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Level gaps and damage scaling

by DrBonifarz
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Original Post

Level gaps and damage scaling

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★★★★★ Guide

We have seen various topics where players keep complaining about underpowered weapons. At the same time, there is quite a bit of feedback about the GM3 difficulty getting too easy with all those shiny new level 80 items.

 

Now, how does that go together, and what do I mean with that cryptic title about level gaps?

 

Actually, this is a pretty old observation - I think it was even the very first thing I posted on these forums almost a year ago (on the old PTS boards, so that topic is gone). I admit this is a bit abstract and mathematical, but I will try my best to make this easy to follow.

 

When you look at items of the same type and rarity tier, the  base damage scales exponentially with the level: Every ten levels, it doubles.

 

However, when you move to Masterwok and Legendary items, there are certain jumps in their power level, compared to the Base Level corresponding to the item's damage stats. In my item levels and inscriptions guide, I describe this with the following table.

 

Rarity

Tier

Power

Level

Base

Level

Base

Scaling

AGS

Scaling

Common303025.00%3.13%
Uncommon343228.72%4.12%
Rare363432.99%4.74%
Epic383637.89%5.44%
Masterwork614050.00%26.79%
Masterwork+664570.71%37.89%
Legendary754570.71%70.71%
Legendary+8050100.00%100.00%

 

The common explanation for these gaps between the Power Level and Base Level are the special perks of the item and the better pool of random inscriptions.

 

While Base Scaling just shows the item's damage compared to a level 80 item, things get a bit more complicated with the last column. Some damage scales exponentially with your average gear score (AGS):

 

  • Ultimate damage
  • Combos
  • Effect (fire, electric, acid) and aura damage tics

In other words, these attacks scale with the average Power Level, while all gear and weapon damage scales with the Base Level. And the gap between these levels is the reason why  combos, ultimates and effects become very powerful in end game. Feel free to discuss, but I get the impression that most builds are centered around these damage sources, with few exceptions.

 

But why are there those level gaps, like a whopping 30 levels on a Legendary piece? If you assume the perks at masterwork and above are meant to make the items twice as useful (!), that translates into a gap of ten levels. That still leaves 20 more levels, so the inscriptions are weighted with a factor of 4. Sure, you can get +300% Dmg on a Legendary Item. But this is quite a lot for an overall adjustment, and why should the power of ultis and combos grow at such an amazing rate?

 

Well, let's see what happens when we reduce the gaps drastically, while keeping the base damage the same. The following table shows the AGS scaling compared to the what we currently see on level 80 gear.

 

Rarity
Tier
Power
Level
Base
Level
Base
Scaling
AGS
Scaling
Common303025.00%3.13%
Uncommon343228.72%4.12%
Rare363432.99%4.74%
Epic383637.89%5.44%
Masterwork504050.00%12.50%
Masterwork+554570.71%17.68%
Legendary604570.71%25.00%
Legendary+6550100.00%35.36%

 

Too abstract? Let's make some examples.

 

Ralner's Blaze is one of the most popular weapons these days, thanks to its priming fire proc. So most players have a good idea of the damage output you get when firing an entire magazine of 30 rounds. So let's take this to represent weapon damage.

 

Venom Storm is one of the most overpowered pieces of gear ever. It is not only strong for its easy to blast combos, but also the base damage is pretty high. It takes a moment to launch a full burst of 8 charges, but I think this one is good to compare. Again, this is base damage without inscriptions.

 

Since we went with the big guy, let's pick the Colossus ultimate for comparison. Boom! At AGS 1, the base damage is roughly the same as 30 shots with Ralner's.

 

Combos - of course. The ranger gets 2.5 times more damage on these, but we look at the base value of the other three classes. Note that this is about the same as 10 ticks of fire damage.

 

Rarity
Tier
Power
Level
Base
Level

30*

Ralner`s

8*Venom

Storm

Colossus

Ulti

Combo
Common111'0202'400920200
Epic383611'54027'15311'9562'599
Masterwork614015'22735'82858'88012'800
Masterwork+664521'53450'66983'26918'102
Legendary754521'53450'669155'38533'779
Legendary+805030'45471'657219'74847'771

 

AGS_current.png

 

Now, let us look at the very same tables and charts with the reduced level gaps.

 

Rarity
Tier
Power
Level
Base
Level

30*

Ralner`s

8*Venom

Storm

New

Ulti

New

Combo

Common111'0202'400920200
Epic383611'54027'15311'9562'599
Masterwork504015'22735'82827'4685'971
Masterwork+554521'53450'66938'8468'445
Legendary604521'53450'66954'93711'943
Legendary+655030'45471'65777'69316'890

 

AGS_new.png

 

The yellow and green curves are exactly the same as before, but the picture looks very different, because the Ultimate does not grow to such insane numbers.

 

As previously noted, these figures are for base damage only. Depending on the inscriptions, perks and sigils for your build, the damage will get boosted by a large percentage. And of course, that potential boost is not the same for our example curves. Maybe you end up with six times more weapon damage, maybe you get five times more BOOM on your ultimate, and maybe your combos will be four times more powerful. And on top, there's multipliers for critical hits and lowered resistances. But that's not the point here. What I wanted to show is how damage scales as you move from one rarity tier to another.

 

I don't say the power levels should be adjusted as in above examples. I just wanted to point out that there is a very significant aspect of combat balancing hidden in those level gaps. Feel free to discuss!

Message 1 of 3 (374 Views)

Re: Level gaps and damage scaling

★★★ Pro

Wow.

 

Who are you, oh wise man of science?

 

Good work, which is an understatement for sure, and thank-you.

 

For me, indeed, I seldom use my weapons in GM3.  Currently, I have a Poppa Pump with inscriptions which benefit my current build.  Generally I use it only a la Hicks from his last stand.  When I had a decent Ralners, I was the same as everyone else - I used it as a primer so the combos could boost my ultimate charge.

 

This makes for interesting thinking, for sure.  Good work.

Message 2 of 3 (354 Views)

Re: Level gaps and damage scaling

★★★★★ Guide

Thanks, @Jonny_Castilloux

 

I'm glad you found this interesting and hope it will be for others as well.

 

Kudos goes to people who have done extensive testing, such as @RubyJavelin for his recent damage guide and the original work by @aznricepuff for his combat manual.

Message 3 of 3 (263 Views)
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