Poison damage scaling on weapon attacks

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Poison damage scaling on weapon attacks

Post by archon256 on Sat Jul 26, 2014 7:14 pm

tl;dr There's a limited number of ways you can scale poison damage on attacks from skills such as Snake Stance/Way of the Spider/Curare/Plague, which means that your end-game play style becomes the same as a non-poison weapon build. Adding an additional way to scale poison damage on attacks would increase gameplay diversity.

Note: This isn't about how strong or weak any particular build is currently. The intention is to give players the ability to build their WDM characters in a such a way that they can kill enemies in ubers purely using poison damage in one or two 3/2x WDM hits. Any builds that can already do this will have to be nerfed to bring them back into line.

In D2, poison damage from multiple applications stacks strangely.

When players, hirelings or pets apply poison to a poisoned monster, their poison is applied for one frame instead of the current poison: if their poison has an equal or greater rate, it then overwrites the current poison and it gets applied for its length; if their poison has a lower rate, the current poison then continues for its remaining length. Rates are compared after all modifiers have been applied.
(Source)

This is both an advantage and a disadvantage.
The disadvantage is that hitting the target over and over again with the same skill does not substantially increase the damage dealt, at best it will result in the target taking higher values of poison DPS (since all poison skills have a min-max damage range).
The advantage is that you can hit the target with a single instance of poison damage, and if your damage is high enough you don't need to bother with hitting it repeatedly, you can just move on to the next target while the first one dies. This is even more true when you have on-kill procs, since you can just hit a fraction of the monsters on screen with the poison damage ability and the procs will kill the rest of the monsters while you move to the next screen.

The best example of the above gameplay is when you're leveling a Snake Stance melee barbarian. I like to equip the Chrysoplea runeword (Thul in throwing knife) with mine, for the Carpet of Spiders on-kill proc. You can just walk for a bit pulling monsters with you until the screen is full of them, hit Thunderslam once to poison all of them, and then just coolly keep walking while they all die horrible deaths with spiders exploding out of their bellies and poisoning the few remaining ones.  Laughing
(You still need to deal with Poison Immunes, but I generally just ignore them or keep a regular barb weapon on switch to SoR/Stormblast them to death).

This is well and good while leveling, but the problem is late-game.
Here are some different types of skills and the ways you can scale them:
Physical Attacks:
Weapon base damage
Attack Speed
Crushing Blow
On-hit, on-attack, on-kill, on-striking procs
+skills (if the skill or a passive has flat damage component)

Elemental (F/C/L) Attacks

All of the above
-Enemy Res

Physical/Magic Spells

Cast speed
Spell damage
+Skills

Elemental (F/C/L) Spells

All of the above
-Enemy Res

Poison Spells

Spell damage
+Skills
Increased Poison Duration
-Enemy Res
On-kill procs

And finally, here's the problem:

Poison damage attacks (eg: Snake Stance, Curare, Plague)

+Skills
-Enemy Res
On-kill procs

Now you could argue that the attacks you use with your poison damage still scale with attack speed, crushing blow and all the other procs. The problem there is that then you're not using the unique feature of poison damage - one single attack that does huge damage over time. You're playing like any other weapon damage character. A poison spell caster isn't the same as the other types - you don't hit most enemies with your poison spell over and over, you cast Plague Avatar (for example) around the screen until the screen is covered in poison, and then you shift to a backup skill to kill poison immunes, or move ahead. Why should a build that focuses on passive poison damage be forced to play exactly like every other weapon damage build late-game?

So what am I asking for?
I'm NOT asking for all passive poison damage skills to be buffed until you can kill everything in D. Fauzt in one 3/2x damage hit. That would make them all massively OP, because then you don't need to bother with finding the right weapon, you can just use any weapon and they'll still apply the buffed damage.

Instead I'm asking for additional ways to scale their damage with gear. The implementation is up to the modders (assuming it'll only get done by Sigma), but I was thinking of a new stat like %Increased Passive Poison Damage. That way if you wanted to focus on killing things just with your poison you'd have to focus on finding gear that has that stat, as well as on-kill procs. (But you could ignore attack speed and base damage). And then if you have the right combination of SUs/GRWs/Crafted items you should be able to kill everything with a single hit (but over a few seconds).

One last thing, even though I sorta want this I'm still not sure if it'll be a good idea. If it does become possible it'll be a very lazy set of builds which might make them overshadow every other build in the game that require plenty of skill-switching. But at the same time I think it'll be OK if these are expensive builds that need very specific SUs/GRW weapons that have high %IPPD and on-kill procs (the base damage and attack speed should also be crap).

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Re: Poison damage scaling on weapon attacks

Post by archon256 on Mon Jul 28, 2014 8:39 am

Wow, the silence is deafening.  Scratch 

Just to clarify, your typical poison spell-caster has something like 500-1000% poison spell damage that they get after much effort as well as at least -100% enemy poison resist and a whole bunch of +skills. Ignoring the effect of the +skills that's a multiplier of 12-22 times the base damage of the spell. Then there's also Increased Poison Duration on top of that.

A WDM character using poison isn't going to have as much +skills (well I suppose you could use a staff to melee with, hmm), and he's only going to get a total multiplier of 2 (from -enemy psn res).

