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Guide to PvP Mitigation - Shield/Def and Armor

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > PvP
Guide to PvP Mitigation - Shield/Def and Armor

Malissant's Avatar


Malissant
03.08.2012 , 07:05 PM | #1
(( you can follow this on my blog at: http://swttor.blogspot.com/2012/03/g...and-armor.html ))

The goal of this guide is to delve into what the real usefulness of shield/defense is (specifically as it relates to PvP Combat) and to get an overall idea of what kind of mitigation we can count on v/s what types of specs/classes. For those of you that don't care about how the experiment was set up, just skip down till you see "THE REAL NUMBERS"

I started working on this project because I noticed a trend when fighting other players. Since I run with a tank spec I'm heavy on mitigation (shield and armor) - when fighting certain classes it felt like they could never do enough damage to kill me, but when fighting other classes I died before I knew that I was being attacked. This has lessened over time as I've gotten used to the spread, but at the start it was very confusing.

To that end I started compiling data to see what was going on, why certain classes were killing me so quickly and what I could potentially do about it.

At that point all I was looking at was damage types, what types of attacks do other players have - this led me to research more on damage types and I found out how the mitigation system works. Just to review for those of you that don't know:

Attack Types:
Melee/Ranged -> Mitigated by Armor, Shields and Defense
Force/Tech -> Mitigated by Armor Only

Damage Types:
Kinetic/Energy (also Weapon Damage) -> Mitigated by Armor Only
Elemental/Internal -> NOT mitigated by stats, some classes have talents or buffs that provide mitigation to these damage types

When looking through all the attack types there were a few glaring obvious specs that bypassed everything (Scrappers, Saboteurs, Telekinetics) but that didn't account for everyone that was blasting through my defense, so I started looking deeper.

For this experiment I grabbed average tooltip values (thank you Torhead) for damage and spent time digging through various specs to come up with reasonable rotations that they would use to open combat (or during sustained combat).

** I can't account for everything, so please bear in mind that the math isn't perfect. For example - trying to account for all skills that have automatic (or higher damage) crits based on procs was impossible - so that isn't included. Where applicable I'll make notes as to what might skew the numbers I'm presenting. I also couldn't add in stance procs for shadows/sentinels (mostly). Those numbers won't have real bearing on effectiveness since the damage values are quite low compared to skill use. **

From there I input the numbers into a rotation sequence and ran calculations on each hit to determine parry/dodge and shield procs. I used those numbers to see the mitigation on a set rotation. I then repeated the rotation 1000 times (in a spreadsheet) and averaged out the mitigation values for each rotation. This is your Effective Mitigation Value. I used 25% Defense and 35/35 Shield/Absorb (average values that my character currently has).

** A Note on relics and adrenals. People use these to get the massive damage numbers that people drool over - it wasn't possible for me to include these kind of things in my experiment without going into far too much detail to be contained on spreadsheets. Any relic/adrenal use on high damaging armor/shield bypassing attacks will lower the numbers. To see this in action I artificially inflated some attacks that I know get high numbers (changing force sweep to always hit for 4k). I noticed between 2-5% difference (lower) in numbers, so keep this in mind **

For the Effective Armor Rating I checked the actual mitigation (on a single rotation) versus the estimated mitigation (30% armor reduction = 30% mitigation). Then I pulled a percentage out showing your Effective Armor Rating - and EAR of 95% means your armor mitigation is 95% as effective as it should be. So if you are expecting to block 30 out of 100 damage you actually are only blocking 28.5 damage.

** Please note that rotations might not be optimal in your opinion, if you have a better rotation, please let me know and I will see if it makes a difference. I tried to get people to give me actual rotations, but in the end had to go with pen/paper or forum posts to find actual rotations **


CRIT DISCLAIMER:
I did not (and could not) include crit in my calculations for practicality sake - there is just too much information. People have refuted these numbers by stating that Crit bypasses shielding, so by stacking Crit players make shields less effective - which is why there is a "consensus" that defensive stats are useless in PvP.

