The Inner Workings of Melee in DAOC
A comparison of the various melee options in DAOC and how they work v.1, 5/2/2003, Peter Waterman
This document is the result of a large amount of testing and discovery, much of which takes place on Mythics private testing board. This testing includes the combined effort of many testers doing many different things, often taking hours out of their normal play time to perform these tests. All information and data in this document can be replicated in game with varying degrees of ease it is the authors opinion that anyone who finds any formula or data in this document hard to believe should actually spend some effort to prove to themselves that it is right (or not) by testing it, rather than sitting idly by and wondering. Knowing for yourself is far more valuable than trusting others to know for you.
Some of the testers who helped with this document include:
Wyrd, Morphene, Kaber, Moller, Guido Jones, Nandarius
Table of Contents:
Introduction: The Basics: How Weapons Work. Damage Per Second Speed Condition Quality Bonus Weight How These Stats Translate Into Effectiveness
There are a few basic concepts of the DAOC melee system that any user who has played a melee character understands to varying degrees. The first concept is that melee damage uses a weapon for its base damage, and how hard this hits depends on the DPS of the weapon, and the users weapskill stat on their character sheet (higher is better for both). The second concept is that melee characters can use styles to increase their weapon damage and add supplementary effects with their weapons. The third concept is that there are varying types of weapons (such as crushing and slashing), while the fourth is that there are varying techniques for using weapons (such as dual wield and two handed).
Not all characters can see all of these effects in action, however they are all based on a mathematical baseline within the game code. By determining this baseline, one can compare and contrast these various types of melee. This document will set about doing so.
The Basics: How Weapons Work
When you right-click a weapon in DAOC, you see a number of stats. All of these are important to various degrees. At a glance they include the following:
DPS The base damage-per-second of the weapon
SPD The base swing time, in seconds, of the weapon
CON The condition of the weapon
QUA The quality of the weapon
BON The bonus of the weapon
WGT The weight of the weapon
A more detailed breakdown of these weapon stats follows:
Damage Per Second:
All weapons in Dark Age of Camelot are based around a damage-per-second (DPS) core. This number shows the potential maximum damage (when modified appropriately) the weapon will do per second at its base speed. This number is not, however, a fixed number it is tied directly into the speed (SPD) of the weapon. If the weapon is actually swung faster than the SPD of the weapon, then the base DPS will increase linearly with the swing speed, and if the weapon is swung slower, than it will decrease linearly as well. This is very different than most other DPS based effects in DAOC.
The DPS of a weapon also shows the level of the weapon, in that DPS increases by exactly .3 per level with a base of 1.2DPS. This means a level 1 weapon is 1.5DPS, a level 30 weapon is 10.2DPS, a level 40 weapon is 13.2DPS, and a level 50 weapon is 16.2DPS. This also holds true for the maximum DPS cap of a player wielding a weapon a level 30 player wielding a level 50 weapon will have a DPS cap of 10.2DPS, hence the level 50 weapon will act like a level 30 weapon for damage purposes for him.
There are some circumstances where a weapon will have a listed DPS that does not quite match this, in that it will not be properly divisible by 3. An example of this is the very common appearance of 16.1DPS weapons. These weapons actually are, for all intents and purposes, exactly the same the database for this information on weapons extends to the thousandth of a decimal, yet the interface only prints the tenth. The display issue causes extra confusion because the number is actually truncated instead of rounded this means a 16.199DPS weapon is displayed in game as a 16.1DPS weapon, while a 16.200DPS weapon is displayed as a 16.2DPS weapon thus these weapons appear to be .1DPS different when in fact they are only .001DPS different.
The second most important aspect of a weapon is the base rate at which it swings, its speed (SPD). This statistic shows the number of seconds it will take between attacks while swinging this weapon note that the SPD, or delay as some call it, is added after the weapon swings. This means for the period of time after the weapon swings equal to the weapons SPD, the weapon user will be unable to perform any other actions (whether swinging a weapon or casting a spell) which are affected by this timer. The effective, or actual, speed of a weapon can be faster or slower than the listed SPD, however, as the weapon swing speed can be modified by stats (Quickness), attack speed buffs (haste), and attack speed de-buffs. The listed SPD shows what the SPD of the weapon would be if the player had exactly 60 Quickness and was not under the influence of any attack speed buffs or debuffs.
