Warhammer Online: Wounds Vs. Toughness … and asshats

This article gets a great deal of hits daily. As a result, I have updated the article with better specifics and reasoning, you can find it here with a lot less story telling:


The following is the original article, spelling errors and all:

Apparently statistic stacking and selections is a hard concept in the game of Warhammer Online. In general, I wouldn’t think it could be a hard thing to accomplish. Even if you aren’t mathematically inclined or if you don’t care, I would think you would want to stack a stat you at least understood. In quite a few cases, I see mind numbing stats that make my head explode.

Now I come from years in EVE. Which is a game, if you don’t know, that is basically spending most of the game, out of the game in some third party software planning what-if situations that probably aren’t going to work out that way. It’s the ultimate game of inaction and planning. Though, knowing stats, using them, and understanding them are an essential necessity. Otherwise, prepare to die and loose quite a bit of ISK.

So, it’s likely I over think the stats of Warhammer Online (WAR) and make it into bigger thoughts and planning then I should. Even now, I’m not quite sure where to go with my leveling Warrior Priest (35/34). I’m looking at the Conqueror and Sentinel Stats and it seems that everything forces you to be a Salvation (Focused Heals) based. And I don’t want to. Why? Because, though powerful, the AoE has been reduced since Patch 1.3.0B, the healing is annoying. If I want to sit back and throw heals using Curse’s beautiful Squared Mod, I’d use something like a healer (AM or RP) that doesn’t have to stop and build more Righteous Fury (RF – WP special mechanic). Which by the way is horrible in lag infested places because you will spend 5 seconds trying to get one heal off. Which by the way is everywhere in Tier 4 RvR.

No, I want to DPS spec my Warrior Priest. Firstly to annoy everyone around me. But mostly because at least I’ll be worth more to my teams as Grace/Wrath Spec’d WP. They may not realize it, but it is. I no longer need any Willpower, because heals in Grace are based on the amount of the attack, not your Willpower. At this rate I am thinking a mix between the two sets. But I have some time to think about it one.

But to the point of this rant; I was playing my Rune Priest (RP), Laeg (17/17) for a good while this last week and I swear I must have been put with every Wound stacked Tank in the game. It finally got on my nerves when I was placed in a WB with a group of 3 Tanks (2 Iron Breaker and a KoBS). Not a problem, I thought. I can handle them, they are high level, and they should be fine.

Well, no I couldn’t, it was a healing nightmare. It seemed like my AP would drain before I could get the Knight back up over 50%. And of course, people are falling all over. “WTF,” finally start lightly up about a failed keep take. Which, frustration shouldn’t have been there anyway, someone upgraded a T2 keep to rank 6; a 3 group WB had no chance anyway. But sure enough, my new job was rezzing these sequentially falling tanks. And suddenly I’m being lectured; gang lectured none less, on how to be a healer.

Well, as arrogant as I am, I’m not about to be lectured by 3 tanks and WB that can’t even remember to set a guard on. If you can’t even perform your most basic function, then your opinions are probably the opposite of what’s needed. Somewhere after about 2 minutes of one side one liners being spam in the /war, another healer commented on how hard it was to heal the tanks, it was like they were cursed (which healing curses don’t exist until T4) or we have found possibly a new bug. So then protest talks start up and some other crap that didn’t matter.

But then it occurs to me, “Tell me you tanks aren’t spending renown and talismans just on Wounds?”

<Long Pause in a before giant wall of green text> One of my IBs finally replies, “Well, yeah. I’m a tank. Duh.”

Another immediately follows with, “That’s how you should spec a tank. And you should have nothing but Willpower to heal us. More HP, longer the fight.”

I can’t respond yet, my head is about to explode and my fingers were no longer working. In that time, another player, I imagine one of the tanks not in my group said, “I got my alt to make me 6 wound talismans for +18, and some +19 ready for his devastator set.”

I about lost it. “You are all a bunch of the biggest f***ng most re****ed twits.” Or something around that, it was enough to get me suspended if I was reported. “Wounds add HP, HP I have to heal. If you double your HP, you double the time I have to heal it up. In that time, those are heals not going to your friends. You are killing them in sacrifice so you can live all but 3 seconds longer. For no reason as you can’t have enough Wounds to solo a WB.”

Surprisingly, I had not yet been interrupted in my rant. “You tanks have guaranteed this latest failure and you will continue to do so. Go get yourself some Toughness. Wounds are for solos or those that don’t see heals coming that often, like a BW.”

I left the WB and ran Scenarios (SC) for the rest of the night. But that WB gave me a realization to me as I talked to guildies about it. The fair population of players don’t seem to understand stats or how to weight their benefit. I was pointed at forum posts and other sources explaining it. In most cases wrong. Due in part because their math was made up and they completely ignore that Mythic revealed the stat calculations so that players could test them on the PTS server. It’s always the same argument, Toughness vs. Wounds.

I would argue on that point, but there’s more to defense than just Toughness and Wounds. So simple answer sitting back is Toughness if you are a tank, Wounds if you are squishy. So there you go. Problem solved. Not really. There’s a little more to stats then just those. We should start with understanding how the attack and defense systems work in WAR. And it’s always best to start with basics and work your way up.

