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Thread: [WoD] Versatility + Resolve; a Damage Scaling Concern

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    [WoD] Versatility + Resolve; a Damage Scaling Concern

    Also posted on Official Forums

    For those not aware, there is a new proposed stat in Warlords of Draenor called Versatility.
    The short version is that 1% Versatility will increase all your damage, healing and absorbs by 1% and reduce all damage you take by 0.5%. While the benefit is pretty straight-forward for damage dealing or healing classes, it becomes less obvious for tanks.
    Full information on this new stat can be found here(US) or here(EU).

    To make matters more complicated, there is Resolve.
    Quote Originally Posted by Celestalon
    Increases your healing and absorption done to yourself, based on Stamina and damage taken (before avoidance and mitigation) in the last 10 sec.
    There is a full explanation of how exactly it works in this link right here, but most importantly, Resolve will scale off of unmitigated damage.


    Now on to the actual problem:

    Let us take a look at how these stats affect the tanking Active Mitigation mechanics...
    Nearly all tanks will have two active mitigation mechanics; a melee damage reduction and a 'recovery' heal/absorb both sharing the same resource. (Monks are a bit the odd one out here)
    To keep it simple, I'll use the example of a Warrior using Shield Block and Shield Barrier, although you could replace those with resp. Shield of the Righteous, Death Strike or Savage Defense and Word of Glory, Rune Tap or Frenzied Regeneration.

    Now take a boss that swings for 3x 10.000 damage over 6 seconds. (Fictional numbers for explanation purposes only)
    Our Warrior using Shield Block will guaranteed block these for 3.000 each hit or 9.000 damage.
    He may also opt to use a Shield Barrier, absorbing, let's say, 8.000 damage from the first swing.
    As you can see in this case, his better choice for reducing as much healing he would need is Shield Block, but Shield Barrier would allow him to survive the first hit if he only had 5.000 HP left, so it's more emergency/surplus than baseline rotational.

    In comes Versatility:
    If our tank manages to gain 10% Versatility (e.g. a trinket proc), the numbers change as followed:
    The boss will only hit for 9.500 damage each hit (5% damage reduction)
    Shield Block will now remove 2.850 each hit = 8.550 damage, 450 less than before!
    Shield Barrier goes the other way, gaining 800 absorb for a total of 8.800.
    Suddenly, Shield Barrier becomes the best choice in all circumstances. Why? Because 10% Versatility didn't just make Shield Barrier 10% better, it also made Shield Block 5% worse when it comes to reducing the amount of healing you need.

    To put it differently:
    a) 10% Versatility gives a 5% reduction to healing needed during the Shield Block example (= mitigation button)
    10% Versatility gives a 10.45% reduction to healing needed during Shield Barrier (= recovery button)
    b) Versatility is the stat that best signifies gear progression over an entire expansion.
    c) The problem here lies not with Versatility alone, but with ... Resolve



    The root of the problem:
    The biggest issue here is that mitigation abilities such as Shield Block, that are based on damage taken get reduced in healing removal effectiveness(*) by all flat damage reduction abilities such as cooldowns, armor and now Versatility. At the same time, AP-based abilities remain at a static HPS-value or even go up through Versatility.
    The only solution to fix this is to make AP-based abilities scale less, not at all or even downwards when taking reduced damage.


    There are several solution to this problem, here are some posibble fixes:
    * Versatility does not work on abilties that scale with Resolve (or highest one counts)
    * Versatility increases the defensive part of Mastery rather than straight up damage reduction
    * Resolve scales with post-reduction damage only (may need to exclude block from this)

    The first one might feel weird or arbitrary to people, as there is no clear link that would make one exclude the other
    The second one would be clunky and unintu´tive at best. The third one is, in my opinion, the most stable solution. It would prevent self-healing to creep up in how much relative damage they remove. e.g. if a starting tank at 40% armor removes 20% of all incoming damage with his ability, jumps to 30% at 60% armor and 40% at 70% armor!


    (*)Healing removal (effectiveness) is a term I use to indicate how much less healing a tank needs from external sources through use of his/her abilities. Ideally this value is a large enough portion of incoming damage (say 20-50%), that active mitigation matters, but not as much (>80-90%) that healers don't even need to keep an eye out for you.


    Addendum:
    I know not every class is the same and so on, but on a base level, two major mechanics that boost the effectiveness of self-healing while at the same time reduce the effectiveness of an active mitigation ability make me fear we will end up with "immortal" tanks again, as we have now with certain classes solo-tanking mechanics such as Blood Rage by chaining cooldowns together and relying on Vengeance/Resolve to heal for absurd amounts.


