This is an article I wrote and posted last week on the website for our podcast, shatteredorder.com, I hope you'll check out the show and stay tuned for more stuff that will be coming to site in time. For now, this is my write up on how to manipulate speed and calculate it. The direct link to the article with images is (also formatted to be much easier to read than on the Forums)
HOW TO CALCULATE SPEED WITH TM GAIN It's about time I do a write up on my favorite thing to discuss on the podcast, turn meter and speed manipulation! So many teams and characters have a percentage of turn meter gain, and that creates an opportunity for an advantage over many players. Back in the earlier days of the podcast I came up with a team designed entirely around this idea and it's now something I attempt to install in every arena team I use. It is not applicable to every team nor is it effective for every time, but it is incredibly awesome for the teams it does work for. Usually this type of manipulation only affects the opening turns, but that can heavily swing the outcome chances in your favor. Mods are obviously a massively important part speed manipulation, you can check out my podcast episode on mods here.
Rey (Jedi Training), BB-8, and R2-D2 were another example of this. BB-8 is the key character for this, the Self-Preservation Protocol is the ability that is the starting point for determining speeds and how the team will open the battle. The description for that ability is "At the start of each encounter, if BB-8 is active, Droid allies gain 8% turn meter for each active droid ally." Having BB-8 and R2-D2 on your team will now create 16% initial turn meter gain, now let's dig into the math, let's say I want to determine the initial turns speed of BB-8 that is modded to have 260 speed...
260 / (100% - 16% = 84% aka .84) = 309.52 is the initial speed of BB-8 (I'm unsure if this number gets rounded or not)
In the equation, the (100% - 16% = 84%) part comes from the character only needing to fill 84% of it's turn meter since they were given 16%.
BB-8 will always use the Covert Data Transfer ability on his opening turn, this will give an both BB-8 and an ally Secret Intel. Rey (JT)'s unique ability Virtuous Protector allows her to gain 8% turn meter whenever a Resistance ally gains Secret Intel. This gives an advantage to those who use an full Resistance team. Let's look at the difference between a full Resistance team and a partial Resistance team...
Since this team has 5 Resistance, there is a 100% chance that Secret Intel goes on BB-8 and a Resistance ally. Which means Rey (JT) has 100% chance to gain 16% turn meter
Since this team has 3 Resistance, there is a 50% chance that Secret Intel goes on BB-8 and another Resistance ally. Which means Rey (JT) has 50% chance to gain 16% turn meter and a 50% chance to gain only 8% turn meter
Now, let's look at the difference between a 240 speed Rey (JT) gaining 8% turn meter and 16% turn meter gain when paired with a 260 speed BB-8. BB-8 will go at the ~309 speed as discussed above,
240 / (100% - 16% = 84% aka .84) = 285.71 vs 240 / (100% - 8% = 92% aka .92) = 260.87
In this example, simply having two non-Resistance characters with Rey (JT) will cost her approximately 25 speed on her initial turn 50% of the time. That could leave a wide enough gap for the opposing team to sneak in and steal things back in their favor. So, while modding to get the first turn is generally good strategy, it could be more important to have the second character in line gaining full turn meter in the same time as the faster character. This can be achieved by having the character over the Speed Threshold. Speed Threshold is the speed at which the second character in line will be at 100% turn meter in the same "turn" as the first, faster character.
SPEED THRESHOLD Now that we know what the threshold is, let's go about calculating it with the 260 speed BB-8 as mentioned above. We will also use Rey (JT) and the full Resistance team so that we know she will gain the 16% turn meter on BB-8's first move.
309 x (100% - 16% = 84% aka .84) = a threshold number of 259.56 which we will round up to a Speed Threshold of 260 speed.
This means that a Rey with 260 speed or more will be at 100% turn meter after BB-8's Secret Intel ability. A Rey with 259 or less will not be at 100% turn meter. If Rey (JT) isn't over the Speed Threshold number, an opposing BB-8 that is slower than your BB-8 could actually have it's Rey go before yours if she is above the Speed Threshold for that BB-8. This means that an entirely equal full Resistance team that has a BB-8 with 250 speed and a Rey (JT) with 250 speed would have it's Rey (JT) go before the example team that has a 260 speed BB-8 and 240 speed Rey.
Another example is the reworked Emperor Palpatine, who's leader ability provides 5% turn meter whenever a debuff expires, and Darth Vader. We will now look at the math and possibilities if this Emperor team were to face this Rey team.
For our example, we will assume that Darth Vader has a speed of 240 before applying his unique. His unique will give him the following speed: 32 for Empire ally, 16 for Sith ally, 16 for Rebel enemy, and 8 for Jedi enemy. That results in a speed of 312 for Darth Vader in this battle. Vader will use his Force Crush ability first, due to the number of debuffs this inflicts, he will receive 100% turn meter because of Palpatine's leader ability, except in unusual circumstances. Force Crush can inflict up to 3 Damage Over Time debuffs and speed down on each enemy potentially. For this team, ideally I will want Emperor Palpatine to go 2nd so that he can stun and put the opposing team in an unfavorable position.
With Vader's 312 speed, if he has the opportunity to remove 4 debuffs with Culling Blade, the Speed Threshold for this team is: 312 x .8 = 249.6 ~ 250
With Vader's 312 speed, if he has the opportunity to remove 3 debuffs with Culling Blade, the Speed Threshold for this team is: 312 x .85 = 265.2 ~ 266
This team is another instance in which you could potentially be better off with lowering the speed of Darth Vader in order to make Emperor Palpatine faster and getting him above the Speed Threshold. Having the second character be above the Speed Threshold is generally going to be more useful than simply having your fastest character be as fast as you can possibly make them.
I hope that this helps explain my Speed Threshold theory more and helps clear up any confusion! This same idea can be used on many other team ideas for example: AA L with a fast STH, Droid teams with Jawa Engineer, Darth Maul lead, and even Rex L teams can also use this idea.
SETTING A TURN ORDER While I find it unlikely that this advice will be useful for most people, it can certainly still work in many areas of the game. Having one character as your keystone in the turn meter gain can allow a character like Han Solo to really screw it up, but it can still be a plethora of fun! Let's say, for example, I have a team comprised of Lando lead, Old Ben, Jedi Knight Anakin, Stormtrooper Han, and Admiral Ackbar (this may sound familiar to long time podcast listeners, it's my favorite team I've ever ran in arena), and I want this team to work in a very specific order of: Stormtrooper Han, Old Ben, JKA, Admiral Ackbar, and finally, Lando. STH's taunt will give 30% turn meter to everyone, this amount of turn meter could cause everyone to get to 100% turn meter which creates a completely random turn order, which is not the desired effect here. Let's also say that my mods allow me to make Stormtrooper Han 230 speed. We must also account for the speed given by Lando's leader ability, 15 speed for scoundrels.
245 x 70% = 171.5 speed threshold, therefore, anyone at or above 172 speed will be at 100% turn meter after STH's taunt.
I would then make Old Ben in that range, let's say he is 175. I would then need JKA at 171, Admiral Ackbar at 170, Lando at (169 - 15) 154.
230 Stormtrooper Han, above 172 Old Ben, 171 JKA, 170 AA, & 154 Lando would get my desired result in as small of a window as possible, limiting the number of external factors that could screw up the team.