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An explanation and analysis of next-delay for strafe

Discussion in 'Amazon' started by Freyas, Mar 3, 2004.

  1. Freyas

    Freyas IncGamers Member

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    An explanation and analysis of next-delay for strafe

    I've noticed that in several of the threads, several of the posters make a large issue of the next-delay feature of strafe. For those of you who don't know what next-delay is, it is a feature that Blizzard included in 1.10 that applies to specific skills, including strafe. Strafe has a 4-frame next-delay, which means that if you would hit a monster with a strafe arrow within 4 frames of the last time it was hit by another attack with next-delay(strafe arrow), that arrow will automatically miss the monster.

    Many posters have referred to next-delay as being a negative issue about obtaining a fast attack speed when using strafe. From some calculations I did in another thread comparing strafe to guided arrow for boss killing, I found that this is a big misperception.

    I will show some calculations of when strafe will hit and miss due to next-delay in several circumstances. All of these will assume a level 20-23 strafe, which will shoot 7 arrows minimum, and shoot more than 7 arrows when there are more than 7 targets, one arrow per target up to the max of 10 arrows per volley.

    Against a single target:
    Bows:
    10/3: 10, 13, 16, 19, 22, 25, 28
    The arrows at frames 13, 19, and 25 will all miss the target due to next-delay. This attack speed will net you 4 hits in 28 frames, or 12 hits in 84 frames.(the 12 hits is for comparison with other speeds as I will elaborate below)

    9/3: 9, 12, 15, 18, 21, 24, 27
    The arrows at frames 12, 18, and 24 will miss due to next-delay. This attack speed will net you 4 hits in 27 frames, or 12 hits in 81 frames.

    9/2: 9, 11, 13, 15, 17, 19, 21
    The arrows at frames 11, 13, 17, and 19 will miss due to next-delay. This attack speed will net you 3 hits in 21 frames, or 12 hits in 84 frames.

    8/2: 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20
    The arrows at frames 10, 12, 16, and 18 will miss due to next-delay. This attack speed will net you 3 hits in 20 frames, or 12 hits in 80 frames.

    7/2: 7, 9, 11, 13, 15, 17, 19
    The arrows at frames 9, 11, 15, and 17 will miss due to next-delay. This attack speed will net you 3 hits in 19 frames, or 12 hits in 76 frames.

    Crossbows:
    18/5: 18, 23, 28, 33, 38, 43, 48
    No arrows will miss due to next-delay. This attack speed will net you 7 hits in 48 frames, 14 hits in 96 frames. You will get your 12th hit on frame 86.

    16/4.5: 16, 20, 25, 29, 34, 38, 42
    Arrows at frames 20, 29, and 38 miss(4.5 strafe means that you will shoot arrows in 4 frames, then 5, then 4, etc). This will net you 4 hits in 42 frames, and 12 hits in 124 frames.

    13/3.5(buriza's normal attack speed): 13, 16, 20, 23, 27, 30, 34
    Arrows at frames 16, 23, and 30 will miss. This will net you 4 hits in 34 frames, and 12 hits in 102 frames.

    12/3.5: 12, 15, 19, 22, 26, 29, 33
    Arrows at frames 15, 22, and 29 will miss. This will net you 4 hits in 33 frames, and 12 hits in 99 frames.

    11/3: 11, 14, 17, 20, 23, 26, 29
    Arrows at frames 15, 22, and 26 will miss. This will net you 4 hits in 29 frames, and 12 hits in 87 frames.

    As you can see, the only times that you will get more hits against a single target with a slower strafe speed are 1) The 9/3 versus 9/2 breakpoints, and 2) an 18/5 attack speed with a crossbow versus any other crossbow attack speed. In every other instance, a faster attack speed will increase your killing speed against a single target. I did not include 4-frame strafe speeds with a bow, as these speeds will almost never be used, and perform worse than the 3-frame strafe speeds.