A little known fact about weapon speeds is that there is a very small bonus to slow weapons that is, the higher a weapons listed SPD, the more its potential damage will be. This slow weapon bonus modifies the overall damage cap of the weapon by what appears to be .3% for each .1SPD over 2.0SPD. In other words, a 5.0SPD weapon receives a 9% damage bonus over a 2.0SPD weapon.
Its also important to note that, like DPS above, the listed SPD of a weapon is a truncated value. Hence any calculations which deal with the SPD of a weapon have an inherent possible inaccuracy due to the fact that one cannot know exactly where in the hundredths of a decimal the difference lies for example, is a 4.2SPD Sword of Ultimate Doom really a 4.295SPD weapon, while the 4.2SPD Axe of Destruction is really a 4.202SPD weapon, thus making the Sword of Ultimate Doom slightly, but noticeably, slower than the Axe of Destruction, even though they are both listed in game as 4.2SPD? (Yes, those are fictional examples)
Finally, the base speed of a weapon determines the endurance usage of styles when wielding that weapon weapons with a lower base speed generally use less endurance, while weapons with higher base speeds generally use more endurance.
This stat reflects the current condition of the weapon the more a weapon is used, the lower this stat will get. All weapons must be kept in good repair, in as high condition as possible, because lower condition affects your damage output.
Lower condition affects your damage in a very insidious way it has no affect on your potential damage, only your actual damage. It acts by simply reducing your calculated damage done by the amount shown for example, if you are using a 95%CON weapon, and swing at a mob, the game might calculate that this swing would do exactly 100 damage normally. This damage is then modified by the weapons condition, and hence ends up being only 95 damage.
Using higher level weapons will decrease their condition faster, while using lower level weapons will decrease their condition slower. In general its a good idea to keep ones weapons in as good a condition as possible by frequently repairing them using an NPC Smith or a player Weaponcrafter. Never let a weapon drop below 98-99% condition if youre concerned about maintaining maximum damage output.
The quality of a weapon works exactly the same as the condition does, except it is a permanent attribute of a weapon and cannot be modified in any way. A lower quality weapon has the same potential damage as a higher quality weapon, but the actual damage done will always be modified by the quality, thus the average damage will be lower.
It is unsure at this time whether Quality or Condition are applied first, but it is believe to be Quality.
All weapons and armor have a bonus stat depending on the level of material the item is made from. This bonus ranges from 0% to 35%. According to Mythic, there is a straight comparison made between the targets armor bonus and the attackers weapon bonus, and a direct to-hit penalty is applied based on this. For example, if a player wielding a 35%BON weapon attacks a player wearing 10%BON armor, he gains an immediate 25% bonus to his chances to hit that player.
Player testing has indicated that having a higher bonus actually increases the damage dealt as well. I cannot confirm whether this is true or not at the time of this writing testing on that is still taking place.
Its believed that weight has a factor in endurance usage of a weapon. Unproven. Need more details here.
How These Stats Translate Into Effectiveness:
There are two parts of weapon effectiveness maximum possible damage, and average actual damage. Each weapon has a maximum capped amount of damage past which all damage is thrown away one can never exceed this amount of actual damage dealt. This damage cap is applied after melee resists, however, hence it is possible to very rarely (such as when attacking 0AF mobs) see damage such as 200(-5000). This implies that well over 5000+ damage was originally done, but the damage was capped at 200.
Damage caps are a straight function of DPS and SPD. Like spells, these are modified by a bonus of three (though there is some thought that originally after release this bonus may have been four or higher). As mentioned in the section on Speed above, there is also a slow weapon bonus which applies. Thus, to calculate the damage cap of a weapon, you simply need to do the following:
Damage Cap = DPS * SPD * 3 * (1 + (SPD 2) * .03)
For example, if one has a 16.5DPS weapon that is 3.0SPD, the damage cap will look like:
16.5 * 3.0 * 3 * (1 + (3 2) * .03)
16.5 * 3.0 * 3 * 1.03 = 152.955 damage cap
The game will truncate these numbers, so the damage cap would end up being 152. Note again that, as mentioned above in the Speed section, it is possible for the listed SPD of the weapon to not exactly match the actual SPD of the weapon in this example, if the weapon was actually 3.05SPD, the damage cap would actually end up being 155.