Thursday, 17 September 2015

Archon Attack Speed Stacking

Playing archon is like rolling a snowball with some carpal tunnel thrown in for good measure. When you attack in archon you get a stack that gives you +1% attack speed. So your next attack comes faster, and the next one faster than that. Then when archon runs out you keep those stacks when you cast your twenty spells to get back into archon. Since your attack speed is 1.4 attacks per second, you get through those 20 attacks in 9.5 seconds if you have 50 stacks, 7.9 seconds if you have 80 stacks, and 7.1 seconds if you have 100 stacks. If it only takes you 7.1 seconds to restack Vyr's and cooldown Archon then you'll have almost 13 seconds of 100% increased attack speed when you go back into Archon, meaning you'll generate those stacks way faster.

I made a spreadsheet to figure out how many stacks you'd rack up if you were attacking a target dummy. With my current gear with 15 stacks on my Fazula's Improbable Chain and 11% increased attack speed from gear, I would steady state about 100 stacks of archon. Well, not quite, I'd have 100 when I left around, spend about 8 seconds out of archon, then build up to 80 stacks - so 180 total - before the old ones wore off at which point I'd keep going from 80 to 100 before Archon wore out again. Take off the 11% increased attack speed and it's only 96 stacks. If I had a 20 stack Fazula's chain then would stabilize at 100 stacks.

This speadsheet make doesn't match my real experiences well. For one thing I don't press buttons perfectly. For another, enemies rarely live through a full cycle of Archon so this model doesn't take into account travel times that shoudl be taken into account. This model assumes you'll never have to avoid attaks. Finally this model assumes you can't run out of arcane power, and I certainly get most of it done without worrying about arcane power, but when I have over 100 stacks and I actually can stand still and nuke at optimal speed I can run myself right out.

In reality in something like a rift guardian fight I usually have high 70's. Running around killing groups of enemies can produce well over 100 but that is largely off the back of the extra stack provided with each kill.

All of these calculations, though, made me realize that attack speed is better than I thought. Attack speed stacks poorly with Archon stack attack speed, but it does mean you start from a higher number and that means you end up with more total stacks. The 11% increased attack speed I haven't shed from my sub-optimal gear nets me about 5 stacks in an ideal situation, so maybe 4 in reality. Of course Archon stacks account for so much of my damage that 4 more stacks is only about a 4% damage increase, but that's more than I would have expected in total from 11% increased attack speed. Of course better than bad doesn't make this good, and I will be getting rid of it as soon as I can.

I seem to have firmly entered endgame now, as the next tier of my Season's Journey requires me to complete a conquest. I wish there was some way to more quickly level a very low level legendary gem. When you complete a tier 40 rift and want to get a new gem started, it feels pretty bad to only get to put 3 levels on it. Maybe that will learn me to not level the wrong ones in the first place.

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