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Building Blocks 10: Weapon Comparisons 9

Calculating Weapon Damage pt 9: Advanced Weaponry

Many end game and epic weapons do extra damage and/or have expanded crit profiles.  Comparing them to our base weaponry is fairly easy, but does require extra calculations.  Specific weapons can be found here and sets of weapons like greensteel have their own tab.  With greensteel and alchemical weapons their critical profile does not change so we can use the same [D] and [S] tables for each weapon.  For these tables with specific weapons I will add in [E] to their base damage, but weapon sets I will not so that we can better compare them with basic weapons.  For other weapons you can refer to the weapon’s special abilities tabs and simply multiply the numbers under enhancements by whatever bonus you have (in the case of greensteel this would be +5)

Let’s look at some specific high end weapons.  FIrst let’s look at which is better for greensteel weapons, the greatsword, greataxe, or the falchion.  Let’s take a mineral 2 for each.

Mineral 2 Gsword 2 – 14 15-16 17-18 19 20 Avg
3d6+5 15.5 15.5 31 31 31 17.825
[D] 1 1 2 2 2 1.15
[S] 0 0 2 2 2 0.4
Holy 7 7 7 7 7 6.65
Acid burst 3.5 3.5 9 9 9 4.425
Acid blast 0 0 5.5 5.5 19.5 1.8
Slicing 2.5 2.5 2.5 2.5 2.5 2.375
Totals (w/o [D] & [S]) 28.5 28.5 55 55 69 33.075

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Mineral 2 Gaxe 2 – 14 15-16 17-18 19 20 Avg
3d6+5 15.5 15.5 15.5 46.5 46.5 17.825
[D] 1 1 1 3 3 1.15
[S] 0 0 0 3 3 0.3
Holy 7 7 7 7 7 6.65
Acid burst 3.5 3.5 3.5 14.5 14.5 4.425
Acid blast 0 0 0 11 25 1.8
Slicing 2.5 2.5 2.5 2.5 2.5 2.375
Totals (w/o [D] & [S]) 28.5 28.5 28.5 81.5 95.5 33.075

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Min 2 Falcion 2 – 14 15-16 17-18 19 20 Avg
2d6+5 12 24 24 24 24 15
[D] 1 2 2 2 2 1.25
[S] 0 2 2 2 2 0.6
Holy 7 7 7 7 7 6.65
Acid burst 3.5 9 9 9 9 4.975
Acid blast 0 5.5 5.5 5.5 19.5 2.35
Slicing 2.5 2.5 2.5 2.5 2.5 2.375
Totals (w/o [D] & [S]) 25 48 48 48 62 31.35

Notice how the greatsword and greataxe are nearly identical save for the slight difference in the seeker bonus, advantage greatsword.  The falchion may look like it does less damage, but notice the higher value of [D].  Let’s compare the greatsword and falchion where [S]=0

31.35 + 1.25D = 33.075 + 1.15D >>>  .1D = 1.725 >>>  D = 17.25

So for values of [D] greater than 17 the falchion does more damage than the greataxe and greatsword.  Remember that with 2 handed weapons you get 1.5 times your strength modifier to damage and power attack bonuses are doubled.  That means with power attack active (+5*2=+10) you only need a strength modifier of +5 without any other bonuses.  (personal note: the falchion does not give the satisfaction of really big numbers, particularly on a full frenzied barbarian).

Generally the biggest question on everyone’s mind is which is better – a mineral 2 or lighting 2?  While I’m at it I will also calculate the Epic Sword of Shadows and the Epic Antique Greataxe as these are 2 high end weapons commonly used in boss fights.  And for good measure I will also consider a +5 holy burst greater bane and a +5 holy burst of vorpal bane (ex smiting – note that I’m not actually sure you could get the latter).  To keep my numbers comparable I will use a falchion for my non specific weapons.  This will give me comparable numbers to the 2 epic weapons and will still give us comparable data for the other weapons.  Since the base weapon is the same for the non epic weapons, if one is better for the falchion we can extrapolate that the same will be true for other weapons (though the gap may vary).  And just for kicks, I’ll do the Sword of Shadows too.  Here’s the summary, you can see the full numbers on my tables.

