Skill Point Allocation in the Weapon Master Era

Discussion in 'Oracle’s Database (Guides)' started by Remander, May 1, 2014.

  1. Remander Steadfast Player

    Updated for GU 47!

    Well, I started putting this little analysis together when I found myself stumbling through the respec process last night, restarting multiple times as I changed my mind about which direction to take. It felt a lot like when I first leveled a toon. Should I take crits? Should I go just for stat boosts? Perhaps a mix? Just a couple days ago, all I had to do was go down the center of each tree, then take the crits and bonuses for my particular role. I had enough SP that I really didn’t need to give it much thought. Fact is that it no longer matters if you have 80 SP or 180, you’ll have choices to make now that Weapon Mastery is here. The Dev team has created a very robust SP sink, so no one will be maxing out anytime soon. You’ll see what I mean.

    This guide is intended to provide you with a summary of the bonuses in the weapon trees after the addition of WM to DCUO. We may differ in our SP, gear level, roles, and play styles, but I think we all want to try and optimize our SP spec to give us the best setup possible. I’m not going to tell you how to do that. Rather, I hope you can use this information to make setting up your optimal spec easier. I will give some examples of how choices you make will impact your stats, just to get you thinking.

    The introduction on WM has greatly expanded the weapon trees, providing access to very potent stat bonuses, even if you choose not to utilize WM itself. Leading up to WM, GU 36 brought other changes to the weapon tree bonuses to make them more uniform. Some of these were boosted with GU 47. There are 4 areas within the weapon trees where you can find these innate bonuses.

    The "tree trunk" consists of the 4 central weapon combos and variably includes modest stat bonuses: +24 health, +5 resto, +8 vit, +10 prec, +15 might, and +4 dom.

    The first tier innates variably include more significant stat bonuses, as well as crit chance and magnitude increases, each of which requires a 3 SP investment unlock fully: +72 health, +30 vit, +27 dom, +45 power, +120 defense/toughness, +3% crit heal chance, +12% crit heal mag, +1% crit power heal, +3% crit attack chance, +12% crit attack damage.

    The second tier innates variably include slightly lower stat bonuses, each of which requires a more substantial 6 SP investment to unlock fully: +84 health, +60 resto, +24 vit, +42 prec, +54 might, +18 dom, +48 power.

    The new third tier innates that accompany WM are much greater than any of their predecessors, but they require a considerable SP investment to unlock. Note that you do not have to use WM in order to unlock these stat bonuses. You only need to invest 21 SP in the tree of interest, and the third tier innates will become available. Once available, they each require a 3 SP investment to unlock fully and include: +75 might/prec, +150 health/+21 dom, +90 resto, and +75 power/+24 vit.

    The table below is from an Excel spreadsheet that I put together to organize all this information. Where appropriate, the lowest available values for a particular bonus are highlighted in red, whereas the highest are highlighted in green. Some bonuses are simply either present or absent. The total available of each bonus is in the far right column.


    What stands out is that there are weapon trees that lend themselves better to certain roles and setups than others. For instance, if you’re a healer, you’ll get the highest resto out of 1-H, Brawling, HB, Shield, and 2-H. DP, DW, and MA grant the lowest. Does that mean you shouldn’t use one of the latter weapons, if you’re a healer? Of course not! You may, however, want to consider specing the higher yield trees outside of your preferred weapon(s), in order to get the most resto you can out of your SP pool. Keep in mind that no one will be able to max these stats for a long time, if ever (would take over 260 SP!). Also consider the crit bonuses. Brawling and 2-H, in addition to having high resto, also each contain 3% crit heal chance. You may prefer those over the others, since they have 12% crit heal mag.

    Now, there are two very different ways to approach SP allocation: max stats and max crits. Well, how does the max stats route actually compare to the max crits route? I ran a test on the sparring target in my base (Note: This was before the changes in GU 47). Using 1-H Focused Blast to Solar Flame, I recorded the damage from 20 consecutive hits using each method. At the time, my gear was a mix of might and prec IL 90 with an 85 utility belt (ugh), one Ring of OP, and an IL 91 1-H. All was prec modded for affinities. Weapon had a Blast Adapter, and Penetrating Strikes chest mod was in. I had 134 SP to allocate.

    Max Stats: 3655 might, 2192 prec, +9% crit chance and +36% crit mag from the trees
    Focused Blast avg: 752
    Solar Flame avg: 1860
    Total avg: 2612

    Max Crits: 3495 might, 2036 prec, +15% crit chance and +72% crit mag from the trees
    Focused Blast avg: 1041
    Solar Flame avg: 2122
    Total avg: 3163

    So, max crits wins out with an average damage 21% higher than the max stats approach. Keep in mind, this is for DPS spec. Of course, the same may hold for healing and controlling, though, as both can benefit from crit %. For tanking, since there isn't a useful crit %, it actually may be better to go max stats.

