Warhammer Online: Player Stats: Defenses: Wounds Vs. Toughness

Surprisingly, one of my most read articles (that actually has to deal with Warhammer) is one of my first blog entries; Toughness Vs. Wounds. When I go back and read the article, it’s really a horrible story telling rant of crap. I love it. Just the kind of blind mindless rage this game is lacking now. It’s a nice story, and a decent mathematical lecture (meh), but it really strikes me odd that it receives so much traffic even a practical year later. It occurs to me to go to google, and short of ton of forum links, Mr. Meh is the 4th highest resource for information on those stats. Well, crap. That wasn’t my intention. If I knew I was going to be a guide, I would have made it into one.

Better late then never. Presenting Mr. Meh’s updated guide to defensive statistics:

First is to understand the different defensive stats. There are active stats and passive stats.

Basic Passives (These are your most basic stats):

Wounds = 10 Hitpoints (this is your green bar)
This is the most basic stat and the most important. If this is taken to zero, you die.
500 Wounds = 5,000 HP (regardless of rank)

Toughness = 1/5th Reduction to each Damage Point you receive to your HP.
This stat cannot be bypassed or negated. It works on each strike you receive. Mostly PvP based.
500 Toughness will reduce any attack by 100 (regardless of rank)

Resistance Passives (These are more passive specialized defenses):

Armor = % of mitigating Physical Attacks. [Armor Value/(Level*110)] = % of mitigation with a cap of 75%. Toughness is applied before Armor. Mostly PvE concentrated.
3,000 Armor = 68.18% of each Physical Attack (Rank 40)

Magic Defenses (Corporeal, Spirit, Elemental) = % of mitigating the particular Magic attack. [Magic Resistance Value/(Level of Attacker*.42)] = % of mitigation. Toughness is applied before resistances
400 Corporeal Resistance = 23.8% of each Corporeal Attack (Rank 40 Attacker)

Active Defenses (These are stats that have another attack or speciality feature with a defensive bonus):

Weapon Skill = % chance to Parry (Negate a Melee Physical Attack)
[Weapon Skill Value/(Level*7.5+50) *13.5] = % of Negation Chance. WS also boost your Armor Penetration for your Melee Attacks.
500 Weapon Skill =  19.3% chance to Parry (Level 40)

Initiative = % chance to Dodge (Negate a Ranged Physical Attack)
[Initiative Value/(Level*7.5+50)*13.5] = % of Negation Chance. Initiative also boost your ability to see cloaked enemies.
500 Initiative = 19.3% chance to Dodge (Level 40)

Willpower = % chance to Disrupt (Negate a Magical Attack)
[Willpower Value/(Level*7.5+50)*13.5] = % of Negation Chance. Willpower also boost your HPS.
500 Willpower = 19.3% chance to Disrupt (Level 40)

Block= % chance to Block (Negates any type of Attack EI Shield)
[Block Value/(Level*7.5+50)*5] = % of Negation Chance. 
300 Block = 4.3% chance to Block (Level 40)

Besides Wounds and Toughness, any other defensive stat uses your level to decide the percentage for mitigation. With the exception to Magic resistances using the attackers level. This is why is seems that the level 32 Bright Wizard can hit for half the amount of his bigger older brother that is 40.


You cannot really mitigate many of the Moral Attacks. If it’s an attack that says it will strike for X, it will infact strike for X.
Defenses have an order to which they are checked. Like any arithmetic. The system first sees whether you can Parry/Dodge/Disrupt/Block, then it mitigates by using your toughness, then checks resistances Armor/MR. The resulting damage then hits your HP.

Ultimately players become thoroughly confused on what to do for boosting stats. They probably can understand the benefit of each, but also know specialization is a better idea. In many cases you have players just trying to figure out how to be more durable. And this leads to the mistakes made with stacking the wrong type of defense.

Short answer: Unless you are a tank that already has naturally high Toughness, toughness is not going to really help your cause. The point of toughness is to mitigate a little bit off each attack. So naturally a tank dancing about in the front lines being hit by everyone’s DoT (damage over time) and normal attack, the ability to remove 200 DPS off a normal 400 DPS hit, is pretty useful to the healer trying to keep the tank alive. But it also helps, he has naturally high armor, magic resistances, weapon skill, initiative and also has the ability to carry a shield.

