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  How and why: Damage Mitigation
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    PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2016 4:16 am 
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It's recently dawned on me that there are very, very few people who understand damage mitigation, and why it is so incredibly important in Todays AO (18.8).

Gone are the days of: "hur dur we need reflects"
Gone are the days where the aggro target could simply load up on HP and it was a given that the doctor could invariably fill his HP anytime it got low.

Let me tell you a quick tale about the utter devastation that is endured when damage mitigation is not properly understood. this was a pickup team with some veteran Omni players, a veteran player on a new toon (crat), and a guy from komodo, my feeling is that while each of them may have been OK at another prof, they simply didn't understand how to effectively mitigate damage properly on the profs they brought.

I joined a PU team for beast clear PF recently on my doctor. The team looked OK. We had:

The 2nd shade went in T2. On the surface, this doesn't look too bad. If everyone on the team knew exactly how to operate their toon in a core minimized role (see my Raiding excellence thread for a description on responsibilities), there would be exactly ZERO problems - maybe a bit of stress on the third add wave, but nothing too hectic that we wouldn't be able to get through with a bit of elbow grease.

Lets discuss, briefly, what each profs [CORE] role is here:

Enforcer: aggro target, tertiary damage mitigation (absorb spam, evasion), damage, aggro target healing (self healing)
doctor: aggro target primary healer, damage, target tertiary damage mitigation (init procs), secondary target/area/team healer
soldier: damage, secondary damage mitigation (reflect), DD booster
engineer: damage, secondary damage mitigation (reflects), DD booster, primary target damage mitigation (DVP debuffs)
shade: damage, target primary damage mitigation (AAO debuffs, init debuffs)
shade: damage, target primary damage mitigation (AAO debuffs, stuns)
crat: damage, target primary damage mitigation (init debuffs), target primary debuffs (Dead man walking)

These are CORE. In order to have a successful raid with low stress, these are the specific responsibilities which MUST be adhered to in order for success to occur.

Consider for a moment if any of these profs didn't do one of their jobs.

If engi doesn't spam DVP, beast DD goes up by about 35%
If engi/sold doesn't recast reflect, beast DD goes up by 30%
If crat doesn't debuff beast with DMW, beast resists 10x more UBT/malaise casts, resulting in further DD increases, nukes, and NCU clears
If enforcer doesn't cast max HP or taunt, it means there is aggro flickers possibly leading to a wipe
If doctor doesn't heal, beast simply wins
If shades don't run stun procs or debuff AAO, beast DD increases about 30% during malaise Downtime
If enforcer doesn't spam absorbs, beast DD goes up about 12%
If crat doesn't debuff malaise/wasteful arms, beast DD goes up by about 31%

Now... you're sitting there thinking, wait, how much damage is beast actually doing if all of these damage mitigation options are layered? Well, you're right. Beast won't actually be doing a lot of damage if you're playing correctly, and that's my point.

So, in the clear beast raid I was in, there were several problems.
1. crat stayed back, and as a result DMW didn't land on beast - This is a huge problem, it means that the crat tries to land malaise (often 7-8 casts) from wayyyy back (max range probably) and during those 10-15s you might wipe even before you get going. Very few people seem to understand that beast fighting is an up-close-and personal affair. Crats should be tickling beast's asshole with their hat for perfectly effective play, and, absolutely must be running DMW - in fact, spam it as soon as you get underneath him.

2. Engi stayed back. Why, oh why? A huuuge mistake. Engi is the TOP active damage mitigation expert in game (keeper being top passive damage mitigation expert). At any given time, if beast has DVP running, the engi is giving the enforcer a massive chance to evade the hit (-1210AAO) and, even if he does get hit, the size of beast's weapon is significantly reduced - from my estimations, we're talking about the difference of about 2000 damage - i.e. 10k -->8k raw damage.

