Increasing Ongoing Damage/Penalty to Saves

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I recently have come upon the Rogue PP, Death Dealer (MP). I would like to make a character that piles on penalties to saves as well as delivering high amounts of ongoing damage and effects. I am sure there is a forum out there for this but unfortunatly my search is working rather poorly. Any aid or help would be appreciated.

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The Character Optimization board would be the best place to ask this kind of question. 

Standard Answer to all 5E rules questions: "Ask your DM."

You can do it.  But ongoing damage sucks anyway.  Generally you just want to kill the target rather than wait for it to die.
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Thing to remember, in a super optimized game, Ongoing Damage is going to fall behind. In a normal game it's fun and useful. In either case, it's best used as a secondary thing, preferably against secondary targets, to drain them while the team takes down another target.

Other thing to remember: CharOp will simply tell you that Ongoing Damage sucks. There's maybe two people who can be relied on to help you try to optimize it, but your thread will be full of "Abandon Ongoing Damage. It sucks."

It doesn't suck. It just isn't a tool for killing a target in the first round, and that's the primary focus of CharOp. Killing an opponent in one round.
Thing to remember, in a super optimized game, Ongoing Damage is going to fall behind. In a normal game it's fun and useful. In either case, it's best used as a secondary thing, preferably against secondary targets, to drain them while the team takes down another target.

Other thing to remember: CharOp will simply tell you that Ongoing Damage sucks. There's maybe two people who can be relied on to help you try to optimize it, but your thread will be full of "Abandon Ongoing Damage. It sucks."

It doesn't suck. It just isn't a tool for killing a target in the first round, and that's the primary focus of CharOp. Killing an opponent in one round.




It is a little more simple than that.  Mostly it is assumed that you will only get your ongoing ticks once in the case of application of ongoing damage on your primary target (Since we are assuming everyone focus fires) on most occasions.  In those instances damage now just makes more sense than damage later.

Ongoing damage is worth it in these instances:


  1. You aren't playing in a high op game.

  2. The investment in ongoing damage makes you deal signficantly more damage (+25% damage) without giving up any major part of your role.  Alternatively if you are going to be giving up part of your role the damage needs to be very high (+50% damage).

  3. You can apply ongoing to multiple targets with the assumption that it will tick at least once.


If you are playing High or med high op, like you said ongoing in generally useless.  Things die too fast for it to be effective.  But that is only part of the issue.  One of the other major problems is the opportunity cost to get high ongoing damage is also high.

As an example take two characters of the same class and level.  One is built for ongoing, one is built for single target damage.  Lets also pick a level and an effectiveness.  Lets assume our characters are level 11 and have .8KPR.  .8KPR at level 11 is about 90 damage.

straight damage Character: Does about 90 damage per round.
normal ongoing damage character: Does about 90 damage per round.  20 of which is ongoing.  The primary difference between the straight damage build and the ongoing damage build in most cases will either be unlucky saves for elites and solos (who have a bonus to saves) where their damage will go up to 110 damage per round.  In many other cases it just ends with the monster getting extra off-turn actions, or continues to be a threat off-turn, or another player doesn't think it is going to die from ongoing and sinks resources into killing it that are "wasted".
"optimal" Ongoing damage character: Needs to deal ~112 damage per round.  A good chunk of that will have to be in ongoing.  Given what you gave up to get here that means that you will need to be doing something like ongoing 35 (112-30=77).  77 damage on your turn, 35 damage ongoing to make up for the fact that the monster probably gets to spend one extra round sitting on the table.  That is a lot of ongoing damage for a level 11 character.  If you can pull this off, maybe you have a case to be made.

Alternatively if you are tossing ongoing out like candy (easily being about to toss out significant [here defined as ~25% of total DPR] on multiple targets) then you make a case in non-high op games.  Your DPR goes up but it is inflated by the fact that nobody is focus firing.  If they are focus firing some of the damage will likely be lost on every monster.  So basically good play makes this less useful.
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I would mostly argue that that entire post mostly just applies to high OP games, not light OP or Medium OP games.

Basically, how focused you are on your role matters less and less the further away from High OP you get, up to a certain point. A primary striker in a high OP game just shouldn't touch ongoing damage. A control striker, and/or a "fifth man" striker can use it without worry, especially in a game that is at any level of Optimization below "High".

In all but low OP games, ongoing damage is best used against secondary targets, especially if you can tack it onto more than one secondary target. Warlocks especially make very strong control strikers, and many hybrid striker builds make better control strikers than they do "pure" strikers.

But in the end, we're mostly talking about the difference between very good and very, very good, and it's just not very noticable in most games. If you want to be the one that is mostly responsible for taking down a target in the first round, there are certain builds that are best for what you want,but there is plenty else for strikers to do in 4e.

CharOp does, at times, tend to exaggerate the vital nature of focusing on your role.
I disagree with this completely.

In a low op game, I'm assuming the ongoing damage dealt will be 5 per tier. Assuming poor tactics, monsters will live 2 more rounds after they are first attacked. So you took a feat to deal ongoing damage, and it will deal 10 damage per tier?

Pretty sure any kind of damage type specialisation outdoes that in a heartbeat, and that is not even considering Matyrs arguments regarding damage now vs damage later.    
Why would you assume that? Even in low OP games people take options that make them better at whatever it is they're focused on. They just aren't building their character all the way to 30 in advance.

And again, you're not using ongoing damage the same way you use straight damage, as I already noted and explained above.
Why would you assume that? Even in low OP games people take options that make them better at whatever it is they're focused on. They just aren't building their character all the way to 30 in advance.

And again, you're not using ongoing damage the same way you use straight damage, as I already noted and explained above.



Your example is that if you optimize in a low op game around something with very low op potential that it won't be bad.  Where, if you are going to optimize, you might as well optimize around something that isn't terrible...
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Why would you assume that? Even in low OP games people take options that make them better at whatever it is they're focused on. They just aren't building their character all the way to 30 in advance.

And again, you're not using ongoing damage the same way you use straight damage, as I already noted and explained above.



