Thursday, 20 May 2010

WAR Stats: This is Critical

In previous posts I have looked at damage totals from combat logs but this ignores something very important - the heat of the moment, what can happen in just a few seconds of combat. There is one thing I dread to see flash up on my screen and that's a string of big crits hitting me in quick succession.

Looks like this...


When I see just one big number like this I think "oh shit", nevermind three at once. That's over 4000 damage in the blink of an eye. Numbers like this are enough to kill you dead if you are already at low health. When people see you with low HP they go for the kill and you get focused. A string of big crits will either kill you straight off or leave you vunerable and put pressure on healers. Things tend to go awry.

DPS classes are crit-crazy. Go ask one. I believe BWs and Sorcs can get there crit chance up to 75%, other DPS classes to around 50%. They love the stuff.

On top of what your opponent is stacking you also have a base chance to be crit, based primarily on your initiative that has nothing to do with you opponent.

At Level 40 the formula for 'Chance to be Crit' = 35 / Initiative
Initiative @ 100 (35/100) = 35% chance to be crit
Initiative @ 200 (35/200) = 17.5% chance to be crit
Initiative @ 300 (35/300) = 11.6% chance to be crit
Initiative @ 400 (35/400) = 8.75% chance to be crit
Initiative @ 500 (35/500) = 7.0% chance to be crit

Most people's initiative is around 200 so a 17.5% chance to be crit. This means that a Sorc with their own +75% chance to crit will actually have a chance to crit you of 92.5%!! This is scary.

Reducing your base chance to be crit to 0% is not too difficult but what's the point if a Sorc still has a 75% chance to crit you?

It's the chance to not be Crit multiple times in a row that's important. You can survive one big crit. Surviving three is a different story.

Imagine a situation where the DoTs have added up and you have 4000 HP left. A Sorc or two focuses on you with +75% Crit. Added on top of your 17.5% base chance to be crit you will be crit 92.5% of the time.

The probability you will be crit twice in a row is 92.5% x 92.5% = 86%
Thrice in a row = 92.5% x 92.5% x 92.5% = 79%. You will survive 2 out of 10 times.

With a base chance to be crit of 0% you will get crit 75% of the time. The probability you will be crit twice in a row is 75% x 75% = 56%
Thrice in a row 75% 75% x 75% = 42%. You will survive 6 out of 10 times.

By reducing your base chance to be crit from 15% to 0% you are 3 times more likely to survive focus fire. Not only are this but there are lots of nasty procs and debuffs linked to critical hits that you will avoid.

-Crit also obviously gives you a direct overall damage reduction. For most classes a crit is 50% more damage than a non-crit. If a normal attack hits for 400, a crit will hit for 600. Therefore, a 10% reduction in Crit chance = 5% reduction in damage. Sorcs/BW however do 150% damage per crit, so a 400 attack will hit for 1000 when it crits. A 10% reduction in Crit is therefore equivalent to a 15% reduction in damage versus a BW or Sorc. As I have shown in a previous post, playing a SM and being in the front line Sorcs do me a lot of damage.

Getting to 0%
If you look again at the formula and examples above of initiative and base crit chance you'll notice a diminishing return on the stat. Going from 100 initiative to 200 reduces your Crit chance by 17.5% but going from 300 to 400 only reduces it by 3%. I would advise getting to around 250-300 initative and get the rest from -Crit% on items. Most armour sets have a piece that gives -3% Crit so mix and max from different sets you want to use to get the best -Crit.



  1. Not sure about your initiative calcs. I have 260 init, which gives me 13.4% and then a -3% reduction for a 10.5% chance to be critted.

  2. Which bit aren't you sure about? That "most people have 200 initiative"? That was a bit subjective but I have just looked at this post

    and seen that of all classes Engineers and Witch Hunters have the highest base initative (197). I would guesss your 10.5% chance without purposefully stacking (guess) is above average. Have you got the Conq. +66 init Set Bonus?

  3. It seems I cannot use a calculator properly, carry on :)

  4. I did some analysis on Initiative VS Toughness as a survivability stat. The point at which they cross (assuming BW/Sorc damage at full mechanic, no "Close Quarters" slotted), meaning when Toughness will reduce your total incoming DPS more than adding Initiative, is 178 Initiative.

    Past this, Toughness is more valuable. The problem is, that you can have your Initiative debuffed by up to 80, so, the number I shoot for is having an initiative of 258.

    Minus crit items are what should be used after your initiative is 258 to reduce your crit chance.... that is, if you are a optimizationist, like me.

    As a side note, debuffing Initiative is HUGE, likewise the ability to buff it.

    Cheers, TzuDevil!

  5. That's good to know TzuDevil, thanks. Do you mind sharing how you worked that out? One point I'd like to make is that in terms of reducing "overall damage" Crit reduction might not be the best stat but to avoid "killer" burst damage I think it is.

    Your point about initiative debuffs is a good one and one of the main reason's I use Nature's Blade - a 126 random stat steal for the SM, which inlcudes stealing 126 init. The BO has a mirror called Da Biggest! I think I will have to make a follow up post about this :)

    Thanks for your comment. I have seen your name about on forums about mechanics and such so would appreciate your thoughts on some of my other WAR Stats posts.

  6. Jeez! Never even though about the BO/SM stat debuff!! Was thinking WH/AM/WE/Maruader type initiative debuffs which cap at 80. That is good to know!!

    Really, then, you are looking at shooting for an initiative cap of about 300.

    By the way, I agree with you about burst damage.... strings of crits kill people.

    The way I worked it out is through the formula for damage. I just included an average damage total, which bumped the number by the crit damage percentage, and crit damage modifier.

    Then I added a calculator that allowed me to change toughness and initiative until they were equal.

    Cheers, Tzudevil.

    PS I LOVE your posts. The best analysis done since the early days of WAR, when all the math guys were driven to figure out how the game worked! I have already changed all of my builds based on your work.