    TL;DR: Don't be lazy.
    Last edited by Airowird; 06-10-2014 at 04:27 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ion
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  2. #2
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    Resolve scales with post-reduction damage only (may need to exclude block from this)
    Wouldn't excluding blocks from the Resolve calculation mean that Warriors and Paladins get more Resolve (and thus more self-healing and self-absorbs relative to damage taken) than DKs etc?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fetzie View Post
    Wouldn't excluding blocks from the Resolve calculation mean that Warriors and Paladins get more Resolve (and thus more self-healing and self-absorbs relative to damage taken) than DKs etc?
    Not if the damage absorbtion from shields is counted as gearing & active mitigation similar to a Death Strike heal/shield.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ion
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    we really need to get some coefficients for stats, as well as an estimate of tank AP and HP amounts. The shield barrier tooltip leads to some worrying speculation; a 60 Rage sbar will be 7.5*AP. but we also have resolve, versatility, and the bloody wod perk to factor in. so it'as actually;

    7.5*(Strength*[1+(0.6*mastery)])*1.1*(1+resolve)*(1+versatility)

    which is a lot of multiples, which means it will scale really well, so the base amount (strength) or rating coefficients need to frikking tiny.
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    It's 8% Mastery for the AP scaling, not 60% iirc
    Quote Originally Posted by Ion
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    eh got it confused then I was thinking that we get ~18mastery baseline and 12% ap from mastery baseline so 1% mastery=0.6% AP. if it's 8% then its 1% mastery is worth 0.44% AP
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    17.6% Mastery as it's 2.2% crit block per "old" Mastery (and 0.5% block chance), but last I read, blue said 8% AP per mastery

    Edit: Nvm, I think it's 8% baseline, so 1% per Mastery, just like every tank (see alpha notes)
    Last edited by Airowird; 06-10-2014 at 09:31 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ion
    Damn old people, screwin' with my grind.
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    right so Bob the tank has 200k health, 2000 strength, which is 2000 AP increased by 8% via http://wod.wowhead.com/spell=76857#. so 2160 AP. His 60 rage Sbar stops 16.2k. IF he's being hit for 10K that means the unmitigated damage is probably somewhere around 25K so resovle factor is around 1.125 which ramps the Sbar up to 18,225.

    something somewhere is very wrong.
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    Only he'll be hit for closer to 25-30k (close to 15% of HP), which ups the resolve to around ~25k (your forgot the extra 1% Resolve for every 652.5 Sta you have), which sounds about the amount you'ld block from using Shield Block over 6 seconds = atleast 3 swings, so yeah, seems somewhere in the right ballpark. Although I am concerned about future scaling where at some point the damage reduction from SBar outweighs SB enough to not use it anymore and simply pop 20-30 Rage SBars on every melee swing.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ion
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    or just macro it in!
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  11. #11
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    A preliminary/estimations example:

    Blue tank:
    2000 AP
    200.000 HP (~6000 Stamina)
    40% melee reduction (passives & armor)
    10% Avoidance
    Boss hits do 15% of max HP every 2s

    Mythic19 tank:
    3500 AP (accounts for both Strength and Mastery increases)
    300.000 HP (10k Stamina)
    75% melee reduction
    20% Avoidance
    Boss hits do 20% of max HP every 2s
    (Note: DTPS has effectively doubled to compensate for power increase from both tank and healers)

    For simplicity, let us assume a Shield Block contributes 120% of a boss swing reduced per use (= 3 regular + 1 crit block, with additional crit blocks balancing out the chance for non-SB blocks)

    Here are some numbers for the current model:
    Resolve goes up from ~40% to 115% during the run of the expansion.
    -> This causes Barrier to increase by over 50% when compared to Shield Block damage prevention at the same level. (as in: SBarrier reduction / SBlock reduction increases noticably with gear)
    Assuming you can dump all Rage you have into whichever ability you chose, a starting Warrior will require 23% more healing using Barrier > Block, but will end up taking only 1% more in Tier 19. In total, a 22% increase in ease of healing purely due to Resolve mechanics!

    If, however, Resolve was post-reduction mechanics:
    It would go from 51 to 65% over the entire expansion, providing a more stable reference for the challenge a boss poses, as over-gearing encounters instantly reduces the Resolve you gain.
    Barrier would always hang around 70-75% of Shield Block efficiency, gaining less than 10% in relative power over the entire gearing spectrum, a balance that could easily allow tweaking to the scaling coefficient for the ENTIRE range of gear combinations without breaking anyone. If SBarrier were to be tweaked to reduce as much damage as Shield Block for a blue geared tank, the healing requirement would never shift 5% either way, in my experience a level of similarity where the rate of incoming damage (adjustable by using the right tools at the right time!) becomes more important than that bit of extra damage.

