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Thread: Understanding crits to up your ambush game.

  1. #1

    Default Understanding crits to up your ambush game.

    I wanted to make a guide about this, as I find that I've been helping a lot of people that would benefit greatly from a better understanding of how this works. Also, like my other guides, I'd like to add the disclaimer that I feel that you should put RP ahead of other reasons, in regards to choosing which weapon to use. So take this mechanical advice as far as you care to apply it. Also, I am sorry if I knock a weapon type that you might use and enjoy - this guide is coming from a purely mechanical standpoint, and it's possible to make pretty much any weapon work for you, if you so choose. I will try to only include a few simple things you need to know, instead of getting too in depth.

    As an ambusher, it's very helpful to have an understanding of how crit deaths work, and how your weapon choices affect this.

    There are three damage types that weapons can do: slash, crush, and puncture. Each of these damage types will have different results depending on the location of the body that they hit. As an ambusher, you only need to know a few things in this regard. Against the eyes, puncture damage needs a rank 4 wound to kill, slash needs a rank 5, and crush needs a rank 7. Against the head/neck (both are the same), puncture damage needs a rank 6 wound to kill, slash a rank 6, and crush a rank 5.

    So what does that mean exactly? Well, the first three ranks are easy enough to understand, as that's what happens to you when you get injured. Take a rank 3 wound to your limb? You lose it! Take a rank 3 to your head? It will sure hurt, but you're not going to die from it! But crits go beyond that, up to rank 9. Even if you were to attack something with a billion AS and a billion CER crit, you would still only inflict a rank 9 wound at most.

    Unfortunately, it's quite a bit more complicated than just that, because there is also crit randomization. This is the case with almost every crit that ever happens in the game, from your ambush, to spells, to maneuvers. But in the interests of keeping it simple, let's just focus on the numbers you need to know for ambush, and nothing more. If you are doing puncture damage to the eye, you need to get a rank 7 crit, to guarantee that even on the worst randomization roll, you will still do a rank 4 crit and kill. That is the best you can get of any of the three damage types, and is why puncture to the eyes is such a popular thing. Slash damage to the eyes needs a rank 9 crit to guarantee death, and you can not guarantee death with a crush crit (even a rank 9 crush to the eye will only have a 60% chance to kill.). Against the head/neck, both slash and puncture can not guarantee death, and each have an 80% chance to kill at a rank 9 crit. Crush guarantees death at a Rank 9 crit.

    One other thing that is good to know, is that the chance to hit the eyes caps at 75%, and the chance to hit the head/neck caps at 80%. This can be increased by 10% with small weapons, if you use predator's eye.

    To simplify things: If a weapon is 100% slash, 100% puncture, or slash/puncture, you want to aim for the eyes. If a weapon is 100% crush, you want to aim for the head/neck. If a weapon is slash/puncture/crush, crush/slash, or crush/puncture, it is not mechanically well suited for ambush. I would recommend checking out the weapon types on the wiki:

    https://gswiki.play.net/Edged_Weapons
    https://gswiki.play.net/Brawling_weapons
    https://gswiki.play.net/Blunt_Weapons
    https://gswiki.play.net/Polearm_Weapons
    https://gswiki.play.net/Two-Handed_Weapons
    https://gswiki.play.net/Ranged_Weapons

    If you scroll down to the bottom of each of those pages, it will tell you the percentage chance of each damage type for each weapon, which can be super helpful in making a weapon choice. But I will mention a few weapons that I think are commonly used but are actually not that great, as well as some that ARE great.

    One that I see used a LOT is the short sword. A short sword can do all 3 damage types, with equal chances for each (33%/33%/33%). What this means is that either A) You aim for the head, and have a 13% chance that you don't get a death crit, or B)You aim for the eyes and have a 13% chance that you don't get a death crit. That's pretty awful, mechanically speaking.

    Another one is the handaxe. The handaxe is 66% crush, 33% slash. That basically rules out aiming for the eyes, but against the head/neck, you have a 6.6% chance of not killing on a successful rank 9 hit. That's better, but still not ideal, but you at least have a 5% higher chance of hitting the head/neck than the eyes. A falchion is similar, though worse. Aiming for the eyes, you have a 13% chance of not killing, and head/neck is also 13% chance.

