Traits Ranking List

Happy Holidays from a warmer side of the world!

Now that I’m done with majority of my work commitments and taking some much deserved time off, here is a long-overdue post which I wanted to do – one that focuses on ranking of traits/attributes/magical properties.

Inspired by mostly posts on plenty of social media channels (eg. band, forums, facebook) about “which item should I pick?” or “which item is better?“, this blog entry will cover the list of preferred traits which are good in a ranking system.

Of course, as much as I say that this will ranking be done ‘objectively‘, the fact that its coming from personal experience makes it nonetheless inherently ‘subjective’…so yes, if you have any other opinions about this list, do comment down below.

Hopefully, this list would clarify some of the much asked traits and save on time for doing comparison posts.

*Edit (28/12/16): From the feedback gathered thus far, I’ve attempted to make clear the purpose of why I ranked certain traits as they are in this list and highlight (in clearer detail) the potentials of the traits which I’ve ranked low.  After careful consideration, the current ranking list shall stay as it is.


Design of Traits

A while back when I was talking to the devs about proposing a replacement of ‘Health Potion Damage‘ (HPD) with another trait altogether (esp. so for the Legendary Light armor). While the attempt was unsuccessful, they did explain briefly how they would mix-and-match the different traits for their items.

Essentially, every trait is weighted and input as one of the many traits of an item. Each gear has a maximum ‘weight‘ capacity (not to be confused by the physical weight to determine whether you can equip certain different gears) in terms of how many good traits can occupy its setup. This ‘weight‘ would also have a multiplier bonus based on the written % or value attached to the trait, in order to not make it too overpowered.

For the case of Legendary light Armor, the traits that excel are HP/Hit (a high-ranking trait) and a higher than average Light attack bonus. These had to be balanced by Health Potion Damage, a low-ranking trait. Furthermore, to ensure that HPD would not be seen as too underwhelming, it was given a higher than average damage % boost.

justicar
HP/Hit with high light attack bonus were balanced by Health Potion damage

Moreover, while this was not mentioned, I have also observed that there is a higher ‘weight’ capacity for different items (ie. in descending order, Legendary > WC > Normal gear), effectively meaning that Legendary has the highest potential for holding the best traits in the game.

This capacity is also affected by the base stats of the item, meaning that an item with higher stats, would have possibly weaker traits compared to a similar item of lower stats. However, that is a general observation and there are a good number of instances where the higher stat item has same (or even better) traits setup (eg. Legendary Nature Armor vs Legendary Dark Armor).

weirdinstance
However, there are unique instances where the stronger item does have comparatively stronger traits. This sometimes happens for WC themed gear

Basis of Ranking

Instead of doing a weapon/armor/skill item trait list (as some traits will overlap), the organisation of this list will be sorted based on offensive and defensive traits. In an attempt to make this ranking seemingly objective, considerations for this ranking are based on the following (arbitrary) parameters:

  • Function – how effective it is in boosting offence/defence
  • Versatility – how universally it can be used
  • Reliability – how consistently it is triggered

These parameters are assuming that you have the right setup to make the traits effective (eg. having both crit hit chance and damage to maximise the full potential of critical hits). 

Moreover, this post is written to appeal to a larger audience of players within DH5. While some may debate against the order put forth below in terms of end-game strength, kindly do be reminded that this takes into account that not all players are rich/ willing to pay, competitive, or have good luck in chest pulls.


Offensive

1a) Attack Speed

On the same level as DOT, having this means attacking is sped up, buffing your glaive to be as quick as your dual blades. Also, more speed means more chances to regen quicker (HP per Hit) or getting in crowd control debuffs (eg. stun, slow, pushback etc.)

Function fullstarfullstarfullstar   Versatility fullstarfullstarfullstar   Reliability fullstarfullstarfullstar

attackspd-belt
Belts are often the source of certain unique much-favored traits at T6

1b) Damage over 3s (DOT)

Great for hit-and-run instances and delivers damage that partially ignores the enemy’s defence. Applied upon first contact, it will keep going for 3s (like a burn or poison tick damage) and you can run off to do something else.  This, however, is not ignored by an enemy’s element and regular elemental weakness/strengths modifiers still apply (50%/200%).

Function fullstarfullstarfullstar  Versatility fullstarfullstarfullstar   Reliability fullstarfullstarhalfstar

dot
Might not be so useful if DOT is applied on an enemy which goes invulnerable when attacking

2) Attack Bonus

Nothing much to say here. This trait adds directly to your base attack (to be modified to global attack by other bonuses).

