

Crushing Impact is even more potent than Mako's Bite in terms of direct power enhancement: it's 58.1% better than SO standard. This slotting will do less damage over time than Mako's Bite (because the proc and 3.3% damage boost of MB will outweigh the extra tohit bonus and recharge reduction in CI), but it provides slightly better power enhancement.


Set IO slotting #3: Crushing Impact acc/dam/rch, acc/dam/end, dam/end/rch, Mako's Bite acc/dam/end/rch, acc/end/rch, acc/dam
acc: +96.3% [reduced by ED from +108.6%]
dam: +96.3% [reduced by ED from +108.6%]
end: +82.1%
rch: +82.1%
total: 356.8%
Set bonuses:
immob resistance +5.5%
max health +2.625%

This approach aims for maximum direct power enhancement at the expense of set bonuses by mixing IOs from two different sets. The total enhancement is a very impressive 355.2%, 83.1% better than our SO baseline. The drawback is that it sacrifices some of the better set bonuses from both sets: the tohit, recharge, damage and res/def bonuses are all lost.

This example illustrates how powerful the tri-effect and quad-effect set IOs are: each level 50 tri-effect enhancer provides almost as much raw enhancement as an even-level HO, and quad-effect enhancers provide 11% more enhancement value than an even-level HO.


Combo slotting #1: 3 acc/dam HOs; Crushing Impact dam/end/rch, dam/end, dam/rch
acc: +95% [reduced by ED from 99.9%]
dam: +106.1% [reduced by ED from +174.1%]
end: +47.7%
rch: +47.7%
total: 296.5%
Set bonuses:
immob resistance +2.2%
max health +1.125%

This attempt to mix HOs with a set is embarrassingly bad. It's only 52.1% better than SO baseline, slightly better than a full Mako's Bite set (not counting set bonuses and procs, which makes Mako's better than this), but worse than the other set options we've examined.

Why does combining with HOs do so much worse here than in the AOE Holds example? The first reason is that AOE holds have 3 enhancement dimensions that ideally should be maxed, while for attacks damage is the primary concern and acc can reasonably be lower than 90%, while end and rch can quite happily be lower than 90%. With more primary enhancement types that should be maxed, AOE Holds benefit more than melee attacks from the enhancement depth of HOs.

The second reason is that the hold sets distribute their enhancement values much more evenly across multiple enhancement types than melee attack sets do. Melee attack set enhancements nearly all have a damage component. Since that's also one of the applicable HO components, mixing HOs into melee damage sets will quickly run into ED limits. The best you can do is to remove the highest damage value enhancements from the sets (i.e. dual-effect enhancements) and replace them with HOs. Even then you run into very inefficient pre-ED damage values like the 174.1 number in this example.

But there's another potential approach that avoids the second problem. Let's try it:

Combo slotting #2: 3 acc/dam HOs; 2 rch common IOs, 1 end common IO
acc: +95% [reduced by ED from 99.9%]
dam: +95% [reduced by ED from 99.9%]
end: +42.4%
rch: +84.8%
total: 317.2%

We've got some more mileage from using common IOs, which allow us to avoid the problem of stacking too much enhancement effect into damage. But now we're hobbled by the weakness of common IOs compared to set IOs. Although this is an improvement at 62.8% better than SO slotting, it's not the best raw enhancement value we've seen so far. This also denies us any set bonuses. We're much better served by the Set slotting #3, which gives us better power enhancement and one nice set bonus and one forgettable set bonus.


Combo slotting #3: 5x Mako's Bite: acc/dam, dam/end, dam/rch, acc/dam/end/rch, acc/end/rch; 1 common IO rch
acc: +66.2%
dam: +94.7% [reduced by ED from 98%]
end: +66.2%
rch: +96.3% [reduced by ED from 108.6%]
total: 323.4%
Set bonuses:
immob resistance +3.3%
max health +1.5%
damage bonus +3%
hold resistance +3.3%

This is an attempt to rehabilitate Mako's Bite's performance by omitting the lethal proc in favor of a common IO. It's 65.9% better than SO standard slotting. Whether the loss of additional damage is worth the gain in recharge is a personal decision.


Specialty slotting #1: Kinetic Combat chance for knockdown; Pounding Slugfest chance to disorient; Touch of Death chance for negative energy damage; 3x Mako's Bite: chance for lethal damage, acc/dam, acc/dam/end/rch
acc: +45%
dam: +45%
end: +18.5%
rch: +18.5%
total: 127%
Set bonuses:
immob resistance +3.3%
max health +1.5%

This takes a different approach, and is not competitive in terms of raw enhancement power (43.8% worse than SO standard). It has all of the available melee set procs in it. One of Arcanaville's posts got me thinking about this, and she deserves credit for the idea.

For most of your attacks, this wouldn't be a great approach. But what about Brawl? Setting aside for the moment the expense of six-slotting Brawl, this gives you an extremely fast attack that gives you a 20% chance to do extra lethal damage, a "small" chance (the IO description doesn't provide the actual number - I presume 20%) to do extra negative energy damage, a 20% chance to knockdown, and a 10% chance to disorient with every hit. That ain't hay, folks.

