Fri 23 Jan, 2009
One way or another, to kill the bad men/women/beasts, you have to do damage. To damage you have to engage in combat, but oh my god…. now we enter the land of what are known as “derived” stats. What the hell is a derived stat? Well either its a stat you have to calculate (OMG who knew Algebra was actually useful????) or its something that combines several stats to make one overall stat.
Just to be clear, unlike looking at base stats like Int, Strength, Agility, these stats won’t always be as easy to determine. For the intro raider knowing what gear and what stats will provide you the best bang for the buck can be a huge morass of information. Getting buried is easy… time to hone up on those survival skills…..
Well from one perspective, weapon damage is the most straight forward of the stats. Blizzard provides you with some very nice straight forward stats right on every weapon you pick up. As you can see by the picture I’ve included here, the weapon we are looking at here is what we’ll examine for all of our discussion below.
Damage Range and DPS
Every weapon lists a range of damage. That means that every weapon will list a range of base damage the weapon will do along with what its average DPS should be. So generally without any other modifiers, stats, buffs, enchants, etc the weapon will hit for anywhere randomly in the range given. Over a large sample its DPS should average out to the DPS listed on the weapon. Simple enough right? Wrong… that brings us to….
Understanding weapon speed is simple on the surface with a deep undercurrent of confusion caused in a lot of players…. were that it was so simple. Better DPS on a weapon equals better for you right? Not necessarily. Weapon speed is simply put how fast the weapon hits. Its you’re “white damage” When you do nothing but “auto attack” on a mob, if a weapon says 2.0, then it means every 2.0 seconds the weapon will swing.
However this is where the simplicity ends. For your class, whatever it is, there will be an optimal weapon speed depending on what you want to accomplish. For instance, in Burning Crusade, the old mentality used to be for a Combat Sword rogue, to get the slowest possible main hand weapon with the maximum DPS combined with the fastest off hand sword possible. This served 2 purposes. The extra attack procs were done with your main hand. Slower weapons hit harder. So if you get a proc that gets you and extra attack with a slower weapon, it will hit harder than a faster weapon. The second reason was that the fast off hand applied your poison as well as providing maximum chances for the extra attack proc.
As you can see, that just added a whole new level of complexity. So when looking at weapons, don’t just look at the DPS, for your given class, you need to know your optimal weapon speed. Its way too complex to go into here, but do some research on your own in one of our billion blogs out there, and you can find the optimal speed of weapon for your class and spec.
As usual, boy wouldn’t it be simple if Attack power were just a simple and straight forward thing? Well sorry it is and it isn’t. First of all Attack Power really breaks down into two stats. The first it Melee Attack Power and of course Ranged Attack Power. The first refers to any attacks made with a Melee weapon. The later only applies to weapons like, throwing weapons, bows and guns.
Melee Attack Power
Melee Attack Power has a very straight relationship with DPS. For every 14 points in Attack power, you gain roughly 1 DPS. So in theory, if you have 1400 AP, you should gain 140 DPS. Now… are you ready for the confusing part? This is of course before you calculate anything affecting weapon speed, but we’ll get into that more later when we discuss Haste.
Every class has a base melee Attack power, and additionally they get Attack power directly on weapons. Fortunately unlike other stats, this one is WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get). So if a weapon says it increases AP by 100, then your stats on your sheet should go up by 100. Look for a table below that shows how you can calculate your base AP per class after the discussion on Ranged Attack Power.
Ranged Attack Power
The good news is that the core of this stat remains the same. 14 AP = 1 DPS increase. Now… this is directly affecting the weapon. Which in this case means the DPS of your ranged weapon being used. So the theory remains the same. More AP means more damage.
|Attack Power Derivation|
|Class||Melee AP Base||Ranged AP Base|
|Druid(caster)||(Strength X 2) – 20||Agility – 10|
|Druid(Bear)||(Strength X 2) + (Character Level X 3) – 20||None|
|Druid(Cat)||(Strength X 2) + Agility + (Character Level X 2) – 20||None|
|Druid(Moonkin)||(Strength X 2) + (Character Level X 1.5) – 20||None|
|Hunter||Strength + Agility + (Character Level X 2) – 20||Agility + (Character Level X 2) – 20|
|Mage||Strength – 10||Agility – 10|
|Paladin||(Strength X 2) + (Character Level X 3) – 20||Agility – 10|
|Priest||Strength – 10||Agility – 10|
|Rogue||Strength + Agility + (Character Level X 2) – 20||Agility + Character Level – 10|
|Shaman||Strength + Agility + (Character Level X 2) – 20||Agility – 10|
|Warlock||Strength – 10||Agility – 10|
|Warrior||(Strength X 2) + (Character Level X 3) – 20||Character Level + Agility – 10|
*Note: At the time I’m posting this I can’t find the derivation for Deathknights.