Most of that statement is correct, Crit does push shielding numbers down. The misunderstanding or misconception lies in the actual way this roll is calculated. If Shield and Crit are checked on the same roll, then 30% shield is 30% shield. Until crit overtakes [100-shield] so 71% crit in this case, there is no reason that your shield should become less effective. Most people use math to show that the probability of shielding an attack decreases as crit increases - this is NOT NECESSARILY the case. The only information I can find is that they are rolled together, nowhere else does it say specifically how that check is accomplished

THE REAL NUMBERS:

(since I can't do cool inlinks here, search for the following hashtags to find your favorite section)
#1.0 Consular | #2.0 Smuggler | #3.0 Knight | #4.0 Trooper |
#5.0 Overall Conclusion



#1.0 Consular
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-dLySH3XoWh...enshot-001.jpg

General Skills-
7 Force, 2 Melee
5 Kinetic, 2 Internal, 2 Weapon

Sage Skills -
5 Force
3 Kinetic, 2 Internal

Shield/Def Mit% of attacks: 2/14 = 14%
Armor Mit% of attacks: 10/14 = 71%
Unmitigated % of attacks: 2/14 = 14%


Shadow Skills -
5 Force, 4 melee
4 Weapon, 3 Kinetic, 2 Internal

Shield/Def Mit% of attacks: 6/18 = 33%
Armor Mit% of attacks: 14/18 = 77%
Unmitigated % of attacks: 4/18 = 22%


Specs/Rotations

Telekinetic Sage -

Rotation:
Mind Crush -> Weaken Mind -> Disturbance x3 -> Turbulence -> Telekinetic Wave -> Telekinetic Throw

Average Shield/Def Mitigation: 0.0%
Effective Armor Rating: 75%


Balance Sage -

Rotation:
Force in Balance -> Mind Crush -> Weaken Mind -> Sever Force -> Project -> Telekinetic Throw -> Disturbance x3

Average Shield/Def Mitigation: 0.0%
Effective Armor Rating: 72%


Kinetic Shadow -

Rotation:
Force Slow -> Slow Time -> Double Strike -> Project -> Force Breach -> Double Strike -> Project -> Telekinetic Throw -> Saber Strike

Average Shield/Def Mitigation: 12-13%
Effective Armor Rating: 85-89%


** Project crits and upheaval procs will slightly lower effective overall Mitigation **

Infiltration Shadow -

Rotation:
Spinning Kick -> Clairvoyant Strike x2 -> Project -> Force Breach -> Low Slash -> Shadow Strike -> Clairvoyant Strike x2 -> Project

Average Shield/Def Mitigation: 15-16%
Effective Armor Rating: 67-71%


** Project crits and upheaval procs will slightly lower effective overall Mitigation. More use of Shadow Strike will skew the Effective Armor rating as long as it is used with a Proc **

Balance Shadow -

Rotation:
Force in Balance -> Project -> Force Breach -> Double Strike x 2 -> Mind Crush -> Telekinetic Throw -> Double Strike x2 -> Project

Average Shield/Def Mitigation: 12-13%
Effective Armor Rating: 97%



#2.0 Smuggler
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-h66OlmH3hk...enshot-001.jpg

General Skills-
7 Tech, 4 Ranged
4 Kinetic, 2 Internal, 4 Weapon

Gunslinger Skills -
3 Tech, 8 Ranged
8 Weapon, 1 Kinetic, 1 Energy, 1 Elemental

Shield/Def Mit% of attacks: 12/22 = 54%
Armor Mit% of attacks: 19/22 = 86%
Unmitigated % of attacks: 3/22= 13%


Scoundrel Skills -
5 Tech, 1 Ranged
1 Weapon, 4 Kinetic, 1 Internal

Shield/Def Mit% of attacks: 5/17= 29%
Armor Mit% of attacks: 14/17= 82%
Unmitigated % of attacks: 3/17= 17%