    If you want to try out numbers yourself:
    Resolve Pre vs Post.xls (now with changable boss swing timer)
    Simply fill out the yellow cells (as usual) and the table formulas should do the rest.
    Let me know if anything in there is unclear.
    Last edited by Airowird; 06-12-2014 at 01:42 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ion
    Damn old people, screwin' with my grind.
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  12. #12
    I may be blind here, but aren't your SB calculations assuming a 2.0s attack speed? Shouldn't that be 1.5s? And wouldn't that push Block up to 150% and the comparative damage reduction from Barrier down?

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    I was going to explain the attack speed thing with an extra example when I noticed I made a mistake in my spreadsheet somewhere. So I've update my previous post with correct 2.0s swing speed numbers and as reference, I'll also do 1.5s for you.
    You can also adjust swing speeds yourself now, but SB still assumes that except for 1 crit block, all extra crit blocks are countered with block chance outside SB.

    Assuming 11% every 1.5 scaling up to 15% every 1.5 at Mythic19 over the previous values, we get...

    SBar goes from 71% of SB efficiency in blue gear up to 105% in Tier 19, still roughly a 50% increase (remains the same)
    If we increase boss damage from the initial case by simply increasing swing speed to 1.5s (a more patchwerk fight), this becomes 62%.
    Post-reduction Resolve would keep both at ~80% or 65% on the harder hitting boss, a shift the current model has as well(*).

    In the end, we will always end up with one of following three scenarios if Resolve and Barrier vs Block scaling stays as it is:
    1) They are balanced in Tier 17: You completely ignore Shield Block in T18 & 19, because Barrier is far better per Rage and unless you have high burst coming in, you just macro it to all your abilities.
    2) They are balanced in Tier 18: You progress up to T18 with a minimalistic Rage income, as you don't get as much out of Barrier, and collect a secondary Rage-heavy set during the course of T18. Once you have that, you switch to full Barrier-spam.
    3) They are balanced in Tier 19: You hate Shield Barrier with a vengeance, as it starts out completely weak and only becomes worth it by the time you have killed all content the game has to offer. Magic damage bosses make you cry, Rage gains are as useful as a Cooking Fire.

    (1) makes you effectively ignore active mitigation
    (2) makes you collect an extra gear set during a tier
    (3) makes magical damage in the initial tiers very punishing, limiting encounter design. It also automaticly makes Warriors and Druids weaker in the starting Tiers, as they are forced to use this weaker ability anyway once Rage income exceeds the minimum mitigation requirement, while Paladins, Monks & DKs do not.
    None of these I would consider a win for a game design.

    This is pretty much the Armor Penetration issue all over again. The better your gear, the better the stat is, so it's shit at the start, unfairly powerful at the end, or even both. I don't want to end up with some form of Shattrath Radiance in Tier 19 because some gear combination, set bonus or other game mechanic takes this imbalance to the next level and completely skews with balance. There is simply no reason to not change this, especially as the tooltip for Resolve states actual damage taken, which only makes sense to know if Resolve is post-reduction.


    (*)This reduction is due to the fact that a part of the Shield Barrier is baseline and a part scales with incoming damage (the Resolve part). Think of the base portion as some sort of Bloodthirst-like effect. At extremely low boss damage you would not even need resolve to survive on your own, but this is a very extreme case, magnitudes past what we expect bosses to be putting out. A (realisticly) higher damage boss on the same gear will still allow for (relatively) less self-healing, true, but this just means the healers need to put in that little bit of extra effort and boss damage does not need to go beyond extreme values to stress tanks/healers. Regardless, I can live with a slightly lower efficiency on high damage bosses, knowing I have more control over when damage is absorbed, as long as there is a consistency in how effective this ability is.
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  14. #14
    I guess my point was everything has a 1.5s attack speed now, so labelling it as a "higher DPS boss" doesn't make any sense. Anything that isn't 1.5s is the outlier, not the norm.

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    Well you can scale a 1.5 boss from 11/15 to 15/20 or even 20/25 %MaxHP swings, the scaling issue itself remains fairly the same.
    I was thinking 15% every 1.5s was a very high starting point for a "slower damage profile" they want to aim for in Warlords, but I forgot that it was before Active Mitigation.

    So,
    15% -> 20% swings every 1.5s over the 6.X lifespan is:
    50% -> 150% Resolve
    60% relative increase (from 56% to 91% of SB reduction)
    A shift in ease of healing by more than 30%
    Post-mitigation would keep it at 65->82% Resolve, <10% relative increase and barely noticable change in healing.

