PF2 Expected Damage by Level Comparisons


Advice

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One thing that's not baked in here is how MC options/feats help this damage, which is important to note, for example:
* Fighter with Glaive using Power Attack, one more action, but more damage.
* Fighter with Bastard Sword using Dual Handed Assault, effectively 1d14 damage die.
* Rogue MCing into Monk for Flurry of blows with Wolf style (1d8 and backstabber).
* Anyone taking two attacks vs flurry of blows, one more action, but MAP and all...

I don't want to diminish what you've given us here, it's amazing, and really helpful to see the side-by-side numbers (confirming that caster melees are, in general, significantly worse than straight fighters at roughly 50% the damage, though, that's not accounting for potential spells...). Even so, it's important to remember that there are definitely other factors that play into all this :). Not to mention, you're not killing anything in 1 round anymore so defenses do really matter as well!


tivadar27 wrote:

One thing that's not baked in here is how MC options/feats help this damage, which is important to note, for example:

* Fighter with Glaive using Power Attack, one more action, but more damage.
* Fighter with Bastard Sword using Dual Handed Assault, effectively 1d14 damage die.
* Rogue MCing into Monk for Flurry of blows with Wolf style (1d8 and backstabber).
* Anyone taking two attacks vs flurry of blows, one more action, but MAP and all...

I don't want to diminish what you've given us here, it's amazing, and really helpful to see the side-by-side numbers (confirming that caster melees are, in general, significantly worse than straight fighters at roughly 50% the damage, though, that's not accounting for potential spells...). Even so, it's important to remember that there are definitely other factors that play into all this :). Not to mention, you're not killing anything in 1 round anymore so defenses do really matter as well!

Power attack is a loss of damage, and this does take into account things like flurry of blows and hunted shot. It does not take into account mcing for damage increases though.


About how much does Power Attack lose? I'm curious there; I get it's mainly for beating Resistances, but I assume your calculations ignored resistance and weakness?


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Power Attack is best used for your second and third attack apparently. Not your first (dunno it the spreadsheet has that. Just mentioning it for people in general).


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Those caster numbers look really really bad for anyone who wants to play a castery gish.

The gap between the fighter and everyone on those 2-3 action attacks, particularly against higher level enemies, is kinda concerning too.

Obviously as it's been discussed these numbers aren't perfectly optimized but as a first look it's a little concerning.


Squiggit wrote:

Those caster numbers look really really bad for anyone who wants to play a castery gish.

The gap between the fighter and everyone on those 2-3 action attacks, particularly against higher level enemies, is kinda concerning too.

Obviously as it's been discussed these numbers aren't perfectly optimized but as a first look it's a little concerning.

This does seem like it, indeed. But unless everyone is planning to play in white fields and just standing wacking at each other, these charts provide meaningful data but they're representative of an actual combat.

For example, the Barbarian is being pretty lackluster in these, but then you use a Sudden Leap to get into a guy that would require a fighter to waste two actions to reach then the Barb can also get an extra attack. The amount of utility a Gish can have available seems pretty significant, although I also agree that damage was a little bit too low and there was no way to make the build flow better and the lack of armor proficiency from MC feats also hurt a lot.

Liberty's Edge

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citricking wrote:
Power attack is a loss of damage, and this does take into account things like flurry of blows and hunted shot. It does not take into account mcing for damage increases though.

As JohnLynch106 notes, the math I did indicated that Power Attack worked fine and acted to mildly increase DPR if used as a second attack (ie: Attack at -0, Power Attack at -5, three actions total). Now, maybe I was wrong, but I'm betting the math that indicates it loses damage was done with it as the first attack, rather than using it like this.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
citricking wrote:
Power attack is a loss of damage, and this does take into account things like flurry of blows and hunted shot. It does not take into account mcing for damage increases though.
As JohnLynch106 notes, the math I did indicated that Power Attack worked fine and acted to mildly increase DPR if used as a second attack (ie: Attack at -0, Power Attack at -5, three actions total). Now, maybe I was wrong, but I'm betting the math that indicates it loses damage was done with it as the first attack, rather than using it like this.

If you use it as a second attack it is worse than using a press like exacting strike. I'm not hating on power attack, it's good if you are facing a creature with resistance or you have a buff for just one strike, but it's not a damage increaser and that's okay.