[These two problems are inexcusable, and arguably are the largest reasons for full raid fail]

3. shades not debuffing the beast, here, again is the safeguard which wasn't used. there are two shades, one should be using the -1500 init debuff which has a 100% proc rate, the other shade should use stun to interrupt NCU casts. two shades working in concert will potentially reduce NCU wipes by as much as 50%. Next fail is that neither shade used AAO debuffs, which compounds with the engi not using DVP. Full AAO debuffs by shade are around 500AAO, this could have reduced beast damage through hitrate (evaded hits) AND beast weapon size (8k dmg ->7k damage)

[with these 3 CORE prof fails, we're looking at a seriously stressed enforcer/doctor relationship, doctor simply cannot get out of chained BI spam, no matter how well the enforcer mitigates damage, it simply isn't enough. hits from beast are raining 8k-10k damage, and Sfortify can only reduce that damage to best case 6.7k-8.7k]

4. soldier/engi not recasting reflects - Beast WILL NCU wipe occasionally, the very first nano casted is reflects. This will refresh on tank and will directly mitigate 30% of all physical damage (nukes are not stopped by reflects). In the period of the crat spamming malaise, the doctor was chaining BI with interspersed ICH on CD while reflects were down. As doctor, I didn't even have a chance to type "REFLECTS!"

5. Enforcer failed to actively mitigate damage and healing was simply drops in the bucket, which, under proper play would have enabled him to tank beast without a single heal from a doctor for long periods... but due to absolute breakdown of mitigation strategies, left him scrambling the entire time.

6. Doctor (Me) So this is the interesting part. With complete damage mitigation processes breaking down, even with 162% heal efficiency, (my entire setup is dedicated to heal eff), I couldn't heal the team fast enough. I know, it's hard to believe, but it's true. I was in continual nano recharge, and on both wipes before the team replaced me, on account of "it was the doc's fault" I simply couldn't heal fast enough.

Here is the basic rundown, math wise, of the true breakdown of damage mitigation in the above scenario.

I'll just throw it out there, I estimate that Beast has about 7500 AAO (7500 AR) and I'd roughly approximate any 1 point of AAO drop with about a 1.5 damage reduction in beast's "weapon" damage.

Beast dual wields and beast weapon damage unmitigated is about 10000 per hit meaning he does about 360000 dmg/minute if every hit lands, but this doesn't count nuke damage, add dmg or NCU wipes which actually do a huge chunk of damage on enforcer and other profs. We can't really talk about damage mitigation of nukes or NCU clears, but we can talk about raw weapon mitigation.

Enforcer BASE evasion, given a reasonable tanky setup of 3000evades+AAD

Chance to hit: 7500/(3000+7500) = 71% chance to land a hit on a non-buffed enforcer 360000*0.71=255600
Base AC's: 10k 10000-1000=9000 base damage (10% mitigation, 15% with Gift) = 255600*0.85 = 217260
Reflects: 29+3=32% = 32% mitigation 217260*0.68 = 147737

Here you can see that we've already reduced original damage by half, and these really aren't all that complex mitigation strategies - but, the hits are still coming fast and hard. A doctor would STILL need to be chain casting BI (14 casts per minute) in order to outheal this damage. And that is why more damage mitigation is absolutely essential.

Lets talk about the REAL mitigation, because from here, everything else starts to be really significantly reducing the total damage taken.

First up: malaise+wasted limbs, reducing hits from 36/minute to about 25/minute a 31% mitigation 147737*0.69 = 101938
Here, we're still taking a lot of damage, and doc is still pretty furiously managing enforcer HP.
Second: DVP and other evasion. Yes, DVP breaks occasionally, but if the engi is spamming it, it has a pretty solid up time.
First, lowering beast AR by 1210, next add 410 AAD from crat+100 on CP+75 on ICRT, and -500 from shade, we get an adjusted hit rate of:
(7500-1210-500)/([3000+410+100+75]+[7500-1210-500]) = 5790/(3585+5790) = 0.62

0.62adj hit rate /0.71 orig hit rate = 0.87 (or a further 13% mitigation)

101938*0.87=88672 dmg/min

Next, we include reduction in weapon size: total debuff = 1210+500 = 1710 1710*1.5 = 2565 dmg loss per hit

2565/10000 = 25% damage reduction on potential beast damage

88672*(1-0.2565)= 65971 dmg/min

and finally.. we take into account absorb spam, which removes a FLAT 1371 damage PER landed hit.

assuming 36 hits/min, and a land rate of 0.62 adjusted land rate from debuffs, we can expect 22 hits to land/minute.

