In another thread, Reaperfan explained it to me in a way that made me understand... Only now I just remembered why the double defenses thing didn't make sense to me in the first place! Basically, this is how Reaper explained it (I'm not citing you to pick on you Reaper, just giving credit!):
- Physical weapon: 1 defense, 10%* reduction of damage
- Elemental weapon: 2 defenses, 10% reduction each = 20% reduction of damage
*(Numbers are made up.)
But here's how I see it: a physical weapon would be getting 1 defense applied to 100% of its damage; an elemental weapon would be getting 2 defenses applied, but each to 50% of the damage. So in the end, both should be subject to equal damage mitigation:
- Physical weapon: 1 defense, 10% reduction of damage
- Elemental weapon: 2 defenses, 10% reduction of 50% each = 10% reduction
Only elemental weapons deal more damage to begin with, so I'm still confused as to why physical weapons end up dealing more damage in the end.
Possible explanations I see:
- Defense isn't applied exclusively to its element. An elemental weapon triggers the elemental defense, but this elemental defense affects the whole damage (so physical damage too). In this case, it would be like Reaper said: two defenses applied to 100% of the damage, equals 20% reduction.
- Mobs have ridiculous elemental defense.
If there was interest, we could do testing on the subject. I could see this being useful to know, since it implies that damage rating values are completely misleading. And since our wiki has all these damage ratings available, I wouldn't want the wiki to be unknowingly misleading people! I, for one, always have an elemental weapon to backup my regular weapon when it isn't buffed. But I've found that my regular weapon, even unbuffed, actually hits harder than my elemental weapon anyways! So, with testing, we could find out if it is actually true that purely physical weapons, with lower damage ratings, are stronger than elemental weapons; we could find out why; and we could find out at which point physical surpasses elemental.
We could get these results by collecting data both on attacking mobs (to test whether they do, in fact, have ridiculous elemental resistance!) and attacking other players, and comparing results between the two. Also, purely magical melee weapons could come in useful; since they only trigger one defense, but it's magical, it could be compared 1:1 with purely physical weapons, then against split damage weapons.
I'm going to be honest with you, though: I would be very much interested in these results, but unless I change my mind I just don't have the energy or willingness right now to undertake or organize this research myself...
But let's hear what you guys have to say on the matter first!