The DPR fallacy strike again.


Advice

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I brought this up in a previous thread, but I've seen it creeping into discussions both on here as well as on the Facebook Group for PF2. Basically, DPR as a metric for character effectiveness often leads to people misevaluating the effectiveness of their character because they're used to how things worked in PF1.

To bring up a concrete example, this came up in the context of "building the best barbarian", where someone stated that they'd go Giant Instinct, because it did the most damage/had the highest DPR. But let's take a closer look:

Giant instinct gives you:
* +18 to damage.
* -1 additional AC while raging.
* Feats that increase your reach by also increasing your size.

Now let's look at Animal Instinct:
* +12 to damage.
* A one-handed weapon that does 1d12 damage.
* A feat that nets you +2 AC over standard barbarians at lower levels, +1 at higher levels.
* A feat that lets you stride and strike as a single action.

So what are the trade-offs here, how does giant instinct compare to Animal Instinct at higher levels:
* +6 damage while raging.
* Either
* -8 damage and -2 AC (shield) while raging as compared to Animal Instinct.
* -4 AC (Greatsword) while raging as compared to Animal Instinct.
* Increased reach vs ability to move and strike as a single action, approximately equivalent, though in fairness, Giant Instinct has more potential uses for AoO's.

Yes, Giant Instinct has better DPR as compared to Animal Instinct, but you have to decide whether +6 damage is worth -4 AC in PF2 (hint: the author thinks it's not :-P). In addition, there's also Dragon Instinct, which gives you an awesome ranged breath weapon, and suffers only a -2 damage vs +1 AC.

Note: this isn't the only post I've seen that has operated on the assumption that DPR is king. However, there are plenty of people out there as well that realize that this is not actually the case. I'm not saying DPR is worthless, we just should try to do a better job at analyzing other abilities as a community, as well as pointing out to those looking for character build advice that these other things really matter in PF2 as well.


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I want to begin by saying that while it is true that DPR matters, so it is the fact that It is also up to the players not to pursue damage, or immunities, or anything else instead of play the character they want.

This is obviously no excuse given a system, but knowing that sometimes, in some situations, the game lacks balance, is a good way to begin.

Moderate your choices to balance yourself around the party, or even some homerules can provvide a better and more balanced experience.

That said, talking about barbarians, it is a trade.

Animal

- higher AC
- great resistances

Dragon

- Great mobility
- Great aoe damage

Giant

- Great reach
- Highest damage

Reach is what count the most in a 3 action resources scenario, since it allows you to save actions and trigger more aoo.

The difference in terms of damage is low if compared to both dragon and animal instincts, but as said it is not the important part.

It is more or less to confront 2 weapons.

One with few traits and the other with one or a pair.

Not necessarily the one with more traits is better. In fact, the best melee one handed weapon is the Flickmace, which has reach and the highest damage for a one handed. Nothing else.

Reach is broken, and the only things which stops you a little is that enemies take cover from other enemies in front of them.

If you have a healer, I say go for the giant instinct ( eventually a dragon if you like to rush somewherr flying ), since you will be needing more heals.

Remember that given his size, a champion would have hard time to protect a Giant barbarian. An healer is definitely better.

If you have a champion, any other build is fine.

So, in the end, about damage comparison, is is not something which can be considered without considering everything ( and I probably missed something which could have added to the discussion, because I pointed out the 2 main perks of that build. Ps i know animal rage has also animal traits, but the resistances to all piercing and slashing is what also makes it shine ).


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I have never seen anyone ever saying dpr is everything and is the only important metric...but a lot of people arguing dpr isn't everything.


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I often wonder what the RPG background is of people who DPR-optimize, and specifically wonder if they're used to a dungeon crawl environment where killing things was 95%+ of the game.

The number of people in (live) PFS games that mentally check out during non-combat encounters - and in one case literally say, "wake me up when something needs killing" and close their eyes - would be laughable if it weren't so irritating.

PF2 was created for 2019-style play. PF1 was created for 2007-style play.

I think DPR has a place, to make sure your character is the best it can be. Like if you have a choice between two otherwise identical weapons and one is d6 and one is d8, you choose the d8. But in PF2 not all weapons are otherwise identical (way more resistances to slashing/piercing/bludgeoning) so you have more reasons to choose the d6 over the d8 and DPR matters less.

There's a point where the difference in DPR is too great. If you could only choose one, would you rather take a greatsword or an unpoisoned blowgun? Sure, there may be scenarios where a blowgun's 1 damage is more useful than a greatsword's d12, but not enough scenarios to offset the 5-fold difference in most scenarios.