If the enforcer uses a constant casting regime (mongo/Sfortify/Sfortify/mongo/Sfortify/Sfortify/mongo) This will keep mongo running full time and give you loads of taunt as well as getting you fresh shields every 10/12 seconds, meaning, we could expect out of those 22 hits to have 22*10/12 = 18.6 hits to get a FULL reduction from absorb spammed.

18.6*1371 = 25482 direct damage reduction... AND your FINAL DAMAGE, FULLY MITIGATED IS....

65971 dmg/minute - 25482 dmg/minute = 40489 dmg/minute

that's 4 casts of BI/minute... But, if the enforcer can keep mongo running, mongo running full time is 550 HP/2s +3% of max HP every 10s which is actually popping every 6s on average because the second CD is negated by recasting at 12s... Now, if the enforcer could keep his max HP up (say, 60k HP to be conservative) we got total healing (WITHOUT THE DOCTOR!!!) of:
550/2s *60s = 16500
3%*60000/6s *60s = 18000
HD = 250 *30s = 7500
Total enforcer healing PRE PERK of 42000

Ta da!!!!!!! 42000enforcer using proper Sfortify cycling+mongo > 40489 beast fully mitigated dmg/min

So, mathwise, enforcer COULD tank beast without a doctor, if only everyone knew how to mitigate damage appropriately.

Note that I haven't included keeper watch ward which reduces init debuffed damage by a further 26%

But here is how things actually went:

Crat didn't get in range of beast for DMW
engi didn't get in range of beast for DVP
engi didn't spam DVP
engi didn't cast Gift on enforcer
enforcer didn't watch NCU so lost 20k HP
enforcer didn't spam absorbs
shades didn't debuff beast AAO
shades didn't use degeneration of haste
other shade didn't use quintessence of stupification
crat had a hard time landing malaise not to mention wasteful limbs (note was his own fault)

So.. now, enforcer has 36k HP, not 30k+20k+1000+3000=60k
beast weapon is max size
reflects are terminated due to NCU wipe
enforcer not spamming absorbs

and beast damage/minute is closer to 250k-300k
Doc with 160% heal eff, BI heals about 9000*1.6 = 14k
BI has 3s CD
60s/3 = 20 casts/min
14k *20 = 288k healing/minute

ICH didn't matter because it only healed about 20k if I caught enforcer at 16k HP (about half), any less was dancing on the edge of insanity because if I had a 0.5s ping lag (common in aus), tank would die, in fact, that's how he died the first time.


This is a protracted discussion on damage mitigation centred around an experience I had recently, as a veteran healer in a maxed healing setup, essentially babysitting a group that placed the blame solely on the doctor for not being able to heal effectively, when the problem can be proven to be STRICTLY the damage mitigation, not healing.

So, the lesson here, is if the enforcers HP is JUMPING... it's a damage mitigation problem, and EVERYONE needs to jump in and help sort it out.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ ____
" I Don't Like That Man. I Must Get To Know Him Better." -Abraham Lincoln

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  Re: How and why: Damage Mitigation
    PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2016 8:59 am 
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This is gold. One thing to mention in terms of damage mitigation for Enfo at Beast - is the process to avoid unnecessary aggro from adds and thus reduce doc workload. So, in a round of mongo/ sfort/ sfort etc... you want to modify that when adds pop and hold mongo and spam improved malice and other tools until adds are dealt with at 75%/ 50% and 25%.

With engi thanks for the reminder on void. Tend to be slack about using all my tools in big raids and this of course leads to bad/ slack habits. Beast is a good forum to work hard at damage mitigation and should be seen as a training ground for best application of skills, and not the pinnacle.