    On the other hand, a katana, against the eyes, has a 100% chance to kill on a rank 9 crit! Aiming for the eyes with a katana...crazy right?! Yet, against the head/neck, 20% of its attacks will fail to kill on a rank 9 hit! So throw that falchion away and get yourself a katana and go slash some eyeballs! Or go smaller, because there are some great small weapons! But you do need to be careful, as there's more to all of it, because of damage factors. Some weapons may struggle against heavier armors, or may have low DFs for how slow they are. A good example is the rapier - It's certainly better than a lot of other options, because it does 66% puncture/33% slash, making it a great candidate for the eyes; the only problem is that against plate its DF is the same as a dagger which is 1 second faster, so you're probably better off just using a dagger!

    My favorite ambush weapons from the edged category are the dagger, handaxe and the katana. Dagger/katana is great against the eyes, and handaxe against head/neck. I only include the handaxe because it has such great DFs against plate, and is literally like 1% worse than a katana as far as crits go. Though really a katana should be more than sufficient against plate with ambush.

    Unfortunately, the middle tier (4 second weapons) are all lackluster pretty much from all weapon types, other than the Katar and Quarterstaff, which are both rather costly for a rogue to use. Maaaaaybe the Sai is worth mentioning as a 4 second weapon that is decent. My favorites from the blunt category are the Mace and the Ball and Chain, which are 5 second weapons like the katana, but are actually better for ambush. Both of these are 100% crush, so you would want to aim for the head/neck, and a rank 9 would guarantee death. Brawling weapons also have their place, specifically the Blackjack, which is a 3 second weapon with 100% crush damage. A dagger is MUCH easier to succeed with than a Blackjack though, as the 66% puncture works so well against eyes. The Sai is the only 100% puncture weapon there is, but unfortunately its plate damage factor is awful. Even so, you could have decent mileage with it with enough AS.

    What I personally consider to be the top tier weapons for most rogues, are the dagger and the katar, aiming for the eyes (Lol, I wonder if I should do an ambush weapon ranking...). Predator's Eye is such a wonderful thing that can't be overlooked! (+10% aiming chance with smaller weapons.)

    One last tidbit of info that is helpful to understand, is how weapon RT works. I am only going to speak in the context of ambush RT in a very simplified way. When you aim, you add at best +1 RT to your attack. When you use TWC, you take the BASE RT of the weapon in your left hand and subtract 2 from that, and that is how much it adds to your base RT. So if you swing at 5 seconds with your main hand only, then if you wielded a weapon that is 3 second base RT in your left hand, you would add 1 RT to your 5 seconds (3 - 2 = 1). This only is the case when your left hand weapon is equal to or faster than your right hand weapon. What this means, is that any weapon with 2 or less base RT in your left hand, adds ZERO RT! So one dagger ambushes at 4 seconds, and two daggers ALSO ambush at 4 seconds. Or you could be using a katana in your right hand, and a dagger in your left, and the dagger adds no RT.

    Now, say you are swinging two handaxes, that is 5 RT for mainhand, 3 for off hand, and 3 for aim, or 11 base RT total. BUT, you can get it as far down as the minimum RT of your main hand and 1 from aim, with enough AGI+DEX. A single handaxe swings at 5 seconds at the fastest, and can aim in 1 second at the fastest, for a total of 6 seconds. With enough dex and agi bonus you could completely negate the RT of a second handaxe in your left hand (this would require extra stats from ascension and/or enhancives to achieve). What this basically means, is ideally you want to match the same base speed of your main hand in your left, IF you have enough agility + dexterity.

    Essentially, with enough Agi+Dex, you can swing two weapons as fast as you can swing a single weapon.

    Anyways, I'm sorry if I just ruined your perception of weapon choices. Clearly there is a lot more to all of this, as things like having low or high AS, crit weighting, as well as certain DF situations based on what you hunt, could all impact the value of certain weapons for you, so there isn't exactly a hard and fast rule. So ultimately, I hope that if anything, this guide at least helps some people make a more informed choice when they are deciding what weapon to use. For example, you may have a bad experience with a dagger if your AS is too low, so much so that even a short sword outperforms it against certain things you might hunt. Ultimately, the name of the game as an ambusher is: The higher your AS, the more you can reduce your RT (By being able to make smaller weapons work.). Even a small investment in +AS from enhancives, as well as your advguild badge, can go a LONG way to help you, and I can not overstate the value of what they will do to improve your game as an ambusher.

    EDIT:
    One other thing I think I should have mentioned, is how crit weighting works, and a few things you need to know. First of all, ambushing adds 50 CER crit weighting when fully trained. That's five times what heavy crit weighting on a weapon adds (10 CER), and is more crit weighting than a Claidhmore (40 CER). But what does that mean for you? Basically, just knowing the crit divisors of each armor type helps a lot to understand it. Plate is a divisor of 11, chain 9, scale 7, leather 6, cloth 5. Literally, what that means, is you divide your total CER by that, and that is the crit rank you inflict from it. So against plate armor, you take your 50 CER and divide by 11, which means you get a rank 4.5 crit. Please note that with partial armors, anywhere you hit that isn't covered, counts as the crit divisor of the next armor type down. So say you hit something wearing metal breastplate in the head, their divisor counts as chain and not plate, and thus you divide by 9 and not 11!

