Berserker/Guardian CA Comparison

Discussion in 'Berserker' started by ARCHIVED-Dimglow, Nov 1, 2007.

  1. ARCHIVED-Dimglow Guest

    So recently a lot of people have been saying Guardians are approaching Berserker dps, and that they will overtake us or come close in RoK in DPS, and will retain us in maintaining a defensive superiority. This is a popular topic in many berserker communities lately, with the promises of betrayal pouring in. It's even spawned some rather lengthy discussions already in some forum communities.

    So I decided to do a little investigating into the CA differences of the two classes in terms of damage potential. I had always known that Guardians had better CAs than us (we had a better auto-attack table) but now that Berserkers and Guardians have the same auto-attack tables, maybe something needs to be done about the CA issue.

    I logged in my fully mastered level 70 Berserker, wiped my berserker tree of all points using a respec, and turned off every buff I had. Then I examined my CAs, and compared them to links of Guardian CAs of M1 quality. My STR was 432 for the entire trial. Let's go one by one and look at the pairs of CAs available to the two classes.

    The goal of this investigation is to compare the WARRIOR mirror lines, not to get into ancients/marquee or TRULY class specific spells (like buffs.) You'll find that many of these pairs are near copies. But you'll also find that in some cases one class has a significant and inexplicable advantage over the other.

    The berserker skill ALWAYS comes first. The Guardian skill is second.

    Name Level Min Max Average Recast DPS Power Effect
    Breach 57 177 532 354.5 10 35.45 46 None
    Overpower 57 266 444 355 10 35.5 46 None

    Our first pair is Breach and Overpower. Unsurprisingly these are almost exact carbon copies of each other, except that berserker has more variance.
    Winner: Guardian by a tiny margin due to variance
    Name Level Min Max Average Recast DPS Power Effect
    Weapon Aegis 58 246 410 328 30 10.93333 103 Reactive Damage, three charges
    Goading Assault 58 246 410 328 30 10.93333 103 AOE, also taunts for 918

    The next pair is a little more difficult to compare. They look and feel like carbon copies except the Berserker ability requires being hit, and can proc up to 3 times on a single target. The Guardian ability scales up better if AoE, but it also has a rather large taunt component attached to it as well, meaning it is effective single target.
    Winner: Can not be compared
    Name Level Min Max Average Recast DPS Power Effect
    Ruthless Strike 59 167 501 334 20 16.7 72 Focus Debuff of 42, Interrupts
    Buffet 59 300 501 400.5 20 20.025 72 Casting Skills Debuff of 28

    The casting skill debuffs. First thing we notice is that the Guardian skill does more DPS. The berserker skill interrupts instead. We also notice the Guardian skill actually drops enemy casting skill (improving spell resistability) but the Berserker debuff (focus) has no effect outside of PVP, as PVE targets can NOT (to my knowledge) be interrupted by non-interrupting/stifling/stunning style attacks.
    Winner: Guardian by a fair margin
    Name Level Min Max Average Recast DPS Power Effect
    Stampede 61 172 518 345 10 34.5 49 None
    Compression 61 285 475 380 10 38 55 Interrupts

    Kicking time. Also looks like we found the Guardian's lost interrupt. It comes on a faster recast skill. We also see that the Guardian skill does more DPS, but costs a bit more power. Berserker is also more variable.
    Winner: Guardian by a large margin
    Name Level Min Max Average Recast DPS Power Effect
    Bloodbath 63 287 802 544.5 30 18.15 115 AoE, also stuns for 1.5 seconds
    Besiege 63 535 891 713 30 23.76667 115 None

    Basic AoEs. In this case the Guardian does more damage by a rather large amount, but the berserker ability also stuns/knockdowns for 1.5 seconds. The berserker skill also has a huge variance in comparison. The berserker AoE stun useful, but dangerous in some situations as it results in all enemies waking up from stun to attack together at once. Not useful against epics or stun immune targets.
    Winner: Guardian by a fair margin
    Name Level Min Max Average Recast DPS Power Effect
    Violent Pledge 66 140 420 280 10 28 53 Taunts for 871
    Vindictive Strike 66 140 233 186.5 10 18.65 53 Taunts for 980-1198

