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Eirwen

Soft cap question

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Ok I'm not too sure on this soft cap thing I keep hearing about. I am a blaster, lets say I have a epic pool aurora that gives 30% resistance and slotted and for argument sake gives me 40%, if I also have another aurora that has 16% resistance meaning 56% total, I assume its pointless as I keep hearing about a 45% soft cap?  I would have to guess in saying to drop the extra 16% and choose another skill?

 

Thanks in advance.

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39 minutes ago, Eirwen said:

Ok I'm not too sure on this soft cap thing I keep hearing about. I am a blaster, lets say I have a epic pool aurora that gives 30% resistance and slotted and for argument sake gives me 40%, if I also have another aurora that has 16% resistance meaning 56% total, I assume its pointless as I keep hearing about a 45% soft cap?  I would have to guess in saying to drop the extra 16% and choose another skill?

 

Thanks in advance.

It pays to increase past the caps so that when you get debuffed, you are still at the cap.

This will vary greatly based on power combinations, as some give you resistance to the stuff that debuffs resistance.

 

On a Blaster, I would recommend chasing Ranged Defence first and than add whatever Smashing and Lethal resistance you can get in there.

Initial ranged Def cap is 45%, incarnate is 56% (?) I think.

IME, once I can get my blaster Ranged Defence where one outside buff hits the cap - an inspiration or other player buff - it's works pretty well and just gets better if I can get closer.


"If there is anything the nonconformist hates worse than a conformist, it's another nonconformist who doesn't conform to the prevailing standard of nonconformity." - William E. Vaughn

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Plus you really need to separate resistance and defense caps, they are two different things.  Defense cap is 45 normal and 50 something incarnate, which just means above that you get pretty much no return in practice unless you are debuffed, because the enemies to-hit is at the lowest level it can be. Resistance caps depend on your AT, and are more hard caps, because even if you have 95% it's going to be capped at whatever your class cap is to begin with.

So defense caps are soft and at 45/50something, resistance caps I would call hard caps and depend on ATs.

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Resistance and Defense are two very different things, one makes attacks hurt less and the other makes you harder to hit in the first place.

 

Resistance means an attack of that type that hits does less damage.  Let's say you get hit by a rock (smashing damage) and the attack does 100 damage.  If you have 10% resistance to smashing then you take 90 damage.  If you have 50% resistance then you take 50 damage, and if you have 75% resistance you take 25 damage.

 

Defense is how likely you are to get hit in the first place and is a bit more complicated to figure, if you get hit you still take full damage (unless you also have resistance) but defense makes the mobs miss you more.  Without any defense a mob has a 50% chance to hit you so on average you'll get hit by half of all attacks.  When you start adding defense you reduce the chance for the mob to hit you... if you have 25% defense you'll get hit 25% of the time.  All mobs have a "floor" on their chance to hit you, they ALWAYS have at least a 5% chance so if you have 45% defense then you've reduced their chance as low as you can, thus 45% is referred to as the "soft cap" since while you can have a higher defense it doesn't do you any good.  (Incarnate level mobs have a higher to hit floor so the soft cap for them is, I believe, 54%).

 

All AT's have a hard cap on their resistance where you literally cannot increase it beyond that amount; if you have more than the hard cap of resistance the game disregards the extra amount unless you get debuffed.

 

The Resistance cap varies by AT, Tankers and Brutes have a resist cap of 90%, Keldians (Warshade/Peacebringer) have a resist cap of 85% and I believe all other AT's have a cap of 75%.

 

To summarize, for non-incarnate level mobs you get no benefit (outside of debuffs) to having more than 45% defense.  Resistance helps until you get the cap for your AT, then more is basically pointless.

 

Now, since you're a blaster you need to decide what you want to build for.  Do you mainly fight from range and rarely get into melee?  Then you may well want to build for Ranged defense... the Thunderstrike set is good for that.  Do you mainly fight in melee?  Well, you may want to focus on Smashing/Lethal defense as that covers the majority of attacks.  Frankly I'm not really sure building for resistance in a Blaster is a great idea since you'd have to make a lot of compromises and likely not manage to build significant protection.  The old thumb rule back on Live was that 2% resistance was equal to 1% defense.  I've found that if you're playing mainly from range that building to ~35% ranged defense does wonders for your survivability, and if you get into a tight spot a small purple puts you at the soft cap.

