Toldain Talks

Because reading me sure beats working!


Toldain started as an Everquest character. I've played him in EQ2, WoW, Vanguard, LOTRO, and Zork Online. And then EVE Online, where I'm 3 million years old, rather than my usual 3000. Currently I'm mostly playing DDO. But I still have fabulous red hair. In RL, I am a software developer who has worked on networked games, but not MMORPGS.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Weapon Choices

Everquest 2 is a game designed to present interesting choices to players.

There are three kinds of weapon damage in EQ2, crush, pierce, and slash. And there are three kinds of weapon configurations, one-handed, two-handed, and dual wield. Do they matter? What difference do they make?

First of all, there are three types of damage mitigation in the game, crush mitigation, slash mitigation, and pierce mitigation. I expect that the different types of armor that characters can wear have different profiles with regard to these. But it isn't reported to us, so we can't be sure.

Likewise, mobs will sometimes have differing levels of mitigation toward crushing, piercing and slashing. Some experimentation with weapons that are otherwise similar should reveal the difference. The difference could be large, but my expectation is that it will make a difference of about 10 percent to the DPS of a character. That's nothing dramatic, but nothing to sniff at, either.

This should provide knowledgeable melee characters with an edge. "Aha, that looks like chain mail, I'll use my crushing weapons."

The second choice presented is to weapon setup. If you want a defensive setup, one chooses a one-handed weapon, and equips a shield in the other hand. Sheilds are quite nice; they can provide some nice stat buffs to start, and they provide a chance to block incoming melee attacks. This provides a viable defensive option. But less damage overall.

Two-handed and dual wield do pretty much the same amount of damage for the same quality of weapons. But there are some significant difference based on what mob you are facing and what buffs you have.

Some buffs provide a chance to "do something" whenever you hit. Poison is like this; whenever you hit, there is a chance of poisoning the mob. Sorcerors have buffs like this also. This is known in the game as a proc. Whenever the "do something" kicks in, we say the effect has proced (pronounced "procked").

Dual wielding results in more frequent procs. If you have a proc going, it's a good idea to dual wield. Your poison, or fire effect, or whatever will affect the mob more often, resulting in more damage. According to developer statements, the effect has been tuned so that it won't be twice as often however.

On the other hand, there is another class of effects in the game known as damage shields. If a character has a damage shield up, then every time that character is hit by a mob, the mob takes some damage. Mobs can have damage shields, too. These are the bane of dual wielders.

By hitting twice as often, the dual wielder takes twice as much damage from the damage shield. This is where a two-handed setup can shine.

I love a game with interesting choices.


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