Going to print this post of yours and the one from the other day and file it under 'Stuff what Noobas says'

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  Re: How and why: Damage Mitigation
    PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2016 4:10 pm 
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Some really outstanding points here. =D>

Most of my Beast experience has been with ranged toons (fix & crat, since my Rose toons are non-Alliance {most have never been to Beast} and the higher level ones are mostly melee). It was always the mantra that the ranged toons fight at max range to avoid the nukes. So, especially for the crat, it never occurred to me that it was important to fight the Beast within the range of the aura I was running. Malaise and Wasted Arms I took as a given, but I've always run Improved Heroic Measures to boost the folks around me. It never occurred to me to run Dead Man Walking to reduce Beast NR so myself and others can land their nanos more easily. This post and Raiding Excellence in AP (viewtopic.php?f=5&t=10029) have definitely given me a wakeup call.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ ____
Constitutor 220/30/70 Fixer
Publicus 220/30/70 Crat
Asculapius 150 Doc, Validusius 100 MP, Magnusferrum 220 Keeper, Aterumbra 213 Shade

Unity of the Rose: Nuadha 220 MP, Diancectmed 220 Doc, Goibhniu 220 Engi, Deaghdia 220 Enfo, Creidhne 220 Trader

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  Re: How and why: Damage Mitigation
    PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2016 10:53 pm 
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There's been some interesting discussion on AO forums about this (I posted there as well). But first let me respond to both points, since indeed there is some value in alternate approaches.

First, Ustar, when adds pop, generally speaking a raid participant should be able to easily handle the damage. Every prof has some damage mitigation which is self centred. The only exception to this is doctor, in my opinion. However, the doctor should generally stick with the enforcer, near beast, and be ready to kite rapidly and effectively in a circle around the enforcer while the DPS take care of the adds (on third add wave) on other add waves, they are too small to really pose a threat.

There are a couple things to watch for: pinks, generally, and pink delayed response!!! which is a real nutter. Basically here's how it works. If a pink pops and HASN'T been aggroed, the pink looks around and starts popping heals, but if he's aggroed, there's a much higher chance that he'll focus on the aggro target and if he heals, he only heals himself.

This means that the number one important thing is to ensure that immediately after an add wave, that the pinks are aggroed. This generally occurs, but on the second/third wave, if you get a wave with like 5 pinks, it's almost a guarantee that the beast will get a heal. So enforcer, in that case, has to spam mongo to get as many pinks aggroed to him as possible. (and notably, if the pinks have a delayed response, often you're sitting there watching for them to respond while they are walking around enjoying the view... in that case you just gotta wait it out and save specials)

It isn't the enforcers job to dispose of adds, neither is it the doctors. That job is the DPS (engi/sold/shade/trader/agent/keeper/MA/advy/NT). Crat should do it as well, but his primary responsibility is to debuff beast.

@ Con, there is value in staying back, but on crat, you're going to boost the raid capability by leaps and bounds by debuffing beast with DMW. It's a highly effective debuff. Note that constant barrage from NT is almost as effective... but lacks the -19% crit resist debuff. I mean, DMW is one of the best debuffs in game, so lets use it. Not sure of the range, but this raid, as with all raid bosses occasionally requires a bit of adjustment in gear to be super effective.

My crat in full CSS and alphas with ACDC has 16k HP, with ibehe, omnimed and TLC that's going up to over 20k - that is reasonable. 20k if easily eating 2 nukes with a bit left over. If you're attending beast on a 212 doctor, and you have crap gear from level 130 when you last updated symbs, don't have any DB nanos, and are perked into XP... yea, that 9k HP isn't going to cut it. And frankly, that's one of the reasons I get quite irritated by some alliance raids, is that you look around and sometimes it's 80% ankle biters. Endgame raids are best completed by endgame toons. They don't have to be completed, but some semblance of understanding of what is appropriate is definitely needed. In the scenario I described above, the shade in the second team solo had about 16k HP, which, if you're in team with a doctor who is fast on the heals, is probably going to be OK, but it might not be. We lost the T2 in every attempt, because the main doctor was constantly and continually healing the tank, which left NO CHANCE to fire heals to the T2 on single heals.

If you don't have 20k HP for a beast raid, swap some gear, try to get as close as you can to 20k with OSB (raidbuffs also help), and then go get in range so your debuffs hit him.

On engi, there's no excuse. Engi's are absolutely required to get in range DVP has a 8m range so that's 5x shorter than max weapon/nuke range. Basically, that's tickling his butthole. If engi isn't landing DVP regularly, isn't spamming it on CD... that engi is crap. That nano is one of the strongest in game... if he's not using it, I pity the fool who depends on him.

