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Balance state of armor and attributes

Please take this as constructive feedback. I can say, if everything is extremely balanced the game has a risk of quickly became boring, but I think these armor-related issues, that can well be ignored by most players, are important when pushing corruption /arena to the limit and evaluating build strengths looking at the late endgame (min-maxing).

Armor is a very important stat, for every class and build. Why?

Once you have your health or ward, crit avoidance, and resists in place, is my fourth stat in order of priority. After all, is global hit damage reduction. Is our version of increasing max resists, unless is damage over time.

Is so important that flat amor is my absolute priority in the spirits of fire blessing, unless I really, really need a necro or fire resistance shred.

Also, throne of ambition is a nearly a must for any build for T4 bosses, just for the 20% increased armor per stack. A maxed flat blessing + 20 stacks throne has a peak performance of 1600 armor alone, really huge if you ask me.

For these reasons, I place a flat armour suffix of very high defensive value, even if its relative value is very low, averaging at 95 flat at T5, is still something I would gladly add on my chest (where it gets a 50% boost), gloves, boots and helm if I have an opportunity.

Also because of all this, once I get hybrid + increased health on my belt, I usually filter out any non-exalted belt that is not plated belt or bronze belt, I will pick those two over the ranger’s belt with the superior potion capacity any day of the week, because to me, that’s a “free” (implicit) T3 to T5 armor suffix.

About Implicit Armor in gear

When we evaluate an item base, the approach everyone does, is: how much (defensive usually) value does the item provide? I can liberate a suffix or an idol using this item base?

For example, Ruby Ring and Ivory ring, even if the increased fire and the ward retention are useless to your build, you still can save a T5 Fire res or T5 necro res suffix using those. Even a well rolled Gold Ring is a T5 elemental res affix you can remove from elsewhere, or a well rolled copper ring equals a T5 increased crit. I think rings are not in a bad place, you have lots of useful options for endgame only for their implicit value.

By this evaluation, for example, the solarium greaves, even in you don’t need the fire res, they still provide 90 armor, that’s in range of a T5 added armor affix, herborean boots, despite barely making it into the endgame boots, are far superior to shrine boots and arcane boots, they provide T2 armour + up to mid-rolled T5 Cold res. Shrine Boots have 20% less duration of stuns while has a very little value so doesn’t matter, and is paired with 8 armor, that is a bad rolled T1 armor suffix. Arcane boots… 15% ward retention… really? 4 intelligence attribute give 16% already, that’s a well-rolled T3 intelligence prefix, and keep in mind attributes are split into defensive and offensive value. And again, 8 armor: a bad rolled T1 armor suffix.

So, by these added value definition, engraved gauntlets (L45) are far superior compared to Solarum Bracers (L62), using this reasoning, is T4 armor an T5 endurance % vs T2 armor and T5- increased critical (looking at max rolls on implicits).

If we go to the chests and helmets, that are class specific, then we see huge disparities between each class, especially compared to sentinel. Solarum Plate has 350 armor, that is worth 3.7 T5 added armor and a T5 crit avoidance, then rogue for example has Crimson Garb, with 180 armor and up to 36% dodge, that’s about 1.9 T5 added armor plus T5 dodge percent. That’s 1.8 T5 added armor of difference, and that’s a T4 and a T5 added armor affixes for free just because of the armor base.

For helmets, Augury Helm (L68 sentinel) has 300 armor, solar crown (L68 mage) has 70 armor and up to 60% increased fire damage. 230 armor, compared to two T5 added armor and a T3 added armor, are far more valuable than a single T5 increased fire damage. Also, some implicits are just not there, Scalebane Grimace and Celestial Helm for example.

Armor and attributes

TLDR: Strength far out-performs the other attributes.

Why is that? very simple. Strength provides much more value per point compared to other attributes. Let’s check them all out:

Intelligence is a bit unique because ward retention is not part of the common affixes, so is hard to compare against anything. I think is a quite strong component if you go ward, but again, you don’t have any affix support, only a few implicits and uniques.

If we look at dexterity, you need two T5 dexterity prefixes to get a similar value to one T5 added dodge suffix.