Specs/Rotations

Sharpshooter Gunslinger -

Rotation:
Flourish Shot -> Charged Burst -> Trickshot -> Aimed Shot -> Trickshot -> Speed Shot x3

Average Shield/Def Mitigation: 37-38%
Effective Armor Rating: 100%


Saboteur Gunslinger -[/SIZE][/COLOR][/B]

Rotation:
Flourish Shot -> Incendiary Grenade -> XS Flyby -> Aimed Shot -> Vital Shot -> Shock Charge -> Flurry -> Charged Burst

Average Shield/Def Mitigation: 16-18%
Effective Armor Rating: 65-67%


** Since XS flyby is an elemental skill this will skew the Effective Armor slightly, it will be slightly higher over a more sustained period **

Dirty Gunslinger -

Rotation:
Hemmorrhaging Blast -> Shrap Bomb -> Vital Shot -> Wounding Shot -> Flurry -> Flurry -> Wounding Shot

Average Shield/Def Mitigation: 15-16%
Effective Armor Rating: 42-65%


** The reason for the big gap here is due to the WS bleed proc which varies widely. I tried to account for it, but can't be 100% accurate **

Scrapper Scoundrel -

Rotation:
Flechette -> Shoot First -> Blaster Whip -> Flechette -> Back blast -> Vital Shot -> Blaster Whip -> Sucker Punch -> Flurry

Average Shield/Def Mitigation: 2%
Effective Armor Rating: 87-88%


** The only reason that the average mitigation isn't 0% is because I tacked the Flurry on at the end to account for some energy regen time. Also note that there is armor penetration built in, so the effective armor level will be closer to 60% **

Dirty Scoundrel -

** I found this to be functionally similar to the Dirty Gunslinger, I just wanted to include the words "Dirty Scoundrel" in this guide. **

#3.0 Knight
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-BVeXBSr407...enshot-002.jpg

General Skills-
4 Force, 8 Melee
4 Kinetic, 8 Weapon

Guardian Skills -
2 Force, 4 Melee
4 Weapon, 2 Kinetic, 1 Elemental

Shield/Def Mit% of attacks: 12/18= 66%
Armor Mit% of attacks: 17/18= 95%
Unmitigated % of attacks: 1/18= 5.5%


Sentinel Skills -
2 Force, 6 Melee
6 Weapon, 1 Internal , 1 Elemental

Shield/Def Mit% of attacks: 14/20= 70%
Armor Mit% of attacks: 18/20= 90%
Unmitigated % of attacks: 2/20= 10%


Specs/Rotations

Defense Guardian -

Rotation:
Leap -> Bladestorm -> Sunder -> Guardian Strike -> Sweep -> Stasis -> Master Strike -> Guardian Strike

Average Shield/Def Mitigation: 22-23%
Effective Armor Rating: 100%


Vigilance Guardian -

Rotation:
Leap -> Sunder -> Overhead Slash -> Bladestorm -> Sunder -> Master Strike -> Sunder -> Ovehread Slash

Average Shield/Def Mitigation: 31-33%
Effective Armor Rating: 100%


** Bladestorm automatic crits will push average mitigation down VERY slightly. Also Burn procs will lower Effective Armor Rating **

Focus Guardian -

Rotation:
Saber Throw -> Force Exhaustion -> Leap -> Sweep -> Bladestorm -> Push -> Leap -> Sunder -> Master strike

Average Shield/Def Mitigation: 34%
Effective Armor Rating: 100%


** Focus Guardians overload Force Leap for high damage, effective Mitigation will be closer to 27% **

Watchman Sentinel -

Rotation:
Leap -> Overload -> Zealous Strike -> Cauterize -> Merciless Slash -> Slash -> Strike x2 -> Merciless Slash

Average Shield/Def Mitigation: 21-22%
Effective Armor Rating: 78-79%


Combat Sentinel -

Rotation:
Leap -> Blade Rush -> Zealous Strike -> Precision Slash -> Master Strike -> Bladestorm -> Cauterize -> Strike -> Blade Rush

