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Discussion in 'Amazon' started by MastaLocust, Feb 29, 2004.
Strafe Or Ga / Boss Killer
Which overall is a much better boss killer?
ga imo as it follows the boss around and it's a fire and forget kinda skill. my personal fave against baal as that bugger likes to move so much.
GA, since it doesn't pierce in the new patch, has only one advantage. That it always hits.
Strafe, on the other hand, can fire 7-8 arrows EVERY time you cast it, meaning the boss theoretically will go down 7x faster than if you were using GA. It also auto-targets (though not having the expertise at tracking) like GA but does it at a greater velocity.
if i'm not wrong, strafe is 1 arrow per monster up to a max of 7-8 arrows. if there is just one monster, 1 arrow is fired but mana cost stays the same. i know this cos i tried shooting 2 monsters with strafe (lvl 2 if you are interested which shoots up to max 5 targets) and only 2 arrows churned out. with more monsters, more arrows get churned out till the max no of targets (which is 10 starting from slvl 6).
a boss is considered a single monsters (unless you're talking about those annoying minions mephisto and andariel) so piercing, even though it works, is useless. and strafe won't not be as good as ga then as mana cost is higher and one arrow gets shot out only as compared to ga with fire and forget, higher damage for a single arrow, and cheaper mana cost as more points are poured (note to self: wonder if +20 to the 20 ga would make it free?)
slvl 20 Strafe has a minimum volley of 7 arrows regardless of minions.
Nope, from slvl 29 and up it'll stay at a cost of 1 mana per arrow.
If what you say (about strafe vs 1 monster = 1 arrow shot at full mana cost) is true, then I'd definately take Guided Arrow purely for Bosses (just for Bosses that is).
Edit: Note that Strafe deals only 3/4th weapon damage whereas Guided deals full damage.
The damage is rather marginal. It takes the base damage from the bow which is very low at best and then amplifies it. Besides, Strafe also increases the damage per point spent into it.
And no, he's wrong. He hasn't tested it in higher slvls so he's speaking of what he's heard.
more testing then.. (need time arrrr)
strafe always fires the full amount of arrows, be it against 1 monster, 2, 3 and so on, if you have 1 monster, he will be targeted 10 times (at higher lvls)
if there are 2 monsters, they will each be shot 5 times and so on, and so on...
The only moment strafe fires one arrow is when there are no monsters close (enough, who knows there might around the corner) to target. That is the ONLY time strafe fires one arrow, but yes, it does take the 11 mana (at least I think it's 11, could be 10 or something like that). But, who is going to keep firing when you see only when arrow? So, strafe, for sure!
unless: your chance to actually hit the monster is too low, then I suggest using GA, because of it's "always hits" mod... BUT!!! We're playing an amazon here, with (normally) +250 dex, so, your AR should always be high enough to make AT LEAST 50% hitting chance
strafe rules suppreme! :worship: :yep:
Strafe fires a minimum and maximum number of arrows in 1.10. The maximum is listed on the skill description in-game, and is always ten after level 6. The minimum is determined by the formula (slevel/4) + 2, so a level 20 guided arrow will always shoot at least 7 arrows, and level 24 will shoot 8, etc. If you have more targets within your strafe range(about a screen and a half in every direction) than your minimum number of arrows per volley, then you will shoot an arrow for every target, up to 10 per volley.
The downside with using strafe against a single target is that you cannot hit a target within 4 frames of the last time that you hit(called next-delay). Therefore, if you're firing at a 8/2 attack speed, every other strafe arrow will miss. The same goes for a 3- or 4- frame strafe. If a target is knocked back, it can take the next arrow an additional frame or two for the arrow to reach the target, and you can get in a couple extra hits, though this won't help with act bosses.
Even with the next-delay, strafe can net you more hits in the same amount of time than guided arrow versus a single monster. With a 9/3 strafe at level 20, you'll shoot 7 arrows, at frames 9, 12, 15, 18, 21, 24, and 27. With the next-delay, the arrows on frames 12, 18, and 24 will miss, but you will still be able to hit 4 times within 27 frames. With a 9 frame guided arrow, you will only get off 3 arrows in 27 frames, so strafe will net you an extra arrow.
With a 75% chance to hit, you will come out with the same amount of hits as guided arrow, as it will hit 100% of the time(without blocking). If you have a higher chance to hit, you will hit the monster more often with strafe than guided arrow. Strafe does less damage than guided arrow, due to the 3/4 damage penalty, so they end up being very similar when attacking a single target. However, when you hit more, you have a better chance of getting critical strikes, which will increase the damage you do over time, giving a slight advantage to strafe with high attack rating.