Your example is that if you optimize in a low op game around something with very low op potential that it won't be bad.  Where, if you are going to optimize, you might as well optimize around something that isn't terrible...



That makes no sense.

Ongoing damage isn't terrible in a low OP game. Low OP doesn't mean no OP, first of all. Players are probably still perfectly willing to find ways to give penalties to saves, for instance, or easily increase the damage. Second, ongoing damage brings secondary targets to the point where they can be killed by the main striker (or even the non strikers) more quickly when the group turns it's attention to that target.

The "the party will waste resources on that target" argument is completely useless, also, btw, because it assumes that the players are idiots.
We all play different games, with different DMs. I can tell you that my players do not have full information on a monsters health. They knew he got bloodied earlier this round, for example, but not whether he has 50, 30 or 3 hit points left right now.

I still feel the opportunity cost of building around 5-10 damage per tier next round is an entire waste of effort. Don't forget that while PCs are weak in HP, monsters usually have a lot more of those.  

Ongoing damage isn't terrible in a low OP game. Low OP doesn't mean no OP, first of all. Players are probably still perfectly willing to find ways to give penalties to saves, for instance, or easily increase the damage.


So they are devoting their "lop op" resources to something with low optimization potential.  Where they could devote it to something more useful and do better.  Saying a game is "low op" to justify poor mechanical decisions but clinging to the idea that they aren't poor mechanical decisions is rather odd.  Saying "I like ongoing damage, and it is low op, so it doesn't matter that it isn't as strong" is perfectly ok.  But the other is just mathematically incorrect.

Granted at this point we get to the idea of "put up or shut up".  Which means you would need to find a scenario for a particular class using ongoing damage and see if it meets benchmarks (or how far from benchmarks it is).  Benchmarks might take a bit of an annoying time to find but what this turns into would be "you build a striker, I build a striker, we both don't use heavy cheese and see what the difference is"  If the difference is yours does 3 less damage, but puts ongoing 5 on the target, then your case has been made to a certain extent.  If the difference is yours does 3 less damage per attack, has less hit, less versatility and fewer multiattacks but puts ongoing 5 on the target, then your case has been defeated.

So either we can go round and round, or you can post a build.



Second, ongoing damage brings secondary targets to the point where they can be killed by the main striker (or even the non strikers) more quickly when the group turns it's attention to that target. 


Assuming that the player is able to spread the ongoing without wasting damage on the primary target.  Because if your ongoing "weakens" a target before you get to it, but you didn't help your party take out the last target that "weakening" is more than wasted.  Basically if you are doing something that isn't adding damage to the kill target it needs to do more than take '1 hit' off of the secondary target to be worth it because you are spreading damage and likely giving the kill target another chance at a turn and possibly one extra round to live. 


The "the party will waste resources on that target" argument is completely useless, also, btw, because it assumes that the players are idiots.



No, it assumes that they don't know "ok, he has 4 hp and ongoing 5" and switch to another target.  most groups have a vague idea what the monster HP is, but don't know it exactly.  And a monster at 1 hp generally does the same damage as a monster at full hp (and sometimes a good bit more).  Even then since ongoing numbers are going to be so very small it is often that a monster isn't going to die from purely ongoing damage (in the example the monster has 6 hp and ongoing 5).

It is a waste of party resources to go after something that would have died from ongoing, and it is a waste of party resources to devote a build around giving an effect that most often will not result in it taking any less attacks (a party resource) to kill a target.

Consider Ongoing 5 as contrasted to Inspiring Breath.  They seem, at first glance, to be somewhat close to comparable.  Then you notice that +5 to everyone isn't 5 once.  And you notice it is put on a blast and takes 1 (maybe 2) feats in order to come online.  Then you notice that if anyone has multiattacks it synergizes well (turning that 5 into 10 or 15 or 20). Then you start adding up what all it can do at different levels and notice that it can easily count for another full hit on the target if people are focus firing (they should, if you don't really get a good visual from me, look at the crappy player's strategy guide).  Then you notice that takes the player a minor action they should be doing anyways (because especially at low levels people don't have tons of minor actions).

So basically Ongoing fails.  It has been proven to fail even if taken to the n-th degree using really squirrely rulings (see Da Bleeder).  So if you are going to reverse the status quo and say "no it works" you need to actually put your money where your mouth is and post something that proves your point.




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-stuff-






No one has shown that Ongoing Damage doesn't work. It's been shown to have less high end potential than normal damage, and is not for strikers that aren't splitting focus to do some control/AoE. That's it.

Since I've not said a single thing in contradiction to any of that, there's no need for build posting or any of this nonsense.

Also, you seriously think I'm going to spend any time whatsoever (not to mention renew my DDI sub if I don't want to spend much longer cross refencing the small hill of 4e books, when I'm playing more playtest material than 4e right now...just to try to "win" an internet argument) doing something I don't already want to do/don't already have ready in order to...what? Impress some dude on a forum I've no reason to care about, who refuses to even recognize the actual arguments that I've made, rather than responding to arguments I haven't made?

Yeah. That's likely. I mean...do you have priorities? Seriously. You just suggested that I should spend both money and extra prep time or much more extra prep time in order to try to win an internet argument. You really suggested that. Without irony. that's the weirdest thing I've ever seen on an internet forum.

I will directly respond to one point, though, because it's too erroneous to pass up. Damage dealt to secondary targets is only "wasted" if the primary target would have died a round earlier if that damage had been applied to it instead, thereby making the difference between the target getting another turn to attack, and delaying by a round the resolution of the combat.


Almost forgot, my arguments don't rely on low optimization. they simply rely on the game not being high/extreme OP. And in fact, I've recognized at every turn that ongoing damage isn't worth using in high/extreme OP games.


No one has shown that Ongoing Damage doesn't work. It's been shown to have less high end potential than normal damage, and is not for strikers that aren't splitting focus to do some control/AoE. That's it.



Actually it has been shown pretty conclusively that ongoing damage is not worth it.  A couple of times.  It has been shown to be the lowest of low op in every case that I've seen.  If there is a case that I have not seen that proves otherwise I'd like to see it.  I also mentioned a case where it was shot down by someone who was bending the rules to make it stronger.

