The Great Glory Spending Debate

As  I prepared Tharius for the upcoming IOQC I realized …. I have no clue where my bloody +1 STR blue, glassy chain is.  I had used it recently for levelling but on checking all my clerics and mages I came up empty.  Well maybe one of my half orc fighting class characters bogarted by accident.  Newp.  Ok we’re over 30 characters checked here for 1 STR, so we are quickly losing that loving feeling.

Oh, it was in the storage container with the other 5 chains waiting for homes (I level lots of things that can wear turquoise anklets).  So right there the decision was made to rename this sucker and never again to have to identify a plethora of ankle wear (imagine this is in the real world… excuse me sir can I see your ankles?)

Already I hear groaning.  85 glory in and all you get is a STR.  Well yeah … but I get a STR on a character that desperately needs it who happens to be the first character I ever avatared on Realms.  I’m stubborn about using Tharius for quests wherever possible … a ranger isn’t specialized as wonderful for anything, yet makes a very nice general class with 25 str, 22 dex using fighter gear and hitting with gash.

Once that decision was made I started eyeballing my other glory totals and realized I could bring Lareawan up to 1800 hp.  My goal is 2k, but 1800 is a very nice plateau too.

 

<used as light> the sigil of Bron’trel
<worn on finger> (Humming) Set’s ring of Power
<worn on finger> (Humming) Set’s ring of Power
<worn around neck> Collar of Abyssal Servitude
<worn around neck> Collar of Abyssal Servitude
<worn on body> black leather mutant armor
<worn on head> the shade helm
<worn on legs> the black ring mail greaves of the Falcon
<worn on feet> the black leather boots of the Falcon
<worn on hands> Inescapable Grasp of Doom
<worn on arms> The Intricate Tattoo of the Legendary Guild of Origin First
<worn about body> A shroud of darkness
<worn about body> (Humming) the cloak of Death
<worn about waist> (Glowing) (Humming) a scarlet red belt
<worn around wrist> a spiked leather wristguard
<worn around wrist> Guard of Raven Black
<wielded> a bright shiny bottlecap
<dual wielded> Darkfire thrasher
<worn on ears> Demonic Whispers
<worn on eyes> subversion
<worn on back> a thick piece of lizard hide
<worn over face> the facade of the Hannya
<worn around ankle> a demonskin ankle bracer
<worn around ankle> a demonskin ankle bracer
You report: 1800/1800 hp 666/666 mv 88239232 xp.
Your base stats: 17 str 9 int 9 wis 18 dex 15 con 11 cha 16 lck.
Your current stats: 20 str 13 int 10 wis 25 dex 16 con 12 cha 20 lck.

The Tattoo item is the GoW leader sleeves which were passed from Hubris to Ravith to me.  The decision to wear them cost me 3 dr and a dex but gives me renewed reason to get off my butt and get a Falcon mask on this character.

The cloak of death is +29hp and the Guard of the Raven Black is +20.  All in all I’m sitting at 120 dr in this build but a little rearranging will bring that number up a little more.  I’ve always looked at 120 dr as the “decent” number though I know lots of people out there have pushed further beyond that into truely stunning levels.

The bottlecap is a Lifebane.  So I see a great number of routes to move forward, I am on the pop list for a Raelin light.  I need to get back to work on Edo necks.  Another guard or a better hat might be nice … but the topic at hand wasn’t to make a shopping list of what next 🙂

Spending the glory evoked a number of comments at recall, primarily “what a waste of glory, I would have saved it all for DR”.  I’ve got 3 DR+ spent in HP right now.  I debated whether to go DR or HP when I first started spending and I’ll tell you why I strongly disagree with the comment that was made.  First DR operates under the assumption that the gloried gear will always reside on a thief or other hitter class reliant on DR as a main stat.  For me this is utterly false.  I quest on rangers, thieves, druids, vampires … it’ll go where I need it.  The next point is that I don’t only use this gear for quests, it comes out and goes on the road.  If I’m stepping up to tank I want every possible HP with me… big gas and heavy mpdamage programs are fairly common out there.  I can take 2 800hp damage programs back to back and still have 200 hp … if I can’t quaff back 600 hp before the unlikely 3rd damage program hits, well I should start looking at the screen while I tank.

So there it is.  For me hit points are useful on every single character I slap a death cloak and guard on.  Any mob I face is going to look at my HP and try to make it 0 but isn’t going to care about my DR (I have NEVER been chased out of a fight for being too low on DR 🙂 ) I’m not disparaging spending on DR … getting to the 150 DR plateau is a goal of mine, but it’s longer term.  My HP goals have been much more rapidly obtainable giving me a continual sense of achievement.