Most of the complaining revolves around sub-1.5-fold differences in DPR. "Oh, this does 6d6+10 instead of 5d8+10 damage, it's utterly useless!" And even if 90% of the outrage was Internet Melodrama (which I'm sure people will admit when pressed), the remaining 10% is still making mountains out of molehills.


puksone wrote:
I have never seen anyone ever saying dpr is everything and is the only important metric...but a lot of people arguing dpr isn't everything.

Then you haven’t been paying much attention to Alchemist threads. Putting aside complaints about Mutagenist, DPR is pretty much all those threads talk about.

As for DPR as a metric, it will pretty much always be a conversation topic; and among those talking about it will crop up the few who use it as some hidden truth of hierarchy. Although conversations tend to lean towards categorizing better or worse, most seem to agree it’s the individual build that holds the most weight.

It would be nice if other threads popped up with metrics on optimizing Debilitation’s and Healing, or some such. The game is still new enough though that DPR will be the most comfortable and relatable topic that people will talk about for the time being.


It feels like the real draw for Giant Instinct should be "reliable access to AoOs really ups your damage potential" not "the number is bigger."


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DPR has always been an incomplete measure, it's just that it was simple and sufficient (if you had a caster and/or magic access) since most of PF1 tactics consisted of preparation and only a few strategies on the battlefield.

Now that DPR is arguably insufficient as a measure alone and your friendly Wizard can't D-Door you next to the Boss (and never would want to!), what paradigm works? And by works, I mean remains simple & sufficient since that's what appeals and will see use.

I'd submit there is no such simple paradigm, which I see as a good thing. Players actually need to engage more during battles, which aren't necessarily harder for the PCs, but are more complex for the players.

Except now what do we frame discussions around?
How does one measure Intimidating Strike, knowing that it's fruitful when the party can focus fire on that enemy, but practically worthless if the Bard has Dirge of Doom running anyway...which in turn makes the Fighter feats that capitalize on fear that much better.

Which brings up another factor: one doesn't solo significant enemies in PF2. It wasn't unusual to see one or two PCs dominate battles in PF1 and a CLW Wand (or several!) doing clean up at the end. In PF1, that Giant Barb's penalty to AC was a non-issue if one could get the damage (especially w/ Combat Reflexes). Now that the enemies last longer & hit or even crit more often, that Giant needs a friend or even several just to endure, much less thrive.

And this PF1 mentality pervades outside of DPR, with people thinking "support" is a sufficient role w/ PF2's modest buffs. No, you need to support & Strike or cast or Heal or something else too.

Anyway, I don't see a clean way to measure offense/DPR/conditions, defense/resilience, mobility/range, support/in-combat healing/condition removal, action efficiency, party compatibility, and terrain mastery. And that's just a list off the top of my head. Being able to capitalize on Weakness, avoid Resistances, plus Perception, etc., etc. All worthwhile, most of them more so than they were in PF1.


HumbleGamer wrote:
Reach is what count the most in a 3 action resources scenario, since it allows you to save actions and trigger more aoo.

So yeah, that's fair, though I only really agree with half of this... With Predator's pounce, you get a single action stride + strike per round, so in most scenarios, it's as good as reach for saving actions.

Still, you bring up a good point, you do get from Giant:
* Ability to avoid AoOs by not moving through threatened.
* Ability to take additional AoOs when an enemy moves.

I'll grant you that these are valid reasons to choose Giant. And honestly, I don't really have any issue with any of your analysis, this is more a comment on people who are ignoring all else to look only at DPR potential. My analysis was a bit flawed, as it missed what you pointed out, so thanks for mentioning them.

Also, with respects to "pursuing the character you want", yeah, I generally agree. But I do want to point out a couple things:
1. "You should play an adventurer!" to quote a bunch of online videos. Don't make a character who hates leaving the house, or doesn't want to be involved in combat at all. Make a character who will contribute. Granted, that's less of an issue here, but worth mentioning :).
2. More importantly, these discussions weren't around the character someone wanted to build, but more "I want to make a super good character, so I do that by maximizing DPR". That's a different debate.

Castilliano wrote:
And this PF1 mentality pervades outside of DPR, with people thinking "support" is a sufficient role w/ PF2's modest buffs. No, you need to support & Strike or cast or Heal or something else too.

Agreed :). It just seems to be the most persistent/prevalent PF1 mentality I see carried over into PF2. There are a lot of other areas we need to check our assumptions on as well.


