1. #1

    Is Your Character a Superhero?

    So, how powerful are our characters, really? Can you pick a car up over your head? Can you dodge bullets? Are you bulletproof? Can you smash through brick walls?

    The World of Warcraft doesn’t have a lot of specific numeric measurement for its statistics. Makes sense, really. You have the most control when things are kept vague, especially when a quest has you, say, carrying filled barrels of beer. So nothing I say here is canon nor 100% unquestionable fact. It is, instead, my best estimate using whatever materials I could find and some relatively pessimistic values. If anything, I think our characters are even better than the conclusions listed here.

    So here are the core assumptions on which everything else is based:

    Linear Results: The stats of Strength, Agility and Stamina all appear to be linear in scale for the benefits they provide, such as Attack Power. I assume, therefore, they are linear in other aspects as well. Armor is the exception, which has a well-documented formula.

    The Batman 500 Scale: Batman is supposed to represent the peak of human performance. To the best of my knowledge, Batman does not use any physical augmentation: he’s not a cyborg, doesn’t use magical items, and he doesn’t use Bane-style chemicals. I assigned Batman straight 500’s in all his ability scores. This is over double the Strength and Agility of an unequipped level 90 human warrior and rogue, incidentally, so I’m giving non-buffed Batman a hell of a head start on us. Also, 500 is an easy number to work with. Batman’s feats of physical prowess are basically innumerable, but here are a couple good ones I used as a baseline:
    (a) he can bench-press a thousand pounds
    (b) he once dodged a bazooka rocket fired from behind him at a distance of about 30 feet.


    When most people talk about superheroes and their agility, they usually talk about dodging bullets. Let me make this clear before moving on: by “dodging bullets” I do not mean getting out of the space where you think the bad guy is going to shoot. I mean actually moving away from the moving projectile in flight, reacting by what you see rather than what you predict. (Moving away from where you think your opponent is going to shoot sounds more like the current stat of Dodge) Yes, Agility should cover a bunch of other things like balance, grace, and coordination, but if we’re going to compare ourselves to superheroes, we’re talking about dodging bullets.

    Bazooka rockets fire at subsonic speeds of 265 feet per second. When Batman reacted to a bazooka fired behind him, taking into account the speed of sound (hearing the weapon discharge) he had about 0.10 seconds to move his torso the 1 foot to the side it took to turn a center-of-mass hit into a clean miss. For now, let’s pretend that’s the peak of his ability. (I honestly don’t think Batman, or any “normal” human for that matter, can dodge bullets at point-blank range)
    ** The very common Glock 17 fires with a muzzle velocity of about 375 meters per second, roughly 4.4 times the speed of the bazooka round . To actually dodge a single bullet after it was fired directly at you 30 feet away, therefore, you'd need an Agility 4.4 times Batman's, or 2200.
    ** To dodge an M1 Garrand rifle shot (muzzle velocity 853 m/sec) at 30 feet, you'd need 5k Agility even.

    Now comes the hard part: fully automatic fire. To dodge automatic fire (again, this is actually moving away from the each individual bullet after it is fired Matrix-style, NOT taking cover or moving away from where the gun is about to be fired) you have to contend with the rate of fire. Since standard human reaction speed is about 0.50 seconds, and we're assuming Agility scales linearly, we're going to multiply all Agility requirements linearly by the number of bullets in half a second.
    ** The Uzi 9mm fires with muzzle velocity of 400 m/sec and fires 5 rounds in a half-second. To dodge them all would therefore require an Agility of just under 12k.
    ** The AK-47 fires with a muzzle velocity of 715 m/sec and also fires 5 rounds in a half-second. Dodging that would require an Agility of over 21k, which a level 90 Agi-based character should have before running Siege LFR.
    ** The M16 assault rifle fires 15 rounds/second at a muzzle velocity of 948 m/sec. To dodge that requires an Agility of just under 42k. This might possibly be obtainable, but not with standard raid buffs.

    So: can your Agility character dodge bullets? Yes. They can even dodge light automatic fire!


    This one’s a bit easier to start with. If Batman has a Strength of 500 and can bench 1,000 pounds, and Strength scales linearly, than clearly 1 Strength is enough to lift 2 pounds.

    My character, a Flex-geared tank, has an unbuffed Strength of about 21 thousand. This would allow him to bench-press in excess of 20 tons. According to the Marvel wikia I found, this puts him in the rough category as Ms Marvel and Spider-man. It would also conceivably allow him to pick up a 300-pound rock and throw it, shot put-style, over 50 yards (albeit with zero accuracy).
    ** If Breccia was able to carry one-sixth of hix maximum bench-press at full speed (that's blatantly stolen from D&D rules) and ran at the standard WoW speed of 8 yards per second, he would generate 305 horsepower, the same as the Ford F150 XTL V6.
    ** If Breccia grabbed a six-foot length of S18x70 I-beam (a steel support beam common in light-to-medium building construction) at each end and braced the center on his head, he could snap it in half.

