Agg Def Mysteries

27 11 2008
Thd Agg/Def bar that is laid out Def-Agg

Thd Agg/Def bar is laid out Def-Agg

Rubi-Ka, like any world, has its share of mysteries.  One particular set of mysteries that caught our trader Tireen’s eye a few nights ago when she looted a semi-rare Ring of Luck, Offensive.  The single buff from this ring is to “add all off” and therein lays the mystery. There are no official specifications of exactly what this is, only a few vague statements.  To further cloud the issue it seems closely intertwined with two other mysteries, the Agg/Def bar, and evades.  There are reams and reams of theory hashed out in various AO boards.  For a few specific instances, like Fixers using Grid Armor, fairly solid explanations of the overall mechanics seem to have consensus acceptance.  Once you move away from that profession and introduce the range of player levels and styles, and things get very murky.

A typical add all def item

A typical add all def item

Rather than try and establish a grand theory in the scientific tradition, Baba and his alts have chosen to take the more practical approach favored by Edison and Tesla.  Keep trying different combinations until you find one that produces results you seek.

The first step was to narrow the field down to just the add all def variable.  The vagabond cloak provides a perfect vehicle to test this.  Over the last few nights, Tireen ran some team missions and recorded logs for levels where she had no back item, levels where she had an exarch robe, and levels where she wore the vagabond cloak.

Clearly the Exarch robe resulted in a significant reduction in the average amount of damage she incurred compared to when she wore no back item.  The vagabond cloak, even though it offers no armor class protections  managed to provide an even greater reduction in damage.  The key factor being that fewer hits landed on her.  To put it another way, the add all def caused her opponents to miss more often.  The total damage prevented by stopping these hits outweighs the  damage that gets through due to there being no armor.  For example with the benefit of the vagabonds buff, a single mob manages to hit her 4 times @ 54 points per hit for a total of 216 points.  With an  exarch robe, the mob hits her 5 times @ 45 points per hit for a total of 225 points.

An example of an add all off item

An example of an add all off item

While this appears very clear and makes sense given present variables, we have no idea how it may change when the variables change, such as the level and type of mobs involved.  It does clearly illustrate that paying some time and attention to studying game logs can be profitable.

Tireen has chosen to continue using her Vagabond Cloak over an Exarch robe for now, at least while they are running team missions.  What she has no idea about is if this is will be a good strategy whenever she may run into tougher opponents.

Next up, Add All Off

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