Function fullstarfullstarhalfstar   Versatility fullstarfullstarfullstar    Reliability fullstarfullstarfullstar

3) All Weapon Bonus/Specific Weapon Bonus/ Elemental Attack Bonus

This trait is a multiplier to your base attack stat to determine your global attack. However, this trait is only useful if you have the correct setup for it (eg. glavie bonus with a glaive; water bonus with a water weapon), if not it will be a space-filler. Moreover, as mentioned in my Combat 2.0 post, global values do not contribute a great deal to your raw damage output.

Function fullstarfullstarhalfstar   Versatility fullstarfullstarfullstar    Reliability fullstarfullstarfullstar

4a) Berserker

A direct Damage modifier trait that boosts your damage according to the % written, and triggered upon critical HP (screen flashing red at sides). It’s quite reliable for high damage output if you like living life on the edge.

Function fullstarfullstarhalfstar   Versatility fullstarfullstarhalfstar    Reliability fullstarfullstarblackstar

4b) Bloodrage

Another direct damage modifier trait that multiplies your damage output by 10(!) and lasts for 6 seconds triggered upon killing a monster (based on the % written). Typically, you’ll only get one chance to activate this during raiding but it would almost guarantee you an instant win (if you’re not stunned).

Function fullstarfullstarfullstar   Versatility fullstarfullstarhalfstar    Reliability fullstarhalfstarblackstar

4c) Brawler

Yet another direct damage modifier trait that gives a bonus damage (reportedly up to 90% extra) based on the number of enemy units around you with a chance to trigger (based on % written). Not a common trait but useful nonetheless.

Function fullstarfullstarhalfstar   Versatility fullstarfullstarhalfstar    Reliability fullstarhalfstarblackstar

offensearmor
Interestingly, one of the few armor with entirely offensive traits

5a) Elemental Skill Cooldown/ Damage

This is really a wild card as some skills perform much better than others with this around, especially those with high damage output/ DOT damage or long long cooldown timings (eg. Fire Cone, Ice Stalagmites, Immortal Justice etc.). While the cooldown reduction and damage increment are not immediately noticeable, a one second quicker refresh or +200 increased damage might be the difference between a win or loss.

Function fullstarfullstarblackstar   Versatility fullstarfullstarblackstar    Reliability fullstarfullstarblackstar

5b) Critical Hit Damage/ Critical Hit Chance

While not entirely bad, critical hit damage and chance are interdependent and need to work hand-in-hand. This reduces its versatility as not every item has this dual setup of both coupling traits (excluding most legendary gears). If one trait were to be missing, relying on the base values (5% Chance; 50% Damage) wouldn’t help you much. Moreover, the direct damage modifiers (rank 4), are much more consistently activated in comparison unless you have a substantial value of critical hit chance.

It is, nonetheless, extremely powerful at end-game if you build both up equally…though that might come at an expense of other much-needed or more easily triggered traits.

Function fullstarfullstarhalfstar   Versatility fullstarhalfstarblackstar    Reliability fullstarfullstarblackstar

6) Fear

Situated here as I’ve observed a number of Champions being susceptible to fear (eg. Lord of Eve, Succubine, Ethera etc.) Technically, this disables them for a good few seconds or so, giving you time to finish off the other monsters. However, the chance for trigger is rather low (especially against champions) so that makes it less reliable in combat.

Function fullstarhalfstarblackstar   Versatility fullstarhalfstarblackstar    Reliability halfstarblackstarblackstar

7) Stun/Slow/Pushback

Basically the other crowd control skills which are not as effective as fear. While they are useful for staff users and in Trial of Elements (ToE), these traits aren’t quite as useful as before, now that higher tiered strongholds are flooded with Champions

Function fullstarblackstarblackstar   Versatility fullstarblackstarblackstar    Reliability fullstarblackstarblackstar

8) Health Potion Damage

Remarkably underwhelming. Essentially increases your damage (based on written %) for 6 secs after you drink a potion…which probably wouldn’t be very useful unless you chug potions like water (ie most likely ToE only).

Function fullstarblackstarblackstar   Versatility halfstarblackstarblackstar    Reliability fullstarhalfstarblackstar


Defensive

1a) Dodge

Undisputed defence trait. As the name suggests, high dodge users don’t get hit often, which is useful in any setup. Definite must-have. To not break the game, it is not possible to attain 100% dodge (with maximum observed dodge being a bit over 70%).