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In PF1, I played bards. A lot. Anytime I could get away with it. I did... hardly any damage. Ever. But whenever we started a new game, some of the players always asked, hopefully, if I was perchance playing a bard in this game.
And, guess what, I had a blast doing it. Jacking up everyone's attacks and saves. Giving them a new saving throw if they failed their previous one. Debuffing enemies. What a great time I had.
I think the DPR people largely got their starts in online gaming, most likely.
A lot of the RPers (the ones who don't mentally check out when it's not a combat, or have no idea why they're going to Xin-Shalast; they just know that's where someone said they need to go for more fighting), started in the earlier days of D&D and AD&D.
I certainly feel there is much more to a character than DPR. But there's always going to be those players who don't care about anything but combat. And feel a character's worth is based on it. And that's fine. Everyone enjoys the game for different reasons. What's important is that they're playing.


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Eh, I've found grognards can be just as focused on combat. In these cases they probably role play a single character, whose personality is the same as theirs or overly simple, and trawl boards for silly overpowered builds. I've also played with a couple people who RPed in MMOs and transitioned very easily to RPing in tabletop games. I think that a nice part of tabletop games is they can accommodate a wide variety of playstyle at the same table, if care is taken to make sure everyone has fun.


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Castilliano wrote:


Which brings up another factor: one doesn't solo significant enemies in PF2. It wasn't unusual to see one or two PCs dominate battles in PF1 and a CLW Wand (or several!) doing clean up at the end. In PF1, that Giant Barb's penalty to AC was a non-issue if one could get the damage (especially w/ Combat Reflexes). Now that the enemies last longer & hit or even crit more often, that Giant needs a friend or even several just to endure, much less thrive.

Couldn't agree more with this. I remember seeing a post in PF1 of a Bow wielding monk soloing the Tarrasque without ever being hit. Now having seen the stats for the Tarrasque in PF2 and how the system works there's no way it could happen, which is a good thing to me.


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I'm all about DPR-is-all being given the dunce hat and kicked down the outhouse hole, but the topic seems Giant Instict specific.

I think it's somewhat disingenuous to focus only on specific weaponry choice which most exaggerates the trade-offs involved.
Instead of a 2H Greatsword, the Giant Barb can use a 1H weapon with a Shield, which yields more balanced picture.
The increased Instinct damage allows broad choice of 1d8 weapon to do more than 1d12 Animal or normal 2H weapons,
while also benefitting from Enlarge Reach and while also allowing for Shield Block Resistance.
Clearly Giant Instinct Barb ALLOWS situational option to go all in for big damage with 2H weapon at big trade-off re: defense,
but that isn't required to be used consistently, and just using 1H Sword + Board is still powerful while more balanced defensively.

So... Can we call that the Giant Instict Fallacy? ;-)


Vlorax wrote:
Couldn't agree more with this. I remember seeing a post in PF1 of a Bow wielding monk soloing the Tarrasque without ever being hit. Now having seen the stats for the Tarrasque in PF2 and how the system works there's no way it could happen, which is a good thing to me.

Slightly off topic, but where can you find the stats for the Tarrasque?


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I feel like I've seen a lot more threads and posts on this forum insisting that damage isn't everything than I have seen people actually asserting that in the first place. Actually I've almost never seen the latter.

In the OP's specific case, talking about damage seems pretty relevant though given that raw damage is Giant Instinct's one innate advantage over other options.

Pumpkinhead11 wrote:
Then you haven’t been paying much attention to Alchemist threads. Putting aside complaints about Mutagenist, DPR is pretty much all those threads talk about.

Not really.


Quandary wrote:

I think it's somewhat disingenuous to focus only on specific weaponry choice which most exaggerates the trade-offs involved.

Instead of a 2H Greatsword, the Giant Barb can use a 1H weapon with a Shield, which yields more balanced picture.
The increased Instinct damage allows broad choice of 1d8 weapon to do more than 1d12 Animal or normal 2H weapons,
while also benefitting from Enlarge Reach and while also allowing for Shield Block Resistance.
Clearly Giant Instinct Barb ALLOWS situational option to go all in for big damage with 2H weapon at big trade-off re: defense,
but that isn't required to be used consistently, and just using 1H Sword + Board is still powerful while more balanced defensively.

So... Can we call that the Giant Instict Fallacy? ;-)

I... actually did this comparison as well. So not quite sure what you're saying here. If you compare the two shield builds, the Giant Instinct does 2 less damage and has 2 less AC. In that case, the only advantage of Giant is the increased reach.


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Squiggit wrote:
Pumpkinhead11 wrote:
Then you haven’t been paying much attention to Alchemist threads. Putting aside complaints about Mutagenist, DPR is pretty much all those threads talk about.
Not really.