    You also get +1 CER crit weighting for every 4 Dex bonus, so even if you just have a base 25 dex bonus, you are getting +6.25 CER from it.

    You also get +CER based on your raw damage, which is based on your end roll, and the damage factor of your weapon against that armor type. Note that with damage factors, partial armors count as the same damage factor as the torso coverage. So again, using metal breastplate as the example, it has the damage factors of plate, but the divisor of chain with any uncovered area (In this case anywhere but the chest/abdomen/back).

    One of the KEY things to understand as an ambusher, is that NONE of your crit weighting kicks in unless you do enough raw damage to at LEAST get a minor wound on the target. The equation for this might seem a bit complicated to understand, but I will give you a simple rule that will make it very easy for you. All you need to do is look up on the wiki what the damage factor for your weapon is against the armor you are attacking. If you are unsure what the armor is, just look at how much the AvD is, and then you can tell from the weapon charts on the wiki (that I linked). You take the crit divisor of that armor (again, partial armors count as one armor group less if hitting an uncovered area), divide it by the damage factor, and then add 100, and that is the end roll you must get to inflict a minor wound.

    As an example. Say you are hunting bandits with a dagger, and the armor is AvD 0. If you look at the https://gswiki.play.net/Edged_Weapons chart under dagger, you will see that 0 AvD is AsG 17 (Note that if your weapon is forged, it probably has an AvD modifier. Perfect forged is -3. So in this case a -3 AvD would mean AsG 17.), which you can look up on https://gswiki.play.net/Armor, and see that that is metal breastplate. Ok, so metal breastplate, attacking their eye, counts as the crit divisor of chain, but the damage factor of plate, due to how partial armors work. So you would take 9 and divide by .075 (the DF of dagger vs plate), which is 120. Then you add 100 to that, and that is the end roll you need to achieve a minor wound! 220 end roll, and your crit weighting can then kick in! Also, one cool thing? You get to count that as 9 CER, as that 9 CER was what allowed you to inflict the minor!

    So then you get to add your +50 CER from ambush to that, and your +6 from dexterity, giving you a total of 65 CER! And so what rank wound does that result in? 65 divided by the crit divisor, which is 9, which equals 7! Woohoo! 7 is what you need to guarantee a puncture crit death to the eyes, as at the very worst it can randomize down to a 4, which still kills! In fact, if you can guarantee a rank 7 wound to the eye with a dagger, 92% of your successful attacks will kill, as only 25% of your slash crits will fail to kill at that crit rank.

    You know those times you ambush something and it only does like 8 damage? But then the next hit does 30 and kills? That's because you didn't do enough raw damage on the first hit to get a minor wound, so none of your crit weighting from ambush, your weapon, or dexterity, were able to kick in. And again, that is only achieved by getting a higher end roll, which you do by either increasing your AS, decreasing their DS, or getting a higher D100 roll on your attack.

    Now if you want to absolutely 100% guarantee death against full plate? You need 99 CER total, as 99/11 = 9. A difficult, but achievable goal, through crit weighting on your weapon, more dexterity, and more +AS (though +AS with a dagger or other similar small weapon doesn't do much for you against plate once you get enough to guarantee a minor wound. At that point, +147 AS is equivalent to 11 CER crit weighting, or 139 AS if your weapon is perfect.). The exception to needing 99 CER for 100% chance of death is if you use the Sai, which will guarantee death at 77 CER, as long as you have enough AS to achieve the end roll needed for a minor, which is much harder to do with its crappy .040 DF. But it's doable with enhancives/ascension. But for most people, the dagger is going to be easier to succeed with, and it's 1 second faster than the sai.

    There is something very cool about this you may have noticed. Once you have enough AS to inflict a minor wound, it doesn't matter how crappy the damage factors are on your weapon! Most of your crit comes from the back loaded CER from crit weighting! So even a .040 weapon can be just fine, if you can achieve an end roll high enough to inflict a minor wound! This is how I personally make knuckle-dusters work well for me (which is an RP choice for me).

    ~Midgar
    Last edited by Mobius1; 06-06-2022 at 06:54 PM.