    I'll try to just show the important speeds for the rest of the comparisons to keep the thread length down.
    Against 2 targets:
    bows

    10/3:
    Target 1: 10, 16, 22, 28
    Target 2: 13, 19, 25
    No arrows will be affected by next-delay, and you will hit 7 times in 28 frames

    9/3:
    Target 1: 9, 15, 21, 27
    Target 2: 12, 18, 24
    Same as 10/3 but only takes 27 frames

    9/2:
    Target 1: 9, 13, 17, 21
    Target 2: 11, 15, 19
    Arrows at frames 13, 15, and 21 will miss due to next-delay, netting you 4 hits over 21 frames

    8/2:
    Target 1: 8, 12, 16, 20
    Target 2: 10, 14, 18
    Arrows at frames 12, 14, and 20 will miss due to next-delay, netting you 4 hits over 20 frames

    7/2: same as 9/2 and 8/2 but will take you 19 frames

    If you look at hits using 3 strafes with the slower speeds versus 4 strafes at faster speeds you get:

    10/3: 84 frames, 21 hits
    9/3: 81 frames, 21 hits
    9/2: 84 frames, 16 hits
    8/2: 80 frames, 16 hits
    7/2: 76 frames, 16 hits

    With 2 targets to strafe at, a 3-frame strafe will outperform a 2-frame strafe.

    With 3+ targets, you will never be affected by next-delay in any significant situation. The only situation that will cause you to be affected by next-delay is if you have two monsters that are targeted consecutively by strafe that are standing in a line, and you pierce. However the only attack speed that will not be affected by next-delay is the 18/5(or 19/5) crossbow speed. The figures for this situation will be pretty much exactly the same as the single-target strafe, in which faster attack speeds are generally better.

    In the majority of situations using strafe, you will be fighting multiple enemies, and a faster strafe speed will do more damage than a slower strafe speed. When fighting a single target, the only ways that you can boost your damage over time is if you are deciding between 9/2 and 9/3, and the 9/2 is only slightly worse, while it kills much faster against multiple targets.

    The disadvantage of using a faster strafe speed is that, since you hit less versus a single target, you will leech less in that situation. However, the mana cost per hit on a 2 frame strafe is still only 3.7 mana, as opposed to 2.75 mana for a 3 frame strafe. With a high-damage bow, you should not have difficuties leeching back under 4 mana per arrow.

    Using a high-damage, slow crossbow can net you higher damage, despite the slower speed to get more hits due to the high damage of these crossbows. However, unless you have almost no IAS on the weapon and on other equipment, you are unlikely to be able to achieve these attack speeds. The slowest crossbows will hit a 4.5 speed strafe at 20 IAS, at which point, you will get the worst hits/time ratio possible.
     
  2. Krunch_Kidney

    Krunch_Kidney IncGamers Member

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    This thread rocks! You just kicked all the next-delay criers' butts!
     
  3. YogiRat

    YogiRat IncGamers Member

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    Crow? Could you please sticky this?
     
  4. Kirsty

    Kirsty The Order of Dii Guild Member

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    Addition: when using 4.5 and 4 speed crossbows/bows, knockback is suggested, since it can kick the monsters backwards far enough for your arrow to hit it 0.5 to 1 frame later. This can for a 16/4.5 fps setup allow an effective 17/5 fps attack on single monsters, and for a 14/4 fps setup an effective 15/5 fps attack on single monsters (provided they are knocked back 100% of the time).
    The advantage is that against large packs you will have a normal 16/4.5 or 14/4 attack, since every bolt goes to another foe and against single monsters you should in theory not suffer from the NextDelay issues. This knockback theory has been tested with a few unique crossbows and it actually works if knockback kicks in. Langer Briser (maximum total 25% IAS), Pus Spitter (maximum total 65% IAS) and HellRack (maximum total 90% IAS) are applicable for this as well as Buriza with a maximum of 10% extra gear IAS (so total 90% IAS).

    Knockback kicks in 100% of the time against creatures with a small radius. Zombies, leapers, skeletons and such
    Knockback kicks in 50% of the time against creatures with a medium radius.
    Knockback kicks in 25% of the time against creatures with a large radius. Thorned hulks and such

    For mf pitrun purposes you can extract that an upgraded Langer Briser looks very nice since it already has built in mf, knockback and even open wounds what many people prefer to have as well nowadays.
    If you average everything out then against act bosses it doesn't make a big difference whether you use knockback or not.
     
