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Buff Aura/Buff Beam Break-points

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Hey all,


I tried a search on the forum for this but didn't find what I was looking for, and I don't know enough about the underlying math of SAS points into various towers to figure it out in Excel.  There must be a break-point in stat progression where the increased dps of a Buff Aura is a better expenditure of 40 DU than one more dps tower.  Where is it, or how do I go about calculating it?


For example, when I play solo I run a deck of 1 Waller Squire, 1 Tower Apprentice, 1 PDT Huntress, and 1 DPS Huntress.  When I play with my regular group, I'm our builder and swap out the DPS Huntress for a Builder Monk for Skyguard Towers & Serenity Auras on boss levels.  So, my usual chokepoint setup is 1 spike blockade, 2x Flame tower, 1 PDT.  I'll add a Skyguard at each air choke (usually 2-3 per map) and/or Ballistas when DU allows.  When is Buff Aura better than the 2nd Flame Tower or even the Ballista?  My builders are all in the iPwr 260-280 range (just into NM1).


Thanks in advance.

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Its very straight forward to calculate for singular defense, as I have done this a long time ago for my SGT's.

So currently for me the breakpoint is Boost Aura after 4 SGT's.


This is why:

Boost Aura after 3 SGT's:

  • 1 SGT has 34990 DPS - 50 DU
  • 4 SGT has 139960 DPS - 200 DU
  • 1 SGT under the effects of Boost Aura has 44918 DPS - 90 DU
  • So 3 SGT's + Boost aura has 134754 DPS - 190 DU

Boost Aura after 3 SGT's is not a DPS improvement over a 4th SGT.


Boost Aura after 4 SGT's:

  • 1 SGT has 34990 DPS - 50 DU
  • 5 SGT's has 174950 DPS - 250 DU
  • 1 SGT under the effects of Boost Aura has 44918 DPS - 90 DU
  • So 4 SGT's + Boost Aura has 179672 DPS 240 DU

Boost Aura after 4 SGT's is a DPS improvement over a 5th SGT.


Some caveats and details:

  • In short, 4 SGT's and a Boost aura are better then 5th SGT, however this example is only valid if you have a Boost Aura monk with the same Defense Power as your SGT monk and a 25% Empower Medallion. 
  • Upgrading a boost aura is never a DPS increase over upgrading a single Tower once. It is only worth it when you have 50 DU all your other towers are max or close to max and its your last round, as then its simply a DU dump rather then the most efficient upgrade.
  • If you have a combination of different towers you need to calculate it based on what tower you are planning to add instead of a boost aura. But the principle is exactly the same as working it out for a singular Tower type.

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Okay, I did some testing on this in the tavern.  So far as I can tell, at least at my gear levels, there is no realistic cluster of towers where a boost aura is ever useful.  The only semi-reasonable configuration I could find was 4 ballista + boost slightly outclassed 5 ballista, but given space and DU restrictions, that's an unlikely scenario.


I'll continue to test as my gear improves, but to me this suggests Boost Aura needs to be revisited.  I think a good solution might be to buff it pretty significantly, but make it like the Abyss Lord's Colossus so you can only have one out, but can move it from wave to wave to cover the busy lane.  As it stands right now, without very specific gear passives, a freshly leveled Monk builder is only useful for SGTs and the occasional Serenity Aura on boss levels.  That's a flawed design.

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[[62445,users]] as I read your original post, I think there's a feature you might not be aware of that has nothing to do with your post but may change your outlook on building. :) You can change your deck during a build phase! You can use 6 builders if you want and then swap in a DPS character before the round starts. This is never really advertised anywhere but someone mentioned it to me a few weeks ago and it was awesome! You can make a squire that specializes in walls and one that specializes in ballistas or whatever the new meta becomes...Enjoy!

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The problem with colossus example: Nothing prevents you from creating 10 Abyss Lords and spam Colossuses all over the map.

It has to be changed into "1 Colossus per map", not per hero.

Otherwise, a really strong portable boost aura once per map sounds REAAALLLLLY GOOD.

