Brocktree
Member
Posts
278 
Joined

Last visited
Content Type
Gallery
Downloads
Store
Events
Profiles
Forums
Blogs
Everything posted by Brocktree

Ponderings on damage reduction (A6)
Brocktree replied to Brocktree's topic in Second Avernum Trilogy
Originally Posted By: Hume Resistance does not worth the skill points. It does not work for physical damage. I'm not sure that I agree with your rationale here. Physical damage is by far the *easiest* to build up resistance to. What you really need a boost in is energy and fire resistance, which completely ruin your day in later battles. Quote: So is reposte, which only works for melee attacks. Yeah, riposte doesn't seem that good. Quote: My choice would be, 10 hardiness, 10 luck, 8 parry, 106 points and will reduce damage by about half. (10 luck because it also provide the important mental resistance and other benefits like bow accuracy) Sounds good to me. 
Ponderings on damage reduction (A6)
Brocktree replied to Brocktree's topic in Second Avernum Trilogy
Originally Posted By: House of S I'm probably misunderstanding something, but why do the % reduction numbers go up every other item? In other words, 1 Hardiness gives 2% per sp, but 2 Hardiness gives 2.04% per sp. Why is that? Because each successive point of hardiness/luck/resistance/parry/riposte blocks a greater proportion of damage than the previous point. Eg. 1st point of Hardiness reduces damage from 100 to 98. % of damage blocked = [(10098)/100]*100% = 2% 2nd point of hardiness reduces damages from 98 to 96. % of damage blocked = [(9896)/98]*98 = 2.04% 
Thanks to the input of Thuryl, I have calculated the % damage reduction (at the margin) per skill point invested for each level of hardiness, luck, resistance, parry (melee), parry (missile), and riposte (melee). Note that I considered the 10point cap that exists for luck and riposte. I did *not* consider the prerequisites required to unlock resistance, parry and riposte. http://www.box.com/s/iagh83685texbt0iae1q Note that I have highlighted in red the cutoff point where further investment in luck/hardiness/parry/riposte is less skill point efficient than an investment in resistance. A couple of quick thoughts:  Getting luck to 10, and hardiness to 12, before pumping resistance, is skill point efficient.  With an optimal distribution of 150 points between resistance, hardiness, and luck (ignoring prereqs), you gain 60% elemental resistance.  Parry is a bit trickier, as it does not reduce the damage of individual strikes, but reduces the average damage over a number of hits. As such, it lacks the predictability that luck/hardiness/resistance do. Parry is always more cost efficient than Resistance at reducing average damage over time for melee attacks, but not necessarily for missile attacks. On the other hand, it blocks both physical and elemental damage. At *least* six points in parry is a good investment.  It probably isn't worth unlocking riposte, as even when you do, you will almost always have something better to invest skill points in.

