What does "Viable" Mean?

In a game with this many attributes, numbers and mechanics, it is hard to find a single source for information on what constitutes a viable build.

I have several hundred hours of game play, and probably as much if not more spent in Grim Tools. I give up on most builds somewhere through the process, because I keep on running into a new piece of information that seems to be a “viability” rule that I missed.

I have also spent a lot of time looking at the build compendium and in many ways that gave me more questions than answers. I am either to stupid or lazy to become a theory crafter, maybe a bit of both.

So here are my questions:

Offensive Ability
It seems to have an absolute minimum of 2500, with more being better. If I understand correctly, more will give me more crits. Is 2500 enough to always hit, and should I over cater for debuffs? By how much? Is it necessary at all for retaliation builds (which I also read is not viable)? Is it possible to stack OA at the cost of DA, where kill speed will exceed the need for strong defense?

Defense Ability
Also seems that it should at least be at about 2500, with some above 3000. At which numbers does bosses start missing you 40% of the time? Where will they never crit you? If you use a shield is the block mechanics strong enough that you can skimp on DA?

Resistances
Here it seems max it out is the rule. Does going over the limit help with resistance reducing debuffs at all? What is the minimum required physical resistance? Does it differ for ranged/caster and melee? Can you have more health and less resistance and still survive? Once again, does having a shield have any effect?

Armor and Absorption
Obviously more is better, but does high physical resist mitigate the need? Does more health mean you need less? Shields again? Ranged vs melee?

Health and Health Mechanics
Here the magic number my searches found seemed to be 15K. Why I do not know. How strong is health regen? Can a high life steal mitigate low health pools, or can any of the above defensive mechanics allow you to have a lower health pool?

Crowd Control
Will having strong crowd control mitigate the need for any of the defensive stats, or is it just nor strong enough? Does it even work on bosses, because it seems most don’t?

Damage
Seems straight forward - more is better. I am not going to try and decipher how abilities, % boosts, flat damage and all other moving parts works together, but is a highly focused damage type (or 2) build the only viable solution? Is there is a certain point where dps is just so low that a boss will take an hour, or infinity, to kill? Is there a point where you hit so hard that you have to compensate in other ways for reflective bosses? Except for a couple of niche shaman builds, are two handed weapons really that bad?

Sets and Viability
The one thing that surprised me most when checking the build compendium, was that not many builds are centered around full sets. Are set bonuses that weak? Or is it just nigh impossible to get all the above requirements covered when using a full set? Are you forced to farm MI greens with perfect pre- and suffixes to get the stats you need?

Also, what does viable mean? Seems 170 gladiator is the measure? Why? Is it the absolute limit you can achieve?

Well that’s the lot, I think? (I will skip the interaction of pets on all of the above for now :o) Although it is fun to fidget in Grim Tools, and entertaining to search the forums and reddit for answers (no matter how varied the opinions), I would rather just be enjoying the game.

If you waded through this wall of text, thanks in advance.

Viable in 170 means it can do it without dying but won’t be super efficient. Maybe due to gear, maybe the nature of the build. A weird build taht challenges itself to overcome certain odds.

CC resist is always good. Having 40% of each (less so with petrify) helps a lot.

There are plenty of build with full sets. So many actually. And sets are strong end game :slight_smile:

Thanks - that was fast!

170 refers to the maximum level you can reach in the Crucible add-on for the game. It’s a separate arena battleground where you fight waves and waves of foes in increments of 10 waves. Crucible builds are different from those of the main game so may not necessarily be what you’re looking for.

It also depends on what you want viable to mean. For me, it’s just a build that can get me to the end of the game, whether I die a lot or not. Example: my L100 Conjurer recently finished the game with 98 deaths and can’t really cope with Crucible at all. But for me it’s a viable build since it did what I wanted it to do.

For others it’ll mean it’s viable because the character doesn’t die or doesn’t die that often. Hardcore players know that if their character dies that’s the end of it so they may well be looking for something completely different from you.

A lot of questions here, I’m a little lazy so I’ll only reply to the last one.

For one, viable doesn’t mean the same thing for everyone. For me a viable character is able to play through Ultimate without dying all the time. I almost want to say viable = anything still satisfying to play despite its shortcomings.

