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T3+3 Armor is Sometimes Worse Than T2+3 Armor

Someone in our voice chat the other day mentioned how he suspects his survivability is lower in T3+3 armor than T2+3 armor due to the effects of the higher EPro on self heals.

Curious to see if the math agreed with him, I ran some numbers in a simplified scenario – a T2 NPC with +30 attack putting out a steady 200 damage every 2 seconds on a T2+3 heavy armor cleric with Greater Cure and casting minor cure on cooldown to maintain regeneration. I then proceeded to run the numbers again for a T3+3 cleric. I found that the T3+3 cleric survives longer on average in this scenario due primarily to reduced incoming damage from partial misses.

However, against a T3 opponent that gets a full hit consistently on a T3+3 cleric, the cleric's time to kill actually is lower by a few seconds than the T2+3 cleric. This holds even if the cleric has access to T3 healing expendables such as Heal.

Now, I admit that the scenario was simplified, but I think it's close enough to model a reasonable situation that may happen in game. Fundamentally you can see why this might happen – if you're taking the same amount of damage, you're relying on higher maximum hit points and percentage heals to make up for the loss in raw up front heals from expendables/consumables. If they can't (as I found they could not), survivability goes down.

It is my understanding that the tradeoff between T2 and T3 armor is supposed to be about cost, queue times, and eventually threading – NOT a tradeoff in what enemies it is better against than T2 armor. My findings may also effectively mean that, against a T3 attacking PC that focused on damage output and not debuffs and stacks (which T3 armor will always have an advantage against), you're better off wearing T2+3 into PvP for survival reasons rather than durability/cost reasons.

Assuming that the findings are true and T3 armor is supposed to always be better from a combat performance sense, a few things could be made to fix this:
1) The relationship between EPro and heals/buffs could be changed or eliminated to make wearing better armor less punishing.
2) Armor could get more protective at higher tiers as I recall it did at one point – actually getting a higher amount of damage resistance with matching keywords or tiers.
3) ???

What does everyone else think?
Cleric of Sarenrae
This is even before you get into a cost-benefit analysis. It takes about 10 times as long to make T3 equivalents of T2, for what seems to be very marginal benefit - as you point out, for sometimes a negative benefit or none at all. I personally can use T3 armor on my cleric, but elect to use T2+3 because the cost-benefit is so enormously lopsided on the cost side of things.

That being said, I think the primary benefit of T3 armor, as it stands, is increased resistance against status effects, such as bleed, stun, oblivious, etc. That isn't meaningful in pve though, and I find it doubtful it's enough to be worth it in pvp.
What attack bonus and defense values were you using? Were you also accounting for Regeneration healing more with the higher hit points? Which level of which role feature did you reference for effect power?

A huge part of my survival benefit from t3 armor is that I take so much less damage because of the higher defenses, but I have to invest heavily in all of the defense bonus feats.
Duffy Swiftshadow
Well a maxed T3+3 Armor character will generally net you around a 216 in your main defense (2x13 Keywords from Armor + 40 from passive Defense bonus + 150 from T3 Armor Prof) with a possible further +30 from Defensive Feat for a score of 216 or 246.

A T2+3 Armor Character's main defense with all passives maxed like the above T3+3 character only comes to 156 or 186. That's a difference of about 28% or 25% compared to the above T3+3 armor, note only a minor 3% max potential difference between those numbers.

A maxed T2+3 or T3+3 weapon attack will have an attack bonus around +90 (20 from Base Attack + 40 from Light/Heavy/Arcane/Divine/Ranged Bonus + 30 from Armor) with a bit more possible from moves with Precise that average to about +22 (max a +60 Precise from Master Strike,sheesh) for a range of about +90 or +112.

Full damage on the T3+3 no precise bonus needs a roll of 126 or 156 (37% or 22% chance) and with precise attacks around 104 or 134 (52 or 33% chance) that's about a 15-18% difference, note that's the same 3% difference as having or not having the extra defensive feat.

Full damage on the T2+3 no precise bonus needs a roll of 66 or 96 (67% or 52% chance) and with precise attacks around 44 or 74 (78% or 63% chance) that's about a 23-34% difference, note that this time we're actually comparing a high ranked character to technically a lower rank derived score thus not the small even ranks 3% difference we saw above.

Before even taking healing into effect if you wear T3+3 armor, you will take straight up less damage around ~25-30% of the time compared to T2+3 armor.

How does healing stack up?

Greater Cure has 4 Epow Keywords for 1200 HP
Heal has 7 Epow Keywords for 2140 HP

T3+3 has 13 Epro Keywords
T2+3 has 8 Epro Keywords

T3+3 + Greater Cure = 369 HP
T3+3 + Heal = 1152 HP

T2+3 + Greater Cure = 600 HP
T2+3 + Heal = 1872 HP

So if you wear the lower armor you sacrifice a consistent chance for 25-30% less max damage for a 39% boost to a one time per fight heal regardless of which Tier healing spell you have access to.

Not sure how useful that really is comparison wise, but if you think of it like this:

For Greater Heal to break even with the T3+3 compared to the T2+3 armor your higher defense needs to negate about 231 damage via reduced damage. Or 720 for Heal.