You however might be a Choppa, or a Bright Wizard, or a Witch Elf. You have specialized defenses. Choppa has WS, BW has Willpower, WE has Initiative. Mitigating 200 DPS off of 500 DPS hits really means nothing for you. Because the tank can take about 20 of those before he needs a heal, you can take about 3 before you die, shamefully.

You have base stats from your character and from your armor pieces. You have a lot of freedom with your talisman slots and your renown bonuses on what directions you can take. So after your done maxing out Strength/Intelligence/Ballistic Skill, you are probably looking for some defense. This is why you should be looking at Wounds, not Toughness if you aren’t a tank.

Example of Non-tank:

Let’s take a well-rounded toon, like a Warrior Priest/DoK. At 40/40 they probably have base Wounds at 500 and Toughness at 350 (Annihilator should be around there).

This means they have 5,000 HP and can mitigate 70 damage per strike.

Between Talismans (7 slots at about~22 stat per tali = 150) and Renown (40 points with 20 spent on Willpower = 60 points left ) you can find another 210 points to spend on Wounds or Toughness in some way or another.

Scenario 1: Toughness
Wounds = 500
Toughness = 560

This means they have 5,000 HP still, but can mitigate 112 damage per hit.

Scenario 2: Wounds
Wounds = 710
Toughness = 350

This means they have 7,100 HP, but can still only mitigate 70 damage per hit.

The basic difference here is 2,100 HP and then 42 mitigated damage.
So what’s the trade-off? How many strikes do you have to take to make toughness worth it?2,100 HP /42 Damage = 50 strikes)

You have to get hit 50 times (say 50 to yourself out loud) to make Toughness worth wild against Wounds. Then think to yourself, can you even survive getting hit 50 times? If you are a healer, maybe, with some help. But ultimately, you can take about 7 to 9 hits before you have an ‘oh shit, detaunt and self heal/run away moment.’ Your point of having better defenses, was to live just another 2 or 3 more seconds, to get off that moment saving heal, or that killing blow. How often have you been a 1/2 second from casting that moral 3? Wounds will get you there, not toughness.

Tank Example:

Now, however, the opposite is valued for you if you are a tank. Especially a shielded one.

Tank 1: Wounds
(W) 1,250 = 12,500 HP
500 = 100 DPS reduction  

Tank 2: Toughness
(W) 1,000 = 10,000 HP
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. But still 10K to heal.

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. In the end, each tank looks at the Green bar and sees, how full it is.

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 argument beyond 4 seconds. So if the object were to heal the two Tanks, then big deal, the first Tank takes a second or 2 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 their people. Of course saying they are a decent healer, and don’t just let BW/Sorc 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.

If you are a tank stacking Wounds, you are killing your group because your healer is spending too much time on you.

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.


6 thoughts on “Warhammer Online: Player Stats: Defenses: Wounds Vs. Toughness

  1. Good post, but when you talk about toughness, you only encouraged me to stack more of it. I have around 500 Tou and 7,8k hp on my RP and 350 tou 8,4k hp (liniment, self buffs) on my WP. Can I survive 50 hits when I’m playing them? On RP, probably not, maybe I should stack more willpower and wounds. On my WP? Hell yes. She’s like a friggin tank. I’m wearing 4conq/2anni and 2 good dps or 3 tanks have to work for their RPs if they want to take me down. That’s 50 hits before you can say… um hit?

    So if you ask me, every WP should stack defensive stats and draw fire from the healers that can’t take that beating. You don’t need willpower, you have Exalted Defenses. Go tank them stupid Destro. :)

    Oh and I think you forgot the part about initiative that prevents you from being crit? :)

    • Crap…. Damn you crit chance … I always forget that.

      Anyways on Willpower, as a Warrior Priest I think that’s a better idea to stack. Atleast I did.

      Willpower = Disrupt

      With Exalted Defense combined with Shield of Fatih, you can just go sit in pools of magic and be a healing nightmare to your opposition.

      You want to take the Sorc strike out, cuz they are going to focus you as you are the closest healer in sights. Hope they don’t slot the Willpower drain tactic.

  2. Yeah, but Mr. Mathematician, go calculate how much disrupt you get from 200 willpower (going from say 700 to 900 which is doable without gimping your other stats too much). My bet is less than 5%. Which they will negate with their Int and damn LotD talis anyway. :S

    • 700 to 900 is a fairly large leap, just in terms of disrupt.

      700 Will = 27.2% Disrupt
      900 Will = 34.7% Disrupt

      Also consider that that missing 200 Willpower is reducing your heals by 40 HPS a hit. Not much change to your Group heal, but fairly large hit your HoTs. 15 seconds for the main HoT is a missing 600 HPS.