    That's it. Have fun with the new weapon innates, and I hope this helps you spec!

    Tip: Once you reach the minimum SP to master a weapon (43 = 21 for each of 2 trees + 1 for the combo), you are much better off doing that than spreading those SP through 5-6 trees to get more crits. The WM combo damage is simply too strong to pass up!

    Tip: If you have an odd number of SP, you can consider going into some of the trees with lower total stat bonuses (e.g., Rifle for 93 prec) and use the remaining few SP to unlock some of the "tree trunk" bonuses (e.g., one SP in DP for 5 prec) to compensate.

    Tip: Since WM is so power efficient, you can probably save the 3 SP you may have previously put into the recovery innates in your movement tree to use for the weapon tree innates.

    Tip: A discussion with MetalMario in another thread evolved into a formula for average damage per attack. The formula includes crit chance and crit mag and actually demonstrates that they each have an equal effect on average damage:

    average damage = (crit chance * crit mag * damage) + [(1 - crit chance) * damage]

    What that means is a certain percent of the time (crit chance), your attacks will do a certain percentage more damage (crit mag) than the base damage. The average damage is, therefore, a representation of your average per attack damage over a prolonged fight. Base crit chance is 5%, whereas base crit mag is 25%, so 5% of the time, your base damage will be 25% greater. Since you can get 4% crit mag vs. 1% crit chance per SP invested, you would think you should go with mag first. With GU 40, crit chance and mag boosts are both additive. If you look at the effect of each on average damage:

    Base average damage = (0.05 * 1.25 * damage) + [(1 - 0.05) * damage] = 1.0125 * damage

    Investing in 4% crit mag:
    [0.05 * (1.25 + 0.04) * damage] + [(1 - 0.05) * damage] = 1.0145 * damage

    Investing in 1% crit chance:
    [(0.05 + 0.01) * 1.25 * damage] + {[1 - (0.05 + 0.01)] * damage} = 1.015 * damage

    If we take 35 SP (there are only 5 trees for crit chance, but 6 for crit mag),

    Full investment in crit mag from weapon trees:
    [0.05 * (1.25 + 0.60) * damage] + [(1 - 0.05) * damage] = 1.0425 * damage

    Full investment in crit chance from weapon trees:
    [(0.05 + 0.15) * 1.25 * damage]+ {[1 - (0.05 + 0.15)] * damage} = 1.05 * damage

    If you take only 28 SP and invest equally in chance and mag:
    [(0.05 + 0.06) * (1.25 + 0.24) * damage] + [(1 - 0.05 + 0.06) * damage] = 1.0539 * damage

    So, you're better off going with crit chance first, but a balanced allocation ultimately gives you the best result. Thanks to jamesbopp43 for bringing that to my attention.

    Tip: Regarding third tier innates, it's not necessarily optimal to go for them, when you have the SP to invest. If you plan to get a particular WM combo, go for it, but if you are just mining the innates, consider the following.

    Healer: 17 SP to unlock third tier resto (in trees that have second tier) nets you +150 resto. Using those same 17 SP to just grab second tier resto gives you +170.

    DPS: 17 SP to unlock third tier prec/might nets you +117 prec/+75 might (in trees that have second tier precision) or +75 prec/+129 might (in trees that have second tier might). Using the same 17 SP in second tier only would give you only +119 precision or +153 might. If your powerset is might-based, from the tray, you would be better off with second tier might. If you're precision-based, you only get a couple extra points, so the additional might may be a better option. Balanced powersets are better off going for the third tier.

    Controller: If you want to maximize vit, you'll definitely want to go with second tier. the 17 SP to get third tier will net you +48 vit (in the trees with second tier vit), while those same 17 points will get you 68 vit from the second tier.

    Tank: 17 SP to unlock the third tier health (in trees that have second tier health) will get you +234 health. You'll also get some dom along the way. You only get +4 more health by going straight second tier. Third tier approach is your best bet.
    • Like x 40
  2. Karbonala New Player

    You sir, are a bloody genius. Thank you for your hard work with the spreadsheet.
    • Like x 1
  3. Kristyana New Player

    LOL Looks like we both had the same idea.

    Mind if I link your guide post to mine? I haven't included numbers.
  4. Remander Steadfast Player

    Sure, man! I knew you were working on a more detailed overview. I just focused on how to optimize the bonuses, whether you use WM or not. Great work on the details!
  5. Black Canadian New Player

    Yea i was messing around for hours and I came up with the solution that for DPS to get your highest possible stats just straight go to weapon mastery for every tree till you dont have anymore skill points i have every weapon mastered until about the shield i think than there are no more. For control role i went and weapon mastered just the weapons that i am using and then i just put all other skill points into getting all vit from all tress then whatever left over skill points i had i weapon mastered other weapons
  6. krimzonk Committed Player

    This needs to be plastered on the forums, in the guides section as it is extremely useful. I did the same thing as you first Remander, then thought to myself....if I unlock more Tier 3 innates I'll get a bigger boost...which I did!
    • Like x 1
  7. Red MatrixNeo New Player

    Thanks Remander ! This is great tool.