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3 hours ago, Eirwen said:

Ok I'm not too sure on this soft cap thing I keep hearing about. I am a blaster, lets say I have a epic pool aurora that gives 30% resistance and slotted and for argument sake gives me 40%, if I also have another aurora that has 16% resistance meaning 56% total, I assume its pointless as I keep hearing about a 45% soft cap?  I would have to guess in saying to drop the extra 16% and choose another skill?

 

Thanks in advance.

Simple answer, resistance cap for a blaster is 75%, so you are fine.  Defense softcap is 45%.  As others explain above resistance and defense are two different things.

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45% defense beats 75% resist though especially on status protection deprived blasters.

 

Thus Scorpion Shield 

 

 

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Softcap mitigates 95% of damage.

 

Resist cap mitigates 95% of damage. 

 

Defense is more important for toons with low hit points and no mez resist. If you can cap both, that's great. Priority should be a minimum of 45% defense, then whatever you can get in resist, but honestly I'd go recharge after defense instead of resist. Going to 50% defense in lieu of 5% more resist I think would be a better choice unless you avoid icontent (I pretty much do, but only because I don't care enough about it to try it) 


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17 minutes ago, Haijinx said:

If you have a 75% resist cap, that mitigates 95% of damage?

No, my bad. 90% resist does. 

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12 hours ago, Haijinx said:

45% defense beats 75% resist though especially on status protection deprived blasters.

 

Thus Scorpion Shield 

 

 

 

Many thanks all for the feedback's!.

Still trying to get my head around things. You say 45% defense beats 75% resist,  ok so 45% defense means they might miss ALMOST every other attack right?, but 75% resist means they all hit but I take 75% less damage?. If I am seeing this right the constant dmg reduction every hit seems better than a almost 50/50 chance of being hit?

 

In any case I fell the best thing for me is to go ranged defense first as someone did mention, as I am a ice blaster and hold everything at a distance. 

 

 

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You're almost there. Most enemies start with a 50/50 chance to hit you. Your 45% defense is subtracted from that 50% chance.

 

That means that 45% defense reduces most enemies' chance to hit you from 50% to 5%. It's called a soft cap because while you can have a lot more defense, nothing will reduce their chance to hit below that 5% floor.

 

There are exceptions, of course. Snipers and Drones have higher to-hit and Rularuu eyeballs pretty much ignore defense completely. Incarnate content also starts with a default 64% chance, instead of 50%.

 

If you really want to dive deep on this, here are some wiki links that explain a lot of this better than I ever could. I don't think anything with respect to this has changed from the wiki's I24 data to today.

 

https://paragonwiki.com/wiki/Defense

https://paragonwiki.com/wiki/Resistance_(Mechanics)

https://paragonwiki.com/wiki/Limits

https://paragonwiki.com/wiki/Cascading_Defense_Failure

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My understanding is that an even level (white) minion has a 50% chance to hit you. Lieutenants and Bosses are 55%  and 60% respectively (I think), but higher in any case, and it goes up with level shift. They call Defense a soft-cap because after all the calculations  are done, the bad guys always have at least a 5% chance to hit you. 

 

I did actually run into a Defense hard cap the other day. In a MSR there were so many buffs flying around that all my damage type defenses were blue and capped at 200%. So much wasted DEF.

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6 hours ago, Eirwen said:

 

Many thanks all for the feedback's!.

Still trying to get my head around things. You say 45% defense beats 75% resist,  ok so 45% defense means they might miss ALMOST every other attack right?, but 75% resist means they all hit but I take 75% less damage?. If I am seeing this right the constant dmg reduction every hit seems better than a almost 50/50 chance of being hit?

 

In any case I fell the best thing for me is to go ranged defense first as someone did mention, as I am a ice blaster and hold everything at a distance. 

 

 

Not quite, 45% defense means the mobs hit you 5% of the time, but for full damage when they do.  75% resistance means that they hit you as normal but for 25% of the damage.  Thus, getting hit for full damage only 5% of the time is better than getting hit for 25% damage half the time.  It's not really feasible on a blaster but the best way to go is layering your protections with high defense, high resistance and high regeneration (or healing).  That's part of what makes some melee characters so survivable.