Edit: I forgot something, that extra couple keywords means more HP for the T3 armor wearer, the lowest I can find is +75 HP per word, so minimum that's an extra 375 HP…which makes up the difference and then some on the reduced Greater Heal! All the higher +HP Armor Feats give you even more buffer at T3+3.

T3+3 Armor is better if you are using T2 Healing Expendables.

For T3 healing to even out you need at least 144 HP per matching armor word and the highest is +110, so strangely enough I think T2+3 armor has a chance to perform better if you are using T3 Heal expendable, but only a chance as the T3+3 armor needs to reduce between 170-345 damage depending on the Armor feat's bonus HP per keyword which seems fairly plausible to me. I'll check the damage reduction formula when I get hope.
Without getting into the math of it …

My PvE observation is that either you do fine, even in T2, or you are massively overwhelmed and go down in seconds.

Generally two situations occur:
  1. everything is fine, you are not taking serial stuns and multiple ranged attacks, no more than a single two handed boss mob is trying to smack you down and even in T2 armor your hitpoints float around 50-100% with occasional heals needed to top up
  2. things have gone snafu and you are slowed/stunned with multiple ranged and heavy hitters aggroed, you need emergency heals and to GTFO as soon as possible

In Situation 1, the reduced damage benefit of the T3 is not really needed. Overall T3 is not needed here.

In Situation 2 you get some benefit from T3 by avoiding debuffs and stuns and recovering faster, but the reduced incoming damage is not a game changer. Going down in 3 seconds instead of 2 is not a great benefit. On the other hand the heal tokens and big heals that might save you are severely nerfed.
I fully agree with Edam, it's usually unexpected burst damage that kills me, not sustained damage, because if sustained damage sufficient to show that T3 is clearly better occurs, I should have time to respond and save myself. In those situations with burst damage, it's the big heals I most need. In fact, most of Duffy's math leads me to believe that T3+0 could very well be clearly better than T3+3. You still get the bonus defenses, which seems to be the majority of the benefit of T3+3 being discussed, but heals are considerably more effective than for T3+3.
What attack bonus and defense values were you using? Were you also accounting for Regeneration healing more with the higher hit points? Which level of which role feature did you reference for effect power?

A huge part of my survival benefit from t3 armor is that I take so much less damage because of the higher defenses, but I have to invest heavily in all of the defense bonus feats.

I was assuming the T2+3 heavy armor cleric had less than 130 reflex defense – hence a T2 attacking opponent with +30 attack will get a full hit on an average roll of 100. And I was assuming the T3+3 cleric had about 150, so the T2 attacker was missing by about 20 on average but the T3 attacker was getting full hits on average. In reality you manage a bit better reflex but not enough to make most attackers of your tier miss consistently.

I was taking regeneration and percentage heals into consideration with the higher hp coming from the extra keywords, using the Crusader armor feat (100 hp/keyword). I was running the numbers with Seraph in mind – EPow 10 minor cure, etc. But the trend will emerge in more general cases as well.

Duffy's calculations are a little optimistic. Seraph will have over 200 in T3+3 with his best defense, but heavy armor's -20 Reflex penalty comes into play and I was using his worst defense. I would argue that T3+3 should be clearly better than T2+3 in any circumstance, so taking your worst defense is probably the best way to illustrate the problem. I would expect most NPC Legends to be beating 200 consistently on T3 attacks anyway – I know a lot of T3 combat characters do.

I do definitely agree that the resistance to stuns and slows can aid survivability considerably if you're sufficiently careful and you know when to run. But surely T3 armor should also be an advantage in a standup fight against an Ustalavian Legend as opposed to a liability?
Cleric of Sarenrae
The perfect is the enemy of the good.

I have modified one of my previously deprecated spreadsheets to output expected damage for a variety of scenarios. Currently Precise and bonus base damage are unimplemented, and defender's resistance must be a manual lookup. Crit chance is still pending details of the math behind that, and automatic lookup of effects (like precise, acid damage, and targeting)
At Fiery's request, I did a third simulation with T3+0 armor. I found that it adds a few seconds to your life against both T2 and T3 opponents compared to T3+3 in my scenario, and narrowly edges out T2+3 against T3 opponents.

Therefore, it is my conclusion that at least for characters like Seraph, T3+0 armor is the best in the game right now for survivability in the most situations, as long as it's not stacks and states that are killing you.

For some characters it could be different – I'd have to do a lot more number crunching to see if a rogue that can't heal himself except with a T2 potion would want T3+0 over T3+3, but I suspect that with the regenerating coming from the potion it would be similar enough that I would arrive at the same conclusion.

The takeaway for now is that you might consider crafting and running in T3+0, but as this is a crowdforging thread, its purpose was to illustrate that there's a major issue with EPro that makes it so prohibitive toward your self healing capabilities that it actually lowers your survivability to run what is intended to be the best armor you can.

I would expect a tier increase to be a major boost in survivability and it's not.
Cleric of Sarenrae
If you're assuming literally zero feat bonus to defense, just the 130 from having armor proficiency 3 and t3 heavy armor, I think your numbers won't line up with real scenarios.

Does anyone with t3 armor have any defense feats below rank 5?
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