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Galaxy Brain

Tanker Primary "Tough Test"

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Galaxy Brain back again with another primary testing for the base level performance!

 

This time it's a bit different with Tanks as the scenario is reversed: it's the enemy's turn to speed through the Tank as fast as they can, with each Primary providing an obstacle to success. Simply put, the Tanks I tested simply had their Primaries slotted out on SO's with the basic enhancement you'd expect (3 def, 3 heals, auras had 3 damage, 1 acc, etc) and would go up against a full mob of enemies to see how long they'd last.

 

The enemy group was a mob of 11 each time, with 2 Bosses, 2 LT's, and 7 Minions. They were all even-con to the Tanker and their combined attack spread was equal to the damage type spread found throughout all mobs in-game:

 

image.png.9c38f1b231a90ece4afbb958c059eadb.png

 

Yes, this does favor sets with great S/L or En defenses, but to be honest that is how it plays out in-game too. -Rech and -Def was also within these mobs in small doses to have a slight impact, but not be detrimental.

 

Running into this mob 10 times per primary and standing tall, I recorded the times to defeat for each and averaged the results. As a baseline, I also did the same with a lvl 50 tanker that had 0 powers in order to compare the toughness. Self Heals were used at 50% HP (including Dull Pains), and I would always open up with damaging abilities or AoE drains and try to reapply as much as possible.

 

 

image.png.6ea0f4d4e2c808a7b8e24d554e68d611.png

 

Lets go set by set.

 

Baseline

So, first off the naked Tank only lasted about 4 seconds on average with the full x8 mob mollywhopping them without being able to defend themselves. Ouch. Its a little surprising just how squishy you are even with a bunch of HP, but them's the breaks I guess! This benchmark is what all other times are divided against to come up with their "Tough Rating", the more multiples of times you lasted compared to being unarmored the better you are!

 

Granite

Well, it should come as no surprise that Granite Armor is the best possible choice here with the baseline metrics. I made an arbitrary cut-off on my timer of 5 minutes where I'd call it a run and reset the mission, which many sets were able to hit time and again, but Granite went so far beyond with never dipping below 75% HP at the worst during the alpha strikes that I had to double it's rating to show just how far beyond it was to the 2nd place set. That being said, there are a number of sets that had high enough survival times to where this raw tankiness I would consider to be a gimmick and arguably not worth the downsides whatsoever outside incredibly specific circumstances. Looking at the rest of the sets, I highlighted this as what I'd argue as an outlier.

 

Stone Armor (No Granite)

On the flip side, slotted up Stone Armor without Granite faired shockingly poor all things considered. Only being about ~7 times tougher than having no armor at all, I think the main issue here is that the separate earth armors really do not mesh well. Each one protects against a specific thing in a specific way but they do not seem to be better than other comparable powers in other sets. The whole set is a hodge-podge of powers until you get to granite which just replaces everything, and you cannot even say you can run it without Granite just fine due to how weird it is + rooted messing with you. IMO the whole set needs a look.

 

 

Bio Armor:

So, the actual 'Toughest' set would be Bio Armor - Defensive Mode. Its the only set aside from Granite armor where I was able to hold my own till the 5 minute cutoff every single time out of 10 runs. Efficient Mode held up as the 3rd toughest, and Offensive surprisingly held solid at 5th (ignoring Granite as #1). This is all in part of the way Bio layers everything so wonderfully with basically every defensive trick in the books being available to it. Good passives, Good Toggles, Damage Aura, Debuff Aura, Click heals, Click AoE damage, you name it and Bio has it! I was able to defeat most all the mob each time and come face to face with the bosses who were able to hit me on multiple sets much more effectively without the scaling-per-mob auras being as strong, but even then I was plenty durable as seen with the Offensive Stance being so good still. 

 

I know "Bio is too strong" is sort of a meme, but when the "non tanky" stances are still among the Tankiest.... yeah something may be true there.