Dual wield vs. sword and quicksilver bulwark
Brocktree replied to Brocktree's topic in Second Avernum Trilogy
Originally Posted By: HOUSE of S Which is what, exactly? And don't tell me about the Bulwark, because we're obviously caring about the armor and shoes here. You'll be missing out on the protective bonuses of the emerald chestguard/crystalline plate/runed plate/radiant plate. The shoes aren't that big of a deal. However, there is only one set of quicksilver sandals. 
A6  Anatomy, Lethal Blow, and Quick Action
Brocktree replied to Mea Tulpa's topic in Second Avernum Trilogy
Originally Posted By: HOUSE of S I hate to argue with someone who is agreeing with me, buuuut... Haha, that's OK. The very reason I post my results on a public forum is so that they can be scrutinised by the experts. Quote: 1) 60 and 80 sound like endgame bonus totals. Which is fine except that you've already done all your increases at that point. This table is far more useful for lower and medium levels, at which point the percent increse you get from strength and base weapon skills is much higher. What values would you find more appropriate? Quote: Also I note that you appear to have calculated percents very differently from how I did. I calculated the % difference from the PREVIOUS point: thus, 1 QA has a slightly higher % value than 2 QA despite having the same skill point cost and increasing it by about 4%. Sorry, but I'm not following you. Could you provide a sample calculation (eg. for 1 and 2 points in quick strike)? Furthermore, what is the advantage of presenting your data that way, vs. the way I have? 
A6  Anatomy, Lethal Blow, and Quick Action
Brocktree replied to Mea Tulpa's topic in Second Avernum Trilogy
I have constructed my own table of % damage increase per skill point invested in quick action, quick strike (base AP 8 and 9), melee, pole, blademaster, anatomy, and lethal blow. http://www.box.com/s/67dod6ejzsarosehkv46 I made several assumptions:  In calculating % damage increase for melee, I assumed a base of *60*. This incorporated the base for the weapon, and other bonuses a PC would normally possess (blessing, base strength and melee, cloak of blades). I assumed a base of 80 for pole.  For blademaster, I also considered its effects on fatigue, particularly how regularly it allowed you to use Mighty Blow. 20 blademaster allows you to use mighty blow every 2 round, resulting in a +20% damage output (excluding the die damage bonus you also obtain from BM). Therefore I added +1% to damage for each point of Blademaster, *on top of* the % damage increase due to the multiplier. My findings pretty much match Slarty's to a tee. 
Dual wield vs. sword and quicksilver bulwark
Brocktree replied to Brocktree's topic in Second Avernum Trilogy
Originally Posted By: HOUSE of S This ignores the fact that consistency in battle is incredibly useful. If you know how many strikes you'll get, you are more likely to be able to plan to use all of them. Wasted strikes definitely detract from average damage. With a base AP of 9, and 10 quick strike, you'll be hitting twice a round 83% of the time. That's consistent enough, IMHO. Remember that each mercuric item deprives you of what could have been equipped in its place. 
Dual wield vs. sword and quicksilver bulwark
Brocktree replied to Brocktree's topic in Second Avernum Trilogy
The results of my further calculations are pretty interesting. It seems that the effect of having a second AP boosting item is quick minimal, amounting to a +9% average damage increase (assuming 10 QS). The big damage increase occurs when your base AP shifts from 8 to 9. Given how cheap quick strike is, it's probably not worth having two AP items on a character. Even casters would be better off just having a single mercuric item, and 10 in QS. 
Dual wield vs. sword and quicksilver bulwark
Brocktree replied to Brocktree's topic in Second Avernum Trilogy
Originally Posted By: HOUSE of S I believe Haste gives you a 1 in 3 chance of getting the reduced AP use, unless my memory is really off. DOH! I'll fix that. 
Dual wield vs. sword and quicksilver bulwark
Brocktree replied to Brocktree's topic in Second Avernum Trilogy
Some calculations: Hasted dual wielder with 10 in Quick strike. Assume haste provides a 33% chance to allow one to attack for 5 points instead of 9. Base AP = 8. 0.25 probability (Pr) to gain 0 AP from QS * 0.33 Pr for haste = 0.0825 Pr of gaining two attacks 0.5 Pr to gain 1 AP * 0.33 P for haste = 0.165 Pr of gaining two attacks 0.25 Pr to gain 2 AP = 0.25 Pr of gaining two attacks Overall Pr of getting to attack twice per round: 0.0825 + 0.165 + 0.25 = 0.4975  vs. Hasted single broadsword wielder with quicksilver bulwark + 10 in Quick strike. Assume haste provides a 33% chance to allow one to attack for 5 points instead of 9. Base AP = 9 0.25 probability (Pr) to gain 0 AP from QS * 0.33 Pr for haste = 0.0825 Pr of gaining two attacks 0.5 Pr to gain 1 AP = 0.5 Pr of gaining two attacks 0.25 Pr to gain 2 AP = 0.25 Pr Pr of obtaining two hasted attacks = 0.33*0.33 = 0.1089 Pr of not obtaining two hasted attacks = 1  0.0625 = 0.8911 Therefore Pr of three attacks in a round = 0.1089 * 0.25 = 0.027225 Pr of two attacks in a round = 0.8911 * 0.25 = 0.222775 Overall Pr of two attacks per round = 0.0825 + 0.5 + 0.222775 = 0.805275  Application: Dual wielder wielding two Broadswords, each giving an average damage of 50. Assume 30% damage reduction due to DW penalty 50 * 0.7 * 2 = 70 damage per attack Damage per round = 70 + (0.4975 * 70) = 105 damage vs. Hasted single broadsword wielder with quicksilver bulwark. Assume broadsword gives 50 damage per strike Damage per round = 50 + (50*0.805275) + (50*0.027225) = 92 damage per round  OK, the maths clearly demonstrates that DW is superior to even the awesome quicksilver bulwark. Edit: As a side note, 10 QS will provide you with a 13% damage increase, assuming you have a base AP of 8. And increasing your base AP from 8 to 9 (with base 10 QS) provides a 23% damage increase. Is a reduction in armour rating from the mercuric chain/leather worth it? Tough call. Another edit: Increasing base AP from 9 to 10 provides a 9% damage increase. 
A quick little experiment I performed  PC wielding blessed broadsword and frozen blade, equipped with mercuric chain. Hasted and blessed. Used adrenaline rush whenever possible. Attached elite warrior for 20 rounds Avg damage = 137 Same PC wielding blessed broadsword and quicksilver bulwark, equipped with mercuric chain. Hasted and blessed. Used adrenaline rush whenever possible. Attached elite warrior for 20 rounds Avg damage = 182 The dual wielder's damage output was approximately 75% of the sword and shield combo. This is far from conclusive. But perhaps dual wielding isn't as overwhelmingly good as first though.