The other advantage for getting in range is making sure you're getting BG heals. They have a long range, but often doc will have to kite to the other side of the beast altar while dealing with adds etc. so if he's on the other side, heal range is 40m max, and that range could easily extend to 65-70m so they won't land. With everyone close by, it's a lot easier to get heals on the raid and deal with adds.

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" I Don't Like That Man. I Must Get To Know Him Better." -Abraham Lincoln

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  Re: How and why: Damage Mitigation
    PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2016 11:22 am 
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Let’s get into this in some more detail re engi damage mitigation and DD. I tend to go for a combined def/DD or balanced approach. So taking Beast as an example I’ll work with the following pre-conditions:

1. I have a balanced PvM setup, as I want to be able to TS anything in the game, be able to solo most content in PVM, and still offer the best DD I can for raids. I’ve never tried to be a pure DD engi. This is the main reason I chose CS armour and not CSS. I also look for balance with equipment. For the same reason I’m pew pew and not grenades. All pretty standard.

2. Working on the assumption that it is possible the enf will drop agg and/or doc may crash I like to have a plan B for raid or solo runs. DD profs get smacked quickly if the enf/doc combo starts to fail. There is of course the argument that if that happens it doesn’t matter because you’re all dead anyway, so you should build for DD if raiding is your main activity. Even so I’ve gone for balance.

So, with Beast I’ll be well buffed for offence, and will stand on the platform apron (with the other pet profs) for Beast and add DD, damage mitigation, and offer AC, reflects and absorbs to enf and anyone else that wants them – along with EP for those than can use it.

My buffs:

Usual compliment of comp buffs, EP, rapid weapon, gift of assurance, emp pre-nullity cocoon, plasma shield, boosted tendons, imp iso sloughing field, iso sloughing assault shield, sympathetic fortress screen (defence mode), sympathetic reactive cocoon (offence mode).

For further damage mitigation:

Bio re-growth, Bio Cocoon, Bio rejuvenation, Bio Shield, Reconstruct DNA, Freak Shield


Defence: endure barrage, congenial encasement
Offence: destructive signal, drone missiles

Pet buffs:

Formula 22, Intrusive Aura of the Slave (both pets as they stack and only use where it doesn’t interfere with calms), Gift of Assurance, Omni-Pol, Plasma Shield, injectors, Alb damage type change device, miniaturization, improved obedient servant.

Pet damage mitigation and management:

Chaotic energy, Master’s repairs, reconstruction, repair pet

3 Trimmers for Widowmaker only:

Pos Agg/Def, Increase Agg, Improve actuators.

DD from attacks, nanos and research derived attacks in order:

Send in pets then Attack, Burst, quick shot, medallion, hostile takeover, chaotic assumption, chemical blindness, poison sprinkle, taint wounds, bot confinement, nano feast, DVP (spam), repeat as they come up off cd.

In addition and not included here are a number of nanos for PvP, all the TS based nanos, taunt tool (agg multipler - jealousy aug), and finally hacked grafts Feet of Stone and Detain suspect.

So does this represent a comprehensive DD and mitigation set up for endgame bosses? I’ll have to run a few dumps to see what this produces in terms of your earlier assessment on what counts as good damage. I haven’t done that in ages, but this seems reasonable and I throw it up here for you to cast a critical eye. Always looking for ways to improve.

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  Re: How and why: Damage Mitigation
    PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2016 3:56 pm 
Strong Leet

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Not sure if ya noticed or simply forgot to list it but PM is now avavible for engie also ...

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  Re: How and why: Damage Mitigation
    PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2016 9:57 pm 
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Ah,thx Sen. I'venot added it since it became available to engi. Must grab it.

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  Re: How and why: Damage Mitigation
    PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2016 11:41 pm 
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Location: Brisbane, Qld, Australia
It sounds like you've got a solid grasp of your toolset Ustar.