 

 

Invulnerability:

Ol' reliable holds strong at the #2 spot behind Bio Defensive, and I think the only thing that held Invuln back was the lack of offense. Yes, this allowed it to have saturated Invincibility the whole time but it would still be constantly whittled away until defeat if it had no means of getting rid of a lot of the mob. Dull Pain was the true highlight here as once I hit 50% HP, more often than not I was in 0 danger until it wore off.

 

 

Ice Armor

A cool surprise to be sure, Ice's layered approach did really well! Similarly to invuln, being able to saturate a mob's worth of +Def alongside a Dull Pain clone have it great staying power, able to hit that 5 minute mark a few times thanks to the -Rech and +Def working wonderfully. That said, it also had a big gap with it's worst time being so low as well. It has a lot of defense, and the ability to eliminate threats with Icicles over time, but once hits land it has no resistance to assist with the blows.

 

 

Super Reflexes:

Jumping down nearly a whole minute's worth of time we have Super Reflexes. Not much to say here as this is about as straight-forward a set as you can ask for with RNGesus taking the wheel, one thing I did notice is that the scaling resists only kicked in at 50% hp. If it still scaled to the max (55%ish total) at 1 pixel of HP, but started at 99% HP I feel the set would be much smoother.

 

 

Elec Armor:

Sporting the wildest Standard Deviation is Elec Armor. Thanks to Power Sink and Lightning Field, I could either be immortal or be struck down within 30s at the shortest. It really depends on if they can put in enough hits between drains / if they were kept drained by the aura. 

 

 

Willpower:

Now we get into the "squishy" side with another drop of nearly 40s with Willpower. WP has a lot of layers, yes, but unlike Bio where you can quickly amass BIG layers + offense, WP has passive layers without any offensive pressure. You can recover quickly and take some blows yes, but with this level of play and this particular test it was not tough enough to press on.

 

 

Shield Defense:

A shocker to me, but upon playing it it made sense. Shield has layers somewhat like Willpower where it has a balance of defenses, +HP, etc passively but it carries some offensive edge to make up for the lack of "big" native defense numbers. That said, in this particular test when left by itself Shield Charge alone did not hit hard enough or cycle fast enough to make up for the lack of beefy defenses.

 

 

Radioactive Armor:

Essentially tied with Shield for some of the same reasons, Rad can heal well and do some damage but neither aspect was strong enough to weather the storm for too long.

 

 

Dark Armor:

While shield was a bit shocking, this one was downright dumbfounding. I applied 2 -KB IO's to travel powers to make this not a headache (and everyone slots those for Dark and Fire anyways), but even still I was taken back by how squishy Dark was even with Dark Consumption and the mez auras. The issue here was that while yes, you were immune to minions you then had to contend with the LTs and Bosses which would hit you pretty dang hard. Definitely a set that needs secondary attacks to deal with the harder targets while being able to ignore the little guys.

 

 

Fiery Aura:

Lastly, this should actually be no surprise that the most offensive primary is the least defensive. Popping fiery embrace and jumping into the mob and popping burn, Healing Flames, then Consume essentially deleted all minions... but like with Dark Armor the higher tier enemies then beat me up. Also like with dark, despite the amazing self heal at this level of slotting it was not up fast enough to really matter. I still feel this is fitting given how much literal firepower you get with the set though!

 

 

 

 

What are your thoughts on this? Im not 100% sure what the next steps would be for mid and high lvl IO testing for Tanker primaries would be, would Mid Level just be slamming all the unique +Def / +Regen IO's and some pool powers, and then high lvl include a ton of set bonuses? Let me know!

 

 

-Galaxy Brain

 

 

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10 minutes ago, Galaxy Brain said:

What are your thoughts on this?

I don't fully understand the testing methodology. You're using just Tanker primaries, no secondary, so the only damage the player does is through things like damage auras, Burn and so on. Correct?