As far as the "is not for strikers that aren't splitting focus to do some control/AoE" bit... Well that is the part where this mythical idea comes into play.  If you can show a build that does ongoing and meaningful control to non-primary targets then that is one of the ways you can show this is relevant.  I haven't seen one of those yet, but it is possible.  I don't see a way to build it, but you clearly think it can be done.  So... go ahead I'm listening.


Since I've not said a single thing in contradiction to any of that, there's no need for build posting or any of this nonsense.



Except that only one side (mine) is offering any actual evidence to this argument.  So I'm saying you need to actually show how your statements aren't in direct contradiction with established baselines (atm they are).  Which in general requires a build...

Yes I asked you to prove your statements.  How you go about it, in these regards, is to post a build or a mathematical proof.  The summary of a character that does something similar to what you are claiming is far simpler and less time consuming.

The statement "put your money where your mouth is" is just a saying.  I am not saying you should spend actual money on things, I am saying you should actually try to backup what you are saying with more than "because I said so".


I will directly respond to one point, though, because it's too erroneous to pass up. Damage dealt to secondary targets is only "wasted" if the primary target would have died a round earlier if that damage had been applied to it instead, thereby making the difference between the target getting another turn to attack, and delaying by a round the resolution of the combat. 



That is true except for one major point.  If you are concentrating on dealing less damage so you can do ongoing damage then your damage is also lost on the target.  Let me phrase it another way: If you are doing ongoing damage instead of actual damage then the target gets, at minimum, an extra "offturn" to be in the way.  That assumes that the damage from ongoing and direct damage is the same (which it isn't).  In actuality they get more than that because the damage you would be dealing if you weren't dealing ongoing damage is lost.

So, again making this as clear as I can to you, if you go out of your way to gimp your character not only are you sometimes wasting the attacks of other players but you are also wasting a portion of your attack due to changing your schtick to ongoing.  The only way you can avoid this is by apply mass ongoing (either massive damage to a target or relevant damage to several targets) and I have not seen you offer any evidence as to that being even remotely possible.


Almost forgot, my arguments don't rely on low optimization. they simply rely on the game not being high/extreme OP. And in fact, I've recognized at every turn that ongoing damage isn't worth using in high/extreme OP games.



My argument isn't, in general, that you are relying on low op as a party.  But that you are taking a specific element with low optimization potential and sinking resources into it.  Thus making you, as a character, low op.

Edit: It is actually kinda amusing that one of us is using actual game elements (listing feats, powers, numbers) and the other gets insulted/amazed by someone asking for them to show their work.  I wonder which argument, under those condtions, has more weight...
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Hey, if you'd respond to the actual things I say instead of responding as if I'd said something else, I might take you seriously enough to care. I don't see that happening, though. Your assumptions about control strikers are kinda borked, anyway. If a character is contributing to the team winning with it's actions, those actions are "worth it". That is the only logical baseline for discussion. Adding that they must be acting within parameters for their role that CharOp has decided are King is nonsense.
Hey, if you'd respond to the actual things I say instead of responding as if I'd said something else, I might take you seriously enough to care. I don't see that happening, though. Your assumptions about control strikers are kinda borked, anyway. If a character is contributing to the team winning with it's actions, those actions are "worth it". That is the only logical baseline for discussion. Adding that they must be acting within parameters for their role that CharOp has decided are King is nonsense.


Well that's just incorrect. A character has to contribute more to the team winning than the effect of the increased XP budget has against them for that character to be "worth it". Now, it is entirely possible to create such a character using ongoing damage, however it's also possible to create a character with identical tactical "worth" with less effort by using methods other than OGD and use the remaining resources on non-combat accumen or niche specialization (heck, you can even add ongoing damage).

And while I realize the role forums don't exist anymore, it is a little bit silly of you to make any sort of statement against the Character Optimization Forums suggesting anything other than Character Optimization.
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Hey, if you'd respond to the actual things I say instead of responding as if I'd said something else, I might take you seriously enough to care. I don't see that happening, though. Your assumptions about control strikers are kinda borked, anyway. If a character is contributing to the team winning with it's actions, those actions are "worth it". That is the only logical baseline for discussion. Adding that they must be acting within parameters for their role that CharOp has decided are King is nonsense.


Well that's just incorrect. A character has to contribute more to the team winning than the effect of the increased XP budget has against them for that character to be "worth it". Now, it is entirely possible to create such a character using ongoing damage, however it's also possible to create a character with identical tactical "worth" with less effort by using methods other than OGD and use the remaining resources on non-combat accumen or niche specialization (like those blindfighting feats).

And while I realize the role forums don't exist anymore, it is a little bit silly of you to make any sort of statement against the Character Optimization Forums suggesting anything other than Character Optimization.



To be fair he doesn't feel like giving evidence is something he should have to do.  Cause it is hard and stuff.

Also this didn't start in CharOp, but got moved here somewhere along the way. 
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Hey, if you'd respond to the actual things I say instead of responding as if I'd said something else, I might take you seriously enough to care. I don't see that happening, though. Your assumptions about control strikers are kinda borked, anyway. If a character is contributing to the team winning with it's actions, those actions are "worth it". That is the only logical baseline for discussion. Adding that they must be acting within parameters for their role that CharOp has decided are King is nonsense.


Well that's just incorrect. A character has to contribute more to the team winning than the effect of the increased XP budget has against them for that character to be "worth it". Now, it is entirely possible to create such a character using ongoing damage, however it's also possible to create a character with identical tactical "worth" with less effort by using methods other than OGD and use the remaining resources on non-combat accumen or niche specialization (heck, you can even add ongoing damage).

And while I realize the role forums don't exist anymore, it is a little bit silly of you to make any sort of statement against the Character Optimization Forums suggesting anything other than Character Optimization.



First, I hadn't even realize this was now in the CharOP forums.

Second, what you just wrote doesn't actually respond to the things I actually said. I said that it's absurd to state that a character must absolutely follow CharOp approved role focus parameters in order for their contributions to be "worth it".