If at some point I need to add on more stats I probably won’t add it to these items, but there’s lots of slots to go.  If I get desperate for dex maybe I’ll hunt down one of those 20 AC golden bedsheets through dedicated deck hunting (or cough up some ridiculous amount for one) … or of course, there’s always the other ankle.

Happy questing in YOUR pursuit of glory and thanks to Destre for her dedicated efforts in merging tiny HP amounts every couple o’ quests! 🙂

The pros and cons of CON

Last week we saw a new effect come into play with CON now directly aiding in damage mitigation and surprisingly CON past your class maximum would still apply to this effect.

My initial, reserved reaction was that I didn’t know if I liked the idea of using stats beyond the class limits.  This feeling was precipitated by the satisfaction I get from building a character and hitting the maximums in a particular build.  Knowing that you can add beyond the limits means that there’s always some bonus that I’m neglecting to achieve.  For me, and to others like me with a tip of the hat to Fight Club … this is like a cut on the roof of your mouth that would go away if you’d only stop tonguing it, but you can’t.  Stat effects past the boundaries are the Marla Singer of video games.

Ok so that’s out of my system.  That’s the initial reaction: knee-jerk and unqualified.

Of course the only way to qualify an opinion is to go out there and get beat up in some consistent manner and see how much of a reduction there is.  Or wait for Gagnon of Dragonslayer to do some initial testing .. you know, one way or the other 🙂  I’ll note that the only qualified opinion I can give is about opdamage, though I rather suspect mpdamage or rpdamage would be identical.  It’s difficult to quantify in a combat situation because of the number of variables not only from round to round but also from repop to repop (ever had a higher level repop of Danbala?).

I was pleased to find that the effect appears to have a fairly low floor where the player won’t feel more damage.  I didn’t observe any increase in damage on my characters, but I didn’t put a great effort into seeing how low I could drive my con, though I may.  It’s taken me a little while, but I am getting my head around the idea that penalties don’t have to be directly applied to players … as in the lack of con causing more damage than normal, that the lack of a benefit can be a penalty in and of itself.

On the upper end it appears that hitting class limits gives you a decent little reduction to your damage taken, certainly enough to consider adding CON where possible but not so much that I’d give up a radical amount of hit points to accommodate it.  Gagnon managed to push a build to 47 con, which I applaud heartily but did so to the exclusion of every other stat.  The character saw a continuous reduction in damage taken, though we did observe that beyond the class limits the effect does slow down, but by 47 con it was quite a nice reduction.  Too bad you’d be a one-hit-wonder for anything better than a Darkhaven guard, but hey, you’d get your reduction!  *grin*

So where does this fall into the worth the effort/not worth the effort spectrum?  I think that it’s fairly clear that this should fall into the category of an optimization.  New players don’t need to stress out about this, just take con into account when you’re making a new character.  Ultimately I don’t think this mitigation is going to cause you to survive a fight that you otherwise couldn’t.  You may survive a few close calls because of it but in the final analysis if you couldn’t quaff your way out of trouble before, you’re still in trouble.  Where this does have a nice shine to it is that it may save you some equipment damage and gold in heals, which if you’re an active player is probably not insignificant.  If you are on a tanking character where hit points, AC and damage evasion are far more important than DR, then trading DR for CON probably makes sense.  Is it worth glorying extra CON on?  That’s up to you.  1 con will cost you the same as 7.5 hp … The numbers depend on where in the spectrum you are but I don’t think you’re going to save 7.5 hp per round unless there’s more than 1k of damage coming through sanc and protect per round.  Straight mitigation doesn’t make the case here.  On a long term basis there is an argument that more CON = less heals but that doesn’t translate directly into a gold/glory cost analysis since the days to glory trading came to an end.  Were glory trading legal, you could probably save gold if you were an active enough runner by buying CON.

It remains to be seen if this will translate into lower equipment damage.  This is the one spot where this could be a shining star.  If tanks can stay in a fight longer because the damage is lessened and their equipment isn’t being so heavily hit then I would say every tank should load up all the free CON they can grab.  Simultaneously it will reduce repair costs giving a second direct economic benefit to the player who doesn’t want to spend their time golding for repair bills.

All in all I think this is a good change.  What changed my mind about pushing past the class limits was my experience building my character in Diablo 3.  I can take things as far as I want to, starting thinking in terms of “effective health” instead of raw hit points.  It goes against the grain of the Realms of Despair, but I think it’s worthwhile.  I can see not eliminating the stat caps on characters because it would require a total review of everything that is dependent on those limits, but selectively breaking the cap seems a great compromise.  As with saving throws the numbers are not directly read off the score screen (I won’t see myself with 27 con by typing score) so some element of mystery remains, even if many database programs (my own included) will count the actual totals.