A6  Anatomy, Lethal Blow, and Quick Action
Brocktree replied to Mea Tulpa's topic in Second Avernum Trilogy
Just thought I'd jump in and point out that my own data has verified Slarty's results for lethal blow (+4% chance to LB for every point up to 10, then +2% for every point after that). However, unlike quick action, there is no cutoff point. This means that 40 points invested in LB results in a lethal hit every time. Of course you won't be getting that many in a normal game. 
Originally Posted By: HOUSE of S I actually disagree with this. If gaming experience directly and objectively contradicts thoughtful calculations, then obviously gaming experience wins. However, I frequently have the experience of interpreting gaming experience in one (incorrect) way until I look into it more thoughtfully and realize what is actually going on. So I would say that "what actually happens" is the final arbiter, but that thoughtful calculations trump subjective experience. I believe the complete opposite. Dissecting the game mechanics and running simulations is good for attempting to explain ingame phenomena, and such activities provide some predictive value. However, the only way to truly know if your predictions hold true is to 'test drive' them in the game, because there are so many variables that you just can't incorporate into such calculations. Some of these variables are just too complex/numerous, or worse, are unknown. Honestly, I don't think you can have a completely informed opinion on how to best play a game, if you haven't played that game through to completion. Quote: A great example is the loyalist class resistances in G5. Nobody noticed them for a year (was it longer?) despite all the playthroughs people did with varying classes, and based on these gaming experiences, people (including myself) continued to state over and over that the rebel classes were mostly equal and in one case better. Ahh, but did anyone play through the entire game with a Shaper class? I did not, because the general consensus at the time was that they were inferior to Rebel classes. I also suspect (but don't know for sure) that those who played those characters didn't even bother taking them out of Whitespires. If I had wanted to test those characters, I would have used cheats to increase the PC's level, and compared the resultant HP, spell energy and essence with the Rebel PC. As the resistances don't show up on the character sheet, I probably would never have noticed them except after a few hours of gameplay. Quote: Or consider Luck and item drops. For a long time it was assumed that Luck affected item drops in all SW games, because it did in some of the older games. A number of us played through A4 and believed based on our gaming experience with A4, that Luck did indeed affect item drops. It doesn't, though; we were allowing our beliefs to bias our interpretation of what happened. But we all do that all the time. A person can play through the game on two different luck settings and record the number of times each item is dropped. This would provide the best indicator as to whether luck affected item drops. Again, real game experience trumps supposition any day. While what we do is partly an intellectual exercise, I'm doing it with the ultimate purpose of improving my gaming experience. I *hate* playing 2/3's of the way through a long game like Avernum 6, only to realise that I've wasted a large number of skill points.