Function fullstarfullstarfullstar   Versatility fullstarfullstarfullstar    Reliability fullstarfullstarhalfstar

smokeout
While high dodge keeps you alive for more attacks, it certain doesn’t help much against a trio of Spirius

1b) HP per Hit

Ultimate survival trait that keeps your character alive much longer through any scenario. Definitely a must-have for any weapon type and only found on the legendary light armor (in terms of high stat armors). Additionally, you can get healed from attacking the enemy regardless of using a regular melee/ranged attack or using skills.

Function fullstarfullstarfullstar   Versatility fullstarfullstarhalfstar    Reliability fullstarfullstarhalfstar

hphit-belt
Somehow, the harder it is to use the skill, the rarer the traits it has at T6

2a) HP Bonus

Adding a % to your total HP, this trait gives you more survive-ability but not quite as effective as Dodge. Basically, it means you being able to take more hits, but not reducing the amount of damage taken by them.

Function fullstarfullstarhalfstar   Versatility fullstarfullstarfullstar    Reliability fullstarfullstarfullstar

2b) Elemental Defence Bonus

Similar to the elemental attack bonus, this trait is a modifier for your global defence value that reduces the amount of damage you take. Likewise, you need to wear the right element for this to work.

Function fullstarfullstarhalfstar   Versatility fullstarfullstarfullstar    Reliability fullstarfullstarfullstar

3) HP/Kill

A less effective healing trait than HP/Hit as you gain HP whenever a kill is made. This is particularly beneficial in ToE but less so in raiding due to the limited number of minions on the field. Nonetheless, it’s a decent skill to have to keep yourself alive longer.

Function fullstarfullstarblackstar   Versatility fullstarhalfstarblackstar    Reliability fullstarfullstarhalfstar

4a) Damage to Attacker (DTA)

A direct damage reflect to attacking monsters that ignores enemy defence. However, the base return value is rather low and in the face of monsters with invulnerability status (eg. guardhouse, colossi), this doesn’t work very well.

Function fullstarhalfstarblackstar   Versatility fullstarhalfstarblackstar    Reliability fullstarfullstarhalfstar

dodge
Generally in low values, DTA is more useful when the accumulated figure is substantial

4b) Attacker Fear Chance

This trait causes fear upon monsters when they attack you. While rather effective in keeping you alive longer by making the enemy flee, the trigger rate is rather low (as written in %).

Function fullstarhalfstarblackstar   Versatility fullstarblackstarblackstar    Reliability fullstarblackstarblackstar

5) Run Speed

Not a particularly useful trait for the inexperienced that increases your pace in running. Maximum limit is 50%. Being the trait that is most debated about after posting this entry, the main three reasons why I slotted run speed here is due to the following:

(A) One needs to be experienced to use it well, meaning that while it does help a lot in late-game scenario (after memorizing enemy attack patterns). Also, it takes a recognizable amount of skill to handle a fast character (especially if you’re not used to haste) and this does take practice.

(B) Physically escaping/engaging enemies at a high speed requires mental stamina and thus can be draining for difficult raids. Imagine having to constantly run from the bombardment of 3 colossi, watch for the teleporting sin and get close enough to a Mezzo firing chains of bolts at your face. Not sure about you, but for someone without legendary armor for all elements, this can get mentally draining really quickly, especially if battles drag out long.

(C) Disabling skills (freeze, bound, stun, knockdown) render run speed useless. With the high number of minions which possess these abilities, running is definitely negated once your character is on the floor. These situations are worsened by certain trap rooms which possess these abilities themselves (eg. Ruby Temple, Seashore Retreat, Xinkashi Spring).

Fortunately, despite the flak given, this is definitely great end-game skill. When used properly, this is a fairly reliable escape mechanism from projectiles, getting out of enemy fire, outrunning fast monsters, closing into enemies and useful in certain events (eg. Armory Raids, Valenthian rooftops).

Not only being useful in most scenarios, this trait effectively extends to reducing the use of dodge rolls, which is especially useful in instances where there is a high chance of being binded/frozen.

