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Mercenary Tier 3 Job - Barbarian & Destroyer

Mar 28, 2011 9:54 am
It stacks, you might not be invincible but two digit damage might as well be no damage.

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Mar 28, 2011 10:57 am
Quote:
Originally Posted by sync08
It stacks, you might not be invincible but two digit damage might as well be no damage.


Whether or not it stacks seems a bit irrelevant. In effect, taunt can only be used effectively with devastating howl. Cool-downs considered, taunt isn't very efficient, unless there is a heraldry which greatly increases the debuff devastating howl supplies. Besides, it doesn't add to your super-armor, which is a perk I would find necessary, considering the SP scarcity.

Think about it, a 20 per cent reduction isn't that much on a nest boss, the real defense comes from damage reduction (defense based). That's where the real double digits effect is created.

For a defensive oriented pve build, taunt does not seem the way to go. However, given the circumstances, I would agree that there are little other options.

Taunt might be useful in pvp though...

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Macchi: Level 50 Barbarian

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    Mar 28, 2011 12:12 pm
    -20% attack from taunt (perma, crest boosted), add 70% damage reduction from Maestorm howl  or Flying Swing = 2 digit damage.

    I know that superamor buff + flying swing/maelstorm = no damage, but supearmor buff cd is longer.

    Taunt fills in the gap.

    Not to mention, -20% attack from taunt + 30% damage reduction chest boosted charging (perma) = half damage (perma)

    Not to mention 11% + from the damage reduction passive add up to all the above damage reduction.

    Sync is thinking along that line .

    Anyway, now he is the only person i have seen to survive Stage 3 Lava boss party wipe skill with his techique.

    Oops, he did it again today.....Too bad today he tested that Deva howl does not affect the Lava Boss.
    This post has been modified on Mar 28 , 2011 12:13:14 PM by   chaose5.

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    Mar 28, 2011 12:32 pm
    The problem is that attack reduction and damage reduction are not the same thing. Attack reduction decreases the attack of the opponent by a set amount; it is independent from damage reduction, which acts to cancel out the total damage you receive- not the total damage dealt. The latter is dealt with by taunt.

    Because of this, I am saying that taunt is only usable(on these terms) when paired with devastating howl. I'm not saying the idea itself is bad- it's great. However considering the SP usage required to pull of the devastating howl + taunt trick, it isn't worth it. Especially when you have other alternatives to avoid damage, as Synch, and you have pointed out.

    Here's what I mean:

    A monster casts a skill (under taunt): The total skill damage is reduced 20 per cent because of the debuff. That remaining damage will be reduced independently from damage reduction caused by iron skin.

    I could be wrong, but I don't think I am. This requires testing.

    I just don't want Synch to end up investing points into a skill that won't be worth it. I know what he's thinking, but the skills are rather inflexible when it comes to this. The bright side is that Synch has pointed out a new niche for mercs: damage negation, and destroyers seem to be(at least at first) embracing this. Which is amazing because it allows us to kill things gradually, over time, with the introduction of other debuffs like breaking point- without much threat.

    I must admit though, these crests are going to be hella expensive to get once this catches on.
    This post has been modified on Mar 28 , 2011 12:35:25 PM by   Macchikins.

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    Macchi: Level 50 Barbarian
    Mar 28, 2011 1:49 pm
    Weird....Synch...I got a rank A Flying Swing Crest but it doesn't give me the option to get more super armor like yours does...am I doing something wrong...?

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    Macchi: Level 50 Barbarian
    Mar 28, 2011 2:28 pm
    I don't really want to go into the exact math for damage calculation.I know that damage reduction and attack reduction are different thing. And they don't simply add up as simple sumation.

    Basically, the formula says:

    ( Attack stats * Skill Amp + Additional Damage ) * Armor reduction * Addtional damage reduction = Damage on screen.

    To simplify things, symbols are used:

    ( A*S + D ) * AR * ADR = DAMAGE

    here, i purposely neglect the effect of  elemental attack, elemental def, crit , final damage etc for clarity.

    Lets take for example:

    Under normal circumstance. the damage on screen:

    DAMAGE = ( A*S + D ) * AR

    The combination of Taunt (-20% A) + Charging ( 30% ADR) + Passive ( 14% ADR)

    What would the output damage you received?

    ( 0.8*A*S + D ) * AR * (0.56) =  ( 0.448*A*S  + 0.56 * D )  * AR

    Without taunting howl, with charging + passive only , the damage receive would have been:

    ( A*S + D ) * AR * (0.56) =  ( 0.56*A*S  + 0.56 * D )  * AR

    While taunting howl might not affect the damage induced by the "additional damage" part of the skill, it definitely does cut the damage due to the amp party by additional 20%.