  5. Freyas

    Freyas IncGamers Member

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    Thanks for outlining that, Kirsty. I had origionally planned on mentioning knockback, but by the time I got to the bottom of that post, I'd completely forgotten about it.

    An upgraded Langer Briser is an excellent bow to use MFing, if you can knockback enough to consistantly get around the next-delay, and is probably worthwhile to have on your switch if MFing in any case for the nice bonus to MF against bosses.

    Anyways, thanks for the help, and I'm glad to see you're back and posting again!
     
  6. JoJeck

    JoJeck IncGamers Member

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    An excellent analysis Freyas, thank you :worship:

    It seems that you have assumed that each arrow hits as soon as it could, which is tantamount to a 100% chance to hit. We all know that most player's strafe typically has a hit chance of 80% to 90% against many monsters - it being a good balance between points in penetrate skill and other skills. A further important factor that could affect hits is monsters that have blocking. For instance, Hell Baal has 55% blocking and even Sasja's target the Bone Warrior has a 30% blocking rate.

    I presume that an arrow that missed or one that was blocked will not activate the next delay and so the next arrow will get a full chance at hitting regardless of shooting speed. If that is correct then then a full analysis of the effect of next delay of strafe is very complex indeed.

    I do not propose that it is worthwhile to do that more complex analysis taking into account % chance to hit and % chance to block of the target, but I would say that you should note these effects. Perhaps we could also take note of the total arrows fired (i.e. those that hit and those "disabled" by Next Delay). These "spare" arrows which would be wasted in a perfect hiitting scenario could become significant by providing a second chance of a hit and this effect would tend to favour faster shooting bows.
     
  7. Beatboxer

    Beatboxer Member

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    And an excellent counter-analysis JoJeck.:thumbsup:

    That kinda changes everything but still does not take away from the heart of this thread.A complicated set of calculations indeed.

    If I could vote, this thread would get 4 and a half stars.:cool:
    If you were giving away free bows and crossbows, then it would be 5.;)
     
  8. JoJeck

    JoJeck IncGamers Member

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    Absolutely, this takes nothing from the excellent work Freyas has done. If I'm right, it merely means we need to extend the analysis a little further to get the full story. Or more likely since it would be incredibly time comsuming and complex to analyse the many situations (e.g. arrow A hits, then Next Delay, then arrow B misses, followed by arrow C that either misses or hits... and so on) and many shooting speeds for different bows ... I think we should just acknowledge the processes at work and appreciate how they interact, without attempting an analysis.
     
  9. simmk81

    simmk81 IncGamers Member

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    so next time the game lags, think of it as having a headache doing all these amazing computations to around XX,000 people logging on daily where I forgot the exact figures. This way, it's more arguable that using strafe is as comparable as using ms or ga at some times (though lf javas still rules 1.10 due to the synergies).

    Btw, for the calculation of the ias of other classes that have fast attack skills (ie paly's zeal, druid's ww frenzy, sin's attack, etc), do next delay ofrsome sort of counter apply to them too as related to a zon's or is this mainly just to offset the fast and effective strafe of zons?
     
  10. Ruvanal

    Ruvanal IncGamers Member

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    I am not sure about blocking, but I do know that if the missile misses the target (to-hit check), the NextDelay is not started. And yes this type of anyalysis can get very complex.

    Yes they can become sigificant in some cases. Enough to even make up to an extent not having a very high to-hit chance in some cases (maybe saving some points into Penetrate). Here is an example of this for question in another forum. (reply is mine)
    As you can see even for a simple case of a 2 arrow volley against 2 lined up monsters the calculations can get a little messy. Add more missiles and more conditions and it gets exponentionaly worse to figure out.