You responded as if I said something else. I'm not even sure what.

Lastly, when did CharOp become exclusively about making every single resource decision the most optimized, and role focused, choice possible, or you suck?
Hey, if you'd respond to the actual things I say instead of responding as if I'd said something else, I might take you seriously enough to care. I don't see that happening, though. Your assumptions about control strikers are kinda borked, anyway. If a character is contributing to the team winning with it's actions, those actions are "worth it". That is the only logical baseline for discussion. Adding that they must be acting within parameters for their role that CharOp has decided are King is nonsense.


Well that's just incorrect. A character has to contribute more to the team winning than the effect of the increased XP budget has against them for that character to be "worth it". Now, it is entirely possible to create such a character using ongoing damage, however it's also possible to create a character with identical tactical "worth" with less effort by using methods other than OGD and use the remaining resources on non-combat accumen or niche specialization (like those blindfighting feats).

And while I realize the role forums don't exist anymore, it is a little bit silly of you to make any sort of statement against the Character Optimization Forums suggesting anything other than Character Optimization.



To be fair he doesn't feel like giving evidence is something he should have to do.  Cause it is hard and stuff.

Also this didn't start in CharOp, but got moved here somewhere along the way. 



You haven't asked for evidence of anything I've actually claimed. You've asked for wierd things like proof that an ongoing damage character can put just as much focused fire on a single target, which has literally nothing to do with anything I've ever said.




You haven't asked for evidence of anything I've actually claimed. You've asked for wierd things like proof that an ongoing damage character can put just as much focused fire on a single target, which has literally nothing to do with anything I've ever said. 




I have actually.  Also you haven't offered proof or evidence to support anything at all.  Doesn't really matter what the subject is you don't have any evidence for any of it.  Your only stated opinion about these sorts of things is that you feel it is ridiculous to even ask for evidence in the matter.  Which makes your opinion on the matter just that.  An unsupported opinion.



In all but low OP games, ongoing damage is best used against secondary targets, especially if you can tack it onto more than one secondary target.



This was a claim by you.  It was addressed.  It is wrong.


But in the end, we're mostly talking about the difference between very good and very, very good, and it's just not very noticable in most games.  



This was a claim by you.  It was addressed.  It is wrong.



Ongoing damage isn't terrible in a low OP game.



This was a claim by you.  It was addressed.  It is wrong.

 Second, ongoing damage brings secondary targets to the point where they can be killed by the main striker (or even the non strikers) more quickly when the group turns it's attention to that target. 

The "the party will waste resources on that target" argument is completely useless, also, btw, because it assumes that the players are idiots.



Part of this was a claim by you.  It was addressed.  It is wrong.  The other part is just showing how you are not really doing your job by "weakening things" for your someone who is actually doing damage (something the game just doesn't need).  You are filling a role that doesn't exist.
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Lastly, when did CharOp become exclusively about making every single resource decision the most optimized, and role focused, choice possible, or you suck?



Just want to point out that CharOp kind of automatically assumes that your character is playing to the best of the potential of the class/etc.  If you are intentially trying to be non-Optimal then the CharOp forum isn't the place to discuss.


I do think you have a valid question of asking HOW to optimize Ongoing Damage as best as possible, and I think that is something that has been somewhat answered in the thread.  Don't take the posts too seriously, just ask a simple question:

"If I were to maximize Ongoing damage potential, how would one go about doing that?"

Make it clear that you do not want to "play to the best of your character's ability" but to try to optimize something which, has been proven, to be a weaker way to play.

Most of my games are low op, and I'm not one to totally disregard all but the best tactics. Having said that, I've seen ongoing damage in play in low op games and more often than not it's a disappointment. Most of the time it is saved after one round, and it never gets up very high. It doesn't help that your most critical targets (and the ones that will last more than a couple rounds) get a bonus to saves.

So completely apart from the charop value is what I would call "table value" - how fun something actually is in play.  Now the idea of a "bleeder" type character is a lot of fun, but I'm just saying from what I've seen, it's not that fun once it's in play. It's kind of a letdown, even (or maybe even especially) for a low op player.

My advice for the OP is to use that Death Dealer feature in conjunction with other players' powers and don't worry so much about creating save ends effects yourself.


You haven't asked for evidence of anything I've actually claimed. You've asked for wierd things like proof that an ongoing damage character can put just as much focused fire on a single target, which has literally nothing to do with anything I've ever said. 




I have actually.  Also you haven't offered proof or evidence to support anything at all.  Doesn't really matter what the subject is you don't have any evidence for any of it.  Your only stated opinion about these sorts of things is that you feel it is ridiculous to even ask for evidence in the matter.  Which makes your opinion on the matter just that.  An unsupported opinion.



In all but low OP games, ongoing damage is best used against secondary targets, especially if you can tack it onto more than one secondary target.



This was a claim by you.  It was addressed.  It is wrong.


But in the end, we're mostly talking about the difference between very good and very, very good, and it's just not very noticable in most games.  



This was a claim by you.  It was addressed.  It is wrong.



Ongoing damage isn't terrible in a low OP game.



This was a claim by you.  It was addressed.  It is wrong.

 Second, ongoing damage brings secondary targets to the point where they can be killed by the main striker (or even the non strikers) more quickly when the group turns it's attention to that target. 

The "the party will waste resources on that target" argument is completely useless, also, btw, because it assumes that the players are idiots.



Part of this was a claim by you.  It was addressed.  It is wrong.  The other part is just showing how you are not really doing your job by "weakening things" for your someone who is actually doing damage (something the game just doesn't need).  You are filling a role that doesn't exist.



Literally nothing you say in this post is true. But because it's your basic assumptions that are the most erroneous, there's not much that I can do.
I was just hoping for a list of feats and PP's that aid in this concept. This went quite a bit further. Thank you all for argueing and brutally, verbally beating eachother. Well played.

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Well it's old, but this build may have some things you can use:

Da Bleeder
I was just hoping for a list of feats and PP's that aid in this concept. This went quite a bit further. Thank you all for arguing and brutally, verbally beating eachother. Well played.



