The Many Faces of Defense.

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The Many Faces of Defense.

Post by grimjerk on Sun Aug 18, 2013 9:34 pm

I was reading an exchange the other day and I noticed something. That when you say "defense" many players only think of two things: defense rating and blocking. When we consider what the purpose behind defense is, we see that thinking in these limited terms is like thinking of defense in football--soccer to my fellow Americans--in terms of the goalie.

What is defense? Well let us start with defense rating. What is its job? To reduce the likelihood of us being hit. Why do we not want to be hit? So we don't take damage. Why don't we want to take damage? Because we don't want to die. So defense is that which keeps us from dying.

"But Uncle Grimjerk, isn't decreasing our chance to be hit--by raising our defense rating--the best way to do that?" Well it is one way to do that, but there are many others.

A cLoD example of a super safe character with ZERO defense (a lot of the time).

There is a barbarian build in cLoD that has no blocking and has ZERO defense whenever it counts yet is one of the safest characters in the game.

The Two Handed Maul Wielding Berserker.

Now here me out before you decide that Uncle Grimjerk is ready for residency in a rest home.

Instead of not trying to get hit, the properly built Berserker minimizes the effect of hits. Three ways. The DMDND Principle (Dead Monsters Do No Damage), The BARB (Big Ass Red Ball), and by reducing damage far more than is possible for other characters.

DMDND. A good offense is a damn good defense. The Berserker's main attack--coincidentally called Berserk--has crazy ED and converts all that damage to magic damage (which virtually nothing is immune to, in cLoD). He swings at Monster A, Monster A dies. He swings at Monster B, Monster B dies. Killing a monster is effectively 100% damage reduction as far as that monster goes. It seems stupid obvious to point off, but remember that fish can't see water.

BARB. The Barbarian gets 4 life per vitality point. If we split our stat points on average putting 2 points in strength and 3 in vitality that is 14 points of life (+2 for leveling up) per ding. That is nearly 1500 life-- with no boosts from charms or equipment--by the time we hit level 99. For cLoD that is huge, and gets bigger once boosted.

Damage Reduction for the Barbarian, or, The Miracle of BattleCry. So the barb has this innocent looking little de-buff called Battle Cry. It's primary effects are to reduce the enemies defense (which we can easily get up to -95% allowing us to ignore dex) and reduce their damage up to 50%. Now here is the great news, because that de-buff occurs on the monster, it stacks with the 50% DR that we can have on our equipment. So, say a monster has a punch that will do 1000 damage--high enough to one or two shot most characters in the game. Hit it with battle cry. Damage is down to 500. Lets say we have 50 flat damage reduction. 500-50=450. Now apply the Damage Reduction and you are left with 225 damage. Our turn to swing now, and as we found out two paragraphs ago, DMDND. Oh, and did I mention it works on everything in the game? Even against un-curse-ables and bosses.

So these three things--complimented by a host of other little tricks, turn a zero defense no block character into a very safe character. Assuming of course a competent driver.

These same sorts of things exist in Median.

Avoid: So this one is pretty obvious. The best way to block a punch is to not be there when it shows up. Only problem is that it is only available in decent amounts to a few characters.

DMDND: Kill them before they can kill you.

Stun: A stunned monster does no damage. 100% damage reduction from that monster. It's funny to watch people try to play barb summoners and to not be using Thunderslam at ever opportunity. Don't they like their pets? That is the thing about many of these alternative forms of defense, they protect your entire party and not just you.

Meat Shields: Summons, Re-animates and charmed monsters. Whenever a monster is hitting one of these, it isn't hitting you. a Meat Shield is 100% damage reduction for as long as it survives. Re-animates are my favorite because after Hatred they are always equal to the area level. No precious MO space required to keep them alive. Charms are nice too cause no matter who wins the fight, you have one less monster to deal with.

Foot speed and human reflexes. This is all about the driver. If the toon isn't there when the missile passes, no damage. If nothing can close with it in hand to hand, no damage.

