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This page discusses the method of damage calculation used by Dragon's Dogma and Dragon's Dogma:Dark Arisen.

Overview

There are two types of damage in the game, physical and magickal. The two damage types never combine; they are separately and respectively applied and then defended in turn by the imposition of the character's or enemy's Defense (DEF) or Magick Defense (MDEF) stat.

The physical and magickal attack and defense stats of the Arisen and Pawns are viewable in the "status" screen from the 'Pause Menu.' The values shown incorporate the base value, plus modifiers from augments; a second higher value shows the value after weapons or armors are factored, which is the loadout amount. The numerical effects of Invigorations or Debilitations are not shown numerically; however, if present, the relevant Status Effects is registered in the individual's "Condition" sub-menu.

Attacks by the Arisen and allies on foes are calculated differently from those made by foe on the party - for attacks on foes defense is subtracted from attack power; for foe attacks on the party their attack power is divided by a function of the ally's defense - with core defense counting twice as much as that coming from armor and other equipment.

Once the attack has been mitigated by defense by either method the resultant damage is subtracted from health - once health reaches zero creatures die, and pawns become Unconscious.

Mixed physical and magickal attacks

For physical attacks with enchanted weapons only the magic of the weapon matters, not the wielder's core magick.

For most spells, there is generally no physical component at all. A few magickal skills have an additional physical component. For such spells, the physical and magickal damages are calculated separately.

Such skills and spells include the Mystic Knight's Magick Cannon, and Perilous Sigil.  These scale only with weapon strength, and not core strength; however, some spell enchanted perfect blocks have an initial shockwave that scales with all magick and all strength.

Sorcerers have a few spells with a physical component that also scales with total strength including core strength (e.g., Gicel). Mages have no spells that do physical damage. Of Magick Archer's non-melee skills only Immolation does physical damage.

"Defense Break"

When a foes defense exceeds attack power no damage is done at all ... thus at lower levels or when facing strong foes a more powerful attack may make the difference between no damage and good damage.

As well a chosing powerful skills and spells, other ways to boost attack power past defenses include magick and strength boosting augments; use of Invigorations that cause Strength Boosted or Magick Boosted, or weakening defense by inflicting debilitations like curse; grappling; and using an element to which the enemy is weak to.

Effects such as Blunt or Slash resistance; attacks to weakpoints; climbing boosts and stance or status effects such as attacks on frozen foes only modify final damage, and so don't help break through defenses.

Commonly used skills and spells than may be too weak against formidable foes include Mystik Knight's Great Cannon; Sorcerer's Miasma; magick user's Focused Bolt or Magick Bolt; Warrior's Indomitable Lunge; shortbow users' Fivefold Flurry; and ranger's Tenfold Flurry.

Calculations

The calculations used to obtain damage have been discovered with a good degree of reliability from testing. The formulas used are explained below.

These formulas use skill and spell attack power modifiers.
For a complete list of skill and spell attack power modifiers see Skill multiplier data

Arisen and Pawn attacks

Melee

A damage formula has been suggested which matches with real world data.

Attack_Powerphysical = ( Skpow + (Strcore x Skcore x A) + (Strwep x Skwep x A) ) x I x G
Damagephysical = ( Attack_Powerphysical- DEF ) x BS x AM x CB x FM x Other
Affects physical power :
Strcore = Core Strength
Strwep = Weapon Strength (includes equipment strength boosts)
Skpow = Skill Base Power (depends on skill)
Skcore = Base STR modifier (based on skill used)
Skwep = Weapon STR modifier (based on skill used)
A = augment multiplier (eg 1.2x with Clout)
I = Buff multiplier (from Raised or Lowered Attributes on the attacker, plus the inverse effect of the same on the defenders)
G = Grapple power boost
Modifies damage:
BS = Blunt/Slashing resistance modifier
AM = Armor modifier - armored creatures have reduced damage, eg cyclops takes 20% damage to legs
CB = Climbing boosts - Creature specific, with only dangerous foes gaining boosts. Also multiplys with Strider climbing boost
FM = Fauna modifier - Fauna take extra damage specific to each species
Other = Other damage boosts - stance modifiers

Magick

For magick, the suggested formula is very similar, but differs slightly :

Attack_Powermag = ( ( Sppow + (Magcore x Spcore x A) + (Magwep x Spwep x A) ) x I x EW x G
Damagemag = ( Attack_Powermag - MDEF ) x AM x FM x Other
Affects net magick power
Magcore = Core Magick
Magwep = Weapon Magick (includes worn equipment magic boosts and additional magic power from Weapon Enchantment)
Sppow = Spell (or skill) Base Power (depends on skill)
Spcore = Base MAG modifier (based on skill used)
Spwep = Weapon MAG modifier (based on skill used)
A = augment multiplier (eg 1.2x with Acuity)
I = Buff multiplier (from Raised or Lowered Attributes on the attacker, plus the inverse effect of the same on the defenders)
G = Grapple power boost
EW = enemy elemental weakness modifier
Modifys damage :
AM = Armor modifier - armored creatures have reduced damage, eg cyclops takes 20% damage to legs
FM = Fauna modifier - Fauna take extra damage specific to each species
Other = Other damage boosts - stance modifiers

The outputs Damagephysical and Damagemag are the final damage numbers of the attack. This number is subtracted from enemy Health.

Some attacks damage in separate stages. For example, Ingle is calculated in two steps: the initial damage from the fireball strike, and then a second reduction from the small explosion after. This two stage effect can be seen in the Arisen's health gauge on screen.

A key difference between physical and magickal attacks is that with magick, elemental weaknesses can be exploited to "armor break" a foe, whilst with melee attacks blunt or slashing resistance only modify the final damage.

The effect of Iraklis is to modify both Skwep and Spwep to ~ one ninth of their proper values - when it criticals those multipliers are increased to nine times their proper values. Thus the power of weapon enchantments as well as equipment boosts are also affected by the longsword.

Foe Attacks

A completely different formula is used when calculating damage from attacks from foes and monsters on the Arisen and allies. It is thought to be :

Foe_Attack_Power = FoeATK x FoeSk x HM x Other
DEFReduction = 100 / (DEFnaked + 0.5xDEFequipment + 100)
Damage = (Foe_Attack_Power x DEFReduction x (1-RES/100) x LD) - DRA
Where:
DEFnaked = Core Defense (or Core Magick Defense)
DEFequipment = Defense (or Magick Defense) provided by equiptment
FoeSk = Foe Skill Modifier.
HM = Difficulty Modifier (Hard Mode is 4.5)
RES = Resistance - either Blunt/Slashing (BS), or Elemental (EW)
LD = Lowered Defenses.
DRA = Damage mitigation from augments

Core defense is twice as important than equipment defense -the equation means there are diminishing returns at higher defenses : according to the equation the first 100 (or 200 of equipment defense) should reduce damage by half, but it takes a further 200 (or 400 of equipment defense) to reduce damage by a further quarter.

The same equation is used separately for both magick and melee attacks, but with the creature's magick or physical power used, and the Arisen's or ally's Defense or Magick Defense interposed. Elemental or Bludgeoning or Piercing Resistances (or weaknesses) reduce (or increase) the foe's attack power by a percentage related to the resistance.

Damage and Attack power factors

Class Type Effect In
equation
Skills Skill Each skill scales differently with the user's core, weapon, and equipment strength or magick. Sk / Sp
Core power Each also includes a core power that is generally small for rapid attacks, but may be extremely high for charged skills such as Arc of Deliverance

Core power isn't increased by boosting augments.

Skpow / Sppow
Core magick Affects the power of spells only Magcore
Core strength Generally only affects melee and thrown attacks Strcore
Weapon magick Affects spell power, and also melee attacks with an enchanted weapon Magwep
Weapon strength Generally only contributes to non-spell melee attacks, with a few exceptions Strwep
Equipment Equipment magick and strength boosts are added to weapon magick or weapon strength Strwep / Magwep
Stance Grapple 2.33x (seven thirds) attack power multiplier G
Out of battle 1.2x damage (Arisen and allies) Other
Sneak attack Attacks on unaware foes : 2-3x damage
Knocked-down 2x damage only certain giant foes including Dragonkin and Chimera but not Ogres or Cyclops

Smaller foes don't take increased damage

Other
Staggered No change
Climbing When climbing certain dangerous foes a physical damage multiplier (+50%) is applied. Damage to lesser foes isn't improved

Striders get an additional damage boost (+66%)

Magickal damage and damage from enchanted melee weapons don't receive climbing boosts

CB
Debilitation Sleep 4.5x damage Other
Blinded No change
Torpored
Frozen If completely frozen - 2x damage next melee hit

If a large creature is partially frozen damage is reduced to 1/5th on the next strike

Other
Drenched 2x damage from a single lightning or ice based attack. Half damage from a fire based attack.
Tarred Double damage from a fire based attacks.
Debilitation

(Lowered Attributes)

Lowered Defense For the Arisen and allies increases damage taken by 30%, stacking up to four times for a maximum of 286% damage taken.

For foes inflicting lowering defense increases damage as if the opponent's attack power increased by 25%. These attack boosts can stack up to four times.

I
Lowered Magick Defense
Lowered Strength For the Arisen and allies reduces attack power to 70% (-30%), stacking up to four times for a maximum of 24% (-76%)
Lowered Magick
Curse For Arisen and allies reduces defense and magick defense to 60% (-40%), as well as temporarily reducing stamina

For creatures that have been cursed the effect is equivalent to increasing incoming attack power by +35%, both physical and magickal

Invigorations Strength Boosted Increase attack power by 20%, and stack up to four times, for a maximum 207.4% increase in power. I
Magick Boosted
Defenses Boosted Increase defense power by 20%, and stack up to four times, for a maximum 207.4% increase.
Magick Defenses Boosted
Blunt and Slashing Blunt Modifies final damage from Warhammers and Maces. Unarmed Combat, physical bow attacks, shockwaves, and almost all throwning items cause blunt damage BS
Slashing Modifies final damage from Daggers, Swords, Longswords. Foreign Knifes and the spell Gicel can also do slashing damage
Archmagick Neutral Neutral magick bypasses elemental resistances. Only a few skills including unenchanted Magick Bolts, Focused Bolts, Ruinous Sigil, Great Cannon, and Miasma are neutral magick. Additionally some magick shockwaves are neutral including Magick Billow and that from Great Sacrifice EW
Fire
Ice
Thunder
Holy
Dark
Magick power modified based on creature resistance.

Ice, Fire, and Lightning elements can also modify the damage of drenched or tarred foes

Weapon Enchantment Adds elemental damage, and can change a enchanted weapon's element. Higher tier spells add more Magick, and the amount added increases with the caster's core magick and level up to a limit.

Magickal and permanently enchanted weapons receive lower Magick boost than purely physical ones.

EW , Magwep
Weak spots and armor Weakspots A creature's most vulnerable part usually represents its given defense {DEF) value. Other parts of the creature show less than than would be expected from defense. AM
'Armor' Most foes receive reduced damage when not hit in the head or other weakspot.

For example a cyclops' legs, back and arms have damage reduced to two fifths

Augments Damage Reducing Augments Certain augments reduce damage further after all other effects have been taken into account.  They reduce either Magick or Physical damage, or both, and stack together additively. DRA
Magick Boosting Augments The effects stack multiplicatively (up to a maximum of 1.8x in Dark Arisen) boosting core, weapon, and equipment magick, but not core spell power. A
Strength Boosting Augments The effects stack multiplicatively (up to a maximum of 1.8x in Dark Arisen) boosting core, weapon, and equipment strength, but not core skill power

Graph

For an Attack Power of 100, Damage vs. Defense :

Damage vs. Defense
Damage vs defense
Red line - : Arisen or Pawn damage. Blue line - : Creature damage
(graph via www.desmos.com)
Wiki Defense Graph 5

Damage on foes from the Arisen and allies decreases linearly to zero as defense increases; whilst damage to the Arisen from foes gradually tails off.

Tactics

  • If a creature has high defense in magick and a weakness to physical attacks, or vice versa, use spells or attacks that target the foe's weakness.
  • Exploit the enemy's elemental and other weaknesses.
  • Cooperation with pawns: encourage the use of grappling, suitable enchantment and item use.
  • There are a wide range of skills, items, and spells that can weaken or debilitate an enemy.

Notes

  • Thrown Damage and damage from Single-Use Magick Items is calculated in the much the same way as weapon and spell magick.
    • In the case of thrown items generally on the thrower's Core Strength and the type of object (corresponding to the base attack power) are factors. Augments and Invigorations are not factored.
    • In the case of single use magickal items the magick power is fixed, but may be altered by periapts etc.
  • There is little or no randomness to the damage given or received. However exact damage figures appear to show some rough rounding, and possible some variation rarely more than 30 health.
    • There is an exception: the Critical Hit from the longsword Iraklis appears to be activated randomly.
  • Inflicted damage can be monitored by viewing the "total damage done" statistic in the menu.  Enter the pause menu, and select "History" >> "Adventure Log" >> "Player"
    • Damage to humans, including bandits and pawns, is not included in the cumulative damage number.
  • Base strength and weapon stats are available in the status and equipment menus. Other factors such as creature defenses and weaknesses are not viewable, and must be learned through experience.
    • The second, cumulative strength and magick values shown in the 'Stats' menu may be misleading as it shows the total of both core and weapon powers; however, for physical attacks core magick does not factor, and for magic attacks core strength usually does not factor.
  • Magick Archer's Magick Bows are capable of delivering only magickal damage. All other weapons and weapon classes have the ability to deliver either mixed strength/magickal or strength damage, if only via a limited range of attacks.
  • A player will only be able to determine exactly how powerful a pawn may be by reviewing its Rings while still in the Rift.  When a pawn is reviewed in the Rift, base stats are not affected by Master Ring or Preceptor Rings with strength or magick boosts.

See also

For a table of the multipliers and factors used in damage calculation, see Skill multiplier data.
For Creature defenses and physical and magickal resistances, see List of Creature Defenses and Resistances.
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