    Taunting strikes. Berserker does more DPS, but generates less threat. In terms of threat generation this is a tie, but in terms of killing the win goes to berserker.
    Winner: Berserker by a small margin
    Name Level Min Max Average Recast DPS Power Effect
    Persistent Battering 67 397 663 530 20 26.5 81 Decreases combat skills -16.1
    Merciless Charge 67 656 914 785 20 39.25 81 Decreases combat skills -16.1, some damage is DOT

    An offensive debuff. Berserker upfronts the damage, Guardian DoTs but does higher overall damage. Everything else is copy paste. This is a difficult match to choose, but Guardian DPS output is almost 150% of berserker's on this, so it goes to Guardian.
    Winner: Guardian by a fair margin
    Name Level Min Max Average Recast DPS Power Effect
    Demolish 68 432 1297 864.5 60 14.40833 184 Stifles for 6 seconds
    Retaliation Strike 68 720 1201 960.5 60 16.00833 138 Dazes for 6 seconds

    This match is probably the single ugliest and most one-sided in the entire comparison. Demolish was once a powerful stun and fantastic move for Berserkers. Now it is a power-hungry ineffective stifle. Now we see that not only does it cost MORE power than the Guardian ability, but it does LESS DPS and has a less effective debuff (stifle vs daze) attached to it. Dazing a mob for 6 seconds can prevent 3-4 auto-attacks. Stifling it can block one spell. Mobs usually hit harder than they nuke for, even on plate. Those that nuke hard are usually stifle immune.
    Winner: Guardian by a longshot
    Name Level Min Max Average Recast DPS Power Effect
    Agonizing Press 69 243 730 486.5 20 24.325 84 2.5 second stun, shield requirement
    Staggering Blow 69 365 609 487 20 24.35 84 2.5 second stun, shield requirement

    Complete copy pastes except that the Berserker skill has higher variance.
    Winner: Guardian by a tiny margin
    Name Level Min Max Average Recast DPS Power Effect
    Disfigure 70 814 962 888 20 44.4 85 Haste debuff 13.6, DoT component
    Sever 70 851 925 888 20 44.4 85 DPS debuff 20.0, DoT component

    Near complete copy pastes except the Berserker one has more variance. The Guardian skill has significantly more offensive reduction as well, and DPS debuffs are superior to haste debuffs in almost -every- case because reducing haste does nothing to protect from spiking, and works poorly with reactive and defensive procs such as reactive taunts.
    Winner: Guardian by a large margin

    Now having compared those, there are a few other abilities out there that don't have direct comparison. Here they are:

    Stunning Howl 60 509 849 679 60 11.31667 147 Encounter AoE, 2.5s Stun
    Frenzied Blows 58 615 1847 1231 60 20.51667 107 Triple Attack, if any miss it stops
    Berserker Onslaught 70 592 1777 1184.5 70 19.741667 166 Frontal Cone AoE
    Flay 64 951 1585 1268 60 21.13333 117
    Precise Strike 68 576 960 768 30 25.6 83 Rarely misses

    Berserkers have an AoE stun (carries some danger) and a HIGHLY variable ability that requires a bit of luck to land fully for around 20 dps. Guardians on the flipside have an ability that rarely misses, and does more DPS than Frenzied Blows, as well as a very powerful heavy single target strike to counter Berserker's AoE in Stunning Howl.
    Winner: Can't be compared fairly as they are not directly comparable.

    Now some people may want comparisons of every ability side by side, in which case berserkers have a few more offensive abilities (Destruction, Open Wounds and Juggernaught) vs Guardians having Obliterate. But those abilities aren't directly comparable, just like the 4 above, so it would be pointless in the end.