    To Freyas, nice rundown on the numbers. A few nits not related to that though.
    This NextHit-NextDelay property has been in the game since v1.00 and is not new with the v1.10 patch. It is actually used quite effectively for some skills like the sorceress Nova/Frost Nova (nextDelay=4) where the game needs to use something like 64 missiles to generate the effect. Close to the sorceress many missiles would be hitting a single target, while at the outer edge maybe 2-3 missile might hit.

    It has even been on the Strafe missiles for sometime since it turns out that they have been using the same missiles as Multishot. Whichever patch it was that limited Multishot to only hitting each monster once per volley was where Strafe started suffering from the same effect. The problem prior to v1.10, was that it was not apparent that the multishot missles were being used for Strafe also. This also meant that Strafe was suffering from the the 3/4 damage that was set up the Multishot missiles and no notification was being given on the Lying Character Screen. Nothing really 'new' but well hidden prior to the opening up of many of the game effects in v1.10.

    It is actually this effect that in v1.09 lead many to believe that the extra missiles gained from the valkyrie and hirelings were phantom missiles. The testing that some were doing was probably being done with a fast firing rate which would have meant things like hit-automiss-automiss when testing using a valkyrie and decoy to generate a 3 volley shot at a single target. Looking back at some of the testing that I had done back then actually supports this since I was using some much slower bows and crossbows to more easily distinguish various effects happening (typically only a 4 frame rollback at best, which is what was causing an apparent 50% chance to hit on most salvos).

    Simmk81:
    The NextHit-NextDelay is only used on some missiles, not any of the melee attacks. But it can still be of some concern since any of the missiles that cause this effect will prevent ANY other missile that uses the effect from interacting with the target.

    Most of the missiles that had this effect in game prior to the release of LoD had only short durations like 4 frames for most nova type effects, multishot/strafe, Chain Lightning or 6 frames for the barbs Warcry and grimwardscare. With the release of LoD there were several missiles added that had longer NextDelay values, but the problem went largely unnoticed due to few using these skills due the skills sucking bad for going much beyond normal difficulty. With the v1.10beta test, these skills no longer were as bad as before and started getting a closer look along with what was being looked at with the revalation that Strafe was in fact using the multishot missile instead of a regular missile or its own individual missile (v1.10 gave Strafe its own missiles, but they were set up the same as the multishot missiles; no help there).

    Some of the other missiles from other players to be aware of are
    Multishot (NextDelay=4)
    Strafe (4)
    Chain Lighting from Sorceress or Spearazons (4)
    most assasin elemental claw effects (4)
    various nova effects (4)
    Wake of Fire (4)
    Volcano (erruption is NextDelay=10, ground fire is NextDelay=5)
    Shock Web (25)
    Blade Sentinel (25)
    Twister (25)
    Tornado (25)
    Beware of any of these last ones being used around you if you are usually spamming Strafe or Multishot. Also beware of some of the items that have these as CTC effects on them.

    An example of this last point being trouble is having played through normal act 1 with 2 assassin (and others) that were using Shock Web all over the place. Get to Andariel and most of the damage seems to go down since there were 2 sets of Shock Web being spammed at her and another zon spamming multishot at her (some swearing coming from them too). Me, I used Ice arrow on all the other stuff to avoid the problem and waited for the barb to actually do the real work in the killing since 3 of the players were doing so much to 'block' each other from doing any damage.
     
  11. YogiRat

    YogiRat IncGamers Member

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    Thankyou Ruvanal, I feel vindicated. A while ago (.09) I was an advocate of low speed strafe and laughed at. Now it's the norm.
     
  12. Kirsty

    Kirsty The Order of Dii Guild Member

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    Tornado NextDelay seemskind of insane if you know what an effective skill it is/has always been.
     
  13. Freyas

    Freyas IncGamers Member

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    Nice post, Ruvanal- there's lots of info in there that I didn't know. One thing that I wanted to include in this thread was a list of skills that had next-delay on them, but I didn't know where to look for that information. It also made me reconsider the carrion wind ring that I'm using on my strafeazon, since the twister on it triggers rather often. Of course, being twister, it doesn't hit that much, so until I can find a better source of life leech, I'm sticking with it, but I do plan on replacing it so as not to mess up my strafe.