You say this as there is quite literally a thread title comparing Cantrips to Alc Bomb damage, again. That said, after taking a cursory look at said thread it seems to actually be a much more positive conversation on the class than i’ve seen before.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Salamileg wrote:
Vlorax wrote:
Couldn't agree more with this. I remember seeing a post in PF1 of a Bow wielding monk soloing the Tarrasque without ever being hit. Now having seen the stats for the Tarrasque in PF2 and how the system works there's no way it could happen, which is a good thing to me.
Slightly off topic, but where can you find the stats for the Tarrasque?

Age of Ashes part 6, Broken Promises


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puksone wrote:
I have never seen anyone ever saying dpr is everything and is the only important metric...but a lot of people arguing dpr isn't everything.

I've seen a number play groups over the years that insisted that if you were a caster and not a blaster loading up on things like magic missiles and fireballs, you were doing it wrong.


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Rysky wrote:
Salamileg wrote:
Vlorax wrote:
Couldn't agree more with this. I remember seeing a post in PF1 of a Bow wielding monk soloing the Tarrasque without ever being hit. Now having seen the stats for the Tarrasque in PF2 and how the system works there's no way it could happen, which is a good thing to me.
Slightly off topic, but where can you find the stats for the Tarrasque?
Age of Ashes part 6, Broken Promises

SPOILERS!!! OAO

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Pumpkinhead11 wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Salamileg wrote:
Vlorax wrote:
Couldn't agree more with this. I remember seeing a post in PF1 of a Bow wielding monk soloing the Tarrasque without ever being hit. Now having seen the stats for the Tarrasque in PF2 and how the system works there's no way it could happen, which is a good thing to me.
Slightly off topic, but where can you find the stats for the Tarrasque?
Age of Ashes part 6, Broken Promises
SPOILERS!!! OAO

No spoilers

The Tarrasque does not show up in the AP itself, it's in the backmatter toolbox.


tivadar27 wrote:
I... actually did this comparison as well. So not quite sure what you're saying here. If you compare the two shield builds, the Giant Instinct does 2 less damage and has 2 less AC.

OK I do apoligize for saying that then. I overlooked it's very brief inclusion as parenthetical stats, which wasn't analytically followed up, the following sentence only stating "you have to decide whether +6 damage is worth -4 AC" ...which you certainly don't have to do, as you seem to agree.

Personally, I don't see "comparing the two shield ACs" as solely relevant, Giant Barbarian can be more motivated than average to use Shield, so may use it when others don't... while using 2H weapon when they feel comfortable with glass cannon tradeoff of lower AC for max damage. Not all characters may even use Shields (considering action and Feat cost for Shield Block), and when others choose to use 2H Reach weapon for tactical advantage the Giant Barbarian can be using his Instinct Reach with Shield for better AC (and Shield Block Resistance).

Animal Barbarians themselves seem less motivated to use Shields, already having best potential AC for Barbarians and not working with Animal Rage form (well, maybe Ape, but wearing a Shield conflicts with Climb, leaving just LLV/Scent). Even if not optimal damage VS Animal attack, they may prefer to occupy their hands with a 2H Reach weapon (or Bow, to leverage their higher DEX) to have parallel option for further Reach/Range. While filling out Animal's DEX cap isn't really concern at high level, it may well impact other stats if they want to fully enjoy their AC advantage along the way. Animal's incompatibility with Fortification is later game concern which seems just as relevant a trade-off as worrying about AC differences.

Obviously "Giant is best Barbarian because damage" is not a comprehensively valid statement, but it still can be honest reason why somebody chooses them, even with glass cannon trade-offs. Rather than arguing the validity of simplistic Reddit posts, I would just add on "there are defensive trade-offs, glass cannon is a thing, and remember you have options to moderate that trade". The standard Barbarian is already premised on similar trade-off, so having it be emphasized further in specific Instinct is hardly surprising... All the Instincts exist on spectrum of trade-offs, Giant is just furthest along the spectrum in one way, but their defensive stance still allows somewhat better than average AC (with Shield Block Resistance), even if it is less than other Insticts AC using Shield, but that is also ameliorated by Giant Reach avoiding Shield / 2H Reach Weapon conflict.

Anyways, this topic reminded me of something I thought was weird, and not sure if I was just missing something:
Why do you (or anybody) think Animal discretely increases die size, why not directly give higher damage attack if that is intent?
Not stacking with other die increases? Just seems weird, almost like it could be Errata from earlier editing version.


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Rysky wrote:
Pumpkinhead11 wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Salamileg wrote:
Vlorax wrote:
Couldn't agree more with this. I remember seeing a post in PF1 of a Bow wielding monk soloing the Tarrasque without ever being hit. Now having seen the stats for the Tarrasque in PF2 and how the system works there's no way it could happen, which is a good thing to me.
Slightly off topic, but where can you find the stats for the Tarrasque?
Age of Ashes part 6, Broken Promises
SPOILERS!!! OAO

No spoilers

The Tarrasque does not show up in the AP itself, it's in the backmatter toolbox.