 

I'm not surprised to see your results with Bio. It is what it is. Much like Rage, stances are super powerful at high level, but arguably even more powerful at low level, where the relative performance is that much bigger.

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In my experience of Tankers i would put Invulnerability or Shield defence as number 2-3. A SD Tanker was one of the better primaries for doing a MoITF buffed mobs no insps/deaths.

 

I certainly wouldn't put Rad Armour so low down.

 

I would put bio offensive below Rad. It is weak to none S/L damage and defences can be broken easily.

 

I think there are weakness to all sets whether defence debuffs, end drains etc that need to be counted for also.

Edited by Gobbledegook
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This is a nice look at the powersets at a SO level. As always great work. 
 

I know it would be too difficult to do a IO review as builds are too diverse, but this is good test just to see powersets at a baseline. If IOs were thrown into the mix though I’m pretty sure SR would be #1. Though maybe not. Once IOs get thrown in a lot of sets get pretty bonkers. 
 

Also, it’s too bad tankers don’t get Regen or energy aura as options. Would have been cool to see how those rank up at a base level. 

Edited by Saikochoro

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15 minutes ago, nihilii said:

I don't fully understand the testing methodology. You're using just Tanker primaries, no secondary, so the only damage the player does is through things like damage auras, Burn and so on. Correct?

In order to isolate just the armor set, my methodology was just so slot up the armor powers as well as possible on SO's, and then approach the mob. I would fire an alpha power off if possible (Ice's absorption, Power Sink, Burn, Shield Charge, etc) else I would get into the middle and wait till 50% to heal myself, rinse repeat as needed to see how long the armor would hold up.

 

The way I see it, for most sets any mitigation or offense from the primary would offer similar results or at worst really skew some things like Invuln being unkillable if I could just knock down the bosses every so often. On that note, I like to think this gives a glance at what each set provides and what could be paired with them to shore up weaknesses. Invuln lacks offense, so pairing it with a highly offensive primary would be great as its already shown as not really needing additional mitigation aside from that. A set like dark likewise needs help vs specific targets in order to work best, etc.

 

 

Edited by Galaxy Brain
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I would also like to see how things change with the addition of pool toggles. Without Weave, SR won't be at the softcap. Granted, it's sitting at 40.56% def to all positions with nothing but the 6 defense powers and 3 SOs each... but adding weave bumps it to 48.36.

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2 hours ago, Sovera said:

We have already run this test in the past though. Turns out that of all the possible tank primaries it's Werner who is the strongest.

I’m a Tanker primary now? I like it. 😉 Anyway, IOs and incarnates and a secondary are a different sort of test. This is just a primary and SOs. It’s interesting at least.

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2 hours ago, Haijinx said:

Some sets really need the fighting pool to perform, particularly on SOs

When I want to compare baseline performance in Mids, I slot SOs, take Combat Jumping, Tough, and Weave, slot the defense and resistance uniques, and the Tanker resist ATO. That then gives me a good idea what I’m looking at needing for additional mitigation from the secondary, IOs, and incarnate powers.

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3 minutes ago, Werner said:

When I want to compare baseline performance in Mids, I slot SOs, take Combat Jumping, Tough, and Weave, slot the defense and resistance uniques, and the Tanker resist ATO. That then gives me a good idea what I’m looking at needing for additional mitigation from the secondary, IOs, and incarnate powers.

I think hopping back in with all these would make a big difference for a lot of these sets, namely like Rad and Shield where the extra time bought allows more offense. 

 

My goal here was one part curiosity and one part actually putting out some form of "base level" metric as IIRC there hasn't been any sort of test with proportional damage types done before.

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1 hour ago, Galaxy Brain said:

I think hopping back in with all these would make a big difference for a lot of these sets, namely like Rad and Shield where the extra time bought allows more offense. 

 

My goal here was one part curiosity and one part actually putting out some form of "base level" metric as IIRC there hasn't been any sort of test with proportional damage types done before.