    The fact that the lightning from Lightning Strike has next-delay explains one of the problems that I have had with the skill. I've noticed that if it hits a target twice within a short period of time(4 frames is about right), the lightning dies out. This happens both when it's jumping between two monsters that are close to each other or if there are several chain lightnings in effect. If it hits and is affected by next delay, that would explain why it stops arcing before the number of hits is done. I don't know how you could get around this, even knowing the cause, but it's nice to be able to understand why it happens.
     
  14. Kirsty

    Kirsty The Order of Dii Guild Member

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    I'm not so certain that slow speed is the norm for overall gameplay. Against single and two monsters it seems best to have a slow speed or make up for NextDelay with knockback, but when you're up against fast packs you don't notice the NextDelay problems.
    And when that is not an issue you just have to choose. Fast but low damage (2fps setups), medium speed with medium damage (3fps or 3.5fps setups) or slow (4fps, 4.5fps, 5fps, 5.5fps, 6fps setups). That decision has in every patch been player preference and can be coupled gameplay tactics (knockback, blind, freeze, slow, flee and whatnot more).
    But I must say that a lot of people are beginning to value slower speed strafe attacks. I still prefer my good old 9/3 though.
     
  15. Frenzied Bovine

    Frenzied Bovine IncGamers Member

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    You don't mind if I continue to laugh at you, do you?

    I was going to post this but I held back. Now I feel that it's necessary.

    Let's assume you have three bowazons. One strafes at x/2. The second strafes at x/3. The third strafes at x/4.

    In the worst case scenario - firing on a single target with 100% chance to hit, no knockback, block or any other factors that serve to minimize the impact of NextDelay, move the target or increase the flight time of arrows..

    x/2 can roll to hit every six frames (every third arrow in a strafe; two nullified)
    x/3 can roll to hit every six frames (every second arrow in a strafe; one nullified)
    x/4 can roll to hit every eight frames (every arrow in a strafe; none nullified)

    Code:
    let us assume the first arrow from each strafe volley impacts at the same time
    i'll chuck in a x/3.5 for the heck of it
    
    h = hit check
    m = nextdelay miss
    
    strafer 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 firing frame
    
    x/2     h   m   m   h   m   m     h     m
    x/3     h     m     h     m       h         m
    x/3.5   h      m      h       m         h
    x/4     h       m       h         m
    
    Someone want to point out any math errors in that?

    I'd love to hear an explanation for how slower is better in ANY way. Even if you take the absolute worst case scenario and assume the greatest NextDelay impact, x/2 delivers the exact same performance as x/3 and outclasses all others.

    The minute you add more monsters, knockback, a less-than-100% chance to hit, blocking or anything else that minimizes NextDelay, the scales tip in favour of faster strafe.

    WTF? :scratch:
     
  16. sasja

    sasja IncGamers Member

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    Yup, I love a challenge like that :)

    What you're missing in your little diagram is the fact that x/3 will continue to spew out a hitting missile every 6 frames for longer than the x/2 before you have to invest another x frames start on your strafe. So lets do this the right way (plus straighten the table up a little bit for easier reading). Also, let's not bother with 3.5 and 4 frames, as they're clearly inferior to 3 (unless you start counting knock-back, and that's a little too complicated for us here) - instead include an 18/5 strafe. Here, I'm assuming an 8 arrows Strafe cycle (slvl 24-27).
    Code:
    h = hit check
    m = nextdelay miss
    
    strafer 0  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57
    
    9/2                                h     m     m     h     m     m     h     m                          h     m     m     h     m     m     h     m                    h     m     m
    9/3                                h        m        h        m        h        m        h        m                          h        m        h        m        h        m        h
    18/5                                                          h              h              h              h              h              h              h              h
    
    9/2 hits in 57 frames: 7
    9/3 hits in 57 frames: 8
    18/5 hits in 57 frames: 8