A few things worth mentioning:

* weapon choice: at 35% critical chance or more, AMEP + IDBEP > all other setups, at less than 35% critical, bigburger+AMEP wins, BUT at a heavy cost (FA implants everywhere, berserker implant, basically totally non-functional)

* If you're using AMEP, it's good if you can cast the 200 tradeskill composite buff - it's 1034 PM/SI which is a big nanoskill IP sink, but it does help for AR (I get up to 3700ish AR with AMEP) - ideally, don't IP these heavily, instead, use swaps to get the nanoskills (I use, for example: 5 pieces of arithmetic, nano controller, research device, infused nanoskill alb hud)

* The most reliably strong PVM setup which transitions easily into a TS setup is AMEP+Peh'wer, this gives fling on Peh'wer, burst on AMEP, an extra 300 HP on peh'wer, and pretty robust burst damage with fling/burst - fling of course can crit, so the standard crit setup works decently, but this requires a fairly substantial investment in MR - however, it's not unreasonable.

With this setup:

Note I've got 5 perks in ambidextrous, with a few swaps I can equip:

AMEP+Peh'wer (need RC to swap on)




I've got flingshot IP'd only up to what is needed to keep fling shot recharge maxed at 6s. burst is maxed. Pistol maxed, no IP in shotgun, AS is maxed. Multi range is about 1450 ish, and I'll swap 7 pieces of CC+BBQ pillow to do the high MR swaps.

Note that this setup is really like 99.5% combat. I have two perks that don't land: memory scrabble and something else. i'm probably going to adjust IP and replace those perks with something more broadly useful, like 8 perks in Combat knowledge for higher stims and a hard hitting opening perk.

From here, though, I swap to this setup for buffing the tradeskill composite buff (I don't use it for raiding, since I'm already like 1000 AR over the MBS on either weapon):

And from there, I finally do a few more swaps in utils/huds, and gloves to this:

That gets me about 600 more Tskills in all skills (note that the research attunement device: technical isn't in auno, so that is in Hud 3). I can make QL 300 mutated AI armor, which is the main thing for me with this setup, and don't need city laboratory. (Note that I've actualy got 2 million free IP still, so there's a LOT of wiggle room. I have perception at 1275 to swap snipers friend and 15% scope, BD about 95%, only evade close IP'd but will probably IP DR to 75ish as well, NR is maxed, ranged inits are pretty low - I'll play at mid-agg in PVM, and in PVP I will opt for more AR which adds another 400ish inits for maxed 1/1 at full def. There's a fair bit of things I *could* do with this setup that I'm not sure if I want to yet. (AS scope, traoler/ as examples.. I need to test AMEP/OH first with a high crit/proj dmg/AR setup to see if it's more effective than troaler/IDBEP - I think that traoler/IDBEP is better than traoler/Pehwer because of the burst AR you get on IDBEP with the improved weapon check - it's like 350 more burst AR which is pretty solid, also, the min damage on IDBEP is ridiculous, so your normal damage hits will be monsters with offhand (notably almost 1.5x troaler)... so while you lose fling, I think it could be pretty good.)

All the beast armor is awakened (gauntlet of deformation (+45 TS), armplate of elimination (+45 ranged skills), pads (+5% crit).

It's a lot to swap around, but so far I'm pretty happy with it. The only thing that I see as obvious problems are missing 1 SL perk in pistol mastery (losing 55 AR, 18 dmg), and the 8 perks or whatever tied up in that AI Tskill line, which is an OK IP savings, but can't do anything with the perks (not enough AR in Quantum Mechanics to land vs anything or anybody).

I'm really not very perk reliant for damage though, so perks don't matter that much. with this setup I am hitting well over 400k DPM in continuous fighting vs high HP RK mobs, so that's very reasonable.

In terms of damage mitigation, really, what you're looking for is simply to be standing underneath/near the mob youre trying to debuff, or very close to the enforcer. Anytime you see the enforcer use mongo, pop your DVP (or simply fire it on CD). DVP will boost your enforcers damage mitigation by as much as 35% depending on his evasion skills, and other ambient/OSB's.

That's really it, if you forget reflects, someone will tell you. If you forget DVP, reroll or something. :P

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ ____
" I Don't Like That Man. I Must Get To Know Him Better." -Abraham Lincoln

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