Diablo® III

Why ASI nerf is a huge mistake (w/ math)

OP Update - 06.18
I'd like to make an update to clarify a few things and also somewhat change my stance on this topic.

-I still feel that ASI nerf is a huge mistake. This is not to say that ASI is not overpowered and should not see a nerf at all. For the record, ASI is very good, probably better than it should be and this should not be ignored.

I have previously underestimated and undervalued the non-damage benefits of ASI and I will add another section below discussing this. I'm a Barbarian, a class that cares less about resource generation and casting times than the other four, so please excuse my oversight. I feel that nerf is in order, but not nearly to the extent that the leaked patch notes suggest.

However, to all people in support of this nerf, I don't think some people realize what 50% means. A 50% nerf suggests that Blizzard thinks ASI is currently twice as good as Crit Chance/Crit Damage or that the non-damage, non-numerical benefits of ASI are equivalent to half of its damage benefit. I still think this is preposterous.

Blizzard's rationale for the nerf is that too many people feel that they need this stat. The players who feel this way do so for two reasons.
1) The stat is really good. This is true.
2) Their misunderstanding of crit chance and crit damage. People hover their mouse over Attack Speed items and quickly notice that their Damage boost is very high. They notice at a very early level that ASI is excellent. Crit does not get the same exposure because you NEED to have crit stats to make crit stats good. The benefits of crit really start to blossom once you've obtained enough of it. You don't get to see the benefits of crit by hovering your mouse over an item like you do with ASI because the benefits are not immediate.
The crit stat has been underexplored and undiscovered by players who have not done he numbercrunching (99.99% of the player base). This stat has not matured yet, and this sort of thing takes time. Until then, players will flock to the ASI stat.

This is NOT a problem. This is the natural learning progression of a stat-based game such as D3. Players have discovered the splendors of ASI. They will soon also discover the splendors of Crit. A knee-jerk reaction of a 50% nerf is not only statistically unsound, but it will also very negative effect on the community. When a player has fully committed to the ASI route and spent tens millions of gold to get there, their efforts in obtaining this amount of gold will feel wasted. Their desire to continue playing will also plummet. The shock that this nerf will have on the community and the economy will be huge. To make this big of a change, you'd better know exactly what you're doing. I'm not sure that Blizzard does.

-I still think that ASI should be nerfed on rings. It should be capped at 8-9% to align it with the Crit Chance and Crit Damage limits on rings.
-As for a nerf to other pieces, 50% is way too much. I'm unsure if it should be nerfed there at all.
-Resource generation could be increased on critical hits, proportionate to the critical damage. This seems a little radical but just thinking outside of the box. This was the case in WoW too.

Anyway... The rest of the post in its original context. Discussion has been very good in this thread as well as on Reddit.com.

-Bokchoy


I'm gonna post the TL;DR first. If you wish to read my rationale, continue reading...

TL;DR
-Crit and ASI directly competes with each other in the same item slots.
-ASI is being nerfed because it is perceived to be better than Crit Chance and Crit Damage.
-If you have enough Crit Chance/Damage, it is actually BETTER than ASI. Getting to these numbers is actually quite attainable.
-Therefore, ASI should not be nerfed or the nerf should be significantly lessened.
-In my opinion, ASI should only be nerfed on rings, and even then, the nerf should be less.



Understanding Damage calculations.

Damage
=
Average Weapon Damage
x
Weapon Attack Speed
x
1 + (Str or Dex or Int / 100)
x
1 + (CritChance% * CritBonus%)
x
1 + AttackSpeed%
x
1 + DamageMultiplier (from your skills/runes/passives)


With respect to this conversation, we are only concerned with Crit vs Attack Speed. The formula can be simplified to:

Damage
=
1 + (CritChance% * CritBonus%)
x
1 + AttackSpeed%
x
All Other stuff


The stats have a multiplicative relationship. Understanding this is important for later.