It doesn’t show up? SPOILERS!!! OAO

to be fair you were doomed with either response :p

Silver Crusade

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Pumpkinhead11 wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Pumpkinhead11 wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Salamileg wrote:
Vlorax wrote:
Couldn't agree more with this. I remember seeing a post in PF1 of a Bow wielding monk soloing the Tarrasque without ever being hit. Now having seen the stats for the Tarrasque in PF2 and how the system works there's no way it could happen, which is a good thing to me.
Slightly off topic, but where can you find the stats for the Tarrasque?
Age of Ashes part 6, Broken Promises
SPOILERS!!! OAO

No spoilers

The Tarrasque does not show up in the AP itself, it's in the backmatter toolbox.

It doesn’t show up? SPOILERS!!! OAO

to be fair you were doomed with either response :p

*punts the goblin for being silly*


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tivadar27 wrote:
I brought this up in a previous thread, but I've seen it creeping into discussions both on here as well as on the Facebook Group for PF2. Basically, DPR as a metric for character effectiveness often leads to people misevaluating the effectiveness of their character because they're used to how things worked in PF1.

Clearly not. If they only care about damage, then DPR is a good metric for their character effectiveness.

Many people see damage optimization as the be all and end all. It's hard to prove them wrong, as it's their personal taste. Which is perfectly ok as long as they don't start using this metric to qualify other people's character.

If my Barbarian tells me he's smashing things like crazy and if he likes that, who am I to tell him he's wrong?


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SuperBidi wrote:
tivadar27 wrote:
I brought this up in a previous thread, but I've seen it creeping into discussions both on here as well as on the Facebook Group for PF2. Basically, DPR as a metric for character effectiveness often leads to people misevaluating the effectiveness of their character because they're used to how things worked in PF1.

Clearly not. If they only care about damage, then DPR is a good metric for their character effectiveness.

Many people see damage optimization as the be all and end all. It's hard to prove them wrong, as it's their personal taste. Which is perfectly ok as long as they don't start using this metric to qualify other people's character.

If my Barbarian tells me he's smashing things like crazy and if he likes that, who am I to tell him he's wrong?

They're wrong when they care more about their own DPR over what is going on as a group. You know, cuz, this hobby is a group game.

You ever observe a table and realize that it is 6 individuals trying to play a game that requires a group? I have. I found it fascinating.


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Ten10 wrote:
SuperBidi wrote:
tivadar27 wrote:
I brought this up in a previous thread, but I've seen it creeping into discussions both on here as well as on the Facebook Group for PF2. Basically, DPR as a metric for character effectiveness often leads to people misevaluating the effectiveness of their character because they're used to how things worked in PF1.

Clearly not. If they only care about damage, then DPR is a good metric for their character effectiveness.

Many people see damage optimization as the be all and end all. It's hard to prove them wrong, as it's their personal taste. Which is perfectly ok as long as they don't start using this metric to qualify other people's character.

If my Barbarian tells me he's smashing things like crazy and if he likes that, who am I to tell him he's wrong?

They're wrong when they care more about their own DPR over what is going on as a group. You know, cuz, this hobby is a group game.

You ever observe a table and realize that it is 6 individuals trying to play a game that requires a group? I have. I found it fascinating.

Group dynamic is a very complex discipline. Someone who focuses on damage is not necessary detrimental to the group efficiency or, more importantly, to the group fun.


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Such a choice of DMG vs AC can only be answered by simulation against specific opponents, which is rarely done because calculating DPR odds is easy. I gave up simulating because nobody was interested in the results, it did not fit their comfort zone of belief (yes you can indeed drop a point of STR to get a point elsewhere) Even simulation is flawed because it depends on the AI you write (as anyone that has ever run any of the classic D&D videogames that used AI to fight knows!)

Even with the simulations there is too much focus on the average result - but this option is 1% more survivable than that option - ignoring that the individual table variance is +/-50%....

The only thing that really matters is will you survive the encounter, it does not matter if you can outdamage your enemy if they go first because they have initiative and crit your weak AC. Any smart dungeon boss is going to tell his minions - hit the big naked person first - it is the job of the GM to metagame to challenge player choices.

With NPCs not being built like PCs, they do not have to make such tradeoffs. They can have higher damage, attack and AC than you do just because the designer wanted it that way.

So it means very likely that your min/maxed design will face a situation that you are not optimized for, requiring your group to carry you off the battlefield.