Liberty's Edge

citricking wrote:
If you use it as a second attack it is worse than using a press like exacting strike. I'm not hating on power attack, it's good if you are facing a creature with resistance or you have a buff for just one strike, but it's not a damage increaser and that's okay.

That's probably true, yeah. I was looking at it at low levels when you don't have things like that when I did my specific analysis.


I didn't see this, so maybe I missed it. Out of curiosity, how does a Ranger using Hunter's Flurry compare with the others?


Deadmanwalking wrote:
citricking wrote:
If you use it as a second attack it is worse than using a press like exacting strike. I'm not hating on power attack, it's good if you are facing a creature with resistance or you have a buff for just one strike, but it's not a damage increaser and that's okay.
That's probably true, yeah. I was looking at it at low levels when you don't have things like that when I did my specific analysis.

Fortunately exacting strike is a first level feat.


HeHateMe wrote:
I didn't see this, so maybe I missed it. Out of curiosity, how does a Ranger using Hunter's Flurry compare with the others?

I bet they do well, probably at the top with the monk for one action damage. Other people have done calculations, and they should be in the top tier for damage.


citricking wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
citricking wrote:
Power attack is a loss of damage, and this does take into account things like flurry of blows and hunted shot. It does not take into account mcing for damage increases though.
As JohnLynch106 notes, the math I did indicated that Power Attack worked fine and acted to mildly increase DPR if used as a second attack (ie: Attack at -0, Power Attack at -5, three actions total). Now, maybe I was wrong, but I'm betting the math that indicates it loses damage was done with it as the first attack, rather than using it like this.
If you use it as a second attack it is worse than using a press like exacting strike. I'm not hating on power attack, it's good if you are facing a creature with resistance or you have a buff for just one strike, but it's not a damage increaser and that's okay.

Once you get high enough level it also stops being 2 actions.


John Lynch 106 wrote:
citricking wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
citricking wrote:
Power attack is a loss of damage, and this does take into account things like flurry of blows and hunted shot. It does not take into account mcing for damage increases though.
As JohnLynch106 notes, the math I did indicated that Power Attack worked fine and acted to mildly increase DPR if used as a second attack (ie: Attack at -0, Power Attack at -5, three actions total). Now, maybe I was wrong, but I'm betting the math that indicates it loses damage was done with it as the first attack, rather than using it like this.
If you use it as a second attack it is worse than using a press like exacting strike. I'm not hating on power attack, it's good if you are facing a creature with resistance or you have a buff for just one strike, but it's not a damage increaser and that's okay.
Once you get high enough level it also stops being 2 actions.

Wait, what? I missed that, I know furious focus reduces the penalty but that's still 2 actions. What did I miss?


Apparently I just suck at reading comprehension. Thanks for the correction.


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Lightning Raven wrote:
The amount of utility a Gish can have available seems pretty significant

Gishes absolutely have a lot of utility and that's great, but this chart also seems to suggest that when it comes to raw damage dealing, a gish can invest feats and gold into getting good with weapons and still manage to be just barely competitive with the cantrip they could have used with zero investment.

Obviously the advantage here is that you can squeeze in an attack action after casting a 2 action spell, but I feel like someone who's dedicating significant investment into trying to turn their wizard into a gish wants a little bit more than... there's nothing better to do with their third action so might as well attack gameplay.


Yeah, I feel like before the proficiency change, Gishes remained fairly competitive (being 2 under fighter, 1 under the rest, plus 1/2 a stat boost effectively), since them, they... just look bad if you go from the caster end.

I think this has been discussed elsewhere, but if you want to make a gish, you really want to start as a fighter and multi into a caster. Specifically fighter because of the bonus feats (multi-caster just uses a lot of feats). I'd imagine other things would work, but not as well. Also, it's worth asking if those spell slots you're getting (either 10 for 4 feats or 14 for 5 feats) are really worth it relative to MC'ing a martial and getting better combat utility (rogues for mobility, monks for flurry...).

As for Power Attack, you're totally right. Turns out Two-handed fighters got the shaft (pun intended) relative to the other damage dealers. Pretty sure Dual Handed Assault + Snagging Attack with a Bastard Sword is going to do more damage overall than the Two-Handed build, which is odd...

