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With all the confusion surrounding mind buffing, I decided to run some tests and get some hard numbers. What I found may suprise you. It sure did me.|
First, the quick summary...
Things that have NO effect on buffs
- Passive vs active
- Grouped vs ungrouped
- Usage of effects
- Stopping performing and starting again
- The two minute minimum
- Stopping before the 2 minutes is up+
- Level of dance/music*
Things that DO have an effect on buffs
- Time spent performing
* Technically this does have an effect.. But that effect is quickly marginalized to the point where it is not a difference at all. If you want to know why, read on.
+ If they stop watching/listening and get told they need to listen for 2 minutes.. They just need to start watching/listening again for 2 minutes without losing any progress.
So this "best dance" and "best music" thing is *mostly* just a myth. You can give a 2 hour buff just as quickly dancing basic as you can dancing exotic3. Just flourish flourish flourish.
Onto the nitty gritty details. If you're not interested in the details then no need to read on...
It's very simple. There are two things that add to a buff. Every xp "tick", and a flourish. Each of these events adds to both the time, and size of the buff.
Making a buff last...
Buffs are a minimum of 10 seconds. From there it's minutes at a time. Every flourish, and every xp tick adds 1 minute to the buff. So if there were not a 5 flourish limit, 120 flourishes would be 2 hours. Since there is a 5 flourish limit, that means at most you can add 6 minutes every 10 seconds. (5 for a flourish, 1 for the xp tick)
Making a buff bigger...
This is where what you are playing/dancing makes a difference. Again, every flourish and xp tick add to the buff.. But what they add is different. The base amount they add is based on the level of what you are performing, or what instrument you are playing. Specifically:
Novice entertainer (Basic, rhythmic, starwars1 w/ slitherhorn): 2%
Entertainer dance/music I-III: 3$
Entertainer dance/music IV: 4%
Novice dancer/musician - Knowledge II: 5%
Knowledge III-IV: 6%
Master dancer/musician: 7%
Now a little explanation on how that works... That is the base gain. The xp tick always adds that amount to the buff. A flourish, however, adds 5x that to the buff. So a flourish of basic adds 10%, while a flourish of virtuoso or exotic3 adds 35%. So, while the level of the dance DOES effect the gain.. 10 flourishes and even basic is 100%.
Experience from buffing...
Buffing gives experience. Entertainer healing experience, in fact. If you've read my earlier reports on experience, you'll know that healing xp shows up as the last of 3 lines of healing xp each tick. But where does it come from? Well, earlier I reported that it is granted 1xp for each % buffed. Well, that's half true. Every % buffed by the xp tick gives 1xp. So, if you look at that chart above and replace % with xp, that is how much xp you get per tick, up until your max. The max, of course, being your mind enhancement skill. Thus, if an unenhanced master is dancing exotic, and flourishes once early on, they will get 35% from the flourish, and 65% from the xp tick, so they will give the group 65 healing xp. If you get to 100% before one tick, you get no xp at all, as the xp tick isn't buffing any.
On the 2 minute minimum...
The only effect the two minute minimum has is exactly that, a two minute minimum for the buff to take effect. It doesn't matter if they started watching/listening before being buffed, nor does it matter if you are performing for the entire 2 minutes. They can start watching/listening, then you stop performing, then 2 minutes later start again, and you could grant them a tiny buff nearly right away. Other than that, the minimum has no effect on the buff.
Getting the best buff
So basically for the best buff, you need to do 120 flourishes or xp ticks. So every 10 seconds you spend buffing is one less flourish you need to do. Thus, the minimum is 3 minutes, 20 seconds.. That is 20 xp ticks for 20 minutes, and 100 flourishes for the other hour 40 minutes.
If I wanted to do math I wouldn't have a computer. What does this all mean?
Well, to get the best buff, how long depends on how often you flourish... Based on the interval between flourishes...
2 seconds or less: 3 minutes 20 seconds
4 seconds: 5 minutes 42 seconds
5 seconds: 6 minutes 40 seconds
6 seconds: 7 minutes 30 seconds
8 seconds: 8 minutes 53 seconds
10 seconds: 10 minutes
15 seconds: 12 minutes
20 seconds: 13 minutes 20 seconds
30 seconds: 15 minutes
never: 20 minutes
I've tested this with both dancer and musician buffs, master and novice, it all works the same, just the size of the buff differs.
In all the tests I ran, I didn't have a single instance of a buff not working. I didn't try too hard though. I also did not get a chance to test dancer and musician buffs at the same time, only dancer or musician but listening to/watching both, or buffing with a playback/effects droid out or active. But those are bugs if they don't work, not part of how buffing is intended to work.