SuperBidi wrote:
Ten10 wrote:
SuperBidi wrote:
tivadar27 wrote:
I brought this up in a previous thread, but I've seen it creeping into discussions both on here as well as on the Facebook Group for PF2. Basically, DPR as a metric for character effectiveness often leads to people misevaluating the effectiveness of their character because they're used to how things worked in PF1.

Clearly not. If they only care about damage, then DPR is a good metric for their character effectiveness.

Many people see damage optimization as the be all and end all. It's hard to prove them wrong, as it's their personal taste. Which is perfectly ok as long as they don't start using this metric to qualify other people's character.

If my Barbarian tells me he's smashing things like crazy and if he likes that, who am I to tell him he's wrong?

They're wrong when they care more about their own DPR over what is going on as a group. You know, cuz, this hobby is a group game.

You ever observe a table and realize that it is 6 individuals trying to play a game that requires a group? I have. I found it fascinating.

Group dynamic is a very complex discipline. Someone who focuses on damage is not necessary detrimental to the group efficiency or, more importantly, to the group fun.

I said

wrong when they care more about their own DPR over what is going on as a group.

Meaning, if I move to XX I can do 22.4839% more damage than if I stay at YY.
Sure moving to XX allows you to do more damage, but what it also does is open up the right flank of the group allowing the GM to pour some creatures into the exposed gap, plus the re-positioning of your precious DPRbot, ignores the lack of any DPR for a round or more.
Cuz you know.. It's not just your damage that you should be worried about, it is what everyone around the table is also able to do.


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krazmuze wrote:

Such a choice of DMG vs AC can only be answered by simulation against specific opponents, which is rarely done because calculating DPR odds is easy. I gave up simulating because nobody was interested in the results, it did not fit their comfort zone of belief (yes you can indeed drop a point of STR to get a point elsewhere)

You didn't get much response because everyone knows this already. You weren't showing anything new and were quite condescending about it too.


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Ten10 wrote:

Meaning, if I move to XX I can do 22.4839% more damage than if I stay at YY.

Sure moving to XX allows you to do more damage, but what it also does is open up the right flank of the group allowing the GM to pour some creatures into the exposed gap, plus the re-positioning of your precious DPRbot, ignores the lack of any DPR for a round or more.
Cuz you know.. It's not just your damage that you should be worried about, it is what everyone around the table is also able to do.

That's just a straw man argument.

I gonna repeat myself: Someone who focuses on damage is not necessary detrimental to the group efficiency or, more importantly, to the group fun.


krazmuze wrote:

Such a choice of DMG vs AC can only be answered by simulation against specific opponents, which is rarely done because calculating DPR odds is easy. I gave up simulating because nobody was interested in the results, it did not fit their comfort zone of belief (yes you can indeed drop a point of STR to get a point elsewhere) Even simulation is flawed because it depends on the AI you write (as anyone that has ever run any of the classic D&D videogames that used AI to fight knows!)

Even with the simulations there is too much focus on the average result - but this option is 1% more survivable than that option - ignoring that the individual table variance is +/-50%....

The only thing that really matters is will you survive the encounter, it does not matter if you can outdamage your enemy if they go first because they have initiative and crit your weak AC. Any smart dungeon boss is going to tell his minions - hit the big naked person first - it is the job of the GM to metagame to challenge player choices.

With NPCs not being built like PCs, they do not have to make such tradeoffs. They can have higher damage, attack and AC than you do just because the designer wanted it that way.

So it means very likely that your min/maxed design will face a situation that you are not optimized for, requiring your group to carry you off the battlefield.

Oke, what build are you talking about?

In pf2e there are not many things you can do to drop your ac for damage (besides rage).

It's not like you trade of your armor for strength.

Min/max isn't even a real thing in pf2e.


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Pumpkinhead11 wrote:
puksone wrote:
I have never seen anyone ever saying dpr is everything and is the only important metric...but a lot of people arguing dpr isn't everything.

Then you haven’t been paying much attention to Alchemist threads. Putting aside complaints about Mutagenist, DPR is pretty much all those threads talk about.

As for DPR as a metric, it will pretty much always be a conversation topic; and among those talking about it will crop up the few who use it as some hidden truth of hierarchy. Although conversations tend to lean towards categorizing better or worse, most seem to agree it’s the individual build that holds the most weight.

It would be nice if other threads popped up with metrics on optimizing Debilitation’s and Healing, or some such. The game is still new enough though that DPR will be the most comfortable and relatable topic that people will talk about for the time being.

To be fair it's not like the alchemist has high defences, skill supremacy, unique and impactful effects going for it, it needs to be good at something.