Still, a single attack for a fighter wielding a weapon not using any feats doens't quite feel like a fair comparison to a monk using flurry, which is a "flourish" ability, so deemed "more powerful" in some ways. Though I get it, only looking at class abilities and not feats, since there are so many ways you can go there...


Power Attack is not too bad. Exacting strike is better but you have to do obviously 3+ attacks. All the damage output is pretty close, when you compare 3 normal attacks, normal attacks + exacting strike, normal attack + power attack.

Till level 6 attack + power attack is better then power attack + attack.

Horizon Hunters

Let's assume that for the sake of comparison, the Fighter with Power Attack and his buddy the Fighter with Exacting Strike are both 15' away from an enemy.

Fighter Pa strides up and uses his two remaining actions to Power Attack. He gets one swing which delivers 2x weapon damage, + Str Mod. he hits for a lot of damage... or he misses and gets none.

Fighter ES strides up and uses his two remaining actions to Exacting Strike and Strike. He gets one swing which delivers 1x weapon damage + Str Mod. 1) If he hits, he gets slightly better than 50% of the damage Fighter PA gets, then gets another Strike at -5 to hit. Which mostly (but not always) misses. 2) If Fighter ES misses, when gets to try again without a -5.

Generally, the Fighter with Exacting Strike gets ~55% of the damage the Fighter with Power Attack gets, but he gets that damage more often. Which is more usefull is going to depend on factors like AC for specific opponents, and well as HP (Chance of one-shotting a foe).

In general, I calls it a wash.

Horizon Hunters

I can't help feeling that the value of an animal companion is being under-rated. Companions can go into attack mode, adding to the value of having a ranger in the party, as well as support mode. While this is variable depending on the companion chosen, the bear companion supports by adding 1d8+3 slashing every time the ranger hits, in melee or at range.

Of course, not every ranger has to have an animal companion.


Anne Archer wrote:

I can't help feeling that the value of an animal companion is being under-rated. Companions can go into attack mode, adding to the value of having a ranger in the party, as well as support mode. While this is variable depending on the companion chosen, the bear companion supports by adding 1d8+3 slashing every time the ranger hits, in melee or at range.

Of course, not every ranger has to have an animal companion.

They are a huge help to rangers, but I thought my chart was pretty crowded already… and the bear I think is best for flurry archers, but it adds 1d8, not 1d8 + 3.

Liberty's Edge

citricking wrote:
Fortunately exacting strike is a first level feat.

Ah! I was thinking of something else. But my point actually stands since both of those are 1st level Feats...very few people will have both. Power Attack as a second attack may have lower DPR than Exacting Strike, but it's better than just attacking three times.

Horizon Hunters

citricking wrote:
... but it adds 1d8, not 1d8 + 3.

The support feature says that the bear gets 1d8 slashing, as you say. But why would the bear not add it's +3 Str to this? It normal attacks are listed as 1d8 P bite, 2x claws at 1d6 S. No mention of Str modifiers there, either. Are you telling me that the bear gets no Str to damage at all? Or any animal companion?


Anne Archer wrote:
citricking wrote:
... but it adds 1d8, not 1d8 + 3.
The support feature says that the bear gets 1d8 slashing, as you say. But why would the bear not add it's +3 Str to this? It normal attacks are listed as 1d8 P bite, 2x claws at 1d6 S. No mention of Str modifiers there, either. Are you telling me that the bear gets no Str to damage at all? Or any animal companion?

The support benefit isn't a Strike and doesn't work the way that Strikes do. It says 1d8, so it deals 1d8.


Maxwell D'Ahmagge wrote:
Let's assume that for the sake of comparison, the Fighter with Power Attack and his buddy the Fighter with Exacting Strike are both 15' away from an enemy.

Exacting Strike is a Press, only usable after another attack. It cannot be used in this situation to any effect, unless they're hasted (and thus able to make yet another attack).


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Squiggit wrote:
Lightning Raven wrote:
The amount of utility a Gish can have available seems pretty significant

Gishes absolutely have a lot of utility and that's great, but this chart also seems to suggest that when it comes to raw damage dealing, a gish can invest feats and gold into getting good with weapons and still manage to be just barely competitive with the cantrip they could have used with zero investment.

