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When your character happens upon another character, it is most likely someone will end up getting hurt. A lot. This is what combat is, your character hitting or getting hit by another character until one of the two dies, all the while getting that precious XP. In your Combat Pane (the one labelled "Combat Actions") you'll find some dropdown selections. One of these allows you to pick your target, another lets you pick the weapon with which to attack your target. In this dropdown you'll see a line that uses the following format: "Carving Knife (Average) - 12dmg, 60% to hit" We'll break down this line into it's parts for this case:

  • First is listed the Item you'll be using: "Carving Knife"
  • Second is the Quality of that item: "(Average)"
  • Third up, you'll find the Damage you can do with that weapon: "12dmg"
  • Fourthly, the percentage chance you have of hitting something: "60% to hit"

This page serves to explain how the latter two work.

Calculating Hit Percentage

% To Hit

Let's discuss the To Hit Percentage (the "xx% to hit" number). Almost all weapons are tied to a certain attack tree, which are found in the Mortal Skillset.

There are two main groups of attack trees, the close-combat tree and the ranged tree.

The ranged part is easy to explain, because the three trees all start with the same skill: Ranged Combat. The three parts that make up the tree are Thrown Weapons, Archery, Firearms and give you a bonus to that kind of weapon. All three trees add up to a total of +70% to hit with any normal weapon of their type.
As said before, there's a second tree, the close-combat tree. This one encompasses both Melee Combat and Hand-to-Hand Combat which nets you a 65% chance to hit with those attacks.

The difference between these two big trees is that dodge bonuses are split up between the two. Ranged attacks also don't provoke any Auras whilst close-combat attacks will. The trade-off being that ranged weapons require ammo to use.

Another thing that adds a bonus is your weapon's Quality, which is discussed in detail on the linked page. The basic attack bonus for all Weapons is listed on the weapons' page, but most of the time this is about 10%.

Lastly, the minimum % hit chance is 10%, though the dropdown won't show you this. No matter how great the Defense of your target, your actual accuracy cannot be reduced below 10%.

Defense Value?

Okay, some terminology here:

  • Defense is a penalty applied on hit rolls against you with all attacks.
  • Dodge is a penalty applied on hit rolls against you with melee/hth attacks.
  • Evasion is a penalty applied on hit rolls against you with ranged attacks.

(These values are what shows up on your "character sheet" page).

Hurting someone with a weapon requires you to hit them in the first place. If you've already bought a full attack tree (say Melee Combat, to keep things simple) you've now got 65% to hit someone with a basic Melee weapon (like an Axe). If you click the button to attack someone, you'd expect to average about 55% of your attacks to hit, right?
Well, yes and no. That would only apply if your target had absolutely no dodge value at all. Or defense value in the case of a ranged attack. This dodge (or defense) value can be obtained through a number of skills (like Dodge) and a spell. This value is subtracted directly from an attacker's % to hit.

Most characters have a positive dodge (or defense) value. Doors and Faction Wards, however, have a negative value (-25% actually) which means you have a greater chance of hitting them. Then there's a load of Status Effects that can modify your % to hit both for good and bad.
So if someone had 65% chance to hit you and you had a defense or dodge value of 30% to that type of attack (ranged or melee) they'd only have 65% - 30% = 35% chance to hit you. Note, however, that the target's defense or dodge, as applicable, is not taken into account in the dropdown.


Mortal vs. a Door

A lvl 1 Mortal, who only has Search and therefore has no bonus to his to hit, is attacking a Door with an Axe. Since the Axe has a base to hit of 10%, the dropdown shows the Mortal he has 10% chance to hit the door. The engine of the game, however adds the negative dodge from the door to that (-25%, remember?) for a grand total of 10%-(-25%)=35% The Mortal now has more than triple chance to hit the door than he would trying to hit another character! Too bad the door doesn't give XP when you kill it.

Pariah vs. a Dark Opressor

Paul the Pariah bought himself the entire Hand-To-Hand (HtH) tree for a grand bonus of +50% to hit. He also got himself those nifty Blood Claws, which have a base 10% to hit. Paul now has 60% to hit in his dropdown. He spots a Dark Opressor (DO) and tries to swipe at him. The DO, however, is a smart one and he's bought the skills Dodge and Terrifying Aspect. The latter two give him a global 15% dodge, whilst the skill Dodge itself, only gives a 5% bonus against close-combat and pet attacks. Luckily for him, Paul's Blood Claws is a close-combat attack and the DO gets a 20% dodge value against that. If Paul would attack the DO, he'd have a 60%-(20%)=40% chance of hitting the DO. That's only two out of five instead of the nearly three out of five he originally had.

