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Shield Weaponskill

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http://www.silicondragon.com/gaming/daoc/guides/Test_Shield_Weaponskill_Melee_Tests.htm
http://vnboards.ign.com/message.asp?topic=56572409

This article is the original posting of Kalysta_DAoC's initial VN thread, "Melee Test 09/18/2003 - Shield Weaponskill Explored....the Good, the Bad, & the Ugly"

Date Posted: 9/18 7:31am Subject: Melee Test 09/18/2003 - Shield Weaponskill Explored....the Good, the Bad, & the Ugly


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Melee Test 09/18/2003 - Shield Weaponskill Explored....the Good, the Bad, & the Ugly
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INTRODUCTION & DISCLAIMER:

Greetings! Since I have questions of my own regarding certain aspects of melee combat in DAoC, I have decided to conduct some tests of my own to give me an idea of how certain things work, & also how effectively they work. I am sharing the data and/or results here for those interested. This information is NOT to be taken as a bible on DAoC mechanics, only my observations & theories based on data I have tested & reviewed. Feel free to form your own opinions & conduct alternative tests if you feel my test do not address an aspect of any particular issue that you may feel is relevant towards obtaining more definitive answers and/or results.

PREFACE:

The 'Hidden Shield Weaponskill' has always been a sort of enigma in DAoC, & there are several theories with regards to both how it works & how well it works via shield styles versus same spec mainhand weaponskill in penetrating the evade/parry/block defenses of your opponent. Past testing I have done under my former joint VN account of Xanadu_13 (with my sister), along with other tests I have read from other players, have brought up some interesting questions as to exactly what is going on with shield 'weaponskill'. Hopefully this round of testing will answer more questions that it raises.

It's already been established & proven in other testing that DEX is the 100% stat modifier for shield 'weaponskill'. That is the stat that has been shown to exclusively increase shield style damage & to-hit rate with those styles. The question is...what is that DEX being applied to, to create this shield 'weaponskill'? Is it your Shield Spec? Past testing has shown that a 50+X spec shield style wielded by someone with 29+X slash is hitting at the close to the same rate as the unstyled 29+X slash attacks, despite the shield attack supposedly having a higher shield 'weaponskill' due to 50+X spec versus 29+X spec (a good 200-250 weaponskill difference for a Paladin). This has led me to speculate that the game is using your highest 'weapon spec' (regardless of what you have equipped in main hand) + DEXTERITY (instead of STR or STR/DEX as with slash/crush/thrust) to determine your shield 'weaponskill'. Well, I decided to test this theory & you can read the results below....

TESTING CONDITIONS:

A battery of shield/weapon tests were conducted on Pendragon between my 50 Saracen s/s Paladin & a friend's 50 Saracen Reaver (50 Flex, 50 Shield, 28 Parry). To obtain a larger data sample of successful hits to compare against in the various tests, the Reaver had her uber 50+X spec shield unequipped & only her Evade1 & 28+10 Parry were active defenses. All equipment used was level lvl 51 & with 35% enchant bonus. Conditions for ALL tests were kept completely constant EXCEPT for the one variable being tested. Each test exchange involved 200+ attempted attacks on the test dummy Reaver opponent.

TESTS CONDUCTED:

The following series of test listed below were conducted to measure how they compared to eachother at differing shield & slash spec levels. By sequentially measuring the successful rate of penetrating the Reavers defenses with the same shield style at differing slash/shield specs (going one extreme to the other), we can see which spec is really influencing the successful hit rate & thus what basis (+DEX) is being used to form the enigma that is 'shield weaponskill'.