Critical Strike is in theory… how much chance you have to cause a critical strike on a mob. So if you have a 5% chance to crit something, 5% of the time you should get a critical hit. Critical hits will hit harder than your average hit. So in theory the more you crit, the more damage you do. To a point…
Every single class comes with an inate 5% chance to crit. However here’s the rub. On gear you don’t get Critical Strike. You get Critical Strike rating. Critical strike rating converts into percent chance to crit. So the calculation is
Critical Strike Rating ÷ 45.91 = % Critical Strike Bonus
Now remember though this needs to be added to your other bonus to Crit. Agility adds into Crit as well. So overall to calculate your chance to crit, you’d look at this:
Total Chance to Crit = % Critical Strike Bonus + 5% + Crit from Agility
Lets be honest. If you don’t hit the mob, you do no damage. So if you completely miss you give up that normal hit or critical strike. However as always its not as straight forward on gear. Every single spec has different hit requirements. Some classes have buffs to their chance to hit and Draenie have an inherent 1% hit bonus applied to everyone near them. So overall you need to understand the needs of your class. Of course like all things you don’t get % hit on gear. You get hit rating.
Hit rating converts in a 32.79 Hit Rating = 1% chance to hit.
For trash mobs you typically want to aim for 5-7% chance to hit on melee people. Typically trash are 1-2 levels higher than you. Boss mobs however always count at 3 levels higher than you. For single wielding this means you need 9% chance to hit the mob. To achieve this, it typically would mean you need 295 Hit Rating. However as I said, many different classes have modifiers for this. To see a better listing of what might affect your personal hit rating I highly recommend this article on Wowwiki.com.
Armor Penetration is a the stat that controls how much of the opponents armor you’ll bypass. So for instance if you have a 10% Armor Penetration and the boss has 20,000 Armor, you ignore 2,000 armor. Meaning.. for purposes of determining your damage the boss has 18,000 armor.
At level 80 it take 15.4 Armor penetration rating to grant you a 1% reduction in opponents armor.
Expertise is a fairly new stat overall. It grew out of some original human racial ability that increased their chance to hit. Every 4 points in expertise translates to a 1% decrease in a mobs chance to dodge you or parry you.
For tanks this means that you will get an increase in threat. The more you hit, the more damage you do. Also if you cap out your Expertise, you’ll also decrease the damage you take overall if you can remove parries from bosses.
For DPS, this means you can increase your total damage by limiting how much a boss can dodge your abilities. As you typically won’t be hitting a boss from the front you’d need worry about dodge instead of parry.
Basically it breaks down like this:
1 Expertise = 0.24% reduction in Dodge and Parry
8.2 Expertise Rating = 1 Expertise
Dodge seems to cap out for bosses around 6.5%. So you need ~26 Expertise (214 Expertise Rating)
Parry is a bit less straight forward, but is estimated near 15% which would need ~60 Expertise (or 492 Expertise Rating)
Haste rating is one of those stats that just seems to be in flux. Some people love it… others hate it. As a stat I’m not sold on its importance at this point. Why? Well its kind of questionable in its value relative to other stats. In a nut shell haste rating is all about making things happen faster. For spell casters it means shorter cast times. For melee and ranged attacks it means reducing the speed of your weapon. Haste rating breaks out like this:
32.8 Haste Rating = 1% Decrease in weapon speed.
So for instance if you want to get a 3.0 speed weapon down to 2.7 speed. You’d need 10% haste rating. This would require an amazing 328 Haste. I suspect haste is one of those stats that has very little value in short burst fights. But in long fights, it could account for hundreds of extra attacks and damage.