Attunement? well, this gets the short end of the stick, you need three top-rolled T5 attunement affixes to compare it to a single T5 added mana prefix.

Vitality is also quite powerful, T5 vitality is superior to T5 flat health, plus some regen. However you can only get vitality as a from three armor slots, and because is a prefix, can help some builds to fix their health while they match the right health suffixes, or to use some a unique helm/chest/belt/boots and recover form the possible loss of HP due to the lack of increased/hybrid health.

A T5 strength prefix equals a T5 percent armor suffix. This is huge, to the point you can use strength instead of percent armor and liberate suffixes for more defensive value. Also if you happen to scale your damage skills with strength, you are in luck.

Primalist is very sturdy just because of strength, but Sentinel is another step ahead, as he can scale his huge armor bases with strength, being the best defensive base class in the game hands down. And this game right now, at endgame, is all about defenses.

If we want to have a split offensive/defensive or offensive/utility value, the values should be tweaked a bit:

  • Intelligence same (4% ward retention).
  • Attunement: 2 mana → 3 mana.
  • Dexterity: same (4 flat dodge)
  • Vitality: 10 → 8 HP per point (2% regen same)
  • Strength: 4% → 2% increased armor.

Interesting…

Armour

I honestly had never considered Armour to be unbalanced - mainly because I dont use it as the primary first defensive layer for all classes. For a mage/acolyte, I typically use Ward, for a Rogue, dodge and glancing blow etc…

Armour is the default base defensive layer that all classes have access to but obviously its thematic - i.e. the Sentinel wandering around in full plate gets more than the Rogue in leather gear or Sorceror in cloth robes…

Typically tho, the ability to get armour (or not get it) is balanced against the other defensive layers that classes can (and should) get… For example, a Sentinel may be able to get a huge amount of Armour easily, but he has very little synergy with Dodge and none with Glancing blow - both are easily available to the Rogue… So the Rogue can get a little armour, a huge amount of dodge and glancing blow… the Sentinel gets armour and block easily (although Block is also available to others so its not exclusive).

If you approach all builds and all classes as needing Armour as the first defensive layer after the usual bag of tricks (res, CA, health, endurance) then Armour would most definitely be unbalanced as it favours the theme of Strength and Sentinel (mostly) over other classes…

But I believe that you cannot consider Amour on its own - the other layers are just as important for other classes and I would argue by the same measure that Dodge is unbalanced because Sentinel cannot stack it… and it scales with Dex which benefits Rogues not Sentinels.

The same for all the class specific items that you mention - its all to balance the difference defensive layers … Comparing the fact that a Rogue cannot get the same level of armour as a Sentinel gear item cannot, imho be done in isolation because the Rogue gets this offset by another defensive layer…

If you look at Tunks charts https://lastepoch.tunklab.com/ regarding defensive scaling & EHP, I think that the defensive layers are very well balanced across types… Sure there could be improvements and diminishing returns adjustments to make it perfect but I dont believe its in a bad place.

Attributes

Having played a variety of builds I have experienced instances where each attribute is most definitely the best / most powerful for a particular build within a specific class… e.g. VK & Vitality being both a offensive and defensive boost in one attribute. When viewed from this level, I find the attributes well balanced on a SKILL level…

On a passive character sheet level, I find attributes a bit strange to be honest and I do believe that they could use more meaningful and dare I say it, balanced values… I like that they have 2 benefits( except Attunement, why?) but I am not sure if they are were they need to be… The problem for me on attributes is that they synergise so well with Skills that I wouldnt want character sheet level changes to mess with that… The other side of the issue is that small changes can have huge knock on effects … e.g. health regen from vitality… Sure Sentinel benefits from the +4% but I have a feeling this was put in place for the Primalist (also Strength focussed) to get armour boosting… so who knows…

This is pretty interesting… and definitely dont belive that things like balancing can be viewed so independantly from other mechanisms in the game… I think the balance has to be achived across everything together…

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I agree. It’s a solid analysis, but there are other layers that aren’t considered which are really important, and their absence is leading to the impression that Sentinel is tankier than other classes. Rogue actually has the highest achievable EHP (and it’s realistic), and I believe Mage is second right now. Neither scale armor nearly as efficiently as Sentinel.