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Also, you all have to take into account that Boost Aura reduces damage taken by your defenses as well, not just dps increase. So there's that. If you have towers nearby your blockade (FTs / Cannons / etc.) I believe it is always better to drop one Boost Aura instead of another Cannon or SG.

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Ahm. I have a buff beam with 8 archers and 2 PDTs on them on multiple maps. Adding a buff aura to that adds a ton of damage. And this is an extrem example.  There are multiple builds in which a buff aura is useful.

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@Seph quote:

I believe it is always better to drop one Boost Aura instead of another Cannon or SG.

You need to base you decisions on numbers. Its all about how much DP your BA has, how strong your Damaging defenses are, and then calculating the numbers.

This is a little bit of a drag the first time you do it, but you will know all the combinations and at what point a BA becomes the best choice.

There is no simple rule like what you suggested, its all down to numbers.


Take LA's, it is never a dps increase to use a BA, as Frosties are always a bigger DPS increase. It is only worth it if you want to boost your single target damage, which in that case you are better off with a LSA. BA is only worth it on some maps, and that is if your Frosties get destroyed all the time *cough* Dark Altar *cough*.

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@ROK103 quote:

SuitUp as I read your original post, I think there's a feature you might not be aware of that has nothing to do with your post but may change your outlook on building. :) You can change your deck during a build phase! You can use 6 builders if you want and then swap in a DPS character before the round starts. This is never really advertised anywhere but someone mentioned it to me a few weeks ago and it was awesome! You can make a squire that specializes in walls and one that specializes in ballistas or whatever the new meta becomes...Enjoy!

I did figure that out yesterday, actually, and you're right.  It does help tremendously, even if it is very counter-intuitive.  That said, I bought this game as soon as it released on Steam (what, 2 years ago?) and then just sort of got busy with other things.  Right now, I don't really have the money to spend on in-game currency for extra slots or new heroes, so I'm a little limited on what combos and such I can use.


[[77157,users]] I agree that they need to fix the Colossus issue, but didn't mention it because it's been brought up in so many other threads.  That said, while the implementation could use some work, the mechanic itself is a very exciting concept and dovetails very nicely with the more dynamic and engaged play style the devs are aiming for over the DD1 afk-fest.  I honestly think it could work very well with Boost Aura, allowing you to flexibly choose where to significantly bolster your defenses from one wave to the next.

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How effective the boost and buff are depends on a lot of things.

1) As Zim said, you really want the Empower 25% passive on your monk booster. That adds a lot more DP.

2) You want as much DP as you can get

3) Boosting and Buffing help each other - if your boost adds 30% DPS and your buff adds 60%, you will get closer to (1.3 * 1.6) = 208% boost

4) Boosting just affects the DP so no benefits from critical damage, but Buffing increases speed too so does get some benefit from high crit towers. Not everything gets a speed boost though (like Proton Beams don't)

5) Boosting does add damage protection and wall HP (with sphere), so you can make your walls a lot more effective

6) DU cost  of the tower you are boosting matters a lot too, so boosting/buffing expensive towers is often worth it.

7) Since you don't have to upgrade the boost/buff, you save mana going forward on upgrades. For example, 2 Earthshatters with Buff + boost cost the same amount as 4 earthshatters, so if you double DPS you break even at tier one. But to upgrade to other tiers, the buffed+boosted ones cost half as much.


To see your break even points, put down 4 towers, and have 1 plain + 1 boosted only + 1 buffed only + 1 double boosted buff, and look at the DPS of each of them. You can look at how much of a DPS gain you get and figure out the break even point on tier 1 based on tower cost and such. And then you can think about other tiers too, and even potential tier 5 total DPS.

So it gets complicated, but they are definitely worth it if you get the boost + buff builders well geared. May not be worth it at sub 400 DP gear stages, though.


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@SuitUp quote:

So far as I can tell, at least at my gear levels, there is no realistic cluster of towers where a boost aura is ever useful. 

This is not true. 1 PDT with a boost aura will perform better than 2 PDTs in the same lane, unless the PDTs are built by different people.

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@geo981010 quote:

May not be worth it at sub 400 DP gear stages, though.