Maximum Bonuses

Why are we only comparing Attack Speed to Crit Chance/Damage? What about Strength/Intellect/Dexterity?

The reason is because Crit/ASI can only be found on certain slots, and these slots seem to heavily coincide with each other. Meanwhile, your main damage stat (Str/Dex/Int) can be found on every item slot. You're gonna get tons of it naturally, and Crit/ASI is much more scarce. They're also a lot more powerful. To gear your character properly, you should be taking advantage of the ASI/Crit availability on the respective item slots where these items are available. Anyway...

These are the maximum bonuses from items that can grant Crit or ASI stats for the item slots that carry them:
*Certain Legendaries of other item slots can also carry these stats:

Gloves:
Attack Speed: 17
Crit Chance: 10
Crit Damage: 50

Helm:
Crit Chance: 6

Bracers:
Crit Chance: 6

Ring:
Attack Speed: 17
Crit Chance: 4.5
Crit Damage: 34

Amulet:
Attack Speed: 17
Crit Chance: 8.5
Crit Damage: 65

Weapon
Attack Speed: 25%*
Crit Damage: 100%**

* One thing that is important to know is that Increased Attack Speed on weapons is automatically factored into the weapon's DPS rating. It also functions independently of the "Attack Speed Increased" stat found on Armor. Therefore, a 1000 DPS weapon that says "Attack Speed Increased by 25" will grant the same damage as a 1000 DPS weapon that doesn't have the Attack Speed Increased modifier. For this reason, we must ignore the Attack Speed increase on weapons.

** Crit Damage maximum is 100%. However, a weapon with a Crit Damage modifier can also have a socket for up to 100% additional Crit Damage.

Based on the above, comparing the availability of each stat, I would estimate it to be roughly:

1% Crit Chance = 2% Attack Speed = 7% Crit Damage

These values represent each stat's relative "item value", which more-or-less represents the perceived value from the perspective of the game's designers and the game's calculations. Tuning these stats properly would entail making sure that these percentages are in line with their actual benefits in the game.

Are these amounts correct? This is the million dollar question. Given the nerfs, Blizzard now feels that it should be nerfed down to :

1% Crit Chance = 1% Attack Speed = 7% Crit Damage

This is the notion that I am questioning/challenging in this post.


Comparing the Relative Value of Each Stat

Using the formula from earlier on:
Damage
=
1 + (CritChance% * CritBonus%)
x
1 + AttackSpeed%
x
All Other stuff


Like mentioned earlier, damage stats have a multiplicative relationship. As one stat increases, all other stats become more valuable. For example, when you increase your attack speed by 10%, you are attacking 10% faster and the benefit of making your guy hit harder is increases with it (by 10%) and the benefit of making your weapon sharper also increases with it (by 10%).

To compare Crit and ASI, you need to compare what percentage increase each grants to the rest of your total damage. Again, here are the item's relative "item values", pre-nerf:

1% Crit Chance = 2% Attack Speed = 7% Crit Damage

Let's test these numbers out on a naked character...
His Crit Chance is 5%, Crit Damage is +50%, and Attack Speed bonus is 0%

-Adding 5% Crit Chance gives a 2.4% overall damage boost
-Adding 10% Attack Speed gives a 10% overall damage boost.
-Adding 35% Crit Damage gives a 1.7% overall damage boost.

From here, it looks like Attack Speed is about FOUR times as powerful as Crit Chance, and SIX times more powerful than Crit Damage. Attack Speed looks very, very overpowered and obviously needs a nerf, right?

HOWEVER...

The nature of Crit Chance and Crit Damage is that they have a multiplicative relationship with each other. As you raise Crit Chance, Crit Damage becomes more valuable and as you raise Crit Damage, Crit Chance becomes more valuable. The product of these two values is then subsequently multiplied with all other stats. As a result, the benefit of Crit Stats have Exponential Growth. Meanwhile, the benefit of Attack Speed is Linear.