    The value D varies from skill to skill. And we are not even sure what the "D" values for Boss skills are.

    Let assume D = 0 (almost all ultimate skills for all classes have D=0) for the sake of comparison.

    Comparing 0.56 A*S*AR and 0.448 A*S*AR, you will find that taunting howl give additional 11.2% on-screen damage reduction.

    Ok, the effect gets better when there are no other damage reduction effect on you and your party member.

    Comparing A*S*AR and 0.8*A*S*AR, you will find that taunting howl give additional 20% on-screen damage reduction.

    If most party members find that Priest's defence buff, which give 27% damag reduction at max lvl is good, why not 20% damage reduction from taunt? Both have perma-effect, meaning the cooldown covers the duration.

    My occupasional disease.......Whether the SP invested justify the effect is yet another math problem on optimization of SP, which i don't think it is appropriate to dwell upon it now, since the skill effect/sp is not even finalized yet.
    This post has been modified on Mar 28 , 2011 02:48:16 PM by   chaose5.

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    Mar 28, 2011 7:34 pm
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by chaose5
    I don't really want to go into the exact math for damage calculation.I know that damage reduction and attack reduction are different thing. And they don't simply add up as simple sumation.

    Basically, the formula says:

    ( Attack stats * Skill Amp + Additional Damage ) * Armor reduction * Addtional damage reduction = Damage on screen.

    To simplify things, symbols are used:

    ( A*S + D ) * AR * ADR = DAMAGE

    here, i purposely neglect the effect of  elemental attack, elemental def, crit , final damage etc for clarity.

    Lets take for example:

    Under normal circumstance. the damage on screen:

    DAMAGE = ( A*S + D ) * AR

    The combination of Taunt (-20% A) + Charging ( 30% ADR) + Passive ( 14% ADR)

    What would the output damage you received?

    ( 0.8*A*S + D ) * AR * (0.56) =  ( 0.448*A*S  + 0.56 * D )  * AR

    Without taunting howl, with charging + passive only , the damage receive would have been:

    ( A*S + D ) * AR * (0.56) =  ( 0.56*A*S  + 0.56 * D )  * AR

    While taunting howl might not affect the damage induced by the "additional damage" part of the skill, it definitely does cut the damage due to the amp party by additional 20%.

    The value D varies from skill to skill. And we are not even sure what the "D" values for Boss skills are.

    Let assume D = 0 (almost all ultimate skills for all classes have D=0) for the sake of comparison.

    Comparing 0.56 A*S*AR and 0.448 A*S*AR, you will find that taunting howl give additional 11.2% on-screen damage reduction.

    Ok, the effect gets better when there are no other damage reduction effect on you and your party member.

    Comparing A*S*AR and 0.8*A*S*AR, you will find that taunting howl give additional 20% on-screen damage reduction.

    If most party members find that Priest's defence buff, which give 27% damag reduction at max lvl is good, why not 20% damage reduction from taunt? Both have perma-effect, meaning the cooldown covers the duration.

    My occupasional disease.......Whether the SP invested justify the effect is yet another math problem on optimization of SP, which i don't think it is appropriate to dwell upon it now, since the skill effect/sp is not even finalized yet.
    This post has been modified on Mar 28 , 2011 02:48:16 PM by   chaose5.


    Weird...I wish I knew the math earlier.

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    Macchi: Level 50 Barbarian

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      Mar 28, 2011 7:42 pm
      Quote:
      Originally Posted by Macchikins
      Weird....Synch...I got a rank A Flying Swing Crest but it doesn't give me the option to get more super armor like yours does...am I doing something wrong...?


      My current crest are:
      30% Damage reduction while dashing
      Battle howl
      Iron Skin
      Party Superarmor buff

      Planning to ditch iron skin's crest and get taunt when lvl 50 is out.

      Flying swing comes with superarmor by itself which is supposed to be unbreakable during charging. Currently, it is unbreakable by mobs but in pvp, every class has one or two skills which will break flying swing. I'm wondering what will happen if you cast flying swing on a charging flying swing. Lets try it next time.

      Mar 28, 2011 8:13 pm
      Nonetheless, this Damage reduction build is inherited from my howl merc and my mercenary's philosophy. That's how I'm trying to extend my howl merc's life.