(#1) Paladin with (29+14 Slash) + (50+14 Shield) using spec 3 shield style 'Numb'
(#2) Paladin with (29+14 Slash) + (03+14 Shield) using spec 3 shield style 'Numb'
(#3) Paladin with (50+14 Slash) + (03+14 Shield) using spec 3 shield style 'Numb'
(#4) Paladin with (12+14 Slash) + (50+14 Shield) using spec 3 shield style 'Numb'


TEST RESULTS:

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TEST #1 - Paladin with (29+14 Slash) + (50+14 Shield) using spec 3 shield style 'Numb'

49.44% Successful Overall Hit Rate on Reaver
41.66% Attacks Evaded/Parried by Reaver
08.88% Attacks Missed/Fumbled against Reaver

Notes: This is the standard benchmark test that establishes where the general successful hit ratio is with 29+14 Slash & 50+14 Shield spec on this particular Reaver test subject....

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TEST #2 - Paladin with (29+14 Slash) + (03+14 Shield) using spec 3 shield style 'Numb'

49.12% Successful Overall Hit Rate on Reaver
42.27% Attacks Evaded/Parried by Reaver
08.60% Attacks Missed/Fumbled against Reaver

Notes: Notice how when going from a 50+14 shield spec to rock bottom 03+14 shield spec, there is almost no change in the Reavers successful evade/parry ratio...despite what should be a good 400-500 drop in shield 'weaponskill' for the Paladin...if indeed it is based on her shield spec as Mythic has claimed in past grab bags.

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TEST #3 - Paladin with (50+14 Slash) + (03+14 Shield) using spec 3 shield style 'Numb'

53.40% Successful Overall Hit Rate on Reaver
36.69% Attacks Evaded/Parried by Reaver
09.35% Attacks Missed/Fumbled against Reaver

Notes: Notice how when going from a 29+14 slash spec to a 50+14 slash spec, while shield stays at rock bottom 03+14 spec from previous test, the Reaver suddenly takes a 6.58% drop in her evade/parry rate against the shield styles...just where it probably would be if shield weaponskill suddenly increased 200-250. The increased slash spec here suddenly increased the successful hit ratio on shield styles....hmmm.

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TEST #4 - Paladin with (12+14 Slash) + (50+14 Shield) using spec 3 shield style 'Numb'


47.59% Successful Overall Hit Rate on Reaver
44.38% Attacks Evaded/Parried by Reaver
08.02% Attacks Missed/Fumbled against Reaver

Notes: Notice how when we flip-flop the specs & take Slash rock bottom & shield back up to max spec, the results of the last test reverse themselves & the Reaver evades/parries 7.69% more shield styles...when it should be the opposite way around if shield 'weaponskill' is based on shield spec.


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CONCLUSIONS:

Based on this series of tests, shield 'weaponskill' would appear to based on whatever the Paladin's Slash spec is, modified by her DEX however, instead of STR (as normal Slash mainhand weaponskill is). Since past tests have shown that changing mainhand weaponskill didnt change shield style hit rates, it would appear the game is using your highest weapon spec, regardless of what you have equipped, & then applying DEX with that, to generate a weaponskill for shield. How this applies to hybrid Polearm & 2hnded users, I am not sure...does it take their highest one handed spec of crush/slash/thrust or use their higher Polearm/LW/2hnd spec?

I'm not sure if this is a bug to be reported to Mythic or working as intended, but apparently their grab bag indicating shield 'weaponskill' is based on Shield Spec & Dex was at least halfway incorrect with regard to shield spec. Personally, since I think it is indeed supposed to be based on shield spec & dex (as the shield damage variance & cap is), I have reported it as a bug to them...along with a copy of this test.

On a side note, however, the shield style damage was indeed based on the Paladin's shield spec (as noted above). With her max shield spec (50+14), her average total damage was about 30% greater than with minimal shield spec (3+14) during these tests.

If the results of this test hold up, it won't really hurt melee specs that have same or higher spec mainhand weapon spec than shield (it actually helps some of them)...but it will hurt classes (hybrids & scouts mostly) that tend to have lower mainhand weapon spec than shield spec. It's ironic that a high shield spec w/lower mainhand wpn spec melee can hit harder with their shield, but do so less often since they get evaded, parried, & blocked more. Ah, the irony of it all. Bug or working as intended?


Well, there you have it. The good, the bad, & the ugly.