    But remember, Breccia’s not a DPS and definitely not a maximum power. A fully decked-out Strength-based DPS class, in optimized gear and raid buffs, could hit a Strength score of 35,000 or more. That’s enough to pick up a Sherman tank, pull a subway car filled with Sumo wrestlers, and arguably, enough to leg-press a locomotive!

    So: can your Strength-based character pick a car up over your head? Yes. You could pick an armored car up over your head.


    Let’s say a strong but otherwise normal human took a steel sword or machete or, I don’t know, the Falchion (http://www.wowhead.com/item=2528/falchion) and thunked it into a log or tree trunk. Nothing huge, no big wind-up, just *hack* into the wood. How big of a gash would it make? Cutting across the grain, blades like those are ill-suited for chopping wood. Let’s say it bites through the bark and makes a gash one foot long, one quarter-inch deep. The Falchion does “white swing” damage of 39 to 75 damage.

    Breccia is using a one-handed sword that does 9790-18104 damage per swing. If we assume that, on inanimate, no-moving-parts “things” like logs and rocks, that damage done scales with volume removed, how much would that same human do with my sword? About 240 times the damage, and therefore, 240 times the volume (assuming same blade thickness). That’s enough to cut clean through a thirty-inch-diameter log in a single swing. Give that sword to Breccia, who routinely does double that damage with a “white swing” and up to five times as much with special attacks like Revenge, and you’re talking about cutting through a five-foot-thick tree in one swing. (Well, almost. The sword blade’s not long enough to do that)

    And, again, Breccia’s neither a DPS nor all that well-equipped. I found a Worldoflogs report showing an Arms warrior averaging over 200k damage with Slam. This is easily enough damage to cut down any tree of diameter smaller than the blade’s length (or possibly just break it half by sheer impact). If you factor in density linearly and hardness quadraticly, that level of damage would break over a dozen rebars, or two to three of the S18x70 I-beams mentioned above in one swing.

    So: can your character break through a brick wall? Yes. You can break through a reinforced concrete wall.


    I couldn’t find a good analogy I could mathematically back up along the lines of “Breccia has more hit points than an SUV”. I can say that Batman probably has about 250k hit points, so a DPS character has double and your tank over triple that, so you can take a pretty decent beating. Breccia, for example, has over 80 times the hit points of the grizzly bears of (duh) Grizzly Hills.


    There’s a lot of math I’d like to show you, but it turned out to be five pages long, so I’ll skip it purely for the sake of brevity. When it comes to armor and metals, one of the things that should be looked at is their Ultimate Tensile Strength, or UTS. This is the amount of force-per-area they can take before ripping entirely. A36 steel, for example, the kind commonly used in construction, has a UTS of 400 MPa (mega pascals). To put this in perspective, a 9mm Glock-17 bullet, hitting a half-inch immobile steel plate, perpendicular and point-blank, would cause stress of about 250 MPa, enough to dent it, but not rip through. (Note: this assumes the bullet does not deform on impact, which is not realistic for a lead bullet of course)

    Breccia’s shield adds 21,428 armor. By contrast, the nonmagical but presumably steel Crested Heater Shield (http://www.wowhead.com/item=2451) adds 1247 armor. Breccia’s shield provides 17 times the armor, and therefore I assume it to be 17 times harder. Let’s assume the rest of his armor is also 17 times harder than traditional steel plate (his armor is actually 20x that provided by the Platemail set, assuming shoulders were somehow found, but we’ll use the more pessimistic 17x for this).