Eventually, if you stack enough Crit Chance and Crit Damage, they will eventually surpass Attack Speed. At what amounts will this actually happen? Let's find out.

Back to item values again:
1% Crit Chance = 2% Attack Speed = 7% Crit Damage

On our naked character, 10% Attack Speed gives 10% more damage.
How much Crit Damage do we need for 5% Crit Chance to surpass a 10% Attack Speed.
Answer: 223% Crit Damage
How much Crit Chance do we need for 35% +Crit Damage to surpass 10% Attack Speed.
Answer: 34% Crit Chance

So:
-If you have at least 223% Crit Damage, 1% Crit Chance > 2% ASI
-If you have at least 34% Crit Chance, 7% Crit Damage > 2% ASI


Keep in mind that this is based on ASI at its optimal benefit: When you currently don't have any ASI. The value of ASI diminishes as you gain more of it.
(eg. To increase your DPS by 10%, and you currently have zero ASI, you need 10% ASI.
To increase your DPS by 10%, and you currently have 30% ASI, you need an additional 13% ASI.)

It is not unreasonable for a player to reach these numbers. Many players are already doing it. I had 38% Crit Chance, and 285% Crit Damage in my 2H spec, and that was WITH 29% Attack Speed boost. Further sacrificing Attack Speed for Crit Chance and Crit Damage would have increased my DPS even more.

Damage wise, Crit is BETTER than ASI, granted that you have achieved the above thresholds.
ASI has an added benefit of scaling with Monk's Spirit generation and things like Life on Hit. However, don't forget that Crit has non-damage benefits too!

I loved having to choose between better damage (Crit Chance + Crit Damage) versus better survivability (Attack Speed + Life on Hit). This is fun. Post-nerf, this decision no longer exists because Crit stats become twice as good as ASI. We are deprived of this fun.

Blizzard, reconsider the nerf. Take a look at your own math and you'll come to the same conclusion that I did. If the leaked ASI nerfs are true, and ASI numbers are getting chopped in half, these Crit thresholds to surpass ASI will also be chopped in half. Crit will become the undisputed champion of DPS stat, and in trying to solve a problem that does not exist, you will actually create the very same problem that you were trying to solve in the first place. Not to mention you will frustrate every player who spent a fortune on ASI equipment. You will needlessly shock an economy that is slowly trying to stabilize, decreasing the value of ASI and increasing the value of Crit.

My proposed change:
The only change that should have been made is to Rings. 17% ASI on each Ring was ridiculous when you could only get 4.5% Crit Chance and 34% Crit Damage. Every properly geared character had ASI on both ring for this very reason. The problem with ASI lies with Rings and only Rings. Otherwise, ASI is fine. Do not make any changes to Amulets and Gloves. They are fine!

Edit:
RE: Weapons
As for Weapons, that's a totally different topic. IAS on Weapons and ASI on Armor are different and independent of each other. I'm not sure how IAS on Weapons got caught in the mix here. I guess everything that has the words "Attack Speed" got nerfed because Blizzard was too lazy to actually stop and realize this small detail.
Edited by Bokchoy#1328 on 6/18/2012 11:20 PM PDT
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I apologize in advance if this is is poorly articulated and hard to follow. I wrote it while watching Basketball.
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BTW: For those interested in number crunching and theory crafting, please check out my Barb Stats guide:

http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/5760137664
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How much Crit Chance do we need for 35% Crit Chance to surpass 10% Attack Speed.
Answer: 33% Crit Chance


Typo?


Fixed and thank you.
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Considering the amount of stupid decisions already made by blizzard I doubt they will consider this.

Even though your point is completely valid -_-
Edited by Mallis#1771 on 6/17/2012 7:57 PM PDT
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You know, I am glad someone actually did the math, I have an extension on my schoolwork due to hardware upgrading on campus and I was thinking about doing the same thing. Well done my friend, I thoroughly agree with you, although I may be biased as I am a Monk main. I have already been looking into gearing for Crit Dmg and Crit chance because of these "leaked" nerf values. Yet, I am reluctant to do so because I have not seen it posted anywhere completely credible the hard numbers. Again, I agree and commend you for your efforts, thanks again.