This is spot on though. Used in almost every build for bossing just because of the armor scaling.

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Yeah the Thrones is really strong - especially for non Armour focussed builds too because the diminishing returns havent kicked in yet usually so the 1600 off a low armour base can be significant DR…

I disagree with some of the premises stated here.

Namely:

This leaves out a couple more defensive layers like Dodge and Endruance.

Especially dodge is a very comparable defensive layer to armour, it does work fairly similar and is also very effective for avg. damage reduction.

This leaves out endurance again

I don’t disagree that Throne of Amibition is really powerful, but “nearly a must have” implies that T4 dungeon bosses need huge defensive setups, which is not really the case.

Also Dungeon bosses are only a small part of content and Throne of Amibition depending on the build doesn’t always make a lot of sense.

Look, instead of arguing with no avail, I will lay my own experience here. I will go with some numbers ahead.

When I started playing, I also have this understanding, until, well, I tried armor on several classes and… BAM, suddenly I could climb 100+ corruption, only thanks to armor.

Of course, are other layers you will care about, depending on the class, but rogue is a perfect example, as was the class I learned about the importance of armour:

  • I started rogue, (dual wield bladedancer, crit based) Got my 2k health, all resists in place, etc, and I worked on his major traits: Glancing blows and Dodge. Glancing only has two options for dual wield: you go apostacy or you get two swords, and try to cap it under smoke bomb there’s not affix involvement. I didn’t like losing all dodge, so I ended up with swords. So, after getting health and resists in check, I went with dodge and percent dodge, while dodge is amazing, very quickly falls into diminishing returns, and doesn’t help against one-shots. You also get lots of dodge in conditional forms with dodge when hit recently, dodge on skill use, and dusk shroud, from passives and skills, and I didn’t give any thought about armour.

  • Then I couldn’t feel comfortable past 200 corruption, I was too squishy. I tried some endurance, with the blessing plus some affixes, or some health/vit, both at the expense of dodge. I moved every combat blessing to resistances, so I could fit more extra stuff in suffixes, with the exception of phys shred. I could climb a bit more, but not too much, until I tried the armor blessing, 290 flat was my first good roll and got out of a 23% endurance percent, and that was a HUGE increase in survival. Keep in mind this was bolstered heavily with the 150% increased I get all the time from the shurikens you can setup to proc with shift and run/pierce around you. I made the quick math, went from 630 armor to 1366 armor, just from the blessing alone.

  • Then I realized you can get more armor if you focus on the values of your gear. Defense is always the problem, is easy to fix offense. Changed from Umbral visage, Brigandine armor, 2LP Vipertail, Shrine Boots and Solarum Bracers into Scalebane Grimace, Crimson Garb, Plated Belt, Solarum Greaves and Crusader Gauntlets. Also added a flat armor in chest (I remember it was a high T4 roll, about 110 armor) and a T5 increased armor in helmet. Again, huge improvement, from 1366 armor to 2600 armor.

  • Then I checked my passive tree… oh, perfection has flat armour? I can maintain it more often than not thanks to dodge + silver shroud, so… that’s very irregular on echoes, still is huge against bosses, as you can get up to 500 armor and 500 dodge, before any big hit comes in so… that’s 4024 armour with full perfection stacks and shurikens.

  • At the end I went back to Umbral visage, because the 1.2% hit leech is stupid, also Brigandine armor, because I got an insane T7 flat armour in one, Engraved Gauntlets instead of crusaders because I was getting all the void res from an empowered blessing. And ditched perfection stacks for other passives, including death’s door, that I comboed with endurance percent + flat threshold for stupid survival potential below low life. Also got a higher roll on my blessing (314), and I’m sitting at 3186 armour (checked ingame) with shurikens active. That’s 35% hit damage reduction, and 50% reduction against physical.

And I get more than double of those numbers with max stacks of throne of ambition. You go from 150% to 550% increased, is not that you get the 5k-10k armor that sentinel/primalist easily gets, but still, every step was a huge improvement.