Moderatehigh resistance and acid/energy status effects
Brocktree replied to Brocktree's topic in Second Avernum Trilogy
That's interesting. I remember making an observation a while back that hardiness reduces the likelihood of being cursed/weakened/slowed. It must work in a similar fashion. I guess it's also a point in favour of boosting your resistance stats, as they act in two independent ways to reduce damage from elemental status effects. 
I've noticed that having moderatehigh acid resistance grants some sort of immunity to having the 'acid' status effect bestowed on the PC. The same principle applies for energy resistance and lightning status effects. Just thought I'd throw this out there to see if people have noticed something similar. I think that it's quite a significant observation, since lightning is one of the nastiest status effects in the game.

You should probably buy out all the speed potions/elixirs, curing potions/elixirs, invulnerability potions/elixirs, powerful wands, spineshield and regeneration scrolls. Buying herbs for potions is a good idea too. Paying for training is all well and good, but a few extra levels of parry won't save you when fighting Melanchion.

Originally Posted By: Hume Let me put it this way. People on this site does not need scenarios to be convinced which built is better. All these skills percentage based, it means it does not matter what damage the attacking opponent does, what you armor is, etc. Introducing them only makes the simple questions complex. This is where I don't agree. I acknowledge that you can't draw any hard conclusions from my three scenarios. Obviously each encounter in the game is different, and the three thought experiments I put forward aren't representative of the whole game. However, simply shooting off the damage reduction %, health point increase etc. is useless, since parry, hardiness/luck and endurance all increase your survivability in different ways. You can't make any meaningful comparisons by simply comparing damage reduction vs chance to parry vs HP increase per skill points invested. Quote: The best shopping guide people need is how much additional (damage reduction or life increase) divide the skill points cost for every new levels of the skill. Which doesn't tell you anything. For example, let's say 50 skill points grants you +50 to hit points if invested in endurance, +15% armour if invested in hardiness/luck, or 15% chance to parry. OK, what now? On face value, you can't tell me which is more valuable, without at the very least plugging those values into numerous scenarios, or play testing. Quote: HOUSE of S did an excenllent job http://www.spiderwebforums.com/forum/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=189322#Post189322 , the table in the middle of the thread The table is excellent, I agree, and I did something similar for damage reduction/skill point for hardiness, luck and resistance. But it doesn't work in this case, because we aren't comparing one independent variable (eg. damage output, or damage reduction). I'm happy to give those values, because I needed them before I can number crunch for each scenario. However, it's important to remember that the proof in the pudding is in the eating. We've had a number of theoretical discussions and thought experiments on this forum before. One involved most reaching a general concession that archery was superior to melee in Avernum 5. The other involved the belief that warriors had not place in Avernum 5. Both of these had some sort of mathematical basis, and both are not true to gaming experience. Essentially, gaming experience is king. All calculations, and even thought experiments, merely remain (educated) speculation, until you test out a build in the game. Since I can't be bothered creating 6 different characters with 6 different builds and running them through Avernum 6 (I'm not even 2/3's of the way through my current game), the best I can do is some contrived simulations in Excel.

So you would simply like the damage reduction, chance to parry/riposte, and HP increase afforded by each of the 6 builds? Originally Posted By: Lilith Originally Posted By: Brocktree Or a scenario which would never happen in a real game, but demonstrates the point quite nicely. Let's say you have an armour rating of 98%, and you pump hardiness to 25 points to gain an additional armour rating of 50%. This will tip your overall armour class to 99%, which essentially translates to an extra 1 point of damage defended for every 100 damage points. Investing so many skill points into hardiness, to gain what amounts to a measley 1 point damage reduction for every 100hp strike, is a huge waste. You're looking at it from the wrong perspective. Reducing the damage you take per hit from 200 to 100 and reducing it from 2 to 1 both double the number of hits you can survive, which is the thing that matters most of the time. I sort of understand what you are getting at, in theory. So why doesn't this work out in practice?