    Now, when exactly you cut off the sequence makes a difference for which speed looks the best, so it's more fair to compare them this way: In one Strafe cycle, 9/2 will hit three times, 9/3 will hit four times, and 18/5 will hit 8 times. But the Strafe cycles will last longer for the slower strafes. Therefore, let's consider the number of hits in one second (25 frames):

    9/2: 25 * 3 / (9 + 2 * 7) = 3.26
    9/3: 25 * 4 / (9 + 3 * 7) = 3.33
    18/5: 25 * 8 / (18 + 5 * 7) = 3.77

    So you can see, the comparison you suggested isn't as much in favour of 9/2 as you would want. And even though you may indeed be right that 9/2 is better than 9/3, I don't see any reason for you to laugh at the people who prefer 9/3 - that's just being rude and unpleasant.
     
  17. Frenzied Bovine

    Frenzied Bovine IncGamers Member

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    I'm only laughing at the people who prefer 18/5.

    9/2 and 9/3 is a matter of taste. After having sampled 9/2, I find it to my liking, but i'm prepared to accept that others prefer 9/3. Why? Because if you want to strafe at 9/2 with something like a WF, there's a LOT of equipment tradeoffs involved, and that just doesn't sit well with many. Fair enough. That makes sense to me.

    What doesn't make sense is willingly choosing a horribly slow bow/crossbow.

    Let's summarize your findings: in the worst possible scenario, where NextDelay has the greatest impact, 9/2 strafe still wins out for hits over time. The fact that your calculation is in favour of 9/2 AT ALL is a major finding. It completely debunks the idea that slower is in any way better.

    Take a look at that 18/5 row, versus the 9/2. Lets say you have an Extra Fast monster coming at you.

    With the 9/2 strafe, you've had at worst two hit opportunities before your first arrow has even gotten out from the 18/5 starting gate! That is a huge difference, and could very well get you dead in many situations. It's double the window of vulnerability!

    And lets not even talk about larger groups of monsters approaching from multiple vectors.

    In my opinion, every practical battlefield situation favours speed, because having a faster reaction time is worth it's weight in gold. And now it's plain for all to see that even the simplest, most NextDelay-impacted situation is STILL in favour of raw speed.

    I'd understand it if Crossbows did enough damage above and beyond bows to make up for the decrease in hits per second. But they don't.

    Whenever one talks about NextDelay, it should be mandatory to mention the caveats of single target, simple situations, uncomplicated battlefields and no knockback. Honestly. Because the instant things get complicated, all of these theoretical calculations go right out the window, and reality sets in: NextDelay, by and large, doesn't really do much of anything.

    It's certainly not the big bad bug it's being made out to be. The "worst" thing it does is stop strafers totally owning boss monsters by balancing out the stream of ridiculously fast hit opportunities.
     
  18. Kirsty

    Kirsty The Order of Dii Guild Member

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    Uhm, not to be a complete bother, but the moving of targets greatly effects NextDelay issues. Similarly to the way flight length is increased when you knock a monster backwards, the flight length is reduced when a monster runs up to you.

    I already mentioned that instead of a 16/4.5fps you can have an extra 0.5 to 1 frame flight time to get an effective 17/5fps attack with knockback.

    On the other side when a fast monster runs up to you, instead of a 9/2fps attack you can have something comparable to a 8/1 fps attack which can seriously mess up your strafe and the slower speeds may turn out better in such a case. The exact math can't be fully predicted so I wouldn't fade out the slower strafe speeds.

    Monster movement is one of the main reasons why I go for 9/3.
     
  19. Frenzied Bovine

    Frenzied Bovine IncGamers Member

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    ^ By the same reasoning, doing sufficient damage to stop an approaching monster in it's tracks, either by causing it to go into hit recovery or blocking animation, greatly affects the impact of NextDelay.

    And as others have said, a lot of monsters dodge/block.
     
  20. Ruvanal

    Ruvanal IncGamers Member

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    I was not aware that most of the bowazon could count on doing at least 1/12 max hit points of the tougher monster to consistently put the monster into get-hit animation mode. Not every one has the uber bows and equipment needed to do this.

    I am not sure who these others are. The only "monster" that I know of that can dodge is the Valkyrie. There are no other monsters that have the Dodge skill to do this.

