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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. When attack power exceeds the target's DEF and/or MDEF thresholds, then the remaining points of damage are applied to, and reduce the target's Health (HP). When the victim's HP is exhausted, it dies.

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 boosts or decreases from periapts, potions, or debilitations are not shown numerically; however, if present, the relevant status effect is registered in the individual's "Condition" sub-menu.

Each skill or core skill scales differently with strength or magick.  Simple attacks seems to scale better than powerful attacks, or attacks with high stagger or knockdown.  For example, the core skill Onslaught increases in power faster with strength than Windmill Slash. High powered attacks such as Arc of Deliverance scale very poorly with strength.

Stance effects

Condition Effect
Sleeping 4-5x damage
Grapple >2x attack power
Out of battle stance <2x
Knocked-down ~2x †
Head shots 2-3x damage
Blinded No change
Staggered No change
Completely Frozen 2x damage next melee hit
Partially frozen ~1/5th damage next melee hit
† Giant creatures only

Damage can be increased when the target is in a non-optimal stance - these can included being grappled, asleep, or caught unawares ("out of battle stance").

Knockdown generally does not increase damage for small enemies, but can for larger ones. Stagger generally does not increase damage incoming, but generally opens a foe to further attacks.

Attacks to the head generally double damage; cyclopes will receive even greater damage if the eye is hit.

Sleep greatly multiplys the damage from the next strike. Grappling reduces a creature's defenses, resulting in an apparent increase in attack power, and thus also increases damage.

For totally Frozen creatures if a melee strike breaks the ice encased creature the damage will be doubled, but for large creatures where only parts of the body can be frozen the ice acts as temporary armor and greatly reduces damage from a melee hit that breaks the ice.

Melee and Magickal resistances

Physical damage is modified by the type of attack, either blunt or slashing. Different Armor pieces have different slashing or blunt damage stats. Most weapons and/or physical attacks are either 100% blunt, or 100% slashing.

Archmagick (elemental) resistances and weaknesses affect magic damage, and, as with physical damage armor can have resistance (or weakness) to particular elements. There also exists "neutral" magick damage (generally only from unenchanted Magick Bolts and other staff Core Skills) which is unaffected by elemental resistances.

Debilitations

Main article: Debilitation.

Spells and attacks with an elemental component may inflict a related Debilitation (e.g., ice may inflict frozen); there are also non-archmagick debilitations such as poison that may be inflicted as a result of special weapons, attacks, or spells.

An enemy with a debilitation may take additional damage as a result of it, or have its behavior altered, or make it more susceptible to damage from other attacks. For example, torpor slows, but curse weakens, whilst fire and poison add additional damage over time and may cause panic or disorientation.

The likelihood of these status effects being inflicted is based on the number of times the 'blow' strikes the victim, and further modified by the victim's resistances or weaknesses.

"Armour Break"

For attacks on weakly-defended or poorly-resistant enemies, an increase in either physical or magickal attack causes the related damage to increase roughly linearly with the stat's value.

For highly resistant enemies, such as a Drake, the monster's defense may almost completely block weaker attacks, and only the strongest attack cause significant damage.

For example, a low level fighter may do triple damage on an Ox using Blink Strike than with the light attack of Onslaught, but when attacking a drake, the low attack power of Onslaught may be too low to cause more than a few HP of damage, whilst the more powerful strike of the Blink Strike attack will do noticeable damage. Because the defense of a dragon is much greater than an ox both attacks will be relatively less, but the ratio of damage will be much higher, with the stronger attack doing 10x damage or more relative to the light attack.

For heavily-armored foes it may be necessary to rely upon the heaviest attacks to "break" the defense of the foe.

Certain skills have much greater attack strength and are certain to break any damage barrier, e.g., Warrior's Arc of Deliverance, or Ranger's Deathly Arrow.

In addition to using strong attacks in preference to lighter faster attacks, there are other tactics to break a strong enemy's defenses: increasing strength (or magic attack) is one way to break a strong defense, either by use of attack boosters such as Demon's Periapt, or augments (jumping attacks with Eminence), or weakening defense by inflicting status effects or debilitations such as curse or sleep.

Effect of skill used

The skill used to carry out an attack has a major effect on damage performance.  Not only do different skills do more or less damage, but the way the damage scales with strength also varies.

