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An explanation of Reflect Damage (RD) effects in 1.0.7 and the rise of 300k dps CM wizards
TL;DR: freezing eventually stops RD
I held off writing this post until 1.0.7 was officially out and RD dmg could be confirmed. With that being said, RD has been nerfed (or fixed, depending on your view) in the latest patch. Talking with other wizards, there seems to be a disagreement on whether the nerf actually happened since some archons didn't notice a difference. The reason turned out to be simple, if not a bit shocking. RD now acts like a cast, meaning when a cm wizard freezes them, the RD effect eventually shuts off! This would explain why cm wizards have seen an initial hit, then noticed a moment later that their health never dips thereafter, but for archons, the RD effect remained relatively the same (besides the RD minion fix).
This is best shown with a video. The first shows how often the RD effect toggles on and off when not frozen. The second shows the same pack being frozen. Basically when you freeze, the original RD cast is still in effect (initial hit). It's the 2nd and consecutive cast that is being stopped, which was not the case in 1.0.6. You can fight SB (he has the old RD) and check this out for yourself.
1. no freeze: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M6tctkLR6pY
2. freeze: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UTWJCTDMq1Y
What does this all mean? For archons, the minion RD fix alone will be a godsend. If you didn't have problems before, it's even easier now. For CM wizards, we've found the holy grail. You still need mitigation for higher MP levels. But you can relax on LoH. I went from 1500-1200 to 750 LoH (anything above 700 will do nicely) and am still enjoying hardly any deaths in mp10. It gets even better. With lowered LoH, we can increase our dps. With more dps and the new xp bonuses for higher mp level farming, we can now farm mp10 at very competitive efficiencies; something once considered impossible in 1.0.6. This provided all the ingredients for an Uber CM wizard.
With that, let me give you a personal example. I've hit the 300k unbuffed dps milestone before, but not without sacrificing mitigation, freeze, life, or recovery. Today that has changed. The CM pentfecta (high dps, mitigation, freeze, life, recovery) was harder to assemble than I thought, but with the new features in patch 1.0.7, I think I have unlocked it.
dps: 320k (308k unbuffed, 433k buffed)
mitigation: 89.34% (4455/909)
-act2 warden: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EqhEnXMFCxw
My definition of good mitigation is 800 resist/5k armor or equivalent. That's around 89.1% mitigation. Good life is around 50k+ (not 40k). I still believe in good freeze strength. I can hold single running elites with my ias/cc/apoc stats (see warden video, the secret is high cc/apoc) with good ping. For me, my build revolves around farming (xp/loot) mp10. So once I felt that I met that mitigation, life, recovery, and freeze requirement, I can put the rest of my chips in dps. Do I need more mitigation, life, recovery, and freeze? Not really. In my solo alk runs, I die maybe once every week, maybe longer. And 1.07 has made it even easier.
At this point, it comes down to balancing. A litany ring would give me a lot more mitigation (the 6-7% elite dmg reduce also makes me really tanky), but again, with my low death rate, I rather get the 30k dps gain from my rare ring. I could go in the reverse direction and drop to 88% mitigation and gain a ton more dps, but I like the comfort of 89% since there's a big difference between 88 and 89% mitigation. I guess it's how you play the game, the game state itself, and your own personal preferences. Right now, Elite packs take around 18 seconds (some faster, some longer) to kill and that seems decent, but could be tweaked in the future.
Is 400k and 500k dps now possible? I personally like to maintain good freeze strength and mitigation. So high cc (nat set) is a must. If I relaxed that and got a zuni boot + ring set instead, dps will increase. If I found a Frostburn dagger, dps will increase as well, but remember that it will force you to use a SC helm and you lose the 7% elite dmg reduction, both are huge hits. So it's definitely possible to get into 400-500k+ dps territory with everything else. I'm actually farming with 433k (buffed) + SNS right now. Either way, I suspect we will see more and more of these high end cm wizards in the near future.
EDIT: title was cut off, included full one
Edited by kiza#1883 on 2/13/2013 8:39 PM PST
Never thought of this, it's pretty amazing!
I would really like some advice on your thoughts on this though:
Do you expect it to be nerfed?
Could you please check out my Wizard http://eu.battle.net/d3/en/profile/Niko-2983/hero/1442336
Do you think I could go Nat's set and survive with ~600 LoH? I could try going for Trifecta nats with LoH, but I think I'd lose overall damage because of 3% Elites on Unity, and it would probably break my budget.
Thanks Kiza. As I just told Aph in game, I'm at work and am 13 excruciating hours away from being able to play. ^^
But your analysis is certainly welcome while I theory-craft lol. I'm going to head back up in dps and was actually considering using only BT ammy for LOH which will allow me to equip the rare ring my enchantress is using currently. Will try that along with new bicycle shorts and see how that goes with RD.
Managed to sneak in half hour during lunch and did 2 Act 3 MP10 quick runs. Boosted dps to 267k, dropped 1 LOH source to be at 653 LOH, dropped about 400 armor and basically munched RDs for dessert. Have yet to come across the electric/RD etc bunches.
Tanked Az twice, had to teleport to a health pot during 2nd time but otherwise, standing in the pool was ok. Caveat: my aps is high so if you run below 3.01, more LOH than 600 is needed.
I did a couple more MP10 runs and bumped into a few more RDs, and 1 was a Molten Plagued Elec RD pacl. Survived, a question of teleporting positioning mostly. But plagued definitely hurts lol.
I think lower armor is definitely ok; lower LOH as well. However, I did find myself dead a couple of times due to molten explosions; i would usually stand in those to see how much hp hit I would take. I suspect that the lower armor did me in ^^
Jumping jellybeans is good...
Edited by Charlatan#1802 on 2/13/2013 8:12 AM PST
If I had to plot the damage taken (y) over time (x), then it's basically a flat line (full health) with spikes of hits. Compared to mp9, mp10 is just larger spikes. I don't take constant damage, say standing in poison or the wall/pool of fire; I move and reposition myself not just for protection, but to also be in a better attack position. High dps also means you don't have to stand in poison or molten for very long if you plan on tanking it. Because of these spike hits, a high health and good mitigation has served me well. I really enjoyed moving up from 40k to 50k health.
Have you tried swapping Evocation to Unstable Anomaly. Tell me if you still die.
I don't see any reason why this would allow you to lower either mitigation or LoH, mainly becuase what kills you is more often electric, or arcane frozen.
The only thing this does is untether your sheet dps from needing a certain amount of LoH to deal with reflect.
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