    Are you planning on testing out some builds to see which could be more beneficial between the traditional (using all skill trees) vs maxing out as much skill trees as possible?

    I'm curious as to what are the pros and cons for each build.
  8. savageprime New Player

    Lol same here. Respecc into one mastery and see the boost like "wooowww" then your like "oh snap what of I do...." respecc...rinse and repeat about 5 more times.
  9. Remander Steadfast Player

    I may do that, but some of the differences are pretty compelling on paper. For instance, that extra 248 prec I got by going max stats in the above example cost me 3% crit chance and 60% crit mag, because I preferentially picked trees with crit chance (Bow, HB, Rifle, and Staff). Rifle and Staff only have 93 prec, but I was able to pick up a couple +5 prec bonuses from the very first combo of some of the trees I hadn't speced into. Sure, my crit mag took a hit, but that extra 248 prec makes even my non-crits much better.
    • Like x 1
  10. Joykiller Dedicated Player

    Excellent work! Thanks for doing this. Haven't had a chance to log in yet to play around with WM, but in your example above, are you spec'ing for DPS? Also, does anyone have that link to what the weapon trees look like now with WM? Thanks in advance!
  11. Remander Steadfast Player

    Yeah, it was for DPS. The most fun was my Celestial battle healer spec. I could just look at the stat boosts for resto and prec in the various trees to come up with the optimal combination. As far as screen captures of the trees, I'm not sure. DCUO Wiki has updated the descriptions, but no screen shots.
  12. Opamp Committed Player

    With those numbers (assuming you are correct) - you can convert the 3% crit chance and 60% crit mag into damage, and compare to the additional 248 prec.
  13. Remander Steadfast Player

    I believe the numbers area accurate, but feel free to check them yourself (it's quite tedious). Would have to actually run an alert or raid with the two setups, in order to compare. Too many variables to just work it out on paper.
  14. Sage-Rapha Steadfast Player

    Why you so good?!

    Seriously. Thanks. I can now correctly direct my leaguemates with this
  15. Max Volt Committed Player

    Good job.
    Since I play all 4 roles I ended up resepeccing numerous times... To imprint 10 armories took me a good amount of time, but yes some trees are better than other for certain roles, and also you might wanna keep in mind that sometime you'll get better stats by speccing into WM on several trees while ignoring others almost completely.
    I have 175SP at the moment so I have plenty of room to play around with,... But even with this many SP critical choices have to be made when speccing.

    One thing I'm really glad of... Finally SP are relevant !
  16. Remander Steadfast Player

    LOL, I've only gotten around to setting up Rem's 3 armories! I'll get around to Moe and Tanker this weekend. Should go much more smoothly now that I've worked the numbers out. Specing Rem was a nightmare initially! I agree that it's refreshing to have SP be relevant and have your spec choices mean something again.
  17. DarkThorn Dedicated Player

    Thanks Remander... now something else to consider. I had originally went the 2 WM then went after Crit %, but now I'll have to reconsider that approach considering how much the WM combos have already boosted my damage output; I am now imagining what a huge jump in precision could do for my Celestial toon!! :eek:
  18. Opamp Committed Player

    My apologies if you misunderstood what I meant:

    I'm saying - you don't need to test. You have the difference in numbers. How much extra damage does the precision grant? How much extra damage do the crits grant?

    As I mentioned in my other thread - I think if you have around 80 skill points you're better off not using WM. If you have enough skill points to use WM and hit the crits, then you should get WM.
  19. DarkThorn Dedicated Player

    The problem with crits is that they are not always guaranteed no matter if you have the highest % you can achieve, it still does not occur all the time, whereas having high precision can be counted on to always produce high damage with weapons constantly. Prior to WM, crits were king, but with the introduction of WM, we are generating much higher base damage using our weapons on a consistent basis.

    I would be curious though to see the actual numbers compared, but again because crits are a %, I would think it difficult to calculate as they are not consistent, and even when a crit hits, it doesn't always hit for the exact same amount each time.

    Obviously with super high SPs, you have the best of both.
    • Like x 1
  20. Derio 15000 Post Club

    Remander thank you for the guide. Mastered 5 weapons and got thier bonuses while keeping all of critical attack and magnitude for my dps with the bonus precision.

    Healing wise went up 350 precision and almost 400 resto and havent even purchased 1 piece of T6 yet.

    Thanks for the spreadsheet and I hope others find this thread soon because it really helps when you are deciding what to spec in first.
    • Like x 1