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And Veil of the Night & the Dusk Shroud on melee hit prefix with a non-channelled (ideally) melee attack.

No one is arguing, this is a discussion…

What you have taken the time to describe here is what I was trying to say about layering defenses and how each class is best served by doing so… and the fact that you have done exactly what everyone does in playing up the various defensive layers against each other…

If you play around with EHP Calculator you can compare and gauge what defensive layer is likely to benefit more vs another… You can make armour 3000 and dodge 250, and swap them around to see what the effective health will be… You can see exactly where it would be best and if it matches the playstyle / build mechanics preferred… You can even see that having no armour or dodge by having maxed endurance can be incredibly powerful on its own. EDIT: In most cases a combination of defense provides the most effective solution.

Combine this with the specific class bonuses and types of defensive layers that specific classes get more easily than others and surely you would understand that looking at Armour on its own from a balance perspective would not work.

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I strongly disagree, unless you are a god player and avoid every hit, including more than one tick of the non-lethal DoT damages, you need tricky setups or top-end gear (or be a Sentinel… with 3.5k life and 5k armor) in order to do Julra or any T4 boss without one-shots.

Good luck with the Julra void treadmill, the stone rains with less than half a second reaction time, or the void ring paired with a flame attack.

If anything, throne enables many builds with not-yet ultimate gear to survive those otherwise one-shots, just enough and do Julra or any T4 boss, not without knowledge, skill and a bit of luck involved. Even when you can avoid being one-shotted by most of T4 boss skills without throne, is just better to have the ability to survive three instead of two ticks/ attacks, so throne stays relevant.

Yep, forgot about that. In fact in my final setup, I use a mix of that with swords. But you can go daggers with a fast-attacking no cooldown skill like cinder/puncture, so, yeah…

Yeah, hey, now I’m’ discussing, but giving a real example was much more illustrative than discussing every detail back and forth, so you can instead see clearly where I am coming from.

Yeah, but EHP as a single metric is tricky. For example, 50% dodge doubles your average EHP, you still have the same one-shot EHP as if you don’t have dodge at all.

The calculator has both, and that’s key. Only the latter is really important when it really matters (some big hits and boss attacks). Still dodge, same as block with some investment without bastion are great, irregular defensive layers that help a lot against many hits.

Then you have DoTs that doesn’t care about any of that, or Julra ignoring dodge and silver shroud for absolutely no reason with some of her attacks…

I never used Throne of Ambition in any of my builds (other then doing some testing), because I simply do not like the item.

I wouldn’t call my self a “god player”, but I have done every T4 dungeon boss with a plethora of builds without any issues.

I genuinely don’t know what abilities you are talking about and I literally made extensive guides on gudies on all of them :smiley:

The only one where I have a good guess would be the “stone rain”, if you mean a ability from the Lightless Arbor Boss

That part is where I disagree the most.

A lot of the dungeon abilities, especialyl on T4 are meant to be one-shots and even with Throne some of them are still one-shots, Throne doesn’t change that.

And yes throne maybe can make your character survive ability X, but so can other defensive layers too.

Most dungeons do not have multiple different thigns going on at once, so any build with reasonable sustain can recover very easily from an “almost one-shot”.

The Dungeon where I can see your argument being the most applicable would be Soulfire Bastion, that is the only dungeon boss that can have a lot of overlaps from big hitting abilities.

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Well, we will be in disagreement then.

Yes, maybe I didn’t do those bosses enough times, or I miss something, but for the information I get from the bosses themselves, I stand by my experience with them. I cleared all T4 bosses, but only about a dozen times total, with three builds, I don’t have extensive experience.

The stone rain is from the lightless harbor boss, that is correct: those drops are purely random, while telegraphed, they are so fast you will not be able to avoid them out without some luck, unless there’s a safe spot? The reaction time needed is not what an average player can deal with, at least with the kind of mobility we have on this game.

