I think I haven't made myself clear enough back then.
That's why I'd like to give you a short example of how to balance DoTs.
Let's take a 250% attack skill (like Bash // Double Strike, etc.) that can be used every 1.5 seconds (due to the animation time).
A character who uses this skill 20 times, would deal 5000% damage in total (20x 250%) and it would take 30sec to do so.
if that character spends 5 skill points to max another powerful attack (like Aura Strike), he can deal 450% damage on every 4th attack (240% + 3x 70%).
Over the same duration of 30sec, he would then be able to use the normal attack 15 and powerful one 5 times. All in all, a 6000% damage total (15x 250% + 5x 450%)
That means, those 5 skillpoints increased his DPS ratio by 20% (6000 / 5000).
In order to balance the DoTs, the DPS increase should be similar to that. A character who had spent 5 points on a DoT (like Furnunculus) instead, shouldn't deal more than 6000% either.
(Btw. casting a DoT also takes 1.5sec as well).
If the DoT skill lasts for 30sec, casting it once would be enough. Therefore, that character would still be able to use the normal attack 19 times (19x 250%).
These 19x skill uses would already generate a 4750% damage total, so the DoT would have to deal 1250% damage in total (all the ticks combined) to achieve the 6000% mark..
Assuming 2sec per tick and 15 ticks over 30sec....
Tha's no more than 83.3% per tick.
Beside plenty of minor issues (differences in ATK; weapon damage;range, hit ratio, crit. chance, etc.), there are three major issues:
- DoTs do ignore the defense rate (armor)
- A single DoT deals 1250% damage per use, more than any normal attack.
- Focussing on multiple DoTs
If the character attackis a target with 75% defense rate, 3/4th of the normal attack damage would be absorbed. In case of a 250% base rate, only 62.5% will get through.
The DoT however would still be the same, suddenly being more powerful than any normal attack.
There are three solutions to that:
- DoTs should be affected by defense as well
- there should be a similar powerful protection against DoTs (MDEF, etc.)
- the defense rate against normal attacks should be significantly lower.
I already stated, why I would suggest the last option above all others, but I wouldn't ignore the other options completely.
damage per use:
Such a high difference per skill use (250% vs. 1250%) only exists, if the DoT lasts 30sec.
So let's repeat the same calculation, assuming a 6sec duration for the DoT instead:
3x normal attacks plus 1x powerful one => 3x 250% + 1x 450%
3x normal attacks plus 1x 6-sec-DoT => 3x 250% + 1x 450% => i.e. 150% per tick and 3 ticks in total
Now, it's 250% vs. 450%, a by far more balanced ratio.
combining several DoTs
The calculation above assumes that the character would have to max. the normal attack. But that doesn't have to be the case. He might focus purely on two or three different DoTs.
Assuming the same 'rules' apply for all the DoTs, he could achieve 2x 83.3% damage = 166.7% or even 3x 83.3% = 250% every 2sec.
Sure, 250% every 2sec still isn't the same as 250~300% every 1.5sec, but the main issue is effort needed to achieve that, not the damage.
Whereas focussing on a normal attack skill forces the player to use it repeatingly and continuously, it would take only two or three skill uses every 30sec should the player favor the DoTs instead.
And in many situations, this means the player would focus on another target and another one.... and another one... and another one...
The cause: DoTs simply don't have the same limitations as other attack skills. They neither have a cooldown nor do they require or consume some sort of stacks ('Aura', 'rage', 'combo ponts', etc.).
That makes them pretty dangerous, even if all the other aspects would have been taken care of and fixed.
Of course, the most efficient countermeassure is to limit the number of DoTs a class has access to. But this limits the design options as well. Another method is to avoid pure DoTs.and rather add a much lower DoT effect onto a normal attack skill (similar to Head Crush), but there should be more. So of course, reducing the duration helps qute a lot as well, making the DoTs more powerful but also far more time-consuming (especially, if you try to keep them up on multiple targets).
And these ideas are those, focussed purely on the caster. But you could also change the way, characters can defend themself against DoTs. They could get a skill that shortens the duration or even ends it. Or they could have a convenient way to regenerate a lower amount of HP every other second. If it wouldn't take more effort than casting a DoT, it would have reduced the 'stacking issue' quite well already.
Beside the apparent issues, there shouldn't be any DoT that lasts for more than 10~12 seconds. And if a class has access to more than one, some of the DoTs should be part of a normal attack skill (to lower the additional DoT damage) and/or should have additional drawbacks (casting time, cooldown, fix area, etc.)
But of course, focussing solely on DoTs can and should stay a viable & unique class characteristic.
Edited by Greven79, 20 January 2016 - 12:18 PM.