Sacred 2:Damage Mechanics for Spell Damage Based Combat Arts

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Damage Mechanics for Spell Damage Based Combat Arts

Influence character's Skills and Attributes have on Damage dealt.

Originally written by Mibbs (in russian). Translation by Silver_fox.

Damage calculation formula:

Damage dealt = (Basic Damage + Basic Damage*M(Lvl) + Basic Damage*M(Bonus))*M(Int)*M(Crit)*check_resists*M(Res)

  • Basic Damage dealt by a Combat Art can be increased in two ways - by increasing its level or by choosing a damage modification if there is one (and for damage-dealing Combat Arts such modifications are always available). Usually these modifications offer no more than 35% damage increase but they should be chosen for CAs that are used as main damage dealers.
  • There is a hidden modifier M(Lvl) that depends on CA level. Its value is M(Lvl)=CA_lvl*0.02, so it adds 2% at CA level 1 and 200% at CA level 100.
  • Intelligence defines a M(Int) modifier, which has extremely high values at low CA level but quickly decreases with the increase of CA level.
For example, for a character with 1000 Intelligence M(Int) will be:
Combat Art Level M(Int) Damage
1 1 + 6.66 + 666%
5 1 + 2.22 + 222%
10 1 + 1 + 100%
25 1 + 0.5 + 50%
50 1 + 0.25 + 25%
100 1 + 0.2 + 20%
  • M(Crit) is defined by Critical Hits. It has a value of 1.0 for a regular hit and 1.2 for a critical one.
    • This multiplier is defined by AdjustCriticalDamageFactor parameter in balance.txt. Its default value is 1200 (which results in M(Crit)=1.2).
    • Critical Hits are dealt with a chance that depends on CA modifications and Lore Skills level.
    • Intelligence also affects the chance for critical hit: each 50 points in Intelligence give +1% chance for critical hit. This value is simply added to the current chance the character has. For example, if the character has 20% chance for critical hit from skills and 1600 points in Intelligence, this character would have 20 + 1600/50 = 52% chance for critical hit as a result.
    • Chance for Critical Hit modifiers found on equipment and Blacksmith Arts do not affect Spell Damage Based Combat Arts.
  • M(Res) is a result of Spell Resistance/Spell Intensity check. It has a value of 1.0 if player's character "succeeds" and a value of 0.7 if a character "fails".
    • An attacking character succeeds in the check if his/her Spell Intensity exceeds Spell Resistance of the target. If a character "fails" this check the damage outcome would be reduced by 30% (by 1.5 times compared to the original).
    • Having Spell Intensity of 2400 and more allows to "win" this check even against Champions and Bosses of the highest levels (200+). "Failing" the check also means that secondary Detrimental Effects caused by CA would also be reduced by 30%.
    • Spell Intensity has no effect on Damage over Time (DoT)!
    • To have high-level Champion opponents always lose the Spell Intensity/Spell Resistance check when they use their CAs against the player's character, this character should have Spell Resistance stat of 4000 and more (total value summed up from Willpower attribute, equipment and Spell Resistance skill).
    • The Spell Intensity/Spell Resistance check affects only the chance for a CA to deal its full damage. If the attacker's Spell Intensity equals the defender's Spell Resistance, the chance to deal full damage would be 50%.
  • check_resists is a multiplier defined by the target's armor and related modifiers. Its value can be calculated as following:
check_resists = damage taken/damage dealt
It can exceed 1 if an enemy has Damage Vulnerability +x% modifier either as inherent property or as a consequence of player's actions.
Besides armor, opponents in game can have Damage Mitigation (DM) modifier for each of five Damage Types. The final formula for damage dealt (calculated separatedly for each Damage Type) is:
damage taken = damage dealt * (damage dealt / (damage dealt + damage absorbed by armor)) * (100%-DM) * Armor_effectiveness_coeff
Armor_effectiveness_coeff is a special multiplier applied to the value of damage dealt when the target of a Combat Art has armor value > 0.
This multiplier prevents excessive reduction of damage when the armor/damage ratio is extremely high.
Armor_effectiveness_coeff depends on the armor/damage ratio and has the following values:


Where the OX axis shows the armor/damage ratio , and the OY axis shows Armor_effectiveness_coeff.
1) The character whose armor value is equal to the amount of incoming damage, will receive 0.5*1.17 = 58% of the original damage.
2) The character whose armor value is 2 times greater than the amount of damage inflicted by the attacker, will receive 0.33*1.24 = 41% of the original damage.
3) The character whose armor value is 4 times greater than the amount of damage inflicted by the attacker, will receive X*0.2*1.3 = 26% of the original damage.
4) The character whose armor value is 6 times greater than the amount of damage inflicted by the attacker, will receive X*0.143*1.33 = 19.2% of the original damage.
As you can see, the armor effectiveness decreases rapidly at high armor/damage ratio. Even by having the armor value exceed incoming damage by several times the character can not be made immune to this type of damage, because armor effectiveness drops significantly.
For example if a character with 50 Physical Damage hits an opponent with 200 Physical Armor and 40% Physical Damage Mitigation, the result would be as follows:
damage taken = 50*(50/(50+200))*(100%-40%)*1.3 = 7.8.
Which means that the opponent suffers 8 Physical Damage.

Other types of Damage

There are other types of damage in game besides regular damage - those are Damage over Time and damage caused by Detrimental Magic Effects.

  • Detrimental Magic Effects are Burn, Poison and Open Wounds (also Freeze, Weaken and Root, but those do not deal damage). They have a chance to occure when an enemy is hit by a weapon or Combat Art and inflict a percent of the damage that caused an effect over time of 5 seconds (the actual value for effect duration is 500, which could have been interpreted as 5 seconds, but the game applies damage once a second; so in practice the effect deals damage over five seconds in five pulses). If such effect was caused by a Critical Hit then the damage inflicted by that effect also increases by 20%. If Detrimental effect was caused by a hit with failed Spell Resistance/Spell Intensity check, this effect's damage is likewise decreased by 30%. Several Detrimental effects stack, so an enemy can be suffering from several effects at the same time. However, only one effect would be displayed.
    • If the defender's willpower value is too much, the damage dealt by detrimental magic effects would be noticeably reduced. It works only against CAs that deal flat damage and have a chance for detrimental effects. If an attack inflicts such effect (for example, Burn effect from a Dragon's fireball or Poison from Kobold Shaman's projectiles) then the duration of effect on highly resistant character would be reduced. Therefore the detrimental effect deals only some % of its original damage.
    • Defender's Spell Resistance stat does not affect:
      • Detrimental effects of CAs that do not deal flat damage but only DoT (poison attacks of Undead and Toxic Elementals).
      • Root.
      • Detrimental effects of Close Combat and Ranged attacks.
      • Combat Arts that deal mixed damage - both flat damage and DoT (not to be confused with CAs that deal flat damage with a chance of detrimental effect). Examples of such CAs are High Elf's Frost Flare and Ice Elementals' ice projectiles.
Some percent of Combat Art's damage is inflicted upon a target for some time. Several DoT effects stack, so the target can be hit by different Damage Types at the same time, but as with Detrimental effects only one would be displayed. DoT is not affected by target's armor, but can be reduced by several modifiers. Those are Damage over Time -%, Damage Mitigation -% and Mastery of Spell Resistance Skill. Initial Duration of DoT effect is defined by DurationDOT parameter in balance.txt. Default value is DurationDOT = 500, which means that DoT lasts 5 seconds. For example, High Elf's Frost Flare would slow its target for as many seconds as said in CA description, but would deal DoT for 5 seconds.

The Ancient Magic Skill allows to partially ignore the target's Armor as well as Damage Mitigation and DoT -% modifiers for Spell Damage Based Combat Arts. This skill causes relative decrease of these modifiers as it affects only actual modifiers the target has.

Temple Guardian's Fiery Ember and Icy Evanescence CAs increase target's vulnerability to Ice or Fire; High Elf's Crystal Skin Buff has Feel Cold modification that causes all targets in close vicinity to the caster to be more vulnerable to Ice Damage. These CAs cause all enemies in Area of Effect to have modifier "Damage Vulnerability Ice/Fire +x%" which not only removes these enemies' resistance to Damage but can decrease it below zero, causing CAs to deal more damage than the value stated in CA description. These CAs do not affect target's Armor, but decrease Damage Mitigation modifier by fixed percentage (not by percent of target's mitigation like Ancient Magic).

Ancient Magic decreases Damage Mitigation modifier by percent of target's mitigation before Temple Guardian's Fiery Ember\Icy Evanescence CAs and High Elf's Crystal Skin Buff decrease Damage Mitigation modifier by fixed percentage: thus opponent's immunity (100+% Damage Mitigation) can drop below 0 (the enemy gets more damage than indicated in the CA's description)

Understanding defensive properties

Using the following formula:

damage taken = damage dealt * (damage dealt / (damage dealt + damage absorbed))

we will determine the conditions for dealing as much damage as possible.