  2. #2

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    Mobius thanks very much for the write-up, it does remove a lot of the mystery behind the best way to be the most efficient killing machine. That being said, it is very much a min/max mindset. If ultimate killing speed is not your primary concern then almost any weapon type can work. My rogue personally uses two short sword and yes he could be more efficient if he went with two daggers but that is not his personality. For a while I hunted him with a handaxe main gauche combination and it was very effective and offered a bit of defense. But even with his slow swords things seldom last more than two attacks.

  3. #3

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    TWC gives you the huge advantage of multiple strikes. I can't speak for ambushing directly, but it's a big plus in open combat, by reducing complete misses dramatically.
    I don't use Lich. If you want to do business with me, contact me via PM, IG, or on AIM. Or maybe use smoke signals. Don't like it, get off of my lawn.

  4. #4

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    Wanted to include a plug for whirling dervish (this next bit assumes twc/WD) - if you hide/ambush the right eye of critter 1 and get a kill, the same boost from ambush you got to critter 1 applies now to critter 2 (assuming dervish procs). pretty amazing.

    If you ambush a critter and blow its eye out but do not get a death crit, you automatically target the opposing eye with attack #2.

    1s hide with twc dagger rt is pretty fast and deadly with dervish.
    Last edited by Alashir; 06-03-2022 at 05:03 PM.
    The only rude person I met was a taxi driver in kagoshima. I was going from the train station to the ferry to take it over to an island and was showing him my papers and he was like "oh, climb mountain?" and I'm like "hai, yep!" and he made a muscle pose(bent arm, whatever you call it) laughed, and rubbed my belly.. like "oh, no, you fat american fuck, you no get up there", but whatever - Japhrimel

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Archigeek View Post
    TWC gives you the huge advantage of multiple strikes. I can't speak for ambushing directly, but it's a big plus in open combat, by reducing complete misses dramatically.
    i concur - it's worth has gone up dramatically not only since EBP but now it's even easier to train without mandatory MOC
    The only rude person I met was a taxi driver in kagoshima. I was going from the train station to the ferry to take it over to an island and was showing him my papers and he was like "oh, climb mountain?" and I'm like "hai, yep!" and he made a muscle pose(bent arm, whatever you call it) laughed, and rubbed my belly.. like "oh, no, you fat american fuck, you no get up there", but whatever - Japhrimel

  6. #6

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    Yeah, TWC is amazing for offensive ability. 1)As was mentioned, if the one is EBPed, you get the other hand. 2)Whirling Dervish is pretty awesome, as was also mentioned. 3)They changed the way your aimed attack works in the event you take out the eye but don't kill. Instead of the next attack hitting the chest, it swaps to the other eye. On the other hand, if you are trying to crush kill against the head, and your first attack fails to kill it, your next attack needs to be manually changed to aim for the neck, otherwise it will hit the chest. Of course, if you can guarantee a rank 9 on any hit, you avoid this problem anyways

    Still, I personally prefer a shield because I enjoy the defensive benefits.
    Last edited by Mobius1; 06-03-2022 at 05:52 PM.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mobius1 View Post
    Yeah, TWC is amazing for offensive ability. 1)As was mentioned, if the one is EBPed, you get the other hand. 2)Whirling Dervish is pretty awesome, as was also mentioned. 3)They changed the way your aimed attack works in the event you take out the eye but don't kill. Instead of the next attack hitting the chest, it swaps to the other eye. On the other hand, if you are trying to crush kill against the head, and your first attack fails to kill it, your next attack needs to be manually changed to aim for the neck, otherwise it will hit the chest. Of course, if you can guarantee a rank 9 on any hit, you avoid this problem anyways

    Still, I personally prefer a shield because I enjoy the defensive benefits.
    I prefer a shield most of the time, but find twc to be pretty devastating in certain situations.
    I don't use Lich. If you want to do business with me, contact me via PM, IG, or on AIM. Or maybe use smoke signals. Don't like it, get off of my lawn.

  8. #8

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    I added more to my original post under the EDIT at the bottom.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by kutter View Post
    Mobius thanks very much for the write-up, it does remove a lot of the mystery behind the best way to be the most efficient killing machine. That being said, it is very much a min/max mindset. If ultimate killing speed is not your primary concern then almost any weapon type can work. My rogue personally uses two short sword and yes he could be more efficient if he went with two daggers but that is not his personality. For a while I hunted him with a handaxe main gauche combination and it was very effective and offered a bit of defense. But even with his slow swords things seldom last more than two attacks.
    Hey! I did put the disclaimer at the top!

  10. Default

    Thanks for taking the time to do this

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