Same goes with Julra void treadmill, that drops all the time. I know there’s a safe circle where it will not hit you, but you also need to avoid Julra other skills, and going in and out the safe zone is a poor option, because it spins just too fast. This is huge issue if you play melee, and specially with rogue and some of his defensive layers disabled by decree (bye dodge, silver shroud).

Lastly the void circle and fire skill was an error on my side, it’s the necrotic ring that stretches into the Soulfire Bastion boss, paired with some of his fire abilities. Another unfair fight just because, as you well said, the boss overlap abilities, instead of casting those in rapid succession.

And that is fine and again I don’t say Throne is “bad”, I just really really do hate terminologies that imply something is mandatory/necessary.

Also if your experience is like that, that is also totally fine that why I wanted to disagree here and maybe you can somewhat see where I am coming from when you gather more experince yourself.

The regualr boulders that drop from the sky are actually not that deadly, you are most likely refering to the “big boulder” (that unfortunately has the same telegraph as the “small ones”), that also will spawn an add an impact. That one is incredibly deadly, but also coems very predictable and you can preemptively start moving.

But what has armour to do with this? Armour also doesn’t protect you from the beam (since it’s DoT)

Yeah it can get hectic at times, but then again you can use the dungeon mechanic to entirely mitigate all of msot abilities. And if yo uspecific build or defensive setup struggles with one ability in particular you can try to play extra save for that one or even stay in one immunity, when you can survive the other damage types ability.

I just feel like all of this doesn’t really has much to do with armour, but with defensive setups in general.

Last Epoch has a lot of defensive layers that can be combined in a lot of ways.
Health, Ward, Resistance, Crit Avoidance/Less damage taken from crits, Armour, Dodge, Block, Endurance, Glancing Blow, Generic Damage Reduction, Less damage over time taken, general damage reduction

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Well yeah, is not mandaroty, but ot me is, as I said earlier “Near mandatory”.

Ok, so not all drops are equal, I did surve some and died to others, I initially thought it was just luck with some defensive layers aligning. Good to know, I will watch more carefully next time.

Yeah, that’s about right, but you can survive one tick or maybe two, It happens to me often if I step a bit away from the safe imaginary ring zone, while making a circle route, or trying to be a bit greedy with Julra just a bit out of melee reach, then a Julra skill can finish you off.

Not sure what abilities are meant to one-shot and what not, anyways the way I went just more or less how you described it, trying to make use of the switching mech as needed, if the burning floor allows me to do so.

The armor discussion was pretty interesting. Too bad it got derailed with a certain someone’s dislike of Throne of Ambition :cry:

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I disagree with this, Getting good dodge values while still maintaining your health is almost exclusive to rogue. Dodge from gear scales really badly unless you go FULL investment which would cut out tons of other defensive layers. With every piece being dedicated to dodge where it can go, as well as prefixes for dex, on a mage I could only get 53% chance to dodge, which is EHP/0.47, this is no where near enough for what you give up. I tried to add dodge a few times as a layer onto non rogue characters and it was just not worth the investment, maybe if you had tailored perfected minmaxed gear around a math formula you tinkered with. But for the average use case, dodge is just not worth touching.

Dodge seems very much by design a specific defense tailored to certain primalist builds, and rogues.

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The only way I invest on Dodge when not on Rogue is if I have Foot of the Mountain to convert it to Endurance Threshold. Those make it pretty easy to get endurance equal to your health pool.

Yeah, the problem with dodge compared to armor is that dodge doesn’t come in gear bases, and there’s so much competition in suffixes already. With rogue I like to get some dexterity in gloves and rings if I have the opportunity, because is a way to get some dodge without wasting suffixes.

To get a decent 25% chance to dodge hits, you need 850 dodge, a T5 added dodge gives 70 dodge on average.

So, to get a “decent” dodge without some passives support, if you manage to get 100% increased (maybe a T5 percent dodge on sword, plus T5 in amulet), you still need T5 added dodge in 6 affixes on average…

The flat values are just not there, should be at the very least on the armour current magnitudes if not a bit more to make some sense. Agree, if you don’t get a unique, passives or skill nodes to support dodge heavily, is too much investment for a noticeable reward.