Average Shield/Def Mitigation: 26-27%
Effective Armor Rating: 83%


** Precision Slash has Armor penetration, which will lower the EAR closer to 60% **

Focus Sentinel -

Rotation:
Leap -> Exhaust -> Zealous Strike -> Sweep -> Stasis -> Zealous Leap -> Slash -> Slash -> Sweep

Average Shield/Def Mitigation: 23-24%
Effective Armor Rating: 100%


** Stacking damage on Force sweep will lower average mitigation closer to 16% **

#4.0 Trooper
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-xEFL67OFFm...enshot-001.jpg

General Skills-
8 Tech, 3 Ranged
6 Kinetic, 2 Elemental, 3 Weapon

Commando Skills -
4 Tech, 2 Ranged
2 Weapon, 31 Kinetic, 1 Elemental

Shield/Def Mit% of attacks: 5/17= 29%
Armor Mit% of attacks: 14/17= 82%
Unmitigated % of attacks: 3/17= 17%


Trooper Skills -
6 Tech
4 Elemental, 2 Kinetic

Shield/Def Mit% of attacks: 3/17= 17%
Armor Mit% of attacks: 11/17= 64%
Unmitigated % of attacks: 6/17= 35%


Specs/Rotations

Gunnery Commando -

Rotation:
Full Auto -> Grav Round x 3 -> Demo Round -> Grav Round x2 -> High Impact Bolt

Average Shield/Def Mitigation: 21-22%
Effective Armor Rating: 100%


** Grav Round stacks an armor debuff that will lower EAR to the 82% ish range. Average mitigation is also very susceptible to Grav Round Crits here - high crits will drop mitigation drastically to around 14%**

Assault Commando -

Rotation:
Incendiary Round -> Full Auto -> Charged Bolt x2 -> High Impact Bolt -> Charged Bolt -> High Impact Bolt -> Full Auto

Average Shield/Def Mitigation: 35-36%
Effective Armor Rating: 95%


Shield Vanguard -

Rotation:
Storm -> Stockstrike -> High Impact Bolt -> Hammer Shot -> Ion Pulse -> Hammer Shot -> Stockstrike -> Hammer Shot -> Sticky Grenade -> Hammer Shot -> Energy Blast

Average Shield/Def Mitigation: 15%
Effective Armor Rating: 90-91%


Tactics Vanguard -

Rotation:
Sticky Grenade -> Fire Pulse -> Gut -> Stockstrike -> High Impact Bolt -> Full Auto -> Ion Pulse -> Sticky Grenade -> Fire Pulse -> Gut -> High Impact Bolt

Average Shield/Def Mitigation: 19-20%
Effective Armor Rating: 88%


Assault Vanguard -

Rotation:
Incendiary Round -> Assault Plastique -> Hammer Shot -> High Impact bolt -> Hammer Shot -> Stockstrike -> High Impact Bolt -> Ion Pulse -> Incendiary Round -> Hammer Shot -> Assault Plastique

Average Shield/Def Mitigation: 13-14%
Effective Armor Rating: 83%


Rotation 2: via Hethroin
Incendiary Round -> Assault Plastique -> HiB -> Stockstrike -> HiB -> Ion Pulse -> Incend Round -> HS -> Assault Plastique

Average Shield/Def Mitigation: 15-16%
Effective Armor Rating: 50%


** Hethroin corrected me on the armor pen that is built into HiB, that is now accounted for here and this is a more accurate example - I also found an error in my shockstrike damage numbers which accounts for the mitigation increase **

#5.0 CONCLUSION

OVERALL Average Shield/Def Mitigation: 16-17%
OVERALL Effective Armor Rating: 82-83%


I don't find Shield/Defense to be utterly useless as people like to claim. This is of course a personal statement, I'm sure many of you will disagree that an average 16% survivability increase isn't worth the damage loss. To me it's worth the damage loss.