Mortal vs a Dark Opressor

Assume that Paul the Pariah gets blasted into oblivion somehow and the DO from just then survives. The mortal that was attacking the door got bored and went looking around, found the DO and figured he might as well try since he can clearly see a 10% to hit chance in his dropdown menu. Calculating it up, shows us that the Mortal has 10%-(20%)=-10% chance to hit the DO! A negative chance to hit him would mean that the DO would be hitting him or something, right? Actually, no. And it gets better. Even though the Mortal's hit chance is negative, he still has a minimum 1% chance to hit the DO. At least that's better than nothing.

Revenant vs. Dark Opressor

It's getting a bit obvious that the DO is a bit of a dodgy guy. Let's get a Revenant to surrender to Blood Frenzy and kill the Mortal. Since the Revenant has the skill Blood Frenzy activated, and has just scored a kill, he now has a +10% chance to hit stuff above his regular accuracy. He's also got the full Hand-To-Hand combat tree and all those snazzy skills that boost his to hit chance: Natural Predator and Strength of Darkness (assume that it's night). Heck, let's have him drink a Potion of Combat Clarity to make it even more crazy and get him a +15% to hit above all that. And let's say that he's using Feeding Fangs for base 10% to hit. All those bonuses add up to the following: 10% from base to hit, 10% from two instances of Blood Frenzy, 20% from Natural Predator and Strength of Darkness, 15% from the Combat Clarity and 50% from the HtH combat tree: 10% + 10% + 20% + 15% + 50% = 105%. Our Revenant has 105% chance to hit the DO! Of course, the DO's dodge will change that, but the Revenant will find that once in a while he'd miss the DO anyways since the maximum amount of to hit is 99% for the game engine. You could even get something like 120% to hit, but you'd still miss from time to time. Now on to the dodge value. The DO's already got 20% dodge from the aforementioned skills. Let's go on and assume he just cast Blur for an additional 5% dodge. The Revenant now only has a 105%-(25%)=80% chance to hit the DO. Breaking that down, we get: (10%+[20%+15%+15%]+10%+10%+10%+15%)-(5%+15%+5%)=80% If the DO had cast Agony Curse on the Revenant somehow, this would have substracted 15% from the Revenant's % to hit, meaning he'd end up with (105%-15%)-(25%)=65% to hit the DO.

Calculating Damage

It is not unusual for an attack to have a number of different modifiers applied to its damage output. It can be confusing or difficult to understand how damage is calculated. Whatever the case, your attack will hurt the other guy and take some of his or her Hit Points away from the total, unless they're immune, in which case the damage dealt is always zero.

Order of Operations

Much like real-life math, the math of NexusClash damage calculations has an order of precedence regarding which modifiers are applied first, second, and so on. The order is explained below:

Additions and Subtractions

Any modifiers on the Attacking Character that add or subtract damage from an attack are applied first. An example of this kind of modifier is Strong Attack, which grants the character a +1 damage bonus to all non-spell attacks. Another example is Enervate; a character suffering from this charged attack has a -3 damage point penalty applied to all their attacks.

Multiplications and Divisions

After applying any appropriate additions and subtractions, any damage multipliers or divisors on the Attacking Character are applied. One example of this is Critical Hit, which has a chance to multiply the damage an attack does by 1.5 times. If you have more than one multiplier, they are added together, although as of Breath 3 there are no instances of multiple multipliers. Keep in mind that these multiplications round down each time they apply. For example, if you get a Critical hit with a 3 damage weapon, you'd expect 4.5 damage, yet only 4 damage would be dealt.

Note that it isn't possible to get a Critical Hit on a door or fortifications.

Soak and Resistance

After calculating any appropriate bonuses to damage, the damage total has been determined. This number and its damage type is applied to the Defending Character's Soak values (from Armor, if any), by substracting the Soak value from the damage total, and the effective damage total is figured.

If the Defending Character has any kind of percentual resistances to the damage type (Such as Air Affinity or Cloak of Quicksand), this effective damage total is then multiplied by those numbers, one after the other, and the result rounded down. Having both a source of 20% resistance and one of 25% resistance does not result in 45% resistance to that damage type. Instead damage is first multiplied by 80% and then that damage is multiplied by 75% for a grand total of 60% of the original amount of damage, resulting in a net resistance of 40%. This step happens after the Soak values have been taken into consideration. The Resistance values always decrease the damage total by at least 1 point of damage. The effective damage total, whatever it may be, is then applied to the target.

Note that a target does not necessarily have to take damage from an attack for any secondary effects of the attack to work. For example, the Defiler skill Poison requires only a successful hit in order to inflict poison on the target, not that the attack actually hurt the victim.