    One of the most devastating weapons on the US Military is the Bushmaster M242 chain gun. It fires 25x137 mm M919 armor-piercing rounds with a depleted uranium core at a muzzle velocity of 1,350 meters per second. This thing is capable of destroying wood, brick, stone, concrete, and light-armor vehicles. According to a study I found from MIT, historically, full plate armor had a 2mm thickness on its face (leaving aside any chain mail, leather, or padding beneath it). That sounds…lower than what I imagined, but hey, it’s MIT, I’ll accept it. A single M919 projectile hitting 2mm metal at full force would generate 3,200 MPa. Meanwhile, being 17x stronger than steel, Breccia’s armor can withstand 6,800 MPa before tearing. The armor would probably be dented by such a hit, and heavy, sustained fire on the same spot would eventually rip through, but it would take some time. But realistically, with a moving target and hitting at different angles, the armor is effectively short-term bulletproof, even against this monster of an assault cannon.
    ** But what about the tunneling effect? D.U. ammunition is so useful because it basically carves itself sharp as it hits steel, burrowing through it without splatting like a lead bullet. But, Breccia’s armor is 17x harder than steel, which makes it about as hard as ruby or titanium carbide. Depleted uranium won’t tunnel through it.
    ** But what about the force of the impact? It’s true, a 9mm bullet hitting a human in a bulletproof vest could still knock them over, even disregarding any damage or injury of the impact. But the World of Warcraft game system doesn’t have different values for stabbing, slashing and bludgeoning damage. There is just all-purpose armor for all of it. This could be due to magical Star-Trek-style inertial dampeners, but not all armor is magic. A more logical assumption, then, is the armor is super heavy. (You didn’t think those level requirements were just for show, did you? The armor’s literally too heavy to lift at low level, let alone wear and move around). Full plate armor seems to weigh about 50 pounds, based on the material, source, and D&D manual you read. Breccia’s armor could realistically be 17 times heavier than steel to absorb the power of hammer, mace, and tail attacks, weighing 850 pounds, maybe more. This should sound pretty reasonable: Master Chief’s power armor weighs a half ton, probably granting similar benefits.

    Then there’s the shield. Assuming a half-inch plate of the same metal on his shield, it could withstand Bushmaster fire effectively indefinitely with little more than scratches and dings. It would even withstand a direct hit from the M6A3 WWII bazooka rocket!

    So: are you bulletproof? If you wear leather or mail, yes, you can withstand small-arms fire. If you are a plate-wearer, you can withstand heavy machinegun fire. If you are a shield-using tank, you can (barely) withstand heavy assault weapons deliberately designed to destroy light armored vehicles!

    The following things would make your character even better:
    (a) If Batman’s stats were lower than 500
    (b) If Batman was not using his full Agility on the bazooka round, or if he was more than 30 feet away
    (c) If the “steel” weapons and armor used as examples were actually something stronger, such as mithril or thorium .

    I hope this was an entertaining read. My work is opinion (informed and educated opinion, but not fact) meant to give you something to think about. Sources include

    -- Wowhead

    -- Wikipedia

    -- http://www.inetres.com/gp/military/cv/weapon/M242.html

    -- http://web.mit.edu/21h.416/www/milit...ogy/armor.html

    -- http://s289.photobucket.com/user/dar...ining.jpg.html

    -- http://s289.photobucket.com/user/dar...ooka1.jpg.html

  2. #2
    I think you'd be better off reducing the mass of everything rather than assuming weird high masses and densities. Azerothian citizens have many of the benefits given to insects due to their low mass preventing stress from gravity and inertia. It would also account for the lack of knockback on most attacks, the boundless stamina while running, the high vertical leaps.

    Basically, Azeroth is just really friggin tiny.

  3. #3
    I liked this, could you find anything about intellect or would it be as hard to judge as health?
    What about haste/spirit (in terms of speed/regeneration)
    Dwarfs, gods among humanoids, giants among... gnomes...
    Quote Originally Posted by The Hitch-hikers' Guide To The Galaxy: Prostetnic Vogon Jeltz
    "Oh freddled gruntbuggly/thy micturations are to me/As plurdled gabbleblotchits on a lurgid bee.
    Groop I implore thee, my foonting turlingdromes. And hooptiously drangle me with crinkly bindlewurdles,
    Or I will rend thee in the gobberwarts with my blurglecruncheon, see if I don't!"

  4. #4
    Legendary! Airwaves's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Having died like 100000 times I would say no lol.
    Angels and Airwaves
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  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Knough View Post
    I liked this, could you find anything about intellect or would it be as hard to judge as health?
    I tried. I really did. The problem is, with the removal of weapon skills, there is no World of Warcraft learning speed that differs between characters and/or stats. I could not justify assuming such existed when it's demonstrable there isn't. That said, if it DID work that way, the average lvel 90 mage or warlock could get a Master's degree in about three weeks.

    Quote Originally Posted by Knough View Post
    What about haste/spirit (in terms of speed/regeneration)
    I had no good benchmark for Spirit. Mana-regen is not something that seems quantifiable. Haste, like Dodge and Crit, is also hard to work with.

  6. #6
    Warchief Zenny's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    South Africa
    I don't think we can work out anything concrete by stats but I certainly feel that our characters have exceeded the bounds of what we would call mortal limitations.

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