Mostly I just wanted to share these numbers with everyone since I've spent so much time putting it all together, the numbers are the numbers, you can make use of them however you see fit. Hopefully when we get combat logs I'll be able to more accurately measure REAL mitigation. For now this the is the best I could do.
Tanking The Old Republic - Tips, Tricks, Guides and Strats for PvP and PvE.
Moonstriker - JG Defense Spec'd (32/7/2) | Daddysmurf - Shadow Kinetic Spec'd (31/0/10)
Malvolio - Vanguard Shield Specialist (31/7/3)
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Invictusthetaru's Avatar


Invictusthetaru
03.08.2012 , 07:18 PM | #2
Good read. I run a vigilance spec in BM/champ gear and that looks about right with the amount I am able to do to tanks.

xxdragonragexx's Avatar


xxdragonragexx
03.08.2012 , 07:24 PM | #3
Unfortunately, not a lot of operatives and snipers that run around so shield/defense is practically useless. Almost every class goes for the spec with the least amount of abilities that can be defended.

Even juggs and marauders classes go for specs that bypass defenses like shield, parry and dodge.

HuorEarfalas's Avatar


HuorEarfalas
03.08.2012 , 07:26 PM | #4
You stated Elemental/Kinetic attacks has no mitigation. Consular and Inquisitor buffs have a 10% damage reduction on elemental and kinetics, plus there are certain classes with their own elemental and kinetic defenses (my tank shadow for one has 21% E/K damage reduction defense). Isn't that mitigation?

Crawelc's Avatar


Crawelc
03.08.2012 , 07:27 PM | #5
Combat spec Sent here, seems about right to me as well since you should have the debuff up 50% or more of the time.
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savionen's Avatar


savionen
03.08.2012 , 07:32 PM | #6
Shields/Defenses are weak because of the amount you have to put in.

5 points in Shield Chance is only 10% chance, which results in in not having Hi-Impact Bolt procs or armor penetration. You lose the best bursting attack the class has, in exchange for a 10% chance to reduce damage taken by 20-40%, which is only 2-4% damage reduction.

Shields specifically, since they have two stats, becomes exponentially better the higher percentages you have. A 20% chance to absorb 20% damage is only a 4% damage reduction. Whereas 40% chance to absorb 40% damage is a 16% damage reduction. In order to get up to that 40% you have to make massive sacrifices to DPS.

Malissant's Avatar


Malissant
03.08.2012 , 07:44 PM | #7
Quote: Originally Posted by Invictusthetaru View Post
Good read. I run a vigilance spec in BM/champ gear and that looks about right with the amount I am able to do to tanks.
Thanks, its nice to get some kind of verification even if its only "that looks about right".

Quote: Originally Posted by xxdragonragexx View Post
Unfortunately, not a lot of operatives and snipers that run around so shield/defense is practically useless. Almost every class goes for the spec with the least amount of abilities that can be defended.

Even juggs and marauders classes go for specs that bypass defenses like shield, parry and dodge.
Lots of Commandos, Vanguards, Sentinels ... other guardians. Ops are actually the class that shield works the least against, other than Sharpshooters.

Quote: Originally Posted by HuorEarfalas View Post
You stated Elemental/Kinetic attacks has no mitigation. Consular and Inquisitor buffs have a 10% damage reduction on elemental and kinetics, plus there are certain classes with their own elemental and kinetic defenses (my tank shadow for one has 21% E/K damage reduction defense). Isn't that mitigation?
Elemental/Internal, just so we're on the same page.

Yes, that is mitigation, but it has no bearing on how useful Armor or Shield/Def are, since that absorbtion is seperate. I'll mod the OP to clarify that in the damage types area.


Quote: Originally Posted by Crawelc View Post
Combat spec Sent here, seems about right to me as well since you should have the debuff up 50% or more of the time.
Thanks, its good to get some confirmation.

Quote: Originally Posted by savionen View Post
Shields/Defenses are weak because of the amount you have to put in.

