Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Unreasonable Expectations

I have unreasonable expectations. Not for everything, or even most things, but certainly for those in the defender role that work hard to be good at one thing, particularly, defense. The problem is, really, in pure defense stats themselves. If you spend time and resources in bolstering one above the others, the expectation is that when you are attacked on that stat, the enemy should miss, more often than not. That's a tough mindset to be in, as a player.

Monsters should roughly hit a player half the time, when targeting armor. Though, monster discrepancies play into this some as well. There is a 2 point fluctuation on any given monster role, and it's not separated by elites or solos. This is a weird inconsistency, and one that's really annoying when statting encounters. The thrust is, when you start pumping feats and really trying to up a particular defense, the player expectation changes. With my current base AC, as an example at level 12, I am hit either 35% of the time or 45% of the time, depending on the monsters being selected (brutes hit less often, but everything else is the same, roughly). This is from three feats used to up my AC and defenses. Otherwise, I would be hit 55% or 65% of the time. This is about on par with other light armor wearers, and only slightly behind heavy or medium armor wearers, which is as it should be.

So taking the 35%, which is most of the mosters. Let's start adding in big fights. My personal defenses go up by 2. This puts my getting hit at 25%. If other players start blowing their's, they can only hit my on a 20. This goes for both types of the monsters, the higher end ones and the normal ones.

You can see how this poses a problem. Monster levels need to start to creep up to challenge me against AC. If the defender isn't challenged, then the party isn't really at risk, in a lot of ways. Things can circumvent the defender, but that leads to the defender feeling useless. Any given fight is balanced around the potential use of powerful dailies. In the fights that dailies aren't used, then the numbers are slightly out of whack, and the feats begin to feel useless. Monsters two levels higher, and on the higher end have a 20% increased chance to hit. So there we are, over the half the time mark, with three feats taken.

This is frustrating, but it's completely understandable and a reasonable way the game is expected to operate, to some degree. Any given encounter is two levels in either direction, so some will miss a lot, some will hit a lot. The upshot is I need to change my expectations of what defenders are and the feats that I take.

It's not unreasonable for me to expect to be hit a lot, but getting hit consistently is really where that leads, as high defenses are pretty tough to deal with. The other option is plan attacks that don't target armor, but that is limiting in a different way.

This is an area that the game doesn't handle well, and as a player, I need to just be better.

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