Comparison of Armorer, Offense and Archery

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Facts (valid for Horn of the Abyss)[edit]

  • At Basic, Advanced or Expert Level, Armorer reduces all damage inflicted by 5%, 10% or 15%.
  • At Basic, Advanced or Expert Level, Offense increases hand-to-hand damage by 10%, 20% or 30%.
  • At Basic, Advanced or Expert Level, Archery increases ranged damage by 10%, 25% or 50%.
  • Rampart, Inferno, Necropolis and Fortress have 1 shooter, Tower has 3 and all other towns have 2 shooters.
  • Beastmasters from Fortress are most likely to learn Armorer (10% chance), followed by Alchemists from Tower (8% chance).
  • Barbarians from Stronghold are most likely to learn Offense (10% chance), followed by Captains from Cove (9% chance).
  • Captains from Cove are most likely to learn Archery (9% chance), followed by Rangers from Rampart and Planeswalkers from Conflux (8% chance each).

Notes[edit]

  • Armorer will benefit all your troops while Offense will benefit shooters less (only when they attack in melee).
  • Archery has the biggest percentage bonus but will only benefit shooters.

Table of Specialties Percentages[edit]

Assuming Expert Level in the secondary skill, the percentage bonus will increase to the following values at certain levels: (Level 74 is the maximal level in Horn of the Abyss).

Bonus Percentages from Specialty
Armorer Offense Archery
Base % 15% 30% 50%
Level
0 15% 30% 50%
1 16% 32% 53%
2 17% 33% 55%
3 17% 35% 58%
4 18% 36% 60%
5 19% 38% 63%
10 23% 45% 75%
15 26% 53% 88%
20 30% 60% 100%
25 34% 68% 113%
30 38% 75% 125%
40 45% 90% 150%
46 50% 99% 165%
47 50% 101% 168%
50 53% 105% 175%
60 60% 120% 200%
70 68% 135% 225%
73 70% 140% 233%
74 71% 141% 235%

Discussion[edit]

Note that all three skills' percentages increase linearly when their respective specialty heroes reach higher levels.

Now, for Offense and Archery the resulting advantage also increases linearly: Offense specialty adds a 100% (linear) bonus every 66 2/3 levels after level 46 2/3. Archery specialty adds a 100% (linear) bonus every 40 levels after level 20.

Armorer behaves non-linear. This is because the change from 15% reduced damage to 20% reduced damage is less of a difference than 90% reduced damage to 95% reduced damage. From 15% to 20% the change is only a 5.9% improvement, but 90% to 95% halves the damage taken!

Tabular Overview #1[edit]

Here a tabular overview of what levels would be needed to double/triple/... the damage or to receive only half/one third/... of the damage:

Armorer Offense Archery
Base % 15 30 50
Level Total % Effective Reduction Factor Level Total % Effective Increase Factor Level Total % Effective Increase Factor
Two times / One half of damage 46.67 50% 2 46.67 100% 2 20 100% 2
Three times / One third of damage 68.89 67% 3 113.33 200% 3 60 200% 3
Four times / One fourth of damage 80 75% 4 180 300% 4 100 300% 4
Five times / one fifth of damage 86.67 80% 5 246.67 400% 5 140 400% 5
Ten times / one tenth of damage 100 90% 10 580 900% 10 340 900% 10
At max level 74 71% 3.39 74 141% 2.41 74 235% 3.35

Tabular Overview #2[edit]

Here the table for achievable levels:

Effective Increase / Reduction Factor
Armorer Offense Archery
Base % 15% 30% 50%
Level
0 1.18 1.30 1.50
1 1.19 1.32 1.53
2 1.20 1.33 1.55
3 1.21 1.35 1.58
4 1.22 1.36 1.60
5 1.23 1.38 1.63
10 1.29 1.45 1.75
15 1.36 1.53 1.88
20 1.43 1.60 2
25 1.51 1.68 2.13
30 1.60 1.75 2.25
40 1.82 1.90 2.50
46 1.98 1.99 2.65
47 2.01 2.01 2.68
50 2.11 2.05 2.75
60 2.50 2.20 3
70 3.08 2.35 3.25
73 3.31 2.40 3.33
74 3.39 2.41 3.35

Conclusions[edit]

  • Without a specialty in Armorer, Offense or Archery, Armorer is statistically worse in a fight where you take similar amounts of damage as you inflict. 15% damage reduction cannot compete with 30% or even 50% damage increase. However, most of the time (hopefully) you would fight with almost no or zero losses.
  • Because Armorer gets super-linearly better at higher levels for Armorer specialty heroes, it can break even with Offense at level 46 2/3 and with Archery at level 73 1/3. This means at these levels, the skills give equivalent benefits: If the base damage is 100 (with Offense specialty and Expert Offense) at level 46 2/3 the creature does 100% more damage. The defending creature (with Armorer specialty and Expert Armorer) will reduce the taken damage by 50%, so will only receive the 100 damage. This cancels each other out exactly. Before the mentioned levels, Offense and Archery will effectively increase the original damage while at later levels, the taken damage will be less than the original damage.
  • Level 46 is rarely reached in any game.
  • This does not mean that Armorer is worse than Offense or Archery until the mentioned levels. To preserve army hit points is a very important goal and Armorer does exactly this. 15% damage reduction can also be seen as 15% HP increase. Who would not want to have Ancient Behemoths with practically 345 HP?
  • Offense and Archery are only preserving hit points in a passive way: You need to kill enemy stacks before they can hit you.
  • Against shooters which can't be reached in the first round, Armorer will probably be more useful.
  • Against fast creatures which get the first strike, Armorer might be more useful. More of your creatures survive the initial attack. They might even do more damage than if you had Offense or Archery since there are more left.
  • These are all great skills. While Archery is more situational (probably especially useful for Towers Titans), Armorer is universally useful and Offense will significantly benefit basically any army as well. For might heroes these skills are very important while magic heroes might not have enough secondary skill slots to learn them. Also, their chance to learn these skills is generally lower.