Obviously the advantage here is that you can squeeze in an attack action after casting a 2 action spell, but I feel like someone who's dedicating significant investment into trying to turn their wizard into a gish wants a little bit more than... there's nothing better to do with their third action so might as well attack gameplay.

I'm not particularly thrilled with the prospects as well, but there are some mitigating factors like True Strike, Bespell weapon, the ability to actually hit the enemy with your main DPR source if it's flying or other impairing conditions that can't be reflected through charts.

I just wish they could deal more damage by attacking or there were more feats supporting the playstyle. Seems like the designers managed to make a complete 180 from the playtest, if beforethe most optimal way of playing a wizard was to MC into fighter and work really well, now it's the opposite, not only you can't keep up, but you still have to juggle a lot more things during a round than a fighter (when to cast a spell, when to simply attack, using focus powers, etc).

Seems like Gishes were balanced assuming that most spells weren't nerfed, you can switch grips for free, there's still touch attack and that there's a ton of supporting abilities.

Probably, everything that a Gish-build will gain as features will be just keep up stuff that can make the class smoothly function, rather than enhancing the playstyle.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Just want to make sure I'm understanding the Power Attack discussion correctly: If Power Attack is your first attack, it doesn't take any penalty to hit. It's all of your followup attacks are what take the -10 to hit, right?


Maxwell D'Ahmagge wrote:

Let's assume that for the sake of comparison, the Fighter with Power Attack and his buddy the Fighter with Exacting Strike are both 15' away from an enemy.

Fighter Pa strides up and uses his two remaining actions to Power Attack. He gets one swing which delivers 2x weapon damage, + Str Mod. he hits for a lot of damage... or he misses and gets none.

Fighter ES strides up and uses his two remaining actions to Exacting Strike and Strike. He gets one swing which delivers 1x weapon damage + Str Mod. 1) If he hits, he gets slightly better than 50% of the damage Fighter PA gets, then gets another Strike at -5 to hit. Which mostly (but not always) misses. 2) If Fighter ES misses, when gets to try again without a -5.

Generally, the Fighter with Exacting Strike gets ~55% of the damage the Fighter with Power Attack gets, but he gets that damage more often. Which is more usefull is going to depend on factors like AC for specific opponents, and well as HP (Chance of one-shotting a foe).

In general, I calls it a wash.

That's totally not how Exacting Strike works. Huge other factors are runes and static damage.

On reddit is a thread with a detailed comparison of PA and ES.


Ravingdork wrote:
Just want to make sure I'm understanding the Power Attack discussion correctly: If Power Attack is your first attack, it doesn't take any penalty to hit. It's all of your followup attacks are what take the -10 to hit, right?

correct (until you take Furious Focus)

Liberty's Edge

Ravingdork wrote:
Just want to make sure I'm understanding the Power Attack discussion correctly: If Power Attack is your first attack, it doesn't take any penalty to hit. It's all of your followup attacks are what take the -10 to hit, right?

This is correct. Barring Resistances the DPR is almost always higher making a normal attack and then one at -5 than making a Power Attack at -0, though.


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Power Attack is excellent if you have low Strength. For example if you have an Elven Curved Blade as a backup weapon on your bow Fighter.
But yes, clearly, it's a bad choice if you want to swing your greataxe with maximum power on your 18 Strength Fighter, which is a bit sad considering there is no line of feats for two-handed weapon fighters.


Citricking, there's another build that could be interesting: An Alchemist launching bombs with the classical bomb related feats (splash damage increase and quick bomber). I would really love to see where he is positioned compared to the other ranged attacks.


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I won't be updating this, but I'm making something that should be a lot better, hopefully I'll be done by the end of the week.


citricking wrote:
I won't be updating this, but I'm making something that should be a lot better, hopefully I'll be done by the end of the week.

What are you working on?


puksone wrote:
citricking wrote:
I won't be updating this, but I'm making something that should be a lot better, hopefully I'll be done by the end of the week.
What are you working on?

There's some stuff

here
Click the "launch binder" button and it should send you
to this

but I need to finish it and get things in a more accessible format.


better link here, just melee sword using fighters currently


Guide for using expected damage comparison grapher

I made a guide for my tool for comparing expected damage of different attack routines. You can compare against different AC targets for levels 1 to 20, or against different ACs for a set level.

Here's a link to the tool
The guide linked above can explain how to use it.

Thread here

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