Function halfstarblackstarblackstar   Versatility fullstarhalfstarblackstar    Reliability fullstarhalfstarblackstar


TL;DR

Just in case you missed any of those traits, here is an entire TL;DR segment dedicated for your reference.traits


How to Choose your gear

Although the suggested ranking list is shown, there is no ‘objectively good‘ traits setup. Sure, a dual blade with HP/Hit, DOT, Attack Speed would be highly useful, but if you’re not skilled in fighting in close-combat then the weapon would be rather redundant to you.

blades
Useful nonetheless in the much-hated nightmare pits, but it won’t kill Harbringers before they take off

Ultimately, experience is the key and it is best to try out all of the traits for yourself first before making an informed decision of which is good/bad for your play style.

For example, if you’re great at handling combat at low HP, then Berserker would be a better option than the less reliable Bloodrage. If you prefer attacking from afar, then a high run speed might actually be more beneficial in escaping from incoming projectiles without having to dodge too often.

Hence, trait selection is ultimately based on experience. While there are a number of favored traits that many claim are ‘objectively good’, the choice of combination is up to your play style and availability of your draws.

TL;DR: Select traits based on what your play style is most comfortable with.


Hope this helped you and happy hunting for the incoming new year! 🙂

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38 thoughts on “Traits Ranking List

  1. I have 2 water armors that I can not decide which one is better?
    One is Glacial Frosthorn armor (T6 Level 1).
    Its Stats are: Armor: 2,291
    All weapon bonus 15%
    Water skill cooldown 14%
    Damage to attacker 120
    Health bonus 8%
    Water skill damage bonus 11%
    The other one is Glacial Poseidon’s Defense (T6 Level 1)
    Its Stats are: Armor: 2,457
    Run speed 12%
    Dodge chance 17%
    Water skill cooldown 17%
    Attack bonus 181
    Health/kill 172
    For the Frosthorn armor, there is all weapon bonus but poseidon’s defense doesn’t have weapon bonus or elemental attack bonus but has only attack bonus. Which one is better?

    Like

    1. I would suggest Posedion’s Defence as it has a higher defence stats and a good dodge %. Moreover, water skill cooldown and run speed are particularly useful in Ruby to provide more surviveability to you character, which I’m assuming that you’ll be using this water armor in.

      Like

      1. Thank you very much, Zung. I have a question about your comment on Garfried: “single-color trap rooms might not function entirely well for certain scenarios at higher leagues”. So what about my Nightmare Pit? I remembered that you told me that this trap room suits well with only dark minions but I can hardly defense with all dark minions. Because someone said that all dark minions in Pit is easy for Nature raiders and putting fire champion in it also doesn’t help cause it can die easily. So how to set up my SH?
        My champions that I have are: 4 Nature Colossus, 2 Lords, 1 Assassin, 1 Wicker beast, 1 Mezzogian, 1 Vile Kringle, 1 Corvus, 1 Fire Colossus, 1 Kenashi Warlord.
        I think non-champion minions are useless now in SH 2.0. How can I set up my SH with all those champions that I have. Should I evolve Nature Trap Room? If yes, which one do you prefer?

        Like

      2. Hi Pornpote, haha yes, I knew this would be brought up since the Pit trap is an exception to that rule (as I was speaking very generally in that statement).

        For the context of Pits, Dark minions benefit very well in this trap because the healing is most effective for them. Hence, placing other minions might not be as suitable (besides Assassins). Moreover, when more players started to invest heavily into nightmare pits, it is natural that others would build up their nature sets as well in response, which makes pits less able to defend.

        Looking at your roster, I would first like to know what other trap rooms you have in your possession.

        Also, Nature rooms in general are less durable (even against dark raiders), so I wouldn’t recommend having them unless you have a good number of Mossbacks, Sins and Ice Col.

        Like

      3. Thank you, Zung. I have t6 Guardhouse, t4 Courtyard, t5 Xinkashi Spring, t3 Forge, t3 seashore and t6 Pit.I don’t have mossback, sins and ice colossus. What is Sins?

        Like

      4. Hey Pornpote,

        Apologies, I’ve been busy this week. Looking at your rooms, a recommendation to you would be to upgrade your seashore and put in: Mezzo, Kringle, Corvus, Assassin, Lord of Eve OR Gelid Voror (if you have). The Gelid Voror would be particularly important here as its very durable especially in Seashore and would make things difficult for ranged raiders.