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I think DPS is fine if you keep in the context of what it does. Some people are really good about stating that too. Anyone claiming DPR is the end all and be all is wrong but if you keep it in context it's a fine measure.


SuperBidi wrote:
Ten10 wrote:

Meaning, if I move to XX I can do 22.4839% more damage than if I stay at YY.

Sure moving to XX allows you to do more damage, but what it also does is open up the right flank of the group allowing the GM to pour some creatures into the exposed gap, plus the re-positioning of your precious DPRbot, ignores the lack of any DPR for a round or more.
Cuz you know.. It's not just your damage that you should be worried about, it is what everyone around the table is also able to do.

That's just a straw man argument.

I gonna repeat myself: Someone who focuses on damage is not necessary detrimental to the group efficiency or, more importantly, to the group fun.

How is it a straw man argument?

Are you the gatekeeper on what group fun is?

Why isn't lone wolf detrimental to group play and group tactics?


DPR is an ok measurement to run against a class to confirm if something is really broken with the math or design.

After that the focus should be on how the class interacts with the story and world because that's how people feel good about what the accomplished. No one wants to play Luke Skywalker if he can kill everything in one hit but can't mind control and jump high. They rather have one that can take a blaster to the hand now and then but also has other abilities.


Ten10 wrote:
How is it a straw man argument?

Focusing on DPR doesn't have any impact on your way to play inside your group. You can focus on DPR and be a very party friendly player. You can not focus on DPR and be an arse. There is no link between the two notions.


SuperBidi wrote:
Ten10 wrote:
How is it a straw man argument?
Focusing on DPR doesn't have any impact on your way to play inside your group. You can focus on DPR and be a very party friendly player. You can not focus on DPR and be an arse. There is no link between the two notions.

It's like you are not bothering to read what is written.

My first post about this

They're wrong when they care more about their own DPR over what is going on as a group. You know, cuz, this hobby is a group game.

I gave a time when they are wrong to care about their own DPR.


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Ten10 wrote:
They're wrong when they care more about their own DPR over what is going on as a group. You know, cuz, this hobby is a group game.

And you can replace DPR by any word in this sentence. Yeah, bad players are bad players, but here we talk about DPR.


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SuperBidi wrote:
tivadar27 wrote:
I brought this up in a previous thread, but I've seen it creeping into discussions both on here as well as on the Facebook Group for PF2. Basically, DPR as a metric for character effectiveness often leads to people misevaluating the effectiveness of their character because they're used to how things worked in PF1.
Clearly not. If they only care about damage, then DPR is a good metric for their character effectiveness.

I disagree with this statement. Characters in this edition get knocked unconscious a lot quicker/easier than in 1e (though they die a lot slower, thankfully...). If you're unconscious, then you're not damaging your opponent. If you force others in the party to heal you, then *they're* not doing something else that could help the party more.

I'd agree that if you want to have fun and swing a big sword for lots of damage on a single swing, then that's fine, go ahead and do it so long as you're not a burden to the party. The math is bound tight enough in this edition that that's fairly unlikely to happen. But still, this doesn't make DPR a good metric for character effectiveness, even if your goal for the character is damage.


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SuperBidi wrote:
Ten10 wrote:
They're wrong when they care more about their own DPR over what is going on as a group. You know, cuz, this hobby is a group game.
And you can replace DPR by any word in this sentence. Yeah, bad players are bad players, but here we talk about DPR.

Also, I agree with *this* statement :-P.


SuperBidi wrote:
Ten10 wrote:
They're wrong when they care more about their own DPR over what is going on as a group. You know, cuz, this hobby is a group game.
And you can replace DPR by any word in this sentence. Yeah, bad players are bad players, but here we talk about DPR.

Sure as long you as acknowledge DPR is a group effort not a single person effort.

SuperBidi wrote:
Ten10 wrote:

Clearly not. If they only care about damage, then DPR is a good metric for their character effectiveness.

Many people see damage optimization as the be all and end all. It's hard to prove them wrong, as it's their personal taste. Which is perfectly ok as long as they don't start using this metric to qualify other people's character.
If my Barbarian tells me he's smashing things like crazy and if he likes that, who am I to tell him he's wrong?

They're wrong when they care more about their own DPR over what is going on as a group. You know, cuz, this hobby is a group game.

You ever observe a table and realize that it is 6 individuals trying to play a game that requires a group? I have. I found it fascinating.

It is not hard at all to prove people wrong if the only thing they care about is damage optimization.

Or I'll say it this way

Bad Players are those who only care about their damage.