Just going to preface that I am mainly a campaign player so my advice pertains mainly to that. Crucible is a different beast entirely.

Generally, the go-to minimum is 2700, though I will usually set a goal/push for at least 3000 including -DA reductions like Flashbang/Biting Cold, Vulnerability/Storm Box etc… More is better depending on how much % crit damage I have, if I’m dependent on chance on crit procs for anything and just generally if I’m not sacrificing any other important stats for it.

As far as I’m aware, Retaliation builds do not need OA as Retaliation cannot crit. If you go hybrid however, it becomes more useful to deal with ranged enemies.

Defense Ability
Also seems that it should at least be at about 2500, with some above 3000. At which numbers does bosses start missing you 40% of the time? Where will they never crit you? If you use a shield is the block mechanics strong enough that you can skimp on DA?

According to grimtools, most Nemeses have around 2600-2700 OA. I would again say at least 2700 for DA, though more is necessary due to plenty of endgame enemies having DA reductions that lower this. I used to aim for 2700 minimum (and probably could still do on kiting builds) but for most builds, I now aim for around 3 000 again to counteract -DA reductions.

Resistances
Here it seems max it out is the rule. Does going over the limit help with resistance reducing debuffs at all? What is the minimum required physical resistance? Does it differ for ranged/caster and melee? Can you have more health and less resistance and still survive? Once again, does having a shield have any effect?

Overcapping resistances does indeed counteract resist reduction debuffs.

Physical resistance is not necessary but it is one way of taking on Physical damage alongside high armour and sustain. It’s more of a luxury stat than necessary. Builds that can’t get large amounts of it or armour like Spellbinders will look at other ways of mitigating damage (such as damage absorption).

There are many different ways of building defence, Shields are another, so is Fumble/Impaired Aim and Dodge/Deflect. It depends on the masteries you pick and what kind of build you are doing.

Armor and Absorption
Obviously more is better, but does high physical resist mitigate the need? Does more health mean you need less? Shields again? Ranged vs melee?

You always want around 90-100% Armour Absorption so your armour is as efficient as possible. See above for rest.

Health and Health Mechanics
Here the magic number my searches found seemed to be 15K. Why I do not know. How strong is health regen? Can a high life steal mitigate low health pools, or can any of the above defensive mechanics allow you to have a lower health pool?

At Level 100, I will again, aim for at least 10 000 health. More is obviously better. I don’t pay attention to health regen much unless I’m doing builds that lower it substantially like Hungering Void/Blood Rite in which case, I make sure I have a strong and consistent way of counteracting it such as Healing Raiin or a strong/consistent method of leeching health like Sigil of Consumption or Wendigo’s Mark.

Crowd Control
Will having strong crowd control mitigate the need for any of the defensive stats, or is it just nor strong enough? Does it even work on bosses, because it seems most don’t?

Most crowd control like Freeze/Knockback/Stun etc. work on trash and most Heroes but not Bosses. You will always want defence mechanics for Bosses instead.

Damage
Seems straight forward - more is better. I am not going to try and decipher how abilities, % boosts, flat damage and all other moving parts works together, but is a highly focused damage type (or 2) build the only viable solution? Is there is a certain point where dps is just so low that a boss will take an hour, or infinity, to kill? Is there a point where you hit so hard that you have to compensate in other ways for reflective bosses? Except for a couple of niche shaman builds, are two handed weapons really that bad?

It obviously depends on how you build your character. Well-built characters will have no problem killing Bosses in a reasonable amount of time, even gimmicks (though they will take longer but that is to be expected).

I generally will focus on a single damage type and if I happen to pool damage/resist reduction to a secondary damage type, then great, but it is often not my intention to build and balance 2. The exception being if they are closely knit, i.e. I might try and balance Chaos/Fire due to them sharing RR in Agonozing Flames, Eldritch Fire and Thermite/Hellfire Mines. If I am converting Fire to Chaos though, I won’t bother and just focus on Chaos with Fire on the wayside.

Sets and Viability
The one thing that surprised me most when checking the build compendium, was that not many builds are centered around full sets. Are set bonuses that weak? Or is it just nigh impossible to get all the above requirements covered when using a full set? Are you forced to farm MI greens with perfect pre- and suffixes to get the stats you need?