For example, a Fighter using the core skill Onslaught deals 50 base damage on the first hit, plus 100% of base and weapon strength. Blink Strike also scales at 100% of strength, but has 280 base damage instead. The skill Windmill Slash scales at a lower 75% multiplier for strength, and has lower base damage as well.

Periapts et al

Strength boosting periapts and potions (such as Conqueror's Periapt) multiply all physical power by 120% per usage before the enemy's defense is subtracted. Up to four boosts can be stacked: different potions, skills, or spells giving a strength boost all work in the same way.

Magick boosting periapts (such as Demon's Periapt) boost magick power in the same way as Physical attack boosting periapts.

Magick and Strength reducing debilitations (such as Lowered Magick) reduce attack power to 70% of the based value, and also can apply up to four times. Thus a single combination of a boosting Invigoration and lowering Debilitation has a net effect of 1.2x0.7 = 84% (or -16%) attack power.

Weak points and non-critical body parts

Most enemies will also often have a specific physical vulnerability to exploit; many creatures take extra damage to the head; the Armored Cyclopes wear armor that mitigates almost all damage until its armor is destroyed, Saurians become much weaker when their tail is severed, and so on.

With giant foes some body parts take less damage.  This appears to be not due to those parts having higher defense, but rather that fractional damage is performed; for example, hitting a cyclops' leg results in one fifth (1/5th) of the expected damage, so an increase in weapon strength of +1000 will typical only increase damage by +200. Similarly affected parts include Ogre legs, and Drake legs and tail.

Damage Mitigation

Main article: 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.

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.

Calculations

The calculations used to obtain damage are unknown. It is thought that physical and magick damage is calculated separately.

All factors mentioned above are incorporated into the damage calculation; however, tests show that the damage from even a simple attack does not scale linearly with any single stat.

  • However, when an attacker is overpowered with respect to a specific creature's defenses it seems that damage behavior with respect to weapon strength becomes more linear, or approaches linearity.

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.

Arisen and Pawn attacks

Melee

A damage formular has been suggested which shows some matches with real world data

Damagephysical = ( ( Score + (S x Sb x A) + (W x Sw x A) ) x I - DEF ) x BS
Where :
S = Base STR
W = Weapon STR
Score = Skill STR (depends on skill)
Sb = Base STR modifier (based on skill used)
Sw = Weapon STR modifier (based on skill used)
A = augment multiplier (eg 1.2x with Clout)
I = item buff multiplier
BS = Blunt/Slashing resistance modifier

Magick

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

Damagemagic = ( Mcore + (M x Mb x A) + (W x Mw x A) ) x I X EW - MDEF
Where :
M = Base MAG
W = Weapon MAG
Mcore = Skill MAG (depends on skill)
Mb = Base MAG modifier (based on skill used)
Mw = Weapon MAG modifier (based on skill used)
A = augment multiplier (eg 1.2x with Acuity)
I = item buff multiplier
EW =Elemental weakness modifier

The difference 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 damage formula is given at "Science" § Damage
  • A list of the factors per skill is given at Skill multiplier data
  • For Iraklis the attack multiplier acts like an augment (A) not a buff (I); both magick and strength power are boosted
  • For attacks on non-hostile Fauna damage is boosted for both magick and melee attacks.  The boost is applied manipulatively: for oxen the scaling is 1.25x, for other creatures it is higher.

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 :

Damage = (Foe_Attack_Power x 100 / (DEFnaked + 0.5xDEFequipment + 100)) x (1-RES/100) - A
Where:
DEFnaked = Core Defense
DEFequiptment = Defense provided by equiptment
RES = Resistance
A = Damage mitigation from augments

As such, core defense is twice as important than equipment defense. There are also diminishing returns from having higher defense: 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, depending on the nature of the attack. Elemental or Bludgeoning or Piercing Resistances (or weaknesses) reduce (or increase) the foe's attack power by a percentage related to the resistance.

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)

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

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Magick and Strength increases from equipped items are added prior to multiplication by strength or magick boosting augments.
  • 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.
  • Some numerical tests comparing with the formula given from the "Science" link above can be seen in the thread at Irakiss or Irakill (www.gamefaqs.com)

See also

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