Another option that you can do to optimize using strafe is to use a slow crossbow on your weapon switch to use against single targets. A  speed crossbow can obtain an 18/5 attack speed, which will bypass the next-delay feature of strafe. At 18/5, you will shoot arrows at frames 18, 23, 28, 33, 38, 43, and 48. All of these arrows will be able to hit the target, though depend on the attack rating. In 45 frames with a 9 speed bow, you can fire 5 guided arrows in 45 frames. When you factor in attack rating, you will come out ahead with hits using strafe at about a 72% chance to hit. In addition, these crossbows will generally do a lot more damage than a bow, even after you factor in the 3/4 damage penalty for strafe.
I personally prefer strafe, regardless of the bow, simply because strafe is useful both against single targets as well as against crowds. If you are firing at more than one target, the next-delay issue does not affect you, and you will be able to hit with all of your arrows. Using the 9/3 attack speed situation above, you can hit 7 times with strafe in the same amount of time that you could hit 3 with guided. If you get 10 targets, you will finish your strafe volley at time 36, being able to hit 10 times, whereas guided will get 4 hits in. Obviously, strafe easily overtakes guided arrow in situations where you have multiple targets and is very comparable when attacking a single target.
Guided arrow has it's main advantages if you are fighting something that moves around a lot, where many of the strafe arrows will miss when the target moves out of their path. Guided arrow will track these monsters and hit them anyhow. Guided arrow also always hits, so if you have a low attack rating on your amazon, it may be preferable to strafe.
As for the mana cost issue that was brought up, at level 20, guided arrow costs 3.2 mana, while strafe costs 11. However, you can potentially hit a single target 4 times per volley of strafe, bringing the cost per hit of a strafe volley to 2.75 mana. If you hit 3 times in a volley, the mana cost will end up being 3.6. Therefore, you should be able to leech back about the same when using strafe as with using guided arrow against a single monster. If you are fighting more than one monster, you will not miss due to the next-delay, and will leech back much more than you would with guided arrow.
if we would want to see witch one is better against act bosses we need to factor in blocking too.
that should change the picture a bit.
lets take baal as a example and assume the info at d2data is correct.
then baal whould have 55% block
though making the calculation much more complex.
now it was way to long since i had any math to speak about so i wont even try to calculate how blocking would affect it.
but im sure of that somebody here on the board would be up for the task
Well, I have some experience with math, so I'll do some analysis with chance to block.
To make it easy, say you shoot 10 strafes at a boss at the 9/3 attack speed I referred to in my previous post. This will take 270 frames, with a possibility of 40 hits within this time. You can hit 30 times with a 9 frame guided arrow. With an 80% chance to hit, you will hit 32 times with strafe, and 30 times with guided before blocking is taken into consideration. With a 55% chance to block, Baal will be hit about 14.4 times with strafe, and 13.5 times with guided arrow. This ends up being one more hit with strafe. The ratio of hits after calculating the blocking is the same, since both are multiplied by .45(the chance of baal not blocking the attack).
In that 270 frames, guided arrow will use 96 mana, and strafe will use 110. Using a lvl 99 amazon in single player using a windforce and about 350 dex, a level 20 guided arrow will do about 1600 average damage, while a level 20 strafe arrow will do about 1200 average damage(I'm too lazy to remove equipment like ravenfrosts that add elemental damage, and it doesn't make a big difference). With the hits after blocking as calculated above, guided arrow will end up doing somewhere around 21,600 damage in 270 frames, whereas strafe will doing about 17,280.
Also, if you have +skills, the damage on guided arrow goes up more than the damage on strafe due to the 3/4 penalty on strafe. Therefore, with more +skills, the guided arrow will end up doing even more damage in comparison to strafe.
Looking at using a slow crossbow for boss killing, in 10 strafes, you will get 70 hits in 480 frames, when a 9 frame guided will get 53 hits. After figuring in an 80% chance to hit, the crossbow will get 56 hits. With that same level 99 character, the windforce will still outdamage a hellrack if you use guided with the WF and strafe with the hellrack.
It looks like guided arrow can do a bit more damage than strafe over the long run versus a single target. This is at least true if you are using a windforce on a high-level character. When I repeated the calculations using a m'avina's caster versus the hellrack, the hellrack came up on top, however.
My conclusions: if you are using a high-damage bow such as windforce, guided arrow will kill bosses faster than strafe. If you are using a lower-damage bow such as an eaglehorn, goldstrike, WWS, etc, a slow crossbow can result in having a higher damage output than your bow when using strafe versus guided. If you use the same bow for both, guided arrow will come out on top, unless you have a very high % chance to hit. Strafe is still superior for crowds, though if you're willing to invest the 20 skill points in guided arrow, your guided arrow will usually kill bosses faster than strafe. At low levels of guided arrow, the damage is very similar to level 20+ strafe, though slightly higher, so a single point in guided arrow will give you a similar effect as a level 20 strafe in boss killing, though it will use a lot more mana(at level 1).