~Z
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Most people are too stupid to comprehend you post, but it absolutely makes sense. Which is why I've already been stacking crit dmg % and crit % in favor of IAS.
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I made a similar post when the change was first announced ( http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/5596256778 ), but I didn't calculate the exact intercepts like the OP did.

Needless to say, I fully support what you're trying to get across.
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Please don't nerf iAS it is going to hurt most classes and destroy WD who are n0t using VQ builds. That class needs all the help it can get I don't want to roll a different char or have to farm more to switch to Crit %/dmg
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06/17/2012 08:01 PMPosted by Ridicurous
Most people are too stupid to comprehend you post, but it absolutely makes sense. Which is why I've already been stacking crit dmg % and crit % in favor of IAS.


I agree. I'm just surprised that Blizzard doesn't understand their own math...
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Honestly I think they are nerfing IAS becuase they made so many offpiece legendaries with IAS on it. Which is better than a rare with more intel or w/e. Andarials/inna's/ lucina. ect

So maybe if they had more variety, those IAS offpieces wouldn't be so sought after.
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06/17/2012 08:03 PMPosted by muffinman542
Please don't nerf iAS it is going to hurt most classes and destroy WD who are n0t using VQ builds. That class needs all the help it can get I don't want to roll a different char or have to farm more to switch to Crit %/dmg


This thread isn't about muffinman542's DPS. Nobody gives a !@#$ about your character.

It's about making the correct mathematical decisions to properly tune Diablo 3.
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Honestly I think they are nerfing IAS becuase they made so many offpiece legendaries with IAS on it. Which is better than a rare with more intel or w/e. Andarials/inna's/ lucina. ect

So maybe if they had more variety, those IAS offpieces wouldn't be so sought after.


Miscellaneous pieces with IAS actually reduce the value of IAS.

The more IAS you have, the less effective the next point will be.

Crit has the opposite effect, as long as you're somewhat leveling out the amounts of Crit Chance and Crit Damage.
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06/17/2012 08:10 PMPosted by James
Great post. Hopefully more people can read this instead of useless whine posts.


I'm afraid people won't read or discuss it, and complain threads will push this thread to Page 2763.

If this is important to you or if you have any input on this topic, please post and let's get a good conversation going. Post count garners blue attention (I think).
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06/17/2012 07:35 PMPosted by Bokchoy
** Crit Damage maximum is 99%. However, a weapon with a Crit Damage modifier can also have a socket for up to 100% additional Crit Damage


Not true, my Wizard is using a 1-Hand mace with 100% Critical Damage affix, no slot. I can provide screenshot for proof.
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06/17/2012 08:20 PMPosted by FateZero
** Crit Damage maximum is 99%. However, a weapon with a Crit Damage modifier can also have a socket for up to 100% additional Crit Damage


Not true, my Wizard is using a 1-Hand mace with 100% Critical Damage affix, no slot. I can provide screenshot for proof.


I believe you. Edited accordingly and thanks.

I used the AH to find those numbers out. There are no 100% Crit Damage weapons on the AH. Your weapon is truly one in a million =).
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06/17/2012 08:20 PMPosted by FateZero
** Crit Damage maximum is 99%. However, a weapon with a Crit Damage modifier can also have a socket for up to 100% additional Crit Damage


Not true, my Wizard is using a 1-Hand mace with 100% Critical Damage affix, no slot. I can provide screenshot for proof.


Another person just sidestepping the point of this thread. Good for you and your 1H Mace, that still isn't the point. Feel free to prove the op wrong about something so minuscule as that you have a weapon with 1% more Crit Damage. I suggest you go play patty cake in the corner with your dunce cap and gtfo out this thread since you have nothing useful to contribute.
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