 

As an Ice blaster you're best off staying at range, depending on your secondary.  I find that my Fire/Energy blaster with roughly 35% ranged defense (and about 20% to most everything else as a byproduct) is extremely durable as long as I stay out of arms reach of the mobs, which I generally do by staying in the air.  There's so many tradeoffs involved in building high defenses that it's a balancing act; you want to maximize your damage output so stuff dies fast... the faster they die the less time they're shooting at you... you want to have your endurance usage under control and you want enough protection to survive until the fight's over.  You can build for higher protections but that usually comes at the cost of damage output or endurance use.  Build as much offense as you can with a big enough gas tank to crank it out and then enough protection to last until the mob drops dead.

 

Ice is a set I haven' played, but from memory it's mainly single target so you've an opportunity for building ranged defense cheap, the Thunderstrike set is inexpensive and it gives you a good amount of ranged defense if you 6 slot it without detracting from the overall enhancement of the power.  5 ranged attacks slotted with Thunderstrike gives you somewhere around 20% ranged defense. (sorry, don't have Mids on this computer but I think it's somewhere around 3.5% - 4% ranged defense at 6 slots).  It's been a month or so since I looked but I used to be able to buy the recipes for 10k each and each one uses roughly 3k in salvage so they're cheap to craft.  I typically buy level 30 recipes for exemplar purposes... it gets you close enough to ED caps for enhancement and they're much cheaper to craft than level 50.

 

Scorpion Shield is a good patron power, however as I recall it's Smash/Lethal/Energy defense so it doesn't stack with Ranged defense.  I would build either for typed defenses (Smash/Lethal/Fire/Cold/Energy/Negative) or positional defenses (Melee/Range/AOE).  On a Blapper build that spends time in Melee I'd get Scorpion Shield and build up Smash/Lethal defenses as a great bang for the buck.  On a ranged blaster I build for Ranged defenses instead.  Trying to cover all angles on a blaster just really doesn't work as well.  You're a blaster, not a tank.  Although with a good defense and staying at range you can pull off some of the "Stupid Scrapper Tricks *tm"

Edited by Call Me Awesome

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OK, so quick breakdown (as I try and avoid wall-o-text).

Soft cap means that there is an effective limit, but having an amount over said limit is still there even if it doesn't give you any benefit.

Hard cap means that once you hit the cap, anything over the cap is discarded.

This comes into play if you get hit by a debuff effect or an enemy has a buff on them.

 

The Defense soft cap for most enemies is 45%. This is due to the game forcing all attacks to have no less than a 5% chance to hit and no more than a 95% chance to hit, with NPCs typically having a base chance to hit of 50%. Chance to hit and defense are straight subtraction math (i.e. if my ToHit/Accuracy is 70% and my target has 10% Defense, then I now have a 60% chance to hit that target). If you get your defense above 45%, since it's a soft cap, this acts as a buffer zone in case you run into an enemy with a ToHit buff (Nemesis, DE, etc...) or are affected by a defense debuff.

 

One important note about Defense is that you will use your best defense against an incoming attack. So say you're targeted by a Fireball attack. This attack deals Fire and Smashing damage, and is an AoE. Thus the game will look at your Fire, Smashing, and AoE defense and pick the best one. It does not combine them.

 

Damage Resistance is hard capped, based on archetype (75% for Blasters as mentioned before). Any resistance above 75% is just discarded into the aether.

 

TL:DR

On a Blaster, ignore Resistance and go for Defense. Smashing and Lethal damage are the most common damage types in the game, so getting Smashing and Lethal Defense to 45% or higher makes you very hard to hit for 99% of the NPCs in the game.


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Just a note, To-Hit and Accuracy are not the same thing. To-Hit is what Defense subtracts from, the result of that calculation is multiplied by your accuracy score. It's important to note that, as enemy levels go up, they get an accuracy bonus against you, not a To-Hit bonus, so even +4 AVs will have a floored, 5% To-Hit, which gets multiplied by their boosted accuracy to around a 10% hit rate.

In practical terms, this means that To-Hit buffs are significantly more valuable than accuracy bonuses, as they stack multiplicatively with slotted accuracy and global accuracy bonuses. This makes the Kismet unique very valuable (despite what the description says, it grants a +6 To-Hit bonus, not an accuracy bonus).

