Long story short: Reim and Yesuurd performed some extensive PvP damage tests with different weapons and armors, Reim collected the data, and passed it on to me to try and squeeze some sense out of the numbers. These are my preliminary conclusions.
Heads up: read slowly! I want to keep this concise, so I might not explain as well as I should in certain places. I'm not saying this to insult your intelligence, but rather to insult my explaining skills!
To be perfectly frank, the numbers aren't as talkative as I'd like them to be. What I mean is: there are more inconsistencies than I would like. For example: two weapons that have almost the exact same AR, on the same defense, will have a greater variance in real damage vs two other weapons that have a greater difference in their AR. But, even though the results aren't as consistent as I'd have liked them to be (consistent enough, say, to derive a formula), I still managed to get some sense out of them.
- Not surprisingly, defense does not block a static amount.
Now that that's out of the way, let's get complicated! I'll cut to the chase and just tell you that damage blocked, like so many other things in Dark Souls, is subject to diminishing returns. Notice I didn't say attack rating, defense, or damage, suffer from diminishing returns, but damage blocked. This is key to understanding how damage works in Dark Souls.
There are 2 obvious factors involved when you attack someone: your weapon's attack rating (AR) and your opponent's defense. In the same way, there are 2 outcomes: damage inflicted and damage blocked. Simply: AR - damage inflicted = damage blocked. It's when you compare the damage blocked value with the defense that you notice how the game calculates damage. And what I found, is that it's the damage blocked that suffers from diminishing returns. This may seem like a backwards way of looking at things, but as you keep reading you'll understand why it makes sense.
Unfortunately this is where I couldn't get a specific formula (but do we really need to get that scientific? ). But even though we can't discuss the implications of these results specifically, we can still do it vaguely:
- The higher the AR, the higher the damage blocked. But, since damage blocked is subject to diminishing returns, all proportions maintained, the higher the AR, the higher the damage inflicted. For example: if you double the AR, the damage blocked will be less than doubled. This actually means that, contrary to almost everything else in Dark Souls, AR is actually subject to increasing returns.
- Increasing defense will not give you equal returns on damage blocked. If you triple your defense rating, you will not triple the amount of damage you block. However, depending on the weapon's AR, even though you didn't triple the damage blocked, you can still cut the damage inflicted by more than 3. This actually means that weapons with low AR are more penalized by heavier armor.
Here are some examples that will help make sense of this (from Reim's data):
- Low AR on low defense:
Damage = 184
Damage Blocked = 91
- High AR on low defense:
Damage = 528
Damage Blocked = 130
- Low AR on high defense:
Damage = 58
Damage Blocked = 217
- High AR on high defense:
Damage = 380
Damage Blocked = 278
So you can play around with the above numbers to understand what I was explaining. Notice the AR more than doubles from the first weapon to the second, but the damage blocked does not. You can also notice the defense from the first armor set (nude, actually) to the second more than triples, but again the damage blocked does not. Finally, notice how the damage of the small weapon (a mail breaker+15 @40 Str/ 40 Dex) is more than divided in 3, whereas the damage from the large weapon (Great Club+15, same stats) isn't even cut in half. This explains why you need to look at damage blocked, rather than damage inflicted, to understand how damage is calculated in Dark Souls.
Now, obviously, you didn't need me to tell you that more defense = less damage! But by explaining how damage works, we... lol I'll leave this part to you--I've done my part! In the mean time, this finally explains without a shadow of a doubt why elemental weapons do less damage than pure weapons: since their large ARs are split into 2 damage types, they're actually 2 small ARs which trigger 2 defenses which each have less diminishing returns on the damage blocked = more blocked.
Thanks a lot to Reim and Yesuurd for their testing!
Last edited by BLA1NE on Thu Apr 19, 2012 12:19 am; edited 1 time in total