Originally Posted By: HOUSE of S I really think that your comparisons do not work here. It would be FAR more useful to list three numbers (damage reduction %, damage avoidance %, HP multiplier). As it is I can't tell very much from looking at your tables. I'm sorry, I'm not exactly sure what you are asking for. What I have done is simulate a number of different character 'builds' in Excel, and assess their performance is three difference scenarios. I then calculated the damage taken each round, the average damage over 10 rounds, and whether they would survive each round.

Done some more number crunching! I've added three additional options for skill point distribution Option 4: Equally distribute points between parry/riposte and hardiness/luck. Parry 9, Riposte 5, Hardiness 12, Luck 8. Option 5: Equally distribute 150 points between endurance, hardiness/luck, parry/riposte Endurance from 4 to 10 = 211 hit points Hardiness 10, Luck 6, 7 Parry, 3 Riposte Option 6: Equally distribute 150 point between parry/riposte and endurance Parry 9, Riposte 5 Endurance to 13, hp to 261 And *drumroll*, a table comparing damage per round, average damage over 10 rounds, and survivability, between all 6 skill point configurations for all three scenarios. http://www.box.com/s/bzqmyhcjg156tzqrdlnx Hume was right, sort of. On the surface, configurations 5 and 6 have equal 'survivability' across all three scenarios. However, as you are less likely to be hit 5 or more times on configuration 6 (due to the higher riposte/parry), it has the highest survivability. This is offset by the bonus to mental and stun resistance that configuration 5 affords, as well as the slight damage reduction to AoE attacks.

Originally Posted By: "Hume" Instead, if you assume already invested 50 points on all three categories, and have an additional 20 points to spend, don't you think your finding will be more benefitcial? My own thought experiment is pretty flawed. I admit that finding the optimal distribution between hardiness/luck, parry/riposte and endurance would be best. But I'm not that masochistic. I may actually spread 150 points equally between all skills, and maybe at a 50%/25%/25% split to see how that impacts on damage reduction. Is that essentially what you are suggesting? First I'll need to correct my erroneous calcuations for parry/riposte, though. Quote: You still do not get the point. Okay, if your armor is 0, you are fighting someone does 20 damage. Hardiness/luck reduce that to 16, by 20 percent. Now your armor reached 80%, you are fighting someone does 400 damage. It will be 80 damage without hardiness/luck, 64 damage with them. The point is, the percentage of damage reduction remains the same. You don't think your foes does less and less damage as the game progress because you get better armor? I understand what you are saying. However, I'm observing that contending that 20% armour results in 20% damage reduction can be a little misleading. If one has an armour rating of 50%, and invests in hardiness to get another armour value of 25%, that hardiness will not block 25% of the *overall* enemy damage. What is does is block 25% of the damage *that has not been blocked by your other armour*. In otherwords, instead of hardiness 25% blocking 25 points from a 100 hit damage strike, it will only block 13 points. Had you had a 0% armour rating before investing in hardiness, you would have blocked 25 points. Or a scenario which would never happen in a real game, but demonstrates the point quite nicely. Let's say you have an armour rating of 98%, and you pump hardiness to 25 points to gain an additional armour rating of 50%. This will tip your overall armour class to 99%, which essentially translates to an extra 1 point of damage defended for every 100 damage points. Investing so many skill points into hardiness, to gain what amounts to a measley 1 point damage reduction for every 100hp strike, is a huge waste. Now, if you had an armour rating of 0% initially, then it would be much better. Essentially, the more effective your armour rating, the less value a further investment in armour has. Quote: Suppose a boss does 100 damage, your priest heals 50 damage. Block an additional 50 points means you can fight till he die (or your priest out of mana), 200hp only means you can last 4 more rounds. I've never had a problem with my priest being able to heal in excess of 200hp. *Edit* Parry does grant 2% to block per point against lightning spray. I just tested it. I've corrected the calculations for parry in my original post.