It's definitely worthwhile to get the baseline. Then to throw on a more common standard like +tough/weave/cj shows us a lot as well. Even that 5% needed on the SR for softcap will make a world of difference in actual damage mitigation.

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1 hour ago, Galaxy Brain said:

as IIRC there hasn't been any sort of test with proportional damage types done before.

I really like how you did that. 

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8 hours ago, Galaxy Brain said:

The enemy group was a mob of 11 each time, with 2 Bosses, 2 LT's, and 7 Minions. They were all even-con to the Tanker and their combined attack spread was equal to the damage type spread found throughout all mobs in-game:

 

Did any of the attacking mobs have attacks that debuff Defense or recharge?  -Def is pretty common and debuffs are the primary killer of some of the stronger armors.

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6 hours ago, Werner said:

When I want to compare baseline performance in Mids, I slot SOs, take Combat Jumping, Tough, and Weave, slot the defense and resistance uniques, and the Tanker resist ATO. That then gives me a good idea what I’m looking at needing for additional mitigation from the secondary, IOs, and incarnate powers.

That is what I do also 😀

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3 hours ago, ninja surprise said:

Did any of the attacking mobs have attacks that debuff Defense or recharge?  -Def is pretty common and debuffs are the primary killer of some of the stronger armors.

Yes , this does favor sets with great S/L or En defenses, but to be honest that is how it plays out in-game too. -Rech and -Def was also within these mobs in small doses to have a slight impact, but not be detrimental. From original post.

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9 hours ago, Bill Z Bubba said:

It's definitely worthwhile to get the baseline. Then to throw on a more common standard like +tough/weave/cj shows us a lot as well. Even that 5% needed on the SR for softcap will make a world of difference in actual damage mitigation.

That and Tough at Tanker numbers is pretty solid.  

 

For Willpower for example its a big part of its damage soaking vs S/L 

 

SR too, bumping you up enough to regen out of a jam.   Though I never bothered to SO only a SR tanker.   

 

The 3% defense uniques are just crying "Slot Me" too loud on an SR. 

 

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11 minutes ago, Haijinx said:

The 3% defense uniques are just crying "Slot Me" too loud on an SR. 

Shield Wall +5% res, Reactive Scaling Resist, Tank AT IO +res and +absorb... all on top of SR's scaling resists? So pretty.

 

Does make me wonder about this though:

17 hours ago, Galaxy Brain said:

one thing I did notice is that the scaling resists only kicked in at 50% hp.

I was under the impression that SR's scaling res kicked in at 60% for all archetypes. Is that not true?

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This is great data to chew on, though I would hesitate to draw any conclusions past what your methodology intended. A base line is an important place to start, so if other folks think your methodology is not accurate, perhaps they will supply their own data and testing procedures which can be replicated by other players to determine their validity. Either way, great post.

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17 hours ago, Galaxy Brain said:

Definitely a set that needs secondary attacks to deal with the harder targets while being able to ignore the little guys.

I think that's a really relevant thing to point out - Dark is an "ignore the rest, punch the bosses" set and plays like one. While the work you've done is impressive, there is the same issue with pylon testing that it's an artificial playstyle.  -End resistance is also something that would be worth taking into account as endurance crash can totally eradicate an otherwise very sturdy tanker.

 

As a baseline (which you rightly say it is), it's definitely some food for thought and every build has its what-if scenarios to contend with.

 

Really interesting about Bio, though - I knew it was a bit OP, but that's really OP.

 

Good work!

Edited by Gulbasaur
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Radiation less tanky than ice armor ?

 

A tanker test with no debuff ?

 

Dark Armor almost last ?

 

Is it a joke ?

 

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So Excuse my old, bad and too french English !

 

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21 minutes ago, Tsuko said:

Radiation less tanky than ice armor ?

 

A tanker test with no debuff ?

