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a goodnight kiss, of doom

January 25, 2009

There has been a lot of complaining about the discrepancy between some mirrored careers. Some cite differences in role compared to their mirror, while some simply find their mirror to be much more powerful. I can easily see some of the differences among the mirrored tanks, but I’m not sure that’s too far fetched as it’s not proof that either is overtly better. A good example is Black Orc and Swordmaster. Black Orc is well known for their survivability and they have a lot of tools to reinforce that. On the other hand, their mirror shows a lot of intent as a ‘DPS’ tank. Ironbreaker and Blackguard share this trait as well. Yes, they’re mirrors, but their counterpart is actually crossed. Ironbreaker and Black Orc are more of a pair, as are Swordmaster and Blackguard. The other complaint is more worrisome, because it refers to an actual discrepancy in power, not role.

None stand out as much as the complaints forwarded towards Witch Elves. Yes, I know you’ve heard it all and Witch Elves are fine, but hear me out. I’m not going to whine, or complain, this is purely a math game. Put on some thick goggles, get a beaker and have fun. We’re going to look at some tier two ‘rogues.’ We’ll give them some fairly even stats, 250 strength (and Ballistic Skill for WH), both using rank 17 green weapons with 23 DPS. This isn’t something huge and complicated, we just need this to figure out damage on the one key difference between the classes, their self buffs. In this case it’s Blessed Bullets, versus Kisses. We’re using rank 17 for a very clutch reason. Rank 17 is the earliest that a Witch Elf can get Kiss of Doom. We’ll assume the Witch Hunter has gone up Inquisition purely to up their Bullets damage. These builds do mean that Blessed Bullets are rank 17, while the Witch Elves Kiss is at rank 16, so we’ll keep that in mind.

So, take those numbers, run them around and you find that the Bullets will do about 230 damage when they hit and the Kiss will do about 135. So let’s take a look at 10 seconds of combat. The Witch Hunter will perform a single Execution and the Witch Elf will use a single Frenzy. Both will perform 6 other special attacks. The Witch Hunters damage from Bullets is very easy to figure out, they used an Execution, so there’s a pop of 230 damage. The Witch Elf, of course, is slightly more complicated. There are about 7.5 auto attack swings, as well as 6 specials, and a Frenzy. We’ll use Heart Render Toxin, as it’s in the same tree as their Mastery points. Since this is a two hit Frenzy, the total number of attacks is 15.5, we’ll round up to 16. With Kiss of Doom slotted, a Witch Elf has a 50% chance on each of these attacks to deal 135 damage. On average this means you will activate your Kiss 8 times, for a total of 1,080 damage.

Quite a difference. Now, to be fair it only takes 8.4 seconds to get your Execution out, so you can up that Bullet damage slightly. With this setup you’d be gaining about 27.4 DPS from Bullets. Compare this to the 108 DPS from our Witch Elves Kisses. This is the common usage, not trying to ‘exploit’ the Bullets in any way. The only way this can be possible is with Flowing Accusations and using Executions with low Accusations. In this way you would be running at about one Execution every 2.3 seconds. This brings the DPS increase up to 100 even. That manner of use does need to be considered if Bullets were to be buffed, however. For instance, if Bullet damage was increased to match the DPS provided by Kisses, they would deal 907 damage in our setup. However, if converted the ‘Bullet’ rotation this would result in an increase of 394 DPS, making them 3.6 times stronger than Kisses.

So, the question is whether or not this is fair. Almost any Order player will say ‘no’ on forums and may even include the “one in a million” chance to get 16 Kisses in a row for 2,160 damage. Most won’t need to though, as the normal occurance is already almost a four to one advantage in favor of Kisses. You ask most Witch Elves and they’ll quickly reply that they’re fine, very fragile and should have good burst damage. The problem is, Witch Hunters are no more resilient. In fact, some would argue that Witch Elves have better survivability with things like On Your Knees.

Really though, why even use Kiss of Doom in the comparison? Without it Kisses are still twice as good as Bullets. When I first ran these numbers, I found it hard to believe. So, you know what I did? I made a rank 17 Witch Elf and tried it out. It’s enlightening when you switch off a 27 DPS blue dagger in favor of a 23 DPS green one purely to go from a 3.6 swing timer to a 2.0. Why? Because the slight loss from specials and white damage is outweighed by the 15 DPS I’m gaining on my white damage from Kisses. Too bad Witch Elves don’t get Inquisitor’s Fury.

See, no whining, no crying, just math. Unless you’re a Witch Hunter, then I suppose it means a good deal more.



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