Profession: Dodger
Specifications                  [Edit]
Type:Ranged Defence

Questions and misconceptions about the defensive skills and effects thereof come up frequently on EF. I decided to do some research and combine some good sources of information as a resource. If anyone with higher or lower Evader pro standing would like to do some tests of their own to share here so i can add the data points to my plot it would be nice, but even as-is the plot is useful. Edit: Thanks to Steffel i think there's enough data, even if not very rigorously controlled, to call this well enough. I added an additional plot with his data included by scaling and it fits a curve pretty well.


The Skills

To evade is to avoid something, for example, an attack from a mob. Not surprisingly Evade is the principal defense skill. This skill increases as you use it; so, as you are attacked by mobs that do melee damage. For ranged attacks (generally firearms) the relevant skill is called Dodge -- you will gain that skill as you are attacked by other players with pistols or rifles or by drones, warriors, and troopers.

Avoidance is a hidden or unlocked skill that applies to both dodging and evading. It is unlocked by reaching a professional standing of 25 in the Dodger or Evader profession.

Quickness is unlocked at level 55 Evader.


The Professional Standings (what really counts)

These two primary skills have corresponding professional standings (Evader and Dodger), and those professional standings are the real measure of your avatar's defensive ability. The pro. standings don't just depend on Evade and Dodge, however: they are a composite of several skills. Therefore, it is important to consider more than just Evade and Dodge when improving your defensive abilities. For example, jdegre's thread established the following skill contributions to the Evader professional standing:


The other 24 percent comes from the unlocked skills associated with defense like Quickness and hunting skills like Combat Sense, and from the attribute Agility. Knowing these percentages can be very helpful when trying to calculate the least expensive way to chip up to a certain level. As an example, starting from 0 skills it would take 10k levels (10,000 x 25% = 2500) of Evade alone to unlock Avoidance (level 25 Evader), but it is typically unlocked at around 3900 Evade when skilling up naturally because of the contribution of the other skills gained in the process.


How they work

Professional standings in EU range from 0 to 100, they determine when unlocked (hidden) skills are obtained, and they are the numbers EU uses to determine your success at the profession. To use an example most players are familiar with, the hit ability (HA) of a weapon (from 0 to 10) is how likely you are to hit a mob with that weapon. It is also equal to the professional standing in the (Hit) for that weapon type, divided by 10 (0 to 100 for pro. standings, remember?). To continue with the hit ability example, an avatar with 0 HA doesn't miss every single shot and with 10 HA it won't hit every time. The actual percentage ranges from about 80% to 90%. It is reasonable to assume that evading will be similar: even a level 0 Evader will successfully evade some attacks, and a level 100 Evader will still take some hits. Just how much difference a high professional standing in Evader makes is a bit hard to measure, but i did some tests to get an idea.


The Effect of Evader Level

Here is a plot of my results. There are two actual data points on the plot, one for an avatar with Evader level 0.8 and one with Evader level 27.75, along with a linear extrapolation to 0.0 and 100.0 level Evader. The experiment was conducted by wearing the same armor (pixie, which protects about as much as the minimum damage of the mob so as to decay the same every hit) and being attacked by the same mob (Tantillion mature) for a period of 10-20 minutes, followed by a careful determination of the exact armor decay per minute using the sweat/fruit method. This was repeated at least five times for both avatars.

Figure 1a: armor decay[ped]/minute taken from tantillion mature on avatars with 0.8 and 27.75 Evader professional standing with a linear extrapolation to level 100; note that progression must not be linear because the extrapolated effect is negative

The results came as a surprise to me: with a Tantillion mature, the first 27-3/4 levels of Evader out of the 100 available give a 39% increase in evaded attacks. It is immediately apparent from the extrapolation that there must be a nonlinear increase in ability so as not to cross the origin -- in other words, the linear fit is not a good one. The good news seems to be that the first levels of Evader give the most significant improvement. Note that different mobs and mob maturities might be affected differently by one's Evader standing (that was not tested nor confirmed by this experiment, but later was as shown below).

Using an approximate match by eye between my data and a scaled version of Steffel's data (see later post), i created a composite normalized plot and fit a nonlinear curve to it -- a logarithmic curve. This rather nice fit demonstrates the point made above and shows that, much like skill gains themselves, there is a continuing diminishing return as the level gets higher.

Figure 1b: approximately combined data from Steffel, normalized to relative hits/minute from a hypothetical low-level mob on avatars between 0.8 and 27.75 Evader professional standing with a logarithmic extrapolation to level 100.



One common misconception about defensive skills is that they decrease the amount of damage a mob does when it does hit, an understandable confusion when considering the many traits and abilities that can accomplish this in other RPGs. It just doesn't make sense in the context of the EU system, but to make sure i measured the damage taken from a mob (again Evader level = 27.75):

Figure 2: Normalized damage from a tantillion mature in chronological order; mean = 0.75

As can be seen, the damage ranges between the mob's maximum and 50% of its maximum, just like an avatar with a maxed ability on a gun. If higher evading ability decreases the frequency of high damage hits, the average (mean) of this data should be lower than the midpoint between the maximum and the minimum damage. No such effect is seen: Evader level does not affect the amount of damage taken in a hit, only how often a mob successfully hits.

An additional misconception that has unfortunately been exacerbated by this article is that all mobs have the same Evader response. This is most definitely not true, and additional discussion in the source discussion thread and a follow-up thread makes that clear. Additional data is presented in this plot from the follow-up thread:

Figure 3: Combined results of observed mob attack success on avatars of differing Evader professional standing showing approximate fitted logarithmic functions where possible.



The Effect of Evader and Dodger on Player vs. Player

The concept was developed in the thread The Effect of In-Game Skills on PvP. This is a quick summary of what was found and what is still unknown. The most concise explanation of the current data is that an assailant (i.e. PKer) with a maxed SIB weapon will hit his opponent according to this expression:


%hits = 1/2 ( (Hit) - Dodger - 20) + 100

In plain English, as long as you have more than 20 levels higher (Hit) professional standing for the weapon than your target's Dodger/Evader, you'll never miss. This is seen in Figure 4.

Figure 4: Observed successful attack percentage on avatars by avatars (PvP) showing a distinct linear relationship between the attacker's (Hit) professional standing and the defender's Dodger or Evader professional standing.


What is still unknown:


  • if it's Dodger or Evader that determines how frequently a melee PvP attack succeeds. Logic would have Evader be the relevant Profession, but with the limited data, Dodger works better.
  • If the expression given above is complete, all the way up to level 100+ (i.e. does it level off at some point).



The Uber Unlocks

Quickness and Intuition are considered to be Evader unlocks, but there is a lack of information about what level is required to obtain them. Dreicc recently reported that Quickness comes at level 55. Considering the changes to the skill system over the past year, it is highly unlikely anyone will be unlocking Intuition now, anyway.

If you find yourself still confused or with questions after reading this, please post here or the appropriate thread (see references) so that i can refine it. Volunteers willing to gather new datapoints following a similar method to that described are also encouraged to contribute. Thank you.


  • source: three threads on Entropia Forum started by Doer:  [1] , [2] and [3].

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