The Gecko defense. Regeneration. To be honest I haven't explored this one enough to see if a toon can get by just by being able to regenerate faster than monsters can damage. I don't think it is but it is something that makes a good compliment to the other things.

So there you go, I will probably add to this later after I have recovered from the 16 hour shift I just worked--and my wrists have had a rest.

I just wanted to point out what is so obvious to some that they don't ever bother to think about it let alone put it in guides or advice to new players.

So before you wrack your brain on how to get another 20,000 defense--so you can reduce your chance of being hit by a few measly percent--ask if one of these other tactics might not be more efficient. Defense rating is great, but there is more than one way to flense a feline.

*comments, praise, insults, or worship from afar appreciated.

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Re: The Many Faces of Defense.

Post by Moasseman on Sun Aug 18, 2013 9:56 pm

How to cookie, somebody halp

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Re: The Many Faces of Defense.

Post by MarcoNecroX on Sun Aug 18, 2013 10:02 pm

this is what I always say of bowzons, just flat hp from paragon, the rest of the char is purely based on damage, and it doesn't die because she has probably the highest killspeed

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Re: The Many Faces of Defense.

Post by GregMXL on Sun Aug 18, 2013 10:03 pm

@ Moasseman: Press + on Uncle Grimjerk's upper right hand post.

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Re: The Many Faces of Defense.

Post by axios on Sun Aug 18, 2013 10:17 pm

Uncle Grimjerk,I see that your age is compensated by huge wisdom.
cookie Laughing 

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Re: The Many Faces of Defense.

Post by Swimsuitarea on Sun Aug 18, 2013 10:44 pm

@MarcoNecroX wrote:this is what I always say of bowzons, just flat hp from paragon, the rest of the char is purely based on damage, and it doesn't die because she has probably the highest killspeed
Is it actually possible to say, run a suit of vitality shrine crafted gear+p ruby(i think thats the vitality one) for tons and tons of hp, and then decent defense rating with Balance and have a well balanced HC bow zon?
cause that sounds awesome to me Very Happy

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Re: The Many Faces of Defense.

Post by grimjerk on Sun Aug 18, 2013 11:18 pm

Three cookies for this piece of dotage induced rambling? Sirs you are too kind.

@Marco, whenever I see someone write the words, "The bowazon is a glass cannon" I always want to edit in, "until level 90. Then she becomes thick Pyrex." Lol.

Similarly with the Assassin. "Argg......my Nagasin keeps dying!!!! No block sux!!!!!!" I want to ask, "Is your Blink stun longer than your blink timer? If not, why not and if it is why did you let stuff get un-stunned?" Blink, whack, whack, whack, blink, whack, whack whack,......... It isn't rocket surgery.

The budding necro summoner always decries the fragility of his shadowy pals. Does he not realize that he has in his arsenal one of the longest stunning skills in the game. Takes two points to get Flametail shot. A crossbow on switch with ITD--cause in 99% of cases, if it can be stunned it is subject to ITD--and keep as many of those a-holes stunned as your carpel tunnel will allow.

Thanks for the kind words guys.

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Re: The Many Faces of Defense.

Post by MarcoNecroX on Sun Aug 18, 2013 11:33 pm

Not even until 90, any wdm character with life leech has an emblem that says "This character is immortal on hatred and terror"

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Re: The Many Faces of Defense.

Post by axios on Mon Aug 19, 2013 12:18 am

@Greg you deserve a cookie for giving the best titles
Uncle Grimjerk knows best FTW!

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Re: The Many Faces of Defense.

Post by grimjerk on Mon Aug 19, 2013 12:47 am

@MarcoNecroX wrote:Not even until 90, any wdm character with life leech has an emblem that says "This character is immortal on hatred and terror"
True, unless you charge as recklessly ahead as I have a tendency to do with my Bowies.

@Greg, you are a funny funny man. Clap Clap 

By the by, I've noticed we have a lot of guitar players about. Posting a pic of my weapon of choice on the Pics thread in the community forum.

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