Sorry, mate. One of the reasons I just lurked for so long around here is that any argument in charop escalates stupid fast, usually for very little reason.


The best personal use of Death Dealer is with Rogue powers like Knockout, Hobble, or Bewildering Assault and a Cunning Weapon.  You impose a (Save Ends) condition that has a huge impact and can have a good chance of allowing everyone to position around the poor hapless schmuck.  If you're doing some party optimization with your Controller, then the penalty can be huge for them if you position yourself accordingly.

In terms of anecdotal evidence, Ongoing Damage is the condition that most often gets forgotten for saves.  It's far more effective on PCs who have limited pools of healing resources than creatures who are an infinite quantity (there are always more mooks).  If you get it for no additional cost, then sure, go for it.  But I would not suggest spending resources on it, as there are ways to add more up front damage.  The only time we consistantly saw Ongoing Damage from Team Hero in our home game was the level 17 Fire Elementalist, who got to add ongoing on Escalated Elemental Bolts.  And even then, it took us like 4 sessions to remember it actually did ongoing starting at 17.

Bargle wrote:
This is CharOp. We not only assume block-of-tofu monsters, but also block-of-tofu DMs.
 

Zelink wrote:
You're already refluffing, why not refluff to something that doesn't suck?
Thing to remember, in a super optimized game, Ongoing Damage is going to fall behind. In a normal game it's fun and useful. In either case, it's best used as a secondary thing, preferably against secondary targets, to drain them while the team takes down another target.

Other thing to remember: CharOp will simply tell you that Ongoing Damage sucks. There's maybe two people who can be relied on to help you try to optimize it, but your thread will be full of "Abandon Ongoing Damage. It sucks."

It doesn't suck. It just isn't a tool for killing a target in the first round, and that's the primary focus of CharOp. Killing an opponent in one round.

I think it started with this, and was followed by many more of people expressing their personal opinion. Matyr may in your eyes not have been speaking the truth, but his point stands.

- ongoing damage underperforms when compared to damage right now, unless it is much more than ..
(reasons most valid there, I think, are opportunity actions by monsters, and save ends at start of turn)
- taking feats or other boosts that deal ongoing damage are an opportunity cost that diminish your effectiveness in dealing damage right now. Of course ongoing damage at no cost is nice, but that is not how this game works. Even if you look at any power that deals ongoing damage, you'll see it will deal at least 1[W] less damage than other powers of the same level.

In all, without naming specific powers or feats, I think damage right now will almost always outperform damage later. I would very much like someone to show me how I am wrong in this assessment, and create a build that does use ongoing damage that is as effective or more effective in taking down monsters, over the course of the entire encounter or workday, than a character of the same race and class would be dealing damage now. I do not think such a build exists or is possible within the framework of the 4e ruleset.
The only way to make ongoing effective is to have a way to apply it extremely easily and punish them to save against it.  For example, 5 or 10 ongoing combined with icy clutch of stygia.  If you can combine that with lasting frost, they would take 5 or 10 ongoing and take 10 + cha or int mod damage at paragon and 10 + cha or int mod at epic. 

There are very few ways to apply ongoing at will.  The only ones I can think of, without whole lot of investment, is to be a wererat and use the secondary power which can replace an mba or to take cruel cut style and use cleave on a solo target.
There actually are multiple examples of how Damage Later becomes better than Damage Now, notably in the form of powers like Flame Spiral and defender Catch-22s. The former (and most powers like it - Hellish Rebuke, Storm Pillar, etc.) are a full damage roll ahead of any other power you could be selecting that the fact that damage roll comes later is irrelevant, this would be the "Damage Later at no Cost"1.

In the case of the later, the line is a little bit clearer - in fact it highlights the problem with several defenders, particularly Paladins - specific improvements to the basic mark punishment is basically of tertiary importance, requiring feats that add +Stat to be worth taking, and even that's generally only done out of necessity (Fighters do not often take Potent Challenge or Devoted Challenge, Paladins on the other hand sometimes take Mighty Challenge). Powers that apply or augment Marks are typically only taken when Action Economy is an issue, and only if they're significantly powerful in their own right (Blastback Swipe barely improves AoA, Transposing Lunge greatly improves AoS; Paladins would rather have CaGI and have to use Call of Challenge than Valorous Smite)

1 Actually, thinking about it, You can probably find the breaking point somewhere in the Wizard power selection, as they have a ton of static damage starts/enters/ends zones. Shock Sphere vs Fire Shroud (one of the few OGD Encounter powers) for instance you're doing 43.125 vs 35.175, even with the slightly larger area, costing yourself 8 average damage and needing to be closer isn't worth it; add in Vuln 10+5 Wis (Morninglord/Pelor) for the one level it matters and it's suddenly 54.375 vs 57.675, and with odds in favor of an extra target? Now it looks quite a bit better. Getting retrained at 17, but for level 16 as a radiant wizard, it edges out just enough.
Also, wow are Wizard encounter powers **** at being striker powers, people seriously think this compares to a Sorcerer?
"Invokers are probably better round after round but Wizard dailies are devastating. Actually, devastating is too light a word. Wizard daily powers are soul crushing, encounter ending, havoc causing pieces of awesome." -AirPower25 Sear the Flesh, Purify the Soul; Harden the Heart, and Improve the Mind; Born of Blood, but Forged by Fire; The MECH warrior reaches perfection.
Thing to remember, in a super optimized game, Ongoing Damage is going to fall behind. In a normal game it's fun and useful. In either case, it's best used as a secondary thing, preferably against secondary targets, to drain them while the team takes down another target.

Other thing to remember: CharOp will simply tell you that Ongoing Damage sucks. There's maybe two people who can be relied on to help you try to optimize it, but your thread will be full of "Abandon Ongoing Damage. It sucks."

It doesn't suck. It just isn't a tool for killing a target in the first round, and that's the primary focus of CharOp. Killing an opponent in one round.

I think it started with this, and was followed by many more of people expressing their personal opinion. Matyr may in your eyes not have been speaking the truth, but his point stands.

