Combat Revamp: Is the Sky Falling?

by: Tony "RadarX" Jones

OMG! Run for your lives!

Combat Revamp! Why are you still calmly sitting there when the apocalypse cometh!

Phew! Ok got that out of the way. GU 28 (thats Game update for the unenlightened) will be adding a number of changes to combat much to the anticipation and panic of many players. The real question is how will this effect your character and playstyle? Hopefully I can break this down for you and make it a little easier although I admit I don't PvP so those changes I may be fuzzy on.

The first question is "Why?" Don't say the 'n' word, because this isn't a nerf as far as I can tell. Apparently, there is some disastisfaction in the post 50 game in regards to stat caps, so the developers felt some changes were necessary to make the game a little more enjoyable. It seems many casters who don't wear plate think "one shot deaths" are "unfun" or something.

What's changing? First according to Scott "Gallenite" Hartsman stated this:

"Damage Mitigation and Resistance

  • Maximum mitigation/resistance numbers for current level has been increased from [ Level * 80 ] to [ Level * 150 ]
  • Damage mitigated now has diminishing returns, with the break-even point set at 4000 for level 70 players "

What does this mean?  Apparently as you get higher, the difference of mitigation offered from plate versus other types of armor gets too vast.  SOE is adjusting this by increasing the mitigation you receive per level.  To offset you uber tanks, after 4000 mitigation you'll start to see diminishing returns.  This means for example,that if you add 10% more mitigation above 4000, you may only see 5% more effectiveness (these are completely made up numbers to illustrate diminsihing retruns by the way).  This will effect raiders because every bit of mitigation will count.  For you average grouping/solo players this means you might start taking more hits than you are used to towards the high end game.  For you healers, it means it's time to turn off the "Firefly" DVD's because you are going to be healing more.

Next he stated:

"Stat Caps

  • All stat cap maximums have been increased from [ 7 * Level + 20 ] to [ 15 * level + 20 ]
  • Stat benefits are now on a diminishing returns curve
  • The maximum benefit that each stat provides, including power pool size, has been increased
  • Classes that use multiple stats for power pools have had their maximum power possible increase by up to +25% if they are high enough in both stats. This is to offset the difficulty of having to increase multiple stats "

Stat caps aren't something much people think about towards the high end, because people at the high end you have nothing better to do than upgrade your equipment and do instance runs. Typically however, since they do determine how powerful you are, they are something that can affect the outcome of an encounter. This will mean more Hit Points avoidance because of higher Stamina, more damage because of higher Strength, etc... Power pools have also been increased, which means you'll be able to use more Combat Arts/Spells, and classes that determine power from multiple stats, will get a boost as well. At lower levels, you may see combat a little easier, but I think T7 combat will show a big difference.

Here comes the next part:

Avoidance Skill

  • Skill caps have increased from [ 1 * Level ] to [ 1.5 * Level ]
  • Base Parry chance has been lowered from 10% to 5%
  • Base Deflection chance has lowered from 30% to 25%
  • Increases to avoidance skills now have diminishing returns similar to the changes made for mitigation/resistance. Players experience more gains in avoidance when further away from the cap, and less gains as they reach closer to the cap

People are going to get hit less sorta! At least that's what this appears to read, but take note base parry and deflection is going to be lowered for those of us who have that (/rude LU13). You'll see diminishing returns the higher you go, although no set number is given for avoidance. Gallenite later on says "

Characters that have mitigation, stat, or skill values that are around 40% of the new cap will not experience much change for that particular system." This does not say avoidance specifically so I'm just assuming. And we all know what happens when RadarX assumes....that's right he's usuall

He then moved on to say:

"Casting Skill

  • Skill caps have increased from [ 1 * Level ] to [ 1.5 * Level ]
  • Uses a diminishing returns curve similar to avoidance skills
  • Actual hostile spell resistance modification has increased from -10% to -20% at maximum
  • Beneficial spells that use casting skill, mostly affecting ministration, have their power costs reduced with increased skill
  • Fizzle nevermore! The entire Fizzle mechanic has been removed "

Starting to see the trend yet? Once again skills have been increased, which will mean more effectiveness at the median level, but after a certain point here come the diminishing returns. Spells will be harder to resist from now on as well, to the joy of many I'm sure. Nothing like having a mob resist your nuke 3 times in a row. Beneficial spells have a reduced power cost with increased skill? This is huge plus to healers and gives a reason to put on that piece of equipment with a ministration skill bonus. No more fizzle! OMG did you read that? No more fizzle! Why are you not on top of your desk screaming like I am?! /rude Fizzle

Here comes another good one:

"Focus Skill

  • Skill caps have increased from [ 1 * Level ] to [ 1.5 * Level ]
  • Focus has a maximum 20% instead of 10% to prevent damage interrupts
  • Focus Skill also mitigates the chance of spell based Interrupts, Stifle, and Stun Effects from interrupting a spell that is already casting "

More focus skill! MORE focus skill! This means less damage interrupts, which if you are a caster, you KNOW you hate damage interrupts. This doesn't get any more complicated and I can't wait for this one.

We're almost done:

Attack Skill

  • Skill caps have increased from [ 1 * Level ] to [ 1.5 * Level ]


  • Attack speed and DPS caps have increased to 200%
  • Uses a diminishing returns curve to determine the actual amount of attackspeed and DPS modification, which caps out at 125% actual modification when reaching the cap

Attack skill caps are going up. Better chance to hit something? Yes please! Attacks speed and DPS caps are also being boosted which means...well yeah duh more damage and speed. So it appears they will actually cap out at 125%, which is going to upset some of the higher end who like to stack up buffs, but because of the return curve it may be harder for them to even reach it. At least that is how I'm perceiving it.

Gallenite went further into why the changes were necessary and if you are ok with numbers, it does make sense to me how the higher end players would have a more significant advantage. Feel free to peruse the rest of his post here , but one of the more important highlights I remember was 40% being the approximate "break even" point for mitigation before the diminshing returns began. What will all this mean? It's all theoretical and looking good "on paper" but in practice we'll see how it pans out. I hopped on the Test server and tried a little combat out. Granted my characters on Test aren't even remotely high end, but combat while feeling a little different didn't seem any more burdensome. I'll leave the judgement to each and every one of you. Look for these combat changes in GU 28.

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Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016