      Taunt is a controversial skill, mercenaries are no tanker but I do think if used correctly, it in fact help paladins keep aggro. From my understanding of paladin's provoke, it draws aggro by adding a fix value of aggro on top of the highest character aggro on the mob. So, with taunt, even if you can't keep aggro and the boss get pulled by paladins, those archers and elementalists will have a higher aggro limit to work with before getting aggro back. So, what I envisioned is that bosses won't even look at those archers even after they shoot their machine gun.

      As for the sp consumption, yes, it is expensive. But, its effect is pronounce, perma taunt and half perma taunt has a big difference as we have seen in Sea Dragon Nest with the Lava boss running around burning me to death.....

      Then, we look at the opportunity cost of these 44 sp. I tried to get whirlwind with 44 sp but that is not enough. You can only get to circle swing. Circle swing is a utility skill, it pushed mobs around you away which is good for clearing clippers in apocalypse. However, I've been seeing my party members clearing them in one hit while I have to do two rounds of circle swing to kill those damn clippers. So, it is no longer useful as your party members gears level up. It is no longer imperative for mercenaries to draw clippers away and clear them. Circle Swing's true value is in PvP. Disrupting runaway enemy and continuing your infinite combo. So, it boils down to PvP or PvE and I chose the latter.  

      Finally, the final piece of information that leads me to giving up on damage build:
      Note that in the new video, that Half Sugar guy only dared to solo dungeons on Normal difficulty. I think his attack is 3800 if I remembered correctly. So, that reaffirms my belief that mercenaries are not damage dealers by nature. In addition, I highly doubt that the new nest's bosses' superarmor can be broken. If not, you can just get four destroyer and permanently cast flying swing ex.
      This post has been modified on Mar 28 , 2011 08:20:26 PM by   sync08.

      Mar 28, 2011 8:56 pm
      I don't think that mercs are DD nor tanking in nature. They have a unique role in providing an alternative, and reliable damage over time.

      I don't think that mercs ability to cancel out damage can be escaped, it's something that merc does. Certainly, mercs have to embrace it to be able to perform well. However, this does not mean that a merc does not have the potential to dish out great damage. In time, I'm sure we will be able to. Especially considering some of the arsenal they have unveiled for us in the Destroyer path.

      One great example of this is the fact the breaking point activates on nest bosses. Although it does not destroy their super armor, it does guarantee us super-crits. Provided that we get moves to exploit this (which we will over time, regardless of whether we get whirlwind, or a new skill is introduced to us).

      The trick to using a merc is knowing how to properly activate your skills and at which time. You have a good point at why merc would benefit from taunt at this point, however I think that in the future such a build will need revision. What I'm trying to accomplish in the development of my build is secure a way to exploit DD skills and a smaller arsenal of damage reduction skills.

      Mercs can be at the top in DD too. Just look at some of the famous Dark-axe mercs. I'll post a video later, of one demonstrating his attack power in pvp (just testing, not combat).


      After some thought, I'm also beginning to think that Synch might be on the right track for a pvp merc as well. I think that in order to conserve SP we much look for alternatives to the Axe tree (aside from stomp). When examined, I think that Flying Swing ex may be able to fill the role of swing circle in pvp. This will require testing of course, but what I have noticed is that in the infinite combo for mercs: flying swing is used primarily to set up rolling attack.

      Due to the new range of flying swing, it might be possible to do the same, granted it may take some extra skill in positioning the opponent. This might not be too radical of an idea either, and destroyers should be eager to embrace the use of breaking point in pvp.

      My decision on this matter really concerns the SP wasted on demolition fist- which is easily replaced by wall-kicking.


      With this considered I came up with the following two ideas:

      i)



      Stomp: Level 7 for the 30% reduction. Invest points to get it to level 10 after the next level cap increase.

      Taunt: Leave it at level 10 for the 20% debuff. It might not achieve perm. status, but it should get close.

      Disenchanting howl: Get it to level 4 if you plan to boost it using a crest.

      ii) This one's a bit iffy, but I think it works better with an offensive playstyle:



      Disenchanting howl: Level one, strictly used for removing buffs.

      Rolling attack: Level 7, to make best use of breaking point when it activates.

      Charging Howl: Level 4. The difference between level 4 and level 5 isn't that great. Level it back up to the max once the level cap increases again.

      Thorns: You may sacrifice a level of thorns to keep your howl maxed.


      Comment.
      This post has been modified on Mar 28 , 2011 09:18:42 PM by   Macchikins.

