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.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Melee and Haste.

I have a bruiser alt, and I've been doing some research trying to figure out how to get his DPS up. One of the best articles I've read on the subject is this thread on EQ2Flames. I'm going to make a series of posts on the subject, to see if I can't sort this all out. I'm going to assume you know nothing to start with, but that's probably because of my math background. State the assumptions up front, and all that.

So, this time around, I'm going to talk about Attack Speed, or haste, as it is commonly called. How does this work?

Your Attack Speed rating is a number that goes from 0 to 200. These are not percentages. They are on the "diminishing returns curve" that is widely used in EQ2, so that an increase of 10 points from 10 to 20 will be worth a lot more than an increase from 110 to 120. If you open your persona window you will find that if you hover the cursor over the Attack Speed rating, it will translate that into a percentage for you, the diminishing returns is figured into that percentage.

Ok, now remember how a percentage is equivalent to a decimal fraction? You know, 15% is equivalent to 0.15? Ok. The Attack Speed Percentage is used to alter the speed of the weapon that you are using, via the following formula:

Actual Attack Speed = (Nominal Attack Speed)/(1 + Attack Speed Percentage)

Given a weapon with a delay of 4.0 sec, 15 percent haste (which you might get with an Attack Speed Modifier of 13 or 14) lowers the delay of that weapon to 4.0/1.15 = 3.48. This translates to a 15 percent increase in the DPS from autoattack. Combat Arts and Spells are not affected. But we all knew that, right?

So far so good. But there's some twists. First of all, weapons cannot have a delay faster that 1 second. Period. And I don't care if it says they do somewhere on your screen, it doesn't happen in the game. Self-buffed, this isn't going to come up that much, but once you get into a group or a raid with one of the attack-speed buffing classes (Illusionist, Troubador, and Monk are the most notable), it will really start to get noticeable.

When you dual wield weapons, each weapon's delay is multiplied by 1.33. So a weapon delay of 4.0 becomes 5.33. So you can't just add together the dps ratings of two weapons and compare it to a two-handed weapon. You have to divide the rating by 1.33, or, if you're like me, multiply by 3/4 (that's 1/1.33, by the way).

Ok, now here's the really interesting, (or annoying, perhaps) part. Weapon speed does not affect the proc rate of something that is rated as X times per minute. No, it doesn't. No, really, it doesn't. The probability of proccing is jiggered so that a weapon with a delay of 4.0s is four times more likely to proc per swing than a weapon with a delay of 1.0s So, assuming you are swinging the whole time, you should get the same number of procs in a minute of auto-attacking.

However, boosts to haste DO affect proc rate. The proc probability is figured on the weapons base delay, not its hasted delay. So when you are hasted, your poisons and items will proc more. Good stuff. I don't know how dual wielding affects proc rate.

The final thing, and it's important, is to note that only one item will be permitted to give you a boost to attack speed modifier, along with one adornment. That isn't quite true. If an item gives "+1 Attack Speed" in the same color and font as say "+ 20 STR" or "+757 Poison" then that modifier will stack with other items, but such items are very rare.

The basic haste items available in the game are the Tier 8 Mastercrafted cloak, the Pristine Clandestine Swiftcloth Cloak, with a boost of 26 to Attack Speed. Get it. Mantrap roots aren't that expensive. There is also the smoldering spry buckle, a Legendary T8 belt adornment that adds +3.0 attack speed. It's also available in lower tiers at +2.0 and +1.0. It isn't fabled, so it's not going to be outrageously expensive to buy the components. Until you get something better to drop, I think it's going to be well worth it to get these items.

Ok, let's review. Attack Speed translates to Attack Speed Percentage, which affects the delay of weapons. Weapon delay can't be smaller than 1.0s. Proc rate is affected by haste, but not by weapon delay. This gives a fast, light weapon no significant advantage over a slower, harder hitting one, as long as the ratings are the same.

In fact, the faster weapons are at a distinct disadvantage to the slow ones. I'll have to wait to get into some of the other reasons for other posts, but the advantage that slow weapons have is real, and significant.

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