Damage Floor

If the effective damage total ends up at 0 or less, it is instead increased to 1 point because all attacks do a minimum of 1 point of damage, except if the target has Immunity to that damage type (see below).

This is called the Damage Floor and it is set at 1 for most attacks.

There are some types of attack that increase this floor to allow more damage to pass through.

Damage Immunity Check

The target is now checked for any immunities to the damage type of the attack. If the target has an Immunity to the damage type (for example, a Lich with Death Mastery is immune to any attack that deals Death damage) then the actual damage total is reduced to 0 and the Defending Character doesn't lose any HP at all.

Supplemental Damage

Certain skills and spells, for example Aura spells and Martial Spellcraft, grant supplemental damage to an attack. Supplemental damage has its own type and is dealt with in exactly the same way as, and seperately from, the attack's regular damage. Thus the effects of soak, damage resistance and immunities are calculated independently for the main attack and for the supplemental damage.

If a single attack is affected by multiple skills or spells which grant supplemental damage, only the one with the highest base damage (regardless of the target's soak, damage resistance or immunities) is used. If there is a tie between two or more sources then one of them is chosen randomly.

Supplemental damage affects Wards, Fortifications and Glyphs in the same way as normal damage.

See Supplemental Damage Sources for a list of all possible methods of extra damage.

Combat Examples

Here are a few examples of combat, using the rules as explained above.

Mortal vs. Mortal

Mortimer is a Mortal who likes to use pistols. Mortimer attacks another mortal, whom is wearing an average Suit of Light Body Armor, with his Pistol, and the damage of the attack is resolved as follows:

Mortimer's pistol has a base damage of 5. There are no subtractions or additions for him. The attack does not have any multipliers or divisors. The effective damage total of 5 points of Piercing damage is applied to the target's armor soak of 4 against Piercing damage, resulting in an actual damage total of 1 points of Piercing damage. One point is greater than 0 and the target is not immune to Piercing damage, so the target ends up taking 1 point of damage from the attack, which get substracted from the target's HP total.

An Eternal Soldier Lets Loose

Tier 3 combatants can generate quite a few modifiers, as we shall see in the following example:

Ernst Stavro is an Eternal Soldier who has all the Myrmidon and Eternal Soldier skills. His favorite attack is a Cane that deals a base of 2 points of Impact damage. He comes across a Paladin with Divine Armor by the name of George. Ernst takes out his cane and gives George a solid rapping across the forehead. Ernst is not a member of any faction, nor is he a member of any Planar Guild. Strong Attack, Elite Attack, and Infinite Attack give Ernst +1, +2, and +3 points of damage, respectively. Ernst is also using Way of Fire with this attack, so a further +15 points is added to the attack and its damage type is now Arcane (instead of Impact). The cane attack is currently going to deal 23 points of Arcane damage. Fortunately for Ernst, his Critical Hit skill worked and the attack is multiplied by 1.5, bringing the effective damage total to (23 x 1.5 = 34.5) 34 points of Arcane damage. George's Divine Armor gives him a soak of 3 against Arcane damage, and that is now applied, giving an actual damage total of 31 points of Arcane damage. Thirty one is well above the minimum of 1 point of damage and George does not have any resistance or immunity to the type, so he takes 31 points of Arcane damage.

It's Math Time!

Some classes have the capability to resist damage and others can even circumvent soak values:

Vincent Wallaby the Void Walker, and he likes shooting people in the head a lot with his Pump Action Shotgun, especially when he's popping out of a hiding place. With his Hide and Advanced Hide bonuses, he gets a -10% to hit for a +8 damage boost. His target is a sleeping Divine Champion, and member of the Planar Guild Adamant Kinship, which gives him +3 soak, who forgot to uncloak his Cloak of Quicksand and who has bought Divine Armor, like every good little paladin. Vincent Wallaby simply does not care and attacks anyways. He goes in Hiding and attacks the Champion with a Double-Barreled shot. This attack gives him 8 base damage. He gets +8 from being hidden, for a total of 16 damage. The Champion has Divine Armor that soaks 4 piercing. However, the Champion is clever and is also wearing a Suit of Military Encounter Armor that soaks 5 Piercing. He has also pristined it for that extra +2 bonus, so it actually soaks 7 Piercing. His guild gets him a +3 soak bonus as well, so these are added together for a total of 10 piercing damage soaked. Vincent is now left with an attack that deals 16 damage since he was clever as well and bought Precision of the Assassin which leaves the Champion with 0 effective soak. But the Champion still has his Cloak on! The 16 damage is multiplied by the Champion's resistance value of 40% and Vincent is left with only 9 damage dealt.