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Soltaro Offline OP
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The game mechanics of Divinity and how it handles certain bonuses and can lead to somewhat counter intuitive results.
This is because the bonus percentages are added or subtracted instead of being modified with eachother.

In this topic I'll post a brief comparison of how certain talents interact with eachother:
  • Lone wolf (+70% health +2 AP)
  • Glass Cannon (-50% health +100% AP)
  • Picture of Health (Man-at-Arms lvl5: +25% health)
With varying combinations and how it's different on Medium (+15% health) or Hard (-25% health) difficulty. (ie: a 40% difference)
(Disclaimer, a portion is theorycraft, so add data/corrections when you can)

_________________________

As a base (without any bonuses) I'll be using a 100 HP character with 8 AP.
The Lone Wolf variant of this would be 170 HP with 10 AP. However since you cannot use a companion as a Lone Wolf; the base has to be multiplied by two to compare the impact of the talent in terms of effective HP/AP ratio during combat.
In this example case it would be:

Standard(x2): 200 HP / 16 AP
vs Lone Wolf: 170 HP / 10 AP

--> A loss of 15% HP and 37% AP.
Of course there are also a couple other factors in play which I'll mention later but so far it doesn't look great for the Lone Wolf talent.

The above example however doesn't yet factor in difficulty settings. So lets compare them again:

Medium:
Standard(x2): 230 HP / 16 AP
vs Lone Wolf: 185 HP / 10 AP

--> A loss of 20% HP and 37% AP.

Hard:
Standard(x2): 150 HP / 16 AP
vs Lone Wolf: 145 HP / 10 AP

--> A loss of 4% HP and 37% AP.

As you can see the HP per AP ratio already changes quite a bit with just the difficulty factored in. The early conclusion could be:
On hard difficulty the bonus of Lone Wolf is better in comparison with the bonus on Medium difficulty.

_________________________

The main reason for this post however is to compare the interactions with Glass Cannon.
From what I've gathered; because it's a flat -50% HP subtraction much in the same way the difficulty works, the end result is quite different than the expected -50% HP the talent advertizes.

Lets compare a standard character with and without Glass Cannon.

Medium:
Standard : 115 HP / 8 AP
Glass Cannon: 65 HP / 16 AP

--> A loss of 44% HP. (But a 100% gain in AP)

On Hard difficulty however it becomes:
Standard : 75 HP / 8 AP
Glass Cannon: 25 HP / 16 AP

--> A loss of 66% HP.

The difference is quite huge because the standard 100 HP is subtracted with 25 *and* 50 added together.
It's an odd game mechanic IMO, but the important upside of it is that health bonuses become increasingly more powerful (in comparison) when paired with negative effects.
On Medium difficulty the Glass Cannon talent doesn't change that much to your effective HP/AP ratio. On Hard however it becomes negative.

_________________________

So lets compare 2 standard Glass Cannon characters vs 1 Lone Wolf Glass Cannon

Medium:
Standard(x2): 130 HP / 32 AP
vs Lone Wolf: 135 HP / 20 AP

--> A *gain* of 4% HP and a 37% AP loss.

For the first time a net HP gain. On Hard however this changes even more drastically:
Standard(x2): 50 HP / 32 AP
vs Lone Wolf: 95 HP / 20 AP

--> A *gain* of 90% HP (!) and a 37% AP loss.
All of a sudden you have almost twice the character and for the first time a net benefit in HP/AP ratio.

This is the best case scenario for Lone Wolf/Glass Cannon though.
Not everyone plays on Hard, plus there's one last variable to factor in: The 25% HP bonus from Man-at-Arms:

_________________________

Comparison of 2 standard glass cannon characters both with rank 5 MaA -vs- 1 Lone wolf glass cannon with rank 5 MaA

Medium:
Standard(x2): 180 HP / 32 AP
vs Lone Wolf: 160 HP / 20 AP

--> A loss of 11% HP and a 37% AP loss.

Hard:
Standard(x2): 100 HP / 32 AP
vs Lone Wolf: 120 HP / 20 AP

--> A gain of 20% HP and a 37% AP loss.

This example is somewhat unrealistic IMO because not every char can get 5 ranks in Man-at-Arms. Especially if they are not a Lone Wolf. So there's a double synergy for Lone Wolf characters here: Not only does the health bonus help make glass cannon more effective, the extra ability points do so even more.

_________________________

It's also important to mention that the HP/AP ratio isn't the only thing to consider as there are more factors in play:

For example:
- One high HP Lone Wolf character compared to two weaker characters is harder to kill, but easier to Crowd Control.
- Skill cooldowns.

- As long as you can survive the burst damage, the extra AP from glass cannon are always a gain and the negative HP/AP ratio can sometimes be irrelevant.
- Not factored in the lower starting AP for turn 1, which Glass Cannon doesn't affect. (ie: the talent only works from turn 2 and up)

- Lone Wolf has extra ability points.
- Not factored in other bonuses, like the skill/attribute books (which, if focused on 1 strong char is better than on 1 or 2 weaker ones).

_________________________

To conclude:

- The more penalties, the better the positive bonus becomes.
- The Glass Cannon penalty combined with Hard difficulty is very harsh (more than advertised because of how the game calculates)
- To mitigate this penalty, the Lone Wolf and the rank 5 Man-at-Arms talent become significantly more effective in comparison. Especially on Hard difficulty.

___________

Compared with normal characters:

Medium:
- Picking just Lone Wolf: a decrease in HP/AP ratio.
- Picking just Glass Cannon: A slight gain in HP/AP ratio.
- Picking both: a 40% decrease in health but a 25% gain in AP.

on Hard:
- Picking just Lone wolf: a decrease in HP/AP ratio. (But better results than on Medium)
- Picking just Glass Cannon: A significant decrease in HP/AP ratio. (Way worse results than on Medium)
- Picking both: a 37% decrease in health but a 25% gain in AP.

  • My advice: when going with one, it's best to pick both talents on the same character. Especially on hard.
  • Alternatively, picking just Glass Cannon on medium (but not hard) also yields a net benefit. The Rank 5 Man-at-Arms health talent (counter intuitively) further increases this benefit.






Last edited by Soltaro; 15/07/14 07:26 PM.
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That's a pretty nice breakdown, but the importance of Lone Wolf + Glass Cannon also functions on a different level:

Pro - Increased AP for a single character gives you much better maneuverability. You can move into position and still have enough AP to attack (instead of moving and ending your turn, eating several attacks). You can also use that maneuverability to escape from dangerous situations, flank, and kite much more easily than a standard character.

Con - Not as many cooldowns refreshing. This is a pretty huge penalty, since each additional character is another set of cooldowns that can be refreshing, allowing you to activate far more special abilities within an equal amount of time. Also fewer summons.

In summary, I think Larian did an excellent job making Lone Wolf + Glass Cannon a completely different playstyle that adds new dimensions to your tactics.

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Soltaro Offline OP
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Aye I agree, they balanced that part fairly well.

Both have ups and downs, and thus adds replayability at the very least.
Cooldowns is a big hit, and not being able to summon 1 for each char for example., but me personally I prefer the small party/duo interaction anyway so I'm glad it's a viable option.

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Soltaro Offline OP
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One last top in case anyone is interested.

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Originally Posted by Soltaro
ACooldowns is a big hit, and not being able to summon 1 for each char for example., but me personally I prefer the small party/duo interaction anyway so I'm glad it's a viable option.
I also dramatically prefer only having two party members worth of inventory to fuss around with, and two people to equip, even if you have to deal with a lower total carry weight.


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