- ongoing damage underperforms when compared to damage right now, unless it is much more than ..
(reasons most valid there, I think, are opportunity actions by monsters, and save ends at start of turn)
- taking feats or other boosts that deal ongoing damage are an opportunity cost that diminish your effectiveness in dealing damage right now. Of course ongoing damage at no cost is nice, but that is not how this game works. Even if you look at any power that deals ongoing damage, you'll see it will deal at least 1[W] less damage than other powers of the same level.

In all, without naming specific powers or feats, I think damage right now will almost always outperform damage later. I would very much like someone to show me how I am wrong in this assessment, and create a build that does use ongoing damage that is as effective or more effective in taking down monsters, over the course of the entire encounter or workday, than a character of the same race and class would be dealing damage now. I do not think such a build exists or is possible within the framework of the 4e ruleset.



AoE monks and a few different warlocks IIRC can do ongoing damage , often to multiple targets, at very little (or no) cost. In the case of monks, well, monks are only feat starved in high OP games, IME, so using one feat to be able to add some bleed is a nothing investment.


Of course, CharOp also thinks that a fifth man that singles out a secondary but still dangerous target, killing it in a couple rounds while the primary striker and the other members of the team one round kill other targets, is a non contributing member of the party. Frankly, they are incorrect.
The problem, and this is where charop is actually correct, is that one feat that is a 'nothing investment' is converting damage now into damage later.  If it simply added damage later, it might not get the scathing criticism it gets.  But the simple truth is, for the cost of a feat, you have made your damage potential worse off.  Small wonder then that the feat cops a serve of hate.

Still, there are plenty of Tofu Masters on this forum, who are not interested in doing any practical optimization, and it is definitely frustrating when you are looking for genuine advice for a concept, under the restrictions of an actual game. only to be told 'dont do it' or worse.


Anyway - I was looking at some options for my swordmage defender, and at one point, had a combo lined up that was about ongoing damage use, so I might share the gist of it here for interest sake.  I eventually decided not to do this by the way, as all I was achieving was damage, which I have 3 strikers to do.  But for a while, it was an inteeresting idea that really only worked well in epic.

The gist of it was:

Tielfing swordmage MC wizard PP Master of Flame  (In a game without limits you might look at a hybrid here)
Hells Burning Mark (enemies you mark are vuln 5 to your fire powers)
Consuming the Weak (enemys vuln to fire that take fire damage from your powers gain ongoing 5 fire damage)
Burn Everything (mostly because fire resist is common, and messes up your ongoing)
Icy Clutch of Stygia (Ice damage when they save vrs your ongoing damage)
Hellfire Master (fire damage when they save against effect caused by your fire power)
Arcane admixture to taste, as well as resounding thunder (although you dont actually need this, swordburst burst 3 is still cool)
Total Aegis
Sword of Summer (to add fire damage, and thus keyword, to everything)
WhiteLotus Riposte
Spellscarred Invigoration   

So basically, you can mark everyone within 2 as a minor action, then a thundery, firey swordburst at will to tag everyone with fire damage, lighting them up.

Because you can pretty much just tag everyone, it doesnt really matter what the strikers are doing, and you have ongoing 5 fire damage everywhere.  It pings the vulnerability, doing instead 10, likewise your swordburst pings it.  Likewise if they save, Hellfire master pings it.  Likewise if they ignore your mark, Spellscarred invigotation pings it (although turning 1 point into 6 points is a good conversion, 6 damage isnt anything to write home about, except it is actionless stacking mark punishment).  Likewise if they attack you, White Lotus Riposte pings it.  You actually get a lot of mileage out of that little vulnerability, doing an extra 15 to 20 damage a round, per enemy, just from it alone.  The two 'when they save, hurt them' powers also add a modest share, and as you can reignite them at will, saving is actually detrimental- and of course, elites and solos get their bonuses to saves

Also, because people are now on fire, you actually might have the chance to use your Master of Flame E11, which as far as E11s go, is a very powerful power, just with a horrible requirement for use.


Aaaanyway, all this was just poking around, and I eventually dropped the idea because all the stuffs that made it work was a lot of stuffs to take, and not much of it actually made me a better defender.  I am sure with the right hybrid (probably Wizard, TBH, but there might be something interesting dooable with Paladin) more could be done to increase the mass ongoing dmage aspect of it.  That epic destiny where you get to be more than one race, getting Genasi, would probably also be the go.

Optimal?  No, how could it be when there are blaster wizards that could do as much damage in as much of an AoE, but do it all up front.  Fun image?  Sure.
I have a lot of comments in reply to that, and they follow several different lines of thought.

First is that both Warlocks and Monks, especially with investment in OGD, are sub-par strikers, they generally have 1 or 2 optimization paths by which they can even compete in the same league as the b-tier of strikers, which mostly contains non-strikers. One thing that continually pisses me off is people excusing a bad build because it's "fine for low-op games"; lower tier strikers need to optimize extra hard comparitively, so a Fighter or Ranger optimized for OGD would be "fine for low-op" because they have a higher baseline, but a Monk or Warlock would absolutely not, you end up needing to fully optimize with every resource that isn't spent on OGD, which defeats the purpose.

Secondly, the one feat that gives Monks open access to ongoing is absolutely 100% trading Damage Now for Damage Later with zero increase in effect. It is moronic to take Slashing Kama Style. Warlocks (and Barbarians, Fighters, Rogues, and Rangers) add ongoing to Daily Powers, and add so little of it, 5, that it's not worth it the feat. The Martial Classes can add ongoing to one of their at-wills with the Cruel Cut Style, but since Style feats are mutually exclusive and the only at-will associated with Cruel Cut that's worth using (Riposte Strike) has a much better Style available, Cruel Cut becomes not worth it.

The only classes with more than more than 1 OGD encounter power are the Blackguard and Elementalist with the later only at level 17+, Invoker (7), Runepriest (13), Warlock (17), and Wizard (3) each have 1. You could gain 1 from a Theme (wilder 3), and 1 from Spellscarred MC+Powerswap at level 23. On top of this there are 2 PPs with e11's causing ongoing.