That's sort of my point.  If you need two different builders (one of which doesn't even come with the base game) in gear that is well beyond anything through NM1 at least, and with a specific passive just to get any real benefit out of either tower, then you have a flawed design.


1. It's counter-intuitive.  If I'm going to spend 40 DU on something, I expect to get 40 DU worth of benefit out of it.  I expect to get, at minimum, a Flameburst tower's worth of dps out of my investment (assuming I had the minimum 100 IQ necessary to figure that putting a Boost Aura down so that it hits as many dps towers as possible was a good idea).  Instead, I get less.  Maybe a little less, maybe a lot less depending on how I structured my set-up.  It's also counter-intuitive to assume that Boost Aura and Buff Beam will stack, especially in the way it actually does.


2. It's too much work. I'm not running down number crunching.  I sat down with a spreadsheet this morning to crunch some numbers on this and had a good time doing it.  However, that should be about optimization and squeezing that last little bit of efficiency out of my gear to help me get past a challenge, not about making a generalized decision about whether this is a tower worth using, or just a dead button on my bar until I'm halfway through NM3.


3. At least at my gear level, this just makes the monk a very sub-par class.  Lightning Aura is garbage.  It's too small and does too little dps for the investment.  Boost Aura is a net loss in nearly all cases.  Serenity w/o either the slow passive and/or a specific legendary weapon is only really useful on boss maps and certain onslaughts.  SGT is, admittedly, awesome.  Your active skills are fun, but you don't compare in damage output to Proton Cannon or just getting a 4/s bow on a dps huntress, and you have to be out in melee to even try it.  Compare that to any of the other 3 base classes, all of which have at least two viable builds.


[[131681,users]]-Sha-Bom That may be true (haven't tested it), but that's still not really realistic.  Unless I'm really mistaken, the poison portion of PDT doesn't stack unless (as you said) they're built by different people, and the poison portion is the bulk of the PDT's damage.  I can't defend a choke on relevant content with just a single PDT, so I'm going to have other towers there.  The question is, do I get more dps by adding a Boost Aura to my collection of towers or some other 40 DU attack tower (i.e. Flameburst), and the answer is add another Flameburst.  This is, in fact, the exact first test I did: which is greater 1 Ballista, 1 PDT, & 2 Flameburst or 1 Ballista, 1 PDT, 1 Flameburst, & 1 Boost Aura.  It's the first one.


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@Hom-Sha-Bom quote:


@SuitUp quote:

I can't defend a choke on relevant content with just a single PDT.

Why not? Don't you have a Toxic Shock bow?

Nope.  Where does that come from and what's the suggested iPwr requirement to clear that map/incursion now that incursions can only be played on NM?

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All these calculations are funny though. Rather pointless, too, besides the "fun" side of it. Math is fun, i know. Missing a lot of points, only calculating dps meters but not overall usefulness, etc.  You should not ignore the fact that BA gives 12%+ dmg prot. Knowing damage breakpoints is good, yes, but it all comes with experience and experimentation as well, not just brainstorming on paper.

IMO, the only useful things to know are:
1. Buffs go like this: Boost Aura boosts everything, including Buff Beam -> Boosted Buff Beam buffs defenses again.
2. Breakpoints.
3. It is almost always better to hit MORE in a single hit than less in multiple hits. Hence, maximizing buffs is better almost always.

A lot of things can look good on paper but suck in reality.
P.S. It is not DPS what you should worry about. Damage should be the focus of your calculations.

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@SuitUp quote:

Nope.  Where does that come from and what's the suggested iPwr requirement to clear that map/incursion now that incursions can only be played on NM?

Chrome Enemies Incursion.

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@SuitUp quote:


@Hom-Sha-Bom quote:


@SuitUp quote:

I can't defend a choke on relevant content with just a single PDT.

Why not? Don't you have a Toxic Shock bow?

Nope.  Where does that come from and what's the suggested iPwr requirement to clear that map/incursion now that incursions can only be played on NM?

It comes from Chrome Enemies incursion. I don't know what the iPWR is

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