    So let's talk about some of the trends we see here:
    1. Variance. Variance is something often equated to risk, especially in investments. Since CAs are an investment of power with an expected return on damage (same as any investment) we could go on to show that the expected value of every berserker copy/paste CA is actually worth less as a CA in and of itself. Before someone tries to counter this by saying that crits work off max, so high variance is good- this is true for auto-attack. CAs only get a flat 30% bonus, meaning the spread does nothing.
    2. Guardians do more DPS through CAs, pretty much period. In fact in this comparison they would average almost 10-15% better from their CAs. Why is this? Well, once upon a time Berserkers did more auto-attack damage (maybe 10-15% more? I can't be sure.) But then Guardians were put on par with berserkers, but this CA discrepancy wasn't fixed.

    Some people would argue that Berserkers have other offensive skills that really pump up their damage. Yes, we do. But we're the offensive warrior, even though you would think Guardians were by the above CA analysis. We pay for every offensive ability by losing an equivalent defensive ability that Guardians gain such as Tower of Stone, etc. However, there is a convergence of the two warriors going on right now. As Haste/DPS become easier and easier to get, berserker berserking has become worth less and less. And as more achievements are introduced, proxy skills that compare to Berserker specific DPS boosters (such as open wounds) become available to Guardians, allowing them to close the gap without surrendering much if any of their defensive identities through proxies.

    So there are three mechanical issues at fault for this convergence:
    1. Diminishing returns on Haste/DPS has decreased the effectiveness of Berserking for Berserkers, and has closed some of the auto-attack gap.
    2. Moving Guardians to Berserker auto-attack tables but not moving Berserkers to Guardian CA tables closed another large chunk of the auto-attack gap and highlighted the CA gap that was already in Guardian's favor.
    3. More achievements will allow berserker-like proxies to be achieved by Guardians, discounting berserker-specific class defining abilities, but Berserkers will not gain anything close to this.

    Suggested solutions:
    1. Add other effects to Berserker berserkering (critical chance, double attack chance) to bring it back onto par to what it once was (a huge 30% or more auto-attack DPS booster.)
    2. Improve Berserker CAs by increasing average damage and reducing variance. If Guardians can be brought up to Berserker auto-attack tables, then this should be a matter of course. If #1 is done then berserkers would regain their supremacy as the more powerful auto-attacker whereas guardians would still dominate with technique and finesse (in combat arts.) It is dangerous to boost berserker CAs as they does nothing but drag them closer to a scout role.
    3. Regarding achievements, I don't really think this is a huge problem, and I don't think an easy solution is necessarily available either. If 1 and 2 are taken care of then Berserkers will be better defined and lending Guardians a bit of Berserker flavor will not be a terrible loss. Possible improvements would be improving the WIS tree to offer Guardian proxies, such as combat skills, stoneskins, etc.
  2. ARCHIVED-Kiyalin Guest

    Excellent write-up. Thanks again Dimglow for creating such a well thought out case for us.
  3. ARCHIVED-LygerT Guest

    comparing our offense differences isn't really the main issue, we could easily just drag up parses for each class to use as examples. defenses are a little harder to beat into people's minds, as guardians tend to think we have what they have, when it isn't even close to true. for us we have to be much more careful about what armor types we choose to make up for our innefficiencies and use our abilties only when absolutely necessary to offset spike damage. truth is most guardians have no idea how it is playing a zerker and have no idea why we are upset over the changes. honestly i would just like to think there is a dev out there, somewhere reading these posts and actually keeping these thoughts in mind...
  4. ARCHIVED-seamus Guest

    Nice evaluation Kemt, personally I think all SOE needs to do is number 1. Adding crits and some double attack to our berserk would be perfect. (Wouldn't hurt if they redid the Zerker EOF tree, but I really like your suggestion for berserk.)
    This is not an us versus them post. Kemt is simply pointing out why so many raid Zerkers are starting to feel inadequate and looking toward switching to Guardian. The area in which the berserker class was strongest has been diminished too much. I've brought it up before, the differences between the two have been blurred so much, (slightly in favor of Guardians), that its hard to see the point of having both classes.
  5. ARCHIVED-Aull Guest