Edited by The_Cheeseman
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So, my understanding is that, base and same level as you, enemies have a 50% chance to hit you.  No matter what, enemies will always have at least a 5% chance to hit you.  Therefore, if you can attain 45% defense, you reduce that "base 50% chance to hit" to only 5%, (which they can never drop below anyway).  Now, if you're fighting higher level enemies or ones that apply defense debuffs to you, then going beyond that 45% defense can be quite useful.

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49 minutes ago, biostem said:

So, my understanding is that, base and same level as you, enemies have a 50% chance to hit you.  No matter what, enemies will always have at least a 5% chance to hit you.  Therefore, if you can attain 45% defense, you reduce that "base 50% chance to hit" to only 5%, (which they can never drop below anyway).  Now, if you're fighting higher level enemies or ones that apply defense debuffs to you, then going beyond that 45% defense can be quite useful.

Defense above the soft cap is helpful if you get debuffed, however higher level mobs are still at the tohit floor with soft capped defense.  It's a bit complicated but it works like this:

 

Mob ToHit = 50% for almost everything in the game.

LT, Boss, AV all have an Accuracy bonus that is a multiple of their tohit.  Thus an AV hits more than a minion.

However, any tohit debuffs and your defense all are applied to the mob's ToHit BEFORE the accuracy bonus is applied so instead of the accuracy bonus being a multiple of 50% instead it's a multiple of the mob's current tohit (5% against a soft capped character).  That's why more defense than the soft cap is wasted outside of debuffs.

Higher level mobs get an Accuracy bonus, NOT a ToHit bonus.  Yes, a +4 mob hits you more than a +0, but he's still floored with 45% defense.

 

Speaking of debuffs, in my experience mobs that debuff defense tend to REALLY debuff defense.  Cimeroans for example can strip you from 45% to -50% in a big hurry so having a bit more than the soft cap is of limited benefit; once they start stripping you it quickly drops you to less than nothing.  Circle of Thorns with that damned Quicksand and Earthquake will also drop you to nothing in defense and they're autohit.

 

Possibly someone more math oriented can give the exact numbers.  I seem to recall years ago seeing that extremely high level (+5?  +8?) mobs do start getting a tohit buff but you likely won't be able to scratch them anyway due to the way your damage and tohit chances go down as relative levels go up.  I'm sure you've noticed you do less damage against a +4 than a +0, and it's harder to hit them as well.

 

Broken down to the basics that apply to you, more defense up to the 45% soft cap is good, after 45% it isn't very useful.  Different attack types need different defense to protect from, and they don't stack with each other.  Smashing/Lethal defense is great against most attacks but does nothing for a fire based attack.  Ranged defense works against any Ranged attack but does nothing for Melee or AOE attacks.  The game picks the highest defense that applies to a given attack and uses that.

 

For example, let's take a ranged attack that does 100 damage,  50 of it Energy and 50 of it Smashing.  This isn't unusual by the way, many attacks have multiple types, this could be an energy blast.  Your character has 15% smashing defense, 20% energy defense and 40% ranged defense so all of those apply to this attack.  No, they don't stack together; what the game does is take your 40% ranged defense since it's the highest and uses that to determine if you get hit... the mob has a 10% chance to hit you.  As another example, let's say we have another attack with the same damage types, but it's a melee attack instead.  In this case your Smashing and your Energy defenses apply but NOT your ranged defense... since your energy defense is the highest that applies (remember, this second attack isn't ranged but instead a fist to the face, think a Tsoo ink man) the game uses that 20% defense and the mob has a 30% chance to hit you.

 

Most attacks will have one or more Typed flags (Smash/Lethal/Energy/Negative/Psi) and a Positional flag (Melee/Ranged/AOE)  If you have defense against any of the flags then the attack is more likely to miss.  If your defense succeeds against any of them then the entire attack misses.

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4 hours ago, Call Me Awesome said:

Not quite, 45% defense means the mobs hit you 5% of the time, but for full damage when they do.  75% resistance means that they hit you as normal but for 25% of the damage.  Thus, getting hit for full damage only 5% of the time is better than getting hit for 25% damage half the time.  It's not really feasible on a blaster but the best way to go is layering your protections with high defense, high resistance and high regeneration (or healing).  That's part of what makes some melee characters so survivable.