I don't believe that it is worthwhile to invest 20 skill points in guided arrow if you are already going to max strafe, since investing those 19 skillpoints elsewhere, such as critical strike, penetrate, or valkyrie will all help boost your damage as well, and strafe is an effective skill versus a single target. However, if you are not going to be using strafe as a main attack for your amazon, it would be better to max guided arrow for boss killing rather than strafe.
so for example a hunterzon( build using maxed GA as main attack) will do more damage then for example my sniperzon(maxed strafe as one of main skills)
this is of course before we factor in things like ed% to demons, CS, DS, CB
intresting intresting glad you did the calculations freyas:thumbsup:
it will sure help those that may want to make a speedy bowazon baal killer.
Actually at an 8/2 fiirng rate, only every 3rd arrow can hit. Assuming that all arrows would hit, a strafe sequence of 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20 would only have the 8, 14 and 20 arrows able to hit. The other arrows would be arriving at the 4 frames or less intervals that is blocked from having any interaction with the target. So in case like this it would be better to be at 3- or 4- frame strafe since at least then you would be able to get every other arrow to hit the target.
Also if you are firing at only two targets using -2 strafe cycle, then every other arrow to a target would be missing due to its arriving at the 4 frame mark since the last one.
So that brings us to the next question: is it useful to raise your IAS for 9/2 or is it better to go with 9/3?
EDIT: for bosses only ofcourse
thanks for the time and the low down guys. really appreciate it cos you've all helped me with some doubts regarding ga and strafe and to be very honest, strafe was a pretty confusing skill w/o the math (all i know that it's fast, and it's better than ms in 1.10 in many aspects). i guess i'm just too fond of ga from 1.08/.09 days (with or w/o the pierce bug) and that's probably why the recommendation for 1.10.
This is correct- I realized that later on in the post, which is why I went to a 9/3 strafe for my calculations. Having 1/3 the amount of time per strafe arrow than regular attack also made the numbers come out very nicely.
With a 2-frame strafe, having knockback can often delay your attack a frame, so you won't always miss two out of every 3 arrows. However, unless you are knocking your target back every hit, you will miss considerably more. However, a 2-frame strafe does shoot more arrows in the same period of time, so it doesn't turn out too badly to have an 8/2 attack speed.
With an 8/2 attack speed, your arrows will come at frames 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, and 20. The arrows at frames 10, 12, 16, and 18 will miss, but you will still hit on frames 8, 14, and 20. This amounts to 3 arrows within 20 frames, whereas guided with an 8 frame attack will hit 2.5 times. You will still get nearly as many hits with strafe as guided with a high attack rating, but your damage will be lower with strafe, so an 8/2 attack speed will come out a bit less in comparison to the same speed guided arrow than it does with a 9/3.
To compare strafe between two frames and three frames against a single target, we can just look at how many hits you get in a certain amount of frames. I'll compare 9/2 and 9/3, which will be the important breakpoints for this comparison. With 9/3, 3 strafes will take 81 frames, and will be able to hit 12 times after next-delay is figured in. With 9/2, you can do 4 strafes in 84 frames, with 12 hits after next-delay. 9/3 will get you the same number of hits versus a single target in 3 frames less than 9/2.
A 9/3 attack speed will kill single targets only slightly faster than a 9/2 attack speed. However, against multiple targets, 9/2 will damage groups much faster. With 10+ targets available, a 9/3 strafe will take 36 frames to hit 10 targets(discounting pierce). A 9/2 strafe will only take 27 frames to hit the same number of targets. Factoring in pierce will benefit the faster attack speed more than the slower attack as well, since you will be shooting more arrows that will be able to pierce within the same time period. A faster attack speed will also trigger critical strike or chance to cast spells such as amp from an atmas or WWS more often, which will help you out significantly.
I would not recommend staying at a 9/3 attack speed in order to kill bosses faster than you would at 9/2, simply because the difference in killing speed versus a single target is negligable, while the killing speed when fighting multiple targets is much faster with a faster attack speed. If you can reach an 8/2 attack speed, you will kill single targets with strafe faster than a 9/3 attack speed as well, since 4 strafes will only take 80 frames as compared to the 81 frames for the 9/3 for 12 hits.
After such an awesome post and great math skills. I hearby donate BEER to everyone in this thread.
Disclaimer: Those that are not 21 or older are not allowed to consume alcoholic beverages, therefore Coke or Pepsi will be distributed to the youngsters.