    Absolutely beautiful! This is the posting that should take place always. Well thought out and precise. If I was dev and read this post I would personally take the time to offer Kemt a position in the ranks at SOE as lead berseker developer! My hat's off you ya Kemt there is so much in this post and I feel you are on target with all you say here. No flaming and just offers an insight that others (including me) seldom realize.
    I feel that guards need everything that they have and should keep it. Berserkers could use what is explained here without a doubt. I have felt that the fighters to a degree have been getting closer and closer in abilities that there is no distinguishing factors anymore to classify what a guardian is or what a zerker should be. Like I said very well thought out and thanks for taking your time to do this. Your a leader bro!
  6. ARCHIVED-Zeuhl27 Guest

    Excellent post Kemt and I think you're on track with your suggestions too. Hopefully a dev will see this and maybe show us some love.
  7. ARCHIVED-Wiseman160 Guest

    What about buffs and berserk? I don't know much about guardians in this regard but it has been argued that we bring more to the table in DPS due to a combination of buffs and berserk.

    EDIT: Nevermind - you covered this.

    Overall this is discouraging. I sincerely hope this post gets some developer attention.
  8. ARCHIVED-Dimglow Guest

    It occured to me this morning that I made one small mistake with this spreadsheet.
    I have the STA ultimate which reduced my CA power costs (for both classes) by 10%.
    This has no effect on DPS, and I did not have a DPP column to examine efficiency (which is moot as most powers are equal, and dps differences are obvious.)
    To get the proper power costs you'd need to divide my above info by .9.
    It's a tiny mistake that doesn't really change anything.

    RE Lyger's points of defense. You're right. We don't have the tools in defense. But the problem here isn't a blurring of the lines in defense. The problem is a blurring of the lines in offense. This blurring has many aspects to it, from the additional double-attack available to Guardians to the imminent availability of Dragoon's Cyclone. If Berserkers were given defense to compensate then we'd just be pushing the classes closer and closer. The best thing to do is simply identify why the offensive abilities are converging, and take action to fix that. I don't know about you guys, but I signed up for Berserker expecting to be able to DPS the best or near best of any fighter and to tank well. I completely expected to tank worse than Guardian, so I'd much rather see our offense fixed than our defense bumped with some emergency use skills that won't get near the same use as normal CAs or auto-attack.

    The CA point is covered above.
    Auto-Attack has to do with diminishing returns, the availability of DPS/Haste, berserkers facing diminishing returns more heavily, and berserker accuracy being very poor thus burdening us with requiring a warden (or offensive stance) in many zones, especially raid tanking. There is also the discrepancy of Guardians having additional double attack in their EoF tree while Berserkers have what is generally agreed upon to be a weak EoF tree. I'm one of the few who is actually a large fan of Debilitations/Gut Roar, and even I have plenty of ideas on how to improve the tree.
  9. ARCHIVED-Bithnar Guest

    Reading all this makes me wonder if I should stop working on my newbie zerker and start leveling a guard or just betraying my zerker. Luckily he's only lvl 16 atm.
  10. ARCHIVED-Kage848 Guest

    Bithnar wrote:
    I have one word for you....Don't.

    Nah thats not fair you should play who you like. If you want a dps type tank who will get hit harder but hit harder back then play a Zerker...If you wanna be Uber bad *** tank and rarely get hurt but do a bit less dps then play a guard. Play who you think will be fun. I have a lvl 70 of both and i like them both for diff reasons.

    And Kemt. You my friend are the man. I have been feeling weak compared to a guard for a little bit now and i thought it was all in my head. I know from the past your not a flamer or a whiner and you know your stuff. I am glad you posted this and i hope it gets corrected some time soon.