 

Dark Armor almost last ?

 

Is it a joke ?

1) this was done with SO's only + only using the primary. Set bonuses, pool powers, and even just secondary attacks adding to mitigation would change things a lot! As stated with Dark, it requires more active mitigation than something like Invuln despite being able to shut off minions.

 

2) There were debuffs present with -Rech, -Def, and some -End but not in huge amounts 

 

 

 

Edit: Speaking of pools, we're looking at the following with basic enhancement

 

Tough = +23.4% SL res

Weave/CJ/Maneuvers = +15.8% Def

 

Running through these again now should yield much different results

Edited by Galaxy Brain
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16 hours ago, Haijinx said:

Some sets really need the fighting pool to perform, particularly on SOs

True, this.  Willpower and Radiation benefit very noticeably from having it.  The only armor sets that I'd consider Tough and Weave optional for are Stone and Bio. 

 

I would rank Radiation somewhat higher.  Toxic damage tends to be rare but massive and unexpected, and Radiation handles it best.   Radiation is not super strong versus anything out of the box, but can be built up to easily hit the cap for smashing/lethal on a tanker; its biggest hole is to Cold, the rarest kind, and its adequacy against Psionic and solid performance against Toxic more than make up.  It isn't the absolute frequency of those types; it's that IME they are likeliest to catch you with your pants down. 

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19 hours ago, Galaxy Brain said:

Im not 100% sure what the next steps would be for mid and high lvl IO testing for Tanker primaries would be, would Mid Level just be slamming all the unique +Def / +Regen IO's and some pool powers, and then high lvl include a ton of set bonuses?

I think your mid level might be the baseline I mentioned, adding the defense and resistance uniques, Combat Jumping, Tough, and Weave. I fear your testing method would start breaking down at that point, with most of the sets proving to be immortal. And I can't imagine any well-built endgame Tanker not being immortal against this test, even set to +4, if potentially requiring active play to stack the ATO or heal or respond to debuffs or whatever on some sets. For giggles I just took my Dark Armor Tanker into a fire farm at +4x8, and there's no issue with going AFK, even as the minions and lieutenants slowly melt, leaving mostly bosses pounding on me. Endgame Tankers are completely different animals from slotting only SOs and depending only on your primary. I think high-level testing would be real-world challenges on real-world builds, such as the no temps no insps enemies buffed +4x8 MoITF. But in the real world, most people use inspirations, and most people are tanking for teams, and most people's builds aren't carefully optimized, and have goals other than pure survivability, and enemies aren't buffed, and none of these tests will do a particularly good job of reflecting actual play experience. Still very interesting and worth doing and discussing, as long as we understand that it's all somewhat artificial. 

 

Random comment on Dark Armor in this test - since a single heal takes it from 0 to full, hitting the heal at 1/2 health may be limiting performance.

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1 hour ago, Galaxy Brain said:

Edit: Speaking of pools, we're looking at the following with basic enhancement

Tough = +23.4% SL res

Weave/CJ/Maneuvers = +15.8% Def

Running through these again now should yield much different results

And +6% defense and +8% to +18% scaling resistance from the defense and resistance uniques, which I tend to slot even on lowbie builds. And while few people would slot all of these, you could go nuts with uniques to at least get some semblance of IO benefits without the complexity of an IO build, still keeping the slotting completely standard across the primaries.

 

Shield Wall
Reactive Defenses
Numina
Panacea
Preventive Medicine
Regenerative Tissue
Unbreakable Guard
Steadfast Protection
Gladiator's Armor
Impervious Skin
Power Transfer

 

Call that your mid level test, maybe, instead of what I was saying I use as a baseline. And then there's the Tanker ATO, but that's harder to fit into a test like this, so I guess set that aside. I think the results would be you'd need to bump the level of the test up to +2 to continue to see a meaningful spread of results, and that you'd see a lot of shifting around in those results, though I won't even try to predict the order.

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