5 points in Shield Chance is only 10% chance, which results in in not having Hi-Impact Bolt procs or armor penetration. You lose the best bursting attack the class has, in exchange for a 10% chance to reduce damage taken by 20-40%, which is only 2-4% damage reduction.

Shields specifically, since they have two stats, becomes exponentially better the higher percentages you have. A 20% chance to absorb 20% damage is only a 4% damage reduction. Whereas 40% chance to absorb 40% damage is a 16% damage reduction. In order to get up to that 40% you have to make massive sacrifices to DPS.
Sorry I'm not sure what you're looking at for shield chance. I wasn't trying to discuss class skills/talents - actually the whole thing is based on a relatively low defense and shield rating that is achievable with decent gear for all classes. Yes, you give up DPS for survivability, thats the whole point.

If you think that higher DPS is better than a 16% overall increase in survivability then that's your business. This was aimed at people saying it is useless. It is obviously not useless at all, and for "Tanks" in pvp will actually provide some benefit. Weither they think the benefit is better than increased DPS is up to them.
Tanking The Old Republic - Tips, Tricks, Guides and Strats for PvP and PvE.
Moonstriker - JG Defense Spec'd (32/7/2) | Daddysmurf - Shadow Kinetic Spec'd (31/0/10)
Malvolio - Vanguard Shield Specialist (31/7/3)
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HuorEarfalas's Avatar


HuorEarfalas
03.08.2012 , 07:47 PM | #8
My apologise, elemental/internal is what I wanted to say :P

AKfourtyseven's Avatar


AKfourtyseven
03.08.2012 , 07:59 PM | #9
Quote: Originally Posted by Malissant View Post
I don't find Shield/Defense to be utterly useless as people like to claim. This is of course a personal statement, I'm sure many of you will disagree that an average 16% survivability increase isn't worth the damage loss. To me it's worth the damage loss.

Mostly I just wanted to share these numbers with everyone since I've spent so much time putting it all together, the numbers are the numbers, you can make use of them however you see fit. Hopefully when we get combat logs I'll be able to more accurately measure REAL mitigation. For now this the is the best I could do.
Great post. Im sick of seeing people post that shields and def dont work in PvP when every single day i log on im getting shield proc's constantly on my Jugg. Your figures directly confirm my own play experience with regards to who can walk past def and who cant.

Def + shields really takes the edge off of the vast amount of troopers i have to constantly deal with, so even if its as low as 16% (I suspect my numbers will be higher if worked out) when you have half the team as a trooper?

I'll take that.

Almghty_gir's Avatar


Almghty_gir
03.08.2012 , 08:04 PM | #10
one of the biggest reasons that shield/defence are so bad in pvp, is because they can be directly countered.

defence can be countered by accuracy. for sure though, most people won't stack accuracy, which makes defence a fairly stable stat to use as a tank.

shield can be countered by crit. critical hits ALWAYS ignore shields. ALWAYS. this was confirmed by the devs over on the sithwarrior forums.

now, in pve the crit rate on bosses is relatively low (if existant at all), making shield highly useful as a stat. however, in pve it's almost standard for dps classes to have upward of 20% crit chance. you can express mathematically how this affects shield rates in a similar way to how accuracy affects defence (note: extreme simplification, don't want to go through the entire formula, so just working with end results):

accuracy vs defence:
0.9 + <accuracy> - <defence> = <total hit chance %>
example:
0.9 + 0.15 - 0.23 = 82% hit chance

crit vs shield:
<total hit chance> * (<shield chance> - <attacker crit chance>) = <total shielded attacks>
example:
0.82 * (0.25 - 0.20) = 4.1% total shielded attacks

THAT is why shield is considdered worthless in pvp, because it's almost impossible to stack it to a level where it can't simply be countered by high crit rates.

i actually made a dps tool that you can use to just plug in your numbers and see the dps outcome here: http://www.swtor.com/community/showthread.php?t=240685
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