      I ran my Warrior Priest with full Dark Promise, all Willpower Talis, except for helm, I kept a nice 7% disrupt from LOTD there, and a Odjira in my boots. With Renown I had about 940 willpower. And with Tactics I rolled a 49% disrupt rate: there seems to be a soft cap at 45%, becauase the helm tali should have pulled me up to 53%.

      Intelligence/Strength/BS all have a passive attack that allows them to over come defenses. Though there doesn’t seem to be an exact mathematical formula for this examination. The best assumption I have seen is that its the / (Level*7.5+50)*5 = Disrupt/Dodge/Parry. Saying the Sorc is maxed at 1050, that would mean they reduce your Disrupt chance by 15%.

      And for the most part in what I would experience, I felt that true. Magus I could pretty much Disrupt every other attack, especially the pet, and Sorcs it seems more like every 2.5 to 3 attacks. I could tell they were slotting the tactic that drops your Willpower by ~350 almost instantly, because all the sudden it seemed like it took 5 attacks before I saw a disrupt.

      It got to the point that the experienced Sorcs wouldn’t even shot at me anymore until the end. It was like I was a waste of AP. Unless they could focus me. I would basically just run to the front with the tanks and moron melee and just hangout, spaming heals. If close enough, I would silence the Sorcs.

      Playing on this DoK, that seems to have more base Strength than Willpower, which is a shame. Without the Disrupt tactic and most likely not being able to get Dark Promise with my current guild, I will be taking a new strategy with this toon. But I still stand hard behind, using the major advantage the Warrior Priest has, and thats being able to build a disrupt machine. Not to mention a healing brute. Slot that Focused Mind in Moral 2 and you can basically save a Warband. Because of the Warrior Priest defenses, I never would accept a guard, I had them move it to a ranged or witch hunter, to make my life easier. Takes to long to rez.

      Just my recommendation. Try it out. Yeah, it requires, Sentinel or Dark Promise, and finding a nice disrupt tali (+3 doesnt cut it, dont even slot that crap, find the +7), stack your willpower, and you’ll see it too.

      Also, just to throw one back on you …. tee hee. You’re claiming Exalted Defenses FTW and saying you should take less Willpower and Disrupt rate because you’ll get the 20% better healing to cover that (your first comment). But, but, but that’s counter productive. You only get the 20% bonus if you successfully ‘defend.’ What other defense are you going to get with a Warrior Priest other than Disrupt (mostly from Willpower)?

      If you are slotting Exalted Defense, you gotta have a high disrupt rate to get you that successful defense, right?

      • Sorry for the late response but I was lazy reading the last few days. :P

        In my experience a Sorc with int at the softcap can drop your disrupt more than that. That comes from playing my SM that used Aetheric Armor (+5% disrupt) and Wall of Darting Steel (+50% disrupt) which put me over 60% together with varios armor bonuses and willpower. Against Sorcs it seemed I disrupted somewhere around 20-30%, which doesn’t agree with your numbers. This was weird because I was mostly looking at AoE so it’s less likely I’ve been debuff, and even if I were, most of my disrupt came from flat % not willpower. All of this was before LotD when I still played that char, so no talismans with unavoidable procs.

        Which brings me to my second point. Most better Sorcs (the ones that are a threat) will be running that talisman. Massive Shifting Assassins Soul, the cheapest version, gives you a 7% chance to proc a buff that makes all of your attacks undefendable. I watched a single target BW with it, and he seemed to have it up at least 70% of the time. Seemed like it procced off DoTs.

        As for Exalted Defenses, I find that I don’t even need to take the disrupt tactic because if I’m getting attacked I’ll have it up most of the time anyway. I seem to have enough disrupt/dodge and parry (I use Sigmar’s Vision most of the time) not to need it. I only need to defend against one attack every 10 sec. Granted, if I’m not getting attacked my TotD will only heal for 1k, but I can always jump into some AoE as you pointed out. Plus, I don’t die as easily. You have to understand that I normally run in PuGs. Getting ganked by premades constitutes 70% of my RvR. So it’s only natural that I favour a playstyle that is defensive but makes the most of the defensive setup.

        As for guard, I don’t want it or need it because I run Intimidating Repent and it doesn’t stack. :D

  3. Pingback: 2010 in review « Mr. Meh's Supplication

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