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      Macchi: Level 50 Barbarian
      Mar 28, 2011 10:27 pm
      Latest Test Server Changes:
      * Second wave for Stomp EX also will inflict slow.
      * Increase the additional damage per hit for "bone break" status from 70 to 238. Duration 10sec. OMG!
      * Heat combo: visual effect after activation added. The additional damage is your attack value. For example, if you have 4000 attack, that means, there is a chance (12%) for your attack/ skill to give additional 4000 damage (final dmg in nature, ignore def).

      The limiter for Heat combo is the 7sec cd. However, what would happen in time acceleration? Since the cd is cut by 80% in time accel, heat combo can actually activate alot often especially during Typhoon - a super multi hit skill..

      * Barbarian solo lv48 abyss video added.

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      Mar 28, 2011 10:40 pm
      Quote:
      Originally Posted by chaose5
      Latest Test Server Changes:
      * Second wave for Stomp EX also will inflict slow.
      * Increase the additional damage per hit for "bone break" status from 70 to 238. Duration 10sec. OMG!
      * Heat combo: visual effect after activation added. The additional damage is your attack value. For example, if you have 4000 attack, that means, there is a chance (12%) for your attack/ skill to give additional 4000 damage (final dmg in nature, ignore def).

      The limiter for Heat combo is the 7sec cd. However, what would happen in time acceleration? Since the cd is cut by 80% in time accel, heat combo can actually activate alot often especially during Typhoon - a super multi hit skill..

      * Barbarian solo lv48 abyss video added.


      OMG....Now, I have to reconsider.....But it does'nt seem impressive from the video....
      This post has been modified on Mar 28 , 2011 10:54:48 PM by   sync08.

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        Mar 29, 2011 6:03 am
        Meh, I'm still going destroyer- unless they nerf it before the test server finalize.

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        Macchi: Level 50 Barbarian
        Mar 29, 2011 6:25 am
        There's nothing more to nerf. Haha.

        Mar 29, 2011 6:46 am
        Quote:
        Originally Posted by sync08
        There's nothing more to nerf. Haha.


        They could make breaking point activate one move at a time, rather than activate for a period of time as it is now.

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        Macchi: Level 50 Barbarian
        Mar 29, 2011 9:31 am
        I thought break point activates only for a hit and not even for the whole skill.

        Mar 29, 2011 9:52 am
        Quote:
        Originally Posted by sync08
        I thought break point activates only for a hit and not even for the whole skill.


        Nah, it activates for a set period of time, I think it was five for seven seconds, and during that time you get super crits.


        Quote:
        Originally Posted by Arkena
        Yes all skills and normal attacks can activate it, it has a 15% chance of activating at lv2, and a 7 second cool down when it does activate. I still haven't seen its effect on a nest boss ;; The debuff lasts for 7 seconds as well.



        Also, just another idea:



        Do we really need flying swing ex?
        This post has been modified on Mar 29 , 2011 10:09:38 AM by   Macchikins.

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        Macchi: Level 50 Barbarian

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          Mar 29, 2011 10:13 am
          Interesting question.

          Mar 30, 2011 4:33 pm
          Sych. You probably already know this, but...we just got dealt another slap by the developers.

          Quote:
          Originally Posted by Arkena
          Mercenary :
          -20% more atk for Gigantic Bomber
          -Charging Howl duration increased to 9 seconds, decreases dmg taken by 50%, 90 second cooldown (PVE ONLY)
          -10% more atk for Whirlwind Attack
          -Iron Skin duration increased by 3 seconds (PVE ONLY)
          -25% more atk for Circle Swing, 25 second cooldown
          -25% more atk for Circle Bomber, 35 second cooldown.


          Initial thoughts:

          i) Charging Howl

          -Duration decreased by 6 seconds (when compared to level 1, 11 seconds when compared to level 5). Cooldown increased by 40. Damage reduction increased by 22 per cent (compared to level 5).

          ii)Circle Swing

          -5 Seconds added onto the cooldown for an attack boost. In my opinion this isn't worth it.

          iii) Circle Bomber

          -5 Seconds added onto the cooldown. They increased the damage on a pretty useless skill, which was useful in pvp for the infinite combo. It might not even be useful for that now.

          --------
          The rest is okay. God....damn, Synch they're trying to kill us. They're actually trying to kill us.
          This post has been modified on Mar 30 , 2011 04:54:49 PM by   Macchikins.

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          Macchi: Level 50 Barbarian
          Mar 30, 2011 8:15 pm
          Mercs are already dead...How can you kill the dead?
          The charging howl cd is abit tooo long for such a short duration buff. Btw, is the 50% damage reduction only physical damage or both physical and magical?

          They nerf circle swing.....speechless....Now mercs do not have short cd skill for pvp anymore....

           

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