    18% -> 24% swings gives us:
    59% -> 175% Resolve, but only 77% -> 95% for the post-redux model
    70% power increase (9% in post model)
    Still roughly the same healing changes

    20% -> 27.5% gives:
    65 -> 193% Resolve (84% -> 104% in post)
    75% power increase vs 9%
    Still 29% 'easier' healing change, while post model stays within 5%

    I can keep plugging in numbers, but the end result will always be:
    pre-reduction Resolve numbers change wildly towards the end of an expansion
    the difference in how players will value the ability changes too drasticly over the course of the expansion
    The post-reduction model has none of these issues and provides a sort of diminishing return on outgearing content.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ion
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  16. #16
    I firmly believe that your versatility problem is a non issue. You only establish that versatility improves the Sbar vs SB, however this exact same conclusion can be made strength, parry or dodge. These benefits to Sbar simply makes up for part of fact that as increases to boss damage directly increase the valuation of SB. So, versatility does not cause a problem. At least not one that wasn't already provided by str, parry or dodge.

    The question of resolve remains interesting.

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    So, versatility does not cause a problem. At least not one that wasn't already provided by str, parry or dodge.
    However, yet another stat that does this will only serve to exacerbate the problem.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zephyr View Post
    I firmly believe that your versatility problem is a non issue.
    I am skeptical about Versatility for tanks simply because it works exponentially without any sort of diminishing effect, so it either needs to be rare or scale very slowly to remain close to linear.
    This will result in either a) Versatility items are generally BiS, but half the slots don't have them, so it doesn not effectively add choice,
    or b) it doesn't scale enough to be worth anything compared to other stats, so it's a comfort stat untill you can get a full set of it.
    A fix to Resolve would partially solve the issue, as the damage reduction would also reduce the gain through Resolve, preventing you from surviving purely on this mechanic.

    Either way, I believe Amplification was a more interesting stat, as it atleast improved OTHER stats (= the power of Amp is based on the rest of your stats, so you will always want a certain balance between them) and was far more interesting to work with than simply a flat number buff, although it had issues with stat budgets etc due to flat out giving % more Mastery/Haste rating. (As the crit damage could be extended to MS as well, I think Amplification could be a worthwhile mechanic should you be able to find a solution for Haste & Mastery, or replace those with something else that interacts with your gameplay)


    The question of resolve remains interesting.
    In retrospect, I think I focused too much on how Versatility, while bland, is a clear replacement of gear progression and not enough on the fact that gaining this power increase causes Resolve to behave weirdly.
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    So, I wonder ...

    Let us assume that they do fix Resolve to scale only off of the damage you take after armor, passives and Versatility reductions, i.e. the fight-long, guaranteed-each-hit effects. It would make Versatility somewhat a balanced stat, but simply work as X% Versatilty = X% better at your job. (How boring)


    Could Amplification be changed in a way so it does roughly the same, but interacts more with your stats?
    The major problem with Amp that Blizzard, rightfully so, has is that it grants you X% extra Mastery & Haste rating, so if you have 5k Mastery a 10% Amp trinket is worth 500 Mastery, while at 10k Mastery, that same item budget gives you 1k Mastery, making items such as trinkets extremely volatile to design.


    Let us look at some stat interactions:

    Critical Strike Rating: 10% Amplification (right now) increases critical strike damage by 10%. So does 10% Versatility. Neither of them touches the chance to gain procs through crits. As benefit, the more Amplification you have the more valuable 1% Crit becomes as a damage increase. e.g. If 1% Amp = 1% DPS increase & 1% crit = 0.9% DPS increase, adding 10% Amp, ups 1% crit to 0.99% DPS increase, while most likely also reducing the value of Amp slightly, so you will want aim for a balance. Versatility has no such correcting effect.

    Multistrike Rating: This could easily work the same as critical strikes, with the exact same consequences.

    Haste Rating: In itself, I don't see how you could 'Amplify' Haste. In essence, you already do so indirectly through the effects mentioned above. If you really want an extra effect to simulate amplifing Haste, I would personally go back to Readiness. Granted, Readiness of itself is not an interesting stat, because you would end up simply having gearsets based on fight durations, but as part of a package, you can keep the % low enough to allow for slightly more flexibility (hey, 10s off of the CD lets you line it up with that burst phase!), rather than having X CD ability uses extra per fight. Consider it a 'bonus' rather than having to carry the value of the stat budget by itself. It would also give a bit more damage reduction for all classes through short-CD defensives, a minor compensation from losing the flat damage reduction.

