Hit Lower Defense
Hit Lower Defense (HLD) is an item property found on weapons and some reading glasses. The percentage is the percent chance, on a successful melee hit, to reduce the target's defense chance for 8 seconds. Prior to Publish 81, the reduction was 25 percentage points against players and monsters alike, e.g. 45% to 20%. Many PvPers deliberately overcapped their Defense Chance Increase to 70%, so that under the effect they still had the maximum 45% DCI. With Publish 81, the reduction stays the same for PvM, but the PvP reduction is 35% of the target's maximum DCI. Any overcapped DCI is now ignored. For example, if a player uses armor refinements to achieve the maximum of 70% DCI, HLD reduces that player's DCI to 45%.
The effects of Hit Lower Attack and HLD are not limited to the attacker: a target under the effect of HLA has a reduced chance to hit any target, and a target under the effect of HLD is more vulnerable to all attackers. A single warrior with HLD equipment can be a valuable support character for Peerless and other high-hit point monsters that are not easy to hit, particularly when the -25 percentage points can leave a monster with negative DCI, and the warrior does not need to be targeted by the monster to land HLA or HLD effects.
On weapons, the intensity range for HLD is 2% to 50%, in increments of 2 percentage points. The Mace and Shield Reading Glasses and Prismatic Lenses have 30% HLD, and the Lyrical Reading Glasses have 20% HLD. Statistically, a weapon's HLD effect is not additive with reading glasses' HLD effect. They're multiplicative: there is a check for one item, and if not successful, there is a check for the second item. For example, if the attacker has Prismatic Lenses and a weapon with 50% HLD, there is a 70% probability the Lenses will not cause a HLD effect, and a 50% chance the glasses will not either. Thus the total probability is 35% that neither will hit the target with HLD, and conversely a 65% chance of successfully hitting the target with HLD -- not 80% as some may think:
Percent chance of HLD on a successful hit =
Multiple or simultaneous hits with HLD do not lower the target's defense any further. However, the 8-second timer resets upon each successful hit.
For those who play with sound effects enabled, there is a unique noise associated with a successful HLD hit.
There is a system message when you are the victim of an HLD attack: "Your defense has been lowered!!" When the attack expires, the message is, "Your defense returns to normal."
HLD vs. HCI
Tactically, Hit Lower Defense and Hit Chance Increase (HCI) appear quite similar. In fact, though both have the general effect of making a target easier to hit, the two properties work differently. HCI is the chance to hit upon any melee attempt, but HLD affects a target's defense only after the target has been hit.
Example: (Identical skill sets and equipment)
- Target has 120 weapon skill + DCI 45%
- Attacker has 120 weapon skill + DCI 45%
- Attacker has a 50/50 chance to hit or miss.
If the opponent is hit with the HLD effect, he falls to 29% DCI for the next 8 seconds, giving the attacker a 56% chance of hitting the target. Again, however, this is predicated on the attacker landing a successful hit with HLD. Also, if the attacker fails to hit within those 8 seconds, then there was no benefit to the HLD effect.
The following resources are required to imbue the highest intensity of Hit Lower Defense (50%):