So there's been a bit of commotion lately about the deadlier weapons upgrade (Including from me) and some people are confused about how the weapon upgrade is so powerful. How are people getting thousands of bonus damage when the upgrade numbers people have are only in the hundreds?

For a while I've wanted to make a thread about how damage calculation works in this game as a helpful guide to players, and I guess this is a good as time as any to explain exactly how it works. I think a thread like this that summarizes how it works might be helpful for the devs as well. I've shared the formula with a few people but never really made a big guide on it, so now's a good time as any.

So, under my own words, this is the damage formula that I've figured out after many many hours of testing! (For direct damage)

((Base damage + Flat damage) * X% damage with attack + (Base damage* Base multiplier - Base damage)) * X% Damage type * External multipliers* X% Vulnerability debuff + External Flat damage * X% More damage debuff

So wow, that's a lot of words, so let me break it down.

Base Damage

This is the original damage of the attack you're doing without any bonuses. You can hold alt while mousing over a skill to see the base number. Pretty simple.

Flat Damage

This is the total combined number of bonuses that add a flat amount of damage to your attack. Pretty simple, but they add a lot of damage due to how early it is in the formula. It basically gets multiplied by everything else afterwards, and this is why dangerous enchantments can add so much damage. (More on this later)

Some examples:

Melee damage +10

All Archery attacks deal +40 damage but cost +3 Power

Aimed Shot boosts your Nice Attack Damage +108 for 10 seconds

All fire spells deal up to +32 damage (randomly determined)

X% Damage with Attack

This is the combined bonus of mods that increase a specific ability's damage by a percentage. This is specifically for bonuses calculated ON your character (More on this later)

Some examples:

Riposte Damage +64%

Aimed Shot Damage +41%

Poisoner's Cut has a 50% chance to deal +160% damage

Base Multiplier

This the combined total of any % bonuses to base damage. This bonus typically doesn't add much damage when stacked up with other bonuses because it doesn't benefit from flat damage or X% damage with attacks. Keep in mind though that some mods are a bit deceptive in that, even though they might not mention that it's boosting base damage, it actually is. Typically any bonus that claims it increases all attacks from a certain skill by a % falls under this.

Sword Base damage +20%

Hammer attacks deal +16% damage but generate +48% Rage

Word of Power: Archery Master ... For the next 15 minutes, arrows do +50% damage.

X% Damage type

These are bonuses on your character that increase a certain damage type by a %. It sounds simple, but for this part of the formula you must multiply all different types of bonus damage separately which can get confusing. For example, if you have two separate buffs that give you 10% more fire damage, that would add up to a 20% damage bonus as expected. However, if one of the buffs is "10% more fire damage" and the other buff is "10% more ranged damage" and you use a fire ball attack, it will be multiplied by 10% twice, which results in higher damage than one 20% multiplier. Basically, if the bonuses are different, you need to multiply them all separately. However, due to a recent change, if they affect the same damage type, they should be multiplied as one number. For example, if you have "10% more fire damage" and "10% more direct fire damage", this would be a 20% multiplier on direct fire attacks.

Some examples:

Lore's passive level up bonus (+% to direct and indirect elemental damage)

Way of the Hammer boosts Slashing and Piercing Damage +17% for 10 seconds

Pain Bubble increases the damage of your ranged attacks by 13% for 10 seconds

External Multipliers

So this is definitely the most confusing multiplier in the formula, yet one of the biggest factors in getting huge amounts of damage (I suspect unintentionally). These are any multipliers that increase your attack's damage by a %, but are multiplied externally (During the attack) rather than on your character. Essentially, these are multipliers that have to check something during your attack to see if you should get the % bonus, such as the condition of your opponent, or one of your other stats. Another name I have for these are "Conditional multipliers" because these types of mods have to check for a certain condition before they give you the bonus % damage. Not only that, but all of these conditional multipliers are multiplied separately, EVEN IF THEY ARE THE EXACT SAME MOD. So for example, if you have two hammer mods that say "Hammer attacks deal +20% damage to targets whose Rage meters are at least 66% full", then it would be calculated as two 20% multipliers, rather than one 40% multiplier. Keep in mind that this is for mods that boost your damage by a %, not a flat amount (That will be described later).

Some examples:

Hammer attacks deal +20% damage to targets whose Rage meters are at least 66% full

Seismic Impact deals +71% damage to targets that are Knocked Down

Unarmed attacks deal +24% damage when you have 33% or less of your Armor left

X% Vulnerability Debuff

These are debuffs you have applied to your enemy that cause them to take more damage from certain damage types. These are similar to damage type buffs on your character. Keep in mind this has nothing to do with the "Vulnerable" status monsters have some time, that's part of the bonus below this one. Also keep in mind that these debuffs don't actually affect the enemy's innate resistance towards these attacks, so it's much easier to calculate how much damage these add.