Basically you have a character and you need to live so you have to have HP. HP (Hit Points) are a basic pool of number based life bar. This can replenish and be lost. Losing it means you take damage. The only way to take off HP is by applying a base damage. There are two ways to do this, Physical and Magical. Physical being produced by either Melee (Strength) or Ranged (Ballistic Skill). Magical can be increased by Intelligence. Now almost every class has hybrid function. In that, you have attacks that both do physical damage and magical damage. Of course, some more than others. For this reason, many other stats are needed to help deflect or defend.

So the problem becomes, how do you defend against it? It really depends on what you want to defend against. Trying to defend against all types is a good way to lose the ability to defend effectively. Wounds and Toughness become the easiest to understand and also help defend against any case. Because Wounds are just adding HP to your pool, 10HP per Wound, actually. And Toughness just simply reduces the amount of damage produced by the attacker. None of which stop the attack. It either makes it a little less (T) or it gives you so more life (W).

(W) Wounds 1 point = 10 HP

(T) Toughness 1 point = .2DPS Reduction from Base Damage

So we setup a scenario. We have 2 tanks. Stats are simple for the sake of calculations. Tanks have 1000 Wounds and 500 Toughness. The tanks get a couple of renown points to spend and roughly can buy 250 points of either stat. Either specializing in wounds or in toughness (they could spread them out, but they won’t). One buys 250 Wounds, the other 250 Toughness. We place them against equal opponents and watch the results.

Tank 1                                                  

(W) 1,250 = 12,500 HP

(T) 500 = 100 DPS reduction  

Tank 2

(W) 1,000 = 10,000 HP

(T) 750 = 150 DPS reduction

Both encounter the same situation. And AoE blast that averages 600 DPS over 20 Seconds.

Tank 1 actually mitigates 100 off the 600 and takes 500 DPS. Over 20 seconds (500*20) that’s an HP loss of 10,000; leaving him with 2,500 HP, approximately 20% left.

Tank 2 takes 150 off 600 for 450 DPS. Over 15 seconds (450*20) = 9,000 lost, leaving that guy with 1000 HP, and approximately 10%.

Now the obvious is that as solo fights go, clearly the (W) is a better choice. More HP left, which means he could fight longer. For soloing, (W) has a greater benefit for defense. If the fight went for another couple of seconds, Tank 2 would be dead.

The big BUT here is that these guys need healing. And from an outside view, the healer sees two green bars, one slightly more to the left then the other. The healer doesn’t see 2,500 HP vs 1,000 HP, he sees 20% and 10% bars in green, saying he’s a good judge of a laggy green bar. He also has no idea that one missing 10,000 HP vs. 9,000 HP. That healer can produce 1,000 HPS before running out of AP between HoTs and instant casts for the sake of arguement. So if the object were to heal the two Tanks, then big deal, the first Tank takes a second longer to heal. But say the healer is like any healer and he/she has to take of their herd, of 5 others, maybe including themselves. In that case, the healer’s HPS is actually 200 HPS per each of thier people. Of course saying they are a decent healer, and don’t just let BW die. In any case, that means the first tank will take 5 seconds longer to heal up. Those are heals that maybe coming off of more squishy more vulnerable players.  Worse yet, if the fight keeps going, the first tank will actually drain the healers’ AP, costing everyone to die.

In a basic analysis, wound additions make sense for a squishy character that is likely to miss heals. This would be your WH/WEs, BW/Sorc, and Eng/Magus. These classes are mostly out of sight or out of range or out of care of a healer, and Wounding them up gives you time, and longer to get the kill. A tank on the other hand, that’s practical sole purpose is to take damage and protect healers, should not only be trying to mitigate the damage they are most certainly taking, but they need to make sure they are not a burden to the healers. In the end the healer and tank’s fate is binding, tanks will get heals (so long as a guard is involved I’m sure), make the incoming heal you get that much more useful.

Bottom line. Tanks using Toughness create easier heals for them and more heals for others. Tanks that use Wounds are selfish asshats that have an apparent goal to simply be the last to die in the inevitable wipe to come.

Now if you are a solo tank that just goes about teamless looking to try and find 1v1 fights don’t bother buying wounds or toughness. Please go just cancel your subscription and log onto a PvP game, not an RvR one.

But wait. You can actually strike your enemy back and still defend against them. The argument continues in the next installment,



2 thoughts on “Warhammer Online: Wounds Vs. Toughness … and asshats

  1. Nice job, man. I have an Ironbreaker and have been debating whether or not Wounds or Toughness is more essential. Ultimately, I went with wounds, though I am only level 11, and at this point doesn’t make as much of a difference as if I were level 30+.
    Once I can “up” my gear, I’m switching to toughness. You gave an incredible example and a perfect explanation. (:

    Do you think you could make a blog on tanking? I’m trying to find the best ways to tank and help my realm with as much as I can, but I think I could be a little better….

  2. Pingback: Warhammer Online: Player Stats: Wounds Vs. Toughness and General Defenses « Mr. Meh

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