    Mastery Rating: Rather than having to balance 34 different Masteries, you could replace this part with something like X% more primary stats. It is, in essence, a flat output increase, as primary stats are rather fixed on gear, so easier to predict. They are also a large source of your AP/SP, so in essence, you give players an AP/SP increase, which, in return, ends up as an Y% DPS increase (A noticable part of your damage still comes from your weapon, thus Y < X for all classes). As added effect, increasing Stamina has a similar effect to DPS survivabilty, while keeping the damage different players take more consistent. The combination of Strength/Agility and Stamina increase should actually also keep Resolve-based effects within X% of it's effect, which seems to be in line with the AP gain from Mastery or resource gain from Haste, meaning the choice between this Amplification and e.g. Mastery rating would depend on your choice of wanting the extra DPS vs damage reduction, similar to how other stats are balanced against eachother.
    Alternatively, if the DPS increase is too large to balance against other stats, you could restrict the stat increase to Stamina, Spirit and (bonus) Armor, or only grant X/2% primary stat, or whatever makes you feel stronger overall without just tacking a multiplier to everything you do.

    Base damage: As Versatility also buffs base AP/SP & weapon damage, there are atleast three ways Amplification could counter that. Besides the above stat increase, you could also simply use a higher conversion rate per rating, which has the added benefit of actually making you see your gear change stat values. Most players will actually feel more powerful going from 10% to 12% rather than 3% to 3.6%, even if first effect is far less powerful per % than the latter. This is the same reason why we prefer 20% Multistrike chance for 30% damage over 6% chance for full damage, it just FEELS as if it matters more. (besides having additional design benefits, like smoothing, capping,...) The last and most complex of the balancing acts is to have passive proc chances (e.g. 30% on ability X to gain Y) be increased by Amplification as well. Mostly, this would balance against classes that proc based on crit/multistrike, where a combination of e.g. 10% crit and 10% Amp give all specs the same damage increase as well as extra proc chances.


    By no means is the compilation of above ideas an all-in-one package. But Amplification has the possibility of being any combination of the above things in such a way that it remains balanced throughout the expansion, yet has interesting interaction with other stats.
    Personally, I would love to see Amplification to atleast do X% crit/MS damage, X/2% primary stats increased and maybe the X% Readiness as a balancing option. (A Haste/Mastery-centric spec could get more mid-length CDs reduced than crit-reliant specs, bringing all of them closer together)


    Thoughts, ideas, spelling mistakes?
    Quote Originally Posted by Ion
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    THe thing is that strength doens't actually provide much scaling for shield barrier, you only ge tthe 10% AP form Battle Shout/Treushot Aura/Horn of WInter, the rest of it is cancelled put in Sbar's forumla, the parry from all sources (including strenght has roughly a third of the rating coefficients that mastery does at present; It takes 272 rating for 1% mastery, it takes 885 rating (or strength after kings) to gain 1% parry and that's before diminishing returns kick in on parry.

    Further more, the problems Airo has laid out is very similar to the situation we have had in MoP, where they've needed to nerf the scaling of Sbar pretty much every other patch, the difference is that at present Sbar is a constant multiplied by vengeance, another flat amount, in WoD it's a constant, multiplied by AP which is multiplied my Mastery, which is multiplied by Versatility, which is multiplied by Resolve. If warriors still had the original incarnation of Shield barrier we had at launch best practice would be to macro sbar into SS. i don't mind that that they have to nerf every other patch (though that smacks of bad design), but if at any point its ignore one of your tools, then quite frankly it should have been culled when they reduced button bloat. Wthout making choice or having to time active mitigation , we don't actually have active mitigation, we have passive mitigation and passive mitigation without the threat game is pretty dire.

    Versatility will need to to be tuned very tightly to avoid Airo's issues, personally i think the effects of versatility should work differently by specs, such as tanks only get the DPS and the healing increase, DPS only get the healing increase and damage reduction, and Healers only get the DPS increase and the Damage reduction. Have it be the Hybrid spec, you want to be Arms Tank, or Demon Hunter, or a Bearcat, or a Shockadin, fine stack versatility, becuas if DPS see it as basically being a competitive DPS stat they will stack just for the sake of that and consider the extra healing and damage reduction as a free bonus, if it isn't a competitive DPS stat then they will shun it; How many DPS when faced with the choice of Less DPS but more survivability, choose to stack Stamina, rather than just move out the fire (or whinge at the healers)?

    it's similar to the issue that they had with Int in cata for healers, it was both a throughput and a mana stat, and given the choice of whether to go spirit or int, int was hands down better because it didn't require you to make a choice between mana regen or throughput, and so to be balanced it was really hard on healers at the start of the expac, and facespamroll at the end.
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