There’s a good amount of sets that are powerful. Fluff has shown recently that Avenger, Radaggan and Ultos are top-tier :stuck_out_tongue: Few other posters have shown that Infernal Knight or Blood Knight are good too. Then other sets like Justice have always been amazing.

With a few (1-3) exceptions, I think just about every Legendary set (and even some Epics) have had a build posted since the expansion has launched that I have seen/can remember, not all of them are submitted to the compendium though.

Also, what does viable mean? Seems 170 gladiator is the measure? Why? Is it the absolute limit you can achieve?

What you consider viable and what I consider viable may differ :stuck_out_tongue: Whether a build is viable depends on what your objective is. Gladiator 170 is the highest tier of difficulty the game offers so for a lot of people around here, it is the measure for how well a build will do.

I don’t play much, if any of Crucible so I consider builds viable based on how well they clear rogue-like dungeons or Nemeses in the Campaign.

For me “viable” would mean the build could clear Main Campaign Ultimate relatively comfortably. However, being Gladiator Crucible “viable” and Campaign “viable” are two separate things, worlds apart.

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Don’t forget about Superbosses btw. Not every crucible build can handle Superboss and vice-versa.
Campaign, Crucible, Superbosses - all have different requirements.

Don’t quite know what the exact cutoff is, but Iron Maiden and the PV Trio can be completely unkillable if you lack enough dps for them. Fabius too, I suppose, but he heals much more slowly.

Depending on the build in question, Rashalga can be a pain as well as a few of her attacks have life steal/life leech and her aura restores a bit of health on cast too.

Not quite. <Viable> is simply a constraint to further define your build. Builds are, like everything, usually created with a specific purpose. <Viable> is simply a way to state that purpose, or showcase the build’s strength.

Chthon has a whole appendix/table for builds in reference to viability/build descriptions in his amazingly organized “Build Compendium”.

With builds, I would say standards for viability are set higher than “can pass without dying all the time”.

For example, if <Crucible 170 viable> is used, the build should be able to beat Crucible on level 170 without:
1). Perfect rolls (like all items maxxed out/i.e. GDStashed to perfection)
2). Considerable luck (as in spawns, enemy buffs, maps, etc)

Player skill will always matter, as I am no Superfluff, so some of his builds go way over my head and I cant play them to the viability listed.

In a way, viable is simply one of many adjectives used to define a build so people dont waste their time.

No one wants to copy, for example, a Cruc 170 + no buffs/no banners build for Main Campaign, because the build creator chose survivability/sustain over dmg, move-speed, and other key aspects that one would want in Campaign.

Nice of you to mention me but it’s important to give credit where it’s due. The build compendium isn’t the work of a single individual. I made some changes to it during my tenure but the core of it is the result of contribution by many players before me

Viable is the single most vague way to classify builds that mortals ever came up with. It doesn’t mean that the build is weak or strong - it is barely a testimony of build’s existance. Read “viable” think “good enough to exist”.

I thought a demi-God wouldn’t insert himself into the mundane topics of mortals.

Well, he must get pretty bored repeating those innane phrases of his all the time. :smiley:

This forum has one certain primordial with over 7000 posts (the name has letters ‘c’, ‘t’, ‘h’, ‘o’ and ‘n’) and you are surpised with my meddling in mortal’s affairs?

This as well. My repertoire of sneers, slurs and veiled threats could use a buff.

@powbam: In my experience (and it’s certainly not as vast as others), I find that crucy 170 viable toons tend to translate well into MC.

Thanks for all the informative responses. Especially Evil_Baka for the detailed response.

This is one of the most positive communities i have seen in … ever.

If I can convince my lazy self, I might turn this into a guide called “Numbers for Noobs”. :smiley:

Glad to hear it FlybyKnight. It’s something Medierra (the head honcho at Crate) has encouraged right from the beginning of the forum. It’s also partly a legacy from the now defunct Titanquest. net forum which again was a very helpful and welcoming place to visit. Many early GD forum members migrated from there when they found out what Medierra was trying to do with his new game and brought their helpfulness and friendliness with them.

And yes, do consider doing your “Numbers for Noobs” guide. All info is helpful for other noobs so get your lazy self moving and start writing! :wink:

I have over 4 thousand hours in the game :smiley: