Okay, in a previous post I extolled the values of a -storm's O2 Boost power. In doing so I commented that not many other powers protect against the stun effect by name. A lot of powers do give a disorient protection. Well, what's the difference? A quick check to the in-game help resulted in an answer that was less than mud. A quick search of the site using the terms stun disorient site:cityofheroes.com resulted in a clarification that resembled a shattered mirror.
As I understand the concept, stun and disorient refer to the same type of status debuff. A status effect where the player is rendered unable to use any powers, and sits there with rings around their head indicating they are dizzy. Some powers explicitly state they case or protect against stun, suck as the Archery Stunning Shot. Other powers state they cause disorient, without stunning, such as the Dark Miasma revive power, Howling Twlight.
To get a clearer answer or definition on the two, I'm going to use three of my own characters as examples.
The first character is a Fire Armor tank. The Fire Armor tank only has two real defensive powers. Those powers are Fire Shield and Plasma Shield. Fire Shield can be gotten at level 1 and it states that it gives good resistance to lethal, smashing, and fire damage. Fire Shield also states that it gives minimal resistance to cold, and offers protection from disorient. Plasma shield can be gotten at level 12 and it states that it gives resistance to energy, negative, and fire, and protects against Sleep and Hold effects.
The second character is a more recent scrapper, a Willpower scrapper. At level 1 a will power scrapper gets a health boost and a slight defensive rating against all damage types. At lvl 2 a Willpower scrapper can pick up Mind over Body which gives defense against smashing, lethal, and psionic damage. At level 8 a Willpower can pick up Indomitable Will which gives resistance against disorient, hold, immobilize, sleep, fear, confuse, repel, and knockback. This power also offers defense against psionic. It isn't until level 28 that a Willpower scrapper can pick up their final defense, Hightened Senses, which offers defense against smash, lethal, fire, cold, energy, and negative energy.
The first thing you might notice is the level difference in when powers are obtained. The Tank gets its defensive powers far earlier than the scrapper. The second thing you might notice is how uneven the status protection is. An average scrapper gets far more types of status protection than a Fire Armor character, which is the basis for my claim that the Fire Armor classes are in desperate need of an overhaul. Specifically, in order to match the scrappers native knockback and immobilize protection, a fire armor has to pick up the Jumping Pool with it's combat jump and acrobatics powers, which fill in for the missing native knockback and immobilize protection.
The powers themselves don't tell the full story though. On the tank the effectiveness of a damage resistance can be slotted. The result is that Fire Shield currently offers a 56.9% boost over the standard amount of protection for disorient.
However, the same protection on a scrapper can't be slotted. The only resistance Indomitable Will can be slotted for is defense against Psionic attacks. The amount of protection offered to the other damage types or effects cannot be increased.
The result is that in gameplay while my Fire Tank is more easily affected by fear, confuse, and repel effects than the scrapper. However, while my fire tank has been destroyed by enemies that use those status effects, I couldn't even tell you if my fire tank has been stunned. I don't remember. I do quite clearly remember jumping into a bunch of Crey with my willpower scrapper... and promptly getting stunned. I also recall of bunch Tsoo able to stun my scrapper, a bunch of freakshow, and I even want to say that I got stunned by a bunch of Lost in the sewers.
With my willpower scrapper I've also been held and immobilized by Galaxies in Striga, despite having a power that specifically said it protected against such effects.
Okay, so all that does is simply prove that scrappers are not tanks, and that they are different classes. It doesn't actually answer the question of stun and disorient directly.
Okay, so lets add a third player to the mix then, a super reflexes stalker. One of the powers the stalker can get is Practiced Brawler. Like the Willpowers's Indomitable Will, Practiced Brawler protects against knockback, disorient, hold, sleep, and immobilize. Also in line with the Willpower set, the SuperReflexes status effect cannot be slotted for effect. So the basic protection that a player gets with the power.. is what they get.
While my stalker is most often affected when Practiced Brawler runs out and hasn't popped again, I have been status effected through the protection.
Ergo, I am going to hazard a guess from experience with these 3 types.
My guess is that while stun and disorient refer to the same type of status effect, they refer to different causes.
Stun largely seems to be caused by a physical impact. Stun results in the disorient affect.
However, Disorient effects can be imparted without the use of direct physical impact.
So, just because a power can protect against the effects of Disorient, that power may or not be able to protect against Stun.
Clear as mud, no?
Edit: I realize I'm editing this over a year later. More of a note in the archives.
Further updates to the real numbers system clarified resistances and mag protections.
I've gone over before the differences between damage defense and damage resistance. Damage Defense determines whether or not you get hit. Damage resistance determines how much damage you take WHEN you are hit.
Status effects have a similar system. There is the Magnitude of the Attack, and the Length of the Attack.
Example: A smashing Mace attack has a Stun Magnitude of 3, and a time duration of 20 seconds. (not real numbers)
The Avatar being attacked has a Stun Magnitude Protection of 6, but no resistance.
When the avatar is attacked the Stun Magnitude is compared against the protection. With a Stun Mag of 3, the attack will not Stun something with a protection of Magnitude 6. The attack then starts counting down a 20 second timer.
If the Avatar is attacked again in that 20 second time period, the system does a quick math check. It finds that the player is already under a 20 second timer for a Stun Magnitude of 3. The system adds the new attack to the previous attack. The player now has two countdown timers for each attack. However, because the total magnitude of the attacks is 6 (3mag + 3mag), the Magnitude of the attack is still not high enough to get around the protection.
If the Avatar is attacked again in the original 20 second time period by the same attack, the system does a quick Magnitude Check again. It finds that player already has 2 attacks counting down each with an Attack Magnitude of 3. The system adds the 3 attacks together for a magnitude of 9. This is higher than the Avatar's protection... and the Avatar is promptly stunned until the attacks wear off.
The system is then complicated by Resistance.
Lets take that Original Attack of Magnitude 3 and give our avatar a 50% resistance. When the Avatar is attacked, the 20second countdown timer is halved. The attack only counts for 10 seconds. Each successive attack has the countdown timer reduced by the resistance.
In the case of the Fire Tank I have, the Stun Protection at level 50 is 13.0, while the Stun Resistance is 80% Duration due to an Aegis Proc. This means every stun that lands automatically has 20% of it's countdown timer knocked off.
By comparison, the WP scrapper I originally used would only have a maximum stun protection of 10.38 at lvl 50.