Addressing Concentrated Blast

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Mod Pi

Mod Pi

Jagex Moderator Forum Profile Posts by user
Concentrated Blast has been underperforming versus its counterpart Sonic Wave for a little while now and we have a solution to bring Concentrated Blast back as a good ability. This change will not only make Concentrated Blast better but will also bring more viability for different ability rotations.

Here is a summary of the changes we’ve made to do this with much more detailed information, including data, numbers and explanations, of how we achieved what we did.

  • Concentrated Blast and Fury

    • Each hit of Concentrated Blast and Fury will now give your next hit an additional 5% critical strike chance, up to a maximum of 15% after the third hit.

    • In PvP, this will not stack with existing critical strike bonuses (the largest bonus will apply).

  • Sonic Wave

    • Accuracy boost on next hit is now a 6% boost (down from 10%)

    • The ability was too powerful even with the proposed buffs above. Read more on this below.

  • Needle Strike

    • Increased damage on your next hit is now 7% (up from 5%).

    • Needle Strike fills the same place in an ability rotation that all of the above does and has been buffed to bring it in line with them.

For more information and the reasoning behind these changes, please make sure that you read the information listed further on in the post. We break down each ability in terms of numbers, different scenarios involving these abilities and go in to more detail as to why each change was made.

So there you go, the long awaited Concentrated Blast re-balance is finally here!

As always, the Combat Council will be closely monitoring the abilities and your feedback over the coming days so please do check it out and give us your feedback!

The Combat Council

The Combat Council is a part of the RuneScape development team that dedicates some of its time to trying to improve the health of both PvM and PvP. We are Mods Curse, Deg, Harrison, Shogun, Hunter, Pi, Daze, Ramen, Ryan, Manti, Ollie, Chaose and Timbo.

20-Jan-2017 12:20:50 - Last edited on 20-Jan-2017 12:59:43 by Mod Pi

Mod Pi

Mod Pi

Jagex Moderator Forum Profile Posts by user

Why did we make the changes we did?

Sonic Wave vs Concentrated Blast

To start with we will simplify matters and deal with the core issue, Concentrated Blast’s viability when pitched against its 2-handed counterpart Sonic Wave.
Breaking down the damage alone we get the following:

Sonic Wave

Concentrated Blast

You can see that at two strikes of Concentrated Blast, the damage is equal to that of Sonic Wave. However, by the third strike, the damage per global cooldown has dropped below that of Sonic Wave. Additionally, you delay getting an extra 8% adrenaline by two server ticks and from this it is easy to see why Concentrated Blast is almost never fully cast.

This isn’t where the damage comparison stops though, Sonic Wave has a rather powerful effect - it improves your chance to hit with your next attack by 10%. An accuracy boost is better than a damage boost of the same number when you are considering damage over time. For instance, take a look at the table below which illustrates how much extra damage over time you get from hitting 10% more often.

This is worked out by calculating (Improved accuracy/Base accuracy)-1.

The last thing to compare between Sonic Wave and Concentrated Blast would be adrenaline gain. Assuming the standard 8% adrenaline per ability cast, the channelled nature of Concentrated Blast means that this has lower adrenaline gain over time than Sonic Wave. Sonic Wave provides 8% adrenaline for a single global cooldown, so 8% adrenaline for 3 server ticks. Concentrated Blast provides 8% adrenaline but a full cast takes 5 server ticks. Less adrenaline over time means, less adrenaline to spend on thresholds which in turn means less damage over time.

Given the above it is clear that Concentrated Blast is lacking compared to its counterpart. We’ll address this with the new and improved Concentrated Blast and then apply the same to Fury.

Buffing Concentrated Blast

Our aim with this buff is to position Concentrated Blast such that past a certain base it gains situational use over Sonic Wave. To start with we’re going to hark back to a much older version of Concentrated Blast and add critical hit chance to the ability. We are going to add 5% critical hit chance per hit to the ability which will apply to the next hit, including those from Concentrated Blast itself.

This leads to the following numbers for Concentrated blast:

To see the effect of the critical hit bonus we will apply this to Wild Magic which benefits the most from the critical hit bonus. Applying the 15% critical hit chance to Wild Magic results in the following:

This has increased the average damage of Wild Magic by 9.3% and made the damage of Concentrated Blast comparable to that of Sonic Wave when fully cast, in fact using 2 hits of the cast beats the base damage of Sonic Wave but you only come out of the cast with 10% critical hit bonus.

This buff isn’t strong enough though, so let’s look at a couple of other alternatives. To see if we can come up with a potential solution to buff Concentrated Blast to the current power of Sonic Wave.

Firstly, let’s look at just using a bonus critical hit chance. We need to boost the critical hit chance to 7% per hit which results in the following.

This leads to a 13% increase in damage meaning at around 75% accuracy Concentrated Blast provides more damage for the next hit. However, 21% critical hit chance on a spikey ability such as Wild Magic is very strong and not ideal in terms of ability balance.

Another alternative is to offer not just critical hit chance, but also some damage to the next attack. Let’s say 1.5% damage per strike. This gives us the following.

With 15% increased critical hit chance and 4.5% increased damage, we end up with a 14.2% increase in Wild Magic’s damage.

Needle Strike fills the same role as Concentrated Blast, but provides 5% damage with 0% critical hit chance bonus. Clearly Need Strike needs a buff too then, but for Needle Strike to catch up to Sonic Wave we would need to boost its bonus to a 10% damage increase.
Looking at the numbers required to bring these abilities in line with Sonic Wave, it is clear that Sonic Wave is very powerful. To start competing, the damage buff from Needle Strike needs to be doubled, and Concentrated Blast needs to provide impart a massive critical hit chance bonus or an undesirable double-barrelled effect. Buffing everything to be equally as powerful as Sonic Wave is just not viable as this is far too strong for a basic ability. Instead we are going to need to look at bringing everything in line.

Bringing all abilities in to line

Looking at the numbers presented in the previous section, the first buff with 5% critical hit chance to Concentrated Blast is our ideal position for the ability, therefore it can be applied to Concentrated Blast and its melee counterpart Fury.

To bring Needle Strike in line the 2 hit cast boost from Concentrated Blast, the damage bonus will be buffed from 5% to a 7% damage bonus.

Finally, we need to deal with Sonic Wave. In order for the damage bonus’ to lie in a nice place on the ‘damage bonus gained from accuracy boosts table’, the accuracy boost needs to be lowered to 6% which presents us with the following table.

This means that at the point we reach 65% accuracy on an NPC the critical hit boost from Concentrated Blast’s full cast becomes competitive with Sonic Wave.

20-Jan-2017 12:34:48 - Last edited on 20-Jan-2017 14:24:18 by Mod Pi

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This means that at the point we reach 65% accuracy on an NPC the critical hit boost from Concentrated Blast’s full cast becomes competitive with Sonic Wave.

Where do you even get below that nowadays?

20-Jan-2017 15:56:12 - Last edited on 20-Jan-2017 16:07:14 by byj

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