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tivadar27 wrote:
SuperBidi wrote:
tivadar27 wrote:
I brought this up in a previous thread, but I've seen it creeping into discussions both on here as well as on the Facebook Group for PF2. Basically, DPR as a metric for character effectiveness often leads to people misevaluating the effectiveness of their character because they're used to how things worked in PF1.
Clearly not. If they only care about damage, then DPR is a good metric for their character effectiveness.

I disagree with this statement. Characters in this edition get knocked unconscious a lot quicker/easier than in 1e (though they die a lot slower, thankfully...). If you're unconscious, then you're not damaging your opponent. If you force others in the party to heal you, then *they're* not doing something else that could help the party more.

I'd agree that if you want to have fun and swing a big sword for lots of damage on a single swing, then that's fine, go ahead and do it so long as you're not a burden to the party. The math is bound tight enough in this edition that that's fairly unlikely to happen. But still, this doesn't make DPR a good metric for character effectiveness, even if your goal for the character is damage.

What I mean is that if someone wants to focus on DPR, it's his own right. I agree that it's not hyper optimized, but you'll always have players who wants to "deal the biggest damage". Freud could certainly give some explanations :)


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Ten10 wrote:
Bad Players are those who only care about their damage.

And that is precisely what I disagree with.


SuperBidi wrote:
Ten10 wrote:
Bad Players are those who only care about their damage.
And that is precisely what I disagree with.

I’m pretty sure they’re saying DPR at the expense of the group is a bad thing. As in to the point that it’s interfering, weather subtly or overtly, with that groups’ teamwork and entertainment.


Pumpkinhead11 wrote:
SuperBidi wrote:
Ten10 wrote:
Bad Players are those who only care about their damage.
And that is precisely what I disagree with.
I’m pretty sure they’re saying DPR at the expense of the group is a bad thing. As in to the point that it’s interfering, weather subtly or overtly, with that groups’ teamwork and entertainment.

I don't think it's what he said, read our conversation, it's clearly DPR that is detrimental to the party for him.


It does read like he is saying, looking/using DPR for any reason makes you a bad player.

Which I agree SuberBidi, being a bad player has nothing to do with wanting high damage.


Pumpkinhead11 wrote:
SuperBidi wrote:
Ten10 wrote:
Bad Players are those who only care about their damage.
And that is precisely what I disagree with.
I’m pretty sure they’re saying DPR at the expense of the group is a bad thing. As in to the point that it’s interfering, weather subtly or overtly, with that groups’ teamwork and entertainment.

Precisely correct.

If you only care about your Damage in a RPG, yes you are playing wrong. Why? Because there is way way more to this hobby than how much damage your character is doing.


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This is really drifting into 'badwrongfun' territory.


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To be honest, I don't think DPR matters that much.

You don't need to do the most possible damage, you just need to do enough damage, which most attack focused characters will do regardless of subclass or feats or weapon.

The real stuff that I have found to clinch fights are damage prevention, buffs, debuffs, control and positioning, and teamwork.

Differences in DPR usually come out in the wash, while being in the wrong position or having a nasty debuff from failing an important save generally doesn't come out, and inflicting a nasty debuff will cause your team to do more damage overall.


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
tivadar27 wrote:

I brought this up in a previous thread, but I've seen it creeping into discussions both on here as well as on the Facebook Group for PF2. Basically, DPR as a metric for character effectiveness often leads to people misevaluating the effectiveness of their character because they're used to how things worked in PF1.

To bring up a concrete example, this came up in the context of "building the best barbarian", where someone stated that they'd go Giant Instinct, because it did the most damage/had the highest DPR. But let's take a closer look:

well, here's the issue with offense versus defensive builds.

offensive builds will get attacked less, because enemies will die sooner. defensive builds will get attacked more because it'll take longer to end the fight. (not even going into enemy's potentially ignoring you to attack squishier targets)

one of my player's is a giant instinct barbarian (it's his first time playing TTRPGs he just liked having a big sword) and the rage damage moves his attacks into territory where he can 1-shot potentials level+2 enemies currently, because he almost did just that, and only needed to roll higher on his damage to have done it.

instead he rolled low and got crit himself and so had to retreat. with animal instinct he'd still have been crit (natural 20) but would have had no chance of ever 1-shotting that particular enemy and saving his HP. it only had 3 hp left, and so was cleaned up with a cantrip from the cleric in the group.

Alpha strike is a very important thing to keep in mind in all forms of combat, because it, in general gives your enemy's less chance to roll the dice against you.

with a build that relies on high AC, you're less likely to take a hit, but the maximum overall damage you can take in combat is higher than a purely offensive build, even if the average is possibly lower(that the offensive build).

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