  • It is noticeable that if target's Armor value is equal to the damage dealt, the damage outcome would be halved. If Armor is two times bigger than damage dealt then damage outcome would be three times less. According to this dependency it is much better to deal one serious high-damage hit than several small ones, due to the features of game mechanics. Damage dealt should be greater than the target's armor and it is best to make it several times greater. Otherwise armor absorbs great percentage of incoming damage. And vice versa - if damage dealt to the character is really great (as is the case with Bosses' attacks and CAs on Niobium) it is better to equip items with Damage Mitigation as gathering enough elemental armor to have armor value on par with incoming damage is nearly impossible.
  • Percent values for chances to Block, Dodge and Reflect are not a sum of all bonuses for respective modifier, but are calculated by non-linear formula. The result can be nearing 100% but can never reach this value.
  • Damage Mitigation +x% and DoT -x% modifiers are cumulative, which means that values from different sources are simply added to each other (1+1=2) and can reach 100%, making a character effectively immune to a particular damage type.
  • There are two modifiers that save player's characters and monsters from damage over time: those are DoT -x% and Damage Mitigation +x%. Effects of these two modifiers are layering, which means that 50% of Damage Mitigation and 50% of DoT reduction would decrease damage over time by 75%. For example Ice Elementals (who are completely immune to Ice spells) while being affected by Ancient Magic Mastery (which decreases opponents' resistances by 50%) would suffer 25% of incoming Ice DoT, as incoming damage would first be reduced by remaining modifier '"Damage over Time: Ice -50%" and then by "Damage Mitigation: Ice +50%".
  • Mastery of Spell Resistance skill (75+ skill level) decreases both duration of Detrimental Magic Effects and of Damage over Time. At level 75 it makes the duration of DoT and Detrimental effects 35% of original value and decreases it further when the skill level is increased. Damage dealt by these effects is decreased proportionally to the time decrease. For example, if incoming DoT was to inflict 250 damage for 5 seconds it would be decreased by Mastery of Spell Resistance to two seconds - 250 damage dealt by the first pulse and 187 damage a second later, summing up to 437 damage which is 35% of initial 1250.
    • Spell Resistance does not affect negative effects like Stun (as it is not considered a detrimental magic effect). Stun duration can not be decreased by any modifiers. It is a constant value defined by DurationStun parameter in balance.txt (default value is 300 which is equal to 3 seconds in game).
  • Mastery of Toughness skill adds Damage Mitigation: All Channels modifier which sums up with other damage mitigation modifiers the character has from equipment and CAs. If damage mitigation of particular damage type reaches 100% the character becomes immune to all damage of that time including DoT.
    • Looking at the general damage formula:
damage taken = damage dealt * (damage dealt / (damage dealt + damage absorbed by armor)) * (100% - DM) * Armor_effectiveness_coeff
It's easy to realize that the damage reduction is more noticeable the bigger the damage mitigation is. For example for a character with 33% damage mitigation, the damage dealt would be reduced 1.5 times, 50% DM grants 2 times reduction and 75% DM means that damage taken would be 4 times less then damage dealt. It makes the Toughness skill more valuable as it not only increases armor values and damage mitigation, but makes damage absorbtion more effective.
  • It is possible to block or reflect incoming elemental damage, but not DoT. Successfully blocking or reflecting a close combat or ranged combat attack negates all detrimental effects that could have been caused by this attack. Stun effect can also be blocked or reflected.
  • The Detrimental magic effects -x% modifier reduces the duration of such effects as well as damage dealt by them (damage is reduced proportionally to the time). If several bonuses of this kind are equipped at the same time, their percentage does not sum up, instead they apply in layers (percent values multiply). Therefore the character can never achieve 100% reduction of detrimental effects.
  • Some Detrimental Magic Effects (Burn, Poison and Open Wounds) are classified as DoT and therefore affected by Damage Mitigation +x% and DoT -x% modifiers as well as by Mastery of Spell Resistance skill.
    • Many monsters have Combat Arts of this type (they are classified as DoT and Detrimental Effects at the same time). Such CAs do not deal flat damage and therefore are not affected by armor - they only inflict DoT over 5 seconds after attack. Examples include Spit CAs of the Weaving Spiders in the Swamp, Poison attacks of Undead and Toxic Elementals.

Published at DarkMattersfor review and discussion.

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