Sword of Shadows 2 – 14 15-16 17-18 19 20 Avg
3d6+5 12 36 36 36 36 18.6
[D] 1 3 3 3 3 1.55
[S] 0 3 3 3 3 0.9

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Min 2 Falcion 2 – 14 15-16 17-18 19 20 Avg
2d6+5 12 24 24 24 24 15
[D] 1 2 2 2 2 1.25
[S] 0 2 2 2 2 0.6
Holy 7 7 7 7 7 6.65
Acid burst 3.5 9 9 9 9 4.975
Acid blast 0 5.5 5.5 5.5 19.5 2.35
Slicing 2.5 2.5 2.5 2.5 2.5 2.375
Totals (w/o [D] & [S]) 25 48 48 48 62 31.35

.

Epic Antique Greataxe 2 – 14 15-16 17-18 19 20 Avg
3d10+6 22.5 22.5 22.5 67.5 67.5 25.875
[D] 1 1 1 3 3 1.15
[S] 0 0 0 3 3 0.3
Righteousness 2 2 2 6 6 2.3
Force burst 3.5 3.5 3.5 14.5 14.5 4.425
Totals (w/o [D] & [S]) 28 28 28 88 88 32.6

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+5 Holy burst Gbane 2 – 14 15-16 17-18 19 20 Avg
Falchion 2d4+5 10 20 20 20 20 12.5
[D] 1 2 2 2 2 1.25
[S] 0 2 2 2 2 0.6
Holy burst 7 17.5 17.5 17.5 17.5 9.8
Greater bane 13.5 16.5 16.5 16.5 16.5 13.725
Totals (w/o [D] & [S]) 30.5 54 54 54 54 36.025
.
Lit 2 Falchion 2 – 14 15-16 17-18 19 20 Avg
2d6+5 12 24 24 24 24 15
[D] 1 2 2 2 2 1.25
[S] 0 2 2 2 2 0.6
Holy 7 7 7 7 7 6.65
Electric burst 3.5 9 9 9 9 4.975
Electric blast 0 5.5 5.5 5.5 19.5 2.35
Lightning strike 0 0 0 0 0 8.6925
Totals (w/o [D] & [S]) 22.5 45.5 45.5 45.5 59.5 37.6675

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+5 Holy burst (vorpal) 2 – 14 15-16 17-18 19 20 Avg
Falchion 2d4+5 10 20 20 20 20 12.5
[D] 1 2 2 2 2 1.25
[S] 0 2 2 2 2 0.6
Holy burst 7 17.5 17.5 17.5 17.5 9.8
Vorpal bane 14 14 14 14 114 18.3
Totals (w/o [D] & [S]) 31 51.5 51.5 51.5 151.5 40.6

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Epic Sword of Shadows 2 – 14 15-16 17-18 19 20 Avg
5d6+10 27.5 82.5 82.5 82.5 82.5 42.625
[D] 1 3 3 3 3 1.55
[S] 0 3 3 3 3 0.9


These weapons are listed in order of damage (excepting [D] and [S]).  Remember that these numbers consider everything being equal against a generic monster.  Under these conditions the Epic Antique Greataxe is actually less damage than the min 2 falchion if [D] > 13 and can’t catch the rest because of the falchion’s higher [D] value.  But this doesn’t really answer our driving question.  Which of these is better against a raid boss?  We need to expand our calculations to monsters and see how they affect our numbers.

Oh, by the way, in case you were wondering, assuming [S]=6, the (regular) sword of shadows becomes higher dps than a lightning 2 falchion if [D] = 58 (and passes a lightning 2 greatsword if [D] = 45) under these conditions.  With power attack (+10) that would be a strength modifier of +32 and +24 respectively assuming no other bonuses.

Edited 3-14-2012: fixed an error with the greater bane falchion where the increased enhancement bonus from the weapons greater bane effect was not multiplying on critical hits.

Edited 4-21-2012: fixed an error with the greater bane and vorpal falchions where [D] and [S] were being added into damage totals

If you have a topic or a build you’d like me to look at drop me an email (ddoepiceducation@gmail.com) or leave a comment.  I am in no way guaranteeing that I will consider, reply to, or let alone read comments in anything resembling a timely manner (sorry, time is unfortunately not an infinite resource of mine until I am high enough level to cast time stop).

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