Some examples:

Calefaction causes target to take +44% damage from Cold for 12 seconds

Super Fireball causes the target to take +60% damage from indirect Fire

Death's Hold causes target to take +30% damage from Slashing for 15 seconds

External Flat damage

These are similar to external multipliers, in that these are bonuses that are calculated during your attack, rather than internally on your character. These can also be called "Conditional flat damage bonuses" Unfortunately, unlike external multipliers, External flat damage bonuses add a flat amount of damage to the very end of the damage formula, and are basically multiplied by almost nothing, making them very weak for the most part. Many skills that cause you to do more damage to specific enemy types fall under this.

Some Examples:

Any bonus damage to vulnerable targets

+30 direct damage to goblins

Many Cuts and Debilitating Blow deal +134 damage to Arthropods

Flashing Strike deals +217 damage to undead

X% More damage debuff

I only added this at the end because it seems to be the only thing that multiplies external flat damage bonuses. This damage bonus is from debuffing the enemy with an effect which causes them to take more damage from ALL sources. As far as I can tell, this is only applicable to the "Knock down" debuff that Hammer and some enemies can cause.

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So now after breaking that all down, let's take a set of real bonuses and use them as an example for one attack, I'll use one from my Hammer/Shield set combo for Seismic impact with all the multipliers I normally use if I want absolute max damage. (I have a level 60 hat for fashion, so some of the mods are level 60). Also typically you would use Ferocity Juice for max damage (It's super powerful and can add 1-2k extra damage) but currently it's a little weird for damage calculation so I'll avoid using it.

Base damage: 433

Flat Damage bonus:538

Melee attack damage +10 (Death Trooper Leggings base property)

Nice attack damage +280 (Reinforce boosts your nice attack damage by 120 mod *2)

Nice Attack damage +288 (Reverberating Strike + Reckless Slam boosts your nice attack damage by 72 mod *2)

X% Damage with Attack: 198%

Seismic Impact damage +80% (Helm and Ring Mod)

Seismic Impact hits all targets within 8 meters and deals +18% damage

Base multiplier: 185%

Hammer base damage +14% (Amazing Club base property)

Hammer Base damage +43% (20% mod + 23% mod)

Hammer Base damage +28% (Hammer attacks deal 14% more base damage but generate more rage *2)

X% Damage type:

+15% Crushing damage (Way of the Hammer buff)

+7% direct crushing damage (Secret Calligraphy, clenched fist)

External Multipliers:

Hammer attacks deal +18% damage to targets whose rage meters are at least 66% full *2

Seismic Impact deals +63% damage to targets who are knocked down *2

X% Vulnerability debuff: 18%

Target's Crushing Vulnerability +9% mod on Disrupting bash *2

More damage debuff: 25%

Knocked down (Caused by leaping Smash)

So now we take all these numbers and we put them in the formula...

((433 + 578) * 1.98 + (433* 1.85 - 433)) *1.22 *1.18 *1.18 *1.63 *1.63 *1.18 *1.25 =15776

Calculating that results in us dealing 15776 damage! All that from a meager beginnings of 443!

But now, we did want to talk about adding in dangerous enchantments in the topic. I have a hammer that adds +306 damage, so let's just add +306 flat damage into the calculation to see what it'll end up as.

((433 + 884) * 1.98 + (433* 1.85 - 433)) *1.22 *1.18 *1.18 *1.63 *1.63 *1.18 *1.25 = 19809

So here we can see that, by adding +306 damage, our damage shoots up by 4033 points, which is a pretty sizable amount. That +306 damage was multiplied by over 13 times due to stacking all of these different multipliers on one another. This is how you can get thousands of extra damage from what seems like a small bonus. Now, getting that extra damage on an already big attack might not really be necessary because of how strong it is already, but what's really noticeable is when this damage bonus is applied to attacks that normally have very low base damage such as basic attacks, in which case a +300 damage bonus can result in the move doing several hundred percent more damage than it normally does.

Anyways, sorry for the huge wall of text, and I hope this post is helpful to whomever cares enough to read through the whole bloody thing. I'll be happy to answer any questions. I know where a lot of things fit into the damage formula, but not all of them, but I can try my best at least. I hope this is also helpful to @Citan because I know he's been looking a lot into balancing damage stuff recently, as well as the dangerous enchantment modifiers.

For those of you who were staring at the thread, sorry for some crazy editing work I had to do. I was getting some strange errors in my math and I finally realized that it was because the latest patch actually slightly changed the damage formula in regards to damage type bonuses! Notably damage type bonuses now stack as a single multiplier, and the boost from "Ferocity Juice" has been moved on the damage formula tree, and is kind of buggy at the moment. Currently the multiplier seems to be in its own spot right next to X% Damage with attack, but for the moment I have removed it from all my damage formula talk because of these recent changes making it kinda iffy where it's supposed to really be, even though it removed a bunch of damage from my example making it less cool.