For those who are unaware, crit damage gear is terrible because it requires an unrealistically high critical hit rate to achieve parity with attack damage gear:
For the mathematically inclined, these are the equivalence formulas for attack damage and critical damage gear (x = critical hit percentage):
Against enemy BB: 1.091*(1-x) + 1.51.091(x) = 1.00*(1-x) + 1.51.119(x)
Against enemy non-BB: 1.091*(1-x) + 31.091(x) = 1.00*(1-x) + 31.119(x)
(attack damage gear is 9.1% additional damage and applies to both normal and critical damage; critical hit gear is 11.9% and applies only to critical hit damage; crits deal 50% additional damage against enemy BB and 200% additional damage against non-BB)
Some quick algebra (or throwing it into Wolfram Alpha) tells you that critical hit gear only becomes better than attack damage gear when you’re crit rate is at least 52% against non-BB and 68.4% against BB (the reason for this discrepancy is that crits against non-BB do twice as much damage as crits against BB). That’s pretty insane, all things considered; in order for crit damage gear to be better, you need to be scoring significantly more crits than normal hits, which just seems kind of wrong.
It’s even more amusing, to me, because it’s way easier to score crits against NPCs (who move predictably and even stand still).
Now, I do understand that the devs want to avoid increasing kill speed in PvP too much: Battleborn isn’t meant to be a twitch shooter and, if crits are too big, things can quickly fall apart, but the fact that crits are so weak does mean that twitch accuracy doesn’t really amount to much.
My recommendation is two fold:
- Set critical hit damage so that necessary crit rate for equivalence with attack damage is a more realistic number
- Increase crit damage against BB
The first recommendation is pretty simple: we just need to pick what crit rate should be balanced around; anything better than the assumed crit rate is a reward for greater skill (which is appropriate, imo). At the moment, the crit rate is ~68.4% against players (and I’ll continue using the v. players numbers because the game is fundamentally balanced with PvP in mind) which is so high as to be ridiculous, especially with a low critical damage modifier like 1.5. Before I get into the math on this, however, it’s important to address the second part of the recommendation (since that will affect the math for this part).
In BB PvP, critical hits aren’t really important. They provide you with 50% additional damage, but they require the target to no longer have their shield and are notoriously difficult to get against players because a vast majority of BB have small crit locations in places on their models that don’t encourage taking crit attacks (the head is the crit location for most BB and is placed to that attacks that don’t score crits will miss because there isn’t a lot of normal hit space anywhere else) and players move around incredibly unpredictably. This heavily shifts the payout for attacking players from crit shots to body shots since decreasing your accuracy by 50% doesn’t really justify a 50% increase in damage (and only if the target’s shield is already broken).
As such, I recommend increasing critical damage against BB increased from 50% additional damage to 100% additional damage: in this way, the steep drop off in accuracy (~50%) will be commensurate with the increased reward (if someone wants to provide a different ratio, I welcome it since these numbers were chosen basically heuristically; I would love to see some actual tests about differing results when aiming for crits v. aiming for hits to arrive at a more scientific answer).
As to the actual assumed crit rate, another decision needs to be made about what the “expected” crit rate should be (e.g. how good do you have to be at crits to get more out of crit gear than out of attack damage gear). My personal opinion places this at 1/3: it’s still very high considering how players move around, but at least it’s feasible (I’m open to others’ opinions about this as well).
With both of these new numbers in mind, the formulas look like this:
Against enemy BB: 1.091*(2/3) + 21.091(1/3) = 1.00*(2/3) + 2*(1+x)*(1/3)
Some quick math (or copy-pasting into a math program) gives us a needed value of 18.2% (it would actually be fine to say “exactly double of attack damage gear”, which is one of the other reasons I like these two changes: the math is really clean so any time the devs decide to tweak attack damage for balance, they can tweak crit damage too).
This does end up being a buff to PvE players, but I don’t think anyone will really mind the “designed” crit damage rate to be 25% (which might be a bit low but is much more realistic than 52%).
Feel free to come up with your own recommendations. The formulas are really easy to mess around with.