Now, other PPs can cause OGD more reliably than 1/day. Master of Flame does 2xInt OGD to 1 target on a crit, Inner Dragon does 5 OGD with DB, Thuranni Shadow Killer does 5/10 once per round, Primordial Channeler does Dex OGD if your Wild Soul is fire, Student of Caiphon adds 5 OGD to the granted MBA from its boon, Chainbinder does Str OGD (and it's condition is extra stupid!), Blood Mage does 10 when you 2nd Wind; the rest of these involve an AP ... Covenant Agent does 10 OGD, Radiant Servant does 10 OGD,  Coiled Serpent does 10 OGD, Blightbeast does Con OGD. Enemy of the Abbys does 5, Jazst does 10, Fang of Zehir does 10, Harrowing Swarm Archer does 5/10 (one of the ones with an e11), Master of Poisons does 10, Entrancing Mystic does 5, Life-Stealer does 5, Student of Caiphon does 5, Arcane Battlemaster does Int, Blood Mage does 10.

And then there's Items ... Alchemy is hilariously bad due to it's horrid scaling, and Ammunition is entirely not worth the costs to use regularly enough, and every other item that does ongoing either does so as a Daily power, on a Crit, or is Rare ... except the Northern Fist Distant Pain boon and Wave of Sorrow (the weapon belonging to Graz'zt).

If you want to do a build with OGD as anything other than an afterthought, you basically need to be a Warlock (Elemental Pact so you can cause Vuln Fire) /Wizard (Consuming the Weak)/Master of Flame with a Jagged Weapon as your Implement (or maybe MKJ+Weapon of Summer). Or a Dragonborn, because you can just add OGD to your Breath (though if you're playing a Rebreather, OGD is entirely meaningless)

If anyone on CharOp actually thinks that a striker that can survive while attacking the 2nd target is worthless, they are wrong. If collectively in 1 round the PC's kill one target and then bloody another, it's irrelevant who is contributing the damage to the 2nd target, what is important is that before burning resources on the second target, the first target is actually dead. This is the issue with have too many low optimized multi-targeters, unless you are literally Hard-Controlling the board, failing to kill that 1st enemy because of optimizing secondary target damage is just plain stupid.

Of course, "attacking the next target" is a discussion that's entirely irrelevant to the discussion of Ongoing, and I'm really confused why you would bring up "attacking the new target" at all.
"Invokers are probably better round after round but Wizard dailies are devastating. Actually, devastating is too light a word. Wizard daily powers are soul crushing, encounter ending, havoc causing pieces of awesome." -AirPower25 Sear the Flesh, Purify the Soul; Harden the Heart, and Improve the Mind; Born of Blood, but Forged by Fire; The MECH warrior reaches perfection.
I have a lot of comments in reply to that, and they follow several different lines of thought.

First is that both Warlocks and Monks, especially with investment in OGD, are sub-par strikers, they generally have 1 or 2 optimization paths by which they can even compete in the same league as the b-tier of strikers, which mostly contains non-strikers. One thing that continually pisses me off is people excusing a bad build because it's "fine for low-op games"; lower tier strikers need to optimize extra hard comparitively, so a Fighter or Ranger optimized for OGD would be "fine for low-op" because they have a higher baseline, but a Monk or Warlock would absolutely not, you end up needing to fully optimize with every resource that isn't spent on OGD, which defeats the purpose.




You're playing a different game than the one that's published in books, man. warlocks and monks work just fine. I'm pretty sure your definition of low op is something ranging from actual low op, to medium op.

I mean...have you actually played in normal games?

"Of course, "attacking the next target" is a discussion that's entirely irrelevant to the discussion of Ongoing, and I'm really confused why you would bring up "attacking the new target" at all. "

False. Completely. It is vitally relevant. The argument against ongoing damage relies on the idea that all parties must be focused on the same target in a given round, or they are idiots. That idea is false.

The problem, and this is where charop is actually correct, is that one feat that is a 'nothing investment' is converting damage now into damage later.  If it simply added damage later, it might not get the scathing criticism it gets.  But the simple truth is, for the cost of a feat, you have made your damage potential worse off.  Small wonder then that the feat cops a serve of hate.

Still, there are plenty of Tofu Masters on this forum, who are not interested in doing any practical optimization, and it is definitely frustrating when you are looking for genuine advice for a concept, under the restrictions of an actual game. only to be told 'dont do it' or worse.


Anyway - I was looking at some options for my swordmage defender, and at one point, had a combo lined up that was about ongoing damage use, so I might share the gist of it here for interest sake.  I eventually decided not to do this by the way, as all I was achieving was damage, which I have 3 strikers to do.  But for a while, it was an inteeresting idea that really only worked well in epic.

The gist of it was:

Tielfing swordmage MC wizard PP Master of Flame  (In a game without limits you might look at a hybrid here)
Hells Burning Mark (enemies you mark are vuln 5 to your fire powers)
Consuming the Weak (enemys vuln to fire that take fire damage from your powers gain ongoing 5 fire damage)
Burn Everything (mostly because fire resist is common, and messes up your ongoing)
Icy Clutch of Stygia (Ice damage when they save vrs your ongoing damage)
Hellfire Master (fire damage when they save against effect caused by your fire power)
Arcane admixture to taste, as well as resounding thunder (although you dont actually need this, swordburst burst 3 is still cool)
Total Aegis
Sword of Summer (to add fire damage, and thus keyword, to everything)
WhiteLotus Riposte
Spellscarred Invigoration   

So basically, you can mark everyone within 2 as a minor action, then a thundery, firey swordburst at will to tag everyone with fire damage, lighting them up.

Because you can pretty much just tag everyone, it doesnt really matter what the strikers are doing, and you have ongoing 5 fire damage everywhere.  It pings the vulnerability, doing instead 10, likewise your swordburst pings it.  Likewise if they save, Hellfire master pings it.  Likewise if they ignore your mark, Spellscarred invigotation pings it (although turning 1 point into 6 points is a good conversion, 6 damage isnt anything to write home about, except it is actionless stacking mark punishment).  Likewise if they attack you, White Lotus Riposte pings it.  You actually get a lot of mileage out of that little vulnerability, doing an extra 15 to 20 damage a round, per enemy, just from it alone.  The two 'when they save, hurt them' powers also add a modest share, and as you can reignite them at will, saving is actually detrimental- and of course, elites and solos get their bonuses to saves

Also, because people are now on fire, you actually might have the chance to use your Master of Flame E11, which as far as E11s go, is a very powerful power, just with a horrible requirement for use.


