Calculating Weapon Damage pt 16: The Great Greensteel Debate
Any greensteel variation that does not bypass damage reduction must overcome that damage loss (see previous DR charts) in that situation within the difference of the special abilities of the weapons (resistances and alignment are typically the only considerations because fortification is not a factor most of these). The weapon damage is the same for all greensteel variations including D and S (unless you are using a weapon without improved critical which mineral 2 alone grants). In the specific case of Horoth (normal) that means that while the mineral 2 falchion loses its acid damage, the lightning 2 falchion must still overcome 14.25 damage in its special abilities, but they only total 22.6675 while the mineral 2 still totals 9.025, a difference of 13.6425. However, when comparing kopeshes in the same conditions a lightning 2 kopesh does 23.7675 damage from its special abilities while the mineral 2 still only does 9.025, a difference of 14.7425, advantage lightning 2.
Let’s look at a bigger picture here. Assuming you build a mineral 2 and lightning 2 the same way (and I’m going to assume its the way I’ve been building to maximize the differences) we can completely ignore the holy/good damage because it will be the same for both weapons. The elemental damage will also be exactly the same except for the elemental type. At most this damage will be 8.425 (19-20/x3 crit range). The other possible totals are 7.325 (18-20/x2), 6.225 (x3 and 19-20/x2), and 5.125 (x2). This is only relevant if the monster is able to negate either electric or acid damage. If he negates neither or both the damage is the same and can be ignored as well. This leaves slicing for the mineral 2 and lightning strike for the lightning 2. Neither of these cares what kind of weapon is made, they react the same. Slicing is easy, if the target bleeds it takes 2.375 damage. Lightning strike does 8.6925 damage but can be reduced by electrical resistance at the rate of 0.0142 per point of electrical resistance (almost too small to worry about except for immunities – a resistance of 70 is needed to reduce this by 1). As mentioned previously none of these effects is affected by fortification.
This means that the base difference between these 2 weapons is 8.6925-2.375 = 6.3175. This can be further changed if the monster is resistant to acid or electric. If the monster is resistant to electric damage the mineral 2 will be better EXCEPT for a x2 weapon (6.3175-5.125=1.1925). (In case you were wondering a resistance of 7 or better is needed to tip the scales in favor of the mineral 2 for a x3 or 19-20/x2 weapon). Of course if its immune to lightning then the mineral 2 wins for all categories. Obviously at this point if damage reduction becomes a factor the mineral 2 is the clear winner.
If the monster is resistant to acid but not electric then the gap is further widened for all weapons: 14.7425 (19-20/x3), 13.6425 (18-20/x2), 12.5425 (x3 and 19-20/x2), and 11.4425 (x2). This means that there is more of a buffer for damage reduction. So let’s take a look at the 8 possibilities and how much damage reduction is needed to tip the scales in favor of the mineral 2.
1) Monster is immune to electric damage: goodbye lightning strike. Regardless of acid damage mineral 2 wins.
2) Monster is resistant to only electric damage and weapon has a crit range that is NOT x2: we saw above, advantage mineral 2
3) Monster is resistant to only electric damage and weapon has a crit range that IS x2: difference in damage is 1.1925 – DR 2 advantage mineral 2 (okay it’s a niche phenomenon).
4) Monster is either not resistant to either acid or electric OR is resistant to both (the affect on lightning strike is small enough in comparison to that of damage reduction and can be ignored): difference in damage is 6.3175 – DR of 7 advantage min 2
5) Monster is resistant to only acid, weapon is 19-20/x3 crit range: difference 14.7425 – DR of 16 advantage min 2
6) Monster is resistant to only acid, weapon is 18-20/x2 crit range: difference 13.6425 – DR of 15 advantage min 2
7) Monster is resistant to only acid, weapon is x3 and 19-20/x2 crit range: difference 12.5425 – DR of 14 advantage min 2
8) Monster is resistant to only acid, weapon is x2 crit range: difference 11.4425 – DR of 13 advantage min 2 (actually a DR of 12.05 gives the advantage, but we only get whole numbers)
So as we can see, in any scenario where damage reduction is 16 or higher it is better to ditch the lightning 2 and opt for the mineral 2. And the kopesh is the only greensteel weapon that does better as a lightning 2 against Horoth on normal.
Now if the target doesn’t bleed, then you would just take out the slicing damage, giving lightning 2 an additional advantage by 2.375 – but a minimal additional DR 3 will negate this advantage.
If you have a topic or a build you’d like me to look at drop me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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).