    Thanks again.
  11. ARCHIVED-LygerT Guest

    i mentioned defense because that is where SoE is pushing us, to be equals.. or at least they are trying to, even if they are doing a lousy job at it.
  12. ARCHIVED-Wiseman160 Guest

    What will be the point of having two warrior classes if they're going to push for greater similarity in both defense and offense between the two. There should be greater difference instead. I have been complaining about my lack of berserker identity for some time now - and they are going in the wrong direction with these changes.

    If this keeps up they might as well merge the two classes and just call it Warrior.
  13. ARCHIVED-Jvaloth Guest


    I used to play a zerker and switched to guardian.

    You are comparing some of the smaller abilities and giving guardians and edge on them.

    But you aren't mentioning that the zerker offensive stance procs damage and the guardian offensive stances adds a whopping 145 str.

    You are able to beserk adding dmg, haste, etc which also includes your entire group.

    You fail to mention that you have 2 skills - Destruction and Open Wounds (3 if you include juggernaught) skills that when used in conjuction absolutely tear up an encounter/parse AND are up every 3 minutes. Guardians have nothing even close to this.

    Add in your group buffs and Zerkers have an expanded role and level of usefulness on any raid.

    So true, you can compare some skills and say guardians have an advantage but if you were a Guardian you could just as easily put together a simular list and say Zerkers have the edge on some skills.

    The reason our CA's may do slightly more damage (and as your said variable) is because we don't have all these other damage centric effects that zerkers have. (Offensive stance, weapon aegis, beserk, open wounds, destruction, etc etc etc)
  14. ARCHIVED-aias Guest

    Kemt did mention those things. Please re-read his post.
  15. ARCHIVED-Jvaloth Guest

    Ah yes, re-read and saw that.

    Those skills may not be compariable because guardian has nothing on them. I guess the same could be said about Reinforcement, Plant (not so much since it was nerfed) and a nice self hp/sta buff.

    I guess I just don't understand what the over all goal is here. Are beserkers feeling slighted or second class citizens or something? Zerkers have had it awesome for a long time. Zerkers can and have tanked every mob in this game, are capable of putting up some nice DPS, have beneficial group buffs etc etc.
  16. ARCHIVED-Kage848 Guest

    The only 2 skills that i can see Berserker having over a guard for dps is open wounds and destruction.

    Our Blue AoE's are ok but with long casting time there not as good as you may think.

    Now open wounds and destruction do alot for our parse on one fight, but thats only one fight every 2m35s ( assuming you did your AA's ). In an over all dps parse the guardians CA's for the fights in between our OW/Dest fights bring them a little too close to our overall dps. Thats all.

    Do Berserkers out-dps guard's all things being equal? Yes. But its too close. Its not enough to justify the taunting, agro and buffs they get....Sta/parry and S/C/P. I mean Kemt has a point that haste/dps mods are #1 very easy to get and #2 get killed in the curve. Our Berserk buff is kinda weak these days. 200 haste/dps is like = to 125% isent it?

    I do, like i said b4, have a lvl 70 of both. I know what they can do. IMHO i dont see why a guard should come close to our dps. Give them the def and the taunting to keep agro without dps.

    Edit: Funny but i was thinking about it...Kemt didnt even mention what there CA's are like with there AA tree....=0)

    Just something to think about.
  17. ARCHIVED-Rob626 Guest

    Kemt, fantastic post. Very informative. I do think that although we can compare some skills as apples to apples, guards and zerks differ on the specialized subclass skills enough so that each maintains their class identity quite well. I think this is how it should be. The difference between the two warriors should be more flavor than substance, in my opinion. Majo, 70 Guard of Venekor
  18. ARCHIVED-InsaneChaosMarine Guest

    Rob626 wrote:
    So, Guardians Should have better Damage, And Debuffs?
  19. ARCHIVED-ZhouyuTheGreat Guest