        If you don’t want to spend too many stones, you could try using your T6 guardhouse in the meantime with the following setup of: Mezzo, Fire Col, Corvus, Assassin, Kringle OR Gelid Voror. However, a concern would be that you don’t have any light champs to benefit from the innate elemental bonus.

        Hope this helps!

        P.S: Sin = Assassin, It’s a common phrase I like to use since ‘Ass’ is always censored in the in-game chat.

        Like

    1. Thank you very much. If I have monkey, sentinel, wolf (all at t6), should I use them in guardhouse? Or should I place only the champions that you recommend?

      Like

      1. The monkey and wolf have a bit more durability in guardhouse, but I’d still recommend the above setup as guardhouse’s inherent invulnerability special trait excels for all minion types, allowing you to create a hybrid configuration to combat against all types of raiders.

        Like

  2. I am using Unspeakable Pumpkin Head (t6) right now. Currently, I got Berserker Battlesuit (t3) from the chest. I can not decide that I should evolve it to t6 or not. I read your article and you stated that the Berserker Battlesuit is one of the few armor with entirely offensive traits. So I guess that it is good, right? But its stat at t6 doesn’t have dodge chance. The weapon that I use for my dark set is Unspeakable Dark Omen (t6) from WC. My current dark set is: Armor: Unspeakable Pumpkin Head, Weapon: Unspeakable Dark Omen, Skills: Smoke Veil (35.5% Dodge), Malevolent Rush, Nightmare Burst. So my dodge chance is only 27%. If I use Berserker Battlesuit at t6, my dodge chance will drop to 13.5%. So what do you think that I should evolve Berserker Battlesuit to t6 or not.

    Like

    1. Hi Pornpote, well, at this time I would suggest sticking to the Unspeakable Pumpkin Head at the moment as its stats and traits are rather balanced. Not to mention, it has inherent dodge and higher armor stats than your battlesuit at max level T6 (if I recall correctly).

      While I did mention that the Battlesuit has purely offensive traits, this does not equate that it is an excellent armor. This is a problem as being pure offensive means that you’re dependent on plenty of damage boosting traits and if your armor lacks defence, this simply means that you might fall quickly in the face of stronger minions of opposing elements.

      In fact, I would very much prefer surviveability over offense, especially in raids where monsters can easily stun/knockdown/freeze or stagger your character, making him/her unable to retaliate. Prioritising on offense traits would mean that you might lack the proper defences to survive such scenarios.

      Of course, there is a balance between surviveability and offense. In the case of legendary and some WC gear, surviveability is comprised entirely from having extremely high armor values. This allows even armors (eg nature, dark legendary armors) to have offensive traits like raw attack, critical hit chance/damage yet still is able to keep your character alive.

      Like

      1. Thank you so much, Zung! One more question, should I use the skills other than death elemental skill to increase dodge chance? My other skills that have dodge chance are: chain lighting, cyclone, ice burst, valor totem, static burst. If I should use other skills, which one should I use?

        Like

      2. Yes, for now dodge is rather overpowered and you’ll really start to feel the difference once you hit more than 50%.

        For Bracers, try getting a fire cone (from bounty chest) or flame eruption (from regular gear chests) as these are good and versatile skills to use. If not, I heard that Cyclone (at T6) is also comparable as a good bracer.

        For Belts, having a ice burst would be good.

        Nonetheless, do experiment these skills out first yourself before getting them to T6. It’s best to get used to multiple skills so you can use different ones effectively in response to different elemental WPs or raiding.

        Like

    1. For Fire Cone (and for all other skills for that matter), I believe your passive Damage over 3s does not stack onto the DOT offered by the skill itself.
      Damage over 3s only stacks onto your weapon hit.

      Like

  3. Hello Zung.
    A question… Whats better:
    – same element in all your equipment.
    – Wep + armor same element, and choose your others item depending on the Pasive, active, and attributes. ?

    Cuz im using Nature Wep and armor.. but the others stuff, i dont rlly know whats better for me.

    Like

  4. Hello Venomax,
    I would suggest the second one, but only if you have good gear for the other elements.
    Taking your case for example, stick to your Nature Weapon and Nature Armor and equip skills which not only give you the attributes you want to boost, but also those which you are comfortable in using.

    Another benefit of having different items of the same element would be that it is easier to take out different elemental-based monsters, especially during raiding. Tougher minion setups usually include a variety of minions/champions from different elements, and its best to have other elemental skills (eg. fire, dark, water, light) to deal with these minions.

    Like

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