Now you could argue "Why don't you just play a poison spell-caster then?"
Two reasons:

  • Build diversity! Playing a character like this would be different from playing a poison spell-caster or even a regular WDM char (which relies on fast attacks and multi-hitting abilities)
  • The neat thing about poison damage passive abilities compared to poison spells is that you can apply them with a variety of different attacks depending on the situation, each with its own WDM. Thunder slam to hit the whole screen and apply 3/4x poison, Fortress to hit off-screen monsters and extend the effect of the poison while Thunder slam is on CD, Shower of Rocks with its 3/2 modifier for double the poison DPS on tough targets, etc. Even your WDM procs like Guard Tower and Spike Nova on kill can be used to apply poison.


Now please tell me why this is a terrible idea.  Very Happy

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Re: Poison damage scaling on weapon attacks

Post by MrBlackZ on Mon Jul 28, 2014 11:26 am

Aww yeah it's fun to see a "revolutionary" topic like this.

For me it's not a terrible idea at all Smile I never noticed this till you mentioned in the thread.

I was once a bowzon with curare (for a short time), doing anything to smax my poison damage by -EPR, skills and even PSN spell dmg and PSN skill duration (not sure if they worked or not as you mentioned above Eh? ) but finally I reached 1400k poison damage, but you know, the kill speed is low Puke , so the main source that partly increased my damn low kill speed was DragonLore, unfortunately all I invested in was poison, not elemental dmg. So yeah, what does the figure 1400k dmg really do? Once again I went back to sources of instant dmg. And obviously this Poison-WDM became far different from what its name was really about, since I had to repeatedly fire for instant dmg, not psn Dizzy .

After all the PSN-WDM play style turns into no ideal build, as psn does not do much and elemental dmg is low Shocked 

Actually I haven't seen any 1-hit psn char, poison passive damage as far as I know only contributes to sources of instant WDM, not a main source of your dmg and you will have to hit repeatedly to decently accelerate the kill process.

Then should anyone argue I would repeat those reasons you mentioned above Spinning Mr. Green 

-Build diversity, new joy, OKAY? We have elemental spell, elemental attack, we have physical attack (surely no spell here Salut ), we have magic spell, magic-WDM attack, and we have poison spell, so WHY NOT A DECENT PSN WDM ATTACK ??? We cast huge clouds of poison and see things die everywhere in a short time, so why not 1 hit with poison instead of physic/magic/element dmg Very Happy ?

p/s: Aww yeah we also have to consider the work the modders have to do Wink


Last edited by MrBlackZ on Mon Jul 28, 2014 11:37 am; edited 6 times in total (Reason for editing : FOR EASIER READING, I DON'T WANT IT TO LOOK LIKE AN OCEAN OF LETTERS :)))

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Re: Poison damage scaling on weapon attacks

Post by grimjerk on Mon Jul 28, 2014 12:13 pm

^^ +Poison skill damage does not work, in spite of the claims of the Lying Character Screen, on ranged wdm attacks.

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Re: Poison damage scaling on weapon attacks

Post by archon256 on Mon Jul 28, 2014 7:28 pm

Right, the new stat would have to modify the poison damage granted by the skill directly, something like:
(Current damage formula)*(100 + stat('inc_pssv_psn'.accr))/100

There's nothing like this in the game right now, so I don't know if this will have other bugs like the stat only being checked at the start of a game. If that's the only bug I'd still be okay with it though.

The real work would be incorporating the stat into assorted uniques and runewords. As well as rare affix pool and shrines. You could probably just add it on as another stat for the current Shimmering (psn) Shrine.

For balance sake I think the stat should ideally only occur on weapons that are slow and have low base damage, as well as items that lack flat +damage and -ele res.

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Re: Poison damage scaling on weapon attacks

Post by RollsRoyce on Mon Jul 28, 2014 8:00 pm

idk i think psn dmg is already pretty strong, also -epr accounts to a x4 dmg multiplier, compared to a x2 for every other element.

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Re: Poison damage scaling on weapon attacks

Post by archon256 on Mon Jul 28, 2014 8:35 pm

@RollsRoyce wrote:idk i think psn dmg is already pretty strong, also -epr accounts to a x4 dmg multiplier, compared to a x2 for every other element.
Well let's compare poison damage on spell casters to that of WDM characters then. You can scale the former tremendously with poison spell damage but not the latter. For the other elements you can scale the damage done by getting more attack speed, but that doesn't work with poison.

That's why you don't see any characters killing end-game ubers with just the poison damage from their attacks, it's almost invariably them attacking over and over so the bulk of their damage comes from physical/magic conversion  or flat ele damage.

Any characters that can do that right now ought to be nerfed too, since it means they're achieving that without requiring any specific itemization for their main stat.

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Re: Poison damage scaling on weapon attacks

Post by RollsRoyce on Mon Jul 28, 2014 8:37 pm

pounce can indeed kill zons in TA with a single blow

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Re: Poison damage scaling on weapon attacks

Post by archon256 on Mon Jul 28, 2014 8:41 pm

Meh TA is a poor example. But like I said, any characters that can do it right now would need to be nerfed so that they can be brought in line with the rest with the buff that this would give them.

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Re: Poison damage scaling on weapon attacks

Post by RollsRoyce on Mon Jul 28, 2014 8:49 pm

im not even sure if you can implement such a thing via softcoding, however i would support the idea i think











ill give some realistic examples of the poison dmges of the skills

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