Haste and Crit (and a bit of Evasion as well)


I’m not sure how everyone else feels about this, but, in my experience, Haste, Critical, and Evasion ratings were pretty much worthless on gear. I’ve gotten every single achievement in game and completed every single challenge the game presents (including getting over 20k marks in the Endless Arena; I actually had to work to die when I decided to end at 20k but I could have gone on indefinitely; I killed the Pirate Captain in a single attack as well with no trouble at all, too) so I’m reasonably confident that I’ve achieved sufficient system mastery to make statements concerning optimization.

Gear already has a level restriction, so you can never get more Haste or Crit than you “should” have but you also suffer from diminishing returns due to Haste and Crit being determined by your level as well as level providing you with access to perks and mastery benefits that provide way more than your gear ever could. Because Haste and Crit are flat value increases to percentage values, this means that each additional flat percentage increase that you get is less valuable than it used to be (going from 1->2% crit is a significantly different increase than going from 25->26%; one is a 100% increase in crit rate while the other is a 4% increase in crit rate). This is made even worse by the fact that Haste and Crit chance buffs (which are plentiful in the endgame) are extremely large, such that any Haste or Crit that you gear for is buried underneath all of the other contributors: why would you ever bother using a piece of gear to get 1% Haste (at the cost of roughly 5-10% more attack power) when you’re getting 26% from perks and can get another 30% from a single ability?

Evasion is somewhat problematic because, as a percentage decrease in your chance to get hit, rather than having diminishing returns, you end up with exponentially increasing returns (with 90% evasion, an additional 5% evasion halves your incoming damage and and additional 10% would make you completely impossible to hit). Of course, you can’t really get enough evasion from gear or abilities to really push into the realm of insanity where an extra 5-10% makes you utterly unkillable (Red Monika can manage something like 80% with a shrine, Fade Strike, Lightning Reflexes, and perks all stacked up). Of course, the problem there is that only Red Monika can really get her evasion high enough for Evasion gear to be significantly useful because she’s the only one that can actually stack enough from flat bonuses to get to that point where the paltry improvements from gear are noticeable.

The solution for this is somewhat problematic. My preferred solution is the more complicated by far; the “simple” solution is to just crank the living shit out of those ratings on gear to make them competitive (moreso at the end game rather than the mid- or early-game) but it’s both less effective as a whole and less balanced.

The designer in me would like to see the math completely redone so that crit and haste buffs are treated as multipliers of pre-percentage values (which is what is effectively done to HP with damage reduction or amplification and damage with attack power buffs) rather than whole number changes to the percentages. The simplest way to do this would be to have a critical rating and a haste rating for characters that is tracked in much the same way as attack power (with a “base” value provided by the character and level); gear would then be added to the base value and buffs would multiply the entire value rather than being added to the percentage. Haste Results are then calculated against each other on a purely numerical basis (rather than the weird percentage basis that exists, such that, because of diminishing returns, with the same gear, a high level character is somehow slower than a low level character with that same gear) and crit chances are based upon the target’s level (rather than the owners, so you have a lower crit chance against a higher level target). It’s less transparent since you can’t really give nice clean percentage values to everything, but it prevents the weirdness of somehow becoming slower and/or having a lower crit chance against the same target just because you leveled up and makes stacking gear for those stats more useful (since stacking gear makes crit buffs more potent as well).

The values for the simple solution shouldn’t be too difficult to arrive at (since there are players that have already done the math): since gear has a level and a level requirement, scale up the values for the gear such that you get ~5% crit, haste, or evasion at level 30 rather than a mere 1% (2.5% at level 1 would be fine by me too, since a 1% increase is too little to notice, imo). At low levels, it doesn’t really matter too much (though I’d still like to see a significant increase just so you can actually see the difference) since the XP curve means that you plow through the first few levels at an almost ridiculous pace, but it would make a significant difference in the viability of the stats at higher levels (and in NG+).