I *hate* playing two games at once, particularly ones with involved stories. I also hate leaving a game for a while due to time constraints, and coming back to it months later. It just ruins the entire experience, which is why I restarted my Avernum 6 playthrough.

I thought riposte activated on missile attacks, because I have received successful *parries* from PCs with points in riposte only, with the associated message '0% chance to parry'. I assumed that this was because they were using their riposte skill to parry ranged attacks, but now I see that I'm wrong. Strangely enough, a character with 1 in riposte (and no parry skill) can riposte melee attacks at 3%, or *parry* melee attacks at 0%. Weird. Does anyone know why this is? Originally Posted By: "Hume" Trust me, you assumping is outrageous. It is insame to invest 150 points into endurance or hardiness/luck. This is a thought experiment. I'm trying to gain some sort of idea as to what distribution of skill points would provide the player with a 'survivable' PC. Quote: Now suppose it is 30 points to invest, hardiness/luck combinition gives 23% all damamge reduction plus 12% mental/stun resistance, while parry gives 21% melee, 14% ranged, and 0% against areaeffect spells. Not if your armour is already 70%. Quote: . Second, if your hardiness/luck gives you 20% damage reduction, they always do so, although better armor makes the number difference less significant, the EFFECT always remains the same, unless you reach the cap. As better armour makes the number difference less significant, I would say that the effect is *not* the same. Spending 150 skill points to block an additional 50 points of damage is a waste, when you can use those skill points to purchase 200hp of health.

I can't respond in depth atm, but I thought riposte also blocked missile attacks?