Aaaanyway, all this was just poking around, and I eventually dropped the idea because all the stuffs that made it work was a lot of stuffs to take, and not much of it actually made me a better defender.  I am sure with the right hybrid (probably Wizard, TBH, but there might be something interesting dooable with Paladin) more could be done to increase the mass ongoing dmage aspect of it.  That epic destiny where you get to be more than one race, getting Genasi, would probably also be the go.

Optimal?  No, how could it be when there are blaster wizards that could do as much damage in as much of an AoE, but do it all up front.  Fun image?  Sure.



Nice. Building stuff like that is always fun, even if it does leave one's CB full of unused builds. :D




False. Completely. It is vitally relevant. The argument against ongoing damage relies on the idea that all parties must be focused on the same target in a given round, or they are idiots. That idea is false.




So are you saying it is better for a party to pick individual targets rather than focusing all damage toward a single target until it is dead and then shifting that focus?


False. Completely. It is vitally relevant. The argument against ongoing damage relies on the idea that all parties must be focused on the same target in a given round, or they are idiots. That idea is false.




So are you saying it is better for a party to pick individual targets rather than focusing all damage toward a single target until it is dead and then shifting that focus?



Did you just take what I said, and assume the most extreme possible stance?

Wow. that's...something.


False. Completely. It is vitally relevant. The argument against ongoing damage relies on the idea that all parties must be focused on the same target in a given round, or they are idiots. That idea is false.




So are you saying it is better for a party to pick individual targets rather than focusing all damage toward a single target until it is dead and then shifting that focus?



Did you just take what I said, and assume the most extreme possible stance?

Wow. that's...something.



Alright then, what do you believe the optimal number of targets is?

You're playing a different game than the one that's published in books, man. warlocks and monks work just fine. I'm pretty sure your definition of low op is something ranging from actual low op, to medium op.

I mean...have you actually played in normal games?

Eh, his point stands that a low-op fighter or ranger is much better than a low-op monk.

One example of this is looking at defenses.  The monk class is built to get in the middle of a bunch of enemies and hit them all.  While they can have great AC with high DEX, Unarmored Agility, and stuff like the Elven Chain Shirt, a low-op build that ignores all that can be pretty squishy. Hence, he will get pounded a lot just trying to do his job.

I'll certainly agree with you that a low op monk can still have a fun game. A flexible, competent DM can run a fun game at any level of op if he's willing to put in the work. But it's still a bit of a bummer that you have to work harder with some classes just to perform as well as others do out of the box. CharOp strives to point out those imbalances, and sometimes the result has been actual content added to the game to help fix these irregularities. At the least it can justify the application of houserules to achieve balance (which is really no different than the DM softballing encounters for low-op characters - except that it gives the DM less work to do).

For clarification, I'm referring to low-op as a group that is capable of winning encounters in unchanged published modules up to level+2, but takes so long to do so that the grind becomes unfun. Such groups could also have serious trouble with some of the longer, 4-6 encounter days found in some modules.
Most of my games are low op, and I'm not one to totally disregard all but the best tactics. Having said that, I've seen ongoing damage in play in low op games and more often than not it's a disappointment. Most of the time it is saved after one round, and it never gets up very high. It doesn't help that your most critical targets (and the ones that will last more than a couple rounds) get a bonus to saves.

So completely apart from the charop value is what I would call "table value" - how fun something actually is in play.  Now the idea of a "bleeder" type character is a lot of fun, but I'm just saying from what I've seen, it's not that fun once it's in play. It's kind of a letdown, even (or maybe even especially) for a low op player.

My advice for the OP is to use that Death Dealer feature in conjunction with other players' powers and don't worry so much about creating save ends effects yourself.




My two cents would be to plan ongoing damage with the fact that the target WILL save, ala icy clutch of stygia, etc.  I have a build that is a warlock and is an controller striker(my party doesn't have either).  with the elemental pact this increases both my direct damage and ongoing damage.  I can get multiple instances of ongoing damage on the same target so, each save will trigger the two feats i have for that(ICoS and MF).  The damage is significant but i am not sure exactly how it compares to my character if he was totally optimized for direct damage.


You're playing a different game than the one that's published in books, man. warlocks and monks work just fine. I'm pretty sure your definition of low op is something ranging from actual low op, to medium op.



We do have slightly higher standards than normal, I admit.  But that doesn't give you free-reign to be wrong about things and not have people point it out.

You still have yet to give any evidence to support anything that you are saying.

I mean...have you actually played in normal games?




"Of course, "attacking the next target" is a discussion that's entirely irrelevant to the discussion of Ongoing, and I'm really confused why you would bring up "attacking the new target" at all. "



Because you are talking about one of the "good" parts about ongoing is spreading it around so that by the time they get to the second target (which is the new target referred to here), it is weaker.


False. Completely. It is vitally relevant. The argument against ongoing damage relies on the idea that all parties must be focused on the same target in a given round, or they are idiots. That idea is false.



Thats not false.  That is basic understanding of the game.  You should focus your efforts on things in order to remove them from the field.

This means that people with large burst/blasts should try to remove a lot of minions (or minion check at least) and then a kill target should be assigned*.  You focus your damage because if you don't the basic mechanics of the game fall apart.  The game assumes you have a basic grasp of tactics in order to make Paragon a possibility without permanently welding kid-gloves to your hands.  Even WOTC put out a strategy guide explaining this very point in detail.  So not only is it good tactics, something we here at CharOp assume you do, but it is also something that WOTC clearly expects you to do.

If you don't you are gimping yourself.

*- There are notable exceptions to this rule (A heavy AOE group for example) however all of them are extremely specific and even they benefit from a limited amount of Focus Fire.
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