 

As an Ice blaster you're best off staying at range, depending on your secondary.  I find that my Fire/Energy blaster with roughly 35% ranged defense (and about 20% to most everything else as a byproduct) is extremely durable as long as I stay out of arms reach of the mobs, which I generally do by staying in the air.  There's so many tradeoffs involved in building high defenses that it's a balancing act; you want to maximize your damage output so stuff dies fast... the faster they die the less time they're shooting at you... you want to have your endurance usage under control and you want enough protection to survive until the fight's over.  You can build for higher protections but that usually comes at the cost of damage output or endurance use.  Build as much offense as you can with a big enough gas tank to crank it out and then enough protection to last until the mob drops dead.

 

Ice is a set I haven' played, but from memory it's mainly single target so you've an opportunity for building ranged defense cheap, the Thunderstrike set is inexpensive and it gives you a good amount of ranged defense if you 6 slot it without detracting from the overall enhancement of the power.  5 ranged attacks slotted with Thunderstrike gives you somewhere around 20% ranged defense. (sorry, don't have Mids on this computer but I think it's somewhere around 3.5% - 4% ranged defense at 6 slots).  It's been a month or so since I looked but I used to be able to buy the recipes for 10k each and each one uses roughly 3k in salvage so they're cheap to craft.  I typically buy level 30 recipes for exemplar purposes... it gets you close enough to ED caps for enhancement and they're much cheaper to craft than level 50.

 

Scorpion Shield is a good patron power, however as I recall it's Smash/Lethal/Energy defense so it doesn't stack with Ranged defense.  I would build either for typed defenses (Smash/Lethal/Fire/Cold/Energy/Negative) or positional defenses (Melee/Range/AOE).  On a Blapper build that spends time in Melee I'd get Scorpion Shield and build up Smash/Lethal defenses as a great bang for the buck.  On a ranged blaster I build for Ranged defenses instead.  Trying to cover all angles on a blaster just really doesn't work as well.  You're a blaster, not a tank.  Although with a good defense and staying at range you can pull off some of the "Stupid Scrapper Tricks *tm"

I don't think there are any epic/patrons that give positional defense though. 

 

Thats why I go Scorpion, since I can get good S/L/E defense. And Thunderstrikes add both Energy and Ranged defense in decent amounts. 

 

 

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1 minute ago, Haijinx said:

I don't think there are any epic/patrons that give positional defense though. 

 

Thats why I go Scorpion, since I can get good S/L/E defense. And Thunderstrikes add both Energy and Ranged defense in decent amounts. 

 

 

I agree with that and I considered it, but ultimately decided against it on my Fire/EM.  With IO bonuses and the Leadership pool (mostly for Tactics) I'm sitting at 35% ranged defense, 30% E/N defense, 12% all other defense along with 34% S/L resistance.  I've though of reworking a bit for more defense but I'd loose other benefits.  I did try changing Flame Mastery for Scorpion shield and while it bumped up the S/L defense quite a bit it cost me Bonfire which is something I use every fight along with Rain of Fire.  For me I'm not sure the trade off was worth it.

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Wow so much info, you guys and this community are great!

 

As soon as I read the fact mobs start with the 50% chance to hit then take off the 45% defense to that chance now it all falls together.

 

I am a Ice/Ice/Ice blaster and have done a new respec  with ranged defense first then defense and just a little resist. Along with the absorb we get its seems to be working out a lot better.

 

Thanks All.

 

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3 hours ago, Eirwen said:

Wow so much info, you guys and this community are great!

 

As soon as I read the fact mobs start with the 50% chance to hit then take off the 45% defense to that chance now it all falls together.

 

I am a Ice/Ice/Ice blaster and have done a new respec  with ranged defense first then defense and just a little resist. Along with the absorb we get its seems to be working out a lot better.

 

Thanks All.

 

Glad you're having fun, that's what you're here for after all 🙂


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TL DR version,

 

Damage Resistance soft cap for blaster is 75% but usually people talk about "soft cap" are talking about 45% defense.

 

Defense soft cap is 45%.   At this value, normal enemies hit chances their floor hit %.   For equal level minions that's 5% chance to hit... Lts, Bosses, AVs all have a higher floor (due to increased accuracy).  Thus, they have a hit with 6% or 7.5%, etc. minimum chance when you are at or above the soft cap of 45%.  

 

 


In game on Excelsior:

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Action Monkey - Dual Pistols / Devices Blaster 

Sewer Monkey - Street Justice / Bio Armor Stalker

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