Mitigation, Avoidance and a Whole Bunch of MoraleSome folks really dislike poking around under the hood of the combat engine, so I'll start with some general recommendations:
- Lots of Morale is very helpful. Get as much as possible without compromising other stats.
- Armour is for everyone, not just tanks. It contributes a lot to your Common mitigation, as well as mitigations for specific damage types like Fire and Shadow.
- Empathy rank 10 adds 450 armour!
- Block, Parry and Evade are awesome for survivability but can be difficult to increase. Evade is best since it works against the most attacks.
- Purchase your passives from the class trainer!
- Most classes benefit from focusing on just one Avoidance, since this makes partial mitigation relics more worthwhile
- Guardians may prefer Block and Parry to trigger more reactive skills
- Melee Defence reduces damage you take from melee sources. It's a great stat for most classes, especially while leveling.
- Ranged Defence can be useful for Hunters
- Tactical Defence can be ignored except in endgame raids
- Before level 50 you can get Defences from Virtues and scrolls of Warding Lore made by scholars. After 50, you can also get them from legendary item Titles and Relics.
- Vitality does double duty as a source of more Morale and better Resistances.
- Unless you are raiding, or a tank, don't waste Virtues and gear bonuses on resistances - these are better used for other stats. Just clear the bad effects with a potion or skill.
Understanding the Big NumbersBefore we dig into the individual defensive stats, let's take a few minutes to understand the ratings numbers that are the basis of so many stats since the changes to the combat system that came in with the Siege of Mirkwood expansion. Beyond that fact the big numbers are much less intuitive than a percentage, they add a couple wrinkles to the stats picture:
Ratings lose "oomph" with levels. Unlike bonuses that start as a percentage, the benefits from a rating number decrease as your opponent's level rises. In other words, you'll need a bigger number when fighting level 65 mobs to get the same % bonus you had fighting level 50 mobs.
Here's an example. Prior to Mirkwood rank 4 of Innocence provided -2% Melee Vulnerability as a straight percentage, regardless of the level of your opponent. With Mirkwood, -Melee Vulnerability was converted to Melee Defence rating, and Innocence rank 4 now provides 400 Melee Defence rating. Against a level 32 enemy, this now works out to be a 3.1% reduction in incoming melee damage. However, that same 400 Melee Defence rating reduces incoming melee damage by only 1.5% vs. level 65 mobs.
15% cap. Many of the bonuses calculated from ratings are capped at 15%, although there are some exceptions. How big your rating needs to be to hit the cap depends on the level of your enemies; a stat can capped for on-level mobs, but not for bosses five levels higher than you. Skills and other modifiers that apply a percentage-based increase (for example, Burglars' Touch and Go) are not affected by the cap.
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