    As for blocking, these monsters are the ones that are set up with NoShldBlock=1 that will allow them to block without meeting several requirements.

    Id___________NameStr_____________NoShldBlock__ToBlock__ToBlock(N)__ToBlock(H)
    unraveler1___HollowOne___________1_____________________15__________33
    unraveler2___Guardian____________1_____________________15__________33
    unraveler3___Unraveler___________1_____________________15__________33
    unraveler4___Horadrim Ancient____1_____________________15__________33
    unraveler5___Baal Subject Mummy__1_____________________15__________33
    andariel_____Andariel____________1____________0________20__________40
    duriel_______Duriel______________1____________0________25__________50
    mephisto_____Mephisto____________1____________20_______40__________50
    diablo_______Diablo______________1____________25_______40__________50
    doomknight1__DoomKnight__________1____________24_______24__________24
    diabloclone__Diablo______________1____________50_______50__________50
    baalcrab_____Baal Crab___________1____________40_______45__________55
    baalclone____Baal Crab Clone_____1____________40_______45__________55


    For other monsters to block, they will need to have both a shield (listings are in mostats2.txt with items in the SHv column) and a blocking animation to use it. Here is the base monster types that have some sort of shield in SHv.
    Id
    skeleton1
    skeleton2
    skeleton3
    skeleton4
    skeleton5
    fallen1
    fallen2
    fallen3
    fallen4
    fallen5
    corruptrogue1
    corruptrogue2
    corruptrogue3
    corruptrogue4
    corruptrogue5
    pantherwoman1
    pantherwoman2
    pantherwoman3
    pantherwoman4
    act3hire
    necroskeleton
    slinger1
    slinger2
    slinger3
    slinger4
    slinger5
    slinger6
    minion1
    minion2
    minion3
    minion4
    minion5
    minion6
    minion7
    minion8


    This does not in my opinion amount to a lot of monsters.

    But that still is not enough and you would need to check if they also have animations to use for blocking. For example from previous checking the act3hire (Iron Wolves that you can get from Ashera) do not have the animation to allow them to block even if you give them a shield.

    It will only be a matter of where you are running around at; if monster blocking is really going to be an issue.

    I am not sure what you are looking in sasja's post to get this conclusion about favoring 9/2 against a single target. In hits over time it only had 7 hits in 57 frames compared to 8 hits in each of the other cases (lost out on this point). When computing the average number of times hitting per second it also came out on the bottom at 3.26 hits per second compared to 3.33 and 3.77 hits per second in the other two cases (and again lost out).

    In fact using the average number of hits per second to do a comparison, we can see how much more damage a 9/2 bow would need compared to an 18/5 crossbow to stay at the same damage rate.

    3.77/3.26=~1.16
    or more simply the bow would need to be doing 16% more damage per missile than the crossbow to keep up with the damge rate of using a high damage (but slow crossbow).

    Compare say a Ward Bow (avg dam=36.5) at a 9/2 speed with a Gorgon Crossbow (avg dam=56) at the 18/5 speed. With a given X% of Enahnced damage on the crossbow, the Y% enhanced damage on the bow need to keep up would be.

    56*(100+X)/100=1.16*36.5*(100+Y)/100
    5600+56X = 4234+42.34Y
    1366+56X = 42.34Y
    Y= (1366+56X)/42.34
    if X were say 100% enhanced damage then the Y would nee to be
    Y= (1366+56*100)/42.34
    Y=6966/42.34 = 164.5

    If X were say 200% enhanced damage (fairly easy to shop for this) then the the would have need to be 329% enhanced damage (not as easy to aquire for most players ;) ).

    Other comparisons like this could be done for more specific cases, but the results should come out similar.

    As for which case to go for; back in the beta test I had just advocated using a high damage clunky slow cross bow on the weapon switch for when you got down to the last monster in the area (usually meaning a boss of some sort). For the regular play in the chaotic battle field, just one of the snappier bows that probably had a 3 frame rollback to conserve on equipment choices.
     

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