Furthermore, Brawl is inherent, so there is no expense power-wise. Brawl recharges in 2 seconds and activates in .67 seconds, so assuming a perfectly even distribution of probability and use of Brawl at every opportunity (i.e. Brawl chained with other attacks that animate in less than 2 seconds), you'll be doing knockdown, extra lethal damage and extra negative damage every 13.35 seconds, and disorient every 26.7 seconds.

This isn't trivial, especially for those who use Brawl anyway. "Like who, Scrap?" Like Brutes, who typically use Brawl as a fury-builder early in their careers (some never stop). And like PvP folks, who may get a kick out of the combination of toggle dropping and procs in a Brawl slotted like this (and disorient is guaranteed to drop all toggles, so there's a small bonus in there).


SUMMARY

Here's a summary table of the comparitive enhancement values of each example above, omitting set bonus considerations. Enh value refers to the total enhancement value, and % improvement refers to how this example compares to the standard SO slotting baseline.

Code:


Example name Desc Enh value % improvement

SO slotting i8 standard 194.9% 0.0%
HO slotting i8 best 289.9% 48.7%
Common IO #1 max dmg 226.3% 16.1%
Common IO #2 max efficiency 254.4% 30.5%
Set IO #1 full Mako's 293.3% 50.5%
Set IO #2 full Cr Impact 308.2% 58.1%
Set IO #3 mix Mako & CI 356.8% 83.1%
Combo #1 HO + CI 296.5% 52.1%
Combo #2 HO + com. IO 317.2% 62.8%
Combo #3 Set + com. IO 323.4% 65.9%
Specialty #1 Proctastic 127.0% -43.8%




CONCLUSIONS

Once again, we see that the best available power enhancements come from mixing and matching sets. In this case, the most powerful single power enhancement comes from a mix of two sets (Set IO example #3). HOs are left in the cold comparatively in this case: although they can be credible enhancements, they offer no set bonuses and are scarcely better than full sets that offer desireable set bonuses.

Furthermore, this is the first example we've examined where we can really start to anticipate the effects of stacking set bonuses. It's not at all inconceivable that a character might have five powers fully slotted with Mako's Bite or Crushing Impact. Looking only at Crushing Impact, that would mean:

immob resistance: +11%
max health +5.625%
tohit bonus +12.5%
recharge reduction 25%
psi resistance +12.5%

These are serious bonuses. The recharge reduction alone is half of a Speed Boost's, and 5/6 of an AM's. You can see how choosing other complementary sets would allow you to build set bonuses that are equivalent to powers in their own rights.

For maximum individual power effectiveness, I would us the Set IO #3 slotting. If you're going instead for set bonuses, then I would look hard at Mako's Bite, Crushing Impact, and Touch of Death. If you like the Mako's Bite set and you have more than 5 six-slotted melee attacks, consider putting Mako's Bite in the first five and Touch of Death in the next five. Why? Because Touch of Death has similar bonuses to Mako's Bite:

Mako's Bite:
immob resistance +3.3%
max health +1.5%
damage bonus +3%
hold resistance +3.3%
ranged defense +3.75%

Touch of Death:
immob resistance: +2.75%
max health +1.5%
damage bonus +2.5%
hold resistance +2.75%
melee defense +3.13%

Because of the way set bonus stacking works (you can't stack more than 5 of the same strength and type of bonus), the different values work in our benefit. Here's an unrealistic but possible character with 10 attacks six slotted with 5 full Mako's and 5 full Touch sets:

immob resistance: +30.25%
max health: +7.5% (only stacks 5 times)
damage bonus: +27.5%
hold resistance: +30.25%
ranged defense: +18.75%
melee defense: +15.65%

The immob resistance is still forgettable. The health bonus is no better than if you just had 5 full sets of Mako's/Touch in any combination. The damage bonus, however, is impressive: it's almost an extra SO of damage that is totally unaffected by ED. The hold resistance is actually not bad for characters with status protection toggles, because it increases the hold stacking required to overcome it. And the defenses here are extremely good. For the sake of comparison, your ranged defense is almost as good as a Super Reflexes Scrapper's Focused Senses with 2 def SOs in it. And the melee defense is almost as good as a SR Scrapper's Focused Fighting with 1 def SO in it. So to everything but AoEs, this character is a junior SR Scrapper. And if you were a SR scrapper to begin with, this turns you into a tiny god and calls to mind the days of perma-Elude.

I'd like to reiterate at this point that this slotting is not entirely practical - it requires spending 50 of your 67 lifetime slots on single target melee attacks, and it means that your attack chain is probably filled with redundancy. On the other hand, if you can find 5 melee attacks and 5 defense sets whose bonuses complement one another and your build (either by filling gaps or enhancing existing power), then you can build remarkably effective characters. More on that in the next installment.

Scrap

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