A thought experiment on how to maximise your survival in Avernum 6 and Avernum 5 follows: Assume you are a level 20 character with 4 endurance (99hp), an armour rating of 60%, and elemental resistances of 30% on Torment. Torment imposes a 30% penalty on all resistances and armour, and all resistances/armour are capped at 90% (penalty inclusive). I give you 150 skill points to invest in order to increase character survivability. How would these skill points best be invested? Option 1: Increase endurance Sinking 150 skill points into endurance raises your PC's hit points from 99 to 330. Option 2: A mixture of hardiness, luck and resistance The optimal investment for elemental resistance is resistance 14, hardiness 11 (note: the skill points required to unlock resistance's have not been counted towards the 150 skill point limit for the sake of simplicity). This your resistance to elements to 68%, and your armour to 69%. An optimal mix of luck and hardiness (H = 20, L = 10) increases resistance to elements to 66%, which is slightly lower than the optimal hardiness/resistance combination. However, it is the better combination for damage reduction overall, as armour increases to 82%. Luck increases mental and stun resistance to 44%. Option 3: Parry and riposte The optimal combination is 13 parry, and 10 riposte Chance to parry/riposte in melee 57%. Chance to not parry/riposte is 43% 26% chance to parry ranged attacks. Chance to not parry is 74%. 26% chance to parry nonarea of effect spells (Windows version). Chance to not parry is 74%. 0% chance to parry area of effect. Let's look at each of these three build options in game relevant scenarios: Scenario 1: Warped wolf hits for 80 physical damage twice each round. Over 10 rounds, does 1600 damage As armour+penalty = 30%. Damage each round = 112 Over 10 rounds = 1120 If take option 1: Guaranteed survival, can heal If take option 2: Armour + penalty = 52% Damage each round = 77 Over 10 rounds = 770 Guaranteed survival If take option 3: Damage each round = 112, 56 or 0 Over 10 rounds = 482 If hit twice a round (20% probability), die. Largest *average* damage reduction. Scenario 2: 3 Warped wolves hit for 80 physical damage twice each round. Over 10 rounds, do 1600 damage *each* As armour+penalty 30%. Damage each round = 336 Over 10 rounds = 3360 If take option 1: Die If take option 2: Armour + penalty = 52% Damage each round = 231 Over 10 rounds = 2310 Die If take option 3: Damage each round = 0, 56, 112, 168, 224, 280, 336 Over 10 rounds = 1446 If hit twice (probability = high?), die. Largest reduction in average damage. Scenario 3: Mage hits for 120 energy damage twice each round. Over 10 rounds, does 2400 damage As armour+penalty 0%. Damage each round = 240 Over 10 rounds = 2400 If take option 1: Guaranteed survival, can heal If take option 2: Armour + penalty = 36% Damage each round = 154 Over 10 rounds = 1540 Death Largest reduction in average damage If take option 3: Damage each round = 112, 56 or 0 Over 10 rounds = 1776 If hit twice a round (55% probability), die. However, *average* damage reduced.  OK, OK, I know. A number of assumptions I have made are pretty rough. However, I think we can come to a couple of conclusions: 1. In most cases, Parry is much, *much* better at reducing average damage suffered over time than the optimal investment in luck and hardiness. Even for targeted magic based attacks (for which Parry/Riposte only provides a 1% chance to block per point), the benefit provided by hardiness+luck isn't that much higher than Parry. Given that targeted magic attacks are not commonly used, Parry comes out a clear winner. Ergo: Parry is far better at reducing average damage over time than an optimal luck+hardiness combination. 2. When it comes to surviving each individual round of combat, an investment in Endurance is much, *much* better at guaranteeing your survival than an investment in luck+hardiness. Endurance also guarantees your survival against one to several strong enemies. As long as your hit point reservoir exceeds the damage dealt by your enemies per round, then your character is virtually invulnerable, as a priest can restore their health to maximum. Note that parry *does not* necessarily guarantee you survive each round, it simply increases your likelihood of doing so. A guarantee to survive a round is infinitely more valuable than a *possibility* to survive a round + high average damage reduction over time. However, there comes a point where even very high hit points won't save you from a mob of enemies. When a mob of enemies damage output exceeds your hit points, then suddenly parry becomes very attractive. A high likelihood to survive a round is better than guaranteed death any day. But then again, why are you getting mobbed? Most swarms can be thinned out with daze/terror/charm. Ergo: Endurance will guarantee your survival against one to several powerful enemies. However, against mobs of enemies that cannot be broken up, and whom deal damage that exceeds your hit point capacity, parry greatly increases your chances of survival. Hardiness+luck is worthless. 3. Hardiness/luck/resistance comes out the clear loser in increasing survivability over each individual round, and decreasing damage load over time.  Game mechanics, and why hardiness/luck/resistance suck. In a previous thread, I made this observation about hardiness, luck and resistance: "As you can see, we have a paradox of sorts. As you continue investing in hardiness, you get diminishing returns on it. This should be a driving force for you to unlock resistance, so that you can gain damage resistance at a lower skill point cost. However, due to the multiplicate nature of Avernum 5's armour system, you also get diminishing returns on *resistance* and *luck* as you increase hardiness (and vice versa). This is directly related to the observation that many players have made, regarding the fact that it is better to have one thick layer of armour, rather than several layers of moderate strength armour, due to the multiplicative mathematics." The multiplicative nature of Avernum's armour system is what kills damage reduction skills. Give that you are likely to have at least 70% in armour midgame, and will hit 85%+ with wards, even a very large investment in these skills will make very little difference. In essence, the effect of these skills is detracted from as your character becomes stronger (ie. gains more armour). To further sour the deal, there is a penalty to all armour and resistance values, and a cap. Now compare this to endurance. Each point's value *increases in value* as your character levels up. As your character becomes more powerful, so does your investment in endurance gain more value. Parry's bonus is static. It applies a flat bonus for each point, which is not effected by any other character variables. In conclusion, invest in endurance and parry. Don't waste your time with damage reduction skills.