    I have been both a Guardian and a Zerker as MT for a raiding guild. Note, I'm part of a freeport only raiding guild.
    Yes there is alot of CA difference between the 2 classes, yes alot of people believe Zerkers come short in terms of AA lines and CAs and ect. However number crunching isn't the way to go, at all. If anyone says a guardian can reach a zerker's dps, show me a guardian that can parse 6k. Seriously ... I highly doubt even with RoK they will be able to do that. I used to be a Guardian due to populare belief that Guardians are superior tanks. If you look at it from the original game prespective which is lvl 1-50. Yes, guardians indeed make the best tanks, however anything passed lvl 50 the zerker starts to outshine the guardian in high end tanking. (atleast for a freeport only raid guild )
    As a guardian, I could never hold the kind of aggro I do as a zerker, especially in encounter fights. Currently the SKs in our raid are free to use Death March on pull, just because of the amount of aggro I can generate. If a guardian is tanking you can't even dream of getting that over ambitious. So in terms of overall aggro, zerker > guardian.
    Now guardians based on populare belief have more defensive abilities. Aside from tower of stones which has a 1 second casting time and 3min cool down, tell me how a guardian has superior defence. In fact a berserker has a temp avoidance buff of +33 that guardians dont, which makes a huge difference. It comes down to gear folks, my zerker is 90% in avoidance/parry mode gear, I can boost my avoidance up to 11.9k anytime i desire to with raid buffs. With that much defence, and ability to parse 4k+ on AE encounters, how does this make us fall behind guardians ? Who cares about the number crunching, on paper we might be weaker, but once in action and used correctly, imho we surpass guardians in every shape or form. I have been BOTH classes and have tested them first hand.
    Looking at RoK new abilities, guardians once again got the more off-tanking/support tank CA and zerker getting the straight up tanking ability imo. Won't be making much of a difference. I think berserker community is jumping to conclusion a little too early. sure if you add the numbers on paper we might fall short to a guardian, but i assure you, in action if played right we surpass them.
    What really is important is gear and skill of the player. A well geared and well played guardian player will 100% be a better tank than a well geared but horribly played zerker. But a well geared (and by well i dont mean just fable, but A CORRECTLY geared zerker) in my experiance surpasses guardians as raid MT in 99% of situations.
  20. ARCHIVED--Aonein- Guest

    Jvaloth wrote:
    The goal here is to point out that Zerkers are suppose to be a DPS orientated tank, or offensively based, these skills he using to compare what is happening are the identical brother skills that of a Guardian, there is no missing stuff out, leaving stuff behind or making a biased opinion here, its 100% correct.
    What he is displaying is that, yes Zerkers used to be on a higher DPS spectrum then Guardians, but that isn't the case anymore. Guardian's and Pallies are both doing the same DPS we can do and there skillsets allow them to tank even better, give us one good reason why you would roll a Zerker when you can do DPS like a Zerker and tank like a Guardian? If your MT for a raid, the Berserk group buffs help nothing because of the way your group is config'd unless you count the 800 - 1k or so DPS from your Dirge which is basically nothing at this point in time with casters/pure melee DPS classes doing 4-5k dps on raids. From a group point of view, the zerk buff is not very consistant because of the diminshing returns on haste/dps mods, which leads into the part where Dimglow pointed out how it is becoming easier and easier to get Haste/DPS mods and makes Berserk buff a very dimishing attribute because its not effecting us like it should be, which leads me to wondering if you read his entire post or not.
    What is clearly shown in this post is the disparity between a Guardian and Berserker is growing to the point where our DPS is not making up for the difference in survivability, think about it like this, if Guardians and Pallies can match our DPS now, what makes you think its going to change with RoK? About the only difference will be that the disparity will only grow, and our DPS will become less. Now this is not Guardians fault, Guardians are a Berserkers brother in arms and because of that fact, is the template for the comparison, nothing more.

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